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North Mare Island Building Demolition Contract Awarded

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The contract for the demolition and abatement of North Mare Island Building 755 was awarded to Silverado Contractors, Inc. of Oakland with City Council approval on July 8.

Silverado Contractors provides a full spectrum of demolition services, including complete building removal as well as structural and interior demolition, with the experience and resources necessary to meet any demolition challenge.

As demolition is the company’s primary focus, Silverado Contractors provide proactive solutions and ensures a level of safety and professionalism. Previous experience includes demolition of the Bank of America Clock Tower, Boarding Area “A” of the San Francisco International Airport, Building 590 – Former Oakland Army Base, the Old Del Monte Plant 51, and others.

Work for the demolition of Building 755 will comprise abatement, removal and disposal of asbestos containing materials, lead-based paint and lead containing materials, and building structure, as well as recycling of non-hazardous materials and the transportation and legal disposal of all debris.

A demolition permit is being obtained from Bay Area Air Quality Management District and a pre-construction meeting with Silverado Contractors will be scheduled for August. Work is anticipated to begin by September. Building 755 is located between Railroad and Walnut Avenues.

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Business

Emergency Federal Drought Relief Available

Farmers and ranchers interested in a disaster loan can apply on the USDA website. Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofits can apply for the loans by contacting the SBA at 1 (800) 659-2955 or by email. Hearing impaired individuals may call 1 (800) 877-8339.

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The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously May 18, 2021, to declare a local emergency and acknowledge the imminent threat of disaster and the severe effect on dairies and ranchers in West Marin.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously May 18, 2021, to declare a local emergency and acknowledge the imminent threat of disaster and the severe effect on dairies and ranchers in West Marin.

Marin and all other California counties to be eligible for assistance

Courtesy of Marin County

As California and the West Coast enter their third year of drought, Marin County and the state’s other 57 counties have been declared primary disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The dry conditions are bad news for Marin’s farmers and ranchers, but the disaster designation status makes available emergency loans for agricultural businesses.

Additionally, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans to non-farm small businesses that do business directly with farmers and ranchers, such as truckers and suppliers of agricultural equipment or services. Eligible businesses may apply for disaster loans through Dec. 8, 2022.

Farmers and ranchers interested in a disaster loan can apply on the USDA website. Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofits can apply for the loans by contacting the SBA at 1 (800) 659-2955 or by email. Hearing impaired individuals may call 1 (800) 877-8339.

“We want to raise awareness of the financial opportunities this drought designation provides because it may help some of these small businesses hampered by our continuing severe drought conditions,” said Marin County Agricultural Commissioner Stefan Parnay.

The federal commitment to assist businesses because of drought-related hardship extends to 23 other western states in addition to California. Small non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofits of any size may qualify for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the drought not occurred.

In July 2021, the State of California added Marin to its list of counties falling under its state of emergency for drought and record-breaking high temperatures statewide. Governor Gavin Newsom made the drought official in 50 of the state’s 58 counties. Since then, state agencies partnered with local water suppliers to promote conservation tips through the Save Our Water campaign.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously May 18, 2021, to declare a local emergency and acknowledge the imminent threat of disaster and the severe effect on dairies and ranchers in West Marin. It also made the County eligible for California Disaster Assistance and other forms of state funding and resources. The local declaration cleared the way for state authorities to aid response and recovery efforts available to the County, water suppliers, farmers, impacted businesses and residents.

Marin Water, the municipal water district serving the majority of water customers in the county, and the Novato-based North Marin Water District (NMWD) are staying in contact with the County about drought conditions. Both water districts have declared water shortage emergencies and enacted mandatory conservation measures. Marin Water serves more than 191,000 customers in central and southern Marin. NWMD serves a customer base of about 64,000 in and around Novato and parts of coastal West Marin. For localized details, see the water rules webpages for Marin Water and NMWD.

Marin residents have been asked to support local agricultural producers who have been affected by the drought right on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 numerous Marin ranchers had to import water by truck to keep their animals alive while also reducing their herds. With far less vegetation for grazing because of the ongoing drought, animals are eating imported feed shipped from other states at extremely high costs to the ranchers. Additionally, a few Marin crop producers had to import water by truck to keep crops alive and fallowed approximately 150 acres, or about 50% of the 300 crop acres in the county.

“As the region enters its third year of drought, this season is going to take a significant toll on our agricultural industry,” Parnay said.

The Board of Supervisors last year approved $150,000 in drought relief funds for the agricultural industry and another $250,000 for general drought relief needs to augment other state and federal aid.

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Activism

COMMENTARY: “COVID-19 and White Supremacy, Creating Our New Normal”

We must rescue and refine the best of Black ways. Look at our historical grandeur. We once imagined the great Step Pyramid before there was a pyramid. How did we do that? Black people lived through over four hundred years of rabid, hostile, savage, dehumanization yet never became rabid, hostile, savage dehumanizing people. Our way, our worldview, our narrative, our normativity is what allowed us to do this. This is what we need to revisit.

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Dr. Wade Nobles
Dr. Wade Nobles

Black Mental Health pt. 2

By Tanya Dennis

With the global COVID-19 pandemic, we knew the world would never be the same. For some, COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to correct a society filled with bias, inequality, and meanness.

For Dr. Wade Nobles, long-time scholar/activist, and co-founder of the Association of Black Psychologists, “This is our time of reckoning. It is a time to redo what we have always done, sometimes under the radar, always in opposition to white supremacy. This is the time for Black people to interlock, reconnect and heal our community without European influence.”

Dr. Nobles, the Bay Area Chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists, and Oakland Frontline Healers are bringing together the best minds and calling on every sector to join them in the development of African American Wellness Hubs and an African American Healing Center in Oakland.

“Restoring wellness is to make the whole well. It is to connect everything and everyone in life affirming ways throughout the entire African world. Our way of being well and whole were well established in our past. In the past we gathered and found solutions collectively. Remember rent parties, Sunday church special offerings to send a child off to college or visiting the sick and shut in? These are our examples. In our way, personhood, familyhood, neighborhood, peoplehood, all the “hoods” are of equal importance. We can’t have a sick community and think our people will be well.”

Nobles and colleagues, after surveying and talking with Black people in Black communities across the nation, designed a detailed written plan for an African American Wellness Hub Complex. They envision a hub that is linked spiritually and psychologically, as a place where wellness and wholeness is real and ethnically authentic. Nobles said, “In many places our children are failing in school, many of our children are feeling they have no value, are being demeaned and assaulted. We need to take charge of these places. If teachers don’t love our children, they cannot ignite in them a desire to know and a passion for learning. If law enforcement doesn’t have high regard and deep respect for Black people, they will never understand that to ‘serve and protect’ means to be life affirming in what they do.”

“A big part of our new normal is to have in our thought, beliefs, and behavior the best of our wisdom, traditions and restorative practice available. This means to have in place living learning laboratories that are unapologetically devoted to our wellness, e.g., a wellness hub complex with healing centers. To have an exceptional and extraordinary place to bring people together and take them from hostile angry dis-at-ease producing places to places where we can work in harmony, create in dignity, and live to inspire life and ways of being that is affirming.”

Alameda County has stepped forward and is committed to establishing a Black Mental Health facility in partnership with the Association of Black Psychologists. The Association is grateful to Alameda County but notes four or five locations are necessary considering the amount of damage and illness that needs to be undone in the Black community.

Nobles says, “We must create a space, place and time that is guided by an African American wellness narrative that is awe-inspiring.” As an example of how important space is, he notes, “We tried to escape the blight and poverty of the inner city and move out to the suburbs, but all we did was go from inner city hostility to outer city hostility in the white enclave. At least in the inner city, our children didn’t lose their point of reference of belonging in the neighborhood or church. Healing spaces and places must be grounded in life affirming worldview and culture.”

“We must rescue and refine the best of Black ways. Look at our historical grandeur. We once imagined the great Step Pyramid before there was a pyramid. How did we do that? Black people lived through over four hundred years of rabid, hostile, savage, dehumanization yet never became rabid, hostile, savage dehumanizing people. Our way, our worldview, our narrative, our normativity is what allowed us to do this. This is what we need to revisit. We need a wellness place in our Black community where people can ‘imagine the better.’ A place where we can dismantle the ill and wrongfulness and recreate a vibrant affirming life spirit.”

Dr. Nobles says, “our new normal is the old African normal, where Black people inspired greatness just by living well and whole. Black people are a people of caring, sharing and daring. Our way was to care for our people, to share what we have, and to dare to be free. Our history records us having sacred places in nature where we would go to recreate our spirit of wellness. We need those places today and that’s why we need an African American Wellness Hub and healing centers.”

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Activism

Climate Despair and the Rise of the Doomers

On the subreddit r/preppers, there’s a weekly thread for people to share what they did “to prepare.” In the comments, people share anecdotes of buying ammo, dehydrating pineapples, and stockpiling canned goods. 

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By Sarah Clemens

It’s Earth Month, and the movement to let earth die has never been stronger.

“Doomers’’ are people who believe climate change is irreversible and society as we know it, will soon collapse. The term may be recent, but it’s flourished in online communities like the subreddits r/collapse, /doomer, r/preppers, and /bugout.

Posts on these forums are endlessly fatalistic. The top post, for example, on r/doomer begins, “[s]ometimes I wonder how we are not all walking around in a state of pure unquellable panic.”)

On r/preppers, there’s a weekly thread for people to share what they did “to prepare.” In the comments, people share anecdotes of buying ammo, dehydrating pineapples, and stockpiling canned goods.

There’s also r/bugout, a subreddit named after the term for military retreat. Here, people share pictures of their “bugout bags” and judge how prepared they are for “when s**t hits the fan.”

On the flip side, you have r/collapse users, who post memes captioned, “me listening to people talking about net zero carbon by 2050 being enough when I know we’re completely f**ked already.” They crack jokes about a bygone future, a self-imploding civilization.

While these groups may not be mainstream, they’re not small either. A 2021 Yale survey concluded that 70% of Americans experience “climate depression.”

Noah Oderburg, a scientist located in California, used the term “pre-PTSD” and said, “it’s not a trauma that’s already occurred. It’s a fear of a future trauma.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on global warming on April 4. Jim Skea, IPCC co-chair, said it was “now or never, if we want to limit global warming…without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

Three days later, four climate activists chained themselves to a JP Morgan Chase Building as an act of protest against the bank’s funding of fossil fuel projects. “The scientists of the world have been being ignored, and it’s got to stop,” said scientist Peter Kalmus in a video. He promptly breaks into tears.

The “doomer” movement is not without detractors who see it as too negative. At the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference climate advocate Greta Thunburg said, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” She spoke bleakly of reality, but also of hope for the future: “The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

Hank Green, an author and science communicator with a large online following, recently posted a Tiktok about the subject. In the video, he says that while he’s “very worried” about climate change, it “pisses” him off to see people say humanity is doomed. “I’m 41 years old. I’ve been working on this since I was f**king 18. We didn’t let hopelessness eat us then, and I’m not gonna you let hopelessness eat you now.”

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