DEBRIS CLEANUP PROGRAM REDWOOD VALLEY COMMUNITY MEETING
On October 30, the County’s Fire Recovery Team started the stabilization process for the Tomki Road area in Redwood Valley. CALFIRE Chief George Gonzales is assisting Mendocino County with this effort. This Wednesday, November 1, the County will provide an update on stabilization efforts in the Redwood Valley area at a community meeting.
The County, in coordination with state and federal partners, will hold a community meeting focused on area stabilization and the debris removal program from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1. The meeting will be held at the Eagle Peak Middle School Cafeteria located at 8601 West Road. in Redwood Valley.
The meeting will have subject matter experts from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), CALFIRE, Mendocino County Environmental Health Division and Mendocino County Planning and Building Services. Presentations will be targeted at responding to the most frequently asked questions around the debris removal process, the Right of Entry Agreement, erosion control and recovery process for properties affected by the fire.
When: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Eagle Peak Middle School Cafeteria, 8601 West Rd, Redwood Valley CA 95470
Mendocino County Fire Recovery Team
CALFIRE, CalOES, FEMA, USACE
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Mendocino County Environmental Health
Mendocino County Planning and Building
Live Online: This media briefing will be streamed live on the Mendocino County Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
Residents can submit question in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.
FIRE RESTRICTIONS LIFTED ON THE MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST
Willows, Calif., October 30, 2017 – Increased humidity and cooling temperatures have enabled Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson to lift fire restrictions across the Mendocino National Forest as of 6:00 am on October 31, 2017. This means that Forest visitors in possession of a valid California Campfire Permit may, once again, have open campfires, stoves, or barbeques outside of designated campgrounds.
The fire permit is free from any Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) office. The permit lists requirements for clearing the ground around campfires, how to completely extinguish a fire, and which tools must be kept at the campfire site at all times. You may also obtain and print a California Campfire Permit online at www.preventwildfireca.org
“The potential for wildland fires still exists. Forest visitors should always be extremely cautious with fire and under no circumstances leave a campfire unattended” said Curtis Coots, Forest Fire Management Officer.
Other public lands may have fire restrictions in place. Please check with the appropriate Forest Service office or local fire protection agencies for specific information in areas outside the Mendocino National Forest. To learn more about how you can help prevent wildfires, visit
For more information on the Mendocino National Forest, go to: www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino/
The total of insured losses from Sonoma County alone has totaled $2.8 billion so far, surpassing the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Everyone's on my case about foxes. ‘Hey! Little Dog. They're coming in at night and eating Skrag's food. Do your job.’ Like I care if Skrag eats? And you try tangling with the gd things. They're vicious! Also, there's liability issues here. I'm paid to bark not fight wildlife’.”
MENDO FIRE FUND UPDATE
CalFire announced on Thursday, October 26 that the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire, which includes the Redwood Complex Fire in Mendocino County and the Sulphur Fire in Lake County, is 100% contained. The Redwood Complex Fire burned 36,523 acres, destroyed more than 500 structures, many of them homes, and claimed the lives of at least nine people.
Within hours of the fires breaking out, North Coast Opportunities, Inc. (NCO) partnered with the Community Foundation of Mendocino County to raise and distribute funds. This is the third year that NCO has stepped up to provide immediate financial relief for fire survivors, and it is using the same process to collect, review, and approve applications that it developed in response to the 2015 Valley Fire and fine-tuned during the 2016 Clayton Fire, both in Lake County. The deadline to apply to the fire relief fund is Thursday, November 30.
As the ash settles and people begin to take stock of their lives, many survivors are facing financial hardship as they start the long process of replacing what was lost. The fire relief fund will help with those immediate needs, as well as long-term needs that are only starting to take focus.
The Community Foundation of Mendocino County created a Disaster Fund in 2014 with a lead gift of $20,000 from the Board of Directors to be able to hit the ground running in times of crisis. More than $700,000 has been raised so far. Business and private sponsorship is covering administrative fees, enabling 100% of the funds raised to go to those affected by the fires.
Money continues to be raised through a variety of fundraisers, including Mendocino Strong Together on Saturday, November 4 at 4 pm at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and the event will include dinner, live music, and a live and silent auction.
Starting this week, fire survivors with total loss will be sent a check for $1,000 from the Disaster Fund for Mendocino County.
Redwood Credit Union Community Foundation (RCUCF) is also directing a sizable amount of money toward the Fire Relief Fund, and NCO will send fire survivors with total loss an additional $1,000 check using RCUCF funds, for a total of $2,000.
After all the applications submitted by people with total loss are processed, applicants with partial loss and evacuation costs will be considered.
Funds will also be used toward long-term relief. In Lake County, for example, NCO has partnered with other organizations to provide rental assistance and gap financing for those recovering from the 2015 and 2016 fires. Says NCO Executive Director Patty Bruder, ““NCO will continue to do what we can to help our communities recover and rebuild.”
Please call NCO’s Fire Information line at (707) 467-3236 for more information.
TOM ALLMAN ON MEASURE B
As of 10/30/17, 9,200 ballots have arrived at the County Elections Office out of 39,500 Registered Voters. Please call your family and friends and remind them that Election Day is NOVEMBER 7, 2017.
Things to remember:
1) The Elections Office has installed a beautiful new Elections collection box in front of the County Admin Center at 501 Low Gap Road. You can drop off your ballot without even getting out of your car
2) If your ballot is POSTMARKED by 11/7/17, and is received within 3 days of elections day, it will be counted!
3) You can drop off your ballot on Elections day at any regular polling location.
Measure B is a critical and necessary measure for our county.
Thank you very much.
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman
SECOND CHANCE TO PROVE ‘MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS’
by Jim Shields
For the second time in a year, the voters are being asked to approve a half-cent sales tax to build and staff a mental health facility in Mendocino.
Last November, the attempt to pass a similar measure failed by a handful of votes to gain the required two-thirds threshold of approval. Have no doubt about it, the most important measure on the Nov. 7th local ballot is Measure B, the “Mendocino County Mental Health Treatment Act.”
Its history involves broken politics, failed public policy, and the current dismal state of affairs with county mental health services.
I’ve been writing and advocating about improving and reforming mental health policy in this county for years, long before the current crop of bureaucrats who are responsible for continuing and worsening this mess arrived on the scene.
For two decades, county elected officials and bureaucrats responsible for providing mental health services have been missing in action and derelict in their duty.
The Supes and the Mental Health bureaucrats have mangled, bungled, and screwed up mental health services. Starting 17 years ago when the Supes closed the Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF or “Puff” Unit), a locked facility for the critical care of folks in severe mental health crisis, and continuing to this day when all adult mental health care is farmed out to private sector providers, mental health care is basically non-existent as a local service. Sheriff’s deputies and city cops have long been the first responders to the mentally ill who are in crisis and present a threat to their safety or that of the public, even though state law mandates that mental health professionals are charged with that responsibility.
How did we get into this mess? Keep in mind, you are being asked to rectify long after the fact a prodigious blunder made by elected officials 17 years ago. It’s important that folks understand how we got from there to where we are now.
Here are some excerpts from columns I wrote beck in January of 2001 when it all came to a head.
“Psychiatric Unit Still Closed — Since we’re on the subject of how government treats humans, the situation with the County’s Psychiatric Health Facility is truly criminal. The PHF (pronounced “puff”) unit has been shut down since last December. The PHF unit deals with the very, very mentally ill, some of whom are violent and/or criminal offenders. These folks require 24-hour attention in the special facility. The County Jail is neither equipped nor does it have the qualified staff to care for people who are charged with crimes but are also mentally ill. Likewise, harmless but mentally ill folks who wander the streets getting into mischief don’t belong in jail. They need care and treatment. But when the county’s Mental Health Department closes the only facility that offers specialized treatment, there are no good alternatives.”
“According to MH Director Kristy Kelley, her PHF staff is burned out and can’t handle the stress of their jobs. These are handsomely-paid professionals. One has to presume they went into their chosen profession with their eyes wide open. If they no longer can perform their jobs, they need to get off the County’s payroll and find something else to do. At Tuesday’s BOS meeting, Kelley spoke as if the PHF unit would not be reopening anytime soon, if at all. She even talked about turning the PHF unit space over to another department. CAO Jim Anderson, to his credit, told the Supes it was “premature” to be exploring such a drastic option. There are serious questions about Kelley’s performance as head of one of the County’s most critical services. Her five bosses on the Board of Supervisors need to take decisive action — it’s been allowed to fester far too long. Cops have a hard enough time dealing with the run-of-the-mill, garden-variety types of criminals and assorted low-lifes who operate in Mendoland. Mentally ill folks need to be cared for by professionals. When there’s no place to put them, the cops are forced to deal with them. This requires deputies to hold them pending finding a suitable, oftentimes out-of-county mental facility to house them. This breakdown in mental health services is both a burden on law enforcement and an extra expense to taxpayers. It’s also unfair to people who aren’t lawbreakers but just sick mentally. Bringing law enforcement into the equation has the effect of criminalizing something which ain’t criminal. The cops don’t like it any better than we do, but right now they have little choice.”
That’s what I wrote back then and it’s still true today. Many times individuals with mental health issues also have serious substance abuse problems. These individuals are known as “dual diagnosed” because they suffer from both chemical abuse and mental health problems. Many dual diagnosed individuals have frequent contact with law enforcement, because they often act out in public and end up committing low-level crimes, mostly misdemeanors like public intoxication or walking around drugged out. They frequently end up getting in fights, committing various kinds of mischief, and vandalizing property.
The problem has reached crisis levels with the Sheriff’s Office.
The situation has deteriorated to the point that the Sheriff has had to propose two special ballot measures to solve a problem that the rest of public officials in this county have run away from for years.
The Sheriff’s one-half cent sales tax proposal, if approved by the voters will lead to the restoration of critical mental health services in Mendocino County. It should be pointed out the half-cent tax sunsets after five years, but will be followed by a one-eighth cent sales tax that remains in effect until repealed by voters.
The idea is to restore mental services in the county and build new mental health facilities for people who desperately need treatment where they live, not in some remote out-of-county location. One possible idea would be to acquire the recently closed Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, and convert it to a mental health facility.
It’s way past time to get this done. You may think these mental health issues don’t affect you, but you are dead wrong. At some point, a loved one, a family member, a friend, or a fellow worker will need mental health assistance.
Let’s make sure that when they need help, they can receive it. That’s what Measure B is aimed at.
Please vote yes on B.
Let’s really prove that “Mental Health Matters.”
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
ROUNDING UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS
On 10-25-2017 at approximately 6:30 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to assist Round Valley Tribal Police officers in the area of Henderson Lane near Foothill Boulevard in Covelo. MCSO dispatch learned that Round Valley Tribal Police officers had stopped a vehicle in the area and detained the driver, identified as Terry Ellison, 26, of Covelo. Dispatch confirmed that Ellison had two felony no-bail warrants issued for his arrest for 1203.2 PC (Probation Revoked). Deputies responded and took custody of Ellison for the two felony warrants without incident. Ellison was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a no-bail status due to his felony warrants.
HERE it is 5 o'clock in Boonville and no sign all day, anywhere, of Halloween. Usually a few adults are togged out in costumes, but not a one spotted today. No kids in Trump or any other kind of masks, either. A little early for the roving bands of little beggars, but we're ready for them, kind of, with a bag of mini-Hersheys. One Halloween, as an experiment, I asked the little ones if they wanted candy or cash. None of them knew what “cash” meant. When I said money, a few said they preferred a dollar bill, the rest still said they preferred candy. At about three bucks I cancelled the experiment. It was getting expensive as older, savvier urchins appeared.
THE CREEPIEST HALLOWEEN DISPLAYS WE SAW THIS YEAR
ALSO at 5 o'clock, the only guy booked into the County Jail so far was Captain Fathom. Last time I saw the Captain, he said Sheriff Allman had given him a "free pass" from arrest, a permanent Get Out of Jail Free card. Looks like Allman revoked it. Seriously, though, "failure to appear"? Of course he isn't going to appear. At this point the poor guy probably doesn't remember his birthday let alone a court date.
THERE WERE 17 of us watching the Supervisors Tuesday morning, some of whom will surely agree that Tammy Moss Chandler and Nash Gonzales are doing a truly excellent job expediting the County's end of the massive reconstruction now beginning after the fires that devastated parts of Redwood and Potter valleys. They answered all questions this morning crisply to the point, referring those they didn't know the answers to to somebody who did. Theirs is not a simple task in the face of angry, frustrated often misinformed fire victims, but they got an all-purpose help center going at the Raley's shopping center on North State, Ukiah, and have almost seamlessly coordinated local help with the Corps of Engineers and FEMA. In fact the FEMA rep was present this morning, a certain Mr. Ball, to point out that FEMA has leased a number of hotel and motel rooms for displaced people with no other place to go. Our overall impression is that FEMA is getting better at the logistics of catastrophe, probably because there's been an accelerating number of them over the past decade.
A WOMAN WRITES:
Your harangue about LSD inspiring more of a rape culture, is hogwash! As a female, I can tell you the most common drug in a rapist's system is booze. Take another run thru Mad Men. Date Rape and martinis. … I don't like acid, personally, but there is no connection. I also blame the internet, providing porn of all kinds to every perv. Not to mention the notion of male entitlement. Even small local liquor stores have stacks of porn mags for sale. The hippy culture empowered females to fight back… Maybe you never used the ladies loo at our local bars, where hippy women would list sexual offenders on the wall. Sometimes a thrashing was necessary.
I SAID I thought the neo-prevalence of the "rape culture" was a combination of factors, including, as you say, internet pervery. I also said, in so many tedious statements of historical social fact that may occur solely to me, that when I was a kid, circa the late Ice Age, ordinary men did not disrespect women, let alone mistreat them. I thought Mad Men seemed like an accurate picture of office life in the fifties, but I don't remember depictions of Harvey Weinstein-like behavior in that period piece. It showed lots of leering advances, but not unwanted touching. Like every other male child of my formative years we were taught to honor and defend the dignity of women. Our fathers tipped their hats to women, opened doors for them, gave up their seats on the bus for women, threw down their London Fog raincoats over mud puddles for women. Teenage girls did not wear see-through tights and mogambo blouses to school. There were social standards. Lots of now-common public behavior practiced, say, in 1955, would have gotten the practitioner locked up. I'm not saying it was better then, but I am saying that when the great beast of human sexuality is unleashed, as it has been, expect criminal sexual behavior — lots of it.
ACID, at least in the experience of this 30-tripper, was not an aphrodisiac. Hippie males were all sexual predators because it was part of the great liberation from stuffy convention, right? Women paid the price, and seemed to assume being referred to as interchangeable "chicks" and "old ladies" was the natural price paid for the privilege of hanging out with unhygienic mumbling idiots. To me, the entire hippie interlude was a front-to-back bummer, and thank the goddess hippie kids had the good sense to do a 180 from the macrame-heads who raised them, er, check that: the macrame-heads who occasionally remembered to feed them until they got old enough to escape.
A UKIAH WOMAN WRITES:
I don't remember you mentioning LSD in the original writing. But yes, I agree with you. When I was young, the outward display of humans toward humans was more respectful. I dont know if there was actually respect or just the societal appearances. But hey, a little civility is a good thing, And something I find completely lacking today. But what was going on behind closed doors, especially violence towards women (and kids) was in the closet, so who knows.
I blame TV and hollywood and the drivel they produce for helping to make people stupid. Very stupid and incapable of reasoning. And expecting everything to turn out ok without expending energy. I blame cars for making people lazy and detached. And smartphones for the total decline of hoooomans.
The porn thing is out of control. Another reason why The Deuce is interesting to me...as it explores the moment when pornography became mass produced. I'm astounded at how normalized porn has become. What happened to childhood. Remember when finding a men's mag was a huge deal? Now anyone can get their jollies off online, while being inundated with the neurotic sexual deviation of your choice....from beastiality to I dont want to think about it.
I feel sure that viewing killings, shootings, and violence to women in movies and easy to find porn has changed our brains, in a bad way. I feel pretty much hopeless for humanity. And that's on one of my good days.
I'll tell you what IS an aphrodisiac, and that's pot. The Miss Grundys were quite right about that. I'd recommend it for women having trouble finding an orgasm.
There's genuine respect for women, and then there's the "sacredness" cited by General Kelly in his rambling speech following the La David Johnson fiasco. The two are light-years apart. The former would ideally have plenty of latitude and would include, along with respect for the word "no," the notion of women being every bit as horny as men and with the same appetites, and free to pursue, without stigma, satisfaction like men, but with the same caveat: as long as nobody gets hurt. The latter, from Kelly's lips, woman as "sacred," is synonymous with woman "imprisoned," and "raped" in ways most of us have never dreamt of. Here's a word some of you probably know and a lot of you probably don't. Google it, along with the word "Ireland," and you'll see what "sacred" means in the misty Kelly veil of Irish Catholic nostalgia: "symphysiotomy." Don't forget to add "Ireland."
I believe that Mike Pence, American Talibangelist, was able to get down with Trump's pussy-grabbing boasts because he, Pence, approves of it. He's one of these Kelly types who'll say, with a tear in his eye, that women are "sacred," yet he wants to make abortion illegal again. When abortion is illegal, women descend to the underground, where dirty, squalid, sexualized woman-specific vigilante punishment is inflicted on them, the ultimate "pussy-grabbing." Pence knows this. He's willing--nay, eager!--to bring all that back. That's a good illustration of what "sacred" means to guys (and, alas, gals) like Kelly and Pence.
Humans are clinically insane when it comes to sex. We don't have sex; sex has us. There's a price to pay when it's repressed, and a price to pay when it's turned loose. Nature doesn't care, though; it just wants sperm and egg to meet as often as possible, whenever and wherever possible.
THE MANAFORT INDICTMENT: A big bleeping ho, a bigger bleeping hum. You can't throw a rock in DC without hitting a bagman, and besides the whole charade is aimed at Orange Man, who even the FBI, a national political police force since its founding by a guy who wore dresses at night, may seem like pillars of rectitude to the uninformed but, like, since when? Orange Man being the target, why not go straight for him? And Hillary, too, while we're indicting crooks?
RECOMMENDED READING: "Empire of Pain" by Patrick Radden Keefe in the current (October 30) New Yorker, the definitive explication of the OxyContin epidemic, and especially interesting as it reveals the pharmaceutical drug pushers all the way up to the billionaire Sackler family, a family of pious frauds now pushing the drug in unsuspecting countries like Brazil and India.
THERE'S BEEN at least one arrest of a Ukiah doctor for opioid prescription fraud, but since the feds cracked down on prescription fraud, doctors are very careful about who gets the Oxys — them and their friends, probably.
MARK SCARAMELLA on his oxy experience: " When my brother was dying of prostate cancer in 2013 the drug store clerk required that I provide a handwritten prescription form from Hugh’s doctor and a formal notarized authorization from Hugh before I could pick up his pain pills. When he was in the nursing facility in Ukiah, the staff refused to give him any more pain pills than the doctor authorized, even though the doctor’s authorization was made when he was in much less pain before the cancer spread. It took to days of painful rigamarole to get the doctor to get the word to the nursing staff in the nursing facility to give my brother the number and strength of pain pills that he needed. Once this was set up so that the nurses could recommend dosage to the prescribing doctor, however, it became easier to increase the dosage as his condition worsened in the weeks before he died. When he got to the point that he couldn’t swallow any more, the nurses on their own recommended that he be switched to fentanyl patches and that was continued until his death. Hugh became increasingly delusional from the effects of the stronger and stronger drugs, but he didn’t appear to be in pain.”
MSP received the following message & phto from a viewer Tuesday afternoon: “The Fort Bragg Chevron is getting a jump on the new taxes that are due to take effect Wednesday, November 1st. Diesel went from $3.09 to $3.46 @ 2:00 pm this afternoon (Wednesday). This is price gouging at its best. The contact number for this Chevron is ‘Peter’ , Redwood Oil Company, 584-7000 EXT 226.” Call him & ask why they decided to “put it to the motoring public” 12 hours before the tax took effect. And it was supposed to be a 20-cent increase in diesel fuel - not 37-cents!
BOONVILLE, THE MUSICAL!
Who would have imagined it?
It is understandable that everyone wants to rebuild as fast as possible. However, we can build better structures that are more fire resistant.
The first place to look would be incombustible roofing, such as clay tiles, concrete shingles or slate. One-hour construction in exterior walls should be mandatory. Right now, dwellings in the area are zero-hour construction. Another area to be investigated would be the use of concrete block, which is incombustible, for exterior walls. Plywood and wood studs are available fire-treated to render wall assemblies fire rated.
Surely, PG&E should be held accountable if it is determined to be at fault for the fire. And the decisions in San Diego County to require all power poles to be concrete or steel should be mandatory. Lines also can be insulated. These are not super-expensive.
We can build better, but will we make the decisions to do so?
FLOODGATE FARM is continuing its land's recovery from the July Grade Fire; the October one affected the farm's land less as it had already been burned (but was of more concern to the farm as so many friends and neighbors were badly affected). As others need help, Floodgate Farm encourages them to schedule work parties so we can build community by sharing each others recoveries.
The farm is at 12400 Bakers Creek Rd., Redwood Valley. Volunteers may come anytime between 8 and 5 on Thursday November 2nd and/or between 9 and 4 on Saturday, November 11th. Projects are preparing for planting a pollinator hedgerow and doing some planting, also seeding and mulching for erosion control, and placing water bars in a vulnerable drainage channel to capture sediment. The farm will feed participants and teach them about what works and doesn't work in permaculture when fire strikes. Please call 707-272-1688 for directions.
Bill and Jaye
Fire Recovery Work Parties At Floodgate Farm, Thursday November 2nd, 8-5, And Sat. November 11th From 9-4.
For anyone who missed our Oct. 27 Sing Along Concert, we're doing it again Friday, November 10th from 7-10 PM at the Ukiah United Methodist Church, 270 North Pine Street, Ukiah.
Featuring George Husaruk on flute, Yanahay Hooper on bass, Bill Taylor on piano, Jaye, Brenna, Louisa & Friends on vocals.
We're playing music by Laura Nyro, Bill Taylor and more! All donations go to the Community Foundation of Mendocino County for Fire Relief.
Come Sing and Dance your heart out for a worthy cause! Refreshments served. Some items for sale - all proceeds go to fire relief. For information call Bill at 272-1688 or Jaye at 310-970-4517.
Please call if you have items to donate for sale to benefit needy fire survivors.
Friday, November 10th, 2017
Ukiah United Methodist Church
270 N. Pine Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
Suggested Donation $15.
A Fundraiser For Fire Victims, All Proceeds Go Directly To Community Foundation of Mendocino County
Contact Bill or Jaye (707) 272-1688llits
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 31, 2017
FERAS ASFOUR, Talmage. Pot cultivation of more than six plants, pot possession for sale, suspended license, probation revocation.
CARLOS BARAJAS JR., Calpella. DUI.
ADAM CURRY, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats, concealed weapon in vehicle.
ANTHONY 'TONE DOGG' GONZALES, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon resulting in death or great bodily injury, criminal threats.
ALAN GRAHAM, Albion. Failure to appear.
BERNARD O’CONNOR JR., San Francisco/Willits. Trespassing.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Kevin Spacey is gay, always has been. He got drunk and propositioned a teenage actor. Teenage actor is now a 40 something. Kevin claims he doesn’t recall the incident. He apologizes to said actor. And admits the reason he was attracted to said actor in first place is that he is gay. Not sure why his admission he is gay, which is no big surprise, is so insulting to gay community. It’s not like gay men aren’t above such behavior as any other man. Or women for that matter. He should be given credit for owning up to it regardless that he doesn’t remember a specific night. I believe him when he says he doesn’t remember. And the anti-gay peeps are always gonna point to any gay man and say he’s a pedophile. That’s their sorry lot. Whoever you are, if you screwed up, own it and make amends. Final summation: Kevin Spacey still has my vote for president.
PICASSO-LAUTREC IN THE LIGHT OF AGUARDIENTE
by Manuel Vicent
Translated by Louis S. Bedrock
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. "In a Private Dining Room (At the Rat Mort)", c. 1899. The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London & Pablo Picasso. "The Wait (Margot)", Paris, spring 1901. Museu Picasso, Barcelona
* * *
I don’t know if there are laboratory tests capable of discovering the emotional reactions produced by works of art. If there were, and if sensors connected to a device programmed to detect aesthetic emotions were placed upon the temple and chest of a very refined aesthete, and if he were then shown a painting of Picasso, it wouldn’t be strange if in some very sensitive point in the brain of this spectator, a negative discharge were produced with an initial reaction of aversion. The work of Picasso seldom produces a pleasant sensation: it does not awaken a desire in the spectator to become one of his figures.
The opposite is true of Matisse, an appealing, cheerful painter. Who would not like to join the ring of naked bodies that dance to the music of a shepherd’s flute? Or live in one of his warm bedrooms with omelette colored light in which the sea can be seen between the curtains? Or accompany him on a voyage to the deep South of palm trees and houris reclining on sofas? Or partake in the joy of living among country girls who stretch out upon the grass?
Picasso is a painter who is admired but not loved. In a way, he is a diabolical genius, a creator of forms; someone who made use of the inspiration of other artists to climb to the summit of art only to realize its destruction.
—Hide your women —warned a friend before the arrival of the seductive Petronius at Roman parties.
Picasso’s colleagues said the same thing about him when he visited them in their studios. Matisse, Braque, and Juan Gris used to hide their latest work because they knew Picasso would appropriate their secrets.
Look what happened to Juan Gris in the Bateau-Lavoir of Montmartre, an artist sustained only by soup made from olive pits, who showed absolute seriousness and rigor in his work. Picasso needed merely a sidelong glance over his shoulder at the canvas that his friend was working on with a set square to assimilate, like a magician, its content and convert it effortlessly into one of his own works filled with liberty, humor, and brazen assuredness.
Pablo Picasso was already familiar with the painting of Toulouse-Latrec when in 1924, after two preliminary trips, he moved to Paris for good, decked out like a young Bohemian with pipe and broad-brimmed hat. In Barcelona, Picasso had been a regular at the tavern of Els Quatre Gats where Ramón Casas and Isidro Nonell had spoken to him about Toulouse- Lautrec and had praised the work of this deformed aristocrat who was born in Albi in 1864; who had a large head; who was only a meter and a half tall because of atrophied legs resulting from twice falling off a horse; and whose figure had become an emblematic icon of that world of cafes, singers, cabarets, brothels, dance halls, circuses, and theaters in Montmartre.
Lautrec followed the scatological advice of Ingres:
—Draw a good profile and then shit inside it.
Beneath the cloying light of the slums that exhaled the vapor of aguardiente, Lautrec had taken live images from the nervous energy of those creatures whom history had thrown upon the social dung heap—as it had done with Lautrec himself in all his entertaining perversion. These creatures had embraced the ultimate wicked pleasures.
Pablo Picasso, from Montmartre, swooped down upon those aesthetics and dove right into the same gallery of characters. By then, Lautrec had died at the age of 37.
At this point, if one visits the exhibit at the Thyssen Museum, where the paintings of Picasso’s Blue Period are shown superimposed upon the works of Lautrec, one might ask which of these formidable artists is the true creator; to whom belongs the intellectual property of these desperate creatures; in which canvases is there more technique, more truth, and more compassion. It’s a tough question to answer.
In Lautrec, there is vice and grief: he himself was one of those cursed, inebriated figures, the death’s head of a young gentleman who was part of the nocturnal landscape.
Picasso was merely an exceptionally gifted artist—a professional, who documented the suffering of others.
In 1906 there was a retrospective exhibition of Cezànne in Paris. In the exhibit Picasso discovered that Cezànne, by flattening the figures with a spatula, had distorted the subject matter. Cubism had begun and Picasso, unbound, cheerful, and demonic, carried this destruction to its ultimate consequences starting with the faces of his lovers.
It’s not illicit to imagine that Picasso experienced an immense creative pleasure in these moments dismembering women, reinventing their bodies, and distorting their expressions in order to make them completely his creation; fabricating them from the beginning according to his own desire.
—When a woman’s body doesn’t fit into the painting, one cuts off her legs and puts her ears on the side —Picasso would say.
The sensors on the temples and on the heart of a refined aesthete will be able to detect this truth: Picasso will always be a counter-irritant.
MOTHER EARTH HAS BEEN ABUSED, the powers have been abused, this cannot go on forever. No theory can alter that simple fact. Mother Earth will retaliate and the abusers will be eliminated. Things come full circle, back to where they started. That's revolution.
— Russell Means
KNOCK ON WOOD. HARD!
'The Knock On Assemblyman Wood’
As President Trump and Congressional Republicans do everything in their power to gut the Obamacare health insurance law that taxes the rich to subsidize health insurance for the poor, there has been a renewed push by the California legislature to establish a Medicare-for-All health insurance systems that would cover all the state’s residents. At the end of May the California State Senate passed a Medicare-for-All bill (SB 562) with our own North Coast State Senator, Mike McGuire, as a co-author. SB 562 was then forwarded to the State Assembly where it was promptly pulled from consideration by Assembly Speaker, Anthony Rendon. In announcing his decision to stuff SB 562 back in the closet, Rendon wrote:
“…SB 562 was sent to the Assembly woefully incomplete— there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation.… In light of this, I have decided SB 562 will remain in the Assembly Rules Committee until further notice.”
Rendon’s argument for blocking SB 562 is rather disingenuous. Normal Assembly procedure would be for the speaker to send this bill to the Assembly’s Health and Budget Committees to debate its pros and cons and hash out the very issues Rendon claims to be so concerned about.
So if crafting SB 562 into a ”genuine piece of legislation” isn’t the real reason why Rendon pulled the plug on hearings in the appropriate Assembly Committees, then what is? The answer can be found in his campaign finance statements. According to the public interest group Vote Smart that follows the money, the insurance industry was the #4 campaign contributor to Rendon over the last election cycle at $73,600, and the pharmaceuticals & health products industry was #5 at $71,600.00. Medicare-for-All would put the private for-profit health insurance corporations out of business, and it is Rendon’s job to make sure that it gets strangled in the crib.
In lieu of going through the normal Assembly committees, Rendon appointed a special committee with the deliberately misleading name, “Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage” that will hold its own hearings on health insurance reform. Rendon then appointed our own North Coast Assemblyman and dentist, Jim Wood, to co-chair this kangaroo committee. In a letter to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat Wood wrote about his work on the Select Committee:
“We all know the dangers of empty promises -- remember when President Barack Obama said you could keep your doctor? We know that was his intent, but it just didn’t end up that way. So when supporters of this bill [SB 562] say it will eliminate premiums, deductibles and co-pays and guarantee that everyone receives all medically necessary care, including hospitalization, dental, vision, mental health and long-term care, I am skeptical and concerned. More than 60 countries worldwide have universal health care, and while no two are identical, none offer unlimited benefits.”
Wood is even more disingenuous than Rendon. The fact is, industrialized countries around the world that have universal health insurance systems are able to cover everyone with no deductibles or co-pays and provide the essential health services of hospitalization, dental, vision, mental health and long-term care at half the cost per person than in the US with our rip-off for-profit health insurance system. Countries that have universal health insurance also have the added benefit of healthier populations than in the US. Wood insinuates that SB 562’s proponents are promising all these benefits for free by eliminating insurance premiums, neglecting to mention that insurance premiums will be replaced with a payroll tax to fund the system, at a lower cost per person.
So why did Rendon really appoint Jim Wood as co-chair of this bogus Select Committee? As with Rendon, the answer lies in Wood’s campaign finance statements. The insurance industry was the #4 campaign contributor to Wood over the last election cycle at $70,820, and the pharmaceutical industry was #5 at $59,200. Wood is Rendon’s plant on the Committee to make sure that private for-profit health insurance corporations maintain their stranglehold over the health insurance industry in California.
I urge everyone on the North Coast who lives in Jim Wood’s Assembly District to demand that he cut his financial ties to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and that he tell Assembly Speaker Rendon to send SB 562 back to the Assembly Health Committee where it belongs. As a voter, make it clear to Wood, who Chairs the Health Committee, that you will accept nothing less than true Medicare-for-All!
Jon Spitz, Laytonville
FACEBOOK IN MYANMAR
From today's New York Times:
…This past week, my colleagues at The Times reported on the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority in Myanmar that has been subjected to brutal violence and mass displacement. Violence against the Rohingya has been fueled, in part, by misinformation and anti-Rohingya propaganda spread on Facebook, which is used as a primary news source by many people in the country. Doctored photos and unfounded rumors have gone viral on Facebook, including many shared by official government and military accounts...
Information wars in emerging markets may not represent as big a threat to Facebook’s business as angry lawmakers in Washington. But people are dying, and communities are tearing themselves apart with the tools Facebook has built. That should qualify as an even greater emergency in Menlo Park.
ASSEMBLAGES & ASSEMBLAGE SHRINES
by Nancy MacLeod, Philo.
Mosswood Cafe, Boonville, November 1 through 30, 2017
SILENCED BY THE PC POLICE: Majority of Americans think discussion has been destroyed by political correctness and 58 per cent are too afraid to share their political views, especially Republicans
by Ashley Collman
The usual political arguments at Thanksgiving dinner may be silenced this year thanks to America's polarizing political climate.
A new survey by the Cato Institute shows that most Americans no longer feel comfortable talking about their political beliefs.
According to the survey, 71 per cent of Americans 'believe that political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have.'
The Cato Institute recently published the 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey. It found that liberals are more likely than conservatives to speak out about their beliefs (above)
The survey also shows that liberals are more likely than conservatives to think certain types of speech is offensive
Most Americans were in agreement that the government has no place preventing hate speech, but most also found hate speech morally unacceptable
Clinton supporters found it harder to be friends with Trump supporters than vice versa, the survey shows
Meanwhile, 58 per cent of Americans believe the 'political climate prevents them from sharing their political beliefs'.
The survey found that Democrats are more open with their political views than Republicans.
A slim majority, 53 per cent, said they do not feel the need to self-censor. The majority of Republicans and Independents on the other hand (73 per cent and 58 per cent respectively) said 'they keep some of their political beliefs to themselves'.
Most Americans agree that colleges need to teach students different viewpoints, even if they are offensive
Another topic that has become an issue lately is college students getting in trouble for offensive Halloween costumes. Most of the people surveyed thought such issues should be solved without the involvement of college administrators
Both Democratic and Republican students on college campuses believe that most of their professors are liberal. But the percentage of Democratic students with that idea is much lower
Lately college campuses have been the scene of violent protests over planned talks from controversial figures like alt right leader Richard Spencer. Most Democrats polled said that they did not think such figures should be allowed to speak on campuses
Most Democrats thought that administrators should talk to students who try and shut down campus speakers
Most African Americans found the comment 'You are a credit to your race' to be a microagression
Cato's 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey posed their questions to 2,300 adults across the country.
While the survey found that Americans were less willing to talk out their issues, most Americans were in agreement that these issues had a place in the classroom.
Sixty-five per cent of Americans said it was important for colleges to expose students to different viewpoints, even if those viewpoints are offensive.
More than half of Americans believe that MSNBC and Fox News have a political bias. The show they found most balanced was their local TV news station or CBS
A whopping 63 per cent of Republicans believe journalists are an enemy of the American people. That's compared to just 11 per cent of Democrats
Fifty-eight per cent of Democrats believe a business executive should be fired if they are racist towards African Americans, compared to just 37 per cent of Republicans
Most Americans think that bakers who refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples should be punished
While most Americans thought that bakers should not be forced to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, a small majority thought that they should at least be required to serve LGBT couples in other circumstances not involved in weddings
According to the survey, liberals are also more likely than conservatives to say certain types of speech is offensive. Examples include people who say homosexuality is a sin and people who say Islam is taking over Europe.
It also found that 61 per cent of Hillary Clinton voters found it 'hard' to be friends with Trump voters. The majority of Trump supporters (64 per cent ) however, said that it wasn't hard to be friends with people who voted for Clinton.
People on social media have already started to react to the survey. This man found it 'depressing' that Republicans distrust the media
A conservative man on social media said Republicans shouldn't feel ashamed to speak their mind because 'we're the majority'
The survey caused many a social media fight between Democrats and Republicans online