DONALD R. NELSON, a lifelong resident of the Mendocino Coast, passed away early in the morning of November 6, at home in the care of loved ones. He was a timber faller for over 20 years, working for the Union Lumber Company and its successors. In the early 1970s, he began to be approached by union organizers who eventually came to represent Fort Bragg’s timber workers. Nelson was elected president and later business agent of IWA local 3-469, where he worked hard to advance the interests and protect the rights of woods and mill workers. Until last year, he lived on the property homesteaded by his grandparents, natives of Finland.
WE'RE ALL SADDENED by Don's passing. A gentle, kind man, I never saw him lose his temper, even when sorely provoked by the self-alleged disciples of Gandhi during the heated Redwood Summer period.
TOM HINE, aka Tommy Wayne Kramer, the brilliantly provocative Ukiah writer, suffered a heart attack Friday. Rushed to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa, Tom is recovering and expects to soon return to his Ukiah home. Phony liberals of the Ukiah type who call constantly for Kramer's banning, can hold the champagne. Tommy's coming back.
DA EYSTER WRITES: “As the DA of Mendocino County, I am ADAMANTLY opposed to what the judges are proposing for Fort Bragg. I found out about this by reading the press release; no one from the courts sought my input before deciding to downsize Ten Mile. Any minor cost savings realized from the Ten Mile court is literally being transferred to the wallets of coastal residents and coastal law enforcement if this goes through. More than ever coasties will have to make MORE treks over the hill to Ukiah, costing victims and witnesses time and $ and leaving less police officers to protect coastal public safety — while they travel back and forth to and hang out in the Ukiah courthouse. Did these budget problems just appear out of thin air? No. So why then did the local judges seek and endorse the appointment of TWO new highly-paid judges? Why also is there still a push for a new multi-million dollar courthouse in Ukiah? Why can't any downsizing happen in Ukiah? I could go on and on — but please listen up! All our coastal friends need to light up the court's phones and let them know how important it is to have a full-time, full service court in Fort Bragg to serve the needs of coastal residents! The court's admin office telephone number (in Ukiah, of course) is (707) 463-4664 M-F. Please be polite but let Judge Henderson and his colleagues know that this is Ukiah-centric and a bad plan.”
IN OTHER MEDIA NEWS, employees of Mendocino County's four Media News papers anticipate a takeover by an even dumber newspaper chain than they labor for now. I damn near screamed this morning when I opened the Journal's on-line home page and there was Ann Coulter, the queen of America's neo-fascisti. If the paper's is now featuring that nut, maybe it's already been sold. All print media is on the ropes. (Excuse me unwashed grammarians, but 'media' is plural.) Looking back, you could see our extinction coming around '95, certainly by 2000 when the young went electronic for whatever information they seek. When people over the age of about 65 start to go we'll be finito. Or on-line, which is a form of finito. The young 'uns are now wired for twit-tweets, their collective attention span reduced to somewhere between that of a fruit fly and a gnat. O for the days of the mosquito!
OUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE to survival, however, is the United States Post Office, which now delivers our out-of-county papers on a “Like whenever, dude” basis. Readers in San Francisco are lucky if they get their weekly blast only 7 days after the cannons were fired in Boonville. More distant subscribers are lucky to get a paper or two once a month. Adding insult to the huge injury my government mail service is doing me, I just got this e-mail from one of their bureaucrats, Mr. James W. Johnston of Daly City: “I did not appreciate the last email that you sent me with the offensive language. Do not forward anything of that nature to me again!” I immediately wrote back: “I just pass along what your customers are saying about your service. I give up. There's nothing I can do about it. But if I worked for a system that couldn't perform the simplest tasks like getting a newspaper from Boonville to San Francisco in a week I'd look around for new work.”
THE THING IS I didn't say anything offensive to this guy. I was always polite out of fear he'd make sure my paper wasn't delivered anywhere EVER AGAIN if I insulted him. I guess one of the letters I passed along took a well-deserved shot at the Post Office, but what's with this, this, this taking offense when I'm the injured party and this guy and his half-assed monopoly are doing the injuring? If you have a clean hanky, please lend it to me.
HERE WE GO AGAIN. 11/3 11:25am Jacqueline Nicole Audet, 22, of Bend, CA, was booked into the Mendocino County Jail after having been arrested in Fort Bragg for being under the influence of drugs and alcohol in public. Police were called when she was seen walking into traffic on the Noyo Bridge. Arrested with Ms. Audet was her companion, Donald Leroy Jordan, 50, of Willits. He was also booked into the Mendocino County Jail after having been arrested in Fort Bragg for being under the influence of drugs and alcohol in public.
THESE TWO JUST got out of jail a week ago, and isn't it about time Ms. Audet did a little more time for the sake of her own well-being? (Jordan would seem to be beyond help, but even he ought to be held longer than a weekend.) What a joke our judges make out of these chronics with repeated arrests, repeated bails of $5,000 (which are repeatedly waived), repeated conditions of probation which are repeatedly ignored. Used to be the chronics went straight to the drunk tank at the state hospital at Talmage where they were compelled to go through a program, at the end of which the alcoholic occasionally awoke from his stupor to resume life. Now, thanks to Reagan who dismantled the state hospital system, it's catch and release. This girl will be dead before she's thirty.
OUR GENTLEMANLY former Supervisor, Norman DeVall, encountered Ms. Audet last Thursday at the Boatyard Shopping Center in Fort Bragg, her usual haunt when she's in the area. There's a homeless camp nearby and plenty of panhandling opportunities from the Boatyard's foot traffic. Norman introduced himself by saying, “Just want to say hello. I am sure that I and many others are following your travels every week.” Ms. Audet replied that she did not appreciate the attention, that it made her feel like a curiosity, “curiosity” being Norman's characterization of her feelings. Ms. Audet went on to say that newspaper attention deprives her of what freedom she has which, as we've said, seems to be absolute but should not include the freedom to commit public suicide.
FORMER SUPERVISOR De VALL said Ms. Audet was well-spoken and “clear and sober.” Norman asked “Pixie” (Ms. Audet's street name) if he could give her his card. She said yes. Pixie's “road dog,” as contemporary vagabonds describe their traveling companions, lurked nearby but, Norman said, “He walked right by us. He did not want to say hello to me at all. My old but shiny black BMW was probably not the kind of vehicle he would be attracted to.” De Vall went on to explain, “Being a CASA (court appointed special advocate) volunteer and having been around mental health somewhat,” Pixie didn't seem to be in all that bad of shape.
De VALL handed Pixie his card and told her she could call anytime. She didn't know where Elk, deVall's hometown, was. “I told her she ever got stuck or really needed a hand to give me a call. I didn't see any cell phone or anything. Her diction and vocabulary and way of speaking made me think she was not totally a person from the streets.” She wishes that the AVA would leave her alone. That's what she wanted de Vall to tell us. “My intuition is that I expect I might be hearing from her. Her dog wanted to climb in the car. A big white dog with spots. She was a little taken aback by the fact that I got along with the dog so well.”
AT THAT POINT, de Vall said, a very large woman ran out of the Smoke Shop screaming at Pixie to leash her dog. Pixie calmly informed the hysteric that the dog was under control. de Vall said it was clear from the aplomb with which Pixie cooled out the screamer that “she has a lot of street smarts. She seems to have been through a lot, but Mendocino County has very little to offer her if she were to make any effort to change her situation.”