- Uninsured Fawns
- Authentic Fans
- FB College
- NBA Finals
- MacNab's 75
- Race Tragedy
- Water Torture
- Catch of the Day
- Money Matters
- Dollar General
- Hart Benton
- Charter Project
- Charging Stations
- Poetry Celebration
- Republican Meeting
- KMEC Double
GOUGES, great huge hideous gouges have appeared on the hillsides west of Ukiah -- a vision to terrify the Edward Abbey in us all — the work of CalFire, red, raw-earth scars along the ridges of mountain spurs to serve as firebreaks to save the houses in the west hills of the county seat in the highly likely event of forest fires as drought-stricken Mendocino County enters one of the hottest, driest summers on record. But this commotion of chainsaws and bulldozers has flushed out so much wild game that two yearling fawns were seen scrambling around downtown Ukiah on Thursday morning about ten. I followed them along Perkins Street to see how they’d negotiate Ukiah’s most deadly crosswalk at Perkins & State. They got across alright by ignoring the signal, no doubt, and went up the sidewalk to Schat’s Bakery, which was busy, as usual. But everyone had their noses in their smart (sic) phones and never noticed the siblings. Indeed, the crowd of caffeine-starved pedestrians blundered through the twins in an unconscious manner, in effect separating them — one darted across Perkins to the courthouse lawn and the other — cut off by a gaggle of yupsters with their eyes glued to the screens in their palms — scurried away on School Street, then turned West on Standley. A Ukiah Police officer left his patrol car to follow one of the four-footed westbound trespassers, and I stood dumbfounded as the other re-crossed State Street in heavy traffic and went through the CPS parking lot and thence south along Main Street. It would be a miracle if they got out of town alive. I later saw the city’s animal control officer going about his duties (picking up dead animals on the roadways) — not daring to ask, fearing the worst for these two displaced victims of the drought. The few people I spoke with who did look up from their phones to see the deer, commented that they were afraid their insurance companies would not fully protect their cars from these marauding Bambis who had had the temerity to come to a classy place like Schat’s without any money or insurance! (Bruce McEwen)
ANOTHER GREAT PIECE by the essential Tommy Wayne Kramer in Sunday's Ukiah Daily Journal. Called Wastin' Away Again in Marijuanaville.
It begins, "People think growing pot in Mendocino County is a big bowl of gluten-free cherries but I’m here to say it’s tougher than you think. Yeah, sure: stick a start in the dirt, throw on some water that you pump out of the Eel River and the rest is easy, except for when you have to go visit some guy you’ve never seen before in a motel in Vallejo to exchange the weed for the cash and a little cocaine on the side, while your old lady waits out in the truck with a .357, and she doesn’t need any more coke, believe me."
THE EDITOR'S SISTER is a Warrior's fan all the way back. She writes: "Going to the Warriors first game of the finals was a lot different than 40 years ago. In 1975, there were no Warrior girls, no lights flashing, no tee-shirts on the chairs nor shots into the stands, no 3-pointers, not much hype at all. Nobody expected the Warriors to make it to the finals, so the coliseum had been booked for the circus and the games were moved to the Cow Palace. No flash, just a red hot Rick Barry, Jamaal (“Silk") Wilkes, Clifford Ray and other names long forgotten. The demographics of the audience have changed too, and maybe not for the better. The VIPs announced included a rap singer we never heard of, a woman with lots of tattoos and piercings unknown to us and the biggest applause for Magic Johnson. No mention of Ronnie Lott or other locals we do know. I wonder if Al Attles was there? Or Rick Barry? If so, they should have been introduced and acknowledged. Don’t get me wrong. We had a great time and were swept up by the game itself. There was confetti and fireworks on top of the stadium as we waited to get out of the parking lot. Who knows what it will look like in another 40 years!? Just the point of view of an old fan."
NOT TO BE TOO MUCH of a fogey about it, but I find all this stuff so annoying, so distracting even if I could afford seats I'd stay home in The Major's grungy living room and watch it on tv where I can watch the big event with the sound off, which I left off because for some reason, Jim Barnett, the best play-by-play guy since Bill King, was missing. What happened to Jim? And, as Sis points out, where was the great championship team of '75? Not even a mention. Game One, I did not hear a single comment from the "experts" that wasn't obvious. I got a charge out of all the people waving "Authentic Fan" placards made in China, meaning they're doubly unclear on the concept. And I wonder which marketing genius came up with the idea of those thunderstick-noisemaker things? Factor in moron music blaring full blast the whole way, amped-up sex dances at every time out, and some tattooed cretin as the half-time "show," you can have it. Fortunately, the flea brains haven't figured out a way to screw up the game itself. I know the national attention span is down to about a second-and-a-half, but really.
GOOD NEWS FOR FORT BRAGG. Wading through the edu-ese, the long and the short of it is that Mendocino College will be offering a new load of classes at Fort Bragg's wheezing College of the Redwoods campus. Down the line, Mendo College will, perhaps, assume full responsibility for the Fort Bragg campus and full class offering.
CURRY COLD; DUBS LOSE.
It was Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and the story was pretty simple: One MVP showed up. The other one didn’t. The MVP who played big at Oracle Arena wore the wine and gold uniform of the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James carried his team around like a backpack, turning in a memorable, triple-double performance Sunday night that ranks up there in NBA Finals history: 39 points, 16 boards, 11 assists. The MVP wearing No. 30 for the Warriors had his worst game of the playoffs, scoring a quiet 19 points and looking disjointed all night. Stephen Curry turned it on for some late-game dramatics, scoring on a beautiful finger roll to force overtime and hitting two free throws in the extra period that gave the Warriors a chance to win. But, ultimately, Curry came up short. … And so the teams head back to Cleveland. It’s a real-deal series again. LeBron James and the Misfits proved they were tough enough to beat the Mighty Warriors on the very tough Warriors home boards. We’ll see how this movie plays in Cleveland. But, if the first two games are any indication, it’s shaping up to be a classic drama. (Al Saracevic, Courtesy, SFGate.com)
MACNAB'S AT 75
by Tom Hine
Bill and Sandy MacNab, co-owners of MacNab’s Menswear, are entering their 75th year in business. (Photo, courtesy Nathan DeHart, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
* * *
MacNab’s Menswear, located in the sweet center of downtown Ukiah, has been around for 75 years now. That’s a long time in retail. Over the same stretch various other men’s clothing shops have succumbed to the usual fates of running a small business. Stores like Peters & Lynch, Berman’s, the Tack Room and the White House have all closed down. Then there were the women’s clothing shops: Gunnie’s, Mode O Day, the Klothes Kloset and Esther’s Shoppe. All are gone today. Seventy five years will do that to a family business.
In the case of MacNab’s the roots stretch back even further and deeper. It was once called the Toggery, a name bound to ring a bell with locals because anyone who has been around the block (literally) knows the Toggery name remains on exterior walls (north-facing and east-facing) in the 200 block of North State. The faded paint remains, along with advice that Honest Tea is the Best Policy, and encouragement to go ahead and enjoy yourself a nice White Owl cigar. It was located next to the Forest Club, which explains the black-and-white tile that still reads “MacNab’s” in the old store entryway.
Even today you can talk with old timers who remember the Toggery’s narrow, cramped building with sawdust floors and old potbellied, as “cozy” and filled with memories. Memories? The Toggery was the go-to shopping destination for Christmas shopping by “professional” ladies wishing to bestow favored clients with, inevitably, a necktie as a holiday gift. Store employees thus enjoyed those gifts all year long as they smirked and rolled their eyes when lawyers, doctors and bankers were spotted around town wearing distinctive neckties that could have come only from the Toggery, and only from a select few buyers.
MacNab’s first tailor (he doubled as a salesman) was Mort Eilers, a name that sounds even older than 75 years. Mort worked with John Hambly MacNab in the original shop. At the time, the 1940s were morphing into the 1950s, which is when Mac Nab’s was the sole local outlet for Levi jeans and other Levi products. Those jeans sold big back then and even today 501 shrink-to-fits remain among the store’s best sellers. MacNab’s stockpiled the jeans in a room upstairs, along with sundry other Levi products, which John always referred to as “my retirement.” But the exclusive Levi deal only lasted until the mid ‘80s, and today, of course, you can get Levi’s in half a dozen places around town.
Then came the 1960s, when high schoolers like Sandy MacNab and younger brother Bill started working in their dad’s clothing store. Sandy said it wasn’t exactly his dream come true, but it beat most other options. “What I always wanted when I was a kid was to be a race car driver,” he said. “In elementary school we had to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up and I put down ‘stock car driver.' The problem was I needed money to buy a car and I didn’t want to work at a gas station.”
Hello, MacNab’s Menswear.
Sandy said he started out stocking shelves and trying to make himself useful. One day his dad told him to go out on the floor and do sales work. “But what do I do?” Sandy asked. He remembers being anxious about the assignment.
His dad told him to greet the customers, ask them if there was anything he could help them find, and assist with whatever it was they were looking for. In short, find out what they want and help get them get it.
Pretty basic salesmanship, right? But at MacNab’s personal service has always been emphasized, although occasionally the simple concept gets stretched.
Take the time a youngster came into the store and spotted Kris Kristofferson, the famous folk singing rock star, standing near the counter. The starry-eyed kid followed Kris all around the shop, pestering him with questions. Ultimately Kristofferson, who actually bore an even more striking resemblance to MacNab sales clerk Gerry de Treville, gave the little guy an autograph. If asked, Gerry probably would have sung “Me and Bobby McGee” for him. Yes indeed, it’s all about keeping the customer satisfied at MacNab’s.
Other, more legitimate celebrities frequented the store over the years. Julia Child came in and bought a sweater one time when she was cooking something or other at Fetzer’s Winery. The Coolidge family, including pop star Rita and sisters, often stop by when in town. Laytonville’s Hugh Romney (you know him as Wavy Gravy) is a regular customer.
And although not strictly speaking a “celebrity,” a gentleman named Pat Patterson is well remembered and highly regarded by the MacNabs. “We learned the business from our relatives and people like Pat,” is a sentiment echoed by family members even today. They also recall the time Pat stood up to a belligerent (and highly intoxicated) customer who had a history of wanting to buy things, but considerably less interest in paying for them. The big loudmouth badgered, bullied and finally threatened to bring his experience as an “east coast ‘rassler” to force the MacNab clan to see thing his way.
Pat Patterson accepted the challenge. “Try me!” he said, and suggested he too was a ‘rassler with whom one ought not trifle. The bully caved, and the legend of Pat Patterson, Ukiah’s toughest-ever West Coast ‘rassler, was born.
Bill MacNab (younger brother of Sandy) joined the store in the 1970s following his college days in Chico. He’s the organization’s buyer, bookkeeper, brains and brawn, say colleagues. Bill gets the “problem” customers, perhaps because of his charming and persuasive manner, or perhaps because of his bear-like physique.
Meanwhile the years continued to roll. It takes some time to run up 75 of them.
Robert MacDougall, who as a kid grew up next door to the MacNab family on Cresta Drive, was working in the woods as a logger back in the 1980s. Looking for a little extra cash, Robert hired on to work a MacNab’s Summer Sidewalk Sale. The following Christmas season he worked a few weeks at the shop to earn extra holiday cash. Impressed, store owner John MacNab offered him a full-time job.
Robert thought long and hard about the joys and rewards of setting chokers, running chainsaws, and staggering up and down timber-strewn mountains around Comptche. After much soul-searching and misgivings, he made his decision, and he’s been standing next to the big brass cash register ever since. Now, deep into his fourth decade at the store, Robert remains the rookie in the MacNab lineup.
The store, at 111 North State Street, stands directly across from the courthouse, in a building that is more than a hundred years old (the red brick south wall collapsed in the ’06 earthquake, if that’s any indication of vintage). It doesn’t have sawdust floors and there’s no old stove to warm the winter days, but “cozy” still sounds about right in describing the somewhat cramped and decidedly old-school store. Back then folks said MacNab’s enveloped patrons in the comforting smell of leather and pipe tobacco.
Today it’s less evocative of leather and pipe tobacco aromas from yesteryear, but it retains the feel of a bygone era. Racks and stacks of men’s clothing line the walls and crowd the aisles. The cash register is a huge brassy metal contraption built in 1904, fully functional and in use six days a week. It weighs more than your car’s engine; to move it three feet would take three people, a handtruck and maybe a permit from the city. Other marvels to bring your kids and grandkids in to see are the electric train that runs on a big oval track up near the ceiling, the haphazard collection of old beer cans that rest on various shelves along with old motor oil containers, and large colorful cardboard sports schedule posters going back to the early ‘50s and listing final scores of Ukiah High football and basketball games against teams like Red Bluff, Tamalpais and Stockton high schools.
But the lure of MacNab’s is in the clothing. It isn’t the place to look if you are in the market for haphazard piles of cheap t-shirts, white socks wrapped in packs of a dozen, or plaid “shorts” that terminate six inches from the floor. It doesn’t stock much in the way of gangsta-style apparel. No bling.
MacNab’s focuses on a handful of high quality brands like Pendleton, Carhartt, Woolrich, Burlington Mills, Wolverine and Chippewa boots, and a few others. (Of my three favorite shirts hanging in the home closet, two are top of the line Sir Pendletons and both are from MacNab’s.)
Not that they’ve never made a mistake in predicting fashions: MacNab’s was among the shops in the ‘70s where discerning gentlemen could purchase a leisure suit (powder blue, lime green and turquoise were among the popular flavors) just like Billy Carter wore. You had to hurry to get one though, because after about a year MacNab’s discontinued them. At least they never stocked disco outfits or platform shoes. And who knows what clothing trends will erupt in the future? MacNab’s will no doubt take a measured approach and hesitate before jumping on a rolling bandwagon.
Pondering the future, Sandy MacNab said it won’t be easy. He, Bill, Robert and everyone else knows the city of Ukiah continues to make life difficult for small businesses when it invites big box stores to town. The retail field ain’t level, but the small shops are forced to compete against the megastores as if it is. MacNab’s has had a proud run in getting to 75 years. How does it look, long-term?
“We’re just hoping to make it to 76,” said Sandy.
TEENAGE CLOVERDALE GIRL TRAGICALLY KILLED WHILE WATCHING STREET RACE
by Bruce Patterson
The unsanitized version goes: “Out West we argue over politics and religion. We kill over water.” Sanitized, it’s: “Out West water flows uphill to money.” Rivers are pots of gold, you see. Rivers are divided and subdivided among “stakeholders” in exchange for their promises to put our waters to “beneficial use.” Since that’s the case, when our agricultural sector, struggling industries and spreading megalopolis’ (“megalopolii?”) are going thirsty due to an extreme and unforeseeable drought, how dare rivers run wild and free? The mighty Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean and that counts as a beneficial social outcome: “Waste naught, want naught,” the Good Book says. If only the Klamath and Trinity rivers, the Salinas and the Russian could be so expertly utilized.
Over the last century, across the eleven Western states, rivers and creeks have been erased from the landscape; either erased or gone from torrents to trickles, from spawning grounds to concrete gutters. Millions of acres of wetlands have been drained, countless lakes, ponds and vernal pools rubbed out of existence and memory.
In its upper reaches, California’s San Joaquin River is so powerful that over countless spring thaws its roaring waters have carved a notch through the granite-clad Pacific Crest. Yet today, not long after it has escaped the foothills and reached the bottomlands, the river turns to dust. Where recently ran riverboats, now only dust. That river isn’t alone, either. Before the coming of syndicates and machines, the San Joaquin Valley was laced with rivers and ephemeral creeks, sprawling lakes and wetlands. “Oak Savanna,” the valley floor was, and its grasses grew so tall you needed to be astride a horse to see over the tops of them. Vast herds of deer, elk and antelope were trailed by grizzly bears, cougars, wolves, humans and others. The waterways were alive with otters and beavers, salmon and steelhead, the skies filled with countless millions of birds—all lost in order create the world’s most productive farmlands.
While the singled-minded totality of the “overnight” transformation of the valley was, to be charitable, extremely shortsighted, urban society benefited mightily from having thousands of thriving family farms, dozens of neighborly farm towns and access to the cornucopia of foods and other goods they reliably produced and delivered. But now the valley I knew as a boy is all but gone—horizon-to-horizon cookie-cutter suburbs mechanically hum, shriek and moan under a blanket of smog. The best farmlands have either been paved over or straight-jacketed as corporate plantations; roofless factories mass producing peons and stock dividends, food stamp recipients and investor-owned private jets and land yachts. (You talk about toxic greenhouse gases—go and wrap your lips around one of those exhaust pipes and then come and tell me how user-friendly those roiling flames and fumes really are).
Because of his advocacy of human rights (a farmer worker’s Union!?!) and environmental protection, back in the 1970s young Jerry Brown was known as “Governor Moonbeam.” No chance of that happening again seeing how he’s been reborn as a dedicated Bringer of Waters imbued with the Wisdom of Solomon. Then again, anytime the local, state and federal governments are all tossing money into the same kitty, you know damned well that the owners of the house are taking their cut. (In the major leagues, an honest politician is one who once bought, stays bought.) Of course, it’s only natural that the house should be getting a cut since they’re providing the lights and entertainment. Taking 5% of gross plus a 5% “skim” (think “cost plus contracts”) is fine by them as investors. Ten percent of a dollar is a dime; ten percent of $1,000,000 is $100,000. Not a bad return until you consider how, by re-arranging the re-arrangement, your cut can be doubled or even tripled.
The bigger the “public works,” the greater the private rewards and the happier everybody is. Every duck enjoys wetting its beak; every chunk of pork tossed from the barrel finds its rightful owner (that possession is 9/10ths of the law is an understatement). Whether it’s the California Aqueduct reaching into the bleeding heart of the Mojave Desert, or the new Bay Bridge, more fracking or deep sea oil drilling, “America’s new generation” of nuclear weapons, “our” Mission to Mars—you don’t even want to try’n guess what those last two bits of strategic genius are costing you. No use asking, neither, unless you’re able to identify the appropriate apparatchik and are willing to kidnap him, break his legs and pull his teeth to maybe eventually get an honest accounting out of him.
“You have no need to know,” will likely be his dying words.
So pity poor old Governor Brown. Are folks in the Golden State supposed to pay five bucks for a gallon of drinking water? Must they upgrade their bathrooms into pay toilets and pay showers? Convert their swimming pools into hydroponic gardens 8.6 inches deep? Force their kids to give up their Slip and Slides? If so, how’d you like to be the one to hafta break the news to them? Is that the kind of mission you’d personally volunteer for?
“You people need to get the flock outta here, you hear me? Go back to where you came from. Or, if you were born here, then swallow your pride and give up the ghost. You’ve gotta go where the water is, people: Michigan, Kentucky, Mississippi, Far Tortuga—your choice. Although I must remind you that nobody’s gonna find safe haven in Phoenix or Tucson, Vegas or Reno. Those megalopolii are already bursting with California transplants and refugees and they have their own droughts to contend with and victims to care for. Salt Lake City ain’t an option, neither, not with the Great Salt Lake reduced to a puddle, its vast white bathtub ring of exposed soils routinely roiling into towering toxic dust storms (at least the howlers give those lizard-skinned pilgrims some midday shade).
“Have you seen the pictures of those shuffling crowds of lemming-like Chinese Communist employees hustling up and down their big city sidewalks, their heels kicking up coal dust, their faces plastered with puffy white air filters? That’s what folks in the Salt Lake City megalopolii are gonna be doing once they learn to put at least a little faith in science. So ya’ll need to steer well clear of Salt Lake City. Avoid the Un-Salton Sea, too. If I was you, I wouldn’t rest till I was over the divide and safely back East.”
What’s in store for Las Vegas? I recently heard some cultural anthropologist predicting that when in the future some expedition tops the rise and discovers the skyscraping steel ruins sprawled across the bottom of this giant desolate bowl, they’re gonna think it was the site of some kind of religious pilgrimage; no doubt one based on ritual self and/or human sacrifice, given the ferocity of the dry heat and the sandblasting, hair-curling winds.
The problem is that there ain’t enough water to meet all of the needs and desires of all of 2015’s stakeholders, the common run of whom are instinctively hostile to anything that might interfere with, or conceivably diminish the value of, their own individual holdings. When it’s one against all and all against one (Nimby vs. Nimby), what’s a poor politician to do? Faced with all of the nitpicking, bickering, feuding and terminal dishonesty Governor Brown is surrounded with, why even Moses himself would be sorely tempted to flee into the night and leave it to the mob to find their own way out of the wilderness—or not. Seeing how such an ethically uncouth rabble could ruin even the Promised Land, Moses could be forgiven if, as he was deserting his flock, he was wishing them ill-luck.
When he was running for President, Barack Obama often said that Washington DC is “where good ideas go to die.” Seeing how Obama just gave two big enthusiastic thumbs up to deep sea oil drilling under the Arctic Ocean, who is he to talk? I mean, that’s a “tell” even more illuminating than a rummy poker player dealt a natural Royal Flush who’s so thrilled by his outrageous good fortune that, panting and drooling, he jumps up atop his chair, spins around and wags his ass with his tail loudly slapping it like a windshield wiper gone berserk. Obama should have said that DC is “where souls like mine go to shrivel into worthlessness like raisins left too long in the sun.” That’s because, if a person is willing to sell his or her soul for a dollar, why not for a nickel? Goes to show how knowing better and doing better are two very different things when you think you can see the Big Picture and are imbued with Higher Motives.
While Governor Brown is plenty old enough to know that, as Dave Brower famously put it, “growth for growth’s sake is the ideology of the cancer cell,” he’s no magician. Both Obama and Brown know that real progressive change comes from the bottom up. In their minds, this gives them an out: when they reach the Pearly Gates they’ll claim they’d done all they could with what they had feeling confident that St. Peter will wave them on through. Real change comes from the bottom up and, without active grassroots support, no politician has ever succeeded in bringing any kind meaningful or lasting change. That’s because, under any regime left too long to its own, laws are just sheets of paper that, like slaves, get put up for auction every now and again.
LBJ didn’t give black people the right to vote; black people gave LBJ the opportunity to do the right thing and he took it. If a substantial number of the people living in California today, in the name of sustainability and common decency, demanded environmental protections and a rational and equitable distribution of all public resources, they’d find allies in Sacramento. If a portion of the state’s urban elites and rural latifundia saw the light and were willing to cooperate in such a sensible venture, there’s virtually no limit on what could be accomplished. Revolutions—throwing the bums out and finding new bums more to the people’s liking—have been made with less.
FOOTNOTE: A while back in the AVA there appeared an abbreviated version of quote by Fredrick Douglas. Since Douglas was one of my very favorite Americans, I happen to know the full version: “He who professes to Freedom but denounces agitation is he who wants crops without plowing. He wants rain without lightning and thunder; the ocean without the awful roar of its mighty waters.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 7, 2015
MICHAEL BEERS, Ukiah. Drunk in public, vandalism, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER BIORD, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
WAYNE CAMPBELL, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.
ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
SOPHIA CORTINAS, Ukiah. DUI.
JAMES DARMIENTO, Homosassn, Florida/Ukiah. Pot sale, transportatioin, furnish.
ANNA FEE, Fort Bragg. Vehicle theft, false ID.
THOMAS LANGENDERFER, Albion. Grand theft, trespassing, probation revocation.
JOSEPH LEGGETT, Sacramento/Covelo. Possession of meth, drug paraphernalia and ammo by prohibited person, probation revocation.
MICHAEL MCCLURE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
BRENDAN MURPHY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
MICHAEL RACKLEY, San Jose/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.
DANIEL STURMFELS, Ukiah. Petty theft.
MELINDA THOMAS, Covelo. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, possession of drugs while armed.
ORLANDO VILLALPANDO, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
GREGORY WHALEN, Desert Hot Springs/Ukiah. DUI.
IT'S MONEY THAT MATTERS
Of all of the people that I used to know
Most never adjusted to the great big world
I see them lurking in book stores
Working for the Public Radio
Carrying their babies around in a sack on their back
Moving careful and slow
It's money that matters
Hear what I say
It's money that matters
In the USA
All of these people are much brighter than I
In any fair system they would flourish and thrive
But they barely survive
They eke out a living and they barely survive
When I was a young boy, maybe thirteen
I took a hard look around me and asked what does it mean?
So I talked to my father, and he didn't know
And I talked to my friend and he didn't know
And I talked to my brother and he didn't know
And I talked to everybody that I knew
It's money that matters
Now you know that it's true
It's money that matters
Whatever you do
Then I talked to a man lived up on the county line
I was washing his car with a friend of mine
He was a little fat guy in a red jumpsuit
I said "You look kind of funny"
He said "I know that I do"
"But I got a great big house on the hill here
And a great big blonde wife inside it
And a great big pool in my backyard and another great big pool beside it
Sonny it's money that matters, hear what I say
It's money that matters in the USA
It's money that matters
Now you know that it's true
It's money that matters whatever you do"
— Randy Newman
RICK WEDDLE WRITES:
Maybe you've wondered -- I sure have -- why, if terrorism is such a big goddamned problem, nobody's tried to define it or really figure out where it comes from. In the absence of a clear understanding of what it is and what causes it, exactly, the chance of a real solution is disappearingly small. Further, without such basic knowledge, the harder we try solving it, the likelihood we'll make it worse grows exponentially. This closely describes our current approach, and I'm pretty sure I've figured out why; if you can add two and two and come up with something near four, I think you'll agree, and possibly puke.
Terrorism works death and destruction in our midst and on our dime in direct proportion to the level of secrecy imposed by the most powerful nations -- like ours -- over their own people. Consider: 'covert actions...black ops...wetwork,' quaint euphemisms frequently applied to unlawful acts of war (war crimes; terrorism), have been and are being perpetrated in 'secret' against people and their governments to 'implement policy.' These devious, murderous, thieving actions are no secret whatever to those spooks performing them, and certainly not to those upon whom they're inflicted. The Wool of Secrecy, then, is cover reserved for the eyes of our home population, the very People in whose name and under who's flag these furtive atrocities are committed, and the identical ones paying for these massive crimes, more and more every day in dollars and in blood. In a functioning democracy -- unlike this one -- we could stop it. The same people doing the same things for the same rea$on$ that caused 911 are now doing yet more of the same to 'combat terrorism' and charging us an arm and a leg and then some for it, mowing down our young people and lots more in the process.
Millions have already been killed, and thousands more as these lines are written. While the upper decks play musical chairs on this blinkered Titanic, your lounging about in the wheelhouse (surrounded by the best of anything, getting yet another blowjob) is not gonna save you.
This morning early and not so bright, NBC's talking crud, Matt Lauer made a little announcement that should go up the anals of the Powers, briskly. This rancid bit of faux journalism concerned the police shooting in Boston of a man suspected of planning a terror attack on Boston law enforcement. Cops have a damned difficult job at best and there's no clear reason to be making it worse. Yet that's precisely what the Powers (with Big Media's loud support) are doing with all four feet at home and abroad. This shooting and the 'news coverage' of it are prime examples. This suspect -- not yet convicted of any crime or even charged -- was approached by armed police and responded with a 'counterattack,' brandishing a large knife in a threatening manner. Instead of disarming and subduing the guy as one might expect of trained Peace Officers, the cops shot and killed him. Lauer's 'reporting' suggested this suspect only got what was coming to him; (a) he had the poor judgement to be black, and (b) he was suspected of having planned an attack on Boston police under the influence of 'ISIS-inspired social media,' whatever the fuck that means. Maybe Andy Hardy would have been taken down and to jail and shown the error of his ways, all contrite? Clearly, the operating procedures of Law and Order are color-coded, with a further breakdown around the political and religious orientations of 'subjects.' There's not a whiff of equal protection under the Law within miles of this picture. This isn't even close to a justice system at work. Yet NBC and Lauer went even further than implying that this is just the way the cookie crumbles in the 'war on terror;' Lauer finished off this stunned 'news' item by saying officials warn that we can expect a lot more of this. Wait! What?!!
So...the best, utmost we can do to solve the terror Problem, with all the money and lives thrown away at it, has only made it much worse, and perpetual?!!
My initial reaction to this turned out to be the same as the one I came away with after longer reflection: To this huge pile of mistakes and those who support it, I say, "Screw that! And screw you, too!" Lauer, like the movers at NBC and the shakers in the shadows they so shamelessly serve, does have a point; if he could comb his hair just right, nobody would notice.
BLINDSIDED IN REDWOOD VALLEY
To the Editor:
Redwood Valley Residents were blindsided with the recent County Planning Department approval of a plan to build a big, bright box store in downtown Redwood Valley. Dollar General, the multinational chain retail store with headquarters in Tennessee is planned to be built next to the Savings Bank surrounded by sheep pasture.
Currently there are 12,000 Dollar General stores in the US. Mostly in Southern States they are spreading across the US with plans to build 1,000 new stores in California in the next 2 years. Building a Dollar General in Redwood Valley is quite a shock as there was no public notice, no Planning Commission review, no chance for public comment or appeal. Since it’s zoned commercial “they can build whatever they want... even a McDonald’s” according to Planning Department staff. The land purchaser/developer is Cross Development a Houston firm that primarily builds fast food outlets and strip malls.
County Leaders, we need your help in understanding how this could happen in Redwood Valley. Given the negative economic and environmental impacts of a project like this we ask: was there conversation among the Planning Department, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, neighboring properties? Can any building permit be approved just because it fits zoning without discussion?
The County purports transparency and the desire to preserve the unique quality of Mendocino. It aims to attract desirable businesses, tourism and new residents needed to fill vacant medical and administrative positions. With smart planning and zoning we can make that a reality, but we are behind the ball here.
Redwood Valley has never had big chain businesses and we don’t want this. Dollar General is not a dollar store, per se. It’s like a mini Walmart without a pharmacy. They sell alcohol at their cost to attract business. It also attracts vagrancy. No one can compete with their cheap sales. We support our locally owned Redwood Valley Market that has been here for 70 years. Do you want to see RV Market and RV Service Station Market put out of business with an ugly box store that sells cheap booze, attracts parking lot vagrants and drug deals?
To be clear this is not an anti-growth movement. We are not newcomers with elite ideals. Most of our families have been here for generations. We’d love to have businesses that fit with the rural environment and community, something we actually need like a hardware store. Residents expressed wanting a mini Rainbow Ag, Mendo Mill or True Value Hardware. Yes, these businesses may be considered chains but they are locally-owned franchises rather than multinational chains. Dollar General is a big box store with a huge lighted yellow sign placed in an area where there are no similar buildings, no lit billboards, streetlights, or stop lights. It’s dark and quiet and we like it that way. That’s why we live here.
There are environmental protection laws in California to prevent urban blight. That may be the only way we can fight this. The property is in escrow closing August 1. The building permit is ready to sign. Once it’s signed we will be helpless. Please delay signing the building permit until further review and public comment. Please consider the unique rural character of Redwood Valley, the surroundings and existing buildings. Please do not make a precedent with this, opening the door to additional urban blight in our County.
We realize the lot is zoned commercial and they can build anything they want. Is this what Mendocino County leaders want? County CEO Carmel Angelo, Dist 1 Supervisor Carre Brown, Dist 1 Planning Commissioner Marilyn Ogle, Chief Planner Andy Gustavson, we desperately need your help, your voice and knowledge. Please help prevent our county from having strip malls on every corner. Please help us find a way to have a voice with growth in our community.
Lake County just voted against Dollar General in Kelseyville and RV is a much smaller, bucolic town. If Lake County Planning Department can prevent these cancerous stores from taking over why can’t we? Aren’t we better than that?
We will petition and gather signatures at the RV Fireman’s BBQ and parade. We will camp out in RV businesses and get enough signatures to try to stop this and possibly change the zoning to prevent future multinational chains from building in RV.
Some residents are looking at incorporating Redwood Valley so we can have a municipality with the same building protections provided in cities. Can you see Westside Ukiah building a Dollar General in their commercially zoned neighborhood? I don’t think so. Why do rural areas have to put up with it? It’s just not right. Please give us a chance to save our valley as we know it.
For more information please see our Facebook group Stop Dollar General In Redwood Valley
Here are just 20 names out of hundreds more who wanted to sign!
Cassandra (Cassie) Taaning, Marvin Trotter, Jim and Kay Testa, Carol Soinila, Joel Sonilia, Alex Chehada, Sonya Campbell, Jodonna Banke, Dan and Tana Craighead, Kriss Bader, Angle Ricord Slater, Tarney and Jeff Sheldon, Jessica Taaning Sanchez, Dara and Sean Brennan, Mary Newkirk, Sheena Hilario, Debra Welik, Leah Nidros Bechtol, Liesha Boek, Jacqueline Graumann
TOPPING THE CHARTERS
The Charter Project of Mendocino County is a movement to make Mendocino the 15th Charter County in CA. A County Charter is a way for our Mendocino County community to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our residents, the natural environment, and establish environmental and economic sustainability. Laws written into the County Charter will have the same force and effect of State legislative enactments. A Mendocino County Charter can level the playing field against incursions of corporate rights. How? By including a law that recognizes Corporations only as business entities and not as legal corporate persons. Our charter could allow for public financing of elections and Instant Runoff Voting, saving money for our county. A home rule charter gives our county sovereignty and could authorize a public bank.
The Charter Project has a two track approach to getting the Mendocino County Charter on the ballot. Our first approach is to canvass each Supervisor to see if they would be willing to put the simple Charter Question on the November 2015 ballot. The question states "Shall a Charter Commission be elected to propose a Charter?" I encourage you to call your supervisors and urge them to put the Charter question on the Nov. 2015 ballot now. If three supervisors say yes then the question will be on the ballot along with the election of prospective Charter Commissioners. The 15 with the highest number of votes will be elected to write the Charter to be on the November 2016 election. Our second approach is to file a Notice of Intention to circulate a Petition with the Charter question: "Shall a Charter Commission be elected to propose a Charter?" We will need to gather 4,000 M.C. voter signatures in 180 days to assure that we have 2500 verifiable county voter signatures to get the petition and the Charter Commissioners on the June 2016 ballot. They would then have only two months to write the Charter for the Nov.'16 ballot. If the commissioners were to use the charters already written as a beginning framework, there is a small chance that it could get on the November 2016 ballot.
So you can see how important it is to have the Supervisors put the Charter question on the ballot as soon as possible. This would give the Commissioners more time to write the Mendocino County Charter. Please call your Board of Supervisors, urge them to put the Charter question on the Nov. 2015 ballot at (707) 463-4221, ask to speak to your district Supervisor: tell them to put the charter question on the ballot.
Agnes Woolsey and the Charter Project
P.O. Box 163, Mendocino, CA 95460
LAST CHANCE TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION RE: PLUG IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS!
The Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG), as the Regional Transportation Planning Agency, is seeking public input on the location of plug-in electric vehicle charging stations in Mendocino County.
Four community forums have already been held in Mendocino County - there is one more opportunity for you to join the discussion! The meeting will be held this-coming Wednesday, June 10th in Boonville at the Veteran's Memorial Building from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The forum is an opportunity to review display maps, get answers to your questions, and provide your comments and feedback about proposed plug-in electric vehicle charging stations in your community.
All members of the community are encouraged to attend and comment on the proposed locations of plug-in electric vehicle charging stations. Please feel free to forward this email and post the attached flyer to help spread the word!
For more information, see the Mendocino County Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Regional Readiness Plan, available for viewing or download at www.mendocinocog.org <http://www.mendocinocog.org> .
I will be facilitating the community forum. Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to submit their input to me directly by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Haun, M.A.
MENDOCINO SPRING POETRY CELEBRATION * SUNDAY JUNE 14
Friends of the lively word are invited to the Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration at Hill House in Mendocino, Sunday, June 14. There will be two open readings. Sign up at noon for the 1:00 PM reading. Sign up at 5:00 for the 6:00 PM reading. Prepare four minutes for each, of your own work or of others. Music: Richard Cooper, bass. Choice comestibles, fellowship, open book displays. Contributions warmly accepted. Between the two sessions, enjoy the town, the sea, and the coastal headlands. This will be the 40th Anniversary recollection of a Spring marathon reading, and the tenth consecutive revival. The event attracts some of the best work from the north counties and beyond. It is an encouraging opportunity for new voices. All poems read will be considered for broadcast by Dan Roberts on KZYX&Z FM. Information: Gordon Black at (707) or email@example.com.
REPUBLICANS TO MEET IN FORT BRAGG
The Mendocino County Republican Central Committee will meet Saturday, June 20, 2015, 10:00 AM — 12:00 Noon at the Moura Senior Housing Project, Community Center, 400 South St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. For further information contact: Evelyn Hayman, (707) 948-6467 or go to www.mendocountygop.net.
KMEC RADIO PRESENTS TWO SHOWS IN ONE TODAY, Monday, June 8, at 1 p.m., Pacific Time. John and Sid are your hosts.
"NSA Bulk Collection Is Not Ending"
Our first half hour with guest Marcy Wheeler will be about "NSA Bulk Collection Is Not Ending". While Slate is claiming: “Senate Approves USA Freedom Act, Which Ends NSA Bulk Surveillance” and the New York Times headlines a story “U.S. Surveillance in Place Since 9/11 Is Sharply Limited,” NSA whistleblowers and analysts are noting that the government has used a series of provisions and “shell games” in order to conduct surveillance. We're following up on this topic next week with NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe.
Wheeler writes widely about the legal aspects of the “war on terror” and its effects on civil liberties. She is the “Right to Know” investigative journalist for ExposeFacts and blogs at emptywheel.net. She said today: “With passage of USA Freedom Act and resumption of all Americans’ call records for a six-month transition period, both domestic and international calls will once again be collected in bulk.”
"FIFA And The New Corruption Of International Finance"
Our second half hour with guest Andrew Hanauer will be on the topic of "FIFA and the New Corruption of International Finance". Hanauer is the campaigns director of the Jubilee USA Network. The group just put out the statement: "FIFA Scandal Highlights Corruption in Global Financial System."
Hanauer represents Jubilee in policy meetings with the White House, Congress, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and partner organizations, NGOs and faith communities. Andrew also represents Jubilee frequently at congressional briefings, IMF workshops and to the press.
See more at: http://www.jubileeusa.org/press/press-item/article/fifa-scandal-highlights-corruption-in-global-financial-system-us-banks-named-in-fifa-indictment.html
KMEC Radio, your community radio in northern California, is heard at 105.1 FM in Ukiah, CA. We broadcast from the Mendocino Environmental Center.
We stream live from the web at www.kmecradio.org
Our shows are archived. We post most of shows to Youtube, and shows may also mbe posted to the Public Radio Exchange and Radio4All.
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