Unsolicited Movie Review
There are movies I don’t like and there are movies I hate. I hated Gravity.
The 3D glasses didn’t seem to work, so I watched the movie without them. The music was an abomination: loud, trite, sentimental, and manipulative. Clooney was mediocre; Bullock, appalling. I haven’t hated an actress so much since I saw Laura Dern in Inland Empire.
There’s a crucial part in the movie in which Bullock’s character, a medical engineer, is overwhelmed, exhausted, and gives in to her inevitable demise by cutting off the ship’s oxygen. The movie would have been OK if it had ended then.
Instead, thanks to the opportune appearance of a ghost, she survives. She, in fact, survives one crisis after another aided by more Dei ex machina than you’d find in a Taiwan factory which manufactures plastic Jesus figurines for your dashboard.
There are more crashes and explosions than in the entire series of Fast And Furious; more noise and banality than on Fox News. And some memorable mawkish clichés: my favorite is when Bullock’s character, alluding to her dead four year old daughter, asks that the ghost tell her that mommy loves her.
Don’t go to a movie theater to see Gravity. If you must see it, wait until it comes to Netflix. You’ll waste less money and you can verify the inanity of the dialogue by replaying the scene.
Louis S. Bedrock
Rochelle, New Jersey
I am a County employee, but I am writing this as a private citizen.
I have recently read about the continuing lack of transparency by the Board of Supervisors, in this instance in conducting business in closed session concerning the lawsuit with the federal government about the subpoena for County records of the ziptie marijuana program. The board failed to report out in detail what was decided in that closed session as required by the Brown Act. This is another instance of blatant disregard of the law by the Board of Supervisors in a long line of such behavior. It is obvious that the people who were elected to govern this County believe themselves to be above the very laws that they are supposed to uphold. The board makes a habit of conducting County business in this manner and it is illegal. They receive bad advice from those who are entrusted to guide their decisions in accordance with the law.
They have been misguided in the decision to privatize the mental health services that county should be providing, ostensibly to improve the services and do it more cheaply. But the people who are in the most need are not being served and the company which is contracted to provide services is mismanaging the work.
We need new leadership in Mendocino County. We need leaders who will keep the promises they made in order to get elected because that is the right thing to do. We need leaders who will think for themselves and base their decisions on the truth and not accept that every word spoken by the CEO is gospel. Our County leaders need to recognize when information is factual and when it has been "spun" to fit what they want to hear. We as voters need to keep this in the front of our thoughts as we decide who should be our next elected supervisors.
BACKGROUND CHECK, PLEASE
In response to the recently published letter from one John Sakowicz, Ukiah
I beg you to consider the source! What an idiotic illogical train of thought. So OFF TRACK it leaves many waiting at a depot many miles away. Ask yourself why the author of this letter would write it? Who is this guy? How does he feel about cops in general considering his past relationship with our local law enforcement and county? Sounds like SOUR GRAPES to me!
By the way, is his latest lawsuit against the county still pending? I would like him to make public the “Intellius Background Check” on himself. Maybe you should ask him to provide it? Should be an interesting read.
Julia A. Wood
AT LEAST SOME RESPECT
To Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo:
A few months ago, under your direction, the county employees received an email, asking as “What Type of Leadership” do we want. To be clear we have no grudges around the supervisors or managers. We are however, deeply upset with our Board of Supervisors and CEO.
A couple of years ago, county employees had a 10% pay cut imposed upon them. We know you are tired of hearing about restoration of our wages. I would like to point out that in times of difficulty all of us suffer but not everyone. Three out of five Supervisors took pay cuts. However, as CEO you did not offer to take a cut in your salary. The reasoning behind this, as we understand, you already had a 10% cut when you accepted becoming a CEO from HHSA Director. Your salary is 5x more than the ordinary employee. You have a car allowance of $400.00 a month whereas we have to pay our fuel plus mileage reimbursement. You have free health club membership whereas we have to pay ours. You have $50,000 life insurance.
As CEO you did not suffer loss of wages compared to your employees who, in some cases, have lost their homes or are in fear of losing their homes. Further, we have not received a Cost of Living Allowance for seven years. You did not exhibit the decency, compassion and integrity to share the suffering of your fellow employees.
As CEO you had the “brilliant idea” to put hiring freeze on much needed employees. As a result, the county lost 2.5 million dollars. The community does not know that it is the social workers and the eligibility workers who bring money to the county through Federal funds. The county is being paid for every case a social worker or eligibility worker has case managed.
We feel, as CEO you do not have the conscience to look long and hard at how your employees have suffered. We wonder if the Board of Supervisors knew that for the month of September and October, there were 18 employees who left the county yet “there are no changes in services” per John Pinches. They either retired or quit. For the remaining employees, we continue to work; feeling defeated, resigned to our fate and demoralized due to lack of respect. We believe the BOS and CEO do not respect the employees who toil everyday to make a living and provide services to county residents. The morale of your employees is at the lowest in all the years we have worked in this county.
Signed by the following employees:
Alwyn Falkenberg, Judi Butow, Tamara Newell, Shirley Fulks, Tammy Lynch, Scott Angel, Christine Thrilkill, John Nugent, Ana Madrigal-Duran, Joyce Cader, April Lewis, Arno Gassen, Helen Michaels, Olivia Hernandez, Debora Luvisi, Jess Calderon, Terry Manning, Ian Winter, Ernie Nagy, Gail Chilton, Laura, Tammi McKee, Dave Eberly, Danielle Shields, Sharon McCuthcheon, Joy Calvert, Janine Thompson, Lola Trevithick, Jackie Branick, Terry Ramos, Jennifer Neper, Pam Voris, Pamela Scroggins, Faith Walrath, Jerome Nuyery, Steve Gornecz, Marty Baker,Michael Cuppateli, Lynnette Cader, Cathy Lonergan, Kyle Mari O’Brien, Cheri O’Shaughnessy, Cerre Knox, Jesamyn Lowery, Jacqueline Otis, Lynn Edwards, Dalia Perez, Dee Pallesen, Kelly Ford, Anna Midling, Don Crawford.
GIVE IT BACK, THIEVES
To the Editor,
This letter is to the individuals or individual who is responsible for the break-in at the storage facility in Boonville. This happened in October and you know who you are. We want to state how completely devastated and saddened we were to find our personal belongings gone from our unit. The lock was cut — you managed to ravage through families’ personal belongings. I am sure our unit looked like a great way to obtain some money, but I assure you the sentimental values were much more important. You demolished our personal space and security, which only demonstrates to us the ruthless individuals or individual you are.
You managed to STEAL items that had sentimental value, items we have spent our entire life collecting and items that numerous friends and family members went out of their way to get for us. Some of those individuals have passed on and you managed to destroy that memory for us! You succeeded in destroying a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice to gain a few bucks! The personal family heirlooms, pictures, and other belongings you STOLE can never be replaced. To you they were either a dollar sign or garbage, demonstrating once again the cold-blooded, callous THIEF you really are!
On top of destroying our storage unit and others, you also violated the security of a valley resident’s business. The woman who runs the storage facility has done it for years with no problems until you placed your sticky hands on those units. You had absolutely no right to help yourself and trespass on this family business in order to obtain a few bucks or sustain a drug habit! SHAME ON YOU!
To the individuals or individual responsible: be a decent member of society and return the items that were stolen or at least take responsibility for your actions. I know this plea will most likely go unheard, so I only have one more thing to say: When you least expect it, karma will plant her feet directly in your back and you will be served up a healthy dish of what you deserve!
Angry & Devastated,
Phillip & Angela Kester
PS We want to personally thank the owner of the storage facility for her concern and kindness. If anyone has any information about the break-in at Stow-it Storage in Boonville, please contact Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
For those readers of your paper who are following the NSA saga, they should read the email debate between Glenn Greenwald and Bill Keller, former CEO of the New York Times on the role the mission of journalism in today's world. In talking about his new media venture with Pierre Omidyar Greenwald said “As for whether our new venture will be ideologically homogenized: the answer is 'definitely not'. We welcome and want anyone devoted to true adversarial journalism regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum, and have already been speaking with conservatives journalists like that: not the East Coast rendition of 'conservatives' such as David Brooks. Our driving theology is accountability journalism grounded in rigorous factual accuracy.” In response to a comment by Keller he said “ My 'contempt' is grounded in his years of extreme war cheerleading and veneration of an elite political class that has produced little beyond abject failure and corruption. I don't see anything moderate about him at all.” As for his comments about Brooks all I can say is Greenwald speaks my mind. There is certainly a need for the type of journalism Greenwald and Omidyar are planning. Hopefully, they can carry it out.
James G. Updegraff
BRING BACK MCTV
Dear Mayor Turner and Ft Bragg City Council,
We urge you to please work actively to seek applicants for the position of Public Access TV provider, preferably from our community on the Coast. The loss of MCTV is deeply felt by all who want to hear about what is occurring in our public meetings such as the School Board, Hospital Board, Rec and Park District, and many other groups which are of concern to our community. We want to see a non-profit group take over, as the for-profit company that currently films some City Council meetings is not willing to film public meetings except at prices they cannot afford, and as a result they simply are no longer being filmed at all! The recent problems at the Senior Center are an example of how secretive meetings with hidden agendas can destroy the smooth running of our favorite local public institutions. When the light is not shone on the workings of the Boards in charge, they sometimes start bypassing good bylaws and rules of order and courtesy. Especially true in the case of self-appointing Boards with members who have little knowledge of the Roberts Rules of order and even the Bylaws of the organizations they are volunteering to assist. There must be some oversight as to the appointment of Board Members and taping the meetings allows people to view meetings they are unable to attend, and keep an awareness of the activities planned, or the budgets or volunteer needs of our institutions.
If the PEG TV provider you choose can also train students and volunteers to film meetings and edit and show the films, that provides needed jobs and training for community members. If possible, it would also be a great asset to our community to digitize and publicly offer access to the many hours of community events, school plays, past Board Meetings and Senior interviews which are now housed in the Footlighters building and are locked away and inaccessible. If these tapes could be made available through a website or on TV many people would watch and learn more about the workings of our community groups, and the people who volunteer or run our organizations. There are some CDs and DVDs in the Public Library, and some went to Kelley House, but there are boxes of tapes which need to be digitized and made public - it is our history! In that building is also a lot of camera equipment and material that Comcast grants paid to provide for Ft Bragg City access, and if there is not a dispute as to ownership with the Footlighters group the City needs to secure this equipment before it completely suffers obsolesce.
Thank You for your consideration of this important matter.
Ann Rennacker, Richard Karch & Howard Ennes