WE WERE SITTING around in front of the big screen watching Detroit vs. Green Bay last Thursday, waiting to commence an hour of turkey-themed gluttony. Ordinarily, I restrict my television sports to Giants baseball and 49er football and, occasionally, the last 15 minutes of a Warrior's game. Gluttony is harder to suppress, especially for a guy who thinks of food as fuel, not ceremony. Shovel it in and get right back to ensuring that readers of this fine publication put the paper down cheered and edified.
THE HALF TIME show came on. These things may be of interest to high school cheerleaders, but I can't remember watching one with anything like attentiveness. I polled the room. Answers, from men and women, ranged from, "Of course not" to "I'm not that kind of idiot." Used to be you got something wacky but relatively wholesome, a pee-wee football game or a college marching band. Exactly when half-time went Vegas, I don't remember, probably about the same time as jumbothrons, or whatever the big screens are called, and bad music played top decibel throughout the game.
BUT THIS HALF-TIME SHOW — Christ Jesus spare us all! — had all the tootsies and the lead gyrator togged out as Indians; you know, Native Americans, insulted annually this time of year with serial deluges of falsified history about that first great intra-ethnic feast prior to the slaughters of the ensuing 200 years. Not to go all PC on you here, but other than white rednecks, Indians seem to be the last insult-able Americans.
THE LYRICS accompanying more or less rhythmic sexual pelvic thrusts, consisted, near as I could make out, of “Baby, baby oh baby.” All these weird half-time presentations are the same; you sit there wondering who the things are aimed at. I found myself deep into my own half-time reverie inspired by the fascinating story of Quanah Parker, the great Comanche chief, born to a white mother kidnapped by Comanches who, I believe, were the only Native Americans who lived by making total war all the time on whomever possessed what they wanted. Comanche warriors, regarded as the best horsemen ever to gallop the world, would array themselves in great spinning circles of man and horse, psyching themselves up to hurl their horsebacked selves at the enemy.
“HOLD ON, SPORTS FANS. Some kind of mass disturbance has broken out. Hundreds of… what the heck are they, Mel? Horsemen? My god, they're shooting real arrows into the crowd. They've just set a fat man in a Niner jersey on fire! And they're laughing! Whoever they are, this is no half-time show. We're witnessing a full-on terrorist attack.”
CRABS BEFORE CHRISTMAS ON THE NORTH COAST? MAYBE NOT
by Kym Kemp
According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, starting tonight at midnight, crab pots could legally go in the water and succulent crustaceans could be headed to stores soon after—ready to be sold to customers and fried into cakes or dunked into containers of sweet butter and tangy lemon.
However, that’s not going to happen.
D. Ray Pemberton who has been crabbing since around 1986 and owns the Schultzie Baby out of Eureka explained, “Because of a lack of a price agreement, [we crabbers] are not setting our equipment.” The buyers and the fishermen have a $.50 a pound difference of opinion. The buyers—here on the North Coast, the Pacific Choice corporation controls most of the purchases from commercial crabbers—want to offer $2.50 per pound but crabbers want more.
“Two years ago,” Pemberton said, “we got $3 when we started. Last year, we got $2.50. We lost a lot of money when we started then.” This year, the crabbers are determined to get more. They’re asking $3 per pound.
In fact, in San Francisco, Pemberton said, crab fishermen are getting $3 per pound but, here on the North Coast, they are being offered less. He thinks that is not reasonable.
Talks between the crabbers and the buyers to resolve the price differences are not going well. In fact, according to Pemberton, they’re not going at all right now. “We had a meeting this morning. [The buyers] were supposed to answer the phone, but they didn’t answer the phone… . We were thinking we might meet up on Monday but now we won’t meet up until Wednesday,” he said.
Technically, Pemberton said, the fisherman are not on strike. “We’re tying up. We’re staying tied up… . People could legally go out and fish, but if one person does, then we all have to.” The buyers then would get their lower price.
Pemberton said that the “move to Wednesday may be the fish companies trying to sweat us out” —trying to get some of the fishermen to go out crabbing before there is a price agreement.
Mike Perry, and at one time crabbed for twenty years but hasn’t dropped a commercial pot in the water for the last ten, feels sorry for the local fishermen. He said he knows what it is like to hold off crabbing to get a better price. There was a season one year, he said, when they didn’t reach an agreement on price until February. “I wasn’t able to buy Christmas gifts or Valentine’s gifts that year. There were so many years we weren’t able to buy Christmas gifts.”
Crab from other zones are available now. But, Pemberton said that historically, the other zones “are not nearly as productive as [the North Coast is.] They do not flood the markets… . The bulk of the product comes in from up here.”
The market, he explained, “is strong for our product… .” He thinks that even though Dungeness crab is considered a luxury item, it still sells for a relatively low amount. He quotes a colleague as saying, “We sell a West Coast lobster for the price of hamburger.”
Pemberton believes local people are very supportive of the crabbers. “Yesterday,” he noted with a laugh, “a gentleman says that we shouldn’t be holding out for $3 a pound but holding out for $5 a pound.”
Pemberton said the crab this year are plump and healthy. “The product is wonderful… but, because of the lack of a price agreement, we’re all staying tied up to the dock… . We all hope we’ll get a price that is fair.”
And North Coast consumers can only hope that the disagreement is settled soon so that crabs can be on their plates before Christmas.
STOP THE SONGBIRD SLAUGHTER
Dear AVA readers,
There is still time to sign the petition to stop the mass slaughter of tens of millions of songbirds in Egypt. The petition will be now remain open for the first week in December.
One hundred and forty million songbirds are killed during every Fall migration when they leave Europe and return to their wintering grounds in Africa. They are being trapped in Egypt by nearly 400 MILES of nets and sold to restaurants as a “delicacy.”
Each year, Europeans are seeing fewer of their beloved songbirds return in the Spring, such as European robins, turtle doves, and warblers. Many species are on the Red List and are at risk of extinction. This horror must be stopped! The nets must be taken down!
You can sign the petition from Change.org and share it with your FB Friends and everyone you know. This is the English version. (The German version is also on change.org) http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-massive-bird-slaughter-in-egypt
According to NABU, a conservation group in Germany,
“Dear friends of our birds, thanks again for your great support for our fight against the massive bird slaughter in Egypt! Since April our petition is running. Till now we have 98,000 signatures. Next week I’ll meet the Egyptian ambassador in Berlin. Therefore, there are some more days remaining to collect further signatures. Let’s make it 100,000! Please help us, spread this petition again
Thanks a lot to all of you – together we can stop the bird slaughter in Egypt!
Yours Lars Lachmann Bird Conservation Officer
NABU (BirdLife International partner in Germany.”
For the Songbirds, Ed Oberweiser, Fort Bragg
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: Thanks loads to Doug McKenty for his KZYX Manifesto article. Nasty things inevitably happen in the dark, and nasty people cement their control in this way. If I had to guess, KZYX will go the bankruptcy/corporate take over route that so many of its sound alikes have taken in recent years. Right now KZYX functions as a corporate gatekeeper ensuring that the manifest crimes of the few and powerful do not come to light. Doing a damn good job of it too. Of course, if you are sociopathically inclined, there can never be enough centralized control, and the nastier the better.
Good listening Mendocino.
PS. I think perhaps the first step is to begin to establish community so we have some muscles to flex. But even then it would be uphill. Our Gini Coefficient (Mendocino County as a whole is 0.429) locally, the disparity of incomes, is undoubtedly rising rapidly. Locales with a lot of inequality have a hard time sponsoring “community” projects that do not cater to the dreams desires of its wealthiest people. It is entirely natural that KZYX has the character described. Wealth is not interested in democratic rules, or democratic rule, for that matter. Authority and privilege in highly unequal communities ALWAYS reflects the values and interests of the most well off. The fact will be hidden behind amorphous statements about the mission, but the basic rule is no-money-no-influence. There is the commercial interest in seeking membership donations, and lies will be told to secure as much money as possible (why not?) but control will be centralized the better to be responsive to this narrow segment of the listenership. This is happening all across the country where wealth is settling. New York is our least equal city/county and WBAI is failing. Elsewhere “community radio” is coming to resemble commercial radio with commercial breaks and “uncontroversial” programing. Inequality causes virtually all the ills we complain about (see The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson and The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills, Recessions, Budget Battles, and the Politics of Life and Death by Stuckler and Basu for a deeper understanding of this crucial fact) in everyday life. Considering the economic and social realities of Mendocino, I seriously doubt that KZYX will adopt a more transparent and populist character. — Herb Ruhs, Boonville
KZYX BOARD ELECTIONS for 2014 are coming up early next year. The station has posted a candidate application form which can be seen at
Station reformers hope that some electable candidates will apply who will try to bring some “local” to their local public radio station and work to reinstate Doug McKenty’s open lines show and maybe even some real local public affairs programming. (Applications must be submitted by January 30, 2014.)
REEL SHORT MOVIE REVIEW: If you only see one movie this year you won't go wrong with Nebraska starring Bruce Dern, 77, and June Squibb, 84. This is a wonderful little movie, and Dern's and Squibb's performances as a squabbling old couple are so good they should be up for Academy Awards. Dern plays an old guy who gets one of those Clearinghouse Sweepstakes letters telling him he's won a million dollars. He sets out, at first on foot, to get his big payout. His resigned but indulgently concerned son accompanies his deluded father from his bleak home in Billings, Montana, to his even bleaker hometown in Nebraska where they're joined by Mom, memorably played by June Squibb. Her running commentary on old friends eternally at rest in the couple's hometown Nebraska cemetery is one of the funniest passages I've ever seen in a movie.
AS THE BIPARTISAN onslaught continues against Americans making less than $50,000 a year, San Francisco, like Mendocino County, resorts to pure smarm to mask social realities. On 9th Avenue, just up from Irving, there used to be a couple of benches. I believe they were installed by merchants in the area. Across the street, the city has installed one of those parklets, kinda like the one Mary Ann Landis and Mari Rodin got Ukiah to build at their fave private restaurant, Patrona, in central Ukiah. The parklets the city is installing all over town rest outside busy coffee shops and bakeries, places the homeless aren't allowed to linger. San Francisco, like Mendo, is dominated by liberals of a degraded type dominant in the Democrat Party. SF's libs tolerate, nay encourage, the escalating war on the poor, and I'm not talking only about the visible poor we see everywhere on the streets. Anyway, the two benches on the east side of 9th have been removed. I'd never seen an undesirable living on either of the benches but, like everywhere else in the city except for Pacific Heights and the Presidio, there are always a few drunks and completely gone mental cases either sitting on the sidewalks or shuffling along with their shopping carts. Since the neighborhood borders Golden Gate Park where many homeless people spend their nights, the homeless spend their days in what's called the inner sunset. I often sat on the benches on 9th myself to enjoy the passing parade. The other day I noticed that the benches were gone, and an officious, government-looking bold-type notice, an instant classic of passive-aggressive prose, was posted nearby: “Bench Removal. With great sadness these two benches have been removed at the request of the San Francisco Police Department. They believe that the removal will encourage particular individuals to avail themselves of city homeless services. We cannot in good conscience watch our fellow human beings kill themselves before our very eyes."
A LAUNDRY ROOM fire that broke out in a dryer Saturday night about 10:30 caused water damage at Ukiah's Buddy Eller Homeless Shelter. None of the approximately 30 homeless people at the Brush Street facility were forced to leave overnight, but firefighters stayed for several hours cleaning out copious amounts of water that flooded the area of the fire from overhead sprinklers.
JIM BELUSHI’S “WHITE GUY RAP”
With Pamela Sue Martin as The White Wife
(From Saturday Night Live, February 14, 1985.)
I’m a white guy, don’t take no crap
When I deliver my white rap
Now you wonder how a man can stand to be
Up-tight, po-lite and white like me?
Well, it runs in the family.
Just like the folks on Dynasty
I got my money the old fashioned way
My granddaddy dropped dead one day
I’m rich — hot damn
I never had to go to Vietnam
So I asked my girl to be my wife
She’s pert and perky, this white guy’s wife.
We’re extremely white — all right.
We walk with our buttocks extremely tight.
I’m a white guy’s wife — say who? — say what!
I’m a white guy’s wife from Connecticut.
I dropped him off at the railway station.
Grit my teeth in pure frustration.
Meet my friends at the tennis club
Get a pedicure and body rub
We all go shopping. I buy a dress
Put it on the white guy’s American Express
VISA, Diner’s, Mastercard
Got a Mexican gardener to mow the yard
Kiwi Fruit, chocolate mousse
Lots of bran to keep our bowels loose
On Saturday for an extra thrill
We fire up the Weber grill
Invite some white guys and their wives
We drink to within an inch of our lives
We drink some more at Ruth and Ed’s
Then wind up in each other’s beds
I wake up, Ruth’s next to me
I’m so glad I had a vasectomy!
But that’s all right, we won’t fight
It’s just not done when you’re extremely white
We're extremely white — all right.
We walk with our buttocks extremely tight
Got a BMW and MBA
Vote GOP on Election Day
I'm liberated. I belong to NOW.
But I voted for Reagan anyhow.
Now he’s a white guy and his budget cuts
Will hurt other people but they won’t hurt us.
We're extremely white — all right.
We walk with our buttocks extremely tight
Warped & Diminished by Prison
by David Macaray
Anyone who clings to the belief that serving time in prison constitutes “paying one’s debt to society” has obviously never done time or tried to get a job after being released. Even if your crime was non-violent and non-invasive (e.g., drug possession) and your time in prison relatively short, when you get out and apply for a job, you quickly learn (if you didn’t already suspect) that you carry an ineradicable stigma.
There are simply too many people out of work, too many people without prison records, for an employer to take a chance on ex-cons. In short, people with prison records soon realize their so-called “debt to society” will very likely never be paid. And even when their past record doesn’t stand in the way of being hired (when they encounter a soft-hearted employer), they often lack the skills necessary for the job.
Which is why it was encouraging to read about Beverly Parenti and Chris Redlitz, successful technology entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, who established a six-month training program at San Quentin State Prison designed to prepare inmates for careers in the technology industry. Using their business connections, Parenti and Redlitz have gotten local experts to serve as volunteer instructors.
Parenti said, “We believe that when incarcerated people are released into the world, they need the tools to function in today’s high-tech, wired world.” She couldn’t be more right. Granted, the San Quentin program is open only to qualified individuals, and so far only a handful of “graduates” have landed jobs, but it’s clearly a step in the right direction.
While most people agree, in principle, that ex-convicts shouldn’t be released into the job market with no discernible skills, there’s always been opposition to prison job-training programs, and that opposition has always been about money. Opponents argue that if the state wants to spend taxpayer money on job-training programs, they should do it for needy citizens who’ve lived honest lives and never had to be locked up, and not for criminals who don’t deserve it.
The company I used to work for, Kimberly-Clark, was fairly enlightened when it came to ex-cons. Their willingness to take a chance on hiring them was commendable. Due to management turnover and privacy issues, it was hard to say with certainty how many of these guys were hired, but the figure I most often heard on the floor was nine. By the time I got there, only two were remained, and before I left, they hired one more.
As president of the union, I knew the first two very well. The older man was always in minor trouble and, therefore, always in need of union help, and the other fellow was, God help us, the elected shop steward of his department. Because he saw the union as a “power position,” he was instantly drawn to it. Union fraternalism aside, I can’t tell you what a royal pain in the ass he turned out to be.
If I were to characterize these men’s shortcomings, I would say they lacked discipline, sought immediate gratification, and were always looking for “angles.” I would also say they had a profound sense of “jailhouse justice,” which meant that they rejoiced in all forms of payback and revenge. Both were mediocre employees. In other words, exactly the traits one might expect in ex-convicts.
To be fair, K-C was no easy place to work. While the union wages and benefits were excellent, the jobs were demanding — not physically demanding, but unremittingly stressful. It was a 24-hour-a-day operation, shifts were erratic, forced overtime was extravagant, and peer pressure was extreme. So it wasn’t just the ex-convicts who found it demanding. There were lots of “civilians” who hired in because of the attractive wages and bennies, but couldn’t hack it and wound up quitting.
Everyone — ready or not — has to work. The reason we felt sorry for these ex-druggies (even when their behavior frustrated us) was that we saw them as products of the system. Yes, they had broken the law, and yes, they had, in today’s parlance, “made bad decisions,” but it was also clear that they had been warped and diminished by prison. There was no doubt in our minds that they came out of jail worse than they went in. ¥¥
(David Macaray is a Los Angeles playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor”). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
LIFE'S A VERY FUNNY PROPOSITION AFTER ALL.
by Irving Berlin
Did you ever sit and ponder,
Sit and wonder, sit and think,
Why we're here and what this life is all about?
It's a problem that has driven
Many brainy men to drink,
It's the weirdest thing they've tried to figure out.
About a thousand different theories
All the scientists can show,
But never yet have proved a reason why
With all we've thought
And all we're taught,
Why all we seem to know
Is we're born and live a while and then we die.
Life's a very funny proposition after all,
Imagination, jealousy, hypocrisy and all.
Three meals a day, a whole lot to say;
When you haven't got the coin you're always in the way.
Everybody's fighting as we wend our way along,
Every fellow claims the other fellow's in the wrong;
Hurried and worried until we're buried and there's no curtain call.
Life's a very funny proposition after all.
When all things are coming easy, and when luck is with a man,
Why then life to him is sunshine everywhere;
Then the fates blow rather breezy and they quite upset a plan,
Then he'll cry that life's a burden hard to bear.
Though today may be a day of smiles, tomorrow's still in doubt,
And what brings me joy, may bring you care and woe;
We're born to die, but don't know why, or what it's all about,
And the more we try to learn the less we know.
Life's a very funny proposition, you can bet,
And no one's ever solved the problem properly as yet.
Young for a day, then old and gray;
Like the rose that buds and blooms and fades and falls away,
Losing health to gain our wealth as through this dream we tour.
Everything's a guess and nothing's absolutely sure;
Battles exciting and fates we're fighting until the curtain falls.
Life's a very funny proposition after all.
DECEMBER ANDERSON VALLEY LOCAL FOOD CALENDAR
Every Mon - Farm & Garden Show - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm
Tue Dec 3 - Holistic Health Perspectives - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm
Every Tue - Agriculture & Ecology Hour - KZYX 90.7 FM - 7:00 pm
Thu Dec 5 - Boonville Hotel Tree Lighting with local food - 5:30 pm
Sat Dec 7 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 11 am -1 pm (see info below)
Sun Dec 8 - AV Grange Pancake Breakfast - Philo Grange - 8:30-11:00 (see info below)
Sun Dec 8 - Community Holiday Dinner - Philo Grange - 5:30 (see info below)
Mon Dec 9 - Mendocino County Fair Board Meeting - FG Conference Room - 7 pm
Sat Dec 14 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 11 am -1 pm
Tue Dec 17 - AV Food Bank - Boonville Methodist Church (see info below)
Tue Dec 17 - Holistic Health Perspectives - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm
Tue Dec 17 - AV Solar Grange #669 Meeting - Philo Grange - 7 pm potluck
Sat Dec 21 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 11 am -1 pm
Sat Dec 28 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 11 am -1 pm
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Sat Feb 1 - Grafting/Seed & Scion Exchange - Boonville Fairgrounds
* * *
The AV Senior/Community Center has an expanding vegetable garden that is providing some of the produce for the meals there. All community members are encouraged to take advantage of this local food opportunity. For meal schedule and more information go to avseniorcenter.blogspot.com or call Gina at 895-3609.
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Restaurants in Anderson Valley that support our farmers by using locally grown produce are Aquarelle Cafe, Boont Berry Farm, Boonville General Store, Boonville Hotel, Coq au Vin, Floodgate Cafe, Lauren’s Café, Paysanne and Mosswood Market.
* * *
AV Foodshed Group continues to present the Boonville Winter Market through the end of April. This is our third year in front of Boonville General Store on Saturdays, 11:00 - 1:00, rain or shine. This market is for community members to sell their homegrown and handmade products. All are welcome and do not need to register. Just show up when you can with your own table. Questions? Cindy - 895-2949.
* * *
Grange Local Food Pancake and Egg Breakfast Sunday Dec 8, 8:30-11 AM. Will have really local bacon and all grains and eggs are local and we will have local apple syrup plus great music and poems from local folks willing to trade talents for food. Pancakes, eggs and bacon $10, smaller plates and children servings at lower cost are available. A great place to share time with friends, have great local food and ambience. At the Anderson Valley Grange on HWY 128 between Philo and Boonville.
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Every December the AV Foodshed Group partners with AV Solar Grange to present an incredible Community Holiday Dinner. This year the dinner will be on Sunday December 8 at 5:30 at the AV Grange in Philo. Lots of volunteers come together in the afternoon to begin setting up and decorating the hall to accommodate over 200 people for an evening of dining and holiday singing and entertainment. The Foodshed Group and Grange provide the turkeys, hams, potatoes, dressing and gravy. The community (that's you) brings the side dishes and desserts. It is truly a feast in celebration of local food and community. All Foodshed events are BYO (bring your own dishes.) Please show up before 5:30 to get your potluck dish labeled and find a place to sit. Thanks to all who have already signed up. Here are the aspects of the Holiday Dinner on Sunday Dec 8, 2013 where we could use volunteers:
Make 10 pounds of mashed potatoes: (potatoes provided by Foodshed Group); Bake a turkey, with dressing and gravy: (turkey and dressing ingredients provided by Foodshed Group and Grange); Bake a ham: (ham provided by Foodshed Group); Make appetizers for the waiting line: Make extra gravy; Kids Activities: Set up Crew: Kitchen; Set up Crew: Dining (Set up tables and chairs, decorate tables.); Table Greeters: (help people fill out dish ingredient cards); Carvers: Carve turkeys, hams, leg of lamb (bring your own knife); Serve appetizers to the waiting line: Potluck Line Director: Meat/potato Servers: Early Clean Up Crew: Late Clean Up Crew (kitchen); Clean Up Crew (dining room); Dishwashing Set Up.
To volunteer contact Cindy Wilder at email@example.com
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FREE FARM CONSULTING
Apply with West Company at www.WestCompany.org to receive free consulting.
If you have a small farm business, we can help you!
We have consultants ready to help you with: , Farming Technical Assistance, Business Planning, Enterprise Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Operations Management, Human Resources, Marketing, Loan Applications, and more…
Find out more by contacting Paula Gaska, Project Organizer of the Strengthening CSAs Program at West Company paula[at]mendocinoorganics[dot]com 707.272.2711 or visit https://sites.google.com/a/westcompany.org/csa-and-farm/ for more details
* * *
VALUE-ADDED FOOD PRODUCTION WORKSHOP - January 7 & 9, 2014
Dream of selling jam, jelly, salsa, pesto, pie, juice…or chocolate-covered strawberries? With planning, a little extra work, and some imagination, you can boost your profits and bring something new and delicious to your community. Learn strategies that can help you increase the value of your farm products. Discover local resources for value-added food production, such as commercial kitchens. Get an overview of the California Cottage Food Law. Presenter Matt Maurer provides business planning support to small farm operators through one-on-one sessions and workshop trainings. Matt helped establish his family's pistachio farm and owns Redwood Valley Nut Company, which sells organically grown pistachios, almonds, and walnuts.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 4:30-7:30pm in Ukiah, Mendocino Works Building, 631 S. Orchard Street, Ukiah, Ca 95482
And Thursday, January 9, 2014, 4:30-7:30p in Fort Bragg, West Company, 760 B Stewart Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Price: $25. Fee is waived if you are a West Company client. Apply with West Company at www.WestCompany.org.
Registration is required. Contact Paula Gaska, Project Organizer of the Strengthening CSAs Program at West Company paula[at]mendocinoorganics[dot]com 707.272.2711 to register.
* * *
The AV Foodshed Apple Press is still available at AV Community Farm in Boonville. If you would like to use it there or borrow it, you can arrange to do so by calling Cindy at 895-2949.
* * *
The Anderson Valley Food Bank distributes on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. We distribute at the Boonville Methodist Church. We are now buying and giving out fresh produce from Burt at BBF and are seeking further improvements of a local nature! Denisse Mattei is the Food Bank director. You can reach her at 895-3763.
Early Merry Christmas Greeting
I am wishing you an early Merry Christmas, and please have a happy postmodern American holiday for yourself. I am presently helping with fundraising to create a multi- purpose community center in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, to primarily benefit elderly residents, and at risk children who live in a section of NOLA defined by illiteracy and poverty. In the midst of this, I am asking you for a Christmas gift for me. Right now I have less than $400 plus food stamps. If you owe me money, please send it to me; after all, it's mine. And if you do not owe me money, but appreciate what I have selflessly done the past 40 years, in the name of global peace & justice and radical environmentalism, then I want you to send me a money gift. Lastly, I'd like you to appreciate that I want some money for myself, just to enjoy life on earth for a change, because I'm way past due for some apolitical, environmentally unrelated, fun! Merry Christmas And Happy New Year — Craig Louis Stehr c/o Jamie Loughner, 333 Socrates Street, New Orleans, LA 70114. Telephone: (504) 302-9951