- Vineyard Fined
- Grewal Claim
- Motorized Hoop
- Lookout Archive
- LakeCo Checkpoint
- Big River
- Silver Scam
- Momma Mia
- Rogers Case
- Constitutional Scholars
- KZYX Windfall
- Wealth Parties
- Herman Melville
- Side Effects
- Dems Possessed
- Yesterday's Catch
- Race Hustle
- Poop Patrol
- Fuente Show
- Legal Aid
- Holy Hotdog
NAVARRO'S RHYS VINEYARD HIT WITH BIG FINE
A Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and winemaker has agreed to pay $3.76 million in penalties after his company bulldozed a protected wetland and filled in a stream bed to build a vineyard in Mendocino County, North Coast water regulators announced Friday.
The settlement — one of the largest ever involving water quality on the North Coast — stems from a litany of environmental violations tied to unpermitted work by Rhys Vineyards starting as far back as 2015 on owner Kevin Harvey’s 4,500-acre ranch west of Highway 101 near Laytonville.
The company covered half an acre of protected wetlands with 2,178 cubic yards of fill in the North Fork Ten Mile River watershed, state officials said. It also filled a half-mile of ephemeral stream with 537 cubic yards of dirt and other material.
ATTORNEY DOUG LOSAK CONFIRMS:
Subject: Harinder Grewal
In the June 26, 2019 edition of your paper, on page 6, you stated you were trying to confirm if Mr. Grewal had been placed on administrative leave from his job as Mendocino County Agriculture Director. Consider this confirmation. In fact, the County fired Mr. Grewal on July 10, 2019 without offering him a hearing of any type, despite the fact that according to Food & Ag code section 2122 "[t]he term of office of the commissioner shall be four years from and after his appointment and until his successor is appointed." A claim was filed with the County yesterday. In addition, a complaint was filed with California Fair Employment & Housing Agency.
Douglas L. Losak
Law Offices of Duncan M. James
445 North State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
CONCERNED IN COMPTCHE: Many Comptche neighbors are concerned about traffic safety here in town and out Flynn Creek Road. First are the drivers who speed through town — especially by the store and Post Office, where there are lots of cars pulling in and out and where this is supposed to be a 25 mph zone. The 25 mph zone starts at the west end of the Comptche valley, past the school and church, and ends east just past Peterson's barn. Plus, there is no speed limit sign on the Comptche Road for drivers who turn right off Flynn Creek Road. Many continue with the speed they drove on Flynn Creek Road. We are pedestrians here. Second is the vegetation — mostly blackberry bushes and poison oak — that is growing into the roadway, over the white lines. The only trimming that has been done in a few years is from the vehicles breaking off the tips. This is also really dangerous for cyclists. Is there any help available from the 5th District?
ED NOTE: The number of vehicles speeding through central Boonville makes it only a matter of time before someone is hit and killed or badly injured. Years ago, Philo, after an accident that killed a child, rose up in a fairly effective protest to slow traffic, which resulted in pressure on CalTrans to install speed-slowing signs. Since Comptche roads are County responsibility, Comptche, failing to get help from the County, should consider direct action up to and including creative tactics to physically slow traffic.
JUST A REMINDER, especially for those of you concerned that I haven't published a full-fledged edition of Lookout magazine in 24 years, that you can read all the back issues online at your leisure by going to this brilliant archive orchestrated by il Professore Stefano Morello.
— Larry Livermore
ED NOTE: Should include the early Lookouts from Spy Rock — Laytonville. Lar was a pioneer ziner and, for a while, public enemy uno in the North County.
ATTENTION, DUI COMMUNITY
SOBRIETY AND DRIVER’S LICENSE CHECKPOINT
The California Highway Patrol (CHP), Clear Lake Area, will conduct a driving under the influence (DUI) and driver license safety checkpoint on August 16, 2019 somewhere within the unincorporated area of Lake County.
The goal of the CHP is to ensure the safe passage of each and every motorist by targeting roads where there is a high frequency of intoxicated or unlicensed drivers. A sobriety/driver license checkpoint is a proven effective tool for achieving this goal and is designed to augment existing patrol operations.
Vehicles will be checked for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving unlicensed. The objective is to send a clear message to those individuals that consider driving and mixing alcohol or drugs, or driving when unlicensed, that you will be caught and your vehicle will be towed away.
Funding for this program was provided from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Note: The media may contact CHP, Clear Lake Area, Public Information Officer Joel Skeen, at (707) 279-0103 on August 14, 2019, no earlier than 4:00 p.m. for the exact location.
BIG BEAUTIFUL RIVER
JACK SILVER'S UNENDING SCAM
Lake County Board of Supervisors agenda for August 6, 2019:
Agenda Item 8.3, “Conference with Legal Counsel: Significant Exposure to Litigation pursuant to Gov. Code Sec. 54956.9(3)(2)(3)(3): California River Watch”
California River Watch Board of Directors: http://www.ncriverwatch.org/about_us/board.php
Jumpin’ Jack Silver must have nothing better to do than pick on poor little ol’ Lake County, or perhaps his fish sniffer caught some whiff of the rot so ably described in the Lake County Grand Jury Report just released to the public Friday morning:
MAMMA MIA! is back this weekend with performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30, and Sunday at 3:00 at Eagles Hall in Fort Bragg. Running through August 11th.
On the eve of her wedding, a young woman’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited twenty years ago. Non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers, along with the magic of ABBA’s hit songs combine to make this sunny, funny show a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Get your tickets in advance at Gloriana.org or Harvest Market in Fort Bragg. Limited availability at the door. Tickets are selling fast so don't wait! If you love ABBA and want to sing along, join us at our FINAL Sing-a-Long Sunday performance on August 4th. Tickets are almost sold out so get them while you can.
For more information please visit Gloriana.org
THE KENNY ROGERS (WESTPORT) CASE
Prof. Fellmeth states the problem here stems from the Office of Chief Trial Counsel refused to proceed with a complaint against Donald Masuda who actually was permitted to steal the client's money some $128,500.00, which prevent the Kenneth Rogers his ability to retain legal counsel of his choice.
This is a federally protected right since 2006 in the United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Gonzales-Lopez decision.
Prof. Fellmeth Email asserts the denial of the complaint for a refund of the unearned retainer by the Chief Trial Counsel Office is not independent of the legal profession as there is little check-in its decision to deny filing a Notice of Disciplinary Charges.
The proof of the arbitrary acts of the State Bar is documented by the filing of a complaint against the very same attorneys Donald Masuda and Kenny Giffard by a Federal Judge and the State Bar Court.
All this conduct is very well documented and is in the process of being filed into the United States Supreme Court under the holdings of Luis v United States 578 U.S. __ (2016) holding as follows:
"We see no reasonable way to interpret the relevant statutes to avoid answering this constitutional question. Cf. Monsanto, supra, at 614. Hence, we answer it, and our answer is that the pretrial restraint of legitimate, untainted assets needed to retain counsel of choice violates the Sixth Amendment. The nature and importance of the constitutional right taken together with the nature of the assets lead us to this conclusion."
Clearly, Mr. Rogers had a federally legitimate need for release of the unearned retainer paid to Donald Masuda upon his withdrawing on Jan. 28, 2008, so that Mr. Rogers could be able to retain legal counsel of his choice, which the government blocked at all times and continuing even now.
KZYX STRIKES IT RICH!
KZYX Receives $100K donation
KZYX, Mendocino County Public Radio, is delighted to confirm that the station has received a major donation of $100,000 from the Dean and Helen Witter Family Fund, managed by grandchildren of Dean Witter, financier and founder of the iconic Dean Witter & Company of San Francisco. The family has owned the Lone Pine Ranch in Trinity, Mendocino and Humboldt counties for 77 years and developed a love for the area and an appreciation for the importance of our local public radio stations. In addition, the Witter family is a strong supporter of National Public Radio, and KZYX is the region’s primary NPR affiliate.
“We plan to use this donation judiciously,” said KZYX station manager Marty Durlin. “We have several large-ticket projects on our to-do list, including bringing in new studio equipment and broadening our local news and emergency information services. Perhaps our biggest action item, in terms of long-term planning, is moving our studio and offices to a new facility. That's something we need to do for technical reasons, but we'd also like to have more space and better access to resources, perhaps in a more central location where more of our programmers and listeners will have access to us. So the idea is to go carefully, to ensure that this new funding is applied in ways that give it the most positive impact possible.”
In the meantime, station management and Board of Directors members hope that this sizeable donation will encourage other major donors to step in with further financial assistance to help foster the stability and growth of KZYX.
“The Witter family reviewed our short-term and long-term planning,” said KZYX Board President Tom Dow. “They took a look at the positive changes we’ve made in programming and staffing, the breadth of services we offer Mendocino County and surrounding areas in terms of news, public affairs and emergency services, and decided that it was worth making a major investment in the future of this radio station. We hope other potential donors will come to the same conclusions.”
Durlin stresses, however, that as immensely helpful as this donation is, this funding on its own does not put the station on Easy Street. “We have all these important projects we want and need to get going,” Durlin said, “but in the meantime, we still have daily upkeep and maintenance to do. We have bills coming in and staff to pay. So the bottom line here is that the support of our listeners, individual memberships and underwriting dollars, are still crucial to our survival. So, yes, we’ll still be holding Membership Drives. We still need the support of every listener.”
For more information about KZYX and about making donations—of any size—to the station, please contact Marty Durlin, Station Manager of KZYX, at 707-895-2324 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MELVILLE, OUR CONTEMPORARY
by Jonah Raskin
I spent a good part of August 1, 2019, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Herman Melville, by doing what every red-blooded American ought to have done: I reread “Moby-Dick,” that “staggering work of genius.” Dave Eggers used that phrase as a part of the title for his own memoir, which was published in 2000. It fits “Moby-Dick” more than Eggers’s “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.”
No, I did not reread every single word of Melville’s masterpiece on August 1. That feat would have taken days. But I opened my well-worn paperback copy with sentences underlined from the beginning to the end, and marveled all over again about the characters, the plot (which sometimes vanishes), the myths, the language and the contemporaneity of Melville’s ocean-going epic.
“Moby-Dick” lambasts capitalism, individualism, dictatorship, and celebrates love, brotherhood, the Pacific Ocean and whales, too, those great and wonderful mammals of the oceans that have been hunted down all through the centuries and nearly exterminated.
There are no women in “Moby-Dick.” That’s true. Unlike his pal, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Melville didn’t know how to portray women. That is a flaw, though it’s not fatal. Melville had so much going for him; there’s heaps that’s going on today in “Moby-Dick,” more than enough, to entertain ecologists, philosophers, historians and devotees of American literature who have much the same abiding curiosity that D.H. Lawrence exhibited in “Studies in Classic American Literature.”
I don’t mean to forget Mark Twain’s brilliant “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from 1884, but in many ways it’s a kind of sport that stands all by itself, in much the same way that “Wuthering Heights” (1847) stands by itself in the field of English literature.
One of the things about “Moby-Dick” that has always amazed me is that it was published in 1851, in the thick of what has been called “The American Renaissance,” when Emily Dickinson wrote some of her best poetry and her near contemporaries were creating the classics of our culture.
In fact, “Moby-Dick” appeared a year after Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” a year before Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” three years before Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” and four years before Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” in which the poet sings “I am not a bit tamed,” and “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
Melville was as untamed and as barbaric as Whitman; they both embraced the workers of the world, American Indians and South Sea Islanders, and they both scorned the civilization that was mass-produced by the factory.
In the 1850s, when Melville and Whitman were young men in their 30s, and when American society was careening toward the catastrophic Civil War, our writers produced great works of literature—fiction, non-fiction and poetry— that explore the contradictions between democracy and slavery, freedom and tyranny, spirituality and materialism. Melville, Hawthorne, Stowe, Whitman, Dickinson and Thoreau were visionaries and futurists who created a body of experimental work that wasn’t matched until Faulkner, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Jean Toomer and F. Scott Fitzgerald came along in the 1920s, and continued the tradition of the avant-garde that started in the 1850s.
But back to “Moby-Dick,” which always grabs me, from the opening line, “Call me Ishmael,” to the last line in the Epilogue where Ishmael is rescued from the sea and describes himself as “another orphan.” I don’t skip the passages about whales and whaling, but rather lap them up. I also dig deep into the sections in which Melville writes about “chance, free will and necessity.” When Ishmael, the narrator, weaves a mat with Queequeg— whom he describes as “George Washington cannibalistically developed”— he waxes philosophical and poetical about how the creation of his own “destiny” in a pre-determined universe.
Naturally, I love to hate Captain Ahab, the killer of whales and a demagogue, who twists the multi-cultural crew around his fingers and forces them to follow his diabolical orders.
“Moby-Dick” is authentic tragedy, not cheap Victorian melodrama, though the book also has moments of comedy, as when Ishmael wakes in the Spouter-Inn and finds Queequeg in bed with him.
The title itself, “Moby-Dick,” is pretty funny for a novel that has a permanent hard-on—a whale-sized erection—especially in the chapter titled “A Squeeze of the Hand,” in which the crew on The Pequod squeezes the sperm from a whale and Ishmael has a vision of “angels in paradise.” He enjoys a kind of orgasm.
The whole novel moves inexorably toward the final, apocalyptic chase for “Moby-Dick” himself, which lasts three days and ends with “the great shroud of the sea” as it rolls on “as it rolled five thousand years ago.”
Jack London wrote the best critique or criticism of “Moby-Dick” ever. He didn’t do it in an essay, but rather in his own novel, “The Sea-Wolf,” in which he reincarnated Captain Ahab as Captain Wolf Larsen, who hunts and kills seals. He also revived Ishmael as Humphrey Van Weyden. London grappled with Melville’s homoeroticism and with his depiction of the amity and enmity between the worker-sailors aboard “The Ghost,” which takes the place of “The Pequod.” The author of “The Sea-Wolf” tried to go one better than the author of “Moby-Dick” by introducing a woman character named Maud and by having the narrator fall in love with her and she with him.
“The Sea-Wolf” degenerates into cheap Victorian melodrama. London wanted to sell books and be a celebrity. Melville didn’t care about success or fame. To Hawthorne, he wrote in June 1851, “I have come to regard this matter of Fame as the most transparent of all vanities!” When it came to success and money, London parted company from Melville, but he admired the orgiastic nature of Melville’s prose and provided some of his own, as when he wrote of Wolf Larsen’s eyes, “that masked the soul of a thousand guises…eyes that could brood with the hopeless somberness of leaden skies; that could snap and crackle points of fire like those which sparkle from a whirling sword.”
If Melville were alive today, he would write about the employees in the tech world who are no better than slaves and serfs. He would also portray with empathy the consumers of technology aboard the modern day versions of “The Pequod.” He would write an American tragedy in which democracy is profaned and blasphemy pours from our diabolical circles of wealth and power.
Melville would also echo his own words from “Moby-Dick” in which he exclaimed, “Whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into words or books.” If that isn’t an invitation to writers to get busy, I don’t know what is. Herman Melville, you are my inspiration and not just mine, but poets, novelists and essayists in every corner of the world.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)
IF YOU HAVEN’T been paying attention to the Democratic Party for the last 40 years and just now tuned into the presidential debates, you might be shocked at how hostile it is to even debating the modest and sensible ideas proposed by Sanders & Warren. With each mention of “single payer,” “free college,” or “green new deal,” the Party writhes wildly like Linda Blair’s possessed body being sprinkled with Holy Water.
— Jeffrey St. Clair
CATCH OF THE DAY, AUGUST 2, 2019
ZACHARY BARAJAS, Ukiah. Rape. (Conviction/booking from Jan. 2017 incident)
MARK BEARDSLEE, Ukiah. Grand theft, taking vehicle without owner’s consent, attempted petty theft, suspended license, controlled substance, resisting,
JOSE CEJA-LOPEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery, DUI, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
MAYA ENGLERT, Paso Robles/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
KRISTALEE ERIKSEN, Redwood Valley. DUI causing bodily injury, hit&run resulting in death or injury.
THOMAS FRENCH, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, battery on peace officer, resisting.
JACK GOUBER, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JONATHAN HOUSE, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
LAWRENCE JOAQUIN, Covelo. Probation revocation.
MICHAEL JONES, Redwood Valley. Grand theft, attempted burglary, vandalism, disobeying court order, probation revocation.
TIMOTHY LOEWER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
TATE MADSON, Sweet Home, Oregon/Willits. Probation revocation.
BREANNA MAXFIELD, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.
RACHELLE MUNOZ, Covelo. Receiving stolen property, resisting, failure to obey lawful order of peace officer.
LAUREN SCHMIDT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
CARLA SELVESTER, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, under influence, failure to appear.
RONALD VALENTINE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
DOUGLAS WHIPPLE III, Covelo. Probation violation.
ESCO WRIGHT, Houston, Texas/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
by James Kunstler
After two double rounds of Democratic Party debates, one thing is for sure: the characters onstage are followers, not leaders, and they’re following each other off a cliff like so many Wile E. Coyotes, while the Golden Golem of Greatness streaks, beeps, and tweets across the buzzard flats below like the fabled Roadrunner.
In an epic and bizarre case of mimesis, the Democratic Party is mau-mauing itself into America’s political slum, complete with a rank-and-file demographic dependent on government largesse and an infestation of bad ideas, like the scurrying rats and cockroaches of the ghettos they pander to so relentlessly. The candidates themselves are so terrified of being a few syllables away from getting branded with the scarlet “R” on their foreheads — according to the rules of Wokesterism — that they blindly submit to any idiotic Simon Says command, such as raising their hands in support of free medical services for illegal immigrants, to signal their racial uprightness and sensitivity.
How are the actual city ghettos and their denizens doing after half a century of Democratic Party rescue operations? Not so well, the Golden Golem averred last week about Baltimore, igniting a firestorm of grievance and objurgation from the political ghetto. Isn’t the point exactly that the people, and the place where they live, are not doing any better despite decades of federal programs, household assistance, affirmative action, and every other attempt to (theoretically) improve their existence? And isn’t the heart of the matter the desperate shame and chagrin of Democrats that none of this has worked?
It hasn’t worked… so, do more of it! That’s the Democratic Party’s neurotic strategy for winning the hearts and minds of this republic. Driving men out of households via the welfare rules that don’t allow “a man in the house,” and destroying family formation wasn’t bad enough. The Democratic party has spent the past three years vilifying and demonizing men and their “toxic masculinity,” and retailing the insane multiplication of “genders’ in a bad faith attempt to manufacture sexual “diversity” — with the net effect of negating all previous understandings of the relations between men and women.
Newsflash: that’s not going to work, either.
The shriekings of “racism” aren’t helping much anymore. Few observers have missed the fact that the city of Baltimore has been run by an African American city hall (Mayor, Police Chief, District Attorney) for many years, with over a billion dollars in additional federal assistance. So, if political power is the answer, how’s that working out? Add some extra shrieking about “white privilege” to explain the situation? How does “white privilege” explain the fact that 86 percent of kids in Baltimore primary schools can’t read and 89 percent can’t do arithmetic to grade level? This, despite the fact that at $15,564 per pupil, Baltimore is fourth highest-spending per student of the 100 largest school districts in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Maybe becoming the party of a national race hustle isn’t such a good idea. The race hustle is wearing out its welcome in American politics, and the more the Democratic Party resorts to race hustling as its chief strategy, the sooner the party will go extinct. That is, if it doesn’t incite some kind of civil war first.
Cue the cry, “That’s racist!”
Maybe there is a whole range of human values and human behaviors that have nothing to do with race — like reading to small children and helping them learn the English language so they don’t grow into adults who have to say “know what I mean?” every other sentence because they’ve barely acquired enough language skill themselves to know what they mean. Maybe there’s something called an American common culture that contains values and behaviors worth emulating rather than opposing. Maybe “multiculturalism” wasn’t such a good idea after all. Maybe ghetto culture is not such a precious foundation for a successful life. Maybe the Democratic Party should move out of the ghetto it’s built for itself.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The real problem with the Democratic Party is that it’s the party of urban coastal “top twenty-percenters” of the professional and managerial classes. The past thirty years have been a s’mores and grape soda party for them, and they expect people who weren’t invited to that little party to be enthusiastic about keeping them in s’mores and grape soda indefinitely. All that other stuff is just a chiffon-thin veneer designed to conceal the party’s abject abandonment of the working class. I don’t expect any of this to end well at all, which is why I don’t get hot and bothered anymore about whatever flavor of Kool-Aid people on the Internet choose to drink these days.
PUBLIC TOILETS & RESTORATIVE JUSTICE = LESS POOP ON THE STREETS OF SF.
San Francisco curbs waste with public toilets, 'poop patrol'
by Janie Har
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The sidewalks surrounding Ahmed Al Barak's corner market in one of San Francisco's roughest neighborhoods are filled with cardboard, used syringes and homeless people who have nowhere safe to go at night.
But Al Barak says it's an improvement from a year ago, before the city posted a portable toilet across the street from his business in the city's Tenderloin district.
He no longer regularly sees people relieve themselves in broad daylight, and he does not see as much feces and urine on the streets. In his opinion, it's the one bright spot in a city where taxes are too high.
"We used to have a disaster here. I used to call the city all the time to come and clean, because they don't know where to go," he said, recalling one woman in particular who shrugged at him in a "what can you do?" gesture as she squatted to pee.
San Francisco started its "Pit Stop" program in July 2014 with public toilets in the city's homeless-heavy Tenderloin, after children complained of dodging human waste on their way to school. Today, the staffed bathrooms have grown from three to 25 locations, and the program has expanded to Los Angeles. In May, the toilets in San Francisco recorded nearly 50,000 flushes, all logged by attendants.
The condition of San Francisco's streets has been a source of embarrassment to city leaders, and cleaning up is not cheap. The city received nearly 27,000 requests for feces removal in the most recent fiscal year, although not all are human.
Mayor London Breed last year announced the formation of a special six-person "poop patrol" team where each cleaner earns more than $70,000 a year.
Advocates say steam cleaning requests have dropped in areas surrounding some of the public toilets. The mayor signed a budget Thursday that includes money for seven new Pit Stop bathrooms for a city where a one-night count of homeless people grew 17% in the past two years. The toilets each cost an average of $200,000 a year to operate, with most of the money going to staffing and overhead.
Some of the bathrooms are permanent fixtures, while others are portables with two toilets that are trucked in and out. The stops have receptacles for used syringes and dog waste. Attendants who are paid the city's minimum wage of $16 an hour check after every use and knock on doors to make sure people are not doing drugs or other illicit activity. The bathrooms must shine or they do not open.
The staffing is what makes a toilet a Pit Stop, and the work is usually done by men coming out of prison after decades behind bars.
The "practitioners" stand guard at some of society's bleakest intersections of poverty, addiction and mental illness, says Lena Miller, founder of nonprofit Hunters Point Family and its spinoff, Urban Alchemy, which staffs the Pit Stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles. They prevent overdoses, break up fights and greet regulars, she says.
"Really what we're doing is we're creating this space where people know that they can walk into it, and it's going to smell good. It's going to look good," Miller said. "There won't be trash everywhere, and they're safe. And I think that makes all the difference in the world."
Nelson Butler was a 19-year-old Los Angeles gangster when he went to prison for 30 years for killing a person. Butler was released last year from San Quentin State Prison, scared and apprehensive and in need of a job. He went to work at a Pit Stop.
Technically, his job was to prevent drug use in the bathrooms and make sure homeless people didn't set up camp.
"The reality is I'm a security guard. I was a babysitter, I was a social worker, I was a counselor. I did a lot of things that was not necessarily in the scope of my job description, but this is my community," Butler said. "So my thought was, if I saw somebody that needed help, that's why I'm there — to help."
Homelessness has surged throughout California, and cities are struggling to open more bathrooms. Officials are considering adding port-a-potties and special loos designed by the city of Portland, Oregon, and expanding hours of restrooms in government buildings.
Sacramento, which is in a county where a one-night count of the homeless increased 19% in two years, tried a Pit Stop but stopped after a few months because it cost too much.
Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin initially thought the stops too pricey, but he now understands that having someone to watch over the bathrooms has its upsides. Los Angeles saw a 16% increase over a year in its one-night count of homeless, to 36,000.
"I heard from everyone, from people affiliated with law enforcement, from people who live in the neighborhood, from homeless advocates, from people who are homeless themselves, that it's important to have a staff to make sure they stay clean and free of destruction or abuse," he said.
Down the street from Ahmed Al Barak's corner market is Aref Elgaali's Z Zoul, a Sudanese cafe. The public bathroom by his eatery has helped, he says, but it closes too early, and there should be many more of the toilets.
"Why not to have in this corner one and that corner one and the other corner one? That will solve a lot of problems for the people here in San Francisco," he said.
LARRY FUENTE'S "NEW WORLD HOARDER"
Opening Gallery Reception
Saturday, August 3, 5pm-8pm
Artist Larry Fuente hosts a free Opening Gallery Reception for his exhibit, "New World Hoarder." Enjoy snacks and wine and meet Larry. Larry Fuente's first solo exhibition at the Mendocino Art Center since 1980, "New World Hoarder," is showing through September 12. His assemblage works - adorned with beads, rhinestones, shards of pottery, buttons, statuettes, religious icons, symbolic features and other ornamental objects - include refrigerators, cows, guitars, horses, motorcycles, ducks, mannequins and cars Larry’s car, "Mad Cad," will be on exhibit during the following free special events:
Opening Gallery Reception: August 3, 5pm-8pm
Artist Larry Fuente hosts a free Opening Gallery Reception for his exhibit, "New World Hoarder." Enjoy snacks and wine and meet Larry.
Second Saturday Gallery Reception: August 10, 5pm-8pm. The Mendocino Art Center hosts a free Second Saturday Artists Reception each month. Enjoy snacks and wine, and meet the exhibiting artists.
Artist Talk With Larry Fuente: Friday, August 16, 3pm-5pm. The artist will discuss works in the exhibit.
Storytelling With Larry Fuente: Saturday, August 24, 3pm-5pm. Join Larry Fuente as he tells stories about his years in Mendocino.
More information: mendocinoartcenter.org/MyLasso/MainGallery.lasso
Also on exhibit through September 1:
“Listen to Gauguin, do not copy nature too closely, art is an abstraction”
“I WORK AS AN INVESTIGATOR for the Legal Aid Society. We provide legal defense to people who can’t afford it. I studied law in college, but I’m learning that the system doesn’t match up to what we were taught. According to theory, the defendant should always have the advantage. Our clients are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof lies with the prosecutor. But that’s only in theory. In reality, the District Attorneys bend the rules of the system to gain maximum leverage. They don’t care about justice -- well, I’m sure there are some that do -- but the ones I’ve seen only care about winning. It’s an elected position, so they want to show voters that they are ‘tough on crime.’ And that requires higher incarceration rates. So they are incentivized to convict as many people as possible. One of their favorite weapons is to overcharge. They’ll charge a defendant with ten things. Nine of them would easily get thrown out in court, but the client just can’t risk it. So they’ll plead guilty to the one charge that even remotely applies to the case. We’re representing one client who passed out on the subway. It’s a simple public intoxication charge. But his beer bottle fell off his seat and broke, so they charged him with possession of a weapon. They know it’s ridiculous. But they know he’ll never go to trial with that charge on the table. So they’ll get their conviction. And that’s all that matters.”
GOD BUYS CRAIG A HOT DOG
Living in God Moment to Moment
Awoke early on Earth First!er Andy Caffrey's guest couch in Garberville, CA, and proceeded to do the bathroom ritual after which I headed out the door to Flavors for a blueberry scone and a red eye. And then, identifying with only the witness of the body and the mental thinking machine, slowly proceeded along Redwood Drive for two miles to Redway, CA to check for mail at the Green New America/Climate Justice NOW!/Earth First! Media Center post office box. A mile and a half down the road, across from a Niman Ranch hot dog temporary food service set up, a vehicle pulls up and the driver hollers across to me: "Can I buy you a hot dog?" Amazed, I accepted. The driver steps out dressed in an orange mechanics suit, sporting a halo of curly grey hair, shakes my hand and introduces himself as Rudy. And he did purchase two hot dogs, mine Chicago style, before driving off. It was so out of ordinary time, that it was overlooked that I've not eaten a hot dog in many many years, but it was very tasty. Proceeded onward to the Redway Post Office munching on my provided protein on a bun. There was no mail. So, went next door to the market for a Hard Jun Kombucha featuring blueberry & basil. Continuing to dispassionately watch thoughts outside, while enjoying the drink, a customer emerges from the market and seeing me sitting atop a pile of wooden pallets, she asks me if I am bored. Amazed, I answer that I am "prior to boredom", which she acknowledges with a smile, and then heads for her vehicle in the parking lot. Walking back toward Garberville, a couple pulls over and offers me a ride, and drops me off in the middle of the town that is four blocks long. Went through the Friday Farmer's Market in the town square across from Chautauqua Natural Foods, to the apartment to get my computer, and then off to the Garberville Public Library. Getting set up at a rear table, a patron comes in and does likewise, and then informs me that the library is about to become shared space with the Sheriff's Department because the copshop is not ADD compliant. I mean, they are going to chop the library in half because law enforcement does not have a ramp for wheelies at their current location? Amazed, I went mentally blank when she added that the temporary library will be essentially a book truck, during what will probably be six months of construction provided by hippie carpenters who are now unionized. The Eternal Witness watches all of this constantly, age to age. The Eternal Witness is you, me, and us…which is easy to understand because it is you, and is difficult to understand because it is you. And further, if you go really deep, you will discover that your ego, or "cruel master", does not exist, which ought to be comforting as another wild weekend approaches. Whereas everybody I know is respectfully complaining either loudly or quietly that I've been egregious in filling up inboxes with my political message and personal soap opera reports, I thought that I would beg your forgiveness by sharing with you the most profound universal truths. That done, how about we wipe the slate clean and start anew? Ever yours for Divine Anarchy,
Craig Louis Stehr
August 2, 2019
Facebook me, call Andy's at (707) 923-2114, send money orders to P.O. Box 324, Redway, CA 95560, and will the Rock Gods and Wealthy Marijuana Entrepreneurs who keep telling us that they are "supporting the environmental movement" please donate for the upcoming Climate Justice Road Tour at: paypal.me/AndyCaffrey