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HIGH TEMPERATURES across the interior will experience a cooling trend during early to middle portions of the week. In addition, a series of upper disturbances will aid in isolated thunderstorm development across Trinity and northeast Mendocino Counties Wednesday afternoon. Widespread light beneficial rainfall will also be possible Friday and Saturday. (NWS)
JACKSON STATE SHOWDOWN LOOMS
The final papers have been submitted and Logging can commence this Monday or any day this coming week.
Meanwhile, we have been doing recon on the plan. Yesterday we walked Road 600. I urge you to do the same. It is not a hard walk and it is totally legal for you to be there. The area is magnificent, the Trees and the Fauna are some of the largest I have seen in the area. There are Springs and wetlands where they plan on felling trees and build roads. Logging there will destroy critical habitat for the Spotted Owl and many other creatures. Many big Trees are marked for the chainsaws.
For many years Linda Perkins has been doggedly dealing with the Timber Harvest Plan process. She knows it better then any of us. Through the use of this flawed and cumbersome process Linda has saved many a trees. She knows what she speaks. She was out on Road 600 with us yesterday and has been out on other parts of the plan with a retired forester (our friend) and our main direct action recon person.
She sent me this message today: "Attached and pasted below are my comments, streamlined. If we could get 100 people to send these to CalFire Santa Rosa and to the other cc's at the end, I think it would have a tremendous impact. The cc's are important!"
So PLEASE take a few minutes and send this email out. Get some of your friends to send this email also. Linda believes this will work and I believe her. DO IT! and Get Others to do it to! Attached is a hard copy if you also want to snail mail.
Committee To Save Jackson State Forest
CC: Robert.Hawkins@wildlife.ca.gov, Jason.Serna@fire.ca.gov, David.Fowler@waterboards.ca.gov, Jon.Hendrix@wildlife.ca.gov
Subject: Regarding Timber Harvest Plan 1-20-00006 MEN, Caspar 500, JDSF
Dear Director and others To Whom It May Concern:
The Caspar 500 plan has been significantly modified in the following ways since it was approved. The plan needs to be amended and recirculated for public review.
Jackson's Has Unmarked Hundreds of Trees Previously Marked for Cut Were other trees substituted and marked to be cut to replace these that were unmarked?
The mark needs to be settled on, made clear on site, and the plan record corrected so that reviewing agencies and the public, and the LTO, have a clear and complete plan to review and implement and — equally important — a clear and complete plan to monitor post harvestto assure that plan proposals and mitigations are implemented as written.
The Trails and The Trail Network are not Mapped
There are many mentions made in the THP, regarding recreational use, of “the trail” or “the trail network”. What is meant by “the trail network”? It should be mapped. The ByPass Trail needs to be amended into the THP and mapped to make a clear and complete plan to review and monitor.
WLPZ In-lieu or Alternative Practices have not been Acknowledged or Inspected All such in-lieu locations need to be mapped Pursuant to 14 CCR 916.6 (a) 916.6, 936.6, 956.6 Alternative Watercourse and Lake Protection [All Districts] (a) “Alternative prescriptions for the protection of Watercourses and lakes may be developed by the RPF or proposed by the Director on a site-specific basis...”
Cutting Snags Along Trails and Roads
The RPF needs to include a map of the trails network along with which snags will be felled. The plan states that “Retention and recruitment of snags throughout the forest is one of JDSF's management objectives.' (Section IV, page 154) The RPF needs to specify what concrete steps he is taking to meet this objective.
AV UNIFIED FFA SENIOR PROFILES
by FFA Director/Ag Teacher Beth Swehla
SUPERVISORS ASKED TO ORDER ELECTION ON 10 PERCENT EXPANSION RULE
by Jim Shields
At its meeting on Wednesday, June 2, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved the proposed Phase 3 Cannabis which includes the controversial 10 percent Expansion Rule that allows cultivation to occur on 10 percent of the overall acreage on parcels that are at least 10 acres in size.
I am one of the members of a coalition of County residents that is opposed to that measure.
Currently, there is another group of folks led by Ellen and David Drell, of the Willits Environmental Center, that are preparing to circulate a referendum that if approved by voters would repeal the entire Phase 3 Ordinance.
Our coalition, which is called “Small Is Beautiful Mendocino”, will present to voters a referendum to repeal just the 10 percent Rule because we believe it is not necessary to strike down the entire Ordinance and would only continue the chaos surrounding the history of the Cannabis Program in this County.
However, prior to formally launching our effort, we sent the Board of Supervisors the following letter requesting the Board voluntarily hold an election solely on the 10 percent Expansion Rule. Here’s the letter:
Dear Chair Gjerde and Members of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors,
Regarding the proposed Phase 3 Cannabis Ordinance, by now we have heard all the arguments and are familiar with positions taken by all the parties with interests in the outcome of the Ordinance.
There comes a time in all debates relative to far-reaching public policy embodied in proposed legislation as is the case with this Ordinance, where decisions must be made both by elected officials and the electorate.
We find ourselves in that exact situation with the proposed Phase 3 Cannabis Ordinance.
The County is now in its fifth year of attempting to resuscitate a failed and chaotic Cannabis Program. Even the Supervisors themselves have gone on record and called it a “failure” and “unworkable.”
This County has spent more time and probably money on this issue than any other in County history. The Board has also said that on the record.
The primary issue of the proposed Phase 3 Ordinance that has generated by far the most concern and driven by far the greatest public discussion is the so-called “10 percent Rule.”
The vast majority of citizens recognize that the 10 percent Rule, if adopted, will lead to unprecedented expansion of cannabis cultivation on a scale never imagined by anyone familiar with the history of marijuana in this area and era.
Unfortunately, an overwhelming number of County residents and their elected Board of Supervisors now find themselves at impasse over a proposed Ordinance that features this cultivation expansion provision.
Conservatively speaking, 70 percent of County residents oppose the 10 percent Rule and its direct causal adverse impact on our most valuable natural resource, water. They are aware that the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board), the State Water Board’s main enforcement arm on the North Coast, recently issued an Investigative Order that found, “The North Coast Region is inundated with cannabis cultivation in headwaters and main river systems, with active, developed sites in steep and rugged terrain. Cultivation and related activities throughout the North Coast Region have resulted in significant waste discharges and losses of instream flows associated with improper development of rural landscapes on privately-owned parcels, and the diversion of springs and streams, to the cumulative detriment of the Regional Water Board’s designated beneficial uses of water.”
They are also very much aware that this state and the County we all love and live in, is in the second consecutive year of severe drought conditions. To them it’s counter-intuitive for their elected representatives to propose unchecked cannabis expansion whether it’s occurring during a drought or non-drought period because water resources will be impacted during either event, it’s only a question of degree.
The folks who are opposed to the 10 percent Rule include growers, non-growers, ranchers, farmers, small business owners, workers from all sectors of our economy, a mix of community organizations and municipal advisory councils, and a former Sheriff as well as the current Sheriff.
I include myself in the County-wide group just mentioned. I am the long-time District Manager of the Laytonville County Water District, Chair of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council, Member of the Harwood Park Memorial Association Board, and the Editor and Publisher of a family-owned newspaper, the Mendocino County Observer.
Elected officials are duty-bound to carry out the wishes/demands of clear majorities of constituents unless what they’re asking is unlawful or totally unfeasible, neither of which are applicable with the “10 Percent Rule.” It’s not the Supervisor’s job to substitute their judgment for that of their constituents when they overwhelmingly demand a different course of action than that proposed by the Supervisor.
Essentially what’s occurring here is a clash of values and economic models between most County voters and the Board of Supervisors.
There are four Supervisors advocating for the super-sized cultivation model as they believe, and have said, that County revenues will be enhanced with expansion. They argue that it’s not their responsibility to protect small growers through the mechanism of a Cannabis Ordinance. Yet they see nothing wrong with constructing a regulatory framework that favors industrial and corporate cultivators.
The primary goal of public policy is to accomplish the most good for the most people. The Board’s proposed Cannabis public policy is the very antithesis of that objective. County-wide, there is a super-majority of residents who overwhelmingly are opposed to the proposed 10 Percent Rule.
I am making an appeal to your sense of fairness by requesting that on its own motion, the Board of Supervisors order an election or referendum election solely on the proposed 10 percent Rule in the proposed Phase 3 Cannabis Ordinance. The outcome of that election will have no effect at all on the entire remainder of the proposed Ordinance.
The people of this County deserve to be heard fully and fairly on this most important issue.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
(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.)
MR. BONUCELLI ASKS:
I travel from Fort Bragg to Cloverdale and on to Santa Rosa on Hwy 128 quite often. Every time I pass through Yorkville I wonder why it’s there. What is its history? Farming, lumber? Was it a larger town at one time? Why is there a Yorkville?
THE COAST PAPERS SURVIVE
“The rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated,” said Robin Epley, editor of the Fort Bragg Advocate-News and Mendocino Beacon.
Yes, there is a great big “For Lease” sign on the long-time home of the Advocate-News and Beacon on S. Main Street in Fort Bragg. And yes, the newsstands outside the front doors have been removed. And yes again, the inside is empty and looks deserted.
But anyone who’s come by the office in the last year will know why: Due to COVID19 restrictions, no one has worked in that building since March 13, 2020.
However, the papers are not going anywhere.
But yes, the office is closing. Frankly, that shouldn’t be unexpected. Even the Wall Street Journal is working from home these days, so the staff of the Advocate-News and Beacon doesn’t exactly need an office front either.
“With such limited resources, wouldn’t you rather have the funds spent on keeping the focus on local news and employees rather than on the expense of keeping an office?” Epley said in a recent column explaining the office closure.
If you need to get hold of either coast newspaper, you can still call or mail a letter or — preferably — send an email.
The office manager is Audrey Taylor, who can be reached at email@example.com or at (707) 841-2121. Audrey also handles the Classifieds, Legals and Obituaries. If you can’t get hold of Audrey, you can also try Sue Fullbright at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 380-1152.
For circulation issues or questions, email Circulation Manager, Lena Paiva, at email@example.com.
If you need to get hold of Robin, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Her direct number is (707) 405-0204.
You’ll probably notice some of those emails are attached to the Ukiah Daily Journal and the Willits News. That’s because those outlets are sister papers, and the company has consolidated those jobs to people already doing them. It’s all in the family, though, not to worry. Robin is still living on the coast, as is Debbie Holmer, the news clerk for the Advocate-News and Beacon, along with their columnists and writers.
If you absolutely have to mail something — and again, email is so much more preferable — you can send it here to the Ukiah Daily Journal’s office at 617 S. School St., in Ukiah.
“I know it’s scary and new, and frankly, I’m not 100 percent happy about it either, but this shift has a lot to do with the Coronavirus. It’s led to a difference in how we all work, not just with journalists and journalism,” Robin wrote. “If the paper can get done from home, (and it has been since the March 19, 2020 issue) then there’s no reason to spend our meager budget on an office space that isn’t being used.”
There is also some good news, though. All of the archives of the Advocate-News and The Beacon, formerly stored at the office, have gone to good homes. The Advocates have been given to the Mendocino County Historical Society, where they will soon be made available for public viewing and research.
The Beacons have gone to a local historian, Phil Carnahan, for digitizing. And then they, too, will be handed over to the County Historical Society for safekeeping.
All that history belongs to the coast community, and like lightkeepers, we’re in a long line of caretakers of these important resources.
And also like a lighthouse, we’re still keeping the lights on from our own kitchen tables.
— K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
MORE WESTERN HILLS DEVELOPMENT?
To the Editor:
Recently I read in the paper where someone in Ukiah sold part of the Western hills to Mr. Hull for development. We are told to conserve water because of the drought and the extreme fire danger, so who in the world would allow the building of more houses on these hills? A fire in the Western hills would endanger the whole town. Well, I guess if you have the right last name anything is possible.
A READER WRITES: “Google ‘Telecare lawsuits’ and you’ll learn a lot. I hope Adventist Health does the Mendocino PHF and not Telecare. AH has experience, facilities and medical staff to operate it.”
THE READER IS CORRECT: Telecare — the company CEO Angelo and Mental Health Director Dr. Jenine Miller have pre-picked years in advance of the actual need for services in a Psych facility that CEO Angelo estimates will cost $20-$25 million and take years to construct — is a giant California mental health care services operation with lots of apparent lawsuits having been filed against it. We are in no position to review or comment on them, although the company is large, has operations in many areas of the state and is in a business that has inherent legal liability. In addition, Telecare has taken heat from the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury which referred Supervisors there to a critical report by Santa Cruz chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) because, the SCruz GJ said, “Grand juries do not have the authority to investigate the performance of private, for-profit contractors to government agencies, so we were not able to evaluate the accommodations in the CSP or the allegations of the NAMI Santa Cruz task force report.”
Which, while correct, does not prevent the Grand Jury from evaluating the oversight conducted by the County nor the reports from the contractor. Either way, however, it’s yet another reason not to contract out for such services. What little accountability county employees have is almost non-existant when the service is contracted to a private company.
From the SCruz Grand Jury report:
“Until its closure in December 2013 the Dominican Santa Cruz Hospital BHU was the receiving facility for all people placed on involuntary holds. The County then built its own BHU, which opened in 2014. Rather than operate the BHU with Behavioral Health staff, the County contracted with Telecare Corporation, a private, for-profit provider. Telecare’s facility is now where individuals placed on involuntary holds are brought. They are first taken into the crisis stabiliation program. Here those placed on hold can spewnd up to 24 hours while undergoing evaluation. After evaluation, the person will either be: referred to an inpatient treatment facility (possibly one of the beds at the BHU) if they cannot be stabilized; or sent to a detention facility if a crime is involved; or released. The County’s contract requires Telecare’s CSP staff to be able to evaluate two juveniles and eight adults at any given time. They are also required to maintain separation between the juveniles and adults at all times. In October of 2017 the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) of Santa Cruz issued a task force report that was critical of Telecare’s practices. The contract between the County and Telecare provides for periodic oversight meetings and the right to review services performed. There is no publicly available record of any County audit or inspection of the Telecare facility.”
FROM MARILYN DAVIN'S excellent account of her recent knee replacement surgery: “Who hasn’t had a knee problem? Consider the lowly knee, limited in its range of motion and uniquely exposed to all manner of jarrings, accidents, and even to the inevitable ravages of age itself as decades of faithful use pound its cushioning pads thin, ultimately surrendering its suffering host to the orthopedic surgeon’s scalpel.”
I WAS ENCOURAGED to have this surgery several years ago, but weighing the minor pain I live with against the major pain of the surgery and the time away from my sanctified task — the bringing of truth to benighted Mendocino County — and fully aware of the ruthless math of the actuarial tables — I'm 82 in July — I decided, Nope, the next doctor I see will be the one in the Adventist's Meat Locker cackling over my corpse. “Hah! We finally got this bastard.”
I WAS ALSO belatedly aware that I'd probably been mesmerized by the smiling eyes of the attractive young medical maiden who showed me the x-rays allegedly showing dangerous deterioration, and suspecting I was being hustled — us fully insured geezers are pure gold to the mercenary medical system we suffer in this country — I've subsequently avoided the “most advanced medical system in the world.”
BUT I WASTED a year of periodic cortisone needles to the knees, whose beneficial effect lasted maybe three days — max. One afternoon a fill-in doctor, sweating profusely as I speculated on his mental health, jammed the needle somewhere in my lower kneecap. “That ought to hold you,” he said, and fairly sprinted out of the room. That was the capper, and I beat myself up for being so dumb as to submit to these quacks and hustlers for as long as I did.
ME DEAR OLD MUM, a registered nurse, would always say, “Don't tell me about doctors. They're all drunks and drug addicts.” Of course she went back to the days of haphazardly managed drug cabinets where anybody in a white smock could help him or herself to the pharmaceuticals. And high school sports physicals were conducted by an old boozer with an unfiltered Pall Mall hanging out of the side of his mouth who did about forty “physicals” in ten minutes. Rubber hammer to the knee and, “Yer fine, kid. Move on.” Now, it's deceptively antiseptic and all smiles, but Buyer Beware I say.
LOOKING BACK, I think I wrecked my knees when I got caught up in the jogging craze. I bought a lot of inadequately cushioned running shoes, and spent hours with sweating, puffing packs of my fellow obsessives pounding the pavement. Walking and hiking you not only can enjoy the scenery, you're not rubbing away your knee bones. Live and learn, as they say. What they don't say is by the time you learn it's too late.
GEORGE & BRUCE GO DEEP
Bruce Anderson: At the macro-level systemic racism is a consequence of capitalism, not the innate evil of white people pedaled by the race demagogues, a few of whom we have here in Mendocino County where they are widely regarded as the frauds they are.
George Hollister: Really? Has every human culture in history been capitalist?
Bruce Anderson: Actually, George, capitalism is an historical anomaly. Back in the Garden of Eden, and for eons after, people had to cooperate collectively or die. Now that capitalism is murdering the planet some people are belatedly revisiting their assumptions. Our capitalism here in Liberty Land needed four hundred years of free labor from black people to get the momentum that got US to WalMart. I’d say capital owes them at the least a few breaks.
George Hollister: “Actually, George, capitalism is an historical anomaly.” That is my point. Cultural prejudice, racial prejudice, and racism are as old as humanity, exist in all cultures, and have nothing to do with whether an economy is private or public. In fact the case could be made that racism is worse in government-run economies. Far worse.
Bruce Anderson: Uh, not really, George. Cuba, for all its faults, is pretty close to a fully integrated state, and racism in this country isn’t nearly as intense as it was when I was a kid. It’s learned behavior, not innately human. It’s always been convenient to the owners of this country, though.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, June 6, 2021
MILES BOETTIGHEIMER, Pacifica/Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury, suspended license.
ALEJANDRO CARRILLO, Ukiah. DUI.
ZACHARY DELEW, Rohnert Park/Laytonville. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
WILLIAM HILL, Fort Bragg. Sexual penetration w/force, fear, etc.
MICHAEL MAFFEI, Petaluma. Controlled substance.
LUIS MANZO-GRACIA, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ENRIQUE NUNEZ-DAVILA, Covelo. Domestic battery.
GERMAN OCHOA-ROCHA, Philo. DUI.
AUSTIN PATTERSON, Garberville. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
RAFAEL PAZ JR., Willits. Shuriken, sale/transport of organic drug, narcotic/controlled substance for sale, transport of controlled substance, evasion.
ERIC PHANNGAVONG, San Francisco/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JACOB SCHWEITZER, Eureka/Ukiah. Suspended license for refusing chem test.
NICHOLAS VOYER, San Francisco/Ukiah. DUI.
DRIVE, HE SD
As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking, John I
sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what
can we do against
it or else, shall we &
why not, buy a goddamn big car
drive, he sd, for
christ's sake, look
out where yr going.
— Robert Creeley
by Ed Gehrman
Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon her head.
Clang! Clang! Maxwell's silver hammer made sure that he was dead.
Silver hammer man.—Lennon/McCartney, June, 1969
"As long as I'm telling the truth as best I can, I have zero problem with Pam knowing anything! … and despite my brags to the contrary, I just might have a living enemy…"—Jan Maxwell, June 13, 2005
I'm a retired teacher and a reporter for the Sonoma County Free Press and have been investigating the bombing of Judi Bari since 1995. An article covering this investigation was published in Flatland Magazine and the Sonoma County Free Press.
Below, I've prepared a summary of my investigation and a description of some new evidence using a "frequently asked questions" format. (June 12, 2008.)
* * *
How did you get involved with Judi Bari and what led you to investigate her bombing?
Ed: Judi and I met briefly during the Port Chicago demonstrations in 1986. I was working with Livermore Action Group at the time. Then I followed her exploits in the AVA after she moved to Mendocino County. I was teaching in Sonoma County when the Redwood Summer (May 1990) action began and had already started working on trying to find property that would be suitable for a temporary encampment where the out-of-town participants could stay. After Judi was bombed, I continued working on Redwood Summer logistics until the last demonstration in September.
After the conclusion of Redwood Summer, I followed the developments in the bombing story and the various investigations that were being conducted but only at a distance as an interested observer. Things changed for me when a close friend insisted that I interview Irv Sutley and arranged a time and place. That was in October of 1995. The story he told was intriguing and after checking it out, I began to change my mind regarding the truthfulness of the main participants, namely Judi, Mike Sweeney and Pam Davis.
Who is Irv Sutley?
Irv is the biggest "red herring" of all time. He played a minor and forgettable part in this drama until he was accused by Judi and others of being an FBI agent provocateur and the author of the Argus Letter sent to the Ukiah Police Department offering to inform on Bari. Some people even accused him of being the actual bomber. His life was never the same after being identified as a possible suspect in Steve Talbot's KQED documentary film about the Bari bombing, which was screened exactly one year after the event. After Judi's accusations against him, the entire investigation was centered on Irv, and on making him the main suspect and behind-the-scenes manipulator.
What is the Argus Letter?
On January 17, 1989, Ukiah Police Chief Fred Keplinger received a letter signed by "Argus." (In Greek legend, Argus is a hundred-eyed monster, a watchful guardian). It was postmarked January 6, 1989, with information detrimental to Bari; the writer offered to inform on her. Also enclosed was a photograph of Bari holding a look-a-like Uzi. Steve Talbot uncovered these "Argus" documents by chance during the course of his investigation. Bari has argued that, because Sutley knew some of the facts contained in the "Argus" letter, and since he had access to (Pam) Davis' photos, he must have written the "Argus" letter and sent the photo with it.
It's more likely that Mike Sweeney, Judi's ex-husband, wrote the Argus letter and another called the "Second Warning" letter. They were probably both written by the same person because there was identical DNA found on both envelopes. Irv's DNA does not match this sample. Mike Sweeney refuses to submit a sample of his DNA for testing, even though I've offered to pay all expenses. He also refuses to take a polygraph for which Alexander Cockburn offered to pay.
Irv did volunteer to take a polygraph and it confirmed that he was not the author of the Argus letter, had nothing to do with bombing Judi and was solicited by Pam Davis to murder Mike Sweeney.
Who is Pam Davis?
Ed: Pam and Judi were very good friends during the time period between 1987 and 1990 and they were both active in radical politics. Pam was a member of the communist party. It was during this time that Irv Sutley, also a party member, and Pam, became friends. Irv was present when Judi and Pam took some photographs of Judi holding one of Irv's guns, his main connection to the bombing story. This incident was blown out of proportion by Judi and others, and has confused and distorted the true story.
I met Pam during the summer of 1990. We were both working as a support group for Ron Green, AKA Global Deforestation, who was camping on the Forest Service lawn in downtown Santa Rosa. I visited her home several times and even took care of her boys one afternoon. Ron and I also became friends.
He was staying with Pam and would visit me during the times that Pam and Judi and their other women friends would secretly meet at Pam's house to discuss whatever they discussed. No men were allowed.
What else did you learn from your interview with Irv?
Ed: Sometime in 1989 Pam and Irv were having a conversation when out of the blue Pam asked Irv if he would kill Mike Sweeney for five thousand dollars. She said that Judi was terrified of Mike who was abusive and trying to take the kids from her. (Judi's abuse claims were verified by Mary Moore's extensive research)
Irv angrily refused but Pam made the request on two other occasions. He again refused, but felt exposed and consulted with friends about what he should do. They told him that Judi and Mike had serious problems. Irv decided to let it slide and didn't contact the police about the offer. He couldn't do that to a friend.
Bari herself, asked on-air about the murder solicitations on Mendocino County Public Radio KZYX twice dismissed her murder-for-hire solicitations as "jokes." One wonders who was supposed to be amused? However, by describing her attempts to hire someone to kill Sweeney as jokes reveals that Bari made them; it also strongly suggests that the feeble characterization of them as jokes is a belated strategy to pretend they weren't serious. If Sutley said yes, would they still be jokes?
Could you briefly describe what your investigation into Judi's bombing has uncovered?
Yes. Mike Sweeney bombed Judi Bari, but Judi was also trying her best to kill Mike. Mike placed a time sensitive bomb underneath the driver's seat of Judi's Subaru Station wagon during a press conference in Ukiah, Wednesday, May 23, 1990, about two o'clock in the afternoon. Judi drove to Oakland but the bomb was not active. Mike wanted it to explode as far away as possible. She arrived in Oakland about four-thirty PM and stayed at the Seeds Of Peace house until around eleven PM, then drove to the house where she was spending the night.
The bomb was still not active or she would have triggered it at that time. She parked and locked the car and didn't drive it again until the next morning. The next morning, the car's first lurch set off the bomb and the rest is history. Judi was trying to kill Mike and Mike was trying to kill Judi. That's what I've concluded from my research.
Why were Judi and Mike trying to kill one another?
They had committed arson together and other crimes against the community. There is evidence that the mysterious fellerbuncher fire and the Cloverdale bomb at L-P's offices were joint endeavors. Both had evidence of the other's involvement. It was hanging over their heads. They could both do real jail time. Mike Sweeney still could. In 1980, they burned down the old Santa Rosa airport hanger together, nearly killing the caretaker and costing millions in damage. And they didn't care who they hurt. Those lines from The Great Gatsby always come to mind while I'm thinking about Mike and Judi as partners:
"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."
Where do we go from here?
There are satisfactory answers, but few questioners. We are at the point, almost thirteen years later, where all of us should be able to begin to understand the dynamics between Judi and Mike, and the FBI. There is enough information available from reliable sources to begin to put the pieces together in a comprehensive gestalt.
What has changed about the story that makes you so optimistic at this time?
Ed: A new witness has come forward whose testimony confirms Irv's account of the offer by Pam Davis to have Mike Sweeney killed. It's a strange story, stranger than any fiction I could create. You'll say it is too unbelievable to be true but every word is factual.
A little less than three years ago, June 6th to be exact, I received an email which read: Are you still investigating the Bari bombing? It was signed "Silverhammer."
I wrote back and said yes I was and what did Silverhammer want to talk about? She then wrote and wanted to know if I would protect her as a source and I said I would.
Then she told me her name, Jan Maxwell, and gave me a telephone number. We had a long conversation. The main information she wanted to offer was that she had read my article on the bombing and wanted to confirm that Pam Davis was trying to find a person to murder Mike Sweeney. How did she know that was true? Because Pam had begged her to do it. Pam used the same arguments that she had with Irv. Judi was being abused and Mike was trying to take the kids. I asked her why Pam would offer her the hit. Jan said she was a good shot and very familiar with guns and Pam trusted her. She had known Pam "even before she was born." Jan and Pam's mother were good friends. If Jan had said yes, would that have been a joke?
You've had all the new information for almost three years. Why are you just releasing it now?
Ed: Many folks have asked me these questions in one form or another and I wanted to set the record straight and at least vindicate Irv Sutley, who was a totally innocent bystander. Pam Davis has just been appointed to the Sonoma County Planning Commission, which I find absolutely unbelievable. It seemed like the right time remind folks of her history and past connections.
There is also a misunderstanding in the community about Judi Bari and her deeds. Yes, the FBI mishandled her case, but they were confused by their snitch, who was Mike Sweeney. He had told them that Judi would be carrying a bomb, so when it exploded in her car in the middle of Oakland, that was all the proof the FBI needed. Mike Sweeney has had a free pass because of his FBI snitch status probably all the way back to the 1960s when he was a member of the Stanford-based radical group, Venceremos.
Now, 19 years later, Sweeney is General Manager of Mendocino County's Solid Waste Management Authority, a $100,000 a year functionary, and one of the more unsettling public bureaucrats on the Northcoast.
He struts around as if nothing has happened, as though he wasn't being accused of bombing his wife and ruining several lives by torching the Santa Rosa Airport. He could solve his problems and clear himself of these accusations by a simple DNA test. He refuses. Does this seem like the behavior of an innocent man? Why is it being ignored by the community?
To get more people vaccinated, states are offering cash prizes on a lottery basis of up to $1 million (Ohio and Oregon); free hunting and fishing licenses (Maine); free state park passes (Minnesota); and lunch with Gov. Phil Murphy and the first lady (New Jersey), to name a few. What kind of world do we live in where poor countries are begging for vaccine, and in the U.S., where we now have plenty, the government has to offer incentives to get us all to sign up?
SAN FRANCISCO is physically the most interesting and simple city to be in I ever knew. The architecture alone is enough to keep me occupied for months, and the city is made for walking around in. Neither job nor housing is anything like the problem in NYC — SF is still a “small town.” There is an image that stays in my head, perversely enough, re SF; and that is the way in streets sometimes four to six lanes wide, with 5 o'clock traffic, even so a whole mass of cars would stop (!), so that I could cross. And that would seem immense courtesy — which certainly it was and is — but somehow it bred, in me, a feeling that there was a hellish almost uncertainty being declared as well. I do think SF would make an excellent “First place” to come back to. It's a sociologist's dream.
— Robert Creeley
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
And lofty, high-minded types sneer “White Grievance”. You hear it all the time usually from somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about, like somebody from a coastal enclave or another country altogether, or somebody well off, maybe younger and so with no knowledge of the downward path of so much of the country. If it had been their own families and hometowns subjected to asset stripping, the attitude might be different.
No matter, White Grievance has got legitimacy given the last 30 years of predations. It’s unbelievable, first they ruin people and then they insult them. If that isn’t looking for trouble I don’t know what is. And if you look for it you generally find it. Anyway this “White Grievance” might be the most potent force of all of them, still awaiting a leader with the right chops.
After all Deplorables are the backbone of the US military with millions of veterans and those in active service. They know leadership, teamwork and how to fight. Stay tuned.
Time will tell. If you had told somebody in the year 1900 what was coming they wouldn’t have believed it. Yet it happened.
TRAVELS IN MEXICO: MEZCALERO
by Paul Theroux
Someone -- it might have been Sarahi -- mentioned that at the edge of one of the far hills of San Dionisio there was a palenque, a mezcal distillery (called a vinata elsewhere in Mexico). This distillery produced high-quality mezcal that was much in demand. It was a family business that had been productive for generations – and, by the way, the present mezcalero had been to the United States, another border jumper.
I drove there on a steep unpaved road that led to a notch between two hills and what looked like an encampment -- sheds, outhouses, stacks of wood, a tethered horse, smoke rising from a great pyramid of earth and wood, packed solid. Six or seven men toiled with shovels or carried thick chunks of firewood. The impression I had from a distance, approaching it from the road, was of campers, fossicking among their lean-tos and shelters, smacking the smoldering pyramid with shovels and stabbing it with pitchforks.
Up close the scene resolved itself into something more industrious and coherent which I often found to be the case in Mexico: what looked like disorder from afar was something harmonious when I peered at it without prejudice.
"Hola, welcome -- welcome!" It was an unshaven man in a filthy shirt and torn sandals, his baseball hat on sideways but with a beatific smile and a courtly manner.
This was Crispin Garcia (San Dionisio was mainly Gracias, some of them related), the owner, the jefe, the director of operations, and the patron. It would be a great mistake to judge him by his grubby work clothes because he was not only a highly respected mezcalero, but a wealthy man, his product much sought after. And it turned out he was also an immensely friendly man. He had not known I was going to show up and yet in the Mexican way he made me welcome, introduced me to his group of mezcaleros, asked me what I wanted to know and explained the whole operation.
"The oven," he said -- horno -- of the smoking, eight-foot mound of earth and wood. "Or as we say in Zapoteco, a gorn."
The other men and boys laughed and I realized they were not conversing in Spanish but in Zapoteco. I remarked on this.
"Yes, we speak it all the time," Crispin said. "Our secret language!"
They laughed at this too, but it was true: the slushy susurrus of Zapotec voices in rural Oaxaca -- and in the nearby towns -- is incomprehensible to an outsider, not only to a gringo but to Mexicans from other states. Clinging to their language, the language of Monte Alban, with its uniqueness in expressing aspects of that ancient culture, they have made themselves unassailable and remote. Retaining their language was one of the side benefits of being ignored, overlooked or despised -- early writers seldom referred to Zapotecs or Miztecs or Totzils as Mexicans. For Greene or Huxley or Lawrence, it's "Indians" -- "the cave man face," "the reptilian gaze." The growing of agave and making mezcal is one of their traditions along with their own Day of the Dead, or the Guelaguetza festival, the weaving, the pottery, the fabulous oral literature. So much for "Indians."
"Inside the oven are a lot of agave hearts -- pinos," Crispin said. "Look, show him what we do." A man held an agave plant and hacked the leaves making it look like a large, cartoonish pineapple. "We're cooking the pinos. We cook them slowly for the next four days -- there are hot rocks inside this oven. After that --"
He led me to a circular cement platform, very smooth and stained the terra-cotta of cooked agave juice. A post in the middle was attached to a log and a large circular stone, a leather harness tangled on the surface.
"This is the mill" -- the malino -- "the millstone" -- in the tahona. "A horse pulled it round and round. It grinds the cooked agave hearts into shreds we call bagasso. Over there it's put into those vats" -- tinas. Some of the sunken vats were filled with the dark, stringy agave shreds, and from the sour odor it was easy to tell it was stewing in dark broth, swelling and fermenting.
"We mash it, we turn it over," Crispin said, taking me to a big cement sink with an array of copper pipes. "Then we put the liquid in this sink and distill it. Slow is best. A drop at a time! Then into barrels."
Big blue plastic drums, nine of them, were lined up in one of the sheds. Each one held 200 liters and was sold for 12,000 pesos -- $670 -- which was the reason that Crispin was a wealthy man.
"Now we take some doa’nhis."
"Mezcal." He laughed. " Zapotec word."
He poked a thick bamboo pipe into a barrel and, sucking it, filled the pipe which he decanted into two halved coconut shells filling each one with mezcal -- colorless, slightly viscous, pricked with bubbles, slopping in the shell. He handed me the bigger shell.
"To you! To friendship!"
And we drank, the first sip a knife blade of liquid slipping down my throat and stinging my eyes, the second sip soothing the laceration of the first sip. The third sip inducing a feeling of well-being, warming my face. The second cup percolated to my extremities, a relaxation of fingers and toes, a mollifying of the mind and spirit.
"Quiro emborracharme," I said with a gasp. I want to get drunk.
"45% alcohol," he said. "Here's how you tell the quality of the mezcal." He jiggled the coconut shell. "Bubbles -- see the bubbles?" Burbujas. "This is good. In Zapoteco the word for bubbles is cordon."
"Do you make tequila too?"
"No. I don't like tequila. It's made from agave, but a different process."
He laughed saying, "They add alcohol," as though accusing the tequila makers of cheating.
"My grandfather and father were mezcaleros," he said. "But it was hard for them. They didn't have a car. They used burros and horses to get the agave from the mountains."
I loved Crispin's gap tooth grin. We toasted again. He said, "Americans are nice people!"
"You've been to the states?"
"Six years in Los Angeles," he said. "North Hollywood."
"What sort of work?"
"Restaurants. Three years in a Chinese one."
"What was its name?" I said, to tease him.
"Chin-Chin!" he said, and wheezed with laughter. "Then a Japanese one. Cleaning tables, also preparing food."
"How did you cross the border?"
"Coyote -- $300 the first time. That was 1994." He was 57 now so he had been 33 on that trip and he traveled with some other young men from San Dionisio. "Second time I paid 1000. I crossed near Mexicali, ten hours walking to the freeway."
"Any problems with the police in LA?"
"None! They left me alone. I loved it there. My intention was to save money then come back here and help my family."
All this time we'd been surrounded by the crew, watching us drink, shouting at each other in Zapoteco, bringing more mezcal in the bamboo pipe from the barrel.
Gesturing to one of the young men, Crispin said, "This is my son, Rodrigo. He's been across!"
Rodrigo was 35, heavyset with a rueful expression. He said in English, "I paid 3000 to cross the first time. I crossed at Tecate. 5000 the second time. A lot of money. I had to work two years to pay it off so I didn't save much. But I liked it there."
"What do you miss about the States?"
"I miss the work. I miss the pretty towns, so quiet," he said sadly.
Crispin knew enough English to understand what his son was saying. He said in Spanish, "Our family is here. We are happy. I had a lot of work in the states but I never made much money. I'll never cross the border again. Look, I have my mezcal business. And I'm home. Less pressure. I want to make the best mezcal."
He was swaying slightly, balancing a coconut shell of mezcal on his fingertips, still smiling.
"How do you make the best mezcal?"
"You have to cut the agave exactly," he said with a slicing gesture of his free hand. "The exact cooking. The exact fermenting of the bagasso."
He flung his arm around me. He began to speak in Zapoteco with great force in a heartfelt way.
"Eet yelasu nara!" he said, smiling but blinking mezcal tears.
"What is he saying?" I asked Rodrigo.
"Don't forget me. In Zapoteco."
No, nor would I forget the sunlight slanting through the constant smoke from the earthen pile of the oven, or the thatched roofs of the mill and the sheds, the tang of fermenting agave gunk, the horse cropping grass in the valley below, the eager faces of the Zapotec crew, their work-toughened fingers when they shook my hand or my delirium, part mezcal, part pure travelers bliss.
TROUBLE IN LIMBOLAND
“See, the hardest thing for me was leaving the life. I still love the life. And we were treated like movie stars with muscle. We had it all, just for the asking. Our wives, mothers, kids, everybody rode along. I had paper bags filled with jewelry stashed in the kitchen. I had a sugar bowl full of coke next to the bed. Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I'd bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I'd either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies. Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. When I was broke I would go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now it's all over. And that's the hardest part. Today, everything is different. There's no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food. Right after I got here I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.” -Henry Hill, in Goodfellas
The recording of last night's (2021-06-04) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0439
Besides all that, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
I hate lipstick. I hate it on people. I hate it just standing there in sight being a repulsive, uh, substance, its texture, the smell, the feel of it when someone, even your adorable sweetheart, kisses you with lipstick on; everything about lipstick is awful… But-- I don’t mind crayons at all. Crayons are fine, though I clearly remember as a small child being frustrated by how fragile they were. They could break in your fingers just by picking them up, before you even touched anything with them, and they wore down so fast. I preferred ballpoint pens and regular pencils; I really enjoyed sharpening pencils with a real crank-type pencil sharpener. The big fat pencils they gave you in school were insulting somehow. Anyway, here's Stacy Greene's creepily magnified visual paean to lipsticks which, oddly, I enjoy looking at, the way a person who hates spiders might enjoy cringing at magnified pictures of spiders: (via Everlasting Blort)
As much as I hate lipstick (and cigarets), I have always loved cigaret lighters. My uncle Pat used to take his lighters apart, to the tiniest part, on the kitchen table and clean them and reassemble them with fresh flints from the drug store and fresh cotton packing, and fill them with fluid. He kept and cherished every lighter he ever had, from even before the war against the Japanese in the Pacific.
A neat project. Also the narrator pronounces the word kibosh the way I do and not the way they tell you you're supposed to, so extra points. And I appreciate that he recognizes his physical limitations and hires professionals to safely demonstrate the eventual product; he gets professional roller derby women. I used to watch roller derby on teevee after school. How tough the players were. They'd elbow each other off their skates sometimes and barrel completely over the rails. That was a goddamn /sport/; not like all this boring baseball and football and basketball and volleyball and golf and fricking /swimming races/. Now I want you to imagine roller derby, the way it was in the early 1970s, but with jetpacks. The idea of it makes me think of the rollerskating ball game the kids play in their ground level slum in /Alita: Battle Angel/; Alita is basically a teenage girl /Astro Boy/. We could have that now in real life, here in what we got instead of the future we were promised. Jetpack Roller Derby.
That's it for now, except: Email me your written work and I'll read it Friday night on the radio on the very next MOTA.
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org
Which of these gates is braced incorrectly? and why won't it hold up as well?
YESTERDAY'S PUZZLER: kudos to Lee Edmundson for solving "Three Jugs": theava.com/archives/155775/comment-page-1#comment-1489859