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PRECIPITATION is expected to continue through Monday morning, with continuous heavy snowfall on the western ridges of the Klamath Mountains above 2000 ft. Thunder and accumulating small hail is possible once again along the coast today. Snow levels rise this morning then fall again tonight through Monday, possibly bringing up to 2 inches of snow near sea level tonight. Seasonably cold weather is then expected through the work week, with additional rounds of light precip possible. (NWS)
LAST YEAR'S RAINFALL TOTALS for Boonville was 16.7" and Yorkville 21.6". A week ago both those figures had already been surpassed for this year, and since then Boonville received an additional 3.8" and Yorkville 5.2". Current ytd totals (since Oct 1) are now Boonville 20.6" and Yorkville 27.8" with more forecast this holiday week.
MENDO’S CRISIS-OUTREACH UNIT PILOT PROGRAM: Half a year of helping Mendo’s mentally ill and their families
by Mark Scaramella
Since mid-June of this year, the Crisis Van has responded to more than forty crises, operating 40+hours per week mostly out of the Ukiah Valley area with a few calls responded to in Willits, Laytonville and Anderson Valley. A second psych tech has been hired and is expected to be deployed early in the new year. Several more positions are funded but still vacant, one of which is expected to serve on the Mendocino Coast.
Two vehicles have been assigned to the program in recent days; previously the psych tech responded with law enforcement officers in patrol vehicles. With the introduction of their own vehicles, the crisis units are expected to be able to do more outreach.
For the six months that the single Crisis Unit has been in operation, it has averaged about six calls a month.
Although the function of the Crisis Van is somewhat different, these numbers are about the same order of magnitude as those reported for the short-lived Mobile Outreach Unit that operated in 2016-2017 before it was disbanded when the psych tech retired. Although this original crisis effort was funded, official Mendo made no serious effort to re-start it or even ask any questions about it.
Only four of the calls since June involved a person found to be “5150,” a threat to self or others or gravely disabled. 15 calls involved people who had been arrested before or, as they are designated by police, "known to law enforcement.
Given the circumstances most Mendolanders live in — precarious housing and low income (almost half of Mendocino County's population is on one kind of aid or another, mainly food stamps) crisis calls are surprisingly low, yet Mendo manages to spend almost $30 million a year on mental health services, if the combined privatized Schrader’s sole-source contract with the 40-plus employees with the County’s mental health administrative office staff.
After we reported on the Crisis Van status last week, AVA former Mendo social worker James Marmon wrote:
“I’ve never been a big fan of the crisis vans because I think they are a waste of money. What I’ve always felt was necessary and more cost effective is ‘Outreach Teams.” I worked on an outreach team in Sacramento in the late 90s. Getting out to people before they reach a crisis state is much more beneficial for all involved. If family members are concerned that their loved one is falling apart they can call the outreach team for an intervention. Law enforcement can be called in for backup if warranted. Street Outreach works well too. We used to go out to where the homeless were, get to know them, and offer services. By doing so you don’t want to come across as adversarial in order to gain their trust. Dragging a cop around with you can be counter productive in most cases. The biggest issue with setting up teams like this is funding. The Schraeders can’t bill MediCal unless a person is really in Crisis. CEO Angelo, who now controls the Measure B purse, would do everyone but the Schraeders a favor if she would look into and consider turning these crisis vans into pre-crisis vans staffed with outreach teams.”
But as we pointed out to Mr. Marmon, the crisis van is not sitting around idle waiting for 911 calls. Crisis Response and Outreach Services are overlapping and not mutually exclusive.
To confirm that we asked Sheriff Kendall about the operation of the crisis van when not responding to crisis calls.
Sheriff Kendall replied:
“Of course, they are doing outreach as well. They have several clients they make a strong connection with and basically provide them with ‘maintenance.’ They also respond with my deputies when there is a serious issue, not involving a 911 call. You have to remember sometimes it’s feast or famine. Although there may not be an emergency every moment, they have plenty of work to keep them busy by taking a proactive response with folks who have been frequently needing the services.”
Most of those people who “have been frequently needing the services” are already known to both the Sheriff’s staff and as experience accumulates, the Crisis Van tech(s).
We previously summarized the Crisis Van response log for the first couple of months a few months ago.
We have since obtained the crisis van response log for July through December and because the calls are never simple, we will start with a summary of the next batch of calls (July and August) to give additional examples of the situations the Crisis Van is summoned for:
• Caucasian male, 52, not 5150. Willits. Deputies dispatched to person locking himself in the attic of his worksite; his boss (whom he had worked for for 12 years) reported he was stating “they're out to get me.” Person's boss did not know what he was talking about. Deputy was able to de-escalate and drive him to Howard Memorial. Patient was able to get his vitals taken; he refused to trust anybody except one particular deputy and would not allow any procedures done without that deputy present. The man's wife met him at the hospital and he was discharged, stating he was going to fill his prescriptions and that he would be back the following morning to check the rest of his labwork. Patient said he had never expressed symptoms/paranoia like this before. He told the deputy that his daughter had schizophrenia. The man committed suicide later in July.
• Asian Indian male, 33 years old. Redwood Valley. Autistic, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, Anxiety, Depression and medical diagnosis of small intestine problems. Dispatched by Medical/Ambulance staff due to a woman’s call that her “son was unwell.” The woman reported patient beginning to be agitated and jumping up and down and making loud noises. Medical declared nothing physically wrong with him; Crisis van worker arrived on scene with two deputies. Patient and mother were provided with resources/phone number for further contact if needed. Situation de-escalated although patient was cooperative and medical had helped de-escalate the situation prior to Crisis Van arrival. Patient was open to accepting services and requested possibilities of proper prescriptions/medications. Patient had history of mental illness and drug abuse, primarily marijuana. Mother also reported that the patient “snorted caffeine” and was “possibly using methamphetamine.” Patient later declined services.
• Hispanic male, 34. Hopland. Patient himself reports “years of mental illness” Family reports, “We haven't gotten him help … he's just crazy.” Deputies were dispatched by patient's parents due to reports of “being fearful of their son.” Parents reported patient being angry and throwing things around upstairs. Parents reported history of mental illness, although they reported not seeking help due to lack of knowledge and normalizing his behavior as “he's just being crazy.” Response Team determined patient did not meet 5150 criteria (was not making threatening statements to self or others and was able to actively drink water/eat food). Patient and mother provided with resources including Mendocino Outreach Program Services (MOPS; brochure in Spanish) and also telephone numbers for Crisis hotline and Mendocino County Warm Line. Although patient was verbally aggressive with others, no crimes were reported. Illness likely co-occuring with substance abuse (likely methamphetamine/heroine due to scratch marks/scabs on patient's face). Previously made suicidal statements. Patient ultimately refused resources/offers for services.
• Caucasian female, 56, Homeless. Likely history/possible substance abuse with relative. Deputies were dispatched to unknown individual lying on the ground in front of businesses/apartments. The woman was unable to report her name at the time (claiming she “forgot” it. … “I don't want a name.” Deputies were dispatched to Raley's because employees said patient was “bothering customers” and “falling asleep in front of the doors and on the tables. Patient was pantless, shoeless, and sockless. A later call saw a deputy arrive on scene who was able to have patient cooperate mental health worker who transported the patient to a Ukiah Homeless Shelter. Shelter provided patient with socks and shoes. Patient then taken to Cooling Off Shelter (Ukiah Community Center) and provided with alternate resources. Next day deputies arrived when patient was yelling and protesting directions to leave the premises. She refused help, becoming louder and more uncooperative; patient refused to leave; Deputies arrested patient for trespassing and violation of probation. Patient can be verbally aggressive with others. Patient likely under the influence (unknown substance; evidenced by pinpoint pupils, lack of teeth).” Call resulted in arrest.
• Native American female, 37, Covelo. Patient not under influence but has history of substance abuse and trauma. Tribal Police called Sheriff’s deputies due to erratic behavior of patient (yelling, screaming, impatience, paranoia in the home, causing a disturbance at the local school. Also, concern over 3 minor children living in the residence with patient causing concern over health and safety concerns). Did not meet 5150 criteria. Patient was paranoid that the County would take her kids away (triggered by social workers’ talk of and concern for children). Patient has tested clean the last two times County social workers have tested her. Patient refused resources and services and was reportedly escalating, saying that she was “angry [we] were there.”
• Hispanic Male, 24 years old, Ukiah. Schizoaffective Disorder (per sister). Deputies were dispatched to patient's family home on in August due to patient stabbing 13-year-old family dog (chihuahua) stating “I was afraid of it”; patient was arreested and charged with harm to animals; Family filed paperwork in order to evict patient from home (reportedly due to patient refusing to take medication for illness); Sheriff’s office requested Mental Health staff to be on-hand during eviction. Mental Health staff was able to contact patient's sister in order to get background information prior to eviction; patient was still incarcerated at the time and Mental Health staff was unable to contact him. The patient subsequently received medication while incarcerated; patient still incarcerated at the time of the report.
CHRIS ‘CJ’ JONES WISHES ALL HIS FRIENDS IN BOONVILLE AND UKIAH A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT
As 2021 Comes To An End and we are looking forward to the holidays, I wanted to take a few minutes to reach out to Mendocino County and thank our communities for their continued support of our personnel at the Sheriff’s Office.
The public support you continue to provide to the deputies, dispatchers, corrections and professional staff at the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t go unheard. And please understand we simply couldn’t complete our duties without your support. Through natural disasters, the pandemic and some extremely uncertain times we have continued to stand together.
This year I again received calls, letters, and emails from the community. These letters were expressing thanks and gratitude for the communities we serve.
We also had the pleasure of speaking with a few former inmates from the county jail who reached out letting us know they were appreciative of the treatment they received while in custody and stories of the new lives they are living.
Many folks have let us know they understand our staff won’t be able to spend time with their families as we work holidays, therefore the cards and letters we received from you will be displayed for our personnel at the stations.
2021 was a very eventful year. It had several trying moments as well as several moments of triumph. Staffing has been an issue and crime simply isn’t going away. We have all seen the news and realize the challenges in our county are also the challenges in our nation.
Recently we have seen the sudden about face of many officials across the state who were once calling for less policing. Now many of them are facing the reality which all of us face daily. We can’t forget the victims of crime. There is a portion of our population who commit crime and there is a need for the men and women who serve our communities in uniform.
Many of the people who serve our communities came from the same towns they are serving in now. We simply don’t have the clinical detachment that often occurs in the urban areas. It is very apparent to me that our deputies work harder to serve a community they are attached to. In Mendocino County we are all neighbors.
Please accept my thanks and appreciation for the support of my personnel while remembering they are also your personnel. Stay safe and healthy, please enjoy your time with family and friends over the holidays.
— Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall
MISSING SANTA ROSA GIRL, 13, RETURNS HOME SAFELY
by Colin Atagi
A 13-year-old Santa Rosa girl who hadn’t been seen since Sunday returned home safely, police said late Friday night.
“We are happy to share that Sofia Glimidakis has returned home and is safe,” Santa Rosa police said in a Nixle alert.
“Thank you to the many concerned community members who reached out and provided us with important information,” the alert said, without providing any details.
Sofia Glimidakis left her home near Summerfield Road and Golf View Court on Sunday and had communicated with family via phone until Wednesday, police said.
Officers were notified of her disappearance about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
GOOD NEWS FOR FORT BRAGG: The City of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County will receive $8.8 million for structural lining and reconstruction of 9,250 feet of pipeline that supplies over half the water used by the city, which faced acute water supply challenges earlier this year. The project will strengthen resilience by ensuring reliable delivery of water during future drought events.
NAVARRO RIVER AT THE GREENWOOD BRIDGE, Christmas, 2021.
FROM GORDON BLACK:
Here is a Merry part of my Christmas, intoning Ludwig Bemelmans' children's poem Madeline's Christmas in a musical production by Lanny Myers. (4 minutes.)
Marilyn Davin Writes: While leafing through the Christmas Eve mail imagine my surprise when I found a Return to Sender letter from the Mendocino County Jail stating that "Your inmate's mail must now be addressed to:
- Facility Name
- Inmate Name
- Booking Number
- PO Box 30022 PMB 35803
- Durham, NC 27702
The returned letter was to William A Evers, aka Redbeard, and it was in response to a letter he wrote to me following our interview at the jail over three weeks ago. As promised, I wrote back to him right away with more questions for him. The address I sent the letter to was verbatim what I copied from the jail website:
When mailing a letter or postcard to an inmate, please address your mail as follows:
Inmate's First and Last Name (Housing unit and inmate # if known)
c/o Mendocino County Correctional Facility
951 Low Gap Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
I included all those things in the address I used, and additionally added Redbeard's inmate number, which he had sent me. Oh, and it took them over three weeks to return the letter to me.
This is not only harassment but a blatant violation of an inmate's right to receive mail. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation states that this right is addressed in Article 4 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) and Chapter 5, Article 41, of the Departments Operation Manual. It is also the opinion of the ACLU that an inmate's right to receive mail is enshrined in the U.S Constitution's First Amendment.
This is truly beyond the pale. The powers that be could have forwarded the letter to what appears to be some sort of clearing house in North Carolina just as easily as returning it to me, particularly since the website provides the mailing address that I used.
Inmates have as much right to receive mail as anyone else.
$100,000 RESILIENCE GRANT AWARDED
The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians’ Pomo Inter-Tribal Resiliency Hub will provide year-round workshops on climate adaptation, including demonstration projects on rainwater catchment systems, greywater systems, firesafe landscaping, aquaponics, and emergency response.
“The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians have been increasingly impacted by the changing climate, with catastrophic wildfires causing evacuations and unhealthy air quality, drought and extreme heat leading to food and water insecurity, and the loss of traditional foods, teas, fibers and medicines,” said Tribal Chairman Sonny J. Elliott. “Hopland Tribe is collaborating with PG&E in increasing inter-Tribal resiliency to climate change, and will be coordinating workshops and demonstration projects with the grant. Resilience hubs projects will provide Tribal members in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties the tools they need to increase food and water security, with aquaponics systems, rainwater catchment, and other adaptation methods.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 25, 2021
HECTOR CHAVEZ-BEJINEZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
JUAN CORONADO-CAMPOS, Ukiah. Assault weapon, manufacture-import short barreled rifle, grossly negligent discharge of firearm, conspiracy.
JESSIE MACIAS, Eureka/Piercy. DUI.
PHILIP VALLEY SR. Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
JIM PAGE NOTES:
About the Ukiah Co-Op incident — here’s a cell phone video that’s pretty interesting to watch. You can clearly hear an employee say that the store protocols are posted and that “If you’re not wearing a mask we can’t check you out.” Somebody laughs and says, “Well, I’ll just fill up my cart.” They went in knowing what was going to happen, filled up their carts with things they had no intention of buying, and left a big mess.
By the way, an acquaintance of mine here in Seattle who claims to be a doctor was posting anti vax articles on Facebook and I decided to source them. They all came from websites that also carried Jewish conspiracy stories and pro trump. That’s the through line right there.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Just had a long conversation with a friend who stayed in Colombia after I returned to the US. I’m afraid the Colombia I once knew has been overwhelmed by events — primarily the gulf between the rich and everyone else, with the policia maturing into the force of violence that maintains upper class privilege and the flow of drugs. I first lived in the mountains in the waning days of the Violencia, but that is not the Colombia I wish to return to.
The gulf between the rich and everyone else is every bit as great in the US, but the level of wealth built up by decades of being the world’s economic and military rulers means that being poor in the US is nothing like being poor in Colombia (unless you live under a freeway bridge in the Seattle rain, in which case a Colombian barrio in a land of eternal spring looks like paradise).
“IT WAS ALL VERY PLEASANT just lying in the sun and watching the girls go by, but one day I suddenly felt bored with hanging around and went and joined the Marines.”
Steve McQueen’s time in the Marines was not exactly stellar–he was promoted six times, demoted seven times. And he spent 41 days in the brig for being AWOL. But when bravery was called for, McQueen stepped up.
After his stint in the brig, McQueen was assigned to a tank unit and shipped on a training mission to the Arctic. Once again a private, he had the lowliest jobs: cleaning heads, mopping compartments, stripping asbestos from steam piping. Upon reaching its destination, the transport ship, with tanks aboard, prepared for a landing exercise. Approaching the shore, the ship hit a sand bar and listed violently, throwing tanks with their crews into the icy water. Men in the tanks could not escape, and many drowned. McQueen jumped into the water and saved five men.
McQueen’s bravery was recognized–he finished his enlistment as part of the Color Guard for President Truman’s Presidential Yacht, then went on to study acting under the GI bill. In his many roles as actor, McQueen played a captain in the Army Air Corps, a naval petty officer, an army private, but never a Marine. He died at the age of 50 from mesothelioma, likely a result of his work with asbestos when he was a Marine.
KNOCK COVID OUT OF THE PARK
It was the night before Christmas and all over the planet
No one was resting because of the panic
World wide Covid’s ugly face had killed almost 2 mil
And new strains have come in all ready to kill.
Santa, St Nick and all the rest
Tried to feel festive by doing their best
The papers and news reported great strain
That not one Earthling was without pain.
Stay at home, wear a mask, wash your hands often
Follow and follow all advised cautions.
Some who don’t believe and won’t follow rules.
Don’t trust the experts and seem to agree with fools.
Advisors are crooks and death count is fake
Dr Fauci is fostering pandemic for financial gain.
All seem to acknowledge deaths with Vietnam war, Twin Towers, from the flu
But won’t accept Covid deaths as true.
As this becomes the largest pandemic of the century.
Scariest thing in our lifetime with possibility of ending humankind.
With hospitals full and supplies short
Christmas coming, we’re oh so tired of these last 24 months.
Waiting to find out what our fate will be
Will we ever be the same?
Just wanting it to be over…
Who will be next, who will stop the wanton death
Who will follow, inoculate and give Covid a rest?
The park is dark on this wintery night.
But if we all join together we can win this great fight.
Before we climb on to good Noah’s Ark,
Let’s knock the damn Covid right out of the park!
— Richard Karch
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
December 20, 1783: Virginia ceded its western land to the federal government.
"The meaning of "the West" changed constantly through America's early history as the population increased and moved farther from the Atlantic coast. In the 1600s, any land more than 100 miles from the Atlantic coast was "the West." By the 1780s, the West referred to land located between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River; in the South, the West meant land west of the Carolinas and Georgia, extending to the Mississippi. Under the terms of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the treaty that ended the American Revolution, Britain withdrew its claim to these lands. Ownership and control of these western lands was one of the most confusing and controversial issues facing the new nation.
Most of the original colonies were established under charters. Charters were legal papers issued in Britain in the 1600s to individuals or groups of individuals for the purpose of establishing colonies in the New World, as Europeans at that time called North and South America. Charters granted specific pieces of land for each colony. For future expansion, several charters granted "sea to sea" land claims, which granted land west of the original colony all the way to the Pacific Ocean. When the colonies fought for and won independence from Britain, they became states. The states held on to their old colonial charter land claims.
Seven states held claims to western lands. Six of the seven—Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia—held claims based on charters. New York's claims did not come from a colonial charter, but from shaky treaties with the Iroquois Indians. The exact boundaries of the various claims were uncertain, and they often conflicted. For example, Connecticut's claims overlapped a portion of the claims held by Massachusetts. New York tried to claim land stretching from the Great Lakes south to Georgia, overlapping a portion of all the other states' claims. Virginia's colonial charter gave it land west of the state and also mentioned lands to the northwest. Therefore, Virginia claimed all the land west of the state boundary to the Mississippi River and northwest to Canada. Virginians also believed they had a solid claim to the Old Northwest, an area that included lands above the Ohio River, extending north to the Great Lakes, east to the Pennsylvania border, and west to the Mississippi River. They reasoned that it was a Virginian, General George Rogers Clark (1752–1818), who had secured the Old Northwest for America by driving British troops out of the region during the American Revolution (1775–83).
Overlapping and conflicting claims caused great confusion and jealousies. In addition to state land claims, officers and soldiers who had fought in the American Revolution had been promised land for their service, and speculators had purchased large sections of land from the government, which was trying to pay its war debts. Land speculators bought land cheaply and hoped to resell it at a large profit. However, sale of land with clear title, or uncontested ownership, was impossible unless all western land claims could be straightened out. Further, the six states without claims—New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania—demanded the land claims be ceded, or turned over, to the national government so that Congress could manage the land for the benefit of all thirteen original states.
In September 1780, before America had won its independence, Congress recommended that the states consider ceding their land. On October 10, 1780, Congress issued a resolution describing how it would manage western lands ceded to the government. The resolution indicated the land would be settled and then formed into republican states, meaning states governed by representatives elected by the people and for the benefit of the people. New York, whose land claims were largely unsupported, began the process in 1781 by ceding its claims to Congress. Connecticut also indicated it would turn over its claims.
The most influential state in the Confederation was Virginia. Virginia had strong western claims covering the largest amount of land. By January 1781, James Madison (1751–1836), a Virginia delegate to Congress, produced a plan for cession of Virginia's northwest land claims. However, Madison attached conditions to the cession that Congress did not accept. After almost three years of discussion, Congress and Virginia agreed on conditions of cession that were acceptable to both. Virginia's cession agreement provided a model for other states holding claims. When powerful Virginia ceded its land claims, all other states holding claims followed Virginia's lead.
* Virginia ceded to Congress all western land claims it held under its colonial charter, and the land it claimed in the northwest. It did so under the following five conditions. (1) The territory ceded would be arranged and formed into republican states and admitted to the union with the same rights of freedom and independence as existing states. (2) Virginia's costs in subduing the British and defending the land would be reimbursed by Congress. (3) All settlers of western lands who were citizens of Virginia would be ensured ownership of their land claims. (4) Lands not exceeding 150,000 acres would be set aside for General George Rogers Clark and the men who served under his command. (5) All land not reserved for citizens of Virginia or officers and soldiers would be given to the United States for the common good and for no other purpose."
CHRISTMAS IN PRISON
It was Christmas in prison
And the food was real good
We had turkey and pistols
Carved out of wood
And I dream of her always
Even when I don't dream
Her name's on my tongue
And her blood's in my stream
Wait awhile eternity
Old mother nature's got nothing on me
Come to me
Run to me
Come to me, now
She reminds me of a chess game
With someone I admire
Or a picnic in the rain
After a prairie fire
Her heart is as big
As this whole goddamn jail
And she's sweeter than saccharine
At a drug store sale
Wait awhile eternity
Old mother nature's got nothing on me
Come to me
Run to me
Come to me, now
The search light in the big yard
Swings round with the gun
And spotlights the snowflakes
Like the dust in the sun
It's Christmas in prison
There'll be music tonight
I'll probably get homesick
I love you
Wait awhile eternity
Old mother nature's got nothing on me
Come to me
Run to me
Come to me, now
— John Prine
WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
From Robert Green Ingersoll
The Arena, Boston, December 1897
If I had the power to produce exactly what I want for next Christmas, I would have all the kings and emperors resign and allow the people to govern themselves.
I would have all the nobility crop their titles and give their lands back to the people. I would have the Pope throw away his tiara, take off his sacred vestments, and admit that he is not acting for God -- is not infallible -- but is just an ordinary Italian. I would have all the cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests and clergymen admit that they know nothing about theology, nothing about hell or heaven, nothing about the destiny of the human race, nothing about devils or ghosts, gods or angels. I would have them tell all their "flocks" to think for themselves, to be manly men and womanly women, and to do all in their power to increase the sum of human happiness.
I would have all the professors in colleges, all the teachers in schools of every kind, including those in Sunday schools, agree that they would teach only what they know, that they would not palm off guesses as demonstrated truths.
I would like to see all the politicians changed to statesmen, -- to men who long to make their country great and free, -- to men who care more for public good than private gain -- men who long to be of use.
I would like to see all the editors of papers and magazines agree to print the truth and nothing but the truth, to avoid all slander and misrepresentation, and to let the private affairs of the people alone.
I would like to see drunkenness and prohibition both abolished.
I would like to see corporal punishment done away with in every home, in every school, in every asylum, reformatory, and prison. Cruelty hardens and degrades, kindness reforms and ennobles.
I would like to see the millionaires unite and form a trust for the public good.
I would like to see a fair division of profits between capital and labor, so that the toilercould save enough to mingle a little June with the December of his life.
I would like to see an international court established in which to settle disputes between nations, so that armies could be disbanded and the great navies allowed to rust and rot in perfect peace.
I would like to see the whole world free — free from injustice — free from superstition.
This will do for next Christmas. The following Christmas, I may want more.
(via Dave Smith)
REMEMBER THAT PHOTO of the construction workers having lunch on the unfinished Empire State Building? Well here's the photographer Charles Ebbets. 9/20/1932
LIKE COLONEL SANDERS
by Christopher Tayler
In 1942, novelist Ralph Ellison had a meeting with Fredric Wertham, the director of psychiatric services at Queens General Hospital in New York. Ellison, who was eligible for the draft, didn’t want to join a segregated army. A friend had suggested that Wertham might find a way to get him a psychiatric deferment. Wertham, a German Jewish emigrant, sympathized, and though a deferment wasn’t needed in the end – a draft notice never showed up – their talks uncovered a shared indignation about the color line in access to medical care. The result was the Lafargue Clinic, a low-cost psychiatric center which Wertham opened in a church basement in Harlem in 1946 with help from Ellison and fellow novelist Richard Wright. Six years later Wertham was called as an expert witness for the NAACP in one of the cases reviewed in Brown v. Board of Education. With the evidence of his experiences treating traumatized children in Harlem, he persuaded a federal judge that school segregation was a danger to public health.
Unfortunately for Wertham’s reputation, his work with children also left him with a bee in his bonnet about comic books. His younger patients, he observed, liked reading comics, and as far as he could see the medium was a poisonous jumble of will-to-power fantasies, sexualized violence, misogyny, racism and deviant sexuality. He wasn’t the first to take aim at “the marijuana of the nursery,” as a columnist for the Saturday Review called them, but he was the first to offer a socio-psychiatric argument that they led to juvenile delinquency: first at a symposium on ‘The Psychopathology of Comic Books’ in 1948, and then in a book, Seduction of the Innocent, published in 1954. Wertham became the public face of a moral panic. Youth groups organized bonfires of objectionable material. A Senate subcommittee put publishers on the stand: “Here is your May issue. This seems to be a man with a bloody axe holding a woman’s head up which has been severed from her body. Do you think that’s in good taste?” Fifteen comics companies went out of business in the summer of 1954 alone.
Generations of fans have had their revenge. Wertham is remembered, if at all, as a paranoid scold who thought that Superman was potentially fascist, that Batman and Robin could be construed as positive gay role models, and that Wonder Woman’s early adventures had a bondage subtext. (Never mind that such views, without the disapproval of gay role models, have since become received wisdom among fans.) Superheroes, however, weren’t high on Wertham’s hit list, because they didn’t dominate the market, which was huge: in 1948, American publishers sold between eighty and a hundred million comics a month. Superman (launched in 1938), Batman (1939) and Wonder Woman (1941) still had their own publications in the mid-1950s, but they were coming to be seen as a wartime fad. Humor, romance, western, crime, science fiction and horror titles sold as well or better, and Wertham and the Senate were chiefly exercised by EC Comics’ crime and horror output. Publishers responded with a Hays Code-style program of self-censorship. EC closed all its titles except Mad magazine, and American comics became a little blander, until, in his own telling, Stan Lee came along and shook things up.
Lee – the writer-editor who supervised the renaissance at Marvel Comics in the early 1960s that gave the world Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, Iron Man, Black Panther and the rest – spent the 46 years between his departure from a hands-on role at Marvel and his death in 2018 getting paid to play the part of Stan Lee, the writer-editor who had supervised etc. Giving the fans what they wanted involved remembering the “Marvel revolution” as a conscious overturning of a stultified post-Wertham regime, and, if necessary, backdating Lee’s role as the industry’s celebrity spokesman. “To me, Wertham was a fanatic, pure and simple,” Lee wrote of the 1950s panic in a memoir:
I used to debate with him, which was fun because I usually won … He once claimed he did a survey that demonstrated that most of the kids in reform schools were comic book readers. So I said to him: “If you do another survey, you’ll find that most of the kids who drink milk are comic book readers. Should we ban milk?”
That these debates didn’t happen, and that Lee in fact spent the 1950s trying to escape a business he saw as an embarrassment, are only two of a thousand tiny gotchas in Abraham Riesman’s recent biography of Stan Lee.
“Me and my associates like the clientele here.”
Speaking of here, here's the recording of Xmas Eve 2021's Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA): https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0468
A nice show. Much Xmastime material, including the traditional holiday music: A Christmas Dirge by Nellie (Pixie) McKay (say muh-KAI), Bob Gibson's Box of Candy and a Piece of Fruit, about his experience of almost a Christmas in jail in the Frozen North. All I Want Is Peace On Earth, selected cuts from The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's album A Very Scary Solstice, etc. –in fact, everything but The Man Who Slits the Turkeys' Throats at Christmas and Mom and Daddy Please Don't Steal For Us This Christmas. Just a shitload of elves: Terrence McKenna's standup riff on Hebraic-rune-vomiting, visible-geometric-language-generating DMT machine elves runs into David Sedaris' drolly edgy experience of actually being a department store elf in the service of commercial Santa, including department-store-elf boot camp, and a list of his transgressions in the field that brought parents to say to him, "I'm gonna get you fired!" (One woman asked him which was the line for the women's bathroom and he, in his Crumpet the Elf red tights and kelly-green weskit, said, "I think it's the one with all the women in it.") In every show there one thing that makes me grit my teeth, looking back on it; this time it's when I read a story by Mustang Mark LVIII and I said (and didn't immediately catch) "Mustang Mark the 53rd." I don't care at all that vegans think I'm ignorant for saying it vej-un not veeG'n; I deliberately prefer vej-un, like I prefer guh-LA/ and KEE-loh-mee-ter and ree-NAY-sunss, but the thought of someone out in the great dark smirking at my faux pas of Roman numerals (sprawled in her cigaret-ashed bathrobe, shouting at the Philco, "LVIII is 58 not 53, you dumbshit!") will stay with me for the rest of my life. Why do I care what some imaginary hideous witch who smokes cigarets thinks, when I don't care that it's supposed to be cigarettes? To quote Robert Frost: I don't know. Um, let's see, I should mention also San Francisco Mime Troupe's elegantly contemporized Dickens' A Red Carol. And that's not all; there's the rest of the usual: science, art, magic, lots of poetry, mostly by locals... It's a whole frikking eight-hour extravaganzola of wonder and delight and pathos and mortification and tingly fear and ah-HAH moments and glorious confusion, just like every week, but unlike every other MOTA show of the year, this one ends, as always for Xmas, with William S. Burroughs reading The Junky's Christmas, about the lowest of the low who gives up what he wants most in all the world so a stranger in pain can have a little peace. So shines a good deed in a weary world. Go forth and do likewise. Teach by example, not by hectoring people. Anybody can make a mistake.
Email me your writing on any subject and I'll read it on the radio this coming Friday night. If it's more than plain text, please provide a link to the media you want me to see or hear, rather than attach it.
FURTHERMORE, 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 that show together. Such as, for instance:
12 Days of Xmas gets more and more modern until it baffles even the cute little dog.
Pasha and Aliona! (via Everlasting Blort)
Sigmund Freud's suicide niece's rabbit dreams. (also via Everlasting Blort)
And a theatrical encounter with actual cannibal Shia LeBeouf.
— Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
SOLAR UNFAIRLY SUBSIDIZED
It’s time for state regulators to curb residential solar incentives and stop funding the residential solar industry. Certainly, we need renewable energy to curb our use of fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But putting solar panels on individual roofs is a costly and wasteful investment for homeowners and an unnecessary cost for the rest of the utility customers who subsidize those solar-paneled homes.
Under the current subsidy rules, much of the cost for the electric wires and infrastructure that serve those solar homes is shifted from solar customers to nonsolar customers.
As of 2015, the Public Advocates Office of the California Public Utilities Commission calculated that nonsolar customers were paying, on average, $60 more per year on their utility bills to subsidize residential solar customers. Now it is far cheaper to build utility-scale solar plants, using large commercial roofs and parking lots.
And unlike 15 years ago, when the residential solar subsidy was instituted, we can now buy 100% solar energy from sources like Sonoma Clean Power. Homeowners should have the option of installing solar panels, but there is no good reason to make the rest of the utility customers pay for that privilege.
Joseph P. Como
CHRISTMAS WITH CRAIG
Sitting comfortably on the big green couch at The Earth First! Media Center in Garberville, California, sipping Humboldt Coffee Company's "Pirate Blend" while ignoring MSNBC on the nearby screen. Two cats are chasing each other around the apartment, traditional holiday music is on the stereo, and clouds pass by on this sunny Christmas day. It's all kind of dreamy, isn't it? Good luck in the new calendar year, and continue being here now identified with the Divine Absolute. 🎅
Craig Louis Stehr, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org