- Coan Defense
- Warriors Win
- Elementary Stipends
- Greenwood Celebration
- Budget Day
- Marvin Noble
- Forbes Switcharoo
- Little Dog
- Women Walking
- Slob Nation
- Cannabis Dollars
- Memo Kiloshow
- Ambulance Service
- Mendo Giveaways
- Library Expansion
- Entertaining Truth
- Proposed Festival
- Tractor Visit
- Library Retrofit
- Yesterday's Catch
- John Lanigan
- Godless Reprobates
- LeBron's Gate
- PA Agenda
- Angry Children
- Living in the Land of Lono
THE COAN FAMILY, Kelley 39, and her son Alexander 20, spent their first day (Wednesday May 31st) in court having public defenders assigned to them. Douglas Rhoades for mom Kelley and Linda Thompson for son Alexander. June 14th at nine o'clock was set for arraignment in front of Judge Ann Moorman. Charged with murder, mother and son are being held on a no-bail status. (Bruce McEwen)
BACKGROUND: Ms. Coan is suspected of murdering Jamie Shipman, 57 of Mendocino last Tuesday. The victim and her husband had lived on the property for several years as did Ms. Coan, 39, and her son, Alexander, age 20. The investigation revealed the Coan was upset with the victim and her husband about a dispute related to the property they all lived on. The victim's vehicle was missing from the scene. Evidence at the scene led detectives to believe Coan was responsible for the homicide and a warrant was issued for her arrest on a charge of murder. Ms. Coan sbusequently turned herself in in Fresno.
On May 27, 2017 around 3pm Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives, after conducting follow-up investigation related to this case, responded to the 10800 Block of Docker Hill Road, in Comptche, where they believed suspect Alexander Coan, 20 years of age, might be staying. Alexander Coan is the son of suspect Kelley Coan and had been questioned on the day of the crime and released. At the time Detectives did not believe there was enough evidence to identify him as a responsible party in the crime. Detectives now believe he was an active participant in the homicide.
WARRIORS LIMIT TURNOVERS TO RECORD FOUR while Durant and Curry score 66 in surprisingly one-sided 113-91 win over 2016 champs Cleveland Cavaliers to take 1-0 lead in NBA Championship.
THE LATEST NEWS to emerge from Boonville's serial closed school board meetings is that three lucky elementary school teachers will rake in a cool $1500 each to look after the place in the absence of suspended principal, Katherine Reddick. (School is out next week, but these fortuitous stipends could include summer session.) Ms. Reddick has been placed on paid leave in the wake of an altercation between her and district superintendent, Michelle Hutchins.
WE HAVE LEARNED that from here on lawyers will decide the school district's fate. Ms. Reddick has retained an attorney, demoted high school principal, Keri St. Jeor, is also represented by an attorney. The Boonville schools have spent many thousands of dollars on lawyers this school year as the district's reading and writing test scores remain among the worst in the state. The Boonville schools haven't taught composition in many, many years.
IN AN ODD side note, Ms. Reddick filed a police complaint alleging she was held against her will by Superintendent Hutchins in Ms. Hutchins' office. A deputy took the report over the phone, and that was where Ms. Reddick's complaint ended. If her complaint was unfounded she should be charged with filing a false police report, but to simply ignore a complaint is not the way most police forces operate.
FORT BRAGG NOTES
by Rex Gressett
The City of Fort Bragg convened at Town Hall for a full day budget workshop bright and early last Wednesday morning. They had coffee but only a modest bowl of grapes to go with it. Since it was a budget meeting they made it lean and mean: no donuts. Long tables had been arranged into a big square in the center of the room. Around it fifteen bureaucrats charged with the administration of the city sat armed with identical fat glossy binders to confess their deeds, declare their intentions and receive the sanction and the benediction of the elected City Council that the people’s money might continue to flow.
The eight hour budget meeting was on line so we can assume that those various news gatherers, bloggers and citizen activists, of whom there are many, were watching at home, but other than me there was no one from the community physically present.
It must have been an easy day for whatever reporter was assigned from the Advocate since we know that no word of inquiry, no breath of analysis will result in that paper from this crucially revealing, and complex meeting.
The Advocate may report that a meeting occurred. Only your reporter from the AVA, gentle reader, a solitary, isolated and sadly scruffy figure sat outside of the circle taking notes furiously, grasping at implications as they went thundering by and making a long list of stories that needed to be written. In every sense the whole scene was a vivid metaphor for the constellation of the City Council, the bureaucrats, and the press in Fort Bragg such as it is.
For City Hall Budget Day is Game Day. The objective of the City Manager's team was to sooth the pretensions of the Fort Bragg City Council to effective management of the $54 million (as we learned) annual city expenditure and to keep the lid on. Don’t look at that man behind the curtain.
As everyone on both sides of the fence knows, in Fort Bragg municipal policy has been manhandled away from all public control and operates flagrantly and casually in opposition to the best interests of the community — unless you are on the receiving end of the money.
We are dependent for what representation we have on a City Council that is totally marginalized, subordinated to institutional momentum and hog tied by the Brown Act. In spite of quickly forgotten election rhetoric, all of them are apparently ok with taking their marching orders from the City Manager. They differ in style from the old council, but only in style. The old council boasted of harmony, the new council boasts of dragging their feet. Neither one has shown the energy, discipline, creativity or interest in the city to make a single substantive policy proposal. Not one.
Budget Day was Game Day in Fort Bragg not because there is opposition to the City Manager. But because the volume of what we do not know as a city — and our representatives decline to know as a City Council — is so enormous that the operators at city hall have too much at stake in keeping it so.
There were some petty fireworks, mostly from Cueball (Councilman Cimolino) but they were sparklers, not roman candles, certainly not rockets. The glossy binders marched to victory fundamentally unattenuated by the novices and amateurs who represent us.
The Council understood a version of their duty as it has been explained to them. One by one they all stepped up to the situation at appropriate moments. They asked as many questions as they could think of (which was not many) but not having any fundamental plan of action of their own they did nothing to impede or fundamentally question the galloping agenda of the city manager. The council, (somewhat) new in their jobs, saw it to be their business to provide careful courteous corrections. They limited their remarks to a few procedural quibbles.
The exception as I noted was Cueball: Mike Cimilino. He is possibly the most intelligent and certainly most knowledgeable councilman elected in my experience. His 29 years of work for the city of Fort Bragg prior to his election has acquainted him with city infrastructure in the hands-on, real-time way that a good mechanic understands a car. He has a decades long familiarity with city hall politics and owns a libertarian bias that tends to set him somewhat apart from the ethos of the rubber-stamp.
Councilman Cimilino knew that City Hall was using the water and sewer enterprise moneys to cover extraneous contingencies on occasion. Having the facts on observable discrepancies in hiring practices which jumped that particular curb, he tried to raise the question of propriety and legality. Slopping funds around between the various departments (enterprises) is proscribed by law, but normally no one is paying attention so the financial peccadilloes do little apparent harm. Of course it corrupts the system, but that disturbs nobody at City Hall. As Cueball demonstrated in his rather desperate remarks, the City Council as a whole does not even understand that there is an issue.
Cimilino poked around at the road-kill of legal process left in the wake of the city manager’s brute force management style, but Ms. Ruffing found no difficulty in reducing his remarks to footnotes. Mike was out there by his lonesome. He got a little steamed and very pale but his remarks made no apparent impression on the rest of the council and Mayor Lindy Peters smoothed things out with ambiguous assurances that they would look at things later.
Will Lee piped up at one point with obviously pre-considered remarks about the abyss of debt into which the city (and the county) were merrily plunging. One suspects that he had a fantasy that it would be discussed. That got him nothing.
And on they went.
There were of course questions that you would ask, gentle reader about every aspect of the budget and once in a while they were articulated in mutterings while the rubber-stamp came down on chapter after chapter of Ms. Ruffing’s pet budget.
There were literally dozens of stories that went swimming by in the swift flowing stream of presentation. I have a healthy list, but the most inescapable takeaway was how little things have changed under the advent of what I once called the new city council.
In the high and far off time, six years ago the then-Fort Bragg city council, now disgraced and given the boot, used to tell us that cordial cooperation and professional congeniality was their unfailing watchword and only policy. The new members of the council which is everybody but Turner ran for office in opposition to a happy-face insolence masquerading without much wit as professionalism. The new council which has come to us in two elections two by two promised to drag their feet when the City Manager whistled, and they have. Foot dragging at the Fort Bragg city council is in. But policy and initiative are as alien to these guys as they were to the happier and dumber city council that the voters have jettisoned.
Meet the new boss: same as the old boss.
IF THERE'D BEEN…
To the Editor:
On July 16, 1998 Marvin Noble, a 45-year-old mental health client lost his life. It is not important to reveal the details and the many views, but it is important to wonder if something different would have happened if a Community Support Team had existed.
There would have been documentation available to the client’s counselor, there would have been someone on call, there would have been communication between the police and the CST team member, and there would have been a person called to the scene that Marvin knew.
Obviously no one can know what the final outcome would have been, but I’m betting that Marvin would not have been shot.
This is Mental Health Month and when I think about our past, and our present, I am worried. For me, these thoughts will not go away. Until and unless there is a drastic change in our way of thinking, we will continue to make the same mistakes.
Albert Einstein is broadly credited with exclaiming “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Our mental health system qualifies, especially here in Mendocino County.
William J. Russell, Ukiah
Mark Scaramella Notes: Au contraire: it is important to reveal the details of the Marvin Noble case: https://www.theava.com/archives/2285
FORBES STRIKES AGAIN
A Reader Writes: The line in the sixth paragraph says: “Hendy Woods is in the sweet little town of Philo and has five miles of easy and moderate hiking trails just off Highway 128, situated amid two big redwood groves with trees as old as 300 years and as tall as 1,000 feet.” (italics is mine). Who knew?! Paging the fact checker!
LITTLE DOG GETS A LETTER: “Little Dog: Do your people abuse you like this?”
LITTLE DOG REPLIES: “I'm pretty sure that's my cousin, Lou. But the lucky guy's at the beach. That's not abuse. The only water I ever see either falls out of the sky or runs out of a hose!”
RANDOM OBSERVATIONS: Out early in the morning for a couple miles through the sleeping streets of Healdsburg, Boonville and the Crypt of Saint Anselm, I invariably pass women getting in a brisk aerobic hour or so, but seldom men.
NOT SURE it was intended as an insult, but Bruce McEwen, the nattiest reporter in the county, and certainly the nattiest dresser clothed out of second hand stores, was recently described by another writer as looking like a reporter from 1885. In my book, that's a compliment. Looking around at any contemporary gathering of American men, you have to wonder if they have any idea of the spectacle they present? Or care? The crowd at the ballpark looks like a cross between inmates of a nut house and a circus.
CONTRAST the sartorially grotesque male prevalent in public places today with the gentlemen of yesteryear, right up to about 1967 when America, along with the onset of its historical amnesia, also went blind. Any street scene from any American city in, say, 1950, you'll see men of all classes nicely dressed, many of them in suits and ties. Women, at least in the Frisco I was familiar with, wouldn't think of going downtown without their hats and gloves. Today, you see granddads walking around in lemon shorts and lime green shirts, and grandma togged out like a teenager, if not a senior center hooker. You seldom see any person, young or old, who looks like he's taken some time with his appearance. Yup, I think it was better when we had standards. Now that there are none, we probably have the president a nation of slobs deserves.
MENDO JUMPS INTO BED WITH THE POT INDUSTRY
by Mark Scaramella
Mendo’s Final Budget for 2017-2018 (July 2017-June 2018) assumes they’ll get something like $1.7 million in pot taxes and permit fees. According to the anonymous budget notes, “The new discretionary source [of revenue] is the result of the Cannabis Tax on cannabis cultivation and other related industries. During the Budget Workshop on May 15th, the Board directed that projected cannabis tax revenue be focused on funding cannabis enforcement efforts and support for roads. The Proposed Budget includes $1,000,000 for corrective maintenance programs on County roads and $708,349 for enforcement efforts.” …
“The additional funding for corrective [road] maintenance is made utilizing $1 million of cannabis tax revenue and $215,328 of Road Maintenance and Restoration Act (RMRA) funding, as established by SB 1. County staff is still somewhat unclear on the level of funding that will be received in FY 2017-18. The most conservative estimates indicate a total of $1,215,328 of ‘new’ funding will be available in the upcoming fiscal year. The Proposed Budget includes the possibility of a total of $2.5 million of ‘new’ funding being available, but that is a very optimistic amount.”
“…The FY 2017-18 Proposed Budget includes $352,000 for fleet vehicles. This is an increase over the past several years, largely due to the cannabis program. The Budget includes purchase of two additional vehicles for Planning and Building Services funded by cannabis dollars as well as a “reimbursement” of $120,000 for purchase of cannabis program vehicles in FY 2016-17. In addition to the PBS vehicles, the Budget includes replacement of a Farm Advisor vehicle, and replacement of several pool vehicles.
“…The Sheriff’s budget includes funding of $500,000 for purchase of vehicles. Previously the Sheriff’s Office has used asset forfeiture or other funds for purchase of vehicles and equipment. The Sheriff’s Office believes with the changes in cannabis regulation, their asset forfeiture and 11470.2 restitution funds will be significantly less and will require General Fund dollars for these purchases. The Budget includes utilizing $106,000 in the Sheriff’s Vehicle Replacement Reserve and $394,000 of General Fund dollars to purchase the vehicles.
“Cannabis Program — The largest new program undertaken by the County in many years is the Cannabis Program. … When fully implemented, except for limited exceptions for qualifying patients and primary caregivers, the above cannabis related activities will be defined as ‘commercial cannabis activity’ and will require state licenses which will be issued beginning on or after January 1, 2018. State licensees operating in Mendocino County must first obtain a license or permit from the County. Mendocino County’s regulatory program for cultivation went into effect on May 4, 2017. The Proposed Budget includes revenue based on the projection the County will receive 600 permit applications in the fiscal year. This includes permit fees adjustment specific to the cannabis program in Agriculture, Planning and Building Services, and Environmental Health.”
(600 permits at $3000 per equals about $1.8 million.)
“…The Board has also directed increased enforcement efforts to be managed through the Code Enforcement Program in Planning and Building Services. Code Enforcement positions are not funded by permit fees and therefore discretionary dollars from the cannabis tax are used to cover the increased costs of this program, including the cost of a full-time Deputy County Counsel and a 0.5 FTE Legal Secretary in the County Counsel’s Office to support the Code Enforcement Program. Similarly a new position in Public Health and a contract for public outreach regarding cannabis education [sic] are funded from cannabis tax dollars. The chart below shows the use of cannabis tax dollars to support cannabis enforcement in the upcoming fiscal year.
THE CEO’S “Net County Cost” chart shows the $1.7 million of Cannabis Tax Revenue (but it’s in parens, which presumably means loss of revenue). This would seem to be the $1 million road allocation plus $700k for administration and enforcement. The CEO insists that the County will “Utilize a conservative approach to budgeting anticipated cannabis dollars, recognizing we are budgeting a new and unpredictable revenue stream.”
* * *
THE POINT? Mendo has now committed to almost $2 million in pot tax and permit expenditures. People are hired, vehicles are bought, programs are in place, offices are expanded, all with dope money, all based on the presumption of at least 600 permit applications filed, paid for and approved.
HOW MUCH ENFORCEMENT of the rules will the County be inclined to do if enforcement jeopardizes this big new revenue stream?
MEMO TURNS 1000
That makes 1000 shows. One kiloshow. This Friday night.
This Friday marks my one thousandth six-to-eight-hour show more information-intensive than the BBC, much less NPR. Local news and local writing, world events, poetry, music, science, radio drama, snark where snark is due, pleasantly confusing themes and material that makes your brain get busy getting bigger. You can actually put your hands on your head and feel your brain getting bigger in there.
My schedule's got a little turned around. I have to get my mother from the coast to her old friend Jean's house on the other side of Sacramento over the weekend so she can have a dental adventure there on Monday and Tuesday, so I'm leaving Juanita's place tomorrow, Thursday, to be able to do my 1000th (!) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show in Fort Bragg the next night, Friday the 2nd of June, (First Friday).
So if you're of the early-1980s-era Mendocino Community School or the late-1980s-era Albion Whale school and/or performed in any of the staged radio shows there, or if you performed on the public access Radio Free Earth teevee variety show, or ever sent your writing to the late Mendocino Commentary or tabloid paper or current radio version of Memo, or even if you didn't do any of those things but only thought about it, and you'd like to drop in and radiate, just show up at KNYO's storefront, 325 N. Franklin (next to the Tip Top bar) any time after 9pm this Friday and wander in. Bring your musical instrument(s) if you'd like to play a few songs. I'll be set up and reading a normal show in the back room, as usual, but if it needs it I'll pull an area mic out into the front where there's room for you to spread out.
And then next week I'll be doing the show by remote from Juanita's place, and then back and forth, just on the even week now instead of the odd week.
Memo of the Air, 9pm to about 4am every Friday night on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, including midnight to 3am on 105.1 KMEC-LP Ukiah. Also via http:/knyo.org and http://TuneIn.com and etc.
PS. If you want to do your own show on KNYO, email Bob Young <email@example.com> and say so, and he'll get you up and running and on the schedule so fast it'll make your head swim. It's easy and fun. Do your show from KNYO's storefront or, with surprisingly inexpensive portable gear that we can help you assemble, from anywhere there's reliable web access.
PPS. It's pledge week at NPR. If you're tempted to donate to a high-power station, like KZYX, say, that already gets a six-figure government grant every year to pay all its expenses and mysteriously inhales well over half a million dollars in that same year in an apparent nearly-30-years-running money laundering scheme and still scoffs cruelly at the idea of paying its airpeople even as much as a pinch of salt, righteously resist that temptation by giving instead to KNYO, where every cent you give goes to the rent, connection bills, various music publishers' fees, electricity for the lights and the transmitter, and the famously expensive Fort Bragg city water to flush the toilet. There's a large red heart at http://knyo.org that says donate. Click on that and follow your own large heart. Help the wonderful and recently bereaved Bob Young keep us in town and on the air (and water in the toilet) for another decade, or the singularity, whichever comes first.
A COUPLE WEEKS AGO in our brief update about the pending merger of the AV Ambulance Service and the AV Fire Department, we said that “the existing Ambulance Service operation will continue in a reduced form to keep the reimbursements flowing as they transition to a fundraising foundation structure after the merger.”
APPARENTLY, some people read this to mean that the ambulance services were being reduced. No, the AV Ambulance Service will continue to operate as a non-profit fund-raising foundation, but the Ambulance Service operations will continue as is — only under the management of the Community Services District/Fire Department. The only thing being reduced is the role of the Ambulance’s non-profit board which will continue, but only in a supporting financial role.
I recently read through the article on Sonoma Clean Power.
Can you remember the other giveaways the Board of Supervisors or their predecessors accomplish?
Let me review.
The Board gave away 88% of our water in the 50s – gave it to Sonoma County.
Gave away the state hospital to a private entity. The hospital would have been a perfect place for the junior college.
Gave away the most valuable agricultural land in the world to the state for the Ukiah bypass. I can still hear Alex Thomas pleading with the Board of Supervisors to demand that the bypass be routed to the west in the hills.
Gave away agricultural land for the Willits bypass. I drove it last week to see pature grass four feet high and not a sign of any livestock. I haven't seen that much pasture since I was in South Africa.
Now, unless you opt out your bill will say Sonoma Clean Power. Just try to opt out. Set aside two hours to talk to some third-party offshore who speaks no English. Oh yes, have your name, address, account number, meter number, and password ready. And a strong drink close by.
Why not just join Sonoma County? Include Mendo in their Fifth District. Move the County line to Piercy. No more Mendocino County. Supervisor James Gore would welcome more constituents. He's a super super. All of Mendo’s elected officials would leave. (Without retirement). I would keep Tom Allman. Steve Freitas is retiring so Tom would be a natural fit for the enlarged Sonoma County. One of the great sheriffs of my 81 years. Besides, he is a good guy. The rest of the employees would work for Sonoma County.
BEST FIVER YOU'LL SPEND
The friends of the Fort Bragg Library are beginning a fund-raising campaign to expand the Fort Bragg Library on Laurel Street in Fort Bragg. We have purchased the adjacent lot north of the library at 421 Whipple Street and will begin clearing the lot and adjusting plot lines to make this a single property. This is estimated to allow a 5000 square-foot addition with ten off street parking spaces with ten foot setbacks on three sides.
Currently the library offers a multitude of events and activities for all ages with ever increasing attendance. The April Celtic harp program had an audience overflow reaching out to the sidewalk. The current facility is a remodeled mortuary and lacks space to accommodate comfortably all the library provides from quiet reading and study areas to heavily demanded computer access.
We have a fundraising goal of $2 million and we are reaching out to inform as many community members of this goal as possible. We also encourage public input about what their concept of an ideal library might be. This is a major project for a valued public institution and we encourage participation and donations. More information is on the library's website: FortBraggLibrary.org. Annual membership dues for the Friends of the Fort Bragg Library is $5. Donations to the Friends are tax deductible as we are a nonprofit 501(c)3 Corporation.
Jennifer Wolfman, FFBL Board member
Due to travel and other distractions I let my long-standing subscription to the AVA lapse for four months since February. But while cleaning up I came across an old issue, re-read it, and realized how much my life has been diminished by the AVA's absence.
I especially miss Bruce McEwen's courtroom reviews and also ongoing coverage of your county’s rural intoxicant industries and the seemingly related problems of mental health treatment.
Humboldt County is similarly afflicted, but we must rely on your esteemed publication for courageous honest coverage of the hidden misdeeds in Northwest California's forests.
Here's my $92 for another two years of entertaining truth.
News from d’Hephalumpeville, Bellingham, Washington
Also, a possible art scam to jerk the leashes on art pretenders and worse.
Your artwork — my china coaster brought me a Saipan (sic) treat last century: two paintings by a Japanese gentleman camped in front of Atom Bomb Pit #1 and Atom Bomb Pit #2, framed, in oil, autographed by a recipient. Grisly, said the bear. If you get up an art festival for this stuff I will come visit you and bring these treasures along. Snapshots will follow after the arria is searched concisely.
MENDO FARMER EMERITUS, Doug Mosel, stopped by the AVA on Wednesday on his classic vintage tractor on his way to harvesting some heirloom wheat.
THE MENDOCINO COUNTY LIBRARY COAST COMMUNITY BRANCH TEMPORARY CLOSURE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
The Coast Community Branch Library in Point Arena will be closed until further notice while work continues on the earthquake retrofit. The library is unsure how long the closure of the Coast Community Branch Library will take. At this time we will not be able to process any requests from the Coast Community Branch. The library sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience. We will provide updates as information is made available.
Administrative Services Manager I
Mendocino County Library
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 1, 2017
JOHN ACUFF, Redwood Valley. Annoy/molest child under 15.
SHAWN BIAS, Fort Bragg. Resisting/threatening an officer.
RANDALL CANEPA, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
JEFFORY DECKER, Willits. Incest, sodomy, lewd-lascivious with child under 14; enagaging in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with child under 14 for not less than three months; anal or genital penetration by foreign object by force, violence, duress, menace, etc.; sexual penetration with foreign object while victim is incapable of consent; sexual penetration with foreign object without victim’s consent while victim is in a mental facility; sexual penetration by foreign object while victim is unaware of nature of act, and two other unspecified offenses.
SHAYLA GUERRERO, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun; probation revocation.
KENNETH HANOVER JR., Covelo. Suspended license, probation revocation.
COLE HARBOUR, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
HOU HUNAG, San Leandro/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
GERARD LARVIE, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
NOLAN LAWSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
BRADLEY LUCIDO, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
RUBEN MILLER, Hopland. Drunk in public.
DAVID NAVAS, Fort Bragg. DUI, resisting.
JACK OWSLEY*, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Attempted grand theft.
TIMMOTHY PALMER, Willits. Drunk in public, false ID.
EDWARD STARSKI**, Hidden Valley/Ukiah. Attempted grand theft.
CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.
JUSTIN TULLOS, Ukiah. Fighting/challenging to fight in public, drunk in public.
* Owsley: https://www.theava.com/archives/29521
** Starski: https://www.theava.com/archives/42591
MIGUEL LANIGAN WRITES:
Today, I memorialize a true American hero, my father, General John Ralph Lanigan, a combat officer who lead Marines on five island campaigns in WW II: Saipan, Tinian, Roi, Numar and Iwo Jima. On Iwo Jima, he was awarded the second highest medal our nation awards Marines--the Navy Cross, with a "V" for valor under fire. Were it not for my father, the iconic Flag Raising at Mont Suribachi photo would never be. Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who took it, got a tip from my dad that there was to be a flag raising on Suribachi and the rest is history. After the war, Rosenthal had my mother and father as his guest in San Francisco, where he gave them what dad called "The cook's tour." They remained friends for the rest of their lives.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Once Muslim fighting-age males are equal in number to non-Muslim fighting-age males in France, then I put my money on Islam as the dominant and ruling force in France. Who do you think will win there, the cafe-layabout-atheist-nihilist-degenerate or the devout bearded man with certainty about the righteousness of his faith? Maybe there’s some on the nationalist right that will put up a fight, but how many? How many formerly Christian French will the mosques attract?
What about in America? If Trump fails as the man with the plan and the helping hand, then what if the hard-man with a plan and a helping hand comes with a smile and a beard and a skull-cap and sez to people look here, you can count on us, unlike those godless reprobates who only look after themselves. And oh, by the way, don’t believe what you hear about Islam. Come to the mosque, all are welcome, bring your friends. What if he sez it in American English with a homey-homegrown drawl?
NOT EVEN LEBRON JAMES?
by Dave Zirin
LeBron James, arguably the most famous athlete in the country, just saw the word “n——r” scrawled across the gate of his Los Angeles home. Soon after this news broke, word came of a noose found at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Incidentally, James has contributed financial support to the museum.
These acts came less than two weeks after the racist killing of Lt. Richard Collins III on the UMD campus by an “alt-reich” sewer-dweller, the murders of two white “good Samaritans” in Portland who were attempting to intervene as a neo-Nazi was harassing two young women of color, one wearing a hijab, and torch-wielding rallies against the removal of Confederate monuments.
It also happened after the author of From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, had to cancel a major event at Town Hall Seattle because of a series of death threats.
It’s all part of an ongoing state of terror, division, and violence that has emerged under the Trump administration. Other than a single tweet about Portland, the administration has had nothing to say about this barbarism.
As the United States goes about puking up the worst aspects of its past, it’s tragically fitting that an athlete like LeBron James would be targeted. From the dawn of organized sports, Black athletes have driven racists into fits of fury. They represent excellence in a field that has long been promoted as the ultimate meritocracy. While many of us watch a player like LeBron James with awe and even gratitude, racists seethe with resentment.
The living embodiment of their own inferiorities, black athletes puncture the imaginations of white supremacists. In 1908, the first black heavyweight champion boxer, Jack Johnson, heard the call for a “great white hope” to restore the “natural order” of racial hierarchy. The New York World wrote that Johnson’s world heavyweight title “must come as a shock to every devoted believer in the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race.”
Then there was Bill Russell. The Celtic great won 11 championships in 13 years for the Boston faithful, but that didn’t stop someone from breaking into his home and defecating on his floor. When boxer Floyd Patterson attempted to move into a white neighborhood he was rebuffed. Hall of Fame basketball player Lenny Wilkens’s dog was poisoned by his neighbors. They wanted his family out of their white community.
And today, Baltimore Orioles player Adam Jones has to hear racial invective from the Red Sox fans in Fenway Park. To add insult to injury, he was then harangued by Internet trolls and established sportswriters alike.
Yet while the black athlete is a target for the maelstrom of hate being regurgitated by this White House and its shock troops, they are also critical to its resistance if they are willing to step up and speak about what is happening. LeBron James did precisely that at a recent press conference:
It just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America. Hate, in America, especially for an African-American, is living every day. Even though it’s concealed most of the time—people will hide their faces and will say things about you and then when they see you they smile in your face—it’s alive every single day. And I think back to Emmett Till’s mom, actually. It’s kind of one of the first things I thought of. And the reason that she had an open casket is because she wanted to show the world what her son went through as far as the hate crime, and being black in America. No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. And we’ve got a long way to go for us as a society, and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America.
As Colin Kaepernick said, “there’s a lot of racism disguised as patriotism in this country.” Maybe that’s why he can’t get a contract from the NFL executives underwriting the Trump agenda. Kaepernick spoke a difficult truth to power. We will need more of that, if we are going to keep this hate at bay. Lives depend upon it.
POINT ARENA CITY COUNCIL
AGENDA - JUNE 6, 2017
SPECIAL SESSION - 4:00 P.M.
City Hall - 451 School Street
- CALL TO ORDER & ROLL CALL
- APPROVAL OF AGENDA
III. PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR (Public Comment Period)
This is the time for members of the public who wish to be heard on matters that do not appear on the Agenda. City Council policy is to limit each speaker to three (3) minutes. Such time allotment or portion thereof shall not be transferred to other speakers. Pursuant to the Brown Act Section 54954.3, the City Council may not take action on an item that does not appear on the Agenda. The public will be allowed to speak concurrently with the calling of an agenda item following the staff presentation of that item.
- REPORTS/ACTION ITEMS - all items in this Agenda section are for discussion and possible action.
A) Discussion of Financing for Repairs at Point Arena Cove Resulting from Storms of Jan. 17-23, 2017
- B) Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the "Addressing Housing Needs in Point Arena"
- CITY MANAGER/CITY ATTORNEY REPORTS
- FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS (next 45 days)
Next Regular Meeting Date: June 27, 2017
- Finalize Ordinance 231
- 2015-2016 Financial Audit Presentation
- 2017-2018 Preliminary Budget Adoption
- CDBG Workshop
- Revolving Loan Fund Loan Application
If open session items cannot be completed by 9:00 p.m., the meeting may be adjourned to the next regular meeting or Council may vote to extend the meeting.
DATED: June 2, 2017
LEFT-WING FASCISM ON CAMPUS
(From City Journal:)
Videos from Evergreen State College in Washington state show mobs of students—mostly but not only black—haranguing their professors and accusing them of racist abuse. The college president, George Bridges, is heckled, insulted, mocked, and ordered to stand with his arms firmly at his sides because his gestures are considered threatening to the students, who have invaded his office and refused to leave. Bridges complies meekly with all demands, including buying gumbo for his captors…
Clearly, Bridges believes that his role as college president is to make sure that every student, no matter how rude, nasty, or stupid, feels that they “belong”: that they are not imposters. So he will absorb every insult and acquiesce to every indignity in order to extend the charade that what is going on in his office is a serious effort to achieve justice, instead of a riot of spoiled children...
LIVING IN THE LAND OF LONO
by Jake Rohrer
The rain moves in ghostly horizontal sheets that march out of step across the landscape. Propelled by tradewinds gusting at 40 mph, curtains of water float across the terrain, bending and weaving in translucent forms that behave something like an earthbound aurora borealis. Out in the channels between the Islands there are storm warnings: 30 foot seas with winds gusting to 55 knots. No matter where your paradise, an angry weather pattern will find it now and then. Here in Haiku, four days of relentless wind and rain have pushed the rainfall up and under windward roof shingles, where gravity and the nature of water have combined to produce a leak. Small rivulets slink uninvited down the wall and mess with things that are of no concern to water.
A brief lull in the weather, together with a ladder and a tar bucket, helps to bring the leak to an end. Still the wind blows the ladder over, trapping me on the roof, but I was wise to this trick. My wife is nearby to set things upright. Roofing tar should come with a legislated warning. It doesn’t matter how careful you may be, the tar will get you. Open the lid and stand away. It will come out of the can of its own accord and get on your clothes, tattoo your skin. Spooning the black goo from a bucket with a spatula in high winds guarantees a mess of epic proportions, but my back is to the wind and I am wearing clothes from a previous encounter, creating only a manageable mess.
Up in front by the neighborhood mailboxes (ours is the one with the duck on top), ripe and not-so-ripe mangoes cover the ground under the aged and battered mango tree. Gently sloping toward the sea, the ground is scattered with windblown eucalyptus debris. Down in the gulch things look a little better. Protected from the assault of the wind, the papayas and bananas have done well. The ground is soggy and feels a little like pudding underfoot. Lei flowers and vegetable patches need some attention. Close inspection reveals armies of hideous little bugs on the chili peppers, some forming communities on the citrus. The wife will set out non-toxic baits she has assembled and the bugs will have no more a chance than peasants armed with rakes taking on a battery of tanks. One bunch of bananas is showing yellow, in need of harvest before the rats and birds have their way with each ripening finger of fruit.
Here’s a lesson in banana harvest: first, make sure the bunch you’re after is attached to the trunk you’re about to cut down (you can be fooled in a banana forest). Then, with your Brazilian banana knife, cut a notch in the stalk as high up as you can. If it's a big stalk, grab a ladder; the higher the better. Similar to falling a tree, the notch will determine the direction of the fall, assuming an upright stalk. If it's leaning, cut your notch consistent with the direction of the lean. The stalks give only one bunch before they die off. Banana stalks are mostly pillars of water. Some grow to 20 feet or more and can be thicker than a running back’s thigh and weigh as much as a well nourished lineman. After notched, a hanging leaf attached to the upper part of the stalk comes in handy; pull gently until it starts to move in the desired direction. If it doesn’t come, cut your notch a little deeper, but go easy. Try to bring everything down slowly enough so that the weighty stalk doesn't crush nearby vegetation and the fruit doesn’t slam into the ground, getting bruised and scattered. If the wife's around, position her where she can support the bunch as it makes its way down. Don’t tell her about the rat that’s nesting in there. It’s best that she learn of the rat after she’s helped to keep the bananas from crashing into the ground. When the bunch is at chest level the rat hops out and scurries away through the undergrowth, coming my way and not looking back to see the stunned look on my wife's face. Thankfully, she doesn't scream. Finally, harvest the banana bunch with a deft swing of your blade across the stem that holds the bunch to the stalk, then cut the stalk into 18-inch sections and split them into mulch for the next generation (bananas are self-propagating). You are, of course, wearing your banana clothes? Banana water splashes everywhere as you hack away. It looks harmless enough, but it’s really a cousin to roofing tar and will leave permanent stains on whatever you happen to be wearing. Don't worry about that sturdy banana spider that's hitched a ride on your shoulder; he won't hurt you, he's just creepy. Bananas are a lot of work, but here's the reward: many think the apple bananas that grow in Haiku are among the best bananas in the world.
Back on top, out of the gulch, I see that mud puddles have formed in the driveway where the sometimes forgetful occupant-caretaker neglected to secure a load of gravel before the change of season. Makahiki. Here it is again already. This is the time of year when the benevolent god, Lono, sits in for the war god, Ku, and during which time the Hawaiians celebrate four months of peace and feasting before the return of Ku sends them back to war. Traditional Hawaiians celebrate Makahiki like it was Thanksgiving. Imagine holiday-style feasts going on for four months, then wonder no more why there seems to be so many large Hawaiians.
* * *
Not much happens around here without some sort of spiritual attachment and attaching herself to the spirits is my wife, Laurie, also known as “Lolly” (my own bastardization of the Hawaiian translation for Laurie: Lauli). I picture her among few haoles (people lacking “ha,” the spiritual breath of life, mostly white people) who have so successfully immersed themselves into Hawaiian culture, language, song, and history with learned understanding. For her it is both a passion and a place to direct her great store of energy which, all gods know, needs to be channeled into things that occupy her love and intellect.
Early on I remember her clumping down our hallway, sounding like Ahab stumping around on the Pequod. She was sporting a cast on her left lower extremity where she suffered a fracture of the fibula in a fall as a volunteer worker at Kukuipuka, a newly rediscovered Hawaiian heiau (temple). Her friend and kumu (teacher), Lei’ohu Ryder, found the heiau and championed it in song, spiritual archeology, and restoration. Just Laurie’s ticket. A little rain, a muddy slope, and—I insist—lack of proper footwear, all teamed up to cause this foreseeable and mechanical event. Not so, said Laurie. “It was a message from the gods. A reminder to slow down.”
If a broken leg is a “reminder,” I wonder what might be in store for those who fail to be reminded. But I detected a new openness in my wife, an acceptance of those things inexplicable, a nod in favor of a spiritual world. And I saw the influence of Lei’ohu, an intelligent and talented woman of Hawaiian ancestry who believes—sincerely believes—that song and direction are channeled to her from the spirits of her kupuna, her late elders. A unique but not unprecedented claim. The Reverend Gary Davis said he never wrote any of the songs credited to him; those songs were revealed to him by a higher power. The great Hank Williams said, simply, “People don't write music. It's given to them.”
A school teacher by profession, Lei`ohu is the first to admit that these can be troublesome beliefs. Nonetheless, she is steadfast in her interpretation of her personal experience, and it’s not hard for me to understand Laurie’s acceptance of the unconventional. To hear Lei`ohu talk of her spirit-experiences is to listen with rapt attention. To hear her sing is to wonder at the strength and confidence embodied in her lovely, clear soprano. According to Lei`ohu, her songs come to her through her departed kupuna, flowing melody and Hawaiian lyric inexplicably coming to her fully formed. And for each, she is able to recite exactly where and when it happened. Untrained as a musician or singer, her natural musical abilities speak volumes for that Hawaiian “thing” found in so many Hawaiians who take to music like a duck to water.
I was similarly untrained, lacking laurels and professional accolades as a recording engineer and producer of music, all of no apparent concern to Lei`ohu. She knew of my love of music, that I had the rudimentary beginnings of a recording studio, and the once-magic initials—CCR—on my resume, though that association had nothing to do with the technical end of music production. After bringing my wife home with her broken leg, she enthusiastically proposed, “Let's make a record!” Over the next 15 years or so, we would make a half-dozen of them. [Here I might add that the best of those were enhanced by the fine and inventive guitar playing of AVA's Jeff Costello, who one day found his way into my studio as though guided by wizardry.]
* * *
In a remarkable—maybe clairvoyant—job of packing, Laurie brought from our home in California a high-tech orthopedic device, a removable cast for her leg.
“How did you know it would be the left one?” I asked.
“Don’t be silly,” she says. “There is no left or right to these things.”
“I suppose one size fits all?”
“Of course not. I was fitted for this when I broke my foot.”
“Oh yeah. I remember. I guess one never knows when they may run afoul of the gods (snicker) and be subjected to orthopedic retribution.”
The doctor was surprised that a patient would bring their own state-of-the-art cast to the clinic. Apparently, such apparatus didn’t exist on this island at the time. Laurie looked at him with pleading eyes: please, oh please, Mr. Orthopedist, I promise I’ll be a good girl. Honest. Might I wear this rather than have my leg encased in fiberglass? The doctor was impressed with the device, but warned: “…okay, but don’t let this be an excuse for over-activity. This leg needs rest in order to heal.”
Those who know her know that inactivity doesn’t rest well with my wife. Right away she's fussing with her plants, harvesting mangoes and citrus, watering things, making pies, stumping around with her crutches, poking here and there, seeing to chicken issues, attending new classes under the tutelage of celebrated kumu, singer and songwriter, Uluwehi Guerrero, whom she met through Lei`ohu. Two days later she wants to go into the gulch to harvest lychee, pick some lei flowers. I forbid it.
“Too steep, too slippery. It’s been raining for days, you know. Do you remember how this happened in the first place?”
She relents, pouting only a little. Under her breath, “...it was the gods, not the landscape.”
Lolly can’t stand more than, say, a day and a half of rain. And that’s pushing it. Sun can be found somewhere on this island, don’t you know?
She hobbles to the shoreline on her crutches and leaves them on the sand at the water’s edge. A one-leg hop and flop! She moves into the water feet first, scrootching forward while seated on her butt, the broken leg conveniently uncased and held aloft until she’s floating, turning to swim free with the delicate leg gingerly trailing while the other kicks, slightly. The folks at “Baby Beach”—so-called for its protective reef and calm waters—haven’t seen such an odd performance since two ladies in the final stages of pregnancy danced naked on the sand, celebrating the full glory of their condition.
I waited for Laurie to attempt a launch of Kai Makika (“Sea Mosquito”), her ocean-going kayak, but I suppose she knows that I know that even she knows that that’s just a little too adventurous until she is healed. Months later, when launched for a foray among visiting humpback whales, a mano kilakila (huge shark) surfaced right behind her when she was still a half-mile from shore. She heard the water run off its back and turned to see the immense fish, imposing in its size—larger than her kayak—its mouth filled with frightful teeth and “ … right on my ass!” The shark, a tiger said Laurie, lazily followed her for what doubtless felt like an eternity, its nose never far from her stern. Aided by her Hawaiian gods, she managed to not huli (turn over), aware that frantic and adrenalin-fueled paddling might tip the kayak's delicate center of balance. Also aware she couldn't outdistance the sleek predator no matter how energetic her efforts. Two companions in a single kayak, initially a hundred yards off, were alerted by shouts from Laurie and spotted the dorsal fin following behind her. They bravely paddled their way to her to add their presence, hopefully to be seen as threat rather than menu choices. The shark submerged in a graceful, unhurried dive under the arriving kayak, disappearing into the clear west Maui waters, and wasn't seen again.
Laurie reported the incident to a Department of Land and Natural Resources official whose opinion of the encounter was curiosity on the part of the shark, noting there was no aggressive behavior. Both agreed that she had been privileged to experience this singular and uncommon meeting. Lolly later suggested that the passive shark may have been hand-picked by the gods, someone's aumakua (family guardian-god) on loan for the occasion, sentiments likely enhanced by virtue of dry land underfoot.
* * *
I spent my first year on Maui, or most of it, building a garage, shop, and a cottage unit I was pretty sure would be needed for my mother (it was). That, and some rehabilitation to our home. I spent a lot of the second year feeling my way at how to make a living in this foreign land. Enter my brother, Robbin, always eager to give me a hand. He wondered if I could make a radio commercial for his travel business. Of course I could, couldn't I? I had a multi-track cassette recorder and a single decent microphone. Laurie and I created a substantial listener awareness for him. Business had never been better. Our commercials were built around a musical ditty, anything from rock & roll to island slack-key. Laurie would sing the lyric and tag while I did the voice-over. Ukulele, a little percussion, and a few guitar parts provided the backup. We knew we were a hit when the Rolling Stones played in Honolulu and half of Maui flew to Oahu for the event, most of them buying tickets from my brother’s travel business.
Then I got the idea that I could do ads in a talking-blues style, a la Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and others. Lack of an acceptable singing voice invites another approach, so I talked the whole spiel over a simple guitar lick. Then, just before Laurie came in at the end to sing the tag, I drawled, “…we’ll let the haole girl sing it.” An instant hit with lots of feedback. Everyone wanted to know about the “haole girl.” Who is she, anyway? We did a series of talking-blues radio spots, clever little stories to be told in 60-seconds, most with a cameo appearance by the haole girl. Pretty soon people were listening for our commercials in serial fashion, anxiously awaiting the next chapter. Laurie achieved an underground celebrity status, even though there are those who equate the “h-word” to the “n-word” as racist. I've never met a Hawaiian who considers haole derogatory unless preceded by some form of the “f-word.”
From these humble beginnings we developed a recording studio capable of commercial recordings and started our own label. Laurie's passion for Hawaiian music and culture resulted a string of local artists who came into our studio to make their recordings to be released and distributed on our label. When it comes to Hawaiian music, she is unsurpassed as a talent scout. On occasion she came home barely able to contain her excitement: “You've got to come to the airport with me and hear Pueo Pata!” who was performing there for arriving tourists. Not long afterward he won a prestigious Hawaiian falsetto contest that included a recording contract with a competing Honolulu label. “So much for having him record here,” said Lolly, happy for Pueo but heartbroken. To our great surprise and delight, he eschewed the contract invitation he had won and came to start his recording career with us, Lolly's great love and respect for Hawaiian music and culture, I think, key to his decision.
“Ata Damasco's a part of the lineup at the MACC (Maui Arts & Cultural Center) tonight! He's the most Hawaiian Hawaiian I've ever heard!” said Lolly, urging me to come along. I wondered where his shoes were as I watched him cross the stage barefoot. All of our artists are special in their own way. When Ata was born, the gods reached down and gave him a gift of music that he would wield like Achilles would his sword. Similarly, Ata also had a vulnerability, a social failing that resulted in multiple incarcerations, several of which seemed to coincide with our CD projects. Following the completion of his first CD, Lolly and I were shocked to read in the local paper that Ata was set to be sentenced on theft charges for his part in stealing two baby pigs from a local rancher. A year and a half later, I somehow arranged to have him released to my custody on a work furlough program during which we recorded his second CD. The furlough program required that he have no contact whatsoever with other felons. Escaping any thoughts of perjury, I signed the guardian-custody agreement, assuming I was personally exempt from the no-felons requirement. I didn't ask, but neither did they.
All but finished with his third CD, Ata managed to commit a parole violation and was again locked up. I made a plea to the warden: I needed Ata for just 3 or 4 hours in the studio and a photo opportunity for graphics in order to complete the project. A week later the prison van with Ata and a guard pulled up in front of the studio. We weren't allowed to remove his prison ID bracelet for the photo-shoot, so Lolly wove a traditional ti-leaf bracelet to cover the prison ID. For many local people, including the guard and warden, Ata was a local celebrity and accorded certain benefits.
During his next period of freedom, we recorded the beginnings of his fourth CD, 14 songs with just Ata singing and accompanying himself with guitar, ukulele or keyboard. Then, as though a requirement for each of our projects, another parole violation occurred. His crimes never involved violence. I think his biggest problem stemmed from a refusal to follow rules laid down by occupying haoles who had stolen the Kingdom of Hawaii from his people. But the judge was angry and erased time previously served. Now he would be shipped off to Arizona to be imprisoned for five years. The recordings we had made were considered rough tracks, intended to serve as guides and foundations. Vocals would be done in earnest after the underlying tracks were finished. A couple of years later, I began toying with the idea of finishing the project without Ata, using what I had, constructing various arrangements to cover any glaring defects. I enlisted Liz and Joni, a talented local duo I recorded as Ahumanu (a gathering of birds), to serve as musicians and harmony singers. Pueo and Kaiolohia Smith, a wonderfully skilled singer and musician from Hana, would also lend their talents. We did what we could do, as best we could do it. It was good enough to win Ata a Na Hoku-hanohano award, Hawaiian music's highest tribute. Laurie appeared for Ata at the awards ceremony, promising the audience Ata would be back soon.
At the end of our first year as a label, our three initial releases were in local radio's top 10 CDs of the year, Pueo's E Ho`i Na Wai in the number one spot. Lei`ohu's “Lady of the Mountain” was number four and Ata's first Hawaiian gospel CD “From the Valley to the Throne” was number seven. How sweet it was. In a 15-year period we released 20 commercial CDs on our label and made many more for other musicians, once even hosting the celebrated Willy Nelson, until the cruel and relentless march of technology resulted in the loss of the retail CD market as it once existed. Nonetheless, many of our CDs today continue to have modest sales through the tourist market and internet. In the meantime we managed to make a living doing what we enjoyed most.
* * *
The weather pattern has changed as it always does and I'm traversing the slope into the gulch under sunny skies. I am of course wearing my proper footwear, on my way to harvest papaya and check on the general condition of things, musing about Laurie and her broken leg. A smug chortle escapes my lips as I recall her extravagant contention about “…a message from the gods,” and I am wondering if the zeal with which she has immersed herself into Hawaiian cultural and spiritual teachings hasn’t overtly affected my extremely bright wife. One needs only to keep their eyes open and exercise common diligence. Gravity, not gods, is the key factor in a fall.
I near the bottom of the incline at a leisurely pace and stop to survey a stand of bananas. Quick as a light, immeasurable, my feet and legs are airborne, zipping up over my head as though caught in a snare. There is a momentary halt in time and a split-second, dizzying blur as the panorama whizzes by. For a few nano-seconds I am conscious of weightlessness, of helplessness. My back hits the ground with a sickening thud! as though I’d fallen from a great height. There is a soft whoosh! as air leaves my lungs. I find myself stretched out, flat on my back, looking straight up into a cobalt blue sky. The silence is eerie. I take stock of my condition, gasping a bit as air returned to my chest. Then, from way off, a distant and sourceless voice feeds into my consciousness— somewhere from some unseen, unimagined corridor, a maze without end, someone wants to know of me: “… you scoff?”
Then laughter deep from the belly, some belly other than mine.