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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Apr 28, 2016

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ANGER AND DISBELIEF rocked the Anderson Valley Wednesday afternoon at the astonishing news that Lorenzo Rodriguez was out of police custody, and had been released from the hospital.

RODRIGUEZ was shot Saturday night when, armed with a 14-inch chef's knife, he attacked Lisa Kuny, 42, and her 18-year-old son, Bobby Kuny, 18, a senior at Anderson Valley High School.

BOBBY KUNY, shooting at point blank range, shot Rodriguez, 34, several times with a .22 revolver. The wounded Rodriguez ran from the home he shares with Kathy Gowan, 26, and was eventually located and transported by the Anderson Valley Ambulance to Ukiah and then to Santa Rosa for emergency treatment.

THE SHERIFF'S press release on the event said merely that Rodriguez was "a suspect in a domestic violence incident" but confirmed that he had attempted to assault Ms. Kuny and her son with the knife.

ORDINARILY, in a serious episode like this, the suspect would be released from the hospital into police custody and booked into the Mendocino County Jail while the District Attorney decided what he would be charged with.

THE SANTA ROSA HOSPITAL failed to call Mendocino County prior to them releasing Rodriguez.

SOMEHOW, Rodriguez, who, at a minimum should be charged with felony assault, simply walked out of the hospital. The Kuny family was of course anxious that Rodriguez may pursue them.

REACHED WEDNESDAY EVENING, DA spokesman Mike Geniella said "The DA's office has not received any reports or requested charges for review." Geniella referred us to the Sheriff's office.

SHERIFF ALLMAN had no sooner told us that he had deployed several deputies and a detective to the Anderson Valley to arrest Rodriguez should he re-appear than he called back to announce that Rodriguez was "in custody" on attempted murder charges. He had been out of custody for about four hours.

BOBBY KUNY'S indignant grandfather, Dan Kuny, said late Wednesday afternoon that Sheriff Allman himself apologized to Kuny for the release of Rodriguez, which the Sheriff characterized as "a major screw-up."

THE SHERIFF acted promptly and efficiently in the Rodriguez case at the end of a highly successful week of important arrests in Mendocino County, including a felony burglary, a murderer and, due to meticulous work of Detective Luis Espinoza, the conviction of a woman who had stolen thousands of dollars from the Laytonville market that employed her.

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by John Stauber

From the moment he announced, it was obvious what newly christened Democrat Bernie Sanders would become: The Great Progressive Hope who would fight to slay Wall Street’s champions and reclaim the party for some long ago or long imagined liberal greatness. And it was obvious how his campaign would end, as it is now wrapping up, with Bernie begrudgingly conceding that he cannot win against Hillary’s oligarchy backing and the rigged process of establishment SuperDelegates designed to make sure no self-proclaimed democratic socialist-type ever wins the nomination.

It’s the Democrat’s political equivalent of the Bill Murray movie classic Groundhog Day, except the progressive candidate never wins the girlfriend, er, nomination, in the end. Instead, the Sanders, Deans, Browns, Kuciniches and Jacksons, the progressive champions of their election cycle, only change themselves from watchdogs and guard dogs to lap dogs, ensuring that cynical and outraged progressives follow their champion-cum-Pied Piper to become advocates for defeating the Republicans in November.

This is the death spiral the Feel the Bern movement, the two million Berners who have forked over time and money, has now entered. The Democratic apparatchiks who run Bernie’s campaign are preparing their masses for the inevitable, pulling them into the ceremony that, not unlike a religious grieving event, prepares them for death and eventual resurrection, post-convention, to transform them into a saintly rationalizing army of supporters for, in this case, Hillary.

All this I predicted (as could any objective fool) the day of Bernie’s announcement. Yes, it has been heartening to see the extent of his support as he attacks the banks and the Democratic establishment. But, of course, it is all for naught. In four months Hillary’s army will command Bernie’s list of two million, and Bernie and his loyal Democratic minions will be weaving memes of how the Party will soon be in the hands of the FeelTheBern rebellion. Not this year, not next, but soon, brothers and sisters, soon, the revolution will occur!

As frustrated nationalist populism tears apart the Republican Party, the coopting power of the Democrats ensures that there will be no similar rebellion from the true believing Progressives in the Democratic Party.

Bernie is an old man. He has lived a fine and worthy public life, but unfortunately he will fade into the sunset without taking the brave step of leading his supporters into finally forming a viable left party in the United States. That would be a true legacy and accomplishment. Even the right wing oligarchs of the Republican Party have realized that the shared monopoly both corporate parties wield over the political process makes a viable third party almost impossible.

Yet, for all the noble tirades of the Progressives from Bill Moyers to Bernie Sanders about the power of money and how it must be removed from the process, it is the process itself that is the problem. Two parties, both pro Wall Street and pro military-industrial complex, control the political system. A majority of voters opted out of this farce democracy long ago, so only a minority votes for these parties. Big money has ensured ever tighter domination by the super rich, but even with the dream of meaningful finance reform, the shared monopoly that corporate oligarchs control with their phony two-party system is the real problem.

So thanks Bernie, you ran a good race, and now you can hop onto Hillary’s pant suit and become the latest kept progressive champion, the Pied Piper, trying to convince the left and progressives that real change is possible within the Democratic Party. And the tragedy is that 95% of your supporters, the Feel the Bern Movement, will follow you down that Blue Brick Road past the intoxicating poppies on to celebrate the great achievement that electing Hillary shall be deemed.

And so the same damned movie script plays out again, and the bipartisan oligarchy wins again, as brilliantly planned. Just ask Charles Koch if he can live with Hillary, because he already has said he can. A neoliberal neocon in the White House may not be the Koch Brothers’s favorite choice, but they and their money can live with it very well!


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by Justine Frederiksen

Escrow has been completed on the property near the Ukiah Railroad Depot that will become the new home of the Mendocino County courthouse, Court Executive Officer Chris Ruhl announced Tuesday.

The Judicial Council of California (JCC) is buying just more than four acres from the North Coast Railroad Authority near East Perkins Street and the railroad tracks with the plan of building a “modern, secure building to house eight courtrooms as well as … adequately sized jury assembly and deliberation rooms, and separate holding facilities and elevators for in-custody defendants.”

One of the biggest concerns about the current building at 100 N. State Street is that defendants are walked to courtrooms via public hallways and elevators, causing potentially unsafe situations.

The state paid $3.65 million for the four acres, but only about half of that was for the property. The other half will be for infrastructure improvements that will facilitate the use of all of the surrounding property.

Those improvements include extending Clay Street and Hospital Drive and adding lighting, sidewalks, as well as sewer and water and other utilities. They are expected to take 16 months.

The City of Ukiah worked closely with the NCRA and the JCC in an effort that city staff described as a way to ensure that all 11 acres owned by the NCRA, as well as city-owned parcels along Leslie Street, could be used to their fullest potential.

The city also paid for extensive clean up of the site, after signing an agreement with NCRA to be reimbursed once the sale of the property is completed.

“What I’m particularly proud about that project is that we were able to work with our partners to take a blighted, contaminated property right along one of our major corridors and put it back into use,” said City Manager Sage Sangiacomo when the sale of the property was announced, commending staff members Guy Mills and Shannon Riley on their years-long effort to make the property usable again.

“Eleven acres of property like that is hard to come by, and the City Council, our staff and our local partners deserve a lot of credit for actually seeing that through,” Sangiacomo said. “From getting it cleaned up, to the acquisition of the property that’s going to lead to the build out of the property and the infrastructure that’s going to ensure that happens.”

The $95-million project is expected to be completed in 2020.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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OF ALL THE MURKY deals that go down among our County’s overpaid, underworked leadership, this new County Courthouse is the murkiest since, I dunno, DA Susan Massini mysteriously allowed a couple of Fort Bragg crooks to burn down the old Ten Mile Court and adjacent library and a landmark downtown hotel, and, poof! in one brazen hour much of Fort Bragg’s history was in the wind. That was some major murk. The upshot? A murky new Ten Mile Courthouse owned at extortionate rents far, far into the future by Dominic Affinito, a private individual.

THEN there was the hurry-up County Courthouse our over-large delegation of Superior Court judges said we really, really, really needed for Willits “to better serve the north county.” The Willits courthouse, the ugliest structure its size ever erected in Mendocino County, was used for about a decade before being permanently abandoned, and it sits to this day in the middle of town, a rotting hulk so malignant even the barn swallows avoid it.

WE’VE LISTED the myriad reasons why the new County Courthouse is already a disaster, but the major disaster is for Ukiah, because by establishing the Courthouse three long blocks from the center of town where the present and perfectly adequate County Courthouse is located, Ukiah will be left with a second white elephant in what’s left of its downtown center, the abandoned Palace Hotel being the first.

WE’RE TRYING to find out what the Northcoast Railroad will do with the money it will soon receive for selling the Courthouse property. The NCRA runs a railroad with no trains, but it is staffed with featherbedding Democrats well paid to do whatever it is that a railroad with no trains does all day.

AND, count on it. This structure will cost at least twice the hundred million the judges are claiming it will cost.

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THE REASONS given for a new County Courthouse include a claim that it’s impossible to install handicapped accessibility to such an old structure, nevermind that it's been done everywhere in the United States in old structures, including the state capitol. The present County Courthouse could be made entirely accessible for the handicapped at much less expense than a whole new structure can be erected.

IF THE JUDGES say they have to sit around "twiddling their thumbs" while waiting for their victims, er, defendants, to be driven over from the County Jail, then there must be too many judges here in Mendo, a county with 9 of them for a population of 90,000 the largest ratio of black robes to population in the state. Also, one of their honors could be permanently posted to the jail to do a lot of routine stuff there instead of hauling people back and forth.

JUVENILES and The Catch of the Day exposed to potential jurors as their coffles shuffle in and out of the present County Courthouse? Unsafe? There was one episode many years ago where a mommy tried to hand off a pistol to her killer son. Possible prejudicial exposure to jurors is obscure to the point of irrelevance. Thank the goddess for juries, the last dependable part of a justice system long gone over to injustice.

AND WHEN ALL OTHER arguments fail, haul out earthquakes.

THIS THING boils down to a major misdirection of public money. The judges say it won't cost the taxpayers anything. More bullshit. They and their buildings are funded out of public money and fine money (ever more exorbitant and disproportionate), and this thing has already cost Ukiah in site prep. And Ukiah needs another ugly building like Boonville needs another winery.

AND NOWHERE do the judges mention all the disruption to the County’s supporting offices — (DA, Public Defender, Probation, Jail, private attorneys, staff, etc.) that the new courthouse will cause. That’s not their problem, not their responsibility, not even mentioned in their cost calculations. The County will be stuck with that bill after several years of chaos after the new courthouse is occupied.

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by Peter Fimrite

Wildlife advocates scored a major victory Tuesday when Mendocino County agreed to terminate its contract with the federal agency that helps ranchers kill predators such as mountain lions and coyotes that feast on livestock.

Environmental groups have long crusaded against what they characterize as indiscriminate killing of wildlife by an agency whose philosophy amounts to “the only good predator is a dead predator.” The decision by Mendocino County supervisors to sever ties with the division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture marks a rare instance of a California county opting to consider nonlethal methods of carnivore control.

Environmentalists had accused the county of violating the California Environmental Quality Act by hiring the Agriculture Department division known as Wildlife Services. Six environmental and animal protection groups claimed in a lawsuit that the county failed to consider nonlethal methods of animal control and should have done an environmental study on the effect that killing predators would have on the ecosystem before signing a contract with Wildlife Services.

“We’re thrilled,” said Jessica Blome, senior staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, one of the plaintiffs in the case. “This is the first lawsuit in the country that attacks Wildlife Services based on its relationships with local governments.”

Todd Smith of Oakland’s Thomas Law Group, which represented Mendocino County, said the Board of Supervisors had agreed to set aside the contract while conducting an environmental study.

“The county is happy to undertake this analysis so the members of this community can understand the benefits and the impacts associated with the wildlife management program,” Smith said. “The program has been effective for almost 30 years, so the county was a little surprised (by the lawsuit). That said, the county wants to comply with the law. In the end, the analysis will drive what the program looks like in the future.”

The issue has exacerbated tensions between ranchers and conservationists. Livestock owners in the far northern part of the state have threatened to use the “three S’s” — shoot, shovel and shut up — when confronted with environmentalists’ efforts to protect wolves, coyotes and other “vermin.”

Ranchers’ concerns

There are as many as 700,000 coyotes in the state, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Mountain lions are also abundant, and both predators kill a lot of livestock, which are commodities that contribute to the state and local economy, said the California Cattlemen’s Association.

The recent discovery of a wolf pack in Siskiyou County has turned the issue of predator control into a major area of concern among ranchers. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which oversees the wildlife management program, told The Chronicle last year that agency trappers use nonlethal techniques when appropriate.

Some 47,000 animals were nevertheless killed by Wildlife Services trappers in California in 2014, while 2.7 million animals were done away with nationwide, including wolves, coyotes, bears, mountain lions, beavers, foxes and other animals deemed pests, federal records show.

In Mendocino County, federal wildlife specialists working under a $144,000 contract used traps, snares, poison and other devices to kill hundreds of coyotes, mountain lions, bears, bobcats and other wildlife last year, according to the plaintiffs in the case.

Paul Trouette, president of the nonprofit Mendocino County Blacktail Deer Association and a former county Fish and Game commissioner, said guardian dogs, fencing and other nonlethal methods aren’t always appropriate in the county because of the rugged terrain. Many predators climb fences, he said, and coyotes and cougars have been known to run sheep and other prey into them for easy kills.

“I think we have a perfect program right now. These guys who make a living can’t be out there shaking noisemakers all night” to scare away predators, Trouette said.

He argued that Wildlife Services trappers are the best available experts on predation, the spread of wildlife diseases and protection of livestock. “Who is going to handle all the sick animals and the rabies or other diseases and provide technical assistance to ranchers if they get rid of the professionals?” he asked. “The county doesn’t have any programs set up for that. It’s going to be a nightmare.”

Environmentalists skeptical

Wildlife advocates say the current system is both immoral and unnecessary. “What we’re really talking about is the legitimacy of our federal government using American tax dollars to kill wildlife and ecologically valuable predators in huge numbers every year to benefit a tiny minority of ranchers and the agricultural industry,” said Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, a wildlife advocacy organization that was also a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “That’s the crux of this case.”

The county must now complete an environmental report that evaluates nonlethal predator control methods before it can enter into a contract with Wildlife Services in the future. Blome said the settlement could serve as a precedent for wildlife management programs in California and around the country.

“It’s a monumental achievement that we plan to use as a model,” she said. “We’ll go county by county if we have to, to force these counties to evaluate whether lethal control is necessary.”

Wildlife advocates are pushing for government support for a variety of nonlethal management techniques, including the use of guardian dogs, fencing, hazing of carnivores using lighting and flag techniques, night corrals and the placing of sheep in lambing sheds at night.

Fox cited research suggesting ways in which the killing of native predators harms the ecosystem. Coyotes, for instance, provide poison-free rodent control, while mountain lions can keep populations of other carnivores down.

In addition, wildlife advocates said, killing predators can make things worse — such as when trappers kill an alpha pair of coyotes. That ruins the pack structure, leaving coyote pups and young adults on their own. The result is a lot of coyotes that don’t have hunting skills going after the easiest prey they can find, which is livestock.

There is an example in the Bay Area of how a kill-as-a-last-resort predator control program can work. In Marin County, a nonlethal control program was adopted in 2000. It essentially used the money once paid to federal trappers to help ranchers build fences, night corrals and lambing sheds and purchase guardian dogs.

Financial assistance key

At the time, coyotes were killing hundreds of lambs and ewes every year in Marin County. Most sheep ranchers in Marin purchased guardian dogs, which naturally bond with sheep and goats and aggressively protect them. Ranchers credit the dogs with reducing predation.

County financial assistance was crucial, according to many ranchers, given that a guard dog can cost $1,000 or more. The program also helped pay for fences, electrification, noisemakers, lights and motion sensors — all at one-third the cost of predator control under the Wildlife Services program, according to county agricultural officials.

“It’s very easy to convince people that nonlethal predator control works when you look at the research that has been done,” Blome said. “Without exception, every rancher that has converted to nonlethal predator control is an advocate of it.”

(Courtesy, The San Francisco Chronicle)

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Skill & Survival

Photography exhibit and beadwork demonstration emphasize California Indian resilience

On Friday, May 6, from 5 to 8 pm, the Grace Hudson Museum will host an opening reception for a new exhibit, She Sang Me A Good Luck Song: The California Indian Photographs of Dugan Aguilar, as part of Ukiah's monthly First Friday Art Walk. The evening will also include a beadworking demonstration by master beadworker Stewart Wilburn, who will be signing copies of a new book about his life. The event is free and refreshments will be served.

Born and raised in Susanville, at the foot of Mount Lassen, Dugan Aguilar (Mountain Maidu/Pit River/Walker River Paiute) was brought up by parents and a community immersed in Native culture. He has documented those cultures for over 40 years, and has exhibited his work throughout the United States and in Europe. For 30 years, he was the staff photographer for the California Indian Basketweavers Association and the California Indian Storytellers Association.

As Larry McNeil, Tlingit photographer, scholar, and professor of photography at Boise State University notes, “Dugan’s photography embodies the ancient spirits of giving and sharing: it’s visual poetry that resonates through time with the land and the people gently, yet assertively… Beautiful and insightful photographic storytelling for all people of the world.”

She Sang Me A Good Luck Song: The California Indian Photographs of Dugan Aguilar is a partnership with Exhibit Envoy, Heyday Books, and the Native Fund, curated by Theresa Harlan and artist Dugan Aguilar. Support from Janet King and the Sun House Guild have enabled its Ukiah venue. Dugan Aguilar's photos from this exhibit and many more can be explored in the Heyday Books publication of the same name, edited by Theresa Harlan (Kewa Pueblo/Jemez Pueblo), on sale in the Grace Hudson Museum Gift Shop.

Unlike Dugan Aguilar, Stewart Wilburn (Wailaki/Tolowa/Pomo/Wintu) grew up separated from his Native roots. Raised in the Sherwood Valley Rancheria by parents who were sent to boarding school and forbidden to speak their native language, Wilburn has, in a way, dreamed his way back to a place in Native culture. He learned beadwork by watching other Natives do theirs, then incorporated his own colors and designs. He now sells his work nationwide and travels throughout California, attending powwows and selling his original designs — belts, jewelry, shoes, and more — to those attending.

Beadworker Stewart Milburn (photo by Dr. Jeanine Pfeiffer)

Ethnoecologist Dr. Jeanine Pfeiffer comments, "His beadwork is known for its tremendous precision and beauty. People seeing it for the first time are known to widen their eyes, stop still in their tracks, and hold their breath." In the fall of 2015, Dr. Pfeiffer organized a group project for the Nature and World Cultures class she taught at San Jose State University, centering on Wilburn's work. The result is a book of photos, quotes, and an interview with Wilburn that is available in both hardback and paperback. Copies will be on sale at the Grace Hudson Museum Gift Shop, and Wilburn will be signing copies at the beadworking demonstration.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. For more information please call 467-2836 or go to

Maidu Singers (Kai LaPena, Evan Enos, Russell Enos, Lester Enos, Fran LaPena), Bear Dance, 2009 (photo by Dugan Aguilar)

— Roberta Werdinger

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 27, 2016

Buenrostro, Cauckwell, Cornwall
Buenrostro, Cauckwell, Cornwall

CHRISTOPHER BUENROSTRO III, Ukiah. Meth for sale, meth sales, under influence, more than an ounce of pot, suspended license, evasion, offenses while on bail.

RICHARD CAUCKWELL JR., Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

TINA CORNWALL, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Corson, Field, Fox
Corson, Field, Fox

MARC CORSON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

KYLE FIELD, Covelo. Firing a gun into an inhabited dwelling or vehicle, probation revocation.

LANCE FOX, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Hammon, Heitz, Hoaglen
Hammon, Heitz, Hoaglen

SEAN HAMMON, Talmage. Criminal threats.

SARA HEITZ, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

BRETT HOAGLEN, Covelo. Suspended license, probation revocation.

Neil, Robles, Rozek
Neil, Robles, Rozek

MARRIO NEIL, Philo. Domestic battery.

OLEGARIIO ROBLES, Arizona City, Arizona/Ukiah. Resisting.

ZACHARIA ROZEK, Redwood Valley. Under influence, probation revocation.

Suits, Sun, Taylor, Walker
Suits, Sun, Taylor, Walker

STEVEN SUITS, Sonoma/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

EARTH SUN, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Controlled substance, suspended license.

PATRICK TAYLOR, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

ALI WALKER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

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I get the whole “calm before a storm” proverb. Now that tax season is over (except for those with extensions) and most people have their returns and the weather is mild…why not splurge it on Vegas or your favorite presidential candidate? There’s not much of a difference in those two options, is there? Hillary is looking more like a power hungry lunatic every day more delegates start rolling over for her and Trump is priming himself for the biggest bid for Washington D.C. real estate in his life…are you ready to rumble? We can discuss men and women and birds and bees, too. Trump is for protecting Ms. U.S.A and Hillary is uplifting women’s suffrage to never before seen heights. An alpha male vs. an alpha female…can’t get much better than that. Like in nature, someone is going to be destroyed, not just lose.

* * *


the plums

that were in

the icebox


and which

you were probably


for breakfast


Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

— William Carlos Williams

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KQED’s radio program, “Forum” with Michael Krasny, will be broadcast live from Sonoma State University on Wednesday morning, as the program discusses the community backlash against winery expansion.

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Add "garner" and "garnering" to our growing list of single word cliches. Both of these inelegant variations on plain old "get" appear mostly in our written language. From an internet story we get two garners in two paragraphs: “Clinton’s Democratic primary rival has consistently garnered 70-80% percent with young voters…a new Latino Decisions poll released last week finds Trump only garnering 11% support from Hispanic voters against Clinton’s 76% support.” We are now resigned to seeing our world turned into a "globe" and even mild assent "absolutely" agreed "upon." In this morning's Chronicle, a story on the Warriors' deep bench: “Depth has been their strong point for the past two seasons, and it will be called upon now. But the task will be difficult.” It might be a little easier if the Warriors just called on it.

Rob Anderson, District 5 Diary

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If Lorraine and Raoul want to do the right thing, why are they still sucking all the membership money out of KZYX and into their own personal bank accounts? I hate to sound like a broken record, but if Lorraine is getting $60K a year and Raoul $40K, that's the equivalent of 2000 $50 yearly memberships, and that's more paid memberships than MCPB even has. So when the airpeople, who are not being paid at all, are dragooned -- or bamboozled, rather -- into giving their airtime over to begging listeners for money "to keep the great shows on the air", that's a big fat lie every time they repeat it. None of that money is doing the station any good; it's sliding though the station and out the other side like crap through a goose.

All the paid-for syndicated shows don't add up to $30,000 as an expense. The electricity for the transmitters and studios, and the phone and internet bills and music publishers' fees and tower space and studio rent and overhead and all the other expenses all put together come to less than $100,000. In short, all along, the station could easily have been entirely supported for less than a fourth of the way more than half-a-million-dollars that get processed in MCPB's mysterious bookkeeping system every year. Uncle Sugar has already given MCPB four million dollars to date, in six-month installments that so far have vanished as quickly as they appeared because of crooked and/or stupid management by MCPB from the beginning.

There's an old Chinese saying: "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second-best time is right now." The so-called enlightened new regime can do the right thing right now. That would be for Lorraine to fire freshly-hired "program director" Raoul -- he's got a lovely stereotypical avuncular FM radio voice and I'm sure he does a competent job of inserting a jazz CD in a slot and pressing "play", but he's entirely unnecessary in the office; and she can fire David Steffen -- also a superfluous chair-filler -- and take at least a 50% pay cut herself by offering to be paid by the hour for hours actually worked for the station, and use the fountain of money freed up to pay the airpeople for their shows and for prep time, the way the NPR airpeople are all paid for their shows, the way all the airpeople at KMFB were paid for our independently produced shows by a manager doing a manager's job. And that's just the most self-evidently obvious right thing on a long list of right things to do, right up there with figuring out and exposing to public view where all the rest of those millions and millions of dollars went, because they didn't just vanish into a crack in the time-space continuum, having never existed; they existed, and someone took them. Someone is still taking them, and it can't hurt the station to find out who they all were and are; it can only help.

-- Marco McClean

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

41st Anniversary

Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration

at the Hill House in Mendocino town on the coast.


This event draws some 40 poets from northern California and beyond. Two open readings: afternoon, and evening.

Noon: sign up and mixer up; afternoon reading at 1:00.

Break: enjoy the town, the sea and the headlands.

5:00 PM: sign up and mixer up; evening reading at 6:00.

Choice comestibles. Open book displays. Contribution requested.

All poems considered for broadcast by Dan Roberts on KZYX&Z.

Info: Gordon Black, (707) 937-4107,

* * *

DIVORCÉE BUILDS PIE-SHAPED HOUSE TO SPITE EX, runs afoul of laws against 'malicious erections'

* * *


I am now 82 years old, which gives me a tad of credibility to talk about getting old. I have had a "good life", notwithstanding the death of my first wife at 51 from cancer and the death of my daughter at 38 from drug abuse.

The time to insure a relatively benign old age is when you're young. What happens to you after 60 is a direct result of what you did or did not do when you were 20 to 60. Old age happens, but how it happens to you is created.

There are three main contributing factors: first, the constitution you are born with. We all know people who have drunk alcohol a lot, eaten trash foods, smoked a lot and never exercised much who live a long and relatively healthy life. The luck of the draw.

The second factor is genetics, beyond one's general constitution. A pre-disposition to cancer, or diabetes, or any one of many diseases that medical science now attribute to one's genes. This is different from one's general constitution.

The third factor is life-style. Even if a person has a great constitution and no malevolent genetics, how you live has a big impact on what happens when you get old. This involves what you eat, when you eat it, and how much you eat. It also involves how much sleep you get and how much or little exercise you get.

Unfortunately we do not have any control over the first two factors of our constitution or genes. That leaves life style. Given the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in our culture it is clear that we eat much too much sugar, fat, and salt in our modern diet. There are plenty of different diets recommended, plenty of different drugs recommended, and plenty of books to read about it.

What is critical is the level of commitment. Lots of people "try" to eat better and eat less, or quit drinking or smoking. But, trying does not work. The reason why is simple; there is no commitment. Until and until a person makes a full and complete commitment to doing anything it will not happen.

For example, millions of smokers try to quit. They get the patch, then the pill, then the filter, then, then, then, and they do not kick the habit. They have not made a full commitment. The only way to do that is to say, "I will do whatever it takes, because what I am trying to stop doing is worse than what it will take to stop.

It takes some courage to deal with getting old. The three factors come back to bite one. Aging brings on the aches and pains from arthritis, lumbago, bursitis, etc. Aging brings on diseases, from cancer to degenerated disks to organ deterioration, etc.

There comes a day, when one is around 60 or 65 when you look in the mirror, and for the first time you say to yourself, "Oh my God, I'm old. When are you old? Well, that is culturally determined. A study asked people who were 40 when is somebody old? They said at 63, that's when you are "old". People who were 50 responded that you are old at 68. People who were 60 said, when asked, you are old at 73, and those who were 70 said you are old at 75.

We do not want to get old and we do not want to look old and we do not want to feel old. People spend lots of money to prevent looking and feeling old. That is partly for ego reasons and also because we are a youth worshipping culture. We do not show respect for old age nor do we venerate it like many cultures do.

Given all of the above, getting old is a challenge, and it takes some courage to meet the challenge. The biggest challenge is to be willing and able to adjust one's self-concept to the changes. To accept old age gracefully and to be patient with its creep to the grave is necessary if one is to remain grounded and balanced mentally and emotionally.

Notwithstanding the promises of an afterlife from religion, dying and death or not fun to contemplate. The fear of dying is not the same as the fear of death. The fear of dying is reasonable; who wants to suffer from disease, and operations, and prescription drugs expense and mental dementia and confusion. Nobody.

Fear of death is not reasonable. It cannot be avoided; it can only be accepted. The universe cares not if you or I die. The planet cares not if you or I die. If one is fortunate there are some relatives and friends who care. For most of us, that's about it. Most of us are not even remotely famous and may not even have had our fifteen minutes of fame.

A good life-style from youth to old age helps a lot. But none of us have total control of the process of aging. What is really boils down to is attitude. Acceptance is an attitude. Those who fear death die 7.5 years sooner than those who do not fear it. Attitude is more important than life-style.

Fear is an emotion, but it is also an attitude. Do I live each day making a positive contribution to myself and to others? Do I deeply accept my own mortality? Or, do I try to pretend it is not going to happen? Do I go to delusion and fantasy to deflate the fear? Do I beg and barter with a god to deflate the fear?

Acceptance of the maladies of old age is not easy. Getting old sucks. One thing one can do is to realize that there are others who have far graver problems than yourself. Another thing to do is to see whatever issues and problems you are experiencing as not as bad as being dead already. "It's a good day, since I'm still above ground". Another is to get all of your affairs in order, both legally and socially; this brings peace of mind. Perhaps the most helpful thing to do is to avoid holding it all in and letting the fear eat you up. Let it out, in any way you can that is not self-destructive.

Death is as much a part of life as is birth. It's all a process, and wisdom argues that it is to be embraced and accepted. You cannot do what you used to do as you age. You couldn't do those things before you were grown up either. So?

Lee Simon

Round Hill Farm, Virginia



  1. Pam Partee April 28, 2016

    It would seem most logical that the jail be located next to a new courthouse so that those in custody could be walked to court. This was the system in the historical Mendocino courthouse; it is the system in all the modern justice centers I visited when a member of the media. It appears that prisoner transport will remain an ongoing problem despite this opportunity to correct it. Ukiah will have a new courthouse, an old courthouse, the Palace Hotel, and soon traffic constriction with the redesign of State Street. How is this all going to work?

  2. BB Grace April 28, 2016


    Fear as an acronym: FEAR = False Evidense Appearing Real

    I believe that when it’s your time to go, you go.

    Striving to be content leads to happiness.

    And one last thing…

    I had a beautiful brother who grew up to be a very handsome and popular man, joined the Army, got married, had 4 kids, got shot, became a quadriplegic C-3 when he was 27.

    After months of surgeries and healing, he went home, got pnemonia and went back to the hospital where he got Mercer (we all had to wear protection so even in the room it was alienating visit).

    In the ICU my brother was paralyzed by medicine as he was hooked up to so many machines it was mind blowing to see, and it made me angry, because my feeling was that all these doctors and nurses were doing was keeping him alive for their own profit. He was never going to the brother I knew. What was going to be the point of his life now?

    BIG LESSON for me.

    My baby brother recovered. I had no idea how many gorgeous women LOVE disabled men. My brother’s wife divorced him because he was no longer able bodied to provide for her. So guess what happened?

    Not only did he have more girlfriends then before he got married, and yeah they were sexual partners, he wound up operating a concession stand in Reno for River Rafters. He was way into river rafting, sand sailing extreme sports, being a Quad didn’t stop him. He loved nothing more than being in the parades flying his USA, MIA and POW flags.

    His death was an “accident” three years ago at the VA where some folks who have never had money, value money more than life, and they see disabled lives as worthless.

    Same people will buy themselves the most expensive whatever to entertain themselves, but the idea that a disabled LIFE gives genuine pleasure to parents, family, friends, they don’t see the investment as worthy. My baby brother taught me that LIFE is worthy when you LIVE your life. So LIVE IT!

    I figure I’m not going to know what hit me when I go. All that is will be a dream I dreamed long ago, or not. As long as I’m not held accountable for climate change, by golly, my consciousness will be clean to go.

  3. Rick Weddle April 28, 2016

    It seems there’s a growing demographic of Crabby Old Old Timers (COOTS), and I take my place therein with some enthusiasm. I, personally, never intended to get old in the first place, and I’m certainly not going to do so ‘gracefully,’ nor be polite when I feel being rude is more appropriate…I don’t have to…I’m a COOT…

    • Bruce McEwen April 28, 2016

      Could you fit Ornery and Obstinate into your old coot acronym?

  4. Jim Updegraff April 28, 2016

    At 86 I have my thoughts about living a long life – some are basic – Remember you are born, you live and you die – death is a long dreamless from which you never awake – Eat right, exercise and keep your BMI under 24 – laugh at yourself about all the stupid things you have done and said – have good genes, most of my previous generations have lived into their 90s – have a wee nip of a good single malt scotch (21 year Old Pulteney) before you go to bed, good for the digestion and improves your outlook on the human race – finally, read the AVA every day and engage in written combat with some of the contributors.

    • Bruce McEwen April 28, 2016

      If you don’t respect your elders, you’ll enjoy no dignity when — if, that is — you grow old.

      — Grandpa McEwen

  5. Jim Updegraff April 28, 2016

    A PSto my above comments:

    Bruce, no reason a youngish chap like you should have as minimum a good 10 to 15 years as Editor/publisher before throwing the towel in.

  6. Nate Collins April 28, 2016

    What’s the lesson for Bobby Kuny then? Carry a bigger gun. Shoot for the head.
    Jeez…atleast Sherriff Allman corrected the major screw up.
    What if he had gone after the Kuny family in those 4 hours?
    I’d say your Sheriff is overworked.

    You could ask Charles Koch or Ed Koch for that matter and they’d both say that Hillary is white and therefore she’ll do what’s right… Sanders was a race traitor because he wanted to give Palestinians half a fair shake and wasn’t actively turning a blind eye to the financial mischief of his “ethnic” brothers. Imagine how much they detest him. Was he the only candidate ever who didn’t ask the New York Jews for money? Will he be the last?
    Not sure why it is not suggested that Independents run simultaneously on both sides. 4 candidates total, one Democratic nominee, one Republican nominee, one right-wing independent, and one left-wing independent. I suppose that makes too much sense to even be suggested in this mess.
    … and Zack Galifinakis was right when he asked President Obama how it felt to be the last black president. They turned over most US Cities to black mayors just as soon as everyone went broke so I guess it follows. Well if that was the reign of the “magic negro” then WTF are we gonna call these next 4 to 8?

    RE: William Carlos Williams poem. Resounding YES, simple poems are the best!!!

    RE: Grape Complaint Forum. Good news Michael Krasny has availed himself to something worthwhile.

    RE: Lee Simon on getting old. Right on. Whenever I read such articles though it always occurs to me that if we took the best from our traditions and followed them with commitment that most of these afflictions and conditions of the modern individual would never appear. Then again there was Job but he was afflicted, he was the exception to make us poor souls feel better. I was reading from the Mishnah, among other old books and it seems to me the prescription for avoiding what Lee Simon described is all there. Including and especially in the command “To honor the old and the wise”. So when you hear the Mitzfah be a good Muslim and say “we hear and we obey.”

    • Bruce McEwen April 28, 2016

      Hullo, Nate…Hullo… can ye hear me? Ground Control to Nate… Are ye out there, buddy, somewhere in space, like space, dude? Ypu gotta be somewhere, Nate?

      The Koch Bros were behind this one, really? The shooting in Anderson Valley? My, what a fellow you are, Nathaniel. Even from Washington you can figure out what this gun-play was all about. The result of all the weed and wine, no doubt…like so many of our kith and kin (specifically our beloved County Supe., Danny Hamburger) you’d prefer to dodge or otherwise avoid the local issues (on which you could possibly have some practical impact) and go traipsing off to Washington, D.C. on some castle-in-the-clouds adventure; then when you hear of any mischief back home you reduce it to a silly-assed and cynical, know-it-all phrase “ask Charles or Ed Koch.” Lemme ask you, Mr. Know-It-All: You assiduously, through this organ, panhandle Hamburger’s constituency to finance and endorse your (let’s be honest) vacations. My my my. What a fellow you are.

      • LouisBedrock April 29, 2016

        “It’s easy to see you’ve a fine education.  It must be a big help to you, conversing with whores and barkeeps.”

        (Hogan to Tyrone, MOON FROM THE MISBEGOTTEN, Act I)

      • Nate Collins April 29, 2016

        sorry did I race bait in that crappy blurb I wrote?
        Uh, I think you took it too seriously um Bruce McEwen, really the court reporter.
        you really respond to random shit in the comments section?
        Nice, in that case do you got some mythology based white pride?
        If not what caused you to react so strongly to the trashing of white people?
        Are you blinded by booze or anger because
        the SECOND paragraph was about the ELECTION sir,
        and NOT the SHOOTING. Kapiche?
        the fuck are you smoking? McEwen?
        it is some strong pakalolo I’m smokin I give you that much.
        Uh, thanks for the court reporting anyways …
        I guess I’m so fuckin spaced out I mistakenly consider it a good read
        have another drink dude.

        • LouisBedrock April 30, 2016


          I saw no race baiting in your missive nor white pride in Bruce Mac’s.
          I agreed with most of what you wrote, but thought the reference to “New York Jews” gratuitous and in bad taste.

          My own comment was a reaction to Bruce Mac’s condescending tone to almost everyone whose comment he addresses. Yes, has a great vocabulary and potential talent, but like the character Tyrone in the O’Neill play, he uses it to put people down, aggrandize himself, and impress his “audience”.

          Maybe one day he’ll produce a few good, readable pieces, or a book–he has the talent; but I get tired of people who put down others to show he or she is the smartest one in the room.

      • Nate Collins April 29, 2016

        if you’re not on the sauce I do admire your ability to fabricate indignation out of thin air. either you’re a good actor or a sorry drunk.

        • LouisBedrock April 30, 2016

          “I do admire your ability to fabricate indignation out of thin air,…”

          Spot on, NC, spot on.

  7. Bruce McEwen April 28, 2016

    RE: Le cliche?

    And while we’re puncturing the pomposity inflating garner, we might also consider one I heard in court today:

    LAWYER: So the police interviewed you on two separate occasions?

    WITNESS: If the occasions had not been separate, wouldn’t there have been only one interview?

    LAWYER: Your Honor, the witness is engaging in semantics; order him to answer the question.

    JUDGE: Your question is redundant, counsel. You’ve been give all the answer you deserve.

  8. LouisBedrock April 29, 2016

    “You are old, father William,” the young man said,
    “And your hair has become very white;
    And yet you incessantly stand on your head —
    Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

    “In my youth,” father William replied to his son,
    “I feared it would injure the brain;
    But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
    Why, I do it again and again.”

    “You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
    And have grown most uncommonly fat;
    Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door —
    Pray, what is the reason of that?”

    “In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
    “I kept all my limbs very supple
    By the use of this ointment — one shilling the box —
    Allow me to sell you a couple.”

    “You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
    For anything tougher than suet;
    Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak —
    Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

    “In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
    And argued each case with my wife;
    And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
    Has lasted the rest of my life.”

    “You are old,” said the youth; one would hardly suppose
    That your eye was as steady as ever;
    Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose —
    What made you so awfully clever?”

    “I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
    Said his father; “don’t give yourself airs!
    Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
    Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!”

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