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Off the Record

A CALLER ASKED, “So, what happened to your beef with Supervisor Smith?” It wasn't my beef with Smith, it was everyone's beef with her and former supervisor Colfax. I took it as far as I could take it by going to Small Claims Court where, of course, the judge was waiting for me with a meticulously prepared series of legal reasons why Joe Blow can't sue his locally elected crooks. (What we've needed forever in Mendocino County is a taxpayer's organization which could take abuses of the Smith-Colfax type on systematically. Lone wolves are easy to pick off, as I've discovered numerous times over the years.) As of this week, however, I remain confident that freshly-elected DA David Eyster will pursue Smith and Colfax on behalf of us, “the people,” as we are called when elected reps need us to get their high-paying jobs and their rides in the big black limos. The Smith-Colfax crime is ongoing because, by cheating on their travel reimbursements, which count as pay, they will draw retirement benefits set artificially high, meaning that not only did they falsely claim travel reimbursements estimated at as much as $20,000 each, they will draw retirement money partly pegged to those falsely claimed amounts, meaning they will be stealing thousands more tax dollars before their communities drive those final silver stakes through their black hearts.

WILL MEREDITH LINTOTT, a Smith enabler, get herself a superior court sinecure? Probably. Our former DA is aggressively supported by the pseudo-feminists of the local Democrat Party apparatus, and wholly supported by the fake liberals of that party itself. Lintott is an active Democrat, meaning she's one of about fifty Northcoast persons who devote their lives not to any discernible principle but to advancing themselves and their friends, hence their ubiquitous voices on the cosmetic issues of gender and sexual practices, and race, when it comes to supporting a comfortable person like themselves so long as he doesn't shout at them or otherwise make them uncomfortable, someone like Obama in living fact. They also tend to be environmentally “concerned” so long as you're talking about timber companies based in Atlanta, but don't you dare say a word about the most environmentally destructive industry ever in Mendocino County, because then you're talking about their friends and their Congressman. (Hint. That's the industry that poisons the land and sucks up all the water for a grape-based drink.) You'll never hear any complaints from a sanctioned Northcoast Democrat about capitalism, the root cause of our impending death, or capitalism's inevitable consequence, imperialism, everyone else's impending death, although the official Democrats are always available for kumbaya sing-a-alongs for “peace.” The difference between Mendolib and the Republicans? Republicans are fatter and dumber. Politically, there isn't any diff. Anyway, Lintott, incompetent as District Attorney, will soon be creeping around the County Courthouse in billowing black robes at $185,000 a year because everyone from Congressman Cork Top, and good ol' Wes Chesbro, on down through local middle-of-the-road extremists like Joe Wildman, Val Muchowski, Mary Anne Villwock and, of course, Kendall Smith, who even billed local taxpayers for babysitting her dogs, because all these people have already written to Governor Wind Tunnel to say: “Jer, we got just the gal for you over here in Mendocino County.”

WHICH reminds me. I was listening to KQED Radio the other morning when their pledge drive came on, and a guy said, “Our listeners are frighteningly intelligent.” I had to agree that NPR listeners scare the hell out of me, too.

THE INIMITABLE Laurel Krause of the Mendocino Coast almost singlehandedly revived national interest in the 1970 Kent State shootings, and has now begun the creation of the Peaceful Party with 400 facebook friends. The Peaceful Party aims at “world peace, global justice, human rights, cannabis rights and environmental harmony,” and you can't fault Laurel and Friends for thinking small. “Let's,” Laurel invites us, “come together as we spread PEACE in our world via art, film, social media, news, political actions, peace candidates and good old rock 'n roll. Join in, join us at the Peaceful Party.”

MEANWHILE, the two-headed Peaceless Party owned and operated by America's financial community with Barack Obama presently functioning as their main public relations guy, seems even more estranged from reality. Obama says electric cars and the gizmo industry will pull US out of what he describes as an “economic malaise,” while Hillary Clinton, operating on the international front, seems more and more afflicted by a kind of ponderous Tourette's, unable to utter the simplest cliché without “Uh, the, ah, Egyptians, ah, want, uhhhhh, democracy,” as if the Egyptians wouldn't get carpet bombed by US and the Israelis an hour after they went democratic. The other side, the party of Abe Lincoln, and if that isn't pure blasphemy right out of the box, but which is now headed up by a Man Tan lunatic named Boehner, says through his constant crying jags that all we need is less taxes on the rich and the rich will get right out there and “create jobs.” Color US screwed.

WITH a tip of the cellphone to Hall & Oates we give you the Mendocino Manbeater Theme Song: “She'll only come out at night, the lean and hungry type. Nothing is new, I've seen her here before, watching and waiting. She's sitting with you but her eyes are on your glass jaw. You're not getting punched for free because the woman is wild, and she never liked you much anyhow. If you're in it for love you ain't gonna get too far. Oh-oh, here she comes, watch out boys she'll beat you up! Oh here she comes, she's a manbeater. Oh-oh here she comes to hook your drunk ass, because she's a manbeater. I wouldn't mess with her if I were you, I know what she can do. She's deadly man, and she could really rip your world apart. The beauty is there but a kick to your pills is in her heart. Oh-oh here she comes! Watch out boys she'll beat you up. She's a manbeater…”

MR. HALL? MR. OATES? I'm calling from Mendocino County out here in California. I'd like you to meet our Manbeater of the week, Ms. Vanessa Vasquez of Redwood Valley. You might agree that Vanessa's look says it all: “One little slap and the so-called man calls the cops? I can't believe I'm here! This is a joke, right?” Unfortunately for you, Vanessa, it's not a joke. You'll pay a big bail fee, and you'll maybe even get dragged into court to explain what really happened if the DA makes a completely irrational decision to prosecute you. Get yourself a new guy, Vanessa. As pretty as you are you won't have any trouble finding a real man. Or at least one who can take a punch without going all to pieces over it.

THEY ROB us and it's business. We rob them and it's a crime, as the anarchists used to say. “The Fort Bragg Police Department was still searching this week for a man suspected of holding up a bank Thursday afternoon. According to the FBPD, a man came into the Chase Bank at 120 East Alder Street shortly before 2 p.m. and demanded money, saying that he had a gun. The suspect then fled the bank with a “large sum of money” in a plastic bag. Witnesses described him as a white male, 6 feet tall and approximately 220 pounds. He was reportedly wearing a black, zip-up windbreaker with a hood, a red T-shirt, dark pants, a beige hat and sunglasses. Shortly after the incident, FBPD officers were notified that a man matching that description was seen near a sleep shop, but when officers responded to the area they determined the man had not been involved. As of Monday afternoon, the FBPD said no arrests had been made. The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call department at 961-2800.

DID I HEAR someone say that Gordon Black is 75? The talented Mendocino poet is certainly a well-preserved old wheeze. Last time I saw him, which was at a memorial service for our mutual friend Rusty Norvell, ol' Gordo didn't look a day over 50. Happy birthday, Gordy, and many happy cravats.

THE BUDGET BATTLE between the Sheriff and the Supervisors stems from the fact that the Sheriff is elected, not appointed by the Supervisors. Elected sheriffs are a bad idea because if they go wrong, or you can't get them to whack their budgets, there's nothing you can do about it until the next election. And during those elections the Sheriff's Department is bitterly divided among the competing candidates, leading to post-election resignations, mutual suspicions and general bad feeling. Which isn't to say that Tom Allman isn't doing a good job as Sheriff of Mendocino County because he is, but the present impasse has already created so much bad feeling that, well, speaking for myself I just bought a couple extra boxes of shotgun shells. Out in the boons where most of us live there might not be a cop much longer.

THE SHERIFF, and Supervisor McCowen, think dope fees might go a long way to filling in the deficit, but that particular source of income is hard to predict until our most competent growers return from Hawaii and the other warm weather venues where they've spent the winter months resting up for the 2011 season. The grow permit policy is also absolutely unique in America, placing Mendocino County's top cop as a kind of dope industry expediter. So, why not take the next step: The County buys the annual crop wholesale and retails it out of Ukiah? We'd be swimming in dough by 2012!

THE INNER RICHMOND DISTRICT of San Francisco, where I live part-time thanks to a benevolent family member, was sand dunes up until World War One. Just up the street from me there's a little strip mall called Laurel Village. It consists of high-end groceries and other amenities catering to the serious money of adjacent Pacific Heights. Laurel Village was a graveyard until the war to end all wars. I knew an old man who remembered, as a kid, the graves being dug up and the first houses built west of Presidio. At 8th and California, a short block from my one-bedroom, the seminal beatnik, Kenneth Rexroth, once lived. Rexroth's biography says that one night he threw those other seminal beatniks, Allan Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac, out of his apartment because they laughed at him for telling them to keep their voices down because Rexroth's young daughters were asleep. On another occasion, Dylan Thomas visited. I think of them on foggy summer nights, spilling out into a neighborhood so quiet that one weekend there were more police calls for Boonville than there were for the entire Richmond District Police Station. Those visits to 8th and California from the seminal beatniks in the early 1950s were the second most important thing that's happened in the area, the first being Ishi, the last Indian, walking down from his combined home and exhibition cage at UCSF to sit by Mountain Lake, San Francisco's naturally occurring pond just off Park Presidio Boulevard. It's a few blocks west of my house, which I think of the Sideways Place because, like most city people, I always seem to be walking sideways along the space constraints of narrow halls, narrow doors into narrow places and the narrow minds of some of the neighbors, like the beret-wearing fanatic down the block whose garage is full of posters depicting aborted fetuses, and the owner of the place next door who hoses down his sidewalk precisely to where his property ends and our building begins, and not to mention the woman who regularly deposits a plastic bag of dog poop in a pot of gasping mums at the foot of our stairs. I left her a note one day: “I know your behavior embarrasses your dog. Shame on you.” For about a month there were no deposits, but then they resumed. I'll catch her yet. On warm nights, the couple next door get into stupid arguments. Maybe they're drunk, but they don't sound drunk enough to sound as dumb as they do. She clomps up and down the outside stairs in high heels as she shouts, “I don't wanna watch that show,” and he yells stuff like, “How many goddammed times have I asked you not to slam the back door?” Years and years of this and then the grave. The entire neighborhood is home to thousands of people but as deserted as a nighttime prairie dog village day and night, but unfailingly brightened by the Korean family who operate Kaju, the coffee shop on the corner. Always cheerful and friendly, the Kajus are more like Boonville people in their openness, their apparent lack of guile. Mostly, though, city people are a million anons alone at the edge of the big sea, as far west as you can go. A block south is Clement Street, almost a complete village in itself, which it was not that long ago. These days, from one end to the other where it dead ends at the Vet's Hospital, Clement is a remarkably diverse collection of restaurants, bars, shops, a wonderful book store in Green Apple, and grocery stores heavy on fresh fruit and vegetables. The bar I feel most comfortable in is the 540 Club, although one night at an Irish bar down on Geary when I mentioned that Pol Brennan was and is a friend of mind I was first grilled about my bona fides then rewarded with six free beers. The 540 Club is a lot closer to Villa Sideways and it's quite compatible until it gets dark and the groove-o trend-o's, the tattoos and the human pin cushions arrive, and with them bad music goes up full blast and I slip into my orthotics and slink sideways for home. It's not that the groove-o trend-o's are unfriendly, it's that conversation is not a priority and noise is. It's all “Like” and “Dude” and uncreative profanities and real bad tunes. Late afternoons at the 540 are best. You can sit outside and watch the unending variety offered by the sidewalk, at ease in the sun with the old lady who sips her Old Fashioned and smokes while she reads Barbara Cartland. One day she said to me, “Do you mind if I smoke?” I said I'd leave if she didn't. A couple of weeks ago a guy in a Giants cap told me Tim Lincecum had been in during the World Series. That made sense. At night, the place is all kids, and Lincecum is not only a kid, he's a groove-o trend-o, and I won't hear a word against him. With everything you need on Clement, there's not much point in going all the way downtown for anything, but I ride the outbound buses anyway in the likely delusion that I'm keeping fully abreast of the end times. The 33, for instance, takes you from the mausoleums of Pacific Heights all the way to 10 immigrants to a room on Potrero, up and over the sunny side of Twin Peaks, through the Castro and on into the heart of the Mission. The sociology of the passengers changes at least twice en route, sometimes three times, but there are always Asians and Hispanics on the bus. San Francisco is fast becoming an Asian city, which may save Frisco, lately run by the emptiest suit ever sitting as mayor, from itself, civic-ly speaking. The other day, a Chinese woman in one of those big-billed half-sun bonnets that are almost a uniform with older Chinese women in San Francisco, approached the young-ish black male piloting the 33 to shout at him, “Ah Gwell Lo? You go Ah Gwell Lo.” The driver replied with faux exasperation, “Damn, lady. You don't have to yell.” Then he laughed. “Yes, I go to Arguello.” All these years I thought it was only us Native Americans who raised our voices when we thought the furriner didn't understand us.

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