- Light Showers
- Lindy Announces
- Ed Notes
- Setting Sunflowers
- Mill-Site Blues
- Estes Postcard
- Locals Night
- GM Strike
- Uncontrolled Collapse
- Brink Oil
- Redwood Tree
- Housing Element
- Extreme Biden
- Urban Dictionary
- Anonymous Benefactor
- Climate March
- Dinga Linga
- Coastal Cleanup
- Gross Again
- Chappelle Special
- Middle-East Tensions
- Lying Bastards
- Speed Thing
- Mendo Mondragon
- Found Object
RAINFALL Sunday night into Monday? 0.21 in Boonville, just enough to tamp down the dust and sweeten the air.
ANOTHER CHANCE OF LIGHT SHOWERS late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning followed by several clear days with temps in the mid- to high-80s into next week.
COUNCILMAN & FORMER MAYOR LINDY PETERS of Fort Bragg has taken out papers to run for 4th District Supervisor against incumbent, Dan Gjerde. The popular Peters just might unseat Gjerde, who has been virtually invisible as a Supervisor. Another popular mayor, Mo Mulheren of Ukiah, is taking on incumbent John McCowen in the 2nd district, which will also be a tight race assuming McCowen runs for re-election. It’s been many years since the 4th District seat has been contested; McCowen has faced opposition before.
LINDY PETERS: “Today [Monday, Sep. 16) I pulled papers to run for 4th District Supervisor. Many of you have encouraged me to take on this challenge, and after much thought and discussion, I have decided to do so. I will be seeking your signatures (621) and pledge to fight hard to make sure the 4th District is getting our fair share of County services and County distribution of tax dollars. I also pledge to run a clean, issue-oriented campaign. It is time for a fresh set of eyes and a fresh pair of ears to represent you. I hope to be elected by 50% + 1 in the March primary, thereby sparing a dogfight until next November. I promise to give my full attention to City matters as my term on the Council will not be affected. Should I prevail in March, then a Council election to fill my seat will take place in November 2020 in conjunction with the General Election. I’m in it to win it.”
FRIDAY'S GLOBALLY-WARMED Fair was already quite toasty by 11am, prompting me to scoot back into the ac by noon, but before I wimped out I sure enjoyed seeing Roy Laird's uniquely altered lawn mower, Saffron Fraser's wonderfully rendered painting of the Navarro Store, quilts by Shirley Tompkins, Kay Jablonski, Denisse Mattei, and Sue Gowan, two fine paintings by Marvin Schenk, a really good seascape by Deanna Smith, and two memorable paintings — one of the Golden Gate Bridge, the other of mom herding goats — by the mother and daughter artists, Kathy and Stephanie Kephart. The talent found in the small population of the Anderson Valley, not to say Mendocino County, is one more gift to the people lucky to live here. Re-pausing at the entrance to the Fine Arts Building where an ancient Citroen was posted, which I learned was the same vehicle deployed in the movie American Graffiti, I was again forcefully reminded that Fair art has never been predictable. Moving on into the Ag Building, I enjoyed my 52nd slice of apple pie since my first slice in '71, when Grandma Pie, the late Ruby Hulbert, was still superintending the ovens. I washed the delicacy down with a bracing cuppa Katzeff's Thanksgiving Coffee and moved on to view the lush farm displays bearing testimony to the stolid patience of the high school kids and local sons and daughters of the soil who created them. The hall was again lined with a variety of interesting booths including my fave, one that displayed old farm implements. Near the north door was a Farm Bureau display festooned with signs asking, "Do you know where your water comes from?" (Yes, and I'm glad it comes from a well rather than the Potter Valley Diversion, which the Farm Bureau seems to consider its subsidiary.) I caught a glimpse of Val Muchowski at the Middle of the Road Extremist exhibit identifying itself as the Democrats, and nearby a cardboard mock-up of President Bluster announced the Republican booth. The flower exhibits were still locked down so, with the mercury rising, I said goodbye to Fair 2019. It was another good one and, as always, an opportunity to see people otherwise not seen during the 12 months prior, this year the seldom seen included Ashley Jones, in town from his new home in Alameda. "I miss this place," he told me. Once a boonter, Ashley, always a boonter.
I HEARD there was a kerfuffle between the Bernie people and a guy wearing a MAGA hat near the Fairgrounds entrance that was confined to mutual insults. The police presence was much less visible than in years past — the Fair's fightin' years — but one guy I talked to said he was happy "the cops were weeding out the gang punks before they could get into the Fairgrounds." A few drunks had to be hauled off, but there were no difficulties requiring police assistance.
NOTE TO FAIR MANAGEMENT: Only one working drinking fountain on the Fairgrounds, and that one is in the Ag Building. The elderly are constantly reminded to hydrate, but they can’t hydrate anywhere but one spot on the sprawling site.
SUNDAY’S FAIR PARADE commenced with the usual chorus of sirens as a large crowd of spectators arrayed along Highway 128 from Mountain View to the judges viewing stand at the Fairgrounds. The Anderson Valley Fire Department’s fleet of trucks passed by with the department’s command vehicle bringing up its rear, followed by the AV Ambulance with a poster pleading for volunteers. Grand Marshalls Tony and Melanie Pardini, regally seated in Bill Holcomb’s beautifully restored vintage Merc appeared just ahead of two beautifully decorated horses with two equivalently strikingly costumed women astride. Greenwood Aggregates passed hauling AV Farm Supply’s family with a fleet of 5th Grade female bicyclists hard on the flatbed’s tail. I could hear laughter before a CHP cruiser hoved into view blaring the Bad Boy music from the popular tv show, COPS, and give it to the CHP for the most humorous parade entry on the day. A delegation of Native Americans lamenting the high incidence of violence against Native women were followed by two loads of bongo hippies, a couple on a bicycle built for two, CalFire trucks, one of them driven by local boy Matt Wilson, Smokey the Bear and, finally, the venerable Shorty Adams, legendary Valley school bus driver, behind the wheel of his meticulous vintage black pick-up.
TWO LANDMARK AV properties for sale include the Buckhorn restaurant and bar complex and the Anderson Valley Inn, formerly the Philo Motel. I doubt if it's much of a selling point, but the Philo site could be considered our very own Bates Motel given that mass killer Leonard Lake once managed the place. Leonard can certainly be counted among America's more community-minded psychos, having served as recording secretary for the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department. As a now-retired volunteer famously put it, "Yeah, yeah Leonard was nuts. But you know he was the best secretary we ever had. Beautiful hand writing."
CASPAR INN is being revived by an English couple we understand, who will offer beer, wine, fish and chips. The gifted impresario, Peter Lit, presided over the Inn for years in its heyday. If those walls could talk, what tales they could tell.
FROM SUPERVISOR GJERDE: Here is a helpful tip: If you see trash left on public land, such as a mattress left alongside a public road, please report it. MendoRecycle, a partnership of the County and our cities, will clean it up. I've reported problems on MendoRecycle's easy-to-navigate website, and they have cleaned up the roadside debris.
SECOND DISTRICT Supervisor John McCowen spends his off hours cleaning up after the Ukiah Valley's ever-larger "homeless" population, a tiny minority of whom are legitimately homeless. The Supervisor has been at it for years. I'm aware that McCowen even took it upon himself to personally drive a particularly noxious pair of campers habitually fouling a feeder stream way to heck outtahere. By drive I mean the Supervisor, at their request, drove them hours from Ukiah and left them there. They probably drifted back, but for true commitment to the health of what's left of the Ukiah Valley's natural world, McCowen deserves much credit for his one-man campaign to keep the slobs out of the Russian River and its battered tributaries.
FOR HIS EFFORTS to pick up after habitual drunks, drug addicts and miscellaneous walking wounded, McCowen is seen by the irresponsible as their primary nemesis, with Officer Hoyle of the Ukiah Police Department probably running a close second.
AS OFTEN HAPPENS, the people hounded by the Supervisor to at least pick up after themselves and to not use the Ukiah area's river and streams as latrines, call the 911 emergency to accuse McCowen himself of criminal misconduct, as happened the other day when a woman called the police to have McCowen arrested for looting her teepee!
BTW, the "homeless" aren't the only people trashing public spaces and the County's roadsides. Lots of housed people dump stuff to evade dump fees. Which are increasingly, onerously expensive. To discourage illegal dumping, the County should work out a method whereby people who can't afford present-day legal dump fees are permitted to dump at a reduced, affordable rate. The County does offer trash removal once the trash is in place, but reduced, County-subsidized dump fees would keep trash from midnight off-loading in the first place. We think the money for subsidized trash (and County ambulance services) ought to come out of the pointless Promotional Alliance's annual million-plus budget that allegedly promotes tourism to the County.
JUST IN FROM THE DA'S OFFICE: Mr. Michael Coon, the man shot by an off-duty firefighter while attempting to rob a Ukiah Subway sandwhich shop late last year with a realistic-looking bb-gun, has been undergoing psychiatric evaluation. He will return to court this Wednesday for a hearing on his status. In the meantime, multiple charges of 2nd degree robbery, kidnapping, contributing to delinquency of minor, and kidnapping remain in place. His assistant, Mr. Alexander Romero entered a guilty plea to being an accessory on Aug. 13, and was placed on three years probation.
THE DEMOCRATS were passing out postcards at the Boonville Fair titled "A Penny For Your Thoughts" with a penny taped to it. The card read, "You get these improvements in your life because Democrats worked hard for you." On the off chance someone eats these claims whole, Boonville's beloved weekly has, as another of our unending public services, listed them along with a clearer, truer assessment of political responsibility:
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: A spine-free "accomplishment" to avoid taking on the insurance combines and fighting for single-payer. Requires people, under penalty, to select from private insurers only slightly less expensive than regular carriers. A success in that more uninsurable people can get insurance but woefully short of major reform.
SOCIAL SECURITY: True, the great FDR got it passed into law. But there hasn't been a Democrat like him since, with the possible exception of LBJ, at least on domestic policy but who was undone by the pointless War On Vietnam.
HEALTH CARE REFORM: There hasn't been any really unless you consider ObamaCare major reform.
FOOD SAFETY: Bi-partisan agreement. Even Republicans eat.
WOMEN'S RIGHT TO VOTE: It was agitation mostly by Republican women all the way back to the days of Ulysses S. Grant. Bi-partisan accomplishment. Even Republicans have wives, mothers and daughters.
VOTING RIGHTS ACT: Bi-partisan support and passage, but mostly Democrats.
EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN: True. Mostly Democrat agitation in '63 with JFK but still a work in progress.
BANKING AND WALL STREET REGS: Har de har. Roosevelt-initiated but unraveled by Clinton, bailed out by Obama in the crash of 2008 and with bi-partisan support for de-regulation ever since with a bigger crash than '08 looming BECAUSE of Democrats.
SECURITY AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION: See above.
WOMEN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE: The Supreme Court did that.
MEDICARE: LBJ, a Democrat. (But even here this was a subsidy to the insurance industry by having the government pick up the tab for the elderly, with their increased illnesses and injuries.)
EIGHT HOUR WORK DAY: Even Rockefeller was in support. General consensus on desirability of.
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT: Nixon, a Republican, got it done.
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: Nixon.
VETERAN'S BENEFITS; Both parties outdo each other in support for vets.
INCREASED FUEL ECONOMY: Not really. Democrats, like Republicans, move around in limos, town cars and huge SUV'S.
NATO. NATO? Jesus H! You brag about that boondoggle?
FEDERAL LOAN PROGRAM: Unclear. Which one? Surely not student loans.
HEADSTART: LBJ did it and it went extinct fifty years ago.
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO. The audio wing of the Democrat wing of government and dependent on bi-partisan support for funding. Only rightwing "liberals" of the Mendo type think they're getting the straight scoop.
TAKEN AS A WHOLE, this list of improvements is pathetic, so pathetic Republicans can plausibly challenge most of them simply by saying, "Gosh, we helped." As most people by now are at least dimly aware, both parties are funded by very wealthy people who pursue their private interests via elected officeholders they fund. We haven't lived in a democracy since….. Oh, since Kennedy, if then.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Fading but not Forgotten
by David Wilson
I’ve come to embrace the unexpected when I photograph. I tell people when I go out that it’s always an experiment, but I think they think I’m kidding. In part I am, as I am pretty comfortable with my photography, but there’s also a lot of truth to it. It’s dark while I’m photographing; I don’t simply make an exposure reading and take a picture or set a bank of strobes (which I don’t have) to some magic value that will fill a scene perfectly with light. I’m not even really interested in “perfect” light. I want to make a striking image when I photograph, and that’s usually all there is to it. I do it by the seat of my pants; it’s art. I’ve found that while my planning will frequently be enough, as often it’s something unexpected that adds the touch of magic that makes it special.
I had the pleasure of my son’s company the night I made the sunflower image I’m sharing here. I told him as we traveled how usually the unforeseen will show up in the form of unplanned light of some kind, but when we arrived the unexpected surprised me. I had imagined finding vigorous sunflowers standing tall and firm, their bright faces looking toward the next dawn, as in other sunflower images I’d seen. It’s the way they look, I thought without thinking. I hadn’t really considered it further. We found instead a motley crew of disheveled figures, slumped and downcast as their time on Earth slipped through their wrinkled petals. Night had only just fallen, and these flowers would wait through the long watch for the rays of one more morning’s sun. Dismayed at first that I had missed their prime, I realized as I stood awhile with them that these were telling their own poignant story, and it added an emotional component to the final image.
There is a mathematical sequence that appears frequently in nature called the Fibonacci sequence. I recommend looking it up; it’s fascinating. But while I’m not here to discuss it in depth, it is relevant to the image at hand. The little florets or seeds across the faces of sunflowers offer a ready example. A close look will reveal that the florets radiate from the center in strong spirals paths. The shapes of these spirals follow a Fibonacci sequence. Leaves on a twig also often arrange themselves spirally in this sequence, and there are many other examples in nature. It’s a ratio or sequence that we are as accustomed to seeing in our everyday lives as blue sky, though which usually goes unnoticed.
Closely related to the Fibonacci sequence is the Golden Ratio, a ratio of 1:1.618. In some circles it is believed the most pleasing rectangles to our eyes are ones the sides of which are made in this ratio. If so, perhaps it is because we are so accustomed to seeing things in nature that exhibit the Fibonacci sequence. I only speculate; I’m not an authority on the Fibonacci sequence or Golden Ratio, and I’m certainly no mathematician. But I’ll tell you this: when I first made an image in a rectangular shape with sides in the Golden Ratio of 1:1.618 I received a Best of Show for it. Your mileage may vary. Of course, after you make your image you’ll discover that 1:1.618 does not yield a standard print or frame size. They’d rather stick you with an 8x10.
Because the sunflower gives us such a visible example of the Fibonacci sequence in the arrangement of its florets, which is closely related to the Golden Ratio, I am presenting this image in a shape with the ratio of 1:1.618. It does make a nice rectangle, doesn’t it?
It was a ragtag group of setting sunflowers awaiting us at the patch by the time I made it out there to photograph them. The forlorn farewell of sunflowers contemplating the next phase of existence.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, visit or contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)
MILL SITE BLUES
by Rex Gressett
At 6 o'clock last Thursday evening, the worried and the merely confused, converged on Fort Bragg Town Hall to hear the “Noyo Consortium” explain their long prepared alternative vision for the Georgia Pacific mill site.
The evening was a long-prepared direct attack on the City Council's proposed zoning mega-plan and the bargain basement sell-off of the mill site to hot-to-trot developers led by wannabe clear-cutter Harvest Market. The meeting was in Town Hall - but officially unofficial.
The city refused to allow the open space advocates and various earth-friendly activists, most of whom are middle-aged prosperous stalwarts of the community, to use the city video system.
The meeting will not appear on the city site. Flipping the switch was for some reason impossible. The patient organizers fell back on Mendocino TV Terry Vaughn's cut-rate internet alternative and trusted unto God for intelligible sound.
By strange chance, the community meeting came only two days after the shock firing of Marie Jones — the mastermind and architect of the decades-long project to zone the Georgia Pacific mill site.
Every member of the Fort Bragg City Council was in grim attendance. None of them spoke in the lengthy public discussion. Town Hall was full, but not packed, with a respectful crowd anxious to hear the Consortium float a wide-ranging assemblage of hopes and wistful aspiration for the 420-acre oceanfront jewel.
The speakers had no identifiable program, but each in their own way suggested a polite sensibility of opposition to the city's proposed zoning smorgasbord; heavy industrial, light industrial, high and low-density housing, a couple of hotels and a supermarket are all on the drawing board and rolling toward finalization.
The Consortium advocated for open space — bees, trees and animals. Amazing. In shot after tragic shot, the Consortium powerpoint showed the great empty oceanfront property sprawling the length of the city along the rugged California coastline. It was like showing family photos of a man doomed for execution.
George Reinhardt, Bill Lemos, and Karen Kawamoto went through somewhat weirdly unrelated presentations and talked about the loss of wildlife, the loss of grandeur and the loss of possibility. When they showed the map of zoning overbuild that Marie had designed for the city councils rubberstamp, it was to illustrate what NONE of them wanted and what the city will almost surely receive from the hands of the Development Department-compliant City Council.
Not so compliant is the California Coastal Commission.
When the now-fired Marie Jones tossed the first 10 years of well-funded zoning planning in the circular file and went on to the next 10 years of well-funded zoning, she sent to the Coastal Commission a plan that allocated 70% of the mill site to development.
As a kind of an afterthought, her plan suggested hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure costs nobody could pay for and made zero provision for maintenance of, access to or responsibility for the 30% of space that would be left “open." However they tweak the map, the LCP is quite openly an elaborate plan for a vast unreconstructed vacant lot, dotted with steel buildings and random low-income housing.
When the ex-Development Director sent the council-approved LCP to the Coastal Commission staff offices in Eureka, the Commission flipped her proposed ratio of development to open space and required 70% of the space to be open space with a mere 30% zoned for Marie Jones's crazed diversity of development projects.
Jones never mentioned that massive rebuke in any of her remarks to the Council, or the Planning Commission. She confessed to me privately that the reversal was “not-trivial.” Maybe the Council knew all about it and did not want to talk about it publicly. Maybe they did not know, but the inversion undercut arguments for development kept in place the hodgepodge multipurpose zoning and left still unresolved the maintenance and restoration of the rubble-strewn industrial wasteland of what was post-commission intervention, 70% of the mill site.
The City Council officially didn't care. I was told privately by a member of the City Council that since GP owned all that empty space, the city did not have to worry. The post battlefield condition of the open space and public access to it was “not our problem.”
Every cloud has its silver lining. The corporate suits at GP are cool. GP sells off 30%.
The Fort Bragg City Council is also on board since Marie Jones parade of heavily-funded zoning studies have been pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the coffers of the city for 20 years, as a succession of city councils trailed along in her money-earning wake.
Thursday night, the self-appointed Noyo Consortium advocated for vision, imagination and common sense but they walked around the political confrontation that would be necessary to make that happen like it was a stick of dynamite.
As I looked around the meeting, the crowd itself was as interesting as the meeting.
About half the crowd was there to gauge the depth of public opposition for and resent of plans past and present. Old-guard insiders from ancient Fort Bragg politics that rarely attend a public meeting these days were present in numbers. Meg Courtney and Doug Hamerstrom were in attendance. Supporters of the present LCP were paying close attention. The nameless lobbyist for the Harvest Market tree clear-cutting and bulldozing program was present along with at least two of the town’s Planning Commissioners.
Of course, all of the Fort Bragg City Council showed up. None of them uttered a word. None of them defended their mega-development LCP, none of them expressed opposition to, or support for, the earth-friendly alternative Councilman Bernie Norvell was typically quiet in a back seat and left very early. Norvell is the council’s political realist. One suspects he discerned at a glance the self-appointed consortium was in practical terms merely inspirational and electorally insignificant. No worries for Norvell.
Councilperson Jessica Morsell-Haye was in a front seat looking like she had discovered an unexpected and not entirely welcome continent. Councilperson Tess Albin-Smith looked both intentive and clueless which is her unique specialty and Mayor Will Lee stayed conscientiously buried in his notebook, Councilperson Lindy Peters, alone among Councilpeople, kind of lost his cool. Even as he crossed Highway 1 headed like a wrathful rocket at Town Hall, he was visibly furious and damn sure not taking questions.
He charged across the street like a locomotive, blasted past the small crowd outside and slammed into his seat when I ventured a meek little "Hello," I thought for a second he was going to throw a punch. One has sympathy for their collective discomfiture.
The meeting was an explicit challenge to the plans of the Council for the power of economically empowering ugliness. Suddenly it seemed to be falling apart.
The author of the Council-endorsed LCP zoning, on whom they leaned so heavily, had been suddenly and bewilderingly fired and if they hire someone honest for Development Director, the Coastal Commission hostile urban development plan will very likely go up in smoke.
Then, damn it all, they had to contend with a well attended public meeting of fiercely polite citizens honestly wondering why the zoning plan the Council has spent decades refining, redefining and redesigning is so strangely irrational and obviously impractical.
The Consortium made the case with eloquence — but politely declined to wonder how the hell we got here.
The answer, as it is to so many things, is money — specifically long-term, high dollar funding for the Fort Bragg development department's never-ending planning projects.
Twenty years of high volume cash doesn’t grow on trees. Lindy Peters assumes you don’t know that. He is counting on you not figuring it out. But money aside, the mild and gentle intrusion of the earth people consortium is at fundamental odds with Lindy Peters’ happy place.
Both ex-Mayor Peters and current Mayor Will Lee were recent applicants for the Coastal Commission. Both of them expressed publicly they could be really useful with that mean old Coastal Commission that keeps saying with such annoying consistency that a 420-acre utterly unique coastal jewel should not be covered with the industrial sprawl.
Somehow, both Peters and Lee were summarily rejected for their Coastal Commission candidacy. So unfair.
The meeting was an unpleasant reminder of wide public opposition to their mill site "Super Plan," and dare we think a hint of perhaps unseen opposition to their candidacies for the Commission.
They had to be wondering if the unflattering Coastal Commission rebuke of the development director’s LCP and implied snub to her city council enablers had its roots in exactly this kind of earth first advocacy.
I can personally assure the ex-Mayor and the present Mayor that the Governor was made aware.
Here is another one I happened upon online.
The photograph of the Witter Springs Hotel Dining Room near Upper Lake in Lake County isn’t local, but the card’s recipient ties into an early Anderson Valley family, the Estes. The addressee – J.L. Estes – is John Lewis Estes of Boonville, who lived from 1849 to 1924 and must have settled in Anderson Valley in the 19th century, as his children married other locals, including Ornbaun, Witherell and Gowan. I am not sure which of his two sons – John Harvey Estes or George H. Estes – is the father of the grandchild that wrote the card and signed it only with his or her initials. The card was mailed from Comptche.
Ed note: Lucille Estes, a master gardener, lives in Boonville but may be related although her family homesteaded in the Guerneville area.
JERRY KARP: “The Anderson Valley Historical Society welcomes one and all to our second Locals Night at the Anderson Valley History Museum, a.k.a. the Little Red School House, Wednesday evening, September 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. We had so much fun at our first event back in March that we decided to do it again! Welcome Autumn, and celebrate surviving another Fair, with friends old and new at this Free event. If you were at the March event, you know how much fun it was. If not, now’s your chance! Some folks tell us they haven't been to the AV History Museum in years. Some folks tell us they've never been there! Well, then, come on out and join us. It’s your museum, and if we do say so ourselves, it’s interesting and delightful. We'll have snacks, wine and other beverages, too. No guided tours, just mingle and wander as you wish through our rearranged, spiffed up and otherwise improved displays, with docents on hand to guide and explain as needed. Check out the Rose Room, our recently refurbished meeting space. All free! All invited! The AV History Museum is located just north of Boonville at 12340 Highway 128. (As if you didn’t know!)”
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 16, 2019
(…unavailable due to internal error on Sheriff’s booking site)
50,000 GM WORKERS IN DETROIT ARE NOW ON STRIKE. It is the biggest strike by organized labor since 2007.
For the last forty years, corporatist forces representing a virulent strain of capitalism have waged an assault on organized labor in America. Untethered to ethical or moral forces, corporatism has put short-term stockholder value before workers rights, workplace safety, and environmental responsibility. I stand firmly on the side of labor in pushing back against the devastating power of this economic elitism and the workers of the United States. Capitalism itself will be better and stronger when the balance of power is restored. I support the striking workers at GM as they take a courageous stand for better wages and profit-sharing. Economic justice for American labor is a boon to the our economy, to our democracy, and to our humanity.
I believe in righteous commerce and in capitalism with a conscience. I don’t think the average American wants to think they’re making money at the expense of other people having a chance to. I think all of us do better when all of us do better.
Sending my best wishes to all who are affected by the strike, with hope that the better angels of all concerned will yet prevail.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
It’s not racism and stupidity as the bi-coastal intelligentsia would have it, it’s the gap between the paycheck and the monthly rent. That’s what it is, and if you think otherwise, just ask accountant Billy Tung in Hong Kong, who’s supposed to work six or seven days a week, who’s stuck in an apartment partitioned for six renters and who’s had enough and who now takes to the streets with a couple million other Hong Kongers. Billy is so royally screwed, just imagine, an expensively educated professional that can’t contemplate an age-old human drive, a life with a wife and kids in a premises big enough to accommodate them. Imagine someone less educated. And there’s millions like him in that place. The fat-asses have got a choke-hold on people like Billy, and they’re screwing them mercilessly, just like Wall Street and the Davos gang elsewhere.
This can’t go on, the strangle-hold of the vampire squid has to loosen. The backdrop is one where the shot-callers fucked it all up pure and simple, where the economics don’t pan out, the numbers don’t scan, and people can’t make a go of it. The choice is now between controlled demolition and uncontrolled collapse. That’s the choice, and the drama in Washington is just one of the eddies in the torrent of global events taking shape.
My guess is they choose uncontrolled collapse, betting on making a go of it in the aftermath. I think they greatly overestimate their chances and their abilities in general and their ability in particular at directing events. In short, my bet is that they lose the bet.
A VIEW FROM THE BRINK
by James Kunstler
Welcome to the world where things don’t add up. For instance, some people did some things to the Saudi Arabian oil refinery at Abqaiq over the weekend. Like, sent over a salvo of cruise missiles and armed drone aircraft to blow it up. They did a pretty good job of disabling the works. It is Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing facility, and for now, perhaps months, a fair amount of the world’s oil supply will be cut off. President Trump said “[we] are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Exclamation mark his.
How many times the past few years has our government declared that “we have the finest intelligence services in the world.” Very well, then, why are we waiting for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to tell us who fired all that stuff into Abqaiq? Whoever did it, it was unquestionably an act of war. And, of course, what are we going to do about it? (And what will some people do about it?)
Let’s face it: the USA has had a hard-on for Iran for forty years, ever since they overthrew their shah, invaded the US embassy in Tehran, and took fifty-two American diplomats and staff hostage for 444 days. On the other hand, the Arabians and Iranians have had a mutual hard-on for centuries, long before the Saud family was in charge of things, and back when Iran was known as Persia, a land of genies, fragrant spices, and a glorious antiquity (while Arabia was a wasteland of sand populated by nomads and their camels).
The beef was formerly just about which brand of Islam would prevail, Sunni or Shia. Lately (the past fifty years) it has been more about the politics of oil and hegemony over the Middle East. Since the US invaded Iraq and busted up the joint, the threat has existed that Iran would take over Iraq, with its majority Shia population, especially the oil-rich Basra region at the head of the Persian Gulf. The presence of Israel greatly complicates things, since Iran has a hard-on for that nation, too, and for Jews especially, often expressed in the most belligerent and opprobrious terms, such as “wiping Israel off the map.” No ambiguity there. The catch being that Israel has the capability of turning Iran into an ashtray.
The world has been waiting for a major war in the Middle east for decades, and it might have one by close of business today. Or perhaps some people will do nothing. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen supposedly claimed responsibility for the attack. That’s rich. As if that rag-tag outfit has a whole bunch of million-dollar missiles and the knowledge and capacity to launch them successfully, not to mention the satellite guidance mojo. A correspondent suggests that the missiles were fired from a pro-Iranian military base in Iraq, with the Houthis brought in on flying carpets to push the launch buttons.
President Trump is trumpeting America’s “energy independence,” meaning whatever happens over there won’t affect us. Well, none of that is true. We still import millions of barrels of oil a day, though much less from Saudi Arabia than before 2008. The shale oil “miracle” is hitting the skids these days. Shale oil production has gone flat, the rig-count is down, companies are going bankrupt, and financing for the debt-dependent operations is dwindling since the producers have demonstrated that they can’t make a profit at it. They’re trapped in the quandary of diminishing returns, frontloading production, while failing to overcome steep decline curves in wells that only produce for a couple of years.
It’s also the case that shale oil is ultra-light crude, containing little heavier distillates such as diesel and aviation fuel (basically kerosene). Alas, American refineries were all built before shale oil came along. They were designed to crack heavier oil and can’t handle the lighter shale. The “majors” don’t want to invest their remaining capital in new refineries, and the many smaller companies don’t have the ability. So, this makes necessary a high volume of oil swapping around the world. Without diesel and aviation fuel, US trucking and commercial aviation has a big problem, meaning the US economy has a big problem.
With the new crisis in the Middle East, benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is up from around $55-a-barrel to just over $60 at the market open (European Brent crude is just above $70). That’s a pop, but not a spectacular one, considering that a whole lot more damage might ensue in the days ahead. China, Korea, and Japan stand to lose bigly if the players in the Middle East really go at it and bust up each other’s assets. If that happens, the world will never be the same. You can kiss the global economy goodbye for good. Let’s hope some people don’t do something.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
POINT ARENA Housing Element Update Final Hearing September 24, 2019
The City of Point Arena is finalizing the 2019-2027 Housing Element Update
The Housing Element provides an analysis of Point Arena's housing needs and strategies to achieve that housing as required by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
The Point Arena City Council will take public comment at its September 24 meeting. Residents of Point Arena are encouraged to attend the hearing where they will be given the opportunity to provide input on the proposed update.
Final Approval of 2019-2027 Point Arena Housing Element
Tuesday September 24, 2019 - 6pm
Veteran's Building / City Hall, 451 School Street in Point Arena
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Biden wasn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer in his prime. Now he can’t remember what state he’s in, and thinks Margaret Thatcher is still the British PM. The article below is from The Washington Post – his friends. Imagine what his enemies have to say about him!
He announced that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” He located the El Paso and Dayton mass-shootings in “Houston” and “Michigan.” He recalled a visit with survivors of the 2018 Parkland shooting — before the shooting happened.
He confused “Margaret Thatcher” with Theresa May and Angela Merkel, referred to the Second Amendment as the First, tripled the number of casualties of the 1970 Kent State shooting and mixed up his campaign website with a text-message code. At the Iowa State Fair, he thundered: “We choose truth over facts!”
He proclaimed Barack Obama “the first African American in the history of the United States.” During a rally, he called attention to “a three-letter word: jobs.” He once introduced his running mate as “Barack America."
Biden once said to a paralyzed man in a wheelchair: “Stand up, Chuck.” He mourned one woman (“God rest her soul”) who hadn’t died. He described Obama as “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean.”
He disclosed that Franklin D. Roosevelt went on television in 1929, before TV existed. He predicted that if Obama were elected, “we’re going to have an international crisis.” He declared that Hillary Clinton “might have been a better pick than me” for vice president. He reported that “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven .?.?. unless you have a slight Indian accent.” He frankly told one audience: “You all look dull as hell.”
MENDOCINO COAST CLINICS RECEIVES $60,000 DONATION
Fort Bragg, CA — Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) Executive Director Lucresha Renteria announced Monday that the health center received a $60,000 donation from a generous local benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. “We are absolutely thrilled,” she said. “Our donor said he had included us in his estate planning but decided he didn’t want to wait to see us put the money to good use.” MCC has been providing healthcare to coastal residents for 25 years, serving everyone in the community regardless of their ability to pay. Last year, MCC cared for approximately 9,800 patients, 90 percent of whom were low-income. Each winter, the organization hosts a fundraiser called Crab, Wine & Beer Days where the auctioneer, Sheriff Tom Allman, asks attendees to help fund a specific need. This “Fund the Future” campaign allows MCC to expand to meet community needs. This year, Fund the Future donations will be matched using the $60,000 donationâ”doubling the impact of each contribution. MCC is a non-profit organization, so all donations are tax deductible. “We’re hoping people will be extra generous, knowing their dollars will have an even greater impact,” she said. “If any other donors would like to add to our Fund the Future project, we welcome your support! And in case you’re wondering when the fundraiser is, mark your calendars now for January 31 and February 1, 2020!” In the past, the Fund the Future project has been used to buy equipment for pediatrics clinic, including waiting room toys and a Thomas the Tank Engine-themed exam table. Last year, MCC’s Fund the Future project was dental equipment. This year, MCC is looking at what $120,000 could buy that would best meet community needs. Renteria said, “We are constantly paying attention to the changing needs of our community. When we identify a new healthcare need, we do our best to meet it.” This past year, they started a once-a-week service called Open Door@MCC to serve the LGBTQ and sex positive community. Generous donations like this allow us to fill the gaps.
MCC is a local, non-profit, federally qualified health center offering medical, dental and behavioral health care to people in the coastal communities of Mendocino County. Learn more at
THE BELL ROCK LIGHTHOUSE, off the coast of Angus, Scotland, is the world's oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse.
GUALALA CLIMATE MARCH, SPEAKERS, AND MORE…
Over 20 local environmental groups with educational tables. Speakers include Richard Charter, ocean hero and senior fellow at Ocean Foundation, Rietta Hohman of Greater Farallones Association, Ted Williams, and more. Friday, September 20th, 12 to 4pm. Climate March from 12 to 1 pm. Location: Gualala Community Center on the corner of Highway 1 and Center St.
Thanks to D. Bullock (AVA 9.11.19) who caught my Ding-a-Ling error which I realized too late to correct. Chuck Berry was the singer-songwriter, not Little Richard. I mixed up those two icons at the roots of rock n roll.
Going to the context of the times, Berry established his influence in the late '50s with "Rock & Roll Music," "Roll Over Beethoven," Maybellene," all with defiance, the “duck walk” and catchy lyrics: "It's gotta be rock n roll music, if you wanna dance with me." His youth-based influence spread to the Beatles and Rolling Stones who sang Berry's songs when they ushered in the '60s “British invasion.”
It was much later, 1972, that Ding-a-ling hit #1, made popular as an odd participatory ditty, sung as a round with his youthful audience taking turns spoofing puritan morals regarding sex.
The '60s were exploratory, not inhibitory, as the '50s had been.
D. Bulloch calls Ding-a-ling “insipid,” meaning “lacking savor or flavor, uninteresting, dull” (Webster's). But actually the song was flavorful, refreshing and fun to the entire audience which was engaged in singing this kooky song about playing with ding-a-lings, including your own. "It's ok, no one's going to bother you," Berry admonished. It was all in good clean fun; he was there to honor, not admonish, you for your sexuality, a natural part of life after all.
Masturbation is a touchy subject, unmentioned in polite society or in a “family newspaper” as the AVA Editor put it, defending his censorship when I called him on it. Former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders found this out the hard way when she mentioned "studying masturbation" as a part of safe sex. She was unceremoniously called on her cell phone and fired by Pres Bill Clinton who'd appointed her, thus undoing the best thing he ever did.
The First Amendment is our permit for speech, association, art/music, expression, statements of belief. Nothing is barred. Censorship is contradictory. If you don't like it, don't look.
Coastal Cleanup Day at Navarro Beach this Saturday. Will you help?
Coastal Cleanup Day is the world's largest volunteer day to protect our environment. Volunteers from all over the world will do their part to clean local beaches, rivers, creeks and parks, and you are invited to help clean up our Navarro River Beach, this Saturday, Sept 21st, from 9am til noon. Mendocino Land Trust has coordinated the California Coastal Commission's Coastal Cleanup Day in Mendocino County since 2003. They work with individuals, businesses and community organizations to establish dozens of cleanup sites throughout Mendocino County. In 2016 alone, with the help of more than 300 volunteers, this effort removed over 5,500 pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches and waterways. If you’d like to help, please reply to let me know, and then show up at the Navarro Beach between 9am and noon. Supplies are provided on site, but we ask all volunteers to please bring their own work gloves, water bottle, and garbage receptacle (bucket, bag, etc.) if you can to help reduce waste.
Tom Wodetzki, firstname.lastname@example.org
PHIL BALDWIN RECOMMENDS:
Tired of PC Cancel Culture? Need a Laugh?
Going out to friends who have a sense of humor and who can laugh at comfy liberal Identity Politics.
Netflix is offering Dave Chapelle's latest show "Sticks and Stones."
Warning. Many liberal pundits have attacked this show as too mean, too incorrect.
ANOTHER WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST?
"Because of the tension and sensitive situation, our region is like a powder keg," Iranian Brigadier-General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.
"Neither us nor the Americans want a war. When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding," said Hajizadeh.
"Of course some forces facing each other in the field could do something by which a war could start. We have always prepared ourselves for a full-fledged war."
Hajizadeh said Iranian forces were ready for a counterattack if the US responded militarily for the oil facility attack, naming the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and al-Dhafra Air Base near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates as immediate targets, as well as navy ships in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea.
Actions on any side could break into the open a twilight war that's been raging just below the surface of the wider Gulf over the last few months.
Already there's been mysterious attacks on oil tankers that the US blamed on Iran, while Tehran shot down a US military surveillance drone - which nearly sparked a deadly retaliatory attack.
"There are hawks in Iran and America and in the region who want military conflicts," said a senior Iranian government official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
"Such attacks will make a military confrontation inevitable and that is what hardliners in Iran and elsewhere want. Such confrontation will harm not only Iran but all the countries in the Persian Gulf."
In response to Trump's latest statement, Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator and opposition presidential candidate, warned that "only Congress — not the president — can declare war. And Congress will not give you the authority to start another disastrous war in the Middle East just because the brutal Saudi dictatorship told you to."
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
When you’re in the hurly-burly, it’s hard to fathom the direction of events. Later, with hindsight and some time to digest what happened, things get clearer. How did things look in June 1914 when Archduke Ferdinand got shot? How many people knew what was afoot? Home by Christmas they said.
Well, it wasn’t so. The butchery didn’t stop until November 1918 and by that time, depending on who’s doing the counting, tens of millions of men had served in uniform and nine million died, millions more wounded, and that’s not counting the uncountable millions of civilian dead.
So, what triggers the avalanche? Some hot-head shoots some inbred cretin aristocrat and look at what happens. What about this time? An attack on Saudi oil facilities? But who dunnit? The Saudis are pointing at Iran, they’re saying the attack came from Iranian soil. So, the question is this, if this was an act of war by Iran on Saudi Arabia, what are the SAUDIS gonna do about it?
It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the American foreign policy brain-trust thought to get the South Vietnamese to do their own fighting. “Vietnamization” it was called. A reasonable man might reasonably ask why the fuck would American boys be sacrificed for the cause of South Vietnamese independence if South Vietnamese themselves weren’t willing to fight for it?
I bring it up in this case because without a stitch of doubt in my mind it will be US forces being required to do the heavy lifting if it comes to some serious shootin’ over this attack, with Americans getting killed and not Saudis.
So, who REALLY did it? Does anybody believe ONE word the Saudis say? What about the lyin’ bastards in the US government? Yeah, I know, ten American intel agencies will raise their right hand and solemnly and positively swear it was these guys or those guys. Anybody believe ONE word they say?
A MOM AND A GRANDMA, Patti Baumgartner wants cars in her neighborhood to slow down for people's safety. "They forget to slow down and there are a lot of people that are complaining that they can't walk or ride their bikes," Baumgartner said. "We were talking about maybe something [that] would slow the cars down. So we decided to put me in a chair and I guess use the hair dryer as a speed thing."
Dear brother and sister cannabis farmers,
The Mondragon Corporation is a great model that we cannabis farmers can emulate.
A Mendocino Mondragon Corporation could be a viable alternative to Flow Kana and their Wall Street funders, the vulture capitalists at Gotham Green Partners.
We can own and operate our own supply-chain business. We don't need outsiders. We don't need corporate raiders. We can control our own destiny. We can save our homes, our farms, and our beautiful way of life.
Simply stated, the Mondragon Corporation is corporation and its associated federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain.
Read that above description and put a big, big emphasis on the "association of worker cooperatives".
It was founded in the town of Mondragon in 1956 by graduates of a local technical college. Its first product was paraffin heaters. It is now the tenth-largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country.
At the end of 2014, it employed 74,117 people in 257 companies and organizations in four areas of activity: finance, industry, retail and knowledge. By 2015, 74,335 people were employed.
Over the years, these links have been embodied in a series of operating rules approved on a majority basis by the Co-operative Congresses, which regulate the activity of the Governing Bodies of the Corporation (Standing Committee, General Council), the Grassroots Co-operatives and the Divisions they belong to, from the organizational, institutional and economic points of view as well as in terms of assets.
The Mondragon culture is rooted in a shared mission and a number of principles, corporate values and business policies.
Over the years, these links among the Mondragon Corporation and its associated federation of worker cooperatives have been embodied in a series of operating rules approved on a majority basis by the Co-operative Congresses, which regulate the activity of the Governing Bodies of the Corporation (Standing Committee, General Council), the Grassroots Co-operatives and the Divisions they belong to, from the organizational, institutional and economic points of view as well as in terms of assets.
This framework of business culture has been structured based on a common culture derived from the 10 Basic Co-operative Principles, in which Mondragon is rooted: Open Admission, Democratic Organization, the Sovereignty of Labor, Instrumental and Subordinate Nature of Capital, Participatory Management, Payment Solidarity, Inter-cooperation, Social Transformation, Universality and Education.
This philosophy is complemented by four corporate values: Co-operation, acting as owners and protagonists; Participation, which takes shape as a commitment to management; Social Responsibility, by means of the distribution of wealth based on solidarity; and Innovation, focusing on constant renewal in all areas.
This business culture translates into compliance with a number of Basic Objectives (Customer Focus, Development, Innovation, Profitability, People in Co-operation and Involvement in the Community) and General Policies approved by the Co-operative Congress, which are taken on board at all the corporation’s organizational levels and incorporated into the four-year strategic plans and the annual business plans of the individual co-operatives, divisions, and the corporation as a whole.
For more, I highly recommend the book, "From Mondragon to America".
I'm starting to pull together a steering committee of interested farmers. Let me know how you feel about a Mendocino Mondragon Corporation.
I will make The Mendocino Mondragon Corporation the central plank of my platform in my campaign to win the 1st District, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.
John Sakowicz, Ukiah