- Free Speech
- Huff Puffs
- Marin Baglady
- Point Arena
- Catch of the Day
- FB Development
- AT&T Service
- Palace Threats
- Privatization Failed
- Arvola Stories
- Mysterious Walls
- Fixing KZYX
- Food News
- Petition Promptness
- Jobs Program
- Let's Roll
- Hey, Cuz
- The Loser
FREE SPEECH has always been honored in principle in America, not nearly as often in practice. Practice free speech at your peril.
HERE IN “liberal” Mendocino County, free speech, as a go-to-the-wall-for principle exists at your beloved community newspaper, the Ukiah Daily Journal and, more or less, the alternative radio station KMEC based in the historically non-free speech Mendocino Environment Center.
AT PUBLIC RADIO MENDOCINO, aka KZYX, free speech does not exist in principle or practice, even among the station's radlib talk show hosts. They and their guests talk, we listen. And they, the radlibs, get air time purely at the pleasure of management and, of course, on the unspoken assumption they won't criticize the ruling clique at the station and its ruinous management practices. There is never, ever any give and take at KZYX although, as commercial radio understands, give and take can make for interesting radio.
THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL as free speech bastion? Yeah. Editor KC Meadows keeps the letters columns open to all perspectives, which is more than most newspapers do (cf the cringing Santa Rosa Press Democrat). In the Journal, we've often read threats from "liberals" like Dr. Marvin Trotter (who of course has a show on KZYX) and an inland Buddhist called David Rounds, a Harvard grad and former Boonville English teacher. These two, and others who seem to imagine themselves as highly principled individuals, have called for the Journal to ban the Sunday columns of Tommy Wayne Kramer. To her eternal credit, Ms. Meadows has refused to cave in to them, and Trotter and Rounds are only the tip of a large County-wide lib-censors crew. Ms. Meadows herself was fired at KZYX for (gasp!) expressing a skeptical on-air marijuana opinion during a debate she was moderating. The pot libs went nuts and demanded her head which, of course, KZYX's always pusillanimous management immediately presented to them. We will also mention here, and with the usual martyred sigh, that the AVA was banned from even being mentioned on air before the station went live, making us the senior non-persons (among many since) at Free Speech Radio, Mendocino.
ALL THE GRAND talk from Americans about how brave the French are for standing up to the fanatics is, from my perspective, mostly long distance hot air. Freedom of opinion is the principle this country is founded on but, as recent events in Mendocino and Fort Bragg, again prove, and it took a high school girl's basketball team to prove it, free speech dangles by a very thin thread.
* * *
(Ed note: The below is an excerpt from a much longer article we wrote in April of 2008 about the incident/on-air debate about Mendocino’s Measure B hosted by Ms. Meadows. Measure B would have undone (and did after it narrowly passed in June of 2008) the earlier pot-friendly Measure G. Ms. Meadows was the host of the debate and most of this excerpt is her account of what happened.)
... Clearly surprised and angry at KZYX’s handling of what objectively was nothing more than a robust but civil discussion of a controversial local matter, a discussion that would be viewed as tame and even tedious by commercial radio standards, Meadows described the gloomy events in a blog posting early Friday morning.
“This morning I talked with Belinda [Rawlins, then station manager — ed] at KZYX after calling the station to talk to program manager Mary Aigner to congratulate her on her participation in my program last night on Measure B with Ross Liberty (Yes on B) and Keith Faulder (No on B). Mary, I was told wasn't there but, boy, Belinda (Station Manager) wanted to talk to me. She said the folks at KZYX were very upset that I got involved in expressing my own opinions during the hour and that Mary had been suspended for speaking out on problems with commercial pot growing. As soon as Mary (who was running the board for me and there to do pledge drive breaks) started saying her own Anderson Valley neighborhood had been overtaken by pot growers, the staff at KZYX went nuts, signaling to her over and over to shut up. She didn't.
“Mary never said, ‘Vote for Measure B.’ She simply stated that problems with commercial pot growing were real and she'd seen them first hand. Suspending her for that, it seems to me, borders on a serious First Amendment violation. (I wonder, if Mary had said something like, ‘It’s been my experience that medical marijuana patients really have a problem finding supplies,’ she would be under suspension right now.)
“For some reason there was a real crowd at the station last night, I assume because they're in the middle of pledge drive. The crowd, I am told from someone standing among them, was also going crazy trying to get me to shut up, too. One woman (later identified as Lynda McClure, an opponent of Measure B) actually put a note to that effect up to the broadcast booth window, but I didn't have my glasses on and couldn't see it.
“Anyway I wouldn't have shut up. I said at the beginning of the broadcast that I was a fervent Measure B supporter and that would be clear during the show. For some reason the folks at KZYX assumed I was simply hosting some kind of non-partisan debate on Measure B. I would never have agreed to that. First, I am not unbiased about it. That is why I stepped aside from my usual role as moderator for the forum the Daily Journal is hosting May 8 with the American Association of University Women and the National Women's Political Caucus. Plus, I express my opinions on my monthly show all the time. Why would last night be any different?
“Belinda (I am sorry but I don't know her last name and the staff isn't listed on the station Web site) told me that all programmers are forbidden from expressing opinions on anything on any up-coming ballot as they are officially representatives of the station when on the air. She said that's an IRS rule and an FCC rule.
“I have to say I find this odd given the dedicated bias of KZYX, NPR and other public radio sources on any number of left of center issues. They defend it saying they are basically the voice of the non-mainstream and that's their mission.
“Belinda said she would send me a copy of the rules.
“She said I am suspended from KZYX too.
“I said, Let's just consider it my last show.” …
HUFF PUFFS. Congressman Huffman has been appointed to the House Transportation Committee. Huff says he'll use the appointment to bring federal funding to local boondoggles, er, projects, including commuter rail (major boondoggle), highway widening (minor boondoggles) and waterway dredging (legit and helpful to places like Noyo harbor). “I look forward to bringing fresh ideas to the table to ensure Congress invests in critically-needed updates to transportation infrastructure on the North Coast and throughout the nation,” the Huff puffed. “California’s 2nd Congressional district contains a diverse swath of transportation infrastructure needs, including Highway 101…[and] many small harbors and waterways.” He concluded by saying he was also intent upon beating back global warming.
THE CHRON'S lead editorial was headlined: “A fighter retires, new fight begins.” The retiree was the mainstem Democrat, Barbara Boxer, an unflinching supporter of everything gone terribly wrong inside and outside the country.
IN A WEIRD self-interview routed through her grandson on YouTube — the grandson didn't even bother to put his long pants on for the big event — Boxer says, “I don't believe in lame-duckism. I think Barack Obama is proving that. Bill Clinton proved it, and I'm going to prove it.”
YEARS AGO, our very own Dave Severn happened to be seated next to Boxer on a flight from Washington to San Francisco. She was disguised, not identifiable at casual glance as the Barbara Boxer. This is what ensued:
* * *
AVA, January 29, 2003 — By far the best story of my trip to Washington DC happened on the flight home. I was lucky enough to get bumped up to a business class seat. Flying standby, I'm almost always one of the last people to get on board. I had a window seat and the woman seated next to me had to move her three bags out of my way as I slid into my place. She was a smallish lady with nondescript, well worn, clothing and a kind of cloistered air. She had on a visored headband and sunglasses giving her a California girl appearance but wore a pair of square toed high heel shoes that I had been noticing was a preferred choice by the young Washington DC debutantes. These shoes, like the rest of her attire appeared comfortably worn. On her left hand was probably the largest diamond wedding ring I've ever seen (though admittedly I haven't seen that many) and she had glued on fingernails — two conventional trappings that to the average person are probably attractive but to me have always made the hands look a little deformed.
Eccentric was the first evaluation that surfaced. But later, as I noticed her rummaging through one or two of her tote-alongs, and saw how easily she curled up in an oversized knit or crocheted shawl. Well-off, Marin County bag lady was a description that made me giggle when it came to mind. A childish observation that I would like to immediately apologize for in this telling of the story.
This might not make sense to most of you, but I decided I liked the woman about a third to half way through the flight. She was stretched out with her seat laid back and the footrest up and wrapped in her blanket. I had to go to the bathroom and I stood up and looked at her indicating that I would like to get out. In turn she looked at me and (I don't even remember it being verbal) questioned whether I would like her to move or if I could make it over her OK. I did not get the feeling that she was lazy or would not have happily moved if I had asked. She was merely expressing an acute sense of propriety and simplicity and a willingness to place herself in a vulnerable position that fit well the situation. Just how vulnerable I'm certain she did not realize given the state of my left ankle and the possibility that it might let me down at any step. But I made it in both directions, straddling her successfully both out and back in. Smiling to myself as I settled back down, I wondered, had she not had on shades, if I might have seen a twinkle in her eye at my awkwardness. And I wonder if it's simplemindedness that makes things like this have meaning to me.
Not long after this, I was lying back with my eyes closed trying to get some sleep. At one point I opened them and noticed my neighbor had taken out from one of her bags an irregular shaped piece of cardboard and some papers that she was working on with a pencil. The printed lines on these pages were maybe 3/8 of an inch high, impossible not to see, and almost immediately my eye caught two words at the beginning of a sentence: “Mr. President.”
Not wanting to be nosy, I immediately looked away, but my curiosity had been piqued. After a brief period trying to figure just what I would say, I simply apologized for the invasion and asked if she was writing a letter to the president, explaining that I, myself, had written to him recently. My hearing is going and the rumble in an airplane so fills my head that conversation is difficult if not impossible.
She said something and I believe I heard the word “rhetorical” so my belief was that she had said she was not actually writing to the president. I don't know. I pulled out the AVA I had earlier been reading and showed her the full page anti-war ad and the statement to Bush. She said something that to me was mumble, mumble and then, “…when I was talking to Ashcroft yesterday” something, something. “Ashcroft!” I exclaimed. “How in the hell did you get to him? … I knocked my head against the wall yesterday trying to see the receptionist at Health and Human Services.”
“I'm a senator,” she said, flatly.
“What's your name?” I fumbled still not getting it.
“I'll be darned,” I said. “I was in your office yesterday. I got mixed up and thought I was in Feinstein's office and I bawled-out your aide for Dianne's vote to go to war.”
We both chuckled at my mistake and the senator went on to tell me a little about her position against the war, much, if not most of which I didn't hear. She was curious about the paper, saying she wasn't familiar with the AVA and asked if she could keep it, apparently not having received the one left with her office staff. Soon, she went back to her editing and I to dozing. We had a couple of very brief light conversations during the remaining flight and no more. Besides my hearing difficulties I didn't want to impose upon her.
At the end of the flight Senator Boxer was met by a small entourage, I'm calling them the bodyguard, the chauffeur and the manager. She carried her own bags.
* * *
(A WOMAN STAFFER from Senator Boxer's DC office soon called after this report appeared in the paper to ask for copies of that issue of the AVA for the Senator’s archive.)
SEVERAL READERS who enjoyed Debra Keipp’s recent “Pint Arena” political review (https://www.theava.com/archives/38874) have asked about the general subject of how such a small town became incorporated with such narrow borders and a small population.
According to local history lore about the Mendocino Coast at the turn of the century: “Point Arena was the only considerable town on the south coast, and the main shipping port for agricultural products, supplemented by bark, ties, posts, etc. It was a town of 476 inhabitants by the census at the time it was incorporated on July 11, 1908. The town boasted nine saloons, three general stores, three confectionery stores, a harness shop, two blacksmith shops, two barbers, one livery stable, one hardware store, three hotels (all under one management, one closed, and one used only for lodging purposes), a butcher shop, and a millinery establishment, a fire company, a water works and electric lighting, three churches, a grammar school and a high school. Steamers ran to the port regularly twice a week and sometimes oftener, Wednesday being Steamer Day when the town was full of teams bringing farm produce, butter, eggs, chickens, and travelers to or from the city of San Francisco. The port and harbor was not a secure one, and in boisterous weather it was sometimes missed by even the regular steamer. There was a long wharf and also a chute with a crane for shipping ties, lumber, etc. This latter was of the cable variety and used only by the L.E. White Lumber Co. Asphalt exudes from the ocean bluff west of the town, and two attempts were made to obtain oil, but the casing was pulled out of the last and deepest, at 1600 feet, and there was no prospect of another attempt for years to come. The crude asphalt has been hauled and dumped on the street and lasts for years.”
* * *
So here’s a bit of Point Arena incorporation history which we originally ran back in 2008 on the occasion of Point Arena’s 100th Anniversary.
* * *
At a current population of around 450, some people have said that Point Arena is the smallest incorporated city in California. But that honor goes actually goes to a town named “Vernon” in eastern Los Angeles County which has a population of 85. Four other incorporated California towns are smaller than Point Arena — Tehama, Trinidad (Humboldt County), Amador, and Sand City.
According to an interesting story by Jo Rouse in a recent  Independent Coast Observer, itself based on information from Mendocino County Historical Society chief Steve Oliff’s fascinating book about the history of Mendo’s south coast, around 1900 Point Arena’s town fathers started thinking about keeping liquor sales taxes coming in to town when Mendocino County was considering alcohol prohibition during the early days of the temperance movement (aka Mendo was “going dry”). Other motivations mentioned for the eight-year effort to incorporate included California’s famous, but much more mythical, “independent spirit.”
But since the town’s economy depended heavily on booze — there were at various times in those days between 9 and 14 saloons in town — it’s pretty obvious that Point Arena’s booze lobby (“alcohol community”?) was the primary motivation for the drive to incorporate.
The town needed a minimum of 500 voting citizens to even be eligible to apply for incorporation under the state’s rules at the time. Since the population included women (who couldn’t vote) and immigrants (who couldn’t vote) and Indians (who couldn’t vote), the 500 threshold was a challenge. Incorporators first decided to arbitrarily enlarge the town’s boundaries. But that didn’t add enough voting citizens either. So they — mostly the town’s tavern owners and operators — got the local hotels to board upwards of 40 area loggers for the minimum 30 days to meet the minimum residence requirements for voting.
Having finally qualified to cast their ballots on Point Arena, Wet or Dry, by an underwhelming vote of 66 to 56 when election day finally arrived, Point Arena came up Wet.
William Hanen, then the editor of the Point Arena Record, and a leading advocate for incorporation, wrote that “very reluctantly, the Board of Supervisors passed favorably on the election returns and declared Point Arena entitled to incorporate.”
History does not record the reason(s) for the Board of Supervisors’ “reluctance,” but one can safely assume it had more to do with booze than with principled objections to incorporation.
Coincidentally, among the initial ordinances issued by the newly formed town council were rules for obtaining liquor licenses and a prohibition of public drunkenness. This was before such things were turned over to state regulation after prohibition was subsequently repealed years later.
That’s the more or less official version that available recorded histories of Point Arena tells us.
But there was more to the story.
In 1996 my late uncle, former Fifth District Supervisor and former Point Arena Mayor Joe Scaramella, who was ten years old at the time of Point Arena’s incorporation, recalled those days more vividly.
* * *
“Point Arena was incorporated in 1908. In those days there was the big temperance movement by the lady in Chicago named Carrie Nation who, armed with an ax, led assaults on drinking establishments, hence the term ‘battle axes’ to describe formidable women. Mendocino County was voting dry. The town of Mendocino was dry. The saloonkeepers in Point Arena felt that if the County went dry and Point Arena was not incorporated, Point Arena would be dry like the rest of them.
“My father was not a saloonkeeper then. He was involved in other things like road grading and tie-making. But he was totally sympathetic with the notion of incorporation. He wasn't a citizen yet, so he couldn't vote or participate politically or officially. So they started from that basic fact that some of the residents in Point Arena were not voting citizens so they got the idea to bring in some people who hadn't lived in town previously.
“They circulated the required petition. They got everyone who was sympathetic to sign up. Mendocino County did go dry a few years later. As a result, there were no saloons in the unincorporated areas of Mendocino County. So if you wanted a drink you had to go to Fort Bragg or Point Arena.
“I think we came out ahead with incorporation overall, even though the reason for incorporation was unusual, because we have been able to maintain a degree of independence that ordinarily would not be allowed.
“I always supported it myself. There were some people here a while back who thought we ought to disincorporate. I guess we ought to listen to them, but I hope it never comes to that. I always felt that, damn it, we can manage our own affairs. If we simply have the mind to do it, we can do it.
“While I was supervisor I was invited to talk to some people in Anderson Valley about incorporation. There are pros and cons a lot of different ways. I said that one thing you've got to recognize is that if you're going to have a fractured community you'll have nothing but trouble. You better not incorporate because you won't get anything done. Because if it's fractured, one group will want to do something, the other won't. So you better let headquarters in Ukiah handle it because it's a little more remote and they can do it somewhat dispassionately. Anyway, that was my suggestion at the time. In addition, Anderson Valley is a much larger area whereas Point Arena is only about one square mile. So that's a difference.
“Historically, Mendocino County had always been a fairly hard-drinking area, especially Fort Bragg and Point Arena. I can remember that there were at least nine liquor establishments here when Point Arena incorporated. So, of course, there had to be some drinking.
“Once the County went dry enforcement of prohibition became an issue. The attitude that was prevalent then exists today: selective law enforcement. I had the impression that certain people who were enemies, or on the outs, would be targeted by law enforcement. Ev Burns was thought to be a ‘wonderful’ Sheriff. I certainly didn't think so. His supporters liked to say that he got things done. But in order to get things done he would trample over everybody's rights. That's what makes the difference. Hell, might makes right, and he had the might. It was rumored — it's beyond proof I suppose — that there were certain people that he would ignore. It was a difficult time.
“Lots of people made bootleg liquor. But it's hard to say how much was just for drinking and how much was for making money. It was profitable for a lot of people and some of them made good money. Afterwards, after prohibition ended, they moved on and out to bigger and better things. Very little bootleg booze was exported to my knowledge. In fact, there is still some moonshine made ‘out back’ for personal consumption around here.
“There was a man who went to Fort Bragg with his meat from his butcher shop. He'd take the moonshine which he hid down amongst the meatstuffs he was taking to Fort Bragg. Nobody ever bothered him. One time the Feds got suspicious and went out there to check him out. They went into his cellar. In those times you were allowed to make 200 gallons of wine for home use — not for sale. So he had a bunch of barrels around there. He had a whole barrel of grappa right under the tree and they passed on that one. So that's as close as they ever got to him. And there was a dairyman who had a bunch of milk cans that he’d modified with false bottoms. You could lift the lid and see milk like usual, but beneath the milk the bottom four-fifths of the can was very good brandy. He delivered it to Fort Bragg in those clever cans that looked like a milk delivery.
“There was also some smuggling, of course. As a matter of fact there's a spot down the coast they call ‘Smuggler's Cove.’ There used to be liquor from Canada which would come down and be brought ashore there. It landed all along the coast here.
“Some of those smugglers were not highly moral characters. The characters involved in that kind of thing had very few scruples that you and I would recognize today. If you got into trouble with them, you were in serious trouble. Hell, they killed one man down here, about a mile south of town. He was coming up with a load of stuff and they thought he was a squealer or something. The man was not a local. He was shot and left for dead. All we knew was that he was involved in whatever alcohol transaction was transpiring.
“There were a number of Italians bootlegging in the Yorkville hills who were well known to us. But that was all small scale. I don't think they broke even. To get their product you had to go and get it — it was quite a trip from the coast in those days and they only sold to people they knew. It was never really big money — mostly home-made wine and its potent byproduct, grappa. That stuff would knock you over if you weren't familiar with it.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, Jan 9, 2015
JOHN AVILLA, Talmage. Driving on suspended license, perjury, probation revocation.
RICKY CUMMINGS, Fort Bragg. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.
KARLA FELIZ, Clearlake. Driving on suspended license.
IGNACIO FUENTES, Olivehurst/Ukiah. Driving on suspended license.
BRANDON HANSON, Ukiah. Sodomy, possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia.
SCOTT HEIDINGER, Hopland. Drunk in public.
WILFRED HEIDINGER, Hopland. Drunk in public.
DANIEL HOLMES SR, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.
DONNA MAKI, Fort Bragg. Petty theft/retail, probation revocation.
RACHELLE MARTIN, Willits. DUI.
CARLOS MORALES-CARRILLO, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ALY SY, Potter Valley. DUI.
EDNA WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.
HERE COMES WALMART
Fort Bragg hearing on new shopping center at NW corner of Hwys 1 & 20 Jan 28th between Mendocino College campus and Hwy 1, set for Jan 28th. Documents available at City Hall, the library, and online — info below.
Below report is from:
Hare Creek Center - 1250 Del Mar Drive, Fort Bragg
The Hare Creek Center is a proposed new shopping center consisting of three buildings, including: Building A at 15,000 square feet, Building B at 10,000 square feet and Building C at 4,500 square feet, for a total of 29,500 square feet of retail space. Associated development includes a new access road on the west edge of the proposed development that would connect to Bay View Avenue (CR #439A) to the southwest and to Ocean View Drive at the intersection of Ocean View and Harbor Avenue. Other associated development includes a new 99 space parking lot, loading zones, pedestrian improvements, rain water storage tanks, utility connections, drainage improvements, utilities, and associated landscaping.
A public hearing before the Fort Bragg Planning Commission to consider adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration is scheduled for Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 6:00 PM at the John Diederich Center. Click here for a copy of the Public Hearing Notice.
The Mitigated Negative Declaration prepared by Community Development Director Marie Jones is available for viewing during business hours at City Hall, 416 N. Franklin Street; the Mendocino County Public Library, 499 E. Laurel Street; or by clicking the following links:
Below documents available at:
- Hare Creek Mitigated Negative Declaration
- Attachment 1A - Hare Creek Plans & Elevations
- Attachment 1B - Hare Creek Rendered Elevations
- Attachment 1C - Water Analysis
- Attachment 2 - WRA Coastal Act Report
- Attachment 3 - Urbemis Report
- Attachment 4 - Nolan Ground Water Recharge Study
- Attachment 5 - DFW Email
- Attachment 6 - GHD Traffic Study
- Attachment 7 - KASL Water Model Study
- Traffic Study Appendix
PALACE HOTEL UPDATE:
Open Letter to Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:
Mental Health Privatization has failed us. The for-profit Ortner rakes in millions of State and Federal Mental Health Patient money, and provides very few of the State-Mandated services. Four egregious violations are:
The Ortner Mental Health Crisis Line is answered by a message machine sometimes.
County Mental Health has just given money for “Patient Medications” to Ortner and County patients can’t get their medications.
County Mental Health Patients no longer can reach their Doctor or Nurse by phone, which is dangerous and can be life threatening. Apparently there’s a business hours phone number in Ukiah to call, but it took a Supervisor 20 minutes to find that for a patient in crisis. Regular people don’t have that phone number or access.
The Ortner iCMS Access Crisis Center in Fort Bragg has no doctors or nurses, only 1-1/4 MFTs and if they are busy, there is no help. One patient in a crisis found no help for 2 days and on the third day was told, “I can’t help you, you make too much money.” Apparently Ortner is unaware that the State mandates Crisis Care for ALL people regardless of income.
The solution is to get the experienced non-profit Turning Point to come here, hire locals, provide the leadership and training needed to create State-Mandated Mental Health Patient Services. A letter needs to be sent to County Mental Health Patients AND Private Medical Providers with: County Medical Provider: names, phone numbers, addresses, days and hours worked, and Medical Outpatient backup phone numbers. County Mental Health Patient medication money needs to be restored.
Sonya Nesch, Comptche
THE ARVOLA CASE
Concerning Kathryne Andarin Arvola of Ft. Bragg:
"Lacks impulse control" sounds like psychobabble, but sometimes it's right on the money. I talked with Andarin Arvola on the phone once (I've never known her to use her first name, Kathryne). At a certain point she raged, using purple language. Purple language is okay by me, but I reminded her that our conversation was an interview. She didn't let that discourage her, just raged on.
Events attributed to her are a matter of a growing public record. Anybody with the patience to pick their way through the not-impossible labyrinth of official county Internet postings can read about them. Arvola's escapades would lend themselves to a few good laughs over a beer, except when you're the butt of them. In my opinion — and not just mine — the woman's dangerous.
She's a horsewoman. There are pictures of her mounted, in parades and such. This is scuttlebutt, hearsay: It is said that her horse died and she left it where it fell, to rot there, saying she couldn't afford to dispose of it. I did not see or smell that horse. I do not know if the story is factual or fanciful, but I'm inclined to believe it. It has the characteristic to-hell-with-it quality that seems to go with Andarin stories.
I once asked the Fort Bragg Advocate/Mendocino Beacon editor Kate Lee this question: "Do you know any of these people personally?" "These people" included a number of people specified in a legal hassle, Arvola prominent among them. Kate said no. It turned out she and Arvola were friends, sometime traveling companions and so on. Kate declined to run stuff on Arvola's shenanigans. I don't know if this happened without exception, but I know it happened more than once.
It wouldn't be the first time an editor spiked a story out of favoritism for somebody, but it denied the public useful information about a—literally—unruly citizen. That puts people at risk. (As far as I know, all the victims of Arvola's outbursts are women.)
Mitch Clogg, Mendocino
WERE THE CHINESE HERE FIRST?
Apparently there's old stone ruins in Marin somewhere too.
A Cal Professor on TV made a fairly convincing case that the East Bay wall could be the work of ancient Chinese.
DENNIS O'BRIEN WRITES:
There is a general desire to have a face-to-face meeting of some kind in the near future to discuss issues and candidates for the next MCPB/KZYX board election. The power of the Programming Council to overrule the Program Director has already leaped to the top of the discussion... Authority for hiring and firing will be returned to the Board of Directors...
* * *
MARCO McCLEAN REPLIES:
Dennis, Marco here.
When you get a little power to effect some change, I recommend that you make it a point to pay airpeople at the same rate per hour actually worked as management (news people and fundraising people too) are paid. That doesn't mean make money appear from nowhere; it means strip KZYX management of its salaries and perks and divide the freed-up $100,000-plus per year among the people actually doing what the radio station is there to do in the first place.
The station has a bookkeeper. The bookkeeper has a computer and bookkeeping software. A schedule exists of who's on the air and for how long each per month. Beginning to pay them is a trivial task that could be implemented overnight. Airpeople would get tax forms, answer a couple of questions about how many dependents to claim, and so on. And if airpeople don't want or need the money, they can say so and donate it to the station. Theater companies I've worked for have a more complicated time of it than KZYX would, and bookkeeping is not a problem for them.
I don't know what Mary would do, or the fundraising guy, but when John Coate takes a hike, which he will instantly once his personal money spigot slows to a trickle(*), you'll get a better manager, one who has a background in radio and loves radio and does radio. I can think of several just off the top of my head.
(*) He'd fight it, though, wouldn't he? Look at how he's dug himself in and erected bulwarks around. He's not just the general manager — isn't he also CEO now? CEO of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting Corp.? I think you'd have to change out nearly the entire board.
My own show is currently running on a station (KNYO-LP) whose manager doesn't take any pay at all. He can do that because managing a radio station is dead easy. There are some routine tasks that must be done once a month, and there are some routine tasks that must be done once or twice a year. Other than that, when something breaks you try to fix it and if you're not qualified you telephone the engineer. And why would any station need a manager and a program director? When an airperson can't make his shift he can call someone else to do it or let automation cover it. If an airperson is consistently absent because he doesn't care, give the airtime to someone else and spend three minutes editing the schedule on the web page and another three minutes emailing the bookkeeper. And done. When someone wants to do a radio show, you show them how to operate the equipment, give them a pep talk and a pamphlet and allocate their time slot. My experience listening to new radio people who are treated this way is that they do their first show and their friends tell them what was wrong with it, and the next show sounds like they've been doing it forever. And when something goes wrong it just isn't a big deal. It isn't the end of the world. It gets solved and they sail ahead.
Several of my listeners emailed me and one called me after the last time I talked about all these things being not the way things are done at KZYX and each one said the same thing: "$60,000 isn't very much for a manager. That doesn't sound like too much." But it really is too much. It's infinitely more than the airpeople are being paid. At KNYO I don't mind not being paid, mainly because no-one with power over my project is being paid any more than I am, and the person with power over my project never wields it. I'm free to do my work and my art and never have to worry that a manager will drunk-call me at two in the morning and start barking at me how to do my show, or tell me I can't have certain guests on, or threaten me that if I talk about station business or some sensitive subject or even let a guest talk about it I'll lose my airtime. I don't have to worry about anything like that; I can do the show I came to do. Contrast that with KZYX, which all the way from the beginning has never been right about these things, has always done things the hard, oppressive way. And why is that? I really wonder.
Also, just the general manager's salary at KZYX is eight to ten times the entire operating budget of KNYO.
KZYX in the noncommercial educational band. It exists by law to do things you can't do on commercial radio. And yet all the many years I was at KMFB, which was commercial radio, in the commercial band, I was way more free to do the best I could by my lights than anyone has ever been on KZYX. Yes, let's see what can be done to liberate things over there, where they've received literally millions of taxpayers' dollars in grants because they promised to make radio freedom possible and then flushed a great deal of that money away in managers' salaries.
Oh! Speaking of which, Dennis, if there's broadband service wherever you have your meeting, you can put the meeting on the air live on KZYX with a free program for Linux and Windows (and probably Mac) that I've been using to do my KNYO show by remote when I'm out of town. It's called B.U.T.T. (Broadcast Using This Tool). It installs in five minutes, including typing in streaming settings (you can copy and paste them in), and thereafter it's one click and you're on the air. The engineer can set it up so you don't even need anyone in the studio at the station. I'd think a discussion of issues and candidates would be pretty good radio and fit right in with the mission of KZYX. Tell John Coate and Mary Aigner you want to do it and see what they say.
Okay, tired of this now. Pressing send. I have to go back to work.
* * *
JOHN SAKOWICZ ADDS:
Dear Eliane (KZYX Board President),
Please put Marco McClean's idea as an agenda item for discussion at the upcoming Board meeting in Fort Bragg. The item doesn't necessarily require a recommended action at this time. See thread below my email to you..
Marco is a respected member in the community. He has been doing community radio for many, many years. I think his idea is a good one. To ignore him (and me), just reinforces the perception that KZYX is a closed clubhouse with a rubber stamp Board.
I quote Marco:
"I recommend that you make it a point to pay airpeople at the same rate per hour actually worked as management (news people and fundraising people too) are paid. That doesn't mean make money appear from nowhere; it means strip KZYX management of its salaries and perks and divide the freed-up $100,000-plus per year among the people actually doing what the radio station is there to do in the first place."
Actually, we pay a lot more than $100,000 in salaries and benefits, but you get the idea.
PS. Marco, Your idea is brilliant — take the pot of money at KZYX spent on staff salaries (approximately $250,000) and divide it equally among staff, programmers, fundraisers, etc., according to hours worked. I'm on the KZYX Board, and I will submit your idea as an agenda item for discussion at the next meeting in Fort Bragg.
No doubt I'll be shot down, but I'll make the request for the record. Both the FCC and CPB are now paying close attention to the following:
KZYX management's oppressive business practices — total control of programming decisions by management; also Korean War-era, failing equipment; also the purging of any programmer that dares to question management, also the battery of two women on station premises and the refusal by management to investigate; and KZYX's secret finances — staff salaries are not disclosed; also money for the Ukiah studio, about $19,000 total from three sources, is missing; also financial reporting (line items) is inconsistent vis-a-vis the station's audit, the station's tax returns, and the general manager's report.
BOONVILLE WINTER MARKET
Saturday Jan 10 in front of the Boonville General Store, 10 - 12:30, rain or shine (hopefully we'll get some more rain this year :)
No need to register to sell at this market - just come on down with your homegrown or handmade stuff.
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THE AV FOODSHED BOOKSHELF in the Home Arts building at the Fairgrounds in Boonville (part of the Anderson Valley Library) will be closed Jan 27 - Feb 14 due to the Alsace Wine Festival happening there. To borrow books or DVDs on Rural Living Skills this month, you will need to visit the AV Library before Tue Jan 27.
* * *
SAVE THE DATE: Saturday Jan 31 is the annual Winter Abundance Grafting Workshop/Seed, Scion and Plant Exchange at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville - more info soon.
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FROM MENDOCINO FARMERS' GUILD
Due to holiday festivities and low enrollment we choose to move our date for the Pig Processing workshop with Tamara Wilder. As a super bonus, with the change in date we were able to add Luke Frey to the teaching team! Truly this is gearing up to be fantastic.
Whole Pig Processing will be January 17 & 18th, rain or shine here at our place in Covelo. Attached are the new registration and a flyer. Please RSVP by January 12th to reserve your space. The workshop is sliding scale $225-300 and is a great deal for working with Tamara and Luke. Onsite camping is available for out-of-towners. The night of the 17th is a community potluck where we will share some of the treats we made during the day, spiced pig head and bacon wrapped heart to name drop a few! So if you can't make the workshop, send me an email for potluck details.
Join us for a great event, learn techniques from slaughter to butcher. Special recipes for organ meats, head, tail, ears, feet and more. Sausage-making and lard processing as well. This is where we go all in! Please call or email me for more details.
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WINTER PRUNING in the Butler Cherry Orchard January 18 at the Grange Farm School Orchard 10-4, lunch will be provided.
Learn from Experts how to:
- Plan and establish a new orchard
- Restore neglected fruit trees
- Prune for different species
- Disease Management and more...
The day will provide a mix of lecture and guided hands-on practice in a mixed aged orchard with a variety of fruit types. $35 general public, $20 Grange/Guild members.
To register, write to email@example.com
NEW STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD PETITION REGULATIONS
The indefinite wait to challenge a California Regional Water Quality Control Board's action or failure to act has come to an end. New regulations became effective on January 1 that, for the first time, place time limits on the State Water Resources Control Board to grant review of or dismiss administrative petitions filed pursuant to Water Code section 13320. Previously, the State Board had unlimited time to determine whether a petition warranted further review of the Regional Board's action or inaction or whether the petition should be dismissed. Petitioners were consequently placed in the untenable position of not knowing whether their administrative appeal would be heard, often waiting longer than one year to learn their fate. The State Board cited a steady increase in the number of petitions filed and a lack of resources to efficiently process the petitions as primary reasons for the considerable delay.
The State Board therefore amended its regulations to provide petitioners with much-needed certainty regarding the timing and status of their petitions. Specific time limits now apply to the processing of petitions:
For petitions submitted before January 1, 2015 that are not being held in abeyance, the State Board now has 120 days, 240 days, or one year from January 1, 2015 in order to dismiss or grant review of the petition. The different time periods depend on when the State Board initially received the petition. If the State Board does not make its determination by the given date, then the petition is deemed dismissed by operation of law.
For petitions submitted after January 1, 2015 that are not being held in abeyance, the State Board now has 90 days to dismiss or grant review of the petition. If the State Board does not make its determination within 90 days, then on the 91st day the petition is deemed dismissed by operation of law.
With the new time limits in place, many petitions may be dismissed by operation of law if the State Board does not work swiftly to process the noted backlog of petitions as well as any petitions filed after January 1, 2015. Although dismissal without State Board review may not be ideal for all petitioners, it provides the administrative finality necessary to obtain review from the superior court under Water Code section 13330(b).
The amendments are codified at Title 23, California Code of Regulations, §§ 2050, 2050.5, and 2051 and are available in strikeout/underline format here.
— Sarah N. Quiter firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarah Quiter provides environmental, municipal, and special district counsel for public entities. She specializes in storm water, pretreatment and wastewater, solid waste, and ground water issues. Sarah has extensive experience working with the State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and advises clients on compliance with both State and federal environmental laws. She has successfully negotiated Clean Water Act settlement agreements and assisted in drafting multiple franchise agreements for the collection and disposal of solid waste, recyclable and organic materials. Prior to joining Meyers Nave, Sarah served as Staff Counsel for the California State Water Resources Control Board and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. (Meyers Nave is an Oakland based California law firm with offices around the state specializing in municipal law.)
UNSKILLED WORKERS REPORT FOR NEW JOBS
by Andy Borowitz, Borowitz Report
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)— 64 unskilled workers will report to new jobs in Washington DC on Tuesday as part of a federal jobs program that provides employment for people unable to find productive work elsewhere.
The new hires, who have no talents or abilities that would make them employable in most workplaces, will be earning a first-year salary of $174,000.
For that sum, the new employees will be expected to work a 137 days a year, leaving them with 228 days of vacation.
Some critics have blasted the federal jobs program as too expensive, noting that the workers were chosen last November in a bloated and wasteful selection process that cost the nation nearly $4 billion.
But Davis Logsdon, a University of Minnesota economics professor who specializes in labor issues, said that the program is necessary to provide work “for people who honestly cannot find employment anywhere else.”
“Expensive as this program is, it is much better to have these people in jobs than out on the street,” he said.
PARAGONS OF VILLAINY
Rick Weddle Writes:
There are lots of fingers pointing to the 'Bad Guys.' Among the champion Bad Guys of History, I'm thinking many of those pictured as 'our' public servants need to be in the Front Row in the Dock. The list of 'our' power-addled moral derelicts now includes Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, et al, PLUS those in positions to do something like Justice, who then decide NOT to ...yes, I mean Obama, and anyone else who does not advocate and act for Justice. So, where does that leave me? And you? Mr. Cheney is precisely the current, visible posterboy for why there are Laws against cruel and unusual punishment...AND Laws banning ANY punishment without Due Process. Lying about torture and advocating it, Cheney takes his place with some determination among the likes of de Sade, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Jeff Dahmer, and so on. It was specifically to avoid giving the criminally insane access to any power whatever that our democratic republic was designed with a Balance of Powers...those were the daze...
There has been a lot of mileage logged honoring and memorializing the very brave volunteers who got up and resisted the hijacking of that airliner over Pennsylvania that morning of 911. Those courageous few saw something was Wrong, got together and got up and did something about it. They had no idea they could save themselves; they moved because it was the Right Thing to Do. We Americans now find ourselves in their shoes. Are we to remain seated, with our belts fastened, and maybe order another cocktail, all calm and compliant, while 'our' public servants unlawfully fumble at the hijacked controls, tailspinning us into the dirt? Or is there a feeling, an inkling, an urge to recognize the peril, and to get up on our back feet, and say, all in one loud voice, '...let's roll...'? I, for one, and my family and a lot of my friends, for a bunch of others, will not be going quietly.
YOU'LL ALWAYS BE THE LOSER.....
Over the bullet strikes
my heart pumps out a sound,
how my life was waiting
for the unknown experience.....
I stand relentless
unaware of the warnings,
of the painful sound
coz' I care not
you'll always be the loser.......
I give you my blood,
you have your pride,
at least I have a word
to answer god,
your hands are dirty,
you can never deserve purity.....
— Devisha Pareek