- Widespread Rain
- Ukiah Heartbreak
- Corections Dept
- Boonville Water
- Google Kumbaya
- BOS Watch
- Radioactive Lawyer
- Healthcare Injustice
- Folsom Prism
- Useful Measures
- Elderhome Benefit
- Ed Notes
- Inconsistent Statements
- Marine Triptych
- Calpella Virago
- Trade Schools
- Yesterday's Catch
- Baroque Revisited
- Unread Books
- Funeral Arrangements
- Thirsty Weed
- VP Choice
- Dem Entropy
- Bernie Top-Ten
- Honolulu Craig
- Warm Thoughts
- Which Candidate
- Farm Report
- Found Object
A COLD FRONT will bring widespread rain and high elevation snow this morning, followed by showers this afternoon. Light rain will be possible Wednesday through Friday, mainly north of Cape Mendocino. Widespread rain is expected this weekend. (NWS)
SMACKED HARD IN UKIAH
What in the name of all that is Ukiah, has happened to Ukiah? I’m stunned at its transformation, since being gone for the past 33 months.
At first I was surprised, but as each day progresses, I find myself sickened by its deterioration and obvious disregard for its cleanliness, as well as the absence of any pride, whatsoever. The homeless population has grown by exorbitant numbers, which I’m sorry for those that are suffering this fate, but really? However, the uncleanliness and disrepair that I continue to see on a daily basis, reaches beyond that of the homeless. If someone would have told me that this was the situation, I would never have believed them, ever.
It looks like skid row. The more I travel throughout Ukiah, the more I become aware of its complete loss of integrity. It’s actually unbelievable to me. Has Ukiah allowed itself to feel defeated and thrown in the towel? Because, it appears that they have. This is how I see it, every single day, from one end of town to the other. Trash everywhere. Burned out buildings. Empty stores, left in ruin. It’s heartbreaking.
The number of homeless, or I should say, the number of those choosing to live on the streets, which seems to have taken on a greater overall number than those that are actually “homeless,” is hard to believe. A lot are living on the streets because drugs have taken them there. They aren’t actually homeless, they just can’t, or they choose not to, “go home.” Drugs are their priority, over and above their families and the life they once knew. Heroin is running deep in the veins of those who could no longer afford the high cost of (opiates) pills. It’s cheaper, and apparently, more available. The strength of the addiction taking on a more evil face every day. It’s out of control and growing.
It’s not that it’s something “new” to this area, I’ve just never been “smacked” in the face with its presence, as I’ve been, since my return. I feel as though the city and county have given in to this migration, and are unable to fight the fight that is upon our town. I have never felt, in 40 years of living in Mendocino County, the pain and sadness that I feel since being back, and continue to feel, each time I drive through town.
I stopped for gas this evening, and as I finished pumping my gas, a young man approached and said, “Can you help me out, I need to get some drugs, I’m sick.”
It saddened me deeply, but I told him I couldn’t and got in my car, and watched him wander aimlessly hoping to find someone, anyone, who could “help him out.” No longer was it, I need gas, or, I’m broke down or hungry.
Really? Is this the future of our home? Is this what we want to live with and in? Is this what we want our children to see and be frightened of on a daily basis? Or quite possibly get caught up in? Or God forbid, stolen and sold for drugs? At the rate this addicted population is growing and the need for their multiple fixes each day increases, it is no longer a matter of if, it most definitely is a matter of when.
This devil’s advocate is staring us in the face on a daily basis. Those stares at times, by those you would never suspect or believe would ever get caught up in the life of a heroin user. Along with their addiction comes the inevitable need to do whatever one needs to do in order to get well. And when panhandling for money becomes too difficult in fulfilling their needs, and recycling is no longer a convenient option, they will do whatever it takes to get that next fix, and I mean whatever it takes. With no thought at all as to the consequences of their actions, no matter how severe they could quite possibly be, they will get that next fix. All in the name of getting well enough in order to be able to successfully get the next one.
The routine continues day after day, as the need increases and the will to fulfill that need becomes even stronger, the absence of (sincere) compassion and respect for life continues to diminish faster than the need to get well increases. It’s a vicious, vicious world of survival.
I’ve had the unfortunate experience of seeing two individuals that I've known since they were very young, that are now lost in this world. One that I would have never recognized, if I hadn’t been told who they were, after the fact. The other, that I still can’t believe has gotten lost on this road, or for that matter, even knew where this road was. Both with the ability to go home, but the pull of the addiction is far greater than the love and need of their children and the security they once knew.
Now multiply these two scenarios by just the number of those that you “see” on the streets each day, and there are many more than that. The railroad tracks, the culverts, the dumpsters, empty buildings, places you would never believe that anyone would take up residency, are occupied. It’s a world in and of itself. This world breeds nothing positive.
The best of people end up there, and are caught up in the web of deceit and self destruction, that they justify and accept as their way of life. They will look you in the eye and lie, with no concern for you or yours. They will laugh with you, spend time with you, do whatever they have to do to get what they want or to be able to take what they want in the end. And they will succeed, without you even being aware of their game, if you’re not aware of “the game.” That person that you may decide to hire for a few hours of much needed help at your ranch or business, or maybe to clean up your yard at home, that nice young man or woman that is “down on their luck,” and that you want to help out, unfortunately has taken on a whole deeper dimension today. Deeper than I ever would have thought would have taken hold in Ukiah.
I know that we as human beings only do what we are allowed to do. We can blame this one or that one for what another may do to us, or what we may do to another, but the fact of the matter still remains, they only do to us, right, wrong, or indifferent, what we allow them to do, and we will do to another, right wrong or indifferent, only what they allow us to do. Are we allowing this to be our new normal?
Are we prepared for the severe consequences that I guarantee will be the result of this normal? Are we ok with no longer feeling safe while running to the store at night? Are we feeling good about no longer having compassion for that person who claims to be “down on their luck”, knowing they have an option? Are we ok with watching a vast amount of our young people stumble around searching for “help” in order to score their next fix?
The people I speak about, speak to, and speak with, are good people. They’ve gotten themselves caught up in a game that they cannot win. They will all say, they’ve “got it under control,” that there’s “nothing to worry about.”
The fact of the matter is, there is no way to keep it under control, and there’s a lot to worry about. The heroin availability, addiction and eventual death that it leaves in its trail, is ruining first and foremost our children, and our brothers and sisters of the world. It used to be a closet, so to speak, drug. Now it’s an in your face, gotta have it, this is what I do, drug. It’s an addiction that grabs hold of people quicker and holds on tighter, and comes with a guarantee, that all that purchase once, will be back, again and again and again.
This is an epidemic that has spread faster in this area than most would believe. As hard as it may be for some to recognize or acknowledge, it’s happening within their own family. Please don’t ever say to yourself, and allow yourself to believe, “it would never happen in our family,” because it does. At the rate it has spread in the last 33 months, it’s coming to a theater near you, and I promise you it won’t be a movie you’ll like.
I’m not sure what the answer is. Hell, I’m not even sure what the right question is half the time. What I do know, is what I know, and my greatest mantra in my continued sobriety from this devil’s grasp for the last 40 plus years is, “It’s easier to stay straight, than get straight.” This has been and continues to be my Godly advocate. I will never give up, and I will never throw in the towel, please don’t allow yourself or the leaders in this community to do so either.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with opiate addiction, always remember that pills (used and abused), like shopping for the best price, do and will eventually lead to heroin hell. If something doesn’t seem right, it most likely isn’t. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Seek professional help.
Voice of Experience,
THERE IS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS IN THE ANDERSON VALLEY.
Water and Water Treatment Update #1
January 22, 2020
(from the Anderson Valley Community Services District Board)
Going all the way back to the 1970s, surface sewage from leach fields was detected near water wells in Boonville. In 2015 water testing detected coliform and high levels of nitrates in 21 of 23 residential wells tested in central Boonville. (This does not apply to commercial establishments because their water quality is monitored by the State Water Board.) The contamination is likely due to leaky septic systems and agriculture. This is a serious public health issue and could affect the greater community. The contamination could spread to the aquifer of the Anderson Valley, potentially polluting everyone’s water on the valley floor. Furthermore, the Anderson Valley Health Center reports seeing illnesses related to poor water quality such as skin infections and diarrhea. Water contamination and observed illnesses may be related. Residents of the Anderson Valley deserve better water quality than what is normally found in third-world countries.
There is a solution to the problem.
The Anderson Valley Community Services District (AVCSD) has been working with the Water Board (State Water Resources Control Board) to develop a wastewater treatment system for central Boonville. The State—under Proposition 1—would fund all of the project, estimated to cost approximately 14 million dollars. Engineers have been working to identify a cost-effective approach to solve the problem, and it involves siting an odor-free treatment plant and underground dispersal field of nearly drinkable water in Boonville. Some community members have resisted moving ahead with the project. They raise two main objections: the treatment plant will smell, and the project will promote growth. Both objections are false. The engineers guarantee that the plant will not produce odor. Growth will continue to be limited by current County of Mendocino zoning requirements and the system will only be designed for current water use with an “overcapacity” of only 10%.
How can you help?
Please become informed about the Boonville Wastewater Treatment plant project by:
Attending a water/wastewater project meeting held at 10:30 AM on the first Thursday of every month at the Anderson Valley Fire Department in Boonville; sign up for announcements by emailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and be added to the email list;
Attending an informational water/wastewater community meeting to discuss the status of the project or the health consequences of NO wastewater treatment in the Anderson Valley (these will be announced on the AVCSD website or the AV Advertiser);
Participating in a field trip to visit existing wastewater treatment sites similar to our future site; the trip will be announced in the AVA and on the AVCSD website;
Contacting an AVCSD Board member to discuss your concerns.
The State funds will no longer be available if the AVCSD doesn’t act soon.
The Anderson Valley Community Services District Board
Val Hanelt Chair (email@example.com)
François Christen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kathleen McKenna (email@example.com)
Larry Mailliard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Paul Soderman (email@example.com)
MONDAY MORNING'S GOOGLE GRAPHIC
CEO CARMEL ANGELO may finally be feeling some pressure to do something about the ridiculously expensive continued operation of Mendo’s Juvenile Hall which, at last report, housed a mere dozen or so delinquents at a cost of about $2 million annually: “ At this time, the Executive Office is not recommending closure of Juvenile Hall. In partnership with Chief Probation Officer Izen Locatelli, concepts are being developed that may improve outcomes for delinquent youth while reducing the General Fund cost of operating the facility. Information will be shared with the Board of Supervisors after additional research confirms viability of one or more innovative concepts.”
“…are being developed”? Why put this on a Board agenda if they’re not yet “developed” so the Board can consider them?
SOME AVA READERS may recall in 2018 when County School Superintendent Michelle Hutchins appeared before the Supervisors offering to work with her fellow school superintendents to prepare options for juvenile hall in context with other juvenile/school problems, but the Board and the CEO chose to ignore that offer and keep the Hall open at well over $2 million per year. What are the odds that Ms. Hutchins’ offer will ever be explored, much less raised as a source of “innovative concepts”?
AT THEIR JUNE 2018 meeting, the Board discussed Juvenile Hall’s excessive cost. At that time we wrote: “By the end of the discussion, the Board, wringing their hands at the cruel fates visited upon them by unsympathetic gods, did what they always do — punted. They formed an ad hoc committee of two supervisors (Gjerde and Croskey) to like, uh, well, meet some time with some people and report back. [The Hall had been leaking hundreds of thousands of dollars per year unbeknownst to the CEO until Lake County suddenly said they didn’t want to pay Mendo’s outrageously high day rates which is when the CEO first raised the issue and started exploring “innovative concepts.”] PS. No date was set to solve the million dollar shortfall. For now, they’re just going to continue leaking money. After all, it’s for the good of ‘the kids.’ They can’t even bring themselves to say out loud who these ‘kids’ are which, and sorry to be the bearer of bad news, is Nice People code for ‘entry level criminals.’ Most of them anyway.”
THAT AD HOC COMMITTEE, lead by Supervisor Dan Gjerde, later came up with the “innovative concept” of eliminating the separate kitchen at the Hall and have the main jail kitchen supply meals to the Hall, saving a few thousand dollars a year — barely a drop in the leaky bucket. But nothing else was ever proposed and the Hall has been leaking more millions for going on two years now — all for a dozen or so delinquents. Money that more and more people are saying could be much better used for, say, improving the sorry state of ambulance services in the 101 corridor.
ACCORDING TO A PRESENTATION SUMMARY FOR this week’s Supervisors meeting concerning the County’s “cybersecurity” measures, the County gets 10,000-30,000 emails per day on average blocked for spam or other malicious intent, and 50+ viruses and malicious files on average per day are blocked and quarantined.”
So, guess what the cybersecurity consultants conclude?
“Threat level and number of incidents has drastically increased in 2019. We expect this trend to continue. Threat prevention spending will need to increase.”
On Thursday, January 9, 2020 at approximately 12:33 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident that occurred on Monday, December 23, 2019 in the 13900 block of Highway 128 in Boonville. Deputies arrived and contacted a 26 year-old female. Deputies learned the adult female had been physically assaulted by her husband, Lamberto Magana-Perez, 25, of Boonville, on the night of December 23, 2019.
Deputies further learned the adult female had been reportedly abused by her husband for approximately the past two years prior to this incident. Deputies investigated the allegations and eventually contacted Lamberto Magana-Perez. Deputies questioned Lamberto Magana-Perez and obtained his statement. After gathering evidence and completing their investigation, Deputies developed probable cause to believe Lamberto Magana-Perez committed the crime Domestic Violence Battery, a felony. The Deputies arrested Lamberto Magana-Perez and booked him into the Mendocino County Jail where he was held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
I was struck by a common thread in some recent local news, which helps illuminate the very sorry state of healthcare racketeering that we have going on in this country:
1) Mendocino County Today, January 20, 2020: A pickup careens off the highway near Yorkville. First responders find the truck without occupants. They later locate the driver who is "walking wounded" but declines medical treatment.
2) Mendocino County Today, January 19, 2020: A vehicle veers off the highway and sinks in the Navarro River. Driver swims to shore, declines medical care.
3) Redheaded Blackbelt, January 8, 2020: A man commuting home in his truck is run off the road, crashes down a steep incline, and survives (with his two dogs) by wandering all through the night. The story concludes with him declaring from his hospital bed: "Now I’m looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills."
Martin Luther King once said, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman." That was 54 years ago. It's past time for a non-profit single-payer national health program in this country. Please register to vote and help make this place a little more humane. Vote for Bernie.
AN INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL AUDIT?
“An independent audit is an examination of the financial records, accounts, business transactions, accounting practices, and internal controls of a charitable nonprofit by an ‘independent’ auditor.”
— National Council of Non-Profits
Notice that even this staid group puts quotes around “independent” auditor.
Every Local Education Agency (LEA) (aka School District) is required to prepare and submit an annual “independent” audit to the State Department of Education. In fact, all government agencies are required to prepare and submit independent financial audits annually.
Guess what these “independent” auditors — who are paid by the agency they are auditing — always conclude?
But, as George W. Bush once famously said, “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”
What we need in Mendocino County in general and for Mental Health programs in particular are useful measures of effectiveness, not another audit.
Mendo hands over around $20 million a year to Redwood Quality Management Company and their sister outfit Redwood Community Services for vague mental health services, yet nobody asks if that money is doing any good addressing mental health.
Another $20 or $30 million is about to be spent on additional facilities and services — nobody seems to know what those additional facilities or “services” will be — and again nobody’s interested in whether those facilites and services will do any good.
What would “doing any good” mean? In mental health, as in law enforcement, the key measure is recidivism: How many people are provided with “services” and how many of them come back again for the same service?
It would be useful to know how many “unduplicated” mental health patients are seen every month or every year, how many of them are released with recovery plans and how many of them return and after how long and if their plans were followed? And how does Mendo compare with other counties' numbers?
But although we, as well as several local senior mental health professionals, have raised these questions in various informal contexts over the years, they remain unasked by Official Mendo. Official Mendo is only interested in seeing that these “services” exist, that they are spending a lot of money on them, and that vague state agencies approve them and review their finances. Nobody in official capacities seems interested in whether the services do any good.
We are left to assume — given the evidence in our face everyday on local streets — that Official Mendo either doesn’t care about mental health beyond spending money, despite all the slobbery "caring" and “non-stigmatizing” rhetoric, or that all that spending. Or they don’t care to have the effectiveness facts revealed.
Anyone who thinks that an “independent” financial audit would make any difference to the people who actually need mental health services would be better advised to ask if the money is doing any good?
LONG-TIME Mendocino County resident and former 5th District Supervisor Candidate Chris Skyhawk will be speaking about the insights he has gained from his near-fatal 2018 stroke and recovery efforts. The talk will occur on Feb 1st at 1 PM at Mendo Dragon Community, 18079 Lambert Lane, Boonville. Cost $10-$20, no one turned away. This is a benefit for the Anderson Valley Elderhome. For more info contact. Lynda McClure 707-895-3243 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ANON CALLER claims that “a hundred thousand dollars worth of liquor was looted from Pic ’N Pay after the fire.” Interesting rumor. We’ve asked the Sheriff if anything like looting is being investigated in the wake of The Lodge Fire.
AV FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila told us Monday that he is in direct contact with the Insurance company handling the aftermath of December's disastrous Pic-N-Pay/Lizbby’s/apartment fire. The insurance company has completed their assessments and investigations, and are now in the process of arranging clean-up and debris removal contracts. The work will be conducted and overseen by the insurance company, not the proprietor. Avila said he expects rubble removal and clean up work to begin at the site before the end of February. PS. Chief Avila is not aware of any looting or reports thereof.
A BOONVILLE FIRE VICTIMS FUNDRAISER performance by the award-winning Del Sol String Quartet featuring special guest composer fellows from the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music in Boonville is set for Friday, January 24 from 7- 8:30 PM at the Anderson Valley High School cafeteria. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $10 at the door. AV High School students and all those 18 and under are free. For more information visit www.glfcam.com.
A READER WRITES: I thought I'd thank you for this book recommendation, "To the Finland Station." It's not an easy read given the gaps in my own reading experience and the obvious great breadth of [Edmund] Wilson's on the seemingly impossible quest for a society of freedom, equality and justice. The early chapters got me thinking about the convulsions of the American Revolution and the French Revolution, and the courses that each followed. It'd make a great university class, and might spark lively discussions about Napoleon and Trump, a time warp of course, but inescapably leading to the power and corruption of the ruling class and moneyed interests. Here comes Section II, The Origins of Socialism. I'm interested, thanks again for the push."
IT OUGHT to be required reading, especially now with people popping off all over the place about the isms. "To the Finland Station" is a crash course in the history of each ism, and en route you learn the diff. As it is in this country, the rightwing — synonymous with ignorance — conflates a social democrat like Bernie with Bolshevism. Come to think of it, Bernie is probably the only national figure we have capable of making the distinctions, but those distinctions are basic and crucial, not that Republicans or the many demagogues among conservative Democrats would make the distinctions even if they knew them since they represent the biggest of big money. For instance, even a reform like MediCare For All is seen as a threat to the big money both parties represent, hence the hysterical opposition to it from both of them. In brief, communists murder socialists and anarchists and liberals, at least that's the history of how it's all played out since 1917. The constant din from the talking heads about "the left" is a combination of delusion and ignorance; there isn't any left in this country, and when there was there was also a communist party of what, 20,000 people max? And their politics were reform not revolutionary. And they looked to Russia for instruction, which is why they never got anywhere with Americans.
TENS OF THOUSANDS of gun nuts converged in the streets of Richmond, Virginia, on Monday to protest that their right to bear arms is somehow imperiled by pending legislation, really draconian laws like prohibiting mental patients from buying weapons. The gun nuts started arriving before dawn - army veterans, stay-at-home-moms, attorneys, welders, democrats, republicans - united under banners defending the second amendment and, they believe, their version of the constitution under attack. And many of them came with their guns: AR-15s, long-guns and handguns. Governor Ralph Northam had issued a ban on a list of weapons, including guns on capitol grounds but though the official rally was confined to a steel pen in the grounds sloping up to Virginia State Capitol, there were more people outside that perimeter and outside the scope of the ban. Security was tight and visible - hundreds of cops on the streets and in the grounds, screening lanes at the only entrance to the park, the rest of which had been fenced off. On Monday morning, President Trump fanned the flames of the already simmering tensions by tweeting: 'The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights. This is just the beginning. Don't let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!'
YOUNG LOVE, SWEET LOVE, FILLED WITH DEVOTION
On Saturday, January 11, 2020 at approximately 2:14 P.M. Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to an adult male attempting to gain access to a residence in the 2100 block of South State Street in Ukiah. The adult male was seen holding a handgun while banging on the door. Deputies responded and attempted to locate the person. Deputies contacted Natalie Carrasco-Santana, 18, of Ukiah, and they were told that there was no disturbance and she did not see anyone with a gun.
After further questioning, Carrasco-Santana advised her boyfriend was inside the residence and she invited the Deputies into the home. Deputies continued to question Carrasco-Santana and her boyfriend. Statements gathered seemed to be inconsistent with scene observations that the Deputies noted. The Deputies completed their investigation and developed probable cause to believe Carrasco-Santana committed the crime of Domestic Violence Battery against her boyfriend. A handgun was recovered inside the residence; however there was no indication the handgun was involved in the incident. The Deputies arrested Carrasco-Santana and booked her into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Art Utility Boxes of Eureka: Marine Life Triptych
by David Wilson
The wintertime has dampened my nighttime roaming and kept my photography a little closer to home of late. But as a famous photographer once said, though I can’t recall who it was, and I’m afraid I must paraphrase, “You can find plenty of beauty to photograph right in your own back yard.” That idea has stuck with me for decades. It was easy to dream of faraway places growing up with National Geographic’s fantastic photography from around the world, and I did. But I live in a remarkably beautiful area right here in northern California, and hearing that idea expressed in an early photography class I was taking helped me appreciate the beauty already around me.
I’m usually drawn to the nighttime magic of our gorgeous North Coast’s natural landscape, out where the starry skies glitter overhead without the interruption of humanity’s ground lights. But it is also rewarding to direct some attention a little closer to my home, especially when the weather is inclement. I find myself attracted to the mural paintings on the utility boxes around Eureka, the many instances of public art beautifying the city as part of Eureka’s Strategic Arts Plan (https://www.eurekart.org).
On the corner of Myrtle Avenue and 5th Street, just outside of Pacific Outfitters, is an undersea triptych painting on a trio of utility boxes that has attracted me for some time. Brought to life by the hand of local painter Dakota Daetwiler, the three-piece work of art creates an undersea world featuring local marine plants and animals in a joyous celebration of life. Dakota worked with the input of Pacific Outfitter management, who she said hoped she would represent the local undersea world off our coast.
Daetwiler is a self-taught painter born and raised in Humboldt County. Most of her inspiration has come from a fascination with reading. As a kid, she “read hundreds and hundreds of books.” Her artistic journey has rewarded her passion with success, but it isn’t always easy to learn on one’s own. Her message to others finding their own way would be to not give up in the face of setbacks.
“This project was a huge learning experience for me,” she told me, “as the first time I put the wrong clear coat on them and almost a year later I ended up having to re-paint them entirely. I was in tears seeing how much they'd deteriorated. But I'm nothing if not persistent!”
A little research revealed the secrets to painting a weather-resistant image onto metal, and with perseverance and determination she re-painted the entire triptych. Take a moment to walk over to see it in person next time you stop by Pacific Outfitters; it’s just across the grass lawn from their parking lot.
Daetwiler has a store in Ferndale, where you can explore a wonderland jam-packed in riotous profusion with the fruits of her talent. Stop in some time at 431 Main Street, Ferndale, or visit her online at PaintingsByDakota.com.
Dakota’s triptych is the second art utility box I’ve photographed in Eureka in what I’m calling this a series, though it’s only a pair of photographs as yet, with the intention to photograph a few more or so of them. The lighting isn’t favorable at all locations, though, and some are a bit too close to traffic to get the best angle. I’ll have to play it by eye and see how it develops.
Three electrical utility boxes form a canvas for Dakota Daetwiler’s undersea triptych mural featuring local marine life. Find it next to the Pacific Outfitters parking lot at the corner of 5th and Myrtle in Eureka, California. Photographed January 16, 2020.
(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.)
JESSICA GOES OFF!
On Sunday, January 19, 2020 at approximately 10:45 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a 911 disconnect in the 6100 block of North State Street in Calpella. Deputies responded to the area and were unable to locate any obvious disturbance. Approximately 15 minutes later, Deputies were dispatched to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center to investigate a domestic violence dispute which had occurred in the Calpella area. Upon arrival, Deputies contacted a 37 year-old male and his 13 year-old daughter who were both receiving medical treatment. Deputies learned the adult male was in a dating relationship with Jessica Pingree, 22, of Fort Bragg.
Deputies learned that during an argument, Pingree began to physically assault the adult male by striking him in his upper body, face and head, causing pain and visible bruising. Deputies learned the juvenile female attempted to intervene in the fight, at which point Pingree grabbed the juvenile by the neck, pulled her hair, and struck her several times in the face, causing visible injuries. During the investigation, Deputies located Pingree and placed her under arrest for Domestic Violence Battery and Willful Cruelty to a Child. Pingree was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
BRING BACK TRADE SCHOOLS
I was ecstatic to read that Santa Rosa Junior College is developing a comprehensive building trades training center. Regardless of whether you supported Sen. Marco Rubio during the last election, his comment that we need to bring back trade schools, that we didn’t need any more philosophers, we needed more electricians, plumbers and carpenters, was so right on.
A generation or two of young people interested only in keyboards, and politicians typecasting blue-collar workers as some sort of lower class, has left not only Sonoma County but the country with a severe lack of people who can build or fix things. People working in the trades make good money.
While we concentrate on how to create lower-cost housing, how about creating higher-paying jobs?
SRJC’s program provides an avenue to gain skills and begin working in high-paying jobs in a relatively short period of time. Maybe the next step is a program to train them in the skills needed to become licensed contractors and begin their own businesses. This involves more than just passing the state contractor’s exam, but learning accounting, economics and project and people management skills so they will be successful entrepreneurs.
Kudos to those that worked hard to secure the federal grant and local matching funds.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 20, 2020
CRYSTAL CRADDOCK, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JEREMIAH HEILIG, Willits. Stalking and threatening bodily injury, trespassing, obliterating coloration or markings applicable to imitation firearm.
REMELEE LAXA, Willits. Contempt of court.
BRAIN LENHART, Ukiah. Felon/addict with firearm.
DANIEL LONG, Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), operating vehicle without license, probation revocation.
JESSICA PINGREE, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, willful cruelty to child.
CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Vandalism, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
VARIATIONS ON A BAROQUE THEME: Recent composers reach back to an older style
Cellist Natalie Raney featured
by Roberta Werdinger
On the weekend of February 8-9, the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra presents Baroque Revisited, a program of music in the Baroque style written by late 19th and 20th century composers. The concert also features Bay Area cellist Natalie Raney playing Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme.
"Baroque" refers also to an entire sensibility encompassing art, literature, and architecture. The term originates from the Portuguese word barroco, referring to a misshapen pearl; the elaborate interplay of melodies in some Baroque music and the ornamentation and emotionality of Baroque visual forms led some to employ the term as a critique, while others celebrated its exuberance.
Baroque music, arising after the Renaissance and before the Classical era, included great composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, and George Handel. The opera, the cantata, and the sonata, now widely used forms of the classical canon, all arose during the Baroque era (1600–1750). It was a time when musical forms and styles developed in complexity, balancing the use of homophonic (parts played in chordal harmony) and polyphonic (parts played as independent melodies) modalities.
Symphony Director Dr. Phillip Semyon Lenberg explains, "All of the music on this concert was written 125-225 years after the Baroque period. The most recent piece, Alfred Schnittke's Suite in the Old Style, was composed less than 50 years ago." In addition to Tchaikovsky and Schnittke, the program features Austrian composer Anton Webern's six-voice fugue, Ricercata a 6 voci, a rearrangement of a Bach composition; and Italian musicologist Ottorino Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 1, featuring several lute pieces by Italian composers of the 16th century.
The practice of harkening to the old in order to create the new is a hallmark of Director Lenberg's style, as is his interest in inviting innovative and classically trained young artists to play with the Symphony. Freelance cellist Natalie Raney fits that bill well. Born and raised in the Midwest and Seattle, Raney began playing the cello at the age of nine. After studying at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and then at Boston University, she came to the Bay Area to study chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Soon she was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center while studying and collaborating with top chamber musicians in the field.
"After I came out of school, I had more opportunity to explore my cello and all the different sounds that could be created," Raney states. She is inspired by the "innovation and openness to new and avant-garde music" she encountered in the Bay Area, and by the diversity and richness of its arts offerings in general. "I'm pretty thankful to live in a place like this." Realizing that she hadn't performed many works by women composers, Raney cofounded the musical trio Curium. Highlighting often-overlooked female composers, Curium performed work by Clara Schumann (1819-1896), who raised eight children with her husband, composer Robert Schumann; contemporary Finnish musician Kaija Saariaho; and other emerging female musicians.
No longer a member of Curium, Raney coaches chamber music ensembles, performs, and continues to collaborate in various creative projects. One of those is One Found Sound, a conductorless chamber orchestra that uses collaborative methods to interpret and perform orchestral works.
Raney has a deep feeling for all the composers whose work she performs, whether male or female, living or dead. "I'm thinking of him, of the struggle he went through all his life," she says of the work by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky that she will perform. "He had a hard life and was not the happiest person." Although he received wide honors in his lifetime, the Russian-born Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) underwent periods of depression, which some attribute to the societal pressures of the time that led him to closet his attraction to men. Raney calls his Variations on a Rococo Theme, written in 1877, "a nod to the past. He was clearly inspired by Mozart." (The rococo movement is considered a later extension of the Baroque style; it is even more elaborate and ornamental. Mozart lived in the late 18th century, a time when rococo art flourished, although his music is not particularly associated with that style.)
Raney continues, "It's a very optimistic piece overall; you can hear him [Tchaikovsky] escaping the depression he was living in most of his life. My approach has been to get the optimism to come out, and to trace the trail of self that he leaves throughout the whole work."
"Baroque Revisited" takes place at the Mendocino College Center Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. There will be a free half-hour talk one hour before each concert--7 p.m. on Feb. 8, and 1 p.m. on Feb. 9. Tickets are available at www.ukiahsymphony.org; Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah; or at the door, where credit cards are now accepted. Tickets are $30 for ages 18 to 64; $25 for age 65 and up; and free for ASB card holders and youth under 18. Group-discounted tickets are available online. Wine and beer are now available at the venue and may be brought into the theatre as long as the beverages remain covered. For more information contact the Ukiah Symphony at (707) 510-1793.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 My own clan has more than a glancing acquaintance with fascists, i.e., those from the 1920s and 1930s. From what they’ve told me of their own experiences, what we have on this side of the pond is nothing fascistic, not even close.
I’ve found “fascist” to be an all-purpose slander designed to distract from material issues that directly impact the lives of many millions of people. So is “populist”.
Having said that, if one is really convinced of this “fascism” I would strongly advise a re-think. Misdiagnosis and misapprehension are not adaptive responses. They can lead to serious trouble. For decades the intelligentsia touted neo-liberal agendas as the best thing for everyone and for a long time a lot of people were convinced. The returns are in and the results calamitous. Time to re-evaluate, which is what the Trump win and this Brexit business are all about. Same with the gilets jaunes movement in France, to take just a few examples.
 I would love to see both loathsome, corrupt parties replaced, but there will always be wolves, and the Republicans would just be replaced by republicans, however renamed.
The unnatural thing is that there is no longer an opposition party of sheepdogs to at least try to protect the people from the wolves. Replacing the Democratic Party might not be sufficient, but it is absolutely necessary to even attempt to rebuild this nation.
 Homelessness: We are in new territory here; as more people give constructive input, better solutions will evolve. All of this is very new. We haven't experienced this level of homelessness since the Great Depression. We're in an economic system of great income inequality combined with a failing social safety net. We have working people paying a higher percentage of their income to taxes than people who live off investments. We have our state and local taxes being consumed by creating this hopscotch social safety net of temporary shelters and temporary hires while our schools, roads, libraries and parks go underfunded. We're in a moment of great social immobility where if you're born poor, you're likely to stay poor. So we're going to have to put our minds together to figure this out. Homelessness is not going to get better - many seniors do not have ample savings for retirement, 30% of Americans don't have $500 for an emergency and many people become bankrupt and lose everything if they have a major medical crisis.
by James Kunstler
As they like to say in the horror movie trailers: It… begins…! (Cue bassoons and waterphones.)
If last Wednesday’s solemn and prayerful parade through the Capitol rotunda was the Democratic Party’s funeral march, then impeachment starting this week may be the burial service. Central casting couldn’t have found a more perfect funeral director than the grave and genteel Mitch McConnell.
Of course, the Democrats have been screeching for new witnesses because Adam Schiff (D-CA) muffed his due diligence on the House side. The tactical fallback, courtesy of Lawfare, is to provoke a legal pissing match over executive privilege, which they hope to turn into a campaign ploy in the months ahead: Trump concealed the truth! This time, though, I doubt the Senate rules will give them a chance to run option plays from the Brett Kavanaugh playbook, flooding the end zone with obvious geeks and bottom-feeders of the Michael Avenatti species.
And, naturally, the witness question beats a path directly to the Bidens. Open that door and there is really nothing on God’s green earth that will keep Hunter B out of the witness chair. In which case he will have to reiterate what he said in a TV interview a few months back — they’ll play the recording in-session — which is that he got the $83-K-a-month do-nothing gig on the Burisma board-of-directors because he was the Vice-president’s son. Or he can change his story and cast himself as a liar. It would not be necessary to call Joe Biden, just submit in evidence that recording of him bragging on how he strong-armed the Ukrainians to shut down their Burisma investigation by threatening to withhold a billion-dollar aid-and-loan package. Hmmmm. Sounds suspiciously like what Mr. Trump is accused of, absent evidence.
Was Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) playing dumb on Face the Nation Sunday when he said Hunter Biden shouldn’t testify because he has no knowledge of the accusation? Or, is Mr. Nadler just dumb enough to forget that in a trial, the person accused of something is called the defendant because he’s entitled to defend himself? The corruption in the Hunter B matter is not just obvious, it’s confessed. Everyone seems to have forgotten that the US has a treaty with Ukraine on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters signed at Kiev on July 22, 1998. How, exactly, does that not apply to Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Zelensky?
Well, all this tends, naturally, to questions around the 2020 election. Though the polls cast Joe B as front-runner, I fail to see how he survives the Ukraine payola scheme as a viable candidate. On top of which is his pretty obvious mental deterioration. Half the time, he doesn’t seem to know what state he’s in, and the most amazing things come out of his pie-hole — the latest being his gaffe about Beto O’Rourke being a Latino. Did Uncle Joe not meet the man half a dozen times at debate venues?
Bernie Sanders looked to be coming on strong in recent weeks, until Project Veritas caught some of his field managers threatening to burn down Milwaukee if he was deprived of the nomination and then proceed with a national insurrection. Was that a true colors moment? Voters have a right to wonder if Bernie is piloting a garbage barge of old-time Bolshevism, complete with the requisite reign of terror.
Just today The New York Times endorsed Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for president. Yes, you probably thought what I thought initially: one for Prez, one for Veep. Actually, no, it was both for Prez. How’s that supposed to work? Well, it’s just a ruse, of course, because both are foundering in the polls, and poor Ms. Warren is on tape lying about herself so many times that you’d see more of that on TV than Seinfeld reruns before next November. The New York Times is actually holding out for the resurrection of Hillary Clinton. Isn’t this the perfect set-up for old Hillary to swoop into Milwaukee on her leathery wings of fire, like the fearsome Wendigo of Potawatomi legend, and gobble up the delegates? It would be much like the Whigs nominating the old warhorse General Winfield Scott in the election of 1852. That election marked the death of the Whig Party, and with Hillary leading the charge, 2020 would be the end of the Democrats, such as they were known.
The impeachment witness question also redounds upon the fabled “whistleblower,” that Jacob Marley of the impeachment Christmas story, rattling his chains off-stage and wailing of cosmic injustice against the poor Ukrainians. There is no witness more pertinent to this enormous fiasco than that pimpernel of perfidy — and, of course, the long choo-choo train of persons he conspired with, including Adam Schiff and the Lawfare gang. I would love to see him unmasked in the ‘splainin’ seat, spilling the beans on the predication of this whole sordid affair. But it might be better to wait and hear from him in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings to follow this impeachment circus, where his turpitudes can get the full attention they deserve, with indictments to follow.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
WEED AND WATER WOES IN THE LEGENDARY EMERALD TRIANGLE
Dried up streams and dying fish are putting the top cannabis-producing region in the country under the microscope
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Interestingly, Radio Derb mentioned Klobuchar as a possible VP candidate, allowing the Dems to check the female box if Joe manages to stumble across the primary finish line in first.
I checked her Wikipedia page and see a pretty plain vanilla liberal Dem except that her main claim to fame seems to be that the authored/sponsored more laws than anyone else. Oh goody! Lots and lots of meaningless, but expensive, laws – maybe a Great Society v2.0.
If Uncle Joe does get the nod they need to nominate someone sane for #2 because his chances of being overcome by drooling seem high. Klobuchar beats Warren in that category hands down.
As far as Hillary swooping in on leather wings, I can think of nothing else that would serve so well to motivate Trump’s “base”.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
For now the various organs and body parts of the Democratic Party move and function after a fashion, even if its faculties have tailed off of late. This is manifest not only in the speech and behavior of its leading politician, this Joseph Biden, a man in evident decline, but also in the collective conduct and thinking of the organization he belongs to.
It’s a simple thing really, entropy affects not only inanimate bodies but also those that walk and talk, not only individuals going through a process of advancing decrepitude, but also human organizations. This is what’s happening to the Democrats.
The process of disaggregation affects the Democrats in how information about the world is perceived, how it’s processed, and what actions result. Its leadership can’t tell the truth because they no longer knows what the truth is, fact and fiction blurring together, the time-honored practice of deceit having degenerated into self-deceit.
The same goes for the misguided people that vote for it, that vociferously support it, that contribute financially. They con themselves into thinking that they’re really a force for good, and for “progress”, that they have the best interests of the country at heart even when facts point to the contrary.
It’s not just money and time wasting nonsense like this Russian collusion saga. Liz Warren went around for years telling people she’s an Indian, maybe even believing it herself. Then she tells another howler, saying she got turfed from a job for being preggers. In the last electoral dust-up, in their collective enfeeblement, the Democrats nominated Hillary, not having anyone better by the looks of it, in itself a symptom of institutional senility, a candidate that never answered a question in her life, lawyering responses to even simple queries into ever widening ellipses bearing no relation to either the question never mind what simple mule-skinners like me would reckon is the honest truth. And they were stunned when she lost. Anybody with their wits about them shouldn’t have been.
Dealing with objective reality is a survival mechanism, any self-perpetuating organism wanting to make it to tomorrow, to next week, to next month or next year having to deal with the cold, hard world. And the Democrats long-ago lost sight of this, most recently taking refuge in fantastical realms of collusion and hackers and Ukrainians and who knows what.
Maybe this is a long way of saying the Democrats are outta their fuckin’ minds. Well, they are and have been for a long while. They’re goin’ bye-bye, the undertaker Mitch McConnell directing the proceedings, the pall-bearers Trump and the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates.
Just imagine another Trump win this November. There’s a better than even chance of it IMO, the Democrats fully deserving the outcome. Yet another loss to Trump would be a shock to the Democratic faithful akin to the sack of Rome in 410. Other things took the place of Rome. What takes the place of the Democrats is the question. Something will.
Message to this World, January 19, 2020 Anno Domini
Following a rousing Saturday night BBQ at Honolulu's Plumeria Hostel Alternative, awoke to a picture perfect postcard morning on Oahu. Did some housekeeping here to defray my living expense, and then headed off to an Irish bar to watch the football. Later, made a stop at Foodlands at the enormous Ala Moana Shopping Mall for fresh scallops plus the cold salad bar, and then walked to Saints Peter & Paul for the Sunday 6PM Catholic Mass. And a wonderful gathering of the faithful it was, with lots of singing and good vibes, and then we received the consecrated body and blood of Jesus Christ at Communion. We sang our way out of the church into the Hawaiian night, asking God to make use of these earthly instruments who only wish to do His Divine Will on the planet earth. We are going to heaven to be with all of the angels and saints and the Holy Family and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. We honor Martin Luther King, Jr. tomorrow. The parade starts at Waikiki at 9AM. And the beat goes on, and on, and on…I am down with it, y'all, but we may need to discuss non-attachment. ~Mahalo~
Craig Louis Stehr
P.O. Box 235670, Honolulu, HI 96823-3511
IT'S ZINE TIME!
I loved L.A.
I hated L.A. These are 2 diametrically opposed statements. My wife and I moved here from L.A. to get away from the hustle and bustle. I did live in a nice neighborhood, south of Ventura Bl.
But, helicopters would fly over the house at nightime with their searchlights shining in the windows.
Then, there was the traffic. Dear Goodness. Are you serious? Sitting on the 101 for an hour to travel 5 miles. Crazy.
And the smog. You could break a rib coughing from the pollution. Indeed, one of my friends did exactly this.
Hey, in L.A. you don’t believe in any air that you cannot see.
And then we had the attitude. Beep Beep! Hurry up. Get outta my way. That, "Look, I am more important than you, so move it" attitude.
Drivers were too stupid to leave early, giving themselves enough time to get to where there were going, and now it is the fault of others, like me. Beep Beep! Move it!!
Indeed, L.A. was only getting worse and worse and worse. Property prices were sky-rocketing as was the homeless population.
There is not enough money in the world that could ever make me move back there. Now, L.A. was really good to me in the 1980-2000. But either it changed or I did, or it was a combo.
But, there is one thing I do miss. Really, it is not a thing, it is a person. Dennis Zine. Dennis Zine was on the City Council from 2001 to 2013. He was elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2005 and 2009. He was a member of the Republican Party but changed his registration to “decline to state” in 2011.
Dennis Zine became my friend. No, we were not close, but we were close in our beliefs around what was best for the community as well as our mutually shared highly ambitious nature around getting things accomplished.
Man, I saw him in action one time at a community meeting at a local restaurant. The crowd was unruly, but he would have no part of this. He quickly whipped them all into having more respect, and more civility, and the meeting proceeded with people being heard, and then responded to, and stuff simply got done. Dennis Zine got the important stuff done. And fast.
There was a huge banner placed in front of a local rock and granite distributor thanking him.
The city wanted to use eminent domain to change their property boundaries in order to run a major road through that would literally dissect their property. Zine came in and stopped it, and made the city redesign the road to go around their property, not through.
The owners of the property put up a permanent “Thank You Dennis Zine”, on the entire frontage of their property for years.
Zine was a tough, take no prisoners kind of guy. He also was smart, and tied into the real needs of the community, and treated every single concern like it was the most important on his desk, at the time.
I remember one time standing on a prominent corner with a pro-Zine-sign promoting his re-election, fully knowing he would win, hands down.
I didn’t care. People needed to know how cool this man was.
Zine was a true champion. Then, we had Antonio Villaraigosa. The Mayor. What a showboat. All head and no beer. All sprinkles and no cupcake. In the rock music world it was called “all hair, and no fingers”.
I remember one specific occasion. It was on May 5th. Cinco De Mayo. I was in the band performing that day. All of the girls were dressed in festive garb. There was lots of dancing. I was waiting just outside the fenced in area just as Villaraigosa’s large black car pulled up.
He hopped out. The action was fast and furious. One picture after another. Some with the girl dancers. Some with other notables. He never even went into the event or stepped one foot on the event grounds. It was just one big photo op.
After the camera clicking subsided, he got back in his shiny car, and his driver drove him away in a cloud of dust.
I couldn’t believe it. It was just a show. His show. A farce.
This year we have elections for 3 supervisors in our county to be elected. This election is critical as Mendocino County has many issues and concerns with few answers and solutions.
So, here is my question. If Dennis Zine and Antonio Villaraigosa were both running for supervisor, which one would you vote for?
I do miss Dennis Zine. He was a champion for the people he represented.
So, which candidate for supervisor of Mendocino County will you vote for to champion your district?
PETIT TETON MONTHLY FARM REPORT - DECEMBER 2019
Welcome to the new year everyone. We visited a local animal shelter for the new year and found a beautiful 5 month old Belgian Malinois male, Rafa (picture attached), who could be a pure bred—or not.
He and Pito are already best buddies and yesterday they bonded even more by killing Rafa's first chicken, one that, despite our best efforts to close all but the tiniest openings, insisted on escaping from our very large blackberry maze cage which is chicken wired top to bottom, is 10' tall and is even chicken wire roofed. Not a good start to our training regimen. It happened while we were hiking with the grand kids, Kellie and Zoey, up a steep, never explored, part of the property. We followed a fence line straight uphill, found a seasonal creek and traced it to it's source out of rocks under a copse of oaks on the side of the hill, before heading home at sunset. At one point we sat on a shelf of rock to admire the view, and Zoey, 11, noticed an owl pellet directly under a lone post near the rock. What a treasure! It is a downy nugget filled with various bones, bug legs and a beetle carapace. After googling owl pellets I learned they are regurgitated and if one knows enough, one can identify the type of owl by its pellet, that people study the bones in the pellets and most important, they are valuable…as in people buy them!! Who said there was nothing on this land of value. We are hoping for a happy new year although it's certainly touch and go at this point.
—Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Kreig, Yorkville
PS In case you never read it, here’s Mark Twain's "The War Prayer".
The War Prayer
Mark Twain, 1904
It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.
It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came — next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams-visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! — then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation — "God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"
Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever — merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory.
An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting.
With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said
"I come from the Throne — bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import — that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of — except he pause and think.
"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this — keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.
"You have heard your servant's prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory — must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(After a pause)
"Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.