Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Sep. 24, 2017
by AVA News Service, September 24, 2017
NORM CLOW WRITES: This photo is the dedication page of our senior year, 1968 AVHS annual, wherein our first-year librarian was not only the advisor but also the dedicatee.
Gloria [Rhoades] Ross is a shirt-tail relative through the Greenwood Road branch of the Clows via the Berry line, and also related to Ruth [Norm's wife] by marriage via the same connection. Absolutely wonderful lady and she is missed by many.
Not to belabor the story, but 18 years earlier, before taking the helm as Annual advisor, Gloria was on the 1949-50 AVHS Annual (Argus) staff as a student: third from right in back row.
The circle of life. I realized I left a line out of my earlier message: while Ruth and I can both claim a Clow-Berry-Valenti line kinship, it would be fair to say that Gloria was a part of everybody’s family between Anderson Valley and Elk, or wherever she happened to touch. Austin [Norm's son] is visiting her granddaughter Andrea this week.
NEW STATE CANNABIS TAXES BEGIN JANUARY 1, 2018
THE KEEGAN CASE, ON LINE COMMENTS
1: This is a summary of previous reports. What was new to me from the transcripts was Keegan’s testimony. He said he was testifying against his attorney’s advice because he had a bad medical prognosis and wanted to have his say on the record before he died. Pretty dramatic, very sad, stuff. The real trial here appears to lie in the court of public opinion. (Michael Turner)
2: The key to the prosecution’s case is the testimony of Dr. Chapman, formerly the chief pathologist for the State of Oklahoma who held a similar position with Sonoma County for a number of years and who has been practicing medicine for over fifty years.
Dr. Chapman opined that the decedent’s injuries were not consistent with accidental death but were the result of blunt force trauma from being struck with blunt instrument by another, in other words an assault. He reviewed his findings with Dr. Trent, who had initially considered the injuries to have been accidental in their cause, convincing Dr. Trent that he had been mistaken and that the decedent was the victim of a homicide. What the third doctor from Maine, who also thought it was an accident, now thinks is not known.
Notably, both Dr. Chapman and Dr. Trent concluded that Susan Keegan was intoxicated on alcohol and hydrocodone, heavily so. While this in no way gets Peter Keegan off the hook, it raises questions about the credibility of a couple friends of hers who adamantly insist she was a sober person, but Peter in his testimony states that they knew better and that in fact they were her enablers in that regard, having himself written scrips to them for her.
Based on a perusal of the transcript, I think the most probable scenario consistent with this evidence is that she came back causing a drunken commotion, words of an insulting and provocative nature were exchanged and he flipped out and hit her. I believe him when he says he loved his wife as do his sons and don’t think he planned for this to happen. But depending on what other experts say and whether the defendant lives long enough, whether a conviction can come out of this is problematical. While the findings of two experts that the cause of death was homicide is a major gain for the prosecution, the uncontrovertible finding of Susan’s being high and drunk to the point that Dr. Trent called it toxic is a fact that can only help the defense in this case.
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ED NOTE: I agree with most of both of these comments. The case will never get to trial. If there were a real possibility that it would, Keegan's attorney would have (1) sealed the grand jury transcript and (2) never would have allowed Keegan to testify. I certainly agree it's all beyond sad, and Mr. Hansem's surmise that he flipped out and struck her with murderous force is probably what happened. However, in my experience with Mrs. Keegan, and I think my experience is widely echoed by everyone who knew her, what I saw was a prudent, conventional woman who I have a hard time believing would come home late at night (around 10pm), pop powerful downers and pound down an intoxicating amount of whisky on top of them. That's suicidal behavior, and the only person who has claimed Susan Keegan was suicidal is her husband. I was immediately suspicious at his claim that she was so loaded she fell and hit her head hard enough to kill her. The fatal wound was to the top of her head, and how you fall and hit the top of your head in a drunken swoon would seem to be impossible. (Maybe more experienced drunks than me will confirm my own late night tumbles under the influence, which have never been sudden drop-falls but more like a slow-mo swoon during which I've hit stuff on the way down but not with enough force to do any real harm. Drunks routinely survive car crashes, don't they?) I think it's interesting that Keegan blithely confirms he wrote dope scrips, just as blithely excusing himself as also a likely consumer. There's no evidence Susan Keegan was an oxy addict, or any other kind of addict. No one ever noticed so much as a hint that she was an habitual drunk or pill popper. As the only media in the county to even cover the Keegan case, that sad fact itself testifies to the media vacuum in Mendocino County. Back in the day, when Mike Geniella covered Mendo this thing would have been in front of a jury years ago.
ONE MORE THING: Keegan claimed to the GJ that "Bruce got his facts wrong." Which facts did Bruce get wrong? We take great pains to get our facts right, and if they aren't right we make corrections as quickly as we can. Try getting a correction into, say, the Chron or the PD; if they print it at all it will be so long after the fact that only the wronged person will remember the context. A reputable critic will say, "This is wrong, and here is the correction." Simply stating, "You got it wrong," is childish but often sufficiently damning in today's intellectual context, where much that is said and written would have embarrassed a sixth grader pre-FaceBook. It's no accident that Trump is president.
QUICK ANECDOTE: Years ago, when I was regularly pummeled by the Press Democrat, the only time I bothered to complain was when they ran a photo of an infamous Santa Rosa pedophile priest as a photo of me. The paper's correction? A couple of weeks later, they said it was all the LA Time's fault, that the LA paper had mis-identified the file picture they had of me! Saying something that transparently false (and stupid) managed to re-libel me and freshly libel the LA Times.
JUST IN: Anderson Valley 70, Roseland Collegiate Prep 28. [First win for the football Panthers.]
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PETS OF THE WEEK
Handsome Rocky is a 1 year old, neutered male, mixed breed dog weighing in at an athletic 56 pounds. Rocky is a high-energy dog with a high energy playing style. Rocky's taken part in the shelter's multi-dog play groups, and he never tires--even playing with half a dozen other dogs! He's one of the Ukiah Shelter's Play Group Rock Stars! Rocky knows sit, down and shake, and his past guardian told us he did well with children ages 1-17 years old, and that he enjoyed kids and was engaging and good-natured with them.
Juni-purr is a lovely, social kitten. She is a 3 month old spayed female with the softest, silkiest coat. She will be a great kitten for a family with children, as she is very affectionate and loves attention. Juni-purr lives in the colony room with her other kitten and adult feline friends, and she loves to play with all of them.
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, please us visit online at www.mendoanimalshelter.com or visit the shelter. Join us the 2nd Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS PUTS ITSELF IN ‘A POOR LIGHT’
Cottage Pot Growers Get A Token Fee Reduction
by Mark Scaramella
Kenneth Spain, Administrative analyst in the Chief Executive Officer’s Office introduced an item at the September 12, 2017, Board meeting concerning giving small pot growers a fee discount. The following is a transcript of the introductory remarks and subsequent discussion. We apologize for the tedious length of this, but it’s emblematic of the hyper-focus on pot that tends to dwarf everything else on the Board’s plate (c.f., the items following the pot item):
Spain: The board has instructed us to come back with some options for the cannabis cottage growers or cottage cultivators and that portion of the application. It is not broken out currently so it's a complete application and I know we are looking at just the cottage growers today. The package that I have presented you with is the current, the basis for the current fee, the $1240 application fee and then there's a spreadsheet that shows multiple options at 80%, 50%, 40%, and 25%. And each of those— it's a colored sheet like this — what we've done is to show what the effect would be if we reduce the current the from $1240, at 80% it would be $892. That revenue would be reduced — and the overall general fund subsidy to the program is identified in the third column. So that if you look at —
Supervisor Dan Hamburg: Mr. Chairman, Kenny, could you just refer to a specific one of the attachments.
Spain: Okay, it’s attachment C.
Hamburg: Thank you.
Spain: Each one of those colors across the way, the first blue color column is the full cost that was based on the very first row Ag cottage permit application fee, we've received 71 so far, and that $1240 09 was the estimated cost back in January when we first asked if fee — and then there's another attachment that updates that to the current budget year but it still does not have the salaries that were just renegotiated so it will increase by about 3% for the salary portion, and that is attachment B. Attachment D is the basis for the current fee of $1240 so they have all three caps. What it was originally, what it would be as a snapshot today, and then the options that you have asked for for possible reduction in cottage. As of August 25 we had received 71 applications and that's why that number, ifor the number of fees per year is at 71 currently. We don't know how many exactly we will receive out of the total, but there are about 702 total so it's running about 10%. I know that you have received a spreadsheet from Mr. Sellers [?] and have talked about the different, how lowering the fee might incentivize more growers to come in. And I just wanted to point out that the differences in the cost of us do not go down based on the type of cottage industry, Excuse me college cultivators, to see a little bit bigger picture. So the $1240, the Ag department, I checked with the Ag department, and the application process for cottage would be the same, almost identical as it is now for the general application and then in the Planning department it actually usually takes on average a little more time for them to process because cottage growers may not be quite as prepared or sophisticated, you know, they’re not hiring consultants and that sort of thing to prepare their site plans so it's actually taking a little bit more time and I checked with our chief planner Mary Lynn Hunt, so right now if you look at these, at attachment C, in a block at the bottom of the 71 applications we have received so far, those amounts at the very bottom — purple, green across the way — those are what we would have to refund out of current revenue. If we look at just one application and say it is currently at $1240 I,f you go across you see the total reduction. If you look at the document that Mr. Sellers provided I think that lowering the fee would probably incentivize others to come in, and if it does that means that the general fund is subsidizing each of those applications at a greater extent depending upon how much you were to lower the fee. And just at 80% we would be losing, not losing, but we would be subsidizing, the growers at $24,800. If you bring it down to $100 that would be $114,000 a year just for the cottage cultivators, and if you incentivize 1000 of those growers to come in, you are talking about 10 times that amount which would be $1.14 million that the county would have to subsidize the cottage growers if there were 1000 who actually applied.
Hamburg: So Kenny, just so I understand, we've got an annual cottage permit application fee of $1240, that's based on our full cost?
Spain: It's actually not broken out as a cottage application, it's all applications.
It's $1240 and that's every year?
Spain: Correct, that's just for this year. That was estimated during 2016-17. If we go to—
Board Chair John McCowen: Well, just to nail this down, the $1240 would be the annual application fee and that would be for both the initial application fee and every succeeding year that they applied it would be $1240 for the basic fee.
McCowen: And that's just for this year.
Hamburg: And then what about these others? We tack onto that $675 for the annual permit and inspections fee.
McCowen: And that would be presumably — well, we have both an initial on-site pre-permit inspection and I believe that is included within the $1240?
McCowen: And then following that in addition there is the annual on-site inspection Supervisor Hamburg refers to.
McCowen: And that would be every year.
Hamburg: And is that a single inspection in addition to the permitting inspection?
Spain: I believe that that's two a year but we would have to ask the Ag department about that.
Hamburg: Ok, so we are talking about $675 covering two inspections.
Spain: (Looks around.)
Well I believe it varies by permit type but there would be —
Spain: We’re talking about cottage.
McCowen: Well there — I think it varies by permit type.
Hamburg: We are talking about cottage.
McCowen: I think it varies by permit type, so maybe we will get some clarity from Interim Ag commissioner, Ms. Curry.
Curry: Yes, the pre-site inspection is included in the application fee.
Hamburg: In the $1240?
Hamburg: Okay. And the $675 covers…?
Curry: There is another annual inspection fee that's included with the — once the permit is issued.
Hamburg: So roughly $2000, or $1900 you get two inspections.
Hamburg: So that's two inspections. Okay. And then we go over to the PBS side and the property profiles fee — these are all, um, cumulative, this one, this one, and so that's $444. And then the minor use permit?
Spain: The minor use permit and we have someone from Planning, but a minor use permit, that would be reduced by, if you pay the property profile fee of $444 and then you need a use permit then that $444 amount is reduced by the $444 so that would be not be an additional 2289.
Hamburg: So it's 2289 or it's $2289 minus $444?
Spain: Well you would have already paid the $444.
Hamburg: Okay, so you would —
Spain: You would not pay it twice.
Adrienne Thompson, Planning and Building: The initial application at the tax collector’s office every person pays the property profile so they get a property profile, an administrative permit or use permit whichever the planner determines they need. They originally pay that, it's actually $565 and that's the total between the records management and the property profile and that is deducted from any future application if they require an admin permit or a minor use permit or another application is required.
Hamburg: Got it. So that's —
Thompson: So that's $2289 minus $555.
McCowen: And the $555 includes a new property profile.
Thompson: The property profile itself.
McCowen: That's $555.
Thompson: And the records management fee. Correct.
Hamburg: The thing about this that I'm having a little trouble with is that I think we have thousands of cottage growers in the county. It's a huge undertaking to bring these people in. But one of the things is the inspections— I mean huge numbers of inspections would have to be done to actually run this program the way you are suggesting. What it makes me wonder about is this annual requirement to keep — I mean do we have to —
McCowen: We're kind of getting into our Board discussion.
Hamburg: I will hold my question.
McCowen: I mean, we can ask questions for clarification and so forth, but maybe we should reserve discussion until we get the presentation.
Spain: Attachment C would give you some options to look at today if you want to look at the different percentages you can do that and I can prepare the outcomes, the possible outcomes of each of those. You see where we are going with this. It costs us — the amount to process the application doesn't change based on the type of application that's being processed. And that cost stays stable.
Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey: So the $1240, that has the pre-site inspection, but the next year, I mean our pre-site inspection would be there as well and we still have to go out there before we get to that. So there is no reduction of the price, so they’re an established operation at this point and that $1240 is going to stay the same from year to year or whatever price we deem it at.
Curry: Yes. But I think we could, you know, again, I don't know that we would need, if they are already established I'm not sure we would need another pre-site inspection, maybe that would just be — I would like to think that you know — we could determine who needs follow-up, who needs more oversight, who needs more of an inspection, rather then having, you know, these things spelled out, you know, leave that to where we can kind of identify the people who are going to need more follow-up and inspection, so if, you know, you are in compliance, are we going to need to be out on your site that much? That's the, you know, question we can kind of ponder a little bit.
Croskey: If we are establishing — I went on a pre-site inspection and there were all these follow-up items, I realize that takes a lot of time,
Croskey: And that is a lot of manpower. But the next year, those issues, I mean, they should be done. So I guess my question is that fee needs to be the same for the application year after year if we can reduce our workload?
Curry: Right. We could look at that. To reduce that for the, you know, the renewal.
Hamburg: When we get around to — I know the chair has a way he wants to manage this, that's fine with me. You're the chair. But I do want to make sure that to the extent possible we are treating this agricultural industry the same others — do we require other agricultural industries to have a permit every year that they are going to cultivate?
McCowen: Most other industries haven’t been operating underground in a black market environment for 20 or 30 years.
Hamburg: I'm asking staff.
McCowen: Well, you know, you can't pretend that it's the same.
Hamburg: I was just asking a question of staff.
Supervisor Carre Brown: May I respond?
McCowen: Supervisor Brown.
Brown: Supervisor. Yes. We have agricultural operations. It may not be in the County of Mendocino. But many of our fruit growers like our pear growers, they pay for inspection of their sites where they grow before they can deliver their food. So it's also true for organic, organic, and biodynamic — they all pay for those inspections. It may not be to our Ag department. But there are inspections that they do go through in order to be approved.
Hamburg: I understand that Supervisor. I know that everyone needs to be inspected, whether it's cannabis or apples. What I'm asking about is the annual application fee of $1240 and I think Diane [Curry], the Ag Commissioner has entered that, there are some situations where that should not be necessary and there's others where it maybe is and that's I think a good answer.
McCowen: That's part of our discussion I believe. Now the other part here because I think we kind of clarified the initial application fee of $1240, the annual ongoing application fee, $1240 every year, that the initial on-site inspection is included within that application fee and renewal fee, correct?
McCowen: Then in addition there is at least one annual on-site compliance inspection fee and there is the property profile fee which would be one time, presumably, with a credit toward any further permit that might be required through Planning and Building.
McCowen: And then in addition in some instances we have additional annual compliance fees or inspection fees, for instance a nursery I believe a permit is for a minimum of two annual compliance fees and presumably those would be at the $675 level, correct so far?
McCowen: And then we've had a lot of discussion regarding cultivation cycles and taxes that are applied to cultivation cycles but I also think we contemplated fees that would be tied to cultivation cycles. I've been looking for where that is in the ordinance this morning. But I have not put my finger on it. If you have an indoor cultivator, and this may explain why we have so few indoor applications, I think we were — again we were anticipating people starting a series of plants at the same time and then follow through to harvest at the same time. We are finding that clearly is not true with indoor or mixed light cultivators and yet we were anticipating it would all move through in a block with a clear beginning and end to each cycle and I believe we had an inspection called for for each cultivation cycle. Is that accurate? I'm asking staff — either the Executive office or the AG Commissioner?
Curry: That was related to the third-party inspections, that wasn't necessarily the county's inspections that were based — that was when we were having third party inspections.
McCowen: So then all of those cycle specific inspections have been deleted?
McCowen: And we only have the annual inspection fee? Well, that simplifies the discussion. So thank you. That may have been one of the unintended consequences of deleting third party.
Hamburg: It was a good one!
McCowen: But one that certainly works for the benefit of the cultivators.
Spain: We have not begun the renewal fee process yet. Because everything's been in flux. We have to go through some time to make sure that how we design the fees in the first place — for instance that some of the costs have gone up at the Ag department — because the original staffing that we had anticipated has been different than that so and then again we recently negotiated salary increases and benefits have not been added into the base for the weighted rates on salaries. So there’s still time to be able to first validate all of the original estimates and then to develop the renewal fee and during that process during there will be an opportunity to address the things you've been talking about.
McCowen: One thing that I was thinking of proposing, and I appreciate the work staff has put into this, we have been presented with various scenarios related to possible fee reduction, but actually before I get there I want to ask what all is included in the property profile fee because frankly in my mind the property profile would be a pretty simple thing. Here are the owners of record, here are the legal parcels, here's the zoning, here is the size of the parcel, here are the structures that we have record of on the parcel. I don't see how that would involve hours and hours of staff time. So I would like a summary of what goes into the property profile fee.
Thompson: Initially the planners take in the Ag application to review as well as the site plan which is much simplified. As you said, they check the zoning on record, the various structures, but they also have to look at allowed uses, surrounding uses, all the adjacent properties and distances there there that may affect sensitive receptors, those types of information. They research owners of record and lately it has not been quite as simple as here's the deed, here’s the owner. So the planners do a couple of hours of research. I would not say necessarily its five on the high end, but generally they do up to two hours on a property profile which is the simplest thing we do.
McCowen: So based on the fully loaded dollar value that wouldn't seem to add up to $555.
Thompson: As a single person, no, our one planner, our cartographer planner, our building inspector, a staff person, and potentially a cannabis planner so we have a minimum of five people on each property profile.
(Laughter in the room full of pot grower applicants.)
McCowen: Please. It does seem a little unnecessarily complicated.
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In the end after much more similar tedious discussion, the board more or less voted to reduce fees for cottage cultivators by 20% for no particular reason other than they thought they should to look slightly better than they would if they didn’t.
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HAVING SPENT HOURS ON GIVING a few token fee breaks to small pot growers (never mind that the entire process is an expensive NON-break) the Board spent much less time giving hundreds of thousands dollars to lawyers and an incompetently managed, incompetently conducted construction training outfit.
WE PREVIOUSLY discussed the NCCT (North Coast Construction Training) contract which overran by tens of thousands of dollars because the (former?) Chief Probation Officer Pamela Markham (who herself is drawing about $10k a month for sitting around on endless paid administrative leave) made no effort to oversee the training contractor’s work, then compounded the problem by telling them to continue doing substandard work even though there was no contract in place and no authorization from the County to do so.
ITEM 5g from the Supervisors Agenda on September 12, 2017 involved increasing the amount the County’s insurance company has to pay to a pricy SF-based law firm almost all of which was for the huge amount of hours the law firm generated on a settlement in the case of former Deputy County Counsel Joan Turner’s federal sexual harassment case against former County Counsel Doug “Midnight Rambler” Losak.
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Discussion and Possible Approval of Amendment to Purchasing Agent Insurance Reimbursable Agreement 17-36 with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (LCW), increasing the Total Compensation by $300,000 (from $50,000, for a New Agreement Total of $350,000) and Extending the Termination Date from June 30, 2017 to October 31, 2017, for Litigation Services for Turner v. County of Mendocino. (Sponsor: Executive Office) Recommended Action: Approve Amendment to Purchasing Agent insurance reimbursable Agreement 17-36 with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (LCW), increasing the total compensation by $300,000 (from $50,000, for a new Agreement total of $350,000) and extending the termination date from June 30, 2017 to October 31, 2017, for litigation services for Turner v. County of Mendocino; and authorize Chair to sign same.
This $350k (!) is in addition to whatever (undisclosed) insurance payout the long-delayed settlement involves; probably in the hundreds of thousands since the plaintiff was a lawyer herself. There was no mention of how much the county’s liability insurance rates will go up to cover the lawyers and the settlement.
Assistant CEO Alan Flora admitted the entire case was a mess and the epxenditures were not authorized, promising without much assurance, “In the future we will bring contract amendments to the full board directly after receiving closed session authorization such as received in this case.”
Board Chair John McCowen: Is it fair to say that we were already beyond the contract amount when the item was first brought to the board's attention?
Flora: Yes. The problem we had was in getting a clear answer from the contractor [i.e., the law firm] on what the remaining— where we were at with the billing; there were some delays there, and so we could have and should have brought an amendment sooner than we did obviously, but we were holding out hope that our contractor would give us the final amount and that didn't happen and so here we are. Unfortunately.”
North Coast Builder’s Exchange rep Lee Howard came to the mic to comment: Let's cut the garbage. We knew that this was going to be over. You have the policies. I understand that you people want to play ball this the way, I understand it. But it is not the best deal for the public. As you know I tried to have an item pulled off the consent calendar with the same law firm. It got pulled but it never got heard and here we are here today. You have another one of these coming back and it’s still over the amount. I don't question the need for you needing this stuff. [We do! Surely the Losak problem should have been nipped in the bud if anyone was paying attention.] You are the people that are taking care of our money. [?] And you said that anything over $50,000 you need to look at. I agree with that. [We don’t. The threshold should be much lower.] That's why I'm standing here. I'm not standing here criticizing because you need this [We are.] I’m criticizing because of the process. And I hope that you clean the process up. How many more of these are out there?! Somebody needs to be accountable. In the private sector, you pull something like this you'd be looking for a job someplace else. I can almost guarantee you. Especially if it was $300,000 in the firm.
Chair McCowen: As a contractor if you exceed the contract amount, do you have any expectation that you're going to get paid?
Howard: I hope I'm working for the County of Mendocino!
No board members complained or commented. Hamburg simply made a motion to “approve the recommended action” without comment. Croskey seconded without comment.
Finally McCowen at least pointed out the obvious, not that anything will change: We can't keep doing business this way. This is not exactly an isolated incident, it seems to be a recurring issue. We had an earlier item on consent that approved contract management software, but I don't think it's a contract management software issue. We really need to be a little more attentive to what the county policies are and abide by them. It puts the board in a poor light when these kinds of items come forward and we have to clean them up in this fashion.
"A POOR LIGHT"? "CLEAN THEM UP"? More like a Bad Joke. And by "clean up" McCowen is talking about just paying these ridiculous bills with a little egg on a face or two, but no real accountability or corrective action or outright firings. The County and the taxpayers are out something like $1 million in this case alone. The whole show is business as usual — and nobody asked the CEO yer basic: WTF?
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I just finished writing up Skrag for trying to sneak in his deadbeat friends for free meals. Yeah, Skrag, I'm talking about that white Siamese babe. If these people are dumb enough to feed a non-contributor like you, the least you can do is not bring all the rest of the feline freeloaders in here at night.
IF YOU WANT TO LOOK in our rearview, it’s lynchings and race war and genocide all the way back, from Hispaniola to Jolo Island in the Philippines to Mendocino County, California, where we nearly wiped out the Yuki people once upon a time. — Matt Taibbi
THIS SIMPLE statement of the obvious from Taibbi has caused much on-line yowling lamentation and general mea culpa gnashing of teeth. No, not mea culpa, THEY culpa. Mendolib wouldn't dream of committing atrocities, a comforting fact of local contemporary life you can confirm for yourself by getting between a local lib and a government grant. (Wear your old clothes and bring a gun.) Our history is our history. All that can be done after the fact is political good, and that isn't being done for the vics by either political party.
MENDO TSUNAMI-VULNERABLE AREAS
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Click HERE to find out what to do during a tsunami, if you live in, work in, or visit Mendocino County.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 23, 2017
Angel, Carrillo-Franco, Critchett
JODY ANGEL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
CRISTIAN CARRILLO-FRANCO, Ukiah. Hit&Run with property damage.
JASSLYNN CRITCHETT, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
Defrenne, Dereskericius, Emery
WILLIAM DEFRENNE, Navarro. Vehicle registration forgery/alteration.
DONNA DERESKERICIUS, Mendocino. Probation revocation.
CHAD EMERY, Ukiah. Controlled substance.
Flora, Lincoln, Lockett
SHARREEN FLORA, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, probation revocation.
LOREN LINCOLN, Covelo. Domestic battery, battery, probation revocation.
MICHAEL LOCKETT, Ukiah. Leaded cane-billy-blackjack-slungshot-sandclub-sap-sandbag, probation revocation.
Luna, Mendoza, Nicks
STEVEN LUNA JR., Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ISRAEL MENDOZA, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
DAVID NICKS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
Patereau, Ponts, Pratt
MATTHEW PATEREAU, Willits. Willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death, disorderly conduct-alcohol.
RICKY PONTS, Fort Bragg. DUI-drugs, evasion, probation revocation.
MINDY PRATT, Ukiah. Possession of stolen vehicle, making, passing or possessing fictitious bill, note or check, probation revocation.
Sanchez, Wright, Zuniga
LUCIANO SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
GABRIEL ZUNIGA, Redwood Valley. Under influence, controlled substance, probation revocation.
Wow, as the enormity of the disaster in Texas's gulf coast starts to sink in, perhaps it's finally going to wake up some of those who have preferred to dwell in the Trumpoid alternative universe where human-caused global climate change is nothing more than a hoax perpetrated on the US by the Chinese to degrade our competitiveness.
I guess that the rains that inundated Houston and other coastal Texas towns are literally unprecedented; more rain in that period of time than had ever been recorded anywhere. Meanwhile, it was 104 in SF! Frighteningly, the almost unimaginable scope of the destruction wrought by hurricane Harvey may soon be outdone if the soon-to-arrive hurricane Irma turns out to be as bad as it looks like it might be. Also, nascent hurricane Jose is starting its approach to the Caribbean. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember there ever being a hurricane season anywhere near this bad, and it’s just beginning!
While the largely white, middle class denizens of Houston’s flooded mini-mansion suburbs were availed of the full might of the military’s personnel and equipment, instead of being left to drown like so many rats, which was the case when the overwhelmingly poor, black inhabitants of New Orleans had the misfortune of being flooded during the tenure of the then-worst-ever president, W.
As each passing year makes clearer the irrefutable fact of man-made climate change, each year’s hottest days are hotter, its rainfalls more torrential, its droughts longer and drier, it not only demonstrates the validity of all the models that have been developed by climate scientists over the years, but shockingly, it turns out that the vast majority of those models predictions had low-balled the impacts, and that empirical data show the advance of worse and worse extremes of climate to be occurring at a faster rate than almost all of the models had dared to predict.
As the hundreds of thousands fleeing from Florida in their SUVs and motor homes exhaust the supplies of fuel along their way (due in part to the damage done to the Texas gulf refineries from the previous hurricane), I find it hard not to think about the stark contrast between the way that we in the 1st world cope with these "natural" catastrophes compared to the grim experience of such storms in the 3rd world; while it was a tragedy to have 12 people die in the Harvey floodwaters, at about the same time it was almost not reported in the US press that a similar strength typhoon had swept through the low-lying, desperately overcrowded 3rd world nations of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, where it had killed perhaps 12,000.
That’s the real tragedy of how climate change plays out in the world; that those who, historically, had contributed the least to the carbon in our shared atmosphere now find themselves the least equipped to deal with the ensuing fallout. While the thousands of fuel-sucking military helicopters dump even more carbon into the air to rescue those stranded by Harvey’s flood, no such saviors come out of the skies to haul our brothers and sisters of Bangladesh to safety. Similarly, the millions of Africans who find themselves, through no fault of their own, living in a land that, while it had always been harsh and only habitable through a resourcefulness developed over millenia, has now become, due to climate change, uninhabitable. At least the Europeans, while they have economic and employment problems of their own, have been doing the right and humane thing for those climate refugees, in stark contrast to the mean-spirited exclusionary policies of the USA, long miserly with our visas, now under Trump, far worse, hiding behind our monomaniacal obsession with "security."
It is inevitable that as climate trends continue (and they will for many years, even if we could somehow stop all greenhouse emissions today, as the CO2 "in the pipeline" makes its effects felt) there will be more and more "climate refugees." Humanity faces a fork in the road as to how we choose to deal with this fact. Just as we will either take major steps in curbing greenhouse gasses, in a common effort to head off a catastrophic change that may, within the century, render human life on the planet non-viable, we will also have to decide whether to welcome those driven off their swamped island homes, their desertified former subsistence farmlands, the melted permafrost that is no longer inhabitable, or will we go the Mar a Lago route, where the powerful collude to hoard more and more of the planet’s wealth, hiding in their gated communities and air conditioning their personal climate to keep it liveable while the heat and cold, the flooding and drought emmiserate the rest of the 99.99% of humanity. As the Declaration of Independence says, "governments derive their legitimacy by the consent of the governed." Its hard to see how this head-in-the-sand rule of willfully blind oligarchs can remain in its current position of ascendance for long; as conditions for more and more people become worse and worse, eventually they have got to shrug those in power off and pursue a better, more humane course.
John Arteaga, Ukiah
OLD SCHOOL 1&2: I submit that truly old-school dads did not worry about entertaining their children. How does the child who is entertained learn how to entertain himself? You get a bunch of unimaginative, frustrated, noncreative dullards. 2: Volodya: You’re right about that. When we were kids, we were let loose and left to our own devices, whether it was going to the schoolyard for a game of baseball or basketball or roaming the woods or heading out to the pier for a swim. All we had to do was show up for lunch and dinner. Adult presence and intervention was not welcome.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I make fun of the stupid expressions we (and by we I mean I) use everyday. Just yesterday, I told a comely twenty something I work with to “mind her P’s and Q’s,” (basically “manners,” with apparently no completely satisfying etymology out there to explain where the phrase came from) to which she responded “just what in the world are you talking about old man!” I should have suspected as much, when after I dubbed her “Gidget” the other day, I had to send her the Wiki links to explain myself once again. Either I’m too old, or they’re too young! For what it’s worth, she thinks I’m amusing at least. I’ll take that! But of course it could be another case of missing marbles on my part as well! I haven’t seen those for YEARS now! Getting old is an “adventure,” to say the least! Y’all don’t get “rooned” now, ya hear!
Witty and inventive author who made his name with the multimillion-selling ‘comic triumph’ The Ginger Man
by James Campbell
The Ginger Man was JP Donleavy’s first novel and his best, as fresh now as the day on which it was published in 1955. Donleavy, who has died aged 91, was much under the influence of James Joyce at the time, and The Ginger Man is a dense book, with a stream-of-consciousness narrative that dips in and out of the first and third persons. But the wit and invention soon take hold. It chronicles the adventures, in love and liquor, of a likable rake, Sebastian Dangerfield (based on Donleavy’s friend Gainor Crist, who read it with great pleasure, never realising he was the model for the hero).
A score of publishers in Britain and the US turned down the novel in one or other of its early drafts. The breakthrough came when sections were published in the Manchester Guardian, which described the book as a “comic triumph”. Then Brendan Behan tipped Donleavy off about a small publisher of English-language books in Paris, which had Samuel Beckett on its list, and Donleavy packed off his sheaf of pasted-together pages to Olympia Press, unaware that, although they did indeed publish Beckett, the main thrust of the business was pornography.
It is not altogether fair to Olympia’s proprietor, Maurice Girodias, to say that he accepted The Ginger Man because of its Rabelaisian erotic content. Even at the time – the novel was submitted in 1954 and published the following year – The Ginger Man could hardly have been mistaken for a dirty book (unlike, say, Lolita, which Girodias also published). It was the avant garde element in Donleavy that aroused Girodias, but the author himself refused to see it that way.
In his 1994 memoir, The History of The Ginger Man, he described his reaction on receiving his first advance copy of the novel and finding a list of pornographic titles advertised on its endpaper: “I smashed my fist upon its green cover format, published as it was in the pseudonymous and pornographic Traveller’s Companion Series, and I declared aloud, ‘If it’s the last thing I ever do, I will avenge this book.’”
Which he did, engaging in a legal battle that was finally resolved when Donleavy took over the Olympia Press and wound it up. The Ginger Man was republished in Britain, in a slightly abridged edition, in 1956, but the unexpurgated text would have to wait another seven years until it came out as a Corgi paperback.
Donleavy was not a man with whom to pick a fight. He had studied boxing, and The History of The Ginger Man contained many accounts of street brawls, in which Donleavy was invariably the victor. One story involved the novelist Ernest Gébler, the writer Edna O’Brien’s first husband, whom Donleavy apparently rescued from a scrap with seven Irishmen: “It was positively delicious to land hooks, bolos and uppercuts into this pack of persecutors.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in the Bronx, James Patrick Donleavy was the son of immigrants from Ireland, Margaret and Patrick Donleavy. His father was apt to say of the home country, “they haven’t got a pot to piss in”, but Donleavy claimed nevertheless that his upbringing instilled “the subtlety of Europe” in him. His mother was from a wealthy background, and Donleavy remained acutely class-conscious throughout his life. A person’s dress, or choice of university, told Donleavy much of what he wanted to know about them. Social mobility is the mainspring of much of his fiction.
Donleavy arrived in Dublin to study bacteriology at Trinity College in 1946. His first short story, A Party on Saturday Afternoon, was published in 1950 in the Dublin little magazine Envoy, which also featured Beckett and Behan. He crossed the sea to London a few years later, clutching the early drafts of The Ginger Man, and began to frequent writers’ pubs such as the George in Great Portland Street, popular among BBC journalists from nearby Broadcasting House. One acquaintance from those days recalled Donleavy as a powerful personality in a group that might have included the drama producer John Gibson, the journalist Murray Sayle, and Behan, “quietly dominating the scene, without having to speak much”.
The Ginger Man affair left Donleavy with a lifelong fascination for the slow shiftings of the law. Friends of later years who visited the house at Levington Park, near Mullingar, County Westmeath, where he lived from 1972, were apt to be struck by bookshelves bearing few books other than legal tomes. “Writers are brilliant at law,” Donleavy said, “naturals. They use words, and they can take those words and ruin you.”
In his memoir, he revealed his method for dealing with a legal adversary: say as little as possible. “Only for the moment am I saying nothing” was his motto. The hero of his highly acclaimed second novel, A Singular Man (1963), who has problems not unlike those of the proprietor of the Olympia Press, receives such a letter on the first page.
Donleavy published 13 novels, including The Saddest Summer of Samuel S (1966), The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (1968) and The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (1977). None achieved the success of The Ginger Man. As his taste in titles suggests, Donleavy tended to rely on formula. One of the charming tricks of The Ginger Man is to have each chapter end with a ditty (“God’s mercy / On the wild / Ginger Man”), but as it was repeated in book after book, it became an affectation.
There was something cultish about Donleavy’s reputation. He stood apart from his American contemporaries — John Updike, Philip Roth, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin. One came to expect variety in the output of those writers, while Donleavy stood by the goose that laid the golden egg. At one stage, he was linked to the Angry Young Men, and even, by association, to the Beats, but in reality he had little in common with either group. Donleavy’s heroes use accent and breeding to get what they want, which is often wealth and women; and when they have those, they use them to take a further step upwards. The comedy of the books comes from the obstacles encountered along the way, but there is usually someone on a lower rung to take a hefty kick at.
A certain bitterness at lack of continuing success set in. Donleavy became something of a recluse, and he was not unaware that the writer who does that is in danger of running out of material. There are exceptions (Beckett is one), but Donleavy was not among them. Some of his work is quite thin. A novella published in 1997, The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms, was snobbish and lascivious. Donleavy took the opportunity to aim a hook, bolo or uppercut into what by then seemed a different “pack of persecutors”, his more successful literary colleagues, “on-the-scene male novelists … merely a bunch of repressed homosexualists using their pricks as pens”.
He also hit out at what he saw as pernicious political correctness, especially feminism. He was proud of the fact that the novels featuring his foul-mouthed theatrical impresario Schultz were “very anti-feminist”. He deplored the censorious aspects of feminism, and at public readings could be amusing on the subject, but there was a crustiness about it as well, an out-of-date desire to see women as objects of beauty or else cunning foxes.
Donleavy’s writing methods were singular, too. He wrote on separate sheets of paper, sometimes just a few words on each, which were then pasted together to form a screed about 10 metres long. He then made notes and revisions on different sheets, which were pasted on to the first lot, and so on. The draft of a chapter could thus run the entire length of a room. A library at Levington Park was devoted to his manuscripts.
In 1968 Donleavy had become an Irish citizen. This was less the product of a romantic longing to re-establish roots, as he candidly admitted, than a purely practical desire to simplify his tax problems. By the end of the 1960s, he was at the height of his financial success. He had three houses in London and one in New York, and other obligations resulting from the failure of his first marriage, to Valerie Heron, with whom he had two children.
He wrote a book about Ireland (called, with that bedevilling gimmickry, A Singular Country, 1989) and was proud of his estate in County Westmeath, but he was not greatly interested in the country or its inhabitants. The Ginger Man had been banned in Ireland and continued to be resented for many years afterwards, and Donleavy could not forget the slight. He claimed he was more sought after by Americans for his views on the country than any native, even though he knew little about the place. “I read the Daily Telegraph and I may as well be living in Timbuktu for all the number of times I go outside those gates,” he told one visitor.
Levington Park was a peculiar place, grand and run-down at the same time. There was a grand piano in the living room beside piles of tatty cushions and old newspapers. Donleavy kept up a smouldering peat fire as he regaled guests with tales of wily publishers and beautiful women. In later years he employed the services of a housekeeper and secretary. The latter worked in a separate wing of the house and often the two did not see one another for days. When I visited him there in 2004, we drove to Lough Owel, a mile away – all the land was his – and took a walk along the shore. Donleavy was a charming host. I was there to interview him and, having expected to occupy two hours of his time, spent half a day with him. As we drove to a little pub in the hills, he claimed not to have been outside his own gates for two weeks.
When he emerged from his solitude, Donleavy had the power to seduce an audience. He read his work – sometimes without relying on a text – with precise amounts of intimacy and aloofness, wrapped around with mischievous humour. His fondness for correctness and proper manners led him to write a witty, self-mocking book on the subject, The Unexpurgated Code (1975).
He was also an enthusiastic painter. He exhibited and reckoned he had sold hundreds of pictures. Although he claimed that his personal favourite among his novels was A Singular Man, there is no doubting his gratitude to The Ginger Man. It sold many millions of copies (the Irish Times estimates 50m), and was made into a successful play in 1959, staged in the West End of London and in Dublin, with Richard Harris in the title role, but while the film rights were optioned many times (most recently for a version starring Johnny Depp), plans came to nothing.
Donleavy could never be described as a one-book writer, but certain of his later books – Are You Listening, Rabbi Löw (1987), for example, and De Alfonce Tennis (1984) – will be unfamiliar to many readers, even by name. The author had the final say in the long battle with the Olympia Press, but perhaps the wily French publisher’s comment should be added as a postscript (and as a warning to any writer tempted to get involved in litigation): “You may wonder,” Girodias said, “why Donleavy never turned out to be the writer everyone expected him to be when he wrote The Ginger Man. The reason is simple. He spent his life in legal action with me.”
After the end of his marriage to Valerie, Donleavy married Mary Wilson Price, from whom he later separated. He is survived by his son, Philip, and daughter, Karen, from his first marriage, and by his sister, Mary Rita.
(Guardian of London)
NO PLAN BUT GOD'S
Praying for us all at Saint Patrick's in San Francisco.
Please know that following a mild celebration of the Autumn Equinox at Vesuvio's in North Beach last night, I awoke with a clear need to take charge of the future. I will turn 68 years young on Thursday September 28th, and have no plan whatsoever. I have made no arrangements insofar as the hereafter is concerned, and realizing how irresponsible this is, I headed to Saint Patrick's Catholic Church for the Saturday evening Mass. Following the reception of Holy Communion, I did pray sincerely for us all, that we have a smooth transition at the proper time from this life on the earth plane, to eternal life beyond the third dimension; I recommend reserving a spot in the fourth dimension to everyone. "As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9
Craig Louis Stehr