- PA Quake
- River Suckers
- Muy Niño
- Clownshow Journalism
- Vineyard Expansion
- Waste Meeting
- Silverstone's Arrest
- O'Brien Exhibit
- Democratic Clubbing
- Landlady Warning
- Yesterday's Catch
- Potemkin Party
- Schwarzenegger's Birthday
- Citizens Summons
- Library Events
MANY LOCALS felt the earth shudder late Monday morning. According to the USGS, a quake measuring 3.5 was centered a few miles south of Point Arena but felt as far east as Signal Ridge, Philo. Say, isn't a few miles south of Point Arena the San Andreas Fault?
DAVE SEVERN WRITES: Yesterday as I came and went from the Not So Simple Fair, I did so through water running down the sidewalks in front of our Fairgrounds. Small potatoes maybe, but still emblematic of an accepted "inevitable" "End Times" scenario. Not so short sighted would be those who operate outback vineyards and not quite so in our face but still quite blatant in the vibrant green color of the vines they feed. On Anderson Creek, Indian Creek, Rancheria Creek and Navarro River there are 98 points of water diversion. Some of these are domestic and of minimal impact. Some are inactive altogether. But many are still in use. While someone small like Balo Winery might have used about 1 1/2 acre-feet of water this past month (489,000 gallons), others use more and even one that I know who not only doesn't have wine grapes but also doesn't even live here. That would be Jeffery Skoll (billionaire co-founder of eBay) who owns Shenoa. It appears he has pumped approximately 5 acre-feet of water (1,629,255 gals) this past month which surpasses his neighbor the Wentzel Vineyard whose encroachment upon the riparian environment amounted to close to 4 acre-feet (1,283,404 gals) over the same period. It's not just the fish that suffer. It is all of the myriad small, even microscopic, lifeforms that make up a healthy riparian ecology. And it is the drought combined with groundwater pumping also used by vineyards that lowers the various underground water tables in our Valley. Stress to the bushes and trees is evident all around especially to anyone who walks in the woods. Fruits and wild berries are all mixed up in their ripening routines. Many evergreen trees such as tanoak, madrone and bay laurel are thickly carpeting the forest floor with dry leaves much earlier than is usual for them to do so. An easy prediction could be for an early winter from all the signs. Let us all who care pray or maybe even dance for it to be a wet one.
NEW COMPUTER MODELS suggest that the current El Niño formation brewing in the Pacific could become the strongest in recorded history.
The broad swath of warmer-than-usual seawater is spreading and deepening. The two largest concentrations are off the coast of Peru, where water is 4 degrees Centigrade warmer than usual, and just west of Vancouver and Seattle — 3 degrees warmer.
The Pacific has never been hotter at the height of the summer.
If this El Niño continues to grow, it could surpass the modern record-setting 1997-98 El Niño event, which inundated the Bay Area and the rest of California for months, causing flooding, mudslides and subsidences, and heavy snowfalls in the Sierra.
The latest data from the National Weather Service's North American Multi-Model Ensemble indicates a greater-than 95 percent chance of a strong El Niño and a greater-than 60 percent chance of the strongest El Niño on record.
Typically, a robust El Niño phenomenon means heavier than normal rainfall in California in the fall and winter, a mild Atlantic hurricane season, a warmer than normal winter over major parts of the U.S., and a very active hurricane and typhoon season in the Pacific.
Eric Holthaus at Slate explains how warm Pacific water can spawn a surge of typhoons that in turn creates the deviant trade winds which create more warm water, thus completing the feedback loop needed for a strong El Niño.
A powerful El Niño would almost ensure that 2015 will be the warmest year on record.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported the average global temperature in June reached 16.33 C., breaking the old record set in 2014 by 0.12 degrees C. That makes the first half of 2015 the hottest on record, according to the U.S. scientific agency.
ON THE SUBJECT of journalo-fantasies like objectivity, most reporters are forced to pretend. Case in point: The recent PR stunt by Assemblyman Wood and Supervisor Hamburg. Hamburg took The Dentist for a plane ride to look at the Mendocino Redwood Company's highly flammable hacked and squirted trees. MRC has been hacking and squirting for several years. People all over the County have been complaining about hack and squirt since it began. The Dentist lives in Healdsburg. He apparently didn't know about the MRC policy until he got elected and it was time to fake concern. Anyway, a story like this is humanly impossible to write up without slow-drip contempt, prose division. But if you're writing for an objective newspaper like, say, the Press Democrat, a serious paper with horoscopes and the latest on the Kardashians — that's the serious standard these days in contemporary journalism — you've got to write up The Dentist's aerial jaunt as if it wasn't a clown show.
SHEPHERD BLISS WRITES: The following report regarding the current ban on new vineyards in Malibu is from the LA Times. Another LA Times ag writer arrives in Sonoma County on Wednesday and will be meeting with groups and individuals to research for a story on water in the Russian River Watershed. Articles are scheduled to appear soon in the Bohemian and the Sonoma County Gazette about the local wine industry's over-expansion.
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Malibu vintners fight to stop extension of ban on new vineyards
(Courtesy Of Everett Fenton Gilley)
Malibu Vintners Organized To Fight A Possible Extension Of A Ban On New Vineyards Or Extensions Of Existing Ones.
by S. Irene Virbila
Malibu vintners and grape growers are trying to stop the six-month extension of a temporary ban on new vineyards, or extensions of existing ones, in the north area of the Santa Monica Mountains. Concerns about the drought and vineyards' potential water use are behind the ban.
The ban was imposed by the Los Angeles County supervisors on June 16. The decision whether to extend the ban or not takes place on Tuesday, July 28. The ban was put in place after there was a perceived rush on applications for vineyard permits in the unincorporated north area of the Santa Monica Mountains, which includes unincorporated Malibu, Agoura, parts of Calabasas and Topanga. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl weighs in: "As I indicated when I first put in the motion for a ban — only in the north area of Santa Monica Mountains — the number of applications for new vineyards worried me in the aggregate because of the overall amount of additional water that could be drawn down, as well as there being no information about what chemicals or pesticides might be added to runoff. These were not just half an acre or small backyard vintners, but applicants for larger vineyards. People just drill wells. They draw water."
She cites a study that found that in Central California, the water table had been lowered significantly. "And in the mountains, we don’t have a way to measure the impact of vineyards drawing off water upstream."
Dan Fredman, owner of a small backyard vineyard and a spokesperson for the Malibu Coast Vintners & Grape Growers Alliance, says, “when we saw the proposed measure, we were down at the planning commission offices as quickly as we could, to provide them with correct information on grapevines and viticulture as it’s practiced in Malibu.”
Vine growers feel that the moratorium is unnecessary because they've already begun working with Anita Gutierrez in the Department of Regional Planning to address the commission’s concerns about vineyards in the area. One thing that drew their interest was the fact that 51 applications were made for new vineyards in a ten-month period, whereas the previous year generated only three.
Nicole Englund, incoming Supervisor Sheil Kuehl's planning and transportation deputy, says, "fifteen cases have been approved since May of 2014 and those encompassed approximately 270 acres. And then we have 28 cases that are still pending and those encompass 297 acres." Gutierrez confirmed those figures, saying roughly 300 acres of potential vineyards are in limbo.
Some landowners applied for vineyards for their entire property and may have only planted on a small portion of their land, but the supervisor's office has no way of knowing that.
When the alliance investigated, they found all those applications had been made because at a meeting with planning commission representatives a year ago, homeowners in the Triunfo/Lobo area were advised to get in their applications if they were even thinking about planting a vineyard in the future. They took the advice to heart, fearing they’d be shut out in the future unless they had a permit for a vineyard grandfathered in.
“The real hardship is directed at the landowners who have already submitted applications for vineyard permits and are legally entitled to plant crops on their agriculturally zoned land," says Montage Vineyards’ John Gooden, president of the Malibu Coast Vintners & Grape Growers Alliance.
“All these people were trying to do was comply with the law and they went ahead and hired land use consultants, had maps drawn, et cetera.
This ordinance is discriminating against grapes. They’re not banning avocado orchards and they use seven times the amount of water that grapevines do.”Malibu is not and never was poised to become the next Napa Valley. With the exception of vineyards in the Kanan/Mulholland area, plots are small. Most are farmed sustainably by the families themselves.
Vines are drought-tolerant. In fact, the plants produce better fruit when they’re stressed.Vineyards in Malibu are irrigated, if at all, by drip irrigation. That means there's no runoff, and the water goes to the plant’s roots.
“The members of the alliance have become absolute misers in terms of our water use,” says Fredman. “We farm sustainably and with acute attention to the beauty of our natural surroundings.”
The Malibu Coast Vintners and Grape Growers Alliance also discovered that the figures cited by the supervisors were incorrect. Several properties applying for new permits had been assigned multiple permit numbers, and in many cases the entire acreage had been counted rather than just the portion under vines.
“In the big scheme of things, we’re talking about an insignificant amount of acreage. The north area encompasses 21,188 acres, and the acreage under consideration is not even 2% of that, so would not have an impact on the environment,” says Gooden.
“Vineyards should have a place in the land use plan. They’ve been in the Santa Monica Mountains for over 200 years. We’re just trying to continue a tradition of sustainable family farming.”
All this week members of the alliance have been meeting individually with supervisors and planning staffers to explain their position and predicament. The vote comes up again on Tuesday, when they’re trying to get as many of their own members — and any other interested wine lovers — to show support against extending the ban at the supervisors meeting at 9:30 a.m.
They're also encouraging people to go to their website and sign a petition supporting vineyards in the Santa Monica Mountains. Follow @sirenevirbila for more on food and wine.
WASTE AUTHORITY MEETING
Here's my reaction to the meeting of the Mendocino Solid Waste Authority on July 21. The Advocate/News has already sent me an email thanking me for it and promising me it will be published this Thursday.
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The July 21 meeting of the Mendocino Solid Waste Authority to approve a final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a proposed Highway 20 waste transfer station was an eye opener.
They expressed disgust at "activists" in California Fish and Wildlife for sending in comments at the last minute. These addressed flaws in the EIR for the proposed Highway 20 waste transfer station.
Waste Authority members are the extreme activists trying to ram through this Highway 20 idiocy. This proposed waste transfer station will endanger the water supply of hundreds of residences less than a mile away. It will worsen highway hazards for daily Highway 20 bicycle commuters like myself.
They were distressed by not having time before the meeting to read and respond to a 15-page letter Fish and Wildlife sent in that morning. They rescheduled the meeting for August in Ukiah and didn't take comments from the people who had traveled to attend the meeting.
However, the public was expected to read an 800-page EIR only accessible at the Fort Bragg Library, City Hall or online. It wasn't written in readily understandable language.
Most people work for a living, have families and can't attend meetings scheduled during working hours. We're tired of being railroaded by ill-advised projects without being given enough response time.
Nearby property owners should consider filing a class action lawsuit against the Waste Authority for polluting their water and destroying their property's value. I wonder how the Waste Authority activists will like this "activism."
PS. It was Supervisor John McCowen who blamed "activists" for influencing C.F.&W into filing their letter at the last minute. Since when did directly affected citizens of stupid projects become "activists”? And who is this idiot for casting false blame against them? Maybe folks should also consider suing McCowen for slander.
A READER WRITES (and sends along this interesting post): You Never Know What Critters Are In The Hills
David Silverstone: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
By Paul Farrell
The brother of 1990s starlet Alicia Silverstone was arrested on Friday at a California pot farm around the same time accused deserter Bowe Bergdahl was questioned by officers at the same scene. Authorities in Mendocino County, California, are accusing David Silverstone, 43, of growing marijuana with a license at a farm in Redwood Valley. Although weed growing is technically legal in California, it is severely regulated.
Here’s what you need to know:
One. Bowe Bergdahl Allegedly Told Cops at the Scene That He Didn’t Smoke Pot
Accused deserter Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was on a ranch in Redwood Valley, California, when it was raided by local officers. Two men were arrested at the scene, including David Silverstone. He lives on the farm next to the ranch that was raided. Ukiah Sheriff Tom Allman told the Daily Mail that Bergdahl told officers that he “didn’t smoke any pot.” Bergdahl has previously been accused of being high on hashish when he was captured by the Taliban in June 2009. The army sergeant was freed in exchange for five Taliban operatives in May 2014. Authorities haven’t confirmed if Silverstone and Bergdahl know each other.
Two. Over 180 Weed Plants Were Seized Close to David Silverstone’s Home
From the ranch that neighbors Silverstone’s home, cops took 181 marijuana plants as evidence. Speaking to members of the media Sheriff Allman said that it’s “fair” to assume that Silverstone knew that his neighbors were growing pot. Alicia’s brother is accused of two felony counts of cultivating and processing marijuana and having possession of marijuana for sale. His bail was put at $25,000. The investigation was carried out by the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force.
Three. While His Sister Was Starring in the Mega-Hit ‘Clueless,’ David Was Working on a ‘Lesbian Sex Thriller’
According to his profile on IMDB, Silverstone has worked in the art department and in props for several movies. Most notably, he worked as the set decorator on the lesbian-sex thriller Sinful Intrigue. The solitary review on IMDB says it’s “certainly not something you should pay to watch.”
Four. Like His Sister, David Silverstone Is an Environmentalist
Since her acting career cooled in the 2000s, Alicia Silverstone has dedicated most her life to preaching about healthy living with her books The Kind Diet, The Kind Mama, and her blog The Kind Life. On his Facebook page, David Silverstone frequently posts photos of fresh, organic vegetables while encouraging people to eat more healthily. In 2013, he gave a five star review to Holistic Body Therapy. The Silverstone’s half-sister, Kezi, is also a vegan cook who preaches healthy eating on her website.
Five. David & Alicia Silverstone Were Raised in a ‘Traditional Jewish Household’
In a 2000 interview, Alicia Silverstone described her and her brother’s upbringing as taking place in a “traditional Jewish household” in Redwood City. The actress added that the family were upper middle-class. Their father, Monty, was Jewish, and their mother, Didi, was Scottish. She converted to judaism before her marriage. Both and David and Alicia used to accompany their elderly grandfather, Sidney, to temple.
FROM THE HIPPIE EXHIBIT at the Kelley House in Mendocino: Ed O’Brien, Then & Now
(Photo by Susie de Castro)
COAST DEMOCRATIC CLUB DOUBLE WHAMMY
at the Redwood Coast Senior Center, 409 N Harold Street in Fort Bragg.
This is a Potluck event - please bring a dish to share. Beverages will be provided by the Coast Democratic Club.
We'll start the evening off with club news and songs from the Fort Bragg Freedom Singers, followed by the evening's Keynote Speaker: California State Assemblymember Jim Wood.
The evening will conclude with a televised livestream of 2016 Presidential hopeful, US Senator Bernie Sanders.
The Coast Democratic Club of Mendocino County has been working for months to bring Jim Wood to our area. As our new state representative he has been working hard for us in supporting democratic values and bringing attention to issues that affect us here in Mendocino County.
At this time neither Jim Wood nor the Coast Democratic Club have endorsed any candidates in the upcoming presidential race. Participation in this event should not be considered an endorsement of any candidate. The Coast Democratic Club will continue to provide opportunities to learn about various candidates that support liberal, progressive and democratic values as the race moves forward. We hope that you will join us for this exciting event to meet, listen, and talk about the values we share and the issues that are important to our community. This event is open to the public, please share this announcement with anyone who might want to attend.
Coast Democratic Club of Mendocino County
PO Box 592
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
JIM WOOD AND WHO? And who's the Coast Democratic Club trying to fool. Wood is basically a Republican, as is the Coast Democratic Club which, of course, will be enthusiastically for Hillary. BTW, a phony Democratic Party inspired "Black Caucus" denounced Sanders last week for allegedly being soft on black issues, notwithstanding he was a civil rights worker as a kid and has since amassed a stalwartly righteous voting record on black issues. The Democrats will be doing a lot of Sanders-slandering until the Clinton anointment at their rigged convention, during which Bernie will say, "Well, I tried, but now for the good of the party and for the final blow to any hope for the country, all us good Democrats have got to get behind Hillary because she's better than the Bush-Trump ticket." The AVA says, prepare to vote for Jill Stein who, natch, will be excluded from the presidential debates by the privately and jointly owned alleged non-profit that sponsors the debates. Remember when they had the cops drag Nader off the premises? He wasn't allowed to even stay in the hall to watch the debate. The only real political question remaining in this doomed country is what kind of fascism we'll get when things really get out of hand.
THEN there's the man, complete with the Mendo-mandatory groovy guy pigtail, who ordered shrimp in a local restaurant but sent it back to the kitchen to have the tails removed. Staff did not to kick groovy guy's tail out onto the street, but were seriously tempted.
IN OTHER NEWS from the local food biz, there are dopers who leave joints in the tip jar, which annoys tokers and non-tokers alike who of course prefer cash.
LIFE AT VISTA SONOMA
Jenifer Johnson's letter of July 22nd to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat ("Picking on landlords") is dishonest by omission and extremely deceptive in intention. When Johnson took her right wing stab at the Section 8 voucher program she failed to let your readers know that she, Johnson is the property manager of one of Sonoma County's largest disabled and senior citizen complexes - the 189 unit Vista Sonoma Senior Apartments on Townview Avenue here in Santa Rosa. This property provides its absentee owners with tremendous tax benefits precisely because it is supposed to house the low income elderly and disabled - many totally dependent on Section 8 or other rent subsidy programs.
In fact Ms. Johnson sent out a rent increase notice dated April 21, 2015 to her many Section 8 tenants. In this 60 day notice of change in monthly rent, there was a raise on each tiny one bedroom apartment soaring from $920 to $1100. This increase was a tremendous shock to many of the mostly fixed income tenants - one woman tenant in 1401 Townview had a heart attack. Property manager Johnson appears to be trying to initiate a large move out so she would not have to accommodate current renters during upcoming renovations. What made Jenifer Johnson's notice so cruel was that Johnson omitted any explanation to the Section 8 voucher holders that their share of rent would not increase and that the Housing Authority would make up the increase. It appears that Johnson deliberately omitted this factual reassurance because she wants to purge the property of the "less desireable" (meaning less work for her and her staff).
Johnson's company FPI Management has been caught before falsely advertising the Vista Sonoma rentals as luxury level living with such non-existent amenities as a swimming pool and fitness center. Jenifer Johnson has also done away with many of the programs which were in place to help the low income tenants. Some examples of Johnson's program purges include weekly food distributions, a once a week postage stamp and buy in for coins for laundry, office hours have been drastically shortened, laundry rooms have been privatized with a company which hit the users with a 40 percent increase for a load of laundry without prior notice, Johnson also removed the drinking water dispenser from the community clubhouse, and she had earlier locked out the tenants from the bathrooms at the clubhouse in the evenings. Johnson specializes in towing the vehicles of residents and their visitors just for backing into a parking space even though this is not a posted or published rule. One could go on and on. Vista Sonoma is not a place you would want a loved one to end up residing at.
CALL ME HORATIO
Bruce, your job application to the Ukiah Daily Journal will be received with interest. You'll start by carrying coffee to the various desks and will learn how a newspaper works. And sorry old boy, but you'll have to give up the leisurely mornings in your dressing gown, collecting gossip on the phone.
ED REPLY: Hmmm. Your latest non-sequiter arrived here at midnight, Gordy, two to three hours after honest working people are deep in dreamland. Yes, yes, I know you're a man of leisure and can hit the sherry any time of day you feel the need, but it isn't a good idea to write for publication when you're under the influence. PS. Sherry, right? It would have to be. PPS. Thanks for the heads up on my likely responsibilities at the Journal, and wish me luck.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 27, 2015
CHRISTOPHER BANE, Willits. DUI.
ISAIAL BENNETT, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, false ID.
ROBERT COTNEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
KENNETH EWING, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
KAM GOODELL, Elk. DUI.
KARAN HENLEY-HAUGH, Domestic assault.
ARION KELSEY, Fort Bragg. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.
WILLIAM MISHOU IV, Willits. Possession of controlled substance, suspended license.
RIGO PEREZ, Ukiah. DUI, DUI-suspended license, probation revocation.
BALAZS SCHREIL, Fort Bragg. Trespassing.
PATRICK TAYLOR, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger, probation revocation.
by James Kunstler
How many of you brooding on the dreadful prospect of Hillary have chanced to survey what remains of Democratic Party (cough cough) leadership in the background of Her Royal Inevitableness? Nothing is the answer. Zip. Nobody. A vacuum. There is no Democratic Party anymore. There are no figures of gravitas anywhere to be found, no ideas really suited to the American prospect, nothing with the will to oppose the lumbering parasitic corporatocracy that is doing little more than cluttering up this moment in history while it sucks the last dregs of value from our society.
I say this as a lifelong registered Democrat but a completely disaffected one — who regards the Republican opposition as the mere errand boy of the above-named lumbering parasitic corporatocracy. Readers are surely chafing to insert that the Democrats have been no less errand boys (and girls) for the same disgusting zeitgeist, and they are surely correct in the case of Hillary, and indeed of the current President.
Readers are surely also chafing to insert that there is Bernie Sanders, climbing in the opinion polls, disdaining Wall Street money, denouncing the current disposition of things with the old union hall surliness we’ve grown to know and love. I’m grateful that Bernie is in the race, that he’s framing an argument against Ms. It’sMyTurn. I just don’t happen to think that Bernie gets what the country — indeed what all of techno-industrial society — is really up against, namely a long emergency of economic contraction and collapse.
These circumstances require a very different agenda than just an I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill redistributionist scheme. Lively as Bernie is, I don’t think he offers much beyond that, as if cadging a little more tax money out of WalMart, General Mills, and Exxon-Mobil will fix what is ailing this sad-ass polity. The heart of the matter is that our way of life has shot its wad and now we have to live very differently. Almost nobody wants to even try to think about this.
I hugely resent the fact that the Democratic Party puts its time and energy into the stupid sexual politics of the day when it should be working on issues such as re-localizing commercial economies (rebuilding Main Streets), reforming agriculture to avoid the total collapse of corporate-industrial farming, and fixing the passenger rail system so people will have some way to get around the country when happy Motoring dies (along with commercial aviation).
The “to do” list for rearranging the basic systems of daily life in America is long and loaded with opportunity. Every system that is retooled contains jobs and social roles for people who have been shut out of the economy for two generations. If we do everything we can to promote smaller-scaled local farming, there will be plenty of work for lesser-skilled people to do and get paid for. Saying goodbye to the tyranny of Big Box commerce would open up vast vocational opportunities in reconstructed local and regional networks of commerce, especially for young people interested in running their own business. We need to prepare for localized clinic-style medicine (in opposition to the continuing amalgamation and gigantization of hospitals, with its handmaidens of Big Pharma and the insurance rackets). The train system has got to be reborn as a true public utility. Just about every other civilized country is already demonstrating how that is done — it’s not that difficult and it would employ a lot of people at every level. That is what the agenda of a truly progressive political party should be at this moment in history.
That Democrats even tolerate the existence of evil entities like WalMart is an argument for ideological bankruptcy of the party. Democratic Presidents from Carter to Clinton to Obama could have used the Department of Justice and the existing anti-trust statutes to at least discourage the pernicious monopolization of commerce that Big Boxes represented. By the same token, President Obama could have used existing federal law to break up the banking oligarchy starting in 2009, not to mention backing legislation to more crisply define alleged corporate “personhood” in the wake of the ruinous “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision of 2010. They don’t even talk about it because Wall Street owns them.
So, you fellow disaffected Democrats — those of you who can’t go over to the other side, but feel you have no place in your country’s politics — look around and tell me who you see casting a shadow on the Democratic landscape. Nobody. Just tired, corrupt, devious old Hillary and her nemesis Bernie the Union Hall Champion out of a Pete Seeger marching song.
I’ve been saying for a while that this period of history resembles the 1850s in America in two big ways: 1) our society faces a crisis, and 2) the existing political parties are not up to the task of comprehending what society faces. In the 1850s it was the Whigs that dried up and blew away (virtually overnight), while the old Democratic party just entered a 75-year wilderness of irrelevancy. God help us if Trump-o-mania turns out to be the only alternative.
Oh, by the way, notice that the lead editorial in Monday’s New York Times is a plea for transgender bathrooms in schools. What could be more important? For Transgender Americans, Legal Battles Over Restrooms.
(The third World Made By Hand novel is available! (The Fourth and final is finished and on the way — Spring 2016) — “Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page-turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist)
Don't forget that Thursday, July 30, Arnold's Birthday, is World Arnold Day! On World Arnold Day, everyone must talk like Arnold all day! If everyone talks like Arnold all day, everyone will be laughing! If everyone is laughing, there will be peace for a day! So be sure to celebrate World Arnold Day, baby!
Thank you, J. Biro
SEND A CITIZENS SUMMONS TO CONGRESS
by Ralph Nader
With the long congressional recess in August through Labor Day approaching, “We the People” have the opportunity to do more than complain about the Congress and individual Senators and Representatives.
There are many issues affecting you and your communities that need to be addressed by members of Congress. Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult to reach the legislators in Washington, DC and when they return to their districts and states, they often only attend public events and ceremonies where they do little more than shake hands and smile.
The diminishing number of in-person town meetings by members of Congress are often stacked and controlled. The locations, attendees, and even sometimes pre-screened questions fail to provide citizens an opportunity to make their case to their legislators. Politicians crave predictability; they are control freaks.
Our five hundred and thirty-five Senators and Representatives need to be reminded that they were sent to Washington, DC by voters back home who entrusted them with the well-being of their communities and country. Many of these lawmakers then become indentured to corporate campaign cash that they must constantly beg for, often compromising with what is in the best interest of their constituents. For all this corporate campaign cash, these corporations want something in return – government contracts, giveaways, tax loopholes, weak corporate law enforcement, and other privileges and immunities, especially for giant multinational corporations that have tightened their grips of crony capitalism on Washington.
So what happened to your votes and your trust in your elected representatives? They were nullified and replaced with ungrateful politicians who have forgotten that the authority lies with the people.
It is time, during this August recess, for “We the People” to shake up the Congress and shake up the politics across the land. If anyone is skeptical of this possibility, they should recall August 2009 when the Tea Party noisily filled the seats of some town meetings called by Senators and Representatives in a Congress run by the Democrats. That is how the Tea Party movement came to public visibility, with the daily help of Fox News.
After that experience, many members of Congress were forced to reevaluate the power and influence of Town Meetings.
My proposal of a Citizens Summons can begin the process of showing your elected legislators who is truly in charge, as befits the Preamble to the Constitution – “We the People.” I am including below a draft Citizens Summons to your Senators or Representative. It covers the main derelictions of the Congress, under which you can add more examples of necessary reforms.
Your task is to start collecting signatures of citizens, members of citizen groups, labor unions, and any other associations that want a more deliberative democracy. The ultimate objective is to reduce inequalities of power.
Shifting power from the few to the many prevents the gross distortions of our Constitution and laws, our public budgets, and our commonwealth, that currently favor the burgeoning corporate state.
May you give your lawmakers a memorable August recess; they deserve to be shown the workings of what our founding fathers called “the sovereignty of the people.”
The Citizens Summons to a Member of the Congress
Whereas, the Congress has tolerated the expansion of an electoral process, corrupted by money, that nullifies our votes and commercializes both congressional elections and subsequent legislation, creating a Congress that is chronically for sale;
Whereas, the Congress has repeatedly supported or opposed legislation and diverted the taxpayer dollars to favor the crassest of corporate interests to the serious detriment of the American people, their necessities, and their public facilities – such as access to safer consumer products, health care, and other basic social safety services. It has opposed raising the inflation-ravaged minimum wage and fair taxation, allowed endemic waste, fraud, and abuse by contractors, and authorized massive corporate welfare subsidies and giveaways;
Whereas, the Congress has narrowed or blocked access to justice by millions of Americans, leaving them unprotected and defenseless in many serious ways, while giving business corporations preferential treatments and allowing them full access to influence the three branches of government;
Whereas, the Congress has imposed trade treaty despotisms over our democratic institutions – the courts, legislatures, and executive departments and agencies – subordinating our domestic branches of government’s abilities to preserve and enhance labor, consumer, and environmental standards to the domination of global commerce’s “bottom line” and endorsed the usurpation of our judicial process by secret tribunals under the WTO, and other similar invasions of U.S. sovereignty;
Whereas, the access to members of Congress has increased for corporate lobbyists and decreased for ordinary citizens, Therefore, the citizens of the [INSERT state (for Senators) or the congressional district (for Representatives)] hereby Summon you to a town meeting(s) during the August recess (ending September 7, 2015) at a place of known public convenience. Your constituents will establish an agenda of how Congress should shift long overdue power from the few to the many, both in substantive policy and through the strengthening of government and civic institutions;
We deem this Summons to be taken with the utmost seriousness as we gain grassroots support throughout your congressional district (or state for Senators). We expect to hear from you expeditiously so that the necessary planning for our town meeting can take place. This Peoples’ Town Meeting reflects the Preamble to the Constitution that starts with “We the People” and the supremacy of the sovereignty of the people over elected representatives and corporate entities;
Be advised that this Summons calls for your attendance at a Town Meeting run by, of, and for the People. Please reserve a minimum of two hours for this serious exercise of deliberative democracy.
The names of citizens and citizen groups
(For any additional questions about this proposal, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
by Louis Bedrock
(intro poem by debra allbury)
In the Dream She Doesn't Tell Him
In the dream she doesn't tell him, another snowfall
has begun, and she, lover of cold
and clouds, walks into it, heart-sunk, finally
weary of this winter that will not end.
In the next blink she stands at his apartment.
A note addressed to her is pinned to the door.
Inside it says only You are loved.
She opens the door but no one is there.
The apartment is white, bare, trapezoidal,
no curtains, nothing on the walls. Outside
are tall buildings, all new, all vacant.
He walks in behind her then, and suddenly
his ex-wife appears before her.
The two women discover they look exactly alike.
They face each other and laugh politely.
The small room resonates with the man’s unspoken
You are loved, but the woman no longer
believes its for her. She moves to the door,
eyes down, embarrassed, saying Thank you,
Good-bye, knowing when she leaves
the ex-wife, too, will disappear with her
into the thin, exhausted snow of the city,
into the unnamed streets of the city—
will disappear with her. Where no one lives.
— debra allbury
* * *
What I like about the Allbury poem is that it’s like a dream itself with its mystery, ambiguity, incongruity, and the tenuous connections among its images.
The title may indicate that within the poem she neglected to say something to the man. Or the “him” may be her real life significant other to whom she has not spoken about the poem.
The final, isolated relative clause, ”Where no one lives” may refer to the city, the streets of the city, the dream, or “the thin, exhausted snow”.
Why is the narrator embarrassed? Why does she say, “Thank you”
Are the ex-wife and narrator the same person? If not, who is the “ex-wife”? Why are the buildings vacant?
I love the suggestive opacity of this poem.
Dreams also have a suggestive opacity.
Are they keys to present dilemmas and sources of distress, subject to interpretation by Freudians or Jungians?
Or portents of a future that may be deciphered by oracles or prophets like Tiresias?
What about dreams that recur?
* * *
The first recurring dream I had was a nightmare about nuclear war. It was always the same, always simple. I am walking down the street. The air raid sirens go off. Everyone begins running; everyone is terrified. I am unable to move. I croak, “Really?”
Then, I wake up.
These dreams began around the time of The Cuban Missile Crisis.
It was unnerving to have the same dream several times a week. It was more unnerving to learn that a lot of my friends suffered similar nightmares. A female classmate in the seventh grade confessed to having the same nightmare and added, “I just don’t want to die a virgin.”
Duck and cover drills at school did nothing to assuage fear and the dreams it engendered. Bob Dylan would write a song about recurring nuclear war nightmares-- “Talkin’ World War III Blues” in which he observes,
“Well now, time has passed and now it seems
Everybody’s having them dreams”
* * *
When someone asked the great Paul Krassner, now in his 80s, if he ever thought about death, he responded, “Every fucking day.”
* * *
These days I often dream about death. I’m 70 and it comes with the territory. Now the dreams involve, not atomic bombs, but driving off a bridge and falling into an abyss in which far below I can see freight cars; or falling from the sky into the ocean or a huge black lake with no one in sight. Sometimes I awake with a thud.
When I was drafted at the age of 22, some people told me they dreamed I would die in Vietnam. My friend Alan’s beautiful girl friend Joan, active in the theater, histrionic, passionate, grabbed me by the collar at my going away party and told me, “If you go, you won’t come back.”
* * *
The wife of a close friend, a close friend herself, has told me she dreams of her husband’s death almost every time he goes away by himself.
I dreamt of my father’s death the evening he died. But he had been moribund for days and perhaps I had dreamed of his death more than once.
In her alphabetically arranged, encyclopedia-like book, The Language of Dreams, Patricia Telesco writes that such dreams may express “a wish for, or fear of, death. An awareness of your mortality.”
Interpreting dreams usually involves decoding symbols. Dreams of death, however, are quite literal.
I’m a cancer survivor.
* * *
I’ve had close encounters with death on my bike; in slow motion car accidents; in hospital emergency rooms writhing on the floor with a horrible pain in my gut; alone in my house, isolated from the world by ice and snow, after a fall down the stairs which left me momentarily unable to move.
Many loved ones have died in the past ten years. Like King Lear’s hand, my life “smells of mortality.” That people my age dream of death is not surprising.
* * *
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, the dreams of the final exams began. I still have them occasionally:
I haven’t been to class all semester, nor done any of the required reading. It’s the day of final exams, but I don’t know which exam is being given, where, or what time. There’s no way I’m going to pass it anyway. I’m certain to be kicked out of college.
In Jungian Dream Interpretation, James A. Hall, M.D. explains,
Examination dreams have a typical form. The dream-ego realizes that an examination is scheduled, usually a final exam for a college or high school course, and for some reason the dreamer is unprepared, having forgotten to study for the exam or to go to the course, or not knowing where the exam is to be held. The dream ego may also be late for the examination. …Because such examinations represent evaluation by collective standards, they point to persona-anxiety—anxiety about how one appears in the eyes of others, or a fear of not measuring up to a social role. (Hall, p.46)
Everybody I know seems to be having these dreams too.
* * *
Recently, even more than death or exams, I dream of houses and apartments I’ve lived in. There are many variations.
In one, I’m living in a badly deteriorated building or apartment. Often there are holes in the walls, floors, or ceilings. Bed and furniture are often damp. Books are damaged. Telesco comments,
The condition of a building can reveal the condition of your health, a relationship, or a situation.
What does the building hold? If it is just an empty shell, consider if you’re living superficially, without gaining any real spiritual substance.
Of what is the building constructed? ...you want your hopes to be based on good foundational material if they’re ever going to materialize in reality.
My houses and apartments are often in parallel universes within cities and neighborhoods where I once lived: Philadelphia, Salamanca, Elizabeth, Newark, San Francisco, or Roselle. By “parallel universes” I mean locations that exist only in my dreams and not in the real versions of the cities.
Sometimes the dream is about an apartment I own that I had forgotten about. When I go there, the place is vacant; however, mail has accumulated. Sometimes the phone has not been disconnected.
In some dreams the house or apartment has rooms I had never noticed or explored. In one dream, I discover a secret stairway in my parents’ house that leads to a suite of bedrooms and bathrooms.
There are houses and apartments with rooms that wind into other rooms reminiscent of a scene I remember from The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly in which the Eli Wallach character visits his father.
A few houses and apartments are in neighborhoods that I almost remember.
Houses commonly appear in dreams as images of the psyche. Many times there are unknown rooms in the house, indicating hidden or unexplored areas of the patient’s potential ego structure. Distinctions between parts of the of a house may be symbolically important...
The house itself may stand for various parts of the ego-structure...
As with the nuclear war and exam nightmares, many people I know experience similar recurring dreams with only minor variations.
* * *
According to Eric Ericson, a human life consists of 8 stages. In stage 8, “as older adults, some of us can look back with a feeling of integrity—that is, contentment, and fulfillment, having led a meaningful life and (made a) valuable contribution to society. Others may have a sense of despair during this stage: reflecting on their experiences and failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering, ‘What was the point of life? Was it worth it?’”
(Learning-theories.com--The Life Cycle Completed)
Do dreams about houses and places reflect this questioning of the value and meaning of one’s life? Do they suggest feelings of despair, loss, or defeat? Reflect anguish about missed opportunities? Or offer alternatives that are still available? Do they express anxiety about one’s future?
Are dreams revelations that occur,
* * *
When sleepers wake and yet still dream,
And when it’s vanished still declare,
With only bed and bedstead there,
That Heavens had opened.
(“Under Ben Bulben”, William Butler Yeats)
Or is a rooster just a rooster, as Gabriel García Márquez insisted to critics who saw the fighting cock of “Nobody Writes to the Colonel” as a symbol of revolution. Are dreams merely the random reshuffling of images by a disinterested subconscious?
* * *
I have other dreams that seem to be only my own:
The American Restaurant is a place I love and have visited so many times: it exists only in dreams. It is in Philadelphia near Temple University; in a cul de sac in Salamanca; just off a large lake; around the corner from a movie theater in Hillside; in Cranford just across from my (real) bike shop. Sometimes it’s right next door to another similar restaurant.
The American restaurant is probably a concave/convex carnival mirror image of Restaurante El Candil of Salamanca. El Candil is physically similar to the imaginary American Restaurant and is next door to another small restaurant.
On a parallel plane of existence near the Elmora section of Elizabeth is a store that sells red bicycles. On the main floor are the regular models while downstairs are the look-alike more pricey models. It seems so real that it lingers in my head for a few moments after I wake up as I try to figure out its exact location. Why would I go to such a place? All of the red bicycles are clunkers.
I walk or ride or drive through imaginary locations tantalizingly close to places I know that actually exist: Upper, Upper Manhattan, ever so close, ever so far from the upper West Side; there’s a large amusement park, not unlike Great Adventure, from which I am trying to escape and through which passes the New Jersey Turnpike--although I can never find the route to this dream extension of the Turnpike when I need it.
There are exotic routes from New Jersey to Manhattan that involve swimming through shallow swampy waters, paying tolls in large buildings with endless escalators, crossing interminable bridges which requires stops to get tickets in enormous parking garages.
All these dreams recur and I still experience them.
* * *
There is one recurring dream I’ve had since I was in my late twenties. It lingers longer than the others and causes more anxiety.
It’s late at night. The phone rings. Sometimes it wakes me up.
It’s a girl. She’s called before. I can’t remember her name and she won’t remind me. Her voice is soft, soothing. Were we in love once?
She says: “How are you, Louis,” stretching the sentence and the two syllables of my name to the breaking point.
She gently questions me about my life without revealing anything about her own.
I ask her to come over.
—Maybe another time. I have to go.
She hangs up. I wake up.
I know this girl.
What’s her name?
When will she call again?
When will she come over?
The Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting: Club de la Lengua
On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 6-7:30 pm, the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting Club de la Lengua. Practice your Spanish and help others learn English in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. During the meeting, a bilingual story and craft for children under the age of 12 will be provided by First 5 Mendocino. Snacks will be provided by Friends of the Fort Bragg Library.
Club de la Lengua is always the last Wednesday of the month
For more information contact the Fort Bragg Library at 964-2020 or Ann Thomas at the Coastal Adult School at 961-3615. For more information about First 5 Mendocino or the bilingual story time: email Tanya at email@example.com
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The Ukiah Children’s Library is Hosting: Tall Tale Heroes with John Weaver
Come, listen, and enjoy John’s storytelling antics and mind-boggling tales of favorite characters of the Wild West! The event takes place on Thursday, August 6th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
For more information, please contact Judith at the Ukiah Library at 463-4153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library, 105 N Main St. Ukiah. Snacks will be provided by Mountain View Assisted Living
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Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting: Celebrate Everyday Heroes in Our Community: Adult Summer Reading Program Finale, “Every Hero has a Story”
Thursday, August 6th, 8–10 pm
Adults are invited to the Ukiah Library to celebrate everyday heroes in our community. Join us for round-table lightning talks with “local heroes” to learn more about the many valuable ways they positively impact & support our community. Esteemed guests will include the Mendocino Grapevine Quilters Guild, RCS crisis center workers, police officers, firefighters, writers, philanthropists, animal shelter workers & coordinators, library & disaster service volunteers, NCO food justice advocates, Friends of the Library & LAB members, & environmental crusaders from Cold Creek Compost to name a few! Our own Darline Bergere will also be on hand to discuss her new book: Legendary Locals of Ukiah. Copies will be available for sale & proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Ukiah Valley Library. Winners of our Adult Summer Reading Raffle will also be announced.
Food & refreshments will be provided. Wine will be available for a small donation. For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or email@example.com
Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library. 105 N. Main St. Ukiah
* * *
Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is Celebrating:
The Summer Reading Program Finale: “Every Hero Has a Story”:
A Summer of Superhero Readers! ,
Wednesday, August 12th, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
All Superhero Readers of 10 books or more during the summer are invited to a party in the Children’s Library. Story time will include ice cream, a free book, certificate of accomplishment and a goodie bag as part of the celebration. Special guests will be serving the ice cream treats. We salute all super heroes who know that reading is the Superpower!
Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library