- Changeable Days
- AV Museum
- Sheriff Harasser
- Neary Statement
- PV Diversion
- Putin Fines
- Erin Exhibit
- Senior Center
- Cox Book
- Principal Leaving
- Manager Flora
- Hart Inquest
- Lone Oak
- KZYX Positions
- Yesterday's Catch
- Deadly Serious
- Police Training
- Rent Lawsuit
- Stehr Returns
- Authentic Omar
- Real Venezuela
- Gardens Hiring
- Real Change
- You Asked
- Collective Protection
- Hate Crimes
- Rampage Killers
- If Only
- Music Biz
- Food Runners
MOSTLY DRY CONDITIONS are expected Tuesday, with the exception of a few isolated showers by late afternoon. More widespread showers are expected overnight and tomorrow morning, with continued scattered showers in places much of the day Wednesday. Widespread moderate rain is expected again Friday, with dry conditions the remainder of the weekend. More rain is likely next week. (National Weather Service)
THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT: CELEBRATE SPRING with your neighbors at Anderson Valley’s own local history museum. Spiffed up and rearranged! New displays! Docents on hand! Snacks provided. Wine and “other beverages”! Free for all. Everyone invited. Information: 895-9020.
SHERIFF ALLMAN has rightly complained about being the target of an anonymous campaign that has repeatedly accused him, for five years now, of drunk driving. The male person making the claim has called the AVA several times over this period asking us why we don't print the allegation. We keep saying we need evidence, and the anonymous guy keeps saying he'll send it to us but never does. Over the weekend, Allman's stalker, in the dead of night, presumably, so he wouldn't, couldn't be identified, glued his accusation against Allman in poster form all over Willits. Allman has responded by inviting his stalker to call him for a talk, not a beatdown which, in Allman's place, I'd be sorely tempted to do. This kind of thing endured by the Sheriff, or anybody, is very unfair and, it should go without saying even in these savage times, are hurtful to the Sheriff's family.
AS THE SHERIFF put it on his Facebook page, "Hello — Over the past four years, my family has experienced the presence of a stalker, who apparently loves to follow me. He/She has struck again, this time posting false stories about me. And when I say posting, they decided to glue posters to businesses throughout the county. To my stalker, if you would ever like to talk about these lies, my number is in the book and I will certainly find time to discuss your falsehoods."
SHERIFF ALLMAN has posted this video of his stalker in action (Apparently the stalker is wearing a wig): facebook.com/Sheriff.Tom.Allman/videos/2336698589676244/
MANY YEARS AGO an unhinged man named Russ Moro took an irrational dislike to Pano Stephens, an attorney with offices across the street from the County Courthouse. One day Moro printed up a flier accusing Stephens of, among other things, swindling old ladies and began distributing the libels inside the Courthouse. Stephens was quickly alerted that the lunatic was sullying his good name, and just as quickly had obtained a court order prohibiting Moro from circulating deliberate lies about him or go to jail. Sure, Moro was a nutcase, but he was a nutcase who didn't worry about being identified, which puts him way ahead of Allman's stalker. (I've always wondered what happened to Moro. He was quite well-to-do from regular, highly paid work as a film translator. American movies shown abroad appeared with Moro's version of what was being said in several European languages in the sub-titles. He also believed government, any government, had no authority over him so he carried no identification and, natch, was in constant conflict with cops and government functionaries at all levels. He'd spend entire days in rolling beefs with damn near everybody he came in contact with, including market clerks he'd challenge about sales taxes! The last I heard Moro was living in Covelo, a community not known for its reverence for rule books, but not a place where you want to go around annoying people. He used to write long, handwritten letters outlining his tiresome opinions to the ava in a tiny, lower case script which I told him we were not going to spend any time whatsoever translating for publication because he was an inexhaustible correspondent who refused to do us even the basic courtesy of legibility. Moro visited Boonville a couple of times, the kind of guy who gets right in your face and, spittle flying, rattles off tinfoil hat stuff until you finally manage to liberate yourself from him. The second time I saw him coming before he saw me and managed to hide from him until he finally went off to trap some other unsuspecting soul.
THE WILLITS HIGH SCHOOL MATTER
I saw the blurb last week about the Willits High School Principal. Unfortunately, I was not reelected last November as a school board member and I have no official information about this case.
I have no knowledge first hand, or otherwise, as to what the administrator knew and when he knew it, but there is one glaring fact that is missing from all of this and which is known to me to be a fact. The allegations against the principal’s son can be documented to have been reported by Willits Unified School District to Child Protective Services who then referred the matter to Sheriff’s Office, and then presumably to the young lady’s parents. There was absolutely no effort to sweep this under the rug by the District it being the District’s report which triggered the investigation.
I do not know Mike Colvig personally but I do know him by reputation and his reputation in the school district has been one of effective leadership which has led to the turnaround of Willits High School on a number of different levels. His being placed on administrative leave is now damaging to the school and his prosecution would likely lead to the end of his career which would be devastating not only to him personally, but also to the district’s positive momentum.
Although I have not discussed this matter with District Attorney Eyster I predict that he will not take this case to trial after he becomes aware of the very basic fact that the school district was the first reporter of the incident. If the matter goes to trial it will be seen that the school district was placed in a difficult position over off-campus events, and it will be seen that the District embraced rather than avoided its statutory duty in this matter.
ED NOTE: You're probably lucky you weren't re-elected, sparing you responsibility for this one. I've also heard that Colvig does a good job as principal, and I hope he isn't drummed out of the profession, especially if it develops that he did his required duty in reporting his son's crime.
PG&E'S looming abandonment of the Potter Valley Diversion has understandably gotten much attention. A lot of of entrenched interests are involved, so entrenched they will have to be somehow accommodated. I think Congressman Huffman's "two basin" idea probably represents the only fair and viable way to proceed. Gratifying as it might be to see downstream water hogs like Mendo and Sonoma grape growers die of thirst, there are also thousands of household water users downstream who don't deserve that fate. And those downstream households are probably unaware that their high water costs subsidize practically free water for grape growers. Think of it all as a kind of aquatic Brexit. Returning the Eel to its original state means no Diversion of Eel River water to tens of thousands of households and "farmers" from Potter Valley south to Sausalito, a political move no living American politician, especially California's, would have the stones to do. But, like Brexit, it's hardly reasonable to bring ancient water arrangements crashing down, thus severely putting a million or so downstreamers with sand pouring out of their shower heads.
IT CAN HAPPEN HERE! President Vladimir Putin has signed into law tough new fines for Russians who spread what the authorities regard as fake news or who show “blatant disrespect” for the state online.
GO, ERIN! It’s Senior Project time at Anderson Valley High! Erin Lane, an 18-year-old horsewoman, daughter of Tara Evans and Robby Lane of Anderson Valley, has an exhibit at Lauren's Restaurant through Friday, March 29th. Be sure to see it. A couple of years ago, Erin rescued a wild mustang from Shingletown Wild Horse Sanctuary. His name is Nacho. Her exhibit details Nacho's life from a colt with previous owners, through her training time with and ownership of Nacho, until he was returned to the Horse Rescue to be reunited with his original herd. Many silent auction donations are on display at Lauren's, to include a lamp by Karen Ottobani and framed art by Susan Spencer, to name a few. Donations can also be dropped in Erin's old pair of childhood cowgirl boots also on display. Please investigate Erin's silent auction fund raiser, the funds of which Erin plans on donating to the Wild Horse Sanctuary at Shingletown, CA. Let her buck!
RENEE WYANT, director of the Anderson Valley Senior Center, reports on the Center’s weekend fund raiser: “I think about 80 people showed up. Maybe a little bit more. Seemed kind of flat compared to the crab feed but you can’t really compare corned beef to crab feed. People go nuts over crab. Also, there were a lot St. Patty’s events throughout the Valley this weekend. It was great that they were all on different days but the Valley can get spread a little thin when it comes to events too close together. But we took in about $1,600 from the cake auction alone with Elizabeth Wyant, Marcia Beale and Burt Cohen’s cakes fetching about $150 each. We’re still figuring out our costs. We’re thinking after groceries and other expenses we probably brought in about $3k. We’re looking into producing a family event this summer. Kind of an old-fashioned thing with games, a bouncy house, ice cream sundaes, pie eating contest and the like. There aren’t any firm plans. We just came up with the idea. The center is in need of a few things like a new ice machine, some table clothes, some bookstands etc. since we will be losing revenue we usually get from SNWMF, we are desperately trying to come up with some ideas.”
SHAMROCKS & SALSA, A MEMOIR by Gerald F. Cox, is highly recommended reading for several reasons. (1) the author is known to most residents of the Anderson Valley where he was known (much less formally as 'Jerry' Cox) whose imprint on Valley life was large, (2) it's the story of a most unusual man whose interesting, and often funny, account of moving through his youth to middle age as a Catholic priest before resigning to marry was not unprecedented but certainly unusual, (3) he almost offhandedly relates the significance of his work as a ground floor stalwart of the Farm Worker's movement led by Cesar Chavez, who Cox introduced to the crucial activist, church-related network then dominant in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Monsignor's life was, to say the least, various, and it came as no surprise that his services were held in Santa Rosa in the church Cox himself got built to accommodate all the people who knew him. This memoir can also be read as a kind of history of the Bay Area, from the Depression years — the padre was 92 when he died — through contemporary times, with a wonderful account of his summers as a kid on the Russian River. As a life history, given his experience as a Catholic priest, Cox's life in NorCal was a life lived parallel to those of us who have lived more or less contemporaneously with him in the same place until, that is, the priest and his nun, the formidable Kathy Cox, arrived in the Anderson Valley, where they quickly became ubiquitous as, at first, proprietors of the Floodgate Cafe, then as free range social workers for the county's helping agencies and the local schools. As a bi-lingual couple, the Coxes were invaluable in helping Anderson Valley's burgeoning immigrant Mexican community adjust to their new lives as Americans. 'Monsignor' implies power and wealth, but as a married couple the priest and the nun certainly had their years with the wolf at the door. I loved the anecdotes, especially the one about the rigged Sonoma County beauty contest based on the number of raffle tickets sold. The girl who sold the most sold the most because her wealthy father bought up most of them, but the other girls brought off a conspiracy against the ostensible winner with her father becoming so irate he threatened an official with murder! I picked the book up expecting to log a few pages before I tottered off to Dreamland, but I didn't put it down until 3am or so where this remarkable man's daughters signed off with moving tributes to their father, a man successful at two very different kinds of fatherhood.
SAY IT ISN’T SO, Jim. Jim Snyder, high school principal, can’t say it isn’t so because it is so. The capable school administrator is leaving AV Unified for a job with the Mendocino County Office of Education where his old boss, Michelle Hutchins, is ensconced as Superintendent. AV Unified is suffering a rather significant turnover everywhere one looks. The school board is down to three persons of the desired five, enrollment is down, there’s a yawning budget deficit, and an interim Superintendent doing yeoman’s work keeping it all together.
THIS HEADLINE from the Ukiah Daily Journal: “Mendocino County Appointments Approved; Proposal to Change Willits Museum Hours Rejected.”
HEDDERS describing what actually happened at the meeting might be: (1) “Mental Health Insiders Praise Selves At Great Length For No Reason At All. (2) Pot Program Blows Up in Supes Face, Which They Solve By Suggesting A Trip to Sacto.“
OTHER MATTERS addressed last week can be summed up as “Supes to Spend Another $100k on Bogus Employee Lawsuit.” Tradition requires the hiring of an outside attorney to handle matters deemed too difficult for the County’s ten in-house lawyers. The outside attorney, after raking off a hundred grand for doing an hour or so working out a payoff with the alleged victim, will charge the County another thirty thou or so for foot massages across the street from the County Courthouse. Seriously, though, why does this County annually spend a literal fortune on outside attorneys and consultants?
PS. The Museum hours change proposal was not “rejected,” it was simply sent back to the Museum Advisory Board. (Mark Scaramella)
ALAN 'THE KID' FLORA has been named Clearlake's city manager. Some of you will recall that the baby-faced bureaucrat functioned as an assistant CEO for Mendocino County until one bleak Friday morning when he was told to immediately turn over his keys and perp-walked out to the parking lot. No notice, no reason, just "Yer outta here, buddy boy." I've always assumed that Flora's Mendo execution had more to do with the fact that he's smart, capable and, dare I say it, male. We may live in a theoretical democracy but most of us endure in tyrannical circumstances, especially, it seems, in "progressive" Mendocino County.
HART FAMILY INQUEST
On March 26, 2018 at approximately 4:15 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office responded to the area of Juan Creek and North Highway 1 (just north of the Town of Westport in Mendocino County) to the report of a traffic collision resulting in five fatalities. These persons were later identified as all belonging to the Hart Family, Jennifer Hart (38 years-old), Sarah Hart (38 years-old), Markis Hart (19 years-old), Hannah Hart (16 years-old), Jeremiah Hart (14 years-old), Abigail Hart (14 years-old) and Ciera Hart (12 years-old). The remains of Devonte Hart (15 years-old) have not been located to date.
An extensive investigation was initiated into the circumstances surrounding the collision/deaths and that investigation has concluded. The investigation primarily involved the combined efforts of the Clark County Washington Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff-Coroner Thomas Allman will be holding a Coroner's Inquest into the deaths of the Hart Family. The purpose of the Coroner's Inquest is to present the facts of the incident to a jury for their deliberation and finding on the Manner of Death for each family member. The proceedings will begin on April 3, 2019 at 9:00 AM at the Willits Justice Center located at 125 E Commercial Street in Willits, California. It is anticipated that the Coroner's Inquest will take two days to complete. The Coroner's Inquest is open to the public and members of the media are also invited to attend. Based upon the limited amount of seating available, 10 seats will be reserved for media members and the remaining seating will be on a first come first serve selection process. This selection process will begin at 8:00 AM on both days of the Coroner's Inquest. Media members wishing to occupy the reserved seating need to email your request to Captain Gregory L. Van Patten (firstname.lastname@example.org) as those seats will be selected by random draw on 03-28-2019. Those media members selected by random draw will have the reserved seating for both days of the Coroner's Inquest. Those being selected by random draw will be required to show a form of press credential upon Sheriff's Office request. Media members not selected by random draw can still attempt to secure a seat each day with the first come first serve selection process afforded to the general public. Those selected to attend the Coroner's Inquest will be required to submit to a security screening and no bags (handbag, backpack, briefcase, etc.) will be allowed into the Coroner's Inquest hearing room.
The following limitations apply to the use of handheld electronic devices, photography, videotaping or audio recording in connection with the Coroner's Inquest: 1. Videotaping, photographing or electronic recording by the media and/or the general public is not permitted in any part of the Willits Justice Center, including but not limited to, lobby areas, halls, stairs, elevators, windows or meeting rooms. 2. Video equipment, photography equipment, and electronic recording devices must be turned off while transporting them in any area of the Willits Justice Center. 3. All audible electronic devices must be turned off when they are in the Willits Justice Center. 4. Any photography of the interior of the Willits Justice Center through the glass door windows or from the doorway of the Willits Justice Center is prohibited. 5. Any parties or witnesses involved in the hearing may use their electronic devices to perform Coroner's Inquest related functions while in the Willits Justice Center. 6. Violations of the listed limitations will result in an immediate expulsion from the hearing.
LIVE STREAM: The Inquest will be Live Streamed and the viewing link will be posted on the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Facebook page: facebook.com/MendocinoSheriff
Those interested in watching the live stream should "Like Us on Facebook" prior to the Coroner's Inquest.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: LONE OAK & COUNTRY ROAD
by David Wilson
In the still of the night, on a ridge top beside a quiet country road, an old oak tree enjoys a long view of valleys and sky. What changes it must have seen as the years turned and the seasons slipped by, day by day and night by night.
Most of us will see the sun cross the sky throughout nearly every day. We know that the stars will also cross at night, but not many of us note their passage through the dark from dusk to dawn. How many nights has the old oak watched as the stars made their slow traverse across the sky? It has seen all the patterns made as the sun, moon, planets and stars rise and set.
Do the stars rise in the east and set in the west as the sun and moon do? The short answer is not exactly, almost oddly enough. As Earth revolves, most of the stars rise and set, but the stars to the north and south arc around the northern and southern axes of our rotation. If we looked out into space perpendicularly to our axis of rotation, the stars we would see would rise in the east and set in the west. The further north or south one looks, the tighter is the arc of the stars.
Where we are in the northern hemisphere we have a view of the northern polar axis, which conveniently sits on a bright star we’ve named Polaris, the North Star. The stars nearest Polaris will travel in a tight circle around it as Earth rotates, never rising or setting at a horizon. The farther out from Polaris the stars are, the wider their circles. Far enough from Polaris the stars’ larger paths take them from one horizon to the other; these stars rise and set. If we were on the equator, the stars due east would rise vertically, and set due west. From our latitude as one’s gaze moves south the apparent motion of the stars follows an arc above the southern horizon; the center of that arc is the southern axis, which we can’t see because it is above the south pole beyond the horizon.
The photograph of the oak tree I’m sharing here coves a lot of sky in its wide field of view. The stars near the bottom of the image are in the south, arcing across the sky as they travel around the southern axis below the horizon. The stars at the top of the photograph are traveling in a wide circle around the northern axis, which is out of view above and to the left. The area between the southern arcs and the northern arcs is the celestial equator. Because we are north of Earth’s equator, the celestial equator is in the southern half of the sky; were we on the equator, it would extend from east to west directly overhead.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, visit and contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)
I doubt many readers of the AVA have studied in Ethiopia. I had the remarkable experience to visit that country 45 years ago as a member of the Kellogg Fellowship Program. We were treated to the most basic of human existence. We flew in from South Africa. The tour director and group professors were so concerned about our safety in Ethiopia they sent the tour director ahead to observe the political situation and determine if it was safe for 30 white guys to visit the country and study their culture.
We did fly right into Addis Ababa. Our tour director who had gone ahead to meet us personally as we exited the airport thru individual one on one security booths covered with black plastic. Can you imagine my fear at 5’ 10“ getting into a booth with a big black six foot plus security man and being frisked?
As we exited the terminal our director told us to go straight outside and get into the waiting bus. Forget about our luggage, he would secure it later. We were immediately transported to a very respectable hotel in the middle of town.
Coming from white controlled South Africa we were not prepared for what we saw. We soon learned what it was like to be a minority. Everything was named Haile Selassie, streets, buildings, colleges, everything.
I had not given much thought to this experience until last Sunday when Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed killing all passengers and crew. My memory kicked in and I remember that when we left Ethiopia, years ago we took exactly the same flight to Kenya. It was a different airplane and flight number, but I remember our tour director telling us to get on the plane and not to give up our seat no matter how good looking she was. Sure, to his word the plane was overbooked, as we soon found many times as we made a complete tour around the entire continent on our 21-day trip.
I find myself reading every word about this crash. I know there were only eighteen Ethiopians on the flight. The more personal side is that we have had an exceptional woman in our household from neighboring Eritrea for the past 35 years. I had to meet her at the front door last week. She knew families who had relatives on the flight. The world is so small.
KZYX NAMES NEW GENERAL MANAGER
I'm writing you today as a member of the KZYX Board of Directors. I am embedding in this email our short press release regarding our new station manager, Marty Durlin. She is expected to take over the reins in mid-April. At that time, we'll have a more in-depth "Meet the new GM" press release for you. For now, if you have any questions, please contact our interim GM, Tom Dow, at the station (contact info below).
Member, KZYX Board of Directors
Marty Durlin, Public Radio veteran assumes station leadership in mid-April
The Board of Directors and staff of KZYX, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, are pleased to announce the hiring of Marty Durlin as the station’s new General Manager.
Ms. Durlin brings 23 years of public radio management experience to KZYX. She served most recently as General Manager of KZMU Community Public Radio in Moab, Utah. She was previously Station Manager of KGNU Public Radio in Boulder, Colorado.
John Azzaro, President of the KZYX Board of Directors said, “On behalf of the Board and Staff of KZYX, I am very happy to welcome Marty to Mendocino County Public Broadcasting. We look forward to her contributions to our community public radio station.”
Ms. Durlin is scheduled to begin in her new position in mid-April. She replaces Tom Dow, who has served as Interim General Manager since December. Dow will continue to serve as a member of the KZYX Board.
For more information, please contact Tom Dow at 707-895-2324 or email email@example.com.
KZYX is looking for a new Program Director! We are a rural 5000 watt NPR affiliate serving all of Mendocino County, as well as parts of Lake, Humboldt and Sonoma counties. Since 1989, KZYX has been a beloved and vital resource for local and national news, public safety, and entertainment. KZYX offers a wonderful diversity of national programming from various content providers as well as exceptional music and public affairs shows produced by local volunteer programmers. We are located in the rural community of Anderson Valley, an area known for its beauty and a vibrant creative community.
The program director oversees and manages the KZYX program schedule and works closely with the general manager and operations director to ensure that programming meets the standards of the FCC and fulfills the mission of KZYX, to bring balanced diverse programming which informs and serves the community.
The ideal applicant will have the following skills:
• Highly organized with the ability to multi-task • Broadcast experience, preferably in non-commercial radio • Strong communication and writing skills • Audio editing proficiency and strong computer skills • Experience managing staff/volunteers • Team player able to work with a diverse group of people • Familiarity with rural life
This position is full-time. Salary and benefit package to be determined based on experience. Please submit resume, cover letter and three references to: General Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Application Deadline: April 15th 2019
(KZYX press release)
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 18, 2019
SCOTT ALLENSWORTH, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ANA AYALA, Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear, probation revocation.
FIDEL BARRALES, Ukiah. DUI, no license, probation revocation.
JOSHUA BENNETT, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, county parole violation.
WILLIAM BOYCE, Ukiah. Fake ID, false personation of another, probastion revocation.
CHRISTINE COOK, Ukiah. Stun gun, controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.
HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Stolen property, disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
AMBER DILLON, Ukiah. Stolen property, false personation of another, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
CARLOS ESQUIVEL, Covelo. Failure to appear.
ERIC GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ASHLEY IRELAND, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, resisting.
BRIAN LENHART, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, felon-addict with firearm, stun gun, prohibited person with ammo.
EVANGELINE MARTINEZ, Laytonville. Domestic abuse.
LORENZO MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
GRAIL MCCOY, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
JASON OUTLAW, Rohnert Park/Willits. Domestic abuse, resisting.
by James Kunstler
The selfie-video made by New Zealand shooter Brent Tarrant shows the world once again how shockingly banal an act of mass homicide can be. He went through the various chambers of two mosques in suburban Christchurch exterminating unarmed, helpless worshippers as if they were mere points to be racked up in a video game. They had no personalities or histories. They were just targets. And when they moaned or moved, he shot them again to make sure they were out of the game. The shooter was arrested and lives on in police custody.
He went about his task with exactly the sort of paramilitary efficiency that is portrayed so admiringly in the Mission Impossible or Fast and Furious movies, all business, no emotion. The manifesto he left on the Internet shows his clear and detailed motive for what he didn’t hesitate to label as “a terrorist attack.” He was especially interested in provoking a fresh debate over the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution in the USA, in the hopes of provoking a civil war that would break-up the nation into warring regions divided by race. He calls himself “an eco-nationalist” because he considers overpopulation the leading threat to the planet and non-Europeans to be the most fecund and therefore responsible for the problem. He will go on trial and he says he intends to plead innocent. You’d better take him seriously.
At least half the political class in the USA doesn’t take the immigration issue seriously, except as a gambit for what they think is political advantage. The Left is doing everything possible to confound the issue and muddle it with litigation at every level, from local law enforcement to congress, starting with the longstanding effort to garble the definitions of legal versus illegal immigration. The “conservative” Right doesn’t dare call them on it, out of fear of losing Hispanic votes. So, it is left to the awkward, inflammatory figure of Mr. Trump to demand clarification about what official policy will be, including the enforcement of existing laws, and he has been reviled for it all along the way. He’s not a consensus-builder, to put it mildly.
Last week, coincidental with the New Zealand mosque massacre, Mr. Trump said the following:
“You know, the left plays a tougher game. It’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. O.K.? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
As usual, his syntax is disastrous as well as his habit of placing himself at the center of every issue. But, also as usual with Mr. Trump, and because of his filter-less tongue, he lays out matters that should be extremely troubling to all Americans: that the land is full of men with tremendous potential for violence — and most particularly men with military and paramilitary training in killing and warfare, who have, so far, barely expressed in action their discontent with the tactics of their adversaries on the Left. This Pandora’s box of calamity includes the Left’s recent campaign to denigrate men as toxic and without value, especially white men wearing their scarlet letter “P” for privilege.
The Left had better sober up and join an intelligible good faith debate about US immigration policy and the enforcement of existing laws or this will lead to exactly what Brent Tarrant laid out and what Mr. Trump maladroitly hinted at. Instead, of course, we will more likely commence another bootless campaign over guns.
Here are some plain facts about that. There are already enough firearms of every sort loose in this land to commence hot civil warfare and they will not be surrendered by their owners. The horses are out of the barn on that one, even if sales of military-style weapons are outlawed. Any effort to confiscate them from people already possessing them will only provoke more overt antagonism between the two poles of American politics — and would probably lead to exactly the sort of violence that sober observers discern on the horizon.
Our battered American common culture and its expression in political consensus ought to start with the foundation of the social contract: the agreement to not slaughter each other. That is, at least, the one principle that ought to stand on its own as self-evident, without any need for equivocation via “diversity” arguments. The Left is playing with fire on this with its dishonest, bad faith approach to debating the immigration question, and the gun debate will only provide a distraction from it.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
POLICE AND DEADLY FORCE
Dan Walters’ recent column misrepresented the law about the use of deadly force by. I teach criminal justice courses at the college level, and my students understand the law better. There is no routine “license to kill” in California as he asserted.
While Penal Code Section 198 is technically still on the books, it is legally inoperative on this issue. In Tennessee v. Garner (1985), the U.S. Supreme Court established a national legal standard for the use of such deadly force: It is justified only if the officer reasonably believes that there is an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others from the suspect. Subsequent cases have reaffirmed that. So-called “fleeing felon” laws, relied on by Walters for his position, were deemed to be unconstitutional seizures. These decisions apply to California.
Why the California Legislature wouldn’t pass AB 931 by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber befuddles me. It merely restates the actual legal standard required by the Supreme Court’s decisions. I am confident that law enforcement agencies here train officers on the correct legal standard, not Walters’ incorrect one.
A BOOKMOBILE IN VIRGINIA, 1950s.
IN A MASSIVE LAWSUIT AGAINST RENT-CONTROLLED LANDLORD VERITAS, plaintiff rents range form $247 to $3,350. https://sfpr.es/i27-veritas
Landlords of rent-controlled buildings may set rents for new tenants at any level, but subsequent annual increases are small and regulated by the city. Therefore, recent move-ins tend to pay more. Most of the 106 plaintiffs took up residency in the past 14 years.
IT IS INTERESTING to see how the establishment deals with dissent. It gives you a fair idea of who the establishment really is. You see who crawls out of the woodwork to take you on. Very often, it's an unexpected person. It's not the people who are completely on the other size of the spectrum, who are completely opposed to your point of view. It will be cowardly people who position themselves as being "balanced" critics. They really can't deal with the real questions because they are instinctively undemocratic. There is nothing they condemn more passionately than passion. But I insist on the right to be emotional, to be sentimental, to be passionate…. When people try to dismiss those who ask the big public questions as being emotional, it is a strategy to avoid debate. Why should we be scared of being angry? Why should we be scared of our feelings, if they're based on facts? The whole framework of reason versus passion is ridiculous, because often passion is based on reason. Passion is not always unreasonable. Anger is based on reason. They're not two different things. I feel it's very important to defend that. To defend the space for feelings, for emotions, for passion. I'm often accused of the crime of having feelings. But I'm not pretending to be a "neutral" academic. I'm a writer. I have a point of view. I have feelings about the things I write about — and I'm going to express them.
— Arundhati Roy
HEADS UP, REDWOOD VALLEY
Going to Santa Rosa, CA on the Spring Equinox
Please know that I am leaving Washington, D.C. on Wednesday morning March 20th and going to Santa Rosa, CA (on Alaskan Airlines via LA). Will be staying as a guest at a house in Redwood Valley near Ukiah. After 15 times being on the frontlines of radical environmentalism and peace & justice in Washington, D.C., it is way past the time for the next chapter to begin. If you want to be in a creative writer's group with me, say so!
Craig Louis Stehr
KELLY AT THE LEGGETT MARKET
Kelly exists only as a single wisp of memory. Actually at one further click past wisp. The year is probably 1969. Maybe as late as 1970 or '71. Kelly is wearing his Army fatigues. I can't place how, or even if, I knew him. Or maybe I was just making smalltalk with a tourist. If it is not already obvious, I will point out that I was never in the military, although my CPA daughter was. I had a cousin I was close to growing up who was so PTSD'd that he shot himself in the communal bathroom of some cheap hotel in Seattle. Shot happens, indeed. The stuff of somebody's losin' a trailer. A human tornado.
Kelly's story is so memorable because it is utterly common. Most folks have lived one of another of its versions. Almost all of my many aunts and uncles were involved. Military families. I think Kelly told me he was home on a short leave before returning to an infantry platoon somewhere near the Laotion border. He was considering running away to Canada. My brother considered that. Decided to honor the draft. They sent him to Heidelberg, Germany after teaching him to type at Fort Riley, Kansas. Then he got a general release. Discharged. He came home and bought a new BMW. Then he died.
All these memories are dim. People love their lives or they hate their lives. In the end, maybe three or four generations later, nobody except a few geneologist ever sees their name on some document. No further comment. They're dead. It matters. It's all there is. In the end, even the sun will collapse into a black hole. With whatever remains of the Orange One. With love. And then, bang or whimper, the end. Finally.
IGNORANCE IS BLISS; UNTIL IT ISN’T
There are brief moments in my life when I wish I could be as clueless as our local Philistine Jerry Philbrick. Just to have a rest from the taxing endless responsibility of moving through a world full of lies while not giving up on what actually happens in the world, even when ugly. Facts do exist after all.
How easy it would be to be just another fool parrot squawking out the repetitive brain washing slogans of the enemy of the month club. Without self education it’s just garbage in and garbage out with no historical context aside from the child like tantrums of manipulated emotional rage.
“Down with socialism” the Comptche sage bellows. But clearly he knows next to nothing about socialism except for distortions that liars and fools in schools and media have installed in his confused mind. When your world view comes from conformist cowards and establishment shills, your brain becomes a stinking landfill full of all the same old shit from ruling class propaganda. Beware!
A wise man once said, “capitalism will never fail because it will always be bailed out by socialism.” Down with socialism is a worthy cry as long as we’re talking about the anti socialism that steals from the common working folk in order to sustain the welfare state of the ripoff ruling class. Get rid of this perverse US inverted socialism and watch the thieves of Wall Street, the banks, negligent General Motors, and the Republic destroying Pentagon and its death dealers dry up and blow away on a much overdue wind of justice.
Stop socialism for the oligarchs and stand by to witness the end of the truly anti-American industries of Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Healthcareless, Big Agribusiness, Big Education, and Big Incarceration.
“Up with Americanism”, whatever the hell that means. I’m very certain that most of the world is sick to death of Americanism and its violent global domination and militarism.
By the way. Did you know that our wonderful Pledge Of Allegiance was written by a SOCIALIST! His name was Francis Bellamy and he wrote it in 1889. He was the founding member of a society of Protestant ministers who were of the sane opinion that if the teachings of Jesus Christ were taken to heart and to action, a form of socialism would result. These men were not Mormons or any other sort of cultist.
I personally quit saying the Pledge Of Allegiance in high school, because of the ripe odor of Hitlerite mass mob hysteria prevalent at the football pep rallies. I refused to even stand out of respect for our hapless lads in South East Asia, and the victims on the receiving end of our murderous mayhem. Here’s a very instructive quote from an anthropologist at Brown university who specializes in the history and current trends in political rituals. From David Kertzer: “Pledges of allegiance are marks of totalitarian states, not democracies." I can’t think of a single democracy except the United States that has a pledge of allegiance.
If Americanism consists of national, racial, and religious supremacy, and lawlessness in high places and in international relations, and psychopathological militarism and corporatism, then to hell with Americanism!
Here’s a brilliant quote from a true patriot who was used to fan the flames of belligerent US Imperialism and who was brutally murdered by our criminals in the state department and the evil Pentagon. All you shit brained fools who are too cowardly to question your own rampaging government have innocent blood on your brainwashed hands. Col. Mummer Gaddafi April 8, 2011:
“Now I am under attack by the biggest force in military history, my little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called ‘capitalism,’ but all of us in the Third World know what that means, it means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer, so, there is no alternative for me, I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following this path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters to work here with us…I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are my children, then so be it…In the West some have called me ‘mad,’ ’crazy.’ They know the truth but continue to lie, they know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip."
Best of luck to a ship of fools!
I support Rep. Ilhan Omar as an authentic advocate for the rights of oppressed people. While those who disagree with Omar’s open and straightforward criticism of the United States’ unconditional support of Israel are bound to feel angry, her statements shouldn’t be confused with those of authentically anti-Semitic people. The difference between Omar’s opposition to the government of Benjamin Netanyahu and those who hate Jewish people is vast.
It has been unfair of so many people in the media and in Congress to condemn Omar for taking a principled stand against a government that makes no apologies for continuing to deny equality and freedom to the Palestinian people.
ON THE GROUND IN VENEZUELA VS. THE MEDIA SPECTACLE
by Paul Cochrane
British photojournalist Alan Gignoux and Venezuelan journalist-filmmaker Carolina Graterol, both based in London, went to Venezuela for a month to shoot a documentary for a major global TV channel. They talked with journalist Paul Cochrane about the mainstream media’s portrayal of Venezuela compared to their experiences on the ground.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
What a relief it is to log on here, and find so many answers to questions that have puzzled me for so long. Questions like: Were the moon landings real? Was that pizzaria really part of a pedophile ring?, and other burning questions. Whenever I find myself bothered by things like this, I like to get on the internet and find out the truth, so I have a real eye opener for you today. There was NO massacre in New Zealand, in fact there is no such thing as NZ. It was a fictitious creation by Australia, to enable them to expand their fishing rights beyond what would be the normal range for countries. It’s as simple as that. While I’m at it, I might as well pop another myth. Australia was not settled by English convicts. They used to load the convicts on boats, sail out into the ocean, and dump them overboard. The inhabitants of Australia were always there. That’s enough truth for today, but stay tuned, I’m guessing that other people have revelations you need to hear about, and I can’t wait to hear them myself.
AN UNREGULATED ECONOMY
BOTANICAL GARDENS HIRING
The Gardens is greeting up for another busy summer! We are looking to fill two part-time seasonal positions. Come be part of a fun team working in beautiful surroundings. See details below and on our website:
Cafe Staff Member — Seasonal (mid-April through September) Part-Time (15-25 hours per week) Application and full job description at
Rhody's Cafe at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is preparing to open for the 2019 season on April 12! We are looking for an addition to our wonderful staff. Part-time position, from mid-April through September. Interviews are being conducted this week so apply ASAP if interested. Nursery Assistant — Seasonal (Mar through Oct) Part-time (2 days per week, may include either Saturday or Sunday) Application and full job description at
The Nursery Assistant position involves a broad range of retail, nursery and office tasks including selling plants, providing customer service, plant care and maintenance, creating attractive displays, point-of-sale system use, unloading/moving plants, nursery maintenance and administrative duties. This is an excellent learning opportunity with on-the-job training.
Roxanne Perkins (Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens)
ENDING CLIMATE CHANGE requires the end of capitalism. Have we got the stomach for it? This is reality v the vested interests of the powerful. Any meaningful policy has to upset the established power base and the political donor class. Any policy that doesn’t upset these people will be useless. To pretend that we can compromise our way through this while we wait for a magical, technological bullet that will keep temperatures down without costing us anything is beyond willful ignorance now. It is a question of basic morality.
YOU ASKED ABOUT THE WEATHER
short days short thoughts
quick like a furtive furry
fast chance under hawk wing
or there better be an or
precise as a stroke that saves more
can’t lose time figuring
got to figure anyway
under water pouring upward
on the bounce in the headlights
tail lights brake lights red
flashing in the wet
fendering at high speed
don’t lose adhesion is a short thought
warm dry house long range programme
— Gordon Black
Insurance spreads the cost of unexpected expenses to be shared with others. Obamacare is insurance; someday it may help you.
Before insurance was available, if your barn burned down, your neighbors would help you build a new barn. That was cooperative insurance.
The bell curve tells us some people are born smarter than others, and generally they earn more money. Some can afford to pay for any health care necessary and don’t even need health insurance. They still carry insurance for many other things.
Everyone should have health coverage to cover everything — ears, eyes and any and all health-related problems. Not just those who were born rich or at the top of the bell curve.
The Republican Party fought Social Security and most benefits that help the 99 percent, and it has done whatever it can to sabotage Social Security and Obamacare. Probably because they have to pay more taxes.
So taxes went up because of Obamacare; consider it a charitable contribution that may help you someday.
Most developed countries already have better health and retirement benefits for the population. Why shouldn’t we?
Bad enough Philbrick’s a major contributor. Till he popped up in full Trumpkin bloom, I never thought a person could write rightwing, crypto-Christian agitprop so repetitious and boring that the ghosts of Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, the Greek Generals and a whole limo load of Banana Republic Caudillos (Strong Men) would gladly give back all the money they’ve stolen and quit politics forever if only they never again have to endure any more of that gremlin’s fevered discombobulations.
I remember when our esteemed editor used to make fun of these quacks and quackers wearing tinfoil hats to keep the sun from frying their brains, or curling their eyebrows, ruining their complexions or whatever. But now, on page 2 of the 3/6/19 issue of the AVA, comes an excerpt from a public proclamation made by one Mr. Peter Hitchens (?). Obviously a gun nut and likely another withered old Trumpkin reactionary, Mr. Hitchens asserts that the one thing that ties nearly all “rampage killers” together is their use of illegal drugs and/or their illegal use of legal drugs. And I think: legal drugs good; illegal drugs bad? Huh?
Since Hitchens includes “cannabis” (“illegal”) on his list, but excludes alcohol (“legal”), his argument crumbles. After all, most violent crimes are committed by men and women about drunk, stone drunk or 18 carat shit-faced. And nobody has ever heard of a pot party ending in a bloodbath. Besides, long term use of booze not only rots your guts, it pickles your brain the same as getting punch drunk pickles your brain. Yet the long term effects of pot use are not yet apparent, which means it’s harmless as far as anybody knows. Then to think that anybody has ever smoked a joint that caused him to up and kill somebody is preposterous. Here Hitchens puts a torch to his straw man.
Then there is his novel use of the adjective “rampage killers.” A nice little euphemism for “mass shootings,” I suppose, of which there is just the opposite of an “epidemic.” What is going up is the body counts and that’s attributable to the proliferation of military weaponry. Today at least 20 million semi-automatic, military-style assault rifles are in the hands of civilians who, a half-century earlier, wouldn’t have believed even for a minute that any educated and responsible American citizen could find any wisdom in doing something as haywire and downright senseless as that. Back then, you see, what military weaponry does to people was very clear in most everybody’s mind.
When I think of massacres committed by teetotalers in what is now the USA, I remember Utah’s Mt. Meadow Massacre. On 9/11/1857, a lynch mob of “Mormon Militia” attacked a wagon train out of Arkansas they’d caught “trespassing” on the Old Spanish Trail. Over five days, they killed at least 120 immigrant men, women and children. Thinking they might make good converts, they took at least 17 children under the age of seven as prisoners. I also think of the Massacres at Wounded Knee and Washita Creek and wonder if any of those brave American cavalrymen were under the influence of illegal drugs.
Lastly, his blanket statement that the individual possession of “guns” has always been “legal” in the US is, well, full of holes (no reason for me to add more). Now that it seems the uber-patriotic National Rifle Assoc. has been exposed as a bagman and stooge of Russian Counter-Intelligence and the Trump Organization (Trump promised to “self-finance,” remember?), I think it’d be wise for their shills to lay low until the jury comes in. Won’t be long.
TIME HAS COME TO TELL THE TRUTH
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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
When I was in California, I used to grab lunch at the Mexican restaurants where they give you a choice of meats for your tacos, enchiladas, etc. My favorite meat is mutton or goat. Accordingly, to communicate with the Mexican women cooking the food, I tried to memorize some of the Mexican words on the menu posted on the wall of the restaurant. In one Mexican restaurant, the Mexican word for goat posted on the wall menu was “Chiva,” so I memorized this word. (Literally, “Chiva” means a female goat.) And henceforth every time I went into a Mexican restaurant to order I’d always ask for “Chiva,” but I would always get a very strange reaction from the Mexicans in the restaurant who would eventually correct me and tell me that I really wanted to order “Birria.” This dance went on for a long time. Only recently in my readings did I discover that the word “Chiva” is the slang and code word for Mexican Black Tar heroin!