- Work Experience
- Depression Needs To Be Re-Thought
- Two Kinds Of People?
- The Best Mechanics
- DA Eyster, Please Explain
- After The Bypass
- The New Yorker's Scared, Too
- KZYX's New Gm
- MRC Responds
- More Taxpayer Abuse
Although there wasn't a candidate for your position this year, the entire board of the Education Foundation wishes to thank you for your continued support of our internship program. We appreciate the effort it takes to train and guide a young person. This is a valuable program to support on many levels. Students obviously benefit enormously, but it is also important that our community see and interact with young people learning about the world of work and striving to advance their skill set.
In an isolated rural community it is difficult for high school-age students to gain job experience. Without your commitment and energy this program would not be possible. We had 26 students successfully completed an internship this year and, as this is our 16th year of offering internships, this means that more than 350 young people have benefited. You will soon be able to see all this year's intern photos taken at their workplace at our website: AndersonValleyEducation.org
We look forward to contacting you again next year to explore your possible participation in this unique opportunity. We are very grateful for all you have done over the years.
Sincerely, Gail Gester for the AVEF Board
Ed note: Shucks ma'am. Twarn't nuthin'. We're not surprised the young 'uns wouldn't want to spend a coupla hours a week sitting in a dark room with a pair of garrulous old coots as all manner of elderly cranks and other oddballs pop in and out. Mayte Guerrero, now at Stanford, seemed to benefit from the experience although, truth to tell, we often caught her smiling to herself.
DEPRESSION NEEDS TO BE RE-THOUGHT
Letter to the Editor
Dr. Betty Lacy, a psychiatrist from Willits, in her letter to the AVA in the Nov. 2 issue asserts that "mental illness are brain disorders." That is certainly the dominant belief about depression today in America. In my three decades long experience of living under the pathological label of "depression", I've come to the conclusion that the medical model of depression is false.
I've known since age 25 when I started attending Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings that my depression was originally primarily caused by being seriously emotionally wounded by my upbringing in an alcoholic family. Unfortunately, however, there was more ugly reality to endure after that for me, which is the reality of living in a culture that despises what "depression" represents.
Looking back to my early 20's when I was diagnosed with depression, it is clear to me now that there was a *political* element to my diagnosis. Coming from an affluent background and having left two colleges by age 21 and eventually dropping out of college for good at age 23 because I did not ascribe to the values of the white collar professional class, I was clearly a target for being pathologized by psychiatrists and psychologists -- white collar professionals!!
I wonder what would have been the result if in my early 20's I had been urged to seek help from blue collar professionals or perhaps artistic types. I'm sure they would have had a different view of me and my situation, much like the 61 year old gardener I've been working with for the last year and a half who has assured me "There's nothing wrong with you."
Reducing depression to a brain disorder lets bad parents and a harsh, exploitative culture-at-large off the hook, not to mention creating a hell of a lot of business for the mental health and pharmaceutical industries.
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE?
In Jeff Costello's recent "Breaking News," he wrote, quoting Fran Liebowitz, "There are two kinds if people. Those who think there is such a thing as enough money, (sic) and people with money." I don't get it; this doesn't make sense from here. If it was said that there are those who think there is NO such thing as enough money and etc. etc., that would make sense to me. Could the writers for this fine publication explain this to me? Or perhaps a word from Mr. Costello? Fran herself?
Jeff Costello replies:
RE Peter Lit's comment: Fran Liebowitz was suggesting, or stating, that people with money never think they have enough, whereas those without money imagine there could easily be enough if only they could get some. Anyone realistically could live very well with a million dollars for instance, and not have to work if they didn't want to. This raises questions about human nature, acquisitiveness and greed, and that I think was Liebowitz's point. The obesity epidemic is similar. Some people in this country think they get enough to eat, and apparently some don't.
THE BEST MECHANICS
Letter to the Editor:
Many of us are reeling at the results of the national election. But whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, there are fundamental questions about the fairness and integrity of our election process.
First, while Donald Trump swept the electoral college, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The electoral college is a relic of two centuries ago. It gives a handful of swing states all decision-making power, while voters in over 40 states are essentially ignored. One person, one EQUAL vote!
Second, every American must be able to vote: restore the Voting Rights Act. We should also have national standards, for example that (a) all ballots have an auditable trail; (b) any voters purged from the rolls be informed in advance; (c) adequate voting places proportional to population exist in each area; (d) no onerous ID requirements nor intimidation of voters; (e) all ‘returning citizens’ – those who served their time for felonies or misdemeanors – regain the right to vote; and (f) oversight to eliminate gerrymandering of districts.
Third, we must eliminate the ‘super-delegate’ system and reduce the monopoly of the two major parties on the debates. Ideally we should institute ranked choice (or instant run-off) voting, so voting your conscience is no longer a ‘spoiler’ vote.
Fourth, reverse the Citizens United decision that corporations are considered ‘people’ and unlimited campaign donations are considered ‘free speech.’ Require that ALL significant funds (say over $300) influencing elections be public record.
Fifth, reduce the election season from over a year to something like four or five months (including all the primaries). Enough is enough!
The ideals of our representative democracy need a major tune-up, and it has to come from we-the-people!
DA EYSTER, PLEASE EXPLAIN
Ukiah’s unsolved homicide, and justice for Susan Keegan, are in the hands of Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster. And have been for six years. Every year or two, DA Eyster does something dramatic to remind us that the investigation is still open – or perhaps, just to stall bereaved family and friends and stave off more criticism. Today is the sixth anniversary of Susan’s death.
Here is how events have unfolded since her murder on November 11, 2010:
The first warrant to search the Keegan home is executed in June 2011.
Two years later, in August 2012, authorities change Susan’s death certificate, declaring the cause “homicide” and telling the press “there is a person of interest” in the case.
A second search warrant is executed at the Keegan home in January 2013.
Mysterious silence follows. Years tick by, with little legal movement. The justice4susan.com website continues its determined vigil, aided by the loyal Anderson Valley Advertiser and countless Ukiah residents who keep calling for action. Official words are few.
In February 2016, a search warrant is finally executed at the office of Norm Rosen, the divorce mediator where the sole suspect in the homicide “went ballistic.”
In between those developments, there are whispered hints to family and the media that really, truly, the case will move forward. “2016 is the year,” declares DA Eyster behind the scenes. More time passes. Family births, marriages, and deaths occur, but justice does not.
And our questions go unanswered, year after year after year. Can anyone in the District Attorney’s office reach out to us and explain why? Our questions are respectful, if pointed:
DA Eyster, you are an elected representative of the people: Why won’t you tell your community what is going on?
DA Eyster, you are an officer of the court, sworn to uphold the law: How can you allow a homicide to go unpunished?
DA Eyster, you are a strategic thinker, duty-bound to seek the truth: Have the signals sent from your office about a prosecution been honorable?
DA Eyster, you are a public servant who understands the damage done to civic life when justice is unaccountably delayed: What are you waiting for?
AFTER THE BYPASS
As a proud Willitian of the past 17 years, I welcome to some degree the opening of the by-pass. I for one truly enjoy the immediate impact of less traffic and noise through our friendly little town. We have the most proficient variety of stores and services, and hopefully they will continue to thrive, while for now with the by-pass open, more than ever, I enjoy getting about town without having to endure the crush of Highway 101 traffic trying to inch its way through little Willits. Much less now are the rumbling big rigs, the tourist truck-and-trailers, the long-haul cannabis transports setting out for fortunes in Missouri, the many Brooktrails residents having to slog all the way through town from the south end to the north end, when instead, they can now swing around and scramble in from the north. Bottom line, a more pleasant energy and peacefulness now lies palpable between the curbs and way.
Therefore, I would part briefly with Will Parrish and his lament over the by-pass in your November 9 issue. I certainly respect Will's resistance to the project, including his brave willingness to risk freedom and limb to oppose the considerable work and its impact on the local environment. I have welcomed his many articles on the effects of the by-pass construction on the wetlands and sacred Native American sites. I feel strongly that if a less impactful, alternative route along the old railroad right of way could have been used, we would all have benefitted.
However, now that the by-pass is our reality, I can only suggest to Will that his lament is less a eulogy over what could have been, without the bypass, and more an elegy to what we can hopefully expect will be a renewed future for Willits. Frankly, more at issue at the moment, for the sanctity and well-being of all Willitians, is how well the City Council will ever sort out what to do about the coming cannibas industry rush, now that bud for fun will be legal.
Hence, other issues impose on our energies and attention. Let the wetlands and the frogs and snakes find their way, let the Indian spirits settle from yet one more degradation in a litany and legacy of abuses. Let me get out from the Post Office parking lot into the southbound lane of Main Street without ever having to risk life and fender again. Welcome then, a more quiet and serene Willits. May we all prosper.
THE NEW YORKER'S SCARED, TOO
As well-groomed America reels in shock, the editor of the New Yorker has penned a dark and gloomy editorial that's already carving the tombstone of Western Civ, bemoaning the loss of all that is Decent And Good with the world, particularly the Democratic candidate who was so obviously going to win, at least on NPR. I did not vote for the man, but I am hardly stunned by Mr. Trump's electoral victory. Nor do I share Mr. Remnick's dismal and predictable assessment of our doom. I doubt he sees that T-Rump's victory is in fact a direct repudiation to all the reasonable, well thought out, morally decent and otherwise beautifully groomed sentiments that he and our leaders, particularly our Democratic Party leaders, have so eloquently espoused for the cameras…with the results being…er, shall we say disappointing at their very best? I think now of a Nobel Peace Prize followed by Endless War (added bonus: remote-controlled Mass Slaughter by drone!). Or the gutting of the national treasury by Wall Street followed by the immediate robbery of all taxpayers to make good the theft (added bonus: the foxes promoted to official henhouse minders!).
I could go on, but I think what really cost the Dems was the blowback from their wholesale abandonment of millions of unionized ("deplorable"?) working class people when their jobs were summarily moved to Asia, just to suit the Owners. The only thing the Owners could ever agree on is how much they despise unions, so regardless of party affiliation it was all a matter of happy consensus for them. The (Clinton-invented) neoliberal Democratic Leadership Council made it all possible with their emphasis on fast-track "Free Trade" and their quiet dismantling of the safeguards installed after the last stock market collapse. The Owners liked this very much, but it left behind a lot of deep simmering resentment amongst the Non-Owners who rightly felt betrayed and abandoned.
And staunch neoliberal Mr. Obama, for all his apparent intelligence, gentle manner, grace and charm, has done mighty little to give working class people some kind of economic future other than waiting tables or making beds at some Trump hotel. To those Regular Joes who can think — the ones who don't automatically fear and loathe Mr. Obama because he's dark-skinned (or Hillary because she has no penis)— the President, for all that talk of Hope and Change, has turned out to be just another one of the soft-spoken elite, and one who has actually forced them to buy health insurance, the lunatic neoliberal "solution" to our lunatic health care system.
Then along came ol' Bernie Sanders, a fairly bland "FDR Democrat" offering some hope for the future. With utter shamelessness he was dismissed and dismantled by his own party, now apparently fully morphed into Stealth Republicans. This cost the Dems a big segment of the educated under-30s, their own freaking demographic! This party has developed a veritable talent for self-alienation.
Mr. Trump's genius —and I do use the word loosely— was basically not to win the election so much as to simply to make sure his opponent lost. This turned out to be, ahem, not especially difficult to do thanks to many factors, such as the credulous dimness, native racism, and simmering inarticulate rage of the sold-out and indebted American mittel-electorate, compounded by the distastefully fragrant past that the ambitious Mrs. Clinton has left behind her. She may indeed be "intelligent, resilient and competent," as Mr. Remnick points out, but she is also a total Washington insider. One of Them. It's easy to run "against Washington," and Mr. Trump exploited this, mercilessly. Later on when his regime goes down in flames, it will be the same old story as with Nixon: his supporters will insist that they never voted "for him," they just voted "against her."
The incredible thing to me is that all the "lock her up lock her up" gabble they seized upon is either trivial piffle or totally absurd nonsense. The real crime, that of the Dems happily abandoning their party's own core, was never touched upon. It will be amusing to see Mr. Trump's fanbase reaction when he not only doesn't lock her up, he hardly bothers trying. He may eventually deny ever wanting to do it in the first place.
I almost have to admire Mr. Deplorable Comb-over for being true to his original revolting "Me First And Me Only" ideals and running his entire campaign as a sort of lowbrow Brand Promotion. No real preparedness, no education or boning-up, no baby-kissing, ward-heeling, nor much concession to traditional political grooming at all, other than putting on a red ball cap now & then. Since politics is the only profession that has no actual qualifications, he could blow the entire campaign straight out of his well tailored ass. Say anything! Just get 'em stoked. That's all that's really needed — no brains, no intelligence, no reasoning, no in-depth analysis, just feelings. You can contradict yourself, make promises so absurd they're almost comical, you can lie, lie about lying, lie about lying about the lies if need be, but always give 'em what they want — threaten, sneer, bluster, accuse, hyperventilate, seethe… just keep that ol' RAGE thing going. And, wow, that's all it took for the candidate from The National Enquirer! Even against Mrs. Clinton's thoroughly focus-group driven plausibility, he carried the day. The booboisie have indeed spoken.
But, a total catastrophe for the world? Hell, we already hit bottom with Ronald Reagan, the incredible President With No Brain — and also the man half this country now almost literally worships as The Greatest President We've Ever Had. Who expects voters out there to make any sense? This was why the casino profiteer leased the "Make America Great Again" phrase as his campaign slogan — because it had worked so well for Saint Ronzo. Like it worked for Richard Nixon, too, back in 1968, and for Teddy Roosevelt in 1900, etc…
Sure, Trump —if that is his real name— is an unpredictable loose cannon, but a small part of me is wondering now if "unpredictable" might also include things like "boring" and "amazingly ineffectual." He is a dreadful businessman, at least outside of his own head, so he'll likely be a useless flop as chief exec.
I mean, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, another incredibly wealthy rowdy rude-boy and blustering fraud who stormed into office with a fierce agenda, and who turned out to be a useless lumpen of a governor, sunk without a trace by a single sex scandal. The same might well happen to The Donald, especially given his propensity for pussy-grabbing. It almost cost Bill Clinton his head, too, remember? I suppose this means we ought to look more closely at the Indiana cave man, Mike Pence…
Nobody, and this surely includes Mr. T himself, really knows what the blazes he'll actually do, if anything, though it's pretty certain that he'll find running government is not like running for office, nor even like running a business on reality-TV. The Republicans may "control" the Senate and the Congress, but they sure don't control Mr. Trump —most of them probably despise the man as much as Hillary!— nor he, they. And naturally, it will be a four year field day for political cartoonists. Stephen Colbert may be an independent candidate by 2019.
Damage? A great deal of the world already despises us, and for perfectly good reasons. I'm not sure exactly how he could make things so much worse — just more overtly boorish. (And to think I've barely recovered from eight years of cringing over Dubya.) Dismantling NAFTA and similar deals will do a lot more good than harm, if he ever does dismantle them. He's already backing off dismantling Obamacare.
I applaud Mr. Remnick's stated goal to "struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals," but I would suggest he start his struggle with fixing the dang Democratic Party.
KZYX'S NEW GM
It's Wally Shawn. "Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line!" "Inconceivable!" And so on. Perhaps Mr. Green isn't so Wally Shawnish in front view, but from the side, there he is.
I know I'm in the minority about this, but I didn't appreciate the movie version of Princess Bride; I was horrified at how they ruined an unruinable book, chiefly by casting. Mandy Patinkin and Billy Crystal, okay; everyone else, feh.
Wally played a number of small, much less well-known parts in his career, including an alien (human) scientist who offered to help the tenth-season Stargate SG-1 pair of Daniel and Vala be released from their unwanted techno-psychic bond with each other in return for the replacement of a stolen necklace. Wally's creepy-comic reverie, in his patented smarmy, arch, frog-lipped vocal fry, about sexy nights with Vala (actress Claudia Black) sticks in the mind. /That's/ casting.
It might be too much to hope for, but when Terry Green introduces himself to KZYX listeners, if he can nail that Wallace Shawn voice and inflection, that'll be great. Or, better, if it just comes naturally. I don't know; I've never heard him. We'll see.
Apparently he managed KUSP for twelve years. By the time he was fired, a year ago, the station had been hemorrhaging at least $100,000 per year (his own salary?) on a budget of $1,000,000 (!), and had accrued, let's see, AllAccess reported, "$280,000 in loan debt and $435,000 in debt to NPR." /Debt to NPR/? By the time KUSP filed for bankruptcy, its "$843,000 debt included $56,000 to American Public Media, $12,000 to CPB, and $10,000 to the Pacifica Foundation."
So, when you say he'll be perfect for KZYX, I have to assume you mean he's their kind of combination fox-in-henhouse/potential scapegoat.
It's physically not possible for a radio station to cost that much to run, nor even a quarter that much, even if you're paying the airpeople what they're worth, which KZYX doesn't at all. The people running KUSP (R.I.P.) and KZYX (close to R.I.P) must have been something more than merely incompetent all along. Incompetent squared. Stupidly demonstrably incompetent. Not adorably naively well-meaningly mildly careless.
I know never to attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. But stupidity alone just doesn't go far enough here.
If you have a 4,000 watt transmitter and electricity costs 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, it costs sixty cents an hour to keep a local airperson on the air. That's not 60 cents per listener, but a /total/ of 60 cents an hour. Add tower fees for a couple of translator stations, music publisher fees, lights, phone, internet and misc., pay all the airpeople $15 per hour of airtime and an hour extra for prep-- hell, add a whole brand new house on a fresh quarter-acre of land every year with a pony in the garage of each one and it still doesn't come anywhere close to a million dollars.
And here, you may be familiar with this cartoon. It was originally meant to describe software development, I think, but consider the recognizable tire swing at the end as radio:
Marco McClean, Mendocino
To the Editor:
A Letter to the Editor, titled “Stop Hack & Squirt” by Steph Darling contained a number of comments that would benefit from correction, clarification or commentary .
Measure V was a ballot measure to address fire safety and unrelated to the use of herbicides.
The author’s estimate of 5 million treated tanoak trees substantially exceeds anything that has occurred on the MRC ownership. Over 18 years about one (1) million tanoak trees have been treated resulting in more than 14 million additional redwood and Douglas fir trees.
MRC is regulated by seven (7) state and federal agencies, including CalFire. Among many things, CalFire reviews THPs for fire safety and requires mitigations where appropriate.
In fact there is a lack of correlation between treated stands and fire safety. The fire fighting community was split on support of Measure V and several leading local fire chiefs publicly opposed Measure V.
MRC is unaware of any litigation or pending litigation nor any attorneys retained or acting on our behalf actively challenging Measure V. MRC sent a letter to Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo dated July 6, 2016 detailing existing state and county regulations on the issue of public nuisances. The letter can be found on our website.
MRC used the opportunity of Measure V to invite the community to talk about our forest management practices. Campaign laws are very complicated and punitive so out of an abundance of caution we reported spending over $250,000 to the state election commission around Measure V. Some proponents of Measure V filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practice Commission over MRC’s reporting. Upon reviewing our disclosures the FPPC found MRC fully complied with election reporting laws in regards to Measure V. Rather than take our word for it please come see our forest for yourself. We will take you anywhere on the property, to the place of your choosing, to see our forest restoration efforts. I can be reached at 707-272-1177 or arrange a trip to the forest through our website www.MRC.com.
John Andersen, Director, Forest Policy,
Mendocino Redwood Company, Ukiah
MORE TAXPAYER ABUSE
To the Editor:
Once again the Ukiah Daily Journal has alerted the public on chicanery promulgated by Mendocino College. Perhaps college president Arturo Reyes, head coach, Frank Espy, and Athletic Director, Matt Gordon should review the purpose of a Community College. I was under the impression it was primarily to attract and accept students from the local community since it is supported by local tax revenue. I see it as an abuse of the taxpayer dollar to import sports team players from outside the district. Community College is not the place to stroke the egos of the coaches, or to prepare an athlete for the NFL or NBA. It is a place to get an education in preparation for the life ahead.
We are constantly barraged by the educational system pleading for more money and yet this exemplifies the contempt they have towards the taxpayer. We need more, more, more. It is time for this to cease. It makes it impossible for me, a taxpayer, to vote for increased funding in our educational system when there is such abuse.
Letter to the Editor:
It was 1979. We were 13 years old! I fell in love for the first time. Unfortunately, she was my best friend's girlfriend. We laughed. We smiled. We hung out. We won the junior high dance contest. Shortly after that I went away. She moved on. She became a wife, a mother. I got lost. I never saw her again. Years went by. Wife. Kids. Divorce. More kids. Different moms. She chased her dreams and found them. In February of 2015 a family member died. I was charged, convicted, stripped of my life, my kids, my wife, alone.
About the month ago I got a letter with a simple question: Was I the same Tyler she had won the dance contest with at junior high? If so, provide details. I was flabbergasted when from beyond these walls an angel reached out to me. But this angel lives in Ukiah and is just as beautiful as the day I first met her. She has a simple life, is loving a loving grandmother, lives month to month. After 35 magnificent years of family she never forgot me.
Sadly after all that it is unlikely we will ever know the allures of each other's bodies. But we will share the mysteries of each other's souls. The warmth of her words, and to know her love, albeit from afar… Thank you Tracy. You are the bomb.