- Scattered Showers
- Rastafarian Influx
- Rogue Sheriffs
- Basketball Camp
- Remco Deal
- Election Rumor
- Blackbird Farm
- Remo Visit
- Pygmy Meeting
- Arcade Flasher
- Broadband Meetings
- Yesterday's Catch
- Islamic War
- American Freedoms
- Gun Control
- Gun Policies
- Farewell, Champ
- Teen Zines
- Cat Solution
SCATTERED LIGHT SHOWERS are expected on Thursday and into Friday with maybe a quarter-inch of spotty rain over much of the northcoast. A cool semi-arctic water-laden air mass will mostly sweep north of Mendocino County but the southern segment will bring local the spring rains. A warming trend will follow bringing higher than normal temps into the area starting Sunday and into next week.
THE RASTAFARIANS have arrived. In Boonville. At the Boonville Fairgrounds. Big weekend of reggae music. Reggae music? Isn't that redundant? Reggae is music, mon. I'm thinking back to 1970. The only weekend event in Boonville back then was the Mendocino County Fair and Rodeo. There was fist fighting all over central Boonville, drunks galore. The Boonville Lodge was so crowded people spilled out into the street, which then and now was Highway 128. Cops were out in force, and still there was hand-to-hand combat everywhere. Tough guys from all over drove to Boonville to get into fights with the locals, who were also tough guys, so tough the outside brawlers traveled here to try their luck. At the rodeo, the announcer told race and hippie jokes, which were pretty funny, actually, but he'd be arrested if he told them over the PA in 2016. Times change. Fifty years later, peace and love, mon, and $75 tickets to get in.
A READER WRITES:
Here's an article on the Constitutional Sheriffs Association which Mendo Sheriff Allman is listed as #31. These Sheriffs are part of a " patriot" organization — right wing resistance group to Federal law - something they swore to uphold as peace officers. Law enforcement is sworn to " uphold the law" - something this group has sworn not to do - not interpret the Constitution to mean that the office of Sheriff is the highest law in their given jurisdictions. By charter - any Law Enforcement officer who is a member of this organization is no longer doing his sworn job and should resign. They are a right wing political organizations military arm and are a serious potential threat to the citizenry due to their legal powers. Their philosophy dovetails into the Tea Party, Prairie Fire, Southern resistance and other violent organizations. Allman should be recalled over his association with this group due to his stated avowal to ignore his oath of office.
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SHERIFF ALLMAN REPLIES:
I attended one of these meetings eight years ago and determined that I was not interested in joining. I have never joined a group like you are describing, however we should realize that a Sheriff can often disagree with the federal government. I have disagreed many times with Federal Agencies, both publicly and privately. The disagreement is usually focused on the 10th Amendment (States rights). At least one of these groups that your writer describes has listed me as a member but I have contacted the group several times and have advised them that I am not a member. The leader of this group refers to himself as a Sheriff, however, he was defeated after his first term.
A Sheriff of a county answers to the citizens of a county, and not directly to the federal government. The position of sheriff is unique to America, and I assure you that there are leaders in Washington who would prefer that the Sheriff answered to them. Our nation's newest states, Hawaii and Alaska, have Sheriff's who lack some of the legal authority that other Sheriffs possess. I see myself as a Sheriff who believes that the Constitution is the true foundation of our country.
Thanks for asking.
Tom Allman, Sheriff
PS. I have notified them several times to remove my name from their membership list, but on looking at the list that your reader supplied, there is at least one Sheriff listed who hasn't been a Sheriff for two years.
PPS. I should make one point very clear. I will not follow any blind order from the Federal Government without vetting the information through trusted legal sources. I do not see the US government issuing any orders which would be in conflict with the Constitution, but if such an order was issued, you can rest assured that the California State Sheriffs Association would have an emergency meeting.
BOONVILLE, Mendocino County's most happening community (by far), will host a basketball camp led by none other than the great All-American, Jennifer Azzi, presently the women's head coach at USF. Detective Luis Espinoza of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department and coach of small school champs, Anderson Valley High School, with a big assist from AV High grad Robert Anderson, has put it all together for July 15, 16, and 17. Called the Jennifer Azzi Basketball Camp, attendees were selected by their coaches and other members of the community for their dedication to basketball and their sportsmanship. The campers include 4th-8th grade boys and girls (3 boys/3 girls per grade).
COACH ESPINOZA reports that all slots have been filled. "It should be a great time," Espinoza says, "and I look forward to learning quite a bit myself during those three days. Because this is not a school related function, it took a little more work than usual to get this going. I would like to thank the CSD Recreation Committee for their assistance with the insurance part of it, AD Robert Pinoli and Superintendent Michelle Hutchins for the use of the gym and Robert Anderson for this great gift. Most importantly, as most of you who know me also know, I couldn't get any of this done with out my wife, Shauna Espinoza, who is the begrudging volunteer queen. Thank you! I look forward to seeing all the kids on July 15th!"
AV High School Boys Varsity will begin playing summer league basketball at Mendocino College beginning 06/15/16 at 1800 hours. Bored and want to get out of the heat? Feel free to come watch the boys!
RE THE REMCO SALE, WILLITS: Lots of Willits people think ‘the fix was in, as investors headed by Willits mayor, Bruce Burton, picked off the plum site in the middle of town at a bargain price of $250,000. But the other would-be bidder, Robert Pinoli Jr. of the Skunk Train, never did provide the financials requested by the Trust by the August, 27th, 2015 deadline. There were at least two public meetings to discuss the sale of Remco which, by the way, lots of people claim is still polluted from the years it functioned as an industrial site, so what happened happened in public view, albeit a rather obfuscated public view. This one is a long way from over.
THE CONSPIRATORIAL TENOR of our times resonates big time here in Mendocino County where some people are saying that the fix is in for judicial candidate, Keith Faulder, that Coastlib has rigged the election for Pekin, but Faulder's reported preliminary lead is likely to hold because there are several thousand serious people on the Mendocino Coast who know that an untried guy like Pekin is the inferior candidate. Coastlib, politically frivolous as they often are, can't yet fix local elections for their palsy-walsys. Which isn't to say they wouldn't try if they thought they could get away with it.
BLACKBIRD FARM, PHILO, aka PATHWAYS IN EDUCATION is requesting a major expansion of its Philo presence from 36 guests and employees "to a maximum of 292 over a 7 year development time line," according to the Mendo Planning and Building Department. To access the old homestead where the late Charmian Blattner, long-time AVA columnist was born and raised, and then a high end retreat called the Highland Ranch, you drive down Ray's Road, over the bridge that spans the Navarro River or via Greenwood Road.
SPARE US your groans, but Balzac said behind every fortune lies a great crime. Usually lots of crimes. In the case of Blackbird, the crimes were small-ish, more a matter of the diversion of public ed money to private charter school programs, a diversion and criminal investigation described at length and great detail by the LA Times. Where better to reinvent oneself than Mendocino County where, as we never tire of repeating, history starts all over again every day, and you are whatever you say you are.
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AVA Feb 13, 2013 — A FELLOW [sic] called Jamie Hall is doing business as Blackbird Farm, 18601 Van Zandt Road, Philo, and Pthways [sic] in Education Mendocino, Inc., Pasadena.
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AVA June 26, 2015 —
KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS. Black Bird Farm is still mostly known locally as Highland Ranch, ancestral home of the late Charmian Blattner, the Redwood Empire's longest-running print columnist. When Charmian was a girl, Highland was a long haul across the Navarro River and on up into the hills. These days, visitors can drive in off Greenwood Road.
THE PROPERTY became well-known as Highland Ranch under the gentlemanly auspices of George Gaines, about whom a negative word has never been heard. Mr. Gaines developed the property as a comfortable, high end retreat for comfortable, high end people. Not long ago Gaines sold Highland's lush 200 acres to the Hall family of Los Angeles. Jamie Hall, a young woman still in her twenties, daughter of John and Joan Hall, presides over the Highland property, now re-christened as Black Bird Farm and organized as a tax-exempt non-profit.
JOHN AND JOAN struck it rich in the oft-plundered gold fields of public education funding. The Halls were teachers at Hollywood High School when they discovered a particularly lucrative loophole in public education funding requirements, and very soon the Halls were multi-millionaires via a chain of store front charter schools called Options for Youth and Opportunities for Learning, paying themselves some $600,000 annually to run their publicly funded schools, a nice step up from their previous salaries at Hollywood High.
THE OPTION most frequently exercised by Options For Youth seems to have been millions in private profits for the Hall family. In 2006, a state audit concluded that the Halls had been "overpaid" by the state to the tune of $57 million, but since they'd been operating inside California's notoriously lax school funding guidelines, the Halls had done nothing illegal. They got to keep the money, some of which apparently made its way to Philo where more than $3 million was spent to buy Highland Ranch from George Gaines. The Halls also own a lavish ranch in Colorado.
THE HALLS set up a charity run by their daughter Jaimie seeded with $10.8 million, and it's that charity that seems to be the funding device fueling the fortunate Miss Hall's Blackbird Farm in Philo. Blackbird says it's an organic farm that brings in underprivileged youth for stays in lavish rural circumstances the individual underprivileged youth probably hasn't even seen on television.
EXCEPT for the ranch foreman, all the old Highland Ranch employees have been sent packing. They say the Halls first drove down their pay to minimum wage then sacked them.
REMO? REMO McOSKER, IS THAT YOU?
A 35-year-old Ukiah man was arrested on suspicion of burglary earlier this month after allegedly being found breaking into someone’s home and drinking beer and wine, the Ukiah Police Department reported. According to the UPD, a resident in the 300 block of Gardens Avenue called to report at 12:52am, June 2 that an intruder was in his living room. The resident said when he went to investigate a noise in his house, specifically a “wine bottle clank,” he found a man standing in his living room holding a bottle of wine.
He said he recognized the man as Remo L. Mcosker, 35, of Ukiah, from his photo that appears frequently on the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office website. The resident said McOsker sat down on his couch while he called the UPD, and he later found large beer cans on his living room floor and that the suspect had rummaged through his personal belongings after apparently entering the home through an unlocked door. When officers arrived at the home, Mcosker was arrested on suspicion of burglary and violating his probation.
Patches is what is known as a shelter GEM. He is playful, energetic and so sweet. Patches had a problem with one eye which has been taken care of, but he now has a problem with a knee. He's been in a foster home in Anderson Valley, and the folks taking care of him cannot say enough good stuff about this dog. They write that Patches is "sweet, cuddly and so appreciative. He gets along with people, children and so far all the dogs he has met. He comes to work with me in the Bink Wines tasting room and greets all customers at the door with a wag of the tail! There is something about this boy that makes everybody respond with love to him. He loves to play fetch and he is a strong swimmer, loves the water. He is house trained, walks well on leash, knows his name and comes when called, sits on command and is just a joy to have around."
Patches does have some separation anxiety, so any potential new home will need to be savvy about helping this guy overcome that problem. Patches is about 52 pounds and two years old.
Patches tested positive for heartworm, which is being treated by the shelter, and therefore his surgery has been postponed till August. Some of the shelter's volunteers have started fundraising efforts for Patches. To find out more about this guy, you may be able to meet him at Bink Wines, or call the shelter volunteer coordinator at 707-467-6453. More information about Patches will be coming in the next week. Check out more photos of Patches, and all of the dogs and cats currently residing at the Mendocino County Animal Care Services Shelter by going to (and bookmarking!) our website: www.mendoanimalshelter.com.
IMPORTANT TRANSFER STATION & PYGMY FOREST MEETING THURSDAY
June 16, 6 pm, Town Hall
Those following the siting of the proposed Waste Transfer Station on Hwy 20 are encouraged to attend the meeting on the Revised Draft EIR on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at Fort Bragg Town Hall. Public comments are welcome.
Transfer station & Pygmy forest meeting
Thursday, June 16, 6 pm, Town Hall
It's Very Important to pay attention to this proposed land trade! It's Very important to be there. Thursday 6 P.M. FB Town Hall!! Thanks, Rixanne Wehren!!
MEANWHILE IN UKIAH: ARREST MADE FOR INDECENT EXPOSURE NEAR ARCADE
The Ukiah Police Department issued the following press release Monday:
"On Saturday, June 4th, a UPD officer responded to a local arcade on South School Street, regarding a male subject exposing himself. The suspect had left the area prior to an officer’s arrival, but a criminal case was taken and assigned to the Detective Division.
After a UPD sex crimes detective reviewed the case, the detective believed that the suspect was Jerome McMurphy age 45, who was known to be on parole and is a registered sex offender. After an extensive investigation and working with local parole agents, Detectives were able to identify McMurphy as the one responsible for exposing himself in the Arcade.
On Wednesday, June 8th at about at about 2:30 pm, Detectives located McMurphy in the 200 block of Mason Street. McMurphy was placed under arrest for a parole violation and was booked into county jail. The case was submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review and McMurphy was additionally charged with a felony violation of indecent exposure.
(MendocinoSportsPlus Note: According to records at the Mendocino County Jail, the 5'11", 150-poubd Mr. McMurphy was arrested @ 3:23 pm Wednesday, June 8th, booked on one felony & one misdemeanor charge on Thursday, June 9 @ 9:24 am ($175,000 bail), had his booking photo taken @ 10:07 am and is still behind bars as of 10:00 pm Tuesday night.)
REMINDER OF BROADBAND BUSINESS MEETINGS IN FORT BRAGG AND UKIAH NEXT WEEK
Just want to remind you about the broadband business meetings that the Broadband Alliance and the Economic Development and Financing Corporation are hosting next week in Fort Bragg and Ukiah. Come and join us for lively discussions and to share your views and brainstorm solutions. Agendas will be available by tomorrow, the 16th, on the Alliance website.
Time and Location Fort Bragg:
June 20th (Monday) 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Fort Bragg Town Hall
363 N. Main Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Time and Location Ukiah:
June 22nd (Wednesday) 3:00 - 4:30 pm
205 N. Bush Street, Room 252
Ukiah, CA 95482
Please see our website for more information about both meetings.
Thanks, and we hope to see you there!
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 15, 2016
CHRISTOPHER BRACKETT, Willits. DUI with priors, DUI while on court probation, suspended license, probation revocation.
ISRAEL CARRILLO, Willits. Child endangerment, parole violation.
GARRETT COUGHLIN, Redwood Valley. Community supervision violation, probation revocation.
NOE ESPITIA, Talmage. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, child endangerment, suspended license, probation revocation.
MICHAEL HODGES, Fort Bragg. Burglary, controlled substance, resisting.
VINCENT HYLER, Redwood Valley. DUI with priors.
JEFFREY KOSTICK, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.
LYDIA MAGANA, Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ROBERTO MATA, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, resisting.
WANA MATTHIAS, Ukiah. Grand theft, probation revocation.
TAYLOR MILLER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, domestic assault, preventing victim from reporting crime, personal use of firearm, criminal threats.
JOHN PALACIOS, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
ALEJANDRO SANDOVAL, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
DERRICK SCHULETER, Ukiah. Petty theft.
AUSTIN SHEALOR, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
SHAWN WILSON, Discovery Bay/Ukiah. Unlawful display of registration, probation revocation.
PRESIDENT OBAMA should have made his clarifying speech this week a long time ago. It's his own fault that conservatives were hammering him for failing to mention "Islam" when he talks about the brand of terrorism the US is fighting in the Middle East — and in the US, with the "lone wolf" attacks like the one in Orlando.
It just makes him and other Democrats — here, here, and here — seem evasive when they refuse to even mention the politicized religious ideology held by terrorists, whether it's a distortion of Islam or not. It also gives demagogues like Donald Trump an opening to raise doubts about the president's loyalty and agenda.
Nor is it relevant that the domestic terrorists he mentions are American citizens with no international connections. Obviously the internet has made the Islamic terrorism problem international, since those susceptible can easily access the poison online.
Of course if you're president or secretary of state, you have to be careful about your choice of words, since careless talk can crash markets and get people killed. All the more reason to be clear about who we're fighting and why.
— Rob Anderson (Courtesy, District 5 Diary)
Yesterday’s deadly shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando — in which at least 50 people were killed — is but the latest, and most horrific, episode in the long-running Islamist war on the global LGBT community.
Ever since it came to power in parts of Syria and Iraq two years ago, the Islamic State (to which Orlando killer Omar Mateen swore fealty) has lent a cinematographic edge to its murderous hatred of homosexuality, giddily distributing worldwide images of its frequent propulsions of gay men from the rooftops of high buildings. Around the world, homosexuality is punishable by death in 10 countries, nine of which are dominated by Islamists (the exception, Nigeria, has a strong Islamist current)...
Yet while the Islamist war on homosexuality may be unambiguous, many of my gay brothers and sisters have difficulty acknowledging the nature of the threat. Like Jews, we have a natural impulse to sympathize with other minority groups. That’s a laudable instinct. But divorced from reality and an appreciation for nuance, it can become remarkably pigheaded, not to mention suicidal...
In the aftermath of yesterday’s shooting, many gays, following the lead from liberal commentators and political leaders from the president of the United States on down, are trying to diminish Islam as a factor in the killing...
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Beats his wife, makes terrible life decisions, violently homophobic, owns an AR-15, likes to take selfies a lot? … AMERICA, FUCK YEAH
LIBS & GUNS
Liberal and conservative politicians alike focus on mental health as a strategy to avoid discussing the true heart of the gun control debate. Democrats use it to avoid risk. These so-called liberals like to focus on the mental health of the shooters in these high-profile tragedies. By advocating for improved mental health services and preventing the mentally ill from getting guns, they get to seem like they care about gun control without having to actually advocate for any meaningful change. I’m the main doctor at a primary care clinic based out of an organization that provides psychiatric care and case management for patients with severe mental illness. It’s a population that is very close to my heart. I’ve had patients tell me that they would shoot me given the right circumstances. I understand both the critical shortage of resources for mental health as well as the increased risk that patients that suffer from mental illness have to behave violently. At the same time, as a family physician I have treated an uncountable number of victims of gun violence. The vast, vast, vast majority of these patients were shot by people who either do not carry a psychiatric diagnosis or whose most serious psychiatric diagnosis is depression. Addressing gun violence solely through the lens of mental health will never solve the problem. While I’ll be the first to tell you that the woefully underfunded state of mental healthcare is devastating to society on every level, I also believe that it is only a small part of the gun violence issue…
— Jess Guh
DISARM THE DERANGED
By Steve Heilig
When the twin towers fell on 911, at first it was thought that as many as 10,000 people might have been inside. A national call for blood donors went out in case there were many injured. By the time I got to my local blood bank in San Francisco, a line of people stretched around the block. My pent-up horror over what had just happened in New York came out in tears over the goodness of humans, reaching out in the best way they could to help people they did not know. To top it off, Robin Williams showed up, stood in line and quietly offered to buy meals for everyone there.
The first photo I saw from Orlando on Sunday morning was of a similar line at that city’s blood bank; it recalled that same mix of emotion — pain over senseless slaughter and suffering, mixed with a strong sense of the essential good within almost all people. Our first impulse is one of empathy, and a hope to help. It’s the best thing about our species. It’s both heroic and normal.
But these mass shootings can bring out the worst in some of us as well. Beyond the countless gun-loving trolls online, Donald Trump jumped on Twitter to crow, “I told you so.” Nothing he has proposed would have prevented this or any other such incident. What is known so far is that the shooter was an American-born citizen who had long threatened to kill people out of unfocused anger. In other words, he was, at least to some degree, deranged. And he was able to legally buy whatever guns he wanted.
Gun injuries and deaths are vastly more prominent in the United States than in any other remotely comparable nation, even though general violent crime rates have declined substantially in recent decades. About 90 people die each day from guns in our nation. Many are children.
So what to do? We already know much. The kind of “combat mode” weaponry used in too many of these murders, including Orlando, should be banned; no citizen needs them. Background checks and registration for both guns and ammunition purchases should be universal; likewise safety courses. Taxes on guns and ammo would pay for these and other gun-related social costs. None of this is “gun grabbing” — unless you are demonstrably unstable. As President Obama has said: “We respect the rights of responsible gun owners.”
And most are responsible. The vast majority of gun owners support rational gun policies. And the law permits those; the Second Amendment does have limits, as even the late Justice Scalia wrote in his Heller ruling upholding it: “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
But here is a crucial point: With more than 300 million guns in private hands, the problem is not going away anytime soon. The real effect of more rational policies will take decades to be felt. It will be the work of generations, and thus, policies such as the assault weapons ban will need to be in place longer than has been tried so far. A new normal, where our madness will gradually come into view, much as the denormalization of tobacco use has cut smoking rates by more than half in a couple of generations.
Until then, we will line up at blood banks. Again, that is a beautiful impulse, but it would be so much better if we did not have to.
Steve Heilig works with the San Francisco Medical Society and is co-editor of the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.
‘SLEEP EASY MY BROTHER’
by Dave Zirin
This article was written on Saturday June 11, the day after the funeral of Muhammad Ali. In the wake of the Orlando shootings, I almost asked my editors at The Nation to throw this piece away. But I really do believe that the most appropriate tribute to Muhammad Ali’s life and legacy I could offer would be to tell this story of people coming together in love and solidarity to say farewell to The Champ amidst this tragic and frightening political climate. Ali’s funeral was truly his last act of resistance.
As she said goodbye to her husband of thirty years in front of family, friends, 22,000 people at KFC Yum! Stadium, and the world, Yolanda Ali spoke the following truth: “The rich and powerful were drawn to Muhammad Ali, but he was drawn to the poor and forgotten.”
There was no greater evidence of this than his final send-off. While presidents, celebrities, and heads of state arrived in Louisville to pay their respects, the last event was explicitly for the masses. One hundred thousand people lined the streets. Balloons were released into the sky. Hand-picked bouquets of flowers were thrown upon his car as it made a 23 mile journey through the city. People like myself who were too young to have ever seen him fight were finally able to fulfill the dream of chanting his name at the top of our lungs. A school bus full of children passed his open, interfaith service as they joyously shouted the famous phrase from the Rumble in the Jungle, “Ali Bomaye.”
I spoke to many on this emotionally overwhelming day who made what they described as a “pilgrimage” to say their goodbyes. Seventy-two-year-old Bill Kimble traveled from Scotland, saying in a thick brogue, “There is no one else in America whom I would have come all this way to say my last goodbyes. I used to box — a local hero — and I hated war and when Ali said ‘no’ to war in Vietnam, I went to the gym and said, ‘You don’t have to stand with me, but you can stand with the Champ.’ He made me feel brave, like I had a lion’s heart.”
But the people who made the greatest impression upon me were from Louisville. Dedrick Hough, a young man in his twenties, was one of the people who staked some ground on Broadway to pay his respects. “I came out today for Ali,” he said to me. “The Greatest. He really inspired my life and my whole city. If you are from here, it’s known that it’s really hard to make it out. People got the whole slave mentality. Muhammad Ali set that ‘freedom example’ for a lot of people. Coming from Louisville, he gave me hope. He gave me dreams. He gave me ambition just to try to make it out and I’m still trying. Muhammad Ali I love you. Sleep easy, my brother.”
If there was one thing I have learned since Ali’s passing — and this was heard repeatedly throughout the day — it is that he had the capacity to make an unforgettable impression on just about everyone he met. He was not an abstract celebrity to many who were there out on the streets or at the interfaith service. He was real. Even if you interacted for merely a moment, he became a part of your life, an indelible memory. Will Smith, who played Ali in the 2001 film of the same name, told a story in Louisville about The Champ insisting on taking the bus and dragging Smith along. The young actor did not want to be mobbed by fans but Ali touched Smith’s hand and, in what by then was his quiet, halting speech, said, “You gotta let the people know that you’re real.”
He was “real” to Laura Jenson, who met Ali 25 years earlier when she was an office manager in New York City, Ali was supposed to arrive in the corporate suites to discuss a possible book deal and Laura was responsible for making sure that the Champ made it from reception to the conference room on the 50th floor. The only problem was that Ali was nowhere to be found. “He was late. We didn’t know where he was and everyone was getting a little miffed,” Laura said. “Then a call came up from the mailroom in the basement and they said, ‘You gotta come down here.’ Ali was holding court. Doing magic tricks. What happened was one of the mail room people had their kid in the basement. Ali was doing his magic with a big group all around him, a mischievous smile…We had VIPs come through all the time. We’d never seen anything like it.”
Later this week, I may write about the funeral service itself, which included a rousing, radical, and cathartic words from Rabbi Michael Lerner and a speech that will be studied by black history scholars by Malcolm X’s daughter Attalah Shabazz. But this column is just an opportunity to say goodbye. As his daughter Hana tweeted:
We just left the funeral home and are in the car now following our beautiful father en route to his final resting place, as his reoccurring dream is realized. When he was younger, he said, “I used to dream that I was running down Broadway in downtown Louisville, Kentucky and all of the people were gathered in the street waving at me and clapping and cheering my name. I waved back, then all of a sudden I just took off flying. I DREAMED THAT DREAM ALL THE TIME…”
The greatness of Ali is that he paid this dream forward. His courage allowed people to also imagine that they could fly. Billy Crystal, in a beautifully understated eulogy, simply asked the question: “Didn’t he make all of our lives a little bit better than they were?”
I can only answer that for myself: You better believe it. Sleep easy, champ.
(Dave Zirin is the author of Brazil’s Dance With the Devil You can email him at email@example.com)
ZINES AND FAN ART (FOR TEENS)
Wednesday, June 22nd 2-4 pm Have a favorite fandom? Come make art celebrating your fandom at the Library! On June 22nd from 2-4 pm, teens can make fan art & learn how to make their own zines (pronounced “zeens”). Zines are cut-and-paste, self-published magazines that are reproduced on copiers and can be distributed to friends and others in your online & (IRL) communities. Zines are a great way to send secret & coded messages to your friends * they’re like the Whisper of the 90s. For more information about the Ukiah Library Summer Reading Program, please contact: Melissa Eleftherion Carr at 707-467-4634 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Eleftherion Carr
CHIPMUNKS & SQUIRRELS
On 6/15/2016 11:34 AM, Alan Peters wrote: “We seem to be having an epidemic of chipmunks and squirrels around the place. The run all over the house, climbing up and down the walls and around the windows and eat the outdoor plants on the deck as well as driving the dog crazy. I’ve been looking at pest repellers on Amazon and there’s hundreds of them. Does anyone out there have any experience with non-lethal sonic or whatever varmint repellers? Thanks [mcn]listers.”
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Sonic repellers generally don't work. The only place I know of where they did work was the vacation home of some fabulously rich people my mother used to cook for, and they had industrial-strength noisemaking siren-klaxons in every room, that were painfully loud even from outside the house. You had to switch the system off before you went in or you'd be driven mad. It's worse than the dog's being driven crazy by the provocation of the pests. I have a wood rat problem on and off at my house since 1992, both with them getting in and being too smart to be immediately trapped -- resulting in a /Mouse Hunt/ situation (see the movie; it's a great movie for children and adults) -- and with them building a rat pantry in the engine compartment of my car and chewing on important wires. When the neighbors have a cat, as two of them do now, that problem nearly entirely solves itself. Maybe you can get a cat.