- Murder Suspects Arrested
- Mulcahy Verdict
- Cleone Fatality
- DEA Raid in Fort Bragg
- Catch of the Day
- Police Calls
- Goodbye Maya
- Willy Was a Salesman
- Road Soundtrack
TWO COVELO MEN have been arrested on suspicion of murder in the shooting death of Rosalena 'Belle' Rodriguez who was found shot to death Monday in Covelo. Jerry Britton, 21, and Sidney Freeman-Britton, 24, both of Covelo, have been booked into the Mendocino County Jail on no bail.
A MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT jury was formally declared hung Wednesday, 10-2 in favor of the conviction of defendant Chris Mulcahy, a Healdsburg winery owner who was charged with forging signatures on 57 checks while working as the finance officer for Brutocao Cellars in Hopland. The 10-2 vote was the same for all 57 charges. The results are under review by DA Dave Eyster and defense attorney Justin Petersen. Superior Court Judge John Behnke has scheduled a followup hearing for next Wednesday on the pending case. (District Attorney Press Release)
THE FORT BRAGG WOMAN who died Sunday in a head-on collision on Highway One near Cleone, has been identified as Kymberly Greenlees, 49. Ms. Greenlees was driving a 2001 Volvo north at an estimated speed of 40 to 45 miles per hour, the CHP reported. For unknown reasons, Greenlees let the Volvo drift across double-yellow lines and into the oncoming lane, where she collided head-on with a southbound 2000 Ford that was also traveling at about 40 to 45 miles per hour, according to the CHP. Greenlees was pronounced dead at the scene. The Ford's driver, Michael A. Jensen, 68, of Chehalis, Wash., was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries.
STILL NO NAMES of the three persons arrested in a DEA raid in and near Fort Bragg early Wednesday. Details on the arrests weren't released, pending the suspects' arraignment in federal court Thursday, said spokeswoman Casey Rettig. A helicopter was deployed in the busts staged out of the Fort Bragg Police Department.
KENNETH HLINKA, 64, of Sebastopol, arrested in Fort Bragg for driving under the influence.
ROBERT MALDONADO, 27, of Redwood Valley, arrested in Ukiah for carrying a “sap-like” weapon.
CARLOS ORTEGA, 19, of Ukiah, arrested in Ukiah for indecent exposure.
RICKY LEE RENICK, 31, Ukiah, arrested in Ukiah for driving on a suspended license and violation of probation.
RANDY SHERWOOD, 48, Fort Bragg, arrested in Fort Bragg for possession of methamphetamine.
HANK WHIPPLE, 27, Covelo, arrested in Covelo for violation of probation.
SHANNON WALTON, 37, Santa Rosa, arrested in Ukiah for violation of probation.
POLICE CALLS, UKIAH AND FORT BRAGG, AS OF THURSDAY MORNING
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- An officer responded to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard at 10:42 p.m. Friday for a report of a fight and arrested Timothy S. Buckway, 41, on suspicion of domestic violence.
VANDALISM -- Caller in the 1200 block of Airport Park Boulevard reported at 12:58 a.m. Saturday that people were breaking the windows on a dark SUV. An officer responded and contacted the registered owner, who did not want prosecution.
DOMESTIC FIGHT -- Caller in the 600 block of Marshall Street reported at 4:33 p.m. Saturday that he was in a fight with his girlfriend. An officer responded and arrested Scott W. Lopez, 44, on suspicion of threatening to cause great bodily harm.
TRUCK BLOCKING DRIVEWAY -- Caller in the 1300 block of South Dora Street reported at 9:18 a.m. Saturday that a truck parked there since the day before was blocking her driveway. An officer responded and the vehicle was towed.
DOG IN CAR -- Caller in the 600 block of South State Street flagged down an officer at 11:06 a.m. Saturday to report that a dog was in a car. The officer contacted the owner, who claimed to have forgotten the dog was in the car.
LICENSE PLATE STOLEN -- Caller in the 500 block of East Perkins Street reported at 1:16 p.m. Saturday that a license plate was stolen off her car. An officer responded and took a report.
THEFT -- Caller in the 1200 block of Airport Park Boulevard reported at 5:15 p.m. Saturday that a fence had been cut and a generator stolen.
THEFT -- Caller in the 100 block of East Gobbi Street reported at 5:16 p.m. Saturday that a man was trying to steal the coins from a pay phone. An officer responded and arrested Mark Palley, 41, of Ukiah, on suspicion of burglary.
WOMAN MAY HAVE BEEN DRUGGED -- Caller at Ukiah Valley Medical Center reported at 1:19 a.m. Sunday that a woman was dropped off by bouncers from a local bar who said something may have been slipped into her drink.
STOLEN CAR -- Caller in the 100 block of Norton Street reported at 7:27 a.m. Sunday that a blue Dodge had been stolen. An officer took a report.
TRESPASS -- Caller at McDonald's on North Orchard Avenue reported at 10:59 a.m. Sunday that someone threw hot coffee at her after being asked to leave, and she wanted the person to be advised of city ordinances.
TREE LIMB FELL ON CAR -- Caller at Todd Grove Park reported at 5:21 p.m. Sunday that a tree branch fell onto a parked car. An officer responded and took a report.
The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department regarding calls handled by the Fort Bragg Police Department.
KIDS THROWING BOTTLES -- Caller in the 900 block of John Cimolino Way reported at 11:58 a.m. Sunday that boys were throwing bottles of water and causing a disturbance. An officer responded and determined that the boys were throwing the bottles into the air, not at people, and counseled them on their behavior.
Writer, poet and civil rights campaigner lauded for her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Lyn Innes
The writer Maya Angelou, who has died aged 86, won acclaim for her first autobiographical memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), a scathing and sardonic indictment of the racial discrimination she experienced as a child in Arkansas and California. "If growing up is painful for the southern black girl," she wrote, "being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult."
The book is also a celebration of the strength and integrity of black women such as Angelou's grandmother, who enforced the respect of white adults and endured the impudence of white children. Unlike Richard Wright's autobiographical Black Boy (1945), which has a similar setting and theme, it gives a sympathetic and compassionate account of a beleaguered black community while also humorously dramatizing Angelou's need to find self-fulfillment outside it.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has had a wide appeal, particularly to younger female readers and continues to appear on school and university reading lists in the US and the UK. The critic Harold Bloom noted that Angelou achieved with the book "an almost unique tone that blends intimacy and detachment, a tone indeed of assured serenity that transcends the fearful humiliations and outrages that she suffered as a girl".
She was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Bailey Johnson, a doorman and naval dietician, and Vivian (nee Baxter), a nurse, professional gambler, bar owner and entertainer. Maya was the name given to her by her brother, also Bailey. When her parents separated, her father sent three-year-old Maya and her brother alone by train to live with his strong-willed and deeply religious mother, Annie Henderson, in the small, segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas.
When she was seven, Maya was raped by her mother's boyfriend. This traumatic incident, recorded in her autobiography, and the man's subsequent murder, for which she felt responsible, led her to stop speaking for five years. She was encouraged to read works by black authors such as Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar, and was later persuaded by Bertha Flowers, an educated black citizen of Stamps, to read aloud from the works of Austen, Dickens, Shakespeare and various poets. She acquired a love and appreciation of the spoken word which informed her writing and her performances of her own and other people's works.
As a teenager, her brother became increasingly restless under the restrictions, discriminations and dangers experienced by black men in the south, and so their grandmother took the children to stay with their mother in San Francisco, where Maya attended Mission high school. At the age of 14 she ran away in search of her father, and lived rough in Los Angeles and Mexico for a time.
She then returned to San Francisco, completed her high school education, took lessons in dance and drama and, at the age of 17, gave birth to a son. She had no desire to marry the father, who is not named in her autobiography. She also became possibly the first African-American female streetcar conductor in San Francisco. As she recounts in Gather Together in My Name (1974), the second volume in her autobiographical sequence, she found work as "a shake dancer in night clubs, fry cook in hamburger joints, dinner cook in a Creole restaurant".
In her early 20s, she was married briefly to an aspiring musician, Anastasios (Tosh) Angelopulos, a former sailor, of Greek descent. She trained as a dancer with Martha Graham and worked as a nightclub singer, taking at that time the professional name Maya Angelou, borrowing a form of her husband's surname. In the mid-1950s she toured Europe with a production of Porgy and Bess. She recorded a calypso album and appeared in the off-Broadway show Calypso Heat Wave, also taking a part in the 1957 film version. Angelou played the part of the Queen in the 1961 off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's The Blacks, which starred Roscoe Lee Browne, Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. In New York, she was encouraged by John Oliver Killens and James Baldwin to join the Harlem Writers Guild and to take her creative work seriously, and she also became involved in the civil rights movement.
In New York in 1961, Angelou fell in love with the South African civil rights activist Vusumzi Make. She moved with him and her son, Guy, to Cairo, where she worked as an editor for the Arab Observer, an English-language weekly. Later she moved with Guy to Ghana, taught at the University of Ghana and worked as a features editor for the African Review. While in Ghana, she met Malcolm X.
Angelou returned to the US in 1965 intending to help Malcolm X build his new Organization of African-American Unity. That organization collapsed with the assassination of Malcolm X that year, and Angelou then began to work more closely with Martin Luther King. When King was assassinated on April 4 1968 (her 40th birthday) she was devastated. Friends such as Baldwin encouraged her to begin writing, and in 1969 she completed I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Narrating her changing awareness and struggle for self-fulfilment between the ages of three and 17, it portrayed vividly the characters of her glamorous mother, her proud and dignified grandmother, her beloved brother and her disabled Uncle Willie, as well as the troubled relationships between the races in the south during the depression.
While this first volume of her memoirs is generally considered to be the best, the subsequent installments – Gather Together in My Name (1974), Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (1976), The Heart of a Woman (1981), All God's Children Need Travelling Shoes (1986), A Song Flung Up to Heaven (2002) and Mom & Me & Mom (2013) – have also achieved a large and appreciative audience. Collectively, they portray Angelou's experience as a young single mother; her travels in Europe and Africa with the cast of Porgy and Bess; her involvement with the civil rights movement and meetings with iconic figures such as King, Malcolm X and Billie Holiday; her life in Ghana, her son's car accident and her decision to leave him in Ghana to recover; and finally the years after her return to the US in 1965 and her decision to begin writing her first book.
She once described her writing regime thus: “I keep a hotel room in which I do my work — a tiny, mean room with just a bed, and sometimes, if I can find it, a face basin. I keep a dictionary, a bible, a deck of cards and a bottle of sherry in the room. I try to get there around seven, and work until around two in the afternoon … Maybe after dinner I'll read to [my husband, Paul du Feu] what I have written that day. He doesn't comment. I don't invite comments from anybody but my editor.”
Angelou had married Du Feu (who had previously been married to Germaine Greer) in 1973. They lived in California until they divorced in 1981, when Angelou took up a position as Reynolds professor of American studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Angelou vigorously disassociated herself from Anglo-American feminism, which in her view lacked an appreciation of the need for love and humour. She was nevertheless an outspoken advocate of "womanism", a quality which she ascribed to black women, and included their strength, commitment, sexual fulfillment and understanding of their complete equality with men.
Angelou gained greater international prominence when she was invited to write and deliver a poem for Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration in Washington in January 1993. This poem, On the Pulse of Morning, celebrates the diversity of ethnic groups in the US, and calls on the nation to leave behind cynicism and look forward to a new pride in self and a new dawning, as captured in these lines:
Do not be wedded forever / To fear, yoked eternally / To brutishness.
From 1998, she became a member of the board of governors for the Maya Angelou Institute for the Improvement of Child and Family Education at Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina. Angelou campaigned for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic party presidential primaries, but supported Barack Obama after Clinton's campaign ended. Delighted when Obama was elected president, she declared: “We are growing up beyond the idiocies of racism and sexism." In a 2012 interview she rebuked those who expressed disappointment with his performance as president, insisting that he had "done a remarkable job.” Obama has also praised Angelou, awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 and quoting these lines she had written: “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
A tall and imposing woman, often wearing African dress, with a deep and expressive voice, Angelou was a remarkable performer of her own works, and it was in performance that her poetry could be best appreciated. She won the Grammy award for best spoken word album on three occasions, the first being for her recording of On the Pulse of Morning.
Angelou published more than 10 volumes of poetry, composed songs for musicals and films and wrote or co-wrote the scripts for more than a dozen plays, films and television programmes. She was nominated for an Emmy for her appearance in the TV mini-series Roots (1977) and also had prominent roles in films such as Poetic Justice (1993), which starred Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, and How to Make an American Quilt (1995), based on Whitney Otto's novel. A gourmet cook, she published recipe books and enjoyed entertaining in her large house in Winston-Salem.
She is survived by Guy.
Maya Angelou (Marguerite Annie Johnson), writer, born April 4 1928; died May 28 2014.
(Courtesy, the London Guardian.)
by Philip Larkin
I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what’s really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
—The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.
This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.
And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.
Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can’t escape,
Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
“NOBODY dast blame this man. You don’t understand: Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there’s no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that’s an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple spots on your hat and your finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream boy, it comes with the territory.”
From the Iroquois to Art Tatum
by David Yearsley
In the age of the iPhone and Spotify the notion of planning the music for a road trip has become quaintly obsolete. In my teenage automotive odysseys the carefully chosen handful of cassettes — or even the stack of 8-track tapes that provisioned my best friend’s Volkswagen Vanagon — were crucial to the success or failure of any journey.
These analog media were eventually displaced by the no less bulky, but supposedly more reliable and sonically crisper CD, which, in turn, are quickly going the way of the just mentioned 8-track.
Now the world’s music library has become mobile: you can either get access to pretty much all of it whenever you want or at least pack enough material into your mobile device to get you back and forth from Coast to Coast dozens of times. Car trip soundtrack planning has become a casualty of the everything-always mentality of our times.
Undaunted, I cling to the physical purveyors of sound for these adventures: the inaptly named jewel boxes scattered around the cockpit, the discs themselves grabbed pell-mell as the chariot hurtles down the highway. An expressive disorder of food and music packaging remains for me crucial to the staging of such a journey.
Musical choices, both those made with consideration and in a last-minute panic, can bring about fortuitous, unforgettable contrasts and convergences: the promethean 3rd Piano Concerto of Beethoven on the Alleghany Plateau in the midst of a blinding, cataclysmic thunderstorm; the Manhattan skyline coming into view over the New Jersey Meadowlands to Dexter Gordon’s Gotham City; crossing the Elbe along with Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos; Puget Sound stretching out at sunset towards the Olympic Mountains to Sarah Vaughn and Oscar Peterson doing “I’ve Got the World on A String” — no words set to music could have been truer at that moment for the teenage driver in his 1965 Ford Fairlane. The physical chaos of those cassettes and discs is itself expressive of the freedom that the open road promises.
For last week’s trip from Ithaca in the middle of New York state westward over a blighted stretch of I-90 along Lake Erie from Pennsylvania into Ohio, and then south to Kenyon College to the west of Columbus for a an organ concert for the American Bach Society, I gave a little more thought than usual to my musical selections. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m now one year short of 50, the larger journey most likely past its midpoint. Like life itself, the road, as it turns out, is not endless.
My themes for the seven hours driving time to my destination: Iroquois music; 1794; and Art Tatum.
To traverse the ancestral lands of the Keepers of the Western Gate I chose Seneca Social Dance Music recorded on the Allegany Reservation in New York in 1977-80; originally released on LP by Ethnic Folkways, since 2012 it has been available on CD.
It is a cliché of travel writing that to journey away from urban centers — the supposed source of civilization — is to go back in time: old music is far-away music both chronologically and geographically. Even though New York Route 17, which follows for a time the Allegheny River as it heads towards the Ohio, has been upgraded to Interstate status and given the deathly number 86, the region around the roadway has a remote feel, as if it’s a few decades behind the Eastern seaboard and the post-industrial cities to its west.
The Seneca were the western-most member of the six-nation Iroquois Confederacy and this stretch of what became New York retains a good measure of its wildness. It still feels like a frontier: remote, unmalled, with few freeway exits and the bare minimum of rest stops — or text stops as they’re now called. The Allegany Reservation is home to the Senecas, the Keepers of the Western Gate.
Aside from a single track done by The Allegany Singing Society, the music on this disc is performed exclusively by Avery and Fidelia Jimerson. Then in their sixties, these musicians need only their strong, resonant voices and accompanying drums. The proceedings open with the Shake the Bush Dance, which chugs along with restive, rustling force in a style out of fashion by the late 1970s says Mary Frances Riemer in excellent notes that are illuminating both historically and musically; the ethnomusicologist made the recording herself and even provided transcriptions of several of the songs.
The Jimersons give us a feast of humans dancing in emulation of fellow animals (raccoons and robins); songs in praise of crops (corn, tobacco) and of dancing shoes (moccasins). The disc concludes with Avery Jimerson’s rendition of the Seneca Anthem, a resolute melody, whose minor mode he ornaments microtonally towards the major. My Western ears, tuned by the myth of the noble savage, can’t help but hear resistance in this melody’s textured blade.
The Pickering Treaty of 1794, the first international agreement with native peoples concluded by the newly formed United States and signed by George Washington, granted to the Iroquois more than 30,000 acres of this region of Western New York with its fertile valleys and richly wooded hills; according to the agreement “the United States will never claim the same, nor disturb the Seneka Nation … in the free use and enjoyment thereof.”
In 1941, with America’s munitions and steel industry kicking into high gear, the reservation lands came under threat from a scheme to dam the Allegheny. The Senecas fought the plan all the way to the Supreme Court, losing finally in 1959. The Army Corps of Engineers started construction right away, flooding a third of the reservation and submerging much of the most fertile bottomland and forcing the relocation of 130 families. As always, the Corps claimed flood control as the main purpose of the project, though the vast reservoir did service the Pittsburgh steel mills to the south. The massive earthen wall the corps built and maintains is visible to the south of the new Interstate. The artificial lake’s black, still water is ghostly contrast to the free running stretches of the Allegheny leading to the massive and unsightly casino near the reservation’s biggest town, Salamanca. This self-styled “resort” is a desolate looking structure that hosted the Osmond brothers for this week’s entertainment. Their sibs Donnie and Marie aren’t joining in on the reservation: they’re at the Flamenco out in Vegas.
The interchange that feeds the hotel with destination gamblers is being re-graded — upgraded, I suppose: signs of the “progress” the interstate will bring. All I could of think as I sped by the eyesore was how much more powerful and true the Jimersons’ music is than that of the Osmonds, and what an irony it is that the Mormons not the Senecas play the big house.
The Allegheny River was the eighteenth-century superhighway to the (Old) Northwest. In August of 1794, just three months before the signing of the Pickering Treaty, Mad Anthony Wayne had routed the Miamis at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near present-day Toledo. After their defeat in the War of Independence, the British had abandoned their native allies and the land-hungry Americans came pouring in.
Back in the British capital audiences were being entertained and astonished by the genius of Joseph Haydn: his “Clock” symphony (no. 104) was premiered in the Hanover Square Rooms in the Spring of 1794.
As I head into the Old Northwest in May of 2013 I put on a vivid recording from 2011 by one of America’s leading period-instrument orchestras, Philharmonia Baroque, with the lively and precise Brit, Nicholas McGegan, conducting. To me behind the wheel, the faux-foreboding slow introduction to the first movement sounds glib given the events that transpired in 1794 in this region, especially as compared to the delight the British merchants and aristocracy were then taking from their German visitor’s arch musical humor. The symphony’s nickname comes from the pizzicato ticking strings of the exaggeratedly graceful Andante: on the other side of the Atlantic, time was running out for the natives of North America.
Soon after I-86 hooks up with I-90 there is an explosion of the truck stops and consumer outlets, and the sounds of the eighteenth century no longer seem right. Also misplaced in this blighted sprawlscape is the virtuosic urbanity of Art Tatum whose singular brilliance is so evocative of 20th-century city jazz club culture. But the legendary pianist was a native of Ohio, and made his name in the 1920s at Val’s in the Alley in Cleveland. My route skirts that city and Val’s is long gone anyway. Still, I reach for a sumptuously produced box set (Storyville, 2008) of 10 discs and a bonus DVD. (Don’t worry, I didn’t try to watch this on my laptop while racing along with the bigrigs.) This is an inexhaustible treasure trove of previously unavailable live recordings made between 1934 and 1956 and taken from club dates, radio and television appearances, party performances, and concerts. These have been restored through sophisticated digital means that let us hear the icy clarity of Tatum’s runs and the visionary colors of his harmony, even while the warmth and resonance of the venues and their wonderstruck listeners is not effaced by the technological transformation. Tatum is heard hear solo and with his famed trio of Slam Stewart and Tiny Grimes, as well as with a handful of other musicians. The jaw-dropping brilliance of his mind and fingers definitely perks a driver up, even after four straight hours on the road. To hear Tatum — to cite one of so many other possible examples on this essential and uplifting collection — dismantle and then reassemble the Dvorak favorite Humoresque in two very different versions from May and July of 1944 is to be simultaneously amazed and cheered. The blind Tatum had limitless and profound musical insight and with his fingers made us see and hear the familiar in undreamt of ways. The destruction, deceit, and prejudices of the past and the wreckage of the land beyond the windshield are transformed by his magic, immortal hands.