- Mendocino County
- Anderson Valley
by AVA News Service, May 10, 2016
NAVARRO RIVER BREAKS THROUGH, 1pm, Saturday, May 8, 2016
MRC/HRC ANTI-V SPENDING (Redacted)
Even though heavily redacted, it appears that much of that $200k went to this firm (two different names, but at the same Sacramento address, with the same principal):
MRC ADMITS FIRE RISK
WHY, KATE, WHY? YOU, TOO, SHARON. Really, ladies, you've got to at least pretend to be open to all perspectives. Refusing to print pro-Measure U letters and opinions simply won't do. It isn't fair, especially since the Measure U people undoubtedly represent majority Fort Bragg opinion even though they're up against City government, the City's tax-paid San Francisco lawyer and, natch, almost all local media.
TULSI GABBARD, the Congresswoman from Hawaii, came to Ukiah Saturday in support of Bernie Sanders. At 35 she packs a pretty impressive set of credentials. First American Samoan and first Hindu in Congress. At 21 she became the youngest American to be elected to a state legislature. As a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard she has served two combat deployments to Iraq, the second as platoon leader and now, promoted to Major, she continues to serve in the National Guard. Even though she tried to explain the persistent press question, "Why Ukiah?" (The political equivalent of the moon) about all she could muster was to promote the notion that there was still hope for Bernie. Phil Baldwin in his introduction for Tulsi whispered that we should expect a bombshell to explode in the Clinton campaign from one of 5 sources: "Clinton's emails, the Clinton foundation, transfers, Lybia, Syria". As an anti-war advocate Tulsi pointed out that the Department of Defense has never been audited. As a gentle voiced yet strong speaking woman she was able to give the choir, a full house at the usually deserted Ukiah Conference Center, what it wanted. It was fun to be there with all the cheering people and Tulsi's an inspirational young person, certainly a lot more inspirational than the big white teeth who "represent" the Northcoast. (David Severn)
BERNIE CAN WIN CALIFORNIA BIG - ONLY IF we get our Calif. friends and relatives eligible to vote for Bernie. Call, text, or email ten, fifteen, twenty of your buddies to check up on this ASAP. Sorry to be bugging you so frequently but on Wall Street and War, the differences between Bernie and HRC are immense. (It is reality that Hillary Clinton has been and remains the most dangerously pro-war of contenders this year.)
— Thanks Phil Baldwin, Ukiah
MY BRIEF CAREER AS A KARATE KID
by Steve Heilig
On my way to the local junior college, where I attended classes for one semester while trying to figure out where better to go, I'd ride my small motorcycle up a main drag linking our beach town to the freeways and less-exalted communities. It was an avenue of funky thrift stores, gas stations, cheap but good Mexican restaurants, and the like, and near where I turned off each morning there was a small storefront with a sign reading "KARATE."
On impulse one afternoon on my way back from class, I pulled up there, parked, and walked in. It was a single big room, poorly lit, and it seemed nobody was around. "Hello?" I said, and a man appeared from a door in the back. He was thirtyish, short but very thick and his arms looked like the kind of six-inch diameter ropes I'd seen tying boats to docks. "Hi!" he said, extending a hand, which felt like those ropes too. "Looking for karate lessons?" I said maybe, and he smiled some more and motioned me back to his office, where we sat and chatted amiably for a bit about where we were from and so forth. He was a Vietnam veteran, recently returned. I was a skinny 19-year old beach kid from a low-key but affluent bucolic small coastal town just a couple miles away. He told me about the type of karate he taught, Kenpo, and how weekly lessons could be had for $10/hour, or $150 for six months plus unlimited drop-ins group sessions with other students. It seemed like it might be a good way to really get in shape and yes, perhaps feel more confident physically, even thought I'd never really had any problems there. I told him I'd like to try a couple lessons and then see about signing up for the package, and we set a date for my first session, him telling me all I'd need was to bring shorts and a t-shirt.
At my first lesson, he wore a white karate uniform and a black belt, accompanied by another younger, tall dark-skinned guy wearing a green belt. They started me on katas, extended movements and positions that flowed one to the next and could extend for some time, requiring both good memory and physical discipline. Then he demonstrated various stances, punches, self-defense moves, such as when somebody has grabbed you from behind in a choke hold. The moves looked to be impressively effective and painful for the attacker, even moreso when the two instructors sparred a bit, hitting and kicking blindingly quickly but not making actual contact.
"So what do you think, time to sign up?" the boss asked, as we sat down, me a bit sweaty and out of breath. I said I liked it but was not sure, and would like to try another session first. "Oh c'mon, we can make it so you just pay each time for a lesson until you've paid the full amount. That way you are committed and will keep showing up and learn it, instead of wimping out like others do." While this made sense to me, it also felt like pressure. But before I knew it I was signing a little two-page contract and giving him the one $20 bill I had as a first deposit.
My next couple of lessons were like the first, and we scheduled them so a group session came just after. The guys - all guys - in the classes were a mixed bunch of regular-looking or thuglike dudes, throwing punches and wheeling kicks. I was supposed to do at least ten full lessons, with practice in-between, before I would take a test for my orange belt, the first rung above white. When that time came, I nailed the katas, but at actual karate moves I failed miserably. "I don't know what that was" the bossman said, referring to a feeble kick I'd just aimed his way. "I think you need to sign up for more lessons." But I just wasn't enjoying the place or the lessons, and told him so, feeling very intimidated.
He motioned me outside, and we walked out and around the corner, where the only car parked at the curb was a souped-up, bright red "muscle car" - a Plymouth Barracuda, named after a long slim nasty fish I had caught on fishing trips to Mexico with my dad. He leaned against it and lit up a cigarette, exhaled, nodded at the car, and said "Nice wheels, eh?" I said yes, in reality not impressed by either the smoke or the car. "You know," he exhaled, nodding out towards the main drag, "In five years this town is gonna be overrun by gooks and beaners and niggers and you're really gonna be glad you studied with me here." I just looked away, embarrassed for the both of us and suddenly sure I wanted nothing more to do with him or his studio. Yes, I did grow up in an almost all-white community, and had never had any negative interactions or even impressions of nonwhite folks, but I just knew this was a very wrong attitude. We chatted some more and then walked back in, me to change my clothes and get out of there, but he steered me into the office again and brought out another contract. I meekly shook my head and said I still had another couple of lessons paid up under the first one and then we'd see. He suddenly looked angry and started flipping through some papers, saying "No, you've used up your lessons already...". I quietly said I thought he was wrong but we could check that out, just wanting to get out of there. He stared at me for a moment and said "I kinda figured you might be a pussy when you first walked in here, but I hope I'm wrong. You rich kids from down there usually can't cut it, though. Just remember we have your address. And don't think your bigshot parents scare me." I just nodded, got up, and walked out, past the three guys sparring in the dim light, into the bright sunlight, got on my puny Yamaha 125, and rode away, more than a little shaken. This guy was scarier than any of the people he was warning me about.
Obviously I had no plans to return, even though I was "owed" some lessons or money, but the vague threats lingered. I had fantasies of him or one of his goons stalking me at home - I did wander around by myself alot a night - and beating the crap out of me, which would not be hard. There was at least one phone call to my house, which my mom took, asking for me, and some hang-up calls as well - which could have been anybody, but I suspected the karate guy. I considered taking him up on his threat and having my dad call his good pal the chief of police to do something, but what that might be I didn't know, plus it did, even to me, seem kind of wimpy to be telling my parents like a bullied kid on a playground.
Then I had an evil idea. A couple pals of mine had access to marijuana - the cheap Mexican kind sold for $10 for a one-ounce baggie or "lid", or $15 for a "three-finger lid" - measured by holding one's fingers up at the bottom of the clear plastic bag. I asked for a three-finger lid, eliciting some surprise as I never bought the stuff, and got that for $10 - a "buddy turn-on" as my pal put it. That night I shoved the little bag into my sock, smoothed my Levi's pantleg over it, got on my cycle and rode up to the studio. I did a quick pass by to note that the Barracuda was there - it seemed to me that the boss slept in his studio. I did a U-turn and came back down the other side of the main drag, parking in the lot of the record store - a now-defunct chain called Licorice Pizza (get it? - a black flat disc) - directly across the street. I walked up a block, crossed at the light, and went all the way around the block, coming down the side street from behind the studio. Heart pounding, I stood in the shadow of an overhanging eave, next to some garbage cans, and waited a minute to be sure nobody was about. I took a deep breath, ducked down, and scurried a few steps up and across the sidewalk to the car, reached into my sock and pulled the baggie out, and stuffed it up on top of the right front tire, under the fender. Then I was running down the sidewalk, back around the block, looking back to be sure nobody followed, until I was back on the main drag. I walked casually back over to the record store, but instead of going in, I went into the phone booth in front and pulled the door closed.
Putting a dime into the slot, I dialed "O". "Operator", she answered, and I asked for the police station closest to Newport Boulevard and 17th Street. "Just a minute, I can connect you directly," she said, and in a quick moment a man said "Costa Mesa police." I took a breath, heart racing again, and said "Uh, listen, I'm really scared to report this, but I'm pretty sure there is drug dealing going on on my block, out of a karate studio on the corner." There was a pause, and then "Oh... drugs? What kind?" I replied "Pot, I am sure, as I smell it. And maybe more, I'm not sure. I just saw somebody put a bag under the fender of a red Barracuda right on the sidewalk. Somebody else will come soon and get it. This happens every damn night!" He asked for the address, I gave it to him, and then he asked for my name. "Uh, sorry, but are you kidding? These guys could be dangerous!" I hung up.
I figured it was a long shot on a $10 bet, but pot was a big crime and there was much in the news about how many kids were using it and how much was being smuggled over the border - President Nixon had attempted something called "Operation Intercept" to stem the flow, with the usual non-results. But cops in our zone didn't have many serious crimes to contend with, so out of curiosity, I went into Licorice Pizza to look at albums. They were having a sale! I figured it would be worth it to maybe finally buy Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde", a two-LP set for $5.99, at a minimum. And maybe the new Steely Dan.
But while I wandered the shop, listening to the crappy Fleetwood Mac they were playing, I kept an eye out the window across the street. And before long, bingo - two cop cars pulled up there. One stopped in front of the studio, on the main drag, while the other pulled around the corner and parked behind the 'Cuda. I couldn't believe it. But a cop got out and walked over to and around the car, and then started feeling under the fenders. My work there done, and on the verge of panic, I went to the counter, bought the Dylan, put it into my little backpack, and walked as casually as possible to my bike. As I cranked the kickstarter I saw both cops at the front door of the studio. I think at least one of them had his hand on his gun.
It took awhile for me to get back into martial arts. At the UC campus I was fortunate to attend, I found an instructor who had also been to Asia, but as a serious, Buddhist student of karate instead of a soldier. He made us meditate before and after actual instruction, and if a student messed around carelessly or aggressively and actually hit somebody, that student was gone. The teacher had some sort of Nth-degree black belt and was a real master. "The real success in this art is in never having to use it" was the kind of thing he would say - like the "Grasshopper" dude in the TV show "Kung Fu." I dug him very much but he soon went back to Asia, no doubt to become even more of a master. And I failed parts of his instruction too, as not long after, on a San Francisco street at dusk, I reflexedly used some karate moves on a young kid who made to mug me, and he went down hard, injured. But I was not aware of his his partners behind me, who no doubt beat the crap out of me even harder than they had planned to. If I'd had a gun and used it, there likely would have been two kids shot - me and the ringleader who came at me first - and one more handgun in the hands of petty criminals. There's a lesson there for the paranoid.
Other lessons came to me much later, especially recently as wealthy bigoted versions of my first karate instructor shoot for high office. Even though his studio and other rundown businesses like it soon vanished from the gentrifying main drag - my fault or not, I'd never know - the karate veteran was partly right, sorta, about the future. "Foreigners" did come to town in much bigger numbers. But they were as much ambitious, law-abiding Asians as anything, bringing ever more prosperity to the already-nice coastal zone. Latino immigrants, legal or otherwise, also kept coming, but they tended to be very law-abiding for fear or reprisal and even deportation - plus they were essential to maintaining the yards, gardens, pools, construction industry, and dining-out options of the ever more privileged residents of our area. Plus, it was white guys who were importing and marketing the illegal herb. Violent crime rates actually went down over the years. Eventually more Mexicans were heading back over the border than were coming in. But even if he lived long enough to witness all this - which, given his habits, I tend to doubt - my karate boss would likely be an angry old scared uneducated white guy, armed with both ancient karate skills and actual weaponry, wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat and hoping to vote for somebody just like Donald Trump to legitimize his bigotry - and that "leader" would then rob him blind while yes, sending poorer kids to war and prisons, rescinding health services for poor folks, giving wealthy folks like himself big tax cuts, and so forth, right out of the old playbook, all the while calling it something else, like "patriotism." Some things never change, and there's still one more born every minute.
ANOTHER RESPONSE TO FORT BRAGG HIGH STUDENTS QUESTIONS
by Anne Marie Cesario
Measure U is about unresponsive city government, irresponsible use of tax dollars, patient rights to privacy and adequate services, community development and zoning. The measure was written over a year ago because in January 2015 the city council voted to approve the location of a community development block grant for over a million dollars. The project funded was for a homeless day shelter, offices for social services for the homeless and mental health crises center and transitional housing. When we researched city records we discovered that in the past few years this organization has gotten over 2 million dollars for several real estate projects and they have only added 10 beds for the homeless in our town. Measure U supporters want more housing for the homeless, we believe we can do better than 10 beds for 2 million dollars.
In January and February 2015 there were several council meetings about this and hundreds of community members attended and spoke against locating this project in the Old Coast Hotel because it is the last of our Landmark Hotels standing. Many business people and community members spoke against this location because they felt that the building should remain a restaurant and Hotel because of its attraction to tourists. Social service and mental health professionals spoke against this project because the location is does not provide the privacy the clients deserve and because there were several other locations that were available that would have provided more housing. If your family was homeless would you want to go home to the Old Coast Hotel, a public location where everyone you go to school with would know your family was having a hard time or would you want a private location to go home to?
Two petitions were submitted to the city council that had over 1600 names on them of citizens in Fort Bragg that pleaded with the city council to vote against the Coast Hotel as the location for this project. We wanted a better location that provided better services, more housing and was in a zoning district that allowed emergency shelter if it was needed. In fact, a grid of alternative locations in the community that provided more housing and adequate office space was presented to the city council and the homeless organization. They ignored us. Service professionals and business people had meetings with council members and tried to educate them about why this location was inadequate and unprofessional. They also pointed out in January that the location did not meet the parking requirements that were in the city's zoning codes. The council then in February passed a law to put a moratorium on the parking rules. Many people don't know this but when the council approved the location for this homeless and mental health project the Old Coast Hotel site was not a legal choice because they have no parking there and it never should have been approved because it violated the law. This did not stop our City Council because they are so powerful they were able to simply change the law even though so many people came forward against it for many good reasons. In the Fort Bragg City Limits there are only about 3300 registered voters so 1600 signatures is a very large number, especially since the number of people who typically vote is around 1800 according to the county of Mendocino. Mr. Turner, Mr. Hammerstrom and Mr. Dietz all ignored the people who elected them and voted to approve this location. Mr. Cimolino couldn't vote because the project is in the neighborhood he lives in and the 5th council member voted no.
When we watched city government align with the homeless organization that is run by a board of directors who do not live in Fort Bragg but live in Mendocino and Little River we felt that democracy was not in action here in our little town and we believe that the city council was elected to represent the people who live in Fort Bragg, not the people who live in Little River and Mendocino. We formed an organization called the Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg and we found an attorney to represent us and raised over 12,000 dollars to take the city to court to try and stop this project from happening. We at the same time found out that if we gathered enough signatures we could put this decision to a vote of the people who live in Fort Bragg. We then followed the law that regulates the democratic rights of citizens in California, we consulted with attorneys and we collected enough signatures to put Initiative Measure U on the ballot. In fact, we had to collect hundreds of signatures twice because the city did not tell us how many signatures we needed until after we handed the first batch in and we came up one signature short. When we asked the city council, that had the power to simply vote to put the measure on the ballot to please put it on last November's ballot they refused and we had to collect signature all over again (at least we knew how many signatures we had to have the second time). The City Council then voted to delay the people their right to vote until this June election.
So you see Measure U stands for democracy and the right of the people of Fort Bragg to VOTE and decide how they want the downtown to be used and developed now and in the future. Measure U also stands for appropriately located services and the practical use of tax dollars, getting the biggest bang for the federal dollars that we are awarded because we are an economically disadvantaged community. We want a different location for this homeless project because we want more transitional housing for the people in need.
Yes, people are complaining about the growing population of homeless in our community and their presence in our 4 block Central Business District. Did you know that the business owners on Franklin Street clean up human and animal waste on their properties regularly? And there have been many broken windows and someone tried to rob La Bamba? In fact, there have been several meetings I have heard about with the police where the city government, the homeless organization and the business owners have met to talk about the increase in vagrancy and crime. Did you know that they are proposing to put a police substation in the Hotel, foot patrol officers and surveillance cameras downtown because of this?
California law states that transitional housing can be in any neighborhood of the city that allows housing. Legally, the transitional housing units can be in any residential neighborhood in town. When we researched the zoning laws of Fort Bragg and considered the services this homeless organization needs to provide we believe the best location for this project would be in the districts zoned Commercial General. The reason for this is that the city has determined that the only district where emergency shelter is allowed is the Commercial General district. For millions of tax dollars we believe that the homeless organization should acquire a location where they can provide all the services that are needed for the homeless in Fort Bragg.
I hope this answers your questions. Thank you for asking. We will be forwarding a power point presentation to you that has more information in it.
Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg and the Proponents of Measure U
THE OLD OLD COAST
I've pondered the idea that life passes before one's eyes when embarking Death's craft to the shores of evermore. Through the years, memories collect in still and moving pictures that on occasion reappear in living color to say, “I will be seeing you through to the end of time on the shores of evermore.”
One such wonderful memory frequently returns with very happy images of my family and friends in the bar and dining room, smiling, laughing, kissing, enjoying ourselves with coippino, crab Louie, garlic bread and many bottles of wine, mugs of draft sliding over polished redwood, patterned tin walls long ago painted white waxing soft muted golden and rose tints of sunlight reflecting from the building's windows across the street facing West, through white cafe lace cafe curtains that wrap up the memories so warm, so pleasant, like a big fluffy pillow where Fort Bragg's Central Business District dreams were made of at the Old Coast Hotel.
I was sad when Fort Bragg California's Old Coast Hotel closed its doors, and hoped that soon, very soon, a better than ever Old Coast bar and restaurant would bloom within and on the spot to ribbon cuttings, several grand openings with the elites of Mendocino and friends toasting Fort Bragg's newest industry, our tourist industry. Welcoming all the farmers and fishermen, ranchers, wild food hunters and distributors to celebrate their products proudly presented on the menu in marvelous ways which draw crowds wrapped around the Fort Bragg Central Business District for weeks while reservations wind into months, so popular the new Old Coast was in my dreams. Franklin Streets “For Rent” signs were replaced with “OPENING SOON!” signs in windows brighter than all the Christmas displays of all years past combined, so big was this dream of mine. If Thomas Keller could turn a mud road into a gold mine for Napa's wines, if Alice Waters could move San Francisco to the farm at her table, surely with two culinary schools, NO GMOs, the wineries, the breweries, the people of Fort Bragg in Mendocino who work so hard to make a Los Angeles restaurant chain tributed in their name, “Mendocino Farms” wealthy, could, if not by themselves, of not of their County, surely could for Fort Bragg? Alas; It came to "Not".
Fort Bragg government declared the city had a higher calling, an altruistic purpose Pope Francis would envy, made of the City Fathers and government employees, by those contracted to the City and County government, for the homeless who are not substance abusers, and anyone who does not agree, openly declared an enemy of Fort Bragg ironically by the people who claim Fort Bragg in the name of LOVE. Not even for their own children, that's how altruistic these Fort Braggers have become, sacrificing their children's future in the name of the sake of the homeless, who know it's a bad racket.
How did this happen? Fort Bragg was sure to appeal to someone with money that could appreciate all these years of closed streets and empty shops. Someone with millions from somewhere could make Fort Bragg the tourist industry it deserved to be, secure the investments it needed to shine past years of slow death in the name of City improvements. Summer after summer tourists came, Franklin Street closed for repairs. Shops relocated. Shops closed. Shops got robbed. Shops stayed closed. Shops are closed, as the few shops that remain barely open are called “NIMBY”, “greedy”, “selfish” and "exposed" as ignorant or maligned by their own City Council and County leadership working together to endow the "homeless" with much more than the Old Coast Hotel, for if they could, the homeless all over the world should know, in the minds of Mendocino County leadership that has spent over $43 Million dollars on Mental Health in the past 3 years, the homeless and social services that depend on them to sustain government funding, that sustains much too highly paid salaries for people that don't appreciate fine dining, but can afford to go to San Francisco and drop a grand to eat good food, otherwise they go to Taco Bell like the majority. Name one of them worthy of $1CK. Not one. The homeless aren't fools. They know they don't get what Social Services promises in the name of a hand up or out, especially if they own a Prop 215 Medical marijuana Users Card, to work as a trimmer in Mendocino County, leaving them on the streets and under bridges waiting to be booked in jail for something that wouldn't have happened had they the Social services promised (except in fine print).
The Old Coast was important to Fort Bragg Central Business District as Restaurant Row is to Beverly Hills, or Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, that was once Meigg's Wharf, a saw mill. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiggs_Wharf If Meigg's Wharf can become a tourist destination with fine restaurants, why not Fort Bragg? Old Coast was a great place to entertain guests and celebrate special occasions within Fort Bragg. Close to banks, the Post Office, movies, and shopping that no longer exist as it did just a decade ago, whether the walk was to Old Coast Hotel, or after eating there, we always enjoyed window shopping and sharing what we learned on Historical Society walks, new artists, dropping into another place for an after dinner drink or a dessert. We had fun. Where to go today? Name the best restaurant in Fort Bragg Central Business District. What restaurant has a full bar, employees can afford to pay mortgages and offeres fine dinning in Fort Bragg Central Business District? I don't know of one.
Tourist towns are only as good as their best restaurant. Whether it's a chain like Ruth Chris Steak House or a “destination” chef like Emeril, those high plate prices mean mortgages, taxes and bills are being paid by locals employed in a tourist industry. Old Coast Hotel stood as the hope Fort Bragg would become the tourist industry we all know it could easily be. What happened? What happened that Old Coast Hotel went to another industry, the social services industry? What does that mean?
That means Fort Bragg is not investing in a tourist industry, but rather sustaining a Social Self Services Industry, where everyone is dependent on the government for income, which means they need to process people, homeless and low income people, not people with money that can afford fine dining. Those people can bypass Fort Bragg, the other side of the tracks (or Noyo River), by those in Mendocino County that have fine dining and no homeless shelters. This is why Fort Bragg gets a Taco Bell and not fine dining at Old Coast.
I love my memories at the Old Coast, not one marred by those who actively work in the name "GO Fort Bragg" to transition the Central Business District into The Mission in Los Angeles (Stand included in the name of asphalt being dumped on Koch Headlands and called a “trail”).
Old Coast was among the little left in Fort Bragg's Central Business District where one could indulge in old CA style like a time warp. Old Coast deserved to be preserved as much as possible, as a landmark restaurant, destination point, rather than a social rights issue that boils down to the Mendocino elite preferring Old Coast Hotel be their homeless camp so rich tourists don't have to be bothered with paper plates, no water and the homeless. Fort Braggers struggle to evolve from a company town to a government plantation, while Mendocino and Little River polish their redwood bars among patterned tin walls and ceilings with lacy cafe curtains of old California that makes for sweet memories headed for the shores of evermore.
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 9, 2016
KELLI ADAMS, Boonville. Probation revocation.
DANIEL CASTILLO, Napa/Ukiah. Vehicle theft, controlled substance.
AMY COMBS, Howe/Ukiah. Child abduction.
MARK DANIELS, Willows/Ukiah. False info to cop, resisting.
CARL DAVIS, Willits. Domestic assault, probation revocation.
JOHN HILL, Leggett. DUI, reckless evasion, wrong way driving, suspended license, probation revocation.
ROCCO HIMMER, Dublin/Ukiah. DUI.
AMANDA JOHNSON, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, protective order violation.
JONATHAN KOEGLER, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.
DAVID LOVIE, Chico/Fort Bragg. Vehicle theft by extortion.
RAMON NIETO, Willits. Drunk in public, possession of alcohol in public place, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
THERESA OROZCO, Ukiah. Domestic battery, false imprisonment.
GENE ROEDIGER, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER TURNER, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI-drugs.
JOHN VARNEY, Ukiah. Vandalism, probation revocation.
WILLIAM VAUGHAN, Potter Valley. Petty theft.
by James Kunstler
For years, it was easy to see the political storm clouds gather over Europe with its fractious coalitions and its ancient babble of conflicts. Marine Le Pen’s Daddy, severe old Jean-Marie, was on the scene in France decades before Donald Trump ascended to glory on the noxious clouds of America’s crapified culture, attended by heavenly hosts of Kardashian angels and the cherub Honey BooBoo.
For all the strains in recent American life, the two-party system had seemed as solid as the granite towers of the Brooklyn Bridge. Not even the estimable Teddy Roosevelt could blow up the system when he tried in 1912 — though his Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party carried California, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, and he far out-polled the incumbent Republican President Taft, who garnered a measly 8 electoral votes (Democrat Woodrow Wilson won). Ross Perot made an impact in 1992 — he certainly had a good point about NAFTA and “the giant sucking sound” of jobs draining out of the USA. But his popinjay manner didn’t go over so well, and at the critical moment in the general election he lost his nerve and withdrew, only to foolishly re-enter weeks later. Then there was the Ralph Nader in 2000, whose egoistic crusade arguably put George W. Bush in the White House.
Since then, the country see-sawed between the long tenures of two Deep State errand boys from each major party, putting both parties in such a bad odor that Trump now rises on their mephitic fumes. Which raises the question, of course: what exactly is this Deep State? Answer: A leviathan of symbiotic rackets producing maximum incompetence affecting adversely the majority of citizens. It’s a blood-sucking beast of a hundred-thousand heads draining the USA of its dwindling vitality, lying about its intentions while it advertises the pietistic certainties of the Left and superstitious shibboleths of the Right, leaving a smoking hole in the middle where the practical problems of everyday life used to be worked out by practical means.
The Deep State is also the sum of unintended consequences and diminishing returns of a late-stage, bureaucratic, techno-industrial economy cannibalizing itself to stay alive. One obvious conclusion is that this economy has got to change before there is nothing left to eat, and no political figure on the scene, including Trump and Bernie Sanders, has a plausible vision of where this takes us. Both really just assume that the engine keeps chugging down the track of ever more material wealth that can be distributed differently. The truth is, there will be a lot less material wealth of the kind we’re used to, and a lot less capital representation in the things we call “money.” In fact, the scene at hand today is just a spectacle of the shrewdest and biggest rodents scarfing up the table-scraps of a 200-year-long banquet.
Hillary Clinton, of course, is the Deep State incarnate, which is the real reason so few citizens trust her. Every poor schnook getting shaken down for a $90,000 appendectomy bill looks at Hillary and knows exactly what she represents. Every 25-year-old jobless, couch-surfing millennial carrying fifty-grand in college debt sees the face of the Deep State in her self-satisfied demi-smile. Mainly, she has gulled the diversity pimps — because they are wards of the Deep State — and women, because it’s Mommy’s “turn” to direct the Deep State. Writer, financier, and Deep State rogue operative Jim Rickards keeps insisting that Uncle Joe Biden will end up as the Democratic nominee. (He said so in a Tweet just the other day). You have to wonder what this guy knows. Don’t suppose that Uncle Joe is the knight on a white horse you’ve been waiting for. After all, he’s vice-president of the Deep State.
Voters seem attracted to Trump because he’s so eager to give the finger to the Deep State. It deserves the finger, but it also needs to be carefully disassembled without blowing up what remains of this country. Trump already has a good start on blowing up the Republican Party. Never before have so many party officials dissociated themselves from the (so far) presumptive nominee. I expect to see more extreme measures against Trump to be yet attempted by the party mandarins in the two months before the convention. I doubt you will hear about them before they happen.
In the face of that, Trump’s behavior only gets more childish. His speech after the Indiana primary was a masterpiece of incoherence. Everything that reflected on the magnificence of his victory was “incredible.” Interestingly, that was exactly the right word. He’s tuned in to the national nervous breakdown underway. From time to time, when he’s not speaking emptily about how much he is loved, Trump voices some legitimate concern of the Deep State’s victims. There are few decent jobs outside the Deep State’s own rackets. We’re not obliged to take in a limitless stream of immigrants. Nation-building by military means has been a dismal failure. The national debt is a problem. The country’s infrastructure is decrepit. Trump says he can negotiate a fix to all this: the art of the deal. Blowing smoke up the Deep State’s ass is not a plan.
The tragedy is that no other serious, grown-up figures stepped forward in this dangerous moment of history. The party that Trump purports to represent lost itself in wilderness of grift, jingoism, and supernatural pettifoggery. The rival Democratic Party is high on the fumes of “diversity and inclusion,” kindergarten politics that only corrode what’s left of our tattered common culture. Hillary’s Deep State couldn’t have found a better diversionary subterfuge. Both parties are close to blowing up altogether. I’m not convinced that they’ll survive their own conventions this summer. Then what?
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
Sweet Mae has been living the good life with a foster family on their ranch--with lots of different critters including horses, chickens, dogs and cats. Mae came to the shelter with a severely broken leg, which causes her to limp slightly, but in true canine fashion, she is still active, playful and full of energy. Mae would prefer a family with older kids (over 10) and she would love the company of a playful dog (she lives with 4.) She lives with cats, but wants to play with them, so a kitty free home might be best. Mae would love a large yard since she will be a large dog when grown. Mae would prefer her people were home more often than not since she exhibits some separation anxiety when left. Mae is an inside/outside dog, housebroken, uses a doggie door, knows "sit", is learning fetch, loves water, toys, hates crates and is an included family member. She sleeps on a dog bed inside all night. Mae is about 9 months old, and 45+- pounds. To set up a meet and greet with Mae and her foster folks, call the shelter at 707-467-6453. Check out all the dogs and cats at the Ukiah Shelter on our website: www.mendoanimalshelter.com.
HOW TO MAKE COLLEGE CHEAPER
by Ron Unz
The greatest problem with most universities today is that tuition is much too high, forcing an entire generation of students into long-term debt-servitude. Total student loans now exceed $1.2 trillion, and millions of students will probably never be able to pay them off.
During the mid-1970s, tuition at UCLA, Berkeley, and the other UC campuses was only $630 per year. Now the annual cost averages around $15,000, having increased many times faster than inflation.
An important factor has been the huge rise in educational expenses. Undergraduates now enjoy four years of access to nicer food, fancier dormitories, and Olympic-quality swimming pools, but must then spend 10 or 20 years paying back the crippling student loans that covered those temporary luxuries.
However, the biggest factor in rising expenses has probably been the huge growth in the administrative staff. A couple of decades ago there was one administrator for every two faculty members, and now the numbers are roughly equal. Doubling the number of these non-teaching administrators, some of whom receive outrageous salaries, explains where much of the extra money has been going. One way of cutting tuition would be to persuade the state legislatures in California and around the country to allocate many billions of additional taxpayer dollars to increase public subsidies to their state colleges and universities. But most government budgets are very tight, so this seems unlikely to happen.
Therefore, the only apparent means of substantially lowering tuition is to drastically cut the expenses, especially those unnecessary administrative costs. Liberals and conservatives should unite behind this important political project, backed by the millions of students who desperately need cuts in their extremely high college tuition.
(Ron Unz is chairman of Free Harvard/Fair Harvard, a slate of candidates running for the university’s Board of Overseers on a platform of immediately abolishing undergraduate tuition. He is also a Republican candidate for the US Senate in California.)
THE NEED FOR PROGRESSIVE VOICES
by Ralph Nader
In 1961, President Kennedy’s Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Newton Minow described television as “a vast wasteland.” Perhaps nothing demonstrates that better these days than the rise of Donald J. Trump as a presidential candidate; now the presumptive Republican nominee. Trump’s boisterous carnival barker persona has dominated the airwaves for the entirety of the 2016 election cycle, eclipsing what precious little time remained for the serious issues that affect millions of Americans. CBS president Leslie Moonves recently pulled no punches about the Trump phenomenon, saying it “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”
Trump is a symptom of a larger problem ― profit-driven commercial television has put a stranglehold on our public discourse, highlighting controversy, carnage and entertainment fare over serious matters. The media industry reshaped our precious public commons into a fortress of exclusion that blocks dissenting, innovative and majoritarian viewpoints on matters that address society’s most basic needs. One thing is clear ― something’s gotta give.
Fortunately, we have the power to massively shift how our public airwaves are utilized. After all, the airwaves are owned by the people and are used by these tawdry broadcasters free of charge! (In the past, I’ve referred to bombastic media personalities Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity as “corporate welfare kings” because of how they freely use the public’s property.)
This exclusionary media has obscured the fact that the public could take back some air time and condition over-the-air and cable licenses to provide serious, well-funded, diverse and informative content.
On May 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th 2016 at Constitution Hall in Washington DC a large gathering of civil society will take place to challenge the entrenched power of the corporate/political complex. The event is called Breaking Through Power. This “Civic Mobilization” will involve thousands of people at Constitution Hall and around the country and connect long-available knowledge to long-neglected action for the necessities and aspirations of people from all backgrounds.
May 24th will be dedicated solely to challenging mainstream media, bringing together authors, documentary filmmakers, reporters, columnists, musicians, poets and editorial cartoonists who will demonstrate the need for higher standards on television and radio, and in print and on the web. Some participants on that day will be: Phil Donahue, Laura Flanders, Eugene Jarecki, Patti Smith, Mark Green, Matt Wuerker and many others.
The major mobilizing action on May 24th will be to create a new advocacy organization called “Voices.” The purpose of Voices is simple ― to push for enlarging and enhancing space for serious content in all forms of media. Voices will be staffed by public interest lawyers, writers, and traditional and social media specialists. Voices will advance long-neglected standards in the 1934 Communications Act which contains the imperative that broadcasters meet “the public interest, necessity and convenience” and other laws under the jurisdiction of the FCC. The Voices staff will make the case for much more air-time on TV and radio and space in print publications for a multitude of subject matter, issues and activities that are now excluded or censored routinely as a result of a business-model of maximum profit above all else.
Changing the corporate media for the better is easier than you think. The current campaign season has drawn the interest of millions of young people who yearn for a better future. Many have supported Senator Bernie Sanders’ agenda for a more just society. Now, when political excitement is at its peak, is an ideal time to channel civic energy ― no matter which candidate for president you support ― into real, transformative action that benefits people instead of corporations.
Visit breakingthroughpower.org for more information and to register for one or all days of this historic event.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
Ellie is a beautiful, orange tabby who normally lives in the Shelter's Cat Colony room, but is currently being fostered. She's a senior kitty at 14 years old, and would probably do best in a quiet home where she could flourish as a wonderful companion and lap cat! If you have a mellow, loving home where Ellie could live out her golden years, please contact our Adoption Coordinator to make arrangements to meet Ellie. Ellie is spayed and ready to start purring in your home ASAP. Check out all the dogs and cats at the Ukiah Shelter on our website: www.mendoanimalshelter.com.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Here’s a very interesting demographic anecdote I heard a while back, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it’s true: A lot of Baby Boomer women voted for Bush in 2000, because Bill Clinton’s sexual peccadilloes made them want to use the ballot-box to punish Boomer men in general whom they felt had so badly sexually exploited and abused Boomer women. And I’m not trying to make any generalization about women because I’m a (Gen-Xer) guy, and this sounds like something I might do if I were pissed off enough!
CLIMATE CHANGE, which is driven by humanity’s excessive extraction and burning of carbon-rich fossil fuels, is a significant factor behind the momentous Canadian inferno.
— Paul Street
CAMPBELL & ERHARD, AGAIN
To the Editor:
Stuart Campbell has now embedded himself as Board Treasurer at KZYX and also Chair of the station's Programming Committee. Let’s remember some recent history about KZYX Board member Stuart Campbell.
As Interim GM and Executive Director, Stuart Campbell did the following: 1. He conspired to appoint the chair of the search committee for the station’s next GM and Executive Director, 2. He appointed many of the search committee’s member, 3.He required the search committee to copy him on all confidential email (including the resumes of other applicants), 4. He pressured several search committee members to write him letters of recommendation, and, 5 One day before the deadline for applying for the job, he, in fact, applied for the job after publicly stating at a Board meeting that he had no interest in the job.
Stuart Campbell committed the most egregious breach of ethics I have seen in the over 20 years I have served on various boards and commissions. This is ironic, of course, because Campbell bills himself as a philosophy professor and so-called “professor of ethics”.
There is one thing the public should know about Campbell. Remember Werner Erhard, a.k.a Jack Rosenberg?
Werner Erhard, the con man? Remember Him? The guy who bilked about two million baby boomers out of hundreds of millions of dollars in the 1970s and 1980s before the IRS shut him down? Remember him?
Werner Erhard, the master manipulator?
Werner Erhard, the mass mind control specialist?
Werner Erhard, who plagiarized a hodge-podge of philosophical bits and pieces culled from pseudo- existential philosophy, bogus motivational psychology, and other bullshit, and called it EST?
Werner Erhard, who was also a philosophy professor and so-called “professor of ethics” at Sacramento City College.
Werner Erhard, who left EST in disgrace and vanished amid reports of tax fraud and allegations of incest?
Werner Erhard, who released many of his top executives at EST to become executives at Scientology? Scientology had collected filing cabinets worth of materials about Erhard and EST, and aggressively recruited executives and other members at EST.
Well, Stuart Campbell worked for Werner Erhard. In fact, Campbell was himself a top executive at EST.
Specifically, Stuart Cambell was Erhard’s “trainer of trainers”. He traveled the country, training the other con men and other ethical defectives who actually led the EST seminars.
EST trainers were notorious. These insanely authoritarian trainers enforced numerous arbitrary “rules”, requiring applause after participants “shared” their most intimate secrets and vulnerabilities in front of the EST group. They deemphasized reason in favor of EST dogma. They degraded, insulted, and intimated participants.
Yup. Stuart Campbell was Werner Erhard’s trainer of trainers. This interesting factoid emerged in December when Campbell interviewed before the KZYX Board for the job of GM and Executive Director. Thank God he wasn’t hired.
The person who was hired as GM and Executive Director, Lorraine Dechter, should never turn her back on this guy. Campbell is back. He sits on KZYX’s Board of Directors again. And he wants her job.
Campbell masquerades as some sort of silent, long-suffering Zen master, but he is, in fact, dangerous.
Stuart Campbell lusts for power and control, just like in the old days at EST, and just like his mentor and former boss, Werner Erhard.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE UKIAH LIBRARY.