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INTERIOR TEMPERATURES WILL DECREASE over the next several days. The threat of isolated thunderstorms will persist today and then shift over inland areas Friday and this weekend. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A tropical 59F under overcast (mix of fog & tropical clouds) skies this Thursday morning on the coast. A 20% chance for rain into Friday night. If you look way down south of Cabo on first satellite shot you can see TS Hilary forming into a hurricane that could be headed our way later next week, although more likely to track up thru the Sierra. Stay tuned weather fans.
MAYBE RAIN. California forecasters are closely watching a tropical storm spinning in the eastern Pacific off the coast of Mexico, as moisture associated with the system is forecast to bring a chance of heavy rain, flash flooding and high winds to Southern California on Saturday and Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. The San Francisco Bay Area could see widespread rain on Monday and Tuesday, but the forecast is less certain beyond the weekend.
TROPICAL STORM HILARY: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_ep4.shtml?start#contents
JAMES GRABLE DEAN
February 16, 1938 - August 13, 2023
17 years is a long time to live without half your heart.
For the past 5 years, Dean James has battled Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, along with other issues of advancing age. It took a toll on his body.
Surprisingly, his cardiologist said his heart was fine. And physically, it was.
But he lost part of his heart when our mom died.
On Sunday night, Dad went to sleep, and passed peacefully into Mom’s waiting arms.
Pulmonary Fibrosis is a horrible, progressive disease. The doctor described as lung tissue “turning to stone”. There is no cure, but he was lucky to quickly start an experimental treatment that slowed the progression of the IPF for 4 1/2 years. Over the last 6 months, the IPF caught up with him, and he needed to use a motorized wheelchair and oxygen 24/7. It finally forced him to stop working a job he loved. He was literally counting down the days to an appointment at UCSF in early September which he was hopeful would help him to breathe again.
I will so miss his smile, his laugh, his company, his advice, his soothing presence. James Dean, you were fiercely and thoroughly loved, and will continue to be for as long as anyone who knew you draws a breath.
Services will be held on Saturday, August 26th, 2023.
10:00am - viewing, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1337 S. Dora St. Ukiah, CA
11:00 am- funeral service, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1337 S. Dora St. Ukiah, CA
1:30 pm - graveside service, Evergreen Cemetery, 12501 Anderson Valley Way, Boonville.
Dad loved flowers, so there’s no “in lieu of flowers, please donate…”. By all means, feel free to donate to any social justice cause that is dear to your heart. (Dad was an avowed Democrat who spent his life serving others who needed some justice in their lives.) But know that flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. I’d be honored if you even pick something from your yard, or the roadside, and put them in a mason jar!
LARRY SHEEHY'S SUNFLOWER ALMOST THERE
ELK SCHOOL BOARD SEAT
The Mendocino Unified School District is seeking applicants for one board seat in the Elk Trustee area. The appointment will be in effect from September 2023, until an election in November 2024.
Applicants for appointment to the Board must be at least 18 years of age, a qualified voter, and be a resident of the Elk Trustee Area.
Applications are available at: Mendocino Unified School District Office, 44141 Little Lake Rd, Mendocino, CA, or the District web site http://www.mendocinousd.org/
Applications must be received at the District Office by 9:00 AM on Thursday, September 7, 2023.
Jason Morse, Superintendent Mendocino Unified School District - District Office 44141 Little Lake Road Mendocino, CA, 95460 (707) 937-5868 Fax (707) 937-0714
The Superintendent will verify each applicant's legal qualifications for Board membership prior to submitting applications to the Board.
The Board will interview applicants, appoint, and swear in the new trustee at a board meeting on September 14, 2023 at 5:00 PM.
This Request for Proposal (RFP) announces the intent of the County of Mendocino to seek services from a qualified Parks Landscape Architect company and professionals for the purpose of providing Architectural Design, Engineering and Project Management for the Bower Park Restoration and Improvement Project.
Bid Due Date 09/22/2023 2:00 PM (PDT)
GREAT DAY IN ELK
The 47th annual Great Day in Elk will be held on Saturday, August 26, from noon until dusk, a benefit for the Greenwood Community Center.
The noontime parade will travel through downtown Elk to the community center for the day’s festivities. All afternoon there will be games and contests with prizes, do-it-yourself crafts projects for children, plus a greased pole with a $100 bill at the top.
This year’s live entertainment features music by BoonFire, beats by DJ Nutrishious, and belly dancing. There will also be a silent auction, a cake auction and a raffle. Food and drinks will be served all afternoon, with dinner from 4 to 7.
The little coastal town of Elk is located five miles south of Highway 128 on Highway 1. For more information email Mea Bloyd at email@example.com or visit the Elk community website: www.elkweb.org
Please leave dogs at home.
WILLITS POLICE CHIEF FABIAN LIZARRAGA RESIGNS
“I’m done with law enforcement and working for city governments.”
AVA WEBSITE COMMENTS:
We liked Bob A.'s suggestion yesterday for youtube video links rather than the graphical displays (called embeds). For commenters who wish to link to a youtube video (if you must), we ask that you NOT include the "https://" portion of the URL in your hyperlink (which is what creates the embed).
write this: www.youtube.com/video
instead of this: https://www.youtube.com/video
FRISCO'S DOOM LOOP? The venerable Gump's department store, where the bourgeosie go to furnish their homes, is threatening to close its ancient downtown presence. The owner of the luxury outfitters, John Chachas, took out a full-page ad to bash the city’s apparently heedless leadership, warning that rampant homelessness and drug abuse could force it to shut up shop after 166 years. “Gump’s has been a San Francisco icon for more than 165 years,” John Chachas wrote in his open letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. “Today, as we prepare for our 166th holiday season at 250 Post Street, we fear this may be our last because of the profound erosion of this city’s conditions.” The letter in the Sunday Chron suggested that some of the Golden City’s woes come from “advising people to abandon their offices” during the pandemic. “Equally devastating have been a litany of destructive San Francisco strategies, including allowing the homeless to occupy our sidewalks, to openly distribute and use illegal drugs, to harass the public and to defile the city’s streets,” Chachas said, decrying a “tyranny of the minority.”
DITTO FOR UKIAH. The nut of the homeless prob as it metastasizes? The large number of helping professionals who oppose any and all aggressive strategies for getting people unwilling or unable to care for themselves off the streets. And they vote as a bloc for ineffective political leadership, such as we see in San Francisco and, closer to home, Ukiah. And anyway there's an absence of political will to tax the rich to fund the institutional care for the legions of domestic casualties churned out by our failing society. I doubt Mr. Chachas would want to disturb his customer base by suggesting to the vulgar bastards that they pay their fair share of the social load.
TWO ONGOING arguments of no relevance and less consequence rage here at the AVA. One: Home-schooled children are, for the most part, much better behaved than the prevailing sugar-fueled, phone-addicted, television-raised model, and Two: Are Mendocino County’s business leaders of the Private Industry Council and the Mendocino County Employer’s Council (mostly the same dreary cast of characters) more in the tradition of Babbitt? Or more in the tradition of Snopes’? I think home-school children tend to be less neurotic, much more civilized around adults. The argument typically breaks down into case studies of the, “That little monster? Are you kidding?” As for Babbitt versus Snopes, the consensus here is for Snopes, the argument being that George F, in his way, cared what Zenith looked like because, he reasoned, the way the princes of small town commerce used to reason, civic beauty was good for business. Faulkner’s Snopes are a bunch of low-down, grasping, even murderous thieves and, therefore, the literary forebears of the kind of people who dominate commerce in Mendocino County and too many of the smaller communities of the United States these ominous days.
DONALD CRUSER (Mendocino County Office of Education Board Member and retired math teacher in Mendocino):
A few words on home schooled students. Most of them entered into Mendocino High School when it was time for Chemistry, Physics, and higher level math courses. I thoroughly enjoyed these students since they were smart and motivated. Their common characteristic was that they were free from the influence of the peer group and were comfortable relating to adults. These were the kids who would stick around after class to talk to me personally.
I am not sure that home schooling is the primary factor here though. A much more important ingredient is the family involvement and the value the family places on education. This is most obvious in cultural differences.
A few years back the University of California had to change its admission standards to keep UC Berkeley from becoming all Asian. In Asian culture education is highly valued. The same can be said about Jewish families where the expectations of children are set high. The number of Jewish Nobel prize winners in the sciences is way out of proportion to their population numbers. The Germans start their career counseling with students in elementary school. It was only a few years back that China displaced Germany as the world's largest exporter of goods and the Germans do it with 80 million people. When I ask my wife’s family what is the secret to the German economy, they all have the same answer: “Precision German engineering.” (The Germans also have a law that requires half of corporate boards to be line workers. They don’t vote to send their own job overseas. The CEOs in Germany make about 40 times what a line worker makes, while here in the USA they make well over 300 times what a line worker makes. Here the CEO’s sit on each other’s boards where they grant each other exorbitant bonuses and preoccupy themselves with looking for cheap labor anywhere in the world they can find it. The United States is the largest importer of goods in the world. It is worth comparing elected leaders. Angela Merkle had a PHD in chemistry and spoke English better than 3 of our last 4 presidents.)
Sorry about the diversion, but it is easy to see how the German educational system is paying off for them.
Back to education. It is also easy to see why lower economic status can have a negative impact on a child’s education since it limits parent involvement. The current move to the public schools providing early childhood education will be a real equalizer.
One of the things we did at Mendocino High School that helped encourage parent involvement was shortly before the start of the school year we would have “Arena Registration”. It would happen in the gym where each teacher had a table to meet with each of their advisees and their parents to work out the class schedule for the year. It gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of parents face-to-face. The message was clear: We are all here working together to educate students.
SPEAKING of our nation's future, check this blandly scarifying clip from a recent SF Chronicle: "In the spring, Riana Shaw Robinson learned that her 11-year-old son, Madison, had sprinted out of class to chase a squirrel through his school’s courtyard in Berkeley. It’s not how her sixth grader would typically behave. But that day Madison hadn’t taken his Adderall — the medication that, in his words, helps his brain slow down, “from 100 miles per hour — like a car — to 70 miles per hour.”
GOOD for Madison. Run, Madison, run! Don't let them stuff you with pharmaceutical speed. Small boys are energetic. This sinister business of doping them for the convenience of parents and teachers is criminal, but criminally prevalent in the country that wonders where all the dope heads have come from.
A READER COMMENTED: "And I loved the story about hiking boys from Petaluma to Eureka and back again, an absolutely brilliant tonic for restless young males!" Certainly preferable to drugging them, I'd say, but young people these days seldom, outside of sports, have the opportunity to take on a long haul physical challenge. Petaluma to Eureka and back again? Wow!
(Re: the Fort Bragg Name Change Debate/comments)
I agree with you on this, but don't give the opposition wiggle room by misstating any of the historical details (not that most would notice).
The town of Fort Bragg was not founded in 1850, the fort was founded in the late 1850s (1857).
Don't know that there is any documentation to affirm Lt. Horatio Gibson as an "ass-kisser," or specifically an ass-kisser of Bragg in particular. Why jump to the hyperbolic when understatement is generally a more productive tactic?
Remember who you are representing here, people like me and my ancestors. Would Margaret Macdonald refer to Gibson as an "ass-kisser?"
Stick to comparing the soldiers under Gibson to their contemporaries in Jarboe's Rangers as you do in the rest of your notes.
Lt. Horatio Gates Gibson who named the "fort" after Bragg served in the Civil War as a Union officer. He was cited for gallantry and rose from captain to colonel then brevet general during his service on the right side of history.
As you may know, Col. Francis Lippitt, head of the Humboldt Military District (in which Fort Bragg was one of the posts) lobbied for a time to change the name because of Bragg's Confederate service, but higher-ups rejected the idea.
Good luck with the knee jerk, woo-woo (No insult to Ronnie Woo Woo of Chicago Cub fandom intended), mindless "liberals."
ED REPLY: I don't pretend to have a scholar's knowledge of early California. Everything bad that happened here happened after the Gold Rush so I've used 1850 as the commencement year of the real bad. Given Bragg's consensus unpopularity with both Union and Confederate colleagues, I would have to assume Horatio named the fort at Fort Bragg after his superior officer to ingratiate himself with Bragg. Who knows for sure about any of this history of early Mendo except in broad outline. The source docs are few. And to be clear, the U.S. Army didn't have anything to do with Jarboe's Rangers.
R.D. BEACON: Changing the name of Fort Bragg California borders on stupidity in a large-scale, and the people involved in changing the name need to move back east to where they came from, or back to the deep South where they should live, more than likely former slave owners themselves in new deep and dark past, the problem with the newcomers moved in Mendocino County are not satisfied to just live here in peace and tranquility, you have to stir the pot and create controversy, they need to go home to where they were hatched out of a bad egg, learn some respect in their life to be part of the real world rather than sucking off the welfare system, and creating problems for hard-working timber people and ranchers, if you don't like it here move away but leave the names the way they are, if you don't like California and move away back to where you came from take all your subversive stupid friends with you.
Read your notes for your upcoming "debate" on renaming Fort Bragg. Good stuff.
But, I think, why stop the virtue signalling there?
Mendocino County (and Town and Cape) is named for either Antonio de Mendoza, who was Viceroy of New Spain from 1535 to 1542, or for Lorenzo Suarez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583. Both these men governed what is now California during an age in which indigenous people were forced into the Spanish Mission system, which exploited their labor -- virtually enslaving them -- and also forcibly "converted" to Catholicism. During the same time period, they helmed the state through the Spanish Inquisition. Laudatory accomplishments and practices, yes? Not!
So, by the reasoning (sic) of the re-namers, we should also be discussing the renaming Mendocino County (and the Town and the Cape). Yes?
But why stop there? Amerigo Vespucci 1451-1512, a Florentine writer and explorer -- for whom America is named -- according to records, died owning five (5) household slaves. Doesn't this make him a candidate for erasing too?
The pious virtue signalers should know one thing if nothing else: You cannot learn from history by trying to make it go away.
My best of luck in the "debate".
UKIAH & FORT BRAGG WORKING TO BATTLE THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
by Sarah Reith
Opioid addiction is hitting Mendocino County hard, with the highest number of overdose deaths per capita in the state. That includes the cities, where most of the services are located. The county and the city of Ukiah started receiving opioid settlement funds in November of last year. The county’s up-to-date amount is $1.4 million. Fifteen percent of that is in a subdivision fund, which the county can use to offset indirect harms like litigation against distributors and manufacturers, and healthcare expenses. The rest is in an abatement fund, for direct opioid remediation activities. That money has not yet been allocated, and there is no process in place for determining how to spend it.…
Sept 16th fundraiser, and a big leap forward!
Please join us for a stellar lineup of local bands, fabulous food and drink, raffle and live auction -- all in support of the Anderson Valley Skatepark Project!
The AV Skatepark Project is a student-led mission to develop a skatepark in Boonville, CA. Read more about our project and its progress on our website: https://www.avskatepark.org/
Would you like to volunteer at our fundraiser? We would love to have you! To volunteer, go to one of the links below and sign up! Someone will be in touch with you soon! Hope to see you all there!
Volunteer sign-up in English: https://docs.google.com/.../1FAIpQLScW7UpZBmnHH0.../viewform
Volunteer sign-up in Spanish: https://docs.google.com/.../1FAIpQLSeljAyNvvYyVn.../viewform — at Anderson Valley Brewing Company.
PS. Asm. Jim Wood pulls in $250,000 for AV Skatepark Project!!
SO FAR NO ONE has filed to run against Second District Supervisor Maureen ‘Mo’ Mulheren in the 2024 supervisors election. Her first term will be up in late 2024 like Supervisors Dan Gjerde and Glenn McGourty, both of whom have announced that they will not stand for re-election, Gjerde after three terms, McGourty after just one. Mulheren’s facebook page is already entitled “Re-electe Maureen ‘Mo’ Mulheren Mendocino County Second District Supervisor.”
We’ve heard that some influential people in Ukiah are unhappy with Mo’s job performance and would like to see Mulheren replaced. But so far nobody has popped up. (The filing deadline is around December for the March primary, we think.) If nobody runs against Mulheren, according to a theory of a local commenter recently, that would mean that voters are happy with her performance. Not necessarily. Given the County’s financial and staffing problems, the lack of candidates might mean that nobody wants the hassle, even for the generous pay and perks.
Typically, candidates for the Ukiah area Board seat have come from either the County Planning Commission, or the Ukiah City Council, occasionally from local citizens with a purpose.
Mo’s appointed rep to the County Planning Commission is political newcomer Cameron Ramos, 23, a young Ukiah Realtor who might seem to be too young to run for local office, but in fact has already been am (unsuccessful candidate) for the Ukiah City Council in 2021.
Then you have Ukiah City Council members Mari Rodin, Josephina Duenas, Doug Crane, newly seated (attorney) Susan Sher, and former Boonville resident Juan Orozco. In the last Ukiah City Council election incumbent Jim Brown came in fourth and Thao Phi came in fifth, so they might be considering a run for Supervisor as well.
A woman named Jenny Kimbler got into some trouble in 2021 when as a candidate for an open City Council seat she was quoted as saying, “Breonna Taylor deserved to die because her boyfriend was a ‘piece of shit’.” And, writing about people protesting police violence, Kimbler was quoted saying “Light them up. Shoot them, run them down. I don’t give a damn anymore.” So she probably wouldn’t make a serious candidate for Supervisor.
Previously, Ukiah realtor Joel Soinila ran for the Ukiah seat in 2020 with an emphasis on budgets and finance and he still has an active supervisor candidate facebook page from back then.
A remote possibility might be a tactic occasionally employed by large corporations who want to quietly remove senior execs without controversy is called “confidential executive outplacement.”
There are executive headhunter firms who, for a nice fee, will secretly arrange to have an unwanted executive to get a very attractive job offer from another firm so that the unwanted executive simply takes a new job, and to the outside world the unwanted exec has simply quit for a better position without anyone (other than the company who hired the outplacement firm) knowing they were “outplaced.”
In Mulheren’s case, for example, since she’s a very big promoter of the Great Redwood Trail and Ukiah area tourism in general, somebody could secretly arrange for her to get a nice job offer from, say, Senator Mike McGuire (who’s also terming out at the end of 2024 and presumably looking for another political position in the area) or the Coastal Conserancy to become Director of the Great Redwood Trail Agency (if McGuire himself doesn’t get it) or perhaps become Director of Visit Mendocino County. Then Mo could resign for a new, more highly paid and lower-stress position leaving the Board seat open for whoever wants to run. Nobody needs to be the wiser. If Mulheren is uncomfortable with the bad personnel and financial circumstances at the County she might well consider such a transfer.
Then we might see candidates like Soinila or Brown or another newcomer come forward.
Of course this is all pure speculation.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: With a $421M 2023-24 budget, Mendocino County's fire safety lapses on grounds show skewed budget priorities. Inevitably, tax increases will be floated, but we should ask: are we getting results for our money? Can we pay market wages, meet performance expectations, within means?
Dear Bru- er, Editor,
Thanks, I think- for printing my blurb (‘Doom Overload’).
‘Killed Without Dying’ was a great piece on an unfortunate experience.
The Robert Pardini picture/obit: What a gorgeous freakin’ man!
The family name is also, circuitously, represented in North Coast Wine History. My Esposa came to the City and MendoNoma in 1962 and recalls all wine back then, Italian-American and in large containers!
RE: Online comment #3. I was born in 1965 and every week I looked forward to a new Brady Bunch, my would-be family! The last time I watched I was shocked by how short the skirts were, even on Jan (the good girl). Even to a homo like me, that as an adult would be… distracting, to say the least. Straight guys didn’t stand a chance.
VIA EVERETT LILJEBERG:
Situated in the historic town of Dayton, the 1870s-built Sutro Tunnel was a major player in Virginia City’s silver bonanza, connected to the world-renowned Savage Mine. Proposed by the one and only Adolph Sutro (who later spent his Comstock billions on San Francisco’s Sutro Baths and Cliff House) as a way of improving safety conditions for miners in an otherwise very dangerous era, the Sutro Tunnel begins in Virginia City, stretching nearly 5 miles through the mountains, reaching its terminus in Dayton. Miraculously enough, the Sutro Tunnel has withstood time, despite being closed all those years, with a restoration project in full swing.
— Travel Nevada
EEL RIVER DAMS UPDATE
Friends of the Eel River
You may have seen the news that two weeks ago a small coalition led by Russian River water managers submitted a proposal to take over part of the Potter Valley Project.
While many stakeholders were begrudgingly participating in Sonoma Water's Russian River Water Forum, believing this to be where negotiations for the future of the project would take place, the real deal was being made behind closed doors. The proposal, submitted by Sonoma Water, Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, and Round Valley Indian Tribes, might look okay on paper but we are concerned it's just a recipe for delaying dam removal.
The proposal supports removal of Scott Dam, but is also vague and leaves some of the most important questions, like financing and design for an ecologically appropriate diversion, unanswered. By punting the most difficult questions to the end of the process, Sonoma is all but ensuring that dam removal will be delayed. PG&E is currently planning on submitting a final license surrender and decommissioning plan by January of 2025 - that's only 16 months from now.
Right now everyone is waiting for FERC to approve PG&E's latest request to alter flows out of the project in order to preserve the dwindling supply of cold water in the Lake Pillsbury reservoir for salmon and steelhead. PG&E requested permission to reduce flows into the Russian River from 75 cfs down to 5 cfs once temperatures below Scott Dam reached 16 degrees Celsius. At around 18 degrees C, invasive species like pikeminnow begin to outcompete native steelhead. Temperatures above about 21 degrees C can be lethal for salmonids, particularly in rivers with dams which results in less temperature diversity in the river. Today the temperature just below Scott Dam is 19.5 degrees C. Eel River fish are getting cooked.
If we want to prevent extinction of Northern California summer steelhead, the southernmost run of summer steelhead on Earth, we must allow the fish access to the cold water habitat behind Scott Dam. And we must do it quickly.
Also in this newsletter is an opportunity to take action to support clean energy on the North Coast. The Humboldt Sawmill Company's biomass plant in Scotia is a chronic violator of both the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, raking up dozens of violations over the last several years. Join us in asking the Redwood Coast Energy Authority to stop supporting biomass and honor their promise to provide 100% clean energy by 2025.
And finally, please see below for opportunities to join us at community events later this summer, and SAVE THE DATE for a Great Redwood Trail event on October 14!
For the fish,
Alicia Hamann Executive Director
* * *
Sonoma's Eel River Diversion Plan Risks Extinction of Humboldt Fisheries
A group led by Sonoma Water proposed a new plan to maintain diversion of Eel River Water to the Russian. Humboldt County fishermen, Tribes, and conservation groups were blindsided by the proposal. “The only reason to leave out conservation organizations, fishermen, and Humboldt County interests would be to advance a plan designed to keep the fish killing Eel River dams in place as long as possible,” said Alicia Hamman, Executive Director of Friends of the Eel River. “The fish have no time to wait.”
For well over a century, Russian River water users have benefited from dams that divert precious Eel River water to the Russian River Valley. This Potter Valley Project (PVP) no longer generates power, or profit, for PG&E.
After PG&E abandoned its attempt to relicense the project with FERC in 2019, a group of interested parties formed the Two Basin Partnership to relicense the project themselves, but conceded failure in 2022 due to a lack of funding.
Next, PG&E attempted to ‘orphan’ the project, effectively trying to give it away. No entity stepped forward to ‘adopt’ it. Now, with PG&E poised to surrender the license and decommission the project, Sonoma Water is leading efforts to advance a last-minute scheme that could derail or delay dam removal.
Eel River steelhead only return to the Van Arsdale Fish Station by the dozens in recent years; Chinook salmon don’t fare much better. Both runs are listed as Threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, but FOER’s Conservation Director Scott Greacen says that designation fails to reflect the peril Eel River runs face. “PG&E reported 145 adult steelhead climbing the ladder over Cape Horn dam this year. We are nearing an extinction event on the Eel River."
While Sonoma’s Diversion Plan describes possible alternatives for removing Scott Dam and Cape Horn Dam, the document provides no certainty other than more negotiation. “Sonoma’s proposal looks like a plan for years of delay while they figure out what their plan is. My family’s boat was not able to fish salmon for a living again this year. Slowing down a major salmon restoration project at the last minute when they’ve had decades to plan for this moment is unacceptable,” said Vivian Helliwell who, with her husband, owns a commercial fishing boat out of Humboldt Bay.
HER TWENTY ACRES: AN AGRICULTURAL ART PROJECT
by Elizabeth Mitchell
In 1932, in Jackson, Alabama, on West Commerce Street, my maternal grandmother became a widow. She was left with twenty acres, five children under twelve, and “a man and a mule.” To survive, she started a truck farm.
On the farm, she had a 3000 sq. ft. house; ten (?) dairy cows; a dairy barn; ten acres of corn; two pigs in a pig yard; many chickens and a chicken coop; five acres of assorted vegetables; a long shed for display and storage that served as her retail store; honey bees; and pecan trees. The cows were led out to a neighbor’s pasture every morning by the man. For the children, there was a penny candy store directly across the street.
Drawing the farm seemed like a plausible idea when I started, but as I did more research, I floundered. Who knew there was a controversy over whether corn rows should be 20 feet or 30 feet, and whether 50 square feet is enough for a cow stall? Further, what is tubercularchitecture, and what does it have to do with sleeping porches? When did one-story houses go out of style? Did women of this era wear brassieres (my mind wanders)?
I was also having problems with scale — the buildings loom large in my memory but look puny when drawn to scale on paper. I was fascinated by the house, which was a hodgepodge of styles that built up over time, some on different levels. Trying to recreate the floor plan fried my brain, and I gave up.
Since then, I have learned that the house was built in 1843 in the Greek revival style with five bays across the front, square windows, a post-and-pier foundation, two chimneys, and no indoor plumbing. It was originally built in an L-shape. The fourth quadrant, which served as a great room (wood stove symbol) was added in the 1920's. The additions were indoor plumbing, a sleeping porch (tubercularchitecture), an eating porch off the kitchen with space for butter churning, two pantries, and two back doors.
The farm provided my grandmother with the wherewithal to send five children to college and professional school. She was non-racist and had a few tricks up her sleeve to subvert the Jim Crow laws.
Here's the visual that I came up with. You need to expand sections of the picture to see the details (click to enlarge).
LEARNING TO LET GO
I can tell you what I know
The gift is letting go
I had to learn not to fight
It was hard to get it right
& release the deathly grip
from the safety of my ego trip
It kept deceiving me
Ego tricking me
All the mud flung my way
Projections of others filthy ways
Soiled the ability to realize my identity
all that dirt, .... shit that hurt
Still I didn’t fling it back ..could have.. should have.... maybe...
I had an idea to try something new
& Not react to the spiteful spews
Decided instead to resurrect my soul buried deep in all that bull
Crawled through that shit
Getting stronger bit by bit
When I came out of the muck
I realized I was not stuck
I garnered the ability to transform my reality by learning to let go
While others keep hold
— Mazie Malone
CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, August 16, 2023
ADENIYI ADEMOLA, Seyrevilla, New York/Ukiah. Conspiracy.
CHRISTOPHER CALKINS, Fort Bragg. Probation violation.
SIERRA ESQUIVEL, Fort Bragg. DUI-alcohol&drugs, cruelty to child causing injury, saps or similar weapons, no license, controlled substance, paraphernalia.
BRANDON HUGHES, Upper Lake/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI, probation revocation.
DUSTIN JORDAN, Willits. Shoplifting, controlled substance, county parole violation.
WILLIAM OWENS, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
JOSEPH ROMERO, Whittier/Ukiah. DUI.
KATTIE SANCHEZ, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, probation revocation.
MONICA SAVIDAN, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I just went to the bank to pay my property taxes and a normie seeming bank clerk was helping me.
She asked for my ID and I asked why, and she said it was a new law.
So I made a crack about laws being so strict for us regular people, whereas billionaires can launder billions without problem.
She came to life and enthusiastically agreed. I think that more people know than let on.
Because why would you? It’s not part of your job. It takes some mouthy taxpayer to bring up the subject.
CITY LIGHTS 70TH!
SUNDAY: Join City Lights as we gather some of the Bay Area’s best poets to help us celebrate our 70th anniversary!
We're hosting a poetry reading live and in person in Kerouac Alley (next to the bookstore, between our shop and Vesuvio Cafe).
The event will be emceed by our longtime events coordinator Peter Maravelis and feature readings by Micah Ballard, Chris Carosi, Garrett Caples, Neeli Cherkovski, Norma Cole, Gillian Conoley, Sophia Dahlin, Tiff Dressen, Nadia Elbgal, Agneta Falk Hirschman, erica lewis, Randall Mann, Alexandra Mattraw, Alejandro Murguía, Achy Obejas, Julien Poirier, Sam Sax, Janaka Stucky, Tate Swindell, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, Preeti Vangani, Michael Warr, and Chun Yu.
Composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown will provide musical accompaniment.
UNRAVELING OF ‘BLIND SIDE’ a reminder of Michael Lewis’ ‘Moneyball’ omissions
by Ann Killion
For years, one of Michael Lewis’ best-known books — and the subsequent blockbuster film — has elicited eyerolls among Bay Area sports followers.
“Moneyball” made Lewis famous and made him millions, with its story of the scrappy Oakland Athletics, whose brilliant general manager used undervalued assets to compete with rich teams like the Yankees. Great, heartwarming story.
But what those who lived through the 2002 A’s season knew — and that the book barely mentioned — was that the A’s had the best pitching staff in the majors, including the American League Cy Young winner in Barry Zito as well as the AL MVP in Miguel Tejada. In other words, some highly valued assets.
But, not fitting well with the premise of the story, the Big Three got squashed into one paragraph in a late chapter and Tejada received a few mentions, mostly describing him as an undisciplined hitter.
So, while it was a good story, Moneyball was also a tale of omission.
I couldn’t help but think about that this week, when the news broke that perhaps Lewis’ most famous subject, Michael Oher, called B.S. on a large part of his story that was mythologized in both the book and blockbuster film, “The Blind Side.”
Many people know Oher’s story from the film — Lewis has joked that football fans who like the movie aren’t the kind of folks to pick up the book. In the story, Oher, a product of a drug-addicted mother and broken home, bounces around foster care before being taken in by the Tuohy family, who make him part of their family, adopt him and help him attract the attention of top collegiate football coaches. With their tutoring support, he went to their alma mater, Ol’ Miss, and became a first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2009. And everyone, presumably, lived happily ever after. Great, heartwarming story.
Not so fast. Oher, 37, has filed a petition with a Tennessee court alleging that major parts of the story are not true. He stated that he learned earlier this year that the conservatorship he agreed to at age 18, believing it was a prerequisite for adoption, was a trick to allow the Tuohys to make business deals in his name. His petition says that the Tuohys used that power to cut a deal that allowed them and their two birth children to profit from royalties off Oher’s story, and launch a foundation and motivational speaking business on the basis of the tale. Oher, according to the petition, was cut out of any royalties from the film.
“The lie of Michael’s adoption is one upon which Co-Conservators Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy have enriched themselves at the expense of their Ward, the undersigned Michael Oher,” the petition states.
Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian he was stunned and devastated by the allegations, saying, “It’s upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children.”
The petition asks that the conservatorship be ended and the couple be prohibited from using his name and likeness. Oher also asks for a full accounting of the profits made in the use of his name and seeks damages.
The film, which is undoubtedly playing on one of your cable channels at this very minute, falls into the uncomfortable “white savior” category. The rich, white, Christian southerners were the good-hearted saviors and Oher was the grateful beneficiary; it’s a deceitful cliché that plays out too often in film and story. The rumblings coming out of Memphis this week are that locals always felt the whole story wasn’t being told.
What was always clear was Oher’s discomfort with the film. A few years after the blockbuster’s release, the Ravens played the 49ers in the Super Bowl. I remember the media attempting to get Oher to talk about “The Blind Side” but he wanted no part of it, saying he was tired of the movie. He also said, at one point, “that wasn’t me.” He complained to Lewis about his depiction and has since said that he felt the film’s portrayal of him hurt his reputation and made people assume he wasn’t intelligent or skilled.
Lewis, a Berkeley resident, has always seemed blessed at uncovering the perfect story. He spent a season hanging around with Billy Beane and wrote “Moneyball.” That raised his profile in the sports world and he searched for another project. He got his idea for “The Blind Side” by talking to 49ers executive Paraag Marathe who told him that while football’s salary cap doesn’t allow teams to exploit undervalued assets as in baseball, teams will differ on where they spend money. The left tackle, protecting the blind side of a right-handed quarterback — the team’s biggest asset — has become one of the most highly valued players in football.
How did he find Oher? When Lewis attended an elite high school in New Orleans, Sean Tuohy was one of his best friends. Years later, while searching for a project and after talking to Marathe, he learned that Oher was living with the Tuohy family while attending high school in Memphis.
Tuohy and Lewis were recently on stage together at the New Orleans Book Festival, telling their story. Tuohy, with a good ole boy laugh, joked that Lewis “chose to ruin our lives” by shining the spotlight on the family. Lewis, whose agent did not immediately return a request for a comment from Lewis on the current controversy, said that the manner in which he stumbled onto the story, “seemed like cheating.”
It turns out that, indeed, there might have been some cheating going on. But it looks like Oher was the one cheated — the one who was blindsided.
Sometimes a great, heartwarming story is just too good to be true.
THE ONLY PEOPLE for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!" ~Jack Kerouac
(Book: On the Road https://amzn.to/3sf67HK)
IS AMERICA A WAR STATE?
by Matt Taibbi
On June 1, Harpers put out a cover story titled, “Why are we in Ukraine?” The authors were professor Christopher Layne, the Robert Gates chair of National Security at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government, and Benjamin Schwarz, a onetime national and literary editor of The Atlantic and former analyst for the RAND Corporation. Both at times have been critical of the projection of American power, but both also have strong bona fides from within the world of American national security policy. The authors didn’t excuse Vladimir Putin or his invasion of Ukraine, writing that “even if Moscow’s avowals are taken at face value,” the country’s actions could be “condemned as those of an aggressive and illegitimate state.”
Much of the rest of the article, however, is a blistering history of how the United States constructed a radical new foreign policy posture after communism’s fall, obliterating “normal diplomacy among great powers” and replacing it with rapid NATO expansion in all directions, in service of something like a global Monroe Doctrine. The justification for this new unipolar ideal, which was characterized by a cascading series of diplomatic ultimatums and “regime change” invasions for resisters, was best articulated in 1994 by former Senator Richard Lugar, who said, “there can be no lasting security at the center without security at the periphery.”
The Harpers piece doesn’t blame the United States for war in Ukraine, but does tell a story about a foreign policy establishment that wriggled free of our more conflict-averse late seventies and eighties, and created a new expansionism that eschews diplomacy and generates military confrontation almost by design. “Far from making the world safer by setting it in order,” the authors write, “we have made it all the more dangerous.”
There was a time when avoiding war was a chief priority of American liberalism, which would have taken a story like the Harpers piece as a rallying cry. The issue containing the Layne-Schwarz story reportedly did brisk sales, but generated little discussion in media, beyond a tweet from Ann Coulter.
No offense to Coulter, but where are the antiwar liberals? They were numerous once. Recent polls about war and military spending show the same bizarre pattern of neatly reversed partisan attitudes we’ve seen with civil liberties and support of spy agencies. …
UKRAINE, WEDNESDAY, 16 AUGUST
Ukrainian forces have taken back the village of Urozhaine in the eastern Donetsk region, following intense battles as part of its counteroffensive against Russia.
The first container ship to use a temporary Black Sea shipping corridor, implemented after Russia withdrew from a UN-brokered grain deal last month, departed Odesa Wednesday.
Separately, Russian drones attacked port infrastructure on the Danube River in southern Ukraine, damaging granaries and warehouses.
CNN has exclusive footage showing the moment Ukrainian forces used an experimental sea drone to attack Russia’s bridge to annexed Crimea.
REVEREND GARY DAVIS (April 30, 1896 – May 5, 1972)
“The Reverend Gary Davis was a blues and gospel singer who was also proficient on the banjo, guitar and harmonica. Born in Laurens, South Carolina and blind since infancy, Davis first performed professionally in the Piedmont blues scene of Durham, North Carolina in the 1930s, before converting to Christianity and becoming a minister. After relocating to New York in the 1940s, Davis experienced a career rebirth as part of the American folk music revival that peaked during the 1960s.”
The little girl is Meegan Ochs. Alice Ochs, her mother, took the picture.