Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Sep. 6, 2018

* * *

WHY THERE’S A HOUSING CRISIS

Editor,

The County’s much discussed and often lamented housing crisis is largely caused by local government’s inability to adapt to changes that are going on in Mendocino County. The housing element, adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2015, was intended to address the chronic shortages of affordable housing in the county and to provide a roadmap for how more housing could be built.

Unfortunately, this 300+ page document conflicts in many ways with the County’s general plan and coastal element which lays out the zoning for all unincorporated areas of the county.

In practice, what happens when a landowner approaches the County Planning Department about constructing any amount of housing over two residences on inland parcels and one on coastal parcels is that they will be told that this is not allowable under current zoning. These limits are imposed regardless of parcel size. The effect of this policy is that much housing which would be constructed by the private sector to house family and friends is denied immediately. Only a large developer or well-funded individual would think of attempting a zoning change. The inability of the planning staff to decide on a case-by-case basis to allow higher density development is a major obstacle to providing enough housing in our county.

The historical economic activities of farming, fishing and timber have been marginalized to the point where less than 5% of the current population earns their livings from these sectors. These good paying jobs have been replaced by low-paying service work. We now have a population that cannot afford to buy a single family residence (SFR) on its own parcel with well and septic and yet most of the County is zoned for exactly this type of development. In fact, a landowner can easily build themselves, if they can afford it, a 5000 square foot single-family residence, but would be precluded from building four 1200-square-foot SFRs to houses themselves, their parents, and their children on the same parcel, thus making it much more difficult to build affordable housing than large homes. This is true even on large parcels of 10 acres or more.

The county government's inability to adjust the zoning laws to help address the economic hardships faced by the citizens is making it very difficult for families to house themselves.

The last issue we need to address when looking at how county policy hinders the creation of affordable housing is taxation. Specifically, the disproportionate way that raw land versus improvements are taxed. Currently, large landowners, much of it corporate, enjoy very low taxes on their timber and agricultural holdings while a resident on a small parcel will pay higher taxes each year as they improve their property. Every time a resident builds an addition or new structure their property will be reassessed and their yearly tax bill goes up. This is in stark contrast to the large timber and wine corporations whose absentee owners collect profits year after year from their vast holdings and pay very low taxes per acre. The county needs to consider not taxing improvements. Simply reassess each time a parcel is sold and leave the tax the same for as long as the parcel stays within the same ownership. The large corporate land holdings need to be taxed at a higher rate to make up the shortfall caused by this break given to those building homes.

In short, the Board of Supervisors needs to stop bemoaning the lack of affordable housing and instead direct the Planning Department to immediately loosen the zoning laws to allow for higher density development. This will encourage the construction of more moderately sized SFR's which can be bought or rented at affordable prices. This coupled with a break on the taxation of improvements would make it much easier for residents to house themselves.

Ishvi Aum

Albion

* * *

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR STOLEN TIMBER FALLING GEAR...

* * *

THE MAYOR

by Rex Gressett

Lindy Peters

The Lindy Peters Mayoral juggernaut has the apparent force of an irresistible object meeting no opposition at all. Our appointed Mayor has one major political advantage. The field of seven candidates includes no candidate with any experience at all in the complexities and mysteries of Fort Bragg city government other than Mayor Lindy Peters. Some of them may have opinions. Most of them apparently don’t even have that. Gordon Barbarosa is a local web impresario and my fellow committee member on the now officially government-owned and controlled Peg station (channel 3). He recently conducted a series of interviews with most of the innocents running for the City Council. Three seats are open. Barbarosa’s questions were so softball as to not be questions really, but more like polite invitations for the candidates to express their goodwill generally and assure anyone concerned that they have the mandatory willingness expected of combat volunteers to assume responsibility for processes with which they are only distantly familiar. The interview with Ruben Alcala lasted 12 minutes. Mary Rose Kaczorowski elaborated and embellished her record of sporadic employment and vacuously underlined her gender. The white male homogeneity of the Council is her principle, nay sole, argument for her own election. Good luck with that, even without Kaczorowski the next City Council will certainly have a woman or two on the dais. An excellent development.

The Mayor is vastly more experienced than any other candidate in the process of our local government. He is also involved in the architecture of county government and to some small degree state government. I know he was considered by the Governor for the Coastal Commission. Peters has been on an impressive array of boards and committees. He has a resume. He has been on the City Council intermittently over decades, he participates in the CalTrans committee, he is a regular schmoozer at the League of Cities meetings. Peters can do useful and powerful things like negotiating a bus route. He was smart on the dry sheds when the “reform” council was very stupid. Peters gets around. He has a beaming mayoral presence that radiates appreciation for his own credibility. He's a great football announcer (none better) and he has an impressive command of his own temper. I would know. Peters is as much of a professional politician as we are likely to see or have ever seen in Little Fort Bragg. It is dreaded election time and Peters is out working. I have seen no other candidates with election signs up other than Peters. It is still not illegal, perhaps that’s why, but you have to admire his initiative. I know he is making the rounds in private discussions and adding up the numbers even in twos and threes he will require to retain his incumbency. You would have to assume that Mayor Peters would be a shoo-in. But it ain't so.

To my surprise, there is a strong feeling in the community that Mayor Peters will not be re-elected. It may be wishful thinking, and it will say an impressive great deal about our city if it turns out to be true. Of course, there is nothing like a poll in Fort Bragg. I think there are occasions when we don’t know ourselves which way we lean until we actually vote. We can be severe. In my recent experience disapproval of Peters is more than occasional. The Mayor in charge of going along to get along has alienated a lot of people in Fort Bragg.

In the Mayor’s Monday morning meeting, Peters made an innovative stab at a new transparency. He has to be congratulated for trying but it did not work out perfectly. In the dust-up over the Development Director’s secret meetings with statewide “Stakeholder Agencies” things got a little out of hand. For once he went rather ballistic. The Mayor discovered at a Monday meeting as we were video-streaming far and wide that meetings between a wide array of state agencies had provided the opportunity for everybody in seven agencies to express their institutional gratitude for Georgia Pacific investment of $38 million bucks in the Georgia Pacific mill site toxic cleanup. Every agency in the state more or less knew about the deal and everybody liked the deal. But the Development Director Marie Jones, the only Fort Bragg official in attendance, did not inform the City Council. The arrangement left Fort Bragg with a large sequestered zone right down the middle of the mill site. The secret deal did not assign a clear responsibility for the mandated restoration but not toxic remediation of the ponds. Apparently, the city was on the hook. The fence was for sure. Dioxins, lead, arsenic — the regular suspects had to be contained from the public. Marie Jones didn’t feel she really had to tell anybody; the council doth not micromanage. In her inimitable way, Marie Jones told the Mayor on video that she had no intention of telling him that or anything else in the future. The mayor got hit head-on with not knowing about an issue many people feel very strongly about. He even got spanked on the air. He might have reacted with indignation. He certainly expressed surprise and that is painful because that was last that we heard about it. As a practical policy the Mayor swallowed Marie Jones’s toxic dump without a demur. After that sordid incident, The Mayor and the meeting had to be more quiet least Marie be disturbed.

Of course, it's not only Lindy Peters. The council as a whole has never mentioned the toxic zone either in their extensive discussions of the LCP (Local Coastal Plan), at least other than by shrugging. Because of the damn morning meetings, Peters has an actual position. With his immense capacity for adaptation Mayor Peters suddenly picked up the official DTSC party line that the mill ponds were perfectly safe as long as you never go there. The Mayor elaborated adding that they would probably have to fence them off anyway so that people won't drown. Ponds can be tricky. It's not out of character. It was on the basis of his on again/off again support or variously off again/on again opposition to the Hare Creek project people started calling him “Bendy.” It stuck.

What the Mayor does support is his own mayoral prerogative in a pinch. I don’t really begrudge him that. Power is real even or perhaps especially in a small town. I was for a period of time if not actually banned from attending the Mayor’s occasional Monday morning meetings at least strongly and personally discouraged from participating. Potholes and weed abatement and the interested involvement of the mayor in the minutia of city regulation were the mayor’s preferred subjects. It got a little tiresome for me to continuously be bringing issues to the discussion that were not discussed and equally tiresome no doubt for the mayor to keep dodging them. Over time we worked it out and I console myself with the observation that the widely viewed Monday Morning Meetings have made it clear to a wide spectrum of the politically interested that Lindy Peters has no fixed view on any subject. Lindy Peters may be the victim of his own Facebook account.

There have been some humorous moments. The Mayor has held fast to the fiction that the ex-city manager Linda Ruffing was not fired. According to the Mayor, she quit one blessed day in the midst of her aggressive pursuit of a pay raise, two years away from retirement. Perhaps he feels the need to justify the extortionate golden parachute which the council provided as they showed her the door and which Peters strongly supported. In another costly and amusing incident, Mayor Peters led a personal crusade for desalination as a solution to our perennial water shortage and even a new source of income. The mayor thought that the proximity of the city to the ocean could be a goldmine if we were to truck our inexhaustible abundance of ocean water after purification, to the desertifying hot zone over the hill. On the strength of mayoral pressure, the city administration coughed up $35,000 bucks for a de-sal consultant. The consultant told us how to get a single water well desalinated if we would invest $2 million. Any straw we put into the ocean we would have to comply with 30 regulatory agencies. When the Council's eyes crossed, the City Administration casually dropped the observation that taking water from the ocean would be “growth-inducing” and would, therefore, be prohibited by the state anyway. I guess they knew that all along and were just being coy. It is only $35k. As the consultant wrapped it up no one was laughing but it was damn funny. The fizzle was audible and the mayor never mentioned it again.

It is known that the Mayor has been a relentless force for the very popular policy of suppressing of homeless people as much as possible. In a show of unanimity and agreement, Councilman Will Lee and Mayor Peters recently threw their collective weight behind the sinister-sounding “Crimes Against The Public Peace” proposal. Basically, It is a way to lean on the disenfranchised while cleverly keeping up suppression of public expression during council meetings. No clapping is allowed. One must be calm even in dismay or rejoicing. Too much joy, and you might find yourself in violation of a Crime Against The Public Peace. It's not accidental. Peters is a practical and experienced politician. He understands that stern courtroom like crowd control moderated by his own clever banter (and it really is) lubricates Council efficiency, but I think he overplayed it. The humiliating one-handed silent clam clap rule is something they would do in North Korea. Peters loves it.

In her last effective act of office Linda Ruffing promulgated the infamous Code Of Civility, leaving the city a pointed recriminating reminder of her mistreatment at the hands of the mob. “The Code” was Ms. Ruffing's good bye kiss-off to the people of the city and although no councilman opposed it, Lindy Peters was far and away its most enthusiastic apologist. He instinctively understood its usefulness.

I know people from the east coast who are embarrassed to admit to their families back home that we are not allowed to clap at a City Council meeting. Lindy Peters has repeatedly underlined his fierce determination that people have been mortally terrified by remarks of citizens from the podium and must be officially coddled. Dumbing down and suppressing discussion is one pillar of the Mayor's re-election campaign. Suppression of the homeless is the other. He thinks you'll support him for doing the one and feel so guilty, you accept the other. Machiavelli who? No one is fooled. Every American knows that vigorous local government depends on vigorous sometimes contentious debate. It's not personal, it's traditional. It is more than a constitutional right it is a human right and a condition of freedom. Peters sat on that, very successfully. Now he wants to be Mayor again. I could overlook the rest. He tries. But because of his support for and illegal enforcement of Linda Ruffing’s code of civility, and the damn clam clap I could not vote for him.

* * *

FORT BRAGG MAYOR LINDY PETERS DISCONTINUES MONDAY MEETINGS DURING ELECTION PERIOD

Mayor Lindy Peters announced today that he will be discontinuing the Monday Morning Meetings with the Mayor effective September 10th. The weekly meetings, which began on January 9, 2017, have been held on Mondays at 11AM at City Hall to allow members of the public to ask questions, share concerns, ideas and visions for Fort Bragg, and to promote civic engagement.

The Mayor will still be available, by appointment, to talk to local residents and business owners about matters of concern. He plans to keep Mondays at 11AM open for individual meetings. To set an appointment, contact Lindy Peters at (707) 961-2823 extension 148.

Mayor Peters, who is running for reelection to the City Council on the November 6th ballot, decided to cancel the meetings to avoid any possible appearance that he was using the office of Mayor to promote his campaign, or that he had an unfair advantage over the other Council candidates.

* * *

THE MENDOCINO COMPLEX UPDATE: Containment on the Ranch Fire remains at 98 percent contained. The last section of uncontained fireline is west of Stonyford near Bonnie View and Happy Camp. Firefighters continue to monitor interior burning and patrol fire lines in this area. Crews and contractors have completed suppression repair on 364 miles of the 672 miles identified to date. Suppression repair work includes removing dirt berms, spreading cut vegetation and building taking measures to reduce soil erosion. Suppression repair is complete on the River Fire.

For detailed Mendocino Complex information visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6073/

Letts Lake Boat Ramp (Click to enlarge)

* * *

WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF THE FIRE

A Look at Some Media Representations of Wildfires

by Jonah Raskin

Wildfires are old news. They’ve been old news for as long as humans have told stories about wildfires and tried to tame them, along with almost everything else that was wild. As soon as there was private property and then cities like Athens, Rome and Damascus, fire was regarded with fear. It was turned into a foe that had to be destroyed. Much of the reporting about wildfires in California, the western states of the U.S. and all around the world, has portrayed fire as a dark and an evil force.

At The Press Democrat, the executive editor, Catherine Barnett, described last October’s wildfires in Sonoma as monsters that came “out of nowhere,” “without warning” and in the “dead of night.” Ooh ooh, spooky. With language like that, you’d think that Barnett was trying to frighten readers and drive them into the arms of insurance agents who would sell them more fire insurance—or decline to insure because they were in fire-prone areas.

The Press Democrat treats its readers as children. It dumbs down almost every story it prints, including the stories it ran about wildfires. The word “hope” appeared in headlines again and again as though hope had some kind of magical power that could bring back homes that were burned down. “Hope among the ruins” was one of many. Where were words like “wisdom,” “courage” and “intelligence”? Not in headlines in the PD. Hope is a four-letter word. Wisdom, courage and intelligence are too long.

The PD’s reporting of the firestorms in Sonoma tended to say that “our fires are bigger than your fires and we deal with our fires better than you deal with your fires.” The Sonoma wildfires of 2017 are no longer on record as the biggest fires in the state. That dubious honor now belongs to Mendocino. Local coverage of wildfires can be illuminating, like the stories about the men who dig holes in the ground and survive in the earth. That’s cool.

Some of the best stories were never written down, until now. I heard them from a farmer I call “T” who worked at a vineyard and also grew his own marijuana. Fires surrounded both grapes and weed. He backpacked in, saved both crops, stored them safely and then backpacked out. When he returned they were both safe and sound. That’s the kind of heroism that ought to be heralded.

The stories in the PD were often about cats, cats that were lost and cats that were found, cats that were reunited with their owners, and owners reunited with their pets. Then, too, any of the stories I read were about the loss of revenue at bars and restaurants. I fell for them. I did my part. After the fires of October 2017 were extinguished I went out to eat and drink and found that restaurants were packed with locals who were eating and drinking and doing their best to boost the local economy. Local reporting, PD reporting, was often about lost business, lost property and the need to recoup and rebuild. John Kunde of Kunde Family Winery was quoted in Sonoma magazine as saying that if he had to send out one message it would be, “Sonoma remains open for biz.” Fire bad for business! Or is it? What about all the rebuilding that will go on for years, keep workers working and the construction industry booming.

The best stories that I read about the wildfires in Sonoma were not from here. Some of them were from England, where The London Review of Books published an article entitled “El Diablo in Wine Country” by Los Angelino Mike Davis who concluded that in a “society based on real-estate capitalism” there was doom and gloom ahead and that “our children and theirs, will continue to face the flames.”

But one didn’t have to go to London to read thorough stories about California’s fires. An article entitled “Sonoma’s Burning Problem” published in the Fall 2018 issue of Alta magazine, which is owned by William Randolph Hearst III, says that there are “few curbs on development” in Sonoma County, not even after wildfires. There’s also a quotation from Julie Combs who serves on the Santa Rosa City Council, who said—after the approval of a project to build hundreds of houses near Fountaingrove—“We’re giving up the ability to prevent high density housing in a fire hazard area.”

In the same article, there’s also a comment from Peter Parkinson who ran the Sonoma County Planning Department from 2000 to 2013 and who said, he “couldn’t recall a time when county officials rejected a development on the basis of wildfire risk.”

The New York Review of Books had a review/essay entitled “California Burning” by William Finnegan in the August 16, 2018 edition. Here are some highlights.

1. Fire season lasts 78 days longer today, nationally, than it did in 1970.

2. The size, frequency and intensity of fires have increased.

3. The immediate suppression of wildfire, which was touted for decades as the solution, has created huge amounts of fuel for wildfires. But the stop-it-now philosophy gets the most funding.

4. Tree-killing insects multiply in droughts and dead trees feed fires. California has an estimated 100,000,000 dead trees.

5. Invasive species like cheatgrass that is highly flammable also contribute to more frequent, hotter and faster moving fires.

6. Most wild fires are caused by people: at campfires, with chainsaws, smoking cigarettes and by electrical power lines. No surprise there.

7. Over the last half-century, the US tried to eliminate fires from forests and instead filled those same forests with homes which added to the wildland-urban interface (WUI) which in turn contributed to the boom in wildfires. Ten million Americans live in the WUI and the numbers are growing.

I also read a thought-provoking article by poet and ecologist Gary Snyder that’s collected in a big fat beautiful book entitled Wild Fires: A Century of Failed Forest Policy published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology 12 years ago in 2006. That book predicted the wildfires we’ve had in California over the last decade. Snyder, who lives in the Sierras surrounded by trees, and who has always created “defensible space,” want humans to see fire as a friend not a foe, in much the same way that Native Americans have seen it for centuries, if not more.

Snyder writes, “It sickens one to see whatever clueless administration that is passing through, use fear of fire to warp public policy in favor of more exploitation, more industry and more restrictive law. It is an exact parallel of the use of ‘terrorism’ to warp American values and circumvent our Constitution to justify aggressive foreign policy and to promote again the sick fantasy of a global American empire.” Right on Gary!

This past year there have been wildfires in Norway, Sweden, Greece, Portugal, and in large swaths of Africa. We are not alone. The world is on fire. We are the people of the fire.

* * *

WILLITS 1947

* * *

JOE HANSEM NOTES:

Rumor new Public Defender, Jeffrey Aaron, is griping about his pay. Makes sense since he made at least $35,000 a year more in his previous job, but the cost of living is a lot lower and the quality of life a lot better here in Mendocino than it is in Riverside where he came from. But who knows, maybe he’ll bail back to his old job and we’ll get a local person running things again? So not sure why he left the Federal Public Defender office where he was in charge of a staff of hundreds of people. Maybe it was because he retired and not some other reason, like being forced out. If he starts at step 1, he’ll get $103k, if they vest him at the top at step 5, then it’s $125k, but the top ranks of the US Attorneys and Federal Defenders make in the $160s, in the range of what Cal Superior Court judges make.

* * *

SHERI ON THE ALBION BRIDGE

Interview with Sheri Quinn-Gibbs from KZYX about Caltrans' permit application to the Coastal Commission about the geotechnical investigation at Albion River Bridge.

Members of Albion Bridge Stewards and owners of the Albion River Inn were interviewed by Sheri Quinn-Gibbs, News Director/Reporter from the Mendocino Public Broadcasting KZYX News about the geotechnical investigation permit that Caltrans submitted to the CA Coastal Commission.

The interview is airing tomorrow 9-6-18 at 7:45am, 8:45am and again at 6pm. There will be a longer version of the interview (about 20 min) this Friday 9-7 around 11am. Listen at Frequency: 90.7 MHz or online at kzyx.org/term/live-broadcast#stream/0

For more info see coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2018/9

Item 10 a

Application of Caltrans to conduct geotechnical investigation to provide data for siting and overall design of future rehabilitation/replacement of Highway 1 Albion River Bridge involving geotechnical drilling of up to nine 70-125-ft.-deep bore holes within 6 specified sites, removal of major vegetation, grading, and use of helicopters for placement of drill rigs and construction of temporary access routes to boring sites, conducting seismic refraction surveys, and replanting cleared areas adjacent to Highway 1, on both sides of the Albion River at the Highway 1 Albion River Bridge in Albion.

That application will be accepted or denied by our Coastal Commissioners. Coastal Commission staff has recommended that Commissioners grant Caltrans the waiver with special conditions.

This CA Coastal Commission meeting will start at 9am September 12 at Town Hall, 363 North Main Street in Fort Bragg.

More information about the meeting, submit comments online by 9-7 at 5pm, see reports and exhibits, as well as live streaming and parking see:

coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2018/9

documents.coastal.ca.gov/agenda-map/Parking%20Map%20Fort%20Bragg.pdf

Albion Bridge Stewards is a group of citizens, local and otherwise, working to preserve the bridge and save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Please join us in our pursuit to save the federally and state recognized historic Albion River Bridge. See you at the meeting.

The protected coastal bluff face and bluff top, with trees and shrubs by Rita Crane Photography

* * *

BOONVILLE FAIR SUNDAY COMMUNITY CHURCH SERVICE

September 16th 2018, 8:30 AM

Apple Hall Auditorium, next to the Fair Office

Pastor Dave Kooyers from Valley Bible Fellowship will present:

“What Is Man?”

“Made in whose image?”

Free admission/Everyone Welcome

Please come and worship with us, and then enjoy the fair for the rest of the day.

For additional information please feel free to call Pastor Dave Kooyers (707) 895-2325, or the Fair Office at (707) 895-3011, or visit their website at: mendocountyfair.com

10:00 am Sheep Dog Trials, Finals - Rodeo Arena

2:00 pm CCPRA Rodeo Finals - Rodeo Arena

* * *

BENJAMIN O’NEILL, 34, a teacher at Ukiah High School, has been placed on “administrative leave pending further review” on suspicion of “annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18.”

O'Neill

O’Neill is a health occupation teacher at the school and a former firefighter specializing in emergency preparedness training. He was arrested shortly before noon Tuesday and booked into the County Jail. Superintendent of the Ukiah schools, Deb Kubin, issued this statement regarding O'Neill's arrest: “Ben O’Neill has been placed on administrative leave pending further review. As a school district, our primary responsibility is to protect the children in our care. When a UUSD staff member is accused of illegal or inappropriate behavior, we conduct a thorough investigation. We listen to all sides of the story and do everything in our power to uncover the truth. When law enforcement investigators are involved, we are careful not to compromise their efforts. While safeguarding students, we reserve judgment in all cases until the facts have been reviewed.”

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Comfort dog? Me? Never! That's about as abject as a dawg can go. You say our Supervisor has one? I say, Of course he does, and I think his dog needs an intervention, pronto, before he doesn't know a dog biscuit from Adi Da!"

* * *

A POEM BY JANICE BLUE

HUGELY (I go into prison)

When I loved,

I loved hugely.

When I believed in Heroism,

I believed hugely.

When I threw it all away for them,

I threw hugely.

So hard, my arm came out

——of its socket

So hard, my heart broke out

——of its brain-case locket

Now the Sidewalks

And the Gravel Roads

Will know me no more.

The indifferent concrete

The treacherous sand

Cities, Roads and Woods.

Wind, Men, White-blind scraps

—calling, chasing, come-go.

—Nowehere would they

——let me stay.

Echo no rocks.

Sob no water.

A white quench of blossom, is fire.

When it falls,

It kisses the ground

—where it falls.

Cremate not me.

No Dust under Glass for me,

Be jealous at least of

your bones!

that they remain to the

Earth.

. (not a typo)

Ash be dammed.

* * *

Janice Blue Poet: myspace.com/janicebluepoet

* * *

UPDATING GUALALA REDWOOD, an old logger tells us: "Gualala Redwoods Incorporated became Gualala Redwoods Timber after the purchase by the San Jose-based Burch family; New owner, new manager, same old environmentally devastating activities. CDF: go look at Stanley Ridge near Annapolis, and if that is sensible sedimentation prevention logging, then I am Martin Luther King's grandmother."

* * *

UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN HERE, but Oakland gets to vote in November on a measure whacking absentee property owners with a big annual tax on houses occupied fewer than 50 days a year, a tax that could go as high as $6,000 per parcel annually. There are a lot more non-property owners in Oakland than there are gentry, but it will take two-thirds of them to smack back at AirBnB.

* * *

HELL'S HALF-ACRE, the editor's old home on Anderson Valley Way in Boonville, used to house an average of ten local persons. No more. It now rents to well-heeled transients at some preposterous per-night charge, although I understand a couple of locals rent permanent rooms there.

* * *

DEVELOPMENT OF IMPROVED FIRE MITIGATION MEASURES FOR THE UKIAH VALLEY

Ukiah, CA. September 5, 2018. – The County of Mendocino and the City of Ukiah are actively engaged with CALFIRE, and other stakeholder groups in the review and development of fire prevention and mitigation measures for the Ukiah Valley, including the western hills that border the city.

With support from the Cities of Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Willits, and Point Arena, Mendocino County has applied for a grant to update a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP). Once funding is awarded, this multi-jurisdictional mitigation planning process will seek public input and ultimately identify hazard mitigation strategies which could reduce the risk of future fires throughout the county.

Independent of the MHMP planning process, efforts are underway to engage experts from fire agencies, the University of California Cooperative Extension, and strategic landowners to identify and implement vegetation management practices that will more immediately reduce the risk of wildfires. County Supervisor John McCowen stated, “Recent fires have made clear that we need defensible space for communities, not just individual properties.” Mayor Kevin Doble commented that, “I welcome this opportunity to work cooperatively with the County and other agencies to better protect our community from the devastating impacts of uncontrolled wildfires.”

The County and the City have prioritized this important work and the protection of our community. Once potential resources have been identified and additional information obtained, there will be public meetings to provide opportunities for community and property owners’ input.

For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 or the City of Ukiah at (707) 463-6217.

Carmel Angelo, Chief Executive Officer County of Mendocino

Sage Sangiacomo, City Manager City of Ukiah

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, September 5, 2018

Clark, Donahe, French

KELLY CLARK, Willits. Protective order violation.

MICHAEL DONAHE SR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting or threatening officer. (Frequent Flyer)

AMBER FRENCH, Calpella. DUI.

Holford, Massey, Mendez

COLUMBUS HOLFORD, McKinleyville/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

WENDY MASSEY, Ukiah. Retaking land after legal removal, probation revocation.

MICHAEL MENDEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

I do want to point out re: small-scale farming, that when you say “By the way, there is the useful work for a large number of citizens currently regarded as unemployable for one reason or another,” I fear you are vastly underestimating the physical ability and stamina needed to farm, especially if not using lots of gas guzzling equipment. I farmed as a market-grower for many years and I can assure you that 80 hour work weeks spent outdoors doing physical labor ain’t for the obese video game playing “unemployed” that are deemed unemployable. Farming actually does also take smarts and dedication along with physical ability. Alas, it’s also not for those used to doing no more than moving a mouse around while gazing at a screen in their climate controlled office.

Back in the days of Y2K fears there were many cheering on an implosion of the world as we knew it, bragging that they’d just go out and hunt Bambi and farm the “back 40.” The reality is that most of the US would, as the saying goes, “starve to death with a field full of wheat and a fresh cow in the barn.”

* * *

THE INSIDER LETTER THAT TRUMP CALLS TREASON

(The New York Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers.)

* * *

“I am part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration. I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

The result is a two-track presidency.

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

(The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration.)

* * *

In response to the bombshell op-ed, Trump tweeted, simply, “TREASON?” Adding in a second tweet: “Does the so-called ‘Senior Administration Official’ really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!”

* * *

THE OLD NEED NOT APPLY

by Howard Lisnoff

Employment discrimination is as old as this nation. In their turn, blacks, Latinos, Jews, women and others have all seen employment opportunities that needed to have been somewhat buttressed by the strength of their resumes and experience given short shrift.

With older workers, unemployment is no mere chimera. The Center on Aging and Work at Boston College cites research from Kosanovich and Theodossio in “Trends in long-term unemployment” (2015): “The incidence of long-term unemployment increases with age.” Those 55 years old and older looking for work for 27 weeks and longer had a 44.6 percent unemployment rate. Talk about age discrimination!

The first premise of a job search has almost universally been that “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Given that American Exceptionalism falsely holds that we are living in a meritocracy, most know better. When the shoe leather hits the streets most already have learned a different lesson. There is a startling contrast between job searches and job offers for those who are old. A good guess is that if a perspective employee lied in a resume and listed a phony and younger year of birth, that that person would get many, many more interviews. Of course, that person would be rejected once he/she showed up for an interview for obvious reasons. Employers can blatantly discriminate against prospective workers, but a job applicant can’t lie on a resume.

I began looking for work a few months ago. In terms of the jobs I was applying for—library supervisor, academic advisor, test administer and test administration supervisor, I naively thought that my prospects were excellent since I possessed a solid resume of work experience, education, and a myriad of community volunteer experiences.

What a shock when I began receiving stark email rejections or no rejections at all… just silence in some cases. Sometimes silence feels better than a lie like emails stating that you were one of an amazing array of highly qualified applicants. This was all very, very frustrating because I’ve got skills that would enable me to actually be of use in the work environments for which I had applied. I could actually help people, but that often doesn’t matter to employers.

Since names are named here and facts matter, let’s start with a school in northwestern Connecticut that caters to the elite who happen to be of a particular social, economic and political class (and usually of the same religious persuasion looking at the school’s list of notable graduates). That prep school’s online application was tortuous to complete. When a person has an extensive work history and education, the time it takes to fill out one of these kinds of applications is astronomical. For that effort, I received a form letter rejection a few months after applying for the job via email touting the pool of candidates. Readers might think that all of the professional talent of the world is centered around the Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut.

Next, I applied for the library job mentioned above. The hours were bizarre, but hey, I’ve got time on my hands and lots of library and research experience, so I thought I was a shoo-in for at least a first interview. Wrong again, and in this case I didn’t even receive the form email congratulating me for being an unseen and uninterviewed genius.

The list of applications does go on, but after three, maybe there was some magic there. I received an offer to come for an interview from a company that has a contract with the government to administer standardized tests at three grade levels for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the data from which the “nation’s report card” for education is gathered, which actually is quite useful data for studying trends in education.

Here I struck it rich and it appeared that the interview would be just a formality. I also received an email of interview guidelines and was somewhat shocked to read that the dress requirements for the work were somewhat like those for my freshman year in college many decades ago. I would have to dress as if I was to attend a semi-formal dance or dinner each morning and be at a classroom desk fifty miles from my home at 7:00 AM each day. And now here’s the kicker: All of these requirements and the educational experience to administer these tests would garner $13.15 per hour. That’s right readers, your eyes are not deceiving you… $13.15 an hour. I calculated that I would probably wreck a car with that daily roundtrip commute during the winter months that can be quite severe here, and I would have pocket change left to show for those Herculean efforts.

Pretty amazing conclusions can be easily drawn here, and in the current anti-worker and anti-union environment many won’t be shocked in the least. All of this reminded me of a make-work job I had while I was in high school. I got the job through family connections and the work involved the daily sweeping of the floor of a huge U.S. Navy warehouse on a naval base in Rhode Island. The place was humungous, but that was all that was available because the young don’t exactly have great job prospects in this society either.

(Howard Lisnoffis a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).)

* * *

COLLATERAL DAMAGE

Editor:

As the Trump administration is eliminating “excessive” government regulation, we should recognize that existing deregulation is contributing to homelessness.

Many mentally ill people are refugees from closed asylums and inadequate community support services; veterans are refugees from inadequately funded veterans’ homes and medical care; chronically ill and disabled people are refugees from privatized medical care tied to full-time employment; the unemployed and underemployed are refugees from automation, offshore manufacturing and defunct labor unions; impoverished elderly people are refugees from 401(k) retirement accounts; taxi drivers and truck drivers are refugees of the gig economy and contract employment.

All are faced with increasing rents and inadequate public transit. Although deregulation is mostly beyond local control, its effects are local.

The homeless are canaries in the coal mine, hinting at our vulnerabilities (“The fragility of our situation,” Aug. 12). Before we evict or arrest homeless people for public elimination, we could at least provide public toilets and garbage facilities and sanctioned parking areas. The recent spread of hepatitis A through California homeless populations (“Finding a place for the homeless,” Editorial, Aug. 22) reminds us that caring for the homeless is as much enlightened self-interest as charity.

Sue Parker

Rohnert Park

* * *

NO QUIZ THIS WEEK.

We shall return on the 2nd Thursday of the month. September 13th, for a pre-Fair evening of brain exercises. Hope to see you there, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

* * *

* * *

UNUSUAL ACTIVITY

Please communicate with me via Gmail... because Microsoft has again temporarily suspended my Outlook.com account, citing "unusual activity." Reality is that I did send out some emails sharing with friends the good news about my Kaiser Permanente recent tests. Obviously, it is NOT spam. I will go to the Microsoft store today and have the account unblocked using their phone to get the appropriate code.

Craig Louis Stehr, Email: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com

* * *

* * *

LEARNING TO CARE

by Bruce Brady

A few years ago, I remember talking with a friend about what people who were the beneficiaries of expensive educations had in common. With Dubya stumbling around in front of the cameras, it didn't look likely to be wisdom, or even intelligence. Mostly, it didn't even include being somehow 'better educated.' Maybe a certain cunning. I remember commenting something about that unmistakeable look of simple elegance and smugness which pervades McMansions everywhere, complementing the sleek vehicles posed outside. Granite countertops and linen napkins. The Better Homes and Gardens look. The style, assuming it rose to that level, had never implied anything to me much more than a comfortable income. My friend held the key. "They think they deserve it." And he was a graduate of one of them. And, of course, he fully accepted the plain fact that he did, in fact, deserve it.

Taking the liberty of speaking for them at the moment, most would wholeheartedly agree. Yale, Stanford, Bowdin, Williams, Wheaton, Beloit, Berkeley, Reed. Some of these occupy the rarified territory among the steepled peaks and manicured lawns of American -- even world -- education. How could they not be 'well-educated?'

The answer turns out to be simple: they didn't (and sometimes they still don't) care. The entire process seems to mean nothing to them outside of giving them -- along with the McMansion or a lovely place(s) in the country -- yet another avenue in which to show off their good taste and breeding. This may indeed be a vast generalization, supported by nothing except insufficient anecdotal evidence but, to tread a well-worn path for a moment, it's my story and I'm sticking to it. On the other hand, should you yearn for something greater than the sprawling McMansion with the Audi posed artfully in the drive. If, say, you want to be the President of the United States you'd probably better sit down and finish that application to Yale. And don't forget to include your application fee. You ain't likely to get there from Wasabi Tech.

The really cool thing is that you don't really have to learn anything much while you're there. All you have to do is to find and follow the line marking 'Fuck up more than this, and you will find yourself back in Boise.' The stinking ruin that this state of affairs has made of this place we used to know lies all around us: poiliticians who don't appear to have the faintest idea what that means, doctors who know only a tiny sliver of medicine, lawyers who don't know the law, and who appear to lack any commitment to its place in this place, administrators with stunning views from high-rise corner windows who could not readily administer a Burger King.

What has led to this is not especially complicated. Many, if not most, American high school students just want to survive it all so that they can toss their tassels at graduation and escape the whole thing as unobtrusively as possible. A few, of course, never leave. Nearly universally, last week's win over City Tech holds far more significance than the percentage passing AP tests.

A disconcertingly relevant observation of the actual social good wreaked by American education (as distinct from all the high-limit credit cards and status perks earned by many of its graduates) is that it has failed, and it has failed miserably. There are, of course, many measures of this, and anyone needing current examples here should go this minute to Google and scratch the itch. For myself, what we at least partially accomplished at Laytonville High School twenty years ago is a much more interesting narrative. Although to varying degrees all of us on the Laytonville faculty did our daily best, my telling of the story may inadvertently make my role seem more important than others. I apologize for this. It wasn't.

Almost every parent will note early in their child's adolescence a sudden flash of something like idealism. Your blooming little daughter may dramatically try to avoid killing bugs. Bobby suddenly looks at the porkchop you have lain on his plate like something moved in it and announces that this thing came from a pig. Millie reports that her teacher told her about little kids starving somewhere. These moments can manifest in a seeming nanosecond. They tend to last sometimes for weeks or months, but they often, perhaps mostly, go unnoticed, except perhaps in the classroom. In the average adolescent, they usually appear a bit after acne and pubic hair and faint, suggestive moustaches.

This budding idealism in the young must be serviced, as it were, quickly and with some passion, for the flip side manifests a cynicism so deep and pervasive that it can easily color the rest of a life. Often, the fact that it was never encouraged shows plainly on the graduates. That fact alone goes a long way toward one explanation of what we see when we turn on the news.

But something life-altering happens now and then somewhere in the mid-grades of high school. Your average Jill or Joey, perhaps a year or two from graduation, pretty much accurately sees that life is happening to her or him, and in any event needs often to get laid. Attention is diverted. Test scores are consistently mid-range. Not on minimum or reduced-price lunch (irrelevent at Laytonville, as there is no cafeteria at the high school anyway.) Truancy within normal limits. Slightly above average GPA (3.2). College Prep track. No athletics. Single mother on public assistance. Malvina Reynolds caught it decades ago with 'Little Boxes.'

In some ways, of course, the picture yields a kind of statistical accuracy, and it is not much wonder that, at this point, Joey or Jill might not even struggle much to escape what almost always follows, but the ominous premonition of being had is insistent. Minimum or near-minimum wage jobs await -- all the way to the end. Car payments. A million cheeseburgers. That sinking feeling that your teams will always lose…

Suppose that along in here somewhere some teacher keeps him or her after class to suggest that when students register for next year's classes, take an AP class. It's more work, but you can do it. Rah, rah. Suppose, here in Pangloss's world, that Joey thinks, at least for a moment, 'What the fuck? Let's try it!' And months later, he finds himself at the kitchen table wrestling with Dickens' attitude toward Nature (or some damned thing) while most of the rest of his homies are out somewhere shooting hoops. Or he might be working to understand the Theory of Prime Numbers or the foreign policy implied by the Gadsden Purchase.

Well, this is new. Joey is learning how to think. And when Joey notices that he is beginning to find himself disagreeing with others, he begins (often) to see that they are not thoughtful. He will likely learn that Willy is apparently no longer intimidated by the fact that Joey outweighs him by forty pounds, only by the fact that he just made the Honor Roll by earning a 3.0 average, the first time this has ever happened, and a secret he manages to keep from his big brother in the Navy. The office secretary just came in and handed him and six or eight others their certificates.

This sort of scene, of course, plays out in a million different ways, but over time, most students will work their asses off, so to speak, to meet a firm standard. Most of those teachers who've been doing it for awhile regard it as obvious that most kids will do their level best to live up to their teacher's expectations. Institutionally, this is the standard The College Board applies through its Advanced Placement classes, where it works (or used to) for the whole school.

The particular device that I found most useful in bringing kids to the point where they might begin to feel that their opinion counted was the Socratic Seminar, a fairly rigid means to organize and hold a discussion. Among its many aspects is the insistence that only one person talk at a time. This alone, of course, if somehow enforced nationally, would definitively (at least for awhile) wreak major change in America's structure. Just imagine being heard! Also of major importance is the prohibition against the teacher monopolizing the discussion or lecturing. This is one way (and plainly not the only way) to learn to trust onself and be comfortable out there, being confident that one's supported opinion is, ideally at least, as important as anybody else's.

The people who went through this as students got a start, at least, in learning how to think, I think. Although statistical backup would be hard to come by, my intuition is that most students fortunate to have found themselves in Laytonville [!] at this time are among the best that American education ever produced, at least on the north coast of California.

* * *

DEVREAUX BAKER appears at Gallery Bookshop Thursday, September 6th, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, with music, and guest poet Toni Bernbaum.

Recipe For Peace
by Devreaux Baker

Bare your feet, roll up your sleeves
oil the immigrant's bowl.
Open the doors and windows of your house
invite in the neighbors, invite in strangers off the street.
Roll out the dough, add the spices for a good life;
cardamom and soul, cumin and tears.
Stir in sesame and sorrow, a dash of salt
pink as new hope.
Rub marjoram and thyme, lemon grass and holy basil
on your fingers and pat the dough.
Bless the table, bless the bread,
bless your hands and feet.
Bless the neighbors and strangers
off the street.
Bake the bread for a century or more
on a moderate heat
under the olive trees in your back yard
or on the sun-filled stones of Syria.
In the white rocks of Beirut
or behind the walls of Jerusalem.
In the mountains of Afghanistan
and in the sky scrapers of New York.
Feast with all the migrant tongues
until your mouth understands
the taste of many different homes
and your belly is full so you fall asleep
cradled in the skirts of the world
curled in the lap of peace.

* * *

UKIAH THEN AND NOW, A DIALOGUE

Harvey Reading (commenting on the old photos of Ukiah): "Almost as dismal as new Ukiah."

* * *

Mark Scaramella: Oh no, new Ukiah is much more dismal. Have you been to new Ukiah lately? I remember driving through old Ukiah with my father on one of his famous (to us) creamery tours in the 50s on old 101. All those dusty old towns at least had some character, some individuality of a sort. We lived for several years in Willows and someone had shot the giant SHELL station neon sign way up above the town in huge neon yellow letters so that at night it said “Welcome to your neighborhood HELL station.” A true landmark. Ukiah wouldn’t tolerate anything like that nowadays.

* * *

HR: Last time I was there was probably 2000-01 for a work meeting. The area possessed no attraction for me then. I suppose I shouldn’t be so biassed toward a place, but there you have it. While living south of Sonoma during the 70s, hearing all the tales of “organic” flower children alighting in Mendo (plus the firing of the Ag Commissioner for telling the truth that everyone outside Mendocino County already knew) completely turned me off concerning the place as a possible abode, something I have yet to overcome, nor at this stage, do I even plan to try. I quite fully expect to die here in the land of the broomstick cowboy … a whole state which contains only about 6 times as many people as Mendocino County, assuming I’ve calculated properly.

* * *

MS: My brother started coming to Ukiah (and other Norcal county seats) in the early 70s as a Welfare Administrative Hearing officer (hearing benefits appeals from applicants who were denied benefits by county eligibility staffers). He told me that he reversed more than 90% of the denials by county officials in the dozen or so rural counties which were on his beat because they simply didn’t follow the law. His impression of this area even back then was that Mendo was a “cow county” like all the rest of them, with penny-pinching nitpicking welfare officials who prided themselves on keeping a lid on benefits, meager as they have always been. But, again even back then, Mendo was different rhetorically, with lots of “liberal” talk about how “progressive” they were while beneath the rhetoric they were just like all the other “cow counties.” As John Pinches once said (I think) Mendo has a lot of “Pickup truck cowboys” who have never seen a cow or a horse. The thing that makes Ukiah so dismal now is the sickly sweet syrup of fake liberalism poured over the same dry pancakes — still a cow town in a cow county — but with more retirees, more wine, more pot and more pretense. The Supes meetings are good metaphors for this dismal state of affairs. Not once since the “flower children” moved in and produced this lib-lab overlay have these new arrivals proposed a single liberal thing, as they vote for the hack Democrats 2 to 1 year after year. We get KZYX, personal use pot initiatives, hippie shack building code exemptions, no spray on me and my body-temple, no clearcuts or gravel plants in my viewshed, no GMOs, and other essentially libertarian me-first and NIMBY proposals — but never do we see childcare vouchers, living wage for local contracts, local preference, sunshine and open government proposals, oversight over helping agencies, etc. which would benefit the general public. So your “land of the broomstick cowboy” doesn’t sound so different after all…

* * *

HR: No, Mark, it isn’t different at all, except for fewer trees, colder winters and lots of public land that some cow or sheep farmer or extractive corporation can’t force me leave … so far (not to mention people who have their headlights adjusted far too high … on purpose I suspect, perhaps thinking that illuminating the sky rather than the roadway is beneficial while driving at night). Public lands and small population are the ONLY things that attracted me here to the Midwest (they even have a town north of Casper named just that). The fear of martial law and overpopulation are what drove me from the state of my birth out West after 52 years. I would take slight issue with your brother’s assessment of cow counties. Calaveras County was kind of an exception in terms of its welfare department during my years there (1955-1968). It was headed in those years by a Miss Florence (Flossie) Deveggio, and she insisted on the form of address unless you knew her well. She was a strong believer in the rights of her clients and ensured that her staff did everything they could to provide services to them, including legal advice regarding the various welfare statutes. She was a strong woman who could back down the county supervisors, too, most of whom reflected the cow-(and sheep-)farmer mentality your brother described. My mom, a socialist cum New-Deal democrat, loved working for her. I shudder to think how things may be there now.

* * *

MS: We found an obit for Ms. Deveggio who died in 2004 at the age of 94, at: uniondemocrat.com/csp/mediapool/sites/UnionDemocrat/Obituaries/story.csp

Florence 'Flossie' H. Deveggio

July 8, 1910 - Oct. 10, 2004

Lifelong Calaveras County resident Florence "Flossie" H. Deveggio died Sunday at a San Andreas hospital. She was 94. She was born in San Leandro and lived in Calaveras County her entire life, most recently in Angels Camp. She was a retired social worker for Calaveras County. She was a member of the First Congregational Church in Angels Camp. She is survived by her cousins, Jerry Biedinger and his wife, Kathy, of Altaville, Randy Biedinger and his wife, Lisa, of Murphys and Barbara Morhmann and her husband, Bill, of San Andreas; and a niece, Jacqueline Church of Walnut Creek. She was preceded in death by her husband, Louis, in 1984; and by a sister, Irene Douglas, in 1967. A private family service will be held at a later date. Donations can be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, Hospice of the Sierra, P.O. Box 4805, Sonora, CA 95370. Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

 

11 Comments

  1. George Hollister September 6, 2018

    WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF THE FIRE

    Lots of truth in Raskin’s article. There is always the fire that “sets a new record”, too. “The worst fire on record”, but no mention of record for what. Number of acres? Value of property destroyed? Number of people who died? Etc. Another good point is the more we fight fire, the worse fires gets.

    Then there is the blame. I blame Environmentalists. Environmentalists blame loggers. Everyone blames developers. Of course there is human caused climate change, which we blame everyone for, but us. Exxon did it. Oh, yea, PG&E is to blame. They started the fire, right? (A small detail, PG&E has the money.) There are also the dead trees to blame, and the fallen over trees, and the live trees, and the young trees, and the low branches, and the understory, and the leaf litter, and the forest for Christ sake. I guess we should pave it over.

  2. Mike J September 6, 2018

    Devotees of Adi Da once marketed a brand of cookies called Unknown Jeromes, with the branding question “what is a cookie”?

    So, I guess if Dan’s dog realizes the fruits of the Way of Divine Ignorance (ie we can’t stand aside from everything and know That as a separate object of knowledge), by the inability to distinguish Adi Da from a biscuit, Little Dog will feel the radiant force from Dan’s littler dog and run away from you guys!

    Good to see your missionary work for Adi Da still faithfully on course!

      • Mike J September 6, 2018

        I have seen no signs that the Supervisor has realized the fruition of The Way of Divine Ignorance. But, then again, I only see him on tv so maybe hard to gauge.

        And, when he moves, i guess we will be definitely unable to follow the trajectory of his spiritual practice.

        • Bruce McEwen September 6, 2018

          He most certainly hath received those fruits! I’ve seen him in person many times and he fairly exudes the Ripe Fruition of Enlightenment. You (and by using the second-person, I refer to the first-person encounter, the idiom of the Self, the Holy Third Person Plural, and Hari Hari Hari Krishna, aye ‘tis a cult and Danny Boy, ees the blue incarnation of the leading character, the blind man in the racing chariot with the five horses plunging him into… well, a figure eight, recumbent…

          Like Carlos Casteneda, he may be able to erase his physical presence w/out aid of um, wull uh, but his fingerprints are all over the internet, and he can’t get far, can he…?

          • Mike J September 6, 2018

            LOL.
            Thanks for the 1st hand, eyewitness report on your Dan darshan….
            And, the clarifying picture!

          • Craig Stehr September 7, 2018

            Attended the Krishna Jayanthi celebration September 2nd at Honolulu’s Krishna Temple. Interesting to note that the Indian community is mainly supporting ISKCON now. The hippies are still there, having been initiated by Srila Prabhupada in the 1970s, but the Indians are now in charge of the finances. I guess that it’s only possible to sell so many copies of the Bhagavad Gita at the airport. ~Mahalo~

          • Mike J September 7, 2018

            The playful and music-filled Color Fests put on by American named Caru Das across the country are popular. He has big Krishna centers in Salt Lake City and in rural Utah.

  3. benjamin graham September 6, 2018

    Rex, another interesting and detailed analysis of Fort Bragg’s Mayor and City Council. Yet, you are not running for a City Council seat, but for a seat on the Hospital board? I have not seen you write anything about the Hospital.

  4. Harvey Reading September 6, 2018

    Re: Florence ‘Flossie’ H. Deveggio

    The obituary was so bland and uninformative that it made me worry that I had remembered the wrong name. I called the Calaveras County Human Services or whatever these days Department, but, of course, no one knew any ancient history. I also left a request at the Calaveras Enterprise, where the obituary probably first appeared, for any information they might have on the matter.

    Since my sister’s memory matches mine (without any hint in my email of my recollection of the name), for the moment I’m sticking with the name Deveggio. It may be that Deveggio’s wish was to be remembered simply as a social worker, not as the boss. I can still recall my eighth-grade teacher, a man in his thirties with a polio brace on one leg, telling tales of Miss Deveggio, whom he admired, as he sat on the writing portion of a student desk, with one foot on the seat, in front of the class.

    If I become aware of any information substantiating the supposition of error in my recollection of the woman’s name, I will be just pleased as punch to pass it along to y’all!

    • Bruce McEwen September 6, 2018

      If you think that’s bad, I was on the city desk at the only daily in Edward Abbey’s old stomping grounds, Southern Utah, when a mortician walked in and handed me the great man’s obit.

      I recovered from a case of the jitters, and asked the editor of the National Desk what he had in mind for the Sunday Morning Edition front page. It was Tianamen Square, the Chinese Democrats standing up to the tanks.

      I used my charm, one hack to another, to bump Tianamen square w/ an obit I re-wrote myself, on the spur of the moment, as they say, (or used to, until they fired me…)

      Awaiting my last check, the same mortician walked in, and handed me my cousin Johnny’s obit. This was too much. The mortician had called John’s sister, and one of the neices, one of the kids who always heard him ridiculed and blamed by their mother, for anything and everything, one of them answered the phone and gave the particulars of the man’s demise, a cruel synopsis of his life, and the young embalmer took it down in good faith.

      Consider, this used to happen when copy editors were alert and perhaps sober enough to pass a blue pencil through such weeds on a man’s fresh grave!

      Not so much anymore.

      Keep in mind that obits in the AVA are often as not followed up with something a bit more readable than an embalmer’s version of a talk on the phone with a relative close enough, yet composed enough, to deliver at least a few words, et cetera…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

-