- READY TO NEGOTIATE, Helen Michael
- THE WEIST LIST, Michael Weist
- STEPHEN HAWKING ON BLACK HOLES, Louis S. Bedrock
- TODD WALTON RESPONDS, Todd Walton
- DENNIS ROUSE'S ALL-TIMERS, Denis Rouse
- KZYX FCC LICENSE UNDER FIRE, Patricia Kovner
- HARD TIME U., William ‘Bongo Bill’ Newport
- STEPHEN ELLIOTT’S TOP TEN, Steve Elliott
- CLARITY, Lee Simon
- OF COURSE YOU ARE, JIMMY, Jimmy Humble
- DOUG McKENTY RESPONDS, Doug McKenty
- FEM PALS WANTED, Peter Sears
- A VALLEY OF HOPES, Saul Blumberg aka Saul Barry
- HOMELESS MARATHON, Susan Werllance
- KEEP YOUR WORD, B. Hartke
- MENDODUNE, Don Morris
READY TO NEGOTIATE
Fact Finding is a new tool granted by State lawmakers through AB 646 to give negotiating parties additional options to try to reach an agreement. The results are, by law, non-binding. It is done in an informal hearing in which both parties present the facts to substantiate their positions and receive a recommendation given by the neutral fact finding panel. It is a step required before the County could call an impasse on employees, so they had no choice but to agree to it.
The County's first and only proposal during the negotiations was to roll over the contract. They say they were more than willing to negotiate, but that was only as long as there was no discussion of any money. Our position is that wage restoration (not a raise as they call it) was and is the most important issue for line staff although there are other matters we thought needed to be addressed.
We tried to work with the County and proposed different configurations to get to a 10% wage restoration. In order to make it less of a financial issue for the County in a single fiscal year and to give them an opportunity to achieve their fiscal goals, we proposed a 10% wage increase over 3 years with the first being a 3% increase from January 1, 2014 to the end of the fiscal year on June 30. They said no. They said no to everything we proposed, except for a minimal increase in bi-lingual pay and a small increase in reimbursement for the special reflective clothing the transportation workers are required to wear.
What the County doesn't want to divulge is that they consistently over-estimate costs and under-estimate revenue, every year, by at least 10% in each of those items so they always have more money at the end of the year than they tell the public during the budget process.
The fact-finding panel found the Board's reserve policy too conservative and said they can begin to restore our wages and still deposit into the reserve. The County has reached the reserve level they have set for themselves. With the influx of money, they are buying a fleet of new cars, have remodeled the CEO's offices and are paying $185,000 from the reserve for lawyers from San Francisco to negotiate against us. Yet they still insist we cannot be included in their future plans. It is all about the money and not at all about the people who provide vital services to the community.
Services are being impacted, regardless of their statement otherwise. The County is so far behind in at least one major program that they are thinking of contracting out more jobs, this time from Social Services, besides those they already eliminated from Mental Health. That is the reason we need contract language that prohibits them contracting out our jobs. They are not interested in "sustainable solutions" for this current workforce. The County is hiring in Social Services at a high rate, probably in part because they want to spend the state and federal grant money rather than have to give it back like they have done the last few years. That's a good thing, but it doesn't resolve the serious loss of trained workers to surrounding counties. Mendocino County employment policies are an anachronism in which they expect employees to be grateful they have a job rather than the employer valuing excellent employees. What current graduate or trained professional would choose to come to a County that pays and treats their employees so poorly? They also don't mention that with fewer County employees the more the pension costs to the county because there are fewer employees to pay into it. They make it a self-fulfilling prophecy of increased pension liability. They also don't say that the stock market has greatly improved in general this last year, which has significantly decreased their liabilities.
Assistant CEO Kyle Knopp said: “Overall we are very pleased. The Board of Supervisor’s position continues to be based on stabilizing County finances and tying increased compensation to sustainable increases in County revenue." This of course fails to describe the unprecedented run-up in the general reserve and in department reserves, and it does not even mention any improvement in the local economy. Revenues are NOT absolutely flat. Surely they are rising 3%. But what is more striking about his statement was that Knopp was "pleased." He was pleased that the county does not have to improve the line staff situation. A decent administrator would have said he would strive to bring the County into a more competitive employment environment. That is a sad statement because it reflects their entire lack of respect and empathy toward employees. It is worth pointing out that the panel did not recommend that the Board "consider" a 3% wage increase, as Knopp states. The panel said: "In sum, the panel recommends the adoption of the Union's proposal of a 3% salary increase effective January 1, 2014." That is a declarative, affirmative statement.
The County's message has been consistent from day one: they do not want to negotiate. Our message is consistent too, that we will continue to be willing to negotiate, if they have something to offer.
PS. Several of the benefits listed in your recent Mendo Labor Wars piece are not benefits this bargaining unit receives but only for upper management such as longevity pay, deferred compensation, wellness leave, etc.
PPS. By the way-you should check your facts and your source… If they had offered $1000 we may have considered it but that never was their proposal. Your “source” has misinformed you.
THE WEIST LIST
Love the Top 10 lists. Here’s mine. Baseball is getting closer!
- Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac
- The Western Lands by William S. Burroughs
- Adventures in Marxism by Marshall Berman
- The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
- The City in Mind by James H. Kunstler
- Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
- The Betrayal of Marx by Frederic L. Bender
- History and Class Consciousness by Georg Lukac
- The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe
- The Complete Works of Isaac Babel
STEPHEN HAWKING ON BLACK HOLES: AN EXCHANGE
Your derogatory remarks on science manifest a lack of understanding of conjecture, hypotheses, theories, and the scientific method. Your tone is reminiscent of Fox News at its worst—when they have a story about Wynona Ryder caught shoplifting, or Hugh Grant soliciting the services of a prostitute. Not what I expect from the author of Buddha in a Teacup, one of my favorite books.
A conjecture is just a guess or opinion that is usually made with insufficient information. A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon that has not been tested or exposed to peer review. Unlike conjecture, a scientific hypothesis may only be applied to an explanation that is testable. The testing and peer review process may require years of thought and debate, new technologies, and more sophisticated mathematical analysis before it can become a theory. Some hypotheses, like those of multiple universes, are tested only by the most sophisticated forms of mathematics
In science, a theory is a scientific hypothesis that tested and peer reviewed and is accepted as the best available explanation for the present. This last point is important. Unlike orthodox systems, science thrives on controversy, debate, and iconoclasm. Religion depends on obedience; science on challenging, retesting, and revising, when necessary, hypotheses and even current theories.
Copernican astronomy and Einstein physics are example of science at its best; however, both have been refined from their original forms.
Scientists are often fools. Even when their theories are accurate, the consequences of the theories can prove horrendous. This is due to human frailty, not science. Science is not a magic wand that you can just wave and turn Todd Walton into a dung- beetle—although right now, I wish I could if only for a few hours. Science is the most effective engine for accumulating knowledge about the real world that we have. It’s not perfect, but without it you wouldn’t have novocaine, morphine, antibiotics, computers, or Dick Cheney’s pacemaker—as I said, it’s not perfect.
Shame on you Todd. Hawkings may look ridiculous at the moment, but he’s a great scientist and an admirable human being. He does not deserve to be compared with the whore-monger scumbag doctors who peddled cigarettes, or with the caricatures of a Monty Python skit. And, your dismissal of science with the statement, “This is science? You betcha,” is puerile.
Louis S. Bedrock
Rochelle, New Jersey
TODD WALTON RESPONDS
I'm sure your response will echo the sentiments of many others regarding my article, but I think it is important to remind everyone, especially those who bow down so reverently to anything deemed fact by the official scientific organs, that these facts may not actually be facts. Nuclear power is safe, cigarettes are good for you, DDT will save the world from malaria and make life better for everyone, black holes do or do not exist, a little Fukushima radiation won't hurt you, etc. ad infinitum. These facts may sound like nonsense to you now that we know otherwise, but that is precisely my point. Nonsense often stands as scientific fact for decades and centuries until, and often against incredible resistance from the established scientific community, someone, often someone outside that accredited scientific community, proves otherwise. Read The Body Is the Hero, a history of our understanding of the human immune system, the established scientific community exerting all its might again and again to defeat the emerging truth often to the point of literally killing the messengers. Read the story of the scientist who first discovered the ozone hole over the antarctic who was viciously attacked and discredited for years by the leading scientists of America and Europe, as were the first group of scientists who confirmed his findings, until his discovery became irrefutable.
My remark is not puerile, it is true, and I'm happy to remind people of this truth. Just because somebody who some organization has recognized as an authority says something is true doesn't mean something is true. You may know that, and science, in its purest form may know that, but this is not what is fed to the world and to the millions of people who swallow such “scientific” ideas because they've been trained to think scientists know things by virtue of being scientists. That is simply not so, and Hawking's blithe retraction is, I think, a hilarious example of that.
So there's this guy who spends his entire life seeking the meaning of life. After decades of scientific and philosophical study, he searches the world over and finally meets the holiest of holy gurus atop the Himalayan peak and asks, “What is the meaning of life?” And the guru says, “Life is a fountain.” And the guy says, “I spent my whole life studying and searching and striving to find the truth, and you tell me life is a fountain?” The guru thinks for a moment and says, “Life isn't a fountain?”
DENNIS ROUSE'S ALL-TIMERS
- “Under The Volcano” by Malcolm Lowry. This is what alcoholism does, sometimes it's greatness.
- “Brothers” by Yu Hua. To be Chinese is to be so human.
- “The Archer” by Robert Stone (one in his volume of great short stories entitled “Fun With Problems"). Real life written by a true master of the subject.
- “Child of God” by Cormac McCarthy. Hello, necrophilia.
- “The Only Thing That Counts,” Hemingway's correspondence with his editor Max Perkins. Hello Papa, you'll always be in our top ten.
- “Beauty and Sadness” by Yasunari Kawabata. To be Japanese is to be so human.
- “The Gate” by Natsume Soseki, ditto.
- “Five Noir Novels” by David Goodis. Move over Chandler and Hammett, this is your master.
- “The Ears of Johnny Bear” by John Steinbeck (in the volume of his great short stories entitled “The Long Valley"). Steinbeck cared, never more evident than here.
- “The City” by Denis Rouse, never published by decree of the author.
KZYX FCC LICENSE UNDER FIRE
KZYX is in big trouble. At least 3 complaints to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) that I know of have been filed challenging renewal of the stations's license. Being only a long-time listener myself, all I know is that the station has gone downhill. The last time I was in the studio was many years ago when I volunteered to take phone calls during pledge drive. The only membership or board meeting I ever attended was at the Saturday Afternoon Club after Christina Aanestad was abruptly fired, the station was near bankruptcy, and we had just concluded a supposedly successful pledge drive.(?) That disconnect was the official beginning of my discontent.
Since then, things have only gotten worse. The full news hour has been cut to 4 minutes, now up to 10 including weather. There is no call-in show for the public. Previous local programming has been replaced by pre-recorded non-local shows. Two programmers don't even live here anymore yet continue their shows. Certain topics are off-limits.
The board meets infrequently, has no power, and does not communicate with the listeners. KZYX is a closed shop. It is for all of the above that I am running for the 3rd District board seat, hoping to be part of a majority that will work for change, and light. There are many of us who feel this way and I want to represent them.
I almost didn't renew my membership because I was so disgusted by the station's fall from grace. For years I depended on KZYX news to inform me, from Point Arena to Whale Gulch. Annie Esposito went out of her way to solicit news from all over this huge county. The station allowed open debate on hot local topics. That's why, I believe, we were able to pass Measure H, banning GMOs in agriculture. The public was informed and resisted Monsanto's money that poured in to deceive us.
I want the old KZYX back, the station I knew and loved, despite its faults. The station that let Judi Bari have a weekly hour long show. Can you imagine that happening now? How about a fun, playful version of KMUD:s Thank Jah It's Friday? The only show close to it was Click and Clack, one of my favorites, which got canned.
For the record, I am not opposed to NPR, since it supposedly has a large following (how do we know that?). It's not my preference but I believe in diversity. It's that I'm for more local programming, debate, diversity, and transparency.
I now get my Mendocino news from KMUD's expanded newshour since I can't get it on KZYX. It's even reported by former KZYX news staff! I've heard Christina Aanastad, Dave Brooksher, and Annie Esposito reporting on KMUD, all of whom have been replaced on KZYX. I think the press should reprint all 3 formal complaints to the FCC as a first step. 'Something is rotten in Denmark, so to speak. Let's clean it up.
HARD TIME U.
It’s me again Bongo Bill. I don’t know if you or your awesome readers remember my letter asking why can’t little Johnny get an education. Well, here at CDCR’s school of hard knocks, every inmate that’s in school is trying to get their GED because they didn’t graduate high school. Oh wait a minute Governor Choo-choo train Moonbeam made it into law that any inmate who didn’t graduate high school has to get a GED. (That train just blowing smoke up someone’s bleep.) It’s great when someone does get their GED. They do a photo op with people from Sacramento. Shake hands, cut the cake. Do you smell that? I don’t think that was cake that was cut, but it was someone from Sacramento’s own cake that squeezed out a fart. They’re so full of crap. I know because Governor Choo-choo Moonbeam’s eyes are brown. CDCR gets more money toward prison spending for every inmate that’s in school.
When I did go to school here from 11:30 to 2:30 my teacher was awesome, and he literally rocks. And I mean he literally sat at his desk and spent 75% of the time he was supposed to be teaching us at a computer typing firmly, staring like a rock at his screen. Once again your tax dollars at work. I stopped going and ended on (c) over (c) status and lost what I don’t own or get like TV, radio, packages, visits. I get either dayroom or yard from 2:30 until 4pm, Monday through Friday. They got me for refusing, but what I’m refusing is verbal abuse and constant strip searches when I could just walk through the metal detectors.
My favorite part of 2013 was on Tuesday December 17, 2013 at 4am. A C/O dropped his baton during patrol and didn’t realize it was missing until hours later. They slammed the yard where it was missing, then eventually the whole prison because they think someone could have picked it up and tossed it over the fence to another yard. Well, what I say is lose this fellow who gets paid $27 an hour for eight hours a shift. Combine it with whatever they get paid for inmates in school trying to get their GED who are not gonna go because of verbal abuse and butt naked searches everyday and put it in a trust fund for little Johnny so he can go to school when he gets older.
William ‘Bongo Bill’ Newport
STEPHEN ELLIOTT’S TOP TEN
Here are my top ten. I stuck to novels, which was hard enough.
- War and Peace — Leo Tolstoy
- Anna Karenina — Leo Tolstoy
- Fathers and Sons — Ivan Turgenev
- Les Miserables — Victor Hugo
- Madame Bovary — Gustave Flaubert
- Mansfield Park — Jane Austen
- Middlemarch — George Eliot
- Little Women — Louisa May Alcott
- House of Mirth — Edith Wharton
- This Side of Paradise — F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’ve been thinking about two articles in the February issue of The Progressive magazine. The first, by Joyce Carol Oates, talks about violence. She says “violence” of a heightened, graphic, visual, and visceral nature is a commodity in the US, and is consumed by a portion of the population more or less continuously. The “culture of violence” is akin to a toxic cloud — it may be invisible to most, but it is exerting its potency nonetheless. The second article is by Jim Hightower, and it talks about the Coca-Cola Company and he calls their corporate actions corruption. Recently, he says, the CEO of Coke declared “obesity is today’s most challenging health issue,” adding piously that solving it requires “all of us working together and doing our part.” Then Hightower says, “Really — by selling more coke? That’s proof that hypocrisy is now the official rocket fuel of corporate profits.” Most people think that the two are unrelated topics. I think not. Most people think that violence increases the further down the socio-economic ladder you go. That’s true on one level, sure. There is more domestic violence, more alcohol related violence, more sexual violence at the lower part of that ladder than higher up. But there is also a lot of violence at the top of the ladder. The 1%, the global economy masters, do not use physical violence as much, since they have the police, National Guard, and if need be, the US Army to do it for them. The global masters use mental violence, which is often more punishing than its physical counterpart. Propaganda is mental violence. It distorts reality and truth. Nearly all of the television news is some degree of propaganda, and the commercials distort reality beyond comprehension, thereby creating consumerism. “Public relations” is just spin with an agenda, and all politics is public relations. It all adds up to the reality that we are surrounded with violence, of both types, and the mass media want us to keep focused on the violence at the bottom of the ladder. It’s time we begin to talk about the mind-rape corporate America fosters on a daily basis. Is this new in human history? Not at all. What is new is that it’s now invisible, which makes it even more pernicious. Progress only comes when we make the invisible visible. All power to clear vision.
Far ’n Away Farm, Virginia
OF COURSE YOU ARE, JIMMY
I am writing to let you and your readers know that as a member and programmer at our local public radio station KZYX, I am very pleased with the direction the station has taken. The station, if you haven't noticed is sounding better and better with fewer technical problems and programmers who have learned their craft. Currently we have more locally produced programs than we've had in a long time and our news time is expanding. We went through a recent period where we had to cut back on the news to save money and now we are in the black and ready to begin expanding again. The success in our financing I attribute to great support from the listening community and an experienced and knowledgeable management and staff. There will always be folks on the fringe who don't have it their way, make a big stink, then disappear. We are a work in progress and will only improve as we mature. I invite anyone who listens to be an active supporter and become a member. We have a six day membership drive coming up the last week in February and Humble Pie on March 1. Stay tuned in and turned on!
Ed note: Names!
DOUG McKENTY RESPONDS
To NPR or Not to NPR? Is this a question?
It has been posited by some that we at KZYX Members for Change are some type of group of radical leftists trying to take over the station, a “small but vocal minority” who has been constantly causing a ruckus around the station for years but should not be listened to or paid attention to in any way. This radical minority, if left to its own devices, would no doubt eliminate NPR and fill the airwaves with nothing but far left propaganda, leaving no room for the vast majority of center leaning Mendocino residents who just want to hear the day’s news on their way home from work.
I do not know who has been spreading these malicious rumors, but I have to tell you that this assertion would be hilarious to me if I had not perceived their effectiveness. It has been easy for those who currently control the station to sideline this movement as “fringe.” When addressing some of the many issues concerning KZYX governance with a current board member I was actually called a “conspiracy theorist.” This board member went on to tell me that people who believe in freedom of speech and community democracy are “too hard to work with.” When taking issue with a current station policy prohibiting programmers from criticizing NPR on the air, I was told by a fellow programmer that censorship at KZYX was necessary and good for the station. I have had to really come to use the concept of the “Buddha mind” to understand how people involved in local radio can justify statements like these but can tell you that, as the host of Open Lines for many years, these views are the minority. These are the views of the fringe.
A very small group of people decided some time ago that the only way KZYX was going to get out of debt was to push its NPR affiliation. As one programmer and past board member stated to me, KZYX has been “co-opted by NPR.” Over these last five years, we have heard more and more NPR produced programs and less and less alternative, local perspectives. A few years ago, when the station eliminated its local news department, it became policy to ask the volunteer programmers to cover local issues to make up for the gap. NPR covers national issues, local programs should cover local issues. End of story. New volunteers who want to cover national topics from an alternative perspective just don't get produced. Their point of view is not welcome. Again, these decisions were and are made by a small group of people. This same group refuses to implement the board approved policy creating the Programming Advisory Committee and is the same group who has difficulty fulfilling the requirements of the CPB grant in forming a Community Advisory Board charged with discovering and communicating the desires of the stations listenership.
In my experience as a board member, I was able to analyze two surveys. One, produced by the last functional Community Advisory Board in 2011, and another online survey produced in 2012. Far from presenting NPR as the choice of a clear majority, both surveys seemed to me to produce an even split. About 50% showed approval for NPR and about 50% cited too much NPR as a source of disgruntlement. In a recent conversation with Karen Ottobani, board president circa 2000, she had the same experience.
No one is talking about eliminating NPR, nor is anyone talking about putting control of the station into the hands of anyone with any political agenda. What we are talking about is giving control of the programming back into the hands of the membership, creating a programming roster that is reflective of the diversity of our community, and one that, as the Mission states, “gives access to all points of view.”
Please vote for Doug McKenty and Patricia Kovner for the Board of Directors of MCPB as the election ensues throughout the month of March. Check out the Facebook page “KZYX Members for Change” for more information.
FEM PALS WANTED
Recently you published an excerpt from a letter that Dorotheya Dorman received from Marc Hunter. I also correspond with Marc and he has asked me to ask for female correspondents, so if you're female and would consider writing to a prisoner, Marc's address is:
Marc Hunter P-80840 3B2-231
PO Box 3466. Corcoran, CA 93212.
Marc is 42 and still has six years to serve.
A VALLEY OF HOPES
To Mr. Bruce Anderson and contributor Thomas Elkjer:
Thank you… Your tribute to my son Brian David Blumberg was and is appreciated… This letter will introduce Saul Blumberg aka Saul Barry the father of the deceased… Brian… I am known as a prose poet writer that my style of writing "prose" does have a certain rhythm opposes the structure of "trite of facts"… Highlights will give you a better insight of his life… Brian was an intriguing little boy person… In the past he was mischievous… but never tried to hurt or harm people… Animals were treated with respect as humankinds… His personality was magnetic as situations tickled him… then laughed with you… Living with his father… we spent weekends together… happy hours… Many times I took him for "hikes" in the forest… One day as "hiking" brought him into a forest clearing… stopped… then explained it to Brian… Quote: "This is nature where life begins…" "Dad… this beautiful… peaceful… I like it…" His understanding followed in his life when he searched for the place that would satisfy his "needs" for the future… My son… Brian… was the most treasure in my life… Graduated high school… Ventura… California… Spent time trying to find out… "Where do I fit in for the future?" … Ups and downs… then… "Dad… I would like to be a… plumber…" Since I was responsible for its future… accepted his wishes… Always liked to work with his hands… fixing problems… it required skill… ingenuity… He worked hard learning as an apprentice… After years… he received his first license… as a… plumber… Friend of his moved to Northwest California… close to Anderson Valley… Brian visited his friend many times… Conversation: "Dad… moving to Anderson Valley… Will start my own business…" Before you move… I will travel the section of California as a tourist… visitor as I examine the possibilities… My answer… "Nature is surrounding people… There are not major cities and minor distractions will allow you to concentrate on your future…" As he left me… I taught him the words… actions that are necessary accepting a comfortable life… Quote: "Be charitable with your knowledge… Remember two words… Truth… Believe… People you will meet are not "biased…" I called Anderson Valley… a Valley of Hopes… Something desirable will happen to you… It did… He did one step after one step at valued time… Kept concentrating on his future… Improved the quality of his work when puzzles were solved… Brian knew he had a father as visits… phone calls… letters were important to both of us and he could be found… contacted when his father would help as needed… Brian always pushed away disrupting… valueless distractions… One day… he climbed a high hill… Found that life necessities created his "needs" when he owed obligations to himself… Built a home with views of a world that integrated with his honest feelings as he joined people without restrictions… December 18, 2013-1:45 PM… Brian called his father… Another call for Brian from a doctor… I closed the line and he called back… Casual conversations of soft tones… "Dad… what will you do for the holidays?"… "Will be alone… myself…" "Me too…" Told him that I will call back tomorrow and advised him that I will arrange to fly to San Francisco… drive to Philo and join my son for 10 days of the holidays… December 18… 4:36pm… Texas Time… Pam… his friend… called me and said… "Brian is dead…" All I can say is… "His soul belongs to me…" Cried all night… Arrived at Philo… California… December 20… My niece… Maura Sellers who acted with personal integrity… and followed right paths giving consolation honoring the memory of Brian… For the funeral… burial… Laura handled everything properly when the burial on December 22… Sunday… was in the Jewish faith… Another plot for burial… next to Brian… was bought for his father… On the day he was buried… I felt his presence tell me… "There is an afterlife and I will wait for you when you join me…" Will travel to join my son… Together… we will find… peace… tranquility at a Valley… I called… "Anderson Valley — a valley of Hopes…"
Saul Blumberg aka Saul Barry
Letter to the editor,
On February 19, Wednesday, from 4-10pm, there will be a marathon for the homeless or concerning homelessness on radio station KPFZ in Lakeport. KPFZ will be participating in this nationwide network of radio stations. The program originates from Vermont and is in its 16th year. Just the recording advertising this event on KPFZ is amazing in creating a heartfelt picture of a homeless person with beautiful music and words. If you are fortunate enough to be within reach of these airways, I think you will be inspired. Ukiah and Redwood Valley have areas within broadcast range. KPFZ is at 88.1 FM. There is also an online option at KPFZ.org.
KEEP YOUR WORD
To Mr. T. Taylor at Suzy's house: I recently saw your letter to the editor in the AVA of which I am a great admirer. It doesn't look like your advice paid off.
Anyway, to the matter at hand. I did as you asked and contacted "Lucky" several times with no reply. Must be too busy. You know — out of sight, out of mind. However, based on your proclamation of friend and your obvious intelligence, I would assume you are a man of your word and suggest you make an alternate plan to keep your word!
B. Hartke, AP-0793 CMF H3-350 Low. PO Box 2000. Vacaville, CA 95696-2000
Feel free to write to me at this address.
Groundhog (pork sausage) Day.
Regarding the current North Coast "drought," I fear that it's not a drought but a permanent transition to a new "normal" arid Mediterranean climate similar to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Ultimately, this climate shift would culminate in a North Coast Desert similar to the Atacama Desert in northern Chile which is the driest place on earth averaging 0.02 inches of precipitation per year (1964-2001).
We can kiss our temperate rain forest goodbye. The redwood forest will be replaced by the Saguaro cactus forest. The salmon will be replaced by sand crabs. The Pacific giant salamander will be replaced by the giant gila monster. The Pacific tree frog will be replaced by the horned toad.
Mellow money pot farmers will be replaced by hard money agro punks who will reap huge profits from cultivating Monsanto's drought tolerant GMO pot plant spliced with Saguaro cactus genes allowing it to survive by condensing atmospheric water vapor. As a bonus, the deadly spines on GMO pot plants will deter ripoffs.
The transition from forest to desert will provide some jobs salvaging dead and dying trees and extracting gravel from streambeds. No water, no fish, no problemo. The North Coast "rivers" will be bone dry arroyos.
Most people are totally clueless about the gravity of the situation as they tiptoe through the graveyard whistling and singing, "Don't worry, Be happy. Let's boogie," like the Antrobus family in Thornton Wilder's play, "The Skin of Our Teeth."
We should all read Mark Reiser's prophetic book, "Cadillac Desert," and Frank Herbert's cautionary sci-fi classic, "Dune, the Desert Planet."
Coming soon, "Planet Dune."
PS. The National Weather Service's high-tech, robotic weather predictions from Eureka are a joke. When the robos predict "heavy rains" it's usually torrential mist with accumulations of an inch or less. Maybe the National Weather Service already accepts the climate change, figuring that an inch of rain would be "heavy" in the desert. Our only hope is to figure an economically feasible way to collect and store stormwater runoff from building roofs and paved areas. During the last "heavy rainstorm" in late January, I collected 50 gallons of rainwater runoff from a 100 square-foot shed roof after a torrential mist of less than one inch.