- PG&E Investigation
- Police Reports
- Ed Notes
- Marley's Ghost
- Tree Down
- Responsive Reading
- Yesterday's Catch
- Audit Reporting
- Xmas Collision
- Drug Biz
- Snow March
- Random Drive
- Perfect Dictatorship
- Mexican Invasion
- Bethlehem Wall
- What It Is
- Christmas Imperfect
WHO PICKED PICKER TO PICKLE PG&E?
According to wire stories on Christmas Day, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has announced that they “will deeply investigate PG&E’s safety culture by examining the company’s current corporate governance, management and structure to determine the best path forward for Northern Californians to receive safe energy service. That includes possibly replacing the utility’s board of directors, breaking up the company into smaller parts or even converting it to a public agency.”
The person presiding over this “investigation” is CPUC Chairman Michael Picker who was quoted in an “announcement” (meaning he had time to think about what he was saying), “This process will be like repairing a jetliner while it’s in flight. Crashing a plane to make it safer isn’t good for the passengers.”
That’s gotta be one of the all-time dumbest analogies we’ve ever heard, and makes the entire “announcement” into a joke.
Picker looks like a Jerry Brown loyalist and Democratic Party hack. According to his bio on the CPUC website:
“Michael Picker was named President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on December 23, 2014, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., who first appointed President Picker as a Commissioner on January 29, 2014. Prior to his appointment, President Picker was Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy in the Office of the Governor from 2009 to 2014. He was a principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009, Deputy Treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999, Chief of Staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999, and Deputy Assistant for toxic substance control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982. He was a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors from 2012-2014. President Picker is a former lecturer at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and instructor at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policies Institute. He holds an MBA from UC Davis, specializing in marketing, social marketing, and nonprofit management.”
In another section of his CPUC bio page Mr. Picker makes the following brilliant observation about power poles:
“If the poles are too old or decrepit, not well maintained, or encroached upon by tree limbs or other vegetation, the electric lines they support can be an extreme hazard.”
Accordingly, after more time to consider his remarks, Mr. Picker boldly announced that the CPUC would “study” the problem. They took it so seriously that they held a “workshop”:
Apparently, they’ve been working on this utility pole problem for years with basically nothing to show for it. Which should tell you all you need to know about this latest, much more far-reaching “announcement” about PG&E’s future.
In other words, Mr. Picker has no business presiding over what to do about PG&E, much less how to reduce the utility giant’s safety risks.
Obviously, PG&E itself has no problem with endless studies and empty pronouncements from party hacks telling the San Jose Mercury news, “We’re open to a range of solutions that will help make the energy system safer for the customers we serve. PG&E’s most important responsibility must always be public and employee safety.”
PEACE, ANICA, PEACE
On Friday, December 21, 2018 at approximately 3:18 PM, Deputies were dispatched to the 18000 block of Ocean Dr., Fort Bragg, regarding an unwanted female who was causing a disturbance at a residence. When deputies arrived they located Anica Wetzler, 38, of Ukiah, walking from the residence.
Wetzler had a large item concealed under her arm, which was inspected, and was found to be a large fixed blade knife. Wetzler was taken into custody for possession of a concealed dirk or dagger, without incident. Deputies learned that Wetzler was presently out of custody on pre-trial release for a pending felony burglary case. As such, Wetzler was additionally charged with committing a felony while on pre-trial release for a pending felony matter. Wetzler was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of Carrying a Concealed Dirk or Dagger, and Commission of Felony While On Pre-Trial Release For Pending Felony. Her bail was set at $25,000.
On Friday, December 21, 2018 at approximately 12:45 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies on patrol observed Daniel Sanchez, 28, of Fort Bragg, riding as a passenger in a vehicle that was being driven in Fort Bragg.
Deputies were aware that Sanchez had been on County Parole and had absconded, causing a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge to issue a felony arrest warrant for his apprehension. Deputies lost sight of the vehicle and located it minutes later stopped in a motel parking lot. Sanchez was contacted in the vehicle and was taken into custody, without incident. Deputies conducted a search of Sanchez and the vehicle and located a saleable quantity of suspected methamphetamine and other items which are indicative of drug sales. The investigation also revealed that Sanchez had taken possession of 'found property', without making any attempts to return the property to the rightful owner. Sanchez was transported and booked into Mendocino County Jail for Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Misappropriation of Found Property, and Violation of County Parole. He remains confined without the eligibility of bail, due to his parole status.
AND HE STARVED HIS DOGS
On Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at approximately 1:53 PM, Deputies responded to the 400 block of South Street, in Fort Bragg, to serve an active arrest warrant on Luis Pineda, 26. pf Fort Bragg, which was issued by a Judge of the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Deputies were also aware that Pineda was presently on probation and he was also on pretrial release for a pending felony weapons case. Pineda was taken into custody without incident. During this contact with Pineda, Deputies noticed two dogs in Pineda's residence that appeared emaciated. Additional investigation into the care of the dogs revealed that both dogs belonged to Pineda and they had been deprived of food and water for a substantial length of time. The Deputies seized the dogs, fed and watered them, and they were ultimately transported to Animal Care for additional treatment and care. Based on this investigation, Pineda was charged with the listed offenses. Pineda was transported and booked into Mendocino County Jail for Cruelty to Animals, Violation of Probation,
Commission of a Felony While On Pre-Trial Release For Pending Felony and the Misdemeanor Arrest Warrant. His bail was set at $85,000.
JARRED all the way awake this Christmas morning by the Press Democrat's front page photo of Logo Tevaseu, the legendary Northcoast football player, and a still young man who graduated from Anderson Valley High School. The over-large booking photo was placed over the garbled story about Logo being found guilty of second degree murder for the drunk driving death of a young Sonoma State student named Paulette Quiba. Many of us in the Anderson Valley know Logo and are fond of him. We all hope he can somehow put this awful event behind him to resume the promising life he had enjoyed before November 5th, 2017. The tragedy occurred when Logo crossed a double-yellow line to pass vehicles on Lakeville Highway. His Dodge Ram pickup slammed head-on into a Toyota Corolla driven by the young woman, killing her and injuring five other people in the ensuing pile-up. Uninjured in the terrible collision, Logo was found by the CHP to have 0.22 percent blood alcohol level, almost three times the legal limit of 0.08. And this was his second DUI. He will be sentenced next month to a maximum term of 15 years-to-life in state prison. We hope the judge will impose a much less draconian penalty based on the totality of Logo Tevaseu's non-criminal life. It's clear to everyone who knows him that his remorse is deep and, given that he caused the death of a promising young woman, unending.
THE UKIAH BOWLING ALLEY is hanging on with a month-to-month lease. An important institution to many Mendo people beyond its host community of Ukiah, its loss will be felt far and wide. A recurrent rumor says the bowling alley will be razed for a big box store called Target.
IF A TREE FALLS IN THE THE FOREST….
Monday night around 11:30 pm, my son in law was on Highway 128 about 3 miles from Highway 1 when he turned a sharp curve and almost ran into a redwood tree fallen across the road. He turned back and took Flynn Creek, flashing his headlights to warn other cars speeding towards the tree. Any reports from others. We reported it. Thanks and Merry Christmas morning, to all and happy holidays to all as well.
— Ann Kyle Brown
Albion River Fire department volunteers responded to clear and make-safe. THANK YOU local heroes, for responding to this Mother-nature emergency in the middle of the night, 12/25/18.
— Kathy Wylie
BEST JOKE OF THE YEAR AWARD from the Essential Public Information Center, Upper Lake, CA
CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec. 25, 2018
SCOTT ANDERSON, Willits. More than six pot plants, armed with firearm in commission or attempt of/at felony.
JADE BENNETT, Fort Bragg. Probation violation.
DAVID CLEM, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
JAMES DODD JR., Willits. Probation revocation.
ADRIAN GARCIA, Redwood Valley. DUI.
CHARLES GIELOW III, Willits. Probation revocation.
SAMUEL GREENBLATT, Fort Bragg. DUI-drugs&alcohol.
RYAN GRIMM, Potter Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
ALEJANDRO GUADARRAMA, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Paraphernalia, resisting, parole violation.
JOSEPH HOAGLEN, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats, prison prior, sentencing for mandatory supervision.
TIMOTHY MARSH, Ukiah. Controlled substance, smoking/injecting device, burglary tools, tear gas.
GUILLERMO MENDOZA-GONZALEZ, Talmage. DUI.
MIGUEL PLASCENCIA-BARAJAS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
JORGE RANGEL, Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance, failure to appear.
THOMAS ROBISON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
YANETH SANDOVAL-REYES, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.
RIGOBERTO SIERRA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KIAUNA VOGUS, Willits. Domestic battery.
CAN'T FOLLOW THE MONEY
The Pentagon has failed its first audit. The audit revealed an arresting display of fiscal incompetence and jaw-dropping discrepancies. In a recent piece for the Nation, David Lindorff wrote, “As things stand, no one knows for sure how the biggest single-line item in the US federal budget is actually being spent.”
There is minimal public outrage. Why? A sickening lack of coverage. There are billions of dollars being siloed, misrepresented, lost, etc. in an organization that receives the majority of taxpayers’ money. The Pentagon continues to operate with a blatant disregard of fiscal responsibility and fidelity to the citizens of the United States, while other agencies and organizations are threadbare and underfunded — the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Social Security and Medicare to name a few.
Why is there no continuing coverage? It is the responsibility of news agencies to shed light on the injustices of the world. It is simply not right to allow a department such as the Department of Defense to continue misappropriating, misrepresenting and flipping funds in such ways that the Government Accounting Office cannot successfully complete a substantive audit. Something has to change. It starts with proper reporting.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I hear it is still possible to call businesses in China and order bulk Fentanyl powder, which they will ship to anyone with no questions asked. Assuming it is not among the 5% of packages that get even a cursory glance, you too can have the chance to poison and kill thousands of people you don’t know, and maybe some that you do.
OTOH, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone have a secondary effect on the MDMA receptors in the brain that makes you feel pain more intensely when they wear off – It's just as if they were designed to get people addicted to them….
THROWN THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD
Cars, cars, cars, the long highway
in SoCal, land of firestorms,
bunkers of fast food, motels
for fast fucks, overdoses,
suicides, billboard gospels,
malls and logos, passing peeks
at Missions ringed with roses.
region even so, and so
adults behind the wheels bark
at kids to put down gadgets
and see the snowy mountain
there, and there the sunny surf—
gone, gone by the next exits.
That would be the scenic route.
All the windows are sealed up
for climate control, so cool
in this metal bubble, each
window a silver screen, and
the movie keeps moving on,
junkyards, oleanders, sand.
Then there is the math of death,
because some get home alive
and some don’t. A collision
is always going to happen,
better we’re lucky enough
to rubberneck that scene, gone
by the next exit and brunch.
If we’re thrown through the windshield,
the scene changes, the whole script
changes. So let’s take that trip,
launched into wild blue yonder,
oh big sky of the west, oh
Zen moment all too human
and the world turned upside down.
Maybe there’s a soft landing
in a citrus grove, only
a few broken bones, the fight
to catch your breath. Maybe not,
and emailed memorials
a few hours later. Random,
as we often say just now.
This highway is a dead end.
There has to be some other
way to get from here to there.
What is that if not a god
forsaken kind of kindness
just possible if we make
it so? No more than a prayer.
— Thomas Tucker
WE’VE GOTTA SECURE OUR BORDERS! [NOT!]
When I was a kid, we had various stereotypical views of our neighbors to the south. Speedy Gonzales was fast with the ladies. Pedro’s favorite word was mañana. That’s when you get everything done – tomorrow. José was always to be found snoozing under his giant sombrero, feet crossed at the ankles so you could see the scarred, grubby well-worn soles of his sleeping feet.
At thirteen I walked across the Rio Grande bridge from El Paso (USA) to Juarez (Mexico). It was summer, and the water was just waist deep on the boys in the river. It was muddy and opaque. The Mexican boys had big funnels they’d made of paper or cardboard, mounted on sticks like broomsticks. People crossing the bridge threw coins over the side. The boys would catch the coins in their funnels, but if you were playful enough to toss your coin just out of reach of the nearest kid, he’d immerse himself in the muddy water – probably not just mud – and come up with it in his triumphant fingers. Juarez’s streets were largely dirt. Everything had a frontier roughness about it. It seemed we were on a movie set.
Imagine our surprise as more and more U.S. citizens left the farms for the cities and Mexicans filled in as agricultural labor, and we discovered that Speedy, Pedro and José flat worked their buns off – for practically nothing. They outworked everybody. Who knew?
When I was thirteen there was a labor shortage in the U.S., and the Mexicans quickly became indispensable, papers or no. We weren’t too fussy about green cards and all that. That was still some time in the future.
We began to try some of the food they cooked. It tasted good.
THAT was the “invasion” then – poor, mostly illiterate Mexicans, willing to be exploited because our shitty pay was still more than they could make at home. They lived here minimally in unfit "housing," and they were cheated in every way their gringo employers could devise, sending most of the pittance they earned home to their families, where a yankee dollar was good as gold.
I don’t remember people talking about “border security.” The biggest problem was when a Mexican boy would look at your daughter, even sometimes actually speak to a white girl. It’s a good thing they were merely tan instead of brown or black. There wouldn’t have been enough trees in many of those desert places to hang all the disrespectful, licentious beaners. Instead, we beat and jailed them. We reminded them often and forcefully that they were here at our pleasure, and they shouldn’t get too used to it.
How times change! Little did we know that those Meskins were the stealthy first wave of what would become practically an invasion like the White Walkers in “Game of Thrones.” They would get us all hooked on marijuana, cocaine and opioids, deflower our white girls at every opportunity and fill the air with their rackety music. Little did we know that we’d need a Department of Homeland Security to protect ourselves against all these ’skins and they’d drag other Central American lazy ragtag ne’er-do-well neighbors with them.
IS THIS BEGINNING TO SOUND SILLY? DID YOU NOTICE THAT MY TONGUE WAS IN MY CHEEK? These stereotypes were widespread when I was thirteen – and twenty-three and thirty-three – and now they have new life, a rich injection of murderers, thieves and deadly gang members. We damn well better secure our borders. No wall is high enough. No border patrol can be expected to handle this inrush of rough customers. We need a border ARMY! Mattis just didn’t get it.
AT THEIR SCARIEST, THE MEXICANS OF MY BOYHOOD DID NOT PRODUCE NIGHTMARES OF ENTIRE DEFORMED POPULATIONS SWARMING OVER THE BORDER TO DEFILE OUR VIRTUE AND STEAL OUR SHIT.
When did this mortal danger at our southern border arise? How does it work? How big a mass of invaders are we talking about? What will we do if they elude our best efforts to quell their intrusion?
How long will the media and the American people keep on honoring Trumpspeak, allowing his crude, negative BS to dominate the conversation (“They’re not sending us their best people!”)?
I’ve worked beside Mexicans, friends have worked beside Mexicans. They do, in fact, cause some sense of inadequacy: I couldn’t keep up, try as I may. If our Mexicans, newly arrived, illegal, legal, several generations resident, unskilled laborers, skilled ones, professionals, professors – if we could tap our heels together and all these aliens suddenly disappeared, it would be exactly the same as if somebody just turned off the juice in the U.S.
San Diego and Tijuana are not winterless places. Lovely weather is common during the winter months; so is rainy, nasty, chilly weather. The thousands at our border did not walk a couple thousand miles to make a rhetorical point. Our centuries-long abuse, exploitation, intimidation and support of evil men to do our bidding have made much of Central America uninhabitable except by the desperate men and boys who own the streets. The people at our border humbly and helplessly beg for shelter at this start of winter. Our collective choice seems to be to let them die there. Did I get that right? Is this us?
I WRITE FICTION and I'm told it's autobiography. I write autobiography and I'm told it's fiction. So, since I'm so dim and they're so smart, let them decide what it is. Or isn't.— Philip Roth