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WITH THE PASSAGE OF A FRONTAL BOUNDARY yesterday, the weekend will continue to be mostly cool and cloudy. A stronger front is forecast to move through the area on Monday bringing widespread light rain, with localized heavier amounts. A brief period of warmer and drier weather is expected by mid-week. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): On the coast this Saturday morning I have a cloudy 56F. I have .05" more wetness collected. Other than a stray shower this morning it will be mostly cloudy this weekend then another shot of rain on Monday. Clear skies are forecast for the rest of next week.
WHAT HAPPENED TO CHRISTINE RANDOLPH?
On Sunday, October 08, 2023 at approximately 3:00 PM the California Highway Patrol was notified of a reported traffic collision in the area of Sherwood Road and Birch Terrace in Willits. (Brooktrails Subdivision).
After the collision, the driver of one of the vehicles, a Toyota Sienna van fled the traffic collision scene.
The reported traffic collision prompted the response of CHP officers and Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies to assist as needed.
Upon arrival, CHP officers interviewed the one motorist at the traffic collision scene and also located the Toyota Sienna van unoccupied a distance away from the collision scene.
The motorist provided a physical description of the driver of the Toyota Sienna van which was subsequently given to the Sheriff's Deputies who thereafter located the driver walking on Birch Street.
A CHP officer responded to Birch Street and contacted the driver in connection with the traffic collision investigation.
This resulted in the CHP officer placing the driver, Root Harvest Birimisa (26-year-old male from Eureka), under arrest for DUI and hit and run resulting in property damage.
Birimisa was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail.
As a result of the arrest, the CHP officer had the Toyota Sienna van towed and stored by a Willits area towing company.
On Monday, October 9, 2023 the Eureka Police Department initiated a missing persons investigation into the reported disappearance of Christine Ann Randolph (53-year-old female from Eureka).
During the investigation Officers and Detectives in Humboldt County began to follow up on several leads in an effort to locate Randolph.
A multijurisdictional response was launched by the Eureka Police Department with the assistance of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Fortuna Police Department, California Highway Patrol, California State Parks, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators learned Randolph's family had become concerned for her safety after learning of Birimisa's October 8, 2023 arrest. Birimisa was identified as being Randolph's son and that the pair were known to be traveling together.
On Wednesday, October 11, 2023 Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives assisted Investigators from the Eureka Police Department who had obtained a search warrant authorizing a search of the Toyota Sienna van in connection with the missing persons investigation.
The interior of the Toyota Sienna van was packed with a significant number of belongings to include clothing, luggage and living supplies.
Investigators began removing the belongings and subsequently located a deceased female adult who was located in a section of concaved flooring which was concealed by the large number of belongings.
The female adult was identified as being Randolph and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office assumed investigative lead into the circumstances of her death.
At this time there is an active coroner's investigation in an attempt to determine the classification and cause of Randolph's death.
A forensic autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2023 to include blood alcohol and toxicology analysis.
Anyone who might have information which could assist Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100 or the WeTip anonymous crime reporting hotline at 800-782-7463.
MALICIOUS PROSECUTION? DA Eyster seems to be using his office to pursue personal vendettas. He has brandished his position as Mendocino County's top law enforcement officer to threaten to run for judge against Clay Brennan of Ten Mile Court, a threat issued out of personal pique at Brennan, and now he's misused the authority of his office to file criminal charges against Auditor-Controller Chamise Cubbison. Eyster's charges against Cubbison stem from Eyster's anger that Cubbison had challenged Eyster's obvious misuse of his travel budget, fobbing off illegitimate spending on the taxpayers.
I KNOW that AVA readers are a highly literate, mucho sophisticated readers, alone in Mendocino County as an intellectual elite, so forgive me the following prescient poem by the great Yeats, already familiar to all of you, but given events, here it is again:
THE SECOND COMING
by William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
THE PACIFICA HASSLE. Once upon a time way back when people read books and, like, you know, could talk to one another without musical accompaniment, KPFA was the one stop on the FM radio dial where one’s intelligence was not under continuous assault. Whether you agreed with much of the political opinion or not, you could hear articulate leftwingers of all kinds (the Protestant sects have nothing on us, folks!) and erudite literary elucidations from people like Kenneth Rexroth.
WHATEVER ELSE you might say about early KPFA, it was smart and the people who dominated the station were serious people who put principle first. When the Great Slide commenced around 1968, and with a lot of money floating around the country for people who knew how to get “paradigm” into every third sentence, dissident radio programming grew less and less oppositional and dumber and dumber, until it finally went all the way into an audio version of Public Television where Yani, Gary Null and Dr. Hugs had carried out successful coups. (KQED TV is so bad these days you almost think it’s some kind of sophisticated parody of itself. It’s hard to believe it used to offer a full hour of intelligent discussion of Bay Area events every week night and lots of locally-produced documentaries.)
THE DWARVES won at public television, the midgets took over public radio and now, the little people having joined forces, are mopping up Pacifica which, on its good days, is indistinguishable from NPR.
THE LATE NICOLE SAWAYA, a long-time resident of Spy Rock, was station manager here at KZYX, Philo, before she apologetically went off to Washington to work for NPR. From NPR she went to KPFA in Berkeley. She did a good job at KZYX insofar as it’s possible for a smart, capable person to do a good job in a political context you don’t respect and in a social milieu where you’ve got to hold your nose, watch your back and kiss donor ass to keep your minimum wage job. Nicole didn’t go out on any political limbs at KZYX, a station so secretive the identity of its primary local donors is a closely guarded secret and its talk shows are tailored to avoid any and all discussion of subjects painful to its secret money people.
MS. SAWAYA, try as she might to please everyone, lost her job at KPFA for, of all things, “not being a team player.” Naturally, the team players running KPFA decreed that Nicole’s departure was not to be discussed on the air. Several programmers promptly spoke the unspeakable, complaining about the arbitrariness of Nicole's firing. Someone even did a drive-by on KPFA’s Berkeley offices, squeezing off three rounds into the building’s windows.
THERE WAS EVEN a pro-Nicole demo in front of the station featuring, among others, eco-hustler Darryl Cherney of Me First! who was putting in lots of overtime leaning on Bay Area talk jocks and newspaper writers not to discuss from the skeptical position the latest speculations about the bombing attack on him and Judi Bari. Cherney is all for his free speech, but yours? Depends. Which has been the problem at the station for years now; the people dominating the place use it for them and theirs, but woe unto you if you’re not sitting in the junta’s lap. There hasn’t been anything resembling unfettered speech at KPFA for many years. The internal hassles have more to do with travel and conference money than it does anything resembling dissident radio.
COUNTY AGENDA NOTES
Another Finance Free Agenda
by Mark Scaramella
You might expect after the Board’s frequent hand-wringing about possible bankruptcy and structural deficits and looming budget shortfalls, ongoing employee negotiations, ongoing computer software problems with both the accounting system and the property tax system, the stated need for cuts and new revenues and the importance of revenue generating positions and so forth that something about that, even tangentially, would appear on next Tuesday’s Board agenda. After all, they’ve had an extra-long three weeks to prepare since the last Board meeting when Supervisor Ted Williams insisted the County was on the road to bankruptcy and his colleagues disagreed, with Supervisor John Haschak saying it’s the Board’s job to stay out of bankruptcy. As if staying out of bankruptcy would amount to some kind of accomplishment? Haschak’s campaign slogan might be: Hey, Hey, Vote For Me; I’m For Stopping Bankruptcy.” We can see Supervisor Glenn McGourty’s list of “whereases” when he leaves the Board at the end of next year could include: “Whereas Mr. McGourty was instrumental in spending almost $150k of the County’s limited funds on a Strategic Plan that nobody pays any attention to that helped keep Mendocino County out of bankruptcy…”
Next Tueday’s agenda has nothing about County finances. Nothing from the Assessor who was “directed” to report monthly on assessment upgrade progress. Nothing from the Treasurer-Tax Collector-Auditor-Controller on increased revenue collection efforts. Nothing from the Executive Office. No finance-related agenda items sponsored by the Supervisors…
Instead there’s an item some seven years after Measure B was passed finally implying that some Measure B money will be spent on Substance Abuse Treatment: “Item 4d: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Acceptance of Recommendation Related to the Outcome of the Substance Use Services Request For Proposal (RFP) #018-23 for Innovative Continuum of Care Programs for Youth and/or Adults to Help Clients Achieve and Maintain Sobriety; and Possible Direction to Staff on the Amount to be Awarded for the Project (Sponsor: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services).
“In accordance with Measure B's goals of providing necessary infrastructure to support and stabilizes individuals with behavioral health conditions, including addiction and neurological disorders, the purpose of the RFP was to request proposal [sic] to establish or implement comprehensive treatment and recovery program services which provide a full spectrum of substance use treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services for youth and/or adults in Mendocino County. Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) was seeking proposals for innovative continuum of care programs for youth and/or adults to help clients achieve and maintain sobriety. Successful applicants would have a whole person, client centered approach to services and providers are expected to engage in creative approaches to provide services.
“On May 9, 2023, the Board of Supervisors authorized the Mental Health Treatment Act Citizens Oversight Committee and Behavioral Health Director to bring the results of the Substance Use Services RFP back to the Board for discussion and possible award.
“On May 22, 2023, BHRS released a request for proposal seeking innovative continuum of care programs for youth and/or adults to help clients achieve and maintain sobriety. The RFP closed on June 19, 2023, at 5:00 PM.
“An evaluation review committee was appointed that consisted of Mendocino County BHRS Treatment staff, representatives from the Mental Health Treatment Act (Measure B) Committee, and the Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB). The review team consisted of Karen Lovato (BHRS), Jill Ales (BHRS), Shannon Riley (Measure B), Jo Bradley (BHAB/Measure B), Paul Murguia (BHRS), and Sherrie Ebyam (Measure B). The reviewers met twice, once on August 28, 2023 and once on September 8, 2023. One member of the review team recused themself [sic] prior to the meeting on September 8, 2023.
“The RFP received two responses, following a review of the proposals, the proposal from Ford Street Project was determined to be complete and recommended for next steps.
“Ford Street Project (FSP) is requesting $4.1 million to build a 3663 sq. ft. 24-Bed Sober-living dormitory located on adjacent, unimproved property (owned by FSP), and adjoining the Ukiah Recovery Center. This request represents the last phase of the Ukiah Recovery Expansion Project that began in 2017. The total projected cost of the URC Expansion Project is $7,166,142. Partnership Health Plan provided a $350,000 planning grant in 2017. Ford Street was awarded a $3,042,000 for the first phase of the URC Expansion Project from the California Department of Healthcare Services, Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program (BHCIP) in November 2022. These funds will build a 3350 sq. ft. Treatment Pavilion with 2 group rooms, one-on one office spaces and a reception area.
“The review team is recommending to award all or a portion of the requested funds for the Ford Street project. If the BOS approved an award, BHRS will negotiation [sic] and develop a contract with FSP for the BOS review and approval. Contracts terms will align with the State of California terms and requirements for capital facility projects.”
BAIT & SWITCH ALERT! More failure to honor voter initiatives. Just when we thought some Measure B money might be spent on the required services that the voters expected, we see that no services are involved. Even though Measure B specifically requires that at least 25% of the Measure B sales tax revenues go to treatment services, here they are again, wasting more money on overpriced treatment facilities. In this case, a $7 million “Treatment Pavilion,” with two group rooms, some office space and a “reception area” — for over $7 million! Nor is there any assessment of whether there’s really $4.1 million unallocated Measure B funds left after they’ve wasted so much of it on Nacht & Lewis’s overdesigned $5 million Crisis Residential Treatment facility and an estimated $22 million (or more with inflation) for the oversized 16-bed Psychiatric Health Facility on Whitmore Lane. (Does anyone believe that such cost estimates are even reliable?)
* * *
There’s also a pair of contradictory agenda items regarding the County Ag Commissioner. Item 6b is a closed session item entitled: “Public Employee Appointment - Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures.”
But consent calendar item 3h says: “Approval of First Amendment (2nd Amendment Overall) to BOS Agreement No. 22-254 in the Amount of $30,000 ($80,000 Total) with Sonoma County for Licensed Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights & Measures Services, Effective October 18, 2022 through a New End Date of December 31, 2023 (Previous End Date: October 18, 2023).”
Of course, there could be a perfectly good explanation for appointing a new Ag Commissioner while simultaneously extending the Sonoma County loaner Ag Commissioner for another three months. Is it for an overlap? How much will it cost for two Ag Commissioners overlapping? You’d think they’d at least put the contradiction on the regular agenda and discuss it.
* * *
The County has collected upwards of $1 million in Measure P emergency services (“essential services”) sales tax revenues since January of this year. Now, here they are in October and they’re finally getting around to starting to allocate that long overdue and essential fire protection money. Nobody knows when the local fire agencies will actually get the checks. But from here it looks like intentional foot dragging and just the beginning of a grudging and drawn out process to “Negotiate and Enter Into Agreements with Fire Agencies, Not to Exceed the Amount Appropriated.” Theoretically, there’s a formula for the allocation that the Board promised would be used for turning over the approximately $1.2 million per year of Measure P revenues starting in Calendar year 2023. If you think that nine months should have been plenty of time to “negotiate and enter into agreements” with the Fire Agencies since they already agreed on the formula, you don’t know how Official Mendo works, especially when they’re sitting on the money for as long as possible as the slow-walk directly benefits the County’s supposedly tight bottom line.
* * *
Consent agenda Item 3j is the familiar, almost monthly “retroactive” ritual handing over of large sums to Camille Schraeder’s local Mental Health Services monopoly. This month it’s $1.3 million “for a New Total of $2,200,142, to Provide Care Coordination, Data Management, and Transition for the Delivery of Specialty Mental Health Services in Mendocino County, Effective July 1, 2023, through a New End Date of June 30, 2024 (Original End Date: September 30, 2023).”
Again, that’s a sweet $2.2 million for “care coordination,” “data management,” and “transition for the delivery” of services — not the provision of any actual services. This is essentially a sole source contract handout of $2.2 million to pay the Schraeders to management themselves. You’ve got to be impressed with the way they find ways to milk the County for millions in no-bid, no-questions-asked contract add-ons. We wouldn’t be surprised if next month there’s another retroactive item for a few hundred thousand more dollars for “management and oversight of care coordination.”
Oops, here’s another one on the consent calendar bringing this month’s total to about $1.6 million for a new Total of $2.5 million: Item 3v: “Approval of Agreement with Redwood Community Services, Inc., in the Amount of $277,000 to Provide Housing and Services to Assist Emancipated Former Foster/Probation Youth and Young Adults, Between the Ages of 18 to Their 25th Birthday, for Department of Social Services, Family and Children’s Services, Effective Upon Full Execution through June 30, 2024.”
* * *
The Consent Calendar also proposes to give the Sheriff $322k for 60 body cameras and some fancy accompanying computer hardware and software over the next five years. The proposal and its cost seem reasonable, but there’s no mention of where the $322k will come from. Could it be that the County’s liability insurance might be reduced by at least $322k since law enforcement body cameras are a great way to limit lawsuit exposure? We’d like to think so. But that kind of thinking is probably beyond this crew.
From: Randy Burke
To: Howard Dashiell, County Director of Transportation
Our property has a storm drainage pipe system that works fine during normal rain events. However, the water that passes through it can be very damaging when the county grated inlet on Gualala Court is blocked with sand, hamburger wrappers, redwood duff, and general neighborhood refuse. When a condition of blockage occurs and is unblocked by human intervention (as the condition creates a 2-foot-deep pond on Gualala Court) the amount of water released instantaneously is an amount greater than the downstream properties can manage. County crews or contractors have "vacced" the drainage inlet at least once over the past few years as the drainage inlet became clogged with sand, duff, and neighborhood refuse. You see the drainage inlet referenced is the only storm structure on the full length of Gualala Court and exists in the lowest elevation on the Court. Maybe its flawed design, maybe its preventative maintenance, but we have been dealing with it for 22 years on our own. With last January's storm when Scott released the trapped water at this location the result was a damaged fence, articles strewn over our entire property, some of which ended up on old stage road. Continual flow is not the problem, but non maintained storm structures are.
A READER'S IMPRESSIONS of the recent First District supervisor candidate debate:
Caught the First District Supervisor debate last night. Here’s some unsolicited observations. Some are superficial, which is politics in the 21st-century.
Madeline Cline — voters don’t usually respond to being lectured. She had some interesting ideas but her delivery needs work.
Adam Gaska — seems really knowledgeable about water, but it didn’t seem like much else. Also, a better fitting shirt would do wonders.
Trevor Mockel — what an embarrassment. Not ready for prime time. Obviously knows very little about County policy. Many answers were couched in asking the state and feds for help. Yeah right!! And he should stop putting his hands in his pocket when speaking.
Carrie Shattuck — hands-down, the winner of the debate. She was confident in her answers, obviously does her homework, and came across quite well.
If the election were today, I’d say Carrie Shattuck is well poised to be the First District Supervisor, but the election is a ways off.
A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Wednesday to announce it had acquitted the trial defendant of one count of felony vandalism and was unable to reach a verdict (“hung jury”) on a second count of felony vandalism.
Defendant Eduardo Alvarez, age 28, generally of Ukiah, was acquitted of vandalizing property of another causing damage greater than $400 in value, said incident occurring on July 2, 2023.
He remains charged with vandalizing property of another causing damage greater than $400 in value, said crime occurring on June 26, 2023.
A retrial of the single remaining count before a new jury has now been calendared to begin on December 4, 2023.
The law enforcement agency that investigated each of the two crimes was the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
The attorney who represented the People’s interest in this week’s trial was Deputy District Attorney Jamie Pearl.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the three-day trial.
A READER WRITES: The north end of Orchard Ave there is large piece of property. The county could build a Government Center on this property. The courthouse, jail, sheriffs office, and juvenile hall. An on-ramp to 101 could be added at the end of Brush St. a tunnel or enclosed breezeway between the jail and courthouse would eliminate driving prisoners to court all day long. Everything would be in one place. I think the present location was picked without considering other locations
MARK SCARAMELLA: The only other courthouse location considered at the time was the block where the Ukiah Bench Library and the empty old Curry’s Furniture store was. It was ruled out early in the process. We suspect that the Train Depot property was picked by local insider Democrats associated with the North Coast Railroad Authority with Doug Bosco orchestrating things in the background. It was a toxic site/liability and the court administration office conveniently paid for the clean up as part of the decision to “buy” it and put the new courthouse more than three blocks away from downtown Ukiah.
ED NOTE: Sheriff Allman, if memory serves, also thought the Brush Street location would have served nicely for a judicial complex, but I agree with The Major that the present location was a Democrat project from the get because they controlled the railroad and all its ancillary properties. The whole show, imo, is a huge swindle and ripe for a federal investigation.
PANTHER CHEERLEADERS livened up the home crowd at the Homecoming Football game at the Boonville Fairgrounds last week.
UKIAH CONSTRUCTION UPDATES FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 16:
On the south side (Mill to Gobbi), crews will continue installing the new water infrastructure. There will be some temporary interruptions to water service as the system is switched from the old to the new. In every case, those affected property/business owners will be individually contacted at least 72 hours in advance. Not all properties are affected, and access to all properties will be maintained.
Following the work on the water infrastructure, new storm drains will be installed along the west side of the street; work will progress from south (Gobbi) to the north (near Mill).
On the north side (Norton to Henry), construction crews will continue work on the “joint trench,” which will hold the new underground electric lines, as well as phone and cable lines. Immediately upon the completion of work in each section, steel plates will be placed across the trench to allow vehicular access.
Oops! There were some unexpected delays, so tree removal and sidewalk demolition did not occur on the week of October 9th (obviously). That work is now expected to occur during the week of October 16th: sidewalk demolition will begin on the southeast side of State (near the intersection of Henry/State). The first thing that will occur is the removal of the existing street trees. After the tree removal, the removal of the old sidewalks will begin. As with Phase One (in the downtown core), temporary, ADA-compliant sidewalks will be installed with base rock immediately following demolition. Also, we are committed to notdemolishing any sections that can’t be replaced with new in a reasonable period of time. Once a section of sidewalk is removed, the curbs and gutters will be poured. Then, the electric lines for the street lights and the irrigation lines will be installed; then the new sidewalk section can be poured. Pedestrian access to each building/business will be maintained at all times.
Okay, this is the same picture as last week, but the information I provided in the caption was incorrect. I referred to the metal plates on the sides of the joint trench as “steel plates.” However, shoutout to Wahlund Construction, who did the utility portion of Phase One of this project…they’re still following the progress and checking in! They corrected me: These “are actually aluminum quick shores with plywood "plates". The plywood (4'x8') sheets allow +- 4' spacing between jacks to allow a little working room. They are required by OSHA, but also definitely needed to protect the workers. The ground along State Street is what I call rotten, when you first dig it the trench walls stay in place and portions don't typically flake(or fall) off. Once the trench walls start drying out, then large sections of dirt will flake off and fall into the ditch. The dirt is so heavy that it doesn't take much to cause injury to workers. Your contractor is using the right "tools"(shoring) for the job to protect their workers, which isn't always easy in Ukiah where there is a lot of older infrastructure to work around.” (Thanks, Bob!)
Deputy City Manager
City of Ukiah
300 Seminary Avenue
Ukiah, California 95482
IT WILL BE CELLOS GALORE on Sunday at 3 PM, Preston Hall, Mendocino.
Professional cellists Robert Howard and Tanya Hopkins will explore the repertoire for one and two cellos from the baroque era. Famous Bach Cello Suites in G major and d minor will be performed as
well as compositions by Locatelli, Cervetto and Barrire. Due to severe illness lutist Richard Savino will not be present.
Tickets at Out of this World in Mendocino, Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and online at symphonyoftheredwoods.org
Hot tea, coffee, cookies and more available before the concert and during intermission.
DAVE EVANS of the Navarro Store is best known for his literally amazing, pre-covid summer concerts, bringing world-famous musicians to perform under the redwoods of Anderson Valley's Deep End, as Navarro is memorialized in Boontling. Maestro Evans said Tuesday he intends to revive his remarkable summer presentations as he simultaneously expressed the hope that he could scare up some volunteers to help him get his amphitheater performance-ready for 2024. No one since Peter Lit at the old Caspar Inn except for the irrepressible Dave Evans has managed to bring first-rate musical talent to Mendocino County. Navarro Dave has astounded us all with stars he's managed to bring to the Anderson Valley — Johnny Winter; Charlie Musselwhite; Randy Hansen; Guitar Shorty; Sub Dudes, and on and on. It's show time!
Here’s Dave Evans:
The Navarro Store is planning on bringing back the Navarro Store / Anderson Valley Music Series next summer 2024!
We are planning on bringing back the same caliber acts to the valley and held in the Navarro Store Amphitheater. Some Past Shows before covid:
Eric Burdon And The Animals, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, The Subdudes (Five Times), Charlie Musselwhite, John Lee Hooker Family, Guitar Shorty, David Nelson Band, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Ronnie Montrose, Asleep At The Wheel, Walter Trout, Joe Louis Walker, Roy Rogers, Robben Ford, Ford Brothers, Blues Band, House Of Floyd (Pink Floyd Cover), Mark Hummel, Magic Dick, Lee Oscar, Pablo Cruise… and So Many More!
UKIAH PRIORITIZES DIVERSITY & YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
The City of Ukiah, a dedicated advocate for youth employment and diversity, continues its mission to empower the future leaders of our community and to make strategic progress toward expanding the diversity of staff and programs in the city. As the largest employer of youth in the area, the City of Ukiah recognizes the invaluable contribution of young talent and the diverse strengths they bring to our community, including the increasing diversity of language.
In 2023, the City's Community Services Department employed over 120 bilingual staff in their child care programs. Additional efforts to expand programs and services to meet the needs of our Spanish-speaking community include providing over 200 swim lessons in Spanish, bilingual pay incentives to all City staff, and translation services at parades and other City-sponsored events.
The commitment to fostering youth talent was recently demonstrated at the Ukiah High School Career Fair, where the City of Ukiah actively participated. Various City divisions were represented at the event, including Police, Fire, Recreation, Engineering/Public Works, Airport, Community Development, and Human Resources. The presence of these divisions showcased the broad spectrum of opportunities available within the City of Ukiah.
"Our engagement at the Ukiah High School Career Fair was an opportunity to connect with the youth of our community and demonstrate the diverse career paths that the City of Ukiah offers," said Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley. "Our Spanish-speaking population is increasing. Therefore, the City is committed to linguistic diversity and continues to ensure that services and programs are accessible to all community members."
City Staff will again be engaging with the community through a booth at the Ukiah Country Pumpkinfest, October 14th and 15th. Their renaissance-themed booth will be near the entry to the Haunted House on School Street, where attendees can participate in raffles and giveaways, and find information about upcoming street projects, Phase IV Recycled Water project, home-buyer programs, and employment opportunities.
An additional resource is the City of Ukiah Jobs Portal, where people can explore open positions at the City of Ukiah. Traci Boyl, Senior Management Analyst, states, “We hope you consider joining us to build a vibrant, inclusive, and diverse community. Together, we can shape a brighter future for our youth and the community as a whole.”
(Ukiah City Presser)
Enormous Knife-Wielding Figure Welcomes Visitors to Fort Bragg
As I drove into Fort Bragg today, I passed the Outlet Store and was greeted by a huge male figure holding a blood-covered knife.
I spoke to the storekeeper, a nice man named Bill. “That’s Michael Myers,” he said, a film character. “Everyone loves him.”
I told him that I had been attacked at knifepoint, and that the figure made me uncomfortable. ”Everyone loves Michael Myers,” he repeated, pointing to people who had stopped to photograph the figure.
He told me the statue was there for Halloween; later he said it was just up for today, Friday the 13th.
From Wikipedia (edited):
“Michael Myers is a fictional character from the Halloween series of slasher films…six-year-old Michael murders his teenage sister Judith.
Fifteen years later, he…returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he stalks a teenage babysitter named Laurie…After murdering three of Laurie's friends, Michael attacks her as well…
Michael follows Laurie to the local hospital and kills the staff one by one,… causes a citywide blackout and massacres the town's police force. …nursed back to health by a local hermit…he kills the hermit and returns to Haddonfield to find Jamie (now fifteen)…who escapes with her baby, only to be killed by Michael…
…Michael kills relatives of Laurie's adoptive family, who are living in his childhood home…”
What do you think?
APACHE LEADER WENDSLER NOSIE 10-17, POSTPONED
Hello, unfortunately, due to a health crisis with his family, I’m having to postpone the speaking event, that I had scheduled at Fort Bragg library on 10-17 for Apache tribal leader Wendsler Nosie; I hope to have him back another time; as he is an incredible man and has much to say that could benefit our community and our earth. If you have the time or interest here he is on youtube: youtube.com/results?search_query=Wendsler+nosie
And if you want to know more about the Apache Stronghold go here: http://apache-stronghold.com
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS WATER FORUM POSTPONED
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the LWVMC Program on Water is being postponed to November 14th. There will be no League program for this coming Tuesday, October 17th. Please accept our apologies.
LWV Mendocino County
What happened to the old-fashioned newspapers that we used to have on the coast, you remember the days when you use to get your letterheads and stationary done by a local newspaper, or you need advertising for your business, newspapers like the Mendocino beacon, or the Fort Bragg Advocate, or the Willits news, local place to get your business cards made up, or posters when you ran for public office, today those newspapers and many more are all owned by some form of out-of-state conglomerate, that if sold off the bulk of the assets, and now printing the paper somewhere else and shipping it in, no longer of those services available we the locals, but we all have to travel some distance to get fingerprinted up force, no longer are we supporting the community, but somebody else either in China Japan, or some foreign country, a lot of it's done online you don't have the personal touch, of an individual to open your sign your card the way you wanted, no longer the days of being able to send short stories and the local, newspaper so things in your life get a, no longer do we have the local reporters sharing the day's news from each and every one of the coastal communities, as the date of the dinosaur has come and gone, so as the days of the local newspaper, and the print shops have disappeared, like the sawmills in the loggers and the many dairies, used.the coast, we've given it up to more tours and less friendlier businesses, the many stores it used to be in Fort Bragg for clothing, as well as other items, of all disappeared into the dust from which it came sailing away, into our distant past, no more are the friendly shop owners welcoming our business, no more the days when you knew where to get the best deal either here or on the coast or even in Ukiah, stores when taken over like so many other businesses from people from the far distant parts of the nation, that are only interested in the almighty dollar, today people shop online only having to send stuff that when closing doesn't fit, and most of its made in China not supporting the local community or even, the United States of America, we are supporting foreign countries that are selling substandard goods and services, as I drive to the town of Mendocino I'm saddened by the fact that the local hotel is not operated for quite some time, dream of past owners has settled into the dust, businesses that used to be run by people you knew of all sailed away taken a boat out of town never to return, but it is that way up and down the coast, as business owners turn things over to their children, like at Little River Inn, it used to be a fine place the locals to hang out on Sundays, is a shadow of its former self was a management that no longer cares about the local trade, bent around the tourism is come their way, here creating food products that were designed for the city folks, not the people in the country, and amazing as it may be the best place to eat food on the coast is the Ledford house probably the best deal on the entire coast for fine meal, in going south some of the very few businesses that are locally owned would be the S&B market in the little town of Manchester, sailing off per point arena there's nothing of that former city that is left, the once proud Bank of America building is turned into a fitness studio, and the restaurant used to be within the community at city five themselves, and going to anchor Bay you will find a good meal at the Thai kitchen, but to find good food further south you may have to go all the way to bodega Bay, is so sad what is happened to our coastline, even the local fire departments try to buy all the others goods and services out of town, I know one department that, close all the way to Oregon to buy their pages, so they don't have to pay sales tax, which I understand their reasoning, and even agree with the fact that no public agency should ever have to pay sales tax, or any other kind of tax, but our politicians are too busy creating their own agenda to worry about public safety, unless it benefits them they don't care, the long assured of all of it is California is becoming a shadow of its former self being taken over by people out of the area and pounding nails into the lid of its coffin, destroying the Granger that the state used to have in the name of so-called progress, and the sad part of it is, that many people will move out of the state because they had, had corrupted it so badly they couldn't afford to live here anymore, fuel this old-time locals hang on hoping the dream will come back somebody, flush the toilet will get a new deal a better way.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, October 13, 2023
WILLIAM AADLAND-BREEN, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CRISTIAN ANDRADE-AYALA, Ukiah. DUI, no license, probation violation.
LAURA BAILEY, Chico/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
CURTIS BETTENCOURT, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation violation.
CODY CALDWELL, Willits. Probation revocation.
NICHOLAS COCHRAN, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.
VANESSA ELIZABETH, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, public urination, failure to appear.
WILLIAM FRANKS, Hopland. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation violation.
WAYNE HARRIS, Gualala. Domestic battery.
MATTHEW HILL, Laytonville. Robbery, failure to appear, probation revocation.
CATHRINE HINTERMANN, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
GEORGE MENDOZA, Pacoma/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.
JOSE PLASCENCIA, Fort Bragg. Robbery.
DAMON REICHARDT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
BIANCA SCHOFIELD, Point Arena. Failure to appear.
TINA WATTS, Laytonville. Vandalism.
MEMO OF THE AIR: Live on KNYO from Franklin St. all night tonight!
Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is like 5:30 or so. Or send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week.
I'm in town for this show. I'll be in the cluttered but well-lighted back room of KNYO's 325 N. Franklin studio. To call and read your work in your own voice tonight, the number is 707-962-3022. If you want to come in and perform in person, that's okay; bring a mask to put on, and of course stay away if you have a tickly throat. But if you're in perfect health, fine, why not, and bring your pedal-steel guitar or homemade PVC drum or whatever.
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 KNYO.org. Also the schedule is there for KNYO's many other terrific shows.
As always, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a large bucket of educational golf balls to drive at the garage door of your mind until showtime, or any time, such as:
You want to freak your flat-earth uncle completely out? (In the old sense of the word freak. Not the one the kids use now.) Show him this. https://www.futilitycloset.com/2023/10/09/earthshapes/
I've never seen even two minutes of Cheers. Or Frasier, which I'm told was a spinoff of it. Frasier seems to be about the problems of a sleepy-grumpy-sounding man with an enormous head that's much bigger than any people's heads around him. He's probably Frasier. Anyway, 130 animators took turns animating one episode. It has a certain je nais se quois (say zheh-neh-seh-kwah).
(But the name Frasier reminds me of the episode of Stargate SG1 where Dr. Fraiser (her spelling) got killed. Just thinking about it I'm crying harder than I ever do about anything in the real world. Like when Gandalf fell, in the book, when I was twelve. Or when Mike, the emergent-intelligence computer in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, was damaged in the war and no longer a person, just a dull computer, like when McMurphy is revealed to have been lobotomized in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Or when I try to read aloud on the radio the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty. It's just too much, and I have to walk around for a little while, and breathe, and think about something else until I calm down from so much unfairness of things.)
And a cunning array of stunts.
Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
THIS FIRE SEASON, ANOTHER TERRIFYING THREAT
by Ken Pimlott
This fire season, Americans have been inundated by smoke from wildfires that destroyed vast forestlands in Canada, and we witnessed in horror an entire community burned to the ground in Maui. Although California's fire season has so far been light because of a wet winter, many of our state's most destructive and deadliest fires have occurred in October and November. Heightened fire danger is predicted throughout parts of Northern California well into October.
For decades, Californians have benefited from one of the strongest firefighting alliances in the world. In fact, the system now used nationally to manage and mitigate wildfires and other emergencies was forged in California in 1970 from a partnership that included the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection — better known as Cal Fire — and local firefighting agencies. The system's success depends on every partner contributing firefighters and resources, whether in the Klamath National Forest or the hills above Malibu.
This year, however, this partnership faces its own threat: looming pay cuts to thousands of federal wildland firefighters.
Funding from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act created temporary biweekly raises for federal firefighters that have been expected to end sometime after this September. With its recent stopgap agreement to avert a shutdown, Congress guaranteed current levels of federal firefighter pay until Nov. 17. Without further action, however, the funding will not renew. That will leave federal wildland firefighters at risk of losing half of their base pay, a loss of up to $20,000 a year for these workers.
Members of Congress have already proposed bipartisan bills that could shore up pay and benefits for our firefighters. It's imperative that our government take legislative action to permanently secure and stabilize the earnings of those bravely defending our communities.
The consequences of inaction are dire. If lawmakers don't stabilize firefighter pay, about a third to half of the 11,000 U.S. Forest Service firefighters could leave the service, according to the National Federation of Federal Employees.
The Government Accountability Office has confirmed that low pay for federal firefighters is already pushing workers out of federal service and deterring others from joining the force. The agency concluded in a June report that "the pay does not reflect the risk or physical demands of the work" and that it "was not competitive with nonfederal entities." At the start of the 2022 wildfire season, only about 70% of federal firefighting positions were staffed. California has already seen a decline, losing more than 20% of the state's Forest Service firefighters between 2019 and 2021 — years when our state faced three of our largest wildfires in history.
Congressional inaction leading to pay cuts could worsen this problem and prompt an exodus of Forest Service firefighters. This would strain California's integrated wildfire response system, placing a significant burden on Cal Fire and local government partners who would have to carry the load.
This imbalance would heighten the danger when multiple large fires burn simultaneously, tying up California's fire equipment and staffing needed to keep new fires small and combat large fires that spread to communities and watersheds. It would jeopardize the response to fires across California, including the national forests.
It's not just about having firefighters during fire season. The Forest Service must build and retain a robust, experienced workforce year-round to prevent disasters by increasing the use of prescribed fires — intentionally ignited, controlled burns that reduce vegetation and wildfire risk — and other forest treatments, such as the thinning and mechanical removal of vegetation, that similarly aim to mitigate potential wildfire fuel. Without the workforce to carry out those efforts, we'll see fires only get larger, placing more communities and natural resources at risk and ultimately requiring even more firefighters to suppress.
A strained and understaffed U.S. Forest Service weakens the whole firefighting system, all the way down to municipal agencies. A failure to act on federal firefighter pay is a gamble on lives, property and natural resources — and recent tragedies remind us that we can ill afford to take chances.
We cannot address the growing threat of catastrophic wildfires while severely under-compensating the people tasked with stopping and preventing them. Congress needs to act to maintain Forest Service firefighters' pay.
(Ken Pimlott was chief of Cal Fire from 2011-18. From the Los Angeles Times.)
ALL THIS AND THE WORLD TOO
by James Kunstler
“To all scholars who teach jihad… to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application of theories.” —Khaled Meshaal, former Hamas leader
It’s less than a week since the skies over the Negev Desert filled with something eerily like the flying monkeys of Oz upgraded to Hamas Road Warriors in motorized paragliders, kicking off that third world war we’ve been hearing about all our lives, and not at all the way we expected either, which was more Dr. Strangelove style, with the mushroom clouds billowing everywhere — though, who knows, it might come to that, too, before long.
This new catastrophe, quickly globalizing, makes the War in Ukraine seem as comfortable as an old sweater. For now, the question of intel failures must be put aside. There will be no official inquiries while US carrier fleets sail into position, and Hezbollah does a war dance on the northern frontier with Syria, and the Israelis struggle to strategize an extremely sticky hostage predicament, even as their air force blows up whole blocks of Gaza City.
Meanwhile, former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has called for a worldwide jihad this very day, Friday the 13th, as it happens, by which he means disruption within the entity known as Western Civ, where Jihad’s most dogged enemies dwell. For years, footloose emigres have been flooding into Europe and across America’s border with Mexico, mostly young men, hardly vetted, the sort of humans most likely to act-out warrior scripts in a zeitgeist gone sour, and I guess we’ll find out pretty soon whether some of them were sent to be activated against us.
The world is periodically subject to a mighty release of tensions. That’s why there are great wars. We’ve been well aware of these tensions building into the new millennium and now here it is. The elaborate systems we’ve allowed to evolve — our gigantic manufacturing and resource supply lines, the financial scaffold that has turned capital formation into a freak show of scams and wishes, the grotesque behemoth governments of a zillion regulatory impulses turning more tyrannically against their own citizens every day — all add up to a general condition of fantastic fragility. So, you see, a global release of tensions is liable to bust up a lot of those arrangements.
Western Civ has been expecting this for a while. All the years of clever work-arounds and kicking cans down the road tells you that. The big question is: can we carry on as before? And anyone with half a brain can see the answer is: probably not. That is, not enjoying the many comforts, conveniences, and luxuries we’ve grown used to, all of which hinge on our energy supplies, enough of which is centered in the Ummah of Islam so that when it is interrupted or cut-off, there goes the cushy life for us. (And let’s note that for many in Western Civ life has already and stealthily turned into a serious struggle lately).
So, whichever way these new events may go, things have changed. There will be more intense conflict over the remaining oil in the Middle East. Europe may finally discover that it does not relish being turned into one big mosque. And the USA is so lost in self mind-fuckery that we can’t even get our House of Representatives in order. The American students (and faculty!) cheerleading for Gaza’s Road Warrior executioners might represent the last stand of Woke derangement. This degenerate nonsense has run its course. It may dawn in our centers-of-learning — and every other collaborating institution — that we have more important things to think about than the etiquette around men who dress-up as women.
One naturally wonders what role the shadowy Globalists have played in the build-up to all this, and how things will go with them. I can imagine Europe plunged into political chaos that would lead to scenes like a mob riding Klaus Schwab out of his Swiss redoubt on a rail, and the German government falling, and Paris on fire, and street-fighting in Stockholm. Chaos is as chaos want to do. One thing seems certain: it’ll be a cold winter there for most everybody.
It’s probably safe to say that Mr. Zelensky will not be getting additional bowls of gruel out of Uncle Sam. No one is paying attention to Ukraine now, and that sudden neglect by the once-solicitous NATO alliance could go on indefinitely with wider conflict breaking out elsewhere — meaning that Russia will be left to methodically restore the status quo ante that allowed Ukraine to be a quiet backwater in Russia’s sphere of influence since the end of the previous world war, until our wicked and reckless neocons moved to wreck the joint.
China is the joker in the deck now. There’s plenty of chatter that China’s banking system is toast, with its new and large middle class left holding a giant bag of worthless securities and unsellable real estate, and that when they are sufficiently pissed-off that will be the last round-up for Uncle Xi and his CCP. But then, you can also easily imagine that gang thinking now is the optimum moment to try and grab Taiwan and its riches, with Western Civ all tied up elsewhere. I remind you of China’s “Four Wars” doctrine for bringing us down. There’s Ukraine, now Israel, there’s the internal war of Left versus Right throughout the West, and there’s the massive invasion of Europe and the USA of uninvited mutts. Four wars. The breaking point.
Yet to play out is America’s crisis of leadership. As supply lines break, and the flash mobs loot the luxury shops, and the illegal aliens stream in, and the price of everything goes up-up-up, and the truth about the Covid vaccines is finally grokked, even the dazed-and-confused American public might notice that the White House has become a zombie palace. Politics hates a vacuum and “Joe Biden” begins to look like a black hole that will suck the execrable deep state blob that surrounds him across the event horizon that opens to oblivion. I’d go so far to predict that well before the 2024 election, America will have a new chief executive and that it won’t be Kamala Harris. It could be someone in a uniform, though. Just sayin’. Everything is in flux.
GOING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY doesn't make any difference. I've tried all that. You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.
— Ernest Hemingway
A UNIFORM FOR CONGRESS
There has been much written about John Fetterman and the way he dresses when he goes to work in the U.S. Senate. There are those who support his attire and those who oppose. Given that most Congress persons receive some form of campaign funds from lobbyists, it would seem appropriate that they should dress like NASCAR drivers, with their sponsors’ logos on their clothing. Just saying.
by Marilyn Davin
At the tender age of 19 I boarded an Athens-bound train at the Gare du Nord station in Paris. I was on a train because my mother was appalled that I had been thumbing my way solo round Europe and bought me the ticket. I climbed into my assigned sleeper car, shared with two men who were unfailingly polite and respectful. Yea, it was a long time ago but I still believe that the world is not nearly as dangerous a place as CNN and our government would have us believe. From Athens I found my way to the Greek port of Piraeus, where I boarded a boat to Haifa. My cabin mate for the three-day, 829 nautical-mile trip was a much older woman and her cats. But of course at 19, everybody looks old. My plan, such as it was, was to live on a kibbutz though I had nowhere specific in mind. I figured when I got off the boat it wouldn’t be hard to find a kibbutz willing to accept an idealistic young American university student. There are days when I miss that innocence and freedom: no reservations, much of the world wide open to peaceful young travelers out to explore and better understand the world. (Note: I was not a hippie, did not drink or do drugs, and am not Jewish. My parents were atheists or, as my father was fond of saying, “self-respecting heathens.”)
The year was 1971, just four years after the 1967 Six-Day War, and there were young Israeli soldiers everywhere: patrolling the streets, filling the buses, looking simultaneously exhausted and alert to danger as they restlessly scanned the faces of people around them. I began walking through a dense residential section of Haifa, where a boy who looked to be around 9 or 10 (my own grandson’s age) scampered along the roof of a three-storey building, throwing rocks at me as he followed me from above. I was a young blonde hiking-booted foreigner with a battered backpack, someone he instantly recognized as no friend to him.
From Haifa I caught a local bus to Kibbutz Yasur, east of Acre near the Syria border in Northern Israel’s Western Galilee. The kibbutz welcomed me and assigned me a visitor’s room, which I shared with an Australian woman my age, whose name I have long forgotten. She was travelling around the world and was given to dramatically unfurling her accordion-like plane ticket, which stretched across the width of our room. She also taught me to put sweetened condensed milk in my coffee when it was inconvenient to walk over to the kibbutz dairy, an unfortunate sugary habit I was fortunately able to break when I got home.
The room I shared with my Australian roommate was part of a visitor’s compound on the kibbutz. Besides my roommate and me, other visitors included two young American men from Ohio whose parents were Holocaust survivors and apparently hopeful that time spent on a kibbutz would broaden their kids’ interest and knowledge beyond their cherry-red Corvettes and all the entitled family wealth that came with them back in Ohio. They were boyish, open, and friendly, traits I came to think of as American. And I suspected even then that those parents knew that this cultural immersion was a fool’s errand. Those young men had nothing in common with the kibbutz’s permanent residents, many of whom still bore faded black numbers on their forearms from World War II concentration camps. One characteristic of being human is the disappointing inability to perfectly graft your own past experiences and beliefs onto your children, however fervently held. The young Ohioans spent most of their time doing drugs and calling us female visitors “sisters.” I should thank them for my one unforgettable experience with opium, however. When I I took a hit of the tarry substance the effect was so incredible that I immediately understood how addicts in opium dens wasted away to nothing as their hunger, thirst, and other physical needs dissolved in ecstatic clouds of smoke. The experience was so intense that I vowed to never touch it again in my lifetime, a promise I’ve kept.
According to the Jewish Virtual Library there are more kibbutzim today than there were back in 1971. But today’s kibbutzniks in some cases have outside jobs or other income and can keep the money they earn. Nothing could be more distant philosophically from the earlier kibbutzim established at the turn of the Twentieth Century, which were straight-up Marxist. They were agricultural collectives back then, and followed the 1875 Karl Marx doctrine “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” And yet, even with all the passion and belief of those early Jewish settlers who scratched their subsistence collective farms out of the desert and shared the fruits of their labor equally, the specter of wealth accrual and unfettered capitalism inevitably sang its siren song.
Back on the kibbutz, we all got up early for breakfast in the communal dining room. Breakfast was usually diysa, a semolina porridge I liked so much I still make it today, minus the sugar-and-chocolate sprinkles. Then it was off to work, in my case picking lemons in the lemon orchard. Armed with a bucket and a steel pole with a loop at its tip (to ensure that only large lemons were picked, leaving the smaller ones to further mature), I walked over to the orchard. My abiding love of everything lemon was kick started in that orchard, where bright lemons against an impossibly blue sky created a fragrant sense of peace. When I finished my work I often stopped at the dairy and climbed a ladder alongside a stainless-steel milk holding tank to get a drink with the communal dipper hanging from a hook on top. Dinner was something to look forward to; the dishes were cleared (separate dishes and cutlery for meat and dairy) and the wooden tables pushed aside to one wall to make room to dance, a joyous evening tradition at the end of the day.
During my months at the kibbutz there was time to explore other places. One day I walked with a fellow visitor to a nearby Palestinian village, where a family invited us to dinner. The main course was exquisite: a local fish with tiny bones, fried to crispness with lots of lemon. The roof above us was lined with flattened Coke cans and the house itself was tiny. No wealth here. But nobody on the kibbutz was wealthy, either; the differences between the two struck me as small. Today, according to the U.S. State Department, the average daily wage in Gaza is $13, compared with $82 in Israel.
My visit to Jerusalem was nothing short of magical. To a U.C. Berkeley history of art major it was akin to being dropped into the heart of the Promised Land. Jerusalem is home to each of the world’s three large monotheistic religions, and its soil is soaked with centuries of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian blood. (For those interested in the history of Jerusalem I highly recommend Karen Armstrong’s book, Jerusalem.) I walked the Via Dolorosa, where Jesus is believed to have carried the cross to his crucifixion, marveled at the Dome of the Rock, on the Temple Mount, where Muhammad is believed to have risen to Heaven on a white horse; stood long at the Wailing Wall, so named since the destruction of two Jewish temples during Roman rule, around 324-638 AD. To walk that ground where so many others had walked for centuries was a humbling experience I have never forgotten. Throughout those centuries, in between wars, all three sets of believers have claimed Jerusalem as their own, though despite the three doctrines extolling the virtues of peace and love for one’s fellow man, they’ve been at war ever since.
Israel Sticks to Call for Gaza Evacuation and Readies a Possible Invasion
The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said airstrikes killed at least 70 Palestinians and wounded some 200 others who had been trying to leave the northern part of the territory. Aid groups warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe.
Israel called for the evacuation of more than a million citizens from the northern Gaza Strip and concentrated more armed forces around the enclave on Friday, signaling that it may be preparing to escalate the war with Hamas.
The United Nations and international aid and rights groups called Israel’s directive unworkable or unlawful, and urged it to rescind the evacuation. A UN spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement that the evacuation could not be conducted “without devastating humanitarian consequences,” and “could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation.”
The Israeli military did not back away from the evacuation plan on Friday but softened its stance, suggesting there was no deadline, after initially saying that people should leave northern Gaza within 24 hours. “We understand it will take time,” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesman, told reporters.
In Gaza, already cut off from vital supplies, many people fled with what they could carry, not knowing what conditions awaited them in the south or how long they would be gone. But many others remained, out of necessity, fear or defiance. Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza and conducted a deadly, large-scale incursion into Israel last weekend, has urged people to stay put, calling the Israeli directive “psychological warfare.”
On both sides, there is widespread anticipation of an Israeli ground invasion, after 360,000 reservists were mobilized and many units were dispatched to the southwestern region bordering Gaza. Israel has neither said it would invade nor ruled it out, but in a statement to Gazans the Israeli military left no doubt that conditions would worsen.
Israel “will continue to operate with significant force in Gaza City, and will make extensive efforts to avoid harming civilians,” it said.
Human rights groups and international institutions that condemned Hamas’s assault on Israel also criticized the Israeli response, including the evacuation directive, the bombing campaign and a complete blockade that has prevented fuel, water, food and medicine from entering and refugees from leaving, and shutting down electricity service for Gazans. Health care workers, international aid workers and journalists were among those killed in the bombing.
“The horrific attacks in Israel cannot justify the limitless destruction of Gaza,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement, adding that the call to evacuate northern Gaza violated international law. Another relief group working in Gaza, the Norwegian Refugee Council, said the evacuation amounted to “the war crime of forcible transfer.”
While Israel directed Palestinians to go to southern Gaza, its forces were striking sites there, too, underscoring the dangers of traveling there. The Interior Ministry in Gaza said that Israeli airstrikes had killed at least 70 Palestinians and wounded 200 others who were trying to flee northern Gaza in vehicles on a main highway to the south.
President Biden said relieving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza was one of his top priorities. He did not criticize Israel’s response to Hamas attacks he called “pure evil.”
“We can’t lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do with Hamas and these appalling attacks, and they’re suffering as a result as well,” he said in a speech in Philadelphia.
The crisis reverberated far beyond Gaza on Friday, a day that a Hamas leader had declared a “day of rage” for its supporters around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out in rallies across the Middle East to express outrage over the Israeli response. A half-million people filled Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and large protests broke out in Beirut and Bahrain.
“They were subjected to various types of injustice, and now they are being subjected to starvation, siege and killing,” said Ali Hassan, 60, who participated in the demonstration in Bahrain on Friday.
In the West Bank, Israeli security forces killed eight Palestinians in clashes on Friday, and security was stepped up in cities around the United States.
An Israeli diplomat in Beijing was stabbed — not fatally — on Friday, a day after Israel criticized China for not condemning the Hamas assault. In France, a man the authorities said was under surveillance for suspected Islamist radicalization killed one person with a knife and wounded two others in the city of Arras. The authorities did not offer a motive in either case.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, after meeting with the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, flew to Qatar to meet with its ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Qatar has sometimes acted as an intermediary in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a number of Hamas leaders have homes there.
U.S. officials said they were looking for ways to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas, to create a “safe zone” for Palestinians within Gaza, to get humanitarian relief into Gaza and to evacuate foreigners who are trapped there, including some 500 to 600 American citizens.
Israel and Egypt, Gaza’s only immediate neighbors, which have imposed a blockade on the impoverished territory for 16 years, have refused to allow people to cross their borders in the past week. Egypt has said it would allow relief aid in, but the only border crossing from Egypt has been effectively sealed by Israeli bombing.
King Abdullah II of Jordan, meeting with Mr. Blinken, warned against forced displacement and “inflicting collective punishment against Gaza residents,” his government said in a statement. It also cautioned that the crisis could spill into neighboring countries.
The Hamas assault on Israel that began last Saturday appeared to have no immediate aims beyond indiscriminate slaughter and hostage-taking in dozens of small settlements, a military base and a music festival. It killed about 1,300 people in Israel and wounded almost 3,400, according to the Israeli government, not including the attackers who were killed and wounded when Israelis drove them from the places they had overrun. Some of the victims were foreigners, including at least 27 Americans and 15 French citizens who were killed.
A Hamas spokesman said on Thursday that the attack was carried out by a battalion of 3,000 fighters, with a 1,500-strong backup force.
In retaliation, Israel has conducted a far more intensive bombing campaign of Gaza than in previous conflicts, which it says is aimed at Hamas but which Palestinians and aid groups say has mostly harmed civilians. The Gazan authorities put the toll at 1,900 people killed, about 7,700 others wounded and many more whose homes have been destroyed. Out of more than 2 million Gazans living in an area about the size of the city of Philadelphia, the United Nations says that about 400,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
Last Saturday, Israel suffered more fatalities in a single day than in any of its previous wars, and on Friday the Israeli authorities escorted international reporters on a tour of a makeshift morgue in Ramla in central Israel, where the arduous task of identifying the bodies is underway. About 500 bodies are being held there in more than a dozen refrigerated trucks.
Some were proving particularly difficult to identify because the Hamas assailants had burned them. The door to one of the cargo containers was opened — the one holding the bodies of children and infants.
“Notice the small-sized bags,” said Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the military spokesman. “They are of children and babies. The smaller bags are of their body parts,” he added.
The Israeli military said on Friday that allegations that it had used white phosphorous munitions in Gaza were “unequivocally false.” The groups Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International had said there was evidence that Israel had used white phosphorus, an especially potent incendiary whose use in populated areas would violate international law.
In northern Gaza, including the region’s largest population center, Gaza City, many people fled southward on Friday with what they could carry. But many others stayed, citing a host of reasons: they had no vehicles or no fuel; they were infirm or caring for someone who could not readily be moved; they thought they would be no safer en route or in the south; or they feared that they would not be allowed to return.
“Hamas terrorists are hiding in Gaza City, inside tunnels, underneath houses and inside buildings populated with innocent Gazan civilians,” the Israeli military said in its statement to Palestinians, urging them to “distance yourself from Hamas terrorists who are using you as human shields.”
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
“One woman actually claimed that the Jews in Israel brought this upon themselves, even the children.”
Is that a false statement? Cooping up 2M people in a 140 square mile open air prison for 80+ years, while just taking their property and land over that time period, does not justify their reaction, but DOES explain it.
It is not a Palestinian issue, it is a one of humanity. The Jews themselves did the same in Warsaw, after only being cooped up for years, not decades.
Israel has allowed this to fester for all these decades.
MESSAGE TO HAMAS
You can’t win a war
By being dishonorable
Can’t win hearts and minds
— Jim Luther
NAOMI WOLFE: “Most US Jews are Democrats, and are liberals, for important historical reasons that I will explain another time. But they have had such strong allies for Israel in US Presidents, for all of the decades past, I think many of us forgot the fragility of Jewish survival. I think that these scenes of violence in the Jewish state will cause a wave of buyers’ remorse among liberal American Jews, who will rethink what it means for the world, including for the Jewish state, for America to be seen globally as weak; as an untrustworthy and unreliable ally; what it means for Jews and for the Jewish state for America to be led by a senile (sorry, but it must finally be said) puppet of China.”
I’M GOING TO WAR FOR ISRAEL. PALESTINIANS ARE NOT MY ENEMY.
by Nir Avishai Cohen
I was in Austin, Texas, for work on Saturday when I received a call from my commander in the Israel Defense Forces to return to Israel and head to the front line. I didn’t hesitate. I knew that the citizens of my country were in real danger. My duty first and foremost is to join the fight against those who unleashed a massacre on my people. I boarded the first flight I found out of Austin to head home to join the I.D.F. reserves, where I serve as a brigade operations command officer.
During my long flight to Israel, my mind couldn’t rest. I was trying to write down my feelings and thoughts about everything happening — and everything that’s about to happen — in my beloved country.
Little by little, the dimensions of the horrors of the most brutal attack that Israelis have experienced since the establishment of the state were being revealed. Hundreds of Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than 1,200 people, including women, children and older people. About 150 citizens and soldiers have been taken captive. There’s nothing in the world that can justify the murder of hundreds of innocent people.
But I’d like to say one thing clearly, before I go to battle: There’s no such thing as “unavoidable.” This war could have been avoided, and no one did enough to prevent it. Israel did not do enough to make peace; we just conquered the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, expanded the illegal settlements and imposed a long-term siege on the Gaza Strip.
For 56 years Israel has been subjecting Palestinians to oppressive military rule. In my book “Love Israel, Support Palestine,” I wrote: “Israeli society has to ask itself very important questions about where and why the blood of its sons and daughters was spilled. A Messianic religious minority has dragged us into a muddy swamp, and we are following them as if it were the Piper from Hamelin.” When I wrote these words last year, I didn’t realize how deep in the mud we were, and how much more blood could be shed in so little time.
I am now going to defend my country against enemies who want to kill my people. Our enemies are the deadly terrorist organizations that are being controlled by Islamic extremists.
Palestinians aren’t the enemy. The millions of Palestinians who live right here next to us, between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan, are not our enemy. Just like the majority of Israelis want to live a calm, peaceful and dignified life, so do Palestinians. Israelis and Palestinians alike have been in the grip of a religious minority for decades. On both sides, the intractable positions of a small group has dragged us into violence. It doesn’t matter who is more cruel, or more ruthless. The ideology of both have fueled this conflict, leading to the death of too many innocent civilians.
As a major in the reserves, it is important to me to make it clear that in this already unstoppable new war, we cannot allow the massacre of innocent Israelis to result in the massacre of innocent Palestinians. Israel must remember that there are more than two million people living in the Gaza Strip. The vast majority of them are innocent. Israel must do everything in its power to avoid killing innocent people, and focus on destroying the militant army of Hamas.
This war, like others before it, will end sooner or later. I am not sure I will come back from it alive, but I do know that a minute after the war is over, both Israelis and Palestinians will have to reckon with the leaders who led them to this moment. We must wake up and not let the extremists rule. Palestinians and Israelis must denounce the extremists who are driven by religious fanaticism. The Israelis will have to oust National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and their far-right circle from power, and the Palestinians will have to oust the leadership of Hamas.
I try to look for shreds of hope. The Yom Kippur War, the most difficult war that Israel had known until this week, started by surprise in 1973. After a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt was finally signed in 1979, the border with Egypt — one that was once the site of the dead and wounded — became a border of peace.
Israelis must realize that there is no greater security asset than peace. The strongest army cannot protect the country the way peace does. This current war proves it once again. Israel has followed the path of war for too long.
At the end, after all of the dead Israelis and Palestinians are buried, after we have finished washing away the rivers of blood, the people who share a home in this land will have to understand that there is no other choice but to follow the path of peace. That is where true victory lies.
Nir Avishai Cohen, a major in the reserves of the Israeli Defense Forces, is author of the book “Love Israel, Support Palestine.”
LOUISE GLÜCK, NOBEL-WINNING POET WHO EXPLORED TRAUMA AND LOSS, DIES AT 80
Acclaimed as one of America’s greatest living writers, she blended deeply personal material with themes of mythology and nature.
by Clay Risen
Louise Glück, an American poet whose searing, deeply personal work, often filtered through themes of classical mythology, religion and the natural world, won her practically every honor available, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and, in 2020, the Nobel Prize for Literature, died on Friday at her home in Cambridge, Mass. She was 80.
Her death was confirmed by Jonathan Galassi, her editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Richard Deming, a friend and former colleague of hers in the English department at Yale, said the cause was cancer.
Ms. Glück (pronounced glick) was widely considered to be among the country’s greatest living poets, long before she won the Nobel. She began publishing in the 1960s and received some acclaim in the ’70s, but she cemented her reputation in the ’80s and early ’90s with a string of books, including “Triumph of Achilles” (1985), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; “Ararat” (1990); and “The Wild Iris” (1992), which won the Pulitzer Prize.
Her work was both deeply personal — “Ararat,” for example, drew on the pain she experienced over the death of her father — and broadly accessible, both to critics, who praised her clarity and precise lyricism, and to the broader reading public. She served as the United States poet laureate from 2003 to 2004.
“‘Direct’ is the operative word here,” the critic Wendy Lesser wrote in a review of “Triumph of Achilles” in The Washington Post. ”Glück’s language is staunchly straightforward, remarkably close to the diction of ordinary speech. Yet her careful selection for rhythm and repetition, and the specificity of even her idiomatically vague phrases, give her poems a weight that is far from colloquial.”
Her early work, especially her debut, “Firstborn” (1968), is deeply indebted to the so-called confessional poets who dominated the scene in the 1950s and ’60s, among them John Berryman, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath.
But even as Ms. Glück continued to weave her verse with an autobiographical thread, there is nothing solipsistic in her later, more mature work, even as she explored intimate themes of trauma and heartbreak.
“The poets I returned to as I grew older were the poets in whose work I played, as the elected listener, a crucial role,” she said in her Nobel acceptance speech. “Intimate, seductive, often furtive or clandestine. Not stadium poets. Not poets talking to themselves.”
With sometimes remorseless wit and razor-sharp language, she seamlessly tied the personal to the social, the particular to the universal, looping together meditations on her own struggles with themes of family, mortality and loss.
In awarding her its prize for literature — she was the first American-born poet to win it since T.S. Eliot in 1948 — the Nobel committee praised her “unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
“Bleak,” “alienated” and “austere” were all adjectives one got used to finding in reviews of Ms. Glück’s work. “She is at heart the poet of a fallen world,” the critic Don Bogen once wrote.
Nature is rarely a thing of beauty in her work; it is full of sadness, danger and disappointment. In what is perhaps her most famous and widely anthologized poem, “Mock Orange,” she wrote:
We were made fools of.
And the scent of mock orange
drifts through the window.
How can I rest?
How can I be content
when there is still
that odor in the world?
by Maggie Smith
I’m your guide here. In the evening-dark
morning streets, I point and name.
Look, the sycamores, their mottled,
paint-by-number bark. Look, the leaves
rusting and crisping at the edges.
I walk through Schiller Park with you
on my chest. Stars smolder well
into daylight. Look, the pond, the ducks,
the dogs paddling after their prized sticks.
Fall is when the only things you know
because I’ve named them
begin to end. Soon I’ll have another
season to offer you: frost soft
on the window and a porthole
sighed there, ice sleeving the bare
gray branches. The first time you see
something die, you won’t know it might
come back. I’m desperate for you
to love the world because I brought you here.