- Rain Forecast
- PG&E Money
- Show Business
- Philbrick Down
- Community Involvement
- Catch of the Day
- Chron Money
- Fire Safety
- Cloverdale Ruckus
- Boonville Baseball
- Lon Simmons
- Repurposing Plastic
- Lazy Farmer
- Pigs Fly
- KMEC Radio
- Ocean Fencing
- O'Neill Family Reunion
MIGHT GET as much as two inches of badly needed rain Monday into Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
IN SATURDAY'S MAIL, a check for $25 from PG&E arrived with this explanation: “We apologize for the time your home was without power during this storm event (sic) this year. We've included a check for your inconvenience.”
DEAR PG&E. You owe me at least another $25. Power was out here for about 15 hours, during which time we had to work in longhand by candlelight, with only our good friend Evan Williams for company. Evan, who usually weighs in at 1.75 liters, lost about half his weight from the anxiety he was forced to share with us as we sought solace from him in the long dark of that night. If you'd bury all your power lines we'd all be spared the outage stress that drives us to drink.
DATELINE SANTA ROSA: Helen Keller, the deaf blind and formerly dumb celebrity was billed for a lecture in the Columbia Theater here tonight. But she did not lecture. A matter of money sealed her lips, so far as the Santa Rosa public is concerned. Ann S. Macy, Miss Keller's tutor-manager, spoke for an hour to the 200 in the auditorium. Then Miss Keller was called. She sat “mute.” The opera house people say she wanted a bigger house, but Mrs. Macy says all she held out for was $250, which had been promised her for the night. And there was only $120 in the box office. Mrs. Macy said Miss Keller did not want to violate her agreement with the Lyceum Bureau. She was importuned to go on with her lecture on “Happiness” for the edification of Santa Rosa; she was begged to go on, and begged some more. But Miss Keller was adamant. Santa Rosans did not hear Helen Keller, and the Columbia Theater still retains the $120.
— SF Chronicle, April 6th, 1915.
MEANWHILE, down the road in San Francisco, the Chron reported that the Wonderland at Market and Grant offered a live show featuring the Samar Siamese twins, Chief Whiteface and his wrestling bears, the Matamoras knife and tomahawk throwers, Sally the educated chimp, and the Papuan cannibals.
JERRY PHILBRICK, the well-known Comptche logger, is recovering from a massive heart attack that has required multiple bypass surgery. Tough as the guy is, it will take more than a heart attack to keep him down long.
RE NEW MANAGEMENT at the Mendocino Redwood Company, there is a problem there. But it is not unique to MRC. Some of the vineyard-wine companies have the same problem. They get caught in the notion that community relations begins and ends by writing a check to the fire department, or some other local non-profit. In reality, writing a check, no matter how big, does not buy you much for very long. Being actively involved, committed, with a personal presence is what is required. Jere Melo was a good example of real involvement. And it does not matter how — City Council, Boy Scouts, school sports, church, fire department, Rotary, Lions Club, food bank, 4-H, FFA, etc. People working for these companies need to have a presence beyond a guy or gal driving by in a pickup. The head guy should be someone people recognize on the street. In the past, this is the way it was. The problem starts at the top. And the problem is going to be resolved from the top. Simple, require all employees to demonstrate some level of community involvement. If need be, allow time for it. Salaried employees are under a lot of pressure to get the job done. And they do need time for their families. But community involvement is a requirement as well. Otherwise be a foreigner, and be treated as one.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Apr 4, 2015
HERMAN HERRINGTON, Fort Bragg, Drunk in public.
TROY HOAGLIN, Laytonville. Domestic assault, battery with serious injury, probation revocation.
JUSTIN KLAISNER, Redwood Valley. DUI.
ALEXANDER KLIMASZEWSKI, Stockton/Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
DAVID SHIPMAN, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Vehicle theft, evasion, possession of controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.
KRISTY TURNER, Fort Bragg. Robbery.
WEATHERMAN DEFENDS KZYX
To the Editor:
I have tried to stay out of the conversation about Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, but try as I might I keep getting dragged back into it, so I thought I might as well go “on the record,” such as it is, or at least go public with my comments. That way maybe people will stop asking my opinion of these matters.
First of all, thinking that KZYX radio station can operate on the same size budget as KMEC or KNYO is just like assuming that the San Francisco Chronicle can operate on the same budget as the Anderson Valley Advertiser. I mean, the Chron has a circulation that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, and the AVA has a circulation at least in the dozens. Anyone who thinks like that obviously doesn’t know anything about business, or finance.
At first that just annoys me, but after thinking about it, I actually have some hope. Maybe someday I can have a radio show “All About the Fashions.” If all it takes is a claim of knowledge not in evidence I am almost assured a spot, eh?
Now, while I am on the subject of people claiming knowledge not in evidence, I must say that I am astonished that someone would volunteer to be the treasurer of an organization who does not know how to read a very simple budget. At least, I assume that is why that person claims not to be able to find information that is clearly covered in the budget. Oh, and the budget is posted in a very easy to find place on the organization website.
However, I must say that while I am astonished, I am also not surprised. In my over twenty years of working with local nonprofit organizations one thing I have learned is that very few people actually understand what governance really means. I have come to believe that the real reason for this is the complete lack of requirements to serve on any governing body. You don’t have to know how to properly govern, you just have to know how to win friends and influence people until they vote for you. But that is the subject of another, much longer conversation. Thank you for your indulgence.
Michael Kisslinger, Ukiah
ED REPLY: I'm a member of Mendocino County Public Radio, but not as enthusiastic as I was when Mike Kisslinger read press releases as KZYX's unique rendition of local news, unique in that it contained no local news. But I always enjoyed Mike's weather reports, which included all of Lake County. To give you an idea of how exciting this guy's news show was, one day Mike reported that it was 78 in Lakeport but 75 in Middletown. The discrepancy remains a mystery to this day!
I bring it up because Mr. K's recent letter to the UDJ sneeringly compares the circulations of Boonville's beloved community newspaper and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Not that Mike is the kinda dude likely to be influenced by information that contradicts his seething misconceptions, but the Boonville paper sells — for cash money — almost two thousand hard copies a week in Mendocino County and another thou or so to thrill seekers outside the area. Add in about 600 paying customers on-line, and I daresay the Boonville paper not only outsells the Chron in Mendocino County but enjoys a subscription list comparable in numbers to Mendocino County Public Radio. And to think we not only turn a tiny profit, unlike KZYX, we do it without the big annual check that Radio Philo gets from our government.
FIRE, FORESTRY & PUBLIC SAFETY: HOT TOPICS IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
Things are heating up for the timber industry here in Mendocino County. Increased fire danger caused by timber management practices in Mendocino County will be on the agenda of the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 21st. Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg has requested the discussion in support of citizens living near timber lands, who assert that a local emergency is imminent due to the extreme wildfire potential of dead standing timber. Mendocino Redwood Company alone has left commercially-undesirable tanoak poisoned and standing dead on almost 90,000 acres in the county since 1998, at an annual rate of over one million trees per year. Aerial photographs of the treated timberlands can be seen at www.deadforest.org.
With fire season fast approaching, community members are being encouraged to attend the meeting at Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on April 21 at 1:30pm to show support for action by the Board. A decade ago a county Grand Jury recommended that the Board take the lead in adopting more stringent wildfire prevention codes, but to date no action has been taken. A wildfire prevention code still does not exist, only fire suppression.
The position of a local group made up of firefighters, biologists, environmental researchers, and community members is that existing forestry practice rules need to evolve with changing land and climate conditions to fill in this void. They have initiated negotiations with Mendocino Redwood Company and county government officials to immediately halt forestry practices that exacerbate fire conditions and to commence fire danger mitigation for upcoming timber harvests and the coming fire season.
Forestry practice rules have not evolved in decades, despite severe and steadily increasing drought conditions plaguing California. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just reported the driest January and hottest February on historical record. However CalFire, the state agency charged with fighting wildland fires, continues to approve timber management practices that increase land surface temperatures and decrease soil moisture. These include eliminating hardwood canopy after conifer harvest by poisoning the less marketable trees. The resulting exposure of dry soil, in addition to the removal of 50-75% of the conifers, exacerbates high temperatures, helping to make drought self-sustaining.
Fire ecologists maintain that standing dead trees can result in wildfire that is intense, uncontrollable, perhaps even unfightable, such that it could travel quickly from Mendocino County's heavily forested interior to more populated areas. Several close calls in the last few years have left people feeling nervous. During the 2008 lightning fires the wind never picked up significantly; just last year the fast-moving "Flynn Fire" narrowly missed stands of dead trees that could've carried it miles closer to Ukiah. Countywide health hazards with regards to smoke inhalation have been a reality for years. As Ted Williams, Chief of Albion-Little River Volunteer Fire, has said, "Calfire and the timber industry are not taking into account the community safety aspect of their practices."
The April 21st Board of Supervisors meeting in Ukiah will be an important opportunity for the forestry and fire issue to move forward at the county level, and reactions from CalFire are indicating that officials on the state level are feeling the heat as well. Members of the concerned citizens' group have hopes that a strong community presence at the meeting will demonstrate the local population's readiness to collaborate with industry and government for the sake of immediate public safety. Backed by fire science research and fueled by urgent concern for the safety of families, homes, and local volunteer firefighters, the people of Mendocino County are demanding that their Board of Supervisors take the lead on the issue.
Jessica Thompson (email@example.com)
CLOVERDALE COUNCIL BACKS CITY MANAGER IN POLICE PROBE
Cloverdale City Council members say they know very little about why City Manager Paul Cayler placed Police Chief Mark Tuma on administrative leave, but support Cayler’s decision to launch an investigation, which has shaken the tiny town and usual collegiality among senior staff.
THE BEST BASEBALL SEASON EVER
by Dick Meister
Like every other fan of the National Pastime, I've looked forward with great anticipation to the new baseball season. But I know it won't possibly match my favorite season of all time.
It was 1950 — the year that I, a 17-year-old shortstop not yet out of high school in San Francisco, took the first step toward what I was certain would be major league stardom.
You had to start somewhere, and my somewhere was Boonville, California, home of the Loggers, one of six teams in the semi-professional Mendocino County League.
Boonville. It sounded as if it was thousands of miles from San Francisco, and although actually only about 120 miles north, it might as well have been. There were only a few hundred people in town, two grocery stores, a service station, pool hall and a combination bar and restaurant with a dozen crumbling one-room cabins behind it — the Boonville Lodge, our principal source of food, lodging and entertainment for the summer.
Though small, Boonville was exceptionally well placed, in the heart of massive forests of pine and redwood and lush farmland. Narrow towers of dense gray smoke surrounded the town, tall aromatic sentinels rising above lumber mills, guarding Boonville's economic well-being.
The Loggers played only on weekends; their fans were overwhelmingly preoccupied with work at other times. But, my God, those weekends!
The fans barreled into town at noontime on game days, straight down the highway that doubled as Main Street, climbed out of pickup trucks and long fish-tailed sedans and hurried into the bar and restaurant. They jostled good-naturedly as they yelled out their orders. Beer and chicken-fried steak, beer and hamburger steak, beer and fried chicken or, for those feeling flush, beer and the house special, T-bone steak.
Soon the laughing, noisy crowd headed for the ballpark just across the highway, grasping bottles of beer and washtubs filled with ice and more beer.
The heat rose in waves. You could see it through the thick clouds of dust kicked up by infielders warming up as the fans clambered up into the bleachers, rattling the seats formed from sagging wooden planks, old, dry and smelling of resin. They bellowed advice and encouragement full blast through the afternoon, and some came down under the bleachers between innings to offer icy, dripping bottles of beer that the players downed in quick, gasping gulps.
It didn't end with the games. We walked, players and fans, the sweat-soaked lot of us, across the highway afterward, replaying the games as we made our way to the lodge, there to continue our talk, inside and in boisterous groups that spilled out onto the sidewalk. More beer, and the raucous, endlessly blasting jukebox sound of country boys singing country songs.
It was like that in all the league towns, none more than an hour away by car.
We spent very little time in the cabins that were our homes away from home. There was work at a lumber mill, from seven in the morning until three or four in the afternoon. Then came two to three hours on the practice field, where the boss was the Logger manager's right-hand man, Woody, once a first baseman in the Chicago White Sox minor league chain.
Woody was the "old pro" who was standard on such teams as the Loggers, a heavy drinker in his mid-40s who'd been drifting around the country for the past ten years. He knew no trade except baseball and had no skills but those of a ballplayer, skills too blunted by age and hard living for him to make it with teams at any higher level.
Woody was just another hand at the lumber mill, but at practice he called all the shots, a drill master with a fat stomach and a long, thin fungo bat. He'd slap balls to our left, to our right, over our heads, balls that would hit just in front of us and pop right up. He'd stand us up at home plate while the pitchers fired away, reaching out to straighten our shoulders, twist us this way and that, move our feet together, then apart, out from the plate, then in, move us back in the batter's box, then forward.
Practice, practice, until our eyes stung with sweat dripping down our foreheads.
Woody didn't say so, and we certainly didn't think so at the time, but we were experiencing true joy. The moist warmth enveloping our bodies, our muscles responding spontaneously and uncomplainingly to our every demand, dashing across the field full tilt to catch up to a ball, sending a ball flying far beyond us with the mere swing of a bat, our bodies doing just what they were supposed to do, just what they had learned to do.
That's what it meant to be young. That's what it meant to be playing baseball. That's what Woody Wilson never said, but never forgot.
Copyright©Dick Meister (firstname.lastname@example.org).
LON SIMMONS, BELOVED BAY AREA SPORTSCASTER, DEAD AT 91
by John Shea & Steve Kroner
Legendary broadcaster Lon Simmons, who introduced generations of Californians to major-league baseball and broadcast the 1989 earthquake-interrupted World Series and the 49ers’ road to Super Bowl XXIII, died at his Daly City home Sunday. He was 91.
Mr. Simmons, who was honored by baseball’s Hall of Fame as the 2004 Ford C. Frick Award winner, had acknowledged the success of Bay Area sports teams for helping him cope with his three-year battle with cancer, especially the Giants’ championship teams and more recently the Warriors.
Featuring a baritone voice and a witty, casual approach, Mr. Simmons was the liaison between the Giants and their fans who listened in their living rooms, backyards or work locales, usually on a transistor radio, about the exploits of players from Willie Mays to Barry Bonds.
“Lon was like my big brother,” Mays said. “Anybody who knew him knew he was very genuine. He’d always tell you the truth. When I went into a slump, he was one of the guys I’d listen to. Just a nice man. He was always there for me in all kinds of situations. I’m really going to miss him.”
Known for his self-deprecation and classic “you can tell it goodbye” home run call, Mr. Simmons teamed with Russ Hodges on Giants broadcasts when the team moved to San Francisco in 1958 and worked through 1973, returned to the booth in 1976 for three more years and again from 1996 to 2002.
Mr. Simmons partnered with Bill King on A’s games from 1981 to 1995, including Oakland’s World Series victory over the Giants in 1989. The same year, he called the 49ers’ Super Bowl victory over the Bengals.
“Lon was the first guy to interview me when I came up in ’59 after my 4-for-4,” said Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who broke into the majors with a four-hit game, including two triples. “That was my introduction to him. We’ve been friends ever since, and we got closer and closer over the years.”
McCovey recalled Mr. Simmons as “the quickest-witted guy I ever met in my life. You say something, he could come back with a joke right away as if it was rehearsed, he was that quick. He was amazing. I’ll miss his jokes.
“We had a little comedy routine that I didn’t realize. I didn’t talk a whole lot in those days. Lon would ask me a question and almost had to answer it for me. I always just said, 'That’s right, Lon.’ That line kind of became famous. We got a big kick out of that in later years.”
An example of Mr. Simmons’ humor was expressed in a 2013 interview with The Chronicle when he said, “I’ve had people come up to me, saying, 'Boy, I used to sneak up to my bedroom with my transistor and fall asleep listening to you.’ I’d say, 'Don’t worry about that. Everybody fell asleep listening to me.’”
Giants President Larry Baer’s recollection of Mr. Simmons dates to childhood.
“Like many fans, my earliest Giants memories were listening to Lon and Russ on my transistor radio,” Baer said. “Hearing his broadcasts ignited me and thousands of others’ passion for Giants baseball. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”
Former Giants marketing executive Pat Gallagher, who worked for the team from 1976 until 2009, said Mr. Simmons was as important in Northern California as Vin Scully has been in Southern California.
“He was as important as Mays, McCovey, (Juan) Marichal and (Orlando) Cepeda in developing the relationship fans had with the Giants during the formative years,” Gallagher said. “This was the first time many of those people had experienced Major League Baseball. It’s not like they grew up with it. The guy they grew up with and who brought it to them was Lon Simmons.”
Gallagher said Simmons’ departure from Giants broadcasts in 1979 led to a major shift. Before that, radio stations employed the broadcasters. Simmons left after a tiff with the KNBR station manager and joined the A’s. After that, the Giants insisted on hiring and employing the broadcasters so something like that wouldn’t recur.
As the Giants were about to fly to Phoenix for Monday’s opener against the Diamondbacks, broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper were toasting Mr. Simmons’ memory.
“I can’t imagine a life more fulfilled than his,” Kuiper said. “Those had to be 91 of the most fun years a person could ever have.”
Said Krukow: “There wasn’t a pretentious bone in his body. He was a humble man. He was a gentleman — and he had that little twinkle in his eye.”
Krukow recalled a broadcast during which Mr. Simmons forced Krukow, who rarely does play-by-play, to call an inning solo. Krukow remembered being upset with himself after the game, thinking he’d done a poor job. He recalled Mr. Simmons putting his hand on his shoulder.
Said Krukow: “He said, 'Listen, remember: You’re never as bad as you think you are.’ And I looked at him right in the eye, and he said, 'But you’re never as good as you think you are, either.’”
Broadcaster Jon Miller grew up in Hayward, listening to Mr. Simmons and Hodges and said Mr. Simmons “made the game exciting and interesting, and the broadcast was always entertaining, whether the team was entertaining or not.
“He not only had a great sense of humor, (but) it was all off-the-cuff and sometimes it was wicked. … He didn’t mind if you were laughing at him or whatever. It was all about the laugh.”
Miller called the Simmons/King team on A’s games “probably the all-time blockbuster pairing in Bay Area sports broadcasting history.”
Among Mr. Simmons’ memorable calls: Mays’ 600th home run, McCovey’s dramatic homer upon his return to the Giants in 1977, Mike Ivie’s grand slam against the Dodgers in 1978 and the final out of the 1989 World Series.
In football, Mr. Simmons’ calls included Minnesota’s Jim Marshall running 66 yards the wrong way, Joe Montana’s clinching touchdown pass to John Taylor in Super Bowl XXIII and Steve Young’s breathless game-winning 49-yard scramble against the Vikings.
“I ran into Steve Young afterward and said, 'You know, we both ran out of gas at the same time,’” Mr. Simmons said in the 2013 Chronicle interview.
Mr. Simmons’ daughter Robin Simmons, who cared for him in Hawaii, where he retired, and more recently on the Peninsula, said despite the sickness later in life, “He knew he had a terrific life. He was one of the lucky ones to do all the things he got to do. He loved the Giants and the organization, which stood by him.”
Amid visits to the hospital for tests and in some cases surgeries, Mr. Simmons said, “What helped me, I didn’t think about what was happening to me when the Giants were playing.”
More recently, Mr. Simmons jumped on the Warriors’ bandwagon. Robin Simmons said a Chronicle article on Klay Thompson inspired them to more closely follow the team, adding, “They’re great guys, and watching the Warriors, he forgot about all the trouble he was having.”
Mr. Simmons is survived by daughters Robin and Cindy, stepdaughters Lisa and Kelsey, and a brother, Dale. No funeral is planned. A memorial will be scheduled for a later date.
Staff writer Henry Schulman contributed to this report.
(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
Family Fun art event ties in with museum exhibit on sustainability
by Roberta Werdinger
The Grace Hudson Museum's next Family Fun at the Museum event takes place on Saturday, April 11 from 1 to 2:30 pm. Led by the brother and sister team of artists Cathy Monroe and Tim Easterbrook, the workshop will make art out of used plastic as part of a larger effort to examine the impact of plastic on the environment. The event is free with Museum admission.
Plastic pollution is threatening the ability of our oceans to sustain life. The amount of plastic that is thrown away each year is enough to circle the earth four times, much of it entering our oceans and impacting marine life. Monroe and Easterbrook will teach participants how to respect plastic by reusing it, constructing fish sculptures out of empty containers. They will also show a short video, "Gloop," organize a scavenger hunt, and lead a tour of the Museum's current exhibit, "Ignite! The Art of Sustainability," featuring works by California artists that respond to the state's multiple environmental challenges.
This workshop is recommended for children age six and older. Space is limited so reservations are recommended by calling the Museum at 467-2836. Materials are included; participants are also invited to bring their own plastic containers to reuse.
The Family Fun at the Museum program is made possible with funding from the Mendo Lake Credit Union.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to www.gracehudsonmuseum.org <http://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org> or call (707) 467-2836.
Roberta Werdinger Writer, Publicist, Editor
THE BOY WHO WOULDN'T HOE CORN
Tell you a little story and it won't take long
About a lazy farmer who wouldn't hoe his corn
The reason why I never could tell
For that young man was always well
He planted his corn in the month of June
And by July it was up to his eyes
Come September, came a big frost
And all the young man's corn was lost
His courtship had just begun
Said, "Young man, have you hoed some corn?"
"Well, I tried and tried and tried in vain
But I don't believe I raised one grain"
He went downtown to his neighbor's door
Where he had often been before
Said, "Pretty little miss, will you marry me?
Little miss what do you say?"
"Why do you come for me to wed?
You can't even make your own corn grain
Single I am and will remain
A lazy man I won't maintain"
He turned his back and walked away
Sayin', "Little miss you'll rue the day
You'll rue the day that you were born
For givin' me the devil cause I wouldn't hoe corn"
WHAT BERGDAHL CAN TEACH US -- on KMEC Radio, Monday, April 6, at 1 PM, Pacific Time
John and Sid return to KMEC Radio on Monday, April 6, at 1 PM, Pacific Time, with guest Matthew Hoh. We'll talk about, "What the Bowe Bergdahl Case Can Teach Us".
KMEC Radio airs at 105.1 FM in Ukiah, CA. We also stream live from the web at www.kmecradio.org
We archive our shows at KMEC Radio, and we also post our shows to Youtube. Shows may also b posted to the Public Radio Exchange and Radio4All.
It's a complicated issue. A lot of vets want to see Bergdahl court court-martialed for two reasons.
First reason. Some said the search for Bergdahl cost the lives of six American soldiers. KIA. The specific circumstances are complicated, but it is clear that the six died in Paktika Province in the months after Bergdahl vanished, during a period in which every mission, even if not directly aimed at finding Bergdahl, included some element of a search. As one former team leader told CNN, "when those soldiers were killed, they would not have been where they were if Bergdahl had not left."
One of six KIA, 2nd Lt Darryn Andrews, received a posthumous Silver Star for saving the lives of five soldiers during a mission that had shifted from searching for a Taliban target to looking for Bergdahl. Andrews left behind a pregnant wife and a 2-year-old son.
Second reason. The U.S. paid dearly in a high-cost trade for Bergdahl's release. Five Taliban commanders were flown out of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, freed in exchange for the American soldier whose disappearance many had already labeled a desertion.
The five Taliban terrorists who were freed in exchange for Bergdahl could go on to fight again. Under the terms of the deal, Qatar agreed to keep the former prisoners from leaving the country for only one year. At least two of the former Guantanamo detainees reportedly want to go back to the battlefield, perhaps adding to the eventual tally of the Bergdahl transaction.
Another thing. A lot of vets wonder if the "no man left behind" principle really applies to deserters.
That said, the never-ending war in Afghanistan is illegal and immoral. And, as we now know, Obama just announced he's keeping 9,800 U. S. troops in Afghanistan to secure our CIA bases and drones. Obama's promise to withdraw from Afghanistan has been broken. Here at KMEC Radio, we just did a show on this subject.
Hoh, a State Department whistleblower, wrote the piece “Stop Persecuting Bowe Bergdahl” for Politico. See: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/stop-persecuting-bowe-bergdahl-108461.html#.VSHKYvnF9KZ
Hoh recently said: “With more than 4 out of 5 Americans against the war in Afghanistan, and a majority of Americans saying the war was a mistake, Sergeant Bergdahl’s concerns about the war resonate with many Americans.
“As you will see from Sergeant Bergdahl’s lawyers’ statement, the report conducted by the Army found Sergeant Bergdahl not to have the intention to desert permanently; not to have the intention of joining the Taliban or assisting the enemy; that he did not cooperate with his captors, but rather attempted to escape 12 times; that no American soldiers died looking for Sergeant Bergdahl; and that Sergeant Bergdahl left his post to report ‘disturbing circumstances to the attention of the nearest general officer.’
“Sergeant Bergdahl’s disaffection with the war can be seen and understood, not only through the failure of the American war effort in Afghanistan, but through the ongoing civil wars in the Greater Middle East and in the rise of the Islamic State.”
“While I am saddened for Sergeant Bergdahl’s family, with whom I am friends, and hopeful that no charges will be brought against him at his Article 32 hearing, I do believe Sergeant Bergdahl’s case offers a valuable opportunity for our nation to discuss our wars, evaluate our wars’ executions and results, and question whether or not the sacrifices of our young service members and their families, as well as the suffering of millions of people throughout the Muslim World, has been worthwhile.”
Hoh, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, previously directed the Afghanistan Study Group, a collection of foreign and public policy experts and professionals advocating for a change in U.S. policy in Afghanistan.
Prior to the Afghanistan Study Group, Hoh served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and on U.S. Embassy teams in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
See Washington Post profile of Hoh: “U.S. official resigns over Afghan war”:
ROOM ON THE AGENDA, FB
Dear Mr. Deitz and Mr. Cimolino, Fort Bragg City Councilmembers,
Is it possible I could speak with you at the next Community Development meeting scheduled for April 28th? There are a few things I'd like to present. Since it's several weeks away, could you address the following now?
One issue of concern for me is the concrete fence currently being built along the southern edge of the GP property. It violates both city and state building codes. I realize the Pomo community made the request for this structure and I agree exceptions should be made for the Pomo community. However there are several materials available that could perform the same purpose of providing privacy while maintaining the aesthetic qualities of our coastal views. These materials are less costly and substantially safer for the environmentally too.
I'm also concerned about the execution of this project. If the Pomo want a solid concrete fence erected, cannot they build one themselves? I believe if they want to erect something so unattractive, that's their business. But if the city is building one for them, I believe it should do so within it's own laws.
I've brought my concerns to the attention of city staff and they aren't being addressed. Because construction has already begun, and removing concrete fencing is difficult, I ask that you halt construction and select better materials NOW. Others and I in this community can easily source alternatives if city staff doesn't have the time to do so.
After witnessing last Monday night's decision-making process about the dog park, it looks like ideas are presented but little if any community input is genuinely invited. If a good friend hadn't notified me about Monday night’s meeting, I would have missed it altogether. And I wouldn't have wanted to. I learned a lot, saw old friends and made some new ones.
I'm not sure if the decision to build a solid concrete fence was put before the public well. And I'm not interested at this time in reviewing innumerable minutes in order to find a possible needle in a haystack. I recently spent two days reviewing four boxes of GP files seeking permits for their fencing because knowledgeable city staff didn’t communicate the information accurately. I was provided no documentation. And that’s because there is none. There are no fence building permits or denied applications in city, county or state files.
I'm not willing to do an even larger job when city staff could easily disseminate this information verbally or in writing — at a minimum helping to narrow the search if the exact information isn't readily available. This is what city staff is partially paid for — working with the public. And the city files are in poor order.
Despite several efforts to understand and be included in the redevelopment process of the former mill site, this has not happened. I just want to be heard. If my ideas aren’t popular, I can accept that. But each attempt to engage with Community Development staff has been met with something far from inviting or helpful.
I can present the other subjects at the meeting on April 28th if there is still room on the agenda.
DO THE RIGHT THING, GP
April 1, 2015
TO: Mr. David G. Massengill, Georgia-Pacific, LLC, Senior Director
133 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Dear Mr. Massengill,
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I wanted to speak with you after the recent DTSC meeting hosted here. But you were gone before I had a chance.
I am a new resident of Fort Bragg. I moved here just over two years ago after spending several years in Atlanta teaching at Savannah College of Art And Design. I’m an artist, a designer, a parent and an environmentalist.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the very long Georgia-Pacific fence that divides Fort Bragg from her ocean views. I understand when your mill was operating, the fence made sense. But now, things are different.
Will you please remove your 2+ mile long fence before our tourist season begins? It has actually already started to some degree so now would be appropriate. I’ve attached some pictures for you to better understand what Fort Bragg’s visitors see when they arrive. Would you return to a vacation destination if you were greeted with your fencing?
This is a second request. The first, sent by Lori-Rachel Stone, received this response:
Ms. Stone –
Thank you for your interest in the former Fort Bragg sawmill site. As you know, the property is currently an active environmental cleanup site under the supervision of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). We maintain the fence along Highway 1 not only to ensure the safety of the community and any workers on the site during cleanup activities but also to ensure the ongoing security of the property.
With the recent opening of the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail, however, community residents now have direct access to the coast.
Again, we appreciate your interest as we continue our cleanup activities under the direction and oversight of the DTSC.
If GP’s concern is about employee and public safety, smaller, tighter fences around highly toxic areas would protect both and wildlife better. In regards to security, I ask from what and whom? Your security staff members are the only people carrying weapons in Fort Bragg I’ve seen. There’s nothing to “take”. Plenty of other Fort Bragg coastal landowners allow public access – perhaps understanding the disputable nature of the land’s “ownership”. It’s one thing to enclose land for the purposes of something productive and beneficial to all, but that is not the case today here.
Your company has developed a questionable reputation. I imagine opportunities to boost your public image would be advantageous. Will you please take this one? Your rusty layers of chain link fencing, barbed wire, turnstile entrances/exits and solid, 6-8 feet high wooden fences are eyesores. Simultaneously, much of the fence design violates the Fort Bragg building codes and the California Coastal Act of 1976.
I realize much of the fencing was erected before 1976, which exempted GP from meeting new legislative requirements. But it’s been nearly forty years – two generations – since this law was enacted. In my opinion, that’s ample time to meet the new requirements. You have the resources. Why do you not comply?
I realize there are other visual offenders within the coastal zone. And yes, it would be fair to ask them to clean up their act too. But it’s hard to do that when the largest, wealthiest offender in town doesn’t comply.
So I am submitting this second request. Please do right by the community that helped build your company. Please remove all of your fencing now. And please, reuse the wooden sections to build new fencing around the highly toxic portions of the property to better protect wildlife and people.
I’m not a fan of legal recourse. I like to come to agreements without the hostility, stress, time and expense required by lawsuits. I suspect most people feel the same. Can we not come to some agreement that benefits ALL concerned interests in a peaceful manner? Your business is flourishing (elsewhere) while ours aren’t. And I believe your presence here, in its current incarnation, is negatively impacting the economic and emotional well being of people here. Please address this.
Last, if Georgia-Pacific ever decides to manufacture paper products with organic hemp and/or recycled materials with biodegradable or recycled processing inputs, I would be a long-term, devoted customer. I suspect it would cost your company substantially less $ than deforestation or tree farming. The cotton waste alone from your region could easily be converted into paper. Economy and ecology go hand in hand. I would argue economy is ecology – and as the plants go, so will we.
You could drastically reduce your environmental footprint and improve your public image. You could be one the first American corporations to voluntarily make real, positive change and develop new, clean production methods that make sense living on a planet with finite resources. I believe continuing with the current economic & ecologic model will only lead to things getting worse.
If you haven’t read “Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking How We Make Things” by McDonough and Braumgart, please do. It may change your perspective a little.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Mr. Larry R. Carrington
c/o Lori-Rachel Stone, Fort Bragg
O’NEILL FAMILY REUNION