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by AVA News Service, February 3, 2014
SUSAN KEEGAN was found dead in her Ukiah home more than three years ago. Her husband, Dr. Peter Keegan, was the only other person in the home when Mrs. Keegan died. The death certificate reads “Homicide” as the cause of death, but there has been no arrest or prosecution of Dr. Keegan, the one and only suspect. In fact, Dr. Keegan hasn’t even been questioned, having retained a criminal defense attorney soon after the murder of his wife. Mrs. Keegan’s many friends, and several members of her immediate family, are shocked and appalled that Dr. Keegan appears to have gotten away with murder. They maintain the Justice4Susan website and remain hopeful that the District Attorney of Mendocino County will do his duty and prosecute Dr. Keegan. The following is the latest post on the Justice4Susan website.
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CONDUCT UNBECOMING: The Weeks after Susan’s Death
Everyone expresses grief and shock differently. But Dr. Peter Keegan’s behavior in the weeks and months after Susan’s death — at times resentful, at times celebratory, are best described as bizarre and inappropriate.
Note on sources: Much of the material in this blog comes from a series of long, rambling emails Dr. Keegan sent to a friend shortly after Susan’s death in November 2010. At first, he poured out anger and bitterness towards Susan that seemed misplaced, considering: 1) that his wife of 32 years was dead; and 2) he was writing to one of Susan’s closest family connections. By January 2011, the tone of his emails had shifted, and he seemed almost euphoric about his new life. One thing hadn’t changed — there was no sense of grief, shock, or even surprise at her death.
His emails, and documented stories sourced from friends and family, have been turned over to authorities.
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Dr. Keegan divided Susan’s ashes into seven portions on the weekend of her memorial in late November and then he distributed them to friends and family. As he poured the ashes into plastic baggies, he commented to the several people watching, “I feel just like a drug dealer.”
Later, he described what he had done, writing in an email: “Everybody got a little over a pound.”
He hung a plastic grocery store bag containing one package of Susan’s ashes on the doorknob of a long-time friend, then departed without a knock.
It was just one manifestation of insensitive behavior in the weeks that followed her death. True, the couple was engaged in a bitter divorce battle. True, bad behavior is not a measure of complicity. But still — most people who spent time around Dr. Keegan in the weeks after Susan died were struck by his casual tone. One friend commented that “he was the most upbeat and cheerful” he had appeared in years.
Immediately after Susan’s death, Dr. Keegan had told Susan’s father that there would be no memorial service and advised him not to come to California. “The boys want a memorial,” he told her father, “but I don’t give a fuck.”
He changed his mind, and by the time of the memorial, he seemed aware that some people were finding his behavior odd. To several visitors at his home, he remarked, “My brother tells me I should just shut up and act the widower.”
But Dr. Keegan continued to complain bitterly about Susan. His grievances seemed petty under ordinary circumstances, almost bizarre once she was gone: “One of the other final straws was our sleeping,” he emailed a friend a week after her death. “She liked to sleep with all the windows open… She hogged the bed and the covers, and I would wake up in the morning feeling terrible, having been freezing cold through the night.”
He also seemed obsessed with uncovering his dead wife’s private thoughts. He dug through desk drawers and boxes of old newspapers and art supplies and eventually uncovered four diaries.
He described his search for one volume as follows: “I had an appointment at the Social Security office. Susan paid in thousands, I am eligible for a one time survivor’s payment of $225, but would need to produce documentation including a marriage certificate. So the next day I went to the file cabinets to search for a wedding certificate.” That search was unsuccessful, he wrote, but it did turn up a new diary.
“What a find!” he wrote enthusiastically.
The four volumes covered various periods of time between 1978 and 2002, so the most recent was eight years before Susan’s death. Within them, Dr. Keegan claimed to have discovered the “truth” about his wife — “documenting her infidelities, lusting for the erotic, dislike for me, self loathing, suicidal thoughts.”
The actual contents are uncertain as Dr. Keegan quoted only selectively from the diaries, and refused family requests to share them. Ultimately, he claimed to have burned the diaries. “The decision to burn them, page be [sic] page, after a final reading was all mine.”
Before he did so, he asked a computer expert to hack Susan’s files to see if he could find a fifth volume. “I’ve talked to a private investigator with computer expertise and he says he can hack into stuff that is encoded or locked as long as the computers are mine,” wrote Dr. Keegan.
The hacker may have succeeded. “Meanwhile, I had our computers searched,” Dr. Keegan later wrote. “There was no Volume 5 of her diary. There was extensive correspondence which took me over 6 hours to read.”
In describing what he allegedly found, Dr. Keegan made the same unsubstantiated accusations about Susan’s supposed substance use, sexual inadequacy, infidelity, and hostility towards men that he had made to her friends while she was alive. Dr. Keegan himself acknowledged that no one found them credible. “Half her friends refused to hear me out, the other half didn’t believe me,” he complained.
Despite his continuing resentment, Dr. Keegan moved quickly into a new life. By mid-January, two months after Susan’s death, he wrote. “I am getting what I need. Life is much better and improving all the time… Had a great time… skiing at Salt Lake City on fresh powder… And watching great football games. How about them Jets!”
And a month after that: “Lots of yoga, elliptical trainer, and doing my weight lifting program at the Redwood Health Club, my new favorite place. And dancing; social dancing (cha-cha, east coast swing, foxtrot, waltz) is my new super happy time in addition to the usual contra fun.”
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Let us hope the authorities have read Dr. Keegan’s emails carefully. Circumstantial evidence is a powerful tool in court, especially when combined with damning forensics.
ANYONE MISSING from the Mendocino Coast ListServe? The post-Super Bowl press conference was temporarily interrupted when a crazed fan seized the microphone to deliver a bizarre rant about the 9/11 terrorist attack. He shouted: “Investigate 9/11 … 9/11 was perpetrated by people in our own government!” The man stormed the stage where Most Valuable Player Malcom Smith was fielding questions about the game to claim the US government was behind the strikes on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001. Needless to say, this bizarre opinion is prevalent in Mendocino County.
STATEMENT OF THE DAY: Is the money world at that threshold right now? One thing seems clear: nobody is able to turn back the plummeting currencies. They go where they will and their failures must be infectious as the greater engine of world trade seizes up. Who will write the letters of credit that make international commerce possible? Who will trust whom? When do people seriously start to starve and reach for the pitchforks? When does the action move from Kiev to London, New York, Frankfurt, and Paris? (—James Kunstler, Shake Me, Wake Me)
JEFF COSTELLO COMMENTS ON THE SUPER BOWL:
Denver is in a severe state of deflation. Had the Broncos won, there would have been fireworks everywhere, riotous drinking and hooligan antics downtown. Last time there was “irrational exuberance” in the LODO (Lower Downtown), huge fights broke out and if I recall correctly, someone was killed. I’m glad the team lost. Relieved. In Wisconsin I was informed that “football is a religion here,” a statement that helped me understand the depth of devotion sports fans can have. To make it worse, football is now linked to patriotism and wretched excess of many stripes, not the least of which is the ultra-rich paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the “good seats.” It’s been around 30 years since I watched a football game with any interest. The Joe Montana 49ers somehow seemed to elevate the game to a level beyond its normal state of thuggishness. Since then, nothing. The half-time entertainment, appalling as it can be, is really no different from the rest of it — how do you like your overblown mindfuck, with or without singing? Arguments abound about how the national anthem is sung. Should it be done straight, or pumped to dizzying heights of oversinging? For me, this misses the point — that the whole spectacle boils down to hyper-nationalism, feel-good propaganda to make everyone fiercely proud to be American.
THE TRUTH ABOUT OPEN LINES:
A Response to Jeff Blankfort
Up to this point, I have been quiet about my experience with the suspension of Open Lines that occurred after a mysterious caller used obscene language on the night of 9/19/13. Contrary to Jeff Blankfort’s claims, I have not spread any story about myself as a victim, though many may have drawn their own conclusions, nor, when asked, not told anyone what I am about to tell you.
First, I had decided to leave station politics behind when I left the board last May. All I wanted to do was continue to do a public service by hosting Open Lines. As a board member, I discovered that MCPB was essentially defunct at the board level, not following the bylaws or any of the policy papers developed by previous boards. As a result of my firsthand experience as a board member, I stopped defending the station on the air when people called up and talked about lack of transparency or posited the notion that the station was not following its Mission Statement, as it was my feeling that the station had, and has, a lot of work to do on both of these issues. What I did not do was use my status as host to hold a bully pulpit and espouse my own views. I remained as neutral as possible and gave everyone their three minutes to speak.
Despite my best efforts at neutrality, station management and staff began to hassle me about defending their point of view. This eventually led to harassing emails and name-calling on the the programmers’ listserve. After a few months of this, I decided I had had enough, and became proactive about contacting some current board members to warn them of the dereliction occurring within present board and management practices and the liability associated with them. One thing I discovered, at this point, was that none of the board members had read any of the corporate documentation and did not know what they what they were supposed to be doing. As I went about trying to educate them about the most egregious of the issues in front of them, I remember having a conversation with board member Stuart Campbell explaining that if I went forward with this, I would lose my show. This was last July.
Shortly after that, I discovered the policy paper describing the Programming Advisory Council, a policy I advocated for as a board member, missing from current board members copies of MCPB’s corporate documents. I began meeting with individual board members in order to inform them as to the severity of this situation, and I began to form KZYX Members For Change. It was my hope that, were a group to form behind me, I might be able to keep Open Lines once management and staff discovered I was going straight to the board with this information.
In order to tell the story of how I lost Open Lines, I need to take you back to the afternoon of 11/28/08, the first time somebody used an expletive while I was the host of the show. Though I had not been trained as to what to do, I did what anyone would think was the right thing to do and hung up on the person, stating that that type of language would not be tolerated on the air. Despite having done the right thing, Program Director Mary Aigner told me that she had to send me a letter documenting the event but that I should not worry as it was simply an FCC requirement. At this time, Mary told me that in the future I should ignore such expletives as hanging up on the person only draws more attention to the event increasing the chance that a listener will notice and complain to the FCC. Though I believed this notion sounded counter-intuitive, I was a new programmer and trusted the training given to me by the Program Director. A few months later, when another obscenity slipped through on Open Lines, I did exactly as Mary told me, I let it slide and did not bring attention to it. Still feeling uncomfortable about this, I spoke with her after the show when she assured me that I had handled the situation properly. That is how I was trained and that is how I have always dealt with obscenity on the air. There have been dozens of such instances throughout the years and no one ever told me otherwise. I was never sent another letter. I was never threatened with suspension nor was Open Lines ever threatened with cancellation as a result of these obscenities. As far as I was told over the course of years of hosting the show, I was doing the right thing.
So, on the night of 9/19/13, I responded to the obscenity on Open Lines the same way I always did, the way I was trained to do. Did it feel like the wrong thing to do? Yes. In hindsight I feel pretty duped, especially since I was waiting for the excuse that Mary would use to suspend the show. Using FCC regulations to eliminate programs and programmers that expressed views counter to hers is a pattern I have seen before. I was live on the air and made the wrong call.
It appears now that there are those who actually believe I allowed the obscenity on the air to occur in order to get the station in trouble with the FCC. This is a ridiculous accusation. The station’s current issue with the FCC has nothing to do with obscenity. The letters written in complaint, of which I have personally read three, have to do with rudeness directed at members by staff and management, a lack of membership input into programming decisions, and poor governance by the current board of directors, whom, since becoming aware of many of these issues, have chosen to go six months without a board meeting. Also, despite rumors to the contrary, I have not written to the FCC myself, nor did I ever advocate for the writing of such letters before the Nov. 1, deadline. It has always been my feeling that these issues should be addressed in house and that the membership, if properly educated, will vote for change.
At my grievance hearing Mary denied ever telling me to ignore obscenity. It is her word against mine. It is interesting to note that the first letter, sent after I intuitively responded properly to such language in 2008, is used as a precedent for proving that I should have known better in 2013. It is also interesting to note that after years of my dealing improperly with obscenity Mary Aigner would chose the night of 9/19, the very night she observed me at an organizational meeting at Lauren’s Cafe in Boonville for KZYX Members for Change, as the night to make an exception to what had become for me, the rule.
Mary has a paper trail, and she has plausible deniability. This whole issue comes down to one of trust. Who do you believe? I urge each and every one of you to research the facts for yourself. Get as many different perspectives as you can, and follow your own feelings. If you trust Mary Aigner over me, don’t vote for me. If you are tired of seeing issues like this explode every six months at KZYX, vote for Change.
Please check out the Facebook page “KZYX Members for Change” for more information and updates about KZYX as these issues evolve and the current campaign for this year’s election of the Board of Directors of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting ensues.
Thank You, Doug McKenty, Elk
COLLEGE OF THE REDWOODS trustees meet tomorrow at the college’s main campus in Eureka. The school’s president, Kathy Smith, will recommend that both the Fort Bragg campus and the Garberville “instructional site” be closed this fall for lack of enrollment.
Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Gjerde posted the following message on Facebook this morning:
“It’s time to align with Mendocino College. February 3, 2014 at 8:19am. College of the Redwoods February 3, 2014. To: President Smith and Board Members, 7351 Tompkins Hill Road, Eureka, CA 95501. Dear President Smith and Board Members: As a County Supervisor representing much of the Mendocino Coast, I can say unequivocally that Coast residents are dismayed by the management, during the last several years, of our community college campus. Year after year, Coast residents have seen classes withdrawn from the CR catalog, along with the systematic shutdown of basic student services. And they ask: “Why?” If Mendocino College, our neighboring college district, can offer 100 educational sections in a comparably-sized community, like Willits, and another 20 sections in a tiny outlying community, like Round Valley, why can’t College of the Redwoods offer at least 100 sections on the Mendocino Coast? Now comes the latest set of proposals, the closure and lease proposals, which sound like the end to community college on the Mendocino Coast. Let’s turn this around. Rather than placing the College of the Redwoods in possible legal jeopardy, please take a fresh look. If the Coast campus will soon become a part of a different educational institution, as community members are now embracing, how will students sit in classrooms if the outgoing college locks up even more of the campus with additional leases? Clearly, any talk of additional leases should end today. Work with the people of the Mendocino Coast and of Mendocino County. We have viable options to serve the students of the Mendocino Coast. Change, if managed thoughtfully, can serve to improve opportunities for our students. Let’s work together to create positive change.
Sincerely, Dan Gjerde Mendocino County Supervisor, District Four”
FOR YEARS, Coast residents have talked about affiliating Fort Bragg’s campus with Mendocino College in Ukiah. College of the Redwoods, Eureka, has always treated COR Fort Bragg as an unwanted stepchild, shorting the school on funding, foisting off marginally competent administrators on the school and so on. It would be a shame to lose the school altogether, but Mendo College, on its part, has never seemed eager to affiliate.
MITCH CLOGG WRITES: CR, both here and in Eureka, has been, to say the very least, “spotty” in its achievements of recent years. I wrote about the presidency at CR of Jeff Marsee, about whom a staff member said this, in print: “I’ve been here 12 years, served under several presidents. No president ever has created that level of fear, paranoia and toxicity,” Holper said. My experience with Marsee did not contradict that assessment. Ditto the Mendo campus. There’s been a great deal of the misguided and the creepy. On an absurdly subjective note, before I lived on this part of the coast, “College of the Redwoods” evoked for me an odd picture of a college in a redwood forest, a strange mental image of a place with furtive, shifty creatures. Coming to know the place in the flesh has not dispelled that. Don’t expect up-frontness in any dealings with anybody at College of the Redwoods. Expect obfuscation and deviousness. I hope you will be disappointed (but I bet not).
FROM TOM STEINSTRA’S invaluable column in Sunday’s Chronicle: “One of the black holes in the media is the follow-up reporting on arrests and whether, under scrutiny, the cops got them right or not. A wildlife story that TV blew up last year and then was forgotten – a sweep of suspected abalone poachers from the Bay Area – was resolved last week in favor of the abalone, reported Fish and Wildlife Lt. Patrick Foy. It’s a significant outcome, Foy said, because the suspects, who included repeat offenders, were caught, prosecuted and then punished – three steps you don’t always see in some counties across the Bay Area and Northern California. In Mendocino County Superior Court, Judge Clayton Brennan also issued a rare lecture in which he said, in part, “The local citizenry is concerned about abuse of a resource (abalone) that could become extinct due to poaching,” Foy said. A synopsis of the cases, according to Foy and court documents: — David Buzzard pleaded guilty to possession of three abalone out of season, having no report card and driving on a suspended license. He was already on a 24-month probation for taking and possessing seven abalone over the limit. Buzzard was placed on 36 months’ probation, sentenced to 10 days in jail, fined $2,469.50 and ordered to forfeit all abalone items and surrender all fishing and hunting privileges for the three years of probation. — Xiu Li and Chiew Saechao each pleaded guilty to possession of three abalone over the limit. Each was placed on probation for 12 months, fined $1,621.60, ordered to surrender all items seized when cited, and must forfeit all fishing and hunting privileges for one year. — Erik Deck took two abalone over the limit and illegally passed them to Matt Cohen. Each was fined $1,572.50 and ordered to surrender any diving items seized on the day of their citation — Tim McDonald was convicted of illegally passing off three abalone to his wife, Denise McDonald, who pleaded no contest to receiving them. Each was fined $680. “Mendocino County takes crime against natural resources very seriously,” Foy said. “The courts are imposing steep fines (compared with other counties), jail time and forfeiting gear. This is some of the most aggressive prosecution in the state, yet we still see the same poachers and poaching activity persist.”
APPLICATIONS FOR 2014 JIM LEVINE SCHOLARSHIPS NOW OPEN
The Mendocino County Youth Project, through its private non-profit arm Mendocino Family and Youth Services, is pleased to announce the 2014 Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship applications. The $500 scholarships are given in recognition of a student’s personal journey and achievement towards taking steps into adulthood. Preference is given to seniors who have faced significant challenges in their high school career.
Jim Levine began his nearly 40 year relationship with Mendocino County Youth Project (MCYP) in 1974, when he joined the fledging MCYP and went on to become its director. His interest in youth came from his innate kindness coupled with a deep understanding of what can make a difference in a child’s life. The Mendocino Family and Youth Services chose to honor Jim when he passed away in January 2013 by establishing these scholarships in his honor.
Students interested in learning more about the Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship can obtain application packets from: 1) their high school counseling departments; or 2) by calling MFYS/MCYP at 707-463-4915. The application deadline is March 31, 2014. A reception to honor Jim Levine and the 2014 scholarship recipients will be held this coming May.
Individuals and organizations wishing to make a contribution to the Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship Fund may send their tax-deductible check to: Mendocino Family and Youth Services (MFYS), 776 S. State Street, Suite 107, Ukiah, CA, 95842. Non-profit Tax ID number 94-2882841.
ON FEBRUARY 1, 2014, at about 1pm deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a Lucas Lane address in Laytonville to investigate a reported incident of domestic violence. Upon arrival Deputies contacted the thirty-five year-old female victim. She told Deputies that her husband, thirty-six year-old Monroe Lucas, 36, of Laytonville, was under the influence of methamphetamine, cocaine and alcohol and that he had been using drugs and drinking alcohol since the previous night. According to the victim, he had driven a car during the night while in that condition. Sometime between 12:45 PM and 12:59 PM, Monroe Lucas started to walk away from his wife, holding his car keys. She was concerned that he would again drive while intoxicated and endanger himself. She attempted to take the keys from him. The victim told Deputies that Monroe charged at her, knocking her to the floor. She suffered abrasion injuries to her lip, left forearm and left shin which did not require medical attention. Monroe Lucas was arrested for corporal abuse of a cohabitant, a felony. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail and held on $25,000 bail.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE CELEBRATION — Parducci Wine Cellars presents the fourth annual “Death by Chocolate” Celebration, a romantic evening of music, sensuous wines, and exquisite chocolates to celebrate Valentine’s Day Friday Feb. 14th. The event runs from 4 to 9pm. Dine first and treat your sweetie to ‘deserts & wines to die for’ at Parducci afterwards. This decadent evening offers sweethearts twenty-one years and older delectable pairings of chocolate and wine combinations like True Grit Cabernet and a full Chocolate Station, Paul Dolan limited production Sparkling Wine and Fountain-Dipped Strawberries, Chocolate Truffles with Reserve Grenache, Pinot Noir and Chocolate Cherries, Chocolate covered Bacon from Swine Country BBQ and a special Chocolate Treat from Crush Restaurant paired with Zinfandel. The Hot Frittatas accordionist Dennis Hadley will be playing French and Italian Romantic Café music throughout the event. Admission is complimentary and there will be Valentine’s Day gifts hearts and specials for everyone. This romantic event is hosted by Parducci Wine Estates at 501 Parducci Road in Ukiah just off the Lake Mendocino Drive Exit. For more information, please call 463-5350.
MADE IN MENDO!
AVA Readers may recall that Ms. Mandi Dillon, replying to local complaints that the “Need For Speed” movie she was doing advance work for was promoting dangerous driving, said the film was a co-production with Disney and will be rated PG-13. “It is not intended to glorify speeding,” Ms. Dillon insisted, “and the characters will have real-life consequences.”
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On Sunday, we, along with millions of others, saw the 30-second Need for Speed movie Super Bowl trailer that cost $4 million to air unleashed by DreamWorks SKG for its upcoming film during one of the first commercial breaks of Super Bowl 48. The trailer is now available online, featuring all the car chases and gunfights you’d expect. According to The Washington Post, 30-second ads for this year’s big game cost $4 million. In addition, a special extended trailer for the Need for Speed movie has also been published online, offering a deeper look at the film’s locations, characters, and cars. Movie launches in theaters on March 14. In the film, Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul plays muscle car mechanic and street racer Tobey who is out for vengeance as he chases down the man responsible for his wrongful imprisonment.
COW MOUNTAIN ARSON RESULTS IN STATE PRISON SENTENCE
A Clearlake man was sentenced to seven years in state prison last Friday for setting a fire last summer on tinder-dry Cow Mountain, a rugged recreation area straddling a mountain ridge separating Mendocino and Lake counties. Kevin Louis Benback-Calhoun, 24, admitted one of two arson charges back on December 12, 2013 in Mendocino County Superior Court. He also admitted to using an accelerant to amplify the fire. On the motion of prosecutor Scott McMenomey, a second arson count was dismissed with an agreement that Benback-Calhoun shall be responsible for fire-fighting costs incurred to fight both fires. The District Attorney and state fire officials are going back into court in early March, according to McMenomey, to obtain a restitution order for nearly $1 million for fire suppression costs relating to the two Cow Mountain fires. McMenomey said the restitution hearing will be heard on 1:30 p.m. March 11 in Superior Court. “We’re talking about significant costs resulting from the use helicopters, an assortment of other equipment, and firefighting crews that were needed to keep these fires from destroying structures and spreading into nearby residential areas,” reported McMenomey. The first of the two fires — the fire for which Benback-Calhoun was officially sentenced — broke out on June 27 at the intersection of the Cow Mountain access road and Mill Creek Road east of Ukiah. The second fire broke out on July 28 off of Mill Creek Road near Now Cow Mountain and scorched approximately 400 acres. The smoke columns from these fires and fire fighting efforts were watched with concern by people throughout the Ukiah valley. While Cow Mountain is a largely remote recreational area, it’s proximity to the urban fringes of the Ukiah Valley is historically of concern. Calhoun’s arrest and prosecution was the result of a cooperative investigation by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, Cal Fire, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Clearlake Police Department and the Ukiah office of the California Highway Patrol. (District Attorney Press Release)
AN ALL-STAR LINEUP of musicians will join forces in a very special fundraising “Concert for Joel” (cellist Joel Cohen) at SPACE Theater in Ukiah on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 7:00PM. Tickets are available for a suggested donation of $25 at Mendocino Book Company and Dig Music in Ukiah, and at the door the evening of the event. For more information, please call 707 621-0493. Proceeds from the “Concert for Joel” and silent auction will go towards defraying expenses and loss of income resulting from a severe illness that left Joel unconscious for ten days, in the intensive care unit for over three weeks, and a total of six weeks in the hospital.
The evening will feature Paul McCandless, Jeremy Cohen, Elena Casanova, Margie Rice, Spencer Brewer and Alex de Grassi in solo, duet and ensemble performances from the classical, jazz and popular repertoire. Also joining the lineup is pianist Ed Reinhart, vocalist Paula Samonte and a string quartet featuring cellist Clovice Lewis and violinist Tammie Dyer together with Jeremy Cohen and Margie Rice. Dr. Brian Hanson and Spencer Brewer will be the evening’s MCs. A selection of culinary delights provided by Jeanine Nadel and friends will be available for purchase, in addition to some wonderful silent auction items including a vacation stay in Baja, private in-home concerts, vintage wines, a farm-to-table dinner, and many more exciting items. Joel Cohen was inspired to move to the Ukiah shortly after performing with the Grammy nominated Quartet San Francisco and Alex de Grassi at the Winter Concert fundraiser for SPACE at the Mendocino College Theater in 2006. A native of Oakland, he received his early musical training in the San Francisco Bay area with Irene Sharp and Margaret Rowell. After receiving his B.Mus. from the University of Western Ontario, further studies took him to Holland until his return to the San Francisco Bay area where he served as co-principal cellist with the Oakland Symphony from 1979 to 1985. Joel then moved to Europe and served a principal cellist of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra from 1985 to 1997. During those years he also performed with the Vienna Radio Symphony (ORF/RSO), the Wiener Kammeroper, the Wiener Akademie (on period instruments), and Quartett Yggdrasil. He toured extensively throughout Europe and Asia with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Johann Strauss Festival Orchestra of Vienna. Since moving to Ukiah, Joel has performed as soloist with both Ukiah and Santa Rosa symphonies, while continuing to perform with chamber groups and string quartets in the Bay Area and with the Boston based Improvelocity, a group dedicated to improvisation and the exploration of genre-bending musical forms. His eclectic musical interests has also led him to produce concerts locally featuring Scottish fiddle virtuoso Alastair Frasier and legendary chamber jazz group Oregon. He hosts the Music Without Borders radio show on KZYZ on alternate Mondays. — Spencer Brewer