- Nick Rossi
- Katlyn Long
- Mystery Claim
- Little Dog
- No G
- Discretionary TOT
- Juvie Commitment
- No C
- Campos Out
- MHSA Dollars
- Police Reports
- Ed Notes
- Newsprint Tariff
- Yesterday's Catch
- Boomer Acquiescence
- Israeli Fascism
- Patient Participation
- Daddy's Ghoul
- Tangled Tale
- Wine Limit
- GJ Extension
- MCOE Art
- PA Agenda
- County Vacancies
- Indian Crow
- Culture Clash
- Marco Radio
THE ANDERSON VALLEY is saddened to learn of the death of Nick Rossi, 59, of Boonville. He was found dead in his Boonville home on Friday morning, cause of death not yet known.
Nick and his brother, Chris Rossi, are the third generation of the Rossi family to operate Rossi Hardware in the center of Boonville, among the oldest consecutively owned family businesses in the Anderson Valley and in Mendocino County.
STILL NO JUSTICE FOR KATLYN LONG
On May 29 it will be ten years since 22-year-old Katlyn Long was found dead of a methadone overdose in her basement bedroom at her parents’ house in Fort Bragg. She did not have a prescription for methadone and, according to Captain Greg Van Patten of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department, “did not have a significant drug history.” Katlyn was also not alone when she died. Her on-again/off-again boyfriend Garett Matson spent the night with her. According to the official report he found her unresponsive early in the morning of May 29th and alerted her parents, who were sleeping upstairs. Her father John Long performed CPR on his daughter but she was DOA at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. It was then that the Sheriff’s department became involved due to the suspicious death of a young woman with no significant drug history and no prescription for the drug that killed her. No charges have ever been filed.
So that was then. The details of what has been learned since Katlyn’s death remain confidential since the investigation remains open. “We’ve exhausted everything and are waiting for any information that may develop,” Van Patten said. Asked what that potential information might be, he replied, for example, “If somebody had some knowledge or knows about him, or if he were to confess or have any admissions, that would be one way,” he said, of Matson. Contrary to some interim news coverage, he said that Matson has spoken with county sheriffs several times, though the details of those conversations are also confidential.
The years have not been kind to Matson. Van Patten said, “he’s been in and out of the system.” He was last booked on Christmas Day in 2012 for grand theft involving a dependent elder and a parole violation. There is currently an active arrest warrant out for him for parole violation.
So even though Van Patten said, “We’ve had stuff over the years,” the Katlyn Long case pretty much stands where it did ten years ago. “We’re hopeful that something else will be learned or revealed. There is still not sufficient evidence to determine whether it was an accidental overdose or someone else had a hand in her death. The DA just does not have enough of that hard evidence to proceed.”
THE BOONVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT has settled a mystery claim of $63,000 arranged by the tax-funded private lawyers operating out of Santa Rosa and Eureka called School and College Legal Services. This fortunate consortium represents all of Mendocino County's school districts via a murky JPA (joint powers authority) public-private operation entered into years ago with the Mendocino County Office of Education, whereby these private attorneys get paid public money to solely represent school districts with legal advice that used to be provided free by the Mendocino County Counsel's Office. Parents with claims against school districts of course have to pay their own legal expenses.
I DESCRIBE the Boonville payout as a "mystery" because, according to the Boonville district's public/private lawyer we, the public, have no legal reason to know why the money has been diverted to "a fund for educational services and assessments in the sum of $63,500, which must be used or forfeited by a certain date."
THIS MUCH I was grudgingly told by local school Superintendent Michelle Hutchins after I asked for an explanation of the expenditure under the Public Records Act after learning that former local school trustee Natalie Matson filed a complaint against the district and, as they typically have done for years, the district's lawyers simply forked over, although the district admitted no liability. The money is not going to Ms. Matson but to "educational services and assessments" with, undoubtedly, about half going to the legal masterminds in Santa Rosa who arranged the pay off...
* * *
Subject: This is a FOIA request re the specifics of a judgement against the Anderson Valley School District for more than $60,000. What was the original complaint?
Bruce Anderson, AVA, Boonville
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On Fri, May 18, 2018 at 11:02 AM, Damara Moore <email@example.com wrote:
I received your email below. The Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, pertains to requests of the federal government. In California, we are governed by the California Public Records Act, or CPRA. See California Government Code sections 6250 et seq. The work our office does, which is legal services for member school districts, is attorney client privileged. Therefore, our records are exempt from disclosure under California Government Code section 6253(k) and Evidence Code sections 950-955 and California Code of Civil Procedure section 2018.030.
That said, in an effort to be helpful and avoid a lot of back-and-forth, I am aware of the complaint to which you refer. It is also exempt from disclosure under California Government Code section 6253(k); the Federal Educational Records Privacy Act (“FERPA”), 34 C.F.R sections 99.1 et seq., and Education Code sections 49076, 49077. It cannot be disclosed. It is not a court record. And, to clarify, there was no “judgement” in this matter and no finding of culpability.
Senior Associate General Counsel
School and College Legal Services of California
901 Myrtle Ave.
Eureka, CA 95501
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Dear Ms. Moore:
Thank you for your quick and predictable, debatable response. Expenditures of public funds are supposed to be public information. If I had the time and the resources I'd challenge your citations.
Bruce Anderson, AVA, Boonville
* * *
Dear Mr. Anderson,
Yes, expenditures of public funds are a matter of public record. I firmly support transparency in public agencies and journalism in general, and I think it is important to say this loudly and often at this particular moment in our country. As an attorney representing solely public entities, it is frequently frustrating to my clients that they are barred from disclosing certain matters because they have been deemed confidential by the Legislature. It tends to lead to one side getting all their facts to the press, while the public entity cannot disclose facts in its own defense or even refute misrepresentations. But I digress.
The public information was reported out at a public meeting of AVUSD, as required by the Brown Act. If you are the editor of the AVA, I believe the school district has provided to AVA additional information in response to a CPRA request received from AVA. Respectfully, your request today was for a complaint that is not a public record and a judgment that does not exist.
* * *
Dear Ms. Moore:
So, a large hunk of public money is magically diverted from Boonville classrooms because your office determined that it should be, but citizens whose property taxes support the schools can't know why?
As I said, your reading of the cited legislation doesn't comport with either mine or the public interest.
Bruce Anderson, AVA
* * *
MS MOORE wrote back to wish me a good day.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Talk about fair weather fans, these guys are Exhibit A. The other day when Belt took another 9th inning called third strike, they're yelling stuff like, ‘Trade him!’ Then the next day he jacks one into McCovey Cove and it's all, ‘Atta boy, Brandon’."
NO ON G/CAMPING TAX
To the Editor:
Mendocino & Fort Bragg have no industry to support these towns, therefore they must rely on tourism. Measure G imposes a 10 plus percent transient occupancy tax on tourists camping at private campgrounds and RV parks. State & federal campgrounds are exempt from taxing campers. Instead of spending their money at local establishments and supporting our local economy, that money will go to the county. Others that come to Mendocino for day trips also use the same roads and services, but pay no tax. People passing thru needing a safe haven for the night also get charged this tax. Campers and Rivers bring their own shelter, bed and accommodations, unlike hotels where they are furnished everything. Campers from our own county (Ukiah, Willits, the Wine County etc.) will also be charged this tax to camp in Mendocino County.
Most people that stay at campgrounds are not wealthy — They are working class families with children, they are seniors on fixed incomes. Every cent counts to them. They have to scrimp and save for their vacation, and many cannot afford to stay at a motel. Every child should experience camping and playing on the beach.
The fast rising gas taxes, the closed abalone season and the restricted fishing season are affecting campground occupancy and will ultimately affect the local community.
The county expects to fleece the tourists of $1,000,000.00 a year. That’s right. 1 million dollars. The campgrounds cumulatively will need to collect 10 million dollars of taxable camping fees for this to happen. (This is not Monterey or San Diego.)
There are 21 vacant stores in Fort Bragg. Let's not let your favorite store or restaurant be next.
Rather than discouraging tourists, we should be welcoming them to bring their dollars to support our economy
Your no vote is greatly appreciated
— Janet Carter, Fort Bragg
WILLIAMS MOPS UP THE OBFUSCATORS
(via Fifth District Supervisors Race Facebook exchange)
Richard Shoemaker: Who will not pay $2.50 more to camp at a $25 a night campsite if the TOT is applied to the fee? That's not even a cup of coffee.
Ted Williams: The TOT tends to travel one way to Ukiah. Any constructive ideas about how to keep the TOT in the sourced communities? Campground visitors place strains on emergency services and roads. How do we ensure that the TOT offsets these expenses?
John McCowen: TOT is a part of the County discretionary revenue which can be spent for any governmental purpose. You mention emergency services and roads. For the last three years the Board of Supervisors has directed the following: 1) A minimum of $2 million each year for road paving and sealing; 2) $180,000 each year to support ALS ambulance services in Anderson Valley, Round Valley and Long Valley; 3) $400,000-$500,000 each year to support fire agencies, including Albion Little River. These are discretionary funds that are budgeted subject to availability. Measure G will raise $1 million annually to help assure funding continues to be available. Which is why Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila and Long Valley Fire Chief Sue Carberry signed ballot arguments in favor of Measure G. Will you join them in voting "yes" on Measure G to support critical public services?
Ted Williams: The $400-$500k for local fire agencies is a good start, but spread across 22 fire agencies, it's too little to ensure a reasonable base level of response throughout the county. 911 response is important to many residents. Local fire agencies are grossly underfunded. You've had ambulance companies competing for patients in the Ukiah Valley. We don't have this problem in the rural areas. The South Coast has the longest transport times in the state. Measure A (Library) was successful in part because it was specific use. Voters understood what they were funding. I'm neutral on G, but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. A commitment to spend the taxes collected in the areas impacted by campgrounds would go a long way to building support, even if it's a handshake right here, John McCowen.
Richard Shoemaker: Good point on using the TOT in some way near the generator, but I disagree that it mostly gets backs to Ukiah.
Ted Williams: Most studies on bed tax indicate facility revenue is not impacted by the added tax. I appreciate that G is a tax on visitors. I'm not crazy about it funneling to "be spent for any governmental purpose." It ought to be allocated with priority given to cover the impact on law enforcement, fire, ambulance, roads, promotion and other expenses we incur from campground visitors.
John McCowen: My point is that the BOS has a proven commitment to supporting critical services countywide but the level of support relies on discretionary funding. Like Measure G.
You are neutral on Measure G? As a member of the Board of Supervisors you will be making decisions on nearly $300 million in spending. Which kinds of decisions will you be neutral on and why?
Ted Williams: As a supervisor, I would not be neutral about how to spend the money. I'm neutral in the sense that I believe in voters to make the best decision so long as the details are clearly presented. The county desperately needs more revenue. This is a tax that won't be paid by locals (at last) and shouldn't impact revenue for the campgrounds. It's a practice many counties have in place. The funds raised will be spent as the supervisors choose. If the public believes this is the best approach, it'll pass. I've heard respectable voices on both sides.
John McCowen: Ok, I guess I'm confused. You say the County "needs more revenue" and acknowledge TOT will be paid by visitors (for the most part) and you have previously said those visitors impact roads and emergency services which are underfunded. Guests in other lodging facilities already pay the TOT. Applying the TOT to guests in private campgrounds is a small and relatively painless step to raise the money that is needed to support County services, so I'm not sure why you are reluctant to support it. The current BOS voted unanimously to support Measure G.
Ted Williams: I just returned from a HW1 traffic collision. My fire district received $13,155 from the county (prop 172) in 2016-2017. We respond to water, cliff, traffic collisions, fires and medical aids involving visitors. Show me how much TOT we received from the county to cover these visitor expenses.
John McCowen: Ted, did I say Albion-Little River received a direct apportionment of TOT? No, I did not. Does increasing discretionary revenue like TOT put the Board of Supervisors in a better position to fund emergency services, roads and other critical services? Yes. I did not intend to insert myself into your race for Supervisor but Measure G is needed to help fund the critical services we all rely on. Before we can discuss how to spend the money we have to raise it.
Ted Williams: The answer is zero. We have residents paying for the expenses of visitors. I genuinely believe the BOS does have "a proven commitment to supporting critical services countywide" but to date, the TOT has not been apportioned to cover visitor expenses. One can't help but wonder whether the funds raised with G will suffer the same fate as the existing TOT. To be clear, I'm not against G. I'm pointing out one of the reasons some of us are less than enthusiastic. Those of us at scene with patients regularly find it hard to reconcile the words of support with the lack of funding. Current Supervisors can help pass Measure G by simply stating that a portion of the TOT will fund Fire and EMS going forward. Nonetheless, I truly appreciate your participation in the discussion.
KEEP IT OPEN
Dear Mendocino Voters,
As many of you know, present County budget pressures have led to a conversation wherein the closure of the Mendocino Juvenile Hall, and the outsourcing of that service, could make money available for another purpose and relieve that pressure. During the course of this campaign, my fellow candidates and I, and even our supporters, have disagreed and debated a variety of issues. It is my sincerest hope that this topic cannot be debated: our County's children will never be outsourced, regardless the cost.
I call on my fellow candidates to join me in a pledge that, should they find themselves graced by success in this election year, our local juvenile hall will remain open and in service to the families of this county. Children can be troubled during the course of their upbringing for a variety of reasons, but it is the goal and responsibility of any community to do what is possible to give all youth a chance to succeed. I believe that casting the children and families of some of this County's most vulnerable to a distant facility, in chains, for the sake of a cost savings, is the pinnacle of inhumanity.
As a hopeful candidate for County office, I am starkly aware of the myriad responsibilities a supervisorial office holds. The manifestation of that responsibility, unfortunately, is money. It is money that paves our roads, pays our invaluable and often overworked county employees, and it is money that educates our children. Money ensures our communities are safe from crime and fire and money pays the doctors and nurses who provide care. It is often distasteful and unfortunate reality to render human needs to a fiscal bottom line; and yet it remains the core function of any government.
Nonetheless we must, as a community, on occasion find ourselves at a crossroads where one choice must be intolerable regardless the temptation of saved dollars. This is such a choice, where there is in fact but one decision that can be made, and I will therefore make this promise to the Voters of Mendocino County: we will never close our juvenile hall.
NO ON C
Other than the final line of your Mendocino County Today piece, I find your decision to publicly endorse a Yes on C vote insulting.
First, you are ignoring every article/column I've written on MCDH, not to mention the research involved, including cultivating relationships with many first hand sources, and the hundreds of hours put in simply attending the board and multiple committee meetings.
Secondly, I know your sister received wonderful care there. Part of the reason MCDH has deteriorated is that doctors like Glusker and Graham have retired.
Third, your statement that MCDH is currently better than the Adventist hospitals is simply incorrect. Perhaps you didn't read this part of my May 2nd piece closely enough: "It is true that a recent Medicare study, under the heading “Hospital Compare,” did give the local hospital three stars. What he [Bob Edwards] didn't tell that evening's audience, or the public in general, is that the same study gives Howard Hospital, in Willits, thirty-one miles away, four out of a possible five stars. Santa Rosa Memorial also achieved a four star rating. That same government study gives patient ratings in eleven different categories. In all eleven categories Howard Hospital had a higher rating than MCDH. In all but one of the eleven categories, MCDH scored below the national average."
Your reasoning in Mendocino County Today, something akin to 'I know it's being managed terribly, but I still have a soft spot for the place' is similar to that of an enabler of an addict - and that is a major part of the point here. Giving public money, in the form of a parcel tax, to an institution that can't even keep track of its own money is like handing over your wallet to a drug or gambling addict.
Another false premise is your statement about it being a shame to lose a community owned hospital. If this measure fails, the doors to MCDH will not close immediately or even soon. The addict analogy will take hold: MCDH will either eventually bottom out by going bankrupt again or it will get itself some (self) help in the form of implementing a unified electronic health system, focusing on creating a crackerjack urgent care center, and improved air and ambulance system, etc. In other words following the guidelines set forth in Dr. Barg's letter of May 3rd.
Before the November, 2016 election, in which three seats on the MCDH Board were up for grabs on the public ballot, you asked me for my recommendations on which candidates to recommend. Unless I'm remembering things incorrectly, you printed my choices as part of something similar to this year's "AVA recommends." Why didn't you ask for any input from me before this year's recommendations?
Why should I continue to cover MCDH matters if you are going to undermine all that research and writing in one paragraph of Mendocino County Today?
Lucas Campos, MD, PhD Resigns from Mendocino Coast District Hospital Board of Directors
Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) announces that as of May 18, 2018, Lucas Campos, MD, PhD has resigned his position on the MCDH Board of Directors effective immediately. Campos was elected to the Board in November of 2016, serving almost 2 years of his 4 year term. The MCDH Board of Directors is actively accepting applications from community members to be interviewed by the Board to fill this position until the election in November of this year, at which time a new member will be elected. Please submit a letter of application and your qualifications in the form of a CV or resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Board will decide on a replacement within 60 days of the resignation. Chairman of the Board Steve Lund commented, “On behalf of the MCDH Board of Directors, MCDH staff and our District, I would like to thank Lucas for his service and dedication to our community, and wish him all the best in future endeavors.”
Doug Shald, Director PR & Marketing Communications
Mendocino Coast District Hospital
JAMES MARMON WRITES:
As for Anne Molgaard's contention that the State has been providing proper oversight of Mendocino County's MHSA spending and programs, it is simply not true. Three months ago the State Auditor's Office issued a scathing report as to how Health Care Services oversight of local agencies has been conducted.
Health Care Services Has Provided Only Minimal Oversight of the MHSA Funds That Local Mental Health Agencies Received
"Health Care Services has been slow to implement oversight of local mental health agencies’ MHSA spending and programs. Although Health Care Services developed a MHSA fiscal audit process in 2014, it has limited the audits’ usefulness because it focused its reviews on data and processes that were at least seven years old."
Our ASO model is only 4 or 5 years old, it has not been audited at all. Could mean big trouble in the future. May be liable for millions of MHSA dollars if the County has already spent them, hopefully they didn't. According to State Auditor's report Mendocino in fiscal year 15-16 reported that they had a $6.5 million ending balance of unspent MHSA funds, but that carryover was not reflected in the County's HHSA ledger for that same year.
James Marmon MSW
Former Mental Health Specialist
Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties
NEON BURGLAR — DEPUTY, I THINK IT'S THE GUY WITH THE BIRD'S NEST ON HIS HEAD
On Tuesday, May 15, at approximately 1:55 pm, a Deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a residential burglary in the 24000 block of Foothill Boulevard in Covelo. The Deputy responded and contacted the victim who advised his home was burglarized on April 29, 2018. The victim had been out of town for multiple days and his home was unoccupied. The victim had a surveillance system installed at his residence, which captured the suspect who committed the burglary. The Deputy reviewed the surveillance footage and processed the residence for forensic evidence. The Deputy determined the suspect forced entry into the home when committing the burglary. The victim and Deputy were able to identify the suspect as Spencer Asher, age 23, who lived in the same area.
The Deputy learned that some of the stolen property had been recovered by the victim after he confronted the suspect's girlfriend about the burglary. The Deputy responded to Asher's residence where further investigations were conducted. The Deputy advised and placed Asher under arrest for First Degree Burglary without incident. The Deputy was advised by Sheriff's Office dispatch that Asher was on formal probation in Sacramento County for an unrelated offense. Asher was also advised and placed under arrest for 1203.2 Felony Probation Violation. Asher was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.”
* * *
SERIOUSLY, DO I LOOK LIKE A GUY WHO'D DO THAT?
On 04-27-2018 at approximately 7:25 A.M., a Deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to contact an adult female regarding a criminal threats investigation. The Deputy contacted the adult female and learned that Jimmy Dykes, 47, of Willits, had been threatening the safety of the female and her children.
The Deputy investigated the threats and determined Dykes had threatened the lives of the female and her family. The Deputy authored an arrest warrant for Dykes, which was reviewed and signed by a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge. Multiple attempts were made to locate and arrest Dykes during the following days, with negative results.
On 05-16-2018 at approximately 11:20 A.M., the investigating Deputy for this incident was on uniformed patrol while operating a fully-marked patrol vehicle. The Deputy was traveling on Birch Terrace when he observed Dykes pass his location traveling in a vehicle. The Deputy performed a u-turn and found Dykes had abandoned his vehicle and fled into the woods. A perimeter was established and multiple law enforcement officers and canines were utilized to search the wooded area for Dykes. Personnel from the Willits Police Department and California Highway Patrol assisted with the search efforts and perimeter. When conducting searches of the area, law enforcement personnel were advised that Dykes had responded to the Willits Police Department to surrender. The investigating Deputy responded to the Willits Police Department where he advised and placed Dykes under arrest for his felony arrest warrant from this case and for Resisting, Obstructing, Delaying any Peace Officer. Dykes was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
AS A PAID-UP MEMBER of public radio KZYX, reluctant division, I know the station has always been mostly run by people who shouldn't be allowed to run anything more complicated than a roach clip. I know that very few among the paid membership is under the age of 60. I also know that the membership has been stagnant for years, and not only because of the station's legacy blacklist and the, ahem, unpleasantness of paid staff, never creepier than the present crew led by an EST cult character named Stuart Campbell, I have to wonder how much longer the station can continue to pay staff half its annual income of about $600,000? The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, reacting to accumulated complaints about station management, was recently in Philo for a look at the books, and we shall see what we shall see. (Probably more of the same.)
* * *
A READER WRITES; You don’t need to ban guns. You can however institute policy like using fingerprint control tech on firearms. So, an adult would need to unlock a firearm for under 18 year olds. Kids are doing these shootings, not adults.
I think you’d start to see a shift towards mass attacks with knives and cars then. I don’t know what the reaction would turn into about that, but it wouldn’t be focused on guns.
So, if the US is experiencing one school attack a week, when does that cross from an “act of random violence” into a bigger phenomenon? It’s interesting that the media does not present these attacks as anything but random, as if they are now just in the “act of God” category. The deaths could have been caused by a flood or fire. This is much, much more complicated than just guns. Boys aged 15-17 are attacking schools – the place where they are supposed to be getting prepared to be functioning members of a society. So, if they are attacking this center of preparation – maybe what they are really saying with these attacks is that they are not only rejecting American society, but that’s worth an armed struggle against that society.
I don’t know. Just a thought. Maybe it’s all bullshit, and the real reason is that some little shithead is pissed cuz he wasn’t able to play his Xbox 4 the night before.
SLAPPING A TARIFF ON THE NEWS
(AVA Got Hit Hard)
President Donald Trump tries to undermine the media by railing against “fake news,” but his administration’s most pernicious attack on America’s free press might be a recent decision to impose tariffs of up to 32% on newsprint imported from Canada.
Earlier this year, the US Commerce Department sided with a New York hedge fund, One Rock Capital, seeking help for a paper mill it purchased in Washington state in 2016. The mill — North Pacific Paper Co., known as Norpac — alleges that it’s losing business because Canada unfairly subsidizes its newsprint producers, undercutting competitors across the border.
There are a multitude of reasons for the decline of mills like Norpac, including the newspaper industry’s growing reliance on digital. Two decades ago, there were about 15 newsprint producers in the United Sates. Today, the number has dwindled to five as US newspapers have bought 80% less newsprint over the same period.
“I think it’s pretty clear that the predominant challenge out there isn’t about imports; it’s about declining demand,” says Mark Pitts, an executive at the American Forest and Paper Association.
The trade association and nearly every member of the paper industry opposes the tariffs, largely out of concern the higher costs will damage newsprint customers and further reduce the need for products from US sources.
Norpac is already benefiting from the tariffs; it has announced plans to add 50 employees. The jump in newsprint costs, meanwhile, is forcing US newspapers to cut budgets and jobs. The Tampa Bay Times, owned by the nonprofit Poynter Institute, intends to eliminate 50 jobs by June to cover the $3.5 million in additional newsprint costs each year.
Small-town and rural newspapers, which typically operate on thin margins, are especially vulnerable to the tariffs. If they close shop, readers in many of those communities will be left without a watchdog to monitor local governments and protect against corruption.
The Press Democrat buys paper from US-based sources, but the price has increased significantly since the tariffs on imported newsprint took effect.
The Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission are reviewing the tariffs to decide if they should become permanent, but final decisions are months away. Quicker action is needed to prevent further loss of jobs at newspapers, magazines, book publishers and printers.
Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Sen. Angus King, an independent, both from Maine, have introduced legislation that would suspend the tariffs for 90 days while the Commerce Department evaluates the effects. “As a senator representing one of our nation’s leading papermaking states, I have consistently fought for actions to ensure a level playing field for the domestic papermaking industry,” Collins said. “In this case, however, one domestic mill owned by a venture capital firm appears to be taking advantage of trade remedies to add to its own bottom line, putting thousands of American jobs at risk.”
California’s congressional delegation should line up with Collins and King. These tariffs fit a pattern of rash decisions from the White House about trade matters. The administration appears to be rethinking tariffs on European steel and aluminum, as well as its approach to NAFTA and trade with China. Congress has an obligation to ensure better-informed, less-impulsive decisions are also made about tariffs that will have drastic consequences for newspapers and their readers.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat Editorial)
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 18, 2018
SPENCER ASHER, Covelo. Burglary, probation revocation.
ANTHONY FIELDS, Fort Bragg. Petty theft-bicycle, vandalism, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
JOSHUA LEBARRE, Hollister/Ukiah. Vehicle theft.
JORDAN LYONS, Stockton/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ROBERT MAGERS, Plainfield, Illinois/Ukiah. DUI, concealed dirk-dagger.
WILLIAM MATTHEWS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
BRADLEY MCCARTNEY, Leggett/Laytonville. Probation revocation.
KEVIN SHAW, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, paraphernalia, suspended license.
ELEA VANWORMER, Fort Bragg. Court order violation to prevent domestic abuse with prior.
STEVEN WALLACE, Rio Linda/Redwood Valley. Under influence.
THE GENERATION which marched on the Pentagon in 1968 against the insanity and barbarism of LBJ’s Vietnam War has long since abandoned the cause of peace. So doing, boomers have acquiesced in the final ascendancy of the Warfare State, which grew like topsy once the US became the world’s sole superpower after the Soviet Union slithered off the pages of history in 1991. ...Indeed, so long as Imperial Washington is stretched about the planet in its sundry self-appointed missions of stabilization, "peacekeeping", punishment, attack and occupation, there is zero chance that America’s collapsing fiscal accounts can be salvaged."
— David Stockman
Where is the outrage? Where is the news coverage of the atrocities taking place? Sixty unarmed people in Gaza have been killed and more than 2,700 shot by Israeli sharpshooters who celebrated their “hits.” These are war crimes.
Gaza has a population almost as large as San Francisco’s, contained in 17 square miles, one-eighth the size of San Francisco. Occupation in this open-air concentration camp leaves youth with no hope of escape or a future. Little outside commerce is permitted. The majority of those willing to work are unemployed. Much of its infrastructure remains destroyed. “What do we have to lose,” these trapped young men say as they demand to be seen as human beings trying to confront their containment, unarmed except for rocks and burning tires. The world is outraged. U.S. media blame Hamas.
The Palestinian’s East Jerusalem, their last bargaining chip, is gone. About 11 percent of what was theirs remains in isolated villages, separated from one another by settlements and their exclusive roads.
Israel’s right-wing majority government wants it all. Land is confiscated, and illegal settlements grow. Half of the population there is still Palestinian. What happens now? More ethnic cleansing? Apartheid? America is committed to Israel’s future. What is the message of the three Abrahamic religions here?
Robert D. McFarland
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
You talk about cancer care. Well, well, I happen to have a fair bit of experience in that realm and I can tell you that it takes interaction by the patient and-or the patient’s bed-side advocate with the various realms of medical expertise to get optimal results. You can’t blindly rely on the “experts”. They have their own personal and institutional interests which deviate from those of the patient. And there’s the issue of screw-ups like almost getting the wrong chemo drug if not for the timely intervention of a visitor noticing the error.
Expertise? “Experts” learn a body of knowledge and acquire a conceptual framework which then solidifies into a concrete box within which the “expert” thinks and which proves highly resistant to common sense and the dictates of the real world.
Yes, yes, rely on “experts” if you want but as for me I’m not switching off my critical faculties.
GATE OF GATES?
by James Kunstler
When historians of the future finish their meal of rat à la moutarde at the campfire, and pass around the battered plastic jug of wild raisin wine, they will kick back and hear the griot sing of John Brennan, the fabled chief of an ancient order called the CIA, and how he started the monkey business aimed at bringing down the wicked Golden Golem of Greatness, chief of chiefs in the land once known as America. Alas, the hero’s journey of Brennan, ends in a jail cell at the storied Allenwood Federal Penitentiary, where he slowly pined away between games of ping-pong and knock-hockey, dreaming of a cable network retirement package that never was….
One gets the feeling more and more that Mr. Brennan is at the center of this ever-mushrooming matrix of scandals around the 2016 election. “Bigger Than Watergate?” the headline in today’s New York Times asks? The mendacity of this once-proud newspaper is really something to behold. Take the following paragraph, for instance:
“Depending on what is eventually proven, the core scandal could rival Watergate, in which a “third-rate burglary” of Democratic National Committee headquarters ultimately revealed a wide-ranging campaign of political sabotage and spying to influence the 1972 presidential election and undercut perceived rivals. In the current case, a hostile foreign power sought to sway the 2016 election and there is evidence that at least some people in Mr. Trump’s circle were willing to collaborate with it to do so.”
You have to really wonder how the Times editors overlooked the other relevant details in the current case pertaining to goings-on initiated by Mr. Brennan and involving obviously criminal misbehavior among the US Intelligence services, and especially the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in their effort to un-do the election that put the Trump creature in the White House instead of the enchantress known as Hillary. I did like the trope “a hostile foreign power.” Apparently they were too embarrassed to just say “Russia,” since by now it has become the most threadbare hobgoblin in all of US political history.
Rumors are flying that the long-awaited (so long it is nearly forgotten) Department of Justice Inspector General’s report contains a rather severe interpretation of what actually has been going on for the last couple of years in this farrago of charge and countercharge that the legacy news media has been doing its best to garble and deflect — namely, that the highest officers of the government conspired to tamper with the 2016 election. The latest twist is news — actually reported by the Times Thursday — that the FBI placed a “mole” inside the Trump campaign. If the mole discovered anything, then it is the only morsel of information that hasn’t been leaked in two years, which leads the casual observer to infer that the mole found really nothing.
On the other hand, a great deal is already known about the misdeeds surrounding Hillary and her supporters, including Mr. Obama and his inner circle, and some of those incriminating particulars have been officially certified — for example, the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on recommendations of the Agency’s own ethics committee, with overtones of criminal culpability. There is also little ambiguity left about the origin of the infamous Steele Dossier. It’s an established fact that it was bought-and-paid-for by the Democratic National Committee, which is to say the Hillary campaign, and that many of the dramatis personae involved lied about it under oath. Many other suspicious loose ends remain to be tied. Those not driven insane by Trumpophobia are probably unsatisfied with the story of what Attorney General Loretta Lynch was doing, exactly, with former President Bill Clinton during that Phoenix airport tête-à-tête a few days before FBI Director Jim Comey exonerated Mr. Clinton’s wife in the email server “matter.”
One can see where this tangled tale is tending: to the sacred chamber known as the grand jury. Probably several grand juries. That will lead to years of entertaining courtroom antics at the same time that the USA’s financial condition fatefully unravels. That event might finally produce the effect that all the exertions of the so-called Deep State have failed to achieve so far: the discrediting of Donald Trump. Alas, the literal discrediting of the USA and its hallowed institutions — including the US dollar — may be a much more momentous thing than the fall of Trump.
Personally, I won’t be completely satisfied until the editors of The New York Times have to answer to charges of sedition in a court of law.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
IS NAPA GROWING TOO MUCH WINE?
Residents seek to preserve treasured land
COURT EXTENDS DEADLINE TO APPLY TO SERVE ON THE NEXT GRAND JURY
The Honorable Jeanine B. Nadel, Chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee has extended the deadline to submit applications to serve on the 2018/2019 Grand Jury to May 31st, 2018. The 2018/2019 Grand Jury will be sworn in at the end of June, 2018 (date to be announced).
Service on the Civil Grand Jury is an excellent opportunity to learn about the inner workings of government, while providing a valuable service to the community. The 19 members of the Grand Jury serve for one year and are empowered to investigate the operations of county, city and district governments; provide civil oversight of local government departments and agencies; and respond to citizen complaints. The Grand Jury sets its own agenda and meeting schedule. Much of the work is performed in small committees allowing for considerable flexibility in the work schedule and meeting locations.
Grand Jurors are compensated $25 per full panel meeting, $10 per committee meeting and committee attendance at public meetings. Mileage is reimbursed at the current County of Mendocino rate. There is free onsite parking. Prior to being nominated, each qualifying applicant is interviewed by a Superior Court judge. Training for Grand Jurors will be provided.
To serve as a Grand Juror, the following requirements must be met:
- At least 18 years of age
- United States citizen
- Resident of Mendocino County for at least one year
- Sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English
- Not currently serving on any other governmental board or commission during the term
- Not presently holding a public office
- Not convicted of a felony
- Not personally active in any campaign of a candidate for elective office
Applications and related information are available on the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino website. The application may also be obtained in person at the Superior Court, 100 North State Street, Rm. 303, Ukiah or by calling the Grand Jury at (707) 463-4320.
For more information contact:
Kim Weston, Administrative Assistant
Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino
100 N. State Street, Room 303
Ukiah, CA 954825
(Press Release from the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino)
(ED NOTE: This is the second extension of the Grand Jury filing deadling this year. It took two extensions last year as well. It’s obviously getting harder and harder to find people willing to participate.)
MCOE Invites Districts to Display Student Work
The Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) invites local school districts to display student art pieces or other work in the Cedar Building at the MCOE Ukiah campus. Submissions should be original student works sized or matted vertically on 8.5x11 paper. Recent submissions included mixed media offerings by the Talmage State Preschool with instruction from teachers Pam Chiriboga and Josefa Guzman, original illustrated stories from Todd Orenick’s second- and third-grade class at Pacific Community Charter, and paintings demonstrating the pointillism technique from Mrs. Bergmann’s first-grade students at Brookside Elementary. “If you’d like to arrange for your students’ artwork to be displayed at MCOE or set up a time for your students to view the art installations, please contact me,” said Dorothy Mazzanti, MCOE Confidential Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent. She can be reached at email@example.com.
To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
MEANWHILE, OUT IN THE FOG BELT....
BORED IN HOPLAND?
Boards and Commissions Vacancies:
Hopland Municipal Advisory Council, 2 positions
Filing deadline: May 25, 2018 or until filled.
If interested, contact your supervisor, or Clerk of Board at 463-4441.
THE BIRD OF BIRDS — the Indian crow. I came to know him well, by and by, and be infatuated with him. I suppose he is the hardest lot that wears feathers. Yes, and the cheerfulest, and the best satisfied with himself. He never arrived at what he is by any careless process, or any sudden one; he is a work of art, and "art is long"; he is the product of immemorial ages, and of deep calculation; one can't make a bird like that in a day. He has been reincarnated more times than Shiva; and he has kept a sample of each incarnation, and fused it into his constitution. In the course of his evolutionary promotions, his sublime march toward ultimate perfection, he has been a gambler, a low comedian, a dissolute priest, a fussy woman, a blackguard, a scoffer, a liar, a thief, a spy, an informer, a trading politician, a swindler, a professional hypocrite, a patriot for cash, a reformer, a lecturer, a lawyer, a conspirator, a rebel, a royalist, a democrat, a practicer and propagator of irreverence, a meddler, an intruder, a busybody, an infidel, and a wallower in sin for the mere love of it. The strange result, the incredible result, of this patient accumulation of all damnable traits is, that he does not know what care is, he does not know what sorrow is, he does not know what remorse is; his life is one long thundering ecstasy of happiness, and he will go to his death untroubled, knowing that he will soon turn up again as an author or something, and be even more intolerably capable and comfortable than ever he was before.
— Mark Twain, 1897; from "Following the Equator"
CULTURE CLASH: FROM BACH TO BROWN
by Clay Geerdes (1994)
If I want to talk about Baroque music, I have to search until I find someone who knows it and cares enough to discuss the significance of Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues for The Well-Tempered Clavier or why Bach considered the earliest pianos inferior [the piano dates from 1709 in Italy], but I can discuss the latest episode of “Murphy Brown” or the upcoming Batman movie with anyone. A handful of people know or care that Bach revolutionized keyboard fingering when he used his thumb--early harpsicordists played with their fingers flat, their thumbs left hanging--but everyone has something to say about the flamboyant daughter of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and her portrayal of an arrogant, aggressive television news woman; the point is one can discuss popular culture with anyone who comes along, but a serious cultural discussion is a rare experience, one dependent upon the availability of a peer with like intellectual interests. Sounds like a good premise, but it works out differently in practice, because the average person who will pretend to know all about Batman will not pretend to know all the intimate details of Bach’s style. The fact is, the average person knows as little about popular culture as about classical music, and those who do know pop cult are seldom looked up to though their knowledge is often as eclectic as that of a Baroque scholar.
In the past couple of decades, popular culture has infiltrated the academy and graduate students in search of a thesis or dissertation subject not yet exhausted by those who have gone before have discovered a gold mine in pulp fiction, children’s books, comic books, tv shows, movies, and popular magazines. Subjects long discussed at science fiction and comic book conventions have made the leap from fanzines and prozines into major popular magazines. There are books about cartoonists and biographies of science fiction writers on the market. There are popular culture associations on various college campuses from Bowling Green, Ohio, to San Francisco State College.
In college I was introduced to the concept of the author as territory. In the English Department, there was a Shakespeare man and a Hemingway man and a Renaissance man, meaning a scholar who specialized in the period, not a Renaissance man in the sense of Michelangelo or Raphael; indeed, there were Melville men and Whitman men and it was natural for me to begin to think of myself as an Eliot man after a couple of years of study. For awhile I was a Faulkner man, influencing in the process a friend who in turn became a Faulkner man. In graduate school, everyone had to have his man; not woman. While we read Parker, Atherton, Alcott, et al, women writers were not taken seriously in the English Departments of the early sixties and the idea of Women’s Studies was a decade in the future; I’m sure by now there are Alcott men as well as Alcott women. I recall all of us being rather snobbish, college being the last place to admit one might not know it all. An Eliot man could lecture about his man, quoting the most esoteric lines from “The Wasteland,” and giving detailed analyses of various poems, but one did not discuss his man with anyone but the senior Eliot man on campus, his graduate advisor; after all, one could not take the chance that someone else, a peer, might know more about the man. Somehow I naively thought this would end once I joined a faculty, but, alas, no one talks shop on an English Department faculty. What if the new Hemingway man were to know something the older Hemingway man had failed to discover? The loss of face would be just dreadful.
There were subjects worth writing about and others considered unworthy. One had to be careful. All kinds of unwritten rules were in play. A mis-step and goodbye to a readership or a teaching assistantship, critical steps in the academic job market; one had to have the right names on a résumé or kiss it all goodbye. Being an older brother and having a big mouth, I clashed with a number of my professors along the way, costly clashes. Fortunately, I was able to get along with others who helped my career. At the time, Edward Albee, who went on to become a successful Broadway playwright, had only written a couple of plays, The Zoo Story, The American Dream, and The Death Of Bessie Smith, but I was fascinated with the sharpness of his dialogue and the meticulous way he autopsied the bloated carcasses of a number of sacred American cows so I proposed a paper on Albee’s work for a seminar in Modern Drama. My idea was rejected. Albee wasn’t worth writing about. My Prof had spoken. And God’s word was final. Of course, I thought he was full of shit and Albee’s subsequent career bore me out, but it was about power, not dramatic literature. My displeasure cost me a job later on. Why? Because I had talked back instead of bowing down to Greater Wisdom.
I think of this today when it has become all right not only to propose a dissertation on subjects as diverse as Wonder Woman and The Mythic Relationship between Rugby and Contemporary American Football, but to publish such works in quarterlies once reserved for literary figures only. Somewhere along the way, someone got the idea that teaching the form is most important; the content can be anything. It is just as valid to write about the life and work of Carl Barks, the man who created Uncle Scrooge McDuck, as it is to add to the secondary literature about William Faulkner or Ernest Hemingway. In other words, it is no longer all that unusual to learn that a professor like Arthur Berger at San Francisco State College wrote his thesis on Li’l Abner: A Study in American Satire [University of Mississippi Press, 1994], where such a dissertation would have been impossible at UC Berkeley in the early sixties when Mark Schorer was finishing his tome on Sinclair Lewis.
One of the nice differences between the entrenched literary bureaucracies and the pop cult writers is the relative freedom of the latter in contrast to the enslavement of the former. When I studied with James Hart at UC in 1964, he controlled the American Literature Quarterly. He liked an article I wrote about something I can’t remember and said it was right for AL but he had a five year backlog. I think he filed the paper, but by the time it was up for consideration, I had graduated and was teaching and had forgotten all about it. This doesn’t happen with pop cult articles. There are a lot of publications and the material appears in print while it is relatively fresh. Think about what this means--young scholars have to wait for years in order to see their rehashes of Faulknerian water symbolism in print! It’s not really publish or perish as the cliché goes because a lot of writers have already perished long before their carefully coiffed prose is published.
Major battles ensue in both fields because some scholars are careful while others are careless. My attitude is if it is worth writing about it is worth writing about correctly, checking the facts, maintaining the history, refusing to distort or misinterpret for momentary effect; I don’t care if I am writing about the hanged man symbol in Eliot’s ‘Wasteland’ or the date of the first Little Lulu panel in the Saturday Evening ‘Post.’ Carelessness bothers me and I see a lot of it in pop cult writing. I enjoy reading a book when I feel I can trust the writer’s accuracy and it makes no difference whether that is Robinson’s biography of Chaplin or Sullivan’s translation of Petronius’ Satyricon.
MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio tonight!
I'll be in Fort Bragg for Friday night's show. It's 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar. Just wander in any time after 9pm, head for the lighted room at the back and get my attention. I'll be reading stories on the air all night long; you're not interrupting, just barge in with your musical instrument or show-and-tell item or MSG horror story, or whatever. You're totally welcome. There will be chocolate for sure, and possibly pickles. Good for the throat. Opera singers /inhale/ that stuff before they go on, and they sound great, or at least loud and clear, which is good enough for radio.
The deadline to email your writing for me to read it on MOTA is always about 5 or 6pm the night of the show. So you've got a little while to get that together for tonight, and even more time for next week. Paste your poem or essay or kvetch or sale item or event notice into the body of an email, check that it's going to firstname.lastname@example.org and not also to the whole group, unless that's what you want, and press send.
Besides that, you can have /your own whole regular real radio show of your own style and devising/ on KNYO. Contact Bob Young: email@example.com and introduce yourself; he'll get you started. Or just visit my show; you can see what it feels like to be on the air, and it might give you an idea.
Memo of the Air, Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to 4 or 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org or http://kmecradio.org and if none of that works for you try http://TuneIn.com and look up KNYO-LP.
A couple of things of note:
- I have work Saturday afternoon and night, so expect the recording of tonight's show to appear on http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com a few hours later than usual, maybe even as late as 10pm Saturday night.
- Sid Cooperrider of KMEC worked out a way to solve the latest problem with MOTA staying connected properly to KMEC as well as KNYO. Now it's just a setting that I have to make just after I start the show, and again when I sign off. So we'll see. But if you're ever listening via KMEC-LP 105.1 in Ukiah and something sounds really wrong --doubling of the sound, or if it sounds like two different things are playing at the same time like last week, because they were, or if you're just lonely, call me at the station and I'll see what I can do. It's 707-962-3022.