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LIGHT SHOWERS will spread south and east across the region today. Drier weather, cold morning temperatures, and mild afternoons are then forecast to occur Sunday through much of next week. (NWS)
AV OPEN STUDIOS TOUR is this weekend, showcasing the quality and diversity of Anderson Valley artists. A sampling of what you might see…
more info: artistsofandersonvalley.org
MENDO BALLOTS LEFT TO COUNT
Friday night: Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie announced that as with every election, there are ballots left to be processed and counted as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 17,080 Vote By Mail ballots to process and count, and 617 Provisional/Conditional ballots to review, process and count.
By law, any ballot that is postmarked by Election Day (Nov 8) will be accepted thru Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022, which may increase the number of ballots to process.
Ballots left to count in the “Hot” contests are:
The City of Ukiah – 2700;
City of Point Arena – 64;
City of Fort Bragg – 1200;
Willits Unified School – 2950;
Potter Valley Unified School – 580;
Round Valley Unified School – 500;
Mendocino Coast Health Care District – 4450;
Brooktrails Community Service District – 700;
Hopland Fire – 350;
Redwood Valley/Calpella Fire – 1450;
Redwood Valley County Water – 1150.
For the past 4 years we have updated our count (unofficial results) within 2 weeks of Election Day on our website and provided those number to the Secretary of State’s office. We will update our numbers again this election in the same manner.
Per State law, we have 30 days to complete the canvass and certify the election. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time. If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819.
(County Elections Clerk Presser)
ELECTION DAY IN MENDOCINO COUNTY: “WE ARE SWAMPED”
by Justine Frederiksen
Outside the Mendocino County Administration Building Tuesday morning, a steady stream of voters were dropping off their ballots in the drive-up box just outside the front doors during a lull in the rain. Inside, those ballots were being processed in a steady steam of activity.
“We are swamped,” said Mendocino County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie late Tuesday morning, explaining that employees at her office were processing ballots as quickly as possible “whenever we’re not on the phones” with voters or reporters.
As of Monday night, Bartolomie said that 16,734 ballots had been received by her office, and early Tuesday morning, “at least another 1,500” ballots had arrived for processing.
If voters want to watch that processing firsthand, the room where elections workers were opening and organizing ballots Tuesday has a door that opens onto the main hallway of the county administration building, allowing observers to stand just a few feet from where their ballot might be opened.
If that doorway becomes too crowded to allow easy viewing, a large screen mounted on the wall across the hallway displays real-time surveillance footage of the people processing ballots so many more viewers can observe.
When asked if her office had experienced any security issues regarding the observation room, Bartolomie said there had been no problems so far.
LOCAL VETERAN needs housing in the Philo, Navarro, or Boonville area. Low cost, sub-standard is OK. HUD qualified housing is also OK. If you have something or know of something please call 650-814-5917 or or email: email@example.com
FORT BRAGG'S NEW CLINIC
I'm Dr. Barbara Kilian-
I have been getting a lot of questions by email and facebook and as I go and introduce our new clinic in Fort Bragg. If appropriate, I thought I would make an announcement here as well.
I have been working as a physician in the area since 2011, primarily in the ER. I also work at Mendocino Coast Clinic-we opened the Open Door Clinic (LBGTQ) and I also started helping with primary care. I also work with our Opiate Addiction program there. I still work in the AHMC ER.
I have also worked for a small clinic called CityHealth in various capacities for the last 6 years and recently became Chief Medical Officer. Part of our growth plan is to open more clinics and since I live here, I proposed we open a local primary care clinic here.
City Health offers *Primary Care, Same Day appointments (like an urgent care), and we also have a 7 day a week virtual urgent care you can access at home.
We are located in Ft. Bragg. I have included the website in case anyone has questions. We are real, we are local, we see people in person and virtually.
Telephone number is 707-941-0971 email is firstname.lastname@example.org
We take most insurances, including medicare. We are not currently able to take partnership
MEDICARE ANNUAL CHOICES AND CHANGES with HICAP
Zoom, Friday, Nov 18th, 10-11am (Advanced Registration required)
LOCAL SHUL VANDALIZED:
Dear MCJC community,
I am sorry to tell you that there was an act of vandalism at the shul yesterday. Here’s what Susan Tubbesing wrote to inform MCJC’s Board:
Sarah just came home from watering things at the shul with our Mendocino Coast Jewish Community sign, that had been fixed to the front of the building, to the right of the front door. She found it lying broken on the ground. Someone clearly pulled it off the building and had tried to scratch off the name of the shul.
In addition, a few days earlier we found a scattering of pennies on the front step of the shul. This may have been an accidental spill, but throwing or stacking pennies has been reported as an anti-Semitic trope in other places. So this is of concern as well.
We have reported both of these incidents to the Sheriff. They took a detailed report and will patrol outside the shul this Saturday morning.
Over the past two years MCJC’s Board has been involved in a longer-term project to make our shul safer, applying for grants and doing assessments to determine what our security needs are. We met with a Sheriff’s officer two years ago to get his advice and have kept current with safety information from the State. So far we have put up more outdoor lighting, and installed a phone in the library. We are using the kitchen door only to enter and leave the shul, keeping the front door locked. We are in the process of rebuilding the front access to the shul so that people can leave more quickly in a safe way if necessary. We are also improving the kitchen doors and adding cameras and more lighting outside.
These two recent events are deeply concerning, especially in a context of increased racial, political and religious violence in the country and world. We don’t feel that our safety in the shul is immediately threatened. But these events have heightened our attention to physical safety at the shul.
Even as I’m writing this, I am thinking back to the Shabbat after the horrible shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh — and how in the aftermath so, so many people from our community and especially from many of the local churches came to the shul the next Shabbat, sang outside, walked us individually into the building and showed so much love and concern. We didn’t even ask them — they just showed up.
Over the past years MCJC has been strengthening relationships with the Latino community, with Indigenous neighbors, with the Caspar community and with the larger community through the Winter Shelter, the Mitzvah Freezer and other modes of building friendship and mutual support. Just now I am coordinating the re-emergence of an interfaith clergy group after many years. We don’t usually think of these things in terms of security, and that is not the primary intention of any of these outreaches. But over the long haul I really do feel like the care and solidarity of our neighbors is our most real security.
In the meantime please be assured that we are working on materially securing our shul’s safety and that of all of us who spend time there.
With love, blessings of Shabbat shalom and prayers for peace, Margaret
* * *
More information is turning up since I wrote yesterday about the vandalized sign at our shul. We have learned since that there has been a streak of vandalism and other events around Caspar all related to one person who is presently living in Caspar. This morning during Shabbat services we could hear a man, presumably this same individual, yelling outside in the street in front of the shul. We called 911 and two Sheriff’s officers came quickly. They were aware of this man, who had gone inside since the time of the call. We don’t know if the officers made contact with him, but there was no further commotion while we were there. We can’t be absolutely certain that this is the source of the vandalism at the shul, but it seems very likely. I wanted to share this update because it appears that we have a problem with one deranged neighbor and not a more insidious anti-Semitic threat. It’s still not good, for the shul or for our friends in Caspar. MCJC’s Board and I are very appreciative of information and offers about security cameras and the like, and we will be following up on them. Other than this I know that the Caspar Community leadership is also working on finding out more about how to protect us all from this person’s damaging energy. I will let you know if there are further developments. In the meantime I wish you a sweet and safe week.
Rabbi Margaret Holub
by Mark Scaramella
BAD NEWS FOR SUPERVISOR GJERDE: According to California’s new post-covid Brown Act rules, beginning in January of 2023, for meetings using teleconferencing (Zoom), a quorum of members must be present in person. Board members are limited to participating via Zoom twice per year.
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SHERIFF MATT KENDALL told the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council last week that six newly-hired correctional officers were sworn in on October 31. There are two deputy sheriff’s candidates at the police academy, and two more in the pipeline to be hired. There are still openings for correctional officers, deputies, and dispatchers, so Kendall asked that the public spread the word to anybody who might be interested. (From a MendoFever report by Monica Huetl.)
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CLOSING THE BOOKS on a fiscal year can be tricky when the economy itself is bogging down, especially in Mendo at the tail end of the national economy. Traditionally, a government agency should be able to close its books at the end of August, two months after the June 30 end of the fiscal year. But these days with staff shortages all over the place and supply chain delays and worker shortages, the bill for a project, for example, can be delayed for months and even then it can come in higher than budgeted or with errors or add-ons.
At last week’s AV Community Services District budget committee meeting we learned that some big ticket items, such as the $300k-plus new water tender, that are on order from last year are still months away from delivery and billing. Also, some strike team bills submitted last year that for fires that occurred back are not only complicated to complie and submit, but can take months before payments are actually received from one or another state agency.
Which brings us to the much large books-closing process now underway at the County admin center.
The Supervisors want to blame Auditor-Tax Collector Chamise Cubbison for this year’s unusually delayed closing. But the Auditor can’t be blamed for delivery and billing delays. And what about orders for big ticket items where the money isn’t spent yet, but is committed and will be spent when the bill is received? What fiscal year do you apply that to if it was budgeted for last year but delivered and billed and paid for this year? What accounting and bookkeeping systems are in place to account for the fact that the money for a costly new customized vehicle, for example, is still in your pocket, but can’t be spent because it’s earmarked for when the bill arrives? And nobody knows when the bill will arrive?
Similarly, there are revenues that are supposed to come in that were billed last year (or earlier, in some cases), but are still “receivable” until some understaffed state agency gets around to reviewing and approving the bill and then sending the money.
This is on top of the well-acknowledged staffing shortages and lack of experience in all county offices and particularly the Auditor’s office and you have a difficult situation that calls for cooperation, not finger pointing.
Yet we still hear statements like this one from Supervisor Glenn McGourty at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting:
“Our Auditor Controller Tax collector Treasurer is an elected official. She does not answer to us. We have to have good information provided by her. She has not done it! We are waiting! That's what's holding us up! That's all that's holding us up!”
* * *
WE HOPE THAT frequent on-line commenter Eric Sunswheat is wrong with his expectation that “Hopefully the new County general sales tax, aka ‘fire tax,’ will be partially used to backfill the funding shortfall with health insurance costs for County workers who are designated emergency workers for times of disaster including fire, and with overseeing the planning for fire and its aftermath.”
That kind of twisted speculation reflects the contorted thinking that this Board of Supervisors has demonstrated in the past and is quite capable of doing.
At last Tuesday’s Board meeting CEO Darcie Antle reminded the Board that although the surprise $4.6 million health plan deficit from prior years had been “covered” with American Rescue Plan federal dollars, there was an additional $2.6 million deficit for the current year that has not yet been accounted for. There’s nothing in the Measure P “fire tax” sales tax language to prevent the County from re-directing some of the new money expected to come in from the “fire tax” away from actual loca fire department disbursements and using it for their own “essential services” purposes. And even if the local fire chiefs and their supporters complain, they have no legal standing to prevent it.
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A CALLER COMPLAINED FRIDAY that even though stores are charging recycling deposits there’s no place to redeem them. He wanted to know if anybody has any idea how much the public is paying without any way to get back the deposit. The closest recycling center is in Santa Rosa, a completely impractical option.
We couldn’t find that value of the deposits, but it appears to be a problem statewide, according to a recent ABC7 News article: abc7news.com/do-stores-take-bottles-cans-recycling-redeeming-crv-at-store/5553583/
ACOSTA THE ARSONIST PLEADS
With his jury trial scheduled to begin this coming Monday, defendant Alberto Vincent Acosta, age 34, of Ukiah, instead admitted responsibility in the Mendocino County Superior Court Wednesday morning for “willfully and maliciously“ setting a series of fires in and around Ukiah in August 2020.
Originally charged with setting twelve fires, defendant Acosta Wednesday admitted setting fire on August 12, 2020 to two separate inhabited properties while there was a statewide state of emergency in effect. He also admitted setting fire that same day to two separate grassland and wooded properties, again while the same state of emergency was in effect.
In exchange for the dismissal of the other eight counts, the defendant withdrew his previously entered NGI (not guilty by reason of insanity) plea. A psychiatrist and a psychologist had previously examined the defendant and both had concluded that he was insane at the time the fires were set, psychiatric opinions that the DA planned on contesting at trial.
Under California law, a person is considered legally insane and not criminally responsible for his actions if he (1) did not understand the nature of his criminal act(s), or (2) did not understand that what he was doing was morally wrong.
As part of the global resolution, the defendant also stipulated to a court-ordered commitment to state prison of 272 months.
Because two of the admitted counts are characterized in the California Penal Code as crimes of violence, the defendant’s ability to earn credits towards early release from prison should be limited to no more than 15 percent of the overall sentence, meaning he should be required to serve just over 231 months in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, assuming there is compliance by CDCR with current state law.
Upon the defendant’s eventual release on parole some years down the road, he will also be required to register annually for life with local law enforcement as an arson offender.
After the defendant’s admissions were accepted by the Court, the defendant’s case was referred to the Adult Probation Department for a background study and the preparation of documents necessary to assist the CDCR in its obligation to receive, classify, and assign the defendant to a state prison facility.
The defendant will be back in Department A of the Ukiah courthouse on December 8th at 9 o’clock in the morning for the formal sentencing hearing wherein the stipulated sentence will be imposed. Meanwhile, he remains under lock and key in the protective custody of the Sheriff at the Sheriff’s Low Gap jail facility.
The agencies that investigated and developed the evidence needed to prove the case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, and CalFire.
The attorney responsible for prosecuting this defendant has been District Attorney David Eyster. While DA Eyster was away from the office, Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott McMenomey stepped in and handled the change of plea proceedings.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder accepted the case resolution Wednesday morning as summarized above and will impose the stipulated sentence on December 8th.
THE REAL PROBLEM
To the Editor:
The looming bankruptcy of the county is now coming to light. But we should have seen it coming.
Be it deficit of the county health insurance plan or the underfunding of the county pension system or be it the deficit in the county cannabis program or the manufacturing of fake reserves by all the vacancies in the county job chart, the Mendocino County Grand Jury has known for a long time how broke the county really is.
Kathy Wylie, the seemingly perennial foreman of the grand jury and a long-time sycophant and enabler of now-retired County CEO Carmel Angelo, should now be brought to task by the judge who oversees the grand jury, the Hon. Jeanine Nadel.
But there was little oversight. Why? Because Ms. Nadel owes her original appointment to the Mendocino County Superior Court to Carmel Angelo. Let’s not forget that Ms. Nadel was Angelo’s county counsel for years. Ms. Nadel was also a sycophant and enabler.
It disturbs me that people are now pointing the finger at retired county auditor Lloyd Weir for dereliction of duty for not pointing out the various financial failures of the county when he was auditor.
Untrue and unfair. I’ve known Lloyd for years — I sat with him on the Retirement Board for five years — and he is a good man.
The problem? The real problem with trying to audit county finances? Lloyd never got the financial information he needed from the CEO’s office to do his job. Carmel Angelo hoarded that information. And she also kept it from the Board of Supervisors.
Information is power and Carmel Angelo was all-powerful. The one check on that power was the grand jury but it failed us.
2021-2022 ANNUAL REPORT: PURPOSE. PARTNERSHIPS. POSSIBILITIES.
by Megan Barber Allende, CEO, Community Foundation of Mendocino County
The past fiscal year has been one of giving, listening, and understanding the needs of the world around us. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, donors to the Community Foundation made record-breaking contributions totaling $9,787,529. Their generosity enabled us to award $3,551,475 in grants and scholarships.
While doing all we could to support the community through the pandemic, the Board of Directors and staff also undertook a deep dive to learn more about the opportunities for and barriers to serving our entire community more fully. We deepened our understanding of the land on which we live and work, envisioned a new mission and vision, and created an equity statement.
There is magic in the circle that connects the passion of our donors, the commitment of our nonprofits, and the needs and resourcefulness of our community. We are so grateful for everyone in the Community Foundation family, and we'll continue to listen and learn. Together, we achieve great things, and we will continue to do so for generations to come.
If you would like to support the Community Foundation's essential work in Mendocino County, please give here. To directly contribute to one of our funds, please explore ways to give to discover a fund that inspires you. Our annual report is in the mail.
If you would like an additional hard copy, please contact us at email@example.com to request a copy to be mailed to you.
To view it online, visit 2021-2022 Community Foundation Annual Report.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, November 11, 2022
LETICIA ANGUIANO, Ukiah. DUI with priors, suspended license, probation revocation.
TYLER BURKE, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.
CHERLYN CAPE, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, controlled substance, false personation of another.
VANESSA ELIZABETH, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KORBIN FRANKLIN, Fort Bragg. DUI
JESUS HERRERA, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LEE LONG, Ukiah. Tear gas, false personation of another, county parole violation.
HAROLD MILLER, Willits. Controlled substance without prescription, paraphernalia, trespassing, probation revocation.
ODESSA ONEIL, Ukiah. Harboring wanted felon, resisting.
PETER QUINONES, Hopland. Protective order violation.
DONALD SPENCER, Ukiah. Obstruction of Student/Teacher.
DAVID WARE, Chico/Ukiah. DUI, no license.
LUIS ZAMORA, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
CALIFORNIA WAS IN EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT A YEAR AGO. After recent rains, where are we now?
by Gerry Diaz & Yoohyun Jung
California’s drought situation is looking better this year compared with the same time last year. In November 2021, more than 80% of California was in extreme or worse drought, compared with about 43% this year, U.S. Drought Monitor data shows.
The data is updated weekly and shows drought conditions across the country.
Aside from the San Joaquin Valley, exceptional drought conditions have been stomped out across the majority of the state. This means East Bay and North Bay cities like Oakland, Napa and Walnut Creek are finally out of this most severe drought designation.
The California coast has also seen significant improvements this year. San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Big Sur coastline dropped from the ‘extreme’ to ‘severe’ category quickly after recent rains. “A wet week for much of the West helped to put a boost into the start of the current water year after a slow start,” the drought monitor’s current summary shows.
In recent years La Niña weather patterns stomped out early season storms approaching California, but this year has been different.
Toward the end of September the state saw a solid fall showing when a rainstorm drenched the Bay Area and Sierra. October wound up being dominated by fog that replenished the redwoods and other flora along the Santa Cruz Mountains. And November saw a weak atmospheric river churn rain and snow showers into all corners of the Southern Cascades, the Tahoe area along the Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains and the coastal mountains along Highway 1. The Bay Area also saw several rounds of showers just this past week, bringing up to an inch of rain to downtown San Francisco and close to 2 inches of rain in the East Bay hills and North Bay valleys.
Last year’s wet season — the rainier months from fall to spring — began with a bang, with a series of atmospheric rivers inspiring hope for the end of the multi-year drought. However, it ended in disappointment with scant rainfall in the new year.
This year’s sudden improvements were no fluke - they were largely driven by a global weather pattern floating thousands of miles away in the Arctic. This pattern is called the Pacific North American oscillation - or PNA. It’s marked by two phases: positive and negative.
In a positive PNA phase, a high-pressure system stalls off the coast of California and shuts our storm door. Systems that bring rain and snow are booted out and the state stays dry. In a negative phase, a low-pressure system sets up off the coast and keeps the storm door wide open. California sees storm-after-storm when the pattern is negative, which has been dominating since September.
While better than last year, data released Thursday shows about 38% of the state is still in exceptional drought. Areas in the Central Valley such as Fresno that have experienced back to back years of severe dry conditions are at risk of experiencing widespread crop losses and water shortages.
The gains seen in the Bay Area and Central Valley from recent storms are expected to carry over into the rest of the winter season. This wet pattern is set to likely continue, according to The Climate Prediction Center, though La Nina conditions could still limit how much precipitation makes it to California.
BERNICE BING’S SEARCH FOR A UNIFIED SELF
[Ed Note: The late Bernice Bing was a popular and long-time resident of the Anderson Valley…]
by John Yau
For more than 20 years, I have been gathering information on the artist Bernice Bing (1936–1998), who, I have learned, had many identities. She was a painting student of Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, and Frank Lobdell; a Bay Area Abstract Expressionist; a Beat Generation artist; a Chinatown arts activist and teacher, who taught a class with the Filipino American abstract artist Leo Valledor; an active member of the groups Lesbian Visual Artists and Asian American Women’s Artist Association; a practicing calligrapher who studied with Saburo Hasegawa in 1957 at the California College of Arts and Crafts and in 1984 with Wang Dongling at the Zhejiang Academy in Hangzhou, China; a devout Buddhist who lived alone in rural California; someone nicknamed “Bingo,” who the Cellar Bar in San Francisco’s Geary Theatre memorialized with a drink called the “Bingotini” — a martini made with 151-proof rum; an orphaned Chinese American who was shuttled between 17 white foster homes and the abusive Ming Quong orphanage.
After missing the exhibition Bingo: The Life and Art of Bernice Bing at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art (September 21, 2019–January 5, 2020), curated by Linda Keaton, I vowed not to miss her next museum exhibition. This is why, when I got off the plane in San Francisco to participate in the conference/symposium IMU UR2: Art, Aesthetics, and Asian America (October 28-29) at Stanford University, I was eager to see the exhibition Into View: Bernice Bing at the Asian Art Museum (September 30, 2022–May 1, 2023), curated by Abby Chen. The show celebrates the museum’s recent acquisition of 24 of Bing’s works dating from 1959 to 1995, making it the largest public holding of work by this long-overlooked artist.
The exhibition’s immediate takeaway was that the many paths Bing took in her work reflect her lifelong desire to find a unified self. To her credit, it seems that she never developed a signature style. The diversity of her artworks and subjects — from abstract landscapes to lotus sutras — shares something with another San Francisco-based artist, Ruth Asawa, who drew every day, worked in her community, and made figurative clay sculptures and abstract wire sculptures. The deep bond they share is their persistence. Bing was, as I wrote of Asawa, “a pioneer out of necessity.” Her search was not about style, being fashionable, or fitting in. It was about trying to acknowledge the multiple worlds one inhabits.
Even though I had thought about Bing’s issues with identity before, I was not prepared for the effect the early painting “Self Portrait with a Mask” (1960) had on me. Every now and then a work speaks to you so deeply and personally that you are left shaken; it is as if what you are looking at sees you.
The upper torso of a woman with a black ponytail is seen in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer. Bing depicts herself wearing what looks like a nondescript blue outfit; its color and cut reminded me of the “Shanghai blue” coats traditionally worn by peasants and factory workers. She wears a white mask with red lips. Its jaw juts forward, suggesting that the form does not comfortably fit her face. The largely featureless mask is reminiscent of those worn in Noh theater and their so-called “neutral” expression. In Noh, all the roles are played by men and the masks represent different characters.
Once all the things that Bing has brought together in this painting start to emerge, the depth and expanse of self-awareness that she possessed in her mid-20s becomes apparent, beginning with her depiction of a woman occupying what is traditionally a man’s position while wearing a female-signifying mask. This is underscored by the suppression of gender difference the blue uniform conveys. What does it mean that a Chinese American woman is wearing a mask meant to represent a Japanese woman? Does the mask/painting reveal or hide her true self? Can one ever arrive at a true self or are we always wearing one kind of mask or another?
After looking at “Self Portrait with a Mask,” I began to see the rest of the show through a different lens; each path Bing took with her work was in quest of a unity that she knew was impossible to attain. The poet Robert Kelly wrote, “Style is death. Finding the measure is finding/a freedom from that death, a way out, a movement/forward.” I believe Bing was always looking for what Kelly calls “the measure,” and that one aspect of the search was the part of her practice connected with Buddhism and calligraphy. In the four works on paper or board in the exhibition with “lotus” in the title, I had the sense that Bing, who had shown in the Bay Area in the 1960s, was not focused on commercial exhibits, and that conflict between private and public — which the self-portrait anticipates — haunted her throughout her life.
While in the Bay Area, I wanted to see paintings from two of Bing’s series of abstract landscapes, Mayacamas and Blue Mountains, as I was interested in how their internal syntax and color palette differentiated them from each other. I knew that “Mayacamas IV, 4/10/63, Bismark Saddle” (1963) and “Blue Mountain, No. 2 (1966)” were included in Into View. I had hoped to see “Mayacamas No. 6, March 12, 1963” (1963), which is in the collection of San Francisco’s de Young Museum but learned that it was not on display. (Maybe museums could learn to collaborate on a micro level.) I also knew that I would be able to see “Blue Mountain No. 4” (1966) at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. Seeing these paintings confirmed my suspicion that the former series was inspired by the time she spent in the Napa Valley and her familiarity with Diebenkorn’s Berkeley series from the mid-1950s, while the latter was likely her imaginative response to the Guilin Mountains in Southern China. While “Blue Mountain 2” and “Blue Mountain 4” show the inspiration of Clyfford Still’s California abstractions, the series stands on its own as well as anticipates Wayne Thiebaud’s late paintings of mountains. Ideally, I would like to see an exhibition of paintings from these two series along with late landscapes, such as “Anderson Valley” (1994) and others done in the 1990s.
Painted while she was suffering from Lupus and other diseases, “Epilogue” (1990-95), which measures 72 by 288 inches, is, as the title suggests, a commentary on her life. Made up of three abutting panels, each panel includes abstract and figural elements and contrasting areas of light and dark; each one also defines three clearly demarcated areas. Together, they archive different paths Bing explored, from the figural to the calligraphic. Beyond that, I cannot say with any certainty what the painting means and I am not sure prolonged looking will shed light on the painting’s enigmatic juxtaposition of lotus forms and figurative outline. Mounted on adjacent walls, “Self Portrait with a Mask” and “Epilogue” suggest the trajectory of Bing’s career, from the recognition that the self (or “I”) might always remain both hidden and revealed to a retrospective looks at the routes one takes in pursuit of the self and authenticity. This exhibition makes an important contribution to our knowledge and reevaluation of Bing. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.
MEMO OF THE AIR: 10th anniversary on KNYO all Armistice Day night!
Hi, Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on the radio next week. Or maybe even tonight anyway if, in the midst of the chaos, I remember to look at my phone.
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 TuneIn.com or KNYO.org.
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. And you'll find a cargo container of disturbing items to gingerly handle and examine until showtime, or any time, such as:
Snake dance. This reminds me of when Tyler and Ruthel Lincoln's Symphony of the Redwoods spent a risky $18,000 to put on /Dido and Aeneas/ in Cotton Auditorium. There was a woman in a snake-slug suit in the underworld scene who gave an impression sinuously similar to this. https://misscellania.blogspot.com/2014/11/contortionist-snake-dance.html
A video demonstrating why golden retrievers and their black Lab cousins are much more likely than other dogs to be fat pigs. They don't just eat food, they spasmodically engulf it. They hork a whole day's food in in one breath and go vacuuming around the room for more. I looked up why that kind of dog is like that. One article says it's because "they like food a lot." Ahem. Another says, "A golden retriever’s high hunger may be due to multifactorial causes, including biology, dog-owner relationships, and other environmental factors. However, at this time, the exact cause of why golden retrievers are always so hungry is unknown." Multifactorial causes, well, that explains it. https://misscellania.blogspot.com/2014/11/spaghetti-eating-competition.html
And video of angry octopockles throwing dirt, rocks and shells at each other, slapping each other and getting briefly stuck together by their suction cups. "Stop it!" "/You/ stop it!" "No, /you/ stop it!" https://newatlas.com/biology/octopuses-hurl-objects-rare-animal-throwing/
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
AS THE WORLD TURNS
This Tuesday, November 15 former president Donald J. Trump will announce his candidacy for president for next year, 2024. Wonders never cease. Here again is the politician who spent much of his time in office dreaming up his own Covid-19 treatments and castigating the medical professionals such as Dr. Anthony Fauci. MD who headed his team of virologists who valiantly fought to save lives while Trump advocated crackpot ideas such as injecting the sick with bleach.
A joke about narcicissism goes something like this: How many narcissists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Answer, One to hold it while the world turns it around. Donald J. Trump may not be this dumb, but his approach to foreign affairs was. He trashed NATO at every turn, while praising our enemy strongmen like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Being retired, I have the luxury of reading an awful lot of commentary about a lot of different issues. One of the issues that is almost never discussed is how this country actually works at the most basic level. It is as simple as this: the One-Percent control this country and the Ninety-Nine Percent pay them. The wealth of the One-Percent is immense and they own the legislators and government officials who do their bidding. It is not a matter of being Republican or being Democratic. Both parties have the same owner, the super wealthy rentier-oligarchs who comprise the One-Percent. Their wealth comes from us and is based on little more than privileges given to them by government. Perhaps you think I’m nuts.
Imagine this. You go to college or vocational training and end up having no debt. You have health insurance at nominal cost. You get married and start a family, and in time, buy a home without paying anyone interest. All the money you and your family earn is yours and is spent on you and your family, not transferred to others. These ideas seem so strange that you have a hard time even wrapping your mind around them. I am talking about overturning things have we have been doing for over a hundred years. I am talking about the government working for the Ninety-Nine Percent, not the One-Percent.
Of course, this is a dream, or a nightmare if you are in the One-Percent, and there zero chance it could happen. Why, because the One-Percent owns government, and government makes all the laws. The owners laugh while we distract ourselves with various issues and vote accordingly, while we get poorer and poorer and they get richer and richer taking our money. Sure, issues are important, but in the big picture they are on the periphery. Their significance would fade, if the country was run for the Ninety-Nine Percent and not the One-Percent.
Most of the wars would not have taken place. The One-Percent preserved their wealth and global control, while the Ninety-Nine Percent were handed flags folded three-corner.
So, if you are buying any of this, who represents the Ninety-Nine Percent? Is it Trump or DeSantis?
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY used to be shaped–at least partially–by social movements–especially labor and civil rights. Now it’s shaped by the movements of money: does Raytheon want more war in Ukraine? Does Goldman Sachs need a bailout? Who does Cargill think will provide the biggest ag subsidies?
— Jeff St. Clair
FORTUNATELY IN ENGLAND, at any rate, education produces very little effect. If it did any more, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.
— Oscar Wilde
PEOPLE SAID I WAS A BRAWLER and a mugger when I got in a boxing ring. Fight to the finish; have a referee that let me fight rough; don't stop the fight on cuts. I was just about unbeatable under those circumstances. Well, those are the rules in a street fight.
I was good in street fights. I had maybe 15 of them when I was a kid and a few more in school. After I retired from boxing, I had some in bars. Bar fights are easy. Guys have been drinking and they can't go more than 30 seconds without getting tired, 60 seconds at most.
Guys who've been in prison can be a problem in street fights. A lot of them are violent to begin with and then they learned techniques in jail that make them even harder to fight.
I had two fights when I was in prison. One of them was over a shower stall. The other was when a guy told me I had to give him a certain number of cigarettes each week to see that I didn't have any trouble. We threw some punches, and after that he left me alone.
— Chuck Wepner
WHY CALIFORNIA’S ECO-FRIENDLY, TAX-THE-RICH ELECTORATE KILLED PROP. 30
by Ben Christopher
Voting down Proposition 30 might seem a little off-brand for the California electorate.
These are the voters, after all, who showed no qualms just a decade ago about hiking income taxes on top earners and also hit millionaires in 2004to pay for mental health services. These are the California majorities who, as recently as June, told pollsters that they were either considering or had already purchased an electric car. Most named air pollution, wildfire and climate change as areas of major personal concern.
And yet the ballot measure that would have increased taxes on about 43,000 multimillionaires (on income above $2 million a year) to fund electric car rebates and combat wildfires has suffered an unambiguous defeat. In the statewide vote count as of late Wednesday, 59% rejected the proposal.
At first glance, the fate of Prop. 30 may be the most compelling head-scratcher of the 2022 California election. But for the campaigns on both sides of the highly contested measure, and for many independent political observers to boot, there’s an obvious answer to this electoral mystery — and its name is Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“You can’t remove the governor from it,” said Matt Rodriguez, campaign manager for No on 30. “He’s a credible messenger on the opposition side, simply because I think a lot of people and a lot of Democrats take their cues from him.”
Newsom’s decision to come out swinging against Prop. 30 in mid-September caught many political observers by surprise. That’s both because his position seemed at odds with his reputation as a climate advocate in general and a booster of electric cars specifically, and because his opposition was so fervent. Of the seven measures on the state ballot this year, the governor only lent his likeness and directed his own campaign resources to two — the overwhelmingly successful Prop. 1 to codify abortion rights in the California constitution, and Prop. 30, a riskier political gambit.
That was a coup for the anti-Prop. 30 forces. Comparing polls taken before and after the governor cut his first “No on 30” ad, public support wilted — especially among supporters.
“The drop among those who approve of Newsom was three times greater than those who were disapproving,” said Dean Bonner, associate survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California. The No campaign found a similar shift in its private polling.
Mary Creasman, CEO of California Environmental Voters and a member of the campaign supporting Prop. 30, also said Newsom’s role “100%” contributed to the measure’s demise, though she also blamed the “No” campaign for what she said were “lies” about what the ballot measure would actually do.
Prop. 30 “had a record number of billionaires against it, it had complete falsehoods thrown at it, and it had the most popular Democratic leader in the state against it,” she said. “And we still got 40% of the vote.”
Specifically, Creasman said the suggestion, made by Newsom and in many No on 30 ads, that Prop. 30 would have specifically benefited Lyft was false. In fact, though the measure could have helped the rideshare company meet some of the state’s vehicle electrification mandates, it would have done so by subsidizing zero-emission vehicles and expanding charging infrastructure in general, not by providing money to Lyft directly.
Lyft, however, provided roughly 94% of the funding, nearly $48 million, for the Yes on Prop. 30 campaign.
Creasman said she was especially puzzled by the governor’s position, given his support for a state policy to phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. The governor and Legislature have committed $10 billion on zero-emission programs and subsidies over the next five years. But Creasman argued that making the mandated transition will require more, and more reliable, public funding.
The failure of Prop. 30 puts the ball in the governor’s court, she added.
“Where’s the money going to come from?” said Creasman. “If the governor has some exciting, innovative new stuff that he can pull out of his pocket and say, ‘Here’s how we’re gonna pay for it,’ we are all in.”
Not a referendum on climate
Both Creasman and Rodriguez cautioned against drawing any sweeping conclusions about California voters’ policy preferences from the outcome of this single contentious proposition.
Will voters “still be progressive on tax policy? I think possibly,” said Rodriguez. “Will they still be very progressive on climate? I think absolutely. I don’t think any of that is gone. I just think that voters weren’t fooled.”
David Vogel, author of “California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became An Environmental Leader” and a UC Berkeley professor emeritus, agreed.
“I don’t see it as a referendum at all on climate change or the environment,” he said of Prop. 30. He pointed to the governor’s opposition, the neutrality of some high-profile environmental organizations including the Sierra Club and the allegations of self-dealing by Lyft as top reasons for voter skepticism.
The Sierra Club’s decision not to endorse was motivated by concerns that some of the money that the measure would have directed toward wildfire mitigation could have funded clear-cutting forests.
But that was only one of many dueling endorsements and non-endorsements in the Prop. 30 campaign that may have confused voters.
In opposing the measure, Newsom joined traditional allies in the state’s two largest teachers’ unions, which warned that Prop. 30 could reduce state funding to public schools. But he broke with manyDemocrats and was on the same sideas stranger political bedfellows, including the California Republican Party, the state Chamber of Commerce and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
On the yes side, the Democratic Party, many environmentalists and trades unions joined Lyft, even though they battled the corporate giant just two years over its successful referendum to exempt the company’s driver’s from a state labor law.
The utter strangeness of those coalitions likely contributed to the defeat of Prop. 30 too, said Paul Mitchell, with Political Data Inc., an election analysis firm that works with Democrats.
“I don’t think it was so much the governor’s messaging, but it was confusing to voters. It was like, ‘Wait, this is an environmental thing? It’s a Lyft thing? The governor isn’t for it?” he said.
Mitchell pointed to the trend in California politics that ballot measures frequently lose support as Election Day nears. That’s often because undecided and puzzled voters are driven by a “first do no harm” principle and. erring on the side of the status quo, vote “no.”
“Confusion is the best friend of the ‘no’ side,” said Mitchell. “You don’t have to even win the argument, you just have to muddy the waters.”
UKRAINE, FRIDAY, 11TH NOVEMBER
Russia’s Kherson retreat marks tectonic shift in Ukraine war Withdrawal from capital of eponymous region further undermines Russia’s geopolitical prestige and gives boost to Ukrainian economy, analysts say.
Kyiv, Ukraine – From propaganda billboards plastered all over Kherson city to fiery speeches by Russian and Moscow-appointed officials, the mantra repeated over much of the past year was the same: “Russia is here forever”.
But such declarations invite mockery these days, as tens of thousands of Russian servicemen hastily pulled out of the capital of the eponymous southern region on Thursday, with Ukrainian troops entering it a day later.
Russia’s retreat from the largest urban centre it captured since it invaded Ukraine marks a tectonic shift in the war, gives a boost to the faltering Ukrainian economy and further undermines Moscow’s geopolitical prestige in the countries of the former Soviet Union and beyond, analysts have said.
The Belgium-sized Kherson province was seized within days after the February 24 invasion began, becoming Russia’s largest and most strategic gain.
In late September, Russia proclaimed it had annexed the Kherson region and three other Ukrainian provinces, a move denounced as illegal by Ukraine and its allies.
But on Wednesday evening, as a weeks-long Ukrainian counteroffensive continued gathering pace, Russian officials announced a withdrawal from the capital city to save the lives of soldiers amid difficulties to keep supply lines open.
Shortly after the pullback announcement, pro-Kremlin figures bemoaned the loss of dozens of tanks and armed-personnel carriers to Ukrainian servicemen.
“Why wasn’t it all blown up or burned down?” Yuri Kotyonok, a Russian military correspondent, asked rhetorically in a Telegram post on Thursday.
On Friday morning, even before the Ukrainian forces’ returned to Kherson, pro-Kyiv civilians flew the Ukrainian flag over the city hall.
Still, the Kremlin claimed the region remains “part of Russia”, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying, “there can’t be any changes”.
The reality, however, is that Moscow has lost its only stronghold on the west bank of the Dnieper River, Ukraine’s largest and widest.
“Ukrainian forces will not let Russians cross the Dnieper any more,” Nikolay Mitrokhin, a Russia expert in Germany’s Bremen University, told Al Jazeera.
The pull-out also means Russian forces “lose a chance to part Ukraine in two” by advancing towards central regions, he said.