- Wettish Weather
- Variety Show
- Ukiah Snow
- Ed Notes
- Great Vastness
- Yesterday's Catch
- Corporate Media
- Leaving Neverland
- Dangerous Success
- Urchin Removal
- Rye Humor
- Covered Duck
- Spring Concerts
- Voluntary Submission
- Exploitation Nation
- High Costs
- PG&E Knew
- Photo Exhibit
- Human Smuggling
- Disaster Relief
- The Enemy
- Free Assange
WET WEATHER will return to northwest California today and persist into Wednesday. This will be followed by cooler showery weather Thursday and Friday. Unsettled weather will continue this weekend into early next week. (National Weather Service)
Get ready, 'cause it's almost time for the 28th annual Anderson Valley Variety Show at the Philo Solar Grange! As always, we've got two unique nights of super, special, silly, stupendous acts to share with you. Each night is different, so you'll want to be sure to attend both Friday and Saturday, March 9th and 10th, so you can see them all. We have a great plan for getting tickets to you so that you can be sure to get in! The tickets will be available the week of March 4th-8th at both Lemon's Philo Market, and the Anderson Valley Market in Boonville. It will be $5 for kids under 12 and seniors over 65, and $10 for adults between the ages of 13 and 64. These pre-sale tickets will sell out by Friday. There's a limited number of tickets available to purchase during the week before the show, because we're saving 100 tickets to sell at the door each night of the event. This way, if you have a ticket, you will get in! The doors to the Grange will open at 6:30, a half hour before the show, which starts at 7:00. You'll want to get there early, though, because as always, there will be a long line and a fun party in the parking lot beforehand. Dinner will be available both nights, Friday, the Teen Center will be selling pozole, and Saturday, Jay will be selling his famous rib dinners. The senior bus will be picking people up at the senior center in Boonville and at the post office in Philo. Any seniors riding the bus will be admitted early so that they can be sure to get seats.
MENDOCINO COUNTY HISTORY: 1907 BROUGHT 12.5 INCHES OF SNOW TO UKIAH
(Jody Martinez. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
A TASK FORCE RAID on the Mexican compound next door to the Boonville weekly in central Boonville early Saturday morning involved several agencies led by Fish and Game. A total of 15 vehicles, including several unmarked, disgorged some 20 uniformed persons who spent about three hours on the heavily populated property. It is rumored that freshly butchered deer carcasses were found to the rear of the parcel and citations issued but no arrests were made. The raided property is concealed from Highway 128 by a wooden fence. We don’t expect to learn more on Monday because Fish and Game (Wildlife) never explains itself. Considered as a whole, a secret raid arriving early in the morning in 15 government vehicles is probably a taste of what’s to come in our ever more perilous world.
SORRY to learn that Postmaster Al has died. A shy, unfailingly pleasant man, Al Zischke reigned at the Boonville Post Office from October of 2002 until sometime in 2007 when he retired and departed for his home state of Wisconsin. He often worked alone, and his tasks piled up, as grumbling customers stacked up, sometimes clear out the door as Al, in his looping, painstakingly slow left-handed cursive — every letter a work of art! — conducted a postal transaction requiring his personal attention. Al would not he hurried! I always admired him for inadvertently returning Boonville’s busiest office to its 19th century rural roots, a time when all hurrying got a person was tired.
BOONVILLE took some expensive weather hits with the recent storm. Lambert Lane Bridge is dangerously slipping, as is the roadbed on its east end. It has been closed for a week now. Re-routed residents “hear it’s going to be six weeks but nothing official. Six weeks to the county equals six months our time. They have been basically only putting bandaids on it for years. I’m sure it all boils down to no dinero, but now they really have to fix it. It hasn’t made traffic going through any less. There’s a lot of people living beyond the bridge. Road behind the fairgrounds is awful. Huge potholes and every time I go on it and try to go slow, some jerk starts riding my ass. Fairgrounds peeps aren’t very happy about it either. They’ve become the traffic nazis trying to get people to go slow through the fairgrounds. Fingers crossed it gets fixed soon.”
THE COUNTY will have to hustle with at least a temporary bridge because events begin at the Fairgrounds in about six weeks. Can’t have through traffic driving mowing down the Rastafarians.
FROM OUR SUPERVISOR, Ted Williams: “The county has been working on replacing the Lambert Lane bridge in downtown Boonville and expect full replacement by 2021. However, the scouring from this flood has weakened the foundation to the point that it is unsafe and was closed Friday. MCDoT has made arrangements to use the neighboring Fairgrounds bridge for residents. MCDoT is deploying our Bailey Bridge to reopen Lambert Lane, as soon as we can, but we expect no later than the first week of April — five weeks. The Fairgrounds access will allow limited access until we install our temporary bridge.”
JOAN BURROUGHS, a bona fide Boonville old timer, clarifies: “The creek causing damage and concern on Lambert Lane is Robinson Creek. Lambert Lane bridge is a mess; but it will be a whole lot worse when/if the state and CSD installs sewer lines under the bridge to support a hugely expensive, intrusive, unneeded water/sewer infrastructure. Robinson Creek is always a threat during heavy runoff. Through the years it has taken out land and trees on both sides of the creek; large oak and pepperwood trees (Bay Laurel) have been uprooted and moved downstream. Robinson Creek empties into Anderson Creek where the overpass sits. Each summer, after the creek water dissipated my grandfather would take his tractor to the Anderson Creek area on his ranch to restore the river path and undermined banks. He relayed stories of people drowning on horseback while trying to cross Anderson Creek.”
CALTRANS should be quicker to close the gates on 128 at Flynn Creek and at Highway One. Two Monday nights ago, after a day of hard rain, it was obvious the Navarro was going to flood at some point after 6pm or so. But the gates still weren't closed by 10pm when a couple heading for the Coast almost drowned in the attempt as described here:
SHARON GARNER POSTED this harrowing story to the attention of Supervisor Williams: "Last night, a KZYX programmer had finished his show, left the station with his partner and proceeded to drive home on Hwy 128 toward Little River around 10pm. There were NO road closed signs put up by CalTrans to warn drivers. He hit water so deep that the car started floating and he and his partner had to abandon the car through the window! He lost his car, but they have their lives. CalTrans was completely aware of this possibility and should have been able to get the proper signs up. We had torrential rains all day and flooding was predicted! How many other people lost their cars or could have died because of CalTrans's not paying enough attention and warning people?!
THE REASON I know about this is my husband, Steve Garner, has a show right after the programmer's show, but was there to assist during pledge drive. Steve was called at the station and was told what happened at around 10:45pm. He and his partner were picked up by some people as they were walking toward safety (they had no cell service). They were taken home via Comptche. He called the station as soon as he got home so that Steve could warn other drivers about the flooded Highway. [Supervisor] Ted Williams, is there anything you can do about this? This person lost his car, a brand new car, because CalTrans was not doing their job. Just wanted to at least put this out there because other people may have had similar experiences.”
NATHAN ANDERSON recounts his harrowing journey on flood night: “I went through the lower 128 around 9 o’clock. I have a 3500 dodge. With 22-inch tires and the water was over the road in many places. It wasn’t because of the river going over the bank. It was because the culverts were failing to drain out the water. I never saw any Caltrans trucks all the way home. I got home and called the station while Dave’s show was still going. I told the man that answered the phone for my pledge. I told him that 128 was dangerous and that there was lots of water on the road. He said he would keep that in mind. I thought what was weird was that he did not say, ‘We will put that on the air.’ I listened to the rest of the show and they said nothing about what I had said to them. If they would have listened to what I had to say and took it to heart and put it on the air, maybe they wouldn’t have lost their car. Caltrans should have had that road closed. It was really bad.”
WAY BACK, before CalTrans got around to installing gates at either end of the 128 flood zone, episodes as described above were common, so common that the gates were installed. Last week’s downpour during the daylight hours was a sure sign that 128 would flood, and the gates would eventually be pulled across the road. I drove to South Boonville (SoBo) a little before 5pm to see if Caltrans had the Road Closed sign in place, thinking that there'd already been sufficient rain to cause the Navarro to spill its banks within a couple of hours. No sign of the sign. The poor guy's adventure described above translates to me that Caltrans was tardy in closing off 128 at Navarro.
SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER than to stir up the Cat Ladies. Cathy Rapp called to say that 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 where there’s at least an off chance that someone might adopt them. The minute the June house cats aren’t fed… CAT a clysm!
AS HYPOCRITICAL as any other generic hypocrite, I should add that we maintain two orphaned cats right here at newspaper headquarters, Skrag and Alice. I’ve intended for far too long to have both of them fixed, or at least looked at because, respecting their privacy, I don’t know if they’re neutered or not. Alice appears to be beyond repro age, but Skrag obviously leads a vigorous, sexually predatory night life, returning most mornings for breakfast all beat to hell.
ATTENTION PETIT BOURGIES: Business Owners in Anderson Valley! The AV Chamber of Commerce (AVCOC) is inviting all businesses to become members of the Chamber (or renew your membership) and receive many benefits that will help promote and market your business, services, and products! Go to our Facebook page or website (www.andersonvalleychamber.com) and get the details. AND…if you join by MARCH 11, you will be included in our Anderson Valley Visitor Guide brochure which is distributed throughout the County and more! Join us today, do not delay!
REGARDING SOCO SEWAGE SPILLS, an on-line comment: "Yes, but just keep building those subdivisions Santa Rosa, because you cleverly pretend you have a super sewer system that can handle all the sewage under any conditions. Until it inevitability fails. Inflow from flood waters and runoff from impermeable surfaces is a known problem with huge sewer systems that by the way are completely outdated and old school technology. This is not the first time Santa Rosa has used the Russian River for their illegal dumping. Growth is the God of the folks who run the government. But growth never pays for itself and they'll all retire to states without so many rules. We are not responsible for building homes for everyone who want to live here particularly when the result is the ruination of our environment."
THE BATTERED RUSSIAN RIVER, at least the Guerneville-Monte Rio lower stretch, has been used as a leach field for Santa Rosa for years, hence that weird summer-time greenish hue that makes the water look more anti-freeze than the pristine blue of yesteryear. Factor in all the flooded septic systems and…
“ONE OF THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGES of living in Ukiah is that none of us ever have to stand in line to get into an Asian Massage Parlor. You may think this is because no one ever goes to an Asian Massage parlor but that just means both of us are right; Read on. There are now six such establishments within the city perimeters, each as empty as all the others, and a lack of customers has not prevented major growth in the saturated market. There is a cluster of three such businesses within spitting distance of the courthouse, more down State Street and now a new one on Orchard Avenue. My guess is that there are more of these parlors than there are yoga centers, therapy outlets and pilates studios all put together. That’s good. If mere mystery was all that these odd little shops provoked I’d be content to be mystified. Because whenever we think about massage joints in Ukiah, or talk about them with friends and neighbors, there’s always this pause, a sigh, some head-scratching and some wincing. Six Asian Massage Parlors? No one knows. No one asks.” (Tommy Wayne Kramer, Ukiah Daily Journal)
GEORGE DORNER WRITES re Ukiah’s six Asian massage parlors: “Well, I actually entered the massage parlor just behind the courthouse. I was passing by, saw that it offered foot reflexology, and decided to inquire about their services. You see, I have a chronic foot injury. I know that reflexology works through massaging the feet to soothe pain in the body. I wondered whether they could help my foot. I was met inside the door by a middle-aged Asian male who asked in a thick accent, “You have appointment?” “Well, no, but I wondered…” “No appointment, you go.” And he ushered me out the door. Indeed, how do Ukiah’s massage parlors survive, with that kind of attitude?”
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: HERE AT THE EDGE
by David Wilson
The vastness of things often comes home to me while I’m photographing at the edge of the continent or beneath the stars. To the east is the grounding solidity of the great North American land mass, to the west the immense Pacific Ocean stretches far beyond the horizon, and above, the field of stars. And there I am, just a tiny thing standing unnoticed.
Right next to that thought is the realization that it’s all relative. How very small these things are, like landmasses. Or the planet itself. Think about it: if you stood far enough out from our globe that the Earth was about golf ball size in your view, how small would be that film of atmosphere clinging to its surface? Could you even see it? At that scale it wouldn’t take much to wipe it right off…
It’s easy to get lost in a feeling tininess when I realize that everything we understand about the Universe is in fact a ridiculously minuscule amount of information next to what’s out there not yet understood, most of which never will be known by us. We learn and grow in our understanding of the Universe around us all the time as we observe and experiment, but we will never be able to fit into our heads, nor into all the computer banks our civilization will ever produce, a complete model that describes it all. There are a lot of variables.
Surrounded as we are by hugenesses beyond our understanding, it is still possible to marvel at the wonders we find in the details down here at our scale. Yet as I photograph them my mind wanders again to things larger than I am. What seems permanent is in constant motion. Where our rugged coast meets the mighty Pacific, geologic and other erosive forces are forever at work, changing and reforming the shape of the coastline, grinding up the great rocks and cliffs and scattering them in the surf. Beneath it all tectonic plates bump and grind past each other, moving and shaking everything above. Civilization clings to an illusion of permanence as everything inexorably changes around it, hustling and bustling and shining its lights into the night. But civilization itself has only existed for the blink of an eye, on a pinprick of a world orbiting a small star in a galaxy full of stars, in a universe full of galaxies.
Looking north toward Trinidad and Trinidad Head from Houda Point Beach, Humboldt County, California. This is actually a little west of north, as you can see from the arc of the star trails that the North Star, Polaris, would be above and to the right of this view. The star trails closer to the cloud layer appear to break up in places due to being partially obscured at times by the moving clouds. Like a skylight cover the cloud layer slid until the stars were replaced by grey. Same thing happened to my hair.
Lights from shore illuminate this great chunk of rock here where the wild coastline intersects with humanity. Above, a satellite’s eye in the sky so high crawled slowly past Orion. Humboldt County, California. February 22, 2019.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or his website mindscapefx.com, where you can also contact him, but which Wilson says he updates less frequently.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 4, 2019
ANTELMO BARRALES, Ukiah. DUI, no license, probation revocation.
JOSE CEJA-LOPEZ, Ukiah. False personation of another, failure to appear, probation revocation.
RICK CLARK, Caspar. DUI, no registration.
MICHAEL COLVIG, Willits. Mandated reporter failed to report incident of child abuse or neglect. (2x)
NICHOLE GOEKEN, Ukiah. DUI.
BRYN HARRIS, Gualala. DUI.
RHANDA JACK, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
REBECCA LAMET, Benicia/Ukiah. DUI, third DUI in ten years, BA over 0.15%.
TIMOTHY MCLEAN, Berkeley/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DAVID POPE, Lakeport/Ukiah. Intimate touching of another against their will.
GREGORY THOMPKINS, Fort Bragg. Disobeying court order.
WINDY VINSON, Ukiah. DUI.
ANAY ZAMORA-DOMINGUEZ, Hopland. DUI, child endangerment.
THE BIG OBSTACLE FOR BERNIE ISN’T DNC ‘RIGGING’ — IT’S MEDIA TRASHING
by Norman Solomon
Some people are attached to the idea that the Democratic National Committee will “rig” the presidential nomination against Bernie Sanders. The meme encourages the belief that the Bernie 2020 campaign is futile because of powerful corporate Democrats. But such fatalism should be discarded.
As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Of course, top Democratic Party officials don’t intend to give up control. It has to be taken from them. And the conditions for doing that are now more favorable than ever.
The effects of mobilized demands for change in the Democratic presidential nominating process have been major -- not out of the goodness of any power broker’s heart, but because progressives have organized effectively during the last two years.
“I think I will not shock anybody to suggest that the DNC was not quite evenhanded” during the 2016 race, Bernie said last week on CNN. “I think we have come a long way since then, and I fully expect to be treated quite as well as anybody else.”
One big factor: This time, no candidate can gain frontrunner leverage with superdelegates the way Hillary Clinton did early in the race. Last August, under grassroots pressure, the DNC voted to abolish superdelegates’ votes at the Democratic National Convention for the first ballot in the nominating process. There hasn’t been a second ballot since 1952.
When timeworn polemics insist that what’s now underway can’t really happen, it is time to revise the polemics. For many years, we heard that genuinely progressive Democrats couldn’t make meaningful inroads in Congress. Now, with impacts that far exceed their growing numbers, recently arrived House members are doing a lot to help reshape the political discourse -- notably Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
While ill-founded, the line that “the DNC will rig 2020” is apt to have perverse impacts. No doubt sincerely believed by some, the outdated notion serves to demoralize and de-energize.
Is the Bernie 2020 campaign facing a steep uphill climb? Of course it is. Are powerful forces arrayed to crush it? Absolutely.
But let’s be clear. The huge obstacle ahead is not the DNC -- it’s the mass media. The corporate-owned and corporate-advertiser-funded media of this country are the biggest barriers between Bernie Sanders and the Oval Office.
Often functioning as propaganda outlets, the major news media serve as an amplification system for corporate power that has long shielded the Democratic Party from the combined “threats” of social movements and progressive populist candidates. The synergies of momentum from the left -- outside and inside of electoral arenas -- are continuing to accelerate.
It’s crucial that progressives develop more effective challenges to the media serving the predatory big-money system. More than any other force, reflexive spin from corporate media stands between us and a Bernie Sanders presidency.
In sharp contrast to campaigns with enormous budgets for Astroturf, the first Sanders presidential campaign was able to effectively defy the conventional wisdom and overall power structure by inspiring and mobilizing at the grassroots. His campaign was -- and is -- antithetical to the politics of corporate media.
Two examples of news coverage, exactly three years apart, indicate what the Bernie 2020 campaign will be up against. In early March 2016, at a pivotal moment during the primary campaign, FAIR analyst Adam Johnson documented that the Washington Post “ran 16 negative stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 hours . . . a window that includes the crucial Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, and the next morning’s spin.”
Days ago, when Bernie Sanders launched his campaign with a big rally in Brooklyn, the MSNBC coverage was so slanted that an assessment from Glenn Greenwald appeared under the headline “MSNBC Yet Again Broadcasts Blatant Lies, This Time About Bernie Sanders’ Opening Speech, and Refuses to Correct Them.”
Greenwald’s critique of MSNBC focused on flagrantly inaccurate anti-Sanders commentary from a former Hillary Clinton aide that immediately followed the senator’s Brooklyn speech. No Sanders supporter was included in the discussion. The coverage prompted an email from FAIR founder (and my colleague) Jeff Cohen to an MSNBC vice president: “You have no trouble finding hardcore Clintonite Bernie-bashers; please offer some balance in your analysts. In today’s Democratic Party, there’s clearly more sympathy for Bernie than the Clintons -- but not on MSNBC.”
It’s worth noting that the Post is owned by the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, while MSNBC is owned by Comcast, “the world’s largest entertainment company.”
To counteract the media propaganda arsenal now in place, we should fully recognize that arsenal as the main weaponry that corporate power will deploy against the Bernie 2020 campaign. We must confront those corporate media forces while vastly strengthening independent progressive media work of all kinds.
(Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network. Solomon is the author of a dozen books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.)
SUNSET BOULEVARD WITH CHIMP
by James Kunstler
If you want some insight into how deep the collective public psychosis in this land runs, check out Dan Reed’s four-hour documentary about the late Michael Jackson streaming on the HBO cable network. The film apparently provoked outrage when it premiered at the Sundance Festival recently, as if it were in bad taste to disclose the icon’s peccadillos in these days of Progressive intersectional triumph.
Mr. Jackson methodically assembled a harem of catamites as his show business fame exploded and he struggled with the personal horror of developing into a full-grown man. He solved that problem by restricting his social consort to little boys while surgically metamorphosing into a schematic approximation of a woman — interesting, since he repeatedly referred to women as “evil,” but then his greatest hit was the self-revealing song, Bad.
Everybody and his uncle’s-second-cousin in Hollywood at the time must have known what the deal was with him but they went along with the gag that he was the reincarnation of Peter Pan, just a harmless character out of Show Biz’s own catalog of manufactured mythology, something they could understand, a framing device to spin cotton candy out of the truth that Mr. Jackson was simply a child-molester.
The two men featured in the film, Wade Robson and James Sawchuck, now full-grown themselves, with children of their own, were recruited at age 5 and 7, with their families coming along for the ride, mesmerized by the sparkly trappings of Jacksondom and all the money and unreality that emanated from it. The two moms, Joy Robson and Stephanie Sawchuck, gave permission for their boys to travel unaccompanied with Jackson on tour, and to share Mr. Jackson’s bed, testimony to their amazing feckless credulity. Sometimes they stayed at the star’s 2700-acre Neverland Ranch. Joy Robson states that whole days would go by when she wouldn’t see her son there, or know what he was doing with Mr. Jackson, feeling so alone that she resorted to passing the time with Mr. Jackson’s pet chimpanzee. “We became good friends,” she said of the chimp. Meanwhile, Mr. Jackson had initiated her son into homosexual sex with him, apparently in every room at Neverland — and there were a lot of rooms in all those buildings.
There were several other boys lured into the star’s sexual service besides the two featured in the film, and the law eventually caught up with Mr. Jackson. Though the prosecution botched both of his trials, the evidence and testimony made public was so unappetizing that even Hollywood had to quietly dissociate from the damaged entertainer — emphasis on the quietly. The star did the rest, losing most of his fortune, and eventually his very life at age 50 via a drug overdose. Gore Vidal put it best, as when remarking on the death of his literary rival Truman Capote: “Good career move.”
The fathers of these two boys come off as ciphers in the documentary. They seemingly had nothing to say about the insane goings-on, an interesting preview of the current status of adult males in this land today: authority revoked. The career of Mr. Jackson was also a preview of what America is acting out these days: a life of no boundaries, where anything goes and nothing matters. The bottom line for him, as he told one of the mothers who demurred from allowing her kid to leave home and spend a year living with Mr. Jackson, was “I always get what I want.”
Michael Jackson’s stalwart fans have mounted a counter-attack against the film and its maker, Dan Reed. “They’re the Islamic State of fandom,” he said.
As The New York Times put it in its coverage of the lurid tale, “Jackson’s supporters don’t see it that way. Instead they identify as researchers and activists who view Jackson as a civil rights case.” I suppose the Southern Poverty Law Center will brand the film as a vehicle of “hate,” and take up their battle flag. Since every other threshold of sexual behavior and identity has been crossed by now, get ready for the official attempt to normalize pederasty.
Or, just perhaps, Leaving Neverland signals an interesting turning point in the madness that has gripped this country for years, and especially the bewitched, bothered, and bewildered thinking class, lost in its labyrinth of sacred monsters. This year 2019 — and especially the coming springtime — promises to be a time of spectacular reversals in politics, manners, and markets.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
FOR AN ACTOR, success is the worst thing you can ever have. What happens with success and money is, it becomes an absolute limitation to the actor and restricts his ability to search for the truth. That’s why success is always more dangerous than failure.
— Nick Nolte
HUFFMAN AND WOOD HEARD FROM HUMBOLDT AND TALKED ABOUT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SENDING THE NATIONAL GUARD ‘NORTH’ TO GO AFTER ILLEGAL CANNABIS FARMS
Urchin removal this Saturday, March 9
Update for this weekend, March 9-10. Conditions for Saturday look decent with 4-6 foot NW swell and light wind, no rain. Sunday on the other hand is 12 foot swells and windy. Van Damme State park is closed at this time, the campground and the parking lot. They expect to open the parking lot Thursday and the campground when the flooding stops and trees stop falling so I've added Caspar Beach as an alternate to our permit for that weekend. I've also called ahead and let them know that some people may be changing their camping arrangements from Van Damme to Caspar. Caspar is open and running with no issues. At this time we will have to plan to have the urchin removal on Saturday only. If the parking lot at Van Damme is open we will meet there at 8am Saturday morning. If the parking lot at Van Damme is closed we will meet at 8am at Caspar for the dive briefing. Remember that if you didn't give us your CADFW GO ID number at the January event you will need to bring your fishing license.
Kathy Wylie, M.S. Ed.
THE CATCHER IN THE RAIN
Some examples of socialism in the U.S.A. are the public schools, libraries, roads, Cal-Trans, freeways, police and fire departments.
As kids, most of us went to public schools here, that were funded collectively by U.S. taxpayers, not just our parents money. That is Democratic Socialism, U.S.A. style.
I love the new Covelo public library, and I support it with donations and public tax money. I see many kids using this freebee who haven't paid any money. If we had a strictly capitalist country, then those kids would be forced to pay! I suspect most of those who demonize socialism, have in fact used the public libraries.
Roads and freeways benefit all of us here in the U.S.A. and were paid for collectively by taxpayers, not just your money, capitalist guy. CalTrans is funded with collectivist taxpayer money and capitalist guy couldn't get far without that absolute FACT!
Police and fire departments are funded with taxpayer money, once again, collectively! That is, we the people agree to pay for services all together, as a society, rather than totally separate.
Yes, we are individuals under a constitutional republic system, but that does not discount the fact that we live in a society.
On 9/11 the evil Socialists destroyed the World Trade Center, killing thousands and… Oh wait, no, that was the Saudi backed terrorists. But, the evil Socialists are torturing women who want equality with men. Oh no, wait, that's The Saudi Arabian Kings and rulers that Trump loves so much.
Trump and the repugs demonizing of Socialism, completely ignores the fact that the U.S.A. and our allies are mostly democratic socialist in how we operate, with the Europeans more so.
This anti-socialism crusade also ignores the Saudi crimes against its own people and Yemen.
Completely immoral disgusting hypocrisy and criminal complicity. That's just Trump being himself! "I know what Trump is. He is a racist he is a con-man, he is a cheat!" Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
UNSEEMLY OFFICIAL BEHAVIORS
Aloha, to y'all at the Beloved AVA! Nick Wilson's mention of the rampant corruption WE KEEP PAYING AND PAYING FOR got my attention before I'd had sufficient coffee, this a.m. Attached is a little 'toon that I hope goes a little way to illuminating the function of 'our' CorPirate-captive-media information mechanisms; Thanks a Heap, AVA, as ever! Cheers!
Rick Weddle, Hawaii
BRING A PARENT
Symphony Bring-a-Parent program
The Symphony of the Redwoods Spring concerts are Saturday April 6 at 7:30 pm and Sunday April 7 at 2 pm at Cotton auditorium. Young people 18 years and under are ALWAYS admitted free to Symphony concerts. In addition, the Symphony is pleased to offer its Bring-a-Parent program. Each Bring-a-Parent ticket admits one adult for FREE (parent, grandparent, teacher, adult friend, or relative) to a Symphony concert when accompanied by one or more youngsters 18 or under. Bring-a-Parent tickets are available at Mendocino and Fort Bragg schools and also at the Cotton box office.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 Glenn Close’s gown at the Oscars weighed forty pounds.
For comparison’s sake, an NHL goalie wears thirty-five pounds of equipment.
 Watching the hearings today, I was struck by the fact that there was really nothing about Trump’s personality or behavior that I didn’t already know or suspect. The crazy thing is that he really has never bothered to try & hide who he is, either by word or deed, and still enjoys the level of support that he gets. The reason in most cases seems to be that people will overlook certain of his behaviors because they support some of his goals. Like the religious right, who don’t care about him fucking other women, as long as he ends abortions, or others who don’t care how much he lies & steals as long as he builds the wall. In that respect, the level of support he gets is unprecedented. He behaves in ways that would have sunk anybody else long ago. It’s truly a new era in politics, and a disturbing one. I suppose someday in a campaign, someone will be discovered to be a child molester, and a segment of the public will say: “Maybe, but he’s OUR child molester.” It will never come to that, but you get my drift. For people to be as against corruption and rule by the oligarchs as most of the country is, it’s amazing that they will excuse the behaviors of these people.
 I am surprised that anyone might think that any of the political bullshit makes any difference. This is a ship of fools. Ship as in the entire damn country. The three branches of government are ineffective at getting anything important accomplished. So what is important you say. Lots of stuff. Take the 22 trillion debt. Peak oil. Nuclear waste that could become a Fukushima. Fukushima itself poisoning the Pacific. Cybercrime and cyber warfare. Super bacteria. Medical industry run amuck. Out of control law enforcement. Environmental collapse (bees, bats, pollinators). Fresh water scarcity and water pollution. The list is long and scary but when have you heard any of these addressed rationally? We are irrational. Hurricanes destroy billions in property but we rebuild in the same location. What rule of law? Fuhgeddaboudit. Generations beyond boomers will hate the memory of those who raped the environment, the economy, raw materials, oil to drive a block for a loaf of bread. Our graves will be spit on. Why not? We are sickeningly smug. We believe in our own bullshit.
WHAT DO COUNTY OFFICES OF EDUCATION DO?
Mendocino County Office of Education: A Perspective on Education
by Michelle Hutchins, Superintendent
Here at the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE), our primary job is to support all students within the county. We do this primarily by supporting school districts, because they are the ones providing most of the direct instruction. We spend much of our day facilitating, training, coaching, developing programs, solving problems, networking, collaborating, and advocating for the unique needs of the students and districts within our rural, geographically challenged county.
We work in partnership with local districts to provide students with a huge variety of services. We also help districts overcome challenging problems with extra support in areas such as infrastructure, technology, and other areas.
MCOE provides instructional programs for students with unique needs, including special education for severely disabled students, court and community schools for incarcerated and expelled youth, and programs for parenting students. We also operate child care and child development programs.
In addition to direct student services, one of our biggest responsibilities is examining and approving school district budgets and expenditures before they are sent to the California Department of Education. If budgets aren’t sound, teachers and administrators can’t afford the resources and professional development they need to be successful.
Curriculum And Instruction
We also support districts’ efforts to continually improve by providing leadership and support that enhances classroom instruction, student assessment and teacher preparation. We spend a fair amount of time coaching new teachers and hosting professional development opportunities for teachers, classified (support) staff, administrators, and school board members.
Administrative (Technology, Facilities & Personnel) Services
Another essential function of MCOE is our administrative support. Especially for our smaller districts, we help with technology and telecommunication infrastructure; staff recruitment and retention; and facilities issues like long-term planning and compliance with safety regulations.
MCOE also serves as a liaison between Mendocino County and state education leaders and lawmakers. We advocate for rural education to bring funding and other resources to local districts. As you can imagine, the needs of metropolitan districts are very different than ours, and they have the advantage of representing huge numbers of students. However, when we share some of our daily struggles—like transporting students from the most remote parts of our county, for example—we’re often able to garner the support we need.
Understanding Our “Top-Heavy” Structure
Originally, I subscribed to the idea that MCOE was top-heavy, that there were too many people in leadership positions and not enough worker bees. What I’ve learned since becoming the superintendent is that we have a high percentage of people in management because our most important functions require a high level of expertise. We cannot provide training to school districts unless we have the experts in-house. We cannot advocate for hundreds of thousands of dollars from state coffers unless we’re credible and well-informed. We cannot develop new programs and services unless we have the knowledge and experience to do so. So yes, we have lots of managers, but at least now you know why.
Building For The Future
As we look to the future, we want to continue to build an organization full of dedicated, competent people. We know we’re often better off developing local talent than recruiting from afar, because people who are already embedded in our local communities are more likely to stay for the long-term and more likely to understand the unique needs and challenges our county faces. In the last few years, we’ve had some longstanding employees retire, and that can be tough on an organization. Working relationships developed over decades are currently being replaced by new relationships. The good news is that those employees who remain are sharing their commitment and drive with our new recruits, perpetuating the shared values and service-oriented mindset that make MCOE such a special place to work.
As superintendent, my goal is to clarify and solidify MCOE’s strategic goals, to foster relationships with educators near and far, and to do all I can to bring as many resources to our county as possible.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I don’t follow the most obvious news features because I anticipate exposure from other sources. For example, the Cohen testimony, or the Mike Jackson flick.
Instead, I stick to the lesser known journalism in the New York Times. The scintillating and titillating details are of a less lascivious nature. In this case, good old heterosexual depravity.
Law enforcement estimated 9,000 ($3 billion in revenue, see rubmaps) houses of human trafficking and prostitution known locally as the Asian massage parlor. They’re everywhere and you can get a handjob by a foreign woman here overstaying a tourist visa she paid an exorbitant price for and will never earn enough from America’s johns to keep her pimp from ever getting rid of her.
And in this morning’s New York Times, the beat of McAllen, Texas, is the stories of migrants being moved from safe house to safe house and randomly drugged and taped on their way to being the new age slave, the new second class citizen, the undocumented laborer. Question, how many safe houses? At least as many massage parlors. Real estate is making a killing in this industry.
Will the 150,000 bourgeoise Venezuelans in America get to stay through a special deal? Probably.
What do all these stories reveal? A country running on exploitation. Where the billionaire owner of the Patriots can buy a teenage girl after getting his garden salad picked, his luxury car fixed, his mansion roofed, and his hedges trimmed. And the simpleton middling class homeowner can get much the same.
What started out as a replacement for chattel slavery in a single industry, agriculture, metastasized into other professions, building a wall throughout the society that the middling classes thought would represent their ascendance and virtue all in one. The wall on the border would be a symbol of that kind of wall, the perfect one that only exists in our minds.
WALL STREET JOURNAL & MERCURY NEWS: PG&E KNEW AND DID NOTHING.
PG&E Delayed Safety Work on Power Line That Is Prime Suspect in California Wildfire
Since 2013, the utility has repeatedly delayed upgrades to the high-voltage line that ran near Paradise, Calif., records show
PG&E KNEW FOR YEARS THAT REPAIRS WERE NEEDED ON TRANSMISSION LINES IN AREA OF FATAL CAMP FIRE
Officials urged as early as 2010 that extensive repairs were needed on a complex of transmission lines that ran through areas scorched in the Camp Fire in Butte County
PG&E SAYS: Not Exactly.
PG&E said the Journal report inaccurately portrayed planned electric transmission regulatory compliance work, and omitted key aspects of the work the company was doing to enhance safety.
"Our customers also should know that enhanced electric transmission and distribution inspections to help further enhance public safety are well underway. Specifically, PG&E is inspecting its electrical equipment in areas at elevated and extreme wildfire risk," the company said. …
More PG&E responses:
GATHERING LIGHT AT GRACE HUDSON--through May 26 Gathering Light: The Photographic Visions of Aryan Chappell, Roger Franklin, Amy Melious, and Robert Taylor is on view at Grace Hudson Museum until May 26, 2019. Four established photographers with ties to Mendocino County offer a selection of images that both reflect on their careers and explore new work. The featured artists balance what the physical eye sees with what the inner eye comprehends, capture people with passion, push photographic boundaries with painterly manipulation, and explore light, natural forms, and nostalgic themes. All cite Mendocino County as a place of lasting inspiration.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to www.gracehudsonmuseum.org or call (707) 467-2836.
THE WEEKLY REVEAL: WHEN GETTING HELP FOR YOUR KIDS MEANS THEY’RE TAKEN AWAY
‘They used the kids to get to parents like me’: How ICE’s human smuggling initiative targeted parents and children
CYPRESS PHPC STATE OF EMERGENCY
Governor Newsom has declared a state of emergency in currently 26 counties due to severe storms. As people begin to cope with their loss and the devastation caused by flooding, there will be a significant need for practical and emotional support. Feelings of fatigue, fear, anger, and uncertainty are to be expected in the wake of the natural disaster. Please know that Beacon stands ready to support you and your organization.
Local resources have been posted on our organization's Achieve Solutions website:
Additional materials are on Beacon's Client Resources site.
The Disruptive Events page includes fact sheets, checklists, tip sheets, and more to help your organization and your employees/members prepare for and recover from natural disasters. Here are a few resources that may help you with your recovery efforts:
Get key safety tips from FEMA
Visit FEMA's Social Hub to stay informed through social media.
Find a Red Cross disaster shelter here.
Stay up to date on the mandatory evacuation alerts.
Mark your status to inform families and friends at Safe and Well (Red Cross).
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the devastation caused by the recent floodings. Remember, Beacon stands ready to support you and your employees/members through the recovery process. Feel free to distribute these materials or promote them through your organization's communication channels.
If any of your members are in need of any assistance or support around access to mental health services or resources, please feel free to reach out to Beacon Health Options or refer your member to contact (855) 765-9703. If we are notified that a call is related to the recent events, we will ensure the member's needs are addressed as quickly as possible. We can also help any members who have been displaced with accessing services outside county lines.
Thank you so much for all that you do for Partnership HealthPlan of CA members
THE PRISONER SAYS NO TO BIG BROTHER
by John Pilger
Whenever I visit Julian Assange, we meet in a room he knows too well. There is a bare table and pictures of Ecuador on the walls. There is a bookcase where the books never change. The curtains are always drawn and there is no natural light. The air is still and fetid.
This is Room 101.
Before I enter Room 101, I must surrender my passport and phone. My pockets and possessions are examined. The food I bring is inspected.
The man who guards Room 101 sits in what looks like an old-fashioned telephone box. He watches a screen, watching Julian. There are others unseen, agents of the state, watching and listening.
Cameras are everywhere in Room 101. To avoid them, Julian manoeuvres us both into a corner, side by side, flat up against the wall. This is how we catch up: whispering and writing to each other on a notepad, which he shields from the cameras. Sometimes we laugh.
I have my designated time slot. When that expires, the door in Room 101 bursts open and the guard says, “Time is up!” On New Year’s Eve, I was allowed an extra 30 minutes and the man in the phone box wished me a happy new year, but not Julian.
Of course, Room 101 is the room in George Orwell’s prophetic novel, 1984, where the thought police watched and tormented their prisoners, and worse, until people surrendered their humanity and principles and obeyed Big Brother.
Julian Assange will never obey Big Brother. His resilience and courage are astonishing, even though his physical health struggles to keep up.
Julian is a distinguished Australian, who has changed the way many people think about duplicitous governments. For this, he is a political refugee subjected to what the United Nations calls “arbitrary detention”.
The UN says he has the right of free passage to freedom, but this is denied. He has the right to medical treatment without fear of arrest, but this is denied. He has the right to compensation, but this is denied.
As founder and editor of WikiLeaks, his crime has been to make sense of dark times. WikiLeaks has an impeccable record of accuracy and authenticity which no newspaper, no TV channel, no radio station, no BBC, no New York Times, no Washington Post, no Guardian can equal. Indeed, it shames them.
That explains why he is being punished.
Last week, the International Court of Justice ruled that the British Government had no legal powers over the Chagos Islanders, who in the 1960s and 70s, were expelled in secret from their homeland on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and sent into exile and poverty. Countless children died, many of them, from sadness. It was an epic crime few knew about.
For almost 50 years, the British have denied the islanders’ the right to return to their homeland, which they had given to the Americans for a major military base.
In 2009, the British Foreign Office concocted a “marine reserve” around the Chagos archipelago.
This touching concern for the environment was exposed as a fraud when WikiLeaks published a secret cable from the British Government reassuring the Americans that “the former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not possible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve.”
The truth of the conspiracy clearly influenced the momentous decision of the International Court of Justice.
WikiLeaks has also revealed how the United States spies on its allies; how the CIA can watch you through your I-phone; how Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took vast sums of money from Wall Street for secret speeches that reassured the bankers that if she was elected, she would be their friend.
In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed a direct connection between Clinton and organised jihadism in the Middle East: terrorists, in other words. One email disclosed that when Clinton was US Secretary of State, she knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Islamic State, yet she accepted huge donations for her foundation from both governments.
She then approved the world’s biggest ever arms sale to her Saudi benefactors: arms that are currently being used against the stricken people of Yemen.
That explains why he is being punished.
WikiLeaks has also published more than 800,000 secret files from Russia, including the Kremlin, telling us more about the machinations of power in that country than the specious hysterics of the Russiagate pantomime in Washington.
This is real journalism — journalism of a kind now considered exotic: the antithesis of Vichy journalism, which speaks for the enemy of the people and takes its sobriquet from the Vichy government that occupied France on behalf of the Nazis.
Vichy journalism is censorship by omission, such as the untold scandal of the collusion between Australian governments and the United States to deny Julian Assange his rights as an Australian citizen and to silence him.
In 2010, Prime Minister Julia Gillard went as far as ordering the Australian Federal Police to investigate and hopefully prosecute Assange and WikiLeaks — until she was informed by the AFP that no crime had been committed.
Last weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald published a lavish supplement promoting a celebration of “Me Too” at the Sydney Opera House on 10 March. Among the leading participants is the recently retired Minister of Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop.
Bishop has been on show in the local media lately, lauded as a loss to politics: an “icon”, someone called her, to be admired.
The elevation to celebrity feminism of one so politically primitive as Bishop tells us how much so-called identity politics have subverted an essential, objective truth: that what matters, above all, is not your gender but the class you serve.
Before she entered politics, Julie Bishop was a lawyer who served the notorious asbestos miner James Hardie which fought claims by men and their families dying horribly with asbestosis disease.
Lawyer Peter Gordon recalls Bishop “rhetorically asking the court why workers should be entitled to jump court queues just because they were dying.”
Bishop says she “acted on instructions … professionally and ethically”.
Perhaps she was merely “acting on instructions” when she flew to London and Washington last year with her ministerial chief of staff, who had indicated that the Australian Foreign Minister would raise Julian’s case and hopefully begin the diplomatic process of bringing him home.
Julian’s father had written a moving letter to the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, asking the government to intervene diplomatically to free his son. He told Turnbull that he was worried Julian might not leave the embassy alive.
Julie Bishop had every opportunity in the UK and the US to present a diplomatic solution that would bring Julian home. But this required the courage of one proud to represent a sovereign, independent state, not a vassal.
Instead, she made no attempt to contradict the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, when he said outrageously that Julian “faced serious charges”. What charges? There were no charges.
Australia’s Foreign Minister abandoned her duty to speak up for an Australian citizen, prosecuted with nothing, charged with nothing, guilty of nothing.
Will those feminists who fawn over this false icon at the Opera House next Sunday be reminded of her role in colluding with foreign forces to punish an Australian journalist, one whose work has revealed that rapacious militarism has smashed the lives of millions of ordinary women in many countries: in Iraq alone, the US-led invasion of that country, in which Australia participated, left 700,000 widows.
So what can be done? An Australian government that was prepared to act in response to a public campaign to rescue the refugee football player, Hakeem al-Araibi, from torture and persecution in Bahrain, is capable of bringing Julian Assange home.
The refusal by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra to honour the United Nations’ declaration that Julian is the victim of “arbitrary detention” and has a fundamental right to his freedom, is a shameful breach of the letter and spirit of international law.
Why has the Australian government made no serious attempt to free Assange? Why did Julie Bishop bow to the wishes of two foreign powers? Why is this democracy traduced by its servile relationships, and integrated with lawless foreign power?
The persecution of Julian Assange is the conquest of us all: of our independence, our self respect, our intellect, our compassion, our politics, our culture.
So stop scrolling. Organise. Occupy. Insist. Persist. Make a noise. Take direct action. Be brave and stay brave. Defy the thought police.
War is not peace, freedom is not slavery, ignorance is not strength. If Julian can stand up, so can you: so can all of us.
(John Pilger gave this speech at a rally for Julian Assange in Sydney on 3 March. John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)