IN SUNDAY'S UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL, Tommy Wayne Kramer conflates hippies and “the left.” He said the hippies have stopped lots of cool progress like rural bypasses erected by those prodigies of engineering, Caltrans. A discernible left hasn't existed in this country since around 1970, and the occasional retro-hippie we sometimes see today is usually a grunge or rasta music person rather than a disoriented, long-haired beast wondering where Jerry Garcia went. I agree, and have often said, the hippie overlay discourages wider participation in resistance to this, that or the other thing. But the people leading these things around here, with the exception of the late Madam Bari, have always tended to put their jive “spirituality,” their costumes, their dope, their drum circles, their overweening piety, their totality of pure bullshit, ahead of the objective. A serious movement would move these people out of the way as the first order of business. But whatever else you might say about Judi Bari she didn't lack clarity. She got the whole amorphous mass of hippies, nut cases, left over lefties, and a whole buncha conventional people rounded up and headed in the same correct direction.
KRAMER WRITES: “Then we had Redwood Summer a bit closer to home, and yes indeed, you could go right down the checklist: Trees were climbed, plus all the usual chanting, sign-waving, yelling and singing. And, presto, the logging stopped, the lumber companies folded, thousands of jobs were lost and the joyful protesters went back home. Tremendous success!”
IN LIVING FACT, the outside timber corporations cut all the trees down real fast in the interest of short-term profit-taking, leaving the Northcoast stripped of thousands of jobs that used to enable working people to make reasonably comfortable lives for themselves. Hippies did not destroy the timber industry. L-P and G-P and Charles Hurwitz managed that, and laughed all the way to many millions of dollars.
THE REDWOOD SUMMER protests led by Bari were most successful in drawing national attention to the crimes committed against the working people and the forests of this area, but the protests didn't even slow the corporate onslaught. You could make a strong argument that the hippie factor gave the timber corporations perfect foils. The corporations could plausibly say, which they did, “Look at these dopeheads. They don't even get out of bed until noon. You want them or do you want us?” That's what Big Timber put out there and it resonated with much of the public.
WHEN BARI was car bombed by her ex-husband before Redwood Summer even got going, Bari herself became the object of “the movement,” the only movement in the history of movements to move steadily backwards. Loggers were caught between people who didn't have to work, aka Bari and the hippie brigades, as Tommy Wayne would have it, and the timber corporations. The loggers lost. They had no viable allies.
I DON'T THINK the hippie factor discouraged mass turnout for the Willits protests. It never helps, of course, but I think most Willits-area people still haven't grasped how dumb and expensive the Bypass is. No off and on ramps at Highway 20? Duh. When construction really gets going they'll belatedly get it, but it will be too late. Unfortunately, the “hippies” were tardy getting into the trees on this one. But they're right, just as the hippies of 1990 were right about the timber corporations.
UPDATE: On June 17, 2013 at 7:48am the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a person who had received second hand information of a possible homicide at a remote location on Spyrock Road in Laytonville, California. Before responding to the scene a Deputy Sheriff interviewed the reporting person who advised they had received a telephone call prior to contacting the Sheriff's Office. The anonymous caller told the reporting person that their relative, the victim, had been murdered at the Spyrock Road location. Upon arriving at the location described by the reporting person, law enforcement personnel located a deceased Hispanic adult male suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Sheriff's Detectives responded to the location and initiated a homicide investigation. During the processing of the crime scene Sheriff's Detectives noticed the presence of approximately 300 budding marijuana plants that had been recently cut as if to be harvested. The plants had been growing in an outdoor setting and inside of at least two temporary greenhouse structures. Sheriff's Detectives learned the victim had been camping at the location while tending to the growing marijuana plants. The victim had been found in his camp in close proximity to the cut marijuana plants. A forensic autopsy has been scheduled for 06-19-2013 and currently the victim has yet to be positively identified. Sheriff?s Detectives are continuing their investigation and have yet to determine a motive or identity of any suspect(s) in connection with the homicide. Sheriff's Detectives were aided in their crime scene investigation by the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100. (Sheriff’s Office Press Release)
JOHN SAKOWICZ WRITES: Retiring Mendocino County Savings Bank SVP, Marty Lombardi, will be my guest on my next show. In his 40 or so years at the bank, Marty helped bring the bank from $35 million in assets to about $1 billion in assets. Marty is also a past chair of the California Independent Bankers Association. To the best of my knowledge, despite his high public profile, Marty has never given an interview to the media — certainly not on KZYX. The interview will air on Friday, June 28, at 9am. We'll take listener calls at: 895-2448.
THREE BOONVILLE MEN are coaching football at Ukiah High School. Logo Teveseu; John Toohey; and a new name to us, Ron Capazuto, Tom Brady's high school coach at Serra High School back in the day. Ukiah seems to have an almost a one-on-one coaches to players ratio. When I was a 160 pound lineman and emergency quarterback back in another life time, we had one coach. He seldom spoke to me except to tell me to shut up. As I recall we had maybe six plays, one of which was an emergency, last ditch job where I, a baseball pitcher over-hyped as strong-armed, threw the ball as far as I could downfield in the general direction of a sprinter named Fred Thomas. Fred could cover a hundred yards in 10.5 with all that heavy 50's era equipment on. We only tried it once but Freddy outran my longball pass. Our quarterback, Dave George, went on to play at Cal, and one of our linemen, Willie Hector, was all-everything at UOP and played a few seasons with the Rams. We knew nothing about training, less about weights. The coach was a math teacher named Miller. He'd have us run around the track a couple of time then do push-ups. Practices were like torture, the games exciting, although we never had a winning season in my high school years. Vallejo was the league powerhouse. Anymore, it's a professionalized enterprise at the high school level, with armies of coaches, headphones and all the rest of NFL-ness of it. Anthropologists a thousand years from now will never puzzle it all out.
JUST IN. The mystery of the Willits Coca Cola bottle has been solved. Boonville guy Jim Gibson tells us that he remembers visiting a relative in Willits way back in 1949-50 where he recalls the Willits Soda Works standing prominently on a corner of Main Street. Jim also recalls “a huge pile of saw dust behind the place like they used to use to keep bottled drinks cool.” Jim says he has a beautiful old seltzer bottle with the little faucet dispenser on the top inscribed “Willits Soda Works.”
WHAT WITH A RECENT increase in crime plus festivals, miscellaneous events, and the constant deluge of 911 calls, the three new deputies recently hired by the Sheriff's Department may help the Department cope. The new hires will likely go to the Mendocino Coast and to the always busy wilderness of the North Sector, that vast outlaw sanctuary beginning at Willits and ranging from Covelo to the east, Rockport to the west, Spy Rock and Bell Springs to the north.