Eric Mills 
Member since Mar 16, 2011


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Recent Comments

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

There's a much more pressing problem in our own back yard: the Bay Area's many live animal food markets. California annually imports some TWO MILLION non-native American bullfrogs for human consumption (commercially-raised). Plus an additional 300,000 to 400,000 non-native freshwater turtles, all taken from the wild in states East of the Rockies, depleting local populations. These markets are common in Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles, mostly in various "Chinatowns." Often illegally released into they wild, they prey upon and displace our native species.

Worse, the majority of the bullfrogs (60+ %) test positive for the dreaded chytrid fungus (Batrachrochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd), which has caused the extinctions of 200+ species of frogs and other amphibians worldwide in recent years.

ALL of the market frogs & turtles are diseased and/or parasitized, though it is ILLEGAL to sell such products: E. coli, pasturella, salmonella, blood parasite, giardia, et al. Many of the animals are stacked four and five deep, often without food or water, and butchered while fully conscious.

Now THERE's an issue where the Berkeley and Oakland City Councils could REALLY make a difference. Follow the money.

Eric Mills, coordinator

Posted by Eric Mills on 07/27/2016 at 2:04 PM

Re: “Letters to the Future

Extraordinary and sobering collection. Thanks to all who wrote.

Reminds me of a line from the late U. Utah Phillips: "The planet is not dying. It's being killed. And those doing the killing have names and addresses."

We are all complicit in varying degrees.


Eric Mills, coordinator

Posted by Eric Mills on 11/22/2015 at 12:00 PM

Re: “Our Local Green Future

Wind energy is not always as "green" as it might first appear.

Jim Wiegand (U.S. region rep for SAVE THE EAGLES INTERNATIONAL) estimates that the annual bird/bat mortality rate at Altamont Pass caused by the wind turbines there may be as high as 50,000 per year. This includes hundreds of protected species such as golden eagles, burrowing owls, hawks and falcons.

Not acceptable! And the Alameda County Board of Supervisors needs to re-address this issue in the near future.

Follow the money.

Eric Mills, coordinator

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Eric Mills on 06/10/2015 at 1:20 PM

Re: “Monday Must Reads: County Supes Took Cash from Wind Turbine Operator; California Groundwater Depletion Worsens

Personally, I doubt that the $$ had any real impact on that 3:2 vote. I think it had more to do with unions, jobs, and a poor reading/understanding of the evidence. This issue should be re-visited for another hearing and vote. Supervisor Miley has said he's willing.

WRITE: Members, Alameda County Board of Supervisors, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94612.

A biologist with the SAVE THE EAGLES INTERNATIONAL, Jim Wiegand, estimates that between 50,000 and 100,000 birds and bats are killed annually by the turbines at Altamont Pass, and that the new larger ones may be even more lethal. (See GOOGLE.)

Eric Mills, coordinator

Posted by Eric Mills on 04/06/2015 at 9:15 PM

Re: “Of Trees and Elephants

Thanks for spreading the good news about the Ringling Bros. circus elephants. Can the other circus animals be far behind? Big cats, bears, great apes, et al., leave lives of severe deprivation. Ringling units travel 48 weeks out of 52 every year, putting tremendous stress on the animals. When not performing silly "tricks" for an insensitive public, most circus animals are kept chained or caged, all normal social behaviors stymied--no wonder so many are neurotic and psychotic. You'd be, too. Plus the fact that many of these animals are Endangered Species....Is THIS what we're saving them for?

Only weeks ago, Mexico outlawed the use of ALL wild animals in traveling circuses and carnivals. Can the U.S. be far behind? One sometimes wonders who the REAL "Third World" country is....

Today the elephants, tomorrow all other wild animals, including the orcas, dolphins and sea lions at places like SeaWorld.

Finally, another big Thank You! to the Oakland City Council for banning the brutal bullhooks and helping set the stage for this progressive move by Ringling Bros.

Eric Mills, coordinator

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Eric Mills on 03/12/2015 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Meet The Biggest Threats to California's Environment: The Winners of the Annual Cold, Dead Fish Awards

Here's another. The California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (Chuck Bonham, Director), just came out with a "White Paper" on the myriad threats posed by non-native American bullfrogs. We import some TWO MILLION of these frogs every year for food, many of which are released into local waters, causing environmental havoc. Worse, the majority carry the chytrid fungus (Bd), believed to have caused the EXTINCTIONS of some 200 frog and other amphibian species in recent years.

The "White Paper" (compiled by DFW biologists, and available on the Fish & Game Commission's website - closes with this statement:

"Due to the serious threat emergent diseases pose to California's wildlife, the Department holds that importation of live American bullfrogs poses a significant threat to the wildlife of California. Current important policy may not effectively limit or avoid the spread of diseases and invasive species, as evidenced by significant incidents of violations. As a result, the Department believes that a significant reduction or elimination of importation permits for live American bullfrogs would reduce the risks to California wildlife."

Yet the DFW and Director Bonham continue to issue the permits, imperiling both wildlife and the public health.

LETTERS NEEDED: Director Chuck Bonham, email -
John Laird, Secretary of Resources, email -
Sonke Mastrup, Exec. Dir., F&G Commission, email -

All may be written c/o Resources Building, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95814

Governor Jerry Brown and all legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Let them hear from you before we lose all our native frogs.

Eric Mills, coordinator
email -

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Eric Mills on 02/16/2015 at 1:41 PM

Re: “Oakland Bans the Bullhook Starting in 2017

Kudos to the majority of the Oakland City Council for their compassionate and ethical stance. I only wish the ban took effect immediately. The City and County now have nearly three years to work out any financial concerns--more than ample time. The 14-member Los Angeles City Council last year voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve an identical ordinance. This ain't rocket science, folks. Finances should never be allowed to trump ethics and morality.

Truth be told, the bullhooks, bad as they are, may be the least of the animals' problems. The constant travel, performance-on-demand, abusive training methods, unnatural "tricks," being caged or chained when not performing, severely curtailed social wonder most circus animals are neurotic, psychotic and aggressive. You would be, too. Adding insult to injury, most of these animals--elephants, bears, tigers, chimpanzees--are Endangered Species. Is THIS what we're trying to save them for, cheap and questionable entertainment for an insensitive audience? They (and we) deserve far better.

Many countries around the world have banned wild animal acts: the United Kingdom, Israel, Greece, Colombia, Mexico City, et al. The U.S. should follow suit. Note, too, that there are many wonderful circuses which do NOT use animals: the extraordinary Cirque du Soleil, Circus Oz, Circus Vargas, Make-a-Circus, The New Pickle Circus, and others.

Anyone still in doubt about the miserable lives of circus animals should take a look at the October 31, 2011 article, "The Cruelest Show on Earth" in MOTHER JONES--it's an eye-opener. (Available on-line - see Google.)

Ringling Bros. even now is cynically threatening an attempt to overturn the new ordinance, when the reconstituted Oakland City Council reconvenes in January, with two new members (Abel Guillen and Annie Washington) replacing outgoing members Pat Kernighan and Libby Schaaf, both of whom were strong supporters of the ordinance. Stay tuned.

Eric Mills, coordinator

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Eric Mills on 12/12/2014 at 12:21 AM

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