Monday, December 19, 2016

Iconic publisher says farewell with gratitude.

Since establishing Volcano Press Inc. in 1981, I am extremely proud to have published so many meaningful books in the fields of domestic violence, child abuse and women’s health. It has been said that our books literally--saved lives. I believe that to be true.

However, it was the vision and courage of our authors, some who wrote their stories at great personal peril, to whom these accolades must go. Volcano Press will be forever in their debt and proud of our affiliation with each and all of them.

It is my fervent hope that the books we published over the years inspired women to get out of dangerous relationships, enter (or re-enter) the work force, educate themselves, family members, alert friends and co-workers, as well as encouraging countless advocates and professionals in the field to continue their hard work.

We also published a number of marvelous books for children, on art and California’s Mother Lode history. Each book that ended up with a Volcano Press logo on it--was a labor of love and desire to enlighten our readers.

Over the years, the Independent Publishers Services (IPS) division of Volcano Press has also provided authors and other independent publishers with exhibiting and foreign licensing arrangements that have extended the reach of their books to international markets.

It has been nothing short of an amazing 35 years for me as the owner and President of this company.

However, it is now time for me to retire from the business and wind up company activities, which will be completed by the end of 2016.

I thank all of the authors and organizations I have worked with over the years, and of course the many readers of our publications.

I bid you all peace and prosperity in the future. I just know that others will carry the torch forward and for that, I am both hopeful and grateful.

Ruth Gottstein
December, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rest in peace, hero of the Rojava revolution, Michael Israel

By Eric Winslow
Published by permission of the author

Rest in peace, hero of the Rojava revolution, Michael Israel.
Dear Friends,
It is with deeply heavy heart that I learned of the heroic death of local Amador activist, Michael Israel, while bravely fighting the Pseudo Islamic Guerilla State in Rojava, near northern Syria.
While I was a reporter for the local newspaper, only a few short weeks ago, Michael generously responded to a series questions I had sent him with the plant to write some features on his admirable military service for the democratic community of Rojava.
As you all know, the newspaper died only a month before Michael did. Alas, I was unable to publish the entire series of features on this amazing young man.
Hence, I have decided to publish all of Michael's responses to my questions unedited on Facebook, for the general edification of my friends, and, especially, so that the resounding voice of this fighter for freedom and justice will continue to resonate, even as his eternal spirit lives on...

(The following words are all Michael's from October 2016, released here without correction or emendation)

Sorry I've been out and about. I wrote this a while ago responding to your questions. Let me know if it answers some of your questions. I just came back from bringing a team out into the manbîc countryside.

Q1. Personally I have no preferred name for the enemy. Usually when speaking with other westerners I will use ISIS or ISIL as it is an acronym they will understand. Here when speaking with Kurd or Arab people I'll use daes. With both foreigners and people here, I may also refer to the enemy as fascists, here fascism is understood but sometimes with people in the west it needs clarification as some only know the term as it relates to 1930s-1940s Europe. With the situation here, it's used to describe the reactionary and conservative ideology of not just ISIS, but also Al Nusra and other smaller brigades who have justified their acts and beliefs for a very regressive system of power based on the failings of western imposed models of modern nation states, democracy and liberal economics. If I were to simply refer to an ISIS fighter here as a fascist, others would understand. The base ideology of reaction and regression of ISIS is not far removed from the sentiments of many supporters of fascism in Europe decades ago and is not unlike the beliefs of some of the far right in America today. They're styled different, but the roots of this ideology is the same.

Q2. I've spent most of my life in amador. I was born in the Central Valley and spent my early years in Lodi. The family moved to Amador when I was still young and I've lived there ever since, the foothills will always be home for me. It helps me here, that much of Rojava's scenery is very similar to that of the central Sierra foothills.

Q3. I had been following the kurdish resistance to ISIS for quite a while, both of the peshmerga in Basur and that of YPG/J in Rojava. Being a leftist politically I was already vaguely familiar with the kurdish PKK (kurdish workers party), but it was not until reading about Rojava's resistance to ISIS that I understood that the political movement in Rojava that formed YPG/J is allied with PKK in Bakur and PJAK in Rojhelat and that the strength that Rojava has to successfully drive off brutal, better armed and better funded enemies like ISIS is directly connected to the revolutionary movement within their areas. From nothing Rojava has built up a system of communes, which have organized the creation of a strong social welfare network capable of taking care of its people and the refugees settling there. As of no surprise, the men and women here selflessly volunteer themselves again and again to defend the revolution and the society they are building. It is either save the most progressive model of democracy and socialism in the Middle East or live under the darkness daes flags in a feudal state.

Q4. Fighting alongside the men and women of YPG and YPJ is both the most inspiring thing I've ever experienced and also the most humbling. Many of these people have nothing by western standards. Maybe this war killed their families, or their homes were destroyed, or maybe they lived their entire lives in mud villages without running water or electricity. I've seen old kurdish men put on uniforms and pick up rifles because their children had been killed. I've known Arab fighters in YPG who have scars on their backs from being whipped or have had fingers cut off from when ISIS conquered their villages. I've met IED victims who had lost limbs request to return to the frontline once they had been outfitted with a prosthetic and gone through a minimal amount of physical therapy. Seeing these things and hearing these stories really underscores how different, luxurious and safe our lives in the US are. It really is a privilege for me as an American to travel here, by choice, to help their fight, it is a privilege that they don't have. They fight against the odds because they must.
The most amazing are the women of YPJ, not only can you always count on them to fight with as much or often more ferocity than any man, but they are also breaking the ground in providing a radical feminist counter to patriarchy as a system of oppression, sexual objectification and destroying the status quo in society of power always in the hand of wealth political men and the status quo at home of power literally being the hand of a controlling husband or father.

Q5. No prior military experience, except for what I received here last year.

Q6. There are other foreign fighters here, the exact number is difficult to guess though. Aside from local forces in Rojava, Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Armenians... their are lots of foreign volunteers from outside the area. The most significant in numbers would be the Turkish volunteers - many of them come from the cities Istanbul and Ankara, are educated with at least a few years of going to university and all of them are staunchly left politically. It was these Turkish leftists that formed the International Freedom Battalion, which took most of its inspiration from the International Brigades that fought against fascism during the Spanish Civil War. (Coincidentally, the last surviving american volunteer of the Spanish civil war, Del Berg, was also a foothill local)
The volunteers that come from Western Europe and America are much smaller in number and come for many different reasons - some come only to fight ISIS, some are here to support the revolution, some are adventure seekers and some are old soldiers looking for one last battle. I'd say maybe less than 50% have some kind of former military experience. Up until recently though there were enough foreign volunteers with prior military training in YPG that there was an autonomous assault unit composed entirely of westerners.

Q7. While I do believe that the military struggle here is important and I am determined to do my part in it, it is not for everyone. This is a guerrilla army and we are fighting a superior force that is often outfitted much better gear than us - such as left behind NATO rifles, explosives, uniforms, humvees, etc. I would never recommend someone volunteer here or contact YPG International unless they were similarly determined to give 100% to defending Rojava's revolution and fully understood the history and politics of this conflict. Any weakness in will or understanding could be dangerous for the one thinking of volunteering or this around them.
For people that do want to help remotely though, there are ways to donate to groups like the Kobane Reconstruction Board which is working on helping life return to normal in Kobane, a city which was rendered over 70% unusable after ISIS was defeated there, or the International Brigade of Rojava which often raises money to buy medical equipment for YPG/J's tactical medical unit and helps support foreign volunteers here.
Making a decision to come and help directly is a very serious one. Even combat veterans who had fought in Iraq or Afghanistan that are volunteering here will describe the fighting here as unlike what they had ever experienced before. Even besides dealing with an enemy that is better supplied and funded, life in general is hard here. You'll often be living out exposed to the elements, whether it's intense heat or freezing rain and wind. It is common for volunteers here to go months without having any way to communicate with the world outside. And though you will always be supplied with food here, it's quality and variety has limits, last year I had once spent several days in a position that could not get resupplied regularly living off dry bread and hot smashed and moldy tomatoes. All of this of course coupled with the fact that as volunteers, meaning no one here receives a paycheck or a benefits package when their time is over, makes deciding to come and help here a very serious choice, one that someone shouldn't make lightly.
That all said, there is a strong sense of pride and honor among those that come to aid these people in their fight against a vicious enemy and defend the revolutionary and democratic movement of Rojava that make the sacrifices worth it. We leave behind safety and luxuries in the west to come here, but accross Rojava - from cities to the smallest villages - foreign volunteers are always greeted by the people here as if they were their own family.

For people that are interested in donating and helping Rojava, these groups immediately come to mind...
Kobane Reconstruction Board, who do work in helping re build and organize the city of Kobane which stood it's ground against the siege by ISIS 2 years ago. A siege which left well over 70% of the city in ruins.
Rojava Plan, which is a group that has been developing agricultural projects geared towards crop diversification, local fertilizer production and reverse desertification. This farming related work becomes increasingly necessary due to internally displaced people and refugees coming north to seek safety in Rojava all the while Rojava is often met with trade embargoes on all its borders, this places very high demands agricultural production. Pioneering large scale sustainable agriculture is becoming more and more a necessity for survival.
International Brigades of Rojava, which is a group composed mostly of foreign volunteers who have already returned home. The group primarily provides info on the war against ISIS, but they will often collect donations to purchase supplies and equipment for YPG's tactical medical unit or to help out other foreign volunteers in what ways they need.
I'd also recommend contacting YPG International for more information on how one can help remotely from the west.
All of the groups mentioned about can be found online via either a Google search or by finding them on facebook.

Q9. There is no political official or candidate that I see now that has the middle east's interests or future or safety of its people at heart. This is why it is up to us to step forward and act together to support and defend the democratic movement of Rojava. It's success will come from real and meaningful international solidarity from everyday people, not from promises of political candidates who vow to bomb the region without acknowledging the need of popular and democratic local structures to fill the vacuum left by a militarized backward force like ISIS - or candidates who promise to ban the migration to the U.S. of civilian people leaving horrors of this war and the brutality of ISIS behind them.
The destruction of ISIS and building democracy in the Middle East won't come from strong politicians and demagogues, it will come from all of us, becoming involved and doing our share of the work in leaving the world in a better state than we found it for the generations that come after us.
Interesting stories.... Rojava is always interesting. Lately we've been staying entertained at night by drinking lots of tea and watching scorpions, spiders and praying mantises fight under a flashlight in our room.
I had once last year taken a team to an ambush position where we would wait for ISIS movement then eliminate the enemy. Our location this night was the second story of a building. In the stairwell, which was very dark, I had left small pebbles balanced over a piece of sheet metal, the pebbles and metal would only look like garbage on the floor but served a purpose of making a lot of noise if anyone was coming into the building behind us. During the night we heard several of the pebbles striking the sheet metal, which instantly struck me with the intense fear that the enemy was directly below us. I approached the stairwell with a grenade in hand, ready to throw down at whomever shouldn't be there, while a friend followed behind me with a Kalashnikov. While coming closer to the stairs, I was all the while worrying that the sound of my own heartbeat, which was pounding inside my chest, may be loud enough to alert whoever was coming up the stairs to our presence. I was relieved to find no ISIS fighters in the stairway and was instead greeted with the squeaky meow of a kitten who was clumsily climbing his way up the steps to our floor. We kept the kitten for the rest of our watch to prevent him from making more noise in the building and later brought him to our camp where he was quickly adopted by one of the female fighters.
You see funny, interesting and courage things here. But also horrifying acts of brutality. I've seen entire villages and city neighborhoods left as rubble. The mass grave of the young women of a village who were executed for refusing to become the brides of ISIS fighters after they had conquered the area. The children's room of a village near the Euphrates river that still had clumps of hair attached to flesh rotting on the floor and dried blood staining the floor and cradle.

Photos from FB should all be fine. I have an album from last year titled "rojava"- I've also posted a few more recently. Feel free to use them.

Thank you for your support and interest in writing on this struggle. If you have other questions,need clarification or would like other references to speak to, let me know.
Best of luck!

Got a little more time actually.
I listed some donation avenues in my response but one needs to be editted. The international brigade group I mention is now defunct - but there is another group by the same people, mostly other international volunteers that are setting up another page for the same service. It's Rojava Foreign legion I think. It's a facebook page run by my friend Rojhat Rojava.
i recieve no funding or payment of anykind, I'm doing this as a volunteer.
Ypg recieves a lot of support from donations and help from local population and kurdish people outside of syria in turkey Iraq and Iran.
I'm not 100% on this, but I do believe that some of the oil here does get sold occasionally to help fund PYD and YPG/j as well
most of te oil derricks are all shit down, but there are a few that are still pumping.
The day to day things, like feeding YPG/j, is all done on a donation and volunteer basis.
Food supplies or sometimes cooked meals get sent to the front that are crops grown in the villages or meals cooked at a restarant that offers to prepare food
so things like food are always present but sometimes supply is, maybe, inconsistent lol. Like a container of grilled chicken and onions one day and bread and mushy tomatoes the next.
It makes things really interesting with things being sourced this way, by volunteerism and donations.
Last year I remember our position being delivered a box of bisquets and also joined by a new fighter who prior to his training worked at the same bakery that the biscuits came from.

Photo submitted with article, source unknown.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

AWA Directors Spending Ratepayer funds at an Astonishing Rate

We can rest assured that our water rates will be going up. AWA directors have wasted the money from the rate increases they took in 2015. That last increase was supposed to be good for 5 years (until 2020) and it’s only been a little over a year now. Here is how they are misusing our rate money:
Directors use public funds to cover their illegal actions.
All five directors agreed to use our rate money (about $18,000) to pay for an illegal letter to oppose the rate referendum in 2015. Then, when a ratepayer reported them to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) the directors hired a legal firm using our rate money to protect them from being personally fined. That firm was able to convince the FPPC to fine RATEPAYERS $3,000 for the actions of the directors!
It takes nearly two General Managers to run the Agency?
Yes it does. Eight years ago, the agency had 63 employees and only one General Manager (GM) and no assistant GM. In 2009, the staff was reduced to 42. The Board created an assistant GM position and just recently gave the Assistant GM a huge pay raise to 86% of the GM’s salary. So, it used to take one salary to manage 63 employees. Now it takes 1.86 salaries to manage 42. Nearly $500,000 per year goes to pay these two employees!
Gravity Supply Line contractor sues AWA and is awarded $1,100,000.
AWA’s gravity Supply Line (GSL) had many problems during and after construction. AWA staff and directors publically blamed the contractor for the problems. Based on language in the settlement agreement, the contractor was not happy about the defamation and sued AWA over contentions relating to extra work, design, failure to properly administer the Project, delays, responsibility for delays, performance of claimed deficient/defective work, alleged failure to perform, as well as a series of unresolved additional contentions. Looks like the spouting off cost us some serious bucks. In fact, so much that AWA doesn’t have enough to pay the settlement without first getting a $300,000 loan from the county Supervisors.
The GSL contractor contended that the AWA had materially breached the Contract. AWA agreed to drop all of the claims related to delay or liquidated damages as if they had never been asserted.
Over 1,000,000 wasted on piping Amador Canal
After years of pursuing a project that would take water from Amador County and give it to EBMUD customers, AWA quit after spending more than a $1,000,000. The planning was so poor that the $5 million grant that was supposed to be used to fund the project turned out to be about half of what was needed and would expire before AWA could use it. AWA underestimated the value of the property easements, the cost of construction, the cost of land valuation and litigation costs. Because AWA Directors changed their mind AFTER awarding the project construction, they had an additional $25,000 settlement expense to pay the contractor. As a result, the project became another big waste of money with no benefit to ratepayers.
AWA has wasted over $2,000,000.00 that is directly attributed to bad decisions and poor planning.  Have you heard one word about any of this?

OF COURSE NOT!  But now we will understand why, when the agency attempts to raise our rates one more time. Think about this…. Without the rate increase from 2015, they wouldn’t of had the money to waste in the first place. When they come knocking, let’s not give them any more to waste.
Ratepayer Protection Alliance
For more information, contact:
This info is also available at:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Mourning In America

Allow me to note that Jack did not have my permission to swipe my last letter off your web site and print it in his casino "newspaper" nor did you have the right to allow him to do that, if in fact you did. We all know well his propensity to pluck his "news and opinion" pieces off the internet. It's been one of the major complaints about him for many years, violates copyright laws and is just plain unethical and unprofessional. But, so what is new? Please publish this on your blog along with the following letter that I sent to my hundreds of foreign friends on Linked In. As you know I don't dally around on Farcebook so if you can refrain from printing it there I would prefer that as I won't see any possible responses.

To my many hundreds of friends around the world:

It's mourning in America and I offer you my sincerest, heartfelt apologies for our deplorable American voters and their Republican president elect. They clearly know not what they do and have now transferred their fear to the rest of us, out of ignorance mostly. I am really very sorry.

Know that when they try to weaken our alliances around the world, destroy our climate change advances, promote racism and hate through attempted bans on who can enter the country and bomb more innocent families, block refugees from entering our nation and start mass deportations, just a few of the things they've promised to do, that the rest of us will do everything in OUR power to stop them. Even now, as I write this, many thousands of citizens all around the country are marching in protest. I'm glad that two thirds of California voted for somebody other than Trump, and that nationwide Hillary won the popular vote. The suppressing of the votes of minorities is another factor, and common Republican tactic which no doubt affected the outcome as well. The voters that didn't bother to exercise their franchise are equally to blame for this tragic occurrence. It should never have happened.

I have never been so ashamed to be an American in the half century that I've been able to vote. Please forgive us and try to be patient. We are a young and apparently a very ignorant nation that is sometimes great and sometimes very misguided. Unfortunately this in one of the latter times, but it too will pass. Peace, hope, love and best wishes to you all,

- Nora Coryell

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Amador Community News is an open source, community access platform and is shareable via E-mail, Blogger, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, and yes...Facebook. Comments can be made at the end of the blog. I do not have control over readers who share through these platforms; however, Nora is correct, and I wish to publicly apologize and thank her for bringing this to my attention. In the past, there have been problems and complaints about the lack of transparency in Amador’s media, and I admit that I’ve sometimes been too earnest in making sure everyone’s voice is heard. Please forgive me.

In the future, I will require that Jack/The Acorn receive and publish their own letters and opinion pieces. Additionally, may I add that I do not know what uncomfortable issues are between Ms. Coryell and Mr. Mitchell. Therefore, as I will and have continued to publish all content sent to me for the Soapbox, I refuse to let ACN or myself be caught in the middle of any [political] tug-of-war or be used as an attack platform.

Amador Community News (ACN) is a non-partisan and politically neutral community news, information and resource site, and does not endorse political parties or candidates.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Dam removals near and far topic of Foothill Conservancy film screening in Sutter Creek - Fri Dec 2

Removing obsolete, local and not-so-local dams and restoring streams will be the topic of a Friday, December 2 film screening hosted by the Foothill Conservancy. The featured film, DamNation, starts at 7:30 pm at the Sutter Creek Theatre on Main Street, Sutter Creek. DamNation chronicles how removing obsolete dams allows rivers and their native fish stocks to recover, provides opportunities to revitalize local economies and increases watershed resiliency. A short film on the recent removal of East Panther Creek Dam in Amador County will also be shown. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets.
“We’re excited to show this important film to a local audience while we celebrate the recent removal of the East Panther Creek Dam,” said Foothill Conservancy Vice President, Pete Bell. “In Amador County and across, the nation, dams that have outlived their useful life are being removed to restore rivers and streams for people, fish and wildlife.”
DamNation is a powerful film odyssey across America that explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.
In a review of the award-winning film, the Santa Barbara Independent note, “DamNation is a movie that matters...With a blend of history, face-melting nature cinematography, and a dash of Edward Abbey–style criminal mischief, DamNation lays bare this truth in a way that is educational, entertaining, and, perhaps most importantly, inspirational.”
Foothill Conservancy’s video on East Panther Creek Dam provides history on the dam from its construction through its recent demolition by blasting. Located in Amador County, the diversion dam was built and used by PG&E until 1997 to boost dry-year power generation. Although the dam was breached in 2003 to improve fish passage, it took 16 years for the dam to be more completely removed.
“We encourage ticket buyers to both carpool and come early to enjoy Sutter Creek’s annual Christmas Open House,” said Foothill Conservancy Director Cecily Smith. “The town will be filled with holiday revelers (and parking at a premium) as merchants open their stores, share refreshments, and launch the winter holiday season.”
Event guests will have the chance to literally take a piece of local river history home as chunks from the dam will be among the raffle prizes offered. All proceeds will support Foothill Conservancy’s Mokelumne River and watershed conservation efforts. For more information, contact Carolyn,, 209-223-3508.

DAMNATION: Official Trailer

Ben Knight films the former Elwha Dam before its removal. Elwha River, Washington in a scene from DAMNATION. Photo: Travis Rummel

A pod of wild pink salmon swim up the pristine and free flowing Susitna River just below the site of a proposed mega dam being pushed by the State of Alaska in a scene from DAMNATION. Photo: Matt Stoecker

Skateboarding a dam pipe outlet somewhere in the USA in a scene from DAMNATION.
Photo: Ben Knight

Friday, November 4, 2016

The demise of the Ledger Dispatch and Misc.

Many Amadorians are mourning the loss of the Ledger Dispatch and considering how best to address this travesty. So now we have The Acorn, which might better be named "Car Crash News" and which claims to provide "objective regional news", adding insult to injury. Jack Mitchell has never shown any sign of objectivity, and will be objective in the same way that Fox News is "fair and balanced".

Assume you'll be doing a story on the destruction of our beloved 161 year old newspaper, especially since its replacement, the Acorn purports to cover Calaveras County when it can't even cover Jackson adequately, and the first few issues have been so pathetic.

Having searched and consulted others about whether there is any other tribe that owns a local newspaper, I find there are none that we can locate. I consulted an old friend that works in the field of tribal publications. There are many tribes that have publications for their public, centered on Indian affairs. Below are the best known Indian media, all focused on the Native American communities. News from Indian Country is probably the best known.

I think that a group of concerned Amador citizens should write to the tribe and inquire as to what their editorial policies and publication protocols will be, and possibly express a few concerns. One group that might do this could be those who have served in the past on the CAB of the Ledger. Other community based groups might also be so inclined.

The tribe enjoys a good reputation in the community, and may not really realize how controversial this takeover could become or the type of liability they are taking on by employing Mitchell and Hedger. More publicizing of this in the region and discussion locally is important at this point. Discussions on "farcebook' will not suffice. Action is needed.

Nora Coryell

The American Indian Radio on Satellite (AIROS) network is a national distribution system for Native programming to Tribal communities and to general audiences through Native American and other public radio stations as well as the Internet. Listen to great Native American programming -- live call-in talk shows, concerts, and more -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in RealAudio. If you have the Free Version of RealPlayer you can start listening now to Live Programming or Past Programs.
NativeWeb began its existence in May of 1994 as an outgrowth of the NativeNet listserv mailing lists. Marc Becker, then a graduate student in Latin American History who had worked on HNSource, a pioneering history web site at the University of Kansas, began discussions with Gary S. Trujillo, the founder and moderator of the NativeNet lists, about using this new technology to support and extend the struggles of Indigenous peoples around the globe.
National Native News is the only daily news and information program produced from a Native perspective that can be heard on more than 200 public radio stations nationwide and in Canada. The National Native News service has filled a crucial gap in the news industry, for more than 16 years, by providing coverage of national and regional news stories from a different perspective than other news sources.
The News From Indian Country is a twice-monthly, independent, Indian-owned newspaper supplying national news, pow-wow dates, and information to all of Indian Country.
Native Voice Communications is dedicated to building respect, understanding and community empowerment through multi-media and interactive digital technology. The foremost desire of Native Voice Communications is to help Native people express concerns regarding our cultures, histories and contemporary issues.
The Navajo Times reaches more than 100,000 readers from North America, Europe and Japan and has built a reputation as the most respected, award-winning Native-owned and controlled newspaper in the Western Hemisphere.
Every weekday, Indianz.Com publishes two to three features on news worthy issues and/or other topics of interest. You can read stories on a wide range of topics, including legislation, court decisions, health issues, and politics.
Indian Country Today is a weekly newspaper that covers national news and events.
The Native American Rights Fund publishes the NARF Legal Review bi-annually, one during the Winter/Spring seasons, and the other during the Fall/Summer seasons. It covers current cases and issues related to NARF and Indian Country.
Native American Times bills itself as the Nation's Largest Independent Indian News Source and is subscription based.
California Indian Gaming News contains extensive links to Native American news articles from newspapers across the country concerning Indian gaming and related issues. It is maintained by Victor Rocha of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Temecula, California. It also contains extensive newslinks to newspapers web sites.
Cherokee Observer bills itself as the only independent Cherokee Newspaper. It also has links to Cherokee Nation Laws and Issues, Cherokee Observer Archives, Cherokee Language Page, and Subscription Information.
Char-Koosta News is the official news publication of the Flathead Indian Nation.
Tribal College Journal is quarterly publication for American Indian educators, federal and tribal leaders, students and others interested in Indian issues.
Native Peoples Magazine is dedicated to the sensitive portrayal of the arts and lifeways of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Tribal Employment Newsletter serves the employment and recruitment needs of Native Americans, tribal organizations, university placement offices, government and industry.
Navajo Hopi Observer Online contains extensive listings of news, sports and other categories of interest.
Native Americas is the quarterly publication of Akwe:kon Press of the American Indian Program at Cornell University. It features articles that cover the most important and critical issues of concern to native (indigenous/aboriginal) peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere, synthesizing the many voices, perspectives and streams of information that currently permeate the communication highways.
Yahoo News has a special section containing mainstream newspaper articles on Native American News.

Foothill Conservancy files lawsuit on Amador County general plan

On Thursday, November 3, Foothill Conservancy filed a lawsuit in Amador County Superior Court challenging the County of Amador’s new general plan and related environmental impact report. The Conservancy’s petition for writ of mandate asks the court to set aside the general plan and EIR, and revise the EIR to correct identified errors and inadequacies. The attorney representing the Conservancy in this matter is Michael W. Graf, who won a Conservancy lawsuit that stopped the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s plan to flood the most-popular local sections of the Mokelumne River.

“We are truly disappointed that after a 10-year process, the county approved a general plan that fails to protect everything that makes Amador County a special place to live, work, retire and visit,” said Foothill Conservancy Executive Director Cecily Smith.

“The plan doesn’t protect our scenic beauty and community character. It will not stop rural sprawl. It greatly underestimates the amount of land that will be converted from agricultural uses. It will lead to gridlock on local roads, place lives and property at risk from wildland fire, create more air pollution, brighten our dark night skies, potentially destroy critical habitat for plants found nowhere else on earth, allow the conversion of working ranches and forests to developed uses, and continue to allow the proliferation of ugly ‘small box’ retail stores along our highways. We love our county, and we think local residents deserve better.”

The general plan will remain in force while the litigation is pending. The lawsuit is only the fourth suit filed by Foothill Conservancy since its founding in 1989.

“We’d always prefer to work in a cooperative, collaborative way to find solutions to local challenges,” said Smith. “That’s what we do on river and watershed issues, forest issues, salmon restoration, and more. But the county apparently wasn’t interested in doing that for the general plan. That left us with no alternative but litigation.

“We offered to meet and work with the county to address the serious concerns raised by our organization and its members, many other Amador County residents, local cities, CalFire, CalTrans, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, tribal interests, and others. But in the end, county chose to approve a plan that won’t set our county on a path to prosperity or protect our quality of life and natural environment.”

Foothill Conservancy was actively engaged in the Amador County General Plan Update process from its launch in 2006 until its final approval on October 4, 2016. In addition to providing public education on the plan process, the Conservancy served on the General Plan Advisory Committee, participated in related public hearings, submitted detailed written comments, engaged local and statewide experts to make comments on the plan and EIR, and provided many examples from other counties demonstrating how the plan could be improved to reduce its serious environmental impacts.
The county general plan fails to live up to its own introductory vision statement, which is similar to the Foothill Conservancy’s own vision statement and land use principles. “The county supervisors chose to accept significant impacts on people and the environment rather than adopt a better plan,” Smith said. “We hope our litigation will lead to a more-positive result for Amador County’s landowners, businesses, wildlife and visitors.”

For more information, contact Cecily Smith at 209-223-3508 or