Dry Cool | 79 New Cases | Covid Testing | After Rain | KZYX Ukiah | Highway Fatality | Enchanted Slaughter | Larson Family | Liden/Magruder | Pseudosciences | Ed Notes | Final Shot | Planning Agenda | Yesterday's Catch | Cowboy Code | Niner Struggles | Allitigation | Royal Hypocrites | Muesli Bounty | Therapist Shakedown | Morality/Religion | Horny Boys | Sneed's Menu | Kentfield Homeless | Lesser Evil | Abortion Rights | Bogart/Lorre | Get Assange | Peltier Exhibit | Important Thing | Coal Types
A MAINLY DRY DAY is expected today with some lingering clouds in the morning. Temperatures in the inland areas will remain below normal this afternoon. Tonight some of the interior valleys may see frost. Wednesday inland temperatures will start to warm back towards normal and will continue warming to near or slightly above normal through early next week. Dry weather is expected as well. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S RAIN: Leggett .56", Willits .37", Laytonville .15", Covelo .15", Hopland .14", Yorkville .08", Boonville .04"
NICHOLAS WILSON (MCN listserve): "Total rainfall today was .56" in Little River 3 mi. inland at 600 ft. elevation. Some blue sky showed through the clouds shortly before sunset. No more rain is forecast in the next week or so."
79 NEW COVID CASES (since last Friday) reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
ANDERSON VALLEY EYES ONLY
COVID Testing Announcements: We have several new, active COVID cases in our community, please get tested regardless of your vaccine status.
The County is now testing here on MONDAYS from 2-5pm at the fairgrounds (no more Fridays): lhi.care/covidtesting
The AV Clinic is testing on WEDNESDAYS from 9-10:30am at the Senior Center: home.color.com/covid/sign-up/start?partner=cdph632
Yes, it's two different one-time registration sign ups.
AFTER THE RAIN
KZYX TO PURCHASE PROPERTY AT 390 CLAY STREET IN UKIAH FOR NEW STUDIO LOCATION
[As reported in the AVA three months ago]
by Jerry Karp
KZYX, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, will close on a property at 390 West Clay Street in Ukiah this week in an important step toward moving the station’s main studios and business office to the County seat. KZYX has been headquartered in a leased facility in Philo since it went on the air in 1989.
The move to Ukiah will accomplish multiple goals for KZYX. The new site will provide a more reliable broadcast signal, a necessity since line of sight from the Philo location to the transmitter atop Cold Springs Mountain is threatened by tree growth. In addition, through owning its studio rather than leasing, the station will be building a stable foundation for the future, with more autonomy over its own space. Once established in Ukiah, Mendocino County’s commercial and governmental hub and main population center, KZYX will gain greater access to volunteers, officials, nonprofits, businesses, supporters, cultural organizations and emergency services. Finally, the Clay Street property will accommodate both a larger local news operation, and a performance space where music, radio plays and debates can be broadcast live or recorded.
The new facility sits on a park-like .42 acres and includes two buildings connected by a covered patio. The larger building (1500 square feet) will house the broadcast studios and production staff; the smaller building (750 square feet) will be used for administrative offices. Ukiah residents will recognize the location as the site of the long-time acupuncture clinic of the much admired Dr. Grace Liu until her death in 2016.
Moving the station’s operations from Philo to Ukiah will be an approximately year-long process. KZYX plans a minor remodel of the property, including installation of the necessary technical infrastructure. This will include the erection of a tower to send the KZYX signal to Laughlin Peak, and the installation of a satellite dish offering live access to news and other programming from National Public Radio and other national producers. The City of Ukiah approved a permit last week, and the new studio’s neighbors have been contacted as well.
KZYX’s mission is to serve all of Mendocino County, and that will not change. KZYX will maintain its three transmitters on Cold Springs, Laughlin Peak and Bald Hill in order to cover Mendocino County’s nearly 4,000 square miles. The station will continue to operate satellite studios in Fort Bragg, Willits and Talmage/Ukiah, and will also maintain a presence in Anderson Valley with a production studio and a small office. Some 100 volunteers create programming on KZYX, many using the remote studios around the county to produce their shows.
KZYX has more than 2500 members who support the station with tax-deductible contributions. The nonprofit station is also funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, underwriting from local businesses, grants and events (when Covid allows). KZYX employs a nine-member staff, four of them full-time, and is governed by an unpaid Board of Directors.
In the past two years, KZYX has focused on timely and accurate disaster response and added Spanish language announcements during active emergencies such as wildfires. The station plans to hire a bilingual news director in early 2022. KZYX has also added new local programs featuring Spanish speakers and members of the Pomo tribe.
KZYX features a dynamic schedule of locally produced programming, including shows offering a diverse range of musical genres and public affairs programs covering a range of crucial topics, including state and county politics, ecology, social services and more, all created by dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer producers. In addition, the 32-year-old station is Mendocino County’s National Public Radio affiliate, broadcasting NPR news and entertainment programs, as well as other popular national programming.
For more information, please contact KZYX Station Manager Marty Durlin, at 707 895-9321, or visit the station website: www.kzyx.org.
HIGHWAY 1 FATALITY, NEAR LITTLE RIVER
Enchanted Meadow? No, it's Slaughter at Slaughterhouse Gulch
This is what's happening right now in the upper Albion River watershed, adjacent to Enchanted Meadow, one of the most beautiful spots in all of Mendocino County. An area that should have been declared a National Monument is instead being greed-logged by Mendocino Redwood Company.
For more information, go to: http://www.friendsofenchantedmeadow.org/
David Gurney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
LARSON FAMILY, EARLY MENDOCINO
COLORS AND GESTURES: Pop-up exhibit features work of Liden and Magruder on First Friday
by Roberta Werdinger
On Friday, October 1st, from 5 to 8 p.m., Grace Hudson Museum will be open for First Friday Art Walk, with an opening reception for Selected Works from Tom Liden and Mac Magruder. On display in the Museum's Public Room, this pop-up exhibit expands on the current exhibition in the main gallery: 30 Years On: Liden, Magruder & Knight, a retrospective of the work of three Mendocino County artists (the third being the late Wayne Knight) since their first group exhibit at the Grace Hudson Museum in 1991.
Mac Magruder's sculptures provide provocative social commentary leavened by a bracing dash of humor. They often feature figures in uncomfortable postures or making awkward gestures. Human existence at its stress point is portrayed, in evocative assemblages that capture life in Mendocino County--something well known for Magruder, a Potter Valley native and cattle and sheep rancher.
Tom Liden's photography spans a wide range of subject matter and formal approaches, from subtle black and white images to his "Tribute to Red series," which features close-ups of glassware, house exteriors, and other objects bearing rich shades of red. A well-known commercial photographer in Ukiah, he is lately focusing on his fine art, including his collection of colored glass.
Selected Works from Tom Liden and Mac Magruder will be on display from Sept. 29 to Oct. 17. Please visit the Museum website at www.gracehudsonmuseum.org for hours and admission fees. (First Fridays are always free.) Several other events are planned to accompany the main exhibit, 30 Years On, including a members-only reception on Oct. 2 and an in-person exhibition tour with Liden and Magruder on Oct. 16. A pop-up exhibit of the work of portrait painter Wayne Knight, who died in 2009, will be on display in November.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information, visit the website or call (707) 467-2836.
TOOK A TRIP over the hill today (Monday) to get glasses at CostCo. I took a trip back over the hill to Boonville without the glasses. At CostCo, we were deep in the new glasses process when the nice lady took a close look at the date on my last prescription and said, “Sorry, we can't do this. This one's too old. You have to get an eye exam first. It's the law.”
I ALREADY use those drug store glasses for reading, and I can see, with the least expensive frames they've got, the whole package is around $150. I don't need new glasses that bad. Or at all.
WHEN SOMEONE says to me, “It's the law,” I automatically consider ways around it. I'm an American. It's the way we think. And we like to imagine it's this thinking that keeps us free, as we sign up for life mortgages, car payments, usurious credit cards, television, NPR.
THIS PARTICULAR LAW requiring fresh eye exams is clearly something cooked up by optometrists to ensure repeat business. The nice CostCo lady said their CostCo optometrist was booked up for a month, as were, she said, “all the optometrists in town,” town being Ukiah.
I THOUGHT BACK to my old optometrist on S. Dora, Dr. Brown. Pleasant old guy. I always seemed to unnerve him somehow because, I suppose, I was getting a lot of bad press back in the day when there was a press, routinely being portrayed as the Beast of Boonville, a new breed of rural maniac. Brown got me in and outtathere fast.
THINKING FARTHER BACK I remember as a kid seeing all the way to Sacramento from Mount Tamalpais, and even as a college baseball player I could still see the ball well enough to occasionally be called upon to pinch hit. I don't remember ever getting a hit at the college level but I was always flattered to be summoned to the plate.
IN SARAWAK, Borneo, there was a harmless young man who walked around talking to himself. He was said to have been driven crazy by reading too much. He wore glasses and had been sent off to England for university-level study but had come home in a permanently altered state. Reading is certainly one way to insanity as the internet anti-vaxxers and Trumpers prove in their idiot millions every day. I've always read a lot, and still do. Squinting at print for 70 years probably did my eyes in.
BACK IN BOONVILLE, I told my colleague, The Major, about my futile trip to CostCo. “I'll just alter the date on your prescription. They'll never know,” he said. Interesting how many people these days, all of us beset by a zillion rules, instinctively think of ways around the petty ones, especially the self-interested “laws” like the one devised by optometrists in league with our eminently bribe-able elected reps who together cooked this one up.
I DISMISSED my colleague's suggestion to change the date on my last eye exam only because I didn't want to put the nice lady at CostCo on the spot, not because I'm opposed to petty fraud in principle.
AS AN OLD PERSON, I'm constantly trying to spare myself tedium beyond the daily, unavoidable tediums like filling out forms, Press Democrat editorials, 49er games unless they're recorded without commercials, anything having to do with Building 7 or the Grassy Knoll. I thought I could walk into CostCo and walk out with a date to pick up a new pair of glasses. No way I'm doing an eye exam or anything else that takes more than a few minutes. I've had nightmares about being lost in that vast commercial space, the checkout guy at the door saying, “Sorry. Your CostCo card has expired. You'll be with us forever.”
PLANNING PLANNED FOR OCTOBER 7
The Staff Report(s) and Agenda for October 7, 2021, is posted on the department website at:
Please contact staff with any questions.
James F.Feenan, Direct Line: (707) 234-6664, Main Line: (707) 234-6650
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 27, 2021
SHANKARA CASEY, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.
JOSHUA COLCLEASER, Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen vehicle, stolen property, controlled substance, ammo possession by prohibited person, resisting, probation revocation.
TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
JACOB SELLMER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
PLENTY OF BLAME TO GO AROUND following 49ers’ first loss of 2021
by Jack Hammer
There is plenty of blame to go around after the 49ers’ 30-28 loss on Sunday night to Green Bay. Now that some time has passed since the game concluded and emotions have cooled a bit, let’s take a look at how the 49ers lost and why it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
The philosophy of the San Francisco front office has been to build the defense from the front back. The belief is that a strong pass rush will make the coverage easier for the secondary and linebackers because the quarterback won’t have much time to let receivers get open. On Sunday night the 49ers’ defensive line was unable to generate any type of pressure on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, recording only two hits on 34 dropbacks. That’s unacceptable.
Green Bay did a good job of taking away the 49ers pass rush by having Rodgers get rid of the ball quickly, roughly half of his throws left his hand within 2.5 seconds, and using a tight end or running back to slow down Nick Bosa. The 49ers defensive end was facing the Packers third string left tackle, and the constant chips took away his speed while also not allowing him to rush around the edge.
San Francisco defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans had few answers throughout the game to this. While there were a few change-ups, when the game was on the line Ryans played Green Bay straight up and Rodgers made the 49ers pay. On both completions from Rodgers to Davante Adams to set up the game-winning Mason Crosby field goal, Bosa would get knocked off his track by a chip pretty much eliminating him from the pass rush. This, along with soft zone coverage allowed Rodgers to pick up the necessary yardage.
Sunday night wasn’t the first time this season that the 49ers’ defense has been carved up late in a game. In week one against Detroit, Jared Goff diced up the San Francisco defense for two fourth quarter touchdowns and was down to the 49ers’ 24-yard line on the final possession.
San Francisco’s defensive struggles weren’t limited to only the end of the game. The secondary gave up 261 yards passing and another 81 yards through the air on defensive pass interference penalties which brought the total to 342 yards. In addition, the 49ers’ defense allowed touchdown drives of 80, 87, and 86 yards during the first three quarters. The 49ers’ defense has played bend but doesn’t break defense this season, and Sunday night they broke.
The offensive side of the ball has its own issues. The first half against Green Bay played out nearly the same way it did the previous week in Philadelphia. Here are the similarities. First three possessions, the San Francisco offense ran a total of nine offensive plays. On the fourth offensive possession, the 49ers finally crossed midfield but were forced to punt. Then as the first half came to a close the offense scored a touchdown. The similarities between the two weeks were uncanny.
During the first half against Philadelphia and Green Bay, everything has looked like a struggle for the 49er’s offense. Like is often the case with football, it’s not just one thing that is causing this. The run game has struggled, pass protection has been an issue, and Jimmy Garoppolo struggles to get the ball down the field.
Kyle Shanahan is widely considered to be one of the best run game coordinators in the NFL, it’s how the 49ers have been constructed. San Francisco’s rushing offense has not been good either of the last two weeks and is currently 25th in the NFL with an average of only 3.6 yards per attempt. That still doesn’t represent how poorly the 49ers have run the ball this season. After gaining 65 yards on their first six attempts, which included 20 yards for Raheem Mostert on the first two carries of the season and a 38-yard touchdown by Elijah Mitchell, the 49ers have gained only 250 yards on their last 81 rushing attempts.
Forget what the subscription services try to feed you, the 49ers offensive line has been struggling with pass protection. Last week against Philadelphia, Jimmy Garoppolo avoided sacks and contact a number of times with his movement in the pocket. On Sunday night against a Green Bay defense playing without its best pass rusher the Packers were able to hit Garoppolo 11 times. That total is in spite of Garoppolo getting the ball out in 2.63 seconds on average, ninth quickest in the league in week three with the Monday night game still to be played.
That leaves us with the lack of a downfield passing attack. Jimmy Garoppolo has never been considered a good downfield thrower. In 2019 during his one full season as a starting quarterback Garoppolo averaged only 6.5 air yards per attempt, third lowest in the NFL. This has continued to be the case as Garoppolo’s 5.8 air yards per attempt through the first three weeks of the season is once again the third lowest in the league.
While the loss on Sunday night shed a light on a number of difficulties it’s important to not lose sight of the fact that the 49ers are 2-1, and are tied for the sixth most offensive touchdowns.
If San Francisco can figure out how to get the offense going earlier in games it will go a long way toward helping out a defense that through three weeks has proven to be up and down. With tough division games coming up with Seattle and Arizona the 49ers need to get things together quickly.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
HARRY AND MEGHAN have just finished a four-day trip to New York which even by their two-faced standards set a new low bar for hypocrisy. Ostensibly designed for them to lecture the world's “ultra-rich” pharmaceutical firms on “equality,” something the privileged, pampered prima donnas know all about from the palatial comfort of their Californian mansion, the trip was in fact a ruthlessly cynical attempt to establish their new alternative Royal Family. And it made me puke.
— Piers Morgan
PHONE SCAM TARGETS THERAPISTS
[Thought you would find this article interesting. Apparently the “helping professionals” are the targets of phone scams fleecing them in the billions of dollars. The victims' absurdly inflated claims (taken up and used happily by the writer), that getting scammed for money was tantamount to being kidnapped — raped even — is such obvious and pathetic wokerism "poor-me" attention-getting. An honest response would have been more along the lines of "Look how amazingly stupid I was."]
'He Held Me Hostage With No Gun But With His Words': The Phone Scam Gaslighting Therapists
by Carolyn Said
It started with a voice mail on Jaime Bardacke’s cell phone that sounded work-related. It came on Father’s Day, and the licensed clinical social worker was driving back to her San Francisco apartment after visiting family, eager to eat dinner and watch the NBA playoffs.
That message kicked off a harrowing 6.5-hour odyssey during which she was fleeced of thousands of dollars as she drove around San Francisco and the Peninsula on the phone with a swindler — who was in her head both literally through her earbuds and metaphorically through manipulation tactics.
It was like being kidnapped.
“He held me hostage with no gun but with his words,” Bardacke said. “I never expected a call on a Sunday night to be from a sociopath.”
Phone scams are incredibly common.
A stunning 59.4 million Americans lost $29.8 billion to them in the 12 months that ended in March, according to a report from Truecaller, based on a survey by the Harris Poll. That was a huge jump from pre-pandemic numbers. In 2019, 43 million Americans lost $10.5 billion to phone scams, according to the same poll for that year. Experts theorize that the lockdown isolation and virus anxiety made people more vulnerable to smooth-talking strangers. And despite the perception that seniors are more likely to be victimized, it was actually people ages 18 to 44 who fell prey most often.
While some are robocalls that scream fake — purportedly from the IRS or about an expired car warranty — others are perpetrated by criminals who use sophisticated mind-control tactics, experts say. “Grifters are amateur psychologists,” said Alan Castel, a UCLA psychology professor who studied scams for his book “Better With Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging.”
“They understand that people respond to social influences, especially to authority,” Castel said. “They know people don’t use all their cognitive resources when they’re stressed. They know that if you can rush people, scare people, they’ll become hyper-focused on trying to solve a problem. Fraudsters create a powerful situation that induces compliance.”
The man’s message that Sunday said he was calling from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office about a legal matter. That wasn’t surprising. Bardacke, 45, deals with legal issues involving her clients. When Bardacke returned home and called back, the man identified himself as Lt. Timothy Reid and asked Bardacke why she had failed to testify at a trial after having signed a subpoena saying she would appear. Now there was an order to arrest her for contempt of court, he told her.
“I was immediately concerned because I have been subpoenaed as an expert witness as part of my work,” she said. “I knew this could affect the status of my license. My whole livelihood depends on that.”
Bardacke told the man she’d never received a subpoena. He said she needed to come to the sheriff’s office in Redwood City to sign her name to prove that her signature had been forged. Once she’d done so, she could be on her way, he said.
Bardacke Googled the caller’s name and the Redwood City address he gave her. There was an officer with that name, and the address was for the Sheriff’s Office.
The caller told Bardacke it was a federal case and a judge had issued a gag order so he couldn’t say more about it. He had authority to bring her in and clear up the matter, but she would need to post a bail with the federal government that would be reimbursed once they proved her signature was forged.
As they talked, she could hear noises in the background that sounded as if he were at a police station — people talking, phones ringing.
“I was taken aback, but I was like, ‘OK’,” she said. “He said it was $6,000 bail, and I said I didn’t have that amount here. He said, ‘That’s OK, I can tell you how to get it and you’ll be reimbursed as soon as you come into the station and verify.’”
Some internal alarm bells went off. Bardacke said she wanted to call a friend who’s a lawyer.
The caller was firm.
“I’m sorry but once you’re on the phone with me, you’re not allowed to get off because you’re considered a flight risk,” she recalls him saying. “This phone call is being monitored and you’re not allowed to send a text message or make any calls about this case because it’s in violation of the gag order.”
She shouldn’t think of contacting the police either, he said.
“He said if I had any interaction with a police officer, I would be taken into custody and held at least 72 hours before the warrant could be lifted,” she said. “I couldn’t go to the police, call the police, set foot on police property until I posted this bond; otherwise I would be taken into custody.”
Bardacke was scared, worrying how she would get the money, wondering about a request that seemed outrageous — but also remembering all the clients she’d known who were forced to spend time behind bars because they couldn’t post bail.
“If you want to spend 72 hours in jail, that’s your choice,” the man kept saying. “I can stop helping you.”
Bardacke’s ordeal was not unique. Scores of therapists in California and throughout the country have fallen prey to similar phone calls, according to messages on professional list servers, news articles and warnings from industry associations.
The script varies, but there are some constants. The victims are women, many of whom list their work cell phone numbers on a website for people seeking therapists. (Some were actually notified by the site that someone had requested their contact information the same day the calls came.) The perpetrator is a man with a confident tone of authority. He tells them they are in legal trouble, but he can help them avoid jail time if they pay a fine or bail. He coaches them to buy gift cards.
The Chronicle interviewed four other Bay Area therapists who recounted very similar calls to the one that targeted Bardacke.
“I have been date-raped in my life, and this felt just as violating as that did,” said one of the women who was granted anonymity in accordance with The Chronicle’s policy on anonymous sources. “It was emotionally and psychologically violating and traumatic.”
Bardacke told the caller she wasn’t dressed to go out and needed to change clothes. “That’s OK; you can put me on video,” he said. She recoiled at the crude joke, and he apologized.
She dressed and got in her car, still on the phone. As instructed, she took two forms of ID and a manila envelope.
She hadn’t had time to eat dinner. “I left my house hungry and scared, feeling kind of frantic,” she said.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I want to know why boys in general are not having it crammed down their throats from even a young age that you never force unwanted attention onto women or girls it’s never ever ok! Being too drunk is not an excuse! I bet you there’s not one woman in probably this entire world that doesn’t have at least one uncomfortable story about a boy or man that has crossed their boundaries and did something completely out of line! I know I have and every last one of my friends has multiple stories and we are not meek or shy women! it’s wrong and disturbing this is still the response from family/school and community members! I call on all fathers with sons to step up and do your job!! make sure your sons are very aware that touching anyone inappropriately is absolutely not OK and it doesn’t matter how drunk and horny you are if you cross that line there will be consequences! It won’t get better till men are afraid to do it because they don’t want what comes with the price they will have to pay! Learn to use your voices very loud now young ladies because there’s a whole world out there and a lifetime of having to encounter Inappropriate people! The earlier you start The fiercer you will become and the less bullshit you will put up with! Rise up girls your voices are stronger together! No means No!
HOW ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
Regarding tiny houses as the cure for homelessness, I saw a letter from a person in Kentfield suggesting the building of 32,000 tiny cabins for homeless folks in San Francisco on “remote city-owned or leased land.”
Excellent thought, and I would like to see them housed, too!
But perhaps there is a lot more “remote” property in Kentfield than in seven-mile-by-seven-mile San Francisco. We don't have a great deal of remote space here for 32,000 cabins. But building them in remote areas of Kentfield might be a great idea.
RALLY FOR ABORTION RIGHTS ON OCT 2, 1 PM IN FORT BRAGG
On Oct 2 there will be hundreds of marches and rallies across the US to support Abortion Rights. Local supporters will rally in Fort Bragg at 1PM on Oct 2. Bring a sign and join us!
Some Sign Ideas:
- My Body, My Choice
- Pro-Freedom, Pro-Justice, Pro-Choice
- We Will Not Go Back
- Support Abortion Rights
- Girls Just Wanna Have Funding
- Abortion: No Shame
- Our Right to Choose
- Abortion is Healthcare
- Mind Your Own Uterus
- Keep Your Laws Off of My Body
Coast Democrats <email@example.com>
BOMBSHELL REPORT DETAILS CIA'S 'KIDNAP OR KILL' PLANS Against WikiLeaks' Assange
Dozens of US intelligence officials, including many who had served under the Trump administration, are now confirming the CIA considered "options" for kidnapping and/or assassinating Assange and that plans were mulled over at the highest levels of CIA leadership. "More than 30 former U.S. officials — eight of whom described details of the CIA’s proposals to abduct Assange," are sourced in the report, which further reveals the CIA targeted journalists who worked closely with WikiLeaks, including Glenn Greenwald.
TIME AND AGAIN: An exhibition centering on Rigo 23’s statue of Native activist Leonard Peltier
by Dan Bacher
This exhibit centers on "Leonard Peltier - Waiting," a mixed media 12 X 6 X 9 foot statue that is based on a painted self-portrait that Peltier painted from prison. The statue has been exhibited in four other venues, in Washington, DC; Los Angeles and San Francisco, according to Rigo 23.
From September 9 – November 18, 2021, the Richmond Art Center is presenting Time and Again, an art exhibition centered on Rigo 23’s monumental sculptural tribute to Native American activist Leonard Peltier.
The 12-foot tall sculpture sits at the center of the exhibition, anchoring a narrative of Leonard Peltier’s 45-year long incarceration. For the first time, the sculpture is being presented alongside photographs, letters, artwork, posters and ephemera from Rigo’s archive.
According to Rigo 23, who grew up in Portugal before coming to the United States, the exhibition “aims to communicate, to share, to create a unique experience for the viewer, as any art exhibit does.”
“But personally, this exhibition is a special marker: 25 years ago I had my first solo exhibition at the Richmond Art Center, and that exhibit centered on the plight of Black Panther leader Geronimo ji Jaga, who was then imprisoned at Mule Creek State Prison. Geronimo would be released the following year, 1997, and awarded a settlement for wrongful imprisonment,” said Rigo 23. “Both the FBI and the LAPD compensated him for plotting against his freedom.”
“The current exhibition, Time and Again, focuses on the plight of American Indian leader Leonard Peltier, whom many institutions, individuals and governments around the World also believe to have been wrongfully convicted. Most notably, the lead prosecutor on the case has called for his release since 2017. The purpose of this exhibition clearly includes calling attention to Leonard Peltier's continued imprisonment,” he stated.
This exhibit centers on "Leonard Peltier - Waiting", a mixed media 12 X 6 X 9 foot statue that is based on a painted self-portrait that Peltier painted from prison. The statue has been exhibited in four other venues, in Washington, DC; Los Angeles and San Francisco, according to Rigo 23.
“But I've mounted several other exhibitions which centered on Peltier's art and plight, the first of which was at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, in 1999. That exhibit was titled "Tate Wikikuwa Museum" and it travelled the world, including London, UK; Santiago, Chile; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Lisbon, Portugal; Syracuse, and Niagara Falls in New York,” he stated.
On October 10 at 6 p.m. there will be a gathering for Indigenous Peoples' Day held at the Richmond Art Center.
Rigo 23 explained how growing up in Portugal at the time of the Portuguese Revolution in 1974 had a big influence on the current path he has taken.
“In my youth Portugal went through a profound transition, from a colonial quasi fascist regime, to a progressive one focused on International Solidarity with Movements for Self- Determination,” he stated. “It was in that light that I first became aware of the brutality of the Reservations System in the United States and the relationship between America's Manifest Destiny and the Nazi regime's expansionist ethos in Europe. Leonard Peltier, unwittingly, became a symbol of systemic and collective oppression, much in the same vein as Nelson Mandela became a symbol for European Colonialism and institutionalized racism in Africa.”
To create the huge sculpture of Peltier, he had to learn how to do it as he went along creating it.
“That was on the job training,” he said. “I mean, I had some experience gained with ‘Victory Stand,’ the sculptural tribute to Tommie Smith and John Carlos at San José State University, which I completed in 2005. But still this project was much more DYI. Entirely funded by myself and friends and supporters, it was built over a two year period as I was able to gather the necessary materials and secure a place to built it in. I started by carving the statue's feet out of two redwood logs, and built it up from there.”
In Time and Again, there is a series of historical photographs by the late Michele Vignes documenting seminal events in the history of the American Indian Movement; original oil paintings by Peltier himself; photographs by Marc Hors, Rio Yañez, Ashley Forbes, Marc Chiat, Francisco Dominguez, Frank Jackson, David Petrelli; silkscreens by Juan Fuentes; Calixto Robles; Liberación Gráfica; Gonzalo Hidalgo; a giant banner by Eric Norberg and many more.
The current exhibition also includes materials such as original sketches for the banner “It’s 1999, Why is Leonard Peltier Still in Prison?” mounted outside the Berkeley Art Museum; photographs from the Tate Wikikuwa Museum installed at the deYoung Museum that same year; brochure and zine from theTate Wikikuwa Museum at the Warehouse Gallery in Syracuse University where the Leonard Peltier sculpture premiered, in 2011.
On September 12, a special dedication for the exhibit was held that coincided with Leonard Peltier's 77th Birthday.
“It was a very moving gathering that brought together relatives of Peltier, including his daughter Kathy, with supporters, some of whom have been advocating for his behalf for as long as he has been imprisoned - 45 years,” he stated. “A remarkable moment was when a few sundancers wove a sage crown which they placed on the Statue's head. The sage had come from Crow Dog's Paradise Sundance grounds in Rosebud, South Dakota, and Crow Dog Jr was in attendance.”
“After those gathered sang Happy Birthday to Leonard, a group of singers - men and women - gathered and sang the AIM song acapella in his honor. That was the highlight of the day,” he concluded.
Francisco Dominguez, a Chicano/Tarahumara photo journalist and artist, whose photo of John Trudell at Mission High School in 1997 is displayed at the exhibition, said the exhibition is significant “because of how long Peltier has been unjustly imprisoned and how the powers that be have made an example of him as an activist and somebody who is standing up for the people. I encourage all people who care about human rights and civil rights to attend, as we live in a time where the county is turning towards the right.”
Chicano Artist Juan R. Fuentes also has two works that are displayed in the exhibit.
“First, in 1992, I produced the print 500 years of Native Resistance to commemorate the landing of Columbus and I included a large face of Leonard Peltier and the wording, Freedom for Leonard Peltier. Second, in 1990 I created the poster, International Day to Resist the Imprisonment of Leonard Peltier, June 26, 1990,” he explained.
“It has been some time that has elapsed since we have had an exhibition that focuses on Leonard Peltier in the Bay Area. The fact that Rigo has been able to assemble so many levels of interaction with support for Leonard over the years is significant and a testament to the ongoing struggle for liberation for Leonard and his people,” said Fuentes.
In the late 80s, Fuentes was a member of the Native American Defense Committee, anchored by then warrior Sydney Welsh. As an artist, he supported the struggle and his biggest contribution was through his prints and posters.
“My role as a Chicano artist has always been connected to our peoples struggles and I feel that anything that my work lends to the advancement of our struggle is my responsibility as an artist of color,” said Fuentes. “What I noticed at the exhibition were the young and old were there to support Leonard Peltier.”
“it is very encouraging to see the next generation of activists gives us all a great sense that the struggle will continue. Leonard's imprisonment has been so long that people tend to forget and this exhibition will ensure that Leonard’s needs are still addressed and he will be exposed to a new wave of supporters. It was an honor to be in this exhibit and to have the chance to meet Leonard's family,” Fuentes stated.
Calixto Robles, a printmaker/painter and Zapotec Indian from Oaxaca, Mexico whose art is also on display at the show, said the current show is a must-see because it’s about a man who has been in jail for more than 40 years.
“He is accused of a crime he didn’t commit — just for defending his land and his people. This show is to call the attention of the whole world to demand his freedom,” Robles noted.
He emphasized that art is “an important tool to denounce injustice and to inform people of what is happening in the struggle of the 99% population of this world. I think when people get united for a right cause, it’s impossible to stop it.”
Exhibition: September 9 – November 18, 2021
Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Thurs 10am-2pm, Sat 10am-2pm, or by appt 510-620-6772
The sculpture (California redwood, foam, plywood, and metal) is based on a small hand-painted self portrait Leonard Peltier created in prison. The statue’s 9 x 6 foot base replicates the dimensions of a traditional prison cell. Each time the work is shown, the exhibition incorporates selections from the growing collection of photographs of supporters standing in solidarity on the statue’s feet.
Completed in 2016 and first shown at the Katzen Art Center at the American University, Washington D.C., the artwork was almost immediately censored, removed from display, and subsequently withheld from the artist for one year.
The removal of the statue was in response to a bomb threat and to the University’s president receiving complaints from the FBI Agents Association – events which happened on the same day. Since its return to the artist, it has been exhibited at the Main Museum in Los Angeles (2018), SOMArts (2019) and most recently atop the roof of the San Francisco Institute of Art overlooking Alcatraz Island (2020).
The statue’s feet, which are detachable, have taken their own journey, traveling to significant sites of Native Resistance across the U.S. including Standing Rock, Alcatraz Island, Wounded Knee, Crow Dog’s Paradise, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Supporters have been invited to stand on the feet as an expression of solidarity – and be photographed. In summer 2021, Richmond Art Center also welcomed members of the community to do so.
About the Artist: Rigo 23 has exhibited his work internationally for over 30 years placing murals, paintings, sculptures, and tile work in public situations where viewers are encouraged to examine their relationship to their community, their role as unwitting advocates of public policy, and their place on a planet occupied by many other living things. His projects have included inter-communal collaborations with Native Tribes in North and South America; long-term partnerships with political prisoners; and alliances with underrepresented and disenfranchised individuals and communities. @rigo23studio @peltierstatue #freeleonardpeltier
About Richmond Art Center: Richmond Art Center has been sharing art and creating with the community since 1936. Our programs encompass classes, exhibitions and events at our facility in downtown Richmond, as well as off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools and community partners. richmondartcenter.org
For more information contact: Roberto Martinez, Curator, roberto [at] richmondartcenter.org
“THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT THING an individual can do is to become an individual again, decontrol himself, train himself as to what is going on and win back as much independent ground for himself as possible.”
A LUMP OF COAL
by Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite
Not all coal is the same. The lowest ranks – the closest to peat – are lignite and sub-bituminous coal, known in Britain as brown coal. These have been estimated to make up nearly a third of proved global reserves, but are not much exploited in areas where higher-grade coal is available, because they produce a lot of smoke and relatively little heat (they are also difficult to transport and store, not least because they can spontaneously combust). Next comes bituminous coal, or steam coal. Dark brown or black, and usually layered or banded, steam coal is widely used in electricity generation (by the 1970s, this was the destination of more than half the coal used in Britain). Dry steam coal was particularly in demand for use in steam ships, until the advent of the aeroplane and the oil tanker. Coking steam coal – which has a low sulphur content – is used to make coke, which is used in smelting iron ore. The highest rank of coal is anthracite, which burns the hottest and with the least smoke. It is black or steel grey, brilliant, and clean to touch. It used to power the Great Western Railway, and before gas-fired central heating became widespread, was a popular choice for domestic heating, because it produces little smoke or dust.
Coal has less orthodox uses, too. In a memoir written with her friend and fellow activist Betty Cook, Anne Scargill recalls attending a debate over the relative merits of nuclear power and coal with her husband, Arthur, president of the National Union of Mineworkers from 1981 to 2002. The scientist who was arguing for nuclear power had brought a rod of uranium in a plastic case and a piece of coal. He showed each to the audience, then held up his hands to demonstrate how dirty the coal had made his gloves. “What would you prefer?” he asked. “The nice, safe, clean technology of nuclear energy or Mr. Scargill’s dirty, polluting, nasty piece of coal?”
“When I was a young man working down the pit,” Scargill replied, “I occasionally suffered from dyspepsia and heartburn. I relieved the symptoms by sucking on a piece of coal, as it is a good antacid. I will eat this dirty lump of coal if this gentleman will eat his uranium rod.”
(London Review of Books)