- Rainfall Totals
- Film Showing
- Ferlinghetti Book
- 128 Rollover
- Caspar Creek
- GJ Responses
- Hill Country
- Ed Notes
- Whale Emergency
- FB Website
- Yesterday's Catch
- Dismal Delano
- Dem Fundraising
- Infrastructure Vote
- Obrador Says
- FBI Watch
- Cow Palace
- John Barrymore
- Inland Dems
- RV Community
- Healthcare Decisions
- Oregon Bookies
- Baby Trump
- Boss Angelo
- More Bruces
- Hometown Escape
- Marco Radio
- GJ Education
- Found Object
After a parched first-half of May (following a dry April) the second-half downpours added to our already ample rainfall totals this year. Yorkville received 6.7 inches in May, while Boonville got 5.4 inches. Monthly totals for the 2018-19 rainy season:
Boonville (total to date: 53.1")
- 5.4" May
- 0.7" Apr
- 7.3" Mar
- 17.7" Feb
- 11.5" Jan
- 3.7" Dec
- 5.3" Nov
- 1.4" Oct
Yorkville (total to date: 71.1")
- 6.7" May
- 1.8" Apr
- 10.1" Mar
- 24.9" Feb
- 14.4" Jan
- 5.8" Dec
- 6.0" Nov
- 1.5" Oct
WINDOWS ON THE WORLD — big local opening/showing this Sunday, June 2, at 2 pm at the AV Grange in Philo. Screenplay by former locals, Robert Mailer Anderson and Zack Anderson. Starring Edward James Olmos, Ryan Guzman, Chelsea Gilligan with René Auberjonois to name a few. There will be refreshments, raffles and guest appearances. $5 donation. All proceeds to benefit AV Senior Center. See you at the show Windows on the World!
HERE’S LOOKING AT LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI AT 100
by Jonah Raskin
Much of the spirit of City Lights Books and City Lights Publishing found their way into the pages of AVA, and the AVA found its way to City Lights on Columbus Avenue, the best little bookstore in the world. It felt good to see the AVA displayed along with newspapers and magazines from around the country and around the world, and to know that the AVA perspective on Mendocino, northern California and Earth itself traveled globally.
In March, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a longtime friend to the AVA, turned 100. City Lights Bookstore — which Lawrence co-founded in 1953 with Peter Martin — celebrated the event with an all-day party that took place in the store itself, in the streets and at other venues in San Francisco’s North Beach. I did not attend, though I did the next best thing: stayed at home and read Ferlinghetti’s new book, Little Boy (Doubleday; $24), that was published to coincide with his birthday and that is surely the last book to appear in print in his lifetime. The publisher describes it as a novel, which suggests fictionalization, but it seems to be fact-based and autobiographical with liberties, exaggerations and poetic license.
Poet Billy Collins calls Little Boy, “the last wild, motor-mouth, book length riff of this poet’s generation.” Little Boy is a short book; just 178 pages, but it doesn’t exactly fly by, since it is, for the most part written without punctuation. Ferlinghetti’s sentences don’t end quickly. They just keep rolling along. It takes time to follow the author’s verbal somersaults, and not get lost in the undertow and the backward and forward flow of the narrative. Some of the things that Ferlinghetti says are clear, while others are not. If you’re in your 90s and fast approaching 100, you have the right to do whatever you want to do on paper. As though to warn the reader of what lies ahead, Ferlinghetti describes his book as “mumblings, mouthings of various personal asininities, irrelevancies, obscenities and obsessions.” Some of those words seem to be made-up — a poet’s prerogative.
An anarchist and a rebel for much of his life, Ferlinghetti is still an anarchist and a rebel, though he insists, “I was never much of a rebel.” No, he wasn’t Che Guevara and didn’t launch guerrilla warfare in the hills of SF, but he waged cultural warfare against the city’s philistines. Near the very end of Little Boy, Ferlinghetti urges readers: “Join the pacifists Discover anarchism Resist and Disobey!” His book is the last gasp of a lifelong anti-authoritarian who made himself unto a countercultural institution who often complained to me that vast swaths of the counterculture didn’t read, but preferred to listen to music and watch light shows at rock concerts.
At 100, Ferlinghetti is rather pessimistic. In the last sentence of his cantankerous book he writes, “The cries of birds now are not cries of ecstasy but cries of despair.” The Earth is in crisis. The world as we have known it, is ending with global warming.
Little Boy begins as a kind of extended resume, with the names of places that were important in the author’s early life: Manhattan, Portugal, France and New York. Before long, Ferlinghetti drifts into extravagant word play with a list of nouns un-separated by commas: “confusions transplantations transformations instigations fornications confessions prognostications hallucinations.” Little Boy goes forward and backward in time, and around and around.
Clearly the two most important places in Ferlinghetti’s life have been Paris, France and San Francisco, California, which he calls “this existentialist café on the left coast of this country.” Left coast isn’t the way I would describe the West Coast, but I understand that many think of it as the birthplace and the home of radical ideas and anti-establishment ways of being. Ferlinghetti has had a long love/hate relationship with the city that has evolved and devolved over the past 50 years. San Francisco, in his view, has turned into one of the world’s centers for global capitalism that has pushed out working class people and turned, thanks to the banksters, into a plush pad for the super-rich.
At its best, Little Boy offers indelible snapshots of Paris and San Francisco. In one of the snapshots, Ferlinghetti depicts Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir at the Brasserie Lipp in Saint-Germain. “Me living on sixty-five dollars a month on the G.I. Bill and could not afford to even sit down in the Brasserie Lipp,” he writes.
Ferlinghetti portrays himself as an outsider and a misfit. “I’m some kind of literary freak,” he explains. “I love to be alone with my own thoughts.” That much is clear. Into Little Boy the author has dumped a lifetime of thoughts, ruminations and memories, including vivid memories of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Neal Cassady, the anti-hero of On the Road, whom Ferlinghetti romanticizes as an “outlaw cowboy.” In my view, Burroughs came closer to the truth when he wrote that Cassady was “The Mover, compulsive, dedicated, ready to sacrifice family, friends, even his very car itself to the necessity of moving from one place to another.”
I was also disappointed that there isn’t more about the women in Ferlinghetti’s life and about the women authors, such as Diane di Prima, that City Lights published.
Little Boy is a source book of all the volumes Ferlinghetti has read and many of the movies he has watched. It’s also a barbed manifesto. Ferlinghetti ridicules the notion that the generation to which he belongs is “The Greatest Generation” — an idea that members of that generation have promulgated to promote themselves. Yes, Ferlinghetti belongs to the generation that fought in World War II. He embraces some of its ways of thinking about and looking at the world. He’s confused, as many others are, when he sees men who look like they might be women and women who look like they might be men. Ferlinghetti would also like to think that individuals are white or black or Asian and not hybrids and mongrel.
Though he published the writers of the Beat Generation, he doesn’t really belong to the Beat Generation. On one of the occasions when I interviewed him, Ferlinghetti explained that City Lights was “pre-beat and post-beat,” and that it harkened back to French writers such as Francois Villon, Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire.
I once asked Ferlinghetti what if anything he regretted as a publisher. “We did put some of Jack Kerouac in print, but not soon enough,” he said. “We should have acted before his books became popular.”
In this, his last book, the author is self-deprecating. “I’m no genius,” he says. “I’m a broken record.” He adds, “I don’t know which way to go.” Ferlinghetti’s self-portrait can be tiresome, but there are vivid surrealistic passages, including one of an archetypal young man who sits at a table in a cafe, “typing on his laptop, both ears stopped with earphones.” Indeed, he refuses to acknowledge anyone else around him. The passage seems to be a fictionalized version of an actual incident that reflects the author’s real feelings.
“I’m alarmed,” Ferlinghetti exclaims. “I call 911. After some time a cop car arrives and he’s arrested for ‘non-participation in humanity.’ They haul the corpse away.” It does seem odd that a self-proclaimed anarchist would call the police. But don’t forget that Ferlinghetti was a bookstore owner who wanted to sell books as well as promote great literature and plant the seeds for a counterculture. It was a major occurrence at City Lights when a metal detector was installed at the exit and would-be shoplifters were apprehended. Abbie Hoffman’s slogan “Steal This Book” didn’t go over well at 261 Columbus Avenue.
In Little Boy, Ferlinghetti is honest about his feelings, no matter how unpopular that may be. “Life is absurd,” he says as though he’s a character in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. He’s also a character in nearly all the books he has read.
“I was Tom Sawyer and I was Huck Finn and I was Injun Joe,” he exclaims. One wishes he had said, “Indian” and not “Injun,” but Little Boy is Ferlinghetti uncensored and politically incorrect, by the standards of the politically correct police. “The world’s an ice cream melting down and we are tiny animals,” he insists. “The only animalcules that recognize themselves in mirrors and go wow!”
One thing I definitely dislike is the phrase on the dust jacket that explains that Ferlinghetti “lives in San Francisco, right above his bookstore.” It’s true that he spends much of the time in the city, but his living quarters are not on the second floor. Maybe the description is meant to be metaphorical. In that sense, Ferlinghetti does haunt, not only the bookstore, but North Beach and wherever outlaws, bohemians, Beats, beatniks and punks congregate.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” and the Making of the Beat Generation.)
ROLLOVER ON HWY 128, YORKVILLE, MILEPOST 37. Saturday morning.
The Anderson Valley Fire Department & ambulance have been dispatched as well as air ambulance CalStar 4.
The landing zone for CalStar 4 will be the Meyers Family Vineyard on Highway 128.
One first responder said, "As reported, solo vehicle on its roof on the shoulder (of the roadway)." Another said it was in the same location as an earlier accident today.
It sounds like "minor injuries" but the accident site is "on a really bad corner" and will need traffic control.
The air medical response was canceled. The ground ambulance will continue to the scene.
(Photo by Judy Valadao)
ALLOW US to save everybody a lot of time dealing with the Grand Jury’s recent complaint about the Supervisors and the CEO by providing this suggested first draft of a response for the Board (based on our extensive experience reading prior Board responses):
F1. There is no published long term county-wide strategic planning by the BOS, e.g., fire response, homelessness, cannabis, housing and economic development.
F2. There is no written succession plan for the CEO of Mendocino County.
Response: Agree. And we don’t need one.
F3. The BOS does not adequately track directives given to the CEO. The current list of directives has inadequate status and descriptors and there are no timelines or milestones for completion.
Response: Partially agree. The CEO does this often enough in her CEO report. She has said she will try to include status and milestones in the future.
F4. The CEO Report does not include substantive department updates, e.g. new jail addition, Sheriff overtime, BOS directive status, departmental statistics and major road project status.
Response: The CEO manages the departments as she sees fit. Project updates are already done when necessary and departmental matters are internal management process which the Board and the public have no need nor obligation to interfere with.
F5. The Consent Agenda has often included controversial items, e.g. salary increases and cost over runs.
Response: Budgeted salary increases are acceptable consent calendar items. Budget overruns are covered in quarterly budget reports. Project overruns are infrequent and board policy is that they not be on the consent calendar.
F6. In the BOS minutes, the name of the public speaker is listed but not a description of the issue raised.
Response: There is no legal requirements to summarize public comments in Board minutes.
F7. There are no scheduled proactive meetings with residents of individual districts to speak with their Supervisor.
Response: Individual supervisors may do this on their own, there is no requirement for such meetings in Government code.
F8. The GJ could not find a complaint or issue form on the Mendocino County website.
Response: There is a complaint form on the Planning and Building webpage. Claim forms are also available on line. The Board encourages the CEO and individual supervisors to respond to constituent complaints and inquiries but formalizing this process would put an undue burden on staff.
The Grand Jury recommends:
R1. strategic goals should be formulated by the BOS each year, prioritized and posted on the BOS page of the County website,
Response: County goals are in the County’s General Plan supplemented by annual capital improvement projects which are pursued to the extent funds permit.
R2. develop a succession plan for the CEO position,
Response: If for any reason the CEO cannot perform her duties, the Board will do what it has done in past: hire or appoint a part-time interim CEO, typically a retired CEO from elsewhere in the state, while we engage an outside consulting firm to undertake a nationwide search for excellence.
R3. determine whether an Assistant CEO position is necessary. If the position is not going to be filled, it should be unfunded,
Response: There is no funded Assistant CEO position and no plans for one.
R4. the BOS needs to include expectations for completion at the time directives are given to the CEO,
Response: Circumstances and staff limitations do not permit the firm establishment of completion dates for Board directives.
R5. directive status should include goal, proposed action, funding status and primary agency,
Response: This is already being done via the County’s capital improvement project information in the annual budget. The CEO also updates the Board on directives given when she feels the need to do so.
R6. the BOS meeting agenda should include directives and status updates,
Response: Agree. This is already being done on an as-needed basis.
R7. improve the CEO Report to include information on current major projects, tracking, expenditures and strategic goals,
Response: Already being done on an as needed basis.
R8. the Consent Agenda should not include controversial items, e.g., salary adjustments or cost Overruns,
Response: Agree. It should not.
R9. the BOS minutes should include the name of the speaker and the issue raised during public expression,
Response: See above response to finding F6.
R10. publicized, regularly scheduled district town hall meetings should be held by each Supervisor,
Response: The Board encourages individual supervisors to do this.
R11. the BOS page of the County website should contain an embedded complaint/issue form that requires sender contact information sent directly to the individual supervisor,
Response: Board policy is that all email and written correspondence to the Board be responded to as required. There are no requirements for formalized responses to constituent complains. In addition, Board members are in no position to respond to most complaints and the CEO discourages Supervisors from pursuing complaints with department heads because such referrals require a majority vote of the Board to even be passed along to the applicable department.
R12. the BOS should draft and publish a policy for responding to constituent complaints and issues. The policy should include an expectation of timely response by the Supervisor.
Response: There is no need nor requirement for a formal complaint policy. Constituent complaints are dealt with by individual supervisors as they see fit. (Also, see response to R11.)
RANDOM FLITS across a fragged mind screen. The Grand Jury's irrefutably thorough analysis of the severe and perhaps irreversible dysfunction at the top of Mendo's leadership will be absorbed by roughly the same number of people who follow the Supervisors — maybe 30 people other than people who work in County bureaucracies and maybe 50 inside. Few people know or care what County government does, which is why it's as extravagantly awry as it is at the Supervisor-CEO-department head level.
BUT it's not fair to CEO Carmel Angelo to blame the dysfunction solely on her. Trained as a nurse, her willingness to wield a lethal scalpel as director of Health and Human Services for several years prior to becoming CEO in March of 2010, and apparently promoted because of her willingness to shed blood, Angelo inherited a Board of Supervisors with at least two crazy people sitting on it, succeeded by boards also with minorities of more or less functioning 5150s on them. And there has been constant turnover in the County workforce, as workers, when they get some experience, flee for jurisdictions where they can make a living. The Supervisors and department heads giving themselves fat raises while stiffing line workers serves nicely as a metaphor for the leadership's priorities — themselves.
THE PRESENT BOARD represents the first glimmers of competence and accountability in 30 years, and that hope for more or less capable functioning is housed in new Supes Williams and Hascahk with, perhaps, Gjerde joining Williams and Haschak to bring us semblance of true leadership.
DISASTER PREP: "This morning. Hopland Fire is taking part in a county wide training exercise in Anderson Valley. This training is going to simulate a vegetation fire sweeping through a populated area, giving firefighters training on protecting and defending structures that are going to be impacted by the fire front."
FIFTY YEARS AGO, very few people lived in the Mendo hills. Here in the Anderson Valley, circa 1970, forested sub-divisions began to apper as the old ranches and timber tracts were broken into 10, 20 and 40-acre parcels. When it was suggested that hill muffins pay a fire protection tax the muff's cries were heard from Gualala to Covelo, but without CalFire's aerial fire fighting capacity the muffs would be in year-round peril.
AN ON-LINE COMMENT: "How about a Boonville bypass? Just an idea. Pros might be having a reliable emergency alternative other than going through the fairgrounds. I remember when Cloverdale got its heart back and now the road warriors just fly by way over there. Make the streets safe for the community helps build community. Willits must be enjoying it, too. I like the idea!"
ME, TOO. Funnel the through traffic directly into the middle of Mendocino! Oddly enough, a calmer version of the funnel fantasy was once proposed by prominent Mendo attorney, Jared Carter. Carter's idea, as I dimly recall it, would have created a freeway from I-5 to the Mendo Coast, with on and off ramps at 101 around Willits. And some of us remember when the forces of greed and destruction seriously proposed, right down to specific plans, a scheme to run a freeway through Marin to the Marin coast, that plan coming after a serious proposal for an entire town at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Marin Headlands!
THE LIB'S FAITH in the oracular Robert Mueller is touching, but entirely misplaced. Every time he says or writes something, Wolf Blitzer spins in his big chair in the Situation Room, interpreting Mueller's always self-servingly cryptic pronouncements as grounds for impeachment, reading Mueller like a psychiatric ink blot. Trump is not going to be impeached because impeachment requires both houses of Congress, and Republicans control one of them. The Democrats are screeching impeachment constantly because they don't have any real politics of their own — no ideas, no programs other than continued service to the comforts of the people inside the bubble, not to mention the obvious fact that Trump is their fault in the first place. As I've said before, Trump is actually a perfect fit for the insane slobbo culture we have going here, and the Democrats are going to lose to him again. The candidates assembled this weekend in Frisco came bounding on stage yelling like they were leading a high school pep rally. These people are an alternative to Trump?
PROFESSOR CASH AND CARRY. An academic named David Garrow won prizes for a Martin Luther King biography and, presumably, made himself a big pot of dough. He's back after another big pot of dough with a Brit-published story on King's sex life, a sure fire bestseller in these times and, not really news. We've known for years that J. Edgar Hoover hounded King for years, secretly taping his private life and circulating those tapes to insider circles of elected racists in our doomed nation's capitol. Hoover kept his job in the political police he created for all those years by blackmailing prominent people, or attempting to blackmail them. King, a genuinely great man, ignored Hoover's attempt to humiliate him with sex tapes, and Hoover's suggestion to King that King commit suicide. And here we are fifty years later with the FBI held up as the last word in integrity!
FEDS DECLARE GRAY WHALE EMERGENCY
As the Navy prepares to play 'war games' off our coast:
Kathy Wylie, M.S. Ed.
GOOD QUESTION from MendoSportsPlus
If This Isn't The Worst Promotional Website Ever - It's Damn Close
Why does the City of Fort Bragg continue to waste thousands & thousands of dollars on a production like this? We've seen efforts by eighth graders more impressive.
What the hell is "Forest bathing"? And where's the link to the charter boats in the harbor? People would want to do that rather than go on a "Mural walk."
And they have a photo of horse rides on the Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail — when did that start?
Where's a Livestream link ? How about time & temperature? A tide chart maybe?
And for the love of God, could someone explain what this means:
"In Fort Bragg, ours hands tell the tale. We use them to forage for earthy delights. We use them to negotiate the elements. We use them to crack the shells of our dinner. We use them to create, to play, to dig under the surface of things. We use them to live."
Wonder what our feet tell? How about our butts? "Smell the Adventure" indeed.
And yes, they wrote "ours hands." Real attention to detail.
This is like a web page hastily slapped together the night before it was due at a college "Web Design 101" class.
It would be funny if megabucks weren't being thrown to an out-of-state outfit producing this drivel — the city council couldn't find a LOCAL with a grip on reality to make a web page?
We don't know about other people, but we're not seeing "majestic redwoods along iconic Highway 1" in Fort Bragg.
And the "Blog Post" for the month of May is - BLANK. Lol
CATCH OF THE DAY, JUNE 1, 2019
WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, entry of lodging without owner’s consent. (Frequent flyer.)
SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
LARRY GAMBLE, Laytonville. DUI.
CEAN GARNER, Cloverdale. Failure to appear.
JEREMIAH HEILIG, Willits. Trespassing, under influence.
CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
DAVID JOHNSON SR., Ukiah. Parole violation.
MATTHEW MACDONALD, Rohnert Park/Ukiah. DUI.
DAVID MITCHELL, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ELIANA NUNEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
WILLIAM OWENS, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, probation revocation.
JAMAL REESE, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, no license.
THOMAS TICE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
TIFFINY WARE, Willits. Domestic abuse, failure to appear.
ALBERT YANKIN, Albion. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism, saps or similar weapons.
BACK IN THE EARLY 1980s my late brother Hugh Scaramella spent his last three years as an attorney working in Delano, California, in the god-forsaken southern San Juaquin Valley, for a legal aid nonprofit group called "California Rural Legal Assistance." Most of his time was spent dealing with minor paperwork brought to his desk by farmworkers who were mostly illiterate and non-English speaking. He wrote responses to overdue bills notices, mediated landlord-tenant disputes, filed the occasional workplace safety complaint, or offered procedural advice for small claims court appearances.
I recently came across the following impressionistic prose poem which my brother wrote during his first year in Delano:
Delano, The Pits
Delano, Delano, full of people barely alive, struggling to survive, hoping for a break or giving up hope and just existing, hoping for death, eating, walking, sleeping, any sign of life.
Nothing coming forth, no art, no music, no sweet touch; tired faces, forlorn looks, lines at the unemployment office, hard fieldwork, carbohydrates, hot sun, contention, tension, fear and unknowing. Filipino brothers, Chicanos and their big cars and their big families working for big agribusiness. Car washes all around. The drive to Bakersfield, 35 miles away is somewhat of an escape, but to what?
Delano, where survival is the goal — but for what purpose?
(via Mark Scaramella)
BIDEN, BUTTIGIEG, GABBARD HIT WALL STREET FOR MONEY DESPITE CLASS WARFARE RHETORIC
GETTING IN TOGETHER
There are more than 4 million miles of roads in America. Add to that culverts and bridge structures throughout the system. Signage, lighting and other services. Enforcement. Of the road surfaces, 20% are in need of major repairs. Of the bridges, 47,000 are structurally deficient. We continue to build more every day, yet traffic tie-ups continue to get worse, and to occur in more places.
There is no way to fund the building, maintenance, enforcement and repair of the roads and highways of America with current prescriptions. The enormous cost and size of any plan to continue this is simply not sustainable. Reasonable minds can see this and should react appropriately. Unless governments at every level decide to rethink the status quo, we will be mired in what is impractical. When do we face that reality?
For some, it is difficult to see the present and even harder to see the future. Perhaps we can put aside partisanship and have a proper dialog? The existing state of affairs will not work. No amount of asphalt and concrete will resolve the problems. Only forward thinking will. We must elect those types. Please vote.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
That is why it is called dystopian. One minute we are all living with iPhones, computers, air travel, every form of entertainment ever invented at your disposal 24/7, so much food that even the poorest among us are obese…then boom; emp, nuclear strike, massive volcano swarm, asteroid hit, or whatever catastrophic event you can envision and the world is an unrecognizable hell that the overwhelming majority of folks will not be able to deal with.
One can only hope we end up with “a world made by hand.” Methinks that most will not survive “the event” and those that do will find that the “might makes right” mentality will prevail.
EVERYTHING BY REASON AND LAW, THE PRESIDENCY OF MEXICO
Julie Jaman writes:
Migrants and refugees are seeking asylum and work, they are not criminals. Yet the US is jailing thousands, separating babies from mothers and children from parents and all manner of trauma and death.
Trump wants walls, sanctions, military enforcers and jails.
President Obrador, who made an offer many months ago to go in on a plan with the US to develop jobs and education in Central American countries (much less expensive than walls, military and jails), says:
PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF MEXICO
Mexico City, May 30, 2019
President Donald Trump:
I am aware of his last position in relation to Mexico. In advance, I express to you that I do not want confrontation.
The peoples and nations we represent deserve that, in the face of any conflict in our relations, however serious they may be, we will resort to dialogue and act with prudence and responsibility.
The best president of Mexico, Benito Juárez, maintained excellent relations with the republican hero Abraham Lincoln.
Later, when the oil expropriation, the Democratic president Franklin D. Roosevelt understood the profound reasons that led the patriotic president Lázaro Cárdenas to act in favor of our sovereignty.
By the way, President Roosevelt was a titan of liberties.
Before anyone proclaimed the four fundamental rights of man: the right to freedom of speech; the right to freedom of religion; the right to live free from fear; and the right to live free from misery.
In this thought we put our policy on the immigration issue.
Human beings do not abandon their villages for pleasure but for necessity.
That is why, from the beginning of my government, I proposed opting for cooperation for development and helping the Central American countries with productive investments to create jobs and resolve this painful issue in depth.
You also know that we are fulfilling our responsibility to avoid, as far as possible and without violating human rights, the passage through our country.
It is worth remembering that, in a short time, Mexicans will not need to go to the United States and that migration will be optional, not forced.
This, because we are fighting corruption, the main problem in Mexico as never before! And, in this way, our country will become a power with a social dimension.
Our countrymen will be able to work and be happy where they were born, where their relatives, their customs and their cultures are.
President Trump: social problems are not resolved by taxes or coercive measures.
How to convert the country of fraternity overnight to the world’s migrants in a ghetto, in a closed space, where the right to justice is stigmatized, mistreated, persecuted, expelled and canceled? to those who seek with effort and work to live free from misery?
The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol.
With all due respect, although it has the sovereign right to express it, the slogan “United States First” is a fallacy because until the end of time, even over national borders, universal justice and fraternity will prevail.
Specifically, Citizen President: I propose to deepen the dialogue, seek alternatives to fund the migration problem and, please remember that I do not lack courage, I’m not cowardly or timid but I act on principles:
I believe in politics that, among other things, was invented to avoid confrontation and war.
I do not believe in the Law of Talon, in the “tooth for tooth” or in the “eye for an eye” because, if we go to those, we would all be chimuelos or one-eyed.
I believe that statesmen, and even more so those of Nation, are obliged to seek peaceful solutions to controversies and to put into practice, forever, the beautiful ideal of non-violence.
Finally, I propose that you instruct your officials, if you do not mind, to attend representatives of our government, headed by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, who from tomorrow will move to Washington to reach an agreement for the benefit of the two nations.
Nothing by force, everything by reason and Law!
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
President of Mexico
National Palace, Plaza de la Constitución s / n, Patio de Honor, 06066 Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City
THE COW PALACE, OUT TO PASTURE
The Golden State Warriors’ old arena represents a lost American age. Now corporate sponsors reign.
by Bob Greene
Amid the cacophonous cheering at the corporate-arena National Basketball Association Finals, think a kindly thought about the Cow Palace just south of San Francisco.
No one is playing basketball there. The Golden State Warriors’ home games across the bay in Oakland will be at the Oracle Arena, named for a software firm. Their opponents, the Toronto Raptors, host games at the Scotiabank Arena.
Such is the standard for modern professional sports franchises. Corporations are more than happy to write huge checks to plaster their names on arenas.
But the sturdy old Cow Palace, where the Warriors played until 1971, still hosts rodeos and livestock shows. Next season, when the team returns to San Francisco, it will eschew the Cow Palace for the new Chase Center, named for another bank.
The Cow Palace represents a lost American age when there was a certain charm to the idiosyncratic localness of hometown sports arenas. It opened its doors in 1941, and its major client was a livestock exposition. Its name was derived from a critical newspaper article, published when its construction was beginning in the midst of the Great Depression, which asked: “Why, when people are starving, should money be spent on a palace for cows?”
Over the years the Cow Palace was stocked with stars—not only the Warriors, but Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Rolling Stones, the 1956 and 1964 Republican National Conventions, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. When the era of glittering corporate-branded arenas commenced later in the 20th century, though, the Cow Palace was left behind.
At least it still stands and has clients. Other grand old big-city arenas are a memory. The Chicago Bulls, who play in the United Center (named for an airline), once were tenants of the International Amphitheatre, adjacent to the pungent Union Stock Yards, and then the workaday Chicago Stadium. The Utah Jazz, former occupants of the sublimely named Salt Palace, today work in Vivint Smart Home Arena, sponsored by a technology firm. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who started out in the old Cleveland Arena, now play in the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
In many ways, this is a testament to the popularity of professional sports. A few classically named arenas endure—Madison Square Garden in New York, for one—but stadiums for sale are the rule: the New Orleans Pelicans’ Smoothie King Center, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Fiserv Forum, the Denver Nuggets’ Pepsi Center, the Houston Rockets’ Toyota Center, the Phoenix Suns’ Talking Stick Resort Arena.
As for the Cow Palace, has any thought been given to spiffing up its image by finding a corporate underwriter? Lori Marshall, the venerable arena’s CEO, told me: “I have only been at the facility for four years; however, to my knowledge we have not had any inquiries or inclination to sell naming rights.”
Probably just as well. If there’s anything that cows should be leery of, it’s branding.
(Mr. Greene’s books include “Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen.”)
PROTECT OUR COUNTY….
Next Meeting of the Inland Mendocino Democratic Club on June 13th
The Inland Mendocino Democratic Club will hold our next meeting Thursday, June 13th at 5:30 pm at Yokayo Bowling Alley, 1401 North State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482. Let’s all join together to make our county an oasis of Justice and Peace. Together, in coalition, we can take progressive action and protect our county from the conservative nightmare. Come lend a hand. All are welcome.
See us on Facebook and at http://inlandmendodems.org
REUNION PARTY — WELCOME & CONGRATULATIONS
We are celebrating the event of Community.
Justice is on our side.
We, the Redwood Valley Community Guild, are inviting you locals to the Frey Winery, Tuesday June 25th, 6:30 pm at the Frey’s main house.
The agenda is to be developed around fire prevention, planning rebuilding and legal means to bring the community back together. We are ever open to sane points of organic food and drink production, and music. The chemical Big Ag is trying to influence California’s farming, but we are resisting!
Come join our celebration 6:30 pm, Tuesday, June 25th at 1400 Tomki Rd. in Redwood Valley.
For more information, please visit our Facebook page or call/text at 707-478-8557.
OREGON WOMEN ARE POISED FOR POTENTIAL PROSPERITY
by George Walsh
The governor of Oregon has pulled a power play. When the Supreme Court recently ruled that sports betting was okay in the United States, they did not intend that state employees become overnight bookmakers. Oregon's governor has given the green light to sports betting, but she has hedged her bet: the state itself will run the games! That's some bad mojo right there! Free enterprise is the American way! Anyone in the Beaver State with the proper paperwork can sell umbrellas, flashlights and concert tickets. It should be that way with sports betting.
If goodhearted parents open up a sports book in order to feed and clothe their innocent little ones, that should be none of the state's business! The state has no need to assume ownership of a God-given, constitutional right to bet on pro and college games. The mafia operates that way! It doesn't matter where you were born or what street you live on, state governors and mafia dons are the shot callers. Period!
Try setting up a bookie joint in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn without first talking to the proper people. Dark eyed thugs with many vowels in their last names will come by and award "Goldstar mom" status to your mother. The last word you hear will be the slang term for a man who maintains an improper relationship with the woman who gave him birth.
For Oregonians who insist on hanging out a sports book shingle and booking bets with all comers a visit from State enforcer will be forthcoming in short order. The state has state troopers. The Mafia has street soldiers. Button men. Bone breakers.
Women, whose ongoing empowerment has been bolstered by the popular press and the US House of Representatives, can be an effective influence, especially with a female governor, in reversing a policy which harms little people. Mom-and-pop stores with sports book betting could help send the kids to college -- power to the people! It would be best if the governor were approached by women with connections to taverns and bars. The natural reticence of some folks to risk hard earned cash on the performance of testosterone fueled broad jumpers, boxers and ballplayers is often reduced by adult beverages in a relaxed setting.
If men from Nevada's private and public sectors can turn mass collusion into a multi-trillion dollar cottage industry, then folks from Oregon, women in particular, should be free to hang out sign, book bets and help out grandkids or grandparents in need. The innate inequality which has kept Oregon women from gladhanding with the big boys of sports betting is deeply disturbing. I hope that the women of this great state, home to mint fields, sage grouse, aluminum smelters and tar sands crude oil terminals will step up before election and make their collective voice heard on this important issue.
An old codger like me is not an effective advocate for change. When I complain to Democrats in Salem about unfairness and inequity, I get one of two answers: "Sorry about your luck," or, "We heard you twice the first time."
Carrie Nation, that fearless 1800s reformer, would be bearing down on the Supreme Court with a rolling pin in one hand and the good book in the other. If she saw that the government was preventing law abiding women from booking bets on pro and college games, she would bring the same passion that helped her to save old-school menfolk from the visceral evil lurking in bars and grills. Ms. Nation and her militaristic cohorts did not mince about. Mirrors were shattered and broken bottles backed up their actions with shrill, self-righteous screeching. Perfectly good booze flowed down those floorboards. Card players hurried off to the livery stables. Empty-handed bartenders at more than one establishment rushed out back doors and worried about cash boxes left under bars. Unexpected windfalls were in the offing for the Audubon Socity, the Temperance League, and the Little sisters of the Poor. Piano players got stiffed for their tips.
Modern pro-gun freewheeling justices would do well to mimic Carrie Nation’s gritty spirit even though their views are different from her rigid, moralistic stance. Conservative cronies on the Supreme Court would likely grant a license over state objections to any deserving group of women who put forth a polite and proper request. This would open things up for men who want to play. Heavy-duty peer pressure has caused some men, mainly sports fans, to nurture a somewhat skewed agenda. They get rowdy at the drop of a hockey puck.
Philly fans, many of whom scream on in from “Joisey,” make Raider Nation look like Knotts Berry Farm. Raider Nation throws flashlight batteries. Philly fans throw car batteries. I hope lawful women will throw their weight behind this deeply contentious issue. Because men have always dominated gaming operations in places like Atlantic City and Nevada, women can legitimately claim civil rights discrimination if a state where sports betting is illegal denies their desire to set up shop.
Once they win the legal battle and hang out sports book shingles, women can hire experienced guys like the janitor at my old high school to guide them through the intricacies of "laying off some action," and knowing when and to whom to extend credit. This once prosperous businessman turned custodian claimed that a large bald spot was actually “a solar panel for a sex machine." He advised us during our school’s lunch hour about pitfalls to avoid in the bookie business. These kinds of folks are better suited to guide hard-working Oregon bettors than government-sponsored vendors who don't care that ill-advised wagers might cost the family dog his or her favorite food.
Case in point. Reno. Around 2005. A beefy, dark-haired man who had seen me more than a few times addressed me in a gruff voice while doing me a favor: "You want Cleveland? Again? Are you okay?"
A state-sponsored seller would not be so very kind as this sports looking guy. Women would do well to parlay recent political gains into helping our goodhearted governor see that sports betting, when unrestricted by government oversight, promotes family values and economic betterment. Wagering on sports are similar to athletic competition itself: adversity builds character.
I should know. I've been to Santa Anita, Pimlico, Manor Downs in Texas, Portland Meadows and some little Podunk quarter horse track in West Virginia that left me with barely enough cash to get home. I may as well have just ordered truckloads of hay and oats and had it delivered to these places! I've been to the Multnomah Kennel Club. I’m paying for a lot of dog food over there. Most greyhounds are fairly fast, except for the ones I've bet on. Those mutts just don't get around the track as if possessed by my dearly departed mother's distinct disapproval of risking hard-earned cash on games of chance. After years of underwriting the costs of caring for thoroughbreds and cursing honest athletes for failing to make good on unrealistic expectations, my sixth sense for spotting losers has become almost a form of ESP. Lessons get learned.
The voice of experience should be called on by the state to set the odds and point spreads for the Pacific Northwest and not some overrated betting line out of Las Vegas. Proven losers can be valuable sources of inspiration and statistics.
For purposes of public wagering I would like to set odds on monthly precipitation as it compares to previous years monthly averages. The official daily temperature readings can be the basis for lucrative high-low games that keep people focused on the environment.
Our governor needs to let loose the reins of her big bookmaking enterprise and focus on a pressing problem: the wholesale warehousing of citizens for nonviolent crimes such as driving drunk through backyards while driving on revoked licenses, or commanding male chickens to scratch and peck at one another during private parties, or sending vulgar e-mail text letters to parole officers in which these public servants are described in graphic terms as "(blanking) pathetic rat bastard parasites who pollute the (blanking) public payroll for their own (blanking) selfish pursuits." Parole violators need second and third chances. We have heard of three strikes laws. Well, we need a three ball rule. God-Fearing folks who've made a few mistakes need to be out on the street booking bets on their sweetheart’s favorite teams in honor of St. Valentine’s Day and various anniversaries.
Sports betting fosters camaraderie and a culture of group and team loyalty. It pulls people together. Astute historians from prestigious universities have shown that throughout human history sports and wagering on them has been a unifying and socially beneficial activity. There's been camel and chariot races that helped many a downtrodden but lucky peon rise up out of Roman Empire era poverty, enslavement and despair. If you pick the right knight in a jousting contest and back that up with all the sheckles your fieldworker grandmother left you after the smallpox killed her, a king’s ransom of hard untilled ground was yours when your horseman prevailed. Before that, who knows? Pterodactyl wrestling, maybe? Or "Drape The Cape On A Cape Buffalo" for a 10 to 1 payout?
Oregon, one of the few places with a state income tax is now planning another greedy money grab: eliminating tax deductions for "losses from wagering transactions." This translates into less incentive for high rollers to roll because they count on the deductions as a cushion. So who suffers? Elderly folks and vulnerable youngsters! The families of gamblers. These tax deductions allow them to have the same stuff others enjoy like laundry detergent and dental floss. Someone -- women maybe -- step up and have a little heart to heart with state legislators and the boss lady on Center Street. Folks like myself are flat-out sick and tired of driving clear to Nevada in order to book unwise, impulsive bets and risk attack by bedbugs and flees in some pet friendly motel.
BRITISH NETWORK Sky News promoted its upcoming coverage of President Donald Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom with an ad featuring a giant baby balloon version of the president.
In the ad, as a gigantic shadow looms over Britain, citizens look up with confusion as ominous music begins to play. The shadow covers the royal family and towers over Buckingham Palace, and as the music crescendos, it is finally revealed to be an enormous baby balloon version of Trump, complete with Trump’s trademark combover and orange-tinted skin. The baby Trump, of course, holds an iPhone in his hand for tweeting. The words, “He’s back” are displayed over the balloon.
WHO’S THE BOSS?
To the Editor:
Mendocino County CEO Carmel “Boss” Angelo runs Mendocino County. She runs the county with an iron hand. Angelo is a control freak. And she’s ruthless. That’s why they call her Boss.
The Board of Supervisors, particularly during the Hamburg era, was weak.
I’m hoping for more during the Haschak-Williams era.
I’m hoping for even more change when Supervisor John McCowen is challenged in 2020 by Ukiah’s very capable mayor, Mo Mulheren. I’m hoping for a strong challenge to Supervisor Dan Gjerde, if for no other reason than to wake him up from his recent stupor. And I'm hoping for a strong replacement for the retiring Supervisor Carre Brown.
Everything is wrong in Mendocino County. Let me count just some of the ways.
First, our county will be in deficit mode by 2020. Our budget is too big and its getting bigger. And there's no real accountability. Department heads aren't even required to give monthly expense reports. Nor project progress reports. Nor reports on compliance with federal and state funding sources. Nor reports on adhering to best business practices per department.
Second, taxes can't keep up with the budget.
Third, our county's unfunded pension liability is upwards of $250 million.
Fourth, SEIU members and other line workers are long overdue their pay raises. By comparison, department heads and managers get paid too much. They gave themselves raises of 30 percent, including Boss Angelo’s monster contract. Her total compensation package, including pension, is more than $350,000 a year.
Fifth, and another thing that’s very wrong, our local cannabis farmers can’t seem to get their permits despite their best efforts. A new county bureaucracy defeats our local farmers every time and at every turn. Our county is losing its leadership position in growing the best cannabis in the country, with the greatest biodiversity, and the greatest library of cannabinoids and strong terpene profiles found only in California’s Emerald Triangle region – Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties.
We are losing.
I’ve had enough of Boss Angelo. I’m done.
I’m from the Bronx, New York. My maternal grandfather was Frank Avallone. Anecharico is another branch of the family. And I’d rather not say here in print how I’m related to Liborio Salvatore Bellomo.
I know more than a little about crime bosses. A boss typically has absolute or nearly absolute control over the other members of the organization, is greatly feared for their ruthlessness and willingness to destroy lives or reputations to exert their influence, and obscenely profits from the criminal endeavors in which the organization engages.
Sounds like Boss Angelo, right?
One other thing. Boss Angelo “disappears” people. Where’s Alan Flora? Kyle Knopp? Stacey Cryer? I could go on and on with a list of disappeared persons.
The grand jury report about the impotence of past Boards of Supervisors — titled “Who Runs Mendocino County, and released on May 31, 2019 — is long overdue.
Long, long overdue.
It’s time to take back county government.
I am moving today. I am perhaps too old to claim excitement, but there's something here that certainly feels like excitement. So I am excited. Carol chauffeured me out to see the place yesterday. It's a one story, sort of smallish (66 rooms), place that looks like a three or four star hospital or fancy hotel. Lovely grounds. Gazebos, gas barbeques. Scattered benches and clusters of chairs. Impression probably heightened because the temperature was in the low eighties when we were there. Met quite a few people, two of them named Bruce. Quite a few married couples, which must be weird.
My nurse, on a visit to my apartment last week, said that most of the residents were old hippies. This is usually applied to everyone younger and likely to have a more … uh … intimate knowledge of illegal drugs than is normal among the congregation down the street at the Baptist church. I didn't see anyone smoking, but investing it as food or fancy makes it just about impossible to see as it is consumed. Anyway many clusters of chairs and benches scattered about, most with people. As I said, it was an absolutely beautiful day.
Probably enough for now. I will begin to get a sense by dinnertime whether I have ascended to be amongst the truly select or whether I am doomed to an eternity of Scrabble games and trips to the mall.
MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO
The recording of last night's (2019-05-31) 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:
Anne Maureen McKeating called from Toronto to talk about the Larry Spring electromagnetic science and stick figurine museum. Kay Rudin came in to talk about the Big Band show, and Redwood Mary saw her through the window, followed her in, and talked about saving the Redwoods, capitalistic industrial land spoliation, her bucolic childhood in New Jersey, sledding down grassy hills on smashed cardboard boxes, and Polish as a first language. I got her to swear at me in Polish; you'll like that. It doesn't sound like swearing at all. Swearing in Chinese sounds like swearing. Polish just isn't all barky like Chinese-- or like U.S. English. I remember Biff Rose saying that Americans sound to the rest of the world like barking dogs. Alex Bosworth called from Fayetteville. He sort of honks rather than barks, though.
So many people – I didn’t get started reading in earnest until the purple sailor hour (11:11), and I brought a huge stack of material, so there’s a lot left over to read next week, Scott Peterson's story among them. Sorry, Scott. Next week.
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:
A thrilling graph. And it’s currently Breast Neoplasm leading by a nose. (By number of scientific papers on the subject.)
The Music Lab. Fun music science games.
Improving movies by adding Godzilla.
And a finger kaleidoscope dance that makes you think of the teevee series The Magician. When they do magic, they move their fingers a lot like this and it channels the power.
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
ADVANCING EDUCATION THROUGH SHARING
a Report of the Mendocino County Grand Jury
May 31, 2019
Charter schools were originally envisioned as a parallel system of education alongside the traditional district schools to drive innovation through a progressive approach to classroom instruction. Reviewing over a quarter century of data, the realization of this promise of charter schools has been checkered. In California, most charter schools, freed from much of the regulation that binds the district schools, have not met the expectation that charter schools would excel in their delivery of innovative methodologies. In fact, the results have often been at or below recorded state levels of achievement.
Where there is excellence in the charter schools within a district, there has often been little collaboration between the two sides to introduce new methods of delivery, often due to a lack of communication from the districts to the charter schools. This absence of interaction between the district schools and charter schools is limiting the value of both systems.
The Grand Jury (GJ) has found that administrators of the county and the districts have not implemented any policies to encourage interactions between their schools and the charter schools to initiate sharing of innovations. The GJ became aware of community concerns and misunderstandings about the role and presence of charter schools in Mendocino County, including the accessibility of the charter schools to public school students. The GJ learned that some parents and guardians equate charter schools with private schools. Further, parents, guardians and students are not aware of the reports, tools and evaluations available to make decisions about school choice to best place their students.
ADA – Average Daily Attendance
API – Academic Performance Index
Chartering – The process of establishing a school within a district but outside district administration
EDC – Education Code of California (cited sections are located in the Appendix)
MCOE – Mendocino County Office of Education
NCLB – No Child Left Behind
SARC – School Accountability Report Card
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics; a school focused on hard science subjects
The charter school concept in the United States began in Minnesota in 1991 where the state chartered the first school. California was the second state to adopt the charter system. Once the charter concept gained traction, the growth was dramatic. By 1999, there were over 1,500 charter
schools nationally with almost 350,000 students enrolled1. By 2017, California had developed the largest charter school base in the United States, with over 1,300 schools and an enrollment of 620,000 students, equating to ten percent of the State’s total enrollment2.
Charter schools are, most importantly, public schools. They are to be open to all students in their respective districts, and cannot deny admission to any eligible public school student. They are prevented by law to “ability sort” students or academically track students to exclude potentially low performing students. They are also subject to state testing mandates. Their relative advantage is that they are not as tightly regulated as district schools in certain areas, e.g. credentialed teachers, unionization, building and construction code constraints and administrative oversight. This is intended to encourage the administration and the teachers to try out different approaches to education.
Pursuant to legislative section 47616.5 (e) of the California Education Code, the Legislative Analyst was originally required to “…contract for a neutral evaluator to conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the charter school approach authorized under this part. On or before July 1, 2003, the neutral evaluator shall report directly to the Legislature and the Governor with recommendations to modify, expand, or terminate the charter school approach…”3 which lead to a positive outcome. At roughly the same time, the Legislature passed EDC 47601 (a)-(g), providing legislative intent focused on ensuring positive relationships between public and charter schools. Section (g) is one of the most often cited expectations nationally, “Provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools.”4
Charter schools are, in most cases, subject to chartering by the school districts in their respective jurisdictions. There is no constraint on collaboration between the charter schools and the district schools. Yet the GJ found no current evidence of collaboration between the two systems in Mendocino County.
This brings up three major points:
While the state legislative intent is to promote vigorous competition within the school system, there is no statewide mechanism or organization that enforces or encourages a collaborative approach within the district.
Administrators of district schools and charters do not seem to be aware of this legislative intent. This permits the school district to disregard or avoid responsibility and opportunities to explore better ways to engage students and parents within their districts, which results in charter schools becoming a type of independent school within a district. There can be different charter schools within the same district operating independently of each other and of the district.
A charter is usually issued for three to five years. Once approved, the school is able to operate any way it chooses to meet its charter terms while achieving education goals as mandated by the state.
Competition within the districts does receive a lot of emphasis by the district administrations, but this competition does not revolve around collaborative efforts to improve education methodologies. The competition is mostly centered on class offerings and organization of the schools by the districts to compete with the charter schools through an elevated degree of course offerings. District schools have changed curricula to broaden the range of subjects offered in addition to their enhanced sports and music choices in order to attract students. Due to state regulations within the education code, district schools still have major limitations impeding their ability to compete with charter schools, for whom the only accountability is the annual report submitted to the sponsoring district.
The GJ conducted individual interviews with the charter school directors of Willits Elementary Charter School (WECS) and Redwood Academy and superintendents of Willits, Ukiah and the MCOE. It also reviewed and researched charter history and the EDC, as well as API and SARC Reports for selected schools within Mendocino County.
The EDC section 47616.5 (e) stipulated in 1991 that there be “An assessment of whether or not the charter school approach has resulted in increased innovation and creativity.” There has not been a follow up statewide evaluation of the effectiveness of the charter school approach since. In fact, it is up to the district or county to approve or renew a charter’s application. The only criterion is whether the school is meeting, or improving towards meeting, the statewide testing standards as measured by statewide testing scores.
The EDC section 47601 (a)-(g) is not acknowledged by either the county Department of Education, by the various school districts, or by the charter schools that were interviewed. It is this section of the code which enumerates the expectations of the state for the charter approach, and item (g) specifically stipulates that charter schools should “Provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools.” There is little attention to, or encouragement of, facilitating this outcome. In fact, many administrators in our county are not aware of this statute. Without statewide tracking and enforcement by the state board of education, there is no force behind the code.
Fewer regulations for charter schools should lead to greater latitude for introducing innovation in teaching methodologies, which is consistent with the legislative intent. Charter schools are expected to focus on introducing and testing better methodologies to improve student outcomes. The ability of the charter schools to limit enrollment to manage class size should, and often does, lead to a more personalized classroom environment.
However, examining the SARC results for local schools demonstrates that the charters are not getting students to exceed the state testing results, and in fact, are not always matching the district school results. As the SARC illustration below shows, the scores are mixed. This example of one charter school in Mendocino County is representative of results of many schools in the County compared to its district and to the California state standardized testing.
Within this example, two testing years, here 2016-17 and 2017-18 are displayed. Grades 3-8 are for elementary schools and grade 11 percents are for high schools. This example shows that 57% met or exceeded the State standards for the English Language Arts (ELA) assessment in 2016 and 49% in 2017, a drop of 8%. The district scores indicated a drop of 2% over the same time while the state showed a 2% rise.
The statewide test measures ELA and Mathematics through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress every year from third to eighth grade and again in eleventh grade. The SARC can be accessed for all schools in California.5
The GJ found that conversations between the charter and district schools are not taking place. Per legislative intent, diverting a significant portion of the education budget from district schools to charter schools in Mendocino County should provide a more productive and collaborative environment to improve all students’ learning. The lack of interaction between the charter schools and district schools is limiting the value of both systems.
Neither MCOE nor district administrations have implemented policies of a collaborative nature to initiate innovative interactions between these educational systems.
The district schools are responding to the challenge from the charter schools by adapting their structure to accommodate a greater variety of options. We see in Mendocino County STEM schools and trade-focused curricula being introduced to attract a broader spectrum of students to increase ADA. The GJ commends the schools that are trying these new approaches.
The burden falls on the parents or guardians of students to become involved and informed as to the rigor with which each school meets, exceeds or falls below expectations.
F1. Innovations (creative teaching methodologies which benefit students) at any school are neither utilized nor shared between charter and district schools.
F2. Since district schools operate under more restrictive rules and regulations, it is difficult for the district schools to offer some of the same options or programs as the charter schools.
F3. The district schools are changing their curricula to attract students and increase their ADA funding.
F4. Where existing, the assigned oversight person between the district and the charter schools has not looked for opportunities to broaden the success of the district schools. Currently, the GJ found no evidence of collaborative processes between the charter and district schools.
F5. Many parents are not aware of the availability, or even the existence, of SARC, API, and other scores and reports to determine the best educational experience for their students. Parents have traditionally not been educated in the availability of these tools.
F6. The GJ has found in Mendocino County the mission of charter schools as originally envisioned has not been fulfilled.
The Grand Jury recommends that:
R1. the MCOE should facilitate structured discussions and interactions between district and charter schools for the benefit of all students, teachers and parents, to include training days for all credentialed and teaching personnel to improve teaching methodologies,
R2. schools should offer parents and guardians training on the tools available to evaluate and compare schools within the districts, e.g., SARC and API. Offering this allows the students to enroll in the school which is best aligned with their needs,
R3. post a link to the school, district and state SARC and API scores on the school’s website, Date Mendocino County Grand Jury 2018-19
R4. build a space on the MCOE website for teachers at any school in Mendocino County to publish tips and suggestions to improve the classroom experience, e.g., behavior and teaching methodologies.
Pursuant to Penal Code §933 and 933.05, responses are required from the following individuals from the following elected county official within 60 days:
Mendocino County Superintendent of Education (F4, R1, R4)
Pursuant to Penal Code §933.05, responses are required within 90 days from the following individual(s):
Ukiah District Superintendent (All findings and R2-R4)
Willits District Superintendent (All findings and R2-R4)
Anderson Valley District Superintendent (All findings and R2-R4)
Fort Bragg District Superintendent (All findings and R2-R4)
Point Arena District Superintendent (All findings and R2-R4)