- AVHC Investigation
- Lost Data? OMG!
- Noisy Neighbors
- Goldy Sighting
- Sober Series
- Banner Bungle
- Stornetta Still Missing
- Ancient Night
- Animal Farm
- Saudi America
- Schoolbus Mystery
- Catch of the Day
- Master Gardeners
- Barfing Pumpkin
- Techno-Utopianism Conference
THIS JUST IN.
“The [AV Health Center Board] meeting [on Tuesday evening] is an open meeting if it happens. However there is discussion about postponing the meeting until we can report on the actions we are taking in more detail than we could do at tomorrow night’s meeting. We are working as diligently and responsibly and quickly as we can to resolve the staffing issues but we have a huge responsibility here and want to make sure that every action we take is the best. There should be a press release coming to you today about progress to date.” (—Kathy Cox, Board member)
* * *
Health Center Board Chair Ric Bonner: “The Board of Directors of the Anderson Valley Health Center wants the community to know that we are in the process of completing a review of the recent series of staff changes at the Health Center. We have conducted initial interviews with every person on the staff, including those who have recently resigned or been terminated, and we have held a number of discussions with Dr. Mark Apfel. Dr. Apfel has been appointed as Interim Chief Medical Officer. We are exploring options open to us, for both short and long term staffing solutions with a goal of restoring stability and the community's faith in the Health Center's ability to deliver high quality, affordable care to our patients. We are continuing to gather sufficient information on which to base decisions. We are committed to ensuring that the Health Center fosters a healthy work environment and continues to be a valued asset to the community.
— AVHC Board of Directors, 10-27-14”
AN ACQUAINTANCE falsely run through the County's mental health wringer, was required to call Behavioral Health for three days “to tell them I was fine and dandy…. which means all my health information transferred to that department in the County. I just opened a letter from a Tom Pinizzotto that says that in October they had a ‘security incident’ with one of their subcontractors at Integrated Care Management Systems (who the hell is that?). On July 29th, Integrated Care Management Systems moved to a new office in Ukiah. During the move, an unencrypted USB drive containing all my personal and health information was lost and has not been recovered. It ‘potentially’ contained my name, address, phone, ss#, ins id#, diagnosis, and medical records! Potentially? They're not certain what information was on the drive? How do you lose a USB drive in this day and age? This wasn't hacking…. it was blatant incompetence and carelessness.
“THEN they tell me about steps that I should take to protect my personal information which is provided in an enclosure…. BUT…. no enclosure.
“THE ‘security incident’ happened when this privatized group moved July 29… they didn't notify the County until October! That's a terrible delay for all those whose personal information has been stolen.
“UNBELIEVABLE! They move to a new office and somehow all patient information is lost on a USB drive that has no security encryption? What century are they living in…. no encryption? And they moved on July 29 and are just now figuring it out and notifying people on October 22? That's almost 3 months! What were they doing the last 3 months? Searching for the USB drive? This level of incompetence is appalling.
“I NOW have to find an expert security service to follow my social security number daily. Following your credit report just does not do it….which is what they have offered through the County. My financial guy uses some ‘big guns’ identity monitoring company and told me that as soon as he signed up, he discovered that a woman in South Carolina had been collecting his social security for several years! Welcome to the world of lost data management run by an incompetent governmental agency.”
QUASI GOVERNMENT AGENCY. INTEGRATED CARE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS is the subcontractor the freshly privatized portion of Mendocino County public mental health services worth roughly $7 million tax dollars a year to Pinizzotto's former private employers at Ortner Management Group, Yuba City. Pinizzotto, an oleaginous, Uriah Heep-ish personality type common among Mendo public employees, now makes upwards of $90,000 as an administrator with what remains of non-privatized Mental Health “services.” Pinizzotto brokered the privatization for his former employers, a sleight-of-hand described by the Grand Jury as an obvious conflict of interest.
“ON 10-25-2014 at about 5:20 PM, a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy observed a vehicle with an excessively loud stereo being driven by Arturo Rivera-Garcia on Highway 128 in Boonville, California…"
THUS BEGINS Rivera-Garcia's trip to the County Jail for inflicting his boombox on central Boonville. Deputy Walker, bless him all his days for taking boomboxes personally. And white powder. And driving under the influence. And driving on a suspended license.
ONE WOULD THINK a guy traveling under these conditions would not be eager to call attention to himself, but…
REMINDS ME of a similar episode responded to by the now retired Deputy Squires. That day, a man next door had his boom box cranked up so loud it was rattling windows at your beloved community newspaper and making it impossible for us to work through the din. I peered over the fence to ask the guy to turn it down. He glared back and tweeked the dial like he was turning it up. To old for hand to hand combat, I was tempted to shotgun the boom box, which was one of these massive jobs housed in the trunk of this particular moron's vehicle where, I assumed, it could cause serial annoyance as the fool drove down public streets.
SO I CALLED Deputy Squires. He soon drove up, climbed briskly out of his patrol SUV and, without a word, ripped the thing, still playing, out of the trunk of the guy's car, slammed it into his patrol wagon and drove off. That's what I call problem-solving and effective community policing. I got a few residual death glares over the fence, but it was quiet after that.
THE FROST FANS are the next community nuisances that will soon become a responsibility of law enforcement. They're a lot more intrusive than some remedial reader's boom box, and they're much louder and they play for much longer periods of time — try midnight to 8am. The County has a noise ordinance, as the boom box precedent establishes, and the County has an obligation to enforce it, as the boom box precedent also establishes. But the wine and vineyard people are much more formidable than a lone cretin driving around deliberately annoying people. We'll see what we shall see on the frost fans.
GOTTA BE HER!
As I was making my way home from work today, I came across a couple of homeless people halfway wedged under a dripping wet concrete abutment between a surface street and a freeway off-ramp and if that was the extent of it, that would have been the end of it.
I was a mere 1/2 mile from home at that point and smack dab in the middle of a 'mixing bowl' junction of about 3 freeways that transect d'town Detroit... a spot richly endowed w/dozens of densely packed underpasses, overpasses, cement cubbyholes, and other similar shelter for dozens of the many hundreds of homeless people who reside near my home (stone's throw near). One thing was I'd never seen a single homeless soul try to use this particular spot as a perch. Never in 10 years. O.K. Maybe they were 'new' to the area.
Other thing was... I slowed a bit and looked directly at what turned out to be a 'couple'; young girl and older male, half-assed draped in damp blankets and staring directly at me from 15 feet away.
The girl was a drop-dead perfect ringer for the young woman described in the AVA over the last couple years from time-to-time. ( miss Audette ... or something ??) No dog, though... but otherwise such a spectacular resemblance that I pulled over and ran up to see if they needed anything. I got about 5 feet away and as I leaned over a railing to ask... The girl's countenance immediately shape shifted to what can only be described as a snarling glare... (no audible sound BUT...), a gruesomely theatrical and completely unfunny, non-ironic mask of hostility & exceptional disdain. Something wasn't clicking. ANOTHER thing I'd never encountered before when speaking to any homeless persons.
SO, I wondered if you guys could remind me of what 'your' homeless waif's first name is... so that I could at least shout from a polite distance, next chance I get.
Of course, it CAN'T be her, right? But, this one looks like the pic I saw regularly in 'OFF the Record'. Same hair. Same face. Same disjunctive mix of kinda' loosely scrubbed Judy Garland-esque pixy face and 85% attended to hair etc. Same miniature stature... same everything.
And so... it comes down to the fact that I figured I might be partially acquainted w/half of this couple. Long shot. And why the hell Detroit as a way point, a Californian might ask?
I dunno'. Except... a long time ago I ran away from home in Boston, Mass., journeyed thru Canada on the way to California and was so tired by the time I got to Windsor, Ontario that I decided I must be far enough West by then ( :) to chance passage thru the tunnel to Detroit. California hadda be close!!
Just saying, some destinations are unintended, if not fully providential... so hey... maybe the AVA's most notorious waif is in my backyard.
As an AVA reader I am compelled to do something.
A little background info on Ms. Jacqueline Audet: https://www.theava.com/archives/24613
MAYOR EDWIN M. LEE Monday announced that Tuesday's Game Six of 2014 World Series will be publicly broadcast live in Civic Center Plaza for families and fans to gather and cheer the San Francisco Giants on to a potential World Championship against the Kansas City Royals. San Francisco Giants lead the World Series against Kansas City Royals 3-2. Game Six will be played in Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium with first pitch at 5:07pm Pacific Time. A jumbotron screen will broadcast the potential clinching game of the World Series in front of San Francisco City Hall. The City previously received permission from Major League Baseball to show the potential clinching away game.
The Mayor's Office, in collaboration with the Recreation and Parks Department, will broadcast the potential clinching away game in Civic Center Plaza. In keeping with the event focus on families, alcohol will not be sold or permitted on Civic Center Plaza during the broadcast. Those attending the broadcast are encouraged to come early to secure a spot and take public transportation via MUNI or BART to Civic Center or Van Ness stations.
“This is an alcohol-free event. San Francisco Police and Recreation and Park Departments will be on hand to monitor and enforce a zero tolerance policy for alcohol and other controlled substances in Civic Center Plaza.”
SHORT of fencing the Plaza off and surrounding it with five thousand dobermans, no way the cops can keep dope and booze outtathere. What the cops will do is maybe haul off a few drop-fall drunks while ignoring, out of necessity, the thousands of tokers. The mayor's announcement is almost funny.
THERE WAS AN ERROR AT GAME 5 of the World Series even before the first pitch. Staind rocker-turned-country singer Aaron Lewis stumbled early on during his rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner on Sunday night at the AT&T Park in San Francisco. After starting with “O say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed,” Lewis, 42, diverted from the lyrics. Instead of singing “at the twilight's last gleaming” he sang “were so gallantly streaming,” words that appear later in the national anthem. After his botched performance the Grammy Award-nominated recording artist promptly released an apology through his website and on Facebook. “All I can say is I'm sorry and ask for the Nation's forgiveness. My nerves got the best of me and I am completely torn up about what happened,” the married father-of-three told fans.
MANCHESTER MAN STILL MISSING
THE NIGHT IN ISLA NEGRA
Ancient night and the unruly salt
beat at the walls of my house.
The shadow is all one, the sky
throbs now along with the ocean,
and sky and shadow erupt
in the crash of their vast conflict.
All night long they struggle;
nobody knows the name
of the harsh light that keeps slowly opening
like a languid fruit.
So on the coast comes to light,
out of seething shadow, the harsh dawn,
gnawed at by the moving salt,
swept clean by the mass of night,
bloodstained in its sea-washed crater.
— Pablo Neruda
A FEW THINGS ARE FOR SURE, though they are sedulously kept out of the public discussion by interested gate-keepers. One is that the western economies have lost the ability to generate real new wealth of the type that their debt-based monetary systems require for ongoing operations (such as paying interest on old debt). Instead, we’ve entered a liminal era when fake wealth passes for wealth. Jive capital poses as capital. The main reason for this, of course, is the inability of world energy producers to meaningfully increase energy production in a way that does not suck more capital out of the system than the system can regenerate. But that conversation also has been outlawed from the public arena in “Saudi America.” I suspect the subject will force itself on the national consciousness in the year ahead as one company after another in the shale oil regions craps out on a shortage of available investment capital. That’s the inflection point where fake wealth is unmasked for what it really is: crippled capital formation. The disappointment from that looming event will thunder through our society. In the meantime, the distractions are many and powerful. Ebola may appear controlled for the moment in the USA, but the host countries in West Africa are virtually falling apart and the demographic movement out of failed economies like Liberia’s would suggest an awful dynamic for the spread of that disease into new regions. ISIS (or whatever we call them) is putting on a diversionary show on the Turkish border, but the real action awaits in Baghdad, perhaps poignantly at Christmas time, when morter rounds start falling on the US embassy in the Green Zone and the evacuations commence.
On Friday, October 24, 2014 at approximately 4pm Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to the intersection of Comptche-Ukiah Road and Warner Lane in Mendocino, where it was reported that an unknown subject had fired an air rifle at a Mendocino Unified School District bus causing damage to the front windshield. Deputies obtained a statement from the driver of the bus and examined the damage to the windshield, noting there was about a 4-inch circular crack with a chip in the center. Upon closer inspection of the damage, Deputies observed dirt and debris embedded into the chip, indicating it was most likely a rock which had caused the damage and not an air rifle as originally believed by the driver of the bus. Deputies spoke with residents in the area and were unable to locate anyone who witnessed the incident or could provide any investigative leads. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at (707)961-2421 or the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at (707)234-2100.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 27, 2014
JUNE ANDERSON, Willits. Possession of meth & drug paraphernalia.
NATHANIEL BENN, Calpella. Drunk in public.
TRAVIS BONSON, Willits. Parole violation.
ARIK CALDWELL, Laytonville. Resisting arrest.
WAYNE CAMPBELL, Redwood Valley. Parole violation.
FRANCISCO CARRILLO, Willits. Pot Cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm, DUI.
MADISON DAVIS, Mendocino. Domestic assault.
TYLER DAVIS, Ukiah. DUI-Drugs.
RONALD FEAGIN, Ukiah. Court order violation.
NICHOLAS FINNEY, Ukiah. Driving without valid license.
GINO GALAFARO, San Diego/Willits. Pot Cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm.
ERIC GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ALVA REEVES III, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON, Gualala. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
MENDOCINO COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS is Accepting Applications for 2015 Class.
Mendocino County Master Gardeners are inviting applications for the winter 2015 training leading to Master Gardener certification by University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE). Successful applicants typically share a love of gardening and seek to gain garden related knowledge, enjoy the company of fellow gardeners and give back to their communities as Master Gardener volunteers. The rigorous UCCE approved course will run weekly from January 21 thru April 29. Most classes will be offered at the Extension offices, 890 N. Bush, in Ukiah with a field trip to Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Sessions will be taught by UCCE specialists and other gardening professionals.
The Master Gardener Program operates nationwide and in Canada to equip home gardeners with science-based information so that they can serve as volunteer coaches and teachers for others in their communities. Trainees receive approximately 50 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction. Applicants should expect to contribute to their communities by volunteering on Master Gardener projects for 50 hours in the year after their certification. Applicants must be Mendocino County residents and have access to online communication and web-based resources. The $200 fee covers books, materials and instruction. For additional information, contact the UC Cooperative Extension office in Ukiah at 707 463-4495 (http://cemendocino.ucanr.edu/Master_Gardener578/) or MG Coordinator Wendy Roberts at 707 937-4702 (email@example.com).
PIERCING THE TECHNOLOGY BUBBLE
No Substitute for Political Mobilization
by Ralph Nader
This weekend, October 25 and 26, I will be joining leading critics, from the United States and abroad, of corporate-controlled technologies, who are also proponents of appropriate technologies for the people (Vandana Shiva, Anuradha Mittal, Helen Caldicott, Wes Jackson, Bill McKibben), convening at the historic Cooper Union Great Hall on “Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth”.
The speakers are highly knowledgeable. Some of their prior warnings were ignored by policy makers. Unfortunately, many of these warnings were, in retrospect, understatements. The chief organizer of this gathering is Jerry Mander who heads the International Forum on Globalization (see IFG.org for the entire list of programs).
In 1996, Mander and Edward Goldsmith brought together several prominent writers to contribute essays to the book titled The Case Against the Global Economy. These analysts made predictions about the damaging effects of relentlessly single-minded corporate power and their corporate-managed trade agreements like the WTO (World Trade Organization) under President Bill Clinton and the newly ratified NAFTA. Eighteen years ago, these chapters seemed provocative and extreme to knee-jerk “free traders.” Reading these essays now, with knowledge of the subsequent effects of these agreements on workers, education, culture, energy, environment, media, food supply, pharmaceuticals, land use, the patenting of life forms, developmental colonialism and democratic processes, makes the book prophetic. Eighteen years ago, many wrote off this book as an exaggeration, when in fact it underestimated the damage to people of various economic statuses from both developing and developed countries caused by unbridled corporatism.
William Greider’s chapter, titled “Citizen GE,” remains one of the most brilliant succinct overviews of a global company’s avaricious reach ever written.
The book moves into proposals for “relocalization” of economic systems, currencies, communities and agriculture. Mr. Mander views this weekend’s conference as a jolting update and call-to-action for urgent redirections away from the secretive, proprietary corporate science/technology that serves the narrow intersects of short-term commercialism at the expense of humans and broader global values.
The corporate giants intent on domination through governmental proxies, shared monopoly power and propaganda, are not what the philosopher/mathematician Alfred North Whitehead had in mind when he said that a great society is one in which “its men of business think greatly of their functions.” For the corporate bosses, no matter how evident the stunning unintended consequences of their dominion, still march to the imperatives of quarterly earnings, stock prices and executive bonuses.
With such narrowly based yardsticks to measure their success, it is no wonder that the global corporations today, such as energy, drugs, “defense,” banking, mining etc. – are power-concentrating machines driven to defeat, diminish or co-opt any forces advancing contrary civic, political or economic values.
One of the least noticed, uneven struggles is that between corporate science and academic science. Unlike academic science, corporate science is not peer-reviewed, except by the ruse of some well-compensated and corrupted academic scientists – a practice known to both the tobacco and drug industries. Corporate science is secretive (aka proprietary), politically-empowered and intensely media-promoted. It is intrinsically linked to protecting and promoting commercially profitable pursuits that are often hazardous or harmful to people and the environment.
An example is Monsanto Corporation, which encompasses a global drive to use patent monopolies and political influence to change the nature of nature. Monsanto’s unlabeled, genetically engineered crops are widely unregulated, as noted by Scientific American, which said: “Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify that genetically modified crops perform as advertised. That is because agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers” (July 20, 2009).
Thus, corporate science is largely immunized from proper public accountability. This leads to rapid engineering applications without the rigorous testing and peer-reviewing process required by its more moral counterpart, academic science. It is these rapid engineering deployments, as well as their misapplication and public propaganda that the Cooper Union convocation seeks to address. There is a precedent for this work. The polluting internal combustion engine was rarely challenged until the nineteen-sixties when a Caltech scientist connected its emissions to smog.
A major part of the Cooper Union conference on “Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth” will relate to what Mr. Mander calls “Which Way Out? Ingredients of Change.” Interestingly, there is no panel or topic focusing on the fundamental reality that there is no ethical or legal framework within which these technologies must operate. Consider GMO seeds, nanotechnology, weaponized drones, synthetic biology, medical robotics, weapons systems, surveillance devices and more! Where is the regulatory law? Where is the civic discussion of what these “machines” and technology portend for our societal and moral values?
There will be numerous presentations that urge local self-reliance, community businesses, “Indigenous Values and the Rights of Nature,” “True Cost Accounting,” and “Steady State Economics.” But there are limits to the efforts of individuals who promote local self-reliance in the civic sector. Mundane obstacles, such as Congress, cannot be ignored. The governmental arm of giant corporatism and its influence on our indentured politicians stifles initiatives to displace commercialism and corporate power.
There is no substitute for the much-needed political mobilization of the people in every congressional district to expand proven local efforts and spark a national discussion and transformation of our presently inverted priorities and plutocratic dominations (see IFG.org).
(Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.)