Warm Dry | Gingerbread Kits | Light Festival | Bookshop Event | Not Okay | Offspring Pizza | Skunk Complaints | Tree Sit | Millsite Protests | Skunk Plan | Hollister Logging | Toxic GP | 1977 Softballers | Property Tax | Rodeo Painting | Marijuana Biz | Ukiah 1964 | Mendo Legends | Yesterday's Catch | Omicron OMG | Superforgetful | Greedy Tree | Bragg Defeat | Turkey Moons | All Of Me | Capone Kitchen | Bad Law | Last Guillotine | Koppelvision | Cashiered | Yoga Panting | National Health | Marco Radio | Peachland Pickets | Fish Drenched | Stephen Sondheim
DRY WEATHER with above normal daytime temperatures will prevail for the next 7 days. (NWS)
PAYSANNE is selling their specialty gingerbread kits this week! Please send inquiry email to firstname.lastname@example.org to pay and reserve your kits!
They will be fresh made, provided with a decorated cake round, quality candy, royal icing and piping bag ready for pick up in December 11th during business hours at the cafe. (Open from 12-5pm)
Happy happy holidays folks!
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
The annual Festival of Lights at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens begins this weekend with a few significant changes, including that there will be no shuttle offered, and advance tickets will be required.
The festival begins its 11th year Friday, Nov. 26, at 5 p.m., but tickets for the first night have already been sold out, as well as the following night, Saturday, Nov. 27. As of Wednesday morning, tickets were still available for Sunday, Nov. 28.
The festival will continue every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night through Sunday, Dec. 19, “rain or shine” with advance tickets required for entry. Also, no shuttle will be offered to take visitors to the parking lot, and there will be no tented area or food and drinks served.
What is still offered, however, is a stroll through the gardens in the dark with “thousands of twinkling lights” that staff and volunteers began putting up in October. And a new attraction this year is described as a “prehistoric character towering more than thirty feet above the Perennial Garden.”
Masks are required indoors and outdoors regardless of vaccination status during this special event, and no dogs are allowed, though they are allowed entry on other days.
Tickets are $10 each, with kids age 16 and under admitted free.
The gardens describe all proceeds from the event as “directly benefiting our non-profit botanical garden and its mission …to engage and enrich lives by displaying and conserving plants in harmony with our Northern California coastal ecosystems and to preserve public access to the coast.”
JUDGE MOORMAN’S ‘NOT OK’ MOMENT in Court last week
From the Minutes of ex parte court hearing November 17, 2021 in Judge Moorman’s court regarding the County’s contracting with an LA law firm while the Judge’s ruling is pending:
“…Court is deeply concerned over the information of the e-mail provided and was about to issue a written ruling. Counsel present addresses the court as to counsel selected by the Board of Supervisors via contract. Court addresses parties on the record as to taking substantive action on a matter that is being currently delegated. The Court indicates that it would have been advisable for counsel to inform the court that recommendation would be made to the Board of Supervisors. Court addresses conflicts of interest on the record that were provided by Counsel Curtis. Court continues with issues raised via ex-parte application on the record, the court once again indicates that client changed its position and that is ‘okay’ with it. The Court indicates that by taking substantive action behind the court’s back or to intimidate the court is ‘not okay.’ Court addresses counsel Curtis on the record as to the action taken by the Board of Supervisors. Council McMullen for Duncan James indicates that there is not much to add but indicates that the action taken was to circumvent the court's possible ruling. Counsel indicates that the board did provide a contract for Mendocino County Sheriff's office. The Court addresses Counsel of Bullet argument and places it on the record as to the contract that was established with the law firm in Los Angeles.
* * *
From the minutes of Nov. 13:
“The hearing occurred after McMullen submitted a proposed order after hearing on sheriff’s application for temporary restraining order or alternatively an order shortening time for hearing on motion for temporary restraining order. McMullen wanted to block and otherwise inhibit temporarily restraining and enjoining the County of Mendocino from blocking and otherwise inhibiting the Sheriffs office’s communications with Sheriff Kendall’s lawyers, the Law office of Duncan James, and other third parties in furtherance of performing the functions of that office including but not limited to, by and through e-mail.”
BRUCE BRODERICK on the Skunk's eminent domain acquisition of about half of the Fort Bragg mill site: "Fortunately, Public Utility laws do not include tourist transport for recreation or hotel construction for personal gain. With the new CPUC complaints against the Skunks it will only be a matter of time before they lose their Public Utility status and forfeit the land they have stolen from the community."
PICKETING THE SKUNK
The first protest went well and was mingled in with the Climate Activist Group. They want to see Skunk protest signs along with theirs until this is resolved. So for sure the next one is on Friday Dec 3, at 12:00 noon. I hope to have an informational table to dispute the misinformation that Skunk is putting out. After the protest several of us marched the Skunk parking lot and the quad area for the benefit of their out of town customers.
Bruce Broderick <email@example.com>
A READER NOTES:
The newsletter I got in the mail recently has the design plan with detailed layout map that summarizes the Skunk Train’s “ambitious redevelopment” of the old GP Mill Site:
The text on the side says:
Glass Beach Station & Restaurant
210 Spaces public parking
Pomo Indian Village Historic Park
1.9 acres- 81 units
Small-unit High Density - 42du/ac
Spruce to Pine Residential:
10.3 acres/ 121 Dwelling Units:
Medium Density - 50 units @ 8-10 du/ac
High Density - 72 Units @ 15 du/ac
Pine to Redwood Residential:
2.3 acres/98 Dwelling Units
Small-unit High Density - 42 du/ac
Public Parking - 200 Spaces
Skunk Train Depot
Public Parking - 100 Spaces
Oceanfront Hotel & Condominiums
30 Room Hostel, 10 Live/Work Units
Spruce to Pine 121
Pine to Redwood 98
Total = 500 Units
HOLLISTER RANCH LOGGING, Comptche, CA Sept. 2021
MISSING FROM THE OUTRAGED DISCUSSION about the abrupt sale of the GP mill site to the Skunk owners is the role that GP must have played in the sale. Most local people seem to be fixated on the Skunk owners’ “eminent domain” purchase, and the city’s annoyed reaction without looking at the ridiculously low price GP was willing to accept for the property. The only reason we can think of for such a fire sale is GP’s desire to get out from under the open-ended toxic waste liability that has hung over the property since the 1990s and what seems like a bogus cost estimate for clean up of something like $3.75 million that the Skunk owners are allegedly on the hook for. All we know now is what the PD’s Mary Callahan reported: “…the railroad expects to spend almost three times that much for environmental remediation, Pinoli said.”
Where did that number come from? How does anybody know how much “environmental remediation” will cost, much less what it involves? Who determines how much “environmental remediation” is enough? Experience with other polluted sites shows that the amount of work and cost could go on for years. Look at polluted Remco plant in downtown Willits and the still-active decades-old “environmental remediation trust” they set up in that one. http://www.willitstrust.org
We suspect that there's an exemption for a railroad from some or all of the toxic clean up liability. Otherwise, why would the Skunk owners take on responsibility for it? The public statements and intentions that the Skunk train owners have mentioned so far don’t add up to any kind of plausible financial business plan, so it seems like there’s some undisclosed angle here that either wasn’t factored into the City of Fort Bragg’s eco-clean-up negotiations available only to a railroad operation.
Time will tell, but GP’s abrupt sale smells from here like they simply took this opportunity to dump the liability-riddled property as has been GP's intent for a long time rather than waiting indefinitely for the City to figure out how to clean up the site, while the city was probably pressuring GP to assume some or all of the clean-up liability. Who is going to hold the Skunk owners responsible for whatever clean up needs to be done? We don't see how there's any real oversight of the Skunk train activities, which probably translates into minimal clean up, dragged out for years and years as the property sits unused and mostly undeveloped. And GP walks away scot free. For all we know this whole deal may have been arranged by GP as a site dumping "get rid of it" exercise. After all, they probably know more about the problems with the site than anybody else,
PROPERTY TAXES, ON LINE COMMENTS
Rick White: Ok, so I was on a local school board for a few years and started learn how important it is for everyone to pay their fare share of property tax. That's where a lot of funds are derived to support schools, library's, hospitals and health care.
Unfortunately, some of our neighbors don't want to pay their property tax, so they lied to the county about any structures on their property, and only pay a fraction of what they really owe.
I've spoken to the tax collector's office, they seem indifferent or unable to correct these inequities.
It takes seven people to file a class action lawsuit against the county to force them to do their job. I think it's way overdue. Don't you?
If you're interested, send me a PM. I'm already in contact with an attorney. This suit is done on a contingency basis, so there is no outlaying of funds.
I've been fighting this battle for four years alone, I'm tired and need some help. I still believe in justice, do you?
Supervisor Williams: A conversation with our (elected) Assessor might be a good next step? The (elected) Tax Collector bills according to the Assessor's records.
Mike Jones: We pay plenty already, if the county didn't have so many layers of bureaucracy there would be a lot more money going to roads and not advisors and tourism studies. The county for years has underutilized in house staff and hired outside firms with no visible result or improvement to the county at all. Also the mob like extortion of fees and permits for cannabis growers are generating millions with no real accounting of where these fees are spent.
Gary Levenson-Palmer: It is an equity issue. If someone is assessed as vacant property but instead has structures on it, then they are not paying their full share.
Katherin Cole: How do you know who is or is not paying taxes? Need solid proof to pursue something like this.
Rick White: It’s all a matter of public records, it’s just a matter of looking up an address.
KYM KEMP on the marijuana business:
Well, knowing full well that speaking openly in public means that everyone and their second cousin will sneer because of course they could have done everything better… Off the top of my head* and not counting pay for our work which is obviously unsustainable, we spent about $33,000 on everything from attorney’s fees (just barely over $500) to government fees and taxes (over $8000) to processing (the biggest chunk at a little under $20,000–yes, we spent too much but it makes me sick to pay trimmers so little). Then we didn’t sell over half because it took us so long to get money from the first pounds to pay for trimming on the rest (in retrospect, we should have not trimmed the second bunch and we’d have still been ahead a bit.) If we were able to sell every pound at $400, we could have squeaked by (especially with smalls and trim eking out a bit extra). $500 per pound would have been bearable. $600 would have been solid. $700 would have been good.
But when you’re as small as we are, you can’t make any mistakes. You have to be on top of selling…pushing every possible option. And that just doesn’t fit our skill set. (Yes, we will have to adapt or die but I’m trying to be honest about our failings also.)
I don’t ask advertisers to buy ads for my website either because it makes me feel like throwing up. Obviously, we’re going to have to make some changes and either get better at that end of things with our farm or walk away from the business (ironically, this year we just got our County permit)
*Note: This is all just off the top of my head and my memory sucks but I’m guessing its roughly right. Remember we are full sun. No dep. (We hate the plastic involved.)
MENDOCINO SPORTS LEGENDS, PART 2
I must apologize a bit as the last part of the story pertaining to Fort Bragg All-Stars. As you know, Mendocino County has had many others stars around each bend like the Heaths from Ukiah and Wageoners from Anderson Valley. But it's hard to remember many old-timers not out of Fort Bragg high school. My dad (David B. Giusto) had a rival at Mendocino high in football and track ace Ed “Coyote" Silvera. I had the honor of playing my entire school career with Ed’ boy Randy who tragically died our senior year in a hunting accident. Randy was all league in three sports with a full ride to Chico State when his glorious but short life ended. Anyway “Coyote Ed” and dad marched together three years running to compete in the California track and field finals at UC Davis. Each year one or both brought home the trophy in the half mile and mile races for Mendoland!
In the last story I omitted a real unsung hero from the 1940s in arguably Fort Bragg’s greatest baseball coach and firemen ever in Victor Romeri. I believe he graduated with my mom and went straight to World War II. He was a D-Day hero at age 18, parachuting behind enemy lines in France in June of 1944. They led my freshman team to the County title. Our last win was a score of 23-2. And the teams we played were stacked with All-Stars. That's how good a coach Vic was. But he never talked of World War II! Also I omitted our other baseball guru from those "thrilling 30s" in Charles Bsllasi who was on his way to the Yankees when World War II basically ended his career. Charlie knew more about baseball (standings, startistics, etc.) than any man I ever met. He could scout a pro prospect at grammar school! He played a lot of shortstop for Pocatello in the Pioneer League. He was next in line to the fabled Yankee infielders like Phil Rizzuto, Joe Gordon, Tony Lazzeri, Frank Crosetti and Red Rolfe. If it wasn't for World War II Charlie would had been in the same lineup with Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra.
The last story left off with Fort Bragg sports in the fabulous 50s. I forgot for a minute early 50s football great Bruno Cortapassi of Fort Bragg storied B&C market teams. Bruno some might remember as having a mean lineman glare. He turned that into a full ride scholarship to San Jose State. Fort Bragg also had baseball stars David Mehtlan and L. Weller. Also through the 50s there were three sports stars such as Rudy Alfaro, Butch Piver (later another famous Tiger coach), Gary Dunsing, Billy Potter, and towards the end of the 50s Fort Bragg had future Fort Bragg logger pitching great Ron Souza (who taught me how to chew tobacco!) and Logger coach and Fort Bragg high school football great Bob "Sonny" Richards who actually played in the high school all-star game and was my first Pop Warner coach.
Also in the late 50s I surmise Mendocino had my logging boss Philbrick on their varsity. He allegedly was still playing semi pro football at age 70! The great Jim Thorpe or still giving "kicking exhibitions" in his 70s -- maybe Jerry “Thorpe” Philbrick did it too!
Now we come to my real sports era of the 60s. It wasn't all hippie beads and LSD. We did get stuck in junior high during the Vietnam war as well as during Khrushchev and his Russian A-bomb scare. But sports seemed to relieve our young brains of these travesties. The early 60s brought in the Brothers Johnson: Mike, Archie and Russell and a new Piver called Timmy. Mike Dunsing had a full ride in three sports scholarship to Humboldt State where he turned himself into a lifetime high school coach.
Fort Bragg high school also had another Mike surnamed Gummerus who in his 1956 senior year averaged about 32 points per game. Just a few points off of what Anderson Valley’s Eugene Wagonner averaged in his four-year high school career before he won a scholarship to Missouri. Gene Wagonner was the best high school basketball player I ever witnessed or played against. The one game I guarded him he was held to about 32 points. I figured I'd done my job keeping him under 40 points!
During the 60s we also had Billy Thurman, Ray Petersen, and my neighbor pal Chris Huber who all also went to Humboldt on basketball scholarships. Chris spent his life like Dunsing coaching high school basketball. Thurman ended up a guitarist in Europe and maybe somebody could bring us up to date about the whereabouts of three-sport all California fireballer Ray Petersen. His dad Ray Sr. played pro football and also coached cus at the Pop Warner level.
The greatest high school baseball game I ever saw was pitched by Ray Jr. versus three sport all-California Wilburn Hoaglin from Willits high school. They both pitched one hitters in Willits. Fort Bragg’s only hit, a Petersen triple that one the game in extra innings for Fort Bragg.
Willits High in the 60s had two other three sports stars in another pitching ace, Rod Dockins (the second best I ever batted against) and Albert "Butch" Canepa who was originally born in Fort Bragg and studied at UCLA and became a doctor.
You know, in my arena, tennis was kind of considered a sissy or girl sport. But believe it or not Chris Piver and Big Jim Brett (from Nello’s Market) and I were tennis stars in high school. Big Jim also starred in track and field as a discus and shotput man. I went on to be the youngest (age 21) player-coach in Fort Bragg city league history. My team was the Coast Hotel Eagles. We did not win many games, but our sponsor old Smokey Ferreira sprang for enough beers to keep our energy level up. We just were a 5-7 man team playing against Waggeoner and other ten-man all-star teams!
I have to include the greatest high school varsity basketball game I ever saw played in Fort Bragg’s new gym around 1966. Norman ‘Timmy’ Piver had been a three sport star two years at Fort Bragg high school. However he played his final two seasons with Ukiah high school. When the Ukiah Wildcats came to play our Fort Bragg Timberwolves that year we had a great team. Besides Gummerus we had three sport star and baseball great Jeff Ales, my cousin Alan Urbani, Dave Botsford, and rounding out that fabulous five, my future Lumberjack pal Don Klick. Was that ever the team. The Timmy Piver led Wildcats came to Fort Bragg to beat us in our own new gym. Wrong, Jess Ales scored the winning layup over Piver at the buzzer. Fort Bragg fans went into pandemonium. That game was never more than one or two points different the entire fourth quarter! It was a real two-man show between ex-teammate Piver and Ales. Fate would have it that Jess got the last “dunk” in. And he might have played pro football and Jess was headed to the San Francisco Giants when they both got drafted to Vietnam. That kind of ended their sports payday, but they remain to be the best friends a younger athlete like me could have had. They were always smiles with a "let's play two" demeanor.
As for Fort Bragg coaches I can only remember the really great ones of my era: Jim Babcock, Jim McCluskey and George Anloe. My dad and is pals talked a lot of coach Andy Anderson and Detroit Tigers ballplayer Pop Marshall who ran the Loggers and the boxing show. Boxing was quite popular in the 30s with my dad fighting to a 50-1 record in Golden gloves (before they were golden). Nicknamed “Whirlwind Giusti,” he lost his 51st fight and then hung up his gloves. My dad was a smart guy. If you lose your 51st fight whose to say you might lose all the rest?! There was also my old Yuki pal from Laytonville: World War II Army hero Lt. Douglas Ray. He fought professionally after the war. Two of his opponents: Rocky Graziano and Jake LaMotta. Laytonville was a quasi-sports mecca also in the 30s to the 50s.
I heard once the Fort Bragg Loggers with my brother John Giusti pitched an 18 inning game against the Laytonville led pitcher Lilburn Hoaglin again. Both those turkeys might still play a bit of semi-pro in their 60s! I once saw Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee pitch three innings of hitless semi pro ball at age 63. I think he lined a base hit too. Remember Bill from the 1975 Boston Red Sox? He and I had a good old gab session because I had just read why he got traded from the Sox to Montreal in the late 1970s. He had called his manager Don Zimmer a “gerbel” for not picking him to start a world series game. Bill also told me about the USC College team he played on. Their lineup was stuffed with future pro stars Dave Kingman, Fred Lynn, and Frank Duffy!
Anyway, Laytonville produced other pro baseballers in Dolph and Douglas (named after Yuki boxer Douglas Ray) Camelli, who played for Brooklyn and LA Dodgers. Dolph Camelli was Brooklyn's National League MVP in 1941. Doug played on Dodger world champ teams of 1959 in 1963 (caught a Koufax no-hitter) until he was traded to Washington. Pittsburgh Pirate Star Arky Vaughan was a Camelli Ranch neighbor. Also former American League stars Ferris Fain and Don Moss resided in Mendocino County.
Now about some of the boys around my age that I seem to play some sort of ball with nearly every day in Fort Bragg sharpening our athletic skills. There were the basketball and baseball star Peloza brothers, Mike and John. Three sports stars Roy and John Perkins, Anthony Piiver and Larry Potter. But my class of 1972 was stocked. We had future college football iand MVP and home run hitter David Pavioni. Three sport star than Tom Heitmeier, Gary Margison, Gary Romeri, Kenneth Richards and ill-fated Randy Silveira. Margison went on to play college ball at Santa Rosa with Ukiah high football great Alan Martinelli.
The best pitcher I ever faced was my other cousin born in Finland, Eric Metlin. He was another three sport star that probably could have made the Giants. He had a knuckleball that was unhittable. He once pitched against future giant Bob Knepper in a Healdsburg tournament. Cousin David Mehtlan once batted against Dodger pitcher Joe Moeller who was traded that time with Camelli.
The best footballer I've played with was David Pavioni, and of course my dad would say his greatest teammate was David's dad Billy Pavioni who named his boy after my dad. That's how there came to be three Davids. As for the greatest baseballer of my time it was Jason Jacomella who I coached for one season. However, he quit playing ball at age 15 to devote his time to salmon fishing where he was tragically lost at sea. He was so great at baseball (nobody could strike him out and he could play "Golden Globe" at any position), I figure he quit because it was no longer challenging to him. My other great teammate Tom Heitmeier probably was the Buster Posey of our age. He could have been a Giant catcher. He was five-tool, but also quit at age 15 to pursue some "Jim Thorpe Olympic fantasy" in track and field. As an all-league footballer he had injured his knee which dampened his track career. He should have stayed with baseball and could have Gabe Kapler’s job today. Of course he would need me as bench coach to supply him with baseball knowledge and hamburgers.
I have been too long-winded already so to my Mendo legends I can only say bye-bye baby.
David Detective Youngcault Giusti, Crow sportswriter.
Mendocino County Jail
PS. Willie Mays is the best and most exciting baseball player I ever saw. If he had played in the same stadiums Ruth and Aaron played in his whole career he would have had the world’s most home runs surpassing Barry Bonds and Japan’s Sadahura Oh. Juan Marichal is the best scuba diver I ever saw, not to mention his great pitching career.
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 26, 2021
TIMMY COOPER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, parole violation.
JUAN DELGADO, Covelo. DUI.
DAVID GUZMAN-SANCHEZ, Salinas/Ukiah. DUI, false ID.
JOHN KNIGHT JR., Willits. Domestic battery, county parole violation.
ALBERTO NAVA-SANDOVAL, Ukiah. Parole violation.
LYNNE SIEWERT, Bonsal/Ukiah. Arson of structure or forestland, DUI-alcohol&drugs, suspended license.
A NEW AND POTENTIALLY MORE TRANSMISSIBLE CORONAVIRUS VARIANT first identified in South Africa has prompted a fresh round of travel restrictions across the world and raised concern about what may be next in the pandemic.
The World Health Organization Friday designated the strain, now named Omicron, as a variant of concern and said multiple studies are underway as advisers continue to monitor the variant.
While scientists say there is reason to be concerned over the variant, they stress there is still a lot we don't know -- including whether the variant is indeed more contagious, whether it causes more severe disease or what its effects on vaccine efficacy may be.
“While this is concerning, as the WHO has indicated, I do think that we have to step back and wait for the science on this,” epidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed told CNN.
The variant has so far been identified in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Belgium.
A specimen from the first known case of the variant in South Africa was collected November 9, the WHO said Friday. Now, the number of variant cases seem to be increasing in nearly every province of the country, the WHO said. South Africa has currently fully vaccinated less than 36% of its adult population and its rate of new vaccinations had fallen in recent days, according to the country's health department.
CITING INFLATION, Dollar Tree announced this week that it’s rising the price of almost everything it’s stores by 25%…No word yet on whether they’re also changing the name of the store to the Dollar Twenty-Five Tree. But is inflation really the reason? Last Dollar Tree made $1,230,000,000 in profits, awarded its CEO with a salary of $10,767,883 and compensated it workers with as little as $8.32 an hour. More than 7,400 Dollar Tree employees are forced to rely on food stamps and Medicaid.
— Jeff St. Clair
BRAXTON BRAGG, INCOMPETENT.
158 Years Ago – Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge - November 25, 1863
In the morning, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Union army began its attack against Gen. Braxton Bragg's Confederates who occupied this ridge and the slopes below. After unsuccessful attacks on the northern end of the ridge, and the slow march of Hooker's troops from the south, Grant ordered Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas's troops in the center to seize the Confederate rifle-pits at the base of the ridge.
The Federals stormed the rifle-pits, forcing Confederates to retreat up the slopes. Then, without orders, the Federals swarmed up the slope in pursuit, swept over the crest, and routed the poorly positioned defenders. The outnumbered Confederates broke and fled down the slope. Only darkness and the rearguard action of Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne saved the Confederates from destruction.
The Union victory here at Missionary Ridge left Chattanooga firmly in Union hands, and set the stage for General Sherman's advance against Atlanta in the spring.
(Information: Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park)
A MESSAGE from the wild turkeys of Mt. Tamalpais
ALL OF ME
All of me
Why not take all of me
Can't you see
I'm no good without you
Take my lips
I want to lose them
Take my arms
I'll never use them
Left me with eyes that cry
How can I
Get along without you
You took the part
That once was my heart
So why not
Why not take all of me
All of me
Come on get all of me
Can't you see
I'm just a mess without you
Take my lips
I want to lose them
Get a piece of these arms
I'll never use them
Left me with eyes that cry
How can I
Ever make it without you
You know you got the part
Used to be my heart
So why not
Why not take all of me
— Gerald Marks, Seymour Simons
Let’s say my neighbors, who I don’t like, are throwing a party. It’s late at night, they’re making a racket, and I’m upset. I pick up my AR-15, walk over to their house and knock on the door. The neighbor answers, sees my rifle and starts to walk toward me in a threatening manner. I fire a round and kill him. Another partygoer walks toward me; I fire and kill him. Still another approaches; I fire but only wound this guy. My defense? That it’s self-defense — my neighbors wanted to harm me. That apparently is how the court interpreted it in Wisconsin. That’s a bad law and needs to be rewritten.
DEBATING TED KOPPEL ON COMMUNISM
by Alexander Cockburn
May Day, 1990. My telephone rang and a voice asked if I would be prepared to go on Ted Koppel’s Nightline that same evening. I asked what the theme was going to be. The voice, belonging to the Koppel show’s Tracy Day, said that Koppel and his guests would be addressing the theme, “Is Communism Dead?”
By late afternoon in Los Angeles, Tracy called from New York. I’d be on with Angela Davis and Melor Sturua, a Russian columnist for Izvestia on leave at the Carnegie Endowment.
I drove east across Los Angeles toward the ABC studio. At the studio they make me up and sit me down. The drill with Koppel is that you look into a camera and listen to your earphone. You can’t see what’s happening on the show. You have to keep looking at the camera because you don’t know when Koppel, the only person who can see all the people on the show, who controls everything, is going to call on you. Swivel your eyes away from the camera and millions will think you’ve got something to hide.
Suddenly we’re off. I can hear the soundtrack of some footage, of people hammering down the Wall, denouncing communism. Then I hear Koppel saying, “…the state of distress in which communism finds itself…seems easier for some Soviets to accept than…for left-wingers like Alexander Cockburn or leaders of the American Communist Party like Angela Davis.”
So it’s a set-up: the viewers have been invited to watch scenes of collapsing communism, then here’s Koppel cutting to the last dinosaurs, clanking into the studio dragging their ball and chain of dead ideas.
This was the trend of the show. Koppel got increasingly testy. Why, he asked, did I keep bringing up capitalism? We were meant to be talking about communism. It became a dialogue of the deaf. I said that in order to understand why millions of people around the world are still fired with radical ideas you have to understand that if actually existing communism was and is abhorrent to some, actually existing capitalism is abhorrent to others.
I was going to add that on the same May Day that Russian workers were booing the Soviet leaders, workers in the Philippines were demonstrating against the regime and the US bases, and in South Korea striking shipyard workers were still battling police.
No time for this though. By now Koppel was saying that I was putting words into his mouth and Professor Davis was trying to explain that capitalism was not working too well for black people here in the US and Sturua was saying that Karl Marx was right when he said that theory was gray but green was tree of life. From the corner of my eye I saw a copy of Business Week featuring on its cover the best-paid executive of 1989, Craig McCaw, weighing in with $53.9 million. Why didn’t I just hold it up to the camera and say that against salaries like this, how could the ideals of socialism ever die?
But it was all over. I didn’t even have time to tell Sturua that Goethe not Marx said the thing about the green tree. At least he had Marx associated with living things.
(Excerpted from ‘The Golden Age is In Us.’ Alexander Cockburn’s ‘Guillotined!’ and ‘A Colossal Wreck’ are available from CounterPunch. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
COFFEE AND YOGA PANTS: I have a “me too” moment…
by Paul Modic
I headed up the highway with a full double coffee and was drinking it black because I was on the way to see my physician's assistant for a physical and had fasted for twelve hours for the fat and sugar blood draw. (My PA is very cool, he says “Just back into my finger” when checking my prostate.)
Not used to just black coffee I sipped it as I drove up 101 hugging the mighty Eel River. About thirty miles from Eureka, as I ruminated about life and future plans, I reached to take another gulp and the lid popped off. With a surprising splash a wave of hot coffee rose up then down onto my pants and me. What to do?
I pulled over to the next exit but that wasn't any solution--I had brought extra socks, underwear, and shirt but no extra pants.
I got back on the highway and headed to the nearest town, Fortuna, where I found a laundromat in the Safeway shopping center where I took off my wet pants and boxers and wore my extra long-sleeved shirt like a skirt, bare-bottomed at the back.
I tossed the wet clothes in the dryer and hovered around it while a couple of other miscreants in the laundromat at 8:00am ignored me. The first dryer took my quarters and didn't work but the second did its job.
Mission accomplished, I headed back on the highway heading north to the needle and the finger.
* * *
I really didn't intend to sexually harass the intake worker at the clinic but now she refused to see me and they sent in this big beefy guy to take my vitals instead.
The faux-pas happened a couple weeks ago when I went in for an appointment and saw her wearing yoga pants. When I came back for the next appointment and she was taking my blood pressure, etc, I mentioned that I enjoyed seeing her in those yoga pants. (Don't worry it gets way worse.)
One symptom of this mysterious illness is lack of desire but seeing her dressed like that kind of woke me up.
“Yeah, I like to keep 'em guessing,” she said.
“Really,” I said. “I've been having reduced libido with this cold or whatever it is and those yoga pants might just boost me out of it. You are sexxxxxxxxy!”
There, I pretty much told her I wanted to fantasize about her. (Which I did of course so really she's a healer before her time, right?)
The next time I went in I had my apology all ready but I got the big Humboldt dude, so I had to pass it on through him. I mentioned the episode when the PA came in and he said he heard something but what was the story?
I gave him the basics and said, “Can't I plead temporary insanity? Blame it on my illness?” After all, she had checked my vitals at least ten or so times over the last couple years and I had always behaved acceptably.
Then my blood pressure was up and he had to recheck it. Had the big Humboldt boy mixed up the numbers on purpose? Or was I affected by being rejected by Hannah?
MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio live from Franklin St. all night tonight! Thorgellen again already!
Hi! Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 6pm. If you're not done with it, whatever it is, send it when it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week.
Or call during the show and read your work in your own voice. I'll be in the clean, well-lighted back room of the storefront studio at 325 N. Franklin, where the number is 1-(707) 962-3022. If there'll be swears, please wait until after 10pm, to not agitate the weasels.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128 (That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.)
Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there.
Besides all that, there you'll find both shelves of the fridge loaded with not-necessarily-radio-useful items to scarf directly from the bowl with your whole face, like the pie-eating contest in /Stand By Me/, until showtime, or any time, such as:
"The Firste Thanks-Giving."
Put the Pepsi or milk down before you watch this.
And a crayon-and-Sharpie-animated cover of Kate Bush, Running Up That Hill, with no problems, because of your deal with God, in this case, Thor. It is his night after all, that's why they call it Thorgellen.
— Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
ATMOSPHERIC RIVER Drenches Mokelumne River Fall Salmon Run
by Dan Bacher
CLEMENTS — The Mokelumne River was seeing an outstanding run of fall chinook salmon at the fish hatchery when the atmospheric river hit on Oct. 24-25.
“We lost a lot of our fish,” said William Smith, manager of the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery. “The Cosumnes River went up to 14,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) and every creek in the region came up with the storm. As a result, the salmon scattered throughout the Valley. Meanwhile, the releases from Camanche Dam were still 250 cfs.”
“The rain was a blessing for some, but not for us,” he stated.
Smith said the Mokelumne was on pace to get 12,000 to 15,000 adult fall-run fish this season, but now there are barely 4,000 fish in the river.
“The majority of fish in the river are jacks, not adults. There are not even 1,000 adult females in the river now,” he said.
The latest fish count over the Woodbridge Diversion Dam was 4,050 salmon, but only 320 came up over the past week.
Smith said they are considering options to meet the shortfall in eggs if more fish don’t arrive before the end of spawning season. Last year they obtained 1.5 million eggs from the Feather River Hatchery to meet their shortfall.
To date they have taken 3.5 million eggs, most collected before the storm. Their egg-take goal is 7.1 million and the production goal is 6.4 million salmon smolts.
Steelhead are now also showing at the hatchery, with 115 reported to date.
At Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the American River, the return of fall chinook salmon to the hatchery is “looking good,” said hatchery manager Gary Novak.
“We should have no problem getting the fish to meet our production goal of 4.5 million smolts this coming year. We have taken a total of 2.9 million green eggs to date. Also, around 50 percent of the fish we’re seeing at the hatchery are jacks (two-year-old fish).”
The 4.5 million salmon smolts include 500,000 additional fish to combat effects of the drought. The steelhead seen to date are Central Valley strain steelhead in the 16- to 18-inch range, probably from the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery, “We didn’t spawn these fish — we returned them all to the river,” he explained.
Fall-run chinook salmon spawning operations have successfully concluded at the Feather River Fish Hatchery. Penny Crawshaw, fish hatchery manager 1, said the CDFW has taken 15.7 million eggs from the fall chinook that they spawned this year. Their production goal for this coming year is 7,750,000 salmon smolts, including 1.75 million additional smolts.
While the numbers of fall chinooks showing “are a little less than last year,” she said the spring run was “phenomenal,” with 3.1 million eggs taken to reach a production goal of 2 million.
Crawshaw added that hatchery staff released 32 male and 31 female steelhead back into the river on the last day of salmon spawning.
The Coleman National Fish Hatchery on Battle Creek has also completed spawning salmon for the year and is on track to meeting their production goal of 12 million fall chinook salmon, according to Bob Null, deputy project director. The hatchery staff has collected 20 million eggs and the preliminary count of salmon returning to Battle Creek this year is 35,000 fish. *Delta Sturgeon:* Delta sturgeon trips are producing an average of two to four fish a day, according to Zack Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures. Four anglers fishing with Medinas on Friday caught and released two slot-size sturgeon measuring 46 and 58 inches, one 64-inch oversized fish, and two shakers while fishing salmon roe and eel off Sherman Island in 28 feet of water. Information: (925) 497-7171.
*Crab/Rockfish Combos:* The California Dawn reported 25 limits of rockfish and 25 limits of Dungeness crabs during their trip to the Farallon Islands on Sunday, November 21. Information: (510) 417-5557.