- Carr Fire
- Body Found
- Jack June
- B Meeting
- Chief Wyatt
- Owl Pellets
- Thermometer Placement
- DUI Verdict
- Special Taxes
- Enriched Attorneys
- Little Dog
- Cooney Kudo
- Girl Grabbed
- Billion Loss
- Ghost Ship
- Yesterday's Catch
- Whistleblower Report
- PG&E Accountable
- Gossip News
- Jones Suit
- Tricky Dicks
- Reactionary Parrot
- Spindly Things
- Country Dance
EMERGENCY DECLARED FOR SHASTA COUNTY AMID 20,000-ACRE CARR FIRE
Governor Jerry Brown has declared a State of Emergency for Shasta County, as the 20,000-acre Carr fire continues to rage through the Whiskeytown area.
Calfire reports that as of 1:06 p.m., 192 structures are threatened by the fire. However, Redding’s division of the California Highway Patrol has advised all West Redding residents to pack their bags and prepare for the worst.
“We are getting inundated with messages asking if ‘name a location’ is safe,” the Redding CHP wrote on Facebook this morning. “Follow the evacuation updates and be prepared. If you live in West Redding: “Pack your bags! The fire has been very unpredictable … Don’t wait till it’s too late. If you see fire or heavy smoke billowing into the air from your house, get ready, it’s coming.”
BODY FOUND AT BASE OF ALBION RIVER BRIDGE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
A bridge worker found the body of Kathleen Zuelsdorf, 50, of Nevada City at the base of the Albion River Bridge along the Mendocino Coast on Wednesday, prompting an investigation into her death.
AN IMAGINARY CONVERSATION WITH JACK JUNE
by Bill Baker
We first met Jack June in 1972, and what a surprise it was. My wife and I were part of the hippie invasion driving up property prices and corrupting Anderson Valley youth with our New Age ways. Jack was a member of the old guard, bedrock Republican, frozen in time somewhere back in the late 19th century. But then he began to surprise us. At our very first meeting, we learned that a highly experienced forester could conduct a timber cruise from the comfort of a deck chair. Jack extended a hand and welcomed us as if we were members of the family, kind of long-lost cousins who managed to return from the big city. And when he drove off in his modest pickup (so different from the 4 wheel monster trucks of other neighbors), he leaned out and waved a friendly Boont Salute.
Jack was Boont from top to toe. (May he rest in peace with a frisky trout at the end of his fly line.) He was one of the most agreeable of the old-time Boonville pioneers, combining amiability and irascibility in a unique package rare in the outside world of Bright-lighters. His grin and salute greeted friends and (most of) his neighbors as he passed on his way to go fishing.
Jack’s working career — which did interrupt his fishing from time to time during the early years — was involved with the land and the woods. There was not an aspect of forest management or agriculture on which he could not offer expert opinion. Come to think of it, there were few subjects of any kind, from national politics to social norms, where he was not willing to offer expert advice, or to argue at length. And breadth.
But his true and genuine field of expertise was fishing, in particular, steelhead fishing in our beloved Navarro River. He had been around in the days of the great steelhead runs, when fish were so plentiful that when the mouth of the river opened to the sea with the first good winter storms, the first spawners came in so thick and heavy that a brave soul could walk shore to shore on the backs of the fish. Jack shook his head and corrected that stretcher, explaining, “It’s not quite true. One November I tried it, and I did make it almost all the way across. But they were piled up so high, and kept on leaping like popcorn popping that I had to turn around and go back.” Jack was committed to precise historical accuracy when it came to fishing. (Valley history, maybe not so much.)
Once encouraged to reminisce, he had stories to tell of the magnificent fish of the past, though he was careful to stick only to the facts. “People talk about big fish, but most of them exaggerate. In my experience, it was rare to actually land a fish much more than forty or fifty pounds.” He added, “There were exceptions, of course. I remember one hen I released in ’52 ran me up and down the river from Iron Bridge to Miner’s’ Hole. Never weighed her, of course, but I did get a picture.” He flipped through his wallet, but a copy was not there. “No matter. But that snapshot by itself printed out to 3 by 5 feet, and even on ordinary photo stock, it came in at 18 pounds and some ounces.”
Times changed of course, for Jack June and all of us. Navarro River quality declined and the great runs disappeared. Jack was no tree-hugger and did not waste his time whining about mistakes of the past. He adapted to the changes and no longer dunked bags of bait in the silted-in deep holes with dozens of others who spent more time clacking rods together and tangling lines than actual fishing. (If it can even be called fishing when no fish are landed, and the call of “Fish on!” means that someone has tangled line with companions two or three rods upstream.)
Jack usually loved a good debate, but the dialog about good times long gone became too repetitive and depressing to listen to. His idea was that the good times are now, so he started fishing the cut banks in the lower river with his fly rod, presenting tiny shrimp-colored flies resembling the ocean food of the just-returned-to-fresh-water steelhead.
Was he successful? Although no one actually saw him catch a single fish, he reported the results with precise mathematical accuracy. “Hooked fourteen today, missed two, lost six. One was a jack salmon, jumped straight out of the water into a willow, wound my line into a clinch knot and broke off, the fly still in the corner his mouth. Looked like he was laughing all the way upstream.”
The way Jack chuckled, I had to believe he was telling the absolute truth, even though a clinch knot is not all that easy to tie while jumping out of the water. Especially without fingers or thumbs.
Sad to say, even those days of depleted runs came to an end. So few fish were ascending the Navarro to successfully spawn that Jack no longer had the heart even to catch and release. But instead of complaining, Jack changed with the times once again. “I figure there’s a new way of fishing, and a new sport fish to chase. Remember this name: Navarro River Three-Spine Stickleback.”
It took me an encyclopedia search to understand what he was talking about. The Navarro Three-Spine Stickleback is a tiny bottom-dwelling kind of minnow size sculpin unique to our river system. “It’s ours, and nobody else can lay claim to it,” Jack said. “And there are lots of them. But scattered in the gravel, no more social than loggers and cowboys at the Lodge the night before rodeo.”
But how can a fish no more than an inch and a half or two be a sport fish? I wondered. “You just have to use the right tackle. And a little imagination.” Jack displayed his gear: a mini fly rod casting a small-gauge floating line, with a uniquely fine leader and tippet, which began with 4 feet of 8-ounce limp mono, then 2 feet of 4-ounce surgical thread, and another 2 feet of white horse hair clipped from the mane of a barrel-racing palomino. The end was next to invisible. “How do you tie something like this?” Jack winked. “Very, very slowly and carefully.”
I had to take his word that there were hand-tied nymphs tucked in his fly book. I might have seen specks of pepper, but I wasn’t sure. “They put up quite a fight on tackle this light,” he said. “I’m lucky to land one out of three.”
But if ever an angler had good luck, it had to be Jack June. There was no moment out on the river that he wasn’t having the time of his life, while building up material for tales of the fourteen hook-ups or the time a crawdad crawled inside his waders.
After all the stories were told and the laughter subsided, Jack June would hop in his pickup and leave us, a sly grin on his face, and a friendly wave of the Boont Salute. In his memory, why not offer the salute to your own best friends and neighbors? It just might catch on.
(Ed note: Jack June died in Ukiah on October 29, 2005 at the age of 82.)
SHERIFF ALLMAN’S MEASURE B Advisory Committee held their July meeting on Wednesday at the County Admin offices in Ukiah. Most of the meeting meandered from topic to topic without any resolution. Nobody made any motions or proposed any specific action.
During the discussion of the “Stepping Up Initiative” County Auditor Lloyd Weer told the Board that as far as he can tell the $150k allotted for Stepping Up back in 2015 is still in the budget. Weer also said that there was $100k set aside for Laura’s Law implementation. (Laura’s Law is a sort of semi-coerced imposition of mental health treatment through the courts for people who meet very specific criteria. The Board of Supes authorized a limited version of Laura's Law back in 2015 in the wake of the Aaron Bassler murders — even though Bassler himself would not have qualified and would not have voluntarily participated, a key provision of what is essentially feel good legislation passed in the wake of a gun tragedy.)
There was mention of first-responder training on how to deal with mental health patients, which, interestingly, Sheriff Allman said would also be open to the general public. But no particulars were provided. (Free range disturbed persons now being so common in every area of the country, and certainly in Mendocino County, most locals have become quite adept at coping with the deranged, although at least half the time their problem is drugs, not simply a mental health problem.)
Committee member Jed Diamond (Willits area rep) said he had received some information on the number of people sent out of Mendocino County after being declared “5150” — a danger to themselves, others or “gravely disabled” — and in need of medication adjustment. Diamond read from an unpublished memo sent to him by Dr. Jenine Miller, Mendo’s Mental Health Director:
In Fiscal Year 2016-2017 there were 36-46 clients per month sent out of County for "treatment." In 2017-2018 there were 31-38 per month sent out of County. Most of them went to facilities in Vallejo, Redding/Red Bluff, or Santa Rosa. Diamond did not say how long they stayed, or what happened to them upon release, nor did he say how many of them were the same person being re-hospitalized. According to Dr. Miller’s data as passed along by Diamond 53% of those assessed as 5150 were “danger to self;” 44% were “gravely disabled;” and the rest, 2%-3%, were considered “danger to others.” Diamond said that if those statistics are correct, then communities don’t need to worry too much about the safety of any proposed mental health facility in their neighborhood.
Diamond also said he’d spoken to consultant Lee Kemper about the status of the “needs assessment” the County is paying something like $40k for. Apparently Kemper has been moving ahead fairly quickly, talking to “stakeholders” and gathering data and now expects to finish his report before the next Oversight Committee meeting on August 22.
According to Diamond, Kemper expects to provide recommendations in the following areas: What Mendo has now, what Mendo “needs,” currently available (operating) funds, expected funding over next 5-10 years, what kinds of new facilities would work best and how they fit in with current facilities, how to keep patients in the “least restrictive setting,” crisis services as well as preventative services, how sustainable funding will be provided, comparisons to selected other counties with mental health facilities, and suggested steps to start implementation of the facility recommendations.
The Committee punted on the question of a response to the Willits resolution asking for assurances that City regs would be followed for any psychiatric health facility at the old Howard Hospital in Willits after Sheriff Allman said that it’s the Board of Supervisors’ responsibility, from one government entity to another — the committee is not an elected/government body. But even though the Oversight Committee’s actions are what prompted the Willits resolution in the first place, nobody suggested drafting anything for the Board to consider.
CAPT. JUSTIN WYATT TO BE SWORN IN AS NEW UKIAH POLICE CHIEF WEDNESDAY
WOODLANDS WILDLIFE GREAT HORNED OWL PELLET DEMOS
Woodlands Wildlife will be demonstrating Great Horned Owl pellet dissections at the Little River Museum from 11 to 3:30 on Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29th. The pellets and program are free. Owls swallow their food whole, then spit up (NOT poop out) a pellet of fur and bones. If you're lucky you'll find a whole mouse skull buried in there. The museum is at 8185 Hwy One in Little River. It's the little white house with the red geraniums in the window located across from Cobbler's Walk Inn at the top of the Van Damme beach "S" curve.
Ronnie James, firstname.lastname@example.org
INTO THE FOG 4
(Photo by Dick Whetstone)
A READER NOTES:
Regarding 160 degrees in Ukiah [from yesterday's "Ed Notes"]:
106 IN THE SHADE in Boomsville at 2pm this afternoon (Wednesday). Our thermometer is a Big Lots $2.99 job, probably created to make talking points for geezers like us. "It's 106 out here under the eaves." What? Speak up! "It's 106 out here in the shade!" Bullshit. It's never that hot in Boonville. If it's 106 here it's 160 in Ukiah.
For years we kept our outdoor thermometer on the front porch, where we consistently got high readings. Wife recently found this article, moved our thermometer to a shady spot on the other side of the garden, and we're now getting much more accurate (and much lower) readings.
LUALLIN FOUND GUILTY
UKIAH, Wed., July 25. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations with guilty verdicts against an alcohol-impaired driver.
Sherri Lea Luallin, age 57, of Shelter Cove (Humboldt County) was found guilty by jury of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, both as misdemeanors.
The prosecutor who represented the People's evidence at trial was Deputy District Attorney Melissa Weems. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Justice crime laboratory in Eureka.
The judge who presided over this three day trial was Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder.
DON’T DESTROY LIBRARY
To the Editor:
Dear Supervisors John McCowen and Carre Brown:
I am writing to both of you because I am marginally acquainted with both of you and have always respected you for all the good work you have done. As a person with moderately low income, I have nevertheless also voted for special taxes for good causes.
As time has passed I have become increasingly leery as I have seen the funds diverted for other purposes than what I voted for. It was with great joy that I have seen recent special taxes that included the provision that the funds collected would not be diverted to other causes. However, as true politicians, you think you have found a way to do just that! Any time money is involved, there is always dishonesty. People simply cannot keep their hands off it. I am becoming more and more likely to avoid voting for any more special taxes.
After the Grand Jury reported that over the years and decades, the county has been charging the Library hundreds of thousands of dollars for what should never have been charged, the voters/taxpayers of this county passed a special tax to support the library that is not to be diverted for any other purpose. So now you have decided to come in through a side window and rob the library by creating a Cultural Services Agency, and divert staff time and resources to the museum and the parks.
The museum needs an educated, trained and experienced curator to run it. When the time your plan states will be provided by the ill-prepared library supervisor proves insufficient, then there will be more time taken, with very poor results, while the library suffers.
I have lost all the respect I ever had for you, and am determined not to vote for any more special taxes, regardless of the assurances that they will not be diverted. I will also be vocal in my opinions to friends and acquaintances. You are shooting yourselves in the foot.
Carol K. Gottfried
CITY OF UKIAH REPORTS LAWSUIT COSTS APPROACHING $8 MILLION
by Justine Frederiksen
The cost so far of a lawsuit filed by the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District is approaching $8 million, according to a report the Ukiah City Council received at its last meeting.
“As of June 30, the Sanitation District has spent what we believe to be $5.9 million in attorney’s fees and litigation costs, with $4.8 million of that going directly to the law offices of Duncan James,” city Finance Director Dan Buffalo told the council July 18, adding that the city’s direct expenditures so far amount to about $1.7 million, bringing the total to $7.6 million.
“And that does not account for staffing costs and materials, nor the $2.7 million we lost from not being able to refinance the savings bond (sold for the upgrade of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant) last January,” Buffalo continued. “And we’re going to miss this next deadline, and I would expect the savings loss to be about the same (for that missed opportunity).”
“Those numbers are just outrageous,” said City Council member Jim Brown. “It is just totally outrageous that over $7 million can be spent on attorneys’ fees for something that should have been resolved years ago over a cup of coffee.
“And the worst part of it is, our ratepayers are just going to have to bend over and take it,” Brown continued. “I’m sorry to use that kind of language, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen down the road – our rates are going to go up tremendously, and there’s not a darn thing we are going to be able to do about it. And I apologize right now to our ratepayers, but I will tell you that this City Council up here has done everything it possibly can to get this resolved. And I’m sorry about these outrageous numbers, but some attorneys are getting very, very rich off this litigation.”
The Ukiah Valley Sanitation District board of directors held a special meeting Tuesday with only one item listed on its agenda, which was a closed session discussion related to the lawsuit the agency filed against the city of Ukiah.
The suit filed in 2014 alleges that the city owes the district up to $30 million in payments it should have received according to the participation agreement both agencies signed for the joint operation of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The UVSD also announced that a joint meeting was scheduled Wednesday morning between its Board Finance Committee and the city of Ukiah Budget Ad Hoc Committee, but that meeting was later canceled.
At the July 11 UVSD board meeting, a closed session was held with counsel regarding the lawsuit. Following the approximately 20-minute closed session, UVSD board Chairwoman Theresa McNerlin gave a report that was simply, “gave direction to attorneys.”
A trial in Sonoma County Superior Court was originally scheduled for last month, but was most recently pushed to late September.
“The trial has been continued until Sept. 26,” city attorney David Rapport told the Ukiah City Council last month, explaining that the city’s motion to “bifurcate” the case – hear separately the city’s claim that the statute of limitations had passed on the allegations, some of which date back to the 1960s – had been granted by the court in Sonoma County.
“So if the case goes to trial, the city will go first and present evidence for its argument that the complaint exceeds the statute of limitations before the merits of the case are heard,” Rapport said.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Question: Did the Pomos have dogs? Here at Ranchito Pavemento, I think about who and what was here 200 years ago, before ol' Whitey commenced wrecking everything. Any of you ever share that reverie? I like to imagine my Indian name was Chief Who Guards The Village."
COONEY: SPOT ON
Eleanor Cooney’s recently completed four-part series “No County for Old Women” is so spot on! She captures the harsh realities of memory loss and the difficult decisions family or caregivers have to make. There is usually no “happy” solution. Thank you, Eleanor, for so well articulating all of the emotions and guilt involved in it.
FROM THE FORT BRAGG POLICE DEPARTMENT
“On Wednesday, July 25, at approximately 7:00 pm, the 15-year-old victim was standing outside the back entrance of the Mendocino Cookie Company, located at 303 N. Main Street.
The suspect (Frederic Pere, age 56 of Fort Bragg) contacted the victim while she was on the phone. He placed his hand on her shoulder and asked her if she wanted a ride. The victim told him no and turned away from him. Pere then grabbed the victim by the arm and started to pull the victim towards a white panel van that was parked nearby.
The victim was able to pull away from Pere and struck him in the process. Pere then entered the white van, a 1998 Ford E350 panel van CA Lic# 5T76883, and left the area south bound on N. Main Street.
The victim was transported to the Police Department where she filed a report. A description of the vehicle and Pere were given to other Fort Bragg Police Officers who began to immediately check the area.
A van matching the description was located parked in the parking lot of the A Frame Coffee House. Officers contacted the lone occupant in the vehicle who was Pere. Pere was detained by Officers while the victim was transported to the location and was able to conduct an infield show up. The victim positively identified Pere as the suspect. Pere was taken into custody, booked and then transported to the Mendocino County Jail.
The Fort Bragg Police Department is requesting anyone who has had any similar contact with Pere to contact the Fort Bragg Police Department immediately.
Questions regarding this press release may be directed to the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707) 961-2800 or the crime tip hotline at (707) 961-3049.”
PG&E CALLS BROWN'S WILDFIRE PLAN ‘INSUFFICIENT,’ POSTS $1 BILLION LOSS
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said Gov. Brown’s proposal to shield utilities from strict liability for future wildfires was 'insufficient' as it reported a nearly $1 billion loss stemming from the October firestorm.
FORT BRAGG'S GHOST SHIP
The Coast Guard located a 46-foot sailing vessel, Sunday, that was adrift for more than one month after the vessel owners were rescued from it off the coast of Grays Harbor, Washington, on June 16.
The Coast Guard Cutter Barracuda crew found the vessel, the Kelaerin, Sunday while on routine patrol near Fort Bragg more than 440 miles south-southeast from its position on June 16.
The Barracuda crew inspected the vessel’s seaworthiness and took it in tow toward the coast, where a Coast Guard Station Fort Bragg 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew relieved the tow and moored the vessel at the B Dock in Fort Bragg, Monday morning. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders contacted the owners to notify them the vessel had been found.
The owners were reportedly sailing from Hawaii to Bellingham, Washington, in June when a storm rendered their vessel disabled and tore their main sail. The couple activated their emergency position indicating radio beacon, and a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon, responded and rescued them. The sailors were transferred to emergency medical services personnel with symptoms of hypothermia.
After the rescue, Coast Guard watchstanders warned mariners about the adrift sailing vessel via VHF radio.
“The vessel was not under power and was completely at the mercy of the sea,” said Chief Warrant Officer Chris Ramp, the Sector Humboldt Bay command center chief. “The owners probably never thought they’d see it again. Thankfully, the Barracuda crew kept a vigilant eye on the water and spotted the vessel so they could bring it back to shore.”
US Coast Guard press release
* * *
June 18, 2018 – Grays Harbor, WA
On Saturday, a couple aboard a 46-foot sailboat en route from Hawaii to Bellingham, Washington, activated their EPIRB. According to a Coast Guard press release, the husband and wife ran into heavy seas. The boat, Kelaerin, was not leaking, but was awash with frigid seawater. After a helicopter arrived on scene about 180 miles off Grays Harbor, Washington, and lowered a rescue swimmer, the aircrew hoisted the couple aboard “at the request of the vessel owners because of health concerns.”
The News Tribune, an outlet based in Washington, included a link to a blog from a sailboat called Kelaerin, which had been cruising the globe for decades and was doublehanded by a husband and wife, but could not confirm if the boats were the same. Based on the video from the Coast Guard rescue and photos from the blog — both of which show a blue-hulled cutter — it does appear, from an informal visual ID, to be the same vessel. A blog posting said after leaving Washington in 1991, the couple was planning to return to Bellingham to complete their circumnavigation.
“A marine information broadcast is being sent out to notify vessel traffic of the adrift sailing vessel,” the Coast Guard said in a press release. “The attempted salvage of the vessel will be at the owners’ discretion.”
– latitude / tim
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 26, 2018
WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
ROBERT COMBS, Lakeport/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ALISSA CROSS-WEBB, Potter Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MICHAEL DONAHE SR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
VIOLET DRISKELL, Nice/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SANTANA GONZALEZ, Sparks, Nevada/Fort Bragg. Battery with serious injury, touching of intimate parts of another against their will.
MATTHEW HERNANDEZ, Huntington Beach/Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
DAVID JOHNSON SR., Ukiah. Parole violation.
ELLE MARTEENY, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
JOSEPH PRIMM, Huntington Beach/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JULIAN RAMIREZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CODY SANDERSON, Laytonville. Probation revocation.
FEDERICO TRUJILLO, Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, suspended license.
CALIFORNIA AUDITOR ELAINE HOWLE just released her annual whistleblower report.
Major issues: Misuse of State Time, Economically Wasteful Activities, and Misuse of State Property
Chapter 1 — Misuse of State Time and Inaccurate Attendance Records
California State University, Fresno: Two Employees Failed to Perform Their Work for Thousands of Hours During a Period of at Least Five Years
Case I2017-0276 9
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Kern Valley State Prison: An Employee Misused State Time by Consistently Leaving Work Early
Case I2016-1265 15
Department of Motor Vehicles: An Employee Consistently Slept on the Job Yet Her Supervisors Failed to Discipline Her
Case I2017-0414 19
Chapter 2 — Economically Wasteful Activities
California Correctional Health Care Services: It Wasted State Funds When a Nursing Director Permitted a Licensed Vocational Nurse to Perform Non-Patient Care Duties
Case I2015-1129 27
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: It Improperly Paid an Analyst for Inmate Worker Supervision and Failed to Seek Repayment
Case I2017-0453 37
California State University, Dominguez Hills: A Manager Wasted Funds and Used University Resources Inefficiently When He Purchased Capital Equipment That Has Never Been Installed
Case I2017-0195 43
CHAPTER 3 — Misuse of State Property
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: An Assistant Chief Misused State Resources to Build an Unauthorized Structure
PG&E SHOULD PAY
I am a retiree and stockholder in PG&E, and I believe it is time to hold PG&E accountable again. In 2001, PG&E’s feet were held to the fire, and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. emerged from bankruptcy in April 2004 after paying $10.2 billion to hundreds of creditors. Since that time, PG&E hasn’t disappeared, and service to Californians has continued.
It makes no sense to relieve PG&E of inverse condemnation, as PG&E hasn’t learned its lesson from the last time it sought protections for mismanagement. As with San Bruno, PG&E failed to protect its customers, and it sought liability protection in the absence of accepting responsibility. PG&E’s “leadership” cares more for its return on investment than adhering to the mundane operational duties they are paid to do.
Having the people of Los Altos Hills, Jenner and Fresno pay higher rates for recovery of the North Bay fires isn’t fair to them, yet PG&E would like to have this happen. Passing the costs to end users (customers) would allow for PG&E to keep stakeholders (utility leadership, stockholders) from sustaining a loss for their interests and holdings.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
To spend any time debating the Russia/USA sideshow is time poorly spent if real world understanding is the goal. Gore Vidal said (roughly) “Russia and USA are the two denizens of the North who can’t build a car anyone wants to buy.” So why do serious people, i.e. not the talking heads or profiteers of the new cold war, feed this fire at all?
Today’s ‘really hot’ current events are 90% gossip at best. Spend the time you save learning Mandarin instead.
ALEX JONES SHOULD BE CROSS-EXAMINED IN FRONT OF THE NATION
That would be justice. Instead, his Sandy Hook case will likely be settled quietly.
by Charles Pierce
The crazy train has opened a new depot in Hartford. Back in April, families who lost children in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 filed a defamation suit against radio crazy person Alex Jones for initially saying on his crazy person’s electric radio program that the massacre was a hoax and that their children were not really dead, but, rather, “crisis actors” in a drama aimed at grabbing all the guns. (Later, Jones copped to believing that the massacre actually happened. What a guy.)
The lawsuit has progressed now to an attempt by Jones and his interesting legal team to dismiss the suit. This means that Jones and his interesting legal team have to present documents supporting their motion. This means fun! From CBS News:
"Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein relied on allegations from 'Deep Throat' to link the Nixon Administration to the Watergate break-in," his lawyers wrote in filing for a dismissal. "Such journalism, questioning official narratives, would be chilled if reporters were subject to liability if they turned out to be wrong,"
There are also lawsuits filed in Texas, where Jones’ crazy person’s electric radio program is based. There, an interesting character named Wolfgang Halbig is also named as a defendant.
Halbig, a former police officer who lives in Sorrento, Florida, said in April that he believes people died in the shooting, but that authorities refuse to clear up what he believes are discrepancies in the official story. Jones acknowledged allowing Halbig and others to question the shooting on his show, but said he has a constitutional right to do that. "To stifle the press (by making them liable for merely interviewing people who have strange theories) will simply turn this human tragedy into a Constitutional one," his attorneys wrote.
To be entirely honest, this case does contain some interesting constitutional questions. It will test the constitutional limits on things like talk radio, pundit TV, and the wilder fringes of Internet broadcasting.
And Jones’ interesting legal team has defended not only neo-Nazi goons, but also perennial New Hampshire primary character Vermin Supreme. From HuffPost:
Marc Randazza has represented a gay porn producer, far-right conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, civil rights lawyer Lisa Bloom, performance artist and activist Vermin Supreme, and the Satanic Temple, among others. He’s also appeared on Infowars in the past. Currently, the firm is representing Andrew Anglin, co-founder of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer.
“If you’re a First Amendment attorney, and you say, ’This person’s speech is good enough for me, but this person’s isn’t,’ you’re doing it wrong,” Randazza recently told The Daily Beast. Anglin is being sued by Tanya Gersh after Anglin allegedly directed his followers to harass and intimidate the Montana woman. Gersh said that she has received more than 700 threatening and harassing communications because of Anglin’s actions ― which allegedly began after she got into a feud with the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer.
The question seems to be whether or not Jones’s program defamed Adam Lanza’s victims by claiming that they were participants in a hoax—namely, that they weren’t really dead. My guess is that, if they survive the motion to dismiss, these suits will be settled quietly somewhere down the line. But, if there were any true justice to be found here, Jones would have to go all the way through the legal mill, testifying publicly and squirming under cross-examination, all with the entire nation watching him sweat and holler. It would be great TV.
THE OPPOSITE OF HOPE?
Finally I’m good and sick of seeing Philbrick’s “open letters” to the editor as a permanent fixture in the AVA, your lassie-faire indulgence of the nasty old reactionary parrot becoming less and less defensible it seems to me. Like a while back I picked up the AVA, admired the portraits of Anderson Valley’s Class of 2018 and, noticing the surnames and complexions, I wondered if these kids think this Trump cabal is irrelevant to their futures. Are they familiar with Philbrick’s podium-pounding holy sermons God and Country back in the days of Beaver Cleaver. Have these kids received the kind of public education that makes them wise to the ways these blowhards who betray both? And what do these starry-eyed young Americans (?) think of these “Law and Order” Republicans illegally stealing Native American babies out of the arms of their mothers? Not much, I expect. Nobody likes going eyeball-to-eyeball with a toilet bowl.
“God bless Donald Trump” as Philbrick’s mantra? Mr. Philbrick, if you’re listening, what god you talking about? The God of Mammon? The God of the Almighty Yanqui Dollar? The God of the Imperial Marketplace in debased and dehumanized commuter consumers, their social consciences shrunk-wrapped in mass manufactured self-congratulations?
When our deranged Field Marshals wed sadism and “National Security” to prison camps for punishment and profit, we change the channel. Since it’s costing us taxpayers roughly $750 per day is to cage Madonna and her child, why not kidnap the child and ship it off to Stalag 666 outside Who Knows Where, North Dakota (Pop: Dead)? Why not set a baby down inside a drunk tank for future fucking freeloaders? With nobody looking, why not double your money by replacing the mini-cellmate with another grieving mother? Why not fatten your take even more by charging for all the child services you’ll be giving all these little ones?
I’ve been writing for the AVA since 1984. For just as long as I’ve been reading, and enjoying, your stories and musings, Bruce. I know your writerly insights and blind spots, likes and dislikes, villains and heroes, etc. Yet, given your vast output over these last 34 years, I know remarkably little about you as the creature of your upbringing. Very rarely do you write about yourself, and when you open a door leading into autobiography, you never seem to walk through it.
Now that the Republican Congress has proven itself to be the Trump cabal’s cooks, waiters, bodyguards, door-openers, grease monkeys, surrogates, plumbers and fixers, I say the rules have changed. I never signed any Social Contract with any scum-sucking devil that asserts I’ve got to go along with stinking nasty demagogues picking the pockets of the blind, the deaf and the locknut-stubborn.
While I have no idea what you did in the US Marines back in olden days, I do know you swore the same solemn oath I did (as did all these Republican Party apparatchiks although, obviously, they swore with their fingers crossed behind their backs).
You also know the rules of evidence and the equalitarian ideals that (ideally) underpin American jurisprudence, as any real American should. It’s also fair to assume that you appreciate scientific method as the only surefire way to arrive at any quantifiable truth. So please tell us: Just what do you think your readers are getting out of reading/not reading Philbrick’s horseshit? What you see in this guy? Do you even read his stuff?
Also, seeing how Trump is a clear and present danger to American prosperity, world peace and the biosphere that birthed we as a species and all we know, I thought you’d be energized. Since Trump and his running dog surrogates have repeatedly called the American Free Press the Enemy of the American People, I expected you’d take great pleasure in, to quote Jefferson, reaffirming your “undying hostility to all forms of tyranny over the minds of men.”
So please be so kind as to share your thoughts on these matters. Your musings are bound to be more entertaining than your movie reviews. What’s to lose?
I just remembered a line from our old friend Alex Cockburn. One of the very, very few times I read something of his and knew he was mistaken. He wrote that fear is the opposite of hope. Fear is not the opposite of hope. The opposite is hope is death.
Interesting civic art vs. MCPB Corporate Bureau of Radio.
Regarding Petaluma civic art proposed for Water Street:
The bathtubs on stilts are really nice, especially with the lighting.
Except for having four legs each, they're like steampunk renditions of H.G. Wells’ Martian war machines.
People like spindly things. I'm thinking of the walking plant in the video for Kwoon's I Lived on the Moon.
Maybe spindly things are fascinating and compelling because that's what we all are inside. I mean, look:
And regarding choosing from among candidates for official positions in Mendocino County:
The criteria you describe: "…The question is never about who can best do the job, when a vacancy occurs, but rather who is the best presenter, that is, who has the higher skills at landing the job, who is the better schmooze, the glibbest flatterer, the more assiduous nuzzlebum, the better bootlicker, the best lickspittle out of all the candidates”– applies perfectly to KZYX, where the board of trustees is comprised of people who have next to zero knowledge nor real experience doing radio, designing, building or repairing radio equipment, writing for radio, playing with radio, no understanding or sense of humor about radio at all, and so the string of managers they hire at absurdly high salaries are no better. They’re like the Bureau of Art in some totalitarian country, who lack the talent, ability or inclination to make art themselves and so meet regularly to cruelly fix it, as far as possible, so nobody can freely do it, and the bosses live in a big house filled with expensive ancient or foreign art, and the workers in licensed and sanctioned government monopoly art shops are paid very little. In the case of KZYX, the workers are not paid at all, and if they step out of line or speak up about any of this, they're just mysteriously not on the air anymore, so they don't.
MENDOCINO ENGLISH COUNTRY DANCE
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Newcomer instruction at 7:30 pm
Caspar Community Center
(High School Students - Free)
Support your local dance events by coming out and dancing!
Calling & instruction by dance leader Bruce Herbold
Lovely dancers and band members who kindly bring potluck food, please also bring your own utensils and a bag to put everything in when dance is over so the volunteer cleanup people can more easily do their work.