- One Signature
- HH Scuffle
- Mawk-drenched Movie
- Wow Ukiah
- RIP Gloria
- Yesterday's Catch
- Cannabis Hour
- Highway 101
- Typical Sweeney
- Norma Jean
- Road Raging
- Foreign Newsgathering
- 50 Years
- Migrant Heroes
- Trump Think
- Workers' Rights
- Governor Greenwash
- Got Magic?
CRAZY IDEA KILLED — TOO NUTS EVEN FOR FORT BRAGG MAYOR TURNER
A bill banning the naming of schools and roads after notable Confederates introduced to the California Legislature has been modified to eliminate language that could have theoretically required Fort Bragg to change its name. In other words, killed.
After conferring with Fort Bragg officials, Democratic Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda has changed the bill’s wording so that it would not require cities or institutions to remove names associated with Confederate figures such as Braxton Bragg, Fort Bragg’s namesake. Bragg became a Confederate general years after the commander of the original military outpost of Fort Bragg named the place after him.
“Fort Bragg will not have to change its name because of SB 539,” Mayor Dave Turner said this week. “When I first heard of this I talked to our Senator, Mike McGuire. He spoke with the author of the bill, Senator Glazer, who assured him that could not be construed to cover city names.”
Glazer introduced SB539 to bar state and local properties from taking the names of elected leaders or senior military officers of the Confederacy. Public places currently named after Confederate officials would have needed to choose a new namesake.
Glazer’s office said last week that the bill was spurred by a national debate over whether public buildings should fly the Confederate flag following the massacre of nine black churchgoers during Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.
But the Democratic state senator announced this week he had changed language in the bill to exclude cities and public institutions like schools and acknowledged he had never heard of Fort Bragg before writing the bill. He did, however, send a letter to city officials saying he still thought it would be a good idea to rethink the town’s name.
“While I appreciate Steven Glazer’s clarification on what the bill covers, I strongly take issue with his presumption to urge us ‘to consider renaming’ Fort Bragg,” Turner said. “This is not going anywhere.”
Two schools in Southern California are currently named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. California also has a Jefferson Davis Highway, named to commemorate the president of the Confederacy.
Social media monitors weighed in on the matter immediately. The Advocate-News posted a Sacramento Bee story about the bill on its Facebook page and received 10,000 views in only a few hours with most people taking umbrage at the news.
DOWNTOWN REZONE OF FORT BRAGG GETS A SETBACK
Ballot Initiative Deemed To Have Insufficient Number Of Signatures
The City of Fort Bragg’s Elections Official has notified the proponents of a ballot initiative entitled “Prohibiting Social Services Organizations in the Central Business District” that their petition failed to include the signatures of “not less than 10 percent of the voters of the city” as required under California Elections Code section 9215. The petition was filed on July 8, 2015. On July 13th, the City Council requested that the County Registrar of Voters examine the signatures on the petition to verify their validity. On July 22nd, the County Registrar of Voters completed the examination of signatures and determined that there were 312 valid signatures. There are 3,124 registered voters in the City of Fort Bragg, therefore 313 valid signatures are required to meet the “not less than 10 percent” threshold. As the petition has been found insufficient, in accordance with Elections Code section 9114 no further action will be taken.
ON FRIDAY, July 17, 2015, Fort Bragg police officers responded with lights and sirens to the report of an assault which was actively occurring at the Hospitality House at 237 North McPherson Street in Fort Bragg. While en route to the scene, officers were notified that the suspect in the assault, Desirea Rodarte, 19, of Fort Bragg, was in possession of a knife. When officers reached the scene, the victim, Jaunda Brown, and suspect had been separated and ambulance personnel were requested to treat injuries sustained by both. Through various witness statements and evidence located at the scene, officers were able to establish that Rodarte was a client at the Hospitality House who was in the process of being removed from services due to multiple violations of the program’s standards. During the process of Rodarte being removed, she physically attacked Jaunda Brown, a manager of the program. During the attack, Rodarte struck Brown with her fists and a cellphone. When other residents of the house attempted to assist Brown, Rodarte produced a knife and attempted to injure herself. Residents of the house were able to disarm Rodarte and separate the parties prior to officers’ arrival. Rodarte was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, and battery causing serious injury. Rodarte is currently being held at the Mendocino County Adult Detention Facility awaiting arraignment. (Fort Bragg Police press release)
(ED NOTE: Because this incident occurred at the Hospitality House, locals who were circulating the petition to prohibit social services organizations in the downtown area were said to be taking special note.)
REEL SHORT MOVIE REVIEW: The Chron's unreliable movie reviewer, Mick LaSalle, is, in a reverse way, a reliable guide to new movies. If LaSalle says the film is great, it might or might not be watchable. If he's offended by the politics of a movie — i.e., the film is outside the lib-lab consensus that is the SF Chronicle — you can be certain it's well worth the price of admission.
APPLYING THE LaSALLE aesthetic to “Southpaw” — Mick says in Thursday's paper, “We're far enough into the year to be able to say that “Southpaw” is one of the great films of 2015” well, sure, by 2015 standards, it probably is great, but name another big budget job this year that's any good at all.
“SOUTHPAW,” in fact, is totally implausible and thoroughly mawk-drenched. It's silly. Totally implausible, a kind of updated Rocky but not anywhere near as good, which is the same story. That said, Jake Gyllenhaal is very good as the boxer, as is Forest Whitaker as the white boy's inspiration. The rest of the acting is marginal. The more romantic but less reality-based libs, will love the Gyllenhaal-Whitaker relationship.
THERE'S A FEMALE CHILD central to this thing, too, which should be a major mawk alert all by itself. (If I'd known a kid was in it, I'd have stayed away, although for an American child actor, this kid wasn't too offensive.) The boxing, though, is realistic, the only stuff that is.
UKIAH NEEDS WOW FACTOR
To the Editor UDJ:
Isn’t time to stop narrow minded thinking and start bringing sustainable business to our areas? Visions have to be seen beforehand in order to transition smoothly to a new era. Tourists will come back if they feel safe. The nickname “Emerald Triangle” will soon go away with legalization and corporate take over of drug grows. And if anyone here whom ever has worked in Napa or San Francisco knows, there is the entire world from the Jersey Shores to France, all are yearning to see and experience Northern California. Car rental trips can connect our town with a few choice new attractions that entice entire family in fun. Our downtown charm can’t be seen until you go further than State Street. The lakes and redwoods are our gold, the whale watching our treasure and the wildlife our gems. Add a dynamic kid experience that attracts from afar. It has to be large and really noticeable. We technically are a four corner junction of highways. East we have lakes and state capital, west we have gorgeous coast, south lies Napa and San Francisco, North the Redwoods. Ever seen Golden Gate Park empty? Academy of Science, Tea Gardens, MOMA all together is like honey to bees. Let’s get a new triangle of culture and teaching with some wow factor.
Catherine A. Lair, Ukiah
ED NOTE: Ukiah already has a Wow Factor. Every time I have to go there I say, "Wow! Get me outtahere and back to Boonville." A half-dead town that pays its city manager a quarter mil a year isn't likely to have much left over for much in the way of publicly-sustained culture. And there are a multitude of other factors, beginning with the withdrawal of the traditionally civic minded, such as the owner of the local bank, the owners of major businesses, the upper echelons of our overpaid and over-numerous cadre of judges, the latter poised to destroy what's left of a coherent downtown by building a new courthouse for themselves far from the present downtown, and, finally, the capture, by cash and carry "liberals," of the civic levers everywhere in Mendocino County, grabbing every public dollar for themselves. Only two attractive towns remain in the county — Fort Bragg and Point Arena. Mendocino? Long gone over to gew gaws and ice cream cones.
On Friday, April 10, 2015 at about 1:27 AM, correctional staff discovered an unresponsive inmate in her cell during a routine walk through. The 59-year old female was the sole occupant of the cell within a 19-person housing unit. The victim had last been seen sleeping about 40 minutes prior during an earlier cell check. Responding correctional and medical staff determined that she was not breathing and had no pulse, and immediately began performing life-saving measures. Upon their arrival, emergency medical services took over care. The victim was pronounced dead at 2:00 AM. Nothing was discovered at the scene to suggest foul play. The victim had been in custody since April 4, 2015 for possession of a controlled substance for sale. The victim’s identity is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin. A thorough death investigation is being conducted by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Bureau. An autopsy has been scheduled for today, April 10, 2015.
UPDATE: The victim has been identified as 59-year-old Gloria Ann Burgess of Ukiah. An forensic autopsy was performed on April 10, 2015. Official results are pending blood alcohol and toxicology analysis.
FURTHER UPDATE: After a thorough investigation into the death of Gloria Burgess, the cause of death has been determined to be classified as natural.
(Sheriff’s Press Release)
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 24, 2015
KRISTIN BANKS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, fighting/challenging to fight.
ANNETTE CAMPBELL, Laytonville. Criminal threats, probation revocation.
GIOVANNI DEMURI, Mendocino. Elder/dependent abuse, vandalism.
AARON LARRAMENDY, Ukiah. DUI.
EDWARD METZ, Green Bay, California/Ukiah. Suspended license.
DENA MORRIS, Willits. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
MIRANDA MULLINS, Willits. Probation revocation.
JAMES NORTON, Willits. Probation revocation.
KEVIN RANDALL, Willits. Domestic abuse, child abuse/endangerment, court order violation.
BRENTON ROSARIO, San Francisco/Ukiah. Outstanding SF misdemeanor warrant.
THOMAS SANDERS, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
BELINDA SCHAFER, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting.
JENNIFER TINSLEY, Lucerne. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JAYMA SHIELDS SPENCE, Coordinator of the Laytonville Healthy Start Family Resource Center, will be Jane Futcher’s guest on KZYX radio’s The Cannabis Hour on Thursday, July 30, at 9am. Shields will share her thoughts on the impacts of cannabis cultivation and culture on the children and families her agency serves. KZYX broadcasts on 90.7 FM, Philo; 91.5 FM, Willits and Ukiah, and 88.1 FM, Fort Bragg. Together, they make up Mendocino County Public Broadcasting.
ROAD NOTES: HIGHWAY 101
by Jeff Costello
As we prepared to leave for Marin County, my daughter asked - as people in Los Angeles inevitably do - "Are you taking the 5 or the 101?" It was comforting to hear freeways being called "the" such-and-such. It doesn't happen anywhere except southern California. I had driven from Las Vegas to Mount Washington via the 15, to the 210, to the 2. After driving through the globally-warmed, intense desert heat with no AC in the car, I would forsake the lesser mileage of I-5 and take the far more pleasant alternative. I know every inch of highway 101, from its inception at the 134 in L.A. to its twisty loop around the Olympic Peninsula.
If you're lucky in summer - prevailing westerly season - you'll get cooling fog near the ocean.
A few favorite stops along the way north: In Thousand Oaks, just off the Wendy Dr. exit on the right, there's a great little coffee, sandwich and gelato shop, Conejo Coffee. A good little mostly Mexican restaurant, Me and Z's in Arroyo Grande. Good clam chowder (just down the road from Pismo Beach), and everyone gets dessert, a complimentary bit of ice cream. Best tacos ever in King City at La Potranca, south end of town on the main drag.
The real pleasure of Highway 101, once you get past the Valley, Camarillo and Ventura, is the lack of heavy traffic and relative absence of big trucks. Big rig drivers have to make time and the 5 is the shortest way from Southern CA to the Bay Area and all the way to Seattle. In the stretch between Willits and Eureka on 101, it is possible and even likely to sometimes find the road devoid of other vehicles. I miss driving through Cloverdale before the bypass. The north end of town has since been phonied up and is no longer interesting. And I will miss driving through Willits. Freeway travel can become tedious, and going through a town gives one a break.
We pulled off on Avenue of the Giants, a touristy thing, yes, but living in the interior one can no longer take the redwoods for granted. Crescent City, being "not quite California" in my hazy cultural perceptions, is a perfect departure point, and... yes, there's Pelican Bay too, part of my Grand Tour of major prisons along my favored roadway. Reminders that all is not wonderful in the Golden State, but like an old joke about money, "it isn't everything but it beats whatever is in second place."
101 along the Oregon coast is also quite scenic, if one is fascinated with the view. For me it's physical proximity to the ocean that matters more than the visuals. We did take the opportunity to pull off and get our feet in the salt water, no small thing when you're living 1300 miles inland at over 5000 ft. altitude. Heading east from Lincoln City, one drives through fields of wheat and hay, almost immediately once again in the interior. Friends in Portland provided the last tidbit of west coast hospitality and we were off.
To our Supervisors and Councilmen,
re: the recent hearing on the Central Coast Transfer Station
After listening to the indignant denouncement of the CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife and the CA State Parks by each of the Supervisors and Councilmen, we would submit a few observations.
Blame for the delay was laid heavily on the agency staff, but the responsibility may also be laid to the office of Mr. Sweeney. DF&W has stated in each of their letters that their offers to meet have been ignored. Their comments to the DEIR have been ignored or dismissed with bland repeating of the DEIR statements. No attempt has been made to reconcile these interests prior to the hearing, even though DF&W called the Solid Waste Management office immediately after the FEIR was released to reiterate the problems with the FEIR. DF&W has acted like a model agency and repeatedly responded in a timely manner, only to be ignored.
State Parks also have not been kept informed or consulted in the process. The swap lands have not been evaluated or analyzed in the EIR and the conservation easement has not been thoroughly discussed at the appropriate levels. One phone call to the local SP Supervisor from over five years ago is inadequate. The Sierra Club asked for a copy of an MOU about the State Parks conservation easement over a month ago, to which Mr. Sweeney replied “There is no MOU”. (memo June 23, 2015)
The FEIR fails in the absence of a true environmentally superior alternative (Leisure Time RV Park), the absence of evaluation of the impacts of trading 12 acres of protected forest, and the rehabilitation of the old Caspar Transfer Station site.
Please read the letters from DF&W, State Parks, CA Native Plant Society and Sierra Club and really listen to the concerns. The transfer station should be sited on a property that is already bulldozed, not on a piece of undisturbed rare habitats.
Rixanne Wehren, Mary Walsh, Linda Perkins
Exec. Committee, Mendocino Group, Sierra Club
‘CANDLE IN THE WIND’
Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did
Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something as more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe
ONE OF THE ALL-TIME GREAT FREAKOUTS
HOW TO BE A FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT
by Alexander Cockburn (May 1976)
Resolving to consider the nature and practice of foreign newsgathering, I originally had it in mind to center attention on CL Sulzberger. It seemed to me, following his intrepid, unending voyage through the capitals of Europe, that in the end one would have a lexicon of clichés — an immense word hoard of all the banalities any man could ever set down about foreign affairs. It seemed to me that CL had become the Mariner 10 of journalism, a typewriter rushing through the vastness of space, pulsing back its twice weekly message. Perhaps one day the typewriter will fall silent — perhaps it already has — but through a time lag across the light years the messages will still come, datelined Vienna, or Paris, or Rome — and one will feel that although the man himself is departed, his column will adorn The New York Times op-ed page forever.
The ground he covers is tremendous. The old files bear witness to his prodigious energies. Here he is in Israel talking to 'a most authoritative Israeli official: (“I found some interest in both Cairo and Tel Aviv when I proposed the Raifa-Port Suez line which was the actual frontier between Egypt and Ottoman Turkey at the start of World War I…”); now in Italy (“Italy may be heading towards a Chilean solution … opening to the left…. nor does much time remain…”); then briefly back to London (“Democracy need not always abide by what seems to be old-fashioned majority rule”) before setting off for Athens and Istanbul (“There is a widespread fear that anarchy and a massive disaster are looming”).
Late in 1971, we find him briefly in Vienna, pondering the hundredth anniversary of Stanley's discovery of Livingstone: “During Stanley's leisurely era, a taste for lonely adventure and for unbridled literary composition were essential. … In those nostalgic days the roving reporter was a kind of verbal aristocrat. Boldness of spirit, elegance of style and frequently astonishing knowledge were assets he combined to prepare literary reports for an audience that depended on newspapers for immediate understanding of the spacious world about it.” It is a poignant cry.
CL is the summation, the platonic ideal of what foreign reporting is all about, which is to fire volley after volley of cliché into the densely packed prejudices of his readers. There are no surprises in his work. NATO is always in crisis. There is and always has been an opening to the left in Italy. He never deviates into paradox. His work is a constant affirmation of received beliefs.
CL Sulzberger is much too experienced a hand to avoid the obvious whenever he has a chance to grapple with it. We find him in Nairobi, face to face with the course of events on the dark continent and sure enough, we find that “Africans are accustomed to dwelling in tribal societies and respect authority. … The greatest question for the next generation of leaders is: Can nation-states in the future be maintained over the disintegrating thrust of ancient tribalism?” This is expert stuff, fulfilling the first law of all journalism, which is to confirm existing prejudice, rather than contradict it.
So, armed with Sulzberger's Maxim, Never Shun the Obvious, let us see how the foreign correspondent should address himself to the world.
There are certain blank areas one should simply keep clear of. Australia and New Zealand for example: vast territories covered with sheep. Nothing of any interest has ever been written about New Zealand, and indeed very little is known about it. In Australia, if it becomes absolutely necessary to go there, one can touch on (a) the convict heritage of the inhabitants, (b) the tendency of prime ministers to drown themselves, (c) philistine nature of Australians —see (a) above— and (d) erosion of Great Barrier Reef. Do not get into discussions of the Japanese invasion and Australian race laws, or even the future of the Australian Labor Party.
Moving north a little we find ourselves nearing New Guinea. This is simple stuff: headhunters face to face with 20th century. Interview a worried district officer. Speak of the menace of the modern world for these simple, yet unpredictable tribes which are usually coated with white clay. Are oil companies about to exploit assets which some geologists speculate may equal those of the Middle East?
Indonesia, first of all, is a teeming archipelago. It is still shaking itself free of the confused yet charismatic leadership of Sukarno. There was a massacre, but the wounds are healing (or, the schisms still run deep and much bitterness remains). There are contrasts. Wealth coexists uneasily with desperate poverty. There are Moslems (a growth subject). The students may be becoming discontented with the rule of the generals. There is much US investment, which so far has done little to adjust the stark contrast between rich and poor.
Now we are in Malaysia, where one of the few successful examples of counter-insurgency occurred. Under the wise leadership of Sir Robert Thompson, the Chinese Communists were routed. Relative contentment prevails. Hurry on to Singapore and stay at the Raffles Hotel. Interview Harry Lee; ask him why he has jailed all his political opponents. Singapore is a fast growing economic center. It has a powerful class of Chinese businessmen whose sympathies may well lie with Singapore's powerful neighbor to the north.
We are now into South East Asia proper. Some simple rules for a complex subject: Analyses of Laotian, Thai, Cambodian or Burmese politics are strictly for professionals or addicts. Speak of the timeless rhythms of the countryside wherever possible. Never underestimate the Buddhists. Always revisit places (“For Lon Tho, a simple peasant, the life has not changed…”). Be careful about Burma. Most people cannot remember whether it was Siam and has become Thailand, or whether it is now part of Malaysia and should be called Sri Lanka.
Pass on now to Hong Kong, a time bomb, but also a listening post, hideous contrasts between rich and poor. Highest suicide rate in the world. It teems. Avoid Macao, which is for gamblers only and is seedy and rundown. Go straight to China. A few simple rules: always get an interview with Chou En Lai. He is civilized, but a dedicated revolutionary. He has an uncanny command for detail.
Be careful about China. It may have peaked as a growth subject. But it is still quite safe to be favorable about it.
Japan. You can be much more racist about the Japanese than most other people, e.g., they only copy — albeit superbly — Western inventions. Fearful pollution. No street maps. Workers are intensely loyal to their companies. (Ignore labor militancy). Tanaka is dynamic but beset by problems. (The proper adjectival adornment for leaders is a vast and complex subject. If he is one of our dictators then use words like dynamic, strong man, able. He laughs a great deal, is always on the move, in a hurry. He brushes impatiently aside questions about franchise and civil liberties: “my people are not yet ready for these amenities you in the West feel free to enjoy…” If, on the other hand, he is one of their dictators, then use words like unstable, brooding, erratic, bloodthirsty, indolent. He seldom ventures out of his palace unless under heavy guard. He is rumored to be ailing. Oddly enough he is charismatic. At the moment it is particularly dangerous to use adjectives about Arab leaders. Stick to general concepts in this case, like converted to western ways or deeply religious.)
Back to Japan. What about militarism? What about Soy sauce? Stress unease about Western intentions.
Let us quicken the pace a little, for there is much ground to be covered, and the presses are waiting. Up and away we go, past Philippines, where Marcos is brushing questions impatiently aside, ever intent on dragging his country into the 20th century and on putting an end to corruption; past Tahiti (where syphilis is rife) and down into our all-purpose Latin American country.
It seems to symbolize the problems of a young continent, still scarred by its conquistador heritage. An impoverished Indian population has little say in the fortunes of a republic scarred by rampant and soaring inflation, presided over by an aging-dictator, backed by a junta. Young officers in the air force are plotting an ill-fated but bloody coup which is deplored by thoughtful but troubled intellectuals, uneasily aware of their great neighbor to the north which they view with mixed emotions. The country has long democratic traditions which have been reluctantly abandoned. Armed with a newfound sense of responsibility the Catholic hierarchy is pressing for a return to cherished democratic norms. Shanty towns sprawl. Roads cleave the fast receding jungle which itself is squeezed between the long spine of the Andes and the superb beaches, playground of a newly affluent middle class. The romantic appeal of Castro can nowhere be sensed. There is, on the other hand, abundant evidence of American investment, though the seasoned businessmen view the future with caution. For though the country craves strong government, they note the growing power of the trade Union movement and seething discontent among the students. The university is closed.
Away we go again, high over Canada, conscious as always of its neighbor to the south, over Iceland covered with geysers and surrounded by fish, and down towards Europe.
General features are immediately apparent. There is a crisis in the common market: a crisis in relations with the US; a crisis in NATO; a huge immigrant laboring population. But we relax at once for we are in London where the civilized pace of life can be observed. Class distinctions are as subtle but as emphatic as ever, even though smiling policemen constantly pause to give us street directions. The city is stuffed with theaters. We are, however, perturbed by the state of the British industry, disrupted by strikes, prey to the demands of a powerful trade union movement which is supported by indolent workers. It is clear, as we observe the tolerant affection in which the Royal family is held, that Britain has lost an empire but not yet found a role and that thoughtful Britons still believe the US to be Britain's best friend, and that in the EEC Britain may prove a valuable counterweight to French designs.
Spain is afflicted by the Basque problem. With its abundant population of small farmers and mutinous workers, France seems still enslaved by the heritage of Descartes and de Gaulle. There's a lot of Gallic logic around. The buildings are very clean, but the small markets of rural France seem to be fast disappearing in the face of American-style enterprises. On the whole we leave with a sense of optimism, for it seems that Gaullist illusions of grandeur are a thing of the past, even though fervent belief in the destiny and civilizing mission of La France remain.
Belgium has a language problem, too, as Walloons battle it out with Flems. But Brussels is a soulless city of international institutions so we pass it and move on to Germany. At once we are conscious of the dilemma. Has the country finally exorcised the nightmare of Hitler, or does the new interest in Hitler presage a return to ugly passions of the 30s. All Germans work extremely hard, leading to constant trading surpluses and frequent revaluation of the mark.
Italy is a nightmare. Venice is sinking; workers are constantly on strike; neo-Fascism is gaining new adherents; corruption is rife and the cabinet is in crisis. The Christian Democrats in power since 1947, have just closed the door on the opening to the left.
Avoid Austria, home of Bruno Kreisky, Former center of Austro-Hungarian Empire, birthplace of Hitler, and, indeed, avoid Scandinavia, too; even Finland, uneasily aware of its giant neighbor to the east. There is little to detain zealous newsmen here. Even the passions of Eastern Europe have died down. The old wounds of '56 in Hungary seem to be healing and Cardinal Mindzenty has left. Poland still has its drunks and its Catholics and its openness to modern strains in western art. No one knows where Dubcek is. Romania seems still determined to steer an independent diplomatic path but shows little signs of any relaxation of the iron grip of the communist party. Bulgaria is still Russia’s closest ally and as befits the homeland of Rose Attar is always first to toe the Kremlin line. Yugoslavia is troubled by Croats but seemingly gone are the brave years when Tito defied its neighbor to the far north. We can see only a dim outline of Albania, once the West's only listening post to the immense enigma of China, now merely enigmatic.
The USSR is for the specialist, but here are a few tips. Try (a) new cities in Siberia, (b) sturgeon poaching in the Caspian, (c) the old men of Azerbaijan invigorated by a diet of kasha and goat milk, (d) pollution of Lake Baikal, (e) disappointing harvest in the virgin lands, (f) no bath plugs in old-fashioned Victorian hotels, (g) foreign factories on the Volga, (h) nostalgia for the years of Stalin, (i) abiding fears of German militarism.
A quick swing through Turkey, still heaving itself into the 20th century, conscious of the heritage of Ataturk, its sky aglow with the gilded minarets of Byzantium.
Outside the complex Middle East we are mostly left with India and Africa; the world's largest democracy and a continent in many ways still dark. There is much to choose from: sacred cows, religious sects, the vale of Kashmir, legacy of the RAJ, the corrupt congress party, Janis, westerners in search of truth, dust, starvation on an unparalleled scale. In Africa, the onward march of the Sahara, Kwashiorkor, tribalism, President Nyerere, South African labor laws, guerrillas in Mozambique, genocide, famine, still proud Masai, once proud Touaregs, and still small pygmies.
We have done it! These are the basic rules. There are many subtleties, of course. The proper treatment of islands merits a whole chapter in the novice's manual (tiny, yet strategically vital; hotly disputed by its giant neighbors; lying athwart what is possibly the world’s most crucial waterway; seeking to avoid the traps and pitfalls of “modern life”; threatened by volcanoes/tidal waves/nuclear fallout). Then again, the treatment of a deposed leader: is he unceremoniously bundled into exile, stripped of his duties, long rumored to be ailing but dominated by an ambitious wife whom many believe to hold the true reins of power? What about allegations of torture? Are they brusquely dismissed as fabrications, or widely accepted as having some basis in fact?
There are problems of timing: When should one leave the war-torn scene of crisis? After the shooting has stopped; one month after that; six months later? Should one go back (“War still rages in ‘peaceful’...”)?
By and large avoid the underdeveloped or third world or newly emerging world. Reporting of famine and mass starvation holds little consistent appeal for Western readers, and unrestrained speculation about the probable number of dead (one million, two million, ten million) merely bewilders and depresses people. Stick to main highways of Western diplomacy and American policy. Remember that your cliché hoard is for consolation and affirmation, never be premature in any criticism of your nation's policy. Remember that the world turns slowly and that almost without exception what was true about a country ten years ago is still true today. Life goes on as usual. Bear in mind Lord Northcliffe's sage advice to journalists: “Never lose your sense of the superficial.” Happy landings.
MENDO CELEBRATES 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT
The Mendocino County Registrar of Voters Office partnering with the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials are proud to announce that August 6 is the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a milestone in national legislation that prohibits discriminatory voting practices from disenfranchising African Americans. The act makes it illegal to require eligible voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote.
Within the same year the act was passed, many key events took place throughout the Civil Rights Movement:
- Malcolm X was assassinated,
- The Selma to Montgomery marches occurred,
- The Watts riots in Los Angeles occurred, and
- President Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 to enforce Affirmative Action for the first time.
Since its initial passage, the act has expanded its reach with amendments that assist language minorities in the voting process by providing language-specific election materials to jurisdictions with large numbers of language minorities.
DATED: July 24, 2015
SUSAN M. RANOCHAK
Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
HUGO MORALES was profiled by Anderson Valley resident Jerry Cox in these pages back in December of 2013: https://www.theava.com/archives/25473
And now he is featured in a recent PBS documentary called “Migrant Heroes” posted on the PBS website at: http://www.pbs.org/filmfestival/all-films/migrant-heroes/
Migrant Heroes depicts Hugo Morales, a Mixtec Indian from Oaxaca, Mexico, who as a child immigrated with his family to the US. A California farmworker at first, he eventually graduated from Harvard Law before creating Radio Bilingüe — a trilingual radio station that caters to the needs of indigenous immigrants. The film, by popular Mexican documentarian Yolanda Cruz, explores his life and work, through animation and documentary elements.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY: TRUMP-THINK
I have relatives, Mexicans all, that live in Chihuahua, MX. They live in a fairly remote rural area in the mountains that’s about two hours away from Nuevo Casas Grandes. For several years now they have been telling us how civil authority has broken down. Here are a few descriptions and anecdotes to illustrate.
When the narco traffickers first took over the area one of the first things that everyone learned is that you don’t drive around after sundown because that’s when lots of the violence takes place. Everyone learned to race home and get inside before the sun went down. People learned to fear being caught outdoors in the dark. (This has also become true in cities like Ciudad Juarez.) If you did stay out for some reason you learned to fear seeing headlights in your rear view mirror because if anyone was following you most likely it was the narco traffickers and they stop anyone and everyone that they want with impunity. And they can make you pull over. And they do pull everyone over. They ask where you are going and what business you have in the area. And you’ll answer because while they are talking to you they are brandishing AK-47s. And unless you feel really confident that you can take them on and win or that you can outrun them you realize that it’s better just to cooperate and answer their questions.
The second thing you learn is that you shouldn’t buy a new vehicle, especially a new truck. If they see you have a new truck or car they stop you and want to know where you got it and how you paid for it. Why? They want to know who you work for. They want to know if you work for a rival cartel or gang because that’s one of the only ways someone in the region is going to have money to buy a new vehicle. And if they like your vehicle, they’ll just take it. Too bad for you. Likewise if you have a relative who lives in the US and is visiting and has a new truck or a truck that isn’t readily available in Mexico and a cartel member likes that person’s truck, they’ll just take it. Again, too bad for you.
The third thing you learn is that the same rules about just taking trucks if they like them applies to pretty young girls.
The fourth thing you learn is that if you have a business you’ll need to pay protection money. And if you don’t they’ll shut you down or kill you. Many people have shuttered their homes and small businesses and fled to the US because of this.
The only people that stay in this area of Chihuahua are the people who are from the ejidos or collective farms. They stay because they have ties to the land and because they know how to get along with the traffickers because back in the 90’s when growing marijuana was the big cash crop in that area people learned how to get along with drug traffickers because they were part of the pipeline then. So they understand the cartel members.
An anecdote: A while after the drug traffickers took over in the area lots of petty criminals started taking advantage of the lack of civil authority. On one occasion at one of the few gas stations in the area some young toughs stopped to fill up. They told the gas station attendant to give them gas even though they had no money. Besides, they promised him they’d come back later and pay. When he insisted that they pay now, they beat him up and left him lying on the floor of the gas station. The next customers to come along were narco traffickers. They found the attendant and asked him what happened. He told them. They told him they’d take of it. The next day the young “toughs” were found outside of town. They were dead and had been tortured.
Another anecdote: A young Mexican that had lived here in the US in violation of immigration laws had returned to this area in Chihuahua. While he’d lived in the US he had engaged in lots of theft and robbery of cars and homes. He was never caught here. He and another friend from Mexico regularly engaged in crime in the US. To them it was amusing. After a few years of that life here they went back to Chihuahua because things were getting a little “hot” for them here in Albuquerque. Back in Chihuahua they started living the same kind of larcenous and criminal life they’d lived here. The narcos caught them and gave them a warning. One young man settled down. The other didn’t and kept on stealing and causing trouble. The narcos caught him and tortured him. They killed him and left his dismembered body in area where the townspeople would be sure to find him.
I know more anecdotes but these should suffice to give an idea about life in Chihuahua right now. Mexicans from Nuevo Casas Grandes can take a bus that goes directly from there to Albuquerque, NM and get here in about 8 to 10 hours. What I’m talking about is not that far from where I live. There are lots of Mexican drug traffickers in Albuquerque, but they are inconspicuous because there are so many Mexicans living here. In the last 20 years, culturally, the border with Mexico has moved from El Paso, TX and Columbus, NM to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM. One sees that change every day. I don’t want that narco culture to be here in Albuquerque. I don’t want it in the US. I don’t want our lives to deteriorate to the point it has in Chihuahua. That’s why I support Donald Trump. He is the only candidate out there that seems to understand the reality of immigration and what it brings with it and is willing to say something about it.
ADJUNCT PROFESSORS & WORKERS’ RIGHTS
By Laura Finley, Ph.D.
The workers’ rights movement has exploded in the last few years, with fast food, agricultural and other workers staging strikes and other nonviolent actions to demand increased wages, benefits, and better working conditions. One group of workers that has received far too little attention is adjunct college professors.
According to data collected by the *Chronicle of Higher Education*, adjuncts at one college and two universities near my home in Southeast Florida earn between $1,380 and $3,000 to teach a fifteen week, three credit course. My own university’s published rates range from $1,500 to $3,000. A national survey found the average pay for a three-credit course to be $2,700. Given that the typical equation for calculating preparation and grading time for a three-credit course is three hours for every one hour of class time, it’s safe to assume that adjuncts put in a good 135 hours during a semester. That works out to just over $10 an hour for someone making the lowest rate and about $22 an hour for the higher rate based on the rates listed above. This is appalling, especially since most adjuncts have terminal degrees and the massive student debt that accompanies them, and it puts many adjuncts in the same camp as 42 percent of workers in the U.S who earn less than $15 an hour, according to Forbes. The American Association of University Professors has noted that of the more than 30,000 adjunct professors who would like to obtain a full-time academic position, more than 60 percent hold one or more other jobs.
These wages are not nearly ample to afford the basic necessities of life in the U.S. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) estimates that in New England, an adjunct professor would have to teach 17 to 24 classes a year to be able to afford a home and pay for utilities. Teaching four classes per year would cover only the grocery bill for a family of four. The work is also unstable, as classes can be cancelled at the last minute if enrollment is not adequate. One adjunct even described her class being cancelling the morning it was to start. According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a living wage in Miami is $11.45 per hour for a single adult.
In addition to these unfair low wages, adjuncts do not receive any kind of benefits. Many times, they are not even allotted a space on campus to meet with students, or if they are, it might be one without a computer or phone. A report from the University of California at Berkeley found that nearly a quarter of all adjunct professors receive some form of public assistance, like food stamps or Medicaid. Many must, as grown educated adults with advanced degrees, live with their families, and struggle to afford basic food requirements. One adjunct professor reported, "I lived off of fried potatoes and onions for the semester. I actually lived better as a grad student than I do now."
To make ends meet, many adjuncts become “gypsies,” jetting from one campus to another to teach as many classes as possible. I did this some time ago, at one time teaching seven classes at three different universities, just so that my family of three could afford a cheap apartment. The hours spent on the road, of course, are not calculated in the pay.
Adjunct faculty are rarely integrated into school or departmental activities. One study of 105 research universities found that faculty senates at approximately two-thirds of the sample excluded adjuncts from participation. Another study conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Adjunct Project found that more than half of the respondents had no say at all in faculty governance. My own experience is that the adjuncts are physically separated in that, when office space is allotted, it is nowhere near the other faculty. I was never invited nor welcomed to departmental activities. Indeed, most faculty members had no idea who I was. Worse, while often being hired sight-unseen, adjunct professors can be undermined when administrators determine they need to excessively control the curriculum. At one university where I was hired based only on my curriculum vitae (no personal interaction, not even a phone interview) to teach an introductory course, I received an email three weeks into the semester detailing my syllabus, lecture notes, and exams. Given that I had obviously already provided my students with a syllabus and the course was well underway, I chose to ignore this email from the department chair (whom I never met) and carried on as I had planned. Not surprisingly, there was no follow up to that email and, despite ignoring these requests, I was asked (but could not) teach again for that university.
In essence, while they are some of the workhorses of higher education, adjuncts are decidedly second-class citizens. In February, the SEIU recommended that adjuncts earn $15,000 per course. They admit this might be reaching for the sky, but argue that a national conversation about adjunct wages is desperately needed. If we truly believe that education is the pathway not only to financial success but also to personal satisfaction, it is completely deplorable that we compensate a significant portion of the people who provide it so poorly. In particular, at universities that pledge to value social justice and human rights, it is an atrocity that employees who perform such a valuable service are not afforded a living wage.
(Laura Finley, Ph.D., teaches in the Barry University Department of Sociology & Criminology, and is syndicated by PeaceVoice, www.peacevoice.info/.)
Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting Coloring for Adults, First Friday Art Walk Friday August 7th, 5:00-7:30pm Join us for a relaxing hands-on exploration of a best-selling phenomenon, coloring books for adults. This is an all ages event and young art enthusiasts are welcome too. Live music with Sheldon Malone and yummy treats from Mama’s Café The Friends of the Ukiah Library Book Sale will be open from 4;30- 7:45pm and reopen Saturday at 10:00 am.
JERRY BROWN GUSHES ABOUT "FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE" AT VATICAN AS HE FRACKS CA
by Dan Bacher
In yet another carefully choreographed photo opportunity to tout his "green" image while he promotes the expansion of fracking, Governor Jerry Brown today urged the world's mayors to "light a fire" and "join California in the fight against climate change."
Brown was speaking on the first day of the Vatican's symposium on climate change and modern slavery hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.
"We have fierce opposition and blind inertia," Brown claimed. "And that opposition is well-financed, hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, into falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country. We have to fight that propaganda and overcome the inertia and the tremendous opposition."
"Mayors, you are at the bottom of this power chain and you have got to light a fire. We have to join together. We have to make a change. It's up to us to make it happen," Brown said.
The Vatican's symposium aims to drive awareness, dialogue and action at the local level on climate change and modern slavery — two interconnected issues highlighted in the pope's recent encyclical, according to an announcement from the Governor's Office.
Governor Brown will address the symposium again during tomorrow's program.
You can expect the mainstream media and some corporate "environmental" groups to gush over Brown's grandstanding at the Vatican with little critical analysis of the Governor's actual environmental record, a toxic legacy that I have documented in article after article.
Fortunately, faith leaders from Brown’s home state and environmental experts introduced a critical note to the narrative about Brown's visit to the Vatican when they commended the Pope for his leadership and urged him to take this opportunity to call on Brown and other leaders to ban fracking and take every possible measure to protect "our climate."
“We in the faith community applaud Pope Francis for highlighting the moral imperative of addressing climate change and protecting creation, and appreciate that he is bringing leaders like Jerry Brown to the Vatican to highlight the issue,” said Rev. Ambrose Carroll, a senior pastor at the Church by the Side of Road in Oakland, Calif., and a member of Faith Against Fracking. “We hope he will be able to get Governor Brown to see the indisputable incompatibility of his attempts to fight climate change while enabling the worst climate polluters to continue fracking.”
“As Pope Francis meets with leaders from around the world on climate change, we applaud his efforts to make environmental stewardship a priority of the Catholic community and commend his willingness to speak up about our moral imperative to protect the planet,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe.
“Among the Pope's guests this week is California Gov. Jerry Brown, an American politician who, despite having done much to further the global conversation on climate change, continues to put his own state's environmental and public health at risk by supporting the expansion of fracking and other extreme oil drilling. We urge Pope Francis to send a clear message to Brown and other elected officials that fracking—in California, in Europe, or elsewhere—has no place in his vision for a greener planet," emphasized Hauter.
Latino communities in California, who disproportionately live near fracking and other extreme oil drilling sites in the state, on Monday sent a letter to Pope Francis asking him to intercede on their behalf and protect residents from fracking, according to Californians Against Fracking. (http://californiansagainstfracking.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Pope-Francis-Latino-Letter.pdf)
"As the defender of all that is moral and good, we ask that you intercede on our behalf due to the suffering we are facing as a result of Governor Brown’s support of these practices," the letter stated. "In our communities, the oil and gas industry is using dangerous extraction methods like fracking next to our schools and in our backyards, and it is contaminating our air and our water, and making us sick. Because of fracking, our communities are suffering."
The group said more than 60,000 children in California attend school within one mile of a stimulated oil well — of which 60 percent are Latino. Statewide, Latino students are nearly 19 percent more likely than non-Latino students to attend a school within a mile and a half of a stimulated well. Last week, a Kern County family sued Governor Brown claiming that the new fracking regulations do not protect the health of Latino public school children. (http://www.crpe-ej.org/crpe/index.php/component/content/article/360-romo-v-brown)
In his recent encyclical on climate change Pope Francis said, “Many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms, simply making efforts to reduce some of the negative impacts of climate change. However, many of these symptoms indicate that such effects will continue to worsen if we continue with the current models of production and consumption…We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels — especially coal, but also oil, and to a lesser degree, gas — needs to be progressively replaced without delay.” (http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html)
More than a dozen countries in Europe, including Italy, Germany and France, have banned or placed a moratorium on fracking. In the United States, a number of states including New York and Maryland have moved to halt the practice - but not Jerry Brown's California, supposedly a "green" state.
An independent study released by the California Council on Science and Technology earlier this month confirmed that fracking and other methods of oil development in the state are harmful to human health, air quality and the state’s vulnerable water supply.
There is little doubt why Governor Brown is such a fervent backer of extreme oil extraction in California; the oil industry is one of the biggest and most faithful contributors to his campaigns.
On September 20, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 4, an odious piece of legislation that creates the infrastructure for the expansion of fracking in California.'' Before Brown signed the bill, he had received millions in donations from Big Oil, according to Robert Gammon's East Bay Express article published on October 2, 2013. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/fracking-jerry-brown/Content?oid=3726533)
"Before Jerry Brown signed legislation last month that promises to greatly expand fracking in California, the governor accepted at least $2.49 million in financial donations over the past several years from oil and natural gas interests, according to public records on file with the Secretary of State's Office and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Of the total, $770,000 went to Brown's two Oakland charter schools — the Oakland School for the Arts and the Oakland Military Institute. The other $1.72 million went to his statewide political campaigns for attorney general and governor, along with his Proposition 30 ballot-measure campaign last year," said Gammon.
Jerry Brown's support of fracking is just one of the multitude of terrible environmental policies that he has embraced. Since I am the only reporter, that I am aware of, who has investigated the environmental record of Jerry Brown as a whole, I encourage other journalists also to investigate his real environmental record.
His environmentally destructive policies include promoting carbon trading greenwashing; rushing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the Delta tunnels; driving Delta smelt and salmon to the edge of extinction; campaigning for the Prop. 1 water grab; and forging ahead with the oil industry lobbyist-overseen Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create deeply-flawed "marine protected areas."
For more information about Governor's real environmental record, go to: http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/30452-the-extinction-governor-rips-the-green-mask-off-his-tunnels-plan
While Jerry Brown's call to "light a fire" on the climate change issue as he promotes fracking and other anti-environmental policies has ignited criticism and protests by environmentalists, the Pope's failure to respond to American Indian activists' call to not canonize Fr. Junipero Serra has also spurred events and ceremonies throughout the state.
I AM AVAILABLE FOR MORE SPIRITUALLY INSPIRED FRONTLINE INTERVENTION!
Warmest spiritual greetings, Please know that following the direct action(s) after the Earth First! gathering in Vermont's Green Mountains, I journeyed to Maine for important meetings with longtime participants there. This was in addition to being able to interact with other longtime participants at the EF! RRR; all of which combines to define an ongoing, amazing effort beginning in late May with Beyond Extreme Energy in Washington D.C. Having flown from Maine to Florida, a brief visit to Gainesville's Zen Hostel precipitated going to the Earth First! Journal house in Lake Worth, where the newsletter is being worked on prior to beginning production of the next issue of the no-compromise magazine. I contributed what I was able to offer, and then took the local train to Miami. I am booked into a travelers hostel in South Beach through Sunday, July 26th; went to Key West on Wednesday just for fun, and fell asleep in a gazebo inside of the butterfly nature conservatory, awakening to butterflies on my shirt, two pink flamingos staring at me from a pond full of golden koi fish, and the domed enclosure's piped-in serene music. It was so relaxing, that I almost needed to be carried out. I have no appointments whatsoever on the planet earth for the forseeable future. In conversation with an insightful revolutionary ecologist at "Stop the FERCus" late May in D.C., we agreed that at this juncture in postmodern history, the traditional political left wing has generally played itself out. It really has been incredible over the past 40 years, but "been" is the key word here. Therefore, as we await the unknown to manifest from anarchy's primordial chaos, let me run this by you: I am interested in performing rituals for the purpose of purifying the toxic global social atmosphere, because it needs a thorough spiritual scrubbing, and this will be a prelude to future radical environmental and peace & justice activity. If this interests you, feel free to creatively respond to this email. I am able to get to just about anywhere, and I am able to financially support myself. Got magic?
Craig Louis Stehr