- Flores Fundraiser
- Cool Day
- Golden Gate
- Labor Negotiations
- Pitbull Clinic
- Murre Die-Off
- Mystery Stream
- PV Project
- Jail Honey
- Underground Lines
- Yesterday's Catch
- Talking Books
- Palace Sky
- Normal Guys
- Filthy Cities
- Shoeshine Boys
- Marco Radio
- Bra Types
- Biden Maneuver
- Not Depressed
- Found Object
ANDERSON VALLEY: A member of our community, Dora Flores, is currently in a difficult battle with cancer. Tomorrow, Sunday, May 26, 2019, Lizbby's will be selling Posole, Enchiladas and Aguas Frescas from 5 pm to 9 pm as a fundraiser to help with Dora's significant medical expenses. Please come support if you can. (Dan Richert)
WINTRY WEATHER IN MAY. Showers most of the day Sunday with highs only in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Clearing Sunday night for Memorial Day. Clear and sunny for most of the rest of the week with another slight chance of rain Thursday. Moderate temps, light winds. Lows in 50s, highs in 70s.
SNAP, SNAP GOES THE GJERDE
by Mark Scaramella
Back in October of 2017, a labor consulting outfit called Koff and Associates was given $100k to do study of county wages and salaries to compare them to other jurisdictions.
If you're wondering why the leadership wouldn't know by now that Mendo employees have been leaving county employment for many years for cash-greener pastures to the south and even north in Humboldt, well, we don’t call it Amnesia County for no reason.
The findings of Koff’s hundred thou boondoggle were contracted to be released in the summer of 2018, in time for them to be considered, and perhaps even factored in to, the 2018-2019 budget.
In September Koff wasn’t ready. But in a preliminary report Koff told the County that on average Mendo was about 7% “below market” on salaries. So an arbitrary county-designed “placeholder” of $5 million was plucked out of mid-air and written into the budget for salary increases — which, of course, have yet to be granted. The Koff study was pushed out to June of 2019, too late to be considered in the 2018 budget.
Of course, any pay increase that exceeds that “placeholder” in the budget would be a problem, so Official Mendo would be much happier with Koff if Koff & Associates magically concluded that a pay raise of, oh, I dunno, say, maybe around $5 million — ? — would be really nice. But of course, the County’s expensive consultant would never stoop to bending their recommendations to suit Official Mendo’s placeholder. Would they?
The County’s largest union, Services Employees International local 1021 with around 800 members, disagreed with the 7% figure last year, saying they were about 15% below market.
Meanwhile, Official Mendo, including the Supervisors themselves, pushed through large salary increases for themselves, with no pesky delays of the hundred grand study type. The CEO’s Office and the Board’s own budget units were magically not included in the partial run-down of departments which are overruning their budgets — of course not, their big raises were already IN the budget. The budget became like the famous ink blot psycho-test — the numbers saying whatever management said they said. So being conveniently pre-budgeted the Board and top officials approved their own raises.
In September of last year SEIU President Kort Petersen told the Supes, “County staff has watched as most department heads and managers received 20 percent to 30 percent increases over the last year while the review of their wage rates has stalled.”
The raise the Supes “bravely” gave themselves last year — Sheriff Allman even praised the Board for “putting up with the BS” of a few complaining citizens — raised their salaries from about $62k to about $85k, plus comparable benefit and pension increases — a raise of roughly 37%.
(The sordid history of how Supervisors David Colfax and Kendall Smith pushed through grotesque raises for themselves to $68k then refused to even take 10% pay cuts like the line employees and their fellow Supes did is a depressing tale already told.)
Also setting a bad example, the Board gave CEO Carmel Angelo a four year phased in auto-raise from her already lofty $180k to $220k (a 22% increase) by 2022. Most Departments heads got comparable raises, or new ones were hired at much more than their predecessors.
The “optics,” not to mention the budget numbers, are not pretty.
In recent weeks, CEO Angelo frequently likes to say that new expenditures — e.g., raises for line workers — would require “money we don’t have.”
Last Tuesday, SEIU rep Patrick Hickey spent several minutes denouncing the Koff study in rather technical terms, but claiming it unfairly asserted that the County’s generous benefit package somehow compensated for their below market salaries, and that “it is unfair to use a different process and procedure for front-line county employees than you used for yourselves, department heads and elected officers.”
Hickey added that the Koff study cherry-picked numbers during the comparison to make it look like Mendo’s salaries are sorta comparable to neighboring jurisdictions, which meant management “put your thumb on the scale.” Hickey also said there were several outright errors in the report.
County Human Resources Director (also a recipient of a big raise) Heidi Dunham told the Board several times that labor issues are so “complicated” that they require the services of an attorney for “meet and confer,” and “grievances,” and “consultation” and “mediation” and “arbitration” and administrative hearings and court proceeding.
There were no complications of any sort when management launched its raid on county coffers.
Supervisor Haschak at first was skeptical of using outside negotiators to work out fair compensation with county workers, but he was no match for the glib Ms. Dunham who easily parried Haschak’s questions, concluding that hiring an in-house labor attorney would cost about $190k a year, more than the additional $150k (bringing the total to $300k) the Board was being asked to hand over to the outside attorney.
Supervisor Ted Williams noticed that $300k was a sizable 6% of the $5 million placeholder, adding, “I see that where bargaining units have outside counsel and it escalates and now we have outside counsel to negotiate. I would like to de-escalate. Ultimately we are taking from the available funds that could go to employees. I would rather see that $300,000 go to the employees in a negotiation with those same employees. We know how much we can afford, it has to be a Board decision. The question is how to equitably divide it. I would like to see us collaborate, rather than negotiate.”
An uncharacteristically peevish Supervisor Dan Gjerde chipped in, basically blaming the union for the problems: “I would like to see de-escalation. Unfortunately there are some people who don't live in Mendocino County that seem to want to escalate everything. We heard some comments on the last agenda item that were way off mark. The complaint we've heard, and it's totally valid from most county employees, is they are not paid in a competitive way compared to their counterparts in other counties. I'm a leader who's actually taken a reduction in pay acknowledging that…..”
We’ll pause here for weeping and lamentations for Hair Shirt Dan, unsung martyr-leader.
“Although that's [Gjerde’s sacrifice] never been acknowledged by SEIU publicly for some strange reason. But the reason for the Koff study was to determine if the County of Mendocino is underpaying in salary or underpaying in benefits or both? And what this study shows is that in spite of the quibbling, the benefits are roughly comparable to the other agencies, they are very close. And they are more out of market on salary. And that the focus of negotiations should be what the employees have told me: on salary, not on additional benefits. Instead of acknowledging the success of the Koff study we hear more whining. I think until the bargaining groups get negotiators on their behalf who are focusing on accepting wins when they get a win instead of complaining and turning every victory into a defeat, these negotiations unfortunately will last longer than they need to last, cost the taxpayers and the employees more than they should cost and there will be, unfortunately, money wasted that could go to compensation. And it is the choice of the negotiators and the decisions of the negotiators that are leading to that outcome.”
For the record, Supervisor Gjerde voted no on last year’s giant 37-plus-% Supes salary raise, saying it was too high and should be pegged to the not-quite-so big raises the then-Board (with lame ducks Georgeanne Croskey and do-nothing Dan Hamburg joining Supervisor Carre Brown and John McCowen) gave to the Department heads. Gjerde calculated that the Supes salary should be around $74k — a 19% raise — not $85k, and announced that he wouldn’t take the extra $11k. He has not suffered “a reduction in pay” as he disingenuously claimed and for which he now feels so unappreciated. Talk about whining.
Haschak thought the SEIU concerns were legitimate and should be taken seriously. He pointed out that Mr. Hickey lives in Mendocino County and is not trying to “amp up” the negotiations.
CEO Angelo summarized her version of the County’s troubled and costly history of outside labor negotiators, concluding that the County just can’t do “major labor negotiations,” adding that the expensive outside attorney was fine and necessary.
Supervisor John McCowen thought the outside attorney was worth it when spread across eight bargaining units. He agreed that the SEIU complaints should be looked into and said that the County could save more money in other outside attorney costs other than labor negotiations. Besides, McCowen said, it’s too late to change direction now. (Never mind that no one in county officialdom has brought up the question of what alternatives are available previously. The Board allows these “no-choice” propositions to arise all the time, avoiding major decisions until the last minute when they have no option but approve whatever crazy expendisture is presented to them.)
Haschak said given the present (Board-created fait accompli) situation the outside attorney was ok, but that in the long-term the county should do its own negotiations. (Of course no one will raise this subject again until the next big bill comes due.)
The board then voted 4-1 to approve the additional $150k for the outside attorney-negotiator bringing their contract up to $300k. Nobody asked if the added $150k was in the budget.
Williams was on the short end of the 4-1 vote, sensibly arguing for a cooperative less costly approach to negotiations.
As usual, this entire discussion was conducted totally in the dark. The Board gets no regular departmental reports on staffing levels, staff shortages, budget status, labor issues and negotiations, productivity, backlogs, cost drivers, project status… And no discussion of the difference between general fund staff versus state and federally funded staff. In other words, everybody — especially management setting a very bad example — is basing their salary demands solely on what other people elsewhere get, not on whether services are being provided efficiently or managed properly.
If this wasn’t serious taxpayer money being thrown away so irresponsibly, we’d write it all off with, “These people really deserve each other.”
UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK
Betsy may very well be the sweetest cat at the shelter. She loves to be with people and soaks up all the attention she can get. Betsy is an 8 month old female who was found as a stray cat with her five kittens. Her kittens are weened and now Betsy is ready to start the next chapter of her life. With such a sweet personality, we think Betsy will be a great cat for a family with children and a wonderful addition to her new family.
Blackberry was found by a person who kept her safe and warm for two weeks, while looking for her guardians, so we have more information than we usually do for a "lost her way" dog. Blackberry's interim guardian told us that her home includes three dogs and a child, and that Blackberry did well with all of them. She said Blackberry was comfortable in a crate and enjoys running, playing fetch and swimming. Here at the shelter we notice how much Blackberry loves to play with toys especially tennis balls. Blackberry is a 2 year old, spayed female who weighs 56 pounds.
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, and the shelter's programs, services and events, please visit us online at http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com. For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453. Due to the Memorial Day Holiday occuring on a Monday, the shelter will be closed on Tuesday, May 28.
MYSTERY MURRE DIE OFF
Starting on Wednesday, May 22, hundreds of Common Murres, an ocean-going bird native to the Pacific Coast from the Channel Islands to the tip of the Aleutians in Alaska, have been reported washed up dead or dying on beaches along a 10-mile stretch of coastline in Mendocino County between Noyo Bay and Seaside Beach. Local wildlife observers say it's too early to tell what is causing the die-off.
NAME THIS STREAM, MENDO
WHAT DOES HUMBOLDT COUNTY TRULY SEE AS A TWO-BASIN SOLUTION FOR THE POTTER VALLEY PROJECT?
by Devon Jones, Executive Director of the Mendocino County Farm Bureau
Recently the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission (MCIWPC), Sonoma Water and California Trout, Inc. moved forward with a planning agreement for the potential licensing of the Potter Valley Project to meet the deadline of filing the Notice of Intent and Pre-Application Document for the Project by July 1st as required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. These entities, though not always in agreement, are prepared to work through these differences and have honest conversations about addressing both fishery and water supply concerns as part of a two-basin solution for the future of the Project.
Now, Humboldt County is crying that they weren’t adequately involved in the conversation with the development of the planning agreement. Interestingly enough, Humboldt County has at every opportunity, starting with their resolution statement on the Project released in June 2018, that they believe that the decommissioning and full or partial removal of the Potter Valley Project is inevitable. Craig Tucker, the consultant hired by Humboldt County to represent their county on this issue, has not been shy about supporting the removal of Scott Dam as the ONLY solution to the future of the Project. This shouldn’t be surprising since Mr. Tucker was also hired as an advocate in the Klamath dam removal project and we all know the results of that effort.
In addition, HumCo Supervisor Estelle Fennel, who is the current chair of the Eel-Russian River Commission and represents Humboldt County, was notified by California Trout, Inc. that they planned to work with MCIWPC to move forward with the Project licensing process and a two-basin solution at the March 29, 2019 commission meeting. It was also stated that the conversation was open to additional interested parties. Since both Supervisor Fennel and Mr. Tucker were in attendance at this meeting, Humboldt County was adequately represented and could have made an effort to engage with either California Trout, Inc. or MCIWPC on the formation of the planning agreement.
For those of us looking to maintain the critical water supply for the fish, farms and families that depend on the water provided from the Project, looking ONLY at dam removal is a non-starter.
If Humboldt County is willing to address their previous position statements and truly look for a two-basin solution that supports both the fishery and water supply, then there can be a conversation. However, don’t play the same song for over a year and then expect all of us to believe you are sincere with changing your tune!
by Daniel Mintz
A new planning agreement between parties interested in the up-for-grabs Potter Valley Project (PVP) blindsided Humboldt County supervisors but they’ve been told that the pact will be inclusive.
Reassurance was offered after an apparent end run around Humboldt’s interest in Eel River preservation was described by staff at the May 21 Board of Supervisors meeting.
With PG&E signaling abandonment of the PVP hydroelectric facility, its federal license is up for the taking. The week before the meeting, it was revealed that the Mendocino Inland Water and Power Commission, the Sonoma County Water Agency and CalTrout were forging a “draft planning agreement” on noticing federal licensors of their combined interest in applying.
“We were taken by surprise,” said Supervisor Estelle Fennell, explaining that a Sonoma County supervisor told her that “they couldn’t tell us of their intentions” because doing so would violate the Brown Act. Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt county representatives are members of the Eel-Russian River Commission (ERRC), which is subject to the Brown Act. The law limits communications between officials prior to decision-making. The bureaucracy shaping the PVP’s fate has many layers and another one is Congressman Jared Huffman’s regional ad hoc committee. That group met the day before the supervisors meeting and the Humboldt-excluded planning agreement was discussed.
“There’s good news to report – they’re welcoming Humboldt to become a signatory to that agreement,” said HumCo Deputy Director of Public Works Hank Seemann.
He said the planning pact “defines how the parties will work together” on a Notice of Intent to apply for the license. That move has a July 1 deadline, with a completed application due in April of 2020.
Huffman’s ad hoc group has developed a “two basin solution charter,” said Craig Tucker, the county’s lobbyist in the process. The “co-equal goals” of the charter will be worked into the planning agreement, he continued. “So I think that reflects the Eel River side of the equation really well,” he told supervisors. He added that there’s mutual understanding that “we all need to work with each other to have our needs addressed.”
The needs are often portrayed as being in conflict. Humboldt County wants to preserve the Eel River and Mendocino and Sonoma counties want to continue accessing its water.
The Potter Valley Project is marginal as a power production facility and its more relevant purpose is to divert water.
Asked by Fennell about CalTrout’s involvement, Tucker said the advocacy group is “doing a pretty good job of bringing a lot of resources to the table and a lot of studies that inform the discussion.”
Seemann said the planning agreement is still in the works and a modified version may be finished and ready for review as soon as this week. Noting that the southern counties’ interests are “tied to (water) diversion” and “our interest is tied to the resources of the river,” Fennell said Humboldt should “be more active at this point and more engaged.”
She recommended that a board subcommittee composed of herself and Board Chair Rex Bohn be formed to eye what happens next. Fennell is the county’s representative on the ERRC and Bohn is the alternate rep. He’s disappointed by the planning agreement’s surprise emergence.
“The last place we would want to hear that an agreement had been brought forward was on social media,” he said. “I just felt like we were really, really left out of this.”
Those excluded complained “loudly and vociferously” at Huffman’s meeting the day before – and Huffman himself was “not particularly pleased with the way it played out,” said Tucker.
“But I would say all’s well that ends well – they were receptive to us amending the agreement,” he continued. “I realize everything’s amicable now but this isn’t the first time Humboldt’s been screwed,” said Bohn. “And every time we catch somebody, they say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re going to make it work for you’ and it just didn’t feel right.”
Last year, the Friends of the Eel River advocacy group accused Fennell of conspiring with representatives of the other counties. During public comment, Stephanie Tidwell, the group’s executive director, said “secrecy seems to be kind of the norm,” but this time she described “Russian River interests” as the culprits and said she agrees with the supervisors.
HumCo Supervisors voted to form the subcommittee and directed staff to return to this week’s meeting, on May 28, with a proposal for Humboldt County’s participation in the federal Notice of Intent process.
SO, IF YOU ASK ME “What’s New?”, I’ll tell you that we have added honey bees to our jail garden. We have only had our new project for three weeks and we saw honey today. This will increase our vegetable production and teach inmates a new skill. Hooray for progress! (Sheriff Tom Allman)
PG&E PLEDGES to bury its distribution power lines in Paradise
"I stand in front of you here tonight on behalf of my company. I want to apologize for the role our equipment had in this tragedy. Nothing I can say, nothing I could stand up in front of you and say, is going to undo that and I know that, we know that."
ACCORDING to the KQED story, PG&E’s undergrounding of the replacement and rebuilt power lines AFTER the power lines in the Paradise area were destroyed by the fire PG&E is responsible for, will be done in conjunction with trenching that has to be done anyway for replacement of gas lines that were also destroyed in the fire PG&E was responsible for. And since PG&E will be reimbursed by ratepayers for their own rebuild this “pledge” has a hollow ring to it. (Mark Scaramella)
CATCH OF THE DAY, MAY 24, 2019
HACK CULLING JR., Fairfield/Redwood Valley. Controlled substance sales, purchase for sale, sale of organic drug, pot possession for sale, pot sale, evasion, county parole violation.
JOSE ESCAMILLA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ESTEBAN FAUSTO, Ukiah. Robbery, conspiracy, probation revocation.
ALEJANDRO GARCIA, Santa Rosa/Hopland. DUI.
RICHARD GARCIA, Ukiah. DUI.
JAIME GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.
GARRIE HOAGLIN, Ukiah. County parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
STEPHANI LYLE, Ukiah. Stolen property, probation revocation.
CALEB MACARTHUR, Ukiah. Under influence.
JOSEPH MAUM, Willits. Fugitive from justice.
JOSHUA MOORE, Ukiah. False ID, county parole violation.
SAMUEL SIERRA, Ukiah. County parole violation.
EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), evasion. (Frequent Flyer)
CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS, Willits. DUI.
To Ralph Bostrom,
Though I am somewhat baffled by why I was addressed in your letter to the editor regarding talking books, I thank you for the kind thought anyway. Any reading problems I might have result from mental focus not eyesight - my mischieviously wandering mind.
It has been over 10 years since I was editor of the AVA and over the years the current, and previous to my reign, editor has touted the benefits to me of the government talking book services - not so much for vision impairment but for the ability to partake in the joys of literacy while bombing down highways of Mendocino and beyond.
Mind you, to be approved for the program one needs certification from a medical professional as to your lack of ability see.
SUNSET AT SF’S PALACE OF FINE ARTS
BEHIND THE SCENES, we're not that interesting. We're pretty normal. We enjoy families, the outdoors, movies, music, art, food. So it's not like we're special superhuman superheroes.
— Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
The filthiest cities in the world are Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and others under Democratic control. The president should have more control over the states, especially the liberal states. It's getting to be a joke what the liberals get away with. I don't understand. Other presidents didn't care, especially Clinton and Obama. Bush was kind of a wuss too, he didn't care. The Dem presidents and governors are the ones who screwed up the cities and plenty of towns. We might need to use the military, especially in California, because it will probably take the military to straighten things out and I'd like to see it.
More rotten news for PG&E. They are getting sued because a judge told them that they owe $100 million. PG&E is not at fault! What the hell! They have 180,000 miles of lines around the country. Don't you think California should've stood up and said we need to get the power lines cleaned? And that's what PG&E tried to do. They passed legislation to do that. And Jerry Brown vetoed it! He said it was not necessary! That's why I think everybody damaged in those fires in Sonoma County should sue Jerry Brown. He is probably responsible for what happened up in Paradise, too.
I wouldn't blame PG&E for nothin’. They have a lot of ground to cover. Some of their lines go right through the forest where trees were not allowed to be cut because environmentalists didn't like it. Oh my god! Environmentalists! They are something all right. The Democrats in my opinion are responsible for all the fires.
The world is never going to come to an end. The only thing that's going to come to an end is California because of the Dems, and we need to start using our wounded warriors wounded fighting for our country to run things. What better people could we have running the country than those who fought for their country and gave up physical abilities. Veterans should be allowed to be in Congress, more of them.
The environmental scam of the whole conglomeration of climate control, global warming and especially this CARB thing that that woman in Sacramento, Mary Nichols, is enforcing on the people of California. It's bad news.
What makes a homegrown terrorist? Is it somebody who just grows up to hate people? Or is it somebody who's trying to retaliate for a state or a government that's doing horrible things and they just can't stand it anymore? The FBI is going to start hammering down on them. And they will find out that they hate the country so bad for what they are doing, that's what makes a homegrown terrorist and California is making a bunch of them.
God bless Donald Trump
PS. When you have a state like California with people voting for laws and the voters pass a law and then the governor of the state vetoes it and says he doesn't care about voters, he wants to do it his way, those are the kinds of things that make homegrown terrorists. People who defy what the people want makes a person do that. Maybe somebody ought to call up Gavin Newsom and ask him why he does things to hurt the people. It's not the people's fault because they want to get revenge, it's because he hurts people by doing such a thing and then on top of that he OKs life sentence prisoners to live a long time and the people who suffered losses of their loved ones just have to stick it out and forget about it. Nice going, Gavin baby.
PPS. Mary Nichols, head of the CARB thing has injured thousands of truckers. You folks out there have no idea, how much hate she has stirred up by putting people out of business. It's those kinds of things that are making this country go in the wrong direction. You people better think it over.
MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio
"You know, they often call me Speedoo but my real name is Mister Earl."
The recording of last night's (2019-05-24) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg and KMEC-LP Ukiah is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:
Besides all that, at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
This explains a lot.
Cape Vyatlina Russian Stonehenge.
And here's a two-dollar trick to stay alive, and get yelled SELFISH BITCH at.
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org,
A MAN WALKED INTO the ladies department of a Macy's, walked up to the woman behind the counter and said, “I'd like to buy a bra for my wife.”
“What type of bra?” asked the clerk. “Type?” inquires the man. “There is more than one type?”
“Look around,” said the clerk as she showed him a sea of bras in every shape, size color and material. “Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only three types of bras.”
Confused, the man asked what the types were. The clerk replied, “The Catholic type, the Salvation Army type, and the Baptist type. Which one do you need?”
Still confused the man asked, “What is the difference between them?”
Well, the clerk responded “It is all really quite simple. The Catholic type supports the masses, the Salvation Army type lifts up the fallen, and the Baptist type makes mountains out of mole hills.”
THE BIDEN MANEUVER
THE MORNING AFTER
The Orange One is in Japan. The emporer of Japan is hosting a traditional sushi dinner. The Orange One is serving bagged McDonald's hamburgers when his turn comes on the last day. The photo op of the clown trying to manage chopsticks perhaps with a string of salmon roe dangling would be priceless were we people ever to be allowed to see it.
I can imagine the barely surpressed glee as he fights with the recalcitrant sticks splashing tiny bits of fish roe on his flag pin. Is this considered to be disrespectful rather than just plain clumsy? What is the Secret Service's take on this. Saturday morning musings on the clown show. There is no real substance to this crap.
I watched this little drama on France 24. It doubtless played also on MSNBC, BBC, and all the babbling others. It is embarrassing to realize that we have been sold the absurd myth that watching this crap informs us. Well, maybe it does. Many of us certainly treat it seriously enough to justify advertising agencies constantly reminding us that our families will be happier if we would only use this, that heaven or its near equivalent will bring us to orgasm if we would only brush our teeth with Pepsodent. Bullshit, hogwash, trips and prune juice. It's like trying to be quiet at presidential press conference. Even God is laughing and sharpening his knives.
Scientists inform us that we have twelve years until climate change becomes climate despair. They may have seen mention of this on Fox News so they will allow a certain partial truth. Because Jimmy Swaggart says. We are really and truly doomed. I think I'll go over there and fight with my kids. The pathetic fallacy: we are doomed.
AVA: Hola, Bruce: A reader wants to know if you're dying or mega-depressed. Truth to tell, we're wondering, too.
Bruce Brady Replies:
Framing the response here is easy: I am absolutely not depressed. I find it odd that someone could pick up that impression. But I am dying of congestive heart failure.
Many years ago, approaching retirement ago I began sending in my experiences as I fought through divorce, credit problems, American politics, and so on and so on. Almost all of this has been published in the AVA, at first in the print edition, and on the internet daily since that possibility existed. All of these trials, tribulations, and successes have appeared in your paper.
As I said, I am dying. I have been in and out of various hospitals maybe four or five times. I am moving into an assisted-care facility next week. I have signed a do-not-rescusitate order.
I want to leave a record of what my experience was like. It will doubtless be rather different for others. I will write these pieces as long as am able. Printed in order, they make a novel: well-written and tolerably unique. But no, I am not a bit depressed. I'm far too busy.
Almost certainly, far more than anyone needs to know. But interesting, a hope. A good accompaniment to the morning's first coffee. Happy to respond to additional questions. This was a good one.