Press "Enter" to skip to content

MCT: Thursday, February 28, 2019

* * *


The MCDH Board of Directors monthly meeting is tonight at 6pm in the Redwoods Room at the hospital.  On the agenda are some interesting topics, including Jessica Grinberg's report from the Affiliation ad hoc committee, an in-depth policy regarding verbal abuse, and, of course, the current financial report by Mike Ellis.

The attendance and participation of community members is vitally important as the new hospital leadership moves forward on the path to creating a healthy hospital.

Margaret Paul

Healthy Hospital Supporter

* * *

THE NAVARRO RIVER crested yesterday morning at 37.15 feet (highway flooding occurs at 23 feet, and the record is 41.13 feet in 1974). During this three-day storm Yorkville got 11 inches of rain while Boonville received 8 inches. Season totals thus far: Boonville 39.7 inches and Yorkville 52.6 inches.

NWS FORECAST: A weak system will bring a few light showers to the area this afternoon through Friday north of Cape Mendocino. Friday night into the weekend some more widespread light rain is possible. Monday is expected to be mainly dry before another system moves into the area on Tuesday.

* * *


The Coast Guard urges mariners and vessel owners to inspect vessel moorings due to high flood warnings and fast moving currents for all rivers in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

An example of a boat that broke free from its moorings occurred this morning when Coast Guard Station Noyo River received several calls reporting a 55-foot charter vessel named TREK II breaking free off its moorings inside the Noyo River basin in Ft Bragg, CA.

The Coast Guard quickly sent crews aboard two 47-foot Motor Life Boats to attempt to secure the TREK II, but due to the high speed of the river current, reported at 6-8 knots inside the basin and speeding up to 12 knots at the Noyo River jetties, they were not able to recover the adrift vessel.

The TREK II grounded itself on rocks a few hundred yards off the north jetty tip, below Soldier Point Park. No one was onboard, and no injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard Chief of Response for the California North Coast region, CDR Brendan Hilleary advises owners “to routinely verify their vessel and mooring line conditions during periods of adverse weather, extreme high tides and fast river flows.”

Citizens are encouraged to call 911, or call the Coast Guard directly at (707) 964-6612 in the Ft Bragg region, or (707) 839-6113 for any California North Coast maritime incident.

(Coast Guard Press Release)

TREK II — ON THE ROCKS off Noyo Beach Wednesday

Charter boat breaks free in high surf; runs aground outside Noyo Harbor.

City of Fort Bragg Police Department

The Cypress Street entrance to the South Coastal Trail will likely be closed starting Thursday morning (02/28/2019) and throughout the day in order to allow a recovery team and heavy equipment to access the boat currently adrift off of Noyo Beach. Pedestrian traffic may still access the area via the other trail entrances, but may be restricted to how close they can get to the recovery operation. Todd's Point/Pomo Bluffs parking lot will still be open to view the operation.

This is an active incident and this closure may be cancelled or modified.

(More info/videos on MendocinoSportsPlus)

* * *

HIGHWAY 128 CLOSURE (Wednesday)

My storm total rainfall to date is 5.49. Highways 1 and 128 are still closed in the usual places. The Navarro River crested at 37.16 ft. at 7:15 AM today. That crest exceeded the forecast crest of 35.6 by 1.56 ft, and fell in the Severe Flooding range that begins at 34 ft. Flood waters were 14 ft. over the pavement of Hwy. 128 at the 5.47 mile marker. The currently forecast time for the river to fall below the 23 ft. flood stage is 5 PM today. However it's clear from looking at the forecast chart that the river level is lagging several hours behind the forecast. That means that CalTrans can't begin clearing the highway until well after dark tonight, and means it probably will not be reopened before Thursday morning, and probably Thursday afternoon if CalTrans waits until daylight to begin clearing the highway of extensive mud, sand and woody debris that will result from this major flood.

(Nick Wilson)

* * *


Alan Zischke, 1953-2019

Born into Eternal Life on February 9, 2019, Alan Zischke passed away in Wisconsin after a courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 65 years. Nephew of Victoria Hennessey, Ralph Simoneau and Ann Wittkowske. Further survived by a second cousin Ken (Sheila) Beyer, other relatives and dear friends. Preceded in death by his parents Robert G. and Janet Zischke, his sister Meredith Zischke, aunt Perla Simoneau and uncle Frederick Wittkowske. Interment at Oak Hill Cemetery in Horicon, WI in the spring. Friends and family would like to thank Autumn Lake, Alexian Village and Autumn Oakes for all their loving care. A special thank you to the Big & Loud therapy team at Aurora Sinai for always inspiring Alan with hope and the courage to live beyond his diagnosis.

(Harder Funeral Service Inc., 18700 West Capitol Drive, Brookfield, WI 53045)

* * *

* * *

QUIZ TONIGHT! The rain is almost over (for a few days) so it’s time to put the umbrellas away and resume your brain exercises at Lauren’s Restaurant Thursday evening. Yes, it’s the 4th Thursday (Feb 28th) and that means The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz will get going at 7pm prompt. I hope to see you there. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

* * *


AS THE CRUCIAL MendocinoSportsPlus pointed out Wednesday morning, some neighborhoods on the Coast, especially near the mouth of the raging Navarro, were informed they could ride out the storm in evacuation centers at the Vet's Building in Ukiah and the County Office of Education at Talmage. Assuming the evacuees could even get out of their houses on the south bank of the Navarro, Talmage, the location of MCOE, was flooded and inaccessible. O well, there's always the Vet's Building in Navarro-handy Ukiah.

THE LAST TIME there was a really, really big rain some twenty years ago, my friend Pebbles Trippett, who lives about two miles from the mouth of the Navarro, told me the flood waters got up to her front door which, if I remember correctly, is about five feet off the ground. "I can swim out if I have to," Pebs said post-flood. She's the first person I thought of when the waters started rising, and here's hoping the old girl isn't half way to Honolulu this morning.

LOCAL NOTE: 1964 remains the high water standard for the Northcoast, and was especially devastating in Humboldt County as the Eel rampaged. Right here in Boonville, that year's Christmas flooding wiped out the road that used to connect Ornbaun Road with Anderson Valley Way.

COMPARING RUINOUS '64 FLOODS to those of the past two days, HumCo old timer Ernie Branscomb notes:

Some history for you…

The Christmas Flood Of 1964.

“The rain was intense. It had rained over 36” in that December. From the 18th to the 23rd (5 Days!) it rained 27 ½ inches. Those are documented facts. Now for the bullshistory part, and I believe it to be true because I saw how hard it rained. “In the last 4 hours of the heavy rain, it rained 7 inches, and in one of those last hours it rained 4 inches.”


by Darryl Cherney


Now up in Humboldt County there's a river that they call the Eel

And its waters start a-getting high 'round winter time each year

But back in 1986 it rained for nine straight days

And the waters rose 30 feet or more and the flood began to rage

I was living down in Piercy a hundred yards from the river’s edge

But when I woke up on Sunday morning I found its waters on my doorsteps

I started into packing all those things that I held so dear

But I saw them all in a different light as the waters came so near

And if you lived in Myers Flat or Benbow, Miranda, or Phillipsville…

Sprowel Creek or Wyott, Scotia or Rio Dell, Redcrest or Redway

Or by the bridge down at Sylvandale

You got to know that old Eel River

Better than most folks will

I tuned in to my radio to get the road report

Mudslides closed down 101 at Benbow to my North

And the bridge went out at Leggett we were cut off from the South

And I started thinking how a month ago we were complaining about a drought

I started thinking about old Noah and 'bout building me an ark

But they'd cut down all the trees around I could hardly find a piece of bark

And I wondered if God was angry or was this just a twist of fate?

And when we learn the answer I wonder will it be too late?

NEVER BURNED A BOOK before, but some books deserve it. This one, for instance. Someone sent me a long anti-vaxx tome by a discredited crank called J.B. Handley. It's titled, "How to End the Autism Epidemic." Handley cites other discredited cranks as his argument that immunization is dangerous to children and causes autism. The book is endorsed by Robert Kennedy Jr., a neo-crank whose name is brandished by anti-vaxxers on the groupie-like principle that if a Kennedy says so, Well, there's yer evidence. One more time: Vaccination has spared the world's people untold misery. (No, I won't lend you the book unless the AVA Sense and Sensibility Screening Committee certifies you as fully literate and in possession of a functioning bullshit detector.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CAPTAIN FATHOM. The Captain, aka Allan Graham, is 80 years old, and if anybody knows of a more indestructible local personality, we're open to nominations.

SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER than to stir up the Cat Ladies. Cathy Rapp called to say the cats she feeds every morning at the June property on Anderson Valley Way are not "starving," and that she has seen to it that a number of them have been neutered. Good on the neutering, not so good on the feeding because the cats are obviously multiplying. They should all be trapped and housed at the Shelter in Ukiah. The minute they aren't fed… CAT a clysm!

* * *

AT LAST, THE BACKLASH: The resurgence of measles across the United States is prompting push back against vaccine critics, from congressional hearings investigating the spread of vaccine misinformation to state measures that would make it harder for parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

In Washington state, where the worst measles outbreak in more than two decades has sickened nearly 70 people and cost over $1 million, two measures are advancing through the state legislature that would bar parents from using personal or philosophical exemptions to avoid immunizing their school-age children. Both have bipartisan support despite strong anti-vaccination sentiment in the, uh, more credulous populations in the state.

In Arizona, Iowa and Minnesota, lawmakers have for the first time introduced similar measures. The efforts have sparked an emotional, sometimes ugly response from those protesting what they see as efforts to trample on their rights. Opponents of the Arizona bill, which died quickly, have described the toll of stricter vaccine requirements as a Holocaust and likened the bill's sponsor, who is Jewish, to a Nazi.

In Vermont, legislators are trying to do away with the state's religious exemption four years after eliminating the philosophical exemption. In New Jersey, where lawmakers have sought unsuccessfully to tighten religious exemptions, a bill to repeal it entirely was recently amended on the General Assembly floor.

While it's too early in the legislative season to say how many of the state efforts to tighten vaccine exemptions will be signed into law, some public health advocates say the rash of vaccine-preventable illnesses is creating a shift in public thinking.

"The wave is starting to turn back," said Michelle Mello, a professor of law and health research and policy at Stanford University.

Diane Peterson of the Immunization Action Coalition, a Minnesota nonprofit group, said that "there is a growing consensus for state authorities to make the bold move to require all children to be vaccinated, with the only exception being those who cannot be given the vaccine for medical reasons."

Amid mounting public pressure, websites that have been a platform for the anti-vaccination movement's misleading claims are also making changes. Pinterest has blocked all searches on vaccinations to stop the spread of misinformation, while Facebook is considering removing anti-vaccination content from its recommendations. YouTube said it is also pulling ads from anti-vaccine videos, claiming they violate its policies against "harmful or dangerous" acts.

The U.S. House and Senate have scheduled rare bipartisan hearings this week and next to investigate the reasons behind recent outbreaks.

Full Story:

* * *


Friday March 1st - First Friday Dinner featuring Homemade Chinese Food: Eggrolls, Chow Mein, Chicken and Chinese Cabbage, Fortune Cookies. Happy Hour @5:30, Dinner @ 6:00pm-

Friday March 8th – Pizza Night! Happy Hour @ 5:30pm

Friday March 15th – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration!  Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner with other fun Irish treats, Open Mic limericks, and Music by the Blarney Stones. Wear your green! Festivities begin @5:30.

Friday March 22nd – Fiesta and game Night! Come by and enjoy delicious Mexican Food and some fun competition with your Yorkville neighbors. Happy Hour @ 5:30pm.

For more details on these events please contact the Market at (707) 894-9456.

* * *

* * *


To the Editor:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, is a nonprofit organization advocating for improved mental health services at the local, state and national level. NAMI Mendocino is a growing membership of local people with mental illness, their families and friends who come together to advocate for additional and better mental health services in our community.

NAMI Mendocino worked side-by-side with Sheriff Tom Allman to support the well authored Measure B Initiative. There are many interpretations of what Measure B was voted in to do. We believe the true advantage of the Measure B Initiative is to improve the overall mental health system by creating services that eliminate service gaps. Delivering the appropriate level of care will create less need for mental health clients in our jails and emergency rooms.

Crisis Residential Programs (CRPs) are an imperative part of an efficient mental health system. CRPs reduce unnecessary stays in psychiatric hospitals, reduce the number and expense of emergency room visits and incarcerations, provide positive outcomes and can be utilized for preventative and after care services, individualized care, stabilization, support wellness and recovery and meet people at their current need at a lower rate of cost.

A Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) is an inpatient facility that treats individuals in psychiatric crisis who cannot be safely served in outpatient services. While a PHF is also a necessity in our community we believe it should be considered a last resort rather than a first option.

NAMI Mendocino encourages all Mendocino County residents to concentrate on the mental health system of care rather than any one level of service. Building a PHF and no other services will surely fail in this community. Our goal is to have a PHF but also to reach people before they need it.

NAMI Mendocino Board of Directors

  • Donna Moschetti – Chair
  • Sonya Nesch - Vice-Chair
  • Gladys Telschow – Treasurer
  • Jan McGourty – Secretary
  • Raven Price
  • Pokie Dunlap
  • Mel Lockey

* * *

* * *


BWW Review: Sedona International Film Festival Presents World Premiere Of WINDOWS ON THE WORLD

by Herbert Paine

Edward James Olmos has distinguished himself as a versatile actor and humanitarian who, in the full scope of his work, has elevated the imagery of Latinos beyond noxious stereotypes. In his latest film, WINDOWS ON THE WORLD, directed by his son, Michael D. Olmos, he plays the role of Balthazar Reynoso, the proud patriarch of a Mexican family who leaves home for New York and the promise of better wages. He finds employment at Windows on the World, the restaurant on the top floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower.

The movie revolves around the quest of his son, Fernando (Ryan Guzman), to find Balthazar in the wake of the September 11th attack that brought the towers down.

In the course of a journey that overcomes the ordeal of the desert and border crossing, that transports him across America to the city that never sleeps, and that deposits him in the center of its devastation, Fernando remains resolute.

A stranger in a strange land, he adapts to his circumstances. He searches without success for his father, frustrated by the magnitude of grief over countless missing persons, and encountering dead-end clues to his whereabouts. He receives a reality-check about the status of undocumented immigrants that is a searing reminder of their dilemma: An official at a 9/11 Family Assistance Center matter-of-factly declares that, if Balthazar didn't officially work at the restaurant, then he's not officially missing!

Fernando is nevertheless the beneficiary as well of fortune's smile. He is graced by the friendship of a Nigerian immigrant (beautifully portrayed by Glynn Turman), who offers him room and board and employment as a window cleaner. He finds support that blooms into romance in the supportive embrace of Lia (Chelsea Gilligan), a candle store proprietor.

His quest also exposes him, however, to the contradictions and complexities of a place and its habitues whose spirits have been momentarily crushed but who are determined to emerge from the ashes whole. He is witness to the cruelty of the alleyways, the vulnerability of the homeless, and the seamy underbelly of the sex club scene.

Fernando is audience to two versions of a New Yorker's perspective on the "Big Apple." And, in this regard, we the audience are treated to two marvelous and engaging cameos by two great performers. Abiodun Oyewole delivers a terrific riff, as a street poet, of The Last Poets' acerbic, if not scathing, ode, New York, New York. In contrast, Rene Auberjonois shines in a karaoke moment of weeping solemnity as he breaks down singing Kander & Ebb's New York, New York, only to have the guys at the bar join in and melt the "little town blues" away.

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD is a film that plays well on the multiple and nuanced meanings of its title (the famed restaurant on the World Trade Center's 107th floor where Balthazar worked; the 43,600 windows of the Twin Towers, behind each pane of which stories were unfolding only to perish; the window cleaning job that was a portal for the next phase of Fernando's journey). In doing so, it manages remarkably well to span a number of relevant social themes with candor and sensitivity, enhanced by Olmos's and Guzman's captivating performances and a stellar supporting cast.

This year's Sedona International Film Festival features the World Premiere of WINDOWS ON THE WORLD.

* * *


by Fort Bragg City Manager Tabatha Miller

In the last couple of months, I have had a number of discussions with City staff, City Councilmembers and my husband regarding what trash goes into which bin. Full disclosure, these discussions may cross over into disagreements (mostly with the husband). I historically have relied on the - when in doubt put it in the recycle bin mentality. This partially originates from the fact that my blue recycle bin is three times larger than my gray trash bin. Not only can I fit a lot more in the blue recycle bin but it makes me feel better about myself if my recycle bin is full. It somehow implies that I am doing my part to make the world a better place.

Before I get too smug, I know that having my blue recycle bin full still means I consume too much and buy products with too much packaging and waste. It may also mean that I am contributing to the contamination by placing non-recyclable materials in the bin that makes the rest of my recyclables, and potentially everyone else’s in the truck bed, end up in the landfill. If you watched or read the staff report from the January 28, 2019 City Council meeting, you will know that disposing of recyclables in Fort Bragg cost us nothing ($0) in 2017, but before the end of 2018, we paid $60/ton for disposal. As a comparison, gray bin trash that goes to the landfill increased from $74.33/ton to $76.76/ton.

Changes in the world market of recyclable materials in the last year are largely due to China, once the world's biggest importer of recyclable materials. Since January, when China tightened its standards for the waste it would accept, imports to China of solid waste have dropped more than 50%. Recyclable products that China hasn’t banned have much stricter rules regarding contamination. Other purchasers are also following China's lead and adopting stricter contamination standards. This means that less can be recycled, and I need to be more careful about what I place in the blue bin.

The green bin provides more options for recycling by composting waste. In other communities where I have lived, the green bin was limited to grass cuttings, palm tree fronds and leaves. Here food scraps of all kinds, including meat, bones and shellfish can be placed in the green bin and sent to the compost facility in Redwood Valley. Additionally, soiled paper and cardboard products that cannot be recycled can be composted, such as pizza boxes, paper towels, used coffee filters and tea bags.

Here are a few resources for what goes where. Click here for a more complete list of what goes in which bin. For how to dispose of other household hazards such as paint or electronics reach out to Mendo Recycle at (707) 468-9710 or For bigger items, remember that Waste Management will be hosting bulk pick-ups the week of March 25-29, (707) 964-9172.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, February 27, 2019

Alonso, Beardslee, Briner, Caborn

DANIEL ALONSO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

MARK BEARDSLEE, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Petty theft with priors, failure to appear.

SHANE BRINER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

STEVEN CABORN, Redwood Valley Failure to appear.

Devine, McCoy, Suhay

ELYASHIYB DEVINE, Willits. Probation revocation.

JONATHON MCCOY, Willits. Vandalism, resisting.

JEANETTE SUHAY, Eureka/Hopland. DUI.

* * *


by David Yearsley

One of the most telling aspects of the Trump presidency is its lack of music. The inept clutch of Melania and Donald at their 2017 inaugural ball shuffling about to Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way“ said everything about the Commander-in-Chief’s utter lack of taste and ideas. Last November’s Presidential Medal conferred on Elvis only confirmed Trump’s vacuity. Dead or alive, the King certainly merited the honor, but the chief executive’s choice hardly fizzed with engaged awareness. There is no room for the aesthetic in Trump’s set-upon psyche: to call his cultural awareness stagnant would be to suggest that it had once flowed in any direction whatever.

Unsurprisingly, then, no battle hymn, no rallying jingle, no Meatloaf remix, has ridden to Trump’s rescue as things close in around him.

By contrast to this most amusical, anti-cultural of presidents, many have been the political leaders who have sought to bolster a flagging popularity through public music making.

Tacitus relates how Nero took to the stage on one memorable occasion with his lyre and sweet voice. Insulating himself from failure, Nero packed the audience with soldiers, sycophants, and patricians along with the “lowest rabble,” some of whom had just engaged in various forms of staged debauchery as a public prelude to the musical spectacle to follow. Tacitus‘ description of Nero’s musical apotheosis is bitterly laconic: “Last of all, the emperor himself came on the stage, tuning his lyre with elaborate care and trying his voice with his attendants.” While the music was greeted with “a thunder of applause,” the Prefect Burrus, Nero’s one-time tutor and later advisor, “cried as he clapped.” Like so many since, Burrus must have felt the emotional riptide so often set in motion when the mighty perform in public, for then the thoughtful listener is subjected to powerful cross-currents of admiration and dismay, envy and repulsion, scorn and sympathy. By many accounts a well-trained and talented musician, Nero’s musical pandering appalled those who claimed a nobler purpose for both politics and music.

The most obvious parallel to the late days of the American Empire is to one of the canniest of musical opportunists among the politicians—Bill Clinton. Who can forget his 1992 appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show, when the Arkansas governor donned Ray-Ban sunglasses and bluffed his way through Heartbreak Hotel, riding the knife edge between the inept and the barely passable to the rapture of the studio audience? Tacitus would have called them rabble. There are even those who mark Clinton’s late-night performance as a watershed in his campaign for the imperial presidency, more crucial even than sending the mentally handicapped African-American, Ricky Ray Rector, to his death by lethal injection six months earlier. Regardless of what one makes of music in Clinton’s political career, it seems clear that he not only used his power and fame to enjoy undreamt of musical opportunities, but also that he exploited his limited ability in crafting his political aura.

Always modest about his abilities as saxophonist, Clinton was never modest about taking to the stage with them. Looking now at footage of his 1993 inaugural ball, when Clinton assembled a legion of jazz legends and young lions, one is amazed at the breathtaking nonchalance with which he improvises very badly before the jazz greats. These musicians are of course thrilled to be basking in the sunrise of a jazz-loving presidency. But there is something quite disconcerting about seeing the venerable tenor player, Illinois Jacquet, holding the microphone to the bell of Clinton’s saxophone, urging on the freshly-minted president as he hacks his way through several choruses of All Blues, a tune all high school jazz bands learn to play, if as badly as Clinton. The encouraging smiles of the jazz centurions mask a deep unease at what the emperor is doing to their music. Like Burrus, Illinois should have cried while he clapped.

Clinton was not the only musician among American presidents. Harry S. Truman displayed his downhome piano style at the White House at various gatherings, and Richard Nixon performed his so-called First Piano Concerto on the Jack Paar Show in 1961.

Nixon’s masterpiece is a diluted neo-Romantic concoction—like Rachmaninoff heard through a haze of martinis and valium. Yet one cannot help but admire the grace with which Dick plays his creation; he does so from memory and with an ease that suggests he was really only at home at the piano bench, for he was certainly never comfortable behind the podium at presidential debates or at White House press conferences. For Nixon, as for many rulers, a repressed, emotional side could find its outlet only in music.

The most sentimental of these rulers, even while he was one of the greatest warriors in European history, was Frederick the Great, perhaps the most avid musician among heads of state. His chosen instrument was the newly popular transverse flute, which supplanted the recorder in the first part of the eighteenth century, in the years of the future king’s boyhood.

Like so many of Frederick’s favorite cultural objects, the flute was a French import. On ascending the Prussian throne in 1740, Frederick assembled one of the great orchestras of Europe to accompany his nightly two-hour concerts at which he was the soloist. In contrast to Clinton, there was little doubt about Frederick’s musical skill, though there were occasional grumblings about his inability to keep a constant beat, especially at faster tempos. Such views grew more frequent as his increasing entanglements in European wars directed his monies towards military rather than musical pursuits; stagnant wages among musical workers have a way of coloring their aesthetic judgment.

Among the highlights of Frederick’s career as musical sovereign were the concerts he played in Dresden in December of 1745, after occupying the city at the end of the Second Silesian War. While engaging in peace negotiations by day with the representatives of the defeated Saxon rulers, he played his flute to huge and adoring audiences in the lavish Dresden opera house with the stars of the Saxon orchestra, among them Johann Adolph Hasse and his wife, the prima donna, Faustina Bordoni—the two formed the most famous and well-paid musical couple in all of Europe. Decamped to Prague, the Saxon Elector could only fume over reports of how his rival had used the Dresden musical establishment to stage his greatest triumph as a musician. It was as if Clinton had conquered Cuba and then played with the Buena Vista Social Club to a packed Havana stadium while a beleaguered Fidel Castro watched the proceedings on television from Venezuela. The difference being that Frederick could really play.

Aside from this series of great public concerts, however, Frederick kept his music mostly to himself, playing the flute before going into battle, or in the company of his musical employees and a few (always male) visitors at one of his many palaces. From what I can tell, he cared not one whit about what others thought of him as a musician, an attitude that an autocrat such as Frederick could easily afford himself. In spite of Clinton’s nonchalance, I doubt his attitude approaches the superciliousness of Frederick’s. Clinton as musician was always like one of those rich investment bankers who plays at fantasy baseball camps with the stars of yore—a kid fulfilling a dream.

For the greatest of twentieth-century musician-politicians the path was reversed: musical fame and artistic authenticity led into politics. Born in 1860, Ignacy Paderewski was a child prodigy who on the international tours of his twenties was wildly received at major venues in Paris, London, and New York.

An ardent Polish nationalist, Paderewski donated proceeds from his concerts to Polish causes, and after the First World War served for just under a year as the First Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary of an independent Poland. He ascended to his leadership of the country a century ago last month, signing the Treaty of Versailles before resigning to take up the post of Polish ambassador to the League of Nations. By 1922, when he left politics and returned to the concert stage, Paderewski’s fame had been magnified many times over; that year he played to 20,000 people in Madison Square Gardens, then surely the largest audience ever gathered to hear a pianist. Famously unwilling to accommodate talking while he played, Paderewski was known to stop performances if the audience would not be quiet. Ruling over a monumental technique and profound interpretative capacities, he sought to elevate and entertain rather than to pander. Such were the luxuries a natural born and tirelessly practiced aristocrat of music could afford himself.

In 1904 Paderewski met the young pianist Harry S. Truman in Kansas City before Truman had quit the instrument, though his mother had hoped for a concert career for her son. Truman was then learning Paderewski’s Minuet in G, and Truman was escorted backstage by his teacher. In an encounter of musician-politicians as significant as the musical meeting of Mozart and the young Beethoven more than a century before, the great Polish virtuoso spent fifteen minutes with Truman at the piano working out the nuances of his Minuet. Truman would later joke that he forced Stalin to sign the Potsdam Agreement by playing the piano at the conference.

Perhaps Truman was thinking of Paderewski—who lived until 1941, long enough to see Poland carved up between Germany and the USSR—when, as the new President, he helped chop off a large chunk of Germany against Churchill’s objections that “it would be a pity to stuff the Polish goose so full of German food that it got indigestion.”

The complementary facets of Paderewski the pianist and the political figure bring me finally to another Republican Era and to Condoleezza Rice, an excellent pianist who somehow found the time to pursue her musical interests even while making the world safe for democracy. Like that other piano playing Secretary of State, Paderewski, she played the role of the aristocrat, providing that badly needed touch of class among the crass Republicans—though not as crass as Trump—surrounding her.

Unlike Paderewski, who did not play in public while in political office, Rice did not shy away from performing while Secretary of State. At a 2006 Association of Southeast Asian Nations‘ dinner in Kuala Lumpur, she played the mournfully eloquent Intermezzo, op. 118, No. 2 of Johannes Brahms. Rather than choosing a more festive, upbeat piece to accompany the sumptuous dinner, Rice felt the Intermezzo more appropriate to times of trouble, pointing especially to the fighting then ravaging Lebanon.

Rice has played Brahms with Yo-Yo Ma, with international guests at state functions, and with the quintet of lawyers with whom she regularly enjoyed chamber music evenings in her Washington apartment. Indeed, works by Brahms rank numbers five and six on her top ten list of favorite pieces, just below “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang and just above U2’s “Anything.”

Rice is drawn to Brahms because his music is “passionate without being sentimental.” Leave it to the erudite Secretary of State to formulate an aesthetic credo for compassionate conservativism: just because we’re tough, doesn’t mean we don’t care.

But her reading of Brahms stakes out a rather austere modernist position, as if the hopelessly Romantic Johannes, ever thwarted in love, weren’t prone to protracted bouts of sentiment himself. I’d be more inclined to say that some of the late Brahms Rice loves often achieves a poignancy so intense that it can blind one, as it has done the former Secretary of State, to a sentimentality more extreme than the allegedly more cloying (read more feminine) Schubert, whose music Rice explicitly avoids. The cultured Republican Rice would have us believe that historical greatness does not redound upon the merely ingratiating; victory is claimed not by those who feel, but for those who do. To achieve greatness one must face the music and not be seduced by it. Rice’s trumpeting American ideals are just another form of the hard-line aesthetics she pursues at the piano.

I suspect that deep down in Rice there sings a gentle, naive, even childlike musical voice. It is the same voice that comforted so many political leaders before her, most fervently Frederick the Great and Richard Nixon—those pained, lovesick musicians trapped by political duty.

They were only truly themselves when playing their own song. Trump is all the more pitiful because he doesn’t have one.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His recording of J. S. Bach’s organ trio sonatas is available from Musica Omnia. He can be reached at

* * *

* * *

JOE BIDEN, man of the people, demanded a caprese salad and raspberry sorbet with biscotti for dinner and dressing room had bottled water, Coke Zero and regular Coke, his speaking contract shows.

Biden's rock star rider had to include 'angel hair pomodoro dinner' - while his dressing room sign had to read VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN during $150,000 Florida appearance.

* * *


Replenishing the world’s forests on a grand scale would suck enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cancel out a decade of human emissions, according to an ambitious new study.

* * *


We have a Pesticide Use Enforcement 101 & Pesticide Use Reporting Workshop coming in March! Call now to reserve a seat!

Day: Monday, March 25, 2019

Time: 9:00am-10:30am

Location: Mendocino County Department of Agriculture

Phone: (707)234-6830 and choose option 3

Mendocino Department of Agriculture

* * *

* * *


Greenwood School in Elk, March 4 @ 7pm

And at Fort Bragg Town Hall in Fort Bragg, March 5 @ 6pm

Doug Nunn will present his Climate Reality Slide Show, which graphically illustrates why and how our environment is heating up and what we can do about it, at the Greenwood School on Monday, March 4, at 7pm and at the Fort Bragg Town Hall. The public is invited to both these free, one-hour+ presentations which will be followed by questions from the audience. The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." Part of Gore’s work led him to found the Climate Reality Project, an organization which has trained more than 17,000 presenters, all with the goal of educating the public about the dangers of human caused climate change and the measures we need to take to overcome it. In late August Albion resident Doug Nunn joined over 2200 Climate Reality trainees at the Los Angeles Convention Center where Al Gore and a group of educators, scientists, and political figures worked to pass on their scientific training, knowledge and passion. Nunn is now working to educate citizen groups on the realities of Climate Change and the work we need to do to begin the process of overcoming the damage being done. This December 13th presentation in Albion is a part of Doug’s effort to address community groups, school classrooms, and interested citizens over the next many months. The main questions Gore posits in The Climate Reality Project slide show are “Must we change?”, “Can we change?” and “Will we change?” Initially the presentation explains how the atmosphere works, how we have polluted it since the Industrial Revolution and the resultant rapid changes in climate during the past 40 years. Evidence of increasing climactic disruptions like weather fluctuations, floods, droughts and wildfires are explored. In the “Can we change?” portion of the slide show, large increases in solar and wind power and decreases in the percentage of fossil fuels used are presented. Climate Change denial and its preponderance in the US is explored as are political solutions. We also discuss things citizens can do to influence the future of this debate. Doug Nunn is a comic/improviser and recently retired teacher who has been an activist/environmentalist since his time at UC Berkeley in the early 1970s. Nunn has worked as a cook, truck driver, construction worker, warehouseman, actor/improviser and school teacher. He co-taught the inspiring Eco-Literacy class of Mendocino’s SONAR (School of Natural Resources) from 2008-17, as well as Drama, History, and Continuation School at Mendocino High School from 2001-17. Along with Marshall Brown and Ken Krauss, Doug recently launched the podcast “SnapSessions!”, dedicated to interviews with artists as well as political and cultural commentaries. He is delighted to be involved with the Climate Reality Project. If you would like to have Doug present his Climate Reality Slide Show before your group, contact him at or at 707-937-0360.

Show before your group, contact him at or at 707-937-0360.

* * *

* * *


Highlight Gallery is downsizing so we don’t need everything we have. We should have things gathered and ready to be seen from 10 am-5 pm, Wednesday and Thursday.

Some of the items available:

  • Many white pedestals, various sizes
  • 2 canvas print bins
  • 1 metal print bin
  • 1 display hanger stand
  • computer keyboard riser
  • 4-portable glass jewelry display boxes, home made, 14x14x14
  • desk top jewelry case-rough-lockable
  • triangular glass display table- 36” tall
  • plate stands
  • acrylic risers- 3 sides
  • 6” lazy susan mirrored displays

The Highlight Gallery

45094 Main Street, Mendocino

By Gallery Bookstore

Sylvia Gilmour

* * *


Shamanism 101 - Working in Partnership with the Land

Saturday March 2nd 12 pm - 2 pm

Mendocino Center for Spiritual Living's Gathering Place

In the Company Store 303 N. Main Street Fort Bragg

Doors open at 11 45 am and close at 12 pm

Suggested donation 5 - 15

In this 2 hour discussion we'll explore what it means to be in shamanic relationship with the land and the diverse types of Nature and Land Spirits before we embark on a drum journey to meet the Spirit of the Land where you live.

Heather O'Connell,

* * *


Damned tootin', eh? The medical cobra, in the form of Oregon Medical Imaging, will slowly scan some relevant parts of my body as I am transported through some bazillion dollar medical machine. An MRI, it's called. It's one of today's expensive array of machines designed to conceivably saddle me with medical bills until the collapse of the universe. But maybe not. The Great Spirit has determined that I have to look fearfully at my mailbox in fear until I hear that last tick. This sounds like whining and complaining. And that's all that you get.

Meanwhile, one of my son in laws visited for a couple of hours. While he was here, my internet came back to life. His wife, my local CPA daughter, messaged him that she'd found me a chair to replace the embarrassing older and partly. I assume it's used, but not even the throne of an ancient king's is worth hauling it from halfway to Roseburg in this weather. There's maybe ten inches of snow on this thirty four degree mid-afternoon in Eugene. My son in law told me that today, four wheel drives are needed to be safest trying to drive.

So I'm gonna take a Prius cab to the hospital on Friday, across the river in Springfield. With the internet back, I just started re-reading Kesey.

(Bruce Brady)

* * *

THE FIERY HOT "PEPPERS" discovered in the New World by Columbus…are not real pepper because they are not from the "Piper Nigrum" plant. They are members of the Solanaceæ family of plants, specifically varieties of "Capsicum annuum." A cynic might suspect the explorers named these fruits "pimiento" because real pepper ("pimienta" in Spanish) was such a valuable spice in Europe at the time that a little stretching of the truth might bring a better price back home. The explorers also called them "chile" and "ají" after their Aztec and Taino names, and the world has been confused about what to call them ever since. […] In contemporary Spain, the capsicums are still called "pimientos," while in Mexico they are still called "chiles." But in other Latin American countries they are called "ají," not to be confused with "ajo," which is garlic. The British changed "chile" to "chilli," while in the United States we spell it "chili," reserving the word "pimiento" for another capsicum species, the sweet bell "pepper," except that we sometimes spell pimiento "pimento," not to be confused with "pimenta," the tree from which we get "allspice" berries, which were so named because they taste like a combination of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Got all that?

— Dr Robert L. Wolke, 2005; from "What Einstein Told His Cook, ii"

* * *


by Dan Bacher

LOS ANGELES— In a victory for environmental justice, a California appeals court on February 15 dismissed the California Independent Petroleum Associations’s lawsuit against youth organizations from South Los Angeles and Wilmington, the Center for Biological Diversity and the city of Los Angeles.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeals reversed a previous order by Judge Terry A. Green of the L.A. Superior Court denying the special motions by the nonprofit organizations and the city to strike the oil industry lawsuit.

The oil industry is the most powerful corporate lobby in California, so this big win by the Center and youth groups is very significant.

The California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) filed the suit after the groups won protections against neighborhood oil drilling from the city, according to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition and Youth for Environmental Justice.

CIPA is “a non-profit, non-partisan trade association representing approximately 500 independent crude oil and natural gas producers, royalty owners, and service and supply companies operating in California,” according to the CIPA website at: The association’s members represent approximately 70% of California's total oil production and 90% of California's natural gas production, including Exxon and Chevron.

“Using lawsuits to shut people up has long been a part of the oil industry’s playbook, but the tides are changing,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “This decision affirms that communities have the right to demand protection from pollution without fear of retaliation from polluters.”

Siegel said oil and gas drilling releases toxic chemicals known to cause a range of health problems, from asthma and headaches to a higher risk of cancer.

“Drilling sites in South Los Angeles and Wilmington, neighborhoods that are predominantly black and Latino, are on average hundreds of feet closer to homes, schools and playgrounds than drilling sites in neighborhoods with larger numbers of white residents,” she stated.

“For decades the oil industry has put our health and safety in jeopardy,” said Nalleli Cobo, an activist with the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition. “Now we the youth are fighting back, and we’re winning. It’s time for justice and it’s time to put people’s health over profit.”

Cobo, a Los Angeles resident, knows first-hand the impacts of oil and gas drilling upon people’s health and safety, since she was sickened by toxic emissions from the oil drilling site, AllenCo., near her home.

“In 2011 when I was 9 years old, I suffered from lack of sleep, headaches, stomach pains, body spasms and asthma,” she explained. “After we worked with community members and then Senator Barbara Boxer to shut down the AllenCo. site, all of these symptoms disappeared in 2013 except that I now have asthma. I still have to use two inhalers and take pills daily.”

In November of 2015, Youth for Environmental Justice , the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition and the Center for Biological Diversity sued the city of Los Angelesfor “rubber-stamping oil projects in communities of color.”

The groups sued the city “for allowing oil companies to drill hundreds of contaminating wells near homes without conducting mandatory environmental studies and for exposing black and Latino residents to disproportionate health and safety risks by imposing less-protective rules in their neighborhoods.”

Unlike other oil and gas producing states including Pennsylvania, Colorado and Texas, California requires no mandatory oil and gas well setbacks from homes and schools.

The groups and city reached a settlement in 2016 after the city adopted new requirements for drilling applications to ensure compliance with state environmental review rules and protect vulnerable communities.

However, the California Independent Petroleum Association then countersued the city and groups, arguing that the new requirements raised drillers’ costs without due process.

The youth groups’ attorneys filed an anti-SLAPP motion, calling CIPA’s lawsuit “a classic example of a retaliatory strategic lawsuit against public participation” (“SLAPP Suit”) that violates California law. In an unexpected ruling, the L.A. Superior Court denied the motion.

The ruling by the California 2nd District Court of Appeals reversed that decision, siding with the groups and dismissing the Petroleum Association’s suit as having “no probability of prevailing.”

“Because Memorandum 133 does not expand the City’s discretionary authority to make decisions about drilling, redrilling or modification of existing conditions, CIPA cannot show the measure implicates any property rights of its owners,” the appeals court ruled. “Without such an impact, CIPA has no probability of prevailing on its claim that due process requires voiding the settlement between the City and the Nonprofits and compelling further litigation of Nonprofits’ case to a termination of merits.”

The court also said the decision “obliterates any claim CIPA might have for attorney fees and its appeal of the order is accordingly moot." CIPA had requested nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in attorneys’ fees from the city and groups.

“I’ll never let the oil industry bully me into silence,” said Briannda Escobedo of Youth for Environmental Justice. “This win shows what happens when communities come together to stand up to polluters. It gives me hope to continue fighting for the healthy neighborhoods we deserve.”

A CIPA representative has not responded to my request for a comment on the court decision.

In spite of California’s “green” facade, state regulators during the Governor Jerry Brown administration approved over 21,000 new oil and gas drilling permits, including over 200 new offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases.

The reason for the oil drilling expansion in California, as well as the failure of the state to require setbacks from wells as is done in other oil producing states, is because the oil industry dominates lobbying spending in California every year, resulting in the capture of the state regulators by the regulated.

In 2017, Big Oil dominated three out of the four top spots of expenditures by all lobbying organizations. Chevron placed first with $8.2 million and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) placed second with $6.2 million. The Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company finished fourth with $3.2 million.

That’s a total of $17.6 million dumped into lobbying by the three top oil industry lobbying organizations alone. That figure exceeds the $14,577,314 expended by all 16 oil lobby organizations in 2016.

In 2018, the top three spenders were PG&E, with $9,580,357 spent lobbying California officials, followed by WSPA, with $7,874, 807 spent, and Chevron, with about $4 million spent.

For more information about Big Oil money and power in California, go to:…

* * *


In the 1990s, when I was still at Yogaville, a visitor asked Swami Satchidananda: "What is God?" The guru (who gave the opening address at Woodstock in the 1960s) replied: "God is the eternal witness."

Craig Louis Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii



  1. Harvey Reading February 28, 2019


    Ouch! Nice boat.

  2. james marmon February 28, 2019


    Glad to see Donna and her bunch speak out. A PHF unit
    is the last thing Mental-cino needs. I also don’t think handing all the measure b money to the Shraeders is the answer either. Everything should go out to competitive bid.

    • james marmon February 28, 2019

      I think the Measure B committee should request a full independent financial audit on County Behavioral Health and the Schraeder operations before they prop up the status qou. That would mean looking at RQMC, RCS and RC3 and how they interact with each other and the with County, State and Federal Governments. Unfortunately that would mean following one of Kemper’s recommendations from his first report, and that report was shit canned a long time ago.

      Will giving Camille all the Measure B money really be money well spent or will Mental-cino taxpayers just be adding to Camille’s profits and/or RCS’s empire. Is building a private non’profit’s empire really in taxpayers best interest?

      James Marmon MSW
      One smart SOB

  3. Lazarus February 28, 2019


    One can only hope the power listens, but good luck with that.
    The owner of Measure B still wants his lockdown unit, 16-foot razor wire, bulletproof glass, straight jackets, heavy meds, the whole deal. All this even though his new wing at the jail will fix most of his street issues.
    This deal is going to get interesting as alternate groups and facts begin to surface as the parceling out of all that money get closer. Then again as slow as Government Mendo style works, it could be years away. Can’t wait for the latest video of Measure B’ness and the AVA analysis…
    As always,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *