- Keegan Dead
- Hamburg Announcement
- Boonville Station
- Wanna See
- No Knees
- LRAD Unused
- Little Dog
- Farmers Market
- Stabbing Witness
- Dewitt Detained
- Debris Removal
- Caltrans Albion
- Yesterday's Catch
- Mall Hound
- Unfolding Unforeseen
- Social Norms
- Climate Report
- Firefighter Suicides
- Unintentional Satire
- Cancer Thoughts
- Saudi Unrest
- Trump Travelbag
- Toxic Drainage
DR. PETER KEEGAN has died from the cancer he suffered from over the past year. A Mendocino County criminal grand jury had indicted Keegan for the murder of his wife of 32 years, Susan. Dr. Keegan had pled not guilty to the charges.
MRS. KEEGAN was found dead in the couple's South Ukiah home on November 10, 2010. A long-time inland general practitioner whose patients were a virtual Who's Who of liberal Ukiah, the doctor said his wife, and the mother of the couple's two sons, had fallen in the bathroom adjoining her bedroom and struck her head with sufficient force to kill her. Keegan told police his wife had been under the combined influence of alcohol and prescription drugs when she died.
FAMILY and friends of Mrs. Keegan were immediately suspicious. DA David Eyster, elected soon after Mrs. Keegan's improbable death — she was not a heavy drinker or drug user — immediately began a thorough re-investigation of the case. The results of that investigation were presented to a specially convened grand jury in early August of this year by prosecutor Tim Stoen. The grand jury agreed that Dr. Keegan should be indicted for murder.
SOMETHING of a social and professional pariah since the death of his popular wife, Keegan, prior to his illness, had functioned as a part-time doctor with the Indian Health Clinic in Covelo.
SELECTING THE AREA most distant from his many critics, and the paper least critical of his poor performance as Supervisor, Supervisor Dan Hamburg announced that he was “retiring” from politics at the end of 2018. (Over 13 months to go, for those of you counting.)
HAMBURG'S announcement was front page news in last week’s Independent Coast Observer, Gualala. The paper reported that the announcement was made at the Gualala Municipal Advisory Committee (GMAC) meeting the week before. Hamburg told the ICO that the GMAC is “a very comfortable place for me,” adding that he has “worked” on “enough issues in Gualala that it seemed like a good place to make the announcement,” not specifying what those “issues” were or what his “work” was.
A DEMOCRAT when he isn't a Green, Hamburg was first elected Fifth District Supervisor in 2010, following in the undistinguished footsteps of J.David Colfax (Boonville) whose sole accomplishment in his twelve years was getting a raise (and pension increase) for himself. Colfax held exactly two community meetings in Anderson Valley over his twelve languid years in office, and at those two meetings he said nothing could be done about anything.
HAMBURG hasn’t even held one community meeting in Anderson Valley, although he does drop by now and then at meetings hosted by others, offering nothing, saying very little — except for the time he loudly berated locals who complained about the traffic interruptions and negative message of the filming of the cretinous movie, “Need For Speed.”
VEERING OFF into pure delusion, Hamburg also told the ICO that, “One of my most important attributes [sic] is that I defend and protect the environment. I’ve taken very strong positions on the environment.” No particulars, of course, because there aren't any. Hamburg cited his tangential and ineffectual involvement with broadband access, telling his ICO stenographers that he was “heartbroken” about the recent fire disasters. Hamburg concluded wistfully: “I hope there are some good candidates out there.” (So do we, we’re long overdue for a good supervisor, and doubly hope we aren't force fed one by the oppressive and reactionary Democratic Party organization from which Mendocino County "liberals" select people to hold the best paid public jobs in the county.)
MARSHALL NEWMAN, still struggling to reconcile the rainfall figure, notes that "as of 3 p.m. today (Monday), the recorded Weather Underground Boonville rainfall total is 0.49”, the recorded Ukiah National Weather Service rainfall total is 0.24”and the recorded Boonville National Weather Service rainfall total is 0.00”. According to NOAA, Boonville had NO Rainfall today. Really?????? Even the Navarro River knows it rained. As of 3 p.m., the river has stopped dropping. It likely will rise slightly later this afternoon as the unrecorded rain heads downstream."
I KNOW I'm way past my pull date, but I don't recognize many celebs, and the few I do recognize are obviously harbingers of The Last Days. Gore Vidal had it right: "Lack of talent is no longer enough." Maybe this Louis C.K. guy is funny, I have no idea, but he's among the latest pervs outted by The New York Times. His mea culpa is a minor masterpiece of evasion and lacks, utterly, meaningful contrition. Obviously his lawyers got together with Dr. Phil, assisted by Dr. Joyce Brothers, to come up with this faux naive evasion: “….These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my (penis) without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your (penis) isn't a question. It's a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.” How old is this guy?
GARY MEDVIGY is both a retired Santa Rosa judge and a reserve Army general. He's also a demagogue. Medvigy was lead speaker at a Veteran's Day lunch in the Rose City. "He said he noticed that when a Coast Guard honor guard presented the American flag at the outset of the luncheon and vocalist Mark Kratz sang the National Anthem, no one present took a knee. Alluding to the socio-political phenomenon of professional football players and other kneeling during the singing or playing of 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' Medvigy said to applause, 'I will never take a knee or tolerate those who do.'"
EXCUSE ME, JUDGE, free expression is supposed to be the point of this here country, but his honor moved from that gust of pure wind to the straight-up lie these windbags inevitably recite on Veteran’s Day.
"HE THANKED local Rotary and Kiwanis clubs for hosting the Tribute to our Veterans lunch and offered special acknowledgment to Vietnam War veterans, some of whom, he observed, were wrongly spat upon or in other ways abused by people who opposed that war."
NOPE. NEVER HAPPENED. Please see this book we thought established for all time that nobody once, anywhere in the country, spit on a veteran returned from the War On Vietnam: The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory and the Legacy of Vietnam (1998) by Vietnam veteran and Sociology professor Jerry Lembcke.
A READER ASKS: "The Sheriff’s Office purchased an LRAD (Long range audio device) which might have been used to tell Potter and Redwood valley residents about evacuation orders and imminent fire dangers. But it sat on the shelf as I understand, because the BOS needs to adopt policy/procedure around its use, (which has not yet been put forward by the CEO)."
Yeah, probably. It ought to be made available for next fire season, for sure.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I try to tell these people that when it rains, the ants come inside. ‘It's your job to police all creatures large and small,’ they tell me. ‘Keep them outta here.’ But ants? I need my specs even to see them. Anyway, I think it's Skrag's lack of personal hygiene that draws them, not the weather. Skrag's a secret slob, for sure. He always looks clean and tidy, but I could tell you some stories...”
THE FATE OF THE BOONVILLE FARMERS’ MARKET
The Boonville Farmers’ Market has been integral to the Anderson Valley community for 26 years providing a weekly venue for local farmers to sell their produce; to buy freshly picked, local food, plant starts, and crafts; and to meet with other community members. Amanda Bontecou has been doing a great job as market manager for the past three years, but retired this year. There are many decisions to be made about the market, not the least of which is finding a new manager. Even with great effort the last few years the number of market vendors and sales have been diminishing. Are more people growing their own food? Are the farm stands providing for people’s needs? Is the timing not the most accessible? What other products would bring in customers? Should the Boonville Farmers” Market continue?
Because the BFM summer market (that actually spans May-October) belongs to the Mendocino County Farmers’ Market Association, official decisions about the Boonville Market need to be made at the MCFARM county-wide December meeting with guidance from the vendors and the AV community. There will be a gathering of BFM customers, vendors, and other interested folks to talk about the Boonville Farmers’ Market’s future on Saturday, November 18th at 3:30 p.m. at the Boonville General Store. Come to provide input on these important community decisions. Questions? Please email email@example.com.
ATTEMPTED MURDER: Willits Police are seeking information from anyone who was in, or around the Safeway gas station, late Friday night / early Saturday morning. Willits Police responded at 0040 hours early Saturday morning - who may have information about the stabbing incident. On Saturday, November 11, at about 12:40am hours, Officers responded to the Safeway gas station for a woman in distress. Once Officers arrived, they contacted the victim who was found to have multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to the hospital for medical treatment. During the investigation, Officers were able to identify the suspect, 37 year old Jose Grant of Los Angeles.
With the assistance of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Grant was located and arrested without incident shortly after being identified. Grant was booked in to County Jail for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant or dating relationship, and recklessly causing a fire of an inhabited structure or property. The incident is still under investigation. The Willits Police Department is asking anyone who was in, or around the Safeway gas station at the time of the incident and who may have information to contact Willits PD dispatch at (707) 459-6122.
Willits Police Department News Release
ANOTHER MASTER CRIMINAL OFF THE STREETS
Officers responding to possible domestic violence call leads to arrest of Parolee with a stolen vehicle
On November 11th at about 8:25pm, UPD officers were dispatched to the 200 block of East Clay Street, for a report of a male and female involved in an argument. The couple was reported to be associated with a blue van and tan pick-up. Upon arrival a UPD officer noticed a male subject near a blue van and recognized him as Kenneth Dewitt, a 36 year old Parolee.
The officer contacted Dewitt and spoke with him about the reported argument. During the subsequent investigation, officers learned that Dewitt had been involved in an argument with his ex–girlfriend. She was located leaving the area in tan pick-up and was questioned regarding the incident. An officer noticed that the blue 1992 Plymouth Van had its ignition disassembled, so it could be started without a key. A records check revealed that the Plymouth Van Dewitt was in possession of had been reported stolen out of Crescent City, on October 29th. Dewitt was placed under arrest for possession of a stolen vehicle and for violation of his parole. Dewitt was booked into county jail.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com
(Ukiah Police Department Press Release)
INTO THE DUSTBIN
Debris Removal Program Begins in Mendocino County
The County is coordinating the Consolidated Debris Removal Program with CalOES, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) to provide direct assistance to property owners with the cleanup of fire debris. Over the last few weeks the County has been collecting Right of Entry Forms from property owners participating in the program. The USACE is in Mendocino County mobilizing in the Redwood Valley area to start the debris removal. Below is important information on what the community can expect during the cleanup process.
Property owners will be notified before cleanup begins.
Mendocino County residents will receive a call from a representative of the US Corps of Engineers 24- 48 hours in advance of the debris removal on their property.
Safety is the number one priority.
Safety is the number one priority for property owners and residents. During the clean-up Mendocino County residents will see increased truck traffic not only in impacted areas but also on the roads leading to and from the neighborhoods but also on the road to the landfill. Please be aware that additional traffic may be experienced and that travel times may be increased at certain times during the day.
Workers will be in the area.
During the clean-up, homeowners in the Redwood Valley and Potter Valley should expect to see contractors and staff from the US Army Corps of Engineers in the area. Both the contractors and Army Corps of Engineers employees will be carrying identification and will also be wearing visibility clothing with logos. The name of the Contractor is Environmental Chemical Cleanup or ECC which is located out of Burlingame, California. For those wishing to pursue subcontracting opportunities, individuals should contact ECC at (650) 347-1555 or www.ecc.ent.
USACE will be on site for the cleanup.
During the clean-up, a Corps of Engineers Quality Assurance Representative (QA) will also be on site. Corps of Engineers QA’s will be wearing red shirts with "Emergency Operations" printed on the back of their shirts. In addition, Corps of Engineers employees will have a name badge and will also be attired in safety clothing such as hardhats, safety shoes and a visibility vest.
Properties with signed Right of Entry (ROE) forms are being cleared for cleanup.
Once the Corps has received clearance from the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) and the vetted ROE from the county, we will provide the ROEs to the contractor. The contractor will determine the most efficient plan of action in regard to which properties they will clean on a given day. Areas surrounding critical structures and water bodies are being prioritized. In addition, the more ROEs on neighboring properties, the better. It allows the contactor to address the cleanup more efficiently than properties that are separated.
Work is starting in Mendocino County.
The debris removal started on November 6th and while we are in the initial phases of debris removal; the US Army Corps of Engineers is anticipating that properties cleared under the Consolidated Debris Removal Program will be completed in early 2018.
Property owners will be notified when cleanup is complete.
Once the property has been cleared, the property owner will be notified by the county and will receive a summary report which provides a summary of the work completed; along with pre and post photos along with any laboratory sampling data that may have been performed on the property for insurance purposes.
The State of California has requested property owners interested in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program submit a Right of Entry form by November 13, 2017. If property owners choose not to participate in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program, property owners must submit a Private Cleanup Form to the Mendocino County Environmental Health Division no later than November 16, 2017. Private debris removal must meet debris cleanup requirements with a qualified contractor. It is strongly advised that property owners review all requirements thoroughly before pursuing their own debris removal. Disaster funding will not reimburse for this work, and a Building Permit to rebuild will not be issued unless the property has been remediated to the standards established in the Debris Cleanup and Removal Program.
For more information on the Consolidated Debris Removal Program please contact Planning and Building Services at (707) 234-6650. For more information on the private debris removal requirements, please contact Environmental Health at (707) 234-6625.
Attached: The US Army Corps of Engineers Phase II Debris Removal Process
HEADS UP, ALBION
Caltrans Public Meeting Tuesday November 14th reminder!
This is a reminder to please consider attending next week’s public meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Albion Elementary School, 30400 Albion Ridge Road, in Albion where we will be sharing updates on Albion River Bridge and Salmon Creek Bridge Projects. What Is Being Planned? The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is proposing two bridge projects on State Route 1 in Mendocino County. The proposed projects are the Albion River Bridge Replacement/Rehabilitation Project and the Salmon Creek Bridge Replacement Project.
The Albion River Bridge and Salmon Creek Bridge both have a number of structural and geometric deficiencies. The purpose of the proposed projects is to replace or rehabilitate these functionally obsolete and structurally deficient structures to improve their function, geometrics, and structural integrity in order to ensure the safety and reliability of these critical links on State Route 1 of the state highway system.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss several project-related items, including the Salmon Creek and Albion River Preliminary Endangerment Assessments, Supplemental Value Analysis (VA) Study, the Life-cycle Cost Analysis, the Geotechnical Investigations, final selection of community participation on the Supplemental VA study, and any community issues raised during the meeting.
5:30 PM — 5:40 PM Project Manager Opening remarks
5:40 PM — 6:00 PM Overview of Value Analysis and Life Cycle cost Analysis / Selection of community members to Supplemental Value Analysis Study Team
There have been numerous individuals from the Albion and Salmon Community who have volunteered to sit on the Supplemental Value Analysis Study Team. The following community members have been confirmed:
- Daryl Shefrey, Albion Campground Manager
- Janet Pauli, Representing Salmon Creek property owners
- John Johansen, Albion
The following individuals have offered to represent their communities. One additional representative for the Albion community and one representatives for the Pacific Reefs community will be confirmed by the community at this public meeting. If there are any other persons interested in sitting on the Supplemental VA team, you are encouraged to attend this public meeting and make your case to the community that you are the best person to represent their interests on the VA team.
Here is a list of individuals who have volunteered to sit on the VA team
- Terry Surles, Pacific Reefs
- John Danhakl, Albion
- Jim Heid, Albion
- Rod Lorimer, Albion
6:00 PM — 6:40 PM Introduction of panel members and presentations
6:40 PM — 8:20 PM Q & A Session with community
8:20 PM — 8:30 PM Project Manager Closing Remarks
8:30 PM Adjourn Public Meeting
Follow Up To Phase LL Investigation
On October 31, 2017, the on-call archeology consultant, Pacific Legacy, entered the Albion Campground and drove to the Phase ll site to begin their investigation. This entry took place without providing the required 72 hours’ notice to the campground manager and without the necessary CDP. Daryl Shefrey instructed the consultant to leave the premises and contacted me to discuss the incident. I contacted the consultant to discuss the entry and determined that they did not read the court order and were under the impression that a CDP had already been granted. This was a miscommunication and regardless of where the breakdown in communication occurred, as project manager I am responsible. I notified you folks the following day to inform you of this incident because of my commitment to transparency and accountability. I’ve followed up with staff and the consultant to gather the facts and come up with a plan to prevent this kind of occurrence from happening in the future.
Background information: Caltrans obtained a court order on October 5, 2017 allowing entry onto the Albion Campground and Marina property to conduct the Phase ll investigation. The court order was provided to the Coastal Commission’s North Coast District later that same afternoon in time to make the deadline to have the proposed Phase ll investigation placed on the CCC consent calendar for the Coastal Commission meeting scheduled for October 11, 2017. An Albion resident contacted the North Coast District Coastal Commission office in Arcata to express concern over the proposed Phase ll investigation. The permit waiver was pulled from the consent calendar. Caltrans elected to pursue a standard CDP and provided additional information to the Coastal Commission’s coastal analyst for their staff report to address the concerns expressed by the Albion resident. Caltrans staff held a phone conference with Coastal Commission staff on October 25, 2017 to clarify specific project information that was necessary to complete the CCC staff report for the matter to be placed on the agenda for the November 8, 2017 CCC meeting. On October 30, the consultant notified the task order manager for the Phase ll Investigation that they were planning to begin the Phase ll investigation the following day. Both the task order manager and the consultant were unaware that a coastal development permit had not yet been granted and failed to provide the campground with the 72 hours’ notice required under the previously mentioned court order. Caltrans is now reassessing next steps necessary to satisfy our obligations under Section 106 before consulting with Coastal Commission staff and the Albion Campground and Marina on the coastal development permit and modified court order for entry.
Caltrans District 1 is putting measures in place to ensure that this miscommunication will not happen again. As Project Manager, I will be responsible for reviewing each provision of any court orders or permits to enter either in person or over the telephone with whoever is in charge of project on-site operations before the first entry onto the property for Phase II, the first entry for biological studies, and the first entry for geotechnical studies.
MCOG Board Meeting
An MCOG Board meeting was held on October 2, 2017. At the request of members of the public, Phil Dow had an agendized item for public expression on the Albion River Bridge replacement project. Phil Dow did extensive research and wrote a staff report concluding that the bridge likely needs to be replaced, and recommending that the Board take no action.
For more information about these projects, please contact Liza Walker, Senior Environmental Planner, at (707) 441-5602 or Frank Demling, Project Manager, at (707) 445-6554. You can also visit the project web pages at:
Albion River Bridge Replacement/Rehabilitation Project: www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/albion/
Salmon Creek Bridge Replacement Project: www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/salmon/
Individuals who require special accommodations (American Sign Language interpreter, real-time captioning, accessible seating, note takers, and documentation in alternative formats) should contact Phil Frisbie, Jr., Chief of Public Information, at (707) 445-6444, or TTY 711.
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 13, 2017
LUIS ALONSO-ALMAREZ, Cloverdale/Ukiah. DUI, no license.
HERNAN CABRERA-RUIZ, Sebastopol/Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance.
JOSHUA DERR, Ukiah. Suspended license, false ID, conspiracy.
RAUL MARTINEZ, Nipmo/Leggett. DUI.
SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Criminal threats, resisting, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
FELICIA SCHLAPKOHL, Ukiah. False personation of anothr, conspiracy.
ANDREW SNYDER, Ukiah. Trespassing, smuggling controlled substance or liquor into jail.
ROMAN SOTO, Manchester. Controlled substance, parole violation.
LATEST IN PERVERY
Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama, was banned from a mall in the early 1980s after he repeatedly attempted to pick up teenage girls, former mall employees and local police told The New Yorker. Other locals also told AL.com that Moore was known for prowling the mall. Moore, whom five women have accused of making advances on them or molesting them when they were teenagers, allegedly had a reputation for hanging around the Gadsden Mall, in Gadsden, Alabama, in pursuit of high school-age girls. One former mall employee told The New Yorker that a security guard asked mall employees to be on the lookout for Moore, who was “banned from the mall.” Blake Usry, who was a teenager in town at the time, told AL.com Moore was known to "flirt with all the young girls," and would hang out at the mall on weekends "like the kids did." Other locals told AL.com that Moore's penchant for flirting with teens was common knowledge in town. One former waitress told AL.com that Moore made young waitresses uncomfortable by staring at them, then becoming rude if they did not "give him an opening." A police officer, one of two who spoke with The New Yorker, said that “general knowledge at the time when I moved here was that this guy is a lawyer cruising the mall for high-school dates” and that Moore may not have received an official ban but was a persona non grata at the mall and had been “run off” from “a number of stores.”
"…THE UNFOLDING of the unforeseen was everything. Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as "History," harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”
—Philip Roth, “The Plot Against America"
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Hmm… my aunt, now dead, married at 14 and raised six kids back in the day. Her husband was well over 18, but I’m not sure of his exact age. That was just the way it was done in traditional farm families in the middle of the 20th century. Current age restrictive “social norms” are nothing more than that. In any case, sitting in judgement on something someone else did 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago or more, is: one, none of your goddamned business, and two, totally irrelevant to who that person is now.
THE TRUE CLIMATE REPORT
Nowadays, news agencies don’t report news, they only report Donald Trump’s response to news. While that is entertaining it is not the actual news. The global warming report was reported as to how it was related to Trump. The report wasn’t disclosed let alone read.
So I read it. Not easy. The report stated that global warming has two causes — natural, as has occurred every million years, and human factors, which are the primary cause in this current warming.
The report then said that lowering carbon emissions won’t reverse global warming without a way to remove carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. If we can do both, global warming can be stopped in about 1,000 years. It goes on to say that the only way to reverse warming is to develop a technique such as infusion of sulfur gases in the atmosphere or other techniques that haven’t been developed nor tested.
Now that is news. Basically, it is our fault, but we can’t fix it in less than 1,000 years. Read the report, not Trump’s twitters.
SUICIDE RATE AMONG WILDLAND FIREFIGHTERS IS “ASTRONOMICAL”
From 2015 to 2016, 52 wildland firefighters took their own lives.
DEPT OF UNINTENTIONAL SATIRE
American Sign Language Interpreter Assists During Local Press Conferences — Mendocino County Office Of Education Interpreter Offers Services During Redwood Complex Fire
Ukiah, CA – When Redwood Complex Fire was raging through our community, Mendocino County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent Becky Jeffries, working under the direction of Superintendent Warren Galletti during his medical leave, worked quickly and efficiently to identify MCOE resources to aid in disaster relief and recovery. In addition to providing school districts with additional counselors and school supplies, MCOE offered the interpretation services of one of its American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, Melody Poff, for the regular press conferences held by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
Poff, who has been an ASL educational interpreter for more than 20 years, was happy to offer her interpretation skills, so deaf people could benefit from the information being shared through the MCSO. Generally, Poff works in the classroom with deaf students, but because classes had been cancelled, she was available to put her Disaster Response Interpreter (DRI) training to good use.
Although she has interpreted for the National Weather Service during a live television interview to inform the deaf community about tsunami drills in Humboldt County, this was one of the few times Poff had used her ASL interpreting skills outside the classroom.
“Becky called and asked if I could help the Sheriff’s Office, and I was happy to do so,” she said. Although MCOE was willing to pay for Poff’s time while she assisted the MCSO, her services were eventually covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through an agency called Communique.
Galletti, who was working from home to connect with state officials during the fires, said, “I am so grateful to Melody and all the MCOE employees who stepped up to assist however they could to help those affected by the fire. We have a great staff and I’m proud to work with them.”
THOUGHTS ON CANCER
By Karen Oslund, Executive Director of the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County
The rains have just begun, but it is looking like this will not be a drought year. In a month of giving thanks, this is just one thing I am grateful for—the air is crisp, the fires are out, and the hills are turning green. Even the short days remind me that we are not far away from the winter solstice, when the days will slowly start getting longer again.
Sparkling Cider, anyone?
I want to share an article from the New York Times, which explains the strong link between alcohol consumption and cancer risk. It may seem a little scrooge-like, with the season of merry-making nearly upon us, to bring this up, but it is important to understand this risk, and that the risk increases as consumption increases, in a “linear dose response,” according to Clifford Hudis, the Chief Executive of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). According to ASCO research, 5.5% of new cancer diagnoses are attributable to alcohol. “If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less,” says Dr. Noelle LoConte.
ACSO has an excellent website, cancer.net, which is a great source of information on many different types of cancer, risk reduction, treatment, and resources.
Annual appeal mailing soon!
If you are a friend or supporter of the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County, you will probably receive our annual appeal letter in your mailbox soon. Please consider making an end-of-year gift to support our work in ensuring that no one will face cancer alone. Every gift counts and every gift helps. If you don't get a letter in the mail but would like one, just send me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also, always donate through our website, crcmendocino.org, or over the phone by calling our Mendocino office: 707-937-3833.
The Cancer Resource Centers' 2017 Cancer Awareness and prevention series is sponsored by CRC in collaboration with the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency. The information presented is for educational purposes and is not intended to replace the advice of your health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your health care provider. The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County is a grassroots organization serving our communities since 1995 by providing information, advocacy, and support services free of charge.
MIGUEL DE UNAMUNO: ALWAYS AT WAR WITH HIMSELF
by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)
Since this intellectual shed his intelligence among tragedy and agony, it is necessary to begin the story of his life at the end. Miguel De Unamuno died on December 31, 1936, in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, with his country in flames. After his confrontation with the Falangist military leader, General Millán-Astray, in the assembly hall of the University of Salamanca, on Columbus Day—12 of October of the same year, Unamuno was dismissed from his job as rector of the university and wound up sequestered in his home with a Falangist guard in the doorway who would not permit anyone to enter.
Journalist Luis Calvo informs us that one day he managed to get through this barrier and he found himself with Unamuno, who was pounding on the table, beside himself with rage. He was shouting imprecations against the Falangists who had muzzled him and he threatened repeatedly that one night he was going to walk along a secondary road that he knew well until he reached Portugal. From there, he would sail to America to inform the entire world that the Spanish Nationalist were shooting many of his colleagues in Salamanca and were committing more bestial acts than the Reds.
Another of his Falangist friends, Bartolomé Aragón Gómez, would come to his house to talk to him around the night table, which was heated by a brazier, thus dissimulating his house arrest. One afternoon, while the maid Aurelia was ironing, Unamuno was venting his rage against Mola, Millán-Astray, and Martinez-Anido, although not against Franco, whom he had visited in a futile attempt to save the lives of some of his acquaintances.
At the end of a long diatribe, he became silent and bowed his head. His friend thought he had fallen asleep, but at that moment, the room began to smell like something was burning. One of Don Miguel’s slippers had caught fire from the brazier underneath the table. Miguel De Unamuno had died.
At that time, like the slipper of Unamuno, all of Spain was burning. In the middle of this national tragedy, one must try to imagine this confused Iberian rebel parading his own madness through the dusty Salamanca countryside en route to nowhere.
That was his destiny. He had spent his life fighting against this and fighting against that, but deep down, he had merely fought against himself, with no other obsession—nothing less—than to be immortal in the face of divinity.
—All of you fight like me and, among us, we shall tear away some secret hair of God.
Unamuno loved paradoxes as new sources of knowledge. What is a paradox? You throw a well known fact or a common idea in the air and blast it with a gunshot. The thing falls upon a cultivated field. At first, you think it’s a partridge, but what you find in the mouth of the retriever is always a surprise.
A descendant of a very prolific family of pastry chefs from Bergara, Unamuno was a surly native of Bilbao; a romantic curmudgeon with a puritanical and misogynous disposition: an old-fashioned man.
—The man who dedicates himself to chasing women becomes stupid —he wrote—. The skills he strives for are the skills of foolishness.
For his part, he also produced numerous offspring whom he had to feed by producing articles, essays, or novels, and being paid one piece at a time. He did this with an agony that had nothing to do with Christianity, but rather with the very agony of having to fill many mouths by stretching his salary, with great difficulty, until the end of the month.
He lived relentlessly. He was a proselytizer who sought to stimulate rebellion in young people, unlike Ortega, who merely sought clear intelligence in them.
The sculptor Christino Mallo met Unamuno in Salamanca, when he was there as a Professor in The School of Arts and Crafts:
—It was obligatory to pay a visit to Don Miguel with all the respect in the world and not like it is now when any idiot comes up to you during a tertulia and bothers you. I remember one time the painter Gutiérrez Solana arrived to do a portrait of Unamuno commissioned by the Ministry and I accompanied him so he could take some notes—he did this on a box of cigars.
As we left Unamuno’s house, he said, “One has to see how smart this man is. The only thing that bothers me is the copper-cauldron color of his face.”
He hit the nail on the head. Unamuno was very reddish. And his white hair made this stand out even more.
Unamuno’s first profession had been that of a painter. He had great skill in drawing; however, he never got the colors right—the same problem Solana had with the skin of Unamuno’s face. Due to this, Unamuno abandoned painting and became a full time guardian of the intellect.
He dressed like a Protestant pastor—his black jersey up to his nose, the collar of his white shirt like a clerical collar, and his face was set on course by a rugged beard that converted it into its own lance.
Unamuno was divided between combative thought and the political rattrap of being a councilman, a deputy, and an aspirant for the Presidency of the Republic. It’s difficult to find something, someone, an institution, an ideology, a regime, a cause, a program, or a belief that Unamuno had not confronted with the weapons of his belligerent personality after having embraced them. Putting aside the his brilliant academic record, his professorship in Greek, his assignment as the Rector of the University of Salamanca, the most interesting thing about Unamuno is the convulsive flow of his spirit.
Those stormy waters inundated the newspapers of the epoch—El Imparcial, El Sol, La Nación de Buenos Aires, all the literary magazines, and ended up in the tertulias at the Atheneo, in those of the Cafe Novelty in Salamanca, until they dried up.
Unamuno was an obsessive walker who used to torment his companion with long soliloquies, which would become, on the following day, articles or the outlines for essays—and even sonnets.
At first, he was a socialist and fought with the nationalists. He would say,
—When I enter the club where the tertulia of Sabino Arana and his friends is taking place, they stop speaking Basque because they know that I realize that they speak it badly.
On the political flank, he soon saw the king, Alfonzo XIII, as a punching bag doll in a carnival booth and the dictator, Primo de Rivera, as a target for his lance.
On the religious flank, he attempted to insert, with a shoehorn, the dogmas of the Church into the mold of moral order and convert the nebulous doubt of Kierkegaard into a random guide to faith. The anathemas of the Bishops strengthened him; his exile in Fuerteventura wound up making him very popular.
On the island, his lyricism waned until, sick of the wind and solitude, he fled on a boat and showed up in Paris. There, he dissolved into the tertulias of the Cafe La Rotonde with other exiles—Blasco Ibañez, Corpus Varga—or into the banquets of the Pen Club with Saint-John Perse, Pirandello, and Joyce.
From exile in Paris, he moved on to Hendaya. When the Monarchy fell, he was welcomed in Madrid amidst a gale of popularity. He had a vote to be President of the Republic, but soon began to criticize the new politics; he raged against the Popular Front, and saluted the uprising as the salvation of Spain, which merged into praise for the untainted sword of Franco.
The images of the interwar period always show us the figure of Unamuno in the Presidential office for the appropriate honors, or aging—surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
He had been born in 1864 on Calle Ronda in Bilbao: his earliest memories were of the bombs that were dropped upon the besieged city by Carlist forces. His death occurred in Salamanca during the conflagration of the Spanish Civil War.
Beginning and end.
As Antonio Machado wrote:
—Unamuno has died suddenly as one dies in war. Against whom?
Perhaps against himself.
Thus reads his epitaph:
Place me, Eternal Father, in your breast, that mysterious place. I will rest there, for I come to you devastated by the hard struggle.
Unamuno’s Last Lecture:
Confrontation with General Millán Astray
- The Novel of Don Sandalio, Chess Player;
- Saint Manuel Bueno, Martyr
* * *
Louis Bedrock notes:
— Estáis esperando mis palabras. Me conocéis bien, y sabéis que soy incapaz de permanecer en silencio.
A veces, quedarse callado equivale a mentir, porque el silencio puede ser interpretado como aquiescencia.
—You (fascist motherfuckers) are awaiting my response. You know me well and know that I am not capable of staying silent.
At times, remaining silent is equal to lying because the silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
Unamuno vs. General Millán-Astray
by James Kunstler
It must be exciting to wake up on a gilded bed somewhere in Riyadh and realize that you are Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, mover and shaker of Middle East order. Actually, exciting just to have woken up at all. Perhaps Prince MBS checks to make sure that there aren’t seventy-two virgins in the room before he rises to prayers, state business, and the prospect of World War Three.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has been a giant gasoline bomb waiting to explode for decades. It occupies one of the geographically least hospitable corners of the earth. Its existence as a modern (cough cough) state relies strictly on the reserves of oil discovered as recently as the late 1930s, that is, within the lifetime of people still reading this blog. The oil supply is in steep decline, and so, of course, is the stability of the kingdom.
Politically, it’s a super-medieval operation, an absolute monarchy tied to a severe religious order with the law floating precariously between the two, and old-fashioned customs such as the public beheading of criminals (for misdeeds such as “adultery,” “atheism,” and “sorcery”). The Saud clan has controlled the throne all these years, and its grip on power is slipping as the country itself slips into the prospective next era of its history, minus the endless gusher of oil that has made its existence possible — hence, a true existential crisis without the usual pseudo-intellectual bullshit.
How are they going to support the thirty or forty million people who will still be there when the oil exports dribble down? Most of the work done in the country is performed by foreign “guests.” The indigenous folk don’t even remember how to milk a camel, let alone run routine maintenance on a desalinization plant. (And what are you going to run the de-sal plant on when the oil runs down?) These are questions that must drive thoughtful Saudi royalty mad.
Hence, the Kingdom is going mad. The current king, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, is the latest in a line of geriatric monarchs. His brother and predecessor, Abdullah, spent his last years in a limbo of medical life-support (virgins standing by), and Salman is reputed to be dotty. Crown Prince MBS has assumed more of the king’s duties by necessity, but the land is filled with thousands of other princes, many of them frustrated, angry, and jealous of the Crown Prince’s prerogatives.
One can only imagine the clouds of intrigue wafting through the ornate corridors of wealth and power. Crown Prince MBS is lately out to deprive his many royal rivals of those two critical assets, and a couple of said rival princes — Abdul Aziz bin Fahd and Mansour bin Muqrin — were offed altogether (gunfight, helicopter crash) two weeks back. A score of non-royal public officials and business poobahs have also been arrested, including top ministers (Finance, Economy & Planning), the former CEO of the national airline, and a brother of Osama bin Laden, whose family ran the country’s biggest construction company.
It really amounts to a nascent civil war and it comes around at exactly the moment that the Kingdom’s arch-enemy, Iran, is feeling comfortably aggressive. Iran, formerly known as Persia, is a much sturdier old polity that has been around long before there was much ado about oil. They were fighting the ancient Greeks and Romans back in the day, and won a few rounds. But, of course, Iran has a good deal of oil, too. And having pissed off the Americans not so long ago by overrunning the US embassy and all, our country has been striving to punish them ever since — especially making it difficult for them to sell oil to our “friends” in Europe. As it happens, there are plenty of customers elsewhere for Iran’s oil — and, yes, they will eventually face their own depletion problems, but they do have the world’s largest untapped reserve stash next door in Iraq, which they are steadily and increasingly coming to control. And they do have that millennium-and-a-half beef with Arabia’s Sunni branch of Islam headquartered in KSA.
Crown Prince MBS may see war as a unifying theme for his domestic difficulties. He has a fifty-plus years’ stock of American war toys that have hardly been used — except for turning neighboring Yemen into a landfill. The USA has been KSA’s staunch ally all these years, and MBS has every reason to believe we have his back, as Iran probably believes Russia has its back. And then there is Israel in the background with its nuclear-armed subs… Israel, which actually took seriously Iran’s declaration a few years ago to wipe it off the face of the earth — and which now much of the world castigates Israel for so doing.
And in the middle of all this, poor, feckless, Hezbollah-haunted Lebanon, and the boneyard formerly known as Syria. The region is seriously coming apart. Someone is going to make a dangerous misstep. The Golden Golem of Greatness has been off far away sampling General Tsao’s chicken and Singapore noodles. And this country is completely preoccupied with Sex Among the Stars. Thank goodness the stock market only goes up.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
I was watching one of those political gabfests today — I think it was Face the Nation — the one hosted by Chuck Todd — Eugene Robinson and Peggy Noonan were guests, smug sonabitches wreaking of condescension; it’s pretty clear they think they’ve got Trump on the run and will be getting rid of him soon via Mueller’s investigation. They could hardly contain the glee they felt, not a word about misconduct by H Clinton or any Democrats. We’ll never get rid of these Swamp Creatures as they’re too deeply entrenched. It looks like the big revolution to upend the country and topple President Trump on Nov 4 fizzled out. What a bunch of wusses these modern day leftist revolutionaries turn out to be, not a two fisted Joe Hill, Big Bill Haywood or Jack London amongst the lot of them. (But there might be a Leon Czolgosz in that rabble)
What did ee cummings call western red toadies in Moscow in the 30s, running flak for the commies?: Unmen, unpeople.
COMMITTEE REJECTS WESTLANDS DRAINAGE SETTLEMENT RIDER TO NDAA,
But Big Ag Vows To Keep Trying
by Dan Bacher
In a victory for salmon and the Delta, a Conference Committee rejected Congressman Kevin McCarthy's attempt to add H.R. 1769, Representative David Valadao’s rider approving the Westlands Water District settlement on toxic irrigation drainage, to the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).
A Conference Committee is a temporary, ad hoc panel composed of House and Senate conferees that is formed for the purpose of reconciling differences in legislation that has passed both chambers. Conference committees are usually convened to resolve bicameral differences on major and controversial legislation, as in the case of this bill.
The San Luis Drainage Resolution Act rider was not included in the final bill, thanks to political pressure on Senate and House Democrats by the Hoopa Valley Tribe, fishing groups and environmental organizations.
However, Westlands and San Joaquin Valley Representatives said they intend to keep adding the rider to legislation in the weeks ahead until they have passed the bill, according to Restore the Delta. Westlands officials intend to pass the controversial legislation before the court-mandated deadline of Jan. 15, 2018.
"We are looking for any vehicle possible to get the drainage settlement enacted this year," Deputy General Manager Johnny Amaral told E&E News.
“We're looking at different legislative vehicles to move the settlement agreement forward," Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), a supporter of the deal, told E&E News. "This may not happen in the next week or two, but I am hopeful we can find some vehicle."
The settlement resulted from a $1 billion lawsuit filed by attorney David Bernhardt and others with the federal U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 2012 during the Obama administration. Bernhardt was appointed by President Donald Trump as Deputy Secretary of Interior earlier this year– and fishing and environmental groups and Tribes opposed his confirmation because of his major conflicts of interest.
The bill would facilitate a controversial litigation settlement agreement between the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Westlands Water District. It would allow the federal government to walk away from its responsibility to drain agricultural lands in California’s Central Valley of toxic salts and selenium without any safeguards that ensure drain water would be managed safely, according to Restore the Delta.
On November 3, the Soluri Meserve Law Corporation sent a letter on behalf of Restore the Delta and Local Agencies of the North Delta (LAND) to Senator John McCain, expressing opposition to H.R. 1769, the San Luis Drainage Resolution Act.
Restore the Delta and LAND assert that H.R. 1769 is a "massive giveaway of taxpayer money, undermines California’s effort to responsibly manage its scarce water resources, could imperil sensitive fish and wildlife, and threatens water quality in a major California river."
In addition, Restore the Delta and LAND warned Senator McCain that H.R. 1769 “includes a litany of gifts for Westlands, with no commensurate benefit for the public. Instead, the bill promises fiscal irresponsibility and peril for fish, waterfowl, and the California environment in general."
The Hoopa Valley Tribe also said it strongly opposes the San Luis Drainage Resolution Act. Ryan Jackson, Tribal Chairman, said he was alarmed to learn on November November 1 that “a clandestine effort is underway to include it in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).”
“We urge you to reject its inclusion in the NDAA. We assume that the purported nexus of H.R. 1769 to the NDAA is section 6(c) of the bill which provides for a water service contract for the Leemore Naval Air Station, so there is nothing about H.R. 1769 proceeding through the regular order that will impair national defense,” he said.
“To advance H.R. 1769 outside regular order in the House (the bill has not been introduced in the Senate) is particularly egregious. H.R. 1769 is not a germane to the Armed Services Committee; upon introduction, it was referred only to the Natural Resources Committee. Moreover, CBO reported that H.R. 1769 has PayGo impacts of $309 million over the 2017-2027 period,” he said.
In addition to its adverse fiscal impacts, Chairman Jackson said this bill represents a “grave risk to the integrity of the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s rights and interests under existing federal reclamation law and the federal trust responsibility to the Hupa people.”
“In its present form, H.R. 1769 puts at risk property rights to water established by federal reclamation and state water laws more than a half-century ago for the Hoopa Valley Tribe and California’s economically depressed North Coast communities. The Hoopa Valley of the Trinity River has been the home of the Hupa people and the center of our culture and religion since time immemorial,” he explained.
“In its current form, H.R. 1769 leaves unresolved excessive diversion of Trinity water to the Central Valley by the Bureau of Reclamation, in violation of congressional limits established in the 1950’s. Those limits are intended to ensure that water needed by the Trinity Basin communities and Indian reservations would not be taken from the Trinity River Basin to the Central Valley.
He added that Department of Interior officials “have knowingly and willfully disregarded the rights of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and California’s North Coast communities in negotiating the San Luis Unit settlement.”
“We request that Congress disapprove H.R. 1769 in its present form and instead be guided by Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black’s admonition the ‘great nations, like great men, should keep their word,’” Jackson concluded.
Action Alert: Stop Westlands from cramming through settlement bill
Want to stop the Westlands bail out legislation from passing? Please call your Senators and House Representatives and notify them of this problematic process. Let them that know that by trying to cram through the drainage settlement into any and every bill in Congress, Westlands Water District is misusing Congress and the legislative process for their own gain.
In addition, remind them that approving the Westlands settlement deal is “essentially a bailout of the largest irrigators in California at taxpayer expense,” according to RTD.
Get the contact information for your House Representative.
Senator Dianne Feinstein - (202) 224-3841, (310) 914-7300, (415) 393-0707, (559) 485-7430. Tweet to Senator Feinstein.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris - (202) 224-3553, (213) 894-5000, (415) 355-9041, (559) 497-5109. Tweet to Senator Harris.
The introduction of the bill comes in the wake of six House Democrats’ request that the GAO, the federal watchdog agency that conducts investigations and audits on behalf of Congress, issue a legal opinion about a Bureau of Reclamation’s funding scheme. The penalty for this type of misuse of public money can include removal from office.
Led by Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the Natural Resources Committee’s Ranking Member, the Representatives called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to open a new investigation into the misuse of taxpayer funds by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation.
This would follow last month’s revelations that tens of millions of dollars were secretly spent by the federal agency to subsidize private interests and help develop plans for Governor Jerry Brown’s massive Delta Tunnels project.
In its September audit, the Interior Department’s Inspector General found that the Bureau of Reclamation improperly subsidized the planning process for the California WaterFix project. The audit identified at least $84 million in taypayer funds spent without disclosure to Congress as required by law, and kept hidden from other water users, stakeholders, and the public.
“According to the Inspector General, at least $50 million of this total should have been paid by the local water agencies that sought to benefit from the massive infrastructure project, such as the powerful Westlands Water District. Instead, those costs were secretly reassigned by the Bureau of Reclamation so that taxpayers would pay most of the water districts’ share,” according to the Representatives in a joint statement.