- Fatal Crash
- Rain Forecast
- Yorkville Hike
- Quadruple Raise
- Flawed Investigation
- Ukiah Fashion
- Fair Photos
- Ukiah Economics
- Drying Out
- Village Books
- Little Dog
- NCRA Derailed
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Millionaire Shower
- Library Events
- Real History
- Unpleasant Memories
- Beer Calendar
- FBI Investigation
- MAGA Quiz
- Disgusting Grass
- Animating Principle
- Red Dress
- Hospital Negligence
- Vote 'Em Out
- Marco Radio
A 41-YEAR-OLD WOMAN AND A TEEN WERE KILLED in a fiery head-on crash Saturday that shut down Highway 101 north of Willits for more than two hours, Mendocino County CHP officials said.
The woman was from Dos Rios, a small community northeast of Laytonville, and the 13-year-old girl was from Willits, CHP Sgt. James Beard said. Their names were not released pending notification of next of kin.
The two were northbound in a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 that crossed into oncoming traffic about 1:40 p.m. near Reynolds Highway, according to a CHP report. The driver “lost control of her vehicle” for reasons still under investigation, Beard said.
The Dodge pickup crashed into a southbound tractor-trailer. The 1997 Peterbilt Tractor, driven by Robert Maffia, 76, of Ukiah, was hauling lumber, according to the CHP.
“Mr. Maffia took evasive actions,” Beard said. “However, despite his efforts, the Peterbilt collided with the driver’s side of the Dodge.”
The Dodge spun out of the roadway and burst into flames on the western shoulder of the roadway. The tractor spilled the lumber, blocking the narrow, two-lane highway.
The woman and teen were declared dead at the scene. Maffia was treated for minor injuries, the CHP said.
(Julie Johnson, Press Democrat)
SHOWERS WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE REGION Monday and Tuesday, with the heaviest rainfall totals occurring from Mendocino County southward. Otherwise, temperatures will be mild, but slightly below normal over the interior, throughout the work week. (National Weather Service)
And for a more detailed look at what may be coming:
Substantial Early-Season Rainfall In California To Dampen Explosive Wildfire Conditions
ATTENTION LOCAL HISTORY BUFFS!
Valerie Hanelt of Yorkville writes:
Just a couple of weeks to go before we climb Ward Mountain and look out over our Yorkville territory. We hope you will have some local lore or family history to share. We are meeting at 10 am at the Ingram Cemetery (Hill Ranch) on Sat, Oct 6th. The Mile Marker is 44.14 which is about 200 yards east of the Hill Ranch driveway which is 43700 Hwy 128. We will reorganize into 4 wheel drive vehicles. Hopefully there will be enough seats for everyone. There will be no "facilities" - so be prepared to water bushes. Bring your own folding chairs, lunch, and drinks and maybe some cookies to share. Dogs are welcome if they are completely under control at all times. RSVP's are unnecessary as this is a low organizational event. Just show up!
FOUR (COUNT ‘EM) AUTOMATIC PAY RAISES FOR CEO Carmel Angelo have been put on next Tuesday’s consent calendar by the beneficiary herself.
Consent Calendar Item 4b) “Approval of Agreement Amendment for Carmel J. Angelo to Serve as County of Mendocino Chief Executive Officer for the Term of October 7, 2018 through October 6, 2022, in the Amount of $195,000 (Year One), $210,000 (Year Two), $215,000 (Year Three) and $220,000 (Year Four) Recommended Action: Approval of Agreement amendment for Carmel J. Angelo to serve as County of Mendocino Chief Executive Officer for the term of October 7, 2018, through October 6, 2022, in the amount of $195,000 (year one), $210,000 (year two), $215,000 (year three) and $220,000 (year four); and authorize Chair to sign same.”
THE CONSENT CALENDAR? At last check CEO Angelo was hauling down $185k per year, plus a similarly large package of perks. Which apparently isn’t enough to keep her on board. Which apparently frightens the people allegedly supervising her. The only possible reasons this is on consent is that it has either been cleared by the Board in earlier discussions (which would be a Brown Act violation) or Ms. Angelo simply assumes there’s absolutely no reason for any of the Supes to object to her giving herself a series of automatic pay raises.
AUTOMATIC PAY INCREASES for the upper end of local government is in the tradition of Mendo officials who jack up their compensation in the years leading up to retirement so that their pension is similarly jacked up. This is the biggest reason the pension system imposes a disproportionate burden on County operations: Top officials with unreasonably high pension pay-outs.
IF THIS GIFT to Angelo (who’s hardly irreplaceable) is approved on Tuesday without being removed from the consent calendar for discussion, we can assume that the Board of Supervisors has finally made themselves irrelevant to the actual operations of Mendocino County, and Mendo’s taxpayers will be shelling out for Ms. Angelo a pension at well north of $100k a year for the rest of her life.
THESE AUTO PAY RAISES ARE FOR A CEO who, as we have noted before, has not delivered on a series of significant promises, the short list of which we have listed before but are repeating here:
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, 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 and probably illegal “overlay zone” pot permit process which has been going on for months now.)
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 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 (but 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 outlying 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.
THERE ARE THE Departmental reports half-assed versions of which have been mentioned in passing for several years now but never any actual reporting on anything.
AND this roster of the Not Done is just off the top of our head.
JUST LAST MONTH the Board told line workers that their pay raises couldn’t be dealt with for who knows how many more months because they needed more analysis, more “total compensation” consideration.
BUT, AGAIN, when it comes to top officials, Mendo just puts them on consent and moves on to the next one.
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SPEAKING OF WHICH, there’s also a big raise proposed for the new Public Defender on the regular (not consent) calendar.
Agenda Item 5c) “Discussion and Possible Action Including Adoption of Resolution Authorizing Salary Grade Revision and Amending the Position Allocation Table as follows: Public Defender from D49C to D50D (Sponsor: Human Resources) Recommended Action: Adopt Resolution authorizing the adoption of salary grade revision and amending the Position Allocation Table for the classification of Public Defender from D49C to D50D; and authorize Chair to sign same.”
THIS IS ONE OF THOSE SNEAKY two-step raises where the County first upgrades the position, then a few months later raises the pay on the grounds that the pay does not conform to the position’s authorized pay scale. The proposed change would increase the midpoint of the Public Defender’s pay scale from about $121k per year (plus benefits) to about $132k per year, an increase of about 9% right off the top.
PS. Neither of these proposed large increases for Angelo and the new Public Defender are accompanied by “total compensation” evaluation of the impact of the increases on the county’s or the departmental budgets.
WE WOULDN'T BEGRUDGE Angelo, the Supervisors and other County bigwigs their lush pay if they were intelligently, efficiently and prudently managing the County's business, but they aren't getting it done intelligently, efficiently and prudently. In fact, they'd all be fired if they had to make their way in the jungles of contemporary free enterprise. But in the roll me over easy context of local government no one's feet are being held to the fires or are likely to be held to account. They're all fortunate they only have us on their slovenly, no performing cases, and they're doubly fortunate that very few County residents pay any attention to them at all. But County management dysfunction costs all of us in services not rendered, and eventually the gross fiscal imprudence is going to cost all of us a lot more.
A FLAWED INVESTIGATION
The Caltrans Albion River Bridge Geotechnical Investigation…
- is not needed. Nationally known bridge experts say the existing historic bridge is beautifully built, in amazingly good shape, can be repaired and maintained indefinitely and is not designed/was never intended to inform bridge rehabilitation – only replacement.
- will permanently degrade Albion’s scenic resources and visual quality for residents and visitors will knowingly destroy irreplaceable coastal resources without justification
- will permanently denude the north bluff of trees that serves as a Blue Heron rookery, windbreak, and frame for the views to and from the Albion River
- will permanently disfigure the north and south bluff natural land forms, with gouges and loss of material up to 5 or more feet deep on their faces, and 10+ feet scalped off the north bluff top between Highway 1 and the ocean
- requires helicopter operations that will disturb and disrupt residents, businesses, and everything under the two flight paths between the bridge and Little River Airport helicopter operations will disturb and disrupt campers, hotel guests, boaters, kayakers, hikers, protected avian species and marine mammals, and other high priority coastal resources and uses
- helicopter operations will close Highway 1 at 20-30 minute intervals several times a day over two months – or longer
- is not eligible for Commission hearing as a consolidated permit
- is in County CDP jurisdiction, not Coastal Commission’s, and should be subject to certified LCP
- does not meet CEQA review requirements (needs EIR) does not meet Coastal Act “need” requirement for public works projects or CEQA “need” requirement to allow mitigation of adverse impacts
- is a “piecemeal” effort – illegal under both CEQA and the Coastal Act -- to lay the foundation (perhaps literally) for construction of a new, and as yet unreviewed or approved, replacement
- application contents do not meet requirements of Commission regulations
- does not have a finite, complete, and accurate project description
- Coastal Act inconsistencies are not remedied by recommended special conditions
- is not supported by recommended findings in the Coastal Commission’s staff report
- does not accurately and fully depict locations of staging and storage areas
- application to Coastal Commission did depict stockpiling areas for soil and downed trees
- will block and otherwise preclude public access and public recreation along and at the mouth of the Albion River for up to two months
- many residents and businesses along projected helicopter flight paths have not been notified
Annemarie Weibel, Albion
THE SLOBIFICATION OF UKIAH
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
If something hasn’t gotten worse in the last 50 years it’s not because everyone my age hasn’t tried their best. No matter the subject, and today it’s clothing and wardrobes, my generation has had a profound and negative impact.
We can’t blame Ukiah for downward spirals in literature, art, poetry or architecture, nor can we lay blame for the current grotesque trends in music, grammar, journalism and pornography. But wardrobes? Ukiah does indeed have something to say about what we wear in public, and she has a lot to answer for.
Have you been out to dinner in the past year? Were you shocked at what fellow diners wore that evening, or were you among the offenders? There are a lot of you so don’t be embarrassed. At this stage in Ukiah’s “maturation” most everyone is a slob.
It was just a few short years ago employees petitioned for Casual Friday office attire as a break from the formality of neckties and nylons. Ahh, said everyone, how refreshing to show up for work once a week in just a plaid shirt and khaki trousers or something other than skirts and heels for the ladies.
But already we’ve slipped so far that if you wore a (clean, pressed) casual plaid shirt to the office next Friday people would assume you were just getting back from a wedding.
And speaking of weddings, people arrive at the nuptials as if they just finished mowing the lawn. Ditto for funerals. I’ve been to funerals and memorial services where attendees looked like they’d gotten dressed out of a dumpster. I know the deceased isn’t present and presumably doesn’t care, but I don’t think a little respect is too much to ask. Sandals? Crocs? You gotta wonder if barefoot is next.
WIFE: Eww, look at that woman clipping her toenails!
YOU: Clipping toenails? Where?
WIFE: Right next to that guy flossing his teeth.
Today in Ukiah if you wear a nice shirt in public people assume you work at a bank. But a pair of leather dress shoes with laces, like wingtips, means you’re poor and had to go to Goodwill and dig through boxes until you pulled out the old-fashioned shoes someone’s grandfather used to wear. I see trendy cats today wearing red shoes and orange shoes. I hope I never get used to it.
You can visit a high-end restaurant in Ukiah, go through a hundred bucks for dinner and drinks and find yourself seated next to a table occupied by a couple that looks like they’ll be returning to their campsite on the railroad tracks following dessert.
I’m mystified and so is my wife and so are (some of) our friends. How can it be that our fellow citizens would like to have a nice evening out, enjoy a leisurely meal and spend a rather large amount of money, yet dress for the occasion in a stained t-shirt, flip flop sandals and a Giants cap? I wouldn’t wear tattered raggedy rags like his even if I was going to the Friday night races at the Ukiah Speedway, unless I planned on working with the pit crew.
And with him is a woman wearing an outfit that looks like she fell through an awning. She’s semi-contained by a frumpy, shapeless brown shower curtain she picked out after giving thought to instead wearing her fetching sagging sweatpants and grubby Lynrd Skynrd hoodie. Look out Broiler, here we come.
And it’s not just the notion it’s okay to wear the same clothes you slept in last night when you go to dinner 16 hours later, it’s also the grunge factor. When did deodorant go out of style? Is toothpaste next?
Guys who arrive at Patrona’s and haven’t bothered to wash their hands are a mystery to me. Along with his companion, who may have washed her hands today but not her hair in six months, the pair appears nonchalant and perhaps even unaware they look like bums. But of course they don’t look like bums. They look like Ukiahans dining out in the 21st century and in fact half the people at any restaurant you visit look just like they do. Which is to say: Terrible.
It’s hard to tell what local diners would think if a couple strolled through the restaurant’s front door, she in a fashionable dress with a strand of pearls and the gentleman in a sport coat and tie. Is it Prom Night? Are they lawyers from New York? Is it Paris Hilton with George Clooney?
And now a disturbing thought: What if those stained and randy clothes are indeed the nicest ones some people own? I suppose it’s possible a couple’s entire wardrobe could be a collection of jeans and t-shirts in a cardboard box, with your best Giants cap kept in the back seat of the car where your dog can’t chew it up. It is conceivable these are their nicest duds, which leaves us to wonder what they wear to McDonald’s.
We should be happy for small blessings. We should be happy that at least our grandparents aren’t alive to witness the slow parade of citizens dressed in their pajama bottoms and underwear strolling about the downtown streets. The sight of it would kill them.
The clothing de-evolution started, as almost every negative trend has, in the 1960s, and we’ve not yet found our way back to decent and normal. No one’s in charge. The monkeys are running the zoo and the slobs have taken over Ukiah.
And we haven’t even gotten around to Walmart.
(Tom Hine is the guy you see striding briskly around Ukiah in a tuxedo, a derby and white patent leather shoes. His butler, Tommy Wayne Kramer, walks 10 paces behind, carrying Hine’s white calfskin gloves on a satin pillow. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
AT THE COUNTY FAIR, 2018
(Left: Top to Bottom) — Bailey with Meg; Dave & Judith Kooyers; Grace Gowan, Shauna & Luis Espinoza
(Right: Top to Bottom) — American Legion (Russ Wilcox, Mary Wilcox, David Norfleet, Rick Johnson); AV High School’s Potato Booth (Makayla Imrie, Ava Sanchez, Nicole Valancia, Teacher Arthur Folz); Veterans: Patrick Ford and Francis Vanderbort
(Photos by Bonnie Clarke Johnson)
SAN DISTRICT SETTLES
To the Editor:
Recently, the Ukiah Daily Journal reported that the four-year old Ukiah Valley Sanitation District lawsuit vs. the City of Ukiah finally settled for $7.5 million.
This sum is misleading. Why? Because the District previously received $9 million as a result of the lawsuit which means $16,000,000; and also because of changes arising out of a new operating agreement. The recovery for District over term of bond more than doubles that figure to $32 million.
Was the lawsuit worth it?
You bet it was!
Thirty-two million dollars is a lot of money, legal costs notwithstanding.
In 2017, I briefly served on the Board of Directors for the Sanitation District. Four years ago, I also proudly served on the grand jury that originally brought forward the report on many of the issues in dispute between the District and the City. Although I am prohibited by law from discussing the grand jury investigation, it is my personal belief that the City's financial abuse of the District was appalling. The District was a $32 million cash cow for the City for a period of almost 30 years.
What motivated the City to steal from the District? The City's own structural deficit. The City of Ukiah cooked the books at the District for many years to cover its own annual structural deficit of $1 million.
The City also played a shell game for many years with the Ukiah Redevelopment Agency -- until it was shut down by the state. And the City continues to play games with many of its enterprise funds.
The City's structural deficit of $1 million a year, every year, is the bottom line cost of too many executive-level and management-level employees getting paid too much. What is the total compensation package of the City Manager? Something like $350,000. The Deputy City Manager gets something like $300,000. Department heads get a ton of money, too.
And every department is stacked with overpaid, underworked managers. For example, exactly what does Ukiah's Conference Center manager do? Gossip mostly. Gossip and badmouthing other city workers, from what I hear just walking by the open door of his office.
I could cite a hundred similar examples of unnecessary positions. In fact, the City of Ukiah seems more like a jobs program for townies than a fully functional city administration.
This is a crazy payroll for a city with a population of only 16,000 people.
PEOPLE WE'RE HAPPY WE HAVEN'T SEEN FOR A WHILE AND SINCERELY HOPE THEY'VE STOPPED DRINKING
Leon Gibson: Last booked in May of 2016
John Bolton: Last booked in February of 2017.
Heather DeWolf: Last booked in February of 2018.
Charles Hensley: Last booked in April of 2018.
JERRY KARP RETIRES
As many of you already know, today marks the final day of my ownership of Village Books. As of tomorrow, October 1, the store will have new owners.
What a joy it has been for me over the past 7½ years, taking over the store from the Moir family, working diligently to build up and expand the store’s collection until the shelves were jam packed and bulging, and getting to know and love so many of our regular customers, a great many of whom have truly become friends.
I want to thank the wonderful book-loving community of Ukiah and greater Mendocino County. It’s been wonderful spending time with so many folks, from so many walks of life, and of all ages. That’s honestly been the biggest pleasure of all for me. As folks came in over the past week or two, people who knew the store was about to change hands and wanted to offer good wishes, it began to really hit home just how dear so many of you have become to me. So, sincere thanks to one and all for the gift of your patronage, yes, but more importantly of your friendship. Together, we kept Village Books a success, with maybe even an improvement or two along the way.
I want to also thank my colleagues in the store over the years. Thanks to Anne Fashauer, our first employee, who had to put up with so much as I sorted out my procedures and methodologies for running the place and keeping the books in order. And also, of course, special, heartfelt thanks to Joey Pattison, my associate in the store for the past several years. Always helpful and friendly, always willing to go the extra mile, Joey made the store a wonderful and welcoming place to be on Saturdays and Mondays, and always stood ready to take over on those days I had to step away or went off on vacation. I think we can all agree that the dusty old bookstore just wouldn’t have been the same place without Joey’s smile and warmth.
Finally, profound and joyous thanks to my co-owner, love and wife, Stephanie Gold. Stephanie who supported the crazy idea of buying the store in the first place and then put up with my mania for the place and the late hours the store often occasioned. Stephanie who came home from her own stressful, important job and then cooked dinner almost every evening because I was still winding my way homeward to Boonville over 253. Thank you, my love. Now it will be my turn to cook a dinner or two.
As for the future, we are all incredibly lucky that Steven and Jason Page, father and son, have stepped up to buy the store—this incredible community resource—and keep it vibrant and moving forward. I have spent much of the past week with them both, showing the ropes, describing my various quirky ways of doing things and sharing (at great length, I’m afraid) my rather opinionated philosophy about bookstore management. They have taken it all in admirably, I think, and listened to my ramblings quite graciously. It is mostly Jason’s smiling face that you are going to see in the store, as he will be managing the establishment. My confidence in Jason and his dad to keep the store going in the same spirit our community has built together is absolute. Jason is a book lover with a broad range of cultural literacy and an obviously genuine and easy way with people. You are going to like him. There will be a touch of a learning curve, of course, and then there will be changes, as the Pages adapt the enterprise to their own energy and ideas, just as I once did. I can’t wait to see where they take the store. It’s going to be fun to watch! Please welcome Jason and Steve to our community and to your bookstore.
As for me, while turning over the store, the product of so much of my effort and love over the past seven years, is in many ways hard, I am looking forward to what comes next in life. For me, as for so many people around here, the word “retirement” comes in quotes. I look forward to having more time to devote to the two non-profit boards I’m currently a member of, public radio station KZYX and the Anderson Valley Historical Society. I have some personal writing I’ve been putting off for about 30 years. I’m even dabbling with the idea of trying to relearn the clarinet. At any rate, you’ll see me around Boonville and, from time to time, Ukiah as well. And you can hear me on the radio every other Monday afternoon from 1 to 3 as I’ll still be hosting the Jazz Odyssey.
I have now added Jason as Administrator to the Village Books Facebook page. The next voice you hear will be his. Take it away, Jason!
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Gotta joke for ya. How many tweakers does it take to change a lightbulb? 41 to hold the fixture still, and one to drop the lightbulb.”
END OF THE LINE:
Gov. Brown Signs McGuire Bill to Eviscerate the North Coast Railroad Authority, Start Trail Planning
by Hank Sims
(Photo courtesy, Friends of the Eel)
California has officially eviscerated the North Coast Railroad Authority, a government agency created by the state nearly 30 years ago. The authority’s previous mandate was to own and operate the infeasible railroad line between Humboldt County and the Bay Area. Its new mandate will be to prepare for its own dismantlement and the coming of the “Great Redwood Trail” along its route.
It was a shockingly shoddy and oddly belligerent public entity nearly from the get-go. It suffered an early accounting scandal; it presented absurd projections to state funding agencies to hustle up dollars; it blocked planning efforts in Humboldt County, where no trains have reached in the last 20 years; it gave former congressman Doug Bosco’s company an exclusive right to operate freight trains on its tracks essentially for free, while Bosco’s former congressional aide served as its executive director; it asserted to the U.S. Supreme Court — unsuccessfully — that it wasn’t bound by the state’s own environmental laws.
Now it lives only in zombie form. Gov. Brown today signed the bill from Sen. Mike McGuire that had formerly been called “The Great Redwood Trail Act.” The newer version of the bill, the version that becomes law, punts on the big, expensive work that will need to be done to even prepare for a trail down the Eel River Canyon and elsewhere. (Though McGuire did secure a $4 million set-aside to buy out Bosco — a man whose pocketbook is no stranger to largesse from public funds.) The Great Redwood Trail, if it ever happens, is a long, long way off.
But the current legislation should make regional non-motorized transportation much, much more feasible. The last leg of the Bay Trail will be somewhat simpler, and it won’t be crazy to dream of extending it down to College of the Redwoods, or Fortuna, or Scotia.
Press release from the office of Sen. Mike McGuire:
Senator Mike McGuire’s landmark legislation that seeks to turn the crumbling 300 mile North Coast railroad line into the Great Redwood Trail was signed into law by Governor Brown today. The Trail would extend from the glistening shores of San Francisco Bay to the panoramic waters of Humboldt Bay and would run through some of the most dramatic landscapes on earth including wine country, alongside the banks of the Russian and Eel rivers and into the stunning old growth Redwood forests of the North Coast.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the Governor’s action, which will launch one of the most significant positive transformations we’ve seen in a generation here on the North Coast — taking a crumbling rail line, managed by a functionally bankrupt public agency, and turning it into a world-wide wonder of a trail and economic driver for Northern California,” said Senator Mike McGuire. “It’s time for us to move beyond the old debates and begin the process of turning this 300 mile rail line into a world class trail and destination that generations will enjoy.”
The State Transportation Agency, along with the California Natural Resources Agency, will begin the all-important master planning process for the Great Redwood Trail by examining potential trail alignment, trail construction and long-term management costs, terrain suitability, rail banking potential, property easements and the possible governance structure of the trail. The planning process could take two years to complete.
McGuire is thrilled to now have the Natural Resources Agency as part of the study, since they specialize in trails and park issues, and could potentially be part of the eventual ownership of the Trail.
The State Transportation Agency will also complete a study of Northern California Railroad Authority’s (NCRA) significant debts and liabilities while developing a road map to closing the agency down. This process could also take up to two years to complete.
In the meantime, NCRA’s freight rail mission is dramatically reduced. They are now simply charged with cooperating with state authorities on the study and creating an agency shut-down plan while preparing for the transitioning of the right of way for trails.
The Great Redwood Trail will become a significant economic driver for the rural North Coast communities it winds through. California outdoor recreation is one of the fastest growing economic sectors of the Golden State’s economy. It generates over $92 billion a year here in California, is responsible for nearly 700,000 jobs with over $30 billion in wages, and brings over $6 billion in tax revenues back to state and local communities. Once completed, the trail could attract hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors alike to hike this spectacular landscape and inject needed funds into our small, rural economies.
The new law also gives the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit agency (SMART) the ability and funding to negotiate for the take-over of the complex, long-term freight contract that NCRA sold to Northwestern Pacific Company over a decade ago. This could provide SMART with full control of the rail line from Marin to Willits in Mendocino County. This will help SMART as they would now manage both passenger and freight operations, which would aid SMART’s long-term scheduling and expansion needs. The State Secretary of Transportation and the Director of the Department of Finance would have to approve any takeover plan of freight operations between Willits and Marin.
“An enormous amount of work has taken place over the past year on this legislation, meeting with hundreds of groups and residents from every corner of the North Coast. That said, we know that the real work is about to be kicked off – the initial master planning process for this spectacular trail,” Senator McGuire said. “This public process will be done right, not fast. It will be inclusive of all voices, detailed and data driven. We’ll be hosting public meetings in early 2019 to inform the community on the planning process, receive critical input from neighbors and residents and talk about how we can work together in the months and years to come on the development of the Great Redwood Trail.”
ACCORDING to today's Washington Post, Charles Ludington, a college friend of Brett Kavanaugh's, said he will deliver a statement to the FBI on Monday detailing Kavanaugh’s “belligerent and aggressive” drunken conduct while the pair were at Yale. Ludington, now an associate professor at North Carolina State University, provided a copy of his statement to the Post, which includes a story of Kavanaugh prompting a fight that caused one of their mutual friends to be arrested. “When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,” the statement reads. “On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.”
FROM my experience as a college baseball player at Cal Poly SLO, circa '61-'62, all us unmarried jockos were housed in Quonset huts down by the baseball field and well away from student housing. Except, ahem, for yours truly, my roomies were not particularly scholarly. There was drinking of course, but not the drop-fall variety described in the Kavanaugh hearings, but only because no one could afford it. But there were plenty of fights — I remember one where a halfback named Fahey bit off most of the ear of Fred Whittingham, the latter going on to the NFL as a linebacker. I got into a couple myself, and I'm not particularly aggressive, drunk or sober. I became pretty good at writing papers for lots of guys at $10-$20 a pop calibrated to be consistent with the putative author's ability level — a very soft C in most cases. Any better than that the professor would known it was ghost written. Things in the huts didn't calm down most nights until 2 or 3 in the morning. Of necessity, I spent a lot of time in the library, it being impossible to read in one's own room. Given his barely controlled testimony, a drunk Kav was likely a pretty violent dude. Rapist? Who knows? But on the off chance he's the kind of guy who takes advice, he would have been better advised to simply say, "Yes, I got drunk as a high school and college kid but I never sexually assaulted anyone."
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INTERESTING booklet produced by Jonah Raskin is yours for a mere five bucks. Called "Paul Krassner Speaks: From Lenny Bruce and Obama to Hebdo," a must read for all of you who remember Krassner's seminal "Realist" magazine, which began to appear about the same time the great Lenny Bruce was breaking all free speech barriers with comedy simply impossible at many venues today. It would be interesting to slap one of Bruce's recorded acts on KPFA or KZYX, slap it on blind with no intro in prime time to see how many people get it. Anyway, for this handsome little collector's item, please send the author $5 cash, check or money order to 4903 Petaluma Hill Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 30, 2018
WILLIAM BRACKETT JR., Potter Valley. Criminal threats.
ZACHARY BRINT, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JOHN BROTT III, Ukiah. Parole violation.
JOHN COOK, Middletown/Fort Bragg. Parole violation.
ROBERT COOK, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
DARLENE DAVIS, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic abuse, probation revocation.
KENNETH ELLER, Willits. Pot possession for sale, pot sale, community supervision violation.
MADALINE FLOREA, Ukiah. DUI.
JUAN GUERRERO-SAHAGUN, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, unlawful sexual intercourse with minor who is more than three years younger than perpetrator, lewd/lascivious with child under 14 with force, etc.
HARRIS HALEPOTA, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ERIC KOTILA, Fort Bragg. Burglary.
ALFONSO MURATALLA, Talmage. DUI, false ID.
MISTY NICKERSON, Piercy. Controlled substance, disobeying court order.
LUIS OLIVER, Covelo. Probation revocation.
CHRISTINA TORRES, Willits. DUI.
ROBERT VALADEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
LEONARD WHIPPLE, Covelo. Parole violation.
OCTOBER 2, 1968 — San Francisco leads the nation not only in suicide and alcoholism, but also in the use of “legitimately prescribed medications” such as pep and sleeping pills, the chairman of the city’s Mental Health Advisory Board declared yesterday. “It’s not generally known but the general population of this city is more pill-addicted than any other American metropolis, we use far more pills per capita,” said Dr. Alfred Auerback. “It’s just part of the great morbidity of this great city of ours.” And he said that “our children are learning about popping pills from their parents and from outside.” San Francisco, he said, “is a drug-taking population and the US, of course, is a drug culture.” “We all rail against pot and LSD,” he said. “We don’t face up to the fact that this country uses far more pills than any other country.” He added wryly. “All I can say is we’re a bunch of hop-heads, even in Pacific Heights and the Sunset.” Another member of the board asked why San Francisco had such high drug and alcoholism rates. “It’s a seaport,” said one, and, “It’s a jumping city,” said another.
CULTURE IN DECLINE
Young millionaires (in this case LA Dodgers) shower themselves with $100 bottles of champagne.
FIRST FRIDAY OUT OF THE ASHES ART WALK, Book Sale & NEA Big Read: “Pretty Monsters” by Kelly Link
Fri, Oct. 5th, 5:00-7:30pm
See art created by those affected by the recent Mendocino Lake Fires, craft with acorns, enjoy live music by Kim Monroe, and wander through the Friends of the Library book sale. Also celebrate the start of our National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program with the unveiling of our Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link book display. Feel free to take a book home! Continuing on Saturday Oct. 6th from 10am-3:30pm is the Book Sale. Find a new favorite book at our monthly Friends of the Library book sale! All proceeds benefit the Ukiah Library.
IN THE 1950s, at the height of the Cold War, my New York City primary school, like every other school in the city, held weekly practice drills to prepare us for being bombed by the Russians. The drill, which immediately followed the pledge of allegiance to the flag, consisted of us all crouching under our desks for ten minutes, though it was understood that if an atomic bomb were dropped on Manhattan, we would need to hunker down for longer. We were instructed to hug our knees to our chests and lower our heads to avoid breathing in poisonous Russian dust.
Afterwards, we would brush ourselves off and stand while the teacher led us in song. Sometimes it was "God Bless America," or "My Country, Tis Of Thee" — sometimes it was the anthem of the U.S. Navy, or the Marines, or the Air Force theme song. There was also a children's song called "Lucky To Be an American": "I like the way we all live without fear/I like to vote for my choice/speak my mind, raise my voice/yes, I like it here." Being six years old, we couldn't appreciate the irony: even as we sang, the House Un-American Activities Committee was carrying out its interrogations of suspected communists. Quite a few people were living with fear.
This may have included the women who were leading us in the group sing-along. Our third-grade teacher offered up alternative versions of what was in our history textbooks, which described the Indians, as they were called then, as bloodthirsty savages who lived in wigwams and whooped as they attacked the brave settlers out west. The accompanying image showed a ketchup colored man, wearing only a few beads to cover his groin, holding up a scalp still covered in blonde hair. "Now, children," Mrs. Heyman said, "I want you to close your books for a minute and listen to me." The Indians, she told us, had been repeatedly forced off their tribal lands, their children had been taken from them and sent to government schools thousands of miles away. The book's portrayal of the heroic defenders of the Alamo was undermined, too, when she explained that all of Texas, along with California, Arizona and New Mexico and parts of Utah had been law unlawfully stolen from the Mexicans. Even the Declaration of Independence was called into question: the same people who declared that all men had been created equal owned other human beings as slaves.
I don't think any of us regarded what she was saying as unpatriotic. I'm not certain we had a definite concept of patriotism, despite the songs and the Pledge of Allegiance and the lessons on how Russians had to stand in line for hours just to buy a pair of shoes or a loaf of bread. Or maybe it was that she never criticized the current government, or talked about the contemporary situation of African-Americans. It was all about events from long ago, sins committed in the distant past. (She may have worked out exactly how far she could go before getting into serious trouble.) We liked being treated as grown-ups, told grown-up truths; it made us feel solemn and important.
TESTING THE WATERS
I find that the women who expressed real animus toward Judge Brett Kavanaugh use their personal experiences and raw ambition to make decisions. I have been called a "breeder" by gay men, I've been castigated more than once by women who are my friends for being a Republican and mostly pro-life except in dire circumstances and I have been improperly touched by men who were in positions of power. When I was a young woman, it was common for men to test the waters for a cooperative connection.
The look on my face most likely scared the hell out of them because no further actions ensued. Have these unpleasant memories and experiences caused me to distrust all men, for me to despise all gay people or destroy friendships? The answer is no.
Arlene Rubens Balin
Home On The Range
(Photo by Harvey Reading)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
When a group of Dems ask you the same question over and over nine times, you can be certain that it’s for rhetorical effect. Why answer a question that everyone already knows the answer to?
FACT: no FBI investigation will “clear Kavanaugh” as Dems claim. There are only two ways his name might be cleared: 1) Ford admits she made the whole thing up to stop Kav’s confirmation; 2) The actual people involved in her allegation come out of hiding.
The reason Dems want an FBI investigating is to delay matters and allow them to cook up more crazy Creepy Porn Lawyer charges, to keep the Kav-as-sexual-predator narrative going until everyone just gives up.
If Dems were so concerned about truth, why didn’t they question Dr. Ford? They didn’t ask a single question to clarify Ford’s claims. Not one. Instead, they spent their time grandstanding, and praising Ford for her “courage” and “inspiration.”
Why didn’t they ask her why she lied about her fear of flying? Her credibility was shot the moment she testified that she routinely flies all over the place.
Is America on its way to being great again? Please ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have more discretionary income to set aside for retirement? Kids’ college? Emergencies? Even a short disability?
- Am I OK with the nation’s growing deficit?
- Do I feel confident that the economy will withstand the tariff wars?
- Is my health insurance more affordable now?
- Are my co-pays and deductibles lower now?
- Is my health improving or so good that I don’t need to worry about the loss of coverage for pre-existing conditions?
- Is the economy improving for me and my family? Or just for others?
- If America is great for the rich and the super-rich, how does that help me?
YOU CAN’T STOP IT
I witnessed the sickening, disgusting, rotten, filthy display of hearings as the liberals tried to ruin the good name of Brett Kavanaugh, a Supreme Court judge nominee. It shows you how low and despicable these people are. How can the good people of America put up with humans like this? This is beyond being — well, the good people of this country are going to get fed up with these assholes and the shit is going to hit the fan. The sooner the better so this country can become greater again. MAGA.
The western state wildfires? There's too much vegetation. There are no barriers. Helicopters are too small. They are like bumblebees fighting an elephant. The military needs to be involved with 727s rebuilt to carry the retardant. Have them at several airbases around the states so they can be used as soon as possible for any vulnerable fire areas quickly. Grass grows every year. So does brush. It's a never-ending thing. Every time it rains grass and brush grow up every year and you can't stop it. We should go back to using pesticides and tell the environmentalists to go straight to hell and spray on every side of the highway for at least 50 feet. When you drive from Boonville to Cloverdale, the dry grass is taller than your car. Right down to the pavement. Isn't that disgusting? In Southern California they have built subdivisions right out there in the brush and they cannot defend them. They have to make places to defend from to even fight the fires. They can't walk into the flames and fight fires, you idiots.
PS. To you rotten filthy disgusting corrupt counterfeit lying no class left-wing liberal no goods Democrats: I'll bet you are proud of these people, Mr. Rob Mahon. All you liberals all over the world put together could not come close to matching Brett Kavanaugh's character and integrity.
PPS. To Bruce Patterson: Prineville Oregon. A great place to live. Good country. What happened? Did your mother drop you on your head on the hardwood floor after you were born? Or did you fall off the porch and land on the sidewalk on your pointy little head? You have the gift of gab, buddy. But everything you say came from the place that you use toilet paper on. And I will bet you smeared it a little bit. And this guy Chris Floyd, another lunatic we heard from. Where did you get your brains? At Wal-Mart? I'll bet you got them on sale, you stupid bastard. That's what you sound like. Chill out, commie lib buddy or your mouth might bite your kneecap.
God bless Donald Trump
PPPS. Young people today don't know what's going on. 75% of them don't know who the president is. What's going to happen when they get to be 25 or 30 years old? They will look around and they will moan, “I want my mommy! I spent my young life running around being liberal and ruining the United States and being against everything” That’s just the way they are nowadays. It's sickening. Doesn't anybody out there want to make America great again? Where are all the Republicans? Hiding beneath their couches? Afraid of the pussy liberals? What's going on? I have never seen the like of it in my entire life and I've been alive for quite a while. If the people demonstrating against the United States are not happy, trying to make it into a socialist country, then they are probably likely to come up with some other kinds of dirt to throw at our supreme court judge Kavanaugh. Republicans should get behind this president who is trying to make America great again.
THE PROBLEM HERE is not that Republicans were grandstanding over imagined liberal schemes to destroy anyone and anything in pursuit of their poisonous schemes to crush everything good about America. The problem is that most of it wasn’t grandstanding. They believe this deeply and angrily. And it explains the lengths Republicans are willing to go to these days—even to the appalling extent of accepting a cretin like Donald Trump as a party leader.
If you believe that your political opposites aren’t just opponents, but literally enemies of the country, then of course you’ll do almost anything to stop them. I would too if that’s what I thought.
There are some liberals who do think that—and more and more of them since Donald Trump was elected. But it’s still a relatively small part of the progressive movement. In the conservative movement it’s an animating principle.
This is why it so desperately needs to be stopped—not by destroying Republicans, but by voting them out of office. We simply can’t afford to have a major party run for the benefit of fearful whites who are dedicated to a scorched-earth belief that liberals are betraying the nation...
—Kevin Drum (Mother Jones)
GROSS HOSPITAL NEGLIGENCE DOES NOT EXEMPT CELEBRITIES
by Ralph Nader
Solid studies by physicians at leading medical schools have been warning of the huge casualty toll that flows from preventable problems in hospitals. A 2016 peer-reviewed study by physicians at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine estimated that at least 5,000 people a week in the U.S. lose their lives due to such causes as hospital-induced infection, medical malpractice, inattentiveness, and other deficiencies. Media attention lasted one day.
What will it take to make the powers-that-be outside and inside the government reduce what medical analysts call the third leading cause of death in America? Let that statement sink in—preventable problems in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in America after heart disease and cancer!
Indignation and frustration over the massive avoidance of action to save American lives and reduce even more preventable injuries and sicknesses prompted the issuance of an eye-opening, factual report by the Center for Justice and Democracy (lodged at New York Law School) titled “Top 22 Celebrities Harmed by Medical Malpractice.” Surely in a celebrity culture, this documented report should have made headlines and prompted widespread commentary. Unfortunately, the report received little coverage from major news outlets.
Let’s see if you agree that this compilation, written by Emily Gottlieb and conceived by Joanne Doroshow, the Center’s Director, should have been newsworthy. Surveys cited in the Report show that “Four in 10 adults have experience with medical errors, either personally or in the care of someone close to them.” “Nearly three-quarters [73 percent] of patients say they are concerned about the potential for medical errors.”
Count tennis superstar, Serena Williams, was among them. She had to save her own life overcoming inattentive medical personnel “that initially dismissed her legitimate concerns about lethal blood clots following the birth of her child.” That story made news. Other celebrities passed away without the public knowing the causes until lawsuits were filed and settlements were rendered. For the most part, the physicians have received reprimands, temporary suspensions, but rarely lost their license to practice.
Joan Rivers, the long-time comedian, entered an endoscopy center in July 2014 for a routine throat procedure in New York. Her vital signs started failing, but her caretakers were “so busy taking cell phone pictures of their famous patient that they missed the moment her vital signs plummeted,” according to her daughter Melissa who filed a successful lawsuit ending in a private settlement.
Celebrity doctors who “cater to ‘the demands of wealthy and/or famous drug-seekers’” are overprescribing pain killers and other drugs. Reckless practices “led to the premature deaths of legendary entertainers like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, to name just three.” More recently, over-prescription of drugs has harmed or killed Michael Jackson , Prince, Anna Nicole Smith, and 3 Doors Down guitarist Matt Roberts, to name a few. These were not one-time prescriptions but rather deadly ministrations over time by physicians who knew the conditions and vulnerabilities of their famous patients.
Other tragedies recounted in the Center’s report, based on lawsuit evidence and/or a medical board sanction, include singer Julie Andrews (destroyed her singing career); Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane’s co-founder and lead-singer (destroyed his career); comedian Dana Carvey (led to “serious illness”); Maurice Gibb, the Bee Gees’ star (“died in a Florida hospital”); NASCAR champion, Pete Hamilton (survived “horrendous surgical errors causing… multiple complications”); and John Ritter, the Emmy award-winning actor, was “misdiagnosed and improperly treated at a hospital where he died.”
The great sports writer, Dick Schaap died after routine hip replacement surgery, when contemporary tests showed his weakened lungs indicated that the procedure would be too dangerous.
In 1987, the pioneering artist, director, and producer, Andy Warhol, underwent gallbladder surgery and died a day later when medical personnel put too much fluid intravenously into his body.
The Center’s report concludes by noting that “health care in the United States can be incredibly unsafe, and this is true even for well-known actors, singers, musicians, athletes and other personalities …wealth and fame cannot shield someone from being victimized by a preventable medical error.”
Safety and health reforms are long overdue in hospitals and clinics astonishingly. The American Medical Association has not produced any calls to action with effective recommendations. State regulators are heavily compromised by conflicts of interest and low budgets. The federal government is AWOL. A minimum of 5,000 lives lost a week, not counting the casualties in clinics and medical offices is a serious health crisis. This ongoing epidemic should lead to public alarms and reforms long known but kept on the shelf. Contact your members of Congress and demand public hearings. The evidence cannot be ignored any longer.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
ROLLINGSTONE MAGAZINE: SEE WILLIE NELSON CALL FOR CHANGE AT BETO RALLY WITH NEW SONG ‘VOTE ‘EM OUT’
MEMO OF THE AIR: Petrichor.
The recording of Friday night's (2018-09-28) 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-0298
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:
A lovely short film about the relationship between a shoemaker father (or possibly grandfather) and his little girl who wants very much to be an astronaut. https://theawesomer.com/one-small-step/495171/
How everyone will dance in the future. https://nerdcore.de/2018/09/28/beck-colors-feat-alison-brie-dir-edgar-wright/
And the Kavanaugh hearings prefigured by decades by Brit funnymen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRecMEf3CRI
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org