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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Nov 17, 2014

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ATTENTION AESTHETES! Hurry to the Anderson Valley for Mendocino County's most spectacular Fall color, as the vineyards turn gold against the hillsides and the Lombardy poplars at Indian Creek flame yellow for the single most thrilling vista you'll see.

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The falling leaves drift by my window

The falling leaves of red and gold

I see your lips, the summer kisses

The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long

And soon I'll hear old winter's song

But I miss you most of all, my darling

When autumn leaves start to fall

Since you went away the days grow long

And soon I'll hear old winter's song

But I miss you most of all, my darling

When autumn leaves start to fall

I miss you most of all, my darling

When autumn leaves start to fall

--Johnny Mercer (loose translation from the French)

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When an early autumn walks the land and chills the breeze

And touches with her hand the summer trees

Perhaps you'll understand what memories I own.

There's a dance pavilion in the rain all shuttered down

A winding country lane all russet brown

A frosty window pane shows me a town grown lonely.

That spring of ours that started so April-hearted

Seemed made for just a boy and girl

I never dreamed, did you, any fall would come in view

So early, early.

Darling, if you care, please let me know

I'll meet you anywhere, I miss you so

Let's never have to share another early autumn.

--Johnny Mercer

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Dear Editor,

Claudia Jimenez will take the seat on the Search Committee to fill the vacancy resulting from Gaile Wakeman’s resignation. Claudia will provide liaison with the Health Center board of which she is a welcome new member.

I wish to quell concerns that the Search Committee is on the hunt for a C.E.O. That is not the case. The Search Committee is looking for an executive director. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR! Given the relatively small size of the Health Center, such an office and title fit the Health Center’s needs quite sufficiently.

The Search Committee is not seeking to find a C.E.O. or the Queen of Darkness or a Knight in Corporate Armor. No one aspiring to such status need apply.

Best regards,

Bill Sterling, Chairman

AV Health Center Search Committee


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ON SATURDAY, November 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to reports of an armed individual threatening people in the 2800 block of Road D and Webb Ranch Road in Redwood Valley, California. Upon arriving in the area Deputies spoke with witnesses who identified Timothy Abshire, 35, of Ukiah, has having brandished a rifle and having shot in their direction in a negligent manner. Deputies responded to Abshire's residence located in the 2800 block of Webb Ranch Road and were able to call him out of the residence briefly before he returned inside. Sometime thereafter Deputies saw Abshire flee from the back of the residence while in possession of a rifle. Deputies began a search for Abshire in the wooded terrain surrounding his residence and were assisted by Officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The search included K9 personnel and SWAT members from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. Due to the darkness and terrain the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office helicopter (Henry 1) responded to the scene to assist with the search efforts.

AT 7:14 PM THAT SAME DAY a CHP Officer encountered Abshire who was in possession of a rifle resulting in the CHP Officer discharging his service weapon. Abshire sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was rendered medical aid at the scene and was transported to a local hospital. Abshire was subsequently transferred to an out of county hospital and is expected to survive his injuries. At this time the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol are conducting a parallel investigation into the circumstances of the shooting. At this time the identity of the CHP Officer is not being released.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

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ON SUNDAY, November 16, 2014 at 7:46 AM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, California due to the admittance of a person with a gunshot wound. Upon arrival Deputies began an investigation and learned a home invasion robbery had occurred several hours previously at a location on Highway 162 in the Willits area. During the incident the person, an adult male, was shot and two other victims were physically assaulted. Deputies learned two suspects entered the residence, one armed with a firearm, and demanded money from the victims. The suspects later fled the residence after having taken money, precious metals and processed marijuana. The victim who sustained the gunshot wound was transferred to an out of county hospital for further treatment of his injury. An ongoing investigation is currently underway by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Northern Patrol Sector with assistance from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team, investigators with the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services. No other information is available at this time as the investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is urged to call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 16, 2014

Anderegg, Ault, Carcano
Anderegg, Ault, Carcano

JAMES ANDEREGG, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

RICHARD AULT, Ringgold, Georgia/Willits. Providing alcohol to minor.

GERARDO CARCANO, Redwood Valley. False ID.

Commander, Foord, Grey
Commander, Foord, Grey

NICHOLAS COMMANDER, Potter Valley. Possession of drug paraphernalia, prohibited person with ammo, probation revocation.

STEVEN FOORD, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

MICHAEL GREY, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, cultivation, processing.

Nava-Franco, Perry, Southers
Nava-Franco, Perry, Southers

JAIME NAVA-FRANCO, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

MICHAEL PERRY, Redwood Valley. Criminal threats of death or great bodily injury. (Frequent flyer.)

VINCE SOUTHERS, Fort Bragg. Vandalizing phone or cable lines, property damage, probation revocation.

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GRASS VALLEY, NOVEMBER 16TH, 1914: Four sons killed in battle, mother a suicide and the father insane is the fate of the family of S. Neuberger of this place. The young men answered the first call and fell at the same time in one of the early battles of the European war. When the news of the deaths reached home the mother committed suicide and the father became insane, and now wanders over the country placing flowers on every hillock thinking it the grave of his sons. (SF Chronicle)

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PERENNIAL SMALL SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL CHAMPS, Anderson Valley swept Point Arena 3-0 Saturday night while the California School For the Deaf upset a strong Mendocino team, 3-2.

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BILL COURTNEY is off to Ganja Central. Courtney, who lives in Comptche, has joined Timeless Herbal Care (THC), a Jamaican company, to assist in research and development.

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KATE FREY creates pollinator gardens for all seasons

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“Somebody said crap moves downhill. The Lodging Association says you can't tax our esteemed tourists who come through — the valued tourists. You can't increase their tax by 1% for parity with adjoining counties. The word was out that there was no support for increasing the bed tax. But by whom? And we immediately folded, or those who bring things forward folded. They don't want it. [The bed tax] taxes outsiders, not Mendocino people. It pays for police protection, emergency services, fire protection and for when we scrape them up off the highway. The cost is enormous and there’s no reimbursement. Why did we abandon the 1% [bed tax] increase? A few bucks for people staying in high end places in Mendocino? A $400 bill would go up $4 for your night of fun and relaxation in Mendocino. $404! No sirree! I will not come to Mendocino again! So they reduce it to $400! That's a compelling argument — if you don't pay attention to common sense and numbers. Did the estimates take into account the cost of administration? Staff work? Will the money come in? We had two big high end destinations go bankrupt on us without paying the bed tax over a long period of time. We know where they are. They had big buildings. We asked the manager, why do you owe us, how much was it? $250k? It's obscene that we could not get them to pay in a timely fashion so we didn't get that money! In the other case we had to use high cost staff time to get part of the money back. If we can't go after the high class destinations in the county and properly collect the [bed tax], how in the devil will we get the little campground operator, the trailer park, to take care of the campers? I'll tell you. We'll have to hire somebody and we'll quickly use up whatever funding is generated because we went to the bottom of the food chain, the campers. If we'd been more effective on the high end places, more efficient…”

— Then-Fifth District David Colfax, July 14, 2009

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by John Wester

Might be messy but it won’t be

Criminal, cruel or worse.

It’s sad to see democracy

Affected by a curse

Conjured up by Corporate powers.

(It might be messy but it’s ours.)

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Forty years ago somebody from Albion loaned me a book called The Gospel of Fascism by Kirton Varley. It was published in 1934 and was a polemic against Hitler, as well as against bourgeois democracy and its attendant corruption and inefficiency. Varley wrote that Hitler had ruined the good name of Fascism forever because of his racism and militarism. He wrote that the name “Fascism” should be changed to “Corporatism,” which he then described neatly to a T.

I googled Gospel of Fascism and found several links to Foreign Affairs. In 1934 they had published Varley’s book in five parts.

Foreign Affairs has been a quarterly magazine since 1922 that evolved from a publication called the Journal of Race which was devoted to race-relations, not eugenics. That magazine had published W.E.B. Dubois who wrote in 1903: “Henceforth, the destiny of the race could be conceived as leading neither to assimilation nor separatism but to proud, enduring hyphenation.” Dubois helped found the NAACP and was the one who said they should use the term Colored instead of Black so that name would include people of all colors.

But back to 1934 when Foreign Affairs published Gospel of Fascism in five parts: I registered at their website to see if I could read it, but all I could get to was a one sentence synopsis by reviewer William Langer: A study of Fascism in Italy and Austria by a writer who claims to have originated the idea. Whatever that means. Whose side was Langer on, anyway? To read more I had to subscribe. I am curious about the review that Langer gave the Gospel of Fascism, but I’ve already read the book. Even though it’s been over 40 years I think I remember its drift — same drift you’ll catch in an MBA program.

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THERE IS PROUD HAPPINESS, happiness of doing admirable things in the light of day, years of good work, and afterward being tired and content and surrounded by family and friends, enjoying a sumptuous meal, ready for a deserved rest — sleep or death, it would not matter.

Then there is the happiness of one's personal slum. The happiness of being alone, and tipsy on red wine, in the passenger seat of an ancient recreational vehicle parked in a campground outside Seward, Alaska, staring into a scribble of black trees, unable to go to sleep for fear that at any moment someone will get past the toy lock on the RV door and murder you and your two small children, sleeping in the alcove above.

— Dave Eggers, The Alaska of Giants and Gods

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Burney's International Fare

by David Yearsley

War and travel are enemies. Music has thrived in and on war, be this music the sound Lakota dances or the imperial strains of the Coldstream Guards Band, not to mention Beethoven’s depiction of Wellington’s victory at Waterloo and countless other glorifications of death and destruction by other classic masters. But music is also held up as a universal language of humankind, something uniquely able to bring people and peoples together. In the age of the YouTube Orchestra connecting with diverse and distant musicians can supposedly be done over the ether. But travel is the traditional means of meeting performers and composers and reaching other audiences, exploring other musical traditions while getting different perspectives on your own.

Musical travelers of today’s world might well pause before heading out to their next destination. Indeed, they are unlikely to be quite so blithe about jumping into the airplane and heading out on the next tour. Aside from the bodily intrusions of security checkpoints and the inconveniences of clogged skies, never mind the all-too-mild ethical discomforts that come with contributing tons of carbon to the atmosphere, there are as of late the threats of terror from the Islamic State and the menace of Ebola.

A good friend of mine had a long-time gig playing harpsichord for operas in the Roman amphitheater in Palmyra in central Syria. It was no easy task keeping sensitive keyboards more used to the temperate salons of Europe in tune in the searing desert dryness. But accompanying Dido’s lament in against such a sublime ancient backdrop—not just scenery, but history itself—was well worth the effort. Needless to say, the Syrian Civil War put an end to such performances. With the Islamic State recently in control of the gas fields near Palmyra, the immediate future of opera in the amphitheater doesn’t exactly look rosy. One might rather imagine something more apocalyptic than Purcell; Wagner’s Götterdämmerung would be fitting monument to the demise of polytheism against the scourge of the One True God.

We might think of 2014 and beyond as particularly resistant to international musical exchange. But the first great age of cosmopolitan travel, the eighteenth century, was one of continual wars interrupted by varying stretches of uneasy peace. During the heyday of the Grand Tour, well-heeled travellers either had to sidestep conflicts or stay home until they were over. These hostilities in Europe and on its periphery are too numerous to list here, but between the overlapping Northern War and the War of the Spanish Succession that consumed the first two decades of the century and the French Revolutionary Wars at century’s close came the first truly world war: Seven Years War (1756-1763), fought in North American amongst the colonial powers and their native surrogates as the French and Indian War. When these hostilities—in no small measure set in motion and sustained, it must be said, by the epoch’s most musical monarch, Frederick the Great—finally came to a close, the floodgates of travel were again flung open and the great British travelers and, more importantly, travel writers set out for the continent in large numbers. It was after the 1763 Treaty of Paris that the master of irony, observation, and digression Laurence Sterne pursued his Sentimental Journey and the dyspeptic Tobias Smollett could accumulate bookloads of complaints against the curious and contemptible ways of the continent. There would be a quarter century of relative peace before the turmoil of the French Revolution again restricted travel.

The greatest musical figure in these golden decades of touring was the Englishman Charles Burney, who travelled to France and Italy in 1769 and then undertook a second tour to Germany (including Austria) and The Netherlands in 1772. Burney made these journeys to do research for his planned history of music, which aimed to be the first such work in the English language; the first of the four volumes of the history duly appeared in 1776. More famous now, however, is Burney’s three-volume diary of his travels. In them, Burney meets the great musicians of the day, from the most famous opera composer Christoph Willibald Gluck in Vienna, to the megastar castrato Farinelli in retirement at his villa outside of Bologna, to the transcendental clavichord player C.P.E. Bach performing for hours after dinner in his Hamburg home. The shuddering coach rides over the Alps and harrowing raft trips down the Danube impart a powerful sense to the modern reader of the rigors of eighteenth-century travel: thus the diaries present an unforgettable mix of civilized refinement, vividly captured personalities, unapologetic prejudice, and the sometimes punishing commitment required of tourists.

Aside from the luminous varnish of his prose portraits of musicians, Burney’s diaries often remind me on my periodic return to them of the difference between travel and transport. Indeed, moving between cities and across oceans by airplane seems to me hardly to count as travel in any meaningful way. The movement past people and over geography is too fast and superficial to result in any sense of progression: one departs and then arrives, and there is little in between.

This counts not only for airports but also for autobahns, and I was thinking of Burney as I loaded up a copy of a late-eighteenth-century piano into a Chrysler Town & Country van to drive from Ithaca, New York to Boston for a concert of keyboard duets with Annette Richards at Tufts University last weekend. The arduous all night journeys, the lurking highwaymen, the challenging ragouts deplored by Smollett, and the embarrassing customs questions endured by Burney give way this kind of modern trip to the efficiencies of the EZ Pass and the human caloric and automotive octane intakes of a Mass Pike or New York State Thruway service area.

As I noted in this space a couple of months back, this region eastern New York and western Massachusetts was visited by war at just the time that Burney was writing his history of music and hobnobbing with a friendship circle in London that included the likes of Samuel Johnson, Thomas Boswell, Alexander Pope, and Joshua Reynolds. In 2014, however, all is calm in the golden red auctumnal forest cleaved by the wide highways.

Burney was a great fan of duets, indeed claimed to have written the first such pieces for a single harpsichord or piano as a way to allow two students living in one house to play at the same time—and perhaps also to exchange chaste caresses in the close quarters of the fife-octave keyboards of his day. Duets for two keyboards were also an important part of Burney’s popular winter concerts. As Annette and I tried to suggest in last weekend’s concert at Tufts, Burney’s international fare was a way for him, too, to relive his journeys.

But rather than let the music speak for itself (whatever that means) we had the good fortune to be able to collaborate with the brilliant Austin video artist Bug Davidson and the Hyphen Collective. Davidson’s evocative images included nearly abstract close-ups of grass and weeds along a Texas roadside; slow searching shots of tires and motors; long fluttering hair; and a motorcycle rider moving through Texas woodlands and swamps. Titles announcing each musical piece along Burney’s tour were created by Tufts undergraduate Emma Turner; her art mixed photographs of eighteenth-century textiles in digital collage with her own often humorous, and always arresting paintings of Burney and his world. Following these titles, Davidson’s moving pictures worked in both unanticipated synchronicity with, and revelatory juxtaposition to, the pleasing and effortless galant music so beloved by Burney. Davidson’s video encouraged, even demanded, different ways of seeing and hearing our own travels through the natural and musical world, as if to caution and encourage us that there is no going back to Burney’s world, only forward into the unfolding present uncertainty.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Bach’s Feet. He can be reached at

One Comment

  1. Jeff Costello November 17, 2014

    Another version of Autumn Leaves:

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