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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Dec 12, 2015

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Flooding on Highway 128 near the Navarro River Bridge, December 11, 2015.
Flooding on Highway 128 near the Navarro River Bridge, December 11, 2015.

FROM CALTRANS: "This kind of flooding hasn't been seen by Caltrans crews before. A combination of high swells at the mouth of the Navarro River and heavy rains has essentially caused the river to back up and rise much higher than usual. Caltrans crews will be monitoring the highways near the river throughout the night, but there is still no estimated time for reopening. Water on the highway is more than two feet deep. We have locked gates at either end of the highway and will be staffing them until the waters recede to ensure nobody attempts to travel Route 128, as conditions are not safe for any type of vehicle."

NAVARRO JUST BROKE PREVIOUS 'PEAK'--The Navarro River is now @ 5.75' eclipsing the previous "peak" of 5.69' registered @ 1:15 am:



Again the figures are baffling. There just hasn't been enough rainfall to flood. Yet The Navarro has flooded? People are saying that it is because the river mouth is still closed. Hard to believe given the fact that there have been 20 foot waves battering the shore. The current height reading is 6-something feet while the flood stage is 23 feet. The river peaked at 9.3 feet. How could it have flooded? The gauge is claiming 719 cubic feet per second with a previous max in 1984 of 9020 cubic feet per second. I believe there must have been water over the road, but someone please tell me what's going on. Aliens?

IT SEEMS THAT THE SAND BAR is so thick at the mouth that the latest rains can't bust the Navarro on through, so the water is backing up and over the highway for about a half-mile to depths too deep to drive through. Maybe the next inch this weekend will at last free the Navarro.


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UPDATE: MendocinoSportsPlus reports that Highway 128 is open and the Navarro River has breached its sandbar:

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A UKIAH WOMAN was caught driving with $1.3 million in marijuana hidden inside her vehicle in Navajo County this week. A sheriff's deputy made the discovery during a traffic stop on Interstate 40 in Arizona. The Sheriff's Office said the deputy pulled Julienne Waters, 59, of Ukiah, over near Holbrook, Arizona, and called for a drug-detection dog when the woman's story didn't add up. The dog, having sniffed the outside of the vehicle, indicated the presence of drugs. That's when Waters conceded she had marijuana in her car — 381 pounds in all, about three times the size of a typical pot seizure (most of Californians) made by Navajo County deputies. Waters was booked into the Navajo County Jail on suspicion of transportation of marijuana. “Maybe once a week, we’re arresting a Californian for some kind of marijuana-related issue,” Chief Deputy Sheriff Jim Molesa said. “This was bigger than what we usually see.” Molesa said the value of the marijuana was calculated to be about $1.3 million based on pot’s estimated street value in Phoenix. (About $3400 per pound!) Ms. Waters’ bond was set at $2 million.

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THE LOCAL WINE INDUSTRY is in a tiz over big tariffs about to be imposed on their exports by Canada and Mexico under terms of the infamous World Trade Organization.

On March 12, 2013, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed a rule that aims to bring mandatory country of origin labeling rules (COOL! rules) in compliance with the United States’ World Trade Organization obligations. The proposal requires that the labels detail each country where each processing step occurred. If a product was derived from livestock born, raised and slaughtered in the US, it will be required to specify this on the label, rather than simply saying “Product of the US” as has been allowed since 2009. The proposed rule was finalized with no changes on May 23, 2013, with an effective date of May, 24, 2013. Restaurants and processed/blended meat products are exempt.

The World Trade Organization declared the labeling requirement to be a “disproportionate burden” on meat suppliers which opened the door to the retaliatory tariff on wine. Canada and Mexico obviously know how to hit the US where it hurts by picking wine to retaliate with.

CONGRESSMAN MIKE “CORK TOP” THOMPSON immediately jumped into action spearheading a rush-job bill to immediately repeal the labeling requirement in the House of Representatives. But the Senate hasn’t yet taken similar action so the repeal is on hold for the time being. Never fear, Senators Feinstein and Boxer have taken the lead in getting the Senate to act as soon as possible, declaring last week, “Our nation’s rural communities, farmers and businesses simply cannot afford to suffer retaliatory tariffs.” (Never mind that expensive wine appellations and terroirs are not exactly “rural communities” and grape growers are not “farmers” in any ordinary sense of the word.)

CANADA has become the largest single market for American wine, most of which comes in California companies. And about $24 million worth of American wine was shipped to Mexico last year. Some local wineries have said that if the estimated $1 billion in tariffs is not repealed the retail price of direct-delivery/sale shipments to Canadian wine drinkers will double and even sales from small non-distributor wines will take a hit.

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THE LEAD STORY in the current SF Weekly is called "Faerie Realm — Radical faeries have started a queer intentional community in Mendocino County. Will it have staying power?"

Groundswell volunteers constructing the mobile chicken coop. Photo by Kegan Marling
Groundswell volunteers constructing a chicken coop. Photo by Kegan Marling

I ONCE HAD a lease-option on that place, 320 acres for $210,000 six miles south of Boonville. We didn't exercise the option, but we were an "intentional community" of sorts, although our intentional community had as its intention the rehab of some of the most dangerous juvenile delinquents available in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our idea was that delinquents would be less delinquent under the redwoods than they were under the streetlights. They weren't. They were worse because their prey was pretty much limited to us and them.

A GAY COLLECTIVE in 1970 Boonville would have caused quite a stir. I wasn't fully aware there was even a community in Boonville for the first few months as we vainly attempted to bring at least a semblance of order to our wacky commune and unwind the mysteries of a gravity flow water "system" as we fended off hippies who thought it was cool to buy booze for our junior felons. We didn't have television reception and computers were unheard of. It was up to us to occupy adolescent crooks whose only interests were violence, getting loaded on anything and everything from gasoline fumes to dope and whatever pills they could get their hyper hands on, and, of course, sex. If we'd had computers we could have pacified these doomed beasts with Grand Theft Auto and kindred ultra-vi entertainments. The hippie chicks who occasionally wandered in off Highway 128 to skinny dip in our pond only did it once.

THE FIRST GAY MAN I was aware of in the Anderson Valley was a louche character called Erik 'Swoop' Von Gehrig. I saw him in the Boonville Lodge one night in a dress, and I marveled at his courage. The Lodge, in those days, could be a very violent place, and often was. Swoop, however, seemed to fit right in. He could be funny as hell and his humor seemed to make him a welcome presence among the bar fighters. I never heard of anybody hassling him, and I always thought the hippie fear of "rednecks" wasn't based in any more reality than the unfamiliarity of cosseted middleclass hippies with everyday working people.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY these days is much less coherent than it was in the 1970s. We're more a collection of affinity groups than a community these days, and gay people are as prevalent as "rednecks."

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by Justine Frederiksen, Ukiah Daily Journal

Another extension was granted in the court case halting progress on the proposed Ukiah Costco warehouse as the defendants, which include the city of Ukiah, have asked for more time to file a response to the opening brief.

According to recent filings in the case, which will be heard by the First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the appellant, Davis-based attorney William Kopper, first requested more time to file his opening brief, which was previously due on Nov. 9. He was granted 30 more days, and filed his opening brief just before the deadline on Monday.

The defendants, which also include Costco and Mendocino County, then had 30 days to file their brief, but also requested more time and were granted another 19 days. Their brief is now due on Jan. 25.

Kopper filed the appeal in July on behalf of a group called “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First,” after a Mendocino County Superior Court judge in May dismissed the lawsuit Kopper filed declaring that the Environmental Impact Report prepared for the Costco proposed for Airport Park Boulevard was inadequate.

The lawsuit was filed in early 2014 on behalf of four plaintiffs, two employees of Lucky and two employees of FoodMaxx, but all of them asked to be removed.

The only name still attached to both the group “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First” and the appeal is Kopper’s, as he has refused all requests to reveal any other names, only telling the Ukiah City Council the last time he appeared before it that there were “several” members.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

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STATE OF THE WEED: Can You Guess Where Most of the Weed in Humboldt County is Grown?

(Northern Mendo must be similar, although no specific studies have been done yet.)

by Hank Sims

Did you scream out “Southern Humboldt County”?

Give yourself a pat on the back. You are correct.

Over the last few years, one of the major political issues surrounding cannabis cultivation have to do with water — unsurprisingly, given California’s drought. How much do marijuana farmers drain from their watersheds? What are the impacts to those watersheds’ salmon fisheries? Can we build appropriate storage systems, ones that gather enough winter rainfall to slake thirsty plants through the summer? Where are those storage systems most urgently required?

These questions have been the subject of national news coverage, and decriminalization only moves them closer to the fore. Locally, environmental groups such as Humboldt Baykeeper and Friends of the Eel have stationed themselves on the front lines, demanding that upcoming county regulations address water usage. The State Water Resources Control Board has spent the last year or so crafting its own system of permits, enforcement and outreach to growers.

But which local watersheds are most impacted? Where are the grows? The Outpost’s “Weed or No Weed” experiment can provide some answers.

Let’s start by defining our terms. The attached map shows Humboldt County divided broadly by watershed. Specifically, we’re looking at the U.S. Geological Survey’s definition of the nation’s watershed “sub-basins” (HUC-8), as applied to Humboldt County particularly.

We can divide our estimates of Humboldt County marijuana cultivation by property by these watersheds, giving us a separate figure for each of the HUC sub-basins that extend into the county borders: the Lower Klamath, the Trinity, the South Fork of the Trinity, Mad River/Redwood Creek, the Lower Eel (including the Van Duzen), the South Fork of the Eel, and the Mattole.

So we did that.

Roughly 72% of the county’s marijuana-growing properties are in the Eel or Mattole watersheds — which together make up only about 46% of the county’s total land.

The remainder of the county — that belonging to the Klamath, the Trinity and the Mad River/Redwood Creek — grows far, far less.

In sum, the numbers look something like this.


Full calculations here. Refer to yesterday’s post (at for instruction on how to read those tables.

One thing to note: Breaking the data down this way increases the confidence interval in the statistically sampled portion of our study. As the set of parcels under study decreases, or as the proportion of weed-positive parcels nears 50%, the spread between our lower confidence limit and our higher one widens. Check out the numbers for the South Fork of the Trinity. We can still say with 95% certainty that there are between 14 and 45 weed-positive parcels in that watershed, but it’s a pretty wide target to hit — the difference between 4% of the total and 14%.

But another way to look at that is by comparing the watersheds one to another. Let’s set aside the “sampled” portion of our dataset and look at just that portion that the crowd marked as either “weed” or “no weed” by at least a three-vote margin. Then let’s compare that to the total hard count of parcels marked as positive.


The Mattole, the Lower Eel and the South Fork of the Eel each have over 20% of the county’s weed-positive parcels.

Now, remembering that “Weed or No Weed” tells us nothing about the size of the grows on Humboldt County parcels — merely the number of parcels — and still less about the ecofriendliness of those grows, might we still attempt to come up with a rough estimate of the industry’s impact in each of these watersheds?

Let’s compare each watershed’s percentage of weed-positive parcels with their percentage of the county’s total area. This will give us an index ratio that might hint, in the most speculative way, at the impact of Humboldt County’s industry by sub-basin.


If these speculative ratios in our fourth column, here, can be shown to have any bearing on water-related political questions surrounding the industry right now, it’s interesting to note that the two most heavily impacted watersheds — the Mattole and especially the South Fork Eel — are undammed rivers with few other industrial users, and that a large percentage of the watershed of each is within Humboldt County’s borders. (The Mattole is almost entirely within our borders.) If you wish to tackle these problems seriously, they suggest, it won’t do to point the finger at agricultural water diversions at Potter Valley or Trinity Lake.

Stay tuned! More STATE OF THE WEED coming!


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To Gary Johnson (Hospitality House Board Member)

We find your 'simple appeal for donations' to Support Hospitality House outrageous and offensive.

As residents of Fort Bragg, we see few benefits resulting from this facility, and many negatives. STOP the free food handouts! Establish a work-for-food program for the many able-bodied transients we see demanding handouts. HH and other services focused on free food, clothing etc, may help a few deserving people, but basically act as a magnet for too many undesirables.

You and your wife do not live here. HH should have a Board of directors composed of Fort Bragg residents, not the faith-driven elite from affluent outside communities. Why don't you establish a homeless facility on your property???

Anna Shaw, executive director of HH and holder of an enormous chunk of tax dollars, seems incompetent, and now is implicated in a sordid sex scandal involving one of her employees. This is in litigation, but most residents feel she has violated the public's trust.

We will direct our charitable efforts elsewhere. The top priority here in need of help are the hard-working, tax paying, low income local people.

Two Fort Bragg residents

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TRUMP, the literary version: I'd say he most resembles Guy Grand, the protag of Terry Southern's wonderful comic novel, The Magic Christian, whose theme is "Every man has his price." Which Guy Grand, a billionaire, proves by "making it hot for 'em" via a series of practical jokes, each more elaborate than the last.


OF COURSE neither Trump's supporters nor his critics regard him as a comic figure but, really, how else can he be regarded as he travels around "making it hot for 'em" in that day-glo coonskin hat he wears on his head? Trump won't be the candidate because he's too out there even for the dummies and crypto-fascists who largely comprise the Republican Party. The money people will go for Rubio, who's much more vicious than Trump but who's much smoother and smart enough to tone down the crazy talk in public. But the real money, the seriously big money, Democrat and Republican, will get behind Hillary because their interests are absolutely safe with her. All us lib-labs, though, owe Trump big time. He blew up the Republican Party. Now, if Bernie can blow up the Democrats Americans might have some hope for the first time since Roosevelt.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 11, 2015

Crumrine, Evans, Flinton, Larson
Crumrine, Evans, Flinton, Larson


WILLIAM EVANS, Fort Bragg. Shoplifting. (Frequent flyer.)

SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MICHAEL LARSON, Ukiah. Visiting where illegal drugs are used, under infliuence of controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

Loretz, Mitchell, Pena
Loretz, Mitchell, Pena

KELLY LORETZ, Grass Valley/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

SUNEE MITCHELL, Ukiah. Visiting where illegal drugs are used, under infliuence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

MARTIN PENA, Leggett. DUI, DUI-suspended license.

Rose, Sanders, Silva, Walrath
Rose, Sanders, Silva, Walrath

PETER ROSE JR., Point Arena. Probation revocation.

THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

MANUEL SILVA, Willits. Parole violation.

MARK WALRATH, Ukiah. Petty theft, possession of: ammo by ex-felon, paraphernalia, controlled substance, marijuana for sale; probation revocation.

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Mendocino Forest visitors urged to be aware of wet weather closures

Due to historically strong El Niño patterns, recent storms and more wet weather in the forecast, the Mendocino National Forest is encouraging visitors to monitor the weather and check conditions before visiting Forest recreation sites. The first wet weather closure of the season was implemented today for both the Grindstone and Upper Lake Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail systems after trails were saturated by more than 2 inches of rain in 24 hours. The trails will reopen after at least 48 hours of no measurable precipitation. The closure orders are formally referenced as Order Numbers 08-15-07 and 08-15-08. They are available online at Recent drenching storms may have impacted roads in the forest. If you come across an area where the road is compromised or washed out, please report it to Forest Engineer Shannon Pozas at 530-934-3316. As winter conditions return to the Mendocino National Forest, all visitors are asked to be cautious when recreating on the forest, whether they are driving, hiking, camping or enjoying other recreational pursuits - including selecting a Christmas tree. "While this wet weather gives hope to the drought-stricken Mendocino and many other parts of California, it also presents some challenges for visitors enjoying our Forest during early winter through spring," said Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson. "Potential hazards to both visitors and forest resources arise when weather conditions are constantly changing throughout the season. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable trip to the forest, while preserving resources so they can be enjoyed for years to come. To help with this, visitors are asked to be prepared for changing conditions, aware of their surroundings, and minimize impacts to saturated roads and trails." Many popular trails and some access points to recreation sites on the Mendocino involve crossing normally small creeks and streams. Caution should be used at these stream crossings. People and vehicles can be swept away by currents in even relatively shallow water. Also, conditions can change rapidly and a stream that was easy to cross in the morning can become impassable by afternoon, trapping people on the wrong side. Following are some additional safety suggestions for those recreating in the forest this winter: Plan your trip - check the weather, bring plenty of warm clothes, water, emergency food, tire chains, shovel and any other supplies necessary for the activity. Call to check if the area you are planning to visit is still open and accessible.

Make sure you have a full tank of gas when you leave and are prepared for changing conditions in the mountains!

Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. Cellphone service within the forest can be limited.

Keep vehicles on designated roads and trails and be aware of changing weather and road conditions. Wet dirt roads can quickly turn to mud, making it possible to get stuck and causing damage to road, soil and water resources. If there are puddles in the road, mud flipping off the tires or you can see your ruts in the rearview mirror, consider pulling over to hike or turning around and finding a different area. For more information, please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316 or visit

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How the State Stole my Children

by Lyra Jubb


By this picture you would think that we are a average family getting our picture taken outside on a bright summer day. On another day you might be right, but on this particular day you don’t know the half of it. We have had a great day and are about to part ways. Everyone is strained and worried about what tomorrow will bring. At this point my children and I have been separated from each other for over a year. Each month we have a short visit and then they are transported to different parts of Mendocino County by state employees of CPS.

I was a victim of domestic violence for over 14 years and recently was awarded disability status under Federal Social Security Laws and medical recommendation. Before I was awarded my benefits under federal law, I could not make enough money to support myself and my three children. Me and my oldest son had just recently, in 2011, suffered domestic violence. I called the police for help and CPS came and told me to leave my house and my trailer, with nothing but a few suitcases and my children. They urged me to go to the local homeless shelter, which is full of drug addicts and mentally deranged men. I refused and stayed with a friend for a few nights. I continued looking for a place to put my trailer, when the abuser pleaded for me and the children to stay at a hotel across from his room and work. Having no relations or job prospects, and in great desperation, I accepted the room and his apology.

I believed that this would ease my children’s and my circumstances and I drove to Juvenile court with him and our 6 month old baby, believing that everything would be OK. When we arrived, one lawyer came in to talk with us. I thought that we could still be together and work out the complications. I was naive and desperate, and was told that, since I arrived with the abuser and failed to appear for court to get a permanent restraining order, that I was ‘failing to protect’ my children.

On October 26, 2011, my children were removed from my custody and I have been fighting for their return ever since. Although there were many occasions when I had stable and adequate housing, I was told that I was too late or that my disability was such that I was incapable of taking care of my children.

During the last four years I have attempted to remove all concerns regarding the safety of my children. Despite my efforts, attendance, and cooperation with the county officials over the past four years, CPS has awarded my children to their fathers, who were the abusers. When this was not deemed safe, after many warning signs topped off by abusive explosions, my children have been removed and placed in foster care. ‘Why were they not placed with me?’, you ask yourself.

I am disabled and have been trying to exist on $295.00 a month for three years. You try doing that and maintain impeccable attendance to every Court Ordered class and visit for any length of time.

When I received my Social Security I thought that my problems were solved. That was not the case. Although I owned my own trailer and then moved into a two bedroom house, payed for all the furniture, and continued to attend all classes and visits with vigor, CPS of Fort Bragg, now managed by the same worker who originally awarded my kids to their abusive fathers, felt that my use of medical marijuana and my humanitarian nature were too risky for my children to return to me.

After three years of AODP and attendance to AA meetings, I was still labeled an addict even though I had remained clean and sober for over a year. Prior to my children being detained from me, I had survived three major car crashes and over fourteen years of domestic violence. My doctors had tried a number of medications to relieve the symptoms of migraines, degenerative disc disease, anxiety and PTSD. After many trials, and hospital stays, it was determined that medical marijuana was the only medicine that helped mitigate my disability symptoms.

When the children were removed from my care, I was told that I would have to stop using marijuana if I had any chance to have my children returned. I stopped using medical marijuana for two and a half years, (excepting some extreme situations, brought on mainly by CPS’s complete disregard for my children’s safety), as I continued to attend all of the classes, believing that my efforts would not be overlooked. This was not the case, as I continued to see that my parental rights were being trampled on, apparently due to the positive results of marijuana in my my urine.

Despite my current stability, both mentally and physically, through the use of medical marijuana, CPS has continued to allege that my condition and medical treatment will not allow me to be present for my children. I have never shown any lack of love or understanding for my children, have maintained an alert perspective during all our visits together, and have gone so far as to take classes at the local college to help me grow both mentally and physically, while investigating and understanding my own part as well as the mental health of my children and how I can better support their needs.

On July 10, 2015, I appeared in court to request return of my children to a two bedroom home where they would be safe and cared for solely by me, all payed for by HUD-Section 8 Voucher. This hearing allowed me to bring in supportive witnesses, one of which was not well, to testify to my care and devotion to my children. My lawyer was ill prepared and the social worker who left her job two days earlier, lied on the stand. At the end of the hearing the judge ruled in favor to close my case and consider permanent placement of my children elsewhere. I stood up in indignation, asking the judge, “How can you make this decision? What about how the children feel about this? She did not tell you how my children cry when we part. She lied on the stand” Or something like that. The judge looked me in the face and said, “Even if I had heard any of that I would still have made the ruling I have.” I walked out.

What else was I going to do? They have all of the power when I don’t have any money, family, or reliable friends to back me up.

Although I continue to see my children as little as once a month, I have been told that, in November of this year my children could be adopted out. This greatly concerns me because I will not be able to see them anymore, until they are old enough to make their own choices, (that could be a while), and no one is telling them this information either. In the mean-time I have found a permanent home on the coast and continue to access services that are free to me.

I am a survivor of domestic violence and I have the right to care for my children. The rule is different and lies hold in Juvenile Court, as long as representatives of CPS are the ones that are lying.

Please help me right this wrong and bring my children back home. Children should be with their mother, as long as she loves them and is present for their needs. The state of California has made medical use of marijuana legal and this should not be used as a way for the government to steele children from their parents.

Please share this personal story with all who you think can be a part of the rationale movement for medical marijuana patients/parents with children. We should not be persecuted for our medical and religious practices in the United States of America.

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To get an idea of how bad the stenographer-journalists in the US look, try tuning in RT (stands for Russia Today) on the internet. They run a live feed of their US, British, and Moscow feeds in English 24/7/365 at:

While reminding yourself that they are owned and operated by the government of the Russian Federation and therefore presenting the 
Russian point of view on the world notice:

They have correspondents everywhere unlike US public broadcasting which relies on BBC and other stringers to provide them with reports.

Their US correspondents not only speak English, they speak American English. Their British correspondents speak the UK version of the language. Many of their correspondents are multi-lingual and therefore do not require translators in the countries from which they report.

Their reporters have exposed both lies and exaggerations of official US/NATO and EU spokespersons regarding the Ukrainian, European refugee, and ISIS (or is it ISIL or is it Daesh?) crises.

As a septuagenarian I can remember listening to Radio Moscow and the other communist shortwave services in my youth. Besides the excitement of being able to hear voices from afar, the content of their news and commentary was good for laughs because it was so lacking in credibility.

US networks on the other hand (radio and TV) had their own correspondents everywhere and typically they would gather at the year’s end to discuss the year in review as well as the prospects for the next year. Of course it was not perfect back in the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s but they tackled such issues as Joe McCarthy, civil rights, the Vietnam war, and that odious political toad, Richard Nixon.

Now it is the US media that engages in mindless mimicry and the Russians who are doing the hard work of investigative reporting. It’s a shame, but that’s what happens when journalism’s bottom line is the bottom line. Information transforms into infotainment.

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A New York Times/CBS News poll found 44 percent said an attack is “very likely” to happen in the next few months — the highest in Times or CBS News polls since the weeks following the 2001 attacks. That mounting fear has helped Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s rise in the polls. The survey found seven in 10 people who are likely to vote in the GOP primary said he has what it takes to respond to the threat of terrorism.

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From Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:


At the bottom is an MSNBC poll that asks what kind of person Trump is. Only a quarter of Republicans think he's insulting and offensive. These aren't polls of tea partiers. They aren't polls just of conservative states. These are polls of all Republicans in the nation. By a very wide margin, ordinary Republican voters think the stuff Trump is saying sounds great. Only about a quarter don't like what they're hearing… (emphasis added)


(Courtesy, District5Diary)

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by Camille Paglia

Girl squads were a hashtag summer craze that may have staying power. Blogs and magazines featured intricate star charts of the constellations of celebrity gal pals clustering around Taylor Swift, Cameron Diaz, Lena Dunham or Tina Fey.

Names appearing on the shifting roster of girl squads include Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Selena Gomez, Willow Smith, Kendall Jenner, Sofia Richie, Chloe Sevigny and Karlie Kloss. Hot models Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne bob and weave through several groups. Adele joined the club in November when she dined out in New York with Emma Stone and varsity squad player Jennifer Lawrence.

"Squad" as a pop term emerged from 1990s hip-hop (Hit Squad, Def Squad). It once had a hard, combative street edge, but today it's gone girly and a bit bourgeois. Social media are its primary engine. Perhaps the first star to use stylish Instagrams to advertise her tight female alliances was Rihanna, with moody snaps of herself and bestie Melissa Forde out and about in Los Angeles or lolling seaside on Barbados.

Do girl squads signal the blossoming of an ideal­istic new feminism, where empowering solidarity will replace mean-girl competitiveness? Hollywood has always shrewdly known that cat-fighting makes great box office. In classic films such as The Women, All About Eve, The Group and Valley of the Dolls, all-star female casts romped in claws-out bitchfests. That flamboyant, fur-flying formula remains vital today in Bravo TV's boffo Real Housewives series, with its avid global following.

A warmer model of female friendship was embodied in Aaron Spelling's blockbuster Charlie's Angels TV show, which was denounced by feminists as a "tits-and-ass" parade but was in fact an effervescent action-adventure showing smart, bold women working side by side in fruitful collaboration. A similar dynamic of affectionate intimacy animated HBO's Sex and the City, whose four feisty, mutually supportive professional women prefigured today's fun-loving but rawly ambitious girl squads.

The entertainment industry has seen feminist spurts come and go. Helen Reddy's 1972 smash hit "I Am Woman" became the worldwide anthem of second-wave feminism. In 1985, Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox did the slamming duet "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves." The Spice Girls encapsulated sex-positive third-wave feminism with their 1997 manifesto Girl Power! Performing at the 2014 Video Music Awards, Beyonce flashed "FEMINIST" in giant letters behind her, but questions were raised about the appropriation of that word by a superstar whose career has always been managed by others, first her parents and now her domineering husband, Jay Z.

With gender issues like pay equity for women actors and writers coming increasingly to the fore, girl squads can be seen as a positive step toward expanding female power in Hollywood, where ownership has been overwhelm­ingly male since the silent film era. For all its dictatorial overcontrol, however, the early studio system also provided paternalistic protection and nurturance for young women under contract. Marilyn Monroe was a tragic victim of the slow breakdown of that system: The studio made her, but in the end it could not save her from callous predators, including the Kennedys.

Young women performers are now at the mercy of a swarming, intrusive paparazzi culture, intensified by the hypersexualization of our flesh-baring fashions. The girl squad phenomenon has certainly been magnified by how isolated and exposed young women feel in negotiating the piranha shoals of the industry. A dramatic example of their vulnerability was the long-lens pap photo of Swift sitting painfully sad and prim on a Virgin Islands taxi boat after her tumultuous 2013 holiday breakup with pop star Harry Styles.

Given the professional stakes, girl squads must not slide into a cozy, cliquish retreat from romantic fiascoes or communication problems with men, whom feminist rhetoric too often rashly stereotypes as oafish pigs. If many women feel lonely or overwhelmed these days, it's not due to male malice. Women have lost the natural solidarity and companionship they enjoyed for thousands of years in the preindustrial agrarian world, where multiple generations chatted through the day as they shared chores, cooking and child care.

In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift's bear-hugging posse. Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhals brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video "Please Welcome to the Stage."

Girl squads ought to be about mentoring, exchanging advice and experience and launching exciting and innovative joint projects. Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history. With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women.

If women in Hollywood seek a broad audience, they must aim higher and transcend a narrow gender factionalism that thrives on grievance. Girl squads are only an early learning stage of female development. For women to leave a lasting mark on culture, they need to cut down on the socializing and focus like a laser on their own creative gifts.

(Courtesy, the Hollywood Reporter)

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We all know that a firearm can kill at a long distance. If you can see it, it can kill you. But what is the lethal distance for a man holding an edge weapon (knife)? If you are holding a pistol, at what distance are you in danger of being killed by a person holding a knife? That person could be high on drugs and is probably supercharged with his own adrenaline. From over 25 feet away, he can kill you, and your children will grow up without a parent. Yes, you may have put several shots into him, and he will die, but not fast enough to save your life. Check the reason for the development of the .45 auto pistol if you don't believe me. Give the police a good option other than using their handgun. True, a person supercharged on drugs and adrenaline may die from the Taser, but he has better odds to live than multiple gunshots.

Ralf Stinson, Alameda

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12th, 11 am - 4 pm Support Your Local Artists!

Redwood Valley Grange is having their first Holiday Art & Craft Fair this coming Saturday, from 11 am to 4 pm. We will be in the Main Hall. There are nearly 26 Artists and Crafts People! The address is: 8650 East Road, Redwood Valley, CA 95470 We have soap & lotion makers, felters, knitters, sewers, spinners, painters, ceramicists, and everything in between. We have lovely vendors who make the best tamales - just in time for the holidays! For decorations we have popcorn balls - a healthy alternative to the overly sweet kind, and a wonderful dollmaker too! We have linens and mittens and more! There will be gifts in all price ranges from very low to as high as you would like to go! :) Check out our Facebook Page link : For the very young, there is Santa' Workshop (presented by the U.S.A.C.) Santa will be appearing at his Santa's Workshop/Play House located in the Grange Kitchen! I'm excited to be working on this terrific event, all that is needed is you! Come visit us, Shop locally and Enjoy a Great Line Up of Local Talent: Tim Easterbrook, Elizabeth Raybee, Ramona Teagarden, Jeff Box, Caroline Radice, and More! I will have available - my new hand painted card sets, paintings and hand painted prints and fruit tiles. 'Tis the season, as they say! :) Looking forward to seeing you there! xoxox, Jaye (707) 272 1688 --

Jaye Alison Moscariello

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A SOUTH COAST reader says a young girl was overheard telling a friend how she turned down a date with a swarthy guy because "wore a bomb beard."

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Everyone is invited to join in singing songs of the season and songs of peace, hope, and light, on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 7:00pm. This is the seventeenth annual free community Solstice Sing hosted and led by Inland Valley Women's Chorus. This event will be held at the Mendocino Ballet, 205 S. State Street, in Ukiah. People of all ages, voices, and traditions are invited to sing along. The evening will end with hot cider and cookies. For more information, contact Madge Strong, or (707) 459-1493.

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by Dan Bacher

Senator Dianne Feinstein appears ready to sign off on HR 2898, after negotiations with Central Valley House Congressmen that want to over pump the San Francisco Bay-Delta, according to an action alert from Restore the Delta (RTD).

“Californians have not seen the federal drought bill,” said RTD. “We need to make sure it does not harm our Delta estuary, which is on the verge of collapse in this extreme drought. Senator Barbara Boxer says she will NOT sign off on any bill that weaken existing federal protections. Call Senator Boxer ASAP.”

Senator Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553 Click to Tweet our message to @SenatorBoxer

Tell this to Senator Boxer: Senator Boxer, you promised us an open and transparent process in drought bill (HR 2898) negotiations. Northern Californians haven't seen the drought bill, now in it’s final stages, and we haven't been given the opportunity to comment on it yet. It’s our region that will take the environmental and economic impact of this bill. Please slow down the bill process, do not allow passage of this drought bill that has not been vetted in the light of day. We have a right to know how HR 2898 will impact the estuary, the fisheries, our farms, our home, and the source of our livelihood -- fresh water flows.

Today, Senator Dianne Feinstein released this statement:

“The bill that Republicans tried to place in the omnibus last week—in my name and without my knowledge—hadn’t been reviewed by me, Senator Boxer, the state or the White House. Each of those parties is key to coming up with a bill that can actually be signed into law.

“There were at least a half-dozen items in the bill that I had rejected and that would have drawn objections from state or federal agencies—some of them would likely violate environmental law. Several more provisions were still being negotiated and hadn’t been reviewed by state or federal stakeholders.

“We’ve worked hard all week to resolve these outstanding provisions, and I believe we’ve come to closure on virtually all of them. I expect that by early next week we’ll have a bill that the state and federal government can sign off on. At that point I plan to present the bill to Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell and discuss the best way to move the bill forward through regular order.”

In response, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, issued the following statement:

“Senators Feinstein and Boxer promised the people of California a drought bill that would be transparent. They promised us no secret negotiations. Senator Feinstein is assuring the public that she has worked out a good compromise with Valley Republican Congressional leaders who are seeking more and more exported water from the Bay- Delta estuary during this extreme drought. However, we, the public, have not seen what has been negotiated. Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer need to keep their word. The Bay-Delta estuary is on the verge of complete collapse as a result of over pumping as we enter the fifth year of drought. The people who live here will be greatly impacted with environmental and economic impacts it the estuary collapses. We have a right to know how this legislation will impact the estuary, the fisheries, our farms, our home, and the source of our livelihood -- fresh water flows.”

Need a refresher on HR 2898? See this Mercury News editorial, "Drought relief held hostage to trashing the Delta" about HR 2898. Mercury News wrote, "Central Valley Republicans want to strip out essential environmental protections for the Delta to quench Big Ag's thirst for more water for questionable orchard crops such as almonds and pistachios."

While Governor Jerry Brown has mandated that California urban users slash their water use by 25 percent, agribusiness has actually planted 150,000 NEW acres of almond trees during the drought. For more information, go to:


  1. Jim Updegraff December 12, 2015

    Navarro River flooding? Aliens.

  2. Kathy Wylie December 12, 2015

    Navarro River broke through around 7pm last night. 128 is open now

  3. Kathy Wylie December 12, 2015

    Saturday chuckle seen online: Trump is what would happen if the comments section became a human and ran for president.

  4. Lazarus December 12, 2015

    Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one…who want Costco in the Ukiah…I wish someone could or would sue this mouthpiece William Kopper…build it already…!

    • Stephen Rosenthal December 12, 2015

      I agree. This is starting to feel like the Palace Hotel boondoggle. Wouldn’t surprise me if Costco decides to abandon this project and leave Ukiah (and all the potentially decent paying jobs with benefits) to the frequent flyers.

  5. james marmon December 12, 2015

    “Instead of being treated more as a co-victim of a violent perpetrator, with help and guidance provided according to the mother’s expressed needs, she is treated more as a co-perpetrator, with CPS establishing mandated controls over virtually any which aspect of her life CPS chooses, all under threat of losing her child. In addition to court dates at which it is her behavior that’s in question, CPS gives her a mandated, often overwhelming set of programs and goals she must comply with to the satisfaction of the CPS/juvenile court system, in order to – maybe – get the child back – and maybe not. She is also held accountable for maintaining a cooperative attitude throughout, even though she is, in fact, in a profoundly adversarial relationship with CPS (which is why she’s given an attorney at court time). At the same time, she begins to realize that the CPS/juvenile court system isn’t pushing to hold the perpetrator accountable for his violence, nor is CPS even invested with the power to do so.”

    • james marmon December 12, 2015

      “Nothing fans the flames of governmental abuse like governmental secrecy. Secret files, secret evidence, secret accusations, secret proceedings are a sure fire formula for allowing abuses to thrive and expand throughout the system. Since its inception, CPS/juvenile court activities have been off the public record with the exception of only a few states. The involved parents are informed. But, to date, neither the public nor any public watchdog has been allowed scrutiny or oversight of the handling of these cases.”

      A sure way of limiting those abuses in Mendocino County would be to hire more MSWs. Master level social workers have extensive training in ethics and are more prone to follow and report facts, rather than using the practice of vilification in order to prevail in Court.

      Mendocino County defense attorneys warn their clients not to piss CPS workers off. It is common knowledge within the system that the Agency will retaliate against parents who question the process and/or make accusations against social workers. They are told to submit and kiss ass.

      Our local Dependency Court is extremely dysfunctional, under-educated and unqualified employees who call themselves social workers are protected in our courtroom. The past two judges, Nelson and Mayfield were terrible about not holding individual generic social workers accountable.

      I worked for another county where the judge actually scrutinized social workers and their credentials. He had caught a couple of them lying and it became common practice to put the social worker on the stand during contested hearings. County Counsel always emphasized Education and Experience in qualifying a social workers as expert witnesses.

      In Mendocino County, education and experience of social workers are kept secret as well, because their generic social workers do not report their credentials on their court reports. The judge, the attorneys, or the parents never know if the social worker has a master’s or just an associate’s degree. They never know if the social worker has 10 years experience, or was just promoted from another department. All this is kept secret, especially from the parent.

      In my termination hearing, Program Manager A.J. Barrett made it a point to express his disgust with me calling our local dependency court system “nothing more than a kangaroo court.” Believe me, its that bad. Take it from an former insider and whistleblower.

      James Marmon MSW

      • james marmon December 12, 2015

        “Shut up, shut up, shut up
        Sit up, sit up, sit up
        It’s a kangaroo court
        A kangaroo court
        Shut up, shut up, shut up
        Sit up, sit up, sit up
        It’s a kangaroo court
        A kangaroo court”

  6. Jim Updegraff December 12, 2015

    Costco pays top dollar to their employees (if you are willing to work hard and not goof off). The stores which pay minimum wage, of course, do not like that kind of competition.

  7. Stephen Rosenthal December 12, 2015

    Considering that only four people are watching MSNBC at any given time, I think that poll is a bit misleading.

  8. Harvey Reading December 12, 2015

    Amazing how people fear Trump … and love Horrid Hillary at the same time …

  9. Bill Pilgrim December 12, 2015

    “Free the Navarro! Free the Navarro! Free the Navarro!
    Stop Sand Bar Aggression!”

    Oh, it’s now free? We won! We won!

    Onward! To the red coffee cup crusade!

    • BB Grace December 12, 2015

      Thank you Susie de Castro. I was thinking something completely different.

  10. BB Grace December 12, 2015

    RE: HH: This is the letter I, who do not live in Fort Bragg, received in my mail box. I vote in Fort Bragg, but Fort Bragg politics is not on my ballot.

    Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center
    Annual Appeal


    Hospitality House desperately needs your continued support to help community members in need. Your generosity provides 65% of our annual funding. Without your support we would have to drastically reduce our basic services.

    Hospitality House provides services to a wide range of individuals; We provide a temporary safe and sober environment for people who have immediate need for shelter, food and support services to address their individual situations.

    One month this year we had 14 children staying at our shelter. They did not make the decision to be in temporary shelter. They were family members who needed support from community members like you.

    So as we gather during this holiday season, reflecting on our own family’s wellbeing, please take a moment and think about how you can help us help those in need.

    Your donations to Hospitality House are dedicated exclusively to the opera-tion of this humble house on McPherson Street that has served so many since 1986. While we have expanded our overall services, they are funded from different sources, while Hospitality House, our original entity, remains dependent upon your generosity.

    Thank you for your support,

    Gary R. Johnson,
    Board President

    Board of Directors:
    Bill Gibson (FB)
    Gary Johnson (LR)
    Jerry Thomas (Caspar)
    Kathleen Cameron (Mendo)
    Sue Gibson (FB)
    Lynelle Johnson (FB)
    Rev. Dan Fowler (FB)
    Dr. Michael Brown (Office in FB)

    Advisory Board

    Paula Cohen (office in FB)
    Bill Mertle (FB)
    Bob Schlosser (FB)
    Lee Welty (LR)
    Father Lou Nichols (Mendo)

    Hospitality House’s Mission

    “To shelter the homeless, feed the hungry and provide a path to personal self sufficiency.”

    I thumbed through the phone book and put board members residence in parentheses.

    My suggestion to Hospitality House is they locate some of their graduates and show FB what good they have done since 1986. Seems they should have no problem coming up with 10 people who now having housing, job, stability, and appreciate the HH with all their hearts for helping them.

    Public needs to hear from long time HH successful graduates. I don’t know any. Public does not need to hear from those who are presently at the HH.

    My feelings are simular to the Fort Bragg residents who shared their letter of protest against the HH asking for donations.

    Note the “sober” statement in HH letter confirming the policy that keeps homeless on FB streets, which is exactly what FB wants off the streets.

    THE WOODS: Perfect place for HH!!!!!

    • james marmon December 12, 2015

      Well said Ms. BB Grace, its time for some real social work in Fort Bragg performed by some real social workers.

      The search for real solutions to address the homelessness problems is being ignored. Unfortunately the focus of Mendocino County is more on temporary shelter and temporary fixes, when it should be more directed toward providing permanent housing for the homeless and employment opportunities for the abled-bodied.

      Band Aides are not the answer here.

      It is so sad that the County refuses to treat or provide any services to anyone who is using drugs and/or alcohol, especially if they are mentally ill. This is where we are loosing the battle. Like you said, these people are exactly what everyone wants off the streets.

      Doesn’t make that much sense does it?

      • james marmon December 12, 2015

        There’s billions of federal dollars being directed to communities to address homelessness. Believe me, our homeless problem will rapidly increase over the next few years. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

        Permanently removing these people from the streets will never be in the Mental-cino conversation now. The purchase of the Old Coast Hotel and the Tiny House Project in Ukiah has opened our leaders’ eyes, there’s lots of money to be made here.

        Most of the increasing homeless will be left on the streets to keep the homeless count up and serve as a reminder for why the Federal government’s and our individual generosity is so badly needed in at least 2 or our County’s 3 largest towns. Bring on the trimmigrants.

        Nothing will improve as long as Ms. Cryer, Director of Health and Human Services, continues to believe that drug and alcohol services are nothing more than a waste of time here in lolly-pop world. These services are so badly needed but are being ignored.

        I suspect that it is her plans to privatize and contract AOD services to OMG and/or RQMC, especially since most competent substance abuse counselors want nothing to do with her or her program. A theme that is present in almost every department of HHSA, but is overwhelmingly ignored by the Board of Supervisors.

        This whole thing of we won’t help you unless you’re clean and sober first, isn’t working. They’re still on the street everyone!

        Time for a paradigm shift Mental-cino.

        • BB Grace December 12, 2015

          I agree, However, I take offense to your pun, “Mental-cino”. It could be that the truth hurts and it smacks me with a reality check that leaves me with a frownie face. And to say that I haven’t seen anything yet. It hurts my heart.

          I’ve been reading that this is a trend in CA, so FB is not alone, and I have read that this is happening in the USA in areas that once had industries.

          Mendocino could use green indurtial investment for jobs and education.. to have a social services racket as an industry is pathetic sublevel of human existance.

          The kicker is, we can do better than this and we don’t.

          • james marmon December 12, 2015

            Money, money, monnney.

            “The county does the Point-In-Time count to remain in compliance with the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing, or HEARTH, Act of 2009, according to the HHSA report, to comply with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and to access funding and track trends.

            For 2015, the county’s Community Development Commission, Ford Street Project, HHSA and the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center all received Continuum of Care grants totalling $2.1 million, the report stated.”


            Our trimmigrants really help keep our numbers up, and they really don’t cost us anything because we don’t provide any services to them. All we have to do to keep them around is to feed them at Plowshares or the Hospitality Center. Good hot meals works all the time.

            Unfortunately however, because of their status, they are literally being left out in the rain. They are very low on the vulnerability scale in Ukiah and therefore don’t qualify for shelter.

            Trimmigrants are our friends, especially to the social service racket. They represent a need that translates into dollars. And, just because they smoke pot, drink, and have dogs, we don’t have to serve them. They’re like money in the bank.

    • Bob Mendosa December 24, 2015

      Check out the California State Registry of Charitable Trusts here:

      Then do a search for Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center. You should be able to find all of its State filings. Compare the amount of grant funding declared on its 2013 990 tax return with the grant funding declared on its 2013 RRF.

      There are two pages of grants listed there. But nothing that looks like a spreadsheet. So I added everything up. The total comes to $673,917. Then compare it with the gross receipts declared at the top of page one on the 2013 990. That amount is $602,245. Unless my abacus is broken, there’s an extra $71,672 laying around somewhere.

      Now let’s take Mr. Johnson at his word. That 65% of HH funding comes from our “generosity”. Then multiply the total declared on the 2013 RRF by 1.54 (the inverse multiple of 65%). That’s just over a million dollars in undeclared receipts. Am I wrong?

      If I am, please show me where. But if not, then where’s the extra $400,000, and why not wasn’t it declared?

  11. Jim Updegraff December 12, 2015

    GOD HELPS THEM WHO.. If the “Two Fort Bragg residents do not have the guts to sign their names then their opinion counts for nothing.

  12. BB Grace December 12, 2015

    counts for nothing? Would Anonymous agree?

  13. Bruce McEwen December 12, 2015

    Rules Is For Fools
    The new writing texts obliterate all the old concepts. Remember Strunk and White, The Elements of Style? Forget it. How about William Zinsser On Writing Well? Toss it out. Henry Fowler’s Modern Usage? Not so mod, after all. They all have to go. Everything’s changed.
    Short sentences are out, out of vogue, passé and kaput, shot in the butt, scuttled and sunk in the white male past of Poppa Hemingway’s youth, replaced by the long, flowing flowery fashions of a sunny new day, Mrs. Dalloway, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf and Daisy Buchanan have at long last triumphed over the good old boys and stripped them of their meticulously barbered prose, stiffly starched syntactical collars and hardnosed, spit-shined diction shells. Squirm white man, squirm in the unwelcome light of a new day, you worm, you, your rock has been overturned, your pale skin exposed to the blistering glare of the ozone-depleted sunlight of modern writing techniques, and you, my poor pitiful ruesome relic of privileged putrescence, have been found wanting. Bah!
    Let us begin with How to Write a Sentence, and How to Read One by Stanley Fish, because we have to go all the way back to the beginning and start all over again in Third Grade, in order to learn the very basics which have all changed; then we’ll move on to Style, Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams.
    First off, though, a whole new vocabulary must be learned. Sweep up all the old terms of grammar and dump them in the landfill of obsolete Nineteenth Century pretensions, along with your Victorian conscience, so we can learn some new and wonderful terminology, like Nominalizations, Summative modifiers, Subject-complement switching, Point-last (not to be confused with a pointless essay) document, Topicalizers, the Community of discourse, and the ubiquitous Metadiscourse. These terms have replaced those silly little old-fashioned concepts like nouns, verbs and rules.
    As quickly as time and space permits, we’ll gloss a few of the new terms.
    Nominalizations occur when a verb or adjective or even a phrase is turned into a noun. The last kind are those long, drawn-out monstrosities we find in some of today’s most erudite and enviable writing, as practiced by the highest paid members of our local government, such as, “effective staff information dissemination control.” The people who use these kinds of nouns, these nominalizations, are imitating the jargon of the entrenched wielders of power, in hopes of sounding like they belong; in much the same way commoners in Britain imitate the plum-in-the-mouth enunciation of the upper-class gentry to ingratiate themselves to those noble personifications of virtue, the rich.
    Summative modifier: End a segment of a sentence with a comma, then sum-up in a noun phrase what you have just said, and continue with a relative clause, irrelevant digression, or your relatives’ latest squabble over family finances.
    Subject-complement switching is a means of changing an active verb into a passive one in order to defeat the antiquated Strunk & White’s rule, “never use a passive verb.”
    Point-last document: If you are writing an essay (it’s called a document in vogue parlance) and don’t have any idea what your point is, don’t worry, keep writing, it will emerge last, at long last. Keep the faith, and keep on keepin’ on.
    Topicalizers and Sequencers are words and phrases and sentences that lead your reader through your text: “In this next section of this report, it is my intention to deal with the problem of …that is to say …cheerleading myself and my readers through the dark, whistling bracely betimes, perchance…”
    Metadiscourse: Much the same as the foregoing, it’s just the writer barging into the privacy of your reading room to remind you how clever he is by pointing out what he’s saying and how he’s saying it in the text.
    Remember Hemingway ordering the troops, “Keep it simple. Use small words. Write short sentences. Stay in the background”…? Well, don’t listen. The battle is over. These concepts and other grammatical notions like them are either dead, captured or in retreat. Everything from never-split-an-infinitive to dangerously dangling a participle — nor yet will you ever, under any circumstances, try to end a sentence with a preposition; the new grammarians have reclassified these notions as Folklore Rules, Elderly Fishspouse Tales. Even the really hard and fast rules, like Fowler’s dictum to never, ever, under any circumstances use double negative redundancies like “irregardless” – even that wisdom has gone out the window!
    What rules is not what rules were once thought they ought to be. And don’t worry if I start a sentence with and or but, but do and worry if you think my previous sentence had an active verb in it. It would be so embarrassing, as I could be liable to classification as an umm… wull, one of those.
    Until I master the wild new anti-grammatical techniques, I dasn’t conduct any venturesome excursions into the dire mires of nominialization, even with the flashlight of metadiscourse to guide me past the topicalizers and significators, to the shining point-last goal of my whole essay, supposing there is any, in this lawless jungle, this rule-forsaken desert, this open pit abyss that writing has so passively become of late.

  14. Helen Michael December 12, 2015

    I want to know who is behind the lawsuit against Costco. Costco could be a decent employer in this county and goodness knows we need some. But Ross Liberty gets tax breaks for a project at the Masonite site when voters already said no to the idea when someone else wanted to build there. I guess it helps to be best buddies with the CEO…

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