Mendocino County Today: January 23, 2013
by AVA News Service, January 22, 2013
DA EYSTER probably already knows that lots of people want him to prosecute crimes against animals, which he has not yet done, but he may not know the extent of the anger at major instances of neglected horses that have gone un-sanctioned, one in Redwood Valley, the other in Laytonville.
CORRECTION: In our edition of November 14th, I somehow failed to credit Jennifer Poole as the author of the truly excellent report in the Willits News on the Willits School Bond fiasco. I think Jennifer was rightly awarded special recognition for that report from the Digital First Media Group.
IT WAS MUNI'S 100TH anniversary the morning I set out for the Ho Chi Minh Trail where I was meeting a guy for lunch at the Bodega Bistro, 607 Larkin. (Bo is beef; de is lamb; ga is chicken. Bo de ga. Nothing to do with burritos.) The food is wonderful and wonderfully cheap, but I never could detect anything bistro-like in the place.) Lower Larkin is home to a string of Vietnamese restaurants, hence the reference to Uncle Ho, a reference unlikely to be viewed as friendly by Bay Area Vietnamese, most of whom fought on the other side in the Vietnam war. San Francisco markets itself as cutely diverse, but it's a city grown so rich that what diversity remains is pretty much confined to a few blocks downtown where there's enough diversity in the Tenderloin to short out even the purplest multi-culturalist, a neighborhood of free range grotesques whose jarring visuals are interwoven with the Asian and Hispanic families who live there. San Francisco's crime and homeless politics seem simple enough: restrict capitalism's most deformed victims to these few blocks where they can do whatever they want short of assaulting tourists, the city's paying customers. If the damned and the doomed stray north of Geary, west of Kearny or east of VanNess, book 'em Dano. But they can roam south all the way to Candlestick — except on game days. (You won't see a homeless person even shuffling through Pacific Heights. Ever. And the Park Police pounce immediately if they catch one lingering anywhere in the Presidio. Ditto for all the city's upscale neighborhoods.) Waiting for my friend to show up at Larkin and Eddy, I watched a half-dozen drug deals, the usual platoon of shambling wrecks talking to themselves as they pushed their worldly goods along in shopping carts, and there were plenty of freshly paroled tough guys, and prostitutes, and botched gender re-assignments, and innumerable drunks. Against this multi-hued canvas of equal parts menace and despair, children ran in and out as if they were playing in a redwood grove while their wholly focused parents labored in the Asian restaurants reclaiming the area. Considering it was 11:30am, the full American monte was on display. No different at 11:30pm, but wear your running shoes and carry a heavy walking stick after nightfall. The Bodega Cafe, San Francisco, Eddy and Larkin, an AVA-recommended place to eat.
AUTHOR! AUTHOR! Sheriff Allman and Steve Sparks made their first foray into book-flogging the other night, stopping at the Skunk Train Depot in Fort Bragg to talk about their splendid account of the Bassler affair, Out There In The Woods. The Sheriff was late arriving, and was thus spared the unpleasant encounter Sparks was forced to endure alone when a man ran up into Sparks' face and yelled, “I'm the dead guy!”
ON PAGE 80 of the first run of books, Mr. Dead Man was confused with his father, who really is dead. The few books still containing the incorrect paragraph also contain a correction notice, and all the books printed since don't contain it.
A SENSIBLE PERSON, of whom there are at least four hundred in Fort Bragg judging by the weekly sales of this fine publication, would have approached Sparks and said with a chuckle, “How do you do, Mr. Sparks? I'm the dead guy on page 80 of your book.” Instead, this guy runs up on Sparks like he wants to fight and pays no attention to Sparks' apologies and explanations that he and the Sheriff have gone to extravagant lengths to remedy the error. Double Duh of the week for Mr. Dead Guy.
SPARKS' INTERFACE with this clown reminded me of the much less intense encounters I had in Fort Bragg twenty years ago or so when we published a series on the Fort Bragg Fires of 1987. We'd gone to multiple printings of those papers because they sold out the instant they reached Fort Bragg, and the reason they'd repeatedly sold out was because Fort Bragg people had never known any of the details of that outrageous (and unpunished) series of felony events. (Bad things happen when the media don't do their jobs, a fact confirmed daily by events everywhere in this country and abroad, and too often here in Mendocino County.)
CO-AUTHORS ROANNE WITHERS and Mark Heimann and I had been invited to Fort Bragg's Town Hall to discuss the fire stories. Then-DA Norm Vroman advised me, “I'd take a gun, if I were you,” which seemed to me rather hysterical considered as advice, and I went without a gun, but I did have a tough guy friend of mine in the audience just in case it got rough. Except for an unhinged couple of shrieking denials from Barbara Durigan, the overflow crowd was more sedate than many I've encountered, and we all enjoyed a learning experience.
MS. DURIGAN, Mendocino Woman of the Year as celebrated (natch) on KZYX, and later investigated herself for financial improprieties with non-profit funds, was the ex-wife of Pete Durigan, a convicted corpse robber out of San Mateo who'd relocated to Fort Bragg where he set himself up as a late night janitorial service. In 1987, Durigan functioned as logistics man for the big boys orchestrating the infamous fires. Durigan delivered cocaine, cash and cans of gasoline to the young guys who set the fires for the big boys. The big boys were cocaine distributors and insurance scam arsonists, not to mention the bribes one of them paid the Fort Bragg City Council in return for carte blanche development give aways. There are Coast people now in their 50s and 60s who are still afraid of those characters, but to me, the biggest crime was committed by the DA of this county, Susan Massini, who refused to prosecute the '87 Fires case. The Durigan interlude was one of many before and since confirming my theory that Mendocino County is largely inhabited by amnesiacs in a unique makeover sanctuary where you are whatever you say you are, no questions asked, and history starts all over again every day.
COMMENT OF THE DAY (Kunstler comment line): “The continuing stream of mass shootings (five more dead today) and general mayhem (over a thousand dead since Newtown) reflect the tension in American society, but not in a revolutionary way. It is just another aspect of the monetization of our lives for the benefit of the 1%. While the gun industry celebrates record sales and the successful transformation of semiautomatic weapons into “sporting” guns for “sportsmen” by industry lobbyists like the NSSF (based in Newtown, CT), another even creepier industry is enjoying record profits at the expense of public safety. Psychiatry led the way to the Nazi concentration camps when they began a program of euthanizing the mentally ill, disabled or otherwise undesirable citizens in the 1930s. Today they pursue an agenda of childhood “screening,” turning any emotionality into a pathology, to be treated with their powerful and highly profitable armada of psychotropic drugs. These poisons effectively perform a chemical lobotomy that makes their subjects much more cooperative and “easier to handle.” They also have a 5-10% rate of violent, bizarre homicidality/suicidality as a “side effect.” These drugs are now being prescribed at a 10x higher rate for such conditions as nail biting, bed wetting, weight loss and “I just broke up with my girlfiend.” Big Pharma pays Harvard psychiatrists millions of dollars each to endorse the use of these drugs on children as young as 6, despite the fact that most are not approved for such use and that long-term use causes provable brain damage. Part of their racket is reflected by the fact that poor children who qualify for Medicaid are prescribed at a 4x higher rate. So welcome to Zombie Nation where we deal with the angst of a tripling of oil prices, an unsustainable suburban culture and a planetary climate emergency by popping another pill or 2 or 3.”