Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017
by AVA News Service, November 18, 2017
THE DECEDENT & THE ACCUSED
Caleb Silver, standing trial for the frenzied murder – 11 hammer blows to the head, and a throat slashing that was so zealous it splattered the walls with blood (meth-fuled) – was granted a reprieve, by way of a hung jury, 11:33 Friday morning.
Prosecutor Tim Stoen admitted he’d made a mistake in not dismissing a particular juror, one the Deputy District Attorney had had an inkling about, a minor sort of impression, that this person wasn’t quite candid during voir dire, the jury selection by the lawyers, prior to the trial, a person Stoen refused to name. But it was fairly clear who he meant, a colorful fellow in a yachting cap, long blond pony-tail, arriving in a gold Lexus special edition, who laughed with shrill derision whenever defense attorney Eric Rennert of the Office of the Public Defender, alluded to the perfidy of the police, with phrases like, “Yeah.”
[Yeah: Code in dope country for, Everybody knows the cops are the bad guys, we’re the good guys and hey, if you have to kill somebody, git‘er done.]
Once Rennert connected with "the Commodore," as he came to be called, there was only one juror he was speaking to, from then on — he knew he had the jury hung at the very least, if he could play this particular fish, and maybe make a name for himself by getting an acquittal — in your wildest dreams, Eric! — for his client, Caleb Silver, whose own mother had gasped, “Oh my God, a glove — that’s Caleb’s calling card, I better lock my doors."
Details to follow in the print edition for one of those murder mystery reads to scare the bejeasus out of you on a cold winter night after Thanksgiving dinner. (Bruce McEwen)
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BRANDON JUNTZ, a juror in the Caleb Silver trial posted on the AVA’s website Friday night: “Trial finished today as mistrial. We voted 7-5 split. I happened to be on the jury.” So it would seem that “the Commodore” wasn’t the only dissenter..
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UKIAH, Friday, November 17. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury reported this morning that it was deadlocked and would not be able to reach unanimous verdicts. After further inquiry, Mendocino County Superior Court Presiding Judge John Behnke declared a mistrial and excused the conflicted jury.
Beginning on November 6th, criminal proceedings had been underway in Department H against Caleb Dain Silver, age 27, generally of Fort Bragg. He remains charged with the murder in December 2015 of Denis Lee Boardman.
The defendant's next court appearance will be on November 27th, the date calendared for the District Attorney to announce whether he will continue to pursue conviction of Silver with a new jury panel.
The prosecutor who is handling the case and all court proceedings against Silver is Deputy District Attorney Tim Stoen. The law enforcement agency responsible for the investigation of this matter is the Fort Bragg Police Department.
JIM SHIELDS neatly summed up the likely downside of Measure B, the tax bump just approved by Mendo voters to create an in-County psych facility. In a nutshell, except for Sheriff Allman, whose force of personality and political ubiquity got the measure passed, you've got the same people who have frittered away mental health millions for many years in charge of many millions more.
WE SUPPORTED MEASURE B and continue to support it despite a fear that it will simply be a continuation of the present multi-million dollar mental health sieve through which millions disappear with virtually no questions asked. At worst, those millions will be disappearing into local pockets rather than distant ones.
THE PROMISED “politically independent” citizens’ oversight
committee "to ensure that the funds are used for the specific purpose of the voter-approved measure and not be spent for any other purposes," is about as independent as Stevie Wonder's seeing eye dog.
IT IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY that the oversight committee will contain a single skeptic, which, after all, is the time-honored Mendo way.
LOOK AT THIS THING and then tell me it's an independent oversight committee: "A Member of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board; the County Mental Health Director or his/her representative; the County Auditor or his/her representative; the Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer or his/her representative; the Sheriff or his/her representative; and a representative of the Mendocino Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness."
"THE SUPERVISORS are "encouraged to include professional experts such as psychiatric and health practitioners, first responders and other mental health professionals among the five committee members selected by the Board."
WHICH nails the oversight coffin totally shut. The Sheriff will be surrounded. Assuming he isn't bamboozled by the pure bafflegab of these thinly credentialed, mostly self-certified "helping professionals," the old lawman will have to shoot his way free of whole platoons of grifters. These people have managed to wring millions of public dollars out of the doomed hides of the walking wounded, and now they have a whole new pot of dough to knead into big paydays for themselves. We can only hope the Sheriff insists that at least one or two members of this bogus body view the helping pros and the new facility through critical eyes.
IF THE SPENDING on mental health continues as it has for many years, the Supervisors will not demand accountability in any known sense of the term. Or at least as we would define it — monthly reports on cash paid and to whom; number of clients served; number of persons involved with each client and how much they're paid; rates of success however success is defined in the mental health context.
"REPORTING" on mental health to the Supervisors, historically, resembles a kind of bureaucratic love-in. What the public is getting for the millions spent is never addressed. Everyone is doing a great job and trying their best. Etc. The reporting varies only from laughable to pathetic.
MENDOCINOSPORTSPLUS'S 'BRASS COJONES' DEPARTMENT
Accused Murderess Wants Rally To 'Save' Son
MSP was forwarded the letters below (that arrived on Mendocino County Jail stationary) allegedly sent to local businesses from accused murderer Kelley Anne Coan trying to rally support to "free" her son (Alexander Coan) - also accused in the May 2017 murder of Caspar resident Jaimie Dawn Shipman.
This was an MSP post on May 24:
"Here's The 'Official' Sheriff Press Release On Arrest Of Caspar Homicide Suspect
MSP received the following press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff Wednesday @ 6:06 pm
'On Wednesday, May 24, around 5:15 pm, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office and was advised that suspect Kelley Coan was in custody in that county.
Apparently, the suspect facilitated her surrender in that county, after contacting a private attorney. The suspect had been in possession of the victim's vehicle which was also recovered in San Joaquin County.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives are currently en route to San Joaquin County to conduct an interview of the suspect and to make arrangements to tow the victim's vehicle back to Mendocino County to be processed for evidence.
The suspect has been booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on one count of homicide (187 PC) and is being held on a no bail status.'
Here's a link on the Press Democrat coverage of what transpired regarding the murder: pressdemocrat.com/…/mendocino-county-homicide-su…
(Click to enlarge)
DEBRIS REMOVAL REQUIRED FOR PROPERTIES AFFECTED BY THE REDWOOD FIRE
Property owners with any burned structure from the 2017 Redwood Fire Complex are required to participate in an approved fire debris cleanup and removal process. On November 14, 2017, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors adopted Urgency Ordinance 4398 that requires the cleanup of structures and fire debris on parcels impacted by the fire. The methods of cleanup required by this ordinance include public cleanup and private cleanup.
Starting November 17, 2017, property owners that have not registered for either the Public or Private Cleanup Programs will be issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Abate, which will be sent by mail and posted on or in front of the property. The County will still accept an ROE or Private Cleanup Form as stated in the Notice if submitted prior to the action date stated in the Notice. If a Notice of Violation and Order to Abate is not acted upon by the property owner or person responsible for the property, the County will cleanup the impacted property, whether Commercial or Residential, in a timely manner at the property owners expense.
The ROE and Private Cleanup Forms are available online at www.mendocinocounty.org/recover or at Planning and Building Services located at 860 N Bush Street in Ukiah. For more information about the Consolidated Debris Removal Program please contact Planning and Building Services at (707) 234-6650. For more information about the Private Cleanup Program or related requirements, please contact Environmental Health at (707) 234-6625. If you have questions or concerns we are here to help, please do not hesitate to contact the County so that we can continue to move forward with this critical cleanup to protect the health and safety of our community and its residents.
(Mendocino County Press Release)
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “We're always looking ahead around here. Yesterday we got our daffs and tulips in. I told Skrag to keep out of the flower beds. He says, ‘You ignorant mutt! Ever hear the phrase, "Lie down in darkness”?’ I believe that's called a non sequitur, Skrag, so who you calling ignorant?”
IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE!
Assemblymember. Jim Wood Officially ‘Admonished’ By Humboldt Progressive Club, Setting Up Prog-Versus-Establishment Wars to Come
by Hank Sims
Last night, a group of local progressive Democrats signaled that it’s ready to flex its muscle against party leaders it considers insufficiently responsive to the progressive platform.
There Is A Revolution Within The Democratic Party In California!
You can find it at Humboldt Progressive Democrats. Wednesday, November 15th, 6:00 p.m., at Party Headquarters located at 129 5th St., Eureka.
We will be voting on a resolution to admonish State Assembly Member Jim Wood for acting in opposition to SB 562, for failing to take any steps to move this legislation forward, and for failing to consult with his constituents about his opposition to this legislation, and for ignoring the clear will of the Democratic Party, community members, and stakeholders regarding SB 562.
Two former Democratic legislators are coming to the meeting to scold us Progressives over putting the health and well-being of Californians ahead of blind loyalty to the Party.
All good Progressives, who care about people more than fealty to the Party elites, are invited to attend. See the #PoliticalRevolution with your own eyes. Be part of taking back the Democratic Party for the people.
It ought to be a good time.
— Club Facebook post in advance of the meeting.
Wednesday night, a group of local progressive Democrats signaled that it’s ready to flex its muscle against party leaders it considers insufficiently responsive to the progressive platform.
On a vote of 16-11, the Humboldt Progressive Democrats – an officially sanctioned “club” under the umbrella of the Humboldt Democratic Central Committee – voted to “admonish” Assemblymember Jim Wood for “acting in opposition” to Senate Bill 562, legislation introduced earlier this year that would institute a single-payer health care system in the state of California and has since been parked in an assembly committee, with no visible forward movement.
The admonishment — read it here, as a PDF — appears to be the first stage in a full-on confrontation between the progressive faction of the local Democrats and the party establishment. The progressives are in the early stages of a campaign to deny Wood the central committee’s endorsement in his reelection campaign next year. The confrontation, when it comes, will constitute a Tea Party-like test of the balance of power between angry, energetic activists and establishment types willing to find compromise — if not with Republicans, then at least, they would say, with reality.
Last night was a preview of that confrontation. About 60 people gathered for the club’s meeting inside the Democratic Headquarters on Fifth Street in Eureka for the sometimes raucous debate over the proposed resolution to admonish Wood. Among them were former State Assembleymember Patty Berg, former State Senator and Assemblemember Wesley Chesbro, and former legislative staffers John Woolley and Zuretti Goosby, all of whom were there to speak against the motion and to defend Wood against the charges leveled against him.
The meeting was called to order by Chris Niehaus, a former union organizer and chair of the Progressive Democrats. A stout, gruff man wearing a flat cap and a pro-labor T-shirt, Niehaus’ voice happened to be shot — a result of shouting on a picket line in days previous, he said — and he kept a bullhorn by his side to communicate to the small room in case of emergency, but ended up not requiring it.
“I am not throwing my voice to be an old union thug! Even though I am!” Niehaus hoarsely thundered, to the amusement of the room.
There were a few matters on the agenda to get through before the Wood admonishment could proceed to vote. Three aspiring officeholders addressed club members — Lathe Gill, a candidate for superior court judge, and Steve Madrone and Dani Burkhart, who are both running for supervisor. Newcomers to the club each introduced themselves.
There was a long, contentious discussion about who would be allowed to vote on the question of whether or not to admonish Wood. It briefly veered off into a discussion about who would be allowed to vote on the question of who would be allowed to vote. Somehow this sub-question was resolved, and the group narrowly decided to allow only members of the club — defined, for the time being, as someone who had attended a previous meeting of the club — would be allowed the franchise.
The question was key, given the number of people drawn for the first time to the club over the Wood issue, including Wood surrogates who were there to argue on his behalf. Wood himself had written a letter to the club, in which he stated that he is a strong supporter of single-payer health care and that he is not, in fact, opposed to SB 562. Movement on the bill is slow, Wood argued, because there is a massive amount of work that needs to be done before the bill — or any single-payer system — might be implemented.
(Assemblymember Jim Wood appeared before the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on November 14, 2017)
“Revamping our entire health care system could be the single most complicated endeavor the state of California has ever undertaken,” wrote Wood, who co-chairs a select assembly committee taking testimony on health care delivery and reform. “Accordingly, there is much to learn and consider as we move forward in our goal of health care for all in California.” (Read Wood’s full letter here.)
The people there to speak for Wood were first up when the question was opened to the floor. Former Humboldt County Supervisor John Woolley, who served as a field representative for Wes Chesbro, served as sort of an emcee for the group assembled to defend Wood’s record on health care. Woolley said that he hoped the speakers after him could provide some perspective that the club, perhaps, lacked, and he defended Wood personally.
“I can tell you he’s a man of ethical integrity, and I think he has the right way forward on this signature issue,” Woolley said.
Former Assemblymember Patty Berg was next to speak. She gave a long disquisition on the legislative process. Her experience in the legislature — at a time when both houses did, in fact, pass a single-payer bill that was later vetoed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger — showed her, she said, that the person to blame for the lack of action on SB 562 was the bill’s own author, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).
When the legislature passed a single-payer bill in her day, Berg said, both the Senate and the Assembly held exhaustive hearings, after which they crafted a bill that was complete down to its very particulars. What Lara and the Senate did with SB 562 was quite different, Berg said — they passed a vague bill that left many questions unanswered, including the means to find some $100 billion a year to fund the program. The Senate simply moved the bill over to the Assembly and charged that body with working out the particulars — no easy task. For Berg, this process was a politically irresponsible move that was designed to elevate Lara’s profile on the cheap.
“The author’s plan is to run for insurance commissioner,” Berg said. “It’s really that simple. It’s political.”
Former state Senator and assemblymember Wes Chesbro continued on this theme, warning progressive club members that they shouldn’t punish their own representatives for taking their time to get things right. A shoddily designed program, he argued, would set back the cause of single-payer health care.
“A poorly conceived law that fails — as recently happened in Vermont — will take us backward, not forward,” Chesbro said.
A few others — including Bob Service, chair of the Humboldt Democratic Central Committee — continued on this theme, arguing that it was important to tackle the issue carefully, and not to make foes of elected leaders who are their friends — who belong, after all, to their own party.
But the club members who spoke after the block of former Democratic party elected officials and dignitaries were not having it. They scolded Wood for accepting campaign donations from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. They argued that he failed to stand up to the Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who actually made the decision to park the bill in the Assembly Rules Committee for the time being. And they scoffed at Wood’s Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage, saying that was doing nothing to advance the cause.
“The committee he chairs is impotent,” said a woman wearing a National Nurses’ Union T-shirt, who said that Wood sidestepped her when she attempted to talk to him about single-payer. “They ignore the elephant in the room — SB 562. They dance over it. They blow hot air.”
Billy Cook, the Humboldt Progressive Democrat’s treasurer, directly addressed the arguments made by Berg and Chesbro earlier. He found them wanting, and even offensive.
“If California lawmakers can produce a bill when it was under imminent threat by a Republican governor, why can’t they do it with a Democratic supermajority?” asked Billy Cook, the club’s treasurer. “I’m flabbergasted and offended that holding our elected representatives accountable is characterized as ‘foe-making.’”
Another club member’s voice trembled with anger and frustration as he decried the delays in enacting legislation. “People died today in California because they don’t have health insurance,” he said. “We don’t have time to take baby steps.”
Niehaus — the chair of the club and the author of the resolution condemning Wood — saved the last word for himself. He argued that nothing in his admonishment of Wood impugned the man’s integrity, but he argued that Wood’s inaction and perceived indifference had earned him the admonishment.
“All the things said today may be true about the deficiencies of the bill, but for work to be done we must release the bill,” Niehaus said.
The matter proceeded to vote, and Niehaus reminded attendees of the earlier discussion, about who could vote and who could not. They were relying on the honor system, he said. “Everyone in here who votes when they have no right to vote … is a punk,” he said. The vote was taken and hand-counted, and the motion carried.
The condemnation of Wood is surely the most significant action taken by the club since it was formed and officially chartered earlier this year. It sets up a confrontation between factions of the local Democratic party in a way that hasn’t quite existed in some time — hard-line progressives working within the party to change its direction, with the threat of action against the party’s own elected officials. Keep an eye on it.
JOHN PITTS LIFE CELEBRATION ON SUNDAY
A Life Celebration for our dear friend John Pitts will be held on Sunday, November 19 at Comptche Community Hall, 30672 Comptche-Ukiah Rd from 2 to 6pm. We will sing, laugh and of course there will be wonderful music. John will be with us in spirit because he brought us all together. Bring a potluck dish and drink to share. We will have some photos and other memorabilia, slide show, a paperback book table filled with books to take home, recorded music that JP left for us and live music performed by many musical friends. We can say for John: “A life well-lived, A song well-played, Humor well-placed. Well done, my friend.”
MEET THE NEW PUBLIC DEFENDER IN TOWN
Attorney Anthony Adams, recently hired as a Mendocino Public Defender, has an interesting background.
* * *
Former Lawmaker Anthony Adams Charts Different Course
by Jim Miller
November 29, 2014 — Four years ago this month , then-Assemblyman Anthony Adams had cleared out his Capitol office following two terms in the Legislature defined by a middle-of-the-night tax vote.
Adams could have run for re-election under the term limits law in effect then. But the Hesperia Republican’s February 2009 vote had taken its toll. He agreed to temporarily raise taxes as part of a deal to help bridge a $40 billion shortfall as the recession began hammering state finances.
Today, Adams and the other five Republicans who voted for the tax increase are all out of elected politics. The change in Adams’ circumstances, though, go much further than the others or most any former lawmaker, for that matter.
Adams now is re-registered with no party preference, living 500 miles from his former district, and spending several hours a day in the Ukiah courthouse or nearby county jail. Finishing up his first year as a Mendocino County deputy public defender, Adams carries a caseload that mixes misdemeanor and felonies and “never makes for a boring day.”
“One minute you’re helping somebody deal with a drunk-in-public. In the next hour, you’re doing a judgment and sentencing on someone getting 20 years,” Adams, 43, said in a recent interview. “It is everything I hoped it would be and more.”
California legislators come and go. Some move on to Congress or elected posts in local government. Others stay in the Capitol mix, heading up trade groups or becoming lobbyists. Most of the rest return to the law offices, farms, public-relations firms or other jobs they had before arriving in Sacramento.
Few, though, undergo as jarring a switch in life’s path as Adams’ transition from conservative legislator representing Southern California’s high desert to a public defender in the liberal North Coast.
“It’s a remarkable story, really,” said Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, who joined the Assembly the same year as Adams and now counts him as a constituent. “It shows the resilience, the indefatigable enthusiasm that Anthony has. He’s landed on his feet, probably in a different place than anyone would have thought he’d end up.”
Former Assembly GOP leader Mike Villines, who also voted for the 2009 budget deal and now is a Capitol lobbyist, said he wasn’t surprised by Adams’ new North Coast life.
“I asked, ‘Do you even have Internet up there?’ ” Villines said of Adams and his wife, Deanna . “I think he’s going to thrive in it. Knock on wood I never get in trouble up there, but he would be a great representative.”
Adams ascended San Bernardino County’s then-formidable Republican political machine in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In June 2006, Adams finished atop a five-way GOP primary field following a campaign mostly centered on who opposed taxes more. That fall, he cruised to victory in a district where Republicans outnumbered Democrats by almost 34,000.
Adams became part of the Assembly GOP leadership and was a reliably conservative vote. He voted against legislation to legalize same-sex marriage and assisted suicide.
As his first term ended, though, California’s finances began to collapse. A lame-duck session after the November 2008 election yielded no solutions on closing what was then an $11.2 billion hole in the $103 billion general fund budget approved only a few months earlier. By January 2009, the deficit had grown to an estimated $42 billion through June 2010 and the state was running out of cash. The Legislature, though, remained sharply divided, well short of the two-thirds threshold required then to pass a budget bill.
An agreement began taking shape in early February 2009. In return for about $15 billion in cuts, creation of a stricter budget reserve and business-backed tax changes, Republicans would provide the necessary votes to temporarily raise about $14 billion worth of taxes annually.
Adams, Villines and the four other Republicans who backed the deal – then-senators Dave Cogdill, Roy Ashburn and Abel Maldonado and then-Assemblyman Roger Niello – faced a backlash from other Republicans. Supporting higher taxes violated Republican principles, would hurt the economy and reward Democrats for overspending, they said.
Cogdill was ousted as his caucus’ leader. Villines survived an attempted coup. Adams faced threats that at one point brought CHP officers to his house. Critics also launched an effort to recall him, encouraged by the influential hosts of KFI-AM’s “John and Ken Show.” Adams and his wife encountered signature gatherers when they went to the store.
“I think Anthony took the personal brunt of it,” Villines said. “He lived in the area where the radio show was on. People were very negative toward him.”
The recall fizzled when too many of the signatures were ruled invalid. The political threat remained, though: As Adams prepared to run for re-election as 2010 began, there was the prospect of multiple primary challengers. At the same time, he realized that his own political views were increasingly out of step with his constituents, he said. He had begun to support gay rights and a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally.
“What was blindingly clear was that I was not a good fit for my district,” he said. “I knew it was time to move on.”
Adams, who had earned his law degree while serving in the Legislature, was appointed to $111,845-a-year post on the state parole board by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Adams left less than a year later; he enjoyed the work, he said, but the job kept him in remote prison towns for much of the week, and he spent his weekends at home studying up on cases.
He then worked for a time for a civil law firm in Riverside. Adams, though, said he realized he wanted to spend time in the courtroom. A friend in the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office invited Adams to shadow him – something Adams did for four months, unpaid.
Adams still had another local campaign in him and in 2012 ran as an independent for the new congressional district encompassing Hesperia. “It was meant as a broader declaration of who I am politically,” Adams said, “and then I was summarily crushed.” He finished ninth out of 13 candidates.
Adams began applying to public defender’s offices around the state. Last December, he got a call to interview with the Mendocino County office, received a job offer and within weeks he and his wife had moved to the other end of California. Public attorneys in the county start at about $53,000 annually.
“I miss the high desert terribly. I feel like I’m in a different state,” said Deanna Adams, who still regularly travels to Southern California, where she runs dog-agility classes. “But he’s getting joy out of this job. I think that’s what he was searching for, a career and a job that kept him in public service in some way.”
Adams said most people he deals with as a public defender are unaware of his Capitol past. Word has gotten around, though. At a local legal community dinner, District Attorney C. David Eyster told Adams he had recently spoken with Huffman “about that vote of yours.”
Adams “never regrets” his 2009 vote and thinks it helped bring about today’s solid state finances. While he has no plans to again seek political office, he someday may apply to be a judge.
“I’m completely in love with the work. I adore my colleagues,” Adams said. “I love getting up in the morning and doing what I do.”
HOSPITALITY HOUSE BAILS ON EMERGENCY WINTER SHELTER IN ‘BUSINESS DECISION’
Gave no prior notice after 11 years running shelter
City Councilor Bernie Norvell last Monday made the stunning announcement the Hospitality House, after 11 years of running the Fort Bragg "Emergency Weather Shelter," made the "business decision" at the last possible moment NOT to run the shelter this winter. The decision came as the first major storm of the season was bearing down on the coast on the day the shelter was to have "officially" opened (Wednesday). The Hospitality House has become a profit-driven, check that, profit-obsessed entity that puts profit over people. It's not that winter is a "surprise." It happens every year. And a "business" decision NOT to be responsible for the shelter should have been made in, say, September - NOT the same week the shelter was to open and a major storm on its way. But that's the way Hospitality House operates. We would not be surprised if this was a bargaining ploy to extort more than the $50,000 the county allocated for housing the homeless during the winter. They are, afterall, in it for the money. Whatever happened to compassion for those less fortunate? From Rex Gressett's report posted earlier, the homeless THEMSELVES managed to put together a successful plan, with wind-driven rain literally gusting on the coast, to get in out of the elements. So the city homeless "Ad Hoc" committee will contiunue to schedule "meetings" while the homeless try to find out where they'll be "meeting" when the temperature plummets into the 30's tonight. The Hospitality House administration needs to be fired and replaced with people who have at least an ounce of dignity. They are going to kill someone for sure.
PAST TIME TO UNDERGROUND
History should now fuel the hindsight needed to correct our habitual ways. I refer to the consequences of exposed electrical wires (fire and weather damage) and ongoing maintenance required due to fire, weathering and weather phenomena.
The system of cabling and wiring hasn’t changed in more than a century in most of the U.S., thanks to a powerful manufacturer lobby. Thus we understand why weather-resistant, fireproof and aesthetic use of underground wiring isn’t brought to the planning or repair table.
Some of our neighborhoods look positively antiquated with the drapery of cables and wires, leaning poles and pigtails through hollowed out branches of trees lining and crossing streets.
Since the swathes of land required to install underground wiring are much narrower and high towers silhouetting our hilltops can be eliminated, underground is a less costly and damaging method of electrification.
To reduce our fire threat and increase the attractiveness of this region for fire insurance, it is apparent that residents and small businesses should be creating our own lobby for underground wiring of electricity and telephone systems.
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 17, 2017
Day, Morris, Wright
KIRK DAY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, pot sales.
DENA MORRIS, Redwood Valley. Under influence, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
GEORGE WRIGHT, Redwood Valley. DUI.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
by James Kunstler
If only abortion were retroactive, we could suitably deal with monsters like Senator Al Franken (D–MN), who apparently ventured to apply a breast adjustment to a female colleague asleep on the military airplane winging them home from USO duty in Afghanistan. This was back in the day when Senator Franken was a professional entertainer, a clown to be precise, but his career shift to politics has rendered all his prior clowning anathema.
Will he slink out of the senate in disgrace with (ahem) his tail between his legs? Or will he bunker in and wait until the mega-storm of sexual accusation roars on to strand some bigger, flashier fish on the shoals of ignominy? Perhaps we’ll soon learn that Warren Buffet repeatedly shagged his notoriously over-taxed secretary in the Berkshire Hathaway janitor’s closet. Or that Mike Pence once bought a diet Dr. Pepper for a woman who was not his wife!
Seems to me this storm could roar and roil on until ninety-plus percent of the men in America are exposed as sex monsters and expelled from every workplace in the land. And then America can feel good about itself again. At least until the bond market blows up, or Kim Jung Fatboy sends a rocket over Rancho Cuckamonga.
But in the meantime, this scourging of male wickedness raises some interesting questions about human dynamics vis-a-vis workplace dynamics. I (for one, apparently) find it amusing that people are shocked to learn that sexual favors are swapped for career advancement in show business, where sheer narcissism buys more than Bitcoin. The remedy, I suppose, will be to put an end to show business — except its doing a pretty good job of accomplishing that itself, especially the art-form formerly known as the movies. But what about the gazillion other less-glamorous business activities out there: the actuarial suites, the dental offices, the WalMart middle management departments?
I would begin with the recognition that human sexuality is a pretty potent and mischievous component of basic biology. In, say, the much maligned “cis” world of gender relations, people in the workplace surely feel a fairly constant cognitive tug of awareness that they are in the presence of the opposite sex. If nothing else, there is the pheromone thing: the involuntary wafting about of hormonal chemicals that signal sexual possibility, though not necessarily opportunity. It may be considered primitive and inconvenient, but it’s there anyway.
That being so, one obvious question is: what happened to manners, the once-conventional device for managing impulse control? Narcissism does explain a lot, since that mental state prompts the treatment of other people as mere objects of utility rather than persons on a transect of mutual respect.
But in the new sexual harassment workplace regime, a mere polite inquiry of romantic interest might provoke punishment, so that even an unmarried true gentleman asking a female co-worker out for a drink after work might be construed as a firing offense.
Offendedness has gone viral in America these days. The rewards are a pretty sure thing for the offendee, ranging from simple brownie points to the offendedness powerball lottery of a $32 million payoff for getting seriously roughed up by a wealthy mug such as Bill O’Reilly.
My guess is that the suppression of even gentlemanly approaches to women only pushes things to that darker and harsher edge of the gradient of male behavior, where the latent chimpanzee lurks.
It’s inconceivable to me that we are going to eliminate sexual mischief on-the-job as long as men and women are mixed together in work that can be done by anybody. The situation would be less toxic if genuine misbehavior was reported to bosses or to the police directly, instead of waiting twenty years to call up MSNBC, and if asking for a date, or proffering a compliment, were not treated as vile and inexcusable.
Of course, once all the predators are cleaned out of the corporate C-suites, we’ll still be stuck with a spectacularly trashy contemporary culture, saturated with inducements for all kinds of theoretically decent people to behave badly.
Mainly what’s being accomplished in the current hysteria is reinforcement of the idea that the weaker sex is just that, but with a raging denial that they require some kind of protection.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
THE RULE OF POWER OVER THE RULE OF LAW
by Ralph Nader
Me Too is producing some results. At long last. Victims of sexual assault by men in superior positions of power are speaking out. Big time figures in the entertainment, media, sports and political realms are losing their positions – resigning or being told to leave. A producer at 60 Minutes thinks Wall Street may be next.
Sexual assaults need stronger sanctions. Only a few of the reported assaulters are being civilly sued under the law of torts. Even fewer are subjects of criminal investigation so far.
Perhaps the daily overdue accounting, regarding past and present reports of sexual assaults will encourage those abused in other contexts to also blow the whistle on other abuses. Too often, there are not penalties, but instead rewards, for high government and corporate officials whose derelict and often illegal decisions directly produce millions of deaths and injuries.
A few weeks ago, former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice shared a stage at the George W. Bush Institute, reflecting on their careers to widespread admiration. What they neglected to mention were the devastated families, villages, cities and communities and nations plunged into violent chaos from the decisions they deliberately made in their careers.
In a 1996 interview, Madeleine Albright, then secretary of state under Bill Clinton, was asked by Lesley Stahl of CBS 60 Minutes about the tens of thousands of children in Iraq whose deaths were a direct result of Clinton-era sanctions designed to punish Baghdad and whether it was worth it (At that time, Ms. Stahl had just visited these wasting children and infants in a Baghdad hospital). Secretary Albright replied in the affirmative.
Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state under George W. Bush, pushed for the criminal and unconstitutional invasion of Iraq, which resulted in over one million Iraqi deaths, millions of refugees, a broken country and sectarian violence that continues to this day. She has said she often thinks about this mayhem and feels some responsibility. Yet one wonders, as she collects huge speech fees and book advances from her position at Stanford University, whether she might consider donating some of her considerable resources to charities that support those Iraqis whose lives were destroyed by the illegal interventions she advocated.
Then there is lawless Hillary Clinton, who, against the strong advice of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and without any Congressional authorization, persuaded Barack Obama to support a destabilizing regime overthrow in Libya — which has since devolved into a failed state spreading death, destruction and terror in Libya to its neighboring countries. Clinton, who is at large touting her new book and making millions of dollars in book royalties and speech fees to applauding partisan audiences, should also consider making donations to those who have been harmed by her actions.
Relaxing in affluent retirement are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the butchers of millions of innocent Iraqis and Afghans. They too are raking it in and receiving ovations from their partisans. No prosecutors are going after them for illegal wars of aggression that were never constitutionally declared and violated our federal laws, international treaties and the Geneva Conventions.
As these ex-officials bask in adulation, the American people are not being shown the burned corpses, charred villages, and poisoned water and soil created by their “public service.” Nor are they exposed to the immense suffering and broken hearts of survivors mourning their deceased family members.
Americans never hear the dreaded 24/7 whine of the omnipresent drones flying over their homes, ready to strike at the push of a button by remote operators in Virginia or Nevada. Nor do they hear the screams and sobbing of the victims of unbridled military action, fueling ever-greater hatred against the US.
Corporate executives also get rewarded for the mayhem they unleash by selling dangerously defective cars (e.g. GM, Toyota and VW recently) or releasing deadly toxins into the air and water or presiding over preventable problems in hospitals that a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine study reported is taking 5,000 lives a week in this country.
What’s the difference? Because the cause and effect by officials pushing lethal politics, openly carried out with massive armed forces, do so at a distance in time and space (the Nuremberg principles after World War II, which included adherence by the US, addressed this problem). They lather their massive violent, unlawful actions with lies, cover-ups and deceptions, as was the case in 2002-2003 in Iraq. They wrap the flag around their dishonorable desecrations of what that flag stands for and the lives of US soldiers whom they sent there to kill or die.
These officials overpower the rule of law with the rule of raw power – political, economic and military.
For centuries patriarchal mayhem has exploited women in the workplace or the home. Raw power — physical, economic and cultural, regularly, overpower the legal safeguards against wrongful injury, rape and torture, both in the household and at work.
Sporadic assertions of a punishing public opinion will not be enough in either sphere of humans abusing humans. That is why the rule of law must be enforced by the state, and through private civil actions.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Why aren’t the Womenfolk permitted to just slap a masher right across the kisser anymore?
It’s an ancient extra-discursive communication that transcends all cultural boundaries.
No drawing of blood, breaking bones or losing teeth. A plain old slap in the face (like the one I once received at John’s Barn nightclub in Mt Home, Idaho, for being a tad too forward to a lady in tight jeans, Tony Lama boots and a Resistol hat).
That seemed both a ladylike way of repelling any aggressive advance while providing just enough negative reinforcement to prevent future naughty behaviour.
Al Franken , Geo. (wheelchair) Bush, Weinstein, indeed, all the mashers would have benefitted greatly from a well-deserved slap.
And in the interest of Equality, female mashers would benefit from a deserved and proper bitch-slap too.
'F--- TRUMP' TRUCK DRIVER ARRESTED
By Emily Foxhall, Dana Guthrie, and Brooke A. Lewis
The woman responsible for the "F--Trump" bumper sticker was arrested Thursday, Nov. 16 for a previous outstanding warrant, according to Fort Bend County jail records.
Karen Fonseca was booked into the jail shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday for a fraud charge. According to jail records, she is out on bond.
According to the Rosenberg Police Department, Fonseca's felony warrant stems from a June 29, 2015 case for alleged fraudulent possession or use of identifying information. The case was reviewed by a grand jury in July 2017 and the warrant was issued at that time.
No other information on the case is being released at this time.
Fonseca's arrest came after Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls on Wednesday created a social media firestorm with a Facebook post threatening to bring disorderly conduct charges against the driver of a truck displaying a profane anti-Trump message on its rear window.
Nehls told the Houston Chronicle that he had received calls, texts and emails in recent days from people who took offense at the language in bold, white lettering: "F--- TRUMP AND F--- YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM."
(Click to enlarge)
The sheriff, a Republican who is weighing a bid for Congress shared a photo on his official Facebook page in hopes that it would help to identify the truck owner. The license plate is not visible in the image.
Update: The photo has now been taken down. The sheriff's office released this statement on Thursday afternoon:
"The Sheriff made the post on his Personal page. The objective of the post was to find the owner/driver of the truck and have a conversation with them in order to prevent a potential altercation between the truck driver and those offended by the message. Since the owner of the truck has been identified, the Sheriff took down the post. Due to the hate messages he has been receiving towards his wife and children, the Sheriff will not be commenting on the matter further."
Turns out, Fonseca said she used to work for Nehls in the county jail.
Fonseca also said the truck belongs to her husband but that she often drives it. They had the sticker made and added it to the window after the billionaire real estate magnate and reality TV star was sworn into office.
The sticker has attracted attention many times before, Fonseca said. People shake their head. They take photos of it. Officers have pulled her over but failed to find a reason for writing a ticket.
"It's not to cause hate or animosity," said Fonseca, 46. "It's just our freedom of speech and we're exercising it."
Concerned that the language could incite a confrontation on county roadways, Nehls said on Facebook that he wanted to have a conversation with the truck owner.
"I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359," Nehls wrote in his original post. "If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you."
Nehls wrote on Facebook that a county prosecutor had agreed to accept disorderly conduct charges — an opinion that District Attorney John Healey disputes, as does the ACLU of Texas.
"Many families have called that have seen that truck on our county roadways and are very offended by the language on the truck," Nehls said. "I think they're walking a fine line."
Healey, a Republican not seeking re-election next year, said he wished the sheriff's office had contacted him earlier about the incendiary issue. He said he did not receive a call until around the same time the comments were posted. In disagreeing with his own prosecutor, Healey noted that his office lacked any information about how the public was reacting to the truck.
"I did not believe it was a prosecutable case based on the definition of disorderly conduct," Healey said.
The ACLU of Texas, meanwhile, responded to the sheriff on Facebook. "Constitutional Law 101: You can't ban speech just because it has 'f@ck' in it," the organization posted. "Hey truck owner, feel free to contact the ACLU of Texas."
The sheriff's post quickly went viral, and his office decided to hold a hastily-called afternoon press conference Wednesday, citing "the high volume of interview requests."
Nehls, who has retweeted a video posted by Trump of an arena crowd standing for the national anthem as well as videos of the president defending law enforcement, is no stranger to media attention.
He is known for comments that criminals who enter Fort Bend County could leave in a body bag. He adopted a dog that a television reporter saved while out with the sheriff during the 2016 floods.
The statement on Facebook Wednesday stirred controversy among members of the public. Some on Facebook questioned whether the truck sticker amounts to a violation of the law.
State law describes disorderly conduct as intentionally using "abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of peace." The law also prohibits making "an offensive gesture or display in a public place" that could have the same effect.
"I'm glad to see our government officials are concentrating on what's important," Facebook user Antonio Herrera commented on the post.
"It is important to respond to calls from residents, yes," Nehls responded. "Glad we agree on that."
By 7:30 p.m., the post had been shared more than 4,700 times and received nearly 10,000 comments.
by José Ioskyn (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)
My life is simple
I go to bed when the sun does
among the spikes of wheat
my father harvests the wheat
With the cutting edge of the
When it rains
we eat wheat cake
and we drink
A legion of
has dragged me from
like a spike of wheat that does not want to leave
they have abandoned me
near a river
that is frozen
now during the nights
I walk alone
I have lost power of speech
my voice remains
within my body
and my scream
cannot get out
even though it destroys
NEWS FROM THE BEWILDERED PIG
Fair Greetings, Friends!
As we seem to be in a consistent pattern of inspiring cool, rainy weather, our kitchen continues to percolate with the nourishing scents of copious stocks. There’s always chicken stock on the stove, waiting to become the addictive porcini truffle “grazy” (aka crazy gravy) served with our buttermilk marjoram soaked Mary’s li’l hens, fried into delicious glory encrusted in porcini powder, rice flour, and other secret spices…Roasted pork stock that braises our belly is mixed with local apple cider to create a cider pork jus, lightly spiked with mulling spices…served with our version of “Choucroute.” Roasted veal stock simmers with black trumpet mushrooms preserved from last year to drape our new Shortrib dish in rich glory…Mushroom stock abounds with a plethora of earthy delights!
Speaking of mushrooms! We have local Boletes and pristine chanterelles coming as long as Mother Nature provides…Thanks, Eric!
Big News This Week: Winter Hours!
We will be opening at 5:00 for you early birds! Last serving at 8:30!
There will be a VERY important meeting tomorrow, November 18th at 3:30 at the Boonville General Store to discuss the future of the Boonville Farmers' Market. Please spread the word!
Also remember to enjoy a break in the rain tomorrow morning and load up on local goodies and produce at the Winter Market, in front of See Bass, from 9:30-12:00.
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING AGENDA for December 7, 2017, is posted on the department website at:
by Michael Moore
It is time to remove this dangerous man from office.
I have just signed the "Need To Impeach" petition initiated by Tom Steyer of California. Over two million other Americans have also signed it. And that number keeps growing every hour. We -- all of us -- must not wait a minute longer to act.
Trump has sent a fleet of our ships into the waters off North Korea in order to provoke the unhinged leader of that country to make the mistake of attacking us. This, plus Trump's reckless taunts at Kim Jong-un, is being done for one reason: to start some sort of conflict so that America will rally behind him and forget about the impending criminal indictments he, his family and his cohorts now face. He has put us all in danger, and he may get a lot of people killed.
The Founders of this country were worried that, from time to time, we would have a President who would behave in such a manner that would put our nation in jeopardy, or a President who would try to profit off being in office, or a Commander-in-Chief who might not be right in the head (King George III gave them a good example of that). They feared we could end up with a President who might be a traitor to our country. They even knew that we might get stuck with someone who committed not just "high crimes" but also "misdemeanors." They wanted to make it easy for us to fix a mistake we've made.
My friends, we have the most colossal mistake in our history sitting right now in the Oval Office. And there is only one way to rectify it: TRUMP MUST BE IMPEACHED. We can NOT wait until November of 2020 for that to happen. We simply won't make it til then. The country we know as the United States of America will not be the same after three more years of Trump. You know it and I know it. Turning the TV off and trying to avoid the daily insanity won't make him go away.
Donald J. Trump has proven himself to be completely unfit for office, a threat to our country and an imminent danger to this world.
He is also not well. He is a malignant narcissist and an active sociopath. Because he holds the codes to, on his own, launch nuclear weapons, he is a singular threat to humanity.
He has no fidelity to this country, to the constitution or to his oath of office.
He tried to coerce the director of the FBI into ending the investigation of him -- and when the director wouldn't, Trump fired him. It's only a matter of time before he fires the Special Prosecutor.
He has lied about his finances, his campaign¹s dealings with Russia and just about everything else that has come out of his mouth. It is stunning to see how many untruths he speaks in a single day (this site keeps track of all of them on a daily basis)
But here's something even more stunning than Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors:
NOT ONE Democrat in the U.S. Senate has stood on that floor and called for his impeachment! Not one! Rep. Maxine Waters and other members in the House have not been afraid to do so. This morning, Rep. Steve Cohen was joined by Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Marcia Fudge, Rep. John Yarmuth, and Rep. Adriano Espaillat in introducing five Articles of Impeachment against Trump. But no Democrat in the Senate has yet to say this man must be impeached!
This petition I'm asking you to sign isn't just a challenge to the Republicans to clean house, it is a demand to the Democratic elected officials you and I voted for to DO THEIR JOB. Many of these Democrats have even said they are opposed to impeachment. They need to hear from us! Now! If recent history has proven anything, it's that Democrats only act when we tell them to.
When you were opposed to George W. Bush getting ready to start a massive war in Iraq (when Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11), the majority of Democratic Senators voted to send us to war. Most didn't change their votes until the citizenry went to the polls in the Democratic primaries in 2008 and rejected the Democratic candidate for President who had voted FOR the war. These Democratic candidates became anti-war because of YOU.
For decades, when you believed our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be able to get married, the establishment Democrats (including the Clintons and Obamas) said NO and used their religion as an excuse to say that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Only when the polls showed that a majority of Americans backed this basic civil right did Democratic leaders begin to "evolve."
Although the majority of Americans have favored a single-payer universal health care system for some time -- Medicare for All -- it took until last month for 16 Democratic Senators to finally back such a bill.
The cautious and often-frightened Democratic leaders will usually, eventually, finally come around and do the right thing. And they do so because they are good at (sooner or later) listening to the will of the people.
That's why they need to hear from you and me right now. Give them the backbone and support they're looking for. Sign the Need to Impeach petition and let them see that the majority of us can't wait any longer to remove this dangerous man from office.
Here's the link michaelmoore.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=57bb4a20efca571e8ffd113dc&id=420cb17375&e=8290190563
Share it and this letter your friends and everyone you know who loves this country. Let's not wait until he gets us in a war to sign this petition. Let's not wait until he turns another million acres of federal land over to the oil companies. Let's not wait until he and Betsy DeVos dismantle what's left of our once-admired-around-the-world public schools. Every day at his EPA, at his ICE headquarters, at his FDA and elsewhere, his cronies are literally taking apart our American way of life, piece by piece -- and it will take years to rebuild after all the damage they are doing.
Can you really take one more day of this?
Please, I appeal to you, join with me and millions of your fellow Americans and sign this impeachment petition now: https://www.needtoimpeach.com/
I did. You must.
Thank you for helping to save this country and this planet.
A GREAT GUY WITH A MINI EXCAVATOR.
Judith Greenleaf wrote to the MCN Announce listserv:
He recently dug a hole for me. Extremely competent with his mini excavator and very nice guy. Ben Feinburgh 357-4992. And you can say that Judith recommended him.
* * *
Judith, Marco here. Here's what that sets off in my noggin: There's the fanfare from the beginning of National Lampoon Radio Hour's short piece Stand Up, the one that begins, "A man walks into a nightclub with a beautiful girl on his arm." Here's that, for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL0cDxTB6Sc
But, instead, in something between the compelling sardonic-but — obviously — impressed announcer-voice of Ultimate Evil from Time Bandits, Robert Preston's delivery of Trouble, the Beatles' For the Benefit of Mister Kite, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Welcome Back, My Friends (Come and See the Show), it's this:
"Hello, folks, I'm sure you're gonna wanta put your hands together for this next act. He's a great friend of yours and a good friend of mine, a very, very talented fella and a very nice guy-- a great guy with a mini excavator; ladies and gentlemen: Ben Feinburgh 357-4992! Ben Feinburgh!!!"
Crowd goes wild, whistling and cheering and wetting themselves in a frenzy of excitement as Ben Feinburgh crashes out onto the stage in his own real, working, proudly mud-caked mini excavator, steering while standing on his hands in the vehicle's safety cage, spinning plates on his toes and his knees, blowing streams of soap bubbles out his nose, ears and arse that pop in a dazzle of dazzling flashbulb-bursts of fire, and then there he is, singing (nicely) an improbable though lovely mashup of O, Danny Boy and The Star Spangled Banner.
A great guy with a mini excavator! Gee-whiz, what a show! Recommended him? Well, I should say!
SPEAKING OF WHICH, though without the fire-sports, plates and earthmoving machinery, Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is on tonight, it being Friday and all.
If you want to talk about your project on KNYO or read aloud your writing in person, or bring your instrument(s) and fellow instrumentalists and play a song or a short set, or otherwise demonstrate your skills using any piece of equipment you can fit through the front door, you can drop by 325 N. Franklin, Fort Bragg after 9pm tonight and just barge in. Head for the lighted room at the back and get my attention. You're never interrupting me; I'm happy to see you. I have plenty of material to read to fill up the time whether you come or not, so there's no pressure. You can even show up, panic and skedaddle at the last instant without ever saying a word, and that will be good work; next time you'll go a step farther.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to about 4am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, including midnight to 3am 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org or http://TuneIn.com
And/or you can have your own show on KNYO. Contact Bob Young: firstname.lastname@example.org and express your radiophilic desires. You'll be on the air before you know it. It's easy and fun. And it's your right.
Also, p.s., the deadline to email your writing to be read on the air is always about 5 or 6pm the night of the show. So, what is it now, just after 5; you have a little time to get that together for tonight. Paste it into an email and press send.