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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, March 27, 2022

Wind Rain | Vera Titus | Wet Ahead | Property Tax | Adoptable Dogs | Macdonald Books | Rowes 1942 | Cart Arrests | Elderhood | Red Gremlin | Free Lunch | Wal-Mart | Water Rescue | Handyman Joe | Author Reading | Remembering Les | Mo Excited | Arizona | Helping People | Hue 1968 | Confirmation Gauntlet | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Blue People | Hayslett School | Supe Candidates | Noyo Fishing | Oscars Dud | Swim Champs | Channeling Lenin | Crushing It | GG Jumpers | Lutenist | Marco Radio | Matt Eilo | Burn Gas | Ball Valve | Billionaire Tax | Slow Blues

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SEASONABLE TEMPERATURES will prevail across northwest California through Tuesday as an upper-level storm system moves east across the region. In addition, gusty south winds will be likely as an associated frontal boundary approaches the region this afternoon, particularly across exposed coastal areas, ridges, and valleys in Mendocino and Lake Counties. Otherwise, showers will spread across the area this evening, and will continue through Monday afternoon, followed by dissipation during Monday night. Thereafter, dry weather and above normal afternoon temperatures will redevelop during middle to late portions of next week. (NWS)

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VERA TIEZZI TITUS

July 16, 1925 – March 21, 2022

A bright light went dim on March 21, 2022, when Vera Tiezzi Titus, passed away peacefully in her home in Boonville CA, surrounded by family.

Vera was born on July 16, 1925 in Farmington, IL, where her parents had settled as immigrants from Arezzo, Italy. When she was 3 years old, Vera’s own mother passed. She and older sister Nancy were sent to an orphanage where nuns would raise them for the next 2 years of their childhood. Relatives took the girls in at ages 5 and 7. 

Vera eventually relocated with a school friend and her family, to Napa, CA. After graduating from Napa High School she went to work for Bell Telephone Company. Being one that enjoyed music and dancing, she met Paul Titus at a popular dance hall, The Dream Bowl, in Napa County. The dream came true, and they were married on July 20, 1947.

Looking to be closer to his family’s Manchester Homestead, her husband Paul purchased the Union Oil Distributorship in Boonville, and they moved into the house they called home for 63 plus years in July of 1959. Once settled into their new community, Paul and Vera did what was right; they got involved and served the Boonville community in many capacities for the years to come. 

Vera was an avid reader, a fine seamstress, a devoted scrabble and Words with Friends player, gardener and outstanding cook. She outfitted herself, family and friends for numerous special occasions with handmade wedding gowns, prom dresses, etc. She went on to serve as a 4H mentor and sewing instructor for many Anderson Valley youth. Many of her friends today met her when she worked at the Boonville branch of First National Bank of Cloverdale, in the 1970’s. She was also a Cub Scout and Coyote Cowboy Den Mother. 

A loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and dear friend, Vera is preceded in death by her husband Paul and eldest son Mark. She is survived by her sons Craig (Marti) and Dean (Susan); grandchildren, Deanna Parrish (Ryan) and Jared Titus; great grandchildren Gwynn, Ky and Shay Parrish; brother Gene Tiezzi; numerous nieces and nephews, as well as Betty Nelson, her longtime friend, who resides in Napa, CA.

The family greatly appreciates the help these past few months of another longtime friend, Sandra Knight. 

The family would also like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Judy Nelson and Mark Apfel for their continued guidance.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Vera’s memory to the Anderson Valley Health Center, P.O. Box 338, Boonville CA 95415.

A Celebration of Life will take place July 16, 2022, on what would have been her 97th birthday. We’ll keep you ‘postered’.

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A REMINDER FROM THE TAX COLLECTOR:

The second installment of your 2021-2022 Secured tax bill is due by Monday April 11, 2022 without penalty. Postmarks dated 4/11/2022 are accepted as a timely. When the statutory due date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the hour of delinquency is 5:00pm the next business day. 

You may pay online at www.mendocinocounty.org/taxes, search by your parcel number or address. You may also drop your check payment at the County Administration drop box located in the drive through roundabout. The drop box will be closed on Monday April 11, 2022 at 5pm. 

Please see the Tax Collector website at www.mendocinocounty.org/ttc for more information.

Thank you!

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THE SPRING ADOPTION EVENT at the Mendocino County Ukiah and Ft. Bragg Shelters is ongoing, and there are lots of wonderful spayed or neutered dogs who are eligible for the event’s HALF OFF ADOPTION FEES! 

Visit mendoanimalshelter.com to view our adoptable dogs. Then call the shelter to begin the adoption process.

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MALCOLM MACDONALD:

Ever consider trading your crying baby for a set of car tires? Probably not, but one Fort Bragg couple did back in the 1920s. How it transpired and what happened to the so-called “Tire Baby” is one of twenty-two tales recounted in my new book, Mendocino History Exposed.

Mendocino History Exposed is now available at two bookstores in Fort Bragg: The Bookstore at 137 E. Laurel St. 707-964-6559 and Windsong at 324 N. Main St. 707-964-2050.

Of course, you can always try Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. 707-937-2665. Try out their easy to maneuver website: gallerybookshop.com.

Ever let your horse shoot a weapon? Well, amid the description of the Frost-Coates feud in chapter eight of Mendocino History Exposed, you will find the true events of the shooting horse which I fictionalized to some degree in the novel Outlaw Ford. Grab a copy of Outlaw Ford at Gallery Bookshop before the price goes up on April 1st.

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Gus Rowe Family, Albion, 1942

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JOHN McCOWEN ON SHOPPING CARTS: An ordinance was never really needed since everyone who commandeers a shopping cart for their personal use is in possession of stolen property. The mere fact they are pushing a cart provides probable cause for law enforcement to intervene. But when the ordinance was first adopted the Ukiah Police Department was very successful in getting compliance, mostly voluntarily. In short order we went from nearly 5 dozen individuals possessing carts to about two or three. Enforcement since then has been spotty, partly because UPD (like many agencies) has been chronically understaffed. But recently, with the leadership of a new chief, I think I'm seeing a renewed commitment to enforce the shopping cart ordinance/prohibition on possession of stolen property. In the last few days a couple of individuals in possession of carts were arrested, not for the cart (which would have been a cite and release) but for possession of a controlled substance and a dirk or dagger.

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AV VILLAGE TODAY

Ashby Village: Aging, Ageism, and the Future of Elderhood
Sun 03 / 27 / 2022 at 2:00 PM
More Information: andersonvalley.helpfulvillage.com/events/2224-ashby-village:-aging,-ageism,-and-the-future-of-elderhood

Future AV Village events may be found here: andersonvalley.helpfulvillage.com/events/index_list

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FREE FOOD PHILO, an initiative of Love to Table, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is distributing meals in town to those in need. We cook nourishing meals using produce from our farm and others, and would love to offer you a warm lunch on Monday March 27. If you could use a home cooked meal, or have a friend in mind who does, please call or text Arline Bloom (415) 308-3575, who will head up distribution in town.

~ This week’s menu ~

  • Steak Salad
  • Homemade Bread Rolls
  • Chocolate Pudding

Thank you for letting us be of service. For more information on Free Food Philo / Love to Table, check out: unconditionalfreedom.org/free-food/. If you’d like to volunteer with us to cook or prepare the meals, please reach out. You can donate to our efforts here as well: unconditionalfreedom.org/donate/. Our meal this week is made possible with donations from New Agrarian Collective, Community Grains, Central Milling, Sonoma County Meat Co., Sierra Nevada Cheese Company

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WATER RESCUE UNDERWAY— 9-Year-Old Child Stuck On Rock North Of Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

by Matt LeFever

A water rescue is currently underway off of the Mendocino County coast near the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse after a nine-year-old child became stuck on a rock offshore. Scanner traffic beginning around 11:55 a.m. indicated the child was sucked underwater, resurfaced, and then sought refuge on the rock approximately one-quarter mile north of the lighthouse.

A helicopter has been deployed to the scene to potentially attempt a helicopter rescue.

UPDATE 7:18 p.m.: Noyo Harbor Coast Guard Petty Officer Williams told us the child was brought back to shore safely. The Coast Guard was not directly involved with the child’s rescue, Petty Officer Williams said, but through their alert system were informed of the incident and that the child was rescued.


SARA RADEMAKER comment: "He is safe and sound! 'Thank you' will never come close to the gratitude that I owe to the life guards that got my son off that rock. They were amazing. My Thanks and gratitude go to all the other first responders that also showed up to help him too. I could never be grateful enough."

(kymkemp.com)

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JOE'S THE GUY!

Helping hand…

Hello my name is Joseph I'm a one man crew for hire, from cutting trees to stacking wood and a few other things between. I've been at this job for at least two years now and I'm excited to work with anyone.

Email me at josephchambers780@gmail.com

Hourly rate: 25$

Minimum work time: two hours

Joseph Chambers <josephchambers780@gmail.com>

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BON VOYAGE, LES TARR!

I remember how fun it was to listen to KMFB with Lindy, Late Night Liz, Kay Rudin and Les Tarr who has now gone past the bar! I dont relate to computer radio or automated radio. My mom loved laughing with and at the Good News Guys, which was the whole point I think. Plus the gooshy commercials with local business people Humor from a human age! I still enjoy KZYX and there are real DJs on KOZT! Fun! Knyo is wonderful but I have to stream on the computer only. There is no chance future generations will get a chance to hear human real, only robot real. In pretty much everything. Its amazing how fast this is happening and how soon we will have robot lawyers, doctors, airplane pilots writers and umpires. And the absolute better efficiency and wholesome good of all robotics and the bungling idiocy of humanity is a given in society, media and business. It couldn't be that with robotics instead of people is a way for a tiny handful of billionaires to run everything very badly with robotics but do it basically for free with no workers. My experiences with robotics is its being used while nowhere near ready and basically a complete flop and annoyance. But they are heralded everywhere as a spectacular success. And now we are losing those iconoclast humans like Les to give us a bizarre musical answer. Thanks for the memories Les.

(Frank Hartzell)


Sigh. Yet another big loss to our musical community.

The Big Guy lives on in cyberspace. He who lays down tracks doesn't die. Look around WWWland. A couple of captures below.

http://ksav.org/?page_id=39

KTDE.com (South Coast FM) lists his his show 8 to the Bar Friday 8-11pm.

While he was embodied in his towering, overflowing frame, Les absolutely could not let his "pipe organ" voice & his passion for the blues go unheard. When KMFB vanished from the airwaves 1/11/2011, Les hardly missed a beat before putting his show online.

Several years ago I visited him in his tiny but awesomely complete broadcast studio shoehorned into one room of his small rental on the south end of Willits.

He generously offered me studio time plus a webcasting tutorial if I wanted to follow suit.

A mensch indeed. Les Tarr presente!

(Liz)

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SUPERVISOR MULHEREN: Some of you might not know that when I was on the Ukiah City Council I was the rep to the League of California Cities. I’m also a Past-President for the Redwood Empire Division for the League. Yesterday they spent time in Ukiah and I was able to catch up with them at dinner. When they asked me how I like the new job, I give an honest answer. It depends on the day. It’s true, but lately I’ve been very hopeful and intentional about working with the other districts and municipalities to break down the silos so we can achieve our goals. We are too small of a community for picket fences. Very excited for our future. 

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Sylvia Witz: "Here's another one of Dad's Kodak Echtachrome slides from 1953. My sister is on the far left, showing off her best pose, while I look beat, over on the right. I'm sure we both thought we were being very funny, never dreaming someone might see this on a thing called the internet."

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COAST RESIDENT HALEY DORMER COMMENTS on our Ortner piece yesterday: Was Manzanita part of that MediCal training? I remember before they were limited with what they could do with billing but they were trying to make the groups billable. They even have a breach of confidentiality the moment you step on premises as a client to receive services. For billing purposes they require individuals to personally sign in on a collective sign in sheet. While you're signing it with your personal information you can see who signed above you. Personally I like MCAVN’s policy better. They use just your initials, basic demographics and do the log of that information themselves thus securing confidentiality. I wound up switching agencies for services because i wasn't sever enough to get the help i need at Manzanita. I wasn't FSP eligible and constantly got pushed to the side for those that were. I understand a business needs funds to operate but i had hoped the integrity of their mission "people helping people lead better lives" would hold true. I was proven wrong. They weren't getting much funding from my insurance after all, not like their FSP clients.

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HUE 1968

Editor: 

HUE 1968, by Mark Bowden is an excellent book. It is the Viet Nam war in a nutshell. The Viet Nam war was my generation's war. The book discusses all aspects of the war from LBJ, Westmoreland, the American soldiers getting killed and maimed in Hue and even some coverage of the North Vietnamese. Westmoreland's continual statements that he had outwitted the North Vietnamese reminds me of Trump. Westy would never admit that he had been fooled by the North Vietnamese. The battle for Hue was the beginning of the end of the war.

Jim Mayo 

Ukiah

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ED NOTES

I WATCH the Channel 7 News because they are “Building a Better Bay Area,” and “finding solutions” and “moving forward.” I herewith vow to build a better Boonville, find solutions and move forward.

FIRST THING to building a better Boonville would be traffic cameras, second a bench downtown for Jose Garcia, third trees, fourth flowers, fifth a training burn of the Ricard kindling at Haehl and 128.

STILL AND ALL, Boonville made Architectural Digest's list of the 50 most beautiful places in the United States, which is hyperbole above and beyond although the mag probably meant the Anderson Valley taken as an aesthetic whole. Boonville has its attractions but beauty's stretching it.

A MAGAZINE PIECE BEGAN, “Julia Laitte writes about the effects of Dear John letters on soldiers' mental health and the consequences for the women who wrote them.”

AS A KID, I was in a platoon with a guy named Dave Miller who read his Dear John letter to all of us. I'll never forget it because he thought it was funny and we thought it was even funnier. From memory: “Dear Dave. I don't know how to tell you this without making you mad, but I've fallen in love with your father and we're getting married. I guess from now on you can call me Mom.” Dave said, “If that ain't a bitch…”

GOVERNOR NEWSOM and the Democrats are talking about a gasoline rebate of $600-$800. A Republican (of all people) has a better idea. Suspend the gas taxes of around $1.21/gal and pay for the loss out of the $4 billion surplus Newsom says his savvy leadership has accrued. Will the majority state Democrats go for the Repug's better idea? Of course not.

A SOUTH CAROLINA WOMAN was nearly mauled to death by three pit bulls this week. Pits oughta be banned. They're dangerously unpredictable. And most of their owners are psychos or simply too irresponsible to own these beasts, or any other dependent creature. Psychos of course prefer the breed because they are dangerous. The typical Pit owner would have Bengal tigers if they were available.

I INHERITED a half-Pit that I became very fond of, but even he was unpredictable, nipping me occasionally at no apparent provocation. He was also an embarrassing racist, immediately going off on non-white people at sight. And barely under control in the most serene circumstances although his previous owners had put him through two training courses.

UKRAINE. Putin has attempted to put a positive spin on his disastrous invasion, saying that the first phase of his military campaign in Ukraine was over. Er, what, then, was the point, Vlad, besides random death, massive destruction and millions of displaced people? This one megalomaniac holds the fate of all of us in his miscalculating hands, the most ominous fact of life since Adam and Eve.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 26, 2022

Ayers, Basin, Cordova

KYL AYERS, Willits. Petty theft, protective order violation.

NIKOLAS BASTIN, Willits. Under influence, controlled substance.

CARRIE CORDOVA-DALSON, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-under influence, stolen vehicle, probation revocation.

Hager, Henson, Luna

DARYLLA HAGER, Eureka/Ukiah. DUI.

SHANNON HENSON, Willits. Probation revocation.

STEVEN LUNA JR., Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

Martinez, McDaniel, Villalobos

LUIS MARTINEZ, Napa. DUI with priors with penalty for 4 or more convictions within ten years, no license, suspended license for DUI, probation revocation.

MICHAEL MCDANIEL JR., Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

ROGELIO VILLALOBOS-MENDOZA, Willits. DUI.

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BLUE PEOPLE OF KENTUCKY

A Reader Writes: I've never heard of this before but it is genuine and it ultimately had an easy fix.

iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/the-science-behind-the-mysterious-blue-people-of-kentucky/

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Hayslett School, near Comptche, 1908

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REDDING CLAIM: "When it comes to global warming. The science is simply not there and there is a lot of scare mongering taking place.”

WILLIAMS RESPONSE: Climate change is an existential threat to humanity. I'm proud that concurrent with responding to fires, power shutoffs, a pandemic and now drought, our county has taken concrete steps toward reducing its carbon footprint. We formed the Mendocino County Climate Action and Advisory Committee and then took its recommendation on electric heat pumps over gas heaters in new construction. We've committed $2 million toward bringing county government's carbon emissions to net-zero, and more recently, we began the process of converting our vehicle fleet to electric and high-efficiency hybrid vehicles. Our partner, Mendocino Transit Authority, has started using electric busses in Willits and will soon expand electric bus service to Fort Bragg. Local community members have stepped forward to assist in research, including The Grassroots Institute. The progress must continue.

[Democracy is alive in Mendocino County, including a race for Supervisor in District 5. You have options. I will be highlighting policy differences between myself and John Redding. I ask you to keep your comments polite and kind. There is room in America for opposing perspectives.]

CANDIDATE REDDING to incumbent Williams: Haha. Yeah, I totally don't care about educating the young. Seems like a stereotypical portrayal of anyone who dares to disagree with school boards and teachers' unions continuing demand for more money. As we all know, Ted is not one to hold people or organizations accountable. Why, during the last BOS meeting when he was informed that the budget was going to show a deficit he had no comment or questions! The issue with Prop. 15 was that it would continue to give schools district's even more money with no accountability for results. For heaven's sake, where did the covid relief money go? To bonuses and salary increases for administrators. How much was actually spent on students?

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Woman Fishing for Steelhead, Noyo, 1900

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OSCAR NIGHT: WHO CARES?

by Tom Leonard

Tomorrow night the excitement will be palpable at the Dolby Theatre, as Hollywood gathers once again for its biggest night out — the annual Oscars ceremony.

Who’ll turn up, what they’ll wear and what they’ll win are perennial questions, but this year there will be an even bigger nail-biter: will anyone be watching?

Hollywood loves to brag about box-office numbers, but one statistic it prefers to keep quiet about nowadays is the ratings for the Academy Awards.

Last year the viewing figures in the U.S. — the only place where the live event still attracts a meaningful audience — plunged to an all-time low of just 10.4 million. A decade ago, they were around four times that.

As ABC pays more than $100 million for the rights, a pull-out by the network would have crippled the awards.

A compromise means eight of the 23 awards will be given out before the telecast, but the grim truth for even the most famous actors and film-makers is that few people nowadays are that bothered about watching them getting their gongs either.

The Oscars and the other major entertainment awards on television, including the Baftas, are haemorrhaging viewers and have been for years.

Inevitably, the decline accelerated during the pandemic as social-distancing requirements put a dampener on the razzamatazz and dictated drastically scaled-down shows. Most, including the Oscars, lost at least half their audiences in just 12 months.

Now, after two years in which we’ve barely had any full-blown red carpet events because of the pandemic, one has to ask . . . did anyone, apart from the potential winners, really miss them?

The Ukraine crisis will hardly help this year, reinforcing the point that watching several hundred immensely rich entertainers peacock for the cameras and congratulate each other on their brilliance seems a little frivolous and out of touch.

In addition, many viewers may also be suffering from celebrity backslapping overload as there are now 18 awards ceremonies shown on U.S. TV.

So what went wrong? Why has the Oscars become such a hopeless snoozefest?

Many reasons have been cited but the most glaring is that it simply stopped being fun.

For years the Academy Awards gave millions of viewers an annual dose of uber-glitz that broke the winter gloom and was impossible to find elsewhere on TV.

The parade of frocks and jewellery, the cheesy scripted rapport between hosts, and the sight of the world’s biggest stars losing it all as they broke down in tears — it was often more entertaining than the films they were up for.

And when winners did go ‘off script’ and use the Oscars stage to make modishly Left-wing political statements it often added to the gaiety. Take the occasion on which Marlon Brando sent along a Native American actress to decline his Best Actor award for The Godfather because of Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans.

Or the time pro-Palestine Vanessa Redgrave went up to accept Best Supporting Actress in 1978 only to launch into a diatribe against ‘Zionist hoodlums’ that drew boos from the audience. In recent years, it’s been more noteworthy when an Oscars recipient hasn’t delivered a homily on some aspect of ‘Woke’ wisdom, whether it be sex, gender, race or politics.

And unlike the booing for Redgrave, there’s only ever rapturous applause at awards ceremonies these days. Nobody shouted ‘hypocrite!’ when private jet lover Leonardo DiCaprio sounded off about climate change in 2016, or berated Emma Watson for her dig at JK Rowling — the woman to whom she owes her career — at the Baftas this month.

Meanwhile, the star wattage of the Oscars co-hosts has gone down with the ratings. This year, they are Regina King, fellow African-American actress Wanda Sykes and comedian Amy Schumer. None are exactly A-list but big names have become loathe to take on a role widely seen as a poisoned chalice.

In a hilarious illustration of Tinseltown’s self-regard, Amy Schumer has admitted she wanted to arrange a live link-up during this year’s Oscars with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

It isn’t happening — difficult as it may be to believe, he apparently has better things to do.

After being badly embarrassed by the MeToo scandal when producer Harvey Weinstein, uncrowned king of the Oscars, was exposed as a serial sexual predator, and then following the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hollywood went into ‘diversity’ overdrive.

And we’re certainly seeing the consequences of this trend in what is nominated and wins now.

There’s always been a mismatch between films that do well at the box office and those that triumph at awards ceremonies, but this disconnect has got so much worse, another factor in driving away audiences.

Polls show the public increasingly hasn’t seen or even heard of the films nominated for top awards, while viewing figures indicate ratings for award shows go up when popular films are in contention.

When crowd-pleasers such as Avatar, Up, The Blind Side and The Hurt Locker battled for Best Picture in 2010, Oscars night ratings hit nearly 42 million.

Contrast those with recent Best Picture Oscar winners such as Nomadland, a bleak tale of economic desperation in struggling America; the South Korean rich vs poor dark comedy Parasite; and Moonlight, the first LGBTQ film with an all-black cast.

They may have pressed all the right political and diversity buttons but very few movie goers would have seen them.

Some industry observers believe that, whatever the entertainment industry tries, the traditional red-carpet extravaganza is doomed.

The digital age, they say, has changed everything. People no longer have the attention span to watch a three- or four-hour ceremony, while the ubiquity of celebrities on social media means there’s little curiosity any more about seeing them at the awards.

For decades, Oscars organizers would boast that a billion people watched the show around the world. In 2016, the Hollywood Reporter did some checking and could only discover 68 million viewers, of which more than half were in the U.S. Compare that with the three billion who watched the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Even stars are now ready to wonder aloud whether the Oscars and their rivals have passed their sell-by date. Pam & Tommy actor Seth Rogen last month said Hollywood should stop trying to make people like the Oscars.

“Maybe people just don’t care,” he said of the dwindling viewing figures. “Maybe they did for a while and they stopped caring. Why should they?”

British actor Sir Mark Rylance told the Radio Times last month he wouldn’t be going. “To be honest, they’re actually really boring,” he said. “I don’t think awards are a serious marker of what the greatest or most inspiring things are, but it’s nice to be celebrated.”

Yes, the stars love to be celebrated but for how much longer will the rest of us play along?

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Swimmer Lia Thomas on the podium after winning the 500-yard race at the 2022 NCAA Championships.

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LENIN, as channeled by Alan Brien in ‘Lenin, the Novel’

On Wednesdays and Fridays there is a meeting of the Communist Party Central Committee elected by the party congress. It is made up this year of Stalin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Bukharin and me. I am the chairman. We start at 6 PM and intend to adjourn at 10 PM but often carry on until midnight. Then there is the cabinet which meets every Tuesday sometimes for an extra session on another day as well from 6-10 also with an occasional extension to midnight. I chair this as well. I spend what's left of the days of the week, Monday to Friday from 11 AM until around 4:30 PM in my own office dealing with whatever turns up. What's left from what turns up is worked over during the weekend.

To begin with the other members of the Cabinet were often late -- a bad Russian habit, typical of all backward, undeveloped nations. Well, no more. I made it a rule that we begin on the dot. Even if I was the only member present as I was a few times in early days. Every late arrival was recorded in the minutes. This and a beady glare or an annoyed jerk of the head was usually enough to persuade the defaulter to become a good timekeeper. There were however a few regular backsliders. For them I instituted in addition to an entry in the minutes for the second offense a fine of one day's pay. For the third, the final deterrent -- a reprimand printed in the press. Within weeks there were no more late arrivals or unjustified absences. And that is the way it will be while I am in the Chairman's seat.

Another waste of resources so familiar none of the comrades noticed it until I pushed it under their noses. The way all kinds of outsiders queued up in the anti-room waiting to be called into the cabinet meeting. This of course was a hangover from the czarist days when the concept of waste (certainly waste of time) did not exist. If you lingered day after day in the corridor outside the office of some minister -- that was just another kind of work. For professionals it could become a way of life. For amateurs, the start of a bad habit which might rot away most of a lifetime.

As soon as I heard that all sorts of valuable officials needed to bring out reports, provide evidence for our decisions, or be instructed on how to handle our projects, were in the waiting room, I paid them a visit. There they were -- playing chess, reading books or newspapers, gossiping, sleeping, sharing food, drinking, and smoking, smoking, smoking until you can fancy they were all kippered. I went in there like Jesus among the money changers in the Temple. I told them they could be charged with "dereliction of duty by misuse of scarce material" -- i.e. themselves. They were to get back to the place from whence they came whether office or home and find some useful occupation until summoned by the telephone or messenger.

I insist that everyone always use the telephone rather than write letters. Once something is written down it automatically creates its own bureaucracy. A letter has to be acknowledged, answered, filed, copy, indexed. It soon grows a companion archivist in constant attendance. Correspondence, like marriage, can often develop without any of those involved having any idea of how it began.

When these outsiders were summoned I gave them five minutes. It cleared their brains with amazing speed. After work, all of us permanent members would frequently be able to remember what had been said even months later. Writing something down -- especially getting someone else to write something down for you -- is the best way of forgetting it. You fool yourself the paper is doing the remembering and digesting for you. Anyway, we had almost no paper.

(Moscow, May 12, 1920)

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* * *

IT SEEMS TO HAVE ESCAPED the record books but the Golden Gate Bridge is now firmly established as the world number one jumping off platform for suicides — by default. For a long time we were running neck and neck with in this department with Paris's Eiffel Tower but then a peculiar phenomenon occurred: the French began counting their suicides backwards! A peculiar race indeed.

When the Golden Gate Bridge achieved suicide number 410 I called the French consulate to check on the Eiffel record and got such evasive answers you would think I was asking for the premier's home phone number. So I put our man in Paris, Ferris Hartman, on the job and he came up with surprising information.

The Eiffel Tower's top figure he found was 352 scored in April 1968 at which time the Golden Gate Bridge suicide figure was also 352! Apparently the French sensed defeat, for when on June 7, 1968, one Jean Tapie Carraze jumped to his death from the Eiffel Tower because he had lost his driver's license. (How Gallic). He too was listed as number 352. The next suicide was Number 351 and the numbers have been decreasing ever since.

"What is the latest figure?" Mr. Hartman asked the police chief of the Seventh Arrondissment where the Eiffel is located. "Around 300," he was told. "Since we put up barriers, no more suicides." Conclusion: in this melancholy category, the Golden Gate Bridge now has an insurmountable lead. Unless they put up barriers and start counting backwards too.

Footnote: “This is my last selfish act.” Of all the suicide notes left on the Golden Gate Bridge, that strikes me as the most unforgettable. It was written by 23-year-old Robert Dickinson moments before he became number 407 on Christmas Eve. His closest friend, Ling, a Thai waiter at Enrico's, brooded over that for the next few days. "I dream of Robert every night. He is in the water. He is drowning. I reach out to help him. I wake up screaming." On New Year's Eve, Ling became number 408 off the Golden Gate Bridge. He left the same note: “This is my last selfish act.” Or perhaps his first unselfish one?

Herb Caen, San Francisco, 1976

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Lonely Lute Player, Fort Bragg, 1993

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BONANZA!

“Perhaps the killer felt some incriminating evidence had been preserved by the irregular method of his victim's burial. Perhaps he wanted to desecrate the corpse. No matter the motive of the heist, I submit that solving Jim Sullivan's murder gives us our best chance of solving Allie Newmeyer's.”

Here's the recording of last night's (2022-03-25) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA): https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0481

Thanks a lot to Hank Sims for all kinds of tech help over the years, as well as for his fine news site: https://LostCoastOutpost.com

And thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided at least an hour of the above eight-hour show's most locally relevant material, as usual, without asking for anything in return. Though I do pay $25 annually for full access to all articles and features, and you can too. As well as go to KNYO.org, click on the big red heart and give what you can. Also email me your work on any subject and I will read it on the radio this coming Friday night.

Besides All That…

at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

What goes around comes around.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/3/21/2086734/-Cartoon-Round-and-round

Come along, kids, and pack your pink healthy gums with delicious tobacco glop. Now, here's how you do it...

https://digital.hagley.org/PAM_20180290

Some of the latest crop of books with the F-word in the title. I feel it kind of cheapens the word to have it everywhere anymore on books and candy and recipes and billboards. It used to be, when you said it, or wrote it in marking pen on someone you'd knocked down in a confrontation, people were shocked and amused and it aided whatever point you were making. It could put it over the top. Now it's just another sound, like a cough or a seal bark.

https://kottke.org/22/03/all-the-fcking-books-you-see-at-the-bookstore

And I don't see why they can't let this dog do what it wants until it gets tired of it. It likes it so much and it harms no-one and costs nothing. This makes me think of the end of the film /A.I./ where a future angel robot says to its colleagues, of the ancient little boy robot at the end of his poignant odyssey, "Give him what he wants."

https://www.bitsandpieces.us/2022/03/20/pond-puppy/

— Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

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Matt Eilo, Native of Finland, Fort Bragg, 1899

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CONGRESSMAN: I CAN’T AFFORD AN ELECTRIC CAR.

by Michael Koepf

I can’t afford an electric car. Congressman Huffman, thinks I must. Huffman doesn’t work for Tesla. He’s supposed to work for us representing California’s second congressional district. 

Recently, Politico, a moderate to left, online publication, announced: “Jared Huffman told Politico that calling on Biden to declare a “climate emergency” would be one of the “centerpiece actions” to headline the Congressional Progressive Caucus executive order plan.” (Whew—bit of verbal air in that.) Translation. Huffman, along with other progressive Democrats, including Alexandria Casio Cortez, (AOC) are demanding that President Biden use his executive powers to ban drilling on federal lands. Forever. 

To the amazement of many, Congressman Huffman’s vociferous call to end drilling on government land comes amid the current Ukrainian crisis that has disrupted oil markets all over the world. Especially where we live.

What’s behind Congressman Huffman’s drilling demand on President Joe? To put us behind the wheel of brand-new electric car? Sorry, Mr. Congressman, I’m little short of cash. The Tesla I dream of costs sixty thousand bucks. Or more. And, let us not forget that even Elon Musk, the Henry Ford of electric cars, has recently told President Biden that drilling should resume.

Congressman Huffman lives in Marin, where the average middle-class income is upwards of $171,000 dollars a year. In Tiburon it’s $267,000. Lots of Tesla drivers there. I live here. In rural Mendocino County, and this is what I think: the price for a gallon of gas is a stickup aimed at my wallet and I can’t even call the cops. In my county, the average income is around $35,000 dollars. To the north in Humboldt county about the same. Trinity and Del Norte, not much better than that. 

Rural, northern California is poor compared to where the congressman lives. Will ending oil exploration on federal lands (forever) drive the price of gasoline down? Stupid question there, and Jared Huffman knows the answer to that.

Two years ago, America was completely energy sufficient. At that time, I bought gas in Wyoming for $2.98 a gallon. Today, in the town of Mendocino, the nearest gas station to my house, gas is $8.63 per gallon. Yikes! Yes, profit gouging there, but at some places in LA a gallon of gas is over seven bucks a pop. Has Huffman and his colleague AOC taken these prices into account while they save the world from heat stroke, or bring peace and quiet to American groundhogs living on government land?

If they haven’t, I have a friend who has. Salvador was born in Mexico City. He’s a very sweet guy. His English is not so hot, but, then again, I’m too dumb to speak any Spanish at all. He and his wife live in a trailer court in Ukiah. She works in home service. He commutes to properties close to where I live doing manual, property work. His daily commute is more than a hundred miles. Fifty plus out; fifty plus back. Salvador shakes his head and raises his hands to the sky, when we discuss the current price of gas. He labors for an entire day just to put fuel in his tank to work a five-day week. Will he be driving a Tesla soon? That’s the problem with lofty, abstract thought. Big thinkers seldom think about what happens to the little guy.

Of course, our President has already made it impossible to drill on public lands. Red tape for a permit? The dinosaurs will return before anything happens there. Huffman is demanding that drilling be stopped forever. Greens and environmentalists are dancing in the streets. However, does our congressman know that according to recent revelations in the Guardian, Putin and the Russians have been secretly funding European Greens and environmentalists to turn European nations away from fracking, nuclear power and energy dependence? In America has anything happened like this? Russia is a gas tank. Why would they do a thing like that? Conspiracy theory? Now days, conspiracy is so convenient when it comes to hiding truth. The world’s a complicated place.

But…back to us, as we wait in line at Costco praying for cheaper gas. Has my congressman forgotten in his fervor for electric cars that his district—from the Golden Gate to the Oregon line—is comprised of rural land? Land populated by simple bumpkins such as myself. The majority of his votes come from Marin and Sonoma counties where urban people dwell. Why should he care about us? And who drew the lines for this congressional district anyhow? The south has the money and all the votes. We're just rural chumps to get whatever they want. In Marin, few drive a hundred miles to work. They can bicycle to Trader Joes while they’re charging their electric cars. Where I live, it’s ten miles to the nearest store. One way. Others drive further still, especially if they have to drive to work. Rural people are becoming poorer every day when they put that gas hose in their hands.

Congressman Huffman, hear my plea on behalf of Salvador and your constituents living to your north surviving check to check. We need diesel to bring our food; gas to go to the store and work. Forget about AOC and your wistful planet plans to remove petroleum from our lives. Wake up, Mr. Congressman! Get in touch with the rest of us: we need gas at a price we can afford.

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* * *

BIDEN TO PROPOSE NEW TAX ON THE UBER RICH

The administration says that the tax would hit the top 0.01 percent of households, generating $360 billion over the next decade, with half of that coming from billionaires.

by Brian Faler

President Joe Biden intends to propose a new type of wealth tax as part of his upcoming budget request, a plan that’s sure to revive the debate in Washington over taxing the richest-of-the rich.

He wants to require them to pay at least 20 percent in taxes on a combination of both their income and their unrealized gains in things like their stock portfolios, something that is not currently taxed.

The administration says that would hit the top 0.01 percent of households, generating $360 billion over the next decade, with half of that coming from billionaires.

“For too long, our tax code has rewarded wealth, not work, and contributed to growing income and wealthy inequality in America,” the administration said in a summary of the proposal.

“This minimum tax would make sure the wealthiest Americans no longer pay a tax rate lower than teachers and firefighters.”

The plan comes as Democrats attempt to revive their long-stalled “reconciliation” tax plans and make good on campaign promises to hike taxes on the rich.

Subjecting people’s unrealized gains in unsold assets to taxes would amount to a major change in the tax system and open up a new revenue stream for the Treasury.

But rank-and-file Democrats have already rejected similar wealth tax proposals by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

And if enacted, the proposal would surely be challenged as a violation of an arcane restriction in the Constitution on taxation.

The plan, first reported by the Washington Post, is set to be released Monday as part of Biden’s 2023 budget request, which the administration says would reduce the budget deficit by a total of $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

The U.S. has a progressive tax system, where the bulk of taxes are paid by the well-to-do — the Treasury Department projects the top 0.1 percent of earners, making more than $2.8 million, will pay an average federal tax rate this year of 31.8 percent.

But that progressivity can fall at the very top of the income spectrum, with some able to slash or even eliminate their tax bills by doing things like borrowing against their stock holdings, which aren’t taxed unless they’re sold.

Over the past year, Democrats have repeatedly tried to address that, first with Warren’s proposal to impose a yearly tax on the total value of assets held by the super-rich. Wyden called for taxing the annual appreciation of those assets.

And Biden previously proposed ending provisions in the code known among experts as “stepped-up basis at death” that can allow wealthy people to pass assets on to heirs tax-free.

All of those failed to gain traction in Congress, with House Democrats pushing for more traditional income surtaxes on high earners.

Biden’s new proposal would require the rich to pay the difference if the taxes on what’s traditionally been considered their income and their unrealized gains is less than 20 percent.

“This approach means that the very wealthiest Americans pay taxes as they go, just like everyone else, and eliminates the inefficient sheltering of income for decades or generations,” the White House document says.

The administration would give those subject to the plan years to pay the tax bills.

“The proposal allows wealthy households to spread initial top-up payments on unrealized income over nine years, and then five years for top-up payments on new income going forward,” the administration says. “Stretching payment over multiple years will smooth year-to-year variation in investment income, while still ensuring that the wealthiest end up paying a minimum tax rate of 20 percent.”

“Illiquid taxpayers may opt to pay later with interest.”

If enacted, such a plan would likely be challenged as a violation of the Constitution’s restriction on so-called direct taxes, an antiquated term referring to levies imposed directly on someone that can’t be shifted onto someone else.

There’s an exception for income taxes, thanks to the 16th Amendment, which allows Congress to tax people’s earnings.

The administration contends unrealized gains should be considered income, building that into the proposal’s name: the Billionaire Minimum Income Tax.

In a statement, Wyden praised the plan.

“President Biden has put forward a solid proposal that would ensure billionaires pay taxes every year, just like my Billionaires Income Tax,” he said.

“There’s no way to fix our broken tax code without getting at the problem of billionaires avoiding taxes for decades, if not indefinitely.”

(politico.com)

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11 Comments

  1. Lee Edmundson March 27, 2022

    FLABBERGASTING!

    If these missives attributed to 5th District Supervisor candidate John Redding are for real (and I am not convinced they are) but if they are, they are prima facie evidence of a profoundly unsettled mind.

    My worry about having these discussions via internet is that — Hey! This could be anybody posing as Mr. Redding. Who knows? Who can verify authenticity? Could be a 300 lb hacker in his underwear sitting on his bed in his parent’s basement room. Yes?

    If they are his, I ask a simple question of him: If the continuance of your life were tied to the color purple, how tenaciously would you cling to it? What if it was wrong?

    Has human activity contributed to global warming? Of course it has. To what extent? To discount human contribution to it out-of-hand is disingenuous, at the very least.

    Jousting a political campaign — the filing deadline for 5th District Supervisor has already passed — on the internet and List Serve is a slippery slope. Let’s get these two gentlemen (I use the term advisedly) in forums and debates, one on one, mano a mano.

    These are perilous times. Locally, state wide, nationally and internationally. We (at the very least) owe ourselves here in Mendocino County (where history begins brand new every morning) clarity regarding what — and more importantly, how — our prospective representatives think, I.E, process information.

    But beware the internet providing clear, real and unbiased information. Face to face debates/discussions. Now.

    I’m a Ted Williams guy. People should already know this. But if John Redding is able and willing to contribute positively to the debate about County politics, I’m ready to listen. Speak clearly, please.

    All cards on the table, fellas.

    Your turns. Your terms.

    Let the game begin.

    • George Dorner March 27, 2022

      I am not a Williams fan…but Redding is seriously deranged.

      • Lazarus March 27, 2022

        I liked Supervisor Williams in the beginning. But I think the strain/pressure has shown in the last year or so. I also think a sense of hopelessness creeps in on some, and it wears them down.
        Perhaps a “seriously derange” member would stir it up?
        The last several meetings have been sad, especially the OMG meeting mess.
        I think that meeting and the questioning that went on exploited the weakness of the County’s government.
        It’s unbelievable there are no records of millions of dollars spent on mental health during the OMG/Tommy P. administration.
        Be well,
        Laz

        • Marmon March 27, 2022

          That business about Ortner doesn’t mean RQMC didn’t overbill too, it just means that they may have kept better records. Mr. P was approving their billing as well. Neither ASO billed the State directly.

          Marmon

  2. Marmon March 27, 2022

    “A party that’s unwilling to admit that men and women are biologically different – in defiance of all scientific and human history – is a party that should not be anywhere near the levers of power in the United States of America.”

    -Donald J. Trump

    Marmon

    • chuck dunbar March 27, 2022

      I’ll borrow from George Dorner’s above description of another soul, to say that Trump is “seriously deranged.” Those words seem just the right fit for his lame comment about the Democratic party, which indeed has its flaws, but not this one.

      • chuck dunbar March 27, 2022

        I see that “seriously deranged” is becoming the phrase of the day… It does have a nice ring and seems a hard-hitting, kind of nasty epithet. I don’t think I’ve ever been so-described, maybe just a bit “deranged.”

        • Marmon March 27, 2022

          An NBC News poll found that Biden is now at 40% approval, the lowest level of his presidency, with 55% of people disapproving of his job performance. His support from women has dropped from 51% to 44%, and his support among Latinos dropped from 48% to 39%.

          Marmon

          • Marshall Newman March 27, 2022

            “Beware of early assessments”, goes the saying.

  3. Marshall Newman March 27, 2022

    Regarding the Basie/Peterson video. I saw them in concert right around the time this was filmed. It was a package tour that also included Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald. An amazing night of music.

  4. Craig Stehr March 27, 2022

    Warmest spiritual greetings, Following the most intensely insane period of time possible in postmodern northern California, today by comparison is stable, spiritual, and serene. I want everybody to know that the madness resulting from the gangsta situation that developed at my residence in Redwood Valley, which was followed by a productive period at the Earth First! Media Center in Garberville, and then returning to survive in motels in Ukiah, (which ended up with my going to the hospital for a pacemaker implant), and then being admitted to the Redwood Community Services Building Bridges homeless shelter, has shifted to a continuous spiritual flow.
    Chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra continuously, identified with that which is prior to consciousness, going where I need to go and doing what I need to do. ~End of Message~

    Craig Louis Stehr
    Email: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com
    PayPal.me/craiglouisstehr
    Telephone Messages c/o Building Bridges: (707) 234-3270
    Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com
    Snail Mail: P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470
    March 27th, 2022

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