- Spring Weather
- Adopt Skip
- State's Fault
- Salmon Season
- Ed Notes
- Buy Local
- Arcata Bust
- Wine Biz
- Yesterday's Catch
- Farming Family
- Deporting Grandma
- Petaluma Rooster
- Rail Trail
- Captain Camden
- Disunited States
- 2014 Newsboys
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- Taking One
- Punishing Assange
- English Major
- Netanyahu's Reelection
- Healthcare Solution
- Portland Films
- Earthquake Anticipation
- Rocket Launch
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- 1916 Scene
- Father Memories
SLIGHT CHANCE FOR LIGHT RAIN SHOWERS will continue through this evening across the northern portion of the area. More widespread rain will impact the region tomorrow before another period of drier and warmer conditions return by the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
Skip is a velcro kinda dog--he likes to have contact and get REALLY close. Skip is strikingly handsome, with a thick, beautiful coat, and kohl-rimmed eyes. During his evaluation/meet and greet, Skip was introduced to one of our other canine guests--a spayed female--and he enjoyed the encounter and was a good boy! Skip is an energetic, young dog looking for an active home and guardian. Skip would like to continue learning, and a canine training class would be great--ask us about classes in Ukiah. Skip is 2 years old, neutered, (ready to go home ASAP!) and weighs a very svelte 51 pounds. More about Skip at mendoanimalshelter.com/dogblog/skip
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm.Â To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, and the shelter's programs, services and events, please visit us online at mendoanimalshelter.com
For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
WHO’S TO BLAME FOR MENDO’S POT PROGRAM FAILURE?
by Mark Scaramella
Supervisor John McCowen responded to a pot permit program update from the County's new pot permit program coordinator Sean Connell last Tuesday after Connell told the board that exactly two permits had been issued in the last month. McCowen tried again to shift blame away from Mendocino County and the permit program he bears most responsibility for:
"A few months ago, maybe four months ago, I did request that we have a breakdown of how many applications are pending approval solely because it requires an action by either Fish and Wildlife or the Water board. I think we have a fair number. They [permit applicants] have submitted everything to us that we need. But we do not have that final sign off by the state agencies. I think that may be a significant number. I thought that part of the detailed review that Matt Holcomb was doing was going to ultimately yield that information. We are continually criticized for the program, you know, being a total failure and all the rest of it, whatever anyone wants to say about it, they are saying all of it. I believe our program is far from what some of the critics say. What I hear from some of the people that are in the program pursuing permits are actually doing fairly well! So breaking out these different categories— and here's why this hasn't been issued. It isn't us, it's pending action by the state. We have a number that have filed a notice of non-cultivation and they have said, Gee, don't process my application. I think it would be helpful to have that number. Maybe it's not a huge number but it's another number that— here's why this hasn't been issued, it's not because Mendocino County is not doing its job. So hopefully we are at a point where we have done a detailed review and ideally we would be able to pull up that information without making it a huge time intensive task for someone.”
Connell: “I have done that. I don't have an exact number. But I can tell you that 60% of our applications are at a hold with Fish and Wildlife whether that be pending their final 1602 which is your Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement. That is a requirement of our ordinance. We are actively trying to figure out better pathways to work with our state partners in order to get that online faster. With the modification to tracking, what that will allow us to do is it will allow us to get a time capture of how long this application sits after the local process has completed and we are pending state authorization whether that be your Water board or Fish and Wildlife. So while right now we don't actually have a good time stamp on how long they sit at the state process, over the next couple of months that process will be developed to where I can give you a much cleaner and concise— and I will go ahead and make a note to bring it back in my next update all of our ‘notice of application stays’ and our ‘no cults’ as well so you will have that number and I will be able to give you a much cleaner depiction of active live permits.”
McCowen: “I think the time information would be helpful also but the main thing to me it would be how many are pending action by the state and it sounds like, you said 60%, is that of the ones that are still in play and have not been withdrawn or denied? 60% we’re waiting for action by the state?”
Connell: “Correct. About 60%, and it's not a hard number, that's with the last reviews that I've done and started to look at them and I can confidently say that about 60% —”
McCowen: “So that's 600 permits.”
McCowen: “So that makes it look a little different in terms of where the problem lies. So thank you.”
Supervisor John Hashack: “I have a question about the difference between approved and issued. So what is that difference?”
Connell: “When we approve the permit we actually notice the applicant that they are approved and must remit payment to the tax collector's office which is around $675 I believe off the top of my head. They pay that to the tax collector and then they would proceed to our office to be issued the permit, meaning it is no longer under our authority, it is in the applicant’s hand moving forward in the state process.”
Haschak: “Okay, so it's people who have paid that money and moved on.”
Haschak: “So what I'm saying is on this number of permit applications the change from last month from 2/27 to 3/21, is an increase of two who have been approved. So there were only two cannabis permits that were approved during that month?”
Connell: “That is correct, Supervisor. As I stated before, a lot of these permits happened to be held up at the state process. It is a requirement of our ordinance that we have responses from our additional partners before we can let go a local authorization and issue a permit locally. That would be a final 1602 from Fish and Wildlife, and that will be final documents from the water board.”
Haschak: “Right. Is that 60% of the 884 pending review. Is that correct?”
Connell: “Correct. Pending review is a capture meaning that they are still under review in the process whether that be local or at a state or in the property profile process. That's what that under review number captures. As far as issued and approved, it does take quite a long time to get them to an approved state into the relationship we have with our state partners and their sign offs being required. And so with the state changes that have happened over the last couple of years that has made that portion of our process a little bit slower than we would all like it to be.”
Haschak: “My question boils down to, what's happening to those other 40% which could be a good 300 or so that are not being held up possibly by the state, but are somewhere not being approved. That's where I would like information too. Is it possible to get that?”
Connell: “I don't necessarily believe that it is possible to get that. As there are a lot of reviews that must happen in an application submittal and each applicant is at a different stage. Internally, in our processes, we have identified priorities one, two and three, and that means that those applications have submitted all the required paperwork and that we are literally pending authorization and a Lake And Streambed Alteration Approval from Fish and Wildlife meaning they have already applied to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, we have their notification that they have applied and their receipt from Fish and wildlife and they are pending the action of our state agency. We cannot move forward without that action. That's where those things happen. It's captured there because it is still under review meaning that our ag inspector is waiting for that.”
Supervisor Ted Williams: “Following up on Supervisor Haschak’s note that two permits issued in a month. I have a potential solution. And that is that we modify our ordnance to waive the requirement of the state component and just open the floodgates and start issuing these and if the state comes to us, we should be open that we are beginning the revolt. This program is not working. The reason I have an inbox and phone calls telling me that it's a failure is because in one month we have processed two permits. 238 permits in Mendocino County to date is a failure. It's not a failure of staff. It's not a failure of this board. It's a state failure. But we have to take some action and if these applicants have done everything right in our county I believe we should issue the permits.”
McCowen: “The ordinance was written to that effect at one point. The board had given direction a number of times that they wanted to see that happen and that proved to be an untenable position and I believe that the last update we may have had the explanation in detail that if we were to issue the permits and the state paperwork is not in order, those permits would be denied by the state. I might not have that all exactly correct, but I think that's the gist of it. We jeopardize permit approval if we issue them without having that sign off by the state. That's why I keep asking for the breakdown on what are those numbers. I want to know and I want the public to know who is responsible for these permits not being issued? And in the great majority of the cases it is not because our County personnel are not doing their job, we are. I cited the example I think last time an individual in Covelo — you are required to submit a Lake and Streambed Alteration proposal whether you need one or not, flat parcel, no streams? He has been waiting 10 months.”
County Counsel Matthew Kiedrowski pointed out that the process is set up to be “ministerial,” meaning that you check off multiple steps being accomplished and then you issue the permit when the boxes are all checked. If they don't do that then “you have to crack open the CEQA [environmental criteria] document and say why we can do that." They want to maintain a ministerial process without discretion on the county's part other than that all the boxes are checked. Kiedrowski concluded with, “The idea that the most proper metric of success is who has a final annual permit as fast as possible may not be the best way to look it as opposed who is allowed under our ordinance and under the state’s provisions to continue to cultivate on an ongoing basis while they work to get that permit— I think right now the majority of our applicants in our queue have that.” (Whatever “that” means.)
Williams: “I am not convinced that 40% are not held up by the state, what are they held up by? I don't think it's us. They are in this indeterminate state. Could it be that actually 99% are held up by the state?”
Connell: “I don't think that 99% of our applications are held up by the state. But 100% of our applications have to go through that process and it's a long arduous process. Some of these can be things such as property owner consent form missing, missing documentation, invalid site plans, inaccurate site plans, changes to their process, they've gone from an outdoor to an indoor, from a mixed light to an outdoor only— there is a multitude of things happening on this industry floor and applicants are changing every day and it's very hard to capture 884 reviews because these are not standard reviews, these are a very different style of reviews that we are dealing with here and in the new industry we are taking the approach that we want to be very cautious and very critical so that when we make recommendations we know those recommendations will stand.”
Williams: “Are there any policy changes the board could make to increase the monthly count from two to something more significant? In Arcata, they explained that they started out with a detailed comprehensive policy and then over time moved to a looser process at the discretion of planning for this very reason that a lot of small businesses would be put under before they could even get going and they felt it was better to allow them time to come into compliance rather than requiring 100% from the beginning. Is there any policy change that this board could make where we could see a ramp up in issued permits?”
Connell: “At this time I don't think I have a recommendation for a policy change from the board’s position. We just transitioned to a brand new department and we need time to do a transition to where we belong will let us get a good capture of this program and what’s happening. We are in the same house as our planners now. For two years, we have been bisected from that. So I think that relationship will develop and over the next couple of months I feel confident that I can bring recommendations to this board and we will see changes to expedite this process. It has taken us some time to really get into the groove of this review. We have had very large amounts of turnover in our programs and that also adds to the length of time for these reviews and as we continue to get good quality personnel into this program trained up and ready to go they will be able to expedite -- execute on those levels.”
Gjerde: “In Arcata we saw that projects that were approved or allowed to phase some of their site improvements and still obtain occupancy so rather than the traditional way of complying with every aspect of your site improvements, parking lot, etc. before you get occupancy, the city of Arcata relaxed a bit. I'm not sure under what authority of the code they used but basically they said it's a safe building, the fire inspectors checked it out, the parking lot is not finished, its gravel, the landscaping was not in, but you can move in and we have a schedule that we will work with you on to finish off that parking lot surface it and landscape it. So they were not short-circuiting the public safety aspect of buildings being occupied, but they were allowing them — in part because of the financing, the banking system isn’t opened up yet to cannabis so it's difficult for us people to actually pull all the cash in to pay for all the improvements prior to occupancy.”
Brent Schultz, Mendo’s newly hired Director of Planning and Building: “We are now just literally moving everybody in, we just got them in, and we will have our first meeting tomorrow. I don't want to slow the program down at all but I can tell you that I want to break down every little part of it with Sean and with Mark and with Jessie and Julie and everybody who works on it and take out anything that's slowing us down from— we are ready. You know, it's state: why aren't you giving us the sign offs so we can issue the permit? And then I want to start breaking down, why is the state, where are they holding us up, so we can issue these permits.”
ON THE ONE HAND, sure, the state agency delays in providing approvals are a big part of the problem. But at the same time, it’s also clear that Mendo has micromanaged the process with lots of checklists and inflexible requirements and staff turnover and reorganizations and years of failures to report and focus on results. (McCowen still can’t even get a count of how many permits are on hold by which agency for what reason even though he’s been asking for it for months now.) After all, as is obvious from the above, they can’t even discuss it without getting bogged down in their own processes, although Williams' suggestion for Mendo to issue permits and battle the state if the state wants a battle over process seems a most reasonable route to kicking out the Mendo jams. The Supes, especially McCowen, seem to forget who they work for, and it isn't the state they work for, it's residents of this county who happen to be in the marijuana business.
IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE that Mendo’s pot permit program supporters want to point the finger away from themselves and at the state, but to pretend that Mendo has very little to do with the “failure” of the pot program — which County staff says is $2.5 million in the red — is irresponsible.
SUPERVISOR JOHN MCCOWEN COMMENTS on two earlier pot permit program posts:
[Previous Post 1.] A WOULD-BE GROWER COMMENTS: "I’m in over $35k at this point just for fees and vampires. $36k/year to rent the parcel for the last three. Trying to get a 5000sqft permit. I’ve been told my project is “pretty straightforward” in comparison to many others. Starting with a few hundred dollars to my name in the beginning of 2016, I’ve thrown everything I’ve got at it. Russet mites nearly wiped me out in 2017. Since I started, I’ve been more or less paycheck to paycheck, just covering my costs of living and expenses. I just need about $7k more to pay some asshole to write a report that allows me to do about $400 of work to two old culverts (which work fine, but are undersized). My permit expires next week, and my consultant is leaving me hanging out to dry because I’m $1400 short on payment. Meanwhile my retired landlord, who owns the property outright, blows through $3k a month like Kleenex tissue bitching about how her life is so tough."
McCowen Comments: “The anonymous grower has problems, but like so many others they are not caused by the County. The Grower complains about paying out $35k for fees and consultants and $3,000 monthly for rent. By contrast the minimum tax paid to the County would be $2,500. Following a one time application fee there is an annual compliance inspection and an annual permit fee. Compare that to the $7,000 the grower is paying to a consultant for a plan to replace two culverts as demanded by the State. It isn’t the County that is killing the small grower.”
Previous Post  SUPERVISOR McCOWEN, the person primarily responsible for this County's confused marijuana permitting program, said at Tuesday's rambling meeting of the Supervisors, that despite criticism of it it's making progress. His remarks will come as news to people like this poster: "
McCowen Comments: “The screen shot from Ivo Lopez confirms my point that the State is the challenge, not the County. Ivo complains about having to pay $11,000 and having to go to Eureka or Sacramento to do so. Is it necessary to point out that this has nothing to do with the County? Our Ag and Planning staff are doing everything they reasonably can to bring local growers into compliance with the very demanding State agency requirements. During the latest cannabis update staff estimated 60% of our permits are on hold pending action by the State. I’ve been advocating for staff to pinpoint that number and include it in the updates. Our local ordinance is complex only because the Board of Supervisors has tailored it to account for as many different situations as possible while still protecting public health, safety and the environment. Someone is always going to be unhappy with the process but the growers I talk to are nearly unanimous in saying the State, not the County, is by far the biggest challenge.”
SALMON SEASON! (via MendocinosportsPlus)
AMONG DEMOCRATS, the only ones that seem plausible to me are the young ones grouped around Ocasio-Cortez and the old ones represented by Bernie and Elizabeth Warren. What's striking about the rightwing opposition to them is their almost exact rhetoric that their grandfathers applied to Roosevelt, whose economic prescriptions were to the left of any of the current Democrats who so terrify Fox News.
TRUE TO FORM, this morning's NPR news invited a pr lady from Kaiser to say that MediCare for all probably isn't practical, which is what Kaiser and other health insurance plans are obviously going to say because it would mean the end of them, although all single payer plans everywhere in the world allow people to keep their private health insurance.
THE SCHOOL PLAYGROUND down the street is a grass expanse of about half an acre. My grandchildren are students there. It's not a dog park, but it's often used as one when school is not in session, although there are signs posted on the fencing that dogs are unwelcome. This morning two women of, I dunno, sixty or so, were chatting as their five dogs romped on the grass, occasionally pausing to relieve themselves. "Excuse me ladies but this is a children's playground. Dogs aren't supposed to be in here." They stared at me. I felt like a milk monitor, a busy body, the kid the teacher counts on to snitch off all the kids who misbehaved while she was out of the room. But, hells bells, who wants their kids rolling around in a canine urinary tract? One woman simply glared while the other one said, "These are our children." And they resumed chatting as if I weren't there, and I wasn't. Pathos had defeated me.
VIRTUE SIGNALING. What a genius phrase! And certainly a timely one, what with actual tangible virtue signals popping up everywhere announcing that the property or automobile owner is a good person who believes in good things. Today, I spotted a sign in Novato that says, "Engage, Inspire, Empower." Which is what I'd tried to do that very morning when I tried to keep the dogs off the playground grass. But I went one for three: I'd Engaged but whiffed badly on Inspire, mooting Empower totally.
LIKE MANY PEOPLE, I've closely followed the Assange, Manning and Snowden affairs since the beginning. And also like many people I wasn't particularly surprised by the revelations the courageous trio revealed to the world. The particulars confirmed what many of us assumed came with the empire's strategies for maintaining itself. Our generally craven media are baying for Assange to pay after, of course, he gets a fair trial, however unlikely that may be. Just as curious about what the three are like, we know the least about Assange. The following are excerpts from Andrew O'Hagen's lengthy account of his experience with Assange prior to Assange's isolation in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. (I've linked the full account below.)
"…The three of us went to a very pink café in the town and ordered sandwiches and cakes. We sat outside, and Julian got distracted by some young girls walking past. ‘Hold on,’ he said, and turned his gaze. ‘No,’ he said. ‘It was fine until I saw the teeth.’ One of the girls was wearing a brace. When Sarah came back and asked what we were talking about, Julian said he’d been admiring some 14-year-old girls, ‘until they came close’. I record this not to show how predatory Julian is – I don’t believe he is any more predatory than hundreds of men I’ve known. It’s not that: I tell it to suggest how self-delighted he can be. He doesn’t at all see how often his self-delight leads him into trouble. He doesn’t understand other people in the slightest and it would be hard to think of a leader who so reliably got everyone wrong, mistaking people’s motivations, their needs, their values, their gifts, their loyalty, and thereby destroys their usefulness to him. He was always very solicitous of me when I was with him, but I could tell he responded much more to the fact that I like a joke than to the notion that I was a professional writer. The latter mattered to him for five seconds when he was trying to find a writer to work with, but it was the time-wasting, authority-baiting side that really kept our relationship alive. He thought I was his creature and he forgot what a writer is, someone with a tendency to write things down and perhaps seek the truth and aim for transparency… "
“…He was in a state of panic at all times that things might get out. But he manages people so poorly, and is such a slave to what he’s not good at, that he forgets he might be making bombs set to explode in his own face. I am sure this is what happens in many of his scrapes: he runs on a high-octane belief in his own rectitude and wisdom, only to find later that other people had their own views – of what is sound journalism or agreeable sex – and the idea that he might be complicit in his own mess baffles him. Fact is, he was not in control of himself and most of what his former colleagues said about him just might be true. He is thin-skinned, conspiratorial, untruthful, narcissistic, and he thinks he owns the material he conduits. It may turn out that Julian is not Daniel Ellsberg or John Wilkes, but Charles Foster Kane, abusive and monstrous in his pursuit of the truth that interests him, and a man who, it turns out, was motivated all the while not by high principles but by a deep sentimental wound. Perhaps we won’t know until the final frames of the movie.”
“Even if you were the most radical dude on campus, there was always some tight hippie ready to tell you you were bourgeois for liking, say, Earl Grey tea or for reading Anthony Powell. In that same vein, Julian scorns all attempts at social graces. He eats like a pig. He marches through doors and leaves women in his wake. He talks over everybody. And all his life he has depended on being the impish one, the eccentric one, the boy with a bag full of Einstein who liked climbing trees. But, as a forty-year-old, that’s less charming, and I found his egotism at the dinner table to be a form of madness more striking than anything he said.”
I asked him if he had a working title yet and he said, to laughter, ‘Yes. “Ban This Book: From Swedish Whores to Pentagon Bores”.’ It was interesting to see how he parried with some notion of himself as a public figure, as a rock star really, when all the activists I’ve ever known tend to see themselves as marginal and possibly eccentric figures. Assange referred a number of times to the fact that people were in love with him, but I couldn’t see the coolness, the charisma he took for granted. He spoke at length about his ‘enemies’, mainly the Guardian and the New York Times.
GHOSTING, by Andrew O’Hagan
(My relationship with Julian Assange, 2014, London Review of Books)
“He wanted his book to be like Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man…”
The sex crime allegations against Assange stem from a visit he made to Stockholm in August 2010, a few months after WikiLeaks gained international notoriety by publishing material leaked by then-Army private and whistleblower Chelsea Manning about the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Assange was visiting Sweden to meet with a political group there; according to police documents viewed by the Guardian, Ardin said she set up his visit and hosted him in her apartment.
At her apartment, Ardin said he began stroking her leg, then removing her clothes, breaking her necklace in the process. She said she tried to put her clothes back on but he took them off again. She told police she then allowed Assange to undress her, because “it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far.”
Assange tried to have unprotected sex with her, she said, but she asked him to use a condom. He agreed, but, she said, he had “done something” to the condom so that it ripped before he ejaculated.
Assange told police that he had sex with Ardin but did not tear the condom, according to the Guardian.
In the days that followed, Ardin told a friend that she was still allowing Assange to stay with her, but they were not having sex because he had “exceeded the limits of what she felt she could accept,” the friend told police.
Miss W met Assange at a seminar organized by Ardin, she told police. They later met up and went to her apartment, where they started to have sex. But Assange did not want to use a condom, Miss W said, so they stopped and eventually fell asleep. Later that night, she said, they woke up and had consensual sex, during which he “unwillingly” used a condom. But in the morning, Miss W said, she woke up to find Assange penetrating her without a condom.
Assange has denied any wrongdoing with respect to Miss W. A lawyer for Assange has not yet responded to Vox’s request for comment.
Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition over the allegations
After Ardin and Miss W reported their experiences to police, Swedish authorities opened an investigation. Assange had returned to London, and after a lengthy legal battle, a British court ruled in 2012 that he should be extradited to Sweden.
Assange’s lawyers were worried that, once in Sweden, he might be extradited to the US to face charges related to WikiLeaks. So Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. In granting his request, the Ecuadorian government said it was protecting Assange from the harsh punishment he could receive if sent to the US. A small majority of Ecuadorians supported the decision, according to the BBC.
In 2015, the statute of limitations on Ardin’s allegation expired. And in 2017, Swedish authorities dropped their investigation into Miss W’s claim because they saw no way to proceed while Assange was in the embassy.
But now that Assange has been arrested, Swedish prosecutors say they are considering reopening the investigation, according to USA Today. The statute of limitations on Miss W’s claim expires in 2020.
If Sweden and the US both seek extradition, it would likely be up to the UK to decide, Ashley Deeks, a law professor at the University of Virginia with expertise in extradition, told Vox. In making its decision, the British government could consider factors like the gravity of the allegations in each case, the order in which the requests were made, and the likelihood that one country might choose to extradite him to the other, she said.
“No one is above the law, and no one should be able to hide and escape from justice like Assange has done in this case,” said Fritz, the lawyer who represents Miss W, in her statement. “We are now awaiting the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s decision.”
The potential of a reopened Swedish investigation has already caused divisions in Britain. The left-wing Labour Party had urged Prime Minister Theresa May not to extradite Assange to the US, with party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeting that Assange should not be punished for “exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan.” But now, some Labour Party members are calling attention to the allegations and advocating that Assange be extradited to Sweden.
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, MARIJUANA, AND A KIDNAPPING SCHEME GET BULGARIAN TRIO ARRESTED AT ARCATA AIRPORT
Onlookers watched in amazement when on April 3 law enforcement swarmed around the incoming 5:30 p.m. flight from San Francisco at the Arcata Airport arresting two men. A third man was taken into custody just before he reached the airport to pick up the other two. Emanoel Borisov, age 28, Paul Brooks, age 34, and Evgeni Kopankov (age unlisted) all of Illinois (though Kopankov lists having property on Huckleberry Lane in Whitethorn) were arrested for attempting to commit Interference with Commerce By Threats or Violence. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
RESPONSE TO RECENT NEW YORKER piece about farm labor automation:
To the Editor of the New Yorker magazine,
Re: “Machine Hands,” New Yorker, April 15, 2019.
Living in the heart of Northern California’s premium wine grapes and with a long-ago Master’s Degree in enology from Fresno State, I’m pretty familiar with the wine-grape industry and its labor situation. Grape growing is accompanied by a raft of problems like pesticides, rangeland clearing and scraping, dewatering of local streams, skyrocketing land costs, housing cost escalation, labor competition from California’s newly (semi-) legalized pot industry, additional welfare and education for worker’s children in the off-season, etc. Labor is probably the least of them. The story fails to note that most farm labor is seasonal, maybe for two weeks, so, in the case of wine, the cost of labor amounts to only a few pennies per bottle and bears almost no relation to the market-based retail price. What does it say about wealthy growers and marketers that they would rather spend millions of dollars on marginal automation instead of improving pay and working conditions for the people who do the real work and form the basis of their business?
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 13, 2019
TRAVIS ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MATTHEW EDWARDS, Lagunitas/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ELIAS ENGLISH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JUAN GARCIA, Corcoran/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JOSEPH HARROLD, Ukiah. DUI with priors, parole violation.
NOLAN LAWSON JR., Ukiah. Under influence.
ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
DORIS MCCONNELL, Fort Bragg. Suspended license.
JAVIER MENDEZ, Calpella/Ukiah.
DENA MORRIS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
CRAIG PHIPPS, Willits. Probation revocation.
JILL POTTER, Willits. Disobeying court order, probation revocation.
LOREN POWERS JR., Willits. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, criminal threats, probation revocation.
RYAN RAYA, Ukiah. Parole violation.
JULIO SIFUENTES-JIMINEZ, Covelo. Probation revocation.
JEREMIAH SUSAN, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, county parole violation, probation revocation.
ROBERT VALADEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DREVEN VALENCIA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, smuggling drugs or alcohol into jail.
ADAM VASQUEZ, Hopland. Concealed dirk/dagger.
LOOKING FOR NEW HOME & FARM/GARDEN SPACE
Farming family looking for a rustic country house rental/tiny house parking (w/hookups) with farming land/garden space to lease. Skill Set includes animal husbandry, farm to table cuisine, land crafts and more. Photos of previous gardens and references available. Early April. (707)-683-2369
LIFT THE LAMP
I now realize how close my grandmother, Emma Mazza, was to deportation and separation from her children. A young widow in 1936, she had two children (my mother was 16), a cow and some mission grapes on a patch of rabbit brush in North Hollywood. My mother grew fearful as two visitors wouldn’t leave the kitchen.
Finally, at midnight, Emma sold the men the wine they wanted and was arrested. The teenage daughter was the translator in court. A $50 fine was a lot of money for a widow during the Depression — a lot of money for anyone in those days.
Destructive as it was at the time, the event was a bit of Americana for me until today’s chilling headlines. What if Emma had been deported? Her children were American citizens, old enough to fend for themselves. Or were they? And how well? How would that story have turned out?
Every American’s story is reflected in every headline today. Learn your own immigrant past. Look up Emma Lazarus’ poem and “lift the lamp by the golden door.”
DEMOCRATS RAIL TO TRAIL
Local lawmaker Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) announced this week that his plan to turn unused railroad tracks into a trail recently cleared important hurdles.
According to a press release from McGuire’s office, “both the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Resources and Transportation approved the governor’s request for $3 million to carry out the next steps outlined in McGuire’s legislation SB 1029. And separately the North Coast Railroad Authority’s (NCRA) Board of Directors approved a legal settlement.”
“It’s been a great week for the North Coast and for the Great Redwood Trail,” McGuire was quoted as saying in the release. “Settling the lawsuit, which had gone on for way too long, allows for the next chapter to unfold. The $3 million requested by the Governor and approved by the Legislative budget committees, will usher in a new day for the North Coast. The funds will be put to work to wind down NCRA and formally kick off the all-important master planning process for the Great Redwood Trail.”
McGuire explained that “the Assembly and Senate subcommittees approved the governor’s request for the implementation funding, authorizing $1 million for an initial assessment of the right-of-way for the trail, $1.5 million for research on the estimated 1,900 property easements along the 300-mile rail-to-trail line, and $500,000 to complete the audit of NCRA’s finances and the possible transfer of a portion of the line to the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART). These findings will help facilitate the closure of NCRA and the transfer of the right-of-way to successor agencies.”
Also, McGuire notes that “the NCRA Board of Directors authorized their staff to begin settlement negotiations with the litigants in the Environmental Impact Report lawsuit that reached the California and U.S. Supreme courts. NCRA counsel met with the Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, co-litigants in the case, and worked out an agreement that involves decertifying the controversial EIR and approving legal fees already awarded by the court.
“Resolving the issues that have plagued this rail line over the last 30 years will not be quick or easy, and we know there is a lot of work in front of us. (But) we’re off to a strong start and have made dramatic progress over the last year, and I’m excited to start working with the community on the ultimate design of the Great Redwood Trail,” McGuire said.
He envisions the trail “replacing the crumbing railroad on much of the 300-mile-long track, and becoming a significant economic driver for the rural North Coast communities it winds through. Once completed, the Trail will attract hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors alike to hike this spectacular landscape and inject needed funds into the greater North Coast region.”
McGuire also notes that “earlier this year a whopping $32 million was secured to build out urban portions of the trail in Marin, Mendocino and Humboldt counties. The funds came through trail grant programs from both the California Transportation Commission and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.”
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
PORTRAIT of 81-year-old Confederate Captain Edward Camden from Volusia County, Florida. Captain Edward put on his Civil War veteran's uniform and tried to register for the draft on the first day of World War I, 1917
AMERICA IS NO LONGER A NATION
Paul Craig Roberts
The America in which I grew up and lived my early adult life was a nation. Over the course of my life I have watched my country turn into a Tower of Babel. Homogeneity and shared values permitted us to understand one another. This doesn’t mean that there was uniformity or that things were perfect. A Baptist wasn’t a Catholic. A WASP was not a black laborer. A female was not a male. Blacks and poor whites had a hard time becoming middle class, but it could be done. It was possible for middle class people to become “well off,” but difficult to become rich. Immigration was controlled, and the reduction of inflows had helped the Irish and Italians to integrate into society.
Police were helpful and didn’t burst into homes with guns blazing or rough you up on traffic stops. On important issues, compromises could be reached and reforms implemented. English was the language. If you telephoned a service provider, utility, or bank, you quickly were connected to a real person capable of handling every aspect of whatever you were calling about. Today you wait through the Spanish language option for the robo-voice listing the options that might have something to do with the reason for your call. The companies save money and make profits by imposing their service costs on customers.
Technology seems to have worsened the functionality of society. Diversity and multiculturalism definitely have. It used to be that taking or giving offense was something that good manners prevented. Today members of those groups that are entitled to be offended are ready to take offense at any excuse. Today it is easy for a white person and a male to give offense without intending or even knowing that what he did or said was offensive.
Diversity and multiculturalism provide a fertile field for Identity Politics. Identity Politics has succeeded in turning everything white into racism. Indeed, the word “white” is now a code word for racist. Western Civilization and science itself are explained as mechanisms of white domination. The other day a black female college professor declared time to be white. She explained that a tendency on the part of blacks to be late was due to the fact that time was just another white racist construct. Time was white because it made blacks late.
According to Identity Politics, white people are in charge, but the evidence is to the contrary. There are no quotas for whites in university admissions, hiring, and promotion. It is the allegedly victimized “preferred minorities” who get to go to the front of the line. There are no hate speech or hate crime protections for whites. Whites can be called every hurtful and offensive name in the book and have no right or power to demand apologies or the firing of the offender. White DNA has been declared to be “an abomination,” and white people “shouldn’t exist.” In America today, the way to get ahead is to claim victim-hood. Jews are experts at this, and blacks, women, and illegal immigrants have learned the same trick.
University education explains white people as the source of all evil. This is especially the case in what is called black studies and in gender studies, which seems to have developed out of women’s studies or feminist studies. A white male professor who gives a low grade to a female or to a black can expect that some charge might be made against him, but a white male who receives a low grade from a black or feminist professor has no such recourse.
As whites still constitute the majority of the U.S. population, what are the consequences for society when it is the majority that is constantly demeaned? What does it mean when white males, still the backbone of the military, are more easily cowed than women and “preferred minorities”?
When whites become a minority, what is their fate when the new majority has been taught hatred of whites for decades?
What does it mean when Americans fall all over themselves to apologize for using some word or term that someone finds “offensive” when it never occurs to Americans to apologize to Libyans, Iraqis, Syrians, Afghans, Yemeni, Somalis, for destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of them? The disconnect here is extreme. Words hurt but not bombs. Moreover, I can remember when words now said to be offensive gave no offense to anyone. What has happened is that people have been taught to regard the words as offensive. How else did “girls” become offensive? Identity Politics finds more offensive words every day. Before long a white person will not be able to open their mouth. Language itself is being made dysfunctional. If the means of communication is dysfunctional, how can society be functional?
Identity Politics has produced disunity. Disunity is the antithesis of nationhood.
There are in the U.S. many groups that specialize in teaching hatred of whites by pretending to fight “white supremacy.” A new one on the scene is the Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University. Georgetown is, or was, a Catholic university. One might expect a Center for Catholic Civilization or, as Georgetown is located in America, a Center for American Civilization. But no, it is a Center for Jewish Civilization. Who finances it? Why is it focused on “the far right”? Why is it at Georgetown University?
On April 10 the Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University is hosting an all day propaganda session at the National Press Club to work up opposition to white gentiles who are allegedly using Nazi techniques to attack Jews and blacks. In other words, the Center for Jewish Civilization is doing precisely to white gentiles what the center claims white anti-semites are doing to Jews and blacks. The “conference” is focused on “How Do We Deal with a New Ecosystem of Hate and Anti-Semitism on the Far Right?”
We all know what the “far right” is—white people, which as a group are being recast as “white supremacists.” Far right is not a term ever applied to blacks or other races.
Try to imagine a Center for Palestinian Civilization at Georgetown University that was hosting a National Press Club all day event to combat an “Ecosystem of Hate and Anti-Palestinianism in Israel.” The center would be lumped in with the Alt-Right and accused of promoting hate and anti-semitism.
Or suppose U.S. foreign service veterans formed a Center for American Foreign Policy and criticized Israel’s control over American Foreign Policy revealed in Netanyahu’s boast that at his request Trump named Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a large chunk of the Iranian government, as a terrorist group. news.antiwar.com/2019/04/08/netanyahu-says-trump-named-iran-guards-a-terror-group-at-his-request/ The center would be accused of anti-semitic tropes.
How is a country a nation when it cannot have its own foreign policy, when words of its language are proscribed, when alleged victim groups have more rights than the alleged dominant class, and when hate is used to create disunity?
Identity Politics is the ideology that has been used to break America into disunited pieces.
AVA MULTILEVEL MARKETING at SNWMF c.2014
ON LINE COMMENT by Marilyn Davin
The #MeToo Movement has dropped another turd from the sky - this one on Joe Biden's blameless head. Having once lived within the bosom of an affectionate and exuberant Irish-American family, I see the big-hearted, politician's chaste hugs for what they are: expressions of his sincere empathy with the worries, trials, and tribulations of the men, women, and children he meets. It's an emotional connection, expressed in a harmless, asexual, fleeting physical way. Biden has few public defenders on this issue; politicians are terrified of a #MeToo backlash that would instantly sink their careers (if they're men), or brand them as traitors to their sex (if they're women). Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy ruffled more than a few feathers when he added isolation and loneliness to his list of major American health issues. In our culture it's much more comfortable to talk about smoking, obesity, and drugs. This stain is already spreading to the next generation and we need to stop it. My daughter is a high school teacher, and if she came upon a student sobbing in adolescent angst she could probably get away with putting a comforting arm around her. It would have to be a "her," of course. If she touched a male student some kid with a phone would snap a pic, show it to his or her parents, and be labeled a pervert. Which, incidentally, Joe Biden is not.
SCREW PRESS FREEDOM
The Trump administration’s extradition request is accompanied by criminal charges which are based on the same information which the Obama administration declined to charge Assange for, a point which has been discussed in more detail in a new article by The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald and Micah Lee. The Obama administration looked at the evidence and concluded that there was no way to charge Assange with anything without endangering press freedoms, then the Trump administration looked at literally the exact same evidence and said screw press freedoms, we’re going after him. They wanted to punish Assange and show the world what happens to a journalist who exposes US war crimes, so they changed the narrative to make it happen.
NETANYAHU'S REELECTION Further Dooms Millions of Palestinians to Decades of Statelessness, Denial of Basic Rights
I once heard an Israeli historian say that the Israelis had by now done to the Palestinians everything the Nazis did to the Jews by 1939. (The Holocaust began in the early 1940s, but in the 1930s before the systematic genocide Jews were made stateless, fired from jobs, beaten or had their shop windows broken, chased from property, and sometimes began being herded into camps). Now we only await the Second Civil War (with the first being 1947-48) to see the Palestinians yet again ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homeland of millennia.
USA TODAY: “Take it from an economist, Medicare for All is the most sensible way to fix health care.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Drugstore Cowboy was filmed mainly around Portland, including an area in the old Pearl District that used to be a railyard. (Visit Portland movie locations / website in our comment thread)
Gus Van Sant (Director) who lives in Portland, and who is an Academy-Award nominated Director. His credits include Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idado, Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester, and Milk.
His films Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho and Paranoid Park were shot in Portland.
Twenty-six years ago, in the fall of 1988, director Gus Van Sant and crew shot Drugstore Cowboy on location in Portland. A rare film on the subject of drugs that neither romanticizes nor moralizes their use, it would go on to become both a highly-acclaimed critical success as well as an independent film classic.
Drugstore Cowboy is a 1989 American crime drama film directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Van Sant and Daniel Yost, based on an autobiographical novel by James Fogle. Matt Dillon stars in the title role, and Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham, and William S. Burroughs are also featured. It was Van Sant's breakthrough picture.
At the time the film was made, the source novel by Fogle was unpublished. It was later published in 1990, by which time Fogle had been released from prison. Fogle, like the characters in his story, was a long-time drug user and dealer.
Van Sant is an alumnus of Darien High School in Connecticut and The Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon
THE NEXT BIG ONE
by Kimberly Veklerov
A repeat of the most powerful earthquake in San Francisco’s history would knock out phone communications, leave swaths of the city in the dark, cut off water to neighborhoods and kill up to 7,800 people, according to state and federal projections.
If a quake like that were to strike along the San Andreas Fault today, building damage would eclipse $98 billion and tens of thousands of residents would become homeless.
Thursday marks the anniversary of the 1906 quake, a 7.9 magnitude event that turned San Francisco streets into waves, flattening much of the skyline and igniting fires that raged for almost four days. The quake ruptured 296 miles of fault line — from Cape Mendocino to San Juan Bautista.
Since 1906, the fault has remained locked from Point Arena through the Peninsula. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit 50 miles south of San Francisco, on a remote segment of the San Andreas Fault, and ruptured only 25 miles.
While nearly 113 years have passed without a major earthquake on the fault from the Peninsula north, the quiet will end. It could happen tomorrow or next week or decades from now. When it does, hundreds of thousands if not millions of people will feel the ground shake like they’ve never felt before.
For now, all the experts can do is model, project and, like the rest of us, prepare for the worst.
At typically active sites along five major faults in Northern and Southern California, including parts of the San Andreas and Hayward faults, no big earthquakes have occurred in the last century. Based on current understanding of earthquake recurrence, that’s a statistical anomaly, according to a report this month from U.S. Geological Survey scientists.
According to a 1,000-year earthquake history of those fault branches, the chances that not a single site would experience a major temblor in any given 100-year period is about 0.3%, the paper said. (The site where Loma Prieta hit was not analyzed.)
Earth’s tectonic plates constantly slide past and bump into each other — not always smoothly. An edge that gets caught up against another will break free eventually as stress builds up, and the release of such friction produces earthquakes.
“It may be that the whole system is on edge and ready for a more active cycle,” said Glenn Biasi, co-author of the paper and a supervisory geophysicist with the USGS. “The whole system is loading, and we don’t know how it’s going to unload. It hasn’t been dumping stress on the faults we know carry the most slip.”
Building codes have improved dramatically since 1906, of course — engineers now must design flexible, fire-resistant structures that can withstand horizontal forces. Researchers also have made key earthquake science discoveries, and emergency response procedures today are far more sophisticated.
But the Bay Area’s population has increased tenfold over the last century, and with more humans comes more sources of vulnerability: water-treatment facilities, petroleum refineries, chemical plants and critical infrastructure, like the Transbay Tube that runs beneath the bay. Beyond shaking the ground, powerful earthquakes can set secondary disasters in motion: fires, tsunamis and hazardous material releases.
Most people would survive a repeat of the 1906 quake, which the study projected was a magnitude 7.8 temblor. Death toll numbers range from about 200 to more than 7,800 — but it’s the quake’s aftermath that is of greatest concern, said Bijan Karimi, acting deputy director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. A third of households will likely be without power for at least three days, and half are expected to be without water for at least a month.
Karimi said people should be prepared for at least 72 hours on their own, making sure they have enough supplies on hand for themselves and their families.
“There’s only so many emergency responders to go around,” he said. “We really want to have individuals relying on themselves and their neighbors.”
The death, injury and damage projections for a major quake are based on Federal Emergency Management Agency modeling software, which incorporates census tract-level data, ground-shaking models and the ages and values of buildings, said Michael Bishop, a FEMA risk analyst. But the projected losses might be underestimated. The model uses census data from nine years ago and assumes that structures are not compromised, as could happen when aftershocks hit weakened buildings, Bishop said.
Officials in California’s Office of Emergency Services must submit a report to FEMA every five years to qualify for emergency federal aid, and last year’s catalogs the state’s major threats while also predicting where systems might break down.
The plan notes there is no statewide inventory of fire, police, ambulance, emergency communications and other critical facilities. Most were built before new state regulations on the design and construction of essential services structures went into effect. Because of these structures’ ages, “they are not expected to be reliably functional after earthquakes, delaying emergency response and in some cases posing significant risks to life,” the report says.
Still, California has shored up many of its earthquake-response measures. In the event that cell phone towers and other communication infrastructure are knocked out, for instance, officials can use satellite systems and “multiple layers of redundancy” not available in past disasters, said Tina Curry, deputy director of planning, preparedness and prevention in the California Office of Emergency Services.
“We have a lot of things that have improved,” she said. “It’s still going to be a very devastating and disruptive event.”
In some cases, local governments have developed their own backup systems and contingency plans.
In Alameda County, 50 amateur radio experts have volunteered to help set up wireless communications, said Paul Hess, emergency manager for the county sheriff’s office. Loon, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., has plans to send balloons into the stratosphere that could get the internet back in operation, Hess said. If all else fails, officials will send couriers into zones where people aren’t responding to deliver messages and information.
Hess said his No. 1 concern is not communications, but water. Most people he talks to at training events do not have an adequate supply.
“Our biggest challenge is trying to get people out of their day-to-day schedule inertia and take the time to get prepared at home, at the workplace and in their vehicles so that no matter where you’re at you have the supplies to deal with the effects of an earthquake,” Hess said.
People who stock water, tools and bandages — even long strips of old bed sheets or shirts — will help supplement emergency responders, Hess said. In many areas, people will have to depend on themselves and their neighbors for aid.
“In a typical neighborhood, you may have half a dozen people suffering injuries — severe bleeding, broken bones, hit on the head and in shock,” Hess said. “If you know how to handle those, you can become a support rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off.”
Jennifer Strauss, on the leadership team of ShakeAlert, the earthquake early-warning system, also worries most about preparedness. Buildings may be more resilient now, she said, but they won’t do much for people sitting next to windows or beside a bookshelf that hasn’t been bolted down.
California’s other main disaster risks — wildfires and floods — are influenced by predictable weather events. Earthquakes, though, hit everyone at roughly the same time and come with little to no warning. ShakeAlert could buy the public precious seconds.
Just like school children go through drills, adults need to train too, Strauss said.
“When you get into an office building with a bunch of 30-, 40-, 50-year-olds, if people are not taking the drills seriously, because we have these long time periods with no events, you’re not going to actually drop, cover and hold when you feel ground shaking,” she said. “You’re going to spend precious seconds thinking about how an earthquake is happening.”
While predicting earthquakes is impossible, scientists estimate there is a 72% chance that a quake greater than or equal to a magnitude 6.7 will hit the Bay Area before 2043.
Why the current inactive period has lasted so long is unclear, said Biasi, co-author of the new paper, which examined a 1,000-year earthquake record and was published this month in Seismological Research Letters. That no major temblors have occurred across so many sites on both ends of the state is unexpected. The faults are not supposed to coordinate with each other, Biasi said.
If there is a missing variable for understanding earthquake recurrence, scientists are not sure what it may be. Biasi and his colleagues said it could be that fault branches in Northern and Southern California are somehow communicating with each other through unknown structures.
“Whatever is going on now doesn’t seem to have a precedent in the last 1,000 years. Something’s missing in the way we’re handling the data,” Biasi said. “The system isn’t bleeding any energy off. It can’t do that forever.”
GOVERNOR NEWSOM releases wildfire and PG&E plan that includes catastrophic fire fund proposal that could raise monthly power bills.
A series of proposals unveiled Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom to ward of catastrophic wildfires could raise monthly utility bills, make insurance premiums most costly, slash payments to wildfire victims and hold PG&E responsible for providing safe power services.
MEMO OF THE AIR: The recording of last night's (2019-04-12) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show (on KNYO but due to a technical problem not on KMEC; we'll get that fixed for next week) is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:
Besides all that, also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
Louis C.K. on negative money. This was recorded 15 years ago.
And a practical interstellar probe mission. Tiny and many does the trick.
Marco McClean, email@example.com,
MY SEASICK SON
I have lately spent most of my days playing with memories of my friends, my students, random encounters with people waiting for parts at the auto parts counter. My family, it seems, most often. I have hit upon the idea of speaking directly to them. But they seldom visit, so I'll do it in writing. This is the first. Some random memories:
Your mother and I deciding on what would be your name. I wanted Dylan. She was sure that your nickname would be Dilly and she couldn't abide even the thought. When you were six or seven I took you salmon fishing on a boat out of Fort Bragg and you got seasick, and threw up when we hit the first swells, not even out of the harbor.
Renting horses and riding to the 4,400 foot summit of Red Mountain. It is now a wilderness area. Few, I imagine, have ever been there. I have pictures. When we finally see each other again I'll give them to you. With the flag that covered his coffin when he died.
Writing a letter when my ripening principal, Bill Meacham, barred you from using the school library, even at noon, and even when it was raining. My barbed-sure tatoo.
A favorite of mine: an abstract drawing of yours, framed in bright red metal, hangs about ten feet from my left shoulder. I can see it from where I am writing. You might have been famous had you been more interested in marketing. It is one of my favorite works of yours, and I wish you were still creating like this.
Driving through snow up the floorboards of our '57 Volkswagen for Thanksgiving with your grandparents in Georgetown. You cried incessantly, a two-year-old teething. My mother got slowly drunk on the dinner wine. Then the power went out. Their house was all electric. She cooked the turkey at a neighbor's house. You cried until we got back home. The first time you told me you loved me a few weeks ago. So many memories, so many dreams. So much anger. You taught me to reply in kind. Which I do here. Jordan, I love you.
There will be more of these pecks on the cheek from me, the next to your big sister, Melissa. Then others. If I know you you're not safe. But I want to concentrate on my family. All of these memories. Sometime, maybe even the bad ones. Jordan, I love you.
TO JORDAN, MY SON
Jordan, think of this as a short note to you that you find after I've finally died. A tiny slice of that huge piece of pie: the bright memories. Your sisters are next. Then any of my friends, more distant relatives, people I've worked with. &ct. If they choose to print it, it will be in the AVA day after tomorrow. I apologize for the audacity of all this. I surely don't intend to offend.
I remember climbing Round Rock with you. Sitting beside you at the baseball field watching the triple A team while you went up to pee. You came back with a ballpark hotdog, smothered in onions. Eight year-old you crushing cans at Wild River. You driving me to a doc in Eugene after I wrecked my knee playing softball at school. You coming with me to school when you first moved to Wild River. Two year old you, teething and wailing at my parent's house in Georgetown. The house was all electric. Almost new. The power went out. My mother drank the dinner wine and got slowly drunk. My dad was really pissed at her. He chainsmoked Camels.
Watching you with sympathy as you got seasick and threw up over the side as the salmon charter boat hit the first swells leaving Noyo Harbor. Riding horses with you to the summit of Red Mountain. AT&T park. The Sacramento symphony. Season tickets. The mesmerized look my friend had when looking closely at your abstract drawing. Your talent. Your unique sense of humor. Your ability to find work hiking solo in the high country above Yosemite. You trying to get a job as a helicopter traffic reporter in Austin. Seeing Pele Juju with you in Ukiah.
You flying to Seattle, then the ferry to Anacortes. This is about to exceed the limits of even my patience. It is also the third draft. What can I say? Writers write. I love you, my son.
PS. I remember (vaguely) hearing the word catskinner for the first time. It was probably 1987. I wondered what in the hell is that? I thought that whomever said it was making fun of me. A no no.
It turns out that anyone connected to logging knows what it means. It connotes someone who runs a tractor. There are many thousands of others: can of corn, batter's box, based loaded. Utility player. Fast ball. Around the horn. Bad hop. Furniture makers, newell post. Teachers, passing. Sailors, topmast. This phenomenon of the way slang comes into the language is a metaphor for the way John Muir tied himself to a tree in Yosemite to experience a storm as a tree. Being here now. Being a writer. Giants 1, Rockies 0. Playing. And being a writer.