Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Sep. 30, 2017

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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.

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HIGHWAY FATALITY

[click to enlarge]
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ED DESK

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.

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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.

Donna Michelle (Ronne)

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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?”

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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

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 29, 2017

Acosta, Bennett, Burleson, Greene

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.

Hanssen, Hunolt, Johnston

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.

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HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

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)

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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.

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VIETNAM

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

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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

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Signal Ridge Road [click to enlarge]
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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.

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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"

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HOMELESSNESS

by Louis Bedrock

“Homeless, homeless

Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake”

—Paul Simon

"...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.

https://citylimits.org/2013/03/11/a-brief-history-of-homelessness-in-newyork/

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.

Marco McClean
memo@mcn.org
http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

 

27 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Sep. 30, 2017"

  1. George Hollister   September 30, 2017 at 6:13 am

    “The Citizens United ruling opened the door for unlimited election spending by corporations and” – labor unions. Kunstler left something important out of his piece. Labor unions, increasingly government labor unions, are the Democratic Party base.

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 9:14 am

      George, my boy, labor unions and corporations are NOT equivalent. The Chamber of Commerce might be considered a closer analogy to unions, since the chamber is organized businesses, organized AGAINST workers, that is.

      Right-wing (who pretend to be liberal) yuppies are the democrapic party base. Union leaders lie to their members and divert part of their dues to that filthy, lying party. And, the really dumb members of the Working Class are rethuglicans. They are despised by the wealthy as useful idiots who can be counted on at all times to shoot themselves in the foot. And, they perform, admirably, that service to wealth.

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 9:22 am

        Hell, George, even the rethuglican godhead, Adam Smith, described how business owners, in private meetings, conspired to keep workers “in line”, in his holy book, that I’m sure you must have read, boring though it is, “invisible hand” notwithstanding.

        Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   September 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

      A small part of the base, George. Fewer than twenty percent of American workers are unionized, and that figure includes public workers. And just try to organize a union in “progressive” Mendocino County, esp in the lib-heavy wine industry where our congress-ciphers always hold their by-invitiation meet and greets when they come to town. Remember when Roederer workers briefly affiliated with the UFW when Roederer, one of the richest wine companies in the world, tried to screw vineyard labor out of a few cents right at harvest, the company figuring that the workers would be forced to take it? Everyone who participated in the strike was immediately fired, Roederer hired a law firm out of Frisco that specializes in strike-breaking, and soon spies ferreted out any worker who talked union. When scabs were bussed in from I-5 the scabs also refused to work, the whole of it being “progressive” Mendo County’s one and only real work action, apart from a few, brief county worker walk-outs, and it was started and led by Mexican immigrants since deluded into thinking Democrats are with them.

      Reply
      • George Hollister   September 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm

        As I said, “increasingly government labor unions”. But the labor union leadership in the private sector is part of the Democratic Party base. They are among the largest political donors to the Democratic Party. This is in spite of declining private union membership, and many(a majority?) of the rank-and-file voting for Trump.

        Kunstler in the past has called the Democratic party the party of government. This is, primarily because of government unions. The Democratic Party will not support anything that union leadership opposes, and they will not oppose anything union leadership supports. It is about as firm as it gets in politics. Is there hypocrisy with progressive Democrats? Sure, but that is not new in politics. The Bay Area is the center of Democratic Party in America, and the biggest private business sector there is non-union, and actually is anti-union. They export jobs to other areas around the US and world that are non-union. They are almost all good Democrats, and call themselves progressive. Mendocino County is not doing anything unusual. How many progressive pot farmers are remotely aware of their own labor violations? I know, “That’s different.” It is the way it is.

        It was private labor unions that torpedoed immigration reform when Bush2 was president, and Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. It was likely private labor unions who prevented immigration reform from even being introduced in Congress during Obama’s first two years when Democrats had a 2/3 majority in the Senate, and a majority in the House. Harry Reid said they did not have time. That is BS. The bill had already been written.

        It is also government unions that are in the way of government pension reform. This will not end well. And it will be interesting to see how the spin goes to find others to blame when the smelly stuff hits the fan.

        Environmentalists are the Democratic party’s other base, but they get thrown under the bus when unions say so.

        Reply
        • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 1:27 pm

          The answer: tax the wealthy scum.

          The world you dream of would have no pensions for anyone. It would have a large, underpaid work force, with no benefits, who would be expected to die when they can no longer work. People like you are the enemies of most of us. You, George, are simply a relic of the past. People will tolerate little more of the sort of utter nonsense that you routinely peddle.

          Reply
  2. sohumlily   September 30, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I spoke with a friend in Garberville yesterday and it seems that Peg Anderson (Chautauqua owner) and her partner Yashi Hoffman have come up with a plan involving ‘dialoging’ once a week with random ‘community members’ and the transients that crowd what few ‘public’ spaces exist, especially this time of year. Wednesday afternoons, they are meeting on the (so-called) “Town Square”, where a ‘code of conduct’ is established, and a respectful conversation between all interested parties takes place. My friend described some touching and thoughtful exchanges. Getting to know each other and the challenges each face seems to me to be a positive step in the right direction. I am reluctantly in awe of Peg and Yashi’s initiative and dedication, as they, in my opinion, are part of the SoHum ‘royalty’–in-laws with Stephen Dazey (boo, hiss) and arch capitalist/giant dope grower Josh Sweet. They (Peg and Yashi) also helped with the cold weather shelter last year at the now burned up Presbyterian Church.

    I understand they took road trips to various towns dealing with the homeless problem in creative ways, researching solutions that might be applicable to SoHum.

    So nice to hear about the results of all their brainstorming. Many kudos and much respect to them.

    Reply
    • Bruce McEwen   September 30, 2017 at 10:31 am

      When I was homeless in SoHum I had the idea of a campground on that vacant field behind the old elementary school, with a couple of Port-A-Potties.

      You would also need Dog Soldiers (as they were called at *mountainman rondezvous), a team of three of four people to act as camp police in charge of dealing with thugs and people who go-off on others.

      Some camp rules would include:

      1. Take all your trash out each day to the Temple of Consumption where you bought it (the trash cans at the grocery store or gas stations)

      2. Don’t enter someone else’s camp site unless invited

      3. Show some respect for businesses in Garberville and Redway

      4. Pick up after your road dog and when you move out take everything with you

      Unfortunately, any form of legal camping will never be permitted for the same reason it was outlawed in the first place, and here we must stop because any discussion of homelessness enters the realm of taboo when the subject of rent comes up.

      The trouble with having to hide your camp in the woodland oak and manzanita is some thug will ransack it after you go into town — my camp was tidy as a boy scout’s but a local thug found it and decided to take it for himself. I fought the bastard at the Mateel — and lost — so I moved on to Mendoland, but if some campground were available with Dog Soldiers to control the thugs, that never would have happened.

      *Mountainman and pathfinder John C. Fremont — the very person who showed the settlers the way to Nor Cal — he was homeless for the last years of his life, even though he had once owned a huge ranch and had been on a Grand Tour of Europe.

      Reply
      • sohumlily   September 30, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        “Okra”, positioning himself as a spokesperson for the houseless claims that indeed, 2 campsites exist where self-monitoring occurs. ‘Residents’ are screened, and if they mess up, they are invited to leave.

        But Okra has lied about other things, so ?.

        And there *was* a newpaper put out by the houseless in Gville; I used to browse thru it while doing laundry at the laundromat. I’m sure Paul Encimer has something to do with it in addition to his Greenfuse mag.

        Reply
      • Bruce Anderson   September 30, 2017 at 4:39 pm

        Pretty sure it was Johann ‘John’ Sutter who wound up homeless, a plummet perhaps unrivaled in American history. When “the world rushed in in 1849,” they not only helped themselves to all the easy gold on Sutter’s property, they looted his vast ranch and related holdings. Fremont died a rich man.

        Reply
        • George Hollister   September 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm

          There was John Sutter, James Marshall, and John Fremont. Easy to get them mixed up. Sutter and Marshall were associates and ended up broke. Marshall discover gold at Coloma while reconstructing a saw mill for Sutter. The mill came from Fort Ross.

          John Fremont was only tangentially associated with Sutter and Marshall. He was a military man, a strong anti-slaver who fought in the Civil War, and he was the first to designate a route for the RR through the Sierra Nevada.

          My family history indicates my great grandfather, John Henry Wood, sat on the lap of James Marshall at Sutter’s Fort in 1849. John Henry would have been 2. Both Sutter and Marshall were initially accommodating to the 49ers, but were taken advantage of and pretty much lost everything. The Wood family settled in Union Town, near Coloma, running a hotel and can be seen in the 1850 census there.

          It was a different time, and not that long ago.

          Reply
  3. Alice Chouteau   September 30, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Mr. bedrock
    Thanks for your insights into the homeless population. I too lived in Manhattan in the 60s, and there were a smaller number of homeless then, some old derelicts, some deranged, and some who were more creative, like the fake nun who panhandled at Bloomingdales, the war vet who would threaten to expose his covered, mangled face, or the angry black woman in surgical mask, who gave me choice between a handout or getting the supposedly virulent germs she claimed to have. Living in a tenament, no doorman or security, meant stepping over the sleeping bums ion the hallway floor, escaping the arctic temps.
    In the eighties,back in NY for a while, the place was as you describe, with a hostile, threatening, and destructive vibe. No idea what caused this influx, but with such severe weather,it likely was new services and support.
    If the statistice from Eureka and Ukiah are accurate and applicable in FB, about 20% are just decent folks who fell through the cracks in the current economic situation, high rents, lost jobs, etc. they need and deserve help, and can use it to better their lives. For the ,majority, we need Allman’s proposed mental health facility, as well as a detox/long-term regab center like the one being built in Eureka.

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      “Hillary’s” book, It Takes a Village was ghost written by Barbara Feinman, Just as “Kennedy’s” Profiles in Courage was ghost written by Ted Sorensen. Democrap politicians, like rethuglican politicians, are not all that creative. And, the Clinton woman lacks any of the traits you list in your last paragraph.

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 12:54 pm

        I do. And cute terms don’t save anything. Taxing the pants of the wealthy would be a first good, and real, step. The rest is just fuzzy, feel-good, babble.

        Reply
    • Jeff Costello   September 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Trump and Hillary do not acknowledge their ghost writers. Sammy “the bull” Gravano, mafia hit man, does. His name is even on the cover. So – could a mafia “criminal” be more honest than those big time authority figures? Things aren’t always as they seem.

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        In my opinion most criminals are more honest, or at least no more dishonest than the average politician or the average wealthy kaputalist.

        Reply
  4. Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Re: “…but he [Heffner] 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…”

    Aw, c’mon, I bet you looked at the nekkid women, too. Some of those photos were great. But I agree, the magazine got more and more boring as I advanced through my 20s. It has been just over four decades since I last opened a Playboy.

    Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   September 30, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Ahem, and not that I was a regular reader, but I thought Hustler’s monthly feature where random degenerates sent in nude photos of their wives and girl friends was much more interesting than the perfect centerfolds they and Playboy did.

      Reply
      • Lazarus   September 30, 2017 at 5:06 pm

        Probably not relevant but, Hefner and Trump hung together back in the day…Must of been that grab the pussy stuff…In fact Trump made the cover once. The back story seemed to be Hefner regretted doing it as Trump moved on to Jesus, the right, etc. The rags in LA loved it…
        As always,
        Laz

        Reply
  5. Rick Weddle   September 30, 2017 at 10:03 am

    re: ‘…Viet Nam was where the Trail of Tears was headed all along…’
    Yep. Direct line, no spaces between dots. So-called ‘World Wars,’ and the subsequent ‘brushfire’ conflicts popping up in all our ‘foreign policy’ footprints are NOT distinct events, but flare-ups in a deliberate, extremely profitable process; Betrayal, murder, and thievery on an ever-increasing and accelerating scale are just ‘the way they do business.’ That’s why we say that choosing between evils for a ‘lesser’ over and over for decade after decade, and fully expecting ANYTHING good whatever to ensue, CAN’T go well.

    Reply
    • Rick Weddle   September 30, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Slow learners and all, we’re coming to recognize the torrents of Blood, shit and derision we can get from only ONE seemingly innocent little prick. And it matters all the way if it’s OUR little prick.

      Reply
  6. Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Re: HERE’S HOPING FORT BRAGG does not hire a headhunter to find its next city manager.

    Re: “…feng shui…”

    Is that anything like chop suey?

    Re: CALIFORNIA REGULATOR ADMITS TO ANXIETY AS LEGAL POT NEARS

    Pot always causes a lot of tooth gnashing and other upsets here in the land o’ freedom. Always has. Get over it. It’s here, it’s been here a long, long time and, will be, as long as the species survives.

    Re: HERE’S THE THING:

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. Clooney had parents who weren’t poor, was the nephew of Rosemary. Had a cousin in the “industry” who got him an acting role. He had a relatively easy life. I hate it when wealthy people peddle bullshit about how they got to where they are totally on their own. He’s an OK actor, but I surely have no desire to meet him.

    Re: “My memory isn’t as sharp as I wish.”

    Mine as well…

    In 1975, fresh out of college (1974), I took a “lumper” job at the Safeway warehouse, in Richmond, California. Lumpers were fill-in warehousemen, hired on a daily basis to make up for permanent employees unable to be at work on a given day (sick, vacation, etc.).

    Getting work required me to drive from Sonoma to Richmond to be at the Teamsters Union Hall in Richmond by around six in the morning, in order to be present before Safeway announced how many employees they would need for the day.

    The rule was that to get work one had to be present at the union hall. At the end of the day, if Safeway had no “openings” for the next day, one would, the next day, again go to the union hall and repeat the process. Generally, if there was no call by around 0900, there would be none after, and one would go home. However, if there was an “opening” for the next day, Safeway could tell the lumper simply to come back the next day, without the need of going through the hall process. If that happened 30 times in a row, one became a permanent employee and a union member, with union benefits and union dues.

    After about a week, Safeway began calling me back, and I never went to the hall again. This continued until I was nearly at the 30-day limit. I had been making the same money, $7.5295 per hour (yes, that many figures after the decimal point! Also, the equivalent of about $45/hour today) as the permanent warehousemen.

    Then, Fish and Game gave me a call. They wanted me come back as a Seasonal Aid, at $3.15 per hour. I didn’t hesitate a bit, and said I would. My dream was to work for them on a permanent basis, doing “god’s” work and saving the world, as so many of us with degrees in the life sciences dreamed of doing in those years before Working Class hope utterly disappeared in the “land o’ democracy and opportunity”.

    It took me another 5 years, including a couple of years as a temp, “fighting” Dutch Elm Disease (along with many other degree holders) with Food and Ag, 2 years as a State Park Ranger (badge, revolver, handcuffs, Mace, baton, etc.); not to mention my fall-back, being a service station mechanic, with Class A (if I recall, maybe Class 3, who knows? whatever was the “highest” level license at the time) motor vehicle smog equipment inspector and installer license), that began in 1969, while attending classes at Berkeley, before my dream came true. My entry, admittedly, was through the back door, an interagency transfer from Parks to Fish and Game during Jerry’s hiring freeze of the late 70s-early 80s. And, naturally, like most dreams, it turned out differently than I had expected. All-in-all, though, I would still make the same choices.

    The point is this: not until I retired in 2002 had my salary been equivalent to the $7.5295 per hour that I had made as a Safeway warehouseman, about the same as a GM assembly line worker at the time (2002). In the meantime, wages for warehousemen and others had declined in real value over that same period of time.

    I will grant that the poor will be with us always in a brutal Kaputalistic system. It has always been so, even in the days when Kaputalism was limited to bartering. But, things are so out-of-control now that something must give, in particular the wealthy bastards must give way, to force, if necessary. Not all homeless people are nuts or on drugs. And, I DO NOT mean to imply that you, Louis, have suggested such a thing.

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      There could be many other reasons they were bought out. You might talk to a competent investment expert to learn some of them.

      Sometimes a big outfit needs to take a loss in one sector to balance gains in another for tax purposes. In general though, Kaputalism naturally tends to reduce competition through buyouts and mergers, resulting in monopolies or oligopolies in each economic sector (like domestic automobile manufacturing, an example of the latter), which has been happening with increasing frequency since the late 60s, as the anti-trust laws were ignored more and more.

      And, my dear, forgive me the misspelling of ‘off’. I mistakenly considered after posting as well as the time for making corrections had ended, that most readers would figure that out for themselves, but clearly I overestimated the case.

      In any case, the local Safeway had been run into the ground by incompetent management, not by its employees, though their morale had clearly suffered as well over the last 15 years, my period of observation.

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm

        Believe it or not. Your choice. It happened. The former store is nearly empty.

        Reply
  7. Stephen Rosenthal   September 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Re CHP Report of Collision: “For an unknown reason, the Kawasaki left the roadway and collided with a reflector post. The cause of the collision is still under investigation.” Huh? Captain Obvious here. Dude was traveling in excess of 100mph – on a motorcycle. I believe the speed limit at that point is 55mph. Glad he didn’t take anyone else out with him. I nominate him for a 2018 Darwin Award.

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   September 30, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Second the nomination.

      Reply
  8. chuck dunbar   September 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you, Louis, for your thoughtful piece on the homeless.

    Reply

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