Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018

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THE GREENWOOD ROAD HOME of Ken and Joanadell Hurst was destroyed by fire early Friday morning. The Hursts are Valley old timers, and Ken Hurst is a frequent contributor and a long time friend of the ava. Neither Ken nor Joanadell were injured in the blaze, which also destroyed outbuildings.

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Camp Fire Progression, November 8-17 (click to see full map)

CAMP FIRE UPDATE: Now up to 149,500 acres at 60% containment. Latest count is 9,891 residences destroyed and 367 commercial structures destroyed (up 30 from two days ago) plus over 2,528 other structures destroyed. 76 confirmed civilian fatalities. Over 5600 firefighters on scene. Cause “under investigation.” Unfortunately, windy conditions are expected to continue through Sunday.

A READER SENDS ALONG this pic of her son clearing poles and lines in Concow:

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A READER SUGGESTS: I don’t know if you repost things in Facebook but this should be in the Newspaper:

“The Paradise girls volleyball team had a championship game set for Saturday, November 10, but had lost all their uniforms and equipment in the fire. The girls said they still wanted to attend the game in Auburn regardless of not having the proper equipment. Upon arrival, the opposing Auburn team had made each of the girls uniforms, and purchased them new shoes and kneepads! Not only that, they made them a meal after the game, provided each Paradise girl with a $300 gift card, gave each girl a large bag of supplies and clothing. Then, they presented the team with $16,000 they had raised for them!”

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RAIN ON THE WAY: "Significant rains will return to the area Tuesday night and persist through next weekend." (National Weather Service)

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NOBODY’S HOME

by Mark Scaramella

After last Tuesday’s Quarterly Budget Update from staff, Supervisor John McCowen struggled again to get his head around the moving budget target and pretend that in spite of major info gaps, the budget is somehow balanced.

McCowen: “As to the $3.5 million deficit, that's actually projected over-budget for specific departments…”

Here are the five departments CEO Carmel Angelo highlighted as over budget:

“General Fund Departments Projected to Be Significantly Over Budget

BU 1110 Auditor Controller $53,051

BU 1320 Human Resources $101,026

BU 2080 Public Defender $281,055

BU 2085 Alternate Defender $130,694

BU 2310 Sheriff – Coroner $2,090,180

BU 2510 Jail $779,342”

CEO Angelo made no attempt to explain why these departments are over-budget. Several other departments are also over-budget, but in CEO Angelo’s opinion not “significantly” over-budget. However, they didn’t even deserve a mention in her budget round-up.

Ms. Angelo left off the Supervisors and the CEO’s office which has a deficit of at least $500k because of the huge raises they’ve given themselves (although some of that might be built into individual departments).

The Ag Department which includes the failed Cannabis program is magically left off, even though that department is at least $1 million over-budget. But the Ag department isn’t even listed!

No matter, McCowen continued: “What we have not been presented is, What is the overall projection including all departments? So we are going to get more information on that midyear…”

Maybe, but if it’s like this, it won’t help much.

McCowen: “But I just want to be careful that we are not saying that we are over-budget in individual departments, and it's… you know… just… it's… It's normal that some departments are going to be over despite the best efforts of the department heads and their budget teams and employees and others are going to be under.”

Nothing was offered about what those “best efforts” are or why they don’t seem to have worked very well or how much those unidentified “others” are under.

McCowen: “So we are not operating at a deficit is my belief.”

McCowen’s “belief” is the budget is balanced which flies right in the face of his initial unanswered question: “What is the overall projection including all departments?”

McCowen: “We do have the current 12% vacancy factor. That is something that is something that will result in a significant savings from -- you know, there's an additional 2% in there even from what we were building into the budget. With the year-end closeout which is now roughly $4.4 million instead of the anticipated $498,000, so there is an additional $3.9 million which we are discussing how to allocate that.”

That’s right. The Auditor has calculated that the General Fund carry-over from last year is almost $4.5 million, $4 million higher than projected, which is a combination of revenues that were more than budgeted plus some departments coming in under-budget, never mind how much work was left undone.

McCowen: “But also in response to a question, that $4.4 million is comprised of $2.4 million in additional non-departmental revenue over what had been included in the 17-18 budget and then $2 million in the fund balance that had not been expended. So that would indicate that the trend for the revenue, the auditor's projections for the revenue are on the conservative side which is wise — it's prudent I think.”

The Auditor’s projections on revenue are not conservative, not liberal, not prudent, not anything more than last year’s numbers with a small bump up like all the years before, despite the common perception that property taxes and sales taxes are down all across the County. If County Auditor Lloyd Weer wanted to be “conservative,” he’d project less revenue than last year.

McCowen: “So over what had been built into the 17-18 budget we realized an additional $2.4 million in discretionary revenue, if I'm getting this accurately.”

If by “this” McCowen means the $4.4 million carryover, yes. If he means the budget or revenue projections…? Not even close.

McCowen: “So I think the Auditor probably goes through the same methodology in developing the projections that are now built into the 18-19 budget.”

McCowen “thinks” wrong. The only “methodology” Mr. Weer used was: Last year plus a couple of percentage points.

McCowen: “So even though we don't have a lot of hard data, I would be optimistic that when we do get some additional information we will probably see that there is additional unanticipated revenue.”

With the many giant gaps in the “hard data” there’s clearly no basis for optimism.

McCowen: “So put that together with the unexpended fund balance that some departments will have and I think at the end of the year we are going to have a fund balance still.”

McCowen “thinks” wrong again. The “some departments” he’s referring to represent a much smaller percentage of the General Fund budget, so there’s no way they will offset the large over-runs in the big departments which nobody’s concerned about so they are likely to increase.

McCowen: “As we have historically seen it’s [the carryover] — so far it has not been less than approximately $4 million in the last several years.”

“So far”?

County Auditor Lloyd Weer addressed his revenue projections which, while almost five months into the fiscal year, are based on nothing but “so far.”

Weer: “We have come to the end of the first quarter. [We’ve come much further than that.] There's limited information in there for us to project accurately at this point and give you a pinpoint number. Right now there are no property tax distributions made in the county so we don't have anything to project on that. Sales tax, there's only been one month's worth because we are two months in arrears. [Why?] And then the TOT [bed tax] has been converted over to a quarterly collection so we really haven't had any of that yet. The majority of analyzation [sic — by “analyzation” Weer means the large majority of this unknown revenue amount] goes into Budget Unit 1000 [the General Fund]. So as far as being able to pinpoint a number at this point, I can't. I'm looking at what I have [i.e., nothing]. I am comfortable that the current budget we have for Budget Unit 1000 is going to be met or exceeded. I just don't have the ability to give you a number to count on at this point.”

Translation: Mr. Weer has no idea what the revenue will be, has nothing to base his “comfort” on, and is just guessing based on last year’s revenues even though most people expect revenues to be down due to hundreds of homes coming off the tax rolls from the 2017 fires, pot parcel tax assessments coming way down as pot growers sell off at a loss and leave the area, and a general downturn in sales taxes as the pot economy has collapsed.

McCowen then did an immediate about face saying that he was “uncomfortable” allocating money to anything — particularly long-delayed and essential capital improvement projects like reroofing leaky buildings, replacing the “antiquated” computer system, etc. — when there are obvious overruns and no revenue projections available.

Summary: General Fund expenses are likely to be at least $5 million over budget when the Ag and Executive Office are factored in. Revenues will be flat at best and more likely down by at least $1 million. Essential capital improvement projects and grant match set-asides will take several million dollars more. And about two-thirds of line workers have been told they can expect raises in the next year or two to bring them back to pre-2009 levels.

But hey! There’s a 12% vacancy rate! No problem!

PS. According to Humboldt County reporter Daniel Mintz, in Humboldt County, “Sales tax revenue is down by 8 percent compared to this time last year.” Funny, how Humboldt County can calculate sales tax revenue for the first quarter but Mendo can’t.

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HUMCO REAPS CANNABIS TAX HARVEST

by Daniel Mintz

Humboldt County’s budget is in the black and with $17.7 million in cannabis excise tax revenue expected for the fiscal year, the county is pursuing a cannabis marketing program and a grant program to help communities that have been negatively impacted by legalization.

The county’s favorable budget scenario and the contribution of the cannabis tax were outlined as the Board of Supervisors fielded a first quarter budget update at their November 13 meeting.

Supervisors approved a variety of staff-recommended budget adjustments and also directed staff to determine the costs of the proposed cannabis-related programs.

General fund revenues exceeded expenses by $7.2 million last year, resulting in a year-end fund balance of $19.8 million. That’s largely due to departmental and other savings, including $3 million in reduced costs of the Sheriff’s Office and the county jail due to staffing vacancies.

And although sales tax revenue is down by 8 percent compared to this time last year, Measure S cannabis tax revenue is robust.

During a public comment session, Terra Carver of the Humboldt Growers Alliance noted the “impressive” financial contribution of Measure S and the industry in general. But she also agreed with staff advice to consider the sustainability of the revenue.

“The cannabis industry across the whole state is under immense pressure as this newly-regulated industry gets its bearings,” she said. “Over-taxation from the state, per Prop. 64, along with the extremely high cost of entry combined with an emerging consumer experience is causing considerable anxiety among businesses.”

Carver added that Humboldt can “differentiate itself in the marketplace” through the development of an “influential collective marketing strategy that will in turn support economic development in the county.”

But when Carver finished her comments, McKinleyville resident Louis DeMartin said, “I’m against everything she’s for – there are some of us who don’t want our grandchildren to be dope-heads.”

Later, Supervisor Rex Bohn responded to the anti-cannabis sentiment.

“Louie, I understand 100 percent what you’re saying but it’s here, it’s a $17.7 million tax item and I’ve read three books on prohibition and this is no different than prohibition,” Bohn said. “The temperance leagues didn’t like it when it got legalized.”

Measure S revenue has allowed for additional budget spending. One of the staff-recommended budget adjustments is the allocation of $600,000 for the county’s effort to create a “mini-complex” in Garberville to house the county library branch, sheriff’s substation and other county offices.

Another recommendation is the spending of $1.5 million to identify a site for the county complex.

Supervisor Estelle Fennell said she’s pleased to see excise tax revenue being invested in Southern Humboldt and added that Carver “has a very good point about the sustainability of this potential income.”

She asked that staff be asked to develop a “marketing and branding strategy” to further advance the county’s cannabis economy.

Supervisors also approved spending $522,700 of leftover Measure Z public safety tax revenue for road maintenance and improvement. The money was proposed to be split between roads and a contribution to a $4.4 million sheriff’s and emergency services radio infrastructure upgrade.

But supervisors – and Sheriff Billy Honsal – agreed that Measure Z contributions to the project can be made later in the fiscal year as further savings emerge.

Supervisors approved the revenue-enabled budget spending, which includes millions of dollars for ADA facility upgrades, various capital improvements, $2.8 million for the emergency services radio project and a $1.2 million contribution to offset the county’s pension liability.

Supervisors approved all the staff-recommended spending items along with the direction to staff on development of cannabis marketing and the community assistance grant program.

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ED NOTES

THE TERRIBLE PALL blanketing NorCal seems consistent with the magnitude of the Butte County tragedy. The late afternoon television news scrolls the names of the missing on the bottom of the screen. It's striking how many couples there are among them, presumably the elderly who either didn't get the warning to leave or who couldn't leave before the fire was on them. We've got to hope that the authorities at all levels are learning how to react faster and more efficiently from this catastrophe. The hundreds of clearly disoriented fire victims camped out in a WalMart parking lot and an adjacent field telling the television reporters, "I don't know where to go. I don't know what I'll do."

I WATCHED a poignant report about the Santa Clara County School's decision not to close, the stated reason being that a large percentage of children would be left unattended by working parents and just as large a number depended on school breakfast and lunch programs for adequate daily nutrition. The decision to stay open seemed wise.

A BAY AREA doctor says the air quality is like smoking 11 cigarettes. I think he meant over the course of the day outside.

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SIGN OF THE TIMES, this headline from Saturday's Ukiah Daily Journal: "New drug dog at Ukiah High can also sniff out weapons." If drugs and weapons are an ongoing concern at a place of learning it might be time to re-think the enterprise.

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ACCORDING TO THE FED, household debt among Americans has reached $13.5 trillion. One has to wonder how much longer the Fed can simply make up currency value before the average American needs a wheelbarrow full of twenties to buy a loaf of bread and a carton of milk. Credit card juice is an extortionate 15 percent, cash loan store interest about the two for one charged by organized crime, assuming you don't view banks as organized crime.

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RECOMMENDED VIEWING via NetFlicks: "The Break," a French thriller set in Belgium. Lots of interesting cross-cultural stuff in this one, especially for an untraveled person like me, including beautiful Belgian villages and vistas, European soccer's minor leagues, African immigrants, left over Belgian Nazis — the Germans smashed their way to France twice in the twentieth century — small town policing and government (Belgian small town government seems interchangeable with the Ukiah City Council, the police, ah, rather more out of control than ours but then this is a 20-part movie, and what you might call European teen mating habits). All this and an interesting Who Dunnit.

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SKRAG REPLIES: “Nobody asked me if I wanted to share the mutt's igloo to get out of the smoke. I wouldn't step foot in that dump if it was the last shelter in the world.”

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WELL, YOU HAD THE LAST LAUGH, FOR SURE

Editor,

The last of the best of the online comments reminded me of when I was first thinking about trying to do Caspar Inn. l asked one of my best friends, and subsequent investors, if they had any words of wisdom to impart. They responded, "The unforgivable sin in Mendocino is going for it, don't be surprised if they turn on you." Unfortunately, she was correct.

Peter Lit

Elk

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LAWSUIT: ROHNERT PARK, HOPLAND POLICE CONSPIRED TO STEAL CANNABIS AND CASH ON HIGHWAY 101

A Texas man is suing the City of Rohnert Park and the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, alleging police officers from both jurisdictions violated his civil rights during a Dec. 5, 2017, traffic stop on Highway 101 in Mendocino County. The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court for California’s Northern District, alleges three police officers conspired to pull Zeke Flatten over, steal 3 pounds of marijuana from him and then sell it for their own personal gain.

kqed.org/news/11706921/lawsuit-rohnert-park-hopland-police-conspired-to-steal-cannabis-and-cash-on-highway-101

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A MORE USEFUL DEPLOYMENT

Editor:

How about we take our dedicated soldiers down at the southern border and bring them to Northern California to build tent cities ASAP before winter sets in? They could use a real purpose. Winter will be here, and it will be as horrific as the fires with the risk of mud slides. The Army knows how to create a safe, dry, warm place for the friends and families who lost everything.

Liz Hey

Petaluma

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LOVE THE RAIL TRAIL

To the Editor:

This summer I traded my house in Redwood Valley for a home in Ukiah so I could bicycle everywhere. After enduring the city’s cobblestone streets I discovered the “rail trail” was a “slice of heaven” and 99 percent of the people (whether they have a home or not) are a pleasure to greet. If anything negative ever happens to this treasure, I’m moving back to Redwood Valley. (Thank you Mo for your recognition of the trail.)

Ralph Blanchard

Ukiah

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UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK

The Shelter’s Cutest Kitten Award goes to this four-month old, male, black and white Scottish Fold, named Tom. With his cute ears and unique black and white markings, he is a real looker! Tom is a friendly kitten who will probably enjoy the company of children and other animals in his new home. Looking for fun and entertainment? Tom could be your perfect match!

Scooby is a friendly, playful and fun dog. This captivating comedian had us jumping for joy--what a goofball! Scoobs is pretty easy to leash and walk. Once in the play yard, he had to sniff every nook and cranny. Scooby is a 2 year old, neutered male, who weighs 71 pounds. He's a handsome dog who is appropriate and well-mannered when participating in our off-leash, multi-dog play group. You can find lots more about Scooby right here:

http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com/dogblog/scooby

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit us online at: http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com

For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453

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DRIVING WHILE PSYCHOTIC

Editor,

Thanks to the on-line comment person for bringing up the driving while distracted nightmare.

Some of the traits of psychotic behavior include; self-indulgent delusions of omnipotence, and a lack of concern for or awareness of others.

Over-used as it is, narcissism is a pretty useful description for the majority of people who’ve been constantly indoctrinated by the mind managers of corporate consumer capitalism. Few have been spared.

People who think they’re so special and so important that they can drive while playing with their phone without incident, are in the delusional invincible mode of psychotic mentation. The mobile phone will soon pass drunk driving as a cause of mayhem and manslaughter on our roads. I know two people who’ve been taken out by smart phone dummies.

Remember how disgusting it was when big tobacco had taken over nearly every nook and cranny of our society. A nicotine addict on every corner, an ashtray and lighter in every car. Apparently, millions upon millions have been fooled by the bright clean odorless packaging of this wireless invasion of society. Gadget addicts abound.

On-line asks, “How do we deal with this problem?” We deal with it the same way we’ve always dealt with the garbage dumped on us by corporate negligence. We will pay the price in broken lives and in the fun house of having all civic space turned into a damned phone booth. We don’t deal with it, we are it and willingly bought into it out of a fear of being left behind.

The consumer is responsible for being turned into a mindless response mechanism programmed and triggered by marketing puppet masters. As if Apple didn’t know how this would turn out?

Let’s give crack and guns to the roiling LA ghettoes and sit back and watch. Let’s sell weapons of mass murder and destruction to religious fanatics and act shocked when things blow up. Why not give razor blades and ice picks to a room full of two year olds!

The errant corporations don’t need moral or ethical compasses. All they care about is the rich resource of gullible fools who will obediently pour their money into the bottom line. None of the reckless wireless wizards will be held accountable for the death and destruction they created. As always, socialize the cost and clean up; privatize the profits.

So where are all these overpaid over-rated high tech yuppie shitheads now? Now that they’ve created a public safety disaster. Doing really very important useless things like going to Mars or making driverless cars. Could it be that the driverless car is the remedy to having profited so obscenely from creating incompetent multitasking morons who drive cars? Wow, no doubt about it, technology will save us!

Thanks,

Ross Dendy

Elk

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 17, 2018

Barry, Buzzard, Byrne

JOHN BARRY, Covelo. Controlled substance.

LUKUS BUZZARD, Willits. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

PATRICK BYRNE, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

Colley, Cornejo, Duvall

WILLIAM COLLEY, Fort Bragg. Leaded cane or similar, resisting, probation revocation.

JOSE CORNEJO, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

AMANDA DUVALL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Elliott, Keeler, Leonard

ALICIA ELLIOTT, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, probation revocation.

JOSHUA KEELER, Peoria, Arizona/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

KEVIN LEONARD, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Pruette, Sanders, Savidan

JACOB PRUETTE, Palm Desert/Ukiah. DUI.

MIKE SANDERS, Willits. First degree burglary, failure to appear.

MONICA SAVIDAN, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

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SMOKE ON THE WATER: JAZZ IN SAN FRANCISCO

by David Yearsley

San Francisco.

It used to be that you’d duck out of a smoke-filled jazz show for a much-needed gulp of fresh air. Bebop was breathless in more than one sense: not only fast, but also dangerous to the lungs of the listeners. Not that they cared much, since most of them were smoking, too.

Legion are the famous portraits of musicians smoking and playing, often at nearly the same time. Herman Leonard’s 1948 photo of a seated Dexter Gordon, tenor saxophone resting on his knee and the huge cloud of smoke he’s just inhaled hanging over his head is just one such classic.

Or recall Don Hunstein’s shots of Miles enshrouded by tobacco haze in the Columbia studios in midtown Manhattan during the sessions that produced his Porgy & Bess. The cover of the two-volume 1952 Blue Note recording he named after himself — “Miles Davis” — shows the trumpeter with lips to his instrument, the fingers of his right hand working the valves, his left holding a fuming cigarette.

By contrast, pianists and drummers can smoke while making music, as Count Basie often did. Perhaps not coincidentally, his minimal style allowed time and space for a momentarily free hand to deal with his cigar. That wind players, especially, could and would sacrifice their lungs in this way never ceases to amaze me.

Last week and into this one the whole of the Bay Area became an old-school jazz club of sorts: choked with smoke and filled with wailing. Instead of an oxygen rich outside, you had to be indoors to escape — or try to.

Late on Saturday afternoon before the early-onset twilight I walked up to the Lyon Steps that descend steeply from the summit of Pacific Heights through gardened terraces and past billionaires’ villas to the flats of Cow Hollow and the Marina District. From this vantage point one expects the perfect Californian vista above the Golden Gate, the day decrescendoing through more than fifty shades of blue, each one impossible to paint. So welcoming are these conditions to vision that individual trees on the Marin Headlands are crisply visible even to failing middle-aged eyes like mine. But that night you could barely make out the water of the Bay not to mention the Golden Gate Bridge that usually appears so close that you think you could leap right onto it. The air should be fragrant with the scent of eucalyptus from the adjacent Presidio and rosemary from the flower beds of the super-rich. Instead, I smelled the fire.

Always clotted with sunset seekers, the Lyon Steps were empty. The tourists had fled, the locals bunkered in their mansions. Was it the end of the day or the end of the world?

The authorities recommended staying indoors, but I decided to brave what was left of the biosphere and head down from Pacific Heights to the Hayes Valley to hear jazz piano legend, Kenny Barron, long one of my keyboard heroes. I hadn’t seen him play in more than three decades. That had been in the mid-1980s at the Regatta Bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts with the quartet Sphere, a group dedicated to interpreting the music of Thelonius Monk, whose middle name the ensemble shared.

Back then Barron had been joined by Buster Williams on bass and two of Monk’s legendary sidemen: tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse and drummer Ben Riley, who died just last year. In the Charles Hotel that night it had been smoky but swinging.

Down in the Hayes Valley last Saturday night many of the well-heeled ticketholders were arriving in face masks — not exactly the fashion accessory of choice for would-be hipsters dreaming of Charlie Parker’s 52nd Street days. I’ve heard that jazz is now big in Beijing where the face-mask look is ubiquitous. Smug Americans thought that look would never take off here. Well, it’s here now, and getting more popular every minute.

Inside SFJazz all was clean and new. The gray steel interior and vented panels stylishly advertised what all ardently desired: air-handling. “How fine are the filters?” one will want to know in the years to come. But for now the architecture and its maintenance assured the Saturday-nighters that they had entered a “controlled environment” — never mind that the environment is doing the controlling now. But the big plate glass windows were not yet smudged with ash from the fires up north, and the masks came off, stowed in purse or cashmere pocket. No one was out on the second-story balcony tonight watching the street life below.

People took their seats in the main hall — the Robert Miner Auditorium — protected still further, they believed, by another set of walls. You can bring a drink in and put it in the holder attached to your cool chair, but no smoking allowed. Everyone had done enough of that just getting to the venue.

Kenny Barron had been in residence for a long weekend starting Thursday and concluding on Sunday, November 12th: he opened with a concert of duets with diverse musicians; brought in his own Concentric Circle Quintet for another; held masterclasses; and on Saturday night led a program billed as “Rising Women in Jazz” with guitarist/singer Camila Meza, saxophonist Hailey Niswanger; and vibraphonist, Nikara Warren. They were anchored by Barron at the mighty Steinway grand, blacker than coals. Barron brought with him the other members of his current trio — Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass and Jonathan Blake on drums.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8JvzWyEL1c

One understands, even appreciates, the impulse to advertise the fact that the young musicians backed by Barron are women, though in a better world their gender wouldn’t need to be on the marquee. Perhaps even in this one it would be wiser just to present the ensemble as one well-worth hearing: “Rising Stars” — rather than “Women” before “Jazz.” As much as the female-ness of the group was worth remarking on in the male-dominated jazz scene, the audience would be free to do so without curation from above. Jazz-playing young women in attendance would be free to hold up the musicians on the bandstand as role models, drawing their own inferences and inspirations from what they heard and saw. These audience members could, if they cared to, also reflect on the image and sound of a male trio arranged in semi-circle around the three women at the front of the stage, and also ponder any culturally-inflected attributes of the sometimes-squawking-sometimes-mellifluous soprano sax, the shimmering-yet-insistent vibraphone, or a suave guitar in tandem with the crystalline soprano voice.

Imagine instead a concert featuring “young African-American classical musicians on the rise” in which racially-profiled players were granted the chance to play with famous white ones.

To his credit, the elegant and gracious Barron never mentioned that his colleagues were women, referring to them simply and sincerely as “outstanding musicians.” I doubt he had to be prompted to avoid any reference to their gender by Nikara Warren, who happens to be his granddaughter. Endlessly inventive and ceaselessly tasteful like her grandad, Warren is a hard-driving improviser, who more than holds her own, whatever the man-to-woman balance or imbalance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNAovEoodhM

The only sonic gender giveaway was the singing of Meza, who did a picturesque duet with Barron on his composition “Until Then,” one of several originals heard from the night’s leader. Hailing from Chile—and hailed by commentators for her folkloric enrichments of jazz—, Meza was well-chosen to explore the graceful harmonic contours of the tune and its Latin beat, singing the melody along with her guitar and likewise doubling her improvised solo with her clear, sometimes distant voice. The Barron composition “Cook’s Bay”—a place he visited on a sailing cruise with his wife in the South Pacific—also had a bossa nova feel, as if azure water and palm trees automatically bring to mind the tropical beaches and music of this hemisphere. This bit of harmless exoticism didn’t count as “infamous”—the adjective that Barron used, appositely enough, to describe Cook. But still, this reflexive turn to a Latin jazz feel even when imagining the other side of the world did leave one wondering whether Barron had taken in any Polynesian music on his vacation, or whether he hears the world through Western ears only.

However evocative of carefree waters, even these strains couldn’t completely dampen thoughts of the climate catastrophe unfolding in the world beyond the glass doors of SFJazz. The ruminative solo piano introductions and Barron’s expansive elaborations on his own mellow tunes often gave way to Hailey Niswanger’s soprano saxophone torrents, rising like ocean waters above the sand even to the cabañas beyond. Likewise, the radiant cycles of Barron’s “Sun Shower” cut against the calming grain of its own Latin groove—yet another one from him— with Warren’s vibes enfolding the framing sonorities in its warming rays. Meza’s guitar rained down too, spiking up high on her fingerboard before being absorbed low in her range: the artfully conceived shape of her improvisation encouraged by Blake’s brilliantly busy but never too-intrusive drumming and Barron’s assured, but never too-insistent encouragement. Kitagawa’s bass solo with its thrumming double stops that slid and shouted through microtonal space, took on almost apocalyptic implications, as if a Sun Shower were the last thing we needed in the dark confines of the Miner Auditorium.

These Barron originals were interspersed with blues-inspired numbers by other jazz greats. The gentle ostinato of late saxophonist and former Barron collaborator John Stubblefield’s “Dialogues in Blue” did not hold the audience’s feet or ears to the fire, though it lit one under Niswanger. Given his Sphere credentials, one expects Barron’s Monk to be magisterial. The pianist duly led a swashbuckling foray through the cantankerous riffs and snarky asides of Monk’s “I Mean You.” Barron’s playing is by nature smooth, so when he hits a Monkish dissonance it is all the more jarring.

The closer came with Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” — as in our carbon ones are huge, including, but not limited to the much-travelled musicians on stage. The tune’s frenetic stops and starts, spiraling trajectories, spurred the musicians to outpourings so ecstatic that they flirted with the apocalyptic.

The energized audience was calmed again by Barron’s solo encore — a tune I recognized but could not name, the haze of night seeping back into me. The farewell started with searching chords interleaved with flashing Tatumesque runs and moved into a hesitant stride, before receding into reverie again. It wasn’t “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes — or Lungs” but it might as well have been.

It was now time to the face the music outside, buoyed somewhat by the night’s confirmation that if there were a pianist one would want in one’s Steinway-equipped bomb shelter it would be none other than Kenny Barron.

(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 dgyearsley@gmail.com.)

* * *

BEING THERE IS THE SAME AS NOT BEING THERE

City Council Meeting November 20, 2018

City of Point Arena

Agenda - November 20, 2018
Special Session ~ 5:00 p.m.
City Hall ~ 451 School Street

I. CALL TO ORDER & ROLL CALL

II. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

III. PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR

(Public Comment Period)

This is the time for members of the public who wish to be heard on matters that do not appear on the Agenda. City Council policy is to limit each speaker to three (3) minutes. Such time allotment or portion thereof shall not be transferred to other speakers. Pursuant to the Brown Act Section 54954.3, the City Council may not take action on an item that does not appear on the Agenda. The public will be allowed to speak concurrently with the calling of an agenda item following the staff presentation of that item.

  1. CONSENT CALENDAR Notice to the Public: All matters listed under this category are considered to be routine by the City Council and will be enacted by one motion. If a member of the public would like an item on the Consent Calendar pulled and discussed separately, the request shall be made to a Councilmember prior to the meeting. Unless a specific request is made by a Councilmember, the Consent Calendar will not be read. There will be no separate discussion of these items. A) Approval of City Council Meeting Minutes of October 23, 2018
  2. ACTION ITEMS A.) Cypress Meadows Improvement Agreement

Recommendation: Approve Agreement with ECLand, Inc. B) Fire Vulnerability Assessment Grant Application Letter

Recommendation: Approve Letter for Signature

  1. CITY MANAGER/CITY ATTORNEY REPORTS

VII. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS (next 45 days)

  1. A) Next Meeting: December 11, 2018
  2. B) Adoption of Ordinance 234 — Street Standards
  3. C) Appointment Process for Vacant Council Seat

VIII. ADJOURNMENT

If open session items cannot be completed by 9:00 P.M., the meeting may be adjourned to the next regular meeting or Council may vote to extend the meeting.

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

It is really a crying shame that so many people refer to themselves as conservatives when it is so difficult to understand what exactly it is they are conserving. I do believe that the vast majority of American liberals and conservatives are ardent consumers of mass quantities of just about everything they can get their hands on. They use and abuse everything from gasoline, electricity, food, drugs, entertainment, debt, you name it, they blow through it like there was no tomorrow. Those few of us that actually do use as little of everything as possible are considered loonies, or eccentrics, and certainly scoffed at and looked down upon, which isn’t hard for them to do from the massive land barges that they all seem to drive any more. Oh well, all I can do is what I do myself and I am very pleased with not being so much of the problem as those around me. It’s sounds like you are much of the same. Good for you, there is dignity in rarity don’t you think?

* * *

UPCOMING EVENTS HAPPENING AT THE UKIAH LIBRARY

We have the return of the Lend an Ear Listening Workshops: How to Listen & Support Loved Ones in Sharing their Difficult Stories with Jo-Ann Rosen Tuesdays evenings in Fall/Winter. In December, we also have the First Friday Art Walk, including a Book Sale/Bake Sale with the Friends of the Ukiah Valley Library.

www.mendolibrary.org

* * *

IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, A 14TH HUMAN FOOT — THIS ONE IN A HIKING BOOT — WASHES ASHORE

Like nearly all of the 13 human feet that had mysteriously washed up on Canadian shores before it, the 14th foot appeared, unexpectedly, on the banks of the Salish Sea in British Columbia.

washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/05/13/a-14th-human-foot-this-one-in-a-hiking-boot-washes-ashore-in-canada/

* * *

CALIFORNIA UTILITY GETS REASSURANCE ON WILDFIRE LIABILITY

After its stock plummeted over its possible role in California’s deadly wildfires, the state’s largest utility won back some investor confidence on Friday after its chief regulator offered a backstop.

Shares in the company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which serves most of the state’s northern half, had plunged over concerns that it could face insolvency over liability claims arising from the fires.

But analysts upgraded the stock after the president of the California Public Utilities Commission said the regulatory agency would take into account any financial liabilities PG&E incurred from the fires when setting rates.

The official, Michael Picker, said the commission had authority to do so under a state law enacted in September. The legislation, Senate Bill 901, included a shield against wildfire-related liability, allowing the utilities to pass the cost of damage claims — though not regulatory or criminal penalties — to customers.

nytimes.com/2018/11/16/business/energy-environment/pge-stock-price-california-fires.html

* * *

DONALD TRUMP WALKED THROUGH the charred remains of Paradise alongside Mayor Jody Jones, Governor Jerry Brown and Governor elect Gavin Newsom on Saturday afternoon. The president looked stunned as he saw firsthand the devastation of the California wildfires that have killed 74 and left over 1,000 people missing. He spoke at a press conference in Chico, which was also ravaged by the blaze, deeming the wildfires “total devastation.” Trump notably tried to avoid talking about climate change and when pressed by reporters he said “we're looking at a lot of factors” before turning once again to forest management and deforestation. When asked if his opinions on climate change have altered following the deadly blazes, he said they hadn't. The president's trip to California is a short one, with an itinerary that sees his return to the White House by 4am Eastern time. “This is very sad to see. As far as the lives are concerned, nobody knows quite yet. We're up to a certain number but we have a lot of people who aren't accounted for. This isn't even as bad as some areas, some areas are even beyond this — they're just charred,” Trump said while standing the burnt remains of a Paradise mobile home park with Mayor Jones.

— Daily Mail

* * *

DONALD TRUMP SAYS FINLAND DOESN'T HAVE CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE PROBLEM BECAUSE ‘THEY SPENT A LOT OF TIME ON RAKING'

newsweek.com/donald-trump-says-finland-doesnt-have-california-wildfires-problem-because-1220911

On line responses:

[1] I wonder if Trump is aware Finland gets just a tad more snow and rain than California? Right now he's in Malibu trying to figure out what other brilliant thing he can say down there.

[2] After all, all the world's a golf course, eh?

* * *

LOOTERS will be shot on site [sic]: Pink’s husband Carey Hart posted this warning in LA.

(Click to enlarge)

SOME COMPARE this to a 1906 poster:

* * *

THE DEMOCRATS are fighting the worst, most cruel Republican Party in history with one hand and two fingers tied behind their back. It’s really been astonishing, these last few weeks, Juan and Amy, where some of us were trying to get the message to the House Democratic Caucus to release and publicize the horrific votes of the Republicans. They’re against women, children, against patients, for bloated military budgets, toady for Wall Street. They wouldn’t even answer. It took Congressman Jamie Raskin to put out his own 20 most outrageous votes by the Republicans, so they could campaign on it around the country. They had a horrible record in the House, the Republicans. It’s on JamieRaskin.com, for those who want to see it.

And when you’ve got a party like the Democrats that doesn’t lay out all the arguments against the Republicans, and focuses on an abridged form of healthcare and pre-existing condition, not even mentioning public option, not even mentioning a majority of the people for full Medicare for all, free choice of doctor and hospital—much more efficient—never mentioned. They don’t have an alternative tax plan. They don’t have an alternative military and foreign policy. They don’t have an alternative immigration plan. They don’t have an alternative consumer protection plan. They don’t have a law enforcement agenda against the corporate crime wave that, from The Wall Street Journal to the Houston Chronicle, is reported on all the time, ripping off patients, ripping off poor people, ripping off tenants. That’s what I mean. They’re not using the New Deal, FDR, Harry Truman type of agenda. And if you ask them, “Why not?,” they sort of give you a double take, like, “Gee, nobody’s asked us that before. Don’t you know how bad the Republicans are?” The reason is that they want to continue dialing for the same commercial dollars. That’s the first reason. And the second reason is, they’re not trained in how to rebut the nonsense and phoniness and lies of the Republicans.

—Ralph Nader

* * *

* * *

MORE INTO THE COOKIE THAN THE CREAM.

The recording of last night's (2018-11-16) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:

https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0307

Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

How, Pilobolus?

https://laughingsquid.com/pilobolus-dance-theater-shadow-illusions/

GOP Jesus.

https://tinyurl.com/RepugJesus

Keep fish fresh by packing it in cool jazz.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=q2pXIDQzRgw

And further adventures in voice work.

https://theawesomer.com/can-you-please-sound-fatter/502141/

Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org,

https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

 

21 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018"

  1. Craig Stehr   November 18, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Am sitting here in my hostel room in Honolulu, enjoying reading the AVA online. Have received many email responses from Mendocino county and elsewhere, insofar as my request for prayers being said to ensure me adequate future situations in order to be active in peace & justice and radical environmental efforts. I was asked tonight what I plan to do while waiting for God to set me up with suitable living accommodations, particularly in winter in Washington, D.C., so that I can “intervene in history” along with others who are active there. I replied that I will watch the mind! That’s right, I plan to exclusively watch the mind, i.e. the thoughts, and not be attached to anything at all. Living non-attached is the only way to be happy. Again, thank you very much for all of the recent email responses. When I have a suitable situation as a base to act from, wherever it might be, then I am ever ready to leave Hawaii. But as a long term Plumeria hostel resident in Honolulu said to me this evening: “If you don’t get any cooperation from the mainland, then you get to spend the winter in Hawaii.” You tell me: Is life in postmodern America ridiculous, or is life in postmodern America ridiculous?

    Reply
    • james marmon   November 18, 2018 at 8:47 am

      You really do need God’s help Craig, and psychiatric intervention as well.

      James

      Reply
      • Craig Stehr   November 18, 2018 at 11:56 am

        Wrong! My mental health is just fine. Thank you for your reply.

        Reply
      • Mike   November 19, 2018 at 4:46 am

        James, near as I can tell, Craig has actualized what Jesus describes in aphorism 22 of the Gospel of Thomas, how to enter the kingdom of heaven.

        So by your standards, the Lord was crazy.

        There is no great Other known as God who can help Craig. There is only “God”.

        And, the little ole me needing help is a mirage.

        Reply
  2. Lee Edmundson   November 18, 2018 at 2:25 am

    As of yesterday, all Ted Williams for Supervisor signs have been removed from Ukiah and The Anderson Valley.

    I hope everyone over there has N95 particle masks, because the air at ground level was lethal.

    Thanks gain for the nudge.

    Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   November 18, 2018 at 10:12 am

      Good work, private. At ease.

      Reply
  3. George Hollister   November 18, 2018 at 7:12 am

    “ACCORDING TO THE FED, household debt among Americans has reached $13.5 trillion. One has to wonder how much longer the Fed can simply make up currency value before the average American needs a wheelbarrow full of twenties to buy a loaf of bread and a carton of milk. Credit card juice is an extortionate 15 percent, cash loan store interest about the two for one charged by organized crime, assuming you don’t view banks as organized crime.”

    Of that debt $8.8 trillion is mortgage debt. Non mortgage debt is $4.7 billion per household. There are 126.220 million households in the US. Average debt per household is $107,000. Average non mortgage debt per household is $37,000.

    Total student loan debt is $1.5 trillion. National debt is $21 trillion + or -.

    Reply
    • George Hollister   November 18, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Obviously muddled. Non mortgage household debt is $4.7 trillion, not billion, and not per household. Sorry about that.

      Total credit card debt is about $1 trillion. From CNBC

      I could not find immediate estimates for auto debt.

      Reply
  4. Joe Hansem   November 18, 2018 at 7:33 am

    This just in: Former North Coast GOP hack and congressman Frank Riggs politically reinvents himself in Arizona but remains the same asshole he always was.

    https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8965224-181/chris-smith-frank-riggs-latest?ref=TSM

    Reply
    • George Hollister   November 18, 2018 at 8:35 am

      My immediate impression was that the PD reads the AVA.

      Reply
  5. james marmon   November 18, 2018 at 9:10 am

    RE: BERLIN WALL IN 1961 MEME

    In an effort to stem the tide of refugees attempting to leave East Berlin, the communist government of East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin. In other words, it was built to keep people in, not out. Conflating the Berlin with our Border Wall is just more insanity coming from the liberals and Anarchist who want to destroy America.

    Some say that the Berlin Wall was built by Communist to keep Capitalism out or East Germany, If you want to compare or contrast that with our Wall, I guess you can say we’re building our wall to keep Socialism out.

    James Marmon MSW
    Historian.

    Reply
  6. Eric Sunswheat   November 18, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Worse than opioids: Alcohol deaths soar among the middle aged, women.

    8:35 PM EST November 17, 2018

    Alcohol kills more people each year than overdoses through cancer, liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis and suicide, among other ways…

    From 2007 to 2017, the number of deaths attributable to alcohol increased 35 percent, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington…

    People’s risk of dying, of course, increases as they age. What’s new is that alcohol is increasingly the cause.

    “The story is that no one has noticed this,” says Max Griswold, who helped develop the alcohol estimates for the institute. “It hasn’t really been researched before.”

    https://www.11alive.com/mobile/article/news/nation-world/worse-than-opioids-alcohol-deaths-soar-among-the-middle-aged-women/85-615574973

    Reply
  7. Bruce McEwen   November 18, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Latest casualty list from Paradise: 76 deceased; 1276 missing, the numbers mounting every day…

    I felt such a dreadful gloom when that first black cloud of smoke came down over Ukiah and blotted out the noon-day sun, but I would never in my most pessimistic nightmares have imagined the horrific scale this terrible disaster has turned into.

    And as for you, Eric, let us hope the elderly had a good strong drink before the flames got to ’em.

    Reply
    • Eric Sunswheat   November 18, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Yep McEwen, the prior name of the enclave of Paradise, was Poverty Ridge, changed to sell real estate. By the way, the near expungement of Paradise, represents an opportunity for a totally redesigned firescape hardened community. No word yet if Ivanka is working behind the scene, to entice investors to finance a Trump Paradise scheme buy out, with a new development fantasy house of cards.

      Reply
      • Bruce McEwen   November 18, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        Cheers!

        Reply
  8. Ted Williams   November 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    I have a favor to ask. We believe all campaign signs are down. If you spot one (on a side road is my concern), text or call. My cell is 707 937 3500.

    Reply
    • Bruce McEwen   November 18, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      By God, Your Honor! You shall have your favors and your beliefs, as well, or I and my squad will be damned, Sir!

      Welcome aboard, my dear sir, welcome aboard the 5th District; and let me just rip out my bosun’s whistle and pipe ye aboard… (tune into Hornblower on Youtube, whilst I tune me bagpipes, yr grace….)

      Yes, and I’ve been remiss, thinking you were only after the money, supposing, Sir, that you had nay any concern ‘cept for your worship’s own agenda, and lemme just doff me ‘at and tug me forelock ‘pologetocally and congratulate your lordship for making such a decisive stand, m’lord — And let me just say this, Sir, coming into office with such an air of authority and martial bearing as yerself showed by ordering out your trusty flunky in the wee hours to hustle out there and pull down those signs, well, sir, it just goes to show what we’re in fer, dudn’t?

      Reply
      • james marmon   November 19, 2018 at 8:21 am

        What’s the matter Brucie, are you upset that your far left liberal boy overdosed on ecstasy and couldn’t finish the race?

        James Marmon

        Reply
        • George Hollister   November 19, 2018 at 9:23 am

          James, in fairness, the man’s name is Bruce, where is the ecstasy evidence, and isn’t being far left liberal a relative term in the 5th District? Jerry Philbrick would be considered far left liberal if he lived in Oklahoma.

          Reply
          • james marmon   November 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

            Georgie, Brucie is to Bruce as Jimmy is to James. I particularly don’t like being called Jimmy, only my mother can call me that and get away with it. Brucie makes fun of my name all the time, but you’re right, I shouldn’t stoop to his level.

            James Marmon

            Reply
          • james marmon   November 19, 2018 at 9:46 am

            Mendocino County Today: Monday, July 2, 2018

            “WAS IT A STROKE? We’re hoping that the Chris Skyhawk camp will clarify his medical status, and we further hope that the Hawk returns soon to ride the campaign trail towards the 5th District seat on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

            BUT THE SCANNER two weeks ago had dispatched emergency services to “a possible ecstasy overdose” at Skyhawk’s Albion address on G Road involving a “56-year-old male, possible intentional ecstasy overdose” and that “the patient was suffering stroke-like symptoms on his left side.”

            IS IT FAIR to report what’s heard on the public airwaves via scanners? (Yes.) Are some public people to be protected from full disclosure? (No.) We wish the guy no harm, and hope he’s soon returned to full health.”

            https://www.theava.com/archives/84266#10

            Reply

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