Press "Enter" to skip to content

MCT: Thursday, March 21, 2019

* * *

MOSTLY DRY CONDITIONS are expected today, but this break in the rain will be short lived. Wet weather will resume Friday, and periods of rain can be expected at various points between Friday and the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)

* * *

SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS placed an item on Tuesday’s Supes agenda meant to assist indoor pot growers on the Coast who, according to the County’s pot program “sunset clause,” will no longer be allowed to legally grow pot on the Coast in residential areas, as of January 1, 2020, even if they've jumped through all the County hoops and paid all County fees and taxes. Williams proposed that a use permit process be developed to allow coastal indoor grows to apply to continue in business after December 31 of this year if they meet whatever conditions imposed on them in the use permit, including adequate responses to neighbor comments. 

SUPERVISOR DAN GJERDE was strongly against Williams’ idea, saying the process is the process and the rules are the rules. Supervisor John McCowen said he was opposed to any kind of countywide use permit process. Supervisor John Haschak said he sympathized with the fog belt mom and pops and suggested stretching the sunset deadline out for a couple more years. 

THE COMMENTERS WHO OPPOSED mostly agreed with Gjerde, and also cited the crime the industry tends to attract. But the growers strongly argued that it wasn’t fair to force somebody out of legitimate business when they can’t find another place to grow (affordably) and have done everything the County wanted of them to get legal, including security provisions. 

IN THE END, the Board decided to send the question to the McCowen-Haschak pot cultivation ad hoc committee to see if they can come up with anything to de-horn the dilemma posed by opposed neighbors vs. long-time growers. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on several dozen currently legal coastal pot growers who might be forced either into bankruptcy or back into the black market. 

* * *

SISTER YASMIN SOLOMON responds to John Sakowicz regarding recent KZYX Management Changes (Sister Yasmin was not included on Sako’s list of suggested former programmers.)

Thanks a lot John S.

So, what am I, John? Chopped Liver? I am the Most Canned & Banned Ex-Programmer at kzyx/z. They have banned even my phone number for the past Six Months, un-allowing me to even CALL THE DAMN TALK SHOWS at this station? Why is this? They never even gave me anything in writing to tell me what my "terrible sins" against The Station are! How many years were you are Programmer/Supporter, John? I was on OUR Radio Station as a founding member and founding Programmer for ten years, then off and on again for at least another 5-10 years, always doing my MLK Birthday Specials each January, and always supporting our station. If The Public had only stood up for me, they would have in-banned my telephone number by now, but...

Gee, thanks a lot for remembering me, John, and everyone.


PS. Even Queen Mary [Aigner] never banned my phone number so I could not call THE DISCUSSION!!

Alice is leaving? I don't believe it, but I hope it is true!!!!

Let's set the record straight, many people have been Canned & Banned from our station. what you posted is only a partial list. But, I never used any of the profane words over the air, as some did. Ya know?

* * *


Less than six months after voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have gutted a 1995 state law banning new types of rent control on all single-family homes and all rent control on apartments or condos built after the law passed, state lawmakers hoping to help Californians deal with the extreme cost of housing have introduced four new bills.

By far the most buzz is going to Assembly Bill 1842 by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, that is being framed as much different than Proposition 10, which lost by 18 percentage points in November. Chiu says his bill would prevent “rent gouging.”

Instead of the hard caps on rent increases seen in many local rent control ordinances adopted by California cities before 1995, Chiu’s measure would ban landlords from increasing rents each year by more than an as-yet-undetermined percentage more than inflation.

Oregon recently became the first state in the nation to adopt an “anti-gouging” rent law. The measure limits annual rent increases to inflation plus 7 percent for existing tenants in buildings that are at least 15 years old. Rents can go up by more than that when apartments are vacated, but the law contains additional protections meant to prevent landlords from seeking to evict tenants with solid records of timely rent payments solely so they can raise the rent.

UC Berkeley researchers concluded that if a similar law passed in California, 4.9 million homes, condos and apartments would be covered.

Some landlord and business groups didn’t oppose the bill as it moved through the Oregon Legislature – seeing it as preferable to the harder, smaller caps that some state lawmakers and activist groups preferred and that polls suggest are popular.

But stronger and more consistent opposition to Chiu’s bill looms in California. “We need to encourage new housing, not create policies that stifle its creation,” Tom Bannon, CEO of the California Apartment Association, told the Bay Area News Group. He said any state law capping rent increases would be counterproductive and ineffective at remedying the housing crisis.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not taken a public stand on Chiu’s bill. Last month, however, he told lawmakers at his State of the State address, “Get me a good package on rent stability this year and I will sign it.”

Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, has also once again introduced a bill including more traditional rent control provisions. Assembly Bill 36 would allow local governments to mandate rent control on apartments and single-family homes as soon as they were 10 years old. Landlords with only a few units would not be covered.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, has also once again introduced a bill meant to make it significantly more difficult to evict tenants. Assembly Bill 1481 would set a statewide “Just Cause for Evictions” standard. Most cities already have such policies.

The least controversial measure affecting renters was proposed by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland. Assembly Bill 724 would set up a state housing information clearinghouse that would list all available units, their monthly rents, how long units were vacant and how many tenants are evicted. Landlords would be required to submit this information on a timely basis.

Wicks thinks this would lead to more informed decisions on housing by the Legislature and the Newsom administration.

Kathy Wylie, M.S. Ed.

* * *



The “Spin Masters” continue their push to change Ukiah. Change is not always bad. But change must be viewed closely to verify it will have the best chances of a good outcome. Recently those who tuned in to the local access channel/cable 3 had a chance to view the next chapter in the local spin to change downtown Ukiah. Frankly…it took a strong stomach to stay with the program. It may seem hard to believe…but not that many years ago our City of Ukiah was voted one of the best 10 small cities in America to live.  I feel quite confident that the spin master was not a local at that time…nor was city leadership heading down paths like this.  At the time the city was one of the top ten best small cities…State Street was a very busy four lane road…just like it is today. Taking State Street to one lane each way with some center turn lanes has to be one of the poorest ideas ever floated locally.  One does not have to get far into the spin to know fact from fiction.  One lane traffic will move as much traffic thru the current two lanes each way? You buy that? Nor does the vast majority of Ukiah Valley residents.

When one looks at doing a major project its best to look at the track record of the one doing the planning.  We have some very good examples here for the review:  Look at the fake brick/stamped concrete at State Street and Perkins. Big big dollars spent on this project and just take a look at the results.  Look at the “Tramp Trail.” Hard to imagine they can't wait to add to this project!

And then there is the money. It seems that money must grow on trees to some folk. Money from here…money from there…money money money.  The local citizens know the real truth. This is our hard earned tax dollars that are being tossed in the air! Local, County, State or Federal Government have no money of their own! Just have our money to spend! Since the center to the street diet is the center of Ukiah why didn’t the Spin Master bring with him the owner of the longest running business on State Street? MacNabs….been run by same family for at least 3 generations. About 70 years! Why was MacNabs not there? This is a poor idea and they have spoke out against it! It was interesting that the Spin Master did not bring up as a reference another Northern California city that had done a very similar project as being proposed.  Paradise, California.  Same program. Push outs for crosswalks and convert four lane traffic downtown to one lane each way.  You would have thought this would have been a excellent reference. Wrong. Recent reports as they study the loss of life from this tragic fire has been widely reported…the constricting of traffic lanes downtown contributed to loss of life during this tragedy. The City Council missed a excellent chance to do the right thing. This is far too big of a change to trust the change to a few.  The decision really belongs to the citizens of Ukiah via a vote. And if you stayed with the live local view of the meeting and listened as the Spin Master told of dreaming of this project for 10 or 20 years one had to think…something is wrong here.  Someone with a reported salary and benefit package near $250,000 a year dreaming of this? Stop the dreaming! Lastly…when told that the project would probably claim some of the current businesses along State Street it stirred a bad feeling deep inside.  If anything a project like this being proposed should thin the dreamers coming up with this stuff. Pass the Kool Aid.

G. Sissons


* * *


* * *


“City of Ukiah may put signs, fence around wetlands near Costco — Residents report sensitive area being trampled”

THE ABOVE is a headline over a story by the estimable Justine Frederickson of the Ukiah Daily Journal. I bring it up because, as a member of the Ukiah CostCo, I've been intrigued by the very spot, wondering how it got there. I assumed when the developers were pushing all that dirt around to create their vast parking lot and fuel pumps the corporados inadvertently created this mini-wetlands. If, as alleged, people are tramping through it, which I find hard to believe, anything Ukiah comes up with in the form of "protection" is likely to totally destroy it. As is, it's a welcome visual in that industrial sea of pavement, which definitely won't be enhanced by a chain link fence. Incidentally, on my five visits to the mammoth store, the parking lot has been mostly empty, and I've never seen more than three open checkout stands, none of them with more than two customers in line. Count me among the many people who predicted traffic jams and more chaos on Ukiah's Big Box Lane. Hasn't happened, but then CostCo, so far, doesn't seem to have drawn the predicted swarms of shoppers either.

FOR YOUR KARMA FILE: A prominent Italian anti-vax figure was hospitalized with chickenpox earlier this week. Massimiliano Fedriga, who is the president of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and member of the right-wing Northern League party, revealed he was ill on Twitter. He previously argued against the Lorenzin decree, which made vaccination compulsory for children before they could attend school, back in 2017. At the time, he said that he had his own children vaccinated but believed it should not be forced on to people.

* * *

* * *


A Review by Marylyn Motherbear Scott

Opening the 2019 Season of Mendocino Theatre Company —

translated by Jon Laskin & Michael Aquilante

Directed by Katherine Jean Nigh

The Cast: Nicole Traber, Terilynn Epperson, Bob Cohen, Raven Deerwater, Steven F. Worthen, Dawn Bristow.

“They Won’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!” is performed by some of MTC’s most beloved performers. These skilled actors hold this play together at an hilarious pace through the footfall antics of absurdist theatre, out the other side, to a ghostly image offered into mindful memory of those who spoke out as we do now, and who marched to an all-too-familiar tune.

On first glance at the stage, you are treated to a wall! A wall, no less! with past and present protest posters displayed. Two women enter, best friends, one with bags full of groceries pilfered from a grocery store riot. Their dialogue sets the play in motion. The women enter into co-conspiratorial concealment of the stolen groceries, not wanting their loyal and law-abiding husbands to get upset. And so the play goes apace, as two sets of couples attempt to act upon mixed messages and sudden changes of circumstance.

Nicole Traber is nothing short of amazing as the leading character, Antonia. She is the wick that gets lit and we all can see and laugh and perhaps weep a bit. That being said, her co-conspirator, Marguerita, played by Terrilyn Epperson is the foil that reflects Antonia’s actions, and adds her own sweet, somewhat scared and flickering light. Desperate housewives who take justice into their own hands.

Antonia’s husband, Giovanni, played by MTC veteran Bob Cohen, offers, as always, a nuanced yet decisive and humorous performance of a man who believes in the system while not benefitting from it. Raven Deerwater plays Luigi, Marguerita’s husband, offering again, a foil, seemingly practical, that reflects Giovanni’s issues, one side and the other.

There’s a variety of policemen —all of whom look alike! one on the worker side and one on the anti-worker side, each one played to an individualized hilt by Steven P. Worthen. Mirror images, remind us to look in the mirror. What side are you on?

Attitudes, lies and reality, political and social posturing. Bottom-line, it is the realities of the everyday working class who fight to survive in the midst of hunger and apathy, feminine endurance and patriarchal dominance.

There is one more character, the gender-bending sacred fool and stage hand you must see to believe. Or disbelieve! The basic tenet for enjoying live theater is the willing suspension of disbelief. A worthy practice. This character reminds us of the Native American heyokas, the two-spirited clowns and the court Jester who could enact the most unpopular of issues in the community. To harm them would bring dire consequence.

Once upon a time, performing troupes paraded, ritually, through the streets and town squares with stories that usually included the foibles of relationship and the sensibilities of the common people versus the entitled rich and ruling classes. The viewers hope that the ruling class ends up getting what they deserve, a swift boot on the bottom. Or kicked out of office! Through these parades and marches, the community is informed, united, empowered. Let us not forget.

Katherine Jean Nigh, director, leaves no stone unturned. Each moment makes its mark. The crossing of the absurd and the dramatic, the outlandish and the straight-forward, the merging of the crude with the elegant complexity of language that says it all, through gesture, through words, through making it all matter is the container of this play and this production.

Playwright Dario Fo, awarded the Noble Prize for literature in 1997, is not only considered to be a master of the art; but a man of integrity. Fo made improvisation a part of his script, giving permission to revise parts so that the content met the concerns of the people, giving grace and space for the common folk to speak. More than a soapbox, a stage on which to enact their own revolution.

Director Nigh takes us far beyond the conventional aspects of drama and of farce, into the often desperate and always tender feelings of working class people who deserve more than a hard time.

This class struggle has existed, it seems, for time without end. All the workers want is to have enough, and some to share. Nigh takes us there. I mean, she takes us Here, merging Italy with America with Brexit Britain and other people and nations around the world. And so we laugh. So much laughter. Enough to make us weep.

Mendocino Theatre Company made a great choice in offering “You Won’t Pay? I Won’t Pay!” as its opening gambit. In this exciting season, MTC asks you to consider the question, What would compel you to transgress the rules— to go beyond the pale — to cross the line?

For tix call 937-3629.

* * *

(Photo by Dick Whetstone)

* * *

BILOXI DAYS: Morning Standup

by Mark Scaramella

Every morning at eight o'clock sharp each of the six maintenance organization chiefs had to appear at the morning status briefing in the cramped, table-less headquarters conference room. The chiefs were joined by a supply rep and a senior pilot.  The purpose of the meeting was to review the status of all maintenance activity in each organization, point out (and complain) about problems in other organizations, provide estimates of when projects and repairs would be complete, summarize the previous day's work and what was on that day’s schedule.

During my first year as Field Maintenance Squadron Commander, the morning standups were run by the Chief of Maintenance, Lt. Col. James M. Slaughter, a grizzled ex-fighter pilot who didn't like long or evasive answers to his questions. If Colonel Slaughter was not available, Major Smith, the Maintenance Control Officer, ran the meetings. If Major Smith wasn't available, Maintenance Control was represented by the Assistant Maintenance Control Chief, Captain Newman.

When Colonel Slaughter ran the meetings, they were short and right to the point. Matters were handled quickly, almost rudely. When Major Smith or Captain Newman ran them, they frequently drifted off into rambling lectures or irrelevant show-off technical details about things the rest of us were already quite familiar with or proposals that were beyond impractical and into fantasy.

Assistant Maintenance Control Chief was not a real job because Maintenance Control was primarily run by Senior Master Sergeant Buckheister who didn't need much supervision from a maintenance officer, much less an assistant maintenance officer.

There was a competitive undertone to the meetings because nobody wanted to look bad in front of Colonel Slaughter, and every effort was made to blame problems on another organization. If you could convince Col. Slaughter that the problem was elsewhere — Maintenance Control dropped the ball, supply mixed up the part order, the flight-line was late bringing the plane in, etc. — not only were you off the hook, but you put the guy/organization you were aiming at on the spot. But that guy also got a chance to dispute your blame-shifting. Colonel Slaughter was a hard sell either way.

At the time, I was moonlighting at a downtown Biloxi nightclub as piano player in a small dance band. Late nights didn't allow me to get a good night’s sleep before morning standup. Sometimes I didn't have time to prepare for the meeting and had to wing it when issues came up. A few times I nodded off while standing up when others were speaking. Colonel Slaughter, in his raspy voice of doom, would shout, “Scaramella!”

On one particular morning both Colonel Slaughter and Major Smith were away; Captain Newman was leading the meeting.

The night before, an aircraft had come in to the hangar for routine inspection. The hangar maintenance crew discovered that there was an engine problem, but after having removed the engine and propeller they decided that the problem was more likely in the fuel system.  To pressurize the fuel system and check for leaks, the aircraft had to be defueled, which meant that it had to be towed out to the "defuel pad," a special safety zone across the runway designated for that process far from any other building, with an underground fuel tank, fuel hoses, and lots of grounding wires.

The problem was that since the T-28 aircraft engine is mounted in the front, when the engine is removed the center of gravity shifts to the tail. This meant that towing the aircraft out to the defuel pad without its engine would scrape the tail on the tarmac. The mechanics had solved this minor problem by lifting the tail and putting a wheeled maintenance stand with an old mattress on top to hold up the tail as they slowly pulled the airplane out to the fuel area as several mechanics pushed the maintenance stand along under the tail. The lines were drained of fuel and then they brought it back in similar fashion for fuel system inspection.

Captain Newman was very unhappy with this crude method of towing and defueling and asked me to have our aircraft welding shop construct a 700-pound deadweight with steel attaching rods and mounting bolts in the approximate shape of an engine. Captain Newman thought the new counterweight apparatus could be hung on the nose of the aircraft whenever an aircraft without an engine needed to be towed to the defueling area.

Like everyone else in the room, I thought that was a crazy idea and somewhat angrily blurted out sarcastically, "Oh great! Let's get everything upside down and have Field Maintenance waste a lot of time and money on a dummy engine instead of training your maintenance control people to anticipate the possibility of the defueling before the aircraft is even brought into the hangar."

Captain Newman was not happy, but fortunately everyone else in the room kind of laughed and agreed with me and Newman's silly proposal was nipped in the bud.

Needless to say, Captain Newman and I didn't get along very well after that, which made it much harder for us to get the flight line to do more of their own work since Maintenance Control was passing along flightline dispatch requests for shop technicians to do trivial tasks such as tire changing, aeleron adjustment, minor fluid leaks, and such, instead of telling the flight line people to take more responsibility and lower the workload of our already understaffed shops.

Morning standup meetings with their finger-pointing, impromptu issues, and competitive tone, were a stark contrast to the much more mundane meetings I later encountered in government and private industry where it was bad form to complain about another organization’s problems.

The difference between the two kinds of meetings was that in morning military standup meetings, managers stayed on top of things, problems got solved, things got done, and managers were held accountable to fellow managers and their boss when they didn't. You were on the imaginary hot-seat almost every day. The private business meetings with their comfortable chairs, coffee bars, luncheon set-ups, etc. were rambling and tended to zero accountability, much like Mendocino County supervisor's meetings actually.

The military experience of strict accountability served me well in the rest of my bureaucratic career because I became better at focusing on problems, clearly defining them and raising them to the responsible party, and staying on top of them until they were fixed.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, March 20, 2019

Ayala, Bloyd, Calvo

ANA AYALA, Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear, probation revocation.

MARY BLOYD, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DAVID CALVO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Faber, Fernandez, Gibson

SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Grand theft of access card, identity theft, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

ANGELA FERNANDEZ, Healdsburg/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JESSE GIBSON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Jordan, Laforce, Oresco

DUSTIN JORDAN, Ukiah. Parole violation.

JAMES LAFORCE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, stolen property.

AARON ORESCO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Ortiz, Pike, Presley, Vanhorn

RICHARD ORTIZ, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.

KEVIN PIKE, Ukiah. Parole violation, resisting/threatening.

ERIK PRESLEY, Laytonville. Failure to appear.

HOLLAND VANHORN, Willits. Probation revocation.

* * *


On Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m., the Ukiah Community Concert Association presents Swedish contemporary acoustic group Väsen at the Mendocino College Center Theatre. This fundraising event for UCCA finds the three instrumental virtuosos extending their tour of the southwest U.S. to include Northern California.

"Väsen" is a Swedish word meaning spirit, noise, a living being--all the associations one gets from a group whose sum is greater than its parts and whose music produces an ineffable chill. The group is now in their 27th year of touring, with frequent stops in Japan as well as U.S. and Europe, and released their 17th album, "Brewed," in 2017.

Tuneful, soulful, simple yet ethereal, the music of Väsen invites both contemplation and celebration. Deeply rooted in the forests and rich earth of the Swedish countryside, Väsen also has a clean sound and incorporates modern genres including rock and jazz. Reviewing a performance in Edinburgh (Scotland), critic Rob Adams wrote that the group's instruments "dovetail so perfectly" to produce a sound "that can be piccolo sweet and Telecaster rockin’ within the same few bars" of a song.

A shower postponed, a legendary jam

Väsen began in 1989 when a young musician named Olov Johansson met guitarist Roger Tallroth at a music festival in Norway and invited him to jam with him. Tallroth declined, citing the need for a shower, but, as often happens at group gatherings, the shower was occupied. Instead Tallroth returned and started playing with Johansson--all day, and far into the night. Among the awed listeners was Olle Paulsson, who, declaring it the best music he had ever heard, promised to start a record label (now Drone Music) if the trio--with violist Mikael Marin, a childhood friend of Johansson's--recorded a CD. Thus Väsen was born. Johansson went on to become the first World Champion of the nyckelharpa, a traditional Swedish stringed instrument. All three musicians have accomplished recording, teaching and touring careers separately in addition to their work with Väsen.

Enriching inland Mendocino for over 70 years

Ukiah Community Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed talent since 1947. This all-volunteer nonprofit’s mission is to build and maintain a permanent concert audience and cultivate an interest in fine music among the citizens of the community and surrounding area. It is also their goal to encourage music appreciation in the schools of the community.

Advance tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits, and online. Single tickets for this concert are $20 in advance and $25 at the door (adult) and $10 in advance and $15 at the door (youth under 18). Free tickets are available at the door to Mendocino College students with ID, space providing. For more information, please call 707-463-2738, or visit UCCA on Facebook and at 

UCCA thanks Schat’s Bakery, Black Oak Coffee, and Rivino Winery for donating treats to be served pre-concert and during intermission. Special thanks to the Mendocino College Foundation, the Mendocino Arts Club and Mendocino College Recording Arts & Technology as well as the Mendocino College Art Gallery for their ongoing support.

Elena Casanova

Publicity Chair

PO Box 844

Ukiah, CA 95482

* * *

* * *


Jack Nicholson delivers this observation midway through The Last Detail. In a sailor suit and with a funny hat. Neither an old Jack Nicholson not any sort of sailor, I came to the same observation last night.

Every few days, I have been e-mailing my kids to give them updates on my ongoing medical adventures. Their love and help has saved my life. But as I have to look for anything to write, ran into the fact that there had been no noticeable change from last week. I wasn't getting better, but I wasn't getting noticeably worse either. The new normal.

Even if you are one of my kids, there seems little reason to repeat the same news week after week. And anyone who spends any energy on Facebook or who has paid the AVA for online access can read it anyway. Always a day later in the AVA. Even when even they lose patience, it's still there on Facebook the day before. So how 'bout I cease the weekly e-mails? Then you can say 'I read it in the AVA!' I mean, it's not Harper's or Time, but in many ways it's journalistic better. If even one of you still prefers the e-mails, you'll get 'em. And probably first. Right here, like this. You read it here first. Let Jack know, eh?

(Bruce Brady)

* * *

BROADWAY AT WEST 47TH STREET, 1929. Drucker and Baites Company via New York Historical Society

* * *



I think the state Medical Board should create a committee of board-certified pediatricians to review exemptions written for vaccines. They could pay a nominal fee for the review process.

If doctors knew another doctor was going to review the exemptions, I think it would enormously decrease the number that are being written and save lives. This committee could even have written and accepted guidelines to assist them.

Dr. Charles D. Goodman

Chairman of pediatrics, Northridge Hospital Medical Center

Los Angeles

* * *

MAN FORCED TO SHORTEN GARDEN fence puts naked mannequins there

* * *

* * *



The articles on the college admissions scam, in which wealthy parents paid a company to manipulate and bribe to get their children into elite universities, refer to the creation of fake athletic records.

To me, this says worlds about more than just this scandal. It says universities provide special admissions tracks for student athletes whose academic records may be insufficient on their own. It says athletics is uniquely important at many universities compared not just to academic disciplines but to other performance activities (music, theater, art).

If the articles had described the creation of fake resumes for these students as world-class trumpeters or stunningly creative physicists, I would still be offended by the criminality of these parents and the company that served their dark intent. But I would feel a little better about the universities.

This episode also highlights that our society so often favors the already advantaged. When Harvard on your resume ensures you’ll get special attention when applying for jobs over evidence of your actual competence, it signals that the rags-to-riches story that’s part of the American dream has become a myth.

Bill Houghton


* * *

OIL DERRICKS on La Cienega, south of Beverly Boulevard, 1931. The area to the west (left) of La Cienga is the future site of the Beverly Center.

* * *


White trash? This is a nebulous description used on many people. If someone has only a high school diploma but can carry out skills such as hunting and harvesting an animal, does that make them white trash? What if they are an INTJ [supposedly determines psychological types] on the Briggs Meyers test? These are the types that can solve problems dealing with complex issues in a massive interconnected system. Think about the master mechanics working on a modern engine.

Derogatory names are applied to many people based on the inabilities of the name callers many times. I ran into this in college while earning a BS in engineering. My grades were not the best but I finished and used the education to obtain a highly technical “blue collar” job that most people would be unable to handle. I even obtained a federally issued license to operate a very powerful machine. I do recall that many of my class mates were one track mind thinkers that could never handle a fast and fluid problem requiring sudden shifts of attention or prioritization of tasks needed to be completed. They made good grades but would never be able to succeed in stressful situations where seconds count.

When I hear “white trash”, I think “unconventional talent”.

* * *

* * *



So the message to killers (of their own children and other people’s children) is go ahead and do it, we (the public) will take care of you for the rest of your lives to the tune of over $90,000 a year, including medical care that surpasses a lot of that provided to citizens who don’t happen to be in prison (“Newsom freezes death penalty,” Wednesday). And, yes, you might be entitled to a sex change while we are at it.

But, please, general public (not in prison for murder), don’t dare ask for anything like that. In fact, you might just die because you cannot afford medical care.

Charles Stone

Santa Rosa

* * *

* * *


by Howard Lisnoff

Like an annoying rash that could become dangerous, the Wall Street and war wing of the Democratic Party is back for yet another reprise in its run in the 2020 presidential primary and election. Think these representatives of wealth and war and power went away with the mid-evening swing toward doom of the New York Times polls on election night 2016? Think again… Hillary Clinton has been supplanted by Joe Biden. Power and wealth will not give up because those forces have an almost psychopathic hold on a wing of the Democratic Party, like an out-of-control vehicle careening to certain doom down a mountainside.

In the 1970s, Biden was a fierce opponent of school busing toward the end of eliminating segregation in schools (”As Joe Biden Hints at presidential Run, Andrew Cockburn Looks at His ‘Disastrous Legislative Legacy,’” Democracy Now, March 13, 2019).

During the 1980s and 1990s, Biden became a law and order legislator, teaming up with none other than Strom Thurmond and Bill Clinton to put people away and fueling the epidemic of mass jailing. Readers know the result that those “crime” fighting sprees had on the black community.

Then, during the confirmation process of Clarence Thomas, Biden refused to call witnesses that would have supported Anita Hill’s testimony about Thomas.

Biden made it impossible for students to discharge student debt, a move that saddles students with a lifelong burden of indebtedness as the price of a college or technical education, especially if students have not struck it rich in a global economy.

Biden loves the banks and credit card companies, many that make their corporate homes in Biden’s tax-lenient state of Delaware. And in holding those accountable, who tanked the economy in 2007-2008, Biden let them off on a free ride while ordinary people suffered and the housing debacle exploded.

In an opinion piece masquerading as fact, the Guardian reports in “Joe Biden faces tough choices on fundraising for potential 2020 run,”(March 14, 2019), that “middle-class Joe” faces hurdles because of his ties to Wall Street in an increasingly progressive Democratic Party.

And here’s Joe Biden on the war for regime change in Iraq in “Biden’s votes, words on Iraq become hurdle in 2020,” (The Hill, February 8, 2019): “Biden backed the resolution giving former President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq, and he also praised the president in a Senate floor speech at the time for his handling of the case for war.” For decades, Democrats in Congress (and in the presidency) have almost universally supported war and the preparations for war. Whether this policy position changes with the Congressional Progressive Caucus remains to be seen, but the vast majority of Democrats have a really bad record on war. Besides the nationalistic chauvinism involved in war, there is the fealty to war industries among Democrats.

It remains to be seen if Democrats, and especially the Wall Street and war fans in the Democratic Party can muster anything like the pushback in Congress to Saudi Arabia’s immoral and illegal war in Yemen. The history of the two-party duopoly and their ties to the military-industrial-financial complex do not bode well. The Democrats’ record on war predates the attacks of September 2001.

With Biden’s record on war, integration, “crime,” a woman’s right to work unmolested, the Great Recession, and banks and credit card companies, readers might think Joe Biden is a throwback to the worst tendencies of neoliberal Democrats, and they’d be right on the money!

(Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).)


  1. Bruce McEwen March 21, 2019

    How much diff ‘tween Horst Wessel and Gary Owen is there?

  2. Bruce McEwen March 21, 2019

    A couple of points on the First Amendment, purely from a writer’s perspective. Some writers tell me they don’t care about getting published, and I always have to wonder about that, because most people write to communicate, and publication is of the first necessity, it is the ideal way to get your ideas, your thoughts, your desires, your fantasies or your yah-yahs or whatever, to get it out there – to communicate ‘em.

    But it has always required talent, charm, and luck. Until recently even getting an Letter to the Editor published in your local paper was a tricky business – with the singular exception of the AVA – but then along came the online news sites and the advent of the comment section (see the footnote *Word Press©) and this has occasioned a difficulty which we have seen worked out, more or less, at sundry websites wherein the comment section – much like public radio stations had experienced with their call-in programs — became not only an outlet for vituperative resentments of the nastiest character but they became dominated by and were , having been editorially countenanced , that is countenanced, out of hand, but also where the question of debate was not only ignored but subverted entirely into some personal agenda that was neither here nor there, had nothing to do with the program.

    Soon enough, about five to seven dominant personalities took over the dialog, shouting down opposing opinions, ridiculing commentators rather than addressing the merits of their comments, jeering, howling, leaping around, bouncing off the walls, jumping into every conversation on the most outlandish pretext, in order to turn it to your own agenda – and George, how many times have we seen this?

    To deny that we’ve always had a kind of censorship in America, in spite of the First Amendment, let us be candid, is dishonest. Your can be just as offensive as you wish, my good man; you, Sir, (or you Ma’am, as the gender may apply) as an American, you enjoy that right. Cry, piss and moan all you want! Swear, bitch and bellyache to your best ability.

    It’s a free country.

    But you’ll have to try better than Pat Kittle did to get a publisher to put up with the rates of desertion amongst the readership, the shaking of the heads, the wondering as to whether to renew a subscription; and if Mr. Kittle is going to be disporting himself all over the quarter-deck, shouting racial “civilities” – as he styles ‘em — and as the salty old stalwarts, the subscribers whose yearly renewals pay the utilities, at least, as they huddle on the portside of the quarter-deck, eagerly fingering their cutlasses and double-charging their pistols, all the while murmuring mutinously, as they’ve done since Cap’m Kittle has come aboard with his new-fangled morals and ethics – well, we’ve all seen over the past few weeks how sour his view have been received.

    You, George, are exemplary. You readily concede your shortcomings; you are infallibly polite; and your are well-informed. If an issue comes into your realm of concern you speak your mind, as the First Amendment insists you should. But when some crackpot comes in bouncing off the walls, right, left and center, butting into anyone’s and everyone’s debates with all the answers, the only one with all the answers – and how could anyone else know – since it’s all about you …well, there you have Mr. Kittle.

  3. Marshall Newman March 21, 2019

    To Pat, Jerry and the other Trumpettes, it does not bode well when the object of your affection intentionally starts a Twitter war with a dead person – Senator John McCain – and loses. Some stable genius!

  4. Harvey Reading March 21, 2019

    I’m all for Kittle (and Philbrick and the like) blabbering on. I’m trying now not to respond to either, which is difficult for a person like me. But doing so is a total waste of time. And, the more they blabber, the more people can see what they really are all about.

    • Bruce McEwen March 21, 2019

      We teach best what we most need to learn

      –Jonathan Livingston Seagull

  5. Eric Sunswheat March 21, 2019

    California keeps a secret list of criminal cops, but says you can’t have it
    February 26, 2019, Mercury News (Silicon Valley’s leading newspaper)

    Thousands of California law enforcement officers have been convicted of a crime in the past decade, according to records released by a public agency that sets standards for officers in the Golden State. The revelations are alarming, but the state’s top cop says Californians don’t have a right to see them. In fact, Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned two Berkeley-based reporters that simply possessing this never-before-publicly-released list of convicted cops is a violation of the law. The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training — known as POST — provided the information last month in response to routine Public Records Act requests from reporters. When [California Attorney General Xavier] Becerra’s office learned about the disclosure, it threatened the reporters with legal action unless they destroyed the records. The documents provide a rare glimpse at the volume of officer misconduct at a time of heightened interest over police accountability. The list includes cops who trafficked drugs, cops who stole money from their departments and even one who robbed a bank wearing a fake beard. Some sexually assaulted suspects. Others took bribes, filed false reports and committed perjury. A large number drove under the influence of drugs and alcohol — sometimes killing people on the road. The Berkeley journalists chose not to publish the entire list until they could spend more time reporting to avoid misidentifying people among the nearly 12,000 names in the documents.

    Note: An astounding August 2018 article in the Los Angeles Times reveals how California became the most secretive state on police misconduct. More here
    and on this webpage.

    • Bruce McEwen March 21, 2019

      Just came from another one of those court actions to get into police officers files, a Pitchess Motion, I believe it’s called, and it was taken under submission by the most liberal judge in the state, the Honorable Ann Moorman. There’s been a spate of ’em lately, since, that is, the law expanding these kinds of snooping was signed by out-going Gov. Brown.

      I know how enthused you get over prying into the lives of law enforcement officers, Eric, and the liberality of the magistrate in question is cause in itself for bumpers of optimism, so I feel I must warn you not to get your hopes up to those perilous levels you so enjoy, because it didn’t — from my admittedly unschooled perspective — look too promising for defense when Her Honor emptied the courtroom to open the file in question.

      “Suspense,” as Dr. Swift informs us, “is the life of a spider.”

  6. Pat Kittle March 21, 2019

    Howard Lisnoff details Joe Biden’s accommodation of banksters — and his eager support for attacking Mideastern countries that happen to be part of what Israel considers its God-given “Greater Israel”:
    — [ ]

    Lisnoff manages to do all this without ever mentioning Joe’s obsequious declaration of loyalty to Israel, as reported in the Israeli press:

    “Biden in 2007 interview: I am a Zionist…
    Barack Obama’s new running mate praises Israel
    In 2007 interview with ‘Shalom TV'”
    — [,7340,L-3586542,00.html ]

    Golly, how did Lisnoff miss that??


    • Bruce Anderson March 21, 2019

      Two-Note Kittle’s tiresomely bigoted opinions now appear here every day. You’re repeating yourself, Kittle. Go away. If by some gender fluke of a hearing and sight-impaired woman, a Mrs. Kittle, she has my condolences.

      • Pat Kittle March 21, 2019

        OK, Bruce, I’m obviously being served notice that I am censored from now on (if not retroactively).

        For the record, I am civil, act in good faith, & FACTUAL.

        So much for “fanning the flames of discontent!” Your comment section can now return to the conformity you expect.


  7. mr. wendal March 21, 2019


    I’ve enjoyed reading the series. I skip over it and go back to read it last. I hope it continues. Perhaps one or more of our county supervisors will read today’s installment and get the hint.

    • Pat Kittle March 21, 2019

      Good stories from The Major, all right.

      My father was in the USAF, so I’m learning about about him, too.

  8. Mike Williams March 21, 2019

    Over breeders?

    • Pat Kittle March 21, 2019

      Animals breed.

      When they over-breed they are over-breeders.

      Humans are animals.

  9. Betsy Cawn March 21, 2019

    I simply do not understand the “debate” between Mr./Ms. Kittle (“Pat” being a name used by either differentiator) and the AVA editors/readers.

    The United States of America was created by illegal immigrants, who wholesale ripped off the indigenous populations and created a wealth base that continues to destroy the natural resources and health of countries from whom people are desirous of escape and seeking opportunities — just as our “forebears” did — and, sure, we need some kind of “orderly” system for inducting them into the mandatory conformism that is required to survive in today’s “culture.” Whatever. I just don’t get the blow-by-blow bloviating, and demanding that the AVA take a less than “lib-lab” position on this issue. Inclusive or exclusive, take your pick and if you don’t like the AVA’s attitude, why bother bickering?

    • Pat Kittle March 21, 2019


      Of course you understand the “debate” — you’re plenty smart enough to understand the implications of over-population.

      The FACT is, Betsy, throughout history few if any national borders were ever established wisely, including those of the US. Does that mean EVERY country has to have open borders — or just the US?

      If you’re so concerned about immigrant impact on Native Americans, why are you pushing for even more immigrant impact?


      Yes, the US once treated “minorities” the way Israel is currently treating the Palestinians, that is true.

      My opposition to the Israel lobby’s domination of our government doesn’t sit well with people like you for some reason. But the brown people of the Mideast understand very well who’s driving these filthy Mideastern wars that curiously benefit no one but Israel.

      I provide massive evidence that Israel did 9-11, specifically to suck us into fighting its criminal Mideastern wars of conquest…

      — [ ]

      What is the response here at the “mighty ava”? I’m called “anti-Semitic” of course. I must have caught the bug, eh?

      “Anti-Semitism Pandemic!”:
      — [ ]

      Betsy, my comments, though as factual as I can make them, do not sit well here at the “mighty ava.” So I may not be around much longer, despite me acting very much in accord with its banner slogan (“Fanning the Flames of Discontent”).

      If this comment does survive, please answer the questions I’ve presented here.

      Thank you in advance.

    • Bruce McEwen March 21, 2019

      I do not speak for the AVA, only for myself, when I condemn Pat Kittle as a bigot and a racist. I do not pretend to refute his sources, such as the theory that Israel was behind the attacks on the World Trade Center. This theory, like many other conspiracy theories, whether it’s Nine-Eleven or the Kennedy assassinations, are to complex and convoluted for mere mortals like myself to comprehend. By the same measure – and maybe I’m underestimating the brilliant fellow – I don’t think Pat Kittle understands any of it any better than I do; less so, in all probability, since he is so easily persuaded. But one thing I do know is that Mr. Kittle is a racist and a bigot, and that he uses these theories about Jewish and Israeli financial and political interests to cloak his anti-Semitism; in the same way other right-wing bigots and racists like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage use the same kinds of issues – immigration, for instance — to mask their coy expressions of racism. How do I know? It is evident in his zeal – that shrill metallic tone of mockery when challenged — and in his singular focus. Pat Kittle responds to no other issues than those concerning Hispanics, Hebrews, Muslims. (Until this was pointed out, that is. Now, he is hastily throwing out a few gratuities in other directions; almost like he’d been caught doing something naughty.)

      • Pat Kittle March 21, 2019

        Bruce McEwen:

        The editor has served me notice that I can no longer refute your easily debunked Israel lobby talking points.

        All these years I thought the AVA respected free speech. Now I know.

        So long.

        • Bruce McEwen March 21, 2019

          I didn’t have any talking points, Israel lobby or otherwise, to debunk. And you are being disingenuously coy in pretending I did. But then your game-plan all along was to stretch the point, whatever it may be, to suit your agenda, and provide you with a platform from which to screech your racist and anti-Semetic screed.

          So long?

          Don’t toy with us, Kittle. It’s been too long by half.

          • George Hollister March 21, 2019

            Pat’s narrative is that it’s all Israel’s fault. There is a powerful conspiracy that pays people off, and controls government, Not like there aren’t other narratives in the AVA that claim the exact same things except it isn’t Israel; its capitalism, or corporations, or banks, or Republicans, or the landed, or the privileged, or climate change, or you name it. I find myself guilty at times of doing the same sort of thing. It seems to me that the fact that Pat Kittle is here saying what he is saying, there is minimal name calling, and others tell him he is wrong headed is all good. Let’s just not get sanctimonious. There is plenty of bigotry here coming from everyone.

        • Mark Scaramella March 21, 2019

          Free speech for me! Honest debate with anyone who agrees with me!

          • Pat Kittle March 21, 2019


            I’m not denying anyone free speech.

            So long.

  10. Pat Kittle March 21, 2019

    Yesterday the editor of the “mighty ava” told me:

    “It’s simply untrue that we ‘relentlessly promote unsustainably massive immigration.’ For the last time, the mighty ava, like most people on the lib left, wants an orderly, humane immigration policy. From now on every time you deliberately lie about us your lie will be deleted.”

    I replied in part:

    “I see PLENTY of pro-open borders stories (like today’s). Can you cite EVEN ONE EXAMPLE where the “mighty ava” covered the DOWN side(s) of mass immigration?”

    No reply.

    And today is typical — the “mighty ava” has 2 cartoons mocking immigration control — and NOTHING even remotely recognizing immigration control of any kind as necessary.

    The 1st cartoon preposterously implies that open borders is a trivial concern compared to climate change. Anyone reading my comments knows I have repeatedly demonstrated the absurdity of demanding both:
    1) massively unsustainable immigration (of over-breeders) into the world’s most notorious CO2 emitting country… AND…
    2) reducing CO2 emissions.

    I’m presenting FACTS as honestly as I can. These FACTS are straw-manned, ignored, & threatened with censorship — but not debunked.

Leave a Reply

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