Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Nov 16, 2014

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REDWOOD VALLEY MAN SHOT BY CHP

On 11-15-2014 at 4:53 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to reports of an armed individual threatening people in the area of Road D and Webb Ranch Road in Redwood Valley, California.

Upon arriving in the area Deputies spoke with witnesses who identified Timothy Abshire has having brandished a rifle and having shot in their direction in a negligent manner.

Deputies responded to Abshire's residence located in the 2800 block of Webb Ranch Road and were able to call him out of the residence briefly before he returned inside.

Sometime thereafter Deputies saw Abshire flee from the back of the residence while in possession of a rifle.

Deputies began a search for Abshire in the wooded terrain surrounding his residence and were assisted by Officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The search included K9 personnel and SWAT members from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Due to the darkness and terrain the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office helicopter (Henry 1) responded to the scene to assist with the search efforts.

On 11-15-2014 at 7:14 PM a CHP Officer encountered Abshire who was in possession of a rifle resulting in the CHP Officer discharging his service weapon.

Abshire sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was rendered medical aid at the scene and was transported to a local hospital. Abshire was subsequently transferred to an out of county hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.

At this time the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol are conducting a parallel investigation into the circumstances of the shooting.

At this time the identity of the CHP Officer is not being released.

--Mendocino County Sheriff's Office press release

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NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE (8:10 am, Sun, Nov 16, 2014)

Hazardous weather outlook for Northwest California, today and tonight: "Areas of frost possible tonight across the coldest valleys away from the immediate coast."

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A ROAD TAX? Mendo’s Transportation Czar, Director Howard Deshield, told the Board of Supervisor last Tuesday, Nov. 4, that the state’s road rating number for Mendocino County “is not good. The board is aware of that.” Deshield suggested that the Board set up an informational meeting between the Board, Mendocino Council of Governments (the County’s transportation planning organization) Director Phil Dow to “maybe talk a little more about the rating system and maybe have a discussion about a sales tax.” Supervisor Dan Gjerde said they could make it part of the Board’s upcoming “Goal Setting Workshop.” And outgoing Supervisor John Pinches suggested they set it up in January, after the new Board is seated, presumably with Supervisor Elect Tom Woodhouse on board.

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AT THAT SAME NOV. 4 MEETING, Roger Martin, newly elected member of the Mendocino County Lodging Association board, provided some background to the Board about why they wanted to cancel their contract with Visit Mendocino County.

“I was elected to the MCLA board at their recent election. However, I and my other democratically elected board members were not seated. The old board which consists of many members that have been in control since 2006 demanded that they had some unfinished business that they wanted to complete before we were seated [possibly a reference to the pending modifications to the Tourism Business Improvement District]. A couple of months later we were forced to seat ourselves on the MCLA board. The Executive Committee of the MCLA is supposed to occupy five seats on the Visit Mendocino County Board. I am on the Executive Committee. The VMC, which is supposed to be our employee, informed us that we would not be seated unless we attended a special study group and we must be vetted by the previous VMC board and the MCPA [Mendocino County Promotional Alliance] which is a self-appointed governing body. We all attended the study group. The lodging representatives for VMC have still not been seated as of today [November 4, 2014]. Due to these restrictions and total control of the MCPA we moved to cancel the VMC contract. This motion passed and we have given VMC a 60 day extension. Scott Schneider is the CEO of VMC. He was given his position by Jeff Stanford of the Stanford Inn. For the first few years we were pleased with Scott's efforts. He held the line keeping administrative costs down. He hired professional marketers and advertisers. In 2009, VMC incorporated itself and decided to handle advertising and promotions in house. This is where the train went off the tracks. VMC does not have any professional marketing/advertising experts in their office. The best marketing that VMC does, and they do it to this very day, is to market itself to the County.”

(Martin then held up a chart with a list of Lodging businesses on it.)

“I have this chart which shows some examples of the lodging properties on the north coast of Mendocino — and this is the Mendocino Coast area only — that went bankruptcy or into foreclosure or receivership or out of business since the start of the BID in 2006. Dozens of small businesses on every Main Street in the county have also gone out of business. You can see empty storefronts for almost anything you might need.”

The Chart listed: Andiron Lodge, Auberge, Cliff House, Dew Drop Inn, Elk Grove Inn, Fools Rush Inn, Greenwood Pier Inn, Gualala Hotel, Harbor House, Hester House, Heritage House, Hill House, Joshua Grindle Inn, Jughandle Inn, Mendocino Hotel, Mendocino Village Inn, Noyo River Lodge, North Cliff Motel, Old Coast Hotel, Pacific Mist Bungalows, Sandpiper Inn, Seashell Motel, Sea Foam Lodge, Secret Garden Bed and Breakfast, Stevenswood, Whate Watch Inn, Whitegate Inn.

“I am in favor of promoting Mendocino County and spending the BID money on advertising. I was pleased to hear that the marketing expert we heard from this year was of the opinion that if something is not right and something is not working then it is our obligation to change it. I take seriously my role in representing allotting owners in Mendocino.”

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Marcos Magdaleno, Co-partner of the Boonville Hotel: “I am here to express our concerns and opposition to the newly proposed [tiered] BID ordinance. We have numerous concerns but I'll keep this brief. I'll speak to our major concerns with this proposed BID ordinance. We are concerned about the shift in responsibility and management of the BID funds from our elected representatives on the MCLA board and that responsibility being given to the MCPA board. It is our understanding that many of the seats on the MCPA board are not elected representatives but self-appointed with no term limits. This is deeply concerning for us. We strongly believe in continuing with the democratic structure, one that has a good set of checks and balances and this new BID would move away from that structure. We do not support any type of system that gives certain individuals more power than our elected representatives. I certainly am not accusing any board member of MCPA of planning to abuse their power or their position, but we don't believe that a situation should be created where that is even a possibility. Our continuing wish is that the BID funds collected are used responsibly, equitably, and with measured results and accountability. We strongly believe that that is the goal of our current MCPA board. We adamantly urge you to not move forward with the new BID ordinance.”

AS IT STANDS, the Board of Supes hopes that the Ad Hoc Committee headed by Supervisors McCowen and Gjerde will somehow come up with something that a majority of these organizations approves of. Supervisor Dan Hamburg’s repeated claim that the County gets some measurable economic benefit from participating continues to be nothing more than his personal opinion, because the County’s own Room Occupancy Tax budget shows that there’s 1) No relation between promotional activity and revenue, and 2) No general increase. Revenues vary somewhat from year to year, but overall, like other revenue lines, the amount is flat.

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PERPETUAL SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED IN MEMORY OF FORT BRAGG RESIDENT LARUE KOBRIN

LaRue Korbin
LaRue Korbin

A perpetual scholarship has been established for Mendocino College Nursing Program students in memory of LaRue Kobrin of Fort Bragg, who died in September.

Kobrin spent her entire life in service to helping others. She was a loving, caring and giving person who truly believed in doing everything possible to make the world a better place.

She was raised on the family farm in Palsade, Neb., while her father served in the United States Navy. The family would later move to San Diego where her father began his career in education and instilled an intellectual curiosity in his daughter.

Her educational career included a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State in 1964 and completion of a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Colorado in 1968.

“She had a natural curiosity about people and their behavior which led her into the field of psychology. LaRue’s true life passion was that she gave of herself, without prejudice or judgment in an attempt to help those less fortunate,” said Frank Bender, Kobrin’s husband and life partner for the past 44 years.

Kobrin and Bender met in 1970 and according to him, “the first day we met, we became best friends, lovers and soulmates.”

Their extraordinary love story would bring them to beautiful Fort Bragg in 1974 where they would live for the rest of Kobrin's life.

A teacher at heart, Kobrin began her teaching career at College of the Redwoods in 1981 as the psychology professor for the Fort Bragg Campus.

Her career spanned 24 years and included helping so many people reach their full potential. Many of her former students still remain in the area, and their faces light up at the mention of her name. 

One former student of Kobrin’s is Terri Ebrey, RN, hospice coordinator at Mendocino Coast Home Health. 

“My early association with LaRue was as a student at College of the Redwoods in the 1990s,” said Ebrey. “She always seemed joyous and compassionate. LaRue arrived to class early. Those of us who did the same were greeted by that smile of hers and were able to pick her marvelous brain. She never told me 'no' … she was patient and eager to share her knowledge. In the collegiate setting, LaRue was a student advocate.

At the end of her life LaRue was fairly nonverbal from the time I became involved in her care until the time she passed. However, and here comes the special part, she still managed to exude joy and compassion. Without ever saying a word. All she had to work with were her smile and loving eyes. She was generous to the very end; generous of spirit. It seemed to me that she felt peaceful acceptance in regard to her prognosis, examples of a life lived fully and lovingly.”

While at College of the Redwoods, Kobrin met and became close friends with her math colleague Deborah White. 

“I met LaRue in 1985 and began working with her at College of the Redwoods in 1990. Our relationship lasted 15 years and gave us both the camaraderie and support that professors working at a small rural satellite campus desperately needed,” said White.

“LaRue identified with ordinary people. Here she was, this incredibly smart woman with a PhD from the University of Colorado who not only taught, but was a longtime manager at Captain Flints Restaurant. LaRue Kobrin was 'of the people' … She was very laid back but had a brain of steel. She was also incredibly loyal and family oriented. She treated everyone she met with dignity and care,” according to White.

Kobrin died on Sept. 22, 2014. However, the impact of her work and that passionate belief in helping others will live on in perpetuity. 

Bender has generously created the LaRue Kobrin Memorial Scholarship in her memory.

 These perpetual scholarships will be distributed annually to Mendocino College students enrolled in the Nursing Program with an emphasis given to those students residing on the Mendocino County Coast.

“LaRue Kobrin touched countless people’s lives because she was a loving, caring, and giving human being. These scholarships will continue to touch lives and remind us all what it means to make a difference in a life. On behalf of the Mendocino College Foundation, we are honored to be the steward of this gift,” said Katie Fairbairn, Mendocino College Foundation executive director.

Recently, the Anderson Valley Advertiser’s Bruce Anderson stated this about Kobrin, “mere words and condolences aren’t nearly enough to describe this woman’s life... LaRue was universally admired for her compassion and intelligence as she helped many persons with sound, practical advice on their personal difficulties. Married for many years to Fort Bragg fisherman, Frank Bender, LaRue died in her sleep at her home at 3am this morning with Frank by her side.”

For more information about or to contribute to the LaRue Kobrin Memorial Scholarships, email foundation@mendocino.edu or call 707-467-1018.

(Donations are still needed to reach the scholarship goal. To be part of LaRue’s legacy, donate to the LaRue Kobrin Memorial Scholarships by sending a check made out to Mendocino College or donate online at http://Foundation.Mendocino.edu. For more information e-mail foundation@mendocino.edu or call 707-467-1018.

Mendocino College Foundation: 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.

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MARSHALL NEWMAN NOTES: “The Boonville rain gauge showed only 0.01 inches Friday morning as the last rainfall and yet the lower Navarro River flow rose nearly 25% since then. Clearly Anderson Valley is again receiving more rain than the official numbers indicate. Good, but odd.”

CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER, and still wanting a trash mover (Boontling for big storm) to blast open the Navarro at the mouth where it's been closed for almost an entire year!

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PLANS for a new St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic church to be located on Highway 128 property, Boonville, are proceeding, slowly, but surely. The pastoral Council of the parish has selected a barn structure with a seating capacity of 250 worshippers. The present wooden chapel in Philo was built in the early 1950's next to the Philo Mill with a seating capacity of 80 people. The increase of the valley's vineyards and wineries has also brought an influx of Mexican agricultural worker families. Recent Sunday attendance in Philo has increased to 150 with worshippers extending and standing on the outside steps.

Our group has raised about $560,000 in pledges and cash donations toward our ultimate goal of $850,000. I am directing the Campaign and feel confident that we will reach our goal.

Soon passersby on Highway 128 will view a large road sign indicating the site for the new church that will also feature a beautiful outdoor plaza. The sign will also suggest that gifts of any kind, cash, stock, CDs, and any other legal tender will be greatly appreciated.

We are hoping for a 2016 dedication. Readers with questions can contact me for additional information.

Sincerely, Gerald (Jerry) Cox, Chairman, St. Elizabeth Seton New Church Campaign. (707) 895-3342, PO Box 337, Navarro, Ca 95463. kcox@mcn.org

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RebeccaJohnson

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DEPT OF UNINTENTIONAL HILARITY, this sentence from Saturday's Press Democrat: “Sonoma County postal workers Friday joined a nationwide protest warning that mail service is about to get slower early next year.”

AS APPLIED TO THE AVA, if service were any slower it would be stopped altogether. We're grateful to our subscribers for continuing with us despite deliveries that can take as long as a month from the day the paper leaves Boonville. Used to be one day to the Bay Area, two days to the East Coast.

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A WILLITS MAN was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison for dragging his 84-year-old grandfather behind a truck for six miles then dumping what remained of his body down a ravine.

Mendocino County Judge John Behnke during the sentencing hearing described the March 2012 killing as “heinous, inexplicable and terrible.”

Wilkinson
Wilkinson

Several family members attended the sentencing hearing for Kenneth Wilkinson, 25. They wept during and after the proceedings.

“We lost two people,” said Lori Tharp, Kenneth Wilkinson’s aunt and the victim’s daughter. Richard “Mel” Wilkinson had lived with his daughter before his horrific death. She and her husband had left her father in Kenneth Wilkinson’s care for a short time while they went out. The younger Wilkinson and several cousins also lived on the rural property outside Willits. They, too, were away from the property when their grandfather was killed.

The sentencing brought some degree of closure to the family but no true comfort, said Susan Elliott, another of the victim’s daughters. Mel Wilkinson, a retired lumber mill worker suffering from dementia, had six children and 29 grandchildren, she said.

“It doesn’t make it any easier,” she said of the prison term handed to her nephew.

The family is still struggling to understand what happened and why, Tharp said.

Wilkinson has never provided a reasonable or consistent explanation for his actions, Mendocino County Assistant District Attorney Paul Sequeira said during the hearing. He warned the defendant that parole will elude him unless he does. “He will never get out of prison until he comes clean,” Sequeira said.

Wilkinson’s attorney, Jan Cole-Wilson, disagreed. She said the crux of Wilkinson’s story has been consistent.

Wilkinson told authorities he was intoxicated at the time and that he had gotten into an argument with his grandfather, who called him a junkie drug addict, according to court documents. Wilkinson reportedly was trying to stay free of drugs, but blood tests taken several hours into the death investigation indicated he had small amounts of methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol in his system. Deputies said he appeared intoxicated and smelled of alcohol when they arrived at the scene, Cole-Wilson said.

Kenneth Wilkinson said he struck the victim in the head with an ax during the argument, according to court records. He said Mel Wilkinson appeared to have a seizure, then die, Cole-Wilson said. Wilkinson dragged his grandfather behind the truck to dispose of what he thought was a dead body only because he was unable to lift the victim into the truck, she said.

“I don’t think he intentionally killed his grandfather” or intentionally tortured him, she said.

Wilkinson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in April, rather than face a special allegation of torture. In October, his request to withdraw the plea was denied.

Wilkinson, who has been incarcerated since 2012, will be eligible for his first parole hearing in 23 years.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 15, 2014

Bennett, Blackshear, Cope, Cosenza
Bennett, Blackshear, Cope, Cosenza

KENNETH BENNETT, Willits. Domestic assault, court order violation, probation revocation.

KENNETH BLACKSHEAR, Fort Bragg. Failure to register, probation revocation.

DAVID COPE, Fort Bragg. Possession of meth for sale, failure to appear.

PHILIP COSENZA, Ukiah. Burglary, robbery.

James, Johnson, Martin, Mata
James, Johnson, Martin, Mata

ROBERT JAMES, Ukiah. DUI.

NOEY JOHNSON JR., Ukiah. Receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, violation of county parole, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JENNIFER MARTIN, Alameda. Murder, parole violation.

RAFAEL MATA, Ukiah. Loitering/prowling, possession of controlled substance, possession of smoking/injecting device, resisting arrest, probation revocation.

Neugebauer, Rickman, Roper, Ross
Neugebauer, Rickman, Roper, Ross

MARK NEUGEBAUER, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

BILLY RICKMAN, Philo. Resisting arrest.

MAURICE ROPER, Windsor/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

LACEE ROSS, Willits. Aggravated arson, attempted murder, burglary, felony vandalism, brandishing.

Sanchez, Sandford, Taylor, Yeomans
Sanchez, Sandford, Taylor, Yeomans

JOSE SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

BARBARA SANDFORD, Willits. Trespassing, probation revocation.

THERON TAYLOR, Redwood Valley/Calpella. Failure to register, parole violation.

DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

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FRIDAY’S DRUG LAB EXPLOSION

Thousands of Butane Canisters Found at Drug Lab in Rancho Sequoia

by Kym Kemp

On Friday 11/14/2014 at approximately 11:14 AM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from CALFire regarding a large fire with multiple explosions occurring in the Rancho Sequoia area in Southern Humboldt. CALFire believed the fire was caused by a possible drug lab. CALFire responded and found a small single story structure ablaze. It was unknown if the structure was used as a residence. There was no one present on scene upon CALFire’s arrival. Sheriff’s Deputies responded and discovered evidence that Concentrated Cannabis or “Hash” was being produced using a butane extraction method.

Kemp1

There were thousands of empty butane canisters found discarded on the property along with remnants of marijuana. Three firearms were located on scene and collected. Witnesses stated that a green Jeep SUV was seen leaving the property at a high rate of speed once the explosions began. The landowner has been contacted. There are no known suspects at this time. This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

— Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release

Kemp4

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HUMCO STRUGGLES WITH MEASURE Z OVERSIGHT

by Daniel Mintz

Measure Z, the country’s recent public safety sales tax measure, was an easy sell to voters but the task of forming an advisory committee is posing dilemmas for county supervisors.

At a Nov. 14 special meeting, the Board of Supervisors struggled with structuring the committee. Once formed, it will be making recommendations on spending the $6 million a year in sales tax revenue enabled by Measure Z’s passage.

The idea of having fire department and law enforcement officials join it as voting members drew mixed responses from supervisors.

The basics were quickly agreed upon — the committee will have nine members, five of them appointed by individual supervisors. Two at-large slots will be up for board votes.

Supervisor Estelle Fennell suggested that the remaining two seats be filled by appointees of the county’s fire chiefs association and Community Corrections Partnership (CCP), a diverse group that oversees the county’s public safety realignment programs.

But she recommended that the appointees be citizens, not fire department, Sheriff’s Office or other county officials.

Ken Woods, the president of the Humboldt County Fire Chiefs Association, lobbied for his group to be able to appoint a fire official to the committee. “I’m very disappointed to hear this morning that there is potential for the fire service not to have a seat at the table,” he said. “We were told by each of you, to trust you that we would have a seat at the table and now there’s talk of putting a citizen in there.”

He added that the task is too challenging for a non-involved resident to take on. “Now you want me to educate a member of the public on 41 fire departments in a very short time?” he said.

Sheriff Mike Downey said the county needs to do “a fairly comprehensive blitz on the media on what this tax is all about.” He told supervisors he’s fielded many calls from residents who are asking when more deputies will be hired and assigned to new patrols.

“Everyone voted on it as a law enforcement tax,” he said of the half-cent sales tax hike. “People need to know that when this all shakes out, it could be different than what some people thought they were voting for.”

Downey also questioned having the CCP make the law enforcement appointment, saying the broad group’s connection to policing is indirect.

Supervisors had diverse reactions. Supervisor Ryan Sundberg said the Measure Z campaign was sparked by a letter from the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee that highlighted the need for more sheriff’s deputy patrols.

“If that piece isn’t hit, I will be in a lot of trouble,” he said.

Supervisor Virginia Bass said that when she makes her appointment, she’ll lean toward choosing someone with a mental health background.

More patrols will lead to more arrests so prosecution, public defender, probation and drug treatment programs will need to be similarly expanded, said Supervisor Mark Lovelace. But giving everyone a seat on the committee will risk making it “top heavy” and he warned that it could “collapse under its own weight.”

Board Chair Rex Bohn discouraged exempting members of the committee due to their “employment status.” He added that the county’s fortunate to be able to have the discussion and “what we don’t need to do is be at each other’s throats.”

Lovelace eventually motioned to have staff return with various options for the committee’s composition, including those with voting, non-voting and citizen representation of public safety interests. The motion was unanimously approved.

The half-cent sales tax increase starts on April 1 but revenues will be won’t be accessible until June. Staff has recommended that the committee be in place no later than February.

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K32

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THE NEW/OLD WILD WEST

by Jeff Costello

Okay, the grand experiment is over. Amazingly, a black man was elected president. It can't happen again until after 2050, the projected time when whites will be officially a minority. We see what happened - publicly, white racists and paranoids found a near-infinite number of ways to avoid saying "We've got a nigger in the white house and it is a terrible, terrible thing." So they call him everything in the book except "nigger" and accuse him of outrageous things, the same things all presidents do. But when the black man does them, he's a alternately a radical, a communist, a muslim, an emperor and everything in between. Privately, the right wing message is "Nigger in the white house! Nigger in the white house!" They have been freaking out, plain and simple. None of these people made a squeak about W Bush, Cheney & Co.

We are living in psychotic times. In a medical clinic waiting room, I'm perusing the magazines. The usual stuff, medical and baby magazines, women's fashion, the occasional auto and sports. My default choices in these places are Time and National Geographic. Time is CNN on glossy paper, mainstream news and views, bland middle class fare. Ho hum.... I'm a little shocked to see the level of propaganda in a recent Geographic, there's a puff piece on Monsanto and the wonderful progress they're making in the food production world. They are of course a patrician publication. Mostly Anglo-Saxon, although recently there are a few "ethnic"-sounding names. A concession perhaps to modern times, but this is old money speaking. Try this experiment: at the end of any Geographic article about animals or people (usually primitive tribes or strange people in odd remote places), insert the following sentence: "And with the proper house training, they can make wonderful pets."

Here in Colorado, "wild west" sentiments linger on and to prove it, for the first time ever in a medical building, I see the NRA magazine, "America's 1st Freedom." The big headline on the cover - "CHAOS AT OUR DOOR? A Dangerous World is Closing In." This over a silhouette of an ISIS member holding a machine gun in one hand and a flag with Arabic writing in the other. "Your Second Amendment freedom has never been more important and necessary." So, then... When the ISIS terrorist guys come rolling in their tanks down Maple St. mid-America to rape our daughters and lop off our heads, good patriotic citizens will bust out their Glocks and Colts and Smith & Wessons and vanquish the invaders. Got that? And we'll have the NRA to thank.

Now let's open this rag and have a look inside. Here's an ad for a John Wayne Patriotic Tribute Revolver for only $2495.00. How about a nice Kel-Tec Sub-2000, a nifty little machine gun that folds down to fit in a briefcase. Today's businessman can't be too careful. And here's a Safe Step Walk-in bath tub. Are we to assume that old people who cannot negotiate a normal tub without risking an injurious fall are to be trusted with firearms?

Principle objects of scorn in the editorials and feature articles are Obama and Michael Bloomberg. A black man and a Jew who want to take your guns away. Okay... The list of NRA officers contains only - once-again - Anglo-Saxon names, these are serious Old White men. But they did manage to find a black sheriff in Wisconsin to talk about Bloomberg's "failing crusade to disarm law-abiding Americans." And in Orange County, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has issued 700 new carry permits to "law-abiding citizens." You never know when the fuddy-duddy in the condo next door might go crazy, and of course there are those Mexican gardeners to worry about. The magic word again, "law-abiding." The message here is, if you are technically within the law, you can get away with murder.

Wayne LaPierre is there in all his glory, with a regular column, in which he trumpets the fear of losing "our rights, our freedom, and country" unless pro-gun right wingers are elected in the mid-term elections. They were. The "lawless" Obama must be de-clawed. Did you know that ISIS is the president's fault? (My inner spelling nazi notes that LaPierre refers to the Islamic State as a "monstrous hoard"). But this isn't enough for the NRA mouthpiece. He also has a feature article in which he panders to serious paranoia. We are, apparently, in danger of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) blacking out all electronic communications and plunging the continental U.S. into darkness and chaos lasting for months, "if not years." See? That's why we all need to be armed to the teeth. It's a replay of the 50's fallout shelter fear. When the bomb hit, law-abiding citizens with the foresight to have a shelter in the back yard were urged to stock them with guns, for when the hapless neighbors tried to get in. Too bad, but you had to kill them for the sake of your own survival. Now, when the colluding Russians and Koreans set off an EMP-causing nuclear explosion high in the atmosphere, there will be no phones or TV, no internet. And you know what that means. Here come the neighbors, like zombies, to take your stuff and eat your flesh. But no, the wise and prepared law-abiding citizen with be ready with firepower.

Yippie ky-ay ki-yo, he's the toughest critter west of the Alamo.

* * *

DYLAN THOMAS: A notebook of drafts of some of Dylan Thomas’s most famous poems has been rediscovered, offering valuable insight into the poet’s creative process. Pages of the notebook include 19 poems in various states of completion, with several sections scratched out and revised. The book is set to sell at auction for more than $156,430. Thomas is thought to have discarded the book at his mother-in-law’s house sometime during the 1930s. Thomas and his mother-in-law, named Yvonne Macnamara, did not get along. She gave the book to a maid and ordered her to dispose of it, but the maid, Louie King, opted to save it instead. John Goodby, the editor of Thomas’s Collected Poems, said, “For some of the poems included, we’ve never had manuscript versions before, and they show significant changes were made; most of them are fair copies of finished poems, but some are more like worksheets — they allow us to see how he arrived at a certain phrase, to see what he’s up to.”

ESPECIALLY WHEN THE OCTOBER WIND

Especially when the October wind

With frosty fingers punishes my hair,

Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire

And cast a shadow crab upon the land,

By the sea's side, hearing the noise of birds,

Hearing the raven cough in winter sticks,

My busy heart who shudders as she talks

Sheds the syllabic blood and drains her words.

Shut, too, in a tower of words, I mark

On the horizon walking like the trees

The wordy shapes of women, and the rows

Of the star-gestured children in the park.

Some let me make you of the vowelled beeches,

Some of the oaken voices, from the roots

Of many a thorny shire tell you notes,

Some let me make you of the water's speeches.

Behind a pot of ferns the wagging clock

Tells me the hour's word, the neural meaning

Flies on the shafted disk, declaims the morning

And tells the windy weather in the cock.

Some let me make you of the meadow's signs;

The signal grass that tells me all I know

Breaks with the wormy winter through the eye.

Some let me tell you of the raven's sins.

Especially when the October wind

(Some let me make you of autumnal spells,

The spider-tongued, and the loud hill of Wales)

With fists of turnips punishes the land,

Some let me make you of the heartless words.

The heart is drained that, spelling in the scurry

Of chemic blood, warned of the coming fury.

By the sea's side hear the dark-vowelled birds.

— Dylan Thomas

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WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?

Spiritual Direct Action — Warm spiritual greetings, I just received a message from Rich Gardner (who bottom-lines the Philadelphia Independent Media Center website). He said that there isn't much of a movement happening there right now. Frankly, I don't really care if the peace & justice/environmental movement is happening significantly on the east coast right now, because I'm ready. I mean, what am I supposed to do...just forget about it all because the movement's lame? I am living week to week at the Green Tortoise traveler's hostel in San Francisco, and am ready to leave here and return to the front lines of radical action in Washington D.C. Like I said, what am I supposed to do, just forget about it all?

Craig Louis Stehr, November 14, 2014

Email: CraigStehr@inbox.com

Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com

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POLITICAL REALITY

by Gladys Brayer

Thumbing through a gift catalog I came across a placard that read: "Life's journey is not about arriving at the Grave in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways totally wore out shouting Holy Shit! What a ride!"

I like that. I was also fooling around on the internet and looked up the word “politics” and found this definition: The word “politics” is derived from the word “poly” meaning “many” and the word “ticks” meaning “blood-sucking parasites.”

I then asked, “What benefits do politicians get after serving one term?” The answer:

”US Representatives and Senators have given themselves full retirement equal to their salary of around $144.000 per year for life...after one year in office. In addition, they keep their government paid for health insurance (private), an office, and franking privileges for life. Pretty sweet, huh?”

So now we know why people go into politics! Hey, you chose the wrong profession — should have been a politician! Then you'd have clear sailing. They know how to take care of themselves big time. It's funny, you know. I thought they were supposed to serve the people, and not the role of the people to serve them. However, I'm sure they do serve those who “bought” them into office.

I wish I were a cartoonist. I have a whole line of thoughts about how those with the most wealth, influence, and power, decide who to back for a political position. I can just see these big, old fat boys (CEOs and their buddies) sitting around a table trying to decide whom to back. In other words, who they can control and keep in line with their particular agendas. And after selecting the most viable people, this is where they invest their money followed by the hoop-la of "political campaigns" to bring the chosen before the public via the media (also bought). After all, money does speak, doesn't it?

And finally, after identifying what political party the candidates will represent, it's left up to us, the "little people", the American voter, to pick the one we feel will do the least damage to our nation and protect our freedoms.

The whole thing is one big circus, and it's for sure, the American voter is not really in control. I know this from following comments on daily internet news. And more people are becoming aware of how our system works. So, in a short while, we can look forward to another circus, folks! It's gonna be a bumpy ride this time! Have a nice day!

One Response to "Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Nov 16, 2014"

  1. Jim Armstrong   November 16, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I think that Ms Brayer has the benefits due a one term (or even one year) Congressman on the high side.
    The best I can find is about $40,000 a year after 5 years of service and age 62.
    Gotta pay health insurance, too.
    Could be wrong.

    Reply

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