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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, May 19, 2015

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ANDERSON VALLEY'S MASSIVE ANTI-FROST FAN demonstration at the annual Pinot Fest as reported by David Severn:

I made a couple signs and showed up at 10:30 for the 11:00 event and spent about an hour and a half by myself politely explaining the wind fan situation to people going in. One of the private security guards (“Bruce #19”) had initially started belligerently shoving me around with his fat belly and shoulder until the guy in charge moved him across the street and peacefully allowed me my right to be there as long as I didn't block the driveway.

Just before noon I zipped to Lemons where and when Wendy Read said she was having everyone meet. There I learned they weren't planning to be at the event until 1:00.

Roger Hecht joined me and we went back to picket and informed the in-and-out participants a tad more on our anti-frost fan position. Roger had some leaflets that I think either John Lewallen or Linda McClure had printed up. Around 1:00 Linda showed up with another batch of leaflets. At about 1:15 Wendy, Robby Lane and a truck with speakers pulled in and parked right beside the entrance to Goldeneye. After ten minutes or so it started blasting a loud recording of the frost fans. A young kid whom I don't know was at the controls. At 50 feet away the noise was quite loud, close to what Robby and Roger said they experienced inside their homes up on Clow Ridge but it was noted by someone that the sound wasn't audible at the event inside the gate. Wendy had talked about a 5 or 10 minute hit-and-run though it seemed to me the thing ran for close to half an hour. I don't think anybody told them to stop or seemed disturbed in any way. When the noise was over I was exhausted, my legs and ears ached and I left — that was somewhere around 2:00.

Mostly the event goers were friendly toward me, there were some thumbs up and a few even stopped to chat, yet a couple of my wine involved friends completely snubbed me while others painfully smiled when they said hello. My daughter, Saffron, stopped on her way in to give me a big kiss that made me feel really good. She's got class. Personally I'm glad that they all saw we're going to stay on their case. One local gal did have a hard time with my presence and came by two or three times to emphatically tell me I was an ‘idiot.’ On a last pass by with a couple of friends (I believe it was specifically to tell me what we had already heard, that the sound wasn't reaching inside) she again said, ‘You know you're really, really dumb.’ I nodded and replied, ‘Yea, I know, I'm a dumb idiot.’ ‘No!’ one of her friends said, ‘You're a dumb fucking idiot!!’ I laughed, they scowled.

My summation would be that nobody's experience at the Pinot Fest was dampened by our actions, even the gal who took so much issue with my intelligence. She should and probably does take pride in having the moxie to tell me off. In my opinion the most out of hand was the big bellied security guard. We protesters do realize that some of the vineyard managers have taken notice of our plight and are working to make changes toward quieter frost protection methods. But vineyard owners and managers not only are of differing minds they change and the issue really needs to be dealt with on the County regulatory level.

There is in existence a Mendocino County sound level ordinance based on World Health Organization standards. It seems a no-brainer that it should be followed and enforced. The Board of Supervisors needs to recognize that all citizens require equal dignity and treatment under the law. It is past time for Dan Hamburg our do-nothing 5th District Supervisor to stop pandering to wealthy, mostly absentee, wine grape growers by going on the radio and other venues with statements of the nature that it is ‘unproductive’ for us to voice our frustrations. As one tearful victim of repeated nighttime noise assaults stated, ‘Like fresh air and clean water, a good night's sleep should be a basic human right’.

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ON TUESDAY, May 19th the Mendo Supervisors plan to declare May 24 "Judi Bari Day." The Supes should have declared it "Find The Bomber Day." With her ex-husband still a senior County employee, maybe Mike Sweeney will say a few words under the general heading: Love Hurts.

SOMEWHERE the old girl is laughing that she, once Public Enemy Number One on the Northcoast, and passionately despised by the Supervisors of that time, now gets a proclamation honoring her. Last week, the Supes honored Mike Thompson for his “service.” Service to what? The wine industry?

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 18, 2015

Bailey, Bennett, Biord, Elliott
Bailey, Bennett, Biord, Elliott

DENNIS BAILEY, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

KENNETH BENNETT, Ukiah. Vandalism, probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER BIORD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, refusing to leave, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

WILLIAM ELLIOTT, Redwood Valley. Petty theft, probation revocation.

Esquivel, Holohan, Perez, Wilburn
Esquivel, Holohan, Perez, Wilburn

EDWARD ESQUIVEL JR., Willits. DUI-Drugs, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia.

JASON HOLOHAN, Willits. DUI.

DANIEL PEREZ, Calpella. Probation revocation.

ANTHONY WILBURN, Covelo. Drunk in public, violation of county parole, probation revocation.

Wright, Wyatt, Zaccaria
Wright, Wyatt, Zaccaria

MICHAEL WRIGHT, Denver/Willits. Drunk in public.

GARY WYATT, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.

DIANE ZACCARIA, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

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SUSAN RUSH WRITES:

I wanted to just relate to you the reason I believe this latest action by the Point Arena School Board deserves a criminal penalty. The board's failure to do the following: Allow the public to see the hand out and they presented this page by page to the board which they approved but numerous times in their answers they stated “The Board's response to this paragraph is included in the ‘Findings’ section.” However, they approve it without even looking at the so called “Findings” section. Do you see what the public has to deal with??!!!

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On April 29th, the Point Arena School Board addressed the Grand Jury Report for the first time under Section 7. Discussion with Action 7:3 stated: Discussion with "possible" action appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to draft a response to the Grand Jury Report. Was an Ad Hoc Committee appointed and voted on by Board members at that time? NO, it was not. President Miles informed the Board he would form and chair an Ad Hoc Committee to work on the response. He stated, HE "will select two other board members; preferably those who have not been given the opportunity to give extra time to be on the Ad Hoc Committee". In order for Miles and/or Cross to decide this on their on they would need to have serial meetings with a particular Board member which is regarded as a serial meeting and ,of course, a violation of Brown Act Law - 54952.2. It was wrong to take this step and not do it in an open session of the Board Meeting when it was already agendized. Also, it ended up the Ad Hoc Committee consisted of Cross, Miles, the district's attorney and another Board member - not two!

On the May 13th, the Point Arena Board Meeting Agenda under 8.4 stated: Discussion with possible action consideration to approve the Board response to the Grand Jury Report (the Grand Jury Report is included in the Board packet and, the draft Board response will be distributed at the meeting as a hand out).

A Board draft response to the Grand Jury falls under Brown Act Law 54954.2 which means the board should have had this 72 hours prior the Board Meeting and would also mean this information should be available to the public the same time.. A "handout" does not have to be made public 72 hours prior to the meeting and can be presented at the Board Meeting under 54957.5. However, again, I do not believe that a Board draft response to the Grand Jury in which the board will "possibly taking action" qualifies this to fall under 54957.5. Board members had not even seen the "draft" prior to the meeting. This is a complete violation and never should have been agendized this way.

It is really hilarious because is part of their response to the Grand Jury under "District School Board violated the Brown Act on numerous occasions, in various ways, and in the presence of the Grand Jury." Response by the Board, "The board has acknowledged and addressed Brown Act issues and did so well before this report was published"! This is a joke — they just broke the law more than once within two weeks of receiving the Grand Jury Report on their Brown Act violations!

The so-called hand out was not given to the public at the beginning of the meeting to have had the opportunity to read and make comment. It was passed out page by page by page as it was read to the Board to approve the draft and/or disapprove page by page by page. The public could not even make a comment on their actions. When a parent wanted to comment on the student cheating complaint made by the Grand Jury. She had to meet with a Board member following the meeting but what good is that when the Board already approved their response and would not change it!

The "Responses" to the Grand Jury were to come from: The Superintendent, Point Arena Schools. Yet, it is a committee including Superintendent Cross and their attorney sending this response. Also, a response from the Point Arena District School Board under this requirement — "…comment or response of the governing body must be conducted subject to NOTICE, AGENDA and OPEN MEETING (caps mine) requirements of the Brown Act. Under Penal Code 933.05 this requirement was not followed due to the Board not adhering to Brown Act 54954.2.

Finally, because of all of the above violations and how the Board held this meeting I would charge this Board with violation of Brown Act Law 54959: Violation of Act; Criminal Penalty which states the following: “Each member of the legislative body who attends a meeting of that legislative body where action is taken in violation of any provision of this chapter, and where the member intends to deprive the public of information to which the member knows or has reason to know the public is entitled under this chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” The public was denied the information of this hand out until it was far to late for them to do anything about it.

If this Board had any type of integrity they all should resign immediately. However, I can tell the readers right now they won't. I believe Warren Galletti, the new Superintendent of Mendocino County Office of Education, should ask for their resignations! He worked under this Board and I am sure will have a different slant on what the Board reported out to the Grand Jury or, at least, he should have a different take on it.

Respectfully,

Suzanne L. Rush

Manchester

Addendum: There was one board member who voted "no" on almost all the pages of this draft

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NAVARRO STATE BEACH CLOSED TO VEHICLES FOR THREE WEEKS

The only way to enjoy the benefits of iconic Navarro State Beach is to wade to the mouth or kayak it - vehicle access has been closed going on three weeks due to the sandbar refusing to breach. An energetic crew with a few shovels might be able to do something though — they used to breach it manually in the old days.

Sandbar

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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SEX ED, A READER COMMENTS: "Looking back at my high school years in the mid 90s in a small central California farm town I'm surprised by the depth of sex education that I received — std's, contraceptives, even the morning after pill (ru-486), which I believe was relatively new at the time. I can even remember a condom demonstration on a banana from a nurse who came into my medical ROP class. Of course, she also told us boys that our genitalia were loaded and dangerous weapons. I remember feeling a sense of caution but not fear which I think is what most sex education programs should be going for. Of course we learned that abstinence was the safest method and that contraceptives were not 100% effective, but I don't recall being lambasted with the former as the only way and the latter as a crap shoot at best like some of these programs seem to do. A good education--regardless of subject--presents all the information in an unbiased fashion. One wouldn't conduct a driver's ed class by saying the only way to avoid accidents is to never drive and leave it at that."

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AS A CHILD of the chaste but churning 1950s, sex ed consisted entirely of an illustrated biology lecture all about zygotes journeying up the fallopian river to meet random spermatazoa (depicted as pollywogs) to somehow create a new consumer. This, anyway, is my memory of the sex ed part of my high school biology class. A few months later, in Marine Corps boot camp, we were shown a film of two implausibly attractive women pulling up alongside a couple of Marines to invite them to go for a ride. A ride? I'm sure our virginal platoon laughed and exchanged knowing looks. The film's very next scene showed an African whose testicles are so swollen he's pushing them along a dusty lane in a wheelbarrow. That, gyrenes, is what can happen if a couple of babes take you for a ride! I'm sure, however, that we mostly agreed that a ride with the two women in the convertible would have been worth the risk. These days, of course, by the time a kid is thirteen he's seen every possible sexual connection and probably participated in half of them, and who's to say which generation is the more psycho-sexually screwed-up?

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TRISH BEVERLEY LOOKS BACK at life on Pomo Tierra, Yorkville:

April 1, 1971 April Fool’s! We bought Archie Schoenahl’s birthplace, signed the deal 4/1/71. He and Myrtis didn’t need to harvest these apples now, with the holdings in Boonville keeping them busy. 80 acres, 20 in apples (fenced, established, no irrigation needed). Old apple dryer, ranch buildings, gravity flow water (on Johnson’s uphill sheep ranch). Heavenly hills. What a place - Panoramic view of Dry Creek as it turns south to join the Russian River in Healdsburg, surging brown and noisy, bank-to-bank on its way. (No Lake Sonoma then). Bottom of Haehl’s grade marked turning point, right after Johnson’s productive Creekside orchard (no feral pigs, yet).

Drop out: they’ll never notice us. We’re free of: noise, pollution, landlords, Viet Nam War, failed revolutions, decaying burning cities. BACK TO THE LAND! (Never been there. How is this “Back”?)

Grace and Perry Schwartz on Mt. House Rd., rutted w/logging trucks hauling ass down the old Stagecoach road to Hwy 101 at Hopland. Grace always had a wave and a smile as I learned to drive in a little orange VW bug. Sheila taught me, as we searched for work in Ukiah. She lands a good one - full-time teacher in Ukiah. Being bi-lingual (we’d learned Spanish in Peace Corps training together) comes in handy around here. Soon I was commuting to part-time, minimum wage jobs at North State Nursery, nursing homes where a strong young back was all one needed, checking out Montgomery Wards, where home furnishings we couldn’t make were available and cheap. Watched Feliz Creek rise with the weather each winter, racing to the turbulent Russian River at Hopland.

First harvest a success — wooden bins, Jimmy (Archie’s son) shows us how to load bins, hauls the crop to market for us. Chuckling, he watches us scramble.

So, housing for the 12 of us is needed. I’ll make a Tepee for my love. He buys the canvas, strips the poles, I sew it on a sturdy old Singer. Takes awhile, but it’s raining hard, we can’t work outside. Raining so hard at night, we awaken when it stops — “What’s THAT?” - silence. I can hear the train whistle in Hopland as it heads for Masonite in Ukiah.

Where shall we park the tepee? How about the Upper Meadow, overlooking Dry Creek? So wild, so natural. Its roar is muffled from the meadow site by our own little creek, rushing to join the race to rivermouth at Jenner. Helps to keep the mouth open on the slash/driftwood-covered beach down there.

Never occurred to us that the great view (water is life…go with the flow) meant we were visible! Anyone driving from A.V. to Cloverdale could see us! What an introduction to our new neighbors in A.V.

Good thing folks around Boonville were open to new things. Sort of.

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY: For us Europeans one of the most astonishing things about Yank USA is its inability to do simple necessary things such as railways, public transport, or national health insurance … without turning it into an inhuman disaster. For much of Europe, public transport & railways are a great and inexpensive pleasure, while motorcars are mere toys here. We wisely made petrol much more expensive, we kept our cities liveable, & we have low-price monthly & yearly passes in cities that let us ride all public transport for free as much as we want. The USA is uniquely awful in these respects … was it all perhaps a kind of lab experiment to see how far the US empire oligarchs could debase the living conditions of their own people?

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JAMES MARMON COMMENTS:

I think that the article the Ukiah Daily Journal posted on May 7, 2015, regarding the County’s response to the ACLU is a bunch of bull. At the bottom of the website listed below are copies of the ACLU’s letters to the eight counties in alleged violation of the 14th Amendment (Equal Protection). If you read the letter to Judge Nelson and access the court’s website it is clear why they appear to be in violation of due process rights. If nothing else the website is misleading, not only to the ACLU but to citizens as well. The court needs to clean it up.

https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/aclu-warns-california-county-traffic-courts-against-charging-court-dates

From Mendocino County Superior Court Website...

“Requesting a Trial in Person or by Mail”

“You may schedule a future court trial on an infraction by mail or by appearing in person, at the Clerk's office by your due date. Bail is required for court trials.”

“To request your court trial in person, you must bring in your courtesy notice or information containing your Case Number or Docket Number and any DMV correspondence, along with the bail amount listed on your courtesy notice.”

“To request your court trial by mail, fill out and mail form MTR-140 'Local Form - Advisement of Rights and Plea of Not Guilty' along with the bail amount listed on your courtesy notice.”

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irony

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A NORTHCOAST CHILDHOOD

Dear AVA,

This story is called Flowers Grow From Shit. It's my life story — how I came from the darkness of hell and still became a compassionate human being from the beginning as I remember it until the present day.

My first memory was living in a two-story house in Humboldt County in a town called Hydesville. I remember hearing the smacking sounds of my father hitting my mother and screaming at her as I hid behind the curtains of the living room window. I prayed to my grandma because I had no concept of God. When she was around my father did not hurt me or my mother. I was 2, almost 3 years old. I remember having childhood post traumatic stress disorder. I lay in my bedroom on my bed with my eyes open and hallucinated very vividly. I could hear and see my hallucinations. Although I knew I was just lying on my bed, I saw myself in a large semi-dark room with big blue square tiles on the floor. There were also large potted plants in the corners. In this hallucination, my dad was chasing me in circles trying to hurt or kill me. There were no doors, nowhere to go! His screams filled my head and pierced my ears as if they were really happening. The whole while I was actually lying in my bed on my side with my eyes wide open forming tears. After me and my mom, dad and little brother moved from Hydesville, we moved to my grandma's house in Rio Del. (I didn't mention my brother in Hydesville because somehow I don't remember him, but I know he was around.)

So at my grandma's life was a little better. I used to beg my mom to stop drinking because I would see her fall and hurt herself a lot, and my dad would hit her more when she drank. Then my parents got an apartment in Fortuna, behind Safeway. I remember that was when my sister Darci was born. My dad continued to hurt his family to the point to where my mom left and ended up with a boyfriend. My dad somehow convinced her to get back with him. We then moved to Rio Dell. This time we lived on Elko Street with my grandpa who is no longer with us, and my grandma who is also gone (both on my mom's side — the first grandma I mentioned was my dad's mom). This is when my baby sister Staci was born. After a while we moved to #4 Paint Street in Rio Dell where my parents rented a two bedroom house with four kids, me being the oldest. We had a large backyard and access to an even larger fruit orchard next door. The four of us kids slept on two bunk beds in one room and my parents had their own room. There were pros and cons at this point, although the worst times as well as the best were here in this house. Christmas for my family was usually the good time of the year. My parents bought all of us usually what we wanted and my grandma (my dad's mom) outdid herself for us four kids every year. Literally by Christmas morning we could barely see the tip of the Christmas tree through the immense pile of presents. When I got to the third grade, one day after school two Child Protective Services people came and took me and all three of my siblings to foster care following an incident where my dad was coming down off drugs and threw a stick and hit my sister Darci in the head with it. It busted open her forehand and she was bleeding. I remember it well. CPS put me, my brother Justin, and Darci in a group home in Eureka and my baby sister went to a separate home by herself. Being the oldest kid, I asked the CPS lady if I could go be with my little sister. They said yes. Staci was living at a woman's house by the name of Denise Moore. When I got there Staci was a wreck. She cried every day, all day, which made me cry a lot. She missed her mom. So did I. Denise hated this. One day she wanted me to wear a sweater that I didn't like, so I declined. She then decided to turn me over to her sister Cindy Moore who was also a foster parent. Cindy Moore was huge and obese. She had other foster children as well who served as her slaves. Every four or five days she would feed me one slice of bread with peanut butter on it. I slept on a bed that my feet would hang off of because I was too big for it. I had only my jeans-jacket, no blanket, no pillow. From the time I woke up to the time I went to bed I had to sit with my nose pressed against the wall in Cindy Moore's room as I starved. One day when she was sleeping I tried to burn her house down. She threatened to kill me, but ended up calling CPS and I ended up at my Aunt Jenny's house which was a huge relief.

Soon after that my dad and mom got back together and we all as a family lived at the house on Painter Street again. My dad quit drugs but was still abusive. When my mom was at work he would beat us. He would sleep for a good portion of the day and when he woke up he would notice that there was food missing from the fridge like cheese and lunchmeat. Then he would flip out. He sent all four of us to our beds. Then he would beat us with a hard rubber thing from our lower back to our butts and down our legs leaving long blue and purple stripes that would raise up welts a half-inch to an inch off the skin and even bleed at times. He did this every hour on the hour until one of us admitted taking the food. Being the oldest and hating to see my younger siblings get hurt so badly I almost always took the blame. Then my dad would stop hurting them and take me to his garage where he lacerated me over and over with whatever he could find. I would jump and scream as he would occasionally get the backs of my hands which were trying to block the blows. All of this would happen only when my mom was not around. When I told my mom, she would drill him. So he would beat me for telling her. Soon I was too scared to tell her. So she thought he had stopped for a while even though he still hurt her. I saw him grab her by her hair, pull her from her seat at the kitchen table, drag her to the living room and slam her head against the wall. My brother would laugh about it so I would beat him for laughing. My brother would beat on my sisters when we were kids and I would protect them and beat on him for it. So it was violence and chaos for most of my life.

What happened next made things even worse. My next-door neighbors had a cat that had a litter of kittens. I was over at their house alone with the cats and out of the blue I started smothering them one by one until they were all dead. I remember feeling power, control, adrenaline, a rush that was unexplainable. All the hate and anger in my young soul was unleashed. Then there were dead bodies. I felt horrible and sad and I knew what I did was wrong. But I did it again and again and again. I eventually stopped purposely killing and would just beat and hit small animals over and over. I felt no love in my life and this was the direct result, to hurt innocent beings. I became addicted to abusing animals. I did it for years. In the moment it felt good, better than any feeling I had ever had. But nine times out of ten the animal would die from my abuse although I didn't mean for it to die. When faced with a dead body I felt like the world's biggest piece of crap. This made me feel suicidal. I felt bad for the animals I was abusing and I felt that if I killed myself it would save them. I was a monster.

It tore at my soul for so long I felt like I could not stop. So the only choice for me was to kill myself. The last time I did this I set the animal free. I told him I was sorry and then set it free. I never did it again. I thought to myself, How could I have been so wicked and evil? Like my father! I knew what beatings were like. How could I do this to another innocent being? That question traumatized me for years. I hated myself. How could I forgive myself? I did not deserve forgiveness. Is there no God? Why did not God stop me from hurting the innocent? Why did God not stop my father from hurting me? The darkness surrounded my life since as far back as I can remember. Yes my life is not all bad, but the bad things that happened traumatized me and scarred my mind and heart.

Today I have as an adult learned to forgive myself and move on. Although I do not believe in religion, I have a fundamental spiritual understanding between the forces of light and darkness! And love and hate. Flowers grow from shit. I came from hell! But through these dark experiences I was able to find the light. From hate I found my inner love, and unconditional love for all of life on the planet, from humans to insects, down to plants. We are all alive. We are all love and compassion! The bad experiences in our lives were meant as lessons from which we are to learn to grow and to become knowledgeable of love and compassion. To learn what not to do is just as important as learning what to do! Darkness exists for a reason. There is a lesson to be learned! There must be contrast to the light. Hate teaches us how and why we should love and of its importance. Acknowledge hate for what it is, use it for what it's worth, then move on to the light. It is a stepping stone only! A stepping stone to love, compassion and wholeness. Don't let it perpetuate in your life, let it transcend your life into a life of light, love and understanding. I hope and pray this for all of you out there suffering from your past darkness. Energy follows attention! Attend your energy to life, to positivity, to love. We are magnets; if we feel and think positive and love and light then positive love and light energy shall follow us. The same with hate and dark. If we constantly focus on hate, despair, sadness, fear and regret, then those energies will also be pullled to us as we are energy magnets. Focus on life, learn from darkness!

I love all of you and I hope this message gets to those who need it most.

Yours Truly,

Michael Jay Overholt

Ukiah

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CONSCIENCE

by Ana Maria Matute (translated by Louis Bedrock)

Translator’s note: Ana María Matute was born on 26 July 1925. At the age of four she almost died from a chronic kidney infection, and was taken to live with her grandparents in Mansilla de la Sierra, a small town in the mountains, for a period of recovery. Matute says that she was profoundly influenced by the villagers whom she met during her time there. This influence can be seen in such works as those published in the 1961 anthology Historias de la Artámila (Stories from the Artámila, all of which deal with the people that Matute met during her recovery). Settings reminiscent of that town are also often used as settings for her other work. On 25 June 2014, Matute died of a heart attack at the age of 88. (Excerpted from Wikipedia article)

“Conscience” is from Stories of the Artámila. As in many of the stories from this collection, “el campo” — the countryside, is more than just a setting: it’s almost like another character. It is not idyllic: it is harsh, without compassion, unforgiving.

Conscience has been a theme in other stories by writers as diverse as Chekhov, Conrad, de Maupassant, and Marquez. “Conscience” recalled many other short stories, but it is different; unique. — Louis Bedrock

* * *

She couldn’t take it anymore. She was convinced that she could no longer endure the presence of that hateful vagabond. Her mind was made up to end it, to end it once and for all, no matter what the consequences, rather than endure his tyranny.

For fifteen days she was involved in that struggle. What she did not understand was Antonio’s tolerance for that man. No, it was truly strange.

The vagabond asked for hospitality for one night: the evening of Ash Wednesday, to be exact, when the wind was pounding, bearing a swirling blackish dust that whipped the window panes with an arid grinding sound. Later, the wind stopped. Strange calm fell upon the earth and she thought while she closed and adjusted the shutters:

—I don’t like this calm.

Indeed, she had not yet bolted the door when that man had arrived. She heard him call in the back, at the small door in the kitchen.

—Innkeeper!

Mariana was startled. The man, old and ragged, was there with his hat in his hand, in the posture of begging.

—May God protect you… —she began to say. But the beady eyes of the vagabond were looking at her in strange manner: A manner that stopped her from speaking.

Many men like him had asked for the favor of a roof over their head during winter nights. But there was something about this man that frightened her for no apparent reason.

The vagabond began to recite his story: For one night might he be permitted to sleep in the stable; a piece of bread and the stable--he was not asking for anything more. A storm was approaching.

And in effect, at that moment, Mariana heard the rain beating against the wood of the door. A silent rain, a thick rain, which heralded the approaching storm.

—I’m by myself —said Mariana drily—.

I mean…when my husband’s on the road I don’t want strangers in the house. Go, and my God protect you.

But the vagabond remained calm, looking at her. Slowly he put on his hat and he said:

—I’m a poor old man, innkeeper. I’ve never hurt anyone. I’m asking for very little: a piece of bread…

At that moment, the two maids, Marcelina and Salomé, came running in. They were coming from the orchard, with their aprons over their heads, shouting and laughing. Mariana felt a strange relief when she saw them.

—OK —she said. Very well… But just for this night. When I wake up tomorrow, I don’t want to find you here.

The old man bowed with a smile and recited a strange hymn of gratitude.

Mariana went upstairs and went to bed. During the night the wind whipped the windows of her bedroom and she slept badly.

* * *

The following morning, when she went downstairs to the kitchen, the clock on the bureau showed it was eight o’clock. She had hardly gone in the kitchen when she became surprised and angry. Seated at the table, relaxed and calm, the vagabond was enjoying an opulent breakfast: fried eggs, a large piece of fresh bread, wine…Mariana felt a backlash of anger, perhaps mixed with a touch of fear, and she confronted Salome who was laboring at the hearth:

—¡Salome! —she said, and her voice sounded harsh and angry— ¿Who ordered you to serve this man…and why didn’t he leave when the sun came up?

Her words were cut off, were confused because of the rage that was overwhelming her. Salome was left with her mouth wide open and the skimming ladle in her hand dripping on the floor.

—But I…she said—. He told me…

The vagabond had stood up and was slowly wiping his mouth with his sleeve.

—Madam —he said—, Madam, you don’t remember… you said last night: “Give the poor old man a bed in the attic, and give him whatever he asks for to eat.” Didn’t you say that last night Madam Innkeeper? I heard you clearly… Or do you now regret having said it?

Mariana tried to say something, but her voice suddenly froze. The old man was watching her intensely, with his dark, penetrating little eyes. She turned around and in a state of agitation went out through the kitchen door and headed toward the orchard.

* * *

At daybreak it was cloudy but the rain had stopped. Mariana shivered from the cold. The grass was soaking wet, and in the distance the highway dissolved in a subtle mist. She heard the voice of the old man behind her and involuntarily clutched her hands together.

—I need to talk to you about something, Madam Innkeeper… something without importance. —Mariana remained immobile staring toward the highway—. I’m an old vagabond… but at times old vagabonds notice things. Yes, I was there. I saw it, Madam Innkeeper. I saw it with my own eyes.

Mariana opened her mouth, but at first she couldn’t say anything.

—What are you talking about, you swine? —she said—. I warn you that my husband is coming with his cart at ten o’clock and he doesn’t brook any nonsense from anyone!

—I understand that, that he brooks no nonsense from anyone—said the vagabond—. For that reason I don’t want him to know anything…anything about what I saw that day. Isn’t that right?

Mariana turned around rapidly. Her rage had vanished. Her heart was pounding. She was confused. “What is he saying? What does he know…? What did he see?” But her tongue was tied. She just looked at him, filled with hatred and fear. The old man was smiling at her with his filthy bare gums.

—I will stay here a while, my good innkeeper: yes, for a while to regain my strength, until the sun returns. Because I’m old and my legs are very tired. Very tired…

Mariana ran. A light wind brushed her face. She stopped when she reached the edge of the well. Her heart felt like it was jumping out of her chest.

That was the first day. Later, Anthony arrived with his cart. Anthony brought merchandise from Palomar every week. In addition to the inns, they owned the only store in the village. Their house, wide and high, surrounded by the orchard, was located at the entrance of the village. They lived in comfort, and in the village Anthony had the reputation of a rich man. “The reputation of a rich man”, thought Mariana irritably. Since the arrival of that hateful vagabond, she was pale and apathetic.

“And if he weren’t rich, would I have married him?” No. It was difficult to imagine why she would have married that brutal man who was fourteen years older than her: A sullen, frightening man. A loner. She was beautiful. Indeed, everyone in the village knew it and said she was beautiful. Constantine also said so, and was in love with her. But Constantine was a simple sharecropper as she had been. And she was sick of being hungry, of the chores, of the misfortunes. Sick of it all. So she married Antonio.

Mariana felt a strange trembling. It had been about 15 days since the old man entered the inn. He slept, ate, and brazenly picked lice from his body in the sun, in the moments when it was shining, next to the gate of the orchard. The first day back Antonio asked

—And that? What’s going on there?

—I felt sorry for him —she said gripping the fringes of her shawl with her fingers—. He’s so old… and the weather was so bad…

* * *

Antonio didn’t say anything. It appeared to her that he was headed toward the old man to throw him out of there. And she ran upstairs. She was frightened. Indeed, she was very frightened. “If the old man had seen Constantine climb up the Chestnut tree below the window. If he saw him leap into the bedroom, the nights Antonio was with the cart on the road…” What else but that could he be referring to with that business of I saw everything, yes, I saw it with my own eyes?

She couldn’t stand it anymore. No, she could no longer bear it. The old man not only lived in the house, but now he was asking for money. He had begun, in addition to everything else, to request money. And the strange thing was that Antony no longer mentioned him. He merely ignored him. It was just that, from time to time, he stared at Mariana. Mariana felt the glare of his large, black, shining eyes, and she trembled.

That afternoon Antonio left for Palomar. He had just finished yoking the mules to the cart and she heard the voices of the houseboy and of Salome who were helping him. Mariana felt cold. “I can’t stand this anymore. This is enough already. It’s impossible to live like this. I will tell him to leave, to go away. My life not a life with this threat hanging over me.”

She felt sick--sick with fear. The business with Constantine had been curtailed because of her fear. She could no longer see him. The mere idea made her teeth chatter. She knew that Antonio would kill her. She was sure he would kill her. She knew him well.

When she saw the cart disappearing in the distance on the highway, she went down to the kitchen. The old man was snoozing by the fire. She gazed at him and she said to herself, “If you had any courage, you would kill him.”

Right there were the iron tongs, within her reach. But she wouldn’t do it. “I’m a coward. I’m a big coward and I love life.” This would cause it to be lost. “This love of life…”

—Old man —she exclaimed. Although she spoke calmly, the vagabond opened one of his small malicious eyes. “He’s not sleeping.” Mariana told herself. “He’s not sleeping. He’s an old fox.”

—Come with me. I have to talk to you.

The old man followed her to the well. You can do what you want, you dog. You can tell my husband everything if you wish. But get out of here. Get out of the house immediately.

The old man was quiet for a few seconds. Then, he smiled.

—When does Master Innkeeper come back?

Mariana was pale. The old man observed her lovely face, her and the bags under her eyes. She had lost weight.

—Get out, —said Mariana—. Get out now.

She had made up her mind. Yes, the vagabond could read this in her eyes. She had made up her mind and she was desperate. He had experience and he recognized these eyes.

“Well there’s nothing more to be done,” he told himself philosophically. The good times are over. The hearty meals are over, the mattress, the coat. Onward, old dog, onward. Time to move on.”

—Very well —he said—. I will go. But he will find out about everything…

Mariana remained silent. Perhaps she was even more pale than before. Suddenly, the old man shivered slightly. “This woman is capable of doing something drastic. Yes; she’s one of those people who could hang herself from a tree or do something like that. He felt pity for her. She was still young and beautiful.

—Very well —he said—. Madam Innkeeper has won. I’m leaving…what else can we do? The truth is that I never entertained too much hope…Obviously I’ve enjoyed myself here. I will not forget the stews Salome cooked or the wine of Master Innkeeper. I won’t forget. I’m leaving.

—Immediately —said Mariana quickly—. Right this minute, get out… And you can run if you wish to catch up with him. You can run with your filthy stories you old dog.

The vagabond smiled pleasantly. He gathered up his crook and his bag. He was about to leave; but he paused by the fence, and turned around.

—Of course, Madam Innkeeper, I didn’t see anything. I don’t even know if there had been anything to see. But I’ve been on the road for many years, so many years! There’s no one in the world with a clean conscience, not even children. No, not even children, Madam Innkeeper. Look a child in the eyes and tell him: “I know everything! Be careful! And the child will tremble. He will tremble like you, my lovely Innkeeper."

Mariana felt something strange like a crunch in her heart. She didn’t know if she were bitter or full of an exuberant joy. She didn’t know. She moved her lips and tried to say something. But the vagabond closed the gate behind him and turned around to look at her. His laughter was sinister.

* * *

—Some advice, Innkeeper: keep an eye on your Antonio. Yes, Master Innkeeper also has reasons to tolerate the leisure of old beggars in his house. Excellent reasons, I would swear to it, considering the way he looked at me!

The fog over the road had thickened, had descended. Mariana watched him go until he was lost in the distance.

* * *

DUI CHECK POINT

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will conduct a sobriety checkpoint on May 22, 2015, in the Ukiah Area of Mendocino County. Sobriety checkpoints will be staffed by California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers, who are trained in the detection of alcohol and or drug impaired drivers. CHP Drug Recognition Experts, certified by the National Highway Traffic Administration, will be on-site to provide on the spot assessment of drivers suspected of drug use. “Every year, members of our community are needlessly maimed and killed on our roads. Our goal is to ensure the safe passage of each and every motorist by targeting roads where there is a high frequency of drunk driving. A sobriety checkpoint is an effective tool for achieving this goal and is designed to augment existing patrol operations. By publicizing our efforts, we believe that we can deter motorists from drinking and driving.” said Captain Nellis. Nellis emphasized, “Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked and drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and or drugs will be arrested. Our top priority is to promote traffic safety and educate the motorist of the dangers of driving under the influence.” Funding for this project was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Any question please contact Public Information Officer Kylar Adams at (707) 467-4040.

* * *

FORT BRAGG LIBRARY EVENTS

Drop-In Knitting Club, Monday Evenings, 5:00 to 7:00 PM

Whether you're new to knitting or an old pro, our drop-in knitting club is for you. Bring your current project and share the beauty of this much loved craft. For more information call the library @ 964-2020.

Local Quilt Display, June 1st through June 30th

Throughout the month of June, in partnership with Soroptimist International of Noyo Sunrise and the 19th Annual Fort Bragg Quilt Show ( 6/27 & 28), Fort Bragg Library will be displaying quilts made by local artists. Join us at the library, June 1 – 30, to see these beautiful creations. For more information about Soroptimist International of Noyo Sunrise: http://www.si-noyosunrise.org/. For more information about the 19th Annual Fort Bragg Quilt Show: http://www.oceanwavequilters.com/QuiltShow2015.html

Club de la Lengua — Fort Bragg Library Community Room on May 27, 2015 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm**

Presented by the Fort Bragg Library and the Coastal Adult School. Meet new friends, Practice your Spanish and help others learn English. For more information: Call the Library @ 964-2020 or Coastal Adult School @ 961-3615. Bilingual story and craft provided for children under 12 in the children’s room by First 5 Mendocino. For more information: email Tanya at norcoast@mendochildren.org. Snack provided by Friends of the Fort Bragg Library. (Always the last Wednesday of the month.)

* * *

TOMMY CASTRO AND THE PAINKILLERS

"Irresistible contemporary blues-rock-street-level grit and soul" —Billboard

"Phenomenal and funky...soulful vocals and inspired blues-rock guitar" —Washington Post

"Tommy Castro And The Painkillers are a crackling, stripped-down band with plenty of grit and a rocking soul" —Jambands.com

Tommy Castro And The Painkillers, touring in support of their latest Alligator Records album, The Devil You Know, will give a free performance as part of the Sundays in the Park Concert Series at Todd Grove Park in Ukiah on Sunday, June 14, 2015. Award-winning guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Castro is famed for his signature brand of tough, rocking rhythm and blues, thrilling fans around the world with his incendiary live performances. With his eyes and ears firmly on the future, Castro, along with The Painkillers — original Tommy Castro Band bassist Randy McDonald, Bowen Brown on drums and James Pace on keyboards — has stripped his music down to its raw essence as he rockets into the next phase of his storied career. Castro And The Painkillers received a 2014 Blues Blast Music Award for Rock Blues Album Of The Year (for The Devil You Know). Concert information is as follows:

Date: Sunday, June 14, 2015 Event: Sundays in the Park Concert Series Venue: Todd Grove Park Address: 600 Live Oak Avenue City: Ukiah, CA Phone: 707-463-6231 Showtime: 6:00pm Ticket price: Free admission Website: www.cityofukiah.com

Here's video of Tommy Castro talking about making the new album: "The Devil You Know" www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUxNr-ujv0w "I'm Tired" www.youtube.com/watch?v=akjUT5ZGAx8 "She Wanted To Give It To Me" www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbkoQ-MotgA "Two Steps Forward" www.youtube.com/watch?v=65kT8B6X1J0

Music video for Tommy Castro And The Painkillers' single Greedy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoTBze2uIVE

The Devil You Know, recorded in the Bay Area with his fiery new band The Painkillers, and produced by Castro and Bonnie Hayes, is a contemporary blues tour-de-force. The album is an untamed, high-energy set of 13 songs, including nine written or co-written by Castro. "For the new album I challenged myself to add different sounds and new rhythms to my style while remaining true to my roots. I wrote using ideas for songs and ideas for sounds together in a way I'd never done before," explains Castro, "using drum rhythms to drive the lyrics." The tracks — melodic and biting, energetic and fun — are brought to life with sonic authority by McDonald, Pace and original Painkillers drummer Byron Cage.

In addition, many of Castro's friends and admirers, including Alligator label-mates Marcia Ball and The Holmes Brothers, add their talents to the proceedings. Other guests include guitarists Joe Bonamassa and Mark Karan, guitarist/vocalist Tab Benoit, vocalists Samantha Fish and Tasha Taylor, and harmonica player Magic Dick. Each song comes loaded with emotional depth and muscular hooks courtesy of Castro's soulful singing, insightful lyrics, and dynamic, potent guitar playing. With The Devil You Know, Castro — The Painkillers blazing behind him — unleashes an instant classic. According to Blurt, "Castro is one of the greatest blues guitarists, songwriters and entertainers in the world today."

After years of playing guitar-driven blues and R&B backed by a tight horn section, Castro introduced The Painkillers live in 2012, creating a lean, mean four-piece lineup, with the drum chair now held by David Tucker. Fueled by Tommy's voice and guitar plus bass, drums and keyboards, the band released the 45rpm single Greedy / That's All I Got later that year (both songs are included as bonus tracks on the new CD). Greedy quickly became one of Castro's most-requested songs. An attention-grabbing video for Greedy has already received over 150,000 views on YouTube. The Chicago Sun-Times calls his music "fiery and soul-drenched."

Castro views the harder-edged sound of The Painkillers as a natural extension of the music he's been making since he was a teenager. "The Painkillers really get me back to my roots. It feels to me a lot more like it did when I first started playing with my friends as a kid. Bands were always just three or four guys playing for the fun of it," Castro recalls. Now, Tommy Castro And The Painkillers are pushing the music to another level.

Tommy Castro And The Painkillers are anxious to bring The Devil You Know to life on stage night after night, personally connecting with their fans all over the world. "A lot of folks are having hard times these days," Castro says, "and they need something to lift them up and make them smile. Our music kills the pain."

9 Comments

  1. Harvey Reading May 19, 2015

    “These days, of course, by the time a kid is thirteen he’s seen every possible sexual connection and probably participated in half of them …”

    More wishful thinking about the good ol’ days … that never existed. Christ, by the time I graduated high school, in ’68, in a school of about 600 students, we’d had three post-pregnancy weddings (one got knocked up in 8th grade), and plenty of fornicating. What is point of peddling untruths about kids being more sexually active now than then … or ever? And please, save the “studies”, which have multiplied exponentially since then, and whose publication is nothing more than another form of propaganda.

    What is it that makes old farts unable to remember the past with any believable degree of accuracy? I’m 65 and remember that those days were not nearly as glorious as my contemporaneous old farts pretend they were.

    • Lazarus May 19, 2015

      There you go Harvey, not even like’n them “good old day”s…but
      relatively speaking, and if you’re walking the correct side of the street, it’s as good as it’s ever been right now.
      Yea I know, go a head and tell me how expletive deleted I am for 67… I know I’m some kind of naiveté old fool, whatever, but occasion, the glass is half full Harvey, and there is good in the world. Have a nice evening.

      • Harvey Reading May 19, 2015

        Pore ol’ Lazurus. Just what is your “correct” side of the street? Dreamland?

  2. Harvey Reading May 19, 2015

    Re: ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

    Then why do you Euro-trash keep taking your marching orders from the psychopaths who rule the U.S.? Jes’ askin’.

  3. james marmon May 19, 2015

    Here is the UDJ’s May 7, 2015 article. According to the Court, the ACLU made a mistake by relying on the Court’s Website and not contacting them first. How many citizen’s made the same mistake and ended up loosing their license? If the website is giving misleading information, then it needs to be corrected.

    http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/general-news/20150507/mendocino-county-superior-court-responds-to-aclus-claim-that-it-charges-for-traffic-court-appearances

    • james marmon May 19, 2015

      Mendocino County Superior Court admits that their actual practice of collecting fees is different than what their website states.

      “the Superior Court stated the ACLU didn’t make contact to find out the actual practices of how the court collects traffic fees before making its initial statement last week, which the ACLU acknowledged was based on information provided on the court website.” UDJ May 7,2015

      Remember folks, Groupthink exists, think for yourselves, ask questions, and evolve.

      • james marmon May 20, 2015

        I’m hoping that the AVA will follow up on this and request a copy of the Superior Court’s response letter to the ACLU. I can’t trust the Ukiah Daily Journal’s coverage of this issue. Did the Journal actually see the response letter, or are they just reporting what the Court gave them? This is a very serious accusation the ACLU has made for it to be just swept under the rug.

  4. Lazarus May 19, 2015

    Come on Harv… admit it.. you just a hater, straight up. Folks must have pissed in your corn flakes all your miserable life. Have another drink, you need one.
    regards,
    Laz

    • Harvey Reading May 20, 2015

      What planet are you from?

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