- Harvest Plan
- Drunk Driving
- Hotel Signs
- Gardens Deduction
- FB Sunset
- B Punting
- Mitigate v Adapt
- Yesterday's Catch
- Phone Fun
- Holliday House
- Doublewide Bugatti
- Second Jesus
- Walked Away
- Marco Radio
- Stopping Loneliness
- Amos Oz
HARVEST MARKET MAKES DEAL WITH THE KOCH BROTHERS
City Must Sign On
by Rex Gressett
Fort Bragg’s Harvest Market flies the progressive banner proudly and loudly. Local producers, organic options and community charities are their signature and the foundation of their marketing effort. But Harvest Market has decided that community responsibility shouldn’t stand in the way of good old capitalist greed. Manipulation of the public process and behind the scenes influence with the city administration looks like a good bet to Harvest Market.
The progressive leader of food distribution in the county has bet heavily that they can influence the city council, discount the opinion of the people and slide through a building proposal that zoning does not yet allow.
Do they have a secret deal with the city? They just put their money on the line that they can throw the community under the bus and build a supermarket on the most valued and defining open space in the city without any approval of zoning. What are they betting on?
To prevent their cash going down the drain they are counting on approval of the as yet unapproved, highly controversial Local Coastal Plan.
The LCP is the grand scheme to massively develop the abandoned Fort Bragg mill site pushed heavily and almost exclusively by the megalomaniacal Fort Bragg Development Director Marie Jones.
Harvest Market smelled opportunity. In the LCP heavy industry is welcomed, light industry including the facilities for the construction of porta potties is on the immediate radar. But the LCP has never been discussed by the people of the city. Twenty years of strong community support for open space has been blithely discounted and ignored by the Development Director who, in a persistent one-woman demonstration of power and calculated in transparency, has pushed the creation of an unimaginative urban sprawl on the most valued and defining piece of real estate in California.
Harvest Market smells opportunity. But the deal is a long way from done. Development Director Jones initially proposed that 70% of the mill site be opened to a crazy quilt of incompatible zoning and that 30% would be left as open space. She knew that the overriding authority of the Coastal Commission would already absolutely mandate at least 30% percent as open space. When Ms. Jones took her grand vision to important state Coastal Commission staff, they reversed the numbers in a stunning rebuke to the Development Director allowing only 30% for development and requiring 70% open space. Ms. Jones never said a word to the City Council about the flip.
The City Council accepted Ms. Jones’s numbers too without understanding them or without feeling the need to remark. Like supine pawns of the power of the Development Director they simply eschewed any remark. No need to embarrass the Development Director and no need to add fuel to the fire of public awareness.
The City of Fort Bragg has been run like a dogsled by the high handed unsupervised administration of former City Manager Linda Ruffing’s crowd for 20 years. Raging financial misappropriations, out of control contract overruns from projects begun under the Ruffing administration are only now crawling out of the shadows.
But Marie Jones, Ruffing's Number Two, still controls all meaningful public policy. Council intervention is nonexistent.
Harvest Market smelled opportunity. The strong vital creative and vocal community support for a respectful, intelligent use of the mill site as a community resource has been an ongoing embarrassment to the Development Director. But she has not let it stop her.
The City Council has not taken it upon their part time selves to oppose the LCP, question the mass development, or discuss the matter in any substantive way.
Councilmen Bernie Norvell, Dave Turner, Lindy Peters and the rest of them have laid down for the Marie Jones superdevelopment and accepted a multiple choice survey that offered minor variations of urban ugliness as the only alternatives. They never demonstrated the integrity or intelligence to even question the spurious fake questionnaire.
Instead, they accepted the official Marie Jones line that the people of Fort Bragg had been “consulted.”
Harvest market smelled opportunity. The ineptitude and laziness of the City Council is a running joke in the city. We don’t pay the Council, except for a token and you generally get what you pay for. It has not mattered up to now. But it matters now.
In the absence of a responsible City Council willing to undertake a real discussion, the Harvest Market deal to anticipate zoning that has not been approved takes the deal off the desk of the City Council and hands it to the people. Corporate greed, disdain for open space and contempt for the community looked like a good bet to Harvest Market.
But the people can stop the outrageous idiotic LCP, either at the ballot box or with the new City Council. Harvest Market would lose their bet, hand in hand with the famous Koch brother who took their check and the Development Director who has run over community sensibilities like a bulldozer in close cooperation with a supine, uninterested, uninvolved and systematically inept City Council. Harvest Market has placed their bet on fooling the public and manipulating the system. It smelled like opportunity. Now It is up to us.
Boycott Harvest Market.
DON'T DO IT
It’s holiday party time. Despite numerous driving distractions, like cellphone usage, I must remind people to not drive drunk. My life changed after a drunken driver hit me when I was 16 in 1992.
I had a 100-day coma with several severe injuries. For seven months, I stayed in hospitals in Stockton and San Ramon and then had 17 months of therapy. My life is difficult daily. My speech isn’t clear, and my gait is abnormal. I also cannot drive, and my hearing is damaged.
An open bar is often a big perk of a holiday bash. Partygoers must read my words. You can be drunk if you aren’t slurring words. Driving skills are damaged before intoxication signs are seen.
Few know just exactly how many drinks equal “one too many.” Therefore, a driver who drank no alcohol must give drinkers a ride.
Driving drunk on roads like state Highway 12 can lead to an arrest, crash or death. You can never replace a person or the lifelong pain of injuries. Take it from one who knows.
FORT BRAGG PLANNERS TO DECIDE ON TWO ‘INFORMATIONAL’ SIGNS FOR GIANT HOTEL PROJECT
Here’s a link for more details on the project: wcplan.com/avalon
SUPPORT THE BOTANICAL GARDENS IN 2018
One very practical reason to consider donating to our non-profit organization is the tax deduction associated with donating. Your contribution to the Gardens is deductible in the year in which it is paid and there are just four days left to reap the benefits with your 2018 tax return. gardenbythesea.org
MEASURE B COMMITTEE PUNTS AGAIN
by Mark Scaramella
The Wednesday, December 19 meeting of the County’s Measure B Mental Health Facilities Advisory Committee featured frequent calls from the members for more research, formal “requests for information,” and other statements of ignorance (including CEO Carmel Angelo’s favorite equivalent remark, “I’m not certain…”).
Several members wanted more consideration of the primary recommendations of last summer’s Kemper report. Others wanted their own attorney on hand at meetings because at present they are required to go through the Board of Supervisors to obtain legal opinions, a cumbersome and time-consuming process.
This was odd because the last time the committee asked for a legal opinion — they wanted to know if the County had to comply with Willits city planning and building codes for a possible remodel of Old Howard Hospital — County Counsel Kit Elliott’s official legal opinion was, TA-DA: We have no opinion because no one has officially proposed anything for Willits. (We don’t know how much Ms. Elliott charged the Measure B committee for her opinion that she had no opinion.)
But Ms. Elliott’s dodging of the question made the already muddy question of whether to remodel Old Howard Hospital even more obscure and was Most Unhelpful indeed. Her opinion could have said, “If you were to choose to remodel Old Howard into a Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) you would (or would not) have to comply with Willits rules and you would (or would not) have to comply with California’s strict OSHPD (Office of State Health Planning and Development) hospital construction requirements.”
But no; Elliott’s non-opinion left influential Committee Vice Chair Dr. Ace Barash of Willits in the dark about how he wanted to proceed with Old Howard, wondering, especially, how long it might take to remodel Old Howard since OSHPD approval alone can take years.
Oblivious to her overall, much less Measure B, record of non-accomplishment, Elliott’s nearly hilarious record of having no opinion didn’t stop her from showing up at the meeting and offering her legal services to the Committee.
In the end, Committee member/County CEO Carmel Angelo concluded, “We will work on it.”
Sheriff Allman clearly thinks that Measure B was first and foremost meant to fund a PHF and he thinks that Old Howard in Willits is clearly the preferred site for it. But when Allman asked for some kind of motion on Old Howard from his ten other committee members, there was at first a frustrating silence. The silence was followed by statements about what they still didn’t know.
Staffing? We don’t know. Do we need design as well as construction? Or can we use the Margie Handley foundation’s earlier “free” proposal? We don’t know. What physical condition is the underlying Old (and we mean 90 years old) Howard structure in? Could there be rot? Cracks? Hidden damage? We don’t know. What should be first, PHF or crisis treatment? We don’t know. What’s the status of the stalled Orchard Avenue project in Ukiah? We don’t know. How do we blend Measure B activity and facilities with existing County Mental health services? We don’t know. Who would own the property or the building? We don’t know.
Several members said they still hadn’t even finished digesting all the recommendations in the highly praised Kemper report which prioritized crisis prevention, treatment and early intervention over after the fact incarceration.
Several members also said they didn’t want to rush into anything because, as member (and Behavioral Health Board Chair) Jan McGourty said, “Mendocino County has a reputation of not doing things right the first time.”
Dr. Barash said he favored a crisis facility in Ukiah Valley because OSHPD wouldn’t apply so it could be in place for a lot less money and sooner, especially if they keep it under nine beds. He also said that Old Howard, as large as it is, if it’s remodeled at all, should probably include crisis services on top of the PHF locked facility. But proceeding without answering the OSHPD question — Barash said he doubted Old Howard was OSHPD exempt — would take a long time.
Round and round they went until Sheriff Allman finally again asked for a motion on Old Howard.
Silence. No motion on Old Howard.
Next up: the Orchard Avenue crisis facility project which began a couple of years ago but was put in hold when some grant funding didn’t come through. After half an hour of similar mush, Dr. Barash finally made a motion along the lines he’d mentioned earlier: He moved to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that an RFP be released for design and construction of a crisis residential/treatment facility at the Orchard Avenue site that has been sitting undeveloped since it was bought. Now that Measure B money is available, Dr. Barash apparently wants to spend some of it on the Orchard Avenue project.
But no. That wouldn’t fly either. Who would prepare the RFP? The County? (CEO Angelo “wasn’t certain” the County could do it.) Mental Health Services contractor Redwood Community Services? (Maybe, but how? Would RCS prepare their own RFP? Then what?)
Finally, Sheriff Allman suggested that the Committee simply endorse whatever the County was doing at Orchard Avenue — and presumably provide the money that the grant would have brought in, perhaps $5 million or $6 million.
Dr. Barash said, Sure, ok, that’s my motion and everyone agreed to simply let the County and Camille Schrader’s private company mental health services company drive the bus to Orchard Avenue — with Measure B money. Interestingly, nobody had any questions about that option.
As the meeting wound down, nobody followed up on the Old Howard remodel questions. Nobody was assigned to answer any of the questions: Does OSHPD apply? What role would the City of Willits have? What’s the old building’s real condition? What kind of services should be housed there besides the locked PHF? How long would it take to complete?
Next year Sheriff Allman turns over the Measure B Chairmanship to Vice Chair Dr. Barash. Dr. Barash genuinly wants to proceed with crisis treatment and crisis residential services and some progress may be made there, questions or not. But that will be up to the County and Camille Schrader now that the Measure B committee has relinquished the project to the Board of Supervisors, County staff and Schrader’s Redwood Quality Management Company.
If Sheriff Allman wants to get the Measure B Committee to focus on remodeling Old Howard, it looks like he’s going to have to get the answers to the committee’s questions all by himself.
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
by James Kunstler
You had to love the narrative that the financial media put over about the 1000-plus point zoom in the Dow on Wednesday: that pension funds were “rebalancing” their portfolios. It dredged up the image of a drowning man at the bottom of the deep blue sea with an anchor in one hand and an anvil in the other, switching hands.
Thursday’s last minute 900-point turnaround was another marvelous stunt to behold. Somebody gave the drowned man a pair of swim fins to kick himself furiously to the surface for a gulp of air. The truth, of course, is that pension funds are sunk, however you balance their investment loads while they’re underwater. They over-bought stocks out of sheer desperation during ten years of near-ZIRP bond yields, and started rotating back into bonds as they crept above the ZIRP handle, and now with bond yields retreating, they’re loading up again on still-overpriced stocks that pretend to be “bargains.” Everybody knows that this will not end well for pension funds. Glug Glug.
The financial press and their red-headed step-siblings in the regular news media seem to think that getting rid of Mr. Trump will power the perpetual bull market into an Elon Musk nirvana of Martian vacations, hyperloops, and another chapter of US world domination — with Wonder Woman running the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spearheading an army of eunuchs.
The New York Times made yet another pitch for impeachment Friday in an editorial by the revered swamp fossil Elizabeth Drew, 83, who laid out everything but a credible case against the Golden Golem of Greatness. The newspaper makes itself more ridiculous each day in its furious gyno-narcissistic hysteria.
What The Times and its media compadres fail to notice is that the nation has entered an irreversible transition out of our familiar techno-industrial arrangements into the uncharted territory of deferred fantasies and real hard times.
Financialization of the economy was the last ploy to keep this boat floating. It allowed political and business leaders to pretend that asset-stripping the interior of the country — so that coastal moralizers could enjoy micro-green lunches and sex-change surgery — would promote the general welfare. The banking traumas of 2008 should have put an end to that gambit, but the players rotating between the DC Swamp and Wall Street only tripled down on that action — basically borrowing more and more from the future in the form of bonded debt that cannot possibly be repaid.
The true rebalancing of pension funds, and everything else in American life, will come with the recognition that we are tapped out and bumping up against actual limits. Alas, economies don’t de-grow, at least not in an orderly way. They reach a certain complete efflorescence and then they wilt, or collapse. Survival becomes a matter of how human beings adapt to new conditions. Attempts at mitigation — propping up the status quo — add up to a mug’s game, whether it’s stock markets, agri-biz, political parties, weather systems, or influence over people in distant lands.
The argument will come down to the Mitigationists versus the Adapters. The problem for the Mitigators is that most of what they can do is based on pretending: e.g., that some energy miracle is at hand… that we’ll soon be mining asteroids… that we’ll build dikes around Miami Beach… that Modern Monetary Theory (the “science” of getting something for nothing) can negate the physical laws of the universe. The Mitigationists will be disappointed as they “consume” their last images of iPhone porn, waiting for Elon Musk to save the world.
The Adapters will be out there working with the changes that reality serves up, probably with hand tools. There may be a lot fewer of them, living in a more austere everyday economy, but they will remain onstage when the Mitigationists depart this earth in tears for a mysterious realm that turns out not to be a golf course subdivision on Mars with a Tesla in every driveway. Something’s coming and the wild algo instability in the markets is yet another sign that anybody can read. Even if it quiets down for a few weeks in early 2019, as I think it may, the fireworks are only beginning. Which side are you on?
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec. 28, 2018
LAURA ADAMS, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.
MARK BEARDSLEE, Ukiah. Stolen property, suspended license (for DUI), resisting.
KENNETH HALL, Moreno Valley/Ukiah. Possession of deadly weapon by person in custody.
DAVID JOHNSON SR. Ukiah. Parole violation.
JOHN LOPEZ, Ukiah. Stolen property, leaded cane or similar, controlled substance, paraphernalia, contempt of court.
SERGIO RODRIGUEZ, Riverside/Willits. First degree robbery, criminal threats.
ALICE STRANG, Willits. Failure to appear.
MATTHEW ZWICKY, Ukiah. Stolen property.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
A few weeks ago I got a cell phone call, guy started shouting, telling me to stop calling him, he knows where I live, he’ll find me and so on. i didn’t know who he was, I rarely call anybody, and I certainly didn’t call his number. So I told him to f-k off and hung up.
About 10 minutes later the phone rang again, from a different number, and a chirpy voice on the other end asked me if I was ready to buy an electronic home security system, which would allay all fears and counter all threats. I told her I already have a system — 3 layers — shotgun, carbine, revolver. That ended the conversation.
A BIG PLACE OF MY OWN out in the country someplace where I could take care of stray dogs and orphan kids, kids that didn't ask to be born; kids that didn't ask to be black, blue or green or something in between. I'd only want to be sure of one thing — that nobody in the world wanted these kids…They'd have to be illegit, no mama, no papa.
— Billie Holliday
WHAT EUROPEANS TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT BREXIT:
I was in Brussels recently, taking my son to watch Anderlecht play, when I heard some English people in a café asking the waiter why no one liked the English. They were nice people asking a genuine question, but often it’s the wrong people who ask the right questions. The waiter replied, politely and in perfect English: ‘We can read your newspapers and watch your television; we hear what your politicians and your journalists say about us.’ That summed it up: all this time we Brits thought we were talking to ourselves, and we were, but everyone else was listening in. Belgians are not surprised by Brexit: it’s just the coagulation as policy of what’s been flowing as attitude for decades.
AS FOR THE “SOLITARY CONFINEMENT of the mind,” my theory is that solipsism, like other absurdities of the professional philosopher, is a product of too much time wasted in library stacks between the covers of a book, in smoke-filled coffeehouses (bad for brains) and conversation-clogged seminars. To refute the solipsist or the metaphysical idealist all that you have to do is take him out and throw a rock at his head: if he ducks he’s a liar. His logic may be airtight but his argument, far from revealing the delusions of living experience, only exposes the limitations of logic.
YEAR END SALE AT MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO
Everything must go! Principles, reputation, honor, hopes and dreams. Dignity, that's first to leave, according to that Zimmerman character, who should know.
All the year-end items: The list of things people got stuck so far up all the various bodily orifices that they couldn't get it out themselves and so presented in America's emergency rooms for help with. (Or the damage came from trying to get it out by themselves; that happens a lot, apparently, of whatever the tools of the person's trade or hobby are, which then unsurprisingly often also get stuck in there.)
The list of terrible idiotic crimes religious people did because they thought the Rapture of God was tomorrow, so now's their chance. Mostly fires from that.
Science firsts and notable science successes of 2018. Poetic historical parallels. Projections and predictions. And so on.
Anyway, Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio, 9pm Friday, Dec. 28 on KMEC-LP Ukiah and KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, live from 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar. The heater will be on the whole time in case you want to come by and show off in comfort. If you performed or crewed in MTC's Miracle I'll have your commemorative disk for you if you just wanta stop by and pick that up.
Deadline to email your writing to be read on the air tonight is a little after 6pm. If you're not done by then, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it next week. (Sure, there'll be a next week. I've been doing this show for more than 20 years; it's the end of the year, not the end of the world.)
And tell your friends about Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. Also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org
Some bonus tracks, for while you wait for tonight:
Why never to buy an inkjet printer.
The hair painters.
And Ursula Andress in The Mountain of the Cannibal God. (The trailer and the full film.)
—Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
‘SINGING STOPS STUTTERING. In Billie Holiday’s case, it stopped loneliness by making art out of the indigestible griefs that finally claimed her.’
AMOS OZ, ISRAELI LITERARY GIANT, DIES AT 79
The Israel Prize laureate, the author of 'A Tale of Love and Darkness,' promoted peace with the Palestinians and was one of the country's most widely translated writers
by Itamar Zohar
Amos Oz, a giant of Israeli letters for his works that explore human nature and the Israeli experience, died Friday at 79 from cancer, his daughter wrote on Twitter.
The Jerusalem-born author, an early proponent of a two-state solution with the Palestinians, spoke out countless times during Israeli military operations in Lebanon and Gaza, urging dialogue and restraint.
Oz, an Israel Prize laureate, was the author of dozens of Hebrew-language books including novels, novellas, short-story collections and essays, as well as around 500 pieces for Israeli and foreign periodicals.
His most famous works include the novels "Black Box" and "My Michael," as well as the nonfiction works "A Tale of Love and Darkness" and "In the Land of Israel."
Oz, born Amos Klausner to a right-wing family, received a raft of awards in Israel and abroad such as the Prix Femina and Ordre des Arts et Lettres in France, the Frankfurt Peace Prize and the Primo Levi Prize in Italy. He was also regularly touted as a favorite for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The memoir "A Tale of Love and Darkness," which was published in Hebrew in 2002, won the Goethe Prize. It is one of Israel’s best-selling prose books ever.
Among the figures appearing in the work is the poet Zelda, who was a neighbor of the Klausner family in Jerusalem and tutored the young Amos. Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman directed and starred in a film adaption of the book, released in 2015.
President Reuven Rivlin said the news of Oz’s death “bring us sadness” and called him “a literary giant.” Culture Minster Miri Regev added that “your works, which you’ve left in our hearts, will resonate all over the world.”
The 2016 English translation of Oz's last novel, “Judas,” was shortlisted for the International Man Booker Prize.
Oz was born in Jerusalem in 1939 and at 14, after the suicide of his mother, he moved to Kibbutz Hulda in the center of the country. As a young man he studied philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He began publishing his writings in 1961 at the age of 22; a year earlier he had married Nili Zuckerman, with whom he would have three children.
One of his daughters, historian Fania Oz-Salzberger, announced her father's death on Twitter, saying in Hebrew that he "has passed away … just now, after a rapid deterioration, in his sleep and at peace, surrounded by his loved ones." She thanked "all those who loved him."
Oz was also a visiting fellow at Oxford University, an author in residence at the Hebrew University and a writer in residence at Colorado College.
Before beginning his university studies, he spent three years in the army's Nahal Brigade, and returned to duty during the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It was after his army experiences that Oz embraced a dovish outlook, promoting dialogue and peace between Israel and the Arab states. He wrote extensively about Israel’s conflict with its Arab neighbors.
Many of Oz’s stories are centered around kibbutz life and explore his characters' relationships with the modern State of Israel. Both his fiction and nonfiction works examine human nature and present the land and people of Israel and the accompanying political subtleties.
In an interview in April this year, ahead of the publication of a German translation, Oz told German television: “I don’t know what the future holds for Jerusalem but I know what should happen. Every country in the world should follow President Trump and move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. At the same time, each one of those countries ought to open its own embassy in East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian people.”