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MCT: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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WET AND BREEZY weather will continue through Thursday as a slow-moving area of low pressure drifts toward the Oregon coast. Drier weather will try to return on Friday and last through Saturday, before a warm front brings more rain in on Sunday. (National Weather Service)

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COUNTY LIBRARY Re-opening on April 2nd

New Hours at 280 E. Standley St.

The Ukiah Library’s alternate location for item hold pick-ups and drop-offs at 280 E. Standley Street will be closed starting on Friday, March 29th to prepare for the Ukiah Library re-opening. Regular Ukiah Library hours will begin on Tuesday, April 2nd at 105 N. Main St.

Starting on Friday, March 29th, please use the Ukiah Library’s book drop located at 105 N. Main Street instead of the Standley Street location.

This Friday March 29th, the Mendocino County Library Bookmobile will be stationed down the street from the Ukiah Library on Standley Street from 12:00-3:00 P.M. for patrons to checkout materials from the Bookmobile, and Toddler Time will take place at its regular time on the Bookmobile. 280 E. Standley St. will be open on Weds 3/27 & Thurs 3/28 from 12-5pm only for you to pick up your requested items.

The Library improvements and maintenance are paid for by proceeds from Measure A, which are a 1/8 cent sales tax approved by voters in 2011 to support Mendocino County Libraries. For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Cultural Services Agency at 707-234-2872.

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CRAB SEASON OVER EARLY

California’s Dungeness crab season is poised to come to an abrupt end next month, with the commercial fishery closing 2½ months early as part of a legal settlement announced Tuesday aimed at reducing the potential for whale and sea turtle entanglements in coastal waters.

The April 15 closure, disclosed by an industry source Monday morning, is part of an agreement negotiated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the nonprofit Centers for Biological Diversity, which sued the state agency in October 2017. It accused the agency of running the crab fishery in a manner that effectively created what the plaintiff’s lead attorney once called a “minefield of crab traps” for marine creatures.

“The agreement means we’ll see meaningful changes on the water and is a great victory for whales and sea turtles off our coast,” Kristen Monsell, an attorney for the center, said Monday.

The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations also was a party to the negotiations as an “intervener,” representing the interests of the crabbing fleet, some of whose members would continue to pull crab up until June 30 if they could.

Instead, they’ll be scrambling to get their gear out of the water by April 15, as required by a complicated settlement still to be revealed in full by the three participating parties on Tuesday morning. Negotiators to the agreement declined to comment on its contents Monday.

Spring, summer and fall are a particularly busy time for whales off the California coast, and especially for endangered humpback whales. Central California is “a known ‘hot spot’ for humpback whales,” according to legal briefings filed by the Centers for Biological Diversity.

Humpback whales are a species highly represented among those involved in gear entanglements, particularly in Monterey Bay.

San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas also are feeding “hot spots” for endangered blue whales, while critically endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles roam extensively between Point Arena in southern Mendocino County and Santa Barbara, the organization stated in its briefings.

For some commercial crabbers, though, pulling their gear in what many expect may be the first round of concessions as details of the settlement play out into the future is painful.

“It hurts,” said veteran Bodega Bay crabber Tony Anello, who hails from a family of fishermen that owns Spud Point Crab Company. “Guys like me, right now I want to fish to the end.”

Absent some aggravating factor, the commercial Dungeness crab season typically runs Nov. 15 to June 30 each year in the management area south of the Sonoma-Mendocino county line. The bulk of the catch — more than half the landings in 2017 — is typically made in the first six weeks, over the lucrative holiday market. But crab caught in the final few months can fetch a good price and help carry those who only fish crab over to the next season, said Dick Ogg, a well-known Bodega Bay fisherman.

“It’s a huge blow, economically,” said another skipper, John Cooley, “on top of many, many others.”

In 2017, California fishermen caught 12.8 million pounds of Dungeness crab worth $47 million off the boat, according to state Fish and Wildlife data. Nearly $11 million worth was landed in Bodega Bay.

(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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MY BROTHER-IN-LAW pointing out the spot where he broke his arm, Key West, 2006.

(Photo by Dick Whetstone)

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BUT THERE IS A SMALL FARM RENAISSANCE in this country, as in many others, and farmers are finding places to farm. On the edges of those communities, land is very, very cheap. If they are close enough to an urban area of any size at all, they will be welcomed because we’re not producing enough of our own food. Mendocino County still imports probably 95 percent of its food, so there’s lots of opportunities here.

Our town, Willits, just got $6 million to build a trail for three or four miles. Think of how many small farms you could set up for $6 million … if we can put it into trails, we can put it into acquiring land that could feed the community.

I would like to see small, rural communities buy land around themselves and lease it out on a long-term basis to people who will grow orchards and fruits and vegetables and even animals for the town.

— Michael Foley, Willits farmer

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ED NOTES

FORT BRAGG seems to have a gang prob. There has been a rash of shootings lately but no reported injuries related to gun shots. The man who should have been Fort Bragg police chief, John Naulty, was especially efficient in keeping them in check, bearing down on the ex-cons who do the recruiting. FB Councilman Bernie Norvell said the other night that since January 2018, there have been 54 gang-related incidents, including the two shootings in the last week. 40 of the 54 incidents were for vandalism, mostly tagging. There were 6 injuries, 5 simple assaults and 1 aggravated assault. The aggravated assault report was on a juvenile who was beaten up by a group of punks who aren't much for one-on-one combat. The kid's injuries to his head were severe enough to get him a trip to Coast Emergency. The Ukiah PD seems to have a handle on gangs. Fort Bragg needs to get one.

BACK IN 2016 there was talk of making FB a sanctuary city but a formal declaration was never issued and, as I recall, it was the fear of criminals finding a safe harbor that seemed to incline the Council then to merely "pursue a dialogue" with the aim of Niceness, especially in the present political climate with immigrants being regularly slandered as undesirables.

GANG PUNKS make life miserable for immigrant communities, especially the young people in those communities. If Fort Bragg's gang members are not here legally, they ought to get the heave-ho pronto.


PRESSURE from Coasties has prompted Mendo Mill to stop selling Round-Up, which is a good start because the scientific back-up for its hazard to human health is considerable. But the stuff is sold under lots of different names, and it's only one sinister chemical in wide use in this county, especially by vineyard owners and the warm, wonderful folks at the Mendocino Redwood Company.

CORRECT ME if I'm wrong, but weren't some of the best wines ever produced from un-irrigated, pre-industrial vineyards? Every year at this time as God's green earth springs back to life, so many vineyards foul His handwork with herbicides that stripe the vineyards with dead, dead, dead brown.


ANOTHER PLUNGE through the looking glass Tuesday as the Supervisors and staff considered the “mid-year budget review.” 

VERY FEW QUESTIONS were asked by the Supes who, perhaps, were struck dumb by the unreality of the proceeding. “We don’t have that information right now but will get it to you later," was the meeting's mantra when the Supes occasionally interrupted the usual  departmental self-promotion and repetitive boilerplate with few or no actual numbers.

WE SUMMARIZED the major deficit areas that should require explanation last week, but the Supes listened mostly in silence as staffers droned on and slo-walked through each department’s Powerpoint charts. We wonder if these charts actually mean anything to the people pointing at them, but to watch these sessions is to wonder about a lot of things, beginning with the existential question: Am I dead and assigned to a particularly excruciating hell or is what I'm watching some kind of cosmic metaphor for the Final Act?

TUESDAY’S SINGLE BIGGEST reality gap occurred in the budget’s revenue presentation by Auditor Lloyd Weer’s and his preposterous sales tax projection:

As shown, there’s about $1.8 million in receipts for half the year, and yet Weer projects about $6.5 million in total receipts by the end of the year. Not one said a word about this glaring multi-million dollar gap. Since the Supes seemed unable to rouse themselves to ask about that, you could tell early on that all the other dubious numbers and obviously flawed assumptions were going to go unchallenged as well.

THE ONLY SKEPTICISM expressed was when Supervisor McCowen objected to the staff’s estimate of the deficit in McCowen’s pet permit program budget, the programs he has done so much to render impossible. CEO Angelo’s staff assiduously went through the numbers, calculating that the pot program is about $2.5 million in the hole, and is going to stay that way if not get worse for the foreseeable future. McCowen declared that the staff’s numbers were “subjective” and “part of the cost of doing business,” and therefore overstated in McCowen’s all-knowing opinion. 

IF ANYTHING, the $2.5 million is actually UNDERstated, because we don’t see where they included the half-dozen or so brand new pot inspection vehicles in their estimate. Staff said about 76,000 person hours at a whopping $151k/hour (!) had gone into the program over three years, which works out to about 12 County people doing their thing on pot permits and inspections, etc. Which sounds about right. And pot staffers are likely secure in their comfy jobs although applications peaked more than a year ago.

THERE ARE something like ten departments that were overrunning their budgets at “mid-year” (three months ago now), but the only discussion of the overruns was how great everybody was doing at keeping it from being worse!

COUNTY EMPLOYEES better prepare for crumbs when their salary review — which also wasn’t discussed — comes up.

HASCHAK, JOHN HASCHAK, white courtesy telephone, please. As we often say here at Mendocino County's sole remaining newspaper of, ahem, any consequence, History begins all over again every day, and you are whatever you say you are. Now Mr. Haschak we happen NOT to be amnesiacs, and we remember you promising during your otherwise issue-free campaign that you would simplify the pot program. So, like, dude, when the subject arose today with its $2.5 million shortfall, where were you?

WHEN SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS asked, "When will the program break even?" there were a  few moments of stunned silence, then a giggle, then CEO Angelo said, essentially, Never.

TO SUMMARIZE, CLASS, the pot program is a bad joke, an expensive,  failed bad joke. The saps who've signed up regret it, and the outlaws who comprise the bulk of the business remain as far outside regulation as always. To make the big dough some of them make they take the annual risk of getting it to the big urban markets in states where devil weed is still illegal. Here in Boonville, stoners tell us (we're juicers here at America's last newspaper) you can buy a pound of good dope for four or five hundred bucks.

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TAKE A WALK

To the Editor:

The City Council wants to put State Street on a “Street Diet” from Henry to Mill by reducing it to two lanes with a left hand turn lane and making it more “walkable.” A lot of people don’t think it’s a very good idea, but the City Council does and the odds of them changing their minds is about the same as finding a parking spot on School Street.

So let’s take a walk. Starting at the corner of Henry and State. One block up at the corner of State and Smith you can stop and admire the crumbling Palace Hotel. Walking down a block and a half is the County Courthouse. You don’t need to stop there unless you’re lucky enough to have Jury Duty or a court appearance. The “diet” ends at Mill Street.

There are a lot of good restaurants on State Street and Alex Thomas Plaza is nice. You can also visit a lot of small businesses along the way . But if your main objective is to get from one end of town to the other, I’m glad they are making it “walkable” because walking will be a lot quicker than driving your car.

Sherice Vinson

Ukiah

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 26, 2019

Casey, Demits, Diloi, Kottler

SHANKARA CASEY, Redwood Valley. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, paraphernalia, fake ID, failure to appear.

TED DEMITS, Fort Bragg. Arson of inhabited structure, protective order violation, probation revocation.

WILLIAM DILOI, Willits. DUI.

MICHAEL KOTTLER, Santa Rosa. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

McCoy, Schmelter, Smith, Whipple

ANTHONY MCCOY, Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.

CASSIDY SCHMELTER, Tustin/Willits. DUI.

BRANDON SMITH, Willits. Probation revocation.

LEONARD WHIPPLE, Covelo. Parole violation.

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BILOXI DAYS: Mr. Trent

by Mark Scaramella

In the late 60s and early 70s the Civil Rights Movement burned hot and fierce, fighting its fight into every area of American life, including the military where, as many Americans don't know, the first full integration took place during the Truman presidency.

Racism was strictly suppressed in the military, which I discovered first hand as a young First Lieutenant maintenance officer stationed at Keesler Air Force Base outside of Biloxi, Mississippi.

For example, the Air Force decreed that airman performance reports should reflect an assessment of how an airman was doing at not being a racist — they certainly couldn’t phrase it like that, but we all knew what it was.

The USAF’s Civil Rights Policy said that airman performance reports should “emphasize issues involving racism, sexism, and sexual harassment,” including “Air Force human relations education which provided solid coverage of prejudice and discrimination, and sufficient attention given to service-specific issues and applications; and skill development effectively integrated with performance.” The statement should “focus on modern forms of racism and sexism should include supplemental treatment of the more traditional forms. Modern racism and sexism should be addressed in human relations education at all levels.”

The Air Force policy required a “Human Relations Statement” in airman performance reports, among other things.

The airman performance report forms didn’t have much room for civil rights assessments. The miscellaneous “other comments” block was supposed to be used for the assessment of the airman’s human relations. But that block only had room for about two lines of text.

Because non-coms, especially non-com mechanics, in the Air Force were not known for their literary capabilities, to simplify matters it quickly became common to merely insert a boilerplate statement like, “The ratee actively supports USAF Human Relations policy.”

But there was one other wrinkle: What gave the rater the ability, not to mention the right, to rate an airman’s ability at civilized race relations?


Soon after Colonel James M. Slaughter and I arrived at Keesler Air Force Base in early 1969, just as the base ramped up the T-28 flight training squadron to prepare foreign (mostly Vietnamese) pilots for “Vietnamization,” Colonel Slaughter decided that the 3380th Maintenance Squadron should have its own, separate Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) Shop.

According to a recent US Air Force job description NDI techs are “responsible for employing noninvasive methods to inspect the insides of metal objects. Nondestructive Inspection specialists identify possible defects in systems and equipment before anything can become a dangerous problem. Utilizing everything from x-rays to ultrasound, these experts find the smallest imperfections and take the corrective measures needed to keep our equipment working safely.”

Colonel Slaughter assigned me the task of designing, equipping, and staffing Keesler’s new NDI shop. After several months of planning and research, including a few visits to nearby Air Force bases with existing NDI shops, we walled off a corner of the Fabrication building and set up the new NDI shop. We sent several civilian welders and sheet metal fabricators to a special NDI school, and Mr. Gill, the civilian Fabrication Branch chief, hired Mr. Amos Trent, a retired full bird colonel in the Mississippi Army Reserves, as shop chief.

This created a uniquely awkward situation. Not only did Mr. Trent think highly of himself, but he was a stone cold, life-long old fashioned Southern racist. His attitude was well known in the Fabrication Branch from the day he first arrived to interview for the NDI shop foreman job. Mr. Trent would drop the N-word in casual conversation and didn’t think black airman were capable of technical work on aircraft parts and equipment.

Mr. Trent’s racism didn’t matter much when the NDI shop was first formed because his NDI techs were other civilian white boys from the Biloxi area.

Then Staff Sergeant Lawrence arrived. Sergeant Lawrence was a very tall, quiet, unassuming black NDI tech who had worked at NDI shops at two other Air Force bases before arriving at Keesler.

“This is Sergeant Lawrence, sir,” Chief Master Sergeant Ralph Johns said as he and Sgt. Lawrence entered my office in Hangar 5.

Chief Johns, Field Maintenance Superintendent, would be the only military non-com in Staff Sergeant Lawrence’s chain of command. Sergeant Lawrence’s boss, however, was the irremediable cracker, Army Reserve Colonel Mr. Trent, while Mr. Trent’s boss was Mr. Gill, not a racist as far as we knew, but also a native of Beulah Land. Gill’s boss was the crusty old by-the-book Chief Johns. And Chief Johns’ boss was me, greenest of greenhorns. Field Maintenance Squadron Commander.

After a welcoming chat, Sergeant Lawrence left the office. Johns and I discussed the situation in the NDI shop. We agreed that there was no point buying trouble, but that we would make it clear to Sergeant Lawrence that if there was any hint of racism on the job that he should immediately report it and we’d take corrective action up to and including the removal of Mr. Trent. Johns also made it clear to Mr. Gill that we didn’t want to hear any racial complaints coming out of the NDI shop. We all agreed to visit the shop to check things out not less than once a day.

As it turned out, the NDI shop was working out pretty well, contributing effectively to the metal inspection and repair process, finding problems before they got serious, proposing fixes, etc. Not only was Sergeant Lawrence turning out to be a hot-shot NDI tech, training his fellow (and less experienced) civilian techs on various NDI techniques, we did not hear any complaints from him that he was being insulted or otherwise harassed.

After six months it was time for Sergeant Lawrence’s Airman Performance Report, which was to be written by Mr. Trent.

Mr. Trent, being a reserve Army officer, had only written a few performance reports in his career and they were all Officer Performance Reports. He had never written an Air Force performance report, much less an enlisted airman’s performance report. And he certainly had never written a “Human Relations Statement.”

As Squadron Commander I had to review and endorse all airman performance reports. Usually, this was a routine process. Nearly all of them I'd read rated the subject airman as somewhere between outstanding and superior. You had to go out of your way to get anything less than outstanding. So most of the time I just glanced at the APRs and signed them off.

But, of course, I was interested in Mr. Trent’s review of Sergeant Lawrence.

There it was, top of that day’s pile of papers to sign. Prepared and signed by Mr. Trent. Reviewed by Mr. Gill and endorsed by Sergeant Johns (who hated writing and paperwork of any and all kinds) and initialed by Field Maintenance’s Admin officer, Second Lieutenant Lee Perlmutter, fresh out of college and Officer Training School with a degree in English.

Not surprisingly, Sergeant Lawrence was rated Superior, the highest rating, on every measure.

At the bottom of the form was Mr. Trent’s “human relations statement” about Sergeant Lawrence: “Sergeant Lawrence has done such a good job in the Non-Destructive Inspection Shop that we don’t even consider him black anymore.”

“Lee!” I shouted. “Come in and take a look at this.”

Perlmutter entered my office.

“Read that,” as I pointed to “OTHER COMMENTS.”

“Oh, Oh!” Perlmutter shouted. “How did that get in there?”

“That’s what I want to know.”

Perlmutter snatched it up saying, “I’ll fix it. Just a minute.”

Soon Perlmutter came back with a revised “OTHER COMMENTS” — “Sergeant Lawrence actively supports the human relations policies and programs of the USAF.”

I signed it.

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THE INNOCENT and the beautiful have no enemies but time.

— W.B. Yeats

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HOLLYWOOD & VINE, 1940. Photo Los Angeles Daily News Negatives.

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BERNIE SANDERS’ CAMPAIGN Is the Political Opportunity of a Lifetime

Alone among the candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders has always been part of progressive movements. The only way that the campaign can overcome corporate media, Wall Street and other power centers of the establishment will be with massive bottom-up mobilization in communities across the country. As Bernie said on Sunday, “We are going to put together an unprecedented grassroots campaign.”

truthdig.com/articles/bernie-sanders-campaign-is-the-political-opportunity-of-a-lifetime/

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GROWING AND EATING on the Wild Side (Salad University) Sunday March 31st, 12:45-4:30 Hi folks! Learn about Floodgate Farm’s creations using wild plants, learn to identify, how to use, and the health-giving properties of dozens of plants, both cultivated and wild. We will gather the famous salad mix, make wild chips, and some wild green thistle-lemon-apple drink and a smoothie. Potluck around 4 PM. $30/$50 per couple.

707-272-1688, edibleland@earthlink.net

Meet at 12:45 at West Road, Exit 557 off 101, east side. Caravan/carpool leaves 12:55 PM sharp; OR, Meet at 12:15 at Ukiah United Methodist Church, 205 N. Bush St, Ukiah, leaving 12:25 SHARP. Farm is 5 miles from West Rd, on Laughlin mountain.

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VINEYARD LAWSUIT A TEST FOR NAPA

What is To Kalon? Is it a vineyard, or a fanciful name like The Prisoner? A 2003 lawsuit settlement led to an equivocal decision: it's both. Now a new lawsuit against the big beer, cannabis and wine company Constellation Brands has brought up the issue again.

wine-searcher.com/m/2019/03/vineyard-lawsuit-a-test-for-napa

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THIS ADMINISTRATION has committed so many crimes, perpetrated so much destruction, it makes little difference if they “colluded” with Russia to influence the election or not, there is still much more fodder. Remember, Russia isn’t the real enemy. The entire bi-partisan establishment is.

— Joshua Frank

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BIG BILL HAYWOOD, IWW

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

The longer it takes for the old to die the harder it is for the new to be born. Russia was kept by force in its medieval state for far too long, the result being the Bolshevik revolution, Stalin’s enforced industrialization, the incarceration and deaths of millions. China’s road out of the old and into the new was even more bloody and disastrous. Germany took an excursion through sheer lunacy and decades of foreign occupation. The same with Japan plus two nukes. The UK with its farcical Brexit cock-ups is suffering the debility and imbecility of an clown aristocracy long past its discard date. 

What I’m getting at is what people including some commenters on this site have said about the Democrats and Republicans, and what Taibbi was saying about the media. Time’s up, time to go, time for something new and better and more suited to the times and cognizant of what’s under their noses. We see the example of history, of change not coming when it’s needed. These are self-evidently arrangements without a future. What replaces them? 

I would argue that the Republicans are further along the curve even given that it was a baffoon developer/multiple bankrupt that made them smell the coffee. All Trump did was to state the obvious, what was the plain and simple truth about the state of large swathes of the country, its finances, its calamitous conduct in the foreign realm. In short, the austere Paul Ryan and his Republican ideology of foreign war and more for the rich and destitution for everyone else is revealed for what it is, an insult to the American citizen and reason and common sense. 

For the Democrats, what will it be? Dissolution or institutional change? If it’s change will it just be a different road and way-station to history’s garbage barge? 

That the American – cough – intelligentsia resisted and are still resisting reality belies their alleged intelligence and – cough, cough – expertise. If these are the “experts” I’ll take the amateurs thanks. But that’s beside the point. Or maybe that IS the point. Out with the experts. Theirs is no expertise worth having. 

The question now is how to do the job. Will it be a civilized process, thanks for your service, here’s your gold watch, have a nice retirement? Or will it be otherwise?

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SYMPHONY OF THE REDWOODS Welcomes Return of Accomplished Cellist for Season Finale Concerts 

FORT BRAGG, Calif. – March 25, 2019 – David Kadarauch, Principal Cellist of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, will perform with the Symphony of the Redwoods to bring their 2018-2019 concert season to a close. Led by Music Director Allan Pollack, the program includes Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat, and Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto Nº 1 in A minor, with Kadarauch as the featured soloist. The concerts will take place on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 7 at 2pm at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg. 

Saint-Saëns broke the mold with the Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor. The piece is composed of three distinct sections that seamlessly weave together to create one continuous movement. “The Saint-Saëns concerto is one of my favorite pieces of music, quite challenging and fun to play, and also very exciting listening for the audience,” said Kadarauch. “I was privileged to perform it with the Philadelphia Orchestra fifty years ago as a competition winner, and as I near the end of a long career it seems only fitting to perform it again, perhaps for the last time, after half a century.” 

Twelve years ago, the Symphony of the Redwoods had the privilege of sharing the stage with Kadarauch when they performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. “I have very positive memories of that collaboration with conductor Allan Pollack,” said Kadarauch. “What he has accomplished on the North Coast is truly remarkable, both with the Symphony and the Mendocino Music Festival. These are cultural gems that are quite unique, and should be nourished and supported.” Kadarauch and his wife purchased their ideal home in Mendocino in 2001, and they actively split their time between the San Francisco bay area and the Mendocino coast. 

The upcoming spring concerts will be the last opportunity for audience members to take advantage of the Symphony of the Redwoods Bring-a-Parent Project. As part of Symphony of the Redwoods' mission to provide classical music experiences for coastal youth, all students 18 years and under are admitted free to Symphony orchestra concerts. The Bring-a-Parent Project allows free admission to some adults as well. Bring-a-Parent tickets will be available at Mendocino and Fort Bragg schools prior to Symphony concerts. 

All Symphony of the Redwoods concerts will be at Cotton Auditorium, 500 N. Harold St, Fort Bragg. Season tickets are available now for $55. Advance single concert tickets are available for $22 online at symphonyoftheredwoods.org, at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and Out of This World in Mendocino. Tickets at the door are $25. Attendees ages 18 and under are always free. For more information, contact 707-946-0898 or symphony@mcn.org. 

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C'MON IN, EH?

As the ongoing process of understanding it all continues apace, I have noticed that ever since moving into my new apartment, similar to the first but only one step from the ground, all the news that walks in, and everything that comes in the mail -- even the occupant mail -- no news is good news, especially following my various expensive medical adventures, is good. This is obviously as unprecedented as it is another sign that the Great Spirit loves me, wants me to be happy, and fondles me warmly. God's pocket, and all.

To notice that this is not normal is not normal. It is unprecedented in my life. My kids, none of them fundamentalist Christians or in trouble with the law of living in Armpit, Kansas, are loving and wonderful kids. They have repeatedly saved my life, and I love them each and without end. They and my friends, pretty much all whom I have known, have helped to form me, have made me what I have always arrived to be. Here, now, writing this at three in the morning. At seventy-five. Remarkable. And here remarked. Remarkable. Most folks I have met or had, so to speak, as students, are effusive in their praise. My family. My daughter just landed in Barcelona. Beautiful blue sky. Morning. A DJ for parts of three decades. Wild River. Thoreau. Moby Dick. Two marriages. A decades-long love affair with a soft southern female voice from Austin.

The awful news. The California fires. Friends (seven, I think) who lost homes. Who knew that fear. Devastating hurricanes. The news. Elsewhere. Flooding. Unbelievable numbers. Disaster as a kind of entertainment. Transfixed. Being pretty convinced that I was the one who truly understood what it all meant.

All of it has meant that I have come to welcome all of it. As though we have another choice. What is. Smile. Bring it on. C'mon in. I feel like a chef. The best eggs Benedict you have ever ordered. Again and again and again. Again. I bow. I inhale. Again and again and again. Thank you. All. Eh?

(Bruce Brady)

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ONE WHO HOPES

by Kenneth Patchen

Born like a veritable living prince

With small, pink, rectangular feet

And a disposition to hair, I stand

Under the blazing moon and wonder

At the disappearance of all holy things

From this once so promising world;

And it does not much displease me

To be told that at seven tomorrow morning

An Angel of Justice will appear,

And that he will clean up people’s messes for them—

Because if he is, and he does, he’d be more apt

To rub their lousy snouts in it.

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TAXES, AN ON-LINE COMMENT

Here's something a true progressive leader can do, especially right now. Tout, scream, and build energy to protest the tax increase on the middle class. Tell people to look at their tax return, divide their tax by their adjusted gross income to find the percent of tax paid on income. Do that for 2017, 2016, 2015. It wouldn't take more time than to take out your phone and use your calculator. You will see it steady until 2018, when it increases. Mine increased by 2%. This was done to pay for the tax cuts for the wealthy. The author was very correct in saying that the trump administration doesn't care about anything but the rape and pillage of the last vestiges of capitalism…and the new taxation proves it.

12 Comments

  1. Kathy March 27, 2019

    Americans should expect far more from a president than merely that he not be provably a criminal…

  2. chuck dunbar March 27, 2019

    “What Should I Absolutely Not Do When Visiting the USA?”

    It’s an interesting, and very sobering testament to what we’ve become in America.. I remember many years ago, probably nearly 50– before guns got so out of control– when I did the very thing he speaks about. I also thought it was the courteous thing to do. Back then, though, it was not a problem, and the officer was fine with it. Now, though, we all know better–stay in the car, window down, both hands visible on the steering wheel, be courteous and respectful. I truly feel for officers, especially at night, having to approach unknown and sometimes dangerous drivers in their cars.

  3. Harvey Reading March 27, 2019

    Comparing tax year 2018 with 2017, my overall tax decreased by about 1.6 percent (dividing tax by taxable income), not even noticeable in terms of the amount of “extra” money available to me over the course of a year.

    My income is well below what would be considered middle income. What I perceive is that the tax rate changes targeted middle income people to pay for the huge cuts given the wealthy. It’s certain that people in my low-income bracket got next-to-nothing in terms of a tax cut. That isn’t surprising considering what a scumball con man we have for president, and more of the same in congress, from “both” parties.

    I am am reminded of a cartoon I saw somewhere earlier in the year that depicted a couple sitting in front of the TV discussing the major purchases they would make with their expected tax cut … the caption (or was it the TV announcer?) suggested that maybe they would be able to purchase a toaster.

    Oh, by the way, I hate that new half-form 1040. They could fit the whole form on ONE sheet of paper. I was tempted to print one page of the half form on one side of a page, and the other page of the half form on the remaining side of the same page, as I did with the old 1040, which was printed on BOTH sides by IRS, back in the “good ol’ daze” when IRS mailed out the forms each year, but was afraid IRS would sent it back and tell me to use separate sheets for each side.

    • Harvey Reading March 27, 2019

      “send”, not “sent”

    • james marmon March 27, 2019

      RE: PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR A LIVING

      Harv, folk’s tax cuts are showing up in their payroll checks. If you were receiving an actual pay check you would have benefited from the tax cuts.

      • Harvey Reading March 27, 2019

        James, you seem to be deluding yourself, because what you state makes no sense at all. Having less withholding from each paycheck means little if, at the end of the year, you have to pay it back. Of consequence are total taxable income and the tax required on that income at the end of tax year.

        • james marmon March 27, 2019

          Harv, having to pay more taxes at the end of the year only happens in States where there are high state taxes, like California.

          Capitol Alert

          Trump’s tax cut not for everyone: 1 million Californians will owe $12 billion more next year

          President Donald Trump’s tax cuts will be anything but for about 1 million California taxpayers who will owe Uncle Sam more money a year from now.

          They’re the Californians who will lose a collective $12 billion because the new law caps a deduction they have been able to take for paying their state and local taxes, according to a new analysis by the Franchise Tax Board.

          Very wealthy Californians earning more than $1 million a year will pay the lion’s share of that money, with 43,000 of them paying a combined $9 billion.

          But some middle-class Californians will pay more, too.

          About 751,000 households with incomes under $250,000 probably will owe more tax. All together, they’ll owe an extra $1.1 billion.

          https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article209015539.html

          • Harvey Reading March 27, 2019

            Thanks for making my point, James: your favorite moron’s tax cuts hit middle income people to pay for the tax cuts for the wealthy, pure and simple.

            Federal income tax rates are the same regardless of state of residence, and there are plenty of middle income people in states other than California.

            The reference to the amount of taxes that the very wealthy pay is supposed to bring tears to the eyes of all, but it doesn’t. Those wealthy scum should be paying a lot more, progressively, according to their greater wealth, mostly earned on the backs of poorly compensated working people. The Bee always sucks up to the wealthy. A 90 percent tax on ALL income, from ALL sources in excess of $3 million annually sounds reasonable..

          • Harvey Reading March 27, 2019

            By the way, James, California tax rates aren’t all that high. I paid taxes in California for decades and had no complaints at all, especially when I considered the services provided.

            The ruling class and its Working Class sympathizers are the most pathetic examples of humankind, the kind of people who would clear-cut every forest, pump every drop of oil from the earth, mine every last mineral, and think they have accomplished something worthwhile and good …

  4. james marmon March 27, 2019

    Mueller, I knew he was a coastal, crazier than bat shit.

    Robert Mueller’s cap sporting The Sea Ranch logo sparks questions
    More from The Press Democrat

    “Now that Robert Mueller has released the findings of his team’s investigation into Russian meddling, attention turns to the special counsel’s cap.

    Mueller has been photographed sporting an embroidered, billed cap from The Sea Ranch, the rustic-yet-refined, just-remote-enough seaside resort community on the northern Sonoma Coast.

    The photos have most of the nation wondering, what the heck is The Sea Ranch? Those of us familiar with the storied and controversial development and its distinctive rams-horn logo are keen to know Mueller’s connection to it.

    Rumors that the ex-FBI director owns or seeks to own a home on The Sea Ranch couldn’t be confirmed Monday.”

    https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9432437-181/robert-muellers-cap-sporting-the?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_content=5c9ac0a11adf64000166d02a&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

  5. Craig Stehr March 27, 2019

    I am happy to report that responses to the public invitation that I posted here on the AVA online recently, have been enthusiastic. Frankly, we want others to come here and contribute to a developing creative/spiritual environment, as I said. Many have contacted us to inquire about renting rooms. Well, for those who are here and being creative/spiritual, there are rooms and also outside space for tenting. If you wish to visit us in Redwood Valley, contact me at: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com. Furnish a phone number and a conversation will ensue. Clearly, this is all presently defined by the unknown. If this is what you seek, then let’s communicate. For the developing situation, Craig Louis Stehr

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