Showers Etc | 3 New Cases | Misappropriated Funds | Wealth Tax | Settlement Money | Springboarding | Covelo Cleanup | Breaker Bar | Crop Report | Rich Dudes | Appropriation? | Billie Holiday | 2 AM | Branscomb Crew | 2 PM | Breakfast Epiphanies | Hal Perry | Ed Notes | AV Wineries | Axing Lorax | Minimal Wage | Overdose County | Yesterday's Catch | Mitigation Biz | On Consciousness | My Advice | Drinking Song | Tax Rate | Listserv Story | My Failure | Marco Radio | Magnolia Blossoms
A COLD UPPER-LEVEL STORM SYSTEM will gradually move south along the west coast through mid week. As that takes place, numerous showers will spread inland across northwest California. Snow will occur across the interior mountains, while isolated thunderstorms and small hail will be possible along the coast. Mainly dry weather is expected Thursday through Saturday with the potential for some more light rain on Sunday. (NWS)
Only 10.39 inches of rain has been measured from Oct. 1, 2020 to March 7 at a National Weather Service weather gauge at the Charles M. Schulz Airport-Sonoma County Airport — 36% of the 28.57 inches considered normal for the period.
3 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO we posted an item about the DA’s reported intention to appear before the Supervisors on Tuesday to “demand” that County Auditor Lloyd Weer return over $600k of “misappropriated” state funds to its original law enforcement purpose, i.e., the Community Corrections Partnership and its independent board. The DA and Chief Probation Officer Izen Locatelli say that Auditor Weer wrongly plopped $600k-plus into CEO Angelo’s General Fund (probably at the behest of the CEO) when it was supposed to be used for specific law enforcement/probation purposes. When the Supervisors’ Tuesday agenda was posted late last Thursday, however, the agenda was suspiciously free of any reference to the alleged misappropriation. The DA and CPO could still appear before the Board on Tuesday under public expression however, so it may still come up. However, since the DA is known to have his ducks lined up and documented in such matters, we suspect that CEO Angelo is working hard behind the scenes to keep the embarrassing subject from coming up for public discussion. Apparently, the problem was pointed out to the CEO months ago but wasn’t corrected and that’s why the DA is reported to be planning an open session discussion of it. While the CEO is a formidable presence at the Supes meetings, if it comes down to a financial dispute between DA Eyster and CEO Angelo, our money, ahem, would be placed on Eyster.
YORKVILLE’S BOB SITES on what to do with the PG&E settlement money:
“The absolute best thing for the 22.7 MILLION Dollars would be to turn it all over to the measure B committee. It probably should go to fix-up some of our roads like repairing and slurry sealing while still repairable. The Sheriffs Department could do a lot towards making us safer. We know that’s not going to happen. So instead of throwing a big chunk of it away on consultants who don’t even live here let’s just turn it all over to the measure B ad-hock committee and wait.”
STRANGER MENDO THINGS
by Jim Shields
Strange doings down in the County Seat recently.
Let me amend that lead.
Stranger doings than usual down in the County Seat recently.
While we could look at any number of issues, I’ll confine our review to just a couple that occurred at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb. 23.
• Emerging from a closed session meeting, County Counsel Christian Curtis reported, “The board met in closed session to consider possible legal remedies to return County property in possession of retired supervisor John McCowen. Per usual custom and practice, the county requested the return of the items at the time that Mr. McCowen left office. Despite repeated requests however, the property, including a laptop computer tablet, cell phone, printer, and building keys, was never returned and Mr. McCowen has ceased communicating with the County. Pursuant to existing authority and practices, County risk management has already initiated a small claims proceeding. The total damages to the county including the cost of rekeying the building is estimated to be between $3,000 and $4,000. At this time the Board of Supervisors unanimously indicated its support for the pending small claims matter, but decided that investing additional resources in a superior court proceeding would be premature.”
McCowen has uttered nary a word since the February hush-hush conclave revelation that he’s in possession of government goods. Reportedly, McCowen has indicated that he’ll be saying something soon about the subject.
McCowen’s a smart dude so I doubt he’s going to allow this to proceed to any sort of adjudication, although I think it would be entertaining to hear his explanation justifying his firm grip on County property.
• At the Boards’ first meeting of the year on January 5, despite an excellent presentation by Sheriff Matt Kendall buttressing his request for about $4 million over 3 years for 10 additional deputies to address organized crime and illegal marijuana grows in Mendocino County, with the bull’s eye on a Covelo under criminal siege. The Supes unanimously rejected the proposal opting instead to form an ad hoc committee to develop a “more comprehensive presentation for Board approval.” To date, the ad hoc committee has not delivered anything for Board consideration. Evidently, gangsters riding roughshod over Round Valley is not a high priority in the County Seat.
Kendall also applied for a separate $1 million grant from the state for the same purposes. The AVA’s Mark Scaramella picks up the story:
“An obscure grant application became a veiled source of controversy on Feb. 23 when Sheriff Matt Kendall took to ‘public expression’ at the beginning of the Supes meeting to complain that ‘one hand didn’t know what the other hand was doing.’
“Sheriff Kendall’s staff had spent months preparing a grant application for consideration by an obscure state agency that administers part of Prop 64, the 2019 proposition that legalized (allegedly/sort of) cannabis in California. Kendall’s grant application was for about $1 million which would have funded some sorely needed cannabis enforcement in the Covelo area (along with a lesser amount that would have focused on educating teens on the dangers of pot smoking).”
“Unbeknownst to Kendall, the Probation Department was preparing their own grant application to the same state agency for the same $1 million most of which would go to Camille ‘The Inevitable’ Schrader’s privately owned Redwood Community Services Ukiah conglomerate, with some funding to the Probation Department for a bogus ‘teen peer court’ that somehow would address cannabis use by teen-agers. (Teens, you see, frown on other teens smoking pot, thus, logically of course, leading to less pot smoking by teens. Get it?)”
“When the state’s Board of State Community Corrections saw that they had two separate applications from Mendocino County they called CEO Carmel Angelo and gave her an ultimatum.”
According to Angelo, the state agency was pressing her for a pick-one-or-the-other decision, and she had to make that decision by noon on February 23 when the BOS meeting was occurring.
She chose, as Scaramella correctly labels it, the “bogus teen peer court” proposal over the obviously higher priority law enforcement grant request by the Sheriff.
What she should have done was allow the Supes to make that decision by invoking the Brown Act’s “urgency” provision. Instead, she bypassed the Supes, thereby deep-sixing the Sheriff’s attempts to beef up law enforcement in beleaguered Covelo.
Surprisingly, not a single Supervisor objected to the CEO’s unilateral actions.
Kendall and I had a fairly long talk this past week, where we covered a number of different subjects, including this one. He’s as perplexed as many of us are over the apparent lack of support from County officials on his efforts to rid Covelo of the truly bad characters there who act as if they own the town and surrounding areas. They’re violent criminals and they’ve burned down about a third of that town. People shouldn’t have to be afraid of going outside their homes at night, not to mention during broad daylight.
I know that John Haschak is aware of the dire situation of his Round Valley constituents because we’ve talked about it. He knows Covelo has to be cleaned out and cleaned up, notwithstanding that other Supervisors don’t view Covelo with the same sense of urgency as most of us in the 3rd District do.
Now is not the time to be forming ad hoc committees to study crime rates in Covelo, and looking sideways while the CEO plays games with the Sheriff’s grant request.
Now is the time for all five Supervisors to fully support the only person in this County who has a plan to solve the Covelo problem.
Sheriff Kendall’s January 5th proposal to hire 10 additional deputies at a cost of around $4 million can be easily funded with the approximate $20 million-plus PG&E disaster settlement funds.
It’s time for the Supervisors to do their job, do the right thing and approve the Sheriff’s proposal so he can do his job.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
GRAPE PRODUCTION in Mendocino County was way down for 2019 compared to 2018, according to the “latest” crop report from the Ag Department. We put “latest” in quotes because in typical Mendocino timing, we’re only now getting the 2019 crop report in March of 2021, only 15 months after the end of 2019. Of course, no reason or excuse is offered for the unusually long delay. The significant grape production decrease from 2018 to 2019 then is about 17-20% (depending on how you calculate it). Mendo’s crop report authors do not offer any explanation for the large drop, but Sonoma County’s crop report for the same year says the drop in grape production down there was attributable to a record breaking “bumper crop” in 2018. Over the years conventional news articles have also blamed wildfires and related smoke damage, but it’s hard to connect the fires in one year to the grape production in the next, much less the wine it may later become. It’s also hard to connect the per-ton price grapes draw year over year as tonnage goes up or down or as wildfire damage is accounted for. Mendo grapes sold for an average of almost $1700 per ton in both 2018 and 2019 compared to an average of almost $2900 per ton in Sonoma County. As usual, the most valuable varietal is pinot noir at almost $4,000 per ton in Sonoma County and almost $3,200 per ton in Mendo. Mendo has about 16,500 acres in grapes compared to over 57,000 acres in Sonoma County. The crop report says that about 5,500 acres of Mendo grapes are “organic,” but doesn’t mention that tons of toxic “natural” sulfur are applied to “organic” grapes every year.
AS USUAL, the Crop report doesn’t mention marijuana. California does not consider pot growing to be “agriculture” according to Proposition 64 and therefore it’s not included, not even the supposedly legal pot being grown here and there. We have always agreed with former Mendo Planning Director Alan Falleri who said that “agriculture” is defined in county code as the production of food and fiber — which would exclude pot (but not hemp), grapes, horses, exotic birds, etc.
THE AVA’s FAVORITE INSECT, the grapevine destroying glassy-winged sharpshooter, wasn’t mentioned in Mendo’s crop report and the Sonoma County crop report sadly said that SoCo placed 521 glassy-winged sharpshooter traps in nurseries and urban areas in 2019 and “none were detected in 2019.” We admit to being amused to find the only mention of marijuana was in the Sonoma Crop Report’s list of “exotic/invasive pest species intercepted” which included “Phodron cannabis,” aka the “Cannabis aphid.” Odd, considering that cannabis isn’t considered agriculture.
MENDO’S OTHER LARGE “CROP,” timber, was also down significantly in 2019 compared to 2018, decreasing from $132.5 million to $109.5 million which the crop report attributes to a downturn in home construction. “Stumpage value” for Mendo timber (the price of logs delivered to mills) was just over $500 per thousand board feet in 2019 compared to over $600 per thousand board feet in 2018.
A reader writes:
As an English teacher at an alleged institution of higher learning, I received an email about how to cope in the classroom with “appropriation” and Frank O’Hara’s tribute to Billie Holiday, “The Day Lady Died.” How is this poem “appropriation”? Frank O’Hara wrote this shocked eulogy for himself. Unlike the person who sent me this email, Frank O’Hara did not make his income from writing; he was underpaid and groundbreaking at the Museum of Modern Art.
THE DAY LADY DIED
by Frank O’Hara
It is 12:20 in New York a Friday
three days after Bastille day, yes
it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine
because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton
at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner
and I don’t know the people who will feed me
I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun
and have a hamburger and a malted and buy
an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets
in Ghana are doing these days
I go on to the bank
and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)
doesn’t even look up my balance for once in her life
and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine
for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do
think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or
Brendan Behan’s new play or Le Balcon or Les Nègres
of Genet, but I don’t, I stick with Verlaine
after practically going to sleep with quandariness
and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE
Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and
then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue
and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and
casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton
of Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it
and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of
leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT
while she whispered a song along the keyboard
to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing
THE 2AM CLUB
On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at approximately 2:27 A.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported suspicious vehicle in the area of Rancho Grande Drive in Ukiah.
The Deputies were advised the vehicle was an old police vehicle, black in color and having spot lights.
Deputies responded to the area and located the described vehicle at the intersection of Rancho Grande Drive and Cabana Court.
Deputies contacted the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, Shannon Henson, 24, of Willits.
While talking to Henson, Deputies were given consent to search the vehicle.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch checked Henson for warrants and probation. Deputies were advised Henson was on Mendocino County Summary Probation with a term to obey all laws.
During the search of the vehicle, Deputies located three bulbous glass methamphetamine smoking pipes, an assault weapon, switchblade knife, and approximately 8 grams gross weight of suspected methamphetamine.
Henson was also arrested for being a drug user while being in possession of a firearm and violation of his Summary Probation.
Henson was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
THE 2PM CLUB
On Thursday, March 4, 2021 at about 2:15 PM, a Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective and Mendocino County Probation Officers contacted Amber Ricetti, 35, of Ukiah, in the 500 block of Low Gap Road in regards to a fraud investigation.
The Sheriff's Detective was aware Ricetti was on Mendocino County formal probation.
The Sheriff's Detective informed Ricetti he was going to conduct a probation search of her vehicle that was parked at the location. Ricetti refused to cooperate by providing the keys to the vehicle and attempted to walk away.
Ricetti was eventually arrested for delaying and obstructing the duties of the Sheriff's Detective to execute the probation search and for violating the terms of her probation.
Ricetti was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the charges of Felony Violation of Probation and Resisting, Delaying or Obstructing any Peace Officer.
In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, bail was set at zero dollars and Ricetti was released after the jail booking process.
REMEMBERING HAL PERRY
To the Editor:
As we come to the end of Black History Month I would like to inform you of a little bit of Ukiah history. Back in March of 2017 the Historical Society of Mendocino County in one of their quarterly journals honored the Perry family, a black family of Ukiah. Harold(52), Manuel(55), and Barbara(56) graduated from Ukiah High School and in 2000 were all honored as distinguished graduates by the Ukiah High Alumni Association. Harold and Manuel were voted student body presidents, in fact Harold was class president from eighth grade to twelfth grade. To me this says a lot about the content of their character. What this also says to me is the content of the character of their classmates to bestow this honor on them. I’m sure Martin Luther King, Jr. would be extremely proud of all of you.
Ed note: Harold 'Hal' Perry went from Ukiah to USF where he was a starting guard on the famous USF basketball team starring Bill Russell and K.C. Jones.
CHRIS ISBELL of Navarro suffered a severe stroke last week, so severe he may not survive, and is presently hospitalized in Ukiah. He had been living in Navarro and working with Doug Johnson. It was Johnson who found the incapacitated Isbell and summoned help from the Anderson Valley Ambulance. Chris, who began his working life as a logger, was also a skilled handyman and well-known as a fisherman and guide to the Navarro River. He was married to the late Judy Waggoner-Isbell and a loving step-father to her grandchildren.
RUMOR in real estate circles says the old June Ranch is for sale, or soon will be. Roughly 840 acres that runs northwest off Ornbaun Road, the property is also the site of the Jeans Family homestead, Anderson Valley's pioneer black family (https://www.theava.com/archives/128911).
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: “California Typewriter,” a documentary film directed by Doug Nichol, and don't say, “I'm already bored” because “California Typewriter” is much more than a technical paean to a not-quite-obsolete technology but is indeed a convincing paean to the machine by people still devoted to it, people such as Tom Hanks and Sam Shepherd and historian David McCullough, who point out how much history and tactile artistry is lost with cyber-tech. Also featured is the last business in America that repairs and rehabilitates the typewriter for sale. That is the eponymous, 70-year-old black-owned Berkeley business, California Typewriter, staffed by the Permillion family. Hanks makes the strongest case for typewriters over the impersonal computer, remarking that he simply deletes e-mail thank yous without so much as a glance but himself uses his typewriter to send meaningful messages of all types, messages as keepsakes. There's also the historian McCullough who insists that so much history is lost if it isn't typed or hand-written so we can see what the author was thinking, and Shepherd makes the case for typed creative work that shows us the drafts and the corrections that are the guides to the creative thinking of the author. And there's a genius sculptor who memorializes typewriters in amazing renditions of people and animals using only typewriter parts. Here's hoping the film will help keep the talented Permillion family in their unique business as the society moves inexorably on-line.
LAST WEEK'S free COVID testing at the Anderson Valley Fairgrounds was a bust, with fewer than 30 locals showing up to get tested. The AV Health Center, whose efficient staff had seamlessly convened prior testings, was unaware of this County-sponsored event, which was barely advertised and preceded by an overly complicated on-line sign-up.
MCN CHATLINE enthusiasm for 5th District Supervisor Ted Williams is shared by the Boonville weekly, but the interests of the indefatigable Albion solon might best be served by staying put rather than risk contaminating absorption by the rancid Democrat apparatus. Don't give the kid big ideas. We need him here. When the popular and locally effective 3rd District Supervisor, Cowboy John Pinches, ran for State Senator he was viewed in the great outside world as a mere curiosity. An independent Democrat on the Northcoast is probably impossible, and when's the last time us rank and file Democrats had any say whatsoever about who our candidates will be for any state office or Congress?
(1) I'd vote for him no question! I was actually saying this to friends during the election.
(2) Hear, hear!
(3) I'm nominating Ted Williams, currently Mendocino County 5th District Board of Supervisors representative, for President of the United States. I know you are thinking that is quite a leap, but we can skip over the boring steps in between like California Representative, California Senator,
(4) Governor of California, United States Senator for California, Vice-President of the United States and go directly to the top! Why waste time!
(5) The campaign slogan will be: I Like Ted! I think this will be relatively easy given Ted's "can do" attitude. He also has good hair which is always a plus. Support Ted Williams for President of the United States! Tippecanoe and Ted Too!
NO ROAD TRIP TO MENDOCINO COUNTY IS COMPLETE without sipping a few of the best Anderson Valley wines. From casual newcomers to expansive long timers, here are a few down-to-earth wineries you must visit on your next California road trip.
REMEMBER THAT TIME A MENDOCINO COUNTY LOGGING TYCOON ATTEMPTED TO CANCEL DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX?
As the nation considers Dr. Seuss and his depiction of minority groups, the North Coast should not forget its unique place in the annals of Dr. Seuss’ culture. In September 1989, members of Mendocino County’s logging industry lobbied the Laytonville Unified School District to remove Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax from the district’s second-grade curriculum claiming the book demeaned the logging industry. Coverage of the controversy spread across the news wires bringing national attention to the growing war between the logging industry and environmentalism, demonstrating Dr. Seuss’ uncanny ability to touch the nerve of audiences.
LAKE COUNTY TOPS STATE LIST OF OVERDOSE DEATHS
by Nashelly Chavez
Lake County had the highest rate of fatal overdoses statewide in 2019, a statistic local health and law enforcement officials say underscores a long-standing issue of substance abuse in the community that they are working to address.
The data, released this month by California Health Policy Strategies, a Sacramento-based consulting firm, shows Lake County’s overdose death rate leads the state, with more than 60 deaths per 100,000 people, more than triple the statewide average rate of 19.6. Mendocino County came second on the list with an overdose death rate of just over 40 fatalities per 100,000 people, followed by San Francisco County, which trailed right behind.
Allison Panella, the executive director of Hope Rising Lake County, a nonprofit that works with local health care providers, government leaders and other organizations to improve the well-being of Lake County residents, said mitigating substance abuse within the community has been a focal point for the nonprofit and its allied partners since 2014.
Part of the group’s approach involved distributing more than 1,600 Narcan kits throughout Lake County between 2019 and 2020, efforts that were directly tied to the reversal of 40 overdoses, Panella said.
Narcan is a potentially lifesaving drug that’s administered as a nasal spray and works by blocking the effects of opioid drugs.
In 2015, Hope Rising staff and the group of allied partners, known as SafeRx, also helped establish a set of countywide prescribing guidelines intended to help health care providers reduce the risk of drug prescriptions for pain management treatment.
Data posted on the Hope Rising website shows Lake County’s opioid overdose death rates dipped from 26.9 per 100,000 people in 2015 to 11.5 in 2016 before trending upward again. The rate was 22.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 2018.
Data also shows the county’s residents are among the poorest in the state, important context in the conversation about Lake County’s high overdose death rates, Panella said. There’s a correlation between bleak economic outcomes and behavior-related conditions known as the “diseases of despair,” one of which is substance abuse, she added.
“This is something that we’ve been working on for five years and its still an uphill battle,” Panella said.
The California Health Policy Strategies report notes that overdose deaths in the state have increased by half since 2017, outpacing a national increase in overdose deaths of 15% in that same time frame.
Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug, was identified as a major driver behind the statewide increase in the report, which said overdose deaths related to that specific type of drug have spiked by 541% in the past three years, elevating it to the primary cause of opioid-related deaths.
Fentanyl has been connected to some Lake County overdose deaths in recent years, though methamphetamine and heroin continue to be the most common culprits, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Corey Paulich said.
The agency operates a narcotics unit that oversees investigations into drug crimes, though it’s currently staffed at 50% while the office works to fill 11 vacancies within its deputy sheriff’s ranks, Paulich said. The Sheriff’s Office is allotted 44 deputy sheriff positions overall, he added.
“We would love to be doing that, to be able to have some special units to address those issues and save people,” Paulich said. “But at this point, we’re doing all we can to address the calls we get every day.”
He added that every deputy in the county has been trained to administer Narcan, which they carry when they’re on patrol. Deputies gave the medication to a female inmate who was overdosing at the Lake County Jail on Feb. 6, an incident she survived, Paulich said.
“It’s something that happens a few times a year, at least,” Paulich said of drugs entering the facility. “We do our best to keep narcotics out.”
The drug death rate was 2.5 times higher for men than women throughout the state, according to the California Health Policy Strategies report. Native American and Alaska Natives saw the highest rates of fatal overdoses in their communities at about 34 deaths per 100,000 people.
Black Californians saw 27 overdose deaths per capita, the second highest among racial and ethnic groups.
In Lake County, the SafeRx team is looking into more equitable approaches to combating substance abuse after seeing data that suggests Lake County’s minority communities are more impacted by substance abuse issues, Panella said.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 7, 2021
MICHAEL BARNES, Redwood Valley. DUI.
ROBERT CLARK, Redding/Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.
DANIEL JONES-PAGAN, Willits. DUI.
MICHAEL LUCAS, Ukiah. Parole violation, resisting.
JAMES MILES, Ukiah. Parole violation.
TASHA ORNELAS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear. (Frequent Flyer)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Asbestos gets a bad rap. I have asbestos/cement siding on two houses. The stuff is great. I painted my house thirty years ago and it still looks good. Please don’t breath in the fibers, (common sense). Why would you want to. Same thing with lead paint. I wish I could still buy it. That stuff wears like iron. Why would you eat it. We all grew up with lead paint. My old motors still need lead. I shudder to think how smart my fellow commenters would be without the IQ points they lost from gnawing on windowsills. Most of this crap is just money in the bank for the abatement outfits. My prediction is this: Any pressure treated wood with arsenic in it must be removed before the sale of a house. Also all the soil under the deck must be tested and removed if contaminated. There is a fortune to be made in these mitigation businesses.
MENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS labors under the illusion that there is somewhere to go to, a goal to consciousness. Whereas of course there is no goal. Consciousness is an end in itself. We torture ourselves getting somewhere, and when we get there it is nowhere, for there is nowhere to get to.
— D.H. Lawrence
I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS ABOUT ME. I only give the best of advice, absolute Rolls-Royce advice, but people rarely turn to me and ask it, “Please advise me, Mitch.”
So, I remember when a newspaper rookie, I think at UC Berkeley’s Daily Californian, where I was older than everybody and had worked on several grownup papers, said to me, “I don’t know how to get into this story.”
I was so ready: “What’s it about?”
“Oh, this guy...” and on and on. He did this and that. I don’t remember or care, didn’t then. He or she went into it. I listened like it mattered to me.
“Good. Write that.”
Stupendous advice. Right up there with “Eschew Obfuscation.” It occurs to me now because I’ve been putting off a crucial writing job. Not sure how to get into it.
So I recall my own advice, and this must be a short post.
“DRINKING SONG” by the great Jim Harrison:
I want to die in the saddle. An enemy of civilization,
I want to walk around in the woods, fish and drink.
I'm going to be a child about it and I can't help it, I was born this way and it makes me very happy to fish and drink.
I left when it was still dark and walked on the path to the river, the Yellow Dog, where I spent the day fishing and drinking.
After she left me and I quit my job and wept for a year and all my poems were born dead, I decided I would only fish and drink.
Water will never leave earth and whiskey is good for the brain. What else am I supposed to do in these last days but fish and drink?
In the river was a trout and I was on the bank, my heart in my chest, clouds above, she was in NY forever and I, fishing and drinking.
INSIDE MCN LISTSERVE
ListServ Story on KZYX & Z Tomorrow
Hello Listserv devotees:
My news story about the Listserv will be on KZYX&Z tomorrow at 6 p.m. You can also listen to it on the Web at kzyx.org. In case you miss it, the story will be posted on the KZYX Web site for a while. Let us know what you think. I was stunned to hear that an infamous "troll" had sent in over 11,000 messages to disparage honest folks like us. Incidentally, I learned that MCN will be rolling out a new Web site later this month. I hope they stage a farewell ceremony for the MCN "Giant" that's been on the current Web site for years. Finally, thanks to those who wrote me with their comments. I could only use a few in my story.
Cheers, Jim Culp
"I FEEL MY FAILURE INTENSELY
as if it were a vital organ
the gods grew from the side of my head.
You can't cover it with a hat and I no longer
can sleep on that side it's so tender.
I wasn't quite faithful enough
to carry this sort of weight up the mountain.
When I took my vows at nineteen
I had no idea that gods were so merciless.
Fear makes for good servants
and bravery is fraudulent. When I awoke
I wasn't awake enough."
— Jim Harrison
NETIQUETTE FOR STROONZES.
"Never buy pants or a car in the rain."
The recording of last night's (2021-03-05) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0426
The little bit you hear at the beginning of the recording is the very end minute of an NPR piece by David Rakoff and Jonathan Goldstein about written correspondence between Gregor Samsa (of Kafka's The Metamorphosis) and Dr. Seuss, which you can look up using those very terms and learn about, or merely hear all of just here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFnuXWcIpo4
Also, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com there's a fresh batch of not-necessarily-radio-useful but worthwhile items that I set aside for you while gathering the show together. I'm not double-checking all the links anymore. I used to even set each one individually to open a new tab, which added like twenty minutes or more to the process, right at the point where I'm so done and over with that particular show and ready to put on the spaghetti and meatballs and start working on next week's. Now I am loathe to even spellcheck. If something's wrong, though, let me know and I'll swat it with the electric moth-exploding badminton racket I got in Japantown for $2 a couple of years ago that actually still works, with the original battery, yet. Juanita and I were in San Francisco for some other reason and went in there, and... it was a phantasmagorical brightly lit vast tight maze of delights. A water-filled bird-sound whistle with a clock in the side. Propeller beanie-caps where you press both ears and the top whirs off and up into the air. Brands of candy that you haven't seen since 1964. Bluetooth napkin rings with dental floss inside. A zigzag pair of pliers to ply around corners. Levels you can adjust to exact angles other than level. Now I wanta go back there, but I’m sure it’ll be like in Twilight Zone, where there isn’t even space for a store in that place, much less the right store, and you ask around and nobody knows what you’re talking about, but the camera pulls back and up so there are two space aliens with giant bulbous butt-shaped ice-cream-cone heads, seen from behind in a fog, silently watching you on the interocitor.) Anyway:
Fretless funk, Sean Angus Watson.
Ze Frank on crypsis.
All the colors of the 1956 Buick.
And ten levels of sleight of hand.
p.s. Email me your written work and I'll read it on the radio on the very next MOTA. That's what I'm here for.
Marco McClean, email@example.com