Mendocino County Today: November 18, 2013
by AVA News Service, November 17, 2013
ANDERSON VALLEY PANTHERS WIN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP!
by Coach Steve Sparks
Back row, left to right: Isidro Tovar, Abraham Sanchez, Gualberto Gastelim, Moises Segura, Asst Coach Nikola Milojevich, Izac Parra, Fabian Sanchez, Christian Guerrero, Efrain Gonzales, Erik Martinez, Pancho Lievanos, Chuy Valdivia, Dario Gonzales, Asst Coach Eddie Ferreyra, Team Manager Chuy Sanchez, Head Coach Steve Sparks...
Front row, left to right: Nati Alvarez, Romario Espinoza, Lalo Avalos, Jose Gaxiola, Danny Espinoza, Gerardo Torales, Omar Solano
* * *
The postseason for the High School Boys’ soccer team began in earnest last Wednesday (November 13) with a home match in the quarter-finals against Geyserville, a team the Panthers had beaten twice in the regular season. Not for the first time in recent years, the squad was hit with news of ineligible players when it learned just an hour before kick-off that one of the key players had been suspended from school for a couple of days and would be unavailable for the match. Furthermore, the Geyserville team had played very well in the second of those earlier games and this would not be an easy match for the #1 seeded Panthers against the #12 Broncos who had already beaten the #4 and #5 seeds to get to this far.
On a sunny afternoon in the Valley, in front of about 100 fans, including a couple of classes that had been released from 7th period, all assembled at Tom Smith Field, the teams were introduced by AV Principal, Michelle Hutchins, followed by the singing of the national anthem and then the kick-off.
For the umpteenth time this season it seemed, AV dominated a game from the start in terms of possession. On this occasion the visiting Broncos were happy to sit back with a very defensive line-up presumably hoping to catch AV on a counter-attack. That might work if the defense can hold on for a significant amount of time and the Panthers become frustrated. But in just the eighth minute AV took the lead. Omar Solano on the left wing crossed the ball into the Geyserville penalty area where it was flicked on by Erik Martinez to just beyond the far goalpost ten yards from the goal where Moises Segura was lurking with scoring intent. As the ball bounced in front of Segura, he met it with a perfect strike on the volley that gave the goalkeeper no chance as it whizzed into the opposite corner of the goal. 1-0 to AV.
AV continued to play some very good soccer in the first half, but faced with such a packed defense they were unable to add to their tally and the Broncos were still in the game at half-time without producing any scoring opportunities of their own.
For the first ten minutes of the second half Geyserville finally threatened. With their best, but most ill-disciplined player, now playing in attack they simply played long balls into the Panther half and hoped their striker could produce something. There were a couple of half-chances but unfortunately for them the forward, who had received a yellow card for a clumsy foul in the first half, received a second yellow for a dangerous tackle from behind on Panther defender Gualberto Gastelum and was ejected. Down to ten men, against a superior team, this was the “death knell” for the Broncos.
Sure enough, within a few minutes, AV added to their lead when Pancho Lievanos drove a low pass across the Bronco penalty area where it was met by Erik Martinez twelve yards out in the center of the goalmouth and the senior midfielder hammered the ball goalwards where the ‘keeper could only parry the ball into the net. It was 2-0 and no more than the Panthers deserved.
The game slipped into a period of mediocrity as the Panther players relaxed with their lead and Geyserville was unable to get anything going offensively. With ten minutes to go a few of the Panther bench players were introduced. This failed to generate any real excitement to entertain the fans but in the final minute Pancho Lievanos stormed into the penalty box past two defenders and was brought crashing to the ground by a third. Jose Gaxiola made no mistake from the ensuing penalty kick. 3-0 to AV — a somewhat ugly with a few moments of beauty; but an important win nevertheless.
* * *
And so it came to pass that last Saturday, November 16, saw the Championship Final take place at Tom Smith Field in Boonville. Kick-off time was at 1pm and the opponent was Drew High School from San Francisco, a team AV has faced a few times over the years in non-league matches arranged as a result of yours truly’s friendships with a member of Drew’s faculty and a few of their former coaches. However, the teams did not play this season and the teams seemed evenly matched based on results against same opponents, with AV perhaps being slight favorites. It would be a match-up of players from very different socio-economic backgrounds with the compadres from our rural public school facing the city boys from the private school where tuition is $38,500 a year! However, a soccer pitch is one of life’s level playing fields if ever there was one.
The game could not have begun any better for the Panthers. In just the first minute a ball was driven across from the right wing by Moises Segura to the corner of the Dragons’ penalty area. It was collected by Jose Gaxiola who immediately passed to the middle of the goalmouth to the waiting Erik Martinez, just ten yards from the goal with no defender in sight, and the senior captain drove the ball low into the corner of the net past the exposed goalkeeper. A relatively simple goal and one for which the Drew defensive line was caught inexplicably asleep.
Once again, AV was the more attacking team but the often-seen flowing movements and rhythm of many of their performances were not quite there. It was a scrappy game with few scoring chances, although one of these fell to the main Drew striker, a fine player, who missed on this occasion but would cause concern on several occasions for the Panther back-four of Gualberto Gastelum, Abraham Sanchez, Efrain Gonzales, and Danny Espinoza. For every attack by Drew there were probably five by AV but the visitors’ defense, apart from that early error, held firm and it was still 1-0 to AV at the half.
The half-time talk emphasized the need to keep the ball and draw the opponents out of their defensive alignment and play with the confidence of a team that had won 19 matches this season. The players were showing some anxiety and seemed unable to relax and play their normal game. Despite the talk, the second half produced more of the same disjointed play although AV created two excellent chances to put the game beyond Drew and perhaps settle the home team’s nerves. Unfortunately for the nervous home fans, both of these were squandered and with 15 minutes to go Drew finally started to threaten an equalizing goal with several counter attacks as the Panthers backed off and settled on their narrow lead.
Despite this, AV ‘keeper Gerardo Torales was rarely called upon to make a direct save and, with Man of the Match Abraham Sanchez winning his battle with the dangerous Drew forward, the Panthers survived a few anxious moments and held on for the deserved 1-0 victory. The roar that greeted the final whistle was one of both joy and relief, although the Panthers were certainly the better team on a day when they did not produce the standard of play that they have shown on so many occasions this season.
The Championship Trophy and individual medals were presented to the team as the fans cheered and I was doused in water in the time-honored tradition, despite being very aware of this possibility — these players are even craftier than I thought!
The celebrations went into the night around the Valley and, from personal experience, I know of at least two excellent parties that were held — one, for the coaches and friends, at The Buckhorn in Boonville, and another at the Gaxiola home at the north end of town attended by several players, families, and supporters. The season had ended with the program’s third Championship in four years and will be summed up in a week or so with a concluding article on the 2013 Boys’ Soccer team.
On behalf of the entire team and coaches, I wish to thank the community for their support.
2013 Season Record (won/lost/drawn): League: 14-2-1. Overall: 20-3-1. Goals scored: 106. Goals conceded: 13.
TASK FORCE: MAJORITY IN MENDOCINO COUNTY IN MARIJUANA INDUSTRY
By Tiffany Revelle
More than half of Mendocino County's population are growers, sellers, distributors, brokers or trimmers in the less-than-legal and largely underground marijuana industry, Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force Commander Rich Russell estimates.
"I could stay busy just following around souped-up trucks with 19-year-olds driving them," Russell half-joked, talking Thursday about trends law enforcement is seeing.
The black market is keeping the price high, he said, but not in California. While local market saturation means a grower can get between $1,200 and $2,000 at the most in Mendocino County for a pound of trimmed, dried bud, the same pound would fetch up to $5,000 per pound from an East Coast buyer, according to Russell.
"Local growers are frustrated because the price has gone down locally," Russell said. "They distribute to cannabis clubs to get twelve-hundred to two thousand dollars a pound; they make less profit, and the cannabis clubs ship it east. It's going out the back door."
The dispensaries also turn a profit selling the cannabis to buyers out the front door, he noted. But local growers' frustration goes deeper than that.
"More and more, what we're seeing is that people are moving here to grow, and they export it to their home state for more money," Russell said, describing what he sees as a swelling trend. "I've been here six years, and it's doubled every year I've been here."
Typical of the free market, the sellers who have connections with top-paying buyers back east make the most money. Enterprising locals make between $100 and $200 per pound for brokering those connections for Mendocino County natives and other growers who don't otherwise have them, Russell noted.
"There's tons of marijuana moving out of this county," he said.
It's a regular occurrence for exporters to mail the bud via FedEx or regular mail.
"One hundred pounds of bud is commonly known as a box," Russell said.
The Task Force finds most of the indoor gardens it eventually raids by following up on leads from out-of-state law enforcement agencies whose investigations lead them to Mendocino County exporters, according to Russell.
Task Force agents wouldn't have to go outside Ukiah to stay busy, according to Russell, and there are so many grow sites that the team can pick and choose what to investigate based on the size of the garden, the location and the suspect or suspects.
"We're fighting the good fight," Russell said of the Task Force's eradication efforts. "We try to keep the commercial grows down, but we're hugely outnumbered. I don't have the resources to do the job to the degree where it would have a great effect, and the growers know it."
Agents find large gardens in remote areas and urban gardens alike while flying over the county and on the ground during unrelated investigations, he said. Expensive helicopter rides aren't always needed when agents only need to consult Google Earth to find outdoor gardens locally.
"We've been busy all summer eradicating large amounts of marijuana," Russell said. "It was twice as bad this year as last year, and the commercial gardens are twice as many."
Another disturbing trend, he said, is that the Mexican nationals found tending illicit marijuana gardens primarily in the forests and on public lands in years prior "are moving to urban areas and growing indoors or in their back yards."
He added, "We used to work methamphetamine and heroin (cases) a lot more, and now we're finding that there's always marijuana associated with it. It's a year-round job, and it just doesn't slow down."
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
Diane Zucker passed away suddenly from complications related to cancer surgery in San Francisco on October 28th. Diane was such a strong and vibrant presence — she had been camping and hiking in the Sierras just a week before her surgery — that it is hard to believe that she is no longer with us.
Diane along with husband, Ken Anderson, who passed away in 2009, dedicated a significant part of their lives to helping others in their local community and will long be remembered as an inspiration to all who knew them. Diane was well known for her ability to befriend folks from all walks of life, her fierce love and devotion to her family, her fondness for dancing and a good party, her quick wit, her love of gardening, her keen interest in politics and the democratic process, and her talent for collaborative community organizing.
Diane was born on June 7, 1943 in Brooklyn NY to left wing activists, Louis and Edna Zucker. Along with sister Madeline (deceased 2009), the family moved to California in 1945, crossing the border on Diane's second birthday. They settled in Long Beach where their father had been transferred to work in the Naval Shipyard. Brothers David and Michael were later born and all the children eventually graduated from nearby Millikan High School-Diane in 1961. The family thrived on the West Coast and their life-long love of nature was born during many summers camped in the state parks near San Clemente.
Diane went on to college at Cal State University at Long Beach. In 1964, Diane and Madeline drove across country and worked at the New York World's Fair. Diane transferred to UCLA and graduated in 1965. Eventually, the sisters moved together to San Francisco and Diane worked as a social worker with Jewish Family Services. In the later 1960's she moved to Venice and became immersed in the music and art scene in Los Angeles.
On March 2, 1971, Diane's son, Adam was born. Wanting a more peaceful place to raise her child, she first moved to Caspar, then to Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast in1974 where she supported herself and her child as a waitress. Daughter, Lilianne was born in 1980.
Diane met Ken Anderson in 1988 and they were married on December 21, 1991. The new family moved to the hills outside of Willits where they lived until 1999, relocating to Ukiah's historic Wagenseller neighborhood. For several years, Diane taught at the Ukiah Adult School where she was appreciated as a dedicated and inspiring instructor and an active member of the Ukiah Teachers' Association until her retirement in 2007. Diane began her first tenure as a trustee on the Mendocino County Board of Education starting in 1986 and was later re-elected for two more terms beginning in 2005. There, she was an outspoken advocate for educational opportunities for at-risk and disenfranchised youth. In support of her daughter, Diane immersed herself in the movement for improved services, dignity and self-sufficiency for those living with mental health challenges for families like Diane and Lili's. She had been the co-chair and was currently serving as vice-chair of the Mendocino chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). She was also currently a board member of Manzanita Services, Inc., a peer support wellness and recovery non-profit for those living with mental health challenges. In addition, Diane was currently a board member of The Ford Street Project which provides shelter, housing, substance abuse treatment and employment services to the homeless, addicted and disabled of Mendocino County.
Diane was also the heart and soul of the Wagenseller Neighborhood Association for which she worked tirelessly to stop rampant development and improve quality of life in her charming and eclectic neighborhood she referred to as an “endangered species.” A frequent presence at City Council and Planning Commission meetings, Diane passionately and eloquently spoke on behalf of the survival of the neighborhood. Her fondest wish which she shared with Ken Anderson was for the neighborhood to finally get a desperately needed park or recreational area.
Diane leaves behind her children Adam and Lili, brothers David and Michael and their families, brother-in-law, Michael Kauffman and his family, four aunts and an uncle, members of the Anderson family, many close cousins, her fellow traveler, Peter Lowe, and a multitude of friends, neighbors, colleagues and admirers.
Donations in Diane's name may be made to: Manzanita Services' Educational Fund (PO Box 1424, Ukiah, CA 95482) in support of the educational and wellness goals of peer staff and clients; or the Wagenseller Neighborhood Association earmarked for the establishment of a long overdue neighborhood park, c/o 307 Clara Avenue, Ukiah, CA 95482.
A celebration of Diane's life including a circle of sharing, potluck meal, music and dancing to Will Siegel and Friends, will be held on Sunday, December 8 from 12-2:30pm, at the Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse, 107 S. Oak St. Ukiah. Manzanita Services will host a post-celebration, “Diane's Dance Party” in the Social Hall of the Ukiah United Methodist Church, 270 N. Pine St., from 2:30-5:30pm.
DEPT. OF COLD, DEAD FINGERS: The California Department of Justice has processed 780,525 background checks for gun purchases, easily putting the state on track to surpass the record of 817,738 set just last year. “We are probably on pace to exceed a million” gun sales by year's end, said Department of Justice spokesman Nick Pacilio. That's because some of the buyers purchase more than one gun. Justice officials said the gun surge started the day after Connecticut school massacre in December. That's no great shock: Every time there's a crime that prompts calls for more gun control, gun sales spike.
DAN ROBERTS is learning firsthand the truth of the observation that old age is not for sissies. He's in Rm. 108 of the Ukiah Valley Medical Center, where he's been for the past week undergoing tests and procedures to deal with a massive kidney infection and other medical surprises. Best way to contact him is by e-mail: email@example.com. So far, he has been able to keep his [KZYX] radio commitments, but this, of course, could change. He expects to be in the hospital for another week or so; a trip to UCSF may be in the offing. (Bruce Brady)
DORIS LESSING — 1919-2013
Portrait by June Mendoza; Lessing In 1962
Doris Lessing was born Doris May Tayler in Persia (now Iran) on October 22, 1919. Both of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Doris's mother adapted to the rough life in the settlement, energetically trying to reproduce what was, in her view, a civilized, Edwardian life among savages; but her father did not, and the thousand-odd acres of bush he had bought failed to yield the promised wealth.
Lessing has described her childhood as an uneven mix of some pleasure and much pain. The natural world, which she explored with her brother, Harry, was one retreat from an otherwise miserable existence. Her mother, obsessed with raising a proper daughter, enforced a rigid system of rules and hygiene at home, then installed Doris in a convent school, where nuns terrified their charges with stories of hell and damnation. Lessing was later sent to an all-girls high school in the capital of Salisbury, from which she soon dropped out. She was thirteen; and it was the end of her formal education.
But like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Olive Schreiner and Nadine Gordimer), Lessing made herself into a self-educated intellectual. She recently commented that unhappy childhoods seem to produce fiction writers. "Yes, I think that is true. Though it wasn't apparent to me then. Of course, I wasn't thinking in terms of being a writer then - I was just thinking about how to escape, all the time." The parcels of books ordered from London fed her imagination, laying out other worlds to escape into. Lessing's early reading included Dickens, Scott, Stevenson, Kipling; later she discovered D.H. Lawrence, Stendhal, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky. Bedtime stories also nurtured her youth: her mother told them to the children and Doris herself kept her younger brother awake, spinning out tales. Doris's early years were also spent absorbing her fathers bitter memories of World War I, taking them in as a kind of "poison." "We are all of us made by war," Lessing has written, "twisted and warped by war, but we seem to forget it."
In flight from her mother, Lessing left home when she was 15 and took a job as a nursemaid. Her employer gave her books on politics and sociology to read, while his brother-in-law crept into her bed at night and gave her inept kisses. During that time she was, Lessing has written, "in a fever of erotic longing." Frustrated by her backward suitor, she indulged in elaborate romantic fantasies. She was also writing stories, and sold two to magazines in South Africa.
Lessing's life has been a challenge to her belief that people cannot resist the currents of their time, as she fought against the biological and cultural imperatives that fated her to sink without a murmur into marriage and motherhood. "There is a whole generation of women," she has said, speaking of her mother's era, "and it was as if their lives came to a stop when they had children. Most of them got pretty neurotic because, I think, of the contrast between what they were taught at school they were capable of being and what actually happened to them." Lessing believes that she was freer than most people because she became a writer. For her, writing is a process of "setting at a distance," taking the "raw, the individual, the uncriticized, the unexamined, into the realm of the general."
In 1937 she moved to Salisbury, where she worked as a telephone operator for a year. At nineteen, she married Frank Wisdom, and had two children. A few years later, feeling trapped in a persona that she feared would destroy her, she left her family, remaining in Salisbury. Soon she was drawn to the like-minded members of the Left Book Club, a group of Communists "who read everything, and who did not think it remarkable to read." Gottfried Lessing was a central member of the group; shortly after she joined, they married and had a son.
During the postwar years, Lessing became increasingly disillusioned with the Communist movement, which she left altogether in 1954. By 1949, Lessing had moved to London with her young son. That year, she also published her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, and began her career as a professional writer.
Lessing's fiction is deeply autobiographical, much of it emerging out of her experiences in Africa. Drawing upon her childhood memories and her serious engagement with politics and social concerns, Lessing has written about the clash of cultures, the gross injustices of racial inequality, the struggle among opposing elements within an individual’s own personality, and the conflict between the individual conscience and the collective good. Her stories and novellas set in Africa, published during the 50s and early 60s, decry the dispossession of black Africans by white colonials, and expose the sterility of the white culture in southern Africa. In 1956, in response to Lessing's courageous outspokenness, she was declared a prohibited alien in both Southern Rhodesia and South Africa.
Over the years, Lessing has attempted to accommodate what she admires in the novels of the nineteenth century - their "climate of ethical judgement" - to the demands of twentieth-century ideas about consciousness and time. After writing the Children of Violence series (1951-1959), a formally conventional bildungsroman (novel of education) about the growth in consciousness of her heroine, Martha Quest, Lessing broke new ground with The Golden Notebook (1962), a daring narrative experiment, in which the multiple selves of a contemporary woman are rendered in astonishing depth and detail. Anna Wulf, like Lessing herself, strives for ruthless honesty as she aims to free herself from the chaos, emotional numbness, and hypocrisy afflicting her generation.
Attacked for being "unfeminine" in her depiction of female anger and aggression, Lessing responded, "Apparently what many women were thinking, feeling, experiencing came as a great surprise." As at least one early critic noticed, Anna Wulf "tries to live with the freedom of a man" - a point Lessing seems to confirm: "These attitudes in male writers were taken for granted, accepted as sound philosophical bases, as quite normal, certainly not as woman-hating, aggressive, or neurotic."
In the 1970s and 1980s, Lessing began to explore more fully the quasi-mystical insight Anna Wulf seems to reach by the end of The Golden Notebook. Her "inner-space fiction" deals with cosmic fantasies (Briefing for a Descent into Hell, 1971), dreamscapes and other dimensions (Memoirs of a Survivor, 1974), and science fiction probings of higher planes of existence (Canopus in Argos: Archives, 1979-1983). These reflect Lessing's interest, since the 1960s, in Idries Shah, whose writings on Sufi mysticism stress the evolution of consciousness and the belief that individual liberation can come about only if people understand the link between their own fates and the fate of society.
Lessing's other novels include The Good Terrorist (1985) and The Fifth Child (1988); she also published two novels under the pseudonym Jane Somers (The Diary of a Good Neighbor, 1983 and If the Old Could..., 1984). In addition, she has written several nonfiction works, including books about cats, a love since childhood. Under My Skin: Volume One of My Autobiography, to 1949 appeared in 1995 and received the James Tait Black Prize for best biography.
In June 1995 she received an Honorary Degree from Harvard University. Also in 1995, she visited South Africa to see her daughter and grandchildren, and to promote her autobiography. It was her first visit since being forcibly removed in 1956 for her political views. Ironically, she is welcomed now as a writer acclaimed for the very topics for which she was banished 40 years ago.
She collaborated with illustrator Charlie Adlard to create the unique and unusual graphic novel, Playing the Game. After being out of print in the US for more than 30 years, Going Home and In Pursuit of the English were republished by HarperCollins in 1996. These two fascinating and important books give rare insight into Mrs. Lessing's personality, life and views.
In 1996, her first novel in 7 years, Love Again, was published by HarperCollins. She did not make any personal appearances to promote the book. In an interview she describes the frustration she felt during a 14-week worldwide tour to promote her autobiography: "I told my publishers it would be far more useful for everyone if I stayed at home, writing another book. But they wouldn't listen. This time round I stamped my little foot and said I would not move from my house and would do only one interview." And the honors keep on coming: she was on the list of nominees for the Nobel Prize for Literature and Britain's Writer's Guild Award for Fiction in 1996.
Late in the year, HarperCollins published Play with A Tiger and Other Plays, a compilation of three of her plays: Play with a Tiger, The Singing Door and Each His Own Wilderness. In an unexplained move, HarperCollins only published this volume in the UK and it is not available in the US to the disappointment of her North American readers.
In 1997 she collaborated with Philip Glass for the second time, providing the libretto for the opera "The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five" which premiered in Heidelberg, Germany in May. Walking in the Shade, the anxiously awaited second volume of her autobiography, was published in October and was nominated for the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award in the biography/autobiography category. This volume documents her arrival in England in 1949 and takes us up to the publication of The Golden Notebook. This is the final volume of her autobiography, she will not be writing a third volume.
Her new novel, titled "Mara and Dann", was been published in the US in January 1999 and in the UK in April 1999. In an interview in the London Daily Telegraph she said, "I adore writing it. I'll be so sad when it's finished. It's freed my mind." 1999 also saw her first experience on-line, with a chat at Barnes & Noble (transcript). In May 1999 she was presented with the XI Annual International Catalunya Award, an award by the government of Catalunya.
In the UK's last Honors List before the new Millennium, Doris Lessing was appointed a Companion of Honour, an exclusive order for those who have done "conspicuous national service." She revealed she had turned down the offer of becoming a Dame of the British Empire because there is no British Empire. Being a Companion of Honour, she explained, means "you're not called anything - and it's not demanding. I like that". Being a Dame was "a bit pantomimey". The list was selected by the Labor Party government to honor people in all walks of life for their contributions to their professions and to charity. It was officially bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II.
In January, 2000 the National Portrait Gallery in London unveiled Leonard McComb's portrait of Doris Lessing.
Ben, in the World, the sequel to The Fifth Child was published in Spring 2000 (UK) and Summer 2000 (US).
In 2001 she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, one of Spain's most important distinctions, for her brilliant literary works in defense of freedom and Third World causes. She also received the David Cohen British Literature Prize.
She was on the shortlist for the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005.
In 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Her final novel was Alfred and Emily.
She died on November 17, 2013. The writer is survived by her daughter Jean and granddaughters Anna and Susannah.
“AND JUST AS WE NEVER ONCE STOPPED to ask, How are we, our minds, going to change with the new internet, which has seduced a whole generation into its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging and blugging, etc.” — Doris Lessing
UC DAVIS TO PAY $38,055 TO PEPPER-SPRAY OFFICER OVER DAMAGED ‘PSYCHE’
By Darrell Smith
(October 23, 2013) — UC Davis will pay $38,055 in a workers’ compensation settlement to John Pike, the former university police lieutenant who was internationally scorned in November 2011 for pepper-spraying students at close range during an Occupy-style tuition protest at the UC Davis campus.
According to paperwork filed with the state’s Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, the damages cover injuries to Pike’s “psyche.” The 40-year-old former officer said he suffered depression and anxiety after death threats were sent to him and his family over the Nov. 18, 2011 event.
Once his identity was revealed after the incident, his telephone and computer were flooded with thousands of texts and emails and his home was swamped with delivery orders for food called in using his name, court records show.
After attorney’s fees, Pike, 40, of Roseville, will receive $33,350, the appeals board ruled.
“Like any other employer, UC Davis is required to follow the California workers’ compensation process,” campus officials said in a statement announcing the award, adding that the case was “resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers’ compensation.”
A call to Pike’s attorney Jason Marcus was not returned Wednesday. University attorney Susan Novell declined comment.
Pike filed the workers’ compensation claim with the state in July.
He was at the center of the firestorm that erupted Nov. 18, 2011 out of UC Davis’ response to protests on campus. His point-blank pepper-spraying of students seated on the campus quad in opposition to rising tuition costs was captured on video and quickly went viral on the Internet.
The University of California launched an investigation led by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso that determined the pepper-spray incident “should and could have been prevented.” Fallout included the retirement of then-campus Police Chief Annette Spicuzza, calls for Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi to resign, a $1 million settlement with the pepper-sprayed students and Pike’s dismissal in July 2012 after eight months of paid administrative leave.
(Courtesy, the Sacramento Bee.)