All posts by Roger Straw

Editor, owner, publisher of The Benicia Independent

Seenos, Grayson, Concord Police join with Christian Nationalist PAC to support Concord Council candidate

[Editor: PLEASE NOTE CORRECTION – On Sep 25, I received an email from Lisa Tucker of the Tim McGallian for Concord City Council Campaign. According to Tucker, “Concord Council Member Tim McGallian has not endorsed Robert Ring for city council. In fact, Mr. McGallian has endorsed his colleague, Council Member Laura Hoffmeister.” Other claims in the article remain, and are highly significant – please continue reading! – R.S.]

Concord Police and Theocratic Nationalists Endorse Same Council Candidate

IndyBay.org, Open-Publishing Newswire, by News You Can Use, September 23, 2022

Candidate Robert Ring is endorsed by the Concord Police Department for the District 1 council seat. Robert Ring also has the support of the American Council, a Christian Nationalist PAC which is supporting like-minded candidates in city council and school board races.
sm_ring_has_christian_nationalist_support.jpg

The Concord Police Officer’s Association have gone all in on Robert Ring. Concord’s fourth district has 3 candidates, and Robert Ring is their guy. During last month’s Contra Costa County TV forum for D1 candidates, He touted his double endorsement from the Police Association and the Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney’s Association. Ring said “I am the candidate of law and order.” Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN-KtPXDnzs

As part of his platform, Robert Ring proposes raising the pay of the police department. Ring acknowledges that 57% of the Concord city budget goes to the police, but he is calling for an increase for pay and for equipment. Ring has not explained where the money for such an increase in police spending is going to come from.

Robert Ring received $1,500 from the police association. It’s an investment. Need to spend to money to make money.

Ring is the “law and order” candidate. What guides his sense of what that phrase means? Is he guided by the “Book of American Laws” (She-Hulk reference, I couldn’t resist) or could Ring be guided by some particular religious sense of “law and order”?

Robert Ring received a payment of one-thousand dollars from a Christian Nationalist PAC called the The American Council for Evangelicals (or just The American Council for short). The American Council is a California based PAC that is trying to place candidates in city councils and school boards. They have candidates who are sympathetic to their theocratic values. The American Council is mobilizing to seat candidates who believe American is a Christian nation, and should be governed by their ultra-Conservative interpretation of the Bible. Robert Ring is one of those theocratic nationalist candidates.

On the subject of LGBTQ+ rights, the American Council does not approve of homosexuality nor same-sex marriage. The PAC believes that liberal attitudes of supporting the the LGBTQ+ community are damaging. They believe American society has compromised too much to the LGBTQ+ community. They believe these compromises are separating America from God.

Their stated goal is “mobilizing people of faith to pursue revival and reformation in America.” (https://www.theamericancouncil.com) These are right-wing Evangelicals who want to Make American Great Again. Former Trump senior adviser Kayleigh McEnany is headlining the American Council Gala. This is a fundraiser to “fight for Biblical values in in legislation and the ballot box”. (Info here:  https://americancouncil.ticketspice.com/the-american-council-gala) This is a theocratic fascist political movement, and Robert Ring is the candidate for “law and order” in Concord.

The general council for the American Council is Denise Grace Gitsham: a former White House aide for George W Bush, a public speaker at CPAC, and Trump supporter. Advising the American Council is Kelly Kullberg, who organized a far-right astroturfing network called the Kullberg Network. This was a 2020 pro-Trump campaign used to spread conspiracy theories, anti-Islamic sentiment and racial propaganda. This White Christian Nationalist effort also operated sock-puppet social media accounts for “Blacks for Trump”.  (Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/news/2020/11/03/kullberg-network-reemerges) Robert Ring received $1000 dollars from this organization. Robert Ring is the “law and order” candidate. The Concord Police Officers association has fully endorsed him.

Who else has endorsed Robert Ring? Sitting councilperson for Concord’s first district Tim McGallian. [See correction above.]  Ring also has the

Robert Ring for Concord City Council – I am grateful to have the endorsement of Assemblymember Tim Grayson….Thank you for support, Tim!

endorsement of Assembly-member (CA 14) Tim Grayson, a former city council member and an Evangelical preacher. Grayson was a Republican, who cleverly ran as a Democrat to get his seat on the state Assembly. Here’s a photo of Grayson and the “law and order” candidate: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=124613253684238

The Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council also endorse Ring. Ring is Pro-Seeno. The Seeno family of developers are in negotiation with the city of Concord to develop the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Ring’s two opponents are both against Seeno, as is the general public. The Seeno deal has become a huge scandal, with allegations of bribery and organized-crime tactics. Oh, the police association is also involved with this scandal, as they have openly supported Seeno. Why are the police involved in a construction and development matter? That’s a good question, which seems to involve some kind of quid pro quo. Ring’s the “law and order” candidate.

Christian Nationalists are supporting Robert Ring. The cops like him, too. The 2 Tims – McGallian [See correction above.] and Grayson – are all in on Ring. The endorsements and the checks are coming in…. Ring-A-Ding-DIng! Ka-ching!

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Here is the contribution from the Concord Police Officers Association. They either didn’t do their research before choosing their candidate, or they did their research and they like what they see. After donating, they gave their official endorsement.

The Concord police do not have civilian oversight..

Stay tuned for more. Oh yes, there will be more!

Kathy Kerridge: Kari Birdseye is competent, intelligent, hard-working…

Thinking globally, and acting locally

By Kathy Kerridge, September 23, 2022

Kathy Kerridge, Benicia CA

I heartily endorse Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council.

I have seen her in action in various roles, including as chair of the Planning Commission and as a member of the Solano County Democratic Central Committee. I know she is a competent, intelligent, hard-working person.

Kari’s values are in the right place, and I have not one doubt that she will always put the health and safety of Benicia first. She will bring her concern about the environment, climate change, housing, and protecting the character of our city to the city council.

We are at a critical stage on many fronts, and local government can make such a difference. With the right people on the council, we can move forward on local issues that have a broader impact. I like to think globally, and act locally. Kari will do the same thing.

I trust Kari Birdseye to represent us and to provide a voice on city council that I know will always have the best interests of our city and humanity at heart.

Kathy Kerridge
Benicia Resident

More letters, news & links about Kari here on the BenIndy


And best of all – Kari’s website!

Kari Birdseye For Benicia City Council 2022
https://karibirdseyeforbenicia.com

Lisa Reinertson: Kari Birdseye Sees the Big Picture

For a healthy planet for my children, for my grandchildren, and their children’s children…

By Lisa Reinertson, September 21, 2022

Lisa Reinertson, Benicia CA

What do the wildfires and recent air quality index of over 500 at Lake Tahoe have to do with Benicia? (Besides ruining some people’s vacations?) What do recent record-breaking temperatures throughout California, with some temperatures going above 115 degrees as close as Fairfield have to do with our town, or even with our elections?

Why does a huge Texas based oil conglomerate like Valero feel the need to meddle in our town’s local elections, using a PAC to the tune of around $240,000

The big picture is that we are all witnessing the effects on our climate; drought, wildfires, record-breaking temperatures, fish die offs, etc., due to, in great part, our reliance on fossil fuels. And the fossil fuel industry, aware that people might want to protect our water, our air, our planet, are wielding their power to protect their own interests, which is their profits. Our small quaint town of Benicia is again witness to their attempts to wield their power here. Like the story of David and Goliath, it’s the giant corporation against our citizens’ best interests, using PAC money to fight against City Council candidates that will hold them accountable. With their history of air polluting accidents and keeping serious toxic emissions in Benicia secret for over 15 years, they would prefer to not be held accountable.

I am a Benicia citizen who would like there to be a healthy planet for my children, for my grandchildren, and their children’s children. I want folks on our City Council who don’t have any ties to or accept any help from fossil fuel interests. Folks like Kari Birdseye.

Kari Birdseye, whose resume includes a stellar career in journalism, has devoted years of service to our community, both as president of a local PTA, and as the chair of our City’s Planning Commission for the past two terms. She currently works for an environmental organization, which is one of the things I admire about Kari, and what the oil interests are afraid of.

Kari, having raised two children in Benicia, understands the concerns and hopes of families in our town. She understands the need to protect our city’s financial base by diversifying businesses. She understands that clean air and water and the health and safety of our community are top priorities.

Kari cares deeply about the state of our environment and will work diligently on sustainable ideas and solutions to the problems that affect us now and into our future. Kari is beholden not to any corporate interest but only to the citizens of our beautiful Benicia. She is kind, thoughtful, accessible, smart, resilient, and not afraid to fight the good fight for the good of our community. Please join me in voting for Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council.

Lisa Reinertson
Benicia Resident

More letters, news & links about Kari here on the BenIndy


And best of all – Kari’s website!

Kari Birdseye For Benicia City Council 2022
https://karibirdseyeforbenicia.com

Menacing threat to Vallejo (and Benicia): Greenland’s rapidly shrinking ‘zombie ice’

Brendan Riley’s Solano Chronicles: Vallejo’s shoreline threatened by zombie ice

Flooding around the old Times-Herald and News-Chronicle building in 1967 on what’s now Curtola Parkway could occur again there and elsewhere in Vallejo without safeguards against predicted sea rise. (Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum files)

Vallejo Times-Herald, Sept 11, 2022

Efforts to extend the shorelines of Vallejo and now-closed Mare Island Naval Shipyard, just across the Napa River, transformed bay and river waters into thousands of acres of low-lying land. But those efforts that spanned more than a century are threatened by “zombie ice” and other effects of global warming.

A new study, published Aug. 29 in the journal Nature Climate Change, describes part of Greenland’s rapidly shrinking ice sheet as zombie ice because it’s doomed to melt. The study says that by 2100 the melting ice sheet, no longer being replenished by glaciers getting less snow, will raise global sea levels a minimum of 10 inches and possibly as much as 2 ½ feet.

The sea rise from the Greenland ice sheet would be in addition to other Arctic and Antarctic ice melting due to global warming. Other documents, including a National Academy of Sciences report and a current State Sea-Level Rise Action Plan, warn that ice melt from all sources could cause two or more feet of sea rise on the West Coast as early as 2050 and five to six feet of rise by 2100.

Vallejo was part of a 2018 sea-rise study by a group called Resilient by Design. The study included an interactive risk-zone map on the Internet at sealevel.climatecentral.org/maps that shows the impact of rising levels. That easy-to-use link is available to anyone interested in seeing how our area would be impacted by varying amounts of sea rise.

The Resilient by Design link indicates that a foot of sea rise, without new levees, seawalls or other barriers, would flood a large strip of Vallejo’s Riverfront Park, along Wilson Avenue north of Tennessee Street. On Mare Island, part of its southwest tip would be underwater. Flooding also would occur on marshy land to the north, adjacent to State Route 37 and Dutchman Slough; and on SR37 near Black Point, several miles west of Vallejo.

Without protective barriers, a five-foot rise in the tideline would cause temporary or permanent flooding on most of SR37 (Sears Point Road) between Vallejo and Novato to the west. Much of the Mare Island fill land would be affected, including parts of Nimitz Avenue in the shipyard’s historic core.

In Vallejo, a long stretch of Mare Island Way and part of Curtola Parkway could flood. That would affect the municipal marina, Vallejo Yacht Club, a former State Farm Insurance building proposed as a new Police Department, the Ferry Building, Independence Park and the city boat launch area. Many locations to the south also could flood, including the city’s sewage treatment plant, Kiewit Pacific and the old Sperry Mill site.

Those projected flood zones would affect most, if not all, of the Vallejo and Mare Island shorelines that were expanded starting in the 1850s. Old navigation charts show the Navy, which opened its first West Coast shipyard in 1854, quickly filled in a strip of marshland along the river and constructed a seawall or quay where ships could tie up.

Expansion of Mare Island continued for decades, resulting in the shipyard increasing from less than 1,000 acres to its estimated 5,600 acres today. The new land was formed all the way around the island mainly by dredged mud from Mare Island Strait, the renamed stretch of the Napa River between the island and Vallejo, and by fill that was imported or obtained by digging into original higher ground on the island. Some of the new land is designated as marsh or tideland, but at least half of the new acreage has streets and roads and was used for all types of Navy shipyard activity.

On the Vallejo side, expansion into the Mare Island Strait added nearly 500 acres along the waterfront. The projects included one in the early 1900s that filled in a wide section of river that once separated Vallejo from South Vallejo.

The new land was formed by establishing a barrier that ran straight from the city boat ramp area almost to Lemon Street in South Vallejo. Mud dredged from the river on the west side of the barrier, or bulwark, was then pumped into what once had been navigable water and tideland on the other side.

The dredge-and-fill process that began on a large scale in 1913 took several years, creating more land and more direct road links between the two communities. Present-day Sonoma Boulevard between Curtola Parkway and Lemon Street would not exist without this project. The same goes for the sewage plant, Kiewit and many other businesses.

Without all the fill, you could anchor a boat at the present-day location of Anchor Self Storage on Sonoma Boulevard. The river reached what’s now Curtola Parkway on the north, and spread as far east as Fifth Street, where it turned into a marshy connection to Lake Dalwigk. On the south side, the railroad tracks that cross Fifth Street near Solano Avenue once ran along the water’s edge to the old Sperry Mill area.

More acreage was added to Vallejo’s shoreline in the 1940s near the Mare Island causeway, and in the 1960s as part of a massive redevelopment project that resulted in Vallejo’s entire Lower Georgia Street business district being bulldozed. Many longtime Vallejoans can remember walking out on a pier over tideland to board ferries that ran to Mare Island. That tideland is now the seawall area where people can park cars, take a ferryboat to San Francisco, have a drink or dine out, or go for a stroll.

Before redevelopment, the original Vallejo Yacht Club building stood in the same location as the current building – but on pilings over tideland. Much of the fill dirt for this waterfront extension came from Vallejo’s historic York Street Hill – the site of California’s Capitol in 1852 and 1853. The hill was scraped flat and trucked to the nearby riverfront.

In addition to the shoreline work, nearly 500 acres of usable land were formed by levees and fill in a marshy area where Larwin Plaza, now Vallejo Plaza, was built in 1960, along Sonoma Boulevard on the north side of Vallejo. White Slough, which flows into the Napa River, is on the edge of this shopping center. Traces of the marsh once extended nearly to Tennessee Street, several blocks to the south.


Brendan Riley — Vallejo and other Solano County communities are treasure troves of early-day California history. My Solano Chronicles column, running every other Sunday, highlights various aspects of that history. If you have local stories or photos to share, message me on Facebook.