Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
All that Is
Who can tell when in love you'll finally fall?
Some live in vain and never love at all
but as lightning strikes
or as a small insistent voice
if we are blessed
we will hear and heed the call
Give your love and never count the cost
Lose your heart and never call it lost
May your love be your shelter
to the ending of your days
love is all that is, all that ever was
May your love grow strong and always kind
May your hearts grow forever more entwined
In the brightest day or the stillness of the night
May it be each others hand you seek and find
Never more to be alone
Ever closer you have grown
Forever now may no distance come between
And in each other's loving hearts you find a home
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Boston 1888. Sheriff Will Austin, now retired, finds himself back home.
In his long absence, Will discovers that key family members, including his Aunt Hannah, have passed away while he was in Texas and Mexico. The family’s longtime general store is at risk of being sold because the younger family members have started to move away to attend school and find jobs in other cities, leaving Will to determine the future of the family in their native city.
Will also begins work with a doctor in New York City who is a pioneer in the Movement-Cure field, and helps Will to regain some use of his limp right arm and restore him back to health.
Elizabeth remains at Roma Arroyo, tending to all the duties of being the head of a large, expansive ranch and guest house. Their reputation of breeding and raising strong and fast horses spreads far and wide as Pilar becomes an accomplished rider, trainer and breeder, entering their horses and winning in numerous races in Northern Mexico, Southern Texas, New Orleans and eventually to the first ever established racetrack in Mexico in Tijuana!
While back in Mexico, Will accidentally stumbles upon the mystery of an unsolved mass murder of a local farming family, with only a sole survivor, the son who has not spoken for over twenty years!
Through the word of a guest, Elizabeth learns of the building of a massive dam downstream, close to the Mexican border, on the San Gabriel River, which runs through her ranch. The water that accumulates behind it would flood the entire property, over 500 acres, which has been in her husband’s family for several generations!
Where will they run to as the water quickly covers their land and buildings and everything they know in its destructive and deadly path?
Friday, July 27, 2018
On Friday afternoon, July 27, 2018, , while I was coming back from the laundry room in my mobile home park, I had a young neighbor male approach me.
I have lived in this park for ten years and when I moved in, he had just graduated from high school in San Leandro. Now he is still living with his dad and younger brother and now has a wife/girlfriend and young daughter, all living in the tiny, one bedroom mobile home. I have remained on friendly terms with his father and on and off with his younger brother. However, despite my attempts, this older son, who I will call Hal, stopped talking to me and acknowledging my “hello’s” several years ago. As I found out along the way, he was doing drugs and drinking and hanging out with the wrong crowd, which isn't tough knowing that we are in San Leandro and a half a mile from the Oakland border. Temptations of all sorts are plentiful and it appears he fell victim to them, and, my belief is that it has also sucked in his brother. He father appears to be sober, and I am unsure about his girlfriend/wife since he has always been quite stoic towards me. Their daughter is super friendly and always enjoys petting my dogs when I walk by the house.
Going back to the top, on Friday afternoon, as his daughter was out front of their house and petting my dogs, Hal walks up to me and says, “I want to apologize for all the years of ………” Fill in the blanks of what an AA amends would sound like for someone going through the program and following the 12 steps. I immediately recognized what he was doing, and as I have been told to do by other people doing this program, don’t engage them in a conversation and just acknowledge what they are saying since the act of what they are doing is the hardest part. I said, “OK. I understand” and I turned and walked away.
As I was walking back to my house with my completed laundry stacked on the cart behind me in one hand and Rebel on a leash in the other hand, I had memories flooding back to me about my Aunt Jolee. Why? Because she was also an obvious alcoholic for the vast majority of her life, however, for some unknown reason, which I still can’t understand, she was not as lucky as Hal and got into some sort of rehab and had a chance to see her nieces and nephews and sister and the family members grow old? She was 49 years old when she was found unconscious in her home in Marin County by her boyfriend. She was rushed to the hospital and never woke up. I don’t remember the exact year of that horrible day, but I believe it was sometime between 1998 and 2000. The above photo is Jolee and my mom from an unknown year, but my guess is around 1995, based on their looks. There is 20 years difference between these only siblings, and Jolee was more like an older sister to us, rather than an aunt.
To my knowledge, Jolee never went into any type of program or rehab. I have no memories of that occurring. My adult memories are of a person who was always drunk and smoking cigarettes. My child memories are of a very fun person who always played some type of board game with me and my brothers and sisters on holidays and visits. I also remember eating quiche for the first time when Jolee stayed with us in Daly City in the late 1970’s while my parents went to Hawaii for a long overdue vacation. I remember her husbands and boyfriends, who were always super nice to me and my siblings. Jolee was always nice, also.
What happened? Who failed Jolee? Did Jolee fail herself? Could I have done something to help her? Did someone at sometime tell her to go to rehab and she refused? I remember my parents serving her drink after drink after drink at our house when she visited and then she drove home. I do remember thinking whether she would make it home or whether she would kill someone. She always made it home and never killed anyone on the road.
At her services in Golden Gate park, one of her lifelong friends said, “She was always taking it to the limit,” quoting the Eagles song, which everyone knew was one of Jolee’s favorite bands. However, I do remember not laughing at this comment because her pastime of “taking it to the limit” was what killed her. Around this time of her services is when I never took another drop of alcohol because all I have seen was destruction from alcohol. I have seen nothing good come of that garbage. I would support Prohibition if it came up for a vote again.
So, back to my neighbor and his attempt at sobriety. I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world, dude. You deserve it. I hope you can stay away from your drug dealing friends. Listen to your father. He is a smart man. If you can’t do it for yourself, then do it for your daughter, who deserves to have a father be alive for her graduations and weddings and children and other successes in her life.
Friday, July 20, 2018
AJ 104 Criminal Evidence
AJ 101 Administration of Justice
AJ 102 Criminal Law
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
MATH 190 Basic Math
AJ 131 Juvenile Justice
MATH 191 Pre Algebra
AJ 118 Criminology
AJ 117 Police and Society
AJ 106 Criminal Procedure
PS 102 American Government
PE 342 Circuit Training
MATH 151 Algebra 1
AJ 119 Murder in America
AJ 107 Criminal Investigations
SPAN 101A Elementary Spanish
PE 343A Strength and Cardio Training
MATH 153 Intermediate Algebra
HIST History of the United States
LS 101 Steps to Successful Research
SPAN 101B Elementary Spanish
PSY 101 General Psychology
PE Golf Course Experience
GEOG Physical Geography
MUS 104 Music of World Cutlers
MATH Intermediate Algebra
ENGL Novel/Short Story Writing
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Monday, July 18, 2016
Indian Land Oil and Gas Development and The Bureau of Land Management’s Mishandling of Royalty Payments to Indian Tribes
Indian Land Oil and Gas Development
and The Bureau of Land Management’s
Mishandling of Royalty Payments to Indian Tribes
Background of Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) management of gas and oil drilling on Indian land.
The development of Indian-owned oil and gas resources is one of the largest revenue generators in Indian country, and individual Indian mineral owners may rely on royalty payments from such development to pay for living expenses. Various offices within the Department of the Interior are responsible for management and oversight of oil and gas development on Indian lands. In some cases, Indian-owned resources cannot be developed independently. In those cases, BLM reviews a revenue- sharing agreement known as a communization agreement or CA, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approves it.
Source: 2016 GAO Report Indian Affairs Revenue Sharing
Current Status of Oil and Gas Development on Indian Lands
“In 2012 alone, energy and mineral resources generated over $701 million in royalty revenue paid to Indian mineral owners. Income from energy and minerals is by far the largest source of revenue generated from Trust lands. In the last three years, agencies working with BIA realty staff has assisted Tribes in the negotiation of 48 leases for oil and gas, totaling approximately 2,750,000 acres and about $45 million in bonuses. These leases have the potential to additionally produce over $20 billion in revenue to the Indian mineral owner over the life of the lease through royalties and working interests. In 2013, BIA estimates Indian Royalty to be approximately $900 million, and within two years, estimates royalty income will increase to over $1 billion.”
Source: BIA Oil and Gas Development Report
“Domestic onshore oil and gas development is governed by a framework of federal, state, tribal, and local laws and regulations, including the BLM, the BIA, and the Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR), as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). State regulatory agencies have responsibility for oversight and management of oil and gas development on federal or Indian lands. BLM has overseen the development of federal and Indian oil and gas resources for decades and is responsible for ensuring that these resources are developed in a timely, economically efficient, and environmentally sound manner.
BLM’s responsibilities include reviewing drilling plans and issuing permits for wells developing federal and Indian resources; inspecting wells to ensure compliance with environmental, safety, and other regulations; approving revenue- sharing agreements like the CA’s for federal and Indian resources; and ensuring the maximum recovery of federal and Indian resources.”
Source: 2016 GAO Indian Energy Development Full Report
Oil and Gas Resource Ownership in the United States
“The United States has a unique legal and political relationship with Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities as provided by the Constitution of the United States, treaties, court decisions and Federal statutes. Within the government-to-government relationship, Indian Affairs provides services directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts to 567 Federally recognized tribes with a service population of about 1.9 million American Indian and Alaska Natives. While the role of Indian Affairs has changed significantly in the last three decades in response to a greater emphasis on Indian self-governance and self-determination, Tribes still look to Indian Affairs for a broad spectrum of services.
Programs administered through the Bureau of Indian Affairs include social services, natural resources management on trust lands representing 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates, economic development programs in some of the most isolated and economically depressed areas of the United States.”
Current Issues with Distributing Royalties to Indian Tribes in a Timely Manner
“In fiscal year 2015, the development of Indian-owned oil and gas resources generated more than $1 billion in revenue for tribes and individual Indian mineral owners, according to the Department of the Interior, making oil and gas resources one of the largest revenue generators in Indian country. For some tribes, energy development is the foundation of their economy and the primary source of funding for education, infrastructure, and other public services. In addition, according to a report by Interior, individual Indian oil and gas resource owners rely on revenue from oil and gas development to pay for living expenses, such as food, shelter, health care, and education.
The development of Indian oil and gas resources is governed by a number of federal laws, such as the Indian Mineral Leasing Act. To promote conservation and efficient utilization of minerals, Interior approves CAs when an Indian lease cannot be independently developed and operated in conformity with established well spacing rules. In these cases, leases are consolidated to form a single spacing unit, and a CA is established to identify production allocation for the purpose of distributing revenue from oil and gas development in the form of royalties based on each mineral owner’s percentage of ownership in that unit. Without an approved CA, royalties cannot be distributed to individual Indian mineral owners.
In recent years, advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, along with favorable economic conditions, resulted in significant increases in oil and gas development from shale formations, according to Interior and the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. Although prices for crude oil and natural gas have since declined, the leasing of Indian oil and gas resources continues in some areas of the country, as evidenced by ongoing lease sales held by BIA agency offices. According to a report by Interior, BIA has struggled to keep up with the demand for oil and gas leasing, permitting, and drilling. The number of CA applications submitted has surpassed BIA’s and BLM’s ability to review and approve them in some areas of the country. For example, one oil and gas operator told us that during the boom period they held almost $7 million in oil and gas royalties in an escrow account for Indian mineral owners because BIA and BLM delays in processing the CAs prevented ONRR from accepting payments from operators for the distribution of royalties to Indian mineral owners.
Our past reports have highlighted the importance of Interior’s role in the management and oversight of federal and Indian energy resources and identified some challenges with the current system. In a May 2014 report, we found that BLM was not able to review CAs within required time frames, creating delays in the payment of royalties to the federal government, tribes, and individual Indian mineral owners. In that report, we recommended that Interior identify and take necessary steps to ensure that CAs are reviewed within required time frames, and Interior generally agreed with our recommendation. In addition, in a June 2015 report, we found that BIA could not ensure that its review process for energy-related documents was transparent or that such documents were moving forward in a timely manner. In that report, we recommended that Interior improve its review process by developing a documented process to track its review and response times. Interior did not fully concur with our recommendation, but stated in a letter to us in August 2015 that BIA would try to implement a tracking and monitoring effort within its system of records for oil and gas leasing documents.
In this context, you asked us to examine Interior’s review and approval process for CAs that include Indian leases. This report examines the actions Interior has taken to improve the timeliness of its review and approval of Indian CAs and the results of these actions.
We also examined laws and regulations that pertain to Interior’s role in the review and approval of Indian CAs. We interviewed BIA, BLM, ONRR, and other Interior officials at the headquarters and field levels who were familiar with the former CA review and approval process, as well as the proposed changes to this process. We selected officials from BIA and BLM field offices from various areas of the country that experienced a surge in oil development, which could result in an increase in demand for the review and approval of CAs.” Source: 2016 GAO Indian Energy Development Full Report
Increased Level of Support to Tribes and Individual Indian Mineral Owners
The main issues facing Indian Tribes and BIA agency staff are how to keep up with the demand for leasing, permitting and drilling. A taste of things to come has already occurred in development of the prolific Bakken shale oil play at the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. There was a severe backlog of leases and permits being issued which forestalled the generation of income to the Indian mineral owners. BIA agency and DEMD staff have worked to eliminating this backlog by providing an experienced engineer and by hiring five additional staff to supplement BIA realty staff. By working together BIA and DEMD has been able to physically place a team of technical staff at the reservation to provide on‐site services. Staff functions included realty specialists, environmental specialists and petroleum engineers.
The level of drilling activity continues to increase from 150 wells drilled to 200 additional wells planned. That represents a doubling of work load that is expected to continue, with development rates leveling off to 100 wells per year over the next 5 years.
Source: BIA Oil and Gas Development Report
“In conclusion, BIA and BLM issued revised guidance in an effort to streamline the review and approval process for Indian CAs. However, a number of factors will limit BIA’s ability to ensure that the resulting actions have had a positive effect on the process and lead to the more timely review and approval of Indian CAs. Specifically, as Interior has not established required time frames by which an Indian CA should be reviewed and approved, BIA will be limited in its ability to hold offices accountable to ensure that Indian CAs are reviewed and approved in a timely manner. In addition, because BIA does not have a systematic mechanism to track an Indian CA through the process, it will be unable to fulfill its monitoring role to ensure that CAs are reviewed and approved in a timely manner. Finally, because Interior does not have a plan to assess the results of its revised guidance on the Indian CA process, the agency will be unable to determine whether it has achieved its policy objectives, such as decreasing the time needed to review and approve Indian CAs, designed to result in the more timely disbursement of royalties to Indian mineral owners. Without the ability to assess the effect of its revised guidance on the Indian CA review and approval process, Interior may not have enough information to make further improvements, if needed, to the process.”
Source: 2016 GAO Indian Energy Development Full Report