- Dandy Rescue
- Grant Gobblers
- Fossil-fuel Financiers
- Police Reports
- Whitesboro Grange
- Yesterday's Catch
- Kay Starr
- Broken News
- US Maelstrom
- Peace Demo
- Gardens Day
- Cowboy School
- Pie Donations
- Wood Shingles
- Standing Rock
- Voting Guides
- Vote Jill
- Greenhouse Biz
- Election Day
- Mendo Quakes
- Little Dog
- Dead Weiner
- Bypass Anthem
- Buzzard Signs
- Logical Conclusion
ON SEPTEMBER 3 of this year Dandelion Allegra Mendoza, a 1998 graduate of Rancheria Anderson Valley High School, now a Paramedic Supervisor with American Ambulance in Fresno, was paged to an "officers down" shooting at the Fresno County jail. Arriving on-scene at the same time as the first arriving ambulance, Mendoza and her crew, under police protection, rushed to treat and transport two downed officers while the still armed assailant was being corralled but not yet subdued in an adjoining hallway. Both officers survived after each being shot in the head — one has been discharged and one is still critical but "improving every day." Upon graduation Dandy, a single mother, went to work for the Anderson Valley Health Center while simultaneously becoming an EMT and volunteering with our local ambulance service. Then, while still working at the clinic, went on to evening school in Ukiah to become a paramedic. Just recently, Dandy, now the mother of a second daughter, was issued a commendation for her "courageous" role in that horrendous incident mentioned above. Anderson Valley salutes Dandelion Allegra Mendoza!
THAT GRANT of $105k to Fort Bragg’s burgeoning Hospitality Center on last Tuesday’s Supe’s consent calendar means it wasn’t even brought up for discussion. The $105k provides undefined homeless “services.” Grants, of course, are gifts of public money and, as in this case, typically require evaluations as to the effectiveness of the grant so vague no accountability whatsoever is involved.
MENDOCINO COUNTY’S grant-gobbling community feasts on the social misery worsened by people like themselves at all levels of government. Our local doers-of-good can’t even bring themselves to candidly discuss homelessness in realistic terms, let alone do anything about it beyond pretending to be addressing it. So, what we have is a floating, transient population of drug and alcohol dependent people, supplemented by the mentally disordered, who are permanently unsheltered because, in most cases, their behavior makes them un-shelterable. This ever-larger population of the walking wounded is sustained in states of permanent, unhoused disability by a well-paid apparatus of Hillary voters, er, “helping professionals.”
ODD, wasn’t it, that homelessness wasn’t even mentioned by either presidential candidate although it afflicts every area of the country? (Nothing else was addressed, either, although Wolf Blitzer, seated in CNN’s Situation Room, seemed awfully excited. He swiveled from crisis to crisis, as blonde babes in tight clothing occasionally slipped him memos about the latest week-old news.) With Hillary at the helm of the US Sinking Ship, the non-profit apparatchiks will get another four years on the dole as homelessness gets worse by the day. With Trump? Who knows? But people who spend their lives being ferried from one posh locale to the next in long black limos are unlikely to be much concerned, not even rhetorically. Homelessness, and all it entails, needs a federal solution, and I’d say that federal solution would have to be pegged to the national restoration of a state hospital system. But, hey, with a president who sells arms to Arab dictatorships in return for donations to her husband’s phony foundation, we’re not talking about anything much in the way of change, are we?
I SHOULD probably insert here our periodic mantra: Persons unable or unwilling to care for themselves should not, cannot, be permitted to live on the streets or, in this area, in the bushes or under overpasses or along the Russian River or along the Skunk Train tracks. A lightly populated county like ours should dismantle all its non-profits that allegedly help the homeless but, objectively, increase their misery, and re-direct the money to an in-County facility, a benignly administered farm in the case of the dope and booze cripples, the Sheriff’s mental health center in the case of crazy people. San Francisco and Oakland could do the same thing but won’t, because every time any suggestion about what to do with the homeless involves even so much as hints at compulsion, the libs come running with a lot of hysteria about their “rights,” while the people running the homeless programs, and there’s at least a couple hundred of these programs in San Francisco and hundreds of paid staffers, scream that the homeless are being persecuted. As if.
AS IF HILLARY will immediately launch a genuinely low cost housing program. As if the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors would even dare ask if the City of Fort Bragg, and its Sister City at Hospitality House, has a long-term homeless strategy, or ask if all the grant money being thrown at Hospitality House is getting people housed and more or less functional again, or if Fort Bragg and Hospitality House will regularly report back on their homeless “success rate” and how they define success.
SPEAKING OF THE HOMELESS, there was a long Supe’s discussion about allowing second units of housing on developed parcels. (This subject has been tossed around for at least three decades.) Much of the second unit gabfest had to do with the difficulties of building second units in the coastal zone — which added exactly zero to the discussion that we didn’t already know. We know that it’s an ok idea in cases where it’s an ok idea. We also know that second unit housing is not aimed at housing the homeless. Much of the need for housing comes from employed people presently being gouged by, well, people likely to build second units. The Board didn’t say much other than to put it off for a few more months. No vote taken. No decisions made. No instructions given. No date set.
WELLS FARGO: BIG OIL'S BIGGEST BANKER
by Will Parrish
The courageous stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline, led by indigenous nations and especially the Dakota and Lakota people of the Standing Rock Sioux, has sprouted a divestment campaign targeting the pipeline's major creditors. A September report by Food and Water Watch noted that 38 banks have financed the companies building the pipeline, most notably Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), which owns a controlling three-quarters interest in the so-called Black Snake.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,170-mile underground monument to North America's fracking boom linking North Dakota's prodigious Bakken oil patch to East Coast and Gulf Coast transmission routes, and is backed by $10.25 billion in financing overall, the Food and Water Watch tally revealed.
Wells Fargo is the US' most controversy-laden bank of the moment, owing to the revelation that it reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in extra profits by opening roughly two million bogus customer accounts from 2011 to '15. The fact that it is the Dakota Access Pipeline's second largest financial backer, with $467 million invested to date, is therefore an attention-grabber in itself. But Wells Fargo also acts as Energy Transfer Partners' so-called "administrative loan agent," the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings show, giving it a qualitatively greater role in fueling the pipeline than any other bank.
Wells Fargo performs all record-keeping associated with all of ETP's loans, handles the interest and principal payments made in connection with those loans, and monitors their ongoing administration. In other words, all bank financing ETP receives passes through Wells Fargo.
This relationship did not emerge in a vacuum. In 2014, Wells Fargo assumed the mantle of Wall Street's top oil and gas banker, having more aggressively ramped up its investments than any other following the 2008 economic crash. One of Wells Fargo's executive vice presidents, Mike Johnson, bragged about the San Francisco-based banking giant's top role in fueling these planet-cooking sectors at a 2014 investors conference, and industry analyst Thompson Reuter has also made note of it.
Wells Fargo exerts leadership within the oil and gas sector in other ways. It organizes an annual conference for oil and gas pipeline investors, called the "Wells Fargo Pipeline, MLP, and Utility Symposium." This year's gathering — the 15th annual — takes place at New York City's Waldorf Astoria on December 6th-7th. The keynote speaker "will address the growing challenges of building new pipeline infrastructure including rights of way, eminent domain, environmental impact and governmental approvals," according to the brochure.
Wells Fargo's logo consists of a red and gold six-horse stagecoach rolling along the frontier. The annual West Coast Energy Conference takes place in San Francisco, connecting leading investors and professionals to the companies on the frontier of the oil, gas and coal sectors, as well as some who are involved in renewables, all with a disproportionate emphasis on shale oil investment.
Large financial institutions in general — including the 38 invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline — have actively cultivated the North American oil boom of recent years, yielding them hundreds of billions of dollars in new profits. In 2014, the U.S. passed Saudi Arabia as the planet's biggest oil producer, with the active support of the Obama administration and the US Congress. It surpassed Russia as the world's biggest producer of oil and gas combined. Two shale oil basins in particular have helped spur the production surge: the Eagle Ford in south Texas and the Bakken oil shale in North Dakota.
Investors have noted the importance of pipeline construction. A 2012 Citibank report called "Energy 2020: North America, the New Middle East" notes that "the economic consequences" of the oil and gas industry's "supply and demand revolution are potentially extraordinary," and touts that "infrastructure investments ease the transport bottlenecks in bringing supply to demand centers."
It also sounds a cautionary note: "The only thing that can stop this is politics—environmentalists getting the upper hand over supply in the U.S., for instance; or First Nations impeding pipeline expansion in Canada; or Mexican production continuing to trip over the Mexican Constitution, impeding foreign investment or technology transfers — in North America itself."
Barack Obama has also touted the importance of pipeline construction, giving special mention to North Dakota and Colorado. Here's the US president at a 2012 campaign stop in Cushing, OK: "Over the last three years, I've directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We're opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We've quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high."
He continued, "We've added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth, and then some. . . . In fact, the problem in places like North Dakota and Colorado is that we don’t have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go — both to refineries, and then, eventually, all across the country and around the world. There’s a bottleneck right here because we can’t get enough of the oil to our refineries fast enough. And if we could, then we would be able to increase our oil supplies at a time when they're needed as much as possible."
Wells Fargo serves as an administrative agent for numerous other pipeline companies, in addition to Energy Transfer Partners. These include the US' largest pipeline operator, Enterprise Product Partners of Houston, as well as the second largest, Plains All American Pipeline (responsible for last year's oil Refugio Oil Spill near Santa Barbara, CA). Wells Fargo was sole adviser to TransCanada Corp on its July 2016 acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group, a deal worth $13 billion including debt, bringing in Wells Fargo's biggest fees from a single deal since at least 2000, according Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting Services.
As with Canadian tar sands oil and Powder River Basin coal, the Bakken shale's Achilles' heel is that it is located in the middle of the continent, far away from shipping terminals, refineries, and power plants. That has led many North Dakota producers to transport crude oil by train, including to California refineries — a highly dangerous method given that Bakken oil tends to cause lethal explosions that poison and kill, such as the 2013 Lac-Mégantic, Quebec rail disaster that incinerated 47 people and sent another 1,000 to the hospital from exposure to toxic fumes.
Wells Fargo corporate communications director Jessica Ong told me in a statement for <a href=http://www.bohemian.com/northbay/the-spigot/Content?oid=3007336&showFullText=true >a recent story</a> that the bank invested in the pipeline only after a review of its potential for social and environmental harm.
"The Dakota Access Pipeline project was evaluated by an independent engineer to be compliant with the 'equator principles,' a framework adopted by Wells Fargo in 2005 that is designed to determine, assess and manage social and environmental risks and impacts of projects," Ong says, adding, "While we respect the differing opinions involved in this dispute, Wells Fargo does not take positions on public policy issues that do not directly affect our ability to serve our customers or support our team members."
The Dakota Access Pipeline amounts to an assault on the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux, however. The pipeline is chewing through sacred sites on land previously set aside by the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty and would dig through the three-mile-wide Missouri River, potentially poisoning the water for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people. Meanwhile, state police and pipeline security guards have attacked the indigenous people who are attempting to uphold their rights with dogs, mace, tear gas and rubber bullets, while deploying tanks, military-grade choppers, sound cannons, and other implements of the military-industrial complex.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is also a collective assault, which helps explain why millions of people are supporting the Standing Rock water protectors. The project signals to investors the US' intention, for example, to maintain high oil production—and, by extension, high greenhouse gas emission levels. The extraction of oil, natural gas and coal — fueled by the world's wealthiest people — have driven the planet to catastrophe. In recent years, the earth has burned through existing temperature records. Climate change is joining war and poverty as a main cause of mass human displacement.
Big Oil's private security thugs and the North Dakota police who have carried out their militaristic raids on the Standing Rock water protectors have played the most literal role in waging that attack.
Construction of the final stretch of the pipeline hinges on decisions by public regulatory agency representatives and policymakers, such as Barack Obama, who could use his authority to revoke the project's federal permits but has refused to do so. The Army Corps of Engineers is the lead permitting agency for the project.
Of course, the marriage of Big Oil and the big banksters has existed virtually for as long as oil has been an industry. One indication of this long-standing political and economic association is the composition of the National Petroleum Council, the industry-dominated policy advisory committee created by President Harry Truman in 1947. Representative of the US' largest banks have almost always been major members.
Food & Water Watch's Hugh MacMillan, chief author of the group's report "Who Funds the Dakota Access Pipeline?", says the importance of exposing banks' financing of the oil industry — including the pipeline — is that "it lets people know what's happening behind the scenes."
"The banks are providing the money to make it all happen," he says. "When you see the kinds of financial institutions backing the pipeline, it shows the power of the forces the tribes in North Dakota are going up against."
(Will Parrish is an investigative journalist based in Ukiah. His web site is www.willparrishreports.com.)
NOTE TO WILLITS YOUTH — DON'T GET IN JUSTIN'S CAR
On November 2, 2016 at approximately 2:58 PM a Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputy conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle for failing to properly stop at a posted stop sign near the intersection of West Commercial Street and Main Street In Willits. As the Deputy approached the vehicle on foot the driver, later identified as Justin Phillips, 19, of Willits, sped away. The Deputy returned to his patrol vehicle and began pursuing Phillips. Phillips fled North onto Main Street and continued North onto Highway 101, reaching speeds over 100 MPH. Phillips ultimately lost control of his vehicle in the 29000 block of North Highway 101, crashing the vehicle into a tree. Phillips was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the crash and one of his two passengers was later transported via air ambulance to another hospital for medical treatment. Phillips was released from a local hospital on November 5, 2016 and arrested for Felony Evading A Peace Officer Causing Injury or Death. Phillips was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was held on $100,000 bail.
* * *
FEMALE ACCESSORIES, WILLITS STYLE
On November 5, 2016 at approximately 2:45 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Meadowbook Drive and Sherwood Hills Drive in Willits. Deputies contacted Amanda Jewell, 25, of Willits, who was the passenger in the vehicle. Deputies discovered Jewell had two active misdemeanor warrants for her arrest, which were out of Mendocino County. Jewell was arrested on the warrants and found to be in possession of brass knuckles. Jewell was subsequently arrested for Possession of Brass Knuckles and Violation of Probation. Jewell was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was held on $40,000 bail.
A DAY IN HEAVEN
by B.B. Grace
The Whitesboro Grange hall was packed. Not an extra chair existed as folks outside watched children play in the open places where cars and trucks weren't parked around the lot, along the dirt road, or down Navarro Ridge Road where Navarro Ridge exercised it's glory from the time the sun rose that day over the redwoods until the sun melted into the Pacific Ocean consuming the western horizon. The calender claimed to be Saturday 5th of November but it could have been any day in what one imagines as Paradise on Earth. “God's Country” comes to mind when turning east off HWY 1 to drive up the serpentine paved road under massive redwoods and moss draped cypress skirted in calla lilies and mushrooms among millions of wildflowers attracting birds of song, butterflies and bees that give the ridge a special buzz upon it's majestic fields that unfold under old oaks and sky scraping firs rendering clouds into misty mirages reflecting colorful hues that paint the mind with the illusion of pure Mendocino Coast, as if there never was a town named Whitesboro. Her parents were among the proud founders of the Grange hall and never dreamed Whitesboro would see so many cars and trucks.
The folks who built Whitesboro School House and what became the Whitesboro Grange hall have sustained a way of life once common when the area was hailed as “The Redwood Empire”. Generations sought ways to sustain what is good in life, like love, honesty, respect, kindness, democracy, family, community, agriculture and faith in what one believes is good, not that life is always easy; It's just that love makes things easier. Love is what one brings to the Grange and an appetite, as the Grange is famous for its 4th Sunday breakfasts, Bob Canclini's Chicken Polenta, Spaghetti Bolognese, and the pot lucks which should be called pot-of-gold-lucks when Grangers and friends bring their homegrown and homemade salads and desserts. There's no better eating anywhere in Mendocino.
The Grange Woman's Association (GWA) is the only woman's movement that actually made a difference in the lives of women. “Granger women”, as Susan B. Anthony liked to call them, had been voting since 1910 in CA. They are strong in mind and body, good willed, genuine, productive, intelligent and creative rural women who learned how to do without and make lemonade out of lemons. Someday, the GWA needlework work may be in folk museums as their embroidery, crocheted vests and booties, handmade quilts, aprons, purses, wallets, book covers, toys and Snicker-doodles have lined the GWA table for decades. Friends and neighbors collect and share the handmade items so that seeing them in each other homes are living reminders of the constant love and energy being invested in the community. The GWA table was filled on this day with things she made and loved. Today, everything on the table was free to those who wanted something to remember that she loved them. She even had three home made hot berry pies on the buffet table to share with all the people there who love her.
Indeed, it was a big turnout at the Whitesboro Grange where the food smelled good and the hall glowed warmly with homemade aprons hanging alongside homemade curtains fabricated by her hands. Little red cardinals representing Mendocino High School alumni looked over past masters recalling the splendor of the Grange in all it's regalia of sashes and drills. “Oh what these people are missing”, they thought. The appropriate words that had been earned over a lifetime of devoted membership spanning generations were certainly in order with all due respect to the beloved who understood how important protocol is when draping the charter; But there was no room in the hall today for that, which she would have loved.
There were funny stories and tears, a slide show that delighted and awed with photos of the good old days smiling among the community freely declaring their love for her and each other. Many were dressed in perfectly tailored handmade vests, shirts and aprons of their beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, great aunt, best friend, life long friend, good friend, revered community living legend and former Grange Master, Treasurer, Secretary, Lecture, Chaplin, Overseer, and sister by, of, and for the Whitesboro Grange hall #766.
The people who came were happy to be together sharing respect, appreciation and love for a strong, wonderful woman who continues to make each person's life more precious through love. The sky glazed ombre in dark blues with silver streaked clouds lined in hot pink and gold as the memorial for Verna Hayter wrapped up that evening. The planets and stars blinked into life unfurling a black velvet dome filled with twinkling and shimmering orbs. Headlights lit up the giant redwoods and moss covered cypress as the procession slowly left the hall making it's way back down Navarro Ridge Road to the Pacific Ocean. Thank you Verna Hayter and family; Thank you Whitesboro Grangers; Thank you Navarro Ridge for showing what love is.
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 7, 2016
VICTOR CARDENAS-BACERRA, Ukiah. DUI.
ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
JOEL COWAN, Ukiah. DUI.
ESPERANZA JACK-MITCHELL, Lakeport/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ANTHONY LOPES, Willits. Drunk in public.
DERRIAN MITCHELL, Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.
LINDSAY MURPHY, Fort Bragg. Conspiracy.
JUAN QUINTERO-BOLANOS, Philo. DUI.
JAIME RIVERA, Stockton/Willits. Assault with a firearm, ex-felon with firearm.
JARA SOTO, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, pot sale, suspended license.
WILLIAM WHITE JR., Willits. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
LYDELL WILLIAMS, Covelo. Theft from motor vehicle.
by Robert Mailer Anderson
As unhip as it may sound — until you really listen to her voice and get past some of the cornier material and arrangements — I confess I was a huge Kay Starr fan. For a long stretch, I listened to her almost as much as Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. She was my favorite B-movie. Much the same way “Breaking Away” remains one of my favorite films, along with more obvious choices like “The Seventh Samurai” and “Citizen Kane.”
My father somehow became slightly obsessed with her (and Betty Carter, along with Nina Peebles “The Handwriting is on the Wall” album, a side note to his collection of country music vinyl purchased at the Value Giant on State Street in Ukiah), and began to bring some re-released albums into our house, along with rarer (but still cheap!) vintage records from the stores on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley (Leopold’s, Rasputin, Universal, Tower Records, etc.). I began to scour the “easy listening” section (and another confession, I love me some Keely Smith too…) for the often misfiled swingin’ jazz, torch singing, lilting, boppy, country crossover woman with the husky voice that could make you cry and then put some glide in your stride because her voice fuckin’ swung! She would often switch those gears mid-song. I’d haunt the aisles looking for rarities at The Record King and Record Factory in San Rafael — eaten up by The Wherehouse — Village Music in Mill Valley, Rainbow Records in Santa Rosa, Penguin records in the Castro, and a home away from home, Tower Records on Columbus in San Francisco. I found a couple of my favorite records on tape for 99¢. Although she had a successful career, she was clearly under-appreciated.
Starting my senior year in high school in Boonville in 1986, I’d put her on the boom box in my green, police-auction, AMC Hornet (I had crashed my ’56 Ford Fairlane with the Alpine stereo a year earlier, totaling the car and then selling the stereo to cover gambling debts…) as I sped around the curvy backwoods roads looking for the kegger or going over the hill to Ukiah (forget The Sound Company, by then the best selection of cassettes was actually at K-Mart!), rushing out to Redwood Valley or through the actual redwoods to the beach in Mendocino, forays to see my family in San Rafael and Berkeley, play hooky in San Francisco (I missed 81 partial or full days of school my senior year alone) and even on the bus headed to knock heads for football games… Who listens to Kay Starr to psyche themselves up for football? Ferdinand the bull?
Kay Starr was in the rotation as much as Elvis Costello’s “King of America” and Miles Davis’s “TuTu,” the “Something Wild” soundtrack, the Beastie Boys, some mixed blues tapes, and yep, Robert Cray’s “Strong Persuader,” and earlier holdovers like The Specials, The Clash, The Blasters, Los Lobos, Patsy Kline, Jimmy Cliff and Tom Waits. Clearly there was other music too, specific to late ’86 (from David and David to Fela to Mantronix and the Housemartins – who may be an inroad to the influence of Kay Starr, as in some ways the bouncy pop of “Get Up Off of Your Knees” or “Sheep” musically could have been in her repertoire? Their parents probably listen to her all the time...) And once, without any music playing at all in the car, my cousin Ben and I synchronistically broke the silence by singing out the same obscure Kay Starr tune at the same place in the song at the same time! Maybe that’s where the song would have been playing if the tape had been on, and we had heard it so many times on the way to Ukiah, that we were conditioned to come in for a chorus at that exact phrase at that exact hairpin curve? “Your castles may crumble that’s fate after all, life’s really funny that way…” I’d also hear Kay sing when my grandfather played the transistor radio in the morning when he made me breakfast before going to school, mostly “Wheel of Fortune” and “Fit As A Fiddle,” before I moved north to my father’s grouphome in Redwood Valley where it was difficult to pull a decent radio signal for the Giants or Warrior games and you had to listen to KUKI, if you wanted any sounds that weren’t half static. She’d show up in movie soundtracks too, “The Right Stuff,” “Last Exit to Brooklyn,” ”Let ’em Have It”…
As a board member of SFJAZZ, I wanted to honor her at our SFJAZZ Center...
Anyway, her passing is a sad one for me. Although her music brought me a lot of comfort and joy, during some long stretches of road and days where I was seriously feeling alone and lacking in romance or anyone who could corroborate how this is such a sad and beautiful world.
If you get a chance, just listen to her version of “Stormy Weather.”
Or please please please check out something I love in that underappreciated category, “I Really Don’t Want to Know” off her “We Three” album, just a guitar and a doo wop group helping to show off Kay’s magnificent voice – think Mills Brothers meet Patsy Cline or a stripped down rendition of Dinah Washington doing “What a Difference a Day Makes,” (or have you heard Dinah do “Cold, Cold Heart?”) and tell me how a displaced person couldn’t help but listen to that strong sexy voice until his bottle of Wild Turkey ran dry — with a heavy heart,
PS. My buddy, Charlie Musselwhite said Kay went to the same high school in Mississippi as he did, though years earlier…
PPS. For full autobiographical disclosure, Prince’s "Sign of the Times” pushed pretty much everything off my ghetto blaster for the last half of my senior year… another hard loss this year for the soundtrack of my life. At least Kay was 94.
PPPS. I had a crush on Myrna Loy at one point too.
by Jeff Costello
They all have it - Breaking News. As if they weren't all getting it from the same pipe at the same time. In between advertisements for drugs with severe side effects including death, the news anchors proclaim "breaking news," probably to help you forget about the deadly drugs. Exclusive! Unless you flip to another channel. Ed Murrow would be rolling in his grave, if he were paying attention to all the bullshit, but surely he would know better.
Now that they're all blondes who failed their screen tests for the movies but at least got on TV, I thought, who was the first female to deliver network news - Barbara Walters? And then, Mrs. Alan Greenspan, aka Andrea Mitchell, with her hint of Walters-like speech impediment. From there it was all downhill in general, with either endless lookalike blonde women or the CNN "stars" like Wolf Blitzer, who I happened to see as a Jeopardy "celebrity" contestant. He did not get one correct answer. Not one. And millionaire many times over Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt's son. Obviously he needs the money.
Speaking of stars, didn't that used to mean people who got famous for some skill or talent, and people enjoyed what they did? Trump, referring to himself as a star. The fame is the point, abilities unnecessary. Real housewives. More than enough such stuff to mention. TV did this. Newton Minow's vast wasteland indeed.
Fran Liebowitz on youtube explaining money: "There are two kinds of people. Those who think there is such a thing as enough money, and people with money." As evidence of my non-male-chauvinism I'd like to see her delivering news on cable TV. No chance of that, of course.
Breaking news. It is broken. When did it break, anyway? Maybe OJ Simpson broke it. Or Nixon. I've been away from television news, but this Trump thing has everyone in a tizzy and it's pretty frightening in a way but unavoidable. Need we quote Mencken here? The world gone nuts and stupid.
THE FAT LADY HAS A SORE THROAT
by James Kunstler
A mighty nausea wells up across the land as the awful day cometh. Who will receive the black spot of fate on Tuesday? I wouldn’t want to be him or her on that dreadful day. The flagship of Modernity has lost its vaunted mojo and nobody knows what to do about it as the USS-USA pitches and yaws into the maelstrom.
Much opinion “out there” contends that we will have to suffer an election overtime, with the results contested on every hill and molehill from sea to shining sea. That scenario suggests various outcomes, all of them pretty bad: 1) the election is once again relegated to a Supreme Court case, only this time it ends up a 4-4 tie. Constitutional crisis time. 2) Perhaps as a function of No. 1, it ends up in the US House of Representatives. The catch is: members aren’t limited to Trump or HRC. They can vote for whoever they like. 3) A lot of web chatter has President Obama invoking some sort of emergency with the election postponed until some conclave of political viziers can figure a way out of it. Unlikely, but possible.
FBI Director James Comey’s eleventh hour reprieve of Hillary in the email server case sent an odor of rotting carp wafting across the political landscape. Like, his peeps actually vetted 650,000 emails in a week? I’m sure. Of course, the FBI does not issue indictments; that’s AG Loretta Lynch’s job over at the Department of Justice. The FBI only makes criminal referrals to such. But this puts too fine a point on the matter because the much more serious issue is the Clinton Foundation case, and the arrant sale of influence while HRC ran the State Department.
That currently overshadowed case is not closed. It sends up the odor not of a single rotting carp but of an entire whale pod dead on the beach. Half the emirs in Arabia dropped millions on the foundation to facilitate arms deals or to influence policy at State, and that was only part of what looks exactly like a classic racketeering operation. The Clinton Foundation story is not going away anytime soon and it will suck all the air out of the public arena for as far ahead as anyone can see when Hillary is in the oval office.
All of that obscures the gathering calamity in banking and finance that drives the waiting, whirling maelstrom. Thanks to eight years of central bank experiments, the engines of capital are hopelessly gunked up with political additives like QE and ZIRP™. Nothing is priced correctly, especially money. It’s all kept running on an ether of accounting fraud. We can’t come to grips with the resource realities behind the fraud, especially the end of cheap oil. And the bottom line is the already-manifest slowdown of global business. The poobahs of banking pretend to be confounded by all this because everything — their reputations, their jobs, their fortunes — depends on the Potemkin narrative that ever-greater economic expansion lies just around the corner.
Not so. What waits around the corner is a global scramble for the table scraps of the late techno-industrial banquet. Scrambles like that are liable to foment kinetic conflict. Neither Hillary or Trump appear to have a clue what this means and so they are likely to misinterpret the true signals amid all the noise and start an unnecessary war. Hillary is already hard at it with her cawing over supposed “Russian hackers” in the election.
The tragedy of Trump is that he represented a roster of legitimate grievances but argued them so poorly and then betrayed them with behavior so oafish and crude that he often looked not sane enough to hold high office. His partisans brushed that aside, saying it was good enough that he personified a giant “fuck you” to the political establishment. No, that wasn’t good enough because in the process he de-legitimized the issues.
For instance. There are excellent arguments for a “time-out” from immigration. Congress acted on that in 1925, after a half-century flood of immigration needed to man the factories of the early 20th century. The consensus on that policy change was arrived at with minimal rancor — and just in time, by the way, for the Great Depression, when manufacturing employment crashed. We’re also in for a collapse of activity, only this time it won’t be the few remaining factory workers. It’ll be everyone from the McDonalds counter jockeys to the bond packagers of Goldman Sachs.
The establishment will get its “fuck you” anyway. I do go along with the argument advanced by others that it would probably be better for Hillary to win, because that way the right people (the gang already in power) will be blamed for the descent into the maelstrom and will be expeditiously swept away.
Just about anything may rise up across America after that — the true corn-pone Nazi who succeeds Trump in the meshuggeneh branch of conservative politics… a second civil war… or a World Made By Hand. I detect a general awareness that the country must pass through some epic ordeal to straighten itself out. Well, here it is, just in time for the holidays.
Me? I’m going to write-in my vote for Homey D. Clown, because he don’t mess around.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
VETERANS DAY PEACE DEMONSTRATION
In Gualala On Friday, November 11th:
South Coast People For Peace And Justice Invite everyone to join us on this Friday, November 11th at noon in front of the old Gualala Post Office in Gualala. We will gather to honor and remember all Veterans by working to end all wars and bring all service people home. Please join us on Friday, Nov. 11, to commit ourselves to Peace. Let's honor our Vets and dedicate ourselves to universal Peace! Please bring banners, flags, signs, and your friends and neighbors. Information: 884-4703 or 271-9170.
VETERANS APPRECIATION AT THE GARDENS
Friday, November 11 from at 9 AM - 4 PM (winter hours, now through Feb) To express our appreciation for our servicemen and women, all military personnel (active or retired; ID required) will receive free admission to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
on Friday, November 11. Regular Gardens admission applies for all other guests.
My latest article titled 'Cowboy School' is now available to the public here:
You can also hear a reading by Marco MacClean here:
Marco reads it better than I wrote it!
Scott M. Peterson
GET A PIE IN THE OVEN
Donate pie, feel good
The First Presbyterian Church of Fort Bragg will again be serving Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of North Coasters who either come to the church on Thanksgiving Day or request a home-delivered meal. While the main meal is prepared at the church, desserts are not. Every year, as many as 500 slices(!) of pie are needed from the community to make sure everyone gets to end their meal with a traditional Thanksgiving dessert.
Can you donate a pie — homemade, bakery-bought or frozen (thawed for slicing by noon Thanksgiving Day)? If so, you can drop it off at the church (367 S. Sanderson Way) anytime the day before, or on, Thanksgiving. If you would like to donate but can’t make it to Fort Bragg, I’d be happy to pick it up from you Thanksgiving morning between 8:00 and noon, anywhere from Albion to Caspar. Just email me and I’ll be sure to, as the song says, get it to the church on time.
All are welcome to the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. To request a home delivered meal, call the church office at 964-2316.
(Please pass this message along to anyone you think might like to donate or receive a meal but isn’t on the listserv.)
Thanks in advance, and happy Thanksgiving!
Monica Steinisch, 415-867-0562
THESE GUYS ARE THE GOODS!
Anyone interested in wood shingles for kindling in the area of Fort Bragg please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your address as well as a phone number where you can be reached. Priority will be given to those willing to take a full dump truck load and proximity to the work site. Please have a truck accessible area marked out for us to drop it off. We will contact you if we are able to deliver to you. Please note we are unable to have people pick up shingles from the work site due to both privacy and safety concerns.
Dakota Murray, General Manager, Redwood Roofers
IRV SUTLEY WRITES: Great article by Dennis Banks which on Standing Rock, mentions that Dennis Banks is the Peace and Freedom Party's Vice Presidential candidate in tomorrow's election.
LAST MINUTE VOTING GUIDES
The Anderson Valley Advertiser voter's guide.
Here's the direct link to it:
You can print it and bring it with you when you vote tomorrow. You'll notice how similar it is to the League of Women Voters' guide:
Or, also, here's a Bernie-centric California voter guide (Mendocino County is in California Congressional District 2):
I looked up /California biblical voting guide/ and found a website with links to all sorts of Christian resources, but clicking on any of the links resulted in a dialogue box informing me, "Thou shalt not steal." That's not advice or a guide; that's an order. Advice, guide /or/ order, it's a bit cryptic used in that way. Clicking on a link is stealing? The San Diego Union Tribune reports that a tax-exempt Catholic church there sent out flyers to inform the public, "It is a mortal sin to vote Democrat. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell." The San Diego Catholic diocese, when called on this, responded, "That isn't the official position of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The person sending out the flyer was probably just trying to be helpful." *
As am I, always.
Oh, speaking of church, and not necessarily about voting, here are some people communicating directly with God in exuberant and creative language and dance. It looks like a lot of fun.
WHY I’M VOTING FOR JILL STEIN
by Viggo Mortensen
I’ve been scolded by friends and strangers, sometimes mildly and sometimes with disdain, for supporting Jill Stein in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Some of the attacks I’ve received publicly and privately have been surprisingly angry and patronizing. I’ve been told that I’m a patsy for Donald Trump, that I’m naïve, misinformed, elitist, ignorant, and worse.
This has been an unusually carnivalesque election so far, from the primary season through to the “main event”, with a premium on vitriol and mendacity, dominated by a frequently disheartening lack of profundity and objectivity from the mainstream media.
This is the poorest two-candidate race for the presidency that I have ever witnessed the corporate media/political Establishment attempt to ram down the throats of the U.S. electorate.
So, why am I voting for Jill Stein?
I previously supported Bernie Sanders because he was, on many levels, a welcome voice speaking truth to power, drawing attention to rampant institutional economic inequality, racism, corruption in the electoral system, and the urgent need to address climate change. Like a lot of people, I was disappointed when Sanders lost the Democratic Primary race to Hillary Clinton.
I hoped at that point that he might join forces with Jill Stein and the Green Party, but he declined that unique opportunity.
Bernie never spoke to the all-important issues of U.S. economic and military imperialism the way that Jill Stein has consistently done, but he was a credible voice for change in many other areas. He made his choice to get on the Hillary Clinton Democratic Party bandwagon because he appeared to feel that it would be the best way to prevent a Trump presidency.
I understand and respect his stance, shared by many other well-intentioned and thoughtful people, but I believe it is short-sighted. It is not enough to simply say “I tried, I voted for Bernie in the Democratic Primary, but now I have to get in line behind Hillary.”
The powerful few who control national politics and the mainstream media by virtue of their overwhelming economic advantages are counting on supporters of Bernie Sanders and other political alternatives to now support the two Establishment candidates.
They are counting on no real change happening in the way this country is run and how average citizens are represented. At some point the system has to be overhauled, and the weeds have to be pulled out by the root. I do not want to reach the end of my life and have to accept that I did not vote my conscience as a citizen when it mattered most.
Democracy is not a fixed thing; it is an ongoing process that must be nurtured, pruned, and actively encouraged to grow or it will gradually cease to yield meaningful progress.
Times are changing and people all over this land – especially younger voters, who are the future of our republic’s continuing democratic experiment – are awake and paying attention. They did not go to sleep when Bernie Sanders largely gave up the fight for significant change in our political-economic system.
Like many that supported Bernie, I trust Hillary Clinton about as far as I can throw Donald Trump.
Jill Stein is the only candidate with a serious plan to halt climate change and switch to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
She’s the only candidate, now that Sanders is out of the race, with a plan to release students from impossible levels of debt.
She’s also the only candidate who is talking seriously about Black Lives Matter, institutional racism, and police brutality — and she has realistic and workable plans to address these social problems.
She is also taking a stand against unexamined military overspending and the irresponsible and often criminal misuse of those who volunteer to serve in our country’s armed forces.
She eloquently draws attention to the patriots who are forced to fight in illegal, immoral, unnecessary, and unwinnable wars. As she has unflinchingly pointed out, “This results in a multitude of deaths, injuries (both mental and physical) and presents a crisis of conscience situation for many in combat.
Following discharge, veterans are much more likely to commit suicide, become homeless, become dependent on drugs or alcohol, and have significantly higher rates of divorce, spousal and child abuse.”
Jill Stein knows that these are problems that have not been honestly addressed, and that it is extremely unfair that those willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for their country are not properly supported or taken care of. Unlike Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, she will never deploy troops into unnecessary or illegal combat.
She cares deeply about our country being truly exemplary – in action and not just in high-sounding words uttered by our political leaders – as a member of the family of nations. For these and other positions that Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka hold, I strongly recommend that voters take the time to have a look at the website jill2016.com and follow Jill Stein and the Green Party on social media.
You may agree or disagree with Jill on some points, but I sincerely believe that you are doing your conscience a disservice if you ignore her well-considered and constructive proposals.
If you feel, as I do, that the issues that only Jill Stein has the courage and decency to fully address need urgently to be part of the national political discourse during this election and beyond, please donate now to Jill’s campaign for President.
Jill’s campaign has been hit hard by the Clinton campaign’s fear-mongering, which has seriously driven down donations. You can help push back against these unprincipled attacks by making your defiant contribution today.
So, why am I voting for Jill Stein?
Because I have done my best to inform myself about the many important issues that face our country, because I am following my conscience as an engaged citizen and a passionate supporter of the democratic process.
Because now is the time, not later, because I will not be intimidated by those who operate out of fear of significant change, because I will not be dissuaded by those who are understandably nervous about thinking long-term, about standing firm in the eternal battle for socio-economic justice and true political freedom in this country.
Because I am proud to be part of an ongoing, centuries-old democratic experiment that ought to always stand for fairness, compassion, and strength based on common sense and human decency at home and abroad.
Because there is always hope.
Because all we need to do to help it thrive is to embrace it and cultivate it to the best of our abilities in a conscious effort to eliminate the real obstacles to liberty and justice for all.
POT GROWERS ARE PAYING MILLIONS FOR OLD GREENHOUSES IN THE SALINAS VALLEY
"The Marijuana Business Tax, known as Measure Y, is backed by county chapters of both major political parties and the Monterey County deputy sheriff’s association. It has attracted more than $90,000 in support from major cannabis cultivators, according to public records — enough to fund a local TV commercial during the recent World Series. There has been little organized opposition."
RIDES TO POLLS
November 8 is Election Day. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night. Anyone with a mail in ballot can bring their ballot to any polling place or the Mendocino County Elections Office 501 Low Gap Rd. Office #1020 in Ukiah on or before Tuesday. If you mail it, it must be post-marked Nov. 8 or earlier. If you have sent in your ballot you can look to make sure it was received on the Mendocino County Elections Division website.
To find your polling place you can call (707) 880-8391. If you need a ride to a polling place you can also call (707) 880-8391. Thank you and Get Out and Vote!!
SMALL EARTHQUAKES ROCK NORTHERN SONOMA, MENDOCINO COUNTIES
by Randi Rossmann
Small earthquakes rumbled through the region recently, one off of the Sea Ranch coast and two in northern Mendocino County, according to the U.S. Geological Society.
Two Laytonville‑area quakes, with magnitudes 3.8 and 4.1, hit three days apart, at about the same time of day, in the same place – 8 miles west‑southwest of Laytonville.
“We felt both of the last two,” said Jim Adamski, a paramedic for Laytonville Fire Department. But he was talking about folks further south in Fort Bragg, where he lives.
A Laytonville firefighter on duty during Thursday’s 5:57 a.m. 3.8-magnitude quake, told Adamski “it shook the building like crazy and woke him up.”
But another firefighter on duty for Sunday’s 4.1-magnitude quake told Adamski “he never felt it, slept right through it.”
The USGS tracks earthquakes worldwide and a report on Sunday’s seismic activity included that 86 people responded to the “Did you feel it?” question on the geological website. Most reported it as “weak” and “light.”
No serious damage was reported to Laytonville firefighters from either temblor. But “there was a little tiny bit of damage out in (nearby) Branscomb. There was a report of an heirloom ceramic plate that fell off a mantle and broke,” Adamski said.
Two shaky sessions in a short period of time in the area might seem a likely topic of conversation amongst residents.
Not so, Adamski said. “This is small potatoes” compared to talk of the election.
Also on Sunday, at 11:42 p.m. , a quake with a magnitude 3.2 occurred off the coast, 8 miles southwest of Sea Ranch and 39 miles west of Healdsburg. The report on this quake indicated 33 people responded to the USGS query and most reported it as “weak” or “very light.”
At the Sea Ranch Cal Fire station, one firefighter indicated he hadn’t felt it and no one had called to report any damage.
(The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
LITTLE DOG SAYS, "My friend Dalmo here is voting Hillary. He's a middle-of-the-road extremist so, natch, he'd go for more of the same. The Pits next door are, of course, for Trump. Me? I'm for Jill Stein. I've heard some of the feral cats in the neighborhood are for Johnson, the libertarian, but you know how cats are. They're like Hillary people. They'll vote for whoever feeds them."
‘A MUSHROOM CLOUD WAITING TO HAPPEN’:
Jill Stein blasted “warmonger” Hillary Clinton saying a vote for Clinton could lead to nuclear war with Russia
by Snejana Farberov
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein had some harsh words for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the eve of the election, labeling the Democratic candidate a “warmonger” and her Republican rival a “fascist.”
Dr. Stein, who is currently polling at just under 2% going into Tuesday, warned in a Facebook Live conversation with journalist Marc Lamont Hill on Sunday that if Clinton is elected president on Tuesday, Americans should be prepared to go to war with Russia.
“Yes, Donald Trump is a total wildcard, but Hillary has the proven record of the most pro-conflict military policy possible,” Stein argued.
The third-party presidential hopeful noted that Clinton was calling for a no-fly zone over Syria, which, she argued, was tantamount to a declaration of war against Russia, the right-wing news site Breibart.com reported.
“Declaring war on Russia at a time when we have 2,000 nuclear weapons between us and the Russians on hair-trigger alert,” she said. “This is a mushroom cloud waiting to happen.”
“This election, we are not only deciding what kind of world we will have, but whether we will have a world or not going forward.”
Stein described the acrimonious political contest between the two major party candidates as “the race to the bottom between the greater and lesser evil.”
She added, “there is no exit strategy if you buy into the lesser evil.”
The 66-year-old Harvard-educated physician has been vocal in her criticism of Clinton's candidacy throughout the race, repeatedly highlighting allegations of corruption that have been leveled at the Democrat, and bringing up in tweet after tweet the former first lady’s suspected ties to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Stein also has been intensely critical of Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.
“We have every reason to be terrified of Donald Trump in the White House,” Stein said in an interview with Reason.com last week. “But I don't think we should fool ourselves into thinking that we should sleep well at night with Hillary Clinton in the White House either. They're both dangerous and unacceptable in different ways.”
In that interview, Stein took aim at America’s two-party system, in which voters are being forced to choose between two candidates they do not like, and argued that supporters of the Green Party and libertarians should work together to create a viable third party.
“It's outrageous that people should be struggling right now with this questions of, ‘Do I prefer a fascist or a warmonger?’” said Stein.
Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson together are drawing nearly 7% in opinion polls, far more than normal for those parties.
Clinton will go into Election Day with a razor-thin lead of 2.2 points over Trump, according to the RealClearPolitics.
‘HIGHWAY TO HELL’
by Bon Scott, Malcolm Young & Angus Young (AC/DC)
Season ticket on a one way ride
Leave me be
Takin' everythin' in my stride
Don't need reason
Don't need rhyme
Ain't nothin' that I'd rather do
My friends are gonna be there too
I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
No stop signs
No Speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel
Gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me around
Payin' my dues
Playin' in a rockin' band
Look at me
I'm on the way to the promised land
I'm on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
Don't stop me
I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
(highway to hell) I'm on the highway to hell
(highway to hell) highway to hell
(highway to hell) highway to hell
(highway to hell)
And I'm goin' down
All the way
I'm on the highway to hell
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I’m curious, (of course) will the California Condor Migrate? The Turkey vulture does. In the fall of the year there are great “towers” of turkey vultures lifting in the thermals. When they all get high enough (Can I say that in Humboldt without being misunderstood?) they head south.
The towers of vultures are both exhilarating and depressing. It is exhilarating in that we are seeing Mother Nature at work. These vultures have been following their same migratory habits for hundreds of thousands of years, mostly unchanged except for the paths that they take. I often watch them climb higher and higher, then one by one, or sometimes in great flocks, they head south leaving me depressed to say goodbye and wish them to come back early.
The Buzzards, as we used to call them affectionately before we were corrected, seem to know what the weather will be, and seem to be a great indicator of an early fall, or when they come back early, it is a sure sign of an early spring. My grand-folks used to trust greatly in the migrations of the buzzards to know when to plant and when to gather their crops. It’s more than just superstition. The buzzards know what the weather will be as surely as they know where the air rises and how to navigate the winds.
Those that notice these things will remember that the buzzards left early this year…
It would be great to see great towers of Condors. However, the path that they will have to take to migrate south will be more treacherous than ever. I know next to nothing about a Condor, maybe they will just reside in the redwoods. That would also be great. I guess that it is worth a try. If nothing else it will teach our children how much we have lost from over-population, and disregard for Mother Nature.
As a side question to the folks that live around the Humboldt Bay. Are the geese early or late this year???
SAKO GETS IT PART RIGHT
In John Sakowicz’s AVA Nov 4 letter about our recent MCERA board meeting he made it clear he understands part of the problem, but he failed to follow his statements to a logical conclusion.
In my 30 plus years in advising families and retirement plans on financial and investment matters, I have never seen such resistance to follow self-evident financial facts as I have with the MCERA board.
John has come a long way in his most recent letter. He now recognizes that:
The plan is continuing to lose assets.
The county and workers must increase contributions.
The plan can bankrupt the county.
The county does not have unlimited money for ever-increasing benefits.
Where he fails to follow logic is when he advocates for a slow decrease in the target rate of return, and corresponding increase in county and employee contributions, saying it must be incremental or it will bankrupt the county.
Since the real rates of return are what they are, any failure to adjust them sooner means that the county will have to pick up the county’s deficiency AND the employees deficiency, that is both sides, PLUS 7.25% interest. If paying just the county’s side would “bankrupt the county”, how would picking up the employees’ side too and also paying the interest protect the county from bankruptcy? His conclusion defies logic.
By what our investment counselor tells us, or any other financial advisor excluding public pension actuaries (and note they have always low-balled), our target rate of return is 1% to 1.5% too high. High target rates mean low contributions for employees and low INITIAL contributions for the county. Our investment counselor says we have a good chance of hitting only half the rate the county is guaranteeing. In other words, the pension board picks a full risk on high rate of return and the county MUST guarantee this rate as risk free for employee contributions.
In the six years I have been on the pension board our unfunded liability has doubled; this is with an almost unbelievable market recovery. This too high rate of return is just ONE of the areas where the plan is bleeding.
Our county has been around for 166 years. Looking at the last published county financial statements, FYE June 2015, you will see we have about $201 Million in assets to show for it. Unfortunately you will also notice we have about $212 in pension related debt too. Yes, that is right, the pension debt is greater than our combined 166 years of county assets on our financial statements. The sad part is, due to the delay in reporting the pension debt, we know we have another $64 Million in pension debt that will hit the county statements in the next two years.
Also remember that not a single penny of current employee or employer contributions ever hits this deeply underfunded plan; it is set-up to sell about a third of our expected earnings, if we have any, just to be able to pay the benefits of those already retired and pay the current administration expense. Somewhere, someplace, Charles Ponzi must be applauding from the grave.
What I have learned from this MCERA journey is to never underestimate willful ignorance, a moral hazard or political greed.