- Rosemarie Nelson
- Pot Holes
- Little Dog
- Ed Notes
- Ukiah '48
- DNA Match
- Coast Voting
- Pinches Endorsement
- Allman Meeting
- Broadband Meeting
- Food Policy
- Yesterday's Catch
- Jazz Shows
- Bodkins '69
- Gizmo Limits
- Creeping Threats
- Old Gold
- Pestilent Species
- Top Sox
- Selfie Jest
- Trespass Trash
- Overhead Lines
- Wood Appearance
- Corporate News
- Jazzmeia Spirit
- Unemployed Clown
- Mendo Mayhem
Rosemarie Nelson passed away at the home of her daughter in Ukiah, CA on August 21, 2018 after a long illness. She was seventy-seven. Rosemarie was born on May 15, 1941 in Gait, California to parents George W. Bettfreund and Mary C. Bettfreund (Beam). She was the youngest of three sisters and grew up in Auburn.
She married her first husband in 1957. They moved to Fort Bragg in 1964, where she raised her family. Rosemarie had three children, Michelle, Laura, and Quinn Gangbin. Rosemarie worked as a cashier and a nurse's aide when her children were young. She later worked for the IWA Union in Fort Bragg as a secretary and benefits representative for 20 years, and at the Redwood Coast Senior Center as a bookkeeper for 5 years. After which she started her own bookkeeping business.
Being involved in her community was important to Rosemarie and she enjoyed her work on various boards and associations. Some of which included being elected to the Board of Directors of the Mendocino Coast Hospital District for 12 years, serving as chairperson for three of those years, serving on the Board of Directors of the Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) for 4 years, and being appointed to the Commission on the Status of Women in Mendocino County, serving for 6 years. Most recently, she served on the Board of Directors of the Ukiah Senior Center.
In 1984, Rosemarie married the love of her life, Donald R. Nelson, and her family grew by six. Rosemarie and Don lived in Fort Bragg until 2011, when, due to health reasons, they moved to Ukiah to be near her daughter Laura. Rosemarie is survived by her children Michelle Calcagno, Laura Reber, Larry Nelson, Deayne Nelson, Dale Nelson, Dana Nelson, David Nelson and Douglas Nelson as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Rosemarie had a strong faith in God her whole life. This faith helped her through two separate battles with cancer, the death of her husband and the death of her son. She passed away confident in the love of God and the promise of the resurrection. At her request, no services will be held. Donations, in her name, can be made to the Ukiah Senior Center.
INTERESTING REPORT on KZYX by Alice Woefle on the local demise of small school football. Robert Pinoli, the Athletic Director at Boonville High School, pointed out that a crucial factor in football's disappearance, even 8-man, in the County's outback schools is declining enrollment generally. The neo-popularity of futbol of course coincides with the arrival over the past forty years of Mexican immigrants, and futbol, aka soccer, is the national sport of most countries in the world, including Mexico. In 1971 there was not a single Spanish-speaking student enrolled in the Anderson Valley schools. Today that enrollment is 80% Spanish-speaking.
THERE ARE OTHER OBJECTIONS to football from many parents reacting to studies that reveal at the advanced levels of the game, levels that very few young men achieve, permanent brain damage is an occupational hazard. At the high school level permanent brain damage is much less likely because collisions among high school students aren't nearly so fierce as they are at the college and pro levels of the game. Soccer isn't exactly non-violent; using your head to get a one pound soccer ball down field ten thousand times as a youngster couldn't be all that great for the old noodle.
MS. WOEFLE'S REPORT partly emanated from Potter Valley where Russ Todd informed the reporter that "Soccer is a communist sport." We could have used a follow-up question, Ms. W. Was the guy joking? But given the known levels of scholarship in PV probably not. Looked at one way you could say the Potter Valley Diversion is a communist project giving Potter Valley's noble sons of the soil like Todd — a member of the Potter Valley Politburo — virtually free water for a hundred years subsidized by downstream households, the proletariat. But futbol less violent than football? On the field perhaps, but didn't a couple of Central American countries go to war over the outcome of a soccer match? And aren't international soccer contests also fraught with mass rioting by nationalist yobbos, Brit fans being so bad they're banned by some countries?
AS SOMEONE ONCE SAID, “Football is a gentleman's game played by hooligans, and soccer is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen."
PINCHES, POT PERMITS & PAY RAISES
by Mark Scaramella
WE ONLY CAUGHT a few snippets of Tuesday morning’s KMEC radio interview with Supervisor Pinches by former Supervisor Norman de Vall (interrupted periodically and incoherently by KMEC’s Supes heavy-hitter, the cretinous Louis Bigfoot). But at one point we heard Pinches complain that the big deficits in the pot permit program were being covered by road repair money, leading to fewer road repairs and less maintenance.
PINCHES is a budget expert and we expect he’s right. But we had not previously heard that the road budget was being raided to cover the pot permit deficit. We will attempt to pursue the subject in upcoming reports. But Pinches' comment caused us to look back in the archive about the pot permit program budgeting. Here are some comments on the program from the Supes, County staff and the AVA from 2017.
FIRST: Remember when Measure AJ from November of 2016 passed comfortably? It was the companion Measure to the measure the Supes floated to counter the local pot industry’s own regulatory measure. The Pot industry measure was defeated, and the County’s measure passed easily. The Supes companion “advisory” measure instructed the County to “use a majority of [marijuana business tax] revenue for funding enforcement of marijuana regulations, enhanced mental health services, repair of county roads, and increase fire and emergency medical services.”
THIS PRESUMES THAT 1. There would be revenues from the pot permit program and 2. that there would be some kind of specific accounting to determine how much revenue and how it would be allocated.
NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED. In fact, even with the specific instruction from the voting public, no one on the Board of Supervisors has even inquired about the measure or its instructions. Not once — even though Measures AI and AJ were put on the ballot and sold specifically as the sensible alternative to the Pot Growers' own Measure, Measure AG.
THEN ASSISTANT CEO ALAN FLORA, February 2017 (just as the pot permit program was gearing up):
“Currently the cannabis program is budgeted in the Agricultural Commissioner's budget (Budget Unit 2710). The program is budgeted separately from the traditional responsibilities of the Ag. Commissioner’s Office (internally), but it is not reflected separately in the County Budget. The FY 2017-18 Budget will include a separate budget unit for the cannabis program so the finances specific to that program are more externally transparent. The Board has not provided specific direction on reporting applications and/or costs, however we would envision the Ag. Commissioner reporting on the program during quarterly budget reports. … The Agricultural Commissioner's Office has estimated that with 350 applicants the annual program cost would be $745,832. The Board adopted fees in January that would cover these costs. Of course this is somewhat of a moving target and adjustments will need to be made if the number of applicants fluctuates significantly from that estimate. For example, if the County receives 500 applications, the fee structure should still be valid as far as the amount of time required to process a single application, but the County may need to hire additional staff to handle the increased workload.”
THAT TURNED OUT TO BE WAY OFF, of course, not that anybody was following up.
THEN ON MAY 21, 2017, during the Quarterly Budget Review, CEO Carmel Angelo told the Board of Supervisors,
“What I would like to see is that we actually have a workshop in the summer when there's usually more time, the agendas are not that full in July or August and that workshop would be dedicated to looking at — you are really talking about performance measures — when you're talking about performance measures, Assistant CEO Flora is working on metrics, we are really looking at outcome measures for departments. What you're talking about is more about performance measures. So what I would like to do is have a workshop with Human Resources and really look at some of the areas that we are working on — that Human Resources is working on — and also get direction from the board because it is a much bigger issue than what you have discussed in the last three minutes. So I'd like to go ahead and schedule that for the summer.”
GUESS WHAT HAPPENED “in the summer” of 2017? That’s right: NOTHING. Nor has the subject come up since — even though the pot permit program’s deficits have ballooned to some unknown number.
THE CEO’S “Net County Cost” chart for 2017 showed “($1.7 million)” of Cannabis Tax Revenue (but it’s in parens, which presumably means loss of revenue). This would seem to have been the $1 million road allocation ($1 million of the projected cannabis fee and tax revenue was supposed to go to upgrading the County’s awful rural roads) plus $700k for enforcement: two code enforcement officers, 1.5 lawyers, a hearing officer, 0.5 of a Human Resources Tech, and two public health staffers (one a nurse).
ON TOP OF THAT the budget said that there would be six Planning & Building staffers, three more public health staffers, a legal secretary, another human resources staffer, and three “Ag/Measurement Standards Specialists.” Or 14 full time pot program staffers plus six in "code enforcement" which probably represents another $2 or $3 million in gross expenditures.
IN THE 2017/18 BUDGET, CEO Angelo insisted that the County would “Utilize a conservative approach to budgeting anticipated cannabis dollars, recognizing we are budgeting a new and unpredictable revenue stream.”
14 NEW STAFFERS was “conservative”?
AS OF THAT BUDGET 2017-18 projection in June of 2017 the County had committed at least $2 million in projected pot program expenditures (not counting the allocations called for in Measure AJ to roads, law enforcement, emergency services, or mental health). People were hired, vehicles were bought, programs were put in place, offices were expanded — all with projected dope money, and all based on the presumption of at least 600 permit applications filed, paid for and approved (a low number considering the number of pot growers in Mendocino County is probably more than ten times that).
THOSE PROJECTED REVENUES never materialized; in fact, the opposite occurred.
BY OCTOBER OF 2017 there were reportedly 734 permit applications, a few of which were denied, even fewer were approved. (To this day, a year later, less than a quarter of the applications, most of them submitted in 2017, remain stalled and unapproved.) But they were already, even at the early stage, taking more staff time than anyone "envisioned," even with the additional staffing the County hired to help with the anticipated but largely imaginary pot permit largesse.
THE POINT: Despite vague references to reporting and metrics and budget status reviews off and on for months now and “conservative” spending (which we all — including those who mentioned it — knew was more empty rhetoric), the pot program’s financial viability continues to bleed money and remains unaccounted for and dubious. And nobody in official Mendo is paying any attention. The only person (besides us) who has even brought it up is candidate John Pinches.
AT THE SAME TIME we’ve seen a significant reduction in asset forfeiture which local law enforcement had been using to “supplement” their budgets pre-legalization. Those declining “supplements” puts additional pressure on all the County’s law enforcement operating budgets. Nobody’s asking about that either, not even Pinches.
NOW HERE WE ARE A YEAR LATER and there’s no question that pot permit program is a huge money loser, not only on its own terms (as expenditures far exceed permit and fee revenue), but the failure to issue or approve most of the permits means that pot tax revenues will be way off too.
* * *
PINCHES MADE A COUPLE OF OTHER SIMPLE STATEMENTS that sound ordinary but are almost revolutionary in the Mendo context. Asked if he thought the board was getting anything done, Pinches bluntly said no. And asked if the Board’s light meeting schedule these days is enough, Pinches said that he had a number of issues he was going to bring up if elected and that they would require more board meetings. Given his other campaign statements, we’re pretty sure those “issues” he was talking about will be roads — plus roads, roads, and roads. Also, housing, law enforcement, the budget, water and the pot permit program.
* * *
PS. LOOKING BACK to our remarks from the October 2017 Board meeting we came across this precedent setting prediction:
“After some bureaucratic gibberish about ‘compensable factors’ and some mild discomfort at even having to discuss huge raises for the Ag Commissioner, the Chief Probation Officer [then the now disgraced and departed Pam Markham], the Human Resources Director (who had one of her own employees promoting the raises, even though the Human Resources Department should remain neutral on such things), and the Planning & Building Director, Supervisor Carre Brown, dependable supporter of whatever staff wants to do, moved to approve the raises. Supervisor Hamburg quickly seconded the motion. After Supervisor McCowen made an ominous ‘I’m going to predict that we are going to hear from some other department heads and elected officials on this,’ the Board voted 4-1 to approve those huge raises which amount to about $100k per year for the four overpaid bureaucrats with only Supervisor Dan Gjerde dissenting. At no time did they discuss whether these people deserved raises or whether the budget impact had been calculated. PS. We agree with McCowen that it won’t be long before big raises are proposed and similarly rubberstamped for the County’s two dozen or so other top officials.)”
OF COURSE that turned out to be painfully true: Not just “some other department heads,” but all the rest of them, plus the CEO and the Supervisors themselves who soon jumped on board the Giant Pay Raise train.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Being an intra-species dog — good will to all four-footed creatures, a wary eye out for the two-footers and all — I reached out to Skrag yesterday to wish him a happy National Cat Day. ‘Stow it Little Dog, you sentimental fool. I don't like you or any of your entire species! The only thing I celebrate is National Can Opener Day’!"
THIS COMMENT on life in the Northcoast outback: "So many times people way out there, here and there, get drunk & high, then fight, shoot and stab each other, and end up sitting together on the stoop for an hour waiting for the ambulance to come. Really gives you time to reflect." Yup, and a lot of it goes unreported. If all the bodies buried in the hills of NorCal got up from their lonely graves and started walking down Highway 101 they'd stretch to Palo Alto.
* * *
SHOULD FORT BRAGG ANNEX Noyo Harbor? That question has arisen many times over the years but never pursued so far as I can recall. Noyo's a natural part of civic Fort Bragg certainly, and clearly generates lots of tourist dollars, but would it pencil out, as the green eyeshade boys put it? And the upper Mendocino Coast is a big dollar net plus for the County of Mendocino so it's unlikely the County would let Noyo go without a major fight.
* * *
WHY IS THIS PSA HEADER FUNNY?
Subject: Next Meeting of the Inland Mendocino Democratic Club on November 8 at 5:30
* * *
HASCHAK’S CAMPAIGN FINANCING
To the Editor:
As the Treasurer of the Elect John Haschak for Supervisor Committee I wish to dispel any mis-characterization of General Election campaign contributions. To date, the campaign has received the largest share of its contributions (in the $5 to $500 range) from over 200 donors. In addition, the campaign has received donations of $8000 from SEIU In-Home Healthcare Workers and $3000 from SEIU Mendocino County Workers. The union contributions are pooled small donations. The campaign is proud to receive the donations from the hardworking men and women of Mendocino County.
* * *
HOW TO INTERPRET Marc Komer's letter-to-the-editor for 3rd District Supe's candidate, John Haschak: The SEIU is a local adjunct of the Democratic Party. One of the active Democrats local herd bulls is Joe Wildman, a full-time SEIU employee. You can be sure the average in-home worker and/or County worker did not sign off on this contribution. It came straight from Wildman.
* * *
HEADLINE from the 26 October edition of the ICO: "Point Arena City Council reminds town to turn wheels to curb."....." Vice Mayor Barbara Burkey said that curbing vehicles' wheels — the practice of turning the downhill edge of vehicles' tires toward the curb rather than away from the curb — is the biggest issue the city is facing, and it’s a safety issue."
Don't laugh. A young girl was killed by a runaway car in front of the post office back in '78.
* * *
RECOMMENDED VIEWING, Both on NetFlix: (1) The Code, an Australian thriller pegged to autism, computer wizardry, political corruption, with interesting side trips to life in the Australian outback. (2) The Body Guard, another political thriller produced by the BBC, almost always a sign that a movie is going to be smart and well-acted, and this is in the tradition, a good one about a young Secret Service-like guy responsible for the security of top officials. Also on NetFlix is the latest developments in the famous Making of a Murderer saga, a documentary about the all-time frame job of an ordinary Joe for a second murder he did not commit after being framed a first time for a murder he didn't commit.
* * *
Corrected PSA: The Inland Mendocino Democratic Club will hold an Oct 31st Halloween Party 4:20-9:20! Music, Fun, Food, bring your spooky potluck delights and let's huddle together for fun and not fear! We get to create a future we are not afraid of! Be an active part of making a better tomorrow!! All are welcome.
Election Night! Nov 6th! Open house Election Watch Party, food, and yes, drink!
All events will take place at our HQ at 1030 North State Street, Ukiah, near Big O Tires.
Together, in coalition, we can take progressive action and protect our county from the incoming Conservative nightmare. Come lend a hand. Remember to ask all your friends, family, and neighbors to vote! It is one thing to register, it is another to VOTE!
Rock the Vote!
See us on Facebook and at http://inlandmendodems.org
A UKIAH HISTORY PHOTO, from the children's parade of 1948. Shown are Walter and Henry Haydon, left, Ethel and Jettie Kessinger and Joe Busch, right. The photo, and other local news of 1948, is included in this weekend's 'This Was News' column by Jody Martinez-Ukiah Daily Journal: https://bit.ly/2OdazwG or Page A3 of our Sunday print edition. (Photo courtesy of Ed Bold)
RAPE BY FORCE
On January 21, 2018 at around 6:43 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the 2600 Block of Mitomka Way in Willits after a 30 year old female reported a man forced entry into her home and forcibly raped her. The suspect then fled the location. The victim was transported to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits where a sexual assault examination was conducted and biological evidence obtained. Even though the attack happened in darkness, the female victim was convinced, due to physical characteristics she noted during the assault, that her attacker was Marcus Caldwell, 27 years of age, also living in the Willits area. Caldwell was known to the victim prior to the assault. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives were called out to respond and conduct further investigation. It was discovered the suspect cut the power to the house prior to making entry. Caldwell was later contacted and he denied being involved in the attack. Caldwell volunteered his DNA sample to detectives, indicating the sample would clear him of any wrong doing. On October 24, 2018 Sheriff's Detectives were notified by the California Department of Justice Laboratory the DNA comparison had been completed and the results were matched to that of suspect Marcus Caldwell. The case was reviewed by the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and a warrant issued for the arrest of Caldwell. On October 26, 2018 Sheriff's Detectives located Caldwell while he was working in Anderson Valley and he was taken into custody on one count of forcible rape. He was lodged into the Mendocino County jail with bail being set at $500,000. Caldwell was arraigned in the Mendocino County Superior Court on October 30, 2018 where his bail was continued at $500,000 and a no-contact restraining order was issued by Judge Moorman prohibiting Caldwell from having any contact with the victim in this case.
(Sheriff’s Press Release)
* * *
MARCUS CALDWELL was tentatively identified by the woman he is alleged to have raped in January of this year, but the DNA allegedly identifying Caldwell as her rapist took 9 months to get back from the state lab to Mendocino County. One would think the process would be much faster given that both Caldwell and his presumed victim both live in the small town of Willits. That rape victim lived with the very real possibility of further violence against here for the good part of a year.
PS. “…Austin Moore got the night started off on the right foot for Warrior Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) with a three-round unanimous decision over Marcus Caldwell of Willits in the first round of a three-man boxing mini tournament at 184 pounds. Moore came back out six fights later to take on Hyatt ‘The Riot’ McAllister with a first-round technical knock out…” — Del Norte Triplicate, October 2018
PPS. Caldwell was previously arrested in Willits in October of 2011 for battery. The disposition of that case is unknown.
Voting place for Little River...no longer at the Woods??!
Hello coastal folks,
With all the voter suppression going on I looked up my voting place for Little River and it said I have to go to UKIAH!!
Is the Woods no longer our polling place???
leo d'venerini" <leonardodaVV@outlook.com>
JOHN PINCHES, MENDO HOME-BOY
John Pinches campaign for 3rd District Supervisor is about representing the men, women and children in Brooktrails, Covelo, Laytonville, Willits and all of the outlying areas. It’s not about how much money you can donate to his campaign. If people care to donate, the campaign only accepts $49.00 or less from any individual or business entity. John believes that you have to represent everyone on an even playing field. John’s campaign contributions have ranged from $3.00 to $49.00 for a grand total of $6,221.00 and another $2,000.00 loan to the campaign from John himself. The total amount raised for the campaign is $8,221.00 and the expenditures are $5,818.94. If the campaign has any funds left over those funds will be donated to a youth organization.
On the other hand, Mr. Haschak’s campaign has taken in $32,975.00 from out of county donations, $22,750.00 from the Unions from Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, San Jose and Santa Rosa. John Pinches will not be swayed by the special interest groups. John Pinches will represent everyone fairly and openly. John Pinches will treat people justly and impartially.
John Pinches’ campaign only buys campaign materials, such as signs, handouts, flyers, business cards, balloons, yard posts, and ads from local vendors. He does not shop outside of Mendocino County. The campaign committee has not spent thousands of dollars on numerous flyers that are mailed out targeting various communities, only to end up in the recycling or the garbage.
Mr. Haschak has spent $32,370.00 with vendors outside of Mendocino County. His campaign has spent $16,275.00 with the Green Dog Campaign consultants from San Rafael, California. They have also spent $11,676.00 with Santa Rosa Printing from Santa Rosa, California. These purchases could have been made in Mendocino County. Each candidate has to file “460” forms and “497” forms when they have donations over $1,000.00. It is public knowledge and is available to be viewed at the County Clerks’ Office or online. I have copies of these documents.
Mr. Haschak has taken in $54,971.00 since October 2017 through October 2018. He has been late with filing on two occasions. These were August 16th, and September 28th. Mr. Haschak’s expenditures total $41,563.00 and most of these funds were spent outside of the county and some outside of the state. Mr. Haschak loaned himself $1,000.00 and contributed $5,000 to his campaign.
Mr. Haschak says that he is going to give out scholarships from the 40% raise that he won’t take. In order to do that, you would have to in fact, take the raise.
John Pinches was on the Board of Supervisors for 12 years and he never voted to give himself a raise. John voluntarily took a 10% pay cut.
John Pinches has lived his entire life in Mendocino County, in the 3rd District. He understands this county and the people that live here. John is familiar with road systems, our mountains, our water, our rivers, the cannabis industry, libraries, county budgets, water rights, personal property rights and more. John’s knowledge of this county and this district is endless.
John has donated four decades of volunteer service to numerous community groups and regional organizations, sober grad, senior centers, FFA, 4H, youth soccer, little league, community park associations, and other youth groups. I have seen him take families in when they had no place to live and were down on their luck. He has given them jobs, helped to feed them and found them places to live until they were able to get back on their feet. One winter evening at 11:00 p.m., John was coming back from a meeting in Covelo when he stopped at the rest stop in Longvale and discovered three teenage boys freezing in the restroom. John took them and got them food and a warm place to stay for the night. The next day he gave them spending money and made sure that they made it home to the Bay area. John always tries to help people out and make things better.
Mr. Haschak has been in Willits for most of his life. He has only been going around the 3rd District for the past year. The Ukiah News writes that he has done a lot to educate himself on county issues since the June 6th primary. So for the past four months he has worked to educate himself on county issues.
The next 3rd District Supervisor will be the Chairman of the Board. John Pinches is the only candidate with the experience to do this job. John has three years’ experience as Chairman of the Board and has served on over 18 government agencies, boards, commission councils and districts. As your Supervisor, John worked full time only missing one meeting in 12 years. He never took a vacation. Most Sundays John spent reading and researching the many issues he faced weekly. John returned 15 – 20 phone calls per day. John was always there in emergencies.
It takes a special kind of person to represent the 3rd District. Every issue affects people differently and every person has different priorities. John Pinches has the compassion, commitment and dedication to lead us forward. Thank you to our supporters. I am extremely proud of my brother. Hold your head up high John Pinches, you are loved.
Please vote on November 6, 2018. John Pinches for Third District Supervisor. Yes on J.
SHERIFF ALLMAN AT THE GARCIA GUILD/MANCHESTER COMMUNITY CENTER ON THURSDAY - November 1 at 6pm
Sheriff Allman will be holding his quarterly community meeting at the Manchester Community Center - Garcia Guild on Thursday, November 1 at 6 pm. Hear what is new with the Sheriff's Department. Bring up your concerns and get answers. Sheriff Allman normally brings our local deputies. The Sheriff will be bringing the head of Mendocino County Department of Transportation to talk about County roads (not the State Highway). This meeting will also be a chance to present your recommendaitons for county road repairs, etc. The Manchester Community Center is on Crispin Road at Highway 1. You do not have to be a Guild member to attend. There is no charge.
DISCUSSION OF FURTHER REACH INTERNET AND BROADBAND IN GENERAL - MANCHESTER COMMUNITY CENTER - Tuesday, November 6 at 6:30
Yahel Ben-David, the president of Further Reach, which is one of the companies that provide internet services on the Coast from a small section of Albion south to Gualala will be speaking about Further Reach and about broadband services in general at the meeting at the Manchester Community Center on Tuesday, November 6 at 6:30 pm.
The Manchester Community Center is located at 43970 Crispin Road, just East of Highway 1, in Manchester.
SUPES CANDIDATES ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM THE MENDOCINO COUNTY FOOD POLICY COUNCIL
The Mendocino County Food Policy Council (MCFPC) announces responses to ten questions posed to each of the candidates for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Each question has been posed to address critical issues that relate to all aspects of our local, regional, and state food system. The term “food system” is used to describe all the activities involved in producing, processing, transporting, storing, selling, marketing, and eating food and improving soil health.
* * *
The Questions and Answers are as follows:
An estimated 17.2% of the California’s workforce is in the food system, including production, processing, distribution, retail, and service industries. What labor issues in the food chain are you most concerned with and how would you address them?
John Haschak: I used to work for Migrant Head Start as the Parent Involvement Coordinator. Everyone who was part of the program was a migrant farmworker. One component of my job was doing parent education which involved pesticide training and awareness of the dangers of commercial non-organic agriculture. I believe that issues related to the food system are often social justice, climate change, and environmental issues. We need to promote best practices in all these areas.
Ted Williams: I’m most concerned about our lack of affordable housing to meet the needs of almost all labor involved in the food supply and impacts of economic poisons on farm workers. I’d like to see some focus on water reduction. This can be aquaponics, dry farming or moisture retention methods. I’d also like to see that we’re building soil for the long term.
John Pinches: Very limited labor force. Education and training.
According to www.HealthyMendocino.org, over 16% of the population in Mendocino County is food insecure. What incentives would you give to farmers’ markets to increase use of CalFresh (EBT) at their markets? What other solutions would you propose to increase food security through our local food system?
John Haschak: We need to maintain our agricultural lands and not build on prime ag land. We need to diversify our agriculture so that we have greater food security and greater economic security. Dependence on one crop is not a good idea for our environment nor for our economy. I very much support farmers’ markets and the EBT programs. We need to be educating residents of Mendocino County about this program. Gloria Harrison does a great job in Laytonville in writing an article every week in the local newspaper explaining the benefits of the program and what is available at the market.
Ted Williams: Extend county infrastructure to support mobile POS with EBT support for any farmers’ markets without capability.
John Pinches: Advertise markets more and make space and parking more available.
California has one of the lowest rates of participation in the CalFresh/EBT program in the nation. Millions of California residents, and thousands of local Mendocino County residents, are eligible but not enrolled in this important nutrition program. This results is an economic loss to our local grocery stores and farmers, as well as a missed opportunity for low-income families to be able to purchase healthy food. What policies would you support to boost participation among the currently eligible population for a program that has a $1.79 economic multiplier for every $1 spent?
John Haschak: I would work with the Mendocino County Farmers Market Association to locate eligible residents for the CalFresh/EBT program and sign them up. As a teacher, I believe that education is a key to greater involvement in the program. I have worked closely with Mendocino County public health workers who are promoting healthy choice programs in our schools. This type of outreach is necessary so that our youth are aware of healthier choices and programs. They often go home and share with their parents what they have learned. The County needs to be proactive in outreach, education, and promotion of these programs which will have a positive effect by having healthier families and an economic boost to our local economy. I totally support this type of investment in our communities.
Ted Williams: Outreach via social media, partnerships with schools.
John Pinches: Advertise the program more.
The overwhelming prevalence of unhealthy food and beverage options in many restaurants, supermarkets, and smaller retailers has been identified as significant contributors to obesity and diabetes, especially among low-income communities and people of color. 68.2% of Mendocino County adults are overweight or obese and at least 6% of adults are diabetic. What would you do to address these issues in Mendocino County?
John Haschak: Education is key component. I have been a strong supporter of the garden programs in the schools and promotion of public health by the County. Education and opportunities for healthier living are critical in getting a healthier population. As a person who exercises everyday and tries to live a healthy lifestyle, I hope to be not only a strong supporter but also a role model for healthy living. I would work to implement nutrition programs in all County School Districts. I would work to initiate a food nutrition program for County employees. I would work with the Employers Council to initiate food nutrition programs in local businesses.
Ted Williams: Promote recreational activities and healthy eating education. Blue zones. Junk food is cheap. Zone towards growth in farm to table instead of fast food. Attempt to reduce fees/permits for entities growing organically and selling locally. Incidentally, the county administrative office has a small store. I recall drinking water. There’s little to nothing healthy. Promoting healthy living requires supervisors and staff to participate in exercise, health eating and weight management. Set an example.
John Pinches: More exercise and work would help obesity and put folks minds in a better state.
According to a 2016 USDA report, California ranks first in the nation in the total number of organic farms and generated $2.9 billion, 38% of the total gross value of U.S. certified organic sales in 2016. What should our county and state do to incentivize further adoption of sustainable and organic farming methods?
John Haschak: I think that farm to table agriculture is a strength of our County. The food Hub is a vital innovation whereby farmers can cooperatively market and distribute their products. We should be helping to promote our sustainable and organic farming methods through our tourism boards, educational outreach, and farmers markets. I would also put forth the formation of a committee on sustainability. This committee could look at issues such as pesticide application in non-organic agriculture and in general usage. Our County also needs to be working closely with UC Agricultural Extension to promote organic best practices for climate smart agriculture. The UC Agricultural Extension Service should make the promotion of organic agriculture its primary mission instead of promoting synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and GMOs. Mendocino County County should promote its status as a non-GMO county. Overall, we need to be very proud of the organic agriculture that we have in our county and promote it every chance we have.
Ted Williams: Make farm tours and farm to table events featuring sustainable methods a core component of marketing funded by the TOT. Ensure government sources food from county producers.
John Pinches: Reduce some regulation and encourage farming at all levels
In 2012-2013, the MCFPC collaborated with MCOG to create streamlined policies (for all 4 cities and the county) to support the creation of food enterprise zones and/or incubator kitchens for value added food products (processed, prepared or preserved), and to support small food business such as mobile vendors (food trucks and sidewalk pushcarts), which can provide healthy food retail options. How would you support the growth of the small and micro enterprise healthy food businesses sector?
John Haschak: I would continue the support the efforts of the MCFPC and MCOG to streamline policies to support the creation of food production facilities in Mendocino County.
Ted Williams: Absolutely.
John Pinches: Review environmental health policies to make these goal less costly.
The average age of a California farmer is approaching 60 years of age and the possibility of a shortage of farmers in the future is real – a significant threat to an industry that generates $46 billion in revenue for the state’s economy.
What policies would you propose to improve agricultural career technical education opportunities in Mendocino County?
Would you support policies that enable beginning farmers to obtain financing to help them access land and equipment? If so, why and how, and if not why not?
John Haschak: A big component of my platform is to create more career and technical education programs in Mendocino County. Many of these programs would focus on agricultural and the building and agricultural trades. I would support policies that enable beginning farmers to obtain financing to help them access land and equipment and technical education. I support the establishment of a Public Bank in the County that could make low interest loans to farmers for all these purposes.
Ted Williams: Seek out partnerships with trade schools and universities. Find partners for growing food on county land.
Yes, but the county will not likely be the source of those funds. Perhaps a partnership with EDFC/West Company/Community Foundation focused on building viable business plans adequate for USDA and other funding sources?
John Pinches: Put vocational programs in schools and colleges, and Yes, absolutely.
Mendocino County Food Policy Council is pursuing initiatives such as:
assessing the status and availability of existing food processing facilities and small business incubators that would achieve new growth in this sector
implementing school, non-profit, private, local government, and community wellness policies
promoting policies and agreements that support increased access to land for the establishment of community and school gardens and farms
In what ways, if any, would you support these efforts? What role do you see the MCFPC in supporting you with policy development?
John Haschak: I would work closely with the MCFPC to implement school, non-profit, private, local government, and community wellness policies and promoting policies and agreements that support increased access to land for the establishment of community and school gardens and farms.
Ted Williams: I believe in data driven decisions. I see us working harmony to translate our long term strategic goals of local food security, health and agricultural economic activity into specific action. Focusing on healthy meals for children through schools, preschools and other channels has the ability to establish healthy habits early in life while reducing health costs. All available land should be used to build soil and grow edibles.
John Pinches: Access to affordable water is the biggest issue with farming for profit.
California is implementing programs federally funded by the Farm Bill, including conservation easements, the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program, Disaster Recovery and Rural Development. Knowing the Farm Bill is currently under revision, what could you do locally and potentially at the State level to ensure robust implementation of these federal programs in our county and state?
John Haschak: I would work closely with MCFPC to and local farmers to ensure robust implementation of these federal programs in our county and state.
Ted Williams: I’ve already started the partnership with McGuire. Mendocino County needs to be involved in Sacramento. Showing we have a solid plan will help convey the appropriateness of using Mendocino County as a test bed for implementation.
John Pinches: Encourage our State and Federal Representatives to totally support farming interests.
What other areas of local nutrition, food access, food sovereignty or food production are important to you?
John Haschak: Access to healthy, nutritious, locally grown food is a priority for me and I look forward to working with MCFPC to make sure the people of Mendocino County are well served by our agricultural community which we should all be very proud.
Ted Williams: We raised pigs with quality organic feed. I wanted to donate all to local restaurants for the purpose of supporting non-profits (and fire departments). We quickly discovered that this is not legal without a USDA approved slaughterhouse. Trucking the pigs to Petaluma (or maybe today, Eureka) didn’t pencil out. We need a local facility.
John Pinches: All aspects of agriculture. I have been a rancher my whole life, and hope my grandchildren will follow me.
* * *
The Mendocino County Food Policy Council (MCFPC) meets monthly in collaboration with Food For All Mendocino (FFAM). MCFPC’s mission is to collaborate with farmers, food producers, institutions, business, and the public at large to create a sustainable local food system that reduces hunger, increases health and expands economic vitality. The MCFPC recently merged with FFAM, a convening of federally funded food programs working to increase EBT enrollment and food access in Mendocino County. Together, these groups work under the guiding principles of the Food Action Plan, a comprehensive, integrated series of goals and actions designed to address the complex issues that face all of us as we assume increasing responsibility for creation, protection and enhancement of our local food system. MCFPC is an active member of the California Food Policy Council. You can download a copy of the Food Action Plan at www.mendocinofood.org.
For more information, please join us at our next meeting. All meetings are open to the public, we meet on the second Monday of each month from 1:30-3:00 pm at the North Coast Opportunities office in Ukiah, 413 N. State Street. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
* * *
MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: Notice that at no time in either the questions or the answers nothing was requested or proposed for the Board of Supervisors, even though the Food Policy Council was asking questions of Supes candidates and Supes candidates were answering them.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 30, 2018
SCOTT DAELLENBACH, Willits. Pot sales/distribution.
SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. False ID.
JESSICA FLOWERS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, disobeying court order.
THOMAS GUYETTE JR., Nice/Calpella. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, suspended license (for reckless driving), stolen property, failure to appear.
OLE HOUGEN, Santa Rosa/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
BRIAN HURTADO, Willits. Parole violation.
SHALOM LEWIS, Fort Bragg. Stolen vehicle, probation revocation.
TARA MCCOMAS, San Francisco/Fort Bragg. DUI, disorderly conduct-lodging without owner’s consent.
BERNELLE PERKINS, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery with serious injury, assault, driving without a license.
SIMA SAUDA, Redwood Valley. Burglary.
EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.
SHOWS IN UKIAH AND FORT BRAGG THIS WEEK WITH SPECIAL GUESTS HAL FORMAN AND PHIL MONTALVO
Thursday, November 1 - Evening Jazz at the Ukiah Brewing Company with Hal Forman (trumpet/fluegelhorn), Dorian May (piano) and Dorothea May (bass), 6-8pm
Friday, November 2 - First Friday at the Headlands Coffeehouse in Fort Bragg with BongoLatte, Hot Latin Jazz, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban & more with Hal Forman (trumpet), Dorian May (piano), Dorothea May (bass), Phil Montalvo (percussion) & Gabe Yanez (drums), 7-10pm
Saturday, November 3 - Jazz Brunch at the Ukiah Brewing Company: Saturday Jazz Brunch at UBC featuring amazing food & drinks such as bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, oyster shooters, oysters on the half shelf, shrimp cocktails, benedicts plus mellow Latin Jazz with Dorian May (piano) & Dorothea May (bass) & Phil Montalvo (percussion), 11-1pm
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Steve Jobs forbade his kids to use the iPad:
“They haven’t used it,” Jobs told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”
Silicon Valley elite execs send their kids to Waldorf schools, where computers are forbidden:
“I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school,” said Alan Eagle, 50, whose daughter, Andie, is one of the 196 children at the Waldorf elementary school; his son William, 13, is at the nearby middle school. “The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous.”
Mr. Eagle knows a bit about technology. He holds a computer science degree from Dartmouth and works in executive communications at Google, where he has written speeches for the chairman, Eric E. Schmidt.
Note all these guys have teams of psychologists working for them to get us peons addicted to these devices. But their own kids? They keep them away from the screens. They know the dangers.
JUST AS CLIMATE CHANGE has gradually crept into our lives, and we notice it only when a major storm, drought, or flood dramatically announces its presence, fascism has gradually crept out from under its racist rocks that have long been embedded in our society, and we only notice when it erupts in violence. We try to deny the crisis, or explain it away as part of some other, more easily grasped issue, rather than face the realities head on.
— Zohan Grossman
HUMAN BEINGS HAVE KILLED—or lead to the deaths of—60 percent of Earth’s mammals, fish, birds, and reptiles since 1970, according to an estimate published in a report by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The study was created by 59 different scientists from around the world, who say the rapid consumption of resources and food by humans has crippled the globe’s web of life, The Guardian reports. Together, those animals created a system that ultimately has kept humans thriving on food, clean air, and water. “This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at the WWF, told the newspaper. “This is actually now jeopardizing the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’—it is our life-support system.” He added, “We are sleepwalking toward the edge of a cliff.”
HAIKU from Craig Stehr
Raining in Honolulu
Ah...blooming Plumeria flowers
Craig Louis Stehr, X.30.'18
WE JUST SAW THE GREATEST TEAM IN BOSTON RED SOX HISTORY
HOW TO READ INFINITE JEST:
Take a selfie with book “accidentally” in background. Post on social media.
— Claire Friedman
I HAD ONCE BELIEVED that we were all masters of our fate — that we could mold our lives into any form we pleased… I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life’s struggle. But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about. I forgot that I owed my success partly to the advantages of my birth and environment. Now, however, I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone.
— Helen Keller
CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS and multiple agencies and non-profits haul out trash and infrastructure from illegal marijuana grow site at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Press release from California State Parks:
California State Parks today announced it recently removed more than 4,000 pounds of trash and infrastructure out of an illegal marijuana grow site in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Personnel from multiple agencies and non-profits helped clear the trash with the assistance of a helicopter on October 24. The cooperative effort to restore the park included support from the Eel River Watershed Improvement Group (ERWIG), California Conservation Corps, Integral Ecology Research Center, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
California State Parks has been working with these agencies and non-profits over the past couple of weeks at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. In addition to the 4,000 pounds of trash removed, almost two miles of irrigation tubing were also cleared.
“It takes a coordinated effort to remove all the damage from these illegal marijuana grow sites,” said Thomas Valterria, Supervising Ranger at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. “Our main goal is to preserve and protect the wilderness of the park by removing small dams and hose lines from creeks and forestlands, clearing net fencing from pocket meadows, and reducing the scar that these illegal grows have left on the park.”
Humboldt Redwoods State Park spans 53,000 acres, an acre almost twice the size of San Francisco. About one third, or 17,000 acres, of the park is old-growth redwood forest – the largest expanse of ancient redwoods left on the planet. This park offers one of the best places to see redwoods by car in the entire North Coast region: the 32-mile-long Avenue of the Giants. Good stops along the way include Founder’s Grove, with its fallen 362-foot Dyerville Giant, and the California Federation of Women’s Clubs Hearthstone, designed by famed architect Julia Morgan.
Anyone with information regarding this particular resource crime or others on our State Parks lands, please contact Sector Superintendent Tom Gunther at (707) 946-1812. California State Parks and multiple agencies and non-profits haul out trash and infrastructure from illegal marijuana grow site at Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
NOE VALLEY, SAN FRANCISCO
JIM TO VISIT NAMI’S NEW OFFICE
On November 1 - NAMI (Natl Alliance on Mental illness) Mendocino is hosting a GRAND OPENING of its new office. 564 S. Dora Street, Suite E, Ukiah. 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. All are welcome. Jim Wood will stop by about 5:00 p.m.
JAZZ WITH SPIRIT
by David Yearsley
Jazz is thought of as a secular music, yet at its best the church echoes through it. The give-and-take of jazz is said to have its origins in the improvisational call-and-response of African-American worship, the rich harmonies and spontaneous melody-making, too.
Many of the great jazz musicians were products of a religious upbringing that provided them their musical foundation. The great West Coast pianist Hampton Hawes recounted how his mother, pianist at Westminster Presbyterian in Los Angeles where his father was minister, told him one day during his teenage years that he would have to follow his musical path either in the church or in jazz. Hawes chose the latter and went on to make music not in sanctuaries but in clubs and, less frequently in concert calls. He did so with a vengeance, his playing almost evangelical in its fervor and bite, though he could be lyrical and forgiving. His repertoire was drawn from the American popular song book and the blues, but what he played was not merely inflected by the sacred but undergirded by it. What is clear on listening to Hawes is that he believed in what he played. He had left the church—and by the age of twenty was addicted to heroin—but the music of god stayed with him, in him.
The same is true of countless others, but especially jazz singers. Almost all of them gained not just their earliest musical experiences but their formative training in the church choir, and soon after that at the organ or piano. Like Hawes, they were often the children of preachers and/or music directors. The progression of performers from the secular to the sacred space has a long history outside of jazz, too, of course: opera stars their art first by hymning the Lord for many years before going on to sing on stage about love, revenge, murder, and mayhem.
Aside from developing the musical ear and voice and the feel for contributing their own talent to the larger benefit of an ensemble, the most important lesson learned in church was making yourself understood—getting your message across. This applies to instrumentalists (think of Horace Silver’s “The Preacher”), but especially to vocalists: communicate with real rhetorical vitality across the spectrum of human emotion and experience. Console, convince, inspire.
On hearing the young and unfailingly persuasive singer Jazzmeia Horn perform, it seems immediately clear that she got her start in the church. Indeed, she was “kind of forced,” as she puts it, to join the choir at Golden Chain Missionary Baptist Church in her native Dallas, where her grandfather is still pastor. Her grandmother named her. Later she discovered her namesake music through her chief musical models, Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter, who, not coincidentally, also began singing in the sacred service.
Nurtured musically by church and family, Horn’s subsequent ascent in jazz was fast and assured—just like her singing. She won the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition at the age of twenty-two, and two years later was award the still more prestigious laurels at the contest hosted by the Thelonious Monk Institute. That honor brought with it a recording contract yielding last year’s debut album, A Social Call. The record was universally acclaimed as a triumph, one that lavishly paid off its debt to the past with its extrovert originality and undeniable authenticity of voice and character.
This week Horn brought a thrilling trio, younger it seemed than even her youthful self, with her for four shows over two evenings at SFJazz. This vital institution opened in January of 2013 in a sleek modernist building of steel and glass that announces its cultural ambitions without boasting too much about them. The place retains something of the feel of a club so as to shed the pretentiousness adhering to the temples of high culture—symphony and opera—whose backs are turned to the venue just down busy Franklin Street in San Francisco.
You enter SFJAzz directly off the sidewalk: there are no grand steps up, no set-back with fountain, statues, and plantings. This is a building that embraces the urban. The smaller of its two performance spaces is named after Bay Area jazz luminary Joe Henderson and can accommodate an audience of up to 100. This so-called lab space is set directly on the corner of Fell and Franklin; pedestrians and traffic outside provide the backdrop for the musicians on the black bandstand rising just two feet above the hall’s wooden floorboards. From the sidewalk the performers inside can be seen but not heard, so effective is the sound barrier. The result is street music without the roar of engines and the complaint of sirens.
I arrived on the corner well in advance of the second of Horn’s two Thursday shows and gazed in at the musicians going full tilt: Horn in a colorful African dress and turban, throwing her head back in delight; the besuited drummer with French cuffs framing supple hands busy with black brushes; the bassist’s large hoop earrings swaying and bobbing as she pulled and stopped the strings of the instrument that seemed so much an extension of her; and the pianist sporting suspenders and tie and sitting angled at a brilliantly polished Yamaha grand piano (decal on the side) while looking almost defiantly out at the enraptured audience. Not the faintest intimation of music penetrated the glass. The soundless spectacle alone was riveting.
Once inside the building, I queued up for the second show and as the audience filtered out from the first viewed by me from the sidewalk, their freely offered words of rapture confirmed what their radiant faces already announced: an enthralling hour-long set was in store.
It began with an homage to Betty Carter, the famed singer’s original “Tight”—a stop-time tour-de-force that brings into glittering relief the precision of the band along with the virtuosic agility and dynamism of Horn’s singing. The song’s story cannot be told without making each word heard even at a high speed. The delivery of text is the essential task of the singer, one rarely accomplished in full. The message, not of unwavering faith in god but suspicious love of a man, was delivered by Horn with conviction and verve, pianist Julius Rodriguez racing through his first up-tempo workout of the set, nonchalantly just behind the beat. This clever and careening song made for a jaw-dropping demonstration of the laser accuracy of Horn’s voice across the curlicues and cutbacks of the melody. Her fleet scat improvisations were buoyed by lessons learned not just from her singing predecessors but from the bop instrumental masters. These lines gave onto stratospheric vocal effects stamped with her own exuberant style.
In “September in the Rain,” the first of the evening’s tributes to Sarah Vaughan, Rodriguez showed his more ardent, devotional side: he too is a sometime church musician and you can hear it. Rodriguez is a student at Julliard, where bassist Endea Owens recently received her Master’s degree, and she also showed a church-like sincerity in her big-heart, big-sound solo. Her playing is bluesy, but also nimble, the clarity of her lines attaining a melodic intricacy and logic worthy of Paul Chambers. As for Horn, she sings with little, often no vibrato and that purity worked in devastating counterpoint to this song shot throw with regret. She often expands the palette with tricks of the voice that hover between sigh and scream; these effects create distance—even ironic distance—from the sincerity projected by her unfettered singing voice. The array of timbres and moods is extraordinary—always delightful and often moving.
Horn exploited this contrast between apparent guilelessness and artifice nowhere more adroitly than in “Night and Day” done to a sultry Latin beat with a swinging bridge. After the sensual succession of solos, the return to the tune inaugurated a long, inexorable build-up like the magma of desire bubbling to the surface then calming and cooling again. Natty drummer Henry Conerway III is an attentive and inventive accompanist, and he and Horn engaged in a long dialogue in which he mimicked her moans and whispers, slides and silences with uncanny, analogic accuracy: wetted finger caressed a melodic gasp from floor-tom, sticks clicked the rims and stands like tongue against teeth. In a long coda Horn set about gently sermonizing through call-and-response exchanges with the audience. Hers was a Christian message beyond the confines of Christianity (“I love myself” — “I love my skin” — “I love the skin I’m in”) and one that the composer Cole Porter might have benefitted from, even if Horn’s reading took his song in a very different ethical direction than one he would have imagined or even condoned. Whether it be a tune or the history of its interpretation by jazz greats, Horn is not a slave to the past.
Another Sarah Vaughan signature number, one the great singer rode to the top of the pop charts soon after World War II, “Tenderly” followed, hovering blissfully somewhere above the performance space, maybe even the city itself. Horn’s version of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” then occasioned more moral urgings that culminated in an even longer and more inexorable crescendo than that heard in “Night and Day.” Horn expounded on Gaye’s anti-war message with her own gloss bemoaning mass-incarceration and other crimes of the powerful against the oppressed. This ensemble crescendo began to threaten anger—not one of the main emotional weapons in Horn’s peace-loving arsenal.
Low sonorous chords from the Yahama then introduced the final tune, but after a just few seconds of Rodriguez’s searchings, Horn called out “I changed my mind!” and pulled the gleeful descending line of “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” from the heavens. Conerway and Owens found her (the latter in the same key!) without the slightest hitch, and Rodriguez joined in a second later. The pianist’s solo was his finest of the night, starting sparse and laconic then building in speed and volume to a second chorus that doubled up on an already brisk tempo. He raced across the song’s thirty-two bars without even a phrase-ending rest or cadential pause, then concluded his last tour of the tune with rollicking block chords and a bluesy benediction. Owens’ mini-oration burst with energy and invention. Horn saved her best for the last of an already long night, traversing her range with winning ebullience, accuracy, and ideas. For his solo, the ever-subtle Conerway was at his biggest and brashest. All piled back on for the reprise—and the key change—and there was even time for one last prayer-meeting back-and-forth between the songful preacher and her devout congregation.
Even if her music can sear and even scald, it’s not fire-and-brimstone stuff: Jazzmeia’s message is one of pure joy.
(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His recording of J. S. Bach’s organ trio sonatas is available from Musica Omnia. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
MENDO MAYHAM Chapter 5
by Bruce McEwen
We last saw our protagonist in the process of setting the POWs to work. Cholly Gupta was digging a grave, and for aught he knew, it was to be his own. No one had told him it was for the late Ensign. Tempest Docilesea was made to dig her own latrine, and when she finished, the repairs on the CH-53 were complete (to such a degree as could be expected with the resources available), and Warrant Officer Mack Orton had recuperated adequately, in his own opinion, and wanted to take the chopper up for a test flight.
Everyone would be needed on board, so the prisoners had to be brought along, lest they escape and report back to the enemy. The Zippo (as she was affectionately called by her crew) lifted off in a horrendous cloud of ash and dust, banked around Walker Ridge and floated gracefully out over Indian Valley Reservoir.
The on-board communication system had suffered irreparable damage from the Stinger missile, and Crew Chief Crosby had to shout to be heard.
“Sergeant Ryan, kindly escort the prisoners aft and show them over the side. Charge your M17 (9 mm sidearm), count three, and shoot anyone left on deck.”
“Mister Orton,” the Chief shouted to the pilot, “would you be so good as to gain a little more altitude? We are about to jettison some superfluous cargo, and I should like to see it make a splendid splash, if it’s not too much trouble…
Orton was happy to oblige. He thrust forward the throttle and pressed on the cyclic and collective pedals; but as he engaged the left pedal for the necessary sharper angle, his wounded leg seized up in a cramp. It appears Orton had been too hasty in determining he was fit for duty. In fact, Corpsman Schofield had said as much. An intense throb in the muscle of his thigh set in and he completely lost the accustomed grace he was once so confident of, the coordination of pressure on the pedals necessary for such a commonplace maneuver, and so just as Cholly and Tempest had finished taking off their boots, in preparation for a perhaps lethal jump in the lake, the aircraft suddenly took a precipitous drop.
Sgt. Ryan: “Hurry up you two – jump now, or I shoot!” He had the heel of his hand on the butt of his pistol, which was still holstered. Chief Crosby had told him to lock & load dramatically, for the theatrics of it all, but Marine NCOs take orders from Naval NCOs reluctantly enough to begin with, and when the squids get to taking themselves too seriously, the jarheads just turn facetious.
By the curl of his lip when he said ‘aye-aye’ to the Crew Chief, Tempest deduced (or intuited, perhaps) that the nice-looking young sergeant couldn’t shoot an unarmed woman to save his life. Or perhaps his soul. Whatever. But Cholly knew better. He’d been an outcast, a low-caste Untouchable in Calcutta, and had seen abominable things, before an elderly Scottish couple adopted him from an orphanage where he was deemed too old to attract any prospective parents. And in fact the nice old folks from Iverness wanted him more as a houseboy than a son – which was fine with Cholly. But that was all long in his past, and when the old Scotswoman finally died, Cholly was left with what the Scotts call “a tidy sum” which he used to emigrate to California, and subsequently found himself in his current predicament.
Cholly crawled on hands and knees to the edge of the ramp and looked over. He turned as white as Sgt. Ryan, then puked into the slipstream. Sgt. Ryan came up behind, ready to give him the boot, but just then the aircraft lurched violently again, as another spasm went through the pilot’s thigh, and all three went over the edge, ker-splash into the drink.
By the time they came up, splashing, spurting and gasping to the surface, the chopper had leveled off and was gaining altitude again. Cholly and Tempest were swimming for shore; Sgt. Ryan, treading water, waved to the departing chopper, looked for a moment for some sign that it would bank around and retrieve him, but ended up watching the Zippo disappear over a consecutive series of crests and ridges in the direction of Bartlett Springs. He then gave up and followed in the wake of his fellow castaways to the nearest shore.
Cholly and Tempest were both good swimmers and they had chucked their boots, which left St. Ryan with a handicap. Also, Tempest and Cholly had a good head-start, and so they reached shore well ahead of their recent captor. Had they had boots, or even shoes, they would have gotten completely away. But once on shore they were reduced to mincing and limping around barefoot. Fortunately, they were in an area the forest fires hadn’t charred to ash and cinders, a regular oak woodland with lots of underbrush and soft leaf-covered loam, even grassy places where the going was painful, at best, due to sharp twigs and stones, but not cripplingly so, for desperate fugitives like Tempest and Cholly, who felt they had only narrowly escaped from homicidal haters.
But there was an unexpected consequence to being barefoot. Firstly, they left a smaller, gentler footprint, which the leaf-strewn ground recovered from much more instantly than from a waffle-stomper boot heel. And, secondly, having to move slower, they were necessarily quieter, more furtive, and animal-like in their flight. They became alert to the slightest sounds. And even though they were way off up a small coulee when Sgt. Ryan waded ashore, they could hear his heavy tread on the gravel of the lakeshore shingle; and however swiftly his quick-drying combat boots and fatigues took him through the undergrowth, the fugitives heard him coming and went to ground.