- Caltrans Fraud
- Hot Day
- Carpet Dam
- Fort B&B
- Roederer Sprinklers
- Helping Panhandlers
- Motorcycle Pursuit
- Homeless Camps
- Cranberry Controversy
- Little Dog
- Calfire Work
- Tina's Shirt
- Eel TMDL
- Yesterday's Catch
- Fatherly Advice
- Mass Incarceration
- Fifth Estate
- Theater Expenses
- County Vacancies
- AV Agenda
- AVA Prayer
- Swine Watch
- Rich Vampires
- Flawed EIR/EIS
HIDDEN FREEWAY COSTS REVEALED: WILLITS BYPASS 50 PERCENT MORE EXPENSIVE
ABC7 News has learned a controversial freeway project that Caltrans claimed cost $300 million actually cost $460 million, 50 percent more than the agency told the public.
Documents obtained by ABC7 News show Caltrans has been giving out the wrong total cost figures for the Willits Bypass on Highway 101 in Mendocino County for the past five years.
The new freeway opened last November. It is 6 miles long, with two major overpasses, designed to route cars and trucks around a traffic bottleneck in the tiny town of Willits.
Willits Mayor Gerry Gonzalez is glad to see it finally finished. "Getting commercial truck traffic off of Main Street and making it a safer community is important," he said.
But the project divided the community, with some residents and environmental groups saying it was too big and caused too much damage to protected wetlands and streams. They wanted a smaller cheaper road.
Caltrans was forced to scale back from the planned four lanes to two lanes. Even so, there was still major environmental impact and the project kept getting more expensive, but Caltrans did not report the full extent of the increase to the public.
When the project broke ground in 2012, Caltrans official financial plan showed the total cost estimate for the bypass project as $290 million, but the agency told ABC7 News and the public it was $210 million.
In 2015, Caltrans told the public the project cost was up to $300 million, and stuck with that figure through the freeway's opening day. But an internal agency document shows by then the total was really $450 million dollars.
Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbie said he saw the new total but did not give it to the public because he was not sure it was correct. It was.
Six weeks after opening, another Caltrans document shows the cost had gotten even higher, $459 million. But Caltrans did not issue a correction.
Frisbie said Caltrans was not hiding the cost, it was an error. "All I can say is Caltrans is made up of imperfect people just like every other organization. We did our best for transparency."
The Willits Bypass already survived a parade of problems, including a major construction accident that injured three people, major issues with required environmental mitigation, and accusations of serious negligence for Caltrans' handling of Native American archaeological sites in the construction area.
Frisbie said the reason Caltrans gave out the wrong cost figures was a "discrepancy is due to some cultural changes at Caltrans." He is referring to what Caltrans calls support cost, which is the cost of the Caltrans staff who work on each project.
For many years the agency did not include its own employees in total project costs, but after years of criticism that changed. According to Frisbie, "It's been Caltrans policy since about 2008 when we really started officially saying we need to make sure we include all the support costs because that gives the public really a better idea."
Frisbie admitted that policy was not followed on the Willits Bypass. He cited changing policies and accounting systems, and told ABC7 News he thought the totals he gave the public included support costs, but they did not.
Caltrans documents show support costs roughly doubled during the construction. They were estimated at $79 million in 2012, and up to $155 million by 2015. None of that was made public.
ABC7 News wondered why the Willits Bypass project managers did not alert Frisbie he was giving out the wrong figures, especially since they were creating internal spreadsheets that clearly showed the cost increases.
We wanted to ask Matt Brady about that. He is director of the Caltrans district that includes the Willits Bypass, the most expensive project ever in that district. Brady said he was busy and preferred Frisbie do the interview.
We showed the documents with the real bypass cost to some of the critics who fought the freeway. They did not buy Caltrans' explanation.
Ellen Drell with Willits Environmental Center said, "The real question is why, why does Caltrans hold such power over the public purse that they would get away with lying to the public to the tune of 150 million dollars or more?"
After our interview with Caltrans, the agency posted a blog with the true cost of the bypass. The total could still go higher because Caltrans will be working for years to finish the environmental requirements. That work already accounts for $90 million of the $460 million cost.
Written and produced by Jennifer Olney
IT REACHED 102 IN THE SHADE in Boonville Thursday. And it was higher than that at higher elevations and in the Yorkville direction and in direct sun. It got up near a sweltering 110 in Ukiah. Winds were at or near zero, meaning almost no breeze. Some reports even had Fort Bragg around an amazing 90 for Thursday. Temps are supposed to gradually return to more normal 80s for highs in Anderson Valley over the next few days with on-shore breezes with corresponding reductions in other areas of the County.
DAVE SEVERN'S ON THE CASE!
Supervisor John McCowen asked:
I am told "a roll of shag carpet" is impeding salmonid passage at the confluence of Anderson Creek and the Navarro. I am told this is the location of a popular swimming hole. Do you know if the immediate area of the confluence is accessible by vehicle? I am hoping to help coordinate removal of the obstruction. Thank you.
David Severn replied:
There is a somewhat precarious road on what used to be called Shenoa but is now called The Land run by women who give orgasm classes. They are nice but there is a combo gate. I go to the spot you refer to often but not in the last two weeks. Two weeks ago there was a group of campers with at least five kids hanging out. I didn't bother them but Anderson Creek seemed to be flowing fine at the time. It is not a popular swimming hole, though Goldeneye Winery gives access through their vineyard to employees. River goers, especially the kids, like to dam the flow to make deeper pools. They usually just use rocks. I'll check it out and deal with whatever I find. I'll let you know what's up.
A READER sent along an Air B&B ad link this morning. I wondered at the relevance but opened it anyway to find my old house on Anderson Valley Way for rent at $450 a night. Twenty or so burble-gushing commenters said they were happy with the accommodations. The place now has a hot tub, which we were and are politically opposed to, not that hot tubs occasionally didn't visit, if you get my drift. The interior of this $450-a-night made over tract house has been blanded wayyyyyy down, with corporate art on the walls and furniture that looks like it came out of a dentist's office.
WE WERE STRICTLY garage sale decor but, overall, I think the place was at least interesting, intriguing even, to the discerning visitor although, truth to tell, we got the periodic, overheard exclamation, "Jayzus, look at all this crap!" The late Charmian Blattner routinely talked to the lady mannequin at the door until she was re-directed to a human-type person.
AND THERE was the time… Well, some other time.
WHO OWNS IT NOW? I don't know. Someone told me "Irish yuppies." I didn't know there was such a thing. But the Irish owners of 12451 might be interested in knowing that Pol Brennan, an IRA man, was a frequent visitor. And he was hardly the only person on the FBI's Watch List welcomed onto the premises. These motel-size rooms once rang with sedition!
I'M GOING to save up and buy a night and invite all the people who used to live there for a full day of rue and lamentations that our old home has come to this.
AIR B&B'S local geography is way off. A lot of the places they have listed for this area, of which there are well over a hundred in the Anderson Valley from Yorkville to Navarro, are misplaced. Some of the Yorkville spas are actually in Cloverdale, and another Yorkville spa is on the Boonville-Ukiah Road. The whole show is sold as "wine country." All these Air B&B places are supposed to be registered with the County and pay their fair share of the bed tax, but who's looking, let alone counting?
SO, IT'S A HUNDRED DEGREES in the Anderson Valley today and the Roederer Winery runs their sprinklers all afternoon on a quarter mile of vineyard.
RANDOM COMMENTS ON FORT BRAGG'S HOMELESS MEETING
 Astounded, disappointed and outraged…
And extremely upset at the meeting today..watched it all on tv. So more of the same, and worse...now shaw wants a motel? Letting them live in cars? What transpired is inevitably going to attract more and more. I feel you sold us locals out, truly. We do not want them here. The helping pros seem to fail at helping the ones ii see to anything but free food and goods, to help them support booze and drug habits. You did not represent what you know to be the sentiment of the majority. I feel you owe us a meeting on the same subject. And we can focus on ways to discourage them. Focus on what you can do for the voters, not for the takers.
 When I looked at the long list of agencies invited to the "Homeless Action Plan" meeting I figured that from each agency they would present what they are doing, why their agency is needed, and that they need more money (a form of agency panhandling) to provide more services. I figured they would dominate the meeting, that they would not talk about the costs to the community residents in terms of safety, sanitation, crime, and emergency services provided including by our struggling hospital. That our small community cannot afford continuation of the problem, those looking for freebees should be discouraged from coming here, and those in true need should be properly directed if they are truly interested in their rehab. I'll bet that was ignored.
 On June 21, 2017, the Public Safety Committee agenda item was to "Consider Possibility of Preparing a Homeless Action Plan for Fort Bragg". Invited were six groups representing Social Services and Mental Health, two from the Faith-Based Community, three from Medical Services, three from Housing, and five from Law Enforcement. Of note is "Each agency or organization has been asked to address the Public Safety Committee and respond to the following questions (3-5 minute time limit):" The questions these groups/agencies needed to address were not about keeping the residents safe and protecting our businesses. The questions did not fit the name of the committee. I saw in the agenda there was no time provided for public and local business input which are the very ones affected by the transient population that migrates to our small city as word has spread throughout the country this is the place one should go to. Instead each representative stated how important they were and the need for more money (a form of "Agency and Group Panhandling") is what resulted. Those that attended from the local businesses and local residents were disappointed and outraged at the avoidance by not confronting the problem and setting priorities because our small community cannot sustain the gathering problem. If we can't name the problems, then how do we develop a solid way to confront it. The Committee should have listed the problems created by the "homeless population" such as drug abuse, trash and health issues, the costs from crime and emergency services and what each agency is going to do to REDUCE it. There needs to be priorities established.
MEANWHILE IN THE COUNTY SEAT…
On June 21st at about 11:29 am, a UPD officer on patrol attempted a traffic enforcement stop on a speeding motorcyclist, on Brush Street. The motorcyclist failed to yield to the officer’s lights and siren and led the UPD officer on a high speed pursuit northbound on North State Street and into the county. The motorcyclist was riding with complete disregard for other motorist’s safety and attempting to elude the pursing officer. The motorcyclist passed vehicles by riding into oncoming traffic. The motorcyclist turned onto Lake Mendocino Drive and the officer followed. The pursuit ended when the officer was able to block the path of the motorcyclist as he was making a U-turn. The front of the officer’s patrol vehicle collided with the motorcycle at a slow speed, knocking over the motorcycle and rider. The rider got up and was immediately taken into custody by the pursing officer.
The rider was identified as Tristan Mendez age 20, a county resident. A records check revealed that Mendez was not licensed to ride a motorcycle and was on felony probation. As a precaution, Mendez was transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Once medically cleared, Mendez was booked into county jail for felony reckless evading and for violation of his probation.
(Ukiah PD press release)
REGARDING THE HOMELESS CAMPS, a reader writes:
Yesterday the homeless enablers explained how they take their services directly to homeless encampments. If these camps are illegal, and I think they are on a county, state and city level, aren’t these social workers legally and morally bound to report such camps to the cops or Sheriff’s Department? They pose a huge fire danger, among other problems. Should they not report open fires, and other violations? All very serious threats to Public Safety. Please let me know if I am off base on this?
FOUR DRIED CRANBERRIES, Chapter 2
To the anonymous letter writer and the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op Board of Directors
This letter is my rebuttal to your ridiculous reason, tasting 4 dried cranberries, for negating my long time membership in the Co-op. I have been shopping for organic food at Ukiah Natural Foods going back in time to the old store on Perkins Street with never an incident. In the last couple of years, your manager has begun chastising customers for tasting a tiny sample such as a single grape (skin too tough, flavor bland) or a cherry (California cherries are good if picked when they are ripe, but Washington cherries are often soft, and of poor flavor.) Packaged strawberries are tough, white inside and of poor flavor, whereas local strawberries from the Redwood Valley Farmer’s Market are delicious. Yet the surprising policy is that the Ukiah Co-op earns so much money that in addition to customers’ yearly dividends, the store has extra money to give as gifts to other non profit organizations, a policy which helps stabilize existing power relationships, rather than helping their own customers and members with lower prices. This stingy policy is also used to eliminate any customer or employee who questions or inquires about the store’s managerial policies.
Contrast this institutionalized pettiness with Catrina and Dave Fisher’s recently closed Souls Sisters organic restaurant with their tasting menu. Customers could try any main dish or condiment which they were serving. This policy created friends. The Co-op’s surveillance “Gotcha” plan creates enemies and drives customers away. It is a strange way to operate a business. Can you imagine the write-up in Inc. magazine which covers startups, successful entrepraneurs and business analysts - Ukiah Natural Foods drives away long term paying customers.
No, I did not attend two board meetings. Long term trouble with intermittent bouts of excruciatingly painful muscle spasms, stomach aches, nausea and inability to hold down my supplements in addition to the work on my organic garden, pollinators’ garden, bioswales for the fruit trees and the massive thistle attacks from this rainy winter have overwhelmed me. Long term effects from the lyme disease epidemic have left me with over a year’s back paperwork and reading untouched. Electrifying my blood, which I have recently begun, has been the most effective therapy for this painful and disabling lyme disease.
This letter is my formal request for the name of the customer whom you claim in your letter of April 19, 2017, stated that I put my hands into open food containers. I question whether such a customer exists, whether or not this is a made up story. At any rate, this is not evidence. It is heresay, inadmissible in a court of law. I have a right to confront my accuser, if such a person exists.
A reminder: In my letter, The Case of the Four Dried Cranberries, published in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, I explained that when I tried to pay for the four cranberries your scale would not register such a tiny weight. I paid 6 cents for the nickel, penny, and four little cranberries in a taster cup it took to make the scale register. That way you cannot accuse me off “consumption theft”.
The Ukiah Co-op has some real problems. I know of two criminal incidents which have occurred in the parking lot. The young women whose car was jacked told me this story: She was sitting in the driver’s seat of her vehicle while her male friend was shopping in the store when a strange man opened the door, pushing her aside, grabbing the keys still in the ignition. She was so frightened she jumped out of the passenger door, as the stranger drove off with her car. At the time she related this account, the police were trying to recover her vehicle.
The second incident was related to me by a 22 year old man with a large welt on the left side of his forehead. We were both sitting at the juice bar table. He was visibly upset as he explained that two men on the far side of the Co-op parking lot had approached him carrying an iron bar with which they hit him in the head, knocked him down, robbed him of his wallet and fled. I asked him if he had called the police. He said no, intimating his apprehension of the police. I explained that he should report the crime, to protect others from a similar attack.
With the continuous dismantling of the U.S. social security net by Donald Trump and his Republican henchmen plus the opioid epidemic, due, I suspect to the epidemic of painful untreated lyme disease, we will see more of disturbing, even criminal behavior in public places. A noticed surveillance system might be a deterrent to further crime and certainly a help to officers in tracking and arresting miscreants.
Dorotheya M Dorman
I'm not quite sure how to say it, so here it goes! How about a good old thank you neighbor?
I can't begin to express my gratitude. It's just like this: you guys made me feel like God answered my prayers.
Thank you all so much for publishing my story. I was given a copy of the article in court on June 15, 2017 at 9 PM and some of the folks in court were a little upset. They said I violated their client’s confidentiality rights.
You mean my son? I thought.
Anyhow Judge Reimenschneider advised me not to do any more of this. My thought was, Oh really? Needless to say I believe wholeheartedly that the article that was published, “This Is justice?" Influenced Judge Reimenchneider to do the right thing or at least the more right thing.
The judge humbly ordered CPS child welfare to reevaluate Grandma for placement of the kids and for the social worker and therapist to do whatever is necessary to ensure that Dad's letters and cards are appropriate and forwarded properly.
This is freaking huge. Thank you so much. I am scared, yes, because I don't trust these people.
I sent you a copy of a new writ of habeas corpus, two denials, a letter to Judge Behnke (the best) and some requests to calendar this issue heard by Judge Moormon. She chose to side with DA Eyster and remand me. Bad call all the way around.
I mailed the originals to the clerk of the court at 100 North State Street in Ukiah about April 10 or 20th, nearly 60 days ago. So far the court has not mailed a response to my home address or to me here in jail at 951 Low Gap Road. This is dodging the bullet, neglect, BS, or obstruction of justice — whatever you want to call it. Maybe Public Defender Linda Thompson isn't getting my mail and messages. Neither is her assistant Carly Dolan who was appointed to represent me. I've been trying to contact Carly Dolan at the public defender's office to help me with my filing of my second writ which I sent you a copy of.
I've been consistent in trying since April but I have a feeling that whatever the clerk sent to my request for calendar to my home address signed in magic marker 37 days later. I don't know what's happening. I just want the presiding judge, the Honorable John Behnke to have an idea as well. So the clerk of the court, where's the response to legal mail? I could be released as early as July 1, 12 days from now. So I will probably have to have an attorney to start over. That's hard to do with no money, no job, no hope. But I guess we will have to find a way.
Would you consider helping me fight this case for my court rights by starting a fund-raising foundation? Either you or the Advertiser would be the trustees of the funds collected by the donations from locals in the community. It's just an idea, a longshot. But I've got to try and keep fighting for what's right, fair and honest. I need an attorney for these complicated and difficult matters.
Again thank you folks.
Paul Daniel Hannah
951 Low Gap Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Just sayin' but these so-called 'service dogs' should be restricted to the blind. Period. Now we've got every neurotic in the country claiming he can't go anywhere without his comfort animal! You won't see us country canines slobbering over your sandwiches in Boonville. We don't go where we're not wanted!”
BILL ALLEN OF PHILO ASKED:
This morning I stopped by Blue Meadow Farm to pick up a tool Roy Laird had repaired for me. At the beginning of Holmes Ranch Road a CalFire crew was clearing brush along the road side. CalFire? Clearing brush? On a private road? I asked Roy (who's a Captain in the AV Fire Dept.) about it and he said it's some kind of PR stunt to mollify peoples' anger about that annual CalFire fee, probably thought up "by some mid-level manager." Apparently the rank & file firefighters have been getting a lot of flak from the public about the fee. But here's the rub: Laird said CalFire's annual budget was cut in approximate proportion to the estimated revenue from the new fee. If true, that means CalFire's net budgetary gain from the fee is $0. Seems like yet another legislative scam…a stealth tax designed to fatten state coffers without public input (just like the lottery scheme.)
CALFIRE BATTALION CHIEF JEFF SCHLAFER REPLIED:
Good afternoon Bill,
I was forwarded an email from Anderson Valley Fire Chief Avila in regards to some questions or concerns about our recent work on the Holmes Ranch Road. My hope is to answer any questions you may have and to also explain the history and scope of the project.
The project was identified a couple of years ago by Chief Avila and myself as an area that would greatly benefit from some fuels reduction work for many reasons. Some of these reasons include:
Creation of a fuel break in a strategic location as well as a potential fire control line.
Fuel reduction near structures or assets at risk from wildfire.
Removal of dead and dying material as well as removal of ladder fuels along roadways.
Vegetation modification along roadways which provides safer ingress/egress for emergency personnel or evacuation purposes.
The Holmes Ranch project is one of several that were identified within Anderson Valley. Other projects that are still being considered are portions of Rancho Navarro, Nash Mill and the Yorkville Highlands.
Prior to starting any project, there are several layers of review and boxes to check to ensure we are complying with all rules and regulations. These include environmental review, mapping, type of work to be performed and how it will be accomplished, landowner permission, project scope, financial requirements, duration, etc.
The Holmes Ranch project has been funded through the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fee (SRAFPF) program for the last 2 years. Each year, our local Unit (MEU) submits project funding requests to Sacramento for approval. These projects are identified county wide and have gone through the review process as stated above (they are shovel ready so to speak). If approved, funds are allocated to our Unit (MEU) based on the number of SRA fee payers paid within our respective County. This last fiscal year, funds were allocated for Holmes Ranch and a fuels reduction project in Brooktrails.
From our perspective, we have been very diligent in our focus of completing this project while always taking into consideration each homeowners concern or feedback. For the most part, everything has been extremely positive with minimal issues. We are working within the parameters of the road association and frequently adjust based on terrain, fuel types or other infrastructure/improvements.
I can assure you that this project is not intended as a PR stunt. We are also not attempting to mollify anger that may have been created by the fee. While we can't always avoid some of these scenarios, we address them to the best of our ability and offer any assistance possible.
The Holmes Ranch project is an actual example of how some of these funds are coming back to our community and being utilized for important projects. We were funded for the Rancho Navarro project also but winter took its toll on their road infrastructure and precluded us from performing any work.
This may be more information than you were looking for but I feel it's important to explain the history of how this was developed. CAL FIRE has recently taken an aggressive approach towards fuels reduction and the Vegetation Management Program (VMP). We will be actively seeking new projects within the Valley which will help reduce the risk of wildfire to SRA lands, habitable structures or community infrastructure. Please feel free to offer any ideas or thoughts on additional locations or potential projects.
I hope this helps with some of your questions. If you would like to discuss anything further, please don't hesitate to give a call, send an email or stop by the local CAL FIRE facility.
Jeff Schlafer, Boonville Battalion Chief
(707) 895-3159 Office
(707) 391-6715 Cell
I am writing in response to an article written by Bruce McEwen in the May 17 AVA, "Pete Hoyle's Expert Opinion."
I'm a fairly new reader of this newspaper and I don't understand if it's real news or just for entertainment. It seems the writer strays from the facts and uses his opinion quite freely and often. I'm sure there are readers out there who believe and hang onto every word the writer uses. But isn't this a writer's rule that there is always three sides to every story? Our side, their side, and then the facts?
If the story is real than the facts should stand alone. The writer who wrote about Tina C.’s case didn't tell all the facts. He made it seem like it was so outrageous that it had to be a lie. Who said facts are stranger than fiction?
Did you know Tina C. had a witness? Did you know there was someone present when she was at slam dunk and with her during that time she found drugs in the parking lot? This same person was with her during her arrest and was also arrested with her then released?
Tina C. is the type of person who doesn't want to drag others into her drama. Now if you were to check facts or even tell the whole story then you would know this. It seems so unfair.
I also understand about freedom of speech and how important it is to every one of us. For some reason you couldn't get over her outfit or lack of and even stated her cashmere costume she wore. You also said she had a Marilyn Monroe T-shirt, a Night of the Living Dead motif and you were upset that they’ve taken an American beauty and made her image half alive/half dead.
Well, it's not the Night of the Living Dead. In fact, it's Day of the Dead. Totally different. Night of the Living Dead is creepy, scary. Day of the Dead is something beautiful. Day of the Dead is now! It's a day of remembering and honoring our loved ones who have passed. A day of family coming together to honor that life of those who have passed. That's where the painting of skulls and painted faces comes in. It's nothing scary. Maybe it is to those who don't understand. But those who do understand know that it’s very beautiful and an important day.
Me being Native American, we believe a person isn't dead until they are forgotten. And what better symbol than the one and only American beauty Marilyn Monroe? Her image is everywhere. Me being a fan, what better way than to honor her than by bringing the Day of the Dead and Marilyn Monroe together?
By remembering her we are all keeping her memory alive — beautiful. So you see, it wasn't some creepy shirt, and by no means did she have a tweaker’s outfit on. Tina C. is a very beautiful soul. She's not a slave to fashion and her taste in clothes is her own. She shouldn't be put down for it. She's the type of person and friend who would give her shirt off her back to keep you warm. Even though the shirt isn't cute, it will keep you warm. But most of all though, all writers have that one Golden Rule: never judge a book by its cover!
I know Tina C. She's my friend. She has a good heart. She's caring, giving, and an honor to know. If you take the time.
Did you know the night before her trial she went through her shirts and set aside her torn ones, her faded ones, her stained ones, and picked out the best shirt she had because she knew she had trial and wanted to look good. I'm sorry she didn't meet your standards. Tina C. won't let this charge define her. Live and learn and the truth will always set you free. On the other hand Tina C. is very lucky. Unlike me, she doesn't need makeup or fancy clothes. She's beautiful just the way she is.
Sincerely, Angel Baby / Jarrett Williams
ELK RIVER TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load)
Subject: Save the Date
This is a message from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, North Coast Region (1).
Good morning Elk Stakeholders and other interested parties, This email is to invite you to save August 1, 2017 on your calendar to attend a hearing in Sacramento before the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) for their review and approval of the Action Plan for the Upper Elk River Sediment TMDL (Action Plan). The Action Plan and adopting resolution were made available for public review on December 15, 2016 with the comment period closing on January 17, 2017. Public comments have been compiled and a Responses to Comments document drafted. These will be made available on our website prior to the State Board hearing, as well as the documents to be considered by the State Board.
* * *
Kathy Bailey of Boonville replies:
The Upper Elk River TMDL Action Plan is coming up for final approval on August 1. I will forward the link when the documents are made available. It is not encouraging that the 30 day comment period was scheduled over the 2016/17 Christmas/New Years holiday. Scheduling like that does not encourage public participation.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 22, 2017
JAMES ANDERSON, Clearlake/Ukiah. Grand theft.
ASHLEY DARLINGTON, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JOSE ESPINOZA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
CRYSTAL HOAGLIN-PIKE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
RICHARD KLAISNER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
TRISTAN MENDEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation, evasion.
CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Causing a property fire, disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting. (Frequent flyer.)
JOEL ROMERO, Talmage. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JUSTIN SEVIER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, protective order violation, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
You wonder when things in the US will collapse under the weight of their own bullshit the way the Soviet system did. The ground-down Soviet citizen never believed party propaganda simply because it defied street-level reality.
Worker’s paradise? Sure, have some vodka, the all-purpose anesthetic, a sure-fire pain reliever, the only thing they never ran short of. And so people drank until they fell off their chairs.
But staying drunk couldn’t change the truth and inevitably the bullshit burst its banks. Even the nomenklatura with the greatest stake in the status quo stopped pretending. And down the crapper it all went.
You see parallels with the laughable state of things in the US. The propaganda sez one thing, your lyin’ eyes tell you otherwise. Both sides of the political divide live by precepts that that no reasonable and rational person could abide by. So strenuous is the required suspension of disbelief that it’s an exhausting ordeal to answer simple questions like “why?”.
Why did Hillary run? Why didn’t they indict her? Why are they investigating Russian collusion? Why let Wall Street run amok? Why is the Ridiculocity du jour worth a billion dollars?
Why? Nobody who isn’t out of their fucking mind can come up with reasonable and rational responses to these questions. It’s not your wild imagining, people who purport to have answers, that is, people who run the Manhattan-Washington Axis, without even slightly exaggerating really are out of their goddamn tree.
In this, appearances do NOT deceive. I mean, look at who’s in the White House, look at his opponents, look at Comey, look at what these people are saying and doing. These people should be in the Hoo-Hoo Hotel taking the cure, not at the pinnacles of power, not in national media every fucking day, not in front of congressional committees whose own sanity is more than suspect.
It’s like the inestimable Herb Stein said; if something can’t go on, it won’t. People have to live and work and eat, so this can’t go on. The question is how it ends.
ADVICE TO MY SONS
Never put whisky into hot water bottle crossing borders of dry states or countries. Rubber will spoil taste. Never make love with pants on. Beer on whisky, very risky. Whisky on beer, never fear. Never eat apples, peaches, pears etc. while drinking whisky except long French-style dinners, terminating with fruit. Other viands have mollifying effect. Never sleep in moonlight. Known by scientists to induce madness. Should bed stand beside window on clear night draw shades before retiring. Never hold cigar at right-angles to fingers. Hayseed. Hold cigar at diagonal. Remove band or not as you prefer. Never wear red necktie. Provide light snorts for ladies if entertaining. Effects of harder stuff on frail sex sometimes disastrous. Bathe in cold water every morning. Painful but exhilarating. Also reduces horniness. Have haircut once a week. Wear dark clothes after 6pm. Eat fresh fish for breakfast when available. Avoid kneeling in unheated stone churches. Ecclesiastical dampness causes prematurely gray hair. Fear tastes like a rusty knife and do not let her into your house. Courage tastes of blood. Stand up straight. Admire the world. Relish the love of a gentle woman. Trust in the Lord.
— John Cheever, The Wapshot Chronicle
TO THE MASS INCARCERATION EXPERTS
Until you've been sitting up in a drunk tank watching grown people peeing, pooping, and throwing up on themselves because they overdosed on alcohol or heroin, then you ain't no "expert" on mass incarceration.
Until you've been patted down, then strip searched, then forced to dress out into old, crusty, musty, too small jail clothes that dozens if not hundreds of others have worn too, been issued a 2 inch thick, 18 inch wide, 5 foot long green mattress with wool blankets that make you break out in an itch, then been one of three people stuffed into a two-man cell on the floor in a blue plastic "boat," then you ain't no "expert" on mass incarceration.
Until you've had to eat slushy jailhouse slop served on dirty, unsanitized trays, gotten food poisoning, been bloated, gassy, become constipated and had the runs, then you ain't no expert "expert" on mass incarceration.
Until you've seen someone wild out, breaking windows, throwing everything in the cell around including your meager possessions, then been pepper sprayed, tazed, rammed by six emergency extrication team members with riot shields, then tackled, kicked, punched into submission while being handcuffed and then strapped to a chair all night with a restraint mask (muzzle), then you ain't no "expert" on mass incarceration.
Until you’ve felt the pain of being separated from family and friends, if you’ve lost contact with them for months, even years, because they couldn't afford the high cost of phone calls or travel hundreds if not thousands of miles to visit you, then you aint no "expert" on mass incarceration.
Until you've been shackled from head to toe, with cuffs so tight they cut your wrists and ankles, then rope-chained to eight or nine others, then ushered into a courtroom, then you ain't no "expert" on mass incarceration.
THE FIFTH ESTATE
by Bruce Patterson
“The revolution in communications, produced by American ingenuity and promoted by business, makes the press, the radio and other opinion-forming instruments far more important in the political process than ever before. Both the press and the radio are, after all, ‘Big Business,’ and even when they possess the highest integrity, they are the prisoners of their own beliefs.”
—Monopoly Investigation, 76th US Congress, 1939
Boy am I tired of watching millionaire “broadcast journalists” and Primetime “media personalities” on the Breaking News Channels talking in clichés like the one about them getting paid to “speak truth to power.” Sounds awfully phony coming out the mouths of people who refuse to speak the truth to their audiences. These guys and gals are the highly trained and educated “objective observers” who, face-to-face with mountains of solid evidence, assume nothing and refuse to draw any conclusions that might displease their bosses and the Great Big Bosses in the Sky Boxes: the Holy Stockholders as organic mobile Calculators driven by shrunken hearts, gelded imaginations, insatiable appetites, flow charts, quarterly reports, fiscal years, Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology, their collective ethical backbone as Investors and Prognosticators about as long as the glint on a BB.
Since uttering fact-based conclusions on the air about any of the crimes of the filthy rich and tyrannical could slow down, or even reverse, their climb up the Income Ladder, engaging in self-censorship makes their Personal Success, if not guaranteed, then at least conceivable. Religiously practicing self-censorship is a winning strategy since in a racket where if ever in your career you draw the attention of the Censors sequestered inside the Castle Keep in the Corp HQ, you’ll be sorry.
“Before you answer, sir, I remind you that you are under oath.” The Pink Elephant nods solemnly.
“The indisputable facts are these: the creature looks, waddles and quacks like a duck. In your professional judgement, is it a duck?”
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment at this time, least not to the likes of you and your tiny, ultra-liberal, flag-burning TV audience.”
“But can’t you concede that it quite possibly could be a duck—is, in fact, a real good bet that it is a duck?”
“I’m sorry, sir. I respectfully refuse to rush to judgement. Sometimes a duck isn’t a duck.”
Since everybody’s talking about the New Reality, how come nobody ever defines it? Officially known inside the White House’s Wall St. War Room as Total Conglomerated Commercial Corporatism as Ultra-Efficient Ecosystem (TCCCUEE) what it means is that now the news is the commercials. In the Pentagon’s Madison Avenue HQ of the National Security Service, they call it “planting a worm in your ear.” Listen to the worm long enough and it eats away your brain. So now as news we get soap opera suspense, risqué romance, melodrama, action, adventure, personal inspiration, morality plays, Lucky Numbers, God as Santa Claus, cops as Angels of Mercy, celebrities as demigods and Product Placement as Soma capsules for the young and old, the isolated, regimented, dreamy and delusional.
Yet, in the real world, whether pounding bricks or cultivating the grassroots, all over the country people (mostly the young who are, as always, taking the worst beatings) are resisting the Ancient Regime’s New Reality by all legal means available. Legal means that, thanks to our still just-barely-breathing Bill of Rights, remain fairly substantial. The young’s resistance to the New Reality doesn’t make them Radical Leftists (read: “Anti-American”), or even subversives much less revolutionaries. It makes them the same patriotic Americans we are except a bunch more of it. For it’s one thing to Pledge Allegiance to the goal of a Republic and the realization of our Democratic Ideals, and a whole other thing to actively defend them against their enemies. It’s like the difference between a wartime draft-dodger who got caught and a willing enlistee. If you were forced to choose one to share your foxhole with, which would it be?
So if today’s conglomerated media market really is functioning as a Free Press dedicated to Truth, Justice and the American Way, how come the most patriotic among us have been reduced in significance to some old-timey, wobbly-wheeled traveling carnival’s Freak Show? Compared to the Primetime 3-Ring Circus of unending attention paid to a “Populist President” even more deranged than his hairdo and his masked, weirded-out enablers, coaches and paymasters, the patriots are out of sight and out of mind…
The New Reality means the banishment of Free Thought. It means news without truth, a world loaded invisible mercenary wars and erased natural places, history without lessons, cover-ups without penalty and humans standardized, miniaturized and dehumanized. The New Reality promises to lead us to a future bursting with more of the worst of a past we’ve spent our lives denying. Instigate another war on potheads and their fellow travelers? Sure, why not? How about taking after the Welfare Chiselers and the millions of greedy school kids stealing Free Lunches? How about making the poor and the lazy pay for their own damned health care? How about taking all the money we’d save by confirming the poverty of the poor and building ourselves twenty miles of our soon to be Glorious Border Wall stretching from Sea to Shining Sea? (Public Service Announcement: Never been a wall somebody couldn’t go over, under, around or through.)
The revolutionaries who freed us from Europe’s God Kings wished so much more for future generations. They knew they’d given them a real good fresh start but only that. So if we today really are Real Americans, how could we have so completely forgotten our catechism? How could we forget the difference between the legal and illegal, aspiration and the here and now, the real and ideal? How could we wind up acting like scared rabbits getting run through a fiendishly elaborate maze booby-trapped with random Rewards and Punishments designed by multi-national mad monk lab rats chained to stand up desks, touched by God, beholden to Mammon and determined to make the Consumer the Consumed?
Home of the Brave, Land of the Free?
“I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen. Those slogans are no longer operative now that we’ve got America’s Richest Old White Men First again. With the abolition of Fake News under our Great Leader’s New Reality, people now wish only to be as snug as bugs in rugs. As all Real Americans now clearly understand, National Security equals Personal Security and Personal Security means you get to see only what you wish to see and to hear only what you wish to hear and to speak only when spoken to and, when forced to, volunteering as little information as possible since you never know who’s listening in or what can one day be used against you in one way or another.
Under our Make America Great Again Algorithm (the Superrich get more powerful, the powerful get more Superrich) we finally have benevolent taskmasters and official overseers who are, in exchange for a small fee, granting us our every wish. Want to drive a pickup truck with Superior Acceleration? Want Thoroughbred Horsepower? Want dirt cheap High Octane? No New Taxes? Well they’re your privileges for the keeping so go and enjoy them. And, remember, ecological collapse will bring prosperity to the weapons and munitions factories. With war re-assuming its rightful place as laisse faire population control, wise investors will make a mint. Since Amazon robots are smarter, more cooperative, efficient and durable than people, why hire people? Freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength and—Orwell missed mentioning this one—the New American Dream is Sleepwalking into TV’s Yesteryear. (the Big Boss is addicted to late-nite TV, the wiseguys tell us).
“Yes, call now and get your favorite legendary primetime TV series brand-new on Blu-Ray. Remember: you get all of a season’s 27 episodes per uncut and digitally remastered.
Also we include the now landmark commercials. That’s right, you’ll get timeless hits like: “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth Pepsodent” “Call for Phillip Morris” “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters” and many, many more of your favorites.
“And, remember, shipping is always free. So call now and, again at no extra charge, we’ll rush you the premiere episode of “Mr. Clean beats Dirt.”
* * *
OK, I admit it: you can’t make this shit up. Not when our deranged Tweeter-in-Chief keeps beating us to it. As I write this (6/18/17) the media is all atwitter speculating whether or not our spectacularly successful and ridiculously popular and productive NYC real estate tycoon/failed Casino boss/Southern Redeemer is in fact the innocent victim of the USA’s “worst American political witch hunt ever.” Since our boss man insists in writing that he most certainly is being victimized by “Illegal Leakers” (Whistleblowers will no longer be entitled to gratitude, much less any constitutionally valid forms of protection). National Security Leaks demand punishment and, if they’ve squinted in the mirror long enough, the True Believers know it’s true. Like, when has our boss man and his posse ever told us anything but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Try asking the Republicans demanding that we, in the name of Jesus and to meet our Fiduciary responsibilities, cease our pitiless Witch Hunt against our man because they’re vouching for him. Boy are they vouching for him. According to these flag-waving, chest-pounding Republicans, the Orange Man’s word is as good as gold. . .
Anybody remember that old farmer’s saw about keeping your head in the clouds but your feet on the ground? Try sometime planting an acre of some kind of six-month-crop. There are only two types of people who ever do that kind of thing: amateurs experimenting and old hands bent over planting seeds a thumb deep while dreaming big dreams. The first sort eventually concludes he’d be more useful doing something else, and the second kind eventually gets hauls off the farm in a pine box.
What ever happened to our homegrown folk wisdom, those once cherished expressions of our “New World” lessons learned, common ways and shared aspirations? Did they get chopped up in our antique (and now “collectable”) Cuisinart’s? Or did they get exploded in our Microwaves? Or did they become like homeless shipping container inventory sold on the dock and out the hatch for ten cents on the dollar to make room for Recreational Echo Chambers (RECs) complete with Luxury Cubicles? Or were they, like today’s invisible war refugees, deported to personal oblivion stations (POSs) for illegally lacking money, threads, couth, skin tone and/or the correct attitude, papers or country of origin?
As if virtually all of us much-put-upon “White Folk” weren’t the spawn of mongrel immigrants salvaged out the humanity’s trash heap. As if, at the moment, we ain’t the shame of our better selves and an insult to the best in our Heritage.
Right now We the People are like the mule that won’t plow. We’re the horse that refuses to run, the milking cow that won’t stay put, the rooster that won’t quit crowing, the hen that breaks eggs (Ever wonder how Southern Fried Chicken got its start?)
I gave up gambling about the time I gave up hard recreational drugs and loose women. Fatherhood requires sacrifices and I was finally old enough (28) to gladly oblige. But right now I’d lay five-to-one odds that Herr Trump has laundered at least $80 million of Russian mob money over the last few years. I also know for a fact—I swore the same Sacred Oath to uphold the Constitution that Trump did—that he has violated his Oath of Office in multiple ways, including by obstructing justice. He’s also sabotaged the entire Executive Branch, whipped up Know-Nothing racist and xenophobic hysteria and, generously indulging his love of profit, patronage and payoffs, he’s daily stealing from and pissing on the taxpayers. I also know that those who hitch their wagons to scumbags in name of God and Country should be ashamed of themselves. They’re the hens that break eggs and the roosters that won’t stop crowing.
One thing that confuses us so much is the fiction that the struggle is between good guys and bad guys. Do you know what tied Stalin and the Russian Communists to Hitler and the Nazis? It was the same thing that tied General Mao of the Communists to the Nationalist Generalissimo Chaing-Kai-Shek, their partisans and underlings. They were all in it for the money and the power. Pure Capitalism, like pure greed, is pure gangsterism.
So when it comes to judging Trump’s Russian-mob-tainted White House posse, follow the money and you’ll discover what’s true and what’s not true. Follow the money with due diligence and you won’t hafta worry about getting anything wrong. You can bet on that proposition it all day long and every night snuggle into bed a winner.
Finally, on the bright side: Do you know what the most difficult part of juggling six bowling pins all at once is? It’s catching them all at the end.
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YOU, TOO, CAN SIGN OFF ON.....
County Agency Board Vacancies
Child Care Planning Council (5) –
Member # 3 - Community Representative
Member # 4 - Discretionary Representative
Member # 8 - Parent/Consumer Representative
Member # 12 - Provider Representative
Member # 13 - Public Agency Representative
Health and Human Services Agency Advisory Board, 3rd District Representative
In-Home Supportive Services Advisory Council, Current or Former IHSS Provider
Laytonville Municipal Advisory Council, Member
Mendocino County Business Improvement District Advisory Board --Inland Area Representative
Mendocino County Fish and Game Commission –2nd District Representative
Museum Advisory Board, Mendocino County Historical Society Representative
Westport Ten Mile Cemetery District, Trustee--
Please note: Anticipated vacancies include expiring terms: the incumbent of the expiring term may apply for reappointment and/or may continue to serve in their capacity until replaced. California Government Code requires public noticing for all expiring terms regardless of the incumbent’s intention to apply for reappointment.
If you are interested in serving on this Board or Commission, contact your District Supervisor, or the Executive Office, at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010, Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 463-4441.
LAST DATE FOR FILING: July 5, 2017, or until filled.
CARMEL J. ANGELO
Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
PLEASE NOTE: AV Unified June 26, 2017 Agenda
The Agenda for the June 26th Board Meeting is now available to be viewed on BoardDocs. Please note that Closed session starts at 6pm and Open session starts at 8pm. The meeting will be held at the High School Cafeteria. Veronica Barragan, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Confidential Administrative Assistant, Board Secretary, P.O Box 457, Boonville, Ca 95415, (707)895-3774 ext. 607
THE AVA RECOMMENDS…
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
From the SF Examiner
City College of San Francisco’s likely new chancellor will make tens of thousands more a year than his predecessors at the fiscally troubled college if his contract is approved Thursday at the Board of Trustees.
Mark Rocha, a New York bureaucrat who has a long and at times controversial history of leading community colleges in Southern California, will earn $310,500 annually before benefits — about $45,000 more than Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb and $21,000 more than the last permanent chancellor, Art Tyler.
The news comes as City College continues to reduce its class schedule by 5 percent a year because of a $35 million loss in state funding this fiscal year, when stability funding meant to offset the decline in student enrollment ends…
AMERICA'S RICH VAMPIRES
WHY IS THE DELTA INDEPENDENT SCIENCE BOARD DEFENDING THE FLAWED DELTA TUNNELS EIR/EIS?
by Dan Bacher
Bob Wright, the senior counsel for Friends of the River, on June 14 sent a letter to the Delta Independence Science Board members criticizing the “content and tone” of their public review draft for “defending" the Final EIR/EIS for the Delta Tunnels/California WaterFix project “instead of addressing such serious deficiencies as the complete failure of the EIR/EIS to include any alternatives finally beginning to restore through-Delta flows by reducing exports.”
The Delta Tunnels project is Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to divert Sacramento River water under the California Delta through two massive 35 mile-long tunnels to facilitate the export of water to corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods in Kern County.
Wright spotlighted the last paragraph’s language on p. 14 of the document stating:
“These comments should not be taken as criticism of those who have assembled the information, carried out the analyses, and prepared the BDCP and WaterFix environmental documents. They followed what the laws, regulations, and permitting processes require. They faced enormous challenges from such a large and complex system.”
In fact, Wright pointed out there have been numerous comments by respected public interest organizations over the years “about significant and profound violations of NEPA and CEQA permeating the project environmental documents.”
He also criticized the review for using language “blaming court decisions enforcing our laws for the length and other problems with some environmental impact statements and reports,” language that plays into the hands of efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to weaken environmental laws protecting fish, water and the environment.
Wright also took issue with language on p. 13 of the last two pages of the review that includes a whole section (at pp. 12-14): “Reflections: Paralysis by Analysis, and an Opportunity missed”:
“In our judgment, what the Courts now require to be included in an EIS/EIR can make them so massive as to be incomprehensible . . . Until legislatures amend NEPA and CEQA and set a new course, we recommend that the agencies prepare a separate document for each project laying out the critical issues for public and scientific review."
Wright urged the scientists to delete or “drastically modify” that language.
“In the current political climate, the very last thing we need is ‘amendments’ of NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) and CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act),” wrote Wright.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently released a draft biological opinion documenting the harm the tunnels would cause to salmon, steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, other fish and wildlife species, and water quality. This review followed other scathing reviews by independent and federal biologists, including EPA scientists, challenging the flawed “science” the project is based upon. t(www.counterpunch.org/...)
Many public trust advocates fear that under pressure from the water contractors and Jerry Brown administration, the “independent scientists” may be following the dictates of political “science” rather than real science and cave into defending this massive water project, considered by many to be the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history.
The Delta Tunnels project is based on the absurd contention that diverting more water from the Sacramento River for use by corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies will somehow result in the “restoration” of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.
Here is Robert Wright’s complete letter:
June 14, 2017
Delta Independent Science Board Members via Email
Re: URGENT Delta Independent Science Board public review draft, Final EIR/EIS for
Dear Delta Independent Science Board Members:
This follows up some brief comments we made at your teleconference meeting two days ago about your public review draft of your review of the Final EIR/EIS for the California WaterFix Delta Water Tunnels project. First, we were surprised that the content and tone of your public review draft is oriented to defending the Final EIR/EIS instead of addressing such serious deficiencies as the complete failure of the EIR/EIS to include any alternatives finally beginning to restore through-Delta flows by reducing exports. The draft actually includes language in the last paragraph (at p. 14) stating:
These comments should not be taken as criticism of those who have assembled the information, carried out the analyses, and prepared the BDCP and WaterFix environmental documents. They followed what the laws, regulations, and permitting processes require. They faced enormous challenges from such a large and complex system. (Emphasis added).
In fact, there have been numerous comments by respected public interest organizations over the years about significant and profound violations of NEPA and CEQA permeating the project environmental documents. Being neither judges nor lawyers, opining that the environmental documents comply with law is not something that you are qualified to do. Many lawyers have concluded that the environmental documents do not comply with NEPA or CEQA and have sostated in formal comments. That inappropriate conclusion should be deleted from your review.
Second, the last two pages of your review in addition to including the above language, includes a whole section (at pp. 12-14): “Reflections: Paralysis by Analysis, and an Opportunity missed.” This section includes the language (at p. 13) stating:
In our judgment, what the Courts now require to be included in an EIS/EIR can make them so massive as to be incomprehensible . . . Until legislatures amend NEPA and CEQA and set a new course, we recommend that the agencies prepare a separate document for each project laying out the critical issues for public and scientific review. (Emphasis added).
The new Administration and Congress would no doubt appreciate very much language from independent scientists blaming court decisions enforcing our laws for the length and other problems with some environmental impact statements and reports. In fact, most experienced environmental lawyers and judges who handle these cases would, I believe, explain to you that it is the continuing efforts by some public agencies in some situations to fail to make the environmental full disclosure required by NEPA and CEQA that leads to decisions determining that certain environmental documents fail to comply with law. Another ongoing problem is refusal by some public agencies in some instances, like the BDCP/WaterFix, to include development of real alternatives to projects outof concern that the public would end up favoring such alternatives over the project that the agency and/or its masters wish to carry out.
This entire section needs to either be deleted or drastically modified, unless it really is your intent to assist efforts to weaken NEPA and CEQA. In the current political climate, the very last thing we need is “amendments” of NEPA and CEQA.
E. Robert Wright
Friends of the River
CRAIG AT THE KABUKI / LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
Beyond Vikshepa and Samadhi
While enduring another numbing week of news from Washington, D.C., I made a trip today to San Francisco's Kabuki Spa in Japan Town, once more quietly watching six pounds of water go slowly down the drain. Feeling rejuvenated, bright, and beyond both Vikshepa (tossing of the mind) and Samadhi (deep peaceful condition), there is no place for any of us any more other than "Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahman". Feel free to contact me with your creative suggestions. As of Summer Solstice, I am only interested in applying our collective spiritual wisdom. If I need to explain that, goodbye!! Otherwise, am sitting on my new buckwheat hull filled meditation cushion, awaiting email responses in my room tonight. As I told the Zen Center in San Francisco when I left in 1979, I'm really not into waiting around for something to happen; if we're not going to do anything, what is the point of the relationship? That's just where I am at. I think that's a good place to be. No regrets.
Craig Louis Stehr