- Local Heat
- Candidate Green
- Looking Back
- Shooter Sentenced
- Masonic Sculpture
- GJ Report
- Ed Notes
- Bullet Train
- Mural Censors
- Yesterday's Catch
- CNN Debacle
- Sanders Support
- Bennett 93
- Trump Fatigue
- Deco Train
- Out Here
- Poisonous Politics
- Marco Radio
- Ancient Ruin
- Editor Needed
- The Left
- Waste Crisis
WARM TO LOCALLY HOT temperatures will continue across the interior through early next week before cooling off around the middle of the next week. Meanwhile, coastal areas will experience periods of overnight marine cloudiness followed by areas of localized clearing during the afternoon hours. (National Weather Service)
UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK
Sarafina is a beautiful, 3 month old, spayed female tabby kitten. She has a lovely, soft, dainty personality. Sarafina lives at the shelter with two sisters and a brother--all with the same incredible tabby markings. Come to the shelter and spend some time with this social, friendly family of kittens, and all their feline friends--and perhaps take home a little bundle of furry fun!
Juice is big boy, tipping the scales at 95+ pounds. He's well mannered, and likes to get close for pets and affection. Juice has gone on overnight Pajama Parties and several Fido Field Trips, and we always get great reports about him. He likes playing in water, hiking, riding in cars, and running. He's a goofy, fun and social dog. We've got lots of information about Juice on his personal webpage, so give him a click: P.S. Juice is one of the shelter's longer-stay dogs, and right now his adoption fees (except for Mendocino County's license fee) are waived!
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, and the shelter's programs, services and events, please visit us online at For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
JAMES GREEN, CANDIDATE FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY DISTRICT 1 SUPERVISOR, working together with you for Mendocino County's Future. please follow me on Facebook, and check out my website at https://jamesgreensupervisor.com for more information about me and these issues.
“About James Green — James Green is running for first district supervisor in Mendocino County because he cares deeply about ensuring that Mendocino County continues to be a healthy, safe, and supportive community we are all proud to call home. As a member of South Ukiah Rotary, the Greater Ukiah Chamber of Commerce, the Mendocino County Farm Bureau, and the Mendocino County Firesafe Council, he stays informed and engaged in community affairs.”
Ringing doorbells in the inner Richmond.
I have been listening to Kevin Starr's "Baghdad by the Bay: Herb Caen’s San Francisco" — in the 50s and 60s. A hundred incidents and people that I'd forgotten.
Scott Newhall’s rescuing the Chronicle (fourth of four dailies in circulation) from going under. Mayor Christopher invites Willie Mays to live in his home until they can find someone to sell him a house in a white neighborhood. Horace Stoneham brings the Giants to town. USF basketball teams. Don Sherwood, Gavin Arthur, Charles McCabe, Warren Hinckle, Lenny Bruce, Harry Bridges… (Disclaimer: I was mentioned in Herb Caen’s column once for a new idea I'd had.)
When I was on the beach in Frisco I usually stayed at the Bay Hotel Sacramento at the Embarcadero. If they didn't know you, you had to spend a probationary period on the second floor. If you didn't get drunk and tear the room apart you could stay in the upper floors on your next visit.
The union hall was nearby on Drumm Street and I could catch a bus to the race track at the Terminal Hotel. If you didn't want to go to the track you could always get a bet down in a cigar store on Third Street just south of Market. The early edition of the Chronicle hit the newsstands at 9pm. The first chance to get the race results. There were always horse players waiting. They would grab the paper, pull out the sporting green and then stomp down the street cursing the jockey and trainer.
One time I decided to do some volunteer political work for Helen Gahagan Douglas. I did not know much about her except that she was a movie star and a congresswoman from Lozenges running for an open Senate seat against Richard Nixon. I was reading the Nation magazine in those years and the Nation didn't like Nixon so I didn't like Nixon either.
The Young Democrats had a campaign office at Eighth and California where I was introduced to my partner Phil Burton and given instructions. We were supposed to start at Lake Street and cross California, Clement, Geary and Balboa and Cabrillo to Fulton working one side of the street only with Philip and I taking every other house. We started on 11th Avenue and scampered up the steps, rang the doorbell and when the door opened we gave the residents a black and white single sheet of paper folded over which had a picture of the candidate holding a wicker basket of groceries on her arm. The residents said thank you. When we got to Fulton we were plumb tuckered out from running up all those steps.
What ever happened to my partner Phillip Burton? He went on to be the chief gerrymanderer for the Democratic Party and today you can see his name on the front of the big federal office building on McAllister Street.
It was not until many years later that I read "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin that I learned that Helen Gahagan Douglas was one of FDR's favorite people and was a frequent guest at the White House living quarters. In Robert Caro's Volume #3 of the LBJ biography, LBJ showed his penis to his colleagues in the house bathroom, asking isn't this the most enormous thing you've ever seen?
It turns out that Helen and Lyndon were sleeping in the same bed and strolling arm in arm to the House office building each morning.
And Bob's your uncle.
ANCHOR BAY SHOOTER SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON
UKIAH - Prosecution of a violent south Mendocino Coast gunman finally came to a long-anticipated conclusion Friday in Mendocino County Superior Court.
Judge John Behnke found there was no provocation or other cause to have justified or mitigated defendant Harry William Miller, 70, from shooting point blank one neighbor and firing four shots at another, the two crimes for which Miller was convicted. Behnke also found that the evidence supported the District Attorney's argument that the defendant succeeded in killing one neighbor but that medical teams heroically were able to use their collective skills and experience to bring that victim back to life multiple times.
Behnke denied the defendant's application for probation as contrary to the interests of justice and instead sentenced Miller more recently of Santa Rosa, to 11 years, 10 months in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The defendant was convicted by plea of personally using a firearm in the shooting attempt to kill Gualala neighbor Paul Palestrini, a crime now formally characterized for all purposes as an attempted voluntary manslaughter. The defendant also stands convicted of personally using a firearm in a felonious multi-shot attack on Desiree Palestrini.
At the conclusion of Friday’s extended proceedings - the lengthy sentencing hearing carried over from the morning session into the afternoon - the defendant was handcuffed and taken into custody, and then escorted by deputies from the courthouse to the jail for later transportation to CDCR.
Both convictions are felonies and, in concert with the two personal use sentencing enhancements, are legally characterized by the Penal Code as violent crimes. Because of that characterization, any good or work time credits the defendant may attempt to earn in state prison will be limited to no more than 15% of the defendant's total sentence. In other words, the defendant will not be eligible for parole under current law until he has served just over 10 years.
Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster prosecuted the Miller case.
The law enforcement agencies that gathered the necessary evidence supporting the convictions were the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's own Bureau of Investigations. Special thanks are again extended to the Stutchman Forensic Laboratory of Napa for their exceptional forensic analysis and work on this case.
The District Attorney has expressed gratitude to all the medical professionals -- from the medical care providers in Gualala to the emergency life flight helicopter team to the surgeons, nurses, and medical staff at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital -- for their combined and exceptional work to save Palestrini's life. The DA cited medical providers in Fort Bragg who provided important after care services.
Susan Mary Miller, the defendant's wife, was previously convicted by a separate jury of being a felony accessory to the violent crimes of her husband. She was given permission to observe today's proceedings in Behnke’s courtroom after agreeing to later surrender herself at the Mendocino County Jail to begin serving her own 10-month jail sentence.
(Mendocino County District Attorney)
ED NOTE: AVA Court Reporter Bruce McEwen will have more on this case and the sentencing in Wednesday’s AVA.
LAKE COUNTY GRAND JURY REPORT REVIEW
Today, Sunday, August 4, Lake County’s Community Radio (KPFZ, 88.1 fm, www.kpfz.org, will feature a review of the 2018-2019 Lake County Grand Jury Report, focusing on long-absent Public Health & Safety services that are plaguing our houses and adding to the local sense of apprehension in the face of a new and now-predictably wild wildfire season. Adding “fuel” to the “fire” of public angst is the madhouse mayhem we reluctantly foresee due to unanticipated impacts of PG&E’s “Public Safety Power Shutdown” fiats. No government agency is prepared to fill in the gaps in capacity that all of us will be tasked with managing, including possible loss of communication systems. Join us from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to have a look at “where it’s at” on this side of the Cow, through the eyes of our sacred civil watchdog, defying stultification and standing tall on our behalf.
The Essential Public Information Center
BIG BEAUTIFUL RIVER
TWO MASS SHOOTINGS on two successive weekends, the first at Gilroy's Garlic Festival, the second, today's, at an El Paso WalMart. I tuned in CNN where I expected to find Wolf Blitzer spinning in his big chair in the Situation Room, but Wolf was suitably stationary, and even seemed on the verge of tears when he reported that Beto O'Rourke was in tears.
WOLF AND CNN were still showing the same jerky, indiscernible cell phone footage when a friend called to point me to the web where the shooter 's identity, photo and gun, plus his "manifesto," were posted within an hour of the massacre. Like the Gilroy shooter last weekend, this lone nut is a young guy. His statement says it’s a Mexican "invasion" that he's fighting. The Gilroy shooter said he was unhappy.
NOW WE'LL get the rote handwringing by talking heads, but not one philosopher to point out the obvious: Our society is organized in a way that promotes isolation and the mental illness that comes from isolation, that there are thousands, maybe several million, armed and angry psychos out there just waiting to go off, and what's most depressing about the true state of the union is that we all know, given all the givens, nothing will change for the better.
MESSAGE FROM a Ukiah woman. "I volunteer at the Historical Society/Held Poage House and am writing a brief bio of Judge Held. In 1895, Held was studying law while employed as a court reporter. He also, apparently, was a newspaper reporter and I’ve discovered some articles he wrote in 1895 and 1896 about the Round Valley murders. What I haven’t found is any book or summary of the wild and crazy events surrounding this crime and the evil Mr. White. Yet, I seem to remember something appearing in the AVA and, maybe, in a book published by the AVA. Can you help?"
I TRIED writing back but my correspondent's email address was invalid, as was my response, I'm afraid. However we're looking for stuff that may be pertinent to your quest, ma'am. 1895 was well after the Indian slaughters of the 1850s, but may have involved White's ("The King of Round Valley") slanders and attempted murder of his young wife. White employed a gunsel named Wylackie John to kill people for him. About 1895, the father (or uncle?), I believe, of the insulted wife shot and killed Wylackie John in a famous honor killing in a Covelo bar. White had instructed WJ to circulate rumors besmirching the young woman's reputation for chastity.
THE KING OF ROUND VALLEY, Mr. White, among the first white men to arrive in Round Valley, where his opening act was to gun down the Indians who'd assembled to greet him, was saved from a murder conviction when a nephew of his lied for him in a famous trial in Weaverville. That nephew, Rorabaugh, inherited White's vast holdings, and Rorabaughs to this day benefit from the patriarch's original crimes.
TOO BAD more isn't known about Wylackie John who was said to have been raised by Indians and was fluent in many dialects. White employed him and, just as interestingly, a black cowboy-thug, to knock off anybody who got in White's way. (Covelo had something of a black community following the Gold Rush.)
UNTIL early in the twentieth century, much commerce and all legal matters were heard in Weaverville. Persons thought to be hostile to White were bushwhacked by Wylackie John on the long trail linking Covelo with the Trinity County settlement.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: "The Cuba Libre Story" available on NetFlicks. As a life-long pinko, I thought I knew a lot about Cuba, but this film taught me I didn't know much. It comes with a lot of old footage, all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders (they attacked the wrong hill where there was little opposition) and even photographs and the family histories of the Castro boys' parents. Sad, that after years of dangerous relations with Cuba, and after Obama normalized the relationship, here comes President Windbag along to renew hostilities. Among other things I didn't know included the details of the near nuclear miss of 1962 when the Rooskies installed missiles in Cuba and came very close to firing them at US, and US at them, until Kennedy and Kruschev came to their senses. Castro, incidentally, was all for not backing down.
SNOWFLAKES IN FRISCO
The Shame of the Mural Censors — Why Art and History Matter
CATCH OF THE DAY, AUGUST 3, 2019
DANIEL AYALA, Ukiah. Concealed loaded handgun on person, in vehicle, not the registered owner.
CHRISTOPHER BAYARD II*, Covelo. Attempted murder, 20-year enhancement on using a weapon in the crime, felon-addict with firearm, prior felony, prison prior, community supervision violation.
BERRY BRADFORD, Ukiah. Under influence, false ID, failure to appear.
EMILY BROOKS, Redwood Valley. DUI.
JON CARTER, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER COFFEY, Willits. Domestic abuse, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats.
CHARLES DUNCAN, Ukiah. Ammo possession by prohibited person, probation revocation.
PATRICK FILICE, Oceanside/Covelo. Under influence, contempt of court.
JUSTIN GOODNOUGH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
AUTUMN KNIGHT, Potter Valley. DUI.
JEANETTE KOHLSTADT, Redwood Valley. DUI.
ANGELO MARTINEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, no license, resissting.
CHRISTIAN NATARENO, Elk. Domestic abuse.
MARIO PONTELLO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
TYLER ROWE, Willits. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, probation revocation.
TICUAS SHEARD, Stewart’s Point/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
DANIEL VILAS, Willits. Lewd lascivious acts upon child under 14, anal or genital penetration by foreign object by force, violence, duress, menace, etc.
DAVID WORTHY, Ukiah. Probation violation.
CHRISTOPHER BAYARD BACKGROUND:
Sheriff’s Press Release, June 6, 2019:
On 06-03-2019 at approximately 8:00 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were dispatched to a reported shooting at a vehicle in the area of North State Street and Empire Drive in Ukiah, California.
Ukiah Police Department Officers were also dispatched to the area and assisted with this investigation.
During the investigation, Deputies learned a vehicle was traveling northbound on North State Street and stopped in the westbound turn lane for Empire Drive.
An adult male subject, later identified as Christopher Bayard, approached the vehicle on foot and shot a firearm into the vehicle stopped at the traffic light.
An adult male was struck by the gunfire and was ultimately transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Bayard reportedly fled the area on foot after the shooting.
During the investigation, Deputies located and interviewed multiple witnesses to this incident and processed the scene for evidence.
At this time, Bayard’s current whereabouts are unknown and he is considered to be armed and dangerous.
Bayard was described by witnesses as being a white male adult, approximately 6’01” tall, 190 pounds, brown hair, hazel eyes, with dark facial hair and a thin build.
Bayard was last seen wearing a black hat, black shirt, and blue jeans. Bayard is known to frequent the Ukiah, Willits, and Covelo areas.
Anyone with information related to this incident is requested to contact the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086.
Information can also be provided anonymously through the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line – 707-234-2100, or the WeTip anonymous crime reporting hotline at 800-782-7463.
HAVE A HEART (March 2011)
Hello. My name is Chris Bayard. I am from Mendocino County. My dad grew up in Anderson Valley in Navarro. I have been reading the Advertiser whenever I get the chance for a few years now and absolutely love it! I am currently doing four years at California Correctional Center in Susanville and would love to receive your newspaper!
Unfortunately I am indigent and cannot afford it. I would ask my family to help me out but my wife is currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto because our daughter is at Stanford University Hospital awaiting a heart transplant. She has been on the top of the nationwide transplant list for 11 weeks now and we are praying she gets a heart soon! If you could somehow find a way to send me your newspaper I would really appreciate it! If not, I totally understand.
Forever a loyal reader, Chris Bayard, Susanville
"ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER ROTATION…"
CNN’S ATTEMPTED HIT JOB ON SANDERS & WARREN
by Paul Street
I was unable to watch all the CNN Democratic presidential candidates’ debate last Tuesday night, but every time I looked in it was stuck on one of the three following themes:
One. Conservative CNN “moderators” and absurdly marginal corporate Democrat pseudo-candidates like John Hickenlooper and John Delaney attacking the mildly social-democratish neo-New Deal progressive Bernie Sanders and the leftish liberal Elizabeth Warren as too “radical,” “socialist,” and too “extreme.” Listening just to corporate lackeys like Delaney, Hickenlooper, and CNN’s Jake Tapper and Don Lemon, you’d think Sanders was a Bolshevik and Warren was a Menshevik transplanted from revolutionary Russia 102 years ago — this for advocating elementarily civilized measures (supported by most U.S.-Americans) like Medicare for All (M4A), free public education, and green jobs.
Why are clowns like Delaney and Hickenlooper on the stage despite having essentially no popular support in their pretend bids for the Democratic presidential nomination? They are there for one reason: to assault Warren and especially Sanders because Warren and particularly Sanders are seen by establishment party and media elites as threats to critical features of corporate rule.
Two. Consistent corporatist framing of Single Payer health insurance (M4A) as an authoritarian, big brother assault on people’s supposedly beloved existing private health insurance rather than as what it would really be: a great social, democratic, and human rights victory for the common good over the nation’s parasitic and super-expensive for-profit insurance, drug, and hospital syndicates. As the left historian and journalist Terry Thomas wrote following the Tuesday night debate:
“…the purpose of [CNN] spending so much time on health care was because they desperately wanted to destroy this single-payer business, or at least make it appear to be just another empty promise from politicians who have no intention of doing anything. So a plan designed to provide EVERYONE with affordable health care was pilloried and then actually framed as a program to take health insurance away from people.”
Three. Attempted divide-and-conquer: efforts to enlist Warren in the destruction of the “radical socialist” Sanders and to divide progressive voters between Sanders and Warren.
It could hardly be more obvious that CNN (like MSNBC, which held the first two Democratic debates earlier this summer) wants to pave the way for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination of one of the leaders of the Democrats’ “Wall Street primary” so far: the ridiculous right-wing corporatist Joe Biden, the mass-incarcerationist fake-progressive Kamala Harris, and the neoliberal wonder-boy Pete Butiggieg (a younger and gayer Tony Blair).
In service to this project, establishment Democrats and their corporate cable news talking heads demonize social-democratic policies like Single Payer as excessively radical, expensive, and idealistic. They seek to cultivate divisions between the party’s leftmost voters and candidates. And they describe the top three corporate-Democratic candidates (Biden, Harris, and Butiggieg) in favorable terms as “moderates.” It’s a misnomer. As Norman Solomon explains:
“As a practical matter, in the routine lexicon of U.S. mass media, ‘moderate’ actually means pro-corporate and reliably unwilling to disrupt the dominant power structures. ‘Moderate’ is a term of endearment in elite circles, a label conferred on politicians who won’t rock establishment boats. ‘Moderate’ sounds so much nicer than, say, ‘enmeshed with Wall Street’ or ‘supportive of the military-industrial complex.’…In the corporate media environment, we’re accustomed to pretty euphemisms that fog up unpretty realities — and the haze of familiarity brings the opposite of clarity…If Joe Biden is a ‘moderate,’ the soothing adjective obscures grim realities….How are [Biden] policies really ‘moderate’ when they perpetuate and increase extreme suffering due to vast income inequality? Or when they support U.S. wars causing so much death and incalculable anguish? Or when they refuse to challenge the fossil-fuel industry and only sign onto woefully inadequate measures in response to catastrophic climate change?…Biden’s record of words and deeds is ‘moderate’ only if we ignore the extreme harm that he has done on matters ranging from civil rights and mass incarceration to student debt and the credit card industry to militarism and war.”
Much the same applies to Harris and Butiggieg, who have much shorter policy records but who would hardly be cashing in on the big money election funding market if there was any substance behind their progressive posturing. “In keeping with timeworn rhetoric from corporate Democrats,” Solomon notes, “Harris repeatedly said during the [Wednesday night CNN Democratic-presidential] debate that she wants to guarantee ‘access’ to healthcare — using a standard corporate-friendly buzzword that detours around truly guaranteeing healthcare as a human right.”
A related function of the debates is to dilute the relevance of policy altogether since most U.S.-American citizens back the supposedly radical-Left (actually moderately social-democratic and progressive-populist) policies and roughly egalitarian societal vision advanced by Sanders. Here the aim is to divert voters from serious matters of public policy and focus them instead on comparatively trivial matters like candidate looks, age, color, size, gender, ethnicity, age, stage performance – especially the ability to rapidly spit-out pithy one-liners and put-downs – and the like.
Sanders and Warren did very well under the circumstances. Functioning like a smart tag-team, neither of them took the divide-and-rule bait. Both ably shot down claims that their policy ideas are “too radical” for voters and a general election. Both deftly reminded the audience of the terrible prices U.S.-Americans pay for the nation’s for-profit health care system.
They also scored the best one-liners of the night. Responding to the corporate candidates’ apparent belief that the world’s richest nation can’t afford elementarily decent and allegedly “radical” and “extremist” things like quality free health insurance for all and green jobs programs to help save life on Earth, Warren memorably asked “Why go through the trouble of running for president and then talk about what we can’t do and can’t fight for?”
Sanders offered a simple four-word comment after the ridiculous stooge John Delaney intoned that “I’m the only one on this stage who actually has experience in the health care business. And with all due respect, I don’t think my colleagues understand the business.”
“It’s not a business!” Sanders said, to great applause. As Bernie Sanders knows very well, of course, American health care is unfortunately a big business that values profits over people in the U.S. But as everyone listening understood, Sanders’ point was that health care needs to be grasped as a human right, not as a business. Imagine that.
BERNIE SANDERS DOMINATES as Analyses of Fundraising Data Show Vermont Senator With Widespread Support Across Nation
TONY BENNETT & WIFE ON TONE'S 93RD
TO HELL WITH TRUMP
Letter to the Editor,
I haven’t read any of Philbrick’s Trumpkin tirades in over a year. Still, when the AVA arrives, I glance to see if he’s still alive and spitting his Copenhagen at the anti-American Radical Leftist Environmentalist “Democrat Party” crooks, spies and murderers flittering around inside his computer monitor. I’m also sick of turning on the TV news and seeing one of Trump’s “surrogates” broadcasting slanderous and preposterous party line lies while refusing to answer questions or shut their nasty mouths. I’m also tired of hearing about Trump’s fictional “base.” Spent my adult life working agriculture with working fools—grew up thinking just like them, matter of fact—still do on the basics. I’m also tired of us getting slimed with the rich boy’s crimes.
I think there’s a special place in Hell for those trashing our children’s future with their eyes glued to their heavily redacted rearview mirrors. It’s amazing to me that any elderly white boy who grew up in Jim Crow’s USA can now claim to know nothing about slavery, genocide and our endless wars, unending sexist depravities, crypto-Christian fascist movements and national disgraces. And how we can pretend we’re unaware of Fossil Fuel Man’s outrageous and irreparable crimes against nature and humankind, the near total degradation of coastal Mendocino’s once incredibly rich Redwood forests now just a thumb print on a planetary plantation covered with thumb prints?
So the 7/24 AVA arrives, I see Philbrick’s still tilting at windmills, happily turn to your OTR column and, on the back page, I see an ad proclaiming: “Committee to re-elect Trump.” Below are mugshots of four Democratic Party leaders. I get the point, kind of share the sentiment but, hey, there’s no attribution. Must be Bruce, says I. He and his central committee’s arts department. So, listen up, CCAD: the mugshots don’t match. Three are of filthy rich and washed-up Clintonite east coast Yankee geezers who refuse to pass the torch, and the 4th is not at all powerful but a Native Daughter as sharp as a tack who’s from the great state of California.
Then it struck me: the ad came from the internet. Was it Russia? China? Our boys in Brazil? Who knows? But I do know Kamala Harris wasn’t born of the others, isn’t responsible for them and I’ll drink to that. I also know she can beat Trump by bringing our much abused young to the polls—something our generation has never wanted, seeing their own votes in strictly mercenary terms: I got mine, screw you! Yet, while our elections are fixed and our expectations professionally managed downward, you can’t fix the results if traditional non-voters show up in hoards, there’s a paper trail and you collect legitimate exit pools of the representative precincts. Now, with Moscow Mitch and his shoulder-to-shoulder financiers blocking the door to our schoolhouse, what are the chances of that happening?
Regarding your declaration of “1,000th reason why Trump will be reelected,” putting aside the hyperbole, my first thought was: want to bet? Next thought: just how low you think our “lower classes” have sunk? You think we don’t know the bottom of the barrel when they’re stuck gawking at it? Here’s this grotesquely ugly old sleazeball penthouse sicko convinced the TV cameras love him and, smelling lettuce, the rabbits broadcast his every word and we the people are forced to behold the obscene spectacle.
Today’s young people are far more socially enlightened than my generation was and is today. Also it’s their asses on the line—a great motivator that: one powerful incentive. Over long and wasted decades, we blew our chances to secure a decent future and now it’s time we either repent our sins and cross over into the light or get out of the damned way.
OUT HERE IN THE MIDDLE
They broke into your car last night, took the stereo
Now you say you don’t know why, you even live there anymore
The garage man didn’t see a thing so you guess it was an inside job.
You made a reservation, a table for three
They said you’d have to wait, somebody must have bribed the maitre’d
The boss got mad and he blamed it all on you
Food was bad and the deal fell through.
Well, out here in the middle, you can park it on the street
You step up to the counter, you nearly always get a seat
Nobody steals, nobody cheats
Wish you were here, my love
We got tractor pulls and Red Man chew
Corporate relo refugees that need love too
We ain’t seen Elvis in a year or two.
We got justification for wealth and greed
Amber waves of grain and bathtub speed
Now, we even got Starbucks, what else you need?
Out here in the middle where the center’s on the right
And the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night
To save the lonely souls in the dashboard lights
Wish you were here, my love
Out here in the middle where the buffalo roam
We’re putting up towers for your cell phones
And we screen all applicants with a fine tooth comb
Wish you were here, my love
— James McMurtry
KIM NOVAK AND AND JAMES STEWART in Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
What’s changed over these last 10-15 years? It used to be that ‘politics’ was a bit like sport, at least among mature adults. Someone supported this party or that policy just as they might support a sports team. It was a biographical detail, not a character flaw. But in recent years, politics has becomes poisoned and, as a result it’s now poisonous.
The first thing infected is a sense of objective truth, the idea that, beyond the usual disagreements over detail, there were facts and these facts mattered.
This is reflected everyday in all public discourse, and in this particular microcosm here.
LIKE, THIS ONE TIME AT LARK CAMP…
The recording of last night's (2019-08-02) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg and KMEC-LP Ukiah is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:
Besides all that, at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
Mad as hell. Not going to take it anymore.
Some recordings of Edward Gorey talking about his work. He sounds exactly like I always imagined he might sound.
Intriguing noodling on fretless baritone guitar.
And a pleasantly cheesy little corporate magic performance. Men like this are very few and far between anymore. A dying breed.
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org,
KIDS EXPLORE ANCIENT RUINS
GET ME AN EDITOR!
by Dalton Delan
Westport, Conn. — "Get me rewrite!" So went the popular image of the "rewrite man" at the other end of the line from the reporter breathlessly dictating into the phone. This summer, when the new "Avengers: Endgame" movie clocked in at nearly three hours that could have easily lost an hour and saved some of our prostates, we need an editor more than ever. But there are few around.
Editors still exist at newspapers such as you are reading, fashioning headlines — remember "Headless Man Found in Topless Bar" — and keeping writers from some of our most egregious mistakes and infelicitous phrases. By and large, however, publishers, television and movie studios have lost the discipline, and crisp content has fallen to pre-sold commodities, marketing and digital social media. Speed is valued over finesse and craft. Once it's sold, caveat emptor. Agents sell manuscripts ready for the printer. How many typos and errors did you spot in the last book you read? How many movies felt too darn long? How many TV series seemed to wallow in plot-lines that meandered endlessly? It wasn't always this way. When I was coming up at Time-Life, my lowly black pencil got slashed by an editor's red pencil and, often to my complete chagrin, by the managing editor's withering blue pencil, a vorpal blade that cut closer than any shave. Before, at university, I had been lucky enough to study under the great New Yorker writer John McPhee, who had also apprenticed at Time, so that his prose shone like the metallic musculature of a Corvette. The first major author's editor was undoubtedly the legendary Maxwell Perkins at Scribner's, who helped F. Scott Fitzgerald turn a virgin manuscript you never heard of, “The Romantic Egotist,” into “This Side of Paradise,” after a full year of revisions before it reached the typesetter. Similarly, Perkins aided Ernest Hemingway in burnishing his taut prose. With heavier hatcheting, Perkins lopped 90,000 words off the overweight torso of Thomas Wolfe's "Look Homeward, Angel." Novelist Vance Bourjaily marveled at Perkins' "infallible sense of structure." In recent years, it has become clear that two of the 20th century's most esteemed fiction writers would likely have been shoveling coal on the dustbin of literary history were it not for the unsung heroism of their editors. In the case of the pithy short story writer Raymond Carver, the publication of his original, unedited drafts prompted Giles Harvey to lament in The New York Review of Books that this "has not done Carver any favors. Rather, it has inadvertently pointed up the editorial genius of Gordon Lish."
In his later years, Lish was blunt about it, as he told The Guardian in 2015: "I saw in Carver's pieces something I could (four-letter expletive — Ed.) around with." Not satisfied that his point may have had an Anglo Saxon emphasis but needed further clarification, Lish added: "Had I not revised Carver, would he be paid the attention given him? Baloney!"
No shrinking violet, Lish was finally reclaiming his place in a modern era lacking in the fine art of editing. More disturbing to the cultural vibrations of the moment, the belated publication, under suspicious circumstances, of Harper Lee's first version of `To Kill a Mockingbird," freighted with the ungainly title of "Go Set a Watchman," reveals just how extensively Lee's editor at J. B. Lippincott, Tay Hohoff, led Lee by the pencil-wielding hand. The Atticus Finch of the earlier "Watchman" is an unrepentant racist, virtually turning the book on its head. Had the manuscript been published as originally penned, when Hohoff found it "more a series of anecdotes than a fully conceived novel," screenwriter Horton Foote would never have been commissioned to write a screenplay fit for the likes of Gregory Peck. Generations of readers would never have cherished "Go Set a Watchman." Small wonder Lee never published again. The truth may be that her singular success was in collaborating with Hohoff, which Lee would not or could not repeat. The list goes on and on. Malcolm Cowley at Viking Press guided Jack Kerouac's one bestseller "On the Road" from unbroken typescript to the bible of the Beat Generation. The great Hollywood films of the 20th century seldom overstayed their welcome on the screen. They left you wanting more, and were the better for it. They didn't need sequels; there was no "Casablanca: Endgame" and we were left to imagine for ourselves the beautiful friendship. Me, I like my 800 words, and I don't know what I'd do with more room to ramble. When we have lost the discipline to curb excessive duration, we forget French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal's epistolary adage back in 1656, often misattributed to the king of aphorisms, Mark Twain: "I made this longer only because I do not have the time to make it shorter."
(Dalton Delan, a regular Eagle contributor, has won Emmy, Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards for his work as a television producer.)
SEABIRDS EATING PLASTIC. RECYCLERS STRUGGLING. California’s Waste Crisis
by Rachel Becker, CalMatters
It was more than a year after the seabird died and washed up on a California beach before Jessie Beck prepared to reveal its last meals. Holding its stomach over a laboratory sink, Beck snipped open the slick tissue. With a series of plinks, the stomach contents slumped out onto the metal sieve below.
Inside were the remains of seabird food, like hooked squid beaks the size of fingernail clippings. Mostly, though, Beck found hard shards of plastic, soggy cardboard, styrofoam, and a maroon hunk of mystery meat that looked like beef jerky — until Beck cracked it open. Its innards were pure white: more styrofoam.
The gray bird, called a Northern Fulmar, may have died in the waters off California during its winter migration. And it’s possible that the bird’s garbage-filled meals played a part in its death. But Beck, a scientist with the non-profit group Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, isn’t one to speculate, and she isn’t investigating what killed it.
Instead, the bird is part of a larger project to monitor plastic pollution, 4 million to 12 million metric tons of which wash into the ocean around the world every year. Fulmars are known to snack on this trash, particularly when they’re hungry. And when they die and wash up on shore, about 70 percent of them bring some plastic back with them every year.
Looking in these birds’ guts is how Beck studies the plastic bobbing on the ocean’s surface and tempting hungry animals. That plastic and cardboard crowding out the squid beaks and seaweed in the dead bird’s stomach are a sign of a global garbage crisis that California hasn’t escaped.
Too much trash
Californians generated about 77.2 million tons of waste in 2017, according to the most recent calculations from CalRecycle, California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Of that, about 44.4 million tons ended up in landfills in 2017. CalRecycle estimates that the other 32.8 million tons, about 42 percent, was sent to recycling or composting, or was just never tossed in the first place.
The numbers are a problem because they mean the state is far from reaching a statewide goal to reduce, recycle, or compost 75 percent of waste by the year 2020. And the outlook isn’t good. That’s in part because cheap natural gas is spurring investments in manufacturing of virgin plastics, which a CalRecycle report said could “undermine source reduction efforts, undercut prices for recovered plastics, and exacerbate plastic litter and marine pollution issues.”
There’s also a major shakeup to the international recycling markets, which affects California because it exports about a third of its recycling, according to CalRecycle estimates. Historically, the bulk of California’s recycling exports went to China. But in 2013, China temporarily scaled up inspection and enforcement against imports of contaminated recycling. And in 2017, China announced new restrictions on imports and tighter contamination standards for materials including mixed plastics and unsorted paper.
“That started sending recyclers and recycling markets into a tailspin here,” said Kate O’Neill, an associate professor in environmental science at the University of California, Berkeley and an expert on the international waste trade. Since then, countries including Thailand, Vietnam, and India announced plans to ban scrap plastic.
O’Neill, for one, hasn’t lost hope. “Waste is a challenge we can meet,” she said. She hopes the race to find a plastic substitute will take off, and that manufacturers will cut back packaging on consumer goods. But any systemic change, she knows, will take time. “You’re talking about slowing down and stopping the Titanic,” she said.
In the meantime, recyclers and local governments across the state are struggling to cope with a rapidly changing market for recyclables. And they’re trying not to undo the decades of work that made consumer recycling a habit.
The upheaval in recycling markets means plastic and, especially, paper are piling up for recyclers like Richard Caglia, corporate development officer for the Caglia Family companies, including the Cedar Avenue Recycling and Transfer Station in Fresno.
“The market is in a state of flux,” Caglia said, and weathering it has meant raising rates for some of the recycling haulers and cities they work with, including Fresno. “So far, we’ve been very fortunate to survive it.”
The Cedar Avenue facility accepts about half of Fresno’s residential recycling, as well as recycling from surrounding areas. Caglia’s trying to find someone who wants to pay for his bales of mixed paper. Right now, he has roughly 4.2 million pounds of it stockpiled, and that has Caglia worried about fires. Central Valley summers are hot, and every so often people toss something that could spark a fire — like lithium ion batteries — into their recycling.
“Even though we try to keep our materials spread out as far as possible, it’s the nature of the business — something could go wrong anytime,” he said. “We actually have 24-hour-security now doing nothing but fire watch.”
In spite of the shakeup, the City of Fresno hasn’t raised its garbage fees or changed which recyclables it collects from residents — at least not yet, according to Alicia Real, recycling coordinator for the City of Fresno. “We’re at that tipping point right now,” Real said.
For now, though, Real said it’s the non–recyclables people really need to stop tossing in the blue bin, things like dirty diapers, garden hoses, clothing, styrofoam, and kiddie pools. That’s why Fresno is running a “Keep Fresno Clean” campaign. Its webpage is headlined by a woman clutching a garden hose and a man holding a diaper sporting a smiling poop emoji (neither hose nor diaper is recyclable).
The goal is to curb what Real calls wish-recycling. “Most people are trying to do the right thing,” she said. “They look at a product and say, ‘Oh, this is made from half-plastic and half-metal,’ this should be recyclable, and so they throw it into the container.”
Caglia appreciates the effort but thinks more work is needed. Garden hoses are a particular nightmare. “Powerful machinery has a tendency to wind things up pretty tight,” Caglia said, and the whole plant can come to a standstill for a wayward hose to be cut loose.
Culver City is in a similar predicament. Once, it could sell off its recycling for about $25 per ton, according to Kim Braun, the manager of environmental programs and operations in the public works department. But now, recyclers are having a difficult time finding buyers for most of the city’s plastics except for beverage bottles and detergent containers.
As for yogurt cups, plastic packaging, laundry hampers, and plastic clamshells, Braun said that those types of mixed plastics will end up in a landfill one way or another no matter what residents do. “They’re going to put it in the can to go to the landfill at the front end, or the processor is going to put it in the landfill at the backend,” she said.
These days, Braun estimated, Culver City has to pay about $25 per ton to get processors to take its curbside recycling off its hands. While rates haven’t increased yet for residents, she said to expect new, higher fees in July 2020. Still, Braun hasn’t changed what Culver City picks up at the curb in response to the international recycling shakeup. She doesn’t want city residents to have lost the habit by the time the markets, she hopes, recover. “People are confused enough as it is,” she said.
The problem with wish-cycling
Keeping trash out of the blue bin has become a matter of survival for companies like San Jose-based GreenWaste Recovery, which collects and processes trash, recycling, and yard waste from parts of the Bay Area and Central Coast. In a recent stark example, one glitching computer temporarily closed off an entire market for recycled materials, leaving even fewer options for buyers.
On a sunny July day, crushed glass glittered on the ground as the facility’s manager, Ricardo Lopez, gestured at what looked like a mountain of trash. “This is the recycling,” Lopez said. Rolled up carpet, an oven mitt, pizza boxes, and dirt littered the pile. An empty propane tank lay on its side nearby. All of that trash will have to be removed before the good stuff — empty plastic bottles and jugs, glass, aluminum cans, and clean paper and cardboard — can be baled and sold. “They’re giving me a bunch of crap on the front end, so it makes it that much harder to process it,” he said.
GreenWaste has invested more than $10 million over the past two years, including on new sorting machines and staffing to weed through all that junk. As the recycling moves through the processing facility, its first stop is a machine that spreads it evenly on a conveyor belt so employees don’t have to dig to pick out what doesn’t belong. A car mat, a jug with car oil in it, and a giant sack that once held “Wild Potatoes” all ended up on this pile.
Then the recycling travels through a series of screens to separate out cardboard and glass before it hits an automated sorting machine that pulls out garbage like latex gloves and diapers. After a pass through yet more screens and automated sorting machines, employees pick through the final paper and plastic streams on conveyor belts to remove any contaminants that snuck through.
This particular day, there was more to worry about than usual: the automated sorting machine wasn’t working. That meant those manually sorting the recycling had to pay more attention to stray diapers, and couldn’t keep as much cardboard out of the paper bales as they usually do.
The result? Lopez had to tell his broker not to sell any bales to Indonesia — which has made headlines for sending back contaminated recycling — until they fixed the problem. “That one layer of missing quality control has completely changed the makeup of my product,” Lopez said. “That’s why I told the buyer, ‘Hey, listen, I can’t make your spec so let’s wait on shipment until I have my machine up and running.’ That’s how delicate the situation is now.”
Is recycling correctly enough?
Tossing a container into the bin doesn’t guarantee a buyer even when Lopez’s machines are working perfectly. He points to the black plastic containers for rotisserie chicken from the grocery store with a number “1” stamped onto the bottom. “There’s zero market,” he said. “Just because it has a number does not mean that it’s recyclable or that there is a current market.”
He blames marketing spin from the packaging industry. “But they wouldn’t be selling this if [we], as consumers, weren’t demanding it.”
Are consumers demanding it, though? Not Beck, who, even as a scientist with her hands in the guts of the problem, can’t avoid making plastic waste. As she scrubbed down the industrial cutting board the birds rested on during their necropsies, she revealed what is more discouraging than all the plastic trapped in the birds’ downy gray carcasses.
“It’s more demoralizing to go to the market and be like, ‘Oh, if I want to buy anything, it’s going to be a plastic,’” she said over the cutting board.
Around the lab were signs that Beck and her fellow scientists are trying to shrink their garbage footprint. Used and washed ziplock bags hung on a wooden dowel to dry. In the musty cold room from which Beck’s colleague wheeled out the cart of bird carcasses, a huge bucket overflowed with crumpled, soiled purple gloves they plan to send back to the glove company for recycling.
But going to the store is just a reminder of the scale of the plastics crisis. “I’m going to have to contribute to the problem — just by participating in the normal economy.”