- FB Notes
- Rain Forecast
- Bee Boxes
- LaRue Kobrin
- Little Dog
- Toothless Oversight
- Boonville Legionnaires
- Young Drivers
- Shelter Stats
- Police Report
- Wife Beaters
- Yesterday's Catch
- Couch Flap
- Urine Bathing
- Cannabis Subsidy
- Broadband Meeting
- Teen Techweek
- Mendocino Theatre
- Symphony Fundraiser
- Rural Pushback
- PA Housing
FORT BRAGG NOTES
by Rex Gressett
I spent the morning talking to Fort Bragg's development director, Marie Jones. She expressed a quiet dismay and gentle sympathy over the fate of my ship, which is after all a local landmark as well as my former home. We talked about her concerns with the accuracy of my articles; she made some good points. I tried to explain to her the need that people in the community had to understand what City Hall was doing, and the perception of many people, including me, that City Hall was opaque, mysterious and suspect. I think that we agreed that whatever the reason the problem was a lack of investigative reporting.
There is no question that the election of a new city council has changed many things in the City. The Hospitality House Cartel, agent of misery for the homeless and bottomless pit of city funding, was enthusiastically described to me by a City Councilman as being on the ropes.
I cannot see that they are on the ropes, but the new City Council has dropped the credulous innocence of the old one like a bad habit. Clearly HH is in distress. Reports from the homeless tell a tale of woe. There is reportedly a continuing gas leak. They are out of everything down to the paper plates.
Under fire from all sides, HH has abandoned their clean and sober policy, openly allowing alcohol and drug use by clients. The $1 million they got from the City might have gone a little further if they had not bought a useless hotel that no one can stay in. Even the $186,000 in City money that the smooth managers of misery spent for a (very average) garden would have bought a few paper plates. They have a new solar array on the roof but reports are they cannot now afford to get batteries, so it is not hooked up. Maybe they are on the ropes after all.
I wrote with disdain of the attempt by the mayor and the public safety committee to impose a solution through the police on the homeless situation by hassling folks out of town, or out of their minds, whichever came first. But alas people in whom I have great confidence came to me later with tales of true outrage and the abuse of courtesy and decency by homeless folks. I hang my head to say it. The dark world into which we cast our house-less, the jungles where rape and meth are everyday facts of life, corrode the soul. The pious Mary Poppins enablers who make fat money from the homeless services machine understandably inspire contempt and ingratitude in any self-respecting person. Autonomy, dignity, productivity are illusions. Why act like they are not? There are human beings hiding in the woods from our incapacity for economic inclusion.
Mayor Lindy Peters is hanging fire while his nomination to the Coastal Commission is considered by Governor Brown. In an innocence of my own I thought that his newly acquired opposition to the big box shopping project on a local coastal meadow, and his pending ascendancy to eminence at the Coastal Commission would make a difference to the bad idea that is stalking Hare Creek.
But I have been disabused of my optimism by staff at the Commission, who decline to offer reassurance and are not too keen to talk. The absolute horror of the destruction of this unique green space absolutely at the gateway to our town and used by all of us by a viciously ugly big box monstrosity seems so outlandish to most folks that they (and I) have not digested the real possibility of it happening.
Community meetings are being held in private homes but no realistic strategy for opposition has emerged.
MORE RAIN AHEAD. Starting Saturday, Mendo is predicted to get another series of rain showers for a few more days. Primarily Saturday-Tuesday. Accumulations of up to two inches are expected before it clears up again next Thursday. Cool evening temps dipping into the 30s with an occasional 60 or so during the afternoons.
MENDOCINO COLLEGE FOUNDATION LARUE KOBRIN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
by Lynda Myers & Katie Fairbairn
Originally a farm girl from Palisade, Nebraska, LaRue Kobrin arrived in Fort Bragg with her husband and life partner, Frank Bender in 1974. Although she held a doctorate in psychology from the University of Colorado, Kobrin did not have any academic aspirations at that time, according to her longtime friend, Deborah White. Instead, White said, “She became the manager of Captain Flint's fish and chips restaurant, 'an institution' on the Coast. LaRue was perfectly at home as a manager: she was practical, down-to-earth, and always very likeable. When College of the Redwoods came to the coast, it was a lucky accident that got LaRue back into psychology.”
White continued: “I met LaRue in 1985, and began working with her at the College of the Redwoods campus in Fort Bragg in 1990. Our relationship lasted fifteen years, and gave us both the camaraderie and support that professors working at a small, rural, satellite campus desperately needed. La Rue was “of the people.” She was very laid back, but she had a brain of steel. She was also incredibly loyal and family oriented. Although she did not have children of her own, she was close to her niece and nephew who lived in Caspar. LaRue was fun to hang out with. We shared a lot of laughs over the years.
“LaRue had a strong belief that we humans like to be at the edge of what we can accomplish: that life is a balance of using our brain as much as possible, without being stressed out. She shared this insight with her students, along with a sincere interest in their lives. Many of her former students remain in the area, and their faces light up at the mention of her name.”
One of those former students, Terri Ebrey, RN, Hospice Coordinator at Mendocino Coast Home Health, had this to say about Kobrin, “My early association with LaRue was as a student at College of the Redwoods in the 90's. She always seemed joyous and compassionate. LaRue arrived at class early. Those of us who did the same were greeted by that smile of hers, and were able to pick her marvelous brain. She never said no. She was patient and eager to share her knowledge.”
Ebrey was later privileged to care for LaRue Kobrin as a hospice nurse, a coincidence that pleased them both. She continued “At the end of her life, LaRue was fairly nonverbal. However, and here comes the special part, she still managed to exude joy and compassion. Without ever saying a word. It seemed to me that she felt peaceful acceptance in regard to her prognosis. She was an example of a life lived fully and lovingly.”
LaRue's husband and life partner for 44 years, Frank Bender, described her as follows: “From the first day we met, in 1970, we became friends, lovers, and soul mates. LaRue had a natural curiosity about people and their behavior which led her into the field of psychology. Her true life passion was that she gave of herself without prejudice or judgement, in an attempt to help those less fortunate.”
After LaRue's passing in 2014, Bender wanted to set up a memorial scholarship to benefit nursing students like those who had helped care for LaRue at the end of her life. He contacted Katie Fairbairn, executive director of the Mendocino College Foundation, and together they developed the LaRue Kobrin Memorial Scholarship, a perpetual scholarship that benefited six remarkable nursing students in 2016. The grateful recipients were: Rebecca Yaffe of Fort Bragg, Conrad Busath of Ukiah, Ronda Esparza of Clearlake Park, Ariel North of Willits, Joshua Smith of Ukiah, and Katie Wilson of Willits.
“LaRue Kobrin touched countless people's lives because she was such a loving, caring, and giving human being. These scholarships will continue to touch lives and remind us all what it means to make a difference in a life. On behalf of the Mendocino College Foundation, we are honored to be the steward of this gift,” stated executive director Katie Fairbairn.
For more information about the Mendocino College Foundation or to donate towards any of their programs, call them at 707-467-1018 or visit http://foundation.mendocino.edu.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Every year about this time, we get a couple of days of sunshine and the boss starts walking around in a fancy suit talking about how he's going to plant this, weed whack that. What happens? He buys a couple of geraniums and calls it a summer.”
WE RECENTLY CAME ACROSS this item at a San Diego on-line organization:
Bond Watchdogs Don't Have Much Bite, Says New Little Hoover Commission Report
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THE MAJOR REPLIED to reporter Ashley McGlone:
Dear Ms. McGlone,
Thank you for covering the relative pointlessness of school bond “oversight” committees under Proposition 39. I understand the reasoning behind the reforms proposed Little Hoover Commission, but I find them, at least those mentioned in your piece, to be far from sufficient. Of course conflicts of interest are bad and, I believe, already prohibited, not that it seems to have mattered in some cases. Training and lawyers would be nice too, I guess, although that should be funded by the District, as long as it’s not the District’s own law firm.
But that brings up a point: What if the oversight committee doesn’t like something? What do they do? Contact a lawyer? Who would then be up against the much better funded District lawyer?
And training on bond financing? That also should already be provided as needed from the District.
I was on our local Anderson Valley School Bond Oversight Committee from 2013-2016. At our first meeting I proposed that the School District / Board be required to get an official opinion from the oversight committee BEFORE any major bond related decisions were made. I.e., at least a week before the School Board was to consider a Bond related item that involved more than, say, 5% of a contract value, the item and all supporting materials be supplied to the Oversight Committee under standard Brown Act rules which would be required to issue an official opinion which must then be considered by the School Board in open session. And if the Board chooses to ignore the Oversight Committee’s recommendation, it must issue a formal public statement explaining why.
When I proposed such a process at our first meeting, one fellow Board member seconded the motion, but after the Superintendent said that such a process would be too burdensome for the School Board and that there was no Ed Code requirement for it, the seconder joined my fellow Committee members in voting it down 6-1.
We were thus relegated to after-the-fact reviews of things which, even if we had found problems (which we generally did not, but that’s not the point), we would have had no way as a committee to even bring them to the attention of the school board, much less force the issue if needed.
Several people said we could bring any concerns or problems to the School Board as individuals. But that approach, like most public comments, 1) is never timely, and 2) never leads to anything more than “Thank you for your comment” from the Board Chair.
If California wants to improve the toothlessness of the oversight committees, they should at least require that the Committees be formally involved in the process beforehand. All the other stuff is just more window dressing.
Mark Scaramella/Boonville, California
* * *
REPORTER ASHLEY McGLONE wrote right back:
Thank you for reading Mark, and for reaching out.
I also wondered if implementing the Hoover recommendations would make much difference, although it couldn't hurt in my view.
I expect little will change without changing state law to bolster committee authority and clarify the conflict of interest prohibitions. In my experience, agencies will only do what is minimally required and sometimes less than that.
VETERANS DAY SERVICE, NOVEMBER 11, 2016
THIS JUST IN FROM DAVID SEVERN (CHP reports may be forthcoming…)
“Yesterday a high school kid tried to pass another car at about the 6 mile mark way up on Highway 253 but oncoming traffic interfered with his plans. Nobody was apparently seriously hurt in the resulting crash albeit significant major front end damage was somehow inflicted upon the car being passed.
* * *
Today another young driver tried to pass on North State Street in Ukiah but oncoming traffic forced him into a power pole. Nobody was injured in that one but the road was closed for a couple hours.
COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER FEBRUARY STATS
Adoptions: 43 dogs, 11 cats.
Transferred to Rescue partners: 27 dogs, 9 cats,
NEXT TIME, MAKE IT A MERCEDES
On February 25, 2017, at about 5:47 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported trespass at a residence in the 1800 block of Perch Road in Willits, California. Deputies arrived on scene and immediately noticed a 1991 Toyota pickup truck parked in front of the residence. The vehicle appeared to have been recently painted with spray paint and the license plates were missing. Deputies contacted Jennifer Schmitt-Feliz, 33, of Covelo, at the residence and connected her to the vehicle. Deputies conducted a further investigation and were advised by dispatch that the vehicle had been previously reported as stolen to the Ukiah Police Department on 02-23-2017. Deputies conducted and records check on Schmitt-Feliz and were advised she had an outstanding misdemeanor do not cite warrant for her arrest (Driving on a suspected license). Schmitt-Feliz was subsequently arrested for the warrant and possession of receiving a stolen vehicle [496(d)(a) PC]. Schmitt-Feliz was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
QUESTION FOR LIBERALS
IF AN UNDOCUMENTED Mexican beats up his wife, as happens with depressing frequency here in Mendocino County, should he be deported as a criminal?
I'D SAY YES. Throw him out. And while Trump is at it, have him declare native born wife beaters as citizens of Mexico and throw them out, too.
SPARE ME the "cultural" excuses, which I've heard several times over the years. "Mexico is a macho society. Men beat women. That's what they do." Beating up women is macho? Something Mexican men are supposed to do? They're raised to abuse women?
DOUBT IT. I think some men grow up in homes where they see their fathers beating women and, being children, they grow up thinking this is what real men do, real men like the gavacho they grew up with, and the cycle continues, for generations.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 1, 2017
CAROLINA ALVAREZ, Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.
LAKE CARRIGG, Willits. Failure to appear.
KENNETH DEWITT JR., Fort Bragg. Failure to register, parole violation.
CLAUDE DUMONT, Redwood Valley. DUI.
GRADY PARKER, Laytonville. Battery, drunk in public.
MICHAEL SHAFER, Quincy/Ukiah. Vehicle theft.
SIERRA SIMARRO, Willits. Failure to appear.
JAMES SOUZA, Concord/Fort Bragg. DUI, domestic battery, protective order violation, suspended license, probation revocation.
JUAN VARGAS, Ukiah. False ID, probation revocation.
MATTHEW WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
KELLYANNE ON THE COUCH
RE: Get Your Feet Off OUR Couch!
Alan Haack on MCN Listserve: Doing what Kellyanne Conway did when Trump had a room full of people in a formal setting is simply not good manners. Please study the faces of the men who watched and you will not see comfort or ease but embarrassment, which is what I feel. Perhaps this is a "nothing issue" but I think it is in the subtleties that we reveal ourselves and also get our work done. Of course, relaxed informality is nice but only if it accords with good manners. If anyone in the room is confused about what is going on, then good manners haven't been followed. Whether I liked it or not, I learned many years ago that there were certain procedures to follow so as to make life easier both for me and for other people.
* * *
Eleanor Cooney: I think it's possible to get overly hung up on "etiquette," which can be subtly manipulated and morphed into rigid rules of decorum--like, don't approach to within more than ten steps of the Emperor, be sure to bow three times, and for God's sake, don't look him in the eye.
One of the best aspects of "America" is relaxed informality. It could even be argued that that informality is at the heart of some of our uniquely American "arts": jazz, rock 'n' roll, stand-up comedy, certain types of dance and theater, etc. In any case, it's not as if she hiked up her skirts and did the can-can on the sofa; what I saw was fun spontaneity (and again, the girl is limber!!). It's a long way from her tootsies on the sofa while she shoots a pic to muddy boots on the carpet and the downfall of civilization. Now, Trump's ass in the chair is another story altogether...
* * *
alan haack: Well...let's take a quick look at the idea of "manners." Manners is defined as public procedures that are engaged in to make other people comfortable. That's all. Good manners are not complex but they have been developed over time to ensure mutual comfort. When boorish behavior is overlooked, good manners are lost.
* * *
Eleanor Cooney: I'll go with my Main Gal, Eleanor Roosevelt, on this one. She nailed it: "Manners," she said, "are formalized kindness." I did go look at the pic. Sorry, but I don't see unease or embarrassment. I see a variety of expressions: some warm smiles, some distraction, the majority of the people either looking toward Trump or standing behind him smiling for the main photographer. One guy is maybe looking in Kellyanne's direction, smiling, possibly thinking what I thought: "If I tried to bend my knees like that, they'd snap, crackle and pop and possibly lock into place."
WELL THAT'S NOT VERY A-PEE-LING! PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS CONTAIN AN AVERAGE OF 75 LITRES OF URINE
by Phoebe Weston
It's the sort of thing you'd hope people would grow out of, but it turns out peeing in the pool is still common practice.
There are 75 litres of urine in the average public pool, which can be harmful to people's health, according to new research.
Scientists have discovered a new way to track this disgusting habit which involves measuring how sweet the water is.
Scientists from the University of Alberta, Canada, found out how much urine is in pools and hot tubs by testing for an artificial sweetener, acesulfame potassium (ACE), which is marketed as Sunett and Sweet One.
The sweetener, which is often used in processed foods like sodas and baked goods is chemically stable, so passes right through the digestive tract.
'The widespread consumption of acesulfame-K, a stable synthetic sweetener, and its complete excretion in urine, makes it an ideal urinary marker', researchers said.
The team estimated that swimmers released more than 32 litres of urine enough to fill a medium-size trash bin in a 500,000-litre pool in one instance.
They urinated nearly 90 litres in a one million litre pool (one-third the size of an Olympic-size pool) in another instance.
There was 570 times more ACE in pools and hot tubs than in tap water samples.
In the report, published in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, researchers explain that we need to raise awareness and educate the public on the importance of not urinating in the pool.
'Our study provides additional evidence that people are indeed urinating in public pools and hot tubs', said Lindsay K Jmaiff Blackstock, a graduate student at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and lead author.
'We want to use this study to promote public education on appropriate swimming hygiene practices,' Ms. Blackstock told the Guardian.
'We should all be considerate of others and make sure to exit the pool to use the restroom when nature calls.'
In order to do this, we need improved understanding of pool chemistry.
The researchers developed a rapid, high-throughput analytical technique to test more than 250 water samples from 31 actively used pools and hot tubs in two Canadian cities, and more than 90 samples of clean tap water used to initially fill the basins.
The concentration of ACE in the pools and hot tubs ranged from 30 to 7,110 nanograms per litre of water up to 570 times more than the levels found in the tap water samples.
Recent studies have shown urea which is found in both urine and sweat reacts with chlorine to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs).
This can cause both eye irritation and respiratory problems.
At the 2012 Olympic Games, Michael Phelps said he thought urinating in pools was acceptable behaviour.
'I think everybody pees in the pool,' he said. 'Chlorine kills it, so it's not bad.'
The authors of the study hope their work will highlight the 'adverse health effects' of urinating in recreational facilities.
BIG DOPE GETS BIG BREAK FROM PG&E
From Pacific Gas & Electric:
While recreational marijuana cannot be sold in California until January 2018, existing medical marijuana growers and future recreational marijuana growers will be eligible as of March 1 for PG&E’s agricultural energy rate.
The passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016 allows the state to license and regulate recreational marijuana cultivation and businesses.
“Cannabis is a legal crop in our state, like almonds and tomatoes. Agricultural growers now will be eligible for the same rate and energy efficiency programs as farmers of other crops,” said Deborah Affonsa, vice president of Customer Service at PG&E.
PG&E customers are eligible for agricultural energy rates if they have received a permit from their local jurisdiction for the cultivation of cannabis and if 70 percent or more of the annual energy use on the meter is for agricultural end-uses such as growing crops, pumping water for agricultural irrigation or other uses that involve agricultural production for sale which do not change the form of the product. The agricultural energy rate applies both to customers who grow cannabis outdoors and those who grow indoors in commercial greenhouses.
The agricultural energy rate does not apply to residential customers who can legally grow up to six marijuana plants inside a private residence per the state Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
Previously, medical marijuana was not considered an agricultural product by PG&E, and growers were not eligible for the agricultural energy rate. Because medical marijuana can be grown and sold in California currently, licensed growers of medical marijuana are immediately eligible for the agriculture energy rate.
Cannabis growing operations can use an extremely large amount of electricity and are considered to be equivalent to other energy-intensive operations such as data centers.
“We’ve met with representatives of the emerging legal cannabis industry and listened to their needs. We are here to help our customers make smart, efficient and affordable energy choices. Now that cannabis is in California’s future, our next step is to work with these new agricultural customers and make this industry as energy efficient as possible,” said Affonsa.
PG&E’s agricultural rates are under the jurisdiction of the California Public Utilities Commission and the state of California.
Agricultural customers with questions about rates, rules and energy efficiency programs can learn more at pge.com/ag or contact PG&E’s dedicated Agricultural Customer Service Center at 1-877-311-3276.
TRISH IS GONNA GET US THERE!
Broadband Alliance meeting this Friday, 3/3/17
Our next Broadband Alliance meeting is this Friday, 10 am at the Community Foundation in Ukiah (204 S. Oak Street). The agenda is attached, and the call-in number is at the top if want to participate from a distance. Unfortunately, the guest speaker I had scheduled from Sonoma County Library had to cancel, but we still have a full agenda.
Here is the link <http://www.mendocinobroadband.org/march-3rd-2017-public-outreach-meeting/> to the agenda on our website. Does anyone have issues with receiving this email and attachment due to slow internet? If so, I can send the email to anyone in this situation and only include the link and not the actual pdf. Just let me know and I'd be happy to make that change.
Thanks, and hope to see you (or hear you) on Friday!
Find us on Facebook!
TEEN TECH WEEK 2017 (March 7 - 11)
- littleBits Workshop, Tuesday, March 7th 3:30-5:30 pm
- Bookmark Book Lights, Wed. March 8th 2-5 pm
- Wii-U Gaming, Thursday, March 9th 3:30-5 pm
- Teen Lock-In (Cosplay!), Saturday, March 11th 6 pm -12 am (13+)
Local teens will be tuning in at the library as Mendocino County Library celebrates Teen Tech Week™ [March 7th - March 11th]. They join thousands of other libraries and schools across the country that are celebrating this year’s theme, Be the Source of Change, to raise awareness about how Mendocino County Library creates a space to extend teens’ learning beyond the classroom where they can explore, create and share content.
littleBits Workshop On Tuesday, March 7th from 3:30-5:30 pm, teens are invited to tinker with littleBits! What is littleBits? littleBits is a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that empower you to invent anything, from your own remote controlled car, to a smart home device.
The Bits snap together with magnets, no soldering, no wiring, no programming needed. Come explore & invent your own creations at the Library.
Bookmark Book Light – Curious about circuits? Design a Sew Circuit Bookmark from LEDs & “conduct” your own Bookmark Book Light to read in the dark on Wednesday, March 8th from 2-5pm. Registration is required: 467-6434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wii-U Gaming for Teens – Challenge your friends at our weekly gaming for teens program! We meet every Thursday from 3:30-5 pm.
Teen Lock-In Teens entering 8th-12th grades are welcome to attend Teen Lock-In at the Library, an after-hours event to take place on Saturday, March 11th from 6:30 pm-midnight. This year’s theme is COSPLAY – so come prepared. With games & activities like Minute–to-Win-It challenges, a Glow-in-the-Dark Scavenger Hunt, & Zombie Tag in the Stacks, fun & adventure are guaranteed. Pizza, snacks, refreshments & materials will be provided. Registration and parent/guardian permission are required for teens to attend. To obtain a permission slip or for more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or email@example.com
Teen Tech Week is a national initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technology. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to take advantage of the various current & emerging technologies available at libraries for education and recreation, and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals who can help them achieve greater digital literacy.
Melissa Carr, Ukiah Public Library’s Teen Librarian, knows that "getting teens into libraries is essential. Offering gaming, access to computers, and online homework help is important, and letting them know that we can help educate them on how to use these resources will get them in the door. Once they’re in the door, we can show teens that with technology at the library, anything is possible.”
Millions of teens do not have access to a home computer and, were it not for libraries, would miss opportunities to gain important digital literacy skills. Libraries offer a bridge across the digital divide. Libraries also recognize that digital media plays an important part in a teens’ life. That is why more libraries than ever are helping teens build critical digital literacy skills, which they will use to obtain scholarships, secure jobs, effectively manage their online identity and more.
Teen Tech Week is held annually the second week of March. For more information, please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or firstname.lastname@example.org Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.
MORNINGS AT SEVEN for just $7.50!
In 1987, a ticket to the Mendocino Theatre Company's production of MORNING'S AT SEVEN cost just $7.50. Guess what? You can see one of the two preview performances of the 2017 production at the 1987 price! Purchase your tickets for either of our preview performances of Morning's at Seven (March 2 or March 3) ONLINE <http://mendocinotheatre.org/single-tickets/>, enter code "1987" at checkout, and you will pay just $7.50 for each seat! This offer is good for online transactions only. Offer expires tonight at midnight! Find out more about Morning's at Seven here: http://mendocinotheatre.org/mornings-at-seven/ Watch the video, created for us by Kiara Ramirez, here: https://youtu.be/Sa2nmfkI_RE
Morning's at Seven plays at the Mendocino Theatre Company, March 2 through April 9, on Thursdays Saturdays at 8:00 pm and selected Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for youth 22 and under. For tickets and information, please contact the MTC box office at 707-937-4477 or go to mendocinotheatre.org.
SINGING FOR YOUR SUPPER:
Sheridan Malone and Thin Air String Band headline Ukiah Symphony fundraiser
by Roberta Werdinger
The elegant tasting room of Barra of Mendocino in Redwood Valley will be the site of a "fun-raiser" for the Ukiah Symphony on Saturday, March 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. Titled "Sip, Sup & Song," the evening will feature a catered meal by Beth Kieffer, Barra wine for purchase, and the vocal talents of Sheridan Malone, aided by members of the Thin Air String Band. The musicians will roam amongst the tables like troubadours, singing and playing string instruments during what is sure to be an unusually delicious meal.
Noted Hopland caterer Beth Kieffer will be in charge of the dinner, using mainly local and organic foods and including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Nonalcoholic beverages are included with the meal.
A silent auction will take place and will include such items as wines from Barra, Girasole, Parducci, Rivino, Simaine and Testa; jewelry by Amy Patton; a quilt wall hanging by Ukiah Symphony cellist Jean Craig; fiber art by Ursula Partch; ceramics from Jan Hoyman; artwork by Anne Foote, Mark Gordon, and Jaye-Alison Moscariello; and gift certificates from Parducci, Ukiah Valley Golf Course, Toppers Salon, Ukiah Garden Café and masseuse Anna Heggenhougen. The Take 1 Jazz Trio will donate up to three hours of jazz for a private function. There will also be a free raffle.
A longtime Ukiah resident, Sheridan Malone started out his singing career by joining a barbershop chorus that met in the evenings after his day job repairing import cars. He studied with singing teacher (specializing in opera) Nadine Patton in Willits and began extending his range in more ways than one, taking roles with Gloriana Opera and the Ukiah Players Theatre, and starring in a production of Showboat at Marin Civic Light Opera. These days Malone plays and sings both folk and Americana on his own and with the Thin Air String Band, an Americana and bluegrass group he formed in 2009; writes original songs, on topics ranging from Civil War history to the ins and outs of romance to the death of a child; and teaches songwriting and the art of singing in Ukiah and at various music camps, most recently RiverTunes, a creativity camp near Pinecrest Lake in Southern California.
Malone has a pure tenor that is best heard in person, conveying warmth and clarity simultaneously. It sounds effortless, but of course it isn't. In his voice training classes, Malone emphasizes that whether a student wants to sing roots music or some other kind, they need to get back to their own roots--way back. "When you were flat on your back in diapers and rattling the windows, you did that without any training," he says. "It's very simple: We're a wind instrument." After teaching students how to enlist the muscles of their own wind instrument in order to really breathe, they can then apply pressure to generate more sound. "If you can make a small sound that's not breathy, then you can crank it up. People can make a whole lot more noise than they think without any strain," Malone explains.
This special evening will not only be filled with music, but will also help to support a musical cause—the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra, which is now celebrating its 38th anniversary. Board President Jean Stirling says, “Board members like to call these joyful festivities 'fun-raisers'” because each one brings out the best aspects of a community—whether it is, in this case, the musicians who make up the Thin Air String Band, the winemakers and catering crew, the local businesses and artists who donate auction and raffle items, or the captivating architecture of the Barra tasting room itself. Yet, Stirling adds, “There would be no fun in 'fun-raisers' or a 38th anniversary without partygoers, audience members, and donors. I look forward to thanking people personally on the 18th.”
Tickets for "Sip, Sup & Song" are $60 per person and are available at Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah and online at www.ukiahsymphony.org. Tables for eight can be reserved by calling the Ukiah Symphony phone line at 707 462-0236. Barra of Mendocino is located at 7051 N. State Street in Redwood Valley.
WHY THE CENTRAL VALLEY VOTES MORE CONSERVATIVE
by Victor Davis Hanson
Not long ago on a farm south of Fresno, I watched a poorly paid mechanic in silence repair a gate’s hydraulic ram as easily and rapidly as if he were Googling on a smartphone. He seemed to me a genius in oily clothes engulfed in a cloud of cigarette smoke.
Later that same day, in Palo Alto, I talked to lots of mellifluent and highly compensated academics theorize about politics. I wondered whether they could tell hydraulic fluid from the engine oil in their imported cars. Who is really wise, who not?
A red/blue political map of the 2016 election reflects these two antithetical worlds. Eighty-five percent of geographical America voted for Donald Trump. But more than half the country’s voters living in just 15 percent of its land area went for Hillary Clinton.
How did we split into two countries? Why does rural America vote more conservative than liberal?
Those in rural and small-town America — who were more likely to pump their own water, to worry about their septic tank and to fret whether the weather will allow them to profit or lose money — think, talk and vote differently from those who expect the tap always to flow, the toilet to flush regularly and to get paid on time, rain or shine, drought or flood.
Pragmatic, autonomous and struggling people of the countryside think about building new dams and freeways to match population growth; affluent urbanites and suburbanites, with the greater luxury of second and third chances, more often dream of stalling or dismantling them to allow the landscape to return to a pristine paradise.
I work at Stanford University but live on a farm between Fresno and Visalia. What one place values does not necessarily mean much in the other.
Writing an essay no more impresses my rural neighbors than knowing how to drive a tractor or use a chainsaw is of interest to my Palo Alto colleagues. Rural people who mine, log, farm and build hold a tragic view that they are always but a day away from nature’s revenge — drought, flood or storm — and that the human experience is always a war of sorts.
But urbanites are more assured that their degrees, good intention and sophistication properly bring prosperity and security. They more likely assume that they can move on to greater things than worrying about where their food, water and fuel come from.
What America watches on television and on the silver screen is created either in Los Angeles or New York. The nation’s world-ranked Ivy League and West Coast universities are almost all in blue America. Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the preeminent financial institutions are likewise centered in urban corridors. The federal government operates in the progressive culture of Washington, D.C. The reasons for this lopsided concentration are part historical and part geographical, but not necessarily a referendum on either contemporary competency or character.
The result nonetheless is an abyss, in which power brokers who shape the way America is entertained, educated, financed and governed are often unaware of how half the country lives — or the effects of their own tastes and policies upon them. Yet the hinterland is no cul-de-sac, but rather the proud generator of most of the nation’s fuel, food and manufactured goods — the traditional stuff of civilization.
The Trump revolt was also a push back against winner-take-all globalization that enriched the populated coasts far more than the open spaces in between — that made London spiritually closer to Manhattan than to upstate New York, and Tokyo or Bangalore more attuned to the Bay Area than to the Central Valley a hundred miles away.
People outside of New York and San Francisco seemed to have the strange idea that the wheat they grew or the oil they fracked were just as important to Facebook and Goldman Sachs employees as the latter’s social media pages and stock portfolios were to farmers and oil drillers.
In part, the rural backlash was fueled by a sense that half the country — the quieter and more hidden half — did not like the cultural and economic trajectories on which the cities were taking the country. It was not just that they saw a $20 trillion debt, the slowest economic growth since the Hoover administration, a federal takeover of the health care system, offshoring, outsourcing and open borders as part of their plight.
Rather, they cited these as symptoms of a blinkered elite that had lost its bearings and was insulated from the reality that governs life elsewhere: debt really does have to be paid back rather than doubled in eight years. Something like the Affordable Care Act that is sold as offering more and costing less simply cannot be true. The cyberworld still does not bring food to the table, put fuel in the gas tank or produce wood floors and stainless steel appliances.
Urban elites seldom experience the full and often negative consequences of their own ideologies. And identifying people first by race, tribe or gender — by their allegiance to their appearance rather than to the content of their characters — has rarely led anywhere but to tribalism and eventual sectarian violence.
The result was that when Trump, the outsider without political experience, appeared as a hammer, rural America apparently was more than happy to throw him into the glass of the bicoastal establishment, without worrying too much about the shards that scattered.
There was one final goad that explains the startling Electoral College defeat of Clinton. Voters in key swing states got tired of being talked down to — as if their views on illegal immigration, abortion, identity politics, fracking, campus speech codes and the environment were the result of ignorance (or being deplorable and irredeemable) rather than due to honest differences of opinion and quite different life experiences from those of big city-dwellers.
Red-state America felt that those who lectured about the dangers of school choice often seemed to put their own kids in private academies.
Those who insisted that open borders were good for the country never seemed to live in neighborhoods side by side with undocumented immigrants. Walls on the border were proof of ignorant xenophobia; gates and walls around private tony residences were logical measures to ensure security.
Those who praised sanctuary cities certainly would not approve of other jurisdictions likewise nullifying federal laws that they too found bothersome, whether federal gun registration requirements or the Endangered Species Act. Fairly or not, for the hinterland, the election became a referendum between crude authenticity and polished hypocrisy.
In the age-old stereotyped divide between city and country — the caricature of the city slicker versus the hick, the thinker set against the maker — the urban world during the last 30 years of globalization became richer, cooler, edgier and more powerful, while its rural counterpart became poorer, stagnant, more silent and stymied. A divide widened even as it remained unknown to scientific pollsters and in-the-know pundits.
In 2016, rural America finally pushed back. And not just its conservatives and Republicans. Millions of exasperated red-state Democrats, union members and a displaced middle class sought change through a reckless and unknown outsider rather than more of the same from their own all too familiar and predictable insider.
(Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.)
POINT ARENA ROUNDTABLE
A small team of graduate students at UC Berkeley's School of Public Policy is working on a project with City of Point Arena staff to analyze and assist in implementing aspects of Point Arena's Housing Element. The team will be visiting Point Arena on Tuesday, March 7 and hope to meet with Point Arena residents to hear their thoughts about the present stock of housing and possibilities for future development. There will be a community roundtable from 5-6:30pm on Tuesday at City Hall and all interested residents are invited to join the conversation.
For more information, contact City Hall at 707-882-2122 or email email@example.com
Admin Assistant/Deputy City Clerk
City of Point Arena