Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Friday, Nov 27, 2015

* * *

THANKSGIVING IN FORT BRAGG at First Presbyterian Church


(Photo by Susie de Castro)

* * *


"Dick's Place would just like to take a moment this Thanksgiving to remind everyone that punching one of your in-laws in the face really ruins the holiday season. When crazy Uncle Bob starts explaining to everyone how Trump is gonna make America great again, just take a deep breath, count to ten, and come have a drink with us. A beer is much cheaper than an assault and battery charge…"

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus & Dick’s Place)

* * *


by Ralph Nader

Thanksgiving is a time for family, food and joy, but unfortunately it can also be a source of health-impacting stress and anxiety for many. Between the influx of visitors, football games on the television and the necessary shopping, cooking and cleaning up, there can be far too little time devoted to reflective conversation with friends and family. And once the feast is finished and the guests have left, there is precious little time for quiet contemplation when all forms of mass media are rabidly encouraging Americans to participate in the obscene corporate-driven “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” sales craze. Go go go! Buy buy buy!

Perhaps we should be taking a different approach to the holidays.

In my book, The Seventeen Traditions about the wisdom my parents passed along to my siblings and me, I wrote a chapter about “the tradition of solitude.”

Here’s a relevant excerpt for the season:

Some years ago, we invited a family with two small children over for Thanksgiving dinner. The four-year-old boy spent the whole day running wild, jumping off the table, knocking over glasses of water, screeching at the top of his lungs, and generally making every effort possible to ruin the conversation and the meal. Today, most parents might ask: Was he suffering from attention deficit disorder? No, the parents were suffering — from an unwillingness to control their son’s behavior and lay down some markers. It’s a symptom of today’s sprawled economy that many children spend less time with adults, including their parents, than any previous generation in history. When they do have a few precious moments with adults, they often act out as if they’re desperately trying to make up for prolonged inattention.

Does any of this sound familiar? I expect many millions of Americans will be dealing with similar household chaos on Thanksgiving Day.

My mother believed that children should be able to exercise their minds, to think independently and be self-reliant. Critical to this development is acknowledging the importance of solitude. Devoting time to oneself and one’s thoughts isn’t just important for developing youngsters, however. Many grown adults could benefit from a little “quiet space” to get to know themselves and the world better.

The tradition of solitude isn’t about sitting in a room and contemplating one’s navel. It’s about allowing one’s mind to rejuvenate, imagine and explore ― and hopefully relieve itself from the stress and anxiety that inevitably come with the burdens of everyday life. It’s an engine of renewal. This is particularly true around the holidays when expectations and obligations can mount.

Another excerpt:

True solitude can involve an infinite variety of experience: being alone with one’s imagination, one’s thoughts, dreams, one’s puzzles and books, one’s knitting or hobbies, from carving wood blocks, to building little radios or model airplanes or collecting colorful stamps from all over the world. Being alone can mean following the flight of a butterfly or a hummingbird or an industrious pollinating bee. It can mean gazing at the nighttime sky, full of those familiar constellations, and trying to identify them.

I recently filmed a video in my hometown of Winsted, Connecticut where I discussed my relationship with nature and the comforting solitude it provides. Watch it here. The holiday season seems like an appropriate time to share this video in the hopes that it inspires others to reflect on the quiet, memorable moments and places that matter most. Consider turning off the television, putting away the smartphone, avoiding the marketplace invitations to shop and spend on “Black Friday” and seeking comfort in solitude.

Perhaps the joys of solitude can become a tradition that eclipses the crazy call to spend the day after Thanksgiving shopping instead of thinking.

I welcome others to share the quiet places where they experience the joys of solitude. Maybe by telling others about how we retreat to find our better humanity, we can encourage those among us still searching for this intrinsic solace.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *


THE MOVIE TRUMBO is bad in so many ways it's hard to know where to begin the indictment. The devisers of this thing basically grafted a lot of stuff onto the dramatic fact that Dalton Trumbo, author of the sure-to-make-a-pacifist out you Johnny Got His Gun, was blacklisted in the swinish 1950s. Trumbo's father died young. Trumbo became his family's sole support, an experience that made a communist out of him. The movie begins with his indictment as one of the Hollywood Ten, ten screenwriters who Ronald Reagan, John Wayne and other stars of the silver screen got thrown out of work. Trumbo was the best of them at turning out movie scripts for movies that made a lot of money. Although non-personed, he went on turning out scripts for himself and his fellow internal exiles, mostly under an assumed name.

THIS STORY of his blacklisted life is hoked up and so corn-ified that Trumbo comes off as a smug little fellow with a witticism for every occasion, including prison occasions where he did time for refusing to snitch off his comrades before the House on UnAmerican Activities Committee. He was, in real life, an angry man (in the best sense) and an intellectual doing stupid work for a lot of money, work he knew was stupid but he was, above all things, a family man, albeit a family man who put it all on the line for principle.

ANOTHER RECURRING IRRITANT in this thing is unconvincing modern actors playing the memorable stars of the forties and fifties. I mean, really, who can plausibly do Edward G. Robinson? Or John Wayne? For the real deal, see a documentary on this baleful period of American history.

BRYAN CRANSTON is not good as Trumbo. His portrayal is way off, as you can see for yourself in any documentary footage of the real Trumbo. Helen Mirren steals the show as the viperous newspaper columnist Hedda Hopper, and the wonderful Diana Lane is very good as Trumbo's wife.

OVERALL, Trumbo misses the pure evil of the Red Scare '50s, just how oppressive the time was for people who deviated however slightly from the political norm. I got to know Alvah Bessie, also one of the Hollywood Ten, and a veteran of the Lincoln Brigade late in his life. He told me that when he got out of prison where he went for defying HUAC, the FBI hounded him so thoroughly the FBI showed up everywhere he found work and leaned on his boss to fire him. The only person who defied the FBI was Enrico Banducci of San Francisco's Hungry I. He gave Bessie work as the light man for the stage acts.

* * *


* * *


The Board of State Community Corrections will not fund the Sheriff's hoped-for plan to build a unit at the County Jail for mentally ill inmates. The Sheriff and the Supervisors had hoped to garner as much as $20 mil for what amounts to the only effective, long-range solution to the free range mentally ill. Mendo didn't make the cut.

* * *

WE'LL NEVER KNOW why and how Mary Aigner was pushed out, but it’s highly unlikely she resigned of her own accord. I think the station’s trustees have gradually replaced the auto-yes types with smarter, more ethical people. I think the latter additions to the board knew that the problems with the place go deeper than Aigner but to solve them, as a beginning, Aigner had to go. The needed changes are structural, I think, and to begin them the station should move to Ukiah where it could begin a total re-tool. Getting rid of the entrenched group of programmers who vote as a bloc for whoever is running the show so long as they keep themselves on the air is the next reform. There should be a limit on how long programmers remain on-air before their slots are opened up to new blood. In the mean time, I think it’s cruel to kick the old girl while she’s as down as she’s ever been, not that she wouldn’t rip her critics’ throats out with her bare teeth. She did the best she could.

* * *


Re: Stuart Campbell's paean to Mary Aigner.

This is as though it's late 2008, say, and imagine Dick Cheney has just resigned slightly ahead of his humiliating ouster, shredding evidence left and right, and George Bush, anticipating his own ouster, has a lot of nice things to say about Dick. How he puppet-mastered the entire situation to rally the club and put a lot of good people in charge of important projects ("Heck of a job, Brownie!"), and they read children's books upside down together for photo ops to emphasize the importance of edumacation, and got the economy on track and protected us from terrorism by pissing away a borrowed fortune in all directions to smash and grab and hold on to the reigns of power, smiling, smiling, and see that Mission Accomplished was declared in advance of, during and after years and years of futile destructive self-congratulatory tax-funded oppressive mediocrity. That's how it reads to me, knowing Stuart Campbell and Mary Aigner, and remembering what really happened, and what could have been.

Rather, here's a short, honest, appropriate statement on Mary Aigner's resignation: About time. Thank Christ. Good riddance, darlin', and don't let the screen door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Marco McClean

* * *


Dear Mr. Stuart Campbell:

I wish you had asked the entire Board for its input on the press release regarding KZYX Program Director Mary Aigner's resignation, instead of writing the press release yourself. but once again you prove yourself to be exclusionary. You exclude the one third of the station's membership who voted for change in the last Board elections. Your press release about Aigner is so false, it's delusional.

My take on Aigner's resignation?

Mary Aigner was responsible for much, if not most, of the divisiveness here at KZYX. She wormed her way on the payroll 22 years ago and stayed there despite a lack of transparency about her salary, job description, if any, and record of actual productive work.

She was a bully. She purged programmers who were her critics. She purged those who even dared to ask questions. Those programmers who were purged include Beth Bosk, Marco McClean, KC Meadows, Els Copperrider, Christina Aanestad, Doug McKenty, Norman De Vall, myself, and many others.

She censored on-air content, as in her new unilateral policy of doing away with the "no safe harbor" after 10 p.m.

She cowed a long line of GMs and Executive Directors. She intimidated them, manipulated them.

She resisted having a formal job description, refused to keep work logs, refused to submit to job performance evaluations. She came and went as she pleased.

She spent a lot of time on personal emails and phone calls, surfing the Internet, badmouthing many of our members, and chain smoking at the picnic table that serves as our station's break room. I know because for six and a half years, I had a biweekly show at KZYX. I saw a lot.

There's more.

Aigner thwarted every effort by the station's 2,100 Corporate Members to communicate with one another and organize.

She interfered with the inspection of financials and other records by Members and former Board Directors by making a false report to the police.

She kept the Program Advisory Committee weak and ineffective. She killed the Community Advisory Board.

How did Aigner get away with all this for 22 years? How? I'll tell you how. Aigner had no real boss at KZYX. Not you. Not John Coate. Not Belinda Rawlins. Not anyone.

She was the head of the dragon.

With Aigner finally gone, now is the time for meaningful change at KZYX. One third of the station's members voted for the two reform candidates in the last Board election. A third. This is not a small group of people. That's a myth.

If the station's 2,100 members were actually allowed to communicate with one another as an online community, and allowed to organize, like at KMUD, we'd have even more than a third of members who would vote for change.


We need a strong and vibrant Program Advisory Committee (PAC), not one person — Mary Aigner — unilaterally making all the programming decisions.

The public should should have a strong voice in making the programming decisions.

We also need a strong and vibrant Community Advisory Board (CAB), who meet monthly to gather public comments and advise as to whether the programming and policies of KZYX meet the specialized educational and cultural needs of the community.

The CAB, as required by federal law, reviews the programming goals established by the station, the service provided by KZYX and the significant policy decisions rendered by the station, and assesses whether the programming and other policies of the station are meeting the specialized educational and cultural needs of the communities served by the station. The CAB deliberates independently of station management and Mendocino County Public Broadcasting's Board of Directors, determining its own agenda and electing its own leadership. The CAB is an advisory body only, and is not authorized to exercise any control over KZYX daily management or operations, but the CAB conveys its findings and recommendations based on public input to the Board of Directors for their action.

Public input!

Why are we so afraid?

John Sakowicz

KZYX Board of Directors, 2013-2016; Board Treasurer, 2013-2014

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, November 26, 2015

Carver, Gruzas, Johnson
Carver, Gruzas, Johnson

JEFFREY CARVER, Willits. Probation revocation.

THOMAS GRUZAS, Willits. Domestic assault.

DAVID JOHNSON SR., Ukiah. Petty theft, receiving stolen property, parole violation.

Klaisner, Latimer, Lewis
Klaisner, Latimer, Lewis


MARK LATIMER, Willits. Domestic assault, suspended license.

RICKY LEWIS, Ukiah. Court order violation.

Nunez, Villalobos, Zamora
Nunez, Villalobos, Zamora

ALEJANDRO NUNEZ, Willits. Receiving stolen property.

LUIS VILLALOBOS, Ukiah. Petty theft, under influence, possession of meth for sale, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, suspended license.

FRANCISCO ZAMORA, Ukiah. Burglary, vandalism, resisting, probation revocation.

* * *

FROM DALTON TRUMBO's Introduction to Johnny Got His Gun

Addendum: 1970

Eleven years later. Numbers have dehumanized us. Over breakfast coffee we read of 40,000 Americans dead in Vietnam. Instead of vomiting, we reach for the toast. Our morning rush through crowded streets is not to cry murder but to hit that trough before somebody else gobbles our share.

An equation: 40,000 dead young men = 3,000 tons of bone and flesh, 124,000 pounds of brain matter, 50,000 gallons of blood, 1,840,000 years of life that will never be lived, 100,000 children who will never be born. (The last we can afford: there are too many starving children in the world already.)

Do we scream in the night when it touches our dreams? No. We don't dream about it because we don't think about it; we don't think about it because we don't care about it. We are much more interested in law and order, so that American streets may be made safe while we transform those of Vietnam into flowing sewers of blood which we replenish each year by forcing our sons to choose between a prison cell here or a coffin there. "Every time I look at the flag, my eyes fill with tears." Mine too.

If the dead mean nothing to us (except on Memorial Day weekend when the national freeway is clotted with surfers, swimmers, skiers, picnickers, campers. hunters, fishers, footballers, beer-busters), what of our 300,000 wounded? Does anyone know where they are? How they feel? How many arms, legs, ears, noses, mouths, faces, penises they've lost? How many are deaf or dumb or blind or all three? How many are single or double or triple or quadruple amputees? How many will remain immobile for the rest of their days? How many hang on as decerebrated vegetables quietly breathing their lives away in small, dark, secret rooms?

Write the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Army and Navy Hospitals, the Director of Medical Sciences at the National Library of Medicine, the Veterans Administration, the Office of the Surgeon General - and be surprised by what you don't learn. One agency reports 726 admissions "for amputation services" since January, 1965. Another reports 3,011 amputees since the beginning of the fiscal year 1968. The rest is silence.

The Annual Report of the Surgeon General: Medical Statistics of the United States Army ceased publication in 1954. The Library of Congress reports that the Army Office of the Surgeon General for Medical Statistics "does not have figures on single or multiple amputees." Either the government doesn't think them important or, in the words of a researcher for one of the national television networks, "the military itself, while sure of how many tons of bombs it has dropped, is unsure of how many legs and arms its men have lost."

If there are no concrete figures, at least we are beginning to get comparative ones. Proportionately, Vietnam has given us eight times as many paralytics as World War II, three times as many totally disabled, 35% more amputees. Senator Cranston of California concludes that out of every hundred army veterans receiving compensation for wounds received in action in Vietnam, 12.4% are totally disabled. Totally.

But exactly how many hundreds or thousands of the dead-while-living does that give us? We don't know. We don't ask. We turn away from them; we avert the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, face. "Why should I look, it wasn't my fault, was it?" It was, of course, but no matter. Time presses. Death waits even for us. We have a dream to pursue, the whitest white hope of them all, and we must follow and find it before the light fails.

So long, losers. God bless. Take care. We'll be seeing you.

Dalton Trumbo
Los Angeles
January 3, 1970

* * *


Donald Trump again came under fire on Wednesday for mocking a New York Times reporter with a congenital joint condition at a South Carolina rally. The Times lambasted Trump as “outrageous” for berating its reporter, Serge Kovaleski, while trying to defend his claim that “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks. Kovaleski recently disputed Trump’s claim while recalling a Washington Post article he wrote a few days after the attacks. During his speech Tuesday night, Trump appeared to mock Kovaleski’s condition as he jerked his arm in front of himself. Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that affects joint movement. A New York Times spokesperson told Politico, “We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters.” Late Wednesday night, Trump posted a series of tweets attacking the newspaper.

* * *


The people, in Fort Bragg, who own this hedge decided to put plastic roses in it. Clever! — Susie de Castro


* * *


There's no need to wait for Black Friday at Levi's Stadium. 49ers fans are reselling tickets for a bigger discount than you'll find at most stores you plan on visiting this weekend.

As of Wednesday morning you could get an upper deck seat to watch the Niners take on the division-leading Cardinals for $25 on StubHub. That's a discount of about 70 percent off the team's lowest face value of $85. By comparison, parking passes were listed for $57 and up on the resale site.

To put that another way, you could buy ten 49ers tickets for about the price of a single seat at Tuesday's Warrior game. The discounts are also visible in the swankier seats, with Club Level offerings posted under $200 for seats that cost $350 on face value and required a per seat license of $30,000.

Cameron Papp of StubHub says there has been a steady dropoff in ticket value since the opening of Levi's Stadium.

"The average ticket price sold last season on StubHub was going for a little less than $200. That was propped up by the high demand for the first ever home opener as well as the 'new stadium effect' throughout the season. This season, the average ticket price sold so far has almost cut in half, around $110." said Papp, who noted that the sales volume remains high, even as the prices drop. "The price has steadily decreased throughout the season and now sits around $84 (for all future games)."

That decline is not surprising given the exodus of talent and on-the-field struggles. But the loss of value has led to some serious frustration from fans. Last month owner Jed York was ripped on Twitter after he sent out an offer of free tickets, with one commenter saying "I can't give my seats away either."

Corporate owned blocks of seats and the pricey license fees have changed the dynamics for fans who have followed the team all the way from Kezar Stadium.

* * *



Think about something the next time you’re stuck in Bay Bridge commute traffic. Is it necessary that every one of the people in the crush be physically present in a hulking office building? In the 21st century, does a 19th century model of the workplace defined in terms of physical space make any sense? Does physical presence at a work site justify the pollution? The wasted time? The daily carnage on the roads?

Getting as many people off the roads as possible could do more to help tame the transportation beast than increased utilization of public transportation and bicycling combined. Obviously, a lot of entrenched interests have a financial stake in the status quo (not the least of which are developers who need to fill up those shiny new towers).

But in a region that pats itself on the back for being progressive, it’s bewildering that there isn’t a more widespread push to leverage technology to break down the barriers necessarily inherent in the traditional model of the workplace.

Joe DiPietro


* * *


People brandishing things which look like guns are likely to come to a bad end. It has always been that way and the color of a person holding a faux gun has nothing to do with it. Police will react quickly with deadly force when they think somebody is pointing a gun at them. They don’t stop to think.

Afterwards it always looks like they reacted too quickly and were unreasonable because at the end of the day an unarmed person is dead at the hands of well armed police. Circumstances be dammed.

I know of a case were a young man was nearly ventilated because he was brandishing an electric drill at people. Once the police had the situation under control they were quite pissed at him for almost making them do him in. He got a free ride downtown in the back of a police car. The police were pissed and were not about to let him go for a “misunderstanding.” They found nothing funny about his “joking.”

I saw the drill and it was big and fat as electric drills are. It was also jet black like some guns are. In a split second decision the fact that it was not a gun might not be obvious. Toy guns would be even harder to identify in the split second that an officer has to make a life and death decision to shoot or not.

* * *


Cruisin' down the center of a two way street

Wond'rin' who is really in the driver's seat

Mindin' my bus'ness along comes big brother

Says, "Son, you better get on one side or the other."

I'm out on the border, I'm walkin' the line

Don't you tell me 'bout your law and order

I'm try'n' to change this water to wine.

After a hard day, I'm safe at home

Foolin' with my baby on the telephone

Out of nowhere somebody cuts in and

Says, "Hmm, you in some trouble boy, we know where you're been."

I'm out on the border

I thought this was a private line

Don't you tell me 'bout your law and order

I'm try'n' to change this water to wine

Never mind your name, just give us your number, mm

Never mind your face, just show us your card, mm

And we wanna know whose wing are you under

You better step to the right or we can make it hard

I'm stuck on the border

All I wanted was some peace of mind

Don't you tell me 'bout your law and order

I'm try'n' to change this water to wine

On the border

On the border

On the border

On the border

On the border

Leave me be , I'm just walkin' this line

On the border

On the border

All I wanted was some peace of mind, peace of mind

I'm out on the border

On the border

Can't you see I'm tryin to change this water to wine

Don't you tell me 'bout your law and order

Sick and tired of all your law and order

Sick and tired of it

--Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey (The Eagles)


  1. Lazarus November 27, 2015


    One of the best joints on Planet Earth…

  2. Jim Armstrong November 27, 2015

    There must be many other readers who wonder daily “who wrote that?”
    Today’s mystery is the author of the Trumbo review.
    I wish I could remember if a prvious review (“See this if no other movie this year or ever.”) was also unattributed.
    No publication is without flaws, but this is a real one.

  3. Bruce Anderson November 27, 2015

    I wrote it. Almost all the unsigned stuff is the work of me, myself and I. If I’d read Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun BEFORE I went into the Marines I wouldn’t have enlisted. It was so strong our government banned it. There’s a good biography about Trumbo I recommend to people as the antidote to this silly, trivializing movie.

  4. John Fremont November 27, 2015

    Lucky me! After I read “Johnny Got His Gun,” I torched my draft card.

  5. Jim Armstrong November 27, 2015

    Who wrote the very positive review you pulblished a month or so ago?
    The Search box does not turn it up.

    • Bruce Anderson November 27, 2015

      Guy named Street, I think, and it couldn’t have been farther off. Check CounterPunch. His hyperbole put me on guard, and sure ’nuff…..

  6. Bruce McEwen November 27, 2015

    The Trumpster’s cruel mocking of a NYT reporter’s physical attributes was not very nice. Anyone whose physical appearance has been mocked as much as Donald Trump’s has, ought to know better. But it’s funny, still, a real gut-buster, to watch voters squirm at the prospect of Trump getting elected — you’d think these people still believed that whoever holds the office of President could make a difference, when we’ve seen the Oval Office passed from such vastly opposed entities as Bush to Obama, without any real change at all in the way the government operates.

  7. Jim Armstrong November 27, 2015

    You are right, cp. The guys’s name is Louis Proyect.
    I hate to confuse sources in my dotage, but I read great hunks of AVA, cp, RSN and Truthout among others everyday.
    I have been interested in Dalton Trumbo for fifty years, but will probably skip the movie.

    • Bruce Anderson November 27, 2015

      Go see it. I’d like a second opinion. I tried to get in to see Spotlight today but the line was out into the street, and they’re showing it in two theaters. Hope to get in tomorrow so I can tell you people what’s hot and what’s not.

  8. debrakeipp December 5, 2015

    My favorite movie as a kid was Dalton Trumbo’s, “Lonely are the Brave”, starring a horse named Whiskey, and some guy on the run with a cleft chin! Walter Matthau had a really good part in the movie, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *