Following Recology’s $$$ to Environment Commission and DCCC

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Pretzel Logic
Following the money, if the salt grains were poliitcal contributions and the pretzel loops were interlocking political action committees,

If you've been looking for a financial connection between the city's tentative decision to award the next landfill disposal contract to Recology, which plans to dispose of our trash in Yuba County, then you'll be interested in this campaign finance item: Because records show that Recology contributed $5,000 last year to SF Forward, a San Francisco Chamber of Commerce political action committee, which also got Money  from Bechtel, Medjool, PG&E, Charles Schwab, and Shorenstein Realty.

Recology Vice President and Group Manager John Legnitto is Chamber’s Chair Elect.

In the last two years, the Chamber contributed $10,000 to Plan C, a political action committee that advocates for more condo conversions and less tenants’ rights.And Plan C gave Commission of the Environment President Matt Tuchow $3,300 for his failed 2010 Democratic CCC bid.

So, while the transactions were legal, with the money laundered twice in between, these dollar connections will probably have folks opposed to the city's plan to dispose of its waste in Recology's landfill in Yuba County asking if this explains why Tuchow decided to limit public comment to only one minute when folks wanted to voice concerns at a March 23 hearing at the Environment Commission about an alleged lack of fairness and transparency in the decision to award the contract to Recology.

Especially those folks who drove three hours from Yuba County, which is where Recology proposes to send our trash. And folks who helped negotiate the city's current trash disposal contract and were shocked that the city would set a one-minute time limit on what they claim is a $1 billion contract, once you factor in the cost of transportation, new trash processing facilities and an as yet unbuilt rail spur that Recology needs inYuba County to transfer trash from the Union Pacific line to its landfill in Wheatland,

Tuchow, who works in the Global Compliance and Ethics Division of McKesson Corporation in San Francisco, had not returned calls as of blog post  time, but if and when he does, I’ll be sure to post an update here.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t look as if Recology’s bucks and/or Mayor Gavin Newsom’s powergrabbing antics, are going to be able to help shoehorn Tuchow onto the DCCC, even in light of Newsom’s newly hatched plan for dominion for the following reasons:

1. Results from the June 8 election show that Tuchow was fourth failed runner up in the DCCC 12th district. (Milton Marks, Sup. Eric Mar, Melanie Nutter, Arlo Smith, Connie O’Connor, Tom A. Hsieh, Jane Morrison, Mary Jung, Sandra Lee Fewer, Michael Bornstein, Sup. John Avalos and Bill Fazio were the top vote getters to win seats, beating out Larry Yee, Jake McGoldrick, Hene Kelly and then Tuchow, in that order.)

2.. It’s not clear if Newsom’s plan for the DCCC is even legal.

3. Even if Newsom’s plan survives a legal challenge, it’s not clear that the law would have the retroactive effect necessary to oust Mar and Avalos.

4. And even if it did, under state law,  DCCC Chair Aaron Peskin would get to appoint folks to fill those vacancies,
“This is about clean money and good government,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker told reporters of Newsom’s DCCC plan.

So, let’s hope the Mayor’s Office applies the same standards when it comes to opening the landfill disposal contract bids this summer and shining light on the money that’s influencing the city’s garbage disposal contract. 

Meanwhile, Peskin, who was reached by cell phone somewhere near Moab, in Utah, where he's taking his annual camping and hiking trip with his wife, told the Guardian that Newsom "is not thinking very far ahead" with his latest dominion scheme.

 

 

Comments

Another great article from Ms. Phelan! Thanks. Interesting to note that while Recology continues to in law suits against Humboldt County in Nevada, as well as the individual Humboldt County commissioners themselves, for not extending their 3-year conditional use permit for an additional 5 years to build the Jungo Road Landfill, they have given $3500 to the Humboldt County Development Authority to help fund a 'futures' planning project for Winnemucca, Nevada. (see http://bit.ly/diwA2q)

Makes you wonder. All legal too..

Can we say epic ethic fail?

The Jungo Road Landfill, if built, would be built on top of an active aquifer, closer than Nevada statutes allow (unfortunately, these same statutes allow for exceptions...in this case, from 100 feet to 36 feet). The landfill would accept 4000 TONS of non-recylable waste from Northern California communities, 5 days per week for 95 years via train, and evolve into a large mountain where non exists today, on the Black Rock Desert. Asbestos, tires and waste sludge are part of the waste stream.

Stop the Jungo Road Landfill
STOP THE JUNGO ROAD LANDFILL:
Get involved/informed/donate: www.nevadansagainstgarbage.com
Join our e-mail llist by sending your request to: landfilldata@att.net
Join our Facebook Group, Nevadans Against Garbage: http://bit.ly/dwMQCk
Follow DesertPlaya for updates and news on the landfill on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/DesertPlaya

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 8:04 am

Recology, a Bay Area waste management company, obtained a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in 2007 to construct and operate a square mile landfill 25 miles west of Winnemucca, Nevada, on a desert playa. They propose importing by train eight million pounds of non-recyclable garbage a day, five days a week for 95 years, and burying it in a hole in the ground thirty-five feet above the groundwater in an area known for high winds, flooding, and poor soils. They were given three years to obtain the necessary permits and begin construction.

Fast forward three years. Only one permit has been granted, the air quality permit. Recology applied for an extension for their CUP and ultimately it was denied by the County Board of Commissioners due to Recology’s own malfeasance. Recology has chosen to sue the county and the commissioners for denying them their rights as property owners, when, in fact, Recology only has a lease on the property in question. Once the citizenry woke up to what was proposed in their neighborhood, an initiative petition was organized and signed by the county voters and, if unchallenged by high paid Recology lawyers, will go before the voters in November. These lawyers actually had the nerve to direct the county commissioners and the District Attorney to file suit against the initiative to prevent it from going on the November ballot. Fortunately, the commissioners declined.

These proceedings are front page news in this neck of the woods. But I wonder about the press coverage in the Bay Area; in the area this garbage would be coming from. Do these people know or care about what Recology would be visiting on us; where their trash would end up? How would they feel if the tables were turned? Recology has gone out of their way to portray themselves as a green, recycling company. Are they really? Maybe, as far as Bay Area residents are concerned; as far as we in this area are concerned, not so much. They want to dump everything that is not recyclable in our lap. There is no reason to assume that this onslot would stop with just one section of land since they have options on three or four others. All of this is verifiable by logging on to the website http://nolandfill.wordpress.com/.

I would like to encourage you to delve into this and shine a light on what is going on here. Please ask your readers to put themselves in our shoes. How would they like it? Would they want to own homes in this area? Raise their children and send them to school in this environment? Take such a gamble with their health and the health of their families? Would they want to chance that, once the door is opened and the signal is sent, environmentally friendly or neutral businesses would pass this community by and only dirty, polluting industry would provide the opportunity for “growth”.

I think most in this area tend to think of people in California as environmentally conscious and who are trying to do the right thing. I hope this is the case, and that they really care about what goes on outside their borders, especially regarding their garbage.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

Recology, a Bay Area waste management company, obtained a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in 2007 to construct and operate a square mile landfill 25 miles west of Winnemucca, Nevada, on a desert playa. They propose importing by train eight million pounds of non-recyclable garbage a day, five days a week for 95 years, and burying it in a hole in the ground thirty-five feet above the groundwater in an area known for high winds, flooding, and poor soils. They were given three years to obtain the necessary permits and begin construction.

Fast forward three years. Only one permit has been granted, the air quality permit. Recology applied for an extension for their CUP and ultimately it was denied by the County Board of Commissioners due to Recology’s own malfeasance. Recology has chosen to sue the county and the commissioners for denying them their rights as property owners, when, in fact, Recology only has a lease on the property in question. Once the citizenry woke up to what was proposed in their neighborhood, an initiative petition was organized and signed by the county voters and, if unchallenged by high paid Recology lawyers, will go before the voters in November. These lawyers actually had the nerve to direct the county commissioners and the District Attorney to file suit against the initiative to prevent it from going on the November ballot. Fortunately, the commissioners declined.

These proceedings are front page news in this neck of the woods. But I wonder about the press coverage in the Bay Area; in the area this garbage would be coming from. Do these people know or care about what Recology would be visiting on us; where their trash would end up? How would they feel if the tables were turned? Recology has gone out of their way to portray themselves as a green, recycling company. Are they really? Maybe, as far as Bay Area residents are concerned; as far as we in this area are concerned, not so much. They want to dump everything that is not recyclable in our lap. There is no reason to assume that this onslot would stop with just one section of land since they have options on three or four others. All of this is verifiable by logging on to the website http://nolandfill.wordpress.com/.

I would like to encourage you to delve into this and shine a light on what is going on here. Please ask your readers to put themselves in our shoes. How would they like it? Would they want to own homes in this area? Raise their children and send them to school in this environment? Take such a gamble with their health and the health of their families? Would they want to chance that, once the door is opened and the signal is sent, environmentally friendly or neutral businesses would pass this community by and only dirty, polluting industry would provide the opportunity for “growth”.

I think most in this area tend to think of people in California as environmentally conscious and who are trying to do the right thing. I hope this is the case, and that they really care about what goes on outside their borders, especially regarding their garbage.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

The Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation recently came out in favor of the railroad spur to have San Francisco garbage to come to the Ostrom Road Landfill in Yuba County. This organization has a board of Directors. One of the members of the Board of Directors is Tejinder Maan.

Tejinder Maan is also a City Councilman of Yuba City, California.

Tejinder Maan is the Director of Environmental Health for Yuba County.

Tejinder Maan (as Director of Environmental Health of Yuba County is the signatore for the LEA (Lead Enforcement Agency) for the Ostrom Road Landfill.

Tejinder Maan is the Approving Officer for the Solid Waste Facility Permit 58-AA-0011 for the Norcal Waste Systems Ostrom Road Landfill, Inc. (Permit Issued Date September 26, 2002; Permit Review Date September 26, 2007)

Enforcement Agency Name and Address:
Yuba/Sutter LEA
Yuba County Environmental Health:
938 14th Street
Marysville, CA 95901

Posted by Richard Paskowitz on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 8:22 am

The Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation recently came out in favor of the railroad spur to have San Francisco garbage to come to the Ostrom Road Landfill in Yuba County. This organization has a board of Directors. One of the members of the Board of Directors is Tejinder Maan.

Tejinder Maan is also a City Councilman of Yuba City, California.

Tejinder Maan is the Director of Environmental Health for Yuba County.

Tejinder Maan (as Director of Environmental Health of Yuba County is the signatore for the LEA (Lead Enforcement Agency) for the Ostrom Road Landfill.

Tejinder Maan is the Approving Officer for the Solid Waste Facility Permit 58-AA-0011 for the Norcal Waste Systems Ostrom Road Landfill, Inc. (Permit Issued Date September 26, 2002; Permit Review Date September 26, 2007)

Enforcement Agency Name and Address:
Yuba/Sutter LEA
Yuba County Environmental Health:
938 14th Street
Marysville, CA 95901

Posted by Richard Paskowitz on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 8:30 am

Recology takes garbage fight to cyberspace as well as campaign coffers,
The battle to send San Francisco’s trash to Wheatland has gone to cyberspace—and into Yuba County political campaign contribution coffers.
Last week, Recology launched a website touting the economic and environmental benefits of its plan to ship San Francisco’s trash to its Ostrom Road landfill near Wheatland, in Yuba County.
The site includes videos of how Recology would handle trash shipments from San Francisco, where the Board of Supes has yet to vote on the plan.
But Recology’s $750 campaign contribution to Yuba County incumbent Sup. Andy Vasquez has so far had uncertain results:  a small business owner, Vasquez, who Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed to fill the uncompleted term of Assemblymember Dan Logue, R-Linda, is in a runoff with Rachel Farrell, CEO of Harmony Health and a political ally of Olivehurst-area Sup. Mary Jane Griego. The run-off comes in the wake of last week’s election in which Vasquez fell shy of a majority in his district, when he secured only 48 percent of the vote. Stay tuned.

Posted by sarah on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

Recology has gotten the City of San Francisco to 72% recycling, the highest diversion rate in the country, and one of the highest in the world. I'm no fan of corporate string-pulling and politician/policy buying, but come on now... A measly $5,000 last year to SF Forward, and then a nickel or two $10,000 from the Chamber to Plan C, who gave Commission of the Environment President Matt Tuchow $3,300 for his failed 2010 Democratic CCC bid? I'm sorry, but you're going to have to do a little better than that to convince me there's any sort of foul play going on here. A few thousand dollars certainly isn't enough to entice an elected official to award a billion dollar contract to one company over another.

I dunno, maybe Recology's doing a good job, and that's why they keep getting SF contracts. If you looked into the organization a little deeper, you would find they're moving from a trash-to-landfill based company to one that's pushing for recycling, composting, and sustainability. Hence the millions of dollars they spent changing their name from Norcal. One's energy might be better spent frying some bigger, nastier fish, like Waste Management, who is using their financial and political muscle throughout the U.S. to reverse laws that limit landfilling, promote recycling and benefit the environment.

Posted by Paul on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 7:36 pm