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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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THEY COULDN'T CONVICT Laytonville's Matt Graves in Mendocino County, but it looks like the feds got him. Graves has pled guilty in federal court to multiple pot-related charges, according to a press release issued by the US Attorney’s Office. “Matthew David Graves pleaded guilty Friday to manufacturing and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, conspiracy to do so, and money laundering.”

THE FEDS got Graves to concede that he possessed “more than 100 marijuana plants with the intent to distribute them on multiple occasions between Nov. 6, 2008 and Nov. 8, 2012. He deposited the money into the account of his business — Matt Graves Construction — on multiple occasions, actions aimed at concealing the source of the money.”

GRAVES had faced nine federal charges, all versions of the same marijuana production and money laundering charges he has now pled out to. He refused to plead guilty to one charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He has also agreed to the forfeiture of his interest in four pieces of property in Leggett and a 2008 Toyota Tundra.

EACH CHARGE carries potential prison terms of between 20 years and 40 years.

GRAVES had been pursued for years by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. He will be sentenced on Wednesday, December 17th in US District Court in San Francisco.

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A STUDY of 22 peer-reviewed analyses of 2013’s extreme weather argues that manmade global warming has caused a tenfold increase in the risk for long-lasting and severe heat waves. The analyses looked at 16 severe events in 2013, including the California drought and the Australian heat wave. A total of nine of the 16 events were tied to manmade climate change.

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AT 8:40pm MONDAY night (the 29th) Anderson Valley Fire Department, AV Ambulance, and CalFire responded to a traffic collision with injuries on Highway 253 roughly 8 miles from Boonville. The two vehicles had collided but were able to avoid a totally head-on impact. Highway 253 was completely closed for about 20 minutes to land CALSTAR 4 on the highway because of the lack of landing zones in the area. One patient was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial by CALSTAR 4 for her injuries and the second patient was transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center by Anderson Valley Ambulance.

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I'm Neither Anti-Semite, Nor Anti-Dentite, But This 'Ain't Right'

by Paul McCarthy

For the first time in history, or at least as long as anyone can remember, the Mendocino High School “Homecoming” rally, parade and dance have been cancelled because of a religious holiday. Specifically, Yom Kippur, which starts sundown Friday, October 3. Fort Bragg & Potter Valley have no problem holding their Homecoming this upcoming weekend.

And it was just done — Friday — a week from the scheduled Friday night Homecoming “rally.” Was this a Mendocino Board of Trustees decision? Nope. Should it have been? I certainly think so. Since when can a school administration “individual” decide what religious holiday should be observed by a public school? And why is religion affecting anything in our public school system.

If you want to observe a religious holiday, or go to the dentist, an “excused absence” is in order — not the cancelation of a full week of school activities.

I'd like to know — does Yom Kippur “trump” the Catholic “Good Friday?” Do only Jewish holidays count — what about Muslims? Hindus? Wiccans? In the school calendar it's not even called Christmas & Easter vacations any more. Why? To keep religion OUT of public schools? Ditto the Pledge of Allegiance (“one nation under God”).

I have a firm belief in God, having attended 8 years of parochial school and have a son attending a Catholic College, but I have an even firmer belief in the separation of church & state. This cancellation, because that's what it is, was explained by Mendocino Principal Gail Dickenson this way in a letter to parents:

“Dear Mendocino Parents, For a variety of reasons, we are moving this year's Homecoming from next week (September 29th through October 4th) to the week of October 27th through November 1st. First, we realized that the original homecoming week was scheduled during Rosh Hashanah with the main culminating activities falling on Yom Kippur, and we don't want any students to be excluded from participation because of a conflict with a significant religious holiday...”


I'd be alright with the “moving” of homecoming for “a variety of reasons” but to specifically mention a religious holiday has NO place in this letter.

Although no one would “go on record,” we understand a parent(s) contacted the school to protest the scheduling of homecoming on a Jewish high holiday.

Is that all it takes?

Were the MUSD Trustees asked their opinion on the cancelation? The School Superintendent? The football coaches? The alumni who make homecoming the special time it always is? I know for a fact the school booster club wasn't notified — or the person responsible for putting together the homecoming football “program” — me.

I shot an email to Superintendent Jason Morse asking how to get on the next school board agenda regarding this religious intrusion on public school events.

He wrote back, “You make a request in writing to me, which is what you have done here. I will take your request to the Board agenda setting committee and I will get back to you.”

So they have a “committee” to decide trustee agendas but an “individual” who decides which religious holidays should be observed by the school district?

And who the heck is on the “agenda committee?” Is it a secret? The lack of transparency over MUSD decisions is mind-boggling.

In my email to the superintendent I wrote: “Where do you draw the line? What about Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, Wiccan? etc. holidays? You can bet I'll be pushing for events to be cancelled over them (or postponed to another date).

Did you know Buddha was born April 8? Hope no school events are scheduled on that date.

And Ramadan 2015 starts June 18th and continues for 30 days — luckily MHS graduation is June 12th but there is a Trustee meeting scheduled for the 18th — I want to go on record as requesting it be cancelled 'because of a conflict with a significant religious holiday'.” It's unlikely I'll get the opportunity to get this as an agenda item, the Supe indicated as much when he added in his email: “Also, remember, you are always welcome to make a comment at board meetings under the 'Public Comment' item at 6:00 at each meeting regarding an item that is not on the agenda.”

Which means I'd be basically talking to myself as the board riffles through their paperwork, play with their iPads or look at the ceiling “praying” me to finish my statement.

If that's the case, I will email each of our elected Mendocino Trustees before the October 16th meeting (at the Albion School) asking the following questions:

1.) What place should religion play in scheduling /cancelling school events?
2.) Were you consulted about the cancellation of MHS Homecoming?
3.) If it came to a vote of the board, would you have cancelled homecoming because of Yom Kippur? 4.) Will you cancel/postpone you're June 18th, 2015 school board meeting because of the Muslim “significant religious holiday” Ramadan?

There's a dangerous precedent being set here by letting religion interfere in planned school activities and I'm not going to just let it “go away” or be swept under the rug. This is wrong and I want some accounting on the decision-making. How many people does it take to get a school event cancelled? One? Two? Twelve apostles?

We'll keep you informed on what transpires...

Here's the entire text of Principal Gail Dickenson's letter:

“Dear Mendocino Parents, For a variety of reasons, we are moving this year's Homecoming from next week (September 29th through October 4th) to the week of October 27th through November 1st. First, we realized that the original homecoming week was scheduled during Rosh Hashanah with the main culminating activities falling on Yom Kippur, and we don't want any students to be excluded from participation because of a conflict with a significant religious holiday. In addition, students and staff were feeling a lot of pressure because of the short planning time, with ASB deciding they wouldn't be able to put on a homecoming dance this year. ASB leadership is excited about having a little more lead time to prepare for the skits, parade, and homecoming dance, wanting to create a week of fun, high spirited, events inclusive of all students. Please mark your calendars for the following events and share this information with any alumni you know: The traditional skit night will be Thursday, October 30th. The parade, football game, and dance will be held on Saturday, November 1. Our varsity football team will play long time rival Point Arena High at 1 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may have caused. Sincerely, Gail Dickenson”

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A READER RESPONDS to Mendocino High School's Yom Homecoming: “Gee. I know a lot of Jews. My son is a Jew; my wife was a Jew. I worked in Hollywood for 10 years mostly for and with Jews and none of the above would have wanted to shut down school events for Yom Kippur. Most attended synagogue if they went at all in the late afternoon or evening after work; it was all private and unremarked upon. But this is Mendocino and one addled, Hebrew apple is capable of giving all Jews the negative attention that they do not crave. And then there's measure S. No fracking in a county that has no oil wells in a country that, as of this week, has surpassed Saudi Arabia in oil production, all because of fracking.”

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Water use and other actions by the marijuana industry in the Emerald Triangle of Northern California and Southern Oregon are threatening salmon already in danger of extinction, federal biologists said Tuesday.

Concerns about the impact of pot farming were raised by the NOAA Fisheries Service in its final recovery plan for coho salmon in the region. The full plan was to be posted on the agency's website.

A copy obtained in advance calls for determining then decreasing the amount of water that pot growers illegally withdraw from creeks where young fish struggle to survive.

Pot is legally grown in the region for medical purposes and illegally for the black market.

Other threats from the unregulated industry include clear-cutting forests to create pot plantations, building roads that send sediment into salmon streams, and spreading fertilizer and pesticides that poison the water.

Coho salmon have been listed as a threatened species since 1997 in the region. Like salmon throughout the West, they have suffered from loss of habitat from logging, agriculture, urban development, overfishing and dams.

The recovery plan also calls for steps to address many of those issues.

The spotlight on marijuana stemmed from a California Department of Fish and Wildlife study that estimated pot growers suck millions of gallons of water from salmon streams.

“Logging is regulated. Vineyards are regulated. It is time this industry was willing to be regulated,” said Scott Bauer, an environmental scientist on the watershed enforcement team of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and lead author of the study.

Armed with new authority from the Legislature, the department is imposing fines for illegal water withdrawals for use on pot plantations, Bauer said.

The recovery plan points specifically to marijuana as a threat in river basins of Northern California, but the same issues exist in southwestern Oregon rivers, said Clarence Hostler, south coast branch chief for NOAA Fisheries in Arcata, California.

The plan marks the second time that Endangered Species Act actions have pointed to marijuana as a threat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been looking at rat poison left around illegal pot plantations in California as a factor in whether to list the Pacific fisher as a threatened species.

The Emerald Growers Association represents a few hundred marijuana farmers in the region known as the Emerald Triangle due to the prevalence of pot plantations. Executive director Hezekiah Allen said bringing the industry under regulation would allow legitimate growers to compete more evenly with illegal growers, who have a financial incentive to cut corners.

“We need regulation that's going to make sense to the farmers on the ground,” he said. “That is also going to achieve the public safety and environmental goals that we all share.”

— Jeff Barnard, Courtesy, the Associated Press

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by Adrian Baumann

The Laytonville Fire District will be discontinuing ambulance services to areas outside of the fire district's boundaries as of Nov. 1, said Laytonville Chief Jim Little. The chief and staff are not happy about this change, but explained that the economic realities of running an ambulance service have made it too expensive to send ambulances out of the district.

Emergency medical services (EMS) are run in Mendocino County by Coastal Valley EMS, an agency spanning Sonoma, Mendocino, and formerly Napa Counties, which coordinates and regulates EMS within this area. A Coastal Valley spokesman said that the agency was working to make sure a gap in services does not result.

Little explained, “Because we're having financial problems, and can't properly fund both the fire district and the ambulance, we've notified the county that we'll no longer be responding outside the fire district with the ambulance. And you know I don't know what the county's going to do.”

Bryan Cleaver, regional EMS manager for Costal Valley EMS, saw things somewhat differently, saying, “The news of Laytonville is tough, but I don't know that I would necessarily categorize it as a reduction, I would say it's a change in the way that providers have historically provided service.”

He stated that Coastal Valley EMS will be repositioning resources from Willits and Ukiah to serve the areas no longer served by Laytonville Fire, though where exactly these ambulances would be stationed he was unsure of, saying, “I don't know that we truly know what Laytonville will look like in the long term.”

In describing the difficulties, Little explained that an ambulance ride from the Laytonville area to Howard Hospital costs about $2,000 dollars, and continued, “A high percentage of our patients are Medi-Cal and from them we get $200 from the state. Another big bulk have no insurance, we get nothing from that. A very small portion of our patients actually have insurance. And that's just the nature of the community.”

Little went on to elaborate that the total cost of maintaining the ambulance services is about $250,000 a year. Of that the ambulance generates about $100,000 from collecting payments from insurances and Medi-Cal, and the fire department picks up the other $140,000 or so.

Currently the department employs two full-time paramedics and three part-time paramedics, but uses only volunteer drivers. Still, even this is insufficient. Little says that to properly run a fully staffed advanced life support ambulance out of Laytonville would cost a least a $500,000 a year, and require hiring at least one more full-time paramedic and a couple of paid full-time drivers.

But costs are not the only problem, said Little, “If we go up Bell Springs Rd. the ambulance may be committed for three or four hours. That time that the ambulance is out of the district it can't serve the tax payers because it's up on Bell Springs; the big issue isn't the total number of calls, but it's more of the time commitment that it actually takes to serve those areas.”

Cleaver of Coastal Valley believes that though the response time for an ambulance might be greater, the fact that Laytonville paramedics will not be tasked with delivering patients to the hospital in Willits, and can therefore return directly to the station in Laytonville, means that the Fire Protection District will actually have greater coverage from at least paramedics. “So, the positive news for that community is that there's still going to be a paramedic available for rapid response.” Currrently, Cleaver said, “When Laytonville gets a call, that zone is left uncovered for a significant amount of time.”

Cleaver stressed that the decisions for how to adequately provide service to the whole county are not made simply by Coastal Valley EMS, but collaboratively with the local EMS responders and county officials, “We would not like to make decisions independent of county leadership.”

The time and money spent by the district amounts to what Little calls a “Subsidy from the fire district,” adding, “People outside the fire district are receiving a benefit paid for by the tax payers of the Long Valley Fire District.”

Little explained that, “For the last 25 years we've done it because it's considered part of our community, and you know, it's seemed like the right thing to do.”

But times have changed for volunteer fire departments. The tough job market, the need for people to commute greater distances to work and difficulties in getting time off have made it harder for people to quickly jump into an ambulance and drive it off into the hills for an unknown number of hours. The department struggles to just get an adequate number of drivers, and Little believes that in the future they will have to hire drivers.

Still, this problem was not a sudden one, but as Little says, “This goes back six to eight years, where the fire chiefs in Mendocino have been working with the county to try to find a revenue source to fund these operations that happen outside the fire district, and we're not the only one; there's other fire districts that respond outside their district to provide services to the greater community.”

An increase in sales tax has been considered, but that plan had to be scratched because the state imposed the rural area fire tax. The county also has the option to collect revenue through a special district, called service area #3, but this is also a complex process.

Little went on to lay much of the blame for these problems on the competition between Verihealth and Medstar, formerly Ukiah Ambulance, for ambulance service in Ukiah. Saying that, “This whole thing about how we fund EMS in the county has turned into a big deal.”

Here Cleaver agreed that the competition has proven a challenge, explaining that the county is aware that ambulance competitions have been dangerous in the past, saying “Sometimes more isn't necessarily better. It can be difficult to maintain an operation when you have fierce competition.”

Little expressed obvious displeasure with the situation: “I can say that I am very disappointed. I've been threatening to do this for several years but have put it off and put it off because there seemed to be progress being made, and the county has shown real interest in trying to help us, but we've just gotten to the end of the rope and we really didn't have any options left. So we had to do this.”

(Courtesy, the Willits News)

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You wonder why we have problems in education?

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Now the Entire Emerald Triangle is a Federally Designated High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Bad news for the Pines. From the office of Congressman Jared Huffman:

by Hank Sims

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today announced that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has designated Trinity County, California as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

HIDTA2“Adding Trinity County to the HIDTA program will help the most rural part of my district fight back against the overwhelming problem of large-scale, environmentally destructive marijuana grows,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael). “The resources the federal government brings to the table can assist overburdened local law enforcement to meet the challenges of dealing with the worst offenders who harm our communities and our streams and wildlife.”

Created by Congress in 1988, the HIDTA program serves as a catalyst for coordination among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the United States. Law enforcement organizations working within HIDTAs assess drug-trafficking problems and design specific initiatives to decrease the production, transportation, distribution, and chronic use of drugs and money laundering. There are currently 28 HIDTAs located in 46 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

Trinity County will join other Northern California counties including Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma as part of the HIDTA program.


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Eric Holder announced his resignation as Attorney General. Should this be cause for celebration? Eric Holder has announced that he is leaving his post of Attorney General, which he has sullied and degraded for six years.

by Dave Lindorff

A corporate lawyer with the A-list Washington and Wall Street law firm Covington & Burling, Holder will be remembered for his timid defense of civil rights, his overseeing and even encouragement of the massive militarization of the nation's police forces, his anti-First Amendment efforts to pursue not just whistleblowers but the journalists who use them, threatening both with jail and in fact jailing a number of them (particularly in the case of whistleblower extraordinaire Edward Snowden, and Wikileaks journalist Julian Assange, both of whom reportedly face US treason charges), and his weak enforcement of environmental protection laws.

But Holder, who came into his position as the nation¹s top law enforcement officer in early 2009 at the start of the Obama administration and at the height of the financial crisis, will be best remembered for his overt announcement that there would be no attempt to prosecute the criminals at the top of the nation's biggest so-called "too-big-to-fail" banks, whose brazen crimes of theft, deceit, fraud and perjury during the Bush/Cheney years and beyond sank not just the US but the global economy into a crisis which is still with us.

Holder not only did not make any effort to put Wall Street's banking titans behind bars for their epic crimes; he did not even make them step down from their exalted and absurdly highly compensated executive positions when his office reached negotiated settlements with the banks in civil cases involving those crimes — civil cases that in almost all cases allowed the banks to settle without even having to admit their guilt. (His ludicrous excuse: punishing these criminal executive might jeopardize the banks' stocks and hurt "innocent" shareholders!) Nor was this legal benevolence limited to purely financial crimes. Banks like Citicorp and HSBC, which were found to have knowingly laundered millions — even billions — of dollars in drug money for drug cartels, were also allowed by Holder to escape with petty fines, and no prosecution of a single bank executive.

As the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) notes in its response to word that Holder is leaving as AG, his Justice Department generally even allowed the Banks that were fined to deduct those fines from their taxes as a business expense -- something that ordinary citizens are not allowed to do by the IRS, and which Holder could have barred the banks from doing.

No surprise there. Among the clients of Holder's old law firm are both Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. The firm also has since 2010 had a lobbying services contract with Xe Services, the murderous mercenary firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide whose bloody abuses in Iraq were so monstrous the company had to change its name (but not its methods) in order to keep obtaining mercenary services contracts from the US government.

It is being suggested that Holder may opt to go back to his old post as a partner at Covington & Burling, which would be the final, though hardly surprising, insult to the American people, providing a particularly galling example of Washington's revolving door between government regulators and enforcers and the industries that they were supposed to be regulating or keeping honest.

God, how far we have fallen from the days when Ramsey Clark was attorney general, and left to become a leading critic of Washington's imperial government at home and abroad! At this point the Obama Administration is little more than a place holder until the next presidential election in 2016. President Obama, who campaigned as a fire-breathing liberal who would restore constitutional government, end the Bush/Cheney wars, re-open the government so that transparency instead of secrecy would be the default position, and take decisive action against climate change, has abandoned all those false and transparently empty promises.

The illegal and unconstitutional wars continue in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are now being expanded into Africa and Syria and, at least by proxy, but most dangerously, to Ukraine. Civil liberties are under attack at least as severely as they were back in the McCarthy period, with whistleblowers being jailed, with the president asserting the unfettered right to order the killing without trial of American citizens, and with a spying system in place run by the National Security Agency that is monitoring and storing, by its own admission, virtually all electronic communications of the American people. The government is also as closed and secret in its operation as it has been since 1974, when it was broadened following the Watergate and Cointelpro scandals, and is certainly less transparent and open than it was even under Bush/Cheney. The Obama administration has also done little to nothing about tackling carbon emissions despite the president's lies to the contrary in his address to the UN.

In all of this extraordinary list of treachery and cowardice, Holder has played his sycophantic role as a defender of corporate America, of white privilege, and of Washington power. He has been both the John Ashcroft and the Alberto Gonzalez of the Obama administration. (Actually, that comparison is unfair to John Ashcroft, who at least was a man of conviction — repellent as some of those convictions may have been. In Holder's case, we have a man not of principle, but who is simply a corporate lawyer, ready to do his clients' bidding, however sordid and corrupt.)

Given the depths of unpopularity to which President Obama has sunk after six years of selling out his own electoral base and catering to the interests of the rich and powerful, the military establishment and neo-con right-wing of the Washington policy elite, it is safe to say that Holder's replacement, still unknown, will be no better, though given Holder's tenure it's also hard to imagine his successor being much worse either.

So good riddance to Holder. But it will be worth while, and indeed important, to watch carefully this departing Obama official's behavior back in the private sector, from under which rock he emerged to be Attorney General six years ago.

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I’m 48 years old, and I’ve had the feeling my whole life that American society didn’t really know what to do with me. As a young man, I was presented with cultural ideals of masculinity that didn’t match what was actually rewarded. Some of the ideals, like the two-fisted he-man, will get you put in prison. Coming from a rural area, I saw far too many of my peers and slightly older cohort turn to the military, and return broken and unable to function in saner society. It was obvious that the traditional male role wasn’t even wanted any more.

I actually think that’s a good thing. The traditional American male role was a bunch of BS anyway. I’m married, with two kids, and I don’t want to be the unquestioned leader of the household. I married a woman at least as intelligent as I am (which probably means she’s smarter) and I did that very much intentionally. She doesn’t need my permission or help to do what needs to be done. She’s got my back, every bit as much as I’ve got hers. Right now I happen to be the primary breadwinner, but it hasn’t always been that way, and it may change in the future.

Our kids (14 year-old girl, 16 year-old boy) have seen their parents disagree in polite, civil ways, and reach agreement or at least mutual recognition. They’ve seen their parents openly discuss money, plans, hopes and dreams, past successes and failures, likes and dislikes. They’ve never seen either of us use a disrespectful word to the other, nor heard it through the walls late at night.

They’ve learned that their parents will be where they say they will be when they say they’ll be there. They’ve learned that adults should do what needs to be done to meet the basic necessities, and will have time and focused attention for each other and the kids. They’ve seen both of us cook, clean, do maintenance and repair, and coordinate and reinforce each other when (inevitably) my carpentry project interferes with her organize-the-basement project. They’ve seen us balance each other’s priorities with our own, in a matter-of-fact way that acknowledges the importance of each other’s priorities and decides based on efficiency rather than dominance.

They’ve learned that adults will make a budget and stick to it, but also buy little things they know the other will like. They know that both men and women can prepare real meals from food ingredients. They know it’s best for the whole family to sit together at meals. At our meals, phones ring unanswered, nobody texts, and everybody has to tell a story and everyone else has to listen all the way to the end.

So my kids haven’t seen dad excel at sports or manly things. They haven’t seen dad buy the best of everything, or stand up to the Boss, or become the Boss. They have seen their father at every school function, every morning and evening in a present and respectful frame of mind. They have seen their father reject immediate gratification in favor of a larger long-term benefit, and enjoy that when it came. They have heard constant positive reinforcement, and when they don’t hear that, they know they’ve fallen short. When they do hear disapproval, it’s never in anger, nor directed at them; the disappointment is that they have not done as well as they should expect from themselves in whatever regard. Every morning on the way out the door to school they heard, “Remember who you are,” whether or not they knew what it meant. They’ve heard, time out of mind, a quiet, “That’s not the way we do things,” or, “That’s not how we behave.”

Now my son seems to want to teach music to kids, and my daughter seems interested in Engineering, if she can work her way around her mild dyslexia. The more theoretical the task, the better she is at it.

I’m just fine with discarding traditional American male roles. The real core values and positive traits haven’t changed. The old ways stunk, and weren’t good for women, men, or anyone else. Bring on the new ways, which are really the universal, oldest ways that have never gone in or out of fashion.

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Original Press Release:


On 09-25-2014 at 6:32 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted by hunters who wanted to report their discovery of a deceased human body near the roadway in the 50000 block of Indian Dick Road in Covelo, California. Sheriff's Deputies responded to the scene, which was determined to be part of the Mendocino National Forest. The Deputies confirmed the presence of a deceased adult male subsequently identified as Michael Leon Pina, a 52-year-old adult male. Sheriff's Detectives were summoned to the scene and are conducting a suspicious death investigation with the assistance of the Round Valley Tribal Police Department. A forensic autopsy has been scheduled for 09-29-2014 as a cause of death is not obvious to Sheriff's Detectives. Any updated information will be disseminated by press release(s) as the investigation continues. Anyone who might have information that could assist Sheriff's Detectives in their investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100 or the Round Valley Tribal Police Department Tip-Line at 707-272-0259.

Updated Press Release:

On 09-29-2014 a forensic autopsy was conducted on Michael Leon Pina in an attempt to determine his cause of death. The classification of Pina’s death is undetermined pending the results of BA/Toxicology analysis, which is expected to take 4-6 weeks before results are returned to the Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division.

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ON SUNDAY, September 28, 2014 at 3am, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident at a piece of property located in the 8000 block of Reeves Canyon Road in Redwood Valley, California. Upon arrival, Deputies contacted the female victim who stated that she was involved in an argument with her cohabitating boyfriend. During the argument the boyfriend, Daniel Springsguth, 31, of Martinez, elbowed her in the face causing an injury to her eye, which required medical treatment. Springsguth was subsequently arrested at the location for felony domestic violence battery and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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LOUIS BEDROCK WRITES: I no longer listen to the radio. Pacifica has been taken over by a deranged faction that has converted the network into a chain of homeshopping radio stations that specialize in bogus health products and old stale speeches of Martin Luther King. I do not revere the good “doctor”: like all reverends, he was a charlatan and a parasite. PBS has become corporate, restrictive and boring. Even talented interviewers like Terry Gross who used to do occasional investigative journalism on topics like the meat industry now fills her time interviewing the stars of HBO's latest serials. When I was young the local PBS TV station had wonderful programming. Most impressive was a program that was broadcast Thursday evenings: “The Play of the Week.” This program introduced me to serious drama with presentations of “The Iceman Cometh,” “A Hat Full of Rain,” “The Potting Shed,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Under the Bridge,” “The Rashamon,” “Tea and Sympathy,” and many more. Starring in “The Iceman Cometh” were the great Jason Robards Jr. and a 23-year-old actor named Robert Redford. Now we have Charlie Rose, aging do-woppers, and, with very few exceptions, unwatchable garbage. In the words of Edward Albee, “It's odd, and I wonder if it's sad.”

ED REPLY: Nothing here I disagree with, and I much enjoyed the latest Harper's you sent me, enjoyed it so much I re-subscribed.

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Warm spiritual greetings, Having just been approved for a social security benefit increase, and food stamps, plus got the health insurance, am chillin' at the Berkeley MASC men's shelter until November 1st. Meanwhile, I am seeking a housing situation with others who have cultivated a spiritual life, write a lot, frontline for the earth and peace & justice, and dig the blog at Email: September 30th, Two thousand fourteen anno domini


  1. Bill Pilgrim October 1, 2014

    RE: Eric Holder. Lindorff nailed it. It’s been announced that Holder will go to work for…Goldman Sachs, the worst of the worst among the corrupt financial institutions.
    “The Golden Door goes round and round, round and round, ROUND and round…”

  2. Jim Armstrong October 1, 2014

    At one time the Newshour on PBS had a weekly commentator that gave the whole show a moral compass.
    Erwin Knoll, editor of The Progressive, died 20 years ago and the show has gotten steadily worse since.

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