- Sunk Ship
- Frey Organic
- Ukiah Shooting
- Fake Science
- Little Envelopes
- Public Theft
- Bronze Brains
- TWK Complaint
- Little Dog
- Yesterday's Catch
- Rotten Liberal
- Spring Ode
- Easter Memory
- Whitesboro Breakfast
- Alternative Facts
- Library Events
- Broadway Gala
- Krishna Performance
THE SINKING OF THE SAN JUAN
by Rex Gressett
I went the Harbor Commission meeting last week like a prisoner to his execution. Well, maybe it was not that bad, but it was grim.
To briefly recap. On February 13 the noble San Juan, my ship and my home on the Noyo River, a 200-ton 80-footer known to everybody in our small town, was slammed in the bow by what I think it is fair to call a massive (and horribly pointed) redwood log.
The river that day after the biggest rains of the year was deep brown and running at full flood. All day giant rafts of fallen trees and uprooted brush had been reeling down the river in enormous floating islands, piling into the docks and banging into the moored ships. It seemed that whole mountainsides had been sliding into the Noyo during the night's heavy rains.
When the ship was holed of course I fought to save her and the Coast Guard did too. We worked the pumps all night and all of the next day, until all of us were utterly exhausted. Late in the afternoon the day after she was hit, the San Juan went down.
In the course of the old ship's long life she had dodged a lot of bullets. She was once hit by a surfacing submarine and she once caught fire. She fought the Japanese in the Second World War up in the Aleutians with a machine gun glued to her wooden prow. Good thing she never ran into any combat. She is just short of a hundred years old and still absolutely solid in her ribs and her planking.
The San Juan is a double-hulled, oak-ribbed, cedar-built diesel schooner. The ship museums north and south of us tell me there is nothing comparable in ships of her vintage on the West Coast. She still has the original engine with a 5,000-pound flywheel.
When she sank, about a third of her submerged. She leaned over into the docks and settled her aft into the mud like a tired dog. It almost killed me.
I guess for disinterested observers it was pretty dramatic. And of course the harbor authority was all over it. Tom Powers, a minor but gun-bearing Fish and Wildlife functionary, got there before the crowds the first night. He was in high outrage. He came in over the fence in his enthusiasm although the gate was not locked, making it loudly clear that he could at his whim put me in jail. He did a lot of strutting and threatening hoping someone would take him seriously. No one did.
By noon the next day there were 20 or 30 Coast Guard officers and enlisted men (always courteous and professional) doing what I do not know. The EPA showed up with clipboards and severe looks. There was a little oil in the water, not much, that must of come from a spare generator I had in the forward hull. The quantity of leaked oil was less than you see coming off a trawler on many an occasion. But we all felt the necessity of addressing it. I know I did.
In the seething crowd of interested officialdom nobody talked to me. I sat there like a gnome perfectly invisible to the official process. I asked the EPA person if they wanted to talk and they did not. They made sure I owned her. I did. Gradually the crowd tapered off and went on to other things. I bet the taxpayers spent fifty grand on salaries that day. They strung some floating booms to contain the pint of leaked oil and went to lunch. By the time darkness fell on the second day I was still sitting there but alone.
I bought the San Juan in 2002. The famous or infamous Bruce Abernathy sold her to me for cash. The money was the last I had from my old life in New York. I gave him my cash and settled into a river that was a whole different river from what we have now. It was greener by far, there were still schools of herring and waving eel grass in the shallows. There were kingfishers and a family of river otters lived in the mud under the building.
When the salmon season came around the whole river filled up with little boats. Twenty to forty footers, most of them. At night I would call it quietly rowdy. There was a regard for public peace and quiet but no tolerance for unwarranted intrusions on the divine right to inebriation. A little boat could earn twenty or thirty or forty thousand in the course of the season. It was gravy for the working man. The salmon they were catching were big, beautiful fish. At night they would jump in the channel between the ranks of boats.
When the season was over the river reverted to its natural wildness. I have a million stories.
My ship was the last dwelling in the world. It lived at the end of all sidewalks and the terminus of every road I had ever traveled. I filled her with books. I became a professional unpaid reader. I read the things that you never have a chance to read in a normal busy life. I finally read Aristotle and I read Livy, Virgil, Sam Pepys, and Herbert Spencer. I read Plutarch and Jean Stafford and George Eliot and Tacitus. I had a Shakespeare period. I read the Bible cover to cover more than once. I read everything I could get by C.J. Cherry. I read as much as I could. I seemed to be reading all the time, and my time on the other earth of mundane reality contracted to manageability.
By the time the ship went down I estimated that I had a thousand books. They are still in her, turning to pulp in the silt.
Of course I never made the slightest dent in what there is to read and my concentrations were wholly self-serving and absurdly indolent. I am self-educated in an extremely lopsided and eminently impractical way. I would read on the deck or in the galley or down in the hold. I got a dog that lived with me for many many years. That was Shadow. Olive came later.
There is something about living on a moving river that anyone who has done it for a few years will agree is calming and absolutely magical. The Noyo was certainly the most beautiful river I had known, not as majestic as the Hudson and nothing like the East River, the Noyo was wild. In those days it was full of tiny herring. It was green. It was alive. Most of the time I had it pretty much to myself.
When the ship went down, my chickens, as they say, came home to roost in a massive, sun darkening flock. What the hell had I been doing? I discovered myself with no small surprise as an indolent, irresponsible hippie son of a bitch. Other people thought so too. I was served and had to go to court. While I had been punking around in ancient Greece everybody in the entire world had been working. Hello dumbass, I greeted myself.
For the first few nights I slept on the dock. We did not have enough blankets. It rained and was damn cold. My bacon was saved by a well known denizen of the Tip Top bar. Long tall Mike. Mike who is an expert pool shooter and a writer himself, sold me a truck on terms and for peanuts with a camper shell and a solid, reliable motor. He did it as a favor and because he was a reader of mine, and because he had a sense of adventure and I thought likely some experience with personal disaster. The three dogs and I moved in with enormous gratitude. Thanks Mike. Bruce Anderson reached out to me. And more than anyone Paul McCarthy who you know.
Hundreds — I am not kidding — hundreds of people have offered me sympathy and kindness. It has altered my opinion of mankind.
By the time the Harbor Commission convened to declare the San Juan an abandoned wreck and impediment to navigation. I had evolved a plan.
NO ROUND-UP AT FREY VINEYARDS
The Mendo Glyphosate round up article published in your April 12, 2017, edition was poorly researched when it identified Frey Vineyards’ Chardonnay as not being organic. Frey Vineyards has never produced a non-organic wine. We only purchase grapes from USDA organic growers who are certified under the National Organic Program. Frey Vineyards also grows our own grapes in organic vineyards that have been certified organic since 1980. We are very much opposed to any use of herbicides including Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer.
Mr. Beckstoffer, referenced in your article, is a grower in Northern California who used to farm both conventional and organic grapes. Frey Vineyards purchased only certified organic grapes from Mr. Beckstoffer’s vineyards at 550 Redemeyer Road in Ukiah from 2000 to 2007, and then again in 2010 and 2011. Mr. Beckstoffer withdrew his vineyards from California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) certification in 2013. We would be happy to buy grapes from him in the future if he decides to farm organically.
The USDA National Organic Program has strict standards that outlaw the use of synthetic herbicides. Every certified vineyard and farm needs to pass a rigorous annual inspection that includes a field visit as well as an audit of all materials applied to the farm. There is a required three-year conversion period for a farm to achieve organic status after a non-allowable substance is used.
Frey Vineyards appreciates all organic farms that are operated under the USDA National Organic Program. Frey Vineyards was a major contributor to Mendocino County’s Measure V which grew out of concern over the use of herbicides on forest lands. We are involved with many advocacy groups that are educating the public about the dangers of Roundup to soil, ecosystems and human health and are happy that in California Glyphosate will soon be listed as carcinogenic.
Katrina Frey, Executive Director
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Ed Note: We welcome and appreciate this clarification. We were frankly surprised to see Frey included in the list of wines made from Beckstoffer grapes: http://www.beckstoffervineyards.com/roots/our-vineyards/mendocino/russian-river/wine/. Based on Ms Frey's clearly detailed explanation, it appears that information is dated, and we thank her for the update.
SHOOTING IN UKIAH
On April 22nd at about 11:48 am, a UPD Community Service Officer was dispatched to the 800 block of South Orchard Avenue, regarding a traffic accident. While working the traffic accident, he heard 4 to 5 gun shots very near-by and radioed UPD dispatch for assistance. On Cindee near the intersection of South Orchard Avenue, UPD officers located a 38-year-old male in the street. The male was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and evidence was located indicating that he had been shot in the street. Officers rendered first-aid and the male was transported via ground ambulance to an awaiting air ambulance. The male subject was airlifted to a major trauma center out of county. UPD Detectives responded and investigated the shooting. The Ukiah Police Department is looking into whether the incident was gang related. If anyone knows of video surveillance in the area or has information regarding this incident, please contact the Ukiah Police Department Detective Division at 463-6262.
(City of Ukiah Police Department Press Release)
THE NAME 'HEROIN' is well suited to a drug that banishes fear. The name itself was originally trademarked by the Bayer pharmaceutical company, as they considered it hero-ish that they had transformed addictive morphine into 'non-addictive' heroin by boiling it in water for a few hours. They marketed Heroin successfully for childhood bronchitis and for coughs between 1898 and 1913, before its effects were fully understood and even doctors were constrained from prescribing it.
— Craig Sams
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(1) To the Editor of the London Review of Books
Craig Sams has reversed his chemistry. It is heroin (diacetylmorphine) which, when boiled in water (or metabolized in the liver), is converted into morphine (via 6-acetylmorphine). It was successfully marketed by Bayer, but was first synthesized in England, by Charles Alder Wright in 1874.
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(2) To the Editor of the London Review of Books
I grew up on a remote farm in Finland in the 1950s. My grandmother was in charge of the medicine chest, where she kept supplies of various potions and powders. There were camphor drops that consisted of one part camphor, three parts ether and six parts spirits, that were taken on a lump of sugar and were good for ‘a weak heart’ and for earache in children. The powders or pulveri came in little envelopes and were for headache and low moods in adults. In the village lore, repeated in hushed tones, a farmer’s wife became addicted to the powders and was once found sleeping it off in a pig-sty. In view of the previous correspondence about the heroin in circulation in Finland I wonder what was in those little envelopes.
PERSONS of a certain vintage may recall the old assumption about employment: Government work doesn't pay well but it's easy work and it's secure work. Once you're in, you never get fired. So, we have the Ukiah City Council gifting two of its managers more than $425,000 a year for the two of them, not including full packages of fringe benefits for them and their lucky families. Ukiah has a population of 16,000 but a city government larger and more expensive than Rome's at the time of the Caesars.
OVER in Point Arena, we find two managers for a population of just over 500 persons. The lead manager, Richard Shoemaker, makes $50 grand for half-time work. He's assisted by another career Ukiah guy who will succeed his old bud in PA. Shoemaker has feasted at the public employment table for thirty years.
FORT BRAGG has a large and lavishly compensated managerial apparatus running the town of 8,000 people. Shoemaker's girlfriend, Linda Ruffing, runs FB's civic show.
WILLITS, the County's second largest town, enjoys a somewhat leaner government than Ukiah's but none of its administrators are on food stamps.
THE COUNTY OF MENDO? A whole lotta managers are way overpaid for what they have to know and what they have to do.
THE BIGGEST outrage going anywhere in Mendocino County is the Mendocino County Office of Education, an entirely redundant agency that spends maybe $36 million* a year not doing anything that couldn't be done more efficiently and less expensively than the individual school districts of the County.
SO, how did all this government for fewer than 90,000 Mendo people happen? It happened because the public management class took advantage of weak elected city councils and school boards to pump up their own salaries to where they are now simply thefts of public funds. It also happens because the kind of people who get elected are easily captured by the persons they allegedly supervise in the public's interest.
(* We attempted to check the MCOE budget number by looking at their on-line budget.
But, like almost everything else the educrats publish, the MCOE budget is a completely unreadable document. No summary page. No simple breakdown of costs. No grand total. Jargon laden. Way too long. In round numbers, it looks like their general fund is about $15 mil plus another $16 mil in Special Ed (a completely unaccountable program which absolutely no one manages or tracks spending on). There appear to be $x mil more in reserve and special funds such as a capital improvement fund for unspecified big ticket accumulations (not scheduled to be spent this year). Former MCOE Superintendent Paul ‘Forrest Gump’ Tichinin said the MCOE budget was $36 million back in 2008 in a campaign statement, so what the hell. $36 mil, maybe a bit less this year...?
TO THE EDITOR of the Ukiah Daily Journal:
Approximately one in five American adults suffers from a mental illness related issue each year. Some of these people are chronically seriously ill. Our society has historically grossly mishandled this serious issue, from locking victims up to throwing them out on the street. At least 25 percent of the homeless we see on the streets of Ukiah suffer from serious chronic mental illness.
Many of us who have relatives, friends or neighbors who suffer from these problems are deeply offended by the hateful description of these victims in Tommy Wayne Kramer’s recent column in the Ukiah Daily Journal. Surely the Journal does not want to present this face to our community. Is this the view that your paper should be presenting? There are people and organizations working to resolve this terrible issue. They don’t need the derision that the Journal has chosen to provide. We can use all the support that the Journal can contribute.
Yes, sometimes TWK is funny, sometimes, though rarely, even constructive. But, as editor, it is your responsibility to review his weekly column to determine if it is fit to print. Sunday’s edition of TWK’s column was not.
— Michael Pallesen, Ukiah
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ED NOTE: I looked back at TWK's recent columns and found the same complaints most locals in Ukiah and Fort Bragg have about street people — that a lot of them are career mooches whose drugging and drinking is subsidized by charities like Plowshares and Hospitality House. TWK has never derided the mentally ill. And contrary to Pallesen's assertion that "there are people and organizations working to resolve this terrible issue," there are people nicely paid 9-5 to keep it going and themselves employed while they make the overall problem of street pathology worse. (The Pallesens both work as helping professionals.) Estimating the number of clinically deranged people on the street is purely guess work, but Pallesen doesn't tell us how he got his figure. The Sheriff narrowly failed in his noble attempt to actually do something for the mentally ill by creating an in-County mental health facility. Lots of helping pros and "liberals" like Supervisor Hamburg opposed it. Censoring TWK for publicly complaining about a public problem is kinda like getting paid to create more street people.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “You know, I wish the Sheriff would let me pad-up like his big dogs. I could be used for special raids, like say there's a bunch of tweaker chihuahuas holed up somewhere. The big dogs can't get through their dog door. I can!”
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 22, 2017
CAMARGO ACEVEDO, Willits. Pot possession for sale.
SALVADOR ARELLANO-VILLAGOMEZ, Gualala. DUI.
EFRAIN BARRON, Hopland. Probation revocation.
MIA CHONG, Lancaster (California)/Fort Bragg. DUI, controlled substance, smoking-injecting device.
HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
SAMUEL GIBNEY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
JEREMIAH HEILIG, Willits. Interfering with business.
JUSTIN HILL, Mendocino. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JAMES HUMPHERIES III, Willits. DUI.
GLENN JENKINS, Klamath Falls, Oregon/Ukiah. County parole violation.
ANTHONY LEE, Fort Bragg. Check forgery.
VICTOR LUCAS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
FRANCISCO NAVARRO-SANDOVAL, Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear.
OWEN PORTER, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.
SALVADOR ROJAS, Talmage. Drunk in public.
VERLIE SLIGH, Ukiah. Battery.
STEPHEN STANISH, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation,
GLENN STANLEY JR., Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ROBERT VIALE, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
DARRIN WILLETT, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
HERE THEY COME
This god damn Jerry Brown, this rotten, liberal, anti-American SOB, is now trying to make all of California a sanctuary state. He would allow criminals of all kinds — rapists, child molesters, child rapists, murderers, dope dealers, anything you want — you can come to California and they can't touch you. What the hell are the California people doing about this? Nothing? Our tax money is being used to perform this rotten deed. I don't know. He has to be removed from office. I hope Trump does it with the military or maybe more that people will rise up. He is a nasty man. He is subjecting the American people and the people of California who are law-abiding to all this trash coming into this state. They will. The people of California will be sorry they let him do this. Believe me.
And regarding that incident in Fresno a few of days ago where that rotten son of a bitch killed three people, actually four. He will probably be turned loose. That rotten, liberal, anti-American son of a bitch, Jerry Brown will let him go. This is a sanctuary state. It's just a matter of time when it happens in Boonville or Cloverdale or Ukiah or Fort Bragg — it's coming this way. So people better watch out for Jerry Brown.
Thank you and God bless Donald Trump.
ODE TO SPRING
Thy tender leaves
Return yet again
–Barbara Dziekan, Santa Rosa
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Speaking of phones and attention, I’d like to share with you a charming vignette of American family life, which I observed on Easter Sunday.
It was a warm morning, so I went out for a stroll. I passed a house where there was a dad visiting, with two little boys. They were out on the lawn, with small kites, which they probably received as Easter gifts, attempting to learn how to use them.
They made a few passes to and fro, trailing the kites behind them, a few inches off the ground, as little boys are wont to do, before they lose interest.
The bigger of the two, however, started changing his technique, running at different speeds, shortening the string, and so forth, until he caught a breeze, and the kite rose straight up in the air.
As he looked at it in astonishment, I glanced over at the dad, wanting to see his reaction to this special moment. Dad had no reaction at all, unless you want to count his poking his thumb at a phone he was staring down at. He didn’t even notice what was happening with his child, until the boy called out to him.
Did he put the phone away, after realizing what he just missed? Nah. He didn’t even lower it.
WHITESBORO GRANGE PANCAKE B'FAST SUNDAY
Please join us for our traditional 4th Sunday pancake breakfast on Sunday, April 23rd. Breakfast includes orange juice, pancakes with maple and homemade berry syrups, ham, eggs your way, and coffee, tea or hot cocoa. The public and visitors are invited to join neighbors and community for a hearty pancake breakfast. Adults $8, ages 6-12 half price, children under 6 eat FREE. Breakfast is served from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Sixty-six years of serving the community. THANKS to your appetites, Whitesboro Grange is able to support local farmers, families in need, the Albion-Little River Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, food banks and other community service organizations. Whitesboro Grange is located 1.5 miles east on Navarro Ridge Road. Watch for signs just south of the Albion Bridge. Spring wildflowers are in full bloom, enjoy the ride.
On Saturdays in April at 11am, the Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting several special guests for our weekly Family Storytimes. We will be recognizing 9-1-1 education month, Autism Awareness Month, Earth Day, and the Week of the Young Child.
Saturday, April 8th at 11am will be a “Books & Badges”-themed storytime featuring the Ukiah Police Department.
Saturday, April 15th at 11am is “Emergency Storytime!” with visitors from the Ukiah Fire Department.
Saturday, April 22nd from 10am to 1pm join us at Alex Thomas Plaza for the Week of the Young Child Fair, organized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children! We will have crafts in honor of Earth Day throughout the event, as well as an Earth Day-themed storytime at the library booth at 11am.
Saturday, April 29th at 11am will be Inclusivity Storytime in recognition of Autism Awareness Month. We will read stories celebrating differences with a craft to follow.
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MOVIE NIGHT, May 4, Ukiah Library
On Thursday, May 4th at 5 pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting a May the 4th Be With You Movie Night.
We will be showing A New Hope (PG) in the Children’s Room and Rogue One (PG-13) in the meeting space. Wookiee cookies, popcorn, and bubbly water will be provided.
This event is sponsored by The Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library. This event is free of charge and open to everyone. May the Force Be With You.
EXCITING NEW SCREENINGS FROM PBS, LINCOLN CENTER & INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS COMING TO UKIAH LIBRARY ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS
Ukiah Library is introducing a new series of film screenings beginning on May7th at 2 pm. The series, Sunday Movies at Your Library will include a weekly rotation of PBS documentaries, Indie films, Lincoln Center performances, and, beginning in June, kids’ movies newly released on DVD.
The films for May:
MAY 7 – Seven Songs For A Long Life. At Scotland’s Strathcarron Hospice, patients face pain, uncertainty and the possibility of life's end with song and humor. This event is a collaboration with the award-winning documentary series POV (www.pbs.org/pov).
May 14 – The Fits,—“While training at the gym 11-year-old tomboy Toni becomes entranced with a dance troupe. As she struggles to fit in she finds herself caught up in…”(Indie)
May 21 – The New York Philharmonic Opening Gala With Lang Lang— Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. (Lincoln Center).
Major Support for Lincoln Center Local: Free Screenings is provided by the Oak Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Booth Ferris Foundation and the Altman Foundation.
For more information, call 463-4490.
100 YEARS OF BROADWAY GALA IS TOMORROW!
Celebrate the history of Broadway and our great heritage of musical theater in this marvelous showcase of over 100 years of Broadway. At Eagles Hall Theatre in Fort Bragg. Special Gala Performance is Sunday, April 23 at 3:00. Tickets are an extra $3 and include delicious food following the performance and a glass of champagne for the over 21 crowd. We will be serving ham and brie sandwiches, tuna canapes, meatballs, stuffed peppers, veggies, desserts and much more! Tickets may be purchased online at gloriana.org, at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg or at the door of Eagles Hall Theatre prior to each performance.
Exceptional Joy-Filled Krishna Das Performance
Just a quick note to say that last night's Krishna das performance at Scottish Rites in Oakland was jumpin' joy-filled and we all chanted and sang to the top of the spiritual mountain. WOW! He and his group are still positive, uptempo, and charged by the energy of his Indian guru Neem Karoli Baba. Every yoga teacher, wholistic health practitioner, bhakti devotee, meditator, and fun loving dancing singing souls in general from all over the SF bay area filled the historic Masonic Hall. What a wonderful heavenly antidote to the depression of these politically stupid times! We all still have choices.
Yours for a laughing heart,
Craig Louis Stehr
Earth Day, April 22, 2017