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A DECAYING FRONT may generate light rain or drizzle for Del Norte and northern Humboldt Counties Wednesday into Wednesday evening. Otherwise, dry weather or no rain is forecast for the next 7 days. Potential for morning frost will increase for the Humboldt Bay area Friday and again on Saturday. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): 44F under cloudy skies this Tuesday morning on the coast. Lovely weather is forecast thru the weekend. A quiet pattern for now. "for now" being the key thought.
NAVARRO BEACH CLOSED DUE TO FLOODING
State Parks posted the following to the Mendocino group on Facebook today:
"As of Nov 20th, at 10 AM the Navarro River Beach campground and parking lot will be closed due to flooding. Reopening will occur once water levels have receded."
The NWS Navarro Guage chart shows that the river level peaked at 3.16 ft. at 11 PM Sunday night. The predicted highest crest was 2.95 ft. so it went .21 ft. higher than predicted. Latest observed level was 2.97 ft. at 12:15 PM today. The forecast chart shows a gradual decline to 1.9 ft. at 5 AM Wednesday.
Since Parks says Navarro Beach will be reopened once water levels recede, that may mean as soon as tomorrow, Tuesday. It's the beach access road from Hwy. 1 to the beach that gets flooded. When the road is closed to vehicles, some people walk and wade to reach the beach on foot.
NWS Navarro River Gauge: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=eka&gage=nvrc1
Happy Thanksgiving holiday!
P.S. An earlier stage name used by Whoopi Goldberg was Whoopi Cushion.
FIGHTING ERUPTS AROUND ANOTHER EMBATTLED GAZAN HOSPITAL
At least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded in an attack on a hospital in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning as fighting escalated around it, according to two hospital staff members and the Gazan health ministry, which blamed Israel for the strike. The Indonesian Hospital was hit around 2:30 a.m. after Israeli tanks drew closer to the compound amid constant shelling and gunfire, according to a nurse and a hospital administrator. The precise source of the strike could not be independently verified.
As Israel and Hamas negotiate over the release of some 240 hostages taken in the armed group’s attacks on Oct. 7, the outlines of a possible deal are taking shape, officials say, although stumbling blocks remain. After weeks of indirect talks, facilitated in part by Qatar, John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said on Monday, “We believe we’re closer than we’ve ever been,” but acknowledged there was “still work to be done.” Ismail Haniya, the Qatar-based political leader of Hamas, told Reuters on Tuesday that the armed group was “close to reaching a truce agreement” with Israel.
A FUTURE WITHOUT SCOTT & CAPE HORN DAMS
PG&E has submitted its Initial Draft Surrender Application and Decommissioning Plan for the Potter Valley Project. The utility has accepted the proposal from Inland Water and Power Commission of Mendocino County (IWPC), Sonoma Water, and the Round Valley Indian Tribes to include two options to continue diverting water from the Eel River to the Russian River as alternatives to complete decommissioning. The alternatives propose to entirely remove Scott Dam, which creates Lake Pillsbury and much of Cape Horn Dam, which creates Van Arsdale Reservoir, then either construct a bladder dam to be used seasonally, to allow water to be diverted by gravity flow, or to install a pumping station. Both alternative options would only divert water seasonally during the winter/spring season when flows are high.
PG&E has made the draft available to the public, and is accepting comments until December 22nd. In May of 2024, after considering public comment, PG&E will submit the draft proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
If decommissioning of the dams moves forward, we need to prepare for the inevitable. We need to have projects and plans in place to adapt to the new situation. This will require a great deal of collaboration between stakeholders, and local, state and federal officials. This will also require a great deal of money which neither the County nor our community has. We risk losing out much like we did with the building of Coyote Dam if the water is allocated based on ability to pay. We need state and federal funding to secure for Mendocino County an equitable amount of the water that will continue to be diverted. We also need to raise Coyote Dam to increase our storage capacity.
The changes in water availability will greatly impact water rights going back over one hundred years, that have been issued by the state. These rights are based on water that will no longer be available. We need to build new storage capacity, big and small, to make up for the loss of storage capacity and to store winter water for use in summer. Potter Valley, especially, will need to make large investments in infrastructure to divert winter river flows to store water in reservoirs and to recharge groundwater. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) need to develop a streamlined process so water right holders can modify their water rights to adapt to the new conditions. Summertime diversions will be curtailed more often as Russian River summer flows won’t be supported by diverted Eel River water. Diverting and storing winter flows will become much more critical. Our community needs financial support and regulatory relief to allow us to adapt by increasing storage capacity.
Just as important as submitting a comment to PG&E, if not more so, is contacting our elected state and federal representatives. In response to PG&E’s draft plan, Jared Huffman had this to say on his website:
“PG&E’s draft surrender application is a major step forward to achieving the Two-Basin Solution I’ve advocated for years. The plan includes full and expedited removal of two dams that harm salmon on the Eel River while allowing for a modern fish-friendly diversion to provide water to Mendocino, Sonoma, and Marin counties. I’ll be working to ensure that both elements are completed in a way that best protects communities, tribes, and natural resources in the Eel and Russian river watersheds,” said Rep. Huffman.
Huffman has verbally committed to protecting communities, but hasn’t materially demonstrated that commitment by securing money for water storage. Our communities need support and assistance to adapt to the proposed changes which include new storage capacity to compensate for the losses of Scott and Cape Horn Dams . I strongly urge you to contact our representatives, especially Huffman, regarding the situation. Feel free to use my letter as a template.
This is my letter that is being sent to Jared Huffman, Mike Thompson, Mike McGuire, and Jim Wood.
Here is their contact info or you can go online to their websites and submit a comment.
Congressman Jared Huffman
Ukiah District Office
200 South School Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Phone: (707) 671-7449
Congressman Mike Thompson
Santa Rosa District Office
2300 County Center Dr.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: (707) 542-7182
California Senator Mike McGuire
200 South School Street, Suite K
Ukiah, CA 95482
California Assembly Member Jim Wood
Ukiah Valley Conference Center
200 S. School St. Suite D
Ukiah, CA 95482
Phone: (707) 463-5770
Dear (elected official),
My name is Adam Gaska, a Redwood Valley, Mendocino County farmer. I am involved in local and regional water policy by sitting on the board of Redwood Valley County Water District, representing Ag on the Ukiah Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency, and being a member of the Russian River Water Forum. I am greatly concerned for our future with the loss of Scott and Cape Horn Dam. I understand fisheries on the Eel and Russian Rivers are in peril, but I don’t think removing the dams is necessary for the rivers’ recovery, nor will their removal insure their recovery. I am deeply disappointed that there hasn’t been State and Federal support to assume control of Scott and Cape Horn Dams to make the necessary modifications to improve fish passage and ensure the dams longevity resulting in wins for both the Eel and Russian River watersheds and the communities that depend on them.
In light of the current situation with decommissioning being almost certain, I am reaching out on behalf of my community, requesting financial support and regulatory relief for Mendocino County. To adapt to a future without Scott and Cape Horn dams, we need support to build new storage capacity including the raising of Coyote Dam. How Russian River water rights are managed will need to change, as water availability will decrease. Regulatory agencies such as the SWRCB and DWR must develop a streamlined and flexible framework to allow for those changes to happen, allowing our communities to adapt to a future with less available water and an increased dependence on water storage. Water right holders need the ability to modify their water rights in order to store more diverted winter time flows. These changes need to be processed quickly and efficiently.
Mendocino County, being an economically disadvantaged community, will struggle to adapt to a future without the dams. We need financial assistance to contribute to the new infrastructure of the Eel-Russian transfer facility, develop new storage capacity in order to receive and benefit from an equitable share of the water. Russian River water rights holders and users will increasingly rely on stored water, as summer diversions will be curtailed more frequently. Funding a cost-share program to increase on-farm water storage as was done in 2008 through the NRCS would be timely and helpful. Funding to raise Coyote Dam to increase storage capacity of Lake Mendocino must become a priority. Potter Valley Irrigation District needs infrastructure improvements to its water delivery system to divert winter flows to storage in an as of yet unbuilt reservoir (or two), and to recharge groundwater.
Without your help to secure funding and regulatory relief, your constituents in Mendocino County will suffer, as will others dependent on the Russian River.
I appreciate your attention to this matter,
AV GRANGE NEWS
The Holidaze are upon us. But to be clear the Grange wants you all to know that we have a warm friendly place for you to enjoy the company of the community.
The Pancake Breakfast pops up on the FIRST Sunday in December, that’s Dec. 3rd from 8:30-11:00. Yup, so much going on in December we decided to start you all off with a great breakfast in the beginning of the month. Flippin’ the flapjacks, elegant eggs, best bacon, and all those terrific toppings. Plus,the fabulous will play for pancakes band, sometimes known as The Deep End Woogies, recently redubbed Los Panqueleros, promise to play NONE of your favorite Christmas carols. Whew!
All of which rather weirdly brings us to the Foodshed and AV Grange Holiday Dinner Sunday December 10th, where there may be some Christmas carols going on. It’s a FREE dinner starting at 5:30. We supply the turkey, smashed potatoes, gravy and dressing, coffee and tea. Everyone is invited and you all bring the rest including your utensils, (we’ll have a dishwashing station ready to go). It’s the biggest potluck that any of us have ever heard of and every year many masterful “side” dishes, drinks and deserts appear, homemade from mostly local ingredients.There are lots of vegetarian, vegan, gluten free offerings included. Both events are very family friendly.
This is a great time to get involved with the Grange. There is lots of set up and cleanup for the dinner and there’s an on line sign up sheet with different tasks that you can help with. A link to the sign up sheet is on the mailed poster to Grangers and Food Shedders ask them to forward it to you or contact firstname.lastname@example.org asking for that link, or call; Laura at the Grange info line; 684-9340 and leave a message requesting the link. If digital isn’t your thing call Captain Rainbow 472-9189.
You can also sign up to join the Grange, elections are in January, what can the Grange be doing to better serve the community? You can make it happen.
SOME PEOPLE SAY MENDO DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE LET ALONE A PLAN…
Staff Reports & Agenda for Planning Commission 12-7-23
Dear Interested Parties,
The Staff Report(s) and Agenda for the December 7, 2023, Planning Commission meeting is now available on the department website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission
Please contact staff if there are any questions,
Commission Services Supervisor
County of Mendocino Department of Planning & Building Services
860 N Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
Main Line: 707-234-6650
PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE…
The GrassRoots Institute (GRI) is pleased to announce the availability of a video recording of the official launch of our new campaign to prohibit the construction of new fossil fuel stations in Mendocino County. This event took place on October 22 at the Caspar Community Center. The video is available at the following location: vimeo.com/879695523
The campaign launch event featured as guest speaker, Woody Hastings, co-coordinator of Congas along with his co-coordinator, Jenny Blaker. Congas is a community-based organization dedicated to the movement to prohibit new gas stations. Woody and Jenny shared their experiences working in multiple jurisdictions in Sonoma County to successfully lobby for the enactment of a prohibition. Prohibiting the construction of new gas stations only requires some simple changes to a jurisdiction’s zoning regulations. Benefits of enacting such a prohibition include the avoidance of new, potentially toxic hazardous waste sites, and a renewed focus on alternative transportation options that avoid the use of fossil fuels.
The event was introduced by GRI’s Don Hess, a member of the Climate Crisis Workgroup, who placed this effort in the historical context of an increasingly worrisome climate situation worldwide and the sordid role of fossil fuel corporations.
For more information on the Gas Station Ban, please contact Don Hess at MendocinoNewGasBan@gmail.com
* * *
On Line Comments:
(1) Not the stupidest focus for Mendocino County, but probably the stupidest one I will hear of today…
I intended to visit the Costco/Wal Mart/Michaels/ etc in Ukiah today, but I think I will go to Santa Rosa instead…
Mendocino County can go jump in the lake, or go jump in two lakes, if one won’t hold them…
An entire County, run by idiots…
(2) increasingly worrisome climate situation?
Have these two talked to a real scientist? Not one of the striking “scientists”? A real climate scientist that knows the truth, and who is not on the globalists payroll.
This is how progressive ruin everything.
These people should just ride their bikes and be happy. Stop bothering the real world.
(3) Most of the people who work straight jobs in Ukiah, commute in from Santa Rosa…
I met people in Willits who commuted to San Rafael…
In Yuba City, at Target, the Tesla Chargers are about 150 yards from the store entrance… Waaaaaaaaaaay over there!
In the real world, you should charge your Tesla at home, in your own garage, since you need to keep that shit hidden…
I have a neighbor who has 2 electric cars, a lot of solar panels and he was out back splitting firewood… When the PG&E was out for 4 days last February, he still didn’t have enough batteries to keep his radiant heating going…
California is friendly for electric cars in the cities, but Ukiah lacks the infrastructure, and besides, you can’t jack one up and put on giant tires, so it wouldn’t look cool…
If you want to spare the air but live in a forest, plan to wait for a charger, and stop burning firewood. And Diesel.
A “PROGRESSIVE” in Mendocino County is a liberal trying to distance him/herself from the Democratic Party while unfailingly voting for Democrats. In the Bay Area a “progressive” is a communist who’s afraid of being called a communist. Which reminds me of a funny episode in a long ago Frisco mayor’s race when the communist candidate, Ms. Bermudez, was described as the communist candidate by a writer in The Independent, a weekly newspaper whose coverage of local politics is a lot better than that served up by the rest of the Bay Area media. In the very next issue of the paper an indignant letter-to-the-editor from the communist’s campaign manager denounced the Independent for “red baiting.”
DON’T SEE many little kids “risking back injury” these days from toting their books around in backpacks. I remember parents writing in to complain that carrying five or six books 50 feet to the school bus stop put their kids at risk. When I suggested putting a few bricks in with their books the kids could work off all the sugar they consume every day, parents were not amused.
THE MAJOR, to put the textbook burden in historical context, says he recalls a strict textbook-toting protocol at his old high school in Fresno. The Major was a straight-A student who’d grown up watching Ask Mr. Wizard, so we’re talking about a guy who has toted his share of textbooks. “Boys,” he recalls, “had to carry their books under their arm off to one side, no matter how many or how heavy they were. Under one arm, I emphasize. And not only in the halls of the high school but all the way home. Girls were permitted to carry their books to the front and with both arms. Any male spotted in the act of transporting books in any way other than under one arm was..... well, it just wasn’t done.”
I CAN’T remember carrying any books anywhere until I was about twenty and trying to ingratiate myself with the more bookish females, all of them as half-cracked as I was. As for textbooks, I don’t remember reading a textbook the entire time I was in high school let alone carrying one anywhere. The only books I can remember from high school were those kept in a locked library cabinet that students had to have a note from a parent to read. These were books the school authorities considered “subversive.” Then as now school people were not book readers. If they were, there would be no such thing as textbooks. Textbooks destroy the intellectual curiosity of millions of America’s young people every year. These days they deliver a sort of purplish multicultural prose fog which, in its way, is as mind numbing and untrue as the false tomes I was force fed.
ANYWAY, the dangerous books at my high school were kept in a big, locked cabinet behind the librarian’s desk. Naturally, because they were sequestered, there was a large demand from students to read them. I read all of them on the safe assumption that any book deemed dangerous by school people had to be worth reading. But almost all of the forbidden lit consisted of pacifist and vegetarian tracts and fiction like ‘Peyton Place,’ a book that was readily available out in the world anyway, and which I’d read when I was about twelve simply because I’d been told not to read it. But there was one truly subversive book in the big glass case — ‘Johnny Got His Gun’ by Dalton Trumbo. It was later banned entirely in the United States along with Wilhelm Reich’s ‘The Mass Psychology of Fascism.’ American fascists didn’t trust Americans to read either one, although now I wonder why a high school would have had a heavy read like ol’ Wilhelm. (Years ago I had odd arguments with readers who thought Reich’s orgone boxes were psychologically helpful!)
’JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN,’ since converted to an awful movie that manages to eliminate entirely the powerful effect of the novel, is told from the point of view of a kid vegetable-ized in a war fought for no reason that he can discern. The book had a powerful effect on me as a 15-year-old because I’d never read anything that strong. It was exactly the kind of book a young person should read, but in class we were wading through five feet of Longfellow and the rest of the official canon. I thought ‘Johnny Got His Gun’ was some kind of publishing fluke. I’d had no idea “literature” could be so exciting.
* * *
APART from the collapse of one’s body, the worst part of growing old is the deaths of everyone you knew, including, of course, some you were actually fond of. My cohort has mostly gone, and the Anderson Valley seems teeming with ghosts, vivid ghosts, among them the late Larry Parsons, the famous blind winemaker, perhaps the least sympathetic handicapped person in all of Mendocino County.
BUT TO THOSE of us who possess what might be called a high tolerance for aberrant behavior, the guy was the source of endless amusement. I thought he was fascinating. A totally out of control blind man who did and said stuff a sighted person couldn’t possibly get away with. I remember encountering Larry one night at the bar of the Boonville Hotel where he was allowed exactly one drink before he was lead across the street to the Lodge before he could launch into Totally Inappropriate Mode. He clarified a macabre incident involving him earlier in the week. The Lodge was a veritable refuge of toleration.
THE DEATH of a blind friend of Parsons was in the news and still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department. “What really happened, Larry?”
A COUPLE of Parsons’ blind pals were visiting him from the Bay Area where they and Parsons maintained lucrative blind man concessions in federal buildings. Larry said the three blind guys “were like the three blind mice that night. We got drunk and drove around The Valley getting drunker.”
UH, excuse me, blind guys driving around drunk? Yes, Larry also did a lot of quail hunting up on the Holmes Ranch where his winery was located. His son directed fire. “To your left, Pop.” Ka-boom!
SO, one the three blind guys finally had had enough and asked to be driven to the place on Anderson Creek where he was staying. To get there you had to drive across an ancient redwood bridge some 60 or so feet above the stream bed. The bridge itself seemed to defy the laws of both physics and gravity; it was hard to tell what was holding it up.
AT THE BOONVILLE end of the bridge the homeward bound blind guy asked Larry to stop the car so he could relieve himself. Larry was at the wheel, although even at high noon on a cloudless day he could barely make out shadows of objects around him. “I heard him yell, and I heard the thud when he landed,” Larry said. The blind man had stepped off the bridge to his death.
“HEH-HEH,” Parsons chuckled. “I told him to watch that first step.”
CALTRANS NEW PUDDING CREEK BRIDGE
Caltrans joined state and local officials on Thursday to celebrate the completion of the Pudding Creek Bridge project, which will improve accessibility and safety for commuters, pedestrians and bikers. The $8.5 million Mendocino County project included $1.3 million from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
Built in 1959, the 340-foot-long bridge was expanded to accommodate two 12-foot-wide lanes; two 8-foot-wide shoulders for bicyclists; two 6-foot pedestrian walkways; and upgraded bridge railings. The bridge project design features steel salmon artwork welded onto both bridge railings above Pudding Creek.
“The completion of this project provides improved bridge safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians,” said Caltrans District 1 Director Matt Brady. “The Pudding Creek Bridge links Fort Bragg north along the scenic Mendocino Coast and this rehabilitation project will ensure the structural integrity of the bridge for years to come.”
The project also incorporates “Complete Streets” improvements, including new sidewalks connecting south to Elm Street and north to Pudding Creek Drive, new storm sewer drainage and the relocation Fort Bragg’s water and sanitary sewer lines to the sides of the bridge.
“The bridge upgrade is a much-needed improvement for the community and will increase the safety of our residents and visitors to the area,” said Fort Bragg Public Works Director John Smith. “We greatly appreciate Caltrans allowing us to place our utilities on the bridge, which will increase the resiliency of our public utilities.”
Officials said they appreciated the Fort Bragg community and motorists for their patience during the four nighttime road closures and controlled traffic, allowing for increased worker safety and reduced project duration.
SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually that is shared about equally between state and local agencies. Road projects progress through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1.
MCM Construction, Inc. was the contractor for the project. For more information, visit https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-1/d1-projects/puddingcreekbridge.
COMMENT: A bridge with Salmon artwork, over a stream that CDF destroyed the annual Salmon run in with a fish harvesting station, and a dam that prevented the fish from going upstream.
ON THIS DAY IN MENDOCINO HISTORY…
November 20, 1933 - Night school classes were offered for the first time at Mendocino High School. The courses were made possible through cooperation with the Russian Gulch Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp. President Franklin Roosevelt established the CCC in April 1933 as part of his New Deal legislation. The program put hundreds of thousands of young men across the country to work on environmental conservation projects. The enrollees at Russian Gulch CCC helped develop the Russian Gulch and Van Damme State Parks. The CCC program also provided the men with basic and vocational education.
Army Chaplain Melvin Stuart MacKerricher, whose family later donated land for MacKerricher State Park, was in charge of the welfare of the young men at the Russian Gulch Camp in addition to other camps in the Eureka District. He started a circulating library at Russian Gulch, made arrangements for the boys to attend Sunday services at local churches, and initiated the night school program at Mendocino for those who wished to further their education. Lieutenant True, commander of the camp, assured Mr. Parsons, the Mendocino High School principal, that at least seventy-five of the boys would register for night classes.
Initial enrollment exceeded expectations when 101 men from the camp and 25 Mendocino residents signed up. Courses were offered in typing, shorthand, mechanical drawing, business arithmetic, bookkeeping, English (including journalism and public speaking), science, and shop. The most popular classes were wood shop and typing. Classes were held on Monday and Thursday evenings, 7pm-9pm.
Mendocino High School’s day students also benefited from the relationship. The need for better lighting at night led to completely wiring the school with a new lighting system, and the popularity of nighttime typing classes resulted in an increase in the number of typewriters available to all.
In December, the journalism students began publishing their own two-page paper, “The Night Owl,” which included interesting and humorous articles, along with an “Advice to the Lovelorn” column, written by Mendocino resident Rene Borgna. Near the end of the term, a night school party was held, featuring tap dancing; violin, piano, and guitar performances; and comedy entertainment; followed by a dance. The total enrollment for the five-month session was 176. The first night school term, which ended in April 1934, was declared a huge success, and plans were made to continue the program. Night classes at Mendocino High School started up again in September 1934.
—Kelley House Museum
CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, November 20, 2023
DAVID BUSHWAY, Ukiah. DUI.
OREN GRADUS, Hoosick Falls, New York/Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
JEREMY GULICK, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
WILLIAM LEE, Willits. Probation revocation.
JUSTICE MENEAR, Ukiah. Under influence, unspecified violation.
RIMA MEUNIOT-SILVER, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism.
ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia. (Frequent flyer.)
MARK NIELSEN, Ukiah. Protective order violation, county parole violation.
ERICK RAMIREZ, Willits. Domestic battery, disorderly conduct-alcohol, child endangerment, protective order violation, probation revocation.
FERNANDO VARGAS-CARRASCO, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
DEBORAH SILVA ON REAL ID’S:
I am a woman who was adopted and has been divorced. I had no problem following the instructions and gathering the required paperwork. I got my Real ID on the first try. Adoption has nothing to do with not being able to get the Real ID. An adopted person is issued an amended birth certificate and the initial birth certificate is sealed upon completion of the adoption. DMV does not need to see every marriage license or divorce document. They know the progression of the married names if the person has updated their name each time they were married and did a name change. One problem I can see with a birth certificate is if the person’s mother remarried and informally changed their child’s last name to the new step-father’s last name. This happened a lot pre-80s before babies were required to get a social security number at birth. Children would go through school, get a driver’s license and in some cases enter the military using the step-father’s last name, without having to show their birth certificate. I know of three men who, when it came time to apply to receive social security benefits, were not able to easily do so because their last name on their birth certificate did not match their other records including their driver’s license. That is not the fault of DMV, nor a conspiracy by the government but rather an error made by a misguided mother wanting her family to all have the same last name.
What started as a peaceful demonstration became a day of heavy heart. We are fortunate to live in a society that values free speech. I want to live in a society that values free speech and the safety of all individuals. Yesterday, colleagues were locked inside different rooms of the convention halls with protesters banging on doors trying to gain entry. After two hours, security was able to clear the building and free the delegates to return to hotel rooms. The streets were the blocked and there was a sense of real pain in everyone around.
Here is a photo of the peaceful demonstration that I passed as I entered the big meeting room prior to things going awry. I am also including a link to the local news that night.
EUREKAN JOLIAN KANGAS ANNOUNCES RUN AGAINST HUFFMAN
Jolian Kangas announced today that he is running to represent the Second District in the US House of Representatives. “I’m declaring my candidacy to represent the North Coast in Congress,” said Kangas. “As a foster dad and small business owner in Eureka, I know what it is to struggle. Every day, I encounter people cast aside by society, digging through trash and breaking into my vehicles to sleep for the night.
“Yet the wealthy elites do not care. They’d rather spend $100 billion of our taxpayer dollars to fund forever wars overseas. They get rich off the infrastructure our ancestors built and you and I pay to maintain. They drain the public coffers to support pet causes that do nothing for the public benefit, exempt their unearned income from taxes, then go home to sleep at night in gated compounds protected by private security. Meanwhile, the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves and fight over scraps.”
Kangas is entering the March 5, 2024 Primary Election as a challenger to Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael. This district covers the North Coast region of California, from the Golden Gate to the Oregon border.
Kangas stated that as a political Independent, he is best suited to serve the district’s constituents.
“Both the Democrat and Republican parties are complicit in this vicious cycle,” Kangas said. “That’s why it is time to elect a truly Independent candidate to represent us. Many of us don’t cast votes because we rightfully feel there are no candidates representing our interests. I’m running to present an alternative to the status quo that’s left the vast majority of us shut out of the process. The people of this largely rural district deserve to have our voices heard.
“Let’s get back to the basic functions of government. No more money for foreign conflicts and handouts to corporate donors. Instead, let’s expand programs that provide food security, like EBT and school lunch. Let’s empower HUD to get more people housed, and ease regulatory barriers to home loans. Let’s reverse the trend of rural hospitals and clinics shuttering. And let’s establish a baseline level of federal support for inpatient mental health and addiction treatment.
“This is your country, and these are your tax dollars at stake. Do you really want to stick with a congressman committed to spending money we don’t have on wars that will never be ‘won’?”
For more information, please visit kangas4congress.org.
Rosalyn Smith Carter
In death she goes from Roz to Rose. I wonder why. I seem to remember that Jimmy says “Rozza-lyn.” I guess not. Somebody said something to somebody, and the name changed.
It’s an occasion to celebrate, make no mistake. She was a gracious lady. And the indignities that cover everybody, including gracious ladies, like a heavy, grubby blanket, when Alzheimer’s is there, are only stopped by death. You forget everything, to reflect, to reason, to understand, to think—eventually to breathe—(way too late).
The interval between onset and death by Alzheimer’s is ten years or more, ten years where the thinking and remembering parts of the brain fade, relentlessly, while concerned families buy drugs that mislead people in their advertising and don’t help. The people at the Carter Center, a non-profit started by Jimmy in 1982 to raise conditions for the world’s desperate, said she had Alzheimer’s in May, but you can bet she had it long before. Alzheimer’s is patient and thorough as it gradually, relentlessly hollows out your brain.
The desecration of Alzheimer’s is luridly described in my partner Eleanor Cooney’s memoir about her mother in “Death in Slow Motion.” Given rare, five-star awards by many reader that review it (“realistic, harrowing, and profoundly honest”), it’s a literary detective story, an unsentimental page-turner with dazzling surprises at the end. Buy it. Read it. You’ll stay up and read it in a sitting. It tells the truth about the ravaging of a keen and productive mind and about the conniptions this brings to the rational people who struggle to adapt and accommodate it.
I wait to hear some of the demented-Rosalyn accounts. Everybody is different in their descent to nothingness.
Hallelujah that this exceptional woman is released! Rest in peace, Rosalynn!
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Pick up any book that discusses Israel, Palestine, the Middle East, or post-war history. Israel and Palestine have written a script and memorized it. You will read the precise progress of the Gaza crisis, the beginning, middle and end of it, when you read about other engagements. They’re following the playbook exactly. If it weren’t for the civilian casualties, the media would hardly notice. I do not understand what purposes are served.
Arabia now has a few fine weapons of its own, and they are displayed. The high spectacle of Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system is utterly riveting, routinely doing what was until recently regarded as impossible: hitting a “bullet” with another “bullet.” Another martial miracle plays out overhead. Millions and billions of dollars and shekels, in the forms of rushing missiles, are vaporized far, far over the heads of Jews and Arabs going about their usual routine. They glance up. Muslim fanaticism and Israeli intransigence are on heavenly display.
The conclusion is foregone. Israel breaks everything in the chosen arena it has failed so far to break. Hamas is not destroyed. Many innocent people are suddenly harmed and killed by godawful violence and loss of vital needs. The world is routinely fascinated, horrified and indignant. Wars move product.
“Hamas” is an acronym of an official name, the Islamic Resistance Movement. It is a war-making organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and it is also a giant community-organizing service that does much for Palestinians—health, education, basic utilities. Believe it or not, Hamas and Israel often negotiate matters.
As deadly as Hamas’s attack on the young Jews’ party near Gaza and the kibbutzim that dot the desert around Gaza, Hamas is a tiny foe for Israel no less now than in its other kamimaze-like “attacks” on Israel. Unless they can find support from a great power, Hamas represents a constant threat to Israel’s sense of security, virtually none to its continued existence.
DEADLY ORGANIZED RELIGIONS BLOCK HUMAN PROGRESS
Humans have created between 4,000 and 4200 organized religions. Many of these have used violence to empower one belief over another. Some of the worst and most popular are the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam and Christianity). These three believe in a singular male God with a common male patriarch, Abraham.
Matthew White’s The Great Big Book of Horrible Things said religion caused eleven of the world’s deadliest atrocities. An estimated 1.7 million people were killed in the “holy” wars in Europe and Asia. These included the three Crusades between Islam and Christianity which lasted from 1095 until 1291. During the Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834), two thousand people were burned at the stake by officials who didn’t believe they were Christians. The Grand Inquisitor acted as the head of the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition killed 32,000 people. The Inquisitors expelled 300,000 people from Spain. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction that the Inquisition had received from the Vatican empowered it to name deputies and hear appeals.
Christian missionaries first arrived in Japan on Portuguese ships in the 1540s. Almost all Japanese at that time were Buddhist and every funeral was a Buddhist ceremony. Christianity briefly flourished, with over 100,000 converts.
Japanese support soon disappeared. In 1587 Imperial Regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi banned Jesuit missionaries. Christianity was repressed and called a threat to national unity. The Japanese executed thousands of Christians during the Tokugawa period. In 1638, approximately 37,000 people (mostly Christians), were massacred after the Christian-led Shimabara Rebellion. According to University College London (UCL), during the 100 years after the European arrival, the indigenous population of the Americas was devastated. It was reduced from from sixty million to only six million.
The European colonists brought warfare, torture, waves of epidemics and famine. The colonizers justified their abuse and killing of indigenous people by calling them godless heathens.
The 1838 Mormon War, also known as the Missouri Mormon War, was a conflict between Mormons and non-Mormons. It lasted from August to November 1838, the first of the three Mormon Wars.
The Mormons murdered 120 men, women and children in southern Utah in 1857. This was the Mountain Meadows massacre. Mormon militiamen planned and carried it out. They lured emigrants to Utah from their circled wagons with a false flag of truce and slaughtered them.
The Nazis killed more than six million Jews during WWII. In 1931, German Bishops excommunicated the nazi leadership and banned nazis from becoming members. The ban was modified in 1933 after a law was passed that all citizens had to be be members of the Nazi Party.
A church tax was introduced into Austria by the German government in 1939 after the 1938 German takeover of Austria. This was a bribe to silence religious public criticism and it worked.
Pope Pius XII never publicly criticized the nazis for the mass murder of European Jews. He knew from the very beginning that mass murder was taking place. Various clerics and others were pressing him to speak out and he didn’t.
Religious wars in Northern Ireland began in 1969 and lasted until 1998. More than 3,600 Protestants and Catholics were killed for their beliefs. Today we have the newest war caused by organized religion between Israel (Judaism) and Palestine (Islam) in the Middle East.
If we want to save Earth from the worst consequences of war and human separation, freedom from organized religion is necessary.
I WOULD RATHER BE ASHES than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
Up to a certain point, it is necessary for a man to live his life in the world in which he finds himself, and to make the best of it. But beyond that point, he must create a world of his own. And the greatest thing about life is that it is always giving us the opportunity to create something new. It is never too late to start over, to make a fresh beginning, to blaze a new trail.
Life is short, and we have but a brief time in which to explore, to learn, to experience, and to create. Let us make the most of that time, and let us burn brightly, like meteors across the night sky, leaving behind us a trail of light and inspiration for those who come after us.
— Jack London
DAVID SEVERN WRITES:
There Ain’t No Hope…cuz money has replaced God; and greed has smothered wisdom. Compassion might be the only weapon/tool/comforter we possess.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I pray for America multiple times a day. It seems like God does not listen to my prayers or at least he is ignoring them. On the other hand, perhaps he is hearing my prayers and is still upholding this Country that is struggling to stay upright under the massive mountain of debt and corruption at its top. I don’t know. What I do know is that I can still have a Thanksgiving feast this year. For that I am grateful and I am very aware that this year may be the last Thanksgiving feast I get to enjoy. America, as corrupt as her Government and people have become, is still the single best option for the regular joe on this planet. There are no other places I’d rather be living at this time.
THE BLOB & ITS MOBS
by James Kunstler
“If Israel wanted to do a genocide of Gazans, they’d have razed it decades ago. There are many Israeli Arabs who enjoy more rights than any Arab in an Arab country. The urge to do blanket ethnic genocide is a one-way street, something only barbarians and demons crave.” —Peachy Keenan
In normal times we anticipate the splendid gluttony of the American Thanksgiving, the fellowship of family and friends, with gratitude and remembrance of overcoming ordeals past. This year, though, we are a bit preoccupied with ordeals to come, and that nip in the November air conjures rumors of approaching hardship and cruelties we have no idea how we might overcome. These are not normal times.
What was normal, anyway? The second half of the twentieth century in Western Civ, the cornucopia of post-war America, paychecks that covered the house, the car, assured square meals, and quite a bit left over for Disneyworld, a place at the lake with a speedboat, and four seats at the ballpark. Normal was keeping a lid on discontent in foreign lands and containing our wicked obverse enemy, the Soviet communists. Normal was mom and dad together under one roof, expecting strangers to behave decently, order outside the home. Normal was thinking all that would last forever.
I idealize a bit. But many of you will recognize at least some of that being present in your lives for a while, at least. And you might agree that it all started breaking badly in the new century, clearly marked by the attacks of nine-eleven. What followed that wondrous enormity was the amazing and nauseating transfiguration of our country into the opposite of the old normal: broad financial desperation, broken families, strangers bent on homicide and mayhem, official tyranny of all kinds, immersive lying, failed institutions, foolish wars, nothing and no one to believe in, and the creeping suspicion that mysterious evil forces are running it all.
Somehow, we have managed to become our old enemy, the Soviets. The sprawling bureaucracy I call the blob has a blank check to control everything we do, to usurp our individual economic decisions, intrude on our very bodies, snatch us from our homes or lock us up in them, and force us to shut-up about all that. Unlike the Soviets, though, our blob is unable to suppress vile civil misbehavior, murder, rape, looting, car-jacking, robbery at the bottom and fraud, bribery, money laundering, insider trading, cyber-Ponzis, and racketeering, at the top. The law is a new wilderness of iniquity. Show me the man and I’ll find a crime to pin on him, Stalin’s KGB chief liked to say. Merrick Garland seems to like that method, too.
The people of our land look like they are being systematically poisoned (because they are). Our food is poisoned. Our daily bread contains engineered toxic proteins, glyphosate, and heavy metals. All those things will kill you before your time. Our supermarkets are stuffed overwhelmingly with addictive snacks made of corn syrup that turns people into oxen. Americans live on pizza, chips and soda. These things are in their faces at every turn, all day long, hard to resist, especially if your existence is horribly lonely and purposeless.
The oddest feature of this upheaval is that the revolutionary youth in the streets and on the campuses are on the side of tyranny — as long as they are allowed to do some of the tyrannizing. The mobs and the blob officials mutually reinforce each other. The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, did everything possible to protect Antifa while they destroyed the city of Portland. Mayor Muriel Bowser had Washington DC’s streets painted boldly to celebrate Black Lives Matter, after they torched the church across the street from the White House, occupied by the wicked Trump. Lately, the Ivy Leaguers stupidly shout for intifada and the allahu akbar of beheading — the innate sadism of Wokery on display for all to see. These mobs got tacit official permission to do their mob thing — except for the crowd that FBI blob agents turned into a mob on January 6, 2020. Permission denied! Instead, the people who “paraded” in the US Capitol got systematically hunted down by Christopher Wray. Can those luckless souls now serving years-long jail sentences possibly feel thankful for being born in the USA?
Perhaps the anxious gloom pervading this year’s Thanksgiving is due to the dread of what comes next. No one in the public arena says that 2024 will be anything but much worse than what we’ve already lived through in this ongoing crackup of our country, and their expressed utterances are probably not as dark as their private, inner thoughts. The gang behind “Joe Biden” has successfully jacked our country into chaos. Something similar has got Europe and the rest of the Anglosphere in its thrall. Half of the public is grossly misinformed by The News, and swallows every proffered lie. The other half can’t get traction to storm this slippery slope of blob despotism.
So, the table is set. You have probably commenced the preparations for the ritual meal. We started with the cranberries last night, since the condiment has only two ingredients and would store well for four days. It came out badly. There was some rot in the berries that we couldn’t detect just by looking and sorting out some obviously bad ones. I hear a lot of chatter that the fresh food supply chain in America is broken. The bad link in the chain is apparently the trucking system. The truck lines can’t get enough workers to load the refrigerator trailers, so the fruits and vegetables spend too much time sitting on the loading dock, where they start to . . . turn. You have to wonder if this is a harbinger of greater disruptions to come, maybe widespread hunger, and you know what that leads to.
We’re going all out for the Thanksgiving feast here, a big fresh turkey, of course, and way more side-dishes than necessary for a dozen friends at the table. I live in a relatively poor county in deep upstate New York and I have to wonder how many people around here will go without a Thanksgiving feast this year, how many are suddenly mired in misfortune, default on a home mortgage, car sliding into the re-po zone, no job, no prospects, in despair, hungry. Perhaps they’ll be drawn to the church basements in town. That might be us next year.
Those of us outside the blob and their mobs know that our country has to be rebuilt somehow, and that rebuilding it must include assurances of personal liberty. I’m grateful and thankful this year that there are enough of us who understand what’s at stake and are prepared to fight against slithering tyranny. Do you see where things stand this Thanksgiving? It feels like the edge of something because it is the edge of something.
RAPE, ISIS, MEIN KAMPF AND OTHER LIES: HOW ISRAEL LOST ALL CREDIBILITY
by Ramzy Baroud - Romana Rubeo
On Saturday, November 11, Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed in a press conference that Israel had killed a “terrorist” who had prevented 1,000 civilians from escaping the Shifa Hospital.
The allegations made little sense. Even by the standards of Israeli propaganda, falsifying such a piece of information while providing no context and no evidence, further contributes to the deteriorating credibility of Israel in international media and image worldwide.
Just one day earlier, an unnamed US official was cited by CNN as saying, in a diplomatic cable, “we are losing badly on the messaging battlespace”.
The diplomat was referring to American reputation in the Middle East – in fact, worldwide – which now lies in tatters due to blind American support for Israel.
* * *
This credibility deficit can be witnessed in Israel itself. Not only is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu losing credibility among Israelis, according to various public opinion polls, but the entire Israeli political establishment seems to be losing the trust of ordinary Israelis as well.
A common joke among Palestinians these days is that Israeli leaders are emulating Arab leaders in previous Arab-Israeli wars, in terms of language, phony victories and unsubstantiated gains on the military front.
For example, while Israel was quickly pushing Arab militaries back on all fronts in June 1967, with full US-Western backing, of course, the leadership of Arab armies were declaring through radio that they had arrived at the ‘gates of Tel Aviv’.
Fortunes seem to have been reversed. Abu Obeida and Abu Hamza, military spokesmen for the Al-Qassam Brigades and the Al-Quds Brigades respectively, provide very careful accounts of the nature of the battle and the losses of advancing Israeli military forces in their regular, much-anticipated statements.
The Israeli military, on the other hand, speaks of impending victories, killing of unnamed ‘terrorists’ and destruction of countless tunnels, while rarely providing any evidence. The only ‘evidence’ provided is the intentional targeting of hospitals, schools and civilian homes.
And, while Abu Obeida’s statements are almost always followed by well-produced videos, documenting the systematic destruction of Israeli tanks, no such documentation substantiates Israeli military claims.
* * *
Beyond the Battlefield
But the issue of Israeli credibility, or rather, the lack of credibility, is not only taking place on the battlefield.
From the first day of the war, Palestinian doctors, civil defense workers, journalists, bloggers and even ordinary people filmed or recorded every Israeli war crime anywhere and everywhere in the besieged Strip. And, despite the continuous shutting down of the internet and electricity in Gaza by the Israeli military, somehow, Palestinians kept track of every aspect of the ongoing Israeli genocide.
The precision of the Palestinian narrative even forced US officials, who initially doubted Palestinian numbers, to finally admit that Palestinians were telling the truth, after all.
Barbara Leaf, assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told a US House panel on November 9 that those killed by Israel in the war are likely “higher than is being cited.”
Indeed, every day, Israel loses credibility to the point that the initial Israeli lies of what had taken place on October 7, eventually proved disastrous to Israel’s overall image and credibility on the international stage.
* * *
Rape, ISIS, and Mein Kampf
In the euphoria of demonizing the Palestinian Resistance – as a way to justify Israel’s forthcoming genocide in Gaza – the Israeli government and military, then journalists and even ordinary people, were all recruited in an unprecedented hasbara campaign aimed at painting Palestinians as “human animals” – per the words of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
Within hours of the events and, before any investigation was conducted, Netanyahu spoke of “decapitated babies”, supposedly mutilated at the hands of the Resistance; Gallant claimed that “young girls were raped violently”; even former military chief rabbi, Israel Weiss, said he had “seen a pregnant woman with her belly torn open and the baby cut out.”
Even the supposedly ‘moderate’ Israeli President Isaac Herzog made ludicrous statements on the BBC on November 12. When asked about Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, Herzog claimed that the book Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler in 1925, was found “in a children’s living room” in northern Gaza.
And, of course, there were the repeated references to the ISIS flags that, for some reason, were carried by Hamas fighters as they entered southern Israel on October 7, among other fairy tales.
The fact that ISIS is a sworn enemy of Hamas and that the Palestinian Movement has done everything in its power to eradicate any possibility for ISIS to extend its roots in the besieged Gaza Strip seemed irrelevant to Israel’s unhinged propaganda.
Expectedly, Israeli, US and European media repeated the claim of the Hamas-ISIS connection, with no rational discussion or the minimally-required fact-checking.
But, with time, Israeli lies were no longer able to withstand the pressure of the truth emanating from Gaza, documenting every atrocity and every battle, and obfuscating any drummed-up Israeli allegations.
Perhaps, the turning point of the relentless series of Israeli lies was the attack on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City on October 17. Though many adopted, and still, sadly, defend the Israeli lie – that a Resistance rocket fell on the hospital – the sheer bloodiness of that massacre, which killed hundreds, was, for many, a wake-up call.
One of the many questions that arose following the Baptist Hospital massacre is: If Israel was, indeed, honest about its version of events regarding what took place at the hospital, why did it bomb every other hospital in Gaza and continues to do so for weeks?
* * *
Israeli Hasbara Canceled
There are reasons why Israeli propaganda is no longer able to effectively influence public opinion even though mainstream media continues to side with Israel, even when the latter is committing a genocide.
Firstly, is that Palestinians and their supporters have managed to ‘cancel’ Israel using social media which, for the first time, overwhelmed the organized propaganda campaigns often engineered on behalf of Israel in corporate media.
An analysis of online content on popular social media platforms was conducted by the Israeli influencer marketing platform, Humanz. The study, published in November, admitted that “while 7.39 billion posts with pro-Israeli tags were published on Instagram and TikTok last month, in the same period 109.61 billion posts with pro-Palestinian tags were published on the platforms.” This, according to the company, means that pro-Palestinian views are 15 times more popular than pro-Israeli views.
Secondly, independent media, Palestinian and others, offered alternatives to those seeking a different version of events to what is taking place in Gaza.
A single Palestinian freelance journalist in Gaza, Motaz Azaiza, has managed to acquire more than 14 million followers on Instagram over the course of a single month because of his reporting from the ground.
Thirdly, the ‘surprise attack’ of October 7 has deprived Israel of the initiative, not only regarding the war itself, but also the justification for the war. Indeed, their genocidal war on Gaza has no specific objectives, but also has no precise media campaign to defend or rationalize these unspecified objectives. Therefore, the Israeli media narrative appears disconnected, haphazard and, at times, even self-damaging.
And, finally, the sheer brutality of the Israeli genocide in Gaza. If one is to juxtapose Israeli media lies with the horrific Israeli crimes committed in Gaza, one would find no plausible logic that could convincingly justify mass murder, displacement, starvation and genocide of a defenseless population.
Never has Israeli propaganda failed so astoundingly and never has the mainstream media failed to shield Israel from the global anger – in fact, seething hatred – for Israel’s ugly apartheid regime. The repercussions of all of this will most certainly impact the way that history will remember the Israeli war on Gaza, which has, so far, killed, and wounded tens of thousands of innocent civilians.
A whole generation, if not more, has already built a perception of Israel as a genocidal regime and no number of future lies, Hollywood movies or Maxim Magazine spreads will ever lessen that in any way.
More importantly, this new perception is likely to compel people, not only to re-examine their views of Israel’s present and future, but of the past as well – the very foundation of the Zionist regime, itself predicated on nothing but lies.
(Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature, and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.)
HERBERT GOLD, PROLIFIC OLD-SCHOOL S.F. NOVELIST, DIES AT 99
by Sam Whiting
Herbert Gold, a San Francisco novelist who became, by attrition, the last of an era to pound away at a manual typewriter in a rent-controlled apartment overstuffed with books and papers, died Sunday.
Gold was 99½ and had lived and worked for 63 years in a one-bedroom walk-up on a block of Russian Hill so steep that it requires stairs. He recently had been in such good health that he said it would take a bolt of lightning to kill him.
Gold died surrounded by family members in his San Francisco home, where he was happiest. The cause of death was old age, said his daughter, Ann Gold Buscho of San Rafael.
Over the course of a career that went back to his mid-20s when he published his first novel, Gold accumulated a catalog that counted 23 or 24 novels, five collections of stories or essays, and eight nonfiction books of reportage or memoir.
He published “Not Dead Yet: A Feisty Bohemian Explores the Art of Growing Old” in 2011, followed by “Nearing the Exit” in 2018. He liked to joke that the trilogy would be completed by “OK, Finally,” but he never wrote the book to support that title. His final publication, a book of poetry titled “Father Verses Sons,” will be published on March 9, 2024, which would have been his 100th birthday.
Throughout his career, and in all mediums, his goal was the same. “I try to master my experience and alternate between treating the American experience as chaos, which it is, or as a carnival,” he said during an interview conducted in his apartment on his 94th birthday. He always worked until 4:30 p.m., but on that day only, he was willing to knock off at 3.
“I don’t have a shortage of ideas,” he said. “Life is rich for me. I have written about divorce. I’ve been divorced twice. I’ve written about being a Jew growing up in a completely non-Jewish world. I’ve written about my affiliation with the Bay Area Beatniks.”
Everything was grist. When he got burned on a real estate scam by a San Francisco lawyer, he fictionalized the painful experience in “When a Psychopath Falls in Love,” published in 2014.
Gold worked as a screenwriter for hire to both Saul Zaentz and Natalie Wood. No film came from either of these arrangements and he was never able to adapt any of his novels into screenplays. He liked it better when other people would try. “The Man Who Was Not With It” was optioned 17 times.
“I loved people buying the rights to try to make a movie of mine,” he said.
Gold’s own life was very cinematic, but nobody has, as of yet, been able to to make a movie out of that either.
Among other scenes, he hitchhiked alone from Cleveland to San Francisco as a teenager, was trained to parachute in to aid the Soviets during World War II, was a literary pal of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac at Columbia, and a freelance foreign correspondent in war zones for slick magazines like Playboy.
“He is an extraordinary American success story,” said Will Farley, a film director and longtime movie-going friend of Gold’s. “As a young man he found his fight as a storyteller and he has done it all.”
Gold was born March 9, 1924, in Lakewood, Ohio, the oldest of four sons of immigrants. His father was a Ukrainian who ran a fruit stand, and his mother was Russian. While a student at Lakewood High School, Gold published his first poems in a New York literary magazine. That helped him gain admission to Columbia University.
To give himself something to write about, he hitchhiked to San Francisco after his high school graduation. A friend who was supposed to come along backed out, so Gold stuck his thumb out alone.
“I had planned to run away since I was very young,” he said, “as an adventure.”
Another adventure was ahead of him, because after his 18th birthday he left Columbia to join the Army.
His first choice was to be a fighter pilot, but poor vision got him washed out of the Army Air Corps. Instead he was trained in military intelligence and sent to Cornell for a year to study Russian.
The concept for his unit was to parachute behind Soviet lines and then teach Red Army soldiers how to use American equipment that had been delivered. Gold never forgot how to say “I’m an American soldier and I am your friend.” He made one jump in training, but he never saw combat. Just five from his cohort were dropped, and four of them were killed.
When he got out of the service he returned to Columbia, this time on the GI Bill, and was an elder student in a literary scene that included both Ginsberg and Kerouac. They all hung out at the same dive bar near campus.
“I was very good friends with Allen Ginsberg,” he said. “I crossed the street to avoid Jack Keroauc. He was a bad drunk and a liar even then.”
Gold ended up with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy, in 1948. Then he got a two-year Fulbright fellowship to the Sorbonne in Paris.
“I was supposed to be studying for a doctorate,” he said. “But I wrote a novel instead.” He paid 40 cents a night for a room without a bath which was a slight hardship on his wife, Edith Zubrin, whom he brought with him from Columbia. They lived on the Left Bank. Down the hall lived James Baldwin.
Shortly after the birth of his first child, his first novel, “Birth of a Hero,” was published, in 1951. Gold was just 26. When the Fulbright, expired he got a second fellowship, to the University of Haiti, and spent two years with his family in Port Au Prince. He came home fluent French, and could get by in Russian and Creole.
They returned in 1955 and first settled in Detroit, where his wife was from. But the marriage ended in divorce, and he spent several years among the Bohemian writers who had congregated in New York City’s Greenwich Village. He came west in 1960 on yet another fellowship, a Ford Foundation grant, to write a play for the San Francisco Actor’s Workshop.
A friend was giving up his apartment on the middle floor of a three-story building. Gold took it and was there to stay. He found work teaching English and writing at both Stanford and UC Berkeley, but he never wanted a job.
“I wanted the freedom to write,” he said.
He worked as a freelance foreign correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle and Wall Street Journal, and for Playboy. Twice he went to the Soviet Union, and also traveled to Biafra and Haiti.
“I’ve been in some dangerous situations,” he said. “Bodies were left outside the door of the place where I was staying.”
Gold’s most successful novel in the marketplace was “Fathers,” based on his upbringing outside Cleveland. It was reprinted in many languages.
“ ‘Fathers’ allowed me to see my father in a deeper way and had a major impact on my ability to love my father,” said Farley. “You can’t do that unless you are a writer of deep feeling and great empathy.”
Gold was also a writer of subtle humor and was good at lampooning the times in which he lived.
In “Dreaming,” published in 1988, a swinging single named Hutch drives his sports car to Lake Tahoe for snow skiing. Seeing a sign warning “Chains Required,” he pulls over, goes to the trunk, grabs a gaudy gold chain necklace, puts it around his neck and goes back to driving.
Gold was not a swinger himself. He was not that deep into the counterculture, though he was labeled “Elder Statesman of the Beats.” He was also labeled a Bohemian, even on his book titles, but he denied that, too.
“I like the idea of Bohemia,” he said. “Any place I go I find it. But I was married and a responsible father. I’m not a Bohemian.”
In 1968, he married for the second time to Melissa Dilworth, and they had three kids. When twin sons Ari and Ethan arrived, Gold bought a house on Russian Hill. Even then he did not give up his apartment, which he used as an office and guest house.
After he and Dilworth divorced, in 1975, he, moved back in to the apartment and never again left or remarried. Dilworth was killed in the same helicopter crash that killed Bill Graham, in 1991.
The apartment, which was rent-controlled, was never updated. There was a cat’s paw bathtub but no shower stall, and the paint was peeling. None of it seemed to bother him enough to argue.
He drove a two-seat convertible until it was stolen. “A huge relief,” he said.
According to Farley, Gold had the mentality of a Depression-era child and as such “he knew every inexpensive restaurant in San Francisco,” Farley said. Gold may have been cheap but he wasn’t a mooch. “He refused to let anybody else pick up a dinner tab. You couldn’t wrestle it away from him,” Farley said. “That generosity is seen in his writing.”
Though they were never close, by geography, both daughters from his first marriage, Ann and Judy, attended Stanford University to be near him. Their memories of the apartment go back to hot chocolate served while sitting on the floor because there was no table. Even then “he declined everything modern,’’ recalled daughter Ann Buscho, now a clinical psychologist. ‘I don’t think he even had a toaster.’
Gold always denied being a Luddite and emphasized his use of a landline. His use of a typewriter was pragmatic.
“For me, writing is an act of sculpture,” he said. “I get mad at the words I put on the page and I can rip the page out. I can kick it when I’m annoyed.”
But he kept going because he loved the exhilaration of gaining momentum and finishing a book. His most recent project was a memoir of working in the employ of Natalie Wood. Gold maintained the movie star hired him because she liked his looks on the dust jacket of one of his novels and she kept him in a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood.
Other than that stint of glamour, Gold worked in a cluttered study lined with bookshelves. The shelves were so heavy they sagged in the middle, right over the typewriter, but it never bothered him.
If in need of human contact, he’d walk down the hill to Caffe Trieste.
“My contemporaries are dead,” he said. “I’ve outlived them all. It’s not fun, by the way.”
Gold was predeceased by both ex-wives and a daughter, Judith Gold. Survivors include daughters Ann Gold Buscho of San Rafael and Nina Gold of San Francisco, sons Ari Gold and Ethan Gold, both of Los Angeles, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is pending. Donations in his name may be made to the Center for a Shared Society at Givat Haviva, www.givathaviva.org.
AVA News Service
Q: What is your date of birth?
A: July fifteenth.
Q: What year?
A: Every year.
* * *
Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
* * *
Q: This myasthenia gravis — does it affect your memory at all?
Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
A: I forget.
Q: You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you’ve forgotten?
* * *
Q: How old is your son, the one living with you.
A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
Q: How long has he lived with you?
A: Forty-five years.
* * *
Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?
A: He said, “Where am I, Cathy?”
Q: And why did that upset you?
A: My name is Susan.
* * *
Q: And where was the location of the accident?
A: Approximately milepost 499.
Q: And where is milepost 499?
A: Probably between milepost 498 and 500.
* * *
Q: Sir, what is your IQ?
A: Well, I can see pretty well, I think.
* * *
Q: Did you blow your horn or anything?
A: After the accident?
Q: Before the accident.
A: Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it.
* * *
Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in the voodoo or a cult?
A: We both do.
A: We do.
Q: You do?
A: Yes, voodoo.
* * *
Q: Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?
Q: Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What did she say?
A: What disco am I at?
* * *
Q: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
* * *
Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?
* * *
Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?
* * *
Q: Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?
* * *
Q: Did he kill you?
* * *
Q: How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?
* * *
Q: You were there until the time you left, is that true?
* * *
Q: How many times have you committed suicide?
* * *
Q: She had three children, right?
Q: How many were boys?
Q: Were there any girls?
* * *
Q: You say the stairs went down to the basement?
Q: And these stairs, did they go up also?
* * *
Q: Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn’t you?
A: I went to Europe, Sir.
Q: And you took your new wife?
* * *
Q: How was your first marriage terminated?
A: By death.
Q: And by whose death was it terminated?
* * *
Q: Can you describe the individual?
A: He was about medium height and had a beard.
Q: Was this a male, or a female?
* * *
Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
* * *
Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.
* * *
Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
* * *
Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.
* * *
Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
Q: Did you check for breathing?
Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
A: It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.
* * *
Q: You were not shot in the fracas?
A: No, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel.