- New MCDH Board
- Little Dog
- Trench Warfare
- Crab Season
- Yesterday's Catch
- Trump Alarm
- Day After
- Patriotic Deserters
- Earth First Napkins
- Downtown SF
- Muslim Watchlist
- Harmless Enigma
- Winter Night
- First Firsts
- Marco Radio
- CalPERS Rate
- Roland's Bakery
COAST HOSPITAL: THE NEW ADMINISTRATION
by Malcolm Macdonald
Mendocino Coast District Hospital held a special meeting of their Board of Directors three days before Christmas. With five board members, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bob Edwards, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Wade Sturgeon, and MCDH legal counsel John Ruprecht all in attendance, the public audience was outnumbered.
First order of business, fill out the officers to serve along with new MCDH Board President Steve Lund. The printed agenda came with suggestions for each position, presumably adhering to the wishes of Lund. That list was voted in; retired nurse Kitty Bruning as Board Vice President, Dr. Luke Campos as Treasurer, and retired neurologist Peter Glusker as Board Secretary. Only Bruning's election failed to be unanimous, with Glusker abstaining.
Next, the hospital board's standing committees were selected. Again, pretty much as written out in the agenda packet. Dr. Campos will chair the Finance Committee, with Glusker serving as Vice Chair. Committee members will include former MCDH Board President Tom Birdsell, who was voted off the board in the November election. Joining him as “civilian” members of the Finance Committee: Kaye Handley (who lost a bid for a board seat in that same election), Bill Scott, John Allison, and Kirk O'Day, all of whom have served in the same capacity in the past.
The hospital's Planning Committee will be chaired by new board member Dr. Kevin Miller. Kitty Bruning will serve as Vice Chair, a post she held throughout 2016. The CEO, Edwards, serves as a member of the Finance Committee. The remaining members are all returnees, Dr. Jack Bellah, Mike Dell' Ara, Jim Katzel, and Kirk O'Day, who also doubles as a liaison to the Finance Committee.
These are the folk who will provide much of the make or break decisions regarding Mendocino Coast District Hospital. The only caveat therin concerns public input, and judging by the usual under attended board and committee meetings the thousands of voting residents of this hospital district are content with this procedure.
MCDH will employ two Ad Hoc committees in 2017. One will look into the viability of converting MCDH to a hospital fee model. At the December 22nd meeting both CFO Sturgeon and counsel Ruprecht noted that going through such a restructuring could take as long as a year and a half and cost a million dollars to complete the process. The restructuring to a hospital fee system would require district wide ballot approval by the voters. Sturgeon also pointed out that the rewards of such a change could possibly be two million or more dollars to the hospital each year. The unknowns regarding this issue have lead to the formation of a Restructure Ad Hoc Committee, headed by Lund, with members to include Edwards, Sturgeon, Birdsell, Campos, Handley, O'Day, Allison, and Bill Scott.
The one issue that has roused a good deal of public interest is that of the economic viability of the Obstetrics (OB) Department. An ad hoc committee on that subject has been more or less promised since a July public forum on the subject. Lund seems intent on following through on this matter. He appointed Dr. Miller to Chair the OB Ad Hoc Committee. The membership will be made up of no more than ten to twelve individuals including Mendocino Coast Clinic Executive Director Lucresha Renteria, Ms. Bruning, Mr. Sturgeon, John Allison, Dr. Bellah, as well as Tanya Smart and Carol White, both of whom have attempted to push the MCDH Board toward some sort of progress on this subject for the better part of a year.
Lund wrote his direction for this committee into the agenda. “This ad hoc committee is an advisory body and will share information and recommendations for further review (if necessary) with the Planning Committee for consideration.
“[It will] identify and examine all pertinent factors related to the challenges and opportunities associated with providing hospital based obstetrical services to the Mendocino Coast Health Care District (i.e. costs, staffing, facilities, etc.).”
He also provided guidance on what particular steps to follow: 1. Elect a Chairperson 2. Develop questions and data needed to conduct a thorough review. 3. Arrange interviews and presentations needed to acquire sufficient factual information. 4. Prepare recommendations to present to the Planning Committee.
A report to that committee has a proposed deadline of March 31, 2017, according to Lund's agenda. The Restructure Committee is expected to file its recommendations by the end of March as well.
(The author's deadline is once a week and his website is viewed at: malcolmmacdonaldoutlawford.com.)
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “So, I get this bottle for Christmas. I'll drink it, but just because I live in Boonville doesn't mean I'm a redneck, aka deplorable, not that I don't have both tendencies. I stick pretty much to Jack Daniels. Wine? Only when I'm outta Jack and it's 3am.”
STANDING ON DEAD SOLDIERS TO KEEP OUT OF THE MUD
Man In the Trenches Did Not Think We Had Heard of Great War
The Hawaiian Gazette. Honolulu, Hawaii, 14 May 1915
Robert Anderson, secretary and treasurer of Catton, Neil & Co., this city, is in receipt of a letter from his brother-in-law, of the Royal Scots, at the front of France, containing the following interesting matter.
“I have been over here since December. Had a pop at the Huns. The trenches have been very bad. The ground is very level and therefore not easily drained. It is difficult to keep the trenches free from water.
“The weather is improving now, so we will soon have a chance to get at them with the bayonet. They don’t like that, and they hold up their hands whenever they see us coming.
“I have been ill in hospital, but am now ready to go back for another go at them. Jim has had good luck. He never has been out of the firing line.”
Did Not Think Hawaii Would Hear
“I saw in the papers that Hawaii had sent over some volunteers to London. I thought you would not hear anything about the war out there.
“The Germans are no good with their navy. It is all bottled up. I don’t think the war will last long. It should be all over by June.
“I am not allowed to give any news about the front, as you will know, but will give you all my experiences when I get back to Scotland — that is to say if I don’t stop a German bullet. We don’t think anything about them when they are flying about. We get used to them. We take more notice of the vermin that bother us in the trenches.
“You will have heard how the Germans have treated the Belgians. In one village we were in, the children were running about without clothes, picking up food from the streets. We gave them what we could. Most of those we saw had lost their fathers and mothers. I felt very much for them. They took no notice of the falling shells and wondered why they hurt them.
“There will be a lot of trouble when the warm weather comes. In one trench I was standing on dead bodies. The mud was up to the waist. It is not easy getting any bodies out.
“You will have heard about the German snipers. They are very good, some of them. One night we were all sitting round a fire we had made, eating biscuits and having a smoke and telling stories, when one of my mates fell onto the fire, shot through the head. We were so angry that three of us went out to look for the sniper. He was up a tree. We fired two rounds each. Down he came, equipped in the best. All his clothes were waterproof. We took his rifle and field glasses and left him lying. He would snipe no more.
“The German trenches are only eighty yards from ours. Sometimes they shout over to us. Some of them speak good English.”
The letter was mailed at Rouen, France, on March 31, 1915
COMMERCIAL CRAB FISHING TO EXPAND ON MENDOCINO COAST
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 24, 2016
JASMANE ALLEN, Fort Bragg. Credit card theft, conspiracy.
OCTAVIO CANDELARIO, Lakeport/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
TIMOTHY DAWE, Mendocino. Drunk in public, false ID, probation revocation.
PATRICK DENNIS, Covelo. Probation revocation.
KATHRYN DOUGLASS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
CHRISTINA GEORGE, Ukiah. DUI.
PATRICK HEPPE, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
JOSE MANCERAMA-MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Battery with serious injury, burglary.
LAWRENCE MARSH, Covelo. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
BRENDAN MORGAN, Arcata/Willits. DUI-drugs.
ABRAHAM OLVERA-AGUIRRE, Santa Clara/Hopland. DUI, no license.
MICHAEL READING, Lake Tahoe/Potter Valley. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.
VANCE SCHAUS, Fort Bragg. Using somebody else’s credit card, getting credit with someone else’s ID, conspiracy.
KELLY WOOD, Willits. Failure to appear.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It is hard to contemplate the new administration without experiencing alarm bordering on despair: Alarm about the risks of war, the fate of constitutional democracy, the devastation of a century of social progress. Trump’s populism was a total fraud. Every single Trump appointment has come from the pool of far-right conservatives, crackpots, and billionaire kleptocrats. More alarming still is the man himself — his vanity, impulsivity, and willful ignorance, combined with an intuitive genius as a demagogue. A petulant fifth-grader with nuclear weapons will now control the awesome power of the U.S. government. One has to nourish the hope that Trump can yet be contained. Above all, that will take passionate and strategic engagement, not just to resist but to win, to discredit him and get him out of office while this is still a democracy. We can feel sick at heart — we would be fools not to — but despair is not an option.
— Robert Kuttner
TWAS THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for my spouse.
My stockings were flung over there on the floor
I’s hoping a clean pair were left in my drawer.
The children were long gone to live their own lives
One found a husband, the others some wives.
I woke to a clatter and heard her yell “OUCH!”
Seemed that she slipped and fell onto the couch.
The empty beer bottles I left on the floor
Were no doubt just too much for her to ignore.
I better pretend that I am still sleeping
And let her cool off before she starts weeping.
But she finally cornered me in the back room
So I gave her a present in exchange for the broom
Putting my finger inside of my nose
I pulled out a booger and called it a rose.
Yes, Christmas is finally over at last
It came on so slowly and ended so fast!
— Jim Gibbons
THE LOCAL ANGLE
Craig Anderson was a "patriotic deserter" from the US Navy in 1967. As recounted sympathetically by John Glionna in the New York Times December 22:
He and three other Navy seamen [John Barilla, Richard Bailey and Michael Lindner] walked away from their ship, the aircraft carrier Intrepid, when it docked in Japan after a bombing mission in the Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast of Vietnam. Calling themselves 'patriotic deserters,' they set off an unrelenting international manhunt.
Aided by a local pacifist group and hounded by United States and Japanese military police, the fugitives sneaked aboard a Siberia-bound Russian freighter and were later taken to Moscow by hard-drinking K.G.B. agents...
Mr. Anderson didn’t see himself as a rabble-rouser, just a sincere, blue-collar kid who had made a conscientious act against the continuing deaths of innocent Vietnamese civilians.
Craig Anderson was 20 when he spoke for the Intrepid 4 in a video made by sympathizers: “You are looking at four deserters, four patriotic deserters from the United States Armed Forces. Throughout history, the term ‘deserter’ has applied to cowards, traitors and misfits. We are not concerned with categories or labels. We have reached the point where we must stand up for what we believe to be the truth.”
After three years in Sweden Anderson headed home to San Jose (entering via Canada without a passport). He was arrested and then, Glionna recounts:
He spent nine months in a high-security brig on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, often in solitary confinement, addressed only by his military number, B887517. After he went on a hunger strike, Mr. Anderson was hospitalized for a psychiatric assessment.
Military prosecutors had wanted a four-year sentence, but a judge released him with a bad conduct discharge.
Mr. Anderson emerged another person. “I couldn’t tolerate crowds,” he said. “Sirens made me jump.”
He and his second wife moved to rural Mendocino County, where they lived in a tent. After they divorced, Mr. Anderson went on to become a songwriter and author...
For more than four decades, Mr. Anderson went into his own personal underground.
He bounced around North America, produced a movie, wrote country music and wrote mystery books under the pen name Will Hart while living in Mexico.
At the end of 2015, while living in Mexico, Mr. Anderson met Kathleen Watterson, who was living in Las Vegas, in a political chat room. They quickly became friends, and he decided to relocate to southern Nevada.
Ms. Watterson knew him only as the author Will Hart and had no inkling of his past. But in April, Mr. Anderson finally confided his secret. For some reason, he trusted her...
Recently, he spoke with another Intrepid Four member, John Barilla, who lives in Canada. The other two remained in Sweden.
“I recognized his voice,” Mr. Barilla said. “It was still there, the old Craig, after 40 years.”
They relived what Mr. Barilla called “our magical mystery tour.”
“It was fantastic,” he said. “I didn’t realize that when I was in it.”
Anderson is bringing out a memoir and "hopes to rally a new generation of Americans to take a more vocal stand against the nation’s current military campaigns."
I think it's do-able. Hope springs eternal.
RALEY'S in Alameda is called Nob Hill, I came across a new brand of paper towels. I wonder if a royalty was paid? Or if the old "activists" just went directly commercial? Or if some entrepreneurs just grabbed the name. More will be revealed, I trust.
(Blast from the past: AVA, July 1998)
by Eric Sinclair McMahon
Every fortnight in the San Francisco Chronicle publishes something deceptively branded a "magazine." Before they achieve their monopoly, said pamphlet was a weekly. Go figure.
Overall, we are talking sorry product, particularly in a city with a (literal) embarrassment of journalistic talent. Travel book excerpts, bridal gown fashions spreads, wine country getaway advertorials.
Delivering the final insult, editors opted to devote four to six pages each addition to "The Circuit," comprising captioned photos of well tailored, moneyed, libation-lifting Pacific Heights swells, having a grand time — and assisting the less fortunate — at charitable events.
One quixotic pro still single-handedly strives to save this rag from becoming unopened fish wrap: Sam Whiting, slick yet down-home scribe who produces a regular feature, "Neighborhoods" (in the mid- to late-90s).
Whiting hooks up with genuine locals and takes tours of their turf. The result is genially entertaining, proving again the value of Herb Caen’s journalistic approach.
Step away from your desk, pound a little pavement, shoot shit, and chew rag among real folks.
Whiting's Financial District piece, running one mid-December, remained dependably engaging, sneaking in some historical trivia as a bonus.
What it overlooked — and hey, no criticism intended, Sam, you're valiantly bailing out one woeful book — was the eccentrics who make that small piece of real estate their lifelong home.
Montgomery isn't Wall Street, but where it meets Market and heading north toward California you’ve got some significant pedestrian traffic on workdays.
Population density, always attracts loons, buffoons, goons and zealots with an axe to grind.
For years, a mad evangelist hunkered above the main entrance to the Montgomery BART station, robotically reciting a fresh, lunatic phrase each day (since relocated to the California Street cable car terminus). "CIA kidnapped Eisenhower’s golf clubs,” was one of my favorites, among his mantras.
He’d stare blankly, repeating the current thesis urgently, maniacally, incessantly.
Lately, anyone who works in the area will nod if you ask whether they've spotted "Impeach Guy." An Asian-American with thick glasses, even thicker shoe-soles, and synthetic navy blazers several sizes too small, Impeach Guy hauls ass back and forth along downtown sidewalks, toting a protest sign.
Initially, he simply promoted impeachment of Presidents; not those in power, but those retired or dead.
Truman endured the wrath of Impeach Guy, as did Hoover, Grant and even Hayes.
Soon, he sought recalls of streets: IMPEACH VAN NESS, for example.
About that time, he earned the status of "local character," like those elegantly turned out, elderly identical twins. Confirmation arrived when Impeach Guy costumes appeared on impostors come Halloween.
When last seen, our man had gone intergalactic, warning his fellow citizens about extraterrestrial wrongdoing. The true San Fran punchline, however, is that Impeach Guy lured sponsors. Ads for such enterprises as Rasputin Records have shown up on the non-hortatory side of his placard (a throwback to days of "Eat at Joe's" sandwich boards).
Virtually all blocks, corners of each intersection, have been staked out by career panhandlers. There is the platinum coiffed, patchouli-saturated woman on Sansome; Camouflage Suit Dude, who paints his dachshund’s paw-nails, on Bush; the hunched, allegedly disabled "veteran" on Fremont.
Let's not forget Professor Profanity, near Citicorp at the foot of Sutter. He sprawls full-length, one desiccated palm extended and cupped. If you don't grease it, he unleashes a blast of obscene rant and demonically insulting recommendations.
I passed him up one evening, and he rasped, "You cock-sucking motherfucking pissant, try tugging twin dicks in hell."
That captured my attention, and I walked back. "You know, that might not be great for repeat business," I told him.
"Like I give a rat's ass," he elaborated. "Why don't you blow me and eat shit in your ex-wife's backyard?"
He received a dollar for that performance, not that I got thanked.
Of all the whacked out personages who haunt the Financial District, I find two especially confounding.
First is the entrepreneur whom without fail has a carton of folding umbrellas for sale on bright, clear afternoons. ("It will rain again," he assures passersby.) He did a 180 once, featuring sunglasses during a downpour.
The other is a slender septuagenarian, invariably draped in khaki trench coat, sporting matching stingy-brim. He conceals a tiny pad in his left hand, and, gazing fixedly at office tower facades opposite, squints, scrolling miniscule notations.
I've tried to glance over his shoulder. I spied on him from down the block. Not once has he surrendered a clue regarding his research or motivation. Certainly, he could have catalogued and counted those bricks many times over by now, yet his assignment is not complete.
For me, and many others, that's what downtown San Francisco is all about. We often exchange directions in code. Turn left at Patchouli Lady. When you see the pedicured dachshund, next door is the place with good espresso.
MUSLIM REGISTRY ENTRY SUGGESTIONS, PART I
I'm thinking since there are these acrid rumors circulating that Trumplestiltskin is going to protect all of us Great Americans by keeping a big 'Muslim Watchlist,' I'd like to do my part, help out. If you think keeping notes on Islamic People, their habits, cultural practices, politics, and so on, makes us more vigilant and lots safer, then these items should simply tickle you, um, pink: Stuff sneaked in from Arabia, already in our midst we should be wary of:
ORANGES, LEMONS, LIMES
…and there's prob'ly more! Pretty goddamned scary, am I right? Jest sayin'…
— Rick Weddle, Merry Christmas
I HAVE COME TO BELIEVE that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
— Umberto Eco
Pile high the hickory and the light
Log of chestnut struck by the blight.
Welcome-in the winter night.
The day has gone in hewing and felling,
Sawing and drawing wood to the dwelling
For the night of talk and story-telling.
These are the hours that give the edge
To the blunted axe and the bent wedge,
Straighten the saw and lighten the sledge.
Here are question and reply,
And the fire reflected in the thinking eye.
So peace, and let the bob-cat cry.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay
FIRSTS OF THE FIRST
a writer talks with his t-shirts and trousers
a man who is not loyal to his pants
can't expect his pants to be loyal to him
a new cabin too may enter conversation
don't slide downhill and Happy New Year
a cleared space at last emptied boxes
carried outside for further discharge
under the sun before the next rain
other bundles backed to the walls
want disposition for the long hope
through weather in canyon bramble
trees and falling widowmakers
no rush this is a holiday the ravens
croak their arcs of space no motors
sound along the coast the surf
is leisurely the page fresh
a first of the first
— Gordon Black
BOX OF CANDY AND A PIECE OF FRUIT.
"As humans, we must ask ourselves how much of our own bodies we could reasonably eat without dying."
The recording of last night's (2016-12-23) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to enjoy via
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find links to an array of casually commercial intellectual frippery to add to your arsenal that wouldn't necessarily work via radio, for being mainly visual or requiring a lot of explanation to appreciate properly, but that are nonetheless worthwhile, that I set aside for you while putting radio shows together. Bonbons such as:
The Nutcracker zoetrope.
A Chinese pop star's famous-art-related music video. Had me at
Nighthawks, knows it, returns there.
A lovely story that's also an ad, and so what?
Rich, thoughtless mother, inscrutable Gandalf-Santa, Stockholm syndrome, happy ending. It is another ad (again, so what?), this one somehow for a Russian bank.
CALPERS CUTS DISCOUNT RATE TO 7%
The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is an agency in the California executive branch that "manages pension and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees, retirees, and their families." CalPERS manages the largest public pension fund in the United States, with $303.8 billion in assets. In the last fiscal year, CalPERS paid over $12.7 billion in retirement benefits, and it is estimated that CalPERS will pay another $7.5 billion in health benefits On Wednesday December 21, the CalPERS governing board agreed to cut its official investment forecast, stated as the "discount rate", also known as the "assumed rate of return", by a half a percentage point over the next three years from 7.5 percent to 7 percent. The discount rate changes approved by the Board for the next three Fiscal Years (FY) are as follows: FY 2017-2018: 7.375% FY 2018-2019: 7.25% FY 2019-2020: 7.00% This incremental lowering of the discount rate will give more time to prepare for the changes in contribution costs. However, that seemingly casual decision to lower rates to 7 percent within three years will mean substantially higher pension contribution rates for the state, local governments, school districts and at least some public employees. "This was a very difficult decision to make, but it is an important step to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Fund," said Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS Board of Administration. "We know this will have an impact on the state, schools, and public agencies that partner with us, and we're committed to making sure the changes are implemented in a phased approach so our employers and affected members have time to plan their budgets responsibly." The move to cut its "actuarial rate of return", closely watched in the pension industry, reflects an acknowledgment that investment returns have been less predictable and less optimistic since the market crash in 2008. “This is very monumental for CalPERS,” said board member Richard Costigan moments before the vote. The CalPERS bill for contributions from both governments and their workers will increase by $2 billion a year, including a $1 billion-a-year hit to California's general fund. A spokesperson for California’s school districts said they’ll have to shell out another $500 million a year. There was no estimate of the impact on municipalities, but officials warned the decision could further strain budgets that are still struggling to recover from the recession. “It is possible that we could see some bankruptcies,” said Dane Hutchings of the League of California Cities in an interview Wednesday, December 21. The three-year reduction of the discount rate will result in average employer rate increases of about 1 percent to 3 percent of normal cost as a percent of payroll for most miscellaneous retirement plans, and a 2 percent to 5 percent increase for most plans for public safety officers. Additionally, many CalPERS employers will see a 30 to 40 percent increase in their current unfunded accrued liability payments. These payments are made to amortize unfunded liabilities over 20 years to bring the Fund to a fully funded status over the long-term. Beginning in 2017, the Board will start reviewing the Fund’s asset allocation mix during the next Asset Liability Management process. The process, which includes a review of the discount rate, will conclude in February 2018. Today's decision was made after an extensive review by the Board on the current funding status of the Fund, projected investment return rates over the next decade, an overview of CalPERS assets and liabilities, and discussions with stakeholders. The CalPERS Board last lowered the discount rate, from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent, in 2012. Mendocino County Employee Retirement Association (MCERA) currently has a discount rate of 7.25%. Its net pension liability (NPL) increased from $166.1 million to $205.7 million during the fiscal year 2015-16 per new accounting guidelines (GASB 67). The funded status based on market value of assets decreased from 72.8% to 67.5%. Net position at MCERA decreased to $426.3 million which reflects a decrease of 4.03% in net position during fiscal year 2015-16. Actuarial determined assets increased to $446.7 million, a 4.3% increase during the fiscal year 2015-16. Net additions to plan assets for the fiscal year totaled $14.3 million.
John Sakowicz Ukiah, CA
Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the Retirement Board, I do not speak on behalf of the Board. I speak as a private citizen only. The opinions expressed are my own.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article122206574.html storylink=cpy
MENDO GOURMANDS are raving about Roland’s Bakery & Bistro in Evergreen Shopping Center, South Willits...
"Definitely best bagels in Mendocino County; they are real East Coast style bagels. Don’t know about best on the West Coast, though I couldn’t say they weren’t. Small place; they have good lunch too, not really a deli, no. They were trying dinner, too, not sure that they still are. Delicious baked goods. Ray and Phil Roland, two brothers from the East Coast, I forget which city. Phil the baker; Ray the chef. Phil Roland used to (many years ago) have the old bank building on corner of Commercial and Main (now Brickhouse Coffee) and sold bagels and baked goods.
Hard being a 'bistro' on the south end of town, but a business like Rolands might be one of the few that benefits from the Bypass, as those of us on the north end wont’ say anymore: too much traffic to go all the way down there for lunch….."