- Guadalupe Becerra
- Blackshear Memorial
- County Resources
- Mitchell's Ghost
- Ed Notes
- Diesel Spill
- Pot Pioneers
- Bird Saver
- Little Dog
- FB Fears
- Karate Master
- Book Review
- Homeless Stories
- Yesterday's Catch
- Control Issues
- 2020 Foresight
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Medical Bankruptcy
- Carbon Tax
- Marco Radio
GUADALUPE ‘LUPE’ BECERRA
Lupe was born on March 3, 1963 in Jalpa, Zacatecas, Mexico, to Jesus Becerra and Socorro Rojas. He grew up in Rancho de Los García until he decided to try his luck in California's Central Valley where he harvested roses.
Lupe soon realized that he was better off continuing his studies so he returned to Zacatecas where he attended the Universidad Tecnológica de Zacatecas. As part of his fellowship, he served as a kindergarten teacher in El Corral de Piedra, a small ranch where he met the love of his life, Martha Sánchez. They married in 1987 and settled in Fort Bragg where they raised their three daughters, Karina, Keily and Kate.
Lupe worked in the urchin industry, at Little River Inn, Colombi Logging, Shuster's Logging, California State Parks and Anderson Logging. He loved playing, watching and coaching soccer, was an avid abalone diver and spent much of his time gardening and walking along the Haul Road and coastal trails with Martha and their girls. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and Couples for Christ through Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church.
Some of Lupe's proudest moments were completing his studies in electrical engineering in Mexico, obtaining his high school diploma through the Coastal Adult School and supporting his three daughters both morally and financially in their undergraduate as well as graduate studies.
He is survived by his wife and daughters; his father, Jesus; siblings Miguel, Encarnación, Roberto, Imelda, Sergio, Rodolfo, María, Daniel and Trinidad. He was preceded in death by his mother, Socorro, and his brother, Manuel de Jesus.
If you happened to have had the great fortune of meeting this amazing man, you know well that he was one of the most loving, caring, humble and hard-working men who ever lived who touched the lives of many. His wife and daughters are devastated by his all-too-sudden passing but know that he is with them always. They would like to thank family, friends and the entire community for all of their love and support. We all have a new angel watching over us.
"Con paciencia se gana todo." Lupe Becerra
MENDOCINO COUNTY SNAPSHOT, 1950
by Marshall Newman
One of the astonishing aspects of our internet-connected world is the ability to discover – and buy – stuff we never knew we wanted. Amazon and eBay have become great enablers, but almost every commercial website offers something that someone, somewhere, can’t live without, even if they have for decades.
My latest “can’t live without” (even though I have and likely will again) purchase was the October 1953 edition of California Journal of Mines and Geology, devoted to the “Mines and Mineral Resources of Mendocino County, California.” Yes, mines and minerals in Mendocino: few then and almost none now, but enough to fill a periodical 60 years ago.
So where was the big money in Mendocino’s mineral resources? In the years leading up to 1950 (the last year in which data and values were recorded in this periodical), carbon dioxide (for dry ice production), natural gas, chromite, sand and gravel, and quarried stone were the county’s prime mineral earners. Going back to the period between 1880 and World War II, mineral water and bricks were big around the turn of the 20th century, while manganese, coal and chromite (again) saw heydays around 1920. Here and there were mentions of more coveted stuff, most in limited quantities and most eventually found not to be commercially viable: gold, silver, platinum, quicksilver and copper.
Anderson Valley received scant mention in the publication, with a few exceptions. One was mineral water. Both Ornbaun Springs (misspelled “Ornbaum”) and California Seltzer Springs were mentioned, while Singleys Soda Spring, just west of Bell Valley near Boonville, was not. Then there was copper. The Redwood Copper Queen Mine was located a few miles south of Fish Rock Road on Monahan Creek, and yielded 400 tons of ore for the manufacture of Sulfuric acid in 1906. There also was a passing reference to nickel – though not in commercial quantities – in Bell Valley. There was no mention of natural gas (evident in a few water wells around Boonville).
The lack of minerals in Anderson Valley proved no deterrent to the sale of mineral rights on local properties, according to rumors that have circulated here for decades. Assuming they happened (there are indications they did), most of those sales likely took place during the first half of the 20th century. With mergers and bankruptcies over the intervening years, most local property owners whose mineral rights were sold have no idea who owns them today. Indeed, many property owners probably have no idea they don’t own the mineral rights to their land.
Today, according to various sources, there remain several hundred mining claims in Mendocino County, most of which are inactive. Of that total, 128 are in Boonville, of which three (a total of 61 acres) are active – most likely gravel operations.
The publication’s information on Mendocino County itself offers a glimpse into the recent past and a comparison to today shows how much has changed. County population in 1950 was 40,854. The 2015 population was 87,649, but the percentage increase in Mendocino County looks small compared to the population explosion (a near quadrupling) in California over the same period. Ukiah was the county’s biggest city, with a 1950 population of 6,134 versus a 2015 population of 15,977.
In 1950, commercial fishing was economically significant in Fort Bragg, as were dairy production and cattle in Point Arena, cattle and sheep in Covelo, apples and sheep in Anderson Valley, hops in Hopland, livestock and dairy production in Willits, and pears, prunes and grapes in Ukiah and Potter Valley. All were insignificant compared to logging and milling; in 1948, there were 124 active lumber mills in Mendocino County, which produced 367,000,000 board feet of lumber: today there are perhaps ten, few of which handle raw logs.
In 1950, 7,400 acres of Mendocino County were planted to wine grapes: in 2017 the total was 17,250 acres. The publication made no mention regarding the number of Mendocino County wineries but in 1950 there were (I believe) only two: Parducci Wine Cellars and Mendocino Growers Cooperative. Today there are approximately 90 wineries in Mendocino County.
“The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past,” wrote William Faulkner. His words ring truer in Anderson Valley than most places; the pace is slower here and change comes gradually. But even here change is a fact of life, inexorably pushing us towards the future. How – and how much – will Anderson Valley change in the next 65 years? Difficult to say, but it could be a crazy trip.
PETS OF THE WEEK
The Ukiah Shelter has an abundance of black kittens, and pictured here is Chocolate Moose--a 2 month old male kitty. Chocolate Moose is mostly black, with dark brown on his back. He's a very cute and playful kitten with an outgoing personality. CM lived in a foster home during his first weeks, where he got lots of love and attention. At the shelter, Chocolate Moose lives with his three littermates who all share the same social and playful personality.
Oakley is a stunning dog with big, brown, intelligent, and soulful eyes. He has lovely manners and is very easy to leash up and walk. Oakley is friendly, but he also has a little bit of an independent quality. He has a soft mouth and a calm and quiet demeanor. This good looking guy will need a home with secure fencing. We think Oakley could be a good hiking buddy and an all-around great companion.
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit us online at: www.mendoanimalshelter.com or visit the shelter. Join us the second Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for socialization and exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
THE GHOST OF TOM MITCHELL seems to be hovering anew over the Supervisors Chambers in Ukiah. Mitchell, long-time readers may recall, was Mendo’s CEO before they hired Carmel Angelo, a registered nurse by training. Mitchell pioneered what might be called the Zen administrative approach by answering most questions with versions of “I’m looking into that,” or “I’ll get back to you on that,” or, our favorite, “we’re looking at that,” out of which came exactly nothing. At one point we counted about 20 major subjects that Mitchell was "looking into," collecting dust on Mitchell’s growing “action item list” having been formally assigned to him during accumulated Board meetings and once described by then Supervisor John Pinches as “strong marching orders.”
Then as now, there was no follow-up from the Supervisors, and Mitchell's "action item list" grew old and died. Mitchell abruptly resigned in March of 2010, forgotten like the items on his bulging action item list.
Say what you will about current CEO Carmel Angelo, she is a step up from Mitchell. And the current Board of Supes is objectively a stutter step more competent than the Supes were during Mitchell's somnolent reign.
But more and more action items are accumulating on CEO Angelo’s “to do list” — based upon promises or assignments from the Board in public session — which shouldn't be allowed to languish unaddressed.
There’s the long-delayed Exclusive Operating Area for inland ambulance services, which Angelo has allowed to fall into permanent limbo by dumping the poor-performing Sonoma County Coastal Valley EMS service before having a comparable function set up locally.
There’s the Sheriff’s Overtime budget which Angelo and staff were supposed to be monitoring and reporting on monthly since assigning an arbitrarily low budget to it in June.
There are the long-delayed budget reporting “metrics” which are occasionally mentioned, promises implied or given, but no reports are forthcoming.
There are the hundreds of seemingly permanently stalled pot permit applications which, after almost a year, are still “in queue” or “under review.” (Not to mention the costly, endless “overlay zone” pot permit process which has been going on for months now and only getting farther off.)
There’s the promise to re-organize the Probation Department so that the County isn’t stuck with having to pay for the mistakes and benign neglect by their majesties of the Superior Court.
There continue to be retroactive cash hand-outs on almost every Board agenda without explanation even though the Board has declared “no more retroactive contracts” and staff has promised to obey.
The housing problem, while talked about often by the Board, remains unattended and unaddressed beyond the minor steps associated with the fire recovery program. As a short example, we have Supervisor Gjerde mentioning the availability of modest house specs a couple of weeks ago before they were ready to be released and which are now under review by the County Counsel’s office with no deadline and no sense of urgency.
The Marbut Report produced some agreements and promises from Mental Health sub-czar Molgaard (the czarina of those many annual millions is Tammy Moss Chandler) and their crew of overpaid helping professionals to revise the way the county’s homeless and transient population is treated. The Supes vaguely (and officially) agreed. But nothing has changed and nobody asks.
There are the still incomplete memorandums of agreement relating to Mental Health Services to be provided by affiliated agencies that were supposed to have been completed in the wake of the transition from Ortner’s failed mental health services to Redwood Quality Management Company two years ago. They have been "almost finished" for well over a year now.
AND THAT roster of the not done is just off the top of our head. Just like back in the Mitchell days, there needs to be Board-maintained official action item list with target completion dates, names of persons responsible, budget impact, and status on every item that the CEO promises to do or that the Board orders her to do. And each item needs to be reported on at every Board meeting. In Writing. Without it, the whole show just limps aimlessly and randomly along. Things that the CEO committed to do — things which have significant impact on County operations and beyond — are allowed to sit in limbo indefinitely in direct contradiction to Board direction and staff promises.
THE ONLY THING the County seems to have no trouble doing is giving big raises to itself, especially to its top officials — in spite of the poor performance listed above.
IF THE COUNTY can’t even track and manage the things that they themselves have committed to do, what hope is there that the general public’s priorities will ever get addressed?
WE WERE SADDENED to learn that Charlie Rappleye, only 62, died at his home in Los Angeles last week. Services will be held on Friday, September 28 at Echo Park in Los Angeles. Lots of people will remember Rappleye from his days at the Ukiah Daily Journal, one of several really good writers to have written for Ukiah's faded daily. Having escaped the county seat with his wits about him, Rappleye went on to the LA Weekly and as an author of lively, carefully researched books on such disparate characters as Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution and Johnny Rosselli in All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli Story.
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JANE FUTCHER'S letter for candidate Haschak over candidate Pinches for Third District supervisor surprised us. As a marijuana advocate second only to Pebs Trippet in seeming monomania, Ms. Futcher's radio shows and journalism have often complained about Mendocino County’s burdensome pot licensing processes, a regulatory burden much more likely to be relieved by Pinches than Haschak. Ms. Futcher ignores Pinches' long advocacy for sensible and simple legalization rules, and he was an advocate when legalization was still a pipe dream, pun intended.
THE ROBOTIC Haschak is a fast man with platitudes, but Pinches talks specifics, take 'em or leave 'em, on a range of local issues, a candor that often riles Mendo's lockstep brigades on both sides of this or that issue. Ever see a local candidate walk around with a fully annotated County budget, each indefensible item of spending carefully earmarked?
BUT WHAT'S DEVELOPING in the Third District race is the fuzzy-warms lining up with Haschak mostly because his cliched, rote political opinions are similar to theirs, not because he's likely to be an effective supervisor. Pinches, a back country rancher, still evokes in the more genteel old hippies and conservative libs of the 4th, the dread redneck so many libs still seem to fear, although Pinches is a genuinely democratic kind of dude, open to the gamut of arguments before he arrives at his final opinion. And no matter who you are, whether or not you support him, Pinches takes seriously his vow to represent everyone.
HASCHAK, prior to his running for this office, was invisible in County politics, although we can't really fault him for that: County politics is invisible to the County. Only when this or that issue rouses a sliver of Mendo from its pastoral slumber does the Supe's audience swell to maybe a hundred people, including the usual average of 25 lonely souls who monitor the Supes via YouTube. We congratulate Haschak on his sudden interest, but the issues facing the County need fixing, not Mr. Rogers straight outta a Willits third grade classroom.
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THE MENDO COMPLEX FIRES are out so, like, how about releasing the causes, or presumed causes, not that there isn't a Red Flag month just ahead, but we hear the Ranch Fire had an identifiable, accidental cause while the River Fire appeared to have been deliberately set.
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I MENTIONED to a friend following the Bari Bombing saga that I'd written to various poobahs at the Pulitzer prize-winning Santa Rosa Press Democrat to ask them why they haven't pursued resolution of the who dunnit via the dna on the confession known as the Lord's Avenger Letter. I'd heard that the paper was telling various writers that they'd "lost" it after it was returned from the FBI. I find the "We lost it" explanation unfathomable, a minor league version of, say, losing the Lindberg kidnapper's ransom demand letters. Exactly one person from the paper acknowledged receipt of my inquire, the kindly columnist, Chris Smith.
MY FRIEND replied: "Here's yet another story that underscores the importance of the Lord's Avenger letter, and how similar steps might have led to the identity of the author, and Bari bomber. He attached this quote from SF Gate: "From there, investigators narrowed the pool using social media posts and other public information to create a family tree. Officials ultimately zeroed in on DeAngelo, a former police officer who was living in Citrus Heights (Sacramento County), and tied him to the crimes with a DNA sample from the handle of his car." Yep. And now we have that mega-creep of a rapist identified as an environmental safety expert employed at UC Berkeley and living in Benecia who'd been preying on women, including a woman in Rohnert Park, for years. DNA and heritage sites nailed him. But the Press Democrat has "lost" the dna that would tell us Who Bombed Judi Bari. What's the next step down after disgraceful?
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WHY DO KPFA-STYLE lefties seem surprised that Jerry Brown, when it comes to the corporate vs. the public's interest, inevitably sides with the money? Brown had a talk show on KPFA for several years before the station was not quite as dumbed down as it is now; there was still intelligent political life in Berkeley at the time, but groupies that they tend to be, Pacifica went for ol' Jer out of pure starstruck catatonia, although the guy is barely a liberal let alone a person of the left. Of course Brown's going to bail out PG&E, and has signed a measure allowing utilities to bill their customers to pay for future legal settlements stemming from the 2017 wild fires
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TENNESSEE saw it coming: "The sweetness of reason died out of our public life with FDR. There doesn't even seem to be a normal intelligence at work in the affairs of the nation. Aren't you frightened by it?" (Tennessee Williams, 1947)
Lee Howard Writes: Some of you know I've been working at this site, on the fuel spill starting in March. To date a dozen fish may have died, no one down the creek has been effected. The owners have spent over $70,000 and have no more. Is this what we’ve come to? And this is not the end. Cal Fish and Wildlife has more, County of Mendocino has another $10,000+ and it goes on. Outrageous! Punitive! Unconstitutional? Who’s Next?
Lee Howard, Ukiah
PS. Hans Herb of Santa Rosa adds: This is the kind of crazy talk and statements in the record that causes people to feel the RWQCB has no credibility: The liabilities for violations of a cleanup and abatement order can be up to $5,000 per day per violation pursuant to California Water Code (WC) section 13350. As of September 15, 2018, the cumulative number of days of CAO violations is 2,801, and the estimated maximum liability is $14,005,000. If they really collected these kinds of fines, on this level of spills, they would be bigger than Amazon and Alibaba combined. Remember this is just one of several agencies who will be looking for money. Perhaps I should write and ask if they take Bitcoin? Sorry, just musing…….
SUNDAY AFTERNOON WITH PIONEERS OF POT AT THE KELLEY HOUSE
"Pioneers of Pot" will be presented this Sunday at the Kelley House Museum beginning at 4PM. Local medical marijuana legend Pebbles Trippet will be joined by cannabis heritage expert Brian Applegarth.
They will trace the history of cannabis, its roles, and those who trail-blazed what is estimated to be an $8.5 billion economy in California alone. Doors open at 3:30PM and seating is limited. Cost for museum members is $5 and $7 for the public. Arrive before 3PM to catch the autumn museum exhibit, “Outlaws of the 20th Century: Rum Runners and Pot Farmers,” which includes John Chamberlain poster art, paraphernalia, and clips from the classic propaganda film "Reefer Madness". After the event, the speakers will appear at the Leonard Moore Cooperative, Ingrid's Lounge, 44970 Ukiah Street, until 7PM.
For more information, please visit kelleyhousemuseum.org/pioneers-pot.
Kelley House Museum, PO Box 922, 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino, CA 95460
PREVENTING BIRD DEATHS...
Bird window strikes “This time of year as the sun sinks to the south, the sky and world are reflected in our windows. The birds don't know it's a reflection, especially around my bird feeder. I picked up some flexible fabric screen at the hardware store - very inexpensive - and thumb-tacked it to the OUTSIDE of my south-facing windows and solved the problem. The birds don't see any reflection and stopped flying into the windows. Granted. it creates a foggy look through the windows from the inside, but no more dead birds. In the spring when the sun is higher in the sky I just take it down, fold it up and put it away until next fall/winter.”
Ronnie James, firstname.lastname@example.org
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Summer Solstice! I remember when the hippies threw these things they called ‘"full moon boogies,’ a lotta ridgetop gyrating, big naked piles and new forms of STDs. Just another day anymore, and I can't remember the last time I saw a hippie.”
THE END OF FORT BRAGG AS WE KNOW IT
(A Coast Listserve exchange)
From the Mendocino Beacon/FB Advocate of Sept. 13: "Chris Hart, president of Mendocino Railway, which owns the Skunk Train, and Skunk Train president Robert Pinoli told a joint meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council and Planning Commission that after a year or more of negotiations, SECRET until a meeting with city officials in mid-August, they have agreed to buy all the millsite land north of Redwood Avenue. Their plans include a new depot, a "historic district" and plaza approximately between Redwood Ave. and the existing depot on Laurel Street, a resort hotel and 23 acres of medium to high density housing". "..council members and planning commissioners, in an informal poll, unanimously supported the Skunk Train's overall plans". Say goodbye to small town Fort Bragg, say goodbye to its historic small town character. Say hello to traffic jams, year round congestion of our roads, streets and sidewalk, stores, and public places. Isn't traffic bad enough already? A "historic district"? Really? Will it look like Disneyland? What's next, a Trump golf course? Don't laugh, I got a message from my son asking if that were true, so the idea must be circulating.
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Real estate negotiations are one of the few closed-session items ALLOWED under the Brown Act. And I hardly think that adding some housing stock to the Fort Bragg coast will create the 'disneyland' menace you envision. (Have you read any of the local threads about the acute need for affordable housing here and throughout the county)? The sky is not falling...
A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE....
Debra Keipp writes: Boonville is honored to have visiting Okinawan Grand Master, Sensei Eihachi Ota teaching at SoBo Studio this Sunday from 9 a.m. to early afternoon. Don't miss out!
Just got this a day ago from Brenda Stone, who is having a demonstration by her Grand Master Sensei at Sobo Studio Sunday at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
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Grand Master Eihachi Ota Demonstrating The Okinawan Martial Arts Of Shorin Ryu, Sunday 23rd, 9am To 2pm At Sobo, Boonville. All Ages Welcome!
Local horsewoman, Brenda Stone, is honored to sponsor Grand Master Sensei Eihachi Ota, this Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sobo Studio, Boonville, across from the Fairgrounds.
Sensei Ota is a Grand Master in Shorin Ryu, a form of Karate born of the island of Okinawa. (Often history refers to the island of Okinawa as Ryukyu, because Okinawa is the southernmost island on the Ryukyu Island Chain.)
Brenda says of her Shorin Ryu Master, "We are very honored and privileged to have Master Oto visit Anderson Valley. Having him here is the sports equivalent of having Michael Jordan teach a basketball seminar in Boonville. We start at 9 a.m. at Sobo Studio with the Tiny Tigers, children's martial arts, and graduate up in age and skill from there til about 2:00 p.m. The public is more than welcome to respectfully attend. This is a very exciting event. I go to Los Angeles to his dojo down there to practice, so this is a special treat having him visit Boonville!"
In the 1300's Ryukyu was invested as a tributary of China during the Ming Dynasty era. The island of Okinawa is located a large 3000 miles south of mainland Japan, but much closer (at 300 miles) north of Taiwan, and only 400 miles from China. Okinawa is born of a mixed culture encompassing Japan, Korea, China, and Thailand, therefore. The cultural melting pot of Okinawa is reflective in its cuisine as well as the Shorin Ryu martial arts born of there. Shorin Ryu is believed to have originated in the form of Kempo, from China, centuries earlier. There were hundreds of years of masters who made their impact on the sport as it transformed over the centuries. Shorin means "flow" and Ryu means "school", most specifically martial arts school.
Brenda's son, Kell, is the one who got Brenda into martial arts. She joined when he signed up to begin taking classes, and both have stuck with it over the years. Kell informed me of the sport, "The original tools of Shorin Ryu are farm and fishing implements, because that's what the residents of Okinawa were: farmers and fishermen. One martial arts weapon resembles a boat oar (eku)."
Okinawan Kobudō is a generic term coined in the twentieth century from a Japanese term that can be translated as "old martial way of Okinawa". In my research I found just how pivotal Okinawa was in the history of martial arts. Okinawan kobudō refers to the weapon systems of Okinawan martial arts, specifically. These systems can have from one to as many as a dozen weapons in their curriculum. As we know, farm tools can be quite hazardous.
Having been raised a farmer, my curiosity peaked as I looked up what else the farming Okinawans used in their own defense, and came across a list of items that were, indeed, previously used for farming and fishing. Nunchuks (chained sticks), for instance, were adapted by Okinawan farmers from a non-weapon implement for threshing rice. When the Samurai invaded Okinawa in the 1600's, however, nunchuks were no contest for the samurai sword. Thus, the expression, "pick your weapon". However, in defense of the nunchuk, I gotta say Bruce Lee was quite spectacular implementing the quick lightning speed moves of the Okinawan martial arts, swinging those nunchuks.
The "Bo" (rokushakubo) is a six foot staff commonly used in Shorin Ryu. My new favorite martial arts films, "Ip Man" (Bruce Lee's mentor) often feature the master's use of the bo, as a defensive weapon. Other defensive weapons include the "sai" (dagger-shaped truncheon); "tonfa" (handled club); "kama" (sickle); "tekko" (steelknuckles); "tinbe-rochin" (shield and spear); and the "surujin (weighted chain).
When no weapon is in hand, the word, "karate" means "open hand".
Grand Master Ota is the author of many books and follows a centuries old legacy in Okinawan Martial Arts. Here are a few interesting links to peruse on the subject of Okinawan Martial Arts.
‘BURNING BRIGHT’ By Nick Petrie
reviewed by Bruce McEwen
Crime thriller novel enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that the Peter Ash novels have come to the Emerald Triangle.
The popular series of novels is written by “National Bestseller Author” Nick Petrie, and features Afghan War Veteran Lieutenant Peter Ash, formerly of the US Marine Corps. (There is no such thing as an ex-Marines in the traditional vernacular: “once a Marine, always a Marine” — e.g. Semper Fi, Oooohhh-errrRAH!).
We have covered some grisly local murders in these pages, some victims with throats cut. And we occasionally refer to British crime novelist Lee Child, and his bloody protagonist, Jack Reacher, when it comes to firearms, forensics, and deadly weapon nomenclature.
Here’s a great endorsement from Lee Child, current holder of the Most Credible Novelist title on the subject of firearms. Child says that of all the competitors (and I personally have read over a hundred of ‘em), of all those rascally wannabes, only Nick Petrie’s Peter Ash comes even close to the “Jack Reacher” ideal!
As a former Marine and a retired gun magazine editor, I’d have to agree with the majority opinion (Thank you, Mr. Child); Petrie knows a gun as well as Jane* (*Jane’s Infantry Weapons) and like in Shakespeare’s England, where every kid over 14 knew how to handle a rapier, the latest models in dirks, as well as any innovations, so every moviegoer in the wide world knows what’s what with guns (except, it seems, the literary posers who write novels!). So you won’t have to endure a lot of smelly alchemy when revolvers turn into Lugars, if you read Petrie’s new novel.
Petrie’s Lt. Ash is the kind of Marine Company Commander (unlike any of mine), who crawls through the jungle with a K-Bar knife in his teeth. Oh really? C’mon, Mr. Wizard. Ash resembles a Chuck Norris character like that absurd US Army Colonel – a forgettable Rambo knock-off: martial arts master, a Zen saint, helicopter pilot, frigate captain, space astronaut, deep-sea diver, forensic scientist, and whatever else the plot demands — who spends his off hours sneaking in to free to POWs, rather than going to the gym, and generally turning in a officer’s fitness report that even such a discriminating disciplinarian as Moses would be most impressed with.
But somehow our dashing Lt. Ash never gets promoted to Captain.
An on-line book blurb tells us:
“Peter Ash is back in this second book. He is a Marine veteran suffering from PTSD from his service in Irag and Afghanistan. He lives outdoors as he can control his PTSD better in open places. He runs into a woman being pursued by supposed government agents. The mother of the woman had recently been killed in a hit and run accident. The mother was a computer expert who was developing a program that could penetrate programs that were believed to be secure. Peter helps the woman escape her pursuers, but finds himself involved in a conspiracy much deeper than he realized. The trail leads to the estranged father of the woman he is helping and involves black ops of the government and others trying to get possession of the computer program.”
The action comes so fast in this already action-packed tome – only two passive verbs in 459 pages of kick-ass firefights and fuck-fests — everything happens, and re-happens, and wull… we don’t have time to ask.
The story starts out predictably with a murder and a woman, poor thing, registered Democrat, trying to make a difference, do some good in the world… She conveniently makes some astounding discoveries in computer science at, of course, Stanford University. The male characters, aren’t so much rankled over a woman getting one-up-on-‘em, as the simple fact that this femme fatale has created an algorithm that will pants ‘em all, pull their pants right down, full disclosure, no more mere saggin’ – but full frontal male nudity! Metaphorically speaking.
Please don’t take me seriously. Actually, a turn like that has no place in a suspense thriller. To bring any levity into the genre, would be counterproductive.
The whole premise of these bestsellers, the sense of a drama, the reason to keep turning the pages, seems to be the underlying romance. Sometimes certain parts get so racy that some readers may be tempted to just skim ahead a few paragraphs, maybe even two pages, because the relationship between the Byronesque protagonist Lt. Ash and the indescribably alluring and mysterious little hottie (the co-star) has very little to do with plot, the story line. We’re told that Lt. Ash has PTSD, Liberal leanings, the whole nine-yards of current Nor Cal politics, based on the Pelosi Plan. But no actual politics are mentioned.
Almost everybody in the cast of this Emerald-Triangle saga are bad guys — Deep State spooks, retired CIA vets, corrupt agents – and, this part is rich, the antagonist ambushes an Iraqi Colonel, snaps up zillions, and makes a deal with, you guessed it, Old Nick, the red devil, in the form of the same peckerwoods he served under in Kandahar Province.
Maybe I’m going too fast. But this novel takes your breath away. Long after it has insulted your intelligence, titillated you with infatuations you found insulting, and at long last exhausted your patience, you have to admit that yes, the author did, in fact visit Mendocino and Humboldt counties in his… shall we say “exhaustive research” for this novel.
These monumentally belabored themes would collapse from sheer exhaustion, were we to give a shit. But no, we suspend belief as the story starts out in Mendocino (slyly or shyly — no names until we get to Redway). We must suspend critical, satirical, and caustic reactions and plod on, remembering, sad to say, that most books aren’t very good these days, and the plots all seems so old-hat, worn to rags. So it’s hard to pay any mind when the author actually drops in a description of the landscape that incidentally seems not only plausible, but hell yeah, Dude, that it is so-ooo like the Laundromat in P-Vile!
Spoiler alert: the old soldier, the ex-Marine, was real, the gals loved him, and the survivors lived happily ever after.
I still had five or six chapters left when I gave it to the Free Library down by the Laundromat in P-Ville where Peter Ash shot and killed all those ex-CIA operatives and left their mangled, charred and unidentifiable corpses in the gravel banks along the Eel River late last summer.
The novel may be set in Mendocino and Humboldt counties but it’s artificial — the Emerald Triangle has little to do with the clichéd story.
But the single most ridiculous element of this already unrealistic novel, the deus ex machina, is that this guy, this liberal ex-Marine, and his investigative journalist love-interest seem to always have ready money available, whenever the plot needs a new car, new clothes, new …whatever.
TWO OPPOSING INCIDENTS SATURDAY IN FORT BRAGG…
MendocinoSportsPlus noted this post on the “Fort Bragg Current Events- Open Discussion” social media page:
“On the other side of talking about the homeless...this morning I saw something that made me both sad and glad.
One of my cashiers came back to me and said that there were two guys out front of the store and one was asking for a pair of shoes. I went up there and the one young man with a dog was very respectful and asked if we had shoes for this other guy that had major mental problems that was standing there with dirty socks and no shoes. The young man said he was trying to get the other guy to Simpson Lane to find the guys Mom for him.
So I asked the other one what size he wore and went and looked and found a pair that was okay and took them to him. I handed them to the young man that had asked as the other guy was talking loudly to himself.
This young man got down on his knee, tucking his dogs leash under it so his dog would not get away, and put those shoes on that guys feet! He had to use his finger in the back to get them on him too.
That just really got to me, how many people under any circumstances would get down on their knees in front of a mental case with crazy eyes talking to himself and put shoes on their feet???
I wish all the best for that wonderful young man with the dog as he was so kind and considerate. And of course I hope the mental guy gets some help from someone.”
* * *
To which someone responded: “Love this! All I got to see today was a tall young man with two lady friends walking out of Safeway with a bottle of vodka and some deli food (in store for only 3-4 minutes, I waited in line for 15 mins, most likely stolen) and laugh while tossing his trash on the sidewalk and putting a cigarette butt on someones back bumper. Yes, I yelled at him to quit littering. I like your story WAY better.”
(Paul McCarthy, MendocinoSportsPlus)
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 22, 2018
JOSE ACOSTA, Covelo. DUI, open container, controlled substance.
JOHN BISHOP, Gold Beach, Oregon/Willits. Resisting.
ROBERT CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Parole violation.
ALFREDO CHI, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
DREVEN DAWSON-VALENCIA, Talmage. Protective order violation.
JOHN HILL, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
JODI HODGES, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
NOLAN LAWSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
THOMAS LEMONS, Boonville. Possession of assault weapon, criminal threats, disobeying court order, probation revocation.
MAIRA MEZA, Willits. DUI, probation revocation.
JEREMY MILLER, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, receiving stolen property.
JOSHUA NELSON-DEAN, Ukiah. Parole violation.
ANTHONY RAZARRI, Fort Bragg. Vandalism, controlled substance.
LINDA REYNOLDS, Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear.
BOBBY ROSTON, Ukiah. Parole violation.
GARY ST. CLAIR, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
DOMINIC TOGNOLI, Ukiah. DUI.
YVONNE WELSH, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I was a teenager and the same age as Kavanaugh and his accuser back in the 1980’s. Maybe teenagers who engaged in ‘necking’ where I lived (Pittsburgh, PA) approached it a bit differently – I do not recall ever being held down against my will and having my mouth covered so I could not utter a protest the way ‘necking’ went back in the day. Perhaps I just dated a better class of boy………
Maybe Kavanaugh is a rapey creep, maybe he isn’t. My objection to him is that he is against a woman’s right to choose and to do with her own body what she will. One of his recent cases involved a migrant girl being held by the U.S. government who wanted to terminate her pregnancy. She jumped through all of the many hoops and was granted permission by a judge to undergo the procedure. The Trump administration appealed that judge’s opinion and the case went before a panel of judges that Kavanaugh sat on. He did everything he could to delay the panel’s decision in order to run down the clock on the girl being able to undergo the procedure legally. Luckily for the girl, he did not succeed and she was able to proceed with her decision. He also calls contraceptives ‘abortion pills’, which anyone who does a bit of scientific reading knows that these medications are nothing of the sort.
I find his need to control the body-autonomy of half of our citizenry beyond troubling. I wonder if perhaps he has control issues when it comes to women and maybe his accuser shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed as some hormone-addled middle-aged woman with so poor a memory that she mixes-up the identity of the person who held her down while trying to tear off her clothes during a ‘necking’ gone wrong.
But what do I know, I’m just a middle-aged woman who has the experience of a lifetime on which to base my opinions – a lifetime of seeing women dismissed, diminished and degraded.
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION GROUP OF THE MENDOCINO COAST is meeting Thursday, October 13th at 7 PM.
Mindfulness meditation is based on the four "mindfulnesses” as taught by Master Ji Ru abbot of Mid American Buddhist Association (MABA). (see more about MABA at http://www.maba-usa.org/ )
The four mindfulnesses are:
what is mindful
Initially, we are starting with mindfulness of the body and work primarily with the breath, intent and sense contact during sitting, standing, walking and laying down postures. Master Ji Ru meets in Oakland, CA a few times a year to teach his method. He has suggested I start my own group up here to meet regularly between his visits since I’m too far to attend the regular group meetings in Oakland.
Master Ji Ru’s approach is an authentic form of Buddhist meditation innovated for a modern world and modern people. His concern is making genuine meditation assessable and practical to everyone interested, in a way that will lead to fruition. Mindfulness means being present with the situation at hand, and adapting accordingly. The work is relaxing old behaviors and habits we use to address the stresses of life, and instead employing mindfulness as a way to meet the situation as it is, via our five senses.
Mindfulness has become a popular term in the marketplace for alternative health and spirituality. Unfortunately, most of this proclaimed mindfulness is not genuine mindfulness, but what a teacher of mine calls “monkey mindfulness.” If you are interested in authentic self-cultivation this is the group.
Donations based payment. For more information contact:
Kurt Baker, 707 489-6892
350 S. Franklin St. Suite A
Fort Bragg, CA (707) 489-6892
A CARBON TAX ON THE RICH
Here’s a plan for a carbon fee and dividend program
It’s no surprise that wealthier communities have bigger carbon footprints than less wealthy ones. Wealthy people have more money to spend on carbon-intensive things like big houses, big cars, pleasure travel and boatloads of consumer goodies from China. The link between wealth and carbon pollution is clear.
That strikes any fair-minded person as unjust — that having money entitles you to consume more of the atmosphere’s life-sustaining capacity. But what if wealthier people paid for the privilege of polluting more, and everyone had a chance to earn money by reducing their carbon footprint?
There is a way. It’s called carbon fee and dividend.
It works like this: When fossil fuels companies take oil, gas and coal from the ground or import it, they’d pay a fee on its carbon content. On the store shelf, carbon-intensive products would be more expensive than low-carbon ones. Consumers would have a clear choice.
Meanwhile, the Department of Treasury would collect the carbon fee, just like they collect Social Security taxes. But they wouldn’t keep it. Every month, they’d return 100 percent of the collected fees to everyone in America in equal shares. If your total purchases last month contained less than the average amount of carbon, you’d come out ahead. If they contained more, you’d be a net payer.
This would reduce carbon emissions and narrow the growing wealth gap that’s the root of so much political turmoil. If this makes sense to you, tell your congressman and senators.
"Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr."
The recording of last night's (2018-09-21) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0299
The old-time radio show I played at the end this time is The Cat Wife from Arch Oboler's Lights Out Everybody series. It's creepy and disturbing on so many levels. A 1936 masterpiece. It's about seven-and-a-half hours in, in case you want to skip directly there.
In Other News: Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together, things where just hearing about it wouldn't be enough. Such as:
Hinge & Bracket cat duet. I think those might be men dressed up as ladies. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Intricately cooperating marbles. Gravity, leverage, springs, magnets, air pressure, all the flavors.
And Rick and Morty re-imagined as Japanime (say j'PAN-uh-may).
Marco McClean, email@example.com