- Mendocino County
- Anderson Valley
by AVA News Service, March 27, 2016
REMEMBER LAST APRIL — of course you don't — that was when a majority of the Board of Supervisors couldn’t even muster the courage to vote for Dan Hamburg’s already lame proposal to ask Mendocino Redwoods to voluntarily stop poisoning trees until the fire hazard issue could be "studied"? The problem with poisoning non-commercial tree species (besides the poison itself) is that it creates a large scale fire hazard as thousands of acres of standing dead tanoak, a “weed” species according to lumber specialists, remain upright until they fall over and decompose. Apparently, according to the so-called authorities, standing dead timber killed by pests on government land is a huge fire hazard, but standing dead timber killed by industrial toxins is not. And this was on top of an already drought-induced high fire hazard in the first place.
ANYWAY, instead of asking MRC to hold off the poisoning for awhile, the Board gave Madelin Holtkamp and her reliably tame “Mendocino County Fire Safe Council” $25,000 to study the problem and report back. (Ms. Holtkamp has been a ubiquitous presence at County non-profits for many years. Wherever there's a big pool of loosely supervised public money here comes Madelin at full gallop in her bathing suit and water wings.)
MS. HOLTKAMP probably got the $25k from the Board because the Board thought so highly of her keen forestry background and analytical skills as demonstrated by her pre-Wildfire Protection Plan statement last year that the problem of experiencing uncontrolled catastrophic wildfires stems from having too many trees. “There are just too many trees,” said Holtkamp. “There are more trees out there now than at any time since the inception of Western civilization on the North American continent. Finding a reasonable way to address that risk is something we are looking at. The solution is: We need fewer trees. Everyone knows that. It is how to economically remedy that, that is the tricky bit.”
MS. HOLTKAMP further demonstrated her well-funded forestry knowledge by saying that Native Americans who lived here prior to 1850 used fire to affect vegetation on the landscape. “In the summer, when the grass turned brown, they would throw a couple of burning twigs out there,” Holtkamp explained. “Then they would go over to the Coast and go fishing. In the fall when they came back, everything was great and there was no problem.”
HELL, EVERYONE ALSO KNOWS that the Indians were organized as non-profits back then too. They still are. But at least the Indians got the job done.
MS. HOLTKAMP is now “set to unveil” (TA-DA!) her $25,000 “Community Wildfire Protection Plan,” which Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse (one of the three Supes who didn’t want to inconvenience MRC by asking them to hold off for a while) has described as not only “a good plan,” but even, “This is the best plan this county has ever had,” according to Mike A’Dair in last week’s Willits Weekly. (Gee, Tom, even better than your homeowner's insurance policy?)
HOLTKAMP’S “GOOD PLAN” incorporates “input from local communities all over the county.” It has three parts: 1. Identifies areas where the risk is high. (We already knew that, of course; it’s mostly MRC’s large forest holdings.) 2. Summarizes fire hazard reduction plans that local fire departments have developed (already in place before the $25k was spent), and 3. Provides further basis for local fire agencies to submit grant applications to carry out their proposed plans (which they could have done without giving Ms. Holtkamp $25k.)
THE COMMUNITY WILDFIRE PROTECTION PLAN does nothing to actually reduce the fire hazard or even suggest anything new. It was obviously a classic stalling tactic to cool-out those irrational enviros (like Comptche and Coastal firefighters and a few retired Calfire firefighters, plus a number of local residents who live near MRC’s huge tracts of dead trees) who thought that MRC should be ordered to stop the dangerous practice and remove the hazard (as is being done on government land where the dead trees were killed by pests).
SO IT’S NO SURPRISE that Ms. Holtkamp’s $25k “good plan” is nothing of the sort and will do absolutely nothing about MRC’s vast dead standing timber holdings.
BUT, there’s one little item buried in Mr. A’Dair’s report about the pending Community WildFire Protection Plan that is noteworthy: “Holtkamp said the scope of work included a summary of the specialized scientific literature available on the question of whether dead trees left standing in the forest add to forest flammability. She noted most of the studies reviewed by County forestry advisor Greg Giusti concluded that dead and standing trees in the forest did add to fire potential.”
OOPS! Now Ms. Holtkamp and Mr. Giusti and the authors of all that “specialized scientific literature” have to be added to the list of “irrational enviros and worryworts” who think that hack and squirt needs to stop.
HOWEVER, Ms. Holtkamp’s proposed solution is not to suggest that anybody actually stop hacking and squirting. No, no, no. That would be, gasp! confrontational, maybe even, double gasp! negative, and not at all proactive. After spending months on the problem Maddie, as she's known around Ukiah, has concluded that the Board of Supervisors should “seek funding to undertake the study from the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and Calfire.” (So, can we get the $25,000 back, please?)
THE CITY OF UKIAH'S hydro-electric plant is up and running at its max capacity of 3.5 megawatts, not enough to supply more than a third of Ukiah’s electric power, but enough money to meet Ukiah's city manager's extravagant pay package plus, maybe, a street sweeper or two. When Lake Mendocino is full, as it is now, the force of the falling water makes the turbines whir faster, creating even more electric power to the tune of between $350,000 to $700,000 annually. The hydroelectric facility was installed out of a $23 million bond passed some 30 years ago. Techno-probs kept it from being fully operational for many years, but it's been a dependable source of power since 2007.
(History note: At the turn of the century, Ukiah-based engineers diverted the Eel River at Potter Valley, installed turbines at the Potter Valley-end of the diversion tunnel to bring electricity to Ukiah. They got 'er done in a couple of years, and the turbines ran without major breakdowns for the next hundred years.)
LITTLE MIKEYS POTEMKIN MEETING: Somewhere between 75 and 90 people, excluding staffers and invited speakers, showed up at Ukiah High School last Thursday evening to listen in on a cliche swap put on by local officials. The bogus session was convened by State Senator Mike McGuire, D. Healdsburg. These things occur in lieu of action, which is why they're popular among career officeholders.
THIS STATE operates from the top down. The Governor, especially this one, makes policy almost unilaterally, while lockstep Democrats of the McGuire type sign off on whatever Governor Brown has decided to do. Mikey's Ukiah meeting promoted the illusion of leadership without Mikey going to the trouble of actually trying to do something about this, that or the other aspect of rolling civic collapse.
THE LITTLE GUY hotly denied that the meeting the same day on homelessness was a closed affair. He said it was rsvp because of a lack of space. Pause here for hollow laughter. Ukiah is mostly space, empty motel space, empty church space, empty space here, empty space there.
PROFESSIONAL HOMELESS ADVOCATES are putting in a lot of OT these days trying to keep state money flowing their way. The only specific plan in years for actually getting the homeless off the streets has been advanced in broad outline by Sheriff Allman. Meanwhile, Mendocino County pays annual millions for vague programs which are unable to cope with, or even rationally address, the growing numbers of severely screwed-up people broadly described as "homeless." The faux do-gooders of Fort Bragg, for example, have funneled thousands of public dollars towards failed programs and even structures that claim to be of help to the wandering shoals of thanatoids who wash up any place they can get a free meal without any commitment whatsoever to giving up (1) booze, (2) drugs, (3) booze and drugs, (4) crime. The numbers of people who've lost work and shelter through no fault of their own are a tiny, tiny minority of the "homeless."
WHAT WILL MEASURE U DO?
Initiative Measure U amends Title 18, Chapter 18.22 of the Fort Bragg Municipal Code (Commercial Zoning Districts) and Table 2-6 with the following:
C. CBD (Central Business District) zoning district....
A social service organization is not a permitted use under any circumstances unless such organization was established and existing at a location within the CBD zoning district prior to January 1, 2015…
Table 2-6, Social Service Organization -CBD- not allowed
What this means is:
Measure U will “not allow” Social Services in the Central Business District and:
Initiative Measure U is a simple, non-discriminatory zoning change that insures the bright future of Fort Bragg’s Central Business District by celebrating the city’s rich history and allowing businesses to prosper.
When passed by a YES VOTE Measure U will:
What will Measure U do? U will make a difference in the City of Fort Bragg.
The Proponents of Measure U, folks who live and work in the City of Fort Bragg.
* * *
TWO MORE SIGNS that we're in the End of Days:
John Kasich, described by corporo-media as the "moderate" Republican running for President, has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He's opposed to abortion, but says he would allow it "if the girl's father is the parent" but would oppose it "if the girl's next door neighbor was the father."
Second sign: President Obama says his "favorite" columnist is David Brooks of the New York Times.
THE ISSUE IS whether Goldman Sachs, Wall Street and predatory pharmaceutical firms, actually add “product” or whether they’re just exploiting other people. That’s why I used the word parasitism in my book’s title. People think of a parasite as simply taking money, taking blood out of a host or taking money out of the economy. But in nature it’s much more complicated. The parasite can’t simply come in and take something. First of all, it needs to numb the host. It has an enzyme so that the host doesn’t realize the parasite’s there. And then the parasites have another enzyme that takes over the host’s brain. It makes the host imagine that the parasite is part of its own body, actually part of itself and hence to be protected. That’s basically what Wall Street has done. It depicts itself as part of the economy. Not as a wrapping around it, not as external to it, but actually the part that’s helping the body grow, and that actually is responsible for most of the growth. But in fact it’s the parasite that is taking over the growth.
— Michael Hudson
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 27, 2016
FRANK BAUGHMAN, Ukiah. DUI.
ERIN BLACKWELL, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
MITCHELL BUTLER, Petaluma/Piercy. DUI, controlled substance, smoking/injecting device.
MEGHAN COSMAN, Ukiah. Domestic assault, probation revocation.
THOMAS ELTON, Jacksonville, Oregon/Redwood Valley. DUI.
AUGUSTINE FREASE, Covelo. Failure to appear.
JOSHUA GUEVARA, Ukiah. Petty theft, probation revocation.
JOSE HINOJOSA-CORONA, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
MICHAEL LUND, Livermore/Fort Bragg. DUI.
RAMON NIETO JR., Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
CHERRAL OCOBOCK, Ukiah. Vehicle theft.
THOMAS SANDERS, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
KIERA SHED, Willits. Forgery, controlled substance, paraphernalia, receipt of stolen property.
KATI SISTONEN, San Francisco/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
REBECCA STILES, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
WILLIAM VANTREESE, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
FAVIOLA ZAMORA, Ukiah. Domestic battery, resisting.
OZZIE & HARRIET HIT THE BEACH
by Steve Heilig
Anyone who knocks rock 'n' roll either doesn't understand it, or is prejudiced against it, or is just plain square. — Ricky Nelson, 1958
* * *
My first real job might have been the best I ever had. Armed with a brand-new first driver's license, I delivered groceries and booze to the stars. Or, at least, a couple of them. Besides John Wayne, for example, there was Ozzie and Harriett Nelson.
"Ozzie and Harriett" was one of the most popular and durable television shows in history. The show ran from 1952-1966, the years of American cold-war economic boom and innocence, before "the sixties" set in for real with the assassination of JFK, escalation of the Vietnam war, various movements on-and-off campus, advent of the Pill and LSD, British invasion by the Beatles, Stones, et al, and certainly before any so-called Summer of Love.
The Nelsons became known and revered as America's ideal fantasy family. White, of course, wholesome good looks all around, and affluent even without dad Ward seeming to have to work much. Stay-at-home apron-wearing lovely mom Harriet always in the kitchen, sons David and Ricky happily growing up for fourteen years on the screen. It was all so idealized, and of course, as books and a documentary have revealed, less than wholly real if one took a more realistic look at who they were in real life — a dictatorial dad, frustrated former nightclub-haunting singing mom, and of course the biggest star of all, teen idol the "irrepressible" Ricky Nelson, a talented pop star who had more hits than Elvis for a time in the late 1950s but also a shotgun wedding to his pregnant adolescent girlfriend (his folks used their influence to hide that), and who peaked and vanished when his Disney-like sound and image was vanquished by sixties psychedelia.
In the mid-1970s when the Nelson were retired from the TV limelight (other than in re-runs) but still revered as America's cleanest family unit, they seemed to have, or at least have access to, a little beach cottage at Crystal Cove, an hour or so south of Hollywood on the Orange County coast, midway between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar. This small semi-private enclave of a couple dozen structures looked right out of Cape Cod, but with friendlier climate year-round. It had long been used as a movie set when tropical scenes were being shot. In the open hills behind one could still find rusted cowboy paraphernalia — spurs, utensils, etc — from the the cattle-ranching days that were fast ending on the sprawling and contested Irvine Ranch. The coast highway was a fairly quiet four-lane four miles where local kids could test out how fast their parents' cars might go (115 MPH, in at least one case). There were great July 4th parties and decent surf in some spots and many types of virginities surrendered along that open stretch of beach, but Crystal Cove was, or seemed, timeless, frozen in idyllic perfection, even if, or because, you had to walk in on the beach from either direction if you did not live there.
I got to drive in and park there at least once a week, delivering groceries and booze after school for the local family-owned Coast Super Market — "super" not in size, but in friendliness. In fact I got out of school early, at lunch, and bee-lined to the market where they had packed up the twenty-odd orders in boxes, and I loaded those into the worn baby-blue Dodge van and took off. As a new driver and this was fun, and sure beat afternoon classes — the varying route usually took 2-3 hours and I would be done not long after school was out anyway, but with a wad of cash from my minimum wage plus tips, and maybe even some alcohol that had been surreptitiously ordered and delivered to a friend's house for later partying (this made me unduly popular for a time). The local cops knew the van and let me break just about any laws I wished — speeding, parking, wrong way down one-way alleys, and such. I delivered to everybody from little old ladies hidden in tiny over-garage apartments to vast clifftop or bayfront estates, where servants let me in and tipped me in the kitchen, or young beautiful bored trophy housewives made me nervous by trying to engage me in conversation.
Ozzie and Harriet were among our clients. They did sometimes stop in the store itself and were perfectly nice of course, but seemed to prefer to have their food and alcohol delivered to the beach pad. As it turned out, by the time I was delivering Ozzie was ill with the cancer that eventually killed him and did not go out much. But if I saw their name — or anybody from the Crystal Cove, for that matter — on the daily delivery list I would plan it so that was my last stop, and I could make the delivery to them, then take a swim and hang at the beach a bit before taking the van back.
One hot afternoon I knocked on the Nelson's worn wood door, Harriett answered, said hello with a big smile and let me in. I unloaded the box in their small kitchen and she tipped me, and I headed back out into the sun, went to the van, got in, changed into my trunks, and grabbed my little silver metal military match-holder. This clever item was a gift from my dad, but he probably didn't know I used it to hold a reefer and a few blue-tip matches, which could be struck on the rough edge of the cylinder. I put that into my trunks pocket and walked back out to the beach. There was only a small swell and this zone was not really the spot for waves anyway, and I just waded out a bit, jumped in through one small wave, feeling the immediate welcome coolness, and swam quickly about 30 yards out to where a small wooden platform was anchored just outside the surf zone. Up onto that, and there I was, in a semi-isolated paradise of gently rolling motion and warm sun. I pulled out the match cylinder, unscrewed it, and yes, everything inside was dry. A couple minutes later I had puffed up half of the joint, put it out and back into the container, and laid down on my back on the gently rocking platform. The next couple hours or so — time itself was no longer a concern or countable — was just a nirvanic blur of mellow bliss. Songs drifted in and out of my head, memories, mild anxieties about school or a tall dark girl I had a crush on but would never get to kiss, thoughts of friends and whatnot drifted in an out, briefly and harmlessly. Perhaps I even thought about schoolwork, but probably not. Mostly I just felt great. I turned over once or twice to avoid getting too sunfried on one side, but that was it.
Eventually some sort of internal timer, or perhaps the angle of the sunlight, told me it was time to go. So I just stretched, rolled over and splashed right into the water, instantly shocked awake, and leisurely swam back in. When I got to the beach it was deserted but for one figure walking towards me from the cabins. I realized I was extremely thirsty, and hungry too; all that sun, not to mention smoke. As I shook my shoulder-length hair drier and wiped the salt water from my face, I looked up and there stood Harriet Nelson, smiling and holding a tray with a glass of lemonade and some cookies on it. I don't recall if she was wearing an apron.
"I saw you out there after the delivery and figured you must be thirsty and maybe hungry too by now," she smiled. Tongue-tied, I looked at her, thinking, Oh, you have no idea, but even more, Wow, this is surreal — Harriet Nelson is offering me cookies on the beach. Finally I croaked out, "Why, um, er, oh, yes, thank you Mrs. Nelson!" and took the glass and almost gulped it down in one swig. Then I wordlessly took a cookie and tried not to gulp that in one bite too. "Gee these are great, Mrs. Nelson! Thanks!" I said, all too aware that I sounded like I was in their TV world, or maybe on "Leave it to Beaver", the closest other such family show — in fact, for a moment I feared I had said "Mrs. Cleaver" in a confused Tourette's-like mixup. But she just smiled some more, said "You're so welcome," held the tray out so I could take another cookie, said, "Just bring the glass up when you come back up," and walked back up the beach. I just stood there stunned for a minute or two, thinking, Whoa, ahhh, well, weird, uh, wow; Harriett Nelson, what's next, the Irrepressible Ricky? That dumb thought made me laugh out loud, and then I followed her prints in the sand up to the cabins. At the Nelson house an older guy — like, in his 30s at least — sat on the little porch, holding a bottle of Carta Blanca — the Mexican beer with the genius innovation of including a bottle opener on the bottom of each bottle, so you'd never be in need as long as you had two bottles. He had a shag-type haircut and looked a bit worse for wear, like a veteran surfer — although even then I figured that Ricky don't surf. He looked at me wearily and warily, it seemed, saying nothing, so I just held out the glass and said "Your mom asked me to bring this back." Ricky Nelson, child pop and movie idol, just nodded silently, so I just set the glass next to him, nodded again, said "Uh, tell her thanks again!" and walked up to the delivery van.
Ricky had staged a bit of a comeback out of embarrassment a few years before, when he was booed off the stage at an oldies revival show for being neither retro nor hip enough, a has-been caught in the middle. This was sad as he was known to be a genuinely nice fellow, whatever other problems he might have. He wrote a poignant and catchy song about the experience titled "Garden Party" and thus had his last hit, a big one indeed. "No one heard my music — I didn't look the same," he lamented therein. As he died in a private plane crash — with much speculation about drug-fueled debauchery onboard as the cause, but the real culprit being more mundane mechanical failure — Ricky had less than a decade to live after that day I "met" him, and his life included some nasty trials such as a hard-fought divorce. Like many other child stars, he appeared to be both blessed and cursed by it all. And somewhat ironically, his twin sons later recorded as "The Nelsons" and had a #1 hit themselves, also toured as "Ricky Nelson Remembered" in tribute to their dad. But by then he was long gone. The chorus of his last hit song went like this:
"But it's all right now,
I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself."
Solid, hard-won advice, that. Not as easy to take as to give, though.
LEGENDS OF THE FALL AUTHOR AND SCREENWRITER JIM HARRISON DIES AT 78
Considered one of the great writers in American fiction, the outdoorsman showcased a love for the wilderness throughout his work, which crossed genres
Jim Harrison, considered one of the great writers in contemporary American fiction, has died at age 78 at his home in Patagonia, Arizona.
Harrison, author of the novella Legends of the Fall, made a prolific career with his descriptions of outdoor life — often through the lens of history — and was unconcerned by the limits of genre. The outdoorsman and bon vivant published more than 30 books over 50 years — and penned poetry, essays, interviews, screenplays, criticism, and reviews in addition to his fiction.
Harrison spent much of his time in a rural cabin near his Michigan hometown and often found himself compared to Ernest Hemingway, who also hailed from the midwest and cultivated a reputation for seeking adventure.
Harrison was not fond of the comparison, writing once that Hemingway seemed to him “a woodstove that didn’t give off much heat”.
As a screenwriter, Harrison became friends with Jack Nicholson, and came to know Sean Connery and Warren Beatty. Yet he was best known for his adapted screenplay of his 1979 novella Legends of the Fall. The 1994 film adaptation starred Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins in the story of three brothers and their father living in the American wilderness in the early 1900s.
Harrison was born in Grayling, Michigan, in 1937. His first book of poetry, Plain Song, was published in 1965. His first novel, Wolf, was published in 1971, and later made into a film starring Nicholson. In 2007, he was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Blinded in one eye in a childhood accident, Harrison set many of his dramas in isolated, imposing landscapes of the American west, including Nebraska’s Sand Hills and the mountains of Montana. His characters were rough-hewn and tended to have clear moral perspectives, and he claimed influences as diverse as the Russian modernist Sergei Yesenin and the English poet William Wordsworth.
His later novels included A Good Day to Die, about the decline of American ecological systems, and Dalva, about a Nebraska woman’s search for the son she had given up for adoption.
His love of the wilderness suffused much of his work. “In my lifetime,” Harrison told the writer Tom Bissell for Outside magazine, “the country has gone from being 25% urban and 75% rural to 75% urban and 25% rural.”
But even in old age, no lament stopped him from seeking out experiences for their own sake. “I ate a gross of oysters once, to see if I could,” he told Bissell. “I could. I got gout the next morning.”
Nor did he lose his awe, asking the writer jokingly: “Certain bears eat 80 pounds of moths a day. Can you imagine?”
Similarly, he found his muse “totally uncontrollable”, as he wrote in the introduction to one of his collections of poetry, The Shape of the Journey.
“You don’t have any idea when it’s going to emerge, and when it’s not going to emerge,” he wrote. He later told GR magazine: “You can put off a novel for a while but you can’t not write a poem because that particular muse is not very cooperative.”
COTTONFIELD BLUES, PART 2
I got something I'm going to tell you / mama keep it all to yourself
Don't you tell your mama / don't you tell nobody else
I'm going to write you a letter / I'm going to mail it in the air
Then I know you going to catch it / babe in this world somewhere
I'm going to write you a letter / I'm going to mail it in the sky
Mama I know you going to catch it / when the wind blows on the line
Ooh / mama I don't know what to do
I knows you'll go / leave me all lowdown and blue
Ooh / that's the last word you said
But I just can't remember / babe last old words you said.
–Garfield Akers, 1929
AND A HAPPY EASTER TO THOSE WORKING TODAY…
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
750 shot, 125 dead so far this year in Chicago, City of Big Shoulders, City of the Tiny Dancer!
The State of Connecticut and the City of Hartford are both insolvent and we’re in need of some kind of Easter Miracle to pull us out. It’s so bad now that even the $240,000 per year state employee pensions, once a sacred bond, are now in jeopardy! The lefty political elite are very nervous, and the business Hedge Fund Elite on the Gold Coast are pulling out fast, headed to Florida. Yes, they were in league with the lefties, part of the elite, but don’t think they’re going to get stuck holding the bag now that its all going down. No f-kking way! Meanwhile, ‘For Sale’ signs are springing up like mushrooms in Middle Class neighborhoods, which are looking kind of shabby anyway and probably won’t remain middle class much longer.
Some pretty spectacular gun downs in Hartford and Bridgeport in the past week, including a duo sitting in a car in Hartford’s North End who took a combined 15 rounds to the head and chest. The very next day the shooter himself was shot in the back by somebody else. So it goes! The weather is warming up so we will have more of this sort of thing, that you can count on.
Such as it is here in Southern New England, USA, in this Easter Season, 2016.
Gents, the days are getting longer, the Hyenas are closing in, the water is out of the tub, the wheels are falling off, and any other cliche you can think of, none of it good.
CHARTER TOWN HALL MEETING IN WILLITS on 4/17
The Charter Project of Mendocino County is hosting a series of 9 Town Hall meetings around the county to introduce people to Charter Commission candidates for the June 7th election, and also to canvass the public about what they would like to see in a county charter.
(LET’S PAUSE HERE to note that the people putting in lots of time and effort advocating that Mendocino become a “charter” county apparently don’t know why Mendo should be a charter county beyond vague concepts of autonomy and local control, and must therefore “canvass the public” for real reasons.)