Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Sep. 17, 2017
by AVA News Service, September 16, 2017
PEOPLE V. KEEGAN, Grand Jury Transcripts
We have managed to obtain the entire criminal grand jury report that led to the murder indictment of Peter Keegan for the murder of his wife, Susan. It is posted in six sections as scanned text in the links below:
- Volume 1, August 1, 2017, pages 1-178
- Volume 2, August 2, 2017, pages 179-288
- Volume 3, August 4, 2017, pages 289-422
- Volume 4, August 7, 2017, pages 423-497
- Volume 5, August 8, 2017, pages 498-716
- Volume 6, August 9, 2017, pages 717-732
MY DAY AT THE FAIR
by Mike Kalantarian
On the way to the fair, I saw crazy colored berries and a mural of native love.
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Once inside, there was charming kid art,
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and some interesting stuff by adults.
The Ag building featured a giant boar and, of course, lots of apples.
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On the way home, a flag caught the afternoon sunlight.
THE AV PANTHERS LOST FRIDAY NIGHT’S APPLE BOWL high school football game after a plucky comeback with 16 points in the last quarter that fell short leaving them behind 50-40 in the end. The eight man game against Calistoga was cobbled together because traditional rival Mendocino did not field a football team this year, most athletes choosing soccer, apparently. The Panthers have several good players but not enough overall depth to reach the impressive records of the last few years. Nevertheless, they performed well and scored six touchdowns against a much — and we mean MUCH bigger Calistoga team which also had a couple of little guys who were fast. Most of the TDs on both sides came on passes, AV had been advised in advance to avoid anything up the middle against Calistoga’s college-size front line.
MORE FAIR PICS
ODD DISCLAIMER the other morning on a KZYX jazz show: "This music does not necessarily reflect the musical sensitivities of management and staff…" I think he meant sensibilities, and it may even have been humorously intended, seeing as how the music was strictly Elevator.
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DA EYSTER deserves high praise for pursuing the indictment of Dr. Peter Keegan for the murder of his wife, Susan, especially considering that his predecessor, Meredith Lintott, had no interest in it, a depressing stance for a DA to take re a major crime. Of course DA Susan Massini didn't prosecute the Fort Bragg Fires of '87, which may also have included the murder of one of the arsonists shortly before he was to testify before a federal grand jury in San Francisco.
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WE ASSUME the likely murder of the young Fort Bragg woman, Katlyn Long, hasn't been relegated to the freezer department of the DA's Cold Case File. A now-retired detective told me that "we know" that the one and only suspect in Miss Long's highly suspicious death "was responsible." The problem was there wasn't quite enough evidence to nail Mr. Garrett Matson for it. Here's hoping someone is still looking.
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ADD to the endless list of contemporary annoyances, the Superior Court's answering machine message: "The Superior Court is proud to serve the people of Mendocino County." Hooray for you, but how about just doing your job in a smart and timely manner and we'll be proud of you, too — doubly proud if you don't build your preposterous temple for yourselves in the form of a new County Courthouse at the congestion end of West Perkins. (BTW, both the Ukiah City Council and the Supervisors have silently signed off on this Mother of all Mendo Boondoggles.)
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20 PERCENT OFF every Saturday at Farm Supply, Philo, where I scored a bedraggled pair of fuchsias last week which I intend to nurse back to robust health. I thought about how much I miss the fuchsia nursery just north of Fort Bragg, and who might remember the lady up on Spy Rock north of Laytonville who specialized in Japanese maples and peonies? Odd that you don't see peonies much around Mendo. People seem to go big for dahlias, which I do, too, and they're darn near, but not quite as striking as peonies, imho as they say on Facebook. About fifteen years ago I bought a rare Japanese maple from Spy Rock Lady that became so spectacular in late fall in a splendiferous deep red different than other maples, and deeper even than the deep red of pistachio trees, that I took pains to replant it in a concrete planter it took two of us to lift. Call me paranoid, but that thing got so much close attention from other plant people, and I know what covetous maniacs they can be, that I was afraid someone would rip it off. And someone did, too. I mourn its loss yet.
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WE NEED more garden tours in this county. One we all enjoy glimpses of every day is Rod Balson's at the corner of 128 and Mountain View Road. Balson has managed our most spectacular lateral display of morning glories, and anyone who covers a cyclone fence in morning glories deserves a civic medal.
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PREDICTABLE HEADLINE on last week's Mendocino Beacon: "Critics line up with praise for MCHS alumnus' debut novel." [“My Absolute Darling”] Please pray for American literature.
AND just below the fold, Albion Gothic, a full color photo of Bill Heil and Linda Perkins, long time Mendo environmentalists. Mary Rose Kaczorowski, aka Redwood Mary, seems to have written and produced the Beacon, which I thought had folded into the Advocate, permanently, years ago.
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ACCORDING TO DAN KUNY, Will Lemons has successfully made the jump from small school football at AVHS to the college game. Lemons, of the Anderson Valley Lemons, is starting at defensive end at Santa Rosa JC and, according to Kuny, "dominating." Kuny reports that at the game he saw the opposing team "stopped running to Lemons' side."
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I asked Skrag if he wanted to go to the Fair with me, and he says, ‘Only dogs are dumb enough to need noise and bright lights.’ That cat is getting seriously annoying.”
WALK A MILE BEHIND THEIR SHOPPING CARTS
To the Editor,
As I sit here watching the news night after night I hear about how the homeless encampments are being set on fire and homeless people are being displaced. I read in the local news how homeless people are being moved from one place to another and being ticketed for being in that place. Where do we expect our homeless to go? Our City of Ukiah now says there is no camping in city limits. But if we do find a place outside the city limits to camp, firstly, for handicapped people like myself, it is a very long walk to the services that we need to get for the help that we need and secondly, we get told that we are trespassing by property owners, and thirdly, our camps are raided and all of our belongings are discarded. So basically in this county our homeless people are in a Catch-22 situation and have nowhere to live.
I myself was homeless for about three months at the end of 2016. It was a very scary experience and the police in this County are not really all that nice about the whole situation. I do understand that they were trying to do their job but they could have shown some compassion. I feel that if they were all (the police and some people from the city Council) were to be out on the streets homeless for a week so they can know how it feels to be homeless (without any help from friends and family) they would then maybe have a better understanding of what it feels like to be without.
In all reality it could happen to anybody because that is what happened to me. In this county we keep remodeling houses and making them into offices and businesses when we could just as easily keep them as houses. Once they are converted to offices they can no longer be rented as houses. There are a lot of these converted houses sitting empty in this county.
I have to thank MCAVHN for the support because I am housed now and I don't even have the words to express appreciation to all of the case managers there who helped me through this troubled time. I feel as a community we need to pull together and help all of the agencies — MCAVHN, Manzanita, Project Sanctuary, RC3 Crisis Center, churches, For Street Project, Department of Vocation and Rehabilitation — who help with homeless as well as researching and reaching out to our homeless people rather than just hassling them and judging them. I do agree that they should not make messes and leave them for others to clean up and that some who are homeless are homeless by choice but others are homeless by circumstance.
Winter is just around the corner and we as a community need to start thinking about how we can come together and help at least some of our homeless people. As some might say, I would like to pay it forward for all of the help I have received. I want to collect blankets and socks (men's, women's, children's) and jackets (any), clothes, sleeping bags, gloves and any other warm items for winter. You can help. If you have anything you would like to donate you can call 707-472-1140. I will make arrangements to pick things up or you can drop them off at MCAHVN. Remember that every little bit helps!
PETS O THE WEEK
Pippa is a beautiful, solid gray, short hair 3 year old spayed female. She is very affectionate and has an adorable habit of lovingly touching you with her paws. Pippa has a corneal ulcer so her ideal adoption would be as an inside cat. Come down and spend some time with this sweet girl and see what you think!
Ahoy mateys! Here's Pirate, a very sweet dog with a fabulous personality. Pirate is a two year old, neutered male who weighs 54 pounds. Pirate knows sit and shake, and he enjoys the company of people. He's playful and pretty darn adorable. We KNOW he likes treats. Pirate is exuberantly happy, friendly and a real tail wagger. He is also a volunteer/staff favorite. Our website has lots of information about Pirate, as he's been going to "doggie day care and play" with a foster volunteer.
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, please us visit online at www.mendoanimalshelter.com or visit the shelter. Join us the 2nd Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 15, 2017
Demuri, Esquivel, Juszczak, Marks
GIOVANNI DEMURI, Albion. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
RUDOLPH ESQUIVEL III, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation.
JEREMIAH JUSZCZAK, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
JOHN MARKS, Ukiah. False ID, felony warrant out of state.
Mata, Mendoza, Miller
RAFAEL MATA, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
JESUS MENDOZA, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ANGELA MILLER, Willits. DUI.
TajtajStantos, Taylor-Lopez, Yeomans
VICTOR TAJTAJSTANTOS, Oakland/Hopland. DUI.
CARLOS TAYLOR-LOPEZ, Willits. Battery, probation revocation.
DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, resisting, disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
WALK OR PADDLE FOR CANCER this October at the 18th annual Big River Walk and Paddle for Cancer! Saturday October 21st at 9:30 am, Big River State Park, $25 registration, $10 Teens, Kids Free, Any questions please contact:email@example.com
BUT THE FACT IS that writing is the only way in which I am able to cope with the memories which overwhelm me so frequently and so unexpectedly. If they remained locked away, they would become heavier and heavier as time went on, so that in the end I would succumb under their mounting weight. Memories lie slumbering within us for months and years, quietly proliferating, until they are woken by some trifle and in some strange way blind us to life. How often this has caused me to feel that my memories, and the labors expended in writing them down are all part of the same humiliating and, at bottom, contemptible business! And yet, what would we be without memory? We would not be capable of ordering even the simplest thoughts, the most sensitive heart would lose the ability to show affection, our existence would be a mere never-ending chain of meaningless moments, and there would not be the faintest trace of a past. How wretched this life of ours is! -- so full of false conceits, so futile, that it is little more than the shadow of the chimeras loosed by memory. My sense of estrangement is becoming more and more dreadful. When I walked in Hyde Park yesterday, I felt unspeakably wretched and outcast amongst the colorful crowd. As if from afar, I watched the beautiful young English women with the same ardent bewilderment of my senses that I used to feel in an embrace. And today I do not raise my eyes from my work. I have become almost invisible, to some extent like a dead man. Perhaps that is why it appears to me that this world which I have very nearly left behind is shrouded in some peculiar mystery.
— Vicomte de Chateaubriand, 1822; from his memoirs
PUBLIC ART COMES TO FORT BRAGG
The City sponsored Mural Competition begins on September 15, 2017. With the generous support of participating property owners and the Community Foundation of Mendocino’s A.D. Abramson Visual Arts Award, the City is proud to introduce the first annual FORT BRAGG MURAL COMPETITION. Two local artists, Suzi Marquess Long of Mendocino and Derek Diorio of Westport, and Los Angeles artist Hannah Webb (The Obanoth) were chosen by participating property owners to create murals on their buildings.
Derek Diorio’s magical nautical sea monster scene was selected by Monica Mankinen to be painted on the northwestern wall of her lovely shop, Interior, located at 224 E Redwood Avenue. Derek will be painting with acrylics and brushes; working steadily from September 15th until its completion on October 1st. North Coast Brewing Company invited Suzi Marquess Long to canvas the south-facing wall of the Tap Room in an array of colors depicting familiar sights of our region – redwood forests, the Pacific Ocean with details of abalone, salmon and mushrooms. You can find Suzi painting at the North Coast Tap Room also from September 15th to October 1st.
Los Angeles artist Hannah Webb’s portrayal of the California Grey Fox will find a home across from Bainbridge Park at the northeast intersection of Laurel Street and N Harrison Street on the building of Clay and Les at 400 N Harrison Street. The swift movements of this local carnivorous mammal will be exemplified by the artist herself as Hannah paints her piece in a single day. So be sure to stop by on Sunday, September 17th to watch her in action.
This event is part of a larger effort by City to encourage installation of public art throughout Fort Bragg. Please stop by Interior, North Coast Brewery Tap Room and Bainbridge Park to meet the artists and follow their progress. Oh! Please cast your vote for the winner of the “Community Choice” award on the City of Fort Bragg Facebook page.
Questions regarding this information should be directed to Sarah Million McCormick, Community Development, at (707) 961-2827 x111.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
No matter how bad America may get it will always remain so much better than so many places and I need not bother naming any of them to prove the point. As far as how things are going economically here, it is not possible for any of us to see the whole picture but the little picture is good some places and bad in others. A liberal neighbor returned from the trip her family took to Tennessee to watch the eclipse. In describing the journey she plainly stated that afterward it was easy to understand why America elected Donald Trump because everywhere along the way they came across boarded up store fronts, abandoned homes, and working age people sitting on street corners and park benches. Our West NJ Township is experiencing a new wave of home sales titled “pre-foreclosure”, and we already have 27 abandoned homes and a decaying tax base to work with. Being the Financial Liaison Committeeman, I am neck deep in such issues as well as how to find funds to pay off our substantial municipal debts as interest rates double every year. Not so much doom and gloom as dealing with reality and I am possibly the only elected official in the state that is willing to discuss the issue honestly.
WHAT HAPPENED is a sordid book, petulant and spiteful. It made me feel queasy and dirty while reading it, like the whole 25-year-long experience of Clintonism itself. By the end, I got the sense that its sleazy torrent of invective and blame-mongering was more an attempt to console the frail psyche of the author rather than to repair her shattered image to any readership the book might find. In the years to come, What Happened will prove much more valuable as documentary evidence for psycho-historians than political scientists. — Jeff St. Clair
DREAMERS DREAMING DREAMS
by James Kunstler
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are so out of the news now that people not listening to the mold grow in their sweltering bedrooms probably think these events had something to do with the Confederate defeat. Both The New York Times and the WashPo are much more concerned this morning with doings on the planet Saturn, and the career moves of fashion icon Chelsea Manning, which is perhaps how things should be in Attention Deficit Nation. Standing by on developments there….
In the meantime, personally, I think it would be cruel to deport fully acculturated and Americanized young adults to Mexico and Central America. But there should be no question that it’s up to congress to figure out what to do about the DACA kids, and put it into coherent law. The Golden Golem of Greatness was correct to serve the ball into congress’s court. The suave and charming Mr. Obama only punted the action on that problem, and rather cynically too, I suspect, since he knew the next president would be stuck with it.
It’s hard to overcome the sentimental demagoguery this quandary fetches up. The so-called Dreamers are lately portrayed in the media as a monoculture of spectacularly earnest high-achievers, all potential Harvard grads, and future Silicon Valley millionaires working tirelessly to add value to the US economy. This, again personally, I doubt, and there’s also room to doubt that they are uniformly acculturated and Americanized as claimed by the journalists cherry-picking their stories to support the narrative that national borders and immigration laws are themselves cruel anachronisms that need to be opposed.
That Dem / Prog narrative has been suspiciously hypocritical for years — the insistence on referring to anybody here illegally as “undocumented,” as if their citizenship status was due to a mere clerical error, and also the obvious pandering for votes among the fast-growing Hispanic demographic by pretending that boundaries shouldn’t matter. Trump’s infamous “wall” is actually just a metaphor for a political faction that believes boundaries do matter, especially in law, where ambiguity is a vice.
That narrative is also at odds with the Left’s multicultural principle, since their plea for the DACA kids rests on the idea that they’ve assimilated successfully into the very American common culture that multiculturalism opposes. The DACA poster kids exhibited on the cable news networks speak English as fluently as Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon. Yet the Left so strenuously opposes the idea that speaking English correctly has any importance that they have allowed several generations of American black ghetto kids to fail academically in inner city schools where language skills are deliberately neglected to avoid offending the underspeeched. In fact, these days anyone who proposes that correct English speech matters in America is automatically branded with the scarlet “R” for racist. Except, now it matters where the Dreamers are concerned.
Deplorable as they may be, sunk in job loss, anomie, opiate addiction, obesity, and tattoo collecting, the Trumpsters have a legitimate case that they’ve been shoved out of work and livelihoods by immigrants both legal and illegal, and nobody should be surprised at the animus this generates. It’s right and proper that congress should resolve the fate of the DACA kids by legislation, and that they should actively address reform of the 1965 immigration act, too. Things have changed. This isn’t your great-grandad’s America of burgeoning factories beckoning to the downtrodden abroad. This is a sunset industrial economy not really knowing where its headed, but indulging in grandiose fantasies of perpetual robotic leisure where actual work is obsolete but somehow everybody gets rich.
Trump was also correct to set a six month deadline on for congress to act. It is clearly their responsibility to do so, and the deadline is exactly the sort of boundary in thought-and-act that this lazy-ass nation needs to begin accomplishing anything on its long and neglected to-do list of pressing issues.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
Computer Classes For Adults:
Internet Safety 101 – Sept 19th
Begins at 11 am
Join us at the Ukiah Library for hands-on interactive computer classes for adults. Learn how to keep in touch with friends and family, use email to correspond & communicate business matters, and protect your identity & stay safe online!
Registration is required; please call 463-4490 to sign up!
All classes and events are free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library. For more information, please contact: Melissa Eleftherion Carr at 707-467-4634 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Friday, September 22nd at 2:30p.m.
On Friday, September 22nd at 2:30pm the Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting a Kindness Rocks Project workshop. Spend part of your afternoon creating art on rocks inspired by the Kindness Rocks Project! Rocks and art supplies will be provided.
The Kindness Rocks project revolves around hiding decorated rocks painted with messages of hope and positivity in public places. Artists can either allow people to find them by chance, or post online in Kindness Rocks groups with location hints for others to search and discover. Those who find rocks can then keep them, switch them out for one of their own Kindness Rocks, or re-hide them to keep the fun going. Through hiding these Kindness Rocks, we can spread encouragement to others, give a little thrill of a treasure hunt that can be done with the whole family, and promote creativity and art in the community.
This event is free to the public and family-friendly.
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Banned Books Week (Sept. 24th – Sept. 30th) with the following events:
Library Booth at Youth Action Party (YAP) – September 23rd 3-8pm
Banned Books Read-Out & Live Art–Friday, Sept. 29th 5-7pm
Banned Books T-Shirt Art – Saturday, Sept. 30th 1-3 pm
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
On Saturday, Sept. 23rd , the Ukiah Library will be kicking off Banned Books Week with a DUNK TANK at Youth Action Party! Come Dunk a Librarian or make a button/ bookmark! Join us for a Banned Books Read Out & Live Art Drawing on Friday, Sept. 29th at 5 pm where participants will read aloud from banned books and make a live art collage from banned book cover designs. And don’t miss the grand finale on Saturday, Sept. 30th at 1 pm where you can design your own Banned Book T-Shirt Art!
American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read @ your library! Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.
This year's observance commemorates the most basic freedom in a democratic society -”the freedom to read freely”, and encourages us not to take this freedom for granted. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. Find out which challenged books made the 2015 list, which was released as part of the 2016 State of America’s Library Report.
For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434
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Banned Books Week Shirt Art
On Saturday, September 30th at 1:00pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting a Banned Books Week Shirt Art event. Visit the library and decorate a shirt celebrating your freedom to read! Shirts and art materials will be provided, and participants get to take their creations home. This event is free to the public and family-friendly.
Banned Books Week is a nationwide event recognizing the value of free and open access to information for all ages and showing to the harms of censorship. Libraries, booksellers, teachers, readers, and more join together to feature books that have been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools and celebrate that, in many cases, those books are still available.
DEMOCRAT GETS TRUMPED
LES FOURMIS DE CHLADNI.
"In order that life should be a story or romance to us, it is necessary that a great part of it should be settled for us without our permission. A man has control over many things in his life; he has control over enough things to be the hero of a novel. But if he had control over everything, there would be so much hero that there would be no novel." -G.K. Chesterton
The recording of last night's (2017-09-15) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download for free and enjoy at any time of the day or night, via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Besides that, as usual also there you'll find a fresh batch of links to other interesting and educational goods I set aside for you while putting the show together. Such as:
A short film about Laika Studios.
Photorealistic 3D science fiction paintings. View the video and the gallery.
Why we have a dress code in this school:
View post on imgur.com
Simplified timed-release complete vaccine schedule all in one little shot. Yay, science!
Know your hate groups.
And that's our show, folks! You've been wonderful! Come back again! (How religion works.)
WHAT’S NEW ON CLIMATE?
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma clearly are the result of climate change as are the recent typhoons in the Philippines and China. I should note that they are regional names for the same type of storm. They are both special names given to tropical cyclones - large regional storm systems forming over warm tropical ocean water and rotating around a central eye - that have grown strong enough to have very damaging effects. The New York Times reported Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the EPA says it is insensitive to discuss discuss climate change in the midst of deadly storms. I would say Pruitt is dead wrong not to discuss climate change at this time. In the article a number of scientists disputed his comments and also said it was time to discuss climate change, President Trump says climate change is hoax and Pruitt has said carbon dioxide emissions from cars, power plants and other sources are not the primary contributor to global warming and the EPA is rolling back regulations aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions. If Trump and Pruitt have their way we will will have future storms that will dwarf Harvey and Irma. In addition to this issue, the Guardian had an article on the shrinking of Asia's glaciers by a third by 2100 threatening water supply of millions. These high mountains of Asia hold the biggest store of frozen water outside of the poles and feed many of the world's great rivers, including the Ganges. This is a best scenario based on the assumption the world can limit global warming to 1.5C (2.7F). Even if the standard is reached 36% (give or take 7%) of the ice mass is projected to be lost by 2100. With warming of 3.5C, 4C and 6C Asian glacier losses could amount to 49%, 51% or 65%, by the end of this century. A study in July in the journal Nature Climate Change estimate there was only a 5% change of holding global warming under 3C and for 1.5C, the odds were about 1%. Trump, Pruitt and their fellow climate deniers if they prevail will leave a terrible world for their grandchildren.
In peace and love,
PHOTO FROM THE BIG RIVER HAUL ROAD, MENDO
It's hoped work can be completed on the culvert, etc. by some time in November.
IT'S ON JER'S DESK: A bill that would make the state a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants by limiting local law enforcement’s cooperation with immigration authorities only needs the Gov's signature. The measure, approved by California’s legislature during its last session of the year Friday, will take effect Jan. 1 if Brown signs it. Brown expressed support for the measure after it underwent several rounds of amendments that align the legislation with the state’s Trust Act, an anti-deportation law. The law pits California authorities against the Trump administration, which continues to push for a crackdown on undocumented immigrants; Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding for any cities or states employing “sanctuary” policies. But a federal judge has issued a nationwide temporary injunction blocking the administration from withholding funding to sanctuary cities.
WHAT’S THE STORY WITH THAT PLACE? THE UNDERGROUND SCIENTOLOGY VAULT NEAR PETROLIA
A drone-captured image of the entrance to an underground archival vault near Petrolia. The vault holds writings and recordings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. | From YouTube user Angry Thetan.
If you were driving along the Lost Coast a few miles northwest of Petrolia, you might notice an old farm road leading east up a ravine. And if you were somehow able to get past the locked cattle gate and follow that farm road through the cow pastures, then up a private road that traces the hill’s spine, you’d soon come to massive symbol carved into the earth.
You probably wouldn’t even notice its ridges and depressions from ground level; they’ve eroded quite a bit since a local contractor carved them nearly 30 years ago. But from directly above — the perspective of a drone or Google satellite — you can still see the design: two interlocking circles, each more than 500 feet in diameter, with diamonds in the middle.
Here’s how it looked in 2010:
This is the logo for the Church of Spiritual Technology, an arm of Scientology created in the early 1980s after the Internal Revenue Service revoked the group’s tax-exempt status. (It took an “all-out war” with the IRS for Scientology to regain tax-exempt status, which it finally did in 1993.) The CST, an especially secretive branch of the notoriously insular organization, was founded to preserve the life’s work of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Just east of the 1,000-foot logo there’s a helipad, and beyond that, an 8,000-square-foot residence called the LRH House, built in 1991 as a place for Hubbard to grow up after being reborn in a new body. (Scientologists believe that Hubbard didn’t die of a stroke in 1986 at the age of 74 but rather voluntarily discarded his body so he could continue his spiritual research “outside of its confines.”)
Near the LRH House is a big meeting hall and, across the road, a smaller, older house. This is where the property caretaker lives. Farther up the hill, all the way at the end of the winding road and wedged into the mountain like the exposed prow of a ship, you’ll find the entrance to a massive underground vault built of steel and concrete.
This vault, which is 20 feet in diameter and extends 375 feet into the hill, allegedly contains copies of everything Hubbard ever wrote, which is a lot. (He holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Published Works by One Author.”) So the vault holds his many sci-fi and pulp fiction novels, his seminal self-help book/Scientology bible Dianetics plus handwritten notes, policy letters and more. It also contains film footage of Hubbard’s public appearances and audio recordings of his lectures carved into LP-style records forged of copper and steel. And these artifacts are all stored in argon gas to prevent decay.
There are now four CST vaults, each in remote locations (three in California and one in New Mexico), and each one is accompanied by its own LRH House and CST logo. (Many have noted the resemblance to the logo for Kool cigarettes, which Hubbard chain-smoked.)
These archival projects were long kept secret, even from enrolled members of Scientology. But over the years, former members have come forward to talk about “the most secret organization in all of Scientology,” and two years ago the CST vaults were described in detail in an issue of International Scientology News.
Of course, it’s hard to keep such things secret in the age of Google Earth and cheap drones. Here, set to the dramatic strains of the William Tell Overture, is drone footage of the Humboldt County vault’s entrance, captured and posted anonymously last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeTU0WHtKvk
The construction of this vault, from 1987 through 1991, caused a minor stir, especially in the Mattole and Eel River valleys. Questions and rumors led to a series of stories in the Ferndale Enterprise and features in both the upstart North Coast Journal and HSU’s student newspaper, The Lumberjack. That latter story, it’s worth noting, was written by then-HSU-student Jack Durham, who’s now the editor of the Mad River Union. His piece included this graphic illustrating the interior of the vault.
Graphic from a May 1991 issue of the HSU Lumberjack, reproduced with permission.
The Ferndale Enterprise reported that Scientologists began buying land in the Mattole Valley as early as 1980, eventually accumulating more than 3,000 acres including the hilltop property alternately known as Sunset View Ranch or the Walker Ranch.
The property’s then-caretaker, a French Canadian named Michel Ouelette, told Enterprise Editor Elizabeth McHarry, “The purpose of the property is for the preservation of religious wisdom.”
That’s about as much detail as most folks could get. “As the vault nears completion,” Joe Cempa wrote in the North Coast Journal in June 1991, “Petrolia residents are no more sure of what exactly is going on up on Walker Mountain than they were seven years ago when the Los Angeles-based Church of Spiritual Technology began buying land.”
Not everyone in Humboldt County was in the dark, though.
“I’ve been out there numerous times,” Humboldt County building official Todd Sobolik told the Outpost last week. As the chief building inspector in the early 1990s, Sobolik oversaw the construction of the LRH House (then called “The Bunker”) and the vault, which the county categorized as a storage facility.
“We’ve always had a good working relationship with them,” Sobolik said, referring to the CST representatives who do business with the county. “Anything we want they’ve always done.” He even recalls attempting an open house on the property after completion of a structure near the vault entrance.
The Outpost reached out to Scientology’s media relations team to ask about the history and purpose of the vault and — hey, why not? — request a tour. The response came two days later:
Thank you for your interest. We are not doing public tours at this facility at this time.
The other questions were left unanswered. Fortunately, that issue of International Scientology News from a couple years back goes into meticulous detail about the extreme measures taken to preserve the works of L. Ron Hubbard (LRH) “into eternity.”
“CST brought in paper design engineers, chemists and scientists to formulate the ideal archival paper to carry LRH’s works through future millennia,” the story boasts. Hubbard’s wisdom was recorded with special ink, derived from a 1,000-year-old Chinese formula, on paper made of cotton and linen, far surpassing “the most stringent standards for permanent archival records.”
And in case that fails after a few centuries, Hubbard’s words were also “carved directly onto custom-made [stainless steel] plates using a chemical etching process dating back to the Middle Ages,” the wrapped in acid-free archival sleeves and stored in the vault, where “every printed page from Book One [Dianetics] all the way through the Advanced Materials will prove impervious unto eternity.”
For audio recordings of Hubbard’s lectures and other public speeches, CST archivists “developed a procedure for producing metal records with the highest fidelity and durability — perfect for their purposes down to the molecular level — that will last at least 1,000 years.”
Why records and not, say, Compact Discs, the cutting-edge technology of the time? “All that is needed to play a record is a needle in a groove,” the CST scientists reasoned, “so even with something as simple as a thorn, LRH’s voice could be reproduced regardless of technological regression or societal collapse.”
Screenshot of an image from International Scientology News.
Film footage of Hubbard was likewise painstakingly transferred and stored, like the records and written documents, in titanium boxes that the article described as “the perfect time capsule, designed to accommodate any and all climatic changes and withstand radioactive fallout.”
Those boxes were then placed inside thermal containers with a core made of ceramic tile “designed to protect spacecraft on atmospheric re-entry” and a silicone outer skin with fine-mesh stainless steel reinforcement.
These Russian-nesting-doll measures continued as the thermal containers were then stored inside the vault on double-decker racks designed to hold 2,000 pounds apiece and “wrapped in a heat-reflective protective covering woven from synthetic fabric with a strength-to-weight ratio five times stronger than steel.”
Finally, oxygen was evacuated from the vault and replaced with the stable, inert gas argon. The magazine called all of this “the ultimate preservation system,” a massive undertaking aimed at “safeguard[ing] our religion” and “securing our technology for all millennia to come.”
Though the locations of the CST vaults had already been made public online by the time this story came out, the author maintained that they’re in “multiple undisclosed locations around the world.”
The piece includes photos that may or may not have been taken inside the vault here in Humboldt. Here’s another of those images, with a description from the accompanying story:
On this page is just one such archival vault, occupying a geographically calculated position safe from the threat of rising seas or total ice age. It required boring 400 feet into a remote hillside, some 60 feet down.
So that’s what’s inside the vault. The unidentified drone pilot who posted the video above published a total of four YouTube videos with footage of the CST-owned property.
The one below is cued up to show the helipad and CST logo, which, according to a former Scientologist, is intended either to guide Hubbard’s disembodied spirit back to where it belongs or to guide other humans to his archives after civilization collapses.
(See LCO video.)
And here you can see the LRH House, the building that looks like a conference center and the caretaker’s house:
(See LCO video.)
And, lastly, more footage of the lower portion of the property, set to Flight of the Valkyries.
(See LCO video.)
Author’s Note: This is the (long overdue) fourth installment of the Outpost‘s occasional series “What’s the Story With That Place?” In July 2014 we looked at the crumbling church on the corner of Wabash and Union streets in Eureka. In December of that year we looked at a former lumber company development turned ghost town near Big Lagoon. And in October 2015 we looked at Eureka’s historic Lloyd Building, which went from a socializing hotspot in the early 20th Century to the headquarters of infamous local landlords Floyd and Betty Squires today. If you’re curious about some place in Humboldt County, send your suggestions for future entries in this series to email@example.com.
DEATH & TAXES
Scott M. Peterson
OUR LOCAL ISP hosts a cheeky little online discussion group called KZYXtalk. It’s mostly attended by disaffected KZYX programmers and listeners. All of whom have something to say at one time or another. From time-to-time an actual KZYX manager chimes in. But that’s pretty rare. Nonetheless, I saw it as an opportunity to hold a pop quiz there with two questions: 1. How would you rate employee morale at KZYX over the past six years? — and, 2. Who do you think is buried in Grant’s tomb? Hint — the answers are the same.
ULYSSES S. GRANT died on July 23, 1885. His funeral was attended by 1.5 million mourners. And his mausoleum is the largest in North America. So who’s buried inside? Answer — nobody. Grant’s personhood ended at the time of his death, thereby relieving him — or his remains — of the title ‘who.’ Which is the same for KZYX employees. It can’t have any employee morale — because it doesn’t have any employees.
SKEPTICS ARE INVITED to look up KZYX’s last decade of public filings to confirm that detail at the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Ditto for its neighbor up the road in Humboldt County. That’s Redwood Community Radio who operates public radio station KMUD. They’ve got employee morale — because they’ve got employees. Twelve of them. Naturally they’ve got payroll taxes too. KZYX doesn’t. Because it’s got no employees.
KZYX PLEDGE DRIVES encourage listeners to do their part for the community. All contributions are welcome — particularly large ones. So I thought about making a sizable donation to whichever public radio station was doing their part for the community. Depending on whether or not Governor Jerry Brown was gonna play ball with me.
LUKE BROWN works as the Special Assistant for Appointments at the California Department of Industrial Relations. So I gave him a ring to get an appointment with a media representative. In advance, I gave him five question areas:
- Does the State of California take employee misclassification seriously?
- What does it take to initiate a complaint?
- How long does it take to process a complaint?
- Is it possible for the public to track such a complaint?
- Is there a reward?
WASTING NO TIME, Mr. Brown landed me a meeting with California State Labor Commissioner Julie Su. Since Luke’s email address is public, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to shoot him a link to a draft of my article. So he and his boss could see where this was headed.
MY GOAL was to get something called a public determination ruling from Commissioner Su on both public radio stations. If station employees were determined to be independent contractors, I could save KMUD at least $25,000 a year. If not, that could mean a boost to the local economy. Where KZYX would be obliged to reclassify its people as employees. And then start paying taxes on them like KMUD does. If I was eligible for any reward, it’d go to the entity who’d gotten it right.
KZYX HAD EMPLOYEES once upon a time. Back in 2010 there were seven of ‘em. But filings going back to 2000 show they’ve never coughed up payroll taxes. Huh. A filing for the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity requirement revealed that all of its positions were full-time in 2008. That’s on the KZYX website, but no such paperwork has been filed since then. A KZYX budget dated June 29, 2016 shows they anticipated $18,554 in payroll taxes for that year. But the Form 990 for that same year reveals that nothing in that category was ever paid.
‘MENS REA’ IS LATIN for ‘guilty mind’. Those who conceal things for extended periods of time tend to implicate themselves for intentional misconduct. Especially when it comes to tax obligations. That brand of B.S. can incur penalties of up to $25,000 per violation. In KZYX’s case it can be seen — or at least interpreted — from its annual filings. Which for the past seven years running have been hidden from its governing board with some very specific language: ‘No review [of the Form 990] was or will be conducted [by the governing board].’
THE SILVER LINING in that cloud is this: Any bad juju doesn’t necessarily fall on the shoulders of KZYX — because its governing members couldn’t see what was going on. It’s more likely to fall on the person responsible for that language. Which in this case was John McKenzie Coate — DOB 1/17/51 — whose signature first appeared on those forms. If Mr. Coate can’t foot any such bill, then individual trustees are likely to get one. In any case, the probability of that dumbass Form 990 policy continuing drops to zero. And the likelihood of KZYX being — or should I say becoming — a good community member increases. But there are no guarantees of that. So I decided to hold my thunder until speaking with Commissioner Su.
LUKE BROWN called me right on the button and introduced me to Commissioner Su. Her agency does take employee misclassification seriously. Complaints are normally filed by employees, but also by the Bureau of Field Enforcement. They’re authorized to conduct surprise inspections at any place in California — including KZYX. The time to process a complaint varies. Slam-dunks can be over in a matter of days. Detailed investigations can take months. ‘Employee misclassification is one of many ways to commit wage theft,’ she told me. ‘We process 35,000 claims a year.’ Gulp.
INVESTIGATION OUTCOMES are published in something called an ODA — or ordered decision award. But there’s no reward for ratting out scofflaws. Dang. When I gave her the skinny with KZYX, Commissioner Su offered up a hot tip. ‘You should contact EDD — the Employment Development Department,’ she said. ‘This is right up their alley.’ At the end of our fifteen-minute interview she gave me her email address and favorite ice cream flavor — for the subject line — so I could keep her in the loop with my article. And I went on my merry way.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS at EDD is led by a lady named Loree Levy. Her email address wasn’t listed at the EDD website — but it was at the one titled EDDsucks.com. Hmmm. I hope it didn’t suck for KZYX. So I shot her an email titled, ‘Media Inquiry — Commissioner Su Referral’ — and checked my watch. Then hit the send button at 10:15am on August 17, 2017. Two minutes later my phone rang. It was Alberto Larios from EDD who wanted more information about my inquiry. So I sent him a link to my article-in-progress under his favorite ice cream flavor — pistachio — with a copy to Ms. Levy. And then checked my watch again. By then it was 11:00am.
FIVE MINUTES LATER I got a return email from my new best friend, Alberto Larios. As it turns out, he’s the Information Officer over yonder at EDD. Perfect! He asked if my article’s going to be published in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which I confirmed. But I hadn’t told him that in my email. Huh. At any rate, I guess the word was out in Sacramento. The world famous AVA was on top of a story — and EDD was in the spotlight.
I NOTICED that Alberto’s email was copied to a fellow named Kevin Callori. His name had turned up on a 2011 press release about then-recent layoffs in — wait for it — Mendocino County. According to the presser, 142 workers had lost their jobs ‘when many local businesses in Mendocino County closed or downsized.’ So putting so-called independent contractors back on the KZYX payroll could recover seven of those lost jobs. Maybe even more. Giving Callori a real dog in the fight — so to speak.
ONE ARGUMENT could be made that it was a simple variation in accounting. Different accountants use different methods to produce the figures found on Form 990s. So I fired up my time machine to see who the tax preparer was when this all started. You can see it too at the National Center for Charitable Statistics. The 2008 Form 990 for Redwood Community Radio indicates that a fellow named Frank X. Gloeggler prepared it for KMUD. The 2008 Form 990 for Mendocino County Public Broadcasting reveals the same darned preparer for KZYX. Both nonprofits are reported to be on the accrual accounting method as well — as opposed to cash. Which pretty much tosses both arguments out the window.
ODDLY ENOUGH, Gloeggler’s signature vanished from KZYX’s Form 990s after 2010. That coincides perfectly with the disappearance of KZYX’s employees. Not to mention six figures in payroll taxes. Gloeggler’s name is on six years worth of KZYX filings since then — but not his signature. At the exact same time Mister Coate’s signature disappeared too. Along with those of two of his successors, Lorraine Dechter and Jeffrey Parker. Could somebody else have done those Form 990s up? If so, who could it be?
MARY C. AIGNER first registered to vote in Mendocino County on June 28, 1998. According to County records, she was born on February 19, 1964 somewhere in Pennsylvania. Aigner turned up at KZYX with Coate before 2008. She kept her name off nearly all of the radio station’s paperwork. Yet was widely recognized as Coate’s ‘right hand’ in management. Aigner outlasted Coate and his successors handily. With her own primetime Grateful Dead radio show now under the name Mary Prankster — every other Thursday night.
ANY MOTIVE for forging Form 990s is plain as day — cash. The amount of payroll taxes that went unpaid — if it happened — is well into six figures now. That’s not counting violent fluctuations in the book value of KZYX’s equipment and recorded material over the past near-decade. Things like that simply aren’t possible with a real accountant. But tend to make sense if an imposter’s cooking the books.
SOME CALIFORNIA radio stations care about crap like this. In 2016, Los Angeles’s KCRW began a five-part series on employee exploitation titled Burned. That publicity appears to have triggered a walkout by 47 workers who were being shorted by a drywall contractor in Irvine. What happened is a lesson to workers at KZYX today. Where employees — like Rich Culbertson — work ten-hour days for five days a week and then go unpaid for weeks at a time. When that happened to workers at Lafayette based Champion Construction, they grew a backbone and called Commissioner Su’s office. And she Su-ed the bastards.
SU’S ACTION was filed under the newly enacted Section 2810.3 of the California State Labor Code. The ODA was jaw dropping. Champion got nailed with $249,879 in fines for the shit they pulled. That’s in addition to what they owed their workers. And that’s just the beginning. On July 27, 2017 two workers in a Bay Area residential care facility were paid $360,139 for wage theft violations over a two-year period. And once again, it was Commissioner Su who led the charge. The number to call if you’ve got a complaint — if you’re listening, Rich — is (844) 522-6734. That’s (844) 522-6734.
MY DEADLINE for this article was 5:00pm Pacific Time on August 18, 2017. Alberto from EDD had promised me a response by then, so I figured everything’d be hunky dory. But just in case, I decided to take a second look at the EDDsucks.com website to see how others had fared. I counted twenty-five pages of complaints so far this year from people who hadn’t done so hot. But none of them said anything about working for the AVA. Nor did they mention my secret weapon — Alberto. Thus I cooled my jets and waited.
WELL, THUMB-TWIDDLING just isn’t my bag. The EDDsucks.com website didn’t have any contact info on it. That certainly doesn’t bode well for the registrant. Who didn’t put his/her name on the domain registration at whois.com. But he/she did leave a phone number — (507) 836-5503 — in Panama. Being a telemarketer for some time, I know better. That area code happens to be for Panama City, Florida. Maybe it was an innocent mistake. So I skip traced the number through Manta to a business called Jump Starter Expert. Which just got started in 2015 down in the Sunshine State. The owner is listed as a fellow named Jack Freeman. Ahah. Then I tracked him down to voter ID 119235716 and got a bingo.
JACK LESLIE FREEMAN JR. was born on October 4, 1955. At least according to the Florida Secretary of State. He registered there on November 10, 2011. That matches the background on the EDDsucks.com website where the registrant reported ‘bad experiences with the CA Employment Development Department in 2009 — 2010.’ Freeman’s reported occupation — ‘I am an electrician’ — also fits neatly with the name of his business. Which is Jump Starter Expert. The only thing left to do was to drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and wait for him to respond. Tick-tick-tick.
ONE HOUR LATER — at 11:00am Pacific Time — I still hadn’t heard back. So I decided to give him a call. Mr. Freeman doesn’t make that easy. There’s no phone listed on his website — but there is on the one at Manta. That’s (507) 836-5503. When I called that number the first time, I got a busy signal. The second time I got a message saying it was disconnected. That prompted me to run a second skip trace.
PAY DIRT doesn’t get any better than what I found on Jack Leslie Freeman, Junior. According to a complaint from Scam Buster, it’s Freeman’s phone number that’s behind ‘scam after scam.’ But Mr. Buster turned up another email address, so I copied my first email to the one at email@example.com. Crickets. Prompting me to get one last look at Mr. Freeman’s online reputation. According to nine unresolved complaints at scamguard.com, people have lost a grand total of $167,445 with Mr. Freeman since December 6, 2013. Which — pound for pound — is more than anybody’d ever lost with EDD.
SINCE WAGE THEFT is a newsworthy topic at KCRW, it should be at KZYX. Particularly if it concerns KZYX. No journalist worth his/her salt would miss an opportunity to go straight to the horse’s mouth on a story like this. The news director there — at least according to the KZYX website — is Sheri Quinn. She’s identified in her bio as an award winning journalist there. So emailing her a link to my article-in-progress for comment was the least I could do. That little gem went out on 8/18/17 at 12:30pm Pacific Time.
QUINN HAS A DOG in the fight too. Under Mr. Coate, two full-time news positions were replaced with independent contractors. One of them — according to a declaration by Coate to the FCC — was Ms. Quinn. That leaves her with a difficult choice. To be servile with Rich Culbertson — or to stand up for her career. Time will tell. But by 3:45pm, I still hadn’t heard back from her. Meaning that she was thinking it over — or that somebody else had intercepted my email.
AT 3:58PM, Alberto’s email response finally hit my inbox. ‘The EDD is committed to the promotion of fair business competition and the issue of worker misclassification is taken very seriously,’ he told me. ‘Worker misclassification not only creates unfair competition, but can also contribute to the underground economy.’ Alberto also sent my a stack of press releases about employers who were prosecuted over wage fraud. One of whom was a fellow named Jeong Hwan Kim.
KIM’S PROSECUTION started with the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement — TRaCE — Task Force who went all the way back to 2010 on Mr. Kim’s retail clothing business. The EDD really hung him out to dry too. Pinning him with $7.6 million in fines. If Kim doesn’t pay up, he’ll get seventeen years in prison. One of the things he got nailed for was failing to pay workers compensation insurance. Something that certainly affects Sheri Quinn’s little news department.
QUINN’S CO-ANCHOR was Valerie Kim. She left the KZYX news team on maternity leave in late 2016. If KZYX had stayed on top of its payroll taxes, Ms. Kim would be eligible for benefits under EDD’s Paid Family Leave program. She stopped by the station in June of 2017 with her infant daughter Juno to participate in a KZYX pledge drive. But — unfortunately — walked away empty-handed. Alberto gave me a toll free number to call just in case she’s interested. It’s (800) 528-1783 — if you’re listening, Valerie — that’s (800) 528-1783.
SINCE ALBERTO was nice enough to send me a complaint form, I decided to fill it out. I also included a TinyURL link to this article for the convenience of any EDD investigator. Then I sent that rascal in to the email address he’d provided me with — UEO@edd.ca.gov — and waited for the results. As soon as something happens, I’ll let you know.
PS: The illustrated version of this article with snarky photo captions and hyperlinks is here: https://tinyurl.com/deathandtaxes2
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Sue Udry's Appearance On Heroes And Patriots. Visit The Youtube Link To Listen To The Program Which Originally Aired: Monday, September 11, 2017, A Day Of Remembrance, Kmec Radio.
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