Will Parrish: Our local water commons has been stolen from us by Globalized Corporate Wine Colonizers to produce high-end booze. Does anyone care? (Updated)

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ From WILL PARRISH Laytonville [Update: Investigative reporter Will Parrish will discuss his controversial recent series on the ecological toll of California’s wine industry, with a special emphasis on rapacious vineyard development in the Gualala River watershed: The North Coast Wine Industry: Draining Our Rivers Dry] ~ Don Sanderson: … Read more

Will Parrish: When They Came For The Navarro

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ From WILL PARRISH Laytonville The North Coast wine industry has long acted out a pathological conviction that it is entitled to virtually every single drop of water in every watershed it touches. As in the case of Sonoma County’s recent frost protec tion ordinance, which I detailed in the … Read more

Drinking Our Rivers Dry

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ Drinking Our Rivers Dry By WILL PARRISH The latest in California’s North Coast wine oligarchy’s long series of legislative coups de grace occurred on December 14. In a 5-0 vote, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors rubber-stamped new regulations on frost protection in the Russian River water basin, … Read more

Will Parrish: Anderson Valley, Tentacle of the Winegrape Octopus

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ From WILL PARRISH Laytonville “When at last the land, worn out, would refuse to yield, they would invest their money in something else; by then they would have all made fortunes.” — Frank Norris, The Octopus, 1901 One of California agribusiness’ oldest traditions is clearing huge swaths of … Read more

Will Parrish: On Memory & Forgetting in Wine Country

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ From WILL PARRISH Laytonville Soon after I became outspoken in my criticism of the regional wine industry, I began having conversations with local people for whom this issue is deeply personal. Across recent decades, the sprawling North Coast booze sector has recklessly reconfigured landbases, sucked waterways dry, killed off … Read more

Will Parrish: The North Coast Wine Industry’s Latest Coup De Grace — Draining Our Rivers Dry

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ From WILL PARRISH Laytonville The latest in the North Coast wine oligarchy’s long series of legislative coups de grace occurs on December 14th. In what will surely be a 5-0 vote, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will rubber-stamp new regulations on frost protection in the Russian River … Read more

Will Parrish: Sonoma County, Banana Republic of Wine-Grapes

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ From WILL PARRISH Laytonville In 1993, American wine industry goliath E&J Gallo (annual revenue: $2 billion) founded its first subsidiary dedicated solely to producing high-end, “premium” vintages: Gallo of Sonoma. The move reflected a dramatic shift for the Gallo empire, which accounts for one in four bottles sold … Read more

Booze, a Banker, & The Bailout: The Murder of Mark West Creek

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by Will Parrish on Nov 25th, 2010

As the Director of Merchant Banking at America’s most politically well-connected investment firm, Goldman Sachs, Henry L. Cornell is accustomed to reaping the benefits of political oligarchy. (Webster definition: “a government in which a small group exercises control, especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.”) His company exerts a profound influence in the corridors of both national and global power, not only by shaping legislation to the benefit of the interlocking financial, real estate, and investment industries, but by helping set the rules under which policy battles are waged in the first place. The multi-trillion dollar 2008 bailout of the banking industry, authored by then-Treasury Secretary and former Goldman CEO Henry Paulson, is only the most famous example.

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Will Parrish: Mendo’s Biggest Wine Country Corporations

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ From WILL PARRISH Laytonville “We have chosen as our first topic of discussion the reality of the business — cash. Everything we do eventually finds its way back to this common denominator. That is, cash in and cash out. … At Duckhorn Vineyards, we earn approximately 24% cash … Read more

Will Parrish: Who Really Rules Mendo Wine Country?

Help Support Important Local Reporting, Subscribe Today http://theava.com/ From WILL PARRISH Laytonville The North Coast wine industry is a sprawling, multi-billion dollar enterprise. It encompasses hundreds of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Marin, Lake, and Solano counties; commands millions of acre feet of the area’s ever-more scarce water resources; and … Read more