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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Aug 22, 2015

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AMONG MENDOCINO COUNTY'S ongoing semi-disasters, consider the County's animal shelter, recipient of ten separate complaints from the Grand Jury. But, properly managed, there's money in abandoned dogs and cats, whose numbers, like abandoned humans, another local growth industry, multiply every year. To shed itself of yet another responsibility, look for Mendocino County to deal off our animal shelter to the Petaluma Animal Services Foundation, a SoCo non-profit that seems to be claiming it can efficiently manage the Ukiah shelter and come out fiscally ahead. Which they probably can. Come out fiscally ahead, that is. If the County makes a deal for cats and dogs like the deal it made for mentally ill human strays, Petaluma Animal Services is certain to get a comparably lucrative contract.

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08-20-2015 6:21 PM mental health call, SFPD — Hagiwara Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

A disturbed person jumped out of the bushes and began trying to grab members of a Segway tour. Officers responded, and recognized the man from previous, similar incidents. He was transported to the hospital.

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Pseudo-rabies, a disease commonly found in domestic and feral pigs, has been detected in a feral pig within the Lake Mendocino wildlife area, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the lake.

The Corps said the virus is not transferable to humans, but could be fatal for dogs and other infected animals.

The United States Department of Agriculture confirmed the pseudo-rabies virus at the lake from a blood sample taken from a euthanized pig.

This marks the first time pseudo-rabies has been detected among the feral pig population in Mendocino County, says the Army Corps. There are no other known cases at this time.

While primarily affecting pigs, pseudo-rabies can be spread to dogs, cats and other animals. The most common method of transmission is contact with raw feral pig meat, the Army Corps said.

If any household pet is suspected of coming into contact with a feral pig or eating feral pig meat, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.

Park staff currently estimate there are still 30 to 50 feral pigs that migrate between adjacent land and the Lake Mendocino wildlife area, based on staff observations and reports from the public, the Army Corps said.

Staff are partnering with USDA wildlife specialists to reduce the feral pig population under an authorized permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to the Army Corps.

There are no further impacts to camping or other recreational activities at the lake at this time.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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The Fort Bragg political machine rolls on. The ballot initiative that will put the Old Coast Hotel proposal before the people of the city is making progress; signatures are being solicited this very week. It will not take long to gather them. Meanwhile the social workers have moved into the building and are vigorously recruiting the addicted and confused, but for reasonable fear of liability they are being careful not to modify the building. The people will soon electorally speak. But the political machine in Fort Bragg is bigger and badder than any one issue.

Looking past the Hotel, the scope of development planned at city hall for our unsuspecting town is massive and damn ugly. Most people in the city have no idea. The next step is the imposition of a giant shopping center south of town on one of our most beloved green spaces. Thank you Mr. Mayor. This is their next step in ruining the city. They are very excited. But the conversion of a charming small town into development run amok, California style, is a big job not to be undertaken piecemeal. The shopping center on so-called Delmar Drive, is merely a step in the wrong direction.

They know what they are doing. When you destroy the quality of life in a small town fortunes are made. When they talk cryptically about “jobs” what they mean is wealth for a few. The movement of money into the pockets of developers and swindlers is the purpose of life for city management. They are actually fairly candid if you know where to look. Most folks don't. Marie Jones and her buddy, the Mayor, have a short list of big projects that they are getting ready to put past the people of the city. These projects are nearing the completion of the planning process and the deals with developers so the people will hear about them soon. Of course there has been no community discussion and won't be until everything is safely in the bag. At that point there will be an opportunity provided for the people to line up speak for three minuets each. Obviously no one will be listening. This strange ritual is an artifact of that distant time when we governed ourselves. Things have moved on.

The Mayor and his boss Linda Ruffing are way ahead of you. Most folks in town are not aware that there has been a seven hundred and fifty thousand dollar payment to an engineering firm to design a retrofit for the sewage treatment plant. This is money that has already been spent with the understanding that the project itself will cost nine million. That is nine million that the city does not have and has no clear way of getting, but they are not worried. This debt will constitute a potent argument for the rest of the development that they have lined up for us. They have it down. Spend the money you don't have, and then make us jump through the development hoops that get it for us. It will make people mad, but they are already mad and that has not stopped anything.

They understand that if there was community discussion we could still get the money for the retrofit of the sewage treatment plant, but it would be subject to untenable conditions like the quality of life in the city. None wants that. They have already solved a lot of things in secret that would have been hard to solve in public. The new plant is being designed to spew tons of toxic chemicals into the ocean. But they are doing it according to a professionally tortured interpretation of law. So don't worry. Linda has you covered.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gave up all of their 2015 gains Thursday, only to be crushed further on Friday when the Dow plunged over 500 points. The Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq on Friday all saw drops of more than 1% thanks to fears that China’s economy is stalling and will take the world with it. China’s manufacturing sector shrank at the fastest pace since 2009, the last year of the Great Recession.

— Brendan McDermid/Reuters


Until folks have an empty belly and no longer receive free money from their government nothing will ever change. We have been deceived by the best of the best psychos who have no conscience or moral compass whatsoever. We are getting what we deserve…nothing. I don't want to be the one to say "I told you so" but I did try to warn folks about the scenario that we see unfolding right now. The whole house of cards is caving and the elite are running for their bunkers and other countries in droves. By September this whole world will not be recognizable.

And there is plenty of room for a big correction in the US stock market. Every goofy company with no profits or product is valued at gazillion dollars with scary P/E numbers. 17K in DJ is an aberration.

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The smart investors are waiting for the panicky public to dump their stocks, so they can buy the dip for the next leg up. What leg up? I hear Yellen's not going to raise rates. How can she, the economy's very weak. The next round of QE will make the investor class even wealthier and the poor and middle class even poorer. Watch.

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The market (meaning the banks and investment houses) is signalling that they would like interest rates to stay and they would like more quantitative easing.

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I don't see how the Fed can do much with interest rates at this point in time. The website Shadowstats tracks key economic indicators the way they used to be tracked. For example, using the previous definition of unemployment (U6 unemployment was in use prior to 1994), the rate is just over 10%. Similarly, inflation using methods that were changed in 1980 peg inflation at about 4%. Given that GDP growth has been advertised at about 2.3%, that means the economy is actually losing ground against inflation, and has been since 2001, save for a brief blip of gain in around 2004.

In short, using economic data that was in use in 1980, the economy is not doing very well. Increasing interest rates in such an environment is counter-productive. In fact, couple with the $18 trillion in national debt, I don't see any way the Fed can raise interest rates at all. Their stated goal is to normalize interest rates (despite the fact that Bernanke has stated he doesn't see rate normalization happening in his lifetime). Well, to do so would raise interest rates on the federal debt by about 3.5%. That translates to an additional $630 billion of interest expense, meaning either Congress and the White House cut spending by that amount, or the federal deficit increases by the amount. Now, I wouldn't mind seeing defense spending cut by at least half, but I don't think a lot of people in DC share my view, so the debt will increase to even more unsustainable levels. And an additional round of quantitative easing won't do much either, other than line the pockets of the big banks.

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The sky isn't falling, but it is getting cloudy. The 2008-2009 Great Recession was brought about by rampant fraud and abuse in the financial sector, but instead of facing any consequences, Wall Street got bailed out with a lot of free taxpayer dollars (courtesy of the outgoing Bush administration) and plowed all that free money into another non-stop profit-making orgy.

It's no surprise to see a house of cards start to tumble.

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What we need is some meaningful safeguards built into the system, the least of which should be actual accountability on the part of financial institutions and on the individuals who run them. And no more big bailouts.

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by Ian Ladd

On an unusually warm July evening for San Francisco, I sit in front of an antique Underwood typewriter in the room where Dashiell Hammett wrote “The Maltese Falcon.” In the former studio at 891 Post where the founding father of the hardboiled detective novel lived and worked, it is peaceful and cozy. There is a pleasantly unpretentious austerity about the place. The room is quiet and sparsely furnished. On the work desk, to the left of the typewriter, stands a replica of the falcon, defiant in his relentless surveillance of the precincts. You have the feeling that he registers everything and then reports it in detail to his patron and landlord, who has just stepped outside for a moment to go for a walk on Hyde Street.

My first encounter with the work of Dashiell Hammett took place in Communist Romania. One night, my father took me to the apartment of one of his friends who owned a VCR and a pirated tape of “The Maltese Falcon.” I was about seven, didn’t understand the movie as we watched, but remained impressed with the seriousness of Humphrey Bogart’s face. In my untraveled young mind, the thought of San Francisco felt more alien than that of Malta; a fantasy place I was undoubtedly never going to see with my own eyes or walk through its streets with my own feet, unlike Casper Gutman or the threatening Mister Cairo. Back behind the Iron Curtain, the farthest I could dream of voyaging in black and white during those years were Poland or East Germany. Next day, I looked up California in my old atlas and was thrilled to find out that the City by the Bay did in fact exist.

Fast forward another seven years. The Berlin Wall has fallen, Communism is gone, and my grandpa gifts me a new paperback copy of Hammett’s novel for my 14th birthday. I remember starting it the same day and staying up to read under the covers, with a flashlight, detective-style. Spade’s directness and roughness were not lost in translation. He fit into my world. I felt I could meet him at dusk on a deserted street corner, nearby the medieval main square of my baroque hometown in Central Europe. He would ask about the falcon. Did the former secret service somehow manage to get it out of the country, before the 1989 Revolution? I would tell him everything I know and strive to point him in the right direction. I would not mess with him. I could fill in for his dead partner. His search was now my search, out stories intertwined.

Keep fast-forwarding another twenty years. I rest my elbows where Hammett once rested his, feeling his simplicity of purpose and purity of intent as he ponders Sam Spade’s next move. Hammett used this studio as the blueprint for Spade’s apartment in the novel. He searches Brigid O’Shaughnessy for a gun in the exact bathroom, down the hall. We stare at the same walls. When I look at the typewriter, I can hear the sound: words flowing, characters coming to life, destinies shaping. “The stuff dreams are made of.” How many people now living in the building know what took place in this room a hundred years ago? His life, his struggles, his work.


The evening light vanishes. I turn on a lamp, here in the 4th floor unit, at the top of the building. Traffic on the streets below is incessant. I peer through the window. People are pacing the sidewalks with their cell phones, talking, texting, tweeting. There is no pause or respite. No attention. I turn away and look closer at the typewriter, noticing the wear of each letter from the days and nights of work. The V still quite clean, the I almost invisible, fading. I am tempted to press a period to mark “The End” but decide against that. Instead, I gently move my hands over the entire machine.

There is movement in the hallway, over by the entrance. I think I hear the front door open and close. I feel a presence. I turn off the lamp, move back to the couch and wait. In the dark, a man enters the room, takes off his hat and coat and neatly sets them on the armchair nearby. He walks into the bathroom and I hear water splash in the basin. Quietly, he sits at the table with the typewriter and thinks. I feel I should say something, thank him, tell him that many of us still care deeply. But the typewriter slaps and rattles. The story has resumed, but they are my fingers and ideas.

The letters breathe. He lives.

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Trump says he will make America great again.

Broken middle class

18+ Trillion dollar public debt

Crumbling infrastructure

Corruptible legislators

Immigration issues

Dysfunctional education system

Millions in poverty who are pissed off, hate filled, and well armed

Massive hidden unemployment

Massive visible entitlement programs

Up armored police and for-profit incarceration

47 million citizens (and others) on food stamps

Broken healthcare system

Declining tax bases for cities, counties, states, and Federal coffers

Unsound banking system

Eventual loss of dollar hegemony

Corrupted electoral process

Private debt at all time high

A population that has never known REAL privation

Widespread use of the prevent defense in the NFL…

Sadly, America will never be great again….

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I USED TO THINK THE WORST THING in life is to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone. — Robin Williams

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Keep in mind the only reason the City of Fort Bragg has decided to discuss the initiative is to appear they are willing to talk about it.

FACT #1. It is to late to get on the November ballot.

FACT #2. The Council could have put it on the November ballot but made the decision not to do so.

FACT #3. Allowing it to be on the November ballot would have saved the cost of a special election by the City.

FACT #4. Signatures will be gathered AGAIN because they were short by 1/4 of a person which the City rounded up to 1 whole person.

FACT #5. The City wants it to wait for next year's ballot (even though it could have been on November's ballot).

FACT #6. By discussing it and wanting it to be on next year's ballot instead of a special election it appears the City has done all they can and it is the people behind the initiative who are causing the expense of a special election.

FACT #7. Read FACT #6 again.

— Judy Valadao

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JARED FOGLE, the former Subway spokesman who famously lost hundreds of pounds by eating the fast-food chain's sandwiches, is what's known in prison parlance as a chomo. As in "child molester" — the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth that other prisoners kick to the side to make themselves feel more human.

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JEFF BLANKFORT: Photographic Exhibit

You're invited to the opening of my photo exhibit in SF Sat., Sept. 12

On Saturday, September 12, from 1 to 5 PM, there will be a reception at the Harvey Milk Photo Center at Scott and Duboce, in San Francisco, that will kick off a six week exhibit of photographs that I have taken over the last 60 years. I hope you can attend. If you can't make it that day, the show will be up until October 25. Some, but not all of what I will be exhibiting, can be seen, in miniature, on my web site:

Hoping to see you there,


Jeffrey Blankfort - 60 Years Behind the Camera

Harvey Milk Photo Center & Dave Christensen, Director, is proud to present this long awaited photography retrospective of Jeffrey Blankfort’s illustrious career of over 60 years!

“Without this Photo Center, Blankfort readily acknowledges, I would probably have given up my dream of becoming a photographer”.

Opening Reception: Sept 12, 2015, 1-5 pm

Exhibition Dates: Sept 12 – Oct 25

Director/Curator: Dave Christensen

Gallery Hours: Tues-Thur, 4-9 pm, Sat-Sun, 12-5 pm

Location: Harvey Milk Photo Center, 50 Scott Street, (415) 554-9522


Jeffrey Blankfort was born in New York City in 1934 and migrated to Los Angeles with his parents and older sister two years later. There, he would spend the better part of his childhood before graduating from UCLA with a BA in History in 1957. Through junior high and high school, his ambition was to be a sports writer. While sports editor of his Fairfax High School paper; he also was learning the trade as part of the Los Angeles Examiner’s Scholastic Sports Association program, which landed him a job there upon his high school graduation and where he continued to work while attending UCLA.

Although he had learned to develop and print film in the Examiner darkroom and would occasionally take photos with a plastic Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Camera, it was coming across Henri Cartier-Bresson’s incomparable “Decisive Moment,” in 1960, which produced what Blankfort remembers as his decisive moment. He would become a photographer in the style, he hoped, of Cartier-Bresson. Thus, it was with considerable pleasure that he would read the review of his exhibit of Children of Rome at the Focus Gallery, then on Union Street, in 1967, by the San Francisco Chronicle’s widely respected art critic, John Wasserman, who favorably compared Blankfort’s work with that of the great French photographer. Seven years later, Jeffrey would have the pleasure of having lunch with Cartier-Bresson at his apartment in Paris.

After someone stole his Brownie from his car and before he had set eyes on “Decisive Moment,”Blankfort had already purchased a used Rolleiflex which might have been a sign that he was moving in the direction of becoming a photographer, but he quickly switched to the 35 mm format after seeing Cartier-Bresson’s work, but settled for a Canon copy of the Frenchman’s Leica.

At the time, Blankfort was the Executive Secretary of the Marin Co. Medical Society, living in Sausalito, and later in Mill Valley. He was so determined to become a photographer that he joined the San Francisco Photo Center (now the Harvey Milk Photo Center), and two or three nights each week he would come here after work and be among the last to leave the darkroom when it closed at 10 PM, teaching himself the craft. Without this Photo Center, Blankfort readily acknowledges, he would probably have given up his dream of becoming a photographer.

At the end of 1965, Blankfort decided he was ready to embark on his new career and chose to do so in Rome where he had friends. He had made arrangements to travel there by freighter and was in New York awaiting the ship’s departure when fate happily intervened and pushed him to trade his Canon for a Leica. An acquaintance from Los Angeles was dating the conductor of the Columbia Studios orchestra which was about to record a work of Igor Stravinsky and she asked Blankfort if he would like to photograph the famed composer since he would be in the studio to supervise it. Blankfort was not about to turn down such an opportunity but was aware that the only camera with a shutter quiet enough to shoot during a recording session was a Leica. Since the session with Stravinsky was to begin 45 minutes later he had to act quickly. That required running into the streets of Manhattan to stop a taxi to take him to his grandmother’s to pick up his traveler’s checks, then back in the street to stop another taxi to take him to the camera store to trade his Canon for a Leica, then do the same routine with a third taxi with no time to spare. The photograph of Stravinsky in this exhibit is proof that he made it.

In Rome, at the end of a maid’s room that he rented from friends and doubled as his bedroom, he set up a darkroom. Using an enlarger loaned him by a friend of his friend’s and so his adventure began. He fell in love with Rome and in the six months he lived there, he walked everywhere, shooting selectively, waiting for the “decisive moment.” He remains proud that nine of the 34 prints in his Children of Rome exhibit came from one roll.

Back in the US at the end at the end of 1966, he resumed taking photos of the growing movements of the period that he had begun doing two years earlier, documenting the sit-ins at Market Street’s Sheraton Palace and at the Cadillac Agency on Van Ness that succeeded in breaking the city’s racist hiring practices. Now it was the expanding anti-Vietnam war movement and the emergence of the Black Panthers that caught his attention. His photographs began appearing in Ramparts Magazine, as well as in the San Francisco Express-Times, the city’s alternate weekly, and, distributed by Liberation News Service, a pre-internet source for the nation’s many alternative publications, they soon began to appear in those publications, and around the world. In 1968, he was singled out by Esquire as the 60s most important “movement” photographer. A number of his iconic images were among those featured in Rolling Stone’s pictorial review of the Sixties. (1977), the Berkeley Art Center Exhibition, “The Whole World’s Watching”, (2001), and other local national photo exhibits depicting that period.

Over the years, these photos have been published in books, magazines, and newspapers throughout the world, but there is another side of Blankfort’s work that, while in museums, is less well known, and which the Harvey Milk Photo Center is featuring in this retrospective from the nearly five decades during which he has been taking pictures. Blankfort currently lives in Mendocino County in Northern California. Since January 2001, he has hosted a twice-monthly radio program on international affairs for KZYX, the local public radio station. Among the national and international publications in which his photographs have appeared have been Rolling Stone, TIME, Newsweek, Esquire, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday Evening Post, Penthouse, Guardian (UK), Times of London, L’Espresso (Italy), Stern (Germany) Panorama (Italy) VSD (France), Via (Portugal), and Student, the first business venture of Virgin Records’ founder Richard Branson who published Blankfort’s photos of the Black Panthers in London in 1969.

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Or, It's Our Party and You'll Fry If We Want To

by Steve Heilig,

Wake up! The world is on fire! — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

It's Burning Man time again. I'm not going, again. I'm going to say something critical about it, again. And will be mostly ignored and/or vilified, again.

But here goes, anyway.

When I first wrote in 2011 that Burning Man was a serious eco-hazard, it was as if I'd bombed somebody's church. How dare I be such a party pooper?

Many Burners react to any negative input about the event as if BM is and should be above critique. But I'm not against BM itself - there's great art there, the torching of the temple is a wondrous ritual, and there's nothing wrong with plain old fun. Some of my best friends are “Burners” — seriously! In the past few years there has been much other criticism, most of it about the lost soul of BM as Hollywood/techie/yuppie crowds make it their own version of a corporate ego retreat. That sounds like a bummer to me too but that's not my concern. My worry is about our planet, life on it, even, yes, our children.

Eco-denial runs deep, even among good people who otherwise think of themselves at least partly “green.” Some denial arises from the threat just being to huge to contemplate. Then there's greed, religiously-motivated inability to admit that "God" and/or humanity could be so self-destructive, and more. But in the case of BM, I think it's mostly a case of "No, it's our party and we don't care." (OK, and greed on the part of those who actually profit from BM, but that's a relatively small - and secretive - number of people, and another story.)

For context, let's agree, unless we are in denial about this too, that the future, climate-wise, is looking grim. Scientific consensus tells us so, and just plain observation, in much of the world, confirms it.

Scientific consensus is also that human activity is “at least 95% likely” a major cause of climate change, including mostly warming. Many are still trying to spin that away for their own reasons, profitable and/or ideological, but they are a shrinking fringe minority as reality overwhelms the holdouts and corporate greed and inertia. We're in deep doo-doo already, and it's going to get worse and worse without some very serious curtailment of our emissions.

How about Burning Man? It's proudly "green" and "leave no trace" and so on and on, but what does that really mean, besides some fastidious efforts to keep litter off the "playa"? The biggest problem - things that might not otherwise occur (Burners would be eating and drinking and excreting even if not at BM, presumably - would seem to be all the driving and flying to get there, followed by emissions from generators and well, burns, and mass use of plastic bottles. Lot of used bikes and such tend to get left behind too but that's a lesser concern in the big climate picture.

When I last wrote about the BM eco-issue, I was not aware that in 2007 some eco-conscious Burners had made an effort of calculating the BM carbon footprint, and nicely named their project "coolingman." Last year, journalist Keith Plocek covered it nicely for the Los Angeles Weekly, and his calculations and conclusion bear reprint here:

All told, Burning Man 2006 pumped out 27,492 tons of greenhouse gases.

Eighty-seven percent of that was from travel to and from Black Rock City, while the actual burning man was responsible for 112 tons.

There were 40,000 participants that year, but now they allow 28,000 more people, so let's update the math. Being generous and assuming the staff and infrastructure will have the same impact at 1,776 tons, we can figure those additional 28,000 participants will produce the same amount of carbon dioxide as the others, and raise this year's overall total to 45,493 tons of greenhouse gases. So what does that mean? Just how much is 45,493 tons? You can think about it this way: The average American is responsible for 17.6 tons of greenhouse gases each year, or 0.33 tons per week. The average Burner will produce 0.67 tons next week, or double the national average. There's nothing green about doubling the national average, especially when you consider the average Californian only spits out 0.17 tons per week, and even the average Texan only belches out 0.49 tons. If your community's environmental impact is worse than the Lone Star State's, you are not doing a very good job with that whole civic responsibility thing.

Burners are less "green" than Texans? That's harsh. One can quibble, endlessly, about such calculations, but given the undeniably huge number of miles driven at a minimum, it's hard to argue with Plocek's conclusion: "The environment gets worse every year because of Burning Man."

Now, BM officials have said they are trying to ameliorate such impacts, by advocating carpooling and such, but such proposals are just bandaids. In fact, BM could not really mediate the impact of all that driving and flying and burning of fuel and wood, no matter what other practices occur at the event. And as for Coolingman, it seems to have died off that year, for lack of interest, most likely. Real eco-action usually just ain't that much fun.

BM prides itself on being “an alternative to mass culture and consumer society,” and we sure need more of that, and not just for ecological reasons. BM also preaches “radical” self-reliance, expression, inclusion, transparency, and the like, but mostly that seems to only apply when it's fun. But the modern world requires of us some self-sacrifice, and not just crapping in a box and hauling it out. If BM, and the newer techworthy attendees, are truly going to practice what they often preach, they'll try to find away to make BM honestly green.

That's going to be tough, but tough times call for it. I can only repeat my (updated) call for change here: BM should go “carbon-neutral” — in total, not just at the event. But given that the biggest impact by far comes from travel to and from BM, there is really only one option at this time, and until it can otherwise be fixed: Cancel BM next year, in the name of a real commitment to true, radical, eco-consciousness.

But don't leave it at that: Urge all would-be attendees to take the money they would have spent on tickets and supplies and give that to the charities of their choice, environmental or otherwise - what a huge positive impact that could have. And enlist the many good Burning minds, with technological, environmental, engineering, ethical and other expertise in a concerted effort to bring Burning Man into this century for real - as at least a non-negative impact event, but even more hopefully, a force for ecological good. Instead of the giant party on the playa this time next year, how about a big report back on all the ideas for moving in this green direction, with plans to fund action?

Now that would be truly “radical.”

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Reading the latest edition, Washburne's column was splendid. His realization of his comparative good (hard to wrap one's mind around) fortune and the basic conclusions he draws, should be required reading for all the "helping" professionals.

Later in the paper, I was reminded of when a friend, who ran the alternative high school, told me that approximately 90% of the money intended for "the kids" was sucked up in administration. And I was exposed to the ACT program, overseen by the Juvenile Justice Commission (as powerful as the Grand Jury), where, as I recall, 92% of the dollars vanished in program costs.

Also, in all the talk of the pot growers and vineyards use of water and the negative ecological consequences, do the Gowans get a free pass? The reason I ask is that some days ago, forced from heaven, also known as Greenwood Ridge, to the doctors in Ukiah, I noticed overhead sprinklers watering the apple orchard in the noontime sun. This brought to mind the Sandkullas' barely bridled contempt for "irrigated apples". And, reminding all readers to view the floppy-eared bunnies and fuzzy-legged chickens at the County Fair and to support and encourage all 4-H'ers.

Peter Lit, from the community of Elk, now smaller and less interesting without Joel.

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by Nate Collins

"The various attitudes to modern life and ideologies have not ensured lasting peace in the world. On the contrary they have become sources of friction and causes of conflict. I have often expressed the belief that since the great powers possess the wealth and the might they have a special responsibility to eliminate the political ills affecting mankind." -H.I.M. Haile Selassie

Spain based Rototom Sunsplash music festival made a preliminary cancellation of a scheduled performance by Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu under pressure from the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement. They soon apologized and re-invited Matisyahu to perform but it has caused quite a stink.

Off the top I think if you book Matisyahu for your festival you already know what he's about that is controversial (jewish nationalism) and why should some protest group come up and tell you how to run your show.

What is BDS? The BDS movement stands for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. They are basically calling Israel an Apartheid State that discriminates against the Palestinians in a racial and categorical way the same as South Africa held down blacks.

As far as the reggae and international music context, well reggae played a huge role in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign in the 80's against South Africa which led to the fall of the Apartheid regime. So the concept of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions is not foreign to the older reggae and music heads. I supported the anti-apartheid movement and believed as they that boycotts should be aimed at large corporations like Shell corporation and not at artists and musicians.

Reggae and international music tends to be critical of right wing or racist beliefs being expressed so the real question is does Matisyahu have racist right wing or white supremacist beliefs that he espouses in his music? BDS has not brought that to my attention so I wonder who made them judge jury and executioner.

Does Matisyahu make racially insensitive statements about Palestinians? I was not under the impression that he ever has.

It is my impression that he is being indicted in the court of public opinion (which can be quite unjust) for his general association with Israel and Judaism as well as the longing that a Jewish person in the diaspora may feel about the concept and the idea of a homeland. That is the idea of Zionism, the longing for the homeland.

Which by the way is not just jewish. The whole reggae rastafari and Haile Selassie movement is a form of Black Zionism or black people returning to Ethiopia/Africa out of a longing and need for a homeland.

Which brings us to another layer of added complication and that is Matisyahu's blatant cultural appropriation of black music (rap, reggae and dancehall) which some view as arrogant and racist.

Yes Matisyahu has sung about his longing for a homeland and to me there is nothing wrong with that even if he is white and even though in a direct application of this idea to settlements and the current political realities in Israel I do not support its application there. Which is to say that the original settlement of Israel is indeed still different, if only because it is a foregone conclusion, than the continued expansion of settlements which is a clear avoidance of reality.

Is he a spokesperson for settlement and the displacement of Palestinians?

I am not aware that he is in any specific sense.

Is he a member of the Israeli army? Not that I am aware of.

Until it is clear that he is personally an appalling racist I'm gonna say its just hype and pressure to say that he must be. I thought I heard he was becoming more liberal, if so give the guy a chance to before you bury him. I am not a fan of this kind of lefty pressure that tells me what music to listen to and what catechism to espouse.

Is canceling his performance based on his perceived association with the state of Israel an anti-semitic act? Anti-semitic is a strong accusation that has been wrongly applied in this circumstance I believe. Criticism of the state of Israel is not anti-semitism.

In the modern case of Jewish people calling everything anti-semitism it gives me a vivid picture of myself going to a Rap show and raising a big protest and stink that they are against white people or going to a Native American meeting and writing an article about wow that was so anti-white.

I have heard alot of people say stupid prejudicial things against jewish people especially after 9-11 and with the wars in the Near East. I have heard and seen a lot of this with the proliferation of conspiracy theory from right to left after 9-11, but stupidity should not be conflated with true hatred.

I really think this kind of stupidity is best labeled prejudice, or plain pervasive American stupidity, no education, or a serious lack of intellect which causes people to subscribe to conspiracy theories. Whereas when people make provocative moves toward violence or incendiary language to provoke hate and violence then that is best labeled anti-semitism (a much stronger term). What is dangerous is hate groups etc. and not stupid South Park jokes.

The problem is that the logic of the idea of zionism is to convince people that everyone does indeed hate them so they must migrate to the homeland (wherever that is determined to be located). So the leveling of the claim anti-semitic and the conflating of what is petty with what is truly serious is disingenuous at best insane at worst.

Jewish people as a social group nowadays are perceived to be mostly white and middle class and less viewed as oppressed in American society, perhaps rightly so though the history is there. We have become a Judeo-Christian society and that was MOST certainly not always the case. Seems like it would be pretty difficult if not downright impossible nowadays to convince jewish people who have mostly integrated and succeeded throughout the west and the world that they must immediately report to Israel. Wow, now that's a tough sell if I've ever seen one.

Maybe that's why they come with such a hard sell on that one. I think that type of world view would cause one to blow something like this cancellation or anything else a bit out of proportion. Jewish people have been the victims of atrocity through history and thank God they have overcome. But again if the common citizen has no concept of history?

We should be careful of the generalization that all Jewish and all Israelis are pro-settlement. If people like BDS activists are pushing for a resolution of the deplorable conditions in Palestine well that is one thing. I don't think canceling Matisyahu at Rototom will do one iota of good for the welfare of the Palestinian people.

What I think people are doing is confusing true activism with what they have seen other activists doing to Jamaican reggae and dancehall artists for years. For more than a decade gay interest groups have been staging protests and boycotts of shows and pressuring promoters to cancel certain artists, mind you EVERY last one of these artists is foreign and black because of course the source of all homophobia is foreign and black. I'm sorry that is fake activism. It's called the blame game.

So if that's the playbook that BDS is following then I believe it is pure folly. I don't think that artists or entertainers should have to shoulder the political burden of their religion or ethnicity, or the perceived burdens thereof (many historical).

The same way Jamaicans should not have to shoulder the blame for the popular and pervasive cultural beliefs of their country, many derived from the British occupation.

If the exclusion of Matisyahu was based solely on his ethnicity or religion or the perception it creates then it should be condemned in strong terms.

But what needs to stop is the trivializing of the term anti-semitism. When this term is thrown out willy nilly it is a disrespect and a trivializing of the legacy and memory of the generations of jewish people who suffered through history.

It's another form of polarization in this argument leading to nowhere.

Another point is that there needs to be a conversation about this before someone says who I can or cannot see live at a music festival, thank you BDS.

So if this started some more conversation and dialogue on the topic then that is good.

As a person of Irish descent many have said to leave the old world sectarian conflicts in the old world, but as you know many people carry their ethnic identities from the old world with them to the new for many generations, including political ones. And it gets more complex with the Jewish and Irish because religion is connected to identity, as I imagine Muslims nowadays are running into this same complication, the duality of religion and ethnicity. The makeup of ones identity is a complex thing especially in the new and modern world. Which is why in my opinion sectarian conflicts are best left in the old world, and that is something great that America has offered the immigrant to our shores. A new life in some sense.

If people want to object to the mans lyrics or content then that has to be the basis and not his belonging to one or another ethnic, racial or religious group and the perceived conflict with or hostility from that group.

I myself can easily see an Irishman and a Brit at each other's throat or a Jew and a Palestinian at each other's throat but the route I choose to take is to leave those nationalist divisions behind. What do they call it, Balkanization?

Let’s avoid the further balkanization of our society, our campuses, our music festivals. To evolve to the higher man will involve much transcendence and forgiveness.

Most are not ready.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, August 21, 2015

Eguiluz, Guerrero, Herbstritt
Eguiluz, Guerrero, Herbstritt

ZENON EGUILUZ, Ukiah Possession of drugs while armed, failure to appear.

SHAYLA GUERRERO, Covelo. Probation revocation.

LISA HERBSTRITT, Willits. Suspended license.

Ickes, Jones, Moon, Palley
Ickes, Jones, Moon, Palley

COLE ICKES, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, saps/similar, contempt of court, resisting.

RICKY JONES, Santa Cruz/Calpella. Pot possession for sale, sale, transport, furnish.

MARCO MOON, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, resisting/threatening.

MARK PALLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

* * *


In keeping with the historical esteem of Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital's (HMH) legacy, it's off to the races to move into the new hospital. HMH officially received Staff & Stock Certificate of Occupancy from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) on August 11, 2015. OSHPD is required by the state to review all new hospital plans and designs to ensure that they meet all special building code requirements. The agency also oversees all aspects of hospital construction. According to Rick Bockmann, President and CEO of HMH, "It has been a long time coming, but now we are that much closer to moving in to our community's brand new state-of-the-art hospital. As you can imagine, this is an exciting time for our employees, physicians and community!" With OSPHD approval, this means that HMH is now allowed to bring people into the building and stock the building as a hospital. One of the next steps is to secure licensure from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). "Once CDPH has a chance to thoroughly review our personnel's competencies we will then be ready to open the hospital on October 15, 2015. For now, our clinic teams are hard at work, learning the ins-and-outs of the new facility and the new technology that comes along with it and making sure we have everything in place for patient move-in," explains Bockmann. "There is much work ahead but I am proud of our efforts on behalf of the communities we serve," concluded Bockmann. With this development, HMH is pleased to announce a Grand-Open House scheduled for Sunday, September 13, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., where the community will have a chance to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the new facility.

"This is a pivotal milestone. Having grown up here, I know how much we need this hospital. It was a great privilege to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience," shares Amy Ford, senior project manager over hospital construction.

"We are excited to show the community their brand new hospital. Everyone is invited to our Grand Open House. This is their chance to see all the rooms and the equipment without actually being patients themselves," shares Bockmann.

The new hospital offers private rooms with bathrooms, state-of-the-art operating rooms, a spacious emergency department with trauma bays, a helipad, and Roots - an organic farm-to-fork restaurant.

Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is a 25-bed acute care hospital recognized internationally for its dedication to high quality patient-centered care. Services include the Orthopedic Joint Center of Northern California, state-of-the-art radiology imaging, laboratory, in-patient and out-patient surgery, 24-hour emergency services, physical therapy, and a soon to be full-service restaurant. For more information about these services please visit


Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,600 includes more than 20,500 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,600 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 220 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit


The race is on to open the new Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital at One Marcela Drive in Willits. The community will get a chance to see their brand new hospital in a grand open-house scheduled for Sunday, September 13 from 1-4pm.


  1. Rick Weddle August 22, 2015

    re: apples being food…

    I know, I know, they’re right up there with Motherhood, baseball, and infinite credit in Greater America’s illustrious pantheon, but here’s the deal for me, personally. Malabsorption of fructose is a condition in which one’s digestive system fails to recognize fructose (and especially high-fructose artificials) as food. This can be destructive to one’s kidneys, liver, and other organs to the mortally dangerous point. This is sad and surprising news for one who spent some six decades enjoying a diet of MOSTLY fructose. Maybe if this condition could be linked to its sufferers’ early diets being based on corn syrup, it would take some of the surprise out of it.

    Surely the Gowans and their orchards should be allowed water before the Winos, etc., but there are those of us for whom an apple a day can be more troublesome than a homegrown bomber of da kine.

  2. Bill Pilgrim August 22, 2015

    RE: Market Plunge. That was simply a warm-up for the big inning.

  3. Alice Chouteau August 22, 2015

    Thanks Judy for your usual lucid insight on our municipal mess. The irony is the City Council’s whining about the cost of a special election, when they regularly throw hundreds of thousands of public dollars into flawed EIRS, Negative Mitigation Reports, and other ‘research’ by highly-paid staff, always completely biased to bolster their always pro-development stance. And always done, as Rex pointed out, BEFORE public input, all 3 minutes of it, is permitted.
    It seems time to revive the Recall Turner effort.
    A. Chouteau

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