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Off the Record (October 6, 2021)

TEMPUR-PEDIC? I'm an old lady (87) & need a mattress that doesn't hurt. I tried Flo-Beds & got what they called Firm. They are VERY nice people, but the bed was VERY painful. I just tried Fort Bragg Outlet, & they have a warehouse full of beds, & I got one that is FIRM & it was VERY painful. I am desperate. I do not know what to do. Please know that I'm sleeping now on my COUCH, in the living room, & it is NOT painful. But that couch will NOT go into my bedroom - it is 72” long, but there's a sharp turn down a hallway to go into the bedroom. Even put in edge, it is simply too WIDE to fit through the door. A friend thinks MAYBE it might go through my WINDOW if I could find enough tall, strong people who know how to REMOVE windows & GET THEM BACK IN, to do that for me! I do NOT like sleeping in my living room, so PLEASE don't suggest I just do that. I have friends, & also nice people who come here for one thing or another who would be welcome to sit on my COUCH, but I have to put bed covers on it that do NOT invite sitters! And I'm somewhat disabled & trying to REMAKE the couch every day is just beyond the call. Now, my only income is Social Security, so I live in Gov't. housing & can't afford to move! Is there something I can BUY that is likely to be comfortable for me? I don't even understand WHY my couch does NOT hurt. Yes, it's firm, but not excessively so. Plus it's old & has three cushions that are not all level or anything. Is there something someone could BUILD for me that would be comfortable? I can't just keep trying one bed after another, especially when I've already ORDERED what internet advice suggests for elderly people with back issues. I just don't know what to DO! I don't know what to try! The bed I got from the Outlet was a Springair with cushioned coils, & I sure thought it would be comfortable. But no. WHAT CAN I DO? 

— Ellie Green 

FROM SUPERVISOR MULHEREN: “Saturday: Took a walk on the Great Redwood Trail with my daughter and the stroller gang. Love to see people out using the trail. There was a family with several small children and they were so happy to be able to be running and the giggles were adorable. If you haven't yet walked on the rail trail (four years later there are still a lot of misconceptions) I'm happy to walk with you or you can join our Facebook page and find a walking partner.” 

ED NOTE: ”Misconceptions?” A coupla miles of paved path through Ukiah's industrial backyards for $5 million? 

WHEN TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER told me he was going bi-coastal, and thinking about giving up his column, I ran to my ever-expanding glossary of sexual options. Was bi-coastal some sort of geographic gender-bender? Nope. In TWK's case it means living in two places, half a year there, half a year here. As for retiring his column, I'm relieved the guy has re-considered. Why? Because, and not to put too fine a point on it, without his dissent, Mendocino County, intellectually, is like treading water in a giant vat of lukewarm piss, a county-wide blanket of illiberal liberalism not far from purple totalitarianism, a fact confirmed by even the briefest glance at the ration of helping Mendo professionals to persons helped. (Hint, it's 3-1. Guess who's got the three?) Without going off on the simple souls calling themselves Free Speech Radio Mendo — “Good News For Nice People” where we have the same people doing the same thing and no dissent ever going on 35 years — there are only three places in Mendocino County where you'll find a bracing deviation from Democratic Party-think, that suffocatingly smug pretense that Pelosi, Schumer, and the interchangeable three amigos, Huffman, McGuire and Wood, represent the way forward. The noble three? Jim Shields at the Mendocino Observer; TWK in the UDJ; and, well, shucks. On-line, Kym Kemp's website out of Garberville consistently pumps blasts of reality oxygen into the brain dead county to its south but otherwise it's — uh oh, here comes modesty forbidding again — it's Shields, the ava, and Tommy Wayne.

SHASTA COUNTY'S DA got a big blast of woof-woof publicity this week for suing PG&E. Ho bleeping hum. Suing a can't miss target like our power monopoly is good if it gets its thousands of victims enough money to re-start their burnt-out lives, but the only way to get anything resembling reform outta the management suites is to physically arrest the shot-callers and prosecute them personally, keeping them in the nearest county jail on no-bail holds while they await trial.

WATCHING THE BBC NEWS on the German elections we joked about the diff between the German Green Party and its American cousins. The German Greens are articulate and thoroughly presentable. A spokesperson for American Greens, on the off chance he gets before a national news camera, might be sporting a propeller beanie with joints stuck behind both ears. But parliamentary systems do include everyone. You've got the whole range of political opinion represented from, in Germany anyway, communists, socialists, libs divided among thrifty libs and spendy, social floor libs, greens, mushy liberal conservatives like the crafty, effective and humane Merkel, all the way on the right to a party of nascent nazis. Here, the nascent nazis are much more advanced, and have already elected a president and might elect him again if the cheeseburgers don't get him before he waddles forth for another try at the big office. Fey libs own the Democratic Party and Poor Old Joe, as clear a case of elder abuse we've seen on national television. Anybody to the left of the Democrats is basically unrepresented except kinda by Bernie and AOC. In Germany, the minority parties get their say through power-sharing. Here, unless you happen to believe that Democrats aren't funded by the same people as Republicans, you have a choice between Chuck Schumer and Poor Old Joe and the orange whale, meaning the average person, certainly the average working person is not represented anywhere by anybody. Working people who believe Trump is with them are delusional, pathetic even. Believing Democrats think they've got a shot at lunch with Gavin at the French Laundry and, in their way, are as delusional as the Trumpers.

HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER GINA BEAN CONVICTED

UKIAH – A Mendocino County judge on Thursday convicted a Fort Bragg woman of a felony in the 2019 death of a young skateboarder.

Gina Rae Bean, 43, was found guilty after a trial in front of Presiding Judge Ann Moorman. Bean was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of another person, a felony violation. The state Vehicle Code mandates that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of a person must immediately stop the vehicle and render aid including summoning emergency help. State law also requires a driver to report the accident without delay to the nearest law enforcement agency. 

Criminal charges accused Bean of failing on the night of July 18, 2019, to stop, render aid, or notifying law enforcement of an accident on Highway 1 at the intersection with Little Lake Road. Calum Pulido [Hunnicutt] was skateboarding with a friend at about 10:45 p.m. He was heading west on Little Lake Road when he was struck and killed by a northbound vehicle driven by Bean.

Court proceedings were delayed for a year because of a variety of reasons including COVID restrictions. Eventually Bean and her private attorney waived her right to a jury trial and agreed to a trial before Presiding Judge Ann Moorman in Mendocino County Superior Court. The court trial began on Sept. 20 and over a total of five days prosecution and defense witnesses testified in front of Judge Moorman. 

Bean testified on her own behalf at the court trial. Judge Moorman heard final arguments on Tuesday and took the case under submission. She announced the guilty verdict on Thursday. 

Sentencing of Bean is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

Bean faces up to four years in state prison. Bean also could be placed on supervised probation for no more than two years. Under law, however, Bean must serve county jail time. With credits, Bean could serve between 45 and 180 actual days in jail. 

The California Highway Patrol and the state Department of Justice crime laboratories in Eureka and Sacramento developed evidence after the vehicle involved in the fatal accident was found hidden, and already under repair. 

District Attorney investigators assisted prosecutor Eloise Kelsey in the trial preparation and developing additional evidence. 

Judge Moorman found co-defendant, Ricky Faustino Santos, 37, also of Fort Bragg, was not guilty of being an accessory after the fact. Santos faces no further court proceedings. 

(DA Presser)

Bean, Santos

WELL SHUT MY MOUTH if the Northcoast's Prufrockian Congressman, Jared Huffman, hasn't joined the progressive Democrats to oppose the chintzy version of Biden's proposed spending bill. Dare he eat a peach? Go ahead, Jared. Have two peaches on me, one of your seldom delighted captives, er, constituents.

HOW MUCH RAIN do we need to get back to pre-drought liquid comfort? Jeanine Jones of the California Department of Water Resources says, “We are going into winter with depleted storage in many reservoirs and very dry antecedent conditions. One interesting factoid is that using something called the USGS Basic Characterization Model, we’re anticipating it would take 140% of average precipitation to get to average state runoff.” 

MENDOCINO COUNTY'S defendant community is delighted with the pending federal case against the two rogue Rohnert Park cops moonlighting as highway bandits, pulling over southbound dope shippers to relieve them of bud and bucks. The defendant community, Mendo branch, hopes this case will also ensnare certain of Mendo law enforcement. The DC points out that the two badged bandits wouldn't have been as productive as they turned out to be if they randomly stopped southbound vehicles — “That guy looks good. Stop him.” Too inefficient. The two RP bandits might have had foreknowledge of who to stop, and that foreknowledge could have been provided by… But we won't know for a slam dunk fact until the federal case against the two Rohnert Park cops is revealed. 

AS WE KNOW, Zeke Flatten, has also filed a suit, also pending at the federal level but originally filed in Mendo, alleging Mendo involvement in these illegal interdictions, but it's the federal suit against the two Rohnert Park cops that's likely to reveal if they acted alone or had help from deeper in the Emerald Triangle.

IN THE FORTY YEARS we've been at it at the Boonville weekly, we've never been able to verify a single accusation of theft against anybody in Mendo law enforcement. We've listened to lots of vague accusations but not a single one panned out.

HERE'S A COUPLE of useful descriptives for on-line compulsives: “Stream of no consciousness” and “fingertip diarrhea.” You're welcome.

FORMER SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN called to remind us that ten years ago on October 1st the sad saga of double murderer, Aaron Bassler, abruptly ended when Bassler was shot to death by law enforcement. It was also on this date ten years ago, perhaps driven by the Bassler Affair, that Allman began to agitate for an in-county psych unit and enhanced mental health services generally. Bassler, as most of us will recall, was mentally ill, his condition exacerbated by hard drug use. 

ALLMAN said he was fully recovered from the heart attack he suffered recently and was back on patrol out of Shelter Cove with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, “Doing what I love without all the headaches that came with the Sheriff's job.” Mendo's former top lawman said he was encouraged by the decision to bring stepped-up mental health services to Fort Bragg and Ukiah, and a training facility in Redwood Valley, modestly neglecting to mention that he singlehandedly made mental health a county priority with the Measure B funding he'd breathed into life.

MENDO'S HEALTH OFFICER, Dr. Coren, said Tuesday that eight of the persons who have died over the past two weeks had been residents of local nursing homes with “low staff vaccination rates,” specifically Sherwood Oaks in Fort Bragg and Redwood Cove in Ukiah.

TO LOTS of people things went positively weird in the late 1960s, but Louis Menand, a writer for The New Yorker, says in his new book, “The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War” the seeds were sown in the 1950s. “My hope,” Menand says, “was to present a fresh take—not necessarily a revisionist take—by talking about the social, political, and economic conditions that allowed people to paint those paintings and write those books… The idea was to write a history that starts in 1945 with the end of the Second World War and ends around 1965 as the United States is getting more involved in Vietnam. The first chapter is about George Kennan and the doctrine of containment, which sets up U.S. foreign policy toward the Soviet Union for the next 20 years….. The ’60s and ’70s are more familiar to people today than the 1950s. I thought people—especially people my age—might be more interested in a book about a period they don’t know as well or think they know but don’t know as well…. The 1950s were incredibly interesting. These incredible works of art are being made, these incredible books are being written, these really interesting people are arguing with each other. The 1950s may have been a boring period for middle-class life, but the world of art and ideas was as lively then as any other period…. All of the main characters I wrote about—Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Elvis Presley, Lionel Trilling—have had books written about them. That didn’t scare me off because I wanted to have my own way of explaining these people.”

THE FIFTIES were my deformative years and, looking back, I can say that intellectually the fifties were much more exciting than any period following, certainly more interesting than the past quarter century with its oppressive, piously prevalent “liberalism” of the NPR type.

JIM MAYO NOTES: “The trumpers are intellectually insecure. They have a desperate need to “own” the liberals. See Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz. Taking the vaccines pushed by Biden and Fauci would be the Trumpers surrender to the liberals. They will never surrender.” 

ED REPLY: Yes, there's that, but I think the maga appeal goes deeper and, at the same time, is inchoately powerful because, at bottom, it's the conviction that “the liberals” are responsible for everything that has gone wrong, and the magas believe everything has gone wrong, a belief whipped up by the superior flash-bang visuals and fascist commentary they get from Fox, NewsMax, innumerable websites. Meanwhile, the libs, as we see them in the unappealing and often corrupt functionaries of the stand-for-nothing Democratic Party, and their even more unappealing visuals and weaselly, one-way “reporting” at places like MSNBC and CNN, blame the magas and the orange blimp for everything gone wrong, never mentioning it's been a bi-partisan plunge into the growing chaos. It's interesting to note that Bernie Sanders was the second choice behind Trump of many magas because Bernie was the only Demo candidate with anything like presidential-level gravitas and, of course, the only Demo candidate who offered specific socialist solutions to the terrible squeeze millions of working Americans find themselves in. Prediction: Trump will come roaring back and precipitate a split more threatening to what's left of American unity than the Civil War. So, imo, this is where we're at, a Biden-Trump quality leadership in a global context of accumulating environmental catastrophe.

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] I want to know why boys in general are not having it crammed down their throats from even a young age that you never force unwanted attention onto women or girls it’s never ever ok! Being too drunk is not an excuse! I bet you there’s not one woman in probably this entire world that doesn’t have at least one uncomfortable story about a boy or man that has crossed their boundaries and did something completely out of line! I know I have and every last one of my friends has multiple stories and we are not meek or shy women! it’s wrong and disturbing this is still the response from family/school and community members! I call on all fathers with sons to step up and do your job!! make sure your sons are very aware that touching anyone inappropriately is absolutely not OK and it doesn’t matter how drunk and horny you are if you cross that line there will be consequences! It won’t get better till men are afraid to do it because they don’t want what comes with the price they will have to pay! Learn to use your voices very loud now young ladies because there’s a whole world out there and a lifetime of having to encounter Inappropriate people! The earlier you start The fiercer you will become and the less bullshit you will put up with! Rise up girls your voices are stronger together! No means No!

[2] Can you make a living? For much of the population the answer is no. At least not under the current multi-decade regime of minimum wage-ization. That’s how you have the entire staff of fast food restaurants quitting, you’ve seen it, en masse, bye-bye, so long, take this shit-hole job and shit-hole wage and shove it.

Wage theft, you know, a half hour here, a half hour there, getting jerked around by a jerk-off of a boss and people say fuck it after years and years of hoping for something better and trying to tough it out. Who wants to literally work their fingers to the bone in a meat plant or an Amazon warehouse for a wage that barely pays the rent?

I hear that Amazon warehouses burn out people after a few months and have literally gone through every formerly eligible prospective employee in the towns they’re located in and can no longer find enough bodies. Bezos allegedly said that long-term employment is a march to mediocrity. Ok, he’s richer than me so he can have it his way. 

Not enough truck drivers? Try paying something decent for a change and you’ll get enough. I know because decades ago I knew a fair number of long-distance truckers through my job. And back then you could make good money. I saw the numbers so I knew that for a fact. 

A business based on working people half to death and paying them crap, in fact an entire economy based on such a model is one more arrangement without a future. We see in this pandemic that future drawing to a close.

[3] WHEN MENDOCINO DIED, an on-line comment:

I think the answer to the question “Is Mendocino becoming a tourist trap?” was answered in the affirmative before the 1980s. We saw it coming. Bumper stickers and pins saying “Don't Carmelize Mendocino” were printed as early as 1977. Some of the first McMansions were going up during a building boom- but mostly for homes for the moneyed. Second homes, vacation homes, retirement homes. But not much for us low- and middle-income folks. Many of us were still living in converted chicken coops, school busses, or shared houses then.

But, we all took a collective sigh of relief during the rainy season when there were few tourists. November to Easter pretty much belonged to the locals. Work like hell the dry half of the year and kick back a little in the wet half. Now? There are a few slow weeks during the year, that's all.

Our family gave up on Mendocino about ten years ago and moved to Fort Bragg. And frankly, I hardly have reason or desire to go to Mendocino anymore. I find it more annoying than pleasant. Yes, I hold onto sweet memories of how it was there before but probably won't be collecting any nice new memories.

The truth is the beaches and trails around Fort Bragg are less populated. Parking is easy. I love hearing the sound of children playing in the playgrounds in town, and knowing I can get to the library or hospital in 5 minutes. More and more of my friends have moved here. And we have running water in the house year-round!

I just wish there was more affordable housing so the hospital and schools could attract full-time employees with families. It breaks my heart to hear about people with jobs unable to find housing here and leaving. It's wrong, just wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Drawing attention to this problem is crucial to finding solutions.

[4] Re: Feral pigs. Back 35 years ago near Philo, feral pigs were a reoccurring problem on my family’s property, one which we addressed by shooting them at every opportunity. When the main portion of the property sold, the mindful “back to the land” new owners soon called my father to ask how we dealt with the problem. “We shoot them,” was my father’s reply. Aghast, the new owners said they could never do that. However, after additional damage to the landscape, they opted for an alternative: they hired a professional hunter to shoot them!  (Marshal Newman)

[5] As you rise up the Pyramid, you cease to identify with the people back in the old neighborhood. You start to feel more comfortable with people on your own tier. Union official who goes to work in a suit? Maybe if you worked in the shop for twenty years, you’re inoculated against this. But if you just study labor politics in college, you’re going to end up identifying with the Corporate guys far more than the workers. 

They Pyramid goes inwards to a point. The higher tiers become closer and closer together. You begin to identify with your peers in other countries, more than those peons far below in your own. All that rises must converge! The higher you go, the more you feel drawn to go up higher. Nothing else matters but the will of the Unseen Masters. You know that all money is theirs. They create and destroy it at will. You are nothing without them. You laugh at their great joke: In God We Trust. You trust in Them and wish to join them in that Peak above the clouds.

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