WHAT'S with that hysterical report on KMUD about a "cleansing" of Fort Bragg's homeless? FB's Measure U would do no such thing. It simply restricts homeless services to neighborhoods more suitable than the center of the town's struggling tourist area. It's certainly a reaction, though, to the secretive, hurry-up deal that saw nearly a million public dollars handed to the private citizen who happened to own the graceful old Coast Hotel so another murky entity, the inevitable "non-profit" with handsomely compensated bosses, could deliver vague "services" of alleged value to drug and alcohol-addicted transients. I wonder how Garberville, already an open air homeless camp, would react if the Taj Mateel, with its rare wood front door, were converted to an indoor homeless center? At some point there's got to be an honest discussion of who the homeless are and why they're homeless. That conversation has finally begun to take place with Fort Bragg's Measure U.
UKIAH EMERGENCY ROOM MEDICO, Dr. Marvin Trotter, former Mendo County Public Health officer, made his bi-monthly appearance on KZYX Tuesday morning. Dr. Trotter trotted out some surprising stats and observations among his usual scatter-gun free-association speaking style, most of them based on his experience in the Emergency Room at Ukiah Valley Medical Center: "There must be a thousand 87-year old women living alone in Ukiah who insist on living alone." Trotter suggested that perhaps we could place the homeless with some of the presumed lonely, an idea that would surely result in truckloads of dead grandmothers.
WELL, doctor, what are the alternatives for the ancient ones? What is available here are doctor-owned Senior stalags like those delightful institutions on South Dora, the ones with the bars on the windows. Of course there are lots of capable elderly of both genders who prefer to live alone. But any way you cut it, America is not a happy country to grow old in. At the first faltering step, the wolves circle.
TO BE FAIR to the doctor, I think he was only trying to emphasize the large new population of old people and how to cope with it with at least a semblance of adequate care.
TROTTER AGAIN: "On average two or three of UVMC's emergency room beds are filled with 5150s, sometimes up to five beds. You wonder why it takes so long to be seen there? That's usually the reason." [Trotter implicitly agrees with the Sheriff that Mendo needs its own in-county mental health facility.]
TROTTER ADDED, "The County spends $8 million a year (per year!) on out-of-county 5150 three-day hold placements, most of them drug-induced." Trotter said that after the three days in Yuba City or Vacaville, since the Mental Health system doesn't handle "dual diagnoses," (mental illness and drug or alcohol use) the 5150s are "thrown to the curb."
TROTTER ALSO SAID that the old Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF-or Puff Unit) closed not because staff complained about conditions (although they did), but because the County simply couldn't meet minimum psych tech staffing requirements. Trotter proposed that Mendocino College set up a psych tech training program, in addition to the College's successful nursing program.
STATE SENATOR McGuire's push for the No Place Like Home initiative is a proposed funding grab bag that creates the illusion of shelter for impoverished people suffering from a range of mental disorders. McGuire recently assembled all the local government donut people in Ukiah to pretend that together they're getting down to the basics of housing the houseless. McGuire and the Democrats are gettin' it done! (Not.)
THE LOOMING INITIATIVE is, you guessed it, a two billion dollar bond that would provide "supportive housing for those who are chronically homeless or have some sort of mental or behavioral disorder or addiction to drugs or alcohol.”
HELL, what's more bond indebtedness in a state whose bonded indebtedness is already approaching a trillion dollars? These bonds will never be paid off, but our grandchildren will be paying the interest on them until their grandchildren assume the Eternal Mortgage.
MEANWHILE, the state pay-out to the bond holders, the same rich people McGuire says will be taxed to pay for his "supportive housing" scheme, will be greater and greater, starving existing public services such as the formerly free University of California.
McGUIRE SAYS the $2 billion bond to pay for his "supportive housing" will be repaid out of the 2004 Mental Health Services Act via a 1% tax on incomes over $1 million and will result in 10,000 to 14,000 housing units for difficult tenants. Got that? No, because it's fantasy. And the reason McGuire assembled the local Donut People to pretend it was happening was to assure them that this bogus deal would be tended to by them — local mental health professionals with their buddies at places like Ukiah City Hall who will decide who will build the mythical houses where.
AT SOME POINT, before the whole soufflé goes poof!, billions must be invested in genuinely low cost housing. Complicated funding schemes pegged to incompetent existing bureaucracies won't get it done. We need a new New Deal in this country. Bernie's the only hope for getting done what needs to be done.
AS THE ELECTION heats up, and it's heating up in rather ominous fashion, I can't help but note some sloppy rhetoric out there beyond the usual fact-free bushwa that is the election process in our doomed country. The carelessness that annoys me most is the casual conflation of socialist and communist as it applies to Bernie Sanders. The Bern is a socialist. Fidel Castro is a communist.
IN REAL LIFE, and real life history, there's more of a difference between communist and socialist than there is between Democrat and Republican. In America our two parties run the gamut from communist to fascist. We don't have many socialists, and we have very few communists. We've got fascists coming in the windows.
IN THE PARLIAMENTARY countries of the world each ideology has its own political party. (Fascists are coming on strong in much of Europe.) Here, we're stuck with essentially one party owned by the very wealthy. (There were some unintentionally hilarious comments from Pacific Heights matrons like Doris Fisher and Charlotte Mailliard in Sunday morning's Chron. They said they'd probably have to leave the country if Bernie became president, and how embarrassed they'd be if Trump got elected. The Fisher family owns the Mendocino Redwood Company, Mrs. Mailliard-Schultz has an interest in Yorkville's vast Mailliard Ranch.)
BERNIE the socialist says he'll tax big incomes at 55 percent and break up the big banks. FDR taxed the rich at 95 percent, and the rich were compelled to pay their fair share of the social load up through Eisenhower, after whom the rich took over government for good.
FIDEL CASTRO the communist would simply confiscate the money and property of the rich, including the banks. That's what he did in Cuba. By the way, he didn't shoot very many people, but most of the Cuban rich (and criminals) fled the island, as we know.
LENIN the communist would and did do the same thing in Russia as Castro was later to do in Cuba. Mao broke lots of eggs to make the Chinese revolution. (He gave criminals one warning to stop being criminals. If they didn't stop, up against the wall they went. Mao executed several million criminals and who knows how many alleged "enemies of the people." Stalin the communist would take all the wealth of the rich and shoot them into the bargain. And shoot anyone who complained about the shootings. "No man, no problem," he liked to say.
BERNIE THE SOCIALIST would have been imprisoned or shot by all of the above.
GOT IT? Communists kill or otherwise neutralize socialists and liberals. For communists, force is Option One through Ten. Socialists are democrats. They go about it by argument and election. Don't call Bernie a communist because he isn't one.
ALDEN GLOBAL HEDGE FUND controls Digital First. These vultures own The Willits News, the Ukiah Daily Journal, and the Fort Bragg Advocate-Beacon. They just sold off land — no doubt for very big bucks — that came with purchase of the Orange County Register where they also laid off 70 employees the first day. They've stripped their Mendo papers of tangible assets while knocking off workers and cutting salaries. The Ukiah Daily Journal, for instance, had its premises sold from under it and now rents moldy space on State Street.
A READER WRITES: Getting Droned On (and surveilled?)—
Yesterday I was sitting on my back porch enjoying the break in the clouds, reclining and reading away. It was a blissful afternoon until I heard the startling buzzing equivalent of what for a few seconds I thought was a horsefly or bumblebee that sounded about the size of a baseball. In half panic I jumped up to shoo the bug, did a quick dance and within 15 to 20 seconds the sound was gone. I then heard what was a drone pass back over me at a much higher altitude heading on its course back home. So then I thought what the hell? It must have been right over my head. The same thing happened to me about six months ago when I was kicking back in the sun and I jumped up at what sounded to be a prehistoric sized bumblebee. On that occasion I did not figure out what the disturbance was and I ended up thinking it was sound being projected from afar or something. Well now I know that startling sound is a drone hovering over your head. How often does something like that happen? It happened to me twice in six months. Has that happened to anyone else? What was I caught doing? I didn't have my pecker in my hand or anything like that. I wasn't even smoking a joint. I was reading a beginner’s course book on Arabic that I had checked out of the library an hour before. The one creepy thing is that the books do have the RFID tags on them, so… Anyways it was enough to trip me out for a little while and I thought I would let y'all know.
THAT LONG ABANDONED Fjord's restaurant at the north end of Ukiah has been bought up by In 'N Out Burger. In the other big news from our county seat, Dunkin' Donuts is also coming to town, location as yet undesignated but insiders say West Perkins. No truth to the rumor that Ukiah is considering Franchiseville as its new name, but dangle a few deep-fried viands in front of the city council...
FORT BRAGG'S salary structure is a good example of why municipalities (and counties) are broke and getting broker. According to the "Transparent California" website Fort Bragg's canny city manager, boosted by a city council majority of cowed male-type men, has seen her pay and bennies reach for the stars:
- City Manager 2011 - $187,275.21
- City Manager 2012 - $192,099.34
- City Manager 2013 - $202,051.61
- City Manager 2014 - $206,129.00
MS. RUFFING'S "base pay" for 2014 was $145,753, benefits were an additional $43,962 and "other pay" amounted to $16,414.
TRANSLATION: Fort Bragg will be paying for Ms. Ruffing until she turns up her toes at Sherwood Oaks — check that — Sherwood Oaks is too downscale for the quarter-mil earner class. Ruff is more likely to find herself at the relatively posh The Woods at Little River, " nestled among the redwoods, pines, and rhododendrons of Mendocino County...."
RUFF WON'T LACK for company. Mendocino County's lavishly compensated department heads will join her at Yoga for Seniors, and for intellectual stimulation she'll have at her elbow her boyfriend, Point Arena City Manager Richard Shoemaker. He makes $50,000 for half a week's work while also holding down a lush and (lushly nebulous) public job in Ukiah.
PUBLIC BUREAUCRATS, including school bureaucrats, get their big pay via elected city councils, elected supervisors, elected people at all levels of government who themselves. The elected almost always serve the unelected, not vicey versy the way it's supposed to be. For instance: members of the Fort Bragg City Council get a small per-meeting stipend but a free (to them) medical benefits package that ordinary citizens can only dream of. So local government becomes more like a low-intensity occupying army whose first priority is itself.
MS. RUFFING of Fort Bragg, and they all do it, has stuffed FB City government with "her people," personal buds in the high pay jobs, hence a retired LA cop functioning as Fort Bragg Police Chief over the uber-qualified local. She's also got a Frisco lawyer, and all the assistant this and thats pulling down over a hundred grand a year in a town where the average citizen makes thirty, if that. The entire City of Fort Bragg apparatus is Ruffing-dependent.
THESE elected oversight bodies like the Fort Bragg City Council, the County School Board, the Board of Supervisors and so on, are clear cases of the tail wagging the dog — whip lashing the civic mutt, actually, since the tail wag is, as local critics discover at so much as a peep of discontent.
LONG TERM, what happens is that local government costs so much it has to cut back on citizen services to pay itself and to pay for its cush retirements. Which is already the case with broke-ass Mendocino County, which is broker every year because it has to dip into its General Fund to pay retirement benefits for its employees of yesteryear. I mean, really, a town of 7,000 people like Fort Bragg pays its manager a quarter of million dollars a year, Ukiah nearly half-a-mil? Beyond nuts, it's suicidal.
POINT ARENA is the seventh smallest city in California with 470 residents, some of them, the children anyway, sober and industrious. For a tiny town PA has got some pretty fancy corruption just noted by the current Grand Jury. "The City does not have an effective system for code enforcement. Local officials have given preferential treatment to city councilmembers, allowing one of them to reside in an unpermitted structure with no sewer hookups and another to operate a business with no business license. One of these councilmembers has been charged by the District Attorney with violations of both state law and county ordinance, and pled guilty to such offense on April 4, 2016." Etc.
RIGHT HERE we should note that DA Eyster, unlike his disinterested predecessors, moves on this stuff. He made it clear to the crooked 4th District supervisor, Kendall Smith, to pay back the money she stole via fraudulent travel reimbursements or go to jail. Ditto for this Point Arena dude. Used to be that civic corruption — breathtaking in Fort Bragg — was simply ignored at the DA level of local government.
SHERIFF'S DEPUTY CRAIG KEISER has died from a fast-moving cancer. Keiser enjoyed a long and unblemished career with the Mendocino County department save for a bizarre episode in Covelo when he was a rookie cop. He'd stopped two young men with whom he was soon engaged in a vicious, post-stop fight. Matt Dalson, then 17 years old, was arrested and charged with attempted murder because it was determined he'd knifed Keiser. Dalson was acquitted by a jury after it learned that the deputy was drunk when he encountered Dalson. Dalson had claimed self-defense. A Willits emergency room doctor testified that Dalson had suffered the worst injuries he'd seen from a beating. This all happened when Tim Shea was Sheriff and rookie deputies from SoCal were being assigned to Round Valley.
YOU'RE NOW BEING TRANSFERRED TO LISTEN ONLY MODE: Last Wednesday night judge candidate Keith Faulder held a phone-in town hall meeting. After answering several lob ball questions, which sounded like they came from Faulder's grandparents, it was my turn. (Me, Major Mark Scaramella, USAF ret.) I quoted some excerpts from the Deputy Sheriff’s Association statement in 2014 in which they opposed the construction of a new County Courthouse.
I THEN ASKED THE CANDIDATE if he really thought a new courthouse was necessary.
I HAD HOPED that Judge Faulder would at least take a neutral stance on the indefensible project, maybe a little judicial lib-labbery of on-the-one-hand / on-the other hand variety… Maybe even a little give and take on the subject.
BUT I WAS WRONG. Faulder immediately launched into a near-verbatim recitation of Judge Dave Nelson’s unconvincing party-line talking points about safety and security during prisoner shuttling, disability access and "privacy of juvenile defendants." (Huh? This one's a brand new non-reason. Nelson must be putting in some serious OT dreaming this stuff up.) Faulder had even memorized the exact budgeted cost of the new courthouse — $98 million — which he insisted was all state funds, not county funds, completely missing the point about the fiscal impact on other County departments. And deliberately missing the point on the origins of this money — the extortionate fines and fees the judge factories impose on all citizens, including those residing in Mendocino County. Even "state money" has real origins. (And as if the Deputy Sheriffs hadn’t taken the shuttle-security issue into account in their opposition.)
HAVING HEARD previous callers get a chance to follow up, I was just about to say, “If I’d wanted Judge Nelson’s opinion I would have asked him. But you missed the point that the County will have to pick up the tab for all the disruptions in the other departments… And that the Deputy Sheriffs were certainly aware of the safety issue…” But instead, I was quickly hung up on and told by a disembodied recorded female voice: “You are now being transferred to listen-only mode.”
WELL, we know candidate Faulder will be quick with the gavel at the first hint of insouciant courtroom comment.
A READER WRITES: I listen to a ton of radio and rarely tune in to M. Krasny. He’s good sometimes, but not particularly progressive, and handles criticism of Israel very poorly. I’m about as critical of KPFA as you, especially the 911 conspiracy, anti-vaccine nuts on “Guns & Butter,” and the homeopathy-touting “Your Own Health and Fitness,” but there’s good stuff. Mitch Jeserich conducts far more interesting interviews than Krasny on his “Letters and Politics” at 10:00 M-Th. And Richard Wolff takes over that hour Friday with his “Economic Update.” At noon M,T,W “Against the Grain” is about the only really intellectual program on all the airways. And KPFA is the only station that regularly provides news of Palestine: especially interesting is “Voices of the Middle East and North Africa,” Wed. 2:00. And Doug Henwood! Great hour Thursdays at noon, “Behind the News.” And on Tuesdays at 2:00 there’s Michio Kaku’s “Exploration” (science!!!) and at 3:30 “Work Week Radio” with Steve Zeltzer-- the only labor program I know. Michael says you probably can’t get KALW (91.7), but it’s a much better station than KQED and does local programming. Rose Aguilar’s program “Your Call” M-F is usually more interesting than what Krasny offers at that time, and she’s a great interviewer. Her Friday “Media Roundup” is excellent—she has 2-3 reporters from all over the globe discussing the week’s headlines. David Cay Johnston and John Nichols are frequent guests. This Friday hour repeats at 5:00, but not the others. KALW also carries “Counterspin,” 7:30 Fri., the half hour analysis of the week’s news by FAIR in NYC. (KPFA offers this Fridays at 3:00.) And KALW has “Alternative Radio” Mondays, 1:00 and a great science program “Big Picture Science,” 1:00 Tuesdays with one hour a month devoted to skepticism. Their music program “Tangents” by Dore Stein is stellar, Saturdays 8:00-midnite. So, pretty good stuff to search out. Explore beyond Krasny and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I WILL, I WILL. I like talk show hosts who are smart and keep the conversation rolling right along, hosts who don't hesitate to politely tell the chronophages, "Oops. Looks like we've lost him!" All these shows depend on the subject matter and who the guest is. The wrong guest can kill the most interesting subject matter. Vice versa. For me, Jim Dunbar and Ted Weigand were the gold standard, and they were hardly radicals. But they were smart and they were very funny, the best audio company I've had before or since. I hear Krasny often because I'm hiking in the am and the KPFA alternative is Amy Goodman who, interesting as her shows can be, has a voice that's like a half-strangled cat and zero humor. Democracy Now is like castor oil. You know it's good for you but, please Mommy! don't make me drink it!
READ 'EM AND WEEP: The top people at the County Office of Education, a make-work project for about 150 people whose vague tasks seem tangentially related to teaching junior savages the basics of their native tongue and how to do several primitive math calculations, reveals that of those 150 almost a hundred of them make more than $50,000 a year. Most of them make a lot more.
FIFTY YEARS AGO, there was the superintendent of schools and two clerks in a small office on Low Gap Road. Now this! This apparatus should have been dismantled years ago, its nebulous functions returned to the individual school districts of Mendocino County, if those nebulous functions need to exist in the first place.
DRIVE TO UKIAH. Stop the first ten people you meet on the street. Ask them what “MCOE” means. If they don't know, and I'd bet a hundred bucks they wouldn't, then ask, “Where is the County Office of Education?” You'll get answers ranging from Mendocino College to Ukiah High School. No one will know what MCOE is, what it does, where it's located. (Hint: Drive east from Ukiah on Talmage.)
WHEN you get to Talmage, ask the first person you see, Say, Bub, what's out here anyhow? Answer: "There's that Buddhist place with the good restaurant." Where is the Mendocino County Office of Education? "Never heard of it."
A NEW CHARLES SCHWAB SURVEY says that in order to be considered "wealthy" in the Bay Area, you need a net worth of at least $6 million. A net worth of $1 million is the baseline for being "comfortable."
WHY MEASURE U? by Anne Marie Cesario:
Initiative Measure U is a zoning amendment that protects and grandfather’s Art Explorer’s, Parents and Friends and Project Sanctuary into the 4 blocks of Central Business District. They can stay where they are for as long as they want to.
Measure U will require the homeless project in the Old Coast Hotel to move because it is an inappropriate location for the clients and the community for a homeless day shelter. Vote YES if you want the project moved out of the Old Coast Hotel and: Preserve the historic business district; promote tourism and small business; Maintain a safe and clean downtown; protect property values; Save tax dollars; Restore justice and fairness in our city.
ACCORDING to the Fort Bragg Advocate, Superior Court judge candidate Patrick Pekin "has released a list of supporters who have endorsed him (sic), which include Mendocino County Superior Court Judges James Luther, Jon Lehan and Kirk Gustafson, Willits Mayor Bruce Burton, Willits City Council members Holly Madrigal, Ron Orenstein, Madge Strong, former Willits Mayor Victor Hanson, Brooktrails Volunteer Fire Department Chief Daryl Schoeppner, and Laytonville VFD Chief Jim Little."
DOUBT THAT PEKIN'S Willits' endorsers know anything about the candidate. Ditto for Laytonville's Jim Little. If they can make a distinction — any old distinction will do — between candidate Pekin and candidate Faulder they should make it. Which they are unlikely to do because it's unlikely they'd recognize either guy if he walked through the door.
ELECTIONS in Mendocino County are a step down from those you remember from the fifth grade. "I'm voting for Richie because he's good at basketball." "I'm voting for Krystal because I like her pit bull."
PEKIN'S first published roster of endorsers was a Who's Who of Coastlib, his friends and neighbors apparently. Faulder's based in Ukiah. He'll probably soon be publishing a list of his pals, too, while unaffiliated voters scratch their heads and wonder how to tell the candidates apart.
A UKIAH ATTORNEY distinguished Pekin from candidate Faulder, this way: "Pekin needs a job, Faulder thinks it's time to give something back." That's quite perceptive. Really, how does a young lawyer like Pekin earn a living on the Mendocino Coast? There are lots of lawyers out there but not all that many people who either need one or can pay for one if they do. It doesn't mean Faulder, if elected, would be turning down a lavishly compensated life sinecure like the Superior Court bench, but it does mean that Faulder is a veteran County attorney with years of experience both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney with lots of big courtroom wins to boast of. Because he's very good at law Faulder has made a lot of money. He'll go on making a lot of money if he isn't elected judge.
PEKIN'S experience is pretty thin. He can't point to anything in the way of legal triumphs. Or legal experience generally. He's young, still in his early forties, and he's new to Mendocino County. Pekin's a judicial pig in a poke. Faulder might turn Queeg on the bench but it's unlikely.
AND PEKIN'S new enough to the County to think his support from Lehan, Luther and Gustafason is something to brag about. An old timer would run screaming in the opposite direction.
GUSTAFASON, known as the 'hippie judge' during his brief sojourn on the bench, took an early out for so-called "stress." He's sucked up disability bennies for years now which, and sorry to be harsh about it, has always seemed like fraud from here.
LEHAN was appointed to the Ten Mile bench, never was opposed for re-election but did stuff of the sexual harassment type that should have gotten him disbarred. Instead, his judicial pals not only pretended he wasn't a perv but moved him to Ukiah until the scandal blew over then re-established him among the Fort Bragg amnesiacs like Lehan always wore clothes under his robes and had never habitually flashed his clerks.
LUTHER we've always disliked because we thought he was stupid and made a lot of stupid decisions, all of which he unfailingly made for money and power. Yeah, yeah, I know. Superior court judges are hardly rebels, but Luther's endorsement, even among the legal eagles who know him, is unlikely to cause anybody to buy drinks for the house. Luther's still out there with the rest of Mendocino County's huge delegation of "retired" judges, supplementing his fat retirement checks by working as a statewide bullpen judge.
FAULDER is smart and capable. He'll be a good judge. Pekin's probably a fine fellow but he's not quite ready for the magic robes.
A GUY WHO DID a very long stretch in the state pen writes: "I read Bruce McEwen's off the record just now. Generally speaking, a teardrop tattoo is not the mark of a murderer. It is instead a prison sentence served. Add another teardrop for each time you go back to prison on a new term of incarceration. An old-timer like me? I read it as the more drops the bigger the knucklehead."
IF I WERE twenty years younger, here's the place I would buy because it's the absolute best deal I've seen in the most beautiful region of Mendocino County. Nine miles north of Covelo out the Mina Road, nine-plus acres, meticulously maintained home with two large bedrooms, two smaller bedrooms. Sane neighbors, off the grid. All this for $350,000. Presently owned by a friend of the AVA's who's had to move back to the urbs for reasons of age and proximity of health care...
Zach Carpenter (Lic: 01722126) Andy Wiese Real Estate (Office Lic.: 01433414) 160 E Gobbi St Ukiah, CA 95482; Primary: 707-671-6392 Secondary: 707-671-6392
WE WERE KICKING around the subject of the many local arrests for public drunkenness. It's a subject of more than passing interest to us as we often commute, late evenings, under the influence, albeit on foot to our new home in the center of Boonville. But we're drunks with a destination, drunks who walk on without pause, drunks who don't linger! As a rule, the public drunk who winds up in the Sheriff's Log is either an obnoxiously public drunk — yelling obscenities, challenging passersby to fight etc. or, as in one case we heard about, taking off one's clothes and rhino-charging into traffic. This kind of drunk definitely has to be suppressed.
THE SECOND KIND of public drunk is the person who is soooooo drunk he or she presents a danger to him or herself. We're still laughing about the kid who was arrested sloppy drunk at Boonville's annual Beerfest while he was still inside the Boonville Fairgrounds where the event was being held. "Dude!" the incredulous drunk shouted at the arresting officer, "I'm at a beerfest. Get it? I'm supposed to be drunk!"
THIS ONE would be a tweener, we'd say, but if a cop thinks you're so drunk you could hurt yourself, wherever you are, trust the cop who, presumably, is sober.
THE ABOVE are the two main categories of drunk-in-public but come with a lot of sub-sets. Very few people are arrested for simply being under the influence in a public place. If that were the basis for arrest, a large part of the County's fun-lovin' population would regularly be drying out on Low Gap Road. You've got to earn your way to an arrest for drunk-in-public.
ANIMAL SHELTERS everywhere have a lot of pit bulls, our Shelter in Ukiah is no exception. A friend argues, "I know they have a lousy rap, but the good ones, like any other dog or breed, are truly great dogs— very happy, playful to the point of goofy. These are dogs bred to take care of toddlers, so back in the day, a big percentage of photos from the early 1900s will show a little kid and a Staffordshire terrier, the forerunner of pitties…"
I INHERITED a dog that was half pit or, "pittie," as my friend romantically refers to the breed. My dog, Roscoe, had twice flunked obedience school and, fond of him as I became of him to where I miss him still, he was only under theoretical control. He would occasionally take a nip at me at no provocation, his only friend in the world. I'd denounce him in the vilest terms as an ingrate and a nut, and he'd slink remorsefully off, only to take a pass at me again whenever he felt like it. And he was a terrible racist. Roscoe would go dangerously off at the mere sight of a dark-skinned person, including, until he got to know her, my wife, a dark-skinned person. Natch, I kept Roscoe on a leash whenever I took him any place there were people. The only place I could safely off-leash him was deep in the hills. In The City, every time we'd pass a black or brown person Roscoe, whose human lineage was entirely liberal, would growl menacingly. It was embarrassing. The vic would surely walk on thinking to himself, "There's another white bastard with a pit. He's either Klan or a Klan symp."
MY DOG INFORMANT COMMENTS: "Right now the shelter has a big pittie population. In the spring and summer we get herding dogs and hounds—herding dogs not up to the task and hounds who did not return after a hunt. After the grow, pits and german shepherd dogs. When a pop film with a dog character gets released, half a year later the shelters in the US will fill with those (chihuahuas were big a few years ago, but don’t ask me the name of the movie.)"
US TREASURY SECRETARY JACK LEW is expected to announce that Alexander Hamilton's face will remain on the $10 bill and that a woman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Previously, Lew had said that he was considering a redesign of the $10 to include the image of a woman. There was an uproar, fueled in part by fandom of the new broadway musical 'Hamilton,' prompting Lew to change his mind. A mural depiction of the women's suffrage movement will be on the back of the bill.
THE MIGHTY AVA suggests Sojourner Truth in place of Jackson. She's not as well-known as she ought to be, as you will likely agree if you read her truly remarkable biography. But given that this administration runs on platitudes funded by pc billionaires, we're much more likely to get Caitlin Jenner.