- Mendocino County
- Anderson Valley
by AVA News Service, April 27, 2016
TUESDAY NIGHT PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS
Delegates needed for Democratic Party nomination: 2383.
Clinton’s total after above: 2141. Sanders: 1321.
Delegates needed for Republican Party nomination: 1237.
Trump’s total after above: 950. Cruz: 560. Kasich: 153.
WHERE THE NAVARRO MEETS THE PACIFIC
SAVE OUR LANDLINES
Supes Oppose AT&T
April 5, 2016
TO: Assemblymember Mike Gatto, Chair of the Utilities and Commerce Committee State Capitol • Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Assemblymember Gatto,
I am writing to let you know that Mendocino County, which represents approximately 87,000 people, has taken a position to oppose AB 2395 (Low) because we want to stop AT&T from taking away from our communities the right to choose traditional home phone service many of value enough to keep.
Many of us choose to keep our copper-based home phones even if we own mobile phones:
1) Don’t take away the most reliable way to reach 911 in an emergency.
a. 911 dispatch centers automatically know our location when we call from home.
b. Our home phone lines will keep working for weeks if there is a power outage.
c. Wireless signals can be unreliable when we need our phones the most.
2) Don’t let vulnerable people be left without reliable phone service.
a. A third of low–income LifeLine households choose copper-based home phones.
b. Many seniors without broadband depend on old-fashioned home phones.
c. People who are disabled or medically fragile often need landlines for med-alerts.
3) Don’t let AT&T force people to use more expensive mobile and digital services.
a. Many people choose landlines because the bills are more affordable.
b. Others choose landlines because of reliability, especially in rural communities.
c. It can make it harder to reach small businesses that have no landlines.
People in my community care about reaching 911 in an emergency, the right to choose their own phone service that is reliable and affordable, and to have consumer protections enforced by the California Public Utilities Commission. AB 2395 would take away these basic rights.
On behalf of my community I am asking you to Vote No on AB 2395.
Dan Gjerde, Chair
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
Carre Brown, John Mccowen, Tom Woodhouse, Dan Gjerde, Dan Hamburg
By Carmel J. Angelo
Chief Executive Officer Clerk of the Board
County Of Mendocino Board Of Supervisors
501 Low Gap Road • Room 1010 Ukiah, California 95482 TELEPHONE: (707) 463-4221 FAX: (707) 463-7237
REMEMBER WHEN THIS STUFF DIDN’T HAPPEN?
UPD Officer Attacked In Denny’s Parking Lot
On Friday April 22 just after midnight a Ukiah Police Department officer was dispatched to a report of a hostile man inside of Denny’s, refusing to pay for his meal. While the officer was en-route, UPD dispatch advised that the subject’s behavior was escalating and he was observed placing a knife in his pocket.
When the officer got to Denny’s he saw the man in the parking lot. The officer recognized him as Timothy Fischer, 49, who is on probation. Fischer was visibly angry, yelling and waving his arms around, according to the report. The officer spoke with Fischer attempting to get him to calm down, without success. For safety reasons, the officer attempted to detain Fischer in handcuffs. Fischer struggled with the officer and turned facing the officer while arming himself with a knife. The officer wrestled Fischer to the ground and attempted to take him into custody. Once on the ground Fischer threatened the officer and reached out with one of his hands and began clawing at the officer’s face and eyes.
A Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived to assist and Fischer was taken into custody for assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon and violation of his probation. The officer was not injured in the altercation and Fischer was booked into county jail on the listed charges.
The UPD reminds citizens of some basic safety tips out in public:
UKIAH MURDER VICTIM IDENTIFIED
Original Press Release:
On April 24, 2016, at 6:48 PM, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call of a stabbing in progress in the 3300 block of North State Street in Ukiah. The caller identified the suspect as Oscar Alvarez Carrillo, 28, of Ukiah, and stated that he was in the act of stabbing a male adult. Deputies responded to the scene and located a 62 year-old Hispanic male adult lying on the ground, non responsive and suffering from multiple stab wounds. Deputies on scene attempted life saving measures while additional Deputies were checking the area for Alvarez Carrillo, who fled the scene on foot prior to their arrival. Medical personnel ultimately arrived and further attempted life saving measures on the 62 year-old Hispanic male adult, who was later declared dead at the scene. Additional Deputies who were searching for Alvarez Carrillo located him running nearby in the area of Portlock Lane and Lake Mendocino Drive. Alvarez Carrillo, who was known from multiple past contacts, was pursued into a home that was vacant and under construction in the 3200 block of Portlock Lane. Alvarez Carrillo barricaded himself inside a room inside the home. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office K-9 "Doc" was deployed and he successfully apprehended Alvarez Carrillo who was later booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a charge of murder. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives, assisted by investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office responded to further investigate the incident.
This investigation is ongoing and the victim's name is not being released at this time, pending notification to his next of kin. Anyone who has information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip Line by calling 707-234-2100.
On April 26, 2016 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division identified the victim as being Salvador Hernandez from Ukiah, California.
BAD NEWS FOR DEAD-DOG BRENNAN
Mendocino County To Perform Environmental Study On Lethal Animal Program
County Settles Second Lawsuit with Animal Protection Coalition Over Controversial Wildlife Services Program
UKIAH, Calif.— In a major victory for opponents of animal cruelty and advocates of wildlife conservation, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has agreed to perform a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and immediately suspend its contract with a controversial wildlife killing agency. The agreement settles a lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental and animal protection groups against Mendocino County.
The settlement concerns Mendocino County’s contract with Wildlife Services, which operates under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and kills hundreds of coyotes, mountain lions, bears, bobcats, and other wildlife in Mendocino County every year. Under the terms of the settlement, Mendocino County must evaluate the merits of a non-lethal predator control program and prepare an EIR under CEQA if it decides to enter into a contract with Wildlife Services in the future.
Mendocino County’s agreement to study the wildlife control program operated by Wildlife Services signals a critical change in policy. In 2014, the coalition sued Mendocino County for failing to comply with CEQA before hiring Wildlife Services. The lawsuit settled in April 2015, with the county agreeing to comply with CEQA prior to renewing its annual contract with Wildlife Services. However, in June 2015 the county reinstated its contract with Wildlife Services before completing an EIR, as required by CEQA. Instead, the county claimed that lethal predator control would have no impact on Mendocino County’s ecosystem and was exempt from CEQA. In July 2015, the coalition sued Mendocino County a second time for breaching the agreement and once again violating CEQA.
In 2014, Wildlife Services killed approximately 47,000 animals in California (out of nearly 3 million killed nationwide), using traps, snares, poison, and other devices.
Mendocino County’s contract with Wildlife Services authorized the program — at a cost of $144,000 to taxpayers — to kill animals without assessing the ecological impacts or considering alternatives.
Peer-reviewed research shows that the reckless slaughter of native predators causes broad ecological destruction. Indiscriminate methods used by Wildlife Services have also killed more than 50,000 non-target animals since 2000, including family pets, endangered condors, bald eagles, and millions of other birds. Studies show such mass killing, in addition to being cruel and inhumane, negatively impacts the biodiversity of ecosystems.
These lawsuits mark the advocacy groups’ first attempts to require a local government to comply with state law when entering into contracts with the federal agency.
Represented by the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the coalition consists of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Welfare Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Biological Diversity, Project Coyote, and a Mendocino County resident.
About the Animal Legal Defense Fund
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, ALDF files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit aldf.org.
About the Animal Welfare Institute
The Animal Welfare Institute is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. For more information, visit awionline.org.
About the Center for Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 950,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places through science, policy, education, and environmental law. For more information, visit biologicaldiversity.org
About Mountain Lion Foundation
The Mountain Lion Foundation is a national non-profit organization founded in 1986. For 30 years, the Foundation has worked with member volunteers, activists and partner organizations to create and further wildlife policies that seek to protect mountain lions, people and domestic animals without resorting to lethal measures. For more information, visit mountainlion.org.
About the Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
About Project Coyote Project Coyote is a national non-profit organization and a North American coalition of wildlife educators, scientists, ranchers, and community leaders promoting coexistence between people and wildlife, and compassionate conservation through education, science, and advocacy.
Natalia Lima, Publicist Animal Legal Defense Fund, ALDF.ORG
FREE TICK TESTS
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation is doing free tick testing. The tick can be one you find on yourself, pet, or from out in the yard, etc. This program is for research only but they will let you know within 10 days or so if the tick is positive (testing is by PCR which is a sensitive way to test).
This program is to go on for a year and is for anyone in the USA. To download a form to send with your tick go to www.bayarealyme.org.
A READER WRITES RE HOLLY MADRIGAL: “Some people” don’t like a veteran city councilmember? Horrors! what a scandal. I thought everybody loved all politicians all the time! Election results from 2012 below. Seems like in the metric that counts – as opposed to idiot anonymous posters online – Holly remains well-liked and supported in Willits, receiving more votes in her last election than her first two. And more actual votes than any other WCC candidate in recent memory
KATE MAXWELL of The Willits News, explained the Mendocino Heritage Initiative this way: "..... The initiative, written by north coast attorney Omar Figueroa, incorporates aspects of the state licensing regulations, the Right to Farm ordinance, and existing business, professional, and health and safety codes into a 68 page proposal. MHIC members say such regulations will both streamline the transition process for county cultivators and cannabis businesses to transition to the new statewide commercial marijuana market, as well as include provisions to protect small local businesses.
"The initiative proposes tiered licenses, which include zoning restrictions for different license types, beginning with a “micro-business” license for farms under 2,500 square feet, going up to an acre of cultivation. Regulations include road set-backs, fencing, size and light pollution from hoop houses, and other environmental restrictions. It also includes regulations for dispensaries, manufacturing, and other types of licenses covered by the new state laws, as well as requires compliance with the North Coast Regional Water Board’s cannabis discharge program and other environmental regulations.
"The initiative proposes regulation as agriculture under the county’s agricultural commissioner, with a two and a half percent business tax for gross receipts for medical cannabis businesses and five percent business tax for non-medical canna-business. It also allows for transportation between certain licensed businesses within counties, an issue of concern on the state level for many smaller businesses.
"The initiative also seeks to protect local businesses and small farms by enacting an initial two-year residency requirement at the start of the program (which would expire in 2020), as well as requiring residency for majority ownership in a county cannabis entity. In addition, the proposal sets out protections for regional appellations, like those used in the wine industry, to protect the local branding of county farmers. It also draws on aspects of the county’s Right to Farm ordinance to protect ongoing agricultural activity for existing small farms."
* * *
SEEKING PETITIONERS for Mendocino Heritage Initiative. Gd. pay per sig. Call 707 202-6985.
BURN PERMITS REQUIRED IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
Due to fuel conditions throughout the County, CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit Chief Christopher P. Rowney advises Burning Permits are required prior to ANY outdoor burning on State Responsibility Lands (SRA) in Mendocino County effective 12:01 AM Sunday, May 1st, 2016.
Burning Permits may be obtained at CAL FIRE’s Howard Forest Headquarters office Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM. Additionally, permits may be obtained from 8 AM to 5 PM at the following CAL FIRE locations. Not all CAL FIRE Stations are staffed seven days a week; please contact your local Station to assure staffing will be available to assist you.
Burning Permits can also be obtained from the following local agencies (Note: the following agencies only issue permits within their respective districts): Laytonville, Little Lake (Willits), Redwood Valley-Calpella and Brooktrails Fire Departments Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM.
Before you burn, ensure it’s a permissive burn day by contacting the Mendocino County Air Management District, (707) 463-4391 and make sure you have any and all required burn permits.
CAL FIRE reminds everyone that it is their individual responsibility to use fire safely and to prevent fires. Visit www.ReadyforWildfire.org for more information on how to prepare for and prevent wildfires.
Anyone with questions about burn permits is urged to contact the nearest CAL FIRE facility.
WINE INDUSTRY'S ERRAND BOY: ON THE JOB!
Thompson Bill Would Cut Wine Taxes
(The North Coast’s senior wine representative works full time for the people who own him: Paving the way for overpriced soda-pop style carbonated higher-alcohol grape juice to grab off some of the Hard Lemonade market.)
FORT BRAGG NURSERY ROBBER NABBED
On April 25, 2016, at 5:50 a.m., Deputies from the Fort Bragg Sheriff's Office received a report of a burglary at the Hare Creek Nursery located on Highway 20 in Fort Bragg. Upon arrival Deputies obtained suspect information that was broadcasted to Sheriff's Office units countywide. On the same date, at about 6:30 a.m., a Willits Police Department Officer located a vehicle at the Willits Safeway parking lot that matched the description of the suspect vehicle. Sheriff's Office personnel from the Willits Sheriff's Office then responded to assist. Located in the vehicle was suspect Danny Harold Spear, 22, of Fresno. Spear was then detained without incident. During the detention of Spear it was determined that the vehicle he was driving was stolen out of the Fresno area. Willits Police Department Officers and Sheriff's Office Deputies then checked the bed of the truck and located 27 items (which included chainsaws, motorized trimmers, blowers and a water pump) that were confirmed to have been stolen from the Hare Creek Nursery in Fort Bragg. The total value of the recovered property was $13588. Spears was arrested for burglary, possession of stolen property and vehicle theft. He was transported to the Mendocino County jail where he is currently being held on $50,000 bail.
FESTIVAL BRINGS OUT GOAT WHISPERERS
by Sarah Reith
On Saturday, April 23, the Anderson Valley Unity Club shared the Mendocino County Fairgrounds with the second annual Anderson Valley goat festival. The sign outside the event featured a picture of a goat devouring wildflowers; but on the grounds, the two events were strictly separated.
Inside the hall, wildflowers were arranged in dark brown bottles of various shapes and sizes. They were accompanied by labels bearing Latin names and common ones, as well as information about which butterfly species rely on which plants at various life stages. The Dutchman’s Pipe, essential to the swallowtail butterfly, had a significant presence this year, as did the Stubblefield rose, a hardy pioneer which is propagated and sold by the Unity Club.
Just before noon, the atmosphere outside was mildly chaotic. Goats and their owners were preparing for the best-dressed goat parade. Two enormous Alpine crosses with packs on their backs devoured an unguarded bale of alfalfa. A petite Nubian mix stood nibbling the same as her skirt received its final touches. A small kid refused to walk and had to be carried, munching its cud.
In due time, the competitors gathered at Alicia’s Taco Wagon to begin the procession. Announcer Steve Sparks, who also presides over bingo games, Thursday night pub quizzes, and Humane Society events, informed competitors that they would be judged by “experts in their field;” and that “spring frivolity” was a key requirement. Several entries consisted of family groups, all wearing costumes on a particular theme. After a few clowns, the Alpine packers, and one invisible goat, the “Raging Nannies” were declared the winners. Licorice and her two daughters, Daphne and Anise, wore floppy flowered hats and pink tutus around their necks. They belong to Ginny Reynolds, a member of the Raging Grannies, a group of mature female vocalists who perform political and comic songs.
The day was not over yet for Licorice. The next event was the celebrity goat milking, where three pillars of the community vied for the title of best milker. Donna Pierson-Pugh, the former principal of Anderson Valley Elementary School, was first up. Licorice stomped in the milking bowl a few times, but settled down for Captain Rainbow, a local events presenter who has been promoting self-sufficiency efforts for decades. Fire Chief Andres Avila sat down last and got a rhythm going, extracting enough milk to win a $50 gift certificate to the Buckhorn Boonville, a local “Grub Pub” established in 1873.
Sparks hit his stride during the goat calling, which featured “a very receptive goat who is only half deaf,” he promised. Competitors approached a pen that actually contained three young animals who appeared to be very interested in maintaining the lawn. Any call was acceptable, but most entrants made noises approximating those the goats themselves produce. Judges, Sparks announced, were “looking for responses from the goats as if they are very happy to see you…We’ve got to take this seriously,” he admonished a toddler who distracted a floppy-eared goat with an edible twig. “It’s not just for fun.”
As one earnest caller implored the animals to acknowledge her efforts, Sparks informed the crowd that “I personally am honored to be commenting for the goat calling contest. This is the pinnacle of any commentator’s career.”
Only one of the three goats responded to any call, trotting up to a child named Garnet just as his time was running out. “This young man looks like he knows how to talk to goats,” Sparks remarked.
The festival was presented by the Anderson Valley Foodshed, which has traditionally held monthly potlucks with educational themes regarding some kind of sustainable food production.
According to organizer Jim Devine, dubbed the “the goat king” by Sparks, the goat festival is “only secondarily about goats.” The goats, he explained, are “the theme that we wrap this thing around.” The mission of the AVFS is to promote a healthy, year-round local food system, which calls for a wide range of food production and animal husbandry skills. Devine, along with Michelle Hutchins, Cindy Wilder, and Barbara Goodell, all of the AVFS, was responsible for the event this year.
In addition to the contests in the middle of the day, the festival included workshops on goat-related skills that included yogurt and kiefer making, backpacking with goats, and caring for the animals. It concluded with a goat stew cook-off. “It’s better to all-in on a couple of big events,”
Devine remarked, and added that “Everybody’s telling me they want to see it again.”
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 26, 2016
DELBERT ALFORD, Ukiah. Parole violation.
CORY BRANDELL, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
VINCENT FREASE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
JESUS HERRERA, Ukiah. Stun gun, parole violation.
JAMES HOFFMAN, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
TRAVIS JOHNSON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JONATHAN MIRAVALLE, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
ROBERT THOMAS JR., Santa Rosa/Willits. Parole violation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
You might enjoy Carol Quigley, “The Evolution of Civilizations” with a hilarious description of where we are today:
“This is generally a period of gambling, use of narcotics or intoxicants, obsession with sex (frequently as perversion), increasing crime, growing numbers of neurotics and psychotics, growing obsession with death and with the Hereafter. The vested interests encourage the growth of imperialist wars and irrationality because both serve to divert the discontent of the masses away from their vested interests …”
NOT FEELING THE BERN
by Margaret Kimberley
“Only Bernie Sanders can break the power of capitalism in the U.S.” So read a bizarre headline in an online edition of the Guardian. It is just one example of the drivel, magical thinking, misplaced concerns and out and out lies produced by liberal love for Bernie Sanders.
How would Bernie Sanders, or any other presidential candidate, break the power of capitalism? The answer is simple. He can’t. It is difficult to imagine capitalists quaking in their boots because a liberal darling was in the oval office. Then again Sanders has never made a claim to want anything of the kind so the headline is doubly foolish.
The Sanders fans do not let any opportunity pass to make much ado about very little. Sanders’ much vaunted trip to the Vatican was nothing but a public relations gimmick carried out by Jeffrey Sachs, one of his foreign policy advisers. Sachs was at the center of every neo-liberal heist which took place in the last twenty years. He coined the term “shock therapy” which means privatization of publicly owned assets, elimination of price controls, withdrawal of state subsidies, job cuts and a litany of measures which create suffering for millions of people. People in Russia, Poland and Bolivia all endured the Sachs punishment.
So while Sachs wangled an invite for Sanders to attend a Vatican academic conference, the episode was used by the starry eyed to further their trip down the rabbit hole. Well paid pseudo-progressive Democratic functionaries like David Sirota waxed poetic about something that didn’t amount to much. Sirota tweeted a photo of Sanders at the Vatican with Bolivian president Evo Morales. “In scope of history, this image is epic: US Jewish POTUS candidate at Vatican with indigenous Latin American leader.” There is nothing epic about a senator meeting a foreign head of state nor is it miraculous that a Jewish and indigenous American man sat next to each other. This nonsense substitutes for politics and serious thought. But then again liberals aren’t very serious about politics or thought.
The Sanders phenomenon is a repeat of the Obama 2008 marketing extravaganza. Sanders is the flavor of the month for people who are disenchanted with the front runner, Hillary Clinton. Her presence creates mass revulsion and first Obama and now Sanders moved up in voter preference when given an opportunity to make a case before the public.
But there is something particularly disconcerting about the Sanders phenomenon. Like Obama he allows liberals to be proud of uttering mealy-mouthed words instead of acting to make the change they say they want. In a recent debate in New York City Sanders famously declared that “we have to treat the Palestinians with respect and dignity.” He added that Israel has a “right to exist” and said only that the Israel massacre in Gaza was “a disproportionate response.”
His words regarding the Palestinians are rarely heard from the mouth of an American politician, certainly not a presidential candidate. However, kudos showered on Sanders give the impression that Palestinians weren’t worthy of respect and dignity until he said they were. The reaction from Sanders acolytes is in fact an indictment of U.S. foreign policy and Americans acquiescence to decades of pro-Israel propaganda. He doesn’t challenge the Zionist project, in fact he constantly mentions that he once lived in Israel and has family there.
The Palestinians get nothing but pats on the head from Bernie Sanders. They need an end to occupation and a right to return to the land and the homes stolen from them. The Sanders paternalistic feint may impress liberals looking for a politician to love but it does nothing to address a grave injustice.
The injustices that Democrats don’t want to fight were much closer to home on primary voting day in New York. Voting in New York state is very restrictive, with long periods needed to change party affiliations or to request absentee ballots. The board of elections is an ineffective patronage mill that doesn’t serve voters’ needs.
The state has one of the lowest rates of voter participation because of these obstacles but no one cared very much until masses of white people were prevented from voting for their new idol. New York has always had closed primaries and no one can vote without a party affiliation. Open primaries allow for mischief such as against left candidates like Cynthia McKinney. The former congresswoman lost her last election in 2006 because Republicans were allowed to vote for her opponent.
A good case can be made for restricting primaries to party members. Suddenly that defensible position is cast aside because people who aren’t politically involved didn’t pay attention and then couldn’t get their way.
The Sanders people are conspicuous in their absence from other disenfranchisement issues. Convicted felons can’t cast a ballot at all but that is less interesting than tales of Bernie supporters who found out they can’t vote. If they want a revolution they can start by helping others get the right to vote too.
There is a long slog ahead until the Democratic party convention in July. Hillary Clinton will continue to repulse and Bernie Sanders will claim the Pope or a king or a queen wanted to meet him. The Sanders people need to do as the Black Agenda Report advised and plan for his eventual exit. Despite all the nonsensical hype, they still don’t have their Plan B.
Join the debate on Facebook Margaret Kimberley writes the Freedom Rider column for Black Agenda Report, where this essay originally appeared.
SINCE 2013, the Federal Reserve Board has conducted a survey to “monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.” Most of the data in the latest survey, frankly, are less than earth-shattering: 49 percent of part-time workers would prefer to work more hours at their current wage; 29 percent of Americans expect to earn a higher income in the coming year; 43 percent of homeowners who have owned their home for at least a year believe its value has increased. But the answer to one question was astonishing. The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all. Four hundred dollars! Who knew?
Well, I knew. I knew because I am in that 47 percent.
I know what it is like to have to juggle creditors to make it through a week. I know what it is like to have to swallow my pride and constantly dun people to pay me so that I can pay others. I know what it is like to have liens slapped on me and to have my bank account levied by creditors. I know what it is like to be down to my last $5 — literally — while I wait for a paycheck to arrive, and I know what it is like to subsist for days on a diet of eggs. I know what it is like to dread going to the mailbox, because there will always be new bills to pay but seldom a check with which to pay them. I know what it is like to have to tell my daughter that I didn’t know if I would be able to pay for her wedding; it all depended on whether something good happened. And I know what it is like to have to borrow money from my adult daughters because my wife and I ran out of heating oil....
— Neal Gabler
HOW CAN YOU JUST LEAVE ME STANDING?
I Cried When Prince Died
by Kim Nicolini
Fact. I would not be writing this piece right now if it wasn’t for Prince. When I discovered him back in 1984, Prince taught me one hugely important life lesson that I have lived by since. He taught me that I could turn my life experiences into art.
I was 22 years old the year Prince’s Purple Rain was released. I was living in the gritty and largely black town Vallejo, California, hometown of Sly and the Family Stone and a toxic Naval shipyard that coated the entire place with poison. I had just come off the streets three years earlier and was trying to carve a future for myself by going to community college, even though I only had an eighth grade education (but a doctorate of the streets).
As I sat down to write this tribute, I was trying to remember why it was that I watched Purple Rain so many times in the movie theater when it was first released. Then I remembered that I was working at the old Empress Theater in Vallejo at the time. The first time I watched Purple Rain, I was the one threading the film through the projector. Once the movie started playing, I sat on the steps in the back of the theater and watched Prince’s story unfold through song, dance, tears, rage and a lot of motorcycle riding.
I was a lost kid at the time. I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing. I had a little Honda 200cc motorcycle that my grandfather had given me. I rode that to college during the day, and at night I made popcorn and projected films at the Empress for minimum wage. I also cleaned the bathroom and sold tickets and candy. I was getting by. Kind of.
1984 was the year right before the shit hit the fan for me. I had spent my entire teen years on and off the streets, finally leaving them behind at age 19. But, I had suppressed all my childhood experiences – the violent legacy of my childhood, my life on the streets, my recently buried brother who died of a heroin overdose, my violent stepfather, drug addicted mother, absentee biological father, and the horrendous violations I experienced on the streets. All of this was locked away deep inside me the night I watched Purple Rain for the first time.
It was the middle of the Reagan era, and people were dying all around me. The San Francisco Bay Area was like a mass grave, and somewhere under all the death, there were lots of broken pieces of the nine lives I had burned through at such a young age.
I was living in a small flat downtown and had very few things to my name – my cat, my motorcycle, a record player, and my job at the movie theater.
I had moved so fast and hard through my young life that I didn’t have time to slow down to think of the consequences, the places that I hurt, the things I had seen, and mostly to feel how much I didn’t belong in the world around me.
Then I threaded Purple Rain through the projector and watched the movie on the big screen. In the 80s, I was too unaware to realize how ridiculously excessive the 80s were. They were all mixed up. Like me. Like Prince. I was a mish mash of music and broken identity. I grew up in the 60s with the legacy of psychedelic rock in the backdrop. I spent my childhood listening to Motown and soul including Bay Area legend Sly Stone. I got high for the first time to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. I was turned onto San Francisco Punk in 1977 and took a drastic detour, losing myself in the dark oblivion of noise.
In other words, musically I was as fractured as my sense of self, but watching and listening to Prince, all those pieces came together. He was everything I was through music. Prince came riding onto the screen on his motorcycle and laying his guts bare. Cocky and fragile. Full of pomp and sincerity. He pumped it out. He put his life and his heart into his music, yet he also carefully crafted a pop identity to safely package his soul. I was stunned by him. It was like getting slapped with a big dose of reality, and reality was not easy. It was funk. It was blues. It was rock. It was disco. It was punk. It was glam. It was none of the above. It was Prince. And it came from his heart and his life.
One of the reasons I loved Purple Rain is because I also grew up loving rock operas, everything from Tommy (Ken Russell, 1975) to Phantom of the Paradise (Brian De Palma, 1974). The Who’s Quadrophenia (1973) is my favorite album of all time, and Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) shattered the boundaries between musical genres for me. Both these albums were huge influences in my life when they came out and I was coming of age at eleven years old. I loved how they told stories through songs and that the stories seemed largely personal. I loved how they were confused yet whole. Splintered but sincere. One thing and many. Prince took rock opera to the next step with Purple Rain, putting the personal front and center and mashing up genres into a mixed-up montage of self through music – all the different music that made up my personal cosmology – and all stamped with his struggle to find identity and reconciliation in a world that would resist allowing him to find either. And in that resistance was freedom.
Prince is a lot like those albums that meant so much to me when I was a kid. Both are all over the place in sound and style, just like Prince’s music. They move from slow ballads to frenetic pop and hybrid genre pieces. They can’t be categorized. They’re not sure what they are. Just like Prince. Just like me.
Prince took his uncategorical difference and belted it out in music that constantly shifted, that never gave up its soul, but also bumped and grinded some of the best pop in rock history.
During the two weeks that Purple Rain played at the Empress, I watched it at least six times, even when I wasn’t the one running the projector.
Prince gave me a window into myself. It was watching Prince unabashedly delivering himself that finally allowed me to come out of the closet with my own life. Prince slashed open the place inside me where I had stored all my experiences. Shortly after I watched the movie, everything I had suppressed came out.
I tore the pages out of my college books and burned them. I smashed things in my house (not unlike Prince smashing things in his basement in the movie). I screamed. I cried. I quit school, and I started painting my life onto big canvases and writing it into poems which I performed. I created an alter ego – Kim Dot Dammit – one whose legacy is still alive and kicking today over three decades later. Prince opened the door for me. I stepped through it in 1984, and I have never turned back.
Prince is not altogether likeable in Purple Rain. He shows that pain and rage are joined at the hip (literally as he grinds it out of him on stage). The son of psychotic dysfunctional parents who grew up where violence and abuse were everyday facts of life, he allowed me to look at my own childhood through a new lens – with the freedom to put it into art without shame . He showed me that I could take the pain, the confusion, and my fractured self and turn all that outward and put it in art and writing. He also showed me the complexities that come with turning your life into art: It can alienate a lot of people, keep you one step removed from the alienation and isolation you already occupied, and it can cause you to lash out pretty violently at yourself and others. But that’s part of the reality. Prince did not shy away from complexity or the complexity of sincerity. The thing about Prince is that he was 1000% sincere, but he also couched that sincerity in the safety net of a pop identity. That was my ticket to turning the sincere facts of my life into art – remembering that even if what I write and make are sincere (such as this very piece of writing), what I produce is a sheltered vulnerability. It will never really be my true actual heart and self but rather sincere constructions. Prince taught me how to straddle this line.
Prince’s audacious bombastic humble sincerity (yes, that’s a conundrum and one that I understand deeply) gave me license to be whatever it is I am even when I don’t know what it is. Back in my days at the Empress, I would watch Purple Rain, then hop on my Honda and speed down back highways as fast as the little motorcycle would go. I’d go home and slather paint on canvas, painting my life out of myself. Prince was in the background the whole time singing the phrase “How can you just leave me standing?” This became the mantra to my life. How can you just leave me standing? Big question.
Dig if you will the picture
Of you and I engaged in a kiss
The sweat of your body covers me
Can you my darling
Can you picture this?
It wasn’t just that Prince sang his lyrics. He poured his soul into them. He belted them out in desperate screams. He whispered truths. His voice moved between sound and genres merging into a montage of soul that was a patchwork of his own soul, and by extension mine. He allowed me into myself because he so deeply explored himself, even as he did it by creating an iconic pop identity.
His music came to me at a time in my life when I realized I would never belong anywhere. I was completely alone, living with the weight of my legacy and history not having a clue where to go with it. I didn’t know who or what I was, but I knew I would never belong. Prince showed me that I could take my “aloneness” and my social isolation and turn them into something vital, alive and shouting with my soul. Thank you, Prince.
Even as a young kid I didn’t belong. I was the kid who was beaten daily by her dad. My house was like the house in Purple Rain. I would come home to find phones ripped from walls, keys smashed on pianos, and my mom sobbing with two black eyes. I was the kid who cussed like a sailor and whose friends were forbidden to play with me because of my bad mouth. I was the kid sent to isolation in juvenile hall, and isolation is the world I have lived in since. Prince showed me how to find my voice and holler into the world to be heard. He showed me how to shatter the isolation by breaking down the walls with my voice, but he also showed me how to protect myself through the artifice of craft. I could be sincere and still be safe. Purple Rain can show truth and obscure vision at the same time.
I left home at fifteen and spent my entire teen years off the grid while girls my age were going to proms, having boyfriends, and planning for college. At age 22, I was a misfit, ex-criminal, outlaw and freak. I didn’t understand girls. I didn’t understand boys. I didn’t understand people. I didn’t understand so many things people take for granted. I had no idea who I was in the world of people. I was an alien.
I still am.
I lived with black pimps and drug dealers, and I was sold by the Italian mafia. My experiences forever marked me as sexually “other,” yet I wasn’t gay. I wasn’t hetero. I was just . . . me.
Dream if you can a courtyard
An ocean of violets in bloom
Animals strike curious poses
They feel the heat
The heat between me and you
It was a co-worker who told me the news last week. “Did you hear that Prince is dead?” He looked like he would cry. I shook my head, felt a lump rise to my throat. I normally don’t get emotional over celebrity death, but this hit me hard. I choked down tears. Not Prince. I cried. I felt part of me die with him. That part is in these words I’m writing.
It’s not that I am a Prince expert or a musicologist or that I have a lot of stories to share other than the fact that Purple Rain came to me at a time in my life when I could have died from the number of fractures inside myself. Purple Rain washed over me, and said “It’s okay to be conflicted. It’s okay to face down the truth. It’s okay to want love and feel rage and be broken and still be beautiful. It’s okay to turn your soul into art and speed down dark highways on your motorcycle.”
Let me tell you what. When Prince throws himself on the stage belting out the lyrics to “The Beautiful Ones,” and he is writhing and pleading “Do you want me,” my heart breaks a little every time I watch. I wanted that in 1984, and I still want it. I want to feel that hard, want that hard, and I want someone to feel and want me back that hard. Damn, Prince. Who wouldn’t want that? And when he pours his whole lifetime of hurt and need into Purple Rain, you’d have to be made out of cement not to feel his tender soul. Prince let himself feel even if the feelings were conflicted because feelings are conflicted. They can cause us to love hard and hurt hard (ourselves and others).
Touch if you will my stomach
Feel how it trembles inside
You’ve got the butterflies all tied up
Don’t make me chase you
Even doves have pride
Flashback to April 20, 2016, just a few days ago. I was running at twilight listening to music on shuffle mode on my iPod. I was trying hard not to think about how it was the anniversary of my brother, paternal grandmother and biological father’s death. I was running through the desert streets at night. I was planting my feet on the ground with each step, trying to feel the ground so I wouldn’t fly off – the handle or the planet.
No music sounded good. I kept clicking past songs. Then I landed on The Be Good Tanyas’ cover of “When Doves Cry” and thought “That’s it!” I ran six miles listening to different cover versions of the song. It’s always been my favorite Prince song. It encapsulates everything about him that touches my soul. I was listening to covers of the song the night before Prince died. The doves were crying while I ran and while one very important dove was exiting this world.
When I learned Prince died, I wanted to write something, like so many people did, because he changed my life. But the more I thought about what I would write, the more I realized it would be impossible because I would just end up writing about me. But maybe that was one of his most profound gifts. Through his utter freedom in his unique creative expression of self, he gave us an outlet for our own self-expression. He said it’s okay to use your life as the materia of art, be a spectacle, pour your heart out, be conflicted, and keep mixing it up because life is mixed up.
When I first started listening to Prince, I didn’t really think too deeply about music, identity, race, performance, and all those things. I was just trying to survive and understand who I was while barely standing on my feet. When I threaded Purple Rain through the projector back in 1984 and watched Prince’s story and music unfold, I knew I loved the man, and I loved his music.
His death has made me question why Prince meant so much to me. I think mostly it is his utter sincerity coupled with his resistance to definition. His music is a hybrid that covers the musical range of my lifetime. It’s rock, funk, punk, glam, disco, and pop. It is a lot of things, but mostly it is uniquely its own thing. There is no other Prince. The man could write a song, sing his guts out in an incredible range that could rip your heart to pieces, play the living hell out of the guitar and piano, and put on a mind blowing spectacle of a performance. He had the ability to straddle two worlds: He could lay his soul bare while also keeping himself firmly protected in his pop identity. He gave us his heart, but he held back his “self.” Those conflicting elements allowed me to find a place for myself.
Prince taught me it was okay to be honest and to put your guts and your life into your art, but he also showed me the safety net of public persona. On the surface, Prince felt like pop. But he also had deep soul to rival the best. His vocal range shatters my heart. But he could also rock the hell out of an electric guitar, coming out of Minneapolis at the same time as post-punk bands like Husker Du. In fact Husker Du frontman Bob Mould played the same stage at the First Avenue Club and recorded in the same studios as Prince.
But none of that is why Prince is important to me. Those are facts, and Prince was more than facts. He was . . . an angel, a demon, a visionary.
I feel for Prince because I feel for his scattered identity and the fact that he created his alter-ego out of his real struggles and put his soul into it. He’s Prince, but who is he really? I am the woman writing this personal tribute to Prince, but who am I really?
There are times in my life when I have held onto my Italian genes because they gave me some kind of sense of heritage or belonging. Race. Class. I may have a lot of Italian genes, but even that identity is largely constructed. My family is dead. I never knew my biological father. After I got off the streets where I was completely invisible, I spent years scraping together an identity out of scraps of myself and the shit I made and wrote. I am a montage of sorts. But who am I really? It doesn’t matter. I just keep creating, making, shifting, finding new ways to express myself. Thank you, Prince.
Purple Rain is a beautiful album because it covers the spectrum of young confused life. Fighting with identity, genes, family. The need for and impossibility of love. Desire. Hope. Heartbreak. Alienation. And the one thing holding the human soul together – soul as expressed through music.
With Prince, there was always hope in all the freneticism, pomp and gut-wrenching pleas in his music. There was hope even while recognizing hopelessness. In his music, there was self-awareness through the creation of a public self. There is an understanding of self within the material world, but there is also recognition that self is something we, ourselves, can feel intensely but that can never really be defined publicly. Self in the public realm is always a construction, and Prince’s constructed self was so sincerely self-aware that he gave voice to everyone who is invisible in the mass public, everyone who defies definition and doesn’t fit, and everyone whose selves remain hidden and silent. It is the hope in Purple Rain mixed with regret, pain, longing, rage, desperation and the sense that Prince will never belong to anyone or anywhere but himself that struck my heart deep and still does.
How do we who live beyond categories navigate the tumultuous terrain of our souls in a world that insists on categories that will never accommodate us? Through art, writing, music, creative expression. Prince taught me this.
How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that’s so cold? (So cold)
Maybe I’m just too demanding
Maybe I’m just like my father too bold
Maybe you’re just like my mother
She’s never satisfied (She’s never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry
Yes, I cried when Prince died. But I wouldn’t be writing this if he hadn’t come into my life that night in 1984 when I threaded Purple Rain through the projector.
I love Prince, and he is profoundly important to me because the man was working out his struggles with identity through music. I identified with him because of his conflicts with identity. He showed me the truth of fractured identity, because he could not be categorized, because he was so many things yet he was no one thing, and because mostly he was his own thing. Prince sang to me because he defied labels, and because his personal cosmology made him an outsider from the outset. He wasn’t black or white, rock or soul. He was… Prince.
(Kim Nicolini is an artist, poet and cultural critic living in Tucson, Arizona. Her writing has appeared in Bad Subjects, Punk Planet, Souciant, La Furia Umana, and The Berkeley Poetry Review. She recently completed a book of her artwork on Dead Rock Stars which will was featured in a solo show at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA. She is also completing a book of her Dirt Yards at Night photography project. Her first art book Mapping the Inside Out is available upon request. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
— William Carlos Williams
FEDS, STATE AND TRIBES SIGN KLAMATH DAM REMOVAL AGREEMENT
by Dan Bacher
Salmon and steelhead will once again ascend the upper Klamath River and its tributaries, as they did for many hundreds of thousands of years before dams were built, if an agreement reached on April 6 is implemented.
At the mouth of the Klamath River at Requa in Northwest California, representatives of the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Commerce, the States of Oregon and California, the Yurok Tribe, the Karuk Tribe and PacifiCorp signed an agreement clearing the path for dam removal on the river.
The Amendment to the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), if approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), will initiate the removal of four dams on the Klamath River. It will be “one of the largest river restoration projects in the history of the U.S,” according to Interior Secretary Sally Jewel.
Under the agreement, dam owner PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, will transfer its license to operate the Klamath River dams to a private company. This company, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, will oversee the dam removal in 2020.
PacifiCorp will continue to operate the four dams, including Iron Gate, Copco 1 and Copco 2 in California north of Yreka and J.C. Boyle in Oregon, until they are decommissioned.
“Today is a historic day where the parties who have worked for decades to restore the Klamath Basin are reaffirming their commitment to each other for the shared vision of fisheries restoration and irrigated agriculture co-existing as we move into the future,” said Secretary Jewell. “This agreement is an important initial step as we work toward a comprehensive set of actions to advance long term restoration and sustainability for tribes, fisheries, and agriculture and water users across the Klamath Basin.”
Yurok Tribe Chairman Thomas O’Rourke, NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, California Governor Jerry Brown, PacifiCorp President and CEO Stefan Bird, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Secretary Jewell, environmental and fishery conservation groups and other Klamath River tribes participated in the signing event on the Yurok Reservation.
“Dam removal is a key element of large-scale fish restoration efforts on the Klamath, and we believe it puts the people of the Klamath Basin back on a path toward lasting prosperity,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr.
The Klamath River was historically the third most productive salmon and steelhead watershed on the West Coast, but the once robust fishery has declined over the decades. The removal of four dams owned by PacifiCorp will open up hundreds of miles of spawning and rearing habitat for fish.
In September 2015, the Yurok Tribe withdrew from the previous KHSA and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) over the Tribe’s concerns that a parallel Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement was finalized in March 2014 without the participation of the Yurok Tribe. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/16/1421821/-Yurok-Tribe-Withdraws-from-Klamath-Agreements)
The new dam removal agreement seeks to use existing funding and the same timeline as the original agreement. It is expected to be filed with FERC by July 1, and will be vetted using established, public processes, according to a statement from the Tribe.
The state and federal representatives also signed a second pact, the Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement (KPFA), designed to help upper basin irrigators “properly prepare for the return of salmon to the upper basin by constructing fish screens as well as other measures to protect and restore fish populations,” according to the Tribe.
The KPFA acknowledges that “additional actions” are required to restore the Klamath Basin’s fisheries, fulfill trust responsibilities to the Tribes, and sustain the region’s farming and ranching industry, according to O’Rourke.
O’Rourke concluded, “The Klamath River is our lifeline and it is inextricably linked to the health and welfare of the Yurok people. It will be a truly historic day when we see salmon travel from the Klamath’s headwaters to the sea.”
For a good breakdown of the two agreements — what they do and what they don’t do — go to: http://www.opb.org/news/article/the-latest-deal-to-undam-the-klamath-breaking-it-down/
The Karuk Tribe also praised the signing of the agreement.
“We believe that taking care of the Klamath River is the responsibility of everyone who lives in the basin,” explained Karuk Chairman Russell “Buster” Attebery. “We can’t restore our fishery without working with our neighbors in agriculture and they can’t secure water for their farms without working with us. Dam removal is huge leap forward, but we must continue to work with the agriculture community to solve water conflicts as well.”
The, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association, Institute for Fisheries Resources, American Rivers, California Trout, the Federation of Fly Fishers, Trout Unlimited and the Klamath Riverkeeper also released statements applauding the signing of the amended KHSA and Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement.
"The four Klamath Dams slated for removal (which have no fish passage) have been disastrous for west coast salmon fisheries -- and salmon-related jobs -- over more than 700 miles of Northern California and Oregon coastline,” said Glen Spain, NW Regional Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA).
Konrad Fisher, Director, Klamath Riverkeeper, said, “After a decade-long grassroots campaign led by tribal members from the Klamath River, we overcame the greatest odds and now have an agreement that paves the way for a free flowing Klamath River by 2020. After years of lawsuits, protests, and inaction and inaction by Congress, we can celebrate a new path toward dam removal which means cleaner water and improved conditions for salmon.”
Governor Jerry Brown, who has been strongly criticized by Tribes, fishermen and grassroots environmentalists for his California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels, his implementation of faux “marine protected areas” under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, and his support for fracking other controversial environmental policies, said his administration supports Klamath dam removal and river restoration.
“This historic agreement will enable Oregon and California and the interested parties to get these four dams finally removed and the Klamath River restored to its pristine beauty,” said Brown.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe did not sign the agreement because of their concerns over provisions of the document, although Ryan Jackson, Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, and other members of the Tribe attended the event in Requa.
The Tribe said it was concerned that Section 1.7 of the agreement refers to the Trinity River Restoration Program. “This agreement shouldn’t impact the Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP),” said Jackson.
He and other Hoopa Valley Tribe representatives in a recent meeting I attended also asked for the removal of Section 1.9 that refers to the 2016 Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement (KPFA). “The real focus should be dam removal by itself,” he stated.
In addition, Jackson is concerned about the proposed transfer of ownership of the Trinity River Fish Hatchery, now owned by PacifiCorp and operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in partnership with Hoopa Valley Tribe in their coho program, to the state of California. He said the hatchery should be transferred instead to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the trustee for the Tribe.
“We want to see a comprehensive package that addresses and protects tribal rights, and tribal sovereignty as well,” Jackson told KRCR News. (http://www.krcrtv.com/north-coast-news/news/dam-removal-along-klamath-river-moves-forward-with-agreement/38903812)
Don Gentry, Chair of the Klamath Tribes of Oregon, said that neither he nor other representatives of the Tribe could sign the agreement until it is approved by a vote of the Tribe’s members.
Key Components of Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) - Analysis by Yurok Tribe
Does not end the FERC process; but changes it from a relicensing procedure to a decommissioning procedure;
PacifiCorp agrees to transfer title of the dams to a newly formed entity that will then apply for a surrender and decommissioning process with FERC and also take on any liabilities associated with the removal of the dams;
Does not require any new federal funding or Congressional action or authorizations;
Adheres to the original KHSA timeline of dam removal in the year 2020;
Does not suspend or alter any existing environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act or others;
Does not waive, alter, or terminate any Tribal water or fishing rights.