WE ALL NEED CLAUDIA
Claudia Jimenez, the proprietor of ALL THAT GOOD STUFF in Boonville has informed me that she is considering resigning from the Anderson Valley Health Center Board of Directors because she is convinced that her participation on the Board is negatively impacting her business. Her sales are down 20% from last year at this time. She has had visitors to the store who have told her that they will boycott her store because they did not agree with actions that occurred prior to Claudia even agreeing to serve on the Board.
Claudia is an invaluable asset on the Health Center Board. She is an articulate, educated young Latina who is not afraid to speak her mind and advocate for the needs of the Spanish speaking community.
Her resignation would be a terrible loss to the Board. It would also be a terrible commentary about our community. We all know the challenges of making a small business successful here in Anderson Valley, willingness to participate on the AV Health Center Board should not be a detriment to one’s business, it should be an asset.
I would like to encourage everyone to do some holiday shopping at ALL THAT GOOD STUFF and show Claudia that we appreciate her willingness to work for the betterment of the community through her service on the Health Center Board. She has some wonderful merchandise that would make wonderful gifts as well as a great selection of cards and children’s games and toys.
THE POLITICAL MONOPOLY
In the last election in November of this year there were only two candidates that had space for a write-in candidate or other party candidates on the ballot. In other words, the Republican and Democratic parties have eliminated any other voice except their own in California.
Not only that, but just 25% of our voters have elected our leaders. (Only 50% of eligible people are registered and 50% of them actually vote.)
But the two parties have eliminated any other views on how to run our country. How did they do this? By a ballot measure that sounded like ways to be more efficient and then had it passed with the huge amounts of campaign contributions they extort from everyone.
I realize that third parties have no chance to win, but their contribution is a very important aspect. It’s called competition. As I have said many times, it’s a holy word. It’s a balance for both the private sector and government. And government needs lots and lots of that holy word.
In the Off the Record section of your Nov. 5 edition you talked about the low turnout in the election. You stated that the majority of Americans don’t think the political system works for them.” You concluded that “…we are all being starved of goods and services by an oligarchy that owns the political system”.
That is right-on. The questions then is how to bring about massive change to restore some semblance of serving the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Armed revolution is seemingly off of the able, as the state has all the armed power it needs and ten times more if needed.
Terrorism is not the answer either, as it only generates fear, and no qualitatively positive changes to the current system will flow from fear. So, what’s left as an option? I think the only viable, long-term, positive results can be achieved via the boycott.
The oligarchy will feel it in their bottom line if we, the people, stop buying, stop consuming stuff we are made to want via commercials but do not need. A long-term, massive boycott would produce the leverage to produce the change.
Is it, then, realistic to posit a mass boycott by the television addicted consumers? Will they voluntarily reduce their consumption patterns, abandon the big box mentality, shop local for needed goods, and drive much fewer miles?
The problem is that the solution is buried inside the problem. Change is always difficult, and change from an addiction to consumption is made more difficult by the addictive aspect. The only way to empty the shelves of the big box stores and the Internet stores is to end the addiction, and the most likely way to end the addiction is to empty the shelves. A true Catch 22 if there ever was one. Full shelves feed the addiction, and the addiction keeps the shelves full.
What sharpens the pessimism is that it will take a global boycott, and the third world is opting for joining the addiction, not ending it. That is understandable, but not sustainable for much longer.
As Gertrude Stein said on her death bed in response to her friend’s question, “Gertrude, what is the answer?” Her response was, “There has never been an answer, there is no answer, and there is not going to be any answer. That is the answer.”
Far ‘n Away Farm in Virginia
DON’T BLAME ACADEMICS
In “We don’t see empty desks at the U. of Compensation” (SF Chronicle, Nov. 23), Debra J. Saunders says “Don’t give in to greedy academics.”
I do happen to know a few academics whom I would describe as “greedy,” but most academics are avaricious about nothing but knowledge and scholarship. The greedy crowd sucking the lifeblood out of UC these days is cadres of new administrative hires, the proliferating six-figure executive assistant vice associate titles. You can spot them all over campus.
Their uniform is a dark suit, fancy shoes, a pale blue shirt, and a tie with a blue-and-gold color scheme. They park in campus lots that many academics can’t afford to use. They are useless make-work business-school graduates and retired investment bankers. And the regents? There is not an “academic” on the whole board.
If academics really ran UC, it might look messy from a vulture capitalist’s perspective, but it would work, as it worked for years without the benefit of global capitalist university entrepreneurial partnerships. UC was No. 1 for a long time before Richard Blum and his cabal took over the board. Now it looks all downhill.
THANKFUL FOR MEASURE M
To: The Residents of the Albion Little River Fire Protection District
From: The Board of Directors of the Albion Little River Fire Protection District
The Board of Directors of the Albion Little Fire Protection District would like to thank everyone in our District for their overwhelming support of Measure M. We are very proud that this Measure, which raises assessments from $40 to $75 per unit and assesses range and timber land for the first time, passed with 82.6% of voters saying "Yes!"
These are very exciting times for our District. A series of Community Forums which started in November 2013 were very well-received and brought awareness to our constituents of the many challenges that we are facing. Our recent Barbecues have been successful and our occasional Taco Stands and recycling efforts have raised our profile and given people a fun way to contribute. The number of volunteers in both our Firefighters and our Auxiliary are very high and the cohesion and spirit of the men and women who respond to emergency calls is excellent. Of course, they have been buoyed greatly by the level of support that Measure M has received. We are very proud of the job that Fire Chief Ted Williams and our volunteer Fire Fighters have been doing and believe that the Measure M vote is a show of confidence and appreciation from our District residents.
We would particularly like to thank the many citizen's who made up the Citizen's For Yes On Measure M Committee. Their dedication and commitment to this issue was very inspiring. Each person brought a variety of skills to the effort that, when put together, made for a strong and cohesive campaign.
While passage of Measure M will give us a solid base of financial support, many challenges remain. The District will not see the increased revenue until March 2016 and many tough decisions will have to be made until the increase arrives. Even after that, we face many challenges. We need major upgrades of our equipment and our facilities and our dollars will only go so far. Providing protection for 3 ridges (Little River, Albion, and Navarro) presents us with some unique issues. We are very excited about the partnerships that have formed between the District and the residents that stem from the campaign and the many other community activities we have engaged in. We will be seeking your input in our decisions as we move forward.
One measure of the strength of community lies in our ability to take care of each other in times of crisis. We look forward to being able to provide a higher level of public safety and ask that the residents of our District stay engaged with us as we move forward.
The Albion Little River Fire Protection District Board of Directors: Richard Riley, Scott Roat, Sam Levine, Chris Skyhawk, Bob Canclini