Mendocino County Today: October 2, 2013

by AVA News Service, October 2, 2013

JOY ANDREWS, manager of our Community Services District, informs us that the position of Fire Chief for the Anderson Valley Fire Department has been filled. Andres Avila of Yorkville has begun training and will officially take over the position on November 1st. Please join the community in a farewell retirement party for Chief Colin Wilson this Sunday, October 6th, at the Fairgrounds at 4pm. The Lion’s Club is hosting with a tri-tip BBQ and fundraiser for The Department. Advance Tickets can be purchased at Lemon’s Market, The AV Market, and All That Good Stuff for $15. Joy assures us that “it’s sure to be one of the season’s best events.”

WE THINK MR. AVILA is a wise choice to succeed Chief Wilson, a man long synonymous with Anderson Valley's emergency services, and a hard man to replace. Avila has long impressed locals with his calm efficiency at fires and accident scenes. For purely selfish reasons, we'll miss Colin at the Chief's desk because, whenever we heard a siren, whenever our scanner crackled with fragments of an emergency, he unfailingly filled in the details so we could relay them to the entire community. Although The Chief is retiring we expect he'll be on duty for years to come.


Chief Wilson with Philo Winemaker Milla Handley

Chief Wilson with Philo Winemaker Milla Handley

Terry Ryder Writes: This weekend on Sunday, October 6th Fire Chief Colin Wilson will be honored with a retirement Tri-Tip BBQ prepared by the AV Lions Club. The party will be outdoors at the Fairgrounds Between 4 and 7pm. The money raised will go to the Volunteer Fire Department. Throughout his years as Fire Chief, Colin Wilson has assisted our schools in too many ways to mention. One stand out contribution to our High School has been his leadership of our courageous Fire Department volunteers in the Every Fifteen Minutes Program. Every Fifteen Minutes dramatizes the consequences of drinking and driving for students in an unforgettable way. The Program is a huge amount of work that requires planning for a full year in advance of the event. Colin is a clear thinker and an excellent organizer. In 2008, the year of the lightening strike fires, Colin and his crew literally held our lives in their hands. How can we thank him enough? Come to the retirement party and let him know how much you appreciate the work he has done for all of us.


WE DIDN'T KNOW until a couple of weeks ago that the AVA maintains a facebook page, but the following comments and inquiries appear there: “I've been hearing about the possible sale of Hawthorne Timber Co's lands in Mendo County to Mendocino Redwood Co. Is this true? Has it already sold? I figured if anyone knew it would be you guys. Thanks.” (— Laura) Answer: Nope, Hawthorne or Hawthorne-Campbell as it is sometimes called, is independent of Mendocino Redwood Company. We asked a local timber guy, and here's what he said: “I have not heard anything definitive about MRC purchasing Campbell-Hawthorn. MRC apparently has looked the property over. So has Redwood Empire. Campbell has had a foot out the door almost from the time they got here. My read on it is, they failed to appreciate the cost of regulation in California. The land they purchased from GP is next to none as far as productivity goes. Looking at that only, what they paid was probably reasonable. Some of the land they have jettisoned to the Parks and to the Conservation Fund, are exceptional. Though the Usal piece, in my opinion, was good riddance.”


PAUL ANDERSEN: “I see Jared Huffman is off on a junket to Israel, no doubt being indoctrinated with all sorts of anti-Palestinian propaganda.” Do American officials ever hear any other kind? Do Americans generally understand that the Palestinians suffer an oppression every bit as intense as that suffered by South Africans before SA's liberation? Answer: Nope and Nope.


RUDY KNOOP is a Covelo guy who first argued with us about the Vietnam spitting myth some twenty years ago. Ol' Rudy has also popped up on facebook still stuck on the same subject. He says we described him as “overly credulous.” We'll take the opportunity of Rood's re-appearance to expand overly credulous to include mono-maniacal and Rip Van Winkle-ish. Rudy writes: “One of my fondest memories is of being ridiculed (rather gently) by you in the AVA, which made me feel like I was really getting some traction in my new and much loved home here in Mendoland. You called me 'the overly-credulous Knoop' (no reporter wants to be called that) after I reported that two vets I had interviewed for that venerable southern Lake County newspaper-of-record — the Clearlake Observer-American — said they had been spat at when they returned from Vietnam. A snarky website whose name I have forgotten took up the issue recently and insulted large numbers of vets by saying they are all lying about this as you have also contended. Are you still as sure about this as you have said in the past? I am asking because a young friend of mine in the Nashville area, who takes care of his Vietnam-veteran father, got into a war of words with the website and asked me to contact you again about this disputed footnote to the history of our times. I didn't write you then because I had nothing new to say, but now I do. You have argued that it never happened because no police logs have been found to prove it did. That's ridiculous, Bruce! My friend (the father) was a hell of a soldier and spent 22 months in combat. He saw some of the worst things I have ever heard about during his tours of duty. It is impossible to imagine a guy like this calling the cops because someone spat on him at the airport; I would think the options would have been to ignore the fool or attack him, but why attack a fool after being in a brutal war for two years? You are home now — miraculously — why lower yourself by fighting an idiot you might even wind up killing by mistake? Have you seen Kevin Rafferty's film, “Harvard Beats Yale 29 - 29?” I am hoping you would trust Tommy Lee Jones and his team-mates on the Harvard team, who were all looking prosperous, relatively sane, intelligent, and well over 40 when the interview sequences of the film were shot, to tell the truth about their one war veteran team-mate, who was the old man of the Harvard backfield at age 24 when the game was played? Sorry I didn't write down his name when I watched the film, but Bruce, this gentleman seems to be a sane and thoughtful person; no doubt he's an attorney or some other kind of “professional” now, who says unequivocally he was met with hostility and was spat on when he returned from Nam. So what do you say Bruce? One more lying ex-soldier? Is it possible the ex-marine Korea veteran in you is simply growling at the younger fellows because that's what old dogs usually do - they growl at the young dogs? I say give the Vietnam vets a break; sometimes it might help a little bit just to listen to their stories and say nothing. Or say “I hear you dude. That was pretty fuckin' rude, the whole damn thing, and we're all just glad you survived to tell your tale.” (Sincerely, Rudy Knoop, Covelo.)

YES, I SAW the film, and a fine documentary it was, too. Sorry you missed the point about the guy who said he'd been spat upon. He was the butt of the film, Rudy, because, as some of us learned as we watched it, he lied about that and everything else, too.

AND AGAIN, as a service to rational-minded readers, if not to unswervable mytho-maniacs like Mr. Knoop, here's the straight scoop on this particular fantasy by Jerry Lembcke who wrote a book about it: “Stories about spat-upon Vietnam veterans are like mercury: Smash one and six more appear. It's hard to say where they come from. For a book I wrote in 1998 I looked back to the time when the spit was supposedly flying, the late 1960s and early 1970s. I found nothing. No news reports or even claims that someone was being spat on. What I did find is that around 1980, scores of Vietnam-generation men were saying they were greeted by spitters when they came home from Vietnam. There is an element of urban legend in the stories in that their point of origin in time and place is obscure, and, yet, they have very similar details. The story told by the man who spat on Jane Fonda at a book signing in Kansas City recently is typical. Michael Smith said he came back through Los Angeles airport where ‘people were lined up to spit on us.’ Like many stories of the spat-upon veteran genre, Smith's lacks credulity. GIs landed at military airbases, not civilian airports, and protesters could not have gotten onto the bases and anywhere near deplaning troops. There may have been exceptions, of course, but in those cases how would protesters have known in advance that a plane was being diverted to a civilian site? And even then, returnees would have been immediately bused to nearby military installations and processed for reassignment or discharge. The exaggerations in Smith's story are characteristic of those told by others. ‘Most Vietnam veterans were spat on when we came back,’ he said. That's not true. A 1971 Harris poll conducted for the Veterans Administration found over 90% of Vietnam veterans reporting a friendly homecoming. Far from spitting on veterans, the antiwar movement welcomed them into its ranks and thousands of veterans joined the opposition to the war. The persistence of spat-upon Vietnam veteran stories suggests that they continue to fill a need in American culture. The image of spat-upon veterans is the icon through which many people remember the loss of the war, the centerpiece of a betrayal narrative that understands the war to have been lost because of treason on the home front. Jane Fonda's noisiest detractors insist she should have been prosecuted for giving aid and comfort to the enemy, in conformity with the law of the land. But the psychological dimensions of the betrayal mentality are far more interesting than the legal. Betrayal is about fear, and the specter of self-betrayal is the hardest to dispel. The likelihood that the real danger to America lurks not outside but inside the gates is unsettling. The possibility that it was failure of masculinity itself, the meltdown of the core component of warrior culture, that cost the nation its victory in Vietnam has haunted us ever since. Many tellers of the spitting tales identify the culprits as girls, a curious quality to the stories that gives away their gendered subtext. Moreover, the spitting images that emerged a decade after the troops had come home from Vietnam are similar enough to the legends of defeated German soldiers defiled by women upon their return from World War I, and the rejection from women felt by French soldiers when they returned from their lost war in Indochina, to suggest something universal and troubling at work in their making. One can reject the presence of a collective subconscious in the projection of those anxieties, as many scholars would, but there is little comfort in the prospect that memories of group spit-ins, like Smith has, are just fantasies conjured in the imaginations of aging veterans. Remembering the war in Vietnam through the images of betrayal is dangerous because it rekindles the hope that wars like it, in countries where we are not welcomed, can be won. It disparages the reputation of those who opposed that war and intimidates a new generation of activists now finding the courage to resist Vietnam-type ventures in the 21st century. Today, on the 30th anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam, new stories of spat-upon veterans appear faster than they can be challenged. Debunking them one by one is unlikely to slow their proliferation but, by contesting them where and when we can, we engage the historical record in a way that helps all of us remember that, in the end, soldiers and veterans joined with civilians to stop a war that should have never been fought. (Jerry Lembcke is a professor of sociology at Holy Cross College, and the author of The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam.)


LAURA LEVY asks on the facebook page we didn't know we had, “I grew up in Mendocino and went to high school with Brian Tyrrell. Brian was killed and found in or near Montgomery Woods in the late 1980's. I see your paper covers a lot of cold cases but I can't find any information on Brian's case. I don't believe it was ever solved. The case doesn't appear on the Mendocino County Sheriff website and isn't ever referenced. Do you have any information about the case? Thanks, Laura.”

WE WERE STEERED to Detective Andy Whiteacre of the MCSO, who told us, “Tyrell is not listed as a missing person. It appears this is a cold case homicide. I don't have any other information. I will have to pull the file and look at the case. We are extremely busy with active cases at the moment but I will get to it as soon as I can.”


A MINOR MIRACLE has occurred: "Just thought you'd like to know that the 9/25 AVA was delivered by the USPS to my humble abode here in lovely Berkeley, CA 94705 TODAY 9/26! And that in general, though it's never before arrived on a Thursday, it's almost always here by Friday or Saturday these days.” Ditto for a subscriber in Burlingame. SF readers, at least one of them, says he's received his paper on Saturday two weeks in a row. For some time now, deliveries beyond Mendocino County have been haphazard, to put it mildly, so haphazard that some long-time subscribers gave up on us. And we gave up complaining to the Post Office since, as doctors might say at an accident scene, the Post Office was “non-responsive.”


LOOKED AT from an uninvolved perspective, we'd say the County could safely give employees 3-5% raises without jeopardizing its hard-won fiscal stability, fleeting as it may turn out to be. But the County's basic income from sales taxes, bed taxes, property taxes, plus miscellaneous fees, remains down.


ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2013, at about 8:45pm, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office observed an Hispanic male sitting in a pickup truck parked alongside an open field marijuana garden on Airport Road in Covelo, California. As Deputies pulled up to the pickup truck they noticed the male had fled on foot. Deputies heard movement in the brush and located a 17 year-old male, believed to be the occupant of the pickup truck, lying under the bushes. A loaded .45 caliber pistol with an extra loaded magazine was on the ground near the 17 year-old male. Deputies located approximately two pounds of marijuana inside the pickup truck that was being trimmed for processing purposes. The marijuana garden consisted of 45 budded plants. The garden was eradicated by Deputies and the 17 year-old male was transported to the Mendocino County Juvenile Hall where he was booked on marijuana cultivation charges. The investigation into the presence of the marijuana garden is ongoing and anyone with information can contact Deputy Jason Cox at (707) 459-7833. (Sheriff’s Press Release)


A STONER DUDE tells us that the Hopland dope store, Collective Conscience (sic) Apothecary, is selling marijuana for $55 an eighth of an ounce, which works out to $9,500 a pound. “That's more than they charge in Hollywood! And they're selling last year's outdoor grow!” he exclaimed. Local growers say there's a major glut, that desperate sellers will sell a pound for $500. Er, then how does Hopland stay in business at $9,500?


SUNDAY'S FINAL GIANTS game was an absolute jewel, even if the season has been a disaster. Four runs down in the 6th, our heroes came all the way back in the ninth to defeat San Diego 7-6 on the great Hunter Pence's base hit after Francisco Peguero tied the game with his first big-league homer. Barry Zito threw his last pitch, striking out Mark Kotsay, who is also retiring, and Zito walked triumphantly off to a huge standing ovation. And there was Bryan Stow, still impaired by a thug beat down in LA three years ago, up on the big video board, waving and saying, “Thank you” to the Giants and the crowd. A great day in Frisco.


RE THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN: “We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable it insists the nation be ungovernable, too.” —Charles P. Pierce,


(CLARIFICATION) REDWOOD VALLEY COUNTY WATER DISTRICT has no legally enforceable water right, but has been allowed to purchase water out of Lake Mendocino deemed to be “surplus” — which of course there is none. Redwood Valley and the Flood Control District have been discussing merger as a means of securing a stable water supply for Redwood. The other Ukiah Valley water districts are concerned that stable water for Redwood may come at their expense.


WE'RE INFORMALLY polling locals on how ObamaCare is likely to affect them. This respondent answered: “Currently, all the Affordable Care Act will do for me is make sure that a hospital or MD will be paid (at least something) if I am forced to use their services. It will cost me about $100 a month to insure that I will not be a medical care freeloader. (I qualify for the tax subsidy and one of my employers gives me $80 per month to spend on any health care item I want.) Even though I have hit 60, the chance of me needing any costly medical care is very small for the next 5 to 10 years. I have been blessed with very good health my entire life and have never needed much care beyond rare occasions for prescriptions for antibiotics. If I do need an antibiotic, I go to Consolidated Tribal Health Center in Calpella because I adore the ever-changing young Indian Health Service doctors who work there (and other Indian health clinics) to pay for medical school costs. It costs me about $60 to see an MD for an hour and about $100 to $150 for an antibiotic or whatever prescription at a pharmacy. I also pay $30 for an annual flu shot so I do not infect my hospice clients. My 23 year-old son has inherited my healthy genes and is likely to also not need medical services (beyond an antibiotic) for many years. In addition to the $1200 per year for the ACA health insurance, we both would need to pay about $2500 out-of-pocket deductible to a doctor or hospital in any given year before the ACA insurance will cover any care we might need. Even though I smoked for 40 years, the chances of me getting lung cancer are about 15% now that I have quit. So odds are that my $1200 a year will subsidize the insurance company covering those who do need immediate high cost care such as my friends who have been denied coverage (or pay an outrageous $500 to $700/month) due to their pre-existing HIV positive, re-occurring breast cancer, or diabetes conditions. (These friends are ecstatic about the ACA and will be purchasing $100 to $200 per month coverage today – Oct 1) Should I be diagnosed with a catastrophic disease (cancer, etc.), I would qualify for Social Security Disability which includes free-to-me Medicaid health insurance (MediCal or Medicare depending on my age. Both provide excellent health care coverage.) The medical care I desperately need — dentistry ($10k) and vision ($1k) – is not covered by the ACA and the funds I have to put toward these high-ticket-for-me items would go to paying the ACA insurance. So I am not — purchasing that is. I am not thrilled with the Affordable Care Act. I am taking a wait-and-see stance the first year and will be paying the $95 fine on my 2014 1040 for not purchasing the insurance. I do need to get a couple of teeth pulled and saving for and procuring this care is my priority. I really have no other financial choice. I just barely get by and if the car needs new tires or malfunctions my dentistry will wait another year. I cross my fingers that my teeth do not get infected and I end up in the ER for care that I cannot pay for. But what-the-hell, my credit will then be ruined like many others. Oh, well. Bottom line, I find the Affordable Care Act is currently about simply redistributing some not sick poor people’s money to sick poor people via an insurance company so that the “medical industry” can make more money. But maybe it’s a foot in the door for moving forward to socialized medicine (e.g., expanded MediCare coverage for all)?”

2 Responses to Mendocino County Today: October 2, 2013

  1. izzy Reply

    October 2, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Point of fact: $55 an eighth works out to $7040 per pound, not $9500. Still a big jump form $500, but who (except the owner) would want this guy working the register?

  2. Bill Pilgrim Reply

    October 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    At a campaign event in Boonville about a year ago, Huffman insisted he was “not interested in being indoctrinated” by pro-Israel groups offering paid-for junkets to Israel. It didn’t take long for AIPAC and other big bucks Zionists to get him “with the program.”

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