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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018

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THE BOONVILLE/KISUMU CONNECTION ON DISPLAY AT LAUREN’S RIGHT NOW

by Kathy Bailey

Walking into Lauren’s Restaurant in downtown Boonville, a brightlighter would be forgiven for wondering why all the considerable display space was featuring art and craft goods from western Kenya. In fact, many locals might also wonder. It all goes back more than nine years when Keevan Labowitz, a local Anderson Valley High School graduate (class of 2003), launched into what was supposed to be an eight week internship in Kisumu, Kenya tied to his Masters of Conflict and Dispute Resolution coursework at the University of Oregon Law School.

Turned out that the organization he was assigned to as an intern was a scam. It seems likely he would have figured that out eventually, but less than ten days after his arrival, a near-fatal motorcycle accident sent the scam leader to the hospital and gave the locals he had met the opening to explain to Keevan what was really going on. After getting to know him a bit, they asked Keevan for assistance in forming a legitimate youth group. By the time Keevan returned to the US nine months later, the Manyatta Youth Resource Centre (MYRC) had been launched.

From the very humble beginnings of a few soccer teams and a small group of performing artists, the MYRC now fields a wide range of programs that have served hundreds of young people. Soccer includes two girls teams, a full array of youth teams, and a senior team, made up of youth who came through the MYRC programs, which just placed first in the County League for the second year in a row. Performing Arts has expanded to a range of arts offerings, including audio and video recording, drama teams, photography, and most recently a YouTube mini-series called Anita, that dramatizes issues facing young people in the manyatta slums of Kisumu, which is the third largest city in Kenya, located on Lake Victoria. Anita was created by MYRC-affiliated director Ramsey, and coordinated by MYRC Performing Arts Director Malique. The story and script were developed, written and acted by local young people, and the first season DVD is now burned and being distributed.

Health education is also a fundamental feature of the MYRC program in Kisumu, where one in five people have HIV/AIDS and malaria is endemic. Non-violent alternatives and peace building are also bedrock to the MYRC programs. Vicious ethnic bloodshed had racked Kisumu after the 2007 election and Keevan’s earlier experience in Germany and Serbia gave him insight into the importance of providing young people with skills and alternatives to avoid becoming part of a violent wave.

It soon became clear that financial support for the costs of attending school needed to be part of the program.

Although Primary School is theoretically free in Kenya, the cost of books, uniforms, pencils, paper, and shoes can be prohibitive in a community where 50% of the people are struggling along on incomes of less than $1 per day. Secondary School is even worse, with school tuition fees added on top of the other costs. And if a family has to make a choice in providing education for their children, girls often lose. So now it is a MYRC goal to keep every program participant in school to graduation.

After returning to the US nine years ago, Keevan and Meghan Chambers, a student from the University of Montana who had come to Kisumu to put her high-level soccer skills to good use and who was also key in forming the MYRC, created Equip Manyatta as a US 501(c)3 non-profit to support the work in Kenya. Thanks to a campaign a few years later led by teachers at Anderson Valley Junior-Senior High School, Equip Manyatta is part of the well-known charity giving site, Global Giving (globalgiving.org/projects/equip-manyatta/). Since then, Keevan has taught at a number of levels at AVUSD, and is currently teaching sixth grade.

Since that original journey almost ten years ago, Keevan has returned repeatedly to Kisumu, often for long periods of time. He has many friends there who paint and create other kinds of art, and an association with small businesses that make jewelry and fabric goods, which he buys and resells here to support Equip Manyatta.

And thanks to the generosity of Lauren’s Restaurant, that’s why you will find a wide array of fine arts and crafts for sale through the remainder of this year and into the next in downtown Boonville. Come by, have a meal, enjoy the art! And if you feel moved, point us toward possible grants or donors, make a donation yourself, or purchase something to help keep Equip Manyatta and the Manyatta Youth Resource Centre, its programs, and its people, nourished as well.

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BRUCE MCEWEN WRITES: 

I just spoke with Ferdinand, chef-owner of Cultivo and he tells me that there were no pay-cuts, that I was wrong about that and that instead everyone in his employ got a raise.

This means either one of two things: either my source misled me, or what really drove Travis to robbing banks was my own stingy tips! Because everybody know what a frugal tipper I am and to this I readily confess.

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ANOTHER FRONT will move through the area today, with rain developing from northwest to southeast through the afternoon and then tapering off by Monday morning. Additional weather systems will move though the region over the course of the week, with additional rounds of rain expected Tuesday and Friday between periods of more benign conditions. (National Weather Service)

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UP ON HULL MOUNTAIN

(click to enlarge)

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CRAB SEASON DELAYED NORTH OF MENDOCINO COUNTY LINE

State fishing regulators have issued a second delay in the commercial crab season stretching north from the Sonoma-Mendocino county line. The postponement, which stretches to the coastal waters off Del Norte County, is meant to allow Dungeness crab in the area more time to mature and gain weight, state regulators said.

pressdemocrat.com/news/9047574-181/crab-season-delayed-north-of

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BUSH OBSEQUIES

by David Yearsley

When taking stock of a life, especially one as extended as George H.W. Bush’s 94 years, it is the long view that is called for. The sights and sounds of Wednesday’s state funeral expanded the time frame far beyond the former president’s earthly sojourn of nearly a century.

On surveying the knights and ladies of the realm arrayed in the gothic expanse of the Washington National Cathedral, a dignitary from another planet (one that, in order to secure the invitation, had deeded over the requisite terrain to American off-world military bases) might well have wondered whether medieval crusaders had pitched up in the District of Columbia and promptly built this unlikely edifice’s spires, vaults, and buttresses.

“Damn Right!” came Wednesday’s resplendent response.

Crusading General “Black Jack” Pershing had led the fundraising efforts to begin construction at the beginning of the last century, and it was meet and right that the body of the commander-in-chief of the international host that invaded the Arabian Peninsula in the First Gulf War should be hymned in the shadow of the cathedral’s high altar. Beyond all credulity Bush was lionized in the first eulogy by presidential historian Jon Meacham as “the last soldier statesman”—a Godfrey of Bouillon of the New World Order. A millennium on, the Christian crusades are still underway thanks in no small measure to St. George of Kennebunk.

The mighty cathedral organ—a veritable hardened silo of sonic Pershing missiles ranging from the stealthy to the shock-and-awful—also summoned thoughts not just of the retaking of the Holy Land but also, pushing still farther back in history, of the Roman Empire. In those days the newly-invented instrument was used, literally, to “organize” troops in battle, to add pomp to processions, and to train gladiators and accompany their combat, whipping up crowds in arenas all around the Mediterranean world.

And so it was at the Bush obsequies, the mighty covering fire of the organ—the West’s oldest smart technology—urging on the troops in the opening hymn, “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven.” For the final verse, the choristers’ voices arced towards heaven in a majestic descant, like a Blue Angels aerial stunt team trailing colorful contrails. From every direction, it seemed, the organ let loose its biggest rockets—thundering bass flares with brilliant tracers above, starting in the minor but ending in triumphant major. The heroic bomber pilot Bush would have loved the extravagant show of musical force.

Braced by the organ’s sonorous command, thousands out in the church gave full voice to the tune and text of this Victorian war horse, spurring thoughts of a previous inheritor of the mantle of Rome: the British Empire. Long a mainstay of Windsor weddings at the National Cathedral’s Old World inspiration, Westminster Abbey, the hymn made clear that just as the Roman Empire had lived on in its eastern half of its dominions after the Fall of Rome, so too the Western half of the British Empire (Washington DC standing in for Constantinople) continues the English-speaking peoples’ mission of world domination.

The pew of honor—in which sat former presidents and their wives, and, along the aisle, the reigning chief executive and his consort—made a dismal show of it. Even Barack Obama, known on occasion to show off his fine voice, only appeared to muster a faint murmur. Embarrassment seemed the order of the day for America’s leaders when it came to hymn-singing. The only exception was Hillary Clinton, who tucked in with gusto, especially in comparison to hapless Bill to her right.

At the far end of the front row the Trumps didn’t even pay lip service to the rituals of congregational song. Both scowled silently through the whole hymn like petulant adolescents dragged into church by their parents. Barely observing the religious rite underway nor reverent of the supposed service to people and party rendered by a deceased Republican predecessor, theirs was a defiant authenticity.

You can bring a Trump to church but you can’t make him sing.

The difference with the surprisingly enthusiastic Hillary said it all about the 2016 presidential race, and perhaps that of 2020 as well. If one is searching for signs of yet another Hillary bid for the Oval Office, look no further than “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven!” at the Bush send-off. As antidote to that dismal vision of an imminent replay of 2016, one flashed forward (hopefully not too far forward) to the inevitable Trump state funeral, with Meatloaf leading the music at the Mar-a-Lago clubhouse.

It was left to the consul of a lesser Western offshoot of the British empire, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, to confirm the durability of English-speaking hegemony. In his remarks, Mulroney, called the United States of America “the greatest democratic republic that God has ever placed on the face of the earth.” That such a republic and its doting sister to the north favor the military arts rather than poetic (and therefore also musical) ones was soon made clear when Mulroney closed his address with one of the corniest bits of rhetoric ever dared: “There are wooden ships, there are sailing ships, there are ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.” Later, George W. Bush’s reference to broccoli lowered the tone still further. The funerary orations that morning were hardly Periclean.

Unlike his namesake son, who adopted the Methodism of his wife Laura, George Bush the elder was born and buried an Episcopalian—the rebrand of the Church of England undertaken after the American Revolution, with the newly independent branch remaining reliant on the musical traditions back in the Mother Country. Director of music at the National Cathedral, Canon Michael McCarthy, a leading Anglican church musician, is a musical immigrant to this country. He assuredly directed the anthems—syrupy and affecting—by twentieth-century American composers following in the English tradition.

The United States Marine Band and Orchestra (the oldest professional musical organization in the country founded during the administration of John Adams at the end of the eighteenth century) and other brass ensembles played the coffin along its way with stentorian renditions of nineteenth-century hymns. A Nocturne by Gustav Holst from the waning days of the British Empire mourned the body as it was carried up the steps of the cathedral before the service.

However aristocratic the Bush background, the family has, especially since its removal from New England to the oil fields of Texas, increasingly gone for the downhome note. Alan Simpson’s tribute revealed that Bush held great affection for that British master of the musical theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber, even claiming that Bush was on occasion prone to sing ditties like “Don’t Cry for me Argentina.” Simpson’s tuneful slip of the tongue was inadvertently damning: the 1976 Argentine coup that brought in a right-wing junta just happened to occur on Bush’s watch as Director of the CIA.

The ceremony’s musical culmination came not with strains redolent of Westminster Abbey, however. Instead, Irish tenor Ronan Tynan belted out sickly-sweet patriotic sentiment in the form of Larry Grossman’s Lincolnian anthem, “Last Full Measure of Devotion.” Having sung “Silent Night” at Bush’s deathbed, Tynan was accompanied at the funeral by the red-coated marines delivering the cheesy harmonies with swelling strings, heroic brass, fearsome timpani, and snare drum’s martial lash that had all stepped directly off Broadway and into the solemn reaches of the National Cathedral. Grossman is the composer of, among other classics, the soundtrack for Disney’s Pocahontas II. It was fitting that such musical sensitivity to American history should be deployed to mark Bush’s passing. The effect of this upwelling of schlock was to swamp all the Anglican grandeur that had preceded it.

With Grossman’s campy canticle echoing down the endless nave, George Bush’s body was heading to Texas for one last show.

(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.)

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UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK

Meet Betty and Roslyn. Due to unfortunate circumstances, these sisters were owner surrendered. They’ve spent the past ten years with each other and are a bonded pair. Their previous guardian will pay the adoption fee for both cats, if they can remain together in their new home. Although they are shy here at the Shelter, we were told they are both very mellow, lap-loving cats.

Easy going and handsome ascan be, Winston is a canine singer who promises to entertain you daily! Thishandsome guy might enjoy the company of an active, playful dog in his new home.He definitely loves play time in the yard with other shelter pooches. Winstonwould be a great dog for a family with active kids who would include him ingames and adventures. Winston is a 2 year old, neutered male, mixed breed dogweighing in at 70 svelte pounds. Check out Winston’s webpage: mendoanimalshelter.com/dogblog/winston

The Ukiah Animal Shelter islocated 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 6:30pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit usonline at: mendoanimalshelter.com

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

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POST-ELECTION HIGH – A CONCLUSION

As you may recall from my earlier blathering, my (WY) driver license is up for renewal in early January. Now the instructions in the letter sent me by the equivalent of your DMV stated that I would have to appear in person to renew since I had renewed by mail four years ago, and that I would need to bring my old license for ID. Fine. It had always been that way. There were a couple of attachments, one a list of locations where the renewal could be made, and another with a list of IDs needed when APPLYING for a license. Nevertheless, I began to wonder.

I checked and learned that in fact the same IDs were required for renewals as well, which resulted in me having need for a “state-certified” birth certificate. A passport would have sufficed, but I have never, ever applied for one, since I have never, ever left the beloved country of my birth, save for a couple of short excursions into Mexico as a teenager, in the days when the border cops simply asked your city of birth, that is to say before the current state of national paranoia set it in. I was also told that my old official birth certificate copy, issued to my mother in 1983 (33 years following my birth), embossed with the great seal of the County of Alameda, and signed and dated by the Alameda County Recorder attesting to its accuracy, would not suffice, odd since the state gets its information from the counties! But such is paranoia.

So, I ordered an “official and certified” birth certificate from the California Department of Public health, mailing the notarized application on October 26. As of 12/06, the certificate had not arrived. That afternoon, I called the equivalent of your DMV to see about getting the process going to extend my expiring license until the certificate arrives. I was advised to contact the local licensing station and to speak with a supervisor there. I did so. She said I needed to come in and fill out some paperwork for the license extension.

Before that telephone conversation ended, I had concluded that I had nothing to lose by bringing up with the supervisor that I indeed already had a birth certificate, embossed with the Alameda County seal, date stamped, and signed by the Alameda County Recorder at the time, that was given me by my mother back in 1983. I expected once again to be told the same old story: not acceptable. But instead, the woman asked me if the seal appearing on the document was truly an embossment, that is, was the paper actually deformed by the seal stamp. I answered that indeed it was, adding that the stamp was without color and only a stamped impression. She said that was fine, as long as the impression itself was visible, and capable of being felt by touching. She further stated that seal impressions are difficult to duplicate.

My old birth certificate was acceptable! My feeling was literally akin to one who is floating on a cloud. I thanked her profusely and told her I wished that she had been the first one with whom I had spoken. She said to be sure and mention her by name if anyone questioned my birth certificate when I presented it.

Well, bright and early this morning (12/07), I drove to the local licensing office and arrived in time to be second in line at the office, which opened a few minutes later. About half an hour later, I was on my way out that door, having renewed my driver license, with no problem at all. I even passed the vision test without wearing glasses, meaning my license will continue to be free of restrictions. I have worn prescription glasses while driving for the last 27 years simply because I see more clearly with them, but it’s sort of an ego thing for me not to have any restrictions on the license.

I suspect the certificate from California will arrive soon. Then I will have two legally acceptable documents proving that I was born here in exceptional land. I cannot fault the California Public Health Department in any way. They apparently deal with around one thousand requests for birth certificates every day in the paranoid nightmare climate this country loves so much, not to mention the public health problems associated with the recent fires.

REALID my foot. More like REAL Fascism. Just another facet of the pathetic state to which this country has regressed.

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B IS FOR BUREAUCRACY

by Mark Scaramella

My first assignment as any newly minted aircraft maintenance officer at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi in the fall of 1968 was to follow the new Chief of Maintenance, Colonel James M. Slaughter, around the sprawling organization — flight by flight, shop by shop, office by office.

Colonel Slaughter had been in aircraft maintenance for two decades after having been a Korean War combat pilot. He had quit flying due to an eye condition. Colonel Slaughter was nearing retirement and Keesler was going to be his last duty station. He and I arrived at Keesler the same week. Thus my assignment to follow him around. The familiarization tour, as they called it, lasted for a week. Colonel Slaughter wanted to meet everyone in the organization and understand what each office, shop or flight did or didn't do. I would tag along as a kind of on-the-job training.

The heart of the maintenance organization was the maintenance control branch. It was run by an experienced Senior Master Sergeant named Buckheiser. Maintenance control was a square semi-circular room of large metal boards with miniature aircraft and equipment magnets positioned and moved around on a detailed diagram/map of the entire maintenance organization. There were also side boards showing the status of each airplane, staffing levels for each office, shop, and flightline maintenance squadron. Three or four more NCOs sat in front of the control boards under Buckheiser’s supervision, constantly on their phones and intercoms keeping track of planes, equipment and staffing in each segment of the organization. A speaker broadcasting all air-traffic control tower radio talk crackled in the background. Sitting in the back of the maintenance control room behind some glass was Major Newberry who supposedly oversaw operations and made whatever decisions that called for a field grade officer.

It was obvious after a few minutes of conversation between Colonel Slaughter and Sergeant Buckheiser that Sergeant Buckheiser was the true boss of maintenance control. After a few pleasantries and introductions, Colonel Slaughter asked Sergeant Buckheiser, "What’s your operational ready rate, Sergeant?"

The “OR rate” is a standard measure of maintenance performance, meaning, essentially, what percent of the time the aircraft ready to fly.

Sergeant Buckheiser sat in a sturdy banged-up old-fashioned gray rolling desk chair which allowed him to scoot easily around the maintenance control room. He wheeled himself closer to Colonel Slaughter, looked up and said, "What rate would you like, sir?”

Colonel Slaughter replied, “Don't play any games with me, Sergeant. Call it like you see it.”

Buckheiser pointed out that since the 3380th Maintenance Squadron was supporting a training operation, standard OR rate numbers didn’t mean as much as they did in the regular Air Force where military planes were supposed to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. In a training context, there were many ways to calculate the operational ready rate such as whether you included weekends when no one flew anyway, whether a plane had all of its instruments working, but could still be used for training, whether a plane in a hangar that was not being worked on was considered operationally ready, whether the plane was properly configured and equipped for a particular training mission, etc.

Colonel Slaughter replied, "OK. I just need to know what percentage of the training flights are canceled due to maintenance."

“In that case, Colonel,” Buckheiser replied, “we have a very high operational ready rate. I'll be happy to calculate it that way for you. Yes sir.”

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I was reminded of this anecdote when I watched Mendo’s helping professionals discuss numbers having to do with mental health service effectiveness. There are many ways to calculate such amorphous matters as these, none of which provide much useful information about how effectively Mendo’s tens of millions of annual mental health dollars are spent. There are so many ways to slice the pie, so many categories of funding, so many layers of bureaucracy, so many soft terms that defy specific definition and mean mainly what the person uttering them wants them to mean, that attempts to measure mental health effectiveness almost always fall flat. Hence the default measure: how much money is spent on it.

Mike Mertle, the Fort Bragg electrical contractor who represents the Fourth District on the Measure B mental health facilities oversight committee, listened to some discussion about the County’s relatively new Mobile Outreach and Prevention Services (MOPS) van, which the county recently set up to assist mental health patients (or possible patients) in the farther reaches of the county.

According to the County’s website: Mobile Outreach and Prevention Services (MOPS) is a collaboration between Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department for outreach to individuals at risk of going into mental health crisis in outlying target areas of the county. These areas are remotely distant from emergency rooms and crisis services. The program focuses on the team connecting clients with local and larger area resources prior to meeting 5150 criteria and thereby reducing the duration of untreated mental illness, and dependency on emergency services for preventable service needs. The targeted outreach areas are North County, South Coast, and Anderson Valley. The program consists of three teams which include a Rehabilitation Specialist and a Sheriff Services Technician. Each team travels to the various communities in these outlying areas and meet with referred individuals that have been identified as in need of urgent services. Mobile Outreach also includes in-reach to the jail.”

Mertle asked, "People on the coast ask me what does the County do for people that are in crisis? Does the MOPS vehicle deal with crisis patients?”

County Mental Health Director Janine Miller replied, “Not at the level that you might be thinking by that.”

Mertle: “So that still goes back to the emergency department at the hospital and the sheriffs and local law enforcement. So this won't help that.”

Sheriff Allman: “That is true. It won't. In March of 2016 the Sheriff's office did a 90 day study in March, April and May, of all 5150 calls that were nonviolent, non-weapons, non-threatening. And we found that only 30% of the 5150 calls involved weapons, threatening or violence. The other 70% of those calls we would love to be able to get to a point where the MOPS is responding at the same time as law enforcement is responding. We would have professional mental health advocates there at the earliest contact.”

Mertle: “That's what I mean. What this is isn't really what we need. Right? Because you are not going to reduce your calls — the way I'm understanding it these people work four-day weeks so you can't respond to your residential crisis in situations where people are 5150.”

Allman: “What we've seen is if you visit the people at least once a week, and our potential 5150s are touching a professional, or shaking hands or are invited into their house, we see a reduction in the number of those 5150s who are repeat 5150. So we are taking away some of the frequent flyer 5150 calls and sort of stabilizing them.”

Mertle: “But that's on the back end. Dispatch is not saying, MOPS: Go deal with this.”

Allman. “No. However, they are referred by family members and mental health staff. People may wonder how those MOPS know to go to a certain address — it comes from school references, it comes from county personnel, as well as medical facilities and mental health staff who are giving references of people who need that face-to-face contact.”

Mertle: “Have you seen a reduction in 5150s since the MOPS program was put in place?”

Allman: “Absolutely. In the first 12 months of this, the people who were referred to MOPS— we saw a — and I can say this now — but we saw a 100% reduction in crisis 911 calls at the Sheriff's office. We certainly had some that were seen by MOPS and went into the crisis mode. But for the most part I can easily say that over 90% of the people who MOPS sees we are no longer seeing as crisis line, 911, 5150 people.”

Miller: “Yes, they are not going out in the moment we have a crisis. We get the referrals early. We have relationships with the clinics and the community where the family members can say that they think their family member needs a visit. Before they are in crisis they are calling and asking MOPS to come in. So we are doing prevention services. We get a lot of referrals. So we are stopping people from reaching a crisis level by touching them right when they needed.”

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Mertle is on to something, but the rest of the committee was trying as hard as they could to avoid it: The crisis van. Even though Sheriff Allman acknowledges that something like two out of three 5150 calls could best be turned over to mental health staff, he didn’t follow up on Mertle’s implied suggestion. The MOPS vehicle does probably help and the committee’s recommendation to expand it from three MOPS units to five sounds like a good idea. But why can’t the MOPS program also include mobile crisis response? With five teams (of two people each, one a “Sheriff’s Service technician,” and one a “rehabilitation specialist”) why can’t they also be set up to respond to 5150 calls as circumstances dictate?

Mendo has been avoiding this important mental health service for years and it looks like it’s still off the table.

PS. In semi-response to an audience question about where MOPS data can be found, Ms. Miller said “it” was on the Behavioral Health Board’s web-page.

Here “it” is, for what it’s worth:

(Click to enlarge)

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IN OTHER MEASURE B NEWS, the Oversight Committee heard presentations from Adventist Health admin staffers about how both their Willits facility (“New Howard”) and Ukiah facility could easily be remodeled to provide a few “crisis residential” beds which could also be near medical staff in necessary cases. Both ideas are worth considering. But the proposals quickly bogged down in bureaucracy as the committee discussed who would own the buildings or facilities, how would contracts be arranged, who would staff them, which funding could be used for which services and how that would be tracked, who would do the contracting, would the facilities have to comply with time-consuming “OSHPD” standards, would it be temporary or long-term, how long could patients stay at one location or the other before funding ran out or diagnoses changed, how would transfers be made from one facility to the other, etc. etc. etc. Sheriff Allman said he was going to ask the County Counsel’s office for a legal opinion on some of the questions, so it could be months before the Adventists’ offerings are seriously considered — if at all.

I’m starting to think The Editor is right: if Sheriff Allman’s noble idea of developing facilities to really help the obvious and manageable population of those mental health casualties who need to be steered into non-law enforcement channels is turned over to the grant grabbers and bureaucrats, most of the needy will die before a single brick is mortared.

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UKIAH STREET GUY GETS STATE PEN

Ukiah, Friday, Dec. 7. -- Knife-Wielding Transient Enroute To San Quentin.

Long-time Ukiah transient, Paul Stephen Golyer, age 29, was sentenced to 48 months in state prison today.

Golyer was previously found guilty by jury in September of attacking another man with a knife in May at a local motel. Following that trial and in a separate proceeding, it was found true that Golyer had been convicted earlier in Arizona of a felony-level attempted robbery, a Strike under California's current Three Strikes law.

Unless Proposition 57 intervenes, Golyer will be required under the Three Strikes law to serve 80% of the sentence imposed today by Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield.

The prosecutor who handled the prosecution of this defendant is Deputy District Attorney Beth Norman. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Ukiah Police Department.

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MANCHESTER CRAB FEED

The Manchester Community Center/Garcia Guild annual crab feed is on Saturday, December 29 this year. Tickets are $40 in advance ($45 at the door). This is an all you can eat crab feed. For advanced tickets, call us at 882-1750 and we'll arrange to get them to you. Or, you can email a response and we'll make arrangements.

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GREAT NIGHT IN ELK. Monday December 10th Elk Holiday street fair is this Monday December 10th. 4pm till 8pm. Queenies Roadhouse cafe will be serving a special sopes dinner 5pm till 7pm. Join us in shopping local at Matson Mercantile, The Elk Store, Artist Collective, Postmaster Melissa will be selling holiday stamps, Harbor House Inn will have their Seaweed Sourdough bread, and Queenies will have 10% off gift certificate. Live music.

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HIDDEN VALLEY, Wind River in Far Background

photo by Harvey Reading (click to enlarge)

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY GOVERNMENT’S UNUSUAL DECISION to Mourn President George Bush By Giving Everyone the Day Off Probably Cost Local HumCo Taxpayers Nearly Half a Million Dollars

by Hank Sims

Mendocino County government didn’t shut up shop and give its employees the day off on Wednesday, the day that President Donald Trump declared a national day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush, who died Sunday at the age of 94.

Nor did Shasta County. Nor did Trinity County, nor Del Norte County, nor Siskiyou, nor Sonoma, nor Tehama, nor Glenn.

But Humboldt County did. At its meeting Tuesday morning, county administrative officer Amy Nilsen asked the board to place an emergency item on the agenda that would officially recognize the president’s declaration.

What was the emergency? As Nilsen noted in her hand-written report to the board on the matter, the county’s agreements with the various labor unions that represent county employees (called “memorandums of understanding,” or MOUs) require the board to ratify President Trump’s declaration of a “public fast” — a day off — in Bush’s honor. Only then could county employees be given an unscheduled paid holiday on the following day, so they might spend it remembering America’s 41st president.

“If we deny it we’re in violation of the MOU?” Supervisor Rex Bohn asked Nilsen, when the item came before the board.

“No,” she answered.

“None of the staff will talk to us for the rest of the year,” Bohn concluded.

And so, after no deliberation, the item passed unanimously.

How much did this day of mourning cost the county, both in cold hard cash and lost productivity? County spokesperson Sean Quincey told the Outpost that the county administrative office hasn’t officially totted that number up.

But it’s safe to say that local taxpayers shelled out well over six figures for this day of mourning, and probably something close to half a million dollars, all told.

In its current, 2018-19 budget, the county expects to pay out $121.4 million in salary and wages to its employees. Divide that number by 261 (the average number of work days in a year) and you get $465,134 — the payroll amount for one county work day.

HumCoExpenses

Payroll expenses from the 2018-19 Humboldt budget. Interactive version at this link.

For his part, Quincey suggested that the figure arrived at above — $465,134 — is likely a bit high. Though the county did not calculate the expense of Wednesday’s holiday, he said, it did figure out, earlier this year, the cost of giving everyone another paid holiday that all county employees will receive this year — Christmas Eve. In that case, Quincey said, the county figured the cost of the holiday at $354,865. It’s unclear what accounts for the discrepancy.

But pay for lost work wasn’t the only expense that the county incurred for giving everyone an impromptu holiday this week. Employees who had to work on Wednesday regardless — notably, deputy sheriffs — automatically received time-and-a-half pay, in addition to the privilege of taking their Bush day at another time. (See the deputy sheriff’s current memorandum of understanding with the county at this link. The sections dealing with holidays start on page 19.)

Deputy sheriffs weren’t the only county employees working Wednesday either. The courtsremained open, so deputy district attorneys and deputy public defenders, presumablyalong with their support staff, had to work the holiday too. Quincey said that he would have to check on each of the various bargaining agreements to be sure, but generally speaking county employees who are represented by a bargaining unit all have the same deal, as far as holidays are concerned: If you have to work a holiday, you get time-and-a-half pay, and you get to take the holiday on a different day.

In any case, it was a pricy proposition. The Sheriff’s Office fought for years for funding to get the BearCat armored vehicle that it showed off at Halvorsen Park today. The BearCat cost $298,000, and a good portion of that was covered by a federal grant. You can estimate the cost of the Wednesday holiday at a BearCat and a half or so, and the board approved it in two minutes, with almost no discussion.

Of course, apart from the time-and-a-half holiday pay for everyone who did work, the Board of Supervisors’ declaration was not an additional expenditure. It was money that the county was going to spend anyway; the board’s action just meant that the county no longer expected anything in return. The amount of money wasted by the declaration of the holiday depends on how much you expected that money to buy you in the first place.

Still, many other counties — most of which have similar language in their own memoranda of understanding with their labor unions — took a different course. The Outpost reached nine Northern California counties by phone this morning. Eight of them remained open on Wednesday. (To repeat: They are Del Norte, Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta, Mendocino, Sonoma, Glenn and Butte). Only Colusa County closed its doors and gave employees the day off. County Administrative Officer Wendy Tyler told the Outpost that her board didn’t take any action to make the holiday official in Colusa; it is written into county code, she said, that whenever the president declares a holiday that holiday is also a holiday for Colusa County government.

In Mendocino County, the board considered the notion of ratifying the holiday at the same time Humboldt County’s board did, and rejected it on the grounds that it would inconvenience people who had business with the county on that day, and who might have to travel large distances to get that business done. Only one of the three supervisors present showed any enthusiasm at all for the proposal, and the county executive officer seemed firmly opposed to the idea.

After quite a bit of consideration, the proposal died before ever reaching a vote.

It was in definite contrast to the Humboldt County meeting, where no one, at any time, raised any objection or doubt. Supervisor Bohn, after ascertaining that the board could in fact decline to give employees an extra emergency holiday but that it might make him unpopular with the staff, asked the beneficiaries of the board’s largesse to spend at least 60 seconds doing what they were ostensibly getting the whole day off to do.

“Take a minute to think about and actually honor the man’s life and what he did,” Bohn said. “He was a World War II veteran. He was a great father figure. He was a great husband figure. And he was a pretty good man. I don’t care if you liked his politics or not, he was a good man. So I think if you’re going to get the day off, take a moment and at least relish in the thought that we had a pretty good man in there, that was a good man to lead by leadership and follow by example. That’s the only thing I would ask. That’s a motion.”

Amen.

(Courtesy, LostCoastOutpost.com)

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag says I've got OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder. Yes, unlike him and his entire species, I prefer order to gluttony and sloth, and proud of it!”

* * *

ED NOTES

A SLOGAN we can definitely relate to: "DOWN WITH AGFAM — Apple-Google-Facebook-Amazon-Microsoft!"

* * *

“Take a minute to think about and actually honor the man’s life and what he did,” Bohn said. “He was a World War II veteran. He was a greatfather figure. He was a great husband figure. And he was a pretty good man. I don’t care if you liked his politics or not, he was a good man. So I think if you’re going to get the day off, take a moment and at least relish in the thought that we had a pretty good man in there, that was a good man to lead by leadership and follow by example. That’s the only thing I would ask. That’s a motion.” 

— Rex Bohn, Humboldt County supervisor

ED NOTE: In Bush's case, his politics defined him, and his politics were lowdown and brutish. Millions of men are "great husband" figures, veterans, "great father" figures.

* * *

ACCORDING to knowledgeable people, Ukiah's Palace Hotel is structurally sound, meaning it can be made habitable again. But the same knowledgeable people say making the Palace habitable again is a five million dollar job. Only someone who has five million to sit on while and IF a restored Palace makes a return on that investment would plunk down five million, and only then if he or she could afford to never recoup it. And given that inland moneybags like, for instance, Charlie Mannon of the Savings Bank, have the money they lack that old fashioned civic pride that powered Mannon's grandfather and the other grand Ukiah patriarchs of yesteryear. The last time the Savings Bank invested big locally was in the Thomas Family's pear and fruit businesses. And lost several million. A restored Palace is probably a comparable investment gamble.

* * *

FOUR OF US were sitting around last week discussing this and that local matter when we lit upon effective forms of local government. Two of us, me one of the two, thought a well-paid mayor and well-compensated council people would be much more responsive and probably cheaper than cities and counties run by administrators. Ukiah, for instance, is a mess with no real accountability anywhere in its civic organization. The town of 16,000 pays an invisible city manager an exorbitant total package of about $400,000 a year, not including his extravagantly compensated assistant city manager. Driven down State Street lately? Pavement quality is about like Kabul's. And the rest of the town is a structural and unsightly mess, as if no one is in charge. And no one is because, as everywhere in Mendocino County we have highly paid, unaccountable managers beholden to no one beyond their captive councils. A mayor and council paid well enough to make their positions truly competitive could be more easily removed if they didn't run things properly. As it is try holding anybody in civic Ukiah accountable for the lamentable condition of the town. Manager Sage Sangiacomo would say, "Well, golly, I answer to the City Council." And you go to the City Council and they'll say, "Well, golly, it takes three votes to do anything and my colleagues are pretty much out of it, but I'll talk to Sage." (Note the hot tub familiarity among the elected and their unelected, theoretically supervised employee-manager.) Things don't work right for lots of reasons, but an absence of true accountability is the root of a lot of civic dysfunction.

* * *

* * *

IN THE VALLEY OF FEAR

California’s San Joaquin Valley, from Stockton in the north to Arvin in the south, is 234 miles long and 130 miles wide. If you drive there from the Bay Area, in less than an hour the temperature will go from 57 to 97 degrees. It will keep rising. The radio stations are predominantly Spanish: ranchera music, boleros, corridos, ballads of spurned love, and the distinctive norteño sound—percussive, driving, no brass. On the English-language station an indignant voice advises listeners to be mentally vigilant against “sitcoms, news reports,” the entire panoply of “mainstream media because it’s all the same skank, it’s all from one cesspool, their snakish agenda for a one-world order.” The country music summer hit is called “Take a Drunk Girl Home.”

The Valley is flat, under a constant cloud of dust, smog, pesticides, and smoke. The smog is from Bay Area traffic carried in by the wind, the pesticides from the millions of pounds of chemicals poured onto the land every year, the smoke from the wildfires that burn to the north and get trapped in the Valley, pushed to the ground by the heat. The cloud is kept there by the Sierra Nevada to the east, the Coast Ranges to the west, and the Tehachapi Mountains to the south, which the Fresno-based writer Mark Arax calls “our Mason-Dixon Line,” because it marks the Valley’s physical and psychological separation from the cosmopolitan culture of Southern California and Los Angeles. The city of Bakersfield and the area around it, on the southern edge of the Valley, has the worst air quality in the United States.

Measured by yearly production, the San Joaquin Valley is one of the highest-value stretches of farmland in the country, and is dominated by large growers who preside over a labor force of migrant workers in a way that has not changed much since Carey McWilliams described it in his 1939 book, Factories in the Fields. Arax likens it to a Central American country. “It’s the poorest part of California,” he told me. “There’s almost no middle class. To find its equivalent in the United States you’d have to go to Appalachia or the borderlands of Texas.”

Raisins, table grapes, pistachios, almonds, tomatoes, stone fruits, garlic, and cabbage are some of the crops of the Valley. The clementines that we buy in netted bags at the supermarket are grown here, as are the pomegranates that make the juice we are told protects us from cancer. The revenue from all the crops harvested here and elsewhere in California is $47 billion a year, more than double that of Iowa, the next-biggest agricultural state. Most of this revenue benefits a few hundred families, some with as many as 20,000 or even 40,000 acres of land.

Plantations on the west side of the Valley are so huge that managers keep track of workers by flying over the fields in planes. Computers monitor the release of water, which is delivered to the plants with an intricate system of pipes and valves. “It’s prisons and plantations, nothing else,” Paul Chavez, the son of Cesar Chavez, who co-founded the United Farm Workers union (UFW), told me. “You can’t even get an education in these places. According to the state of California’s own survey, in farmworker towns barely 30 percent of school teachers are accredited.”

When Cesar Chavez started organizing farmworkers in the 1950s, his son said, 12 to 14 percent of field hands “were still Okies and Arkies, the Steinbeck people,” and 8 to 10 percent were African-Americans brought in by cotton planters during the boll weevil infestation in the 1920s. About 12 percent were Filipino, and 55 percent were Mexican, “half of them Mexican nationals, the other half first-generation Americans like my father.”

Today, at least 80 percent of farmworkers are undocumented Mexicans, the majority of them Mixteco and Trique, indigenous people from the states of Oaxaca, Sinaloa, and Guerrero—the poorest regions in Mexico—who speak no or very little Spanish, much less English. Most of them have been working the fields for at least a decade, have established families here, and live in terror of la migra, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is called, and instant deportation or imprisonment that would wrench them from their children.

(Michael Greenberg, NY Review of Books)

* * *

ANNOUNCING THE FORMATION OF F.R.O.G.

The Forest Reciprocity Outreach Group, is a growing group of citizens in the Mendocino county region working to support the health and utilization of overstocked fire-hazard lands. Widespread agreement on management practices has coalesced in the wake of even-aged (“clear cut”) harvest and loss of ancient traditional low intensity fire management. Fuel loads have been steadily increasing for the last few decades as carpet regeneration has largely gone unchecked. Over competition for light, water, and nutrients has led to weakened forests, loss of diversity, and abundant dead wood. This has allowed wildfires to ascend into devastating crown fires that have decimated ecosystems and human settlements alike. We believe this burden can be our solution! As we improve natures health we will be reciprocated with abundance.

The suppressed growth of ailing Douglas Fir trees creates extremely strong, “tight ring”, small diameter poles that can be used as beautiful, sturdy, architectural elements. These poles exceed the tensile strength of sawn lumber with uncut continuous fibers running their entire length. Encased in natural fire-resistant clay-based wall mediums, these structures have proven to be exceptionally impervious to wildfires. This is a marked advance from expensive, often toxic, flammable dwellings. F.R.O.G.'s objectives are to reciprocate with nature and unburden forest lands of overcapacity, while creating beautiful, healthy, safe dwellings. And, to use poles for other useful structures and meaningful purposes. It is time for conscientious civilization to rise from the ashes!

The Forest Reciprocity Outreach Group has been initiated through a collaboration of members of Cloud Forest Institute (www.cloudforest.org), Polecraft Solutions (polecraftsolutions.com) and local citizens. Financial support has been granted through the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, and the Just and Resilient Future Fund. With the formation of our advocacy co-op, we will schedule a series of presentations and events promoting practices of forest reciprocity, including demonstrations on assembling a round pole structure in both Laytonville and Ukiah. For more information contact Jen Burnstad, jen@cloudforest.org

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, December 8, 2018

Buenrostro, Burger, Donahe, Eidson

ISABEL BUENROSTRO, Ukiah. DUI.

ROBERT BURGER, Igo/Ukiah. DUI.

MICHAEL DONAHE SR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

JAMES EIDSON, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.

Hill, Holm, Lane

MICKEY HILL, Willits. Community supervision violation.

ELIZABETH HOLM, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

SHAWN LANE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Martinez, Mullins, Poe-Garcia

ZIOMARA MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

MIRANDA MULLINS, Laytonville. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER POE-GARCIA, Burney/Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, appropriation of another’s property without trying to return it.

Rodriguez, Suba, Zambrano-Ceja

MIREYA RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear.

KRISTOFF SUBA, Laytonville. Failure to appear.

JESUS ZAMBRANO-CEJA, Ukiah. DUI.

* * *

TAKING THE APARTMENT APART

by Bruce Brady

In ways subtle, lifelong, and profound, the discovery of the Karamazovs' elaborate anguish in a World Literature class when I was eighteen has been the steady lens through which I have viewed this thing we call it all. And Moby Dick. And The Odyssey. The Jungle. Alice in Wonderland. Zorba the Greek. Sometimes A Great Notion. The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Emily Dickenson. John Milton. And hundreds -- possibly thousands -- of others.

Not to impose too fine an analysis on it, to experience one's life through this lens is to experience life in a vastly different way than to experience it as, say a retail clerk or a lawyer or a fashion model. After Lysistrata has become a part of one's experience, marriage takes on a rather different shape than when a life is spent gazing reverently at the size of one's pile. "Ah, but silly boy," many (probably most) will opine, "you gotta make a living." True enough. But you gotta also play the hand you've been dealt.

Surviving the education ladeled out in one's younger years is not a version of bringing the stewpot to boil, but it does give one a sense of the extent and endless delights of the kitchen. As simply put as I can at the moment make it, a steady diet of the greatest literature of the past and, where possible, the present, can leave a person with a lifelong appreciation for what is possible, even if one only hums along with the symphony.

From a single scene which floats like a bubble on the endless lake of chuldhood, I dimly remember what I guess was supposed to be a weekly bonding time with my father. His Tuesday night bowling leage at various alleys around the city. Everybody smoked, or so it seemed. I'm not sure whether filters on cigarettes even existed yet. Men and boys my age bare-chested and sweaty perched at the far end of the shiny waxed lanes behind the pins. The somehow poignant sound of hard rubber balls smashing into wood.

The nights may have been intended by my father to bond us, but they didn't much take. Nothing like enemies, we were never good friends. He once took me fishing. Well, sort of. He wasn't a fisherman -- he didn`t even own a rod. But he drove me and Mom deep into the high plateaus of eastern Oregon to meet two guys from the office, and they would take me fishing. I must have followed the steep trail with them down to the river. After some time, I took my eyes from my first ever image of water rushing. I was alone. I went looking for them, downstream, as I recall, and somehow got lost. In spite of the fact that I was a big boy now, I started crying. Later, somehow, I was reunited with Mom and Dad up top. Many decades later, I find it odd that that I haven't the slightest trace of memory to hint at how I got there.

I don't at the moment seem to have skill adequate to the words that might make clear what I know. That Rupert's agonies in living with Ursula prepare their reader for understanding the probable limits of UN sanctions on countries importing gas from what used to be Libya. Limits to power. In Switzerland. And, as I always advised appropriate males, knowing this stuff made it easier to get laid. I am moving, mainly to avoid stairs, in a week.

* * *

* * *

LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENING

Editor:

Look. I’m 82 years old. I’ll be under a gravestone before catastrophic climate change clamps a big whack on the Earth, but you and your children will likely be struggling through existential time, when life on Earth gets extremely cruel, running toward grisly. Rep. Mike Thompson wrote that insects are disappearing, threatening every animal that lives. Scientists paying close attention agree. The ocean is warming, and fish stocks have disappeared. Forests flame. Towns and people are incinerated. That’s a miserable portent of what more is arriving.

Humanity has blown its chance to gracefully avoid the disastrous impacts of climate change. Now we either completely eliminate fossil fuels within 10 years while also stripping out much of the CO2 we’ve already put up, or we go through a population bottleneck with lots fewer, if any, of us coming out the other side. Take your pick. It’s up to you.

Bob Higham

Santa Rosa

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

It’s true. In this time of fake news, craziness abounds. If you don’t have reliable sources of information to depend on, you are whirled around in a maelstrom of innuendo, misinformation, and downright lies. None of which is helped by access to the internet. All you need is a keyboard, and the world of craziness is yours for the wanting. Whatever it was that passed for stability in the old days appears to have vanished along with any feeling of normalcy. I guess this is how the great unraveling begins.

* * *

* * *

THE NUCLEAR OPTION

In response to: “A Very Grim Forecast” from the November 22, 2018 issue of the New York Review of Books

To the Editors:

In your article “A Very Grim Forecast” about global warming you state that vast quantities of renewable technology have been deployed in China and India. However, you fail to mention that the “vast fleet” of new Chinese electric buses will be powered by electricity generated by nuclear power plants. Fact check: China is now in the process of building nineteen new commercial nuclear power plants, which will exceed the United States’ nuclear electric-generating capacity when completed. Both India and Russia are in the process of building five each. China’s main goals are to achieve energy independence along with reducing the terrible atmospheric pollution that the country now suffers.

Unfortunately, despite nuclear power’s excellent safety record, security, and climatic benefits, here in the United States its detractors now outnumber its advocates. Both the industry itself and government regulators can share the blame for their lack of transparency and past failure to address serious issues like constructing plants in densely populous and geologically unstable areas. Another area of reevaluation should be the so-called nuclear waste stream, which if properly recycled contains, almost magically, over 90 percent of the used energy in the form of plutonium and uranium. In addition there are in fact significant amounts of rare earth elements such as cerium, samarium, gadolinium, and europium that are all presently used in high-technology manufacturing.

Time is running out. The government must establish a national committee of scientific and industry experts and direct a complete and transparent evaluation of nuclear power generation in the United States. The somewhat fantastical notion that intermittent power generation by renewable technology can achieve the gigantic energy needs of our society and rescue us from global warming within a couple of decades is in my humble opinion dangerous mythology.

Lou de Holczer, Bronx, New York

* * *

BILL MCKIBBEN REPLIES:

A full discussion of nuclear power’s prospects would require another essay; in this case let me just say that when China’s nuclear buildout finishes, it is expected to supply roughly 6 percent of the country’s electricity from reactors. China is also in the process of deploying renewable energy at some of the fastest rates in the world, and one trusts that the electrons produced from the sun and wind will continue to prove nonmythological.

* * *

* * *

FROM USA TODAY

As many Americans watched the funeral services for President George H.W. Bush this week, Isa Leshko found herself tuning out the coverage. Things were missing. Recent events glossed over. It left her feeling sickened, she said.

Shortly after news broke of Bush’s death, Leshko, 47, an artist and activist, took to Twitter.

“Many members of the LGBTQ community, people of color, and women have a hard time praising Bush's memory today,” she wrote, launching a threaded series of tweets.

She touched on Bush’s handling of the AIDS crisis, his veto of the Civil Rights Act of 1990. Near the end of her thread, Leshko brought up a more recent controversy that she and other activists have found questionably absent from remembrances and discussions of Bush’s legacy: the groping allegations.

A little more than a year before his death, allegations emerged from eight women dating back to 1992. The details were similar: During a photo op with the former president, Bush touched or squeezed their butts without consent. Some of the women say he made a joke first.

Bush apologized last year through spokesman Jim McGrath, saying he “does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone distress, and he again apologizes to anyone he offended during a photo op."

With attention focused on other men who were still in office or high-powered jobs, involved in severe incidents, the allegations have received little mention since they first came to light in October 2017. USA TODAY, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press did not include the allegations in obituaries. Headlines praised his decency and character and called him a gentleman. Even in Twitter’s liberal bubbles, the topic has been cautiously broached.

usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2018/12/07/george-h-w-bush-why-were-not-talking-his-history-women/2228683002/

* * *

UPCOMING EVENTS HAPPENING AT THE UKIAH LIBRARY. In the next week, we have a visit from local author and former librarian Donna Kerr, as well as a Virtual Reality Day. www.mendolibrary.org

* * *

BROWN ADMINISTRATION WITHDRAWS KEY DOCUMENT NECESSARY FOR APPROVAL OF DELTA TUNNELS

From: Daniel Bacher

In a major setback for Delta Tunnels proponents, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today sent a letter to Randy Fiorini, chair of the Delta Stewardship Council, announcing the withdrawal of the Department’s “certification of consistency” for the California WaterFix.

The “certification of consistency” with the Delta Plan is required under the Delta Reform Act of 2009. In their controversial document, DWR claimed that the Delta Tunnels would be “consistent” with the Delta Plan’s “co-equal goals” of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem, but nine appellant groups challenged this contention.

“While DWR firmly believes the timing of filing the Certification of Consistency for WaterFix was appropriate based on the thorough record that had been prepared for the project and that this record more than adequately supports the findings that WaterFix is consistent with Delta Plan policies, DWR appreciates that there are unresolved issues related to interpretation of the requirements of the Delta Reform Act and Delta Plan policies,” wrote Karla Nemeth, DWR Director. “Therefore, DWR is hereby withdrawing the Certification of Consistency for California Water Fix that was filed on July 27, 2018.”

In one of the many conflicts of interest that appear to define California politics, Nemeth is married to Tom Philp, a former Sacramento Bee editorial writer who now works as a senior strategist for the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California. MWD is the largest member agency of the State Water Project that DWR oversees and is a key promoter of the Delta Tunnels.

Read the full letter here: DWR to DSC WaterFix Consistency Certification 12.7.18

After receiving the letter, Council Chair Randy Fiorini responded, "During the appeals process this fall, several of the parties expressed a willingness to work toward resolving issues that were raised. The withdrawal of its Certification of Consistency for the California WaterFix now provides the opportunity to fully engage.”

“It must be acknowledged that status quo conditions for conveyance in the Delta are unsustainable,” Fiorini added. “It is the responsibility of all stakeholders in and beyond the Delta to find workable solutions to improve statewide water supply reliability as well as protect and enhance the Delta ecosystem, all in a manner that protects the Delta as an evolving place.”

Following the action by DWR, the Council’s Executive Officer Jessica Pearson dismissed the appeals as “no longer raising issues before the Council,” thereby lifting the ex parte restrictions that had prohibited its members and staff from working with the parties outside of the Council’s appeals process.

“The Council has been clear in its Delta Plan that we must improve the way water is diverted from the Delta,” said Executive Officer Jessica Pearson. “We encourage the Department to re-engage with the Council in early consultation, and ask all stakeholders to commit to engaging productively to address the issues that were raised.”

This is a big victory for opponents of Governor Jerry Brown's Delta Tunnels project — and indicates that the future of the tunnels project will depend largely on what Governor Elect Gavin Newson intends to do once he takes over from Brown in January.

Newsom said he plans to continue the California WaterFix project, but would prefer to see a one tunnel option, according to an interview LA Times columnist George Skelton conducted with Newsom in October: www.latimes.com/

Delta advocates celebrated DWR’s withdrawal of the certification as a victory, but said the Delta is still imperiled by the deal between Governor Jerry Brown, President Donald Trump, Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to increase water deliveries to corporate agribusiness at the expense of West Coast fisheries, the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem and the public trust.

“This is a great day for the Delta Protection Act,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. “We are thrilled about DWR's withdrawal from the consistency determination process.”

“But the Delta is still in danger,” she noted. “There is this WIIN Act deal between Governor Brown, Senator Feinstein, the GOP Congress, and the Trump Administration. While Feinstein’s staff continues to say the tunnels are not on the table, we know they are.”

“Otherwise she would not be working with lame duck leadership, and instead would be getting ready to create a sustainable water plan for California with new her Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives in January. Today is a good day for the San Francisco Bay-Delta and California. But it's not over yet,” Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.

On November 8, the Delta Stewardship Council staff released a draft report finding that the California WaterFix is not consistent with the Delta Plan after considering the appeals filed by an array of organizations, Tribes and governments to the “certification of consistency” filed by the California Department of Water Resources.

“In light of claims raised by nine appellant groups, Council staff recommends that the Council conclude that substantial evidence does not exist in the record to support the Department's findings that California WaterFix is consistent with the Delta Plan. Staff further recommends that the Council remand the matter to the Department for reconsideration, pursuant to Water Code section 85225.25,” according to the report.

The release of the staff report was then followed by a Council workshop in Sacramento on November 15 during which Council Chair Randy Fiorini and Council Member Frank Damrell suggested that DWR withdraw their controversial document.

“Fundamentally, my takeaways so far after reviewing the record, listening to the testimony at the October hearings, and after today, I think the Department has filed its certification of consistency before it was ready to demonstrate consistency with the Delta Plan….. I would strongly encourage the Department to consider withdrawing the certification of consistency,” said Randy Fiorini, DSC Board Chair, at the end of the meeting.

The Delta Tunnels project would divert Sacramento River water from the North Delta through two giant tunnels to the South Delta to facilitate the export of Northern California water to corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California water agencies. For more information, read my comprehensive report on the Delta Stewardship Council’s actions: www.dailykos.com/…

Caleen Sisk, Chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, pointed out the connections between the Delta Tunnels, Sites Reservoir and the Shasta Dam raise that the WIIN Act facilitates.

“The Twin Tunnels, Sites Reservoir, and the Shasta Dam raise ‘are all 1 Brown WaterFix project’ to get the Water Mongers more water to sell back to the communities, towns and cities,” she stated.

If constructed, the tunnels project would destroy West Coast fisheries and hasten the extinction of Sacramento River spring and winter chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and green sturgeon. The two massive tunnels would also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers.

* * *

OLDER AMERICANS ARE FLOCKING TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Oils, tinctures and salves — and sometimes old-fashioned buds — are increasingly common in seniors’ homes. Doctors warn that popularity has outstripped scientific evidence.

nytimes.com/2018/12/07/health/seniors-marijuana-cannabis-pain.html

* * *

THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP, NIGEL

Dear Newsdesk,

News tip — I just wanted to let you know that I had a very vivid dream in 2016 where craters opened up on Madagascar, then Australia in about the region of Melbourne, Victoria, and then just off the east coast of Australia. Then a short while after I posted something about it on Facebook an asteroid did apparently explode above the ocean near Gladstone in Queensland (see attachment). It has now been revealed that the Benenitra meteorite impacted in a remote part of Madagascar on 27 July this year <https://www.space.com/42579-benenitra-meteorite-crashes-madagascar.html> the same day as the longest blood moon of the century <https://www.space.com/41007-blood-moon-2018-longest-lunar-eclipse-guide.html>. There is also another blood moon scheduled for 20 January 2019 on the second anniversary of president Donald Trump being sworn into office <https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1053774/blood-moon-eclipse-2019-lunar-eclipse-next-end-of-the-world-bible-prophecy-conspiracy>.

Following on from the 'Great American eclipse' of 2017 <https://www.space.com/41558-great-american-solar-eclipse-2017-memories.html> are all the signs suggesting that Australia is about to pay a high price for honouring some idolatrous cult of aboriginal worship in place of the God of our founding fathers? And does a national civil defence announcement need to be made?

Yours faithfully,

Nigel Morris

“The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes." 

— Book of Joel 2:31

* * *

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS runs through December 16th!

Gloriana Musical Theatre presents

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz. Directed by Kevin and Erin Green. When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but this proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to discover the real meaning of Christmas. Running at Eagles Hall from December 7 - 16 with performances at 7:30 p.m on Fridays and Saturdays and Sunday matinees beginning at 3 p.m. Admission is $16 for the general public, $14 for Seniors and $8 for youth (17 and under). Tickets available at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg, online at Gloriana.org and at the door.

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR

"PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) stands for parentheses first, then exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and then subtraction. With two or more operations in a single expression, PEMDAS tells you what to calculate first, second, third and so on. Let’s try it on these examples… [Sigh.] Yes, Mister Kaplan, what is it now?"

The recording of December 7's infamous 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-0310

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:

1) How the sushi making scene in Isle of Dogs was made.

2) Danemon's Monster Hunt. 1935 anime.

3) Tilt-shift Pyongyang.

4) And old magazines full of lovely ads for products that were built to last. What can you buy now that will still be good as new after even five years of hard use? I found an original ad for my Korean War era flying-saucer-shaped GE vacuum cleaner that Kay Rudin passed on to me in 1985, that has an indestructible hempbag that you just spill out into the trash when it's full and then put back in, that will still be enthusiastically sucking out birdcages and corners and under the couch while the sun turns red and expands to boil the oceans into space. And if you want to blow dust out of a computer or blow dry a sock or a glue projector, with a simple attachment, airbrush-paint a fender or a guitar or a sign stencil, you just pull the hose out and stick it in the other end. Hoovering there I chased the shouting winds along, and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air. Also, casual racism and sexism.

—Marco McClean

* * *

TO THE CITIES I CAME in a time of disorder

That was ruled by hunger.

I sheltered with the people in a time of uproar

And then I joined in their rebellion.

That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

I ate my dinners between the battles,

I lay down to sleep among the murderers,

I didn't care for much for love

And for nature's beauties I had little patience.

That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

The city streets all led to foul swamps in my time,

My speech betrayed me to the butchers.

I could do only little

But without me those that ruled could not sleep so easily:

That's what I hoped.

That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

Our forces were slight and small,

Our goal lay in the far distance

Clearly in our sights,

If for me myself beyond my reaching.

That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

II

You who will come to the surface

From the flood that's overwhelmed us and drowned us all

Must think, when you speak of our weakness in times of darkness

That you've not had to face:

Days when we were used to changing countries

More often than shoes,

Through the war of the classes despairing

That there was only injustice and no outrage.

Even so we realised

Hatred of oppression still distorts the features,

Anger at injustice still makes voices raised and ugly.

Oh we, who wished to lay for the foundations for peace and friendliness,

Could never be friendly ourselves.

And in the future when no longer

Do human beings still treat themselves as animals,

Look back on us with indulgence.

— Bertolt Brecht

14 Comments

  1. izzy December 9, 2018

    ID? Get real!

    Recently went into the Ukiah DMV to renew my CA license and get my so-called Real ID, bringing all required documentation. What a surprise to learn that my original birth certificate, which my mother handed over to me in adolescence – complete with embossed stamp and real signatures – and that has served me well throughout my long life for passports, driver’s licenses, and everything else, was suddenly deemed unacceptable in this instance. I was informed it would be necessary to obtain a certified copy from the state of New Jersey, as the original certified document I was holding was somehow not good enough. No accommodating supervisors to be found here. NJ was much speedier in supplying the expensive piece of paper, but I can’t avoid the suspicion this is all just a revenue generator for the various agencies involved, as well as a component of the Overall-Control program, and the multiplying symptoms of governmental dysfunction and desperation.

    • Harvey Reading December 9, 2018

      Real ID is a federal law, signed, by Bush 2. It is strongly supported by paranoid right-wingers and their think tanks, like the Heritage Foundation … of course! I was lucky … and persistent.

      I don’t know what will happen the next time I have to renew in person, but I will undoubtedly present the old document first! I will have the CA document with me, too, as backup. If the law remains the same, I will renew by mail next time, meaning it will be 8 years before I have to go in again. With any luck at all, I will be long dead by then … but one never knows. Actually, at the rate things are disintegrating worldwide, in eight years there may be no driver licenses, nor a human population that needs them.

      • Jim Armstrong December 9, 2018

        I managed to get my tattered old birth “registration” through, but, contrary to info from a phone call, my old drivers license was not adequate proof of address!
        If I couldn’t prove that, then I could just come back later and pay another $35.
        The guy wouldn’t make any suggestions but reluctantly admitted that my car registration would work! Only had to piss off another ten folks when I sort of elbowed back in line with it.
        It was also fun when the thumb print they took first wouldn’t match the one they took later causing much dithering and the first clerk to go to lunch.

        • Harvey Reading December 9, 2018

          In the small town where I live, there is no home mail delivery. The Postal Service provides residents with a free mail box at the town Post Office and will not deliver mail unless the box number is shown. So, I generally write down both addresses (e.g. 2261 Elm St. Box 666), especially when ordering items that might be shipped either through the Post Office or by common carrier.

          Also, here in WY, we pay vehicle registration fees to the County Treasurer. That office has both addresses but is aware that certain towns have only Postal Service mail boxes, so they print only the box address on vehicle registration forms sent to those locations. As a result, I would have been SOL if I found myself in your predicament …

  2. John Sakowicz December 9, 2018

    God Bless Gary Webb. God Bless Michael C. Ruppert.

  3. james marmon December 9, 2018

    I think the County should buy back the Orchard Avenue land and trash the contract with the Schaeders, put the construction,operations, and staffing out to competitive bid (RFP). The Schraeder Cabal has never faced any competition, not even for the 15 million dollar a year privatization ASO scam. We will never know if someone else could have been more effective and at a lower cost.

    I was please to see that Carmel Angelo is all in on the Adventist Health proposal. It makes an awful amount sense. Awful, as to Margie’s and Tom’s (aka “the father”) proposal.

    • james marmon December 9, 2018

      When the Board of Supervisor’s gave Camille the contract for operating the Orchard Ave facility, it was under the presumption that she would finance the purchase the land as well as all the construction for the facility.

      According to the video, she stood right up in front of the BoS and stated that her 5 million dollar grant money was a “for sure thing.” Unfortunately the grant fell through and the Schraeders were left on the hook for several million dollars owed to the bank for the purchase of that land. I think she is trying to wiggle out of that debt, by having the County assume that mortgage.

      An assumable mortgage is a type of financing arrangement in which an outstanding mortgage and its terms can be transferred from the current owner to a buyer. By assuming the previous owner’s remaining debt, the buyer can avoid having to obtain his or her own mortgage.

      James Marmon MSW
      Independent Thinker

  4. Harvey Reading December 9, 2018

    The $47 billion crop figure for the state seems incredibly high. Perhaps it originated from the liars at the CA Dept. of Finance. Both state and federal reporting of economic figures has become suspect over the last decade. Used to be a person could easily get accurate figures from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. No more …

    About $25 to $30 billion for ALL crops in CA seems more realistic.

  5. james marmon December 9, 2018

    RE: NEW ADVENTIST HOSPITALS VS. OLD ADVENTIST HOSPITAL

    New Adventist Health Hospitals:

    “…the committee discussed who would own the buildings or facilities, how would contracts be arranged, who would staff them, which funding could be used for which services and how that would be tracked, who would do the contracting, would the facilities have to comply with time-consuming “OSHPD” standards, would it be temporary or long-term, how long could patients stay at one location or the other before funding ran out or diagnoses changed, how would transfers be made from one facility to the other, etc. etc. etc.”

    Old Howard Memorial Hospital:

    Shouldn’t the same questions be asked about it?

    James Marmon MSW

    • james marmon December 9, 2018

      Adventist Health, St. Helena, just celebrated their thirtieth anniversary. I started placing Lake County 5150 clients in their Psychiatric facility 20 years ago. They know what they’re doing. Currently, according to the latest Mendocino County/RQMC report 80% of all Mendocino County’s 5150 clients are currently being placed at St. Helena or at their facility in Vallejo (children only). How many Psyche facilities has Allman, Camille Schraeder, or Margie Handley staffed and operated?

      Answer: none

    • Mark Scaramella December 9, 2018

      The $135k was mentioned briefly at the 11/26 Measure B meeting, but no particulars were provided.

      • james marmon December 9, 2018

        I would think that Margie has now disqualified herself from the bidding process as to proposing her shack in future planning, wouldn’t $135k donation to “mental health something” give her an unfair advantage in the process?

        James Marmon MSW

        • Lazarus December 9, 2018

          Thank you James; I’ve been trying to make that point for days. The media appears to be ignoring the obvious. By giving 135K to support mental health in this county they are attempting to buy their way in. This is no different than giving a public official money for his or her re-election campaign…and expecting favors if he or she wins, how freaking dumb do they think we are, but worse yet, how dumb or incompetent is the media concerning this issue? The money gifting is pertinent to the story…
          This is just another shameless example of how the proponents of Ole Howard are attempting to manipulate the people’s tax money in their favor.
          As always,
          Laz

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