- Remembering Susan
- Slotte Charged
- Elk Grove Man
- Fatal Collision
- Pill Disposal
- Water Fight
- Old Campground
- Azzi Clinic
- Grower Mayhem
- Doubledip Galletti
- Little Dog
- Job Openings
- Small Government
- Travelogue 3
- Clueless Elites
- Pension Returns
- KZYX Meeting
- Mr. UnDosTres
- Women's Retreat
SUSAN KEEGAN’S 62ND BIRTHDAY
We remember Susan, on her 62nd birthday and always.
“Susan dressed and ready to perform as the Player Queen in a Mendocino Community College production of Hamlet a few nights before she was killed. She loved Shakespeare, knew the plays well and, with her usual precision and brain power, swiftly committed her performance to memory, and practiced it to perfection. Describing her elaborate costume, she said: 'My first days as a blond, and it is truly fabulous — I sparkle, I glow, I have white greasepaint in my hair even after shampooing!' Susan would have been 62 today. She is sorely missed.”
JESSE SLOTTE, the well-known Iraq war veteran and a former resident of Boonville, has been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of criminal threats, and one count of felony child endangerment stemming from a crazed attack on his wife in Potter Valley two months ago. Slotte's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 am Aug. 10 in Department H, County Courthouse, Ukiah.
AN ELK GROVE man, missing since Sunday, July 9, was found dead in his silver 2000 Ford Mustang near mile marker 4 on Highway 128, not far from Highway One. He was initially described as a 57-year-old African-American, still not named pending notification of relatives. An autopsy did not reveal cause of death, but the Sheriff's Department said the death does not seem suspicious. A bold Fort Bragg woman, who'd stopped near the dead man’s car and, unable to stifle her curiosity, discovered the dead man’s remains and called the Sheriff.
COLLISION REPORT (Fatality)
SAFE Rx COALITION TO HOST “MEDICATION TAKE BACK” BOOTH AT REDWOOD EMPIRE FAIR
Ukiah — As part of their effort to combat the local opioid epidemic, Safe Rx Mendocino: Opioid Safety Coalition members will host a “Medication Take Back” booth at the upcoming Redwood Empire Fair in Ukiah August 3-6. They invite members of the public to put unwanted over-the-counter or prescription pills into clear, resealable bags and bring them to the booth for disposal, “no questions asked,” said Kyree Klimist, Safe Rx Mendocino Coordinator and Program Manager for Mendocino County Health and Human Services Prevention and Planning Unit.
Coalition members will also offer free medication lock bags at the fair to anyone interested in keeping prescriptions out of the wrong hands.
“The most common way youths get opioids that aren’t theirs is to take them out of someone else’s medicine cabinet,” Klimist explained.
She noted that a lock bag will not prevent someone from stealing the whole bag or from cutting it open and stealing the medication inside, but it will prevent the theft of small amounts of medication that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Safe Rx Mendocino receives funding to provide the lock bags from the Health and Human Services Agency and a $1500 match grant from Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC). Ukiah Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant at the Arbor in Ukiah distributes lock bags through the Arbor and the Ft. Bragg Police Department donated $1500 to the Ft. Bragg CGAP-DFC Coalition and they are distributing them on the coast as well. “With regard to the lock bags, our goal is get as many lock bags into the community as possible. This helps prevent youth access to prescription drugs that do not belong to them and keeps medication out of the hands of curious toddlers and children,” Klimist said.
Safe Rx Mendocino is made up of a coalition of concerned community members, medical professionals, educators, law enforcement, community-based organizations and others who believe in a community approach to safe management of prescription painkillers in our county, by working with prescribers, fostering education and creating awareness.
Coalition member Elise Wilkins, RN, who works for MCHC Health Centers said, “Making controlled substances harder to steal helps prevent tragedies. A common trend in recent years among teens is to have pill parties. Young people bring whatever pills they can find and put them in a big bowl. Then they grab a few and ingest them (usually with alcohol). As a nurse, this terrifies me. Kids could be allergic to the medications and not know it, or the medications could be deadly in combination with each other. Because the teens don’t know what’s in their system, even with emergency medical attention, the treatment isn’t always fast enough to save them.”
The Coalition is currently working on getting the emergency treatment Nasal Narcan out into the community. Nasal Narcan is a nasal spray used in the event of an opioid overdose when people show signs of breathing problems or are non-responsive.
Wilkins works with patients who are in the process of overcoming addiction. She noted that if people have controlled substances in their house, they should not keep them in an unlocked medicine cabinet or in their underwear drawer, because these are the first places people who want to steal drugs will look. She recommends keeping medications under lock and key in a place people would not think to look.
If people would like to dispose of old medicine but cannot make it to the fair, they can go to the following sites:
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office
Main Office, Ukiah: 951 Low Gap Road
Call: (707) 463-4411
125 E Commercial St. #200
Call: (707) 459-6111
3200 Taylor Drive, Ukiah
Call: (707) 468-9704
2nd Saturday of each month, 8am—2pm
To find out if the HazMobile comes to your locale, call number above.
To dispose of non-controlled substances (over-the-counter medication or prescriptions that are not narcotics), people can go to the following sites:
Ukiah Senior Center/Bartlett Hall
497 Leslie Street, Ukiah
Call: (707) 462-4343
Ukiah Police Dept.
300 Seminary Avenue, Ukiah
Call: (707) 463-6242
Willits Police Dept.
125 E Commercial Street #150, Willits
Call: (707) 459-6122
For more information about the work of Safe Rx Mendocino, visit saferxmendocino.com or call (707) 472-2727.
ARGUING THE WRONG CASE
David Severn's article, Stealing Sam's Land documents his slanted perspective of the controversy. With the addition of a few facts to the narrative a different picture emerges. There was no theft of land and to say so is a gross misstatement. In 1910 Dr. C.O. Edwards who previously owned Brian's land purchased an easement to use all of the water in a canyon from the prior owner of Sam's land, the easement running with the land and binding on successive owners and binding upon Sam.
In 2008 Mrs. Archambault sued Brian and Sam claiming that she had obtained a superior right to the water from the canyon by adverse possession. Both Sam and Brian successfully defended the right of Brian to use the water, Sam testifying in that case under oath that Brian had the legal right to use the water. Brian advanced all the legal expenses, but Sam reneged on his promise to pay half of the bills. Brian decided to let the nonpayment by Sam go. In 2013 without any warning to Brian, Sam destroyed the water line that had been in place since 1910 leaving Brian's house without any water service. Severn's article implies that the Warden authorized Sam's actions. Sam had told the Warden that he did not know who was using the water, although Brian and his predecessor had been using it for over one hundred years and Sam did not tell the Warden about the easement the validity of which Sam affirmed in sworn testimony in the Archambault case. Even then the Warden did not authorize the destruction as Sam attempted to claim but rather the Warden told Sam that he could address the "trespass" himself because it was Sam's land. The Warden did not know about the easement because Sam did not tell him.
Brian's response to the destruction was restrained. He contacted Sam and pointed to the easement and said he assumed that Sam had just had a bad day and that Brian would shoulder the burden of the $60,000 cost to replace the system but wanted Sam's assurance that it would not be tampered with again. All Sam had to do was to affirm the easement. Sam remained silent. Brian then sued Sam for the replacement cost, and for the damages associate with the hostile act of disrupting a neighbor's water supply.
Sam pressed for Brian to be arrested for trespassing. Charges were filed. Those charges were dismissed when the additional facts were added to the equation that Brian had the legal right by reason of holding an easement to divert water from Sam's land and Sam not only knew it was so, but had affirmed that I:O! knew the easement was longstanding and valid. The Department of Fish and Wildlife was not happy that Sam had manipulated them into filing a complaint stating that Brian had trespassed, and the Department provided no support to Sam in the civil lawsuit.
David Severn's article incorrectly states that Brian and his friends trespassed on Sam's land and cut firewood. Sam made a police report about this as well. Deputy Keith Squires investigated Sam's accusation but Sam was unable to provide any evidence to support his allegation. When Deputy Squires walked the land with Sam and Brian to locate the stumps of the cut trees Sam was unable to point to any stumps or places where trees had been cut. Although Sam had tried to get Brian arrested on that occasion Brian did not press the issue with Sam although it is unlawful to make a false police report.
The article also states that Sam needed the water for his sheep. Sam testified that he did not want his sheep going into the forested area due to predators and that he with Brian's permission maintained several water troughs for his sheep. Ironically, Sam's destruction of the water system also severed the water service to the troughs.
Brian had to file suit to have the Court recognize his easement. Sam was represented by three aggressive lawyers from Redding who made the case as difficult as possible, asserting various theories that the easement was invalid. On the day before a three week jury trial was about to commence and after the three lawyers had caused the case to be very expensive both to the insurance company they were billing and to Brian, the aggressive lawyers from Redding sought to settle the case. Sam was facing damages of about $100,000 for the cost of repairing the water system and Brian's damages of having to truck in water to serve his property. Sam was also facing damages of up to ten times the amount of actual damages for punitive damages if the jury felt such damages were warranted by his surprise destruction of a water system known by Sam to be lawful, or if the jury felt that Sam having made unwarranted police reports, which in one case caused Brian to be wrongfully arrested, justified damages beyond actual damages.
Instead of pressing the matter to trial, Brian accommodated the settlement request by Sam's lawyers by agreeing to accept some land adjacent to his property from Sam, something that would also resolve Sam's claims that property surveys were wrong. The settlement offer was accepted by Brian and by Sam who should have been greatly relieved to avoid trial on his unexplained actions of destroying the quarter mile water line. Although the land was depicted on a map in the courtroom, the location and extent of the land along with its precise dimensions were confirmed in the field by Sam, a surveyor, Brian and the attorneys by their walking the land together and marking the land to be conveyed. Sam agreed to transfer the land to settle the case, and only then was the judgment entered.
Not only was the agreement written, signed by Sam and approved by the Court, but also Sam and Brian shook hands to bury past grievances which act apparently did not have any meaning for Sam because when the surveying work was completed at Brian's sole expense, Sam reneged and refused to sign the deed claiming that the land which was marked in the field was too much land, and the best 7 acres of his 1000+ acre parcel. Another court proceeding was held to enforce the settlement. After hearing testimony the Court ordered Sam to comply with the promises he made to settle the case and avoid trial.
Mr. Severn does a disservice to Sam and to Brian by presenting a slanted version of the controversy. Every controversy has two sides. This controversy was settled by the parties who knew the facts better than anyone. It is a disservice to Sam to suggest that Sam did not know what he was doing when he settled a controversy.
Chris Neary, Attorney for Brian Padilla
ED REPLY: Sign here, Sam. I've got it all surveyed for you. And there go 7.6 acres of an elderly man's land. You're doing a good job for your client, counselor, but this basic fact remains: before the San Jose pot entrepreneur bought the Edwards place, the Edwards, Ms. Archambault, the Hulberts, and Sam shared the water that flows from Sam's land. They didn't fight over it, they didn't sue each other over it. Then a guy shows up who wants to grow marijuana on a lucrative scale and the neighborhood erupts in rancor and lawsuits. If an agent of government not only tells me, in the middle of a drought, that the water that flows through my land, the water I need for my sheep, is being hogged by a pot grower down the hill, and that agent of government even helps me dismantle the diversion, please tell me (and Sam) what I've done wrong. Moreover, that agent of government then writes a detailed and legally irrefutable account of why Sam is correct in dismantling the diversion, complete with photos and grid coordinates clearly demonstrating what the pot grower was doing on Sam's land, and DA Eyster, whose campaign manager you functioned as, conveniently chooses not to prosecute, a decision occurring amid blustery promises by County law enforcement to go after illegal diversions! The entire legal apparatus involved here might as well have showed up with guns at Sam's house and told him to sign away his 7 acres and write you all big checks for your trouble driving over the hill from the County Courthouse to pick up his land and his cash.
A READER WRITES: Looking for an old campground. This may be an odd question, but I have to ask. I am looking for a campground that my family used to camp in 1970 through the 1980's. It has been closed since. It was in between Albion and Navarro. It was in the redwoods, but it is not the Paul Dimmick campground. There was no fancy toilets, just outhouses. You could walk the campground down to the swimhole. Any chance anyone knows where I am talking about? We used to dive at Van Damme and camp there.
Anna Vierra, Controller
ED NOTE: I think the writer may be referring to the old swimming hole around milepost 6 or 7, after Dimmick if you're driving to the Coast, before Dimmick if you're driving from the Coast. As I dimly recall, the area was so heavily patronized by Coast people (it was out of the summer fog belt) that the County installed a Port-A-Potty. I remember writing up an episode at that location where a Fort Bragg perv, with a brown paper bag with eye slits pulled down over his tormented head, charged naked out of the bushes one afternoon at a group of young mommies and little kids. One mommy chased the guy out to Highway 128 where she got his license plate number and called it in to the cops. He was arrested but, as I recall, did no jail time.
JENNIFER AZZI, the famous Stanford and Olympic gold medal basketball player was in town last week presiding over a basketball clinic in the Boonville gym for male and female student athletes from around the county. Ms. Azzi’s week-long hoops camp was sponsored by the Miner-Anderson family at whose Boonville ranch Ms. Azzi made her home while she was in town.
JIM SHIELDS of Laytonville’s Mendocino County Observer, notes: “On the pot front, two state resource agencies (CalFire and Fish & Wildlife) bared their fangs at BOS at last week's Supes-Pot Ord meeting. Both were complaining that the county's lack of enforcement is causing an ‘escalation’ in their enforcement activities because growers are creating all sorts of mayhem out in the sticks. Fish & Wildlife put the county on notice their CEQA study may not have been ‘sufficient.’ What a circus.”
DEPT OF UNINTENTIONAL HUMOR: In a thousand-word tribute to Warren Galletti prepared by the County Office of Education, the presser began, “While maintaining his duties at the Mendocino County Office of Education, County Superintendent of Schools Warren Galletti will also serve as part-time interim superintendent of Point Arena Joint Union High School District through December, according to a memorandum of understanding signed by MCOE and the Point Arena school board last week….”
NO MENTION of two facts: Both positions could be vacant for years before anybody noticed, and Galletti, already one of the highest paid persons in the county, will get a nice supplementary check from PA for doing a second job that apparently can be done by a part-time presence. Or no one at all. Which reminds me to repeat the usual mantra: MCOE does not perform a single task that could not be done cheaper and probably better by the individual school districts of Mendocino County. The office should have been closed at the end of the horse and buggy era when a central hiring hall in Ukiah was necessary to employ the intrepid young women who then rode off into Mendocino County’s far-flung outback to teach in one-room school houses.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I try to keep up. My fave show is Wolfe Blitzer in CNN's Situation Room. Wolfe has the canine implication going for him, and watching him spin in his chair from Trump to the Russians to Billery is funny as hell. And watching Wolfie is a lot safer than chasing car tires.”
MENDO IS HIRING LOTS OF PEOPLE
Current Job Openings:
- Animal Facility Attendant
- Bridge Crew Worker (Ukiah)
- Deputy Probation Officer II
- Deputy Sheriff-Coroner in Training (Extra-Help)
- Deputy Sheriff I-II
- Eligibility Worker I-II
- Employment & Training Worker III
- Equipment Operator
- Facilities Project Specialist I/II
- Heavy Equipment Operator (Ukiah)
- Mapping Coordinator
- Nurse Case Assistant
- Registered Nurse
- Road Crew Supervisor
- Senior Equipment Operator
- Senior Heavy Equipment Operator (Fort Bragg)
- Social Worker I-V (Includes Immediate Openings for Temporary Extra-Help Work)
For a complete list of current job openings and to apply: www.co.mendocino.ca.us/hr (EOE)
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 24, 2017
(Unavailable due to “Server Error in '/NewWorld.Aegis.WebPortal' Application”
FEW COMFORTS FOR OLD MEN, A TRAVELOGUE. PART 3 OF 4
by Jake Rohrer
Now I wind my way back to Seattle, a warmth from my time with Harry settling over me. I'll catch another ferry, return the car, and again undergo all of the rigmarole, stress and nonsense that comes with airports before boarding a late afternoon flight to Oakland where I'll rent another car and drive to my daughter's home in Napa. I'm confident that having found my way to Raven's Haven with only a couple of navigational screw-ups, I can now pull off the rest of my journey without a hitch, even without my wife along to watch over me.
That thought didn't last very long. I escaped the Pacific Northwest managing to leave behind in the rental car my prescription reading glasses. When I discovered the loss I right away conjured a scapegoat. I am sure the lady with the clipboard who checked me in had no malicious agenda, but she seemed in a hurry causing me to hurry my exit from the rental car, a convenient excuse for leaving my glasses behind.
Sea-Tac International is a major league airport, packed with stores and exceptional eating establishments, even a few entertainers, minstrels and balladeers, along the midway. I had a pleasant lunch watching the planes come and go through panoramic windows, listening to a pretty young woman sing folk songs while accompanying herself on guitar. Then I settled in to read my book while awaiting my flight and discovered I had no reading glasses. I replayed all of the events that led to the loss, cursing my carelessness: !*#%!*. I tried to convince myself that maybe I had enough time to make it back to the rental car center, again passing through the security maze and still make my flight. But this airport is huge and I'd have had to haul my baggage with me and I feared I might not make it.
I found a sympathetic and helpful lady at the airline counter. She loaned me her phone and I eventually connected with the rental company desk at Sea-Tac, but the asshole who answered wanted nothing to do with me or my problem, switching me to his phone-tree where I learned that lost & found was closed, call back another day. I tried again, wanting to alert them to the immediacy of grabbing my glasses for me while the car was parked nearby, but the same asshole immediately spun me off to the phone tree. I thought it might be worth the trouble to go back to the rental center to confront this rude, uncaring son of a bitch, just the sort of thinking that can get an old man into trouble. Rude behavior often comes with corporate America. So many of them just don't give a damn and human interaction is shunned as though a deadly disease. I managed to find a pair of magnified readers at an airport bookstore, twenty bucks, and was mildly surprised to find that I don't need $200 prescription glasses to comfortably read a book. The other glasses were never returned; neither were my phone calls.
My rental car karma in Seattle followed me to Oakland, only with a different twist. The helpful and efficient ladies at the counter were great and I was on my way in no time at all until I reached the check-out kiosk:
“I'm sorry, sir, you can't have this car. It's been spoken for. Can you go back and choose another?” As said Paul Simon, who am I to blow against the wind?
The lady pointed out a whole row of cars and said I could choose any one of them. Okay. I got everything switched and loaded, but where the hell are my sunglasses? I looked in the first car, the second car, and went back into the office to see if I'd left them on the counter or something. No luck. I went back to re-search the second car and one of the counter ladies followed, finding my sunglasses between the seat and console in the first car. Great. I again stopped at the kiosk:
“This just isn't your day, sir. This car is promised to someone else, too. I am very sorry but you'll have to go back and choose another.” Everyone was too sincerely apologetic and pleasant to stir my anger. The computers were at fault. I was sure of it.
I picked out my third car, got past the kiosk, and drove to my daughter's house in Napa only to discover that I'd left my jacket in car number two. I wasn't at all fazed by this; by now I'd come to expect such gampy-bumbling, again knowing my wife would have prevented it. I was confident they would have it for me when I returned the car a few days later; I didn't even bother to call them. It'd been a long day of travel, Raven's Haven another lifetime, a memory shimmering in the distance.
“Hello Tracy-love. Do you have a glass of wine for your dad?”
* * *
Tracy's home is a comfortable and well appointed abode in a quiet residential neighborhood with a homey feel of family. Her pooches, Sydney and Lulu, were all over me, unable to control the excitement of having a visitor. It felt like they remembered me from former visits. Dogs are such amazing animals, able to pour out unconditional love and companionship at the drop of a hat. Tracy's dogs are animals she saved from euthanasia, their previous owners having made the election to surrender them, unable or unwilling to pay the cost of perhaps risky surgeries and rehabilitation. I'm surprised Tracy doesn't have thirty such dogs, her love of canines apparently held in check by her practical side.
Tracy and her dogs have a mother/child relationship and her dogs are among the most fortunate of pooches, grand lottery winners, #1 for having Tracy as their mom, and #2 for living in Napa, a progressive and dog friendly community that has set aside what looks to be about 50 or 60 acres of otherwise very valuable landscape, surrounded by vineyards and exquisite views of the bluffs, ridges and peaks that surround the valley, all of it strictly for dogs. It remains in its natural state, packed with critters and bird life, and is overseen and regulated by a caring board of trustees and a community of dog-loving residents, many of whom are seen daily, walking their dogs and themselves on the many trails that make up the Alston Dog Park. I've yet to spend a day in Napa when we didn't cut out time for a walk with Sydney and Lulu at Alston, a daily activity for Tracy.
All the love and devotion of a dog, though, can have its price. Dogs don't live as long as we do, seldom reaching 20 years, many just half of that. It's not an easy thing, saying good-bye to a loved one, regardless of species. The best you can do is keep the memories and love intact within yourself. Kinky Friedman once wrote that all of the animals that have been a part of us during our lifetimes are waiting for us when we die, and they all come running up to greet us when we cross over. I like that thought. It's as fine a thought as I've heard from anyone and it deserves the same slogan used in Kinky's Texas gubernatorial campaign: “Why the hell not?”
Known around town as “Doctor Tracy,” she has worked at her local hospital close to 20 years. Laurie and I have always enjoyed visiting with Tracy and her bevy of local friends, a few of whom are connected with wine industry heavyweights and who never fail to bring along exquisite samples from their cellars to share. As much as a home with a family feel, Tracy's home also seems to serves as “party-pad central” for her and her circle of friends, hosting spirited celebrations and dinners whenever a valid excuse should arise.
* * *
“Is everybody ready to rock and roll?” shouted out Peter from the stage. Tonight he is the master of ceremonies for what is essentially a graduation ceremony, introducing those bands that have successfully completed “Garage Band 101” at the Napa School of Music. We will hear several bands, the club packed with supporters and music fans.
Tracy introduced me to Peter, a native of Australia, several years ago. A big CCR fan, Tracy told me that Peter was anxious to meet me. I thought, sure, I could even show him a few licks on the guitar that I had learned first-hand from John Fogerty. Peter, an accomplished musician, played them all better than I ever could, note perfect, and I was relieved that I got to hear him play before I got cocky about the idea of teaching him anything at all.
With his wife, Victoria, Peter established the Napa School of Music and over the years built it into a going concern. The idea of the school is to offer lessons, gathering together individual students of various instrumental pursuits which one day gave birth to the idea of Garage Band 101 that eventually arranges those who best compliment one another into groups as a performing band. A teacher is typically included as a band member as well. Those teachers employed by the school who I've seen in other performances over the years have each been impressive and skilled musicians. Everyone involved in these “graduation” ceremonies has put months of study and rehearsal into their readiness. There would be four bands performing tonight, Tracy's band, “Bad Reputation,” would open the show, maybe looking to enhance their name.
For my money they stole the evening, playing like they'd been together for years and drawing the audience into their enthusiasm. Most importantly, they had a “bottom end,” bass and drums, that carried everything played on top. The drummer was remarkable and played like a seasoned pro, and the bass player/group leader, Tom, is an instructor and an experienced professional. These two did their part in making the whole band sound terrific. As conductor, Tom would signal individual lead solos with subtle nods and turns to the player whose time it would be, their democratic arrangements giving everyone a turn in the spotlight. The vocalist did a commendable job with the rest of the band contributing backup vocals along with their instrumental efforts.
They started out with a fine version of Aretha Franklin's “Chain of Fools” and performed a number of other R&B favorites I was familiar with, some not. Booker T's “Born Under a Bad Sign,” and Robert Johnson's “Crossroads” were among those songs I knew well and the band didn't disappoint. At one point they did a classy medley starting out with “You're No Good” that somehow became Santana's “Oye Como Va” before morphing back into the starting number. My respect for Peter, the school and the performers seemed to grow with each song. When it came time for Tracy's first lead solo, Tom turned to her with his bass guitar and she flawlessly executed her lead runs, licks and chord arrangements. This was the first time I'd heard her play with a band and I was stunned by her polished acumen. I felt like Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy: “I can't do that! Can you do that? How can she do that?” Giv'em, Tracer!
I shared a table with several of Tracy's close friends, having a beer or two, and we hooted, whistled and applauded throughout the performance. I reflected on how far the commercial industry of popular music has come since I first witnessed the high school sophomores who would become Creedence Clearwater Revival almost sixty years ago. The idea that a private school would come along offering an array of classes in popular music as well as bandsmanship seems like a natural step in the progress of popular music as a major part of our social fabric and culture. In the old days you were on your own, learning the hard way, if at all. Electric guitar players, now a ubiquitous commodity, were far and few between.
That the old 78 rpm records would be replaced by the 45 and 33-1/3 rpm variety that would be replaced by cassette tapes that would be replaced by CDs that are today well into an archaic obsolescence, replaced by digital downloads that live in clouds and places I don't understand, has always perplexed me. I've always been slow to get on board with change, unwilling to adopt new formats after building collections that took decades to put together. Does all this technology make for better music? The recent (and excellent) “American Epic” program aired on PBS puts up an argument to the contrary, recreating music of the 1920's, recorded live in a single take through a single microphone, while the recording lathe cuts a 78 rpm master capturing a spirit and soul that doesn't depend on a stereo image or audio trickery.
I've been badgered at my local gym because I was listening to a cassette tape rather than an i-Pod. “This thing holds a thousand titles!” said the goon, proudly pointing to the device strapped to his well muscled arm. I acknowledged his digital wonder and the fact that the access problems encountered with tape no longer exist once you graduate to digital selection. I didn't bother to tell him that I usually prefer the fidelity of analog tape, that access is less a problem when you compile your own playlists, or that I would probably find the great majority of his thousand titles unlistenable. I once saw a cartoon of a father and a son engaged in the pros and cons of a generational argument that well illustrates what has gone on in the music business:
The father, playing his trump card: “Well, our music was better.”
The son, not giving an inch: “We know how to get it for free.”
The muse declares: “You get what you pay for” and further doesn't believe that quantity equates with quality. Can someone with a Pro-Tools rig in their bedroom match the fidelity produced forty years ago in a professional studio with tube-based equipment, rolling tape? I imagine similar arguments will go on as long as generations continue to inhabit the earth.
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
by James Kunstler
We are looking more and more like France on the eve of its revolution in 1789. Our classes are distributed differently, but the inequity is just as sharp. America’s “aristocracy,” once based strictly on bank accounts, acts increasingly hereditary as the vapid offspring and relations of “stars” (in politics, showbiz, business, and the arts) assert their prerogatives to fame, power, and riches — think the voters didn’t grok the sinister import of Hillary’s “it’s my turn” message?
What’s especially striking in similarity to the court of the Bourbons is the utter cluelessness of America’s entitled power elite to the agony of the moiling masses below them and mainly away from the coastal cities. Just about everything meaningful has been taken away from them, even though many of the material trappings of existence remain: a roof, stuff that resembles food, cars, and screens of various sizes.
But the places they are supposed to call home are either wrecked — the original small towns and cities of America — or replaced by new “developments” so devoid of artistry, history, thought, care, and charm that they don’t add up to communities, and are so obviously unworthy of affection, that the very idea of “home” becomes a cruel joke.
These places were bad enough in the 1960s and 70s, when the people who lived in them at least were able to report to paying jobs assembling products and managing their distribution. Now those people don’t have that to give a little meaning to their existence, or cover the costs of it. Public space was never designed into the automobile suburbs, and the sad remnants of it were replaced by ersatz substitutes, like the now-dying malls. Everything else of a public and human associational nature has been shoved into some kind of computerized box with a screen on it.
The floundering non-elite masses have not learned the harsh lesson of our time that the virtual is not an adequate substitute for the authentic, while the elites who create all this vicious crap spend millions to consort face-to-face in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard telling each other how wonderful they are for providing all the artificial social programming and glitzy hardware for their paying customers.
The effect of this dynamic relationship so far has been powerfully soporific. You can deprive people of a true home for a while, and give them virtual friends on TV to project their emotions onto, and arrange to give them cars via some financing scam or other to keep them moving mindlessly around an utterly desecrated landscape under the false impression that they’re going somewhere — but we’re now at the point where ordinary people can’t even carry the costs of keeping themselves hostage to these degrading conditions.
The next big entertainment for them will be the financial implosion of the elites themselves as the governing forces of physics finally overcome all the ruses and stratagems of the elites who have been playing games with money. Professional observers never tires of saying that the government can’t run out of money (because they can always print more of it) but they can certainly destroy the value of that money and shred the consensual confidence that allows it to operate as money.
That’s exactly what is about to commence at the end of the summer when the government runs out of cash-on-hand and congress finds itself utterly paralyzed by party animus to patch the debt ceiling problem that disables new borrowing. The elites may be home from the Hamptons and the Vineyard by then, but summers may never be the same for them again.
The Deep State may win its war against the pathetic President Trump, but it won’t win any war against the imperatives of the universe and the way that expresses itself in the true valuation of things. And when the moment of clarification arrives — the instant of cosmic price discovery — the clueless elites will have to really and truly worry about the value of their heads.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
That we are nearing the point of sudden decent into chaos is no more plainly demonstrated than by the yearly returns of the CalSTRS pension system in California. Though having a 13.4% return in 2016-17, the longer term averages are either just–or not quite–making the 7% long-term-average goal–and that with a stock market that has QUADRUPLED, and real estate that has gone exponential again; real estate now being a market which has been inconceivably and effectively cornered by Wall Street. Back-of-the-envelope math runs out of zeros when attempting to plot stock and real estate values required to continue those trends so as to keep pensions just underperforming. Of course, there’s the Catch 22: no way out, forward or back… It’s summer. Back to the beach!
IT DOESN’T MATTER who the people voted for; they always vote for us.
— Joseph Stalin
KZYX COURTS THE SOUTH COAST
by Sheila Dawn Tracy
The KZYX Board of Directors met at the Gualala Art Center on July 3rd-the second time within eleven months that Board members have visited the South Coast. Due to requests from local residents and members, the Board has agreed to include points South in its regular rotation schedule in a renewed effort to attract new listeners. The only geographical data of KZYX members was compiled by management in 2012 which showed South Coast membership from Sea Ranch to Gualala totaling 79 members.
General Manager, Jeffrey Parker commented that the scenic beauty of the area was preserved by the snakelike country roads which assured its remoteness from the more accessible inland corridors.
Board members had name plates and introduced themselves to the audience of eight, four of whom were from nearby towns.
Board members Eubank, Azzaro and Keller were absent. Azzarro is currently in Australia.
New Board President, Jenness Hartley reported that the Long Range Planning Committee and the Bylaws and Policy Committee were in the process of acquiring its members. She also mentioned that a long awaited station newsletter would be forthcoming within a few weeks due to the efforts of Directors Ari Minson and Aspen Logan.
The flexibility of the Chair was evident in her addition of an early public comment period to accommodate anyone who could not stay to the end of the meeting.
Matters from Board Members--Minson described the content of the first newsletter which included a piece by Operations Manager, Rich Culbertson on the complexities of the broadcast signal and efforts to expand its range. Also featured is a report by programmer Dan Roberts on how his show, The Shortwave Report, has grown into a franchise. Minson planned a Letters to the Editor section stating that feedback was welcomed. In addition to Email copies sent to members, distribution will be done in local area grocery stores and eateries.
Director Middlebrook, as Secretary of the Board, requested that the minutes from committee meetings be sent to him to be included in the regular Board minutes.
Treasurer's Report--The proposed budget was made available for public preview on the station's website, KZYX.org. Director Campbell felt that making a two to three year budget projection would be merely guesswork without more information from both the Fundraising and Long Range Planning Committees. As those committees are still forming, he thought it would take several months before a realistic framework could be developed.
Public Comment-Janet Debar stated that she is a casual listener and as such, felt there was not enough communication about the station. She only learned about the meeting through an acquaintance and was surprised to find out that a program hosted by Ralph Nader aired at 5 a.m. She requested Email notification of meetings and a more mainstream airing of important progressive programs.
Yasmin Soloman stated the need for an on air Board/Staff Access show to be available on a monthly schedule apart from the current Discussion call in program. She strongly opposed the current station policy that questions or comments regarding station business could only be addressed on the fifth Monday of The Discussion which limits such information to four times a year. She thought it was incongruous to put limitations on what can or cannot be discussed by listeners.
I pointed out the irony of communication problems in an entity whose business is communication. I noted that the reception quality in the Gualala area was poor and sporadic. I requested updated statistics on the geographical data of current KZYX members. I also asked that members be given a choice in the way the newsletter is received. A printed version of the newsletter could accompany any mailed donation requests and would be more likely to induce a positive response.
General Manager's Report--Jeffrey Parker acknowledged the station needs to diversify the ways it communicates with its listeners and members besides the comfort zone of on air notifications. He pointed out that the messages received through the Public Comment Line (895-9619) were listened to regularly and notations made of the content. He is supportive of two way communication and states that both The Discussion program and the station's website are viable ways to get listener feedback and give desired information. Parker stated that more resources for outreach had been allocated in the current budget proposal.
Staffing--Steve Winkle, whose background includes being the Comptroller of the Sierra Club, underwent training in financial management systems and software used to manage cash flow and other key financial operations. As part time station accountant, he ably handled the extra work involved in the recent pledge drive.
Programming--The new program, Mendocino Works on alternate Wednesday evenings in a collaborative effort with Mendocino College, focuses on getting young people engaged in programming and production skills while building a base of information on what is involved in starting up a new business.
Operations--The station had a four hour power outage in the early morning hours recently due to wildlife interference that blew out a transformer. The back up generator failed despite monthly testing.
Fundraising--The ten day June pledge drive brought in $65k, with a goal set at $80k. Celtic concerts produced by station programmer, Tim Bray and the Boogie Woogie piano performance of Ms. DeWitt added to the station coffers. The eleven month fundraising total as of the end of May was $16.6k. This does not include the pledge drive donations
2018 Budget--The desire to have a full time Program Director and a full time Development Director was reflected in a $30k increase in staff direct costs. Both positions have been part time for more than a year. It was felt by the GM that a commitment to fully staff these positions would help resolve communication problems between programmers and staff and, in the case of the Development Director charged with fundraising strategies and membership communication, would result in an increase of revenue that would cover the higher salary costs.
It was decided to eliminate the one day Summer pledge drive which, in the past, brought in $18k during the lean revenue cycle. Both the Finance committee and the GM agreed that pledge drives are intensive work for staff and can be tiresome to the listeners. A strategy for making up the missed income will be the task of the Development Director, Diane Hering and the GM.
The budget estimates a conservative figure of $115k for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) grant in light of federal budget discussions.
An increase of $20k in underwriting revenue has been projected in the budget. Resources have been allocated to support the Underwriting Manager, David Steffan in securing additional advertising of local businesses throughout the county.
The contract for the Ukiah studio will be terminated on the last day of July due to changes in the home base and need of the news team.
Director Aspen Logan suggested that use of a mailing service could reduce postage costs.
Public Comment on the Budget--Richard Spencer of Anchor Bay asked how the station's line of credit was paid off and what was the interest rate? Campbell responded that it was usually zeroed out with CPB grant funds and the interest rate was 7+%.
I raised the issue of independent contractors (news reporters) being included as staff in the 2017 and current budget. I was assured that the current budget rectified the past mistake of wrong classification by paying all the federal taxes due as employees of the station. Since the news staff is still part time, they will not be entitled to health and vacation benefits that are only required to be given to full time staff which now numbers five employees.
The expense of Board elections ($3k) had been mentioned by the GM. I brought up the high absentee rate of several Directors who had missed more than three consecutive meetings. I referred to a Bylaw which enables the Board to declare a seat vacant if Directors miss three consecutive meetings. I stated that it was a rare occurrence to have a full Board present and thought that it was the primary responsibility of Board members to be aware of and be present to vote on the budget for the upcoming year.
Campbell responded that some Bylaws were outdated. He stated that California law now makes it illegal for Board members to vacate a Director's seat. It can only be done through a vote of the membership or a court order. I asked how a membership vote can be achieved if members can not communicate with each other to know they have the right to vote a Director off the Board?
I reminded the Board of the Bylaw which allows the Board to call or facilitate membership meetings in which members' rights can be clarified and relevant issues discussed.
Yasmin Soloman spoke of statements from staff that the station only makes $5 on a $25 pledge.
GM Parker said that while it was true fees reduced the amount of income to the station, it was not acceptable to discount any donation and regretted any messaging that implied that lower pledged amounts were not welcomed.
The budget of $599k was unanimously approved by the Board.
Public Comment--Richard Spencer asked what the Board was doing about absent Directors' lack of attendance?
Yasmin Soloman observed that no notice of the meeting had been put in the local newspaper, the ICO, as had been done for the Point Arena meeting which was better attended.
She thought the station was too NPR oriented and NPR was too corporate sponsored, one of which she recounted was Exxon. She requested that progressive programs which she felt empowered the community to make necessary changes not be relegated to the least listened to 5a.m. time slots but mainstreamed into at least one of the program times now favoring NPR programming. The shows she named were Project Censored; Making Contact; Ralph Nader's Radio World and a return to the morning programming of Democracy Now where breaking news is still relevant in terms of calls to action.
Her final point was to create a grievance process for "purged programmers" to have long time injustices amended.
My comment was that the newsletter contained articles from staff and programmers but what I thought was missing was communication from members. I offered my services to organize a column by the members as a way to broaden the scope of communication. I also asked the board to respond to a question asked at the preceding meeting regarding how community members are chosen to serve on Board committees.
Former Board member, David Hopmann commended the Board and the work done in preparing the current budget with its emphasis on increased underwriting revenue and staffing provisions.
In response to Spencer's question on how the Board was dealing with the excessive absences of its Directors, Hartley stated that she had sent out emails. GM Parker added that he had been in contact with one of the Directors and felt the problem was near resolution.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for the second Monday in September, the 11th, in Ukiah due to the regularly scheduled date coinciding with Labor Day.
by Spec MacQuayde
For a month now the starter in my '90's red Toyota Tacoma with the oversized tires has had issues. At first I thought the problem had to do with a loose connection on the positive terminal due to the excessive bumps on roads like 253 between Boonville and Ukiah, the route I am currently forced by circumstance to take in order to work in my vegetable garden. Everyone thinks I'm actually growing marijuana, and making up another tall tale about planting sweetcorn, watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydews for summer crops. They laugh when I talk about getting up when the baby girl starts crying at like 4:20 in the morning, making the Ukiah commute to water my sweetcorn.
"Sweetcorn? You'll have to bring some to Boonville when it's ripe," they say, winking.
The problem with the Tacoma's starter has become an enigma. At first I thought replacing it and the solenoid would solve the scenario, which seemed to help momentarily, though soon enough every time I turned the key it would click, click, click, then finally turn over just like before.
As a result I've been parking on inclines, only using the starter when necessary, otherwise rolling down hill and popping the clutch in second gear, which you can do on a stick shift. The parking lot in front of the trailer on 128 in downtown Boonville that houses the AVA office provides ample slope for such an endeavor, so lately when stopping for lunch at Boont Berry I've backed up to the fence at the west end, under a shade tree. Once the Tacoma is poised to roll, I walk past the trailer and the three planter boxes in front.
About the middle of June I started to notice a cannabis plant growing up out of the box closest to the Redwood Drive-In. I didn't say anything about it to Mark Scaramella or Bruce Anderson, as clearly they were watering it. By the first of July it had grown to reach my shoulders. I didn't blame them for resorting to cultivating Mendo's cash crop, what with the overwhelming influence of smartphones and Facebook browsing replacing the importance of printed, local newspapers, though in 2017 they might have been a little late getting into the game. Other locals had noticed the burgeoning plant, as well. You could clearly see it from the highway. A rumor circulated around town that Bruce Anderson had put in a male to screw up the buds on all the sensimilla grown in the valley, though every time I had lunch and walked by, I inspected the notches under the leaf stems and found only hairs. The deli in Boont Berry is the cheapest place in Mendo to order made-from-scratch, mostly organic grub, so on a nearly daily basis I paid close attention to the progress of the plant, checking as if it were my own.
"It's not a male," I told people at the Mosswood Market. "Pretty sure it would have sexed out by now."
"How long is it gonna last, though? Right out in the open like that?"
"Who wants to steal buds anymore? Those days are over, around here. Somebody might steal trimmed weed weighed out in pounds, but who's gonna go to the trouble to rip off somebody else's colas and process them?"
My oldest son, now 20, lives with his mom in Ukiah. He is a young Harley enthusiast, always working on his bike, so on a recent trip to town I stopped at the Mendocino Book Company to pick up a copy of the cult classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. In between hoeing morning glories out of the watermelon rows, I couldn't help rereading the opening chapters. Inspired by the book, I had to get my feeble toolset out and attempt to discover the bad connection between the battery and starter, or whatever was causing the problems with the Toyota, while sprinklers soaked the rows of sweetcorn. I popped the hood and set in to messing with the relatively few, simple connections between battery, relay, and starter. After loosening and again tightening the small nut clamping the wire to the relay, I tried the switch. Now it did nothing. Not even a click. At least I had determined the problem had something to do with a bad connection.
At lunch time when the field was steaming hot I shut off the sprinklers and roll-started on the slope that led along the edge of the sweetcorn, popping the clutch in second. After squeezing through the narrow gate, I shut it and cruised up the road slowly, the over-sized tires bouncing like balloons in the potholes I swerved to avoid. Past the Parducci Winery I paused to see their sheep grazing in recently cut hay pasture, their organic tomatoes, watermelons, etc., their mobile chicken coops, before merging with State Street and heading south.
Since my son rides a Harley street bike, he hadn't wanted to drive the bumpy road to the field, so we met up at his mother's place in the neighborhoods towards Todd Grove Park. I grabbed the classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mainenance after parking in the shade, leaving the truck running.
"Shut it off! Stay for a minute!" he said.
"Well, we'll have to push start it. I don't know what's wrong."
"So we can push it, then."
I shut it off. There was very little grade or distance between us and a stop sign. If anything we were facing an uphill battle, though it is possible to roll start in reverse.
"Pop the hood!"
"You got any tools?"
"Not really. Just the wrenches they sent me with the wheel hoe."
"Jeezus Christ. You can't drive a piece of shit like this if you ain't got tools."
"I don't have any money."
"Not even twenty bucks?"
"Well, I'm thinking about applying at the Harley shop on North State. Been living off peanut butter and jelly for weeks. Got to make some money. Thanks for the book."
We hung out in his mom's air conditioning for a beer before he headed back to Willits and me to Boonville — once we'd given up finding the bad connection and conceded the thing to do was give it all we had in forward motion. The first attempt failed. Now it was only twenty yards to the stop sign.
"This is ridiculous," said my son.
"I know. I can't figure it out. Nobody can."
The last try, we put track team effort into the push, and she fired up just before I would have had to hit the brakes.
"Thanks!" I hollered, as he walked back to his mom's. "Enjoy the book!"
The whole drive over 253, back to Boonville, the truck bounced like a horse in an earthquake. The cooler coastal breeze greeted me as I waited at the temporary stoplight where the work on the winter's mudslide is proceeding just before the valley floor. The line grew, with empty logging trucks returning behind me and two loaded with what are known as "pecker poles" of questionable value chugging cumbersomely up the grade behind another red Toyota Tacoma which apparently had died trying to navigate the uphill clutch and rev at the green light, so the whole procession was slowed to the point that those of us on the downhill run had to wait through an extra light cycle.
I'd experienced the same humiliation in my own Tacoma, and had been forced to wave traffic around my ass so I could roll start it in reverse. For that reason I had compassion for the situation those fellows were in. I'd been there. Something about that model truck up a steep incline, you got to deftly rev the motor at the exact moment while rolling backwards.
Back in town, I turned left in front of Boont Berry and parked at the AVA office, with the truck leaning downhill. Instantly I noticed that their magnificent cannabis plant had been clipped about six inches from the soil level.
Storming up the steps, into the trailer, I was relieved to see the door was unlocked. The cool, air-conditioned environment soothed my head somewhat as I turned to the left and noticed Mark Scaramella at his desk.
"Hello?" I asked.
"Come on in, Spec."
Glancing at the various books on the shelves, I somewhat nervously approached his office. The door was open.
Mark sat at his computer, and with a furrowed expression acknowledged my presence. "Afternoon, Spec. Can I help you?"
"I just wondered — what happened to your plant?"
"Oh, the one out front?" He chuckled. "Rumor has it that was a male, and some local growers eradicated it."
"I just checked it last week. It looked female to me."
"Either way, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable,” said Scaramella. “I was surprised it survived that long — all the way through the Sierra Nevada festival, people were pointing at it. Jimmy Humble definitely noticed it from across the road."
Subcomandante Marco S.
Tropical Material. What happened? Tell us about the Philo Thom Hartmann uprising. Did Dave Colfax lead the revolt?
Profit levels were projected to fall .02% this year so something needed to be done to perk things up a bit. It was decided to invite the bad hombre to visit Las Vegas said spokesperson Mayra Maples. Let Chubby Tubby run loose for a couple of weeks.
After a short delay for last-minute haircut UnDosTres and his retinue of 20 uniformed military officers arrived amid level 3 security not seen since the Rat pack days. Everything was comped. The guests’ hotel rooms were designed by the famous golf course architect Robert Trent Jones. Each room had framed explicit photographs on the walls. A box of crayons and a coloring book, a refrigerator stocked with Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew. If guests noticed a lump under their pillow it was a bag of $10 gaming chips.
The first word and for some the only word the guests learned to say in English was "pussy." If a taxi driver heard them say the only word that he knew he understood where they wanted to go.
Inviting the bad hombre had the desired effect alright. Not since the O.J. Simpson "Trial of the Century" has the public been so fascinated by an event. It's front-page news each day at all major newspapers except the Christian Science Monitor. At the three TV stations, Fox, CNN and an MSNBC most regular programming has stopped since everyone has gone to Las Vegas. The media swarmed over the city and now hotel rooms are hard to find. Sonoma media sent three correspondents including Gaye LeBaron and Paul Gullixson, one of only two journalists nationwide who predicted the victory of Donald J. Trump.
America's last newspaper sent two investigating reporters, Mr. McEwen and Mr. Scaramella and their editor and Mr. Severn. In an exclusive interview Mr. UnDosTres was asked who he had in mind when he made a statement on July 4 that he wanted to slap the American bastards in the face. “Top tier," he replied. Zonker Harris, Dagwood Bumstead and Charlie Brown.
Asked if he wanted to meet a celebrity, the bad hombre said, "Yes — Crooked Hillary." "I want to tell her about our plans to get rid of this atomic bomb nonsense and missile foolishness. It's costing too much money. We can't afford it. We want to use the money saved to plant flowers. We want to be the world’s number one flower exporter. Fragrance from our flowers in Iraq and Iran will be noticed in Zambia and Zimbabwe and vice versa." "I want to explain to Crooked Hillary just what the gringos must do to make this happen.”
Tweet, tweet, tweet from Washington. If that nasty woman dares fraternize with the bad hombre I will send the Lyin’ Ted to arrest her and put her on a plane to Guantanamo. She's really going to be locked up this time.
Well, the Boonville trio discovered what the gringos needed to do. Mr. McEwen brought the eggs, Mr. Scaramella brought the fried potatoes and Mr. Severn brought home the bacon.
It's very simple. No military presence around the Korean peninsula. Not one bullet, not one jock strap, no military boats in the western Pacific. The limit of gringo military influence will be three miles off the coast of Hawaii.
And don't forget: if you agree with four or five of Bruce Anderson's opinions — see a psychiatrist.
THE MENDOCINO WOMEN’S RETREAT is coming again for it’s 9th year on September 22-24 at the beautiful River’s Bend Retreat Center, in Philo. This year’s theme is Many Paths, One Heart—Sharing in Sacred Circle. Women of many paths and preferences, ages and stages, colors and backgrounds, old and new friends, will be gathering to sing, dance, swim and create with Nature. We will feast on organic catered meals and enjoy a variety of accommodations to suit every need. Go to mendocinowomensretreat.com to register or for more information. Some scholarships are available. The web site has a map of the different older or new lodges, cabins, tents w/beds, and places to pitch a tent. There is a short and sweet description of River Bend’s Retreat Center. Photography from the past 8 years of activities and faces of the women who joined in Sacred Circle, are available on web site. Women may also call June 734-0505 or Lara 357-5365. You are invited to join the fun at this year's 9th Annual Mendocino Women’s Retreat. Hope you can come!