- Warm Dry
- PSPS Perhaps
- Mount Shasta
- Kerry & Francine
- Lighthouse Moon
- B Forum
- Beat Goddess
- District Map
- Bluegrass Duo
- Parking Ticket
- First Cats
- Ed Notes
- Firetruck Fundraiser
- Community Grants
- Yesterday's Catch
- Ferlinghetti Howl
- CVS Receipt
- R Stunt
- D Stunt
- San Francisco
- Real Economy
- Steady Work
- SI Vampires
- Liberace Lady
- Inspector Schiff
- Existential Deal
- Polluted Aquifers
- Found Object
WARM DRY WEATHER will occur this weekend into early next week as a ridge builds aloft and light to moderate offshore winds occur near the surface. Continued dry but slightly cooler weather is expected by the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)
RED FLAG/POWER SHUT OFF WARNING FOR NORTHBAY SATURDAY NIGHT/SUNDAY MORNING
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the North Bay mountains and other parts of the Bay Area above 1,000 feet between 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
Northeast winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 35 mph will develop around sunset Saturday, and the highest threat of fire is in Napa County and northern Sonoma County. The affected area also includes higher terrain areas of Marin County and some East Bay counties.
There will be little overnight humidity recovery, and any fires that develop have the potential to spread rapidly, the National Weather Service said.
NationalWeatherServiceSF: A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the North Bay Hills from Saturday evening through Sunday morning. Gusty northeast winds with little to no overnight humidity recovery
Hot and dry weather will continue Sunday afternoon with temperatures in the mid-80s and lower 90s.
Fire agencies in the area will be monitoring the weather closely and will be watching for reports of wildfires.
PG&E said that with heightened fire risk, it may be necessary for them to turn off electricity in a Public Safety Power Shutoff. The utility is advising North Bay residents to be prepared in case they need to proactively turn off power.
PG&E: Be Prepared: Make sure your email, phone number, language preference and mailing address are current for your account. We want to be able to inform you about the possible need to proactively turn off power for public safety. Learn more: http://www.pge.com/psps
MOUNT SHASTA TODAY
HITCHHIKE TO OBLIVION
by George J. Dorner
It was one of those extraordinary teenage friendships formed in elementary school. Two buds joined at the hip. Best friends always and forever. Neighbors who played, slept, and ate at one another's houses. Sisters by choice instead of blood. They even had their own private path through the woods between their homes in Forestville.
You can picture them in a school hallway, the zippy little squirt teamed with her larger younger buddy. Girls not quite old enough yet for boys, a bit too old for dolls, still childishly innocent and naive, yet young lives eager for life's experiences. Just kids.
In 1978, Kerry Graham was a petite 15, and her best friend Francine Trimble was 14. Kerry had just moved up to high school; Francine anxiously awaited her next school promotion so she could rejoin her friend during school hours.
The last day of school before Christmas vacation was December 15th. While the girls came to the Forestville schoolyard that morning to socialize, they didn't report for class. On this final day of school, they told Kerry's sister Kelly they had been invited to a party. There is also a report they were going Christmas shopping at Coddington Mall—the mall being a teen magnet and meeting spot. In either case, there was no mention of Snoopy's Home Ice, across from the mall, although it would be a likely spot to hook up for a teen party.
Instead, they seem to have gone to one or both of their homes. Kerry had recently had her appendix out; she was still on antibiotics, and may have gone home to dose herself. Her medicine was later found in her bedroom.
At Francine's home, the girls dabbled with some makeup in Francine's room. leaving the kit out on her bedroom dresser. Francine's mother Chrissie recalled the girls still giggling in Francine's bedroom as Chrissie left to run an errand. The girls were gone when she returned. At this late date, it's hard to tell if this occurred on Friday afternoon, or the next day. However, Chrissie found the makeup kit still out, with a makeup mirror light left on. Although there were no signs of a disturbance, this would lead the girls' parents to wonder whether there had been an abduction from the home that interrupted the makeup session.
At any rate, excited to be free of school, the youngsters were seen at the corner filling station, which was on the direct route to Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa. One eyewitness recalls Francine was wearing Kerry's fitted full-length denim coat that day. Again, which day? Unspecified.
In the 1970s, everyone hitchhiked freely, so once they were at this traditional pickup spot for hitchhikers, the two girls stuck out their thumbs. They were already experienced hitchhikers, having previously thumb-tripped to San Francisco. As far as is known, they caught a ride. And they vanished.
On the 8th of July, 1979, a pair of tourists stopped at the first Route 20 turnout west of Willits. The female tourist was unhappily car sick from the swooping curves of Highway 20. While she sat in the car, the male driver decided to walk about. Upon strolling off the pullout into the woods, he looked down the slope and spotted what he first thought to be a huge mushroom. He scrambled down for a closer look. Then he realized it was a human skull. Looking about wildly, he spotted two rib cages. Scrambling up the slope, he placed a soft drink can as a marker. Then the tourists rushed to report their find to the authorities.
Investigators gathering evidence worked on a slope so steep they had to hang on with one hand and pick up clues with the other. One deputy broke his wrist in a fall. Despite this, over 90 percent of two skeletons were found, along with bits of associated evidence.
With little but bones to go on, forensic analysis became the major investigative tool. Even that was of limited value. It did not disclose the cause of death in either case. However, it did conclude that one skeleton was female, the other male. They were estimated to be 14 or 15 years old. A bird-shaped handcrafted shell earring was found with the skeleton identified as a Caucasian female. They were also believed to be related.
Investigators checked nationwide for brother-sister duos who had run off together. No results. On a hunch, they broadened their search to runaway romantically involved teen couples. Again, no results.
By 1985, with the case dormant, it was turned over to the FBI in hopes that the Feds' greater resources might crack the case. The Feds had no better luck that Mendocino's Sheriff did. They turned the case back to the locals.
A tenth anniversary TV broadcast on the case showed the earring. Kerry's older sister Kelly recognized it; she had given it to Kerry. And the skeletal ages reported on TV were right; that had to be her sister and Francine. Kelly called the Mendocino Sheriff's office, and told them about her sister, Francine, and the earring. She was told, sorry, we know it's a case of a boy and a girl, and they're related. Bye.
By this time, public attitudes toward runaways had become a lot less casual. Also, the internet was booming into popularity. Cold case websites began to spring up. This would seem to be a natural publicity springboard. Instead, it proved useless for several reasons. First, the myth of their being related was being publicized. So was the claim they were a boy and a girl. Also, it had somehow become assumed they came from the midwest. Next, just to further confuse matters, Kerry's and Francine's folks had reported them missing on different dates. Fourth, and worst, the year of their disappearance somehow became 1979 instead of 1978; it made it appear the girls had vanished after the skeletons had been found. A classic case of, garbage in, garbage out. The widespread internet postings thus actually excluded the girls from consideration.
In 2000, a false confession caused the skeletons to be exhumed. Doctor (and present day Assemblyman) Jim Wood examined their jaws and teeth. Surprise! He concluded that they were probably both female, and weren't related. This sparked a followup DNA testing, which confirmed his findings. The false listings on the internet continued.
In 2011, the British Broadcasting Corporation grew interested in cold case disappearances and settled on this case for a documentary. Their interest sparked another exhumation of the bodies; DNA samples were again gathered and submitted. The skulls were used for a reconstruction of the girls' faces; again, law enforcement was hoping for an identification through publicity featuring the reconstructions.
In 2012, Kelly Graham saw the documentary, and immediately recognized a reconstruction of Kerry's head. The teeth were distinctive. Because of her prior poor experience with law enforcement, she called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A case manager there recommended that Kelly make an official missing persons report. So Kelly went to the Guerneville post of the very law enforcement agency that had originally refused to take a missing person report on her sister. When she requested the needed forms, the desk sergeant chewed her out for failing to report the disappearance—which happened when Kelly was 16 years old. A furious Kelly filled out the forms, and Sonoma County finally accepted a missing persons report. After 33 years, Kerry Graham was officially missing.
After some torturous maneuvering through law enforcement bureaucracy, DNA samples from the Graham and Trimble families were analyzed. In November, 2015, Francine and Kerry were definitively identified. Now the girls were officially homicide victims, although the medical examiner couldn't determine the exact means of death.
In February, 2016, a chagrined Sheriff Tom Allman held a news conference announcing their identity, and 'fessing up to his predecessors' errors. Ironically, Kelly Graham was in the hospital, and missed out on both attendance and credit for solving the disappearance.
Once it was known the children were murdered, mad speculation began as to the perpetrator. As usual, “celebrity” serial murderers were randomly suggested for blame. Rodney Alcala…Robert Durst…the Zodiac…the Gallegos couple…ad nauseam. Every notorious killer was suggested except Jack the Ripper, with no thought given to the killer's methods, habits, or predilections.
As a researcher of local murders and disappearances, I based my search for a villain on the fact that homo sapiens is a creature of habit. I searched for a similar crime showing those very same habits, methods, and predilections reflected in the double disappearance. Here's what I found.
In 1984, six years after the girls disappeared, Jackie Ray Hovarter was an independent trucker hauling pulp from the Louisiana Pacific mill at Samoa to San Pablo. He routinely drove from San Pablo to Samoa at night, arriving for his 7 AM loading at the mill about 4:30 AM. On one of his nighttime runs, he kidnapped 16 year old Danna Walsh from Willits in the middle of the night. He raped and murdered her before chucking her off the Rio Dell bridge on his way north. Long story short, he is now residing on death row in San Quentin for that murder. H has also confessed to two other murders for which he wasn't prosecuted.
Now consider this. A left turn in Willits in the late 1970s, headed you toward the Fort Bragg mill instead of Samoa. So far as I have been able to discover, no one has checked to see if Hovarter hauled from the Fort Bragg mill. If Hovarter picked up the girls on his way north on 101, just as he did with Danna Walsh, the pulloff on Route 20 where they were found is the first spot where he could discard their bodies on his way to Fort Bragg. He would have been there in the middle of the night, with little traffic to disrupt him.
The natural question is, How did he subdue two girls at once? The simple answer is, no teenage girl is a physical match for a grown man. Kerry was tiny but fiery. Francine was larger, but passive by nature. However, Hovarter carried a pistol and a knife in his truck, which could have been used for intimidation—and murder.
So that's my candidate for the culprit. If law enforcement wants to grill Hovarter, they got him. The law also has both his and the Samoa mill's logbooks, according to Hovarter's legal appeal. An astute investigator might just come up with the Fort Bragg mill logs, or they might even be in the files.
There's also the chance retired millworkers could still identify Hovarter. With any luck, a detective might come up with the mill's gatekeeper.
And even if it's discovered Hovarter didn't commit these murders, this case could still be solved. Back in the day, they had disappeared from their student bodies, with no notice taken by the faculty and little by their fellow students.
Usually, when a case is this old, the possible witnesses have died or gotten lost in the turmoil of American society. This case is unusual because the youth of the victims means many of the victims' contemporaries are still alive; some are still living in Sonoma County. There may be unexplored leads in their memories. Certainly, they have apparently never been interviewed.
This case may just need one last clue, another lead, a final bit of information, for solution. If you know anything concerning this case, please, please call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and share the knowledge with Detective Quintin Cromer.
Kerry and Francine deserve justice.
Wikipedia photo of the girls: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9f/Graham_Trimble.jpg
Wikipedia photo of turnout where the bodies were found: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mendocino_Crime_Scene2.jpg
HARVEST MOON, A UNIQUE VIEW
"Night Tours are scheduled on every full moon, with extra weekend tours added when the full moon falls within a day of Friday or Saturday.
All proceeds go toward the support and maintenance of Lighthouse Tower, Museum and grounds. Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, Inc. thank you for your generous support. Individual tickets are $30 each or $25 each for 2 or more tickets.
Reservations must be made by phone at at 877-725-4448 ext. 1 or 707-882-2809 ext. 1, or in person no later than 3:30 p.m. three (3) days before the date of the event."
ruth weiss, THE BEAT GODDESS'S NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
the Northern American Premiere of "ruth weiss, the beat goddess" documentary feature film. In a life that has spanned 91 creative years, ruth weiss is one of the last living significant poets of the Beat Generation. Born to a Jewish family during the rise of Nazism, as a 10-year-old refugee she escaped to the United States. ruth became a Jazz troubadour exemplifying the zeitgeist of Chicago, New Orleans, and San Francisco. In the 1940s she opened up and organized the first poetry readings in cafes and bars in North Beach giving a platform to many poets. Inspired by her work this documentary uses poetic imagery through dance, art, animation, and music to embody her oeuvre.
Film's website: https://www.ruthweissfilm.com
Premiering at the Santa Cruz Film Festival Saturday, October 12th, 2019, 2:30pm Colligan Theater at the Tannery Arts Center, 1010 River St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
Tickets are available here: ruthweissbeatgodess.brownpapertickets.com/
After the screening a special Q and A with the Director of the documentary Melody C. Miller, Founder of the Beat Museum Jerry Cimino, and more surprise guests to be announced.
COMPTON & NEWBERRY PERFORM AT MENDO COLLEGE--Oct. 20
That old-time music: Compton & Newberry dig into roots of bluegrass to make fresh sounds
by Roberta Werdinger
On Sunday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m., Ukiah Community Concert Association, in affiliation with Live On Stage, presents the award-winning bluegrass duo Compton & Newberry at the Mendocino College Center Theatre.
Virtuosos of old-time mandolin, banjo, and guitar, Joe Compton and Mike Newberry dig deep into early country music and blues. They mine the often-neglected territory of traditional American music, the period of the 1930s and 40s when the genre known today as bluegrass music was still developing. Bluegrass music developed from the vision of legendary singer, songwriter, and mandolinist Bill Monroe (1911-1996). Monroe coined the term "blue grass" after the terrain of his native Kentucky, charging traditional and self-written tunes with a driving tempo and encouraging musical virtuosity through the incorporation of stringed instrument solos--banjo, violin, mandolin, and guitar. Bluegrass singers developed soaring harmonies that captured the sorrows, stresses, and celebrations of the time, in a plainspoken manner that drew audiences close to the musicians onstage.
Compton & Newberry continue in that lineage. Having chosen a niche in country and folk music that is both traditional and timeless, they are comfortable playing popular standards such as "The Kentucky Waltz" (written in 1946 by Bill Monroe) and "Sittin' On Top of the World" (written in 1930 by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon, two members of the African-American group The Mississippi Sheiks) as well as award-winning originals. The freshness, humor, simplicity, and sophistication of this deeply rooted and still-vital American music makes it a relevant, even healing element in our culture today.
Playing solo, as a duo, or in collaboration with other musicians, the music of Joe Compton and Mike Newberry has reached millions of people. Both have been frequent guests on the long-running Prairie Home Companion show and have contributed to the soundtracks of Grammy Award-winning movies such as "O Brother, Where Art Thou." Compton has performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the White House, has contributed to more than 100 CD recordings, and has played with everyone from bluegrass icon Dr. Ralph Stanley to punk and rock stalwart Elvis Costello. Newberry won the songwriting prize for Gospel Recorded Performance at the 2012 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Awards) for his song "Singing As We Rise," and was co-writer (with Eric Gibson) of the 2013 IBMA Song of the Year, "They Called It Music."
The Ukiah Community Concert Association (UCCA) has been presenting a diverse and high-quality array of music to the local community since 1947. The morning after the concert (Oct. 21), UCCA will sponsor an educational visit from Compton & Newberry to Ukiah High School, with Mendocino College music students attending as well.
Tickets for Compton & Newberry are $30 in advance and $35 at the door (adult) and $10 for youth (under 18). Free tickets (space providing) are available at the door to Mendocino College students with ID; and to all high school students, courtesy of a donation from Tom Ganoung. Advance tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits, and online at www.ukiahconcerts.org. For more information, and to find out about becoming a UCCA member with additional benefits, please call 707-463-2738, or visit UCCA on Facebook and at www.ukiahconcerts.org.
UCCA thanks Schat’s Bakery, Black Oak Coffee, and Rivino Winery for donating treats to be served pre-concert and during intermission. Special thanks to the Mendocino College Foundation, the Mendocino Arts Club and Mendocino College Recording Arts & Technology, the Mendocino College Art Gallery, and the Mendocino College Culinary Arts Program for their ongoing support and collaboration.
THE REX REPORT: ONLY ‘LITTLE PEOPLE’ GET FORT BRAGG PARKING TICKETS
One of the things about hanging around City Hall is the occasional behind the scenes dramas you stumble upon. City Hall was abuzz Thursday afternoon with bemused incredulity over stories that Councilperson Tess Albin-Smith had blown her stack.
Word on the street is that Councilperson Albin-Smith parked her gas guzzler in the "electric" charging parking slot at City Hall. When the Police parking lady started to write the newbie councilperson a ticket, Tess erupted from City Hall to take volcanic exception to the hard-working parking enforcer's presumption.
Damn right. Tess is a VERY big deal. For a councilperson of Tess's immense importance to be encumbered with a parking ticket like the rest of us shows a startling lack of respect for the vital importance of this important Councilperson. Nobody seems to appreciate Albin-Smith’s significance. Thankfully, she appreciates it herself. The word was no ticket was written. When councilperson Albin-Smith kicked all the dissenters off her committee on the end of citywide elections in favor of neighborhood contests, the Council split with Bernie Norvell and Jessica Morsell-Haye balking at censorship (their words). The committee was disbanded in confusion.
Bright and early the next morning, Albin-Smith showed up at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Ukiah to the complete astonishment of the hapless Board of Supervisors. "I am on the Fort Bragg City Council and I run the election committee (that had been dissolved the day before)." Ms. Albin-Smith told them she wanted to talk about voting machines. They sent her down the hall to talk to a desk.
The general embarrassment was muted by incomprehension. Tess Albin-Smith has further distinguished herself by demanding, repeatedly, that the glass at Glass Beach, one of our city's biggest tourist draws, be protected from greedy tourists. That time it was the City Council that kind of looked at their shoes and tried not to say anything too pointed.
The city owes a debt of gratitude to Ms. Albin-Smith for being a reliable source of much needed comic relief. The bad news is she's a swing vote.
CIVIC SLIPPAGE, GOVERNMENT ENTROPY, a random sampling: Water and sewage rates in the Ukiah Valley just took an upwards surge because Ukiah's over-large government with two highly paid administrators, its own two lawyers for 16,000 people, and who knows how many ancillary employees, bungled years of legal negotiations with another group of water and sewer bunglers, the result being ratepayers are forced to pay for the ensuing legal gamesmanship. Many of the City's trapped water and sewer customers are on low,very low fixed incomes.
AN EVER-LARGER Boonville feral cat colony is irremediable because (1) crazed cat ladies whose obsessive fixation on the species trump all neighborhood concerns and the demand of the elderly property owner to stop feeding the creatures on her property, (2) County Animal Control policy is so cumbersome that the County essentially enables feral cat colonies. Mendocino County sponsors a "no kill" animal shelter, the result being a large, permanent animal population of unadoptable pit bulls and unadoptable feral cats cruelly kept in cages often for as long as a year until they are finally declared expendable and euthanized.
TWO LARGE CACHES of illegally dumped tires have been discovered on the Russian River near Hopland while much more river and stream befouling colonies of drunks, drug addicts and neo-bums camp on the Russian River and its feeder streams in the Ukiah Valley. The Supervisors paid a consultant named Marbut many thousands of public dollars to suggest effective ways to reduce the "homeless" population, but Marbut's commonsense strategies were not only ignored by the Supervisors who paid our money for them, a large gathering of helping professionals met in the tomb-like Ukiah Conference Center to denounce Marbut as cruel and uncaring.
THE SPEED LIMIT through central Boonville is 30 mph. Many vehicles of all sizes, all day and night long, drive through the town's roadside splendors at twice that speed — by my informal count about 1 in 3 drive far too fast for conditions.
ABERRANT public behavior is now so common in Fort Bragg and Ukiah it's only noted when it becomes overtly threatening. Ukiah's leadership, on the advice of its cringing attorneys, doesn't permit the police to interfere with the "homeless" unless they break the law in ways that can't be ignored, the result being public anxiety and fear, especially in the elderly and the vulnerable.
TELEVISION'S chuckle buddies news shows out of the Bay Area have, for two days now, featured breathless stories on security arrangements at a music event in Golden Gate Park.
MEASURES B (mental health) and V (herbicidal tree removal) are passed into law by Mendocino County voters. B is crippled by its over-large oversight committee and V is stymied by County and State lawyers, with a big assist from Supervisor McCowen fortified by errant opinion from County Counsel.
500 CHILDREN of the County's underclass are in foster care, some of them in distant facilities supposedly organized to rehab "extremely difficult" boys (mostly) and girls. Mendocino County has a population of 90,000 people, half of whom, if children are included, qualify as officially impoverished, and of them about a third depend on various forms of public assistance.
THE PRESIDENT, live Friday morning on the White House lawn, says he asked the government of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden for corruption, not because Biden is running for president against him but because it's the president's job to investigate corruption. In passing, Trump said in passing that Elizabeth Warren "is a socialist maybe worse." Meanwhile it's revealed that Trumpers hired a woman to appear at an Ocasio-Cortez event to suggest "eating babies" as a greenhouse gas reduction tactic. This hoax is all over the news for hours until it's revealed the woman was hired to make it seem that AOC's proposed Green New Deal is crazy. Meanwhile, Big Lib (Pelosi, Schiff et al) manage to ignore the flagrant impropriety of Biden trading on his own place in government to place his son in lucrative positions with foreign governments.
I'VE NOTED, and probably you have too, that political discussions among friends who hold opposing views are getting testier and testier, and with the president talking up civil war it's no longer all that hard to imagine.
NEW ANDERSON VALLEY VOLUNTEER FD FIRE TRUCK FUNDRAISER
We have been given the opportunity for a matching donation; if we raise $3,000 by October 18th we will be matched by another $3,000!
The Greenwood Ridge fire truck needs to be replaced. We're raising funds for that replacement - a total cost of $82,000.
GRANT FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY NON-PROFITS
The Community Foundation of Mendocino County is pleased to announce that the 2020 Community Enrichment Program online application is now available. Up to $125,000 in total funding is available this year. Individual grant awards range from $3,000-$8,000 for community projects throughout Mendocino County. Organizations are invited to apply at www.communityfound.org by December 6, 2019.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of the Grant Information Workshops. Program Officer, Allison Findley, will offer an interactive opportunity to learn about the new online platform and answer questions. Participants are encouraged but not required to bring laptops.
Ukiah: Friday, October 18, 12:00-1:30 (brown-bag lunches welcome), Community Foundation of Mendocino County Community Room, 204 S. Oak Street, Ukiah
South Coast: Tuesday, October 22, 12:00-1:30 (brown-bag lunches welcome), Garcia Guild, 43970 Crispin Rd, Manchester
North Coast: Friday, October 25, 12:00-1:30 (brown-bag lunches welcome), Mendocino Coast Clinics, 205 South Street, Fort Bragg
Willits: Wednesday, October 30, 12:00-1:30 (brown-bag lunches welcome), Willits Center for the Arts, 71 E. Commercial Street, Willits
Workshops are offered at no cost to participants. RSVP appreciated, butnot required. Applicants may contact Allison Findley at firstname.lastname@example.org, (707)-468-9882 ext. 103 if they have remaining questions or would like feedback on their individual proposals after attending one of the grant workshops and/or carefully reading the grant guidelines.
The Community Enrichment grant program is made possible through the Community Foundation's Community Endowment Fund. The Community Endowment has been built by contributions that vary from a check for twenty-five dollars to an estate gift valued at over a million dollars.
Donors who give to the Community Endowment Fund know their gifts will be used here in Mendocino County for long-term benefit in the County.
For more information about applying to the Community Enrichment grant program or about how you can make a gift to the Community Endowment Fund please visit communityfound.org.
CATCH OF THE DAY, OCTOBER 4, 2019
TRAVIS ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Placing pollutants in state waters, public urination.
DAVID APPIER, Fort Bragg. attempted murder, disobeying court order.
SHELLY AZMI, Fort Bragg. DUI.
CHARLES CLEVENGER, Middletown/Redwood Valley. DUI.
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear. (Frequent Flyer)
SELENE GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
BRANDON JOHNSON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
PHILLIP LOPEZ JR., Ukiah. Parole violation.
PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
ESTEBAN RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, camping in Ukiah, probation revocation.
JENNA WILSON, Fort Bragg. Shoplifting, resisting.
DO YOU HAVE A LISANCE FOR THAT MINKY?
by James Kunstler
Sometimes, if you open up a big enough gate and stand in the void, the gate will swing back and slap you on the ass — which is where serial bungler and arch-schlemiel Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) finds himself at the end of an exhausting week’s dissembling in the WhistleGate matter. Long about now, his reluctant partner in the latest impeachment gambit, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, must feel date-raped just a little bit as every unraveling thread in the story leads back to another exposed deception by Schiff, the Inspector Clouseau of impeachment politics.
Maybe reading an alt-reality version of the Trump-Zelensky phone transcript wasn’t such a hot idea after all, since he read into the record evidence of his own bad faith. What was at issue, of course, were the President’s words, and in substituting something demonstrably other than that, and placing it on the record, Rep. Schiff set up a prima facie case for dismissal of his own case against Mr. Trump. Any way you slice the stunt, it smells like malfeasance.
Then there is the alleged “Whistleblower.” The identity of this shadowy figure can’t be concealed indefinitely. The Whistleblower may not even exist, and if he or she does, the classification of whistleblower may not apply to the actions taken by him/her and his/her managers. He/she has been officially described as a CIA agent detailed for some time in the White House during the Obama years, who may have been rotated back into the Trump White House on the pretext of some special expertise, say Ukrainian affairs. That suggests his/her origin as a John Brennan tool.
That is, the former CIA chief now nervously awaiting the legal disposition of his intrigues in the RussiaGate matter. WhistleGate may be Mr. Brennan’s last desperate ploy to ward off prosecution, a gate too far.
What for? How about using the CIA to spy domestically on American citizens on US soil, which it is expressly forbidden to do by law, and pretty bad news if authorized by the guy who ran the whole shop, not just some schwantz section leader at a rogue operations desk. The FBI can do it with proper warrants, but not the CIA. Perhaps more troubling is who may have authorized Mr. Brennan to do that. Does the name Barack Obama ring a bell? He has kept so deeply out of sight in recent months that he’s becoming as obscure as James Knox Polk in the public’s memory. Many may forget he played a role in RussiaGate.
The first casualty of WhistleGate is the Democratic party’s front-runner in the 2020 presidential contest, Joe Biden, who may now spend his retirement years doing Chinese fire drills in the federal courts for influence peddling in connection with his bag-man son, R. Hunter Biden. I suspect the Dems are glad to get rid of stumbling, fumbling Uncle Joe, who was finding it hard to run with one foot constantly in his mouth. Now they’re stuck with candidates dedicated to open borders, free health care for border-jumpers, and a whole lot more obviously insane policy experiments borrowed from the Herbert Marcuse playbook. Good luck with that.
By the way, what if it turns out that there actually is no Whistleblower, that the figure was just a fiction, a CGI figment cooked up by Adam Schiff, his lawyers, and sundry other players on the Deep State bench? Sounds outlandish perhaps, but I wouldn’t put it past the congressman from Hollywood. We’ll find out soon enough.
Meanwhile, it appears that the purported Whistleblower and his chief handler, Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson failed to observe the proper procedures in reporting the complaint through channels, not to mention the legerdemain of sketchy paperwork that attested to the complaint. Remember who Michael Atkinson is: the former legal counsel to John P. Carlin, who was Assistant Attorney General for National Security during the origin months of the RussiaGate operation in the summer of 2016, and before that chief of staff to… wait for it… Robert Mueller, when he was FBI Director. Do you begin to detect a claque of senior bureaucrats scrambling to cover each other’s ass?
Interesting days ahead as this feculent blob of malfeasance creepy-crawls through the spooky weeks of October, climaxing in Halloween. These are the weeks when the DOJ Inspector General’s report on FISA court shenanigans comes down. It’s also the month of the Brexit Absolute Deadline. That hairball over in Old Blighty might seem of unconcern over here, but it contains enough explosive power to destabilize the European banking system and, with it, America’s, which would lead to some rather scary action in the bond and equity markets at exactly the time of year when accidents like that happen.
And then, deeper in the background, like Hades and Thanatos, stand the grave figures of Barr and Durham, whose very silence lo these many months must be giving the vapors to that claque of lesser monsters who cooked up the coup to overthrow the president, and botched the job.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
FERLINGHETTI & HOWL
October 4, 1957: A San Francisco judge says "Howl and Other Poems" is not obscene. Acquitted publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti had no comment for the papers, he bolted for City Lights to stack the book in the windows of City Lights.
This episode of #NotYourCentury includes a clip of Allen Ginsberg reading "Howl," though not from the famous Gallery Six reading, which wasn't recorded.
by D.H. Lawrence
Would you like to throw a stone at me?
Here, take all that’s left of my peach.
Heaven knows how it came to pass.
Somebody’s pound of flesh rendered up.
Wrinkled with secrets
And hard with the intention to keep them.
Why, from silvery peach-bloom,
From that shallow-silvery wine-glass on a short stem
This rolling, dropping, heavy globule?
I am thinking, of course, of the peach before I ate it.
Why so velvety, why so voluptuous heavy?
Why hanging with such inordinate weight?
Why so indented?
Why the groove?
Why the lovely, bivalve roundnesses?
Why the ripple down the sphere?
Why the suggestion of incision?
Why was not my peach round and finished like a billiard ball?
It would have been if man had made it.
Though I’ve eaten it now.
But it wasn’t round and finished like a billiard ball;
And because I say so, you would like to throw something at me.
Here, you can have my peach stone.
CONSERVATIVES ATTACKED OCASIO-CORTEZ over a bizarre town hall speaker. Now a pro-Trump fringe group says it planned the stunt.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #1
It’s hard for me to believe the CIA actually has spies inside the President’s office, but there it is.
If you go back to say, Franklin Roosevelt, 80 years ago, and all the presidents since then, if every high level phone call was listened in on and mined for anything that might remotely be ‘impeachable’, there might have been impeachment proceedings initiated by the party out of office every single year. What a way to run a government! Dems seem to think this is 1973, and people are paying rapt attention to their subpoenas and hearings. What I’m seeing, even in this lefty blue state of Ct, people are taking this impeachment with a grain of salt. Dems started this too soon after the 3 year Russia collusion hoax, and it’s pretty obvious what’s happening here.
MOST OF US ARE NOT DOING SO WELL: Numbers Crunching Working People
Career Builders reported in 2017 that seventy-eight percent of US workers are living paycheck to paycheck. It found that inflation-adjusted (“real”) hourly earnings increased 1.2 percent in the year ending in April 2019, but over this period the inflation rate was even higher: 2.0 percent gobbled up the gain. These two indices—cost-of-living and inflation—are related, but not identical. The Cost of Living Index tracks what it takes to maintain a certain standard of living; whereas, inflation refers a general increase—measured by the Consumer Price Index—in prices of goods and services. By either measure, most of us are not doing so well.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
If you’re asking how I would prioritize issues, I wouldn’t surprise you by saying I would put steady work and wages and the ability of a young man to support a wife and family in some decent state as priorities one through ten. So much flows from that one thing, from the financial viability of governments at all levels given that they’d have a lot more tax money coming in, to the stability of families and the mental health of kids that would no longer have to cope with a steadily changing roster of “partners” that may or may not provide material support all because daddies are nowhere to be found.
I could go on and on but I think you get my drift. I doubt that future living conditions will ever again approach what they were in 1965, for example, with families jammed into much smaller residences, and luxuries like eating out no longer do-able, but people could at least see a way forward in their lives.
THE ‘SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’ LAYOFFS Are What Happen When We’re Ruled by Vampires
by Dave Zirin
Growing up, every Thursday was my own private holiday. That was when the new issue of Sports Illustrated showed up at my door. I would lie on my blue comforter and all the pain of early adolescence would wash away as I read the exploits of my sports heroes, brought to life by epic photography that felt three-dimensional in its vibrant radiance. I found myself gravitating to my favorite writers first, no matter the article’s subject—people like Frank Deford, Ralph Wiley, and E.M. Swift.
As one sports journalist of my generation messaged me, “We all grew up—all of us—wanting to write for Sports Illustrated.” A decade ago, I briefly wrote a column for their website—just 10 pieces in all. Seeing my name and face at si.com brought me a unique kind of professional joy; the feeling that, if nothing else, that placement among my heroes could never be taken away from me.
Now Sports Illustrated is being taken from all of us in an ugly and ruthless manner. The organs of the magazine are being harvested by a private equity firm that is out for blood and taking no prisoners. Half the staff has been laid off by the new owners, a consortium of of vampiric thugs called The Maven Group. TheMaven cut a deal to license SI in June after Meredith Corporation, the magazine’s previous owner, sold the brand to Authentic Brands Group for about $110 million.
According to Jacob Bogage of The Washington Post, “Close to 40 percent of the publication’s editorial staff is set to be replaced by an army of low-wage freelancers. The CEO of the SI’s ownership group calls it ‘awesome’.” As Pulitzer Prize–winning writer David Maraniss put it, “The corporate dismemberment of Sports Illustrated is more than an unfortunate sports story; it’s an unforgivable crime against a living legacy of literate writing.”
After a chaotic Thursday morning during which the layoffs were expected and then delayed, followed by a plea from three-fourths of the staff to call this deal off, the ax came in the afternoon. As a series of talented journalists began posting on Twitter that they were now looking for work, Deadspin reported that “TheMaven’s Ross Levinsohn and James Heckman were in the building to meet with the remaining staffers, but not to face those losing their jobs.”
The NewsGuild of New York, which represents staff at Sports Illustrated, released a statement condemning the handling of the layoffs:
“Today we were anticipating a mass layoff at Sports Illustrated. Instead, minutes before scheduled “transition meetings” were set to begin, Meredith management cancelled and hosted an impromptu all-hands gathering, where SI staffers were given no information about their futures. It’s clear that TheMaven views this brand as merely a financial transaction. Meredith’s employees deserve better.
“Later, the union called on Meredith to “do the right thing and extend severance benefits matching the Guild contract to all employees who are losing their jobs as a result of this decision.” The NewsGuild has promised to keep fighting on behalf of all the impacted workers.
I reached out to Melissa Jacobs, an editor at the magazine from 2015 to 2017, who told me, “When I was employed by SI, there were layoffs every few months. We knew there would be more upheaval in the future.… even with through years of turmoil, [SI] had still been breaking massive news, telling deeply reported stories not found elsewhere, and continues to be the most consequential publication for aspiring sports writers.”
Even through the recent rocky years, their product did not waver. That’s what is so enraging about Thursday’s blood-letting: It didn’t need to happen. Sports Illustrated did not have to be turned into whatever it will now become.
I asked sports journalist Patrick Hruby for his reaction to the news. “I think Sports Illustrated was caught by two different forces,” he said. “The first is the broader shift from print to digital media and the reality that in the digital world, Google and Facebook have gobbled all the advertising money. That money isn’t coming back, so there was going to be contraction to begin with. But it’s the second force we need to pay attention to. It’s the second force that turns a contraction into destruction. That is the fact that prestigious legacy journalism has been hit within the same bullshit industry—private equity—that’s ravaged so much of the journalistic world. Their business model is not ‘let’s manage a contraction.’ Instead, it’s ‘smash and grab.’ They are vampires bleeding these organizations dry and then selling them for parts. This is of course not limited to just journalism. It’s the over-financialization of our economy. What has happened to Sports Illustrated is what has happened to this country.”
“Hruby is absolutely right, and this kind of broader critique is a necessity for understanding what has happened to the beloved institution. It’s Wall Street and private equity picking the meat off the carcasses of industries across the country. What’s good for Wall Street is not what’s good for working America, and it’s not what’s good for the third estate.”
As Senator Elizabeth Warren put it, “For a long time now, Wall Street’s success hasn’t helped the broader economy—it’s come at the expense of the rest of the economy. Wall Street is looting the economy and Washington is helping them do it.” Senator Bernie Sanders as well has made this critique about the health care industry, saying, “We must ban private equity funds and Wall Street vulture funds from owning hospitals.”
In other words, it’s not just journalism. And it’s not just hospitals. It’s every aspect of life under this free-market Wall Street orthodoxy. Wall Street and private equity are destroying the institutions that we rely on for—whether it’s a hospital that puts patients before profits or a sports article written with care and grace that gets an awkward kid through a rough week.
If we are going to reverse this trend, Wall Street and private equity will have to be brought to heel, and it won’t happen with a hashtag or a tweetstorm. It is going to take a serious and protracted political fight.
TRUMP IS FORTUNATE IN HIS ENEMIES. Adam Schiff is one of the few politicians in DC whose hubris rivals Trump’s own. Schiff will find a way to make the impeachment inquiry about himself and his own Inspector Javert-like rectitude–which may engender sympathy for a man (Trump) who deserves none. Schiff, who appears to have lied about his staff’s contacts with the whistleblower, should step down and hand the Inquisition over Val Demings, which would trigger every lurking racial prejudice and sexual insecurity in Trump’s bloated body. He won’t.
— Jeff St. Clair
NEW USGS REPORT REVEALS THAT OIL WASTE FLUIDS HAVE CONTAMINATED CALIFORNIA AQUIFERS AS DRILLING EXPANDS
by Dan Bacher
MCKITTRICK, Calif.— Do you still think of California as the nation’s “green” leader?
You might take take another view of this image propagated by state officials and the media after you look at recent reports revealing that oil waste fluid is polluting so-called “protected” aquifers in California as the Gavin Newsom administration continues the expansion of oil and gas drilling in promoted under Governor Jerry Brown.
You also might take another look at California’s often touted “green” reputation when you discover that the only two bills opposed by the oil industry, the most powerful corporate lobby in California and the West, have been make it out of the legislature to the governor’s desk over the past three years.
A U.S. Geological Survey report published in September reveals that oil industry waste fluids containing benzene and other toxic chemicals have migrated into California’s groundwater through multiple pathways at sites in Kern County, west of Bakersfield.
The report, published in September’s Environmental Geosciences, “confirms findings in previous USGS studies showing how toxic waste fluid from California’s oil industry has contaminated multiple underground water sources in the Central Valley,” according to a statement from the Central California Environmental Justice Network and the Center for Biological Diversity.
The abstract for the report states, “Increased oil and gas production in many areas has led to concerns over the effects these activities may be having on nearby groundwater quality. In this study, we determine the lateral and vertical extent of groundwater with less than 10,000 mg/L total dissolved solids near the Lost Hills–Belridge oil fields in northwestern Kern County, California, and document evidence of impacts by produced water disposal within the Tulare aquifer and overlying alluvium, the primary protected aquifers in the area.”
The report was issued at a time when Legislators and the Governor are under fire from environmental justice, conservation and climate groups over increased oil and gas drilling under the Brown and now Newsom administrations.
According to the groups, “Results indicate that large numbers of water supply wells, including wells currently used for irrigation, contain chemicals that have migrated from oil and gas operations. Water samples from the Fruitvale and Lost Hills areas were found to contain hydrocarbons like benzene, ethylbenzene and xylenes. In two instances the levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, were higher than the safe limit for drinking water.”
“The Central Valley, particularly Kern County, ranks number one for numerous environmental injustices, including having the worst air quality in the nation. To add insult to injury, now we have confirmation of something we suspected all along: Wastewater from oil companies is contaminating our groundwater,” said Gustavo Aguirre Jr., Kern County coordinator for the Central California Environmental Justice Network.
“The number of spills that occurred recently are just the tip of the iceberg of a problem that we are not willing to tolerate anymore. Gov. Newsom must ban fracking and extreme methods of extraction now and set a timeline and plan to transition from fossil fuels,” stated Aguirre.
Aguirre said the studies stem from a process that began in July 2015, when the California State Water Resources Control Board found that 107 oil and gas fields in the state are “high priority” for studying their adverse impacts on groundwater quality.
“These shocking findings confirm that the oil industry is contaminating California’s precious underground water,” said Hollin Kretzmann, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The dirty truth about the oil industry is out, and our state should be cracking down on these polluters. Instead of letting oil companies foul our water, Gov. Newsom should start a just transition to a safer and cleaner future.”
According to Kretzmann, over the past three years, the USGS has worked with the state board and regional water boards to test groundwater in and near the top-priority Fruitvale, Lost Hills, South Belridge and North Belridge oilfields in western Kern County.
“The most recent study identified two pathways for pollution migrating to groundwater. First, contaminants dumped by the oil industry into unlined wastewater pits have trickled down through the soil into groundwater below. Second, researchers found “direct evidence” of waste fluids injected deep underground migrating outward from oil-industry disposal wells into surrounding aquifers,” he said.
He said the findings “contradict repeated assurances” from state regulators and the oil industry that oil and gas fluids would remain in place and not migrate to nearby groundwater sources.
“In an earlier study, samples from multiple water wells were found to contain high levels of radium, a radioactive element found in oil-industry wastewater. Eighteen percent of water wells sampled near the Fruitvale, Lost Hills and South Belridge oilfields contained unsafe levels of the chemical,” the groups revealed.
“California Leads” report exposes planned expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure
The USGS report also follows Food and Water Watch’s new report, California Leads: How to Break Fossil Fuel Dependence in the Golden State, that details the web of fossil fuel infrastructure - including 298 gas-fired power plants and 100,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines - currently engulfing the state, and the proposed expansion of this network.
“Corporations are planning seven additional unneeded gas-fired plants for California,” the report revealed. “For years, California regulators have approved, and utilities have built, unnecessary and expensive gas power plants. Driven by deregulation, these facilities are useless given declining energy demands in California over the past decade.”
The report also noted that existing fossil fuel operations mean that California is second only to Texas as an emitter of climate polluting greenhouse gasses.
This takes place as the state has issued 2,383 new drilling permits since the beginning of the year. Under Governor Jerry Brown, oil and gas regulators approved over 21,000 new oil and gas drilling permits, including an estimated 226 new offshore oil and gas wells.
The Food and Water Watch report says that driven by energy deregulation, California has overbuilt gas power plants, even though energy use has declined over the last decade and the price of renewable energy is rapidly dropping.
“Most of this toxic infrastructure is located in the most vulnerable neighborhoods—in low-income communities of color near homes, schools and parks,” the group stated.
The report also shows that California also “routinely allows oil companies to inject toxic wastewater into the ground,” in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Between 2017 and 2019 regulators granted as many as 39 aquifer exemptions allowing such injections. Some counties even allow oil companies to sell wastewater to farmers to irrigate crops.
The report states, “While most oil production occurs in the San Joaquin and Los Angeles Basins, the industry also drills throughout California’s central coast, from Ventura to Monterey County. In recent years, California has been dominated by dangerous new oil extraction technologies, including hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), matrix acidizing and steam injection.
Today, there are over 80,000 active oil and gas wells in the state. California is the seventh- largest producer of crude oil, and as of 2018 it had the third most oil-refining capacity of any state, the report finds.
“More troublingly, oil and gas operations harm the most vulnerable Californians, especially lower-income people and people of color. In 2014, nearly 14 percent of Californians, primarily people of color, lived within a mile of at least one well. And the closer people live to drilling, the higher is their potential exposure to hazardous pollutants that increase the risk of respiratory and neurological problems, birth defects and cancer In Los Angeles, the communities closest to oil development suffer from headaches, asthma and nosebleeds. Drilling in California happens close to homes, hospitals and schools,” the report reveals.
The report notes that while running for office, Governor Gavin Newsom “promised to move California away from polluting fossil fuels to renewable energy.” Newsom also pledged to close down the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility—the site of the worst gas blowout in U.S. history—and to ‘‘oppose fracking and other unsafe oil operations.” Since taking office, Gov. Newsom has yet to take action on those promises, Food and Water Watch pointed out.
WHY Oil and Gas Drilling Has Expanded in California: Deep Regulatory Capture
To understand WHY California continues to expand onshore and offshore oil gas drilling as state officials constantly tout its green facade, one should also read my report on the capture of California regulators from top to bottom: California's Biggest Secret? How Big Oil Dominates Public Discourse to Manipulate and Deceive : www.dailykos.com/…
Environmental NGOs and media outlets inexplicably still refuse to discuss one of the biggest West Coast environmental scandals of the past 20 years, in spite of its huge ramifications to this day: the capture of what passes for “marine protection” in California by the Western States Petroleum Association and other corporate interests.
In one of the largest and most overt conflicts of interest of the past 20 years, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), Catherine Reheis-Boyd, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create faux “marine protected areas” in Southern California from 2009 to 2012. (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/brtf_bios_sc.asp). N
Her organization was promoting the expansion of offshore fracking and drilling at the same time that she led the task force to create “marine protected areas” in the same region from 2009 to 2012. Reheis-Boyd also served on the task forces to create “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012.
It is no surprise that these faux “marine protected areas” fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil and gas drilling, pollution, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering — and that over 200 new offshore oil and gas wells were approved by Brown administration oil and gas regulators after the so-called “marine protected areas” went into effect.
It is also no surprise that the Calfornia Governor controls 4 times as many offshore wells in state waters under existing leases as Trump controls in federal waters. Last year, Governor Jerry Brown called Trump’s plan to expand federal offshore oil drilling leases “short-sighed and reckless. However, a website - www.BrownvTrumpOilMap.com— shows Brown controls four times more oil wells in state waters than those Trump controls in federal waters, according to Consumer Watchdog.
Offshore wells in state waters controlled by the Brown Administration total 5460, versus 1429 offshore wells in federal waters controlled by the Trump administration. Federal waters are those three nautical miles or more off California’s coast.
The oil industry is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento and the Western States Petroleum Association, the trade association for the oil industry in California and other Western states, is the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying organization.
From 2001 to 2017 Chevron and AERA contributed $129 million of the $170 million spent by oil and gas interests to fund California political campaigns, according to Consumer Watchdog and the Fractracker Alliance. The Western States Petroleum Association, the oil and gas trade association of which Chevron and AERA are members, was the top-spending lobbyist in Sacramento in 5 of the last 7 election cycles.
WSPA has spent a total $83,107,421 lobbying since 2005. Chevron spent $44,876,606 in that period; Aera spent $5,627,258.56.
WSPA and Big Oil wield their power in 6 major ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) serving on and putting shills on regulatory panels; (4) creating Astroturf groups: (5) working in collaboration with media; and (6) contributing to non profit organizations.
For more information, read: California's Biggest Secret? How Big Oil Dominates Public Discourse to Manipulate and Deceive https://www.dailykos.com/story/2019/5/31/1861615/-California-s-Biggest-Secret-How-Big-Oil-Dominates-Public-Discourse-to-Manipulate-and-Deceive