Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016
by AVA News Service, August 31, 2016
HIGHWAY 29 WAS CLOSED for a few hours Tuesday evening due to brush fire that broke out on the side of the roadway near Upper Lake in Lake County, according to a CHP Press Release. But this time the fire was contained to 20 acres and the initial evacuation orders were soon lifted for residents in the area of Old Robinson Rancheria. Fire crews remained in the area for mopping up. The wildfire was initially reported about 5:48pm.
SAYING GOODBYE TO WARREN HINCKLE
San Francisco Goes All Out at Warren Hinckle's Funerary Send Off to Heaven
The church was packed at 10:30am for Warren Hinckle's funeral service. It was the full Catholic celebration, with the elite of San Francisco politics in attendance (Willie Brown, the Agnos family, Quentin Kopp, etc.) plus the regional literary vanguard. Also, some publishers, editors and writers flew in from New York City. Editors previously with Ramparts, the Argonaut, SF Chronicle & Examiner, plus currently active Last Gasp and City Lights folks attended. The entire congregation sang "San Francisco" as the covered casket was wheeled out, where it was greeted outside by a vibrant Green Street Mortuary band playing full tilt, plus three cops on horses holding the national, state, and church flags, as we all proceeded not-quite-solemnly to Gino & Carlo's where tables were set up in the alleyway from 2-5pm. And if you want to know what lies beyond that, you'll need to come around and add your unique presence, or you could telephone the bar for updates. We are all better off because Warren Hinckle fought the good fight and was an uncompromising voice for Truth.
Craig Louis Stehr
San Francisco, California
PACIFIC HURRICANE BRINGING CHANCE OF DRY LIGHTNING
Hurricane Madeline is creating unsettled weather conditions in the North Bay.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WILLITS COURTHOUSE?
by Jim Luther
“The County has a tradition of bringing the judge to the people.”
— Facilities Master Plan prepared September 26, 2002 by the California Judicial Council for the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Until fairly recently, there were three courts in Northern Inland Mendocino County.
They were a small court in Covelo (population 1,255), a more active court alternating its sessions between Leggett (pop. 122) and Laytonville (pop. 1,227), and a much busier hub court in Willits (pop. 8,123 including Brooktrails).
These courts were three of the hundreds of similar outlying courts that used to hold sessions throughout rural California. Officially designated “inferior courts” but popularly known as “the people’s courts,” they heard what are now called “limited jurisdiction cases.”
Limited jurisdiction cases are the kinds of cases that people who have to go to court are usually involved in: Small claims cases, civil suits for limited amounts, traffic tickets, animal control and fish and game citations, local ordinance violations, and other charges of infractions and misdemeanors punishable by a fine and sometimes by a county jail sentence.
These cases constitute more than 85% of all the cases filed in California each year. (The annual average number of limited jurisdiction cases filed over the last 10 years reported was 87.8% of the average total case filings. See the Judicial Council 2015 Court Statistics Report, Statewide Caseload Trends 2004-2005 Through 2013-2014.) Except where jail time is possible, the people in these cases usually represent themselves. To obtain or defend against a ruling that is important to them, they usually have to show up in court.
Today, there are no courts in Northern Inland Mendocino County. The Leggett-Laytonville court was closed in late 2003. In 2009, the Willits court was closed. Last year, the Covelo court was closed.
Now closed (and minimally used) 'Willits Justice Center'
All the limited jurisdiction cases that arise in the North County are now heard by the superior court in Ukiah. Anyone who lives in the North County who needs to go to court in any limited jurisdiction matter now has to go down to the County courthouse in Ukiah and deal with it there. From Willits, that’s a round-trip of one hour; from Leggett, it’s two hours 40 minutes; from Laytonville, it’s one hour 52 minutes; from Covelo, it’s three hours.
(Round trips to Ukiah from smaller communities in the North County take three hours 24 minutes (Bell Springs), two hours 30 minutes (Cummings), two hours 18 minutes (Dos Rios), one hour 58 minutes (Irmulco), one hour 30 minutes (Longvale), three hours 6 minutes (Piercy), 54 minutes (Ridgewood Park), two hours 54 minutes (Branscomb), and three hours 54 minutes (Spyrock). All driving times are per Google Maps.)
Limited jurisdiction cases are local; they almost always arise where the parties and witnesses involved in them live or work. In 2010, 18,248 people — more than one fifth of the 87,842 people living in Mendocino County — lived in the County’s Third Supervisorial District, the District that makes up almost all of Northern Inland Mendocino County.
Exactly 19,301 limited jurisdiction cases were filed in Mendocino County in Fiscal Year 2013-2014. (225 were small claims, 798 were limited civil actions, 2,199 were traffic misdemeanors, 2,151 were non-traffic misdemeanors, 13,041 were traffic infractions, and 887 were non-traffic infractions.) Presumably around a fifth of them — 3,860 cases, consisting of 45 small claims, 160 civil actions, 440 traffic misdemeanors, 430 non-traffic misdemeanors, 2,608 traffic infractions, and 177 non-traffic infractions — arose in the Third District.
The California Judicial Council reckons that this particular mix of 3,860 limited jurisdiction filings requires one-fourth the engaged time of a full-time judge to adjudicate plus the attentive time of three full-time clerical staff to handle and process to completion.
There are approximately 54 full-time court clerical and other court support staff and exactly seven full-time judges and a part-time commissioner now working in Ukiah. (An eighth judge serves in Fort Bragg full-time except three days each year when he travels to Point Arena to hold court there.) The judges have the power to reassign three of their clerical staff from Ukiah to suitable rented hall-and-office space full-time in Willits and to assign one of themselves to hold court there for a day and a half each week. If they did that, then almost none of the people involved in the several thousands of limited jurisdiction cases that arise in the North County each year would have to travel any farther than into downtown Willits to resolve them.
The exceptions would be in-custody defendants and parties and witnesses in jury trials. Until released on bail or on their own recognizance, in-custody defendants in North County misdemeanor cases would still have to be transported to the courthouse in Ukiah for their court appearances. (The overwhelming majority of misdemeanor defendants are out-of-custody.) A jury panel’s need for additional courtroom space probably would require that jury trials in limited jurisdiction cases arising in the North County continue to be conducted at the Ukiah courthouse. (Jury trials in limited jurisdiction cases are rare; in FY 2013-2014, only 17 were held in the entire county.)
When the courthouse is too far away, attendance is discouraged and compliance with court summons and court process is frustrated. Foreseeably, people already challenged by long distances and short on time and money will give up and default rather than exert the effort to participate in distant and unfamiliar court proceedings. So their disputes are unsatisfactorily resolved. Or worse, they remain unresolved and fester, leading to failure-to-appear charges, arrest warrants, drivers license suspensions, holds on vehicle re-registrations, added fees and penalty assessments, and more scarce money and time exhausted and more valuable effort expended by the defendants and everyone involved including the judges, court staff, and law enforcement staff and officers who then have to sift through these unnecessary layers of extra trouble to try to straighten it all out.
The mission of the courts is to fairly and effectively resolve cases, simply, understandably, authoritatively and peacefully. To do that, the courts must be kept close to the people.
So why isn’t there a court in Willits?
(Jim Luther is a Retired Judge (Ukiah Justice Court 1977-1984; Mendocino County Superior Court 1985-1996).)
SPOTTED THIS MORNING at the Redwood Drive-In, Boonville, a Mexican kid flying both the American and the Confederate flags in the back of his pick-up. I'm going to assume the truck wasn't his. If it is his, he's the most intellectually confused guy in Mendocino County. Then again, maybe he's just stupid.
TOM BOWLES REMEMBERED
Tom had been as Ag teacher around Ukiah for many years. He started in Covelo with his lovely wife, Betty. At some time after he moved to Willits, Potter Valley, and Ukiah where he taught agriculture. My history also indicated he was the FFA Instructor. At the Ukiah Fair he helped to start the Junior Livestock Auction.
After retirement he worked as a real estate ranch salesman for TJ Nelson, and had a small herd of cattle. Unfortunately Tom was involved in a pedestrian accident that ultimately took his life. To this day TJ remembers Tom as one of the finest, most knowledgably honest agents that he has ever employed.
I met TJ at a restaurant just two years ago here in Santa Rosa. The conversation led to Tom Bowles, The Ukiah Fair, and the Showmanship jackets I award each year to the four winners of the Round Robin showmanship class which get nice embroidered jacket in memory of my mother who worked at the fair for 40 years.
Tom was so interested that he would pay for the two FFA Jackets if they were in memory of Tom Bowles. A small discussion went on between TJ and myself and this was accomplished for both 2015 and 2016.
I stopped by TJ’s office to show him the pictures of the winners of the FFA Jackets for 2016. As he looks at the pictures of the two recipients with their animals (one large and one small) Tom said he wanted to do more in memory of Tom. After much friendly discussions TJ has established in addition to the Jackets the two FFA round robin winners will receive in 2017 a check from TJ for $250.00 in memory of Tom.
The best part of this is that I did not ask for the money, it was graciously offered by TJ.
Having known TJ only two years I find him a fine individual, certainly a supporter of young people, and very generous,. And now a good friend.
— Bob Dempel
Professional man seeks Long Term Rental
… in private, quiet, country home. Seeking one+ bedroom home w/ space for a home office, that is pet friendly. We need a yard or area that is fenced or can be fenced, and some storage or garage space is desirable. I’m a clean, quiet, respectful, responsible, man; I work from home in the architectural field. I’m an artist and environmentalist. I have excellent landlord, personal and professional references. I’m a responsible tenant and pet owner. I don't have substance issues. I have a good credit rating, pay my rent on time each month, and take excellent care of house and property. Please call (or email) me to discuss the rental in depth and to schedule an appointment to show. I would like to view the unit as soon as possible. (Pictures are very helpful.) I am able to put cash on the table. I would also consider a rental where I can perform reliable care-taking services, as I am a skillful craftsman, gardener etc. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to speaking with you. Namaste'
Lance M. Sprague – LSprague@lmsdesign.org
BROOKS MENCHER worked as a reporter for the Fort Bragg Advocate and the late North Coast News years during the fraught years, 1987-1992. Mr. M is now with the San Francisco Chronicle. In his off hours this excellent writer has produced a couple of Who Dunnits created around a forensics wizard the author calls Ruth M.
In "Wailing Wood" the forensics ace works to unravel whys and wherefores of the body of a child found on a pending timber harvest site. As a veteran of North Coast timber politics, the author has the politics and the particulars of the timber business down cold. The story moves right along with fascinating twists and bumps as it goes, which is what a well told mystery story is supposed to do.
FLUGELHORN UPDATE: We misunderstood Bob Ayres’ original question about the whereabouts of the stolen flugelhorn when we reported it missing last week. Turns out the antique horn was recovered at the scene by a friend who had been at the Grange Big Band performance prior to the drunk collision which put Steven Hunter and Colter Milleher in the hospital and later for which Hunter was later convicted of DUI with great bodily injury and sentenced to five years (four of which were suspended for probation if Hunter stays sober). A friend of Milleher got the horn from the CHP officer after signing a receipt. The friend then returned the horn to its rightful owner, Mr. Millehrer.
FARM WORKER BILL PASSES
Hello friends of Farmworkers,
Good News: The Assembly passed the overtime bill this afternoon by a 44-32 margin. My friend and colleague Eileen Purcell and I joined over 100 Farmworkers in a hearing room to see the members debate the bill. Grass roots efforts like the one all of us engaged in were critical in the one vote margin for the Senate bill last week and the 3 vote margin in today's historic victory. Assembly member Levine ended up abstaining today as did Sonoma - Mendocino member Wood in spite of district wide farm bureau mailings and pressure aimed at securing a no vote. The UFW legislative team told me that this past wknd, they were hearing reports in the Capitol that Levine was definitely feeling the pressure all of you helped generate. Congrats to all for helping make history with California Farmworkers as they made another advancement for dignity and equality.
Si Se Puede
BATTLE AT THE BALLOT
The big battle at the ballot in November is between two local cannabis measures -- the Mendocino Heritage Initiative (AF) sponsored by the cannabis community, and the Cannabis Tax Initiative (AI), presented by the Mendocino Board of Supervisors. They are competing initiatives with clear conflicts. Whichever gets the most votes will prevail in its entirety, leaving the rival with nothing.
"In the event that this measure receives a greater number of affirmative votes, the provisions of this measure shall prevail in their entirety and the conflicting provisions of the other initiative or ordinance shall be null and void."
Cannabis Tax Initiative, Section 7.
The Heritage Initiative Committee turned in over 4000 voter signatures to gain ballot status, believing the voters would approve reasonable regulations. They reached out to supervisors, Ag & other stakeholders, hoping for either a mutually agreed upon regulatory ordinance to be passed by the BOS or BOS support to the Heritage Initiative as sensible regulation to replace prohibition, leaving them the ability to make changes after passage (unlike Prop 215).
But instead of cooperating with local growers, the BOS threw a nasty curve for a strike. They placed their own rival Cannabis Tax Initiative on the same ballot for the express purpose of defeating Heritage. Adversarial in nature, they have made clear they do not view the cannabis community as friends to be welcomed back into society after being prohibited & criminalized since 1937. They prefer that cannabis growers be criminalized in entirely new tax-related ways.
There are major differences. The BOS initiative has a tax ceiling of 10% with an allowance of 2.5% every year to raise revenue for the General Fund, compared to Heritage, with a ceiling of 2.5% for medical, 5% for recreational.
Only Heritage includes:
1) an Appellations Project honoring & protecting cannabis achievements & strains based on geographical location.
2) an ongoing Cannabis Advisory Commission to help guide the regulatory process, with an economic impact report due after one year in operation.
3) A shift to cannabis as an agricultural crop with cultivation regulated through Dept of Food and Ag.
But the biggest difference is in the BOS' attempt to recriminalize cannabis farmers with a new criminal misdemeanor for tax violations. The BOS Cannabis Tax Initiative, Section 6.32.270 spells it out in no uncertain terms:
Violation Deemed Misdemeanor
Any person violating any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed guilty of a Misdemeanor and shall be punishable therefore.
The BOS has created a new cannabis crime for tax infractions for which they are trying to get voter approval. As we are exiting prohibition in the state, we are facing recrim in the county with tax 'violations deemed misdemeanors', if the Cannabis Tax Initiative passes.
"Shall be deemed guilty" is worse than in criminal court where your guilt must be proven, not deemed. Here guilt & punishment are 'deemed', not proven, without so much as a trial or presumption of innocence. While the rest of the world is exiting prohibition, shedding criminal misdemeanors, Mendo County is attempting to adopt new misdemeanors for 'any' violation of the Tax Chapter.
This is a mean-spirited prohibitionist move to hold the cannabis community back from equal opportunity and equal protection as regulations unfold & previously outlawed growers come forward in good faith. They are understandably reluctant & want to make sure they aren't being given blankets with smallpox, pretending its for protection.
Anyone can be late or mistaken while dealing with complicated tax provisions. The BOS wants to pass their Cannabis Tax Initiative as a trick bag to catch & criminally punish newly legal growers for minor tax violations with voters as conduits for increasing prohibition. We can't let them do that.
Vote Yes on AF (AgFarms), Mendocino Heritage Initiative.
Vote No on AI, Cannabis Tax Initiative.
Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board/MMMAB
CAMERON RIDGE FOG FLOWS COME TO MIND
passing flights of moistful love
the days secret
I see no cat feet
only the oceans
— Claudia Cattalini, Elk, 1975
STILL NO BOOKING PHOTO OF LAYTONVILLE MURDER SUSPECT — But We Found An 'Attempted Murder' Suspect At Jail Site
MSP has been repeatedly checking the Mendocino County Jail site for a booking photo and additional information on murder suspect Charles Reynolds (age 32 of Willits) who allegedly (fatally) one-punched Kenneth Fisher (age 29 of Laytonville), Sunday night in the parking lot of "Boomers Saloon" in Laytonville.
Ed note: Yesterday we posted a September 19, 2011 booking photo of Charles Reynolds from our booking archive to accompany yesterday’s Sheriff’s Press Release on the incident. He was arrested in Ukiah at that time for battery with great bodily injury. Reynolds was also arrested in January of 2010 for DUI and in November of 2008 for disorderly conduct and probation violation. (We do not have a record of what put him on probation for the 2008 violation charge.) In 2011 he was listed as 5-11 and 185 pounds.
* * *
(Yesterday’s Press Release)
On August 28, 2016 around 8:42 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was advised of an assault that occurred in the parking lot of Boomers Bar in Laytonville CA. Deputies were advised that an adult male, Suspect Charles Reynolds, had assaulted another male, Victim Kenneth Fisher, 29, of Laytonville, in the parking lot of the establishment and the victim was unresponsive due to his injuries. Information provided indicated the suspect, Charles Reynolds, 32, of Laytonville was seen walking from the area towards another business in Laytonville. As Deputies responded they received reports that the victim's injuries were life threatening and cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was being administered at the scene. Laytonville Ambulance Service responded and transported the victim to Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits where he succumbed to his injuries. The California Highway Patrol responded to assist the Sheriff’s Office with the call and observed the suspect near the Wheels Cafe in Laytonville and detained him until Deputies arrived. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective Unit responded to assist with the investigation. Witnesses indicated there did not appear to be any type of altercation between the two men, prior to the assault. Witnesses indicated the suspect struck the victim one time with his fist. Charles Reynolds was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on an open charge of murder. He is being held on a "no bail" status. Anyone with information regarding his incident is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives Unit at (707) 234-2100.
NORTH BAY DENIZENS FIRE UP BURNING MAN
Chris Smith reports from La Playa: "You can scarcely wave a flaming baton at Burning Man without someone from Sonoma County or the North Bay feeling the heat."
A LARGE POT GROW with almost 10,000 plants near the border of Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Humboldt County some 30-plus miles southeast of Eureka.
The following press release was issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff Monday
On Friday, August 26, at about 9:00 am, Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs, a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agent, California Department of Fish & Wildlife officers, members of the California State Water Board (CSWB), and a member of the Humboldt County Code Enforcement (HCCE) served a search warrant on two parcels located off Highway 36 near Dinsmore, California.
Upon service of the search warrant, deputies detained three individuals. The first individual was identified as 32-year-old Sean Christopher Appelbaum. The second individual was identified as 18-year-old Shane Jordan Edwards. The third individual was not associated with the marijuana grow and released on scene.
Appelbaum and Edwards could not provide deputies with legal documentation supporting their marijuana grows, nor were they able to provide documentation of being in the process of registering their marijuana grow with the County of Humboldt’s Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance.
Deputies searched both parcels and located a total of 9,525 green growing marijuana plants, 11 firearms, 375 grams of Butane Honey Oil, 148 grams of Psilocybin Mushrooms, 172 lbs of marijuana shake, 73.1 lbs of processed marijuana bud, indicia of marijuana sales, and ammunition.
Deputies also located two man-made water storage ponds each with a water pump. The ponds were made of plastic tarp and supported by rocks, downed trees, and rope. F&W, CSWB, and HCCE observed extensive environmental damage while examining the property.
Appelbaum and Edwards were taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
Appelbaum was booked for cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, manufacturing a controlled substance, conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm while in commission of another felony, and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
Edwards was booked for the cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of concentrated cannabis, manufacturing a controlled substance, conspiracy, possession of a firearm while in the commission of another felony, possession of a non-serialized firearm, possession of a firearm with multi-burst trigger device, and possession of an assault weapon.
Each had their bail set at $500,000.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539."
HERE WE COME, SOUSES!
Although the summer season will soon be coming to a close, many Californians will continue to take advantage of the warm weather into the Labor Day weekend. As the celebrations commence, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants everyone to enjoy their holiday and to remain safe on California’s roadways.
All available CHP officers will be on duty during the Labor Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), from 6:01 p.m. Friday, September 2, to 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 5. Drug recognition experts and CHP officers will be on patrol watching for impaired drivers as well as assisting motorists in need throughout the holiday weekend.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched its annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”campaign on August 19, and it will run through September 5. This law enforcement crackdown is intended to zero in on drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs and help reduce injury and fatal collisions. Research from NHTSA shows that high-visibility enforcement, such as an MEP, can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.
“Too many lives are lost on our roadways every year as a result of impaired driving. Let’s end the summer safely and remember to designate a sober driver, wear your seat belt, and obey all traffic laws,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said.
During last year’s Labor Day weekend, CHP officers made more than 1,200 arrests for driving under the influence. Unfortunately, 32 people were killed in collisions in California during the same weekend, and at least seven of those people killed were not wearing seat belts.
If you see a suspected impaired driver, call 9-1-1. Be prepared to provide the dispatcher a description of the vehicle, the license plate number, location, and direction of travel. Your phone call may save someone’s life.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Delbello, Didier, Gonzalez, McKee
JONATHON DELBELLO, Willits. Drunk in public, vandalism.
OMAR DIDIER, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ANDREA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
AUGUST MCKEE, Redwood Valley. Possession of meth for sale, pot cultivation, pot possession for sale, child endangerment, failure to appear.
Ortiz, Paquette, Retzloff, Smith
RICHARD ORTIZ, Hopland. Failure to appear.
SCOTT PAQUETTE, Willits. Trespassing, probation revocation.
WILLIAM RETZLOFF, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.
SAMUEL SMITH, Rohnert Park/Leggett. Pot sales, conspiracy.
Recently I had a chance to look at the Assyrian and Babylonian reliefs in the British Museum. There are large, powerful figures with predatory bird-heads, creatures that are truly brutal and scary looking. Here is a warrior holding a sword over a group of prisoners. Here there are defeated warriors being run over by a chariot. In another room there's a relief of a giant metal wheel grinding out the dead enemies of the king after a battle.
It's incredible. They are bragging about all the people they've captured and killed. The king wants everyone to remember how many people he conquered and enslaved! It's all a homage to the king's glory. I was very inspired by the lurid, harsh, visual narratives depicted in these early Mesopotamian reliefs. I like them much better than the more refined, stylized Egyptian stuff from the same period. It's more rough and ready, a bit more individualistic, perhaps, then the Egyptian art.
My generation comes from a world that has been molded by crass TV programs, movies, comic books, popular music, advertisements and commercials. My brain is a huge garbage dump of all this stuff and it is this, mainly, that my work comes out of, for better or for worse.
I hope that whatever synthesis I make of all this crap contains something worthwhile, something that is other than just more smarmy entertainment — or at least, that it's genuinely high quality entertainment. I also hope that perhaps it's revealing of something, maybe.
On the other hand, I want to avoid becoming pretentious in the eagerness to give my work deep meanings!
I have an enormous ego and I must resist the urge to come across like a know-it-all. Some of the imagery in my work is sorta scary because I'm basically a fearful, pessimistic person. I've always seeing the predatory nature of the universe, which can harm you or kill you very easily and very quickly, no matter how well you watch your step.
The way I see it, we are all just so much chopped liver. We have this great gift of human intelligence to help us pick our way through this treacherous tangle, but unfortunately we don't seem to value it very much.
Most of us are not brought up in environments that encourage us to appreciate and cultivate our intelligence. To me, human society appears mostly to be a living nightmare of ignorant, depraved behavior. We are all depraved, me included. I can't help it if my work reflects this sordid view of the world. Also, I feel that I have to counteract all the lame, hero worshiping crap that is dished out by the mass media in a never ending deluge.
— R. Crumb
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Standard American Speech is a must for modern office work. I’ve worked in insurance for 30 years. Insurance is one of the last professions you can step into with any university degree. They just want people who can read and write and think. Training is still almost exclusively on the job.
It’s an amazingly egalitarian industry. Women, Blacks, Filipinos are well represented from paperwork to brokers to heads of offices and companies.
The top determinants of how far you get, or the top level you get limited to, are the closeness to which you speak standard English and your competency at expressing yourself in writing and speaking.
It is not hard to believe that this rule applies in all service industries that take place in office settings.
And ever since I’ve been indulging in Netflix and watching TV series, which I never used to do, one sees that the same hierarchy of standard English applies in most TV shows–also without regard to subgroup membership.
Standard English is our common culture and it is the mainstream. Speaking any other way is cutting yourself off from opportunities.
ANTHONY WEINER AND HUMA ABEDIN TO SEPARATE After His Latest Sexting Scandal. (Rent the movie.)
COLIN KAEPERNICK IN HIS OWN WORDS
America Needs To Listen To What Colin Kaepernick Is Actually Trying To Say
by Dave Zirin
There has been a lot of analysis — both thoughtful and noxious — of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit down during the national anthem in the past few days. Unfortunately, there has been less conversation about the politics behind his action.
Instead of reckoning with the substance of his critique, much of the media coverage has fostered an abstract discussion about patriotism and etiquette — centering the question of whether he has the “right” to protest rather than examining what it is he’s trying to say.
As Charles Modiano breaks down brilliantly, this is the wrong approach:
“Colin Kaepernick’s deliberate act of protest to sit out the national anthem caught the nation’s attention, and this initial sentence framed most media headlines: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.” But the meat of Kaepernick’s cause actually came two sentences later: ‘There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder’.”
Hold it right there: “Getting away with murder.” That is the story.
Kaepernick makes it clear that his action was connected to the movement against police violence. But a closer examination of his 18-minute press avail on Sunday reveals even more about his motivations and thinking. The transcript itself contains the most effective defense against the legions trying to distort or delegitimize his actions.
Responding to reporters, Kaepernick demonstrated a methodical and, whether you agree or disagree, ideologically consistent rationale for sitting out the anthem. Kaepernick is appalled by police brutality, which he sees as an expression of bipartisan, government-sanctioned violence. He wants to use his platform to raise awareness and is willing to risk his job to do it. He is, as ESPN columnist Bomani Jones put it, “asking for justice, not peace.”
In the presser, Kaepernick said:
“These aren’t new situations. This isn’t new ground. There are things that have gone on in this country for years and years and have never been addressed, and they need to be. There’s a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality. There’s people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That’s not right. That’s not right by anyone’s standards.”
When asked if he would continue to sit during the anthem, he answered,
“Yes. I’ll continue to sit. I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
He was immediately asked if this stance meant he was anti-military and responded:
“I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they have fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.”
One of the more outrageous — and offensive — arguments from the sports commentariat is that because Kaepernick is biracial and was raised by white parents in a middle class suburb, he could not understand “oppression.” This charge has been almost uniformly made by white, right wing sportswriters. Kaepernick was asked if he “personally” felt oppressed and said:
“There have been situations where I feel like I’ve been ill-treated, yes. This stand wasn’t for me. This stand wasn’t because I feel like I’m being put down in any kind of way. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and affect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that, and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.
“This isn’t for looks. This isn’t for publicity or anything like that. This is for people that don’t have the voice. And this is for people that are being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities to be successful, to provide for families and not live in poor circumstances.”
Kaepernick also told his own story of being black in the United States:
"I’ve had times where one of my roommates was moving out of the house in college, and because we were the only black people in that neighborhood, the cops got called and we had guns drawn on us. Came in the house, without knocking, guns drawn on my teammates and roommates. So I have experienced this. People close to me have experienced this. This isn’t something that’s a one-off case here or a one-off case there. This has become habitual. This has become a habit. So this is something that needs to be addressed."
Another argument some have made is that while Kaepernick’s message is fine, his actions are not. That not standing for the flag is the “wrong way” to do things. Again, he had a thought out response:
“I don’t understand how it’s the wrong way. To me, this is a freedom that we’re allowed in this country. And going back to the military, it’s a freedom that men and women that have fought for this country have given me this opportunity by contributions they have made. So I don’t see it as going about it the wrong way. This is something that has to be said, it has to be brought to the forefront of everyone’s attention, and when that’s done, I think people can realize what the situation is and then really affect change… And the fact that it has blown up like this, I think it’s a good thing. It brings awareness. Everybody knows what’s going on and this sheds more light on it. Now I think people are really talking about it, having conversations about how to make change. What’s really going on in this country. And we can move forward.”
Kaepernick was asked about concern that he would be seen as indicting all police and again, in a focused manner, brought it back to a political argument about how broken our system of policing has become.
“There is police brutality,” he said. “People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.”
He was asked whether this was because it was an election year, which is its own statement about how we view politics in this country: something to practice for a few months every four years.
“It wasn’t a timing thing, it wasn’t something that was planned, but I think the two presidential candidates that we currently have also represent the issues that we have in this country right now. You have Hillary, who has called black teens or black kids super predators. You have Donald Trump, who is openly racist. We have a presidential candidate (Clinton) who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me. If that was any other person, you’d be in prison. So what is this country really standing for?”
Lastly Kaepernick was asked whether he was concerned about getting cut and said, “I don’t know. But if I do, I know I did what’s right. And I can live with that at the end of the day.”
It is inspiring to see an athlete who cares more about the world than their own ambitions. And it is stunning that so many people are saying that an NFL player this thoughtful and selfless is somehow a “bad” role model, in a league so rife with scandal from the owner’s box to the locker room.
It is also pathetic that so many in the sports media, who a few months ago were praising the legacy of Muhammad Ali, are coming down so ferociously on Colin Kaepernick. As if sports and politics can mix only in the past tense, and racism is something that can only be discussed as a historical question.
People can choose to agree or disagree with Kaepernick’s analysis or arguments, but they should deal with the actuality of what he is risking his career to bring into the light.
CLOVERDALE ARTS ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES FALL LINEUP FOR DISCOVERING ART SERIES
New series begins September 21 with art topics sure to educate and inspire.
Cloverdale, August 30, 2016 - The Cloverdale Arts Alliance will launch its Discovering Art Series on September 21 with a photo tour of Cuba - reflecting its art, culture and history - presented by series facilitators Bob and Jennifer Jordan, who will share experiences and observations from their April 2016 trip to that fascinating island nation. This topic will be continued on October 5.
Beginning on October 19, classes will introduce a new series of DVDs presenting a variety of art topics, including the Harlem Renaissance; famous and provocative photographer, Annie Leibovitz; and the arcane world of provenance and fine art authentication.
Join the stimulating discussion that follows! Classes will be held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery, 204 N. Cloverdale Boulevard.
The fall lineup is as follows:
Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 - Cuba: Its Art, Culture and People
Oct. 19 - Against The Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance
Nov. 2 - Mystery of a Masterpiece: The Forensics of Fine Art
Nov. 16 - Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens
In December, the Discovering Art Series will embark on an extended exploration of the Masterpieces from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. This 18-part series will be shown in nine classes, starting December 7 and running through March 29. It is the most complete historical overview of art ever produced, according to its producers, and is a great opportunity to see this incredible museum, its architecture and contents in a very up-close and personal way.
Attendees are invited to join all the classes, or choose those that interest them the most. Discovering Art is meant for a wide audience, from those who are discovering art for the first time to those who have experienced art their entire lives and realize that it is a journey of constant discovery.
A nominal donation ($5 per class for CAA members, $7 for non-members) will be requested. Seating is limited to the first 40 participants. Call 894-4410, or visit cloverdaleartsalliance.org, for more information about this program.
SECRETS & LIES
Dear friends of public radio,
Does anyone have anything to report about the KZYX Board meeting in Point Arena last night?
I didn't attend the meeting, because the Board intended the meeting to be highly inconvenient.
Point Arena? Really? For a meeting as important as last night's meeting? For a station locked in what some are calling a "death spiral"?
Point Arena is about as far away from the vast majority station's membership as any point on the county map as I can think of. I think it's been many years since the Board met in Point Arena.
Clearly, the Board didn't want to field questions from the public about the recent resignations of Lorraine Dechter or Raoul Van Hall. Nor did the Board want to answer questions about the station's defective IRS Form 990s and other financial irregularities.
Incidentally, no meeting agenda was ever posted by the Board.
Secrets and lies. Secrets and lies. Same old story.
John Sakowicz, Ukiah