- Depleted River
- Youthful Diversions
- Facilitated Meeting
- Mexican Telenovelas
- Wilson Artisan
- Not Listening
- Got Visitors
- Civil Society
- Joseph Melvin
- Universal Healthcare
- Yesterday's Catch
- Super Delegates
- Everybody Sucks
- Adam Jones Attacked
THE NAVARRO RIVER is dropping fast. Without more rain it'll probably close soon. A river watcher says the bar at the mouth is mostly sand being tossed up by waves, not the silt most of us assume. Our assumption is that the now-raped drops in the river are caused by more and more upstream diversions. Our investigator says, "My guess is there is a shallow shelf of rock offshore which harbors all the sand and slit and small rocks that keep trying to close the mouth. throw in the drought, along with all these other factors, and you've got a struggling river. When I examine the makeup of the beach at Navarro mouth, it seems to be made up more of sand and small pebbles, rather than silt."
RIP VAN BOONVILLE watched his grandson at grandson's pre-t-ball class Saturday morning, grandson's first formal exposure to baseball. These were pre-schoolers, four-year olds. Individually they can be like herding a half-dozen cats. Ten at a time, well, it takes a genius of a teacher, and boy was this teacher good. He explained everything so clearly, with a lot of jokes tossed out for the parents, that every single kid not only paid close attention, but followed his instructions to the T, you could say. I felt like applauding the guy. He was terrific.
RIP VAN'S memory grows dim, and the only vivid recall he has is of the church bells ringing in celebration of the end of World War Two. Sports for Rip Van commenced soon after. From about age six my brother and I played pretty much all day, and swung baseball bats inside when we could get away with it. "If I catch you swinging that goddam bat in here one more time…" (It was also a time of blunt child instruction.)
BUT THERE WAS NO organized sports for kids until high school — no t-ball, no little league, no nothing until freshman year in high school, and then it was jv football, basketball and baseball. Also by then, kids had pretty much sorted themselves out. They were either into sports or they weren't. We were.
UP THROUGH the early 1950s — pre-tv, and pre-perv and pre-crimes against children — kids simply went to the playground unsupervised and played or watched whatever sport was underway and imitated the big kids who, it must be said, were definitely Not Nice. They'd make you shag balls without ever letting you hit, didn't allow you to play basketball at all because you were too short and slow and whiney, and football simply didn't exist unless you had a father who took you to a high school or college game.
INSTRUCTION was non-existent. You learned by imitating the big kids on the playground and from watching the semi-pro ball games on the weekends. By the time Rip Van was 7 or so, definitely by age 8, he was following sports in the newspapers, picking up a lot of math by calculating batting averages and on-base percentages. He cried listening to the minute-by-minute radio bulletins of Babe Ruth's death.
SO, RIP, why are you telling us all this? I don't know, except all day every day I have a hard time recognizing the world I grew up in. Saturday, the entire field was covered with youth ball games, boys and girls playing everything from soccer to softball to what looked like little league. And every time I go to a public park in Marin or San Francisco I see fathers playing baseball with their sons, and some of the little guys already have perfect swings and advanced throwing motions. Everything is hyper-organized. A friend said he thinks our nation's future is so hyper-organized "that these kids can't possibly be having any fun." They look like they're having hyper-fun to me, but until they report back, we can't really know. There were some real psycho-parents out there, yelling advice to the little ones, recording the every move of their heirs and heiresses.
WHEN PUBLIC MEETINGS go from merely soporific to pure chloroform, and even connoisseurs of tedium are driven from the room muttering to themselves, still, they aren't as bad as Pure Silly. The AV Health Center's "community strategic planning" session at the Philo Grange last Thursday night marked a new high in inanity. "It was so nuts." The Major said Friday, "I can't get it out of my head."
MAJOR MARK SCARAMELLA, USAF (ret) said that he "immediately recoiled" when he saw that the room was arranged with individual tables with five or six people sitting at each, all of whom he recognized, none of whom, one-on-one, is uninteresting but, collectively, with their We're Here To Be Serious faces on, well, the Major assumed he was in for a long night, a public meeting where one asks oneself, "If I have this one life to live, and assuming there aren't ‘facilitators’ and public meetings in heaven and double-assuming I'm going there despite a life of relentless sin, why am I aggravating my hemorrhoids sitting on this hard surface listening to otherwise sensible people talk crazy?"
THE ONLY PERSON present under the age of 60 who was not an employee or a board member of the Health Center (or their spouse) was Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila, and he was probably there more out of professional obligation than personal interest.
Health Center Board Chairman Ric Bonner introduced a bouncy professional facilitator named Lori Lewis. Lori had big white teeth and smiled a lot. She had been hired to conduct the evening's activities, the operating assumption apparently being we are too wacky and generally too unfocused to conduct our own affairs. Lori looked like she just drove up from Marin County, which she probably had.
Ms. Lewis began by talking not about the Health Center, but about herself: "Let me tell you a little about me," she said, noting that the last time she had been in Anderson Valley was in the 1980s when "the big subjects were Bigfoot and Boontling." Ms. Lewis laughed, but nobody else did because Bigfoot has never been a subject of conversation in the Anderson Valley because Foot's range is much farther north.
LORI then polled the older attendees about how long they had been in the Valley, whether they worked for the Health Center, whether they had ever used the Health Center and whether they had ever planned anything. "This is not a presentation," said Ms. Lewis, "but we will move around." It was at that point The Major said he began to feel "seriously apprehensive."
"I REALIZED that the Health Center and its operations and management was not the subject of the meeting .The subject of the meeting was — Christ save us all! — Us. The Editor has recommended the Jesus Prayer in stressful situations, but I couldn't remember it."
MS. LEWIS had plastered the walls with long horizontal sheets of butcher paper with three sections. One section was entitled Boonville and the Anderson Valley Community." Another was entitled "History." The third was entitled "The World." She said we were supposed to get up and walk over to the butcher paper and start writing down "memories, events." After we wrote down our memories and events — I remembered the two times I almost got married and the time I was so drunk I had to crawl backwards down the office stairs — but I had the feeling Lori wanted less eventful events, less memorable memories, maybe like my first glass of Pinot or the annual Easter egg hunt at the Boonville Fairgrounds where feral children fight each other for the baskets.
"FOR EXAMPLE you can put down when your children were born," said Ms. Lewis, adding that it was okay to put "bad stuff," on the butcher paper, but "be respectful and tactful — no names, nothing about how horrible people are."
I PWOMISE, mommy, I pwomise to be nice.
"AS INSTRUCTED," The Major said, "I did as I was told: I got up out of my chair and walked past the butcher paper and on out the back door. On my way to my car, former Community Services District Board member Barbara Scott flagged me down and said, "Boy — I'm sure glad I'm not the only one who had to walk out of there!"
THE HEALTH CENTER has a huge construction note to pay off, but they've got $1500 for this?
A READER WRITES: I'm sitting here reading Off The Record and see that the AVA recommended the New Yorker article, ‘The Go Between,’ about Kate del Castillo. I just read the article, thank you for recommending. A few months ago, after reading about the meeting with Sean Penn, Kate and El Chapo, I ordered both seasons of La Reina del Sur from Amazon. I love crime stories and had previously read The Last Narco, by Malcolm Beith, about the hunt for El Chapo, so I was interested to see this actress who El Chapo admires so much. The telenovelas I've watched previously had English subtitles, so I was in for a rude awakening when I received my copies of La Reina Del Sur and found they had no subtitles. But I can understand most of it and I keep Google translate open on my phone while watching. Kate del Castillo is a mesmerizing actress and the other actors are really great too. In the telenovelas both men and women can burst into tears ON CUE. That's real acting. And with the grueling pace of filming so many episodes in only two seasons, the professionalism of the actors is admirable. La Reina del Sur has so much fast paced action and excellent cinematography on location around the world that even if your Spanish isn't great, the series is very enjoyable. Thanks again for recommending the article.
WILSON ARTISAN WINERIES BUYS ANDERSON VALLEY’S GREENWOOD RIDGE
Wilson Artisan Wineries purchased Greenwood Ridge Winery in Mendocino County's Anderson Valley in March 2016. (GreenwoodRidge.com)
Geyserville-based Wilson Artisan Wineries purchased Greenwood Ridge Winery in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley.
The deal, announced March 31, includes the Greenwood Ridge tasting room, brand and inventory in Philo. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.
Owner Ken Wilson is “looking forward to continuing the traditions started by Allan Green and to making Greenwood Ridge a showplace, especially for pinot noir and zinfandel.” Anderson Valley is known for high-end pinot noir grapes and wine.
Green started Greenwood Ridge in 1980. It specializes in late-harvest riesling wine and makes less than 1,500 cases a year. Wilson said Greenwood Ridge has built a reputation for producing award-winning, small-lot wines. Named one of America’s top 30 wineries three times in recent years by Wine & Spirits magazine, Greenwood Ridge has received positive accolades at major competitions.
“As a family-run operation, I am confident they will honor the legacy of Greenwood Ridge and our reputation for producing high-quality wines representative of Anderson Valley,” Green said in a statement.
Allen Green is a Men’s Senior Baseball League Hall of Fame player.
Diane and Ken Wilson have built a portfolio that now includes 10 wineries and 600-plus acres of vines in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. This deal adds Anderson Valley to the spectrum of appellations with operations: Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, Sonoma Valley, Mendocino County.
Wilson Artisan Wineries (wilsonartisanwineries.com) brands now are Wilson Winery, Mazzocco Winery, deLorimier Winery, Soda Rock Winery, Matrix Winery, Jaxon Keys Winery & Distillery, Pezzi King Vineyards, Mosaic Winery, St. Anne’s Crossing Winery and Greenwood Ridge Vineyards.
The Wilsons also own Healdsburg’s Grape Leaf Inn and Calderwood Inn.
(Courtesy, the North Bay Business Journal)
NO REASON TO GIVE UP
Gosh, finally when someone grows a set and speaks up at a Fort Bragg City Council meeting he gets shot down with these words from the Mayor “Doug, I’ve listened to you for quite a while and I don’t want to continue with that.” How’s it feel Mr. Hammerstrom, to have something to say and the Council not listen? And that was the first time this happened to you. Hell, there are a lot of people in the community who have been waiting for someone on the Council to listen to them for well over a year and still no one listens. So Mr. Hammerstrom because of all the experience the community has had with not being listened to it’s a little hard to feel sorry for you even though we may agree with some of what you said before being shot down by the Mayor.
A group of us got together because we really want to help you. We are very experienced with a situation just like yours. Speaking out and your words falling on deaf ears shouldn’t keep you from speaking out, if you believe in what you are saying.
Even though you are one of the Council Members who would not listen when a large number of people came to the Council to be heard, we are going to prove that there are no hard feelings. With all the experience we have on the “not listening” issue we decided to share some ideas that may be helpful to you.
After some careful thought, we have come up with a few ideas for you so your voice may be heard by the Council and Staff.
First of all you have to ask others how they feel about you trying to speak up and the Council not listening. When you realize the majority of those you speak will back you up and feel you have been wronged by the Council, get a petition going. That’s right, have those who believe in your cause sign a petition. When you get, let’s say, around 1200 signatures present them to the Council. Surely they will listen knowing so many people believe in what you were saying, right? Wrong…
This is no reason to give up Doug, there is still a chance they might listen if you get a few more signatures. Another 450 should do it, after all that brings the total number of supporters up to 1650, there is no way the Council will turn their back on you now, right? Wrong again…
Maybe if you get people to speak up in support of your issue they will listen. Everyone knows the Council is supposed to listen to the people they represent so surely this will help and you will finally be heard. Right? Wrong again…
Letters written by those who support your issue is a good idea; just make sure you change the dates so none are dated before the issue became public. That doesn’t look good for you. Oh gosh, that may not work either. Seems like Mr. Deitz bases his support on letters written before an issue is public knowledge so just leave the dates alone. It may work in your favor.
Write letters to the editor, so the entire community can see what is happening. They may not get published so you better have a backup plan.
Whatever you do, don’t miss a meeting. Keep speaking up even if one or two audience members decide to call you names. We all know names can’t hurt you and only makes the name callers look silly.
Karma is a bitch!
Judy Valadao, Fort Bragg
WELCOME TO MENDOCINO — WE'VE GOT VISITORS.
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Cheers, Scott M. Peterson Mendocino
MARY THEROUX, vice president of the Independent Institute, a libertarian think tank in Oakland, offered this opinion on homelessness in San Francisco, also valid in Mendocino County, especially Fort Bragg and Ukiah:
Basically, the problems stem from the philosophical mind-set of San Francisco, which has to decide what kind of a community and society it wishes. If a civil society, then it is predicated on a view of all people as equal: We respect every individual as capable and deserving honor and respect, and in turn expect the same of them. San Francisco has instead adopted what it terms a progressive view, but is really an elitist view: that there are some people, “them,” incapable of living as fully human and who can’t be held to the standards to which we hold “us.”
San Franciscans’ imposition of regulations and laws also reveals inherent elitism: We don’t even allow smoking in “our” areas, but condone drug use and worse in “their” areas. You can’t even have a cat in most market-priced apartments, but SROs have to allow dogs. Clearly “they” can’t be held to the same standards as “we” can.
San Franciscans need empathy, not pity: They need to think, “If I were down on my luck, how would I want to be treated? Would I want people to extend a hand to help me get back on my own two feet, or dismiss my condition with handouts of sandwiches and life on the street, mired in increasing hopelessness?” And we can’t delegate the problem to be solved by the government: that’s not what government is for. Community is created and sustained by individuals working together.
JOSEPH LOUIS MELVIN, 46, of Clearlake, Lake County, authorities said, was the man shot and killed by a Clearlake police officer during a struggle at the scene of a midnight burglary last week in Clearlake Park. The officer, who was treated at a hospital and released, still has not been identified. Police found that the house had been broken into.
FRANK EGGER is a long-time elected official in Marin. Egger also owns property in Redwood Valley. We wish he would run for office In Mendo. Egger's presently running for supervisor in Marin where county employee retirement packages are the hot issue. Frank sez, "I estimate that between the State employees, Teachers, 58 counties, 482 cities and over 2000 special districts, the unfunded liability for Post Employment Healthcare Benefits must be well over 400 billion dollars. Single Payer, Universal Healthcare is the only way to cover current employees, retirees and the uninsured without bankrupting the State." Which is why they're all broke and getting broker by the day.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 2, 2016
ALEJANDRO DANIEL JR., San Diego/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, sale, failure to appear.
GRACIE DIAS, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.
LUCAS EDMONDS, Sebastopol/Ukiah. DUI.
TIMOTHY FISCHER, Santa Rosa/Fort Bragg. Refusing to leave, probation revocation.
BRETT GRAY, Chico/Ukiah. DUI-drugs, under influence.
MIGUEL GUEVARA, Ukiah. Suspended license, probation revocation.
AMANDA JEWELL, Willits. Contempt of court, failure to appear.
ARMANDO LLAMAS, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
FERNANDO LLAMAS, Los Angeles/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
CYNTHIA MAREK, Ukiah. Domestic assault.
SYLVESTER MAREK*, Ukiah. Domestic assault.
NATHAN MASSEY, Talmage. Under influence.
DAVID PATIN, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Under influence.
KYLE PINKNEY, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.
ALYSE THOMAS, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
*(Sylvester Marek, 30, 270 pounds) has three prior arrests in the last year, two for domestic assault, one for possession of meth and paraphernalia.)
A Bird, A Plane? No, It's Superdelegates!
by Michael Winship
The Democratic Party's special class of entitled and unelected VIP delegates helps explain what's wrong with the way we choose our presidential candidates.
Last week, our suggestion that Hillary Clinton call for the resignations of her pals Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz got a big response. But a few people misunderstood what we were saying.
Some thought Bill Moyers and I were calling for Clinton herself to step aside (we weren't). Others thought we somehow believed Clinton actually had the power to fire Emanuel (of course she doesn't). Wasserman Schultz is a different story; the demand for her resignation as DNC chair grows by the day and Clinton doubtless will have a voice as to how that happens and who would replace her.
Using the rhetorical suggestion that she and Rahm take a hike — each of them a symbol of the current tone-deaf and corporate-enslaved state of the Democratic Party — was a way of easing into the idea that the party's elite is as clueless about the disillusionment of the party's traditional base as the GOP establishment has been about Donald Trump's ascent. At their peril, the muckety-mucks of both parties ignore the anger and resist the demand for change that have fueled not only Trump but the Bernie Sanders phenomenon as well, albeit the Sanders movement is as progressive as Trump's is brutish.
One of the more troubling aspects of the Democrats and their nomination process is the 712 or so “superdelegates,” about 15% of the total (and 30% of the majority needed to win the nomination) who will cast ballots at the July convention in Philadelphia. They include President Obama and Vice President Biden, 239 Democratic members of the House and Senate, 21 sitting governors, 437 Democratic National Committeemen and women, and a category referred to as “distinguished party leaders” — former presidents and veeps, ex-congressional leaders and erstwhile presidential nominees.
These superdelegate VIPs are chosen not by the voters in this year’s primaries or caucuses but selected by the party solely for their status as members of the Democratic upper crust. Wasserman Schultz recently told CNN’s Jake Tapper that their appointment is necessary so entitled incumbents and party leaders don’t have to run for the position “against grassroots activists.”
(Just a few weeks later, though, in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business News, Wasserman Schultz swung her logic ’round 180 degrees. The superdelegates exist, she now declared, “to make sure that party activists who want to be delegates to the convention don't have to run against much better-known and well-established people at the district level.” So which is it? Neither really makes total sense.)
This whole superdelegate thing started back in 1984, when, after the devastating presidential defeat of George McGovern in 1972 and President Jimmy Carter's landslide reelection loss to Ronald Reagan in 1980, it was determined that experienced party stalwarts should be made delegates to fend off fringe efforts to divert the mainstream. Of course, the introduction of the superdelegates that year didn't keep Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale from being mauled by the congenial Reagan reelection juggernaut.
Nevertheless, the perceived wisdom has become that, “Lest those pesky Democratic grass-roots activists and loser-lover types be inclined to drive the party over a leftward-hanging cliff, the establishment is supposed to step in to ensure that we nominate the electable candidate.” Those are the words of Democratic establishment member Susan Estrich, who apparently coined the word “superdelegates” and opposed the idea back when she was supporting the presidential aspirations of Teddy Kennedy. Now that she’s part of the higher echelon, Estrich has reversed her position. “How time changes things,” she writes. You bet.
Technically, superdelegates are not officially bound to a candidate until that moment the first ballot roll call begins on the convention floor although the vast majority of them have announced their support for Hillary Clinton. (This is why up to now when tallies add up pledged delegates and superdelegates, Clinton seems to have such an unshakeable lead over Sanders.)
But as Susan Estrich would say, this can change. So it was in 2008 when superdelegates who had announced their support for Clinton changed their minds as Barack Obama notched up victory after victory. And theoretically, so it is this year as Bernie Sanders supporters, at the start virulently opposed to superdelegates as an obstacle to the will of the people, are now pursuing them as their candidate has achieved more success than anticipated.
(Sanders himself has described superdelegates as “problematic” and said they should vote for whichever candidate has carried their state’s primary or caucus, also noting, “I think I am a stronger candidate to defeat Trump than Secretary Clinton and I think many of the superdelegates understand that.”)
In truth, the existence of the superdelegates is rather like congressional filibuster rules or other arcane methods of manipulating the system — those they hurt are against, those they help are in favor — but when the roles are flipped, suddenly, those who were opposed find something to like in the rules as the shoe slips from one foot to the other.
But like so many of those rules, superdelegates symbolize something that has to go: the entrenched, inside-the-Beltway embrace of power and influence by the Democratic illuminati that does little for the poor and middle class and everything for the one percent that writes the big checks.
Just last week, Fredreka Schouten of USA Today wrote that through the end of February, “Fundraising in the presidential contest has zoomed past the $1 billion mark, fueled by the dozens of super-wealthy Americans bankrolling super PACs that have acted as shadow campaigns for White House contenders.”
And in late February, Jeff Naft at ABC News reported, “…When you remove elected officials from the superdelegate pool, at least one in seven of the rest are former or current lobbyists registered on the federal and state level, according to lobbying disclosure records. That’s at least 67 lobbyists who will attend the convention as superdelegates.” A majority of that 67 say they’re supporting Hillary Clinton.
Last summer, Wasserman Schultz’s Democratic National Committee lifted a ban on lobbyists making donations to cover the costs of convention-related events, a precursor to the DNC’s February rollback of Barack Obama’s ban on contributions to the party from political action committees and federal lobbyists.
Anyone who’s attended any of the recent Democratic Party national conventions can attest that amidst all the confetti, assorted hoopla and solemn testaments of democracy at work, there are outrageous displays of conspicuous consumption as law firms, lobbyists, consultants and their corporate clients manipulate the funding rules and compete to see who can create the swankiest, most excessive shindig. With the lifting of that lobbyist cash ban, Philadelphia could be bigger than ever.
It will be one giant blowout for sure, and a safe bet that the superdelegates will be whooping it up with many of their richest and most persuasive big wheel friends. No need to fight for your right to party, superdelegates. This is their gift to you. Just ignore the price tag attached.
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee.
A clover, anytime to him,
IAN McEWAN: WHEN I WAS A MONSTER
"The self, like a consumer desirable, may be plucked from the shelves of a personal identity supermarket, a ready-to-wear little black number. For example, some men in full possession of a penis are now identifying as women and demanding entry to women-only colleges, and the right to change in women’s dressing rooms."
In a Q&A after his speech, one woman asked McEwan, 67, to clarify what she called his offensive remarks, the Times reported (paywall). “Call me old-fashioned, but I tend to think of people with penises as men,” he said. “But I know they enter a difficult world when they become transsexuals and they tell us they are women, they become women, but it’s interesting when you hear the conflict between feminists now and people in this group.
“It’s quite a bitter conflict. Spaces are put aside, women are wanting to put spaces aside like colleges or changing rooms, and find from another side a radical discussion coming their way saying men who want to feel like it can come in there too. I think it’s really difficult. And I think there is sweeping through American [university] campuses a kind of strange sense of victimhood and a sense of purposeful identities that we can’t actually all of us agree with. Of course sex and race are different, but they also have a biological basis. It makes a difference whether you have an X or Y chromosome.”
OF ALL THE...
“Anger is madness. It is devoid of self-control, forgetful of decency, unmindful of ties, persistent and diligent in whatever it begins, closed to reason and counsel, excited by trifling causes, unfit to discern the right and true. But you have only to behold the expressions of those possessed by anger to know that they are insane.” –Seneca
The recording of last night's (2016-04-01) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download for free with one click, maybe two, via
I need to tell you: Adam David Jones, who was in several Mendocino Theater Company plays up to last year – you’ll remember him as dangerous, conflicted, creepy Eddie in Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, and as wunderkind political fixer Stephen Myers in Farragut North – is in trouble in real life and he and his family need your help. Last Saturday night someone or someones attacked him with what must have been R-rated-horror-movie-level violence and dumped him in a parked car in Harrisburg and left him for dead. He was discovered and taken to hospital, where to save his life doctors had to remove part of his skull to relieve the swelling of his brain. So there’s serious damage outside and inside. His mother’s with him 24 hours a day; she says he can make sounds and he can squeeze her hand a little, but he has yet to open his eyes.
There’s a crowdfunding page set up to try to make it just a little easier for him when he gets up, whenever that turns out to be. Go there and help with a little money. Please.
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find literally gazillions of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless interesting things to see and do and learn about, such as:
Welcome to Marwencol. One man’s project to make sense of personal catastrophe.
When I was a little boy, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop were the most wonderful thing in the world.
And, of course, dinosaurs. What child doesn't love dinosaurs?
Marco McClean firstname.lastname@example.org