- Murder Trial Stays
- Bus Accident
- Property Abatements
- Where is Colin?
- Considerate Thieves
- Our New Byzantium
- Annoying Math Teacher
- CEO Gets Mixed Signals
- Occupy's Manifesto
- Here In This Spring
- A Great & Glorious Game
- Police Reports
JUDGE BEHNKE refused today (Thursday) to move the murder trial of Kenneth Wilkinson, 24, out of Mendocino County. The judge rightly pointed out that there hadn't been much pre-trial publicity other than recitations of the horrifying known facts. Wilkinson, of Willits, and obviously of diminished capacity further diminished by drugs and alcohol, was briefly left in charge of his grandfather. Gramps, 84, was later found dead at the foot of an embankment where Wilkinson had apparently dragged him behind his pick-up and threw the old guy over the side. Jury selection begins Monday. Paul Sequiera is the prosecutor, Linda Thompson is Wilkinson's public defender. She will try to convince the jury that Wilkinson thought grandpa was dead which, of course, begs all kinds of obvious questions, beginning with, “If you thought he was dead, why drag him anywhere, let alone six miles up into the hills before you disposed of his remains?” This thing shouldn't be going to a jury. Wilkinson belongs in a hospital for the developmentally disabled.
TERRIBLE ACCIDENT LATE THURSDAY AFTERNOON on I-5 near Orland. The president of Humboldt State University writes:
Humboldt State University is deeply saddened by a tragic accident that occurred earlier this evening involving a charter bus filled with prospective students. They were on their way to visit campus for the April 11 Spring Preview event.
Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, and we are here to support them, and their families, in any way possible.
The bus was travelling on Interstate 5 near Orland when it collided with a FedEx truck. We are in contact with law enforcement in the area, and are being told of multiple injuries.
Families of students who may have been affected may contact University Police for more information or guidance at (707) 826-5555.
Rollin C. Richmond
FORT BRAGG is about to abate three properties at (1) 138 E. Oak (2) 627 N. Main (3) 125 N. McPherson. Good for Fort Bragg. So, how about us? Right here in Boonville, smack in the middle of tourist country, we've got a combined major eyesore and fire hazard the County refuses to move on. It's the Ricard place on the east side of 128 in South Boonville as the traveler enters and departs the splendors of our jaunty population, our fine restaurants, the high seraglio of our tasting rooms, and our scrupulously maintained properties, many of them presently in spectacular garden color. Mr. Ricard lives in Little River and owns commercial buildings in Mendocino. Try and get away with abandoned buildings in either of those two communities! Or Fort Bragg. Even ramshackle Willits and Ukiah will abate their worst structures. But Boonville? This Ricard character has been getting a free pass for going on 40 years.
WHAT’LL YOU HAVE?
Greetings, Mr. Anderson;
Your endorsement of union-made Pabst Blue Ribbon was indeed stirring, but one wishes that some other more drinkable concoction might also be made by organized labor. Back in 1987 I toured the immense historic PBR brewery in Milwaukee and finally learned what it was that always left that unpleasant Pabst aftertaste in my mouth: corn grits. As I understand it, for economic reasons as a result of World War I, American breweries were obliged to "stretch" their dwindling supplies of expensive malted barley, the primary grain product employed in beer making, in order to keep up their brewing volume. Budweiser chose to add rice, Pabst chose to add corn; the resulting products might be accurately termed Ersatzbier, since wise Bavarians decided back in 1487 that actual, genuine Bier was to be made from malted barley only. Diverse grain adjuncts do not improve the quality or flavor of the final product (arguably, wheat might be excepted here, though it is only employed seasonally in weissbier) but they do make the final product less expensive to brew and hence attractive to a Board of Directors.
These days the number of possible additives to American-brewed beer is scarcely short of appalling. Besides the above mentioned (GMO) adjunct grains the list now includes propylene glycol, Calcium or Disodium EDTA (that's "Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid" for you crossword puzzle fans), MSG (!), corn syrup and its ubiquitous cousins Dextrose and High Fructose (all GMO), caramel coloring, dyes (chemical and natural), glyceryl monostearate — plus that most mysterious of gastronomic un-nameables, "Natural Flavors." But I digress.
The PBR tour was a pretty dull affair, since big-volume commercial brewing isn't exactly exciting to watch unless you think watching a guy with a trolley who is tipping a few trays of hop pellets into a hatch when a light blinks is exciting. The Anchor Brewing tour in San Francisco is a white-knuckle ride by comparison. After the final station, namely a window showing thousands of PBR cans loudly whooshing by every few seconds on a conveyor heading to packing & shipping, we mercifully adjourned and crossed the road to finish the tour with a visit to their famed Tap Room. Quite a contrast to the brewery, it was a gorgeous interior with stained glass windows and an immense and beautifully carved wooden bar that might have been over a hundred years old, sporting some eight or nine elaborate taps dispensing fresh brews for the tasting. Unfortunately, after one swig each of headliners PBR and PBR Lite, I wondered if we were expected to actually finish the glass before trying something else. There seemed to be no facilities handy for discreet disposal such as the traditional potted palms of mystery novels, and a man might draw scant attention carrying the sports page with him to the bathroom but not two glasses of beer. My abstemious wife solved the dilemma by going up and getting tasters of the other brews supposedly for herself to try; all were equally lackluster and disappointing with the exception of the last one I sampled, Hamm's. It was not exactly the best so much as the least unpleasant, but it had always been my dad's favorite beer and it made me feel good that I could at least finish my glass without making a face. In fact I smiled, because I couldn't get their silly TV jingle out of my head, you know, the goofy bear with the Indian feather, shaking his butt to the tom-tom beat…"from the land of sky-blue wa-ha-ters….Hamm's, the beer refreshing…" I was a bit surprised it was brewed by PBR but there they were, already contract-brewing other beers including some only distributed east of the Mississippi.
This was in 1987. If you go on-line today and check them out, you never leave the Boardroom. The first web site button is "Company," yielding the usual display of a few Rich White Guys in nice suits. Next is "Portfolio" — a term as lacking in beery conviviality as can be — displaying all the brands that now comprise their cephalopodic corporate lineup, including Rainier Ale (known to my friends and me as The Green Death in our youth), Clint's favorite Olympia, the German Zees (Schlitz, Schmidt's and Blatz), the almost undrinkable Primo (remember that in Hawaii "aloha" also means "goodbye") as well as the urban horrors known as Champale and St. Ides. I had always found the "iconic logo" for Schlitz Malt Liquor to be highly appropriate: a fighting bull, posing at an angle that reveals his curious lack of…well, what makes him a bull. Or ought to. Hamm's has, apparently, fled PBR for the copious bosoms of Miller/Coors. I wish 'em luck.
The answer to the dilemma? Brew your own! Like fruit and vegetable gardening or baking your own bread, brewing beer at home is not only wholesome and rewarding, it's both patriotic and happily subversive at the same time. It's even legal. And as A.E. Housman put it,
O many a Peer of England brews
A livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.
Thanks, J.B. Reynolds, Graton
ED NOTE: Thank you for the tour, Mr. Reynolds, enlightening but disillusioning as it was. Beer is quite an adventure these days, though in a few more years we'll probably have two beers, Comcast and Amazon. I once asked a clerk at Whole Foods why there was no Red Stripe in the store. She said "we" don't sell it because Jamaica is homophobic. I said, "Everyone? The whole country?" She looked at me like I was probably a homophobe just for asking and strode righteously off. I've meant to check back on that one when I pick up my monthly consignment of granola but keep forgetting. Crimeny, who wants to shop with bigots? You might try Boonville Beer some time. I think it's quite good but kinda expensive over the long haul.
COLIN KAEPERNICK. SIGH. Not to be tooooooo judgmental, but you put a bunch of pro football players in a hotel room with dope, booze and high end floozies, something bad isn't necessarily going to happen but chances are pretty good at some point law enforcement will be at the door. In this episode, one of the ladies with Kaep and the boys says she woke up in the hospital with the last thing she remembered being a boff with Kaep and two other mopes, post-boff, casting lascivious eyeballs at her. The police are investigating. If it's a typical off-season NFL episode, there'll be a gun somewhere.
I'M STILL WAITING for the definitive word on who called that last play against the Seahawks. Two years in a row the Niner season has ended with play calling that defies reason.
KAEPERNICK doesn't seem to be the smartest guy in the world, but then this whole dumbass gangsta look and sound is way beyond this kid's understanding. You just hope young guys are strong enough to resist it, and here's hoping 49er management demands that Kaep take it up a wholesome notch or two.
ACCORDING TO A MIAMI POLICE INCIDENT REPORT, the woman said that at about 9pm on April 1 she visited Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, 27, at an apartment within the Viceroy, a luxury hotel that has guest rooms, suites and residences in downtown Miami.
She said Kaepernick and 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, 23, were also there, and that she had been in a "sexual relationship with Mr. Kaepernick in the past," the report states.
The woman, according to the report, mixed some drinks for the men and gave them shots. The woman "advised that they told her that in order to drink the shots she had to 'hit' the bong which contained marijuana," the report states.
The group then sat down to watch a basketball game, but the woman reported that she felt "light-headed," went to a bedroom to lie down and took off her jacket and jewelry.
The woman told police that Kaepernick came into the bedroom, kissing her and undressing her before leaving, telling her he would be right back.
The woman "advised that she was in bed naked and Mr. Patton and Mr. Lockette opened the door and 'peeked' inside," the report states. "She told them, 'What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!' They closed the door and left. She cannot remember anything after that."
The police report says the woman woke up in a hospital bed in the middle of the night and "doesn't remember how she got there or who transported her to the hospital." The report was taken April 3.
BACK IN FEBRUARY, The Chronicle reported on a woman in Lake County whose home was cruelly burglarized as she followed an ambulance carrying her dying husband to the hospital.
The crime left the victim, Naomi Richmond, understandably shaken. So much so that she took to Facebook, penning a powerful and sarcastic open letter (excerpted below), expressing her “gratitude” toward the thieves.
On Tuesday, two men believed to be responsible for the crime were arrested following a lengthy investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Through a series of tips, investigators were able to identify Patrick William Mullen, 50, and Randy Hopper, 26, both of Lower Lake, as suspects in the case. A neighbor told officials that one of the suspects was overheard bragging about the burglary and laughing as he described kicking in Richmond’s door, said Lt. Steve Brooks, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
Patrick William Mullen (left), 50, and Randy Hopper, 26, both of Lower Lake, were arrested on suspicion of burglarizing a Lake County home in February. (Photo courtesy Lake County Sheriff’s Office)
Investigators were also able to locate some jewelry box drawers taken in the burglary, which had been thrown off a nearby bridge on Big Bear Road, Brooks said.
Sheriff’s deputies recovered a ring and bracelet from the suspects, but many of Richmond’s treasured keepsakes are still missing, Brooks said.
Still, Richmond welcomed the news, again taking to Facebook to express her gratitude to law enforcement and her sadness for those responsible for the crime.
“I’d like to thank the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and everyone else that contributed to identifying and arresting the culprits that burglarized and robbed my home the night my husband died,” she wrote in a post Thursday.
“It saddens me to realize how very desperate you must have been to commit such a despicable act,” she wrote. “I thought I’d let you know that I have forgiven you. I’m afraid though, that your fellow inmates won’t be as accepting of your behavior as I have been.
“I wish you luck in your future career as prison inmates. I fear you may need it.”
The suspects are being held in the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility on $50,000 bail apiece.
Here’s Richmond’s original letter to the burglars:
To Whomever This May Concern;
Thank you to whomever it was that was so thoughtful that they found it necessary to kick in my front door and rob my house when I left to follow the ambulance to the hospital when my husband David died last night.
You have saved me from having to come home and look at David’s laptop and his guns, his prescriptions, all my jewelry, which included the ring that David’s mom gave me right before she died.
But, most of all thank you so very, very much for taking David’s pillowcase off of his pillow. I know you needed it to carry the drawers from my jewelry box so you wouldn’t drop them and damage them. With that single act of kindness displayed by you, you saved me from ever having to lie in our bed and be able to still smell David’s scent while I slept.
So, thank you so much for thinking of me and removing the things from my house that you knew would remind me of him in my period of grief.
Sincerely, Mrs. David Richmond (Naomi)
— Kale Williams (Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The tax structure exists for rich people to hide in and as a substitute for purposeful government investment. Everything nowadays must be subsidized through the tax code rather than invested in directly. So whatever weak efforts at “Greening” the economy we have are buried in the tax code. Glad you used the word Byzantine, because that is where, I think we are headed. Military historians for over a century now have been revising and critiquing the “barbarian hordes” meme to show that the armies that overran Western Rome were actually modest in size. What seems to have given way was the inertia that had kept Rome going for two bleak centuries after the brutal civil wars of the 200s and the willingness of anyone to die for it without being paid serious cash on the barrelhead – and for various reasons after 400 the cash in the West had run out. Some chunk of Western Civilization with a productive tax base is likely to emerge over the next century as our new Byzantium. It will likely be theocratic and despotic, but also keep alive for a small minority the learning of the past and the trappings of an earlier age (ours). It will be, to my eyes, a melancholy place, but perhaps that is all we can hope for looking down the road. (James Levy)
BEHIND THE CHARISMA
Most cultures have a stock character they use in fables to demonstrate the pitfalls of vanity and pride. Clancy Sigal’s piece in the 3/26 AVA reminded me that growing up in Berkeley, Mario Savio was ours. Mom never ran out of Mario tales to take the wind out of my sails.
The rest of the country’s larger-than-life heroes were for us a bit smaller, because we watched them from backstage, sometimes literally. My mom remembered Mario’s fiery words, but also the sight of Mario’s immigrant parents fussing over his clothes before he stepped up to the microphone, wanting to make sure he looked respectable for his big speech. So proud were they of their college-educated son — right as he was doing his best to get expelled.
Sigal’s article mentioned Mario’s later teaching career. So did my mom, but her version had a different spin:
A girl arrives home from school one day nearly in tears. “It’s my Math teacher,” she says. “He just won’t shut up! He won’t answer our questions or help us with our problems — he just rambles on and on. We say, ‘Please, Mr. Savio, be quiet for just a minute so we can do our work’.”
My mom and her friend — the girl’s mother — look at each other in horror. They ask: “Is his first name Mario, by chance?”
“Yeah, how did you know? God, he’s SO annoying!”
And so it was that Mom drove the point home: the same qualities that make you a charismatic youth can make you a doddering old man.
But these parables didn’t detract from her estimation of Mario Savio, nor do they detract from mine. Throwing our bodies upon the gears of the machine was, for us, quality family time. But she made it clear that the awkward details were just as important as the cinematic moments in the search for a truth.
Sigal maintained in his article that heroism does not go away when the lights are out and the cameras put away. I disagree, and am glad for the humble, fumbling humanity that takes its place.
Aaron Cometbus, New York City
MESSAGE FROM BOARD CHAIR
Ukiah, California. April 10, 2014
Carmel Angelo was hired as CEO of Mendocino County for a term of two years on March 2, 2010. On May 3, 2011, the Board completed CEO Angelo’s first performance evaluation. On May 17, 2011, in an obvious vote of confidence, the Board unanimously voted to extend CEO Angelo’s term for an additional three years, through March 9, 2015.
On April 8, 2014, the Board of Supervisors, pursuant to Government Code Section 54957, met in closed session for the purpose of “Public Employee Performance Evaluation – Chief Executive Officer.” Performance evaluations are standard practice for the CEO and other positions. As Chair of the Board, I became aware that the CEO was overdue for an evaluation and directed that it be placed on the April 8 agenda. No matter how good a job someone is doing, it is important to review accomplishments, identify areas needing attention, and discuss priorities and goals for the future.
At the conclusion of closed session, the Board reconvened in open session and reported that “No Action” was taken. It has since come to my attention that rumors are now circulating that the Board has fired CEO Carmel Angelo or is preparing to do so. Nothing is further from the truth. It is not unusual for a performance evaluation to be spread over two or three meetings and nothing should be read into the fact that no action was taken.
I am mystified how a normal performance review can be twisted into an unsubstantiated rumor. Carmel Angelo has a strong record of accomplishment for Mendocino County over the last four years and I hope she will continue in her present position for years to come.
Released by: John Pinches, Chair, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
* * *
MENDOCINO COUNTY CEO'S PERFORMANCE EVALUATED
By TIFFANY REVELLE
Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo has another year left on her contract, and may be looking for other work.
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors evaluated Angelo's performance in a closed-door meeting at the end of a long meeting on Tuesday, and took no action, according to Angelo and 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen.
"I'm taking it to mean I'm free to explore my options," Angelo said, responding Wednesday to speculation among some members of the public that the board failed to give her a vote of confidence. Asked if she planned to leave the county's employ, Angelo said, "I don't know."
Angelo said that while she would normally have been the board's staff member at a county employee evaluation, she sat out of her own performance evaluation at the behest of chairman 3rd District Supervisor John Pinches.
The board didn't call her into the room to talk with her during the evaluation, she said, and took no action on it. McCowen said while he can't comment on what happens in a closed-door meeting, he can say what didn't happen.
"There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that she was fired," McCowen said Wednesday. "In fact, I am committed to keeping Carmel Angelo on the job for Mendocino County. She's done an outstanding job, and the progress we've made in large part can be attributed to her leadership."
Angelo has been the county's CEO for four years, since the board promoted her to the post to replace former CEO Tom Mitchell, who resigned abruptly in February 2010. She had been the county's Health and Human Services director for two years when Mitchell promoted her to assistant CEO in September 2009. She signed a two-year CEO contract with the county one month after Mitchell's departure.
Mitchell left Angelo in charge in the middle of strained county budget talks with the Board of Supervisors, and she immediately suggested millions in cost-saving measures to close the county's $7.6 million budget gap.
Having gained herself a reputation for cost-cutting and consolidation as the head of the HHSA, Angelo shepherded the county through contentious labor talks over two years that resulted in permanent, across-the-board, 10-percent wage cuts, more consolidations to eliminate costly leases the county was paying for buildings, and the establishment of a nearly $9 million reserve in the county's budget, which is at the heart of renewed labor strife between the county and the organization that represents the majority of its employees, Service Employees International Union, Local 1021.
McCowen said Angelo had been evaluated once during her tenure, and was overdue for a performance review. Angelo's current contract is up in March 2015, and her contract was not up for renewal in the Tuesday closed-door meeting.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
OCCUPY WALL STREET AFTERPARTY USA MANIFESTO
We are human beings. We live on a living planet with other living beings. We have infinite worth and infinite ways of expressing our worth. We must no longer sacrifice our boundless potential to profit. We are told we are worth what we are paid. We are told we are just consumers. We are told there is no other way but capitalism. We live in a toxic system based on greed and inequality. A system where the majority of benefits go to the fewest people, while more than 20% of our kids live in poverty. We are told to follow rules. We must conform. We must work longer hours for less pay. We must serve the markets as if that’s what makes sense. We are told lies. We are told more lies. We are not for sale. We are not machines for the making of money and buying of things. We are not consumers. We are creators. We are human beings with dignity. We have had enough. We are taking over.
2. We Are Not Represented
We are not represented. We have been usurped. We have been usurped by millionaires and billionaires and banks and corporations. We have been usurped by CEOs, hedge fund managers, corrupt politicians, Wall Street, defense contractors, lobbyists, the Federal Reserve, the IMF, the World Bank and the NSA. We have been usurped by profit-seekers. They write our laws. They control our senators, congresspeople and president. They have looted and continue to loot our wealth. They take our homes. They sell our privacy as data. They spy on us. They appropriate our most precious land so they may sell us oil. They make “free trade” deals with each other that rob citizens in many countries of their economic freedom. They use war as a tool for economic expansion in the name of democracy. They imprison, torture and murder innocent civilians around the world. They poison our water and contaminate our food. They gouge us when we are sick. They steal public money for private profit. They use the drug war to imprison and exploit the labor of young black and latino men. They use a militarized police force to occupy their neighborhoods. They call themselves Democrats and Republicans. They buy our votes through advertising. They think we are stupid. We are not stupid. We were asleep. But we are waking up.
3. Our Vision
Every human being is entitled to food, shelter, education, employment, and healthcare. By food, we mean food that nourishes. By shelter, we mean clean and safe. By education, we mean empowering and unfiltered. By employment, we mean fulfilling and sustainable. And by healthcare, we mean equal, free and accessible. They say we can’t afford it. Of course we can. But not if we allow the greediest banks to gobble up our wealth and get bailed out. Not if we let them make billions and sit on their mounds of cash. Not if we let them stash trillions of dollars in offshore bank accounts. Not if we let their lobbyists write the tax code. We’re not broke. It’s not a matter of money. It’s a matter of commitment. Now, we are committed.
4. The Earth
Clean water and air are the rights of all people. Our resources are not commodities. We acknowledge the state of our planet. The acidification of our oceans. The destruction of our wetlands and forests. The extinction of one third of all species. A rise in temperature we have not seen in thousands of years. If this continues, what will remain? What will the survivors say of us? As we stood by? We must change. We must change as drastically as the situation is drastic. We must stop drilling and fracking. We must stop fucking with our food. We must stop recklessly growing our economy at the expense of our ecology. We must get back to the land. We must respect the Earth like we must respect each other.
5. Much To Learn
We have much to learn. We listen to each other. We listen first to those whom we’ve ignored. Blacks, Latinos, Arabs, Asians. Gay, bi and trans. Women. Children--with their simple wisdom. We listen to those whom we’ve forsaken. Native Americans who knew, so many years ago, what we must learn today. We must coexist.
6. We’re Doing This
We are on the margins now. But we move the margins to the center. We run for school boards and city councils and mayorships. We take over local governments with believers in these principles. We change the government from within. We protest and we stand behind protesters. We join with unions and workers fighting to unionize. A few of us have the courage to throw our bodies against the grinding corporate machinery. The rest of us offer our humble support and solidarity. We form worker-owned cooperatives and fight for worker ownership of existing businesses. We want alternative currencies based on sharing. Most importantly, we serve each other. We feed those who are hungry. We educate those who wish to learn. We care for the sick. We house those whose houses have been taken away. We are lucky. We have arrived at just the right moment. Every struggle in the past led to this one. This is not ironic. This is serious. This is our country. This is our planet. This is our moment. Another world is possible. We are making it. Join us.
— The Beginning
HERE IN THIS SPRING
Here in this spring, stars float along the void;
Here in this ornamental winter
Down pelts the naked weather;
This summer buries a spring bird.
Symbols are selected from the years'
Slow rounding of four seasons' coasts,
In autumn teach three seasons' fires
And four birds' notes.
I should tell summer from the trees, the worms
Tell, if at all, the winter's storms
Or the funeral of the sun;
I should learn spring by the cuckooing,
And the slug should teach me destruction.
A worm tells summer better than the clock,
The slug's a living calendar of days;
What shall it tell me if a timeless insect
Says the world wears away?
— Dylan Thomas
A GREAT & GLORIOUS GAME
by A. Bartlett Giamatti
‘The Green Fields of the Mind’
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone.
Somehow, the summer seemed to slip by faster this time. Maybe it wasn't this summer, but all the summers that, in this my fortieth summer, slipped by so fast. There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me that I was investing more and more in baseball, making the game do more of the work that keeps time fat and slow and lazy. I was counting on the game's deep patterns, three strikes, three outs, three times three innings, and its deepest impulse, to go out and back, to leave and to return home, to set the order of the day and to organize the daylight. I wrote a few things this last summer, this summer that did not last, nothing grand but some things, and yet that work was just camouflage. The real activity was done with the radio--not the all-seeing, all-falsifying television--and was the playing of the game in the only place it will last, the enclosed green field of the mind. There, in that warm, bright place, what the old poet called Mutability does not so quickly come.
But out here, on Sunday, October 2, where it rains all day, Dame Mutability never loses. She was in the crowd at Fenway yesterday, a gray day full of bluster and contradiction, when the Red Sox came up in the last of the ninth trailing Baltimore 8-5, while the Yankees, rain-delayed against Detroit, only needing to win one or have Boston lose one to win it all, sat in New York washing down cold cuts with beer and watching the Boston game. Boston had won two, the Yankees had lost two, and suddenly it seemed as if the whole season might go to the last day, or beyond, except here was Boston losing 8-5, while New York sat in its family room and put its feet up. Lynn, both ankles hurting now as they had in July, hits a single down the right-field line. The crowd stirs. It is on its feet. Hobson, third baseman, former Bear Bryant quarterback, strong, quiet, over 100 RBIs, goes for three breaking balls and is out. The goddess smiles and encourages her agent, a canny journeyman named Nelson Briles.
Now comes a pinch hitter, Bernie Carbo, onetime Rookie of the Year, erratic, quick, a shade too handsome, so laid-back he is always, in his soul, stretched out in the tall grass, one arm under his head, watching the clouds and laughing; now he looks over some low stuff unworthy of him and then, uncoiling, sends one out, straight on a rising line, over the center-field wall, no cheap Fenway shot, but all of it, the physics as elegant as the arc the ball describes.
New England is on its feet, roaring. The summer will not pass. Roaring, they recall the evening, late and cold, in 1975, the sixth game of the World Series, perhaps the greatest baseball game played in the last fifty years, when Carbo, loose and easy, had uncoiled to tie the game that Fisk would win. It is 8-7, one out, and school will never start, rain will never come, sun will warm the back of your neck forever. Now Bailey, picked up from the National League recently, big arms, heavy gut, experienced, new to the league and the club; he fouls off two and then, checking, tentative, a big man off balance, he pops a soft liner to the first baseman. It is suddenly darker and later, and the announcer doing the game coast to coast, a New Yorker who works for a New York television station, sounds relieved. His little world, well-lit, hot-combed, split-second-timed, had no capacity to absorb this much gritty, grainy, contrary reality.
Cox swings a bat, stretches his long arms, bends his back, the rookie from Pawtucket who broke in two weeks earlier with a record six straight hits, the kid drafted ahead of Fred Lynn, rangy, smooth, cool. The count runs two and two, Briles is cagey, nothing too good, and Cox swings, the ball beginning toward the mound and then, in a jaunty, wayward dance, skipping past Briles, feinting to the right, skimming the last of the grass, finding the dirt, moving now like some small, purposeful marine creature negotiating the green deep, easily avoiding the jagged rock of second base, traveling steady and straight now out into the dark, silent recesses of center field.
The aisles are jammed, the place is on its feet, the wrappers, the programs, the Coke cups and peanut shells, the doctrines of an afternoon; the anxieties, the things that have to be done tomorrow, the regrets about yesterday, the accumulation of a summer: all forgotten, while hope, the anchor, bites and takes hold where a moment before it seemed we would be swept out with the tide. Rice is up. Rice whom Aaron had said was the only one he'd seen with the ability to break his records. Rice the best clutch hitter on the club, with the best slugging percentage in the league. Rice, so quick and strong he once checked his swing halfway through and snapped the bat in two. Rice the Hammer of God sent to scourge the Yankees, the sound was overwhelming, fathers pounded their sons on the back, cars pulled off the road, households froze, New England exulted in its blessedness, and roared its thanks for all good things, for Rice and for a summer stretching halfway through October. Briles threw, Rice swung, and it was over. One pitch, a fly to center, and it stopped. Summer died in New England and like rain sliding off a roof, the crowd slipped out of Fenway, quickly, with only a steady murmur of concern for the drive ahead remaining of the roar. Mutability had turned the seasons and translated hope to memory once again. And, once again, she had used baseball, our best invention to stay change, to bring change on.
That is why it breaks my heart, that game--not because in New York they could win because Boston lost; in that, there is a rough justice, and a reminder to the Yankees of how slight and fragile are the circumstances that exalt one group of human beings over another. It breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.
Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.
THE UKIAH POLICE have arrested three persons for two burglaries that garnered the intruders thousands of dollars in stolen items. Ilijah Roy Nelson, 27, of Ukiah was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of burglarizing a home in the 500 block of Oak Park Road on March 21 and a home on the 400 block of Luce Avenue on March 31. Florinda Garcia, 47, and Ignacio Lara, 33, both of Ukiah, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of trying to sell property taken from one of the homes. Lara was also booked on suspicion of violating probation. Police said the two, along with another suspect, may have bought stolen jewelry from Nelson and sold some of it to a pawn shop. Police has spotted Nelson, who was on probation, wearing “obviously women’s” jewelry. A fourth person is being sought in connection with the robberies.
POLICE CALLS AS OF FRIDAY MORNING:
CAR INTO FENCE -- Caller in the 1400 block of South State Street reported at 12:40 a.m. Tuesday that a car had driven into a fence at the Ukiah Municipal Aiport and a woman had run from the scene. An officer took a report.
STOLEN CAR -- Caller in the 100 block of Observatory Avenue reported at 6:57 a.m. Tuesday that a car had been stolen. An officer took a report.
MAN SLEEPING IN PARKING LOT -- Caller at the Chevron on East Perkins Stret reported at 7:18 a.m. Tuesday that a man was sleeping in the parking lot. An officer responded and the man left upon request.
MAN SLEEPING IN PARKING LOT -- Caller at the Hospice of Ukiah Thrift Store reported at 8:22 a.m. Tuesday that a man covered in a blanket was sleeping in the parking lot. An officer responded, and the man left upon request.
THEFT -- Caller in the 400 block of Leslie Street reported at 10:53 a.m. Tuesday having surveillance footage of two people climbing the fence and taking a security camera.
RAPE -- Caller on the Orr Creek Bridge reported at 10:57 a.m. Tuesday that a rape occurred by a man wearing tan shorts and carrying a tan backpack. An officer responded and took a report.
MAN TOUCHING HIMSELF -- Caller at the Ukiah Branch of the Mendocino County Library reported at 12:37 p.m. Tuesday that a man was looking at a woman doing homework and touching himself. An officer contacted the man and advised him to leave.
WOMAN HIDING -- Caller on Lorraine Street reported at 3:44 p.m. Tuesday that a woman in the back yard appeared to be hiding from police. An officer responded and arrested Diane D. Zaccaria, 40, of Ukiah, on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine.
DEATH THREATS -- Caller in San Francisco reported at 8:39 p.m. receiving death threats from an unknown man calling from Ukiah. The caller was advised to report the incidents to the SFPD.
STOLEN CAR -- Caller in the 1200 block of Airport Park Boulevard reported at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday that a car had been stolen within the last hour. An officer took a report.