- Destroying Evidence
- Yoga Class
- Open Chakra
- Shelter Shortcomings
- Proposal Scrutiny
- Uniquely Cockamamie
- Not Impressed
- Strong Women
- Que Mcera, Mcera
- Yesterday's Catch
- Demon Obsession
- Lacking Consciousness
- The Candidates
- Tribal Prejudice
- Fearful People
- Wake Up Little Susie
- Marco Radio
A READER WONDERS: "I’m a sucker for forensic files and the first 48 on TV. Today Forensic Files did a case that involved a propofol murder due to an injection administered by a medical technician. You frequently write about that doctor over in Ukiah whose wife died under mysterious circumstances. Propofol dissipates rapidly in the deceased. I think the only way to detect the possibility of a propofol injection is a needle mark and a very small needle mark in an odd place could be easily overlooked. After all, your suspect is a doctor. I’m probably way out of bounds on this, but did they look for needle marks in the autopsy? Was a blow to the head the actual conclusive cause of death?"
DR. KEEGAN, an instant widower, quickly had his wife cremated. It's safe to say that her autopsy was about as thorough as the initial investigation of her death, i.e., incomplete.
BREATHING. HOW I LEARNED TO DO IT
by Penny Marchand
Of course, I don't remember my first breath, but my first conscious breath came when I experienced childbirth for the first time. The Lamaze Method of giving birth taught a type of breathing that was a kind of panting breath to help you get through the contractions when they became closer and more intense. The breathing was a welcome distraction, and it also gave you a sense of control over a situation you had absolutely no control over. That breathing technique was quickly forgotten the minute you had the baby. After all, there were more important things to do than breathe.
It was about ten years later that I was once again reminded that breathing consciously can change your life. I had moved across the country to California, the land of fruits and nuts — and yogis. I hadn't heard much about yoga on the East Coast, and what I did hear made me suspicious. Yoga was considered weird and even cultish. This was in the early 1980s. The Catholic Church viewed the practice as pagan and whoever practiced it was committing a sin. Well, these views made me want to find out about it all the more. There's nothing like the forbidden fruit to get your curiosity up.
So I asked around town and I was very happy to learn that yoga classes were being offered here in Ukiah at the Sun House. It was the beginning days of Yoga Mendocino. Apprehensive and a little fearful, I decided to attend the class simply by dropping in. I entered the room where the class was being held and didn't recognize one person. The Yoga teacher, Mary, greeted me. She realized I was new to the class and new to yoga.
I was totally intimidated as I assessed the situation. Most people had their own mats and other yoga tools, and they all seemed so at ease and "in the know." I didn't have a mat; I had no idea what they were used for. Luckily, these were the days before "trendy upscale" yoga attire, so I did fit in with just my baggy pants and a T-shirt I earned by walking in "The Russian River Run," one of the many fund-raising events in our community.
The yoga room was quiet. Shoes were left by the door. Soon, people started laying their mats on the floor side by side. What? You mean we lay next to each other on the mats? I was so intimidated I almost left the class.
But the yoga teacher started the class before I could flee without totally embarrassing myself. She pointed to an open spot where I could lay my borrowed mat and begin the class.
Oh god. I was between a guy and a woman who both looked like they did yoga for a living. We started with deep breaths — slow breathe in, slow breathe out.
The class continued with poses that were so foreign to me, not to mention their Sanskrit names, but with the teacher's gentle instruction and knowledgeable guidance I was able to do most of them.
At one point she asked us to partner up. Now, this really was out of my comfort zone. First, lying next to total strangers, and then actually touching them in some unknown yoga pose? I totally wanted to escape.
Mary must have sensed my fear and quickly said she would be my partner. She said we would be doing up-the-wall handstands and our partners would be our spotters and guide us for safety. What? A handstand? I hadn't done a handstand since I was 12. How did I get myself into this situation?
Before I knew it she had me in a full-on handstand up the wall, and then to my astonishment — off the wall. This woman was amazing. The class continued with poses I struggled with and names I struggled with, but each time Mary gently adjusted me into the poses. I noticed she did this with everyone in the class with a kind of magic touch.
At the end of the class I had one more "out-of-the-box" hurdle to jump. It was time for meditation. What? Meditation was not listed on the class description. This required sitting in an upright position, legs crossed, with eyes closed and being silent for like ten minutes! Can I possibly sneak out the door when everyone else closes their eyes? I couldn't be still like that for 10 minutes. I had monkey brain going on. But that sorcerer, Mary, talked us through it. She started with the ring of an ancient bell — a tone that would put anyone in a stupor. Intermittently she would repeat a phrase that would prompt a silence in our mind, the main prompt being: focus on your breath. Slow breathe in, slow breathe out, silence your mind.
I went into that class feeling like a fish out of water. I left that class knowing yoga would be a lifelong practice for me, and I can say that the skill of my first yoga teacher was the reason. Her encouragement and her deep knowledge of yoga brought the gift of deep breathing, meditation and caring for my body that has benefited me for over 20 years. I rely on what I learned through her classes to get me through days of stress and days of delight. I try to practice daily and often I will unconsciously start stretching into a pose no matter where I am. My co-workers often see me sneak into a downward dog or doing hip openers when there are no customers in the store. And in the retail business slow, deep breaths are a must.
To the Editor:
A letter to the HHSA Standing Committee John McCowen and Tom Woodhouse.
I attended the meeting and want to take the time to express my disappointment with the process. You heard from many county citizens yesterday and the overwhelming majority pointed out the shortcomings of the shelter as it is today and how it is not serving the county’s homeless pet population. The discussion afterwards between all of you was fascinating and frustrating to listen to. How all four of you and Ms.Cryer’s sidekick pushed that political shelter football around the room, successfully avoiding to hold anybody to task for letting the Petaluma shelter proposal languish for over six month with no action. To avoid making a decision, taking a stand or making a concrete follow up plan was truly sickening. Listening to what was not said, I walked away with the impression that the Petaluma proposal is already dead, because Petaluma cannot offer their services for less then what the county spends on the shelter to date. Even the possibility to have the shelter future on the next BOS meeting agenda seemed at best tentative. If my sources are correct the interim shelter manager is going to be Mary Jane Montana, the former Executive Director of the SPCA Lake County shelter, a failed shelter that since has been closed. Is this really the best we can do for our animals?
Monika Fuchs, Boonville
CRITIQUING the Animal Shelter's request for proposals, a reader writes:
"I read the entire batch of proposals from Petaluma Animal Services, and I understand the county's "snippy" response. The original proposal, of August 2015, had pretty much nothing in the way of detail or information, but rather pages of resumes and self-congratulatory exclamations. The updated December proposals still had no statistics to back up flowery statements, and no information, in general. The marketing plan, which was neither marketing nor a plan, consisted of kiddie-like colored graphs trumpeting the amount of facebook "likes" they get every week. And some extremely poorly designed and anthropomorphisized advertisements of dogs playing the guitar and a note on how often they change their facebook banner. Had the county ok'ed Petaluma, the financial results would have been bad news. Though the RFP process took a long time to conclude, it looks like the county gave Petaluma every opportunity to produce a factual proposal that would meet government scrutiny and needs. Post Ortner, wouldn't you agree that's a good thing?"
WE DO AGREE. We would like to see the Sheriff in charge of the Shelter, and we point out here that if the catastrophic privatization deal with Ortner had received as much public scrutiny as the Animal Shelter proposal that disaster also would have been avoided. The Sheriff was left out of the Ortner give away, but he gets to do almost all Mental Health's heavy lifting.
THE COUNTY’S LETTER TO Petaluma Animal Services Foundation (PASF) explaining why their proposal to take over the County Animal Shelter was not accepted mostly listed valid reasons for non-acceptance. But a few seemed dubious:
“The proposal did not adequately address the relationship between PASF and the Sheriff’s Office/Animal Control,” and “PASF stated that this would not be an optimal model (not providing field services) and believed that these were important to the success of the shelter services.”
And, “PASF's proposal contained several references to ‘field officers,’ including certain referenced activities being ‘at the discretion of the animal control officer,’ yet this service is not a component of the RFP. This indicates a lack of cohesive plan that would address the unique model that would be necessary for Mendocino County.”
“THE UNIQUE MODEL”? That’s certainly true. And that’s one of the major shortcomings of the current arrangement. Back in the 90s the two functions were properly under the incompetent supervision of Animal Control chief Greg Foss. Foss screwed things up so badly the County took a knee-jerk approach to fixing it, splitting Animal Control off and giving it to the Sheriff, then turning the Shelter segment over to the mega-bumblers at Health and Human Services. Talk about a “lack of cohesive plan.”
IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY, for a nearby example, both functions are under the Sheriff. It works fine. And it works a lot better than Mendo’s “unique model,” which lurches from “unique” into “unworkable.”
THE PETALUMA proposal may have been denied for good reason. But their failure to adapt to Mendo’s cockamamie “unique model” was not one of them.
TURN THE WHOLE SHOW over to the Sheriff and you’d at least have a sensible, accountable, elected official who could deal with complaints as they arise and coordinate the two basic functions under a cohesive plan.
PUZZLED BY THE SUPES
To The Editor,
I've been a Mendocino County resident since 2000. I began working as a volunteer with animals in 2002. I am writing as an animal advocate. The present state of Ukiah Animal Services in Mendocino County has been an ongoing issue since this time. I do not begin to know how to "officially" write a letter to an editor. I will not pretend to. I will come from my heart and speak the truth.
I attended a meeting Monday morning February 8, 2016 regarding the Ukiah Animal Services and the present proposal from Petaluma Animal Services. The public was very eloquent, honest and forthright in their concerns regarding the present living conditions and future of our homeless animals. The meeting felt staged to me. I was bewildered and infuriated to witness the indifference of the Supervisors regarding this issue.
What was even more disturbing was to learn that the Body of Supervisors had not even seen the proposal. My questions still go unanswered as to how a decision is made and the RFP process is closed when the Board of Supervisors had not yet reviewed the proposal? One of the Supervisors spoke of Petaluma Animal Services not having made a response to the questions from Ukiah Animal Services.
Six months should be adequate time for any questions to be answered. Why did this process take so long?
Was the proposal within the budget proposed in the RFP? I am insulted not only at the blatant disregard for the welfare of those without a voice but the lack of respect for those of us who came to show our concern and support for our community’s homeless animals.
Have any of the supervisors visited the Ukiah Animal Shelter recently? Was an unannounced visit to both Petaluma Animal Services and Mendocino County Animal Services made? I want to know, How can an informed decision be made? The Ukiah Animal Services here in Mendocino County has been an ongoing sense of unease and disgust among the community. We all know that so much more can be done for our community's homeless animals. The present state of living conditions for our animals is outdated and I believe illegal. There are a large number of cats that are made to live in tiny cubicles. Dogs spend long periods of time in kennels without proper exercise.
With an animal "specific" agency in charge these as well as other numerous infractions would not be allowed.
The present Animal Care Services is an embarrassment and speaks loudly of the integrity (or lack thereof) of our County's governing parties. Mendocino County has done the best that they can with antiquated attitudes and models. Our homeless animals deserve the lifeline this RFP is extending. I would like to understand why it is being turned away? We as a community are not being given a valid reason. Animals’ lives and quality of lives are at stake. I (for one) would like to know where the taxpayer dollars are going?
It is a matter of public record. I strongly feel an unbiased outside audit should take place before this decision is final. I want to be proud to be a Mendocino county resident. Right now, I regret to say, I feel a deep sense of embarrassment and profound sadness.
Sharesa Motta, Ukiah
WELCOME TO MENDOCINO: WE'VE GOT STRONG WOMEN.
My latest Mendopia video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLys3ntJwBA&list=PLWTKx4OwAkBEZRZB07aPOA237QV8BS-b0&index=1
The entire Mendopia series is here:
NO ONE IS LISTENING
To the Editor:
If a business generated revenues of $20 million and in the same year the business had $32 million in expenditures, the manager would have good reason to be concerned. Any business that saw its debt increase from $20 million in 2008 to $182 million in 2015 would probably be actively looking for ways to stop the bleeding. Not so if you’re Mendocino County.
On Jan. 19 the Mendocino County Employees Retirement Association (MCERA) met in conjunction with the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to discuss the status of the pension system. The Board of Supervisors learned that in 2015 the retirement system had spent $12 million more than they took in and their debt went up $160 million over the last 7 years. The actuary admitted that the assumptions being used were wrong, but there was no movement to change any of them. All but one person at the table sat silently nodding their heads in agreement thinking that things were all right and nothing needs to be done. Ted Stephens, as one of the independent members of the MCERA board, was one of the only people willing to shed light on this financial disaster.
Our county is very fortunate to have a person like Ted Stephens on the MCERA board. With his financial background, Stephens is not only qualified, but he is prepared to tell both the taxpayers and the retirees the truth. Although it seems like no one wants to listen, it is appreciated that someone is willing to present both sides of the story. The truth may be hard to swallow, but it is better than just kicking the can down the road.
Frost Pauli, President, Mendocino County Farm Bureau
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 21, 2016
TYLYR BABB, Ukiah. Unlawful sexual intercourse with minor more than three years younger, sexual penetration of minor under age of 18, oral copulation of minor under age of 18.
RYAN CRANFORD, Willits. Controlled substance, stolen property, probation revocation.
WESLEY DICKSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
JULIE GROTKOWSKI, Santa Rosa/Willits. Under influence, false ID.
DOMINIC MACIEL, San Marin/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ANTHONY MENZIES, Willits. Brandishing a weapon (not a gun), drunk in public.
STEVEN PIERSON, Clearlake/Willits. DUI.
JOSEPH PUGH, Ukiah. Battery.
ALEXI RANGEL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
NOE REYNOSO, Ukiah. Suspended license, probation revocation.
ARIANA VELAZQUEZ, Mendocino. Sexual assault by force, violence, threat, etc., sexual pentration of minor under 18, oral copulation with minor under 18, contributing to delinquency of minor under 18.
THIS REMARK on the MCN chat line inspired a typically witty riposte from Marco McClean: "Actually, bacon and processed meats are some of the least healthy food choices."
MARCO PROCEEDS to do his thing:
"Marco here. Also unhealthy: sitting in chairs and on anything chairlike. Sitting down to eat makes even the most healthy food unhealthy. Chairs spoil the health benefits of using a toilet or a computer, meditating, watching an exercise video, or discussing hack-and-squirt or fluoride in a community meeting. Chairs cause terrible problems for your digestion, circulation, reproductive organs and brain.
The proven negative effects of sitting in a chair far outweigh all the proven hazards to you of glyphosate, GM plants, earthquakes, clap-on-clap-off lights, disturbing poetry, counterproductive recurrent thoughts, and so on, and sitting in chairs is actually the cause of some of those things, and perpetuates them. We should all work and play and argue over bullshit while hanging upside-down in inversion tables.
And apparently there's a narrow window for exactly how much water to drink every day. An ounce too much or too little and your body is literally melting itself from the inside out, whether whatever food you eat tastes good (bacon) or tastes like cardboard (quinoa, tofu, etc.).
In short, if you can't help obsessing over things, it almost doesn't matter what you choose to satisfy your demon to obsess. This is just one part of living in a lucky time for our species when, because of machine-driven agriculture and scientific advancement, there's lots of leisure to think about and fight over anything other than mates and windfall carrion and a salt lick. The mind just spins its wheels. In a chair. Where you are right now. (I'm not. I'm hanging upside-down, healthier than thou.)"
ON LINE COMMENT OF DAY
Trump just showed us not only how to rope-a-pope, but how to rope-a-dope-of-a pope. Did you see it? His mitre turned into a dunce cap. I know that he tries to be a good man. Plus he’s infallible.
Beware of Cruz. Stephen King, the sultan of scare, thinks that he’s the scariest candidate out there. The slimy, slithering, saponaceous, snake! He’ll take your own words, build a coffin out of them, and put you in it with his tongue. Forked, that is.
Where is Prescott, I haven’t seen him yet with the Bush ensemble? So what if he’s dead? Just disinter the dude and prop him up. Could get Jeb! points for being daring. Well, maybe not, with all that Nazi stuff going around. Oh, well, too late anyhow.
Guess who? “Whitelady gets $650K speaking fee for telling black Americans that she’s down with their struggle.”
From my long-lost beautiful hometown in Orange County (!), this letter in the Wall St. Journal (!):
"Donald Trump has tapped into the atavistic vein of tribal prejudice that runs through every society. While this ugly impulse is suppressed in civilized communities by laws and education, it is always there, ever ready to express itself in chauvinism, misogyny, isolationism, the expulsion of aliens and calls for a strong leader to take charge. It is how Hitler rose to power, which he did, let us remember, democratically in a country that lacked well-established democratic checks.
Nobody running seriously for the presidency would embrace such views. The Republican Party knows Mr. Trump is unelectable. The Democratic Party knows he is unelectable. And Mr. Trump also knows he is unelectable: He simply doesn't care. He will string out his unique performance, at enormous benefit to his brand, until inevitably it crumbles and he can say the people's president was betrayed by the Republican establishment and the dirty tricks of his opponents."
Tom Moulson, Corona del Mar
‘WAR IS THE HEALTH OF THE STATE’
From A Feb. 17 Chronicle Editorial:
…Apple says it has provided the FBI with assistance from its engineers and has given it ideas on how to investigate the data it doesn’t currently have. But it doesn’t want to set a precedent for violating its consumers’ safety.
“We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack,” wrote Apple’s chief executive officer, Tim Cook, in an open letter to customers on Tuesday.
There isn’t, and there shouldn’t be.
* * *
Rob Anderson's comment:
High-minded stuff and it isn't wrong. But what about the terrorism risk to both Apple's customers and the rest of us? A prediction: the high-minded stuff about privacy and protecting your customers won't survive the next terror attack in the country. As a great American once said, "War is the health of the state."
As these attacks continue — and they will — the government will increasingly infringe on the previously protected rights of individuals and businesses.
— Rob Anderson, District5Diary
WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE
For Susie De Castro
Wake up little Susie, wake up
Wake up little Susie, wake up
We both fell sound asleep
Wake up little Susie and weep
The movie's over, it's four o'clock
And we're in trouble deep
Wake up little Susie, wake up little Susie
Well, what are we gonna tell your mama?
What are we gonna tell your pop
What are we gonna tell our friends
When they say "Ooh la la"?
Wake up little Susie, wake up little Susie
Well I told your mama that you'd be in by ten
Well Susie baby looks like we goofed again
Wake up little Susie, wake up little Susie
We gotta go home
Wake up little Susie, wake up
Wake up little Susie, wake up
The movie wasn't so hot
It didn't have much of a plot
We fell asleep, our goose is cooked
Our reputation is shot
Wake up little Susie
Wake up little Susie
— Boudleaux Bryant & Felice Bryant
THE LITTLE MAN IN THE BOAT, AND OTHER STORIES.
"The mother was hugging the daughter and the daughter started stabbing her mother in the back. Authorities think the daughter -- who the mother said had some mental issues -- was upset about something."
The recording of last night's (2016-02-19) KNYO (and KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download and keep or just play with one click at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
A little over an hour in, Stuart Cohen arrived and talked and sang and played guitar for maybe an hour and ten, and then Alex called from a parked car in San Diego and that went on for awhile. But I stayed until after 4am and ended up reading almost everything I brought to read, so it's kind of an experiment in letting things happen the way they seem to want to happen and seeing how it turns out. One thing I learned, something I have to learn over and over again, apparently, is the importance of checking everything before I start at all; as the show goes out from the studio to the various transmitters I record it at the source, where I am, by running a line from the headphone output of the monitor amp to the sound input of my old video camera. And someone before me in the studio had left the amp's tone and balance controls cocked oddly - who knows why? - so afterward, today, I had to massage the recording so I wouldn’t sound like a supreme court justice talking through the pillow he's being smothered by, and while the file was open I took the opportunity to replace the music I'd played in the first hour with fresher music (Louis Prima, Thomas Dolby).
Oh, and when I was talking with Alex, when he read his new story I turned my microphone off so not to interfere, and then when we were talking again I forgot to turn it back on (!), and during that time my voice was picked up only thinly but piercingly by the telephone's mic, and nothing can be done after the fact to make that sound better. No great harm done, but then Alex and I hung up, and over a minute of real-time dead air resulted when I was sitting there blathering about Sophie Madeleine and her project and introducing her music. (I cut the dead space out of the recording.) At worst it's mildly embarrassing. I always get an avuncular schadenfreudistic kick out of examples of the incompetence of other radio people, so I suppose it's only fair to return the favor.
All that said, also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find thousands and thousands of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless interesting things to see and do and learn about, such as:
Year of the Fire Monkey gala. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBbKoG3XRKs
"If there’s a hero in this story, it’s going to be [the wedding videographer]." https://vimeo.com/155648346
And 6 years on the sun in 6 minutes. The explanations and close-ups of particularly energetic eruptions start at 2:50. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MImmQvqCSg