- Russian River Documentary
- Chief Lizarraga
- Chief Jones
- Who Dat?
- Durst Connection
- Stop the Mall
- Newspaper Conglomerate
- Fedco Seeds
- Stolen Vehicles
- Abalone Poachers
- Catch o'the Day
- Middle Class
- Tower of Song
- Postal Alliance
- Borland's Decision
- Idiot Radio
- Science Awards
THE RUSSIAN RIVER: All Rivers - The Value Of An American Watershed screens this Sunday at Grace Hudson Museum. It's a very good new documentary in ultra high-definition about the boom and bust story of the Russian River, the Ukiah Valley's lifeblood. Pass it on.
Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 1:30pm
City Council Chambers
300 Seminary Avenue
Ukiah, CA 95482
Screening sponsored by Grace Hudson Museum
To reserve seats: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Russian River: All Rivers — The Value of An American Watershed explores the diverse forces which have come to shape one of California's iconic rivers — forces which impact rivers and watersheds throughout the world. It examines how the Russian River has been used, and what the consequences of that use have been. By looking at the effects of mining, logging, fishing, agriculture, diversion and development, the film conveys a historical perspective for the river's condition. Scientists, educators, policy makers, activists and citizens offer their perspectives on how this resource has been used and managed.
Bill, Stella, Nancy
The Russian River: All Rivers
FORT BRAGG’S NEW POLICE CHIEF:
The 30 candidates who applied for the job were weaned down to four, and out of those final four, Capt. Fabian Lizarraga, 37-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, was chosen. He is expected to assume the position by the end of April. (Lizarraga is a basque name, from the Basque region of Spain.)
From the LA Police website:
Fabian E. Lizarraga
Commanding Officer Juvenile Division
Captain Fabian E. Lizarraga is currently the Commanding Officer Juvenile Division. Prior to this assignment Captain Lizarraga was the Patrol Commanding Officer of Van Nuys and Newton Divisions. He is a 25-year veteran of the Department, whose law enforcement experience is both comprehensive and varied. During his tenure, Captain Lizarraga has been assigned to geographic areas throughout the City including West Los Angeles, Wilshire, Central, Hollenbeck, Rampart, 77th Street, and South Bureau CRASH as an officer and a supervisor. His service also includes assignments in Northeast Vice, Internal Affairs Division, Operations-Central Bureau and the Office of the Chief of Police. Captain Lizarraga is divorced and has four children, two sons and two daughters. He was born in Mexico, but his family later immigrated to Southern California where he was raised. He is a graduate of California State University Los Angeles and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. His interests include reading, spectator sports, hiking, camping and other family-oriented activities.
* * *
WE DON'T UNDERSTAND why Lt. John Naulty didn't get the nod as Fort Bragg's Chief of Police. We understand he was one of four finalists, with the top spot going to an LA cop Fabian Lizarraga. Naulty, at the risk of his life, put himself in the path of that rampaging Oregon lunatic Chaney almost two years ago now, preventing that particular mad dog from killing anybody else after the madman had gun downed popular Coast Deputy Ricky Del Fioriantino. On the basis of that act alone, the job should have gone to Naulty.
THE PRESENT CITY GOVERNMENT, basically the three-person city council majority and City Manager Linda Ruffing, clearly drove the popular Chief Mayberry out of town and was said to be angry with Naulty for not submitting himself to a mental health clearance by a shrink of the council's choosing. Naulty said he was fine and ready to go back to full time duty. Given the choice between Naulty's self-evaluation of his mental health and that of someone dragged out by the “liberal” city council majority, we'll go with Naulty.
CLOVERDALE HIRES EX-HEALDSBURG COP SUSAN JONES AS ACTING POLICE CHIEF
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS MAN?
WITH ROBERT DURST MURDER ARREST, NATIONAL ATTENTION RETURNS TO KAREN MITCHELL’S DISAPPEARANCE
by Hank Sims
The FBI’s arrest of millionaire Robert Durst on murder charges over the weekend has thrown the 1997 disappearance of Eureka teenager Karen Mitchell back into the spotlight.
Durst is the subject of the recent HBO documentary series “The Jinx,” which was named for the remarkable number of people who have crossed paths with Durst only to end up murdered. He was finally charged with one of those murders as the series ended — his friend Susan Berman, who was killed in 2000 — and it looks as though the 71-year-old will soon appear to answer to the charge in a Los Angeles court.
(Though he admitted to killing and dismembering a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, a jury found that Durst acted in self-defense.)
The documentary series, the arrest and the charges have reminded many news organizations that some have long considered Durst a suspect in the disappearance of two California teenage girls — Kristen Modaferri, 18, who disappeared in San Francisco in June 1997; and Mitchell.
The disappearance of the 16-year-old Mitchell in November 1997 is Humboldt County’s most well known missing persons case. She had left the Bayshore Mall to walk to her aunt’s house on the afternoon of Nov. 25 of that year. She never arrived, and was never heard from again. A large manhunt turned up several clues — including an artist’s rendering of a person Mitchell was last seen with, along with a description of his car — but no suspect was ever officially named. At the time, Durst had a home in Trinidad.
Today’s New York Daily News carries a story with the slightly misleading headline “Police investigating Robert Durst’s connection to missing teens,” which talks about the Modaferri and Mitchell cases. It quotes Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming saying, very carefully, that she could not confirm or deny that Durst is officially a person of interest in the case. Nothing else in the text of the story mentions any law enforcement investigation into Durst’s connection to either of the cases, though it does include a great deal of material connecting Durst to each of them.
The Daily News is only one national media outlet looking at the two cases again. EPD Chief Andy Mills told the Lost Coast Outpost earlier that he spoke with NBC Nightly News today, and will likely continue to field calls from national media as they search for the second-day angle on the Durst case.
But Mills wished to have one thing clear: “We have a missing person,” he said. “We don’t have a murder case.”
Mills said that the EPD no longer has the investigative files in the case. They, and the investigation, were turned over to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office some time ago, he said, for reasons that are still unclear to him. However, he would soon be reaching out to the Los Angeles investigators on Durst’s case to see if they might have anything of interest, he said.
Mills said that he also hoped to speak to Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming about the matter soon, but cautioned people not to jump to conclusions. The Durst connection in the Mitchell case is interesting, but a long way from conclusive.
“I’m just cautioning people not to overreach on this thing,” he said.
Postscript: In 2012, on the 15th anniversary of Mitchell’s disappearance, the Times-Standard’s wrote this moving story about how the failure to solve the case affected local law enforcement, including recently retired coroner Dave Parris, who was the lead investigator for a time.
* * *
PPS. Durst's arrest in New Orleans came the day before the finale of HBO series, The Jinx, about his links to the three killings. On the final episode, Durst made an apparent confession, saying in an unguarded moment: “I killed them all, of course.” Eureka Police Department in California has said they want to speak to those investigating Durst in LA and New Orleans about a missing teenage girl from the late 90s, NBC News reported on Tuesday.
Karen Mitchell, 16, vanished in Eureka, California, on November 25, 1997.
Author, Matt Birkbeck, who has written repeatedly about Durst, claimed to CBS that Durst had been seen with the teen at a homeless shelter where she volunteered.
Eureka Police Department Chief Andy Mills said on Tuesday that he believed foul play was involved in the girl's disappearance and that he wanted to know more about the time when Durst was in California.
Five months earlier on June 23, North Carolina college student Kristen Modafferi vanished on a trip to San Francisco.
However he cautioned against any conclusions being drawn too quickly.
Durst was being held in Louisiana on drug and weapons charges after being found with a quarter-pound of marijuana and a revolver during his arrest on Saturday. It's not clear how soon he will be returned to California.
The real estate mogul was charged on Monday in LA with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Susan Berman, the daughter of the prominent Las Vegas mobster Davy Berman. The local angle? Ms. Berman was a talented writer, well known in San Francisco of the late 1960s for a story called, “Why Women Can't Get Laid In San Francisco.” She was a good friend of AVA writer, Fred Gardner.
STOP THE FORT BRAGG HARE CREEK MALL!
ACCORDING TO REUTERS, Apollo Global Management LLC is in advanced talks to acquire most of the assets of Digital First Media for about $400 million. Digital First owns the Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News and, among its lesser papers, the Ukiah Daily Journal, The Willits News, and the Mendocino Advocate/Beacon. All of the Mendo people presently working for the Mendo papers aren't optimistic about their long-term employment prospects.
REUTERS: “The potential deal illustrates private equity's interest in the newspaper industry. Even though newspaper readership is declining, buyout firms say they believe they can squeeze out a profit through cost cuts and new digital offerings.”
I see Spec doesn't seem to know about Fedco Seeds in Maine, run by a righteous guy named C. R. Lawn. Their catalog is the best, on newsprint paper, they won't deal with Monsanto, Syngenta, or any others of that ilk. Don't let the ill chosen name of Fedco put you off: they have the best prices and the best seeds going. And if you write a good letter, C. R. tends to answer it with a hand-written note. Give them a try, Spec, You'll like them and their politics.
Elizaville, New York
STOLEN VEHICLES IN UKIAH
The Ukiah Area is experiencing a raise in vehicle thefts. The California Highway Patrol, Ukiah Area, would like to remind residence that vehicle theft is a crime of opportunity. Do not make it easy for thieves. Simple deterrents such as parking in a secure or highly visible location, locking vehicle doors, or using an alarm system can make all the difference. Recently, Ukiah Area law enforcement has noticed a pattern of unattended running vehicles being taken. Do not leave your car running unattended even just for a minute. That's all the time needed for a thief to steal your vehicle. Also, report suspicious activity to law enforcement. By remaining vigilant, you increase the odds of not becoming a victim.
A little bit of prevention can go a long way, but when a vehicle is stolen, the tools we have available now are helping to catch thieves and return stolen vehicles to their rightful owners. The California Highway Patrol Ukiah Area has recently acquired a License Plate Recognition (LPR) system and is deploying it regularly. LPR's work as an electronic "hot sheet" of sorts. The license plate numbers of stolen vehicles are stored in a data base. The LPR scans the license plates and alerts an officer when it scans the license plate of a stolen vehicle. The CHP has deployed License Plate Recognition technology statewide since 2005, beginning with a test project in 2003. The CHP is seeing very positive results as far as recoveries of stolen vehicles and arrests of vehicle theft suspects.
The California Highway Patrol has a variety of other means it uses to thwart thieves, such as participation in countywide task forces and the use of technology like LPR and Bait cars. However, law enforcement can't do it alone. We need the public's help to continue to reduce the number of vehicles stolen in California every year.
- In 2014, vehicle thefts increased by 6.8 percent statewide.
- On average, a vehicle is stolen every 3 minutes in California.
- In 2014, there were 159,271 vehicles reported stolen in California with an estimated value of more than $1 billion. (This figure is based on the average replacement value established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.)
- In 2014, approximately 89.6 percent of the vehicles stolen in California were successfully recovered, representing 142,785 recovered vehicles.
- The condition of the recovered statewide vehicles varies: the majority, or 65 percent, of the vehicles recovered were intact and in drivable condition; 3.6 percent were missing major components; 12.4 percent were stripped of minor parts; and 18.9 percent were intentionally burned and/or wrecked
Officer K. Adams, #19842 Public Information Officer California Highway Patrol - Ukiah Area (707) 467-4040 phone (707) 463-8662 fax
ABALONE POACHERS IN ELK RECEIVE HEAVY FINES
NOVEMBER BUST OF 59 ABS RESULTS IN $20K FINES
The following press release was issued by the California Fish & Wildlife Department at 5:03 pm Tuesday:
“Three San Francisco men received thousands of dollars in fines and other penalties after pleading no contest to illegally poaching 59 abalone in November 2014. The daily bag limit for abalone is three. Jinfu Wu, 43, Wei Q Wu, 27, and Jin He Li, 35, all of San Francisco, were each fined $20,000 (Wu and Li had $5,000 suspended) and sentenced to 36 months of probation and 240 hours of community service. The men also face permanent revocation of their fishing and hunting licenses and the loss of all seized fishing gear. On Nov. 5, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers with the Special Operations Unit observed a suspicious van with one man inside parked on the side of the road near the town of Elk in Mendocino County. The officers began surveillance on the van and ultimately observed two divers in the water near the location where the vehicle was parked. The divers appeared to be taking gross overlimits of abalone. As the officers watched, the suspects made multiple trips into the water and appeared to hide their illegally harvested abalone on the shore. Once they gathered their catch, they left the scene in the van. Wildlife officers later contacted the suspects at their San Francisco residence and arrested all three for conspiracy to illegally harvest abalone and combined possession of a gross overlimit of abalone. The CDFW Special Operations Unit is a team of undercover wildlife officers who specialize in investigation of persons suspected of selling California’s fish and wildlife on the black market. Abalone is a prized resource in California, seasons and limits are highly regulated to protect the resource. For complete information on abalone fishing and regulations, please see www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/abalone.asp. To read the original news release on this case, please see https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/…/wildlife-officers-arrest-…/.
(Courtesy CA Fish & Wildlife via MendocinoSportsPlus)
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 18, 2015
ERIN BLACKWELL, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
JOSHUA COHAN, Comptche. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
DONNALD HOPPER, DUI causing injury/with priors.
NAOMI MENDEZ, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MATTHEW STEVENS, Ukiah. Possession of hashish, drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.
STEPHEN WILLIAMSON, Potter Valley. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
A HISTORICAL NEUROSIS
by Jeff Costello
"People who do things test my endurance - give me a man who solicits insurance" --Dorothy Parker
The following arrived in my email, a dispatch from my old friend Bill Shortell, a union activist in Connecticut:
"I think we attempt to define class in order to facilitate class struggle. With that in mind it seems essential to try and formulate the largest group of workers to fight the capitalists. That's why I draw the line at the relation to the means of production. The capitalist class are those who make the majority of their living from the labor of others, through their ownership of the means of production.
We, the working class, make our living using the means owned by capitalists. They appropriate a share of the value we produce.
The term 'middle class' has no place in this context. We define the classes in order to marshal the greatest force against capital. Who are the enemies of this so-called 'middle class?' The capitalists and the poor. How can we unite with a 'class' that targets a major portion of the working class for enmity?
Middle class might be more usefully conceived as a cultural portion of the working class, or even a psychological type, in fact a historical neurosis."
— Bill Shortell, Political Director Eastern States Conference of Machinists
So there it was. I am not the only one sick to death of hearing about the the woes of the middle class. Politicians go on and on about "saving the middle class." From what? From whom? From the corporate and financial entities that bankroll them? Fat chance but they still want the votes. My middle-class success-story friend in Portlandia voted for Jill Stein, a radical move for him, basically a protest against the political standardization of Barack Obama. I told him that had I voted, it would have been for Jill Stein (a "pathetic failure" according to Slate, and like Dennis Kucinich a real human being and therefore, media laughing stock). The middle class "believes" in voting, whereas I do not. The excellent political cartoonist John Jonik has one in which a citizen at the voting booth tries to decide between the Greater Evil and the Lesser Evil as two demons sit behind one-way glass, drinking champagne and laughing.
My parents moved to Connecticut when I was eight years old, and it was the suburbs. And suburbs were new then. Levittown had been built when... in the '40's, '47? ... and this was a brand-new suburban subdivision called the Highlands. My parents bought a house, and everything seemed okay except that there was a part of me that immediately felt something was definitely wrong there. There was something wrong with all the little nuclear families in little boxes, as Malvina Reynolds' song says, all made of ticky-tacky. It wasn't really a neighborhood, in the urban sense, and couldn't have been further from the idea of a community (sounds too much like communism). Even then, mass media were busy keeping the populace afraid... of communism, the bomb, polio, or locally, bats with rabies.
We were the lower end of middle class, but of course in America you could aspire and work hard, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and reach the upper middle levels. What you could not do was enter the upper class. That was and is the territory of people born into it, and even if you were the rare person who struck it rich somehow you couldn't really join the club. So the middle class in general learned to pretend. And the pretense was that they were better than the neighbors, who were pretending the same thing. What they had in common was that they pretended to be better than "colored" people and working people who got dirty. This was not discussed, of course, but naturally assumed. This leaves us with the working class and "the poor," who have a lot of overlap and are never mentioned by the politicians.
Dorothy Parker's typical bitter sarcasm in the opening quote tells the story perfectly.
TOWER OF SONG
Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song
I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song
I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond
They tied me to this table right here
In the Tower of Song
So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all
I'm standing by the window where the light is strong
Ah they don't let a woman kill you
Not in the Tower of Song
Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices
In the Tower of Song
I see you standing on the other side
I don't know how the river got so wide
I loved you baby, way back when
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed
But I feel so close to everything that we lost
We'll never have to lose it again
Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back
There moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone
I'll be speaking to you sweetly
From a window in the Tower of Song
Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song
— Leonard Cohen
AN EXPANDING US POSTAL SERVICE IS VERY POSSIBLE
And Why We Should Do It
by Ralph Nader
The ongoing, preventable plight of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is an important issue for those of us who have observed its steady decline over the last several years due to unimaginative management, huge prepayment obligations imposed by Congress, and a deck stacked to favor corporate rivals such as FedEx and UPS. The historic institution, created by Benjamin Franklin, has cut thousands of jobs: There are 220,000 fewer postal workers now than there were just over a decade ago. In addition, postal rates have been raised, and services have been cut or scaled back.
The USPS reported a $5.5-billion loss in 2014, out of $67.8 billion in revenues. Some critics argue that the postal service has become antiquated in the modern age of instantaneous email, and that its services should be corporatized. Despite setbacks and unnecessary fiscal burdens, however, the USPS still reliably delivers over 150 billion pieces of mail a year, at uniform rates, regardless of whether or not the area is deemed profitable for deliveries. The corporate mailers cannot make the same claim. The USPS has impressively not taken any taxpayer money since 1971, a feat not achieved by many subsidized or bailed-out big corporations.
The postal service has suffered from a severe lack of broad thinking and imaginative leadership. Recently retired Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe sought to fix the USPS’s declining business by proposing shutting down rural post offices, reducing hours, slashing an additional 150,000 jobs, ending Saturday delivery and door-to-door delivery, and extending delivery times into the evening. Through these actions, Donahoe aided the postal service’s spiral of decline by slashing away once-steady and reliable services and fair costs instead of seeking bold, transformative new strategies to bring in new revenue and maintain the postal service’s vital utility and relevance for future generations.
Subtracting the prefunding requirements from the USPS, it would have been in the black by $1.9 billion in 2014 — the second year in a row of revenue growth.
Mr. Donahoe’s replacement, Megan Brennan, will be the first woman to serve as Postmaster General. Here are a few questions and concerns for the new postmaster general to consider as she begins her historic tenure:
* Where does she stand on the congressional mandate that required USPS to pay out $103.7 billion by 2016 to cover future health benefits of postal retirees for the next 75 years? No other government or private corporation has to meet such an absurd financial burden. It is the primary reason for much of the USPS’s financial woes.
* How does she feel about reinstating the successful Postal Savings System (which bank lobbyists forced into cessation in 1968) for simple savings accounts? There are tens of millions of unbanked Americans, whom the banks do not want, who could use postal banking.
* What about other sources of revenue? Establishing an honest notary service, cashing most checks, selling fishing and hunting licenses, wrapping holiday gifts, and accepting wine or beer for delivery are just a few congressionally prohibited proposals that have been put forward by postal activists and watchdogs.
* What of improving the USPS’s use of the Internet, even so far as providing affordable broadband and email services?
Recently 64 organizations, led by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), came together in what is being called the Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service. (Check out this finely produced video featuring actor Danny Glover, who comes from a family of postal workers, discussing the new alliance to save and expand the postal service.)
The alliance is advocating for increased services, including the aforementioned postal banking service.
“Building the grand alliance is the only way we will ensure that a vibrant, public Postal Service exists for many years to come,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
Too many members of Congress lack understanding and appreciation of the USPS as a vital public service. Privatization advocates in Washington, D.C. — most of whom don’t use the USPS — obscure our postal system’s defining mission: “to bind the nation together” with universal service.
There are numerous compelling reasons to save the postal service from further degradation. It’s one of the largest employers of veterans and minorities in the United States while also offering fair wages and benefits. Having a letter carrier walk all neighborhoods each day can be both a deterrent to crime and also an important safety protocol; there are many examples of elderly or infirm people in trouble being discovered and aided by their letter carrier. And the USPS is never going to redline your neighborhood or threaten to move overseas.
Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.
CHRIS BORLAND & THE REVENGE OF HISTORY
by Dave Zirin
At age 24, promising San Francisco 49er linebacker Chris Borland walked away from millions of dollars, unconditional adulation, and a shot at NFL stardom because he chose to value his future over the present. This might be because he knows something about the past. Borland earned a history degree at the University of Wisconsin and to the shock of the football world, as well as the discomfort of the NFL brass, he chose to apply this knowledge and walk away from the game. If history is the greatest predictor of the future then the path in front of Borland must have seemed horrifying. A majority of NFL players end up broke and physically damaged. Untold legions suffer from CTE, a brain ailment that affects motor skills, memory, and impulse control. Early onset dementia and ALS can result from the kinds of repeated blows to the head that happen on every play of every game. The ignominious history of head injury casualties includes high-profile suicides of Hall of Famers Mike Webster and Junior Seau. It includes Dave Duerson who like Seau put a bullet in his chest instead of his head so his CTE-wracked brain could be studied. It also includes icons of the 1980s like Jim McMahon and Tony Dorsett struggling with basic life-functions. History shows that playing NFL-level-football is like playing Russian Roulette with your future and Chris Borland decided to do what so few have done and put the gun down. "I just honestly want to do what's best for my health," Borland told ESPN’s Outside the Lines. "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk."
One can count the number of players in NFL history who have walked away in advance of injury and with their talent still in demand on two hands. They include running back legends Jim Brown and Barry Sanders. They also include linebacker Dave Meggyesy who left the sport in 1969 as a political act against how he believed the violence of the football conditioned people to accept the war in Vietnam. He then wrote the classic sports memoir Out of Their League. Fittingly, Borland spoke to Meggyesy before his decision. As Meggyesy said to me, “This is a very sharp young man who did not make this decision lightly. He valued his ability to still walk away.”
According to a Sporting News survey, NFL players on social media largely gave Borland a great deal of respect, praising him for the courage of his convictions. Several high-profile NFL broadcasters were far less charitable, taking shots at Borland for making this choice. They sounded disturbingly like Bush, Cheney, O’Reilly, Limbaugh and the whole gang of those who used their advantages to avoid combat in Vietnam only to insist decades later that other people’s families sacrifice loved ones to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. As much as I despise the comparisons of sports and war, it is just too apt in this case; another example of how easy it is to stew in a whirlpool of toxic testosterone when it’s not your body, your mind, or your child at risk.
The worst response to Borland however came from the NFL itself. The easy move would have been for the league to do what the 49ers did, which was to make a classy statement that Borland was a good person, a valued member of the league, and simply wish him the best. Instead Jeff Miller, the NFL senior V.P. of health and safety policy, gave a perfunctory slap on the back to Borland and then immediately pivoted to a full-throated defense of the safety of the sport, writing, “By any measure, football has never been safer . . . Concussions in NFL games were down 25 percent last year, continuing a three-year downward trend. We continue to make significant investments in independent research to advance the science and understanding of these issues. We are seeing a growing culture of safety. Everyone involved in the game knows that there is more work to do and player safety will continue to be our top priority.”
Unsourced statistics and Frank Luntz massaged PR offensives about "a growing culture of safety" don't make the game seem safer. They just make the minders of the sport sound like tobacco execs braying about the safety of the new low-tar Virginia Slim with the extra-large filter.
Then there was Steelers team neurologist Joseph Maroon who showed up on the NFL network to claim that playing tackle football was safer than riding a bicycle.
But the most revealing quote came from Packers director of player personnel Elliot Wolf who tweeted, "Anyone worried about the future of football should see the amount of calls & emails we get from kids literally begging to get into pro days.”
That in a nutshell is the far more serious existential problem the NFL faces. It's not that there won't be people “literally begging” to play the game. It's that college athletes like Chris Borland who don't come from dire poverty will in greater and greater numbers choose to do something else with their minds and bodies. Many NFL players began their lives in destitute situations defined by hardship, but many others come to the league from stable, middle class backgrounds as well. That middle class player, especially those like Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick who played multiple sports, will become scarce. Meanwhile as ticket prices rise, we are facing a sport ready to go “full gladiator” as poor people, disproportionately black, damage each other’s brains for wealthy, disproportionately white crowds. For an NFL that likes to paint itself as synonymous with America and apple pie, this has the potential to just be an awful commercial look. It could become a disturbing revealed truth about where this country is headed. In history class, Chris Borland probably studied Rome. That didn't end well. But he also surely learned that history could be altered through conscious acts of resistance against the way things ought to be. Mr. Borland gave us such an act this week. His career may by over. But I’d bet a great deal we will hear his name again.
THE NEOCON NATURE OF THE MURPH & MAC SHOW & KNBR RADIO (Revised version)
Or, Why I Left Sports Talk Radio
Listening to an interview with San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean the other day I was a bit alarmed at his beginning the interview with a few glowing minutes about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because he was addressing the US Congress. Really?!? Maybe the Giants do not see that type of talk as divisive because Pac Bell Park was built for people of the elite, the winners. My ire was a bit raised. My mind raced. Why did they treat Panda, basically one of the few 'black' guys on the team like dirt? Then when I heard Aubrey Huff, who did hit 28 bombs in 2010 for the Giants but who went awol the next year as a headcase, savaging his former teammate Pablo Sandoval on the radio, the whole thing reeks of good old boys and their narrow opinions. Kinda pissin me off here. Then of course when listening to sports talk radio I tune in Murph & Mac on KNBR 680am from 5 to 9 am weekdays. All these guys were savaging the Panda too, in kind off a safe kiss ass but nonetheless racist tone. I am reading in to the racism and that is exactly what I am doing.
The Murph & Mac show is a terrible radio show. Literally a common theme on todays show March 16, 2015 was "love it or leave it". The students at UC Irvine have recently proposed some limitations on the display of the US flag on campus and raised questions about the connection of the flag to violence, colonialism and war.
All legitimate questions. My opinion is that I would entertain the query but go with Abe Lincoln on this one and say that he raised the flag and did so on behalf of every person of every race trying to get a fair shake in this country. So let it represent the good things and we can educate to be more aware of the bad things. What irked me is the juvenile responses of these guys to any such social issues. Their response is basically I am a dopey entitled white guy who can't fathom any restriction on my right to say whatever stupid shit I want to (over the airwaves) and that's about the extent of it. These guys are avowedly for the use of the team name Redskins for the NFL football team of our national capitol in Washington DC!?! So basically the response all show was "Love It Or Leave It Man". Asinine.
I will now say that the Murph & Mac show is a terrible radio show. They regularly repeat the lie on this show that American Veterans returning from Vietnam were spat upon. Aside from the second in command Paul McCafrey, an idiot in his own right, they have added a third, the little weasel Patrick Conner who drops crypto-conservative neocon opinions like little rabbit turds all over the airwaves, adding his shitty opinion at random parts of the show. He gets in a particular tizzy when anyone takes a dislike to cigarette smoking, challenges racism or the use of the term Redskins, or does anything he could remotely classify as politically correct. How about instead of the charged term politically correct we use something like "common decency" or "reading the room" especially for people who broadcast over 50,000 watts. I challenge Patrick Conner to face up an Apache Brave and tell him face to face how Redskin is an appropriate term for the NFL football team from Washington and how dare he challenge or take little Patrick Conners right to use it. Last year in a weekend SF Giants pre game he ranted for hours about some guy in Iran who had not taken a shower in 40 years. The insinuation was that Iranians and Arabs (these morons cannot differentiate) are ALL stinky people who don't bathe, and should therefore be annihilated. This guy blathers on constantly about being a proud ex marine and all this crap. I finally emailed him and said get on with the friggin baseball talk already, and consider that any honorable soldier honors even his enemy and does not dehumanize him. I am embarassed that these three guys are Irish-American, but like George Carlin said its not like they had to work for it or anything.
In the SF Bay Area which many call the socially progressive capital of the United States the extent of the progressive persona offered by these lug nuts on the Murph & Mac show on KNBR 680am is admiration for the Grateful Dead, Bill Walton oddities, smoking pot (covertly), and a token lesbian lady as a fourth voice who lets her sexual orientation be known in every other commercial segment (which by the way run 39 minutes out of every hour) and at least 16 times during the broadcast. I guess that's the bogus badge that KNBR uses in order to get away with the rest of the tripe they peddle. Equal rights and justice for all the rich pretty people, right? They are constantly mentioning and lauding, aye, lionizing Reagan, GW Bush, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. in glowing terms. These guys represent the worst aspects of the American idiot male sports persona. Its like a group of emasculated little boys. Interestingly enough the conservative commentary is so reaching and grandiose but the personal talk is always pathetic insecure small man talk.
What's the solution? Well a little bird told me that Dave Zirin, the great radical sports writer, might be getting a show on alternative public radio. Sounds good.
Let all the constituents of public radio who believe that we need a radical commentary on aspects of popular American culture such as sports come forward with our requests now.
Nate Collins, Oakland
BOONVILLE KIDS WIN BIG
On Saturday, March 14, the Mendocino County Office of Education hosted the 29th Annual Mendocino County Science Fair in the Mendocino College Gymnasium. This event is an Academic Enrichment Program sponsored by the Mendocino County Board of Education.
Seventeen local schools submitted the names of 217 students who represented 161 projects. Students worked independently or in teams of two or three to address questions in the various fields of earth, physical, and/or life sciences. The Mendocino County Office of Education would like to thank the School/District Science Fair Coordinators, teachers, and parents for supporting the curiosity and commitment of students in the field of science. We also appreciate the 61 volunteer judges and helpers from the community and local schools who have assisted in making this event possible for the students in Mendocino County.
Congratulations! to the following students:
ELEMENTARY DIVISION — CLASS A PROJECTS
Earth Science-Grades 3-4
Gold / Farrow Lockwood / Future Fuel / Willits Elementary Charter School
Life Science-Grades 3-4
Gold / Audrey Sherf / Sensitive Seedlings / Willits Elementary Charter School
Silver / Mahaila Reighter / Amarah Kelley / Liver Stinks / Laytonville Elementary School
Bronze / (Tied) / Bryanna Gijon / Flexibility Challenge / Willits Elementary Charter School
Bronze / (Tied) / Sydney Kubin / Control the Mold / Blosser Lane Elementary
Physical Science-Grades 3-4
Gold / Cruz Whitaker / Swing Time / Tree of Life Charter School
Silver / Erik Espinoza / Audie Hanes / Araceli Alvarez / Colorful Heat / Anderson Valley Elementary
Bronze / Anika Ellis / Jaden Rice / Edward Becerra / Heat of the Beanie / Anderson Valley Elementary / Earth Science-Grade 5
Gold / Wesley Duong / Alternative Air Conditioner / Instilling goodness Developing virtue Boys School
Silver / Michael Kale / Jensen Matheson / Which Seismograph Is More Sensitive — Horizontal or Vertical / Blosser Lane Elementary
Bronze / Tristan Hofmaister / Sun to Fog / Willits Elementary Charter School / Life Science-Grade 5
Gold / Savanna Hincker Tye / Are Childproof Caps Really Childproof? / Blosser Lane Elementary
Silver / Ariel Herz-O’Brien / Jessica Holland / Fingerprints? Inherited? What!?! / Blosser Lane Elementary
Bronze / Kassidy Galloway / Bacteria / Willits Elementary Charter School
Physical Science-Grade 5
Gold / Katrina Bergmann / Heat It Up / Blosser Lane Elementary
Silver / Ruby Veno / Awesome Bubbles / Tree of Life Charter School
Bronze / Bodhi Waters / Going the Distance / Willits Elementary Charter School
JUNIOR DIVISIONS — CLASS A PROJECTS
Earth Science-Grades 6-8
Gold / Daniel Au / Levitation / Instilling Goodness Developing Virtue Boys School
Silver / Francis Lo / Solar vs. Electricity / Instilling Goodness Developing Virtue Boys School
Bronze / Cade Whitaker / Which Truss Bridge Design Holds The Most Weight? / Eagle Peak Middle School / Life Science A -Grades 6-8
Gold / Josie Woldemar / Drinks to Keep Your Teeth Sporty Clean / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Silver / René Chávez / Safety of Water Fountains in Local Parks / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Bronze / Amanda Reardan / Claire Cichocki / Beast in the Yeast / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Life Science B -Grades 6-8
Gold / Alyssa Fraser / Soaking Shells / Baechtel Grove Middle School
Gold (Tied) / Maeve Richards / Does Time Fly When Having Fun? / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Silver / Haley Whitcomb / Radiation Evaluation / Laytonville Elementary School
Bronze / (Tied) / Marvin Wang / Num6er M3m0ry / Instilling Goodness Developing Virtue Boys School
Bronze / (Tied) / Clarice Quigley / Golden Ratio / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School / Physical Science -Grades Grade 6-8
Gold / Jada Smith / Biodiesel: Heat of Combustion / Baechtel Grove Middle School
Silver / Hannah Wollfenden / Esther Palmer / Amplitude Versus Altitude / Anderson Valley Jr./Sr. High School
Bronze / (Tied) / Emma Dolan / SPF Test / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Bronze / (Tied) / Sean Coursey / Heat in a Vacuum / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
SENIOR DIVISIONS — CLASS A PROJECTS
Earth Science-Grades 9-12
Gold / Cali Mendoza / Maxence Weyrich / The Effects of Solar and cosmic Radiation on Near-Space Vehicles At and Above the Pfotzer Maximum / Anderson Valley High School
Silver / Leanna Duong / Potato Powered LED / Developing Virtue Secondary Girls School / Life Science A -Grades 9-12
Gold / Jessica Cronin / Variation in Heart Rate Pre and Post Exercise: Human vs. Equine / Willits Charter School / Life Science B -Grades 9-12
Gold / Chole Breen / Biofermentation / Willits Charter School
Silver / Lillian Mitchell / Caffeine and Athletics / Willits Charter School
Bronze / Stephany Brundage / Logging Recovery Near Mendocino County / Willits Charter School / Physical Science -Grades 9-12
Gold / Peizhu Qian / Angle Analysis of Multiple-line Intersections / Developing Virtue Secondary Girls School
Silver / Chia-Yun Hu / Guan Xiao Yang / Would Sound Waves Promote the Freezing of Water? / Developing Virtue Secondary Girls School
Bronze / Caelan Creekmur / Tara Logan / Growing Gas as Nano / Willits Charter School / DISPLAYS/DEMONSTRATIONS — CLASS B PROJECTS / Grades 3-5
Gold / Derek Nelson / Gianni Nelson / Enzo Vaccaro / Bristle Bots / Sherwood School
Silver / (Tied) / Cassidy Long / Kaylee Campbell / Kahlia Rodriguez-Lane / How Does A Lava Lamp Work? / Blosser Lane Elementary
Silver / (Tied) / Joshua Pacheco / Native American Art / Willits Elementary Charter School / Bronze / Carly Barbitta / Where Has All the Water Gone? / Willits Elementary Charter School / Grades 6-12
Gold / Sage Miller Martin / CO2 / Willits Charter School / Silver / Hannah Lawson / Emma Eidenberger / Home Made Bouncy Balls / Arena Union Elementary
CLASSROOM — CLASS C PROJECTS
Gold / Nyanna Bertolino-Haley / Oil! / Baechtel Grove Middle School
Silver / Hannah Sawley / Cole Faherty / Oil Spill Clean Up / Baechtel Grove Middle School
Bronze / Julieta Benitez / Dylan Gijon / An Oily Situation / Baechtel Grove Middle School
Daniel Au from Instilling Goodness Developing Virtue Boys School and Cali Mendoza and Maxence Weyrich from Anderson Valley High School received the Evelyn Smith Excellence in Science Awards. This award was established by MCOE as a memoriam to Evelyn Smith who was a supporter of science education. Her enthusiasm and efforts for the science fair benefited students, instructors, and the community. / Jessica Cronin from the Willits Charter School was presented with the California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) Award by representative Stormer Feiler. The purpose of this award is to provide recognition to students and to encourage them to continue developing their scientific interests. Students eligible for this award must be in grades 7-11 and must meet certain criteria by CAPS. / Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic in Willits sponsored two Outstanding Junior Science Awards for a project done by an individual student in grades 3 or 4, and in grade 5. Savanna Hincker Tye from Blosser Lane Elementary and Bryanna Gijon from Willits Elementary Charter School, were each presented with a Certificate of Achievement and a check in the amount of $50 by Dr. Carla Longchamp. / California State Science Fair — Qualified Projects / There were 14 Qualified and 2 Alternate Projects selected to compete at the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles on May 18-19, 2015. The Mendocino County Science Fair Lead Judges selected the following students in grades 6-12 with Class A Projects to compete at the state level (in no particular order):
Josie Woldemar / Drinks to Keep Your Teeth Sporty Clean / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Grade 6-8 / Mariah Cox / How Low Can You Sow? / Laytonville Elementary School
Grade 6-8 / René Chávez / Safety of Water Fountains in Local Parks / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Grade 6-8 / Alyssa Fraser / Soaking Shells / Baechtel Grove Middle School
Grade Grade Grade 6-8 / Clarice Quigley / Golden Ratio / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Grade 6-8 / Maeve Richards / Does Time Fly When Having Fun? / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Grade 6-8 / Emma Dolan / SPF Test / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Grade 6-8 / Jada Smith / Biodiesel: Heath Of Combustion / Baechtel Grove Middle School
Grade 9-12 / Cali Mendoza / Maxence Weyrich / The Effects of Solar and Cosmic Radiation on Near-Space Vehicles At and Above the Pfotzer Maximum / Anderson Valley High School
Grade 9-12 / Jessica Cronin / Variation in Heart Rate Pre and Post Exercise: Human vs. Equine / Willits Charter School
Grade 9-12 / Chloe Breen / Biofermentation / Willits Charter School
Grade 9-12 / Lillian Mitchell / Caffeine and Athletics / Willits Charter School
Grade 9-12 / Chia-Yun Hu / Guan Xiao Yang / Would Sound Waves Promote the Freezing of Water? / Developing Virtue Secondary Girls School
Grade 9-12 / Peizhu Qian / Angle Analysis of Multiple-line Intersections / Developing Virtue Secondary Girls School / California State Science Fair — Alternate Projects
Grade 6-8 / Amanda Reardan / Claire Cichocki / Beast in the Yeast / St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
Grade 6-8 / Ava Mortier / Do Family Members Have Similar Fingerprints? / Eagle Peak Middle School
For more information, please contact Kimberly Barden at (707) 467-5100.