Off the Record (Jan 28, 2015)

THE WILLITS BYPASS is already falling down. The collapse last Thursday (22 January) of a section of the framing for the Willits Bypass concrete pour, will undoubtedly grow into a bigger problem than it already is because there are some very serious design, cost, schedule, and liability implications as well as major doubts about the overall viability of the project.

THE BYPASS is being built on one of the most geologically unstable areas imaginable. Little Lake Valley is mostly loose fill accumulated over eons. December's monsoon-like rains caused a large slope on the south end of the bypass which had recently been “stabilized” to slip out, requiring emergency repairs. One lane of Highway 101 was closed and vehicles to be escorted through one-way traffic for several hours backing up traffic for miles. The viaduct section of the Bypass is not only anchored to unstable soil, that soil become viscous in wet weather.

WE SPENT a lot of time a couple of years ago looking at comparable viaduct projects on the West Coast. There aren’t very many, and most of them are of the “pre-cast” variety where finished segments are laid end-to-end, not the type which are built and poured into forms erected in place like the at the Willits Bypass, which have now collapsed. 

VIADUCTS are quite rare these days, except when they are called “bridges.” But very few bridges are “cast-in-place.” They are generally made up of pre-fab reinforced segments installed by flat-bed and crane. So it looks like the viaduct section of the Willits Bypass is in many ways experimental (besides being anchored in loose aggregate soil).

WE DON'T KNOW WHY the Bypass designers called for the cast-in-place construction method — perhaps because they might have anticipated problems bringing huge pre-fab pieces to the final site and positioning them.

FROM THE INITIAL PICTURES of the collapse, it looks like the framing (or “falsework”) that is extended from one of the most recently built support piers (one in a chain of previously successfully elevated sections) simply collapsed from the enormous weight of the cement that was being poured into it.


EARLIER FRAMING PICTURES show the enormous amount of dense concrete was going into the elevated roadbed. Imagine this same level of concrete being poured into frames 20 feet above the ground!

THE COLLAPSE could be either a design problem or a construction problem — or both. It could also be that the concrete was too wet when it was poured and was therefore heavier than expected. (Hell, somebody could have even left a hose running!) Since the pictures show a significant amount of falsework and concrete leading up to the point of the collapse, we tend to think the problem was more likely construction-related than design-related, meaning the framing in the area of the collapse may have been poorly constructed, or weakened in some way, or the cement was too heavy or the materials were substandard.

I ONCE WORKED at an engineering outfit in San Jose called Engineered Systems Incorporated. The engineers there put a sign on the wall next to the big office clock that said: “Blessed are those who do extremely precise calculations and then add a large fudge factor, for they shall be called design engineers.”

GOOD ENGINEERS build in a large safety (aka “fudge”) factor based on their own feel for the difficulties of the project and their level of experience. It’s possible that the Caltrans engineers (or maybe Flatiron engineers if they designed their own “falsework”) didn’t overdesign the falsework enough to handle a wide enough range of construction variables. But proving that would be hard.

IF THE COLLAPSE WAS CONSTRUCTION RELATED will the contractor cover the cost? Will insurance cover the cost? Will more taxpayer dollars be required? Will there be environmental remediation required (at more cost)? Did the contractor procure substandard materials that cannot be used for the rest of the job and have to be replaced? Were corners cut anywhere along the way — design or construction — in an attempt to lower costs? How long will the project be delayed, and what will be the additional cost of restarting and completing at a later date?

GIVEN THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT in California these days, even if the problem turns out to be the least difficult to solve, it will still be slow and very difficult to get the project going again — if it gets going again. If it turns out that there’s a much more serious problem (like fundamental design flaws), the Willits Bypass may have to be converted to a piece of construction art as a monument to 21st Century stupidity.

(— Mark Scaramella)

AN ON-LINE COMMENT by Robert Dryer nicely sums up the ongoing Bypass fiasco:

Caltrans tricked, lied and deceived the entire community with this bypass scam. First they claimed the bypass was needed, their own studies have been proven false and incorrect. They claimed the bypass would bring jobs to town, funny thing no Mendocino Locals are working on this project, just migrant Spanish workers from Sonoma, they claimed it would 'improve salmon habitat," just another lie and scam as millions of gallons of High PH concrete just dumped into the Eel River from their faulty design and framework. Caltrans claimed it would cost $200 million, the cost over runs have run nearly 50% already, that was before this major engineering mistake. Caltrans said they would protect archaeological sites, then they went and purposefully and deceitfully destroyed a numbered and known archaeological Pomo Village Complex... 'Caltrans has discovered that one of the sites' – CA-MEN-3571 – 'is actually located within the area of direct impact' of the Little Lake Valley project. 'As you know,' the notice continues, 'wick drains have been installed in that area and 3 feet of fill has been placed.'

The exact location of CA-MEN-3571 and specific descriptions of cultural resources found there and at other known archaeological sites – discovered before and after construction started in the bypass area – is not public information. Federal and state law keeps this information confidential due to the potential for theft or vandalism.

According to the tribe’s statement, CA-MEN-3571 was identified by Caltrans in 2011, during archaeological investigations of the area, as part of the bypass footprint’s 'area of potential effects,' but, 'later, in 2012, Caltrans claimed that changes for the project (i.e., changes to the bypass route) resulted in the site no longer being located in the project footprint.'

'However,' the statement from the tribe continues, 'Caltrans has just confirmed that the site does indeed exist within the project and has, over the last four months, been severely impacted by the removal of topsoil and the installation of 1400-1500 wick drains. What little, if anything, remains of CA-MEN-3571 is now inundated with 3 feet of fill.'

THE HARE CREEK CENTER is a proposed new shopping center at 250 Del Mar Drive, Fort Bragg, consisting of three buildings, including: Building A at 15,000 square feet, Building B at 10,000 square feet and Building C at 4,500 square feet, for a total of 29,500 square feet of retail space. Associated development includes a new access road on the west edge of the proposed development that would connect to Bay View Avenue to the southwest and to Ocean View Drive at the intersection of Ocean View and Harbor Avenue. Other associated development includes a new 99 space parking lot, loading zones, pedestrian improvements, rain water storage tanks, utility connections, drainage improvements, utilities, and associated landscaping.... Stay tuned.

WHAT ARE THE PARALLELS between the Susan Keegan homicide and the recent tragic conflict between the cops and the community in New York City? Find out here, at the latest Justice4Susan blog, at this URL:

SUSAN KEEGAN was a friend of mine, not a close friend but a person I knew and liked for many years. As did many people throughout Mendocino County, and quite a number right here in the Anderson Valley. The only enemy Susan ever had turned out to be the man she married. Nobody deserves to be murdered, least of all a woman who was in the process of shedding herself of that husband and beginning life on her own in Sonoma County. Susan was moving on.

THE MURDER OF SUSAN KEEGAN in November of 2010 was shocking by itself. What's happened since ought to at least disturb us all, and continues to shock everyone who knew her. Fact is, Susan was bludgeoned to death in her south Ukiah home by... her husband, Dr. Peter Keegan. Everyone in law enforcement, and I mean everyone, from the DA through the Sheriff's Department, believes that Dr. Keegan killed his wife of thirty years. Without rehashing the known evidence against the bad tempered medico, which is overwhelming and would have gotten him prosecuted anywhere else, please know that Susan's death certificate reads, "Homicide." And the doctor was the only other person in the house.

CONTRAST THE UNPROSECUTED KEEGAN MATTER to the triple prosecution of a certain Mr. Doak of Fort Bragg. The DA's office is convinced Mr. D shot his wife. She says she accidentally murdered one of her fingers while she was cleaning a handgun. Two Doak juries have hung, with a minority of jurors voting not guilty. But the DA is going to prosecute Doak a third time (and jury trials aren't cheap) while the straight-up Keegan murder is going on five years unprosecuted.

I'M SORRY but we've got to class-angle this one. Doctors don't bludgeon their wives to death, do they? Working class drunks can shoot off a wife's finger, though, and by gumbo we'll prosecute that guy until we get a jury to say he did it. If, and sorry to be repetitive here, if Joe the Tweaker's wife turned up dead in Joe's bathroom, Joe would now be in his fifth year in state prison. SUSAN KEEGAN deserves her day in court.

LONDON! PARIS! HAMBURG! Or was it merely Zurich? But wherever it was, why did the County's General Services Administration boss, Kristin McMenomey, get a free trip there? Did the taxpayers pick up the tab? Yes, via the California State Association of Counties, to which the County of Mendocino belongs through a membership funded by public money. And, yes, because Ms. M got paid by the County while she toured Europe. And Ms. McMenomey's trip cost plenty even if she traveled coach, stayed in youth hostels and ate at McDonald's International.

THE SUPERVISORS blithely waved Ms. McMenomey's enviable excursion right on by on their consent calendar where, it must be said, the County CEO buries matters she and the supervisors prefer not to talk about in public. If someone, anyone from the great unwashed, that pesky public, would have asked, “Why is Kristin going to Europe? Do we cut her pay off while she's abroad? What does London! Paris! Hamburg! Zurich? or Minsk? have to do with Mendocino County business?”

SO, we called the CEO's office to ask who paid for the trip and why. No call back, but at least the pleasant lady who answers the phone at the CEO's office wrote our inquiry down and promised to put it on two CEO office desks. They were, of course, in a meeting and otherwise away from their desks.

THE CEO'S OFFICE is preliminarily accessible in that a real live person answers the phone. Ms. McMenomey's office is sequestered behind a seemingly endless telephone menu. “If you know the name of the person you're calling, type in the first seven letters of…” Or was it five? We were so frustrated trying to reach the boss herself, we punched in names and numbers at random, getting the answering machines of Heather, and Dave and, and, and… All of whom were away from their desks. (What are the odds that the entire office is away from their desks at 1:30pm?) We finally tapped out an e-mail inquiry which has gone unanswered.

I CALLED the IRS a few years ago and got through fairly quickly to the high up guy I had a question for. I guess I should say I don't understand why a lightly populated outback county with a relatively small government can be so difficult to access. But I won't say that because I know the answer: local government tends to regard the public as irritants to be ignored whenever possible. That said, Supervisors Gjerde, McCowen and Brown will either answer phone calls or reply by e-mail. Supervisor Hamburg? He speaks only to his devotees. Supervisor Woodhouse is so new we haven't had occasion to ask him anything. Pinches, and we miss him already, never backed off or avoided a question.

ON THE MATTER of Kristin's groove-o jaunt to Europe, McCowen said he only knew it had been approved and that the County hadn't paid for it, which is incorrect unless you consider a partially county-funded construct not paid for by the County. Supervisor Gjerde says he's in the dark, and we haven't yet contacted Board Chair Brown.

WE ALSO received no response from the Sacramento-based CSAC (California State Assembly of Counties) the apparent sponsors of Kristin's foreign adventure. Nor is there any mention of the jaunt on CSAC's website.

KRISTIN GOES TO EUROPE. Below is the Consent Agenda item where Ms. McMenomey’s trip to Europe was quietly approved in December of 2014. Note how they buried the word "Europe" in parens deep in the body of the description. And there's no reference at all to how long the “travel” is for.) Kristin may still be up in the Eiffel Tower for all we know:

TO: Board of Supervisors

DATE: December 9, 2014

FROM: Kristin McMenomey, GSA Director

MEETING DATE: December 16, 2014


PHONE: 234-6050

AGENDA TITLE: Approval of Out of Country Travel for the General Services Agency Director to Participate in the Annual California State Association of Counties-Excess Insurance Authority (CSAC-EIA) Property Renewal Program Negotiations Serving as the Vice President of the CSAC-EIA Board of Directors

PREVIOUS BOARD/BOARD COMMITTEE ACTIONS: The Board of Supervisors has the authority to approve out of country travel for County employees serving in the course and scope of their duties.

SUMMARY OF REQUEST: The CSAC-Excess Insurance Authority (CSAC-EIA) is a member directed insurance risk sharing pool of California public agencies, dedicated to providing effective risk management solutions. The CSAC-EIA works closely with Alliant Insurance Services Inc. (Broker of record), to provide risk coverage programs that are stable, secure, and flexible. The County of Mendocino has been a participating member of CSAC-EIA pooled services for several years. The General Services Agency Director serves as the County’s voting representative on the CSAC-EIA Board of Directors. The General Services Agency Director was recently elected to serve as Vice President of CSAC-EIA Board of Directors for 2015. One of the many duties of the Vice President is to accompany the CEO of CSAC-EIA and several brokers from Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., out of the Country (Europe) to meet with various insurance markets to represent all the counties, cities, school districts, and special districts that are currently members of the CSAC-EIA pool in the annual Property Insurance Renewal Program. All travel expenses are paid for by CSAC- EIA.

Funding: CSAC-EIA. No cost to the County

RECOMMENDED ACTION/MOTION: Approve the out of country travel for the General Services Agency Director to participate in the annual California State Association of Counties-Excess Insurance Authority (CSAC-EIA) Property Renewal Program Negotiations serving as the Vice President of the CSAC-EIA Board of Directors.

* * *

Minutes of BOS Board Meeting, Dec 16, 2014: “Approval of Out of Country Travel for the General Services Agency Director to Participate in the Annual California State Association of Counties-Excess Insurance Authority (CSAC-EIA) Property Renewal Program Negotiations Serving as the Vice President of the CSAC-EIA Board of Directors – General Services Agency – Approved”

IF A CITIZEN comes to the microphone during public expression and says something of practical value while the people the remarks are addressed to sit absolutely silent and don't react at all, has the citizen said anything?

Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, Public expression, January 20, 2015,

Lee Howard: "Back on 14 January you got an email from me regarding public records and public records requests which was just addressed to the chair. Since then I have had the opportunity to look around and ask some questions. I'm asking you some questions. I ask you the question, When and how did that policy get adopted? The one that requires everything to go through County Counsel for review? Since then I found out that my own organization, the Builders Exchange — we've had problems with this in the past. Nobody really knows where to go with it. We had somebody come from Covelo to Ukiah to get a public record and they were told to fill out the form and come back when we call you. To me that's unacceptable. It's unacceptable if I have to drive from Fort Bragg or Gualala to look at something. My request was a simple request. It was an item that had been publicly noticed, it had been through hearings, been through you two times, and to the award of a contract, and then it was a public document. How can you go to a public agency and have them tell you, Here — fill out the form and come back? That is unacceptable. I hope that you take this up and do something with it. Look at it. Have a public hearing. Let the people come in and see if they approve of this. There's no doubt in my mind that there are things that you have to review and look at before they can be released. That's County Counsel's job. I understand that. But not every single document. It's just -- I guess maybe we might have to get more people to take care of that. The second part of this that I found very interesting as I went throughout the county this last couple of weeks — I asked the employees — you all elected officials have to go through training every two years. What have you got for your employees? I've found people who have been here for 20 years and have never been talked to about public records. They don't have a clue what it is. They are either issuing them or participating in putting them out every day. Is that acceptable to you? Thank you. I hope we can get through this and improve the system here for the public."

Board Response from Board Chair Carre Brown: “Thank you Mr. Howard.”

WHY SHOULD a simple request for public information be routed to County Counsel which, at this time, means routed to eternal oblivion? Lee Howard annoys a lot of people, especially the libs, but he is often correct about the functioning of local government, and it's rude and absolutely wrong (not to say cowardly) to treat him like a stray dog.

COUNTY COUNSEL? At this time he happens to be a guy who drives around in the midnight hours with dope and a loaded gun. Inevitably, Mendocino County being Mendocino County, he has been appointed arbiter of official County conduct.

MENDOCINO COAST Transition Towns will host a public discussion about a new strategy to get the corrupting influence of money out of the political process -- a strategy that has just been successfully voted into law in Tallahassee, Florida. In what they call an “Anti-Corruption Act,” Tallahassee activists have reset the rules so that government of the people, by the people, and for the people can truly function, free of the corruption that dominates so much of the political scene these days. The Anti-Corruption Act prohibits government officials from taking political contributions (bribes) from those they regulate, closes the "revolving door" by which people move back and forth between government and regulated industry jobs, and ends secret money financing for political campaigns. Drawing support from both left and right, the new law was adopted in Tallahassee by 70% of the voting citizens. We could accomplish something similar here in Mendocino County, making our local political system more democratic, and bringing pressure on Sacramento and Washington DC to enact similar rules. Come hear about the Anti-Corruption Act movement, and discuss possible next steps. Presenters: Michael St. John and Charles Cresson Wood. Location: Community Center of Mendocino, 998 School St., in the Village of Mendocino. When: Sunday, February 8, 2015; 630PM-800PM. More information: call Charles Cresson Wood at 707-937-5572.

THE ILLUSION OF ACTION: Congressmen Mike Thompson and Thompson's political clone, Jared Huffman, threw a semi-public immigration discussion this Friday afternoon at the Steele Lane Community Center. Please note that the start-time is 3:30 when most people are at work. Also please note that the two solons have invited several self-alleged experts to help clarify things, meaning they all will talk, the handful of the duped who actually show up, will listen. And then after about 90 minutes Thompson and Huffman, having "eased fears" as their stenogs at the Press Democrat put it, will go away, while your fears, whatever they are, remain. Thompson's and Huffman's only fear is the disappearance of cheap, peasant labor for the wine industry they both represent. “This is going to provide some clarity so folks understand what it is exactly that President Obama did,” Thompson told his press agents at the Santa Rosa daily. Note that we've been upgraded from “people” to the homier, more personal, phonier, “folks.”

SELMA, THE MOVIE. It's not very good, and it's historically inaccurate and the acting, except for Oprah, implausible. She's very good in this one. Given the givens of contempo-education, millions of young people will, however, now be presented with the movie as historical fact, just as Oliver Stone's version of the Kennedy Assassination is believed by millions to be the reality of a conspiracy involving a cast of… Well, pick a number. Contrary to Selma the movie, LBJ was much less of an obstacle than the Kennedy Bros during MLK's brave civil rights work, and LBJ most certainly did not team up with J. Edgar Nutball of the FBI to send Corretta King a tape recording of her husband's extra-curricular sexual encounters. Those recordings are presented in the movie as rumors, not fact, which is another distortion by Selma the movie. There is plenty to honestly vilify LBJ for, especially his expansion of the disastrous War on Vietnam without libeling him. And there was no mention of King's pivotal speeches on economic justice and, oddly, no emphasis on his pure courage. This was a man from whom police and government had removed protection. He was threatened non-stop, his home fire bombed and regularly assaulted by racists and policemen alike. And he kept on. Jim Clark, mega-'neck sheriff, wasn't portrayed nearly as menacing as he was in real life, although there are glimpses of some Klan types who look suitably depraved. And no mention of the fact that George Wallace died a liberal, recanting the racism that propelled him much of his life. The clips from the real march on Selma are much more interesting than the movie re-creation and, indulge me here, the marchers back then, en masse, looked like what they were — mostly young, all idealistic, and wholesome looking. Any march of today's dissident citizens, at least half the people will look crazy, and about a third of them will be crazy. This movie is overall terrible but watchable. For the real deal see the documentary Eyes on the Prize.

NO MEASLES IN MENDO. Yet. There are now quite an alarming number of young parents in the County who deliberately don't vaccinate their children, thus imperiling not only their own children but everyone else's. Broadly speaking, the non-vaccinators, informed by the internet, new home of the credulous, say that inoculations can cause autism, not that there's a shred of informed evidence they do any such thing. From the AVA’s perspective, the non-vaccinators are simply one more indicator of social collapse.

A READER WRITES: "The City of Ukiah should get off its ass, condemn the Palace before somebody gets killed and build a two or three level parking garage with the new (unnecessary) judges’ penthouse on top of it. Sure would make it easier on the peons left behind at the old courthouse. Close off Perkins and Standley Streets from School to State and make the whole area user friendly. It probably would cost a lot less than what's being planned now. Just a thought."

KZYX PROGRAMMER perennial management nuzzlebum, Gordon Black, posting on the Mendocino Listserve, and referring to an earlier post by Marco McLean in which McClean described KZYX as “corrupt”: “Marco, maybe they'll offer you airtime if you call them utterly corrupt. — Gordon Black”


Whether I speak up or not, [Program Director] Mary Aigner has no intention of ever slotting my show into KZYX, when in fact I'm exactly the sort of airperson who belongs on public radio in Mendocino County, and my show is better and more valuable and more educational than most of what's on KZYX. And you know that, Gordon.

I waited years after making my show available to Mary and jumping through all the ridiculous hoops before I uttered a peep about her incompetence. She never took a single step in the direction of putting my show on the schedule. If you're concerned about rudeness, John and Mary are the ones with their foot on your neck. I'm the one pointing out that their foot is on your neck.

When I went to KMFB in 1997 and talked to Bob Woelfel, I was on the air within a week. When I went to KNYO in November, 2012 and talked to Bob Young, I was on the air even faster. I contacted Mary in January of 2012, went to meet her in late February. Three years have passed. She never returned email. She telephoned me once, out of the blue, all chipper, to tell me that she was thinking about me and I should call her when all the craziness of the current pledge time was over. That's it. I stopped at the station on 128 on my way home from Juanita's house twice; once I met and spoke with John and was treated like a bug, like I had no business bothering them there, like I was some kind of undesirable intrusion. Others have told me they received the same treatment and worse.

For the whole nearly 15 years I had my show on KMFB, when someone wrote to me I read their work on the air. When people called I stopped reading and put them instantly on the air. When people dropped by the station unannounced and knocked, I'd let them in and put them on the air, whether they brought musical instruments or not. When I'm at KNYO and someone knocks I let them in and put them on the air. When I ran a weekly teevee show on the public access channel in Fort Bragg, I set it up so anyone who wanted to do a segment could just show up at my house and do whatever they wanted to. And then eat spaghetti.

When I had my newspaper, it didn't matter to me how anyone felt or spoke or wrote about me— it just wasn't a consideration; they were welcome. Christ, I let Bill Kovanda have two whole poetry pages every issue and I don't even like poetry. If Mary Aigner or John Coate had wanted a regular column in my paper, they wouldn't even have had to ask. They'd send or call in the work and I'd see that it got published as written or as spoken into the telephone answering machine. And as long as I wasn't paying the writers, I was not paid. That's what not corrupt looks like.

The only chance I or anyone like me will ever have to use KZYX properly — specifically to do our shows there, our way — is to switch out the childish school-clique, desperately secretive, oppressive, opaque management. I don't expect that will happen, so I'm not holding my breath, and there's no point in sucking up to people by keeping quiet about how bad they are. I won't be intimidated into silence any longer about KZYX the way so many others allow themselves to be. It's a public so-called community radio station, badly managed, kept afloat by tax money, in the educational band, and the airpeople are not paid at all, and the managers pay themselves a lot of money to run the place as their personal fiefdom. Corrupt is the precise word to describe them.

HERE's the great Ed Abbey writing to his public radio station. What Abbey said here in 1982 applies almost precisely to KZYX, 2015:

Dear Manager:

Although I am contributing, once again, another $100 to KUAT, I would like to say that I and many of my friends are increasingly disappointed with the quality of KUAT-FM programming.

All that recorded classical music is fine, of course, and we expect that it should always fill the bulk of your radio time. And All Things Considered is certainly the best of all radio news programs.

Furthermore: your local newscasts are dull and flat, no better than newspaper stories. With all the interesting and exciting things going on in Arizona, why no representation of wider and diverse points of view? Why no debates, serious, full-time prime-time debates on such issues as smelter pollution (did you people even bother to interview the Greenpeace activists?), urban expansion into the desert, ground water pollution, misdirected police activity (e.g., coke busts instead of murder investigations), the gasoline tax hike, our Chamber of Commerce growth-for-the-sake-of-growth religion, creationism vs. evolution (there was a good debate on that subject only two weeks ago at UofA; did you bother to record and broadcast it? No), and many many other serious and important issues.

Last week we had Tim O’Brien on campus reading from his next novel — a delightful and bawdy comedy. Why didn’t you tape and broadcast that? Does anyone at KUAT even know who Tim O’Brien is? Why no live dramatic shows? Why no book, film, drama, or even concert reviews?

Why is KUAT so dull, unimaginative, and timid? One gets the impression that the station is run by a bunch of fuddy-duddy old D.A.R. teacup-holding spinsters. Awake!

Edward Abbey — Oracle

ADD TO THE LONG LIST of things we didn't know: the law requiring that police arrest the aggressor in domestic violence calls. And it's up to the police to determine who the aggressor is. Someone must go to jail. The cops have no discretion. It's been taken from them by most state legislatures, including California's. If the police are called by either party to a domestic drama turned violent, they've got to determine who was the primary combatant, even if neither party shows evidence of injury, or an injury a three-year-old would call an “owie.” Normally, it's obvious who's at fault; if the police don't arrest that person they and their department are liable.

IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, the mandatory arrest dictate means a lot more women are getting hauled off to jail than ever before while males, those traditional lions of hearth and home, continue to get arrested at about the same rate they always have. These calls, as any cop will tell you, are consistently the most dangerous to the cop as one or both combatants turn on the policeman who's got the necessary job of separating them. Sadder yet is the fact that a lot of DV calls are placed by a frightened child.

WITH MORE WOMEN than ever getting popped for DV, we have the almost daily appearance in the booking log of angelic-looking young women and improbable-looking matrons arrested for assaulting their significant other. You look at these photos and think to yourself, “What kind of so-called man would call the cops on this lady?”

BUT, as investigation reveals, it's often the woman who has placed the call, but when the cops sort out who did what to whom, it will turn out that it was the lady who not only started it, she followed it up with a push, a shove, a slap or, as has happened right here in peace-loving Mendo, a fork to the scrotum, a frontal assault with a machete, a container of urine poured over a young man immobilized in a body cast.

THE COPS HAVE NO DISCRETION. They get that DV call and they've got to arrest someone. Used to be, police could handle it on the spot by simply telling lover boy to take a walk until he cooled off. Only if weapons were in play, or it appeared that the war would resume the instant the cops were out the door, did someone go to jail. 

LIKE MOST OF US, police have zero respect for a man who calls the cops because his wife or girlfriend has popped him one, or threw the phone at him.

OF COURSE it's still men who do most of the physical damage to women much smaller, much weaker than them. And there seem to be more of these oafs than ever in relationships with women isolated one way or another from the fathers, brothers, uncles or male friends who might protect them from the domestic coward they find themselves with. 

One Response to "Off the Record (Jan 28, 2015)"

  1. Bill Pilgrim   January 28, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    RE: KZYX. Let’s face it, as long as the local pseudo-liberal check writers keep ponying up – programming will remain bland, unchallenging, status quo paeans to the complacent hordes who cannot imagine our society being anything other than a militaristic, plutocratic, jingoistic, corporate dominated empire.


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