- Samuel Gibney
- Highway Fatality
- Ed Desk
- Pie Auction
- Ukiah Dispensary
- Little Dog
- Stolen Memories
- Yesterday's Catch
- Democratic Assignment
- Legalization Looms
- Vietnam History
- California Flooding
- Signal Ridge
- Couch Potatoes
- Hollywood Elite
- Marco Radio
A YOUNG MAN was found dead on the sidewalk near the corner of Franklin and Fir last Saturday, Sept. 23, just before 7 p.m.
The man, identified as 32-year-old Samuel Michael Gibney, was believed to have been a transient from Fort Bragg, according to Capt. Gregory Van Patten of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a coroner’s investigation into the mode, manner and cause of the death.
An autopsy was conducted on Tuesday and a blood-alcohol/toxicology analysis will follow, which takes about six weeks to get results.
“He had just recently passed away when we got the call,” said Fort Bragg Police Chief Lizarraga. “There was only one witness — the person who called it in.”
According to police, Gibney has family in Fort Bragg, but for the most part, lived on the streets.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the police at 707-961-2800.
THE SPARE police prose of the above makes the sad news sadder, announcing as it does, the death of a young man whose family roots go deep on the Mendocino Coast.
DAN YOUNG is a new media name to us local news hounds. I've heard him rush through chaste audio accounts of Fort Bragg City Council meetings that might as well have been a presser from the city manager. He seems to be a close friend of a young woman named Smith who, if memory serves, frequently addresses the council from an oracularly correct liberal perspective, which is "liberal" in the oppressive sense of "liberal" as practiced by former mayor Turner, former councilman Meg Courtney and, of course, KZYX itself. Young has recently characterized our reporter, Rex Gressett, as akin to "Neo-Nazis, white nationalists & white supremacists." Gressett's sin seems to be his criticism of Ms. Smith and the oppressive "liberalism" she, Turner, et al represent. What either "white" or fascism has to do with civic Fort Bragg apparently only makes sense to Young.
WHAT EXACTLY it is that Gressett said that caused Young to slander Gressett as an American nazi, which Young does in the most cowardly manner possible by likening Gressett to fascists rather than saying forthrightly he is one he doesn't say, but Gressett's sin seems to be criticism of official FB's functioning, which has often been malfunction.
AS IT HAPPENS, I'd just read a Life and Letters piece in the current New Yorker on Willa Cather, which is highly recommended to all you Cather People, of which I am mos def one. Anyway, when Cather was writing drama reviews for McClure's early in the 20th century she characterized an actress as "unattractive, putty-faced, backache, headachy little minx." Given Cather's powerful gifts, I'm sure this is an accurate description of the unfortunate performer. Gressett, although I'm sure he's tempted given the whining faux libs he deals with in Fort Bragg, has managed to depict them as they are without spelling it out for his many grateful readers.
* * *
THE HEF is gone. Best send-off I saw was "HUGH HEFNER DEAD AT 91. BREAST IN PEACE." Even as a kid it occurred to me that Playboy managed to make nude women boring. Hef himself, and his "playboy philosophy," was beyond silly, but he was a strong free speech guy, and some of the interviews in Playboy, and an occasional short story, always made the magazine worth a look.
THE LOCAL ANGLE: Donna Ronne, a former centerfold and Playmate of the Year, became a long-time resident of the Anderson Valley at the Holmes Ranch until her unexpected death from a heart attack. A dedicated horse person, Ms. R was lively company, and an inexhaustible source of really good jokes. She wouldn't talk, at least to me, about her experience with Playboy, but she seemed to have emerged from it in robust psychological health.
* * *
TWO BOONVILLE BUSINESSES are looking for employees, but when it's trim time in the Emerald Triangle why work for $15 an hour when you can make $30 preparing Mendocino County's primary ag product for export?
* * *
HERE'S HOPING FORT BRAGG does not hire a headhunter to find its next city manager. There are at least two good candidates at City Hall right now — Ms. Lemos and Ms. Jones. Headhunters are expensive. Worse, hiring them is an abdication of local authority. Either take responsibility or slink back into private life. The manager at Safeway probably makes half the salary the County's city managers make, but I'd bet he or she could do the job, and there are, and have been, lots of city managers who couldn't manage Safeway.
ANDERSON VALLEY FOODSHED SHINDIG
Saturday, October 14th at 6:00 PM
An evening of great food, farmers & community. And a Pie Auction!
The Shed in Boonville (Behind Paysanne Ice Cream Shop)
Pie bakers needed, great opportunity to show off your pie baking skills! (featuring local ingredients). BYO beverages to share! $25 donation.
UKIAH APPROVES PLAN FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY
by Justine Frederiksen
The Ukiah Planning Commission Wednesday approved a permit for Ukiah Holistics, the first cannabis dispensary to complete an application since the city decided to again allow such business to operate within its borders.
“This community has done this before and we were affected negatively, and that’s why we didn’t have any dispensaries for a long, long time -- because people didn’t want to follow the law,” said Commissioner Linda Sanders at the Sept. 27 meeting.
“I have some personal concerns about the whole marijuana culture, but I’m here to keep an open mind.”
The applicant is Laila Ekmekjian, who proposes to open a marijuana dispensary serving “qualified medical marijuana patients only” in an empty store at 1230 Airport Park Boulevard, located next to a party store and Sears.
Pamela Epstein, who described herself as the applicant’s attorney and representative, told the commission that the business would operate from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and that a large lobby area would be used by customers to prevent them from lining up outside.
“The last thing we want to do is be a bad neighbor, so patients will wait in the lobby, then get buzzed into the back to get personalized attention from employees there,” said Epstein, who also told the commissioners that since the dispensary would be a “legitimate business, its full-time employees will receive W-2s.”
Since marijuana is still considered an illegal substance by the federal government, the commission had questions about how the dispensary would handle payroll and other banking needs.
“There are a few credit unions that are starting to bank with dispensaries that can show the proper permits, though those accounts have to be kept confidential,” said Epstein, explaining that dispensaries also use management companies to handle some transactions so they don’t have to operate on a strictly cash basis.
When asked about whether the city would receive sales tax revenue from the business, city staff confirmed that medical marijuana purchases are exempt from sales tax, but the city would receive excise taxes.
“Those are paid through your business license annually, and the fees are based on gross sales,” said Council member Maureen Mulheren, who also clarified that Ukiah Holistics was currently a dispensary for medical marijuana only.
“The (City Council) ad-hoc has not addressed recreational marijuana dispensaries yet, but we hopefully will be addressing those by the end of the year,” Mulheren said.
When a local doctor expressed concern about such dispensaries increasing access to marijuana by minors, some in the audience countered that more regulation might actually tighten the supply.
“I think it is much easier in Ukiah for someone under 18 to get an eighth of weed than it is for them to get beer,” said a man who described himself as an employee of one of the largest cannabis distributors in the state. “By properly regulating these businesses and picking the right partners to run dispensaries, they will add a lot to your town and bring in money.”
“I think the applicant seems forthright,” said Commissioner Christopher Watt, who explained that he felt more comfortable with a dispensary in the city “where we are making an applicant go through quite a bit,” versus one outside the city limts that might undergo less scrutiny.
“It is a good location, the surrounding businesses are in support, and you are going to be held to a pretty high bar as the first dispensary,” said Sanders.
The commission then voted unanimously to approve the necessary permits for Ukiah Holistics.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Every time I mention it, these people just laugh and tell me to zip it. But look at the feng shui of this place. Could it be farther off?”
TURN IT IN, TWEEKER
To the Editor:
Four large plastic totes filled with generations of family papers and pictures were stolen from my storage locker recently in Willits. The totes were labeled by the family names - Miller, Beatty, Fuller, Ford, Lane, etc., but no owner name. If anyone sees the totes or piles of photos dumped somewhere I would appreciate a call. They have no value to anyone but me. 459-1706.
Janet Miller, Ukiah
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 29, 2017
ISIDRO ACOSTA, Sacramento/Ukiah. DUI-drugs causing bodily injury, great bodily injury during commission of felony, enhanced penalty for multiple victims with bodily injury or death, suspended license.
GARRETT BENNETT, Willits. DUI.
DAVID BURLESON, Ukiah. Failure to register, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ROBERT GREENE, Willits. DUI.
PAUL HANSSEN, Redwood Valley. Possess/purchase for sale, narcotic/controlled substance, controlled substance, under influence.
LON HUNOLT, Manchester. Pot cultivation, pot possession for sale, paraphernalia, short-barreled shotgun-rifle-handgun and firearms, nunchaku, suspended license, failure to appear.
DAVID JOHNSTON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
by James Kunstler
Poor old Karl Marx, tortured by boils and phantoms, was right about one thing: History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. Thus, I give you the Roman Empire and now the United States of America. Rome surrendered to time and entropy. Our method is to drive a gigantic clown car into a ditch.
Is anyone out there interested in redemption? I have an idea for the political party out of power, the Democrats, sunk in its special Okefenokee Swamp of identity politics and Russia paranoia: make an effort to legislate the Citizens United calamity out of existence. Who knows, a handful of Republicans may be shamed into going along with it. For those of you who have been mentally vacationing on Mars with Elon Musk, Citizens United was a Supreme Court decision — Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 558 U.S. 310 (2010) — which determined that corporations had the right, as hypothetical “persons,” to give as much money as they liked to political candidates.
This “right” devolved from the First Amendment of the constitution, the 5-4 majority opinion said — giving money to political candidates and causes amounts to “freedom of speech.” The Citizens United ruling opened the door for unlimited election spending by corporations and enormous mischief in our national life. Then-President Obama — a constitutional law professor before his career in politics — complained bitterly about the opinion days later in his State of the Union address, saying that the court had “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.”
And for the next seven years he did absolutely nothing about it, nor did the Democratic Party majority in congress. Rather, they vacuumed in as much corporate campaign money as possible from every hokey political action committee (PAC) from sea to shining sea, especially in the 2016 presidential election starring Hillary “It’s My Turn” Clinton. It turned out to not be her turn in large part because the voters noticed the stench of corruption wafting off this toxic flow of corporate money, which Hillary was using to vastly outspend her billionaire opponent, troll that he was.
Of course, corporations have not always been what they are deemed to be today. They evolved with the increasingly complex activities of industrial economies. Along the way — in Great Britain first, actually — they were deemed to exist as the equivalent of legal persons, to establish that the liabilities of the company were separate and distinct from those of its owners. In the USA, forming a corporation usually required an act of legislation until the late 19th century. After that, they merely had to register with the states. Then congress had to sort out the additional problems of giant “trusts” and holding companies (hence, anti-trust laws, now generally ignored).
In short, the definition of what a corporation is and what it has a right to do is in a pretty constant state of change as economies evolve. And insofar as the current economy is sinking like the RMS Titanic — and our republic as a mode of governance with it — surely the time has come to redefine in legislation the role and existential nature of a corporation in this polity. This homework assignment should be given to the Democratic members of congress, since they are otherwise preoccupied only with hunting for Russian gremlins and discovering new sexual abnormalities to protect and defend.
The crux of the argument is that corporations cannot be said to be entirely and altogether the equivalent of persons for all legal purposes. In law, corporations have duties, obligations, and responsibilities to their shareholders first, and only after that to the public interest or the common good, and only then by pretty strict legal prescription. It may be assumed that the interests of corporations and their shareholders are in opposition to, and in conflict with, the public interest. And insofar as elections are fundamentally matters of the public interest, corporations must be prohibited from efforts to influence the outcome of elections.
That’s your assignment Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democratic Party leadership. Get serious. Show a little initiative. Do something useful. Draw up some legislation. Get behind something real that might make a difference in this decrepitating country. Or get out of the way and let a new party do the job.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
CALIFORNIA REGULATOR ADMITS TO ANXIETY AS LEGAL POT NEARS
by Michael R. Blood
LONG BEACH — California's emerging marijuana industry is being rattled by an array of unknowns, as the state races to issue its first licenses to grow and sell legal recreational pot on Jan. 1.
"We all have anxiety," top state pot regulator Lori Ajax told an industry group Thursday. "It's not going to be perfect."
California voters in 2016 approved Proposition 64, which legalized recreational pot use for adults in the nation's most populous state. It takes effect in 2018, when the new economy will unite recreational sales with the state's two-decade old medicinal pot market.
With about three months to go before recreational sales kick off, it's not yet clear how it all will work.
It will probably be late November before the state issues proposed regulations that will govern the new pot marketplace. Growers and sellers are wondering how an industry can function when some operators will have licenses, but others might not. Many operators do not have access to banks, since pot remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government. And a patchwork of local regulations is emerging across the state.
Ajax said she doesn't know how many operators will come forward to seek licenses. It's a critical question, since the state's legitimate pot sales could be undercut by illegal operators.
Speaking in Long Beach, Ajax said the state is preparing to issue temporary licenses for growers, sellers, manufacturers and distributors on Jan. 1. She said her agency will be open for business on New Year's Day.
But to obtain a state license, operators must first have a local license or authorization. Los Angeles is still working on its rules and the city is facing criticism that some operators could be cut out of the market, and it appears San Francisco will not be ready for legal sales in January and perhaps not for months.
The state will begin by issuing temporary licenses, good for four months. But those could also be extended, if necessary.
By legalizing recreational pot use, California is attempting to transform its vast marijuana black market into the nation's biggest legal pot economy, valued at $7 billion.
You couldn't find two people who agreed about when it began, how could you say when it began going off? Mission intellectuals like 1954 as the reference date; if you saw as far back as World War II and the Japanese occupation you were practically a historical visionary. "Realists" said that for us in began in 1961, and the common run of Mission flack insisted on 1965, post-Tonkin Resolution, as though all the killing that had gone before wasn't really war.
Anyway, you couldn't use standard methods to date the doom; might as well say that Vietnam was where the Trail of Tears was headed all along, the turnaround point where it would touch and come back to form a containing perimeter; might just as well lay it on the proto-Gringos who found New England woods too raw and empty for their peace and filled them up with their own imported devils. Maybe it was already over for us in Indochina when Alden Pyle's body washed up under the bridge at Dakao, his lungs full of mud; maybe it caved in with Dien Bien Phu. But the first happened in a novel, and while the second happened on the ground. It happened to the French, and Washington gave it no more substance than if Graham Greene had made it up too.
— Michael Herr
THE TRUE BIG ONE
During the height of the drought, California went as long as a year without seeing a single atmospheric river. But the state was hit by more than 30 of the systems last winter, according to Scripps researchers. That explains why the season was one of the wettest on record.
Because of the prospect of significant damage, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a disaster preparedness exercise in 2011, loosely based on a series of atmospheric rivers that struck during the winter of 1861-62. The string of storms a century and a half ago left much of California covered in water and thousands dead.
Dale Cox, who led the simulation, said it was designed around conditions the state could realistically experience in the near future.
“This wasn’t a way-out-there kind of storm,” he said. “As far as disasters go, earthquakes are the charismatic species. They’re the ones that people tend to fear the most. Floods don’t get the attention, yet that’s what’s going to be California’s big one.”
– Kurtis Alexander, SF Chronicle
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
How ’bout the stupid sonsabitches — grown men — walking around in public wearing NFL jerseys, ballcaps, jackets etc? That sh=t is pretty expensive all by itself. It can cost a family of 4, mom, dad, buddy and sis over $1000 to attend an NFL game. That doesn’t include $75 parking and $9 bottles of water. What a grift! And its not only the players who you worship laughing at what a sucker you are, the owners and sports media are laughing too!
Meanwhile, Roger Goodell, president of the league, makes $1 million per week.
Maybe on Sunday, instead of sitting on your ass for hours in front of the TV, stuffing you face with nachos and chicken wings, you can get out and do something constructive, and become a man once again. The world awaits.
HERE’S THE THING: I grew up in Kentucky. I sold insurance door-to-door. I sold ladies’ shoes. I worked at an all-night liquorstore. I would buy suits that were too big and too long and cut the bottom of the pants off to make ties so I’d have a tie to go on job interviews. I grew up understanding what it was like to not have health insurance for eight years. So this idea that I’m somehow the “Hollywood elite,” and this guy who takes a shit in a gold toilet is somehow the man of the people, is laughable.
People in Hollywood, for the most part, are people from the Midwest who moved to Hollywood to have a career. So this idea of “coastal elites” living in a bubble is ridiculous. Who lives in a bigger bubble? He lives in a gold tower and has twelve people in his company. He doesn’t run a corporation of hundreds of thousands of people he employs and takes care of. He ran a company of twelve people! When you direct a film you have seven different unions all wanting different things, you have to find consensus with all of them, and you have to get them moving in the same direction. He’s never had to do any of that kind of stuff. I just look at it and I laugh when I see him say “Hollywood elite.” Hollywood elite? I don’t have a star on Hollywood Boulevard. Donald Trump has a star on Hollywood Boulevard!
– George Clooney, 2017; interview with "The Daily Beast"
by Louis Bedrock
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake”
"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. "
—Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey
My memory isn’t as sharp as I wish.
I remember the changes in New York City in the 1980s, but don’t remember when or how they started. It seemed like overnight the city became flooded with homeless people.
They relieved themselves in phone booths, on the sides of buildings, on the sidewalks, and on stairways of buildings. At night, walking on the sidewalk became like navigating a labyrinth because of the cardboard boxes the homeless slept in and rows of drunken beggars.
I commuted between New York and New Jersey to work in a language school. When I had to go home at night, there were no places to sit in Penn Station because the homeless occupied all the benches. They were dirty and foul-smelling. Some were menacing.
I hated them. If I had had the power, I would have sent them all to forced labor camps.
There are a lot of theories for the increase of homeless men and women on the streets of NYC. “Deinstitutionalization” was bureaucrat language for kicking people out of state run clinics. There was the ballyhooed crack epidemic.
—Prior to the 1980s they [the homeless] were the stereotypical middle aged, white men, who had similar alcohol problems, living in skid row areas like the Bowery in New York,” explains Eric Hirsch, a historian of homelessness and professor at Providence College in Rhode Island. “We then saw new groups emerge: younger people and families—a much more economically driven homeless.
Brendan O’Flaherty, a professor at Columbia University and economist who has done research for the Department of Homeless Services in the past, has put forward another argument. According to his research, the rise in income inequality and the impact of this widening gap on the housing market is at the origin of modern homelessness.
I have had an ambiguous relationship with the homeless for many years. I disliked them for the inconveniences they caused me; however, I would give them money from time to time to buy food, cigarettes, or booze.
What changed my attitude was getting to know some homeless people and discovering their variety and their humanity.
Once I stopped to give a few dollars to a young man with dreadlocks. I was embarrassed to find I had no singles. I apologized to the man. His response was gracious and moving:
—That’s OK, man —he said with a sweet smile, —I appreciate your good intentions.
He was not being sarcastic.
I ran into the same guy a few weeks later and gave him five dollars. He remembered me. We talked for a few minutes. He was an intelligent, decent human being.
I got to know another homeless man who wandered around the Upper West Side of Manhattan near the Metropolitan Opera. He was at once well dressed and shabby—his clothes were old and worn, but clean and formal. He was well educated, well informed, and opinionated.
He requested that I bring him any old magazines and books I could spare. He was delighted with the old copies of The New Yorker and The Nation that I would give him. We shared some interesting conversations about art and politics.
There was a little girl named Jessica in my fourth grade class. I used to yell at her for coming to class late every day. She wrote me a letter asking me to please not scream at her explaining that she and her mother were homeless, spent the nights on subway cars and in subway stations, and that sometimes it was difficult for her to get to school.
I felt horrible. From then on I made sure she got breakfast from the school cafeteria. If she fell asleep in class, I didn’t wake her. I paid for her trips. I gave her and her mother money for food.
These and other encounters with the homeless have changed my opinion of this heterogeneous community.
There are no simple solutions for the problems of homeless people and of the frustrated people who live in communities where the homeless create difficulties. One of the problems is the heterogeneity I’ve mentioned.
Some of the homeless are malevolent, irresponsible grifters. Some are violent predators. Some are drunks or addicts. Many seem to be deranged.
There are also shell-shocked veterans who have not received treatment: some have been poisoned by Agent Orange or depleted Uranium—or became addicted to pharmaceutical drugs.
There are people whose jobs have been outsourced or people whose savings have been exhausted because of emergencies.
Violent and aggressive vagrants should be taken off the streets and institutionalized; obliged to live somewhere where they would be kept from hurting others or themselves, but cared for. If this sounds Utopian, it isn’t. It is done in more civilized countries.
The young man with dreadlocks, the shabby philosopher, and Jessica and her mom, deserve something more: shelter, food, medical care, and counseling; the opportunity for training and job placement that will help them live like the rest of us.
The homeless create problems. But it’s not always their fault. They have nowhere to go. They have to bathe and do their laundry in public bathrooms, sleep on subway trains, benches, or the ground; find or beg for food; avoid cops and predators. Finding a bathroom at night is difficult. It’s not an enviable life.
They can be a pain in the ass, but as another AVA writer, who has been homeless himself, observed,
—Don’t get too puritanical about it, just in case things keep going the way they are, and you end up out there yourself…
He’s right: one never knows.
It’s a good idea to remember that the homeless are people too.
MEMO OF THE AIR FRIDAY NIGHT
Tonight I’ll be doing the show by live remote via a laptop on a typing table at Juanita’s place, not from the KNYO storefront in Fort Bragg, so if you want to come in and play your musical instrument(s) or talk about your project, or whatever, make that First Friday next week when I’ll be in Fort Bragg.* I generally go back and forth; one week here, one week there.
It’s 325 N. Franklin (next to the Tip Top bar). Just meander in any time after 9pm (Friday, Oct. 6), head for the lighted room at the back and get my attention away from whatever I’m doing, and we’ll go forward.
(If you ever write something you want read aloud on the air, email it to me and I’ll do my best. The deadline is always around 5:30 or 6pm the night of the show, so you have a couple of hours to get it together for tonight. No pressure. I've got plenty of material to stuff the evening with.)
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio. Every Friday, 9pm to about 4am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, including midnight to 3am 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org or http://TuneIn.com
*(Or contact Bob Young and get your own regular airtime on KNYO, to do a show entirely of own whimsical devising, and never need to depend on me at all. Either way, it’s easy and fun and there’s zero pressure.)
PS. The Biff Rose just emailed me and indicated he'll be in the area in a few weeks to play some clubs in San Francisco, and he'll be bringing his grown son Jesus along to back him up on drums. As soon as I know when, we'll get him on the air no matter what night of the week that is, and I'll do a little publicity for that. He's delightfully hebephrenic in the Lord Buckley style and he has a way with a lyric, as you know. A master of the unexpected homonym.