Mendocino County Today: Friday, Aug 26, 2016
by AVA News Service, August 26, 2016
FORMER POINT ARENA MAYOR Douglas Burkey and his consort, Sheryl Smith, have, as previously reported here, been arrested for grand theft. Their arrest occurred in Point Arena on a warrant from Sonoma County.
BURKEY AND SMITH are in serious trouble, and have some serious 'splaining before them. The background for their arrest involves theft in the amount of $158,000 from a man named Aron Laventer, a former love interest of Ms. Smith. The 60-year old Laventer was found dead on his SoCo property in late 2012, conveniently dead it would appear if viewed from a larcenous perspective.
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Man Found Dead in Creek Bed in Rural Sonoma County
Aron Leventer was missing since Nov. 21.
by Keri Brenner
(November 29, 2012) A 60-year-old man missing since Nov. 21 was found today in a creek bed in Timber Cove in rural Sonoma County, police said. Aron Laventer was found at 9:45 a.m. after a two-day search by Sonoma County Sheriff's Office. Laventer's body was found after deputies on Wednesday called in the Sonoma County Search and Rescue Team, who employed three dogs from the California Rescue Dog Association, police said. The cause of death, or how long he had been deceased, is unknown at this time, the Sheriff's Office said. According to the Sheriff's Office, the search for Laventer began at 7 p.m. Nov. 27, when deputies were asked to check the welfare of an Aron Laventer, 60, who lived in the Timber Cove area and who hadn't been heard from since Nov. 21. Upon arrival at Laventer's residence, deputies could not locate him but found his vehicle and several personal items left in the house, the Sheriff's Office said. It appeared Laventer arrived at home, but then left with no personal belongings. A seach of the area was done by deputies who arrived on scene, with negative results. The Sonoma County Search and Rescue team was activated early the next morning on Nov. 28. The weather had turned for the worse with extreme winds and rain. The Search and Rescue team searched the entire day and stopped the search when it became too dark. They planned to resume their search again on Nov. 29. On Nov. 29, the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) was notified to assist Search and Rescue with the search today. Three dogs arrived, one from as far away as Long Beach. At approximately 9:45am, the victim Aron Laventer was located by a Search and Rescue team, deceased in a creekbed near his residence.
IN A CLOSELY watched Boonville case, Bronwen Hanes, appearing before Judge Ann Moorman Thursday afternoon, was told by the Judge to "prepare to be remanded" when Ms. Hanes appears for sentencing on September 27th. Ms. Hanes was still on probation for the theft of more than $27,000 from the Anderson Valley PTA when she was again charged with the theft of about $500 from a student snack concession.
MENDOCINO REDWOOD: ‘We are exempt’ from approved ordinance
MUCKRAKING SF JOURNALIST WARREN HINCKLE DIES AT 77
by Kevin Fagan
Warren Hinckle, a happily hard-drinking swashbuckler of San Francisco journalism who mixed leftist leanings with an everlasting contempt for the powerful, died early Thursday. He was 77.
Mr. Hinckle had been in declining health and died of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home in San Francisco, relatives said. He was surrounded by his family.
From his groundbreaking days of editing the iconic liberal magazines Ramparts and Scanlan’s Monthly in the 1960s and ’70s to his reliably irreverent columns for newspapers, including The Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner, Mr. Hinckle delighted in tweaking anyone in charge of anything and muckraking for what he fiercely saw as the common good.
With his ever-present Basset hound Bentley in tow, Mr. Hinckle held forth at watering holes and events throughout the city, tossing off one-liners in a low growl like a late-night comic. Along the way, the one-eyed rapscallion — he’d lost his left eye in a childhood car accident and wore a patch — drew the wrath of mayors, police and anyone who got in his way, and he reveled in it.
“He had a great, great time, and no regrets,” said his daughter Pia Hinckle, who followed her father into a writing career. “He never looked back, and he was always looking for the next thing to do.”
One of the milestone moments for Mr. Hinckle came when he assigned Hunter S. Thompson to cover the Kentucky Derby in 1970 for Scanlan’s Monthly. The resultant rollicking article, “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” not only launched the over-the-top, personalized journalism that came to be known as gonzo, it began a lifelong friendship between Mr. Hinckle and Thompson.
Mr. Hinckle’s final book, “Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?” is expected to be published this year. He began writing it in 2005 and was making changes to the manuscript until near his death.
“It was kind of like the portrait of Dorian Gray,” said longtime friend Ron Turner, founder of the book’s publisher, Last Gasp Books. “If Warren stopped working on it, he’d die. He kept moving paragraphs around and changing captions, but now it’s finally ready to go.”
There is no mystery about how Thompson died — suicide — but Turner said he liked the title of the book because “Warren was so into conspiracy theories.”
That taste for conspiracy theories is part of what made Mr. Hinckle an effectively aggressive magazine editor, particularly as the U.S. was turned upside-down in the 1960s.
While executive editor of Ramparts from 1964 to 1969, Mr. Hinckle pioneered “radical slick” — publishing early denunciations of the Vietnam War and diaries by such leftist figures as Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver in a mass-marketed magazine. Under Mr. Hinckle’s direction, Ramparts garnered a huge national following and won the prestigious George Polk Award in 1966 for exposing CIA recruitment practices on college campuses.
The magazine began in 1962 in Menlo Park as a stodgy, intellectual Catholic publication, but when Mr. Hinckle signed on he moved the headquarters to San Francisco and tacked its direction hard left.
“Warren was the godfather of California — and you could say, national —progressive journalism,” said David Talbot, whose book “Season of the Witch” details the tumultuous history of San Francisco from the 1960s to the early ’80s. “As a newsman, he just loved the ’60s as a story, with all its weirdness, from the Black Panthers to hippies in the Haight to the Kennedy assassination. No publication caught it better than Ramparts — it led directly to publications like Rolling Stone, Mother Jones and Salon,” the web magazine Talbot co-founded in 1995.
“He was a great showman, too, and he knew that putting out each issue was like putting out a show ... like an album release,” Talbot said. “Each one brought controversies, drunken celebrations, government investigations, and he just rolled with it all.”
After Ramparts was buried under an avalanche of debt, Mr. Hinckle started Scanlan’s with a New York partner in 1970. Although it made a splash with Thompson’s Kentucky Derby piece and investigations of President Richard Nixon, in 1971 it too collapsed because of financial difficulties — as did Mr. Hinckle’s next short-lived venture, the Francis Ford Coppola-funded City magazine.
Mr. Hinckle then embarked on a career as a newspaper columnist for The Chronicle, Examiner and San Francisco Independent, earning a reputation for filing notes from a barstool or ambling into the newsroom just before — or after — deadline to bang out his prose. He also created and published, off and on, the quirky Argonaut journal from 1992 until 2012.
“He literally stands with the best,” said former Mayor Willie Brown, who was championed to run by Mr. Hinckle and now writes a weekly column for The Chronicle. “Warren’s imagination and his incredibly diverse interests made him unique. He was not Pacific Heights and he was not South of Market — he picked up all sides of the city.”
Even when he was no longer the boss, Mr. Hinckle answered only to himself. Chronicle reporter Steve Rubenstein, who worked alongside him as a columnist in the 1980s, recalled Mr. Hinckle dictating his copy “an hour from deadline from any of a number of watering holes in San Francisco, where his beverage of choice was not the same as Bentley’s.”
The scruffy Dovre Club Irish saloon in the Mission District was one of Mr. Hinckle’s favorites, and when it was forced to move a few blocks away in 1997 to make room for a building housing service agencies for women, he was so angry he tried to barricade the doors with his pals on its last day.
“Warren was a prize,” former Examiner editor Dan Brekke said of the writer, whom the paper hired in 1985 in a push to brighten up its pages with talent, including Thompson. “He was seen as one of the fine Chronicle columnists, only more pugnacious and brawling.”
The long list of the high and mighty skewered by Mr. Hinckle included then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein in the ’80s. Incensed by police raids on the Mitchell Brothers strip club — where he often convened with Thompson to rail against restrictions of sexual expression — he once helped post the mayor’s unlisted phone number on the marquee with, “For a good time, call Dianne.”
Later, she dumped a drink on his head at a public event. “He loved it. It made his night,” recalled his daughter Hilary Hinckle.
In 1984 he railed against making “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” the city anthem by calling Tony Bennett “an over-the-hill Italian croaker” in The Chronicle. As editor of the Argonaut in 1995 he ran a notorious photo of then-Mayor Frank Jordan in a shower with two radio-show deejays, all pictured from the waist up — only Mr. Hinckle had it doctored to depict the mayor fully nude.
“When it comes to muckraking, he rakes the best darned muck in the country,” the late Chronicle columnist Art Hoppe wrote in 1985.
It wasn’t just in the newspaper pages where Mr. Hinckle’s influence was felt. He wrote more than a half-dozen books on subjects ranging from himself to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and in 1987 he ran for mayor, facing off one night with comedian and fellow candidate Will Durst in a debate moderated by Jello Biafra, lead singer of the punk rock band Dead Kennedys.
His most memorable campaign poster featured a plate full of dog feces with the words, “Tired of the same old crap?” He pulled 2.8 percent of the vote.
Warren James Hinckle III was born in San Francisco to Angela Hinckle, a native of the city who had survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, and Warren J. Hinckle Jr., a dockworker who died on a barstool at the Philosopher’s Club pub in 1972.
He was raised Catholic, attended Archbishop Riordan High School and, while earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of San Francisco, became editor of the campus Foghorn newspaper.
“Warren was always the smartest guy in the room, and at college he was smarter than the teachers,” said Chronicle reporter Carl Nolte, who was then working in media relations for the university and later worked alongside Mr. Hinckle. “But he was eccentric and wanted to be a character. So he became one.
“It wasn’t always pleasant dealing with him because he didn’t have any patience for anyone who wasn’t as smart as him, but people forgave him because he was full of ideas. He was like a comet.”
After graduating, he joined The Chronicle as a reporter covering mostly crime news, but soon moved on to his magazine work at Ramparts.
In 1974 he wrote an autobiography, “If You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade,” and it served as a sort of manifesto for the puncher’s attitude he carried throughout his life.
“In the beginning, we all believed,” Mr. Hinckle wrote on the first page of the book. “We believed in many things, but mostly in America. If the decade must be summarized, it could be said that the youth of America, who had so recently studied it in civics classes, tested the system — and it flunked.”
Pia Hinckle said her father was filled with a crusading spirit to the last.
“Being an Irish kid with one eye from a not very wealthy family had a lot to do with it,” she said. “But honestly, I think a Catholic sense of social justice really drove him.”
Mr. Hinckle is survived by his longtime partner, Linda Corso; daughters Pia Hinckle of San Francisco and Hilary Hinckle of New York; a son, Warren J. Hinckle IV of Boston; a sister, Marianne Hinckle of San Francisco; a brother, Robert Hinckle of Reno; and five grandchildren.
Services are pending.
(The San Francisco Chronicle)
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WARREN HINCKLE has died, and already lots of people who hated and feared his work are celebrating him, which is the way it goes, I guess. But there isn't a paper in the city or the country that would dare hire him today. Compare Hinckle's Ramparts and Scanlan's with, say, Mother Jones or The Nation, and you immediately see the difference between him and the work product of the pious prigs dominant on the "left" these days. Hinckle was a real radical and he was never boring. Can you even imagine a contemporary editor printing the Luthansa ad that Hinckle did at Scanlan's? At first glance it was standard Luthansa with a banner reading "Visit Germany," but all the photos that ordinarily featured castles and beer gardens were of marching nazis and lynched bodies hanging from lamp posts. To me, Warren represented the difference between a time when there were still radicals and now, when there may be radicals but even if they can write a little their editors won't let them cut loose.
I KNEW HINCKLE pretty well and always enjoyed seeing him, although I ducked out early when I saw him at night because one night after he put his famous dog in a cab for his mother's house out in the Sunset, all I remember is being dumped off on the sidewalk in front of my place about 7am. I've known a lot of hard drinking people but never one who drank as hard as he did but also managed to be steadily productive. I saw him about a year ago at Joe's in San Francisco. I thought he looked pretty good considering his health regimen and a near fatal escalator accident in New Orleans that would have finished off most people. And he was again just out of the hospital and, his companion, Linda Corso, and boyo-boyo was Warren lucky in her, said, "Warren's not supposed to be drinking." Natch, he had a drink in his hand. Warren was a giant in an age of midgets.
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ROBERT MAILER ANDERSON WRITES: My friend Jane Ganahl just wrote me that Warren Hinckle's family was taking him off life support…
Yes, he was a great journalist.
I just wrote this back to Jane:
He was a longstanding friend of my uncle Bruce (although my uncle quotes Pulitzer in his masthead, “A newspaper has no friends.”) and wrote for the AVA, covering the Mitchell Brothers trial for us among other hot topics, and of course he’s an irreplacable historical figure for journalism and SF and the Left. Uncertain how he was such a good editor with all that drink in him…
But this is a sad day for San Francisco and the literary community. Not to mention eyepatches, little incontinent dogs, and bargain brand scotch...
Because flattery will get you everywhere with me, Warren once told me that his pairing of Sandow Birk and I in the Argonaut was the best such partnership since he put together Hunter S. and Ralph Steadman for their first gig at Scanlan’s. He would call me late at night, once every blue moon, and tell me he was getting a literary magazine together, and I could be fiction editor. Next bright dawn, nothing. Same for the following days and well into the evening of the next equinox until the phone rang again at a time when you’d wonder, “Who the fuck could be callin’ me at this hour?"
He was a fixture at Tosca too. I ran into him there often, especially when I was living in an SRO not far away and trying to finish “Boonville.” He was the one who pulled me into the Fred Gardner as FBI plant conspiracy (or truth!) and had me pass hush hush word along to my uncle because Fred was writing for him at the time… and still does. Fred later threatened me out in front of Baby Sal’s on Broadway one addled Tuesday night with his flunky/henchman of the moment Stephen Schwartz who used to trade insults with me over the counter while I was working at Cafe Trieste (and we took it to the letters to the editor column of the AVA where I pinned that fucker in the first round and Fred disavowed his friendship or any allegiance to the Albanian pamphleteer turned Muslim spokesperson nutcase…). I, of course, fanned the flames of discontent as much as possible with them both. Another AVA perrenial masthead quote, and Anderson phrase to live by.
Warren lived by it too. He was always super kind to me. Encouraging. Someone I always admired for his fight and wit and fearlessness and flamboyance, and knowing which direction to stab. And where to put a period. He too loathed this swarm of junk bond libertarians and technolocusts and junk bond libertarians that have swarmed our fair city. And America.
He will be missed.
How do we make more?
Do we need to grab our pens and paper and suitcases and find aother town? Or in his honor can we attempt to at least fuckin’ “ruin the day” of the ruling class and their toadies?
I hope all is well with you and Litquake. Keep me posted on all fronts.
With a heavy heart,
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HINCKLE WROTE a lot of stuff for us, including some great coverage of the famous Jim Mitchell murder trial. Here's a piece I especially liked:
THE OTHER PARTS LEFT OUT OF THE PATTY HEARST TRIAL
by Warren Hinckle (AVA, September 6, 2000)
Give a clown your finger and he will take your whole hand.
— John Heywood, 1546
“The Parts Left Out of the Patty Hearst Trial” is a piquant essay in Paul Krassner's new collection of counterculture writings. It raises from the grave of forgetfulness the long symbiosis between the San Francisco Examiner and the Hearst family and the FBI and far-right intelligence operations that have been the red meat of the Examiner. It was also the strong if under-reported undercurrent in heiress Patty Hearst's sensational San Francisco bank robbery trial in 1976.
Krassner's reprise of contemporary history is a must-read for the growing crowd of spectators watching for the titanic collision of newspaper cultures in the forced-march merger of the Examiner and Chronicle.
The contrast between the two newspapers is of interest since the Hearst Examiner will be on top in the mating with the more liberal Chronicle, and the Examiner's editorial lifeline to the hard right of law enforcement has continued to this day — witness executive editor (Mr. Sharon Stone) Phil Bronstein Examiner's serial attacks on liberal District Attorney Terrence Hallinan which began in the first year of his first term which were spoofed in the paper by the hate-the-pot-smokers-and-old-hippies-too faction of the SFPD which has so long played editorial footsie with the Examiner.
Krassner's retrospective in his new book, Sex, Drugs & The Twinkie Murders (Loompanics Unlimited, Port Townsend, Washington) does the service of restating for the historical record the manifest irony that the SLA (the self-styled Symbionese Liberation Army which kidnapped Patty Hearst and allegedly brainwashed her into becoming a fellow terrorist for a time) was the creation of a double agent for the FBI, an organization with whom the Hearst loyalty was at that time as close as Kleenex in a box.
It also underscores the dismal professional performance of both the Examiner and Chronicle in covering not only the complex background of the Patty Hearst abduction but the other seminal events of 70s San Francisco — the People's Temple local corruption which led to its eventual self-suicidal destruction in Guyana and the City Hall Assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk by Dan White.
SLA founder Donald DeFreeze, aka “Cinque,” was known to be a police informer for the Los Angeles Police Department’s notorious Public Disorder Intelligence Unit in the late 60s. His SLA was somehow caught up in, or infiltrated by, FBI-nicks, feeding or used by the CIA’s “CHAOS” operation in the 70s which created havoc in the black and white left through provocateuring and disinformation operations. According to reports Krassner cites which did not surface at the trial, Patty Hearst, rebelling against her family’s extreme conservative views, had met people in the SLA circle while in school at Berkeley and may even — as had been suggested at her trial — been planning her own benevolent kidnapping to free herself from ties to her nerdy boyfriend, Steven Weed.
In any event things went terribly wrong — at the best the SLA was a state-sponsored Frankenstein turned against its masters — and Patty Hearst ended up on trial in San Francisco for robbing the Hibernia Bank which was owned by the family of her best friend Trish Tobin (a family with no small ties to the Chronicle establishment).
The rude irony of law enforcement agencies so close to the Hearst family being in however a twisted manner involved in the ultimate kidnapping of Patricia Hearst was underscored by the revelation during the trial (in a 1976 story in Sundaz, a Santa Cruz weekly) that Patricia's mom, Catherine Hearst (who Krassner reminds us said that she'd rather see her daughter dead than join the “Communists”) had donated substantial funds to a shadowy, spy-on-the-labor-movement operation called Research West, for which confessed political burglar Jerry Ducote regularly stole leftie records. (Ducote confessed this to me in a cop bar in San Francisco, and when I didn’t believe him, Ducote convinced me by pulling out of his ratty briefcase copies of documents he had stolen from Ramparts when I edited it in the late 1960s — including copies of my bar tabs).
The files of Research West were later disclosed to be packed with documents procured from offices of United Farm Workers supporters by black-bag break-in burglars operating with a green light from local law enforcement who shared their gold with the FBI and Research West — which was on a yearly retainer to the Examiner to provide information on the left.
The Hearst family and the Examiner's connections to the constitutionally-compromised law enforcement activities figured into, but were left out of the trial of, the Patty Hearst case. Krassner — who seems to believe that Patty Hearst was genuinely brainwashed — notes that she might have spent no time in jail (President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence and was the point man in a recent Hearst Corporation push to get Bill Clinton to give soccer-mom-slash-bit-movie-star Patty a full pardon) if she had kept with her original choice of attorneys, the great radical defense attorney Vincent Hallinan and his family including then defense lawyer (now SF district attorney) K.O. Hallinan, who advised her to talk to no one, “especially psychiatrists,” about the SLA period. But the Hearsts wanted an establishment lawyer and she ended up with F. Lee Bailey — and time in durance vile.
The ignominious role of both newspapers in these seminal San Francisco events of the 70s has been largely forgotten. The Chronicle had the goods on the devil-in-the-flesh Rev. Jim Jones' People's Temple — in the mid 70s the darling of SF’s liberal politicians, which was but a front for rape, murder, extortion, robbery and voter fraud, to name but a few crimes permitted and committed in the name of the Lord — but was too chicken to print it. (The Examiner's religious columnist, the Rev. Lester Kinsolving, also was on to the Temple's act but his columns were deep-sixed by the Examiner when the People's Temple picketed.) Only when the seeds of the suppressed Chronicle story were printed in a Southern California based magazine, New West, did Jim Jones flee with his flock to Guyana and feed poisoned koolaid to 900 of his faithful.
The Chronicle further undistinguished itself in its coverage of the 1976 City Hall assassinations. It cowardly ordered an abject retraction of a Charles McCabe column about Dan White's mean relationship with blacks on his high school basketball team because the lawyers for White — a confessed killer — had written objecting that the portrayal of their assassin-client might be libelous. (In full disclosure that is so popular in journalistic circles nowadays I should reveal that the Chronicle, for which I was then working, held for two months a column of mine about the congratulatory behavior by many Frisco cops to Dan White after the killings which lent credence to a political, rather than the defense's “Twinkie-over-sugared crack-up” explanation for the assassinations. The Chronicle finally printed the column the day after the lenient jury verdict)
It should be further noted for all full disclosure freaks that the Fang family, the publishers of the free circulation San Francisco Independent (for which I have written a column since I left the Examiner in 1990 when Will Hearst yanked a column of mine opposing the Gulf War — which Hearst favored — out of the paper) will take over publication of the afternoon Examiner in November and move it to morning publication — eyeball to eyeball with the Hearst Chronicle. This sale, which involves a three-year subsidy of $66 million from the Hearsts in lieu of a Joint Operating Agreement (monopoly free dollars), has been described by such organs of opinion as the San Francisco Bay Guardian (a paper recently described by the New York Press as “self-parodically leftist”) as a somehow shady way for the Hearst Corporation to get the money-losing (without the JOA subsidies) Examiner off their hands so the Department of Justice in the Federal City let them buy the larger Chronicle for $660 million. There is more than your average irony in a Chinese family publishing the Examiner since Hearst’s first paper got its circulation legs in the 19th Century on “Chinese-must-go” editorial hysterics.
The neglected history that Krassner's book reprises raises new questions as to how the merger of the classically FBI-symp Examiner and tepidly chicken-liberal Chronicle will work out. Look at the history and the players, and you will be looking for some sort of massive editorial road kill.
Addendum: Allow me to correct a colossal editorial error in the new “Friday” neighborhood news section of the Chronicle last week which stated in a large headline that the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library annual Book Sale would be at Fort Mason last weekend. Wrong. The date is this weekend (September 9-10), and the throngs who turned up at Fort Mason because of the Chronicle's almost horrifyingly misleading error were both alternatingly frustrated and furious. But then, the Chronicle does not have that much experience in covering neighborhood news. Call the Library Foundation at 415/437-4857 for accurate details — do not call 415/777-1111. That’s the Chronicle.
HOMELESS FAMILY EVICTED
To the Editor:
Just over two months ago, a lifelong resident of Navarro had moved back after almost 7 years of leaving the state. He left as a single father of three minor children. When he returned he returned with a child that is now 18, two 16-year-olds, a 14-year-old and a wife. His family has grown up and there have been a couple of additions.
Another long-term resident has been kind enough to rent a space of his property to the family until they are able to acquire their own property, hopefully in the spring of 2017.
The spot currently being rented is located near the Navarro Store owned by the Evans family. Since the family took residence there the Navarro Store has been trying to have this, for lack of a better word, homeless family with three minor children and an adult child removed by any way or means necessary. The Navarro Store has had surveyors and even Caltrans come out to observe and look at the area. They have called the Sheriff's office and possibly the state.
In all of their efforts to have this family removed, the Evans family has found a loophole when all else failed.
The gentleman that has been kind enough to share a property with the homeless family received a letter by registered and certified mail that he cannot have more than three trailers on his property. The total current amount of trailers on his property is five.
The father of the family has a reputable and very good job. His wife is a stay-at-home mom who is currently looking for employment. Their oldest has a job at a local restaurant in the evenings and spends her days with her mom, boyfriend, or other family members. The second oldest at attends high school as a junior at Anderson Valley High and is one of the dominant football players at Anderson Valley high school, and in his spare time he works on vehicles or he goes to work for a resident in Rancho Navarro helping this older woman with labor and yardwork. The third oldest also attends Anderson Valley High School as a junior and works with his oldest sibling in the evenings at the same restaurant. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family and friends. The youngest, only 14, started high school at Anderson Valley High School as a freshman in honors classes. In her spare time she likes to cheer her brother on in football and spend time with her siblings, family and friends.
This family is a quiet, conservative, clean family. They have caused no trouble to the Navarro Store. In fact, they are still loyal patrons to the store, spending anywhere between $200 and $300 a week. They do not cause a ruckus, they do not trash the property.
This family is now on a limited time to find another kind person to rent a small space of property. They have less than three weeks to find new living arrangements.
So congratulations to the Navarro General Store and the Evans family for finding a loophole in the system and having this family, father, mother, 18-year-old and three minor children forcibly evicted from the property they have been able to rent against the current resident's wishes, that is renting to them. What type of person or people would do that to parents with children who are already homeless?
ACCESS CENTER from Mendocinosportsplus
Nate Strouth: “I was getting help from the Access Center in Fort Bragg. Getting my meds for a mental condition, they closed up 3 weeks ago, no phone call, no letter, nothing. And to think of those worse off than me, being left in the dark. It's sad we have turned our collective backs on people who need help the most. RIP America.”
Mendocinosportsplus: We did a quick search and found the Access Center (Hospitality House?) was opened in October, 2014 in Fort Bragg and "Individuals can call 707-961-1005 for more information. Individuals in crisis can call 1-800-555-5906, which is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fees are on a sliding scale based on ability to pay or paid by insurance."
The center is (was) operated by Integrated Care Management Solutions, a subcontractor of Ortner Management Group, the company which provides mental health services for Mendocino County."
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MSP called the 707-961 number and found the number "is no longer in service." I had better luck with the 800 number — but the woman was clueless as to WHO ran WHAT now. We were given a number to call during "business hours" as we weren't in a "crisis."
Nate, we'll see if we can get to the bottom of this for you…
Nate Strouth — I got helped through the county, got my meds. Thank you though.
Pete Gallegos — They need a hell of a lot more than just a mental health facility. But that would be a great start.
THE VOICE OF REASON REGARDING PUBLIC PENSIONS
by Norm Thurston
John Dickerson has long been a champion of government finance reform, and has educated many about the County of Mendocino’s significant debt load. I commend him for his hard work in bringing this to the public’s attention. Mr. Dickerson’s work has taken a new direction, though. He has become a pension reform activist (some would even say “extremist”), and his most recent contribution to this publication (The county pension house is on fire, Aug. 7, 2016) appears to be little more than an attempt to sway public opinion against the retirees and employees of the County of Mendocino. Unfortunately, the picture he paints is far from accurate, and I will explain how.
First, let us examine Dickerson’s tactics in his most recent article (TWN, Aug. 5). He divides his audience into two opposing factions: The first group is County employees and retirees. He refers to this group as “you.” Readers are left to assume that the other group is comprised of everyone in the County that does not work for, or is retired from, the County. In this way, he can vilify the former group in such a way that will make it okay to take away what is contractually and legally theirs. The fact that this will impose a severe financial hardship for many becomes irrelevant because, “we” just don’t want to pay “you” what “we” contractually agreed to. This is far from the empirical approach Dickerson used when he first began publishing his findings on county finances.
Dickerson tells us that county employees control the Retirement Board. The Retirement Board is comprised of three current employees, one retired member, four members appointed by the Board of Supervisors (one of which has traditionally been one of the Supervisors), and the County Treasurer. Dickerson includes the Supervisor and the County Treasurer as employees, though they are also elected officials.“We” (the public) elected those officials, not just the employees and retirees. They are not members of a union, nor are they subject to civil service rules. The Supervisors, whom “we” elected, appoint the other 3 members appointed to the Board. So “we” the public control 5 of the 9 votes, while rank and file employees and a retiree represent the 4 remaining votes.“We” may not be happy with how those elected officials and their appointed surrogates voted in the past, but you cannot blame (and should not punish) rank and file employees for their actions.
Dickerson proposes a reduction in pension benefits for current retirees. He wants to exclude “older” retirees from the reduction, but he does not define what constitutes an “older retiree,” or how he would justify any reduction to a legally entitled benefit. Nor does he offer to refund retirees’ previous contributions, to the extent of the reduction in their benefits. In effect, he is proposing that a narrowly defined group give up what they have legally earned, in order to subsidize the County’s obligation to the pension fund. There is not a judge in the State that would allow such an action to stand.
Dickerson paints a picture where “we” (the public) are paying a dear price for past mistakes, and that “you” (the employees and retirees) need to also pay their share. First, everyone is driving on poor roads and waiting for emergency services, including employees and retirees. That is not exclusively the burden of Dickerson’s “we.” But employees and retirees have made other sacrifices, which are conveniently omitted from his article. Retiree health coverage was discontinued a few years back. Though it was an action that was necessary and long overdue, many employees had retired believing this would be an ongoing benefit. They believed that because that is what some County officials had told them. In 2010 and 2011, County employees took a permanent 10 percent reduction in pay, which also significantly reduced the retirement allowance for those subsequently retiring. Over the next several years, no employee cost of living increases were granted. On Jan. 1, 2013, the County adopted a new retirement tier for new employees, which significantly reduced retirement benefits, and requires employees to contribute a much larger portion towards their total retirement cost. I agree with Mr. Dickerson that we all need to work together to solve this problem, but I am not sure how much more employees and retirees should be asked to sacrifice to fix a problem that was not their doing. What they have already given is really quite exceptional, especially when compared to other counties.
In the past few years, the County has made remarkable progress in shoring up its financial condition, including a significantly improved bond rating. The County and the Retirement Board have a workable (though not painless) plan to keep the retirement plan solvent, and payoff the debt, including the unfunded liability. It is a long-term approach that requires patience and discipline, but it is doable. The right thing to do now is to keep a steady hand on the helm, and maintain constant oversight by knowledgeable and reasonable professionals. Employees and retirees have sacrificed enough. To suggest that they should suffer even more cuts to pay for the past misdeeds of some elected officials and their appointees is simply wrong. Dickerson says the County pension house is on fire. The only fire here is the fire of unwarranted public outrage towards Mendocino County employees and retirees, which Mr. Dickerson and his associates are attempting to ignite.
Norm Thurston is a retired county employee living in Ukiah.
FROM THE DA'S OFFICE
James Preston Rogers, a state prison inmate sentenced in February 2003 to 15 years to life, was DENIED parole this past Wednesday. It was stipulated at the hearing that Rogers cannot re-apply for parole for at least five years. District Attorney David Eyster sent Kevin Davenport, the prosecutor who originally handled the case against Rogers, to Susanville to appear before the parole board and argue against Rogers' release.
For additional background, the following is the front page story about Rogers' sentencing published in the Ukiah Daily Journal on Wednesday, February 12, 2003:
"Rogers gets life sentence, by James Harrison -- James Preston Rogers, 32, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday, after pleading guilty to a second-degree murder charge for the brutal slaying of his girlfriend, Ukiah resident Christine Faye Hilton, 42. Hilton’s headless body was discovered by her 20-year-old son near the Russian River in Ukiah Sept. 12, 2002. She had been beaten to death with an aluminum baseball bat, on or around Sept. 5. Rogers, a transient and former carnival worker, confessed to both killing Hilton and decapitating her a week later, apparently in an attempt to conceal her identity. He was apprehended the same day Hilton’s body was found. After confessing to the crime, Rogers showed police where he had hidden her head in a blackberry bush. His criminal history dates back to at least 1995, when he was arrested on domestic violence and assault charged in the Great Lakes area, according to Ukiah Police. He was arrested again for the same thing in both 1996 and 1997. Rogers has an ex-girlfriend and child living in that area. On June 6, 2002 – roughly three months before he would murder Hilton – Rogers was arrested for kicking and biting his dog in Ukiah’s Sun House Park. He later pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty, for which he faced up to a year in jail. Instead, he was granted 12 months summary probation and released from custody. A mental evaluation and counseling – which, by law, Rogers should have been forced to complete – were never ordered. Domestic violence experts say those who abuse animals often attack humans as well. According to Deputy District Attorney Kevin Davenport, who prosecuted him for Hilton’s murder, Rogers’ troubled history began in childhood. At age 9, he was dropped off at an orphanage the week before Christmas. A family that later adopted him reportedly asked that he be removed from their home, fearing for the safety of their blind daughter. Rogers was also a decorated Army veteran and trained sharpshooter credited with “kills” during the first Gulf War, Davenport said. After Tuesday’s sentencing, Hilton’s brother, Donald Carl Allen II, said his sister should be remembered as “a loving and caring person, like a flower. I loved my sister and I’m going to miss her. (Her death) has made it real hard for me to live my life. She was like a best friend to me.” Hilton’s killer, he added, “should have been given first degree murder and he should have had life without parole.” Rogers will become eligible for release in 15 years."
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 25, 2016
Ammons, Berg, Browne
DEAN AMMONS, Ukiah. Attempted murder.
ROBERT BERG, Dris Cool, North Dakota/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
DANIEL BROWNE, Ukiah. DUI causing injury.
Buenrostro, Chavez-Carmen, Colberg
CHRISTOPHER BUENROSTRO JR. III, Ukiah. Unspecified misdemeanor.
JESUS CHAVEZ-CARMEN, Ukiah. DUI.
ALISSA COLBERG*, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, brandishing, battery of peace officer, vandalism, resisting.
Escalera, Garcia, Jarvis
ADRIANNA ESCALERA, Potter Valley. DUI, suspended license.
DOMINIC GARCIA, Lakeport/Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.
HEATH JARVIS, Ukiah. Petty theft, resisting.
Lowe, Maiava, McGrew
JAMES LOWE, Clearlake/Ukiah. Grand theft, probation revocation.
CHESHIRE MAIAVA, Fort Bragg. Conspiracy.
JACOB MCGREW, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
Moore, Newberry, Ortiz, Ramirez
ANTONE MOORE, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
BRYAN NEWBERRY, Willits. Drunk in public.
JONATHAN ORTIZ, Ukiah. DUI-drugs, honey oil, controlled substance.
MANUEL RAMIREZ, Willits. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
Roork, Rosales, Stringfellow
SHANE ROORK, Potter Valley. Paraphernalia.
SELENA ROSALES, Potter Valley. Drunk in public.
SHAUN STRINGFELLOW, Garberville/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
GARBERVILLE DELEGATE FOR BERN AT THE DNC
by Susan P.
I arrived in Philly Sunday. After going to the DPVA reception, I went to an election fraud meeting attended by a few of the attorneys and organizations that have been working on the lawsuits, including the RICO. Also the academic was there that wrote “An Electoral System in Crisis.” At the end of the meeting there was a sense that we needed to take action, to formulate a statement with a demand, and to write it with measured prose in order to promote credibility. Three Virginia delegates offered to write the statement that night and submit it to one of the attorneys for editing. We also agreed to meet the following day at 12:00 noon. We went home, wrote the statement and submitted it at about 1:00 am. We got the edits back from the attorney at 5 am. We then found out that the Bernie delegate meeting had been moved t 12:30 pm, which allowed us to attend it before gavel, but threw a wrench into meeting with the others concerned about fraud.
After the VA breakfast meeting I went over to the Fed Ex office and made about 60 copies. I carried them with me to give to people I saw that I thought might be interested. I got one to Susan Sarandon, Larry Sanders, and Dennis Kucinich. I also got a stack to some delegates from other states and territories. The idea was to get all the delegations to sign the statement and present it to the state Dem chair, and to the DNC. The next morning I got signatures from 23 out of 33 Virginia Bernie delegates. Unfortunately, later that day there was a deluge as I was getting to the Wells Fargo center and my paper copy with the signatures dissolved in the rain. Some of the VA delegates that were unsure about signing were unfamiliar with the large body of evidence of fraud, so my current plan is to compile as much as possible to attach to the statement. It might make sense to include specific footnotes for each element of the statement. The experience of the Wells Fargo center was interesting to say the least. You know all those movies with scenes of gladiator fights in impossibly huge amphitheaters? That is what it feels like. We were on the floor looking up. It appeared that any states with large Sanders majorities were placed in the nosebleed section. California was super prepared - they got tons of signs in and worked together well, so they held up, en masse, signs saying “No TPP,” “Ban Fracking,” “Count our Votes,” etc. They raised hell, and defended each other. In VA, they were a lot more strict. Since I was forbidden to have unauthorized signs, I wrote messages on my hat. Any time California or one of the other Sanders-heavy states started an action, I would stand up and turn my body in their direction, lift my camera to take a picture, and generally do whatever I could to give focus to the group that was trying valiantly to raise hell.
I did have some interactions with Clinton delegates who went out of their way to be kind. One woman sitting behind me heard me say “They don’t want us here.” and said “We want you here. We do.” She came up and gave me a hug the next day. We also tried to grab moments to be kind to Clinton delegates - offering to share food or whatever was needed in the “disaster area” (Woodstock reference) that was the convention floor.
Virginia was seated right in front of the state because of Tim Kaine. Seating at the Wells Fargo center was a constant battle. Some of our Sanders delegates came early every day to try to secure some seating for us. Theoretically there were enough chairs for all delegates.
Theoretically one could get up and use the bathroom. In reality, many of the Clinton delegates were angry that we were there, and more angry that we were angry. Many of them said to us “I was where you are in 2008. I know it is hard when your candidate loses.” We then got to try to explain that it was not the same because in 2008 the election wasn’t stolen. This engendered as much warm feeling as you might expect. The night of Tim Kaine’s nomination, we secured seats for 4 of us in the 3rd row. At one point the Whip Chair for our section came up and told us that Mark Warner and his wife were coming out and they needed our seats, and that they couldn’t come out til we left. I told him that sounded rather transparent to me. He said he was an eagle scout and no one had ever accused him of lying before. I said I wasn’t accusing him of lying, but why did it have to be Sanders supporters who moved? He said he had already asked lots of other people to move. Eventually he went away. (An hour or two later Mark Warner and his wife came out and sat in the front row, in the seats that had been held by staffers, as one would expect.)
We also had an incident where one of the Clinton delegates ripped a sign out of the hands of a Sanders delegate and crumpled it up. Another Sanders delegate confronted him about it, which involved her stepping over a few rows of chairs to get to him. Fun times.
A lot of the animosity came from the fact that I think they were terrified that the VA Bernie people were going to raise hell about Kaine. But we did not feel strongly against Kaine. In terms of optics it is a slap in the face to the progressive movement, but in terms of the actual person, I hear he’s not a bad guy. He voted against GMO labeling, which is horrible, but seems to be generally appreciated as a good guy and may be someone we can work with. I hope to arrange a meeting with him to ask for some accountability around the coup in Honduras, since he did humanitarian work in Honduras in the past.
One absolute horror at the Wells Fargo was the lack of ADA accommodation. At a convention where every night had various speakers who were disabled, the convention setup required walking miles day. I saw delegates in wheelchairs in the middle levels who were placed in the aisles in places that they could not see the majority of the stage. Our Sanders caucus chair had to ask people for help to get out of the convention center. There were virtually no ADA aids. (I would have stuck around to help her but I did not know the extent of her movement limitations at that time.) People in our delegation who had tried over and over to make arrangements for their disabilities ahead of time, got virtually no response from convention planners. This was a story I hear over and over, from Clinton as well as Sanders delegates.
Another weird element was the huge wall around the convention. Thousands of people had come from all over the country to protest the theft of democracy. Hundreds of police were there to enforce it. What I saw of the police was almost all completely professional and calm. They worked primarily through a show of presence. From what I saw when I went over to FDR park, 99% of the protesters were also respectful and positive. But not all of them in the evenings were Bernie people. There was a small contingent who’s intention was to get through the perimeter. I understand this resulted in a few arrests Wednesday night.
At one point the protesters were told the delegates would be leaving the convention and coming out to march with them. But the convention was packed to the point that it was almost impossible to move, and when we got to the perimeter at the end, the police would not less us through to go to the park. We had to ride the metro up one stop and walk back. By the time we got to the metro stop, we were able to talk to some of the protesters that were by that point leaving. We compared experiences and thanked each other profusely for the support. Even though the protesters were kept miles away, there were several times that I could have sworn I heard them. Their energetic presence was strong. I’m so sorry I couldn’t stop the coronation for them.
There was one moment of sheer brilliance on Tuesday night. After the roll call, we looked up and California was GONE, as were many other areas. Turns out there was a quiet walkout. The delegates walked out of the arena and did a sit-in in the media tent. It was a silent protest - people had tape over their mouths with signs about the fraud. When the police locked the media tent to keep more people from joining, the crowd formed outside the tent, with stunning pictures of solidarity between people inside and outside the windows of the tent. The police were calm and respectful and so were the delegates. Many pictures were taken; many interviews were done. Who knows if any of it made it to the airwaves?
At the end was a giant balloon drop. In the middle of it I was, no lie, up to my CHEST in balloons. There were also giant balloons that seemed to be half – helium filled so they would fall very slowly and bounce really high. Even after having witnessed the theft of democracy, the balloon drop was fun. I was able to bring one of the giant balloons back to my 5 year old, because the Clinton delegate who had gotten hold of it just wanted a picture taken with it and then she gave it to me. A moment where we were just people.
The highlights of the week for me were meeting Susan Sarandon, accompanying Larry Sanders on the subway, and meeting Dennis Kucinich. The only highlight from the actual convention was looking up on the last night to see hundreds of Bernie supporters in glowing yellow t-shirts lighting up the dark. I will probably regret for the rest of my life not having taken more actions than I did when on the massive convention floor. I pray we can all overcome the despondency of seeing the murder of democracy that we did not prevent, and become those lightbulbs lighting up the night.
THE LOUISIANA CATASTROPHE PROVES THE NEED FOR UNIVERSAL, SINGLE-PAYER DISASTER INSURANCE
by Paul Cox & Stan Cox
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
NYC sucked from the 1960s – 1990. That was a long stretch.
I remember as a kid watching as families fled my neighborhood.
I remember hearing Howard Cosell announcing a Yankees Game in 1977 looking up from his sportscasters’ booth and saying on the radio: “The Bronx is Burning!”
I remember moving into my current neighborhood and running from the subway station to avoid the street violence. I witnessed stabbings.
I remember furnishing my apartment with items left on the sidewalk by people in such a rush to move, they drove the moving van away before it was packed.
Now, NYC is The Greatest City in the world. It is World-Class, and your opening bid for an apartment in that same neighborhood is $10 Million.
So I guess Gerald Ford was wrong when he said Drop Dead to NYC.
SANTA ROSA HAS ROLLED OUT THE WELCOME MAT to the marijuana industry, and the first firm through the door is affiliated with none other than the godfather of ganja — Bob Marley.
JAAKKO SEIKKULA is a professor of psychotherapy at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. In addition to working at the Keropudas Hospital in Finland for nearly 20 years, he has been the lead author on several studies documenting the extraordinary outcomes of psychotic patients in western Lapland.
The transformation of care at the Keropudas Hospital from a system in which patients were regularly hospitalized and medicated to one in which patients are infrequently hospitalized and only occasionally medicated began in 1984 when Professor Rakkolainen visited and spoke about need-adapted treatment. The Keropudas staff, Seikkula recalled, immediately sensed that holding "open meetings" where every participant freely shared his or her thoughts would provide psychotic patients with a very different experience from conventional psychotherapy. "The language we use when the patient is sitting with us is so different from the language we use when we, the staff, are by ourselves and discussing the patient," he said. "We do not use the same words and we have to listen more to the patient's ideas about what is going on and listen more to the family."
Eventually he and others in Finland developed what they called open-dialog therapy which was a subtle variation of the need-adapted model. Like in Keropudas Hospital, patient outcomes in western Lapland improved during the 1980s and then Tornio was selected to be one of the three experimental sites in Finland's 1992-93 first-episode study. Tornio enrolled 34 patients and at the end of two years 25 had never been exposed to psychiatric medication. Nearly all of the never-medicated patients in the national study — 25 of 29 — had actually come from this one site and thus it was only here that hospital staff observed the longer-term course of unmedicated psychosis. And they found that while recovery from psychosis often proceeds at a fairly slow place, it regularly happens. The patients, Seikkula said, "went back to their work, to their studies, to their families."
Encouraged by the results Keropudas Hospital immediately started a new study charting the long-term outcomes of all first episode psychotic patients in western Lapland from 1992-1997. At the end of five years 79% of the patients were asymptomatic and 80% were working, in school or looking for work. Only 20% were on government disability. Two thirds of the patients had never been exposed to antipsychotic medication and only 20% took the drugs regularly. Western Lapland had discovered a successful formula for helping psychotic patients recover with its policy of no immediate use of psychiatric medications in their first episode patients recover, and critical to that success was that it provided an "escape valve" for those who could recover naturally.
"I am confident of this idea," he said. "There are patients who may be living in a quite peculiar way and they may have psychotic ideas but they still can hang on to an active life. But if they are medicated, because of the sedative action of the drugs, they lose this grip on life and that is so important. They become passive and they no longer take care of themselves."
— Robert Whitaker, "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America"
THE 'MEAT' & THE BUTCHER
Almost all of our mass culture is "mouth feel," a calculated manipulation of the pleasure impulse, and if it has any real nutritional, authentic value, that's mere happenstance, a side effect. At the Cannes Film Festival I saw thousands of people gawking at movie stars. The worshipful behavior of the crowd was deeply disgusting to behold. You would have thought that Brad Pitt really was the Greek hero Achilles come to Earth.
Brad did a good warrior act in the movie Troy, but he's an actor, not a mythological demigod. He is just the "meat." He might be well-paid but it's the "butcher" behind the scenes who is really raking it in!
The way the world works, it's much smarter to be the butcher, but no one tells you this. Glamour and glory aside, there are vast amounts of money to be made in the film industry and in the music business. The film industry is a filthy, rotten business and I don't want anything more to do with it. I don't want to be the "meat." But of course who am I kidding? I am the meat. I let the butchers go at me, chop me up in little pieces and put me on the counter! I didn't know what I was doing when I first got myself into this situation.
Before this fame thing happened, I hadn't really experienced the butchers up close. Now it's too late! Before anybody had heard of me I used to wander aimlessly up and down a five block stretch of Haight Street, ogling all the beautiful young hippie girls, full of self-pity. Then in 1968 when Zap Comix came out my life changed completely. I started getting phone calls and people coming to the door wanting to get high with me. Oh how my pathetic ego ate it up! I was the center of a kind of attention I'd never experienced before. I found I had a lot less time on my hands. Practically overnight I went from being ignored to being pestered all the time.
But then, too, fame put me over with beautiful, attractive girls for the first time in my life. Up till then, I was just another desperate loser-schmuck with nothing going for me. Now all of a sudden I had this mysterious aura of attractiveness! Fame also brought media attention. The media is a big hungry beast. I've known a few who have died from too much of it, like Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. (I was discussing this with Alice once and her comment was, "I almost died from lack of media attention!").
— R. Crumb
A MONSTER IN THE MIDDLE OF VENICE
by Juan José Millás.
(Translated by Louis S. Bedrock)
Once upon a time, I went to Venice because it seemed that if you haven't been there, you're nobody and I have been trying to be somebody since I was a little boy: I don't know who I want to be, that's another story, but I want to be someone the way that Monday is Monday, Tuesday is Tuesday, and people know it. Ask anyone what day it is in the most ignorant place in the world you can think of and they will tell you: Thursday, or Friday, or Sunday, depending on the day.
And that is because each day has its own character, something that I lack— character. I went to Venice, although the humidity kills me, because when Venice came up in conversations and I confessed that I hadn't been there, people looked at me as if I were weird and I've always wanted to be normal, which is not incompatible. I think, with being someone. I told myself I was going to go without realizing that by yielding to the desires of others, my personality, instead of growing, diminished.
I rented a room with a terrace that offered a view of the Grand Canal. I was ready to mortgage the house if, in exchange, personality would come through the door. The day after I arrived, I got up early and went out to the terrace to feel the things one should feel while contemplating the panorama, when I realized that during the night a gigantic building had sprung up in front of my hotel like the one seen in the background of the photo. It turned out that it wasn't a building but a cruise ship and from its balconies hundreds or thousands of people were taking pictures of me as if I were somebody.
(Photo by Andrea Merola)
It was as if we would take pictures of a Wednesday if Wednesdays could be photographed. It's a pity I came out in my pajamas because in pajamas, whoever you might be, you're no one.