Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

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HOUSE FIRE VICS COULD USE SOME HELP

My sister, Patty Shanahan, and her partner Carl, lost their house and all of their belongings in a devastating fire in Comptche on January 17, 2018. Patty and Carl had lived in their home for over 30 years. Luckily, their lives were spared! But now they have to start over as their entire house and contents were destroyed. Any donation will be much appreciated and go to help rebuilding Patty and Carl’s lives.

Funds are being raised to help them rebuild their lives. Donations of any amount are being accepted at the Comptche store in Comptche or online at gofundme.com/8yezuh-patty-shanahan-house-fire

Patty is known primarily for her plein air painting and has shown in Anderson Valley, on the coast, and elsewhere.

Thank you, Eileen Hodges

PS. This is a copy of her most recent painting, finished right before the fire, entitled, “The Circus is Coming to Comptche.”

Thankfully her studio in a separate building did not burn. To donate directly send donations to:

Patty Shanahan
PO Box 157
Comptche CA 95427

Thank you in advance!

ED NOTE: Patty Shanahan is a really good painter, and if you're like me and believe artists get extra props, send a few bucks her way. (Remember her absolutely brilliant painting of the Lightning Fires?)

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HELP/HOUSEMATE WANTED

Housemate wanted. Convivial single woman in her 60s, non-smoker, wanted to share home in Boonville. Help out in exchange for your own bedroom; Share kitchen, living room, bathroom, dining area, garden, with one older woman.

Please call 707-895-3134 for details.

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BOONVILLE QUIZ TONIGHT! Guess what? Today is the 4th Thursday of the month and I'm sure you are all very aware that this means the General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz will therefore be taking place at Lauren's Restaurant in Boonville at 7pm, as we are on 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month schedule. I would suggest that this is perhaps the perfect civilized and entertaining evening before the wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony of the following week’s Crab Feed and Super Bowl events — all of which I am very much looking forward to. Hope to see you there.

Steve Sparks/Quiz Master...

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WILLITS ISN'T DYING, a reader writes:

Re: comments about Willits “bleeding” due to the bypass, according to the City of Willits, sales tax figures for the last two measured quarters (April through September) of 2017 show Willits’ sales tax is down only 4 percent from the same period in 2016, before the bypass opened. They had budgeted a 16 percent decline, which some felt too optimistic.

Yes, of course, some businesses are down much more than 4 percent, Book Juggler recently posted on FB they were down 28 percent last year, and the gyro shop saw an immediate 40 percent downturn before they shut down (also, btw, there are not “a lot” of shops that have closed since the bypass. Willits has many unoccupied storefronts, most of them from before the bypass).

So the question is if plenty of businesses are significantly down, if overall decrease is only 4 percent, whose sales are way UP since the bypass?

Sales tax revenue better than expected

[Interim City Manager Robert] Perrault also told the council that sales tax money received by the city last year was showing to be above the initial budget projections, which should give them more revenue than originally anticipated. He said for the last two quarters measured, which went from April through September of 2017, sales tax had decreased by only around 4 percent compared to the same quarters in 2016, rather than the 16 percent initially projected by city staff. The 16 percent decline was largely predicted due to the estimated effects the bypass would have on businesses in the city. Perrault said overall they were currently seeing around $305,000 more in revenue than they had anticipated, however he did note there were some additional expenditures that would cut into this. He added there should be more clarity in the overall budget picture when he presents the mid-year report for this fiscal year, likely in February. “The bottom line is we’re projecting a better year-end position than the budget did when [initially] approved,” he said.

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A WALK ON THE FOGGY BEACH

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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ED NOTES


I WAS AMONG the 30 persons tuned in on YouTube to watch the Supervisor's meeting yesterday (Tuesday). My colleague, The Major, did his take on the only true news from the County solons, which was the planned discontinuance of Coastal Valley EMS, with Mendo going it alone to do what Coastal does, although the pot talk took up most of the morning.

MOST PUBLIC MEETINGS present the writer with a basic dilemma, which is, Should I write up what I see and hear? Or should I do a J-school job which pleases both my employer and the elected people I'm writing about? Should I assume the discussion jibes with what I perceive as the social-political realities of Mendocino County as I understand that reality? Are the people doing the discussing reasonably plausible? Or should I simply assume an objectively insane discussion is rational and the discussers are smart, conscientious people totally on-task — $85,000-a-year idealists.

TUESDAY'S POT DISCUSSION, seems to me, was nuts. It piled more confusion on top of the County's insanely complicated pot rules, fluid as they are, and by fluid I mean that they are not only constantly changing at the Mendo level, they're a work in progress at the State level where they're even more confusing (and costly). At all levels it is likely that more money will be spent on futile forms of enforcement than will be recovered in taxes and fees.

PINCH YOURSELVES, Mendo old timers. In 1970, the local pot industry looked like this (L), in 2018 it looks like this (R):

AS SUPERVISOR McCOWEN OBSERVED in a flash of unconscious awareness in the middle of the zoning overlay discussion, “We have to simplify this and streamline it or we’ll never get through it.”

UH, SUPERVISOR, do you know who Sisyphus was?

THE SUPERVISORS are like a no-limit ATM. Anybody who shows up with a suit on gets whatever amount of dough he or she requests with nary a demur from the five yes votes. Yesterday, a couple of glib suits got an open-ended contract worth lots and lots to fine tune the local pot rules. The suits said, and the Supes agreed, they would address "overlays," aka dope businesses in areas not zoned for it. The suits are coming back now and then to present a plan on how to deal with the overlays, the assumption being, it seems, that the local pot business is not the anarchic enterprise that it is with all the growers, brownie bakers, honey oil producers etc. doing, as always, whatever the hell they want, with the cops taking a few of them down as the cops do now. Rules or no rules nothing will change. That the large crew of pot outlaws gives one hoot about the rules to begin with, let alone how or how not zoning applies to them, is your basic flawed assumption.

HERE'S THE LINK to Ariel Carmona's account of the meeting for the UkiahDailyWillitsNews. His coverage is quite good if you assume the pot discussion, nevermind the local rules, is rational:

willitsnews.com/general-news/20180123/cannabis-consultant-updates-mendocino-county-board-of-supervisors

AS AN EXAMPLE of the level of delusion, in the middle of the rambling, half-assed pot discussion, Code Enforcement Chief Trent Taylor made a casual observation that was supposed to show how effective he has been at Code Enforcement:

“In Rancho Navarro a number of those folks did apply for permits. The subdivision, some were opposed and some were for it. They kind of wanted to make their own rules and control that and who knows where that's going to go? We actually resolved most of Rancho Navarro and of course now the grow season is over so we are not— That was mostly outdoor, mixed light.”

The “some” who were “for it” were, of course, the growers themselves some of whom apparently applied for permits, but Mr. Taylor didn’t say what happened to those permit applications. And the “some” who were opposed were everybody else. In other words, according to Mendo’s top pot enforcement guy, the grow season is over, the pot plants and pot growers are gone — problem solved!

Rancho Navarro residents will be glad to hear that Mendo has done so much to “actually resolve” most of their pot problems for them!

CORRINE POWELL of Ukiah, who has tried to take the County’s marijuana “working groups” seriously for months now without much success, summed up a big part of the problem:

Powell

“I have listened to many hours of the board debating and talking to staff and I believe that at the meeting on the 9th as well as the meeting today you heard probably 10, 15, 20 comments from the board saying, “I thought we covered this,” and “I thought this was already resolved.” I implore the board to direct staff at this juncture to create documents that do include everything that has already been decided, because every time we review the ordinance we go back to the one that was adopted on April 4 and implemented on April 4, 2017. We are a long way from that. We have had lots of discussions. But there is confusion everywhere in everybody's mind about what should have already been decided. The only way we are going to get there is if the staff does the work to go back and if it means going back and listening to tapes or whatever and resolving what we have already resolved so that we start with a perspective that allows us to think more clearly about things that are still unresolved. Things that are unresolved are still numerous. The ordinance amendment suggestions, they are valid. But they are few. And we have a working group that has been assigned the amendments to our county legislation. If we proceed with that without including the working group process — the more we do that, the more we have wasted time in the working group. The people in the working groups have significant information to bring to the process. So I implore you, ask staff to make a consolidated document, documents, for the two various ordinances that we have. The working group on amendments does not meet until February 1. So whatever you do today may be importuning what we are doing as a working group.”


FOLLOWING UP on yesterday’s KZYX discussion, John Fremont commented,

“Bruce, why should programmers pay $20 a month for air time? I believe programmers should get paid for on-air time, or collect a percentage of revenues they generate. I do support your candidacy, Bruce, and might even renew my lapsed membership to KZYX in order to vote for you.”

I’m open to negotiation on the subject, said the man with zero chance for election. I think the station’s financial position is a lot more precarious than any of us skeptics suspect, hence the opaque budget that conceals the true numbers. An honest budget would go a long way toward restoring faith in the institution. I thought it might help if programmers kicked down a little each month to help out. If elected I’m good for twenty a month beyond my annual membership.

“Apparently, Editor,” Derek Hoyle began, “per your comment above, you don’t believe public Board meetings are public, because plenty of KZYX ‘insiders’, also known as programmers, have complained in public for many years about the corrupt dealings at KZYX/MCPB. Or perhaps you didn’t feel it was important enough to cover their board meetings, eh? I can understand that, but you missed some amazing stuff. Illegal Board dealings, slander, double standards, outright illegal behavior, and much more, some of those folks should be indited for fraud. For a year I shot video of their illegal dealings at Board meetings, and made multiple public comments. It was posted to mendocinotv.com, but got little attention. Larry is but one of many who have attempted to raise the alarm about the corruption, law breaking, and huge waste of public funds on the private wine and cheese club, that doubles as a ‘community’ radio station, but isn’t about community at all.”

Agreed, Derek. I should have been more attentive. Shiela Dawn covered the board for years for the ava and John Sakowicz’s dogged attempts to bring some honest dealing to station management got a lot of attention from the mighty ava. Shiela Dawn and Sako did a good job pointing up the wrongdoing and, for their trouble, were rudely treated and even ostracized, hardly the first persons to be non-personed and insulted by the dominant persons at Philo. (Sako was board treasurer but denied access to the books!) Anyway, I wish I’d known of your videos, Derek. I would have looked for them. I go for long periods of time where I pay no attention to the station. I ran for election way back, around 1990, I think. KZYX, natch, hustled out and got a more “appropriate” person to oppose me and, double-natch, he prevailed, later telling me his experience as a trustee was “just about the worst time I’ve ever had doing anything.”

Debra Keipp:

“Larry Minson’s suggestions for kzyx are right on! And because of that, will be ignored…”

Ms. Keipp’s attitude is widely shared.

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STOW LAKE, GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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DECIPHERING LUMBERJACK LINGO

by Katy M. Tahja

My father-in-law Andrew Tahja started his working life as a whistle punk. What does that mean? On a logging show often workers cannot see each other and someone off to the side, who can see everything, used loud mechanical whistles to start actions. He was called a whistle punk. A book called “Lumberjack Lingo” by L.G. Sorden, written in 1969, focuses on the often whimsical vocabulary invented by loggers.

Logging camp cookhouses provided many unique terms. If a logger asked for cackleberries, slush, sow bosom, doorknobs and skid grease he was asking for eggs, coffee, bacon, biscuits and butter. He might not want bearbait or redhorse for dinner but gut, firecrackers and fish eggs were fine. Translation? Bearbait was meat so old and ripe it was inedible and redhorse was salted or corned beef, but gut was tasty bologna and fish eggs was tapioca pudding. Oh, and don’t forget the firecrackers…they were the cooked beans.

Jobs in the cookhouse included the belly burglar, a poor cook, and the doughboys, kitchen helpers, with the hash slingers who brought food to the table. The kitchen mechanic or pearl diver was the dishwasher and the pot-walloper worked with him.

How about clothing? Pants were always under discussion. High-water or staged pants were cut off at the top of high boots, right below the knee. If they were waterproof they were called tin pants. Get in a fight and you might suffer from logger’s smallpox. Loggers boots had spikes in them and their imprint could scar your skin if you got stepped on. That’s what happened when you drank too much cougar milk…illegal homemade liquor. Your hat was called a louse cage and you had to deal with pants rabbits…lice.

Logging camp jobs came with their own terms too. Bull of the Woods was the boss of the logging crew. He disliked camp inspectors. These were short-term workers traveling from camp to camp looking for work and a free meal. Catskinners drove Caterpillar tractors or dozers and gandy dancers were the pick & shovel men, especially around railroads. Hair pounders were the horse teamsters and a heaver was a fireman on a wood burning locomotive throwing wood in the firebox.

Iron burners were the blacksmiths using Irish baby buggies (wheelbarrows) in their work. Ink slingers worked in the office. They appointed man catchers to go out and recruit new workers. Landlookers were the men who could estimate the value of standing timber and knotbumpers were the men who cut knots off of logs before they were moved.

Road monkeys kept the roads going into camp open and tie whackers cut railroad ties from logs and stumps and detectives looked over clear cuts to measure waste in an operation. No matter what job you did, it was good not to be a woodpecker. That meant you were a poor chopper. And you didn’t want to leave camp wearing a wooden kimono. That last term meant you were dead and in a coffin.

Every profession had its own insiders' language and the logging industry did too. Terms varied around the country and this long out-of-print book was a great way to learn about them.

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NORTH COUNTY CHOMO TAKES PLEA DEAL

UKIAH, Wed., Jan. 24. — A recidivist defendant, having listened first to the prosecutor's opening statement to the jury outlining anticipated testimony and knowing that all of the prosecution's witnesses were in the courthouse ready to testify, decided over the lunch break to cut his losses (overall prison exposure) by accepting a plea and sentence bargain that the prosecutor had placed on the table last Friday.

McCarthy

Matthew Thomas McCarthy, age 49, formerly of Westport, as well as the Spyrock area of Mendocino County, plead guilty Wednesday afternoon (before the jury returned to begin hearing testimony) to four separate felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14, said crimes having been committed by the defendant against two separate then 13-year-old victims (two counts each) occurring in different years. The defendant also admitted the truth of his prior 2001 felony conviction for the same crime on yet a third victim, a young woman who was only 6 years of age at the time she was molested by the defendant.

As part of the plea and sentence bargain, the defendant accepted the DA's take-it-or-leave-it offer of a stipulated sentence of 35 years to life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Once the court was satisfied with the constitutionality of the change of plea, the defendant's case was referred to the Adult Probation for a background study and report, an important document used by the CDCR for prison classification purposes when the defendant is received at San Quentin for intake and processing.

The agreed-upon state prison sentence will be formally pronounced at a sentencing hearing now set for March 9, 2018 at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department H of the Ukiah courthouse. Any person interested in this defendant or the final disposition of this case is welcome to attend that hearing.

The prosecutor handling this case — originally expected to be a many-day trial — is District Attorney David Eyster. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the DA's own investigators. The judge who presided over yesterday's jury selection process, today's proceedings, and the judge who will pronounce sentence on March 9th is Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke.

(District Attorney’s Office Press Release)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I'm used to verbal abuse from these people. They're always telling me to shut the bleep up when I'm only doing my job, sounding the alarm. Some pretty sketchy characters come through here, I can tell you. But yesterday one of them told me to shut the bleep up and flipped me off! I'm seriously thinking of quitting.”

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PRIORITIES

Editor:

It was raining Thursday, so I read The Press Democrat cover to cover. I am an independent voter and a very independent thinker. Just for fun I measured the size of the five articles that were critical of Donald Trump. They took up 232 square inches of space.

On the back page of the B section, after the comics, the horoscope and the TV schedule, I found an article (from the Los Angeles Times) about Apple bringing back $245 billion to our country, paying $38 billion in taxes and investing $30 billion in the US over the next five years (“Bringing it back home”). Jim Cramer on CNBC called it “the Marshall Plan” for the US economy. The article was 37.5 square inches, only one square inch larger than the big news about a mass die-off of antelope in Kazakhstan. Think about it. I did.

Just saying.

George Hasa

Santa Rosa

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MOBILE HOMES?

"I looked into this option as a low cost way to lower my bills after retirement. Lot fees can be a real problem; nearly twice as much as those for a condo. So there is the cost of the home then the cost of renting the lot. Also, that land belongs to someone else and they can sell it any time it becomes more valuable. Relocating a manufactured home is really not possible as most lots require homes to be new. And besides who wants that nightmare when they are 75! I wanted it to work because I could take my California money and move somewhere, buy outright and live in serious style. Lot fees and the fear of getting kicked off the land when I'm an old woman stopped me dead in my tracks."

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 24, 2018

Donahe, Elder, Garcia, Gramsbo

MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

YVONNE ELDER, Reno/Fort Bragg. Under influence, probation revocation.

ISIAH GARCIA, Napa/Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

JOHN GRAMSBO, Mist, Oregon/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Langenderfer, Lewis, Mitchum, Taylor

TIFFANY LANGENDERFER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, willful cruelty to child.

SHALOM LEWIS, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, mail theft, receiving stolen property, getting credit without another’s ID.

KRISTA MITCHUM, Lucerne/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

EVAN TAYLOR, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Israel is 8 thousand square miles. The West Bank is about 2 thousand square miles. The population of Israel is 8.5 million. The population of the West Bank is about 2.8 million. Gaza strip has about 1.8 million.

The population of the world is about 7.6 billion. The land area of the world is about 58 million square miles.

What I’m saying is that the dispute over ownership of some 8 thousand square miles of sand shouldn’t trouble the rest of us unduly as it involves roughly two tenths of a percent of the world’s population and roughly one one-hundredth of a percent of the world’s land area. But never mind the arithmetic. It’s a handful of people and a filament of land.

When a multitude of Jews were expelled from a variety of Muslim countries following the creation of Israel, Israel let them in and re-settled them.

When the Palestinians either left the new state of Israel or were expelled, what did the surrounding Arab states do? Did the Arab states re-settle the refugees into their countries and give them a new beginning? No, they got stuck in garbage-dump refugee camps. What did Jordan do to people on the West Bank? It yanked their Jordanian citizenship. It made the refugees into political pawns and ensured an on-going mess.

The area is a calamity because people on both sides there made it that way. Yeah, yeah, yeah, colonialism, American meddling blah blah. But, to mis-use Lefty terminology, isn’t that denying “agency” to the people that live there? IOW they have the ability to carve out peace if they want to. And if they haven’t it’s because they don’t want to.

When they’re tired of fighting, they’ll stop fighting. It would be salutary if the world were to ignore the middle east for a while.

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EYES ARE OFF the fascism discernible in this mood of furious vengeance that casts the offender as a special category of monster, tosses aside due process, innocence until proven guilty, and ruins the alleged offender’s reputation for life. More than likely, the fury expressed in Me Too is really directed at the Big Honcho Abuser himself, who of course is untouched by all this. Others will be lynched for his crimes! No one seems to see, as Ivan Illich pointed out and was attacked for it, in the capitalist economic order, women will always be the second sex. At some level, women know this, and the knowledge, when we believe there’s no alternative, creates a terrible resentment. But an alternative exists, and women ought to go for it. We can be our full woman selves, free of resentment, victims no longer, when we withdraw our membership in the dominant order and serve the better dream, utopian and far-fetched as that may be. The dream wherein little girls can grow up to be women and little boys can grow up to be men, not into careerists scrambling over each other to achieve the “goods” this system has to offer. Instead of pitting ourselves fruitlessly in the quest for equality-under-capitalism, gaining the status of equal rats in the rat race for “success,” we (women) can free ourselves to embrace fully our loser status in that system! — Kim Domenico

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STICKER SHOCK AT THE POT SHOP: PRICES JUMP 40% AS NEW TAXES KICK IN

Dispensary customers are seeing a 40 percent jump in the cost of cannabis products because of new state and local taxes.

pressdemocrat.com/news/7904049-181/price-of-pot-skyrockets-for

COMMENT RE POT PRICES: "At Green Cross in SF, the taxes are figured into the price, so a $25 1/8th is $25. At the place on Todd Road yesterday I was charged $64 for $50 in pot. That's the last time I go there, or anywhere in Sonoma County to get pot."

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LITTLE GUY GROWERS TRY TO FIGHT OFF CORPS

On Tuesday the California Growers Association, a California Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation and the largest cannabis trade association in the state, filed a lawsuit challenging the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s decision to allow unlimited stacking of cultivation licenses.

Proposition 64 was clear that it “ensures the nonmedical marijuana industry in California will be built around small and medium sized businesses.” Specifically Proposition 64 and its implementing laws are clear that small and medium sized businesses are provided five years to establish and transition their operations before the state may issue large scale cultivation licenses. Regulations recently adopted by CDFA, however, create a loophole by allowing a single corporation to obtain and aggregate unlimited smaller cultivation licenses to operate a cultivation site larger than the legal limit.

The decision to move forward with the lawsuit came after nearly two months of careful consideration and a unanimous vote of the CalGrowers Executive Committee. “We took our time with this because we wanted to make sure we got it right,” Allen explained. “Generally we think the agency is doing a good job, this is not a broad complaint. Our concern is very narrow in scope, but the implications are huge.”

Representing more than 1,000 cannabis growers and businesses in communities throughout the state, Allen said the consensus to move forward was clear: “Prop 64’s five-year ban on large cultivation licenses was included specifically to account for many Californians’ concerns that locally-owned and community-minded businesses would be replaced by a small number of powerful, consolidated corporations. Unfortunately, CDFA’s regulatory decision allows these interests to quickly corner the market, while tens of thousands of small and mid-sized businesses are still working to fight local bans, raise capital, or establish operations in compliance with new rules. We could not stand by while a single regulatory decision threatened the future of so many hardworking Californians.”

Despite the disagreement, Allen is staying positive. “Our government has checks and balances for a reason. We look forward to an opinion from the judicial branch to help settle this disagreement so we can move forward collaboratively and ensure as many businesses as possible are able to participate in the regulated cannabis market.”

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IS ONE OF THE INFAMOUS 1962 ALCATRAZ ESCAPEES STILL ALIVE? LETTER SPARKS DEBATE

by Alyssa Pereira

It's the stuff of San Francisco legend: Three dangerous, cunning inmates held inside Alcatraz's island fortress dig their way out of prison and are never seen again.

There have long been rumors that one or all of the escapees made it out alive in 1962. But a handwritten letter, reportedly sent to authorities in 2013 but only made public this week, suggests that at least one of the men, John Anglin, may still be out there. Authorities, however, are not convinced.

On June 11, 1962, Frank Morris and brothers Clarence and John Anglin — all bank robbers — carried out a daring, intricate plan to escape Alcatraz. After the prison's last bed check at 9 p.m. that night, they each squeezed through holes they had made in their cement cell walls out of sharpened spoons, leaving plaster and papier-maché dummy heads in their beds to serve as decoys. The trio absconded into a utility hall behind their cells and climbed their way up to leave through the roof. They used an assemblage of rain coats and inflated life vests in their attempt to sail for the mainland.

No one knows for sure if they made it.

However, there have long been mumblings from those who think the prisoners — who would be in their 80s and 90s now — might still be out there. The Anglin family believes the prisoners did complete the trip through wild waves, as they said in 2013. Back then, the family described mysterious Christmas cards and phone calls they had received from, they believe, John Anglin, with one family member adding, "I always believed they made it."

Now, KPIX has made public a letter reportedly sent to a San Francisco Police Department station in the Richmond neighborhood in 2013. KPIX details the contents of the handwritten letter, which is allegedly from John Anglin:

"My name is John Anglin. I escaped from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I'm 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely!"

It continues:

"If you announce on TV that I will be promised to first go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. This is no joke…"

At the request of the U.S. Marshals, an FBI lab reportedly examined the letter. Results were inconclusive, and the Marshals are skeptical that there's any truth to the letter.

(SF Chronicle)

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GETTING STARTED WITH CHICKENS

from 10:00am to 12:00pm in the Botanical Gardens Meeting Room

Back by popular demand - this workshop will help you take the first steps to having your own backyard farm! Instructor Ben Nicholson's love of raising chickens can be traced back to his upbringing on the family farm in the Santa Clara Valley. This class will provide you with the basic knowledge on how to get started and what to expect. Ben will teach how to plan the perfect chicken coop, choose the best chickens for your home, and care for your chickens for optimum health and egg production.

Top 10 reasons to keep backyard chickens:

  1. Fresh, organic, non-GMO, and cruelty-free eggs!
  2. Educational value for you and your family
  3. Free fertilizer
  4. Weed and pest control
  5. Cut down on food waste — chickens love kitchen scraps
  6. Cut down on “food miles,” eat hyper-local
  7. A move toward self-sustainability
  8. A chance to save heritage breeds
  9. Keeping chickens is a recognized source of therapy
  10. Entertainment value — the pecking order can be as dramatic as your favorite soap opera.

Class size is limited so sign up before you miss your chance! Cost is $20 for MCBG Members and Master Gardeners and $30 for non-members (includes Gardens admission for the day). Payment is due upon sign-up. Please note, all workshop fees are non-refundable unless the workshop has been canceled or rescheduled by the Gardens. Reserve your space by phoning 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or just stop by The Garden Store at MCBG.

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IF ONE BECOMES A BUSINESSMAN, one has to get to the top. Anywhere lower on the ladder, and you have to go around spouting idiotic flatteries and drinking saké with the boss when there's nothing you want less. Altogether, it's a stupid way of life. Ever since my school days I've always taken a strong dislike to businessmen. They'll do anything for money. They are, after all, what they used to be called in the old days: the very dregs of society.
—Natsume Soseki, 1906; from "I Am a Cat"

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ACCUSED 'PIRATE' UNSUCCESSFULLY ATTEMPTS TO STEAL 350-TON TUGBOAT FROM SAUSALITO HARBOR

Not everyone's cut out for a pirate's life. Especially those who'd attempt to flee in a presumably very slow, heavy, 60-year-old tugboat.

sfgate.com/bayarea/article/pirate-tugboat-sausalito-12522159.php

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ROBERT DE NIRO ACCUSED OF EXPLOITING HURRICANE IRMA TO BUILD RESORT IN BARBUDA

A chorus of voices from the Caribbean island of Barbuda is accusing Robert De Niro of being part of a backroom effort to exploit a devastating hurricane to fundamentally change the island’s communal land ownership law in the interest of developers — changes opposed by many Barbudans, but which could aid the actor’s controversial plans to build a large luxury resort called Paradise Found Nobu.

theintercept.com/2018/01/23/robert-de-niro-barbuda-hotel-hurricane-irma/

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A SHORT STORY

by Richard Brautigan

There was a man sitting next to me. He was WHITEWHITEWHITE: Fat, about fifty years old, balding sort of and his face was completely minus any human sensitivity. His baggy, no-style clothes covered him like the banner of a defeated country and he looked as if the only mail he had ever gotten in his life were bills.

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GEORGE HOLLISTER NOTES:

Alexander Cockburn in Counter Punch 8/8/2005

“Nazi leaders were noted for love of their pets and for certain animals, notably apex predators like the wolf and the lion. Hitler, a vegetarian and hater of hunting, adored dogs and spent some of his final hours in the company of Blondi, whom he would take for walks outside the bunker at some danger to himself. He had a particular enthusiasm for birds and most of all for wolves. […] Goebbels said, famously, ‘The only real friend one has in the end is the dog. . . The more I get to know the human species, the more I care for my Benno.’ Goebbels also agreed with Hitler that ‘meat eating is a perversion in our human nature,’ and that Christianity was a ‘symptom of decay’, since it did not urge vegetarianism. […] On the one hand, monsters of cruelty towards their fellow humans; on the other, kind to animals and zealous in their interest. In their very fine essay on such contradictions, Arnold Arluke and Boria Sax offer three observations. One, as just noted, many Nazi leaders harboured affection towards animals but antipathy to humans. Hitler was given films by a maharaja which displayed animals killing people. The Führer watched with equanimity. Another film showed humans killing animals. Hitler covered his eyes and begged to be told when the slaughter was over.”

That is what I remembered from a piece in the AVA. Could have been the same one. But I thought it was written much earlier.

* * *

AMEN

Letter to the Editor,

The Truth is to be announced through written words and is for all, amen. By someone and its brothers, sisters and all, like mom and dad. As speedy too, like fast too, on paper, as is the Lord's Prayer: Our father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Please don't let us be led into temptation but deliver us from the evil one, Satan. In Jesus Christ name, Amen.

Monte Hulbert

Philo

PS. Thank you for praying to and for us all. Amen.

* * *

JACKSON AND MURATSUCHI REINTRODUCE CA BILL TO HALT NEW FEDERAL OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING

by Dan Bacher

In response to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s January 4th announcement to open federal waters along the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf Coasts to new federal offshore oil and gas drilling, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) are reintroducing legislation to protect the state from new federal offshore oil drilling.

Jackson and Muratsuchi’s legislation ensures that pipelines and other infrastructure cannot be built in California waters to support any new federal oil development.

This bill faces a major challenge to pass through the Legislature and an even bigger challenge to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown before he leaves office.

That’s because the spending of millions of dollars by the Western States Petroleum Association, Chevron and other oil companies to stop the bill resulted in the legislation being stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last year. The oil industry spent more on lobbying in California, $16,360,618, in just the first six months of 2017 than was spent by the industry in all of 2016, $16.0 million, according to a report compiled and written by William Barrett of the Lung Association in California.

In a major conflict of interest, the same Western States Petroleum Association President who led a campaign to stop the bill last year also chaired the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California. The “marine protected areas” created under the leadership of her and other task force members with major conflicts of interest fail to protect the ocean from offshore oil drilling, fracking, pollution, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

In the Senate, Jackson will carry Senate Bill 834, also jointly authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). Muratsuchi will carry an identical companion measure, Assembly Bill 1775, in the State Assembly, also jointly authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), according to a news release from Senator Jackson’s Office.

The legislation prohibits the State Lands Commission from approving any new leases for pipelines, piers, wharves, or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development in the three-mile area off the coast that is controlled by the state. SB 844 would also prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas, according to Jackson’s Office.

“California’s economy thrives because of our environmental protections,” said Jackson. “The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to open these waters to further oil development represents a step backward into the outdated, dirty and destructive energy policies of the past. It’s more important than ever that we send a strong statement that California will not be open for drilling along our coast, which could devastate our multi-trillion dollar coastal economy, our coastal waters and marine life.”

“We need to protect our beautiful coast of the South Bay and throughout California. This bill would help protect the health of the residents who live and work near the coast as well as the marine environment. It will also prevent any future oil spills,” said Muratsuchi.

Senator Jackson noted that California has had a “long-standing bipartisan commitment to protecting its coast from new offshore oil and gas drilling.” In 1994, the Legislature passed the California Coastal Sanctuary Act that prohibited new oil and gas leases in the state’s coastal waters, with some exceptions.

Unfortunately, in spite of fawning media coverage portraying Governor Jerry Brown as a climate leader, Brown’s oil and gas regulators in fact approved permits for 238 new offshore wells between 2012 and 2016 in existing leases within three nautical miles of shore.

On January 4, Brown issued a statement blasting Trump, pledging "resistance" to Trump's plan to expand offshore oil drilling.

"Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong course. He's wrong on the facts. America's economy is boosted by following the Paris Agreement. He's wrong on the science. Totally wrong. California will resist this misguided and insane course of action. Trump is AWOL but California is on the field, ready for battle," Brown proclaimed.

Brown, who frequently speaks at climate conferences across the globe, promotes the expansion of fracking and other oil drilling both offshore and onshore, Big Oil-supported cap-and-trade policies, the irrigation of crops with oil wastewater, the exemption of Big Oil from the Safe Drinking Water Act in Kern County oilfields and the environmentally destructive Delta Tunnels project.

In late 2016, Brown asked former President Barack Obama to permanently ban any new oil and gas leasing in federal waters off of California’s coast to match California’s long-standing ban on new drilling in state waters. However, the Brown administration has in reality continued to expand oil drilling operations in state waters under the existing leases.

Consumer and environmental advocates urged Brown to demonstrate real environmental leadership and ban all offshore drilling, stop new oil and gas drilling on shore, and ban fracking completely.

“It is time for Governor Brown to draw a bright green line between California and the Trump Administration by keeping oil in the ground, which is the only way to avoid the worst effects of global warming,” said Liza Tucker, consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog. “We urge the Governor to demonstrate his leadership by making his actions match his rhetoric on the need to stop burning fossil fuels to avoid an existential threat.”

“Brown’s record on oil drilling offshore and on shore is one of expansion. That is no longer acceptable. Brown should ban all drilling activity offshore, cut off any planned new oil and gas drilling on shore, and ban fracking outright," Tucker explained.

According to Department of Conservation data provided last year, offshore oil production continues in existing state leases up to three nautical miles offshore in 1,366 active wells.

"New drilling permits were issued for 238 wells since 2012, up 17 percent, for existing leases in waters off of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, according to analysis by the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance. Roughly 171 of them were active as of a year ago," noted Tucker.

Tucker also said the number of active onshore oil and gas wells has jumped 23 percent from 53,825 in 2009, the year before Brown was elected Governor, to 66,516 onshore wells at the end of 2016, according to Department of Conservation data. The number of wells drilled and completed in 2014 jumped by 67 percent over 2011 to 6,896 from 4,636 on Brown’s watch.

The FracTacker Alliance report is available here: https://www.fractracker.org/2017/02/more-offshore-drilling-ca/

The oil industry welcomed Brown's expansion of offshore drilling in state waters - and was equally pleased with the Trump administration plan to expand offshore drilling in federal waters.

“Our members produce energy in the most environmentally safe and sound way under the most stringent regulatory environment in the world,” claimed Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, in a statement. “This announcement could help California increase our domestic energy production.”

Reheis-Boyd also served on the task forces to create “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. It is no surprise that the “marine protected areas” that she and other task force members oversaw the creation of fail to protect the ocean from offshore oil drilling, fracking, water pollution, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

Proponents of Senate Bill 834 and Assembly Bill 1775 can expect to face stiff opposition from the oil industry. Big Oil is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento and the Western States Petroleum Association is the single largest and most powerful corporate lobbying lobbying organization.

Every bill except one opposed by the oil industry failed to make it out of the Legislature over the past three years. Over the past ten years, oil lobbying in California has topped $150 million. To read the full report, go to: http://www.lung.org/..

The California Oil Lobby was the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $36.1 million on lobbying over the two-year period. Big Oil spending last session amounted to $1.5 million per month — nearly $50,000 per day.

In addition, Jerry Brown has received over $9.8 million from oil companies, gas companies and utilities since he ran for his third term as governor, according to Consumer Watchdog. For more information on Governor Brown and his so-called "green" policies, see: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2017-09/how_green_is_brown.pdf

 

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