Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

by AVA News Service, February 14, 2018

* * *

DAWN'S LAST DAY

(Officer Involved Shooting, Update)

Original Press Release:

On 02-13-2018 at 9:25 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an armed robbery of a Chevrolet Camaro at Thurston Auto Plaza located at 2800 North State Street in Ukiah,. The suspect was described as being a white female adult and the Camaro was last seen traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Highway 101 towards Calpella. A short time later a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff saw the Camaro traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Highway 101 near the CalFire Howard Forest station a few miles south of the city of Willits. The Deputy Sheriff attempted a traffic stop of the Camaro and a pursuit ensued at speeds over 100 MPH onto the Highway 101 bypass. Additional Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs joined the pursuit with assistance from officers from the Willits Police Department. A short time later the Camaro crashed along the roadside of Highway 101 at Mile Post Marker 49.10 north of the bypass. A white female adult exited the Camaro while holding a handgun and subsequently confronted the pursuing Deputy Sheriffs and Officers. A shooting resulted and the white female adult died at the scene. No Deputy Sheriffs or Officers were injured as a result of the shooting. Investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office were summoned to the scene and will be the lead investigative agency. All media inquiries into the incident or investigation are being directed to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office. Highway 101 was closed to both directions of traffic to preserve scene evidence and it was expected to remain closed for several hours.

Update:

On 02-14-2018 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division identified the white female adult as being Dawn Elika Center a 48 year-old female from Redwood Valley. The three Deputy Sheriffs involved in the shooting incident have all be placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with Sheriff's Office standard procedure, pending the ongoing investigation by the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office. The three Deputy Sheriffs involved in the shooting incident have been employed at the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office for a total of 30 years, 11 years and 4 years respectively.

* * *

WHERE IS KHADIJAH?

Possible Kidnapping and Domestic Violence

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is soliciting the public’s assistance in locating a missing person who was possibly abducted and is considered “At Risk”.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating a domestic violence incident, involving an armed subject, who may have abducted his girlfriend at gunpoint. The Sheriff’s Office was contacted on Monday, February 12th, about a possible kidnapping that occurred on Friday, February 9th, around midnight. Sheriff’s Deputies spoke to witnesses who advised that suspect Negie Fallis arrived at the location, armed with what appeared to be a small derringer pistol, and demanded his girlfriend, Khadijah Britton, exit the residence and speak with him. Witnesses indicated Khadijah exited the residence where a physical altercation occurred between the male and female before they both entered a black Mercedes sedan and left the location. Khadijah has not been in contact with family since that time. Negie who was wanted in connection with a previous domestic violence incident in January, related to the same victim, is also outstanding at this time.

The case was assigned to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detective Unit for continued investigation. Fallis is known to frequent the Willows area and the Grindstone Rancheria in Glenn County, Lake County, and Covelo. We are requesting anyone with information related to the whereabouts of either individual to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086 or the Sheriff’s Tip line at 707-234-2100.

Khadijah Britton, left, has not been seen since Feb. 9. MCSO suspects she was abducted by her boyfriend Negie Fallis, right.

 

ED NOTE: I DUNNO, but I think if my daughter was taken off at gunpoint by this guy, I'd be somewhat worried.

* * *

FATAL ATV CRASH

Mr. Fred Skala, 44, of Kelseyville was riding an ATV westbound on Mill Creek Road, in the Cow Mountain recreational area. At approximately 3:45pm, Skala became separated from family members while riding on the trail. A short time later the family members realized that he had not been seen, and became concerned for his safety. The family members called 911, and then the Sheriff’s search and rescue team began operation. Skala was then located by Sheriff’s personnel at approximately 10:53pm on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. Upon reaching the collision location, it was apparent to personnel at the scene, that Skala had crashed his ATV and suffered fatal injuries as a result. The CHP is conducting an investigation into this collision.

* * *

* * *

A DATE WITH DESTINY

The location of the KZYX candidate forum March 5th at 7:00PM is Mendocino College - Ukiah Campus, in the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA), ROOM 5430 (Band Room).

See you then,

Ed Keller - Election coordinator, KZYX

* * *

IRV SUTLEY WRITES:

To some of the many of you I know who have followed the Bari Bombing case:

Talked to Bruce Anderson of the Anderson Valley Advertiser yesterday. He let me know that Mendocino County's former garbage czar Mike Sweeney has relocated to New Zealand on what is probably a permanent basis. Sweeney had been living on a piece of property on Orr Springs Road outside Ukiah, the only place on the road without a numbered address.

The ex-husband of both Judge Cynthia Denenholz of Santa Rosa and the late Judith Beatrice Bari, Michael Emmett Sweeney left behind his personal press agent and sometime partner Glenda Anderson, the Ukiah stringer for Doug Bosco's Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Does New Zealand have an extradition treaty with the United States?

* * *

THINGS YOU MISS IF YOU DON'T LOOK UP: OSPREY IN FLIGHT

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

* * *

WOEFUL OFFICIATING

To the Editor:

Concerning middle school basketball game between Laytonville and Potter Valley: After 40 years officiating, coaching and playing basketball I thought I had seen everything until I saw a new low in officiating.

  1. Official with 1:27 left in game loudly told a fan to get the F*** out the gym, then followed him to the lobby where they cussed each other.
  2. Officials had absolutely no knowledge of the rules or mechanics.
  3. Officials incorrectly continuously talked to fans through out the game.
  4. Home management (Athletic Director, etc) are responsible for the fan’s conduct and officials are responsible for coaches, players, bench, scorekeeper and time keeper only.

Ray Whittaker

Hopland

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Hey! Did you see that story outta Kansas? A buncha high school kids signed up to run for governor, but when a dog tried to run Kansas said, ‘A dog is not capable of the responsibilities required of the governor.’ Like hell. Ever know a dog who wasn't smarter than a high school kid?”

* * *

REAL SHORT school board report. The hurry-up special meeting of the Anderson Valley school trustees was scheduled to begin at 4. It started at 4:20 before an SRO crowd in the stark high school cafeteria. The restive gathering consisted almost exclusively of people who work in the school district, from teachers to school bus drivers, supplemented by high school principal Jim Snyder and Elementary School principal Traci Anderson. (The Anderson Valley Elementary School is called the Anderson Valley Elementary School. Rock. Tree. Sun. Moon. Over the long years of educational effort in the Anderson Valley it has been suggested that the school be named after some memorable teacher rather than the Gradgrind-ish, starkly utilitarian 'Elementary School.' I nominate Blanche Brown Elementary after our justly famed teacher and botanist, founder of the annual Wildflower Show. Or, perhaps, Julie Franklin Elementary, after another much beloved local teacher of long ago.) Superintendent Michelle Hutchins did not attend the special meeting Tuesday afternoon, which is just as well because much of the crowd's unhappiness was directed mostly at her, with the school board itself running a close second. The problem is an apparent budget shortfall of exactly....well, no one knows because no one knows how much money will be flowing back to Anderson Valley from the state, an annual state of suspense going back years. But it seems like there’s a shortfall of around $500k. Also in the budgetary mix is spending approval routed through the County Office of Education. But the operating assumption is that there is a budget shortfall that could necessitate staff cuts, hence the large turnout of staffers. That shortfall is blamed on Ms. Hutchins and the school board for last school year's expensive contract buyout of the Elementary School principal and other spending decisions unpopular with most staff. The budget itself is roughly $7 million a year, all but about fifteen percent of which goes to staff pay and benefits, hence Tuesday's large staff turnout. Five alternative budget reduction plans devised by a staff budget committee which included embattled Superintendent Hutchins were presented which, to this outsider, seemed clear and fairly drawn, but none of the five will leave certain staff sectors unaffected. Nothing was resolved at Tuesday's meeting because, it seems, the numbers themselves are in flux, and likely to remain in flux for a while.

* * *

CALLED the County Office of Education late Wednesday afternoon to get Anderson Valley's annual school budget figure. The friendly lady who answered the phone had to put me on hold for a minute, and who should boom out of my ear piece but Janis Joplin belting out her desire for a Mercedes Benz! Ordinarily, as we all know, on-hold tunes are the musical equivalent of Motel Six paintings — suicide-inducing. "That was the most excitement I've ever had on-hold," I said to the nice lady when she came back on. "Yes," she agreed, explaining, "We lost someone recently and she always said she wanted us to play that song to remember her."

* * *

* * *

ED NOTES

MEANWHILE, my high school alma mater pops up in national news reports as a hotbed of teen sexual harassment. Tamalpais High School (Mill Valley) teacher Eva Rieder has gone public with allegations that male students have sexually harassed her more than a dozen times with physical touching and obscene emails, letters and phone calls — and that school administrators and staff failed to respond to her reports or take any action to stop it. “It’s time my story is told,” Rieder, a math teacher at the school for 15 years, said during the public comment portion of the Feb. 6 Tamalpais Union High School District board of trustees’ meeting at Redwood High School in Larkspur. “It’s time I say #MeToo.”

IT OCCURRED TO ME that if some male students feel free to do this stuff to a teacher, one has to wonder what they're doing to their female classmates.

* * *

I ENJOYED a trip over the hill to Ukiah via MTA yesterday (Tuesday). The driver was older than me, a fact I found oddly encouraging given that the elderly tend to be shunted off to their television sets and Meals On Wheels. He dropped me off at Safeway where, walking north, I passed a guy huffing crack, or whatever drug it is that requires matches and a glass pipe. The Ukiah police, I read, are investigating a rape only a block south of Safeway behind the Social Services complex. In the Safeway block, just past the dope huffer, another homeless guy spare-changed me. "Is a one ok?" I asked. "Yes, dad," he said, "that'll do just fine." Dad. Wit from a street guy. I should have given him another dollar. As an enabler, my policy is that if a mendicant is upright I'll help him kill himself with drugs or alcohol. It's the sitting or prone panhandlers that get no cash from Mr. Big Bucks.

OPEN AIR aberrant behavior is nothing new anywhere in our deteriorated land, but Ukiah seems more degraded every time I visit the County seat. Ditto for Fort Bragg whose savvy City government plunked down homeless ops in the center of town. But the general malaise seems worse in the County seat.

UKIAH PAYS its city manager about a quarter mil-a-year, salary and benefits. And his assistant makes 80-something. As city management "teams" make more and more money, civic squalor increases proportionally. Used to be a town's money people, people like Ukiah's Charlie Mannon, owner of the Savings Bank, made sure their towns kept up appearances. Now? Hunkered down behind locked gates.

UKIAH HAS HIRED the inevitable consultant who will tell the town's inert Council to restrict local charity to local residents, to keep transients on the move outtahere. Prediction: The consultant will leave town with a fat check for recommending the obvious and nothing will change.

* * *

* * *

STIFLE YOURSELF

Letter to the Editor:

OK, after all his weekly tirades, I finally get it. Mr. Philbrick is one bone-ignorant, wood-knot stubborn and Jill-Poke twisted ex-gyppo logger so sick of licking his paws on his Pa’s woodlot in the sticks that he now has nightmares about drug-crazed Mexican hippie vato gangsters sneaking onto his property and releasing Spotted Owls: voracious flying rats with spots to perch on his windowsills and torment him with memories of the Boom Times during the Great Timber Liquidation Sale — rape and run clearcutting advertised as “sustained yield” — and how these flying rats had allowed themselves to be the willing tools of the environmentalist’s conspiracy to delegate big tree lumberjacks to the trash compacter of history, their spiked boots now hanging by their laces looped over a nail pounded into a weathered barn wall between the ox yoke and the bullwhip.

During the Logging Boom I worked for a handful of gyppos and the honest ones paid on time and their checks didn’t bounce. But never did meet any who were angels with dirty fingernails. Still I don’t think even the worst of them were more crooked than the timber pirates or even their land surveyors, timber cruisers, log scalers, accountants, lawyers, lobbyists and hip pocket politicians (“Conservatives” in Double Speak) who, once bought, stay bought. Not to mention the aw-shucks good old boy Madison Ave. fashion models whose life purpose is putting lipstick on hogs.

Philbrick’s tirade of 2/7 was against the strawmen inhabiting his fevered imagination (Democrats as Communists? The children of immigrants as enemies?). Ain’t like he’s Don Quixote tilting at windmills, either. He’s more like the Don’s loyal squire Sancho (“fatso”’) Panza trying to hump 50-foot of bull line up a canyonside. Sancho can huff and puff all he wants, but he ain’t getting anywhere except out of breath, soaking wet and knock-kneed.

Since nobody but Rooskies, Neo-Nazis, gangsters, Southern Redeemers, country bumpkins, international observers, rubberneckers, cynics, scrooges, standup comics, federal and state prosecutors and rank suckers still listen to anything the Trumpites say, nobody’s going to listen to your sounds and furies, Mr. Philbrick. So save your breath. Enjoy your retirement. Thank your lucky stars you won’t be born again.

Suggested reading: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. Excellent way to find out what real American Patriotism has sounded like these last couple hundred years. A First Generation American, during WW2 the late Professor Zinn was a bombardier who flew combat missions over the European Theater.

B. Patterson

Prineville, Oregon

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, February 14, 2018

Arnold, Garner, Hensley, McCormick

SHANNON ARNOLD, Santa Barbara/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

JUSTIN GARNER, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

RICHARD MCCORMICK JR., Ukiah. Domestic battery, metal knuckles, unlawful possession of tear gas, controlled substance, paraphernalia, obtain/use personal ID without authorization.

Morris, Nicholas, Perez

DENA MORRIS, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

DANIEL NICHOLAS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOSE PEREZ, Willits. DUI.

Ramirez, Reggad, Spring

ALEXANDER RAMIREZ, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, elder abuse, criminal threats, resisting.

KAMEL REGGAD, Paris, France/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

ERIC SPRING, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

* * *

REVOLUTION IN THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

Tales of a Museum & A World Famous Writer

by Jonah Raskin

Change has always been slow at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, but when it does change, as it has in the past, it comes with a bang and fanfare, too.

The House of Happy Walls — which London’s second wife, Charmian, built after his death in 1916 — is now in the midst of a radical upheaval that will reframe their mythic relationship as one of co-equal partners. Mucking about with a myth is tricky business and while it will please some it’s bound to displease others.

A power couple, Jack and Charmian were forerunners of that quintessential jazz-age duo, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Like the Fitzgerald’s, the London’s radiated glamor, and like the Fitzgerald’s they had troubles galore.

Jack died at 40, a victim of his addictions. Charmian out-lived him by 39 years, though she knew great sorrow as well as unadulterated bliss. A daughter named Joy, who was born on January 19, 1910, died two days later. Charmian never had children of her own and she and Jack never lived in their dream house. It burned to the ground in 1913, and, though she and he both suspected arson, a forensic team that investigated decades later concluded that Wolf House caught on fire by spontaneous combustion.

The spooky ruins still call to visitors. No wonder, Charmian wanted her own house to have “happy walls.”

Charmian lived at the home that she designed from 1934 to 1955. Five years after her death, the sprawling property — which Jack had dubbed “Beauty Ranch” — became a park operated by the State of California. That’s when her home turned into a museum, and, while she wasn’t effaced from the historical record, Jack’s life and legacy eclipsed hers.

Still, for decades a silent sisterhood read Charmian’s work, studied her life and wrote love poems to her. Jack called her his “mate woman.” A writer, a globetrotter, a feminist and a homemaker, she carved out her own path and would probably enjoy the recognition that’s finally coming her way.

The redesigned House of Happy Walls will reopen in the summer of 2018. Donald Sibbett, who has long worked with museums and visitors’ centers, is creating the new exhibits and will install them. The old stonewalls will be unchanged, but nearly everything inside will look and feel different.

As one London fan observed, “The museum got old and lost its attractiveness. It needed a radical makeover.”

The new exhibits will be arranged thematically, not chronologically, and will allow for participation by the public. Long-time visitors accustomed to the musty rooms and old photos might not recognize the place, especially the second-floor that will be given over largely to Charmian, who had a keen sense of design and aesthetics. The overarching theme is the quest by two explorers who had a partnership of equals.

The restoration of House of the Happy Walls has been in the works for years. London scholars and aficionados of his fifty or so books say the museum finally gives credit to the woman behind the best-selling author, experimental farmer, and handsome globetrotter who cultivated his image as intensely as the early Hollywood stars who acted in the silent movies inspired by his novels, including Martin Eden.

London would approve of the changes at House of Happy Walls, and, while he would also be flattered by a park in his name, he preferred the great outdoors to the indoors, horseback riding to gazing at paintings in museums. Still, he thought that all publicity about him was good publicity as long as his name was spelled correctly. He would certainly like the fact that his books sell well at the park and that readers revere his name.

Mike Benziger, who lives downhill from the park, endorses the transformation at House of the Happy Walls. He’s the chairman of the Board at the Jack London State Historic Park, which has been in private hands ever since 2012 when Sacramento announced its imminent closure.

A group of Sonoma County citizens, many of them with successful careers in sales and marketing, created the Jack London Park Partners. They rallied community support and raised millions of dollars which have been spent wisely on the maintenance of the 1,400-acre spread and its buildings, including a costly but much-needed restoration of the cottage where Jack and Charmian lived and that now showcases the mementoes they brought back from their adventures on land and sea.

Managing the 1,400 acres has been nearly as challenging as creating the park itself. In the 1950s, the California legislature was slow to approve of a state park dedicated to the life and work of a life-long socialist who ran for mayor of Oakland twice and who called for a revolution that would overturn the capitalist system. In the era of McCarthyism and the Cold War, London was a hard sell in academia in the U.S., though he was the bestselling American author in the Soviet Union.

“Privatization has its benefits,” Benziger told me on a recent morning when we discussed House of Happy Walls. “We’re not tied to the state, as the park once was, and we can make changes faster than the state and in keeping with current needs.”

Benziger added, “Charmian is every bit as interesting as Jack and a perfect foil for him.”

Indeed, the allure of Charmian might help turn the park into a major destination in Wine County for moms, kids and travelers on the road curious about the park in the tiny town of Glen Ellen which hasn’t changed much since Charmian’s days. Over the past five years, visitors to the park have more than doubled. The Park Partners are hoping for 150,000 visitors annually, 50,000 more than current figures show.

“We want the park to be a draw for wineries, restaurants and local businesses,” Benziger told me. “We want to persuade visitors to travel away from the Sonoma plaza and go up valley to Glen Ellen.”

Benziger is the perfect person to call for changes at House of Happy Walls. A biodynamic grape grower, and more recently a cannabis cultivator, he made Benziger Family Winery on Sonoma Mountain adjacent to the park, a haven for wine lovers.

Now, he’s creating world-class cannabis products that are marketed under the label “Glentucky Family Farm,” and with an icon of a wolf, London’s totem, which appeared on the cover of his first book.

The famous author himself would approve of Benziger’s accomplishments. After all, Jack smoked hashish, which he called “the most beautiful of maidens.” He also grew grapes and made grape juice that he marketed under the Jack London label. Unlike Benziger, he had a drinking problem. He outed himself in John Barleycorn, Alcoholic Memoirs, a book that Charmian helped him write.

“She kept him organized and focused,” Benziger told me. Indeed, without her London would have fallen apart before he hit 40.

The challenge for Benziger, for Tjiska Van Wyck — the savvy executive director of the park — and the whole transformation and restoration team, including designer Donald Sibbett — is to select what goes in and what stays out of the exhibit. London himself would understand. Good writing, he explained in a December 1898 letter, required “the art of omission.” He added that for him, “it was the hardest to learn.”

The new museum at House of Happy Walls can’t include everything about the London’s. As Van Wyck told me, “Jack crammed a lot into 40 years. You can’t please everyone.” The shrunken heads that the London’s collected won’t make the final cut.

Benziger echoes Van Wycks’s sentiments.

“When Jack died at 40, his obit should have said he was 80,” he explained. “He was a polymath and lived 48 hours in every 24-hour day. No one single museum can tell his whole story.”

The restoration of Charmian London means the downsizing of Jack’s first wife, Bessie, and their two daughters, especially Joan, who wrote one of the first books about her father that she subtitled “An Unconventional Biography.” If dad had lived until the 1920s, Joan argued, he would have become an admirer of Benito Mussolini, the Italian fascist. That’s a stretch, though London certainly admired Nietzschean supermen.

When Charmian died, the estate went to Jack’s stepsister, Eliza Shepard who ran Beauty Ranch for decades. When she died her descendants took over. Over the years, members of the Shepard family have often given the impression that they’re related by blood to Jack.

Joan London’s granddaughter, Tarnel Abbott, a former librarian and a keeper of the London flame, isn’t happy about the erasure of her grandparents from the official story. London biographers will also be saddened by the marginalization of Anna Strunsky, a Russian-born Jewish socialist, who attended Stanford, loved Jack dearly and turned down his proposal of marriage before he went on to propose to Charmian.

Her new, improved perch at the park has been building for decades. Sonoma State University professor emerita, Clarice Stasz, wrote about her in 1989 in American Dreamers: Charmian and Jack London. Rebecca Rosenberg has just published an historical fiction called The Secret Life of Mrs. Jack London in which she explores Charmian’s real life romance with magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini. Biographers have known about their affair for decades, though they haven’t emphasized it.

Susan Nuernberg, who teaches a class about Charmian at SSU, doesn’t approve of the fictionalization. “There’s no need to make up stuff,” she wrote in an email to me. Indeed, there are enough true-life stories to fill volumes.

If biographers of Jack and Charmian have made up stuff it might be his fault. After all, he embellished and exaggerated his achievements, and in the process turned himself into a legend in his own time, albeit with help from newspaper and magazine editors who touted him as “a boy socialist,” “the Rudyard Kipling of the Yukon” and as a “barroom brawler.”

To his Boston publisher, London wrote on January 31, 1900, “I was a salmon fisher, an oyster pirate, a schooner sailor, a fish-patrolman, and a longshoreman.” More than one hundred years later, it’s not possible to say with certainty if and when he worked at all or any of those jobs, and for how long.

In the very same letter, London boasted that he was “self-educated” and “had no mentor but myself.” He seems to have forgotten that he went to public schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, attended UC Berkeley briefly and rooted for Cal in the big game against Stanford.

A host of women, including Ina Coolbrith — an Oakland librarian and the first California poet laureate — plus Anna Strunsky and Jack’s first wife, Bessie, took the ruff-and-tumble kid with street smarts, gave him books to read and helped turned his life away from poverty to riches.

Jack’s biological mother, Flora, and his African American foster mother, Virginia Prentiss, an ex-slave, also helped nurture the man and the myth. Women surrounded him from birth to death.

“A lot of people thought Jack was a nut job,” Benziger told me. “Yes, he did have flaws, including his addictions that led to an early death. He had to anesthetize himself or reality would have overwhelmed him.”

Benziger added, “London inspired me to travel and come back with new ideas and technologies. I learned from him that you can protect the land and also have a profitable crop. I hope he persuades today’s kids to get away from their screens and experience the real world.”

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Burning Down the House: Jack London and the Wolf House Fire, and the editor of The Radical Jack London: Writings on War and Revolution. Also, author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)

* * *

"ROLLING BOULDERS UPHILL IS HARD WORK"

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

* * *

HOW FALLING DOWN CAN LEAD TO WAKING UP:

Learning from Loss and Pain

by Shepherd Bliss

Sonoma County, California — The organic Kokopelli Farm has been my home, as well as my main work, identity, and love, for the last two-dozen years. Then I fell into a badger hole in the ground, covered by grass, on Jan. 15 this year. I crawled painfully uphill back into the house, as if I were a baby. This unwelcome anniversary will remain in my now 73-year old body and memory.

The fall plunged me into deep reflections, followed by life-changing behavior. “You must change your life” is a poetry line from Rilke that kept emerging as I spent hours each day in bed, no longer able to provide “the farmer’s shadow” with daily walks on the land, so essential to good farming.

Growing up is not always easy, even for elders like myself, closer to my death date than my birth date. Maturing can be sparked by a sudden, unexpected incident, like falling. What to do, other than feel sorry for one’s self? How can one turn an apparent loss into a learning experience and gain knowledge from it for one’s self and others?

I began by lightening my load. I decided to give away hundreds of books, DVDs, records, furniture, luggage, dog things, etc., which I had been collecting for decades.

“I call that ‘essentializing,’ commented Alexandra Hart of Transition Sebastopol’s monthly Elders Salon, which has been happening since 2010. “Aging makes one slower, so it means simplifying and seems to require letting go of stuff.”

“We’ve noticed in the Elders Salon that loss almost inevitably brings some kind of gain,” Hart added.

I’ve appreciated the smiles of friends and strangers as they load up books and other things, taking them on a journey into their lives and homes. I’m even asked to autograph some of the 24 books to which I have contributed, reminding me that I can at least still write, even though my body has been diminished. I can still grab a pen, which is how this old-fashioned writer starts every article or book chapter, only using the computer for revisions.

The fall, though deeply painful into my vulnerable knee and neck, became a blessing in disguise. Many friends brought me chicken soup, other food, and helped lessen my isolation. I listened to their stories of having fallen, being sick, and experiencing excruciating pain. I now appreciate even more living in the small town of Sebastopol with its caring community.

Loss, Identity, Function, And Control

“Loss can be conceptualized along three intersecting axes: loss of control, loss of identity, and loss of relationships,” writes Dr. Barbara Sourkes in her book “The Deepening Shade: Psychological Aspects of Life-Threatening Illness.”

My identity as a farmer has considerable importance to me. I farm most days of the year. After my fall, I have been unable to farm for weeks — such a loss. Among my losses have been many basic body functions and control. I have also had to change my self-image and body-image. Being more dependent on others than usual has been a stretch. I’ve had identities other than as a farmer, especially as teacher and writer.

I’m used to having a good, solid bowel movement every morning, on schedule, which I looked forward to. Yet for two weeks after my fall I had no bowel movements and lost 15 pounds, which is 10% of my weight. What a relief when I began gaining weight and had my first bowel movements, though they came out mainly as liquid.

“When I’m physically drained, I often don’t feel like talking,” a client told Dr. Sourkes. As an introvert, though also a public person, I sometimes feel the same. Some friends have worn me down by their needs to talk, talk, talk. “I’m all talked out,” I say at times, which can make me feel like the bad guy.

My fall dramatically changed my self-image and body-image. I now consider myself temporarily (hopefully) disabled. I notice others with canes and am more cautions with my movements, which have been limited. As my friend David Goff writes, “Falling is scary.”

Friends Tell Their Stories

Instead of hiding my fears, I have been sharing them with friends, some of whom report their own stories. “You strike a familiar chord of vulnerability that we all face, especially in our later years,” observed body-worker Jeff Rooney. “I work with many people now older than I and a big theme is falling and fear of falling. People know from observing others that falling is often a step away from dying. A hip breaks and before you know it, the person is gone.”

Being in bed alone for hours can be boring, oh so boring. Add some pain and it can be even worse, with sleep being difficult. At times I have felt distant and even absent from this now-broken body.

“With my long illness I have had to reevaluate what I can do, which is tied to who I am,” writes my friend Janus Matthes. “Passing along our worldly goods is a positive action as we round third base.”

“I chose to embrace and not fight age and what goes with aging--less energy, more simplicity, enjoy what things truly feed my soul,” she added. “We are such a youth culture in this country. As I age, I realize we all have our day in the sun and hope the youthful generations take full advantage of their time on this most amazing planet.”

“Reflecting on my upcoming April hip replacement and the 3 surgeries I've had in the past 4 years has put me through many changes and changed the way I look at life, see myself and look at the world,” said my neighbor Robert Teller. “It has taken me on many journeys, altered my life style, challenged my spiritual core and offered me an inner peace that I have not known before.”

One date stands out in my recovery: Jan. 27, which was my most painful day. I’ve never contemplated taking my life, except on that day. That extreme pain, accompanied by crying and screaming, educated me about why some people commit suicide. Fortunately, I had a strong painkiller. I took it reluctantly and was finally able to sleep. Blessed Be!

One means of taking some control of one’s life as a person feels loosing it because of sickness or something else is to do what I am doing here — write it down.

So what have I been learning from my fall and the subsequent shut-in? Now I know, in my body, that one day it’s going to all be over and now I am a step closer to death. I’ve been here before, in my mind, but now I feel it in my soul and in the core of who I am.

Humans are so “fragile,” my brother Steve Bliss recently reminded me about we two-footeds. I am actually now three-footed, since I walk with a cane, to stabilize myself, but that should eventually change. “Tomorrow’s a new day,” my brother reminded me, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote.

This learning experience is still evolving. So where do I go from here? I’m not sure. I feel suspended between the no-longer and the not-yet.

Or as the elder Doug von Koss recently quoted a Sufi saying, “We have three days to live, and two of them are gone.”

(Dr. Shepherd Bliss {3sb@comcast.net} is a retired college teacher, farmer, and writer.)

* * *

MAN WITH BOOK

(Photo of unidentified painting by Susie de Castro)

* * *

LET’S HOPE no one uses the Games to defect from the US to a freer society

It is, perhaps, a question as old as athletic competition itself: who is sport’s worst spectator? Of all the absolute arses, watching all the sports in all the world, who is the most unspeakably irksome, the most antithetical to everything you thought you knew about the power and possibilities of physical contest? Whose name is Death, Destroyer of Sports? Who is Earth’s foremost sporticidal maniac?

theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/feb/14/winter-olympics-mike-pence-us

* * *

BROWN ADMINISTRATION RELEASES INCOMPLETE DELTA TUNNELS COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS

by Dan Bacher

The Brown administration yesterday released the long-awaited cost-benefit analysis for the Delta Tunnels, claiming that the plan could "bring billions of dollars in benefits."

Delta Tunnels opponents countered that the analysis is "incomplete,” as it only examines the initial phased-in tunnel and states that analysis for the second tunnel would need to be completed in the future.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) published a Cost-Benefit Analysis for California WaterFix conducted by Dr. David Sunding, a professor of natural resource economics at UC Berkeley. The report claims that the project's first stage, based on one tunnel with a 6,000 cubic feet per second (bfs) capacity, "could bring billions of dollars in benefits to Californians who obtain their water from participating State Water Project (SWP) contractors."

Sunding said the benefits would include improved water quality, more reliable water supplies, and enhanced disaster preparedness.

“Stage 1 of California WaterFix passes a cost-benefit test for SWP urban and agricultural agencies under all scenarios analyzed,” Dr. Sunding wrote in the report.

In a series of controversial public meetings in fall 2017, local public water agency boards voted to participate in the WaterFix, under heavy political pressure from Governor Jerry Brown and against the will of most local water ratepayers,

"Based on that level of support, DWR is proposing to pursue WaterFix as planned while also considering an option to construct the project in stages. Today’s economic analysis will help participating agencies develop and consider necessary actions for their respective boards this spring," DWR said in a statement.

DWR said the benefits to SWP (State Water Project) water agencies are "substantial." The report found benefits exceeding costs in every scenario analyzed – even up to $1.82 in benefits for every $1 in costs. Urban agencies could see $2 billion – $4 billion in net benefits depending on the scenario analyzed.

"Those benefits would increase with the availability of financing through low-interest federal loans," DWR claimed. "SWP agricultural agencies would see several hundred million dollars in net benefits under several scenarios, and again those benefits would increase with the availability of federal low-interest loans and the ability to trade unwanted project shares with urban contractors. The study also indicates that federal contractors south of the Delta would receive benefits exceeding costs."

“Without WaterFix, State Water Project contractors will see the continued deterioration of their water supply reliability,” Dr. Sunding claimed. “This analysis shows there is substantial benefit for both urban and agricultural water users throughout the state, and that the project will be more affordable for consumers than local alternatives such as desalination and recycling.”

The report compared the benefits and costs of Stage 1 of WaterFix - one tunnel - in relation to what "would likely occur" if WaterFix were not built, including further restrictions designed to minimize harmful reverse flows and protect species.

However, the report didn't compare the benefits and costs of the proposed two stages of the revised project, a huge omission that project opponents were quick to point out. The economic analysis is available here.

Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, criticized the cost-benefit analysis for its newly revised twin Delta Tunnels proposal for being "incomplete and pretty much useless."

“The Department of Water Resources for years failed to complete a cost-benefit analysis for any of the previous versions of the proposed tunnels project, for which it was heavily criticized in a recent report by the State Auditor. Now, barely a week after completely revising the scope of its proposal, DWR suddenly has a cost-benefit analysis," said Frazier.

"But it’s an analysis for a proposed two-tunnel project that only addresses one tunnel and doesn’t factor in debt service, making it incomplete and pretty much useless. It’s heavily skewed to make conclusions that support what the administration and the proponents want," he stated.

"Simply put, this is a position paper that relies on cherry-picked numbers and contains very little actual economic analysis. It does not answer the question I’ve been asking the whole time: ‘How much is the project is going to cost over the long term after factoring in debt service?’ It also fails to assess potential risk and cost overruns that inevitably occur with large-scale infrastructure projects. These factors need to be addressed," Frazier said.

In their initial response to the report, Restore the Delta said two areas of concern can be found from a "simple perusal," noting that the group will issue additional responses to the document in the days ahead.the release of Sunding's report.

The group said "numerous questions about the validity of the CalSimsII modeling used to determine needed flows through the Delta, storage of water behind dams, and water exports through the tunnels have been raised by protestants at the State Water Resources Control Board, yet it is the modeling system used for this cost-benefit analysis. Independent modeling experts question the validity of the assumptions used by the modeling system, including reservoir operations that lead to deadpool conditions and inadequate Delta flows."

Deirdre Des Jardins of California Water Research, who has studied CA WaterFix modeling extensively through the permit hearings for WaterFix at the State Water Resources Control Board, stated, “The modeling used for the project contains assumptions about future regulatory requirements."

"These assumptions are currently being determined by the State Water Resources Control Board. DWR also needs to revisit their assumption that it is not necessary to analyze the project yield under drier climate change scenarios, especially as drought conditions have returned once again to California," she said.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said, "We have known for some time that deep problems exist within the modeling which create a fictional scenario of how much water is available for the Delta tunnels."

"Moreover, DWR wants it both ways. "They want a water right for building two tunnels, but they don’t want to tell the public how much that will cost, or what the real water quality impacts will be for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. If Secretary Laird, the Department of Water Resources, and the Metropolitan Water District continue touting Delta tunnels fiction as fact, California water management, and consequently California water quality and supply is headed toward a bad end," she explained.

"This just another chapter of the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Department of Water Resources presenting incomplete facts to push this ill-conceived project onto Californians," she concluded.

The Delta Tunnels project, whether a one tunnel or two tunnels proposal, is based on the premise that diverting more water out of the Sacramento River will somehow "restore" the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. However, not one California WaterFix proponent has been able to show me a single project, in U.S. or world history, where a massive diversion of water out of a river or estuary has resulted in the restoration of that river or estuary.

Project opponents point out the tunnel project would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River spring-run and winter run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

The project would destroy the "sacred system of life that swims in the Delta," as Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay pointed out on February 8, when she urged the State Water Resources Control Board to reject the petition for the change in the point of diversions required to build the California WaterFix at the board meeting in Sacramento.

“I am a signatory to the Indigenous Women of the Americas – Defenders of Mother Earth Treaty Compact 2015. We can’t live without water and neither can our non-human relatives. The WaterFix is a water theft. You cannot approve the WaterFix,” urged Plant.

”From my heart to yours, especially to the women, our babies swim in the seas of our wombs. Please protect this water and the life that lives inside of our bellies. Please protect this sacred system of life that swims in the Delta. If we don’t protect the Delta now, it’s going to be damaged beyond the capability to maintain human and non-human life. It’s up to us,” she stated.

 

30 Responses to Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

  1. james marmon Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 5:15 am

    For those of you who want to blame guns for yesterday’s school shooting, don’t.

    It appears that the young man who murdered all those children and adults in the Florida school shooting incident yesterday had a mental health history as a child and had been treated with psychotropic medication for an extended period of time. Those drugs are so dangerous. I just hope someone is keeping an eye on Camille Schraeder’s group and how many drugs they’re handing out to Mendocino County children, especially those in foster care.

    Study Finds ADHD Drugs Alter Developing Brain

    “Because maturation of several brain regions is not complete until adolescence, drugs given during the sensitive early phases of life may affect neurodevelopmental trajectories that can have more profound effects later in life,”

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/08/study-finds-adhd-drugs-alter-developing-brain/

    California Moves To Stop Misuse Of Psychiatric Meds In Foster Care

    “Children in foster care are prescribed antipsychotic drugs at double to quadruple the rate of that not in foster care, according to a Government Accountability Office report. Hundreds of children were found to be taking five or more psychotropic medications at a time, although there is no medical evidence to support such a drug regimen. Thousands of children were prescribed doses that exceeded FDA-approved guidelines. The report found monitoring programs for psychotropic drugs provided to foster children fell short of guidelines established by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.”

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/02/436350334/california-moves-to-stop-misuse-of-psychiatric-meds-in-foster-care.

    We all remember Talen Clark Barton,

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Mental Health Specialist and Child Welfare Worker.

    • james marmon Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 5:38 am

      And if you think you want to take guns away from people who are being treated for some level of mental health issue, don’t.

      The Drugging Of America Summarized In 19 Mind-Altering Facts

      We are literally being drugged out of our minds. In fact, as you will read about below, there are 70 million Americans that are taking “mind-altering drugs” right now. If it seems like most people cannot think clearly these days, it is because they can’t. We love our legal drugs and it is getting worse with each passing year. And considering the fact that big corporations are making tens of billions of dollars peddling their drugs to the rest of us, don’t expect things to change any time soon.

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-15/drugging-america-summarized-19-mind-altering-facts

      • Harvey Reading Reply

        February 15, 2018 at 11:00 am

        I am not drugged out of my mind, James. It’s just the way I am. I take an aspirin a day to ward off certain strokes or heart attacks. I am fairly certain that a placebo would be just as effective.

        I also take two Glucosamine/Chondroitin tablets (my dog gets one, wrapped in cheese, on the advice of his doctor), a vitamin e capsule and a multivitamin. The multivitamin says it is for people under age 50. I take it in preference to the one for my age group because I believe that the government wants to quietly kill everyone over 50.

        • Harvey Reading Reply

          February 15, 2018 at 11:37 am

          But a placebo, a real one, would probably cost me far more than a bottle of 500 aspirin.

  2. james marmon Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 6:01 am

    The breakdown of family values is to blame for all the craziness that’s going on in America today, thank you feminism.

    James Marmon

    • Harvey Reading Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 11:06 am

      James, just what are family values? Like god, they do not exist. The term was one of those dreamed up by nut-case evangelical Christians back in the 70s or 80s (sometimes referred to as the “moral majority” — ha!).

      Don’t you remember the phase when many people were saying, “I love you,” after every phone call or conversation? Or when Christians said public “blessings” before eating in public places and thought everyone else should shut up while they prayed (but no one did)? I do and am still sickened by the memory.

  3. Harvey Reading Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Re: STIFLE YOURSELF

    Excellent.

  4. james marmon Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I’m really concerned about mental health craze this morning and the push for increased mental health. 99.9% of all mental health professionals are liberals, they’re against gun ownership, and they think all Trump supporters are mentally ill. What could go wrong?

    I want to be clear here, I’ve never owned a gun myself, but I have grave concerns for those who do. Not only do I worry about anyone right of left having their civil liberties violated by being unnecessarily detained and placed in a mental health facility against their will, I also worry about their second amendment rights being taken from them.

    Let’s not over react folks, think this thing through.

    James Marmon MSW

    P.S. My major in both my undergraduate and graduate programs was mental health, not child welfare. And I’ve never been 5150ied in my life, jus sayin.

    • james marmon Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 9:15 am

      I’ve never needed a gun, my body is a lethal weapon, I’m headed to the gym now.

    • BB Grace Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Heads up Mr. Marmon.

      While Democrats were quick to blame President Trump and the Second Amendment for yesterday’s tragic school shooting, President Trump and his administration are questioning mental health, big pharma, distribution of mental health drugs for profit, which in his speech this morning he made a point to America’s children who may be feeling alone and afraid. He told them that they are not alone and very loved, and to turn to a teacher, a family member, a faith leader or a local police officer. Very important that he did not say, “Turn to a doctor, a mental health clinic”.

      Meanwhile, it was pointed out that the Broward County Florida superintendent of schools had misappropriated funds, with his brother; Department of Education found $12 Billion in misappropriated funds, so some are claiming this shooting was “an inside job”, as Democrats are proving to not care about people, but how to use people to profit off government programs.

      http://www.wral.com/florida-high-school-shooting-plunges-city-into-mourning/17342128/

      Schiff just turned Pelosi into a liar. Pelosi claimed the Democrats memos were not being released because of the Republicans and Shift said the Democrat memo is not being released because they are scrubbing it.

      Trump Right? Adam Schiff Confirms Democratic Memo Contains …
      ussanews.com/…/trump-right-adam-schiff-confirms-democratic-memo…

      Feb 14, 2018 · White House problems with the Democrat’s “rebuttal memo” on the surveillance of Trump associates are genuine and the document could disclose “sources and …

      • james marmon Reply

        February 15, 2018 at 11:48 am

        I was thinking it might be a false flag. As an untended consequence, everyone forgot about General Kelly and and Rob Porter and have moved on to guns and mental health. I bet “Big Pharma” and their mental health minions are celebrating this tragedy to no end. Cha Ching $$$$$$$

    • Harvey Reading Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Chill out, James. Just relax and grow through it.

      I’ve never been held for mental evaluation, either, or anything else for that matter, excepting for a night in the drunk tank at the Sacramento County Jail, back in early 1989, for drunk driving. I stopped drinking shortly thereafter. Huh, maybe I’m not so crazy after all.

  5. BB Grace Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Thank you AVA for two Valentines Days in a row(Heading says 14th yet today is the 15th). I feel the love.

    • AVA News Service Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Thanks for the catch!

  6. chuck dunbar Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 10:07 am

    I believe that Trump is very bad thing for America, and I dislike most of his actions and policies. But I don’t think that Trump supporters are mentally ill, and I certainly don’t want to see political beliefs, even if they’re extreme, equated with mental illness. This isn’t Russia. But, I don’t think that Trump’s current emphasis on mental health issues and the epidemic of shootings is genuine, or that he will really act to increase accessibility of mental health services to folks in need. It’s just a smoke screen to avoid effective actions to control, in some effective way, the extreme proliferation of mass killing weapons. Second Amendment rights, while important, are not absolute. Guns, as the courts have ruled, can be subject to reasonable controls by government. These terrible incidents are telling reasonable citizens, and reasonable government officials, that guns are too easily obtained by too many. The results are so many dead innocents time after time after time.

    • Harvey Reading Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 11:13 am

      I own guns and agree entirely with what you say, Chuck. I have never lived in fear of anyone taking my guns, either, excepting burglars.

    • james marmon Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      Chucky, Trump just signed the Family First Prevention Services Act on Friday.

      The bill will open up the Title IV-E entitlement – traditionally reserved for foster care expenses – to help states pay for substance abuse, mental health and parenting skill programs aimed at intervening in more maltreatment cases without the use of foster care.

      I know this kind of thinking is probably hard for you to comprehend, but it has been something I’ve been fighting to see reversed for over 20 years now, every since the Clinton’s Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) took funding away from family preservation and gave it to adoption and foster family agencies, like your friends the Schraeders.

      We know now that it was a big failure, children need a real family that means their “real family.”

      This boy who did the shooting, was an adoptive child and had a history of being fed psychotropic medications over the years, just like our very own Talen Barton who ended up murdering that Laytonville family with a knife, not a gun.

      I bet both these children suffered Reactive Attachment Disorder because they never properly bonded. Snatching babies from their families should be the last thing we do.

      Today’s Isolated Kids = Tomorrow’s Killers?

      “Every human being needs to feel connected – attached – to other human beings around them. It’s an innate craving we all have and cannot fight. The hunger for attachment begins with infants who bond with their mother’s soothing voices, tender caresses and nurturing care. It’s through this kind of attention the child comes to know the feelings of being safe and protected. The quality of the early bonds children form with adults in their world will affect every relationship they’ll have for the rest of their lives.

      Sadly, some children never get the love they need to grow into healthy, empathetic, trusting people. As they grow they form their own protective shield to keep out the rest of the world. They have no trust in others and their behavior often turns self-destructive and even criminal.”

      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-dimond/todays-isolated-kids-tomo_b_461566.html

      My daughter will probably kill me for telling her story, but 7 years and 11 months ago she gave birth to a pos-tox baby girl in Del Norte County. At the time, I was working for Mendocino County CPS and living in Lake County. I was informed that Del Norte County was going to remove my newborn granddaughter and place her in foster care. A few years earlier I worked for Del Norte County CPS, so I knew the worker on the case. When I couldn’t convince the worker to leave my granddaughter in my daughter’s care I drove to Crescent City in the middle of the night and kidnapped them and brought them to Lake County and put them in a treatment center for mother’s and their children.

      The next day I had all 3 counties pissed off at me, and I told them all basically to “fuck off” grandpa is in control. My daughter and granddaughter stayed in that facility for 1 year. In couple of weeks from now my granddaughter turns 8, and my daughter celebrates 8 years clean.

      All 3 counties argued with me that my daughter needed to work on herself alone while my granddaughter was fostered out, I told them bullshit and thank God everyday that I had the guts to do what I did.

      -James

      • james marmon Reply

        February 16, 2018 at 6:32 am

        The treatment facility closed down shortly after my daughter graduated, because of lack of support and/or funding from either Lake or Mendocino County Child Welfare Agencies. While working in Ukiah I did my best to place mothers and their children there only to hit the brick wall called Becky Wilson, Camille Schraeder’s best friend from way back when they both worked at Trinity together.

        Wilson’s explanation that mothers needed to work on themselves without their children was the biggest pile of crap in the world. The truth was clear to me, nobody got any Title IV-E money unless the children were removed and placed in foster care.

        I often wonder how things would have turned out for Baby Emerald if she and her mother were able to stay together. Jennifer is such a loving person, and everyone still uses her for baby sitting, the kids love her and she loves kids.

        And don’t say I don’t know the whole story, I took care of mom for months and I have her entire child welfare history on thumb drive.

  7. james marmon Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I really feel sorry for children and adults who are being given fraudulent mental health diagnosis by professional for billing purposes only. They will never have a normal life again.

    Insurance Fraud and Misrepresentation of Services in Billing: in Psychotherapy, Counseling and Social Work

    “Psychotherapists, social workers, counselors and marriage and family therapists, not infrequently, submit inaccurate insurance bills. Some of the most common justifications for such imprecise billing is to help therapists get paid at a higher rate and to help clients get insurance reimbursements for psychotherapy. One of the methods commonly used to achieve this is when therapists provide CPT and DSM codes that do not accurately reflect the actual services they provided. Adding to that is that many therapists, for very understandable and real reasons, rail against the reimbursement policies of insurance and managed care companies. However, fraudulent billing practices or inaccurate insurance bills are substandard care, unethical and illegal. As false billing practice has become very common, some therapists are not even aware that they are involved in what some people call “theft by deception.”

    http://www.zurinstitute.com/insurancefraud.html

    Where’s the money Camille?

    • james marmon Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Ms. Grace, I thought of your experience when I wrote this (fraudulent billing). Unlike some folks on the AVA community, I’ve never questioned your stability. I think of you as being a rock in a very unstable world.

      James

  8. John Sakowicz Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Good luck, Bruce, with your “Date with Destiny” at the March 5, KZYX Candidates Forum.

    Please be sure to ask why some programmers, such as myself, Marco McClean, Doug McKenty, KC Meadows, Beth Bosk, and others, are blacklisted for life.

    When I asked GM Jeffery Parker for a long-denied, long-awaited grievance hearing for uttering one single f-word, off-mike, and barely audible in the studio while former Program Manager Mary Aigner was at the engineering board, resulting in my explosion from KZYX and the cancellation of a highly regarded public affairs show I hosted at KZYX for seven years, GM Parker gruffawed and hung up on me.

    KZYX is a private club for its long-time programmers, most of whom should be termed out.

    KZYX is a jobs program for the few insiders who work there…insiders who were hired without fair hiring practices, and, once hired, without job performance oversight and review.

    KZYX filings of its IRS Form 990s are incomplete, inaccurate, and probably fraudulent.

    KYYX audits are incomplete, inaccurate, and probably fraudulent.

    I speak as a former KZYX insider. Not only was I a programmer for seven years of a biweekly show, I served on the station’s Board of Directors from 2013-2016, and I was Board Treasurer from 2013-2014.

  9. susie de castro Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 11:32 am

    re••GUNS

    From Ireland, “I am genuinely baffled that your government refuses to take action on this.”

    This, and about 25 more personal notes I have received, today, from the US, and from all around the world who opine same.

  10. Jim Updegraff Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 11:33 am

    In regard to the school shooting most of the politicians said ‘it was too early to talk about what to do about solutions’. B——t it is now the time to deal with the obvious problem of the availability of AR-15 rifles and extended bullet magazines. As usual Trump’s comments about the shooting was the usual garbage he spews out. As usual congress is unable to cope with the problem.
    I do wonder what the children of the owners of the gun manufacturing companies think about how the luxuries they enjoy come at the expense of dead children.
    As for the congressmen whose votes assure the continuance of the slaughters of innocent children they should be drummed out of office.

    • james marmon Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from people who didn’t do it.”

      -William Burroughs

  11. Jim Updegraff Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 11:54 am

    John Sakowicz: In regard to your complaints about KZYX management why don’t you go to the Registry of Charitable Trusts and get a copy of the complaint form pdf, review the form and then make a decision about filing a complaint. My experience with the Registry was very positive about their commitment to deal with a problem trust.

  12. chuck dunbar Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    A follow-up to Jim Updegraff’s recent post on the school shooting:

    From Politico today:

    POLITICO also analyzed gun lobbyist contributions from 1990 to 2017 to better understand what these contributions look like over the span of a politician’s career. We totaled contributions spanning nearly three decades and found Republicans consistently benefited; whereas, Democrats did not.

    Of the 27 representatives who each received more than $100,000 since 1990, all were Republican. However, Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who has represented Minnesota’s 7th District for 26 years, is close to making the list at $98,500.
    Representatives who received more than $100,000 from gun rights groups
    (Note that several names below are no longer in the House of Representatives)

    Name Amount Party District Years in office
    Paul Ryan $336,597 Republican Wisconsin, District 1 18
    John Boehner $231,265 Republican Ohio, District 8 24
    Don Young $195,272 Republican Alaska, At-Large District 44
    John Thune $181,215 Republican South Dakota, At-large District 18
    Pat Toomey $167,051 Republican Pennsylvania, District 15 12
    Ken Calvert $144,466 Republican California, District 42 24
    Roy Blunt $143,543 Republican Missouri, District 7 20
    Denny Rehberg $138,959 Republican Montana, At-large District 12
    Steve Pearce $129,250 Republican New Mexico, District 2 6
    Saxby Chambliss $128,950 Republican Georgia, District 8 12
    George Allen $127,556 Republican Virginia, District 7 8
    Richard Burr $124,550 Republican North Carolina, District 5 22
    Richard Pombo $122,694 Republican California, District 11 14
    Pete Sessions $121,776 Republican Texas, District 32 14
    Jim Inhofe $121,100 Republican Oklahoma, District 1 31
    John Kline $119,887 Republican Minnesota, District 2 14
    Rick Santorum $115,942 Republican Pennsylvania, District 18 16
    John Doolittle $111,193 Republican California, District 4 16
    Ed Royce $111,120 Republican California, District 39 24
    Dean Heller $108,515 Republican District 2 4
    Ron Paul $108,453 Republican Texas, 14 and 22 12
    Michele Bachmann $108,218 Republican Minnesota, District 6 4
    Rob Portman $107,727 Republican Ohio, District 2 20
    Bob Goodlatte $104,900 Republican Virginia, District 6 24
    Martha McSally $104,445 Republican Arizona, District 2 2
    Mike Coffman $101,693 Republican Colorado, District 6 8
    Bob Barr $101,473 Republican Georgia, District 7 8
    Collin Peterson $98,500 Democrat Minnesota, District 7 26

    Source: Center for Responsive Politics

  13. Harvey Reading Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Hey, you gun lobbyists, how about spreading some money around among shooting victims or their survivors? They’re far better people than the politician scum you guys suck up to.

    I’d be ashamed to be in your business: funding politicians to get them to support murder. As far as I am concerned the bunch of you, and your employers, oughta be locked up, for life. Don’t worry, you’d be in familiar company as you do your time, because the owners of firearms companies, especially those who make and distribute the putrid ARs, will be doing time right along with you. We could arrange it so that all of you share the same cell block.

    If only.

  14. susie de castro Reply

    February 15, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    re~~Parkland, FL

    A Social Worker, from abroad, said the U.S. had failed the young man.

    • james marmon Reply

      February 15, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      did you mean a broad?

      • Harvey Reading Reply

        February 16, 2018 at 8:01 am

        James, shame on you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *