Mendocino County Today: Friday, Mar 4, 2016
by AVA News Service, March 4, 2016
FLOOD WATCH from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning for a portion of northwest California including the following areas: Mendocino coast, Mendocino interior, north coast interior and Redwood coast.
HEAVY RAIN on Saturday will cause ponding of water on roadways and urban areas with poor drainage. The heaviest rain is expected Saturday afternoon and evening with widespread amounts of 1 to 3 inches. Rain totals through Sunday morning could be as high as 5 inches across southern Humboldt and northern Mendocino counties. A second storm will rapidly approach by Sunday afternoon producing another round of moderate to heavy rain.
SMALL STREAM AND CREEK FLOODING will be possible. Rapid rises on main stem rivers are expected Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Visit www.cnrfc.noaa.gov for the latest stage forecasts of the main stem rivers.
(National Weather Service)
ANDERSON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL'S victorious basketball team learned late last night, as they were still celebrating their thrilling, last minute semi-final win over visiting Hanna Boy's Center, that they will be traveling to Emeryville Saturday for the championship game with Emery.
EMERY had no trouble Wednesday night dispatching St Bernard's of Eureka, 61-46. Tip off is at 7pm. Anderson Valley fan may be able to board a rooter's bus for the big game in Emeryville, but the bus, as we post tonight, has not been confirmed. Call the high school at 895-3496 for an up or down.
CONTINUUM OF CRISIS CARE 2016 by Sonya Nesch
- Medical Outpatient through our Mendocino County Community Clinics. Their staff of Doctors, Nurses, Clinicians, Case Managers, and Complementary Practitioners provide the medical, counseling, life managing skills and support for patients.
- Crisis Residential Treatment Centers provide a voluntary residential setting for up to 30 days of the support people and their family members need to get through a crisis, avoid hospitalization, and get back to life in their community. This is where to get help instead of in Emergency Rooms or with Law Enforcement.
- Follow-up/After Care support and services in all our communities with access to treatment, and multiple self-help support groups.
- Intensive Day Treatment/Social Rehabilitation Programs (5 or 6 hours/day and mobile teams to cover very rural areas on particular days each week). Staff members are professionals, and people with first-hand experience such as recovered patients, family members and others. People learn to manage their own health and wellbeing in their community.
- Psychiatric Hospital for people in advanced crisis that need 24/7 medical treatment in a safe, locked setting until they are able to go home or transition to the Crisis Residential Treatment Center.
- Innovative Drug and Alcohol Recovery Center that uses holistic, scientific, and clinical principles to recover from chronic addiction illnesses. Use of Conventional and Complementary Treatments (Acudetox, Neuro-Feedback, Neurological Muscular Skeletal Integration, Cranio-Sacral, Brain Computer Interface to develop new neuropathways, and more). Alcohol and Drug Detox Program with follow-up and supported transitional housing.
- Residential Services that include: shared housing, supported housing, clean and sober housing, independent living with a choice of support where needed.
Conventional AND Complementary Treatments are accessible to all. Staff will have the personal qualities of: compassion, patience, common sense, and some wisdom. There is Integrated Treatment for people with Substance Use Disorder plus another illness (Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, etc.) New federal funding is directed to programs such as these.
Sonya Nesch, Comptche
FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
Dear Anderson Valley News [sic],
I wonder why so many people read your paper? Maybe they do it for the blatant slander that frequently shows up when someone call my attention to an article? The situation regarding Sage Mountainfire is a good example of this. I read she is accused of harassment, animal endangerment, misuse of funds, and a general disregard for animal and human rights. When I read those accusation I laughed at the absurdity of it and was also appalled that such hurtful untruths were actually before my eyes! Anyone who actually knows Sage Mountainfire, which certainly can’t be done in a minuscule amount of time, knows Sage to whole heartedly stand up for all those rights, with the passion of a true activist!
Another issue I have with the AVA, besides the slander, is the one sidedness that appears in many articles. Staying with Sage Mountainfire as an example, I didn’t see anything in the articles about the limited funds available to the Shelter for the animals and how much has changed positively for the rights of those animals since Sage went to work there. She started there to help protect those rights and has continued to within the political arena it is and with virtually no funding or support. Has anyone from your paper interviewed those who can back up these statements?
I do appreciate the wild side of your paper, the willingness to not be bought like main stream media. Maybe that’s a reason people read your paper? Can you imagine how many more might read it if you were more respectful to the good people who dedicate their whole lives to making a difference in our community?
A Neighbor of Sage Mountainfire for 20 Years
THAT FORT BRAGG FIRE midnight Monday at 16900 Franklin Drive south of town seemed immediately suspicious to firefighters because separate buildings on the property were fully engulfed when they arrived, indicating they had been deliberately but separately set ablaze. In one of them the remains of Cathy Westerling were found. She was said to be deeply troubled. The elderly Mr. Westerling, some years his wife's senior, lives apart in Westport. He owns the Depot Building in Fort Bragg.
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT quoted a Fort Bragg firefighter as saying, “There were flames coming out of every orifice of both buildings," which is much more vivid than "engulfed."
A WAY FORWARD FOR ADULT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
by Mark Scaramella
Let’s set aside for the moment the problem with Ortner Management Group and the many complaints about their service as identified in the recent Kemper Report.
Instead, let’s look back at the likely reasons for contracting those services out back in 2009 and 2010 when privatization first arose.
Probably the single most precipitating problem which produced serious consideration of privatization were the after-the-fact demands from the state for millions of dollars which seemed to be occurring every year while current CEO Carmel Angelo was Health and Human Services Director. I remember a lengthy interview KZYX’s Christina Aanestad did with Ms. Angelo back in 2008 in which Ms. Angelo expressed her great frustration with having to take money from the reserves of other HHSA departments to cover the mental health budget deficits that were caused by major billing rejections. Even though the state occasionally grudgingly negotiated a reduced cost settlement of the amount owed back, it was still a giant irritating hole in the County’s budget and nobody seemed to have any idea how to fix it. Either the state wouldn’t explain their arcane medical billing process to Mendo staffers, or they did and Mendo still couldn’t get the billing process right, year after annoying year.
There were other problems too: it was becoming harder and harder to find qualified professional staff to come to Mendo and work in a poorly managed mental health department with high management turnover. And the Sheriff was complaining that mental health staffers were slow in responding to emergency rooms for 5150s, especially after hours. Etc.
In 2010 HHSA hired Tom Pinizzotto as a consultant with the obvious intention to pay him to help the County move toward privatization. In September then-“consultant” Pinizzotto delivered an “update on contract opportunities” to the Mental Health Board. A few months later at the March 16, 2011 MHB meeting Pinizzotto was weirdly referred to as “Tom Pinizzotto, MSW, Interim Mental Health Branch Director (Consultant)”
At that meeting the MHB added an item to the next agenda entitled: “Letter to the County of Mendocino Board of Supervisors for the reorganization of Mental Health for further discussion including input from Stacey Cryer and Tom Pinizzotto. The request is for an RFP to go out from the County for Mental Health Services and have community partners help make integrated services. The County will remain handling Crisis Services.”
But that was the last time privatization was mentioned in the MHB minutes until after it was all handed over to Ortner as a done deal.
But the point the MHB apparently wanted to make was privatization of residential services was fine, but crisis management should (actually “will”) remain a county function. Unfortunately, like most other items mentioned in the Mental Health Board minutes over the years, no follow-up occurred and Pinizzotto proceeded to contract out the whole shebang.
Since Pinizzotto had worked for Ortner in the recent past (and probably thought they were great) it wasn’t surprising that a few months later the RFP was assembled and the contract was awarded to Ortner for crisis and outpatient care as well as residential care which Ortner was much more experienced with — albeit in places far from Mendocino County.
Not having in-house capability for adult outpatient or crisis care in Mendocino County, Ortner quickly subbed that work out to various local providers many of which had previously contracted with Mendo before privatization.
In effect, Pinizzotto arranged it so that Ortner inserted themselves into an existing County administrative function, adding an expensive, duplicative and unnecessary layer.
This entire arrangement needs to be re-thought.
There was clearly a need to privatize the billing process to reduce the high percentage of rejections by the state.
There was also a pretty good reason to “privatize” residential care — if that care is provided in facilities inside Mendocino County.
You could even make a case that some outpatient care should be privatized because of staffing difficulties.
But there never was a documented need to “privatize” mental health administration and in the process add an expensive duplication — why does Mendo need Ortner to simply turn around and farm out work to Hospitality House or Manzanita services?
If the County wants to “fix” the problem with the delivery of adult mental health services, they should do a topdown integrated plan involving all aspects of mental health, law enforcement, the courts and drug abuse, not just tweak the RFP and ask another set of bidders to continue duplicating administrative functions. Then after that review privatize the things that really need to be privatized — primarily medical billing where there are a number of professional outfits around which could be paid a percentage of their successful bills at much lower cost than any large mental health services company could.
Remember also that the Ortner contract calls for Mendocino County to train Ortner in how to bill for adult outpatient services. The same County staff that couldn’t get billing done right before was supposed to train a Contractor which, as a professional services organization, shouldn’t have needed such training in the first place.
As it stands, there’s still a very good chance that in a year or two the State will discover another year’s worth of unacceptable mental health bills — this time for Ortner’s alleged services — and demand yet another few million dollars back.
Will Ortner even be around when that happens? And if they are, will they simply point at the County and say, “It’s your fault, you were supposed to train us.”
Yes, American Pickers Were In Comptche Today To Visit With Cosmo Knoebber - Who Else!
It all makes perfect sense to us...
INTERIM MENDOCINO COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER MANAGER SPEAKS ABOUT IMPROVEMENTS
By Adam Randall
Mendocino County Interim Animal Shelter Manager Mary Jane Montana provided an update Tuesday on the status of an internal investigation regarding staff and volunteers, along with new happenings at the shelter.
Montana told the Board of Supervisors that investigation into a hostile work environment claim between county shelter workers and volunteers is expected to be concluded by next week.
She said the results would be released to the public if deemed appropriate by the Executive Office and staff.
Shelter supervisor Sage Mountainfire was put on administrative leave when the investigation commenced, and several volunteers said they were advised in writing that their privileges were suspended without reason.
A union representative for the county and Health and Human Resources Agency Director Stacey Cryer have both previously said some of the shelter volunteers weren’t following policies and procedures. Also, some volunteers were allegedly impeding the work of paid county employees at the shelter, according to SEIU, which represents the majority of county workers.
Volunteers spoke of their concerns during the public expression period at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
Suspended volunteers asked to know when they would be reinstated, saying it has been at least 35 days since their privileges were revoked and that they haven’t been given any information by county staff.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Gjerde apologized to the volunteers, adding that when the investigation is officially resolved, the suspended volunteers would be notified.
“The county is obligated to take that (investigation) very seriously,” Gjerde said.
County officials have not said if further meeting time will be used to discuss the animal shelter, or what the options are for the future of the facility.
Since Montana’s appointment on Feb. 10, she said the shelter has re-established a “euthanasia evaluation team,” so dogs’ or cats’ fate isn’t left up to one person if putting an animal down is being considered.
The team consists of the shelter manager, adoption coordinator, member of the clinic staff and a veterinarian for cases involving suffering or illness that can’t be treated, a member of the shelter’s kennel staff and a shelter volunteer, along with an animal control officer for cases involving bites or attacks on other animals.
“If these animals aren’t suitable for rehoming or adoption, including health or behavioral issues, or safety issues for the public, we’re bringing those forward and the entire team reviews it, looks at possibilities and outcomes, and makes a recommendation based on the consensus of this team,” Montana said. “If no consensus can be reached, the final decision rests either with the shelter manager or the staff veterinarian.”
Montana said the shelter had a 94 percent live release rate for dogs in February, which she called “remarkable.”
Thirty-three dogs were also adopted in February, with 11 being transferred to rescue facilities, according to Montana. Eight cats were adopted last month, and 17 were transferred.
Montana said she is also in the process of implementing biweekly staff shelter meetings to improve communication and training, along with enlarging and improving cat cages in the cat adoption room, which people have said were too small.
Shelter cleaning and sanitation protocols have also been updated, according to Montana. “Guidelines for Standards of Care for Animal Shelters” was also put in place, which includes implementing a checklist to ensure staff members are complying with standards of care as expected, she said.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
THE SACRAMENTO BEE reports that negotiations have been ongoing for donors, drug-policy reformers, medical doctors, labor unions, environmentalists and several other groups with an interest in marijuana legalization to qualify a legalization measure for the November ballot. Billionaire venture capitalist Sean Parker and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, have led the charge in California. The California campaign has the backing of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 3, 2016
Cady, Counterman, Gunn
WILLIAM CADY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
TERRY COUNTERMAN, Fort Bragg. Burglary, probation revocation.
JOE GUNN IV, Fort Bragg. Under influence, vandalism, fugitive from justice, protective order violation.
Higgs, Martinez, Mendez
CATHERINE HIGGS, Laytonville. DUI-drugs, suspended license.
ISMAEL MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
CHRISTIAN MENDEZ, Ukiah. DUI, reckless driving, suspended license.
Mork, Owens, Palmer, Parker
JOSEPH MORK, Ukiah. Burglary, controlled substance, conspiracy, probation revocation.
RICKY OWENS, Boonville. DUI-drugs, under influence, possession of more than one ounce of pot, probation revocation.
DONOVAN PALMER, Fort Bragg. Unspecified misdemeanor.
MICHAEL PARKER, Ukiah. Under influence, resisting.
Peterson, Rojas, Sevy, Thomas
KENNETH PETERSON, Potter Valley. Negligent firearm discharge.
ALBERTO ROJAS, Talmage. Under influence.
RONALD SEVY, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ROBERT THOMAS, Berkeley/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
Vasquez, A.Velez, K.Velez
JUAN VASQUEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
AMY VELEZ, Laytonville. Unspecified violation.
KEITH VELEZ, Willits. Unspecified violation.
I’M NOT AS FOND OF DAVID BOWIE as most people seem to be. I’m certainly not dancing a reel in the streets. Some good songs, an enviable capacity to shapeshift, but not so much charm, or humility, as some who nevertheless die young, younger, with children and grandchildren to leave. But that more than anything made me tear up during the tribute programmes. What distressed him most about dying, said this icon of narcissism once, was the thought of missing watching his daughter grow up: ‘It just doubles me up in a kind of grief.’ That’s certainly the key that gets the endocrine glands flowing down my cheeks. That’s the unbearable loss. Everything else can be made sense of. The loss of the future children and grandchildren is unbearable, although quite in order, quite in the way of things. It’s as simple as pushing a button, and I’m lost in no man’s land. The insoluble grief. Not that there’s anything to be done about any of it.
— Jenny Diski
MRC and others will be at the FB Library
VENUE: Community Room
TIME: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
…to listen to peoples concerns re wildfire while they create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
I don't think they want to discuss 15 million dead standing trees created by MRC that are fuel loading the forests.
Campaign Coordinator www.citizensforfiresafeforests.com
DELMER BERG, Last of American Volunteers in Spanish Civil War, Dies at 100
by Sam Roberts
Delmer Berg, the last known living veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which vainly fought against Fascism’s advance into Spain in the late 1930s, died on Sunday at his home in Columbia, Calif. He was 100.
His death was confirmed by Marina Garde, the executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives in New York, who said Mr. Berg was believed to have been the only survivor left of the nearly 3,000 quixotic young Americans who volunteered for the Spanish Civil War in a bloody prelude to World War II. About 800 of those who volunteered were believed to have been killed.
Mr. Berg, an unreconstructed Communist, was a 21-year-old union-card-carrying hotel dishwasher in 1937 when he spotted a billboard for the brigade and, through the Young Communist League, enlisted. After cobbling together bus fare to New York, he boarded the French luxury liner Champlain for France.
“I was a worker,” Mr. Berg told The Modesto Bee, a California newspaper, in November. “I was a farmer. I was in support of the Spanish working people, and I wanted to go to Spain to help them.”
The war was an audition by proxies for World War II, with a democratically elected leftist government under siege from rebels led by Gen. Francisco Franco.
Through the Communist Party, the Soviet Union was supporting the Republicans, or Loyalists. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy fortified Franco. Franco won the war in 1939 and installed a dictatorship that endured until his death in 1975. The United States was officially neutral during the war.
Mr. Berg slipped into Spain in January 1938, crossing the snow-capped French border. He went on to install communication lines for front-line antiaircraft artillery near Barcelona, defended the mountain town Teruel and fought at the Battle of the Ebro, the biggest battle of the Spanish Civil War.
He was wounded that August when Italian bombers missed a railroad station and instead struck a monastery where he and others were billeted. Shrapnel from the bomb remained in his liver for the rest of his life.
The Munich Pact, which appeased Nazi Germany by allowing Hitler to annex portions of Czechoslovakia, left many Loyalists demoralized. Mr. Berg left Spain and returned home early in 1939.
Unlike a number of other starry-eyed recruits to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Mr. Berg never outgrew his devotion to underdogs.
He joined the Communist Party USA in 1943, became a vice president of his local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., organized farm workers and protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear weapons.
“He was always attached to just causes,” a friend, Pat Cervelli, said in an interview.
Delmer Esley Daniel Berg was born in Anaheim, Calif., on Dec. 20, 1915, of Ukranian, Dutch and Bavarian ancestry. His father was a tenant farmer.
He left high school in Manteca, Calif., as a junior during the Depression (auspiciously, given his stint in Spain, after studying Latin and “Don Quixote”) to help support his family in Oregon. He later moved to Los Angeles, where, tempted by recruiters for the military and the circus, he joined the National Guard.
He legally bought his way out of the Guard for $120 and got a job washing dishes at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, when he saw the billboard advertising for Lincoln Brigade recruits.
After returning from Spain, he was drafted into the Army and assigned to an antiaircraft battery in New Guinea. He was later discharged because of his shrapnel wound from the fighting in Spain.
After the war, he worked as a farm laborer and a landscaper, and started a cement and stonemasonry business with one of his sons.
He and his wife, June, lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills. She died last year. Survivors include his sons from an earlier marriage, Ernst and Tom, and two grandsons.
Asked in 2013 what his proudest moments had been since Spain, he told the weekly Anderson Valley Advertiser in Mendocino County: “When I was elected vice president of the local N.A.A.C.P. and when one of my grandsons was valedictorian at his Oregon high school graduation and said in a newspaper interview, ‘My grandfather is my inspiration. He’s a Communist!’”
In 2014, according to the Archives, after the death of John Hovan of Rhode Island, Mr. Berg became the only known survivor of the Lincoln Brigade.
Nearly 80 years after the war, as the last torch bearer, he still considered his mission incomplete. “It bothers me a little that at 99 you’re going to die any minute,” he told The New York Times Magazine in 2015, “because I have a lot of other things I want to do.”
(Courtesy, the New York Times)
THE WAY WE WERE
LIKE MORE HONEY IN YOUR TEA?
CGA MENDO MARCH EVENT: "Its all about the Soil" 3/20 3pm Laytonville.
Here is a flyer for this month's California Growers Association Mendocino Chapter monthly event series.
- It’s All About the Soil
- Judith Harwood on BioChar
- Alan Adkisson on Bokashi
- Dirty Business Soil on bed prep & amendments
Bring your soil if you want it tested by Dirty Business info@DBSanalytics.com
- Sunday, March 20, 3 to 5:30 p.m.
- CGA Biz, 3 to 3:30 p.m.
- Panel starts at 3:30 p.m.
44400 Willis Ave., Laytonville
Info, call Erin, 707 972-3536
Sliding scale, $5 to $20 donation
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Sadly, it takes 50 years of living, or more, before most folks figure out that our “servants” in Washington, DC (District of Criminals and Corruption) have rigged the game.
So far the tattooed youngsters haven’t looked up from their I-phones long enough to realize that they are going to be living in their parents basement for a long time. Or worse yet, living in a tent down by the river.
Move your job to Mexico? No problem. As long as you are willing to help un-bolt the machines from the factory floor and travel to Mexico to train your replacement. You may even get a week or two of un-employment compensation, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
I think it’s all exemplified by the tortured smile pasted on Hillary’s face at her last rally that said, “get me out of here”, ..after she promised to revisit the Civil Rights Era. She air-kissed the last supporter and cootchie-cooed the last baby… while her body language screamed….SUCKERS.
REMEMBER CATHY, CONGRESSMAN FRANK RIGGS' WIFE?
Friends, It is official, I am running for Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace. The primary election is August 30th. My webpage RiggsforJP.com will be up soon. Please go to my new "public official" page and like it. Please share with your friends. Search for Cathy Riggs for Justice of the Peace. (Ed note: Desert Ridge is in Maricopa County, Arizona, the County famously policed by controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio.)
REPUBLICAN DEBATE TURNS DIRTY
by MJ Lee
Donald Trump opened the GOP debate here by boasting about the size of his genitals. He responded to recent comments from Marco Rubio in which the Florida senator joked about the size of Trump's hands and said "you know what they say about men with small hands."
On the debate stage, Trump stretched his hands out for the audience to see -- then insisted the suggestion that "something else must be small" was false.
"I guarantee you there's no problem," Trump said to howls from the audience at the Fox debate.
It was perhaps the most surreal moment yet in a presidential race that has already been dominated by unprecedented drama and personal attacks. Trump went into the debate after spending the day in a heated war of words with the party's 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney.
Romney, who has blasted Trump for days, delivered a sharp condemnation of Trump earlier Thursday -- a deeply unusual move for a former presidential nominee.
"Here's what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney said in a speech in Salt Lake City. "His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat."
He hit back during the debate, calling Romney an "embarrassment" to the GOP.
"He was a failed candidate, he should have beaten President Obama very easy. He failed miserably and it was an embarrassment to everybody," Trump said. "I guess obviously he wants to be relevant, he wants to be back in the game."
During a rally in Maine earlier Thursday, Trump blasted Romney for "begging" for his endorsement.
"I don't know what happened to him," Trump said. "You can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, 'Mitt, drop to your knees.' He would have dropped to his knees."
With Trump emerging as the undisputed GOP front-runner, many party leaders and insiders insist he's not a true conservative. They also worry that Trump's inflammatory rhetoric on immigration could permanently unravel the GOP's efforts over the years to reach out to Latinos and other minorities.
But even as Romney and others try to lead the effort to stop Trump, the belated push may only reinforce the real estate mogul's appeal as his supporters have already shown their deep loathing for establishment figures.
Amid the GOP establishment's revolt against Trump, all three of Trump's rivals pledged on the debate stage to support the party's eventual nominee even if that ends up being Trump.
Trump, who has repeatedly threatened the possibility of launching a third-party bid should he feel that the party is treating him unfairly, also said he would back whoever the party crowns.
"The answer is, yes, I will."
* * *
The debate comes as the GOP field is quickly winnowing. When Trump took the debate stage for the first time in August, 17 candidates were seeking the Republican nomination. Eight months later, Trump is the undisputed front-runner and is on stage with just three rivals: Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
The candidates met two days after Trump dominated the Super Tuesday contests, notching seven victories and picking up hundreds of new delegates. Cruz, who kicked off the GOP primary season by winning the Iowa caucuses, added three victories on Tuesday, including in his delegate-heavy home state of Texas. Rubio also got his first win of the season, coming in first in Minnesota's caucuses.
Trump fielded attacks from Cruz and Rubio throughout the night.
Rubio, who is banking on winning his home state of Florida on March 15, went after the GOP front-runner for selling products made in China and Mexico.
Trump shot back: "This little guy has lied so much about my record. He has lied so much about my record."
Rubio, seemingly amused by the new nickname he's earned, accused Trump of being incapable of having a substantive policy debate. "You see what happens again when you challenge him on a policy issue?" Rubio said. "The first thing he does is launch an attack on some little guy thing."
"Don't worry about it, little Marco," Trump quipped.
Cruz, as he has done for weeks, also seized the spotlight to hit Trump for having supported and donated money to Democrats in the past.
"For 40 years, Donald has been part of the corruption in Washington that you're angry about. And you're not going to stop the corruption in Washington by supporting someone who has supported liberal Democrats for four decades," Cruz said.
* * *
Trump was put on the spot about a recent report from BuzzFeed that indicated he was flexible on his immigration policy proposals during an interview with The New York Times editorial board earlier this year.
Donald Trump refuses to release New York Times tape 02:07
In a revealing moment, Trump didn't deny that he may be willing to take a softer stance on deporting the millions of undocumented people living in America, an idea that has been central to his hardline immigration platform.
"Sometimes you ask for more than you want and you negotiate down to the point. I may have discussed something like that with Yhe New York Times," Trump said. But he insisted that those discussions were off the record, an agreement he said he would honor.
"I would not do that," he said when moderator Megyn Kelly asked whether he would release the recordings from the meeting. "I have too much respect."
Rubio and Cruz called on Trump to release the tapes for the sake of transparency.
"That's not up to The New York Times. That's up to you, Donald," Rubio said.
"Simply release the tapes," Cruz said. "If in fact you went to Manhattan and you said, 'I'm lying to the American people,' the American people have a right to know."
There was also a tough exchange over Trump's business record, especially the controversial "Trump University." Thousands of students signed up for a course that the businessman promised would "teach success," but there are now multiple lawsuits that claim that the course scammed students across the country while Trump took in tens of millions of dollars.
Trump argued that he is confident he will win these lawsuits, and that "many of the people that are witnesses did tremendously well and made a lot of money by taking the course." He also claimed to have offered refunds to dissatisfied customers.
Rubio claimed that he spoke to one former student this week, who said they spent thousands of dollars to participate in Trump University, only to get "stuff they can pull off of Zillow."
"He's making promises he has no intention of keeping, and it won't just be $36,000 that they'll lose. It's our country that's at stake here," Rubio said. "He's trying to con people into give him their vote, just like he conned these people into giving him their money."
* * *
Trump was also on the defensive throughout the evening for changing his stance on issues such as the Iraq War and whether to accept Syrian refugees into America.
The real estate developer argued that it is important for leaders to be "flexible." On why he initially said Syrian refugees should be allowed to enter the United States before changing his mind, Trump said he initially believed that the migration consisted of only a "very small number" of refugees.
"When I first heard the question," Trump said, "the migration had just started. I was very much like -- OK."
This gave an opening for Kasich, who has been reticent to attack Trump, to make a clear dig at the front-runner. "Politicians all the time tell (voters) what they want to hear, and then they go to Washington ... and they don't deliver on those promises," Kasich said.
Rubio also jumped in.
"There's a difference between flexibility and telling people whatever you think you need to say to get them to do what you want them to do," he said.
The colorful zingers continued throughout the two hours, with Rubio showing off his improvisational skills.
Trump and Cruz tangled in a heated exchange on nominating conservative Supreme Court justices, with Cruz repeatedly asking Trump to "breathe, breathe, breathe." Rubio turned to ask the moderators: "When they're done with the yoga, can I answer a question?"
"You cannot. I really hope that we don't see yoga on that stage," Cruz said.
Rubio responded with this joke about Trump: "Well he's very flexible, so you never know."
MARCO ON MONEY & KZYX
In which I reply to Katharine Cole.
On 3/2/2016 7:46 PM, Katharine Cole wrote: I'd like you to Go through the books of kzyx and figure out how to pay the utilities and staff and rents and operations expenses and then also pay 100 programmers. We volunteer for kzyx which is a non-profit community supported radio station. We volunteer because we believe kzyx serves the community and that, more than our personal gain, is why we are doing this. There is great joy to be found in volunteering. This is not a job. Kzyx is our community. If you need money, go get a job.
* * *
Katharine, you might recall that until very recently paying members have been prevented from even seeing where the financial books are, much less been allowed to go through them. And when a very small group announced that they were going to show up to look anyway, Stuart Campbell called the police (!) to be there to keep them out. There's a history of that sort of thing at KZYX going back to the beginning. Sean Donovan ordered his flunky Johnny Bazzano to call the police to come and throw me out of a programmers' meeting in very early 1990, because he'd just yanked my show for bringing Mitch Clogg to the air to talk about how Sean had kicked Mitch off the Environment Show the week before, and he'd done that because he just didn't like Mitch any more than he liked me. Sean took all the local support for a free and open radio station and instead made it his own personal fiefdom, and he set the tone for every management regime for every year to follow, to the present day. Pull out the agreement you signed when you were given your airtime and read it critically. Really, grasp what you've agreed to.
I've parsed out the expenses. I've written extensively about this over the years. I've helped start little radio stations -- KZYX included -- and I've worked in enough of them, in all aspects of their operation. I've produced years of community teevee shows. I've published newspapers, and I can tell you that it's way busier and more expensive to juggle hundreds of performers and writers and sell and design ads and print and deliver thousands of papers than to oversee a radio station where the airpeople just show up and do their shows and normalize the mixing board and leave.
Like you I volunteer at a radio station. I've been a volunteer in radio and in theater and I've been paid; paid is better. Regardless, paid or not, I work at it; I don't just show up and play a few CDs and identify the station. I put about twenty hours of concentrated prep into my six-to-eight-hour weekly show and have done since 1997. My show would have been on KZYX instead of KNYO since early 2012 if it weren't for Mary Aigner. I understand you adore her because she took you under her wing, but the many competent, valuable people she has treated like dog fudge on her shoe don't adore her all that much and are frankly ebullient that her authority is over -- if, in fact, it is; one of the last though not least sleazy actions Stuart Campbell took as board chairman was to appoint her to the programming committee.
The people in the office at KZYX who have been slurping a quarter of a million dollars out of the station every year could be wonderful volunteers like you, but they prefer not to, and you think that's fine, so they don't have to. And the people who do the many shows carried on KZYX from out of the area are all paid. Some of them get hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and that's okay with you. Why aren't locals worth even ten an hour? Why don't you think you are?
So you don't want money. Fine. Give the money away. Again, I have to say, when a handful of bosses are paid to exercise authority and everyone doing the real work is volunteering, it's not right. When health and child-rescuing and goods-and-services and disaster-relief charities do it that way, and they do, and it's brought to light how well off the bosses are, and how most of the money donated to the organization goes directly into the bosses' pockets, as it does at KZYX, it's a shame and a scandal. And even so, many unpaid or poorly paid underlings will defend their situation like junkyard dogs. That's just the way people are, and that's what I'm up against, I guess.
It might be that a slacking airperson who has good reason not to be confident that what he's doing is worthwhile might think of being paid as behooving him to actually work to excel and experiment and grow and change and make the most of the miracle of radio, and that would be too hard. I think that might be the true foundation of many objections.
MARCO AND JIM TALK KZYX
Jim Heid's continued confusion.
Jim Heid <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote
In order to pay programmers for specific shows they did, there would have to be an onerous, bureaucratic system in place to track who did what. Your comparisons with the (wonderful) Mendocino Theater Company are a false equivalency.
Not false at all. Jim, perfect accuracy in a stipend isn't important. When I do a sound job for the theater company, or an actor commits to a play, or a lighting crew puts up and adjusts and coordinates lighting, or an equipment operator shows up night after night to operate equipment, and so on, we know it's not going to mean very much money for us -- often it depends on how well the play does -- but we put our best effort into it and don't bean-count about how much extra time and sweat we have to put in to fix something that goes wrong or adapt to something that changes. Or if a key person gets sick or her mom dies and she has to go to Michigan and someone else comes in. If a particular job turns out to be easier than supposed and goes like clockwork, then of course that's good too. That's the way it should be at KZYX, which, by the way, can be handily managed by Lorraine Dechter alone. You don't need a separate program director being paid the equivalent of 800 yearly $50 memberships. Lorraine can do that. She's right there. You don't need a "business underwriting coordinator" (who absorbs another 600-800 memberships. Lorraine can do that. She can answer the office phone and make her own coffee and teach a new deejay to use the mixing board and refer a prospective newsperson to a Google search for how to do news. For decades Bob Woelfel calmly did all those things and more at KMFB, and for much less money than Lorraine is paid, and under much more pressure. I'm tired of the suggestion that a woman can't do the job a man can do, because that's bullshit.
KZYX involves so ludicrously much constantly flushing money, only beginning with the yearly six-figure CPB grant, that the workers should get a fair share of it, especially when you, as an airperson, are dragooned into using your show to beg for money for the station. Proper management can fully pay for every aspect of the station's operation and upkeep just out of the grant. Everything after that is gravy and, especially since MCPB is a nonprofit corporation, the people doing the real work, doing the shows that go out on the air, deserve a share.
Strain a little and turn your attention to why that basic level of honest, open, proper management hasn't been achieved yet in twenty-six years by MCPB's insular, secretive, paranoid board of directors.
And Jim Heid wrote:
Your nearly 1000-word email went off on a lot of tangents that had nothing to do with your original argument that the $60,000 GM salary would cover paying 90 programmers anything more than $2 a day for their efforts. You still haven't spelled out how that would work.
Jim, my original argument, stated over and over down the years: if the men and women and fresh-faced kids doing the work are wonderful for doing it for nothing, then the bosses who are killing time in the office should offer to be similarly wonderful. And they never offer that, and nothing changes, and people like you stick up for this creepy cult-like system. Of course the airpeople want to do it so much that they'll do it for nothing. That's the point.
And you clearly have not grasped that the office people together suck not merely $60,000 out of the station for themselves every year, but closer to a quarter of a million dollars. How many times do I have to say it before is sinks in? Here, I'll shout: A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS. If the bosses are being paid fairly, then so should the airpeople be. If you insist on the bosses really being paid fairly, and I've heard you do so on several occasions, then be consistent and recognize that that the airpeople should also be paid fairly.
Again, if your pledge drive makes its stated goal of $60,000, every dollar of it will go just to the manager's salary. That's what you're really asking people to donate money to, not to the upkeep of the station -- the station is always already fully upkept with tax dollars -- and if you were honest that's what you'd be saying on the air.
-- Marco McClean email@example.com