Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017
by AVA News Service, August 19, 2017
COMEDIAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST DICK GREGORY DIES
SMOKE blanketed Mendocino County on Saturday, most of it drifting south and west from sizable fires burning in the Six Rivers National Forest in Trinity and Modoc counties.
(Click to enlarge)
As hazy as it was in Boonville, a customer at the Redwood Drive-In next door said it was worse in Ukiah Saturday afternoon.
PAMELA MARKHAM has finally been terminated from her position as Chief Probation Officer (CPO) of Mendocino County. The AVA has learned that the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court issued a termination letter to Markham several weeks ago. (Markham had been on paid administrative leave since last March, some five months ago.) In typical Mendo fashion, there was no public announcement by either the robed ones or the County. Official Mendo likes to bury their mistakes. High level employees are often put on "Administrative Leave" at full pay and benefits where they languish for months and months at taxpayer expense. When the case is finally resolved, the offending official is quietly sent down the road, usually with a handsome settlement.
THE AVA BROKE THE STORY as "Scandal of the Week" back on April 12 after receiving a very credible letter from a Probation Department employee.
THE STORY has generated dozens of on-line comments with many people commenting using their real names, another rarity in an environment where people fear retaliation for speaking their true opinions. Ms. Markham and one of her subordinates had been openly carrying on an affair, despite both being married to other people at the time, and allegations of favoritism were rampant.
IRONICALLY, MARKHAM WAS BROUGHT IN to clean up a department suffering from the “good old boy” environment typical of many male-dominated workplaces. Her immediate predecessors, Buck Ganter and Jim Brown, were following in the footsteps of their predecessors by presiding over a department where a locker room mentality prevailed and favoritism was the norm. And the surest pathway to promotion seemed to go through the Ukiah Men's Golf Club where previous CPOs and their top echelon were regulars.
BUT INSTEAD of shutting down the good old boy environment and the locker room atmosphere, Markham doubled down by openly flirting and quickly choosing her favorites. And Number One on the favorites list was the Juvenile Hall Supervisor and a golfing buddy of the previous CPOs. By all accounts, Markham and the Juvy Hall Supervisor were soon spending hours at a time behind locked doors during working hours. But apparently the County thinks it is perfectly okay for supervisors to boff line staff as long as there is no favoritism involved. Yeah, right!
SEVERAL MONTHS AGO MARKHAM was put on leave with full pay and benefits while an investigation ensued. The Chief Probation Officer is appointed by the Presiding Judge, but is a County employee. So the County has to pay the considerable costs of the paid leave and the investigation. The online comments leave little doubt about the outcome of the investigation. But over the intervening months, the local judges had a stable of lawyers second guessing the County. The timid judges and their timid lawyers determined another investigation must be done. This is big part of the quarter of a million dollars the Board of Supes pays every years to SF-based Liebert, Cassidy, Whitmore for work the half-dozen lawyers in the County Counsel’s office are seemingly incapable of doing.
MARKHAM, who is (was?) married to a Lake County lawyer, immediately lawyered up once the allegations started flying, which probably explains the timidity of the judges. The cost of Markham’s lengthy paid Admin Leave with full benefits and the cost of the needlessly drawn out and expensive multiple investigations are all borne by the County taxpayers. Likewise for any payoff Markham received or that she might receive from a lawsuit. The only real questions now are if she was paid to leave and how much?
(FOR ALL THEIR stated concern about saving a few “taxpayer dollars” by outsourcing emergency dispatch and inland ambulance services to a giant Dutch ambulance outfit, Supervisors Croskey, Hamburg and Brown never so much as asked a question about the huge outside lawyer bill or the costly extended admin leave associated with Ms. Markham’s many faults.)
WHO’S UP NEXT for the CPO position? Kevin Kelley, based solely on tenure, has been appointed as the Interim for the intervening months since March, but it will be up to the robed ones to name a permanent CPO, not the County.
THE FOLLOWING LETTERS from Fort Bragg resident, Carole White, neatly serve as the subtext for Fort Bragg's civic turmoil. Ms. White, in these private communiques describes her political opponents as the equivalent of the Charlottesville nazis! Anybody for the removal of city manager Ruffing is, ipso facto, a Klansman. But this is how the righteous ones think, all the while claiming the political high ground. Anyone outside, much less opposed to, the Turner-Ruffing Axis, is at least a latent fascist, a Deplorable. Fort Bragg has taken a giant step forward in taking the town back from the Carole Whites of the Mendocino Coast:
From: Carole White
Subject: Linda Ruffing contract negotiation
August 14, 2017
I am forwarding you my letter to Lindy. I expect the same from you. It is time to speak up and defend against the kind of institutional and insidious misogyny, racism, bigotry that is rampant in our town. I realize you are somewhat of a lone ranger now. But since you are not seeking reelection, I urge you to use this next year to pushback against delusional and stupid thinking and action. I appreciate your testimony at the planning committee meeting. That and more is what we need from you. If you need support to back you up, you just need to ask us. Many are counting on you to take a stand and to lead the rest of us to back you up. If the Norvell camp can do this, so can we. Thank you for your service to our community,
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." --Gandhi
* * *
I have observed the local development and political scene here for 40 years. I remember the debacle of the North Cliff Hotel perpetrated by the good old boys at the time. I remember the Glass Beach subdivision, the unsolved arson fires, Redwood Summer, etc. and I remember when we started having the occasional women on the council and Linda Ruffing took on the city manager position, there was finally a slightly better ratio of representation and things started to improve. Under Linda's experience and leadership, many great things have happened in our town in spite of the closure of the mill, the financial and housing prices, etc., none of which were her doing. I certainly do not think Gary Milliman would have done better.
You and I do not always agree by any means. That has also been true of Linda Ruffing and Marie Jones, in their positions at City Hall. However, I respect our various differences of opinion in addition to the contributions we all make to our community. Having said that, you know as well as I, that there is a faction intent on a continued poisonous tirade and vendetta against Linda and Marie and while we are at it, Samantha Zutler. And we both know that this vendetta started at the hands of ex- chief of police, Mayberry and his followers. I do not know the man personally and had no reason to dislike him. But whether his behavior at the end of the job was due to the trauma of officer Rick Del Fiorentino's killing, or not, it was cowardly, disrespectful and inflammatory for him to have someone else publicly resign for him at a City Council meeting. Instead of either pursuing his claims of wrongdoing or resigning in a respectful manner like most people, he chose to actively drag us all through a horrible and unsettling period in our town. I am so glad that he is no longer on active police duty. It appears a result of his rage at having a woman superior, namely Linda Ruffing, that we have come to where we are today. I hold him personally responsible for the rampant misogyny that has been unleashed at all of the smart and strong women who have been leading our town, heading up boards and committees and contributing to the health, justice and diversity here.
However, he did not get us here all by himself. Your new council members were elected in part to continue the witchhunt and take down anyone and anything that may have contributed to the deep resentments that he sparked by his action. Regardless of whether there is any actual merit to the opinions held by that group. If I thought that people really were interested in uncovering truth and sorting fact from fiction, I might feel differently. But my experience over the last three years informs me that is not the case. People want to hang on to their opinions in spite of overwhelming facts. Climate change being a global example. Hospitality Center a local one.
From an ethical and possibly legal standpoint, the action by Bernie Norvell to pull the city manager contract from the consent calendar at the last City Council meeting, having been placed there after contract deliberations, is very suspect. Procedurally acceptable, maybe. But it would not have been on the consent calendar if there had been a dispute during negotiations unresolved. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for not continuing Linda’s contract. And I think you know that. The vendetta covertly has already taken our excellent city attorney, Samantha Zutler. And now the move is to eliminate Linda.
Exacting vengeance against a woman who has performed her job exceptionally well under very difficult economic conditions and social unrest is blatant misogyny. Charlottesville is right here, Lindy. Do not allow those people to take over our town, or our ability to work together as a community will be set back by decades. It is very close already, and we need to fight to maintain reason. Difference of opinion is one thing. Allowing delusional thinking to infect every governing body is sure suicide and antithetical to a functioning democracy.
As mayor, you have an enormous responsibility to lead our city government. Or not. You will be as complicit as the others if you do not figure out how to stop this so we can move forward with the business at hand. I urge you to stand up and defend Linda and negotiate her contract in good faith. She deserves respect and gratitude, not petty bullying and aspersion. We need her. You and I both know that the difficulty in finding any employees, let alone exceptional ones, is cataclysmic at this time. Becky Walker, FBUSD, may have stated that they are "interning local residents without credentials" because they will stay here, but that is somewhat disingenuous. It is actually because there is a dearth of qualified teachers, let alone experienced ones, and none are flocking here for the low wages, high cost of living and lack of housing. I imagine Linda could do much better elsewhere in both salary and treatment. But this is her community too. And good luck to Fort Bragg in finding candidates (let alone someone to take the job) who have her talent, experience and commitment. Even in the best of times.
FORT BRAGG NOTES
by Rex Gressett
The news hit Thursday like a quiet clap of thunder rippling through the city like waves of unbelief in a pond of tense city politics. Linda Ruffing, the absolute power in Fort Bragg municipal affairs, the final dictator and ultimate author of Fort Bragg civic policy and the absolute controller of every dime of city spending had “decided to retire.” She made the decision to retire in the same sense that Napoleon retired after Waterloo.
I found out when the Fort Bragg Advocate, Linda Ruffing’s pet newspaper, put it on the front page Thursday morning. As the news day unfolded, Linda went on the air at KZXY&Z as the next safest and only remaining media available.
Reading about it in the Advocate I had to recall that the absence of a critical press in Fort Bragg contributed more to the longevity and power of the city manager’s reign than any other single factor. For many years the Advocate has made a contribution to informing the citizens of our city by running Linda’s personally written disclosures of city affairs with the Advocate providing no comments. It is Fort Bragg’s much read “City Notes.” This is a channel for power to express itself without interruption. Just saying.
In crisis the Fort Bragg Advocate operates as an effective branch of city hall by adroitly missing as far as humanly possible anything remotely pertaining to controversy which involves the city manager or her policies. That covers a lot of ground. Understandably, city hall thought it only fair to give the Advocate the retirement scoop. As far as I know the mighty AVA which so momentously informed the outcome of Ms Ruffing’s career was not notified.
Linda spoke to the scanty audience at KZYX&Z where they were glad in their Mendo laid back way to throw soft-balls to a shaken Ruffing. They don’t have enough self confidence to probe so they miss the humor. They missed plenty of it with Linda. The revulsion factor for local public radio in Fort Bragg is at least partially due to the fact that they retain such confidence in those who we as a city have way lost confidence in. The omission of attention to local dynamics is an over-riding reason that nobody in Fort Bragg south of Pine listens to them. The were real nice to Linda.
The sincere guy from KZYX was courteously supportive to a shaken city manager so distraught by her own execution to even pretend that the causes for it were not public dissatisfaction on a genetic level. She must have imagined her retirement announcement differently: The elder statesperson, a little tired from great exertions and of course deeply satisfied. Instead, she blamed irrational forces and human wickedness. Expressing sorrowful concern and certainty that Fort Bragg would not be able to get along without her. Regretfully there was no help for it. She will wait quietly behind her giant hedge to say I told you so when it becomes appropriate. “Loud voices blasting the ears of the city council” were the specified cause of immediate death. They say I blushed. Proceeding down the garden path, Linda reflected that the disgraceful treatment of Scott Mayberry and the allegations of improprieties in the Old Coast Hotel deal had poisoned the water. She was the victim of a pernicious incoherence.
It all began as an insult added to injury. The city council, like the rest of the city, had rested on the assurances of the spin machine at city hall that we were not merely solvent but actually uniquely profitable because they were so darned good at getting grants. Under the control of Ruffing’s ongoing operation, the city was indeed linked to a life and death dependency on grants. Significantly, community block development grants.
We got some grants, but the solvent part turned out to be an exaggeration. Instead, an increasingly jaded city council found themselves facing a $400,000 deficit and making a $3million emergency funds transfer. Kind of ruins your week. Then came the off-hand revelation that the city faced bankruptcy due to a legally mandated CALPERS contribution by 2020. That would be pension payments to County and City workers. If nothing changes they will have ruined us by 2020. It did not help the optics that Linda’s own salary was exactly half the amount of the current deficit. An unsmiling City Council was forced to transfer $3 million bucks back into the sewer and water fund and out of the money needed for the immediate operation of the city and anything they might plan to do.
They were forced to pay you (if you live in Fort Bragg) back the money you paid for your water and that some magical way got transferred into the general fund The general fund which took the hit, is money basically available to finance whatever policy or program they might come up with. The comparatively newbie, as it were, reform city council is morbidly conscious of a sacred promise to the voters to something, anything. Now the council has an empty wallet to do it with .The best ideas floated in informal council discussions involved draconian cuts in personnel. One thing for sure their options have been significantly proscribed. Shit flows downhill. With her canned supporters, Linda had even had insufficient goodwill to sustain her.
But it also happens that Linda effectively neutered the city council. She left them at the restaurant with no cash to pay the bill and didn’t even kiss them.
In the immediate wake of the surprise deficit and the $3 million emergency cash transfer, by fortuitous coincidence, Ms. Ruffing’s own pay-raise came before the council buried where you would expect it to be: in the consent calendar. It is in the consent calendar that pay raises, benefits and gravy, are austerely sequestered from vulgar discussion. Sedate and sensible compliance with the city hall program was thrown under the bus when cowboy Bernie Norvell pulled her next pay hike off the consent calendar and sent it back to closed session. It was a surprise move that ended up being the snowball that started the avalanche and made Lindy Peters blink, I assure you.
When the pay raise went into closed session the doors closed. We don’t know what else they did, but somebody violated the Brown Act in flagrant manner. The leak hit the streets packaged as a soundbite that the city council was undertaking and the leakers were exposing a “coup.” A matter of such cosmic importance was considered more than enough reason to throw the law of California under the town hall bus. That crew was never particular about that anyway. They all sent emails to each other thus filling (not packing) Town Hall with the familiar old crowd grown brassy in their decades of power monopoly and boldly bluffing. Artifacts from various strata of discredited city councils rejected by the voters went one by one to the microphone followed by their hangers-on and even Linda Ruffing’s son. It is a species of not very subtle political theater we are familiar with in Fort Bragg. Supporters of the City Manger are masters of it. In fact they invented it. But it has worn real thin.
They had broken the law in a political maneuver and they acted like it was all ok as long as it was they and not you who are the ones doing it.
Will Lee waited till after the break.
Will, originally elected by a constituency openly and firmly against the status quo run by Linda, had nevertheless agreed to pass the deficit budget siding with the Mayor and the ever faithful Dave Turner and the two deeply distressing councilmen who had stood up to a highly questionable, vaguely explained and highly serious financial disclosure. Will Lee had jumped the ship that elected him and he had good reasons. He pointed out that without a budget authorization the city would have to do summersaults to keep operating. He knew the facts were what they were. Whatever had been done in the budget was done and the money was allocated and the general fund was depleted. Putting the operations of the city in jeopardy to make a point was coals to Newcastle. He was not happy and told me privately he would vote to fire her. But he also knew Ruffing had a $300k golden parachute in her contract if they did fire her.
The budget passed but when they went into closed session negotiations were intense. One councilman remarked privately it was like an episode of the Sopranos. When either Turner or Ruffing leaked the meeting, theatrically declaring it to be coup, they demonstrated again their contempt for law. It is behavior widely understood by the community to be routine with this bunch.
It was a similar contempt for the Brown Act of which Linda and her supporters were previously so proud, and not the Old Coast Hotel at all that drove Measure U (which would have declared operations like the Old Coast to be a zoning violation in downtown Fort Bragg). This time it was a real visible and irrefutable violation and it stuck in Will Lee’s craw.
Will Lee, the swing vote that gave Linda her budget, communed with his soul. He has always been ours. He loves his city. He was legitimately outraged over the leaked meeting and the “coup” spin. He was a fast learner and he was learning a great deal from Linda Ruffing. He appreciated the mentorship, I think. In the budget matter he thought he should keep the city working. But when confronted with the mechanisms of entrenched, self-protecting, lying, manipulative power arrogantly flaunting the law and pretending elaborately to be more than the small fraction of the electorate that they are, it was easy for him to remember what he stood for.
When he swung this time he hit Linda in the butt. No vote was taken, none was needed. Linda could count. Will Lee must have been definite. I am very proud. No golden parachute. Six months on death row. The famous six months that she herself has used to soften the abrasive effect of city hall’s takeover of the Measure A (bed tax) money and used again in the demolition of the community television station. Linda knows six months on death row diffuses much immediate wrath and happens anyway, she used that six month stay of execution a lot, now she gets to check it out.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I think Skrag is trying to sneak a deadbeat friend of his onto the gravy train he's got going here. I've seen Skrag Two hanging out here late at night, and I'm wondering if these people are going to tolerate two freeloaders on this place?”
OVER 3500 HITS OF METH
Humboldt County Drug Task Force press release:
The Humboldt County Drug Task Force secured a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for 44 year old Frank Slade and his vehicle, a white 2016 Hyundai Genesis.
On August 18th at around 8:00 P.M. Special Agents with the Task Force observed Mr. Slade driving his vehicle northbound Hwy 101 near Benbow. They conducted a traffic enforcement stop and detained Mr. Slade and his passenger, 41 year old Melissa Bauer.
Ms. Bauer admitted to being in possession of a methamphetamine pipe and approximately half an ounce of methamphetamine, which Agents located on her person.
With the assistance of the Humboldt County District Attorney Investigator’s narcotics detection K-9, Special Agents located 2.21 pounds (over 3500 quarter-gram hits) of suspected methamphetamine concealed inside a large speaker box.
Mr. Slade was placed under arrest for transportation of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sales, and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. Ms. Bauer was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia. Both were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were booked on the above listed charges.
Anyone with information related to this investigation or other narcotics related crimes are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444- 8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268-2539.
WHERE’S DUANE MASHER?
Press release from the Orange County Sheriff:
On August 15, 2017, Duane Masher was reported missing by family after not being able to contact him since August 10th. According to family members, it is out of character for Mr. Masher not to notify someone if he is going out of town.
On August 15, 2017 the California Highway Patrol located Mr. Masher’s vehicle at the Redwoods River Resort located at 75000 US-101. Leggett, where it had been parked for 4 days. Mr. Masher is not a guest at the resort and has not returned to claim the vehicle.
Name: Duane Stuart Masher
Residence: Coto De Caza
Vehicle: 2004 Cadillac CA# PIJ076 (Vehicle Located on 08-15-2017)
ALARUMS & EXCURSIONS
"A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents." – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
The recording of last night's (2017-08-18) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download for free and enjoy at any time of the day or night, via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Besides all that, as usual also there you'll find a fresh batch of links to other interesting things I collected for you while putting the show together, that might not necessarily work on the radio because of being mostly visual. Such as:
Socialism is as American as apple pie. A comic-strip history lesson.
Port of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Free college, free health care, sensible drug and prostitution laws, decent social security all around, and a million little boats.
A new kind of zipline.
And say you're the cymbalist in a school band and one of the cymbals falls off the strap. On the one hand, I know he's just saluting the flag, but on the other hand, see how he's pressed every button on the bass drummer's attraction index. She's amused, impressed, everything. Afterward, who knows what will develop between them? Maybe in the band room, after everyone's gone home, on a pile of band uniforms. The smell of cotton dust and brass polish. Faint rumble of a truck going by on the highway. Air. Salt sweat. Maybe a little blood.
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 19, 2017
Borup, Cervantes, Furr
DAVID BORUP, Willits. Possess or purchase for sale a controlled substance narcotic, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
ELISA CERVANTES, Boonville. Controlled substance, destruction/concealment of evidence, failure to appear, probation revocation.
SHANNON FURR, Willits. DUI, probation revocation.
Garcia, Gonzalez, Hoaglen
JESSICA GARCIA, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
MANUEL GONZALEZ, Willits. Burglary, receiving stolen property, disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JOSEPH HOAGLEN, Covelo. Failure to appear, sentencing for mandatory supervision.
Meagher, Mouser, Rey
JERRY MEAGHER, San Mateo/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
HANNAH MOUSER, Mckinleyville/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, false personation of another.
ANDRES REY, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, pot sales, suspended license, probation revocation.
Shields, Sorensen, Victory
SEAN SHIELDS, Yreka/Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance, no license.
DONOVAN SORENSEN, Redwood Valley. DUI, suspended license, failure to appear, probation revocation.
JAMES VICTORY, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, prior strike, stalking/threatening bodily injury, criminal threats.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I have lived in this county [Humboldt] since 1952 and things always change. I lived in Petrolia when the water was clear and we could fish in the river. My family was threatened periodically because we were Okies and didn’t belong here. I watched my father more than once fly into the house and grab our only rifle because someone objected to our existence. I heard the weapon cock and the old man say get out of your car and die or turnaround and live. Every one turned around.
I have neighbors most of whom have small indoor operations and sometimes their motors require ear plugs and their exhaust requires air filters. I am not happy about that but they probably aren’t happy about some of the stuff I do.
I realized one of them was night prowling on my property and examining my stuff. I found an opportunity to tell him how I had to shoot foxes and raccoons at night to protect my chickens and that my eyesight was getting bad so I used just my hearing to shoot, you know, like brush shots for deer. He hasn’t been around at night, according to my infra-red cameras since I told him that. So, he’s not as stupid as I thought.
The young ones showing up every day however, do concern me. They are arrogant and believe that might makes right and that it’s their time and they are going to become millionaires, not knowing those slots are already allocated to people a whole lot smarter than them. The big grows right now are the criminals trying to take money out before they are closed down by regs and the state. Some will make it out with their money, some will not even make it out with their lives.
Mourn for the past and prepare for the economic collapse. Find other ways to make a living cause this one is going away. If you are local, join with your neighbors and form mutual assistance associations. Help one another out. Let others know your concerns and figure out how to protect yourselves. Learn from the Vietnamese about how they got the biggest government to get out. Use these techniques on the uncaring and the greedy. There are thousands of ways to get even rather than get mad and getting even works. And these little victories can turn into big victories. I am an optimist and I have many tools in my arsenal. You can do it too. Be careful and live well.
MARSHALL NEWMAN points out, "the solar eclipse of August 12th 2045 will travel almost directly over the Anderson Valley. Don't miss it!"
BRITAIN’S FASCISM LESSON FOR AMERICA: Silent Ones Are More Dangerous Than Loud Ones
Anti-Semitic blackshirts made a lot of noise in London before World War II. The real agents of Hitler in England weren’t in the streets—they were higher up.
by Clive Irving
On a searingly hot summer’s day in 1935 the Nazis staged one of their set-piece rallies near the city of Hesselberg. On the platform with members of the Nazi party leadership one figure stood out—unfamiliar but striking and resembling the ideal of Aryan womanhood from a Wagner opera. She was over 6 feet tall, blond, and wearing a black shirt.
Directly behind her was the most virulent anti-Semite in the Nazi party, Julius Streicher. The blonde was a close friend of Streicher’s and, more than that, an exhibit that he was proud to promote because she was no Rhinemaiden. Her name was Unity Mitford and the black shirt indicated her allegiance to the British Union of Fascists.
Streicher published a newspaper, Der Sturmer (The Stormer), long the platform for his views, including the medieval legend that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood to make matzoh. After the rally the papersent a reporter to interview Mitford and she delivered:
“If only England were inspired enough to have someone of your Fuhrer’s greatness, then everyone would fall into line and even the English would have to come to recognize that this system would not mean the denial of personal freedom. For years I have belonged to the Mosley movement.”
Reporter: “The Mosley movement was originally not anti-Semitic. How did the change happen?”
“The Jews in England were not so visibly a danger as in Germany. But Mosley very soon recognized that the Jewish danger may well work its evil way from country to country, but fundamentally it poses a danger to all the peoples of the world. The Mosley movement grows steadily. There can be no looking back until we have swept the whole nation with us.”
Mosley was Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the BUF. He was also the lover and soon-to-be husband of one of Unity’s sisters, Diana Mitford. As Unity said, Mosley had finally outed his inner anti-Semite. Two months before the Hesselberg rally he told a BUF gathering in Britain: “For the first time I openly and publicly challenge the Jewish interests of this country commanding commerce, commanding the Press, commanding the cinema, dominating the City of London, killing industry with sweat shops.”
Mosley was one of the most mesmerizing orators in British politics. Many of his contemporaries thought that had he not embraced fascism he could well have ended up leading one of the main parties and becoming prime minister. At one point he was a Cabinet member in a Labour Party government, and a progressive socialist thinker. But there was something dark in him that led people not to trust him—together with a reputation as a serial womanizer with the predatory eye of a lounge lizard.
Fascism gave Mosley a sudden notoriety that brought out the narcissist in him. He went everywhere with a phalanx of black-shirted thugs wearing a party decal colored like Nazi armbands but in place of a swastika there was a lightning bolt as though summoning the wrath of gods. He relished the adoration of the crowds attracted to his rallies and began to think he could,—as Unity Mitford had hoped—like Hitler, sweep up the whole nation in his cause.
But he never achieved anything remotely approaching that level of national support. His own class (his aristocratic roots reached back centuries), including the many who thought that Britain and Germany were not natural enemies and that it would be in the nation’s best interest to avoid war, thought that Mosley’s ersatz militarism was vulgar and self-defeating.
Surprisingly 70 to 80 percent of Mosley’s popular support in the capital came from the most densely working-class districts of East London, particularly in the boroughs that included the docks. This was also where the Communist and Labour Parties were traditionally strong. One communist was shocked when he went to observe a Mosley march: “The fascist band moved off, and behind them about 50 thugs in blackshirt uniform. Then came the people. About 1,500 men, women (some with babies in their arms) and youngsters marched behind Mosley’s banner.”
East London also had high concentrations of Jewish families, many of them ultra-orthodox. They were largely the second generation of the original Jewish immigrants who had fled Russian and east European pogroms in the early 20th century who had since moved on from poorer boroughs.
Mosley carefully cultivated among his followers a view of Jews that suggested a kind of ominously calibrated tolerance. It was summed up by one of his East London gauleiters: “We believe that the Jew has his place in the country if he is prepared to be honest and patriotic… and work for the benefit of the country and not for the benefit of the big Jew. It’s the big Jew that causes all the trouble. As Oswald Mosley said, we’ve got nothing against the small Jew. Nothing against the Jew who wants to be a patriot and wants to respect loyalty over religion.”
Above all, Mosley understood the need to provide a simple and recognizable human adversary to explain to gullible people why their lives were not progressing (much of Britain was in the worst grip of the Great Depression). In the “big Jew” he proposed the condensed version of the power system, “the Jewish interests,” that he had detailed in his first open attack on Jews. The Nazis had long before similarly defined The Other.
People who lacked a sureness of their own identity and place were suckers for Mosley’s offer of a new collective identity. One supporter recalled, years later: “It meant everything to me. A sort of goal we wanted to reach. It just became our existence really. Those were the happiest days of my life. We had a spirit of comradeship that we very seldom get.”
It was not to last. It all came to a head on Sunday, Oct. 4, 1936, in what became known as the Cable Street Riot. The day began with the same kind of choreography and many of the same elements that exploded in Charlottesville last weekend. Mosley announced that he would hold a rally that would march from the Tower of London to Cable Street, a major artery that cut through a swathe of working class East London, lined with shops and tenement houses.
Anti-fascist resistance to the rally was mobilized by local offices of the Communist Party. The Labour Party advised its members to stay away. They thought that their presence would guarantee that more fascists would turn up. The anti-fascists prepared barricades to prevent the blackshirts from entering Cable Street.
As the huge number of resisters became obvious—one count had as many as 20,000 anti-fascists in the streets—the police took a step that was not taken at Charlottesville: Police persuaded Mosley and his 3,000 or so supporters that they were dangerously outnumbered and they should go home.
Six thousand cops then went forward to clear the barricades and mayhem followed. Pitched battles between anti-fascists and police raged all along Cable Street. Instead of a bloody encounter between the extreme right and the extreme left it became a bloody encounter between authority and anti-fascists—leaving the police themselves uncomfortably looking like fascists.
In the end, though, it was Mosley who lost. Effective at the beginning of 1937 a law prohibited the wearing of military and quasi military uniforms at public rallies. The blackshirts were henceforth seen only at Mosley’s indoor events. Exactly a year after the Cable Street Riot Mosley married Unity Mitford’s sister Diana in a ceremony at the Berlin home of Hitler’s master of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. Hitler was the guest of honor.
Unity Mitford became a Hitler groupie, seeing him on at least 140 occasions. Watching this infatuation, one of her sisters, Nancy Mitford, said Unity was basically, “Bone headed and stone hearted.” She was certainly an exhibitionist with a serious deficiency of empathy. In September 1939, after Britain declared war with Germany, she attempted suicide, shooting herself. Hitler visited her in the hospital in Munich, paid her medical bills, and then arranged for her to be sent home, via Switzerland. She was an invalid for the rest of her life, and died in 1948.
Mosley’s British fascists were never of much use to Hitler. They were the noise of British fascism and, because of that, far too overt to be of use in the prolonged and sophisticated Nazi effort to undermine the British will to resist Germany.
Hitler knew he had many more useful friends in high places who did not want war. There was a web of appeasers and crypto-fascists throughout the aristocracy and among upper class politicians. The Duke of Windsor, an open supporter of Hitler, was sufficiently delusional and vain to believe that he would be acceptable to both the British and Hitler as the monarch of a “neutral” Britain while Hitler gobbled up the rest of civilization.
In May 1940 when, very much against the odds, Winston Churchill became prime minister and the British forces were being saved in the extraordinary evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk, Oswald Mosley and his wife were arrested and interned for the duration of the war in a small house in the grounds of a London women’s prison. It was a warning to all British fascists, proto, crypto, and all other shades, that their vile beliefs were no longer tolerable.
And there lies the lesson of Mosley and the British Union of Fascists. Appallingly, Der Sturmer has resurfaced here in the form of The Daily Stormer. Those you see and hear in the streets and at night with their torches and obscene chants are indeed vile—but they are not the really dangerous ones. The dangerous ones are the quiet ones. They signal consent by remaining silent, apparently at no cost to their consciences.
Some such are those who shelter behind that most pernicious of weasel words, “pragmatism.” They include a Republican leadership unable to admit that what has changed is not the nature of bigotry and hatred in this country but that the president of the United States has revealed himself as a willing accomplice.
Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan shamefully cling to the pragmatism of enduring this increasingly offensive presidency solely because Trump is—supposedly—still the enabler of their programs. They make the obligatory noises about white supremacists and racial hatred but carefully avoid calling out Trump himself. This is one of those moments in history when people get only one chance to display their moral anchorage. Both men have failed that test. That stain will be with them for the rest of their careers.
Meanwhile, Trump, incontinent with his own peculiar stream of bile, showed his true beliefs in every spasm of his body language and in his bulging veins and eyes. His form of bigotry appeared earlier as birtherism and is now, full-throated, devoted to voter suppression and racially based immigration restrictions and enforcement.
And behind Trump and the morally bankrupt Republican leadership are the industrial interests like the Koch brothers who want all environmental restraints on fossil fuels destroyed—just as in Nazi Germany the Krupp, Volkswagen, and I.G. Farben (later Bayer) industries saw the vast profits to be made in Hitler’s war and rode with the devil all the way.
YUK, THE MOVIE
Last chance to see on the big screen (essential) “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” While bare of plot, this movie bombards you with so many fantastical images relentlessly without let-up that it prompted one reviewer to write: “It’s like eating way too much candy and vomiting and then eating the candy vomit and vomiting again.”
PARTIAL UPDATE ON WHAT'S NEW ON CLIMATE CHANGE
It seems like every few days there are new research reports on climate change and to discuss all of these reports such as the coming flooding of the southern part of Florida which includes the partial flooding of the Mar-A-Lago resort would require several pages. Therefore, I will discuss one of the issues. First, I would offer a comment about President Trump and his fellow deniers. They like to quote a discredited climate researcher and ignore the obvious and bury their heads in the sand.
A new study indicates that the flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet is likely to speed up in the future, despite a recent slowdown, because its outlet glaciers slide over wet sediment not hard rock. The research, published in Science Advances, was led by Professor Bernd Kulessa, a glaciologist at Swansea University, and was assisted by experts from the Unlted Kingdom, Canada, Sweden and Norway. The research was based upon seismic surveys. Previous research showed there were two mechanisms for controlling the speed of the ice flow: Self regulation and the second to do with the soft sediments.
This research was to test the sediment theory for the first time using measurements on the ice sheet. The seismic observations confirmed sediment played the key role in controlling ice sheet flow; variability in meltwater supply controls sediment's slipperiness; and weakening of subglacial sediment leads to accelerated ice flow. In conclusion, Professor Kulessa said "This discovery leaves us concerned because we have so far accepted the except opposite - that Greenland's icy conveyor would slow down."
You need to coordinate this study with all the other studies concerning the effect of climate change on the Arctic to fully understand the meaning of the study. If the spirit moves me, next week I will discuss another facet of climate change.
In peace and love,
by Scott M. Peterson
‘FORT BRAGG’S ON FIRE’ — were the first words I heard about the 1987 inferno. Mike Rogers — the dispatcher at the Mendocino fire house delivered them to me just as dry as a popcorn fart. I thought he was kidding at first. One sober double-check said otherwise. Like any able bodied man who lived in the village, I was a volunteer fireman at the time. My pager had gone off at well past closing time for the local saloons — meaning it was probably a fire. But I’d never gone on a mutual aid call to Fort Bragg before.
RESCUE ONE was already gone by then. The pumpers were there, but weren’t needed. So I jumped into Dennis Heyden’s F150 along with Wayne Gordon and away we went. Cresting the hill north of Russian Gulch was a sight I’ll never forget. The Fort Bragg skyline was glowing like an ember. Not just from the two sawmills visible at night. This was different — way different. Fort Bragg was on fire.
DENNIS had a CB in his truck and got the order. He was the ranking officer there. We were directed to the library fire. Meaning that we had to drive right by the Piedmont fire. Man. Flames were shooting out the second story windows as we passed. All of us donned in turnouts. I’ll never forget that image and my feeling at the time. If a fire like this was second priority, what could be the first?
MY MEMORY OF WHAT happened next is a little hazy. I don’t know where we parked. Dennis and Wayne headed toward City Hall with air packs. The library building was completely gone at that point. But the red-hot remains were piled against City Hall in a way that demanded action. A Fort Bragg fireman was there cooling it down from a hose stand from across the street. Nobody was on the smoking rubble. So I grabbed the hose and jumped on it. I don’t remember much else.
ABOUT 6 AM, I heard something from across the street. It was Sylvia Kozak-Budd — the Fort Bragg City librarian — on her knees and weeping. By then, we’d kept City Hall from going up, but there was little solace in the loss of that library. And I don’t care how much adrenaline you’ve got in your system. Just try forgetting an image like that.
ANYBODY could see it was arson. But Hell, this was Fort Bragg — a company town. Not my business. Nor that of any fellow firefighters. We weren’t there to solve any crime. Only to help. And we did. The rest was left to local investigators. Including a Fort Bragg detective I’d gone to school with named Les Pierce. But because it was a company town, nothing ever became of that investigation. Four unsolved murders and a string of mysterious fires terrorized the place back then — according to the L.A. Times. But that was nothing compared to what happened later.
MY DAD WALKED ON WATER for a living. Really. That was his job. He started as a pond man for Union Lumber Company in 1948 and did that until his retirement thirty years after. I worked in the plywood plant there for a couple of summers in the early 1970s. To get there you had do drive through a checkpoint. The watchmen from Lee Goble Security saw what came in — and what went out. No exceptions. That included trucks. The only loads that came in were logs. And the only ones that went out were lumber. That’s until after the Fort Bragg fires went unsolved.
AROUND 1995, I was filling up at the gas station south of Cypress Street when a truck loaded with logs left the sawmill property and headed north to Branscomb. The station attendant said something that surprised me. ‘There goes another one,’ he said. ‘Those fuckers lied to us.’ This was five years after Redwood Summer — when Georgia Pacific officials swore that jobs here would last forever. ‘They were right,’ the man told me. ‘The protesters were right.’
THAT SENTIMENT was echoed a few months later when I was having lunch at the Laurel Deli in downtown Fort Bragg. There was a group of old-timers sitting next to me. They kept using the word ‘environment’ like it wasn’t a four letter word. ‘What’s up?’ I asked. The ringleader answered without hesitation. Clearing the counter in front of him with his hands. ‘This is the way they want it,’ he said. ‘Smooth and flat.’ I was shocked. This wasn’t the straw town I’d grown up with at all. At least it didn’t sound like it.
GEORGE CARLETON REINHARDT arrived in Mendocino County shortly after that. According to County records, he first registered to vote here on September 15, 2003. And then immediately leapt onto a redevelopment project at the old GP sawmill property. Something that favored — well — GP. Reinhardt was 55 years old when he got here. So he should’ve had something to show for it. Especially being a Stanford graduate and all. But according to his online resume, he’d done nothing whatsoever for the past three decades. Huh. Two years later, Koch Industries bought GP for $21 billion. Three years after the sawmill at Fort Bragg closed down.
REINHARDT majored in political science. Check. But there’s no record of him ever running for office anywhere. Or supporting anyone who did. Unless you count the mealy mouthed do-nothings that run Fort Bragg. Reinhardt backs them five-by-five — and vice versa. The most he’s ever done here is to produce a thirty-two page brochure titled, ‘Noyo Headlands; From the Extraction Economy to the Restoration Economy’ — something that’s a perfect example of Reinhardt’s do-nothing career. The brochure was done on behalf of Noyo Headlands Unified Design Group — NHUDG — which was supposedly under the ‘auspices’ of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called the Coastal Land Trust. But not for long.
THAT RELATIONSHIP had a checkered past. It’s apparent through a look at its website at www.coastallandtrustca.org. In August of 2011, it touted NHUDG as a partner. Three years later it didn’t. At this writing that website has been taken over by something called ‘Sexdating Nederland’ where one can have live sex chats with single women. Yeah. The NHUDG website is equally spectacular. In June of 2008 it lauded Reinhardt as its ‘networking guru’ and claimed, ‘As the plans for the Noyo Headlands move forward the entire process of remediation and restoration is an opportunity for job creation and business incubation that should not be squandered.’ But no jobs got created and no businesses were hatched. So today that’s been transformed into a 72-word hunk of mumbo jumbo that swaps ‘natural energy flows’ for employment. The only other thing Reinhardt has to show for fourteen years on the job is a seven-minute drone video presenting a large piece of picturesque — yet undeveloped property that GP still owns.
REINHARDT’S PLAN is absurd. It proposes that certain areas of that property be acquired from GP for something called a ‘daylighting project.’ The most prominent of which is the very place where Dad worked — the Mill Pond. Which — according to Reinhardt’s plan ‘may or may not be incorporated’ into the project. So of course it would be. While it ‘may or may not be’ the most toxic piece of land on the planet.
FORT BRAGG’S AIR QUALITY wasn’t very good in 2001. Anybody living downwind of GP’s power plant can tell you that. As GP shipped saw logs out, it hauled dioxin coated waste in to be burned there. That’s on top of what happened in 1989. Where four gigantic PCB filled capacitors were buried in arms of the main mill pond, paved over and forgotten. Like humongous toxic Easter eggs just waiting to be found. Until then, their contents are oozing into Alder Creek and on down to Soldier Bay. Poisoning the food chain for generations.
THE OBVIOUS BUYER for that land would be the Coastal Land Trust — Nonprofit #80-1028095. Members of the public can see that for themselves at Tax Exempt World, GuideStar and Great NonProfits. So it looks legitimate. Until you search for them at California’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, the National Center for Charitable Statistics or the IRS. They’ve got no record of that entity — none. Like George Reinhardt’s work history, it’s nowhere to be found. It’s a straw charity led by straw people in a straw town. So once that property changes hands, good luck getting any cleanup done. Especially with somebody like George Carleton Reinhardt in charge. But let’s go back to the beginning for a just a minute. When Fort Bragg was on fire.
THAT DOUBLE ARSON happened on September 20, 1987. It followed a wave of deliberately set fires that began two years earlier. Another arson happened a month later at the Waterfront Restaurant. Four people died and nobody was ever prosecuted for it. Which turned into a big green light for Georgia Pacific management who said to themselves, ‘If murder’s okay, what’s wrong with a little toxic waste dumping here and there?’ There could’ve been a nobler motive too. Especially after what’d happened the year before.
FOR THOSE paying attention, the Maxxam Corporation had just purchased Humboldt County’s Pacific Lumber Company in 1986. That takeover was financed by liquidating massive tracts of old growth timber right after the acquisition. The workers in Scotia couldn’t do anything about it — but the ones in Fort Bragg could. With something known as a ‘poison pill’ strategy. Burying four giant capacitors full of PCB in the mill pond would certainly have accomplished that. It would also have prevented something long feared by GP’s workers — the closure of the Fort Bragg sawmill and redevelopment of GP’s property into exactly what Reinhardt proposed — past tense.
COASTAL LAND TRUST went belly up in 2014. I got that by email from the horse’s mouth, Rixanne Wehren. An Albion Ridge do-gooder who declined to be interviewed. It appears that Ms. Wehren had two nonprofits by the very same name. Form 990s were filed for one — but not the other. The year it went bust, Wehren swore that $48,570 in ‘cost basis’ property had been transferred to Friends of the Enchanted Meadow, which is another nonprofit. But as revenue, that never showed up on their books either. Huh.
AFTER THE MONEY flew away, Wehren’s operation changed its name to Coastal Commons Research, Inc. That checks out with a 2017 filing with the California Secretary of State on for-profit corporations. But not the Registry of Charitable Trusts where it’s currently listed as delinquent. Putting it squarely out of the running to daylight much of anything. And leaving everything in Mr. Reinhardt’s court — the Noyo Headlands Unified Design Group.
NHUDG has no standing whatsoever with State or Federal authorities. None. It’s got a website, a Facebook page, and a YouTube channel. But so does Al Qaeda. That kinda makes George Reinhardt and his invisible friends look more like window dressing than anything else. Something people around here see as AstroTurfing.
ONE EXPERT on that subject is journalist Dan Bacher. He writes for publications like Counterpunch and Daily Kos. ‘Billionaires create phony grassroots groups all the time,’ Bacher told me. ‘Especially when it comes to poisoning the environment.’ A prime example is the now-defunct MRB Research, Inc. Convicted felon Ron LeValley used it to launder a near-million dollar embezzlement from the Yurok Tribe in 2010. Then dumped it like a stolen car when he was done. But is AstroTurfing something Koch Industries does? The answer is yes.
IN 2009 David Koch — from Koch Industries — paid for 40 buses of protesters to stymie President Obama’s health care reform. Not to defeat it, but to delay it. Something that Mr. Reinhardt has achieved — either intentionally or not — for fourteen years with the non-cleanup at the Fort Bragg sawmill site. How does that serve the Koch brothers? Dammed well.
ONE EARLY ESTIMATE of the contaminated soil to be removed from the mill pond was 1,000 dump truck trips. Each of them holding 20 cubic yards of material. The only thing keeping that oozing toxic mess out of the local food chain is a thirty-foot dam. All it’ll take is one good rain to solve Dave & Charlie’s little problem. Something that isn’t likely in their lifetime.
THE DAM IN QUESTION was built 135 years ago. Meaning that it’s lasted through plenty of wet winters. Not to mention a temblor or two — including the one from 1906. Nobody knows who made it. In all likelihood it was the same Chinese crews who dug railroad tunnels all the way to Willits. The same ones that are still in use today. So there’s a pretty good chance that dammed thing will outlive us all — much to the chagrin of Charlie, Dave and George.
PLAN B requires Fort Bragg City Hall to do something they’re really good at — nothing. Straw Town’s drain water runs through the polluted millpond into the sea, flushing it like a toilet 24/7. Putting appetizing notes of carcinogens onto the dinner tables of residents and visitors alike. Not to mention those who import seafood from our lovely coast. And water testing? Shucks. Nobody needs anything like that. Least of all George Reinhardt, who I’ve never seen mention the subject.
THE CLOSEST Fort Bragg ever got to a water test was in 2006. That’s according to an email from Rex Gressett. A man who’s not exactly on George Reinhardt’s A list. According to Gressett, GP ‘pulled the plug’ on testing for no reason whatsoever. While the City fathers held their noses and closed their eyes. Washing the feet of their captors as they’ve done for a century and a half.
DIOXINS AND PCBS are identified by the World Health Organization as two of the ‘dirty dozen’ environmental pollutants. Both of them cause cancer. And the higher the animal is in the food chain, the bigger the dose. The Koch Brothers’ millpond has — duh — plenty of both. Or at least it had plenty of both. Until just last week.
JERRY BROWN’S Department of Toxic Substance Control — DTSC — handled that. Whew! In a report issued just last week, it says that nasty old mill pond is now clean as a whistle:
‘Dioxins above residential standards are present in the pond sediments. However, the levels present a low risk. At the Mill Pond (Pond 8) for example, visitors will only have exposure to these dioxins if they jump into the pond repeatedly for over 25 years and eat sediment as they wade around the pond. [emphasis added] People’s use of the ponds are far different than the scenarios DTSC uses to determine residential risks.’
WHAT DTSC didn’t mention was anything about PCBs. Nor did it provide any independent data about precise levels of all contaminates. Meaning that we just have to take their word for it. In a report from last year, DTSC swore that trucks would take 2,762 cubic yards of toxic muck off the property to realms unspecified. Something it neglected to mention in the latest report. Suggesting that everything got fixed with a magic wand instead of a fleet of Peterbilts. Uh-huh.
LUCKILY DTSC has a media relations department. It’s headed by Sanford ‘Sandy’ Nax. Mr. Nax has been reassuring the public on behalf of DTSC since 2013 when they did the same thing for PG&E’s little cancer cluster at Hinkley. ‘No California residents drink the chromium-6 contaminated groundwater under the [PG&E] plant,’ DTSC insisted. Then — just like Fort Bragg — DTSC provided no test results. But Erin Brockovich did.
FOR THOSE who remember the movie, Ms. Brockovich — on behalf of several hundred Hinkley residents — sued PG&E over that and found otherwise. Something the folks at DTSC apparently haven’t seen yet. So they repeatedly assure the people in Hinkley there’s no problem. Even though the underground plume of chromium-6 has now spread from California to Arizona. Making it hard to imagine how toxins from the millpond couldn’t make it into Fort Bragg’s water supply. Where City officials have no data to report on dioxins or PCBs there either.
ONSITE ENVIRONMENTAL, INC. up in Redmond, Washington tests for dioxins and PCBs in water and soil all the time. The dioxins/furans test runs $720. PCB testing is only $90. The turnaround time for both is seven working days. And if a straw town like the City of Fort Bragg can spend thousands of dollars on parade insurance, it can certainly afford to tell citizens what’s going over that spillway.
GEORGIA PACIFIC hired an outfit named Arcadis to do a report that looks like independent testing in 2013. Until you look at the copyright: ‘© Georgia-Pacific LLC 2013’ — meaning it was actually published by the Koch brothers. Arcadis got into the news earlier this year over sloppy testing in Southern California. Specifically over ‘compliance with established soil sampling protocols’ for another poison reported at the Fort Bragg sawmill site — lead. The report in question was sent to me by Sandy Nax at DTSC. After pointing out this concern out to him, I asked if DTSC had ever done any independent testing in Fort Bragg. Mr. Nax told me they hadn’t. And since Mr. Reinhardt had promoted himself as a ‘networking guru’, I invited him to comment on this article. But that gosh darned networking must take up all of his precious time. Because I never heard back from him.
JUST WHEN I thought this story couldn’t get any stranger — well — it did. With a completely bizarre email from George Reinhardt’s greenwashing operation. Talking about how GP and DTSC had let us all down by abandoning the toxic Fort Bragg millpond. Earth to George: This was your plan, dude. And not once did you ever think to deal with the turd in your own punchbowl. Instead you announced, ‘Tell DTSC what the community wants before it’s too late.’ Well, George — it is. So bon appétit.
ANOTHER WEIRDNESS happened the next day. When Fort Bragg City Councilman Mike Cimolino sounded the alarm on his Facebook page. Calling all hands on deck to write letters to the DTSC protesting GP’s plan to ‘leave it and walk away.’ Something that completely contradicted what Mr. Nax told me — that GP would be removing 2,762 yards of soil and sediment this summer. That prompted me to have a closer look at both of them.
NAX has an online resume and a Facebook page. For three decades he worked as a reporter for newspapers like the Fresno Bee. Nax even won a handful of awards for his work. Whereas Mr. Cimolino's bio at City Hall indicates that he worked at GP for a couple of years in the early 1980s. Then retired as Fort Bragg’s Public Works Manager in 2014. So he looks like a pretty good match for Mr. Nax on the subject matter. And since Mike’s family’s been here since 1885, you could say he’s got a dog in the fight.
WHAT CIMOLINO SAID on his Facebook page is something I totally agree with: ‘We each need to say, in our own way, ‘I do not accept the idea of leaving the mill pond as is.’ Sorry it took so long to say that, Mike. But 3,242 words later, here it is.
PS: The illustrated version of this article with snarky photo captions and hyperlinks is here: https://tinyurl.com/strawtown