- Daniel Parker
- Eastbound Frasers
- Top Pay
- Little Dog
- Homeless Village
- Visual Hazard
- Yesterday's Catch
- SF Autumn
- Bridge Angels
- Frisco Tour
- Hey Liberals
- 1940s NY
- Freemartin Sex
- AA Deficient
- Kav Reflections
- Billy's Mistake
- Bridge Protest
- Scary Time
- Fire Documentary
- All Abouts
- Korean War
by Katy M. Tahja
Comptche lost one of its old-timers with the passing of Daniel Creighton Parker in mid-September at the age of 87. Living on Dutch Henry Creek Ranch on Keene Summit, he raised four kids, created art, wrote a book and lived a good life.
Born and raised in Connecticut, he studied art at St. Louis University and loved the sport of wrestling. Moving to California and marrying Pauline he looked for land with good water and climate for farming and found it southeast of Comptche.
Caring for timberlands, his family raised livestock, including catching feral piglets and raising them as meat hogs. An artist at heart, his family said he would look at a piece of wood and wait for it to speak to him and say, “I am this…” then Daniel would start creating.
He ran his ranch as a commune for years and his kids said he didn’t have a racist bone in his body and believed everyone of every color had something to offer of themselves. When harvesting crops he always left something behind for the animals. With a brother in the film industry, he would borrow movies so townsfolks could have a movie night at the Grange Hall decades ago.
Ask any young man growing up in Comptche in the 1980s and 90s and they can tell you about Comptche Ball. Every Sunday afternoon they’d gather at the Comptche School basketball court and play and visitors would look at this scrawny old guy Daniel and think “how much trouble could he be?” Little did they know… After the young whippersnappers had been run ragged for an hour or so they never again doubted the skill of the old guy. When age caught up with Daniel he switched to badminton and played often with Justin Cook.
A harbinger of summer in Comptche was Daniel’s haircut. He’d let his beard and hair grow long all winter and spring, and when he decided summer was on its way he’d shave his head and cut his beard off. Neighbors would see him at the post office and know summer was on its way. He finally stopped doing it because it embarrassed his children.
“Cooking by Flashlight” was Daniel’s book about raising his family on Dutch Henry Creek. He joked he didn’t identify his kids by name in the book because he could never remember which kid got into which misadventure. The book was a heartwarming look at back-to-the-land hippie days of the 1970s in Mendocino County. Daniel also did custom lumber milling for Comptche folks and cabinetmaking with Tom Valpey.
Later in his life Daniel lived in Mendocino and had home health aides to help him. When he’d return to Comptche for community gatherings he’d joke to friends he was surrounded by women all the time. Neighbors joked with him that he now had his own harem of beautiful women but he’d grumble, “Yes, but they’re always telling ME what to do!”
The Parker family extends special thanks to Janet Eklund-Cook, Louise Mariana, and Marie Covel for Daniel’s care.
Daniel and his wife Pauline were parents to Leihton, Emily, Stephen and Philip. Grandchildren include Luke, Theadora, Jacob, Rose, Kona, Meali’i, Makana, Charlotte and Eleanor and great-grandson Daniel. He is survived by siblings Kit and Susan.
A celebration of Daniel Parker’s life will take place at the Comptche Community Hall Sunday October 28th noon to 4 p.m.
Come share your favorite stories from his life.
ANGUS FRASER, Class of 2018 AV High Grad, has taken off in an old Ford Station wagon with his older brother Otto for a cross-country trek to Nashville where Angus hopes to enter the sound engineering field in the burgeoning music industry there. Quite a bold move, we’d say, but not surprising to anyone who knows Angus. Brother Otto, who graduated a few years earlier, has enlisted in the Coast Guard and will enter basic training in New Jersey in a few months with intentions to get into helicopter maintenance.
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY
This week the county supervisors once again approved spending more money on already highly paid positions in the county. CEO Carmel Angelo is getting another raise. Actually a series of raises. Why? Angelo plans to retire from this job. Everyone knows that. She isn’t going anywhere, why do the supervisors feel they need to boost her pay again?
As soon as the supervisors gave themselves a whopping 40 percent raise they began getting pressure from their administrators for more money too.
The county keeps saying it can’t recruit people because we don’t pay enough. Hogwash.
We can’t find people to fill upper management positions because this county doesn’t have a workforce that is well trained, motivated and ready to be innovative. That is not a knock on the workforce but on the lack of leadership in the upper ranks. We aren’t growing our own managers and administrators from the ranks and when we do promote people from within they often fail because the system has a built-in roadblock to doing things differently or giving people free rein to make changes. Or, they weren’t properly trained to take on their new responsibilities.
The county says we keep losing qualified employees to neighboring counties because we don’t pay enough. Again, fiddlesticks.
Study after study tells us that people don’t leave jobs primarily because of the pay. Business consultant Michael Schwantes, writing at Inc.com lists the top eight mistakes employees say managers make, which result in employees leaving:
Not recognizing the employee’s unique strengths
Not sharing information
Failure to listen
Not being available
Leading with your ego
Not caring about your people
Not paying enough is not on that list. The county is a huge employee-driven organization. The idea that only with money can it be transformed into an efficient, energized and productive place to work is ridiculous.
The public has seen this county struggle over finding someone to run its cannabis permitting program. We are sitting in one of the most prolific cannabis-growing areas in the nation. Is the county seriously saying there is no one out there in this county who can do this job? Probably the county has some job description that includes certain degrees or certification or prior job experience that prohibits someone who simply has the industry experience from applying. We suspect this goes for lots of government jobs. Maybe the county needs to rethink its job qualifications so that it can break the mold when necessary to find local people or current employees to do jobs we think we can’t fill without breaking the bank.
Instead of paying for studies that show how much other area counties are paying their employees perhaps we should do a study of how other counties are treating their employees and see where we come out.
(K.C. Meadows, Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
* * *
MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: Overall, I agree with Ms. Meadows observations. But a couple of points need to be made. Ms. Meadows asks, Why give the CEO a big raise? Easy: She’s bumping up her pension while the bumping is good. All indicators show that next year’s budget will be a problem and getting a raise past the Supes will be harder. (Sheriff’s overtime is grossly understated, property values (and tax assessments) have declined, there are big deficits in the overstaffed, underachieving pot permit program, declining overall sales taxes, a still costly juvenile hall, and who knows what other surprises — just to name a few.) Also, Ms. Meadows thinks there are unrealistic pre-requisites for the pot program manager. No, in fact, Mr. Overton was just the opposite — he had no qualifications, no pot program experience — the County seems to have hired him more as another fall guy. The young woman now running the program, a Ms. Jones, also had zero pot program experience before being hired as Mr. Overton’s assistant, having worked in some kind of local food or cooking program in Sonoma County. We wish her luck, but she seems to think all the failed pot permit program needs is a few more workshops and more “outreach,” when in fact it’s impossibly complicated and expensive and has serious flaws even though the County continues to hire pot program staff like they can afford it. And Ms. Angelo’s lip service to “leadership” and “management training”? A joke. If she wanted to “lead” she’d give the Board an honest monthly assessment of the budget status, to name just one big failure.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I asked the boss if I could attend the non-violence training in Ukiah. ‘L.D.,’ he says, ‘those people are the most violent people you'll meet. Mike Tyson is Gandhi alongside them. Sorry, for your own well-being I'm keeping you safe in Boonville’.”
TED WILLIAMS with Alice Williams at Kenton, Portland, Oregon:
Inspired by Rita Crane's comment, I visited Kenton Women’s Village, a pilot project of clustered pods in the Portland metro intended to address houselessness. Often, these types of projects are faced with "Not In My Backyard" concerns, but in this case, the Kenton Neighborhood Association voted 119 to 3 this summer in favor of extending the pilot project.
The area was well maintained, secure and quiet with onsite sanitation and shared kitchen. I was able to speak to some of the residents. A women approximately sixty years old shared her personal experience in going from a property owner to street dweller due to misfortune. She said this project has helped her to no longer feel "like a throwaway in the eyes of society". She's working on steps towards transitioning and was upbeat. Homelessness is usually the result of the cumulative impact of a number of factors, rather than a single cause with a plethora of fact patterns. What homeless all share in common is extreme vulnerability and lack of adequate housing, income and the necessary supports to ensure they stay housed. This project has clearly made a positive difference.
"14 formerly houseless women are receiving access to services including case management, employment assistance, access to legal and financial services, mental and physical health care, and support creating and implementing a personalized plan to transition to permanent housing by the time they leave the village. The residents range in age from 20s to 60s"
To the Editor:
As a resident of Potter Valley, I and others in my family, are concerned about the concrete barriers that CalTrans has placed along the south side of the west-bound lanes of Highway 20 near the Potter Valley exit. This has created an extreme “visual hazard” at the Highway 20 Potter Valley exit for vehicles east-bound, turning left onto the exit road. The line of barriers afford only a “limited” view of the oncoming west-bound traffic. When can we expect to have this dangerous situation corrected? A timely response is requested.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 7, 2018
EDDIE BARBOSA, Modesto/Ukiah. Pot sales, conspiracy.
CAMERON BRACKETT, Potter Valley. Domestic battery, criminal threats, probation revocation.
LIZBETH GOFORTH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
BRYCE GONZALES, Hughson/Ukiah. Pot sales, conspiracy.
ALEJANDRO GRIJALBA, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.
ISMAEL RODRIGUEZ JR., Point Arena. Probation revocation.
FLOYD RUTHERFORD III, Garberville/Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, criminal threats, failure to appear.
FABIO SILVEIRA, Modesto/Ukiah. Pot sales, conspiracy.
LUCAS VAUGHN, Manteca/Ukiah. Pot sales, conspiracy.
DESTINEE WALKER, Nice/Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, probation revocation.
PATRICK WILLIS, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI).
THE RISE & FALL
by Herb Caen
It's official. Autumn has arrived in the city of no seasons. The days, like the $5 martinis in the better hotels, are getting shorter. There is a definite nip in the air, biting at your ears. Fur coats, an item almost as endangered as some of the animals who gave their all, are coming out of storage and many a man is eyeing his topcoat. Still, it is an article of faith among the True Believers that no San Franciscan should ever wear an overcoat. On the coldest days, our heroes head downtown with only their suits and briefcases to protect them from the elements. Noses red, cheeks purple and teeth chattering, they will admit only that it's "a little brisk today, wouldn't you say?" To wear an overcoat is a sign of thinning blood and hair, an admission of age. Fetch me the old camel's hair, Arbuthnot, unless the moths got to it first. Yes, and the leather gloves with the bunny fur lining, too. I'm not out to kid anybody.
The summer of the Giants this content is over and we are riding high with the SuperNiners, bound for glory. It is indeed an odd coincidence that the Giants have a new manager named Roger Craig and the Niners have a wonderful ball carrier named Roger Craig, but nobody does anything about it. There is a joke there somewhere, but nobody can seem to put it together. As for the eagerly awaited Raiders game, it was a superbore, over almost before it began. You could sense after a few plays that the 49ers had it and that the Raiders have had it. A mismatch. One's heart – this one’s, at least -- went out to Jim Plunkett with his heroic agonized face and scarred body, an old-lion limping off into the shadows.
These are the good days in the city, the fog meandering in and out on no particular schedule, the big boats at play off the St. Francis Yacht Club, playing hide and seek in the billowing banks. In his "Grab Bag" column of tremendous trivia, columnist L.M. Boyd notes that "people are said to think and play and work at their best when the 24 hour temperatures average between 63 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit." That's us! In fact, which other city fits that formula so snugly? I'm not sure about the "think" and "work" part, but no matter. Play is the thing here, and San Franciscans are good at it.
Supercharged by the salubrious weather, I roamed the foggy streets on large flat Ferragamo’d feet (the Italians do make terrific shoes). Backstage at Davies Hall, Leonard Bernstein, wearing a white silk dressing gown, embraces opera star Sheri Greenswald, once Edo de Waart’s great love. Bernstein is carried away. He oozes, coos and oohs as he nibbles her fingers and ears. Laughing merrily, she pulls away. He pulls her back. Sheri’s new husband, a nice bespectacled chap, looks on stonily, but musicians are like that. Very kissy-kissy. Especially Lennie, even after an overpraised Mahler Ninth.
It is time for nightlife, restaurants, clubs, the great game of eating out. I am about to give the award for best french fries to the Hayes Street Grill and then the next night I had some equally good at Mason’s, formerly Canlis’ at the Fairmont. Mason’s is a dumb name for a place with such good fries. A new French club has been organized -- it's called Le Livre Bleu, which does not mean your liver just self-destructed, and it meets at Pierre's, a nice break for this excellent eating place in the otherwise maligned Meridien Hotel on Third Street. It is still boggling to eat "Une Belle Tranche De Saumon," beautifully rendered by Chef Joel Guillon on what so many of us remember sentimentally as the heart of Skid Road.
At the St. Francis Compass Rose, the dancers are swaying as romantically as is possible under a battery of powerful spotlights directly overhead. Will the assistant manager in charge of cheek to cheek dancing please do something about this? However, no complaints about the music: pianist Abe Battat and Almon S. Walcott III, the impressive clarinet and sax man, are the best around for a soft swing. Almon can in fact tear your heart out. In the bar at L’Eoile a man with a Paunch is sleeping on a sofa as his wife and another couple chatted away and Peter Mintun works his usual midnight magic. The paunchy one sleeps for an hour. Not a waiter or a captain comes along to shake him awake, despite the incongruity in this elegant setting. It is an uncomfortable scene. "You think he's dead?" "Hope so." Outside, the fog drifts through the towers of Grace Cathedral and gobbles up the P-U Club.
A beautiful Saturday at Stanford for the "pro-celebrity" tennis tourney (a benefit for Cystic Fibrosis) that isn't as horrendous as most. The cast of "Hill Street Blues" is there, plus real players like Arthur Ashe, Tim Mayotte, Barry MacKay, Matt Mitchell. Veronica Hamel turns out to be a good player despite her odd getup in the 100-degree heat: baseball cap down to her ears, heavy sweatshirt, heavy warm-up pants. What is she trying to hide? Defeated by Hamel, I drive through Palo Alto, one marvelous city, all lawns and magnolias and well-kept houses.
Wolfgang's, Sunday night, The Tubes launching their three-night "retrospective." The tickets say 8 p.m. but nothing happens for an hour. Then comes a 10-yr-old Tubes video that runs till 10 p.m., when the band finally appears. A good band, a historic band, even, but no longer outrageous. Their first big hit was "White Punks on Dope," but I didn't smell even a whiff of marijuana as autumn came to the city by the bay.
(San Francisco Chronicle Sept. 24, 1985)
LETTER TO SAN FRANCISCO
by Denis Rouse
Dearest bitch by the bay, when a best friend John suggested we meet in your bosom to spend a few leisurely days, I thought of the new fifty-eight story skyscraper of multi-million-dollar condos at 301 Mission called “the leaning tower of lawsuits”, because six hundred and forty-five feet of reinforced concrete wrapped in gleaming glass has sunk seventeen inches, and is listing an alarming foot and a half to the southwest imperiling multitudes of your innocent. Here we have whopping irony, dear, that the foundation of this soaring monument to mega-bucks, instead of being deeply anchored on bedrock, rests shallower in shifting sand below rubble from your 1906 earthquake.
Too, I recalled a recent experience driving south on the 101 from your teeming hilly centrum on my way to the airport. I was negotiating densely packed seventy mile an hour traffic, the sort of conditions that boost all my senses to red alert, when I suddenly saw in my rearview a black Mercedes approaching like a djinn from hell, swerving and diving between gaps in the speeding traffic. Then in a millisecond the apparently crazed fool at the wheel nearly sideswipes me, loses control of his car and careens off the right shoulder, then goes airborne and ends up crashed somewhere high in the wall of ivy and live oak that borders the freeway. I fully expected two and a half tons of wreckage to come cascading down into the lanes and cause unimaginable havoc and carnage, but no, thank God, the jerk stayed stuck in the brush. On my way I went, shaken to the core, wondering what he was going to tell the cops.
So now you’ll understand my reply to John was to suggest merger in a venue I regard as less frenetic than yours. I mentioned Morro Bay and Vancouver Island. Can’t do it, he said, we have reservations and Jeannie’s looking forward to the cool touristy things she remembers warmly from her last time in The City twenty-five years ago, like riding the cable car, like having an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista, like shopping at Macy’s on Union Square, like, you know. Yeah, I know John, we’ve been friends for fifty years, I know, you know, we all know.
What is there to do but give my assent? Gwen and I make (shudder) commercial airline reservations from Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport (we live in Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula) to SFO. I won’t bore you with ugly details involving what it takes to drive to the airport in Seattle from our home on the west side of Puget Sound, but when it comes to a congested metro traffic nightmare Greater Seattle is right in there, dear lady, with yours. And what more is there to say about the tyranny of flying commercially? You become human baggage in a digital system that makes fascism seem to shine with benevolence. On our return we encounter the least of all possible inconvenience Alaska Airlines can lay on their highly valued passengers: Our early morning flight is cancelled, no reason, no notice. No worries though. We’re in the computer to take another flight that leaves a mere four hours later.
We figured it would be great for the four of us to stay together at the same hotel in The City a far better writer than I once described as “49 square miles surrounded by reality”. It’s not to be. John and Jeannie are booked at The Marines’ Memorial Hotel on the corner of Sutter and Mason which I try but is full, no vacancy. I manage to reserve a room for Gwen and me at The Marker, a new smartly renovated version of the old Monaco closely located two blocks down on Geary. Close these days is a big win.
Immediate semper fi epiphany: I’ve been in the city dozens of times in this little 76-year life of mine. Never even heard of the 138-room Marines’ Memorial Hotel. It opened on the Marine Corps birthday in November 1946 in a 12-story brick building that stands straight and true as a drill instructor a few blocks from Union Square. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General A.A. Vandegrift, designated it a “living memorial” providing “a tribute to those who have gone before, and a service to those who carry on”. Every floor including the spacious lobby has impressive galleries of photos, artifacts, maps, charts, medals, citations, certificates, posters, plaques and dioramas that honor the valorous history of “The Proud, The Few”. Gracing the 11th floor is the General E.O. Ames Library and Museum, a magisterial wood-paneled retreat shelved with 4000 volumes of U.S. military history from the Revolutionary War to present day Afghanistan, well lit with cushy chairs and warmed by a fireplace should you wish to sit comfortably and read for a week which I felt distinctly the desire to do.
The last meal served to me (read: slopped on my plate in the mess hall) when I was a young hero in an infantry unit stationed at Fort Ord in 1960, was shit-on-a-shingle, creamed chipped beef on toast, which I admit I loved, but was a far cry from the haute cuisine, including the best Oysters Rockefeller I’ve ever encountered, and expertly herb roasted free range organic chicken plump and juicy, served with breathtaking grace and elegance in the Leatherneck Steakhouse on the uppermost 12th floor of the Marines’ Memorial, with a wonderful view of The City to boot. Who knew the Marines have lodging and dining that rival the very best in SF?
Gwen and Jeannie want to go shopping, so the dutiful, considerate guys we are, off we go to the epicenter of that activity, Union Square. We approach here the 79-foot-tall granite shaft with Winged Victory atop that memorializes the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish American War. The unambiguous order deeply engraved in the stone always stirs my history-loving guts: “Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Commodore George Dewey April 24, 1898. War has commenced between the United States and Spain. Proceed at once to the Philippine Islands and capture or destroy the Spanish Fleet”. Later that year on July 1, he who would become President Theodore Roosevelt, he who dedicated this memorial in April 1903, leads his 1st. U.S. Volunteer Cavalry of Rough Rider cowboys and college students in a charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba through withering Mauser fire, an experience TR would refer to later and often as “my swollen moment” in a “splendid little war”.
We walk down the crowded gilded thoroughfare of Post Street and encounter people wearing sandwich boards lettered big in bold face with “Gump’s Going Out of Business – 30% to 40% off -- Bankruptcy Sale!”. Can it be that a landmark San Francisco emporium that has been retailing high end fashions, jewelry and furnishings since the Civil War is going down so ignominiously? Business reporters are in agreement on reason that tastes and values in the luxury market are changing. One wrote “No one wants to buy pearls and jade anymore”. As the four of us enter the store I couldn’t help but wonder if an age of mindless consumptive materialism was ending, perhaps a silly thought, but it intensified when I see a huge golden statue of Buddha seated centrally, solidly, on Gump’s first floor bearing His enigmatic facial expression evocative of “One who is awake”.
But we soldier on, we the loyal mates of our inveterate shopping queens. Iconic pricey Macy’s, aisles teeming on every floor, seems not to be hurting a bit for business. And at Swarovski’s Jewelry there is for sale an $8900.00 Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet described as a “limited edition masterpiece” that glitters with nineteen hundred crystals. Just outside the entrance of Swarovski’s at the crowded intersection of Geary and Powell I unintentionally kick off the sidewalk a paper cup full of change that is at the feet of a homeless man reclining there against a post in urine-stained khaki pants. He looks at me for a moment with rheumy-eyed hatred before I bend over and retrieve every sticky coin one by one and replace them in his cup, adding a dollar bill I pull hurriedly from my wallet.
A coffee break seems required so we head away from the square down Maiden Lane to Montgomery Street. We enter the Palace Hotel. John has mentioned desire to view Maxfield Parrish’s “The Pied Piper”, a sixteen by six-foot mural of astonishing light that has been the backdrop of the Palace bar since 1909, commissioned three years earlier in the aftermath of the great earthquake and fire of 1906. Though the bar is closed in the early afternoon, as we sit and sip under the huge glass dome of the spacious lounge that is an atrium the size of a cathedral, our gracious hostess assents to unlock the oaken doors of the bar and allow us a private showing of the famous masterwork. Not long ago, in 2013, the corporate geniuses who run the hotel came to a venal decision to send the painting obviously worth millions to New York to Christie’s to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, under the thin guise of a plan to “re-invent the décor of the bar”. Public outrage, including the mayor’s, and presumably God’s, ultimately prevailed and the day was won.
We board a passenger-jammed cable car (who among ten million SF tourists doesn’t?) and ride to its streaming terminus between Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf: An Irish at the Buena Vista? Check. A sinful hot fudge in Chocolate Land? Check. Buy a black and white prison stripe nightshirt lettered on the breast with “Outpatient Alcatraz Psycho Ward” from a kitsch souvenir joint? Check. Stroll through the maritime museum for a look at The Bay before the Bridges, when Italian fishermen in their feluccas were the traffic? Check. And not too surprisingly, in a venue where the unexpected is mundane, view from bayside bleacher seats a trio of beautiful Hawaiian girls performing their Hula, their grass skirts swinging, accompanied by live traditional chanting and drumbeats. Check.
We jump in a cab. Jeannie’s bucket list includes the Seven Painted Ladies, a row of colorful Victorian houses on Steiner Street across from the high grassy knoll of Alamo Square in the Haight. Our cabbie mistakenly unloads us, albeit nearby “Postcard Row”, on another street of Victorians, where we meet residents Dave and Ernie and their little dog Scout. Dave and Ernie kindly stuff John, Jeannie, Gwen and me, together with themselves and Scout, into their late model compact Beemer designed for four, and ferry us to the real deal. Wasn’t Scout Holden Caulfield’s dog in “Catcher in The Rye?”, John asks me. No schmuck, she was his sister. The much photographed and filmed street lined with pastel antiquity as we view it from on high in Alamo Square is in smashing contrast with the panorama of the towering modern skyline of The City that looms beyond.
We’re far from alone here. The green square on a gloriously sunny day is loaded with picnicking families, women pushing strollers, kids playing ball, a newly married pair taking selfies in their wedding attire, a couple of models posing for a fashion shoot, the usual. Then I see what is clearly the unusual: A middle age man lying on his back attired in nothing but a polka dot skull cap, sunglasses and an undergarment so much briefer than a jockstrap I can only call it a member sock, with his member obviously rising in various states of tumescence as he observes passersby, who seem to be paying no attention to the uber exhibitionism, or regarding it as just another day in a Bay Area park.
Sunday morning I’ve got a dim sum breakfast in mind. When the four of us re-unite at the Marine’s Hotel I ask a lovely Chinese lady housekeeper, where’s the best place to go in Chinatown? I ask her to write it down in Chinese. She smiles beautifully, and carefully writes the name of a restaurant on Jackson in perfect Chinese logograms, and says it’s Obama’s favorite. Off we go to Chinatown which is more jammed with people and traffic than ever I’ve experienced. Many blocks of Grant Avenue the main thoroughfare are off limits to vehicles because of an elongated stationary procession of Moon Cake vendor’s carts offering the holiday favorite. Dumb me didn’t know it’s Moon Day, the second biggest celebration in China after the Chinese New Year, one that fetes mid-Autumn in legend after legend about what hits your eye like a big pizza pie. I lead Gwen and Jeannie and John through the throngs holding up my little piece of paper inscribed with the three Chinese characters. Kind people point their fingers down Jackson, we recognize the Chinese characters on a sign that reads in English GREAT EASTERN RESTAURANT, and guess who’s broadly smiling presidential countenance is taped on the window? The dim sum is fabulous, especially my braised chicken feet and Gwen’s baby octopi.
We schedule our final evening meal together in an institution I’ve enjoyed on special occasions with family, best friends, business associates, college buddies, acquaintances and lovers for fifty years. The Tadich Grill, San Francisco’s oldest restaurant, has been opening its doors since 1849 through wars, fires, earthquakes and a Great Depression. The waiters I know, John, Marion, Stefan and others I’m told, have spent decades-long professional careers here, and I say professional because there’s rare high art in the grace and style and manner and true affection and tradition involved in serving great cooking that’s to say the least, memorable. And here it comes, a bowl of perfectly steamed clams in rich, buttery garlic broth in which to dip fresh warm sourdough, and expertly pan-fried sand dabs caught hours ago, crisp around the edges, brought to the table whole fish, bone-in, un-fileted as they’re favored on the plate back home in Slovenia.
There was the advertising campaign of a premium whiskey that ran some years ago here in the land of the free. The brand name escapes me at the moment but the headline remains. The good things stay that way. Even in San Francisco, especially in San Francisco, it’s as true as a sunrise.
HERE WE COME, LIBS
How do you like it now? We got a real man in there for the Supreme Court. We got a real man for president and he is slowly but surely getting rid of all those Obama leftovers so he will have pure Republicans in the White House with him. There might be a rino or two left. A rino is actually a Democrat, a liberal Republican. He talks like a Republican but votes like a Democrat, like a liberal. He should be hung from a lamppost in the middle of town and left there to rot. You liberals better watch out now because we are getting our feet under us and we will be coming back. Republicans will be on the offense for a change, not the defense. You bastards take advantage of everything and protest everything. Most of you liberals are on welfare and food stamps and Medicare. You are not afraid to bite the hand that feeds you. And someday it will all end for certain people.
Thanks for the good work that the gangbusters are doing. Luis Espinoza and his buddies. We need more groups like that so we can get this country back on track and take it away from the criminals running all over the country. You can imagine what it will be like with Jerry Brown and people like him in office like Gavin Newsom making this a sanctuary state. It's just sad that we have to have governments like the one in New York or California in the United States because the people who run those states are ugly, they don't know how to treat people except themselves. They pass laws that only benefit them. That's the sorry thing about Jerry Brown. He's a sorry sorry human being.
Congratulations to Raleigh Chaix from Willits and the letter he wrote about Brown. Congratulations also to everyone else who writes letters I agree with.
M OR F?
Dear AVA Editor,
Thank you for printing my letter and for your response. Although most of it was beside the point, I found it interesting that you observed a human intersex condition at a tender age, given the opinions you volunteer every week. And you still avoided answering my question: for the third time, what in your opinion is the gender of a freemartin?
Milan Hopkins, MD
ED REPLY: Frankly, doctor, I have no opinion on the gender of the freemartin. I confess I don't know what a freemartin is. A bird? Freemasons, however, are male, at least my grandfather was, if you happen to have confused species. You seem to be suggesting that the freemartin's gender is fluid, but how exactly does that presumed fluidity in a wild creature pertain to human sexuality? Of course, I am aware that there are a number, and apparently more all the time, creative permutations of the basic male-female human construct among, however, only a tiny minority of human-type people. But you, doctor, seem to assume we don't really come in two standard models — male and female. You seem to be suggesting that, kinda like Henry Ford's first motor cars, we've suddenly evolved into sexual Hudson Hornets! Are you suggesting some kind polymorphism is natural to us humans, that we're really earth-bound freemartins struggling to be free, no longer mere variations of Donald and Melania? Your point, sir?
ONE MORE YEAR
My Proposition 57 early release date got denied because I didn't go to enough AA meetings. That's another year here at Pelican Bay. The AVA is what keeps me informed on the comings and goings in Mendocino. May you please continue my subscription. I think it's up on the 21st of this month. Thank you!
AY-6278 D-3 104
P.O. Box 7500
Crescent City CA 95532
A READER WRITES: "What's going on out there is insane. And I do believe Trump and his base—and I include Repubs in congress—won again. They turned what was a job interview into a trial. I don't believe any normal human would employ the person we saw on video after Ford's testimony. Who would want that kind of person on their team?
And now Trump has made men, and esp. young men, the victims. I believe if you asked 10,000 average women if they'd experienced sexual assault, from rape to groping, from the horrific to the slimy uncle at a Christmas dinner, 99.5% would say yes. Almost every woman I know, myself included, has been in an uncomfortable to horrid situation with a man. And I am not a knee jerk type gal, I need more than gossip to form an opinion.
I kept muttering, through the Kavanaugh circus, What about the lies told to the judiciary committee? What about his friend deciding what and how much of Kav's ginormous trove of communication etc would be made available to the committee? What about Kav's slimy judicial B.S.—caught on video tape—as he tried to stall a young woman's abortion till it was too late under law.
I kept muttering that a drunken escapade from 37 years ago is not gonna change anyone's mind. And focusing on that alone was not smart.
When will the two sides erupt? When will the real street ugliness commence? See, I'm no longer asking when Trump will be gone. At every turn, the Dems seem to screw up."
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THE READER ADDS: “This guy says it better.” —
Although I’ll vote for any Democrat in November to keep Donald Trump’s Republican vassals from finishing off the American republic at his bidding, what I saw in the performance of most Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee last week reminded me that any victory by that terminally pusillanimous, corrupt, suppurating party, which is only a zombie if not a corpse of our democratic hopes, isn’t likely to stop what’s coming at us any more than a speed bump will stop a tank.
Again, I’ll vote for any Democrat in November, just as I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 even after I’d said all this about Democrats right here at that time. What’s different now is that the danger of Trumpism and the hollowness of Democrats have been more fully exposed.
While we can hope that the latter will grow spines in some upcoming congressional outcomes, it’ll take a lot more to stop the creeping coup d’etat against the republic by Trump and his backers than it would have taken in 2016. Too many Democrats are already carriers and casualties of the coup from above. When Brett Kavanaugh interrupted Sen. Amy Klobuchar to ask if she drinks too much, why didn’t she find it in herself to say, “Mr. Kavanaugh, would you please stop putting your verbal hand over my mouth while I’m asking you a question?”
Why didn’t Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse look up from his scripted questions about a high school beach party and yearbook to ask Kavanaugh whether he truly thought that the committee’s inquiry was staged by the Clintons in revenge for Trump’s victory and, if so, would he mind telling the American people more about that conspiracy?
Why didn’t the “ranking member” of the minority, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, observe that Kavanaugh’s tirade had given the committee and the American people ample evidence of his judicial temperament?
Instead, these and most other Democrats cowered before Kavanaugh’s rain-dancing. He said what he’d scripted himself to say the night before, but some of his anger and partisan hatred also came roaring out of his bowels in ways that should have roused tribunes of the people to commanding, eloquent, show-stopping pushbacks.
The truth is that they’d been hollowed out by their own compromises since at least the mid-1970s, when the follies of neoliberal — yes, Clintonite — Democrats did quite as much to widen the civic and political vacuum into which Trump has swept as did the follies of conservatives. It’s an argument I’ve been making since 2014, long before any of us thought that Trump would run for president, much less win.
It’s also certainly true that conservatives have dined out on liberals’ mistakes for so long that they’ve forgotten how to cook for themselves and have abandoned their kitchen to Trump. But Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from Wall Street, and Barney Frank, the representative from Fanny Mae, and the “welfare reform” president Bill Clinton, and Walmart board member Hillary Clinton, and even the civic magician named Barack Obama did far too much to seed the field from which Trump’s dispossessed, insulted, enraged mobs have sprouted.
The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik denies views like mine, which he calls “the orthodoxy of this moment that Trump is not the ‘cause’ of all his catastrophes.” Gopnik urges instead that only “Trump is the cause of Trumpism. …This is Trump, and Trump alone, degrading American politics, and we should not get lost in side debates and sideshows.” He likens Trump to a magician who keeps so many tricks going at once that he diverts us from noticing the big, dark, authoritarian, plutocratic advances behind the trickery.
Begging your pardon, Adam, and with all due respect for your marvelous writing: Your facility with metaphors may be tricking you and your readers. Blaming so much on Trump the magician reminds me sadly of the critic Robert Warshow’s observation in 1947 that "The New Yorker has always dealt with experience not by trying to understand it but by prescribing the attitude to be adopted toward it. This makes it possible to feel intelligent without thinking, and it is a way of making everything tolerable, for the assumption of a suitable attitude toward experience can give one the illusion of having dealt with it adequately. The gracelessness of capitalism becomes an entirely external phenomenon, a spectacle that one can observe without being touched -- above all, without feeling really threatened."
Trump is indeed an unprecedentedly dangerous president. But, as I argued in the Washington Monthly last week, Democrats’ obsession with youthful sexual assaults and bar fights, serious though they may have been in Kavanaugh’s case, is no more constructive than their obsession with breaking the glass ceilings of structures whose foundations and walls they fail to change. That leaves neoliberal Democrats with little to say against glass-ceiling breakers such as Carly Fiorina, Sheryl Sandberg or Margaret Thatcher.
Until and unless Democrats are forced by well organized movements to challenge the regime of casino-like financing, predatory lending and consumer-bamboozling that they’ve done so much to sustain under the falsely compensatory drapery of United Colors of Benetton “diversity,” the true and urgent claims of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter will always lose to the belligerence of the Brett Kavanaughs and the bitter resentments of the less “entitled” politically incorrect.
TIME FOR ACTION! TINY COMMUNITY FIGHTS BIGGEST AGENCY IN CALIFORNIA
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) wants to destroy the last remaining timber trestle bridge on Highway 1 in California. The Albion River Bridge was recently added to the state and federal lists of historic places, and independent professional engineers have said it's in no need of replacement.
Caltrans could start an unnecessary and environmentally destructive “geotechnical investigation” as early as 7am this Monday, October 8. This investigation includes the removal and chipping of about 100 eucalyptus trees (5-10 days), earthwork and grading of bluffs (removing soil & rocks) (2 weeks), installing platforms/setting up cranes/geotechnical boring using a helicopter to deliver materials and employees (4 weeks), and restoration work (2 weeks). The Coastal Commission ignored the wishes of the Albion community and its elected county supervisor and approved the permit for this project last month. Legal challenges aimed at stopping the project have not yet been successful.
Please join us this week by the Albion River Bridge (ARB) for a peaceful, non-violent protest of this environmental destruction in a fragile coastal environment. Bring a sign, cell phone, camera, water, and a snack. Let's be safe, and not interfere with traffic and not walk on the bridge. We will have police protection.
Caltrans says that one-way traffic control will be in effect at ARB and Salmon Creek Bridge from 8am to 5pm weekdays until Friday, October 12. Motorists can expect 10 minute delays. Some parking is available at the Ledford House restaurant parking lot if you stand on the south side of the bridge.
Some parking is available for people who stand on the north side of the bridge in the guest parking lot of the Albion River Inn restaurant and also on Albion Little River Road. Parking is limited; car pooling is recommended.
There will be a nonviolence training Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10am to 4pm at the new Albion Elementary School 30400 Albion Ridge Road. Sign up right away with email@example.com
Annemarie Weibel, Albion, for Albion Bridge Stewards
Thank you. Spread the word.
Donald Trump says: “It’s a very scary time for young men in America.”
I hope he’s right.
Tell young men that drunkenness doesn’t excuse sexual predation or anything else. Tell young men that sexual predation is always wrong. Tell young men they should always ask to make absolutely certain their advances are welcomed. Tell young men “no” means no.
If they listen, there’s nothing to worry about.
WILDER THAN WILD!
Monday is the Day!
Hello Again Everyone:
The Mendocino Coast premiere on October 8 of a dramatic new documentary "Wilder than Wild," about wild-land fires and how we can make our communities fire safe will take place at Preston Hall on Monday, October 8, the first anniversary of the Tubbs (Santa Rosa) and Redwood Valley Fire. Following the screening of this 60-minute film a panel of experts, including Mendocino Fire Chief Ed O’Brien, will field questions and suggest solutions that can save homes and lives. This is a FREE community event. Here are the basics:
What: Mendocino Coast Premiere of "Wilder than Wild"
When: October 8
When: 7 p.m. Doors Open @ 6:30 p.m.
Where: Preston Hall (next to the Presbyterian Church)
Admission is FREE - Don't Miss It!
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The top twelve It’s All Abouts (in alphabetical order):
class (wealth, status, fame)
nationality / citizenship
Personally, I’m a fan of culture. Hard to define, but I know it when I see it…
WHATEVER YOU THINK OF TRUMP…
Ask President Trump to End the Korean War
Please consider joining me in a friendly appeal to President Trump to join North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an executive declaration ending the Korean War. Whatever you think of President Trump, human survival demands an end to this ongoing war between two nuclear-armed nations, which nearly broke into actual nuclear war in September, 2017, when North Korea threatened to detonate a high-altitude H-bomb which could destroy computerized electronics in line of sight on land and in satellites with an electromagnetic pulse.
Last month the leaders of North and South Korea, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, met and declared a "Korean Peninsula free of war." To a cheering crowd of 150,000 North Koreans, South Korean President Moon said, "We have lived together for 5,000 years and been separated for 70 years. We must live together as one people."
Recently President Trump declared his love for Kim Jong-un. I really believe that it is the dominant power of love that has defied expert predictions of inevitable nuclear war so far. Can we love life enough to support President Trump in ending the Korean War?
Here's the email I just sent to President Trump, and the contact email of the White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
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To: President Donald Trump, cc to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
North Korea is a Natural Geopolitical Ally of the United States
Dear President Trump,
Heartfelt thanks for planning another summit with Kim Jong-un; you are saving the world! Please accept this friendly advice from a long-time independent observer:
North Korea is a natural geopolitical ally of the United States, and has no fundamental conflict of interest with the United States. The best way, and maybe the only way, to make it sensible for Kim Jong-un to give up nuclear weapons is by cultivating North Korea as an ally protected by the U.S. military "umbrella."
Definitely it is time to join Kim in a joint executive declaration that the Korean war is ended! How can he negotiate disarmament while at war with the world's greatest nuclear power? An actual peace treaty may take awhile to work out.
Consider ending economic sanctions, which have been in place since the 1950s, and may be a driving reason why North Korea, a poor nation of 25 million, has the fourth largest army in the world and a huge arsenal of "conventional," nuclear, chemical and biological, and cyber warfare weapons for deterrence only.
Ending the "war games" is helpful, but Kim realizes the beach landings, etc., are a classic example of preparing for the last war when the field of battle, now dominated by high-altitude nuclear EMP weapons in a world reliant on computerized electronics, has completely changed.
Above all, thanks for expressing the power of love, which will save us all!
John J. Lewallen