- Shelter Funds
- Little Dog
- Boonville Botanist
- Children's Books
- Christmas Tableau
- Sentencing Lorenzo
- Mental Health Facility
- Yesterday's Catch
- Leisure Class
- Lying News
- Rental Wanted
- Assemblyman Wood Uncertain
- Educating Oneself
- Road Fork
- Library Events
FURTHER INVESTIGATION into the funding of Ukiah's cold weather shelter reveals that the County put up $50,000; the City of Ukiah is in for $30,000; Adventist Hospital $10,000; the Community Foundation $10,000. The group running it, the HSAG (Homeless Services Action Group) needs to fundraise about $50,000 more if they want to keep the doors open for the authorized four months.
THAT WELL KNOWN inland humanitarian, Dr. Gitlin, contacted the HSAG to offer his building when he heard they were having trouble finding a location. The rent is $3,300 a month. And so far Gitlin has magnanimously allowed the group to clean up and haul away several truckloads of trash, sheetrock a wall to meet the fire codes and repair the plumbing and wiring, happy improvements to Gitlin's private property via mostly public funds.
EVEN WITH ALL the fix-ups, HSAG still had to rent a portable shower unit and portapotties to make the space fully habitable. To repeat, Gitlin is the same guy who was sticking the football players and/or the college $9,000 a month for a run down fire trap on Hortense where, when the hot water heater went out, Gitlin didn't bother replacing it.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “You people see the Niners vs Atlanta today? Dizzzzzgusting! Fire everyone, starting with the owners. I still like Kap, though. With the right coach and a supporting cast he'd be fine.”
PERSONNEL: Boonville's gifted botanist, self-taught type, Doug Bindschatel, finished 19th at this year's Emerald Cup out of several hundred entries. Doug won the very first Emerald Cup at Area 101, Laytonville. The Cup is big biz these days, so big that founding father Tim Blake has moved it from its dusty beginnings to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
A PERFECT FIT. Former Mendo superintendent of schools, Paul Tichinin, is chairman of Mendocino County's First Five, funded by Mendo's share of a boost in the cigarette tax. About a million bucks a year comes home to fund a kind of jobs program for connected Ukiah liberals who claim to be doing good things for the poor with the money.
TICHININ popped up in the ICO this week with an announcement that First Five has dispatched a book each to 3,364 County children, ages "0-5" (sic). Tichinin's math, predictably, is off, considering that he's apparently sending books to the unborn, and farther off if the 3,364 figure is correct, but "500 children enrolled on the North Coast, and 132 on the South Coast." Presumably, the other 2,732 readers, including those who may or may not still be in the oven, are found in the rest of the County.
NOT TO BE tooooooooo negative about children's books, but I think, generally speaking, they're awful every which way — illustrations and content. Physically, they're half-way between a comic book and a binder. Taken as a whole, the modern children's book seems designed to stifle the child's imagination. I doubt many kids pick them up out of natural curiosity because there is nothing in the least intriguing about so many of them. They're like stepping into contemporary children's television, which is also awful but mesmerizes the small ones to no purpose at all, much like the deadening effect adult tv has on adults.
AS MY OWN little experiment with my two guinea pigs, grandchildren ages 5 and 4, who were demanding to watch five idiot adults (the men struck me as definitely unsavory, the women simply cretinous), singing nonsense songs and dancing around and mugging out at the millions of captive children watching them.
THE GRANDKIDS didn't see me unplug the tv, as I said, "Uh, oh, looks like the power is off." The five-year-old came immediately back with, "Check the plug." But by that time I'd convinced both of them to look at a series of old Donald Duck cartoons on YouTube. Which they loved, and whose graphics are nicely done, the story line funny, the dialogue funnier. The two of them laughed at the right times. They got it.
FROM THE DONALD DUCKS we moved on to Road Runner, which they also liked. And, a couple of days later, The Three Stooges. Which they really liked. I'm going to try them out on the Little Rascals next, and I plan to read to them from Grimm's and Andersen's Fairy Tales which, I understand, a lot of young parents, especially the gluten-free types, say is "too heavy" for little kids. (I had an uncle who used to read me and my brother those stories by the fascinating hour.)
THE SUPPOSEDLY "age appropriate" books piled up like a toxic spill around my grandchildren mostly interest them not at all. There are a few science books they like about sea creatures and of course, dinosaurs, but most of them are thrown together by big book biz to sell to, well, people like First Five. They're dumb even to the children they're supposed to be "appropriate" for. Dollars to donuts the books Tichinin and First Five are laying on the unsuspecting tots of Mendocino County are, by any real standard, totally inappropriate.
THE ABOVE Christmas tableau is about four miles up the Ukiah Road from Boonville. A person signing him or herself with the initials MLT, has gone to a lot of trouble to decorate a roadside bay laurel, and post a tiny placard reading HOPE, and this poem:
“The Merry Little Tree”
Not just for you.
Not just for me.
Not to be touched,
Or taken down.
But rather — just for all to see.
Just enjoy and leave it be!
LORENZO TO THE STATE PEN
UKIAH, Friday, December 16. -- Judgment and Sentencing Update. Defendant Lorenzo Rodriguez Gomez, age 35, formerly of Philo, was sentenced this morning in Department B of the Superior Court to 9 years, 4 months in state prison, the defendant previously having been convicted of attempted murder, two counts of criminal threats, and the use of knife in the course of the attempted murder. This is the case where the defendant attempted to knife and kill a teenage boy, who, instead, shot the defendant multiple times at short range in self-defense. Assuming this violent conviction will not be modified by the recent passage of Proposition 57, the defendant — under pre-Prop 57 law — will be required to serve 85% of the sentence imposed. However, before the sentencing hearing could be commenced this morning, the defendant first attempted to fire his appointed attorney. He requested that Superior Court Judge David Nelson relieve the Alternate Defender’s Office and appoint him new counsel for reasons that were not publicly disclosed. The courtroom was then ordered cleared and an in camera hearing was conducted. When the prosecutor and the audience were allowed back into the courtroom, it was announced from the bench that the Court had denied the defendant's motion and the matter would immediately proceed to sentencing. The law enforcement agency which investigated the case was the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. The prosecutor who handled the trial and argued for the People of the State of California at today's sentencing hearing was District Attorney David Eyster.
(District Attorney’s Office press release)
* * *
Bruce Mcewen Adds:
Just before his sentencing last Friday he tried to fire his lawyer, Alternate Public Defender Douglas Rhoades. Judge David Nelson cleared the courtroom and heard Lorenzo’s complaint, then denied the Marsden motion. When the public was let back in, the judge said Mr. Rodriquez is still in denial as to who’s fault his crime was and probation is recommending the aggravated term of 11 years and eight months for the main charge, Count Four, attempted murder on Bobby Kuny, a senior at Anderson Valley High School when he shot Lorenzo as Lorenzo, drunk and under the influence of some chemical or other, threatened Bobby's mother and another young woman in the home. Mr. Rhoades said he would ask the court to reduce it to the mid-term of Nine years and four months due to the lack of a criminal history and because Lorenzo was intoxicated at the time. Rhoades also gave the judge some letters from people in Anderson Valley, written on Lorenzo’s behalf.
DA David Eyster wanted the 11 years and eight months, and noted that Lorenzo himself said he was not intoxicated at the time. Eyster said the court ought not to just “gratuitously” grant the mid-term when Probation had “appropriately” recommended the aggravated term. Eyster then asked Bobby Kuny, the 18 year old who shot Rodriguez in apparent self-defense, if he wanted to address the court and ask for more time, but Bobby shook his head, no.
The letters were dismissed by Eyster as “further aggravation” as they showed, he said, that Lorenzo had “sold a script” to the people who wrote them. Nelson said the letters did have an impact on his decision, and that he was influenced by Lorenzo’s letter as well, and that he was “disturbed” over how the case had “pitted” people in the Anderson Valley against each other.
Over the DA’s objections, Nelson chose the mid-term of nine years and four months. There was also a $10,000 fine and court costs, restitution reserved.
It looks like Lorenzo will definitely be on President-elect Trump’s deportee list.
* * *
Bruce Anderson adds, "I've seen Lorenzo around for years to say hello to. Always struck me as a happy guy, friendly and pleasant. He worked for a long time for a friend of mine who thinks the world of him as a worker and as a friend. The consensus opinion about Lorenzo is the familiar one, "He's great when he's sober, not so great when he's drunk." In other words, not a criminal, hence his lack of a criminal history.
MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS STILL HIGH ON THE LIST
The heart-breakingly slim loss of Measure AG on the November ballot should leave no one in doubt that the citizens of Mendocino County know there’s still a serious mental health problem in this county. We have confidence that the new regime in charge of county mental health services is capable and caring and that they will do a decent job of making the most of county funding for mental health services. But what this county desperately needs - and the Kemper report on mental health services here agrees - is a locked facility for the mentally ill who are acting out. Just the other day in Ukiah a man was oddly caressing an axe while staring in at people in a local business. Scary. The police came and took him to the emergency room until mental health workers could arrive. Again, the emergency room becomes the default place for people needing to be restrained or locked up until they are evaluated. And, a Ukiah police officer no doubt had to sit in that emergency room with that man until the county could arrive. And while we don’t know what happened to that man, if he needed to be taken into care somebody had to drive him to another county for expensive daily residency costing our county hundreds of dollars a day. To get two-thirds of the voters to agree to raise their own taxes is a difficult task. Sheriff Allman almost did it with Measure AG. We applaud his effort and hope that the county will see the vote as a mandate from the county’s residents to find a way to create a locked facility here at home that will save us money in the long run, but more important, get people who are dangerous to themselves or others, off our streets.
— K.C. Meadows. (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 18, 2016
ROBERT BAARSCH, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.
JOHN CAVALIER, Thousand Oaks/Willits. Drunk in public.
JOSE FERREYRA-SAGREO, Novato/Willits. Misdemeanor hit&run, DUI, resisting.
SEAN HAGEN, McKinleyville/Ukiah. Misdemeanor warrant.
ERIC HUTCHINS, Redwood Valley. Forgery, pot possession for sale.
LAWRENCE JOAQUIN, Covelo. Suspended license, controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting.
STEVEN MENDEZ, Novato/Willits.
BRUNILDA MILLAN, Monterey. Drunk in public.
UBALDO RAMIRES, Covelo. No license.
RONALD SPEARS, Pinole/Ukiah. Pot sales, possession of more than an ounce of pot, suspended license, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER THOMAS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
I’m reading; The Theory Of The Leisure Class, as I do every 5 years or so. He certainly understood the lay of the land, without being overly identified with any foregone school. He was despised by most thinkers of his day. This is all too familiar. Following is a section from the beginning of chapter X. This would go well with a photo of Trump and or many, all too many other fools in high places!
“The most immediate and unequivocal expression of that archaic human nature which characterizes man in the predatory stage is the fighting propensity proper. In cases where the predatory activity is a collective one, this propensity is frequently called the martial spirit, or, latterly, patriotism. It needs no insistence to find assent to the proposition that in the counties of civilized Europe the hereditary leisure class is endowed with this martial spirit in a higher degree than the middle classes. Indeed, the leisure class claims the distinction as a matter of pride, and no doubt with some grounds. War is honorable, and warlike prowess is eminently honorific in the eyes of the generality of men; and this admiration of warlike prowess is itself the best voucher of a predatory temperament in the admirer of war. The enthusiasm for war, and the predatory temper of which it is the index, prevail in the largest measure among the upper classes, especially among the hereditary leisure class. Moreover, the ostensible serious occupation of the upper class is that of government, which, in point of origin and developmental content, is also a predatory occupation.”
— Thorsten Veblen 1899, The Theory Of The Leisure Class
A READER asks the right question: “Observing with jaundiced eyeball. ‘False news’? In earlier simpler times, did we not call this simply ‘Lies’? Why the bogus nice-nice?” — Cynicuss
COAST FAMILY SEEKS RENTAL: We are a small family looking for a new home. A cabin, yurt, tiny house or other efficient structure in nature would be great. We have current references. Living on acreage to farm or a small green space with room for a garden is preferred. 707-617-8289
ASSEMBLYMAN WOOD: TRUMP ELECTION SPARKS MARIJUANA ‘UNCERTAINTY’
by Daniel Mintz
State Assemblymember Jim Wood has told the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors that the presidential election of Donald Trump has brought “uncertainty” to California, with health care and marijuana regulation being two main aspects.
Wood represents the state’s north coast district and he was at the Dec. 13 supervisors meeting to talk about his work and his goals. He highlighted the potential effects of Trump’s election and the changes it could bring, saying that the Affordable Care Act is in the crosshairs and the effects of a total repeal could be drastic.
“If there is a complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it will potentially be a $20 billion – with a B – dollar hit to California and that will be really, really significant for safety net health programs throughout the state,” Wood said. “And as we know, in rural California, we’re already struggling to get adequate providers and adequate funding for care and this would be a huge, huge issue for us.”
Another wild card is how the feds will deal with state-level marijuana law. Trump has appointed Senator Jeff Sessions, who strongly believes marijuana is harmful and shouldn’t be legal on any level, as the US Attorney General.
“That’s got to leave a lot of people very concerned, certainly with medical cannabis,” said Wood.
Supervisor Ryan Sundberg asked whether a federal mandate to back off of enforcement actions in states that have marijuana regulations in place “would protect us.”
Wood said the state’s medical marijuana industry would be “potentially” protected but he has doubts about recreational use. “A lot of that is up to interpretation at this point,” he continued.
With recreational marijuana only being legal in eight states — compared to 28 states for medical — “there’s some question as to how aggressive the new administration will be on this issue and nobody really knows.”
State-level legal change may also have dramatic effects. The voter approval of Proposition 64, which legalizes and sets forth a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana, has given rise to concerns about corporate control of the marijuana industry.
Supervisor Estelle Fennell asked how Prop. 64 could affect Humboldt County “if it survives the federal change.”
Wood said he’s concerned about the state’s allowance of a license that would allow for “unlimited-scale cultivation.” Actually approval of those licenses may not happen, he continued, but is possible.
He added that in some places in the state, larger-scale producers have already established themselves. Supply will be influenced by demand, however, and “I do have to wonder how much cannabis is the state going to produce? I don’t know what the need is out there, quite frankly,” he said.
Wood, who co-authored the state’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, said he’s also concerned about how the medical and Prop. 64 systems will mesh. He said that Prop. 64’s “fine print” about the legislature not being allowed to contradict the intent of the initiative could be an opening for litigation.
Other issues highlighted by Wood include expanding broadband telecommunications access in rural areas, advancing a state program for transportation infrastructure improvements and supporting affordable housing.
(Ed note: Assemblyman Wood gave basically the same information to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors last week.)
WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
by Crawdad Nelson
“…And this, above all: to thine own self be true.”
— Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet
* * *
If I still believed the things I was told when I was a teenager, barely able to distinguish truth from fiction, I would be as cranked up about a vast liberal conspiracy to control my every action, take my guns away, and teach my offspring to be sexual deviants as the vast majority of Americans. Actually, that’s not exactly correct. My views would correspond to those of the “electoral landslide” in direct contradiction of the over 2.5 million more voters who went with the more liberal candidate. My attitudes and beliefs, however, have changed drastically since I began taking a hand in my own education, and started being responsible not just for what I think, but for being able to defend and improve upon my particular beliefs and my overall worldview through continued education. Thus, I rarely believe in conspiracy theories, value the contributions of liberal politicians to American life, and worry considerably more about the effectiveness and longevity of the First amendment than I do about the Second.
My own journey from the ignorant state I was raised in to a greater condition of awareness has not been straightforward or premeditated, but it was, once begun, inevitable. In my high school newspaper class, I developed something of a reputation as a provocative speaker, not because I knew anything, but because I had been persuaded to believe certain things and enjoyed the attention I got from saying those things, to people with developed more sophisticated worldviews. My cousin Richard was a World War 2 veteran, an honest, hardworking logger, and a man given to regular drink. He was also in possession of a number of opinions popular among his friends, none of whom had much in the way of formal education. So I spouted off about “the Jews” and how Hitler was correct in his assessment of their character and essential nature, as well as his plans for eliminating them. Needless to say I attracted the attention of a teacher. He politely took me aside one day and explained some of the facts my cousin Richard had overlooked. Since that day, my belief in illusion, hearsay and unsubstantiated allegations has eroded, if not entirely, at least enough that I am more inclined to be skeptical of outrageous claims than I was as a teenager.
The next important formative event was my employment as a sawmill laborer during the late 1970s and early 1980s. I worked for a multinational corporation which had not long before purchased the logging and lumber company which had formed my hometown in its own image, complete with company store, baronial mansion, and squalid worker’s housing. I was fairly conservative when I started my term of employment; a sworn radical progressive within just a few short years of direct experience of the ass-end of capitalism. This was at a time when presidential politics were being played out on the killing fields of Nicaragua and El Salvador. The patriotic attitude was officially to support US policy in those Central American nations, which meant supporting death squads and right wing dictators on one hand and fomenting and abetting an underhanded revolution aimed at taking down a democratically elected government on the other hand.
In those days, it was very common to encounter veterans of foreign wars in the mill. In fact, it became clear to me that the soldiers of capitalistic adventurism and the industrial working class were one and the same. Their problems were and still are my problems.
Of course, being in that mill meant that I was regularly exposed to more innuendo, hearsay and outright falsehood than ever before, making good critical evaluation of evidence a real chore, since the evidence presented was rarely accurate or even remotely verifiable. A great many of the millworkers would have agreed with my cousin Richard: The Jews, the Blacks, the Hippies and the liberals were at fault for anything that could be described as a problem in America. It would have been easy to go along with that. It would have also been very similar to the kind of experience victims of kidnapping go through, in which they begin to identify with their captors. I could smell a rat, I knew there was more going on, and I began to make an effort to find out what I was missing.
On top of the casual ignorance of my fellow workers, I was exposed to the professional ignorance found in the corporate propaganda found lying around break rooms and supervisor’s offices in that mill. Timber industry officials tirelessly condemned any criticism of their philosophy, which I had been briefed in as part of a high school forestry class which taught the magic of silviculture on the industrial model, in essays remarkably similar in tone and perspective to the essays in sporting magazines which had already by that time for several years been in a state of frenzy about protecting my right to own weapons.
There was precious little social diversity in that mill, with the exception of a large minority of Mexican workers, and a fair number or Portuguese who were either immigrants or the children of immigrants fleeing poverty and political oppression in their native land, frequently not continental Portugal but its possession, the Azores. The racism was of course blatant, ubiquitous, and casually accepted as justified. A supposedly humorous account of local history concerned a white woman who taught her parrot to say “You goddamned Portagees get off the street!” when it saw the clannish and easily distinguishable denizens of Fury Town, the ethnic enclave they had been forced into by local real estate practice, as they headed in to Mendocino, now much more famous as a center of tolerance and fashionable liberalism, complete with art, wine and chocolate.
As for the Mexicans, most of them lived in areas of Fort Bragg left behind when previous ethnic neighborhoods were broken up as people advanced up the social and occupational ladder, earned decent incomes, and purchased more desirable properties nearby. The main thing I recall learning as a laborer in that mill was how hard Mexicans worked, and how willingly they accepted what would have been considered deprivation and hardship in my own family, just for the sake of making their earnings go farther. On several notable occasions during my career in the mill, federal immigration authorities arrived to conduct citizenship verification which the mill either didn’t bother with or was careless about. The company was more than willing to accept Mexican laborers because it was plain they would work hard and complain little, particularly those without the proper documentation. There was no discernible difference in the work performance or attitude of the two groups, but all were roundly despised, by most everybody, as “beaners” regardless of what they did or how they did it.
The irony of third or fourth generation offspring of earlier immigrants criticizing the Mexicans on the basis of their having been born on the “wrong” side of an international border was glaring to me, especially as the rhetoric became heated and personal. But Mexican-Americans and Mexicans stubbornly kept working and saving their money anyway.
A key political event occurred in the late 70s when President Carter enacted legislation enlarging the size of federal parks in the redwood region. Though this act did not directly concern workers in Fort Bragg, the company provided several busses to transport loggers to the Federal Building in San Francisco, where they were given drink and encouraged to support corporate environmental policy. That they behaved boorishly and spoke intemperately goes without saying. The park, of course, was enlarged as planned. But a great many workers with no political background at all had been introduced to the kind of ignorant criticism of the liberal prerogative to conserve, even in fragmentary form, some remnant of the admittedly spectacular natural world which had once been the rule in North America, and which is now, of course, all but gone.
I was expected to go along with all that but even then, dependent financially upon policies I was beginning to question, I could see that I was not being given all the facts, and the conclusions leapt to from the few facts in regular circulation were not the ones I arrived at.
Since then I have worked for small companies, large companies, the US government, myself, and a community college district. I have never quit or even slowed down the process of self-education which began even while I was still working my way through high school. When I compare my opinions to those who are willing to let the superficial survey of history and social sciences we were provided with in an American high school 40 years ago guide their thinking, I see enormous differences.
Had I gone through the Reagan era without at least becoming skeptical of official pronouncements I might still be as light-headed and happily ignorant as I was at the time.
But there can be no doubt that, having possession of more facts than I did then, I can do a better job of analyzing whatever I see or hear.
One common theme throughout my adult life has been the relentless trashing of the liberal society, its motivations, and the results of liberal policy on American life. Pointing out the benefits of liberalism to those who would condemn it is not necessarily arrogant, although there is undoubtedly a great deal of arrogance among the educated classes of society who most often favor liberal agenda items.
That concession cannot be made without insisting on equally heartfelt scrutiny of the so-called “conservative” agenda represented by the president-elect. This is not going to be accomplished by people who are guided by emotion when a cool, rational, decision-making process is required.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! From your local library.
All items due back any of those days will not accrue overdue fees. You can access your account online at www.mendolibrary.org/find or by calling our automated system at 707-566-0281. Teens are welcome to join us for this monthly meeting, where we'll craft and chat about all things manga & anime. This month's meeting is Weds, December 21st in the Teen Room at the Ukiah Library. Wines & Spines, our monthly book club meeting for adults 21+ meets this Wednesday @ 6:30pm at the Enoteca Wine Bar, 106 W. Church St. in Ukiah. Join us for a discussion of this month's pick "Magic for Beginners" by Kelly Link. Join us in January for the last film in our PBS/POV series, Iris, a documentary film by Albert Maysles. The film is the result of collaboration among cultural royalty. Iris, a born and bred New Yorker, is one of the world’s best-known fashion and design innovators and educators, while The New York Times called Albert 'the dean of documentary filmmakers.'"