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AN UPPER DISTURBANCE will approach the area today, bringing an increase in shower activity. A cold storm system will drop south along the coast on Monday, bringing much lower snow levels, more showers, and the potential for small hail. Drier weather will return by Tuesday, with more rain and snow expected by the end of the coming week. (National Weather Service)
by Mark Scaramella
Next Tuesday, the Measure B Committee rep (perhaps Sheriff Allman, perhaps newly appointed Committee Chair Dr. Ace Barash) will present a summary of the Measure B committee’s recommendations from their January 23 meeting.
The recommendations are, essentially, to follow the advice of the Kemper report, which prioritizes “crisis” services over a Psychiatric Health Facility. The crisis services now being provided by Camille Schraeder and her team via her public/private Redwood Community Services) are expected to be headquartered at the Orchard Avenue parcel where RCS got $380,000 in grant money from the County to purchase the land and build a residential treatment center, with another, larger grant that the County was applying for to get it all done. But that second, larger, grant never came through, and the Orchard Avenue Crisis Center has been on hold pending money to build it.
Enter Measure B and its accumulating sales-tax millions. Add Kemper with his priority on Crisis Services and mix in the Measure B committee and its majority support for Crisis Services, only available via Camille Schraeder's Redwood Community Services (RCS).
But how to proceed with the design and construction of the crisis facility on the empty Orchard Avenue parcel?
Enter local industrialist Ross Liberty, former Supervisor Dan Hamburg’s libertarian appointment to the Measure B committee. (Liberty is also being spoken of as a candidate to replace 1st District Supervisor Carre Brown when she retires at the end of 2020.) Liberty owns an exhaust pipe manufacturing operation on a corner of the old Masonite property north of Ukiah, which Liberty and some investors bought at a garage sale price a few years ago in hopes of developing it, which they are slowly doing.
Liberty: "Probably the odds-on favorite for being the operator [of the proposed Mental Health Crisis Facility in Ukiah] is RCS (Redwood Community Services) and RCS owns the design… And, full disclosure, we talked a little bit about this. They own the design. I think that the kind of odds-on favorite for being the operator [RCS] has a recommended design and that should probably be something we want to look at. But they own the actual property and so we would have to ask that that be available and as part of using that to go out for a biddable design. If we're going to use that [RCS property] we can't do that without their blessing, so we understand that. I am not an intellectual property attorney but I'm pretty sure that you guys [RCS] own the intellectual property and actually, Mark [Mertle, another Measure B committee member], you have an understanding of that, right? They have a design, they have a rough design and that could not be available —"
Mark Mertle (Owner of Fort Bragg Electrical): “It's not ours it’s theirs.”
Liberty: “Right. So if we were to advertise with that design we would probably have to get your [RCS’s] permission to use it.”
Mertle: “I don't think we need the design. We can say we want this many square feet with this type of rooms and this type of — and they can detail that out that this is what we want, how much to design and build it? I don't know who's going to do that, but – [laughs].”
Liberty: “That's the problem, based on the starter design. We are going to go out for a biddable design and also beware that if we ask for a biddable design it is going to cost close to $1 million for the design itself for them, the paperwork.”
RCS doesn’t seem as interested in their “intellectual property” as Mr. Liberty does.
Dan Anderson, Chief Operations Officer, Redwood Community Services: “I appreciate the complexity and difficulty of this. I empathize and I am grateful for you guys trying to figure this out. I just want to respond to a comment that Ross said about intellectual property and the work that RCS has put into this. Our priority is to get the service out to our community and our clients. We have invested a lot of money in this. (RCS money is public money, a fact that can't be repeated often or emphatically enough.) It's what we do. And I don't think we have a problem in supporting or sharing the work that we've done on the design and integrating that. I just want the commission [Measure B committee] to know that. And as far as the Orchard Avenue property goes, we put the grant together with the county. So we would not have a problem with saying, Take the property back and let's do this together. One of the good things that happened in the last few years is the level of partnering and the level of public and private involved in RCS. We will work it out. We will work together and do whatever needs to be done here to bring this service to our community. That's what's important, not who gets what.”
I am not an intellectual property attorney either. But I’m pretty sure that if somebody buys something with government money for a government purpose and then spends other government money to develop it, then the government owns the rights to that “property.”
But that doesn’t matter to “odds-on favorite” RCS since it’s starting to look more and more like the Measure B money is going to go to Mendo’s cozy Mental Health partner RCS to build and operate a crisis facility in Ukiah. Sheriff Allman’s dream of converting the Old Howard Hospital in Willits in a newer version of the County’s old PHF on Bush Street, Ukiah, will have to take a back seat to RCS and its well-oiled, growing list of supporters on the Measure B committee. (Not to mention County CEO Angelo and a rubber-stamp board of supervisors.)
Nobody knows how much converting the old Howard Hospital into a PHF will cost (nobody has asked for an independent estimate), but by the time RCS and the crisis facility is up and running, there probably won’t be much left for a PHF, the in-county psych unit that Mendocino County voters thought they would get when they passed Measure B. It's all headed to some kind of multi-purpose service facility overseen by the public/private enterprise owned by Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder.
All the irrelevant chatter about the design of the Orchard Street property being the "intellectual property" of the Schraeders, aka RCS, is wacky in the extreme. As Mr. Mertle of the Measure B oversight committee pointed out, the basic industrial box design characteristic of government buildings is hardly an "intellectual property" but more like a child's Lego project — add however many rooms on to the basic box as needed. And there's no reason that a half-dozen to a dozen little boxes — cells to house the deranged — while these doomed souls wait for the quack, er, psychiatrist/pill dispenser, to adjust their meds, typically a zombo-izing process to make the difficult "manageable." (Please see the writing of Dr. Peter Breggin and maybe have another look at One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.)
Cutting through the usual Mendo blah-blah, when Sheriff Allman was beating the drums for Measure B he made it clear what many of us already knew — there is an increasing number of crazy people on the street and in their homes, whatever those might be.
Presently Currently, Mendocino County ships its insane to out of county facilities that charge upwards of $800 a day to make them docile enough to return to Mendocino County. We can do that here, closer to everyone’s home, hence Measure B.
In the present Mendo context of a secretive, privatized, unaccountable mental health apparatus that we find in RCS, we think it is crucial that the Sheriff and the Measure B committee not cede authority for an in-county mental health facility to Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder.
MICHAEL TURNER COMMENTS:
Interesting to see how much money was spent on telepsychiatry. Why? I’m a couple of years past retirement, but in my time the few psychiatrists in the area only saw patients with great insurance or cash. This excluded the bulk of the patients in this area, obviously, who were in crisis. Emergency room doctors as you know became de facto psychiatrists. Patients discharged from the ER needed follow up and that’s where this telepsychiatry thing comes in. In my experience it was pretty tough to get a psyche patient to schedule an appointment with… nobody there. But I guess enough did that these telepsychiatrists had a lot of billable hours. Doubt there are any studies showing efficacy yay or nay for telepsychatry. The real problem for me was the cherry-picking done by the practicing psychiatrists in the area, they weren’t really part of the local medical community, nor, in my mind, part of the larger community at all. (Other than those who came and went from MCHC). I could name names but you can just look up the psychiatrists in private practice in the yellow pages. Happy to admit I’m wrong but I doubt we haven’t heard much from them in all the public discussions about the community’s mental health crisis.
ED REPLY: The entire Team Schraeder enterprise should be carefully audited by the feds. Off the top, it seems to me that Mendo is not getting the services $20-plus annual million theoretically pays for. The telepsychiatry, or “doc in a box,” is a total rip and should be separately investigated as the obvious scam it is.
BOB DEMPEL WRITES: "I was saddened to read your first paragraph on Valley People telling us of the death of Eva Pardini-Holcomb. As I have previously mentioned in your paper Eva was the prettiest girl in Anderson Valley. We maintained our friendship through showing sheep at the fairs, 4-H summer camp, and later in life when husband Bill was on the Boonville Fair Board and I was on the Ukiah Fair board. One of the cherished photos I lost in the October 2017 fire was a picture of the four of us at the Western Fair Convention. Dear friend for 70 years."
NEAR WARD AVE., Fort Bragg
UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK
Cat people! Come to the Shelter and spend some time with Oscar. He loves to meet new folks, and roll over for belly scratches. Oscar is a 6 year old, neutered male, long hair tabby cat. Oscar is a mellow cat, perfectly content to nap the day away or hang out on the couch with his guardian: cool nights with a very cool cat.
Halle found herself at the shelter as a stray dog. She's friendly with people and she’s a talker! During her evaluation, Halle was not particularly interested in toys, but we noticed that she's had some training--she knows SIT and DOWN. This good looking girl is easy to handle and likes getting affection. She's food-motivated, which always helps training. Halle is a German Shepherd Dog, 3 years old and 67 pounds. She’s spayed, and ready to roll on home with you ASAP! Read more about Halle on her webpage at http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com/dogblog/halle-IOz4b
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit us online at: http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN—the Anderson Valley Grange’s 28th annual Variety Show is on Friday March 8th and Saturday March 9th, (these are the actual dates for 2019, not the bogus bit we put out last week) at the Anderson Valley Grange. We need YOU and your acts onstage! Please contact Captain Rainbow at 895-3807, or Robyn at 272-2127 (you can text her, too) if you have a talent, skill, animal, joke, or anything else you'd like to put onstage for all of us to enjoy.
We'll discuss what you need for rehearsals and for the night of the show. We have professional calibre lights and sound, and the kindest, most enthusiastic and forgiving audience found anywhere in the world. This is your big chance to show us what you've got! Our rehearsals will be the weekend before the show, and we can give you all of the details when you call. Don't be shy, we really do want to see any zany thing you've got in mind.
TRAVELING wasn't very easy in Mendocino County in the early 1900s. Can you imagine traveling by wagon or horseback on long mountainous dirt roads? Art Lemos, who grew up in the town of Mendocino during the 1910s, describes it like this, “There was only one way over here in those days. That would be coming over through Orr Springs Road. That was a long, slow and tortuous ride to come over the mountain on the road. It was very, very, slow.”
—Mendocino County Remembered: An Oral History Vol. I
THE ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE: To get a better idea of what The Anderson Valley Village is trying to build, check out this video. We are officially beginning to take in members at our next gathering, Feb 10th at Lauren's 3:30 to 5.
FLYNN, the update. AVA writer Flynn Washburne has been removed from the county jail and placed in yet another rehab program, this one in Lake County, where he must remain for three months. He says he's finally learned his lesson and expects to be clean upon completing the Lake County program. (Lake County isn’t the first place we’d think of as a meth rehab location, but we’ll defer to the parole officer.) Flynn’s damaged Explorer and whatever belongings were in it are at a tow yard in Sonoma County where charges are accumulating, making it difficult for persons of little means to retrieve them and impossible for a person of no means. Flynn hocked his laptop computer prior to crashing his transportation. Meanwhile, he said, he’ll go back to writing long-hand and sending in copy the old fashioned way.
POINT ARENA POT DISPENSARY CALLS IT QUITS
An article in the February 1 Independent Coast Observer by reporter W.W. Keller "explores changes in the cannabis economy of the Emerald triangle." Mr. Keller reports that a former Point Arena marijuana dispensary owner named Nate Boucher said that the county required him to have a costly security guard at his “Green Room” dispensary in Point Arena, which along with other onerous requirements caused him to sell the dispensary to a large Oakland-based marijuana retailer last spring. "Our local bank doesn't have a security guard, why do I need one? It's preposterous," said Boucher. "Most other dispensaries don't have a guard because it's too expensive. But I wanted to run my business according to the letter of the law." Boucher said that he also had to destroy much of existing marijuana inventory that was not tested by the state and that he was required to implement a point-of-sale system that was expensive. Keller also reported that IRS code prohibits cannabis businesses from deducting ordinary business expenses even in states where cannabis is legal causing marijuana sellers to pay much higher business income tax. "Boucher is nevertheless still a booster for legal cannabis," says Keller who then wraps up by pointing out how much money can be made via black market marijuana sold out of state which does not have to comply with the many local and state restrictions on “legal” marijuana business.
LACKING the hard stats, we can't definitely say how many people arrested in Mendocino County are from Mendocino County. We suspect, though, a good number are from somewhere else, perhaps drawn here by the Northcoast's infamous rep as a welcoming drug area. Take this guy, for instance, Mr. Hornlein, age 37, with arrests going back years in his home state of Tennessee before he moved west to sunny San Joaquin. In Tennessee, Heinlein racked up an impressive seven felony arrests, and the same number in San Joaquin, mostly for burglaries, drugs, car theft — drug-related stuff. And now here he is in Fort Bragg for arrest number one — with six to go?
On January 30, 2019 at approximately 11:18 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies observed and contacted suspect Terry Counterman, 50 of Fort Bragg in the 18500 block of North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg.
Prior to contacting Counterman, Deputies developed information Counterman was in recent contact with suspect Garrick Hornlein, 36, of Fort Bragg. Deputies were actively searching for Hornlein who had an active felony arrest warrant for burglary issued out of the Tracy Police Department. Hornlein also fled from Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies twice over the last month and evaded capture. Hornlein was also a person of interest in several theft related investigations that occurred in the Fort Bragg area. During their contact with Counterman, Deputies developed probable cause to arrest him after observing evidence in his possession that showed he was actively aiding Hornlein with the intent to assist him in avoiding or escaping arrest. Deputies subsequently arrested Counterman and he was ultimately transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for Aiding or Abeting a Principal of Felony and held in lieu of bail set at $15,000.
On January 31, 2019 at approximately 2:40 a.m., Deputies and officers with the Fort Bragg Police Department responded to a residence in the 600 block of North Harrison Street in Fort Bragg after receiving information that Hornlein was at the location. After arriving they made contact with Hornlein and arrested him without incident. After his arrest, Hornlein was found in possession of a glass methamphetamine pipe. Hornlein was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on the out of county no bail warrant and an open charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
OSCAR WILDE, I think, said that the most frightening words in the English language are, "Last night I had this dream…" Last night I had a dream that at Super Bowl half-time the starting quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Jared Goff, shoved the Mogambo Girls off stage and announced, "We want all you young people of child bearing age to immediately refuse to vaccinate your children. Our government, in league with the pharmaceutical industry, are trying to kill your babies!" Monday morning, riots commenced at medical centers throughout the United States.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, "the dirigible of drivel" in Alexander Cockburn's apt description, made the national news last week when he said that the political right is “scared to death of Kamala Harris.” They probably are given that they tend to be 'fraidy cats anyway, with all kinds of goblins coming at them from all directions and the government intent on disarming them. Maybe the biggest diff between normal people and the 'fraidy-cat political right is the same as the basic distinction between the paranoid insane and everyone else — the paranoid can't distinguish between possibilities and probabilities.
A RECENT CARTOON from the New Yorker is representative of that mag's political assumptions. The drawing shows a composite Frankenstein being assembled by Democrats.
The caption: “They want Biden’s working-class appeal, Sanders’s populist fervor, Beto’s youthful charisma, Warren’s fierce progressivism, Klobuchar’s calm moderation, Harris’s toughness, Brown’s everyman image, Booker’s media savvy, Gillibrand’s feminist credentials…”
BIDEN'S WHAT? Any poll of working people is unlikely to confirm this assumption, one manufactured by wishful corporate libs of the Clinton type, a do-over of the Biden reality. And note here the missing liberal who really is a liberal — Tulsi Gabbard, but a liberal who has dared criticize Israel, meaning a candidate with zero chance of national election.
SHAMROCKS AND SALSA
Hey Everyone, exciting news! Jerry Cox's memoir, SHAMROCKS AND SALSA is now published and waiting for you to read it. You can order it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble Online, the Apple Store and Xulon Press. A year and one week after his death it's ready. It was a labor of love that took him longer than he had anticipated to write, and took me longer than anticipated to finish and publish it. He would be (is) so pleased with the way it turned out and I think you will love reading it. You will feel like he is in the room talking with you and some of you will recall when he first told you "that story."
WE are going to have an event in Anderson Valley at Lauren's Restaurant in Boonville that will be part memorial, part book reading on St. Patrick's Day at 3:30. I would also like to arrange an event in the East Bay for family and friends in the Bay Area but haven't got a date for that yet. In the meantime, buy the book. I was told it would sell for $21 but I looked it up on Amazon this afternoon and you could get it for $9. So rush to your computers and order it.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 2, 2019
TAI ABREU, Fort Bragg. Murder.
BRIAN ANDERSON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ROYAL ANDERSON JR., Willits. Trespassing.
JUSTIN BANE, Ukiah. Controlled substance where prisoners are kept, prior strike.
DEBRA BAUER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
DEBORAH CLOUD, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
RICHARD DEHARO, Riverside/Ukiah. Controlled substance where prisoners are kept, prior strike, prison prior.
DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
RANDALL GENSAW, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
DAVID GIUSTI, UKIAH. Petty theft retail/shoplifting, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
PEDRO GUZMAN-MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Battery, criminal threats, conspiracy.
ALEJANDRO HERNANDEZ, Willits. DUI.
HILARIO HERNANDEZ-MEDINA, Willits. Unahthorized entry into dwelling without owner consent, probation revocation.
GARRICK HORNLEIN, Fort Bragg. Burglary, paraphernalia.
WENDY JOAQUIN, Covelo. Ammo possession by prohibited person, controlled substance, paraphernalia, over an ounce of pot, probation revocation.
MICHAEL LANGLEY, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MICHAEL LOCKETT SR., Laytonville. Controlled substance for sale, disobeying court order, evidence tampering, failure to appear, probation revocation.
SCOTT MAINGI, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.
MIGUEL NAVA-SANDOVAL, Ukiah. DUI.
GABRIEL SCHOONMAKER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
CONSIDER TWO SMALL EXPERIENCES I had upon arriving at a hotel in downtown Austin, Texas. When I checked in, the clerk needed to record my details, naturally enough, and asked for my home address. Our house doesn't have a street number, just a name, and I have found in the past that this is more deviance than an American computer can cope with, so I gave our London address. The girl typed in the building number and street name, then said, "City?"
I replied: "London."
"Can you spell that, please?"
I looked at her, and saw that she wasn't joking. "L - O - N - D - O - N," I said.
"Can you spell that?"
I spelled England.
She typed for a moment, and said, "The computer won't accept 'England.' Is that a real country?"
I assured her it was. "Try, Britain," I suggested.
I spelled that, too — twice (we got the wrong number of Ts the first time) — and the computer wouldn't take that, either. So I suggested Great Britain, then United Kingdom, UK and GB, but those were all rejected, too. I couldn't think of anything else to suggest.
"It'll take France," the girl said, after a minute.
"I beg your pardon?"
"You can put down 'London, France.' "
"Well, why not?"
So she typed "London, France," and the system was happy. I finished the check-in process and went with my bag and plastic room key to a bank of elevators a few paces away. When the elevator arrived, a young woman was in it already, which I thought a little strange because the elevator had come from one of the upper floors, and now we were going back up there again. About five seconds into the ascent, she said to me in a suddenly alert tone, "Excuse me, was that the lobby back there?"
"That big room with a check-in desk and revolving doors to the street? Why, yes, it was."
"Shoot," she said, and looked chagrined.
Now I am not for a moment suggesting that these incidents typify Austin, Texas, or America generally or anything like that. But it did get me to thinking that our problems are more serious than I had supposed. When functioning adults can't identify London, England, or a hotel lobby, I think it is time to be concerned. This is clearly a global problem and it's spreading. I am not at all sure how we should tackle such a crisis, but on the basis of what we know so far I would suggest, as a start, quarantining Texas.
—Bill Bryson, 2015; from "The Road to Little Dribbling"
HUFFMAN’S INTERVENTION AGAINST PROGRESSIVES MISFIRED
by Norman Solomon
Once every two years, California Democratic Party caucuses enable Democrats to elect delegates to the party’s governing central committee. This time around, Marin’s Congressman Jared Huffman decided to directly intervene in our Assembly district’s election for those delegates.
Huffman endorsed a slate of candidates called “Democrats United.” The slate widely touted his endorsement on social media and emblazoned its campaign literature with the big headline, “Endorsed by Jared Huffman.”
It didn’t work.
Instead of lifting the slate to victory, Huffman’s high-profile endorsement of its candidates was mostly unsuccessful. Only four of them won — in contrast to the 10 winners on the “Progressive Slate.” (I was one of those 10 who won.) Adding to the poor showing of the Huffman-backed slate was its loss to the Progressive Slate candidate for our district’s only seat on the state party’s Executive Committee.
In short, grassroots power turned out to be more effective than top-down leverage. The results of the Jan. 26 vote indicated that progressive activists in our region are mobilizing effectively.
In the process, Huffman’s intervention caused substantial push-back from Democratic activists who see that such intrusions can erode the democratic process and cause delegates to lose their independence by feeling obligated to do a politician’s bidding. Such intervention should not be normalized.
The district elections like the one that just occurred are the only way that average citizens can actually have an influence on the direction of the state Democratic Party — since all the other delegates are either appointed by elected officials or by the party’s county central committees. Under state party rules, Huffman and other elected Democrats have the privilege of appointing their own delegates.
Huffman’s favored slate often sounded one of his favorite themes — a call for “unity” that strongly implies a need to close ranks behind Democratic Party leaders.
I certainly believe that we should unite behind the Democrat when she or he is on the ballot against a Republican. But all too often, calling for us to be “united” is a way of implying that Democrats should go along to get along with any actions by the Democratic Party leadership. Here are a few examples of why that’s a bad approach:
• In 2017, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon blocked the single-payer Medicare for All bill (SB 562) from getting to the floor. Rendon is a Democrat, but being “united” with him in that case would be wrong.
• At times, some Democrats in Sacramento, including Marin’s Assemblyman Marc Levine, have refused to vote for basic farmworker labor rights. We should not be “united” with such Democrats when their actions harm working families and undermine social justice.
• At the national level, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently decided that the newly formed Select Committee on Climate Crisis will not have any subpoena power — and, as the Washington Post reported, “will not have authority to approve legislation.” Such severe restrictions should be firmly opposed, not enabled with silence or merely weak dissent.
A big reason why a Green New Deal has gotten onto the national agenda is that activists have pushed the party from the bottom up. A major factor was a highly visible December sit-in by young Sunrise Movement activists demanding action on the climate emergency at Rep. Pelosi’s office. That protest was visibly and effectively supported by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is now in the House of Representatives only because she refused to be “united” with longtime Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley and ousted him in a New York primary election.
Congressman Huffman’s strong suit is environmental protection, and he often voices deep concern about climate change. But vital proposals for drastic action won’t get very far unless we stop being “united” with Democratic leaders when they stand in the way.
(Norman Solomon of West Marin was a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He is on the coordinating committee of the Coalition for Grassroots Progress in the North Bay and the national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Democratic Party candidate for Congress in 2012, when Jared Huffman won the general election.)
STARBUCKS is the best example of a phony status symbol that means nothing, but people will still pay 10x as much for because there are French words all over the place. You want coffee in a coffee shop, that’s 60 cents. But at Starbucks, Cafe Latte: $3.50. Cafe Cremier: $4.50. Cafe Suisse: $9.50. For each French word, another four dollars.
Why does a little cream in coffee make it worth $3.50? Go into any coffee shop; they’ll give you all the cream you want until you’re blue in the face.
Forty million people are walking around in coffee shops with jars of cream: “Here’s all the cream you want!” And it’s still 60 cents. You know why? Because it’s called “coffee.” If it’s Cafe Latte – $4.50. You want cinnamon in your coffee? Ask for cinnamon in a coffee shop; they’ll give you all the cinnamon you want. Do they ask you for more money because it’s cinnamon? It’s the same price for cinnamon in your coffee as for coffee without cinnamon – 60 cents, that’s it. But not in Starbucks. Over there, it’s Cinnamonnier -$9.50. You want a refill in a regular coffee shop, they’ll give you all the refills you want until you drop dead. You can come in when you’re 27 and keep drinking coffee until you’re 98. And they’ll start begging you: “Here, you want more coffee, you want more, you want more?” Do you know that you can’t get a refill at Starbucks? A refill is a dollar fifty. Two refills, $4.50. Three refills, $19.50. So, for four cups of coffee-$350.
And it’s burnt coffee. It’s burnt coffee at Starbucks, let’s be honest about it. If you get burnt coffee in a coffee shop, you call a cop. You say, “It’s the bottom of the pot. I don’t drink from the bottom of the pot. But when it’s burnt at Starbucks, they say, “Oh, it’s a blend. It’s a blend?” … “It’s a special bean from Argentina.” The bean is in your head. And there’re no chairs in those Starbucks. Instead, they have these high stools. You ever see these stools? You haven’t been on a chair that high since you were two. Seventy-three year old Jews are climbing and climbing to get to the top of the chair. And when they get to the top, they can’t even drink the coffee because there’s 12 people around one little table, and everybody’s saying, “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me…” Then they can’t get off the chair. Old Jews are begging Gentiles, “Mister, could you get me off this?” Do you remember what a cafeteria was? In poor neighborhoods all over this country, they went to a cafeteria because there were no waiters and no service. So poor people could save money on a tip. Cafeterias didn’t have regular tables or chairs either. They gave coffee to you in a cardboard cup. So because of that you paid less for the coffee. You got less, so you paid less.
It’s all the same as Starbucks – no chairs, no service, a cardboard cup for your coffee – except in Starbucks, the less you get, the more it costs. By the time they give you nothing, it’s worth four times as much. Am I exaggerating? Did you ever try to buy a cookie in Starbucks? Buy a cookie in a regular coffee shop. You can tear down a building with that cookie. And the whole cookie is 60 cents. At Starbucks, you’re going to have to hire a detective to find that cookie and it’s $9.50. And you can’t put butter on it because they want extra. Do you know that if you buy a bagel, you pay extra for cream cheese in Starbucks? Cream cheese, another 60 cents. A knife to put it on, 32 cents. If it reaches the bagel, 48 cents. That bagel costs you $312. And they don’t give you the butter or the cream cheese. They don’t give it to you. They tell you where it is. “Oh, you want butter? It’s over there. Cream cheese? Over here. Sugar? Sugar is here.” Now you become your own waiter. You walk around with a tray. “I’ll take the cookie. Where’s the butter? The butter’s here. Where’s the cream cheese? The cream cheese is there.” You walked around for an hour and a half selecting items, and then the guy at the cash register has a glass in front of him that says “Tips.” You’re waiting on tables for an hour, and you owe him money.
Then there’s a sign that says please clean it up when you’re finished. They don’t give you a waiter or a busboy. Now you’ve become the janitor. Now you have to start cleaning up the place. Old Jews are walking around cleaning up Starbucks. “Oh, he’s got dirt too? Wait, I’ll clean this up.” They clean up the place for an hour and a half. If I said to you, “I have a great idea for a business. I’ll open a whole new type of a coffee shop. A whole new type. Instead of 60 cents for coffee I’ll charge $2.50, $3.50, $4.50, and $5.50. Not only that, I’ll have no tables, no chairs, no water, no busboy, and you’ll clean it up for 20 minutes after you’re finished.” Would you say to me, “That’s the greatest idea for a business I ever heard! We can open a chain of these all over the world!”? No, you would put me right into a sanitarium.
Starbucks can only get away with it because they have French titles for everything, Nazi bastard sons-a-bitches. And I say this with the highest respect, because I don’t like to talk about people.
— Jackie Mason (2007)
MASSIVE PACIFIC COAST STARFISH DIE OFF Is Linked To Global Warming
Dying sea stars can trigger a cascading ecological collapse as animals that depend on the creatures suffer in turn — and animals the sea stars eat can proliferate in destructive numbers once the sea stars are gone. The population of sea urchins once eaten by healthy sea stars has exploded in areas without the predators. The urchins then gobble up sea kelp, destroying kelp forest ecosystems.
THE WEST’S RESPONSE to environmental issues has been restricted by the dominance of neoliberal economics since the 1970s. That led to hyper-individualist, market fundamentalist, incremental and atomistic approaches. By hyper-individualist, I mean a focus on individual action as consumers, switching light bulbs or buying sustainable furniture, rather than promoting political action as engaged citizens. By market fundamentalist, I mean a focus on market mechanisms like the complex, costly and largely useless carbon cap and trade systems, rather than exploring what more government intervention could achieve. By incremental, I mean a focus on celebrating small steps forward such as a company publishing a sustainability report, rather than strategies designed for a speed and scale of change suggested by the science. By atomistic, I mean a focus on seeing climate action as a separate issue from the governance of markets, finance and banking, rather than exploring what kind of economic system could permit or enable sustainability.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
I think it was Dick Durbin that said he’s working 24-7 for migrants. If Democrats talk enough like that, they’ll hand the election to Trump. Given the exigencies facing the USA, posturing about trannies, gays and migrants is the path to electoral oblivion.
The Democrats want to yammer on about social justice. But what IS social justice? I guess acceptance and recognition are fine and nice but are shout-outs or making cooing noises about identity and diversity enough? Oh and racial set-asides? I don’t know about you, but quotas look insulting, suggesting as they do that certain of us can’t do it on their own.
Maybe mundane topics sit under the radar of the bi-coastal non-precariat, or those who for their own reasons identify with them whether or not their own interests actually align, but my bet is that the path to victory is to talk about breakfast, lunch and dinner. The important societal fissures are economic, not ones of race or ethnicity or sexuality. It ought to be self-evident that for all their shouting about social justice, it’s just shouting, all noise, and the proof is the disastrous condition of so many people where SJW Democrats govern.
As to migrants, if the people coming illegally from south of the border were teachers and lawyers instead of semi-literate laborers, that wall would be two miles high by now with machine gun towers. If terror attacks killed American politicians and billionaires instead of ordinary people, the round-ups would be done by now, the deportations well underway. The folk at the tip of the pyramid look after their own interests.
“Nova” or someplace on public TV went to what they said was the coldest community in the world, a miserable-looking town in central Siberia. An old lady said she’d lived there all her life and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Home is where the heart is. The kids don’t go to school when the temperature is below -60° F. A man went outside with a pan of briskly boiling water and threw the contents up in the air. It froze and hit the ground as ice. An Eskimo expression for urination when it’s especially cold translates as “the ground comes up to meet you.” I once read about a Chicago woman who fell asleep drunk in an alley. When found next morning, her skin was rigid and her eyes like marbles. She survived. The doctors guessed the alcohol in her blood probably saved her. She lost toes & nose & stuff.
Santa brought us kids skis, wide wooden things. I don’t remember ever using them. Baltimore winters seldom provided landscapes like those of “The Painter of Light,” Thomas Kinkade, now mercifully dead these seven years. His pastoral scenes might show the cozy home in deep snow, with some impossible oddity, like green willow tree. I remember a Baltimore Christmas when it was 70°. I was too young to know the word “chagrinned,” but not too young to experience it, my sled and skis idle and useless.
But not always. I lived 30 miles outside of Baltimore in a townlet called Corbett. The landlady next door told me to wrap my pipes, it was gonna get cold. It got down to -16, coldest I’ve personally experienced. Then-wife Linda and I worried about the old lady across the street. She had no heat. She was, um, eccentric. Had a bunch of cats. Come morning, in the frosty air, she was sunning herself on her front porch in the rocker, cats all over her. There was a spider big as my hand also taking the sun on the side of her chair.
In 1966 I was a reporter for the Baltimore News-American, a Hearst rag that taught me a lot. We had a blizzard. Here’s the National Weather Service: "January 30-31, 1966: A blizzard struck Maryland and the Northeast US. It began following morning lows of subzero in some portions of the state. Temperatures remained in the single digits as the wind and snow increased. Gusts of 50 to 60 mph caused white-out conditions over portions of western Maryland and into the Baltimore and Washington areas.”
I owned a little airplane, a Piper Tri-Pacer, about the same as a Beetle inside. My editor asked if I would take a photographer up for blizzard pictures. He sat in the back. We took the back door off so he could shoot unimpeded (and without gloves). My friend Hirsch and I sat up front, gloved, the pathetic little heater doing not much in the windy, noisy cabin. Maryland’s small. We flew all over it. The Chesapeake Bay was frozen, rather a wondrous sight. On its Eastern Shore, isolated communities were SOS’ing that they couldn’t get medicines and such. We photographed ’em all. From time to time, I’d shout back to Harold, the camera man, “HOW YA DOIN’?” He was hanging out the door, clicking away, his loosened seatbelt barely holding him. It was a lesson in professionalism. His face was furious red from the blast, but he was also having a blast, scooping all the other photogs in town. By the time he was out of film, my hands on the wheel felt like claws, never to straighten. Hirsch and I, strong manly men, were whimpering. Harold was exultant.
I climbed Mt. Shasta with my friend Brian. There’s a natural halting point called Red Banks, above which the weather turns alpine, whatever the season. A snow shower came. My hands in my mittens hurt. My damn fingers have zero resistance to cold. I whined about it. Brian pulled off his mittens. “Here. Put these on. They’re down.” I said thanks but no; that’s not gonna do it. He insisted. I pulled on his down mittens, and my hands were instantly warm! I’ve wanted down mittens ever since, but—wait for it—there really is no Santa Claus. I wore Brian’s mitts a few minutes and gave them back, my hands no longer screaming.
There’s a flattish ridge near the summit that you walk along without much exertion. The snow shower had gotten harder, and I couldn’t see much more than the trampled path in the snow, beyond which, on both sides, there were drop-offs, but I enjoyed myself because the trail was easy to follow, and the white-out made it all seem like The Real Thing. There would be bugs in tiny wells in the snow. Their dark carapaces absorbed the light and melted the snow around them, and they gradually sank and formed wells. They were carried there by the wind, and they were too cold to fly. But—this’ll save your life if you’re on top of Shasta in a blizzard—the mountain is an active volcano, dormant since before white settlers came here but still hot inside, and there are surface places near the summit that stay warm. Some spots are full of muddy, warm snowmelt. You could ride out the blizzard in a hot bath up there.
A Detroit-born friend, Larry Spejna, told me that the shores of the nearby Great Lakes—Huron, Erie and Detroit’s own Lake St. Clair—can be covered in wind-driven ice that piles high into gorgeous, dangerous, dreamlike edifices that sparkle and grind and will kill you if you don’t look out.
My niece Dotty was married in St. Pauls Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Baltimore. Ellie & I flew in from the Coast. Ellie heard the locals talk in their Bawdimer accents (a power mower is a “paramour,” a sink is a zinc, you walk on a payment, if you’re taking a summer weekend in Ocean City, you’re goin’ danniation). She was startled that my mimicking of the speech I grew up with was no burlesque, my version not even as cockney as the real thing.
It was frigid. The rental car had stalactites of ice under the front bumper. After church, the reception was a couple blocks away, too close to unpark and re-park, so everybody walked it through a glamorous statue-y part of town, a tall monument to George Washington as its centerpiece. The mob of formally dressed wedding guests giggled and froze as we walked the several snowy blocks. After several days there, the same stalactites on the car were still there when we turned it in.
Once, with my little mutt Dill, we walked the drifted streets over to Ethel’s house. Nobody had cleared anything. The wind had made little mountain ranges on the “payments” and streets. I wondered if Dill would do the “wonder dog” thing for me. I pretended to be in trouble, staggering and falling into the snow. Dill strolled on ahead, sniffing and pissing at his leisure, waiting for me to quit screwing around.
A PASSAGE TO INDIA CLOSE TO HOME
You know how it is sometimes. Like how you’re bored to death with your daily ritual that begins in the morning with brushing your teeth and taking your vitamins and doing your exercises and then going to the post office and the super market, and if you’re lucky, to your doctor or dentist appointment, and then to Rite-Aid for the legal drugs you require to stay alive. And, by golly, Office Depot may be on your mind too since your printer is blinking low on ink, and the light bulb in the hall is out so you’re on course for the forty foot high shelves in the hundred yard long aisles of Home Depot where if you remember what your warm friendly family-run neighborhood hardware store was once like your depression meds better kick in, and since it’s crazy to buy toilet paper and paper towels from the retail heights of the super market, the cavernous corporate warehouse of discount Costco is calling, never mind the near gridlocked five-acre parking lot that’s the most dangerous venue in town.
Thank God you own a motorcycle and it’s low on fuel and so are you after a morning of such stimulation. Escape from the mundane begins the moment you hit the starter button and feel and hear your dear steed come alive with all that horsepower between your legs. Call it a late breakfast or an early lunch, the only thing that matters at eleven am is your timing is excellent, you can ride anywhere the grub sounds good and chances are great there won’t be a crowd. Where to fuel up both rider and machine at a place that feels like the escape you need?
Right here in town it is, at Ketel’s Union 76 gas station, car wash, detail and deli. Where you can fill up the Honda with high test and hit the deli for delectable choices from Mrs. Ketel’s backroom kitchen that include juicy tandoori chicken sticks, hot samosas your choice baked or fried, and rich chicken curry ladled over a steaming mound of vegetable rice. As you can tell, the roots here are in the Punjab in Northern India from whence Family Ketel emigrated a generation ago. As I sit here astride my bike inhaling such wonderful specialties, my mind wanders to the high regard I have for these people who arrived here all those years ago in a country where the language and the culture couldn’t have been more foreign, and yet they did more than survive, they prevailed. Think how you’d fare launching a business in Amritsar. Dear President Trump: You might want to re-think the conflagrating issue of immigration.
City escape? Sometimes it’s much closer to home than you realize.
Really? Is that it? You know who this is, still keeping it straight and to the point, down to the nitty-gritty. Nobody gives a rat's that I'm a convicted felon because bottom line at the end of the day I'm just another concerned citizen. So let me slap the dust out of your ears and pull the blinders from your eyes. I will dive deep down into the abyss and wade through some crap and rip skeletons out of some scumbags’ closets.
I sat in arraignment about eight months ago (for "felon in possession of a firearm”) and I personally watched along with corrections deputies as district attorney Eyster recommended the release on good behavior of a convicted pedophile who had again raped a three-year-old girl. So stunned, disgusted, revolted and filled with rage, I sat there and watched the court release a child rapist at the behest of Charles David Eyster. What's even more sick is you people voted for this piece of crap, my bad, he's not a piece, he may be the whole turd. This man in the entirety of his whole term/terms has sanctioned the abuse and molestation of children and women.
Are you people so blind to believe the horseshit news articles where he only prosecutes the rare sex offender case that the media picks up? Because if you are fooled by that then nobody can help you. As for myself, I'm here for someone else's shit. I'm someone else's mouse in someone else's room. I'm guilty of getting laid during a blatant illegal search where crooked cops kicked in a friend's door without a warrant, without probable or reasonable cause, without a call or reason. Where the cops falsified reports (a felony), committed perjury (another felony), planted evidence (another felony), and were caught every step of the way, and a district attorney who has repeatedly been caught withholding evidence. He even managed to convince the judge that I was a "danger to society" because I went to prison for text messages with my ex-girlfriend. Watch out, I will text you.
Preposterous when old Eyster is kicking out pedophiles left and right. Any argument he makes is moot. Keep voting for pathetic people and you will continue to get pathetic results. Insanity, right?
So I spent all my considerable savings on a defense firm for one trial and multiple other motions and hearings only to get railroaded at every step and get a hung jury. Weak minded peers. The odds are I will get another hung jury. The ratio of intelligent leaders versus ignorant followers always weighs against the accused. This next trial will be different though.
Regardless, appeals court will overturn my possible conviction immediately so at the end of the day Eyster is just wasting our time and resources to pursue a personal agenda. What a coward, too scared to put the reporting officer on the stand. All my other hearings were closed privately by the judge so the County can get away with its illegal conduct without our veteran court reporter Bruce McEwen getting wind of it.
This illegal search sent my girlfriend to the hospital in seizures causing her to lose our unborn child. Probably the sole cause of the ending of that relationship. Well, besides the hardship of sitting in jail. These reasons plus multiple other reasons have shown me the corruption in our broken system and lead me to study the law which I've been doing since 2014 to the point of becoming a legal activist for reform and I'm still in the paralegal stage of my education even though I have multiple recommendations from reputable firms.
Our system is broken but the egomaniacs who have authority in our system are the main reason our system is broken. There is zero accountability. And cops lie worse and more often than average folk. Prosecutors care nothing for the innocent or guilty and will stop at nothing just to get a conviction. The Constitution has been devalued to a 200-year-old piece of used toilet paper. All rights are optional. Our streets have been turned into a war zone by militarized overzealous police forces.
The question is, where the hell do you stand as a man? As a woman? Are you defined by your beliefs and actions? Your mistakes that make you stronger? Or by the fact you ignore the corruption and festering wound in our system and do nothing? Are you going to let your son, brother, daughter, sister, father, mother, cousin, neighbor or friends be swallowed up by a corporate legal system bent on a conviction rate? By the way, bragging about a conviction rate in the newspaper makes you look like a jackass, Charles Eyster. Do us a favor and shut up.
Sincerely, the one and only,
IS THIS THE FINAL CHAPTER FOR WORLD'S ICONIC BOOKSHOPS?
From Madrid to Cork to Shanghai, some of the most revered old bookshops are closing doors as they face pressure from big chains and e-readers. But our bookworm writer found some small signs of hope.
TRANSMITTING THE VISION
Trying to be at least competent at doing what I do, I want to sketch a few of the little things, an arbitrary few of the best reasons to be here. Attending the little stuff helps us to see the big bigger, helps get us ready.
When a bright glint from the grass grabs us, or maybe an odd reflection on the elevator door takes our attention, it might sound like the merest tinkle or it might be premonatory the end of it all, but being there to see it is what makes us human. And being there to see it is how we get ready. It's why we are here.
And why we are here feels different now than the way it used to feel. Not all that long ago, we simply noticed or we didn't. There may have been consequences in the size of our lives, but that was pretty much it. Most of us were not particularly preparing for anything. We were just living our lives until death do us part. But now we prepare. A poet needs the presence of poems in his (or her) day. We need the glimmer in the grass for much the same reason. It keeps us tuned up.
Living here to our fullest is our best way to transmit the vision. It is the best lesson for our kids, for they'll need it most. These demons will die, but they'll be replaced. Experience. Our 'leaders' only get it diluted. We'll take it full strength.
STATE SENATOR BILL DODD INTRODUCES CALIFORNIA WATERFIX OVERSIGHT BILL
by Dan Bacher
On February 1, Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) introduced legislation that will require more legislative oversight and public scrutiny of former Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta Tunnels/California Water Fix Project.
The bill was introduced as Delta advocates are criticizing the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA), a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), for approving contracts to move forward with project even though the required permits haven’t been obtained yet.
Senate Bill 204 would establish requirements for both DWR and the DCA to submit information about pending State Water Project contracts to the Legislature for public review, prior to those agencies moving forward with Delta Tunnels work, according to a statement from Senator Dodd’s Office.
The California WaterFix calls for the construction of two 30-mile long tunnels that would divert water from the Sacramento River, around the Delta, to the state and federal pumps in the South Delta for export to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and Southern California water agencies.
“In years past, there has been too little opportunity for impacted communities to influence this flawed project, which will have a massive impact on the Delta’s environment, the local economy and drinking water quality,” said Senator Dodd, co-chair of the Legislative Delta Caucus. “This bill will gives the Legislature and Delta residents a place at the table to learn about what’s going on, express concerns and offer solutions that will serve Californians. We’re eager to begin a new chapter, where the voices of those who live in our Delta communities are adequately considered.”
The bill is supported by Delta advocates such as Restore the Delta and is co-authored by members of the Legislative Delta Caucus, including co-chair Assemblymember Jim Frazier, Assemblymembers Susan Eggman, Jim Cooper, Tim Grayson, Kevin McCarty, and Senators Cathleen Galgiani, Richard Pan, and Steve Glazer.
“Californians deserve to know the true financial and environmental impacts of WaterFix, the largest public works project in state history,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. “SB 204 will help make the planning process more transparent so members of the public can evaluate WaterFix for themselves.”
“This is a commonsense, good-government bill that increases accountability,” said Assemblymember Frazier, D-Discovery Bay. “Any large infrastructure project or major decision by a state agency should have legislative oversight. This is why people elect us. To protect their interests. Hopefully, the foolish WaterFix proposal will never be allowed to move forward. It would be the most expensive project in the state’s history and we are still totally in the dark about what the true costs will be. But if it does move forward, this bill will provide another level of scrutiny by the Legislature.”
This bill was introduced as a critical time for the future of the Delta and West Coast fisheries. Following the news that the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority had selected the Jacobs company to be the engineering design manager for the Delta Tunnels, the DCA last week awarded Fugro a contract for a major geotechnical investigation to support the California WaterFix project.
The DCA awarded the geotechnical investigation to Fugro and selected Jacobs as engineering design manager even though the State Water Resources Control Board has not yet approved the petitions by the Department of Water of Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to change the point of diversion, a requirement for the project to be constructed. The project needs over a dozen permits in order for construction to begin. For more information, go here: www.dailykos.com/…
The awarding of contracts to Fugro and Jacobs by the DCA also takes place despite an avalanche of lawsuits by cities, counties, water districts, Tribes, fishing groups, environmental NGOs and other organizations against a project opponents consider to be the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history.
Yesterday, Barrigan-Parrilla spoke at the DCA Board of Directors meeting in Sacramento to remind them that the joint powers authority may not initiate construction of a new Delta conveyance facility under certain conditions are met under state law:
“Today, I would like to remind the DCDCA of Water Code 850589 -- provision b Construction of a new Delta conveyance facility shall not be initiated until the joint powers authority representing those entities have made arrangements or entered into contracts to pay for both of the following: (b) Full mitigation of property tax or assessments levied by local governments or special districts for land used in the construction, location, mitigation, or operation of new Delta conveyance facilities.
This has not been completed, and speaks to a broader issue -- dozens of permits and processes legally required remain incomplete -- yet this body is approving contracts in the tens of millions of dollars to move forward with the project. And we still do not have a fully flesched financial plan for the tunnels.”
She also brought to light reports about meetings between JPA members and “select” members of the Delta community regarding the California WaterFix that weren’t publicly noticed:
“I also want to remind the DCDCA that Delta County supervisors, assemblymembers, state senators, local district officials and mayors represent the people of the Delta. We are very concerned hearing about meeetings betweeen JPA members and "select" members of the Delta community to work through issues regarding WaterFix.
Elected officials represent the people of the Delta. Period. Even our organization with 60,000 followers does not represent the local government interests of the Delta. We understand that past meetings have occurred -- a dinner here, a meeting there. We expect to see minutes from community meetings and for proper public notice of such meetings before they are held.”
Finally, she pointed out that the video for the JPA meetings is “regularly intermittent.” She urged the board to provide video services for all meetings and create a video archive:
“Last, video for this meeting is regularly intermittent -- there is no video archive. There are no video services for the DCFA meetings. WaterFix it the second largest public works project in CA. There are good government groups from throughout the state that want to understand what it is you are doing. If WaterFix is as good as all of you claim it is, then you should want meetings to be transparent.
It's time for you to take a page out of the High-Speed Rail playbook and to provide video services for all meetings and create a video archive. The people of California have a right to know what it is you are planning, the impacts on water supplies, the environment, and finances.”
MEMO OF THE AIR: A Bright Sound-colored penny.
The recording of last night's (2019-02-01) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah world-class 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:
Besides that, 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:
"Get a load of this amazing woman blowing the hell out of a clarinet." She starts blowing at about the 2:20 mark.
And a project piano.
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org,
FOREST RECIPROCITY GROUP to Present to Redwood Valley MAC
The public is invited to attend the monthly Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday, February 13, 7 pm at the Redwood Valley Grange, 8650 East Rd. Members of the Forest Reciprocity Group (FRG) will give a power point presentation about revitalizing our forests to revitalize our communities. FRG seeks to collaborate with individual land owners; county, state and federal organizations and agencies; and local tribes to unburden forest lands of overcapacity fire fuel load small diameter poles. When we tend our forests for regenerative health, we are reciprocated with an abundance of valuable raw material to use for a variety of purposes including architectural components of beautiful, fire safe, affordable dwellings. FRG is an initiative of Cloud Forest Institute with funding from the Just and Resilient Future Fund of the Another World is Possible Coalition and the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment. For more information contact Jen Burnstad, email@example.com.
JANUARY 30 -- RICHARD BRAUTIGAN'S BIRTHDAY
To the Editor:
I loved Richard Brautigan. I want to remember the day Brautigan died like some people remember the day JFK died, except no one knows for certain when Richard Brautigan died.
In 1984, at age 49, Richard Brautigan had moved to Bolinas, California, where he was living alone in a large, old house that he had bought with his earnings years earlier. He died of a self-inflicted .44 Magnum gunshot wound to the head. His decomposed body was found by Robert Yench, a friend and private investigator, on October 25, 1984.
The body was found on the living room floor, in front of a large window that, though shrouded by trees, looked out over the Pacific Ocean.
Due to the decomposition of the body it is speculated that Brautigan had ended his life over a month earlier, on September 16, 1984, days after talking to friend Marcia Clay on the telephone. Neighbors heard a loud noise that Sunday while watching an NFL game, but no one can say for certain that Brautigan shot himself on September 16.
Brautigan was an alcoholic throughout his adult life and suffered years of despair, according to his daughter, Ianthe Brautigan. He often mentioned suicide to her over a period of more than a decade before actually ending his life.
Ianthe wrote a remarkable biography of her father, "You Can't Catch Death: A Daughter's Memoir". It's a love-hate story. Ianthe loved her dad. She hated the alcoholic. I heard her read at Copperfield's Bookstore in Santa Rosa in 2001.
Richard Brautigan, in my opinion, is a leading post-modernist. He was, first and foremost, inventive. He was an original voice. A voice in the wilderness.
His prose had a hallucinogenic beauty, although his prose was simple, humorous, fanciful, and lyrical, too, almost like children's literature.
One critic wrote, "He was a gentle, troubled, deeply odd guy."
Another wrote, "Brautigan was willfully naïve."
Lawrence Ferlinghetti said of him, "As an editor I was always waiting for Richard to grow up as a writer. It seems to me he was essentially a naïf, and I don't think he cultivated that childishness, I think it came naturally. It was like he was much more in tune with the trout in America than with people." (Brautigan's masterpiece is titled, "Trout Fishing in America".)
Of his own impending death, Brautigan wrote, "All of us have a place in history. Mine is in the clouds."
Brautigan's almost limitless capacity to conjure up inner beauty could hardly be squared with his childhood. By his own account, he grew up as white trash in the Pacific Northwest.
He told his daughter stories of his mother sifting rat feces out of their supply of flour before making flour-and-water pancakes.
Brautigan's mother was abandoned by his father only a month into her pregnancy. She went through a string of men throughout Brautigan's childhood. Brautigan recalled one of his "stepfathers" being a violent alcoholic, whom young Richard had seen beating his mother.
Brautigan remembered another very traumatic experience when, at age six, his mother moved briefly from Tacoma, Washington, and left him and his two-year-old sister unattended in a motel room in Great Falls, Montana, for two days.
Brautigan's family found it difficult to obtain food, and on some occasions they did not eat for days. The family lived on welfare and moved about the Pacific Northwest, more or less homeless, for nine years. In high school, Brautigan was arrested for throwing a rock through a police station window, in order to be sent to jail and fed.
So where did Richard Brautigan's prose and poetry come from? From what place inside him? And how can it be so beautiful? So luminous? So incandescent?
Such is the miracle of being human.
Rest in peace, Richard Brautigan. Your millions of fans throughout the world remember you and love you.
-- John Sakowicz