THE CAUSE OF DEATH on Susan Keegan's death certificate has been changed from “accidental” to “homicide,” meaning that Doctor Peter Keegan better have the criminal defense lawyer he hired soon after his wife's highly improbable death all paid up.
DR. KEEGAN is represented by Keith Faulder, one of the best criminal defense attorneys around. Faulder, based in Ukiah, was hired by Keegan soon after Mrs. Keegan's death. Ordinarily, if a spouse dies in an accident his or her survivor doesn't feel the need to hire a criminal defense attorney to do nothing but wait around for charges to be filed.
YOU WILL RECALL that Mrs. Keegan allegedly died in a late night bathroom fall in November of 2010, managing to twice lacerate the top of her head in a vertical drop. Her gallant husband, the only other person in the house at the time of death, said Mrs. Keegan was drunk, and probably had been drinking on top of the medication he said she took. The doctor said his wife was addicted to both drink and pharmaceuticals, addictions that went unnoticed by Mrs. Keegan's many friends and unlikely in an active woman who got up early every morning and did things and was always busy in her Ukiah community.
THE COPS, perhaps operating on the assumption that Nice People like doctors don't murder their wives, seemed to take the doctor's word for the death of Mrs. Keegan rather than go carefully through the house on the usual cop assumption that things may not be what they seem, and the informant may be lying. One wonders if the responding officers even instituted the basic protocols professional investigators institute at an unlikely death scene? Probably not, because they saw nothing suspicious in Mrs. Keegan's death. Subsequent investigations have concluded the poor woman appears to have been bludgeoned to death.
WHICH EXPLAINS WHY the death certificate has been changed from accident to homicide. The DA has said the investigation is ongoing and the change means he's not just blowing smoke to keep Susan Keegan's many friends quiet. He'll have to proceed against the Doctor now.
DOCTOR KEEGAN wasted little time mourning the loss of his wife of thirty-two years, the mother of his two sons. He quickly hooked up with Elizabeth 'Libby' Crawford of Ukiah's old line ranch family. Ms. Crawford is active with the County's mental health advisory board so she's not unacquainted with aberrant behavior. But I wonder if she knows about the amended death certificate declaring that her predecessor in the affections of the Doctor had been murdered?
THE DOCTOR, who works at the Indian Health Center in Covelo, had been quick to brandish the old death certificate that said his wife had died in a bathroom fall. He isn't likely to brandish the re-write that strongly suggests he's a killer.
GOLDILOCKS IN ASHLAND? Two readers have reported that they caught glimpses of a young woman who “looked a lot like” Miss Audet, who seems to have departed the Mendocino Coast for points north. The two gentlemen spotted her in Ashland. “She was hanging around that fountain in the middle of town where lots of young derelicts hang out,” one man said. “I'm pretty sure it was her.”
PROBABLY. The last confirmed sighting two months ago placed Miss Audet in Garberville. She had her two dogs with her and seemed to be accompanied by an older grunge maybe in his mid-thirties. Ashland is a regular stop on the Lost Youth Trail which runs from Haight and Stanyan in San Francisco north to Portland and Seattle, with major stops in Ashland and Eugene.
THE GREAT SPEAKERS of truth to power at the Mendocino Environment Center are “roasting” Darryl Cherney on September 7th at Ukiah's Saturday Afternoon Club. For $25 you also get to watch Cherney's crude falsification called Who Bombed Judi Bari.
ONCE MORE for the slow kids in the back of the room: The Bari Bombing can be solved by the known DNA from the confession called the Lord's Avenger Letter. If law enforcement would subpoena DNA from a dozen or so people close to Bari, including members of her family, we'd know who did it. Will that happen? No. We're 23 years down the road and Cherney and Co. still milk the bombing by pretending it's just a big mystery.
IF IT'S STILL necessary to remind the intrepid “activists” of the MEC that an honest film on the Bari Bombing was made way back by Steve Talbot for KQED Television, there it is again. (On the off chance some lockstep political stoner is interested he or she can borrow my copy.) Talbot subsequently made documentary films for the Frontline Series on PBS. He's one of the best investigative reporters in the country, if not the best. His film is called Who Bombed Judi Bari. Cherney deliberately titled his film Who Bombed Judi Bari to confuse the easily confused, and if there's a more credulous group of easily confused persons in all of Mendocino County than the crew at the MEC they're probably out at the Mendocino County Office of Education.
TALBOT is on the record as saying that Bari herself told him she was bombed by her ex-husband, Mike Sweeney. You can believe him or you can go with the mythologists of the Cherney type. Bari also told me she was afraid of Sweeney, but not knowing her ex, and knowing Madam Bari to not be a particularly reliable informant, I had no way of assessing the truth of her statements about Sweeney. But her fears did seem to have been borne out by events, didn't they? I doubt Sweeney and Glenda (Anderson, the Ukiah reporter for the Press Democrat and Sweeney's love interest) will attend the Cherney roast.
SWEENEY, of course, is presently Mendocino County's lead garbage bureaucrat. I say 'of course' because Mendocino County is the rural self-reinvention capitol of America where you are whatever you say you are and history begins all over again every day.
SAN FRANCISCO’S MELKY CABRERA SUSPENDED. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced last Wednesday that San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension of Cabrera was effective immediately. The Melk Man packed his stuff and left the ballpark without so much as a goodbye to his teammates.
I'M WITH KIRK GIBSON. “Players should be suspended for a minimum of a year for their first offense, and repeat offenders should just be banned.” Kirk Gibson was a great ballplayer who never resorted to performance enhancing drugs. The Giants' Melky Cabrerra has been caught twice now, and don't tell me that the Giants didn't know before they signed him that he was suspect. A .275 hitter suddenly becomes a .350 hitter? Like everyone else, I wondered how he'd gone into MVP mode so fast, and I wondered why no other teams, other than the Anything Goes Boys at AT&T, were interested in signing him. It used to drive me wild to be at a Giants game when Bonds came up. Forty thousand enablers would leap to their feet cheering for the crook to knock another juice ball into McCovey Cove. Bonds was a truly great ballplayer before he went on the juice. Post-juice he hit a lot of homeruns but otherwise just lumbered around out there in left field like any other unathletic muscle freak. He and the other juicers almost wrecked the game for me, but like the rest of hardcore fandom I kept coming back anyway.
ENOUGH CHEAP MORALIZING. I'm here to suggest that Mendocino County's leading incompetents be put on performance enhancing drugs. Let's see if this stuff really works! Let's get Paul Tichinin, Linda Thompson, Bruce Richard, and the staff of the Press Democrat on The Clear. Think of it! Tichinin might master an 8th grade vocabulary. Richard might get his buses to go places people want to go at the times they need to go to them. Thompson might begin to defend people rather than let the DA handle both ends of the case. The Press Democrat? It'll take more than testosterone, but any drug would probably help.
THE BASSLER REPORT: It's now clear that both of Aaron Bassler's parents could have prevented Jere Melo's death with a phone call to the Sheriff's Department informing the police that Aaron had been in the area of his first shooting victim, Matt Coleman. Bassler's mother had driven her son, armed with an assault rifle, to the Rockport area off Highway One and dropped him off shortly before and in the immediate vicinity of Matt Coleman's murder on August 11th, 2011. Prior to driving him to Rockport, Mom had taken Aaron shopping at Safeway and Purity stores in Fort Bragg where Aaron, an isolate who roamed the forested vastness between Fort Bragg and the Humboldt County line where he grew marijuana and attempted to grow opium poppies, used his food stamp card to re-supply. On August 11th of 2011, Matt Coleman, a property manager for the Mendocino Land Trust, was found shot to death near where Bassler's mother had dropped her son off.
DID BASSLER'S mother know that Coleman had been murdered? Did it occur to her that her odd son may have done it? Even the most ill-informed Mendo Person is invariably aware of the more atrocious local events, and Mom must have known, at a minimum, her mountain man son would have been suspect number one. But she didn't relay her suspicions to the police. If she had, Aaron probably would have either been arrested or killed before he murdered Jere Melo.
ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 21st, at a Bassler family barbecue, James Bassler, Aaron's father, was informed by his former wife that she'd dropped Aaron off near where Coleman was murdered. According to the DA's report, James Bassler suggested to his former wife that she should tell the police that Aaron had been in the area of the Coleman shooting and that he had been armed. But neither James Bassler or his wife took that information to the police and, a week after the family barbecue, Aaron Bassler murdered Jere Melo.
ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER, not identified in the DA's report, had given Aaron the assault rife he used to commit both murders.
JAMES BASSLER has since said he'd sent a letter to his son's public defender warning that his son's apparent mental health was deteriorating, but that his warnings had been ignored. While he was incarcerated on prior drugged/drunken encounters with law enforcement, Aaron did not exhibit signs of mental illness, a solid indication that he was not mentally ill when he was away from drugs and alcohol, and not mentally ill in the clinical sense.
SO, THEN, this is the sad chronology:
• August 11th: Aaron Bassler shoots Matt Coleman to death near Rockport.
• August 21st: Bassler's parents agree that Aaron may have murdered Coleman but don't inform law enforcement.
• August 28: Jere Melo is shot to death by Bassler.
September 29: Bassler exchanges fire with an Alameda County swat team.
• October 1st: Aaron Bassler is shot to death by a Sacramento-based swat team.
A GUN GUY describes the weapon Aaron Bassler was carrying. “SKS comes in several iterations. The only one legal in California is the 10 round, fixed (swing down magazine) which can be loaded from the top with five round stripper clips. There were also versions with 20 and 30 round fixed magazines (also swingdown), but they were banned under an addition to the California ‘assault weapons’ ban. There is a fourth type of SKS which uses detachable magazines which also fit the AK47. This fourth type was initially banned under the ‘assault weapons’ ban, although similar rifles and carbines made in the US were not banned (Ruger's Mini 14 and Mini 30 as well as the M1 carbine from World War II).
“THE SKS's are relatively accurate, very reliable, and very inexpensive before their importation was banned. I bought mine (the still legal 10 round version) for around $110 as I remember. I'm not sure if the ‘Sporter’ designation is only for one of these versions or just a Norinco marketing label. Might mean that it doesn't have a flash suppressor or a bayonet attachment point which might have allowed importation. The SKS was initially made in the Soviet Union and then was also manufactured in the Warsaw Pact countries as well as China.”
OF COURSE MENDO being Mendo, the second guessers and the therapy brigades are claiming (1) Bassler was summarily executed by the Sacramento swat team and (2) he was mentally ill; that if Mendocino County had offered the array of non-compulsory mental health strategies combined into Laura's Law three people might still be alive.
THE EVIDENCE is that Bassler, off drugs/alcohol, wasn't any crazier than, say, the current roster of the Mendocino List Serve. Anyone who follows the daily police logs knows that the police spend a good part of their work day sorting out people who, to varying degrees, are crazy or are doing crazy things under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Considering who they're working with, Mendocino County's police forces do a very good job, seldom resorting to force.
SHOULDN'T the cops have yelled at Bassler to surrender before they shot him. No, they didn't have time. Bassler had suddenly appeared in front of them walking rapidly towards their position with his finger on the trigger of a weapon that can put out a lot of fire very fast. It was a matter of the cops shooting him before he could shoot at them.
AT MONDAY’S MEETING of the Fort Bragg City Council, Mayor Dave Turner honored Ian Chaney for his bravery and actions on August 27th, 2011, when Chaney and the late Jere Melo came under fire from Aaron Bassler. Melo was shot to death, Chaney narrowly escaped. The young man makes his way as a tile setter, a very good one we understand, sooooooo if you need that work you might give Chaney Tile a call.
AT THEIR TUESDAY MEETING last week, the Supervisors rejected a proposal from the County’s retirement system to hire a full-time finance and investment officer. The Mendocino County Auditor-Controller's Office presently helps out part-time via a work-share arrangement between the County and the Mendocino County Employees Retirement Association. Retirement Administrator Rich White said he wanted a 40-hour-a-week position that would pay $60,147 not including benefits.
SUPERVISORS Hamburg and Smith (who throw their own nickels around like manhole covers but have never met a County-paid junket they didn't like) thought another high-paying, full-time County bureaucrat was a swell idea. Pinches, Brown and McCowen voted NO.
BESIDES WHICH as AVA reader Jim Hill points out: “Given that pension plans are typically heavily invested in bonds, and the current 10-year treasury rate is 1.48%, it is going to be damn difficult (most likely impossible) for pension plans to come close to the annualized projection of 7.75%.”
OOPS: Jennifer Poole writes: “Willits short on food kitchens? My bet is Willits gives away more food per capita than any other town in Mendocino County. There’s brown bag lunches in the park across from City Hall on Saturdays; the Methodist Church food pantry where anyone needing food can get it (they have emergency grocery money, too, but that, I’m quite sure, doesn’t go to the street guys); and Our Daily Bread, hot homemade soup and bread Monday through Thursday at the Catholic Church, with a “snack bag” provided for Friday. The biggest provider: Willits Food Bank, which as of the latest report distributes more than 20,000 pounds of food each month, serving about 1,100 local people monthly. Another note: The Willits Gleaners: I’m not sure if other towns have followed suit on this idea, but for some years now, Willits volunteers go and harvest extra and unwanted fruit from orchard trees, as well as garden produce, donating all to the food bank, Senior Center, etc. We have our share of what one of my friends who cleans up after them calls “hobos” — lots of bridges in Willits to sleep under and other areas where we know (and the cops know) they sleep.”
THE US TAX COURT has issued a ruling that medical marijuana operations cannot declare standard deductions such as rent. Dispensaries must pay taxes on sales but aren't allowed to claim most deductions because “We have previously held that a California medical marijuana dispensary’s dispensing of medical marijuana pursuant to the CCUA was ‘trafficking’ within the meaning of section 280E. See CHAMP, 128 T.C. at 182-183. That holding applies here with full force… Congress in section 280E has set an illegality under Federal law as one trigger to preclude a taxpayer from deducting expenses incurred in a medical marijuana dispensary business. This is true even if the business is legal under State law.”
CRIME OF THE WEEK: At approximately 12:00 noon on Wednesday, the 15th, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Utah Highway Patrol that they had stopped a pickup truck on US I-80 westbound outside Salt Lake City for a traffic violation. “Officers deployed a K-9 trained to detect narcotics. The K-9 indicated there were narcotics possibly in an after-market fuel tank located in the bed of the pickup truck. The officers looked in the fuel tank and located a hidden compartment containing $500,000 in US Currency. Larry Edward Treadaway, 61, of Island Mountain, Southern Humboldt County, was arrested for money laundering, transportation of contraband in a hidden compartment and conspiracy to distribute contraband, all felonies in Utah. On Treadaway's 37-acres on South Face Road, Island Mountain, Humboldt County deputies found five large green houses containing growing marijuana and outdoor growing marijuana plants. Deputies seized 1,242 growing marijuana plants approximately five feet in height, along with approximately 65 pounds of processed marijuana, 232 pounds of drying marijuana bud, 46 pounds of marijuana bud packaged for sale in one pound bags, and $10,000 in US Currency. The Sheriff’s Office will be seeking an arrest warrant through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for Treadaway. The charges requested will be for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has also been contacted and is assisting with the investigation and evaluating for possible federal charges.”
TREADAWAY was stopped for failing to signal before making a lane change. But his truck also had California plates and that big extra gas tank resting in the bed of the truck.
THE MENDOCINO COUNTY Environmental Health Department and the CHP reported last week that a “Redwood Coast Fuels tanker hauling 1,800 gallons of diesel west on Orr Springs Road when it ran off the south edge of the road, rolled and hit a tree, causing 500 gallons of the fuel to spill into Ackerman Creek.”
TURNS OUT the tanker had indeed spilled 400 gallons of diesel on Wednesday, August 8th, but the fuel went into the soil on the bank of the creek, just west of Montgomery Woods and was cleaned up before it reached the water. Redwood Coast Fuels sent an empty truck to offload the remaining fuel from their damaged tanker and had Paulson Excavating was on scene within two hours of the accident to start the clean up process under the direction of Fish and Game and Environmental Health. Paulson's crew worked through the weekend and continued Monday and Tuesday to remove the spilled diesel before any of it could reach the creek.
MENDOCINO COUNTY grape growers and vintners are re-organizing as a non-profit called Mendocino WineGrowers, Inc. to advance their interests which, as we know, reign supreme in Mendocino County. There are some 300 grape growers and at least a hundred wineries. The Mexican immigrants who make the industry possible are unorganized, and the one time they were organized with the UFW, the County's wine industry immediately counter-attacked, holding union-busting seminars and, with Roederer leading the way, decertified the Roederer UFW local and, it is clear, circulated a kind of blacklist ensuring that pro-union field workers would not find work in Mendocino County. The County's wine people had been organized into a dues paying association with a couple of paid staffers. This new group will be tax-exempt, a charity, because you see, they will be doing so much public good.
STAN ANDERSON isn't a bad guy. He was right to be angry that I'd taken liberties with his press releases announcing the County's Republican Central Committee meetings. But Stan didn't seem to realize that I was trying to help him. Really, who reads press releases? But if they're livened up a bit, heck, that random eye roaming the long columns of grey might be arrested.
HERE'S THE LATEST announcement from Stan, which reads, “Republicans to Meet in Willits. The Mendocino County Republican Central Committee will meet Saturday, August 25, 2012, 10am-Noon at 235 Haehl Creek Court, Willits. For further information contact: Stan Anderson, 707-321-2592.”
BUT IF IT'S FLESHED OUT a bit, elaborated on, vivified here and there, Stan might get a few more people showing up. To that end…
IT'S NOT STAN'S fault that the party of Lincoln was long ago taken over by lunatics, the coup now complete with the bland sociopath Romney, an offshore patriot, and a Randian nut pie named Ryan, are the grand old party's current standard bearers. The times are a topsy-turvy for a fact, and anyone who thinks Ayn Rand was (1) a good writer and (2) an inspirational political figure well, this country is in deeper trouble than even us pessimists have thought.
DO YOU REMEMBER the 15th smartest person in your high school? The kid who never quite got it? The girl who got straight A's but would give speeches at pep rallies about how important it was for “everyone to stand up for the kick-off”? The boy who campaigned to be sophomore class treasurer? They grew up to be Randians.
I'VE NEVER MET a Randian who wasn't deeply crazy, and if you'd like to help make them foam-lipped crazier, point out that the old girl herself, that great Government Is For Sissies multi-millionaire, grabbed every possible government benefit for herself that she could, including all the tax breaks the rich have come to assume as their birthright, plus Social Security and Medicare benefits. Rand was basically a Fox News Republican.
WHERE WERE WE? Stan Anderson. Mendocino County Republicans. In Mendoland, Stan and his party are like polar bears stranded on a lonely ice floe in the melting Arctic, an endangered species swimming in a rural sea of lib-labs.
STAN, OLD BOY, let me break it down for you. In the crunch, most libs will be with you and the Republicans. The only Americans who vote are comfortable people, people happy with what they've got, people who will kill to keep it — active Democrats and Republicans, in other words.
ECONOMICS? No difference between the two parties. They're both wedded heart and soul to THE MONEY. On social issues the differences can be stark. Libs are generally nicer to women but, as graduates of Mendocino County's Big Naked Solstice Parties, won't hesitate to hop your wife (or husband) if the opportunity arises. Libs are also blithely for abortion, legalized dope, prison reform (unless they're a crime victim), racial equality (at least in theory — if black people had repeatedly rampaged through Oakland like white Occupy has, the libs would have called out the National Guard with shoot to kill orders). Libs are pro labor except for wine industry labor, pro-government and they simply love the non-profits because the libs occupy most of the good paying government and non-profit jobs; pro gay marriage because most of the gays who want to get married are solidly, securely middleclass. Liberals are for this stuff because it doesn't cost them anything. Stuff that costs them, they're opposed.
THE BIG DIFFERENCE between the two parties right now is that the Republicans will make things worse faster. With Democrats things will get worse a littler slower. Romney or Obama will exacerbate ALL the looming catastrophes, environmental and economic. People who struggle, which is at least half our population, are screwed whomever is elected. Which they know, and which is why they don't bother to vote.
ROGER MOBLEY'S resignation from Planning and Building has prompted the usual flurry of insincere well wishes from County CEO Carmel Angelo, but Mobley's family lives seven hours to the south and it was always fairly clear Mobes was merely passing through. Recruitment for the Director's position closed a couple of months ago, but no decision has been made to appoint anyone in his place, as Angelo vaguely talks of re-structuring the office. Mobley joins the list of department heads — Water Agency head Roland Sanford, former Planning Chief Nash Gonzalez, librarian Melanie Lightbody, Ag Commish Tony Linegar, Chief Probation Officer Wes Forman, Public Defender Wes Hamilton, and several personnel managers — who have gotten out in recent years while the getting is still good.
SANFORD, by the way, lives in Santa Rosa; he's out the door on Thursday and is back sometime Monday. He runs his own consulting business on the side but, of course, Mendo being Mendo, he'd been hired back as a consultant here, too.
MS. LIGHTBODY'S husband lives in Oregon and she, too, presumably spent a lot of time on the road. Or skyped him once in a while.
PHONY CLAIM ALERT! Megan Lowery said she was attacked by bats last week during a yoga retreat at Oz Farm near Point Arena. She says that she and several other yogis, out of fear that they'd been bitten by rabid bats and perhaps robbed of their precious bodily fluids as they slept. Now Ms. Lowery says, they will now have to undergo a series of “painful” rabies shots that aren't covered by their insurance. (Are they painful anymore? Haven't rabies shots been rendered pain-free? However, the Mendocino County Health Department has said the bats got at the yogis through open windows, that the yogis had been sleeping with their windows open.
BUT MS. LOWERY said she was fully prepped on bat hazards and her windows at Oz had been closed, suggesting that the bats were already in the room when she and a roommate turned in. She claims Oz had forewarned them what to do if bats buzzed them at night, a warning Ms. Lowery claims implies that bats pre-existed in her belfry, so to speak.
MS. LOWERY said she had puncture marks on a couple of her fingers and her roommate's wrist was bruised with puncture marks in the bruise, and that bats were responsible. On their second night at Oz, Ms. Lowery and her roomie say they were again buzzed by bats and Ms. Lowery was forced to spend the night on a couch in the Oz kitchen while her roommate slept in her car. The upshot of the bat attack, Ms. Lowery says, is $3,000 in rabies shots that her insurance carrier won't cover. She claims Oz said they'd pay for the shots but have since reneged. She also claims that Oz's management was aware that bats can get into the cabins but have failed to do anything about it.
A RATHER STARTLING story in Sunday's Press Democrat describes a meeting of rural sheriffs from sparsely populated NorCal counties convened in Ukiah by Mendo Sheriff Tom Allman, the cops being some kind of offshoot of a wacky outfit called Support Rural America. The event was co-sponsored by something called “The Ukiah Valley Patriots” whose secretary is identified as Robin Carter. Trying to decode Glenda Anderson's murky prose is never easy, but I concluded that Support Rural America, which comes with its own 5150 website, thinks the federal government is too tough on the extractive industries, meaning somewhere corporate money blew all this wrongheadedness into existence and is using rural sheriffs to advance the Koch Brothers’ political agenda.
UKIAH VALLEY PATRIOTS? The implication is the rest of us aren't. Patriots, that is. If you don't sign on to the weepy nonsense below you're not an American. Worse, you might even be a liberal!
OUR SHERIFF ALLMAN was quoted by Glenda Anderson of the PD that he “agrees with Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tough stand on illegal immigration,” a statement the Sheriff indignantly denied Monday afternoon and wasn't exactly clicking his heels in delight that we'd repeated it in our on-line edition. “Glenda Anderson was NOT correct in her quotes she attributed to me,” Allman said. The Sheriff went on to say that he thought the federal government should be responsible for the cost of detaining illegals and that illegals who commit crimes here should be turned over to ICE. Those are positions most of us, the AVA included, agrees with. Arpaio's other, more extreme views and actions are not shared by Sheriff Allman.
ROBIN CARTER, the Ukiah patriot, says she (?) believes “the federal government is growing and beginning to press against people's private property rights through overzealous enforcement of regulations.” Names, Robin, names!
AT THE PATRIOT'S WEBSITE we find that the resident intellectual calls himself John Galt who, ta da! also happens to be the name of the hero of Atlas Shrugged, a novel popular with Fox News viewers who have read one book — the wrong one. We also find a maudlin and completely wrong poem (I guess) based on Pastor Niemoller's famous rhetorical cry during the Nazi period that if you sit still for crimes against certain people or certain groups of people, eventually The Evil Ones will get around to you.
ARPAIO is of course popular with Mex Bashers, the people who think everything gone wrong with America is the fault of Mexican immigrants. The Mex Bashers or their parents and grandparents used to say that everything gone wrong with America began with the black civil rights movement. Then, for a while there, blacks and hippies ran neck and neck for the Everything Gone Wrong trophy. Lately, the libs are catching it, having been re-dubbed “The Left.”
THEN THERE'S THIS weepy bullshit from these cry babies:
“They came for the loggers ... but no one defended them. Now we buy lumber from Canada.” (The corporations came for the timber, cut it all down and ran away with the money. LP moved the Potter Valley mill to Mexico, for chrissakes.)
“They came for the coal miners ... but no one defended them. Now we need more oil.” (Coal miners are defended by most people other than mine owners who force miners to work in unsafe conditions so the coal companies can make the huge profits they've made for years now.)
“They came for the oil drillers ... but no one defended them. Now we buy it from the Middle East.” (We've always bought MidEast oil, cheap too, and overthrown any Middle East dictator that got in the way beginning with Mossedegh in what? 1955? And he wasn't a dictator. Cheap oil from the Middle East keeps our lard-assed population driving around on cheap fuel in super-sized vehicles. Why do you think we went to war with Iraq and Afghanistan? So Fatso and Watso can drive to their Big Macs, that's why.)
“They came for the fishermen ... but no one defended them. Now we buy from countries with polluted waters.” (Everyone defends fishermen, and our waters are among the most polluted on earth. And the salmon just got back. Go figure.)
“They came for the clean hydro-power dams ... but no one defended them. Now electric rates are sky high.” (America has the lowest electric rates in the world even without dams. Er, been to Shasta lately?)
They came for the miners ... but no one defended them. Now government controls the mineral rights. (Please, spare me. Or are you for drilling in Yosemite?)
“They came for the ranchers ... but no one defended them. Now the beef comes from foreign countries.” (Simply untrue, besides which cattle ranchers everywhere in the country, including Mendo, often enjoy sweetheart deals with the feds to graze their beasts on public land.)
“They came for the farmers ... but no one defended them. Now Americans must buy foreign food AND foreign oil.” (Mandatory chow mein? I'll have the Joe's Special with a side order of foreign oil?)
“Then they came for me and my family ... But there was no one left to defend US!” (Ugly and dumb as you and your family are, if you'll come to Boonville I'll see what I can do for you.)
AVA READERS may recall our encounters with the late Yvonne Sligh when she was Mendocino College’s librarian. We clashed with the old girl when she refused to carry the AVA among her many periodicals. The college hasn't carried the paper since out of hostility and probably because its faculty, well, if you meet one with a pulse, let us know. A dim bunch based on our limited experience with them, but then.... Well, don't get us started on the national faculty. Anyway, it was fun to mess with Yvonne. One day I asked her if she would give me a hug, “because,” I said, “despite our differences, Yvonne, I think you're doing a great job.” She shrank back. “Heavens, no!” she exclaimed.
MS. SLIGH finally agreed to carry the paper but hid it away on top of a top shelf where the County's most dangerous publication to the moral well being of Mendocino County youth was placed three feet above eye level, and where short students would have needed a ladder to reach it. The College, at the time, was heavy on the worst kind of Christians, none of them much for learning, and we soon learned that Yvonne thought it was God's will that we be kept to heck outta her library named, by the way, after Leroy Lowery, the college's first prexy who bragged at its opening that he hadn't read a book in 20 years. And he did the hiring!
WE THOUGHT of our old pal Yvonne when we saw Ms. Morgan Perry featured in Sunday’s Ukiah Daily Journal’s “ACHIEVER” series as recipient of the “Yvonne Sligh Book Award” worth $150. Ms. Perry says she'll use the money to buy a trigonometry textbook for the Math 121 taught by Ms. Leslie Banta. Ms. Perry says she wants to be a nurse, and apparently trig is part of that curriculum.
ACCORDING TO Ms. Banta’s class description: “This course will explore the mathematical uses and implications of triangles with its focus on the six trigonometric functions, the inverse trigonometric functions, and their graphs. Students will learn to solve triangles, apply trigonometry to physical phenomena, and work with the trigonometric functions in an algebraic setting. Topics will also include De Moivre's Theorem and applications with vectors. A graphing calculator will be required for the course. Textbook Information: Trigonometry & MyMathLab Student Acc Kit Pk, Ratti ISBN 0321614704 Edition 1 (Required.)”
WHEN WE GOOGLED this textbook with Student Acc Kit Pk, we discovered that it retails for $190 but can be had (new) for as low as $140. However, we discovered Trig for Dummies for about $14 and an even better “Trigonometry” text for absolutely free, downloadable.
TRIG HAS BEEN around for hundreds of years. How fancy a trig book does one need to master it? True, the $140-$190 book comes with a “Student Acc Kit Pk,” but why pay that kind of money for a book you'll only use once?
GRAPHING CALCULATORS go for about $100 or so, although there are also free downloadable graphing calculator software programs.
THE POINT? Why would a community college instructor require a young trig student to buy a $150 trig book and a $100 calculator when there are so many options available that are cheaper or free? (And in this case, the instructor isn’t even the author of the textbook, the usual scam college instructors use to bilk the young.)
WE HAD TO READ IT several times before it sunk in. According to CEO Carmel Angelo’s CEO report, 17 lawyers have applied to replace Jeanine Nadel as Mendocino County Counsel. A list of the applicants has been provided to the Board of Supervisors. “We will be working through that over the next two weeks,” said Ms. Angelo last Tuesday.
MENDOCINO COUNTY pays $13.5 million per year for their portion of employee health insurance. This mighty contribution is expected to go up to over $15 million a year. Claims data shows that the County’s estimated increase of 10% for this fiscal year has been significantly exceeded. “If we’re off by a few hundred thousand,” said Angelo in a more casual tone than we’d like to hear, “we will have to make that adjustment at first quarter report to the Board.” In answer to some questions from Supervisor John Pinches, Angelo agreed that whichever option the Board chooses to try to accommodate the health insurance increases (by lowering coverage, increasing deductibles, putting more on the employees, etc.), “it will be a significant budgetary increase.”
IN MONDAY'S PRESS DEMOCRAT, we find this telling paragraph: “For 564 pensioners who entered the system since the start of 2010, the breakdown is more detailed. For data on the rest, the retirement association charged The Press Democrat about $8,500 to generate records the system did not have.”
CLOSER TO HOME, the Supes argued at length last week whether or not their new pension fund manager should get an expensive assistant. The answer was no. But Mr. White's alleged oversight board at the County's pension fund told their new administrator to go ahead and get a consulting accountant to help him out. White's plea for a full-time assistant was not, to put it mildly, convincing. The accountant he will get anyway from his own board will cost the fund about as much as the assistant would have cost. The fund, by the way, is heavily invested in the stock market on the assumption that their investments will yield 7.75 percent over the long haul. As Supervisor Pinches pointed out, the pension fund pays more than 33 advisors to point the fund's money at the most lucrative stocks. Rockefeller doesn't pay 33 stock advisors. The Rockefellers, like most of the One Percenters, have a small team of very smart lawyers with accounting degrees managing their money. If I were a County employee under the age of 60 I'd be planning my retirement on the assumption that the County's pension fund won't be paying anyone a nickel five years down the line. Yes, the stock market is up right now. No, it won't stay up much longer, especially with the European banks falling like the proverbial dominoes, and the big banks are all related.
FROM LAST WEEK’S Fort Bragg Advocate Court Report: “Shen C. He, Soky Peav, Hong Q. Zhang, and Vivian H. Zhang all were charged with starting to take abalone before starting time and also for altering their report cards. Judge Brennan dismissed the early start time in the interest of justice but either forgot about the altering of the abalone report cards or intended that they be dismissed too. The deputy DA did not remind him of the second charge; so, everything was dismissed.”