- Weird Weather
- Frog Stompers
- Noyo Harbor
- Too Public
- Mortar Round
- Ortner Mysteries
- Yo, Glazer!
- Furniture Makers
- Baker Zac
- Helping Professionals
- Car Burglars
- Alcoholics Unanimous
- Yesterday's Catch
- Llius Llach
- Vintage Car
- NRA Loophole
- Silly Bunny
- Pharmaceutical Profiteers
A REMARKABLE RAINSTORM this past Thursday, it felt like winter came and visited for a day. But this is something we’ve started seeing more of the past few years, these summer rains after a long dry spring.
Then, in the middle of this strange weather day, just before noon, we felt a small but sharp earthquake. The sharper the jolt, the closer the quake. USGS tells us the epicenter was near Flynn Creek, about 5 miles deep, and 2.1 on the Richter scale.
It seems like the weather patterns are shifting more quickly and drastically now. Maybe our Mediterranean climate — wet winter, dry summer — is softening, becoming less severe. If we’re going to start having drier winters, these summer rains could be a good thing. Of course, along with these changes come the advent of summer thunderclouds, we see them stacking up over the interior almost every afternoon, and they portend a different danger: dry lightning. The Mendocino Lightning Complex fires of 2008 demonstrated what can happen from that.
It seems we are part of an insane human experiment, to greenhouse gas our atmosphere and see what comes of it. Eerie times we live in, and until we break our bad habit with hydrocarbons methinks the weather is going to keep getting weirder.
— Mike Kalantarian, Navarro
WAY BACK, I functioned as a way station for juvenile delinquents, most of whom graduated directly into the state prison system. The few I'm in touch with include a couple of killers-of-other-criminals, and have done long stretches in isolation at Pelican Bay. Another guy I occasionally read about just murdered his girlfriend. In prison, he functions as an enforcer for gangs.
MOST CHILDREN in the non-system of the foster system are not criminals, although the foster system is seemingly designed to infuse the kind of inchoate rage that drives a lot of outlaws. I, however, specialized in youth who already deployed force or the threat of it to get what they wanted. They were already deep into criminal attitudes. Much of my day was spent keeping them off one another.
THE DIFFERENCE between a delinquent kid and a non-delinquent? On long summer nights, especially the moonlit ones, we'd go for night hikes. The delinquents were from strictly urban experiences. They very much enjoyed the after hours outings. One memorable evening, a kid yelled in genuine alarm, "What the hell's that?" as a full moon rose over a ridge to the east. Another night we were ambling along spotlighting deer and seeing what we could see of nocturnal wildlife when a frog appeared in the path before us. All half-dozen or so delinquents, as one, gleefully leaped out to stomp the frog. A normal kid doesn't stomp frogs.
ANNE MARIE CESARIO, a public opponent of the Old Coast Hotel project, was a guest on KZYX's Thursday morning "Mendocino Currents" last Thursday, hosted, we presume, by KZYX News Director Lorraine Dechter (although she never identified herself during the entire hour). We suspect not many people listened to the show since it's on at a bad time of the day and because it's on a station that not many people outside the narrow KZYX circle listen to. In addition, the show's content was minimally announced in advance and Ms. Cesario wasn't on until the last half of the hour. Ms. Cesario is a long-time mental health advocate and worker on the Coast and is on record as opposed to the idea of a mental health facility in the Old Coast Hotel in downtown Fort Bragg. She’s also very well informed on the subject. But we found this letter she brought particularly important.
(To listen to the archive of the entire show go to: http://jukebox.kzyx.org/ And scroll down to Mendocino Currents for Thursday, July 9, 2015.)
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Cesario: What I'd like to do is read this letter because I feel that this letter best addresses the issue of stigmatization of mental health clients which the proponents of the Old Coast Hotel project claim will be reduced or eliminated if the project is approved. Because people do not want to be identified, they want the right to confidentiality, I will not read the name of this person but I do have their permission to read this letter. This letter was given to the Fort Bragg City Council and to the Hospitality Center on a couple of different occasions. They are not unaware of this.
To Whom It May Concern,
I am a married, taxpaying, home owning and lifelong Fort Bragg resident. I am active in many community activities. I also happen to have an adult son who is a paranoid schizophrenic. He has been involved with the Fort Bragg mental-health system for over 13 years. From the outside everything looks great. But you live in a private hell when you have a child with a severe mental illness. But it is my hell and I do not want it to become public knowledge. It is a personal, private family matter. Putting mental health services at the Old Coast Hotel will make his illness public knowledge.
The building is right downtown in active, busy Fort Bragg. The intersection is constantly full of cars, the sidewalks active with pedestrians. Everyone will see us walking down the sidewalk and going into the building. There is no private parking or discrete entrance. This is a violation of his mental health patients rights. He has a right to complete confidentiality and privacy concerning his care and treatment.
Buildings housing mental health services are usually positioned in out-of-the-way, low traffic areas, sometimes in social services complexes or in medical complexes. They are not located in busy, high traffic pedestrian areas where it will be obvious who is going in and out of the building. There is no confidentiality or privacy in this type of public location. Housing mental health at the Old Coast Hotel will also be creating a situation that will prevent and hinder my son from receiving the treatment the doctor has ordered.
As with many mental health patients my son does not like to be in situations with a lot of people, cars, etc. He is not going to want to go to the Old Coast Hotel because it's too public an area, too much activity, too many people. He also has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. Putting his illness on display in downtown Fort Bragg is also violating that right for him. How can he feel good about himself when the town is watching him go into the mental health building?
In summary, his rights to privacy and confidentiality are being violated by exposing his mental illness to the public at large by locating the services in an inappropriate area. His right to be treated with respect and dignity is also being violated by requiring that he receive services and treatment in an area that exposes him to public shame and ridicule. I also fear that he will refuse to seek treatment at the Old Coast Hotel and the outcome will be tragic.
Violating mental health patients' rights is illegal and this issue needs to be looked at carefully. I've believe legal action could be taken on this matter. I would certainly not hesitate to do all I can to ensure that my son's rights are protected and that he receives the care and treatment he is entitled to.
— A concerned parent
FOUND IN PHILO: AN INERT MORTAR ROUND!
Thanks to Sonoma County Sheriff's bomb squad who came up today and detonated it to remove the hazard. After it was detonated it was clear that it was not a live round but only a solid metal round typically used during training. (AV Fire Department)
WE’RE STILL TRYING TO DECIPHER what’s happening with the reporting of Mendocino County’s privatized Mental Health system. We recently asked the Health & Human Services Department staff for copies of Ortner’s latest “timeliness of access” report and their latest bill. After a few days of unnecessary runarounds they duly provided them. It turns out the “timeliness of access” report for Ortner’s newly privatized “access center” (which seems to be a subcontracted program that Ortner administers, for a fee) is a simple one-page summary assessment of Ortner’s responses to Mendolanders who contact the crisis line and/or the Access Center.
We’re not sure how the “goals” were set or how reasonable they are, but it appears that the Access Center is largely meeting their goals, although the “average response time from referral to face to face” for access of 3.5 days seems pretty high. All the terms on the chart seem to be subject to interpretation — such as “billable clinical assessments: CIC / BPSA” which we assume means that the chart only covers those clients who Ortner can bill the County/Medicaid for. We’re also a little concerned about the last line of the chart where it first says “timeliness of routine (initial) medication appointments” then mysteriously refers to it as “the initial medical appointment.” We hope the mental health service is not just dispensing psych drugs.
WE’LL BE EXPLORING Ortner’s latest bill in a subsequent item. But for May 2015 Ortner billed $317k which translates to about $3.8 million per year, well under their recent “base match” (advance-reimburseable funding) allocation of $5.1 million and even further under their total funding authorization.
UNFORTUNATELY, the numbers on the access timeliness chart don’t add up and there’s no explanation. The Timeliness report says there were 834 calls, 754 in English, 10 in Spanish and 70 (?) in some other (unspecified) language. There were also (coincidentally?) 70 billable clinical assessments. It also says there were 134 crisis calls, but only 53 assessments, without any explanation of what happened to the other 81 crisis calls, although a footnote refers to 27 cases where “criteria were not met.”
PERHAPS there are people outside the County’s insular Mental Health establishment who can do a better job of interpreting Ortner’s self-reporting. Too bad the County’s oversight arrangements don’t track, probe and report on any of this activity on a regular, continuing basis. It seems like the basic info is available to do that. At least to start.
A DOMINANT THEME running through all the mental health system is the lack of meaningful management reporting and the absence of follow-up questions or skepticism. Whether it’s Ortner or Redwood Quality Management (Ortner’s partner for the under 25 set), or County staff or the Board of Supervisors, there are lots of claims that “things are better,” or “we’re working on that,” or “we know we have some issues with that,” etc. But nobody ever says anything remotely like “show me the documentation or report to support or explain that.”
THIS GRAINY SNAPSHOT from last week’s Mental Health presentation by Health and Human Services Director Stacey Cryer and Mental Health honcho (and former Ortner executive) Tom Pinizzotto is representative of how disorganized and confusing it all is, and stands in stark contrast to the hyper-organized presentations on much less important topics. (Note the sprawl of paperwork, most of it handwritten notes on lined yellow paper not supplied to the Board or put on the record.)
YOU’D THINK that with all the millions they’re spending, all the rhetoric about how important they say it is, the near-constant criticism of various parts of the program, the newness of the privatization of process, all the computers they have these days, that somebody — anybody! — would realize that good reporting and accountability are essential. But this is Mendocino County where not only is there no history, there’s never, ever, any serious ongoing mandatory reporting on the activities of the County’s single biggest employer: Mendocino County (and its departments and contractors).
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
RE A NEW NAME FOR FORT BRAGG: State Sen. Steven Glazer represents Orinda, the Bay Area's 'Mayberry'. African Americans make up less than 1% the population. There are, apparently, even fewer Hispanics. In short, upper middle class to wealthy white Bay Area 'progressives' voted this busy body into office. So deprived of serious concerns, all this douche can find to do is to berate Fort Bragg for a naming over a century past? How about working for a bit of racial diversity within your own district, Mr. Glazer? You know, like create a few units of affordable housing so as to make possible the assimilation into your community the less entitled? Maybe even an African American family or two more than the handful your lily white constituency currently endures?
NORMA WATKINS reminds us: Furniture-Makers Opening--Tonight (Sat) At Oddfellows' Hall, The Mendocino Coast Furniture Makers' 17th Show, The Art Of Wood opens tonight, second Saturday, at Oddfellows Hall, Mendocino, 5-8 pm
BETH BOSK SENDS US this photo of the late Zac Zachary “at Cafe Beaujolais bakery, baking bread while actively contemplating how to stop a coming war. Can't remember the year (or the war); only how persistently, consistently wonderful a man he was.”
"PSYCHOLOGISTS SHIELDED CIA TORTURE." Versions of this headline are all over today's news. I can't imagine anybody being surprised, but I'm sure there are some? Looking around this county's helping professionals, one sees people with master's degrees and PhD's signing off on all sorts of dubious schemes advertised as useful to the dependent sectors of our population, especially children. Case in point: A sad woman called the other day with a long account of her travails, the most painful of which was her being denied permission to even visit with her young son. The young son, as is typical with dependent children, had been bounced around the foster home system, the least systematic system imaginable considering that children, above all things, need structure and stability. The foster home "system" spends a lot of public money providing instability. But it does provide handsome livings for people at apparatuses like Redwood Children's Services but piles on the miseries for the children they allegedly protect from unfit parents. But, but, but... isn't the 'system' overseen by judges? O yeah, just like the CIA is overseen by judges and Congress. We're strictly by the book in this country. Hell, everyone knows that. But in this particular case it was clear that Mom was in no condition to raise a child. She didn't even have a regular address. Nor did her ex-hubby. This kid will plow a very tough row, but I'll bet the psychologists who sign off on his childhood every step of the way until the "system" boots him out the door on his 18th birthday have no problem convincing themselves they've done their darndest.
S.F. POLICE DIDN’T INVESTIGATE GUN THEFT BEFORE PIER KILLING
THAT'S THE HED in this morning's Chron. What isn't mentioned is that car break-ins are a fact of life all over the Bay Area, and what's to investigate? The perp crashes the vehicle's window glass and grabs whatever's visible and takes off. The cops are supposed to do what? The question in this particular case is why the BLM agent didn't even bother to secure his handgun in the trunk of his car, although the more systematic thieves just as routinely crowbar car trunks open in the larger Frisco parking garages. I do know that cops regularly stop the dope heads they know as car burglars, but the justice system being the catch and release program it is, and the jails overcrowded with petty criminals, car burglars are right back out on the streets after they catch up on their sleep in the city and county jails.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 11, 2015
APOLINAR GARCIA, Fresno/Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm, short-barreled shotgun.
WILLIAM LASKEY, Visalia/Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing.
JAMES LOPEZ, Ukiah. Resisting arrest.
TODD MARSHALL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
PATRISHA MOODY, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
LOREN POWERS JR., Ukiah. Drunk in public.
JOSE RAMIREZ-HINOJOSA, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm, short-barreled shotgun.
JOSE RAMIREZ, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.
THOMAS SANDERS, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
JOSHUA SMITH, Willits. Drunk in public.
JESSY STEEL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
CARRIE TALIMAN, Willits. Drunk in public.
WILLIAM THOMPSON, Willits. Drunk in public.
TORREY THURMAN, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
GWEN ZIEL, Fort Bragg. DUI.
When sun bursts the dawn,
I return again
To paths pocked with footprints.
Now the dreams begin.
The child is not kneeling.
The man is crouched and weeping.
The radio still sounds.
The sirens won’t stop wailing.
Someone asks for calm.
Bloodstains all around.
The sun gives way to evening,
My eyes already sleeping,
From the long day, worn down.
Finally ends my dreaming.
— Lluis Llach, “Somni”
Lluis Llach was and still is a A Catalan cantautor—a singer and songwriter.
Cataluña is a province in eastern Spain. It should be a country. It has its own flag, language, and culture.
During the Franco fascist regime, the Catalan language was prohibited. People were not allowed to speak it or write it.
Lluis Llach not only defied this prohibition, but often wrote songs (in Catalan) which were thinly veiled condemnations of Franco and his repressive regime. In “L’Estaca” he compares the dictator and his regime to a stake to which Cataluña (and all of Spain) is bound. The chorus is
Si tu l'estires fort per aquí,
i jo l'estiro fort per allà,
segur que tomba, tomba, tomba,
i ens podrem alliberar.
(If you pull hard here,
and I pull hard there,
it is sure that it falls, falls, falls,
and we can liberate ourselves.)
In “El Bandelero”, a song about a bloodthirsty highway robber, the robber is clearly Franco. At the end of the song, Llach tells of the bandit’s capture, imprisonment, and imminent hanging. Before dying, the bandit prays that someone will light a candle for him and say a prayer for him in the shrine of The Virgin of Carmen. However, the last line of the song is,
Ningú no ho va (No one has done it)
The images of Somni perhaps also allude to the repression of the Franco era.
— Louis Bedrock
VINTAGE CAR spotted at Albion-Little River Fire Department Barbecue Fundraiser (Photo by Susie deCastro)
NRA LOOPHOLE Allows Nuts to Purchase Guns Without Complete Background Checks
from Megan Lewis, Executive Vice President Everytown for Gun Safety
We already knew that the Charleston shooter bought himself the gun he used to kill nine people in a horrific act of terror last month. But the FBI just announced yesterday that he didn't pass his background check -- and should never been able to get that gun. He was flagged by the FBI for further investigation, but because of an NRA-backed loophole in the law, the gun dealer was allowed to make the sale after three days passed -- even though the check was incomplete. The Charleston shooter got his gun because the clock ran out on his background check, just like thousands of other dangerous people every year. Dangerous people like the Charleston shooter should not be allowed to purchase guns when their background check is incomplete. FBI data shows this loophole has allowed more than 15,000 prohibited people to buy guns in the past five years. It's a deadly flaw that the gun lobby has fought to protect. Several states have laws requiring that sales may not go forward even after the three-day period has elapsed, but only Congress has the power to take action at the federal level. When lives are at stake, we shouldn't take shortcuts. Completed background checks have blocked more than two million sales to dangerous people and saved countless lives. Every gun sale should be backed by a verified clean record. Here's the link to Everytown's petition telling Congress to stop allowing gun sales without background checks:
FRISCO'S IDEA OF PUBLIC ART
Hoodline interviews Jeremy Fish:
On a lighter note, could you give us an update on the project in which you raised $50,000 to install a bronzed Silly Pink Bunny at the new development on Laguna and Haight?
I kind of have to slow my roll with the whole thing, because I can't have the statue finished before the building's finished. It will be ten feet tall, and cast in solid bronze. They raised the $50K in cooperation with the Lower Haight Business Association and The Haight Street Art Center, which is part of what's going to be built in that area.
They've designated an area for it about 15 feet from where it used to live, on the Haight Street side going up the hill. From the blueprints I've seen, there's going to be an entrance that leads you into the whole area, with a park and everything. It's going to be really nice. But I can't finish the statue before they finish the building, or I have to pay storage on it.
At the moment, I've been working with [sculptor] Brin Berliner, who's finished the sculpt. We've got the sculpt scanned, and the next stage is to make a mold and cast it, which will probably happen in August or September. Their schedule is to have the building finished this fall, and I'm going to aim to have the statue finished around the same time.
They gave me a land grant for 75 years, so it's going to live on that corner for 75 years. If the people in charge of the property decide to get rid of it at that point, I'm going to have it in my will that it should be donated to Golden Gate Park.
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Rob Anderson's comment:
It's fitting that this atrocity will be installed on the former UC Extension site that San Francisco "progressives" like Selby allowed UC to rip off for a massive housing development to fatten that predatory institution's bottom line. UC had the use of the property — zoned for "public use" since the 19th Century — tax-free for fifty years because of its public education "mission."
Turns out that — surprise! — building housing in San Francisco is much more profitable than providing college courses for working people. Before City Hall allowed UC to hijack the public property, UC lied about why it closed down the Extension and then deliberately allowed the property to deteriorate.
Then UC played the PC card to enlist the support of the gay community, with Tom Ammiano, Bevan Dufty, and Mark Leno leading the way.
The people working on the litigation against the project botched that.
Now a gaggle of punk "artists" and feeble-minded political operatives will be celebrating this contemptible episode in city history by installing the grotesque Silly Bunny, which is an appropriate memorial to the greed, lies, and stupidity of the city's political community.
A READER WRITES: “This may be the last time I pester you for a while. I start treatment for Hepatitis C next week. Side effects may include difficulty in concentration. The medicine I will be taking is called "Harvoni" and is surrealistically expensive. Medicare and supplementary insurance will cover about 95% of the costs, but will still leave me with a co-pay of about $10,000. I mention this personal information not because I need sympathy; I have some savings, so I don't need the great AVA to establish a "Save The Contributor" fund. It's to give one more example of how fucked up our health care system is. I'm blessed — metaphorically, of course — gods don't exist. I have a decent income and some savings. But if it were my neighbor Mary, a widow who has only Social Security for income, who was taking the medicine, she'd probably have to sell her house to pay for it.”
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