- Interim CFO
- Southern Comfort
- Little Dog
- Gibbons Reading
- Dry Spell
- Insane TV
- Pearl Harbor
- Santa's Lap
- Me Too
- Gale Winds
- Advance Warning
- Yesterday's Catch
- Fatal Economics
- Cad Continuum
- Forgiveness Coach
- Hinckle Book
- Real Victims
- Beyond Belief
- Merry Christmas
- Delta Comments
COAST HOSPITAL ISSUES ULTIMATUM
by Malcolm Macdonald
At a December 4th special meeting of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH), its Board of Directors interviewed then offered a contract to John Parigi to take on the interim position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the hospital. The move was necessitated by the resignation of the previous CFO, Wade Sturgeon, after his two year run in the office was laden with criticism.
Sturgeon is one of the defendants in a lawsuit filed in federal court (Northern District of California) by a former chief human resources officer at MCDH. The filing, which cites the False Claims Act as its basis, also names as defendants Bob Edwards, MCDH's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Steve Lund, MCDH Board President, and the hospital itself. See the October 25 edition of the AVA for further details on this case, including an explanation of the False Claims Act and how it may relate to the year-old workplace harassment claim made by the HR chief against Sturgeon.
Mr. Parigi appears to have made a career out of serving as an interim financial officer for hospitals near and far. He is on a month to month basis at MCDH, with re-appointments made by CEO Edwards and the Board of Directors ultimate approval.
Interim in Parigi's career can mean multiple years, as it did at his last known employer, Healdsburg District Hospital (HDH) in Sonoma County. His stint in Healdsburg roughly mirrors that of their former CEO Nancy Schmid. Those who follow MCDH closely will note that Ms. Schmid came on board in Fort Bragg a couple months back as the Quality/Risk Manager and has apparently taken on the duties of the plant services manager.
It is unclear what the exact reasons were, but the previous plant services manager was recently sacked, more or less without warning. One evening he was presenting to the board in his usual efficient manner, the next day he was out. This man had been in charge of getting several major maintenance projects on the track toward completion. As far as could be seen he approached such projects as the central sterile system, HVAC (heating ventilation, and air conditioning), and ATS (automatic transfer switch) in a gung ho and transparent manner. He had regained the trust of OSHPD (California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development) officials, a trust that had been lost by MCDH for several years.
Schmid won't be starting from ground zero, but she, too, will have to endeavor to gain trust from state officials who have been misled in the not so distant past by MCDH concerning these large capital maintenance projects. See the Nov. 22 AVA for more detail on the dismissal of the previous plant services manager.
At HDH, Ms. Schmid served as CEO from 2013 until this year. According to press releases her contract will expire at the end of the year (2017), and Ms. Schmid and the North Sonoma County Health Care District board decided not to renew it. What that means is that HDH's Board of Directors was not going to extend Schmid's contract. They will presumably be paying her until December 31 while she also collects her first paychecks at MCDH.
The official announcement from the HDH Board regarding Ms. Schmid's departure noted that she had successfully turned around the hospital's finances. A 2015 story in the Cloverdale Reveille provides some insight.
“Alarmed by the hospital’s cash flows, Schmid suspended all employee merit raises and led a 20 percent downsizing of total employees. An emergency loan was needed to cover payroll at the end of last summer. At the time, Schmid and healthcare district directors told the public the hospital needed to be 'right-sized' and blamed billing errors and other poor business practices. A new chief financial officer was hired along with a new chief nursing officer, chief operating officer, chief human resource officer and other senior leadership personnel. 'Everything was broken. We stopped getting reliable numbers and we didn’t know how bad it was,' said Bill Hawn, a board member of the healthcare district.”
Sound familiar? Then there's the MCDH Medical Executive Committee and its Chief of Staff, John Kermen, who authored a full page letter in the Dec. 7 editions of the coastal papers. Kermen sums up MCDH's current situation with this statement, “It comes down to two questions: 1) Do you want a place to go when you or your loved one has an emergent medical condition or trauma? (the helicopter does not fly in bad weather) and 2) Do you want your property to have any value?”
Both sentences should prompt readers to recall their junior high Civics class and the unit that discusses the methods of propaganda. “Do you want your property to have any value?” falls directly under the Civics lesson highlighting that propaganda appeals to fear.
This taxpayer, and I'd expect a good deal more of the citizenry, expect more from MCDH's chief of staff than the lowest form of fear mongering.
FROM TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER'S weekly must read in Sunday's Ukiah Daily Journal:
AT CRUSH RESTAURANT out near Walmart take a look at the liquor bottles in the main bar. On an elevated perch, nestled among the Jack Daniel’s, the Jameson Scotch and the Chivas Regal, is… Southern Comfort? Red label, yet. I’m not saying an establishment shouldn’t sell Southern Comfort but me, I’d keep it in a brown bag in another room, discretely available upon request. If Southern Comfort, why not Robitussin? Why no shelf space for Pepto Bismol?
THAT COLLECTIVE HUH?? we just heard echoing around Ukiah was the sound of people learning that the money raised by Prop B will first get spent on a bunch of consultants. Of course. Only makes sense. Why wouldn’t we hire people from far away to come to town and tell us what our problems are and how to fix them? It makes as much sense as staffing the committee to help run the new system with the mental health professionals who have been in charge of these programs for the past 30 years. They’ve done such fine work.
DUH HEADLINE of the day from (of course) the Press Democrat:
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Christmas shopping for me is easy-peasy. Coupla pints of Makers for these people and I'm done.”
JIM GIBBONS will appear at the Willits library on Saturday, December 16th at 2 pm. to talk about and read from his essential book “Flashbacks: A Memoir.”
ANOTHER DRY WINTER?
I WATCH the ABC Television News aware that all the tv news shows are pretty much the same, but I like ABC because their news personnel seem a little wackier than those of their interchangeable competitors, with the exception of Wolf Blitzer, the nuttiest of all and, in his way, funny as hell even with the sound off. I also watch ABC to get a sense of what kind of information my fellow citizens are getting, at least from mainstream television. Out early in the mornings for a walk through the suburban sepulchers, I can see a variety of news shows flickering on living room screens. Anyway, and because I’m short of more relevant material tonight (Sunday) the tv was still on when the news mannequins had gone off to the hairdressers or wherever personality-free people go after “work,” when on comes a show called PowerHouse Roundtable hosted by Martha Radditz who, the last time I saw her, looked alarmingly haggard but this morning appeared twenty years younger via, I suppose, the latest in cosmetic surgery. You go, girl! The subject seemed to be “The Trump Agenda” and, of course, the assembled power houses didn’t think it was the one millions of us assume — move as much public money as fast as possible to billionaires while wowing the wowzers with a lot of wild talk about nuking Little Rocket Man and building a wall to keep Mexicans out. None of the power houses thought Trump was nuts. They discussed his invisible agenda as if it were perfectly rational. They were tv perfect with big white perfect teeth — an earnest black guy; an earnest white guy; two earnest women, one of whom might have been Asian, and Martha. No fatsos, no unseemly passion, everyone on a first name basis, no one who looked like they might suddenly just go off. In other words, the power houses bore no resemblance to the fragged and frazzled America out there. It was a crazy discussion based on a truly insane assumption — that Trump is a plausible person making rational decisions.
PETS OF THE WEEK
This regal cat is Franny. She is a 2 year old, spayed female, short hair tabby. Franny came to us as a stray cat who was found in the Willits area. Her hold time is up and she is officially available to go home, hopefully before Christmas. Franny is a friendly, affectionate cat with an outgoing personality.
Roger Rabbit is an energetic 2 year old, mixed breed dog. Roger needs an owner with plenty of space and time who will continue to work with this young dog. Since he has been here at the Shelter, he’s made great progress relating to other dogs, and he does well in our off leash playgroup. Roger is a playful dog who loves to chase a tennis ball and play with toys. RR weighs in at 75 pounds.
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, please us visit online at www.mendoanimalshelter.com or visit the shelter. Join us the 2nd Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453. The shelter will be closed on Wednesday, December 13, from noon to 2 p.m. for an in-house training.
I was two, my brother one, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, December 7,1941. We were both born in Honolulu where our grandfather owned the Honolulu Iron Works, and my father spent his days surfing, his evenings in white dinner jackets among the island's high society.
By the end of the war, Pop was loading submarines at Hunter's Point in San Francisco. He'd sold his share of everything he owned in Honolulu for about a penny on the dollar and headed for California as soon as he'd cashed in. He, like most islanders, assumed the Japanese would follow-up their successful air blitz of America's Pacific defenses with a ground invasion, and Pop preferred to be among the missing when the Japanese came jogging up Waikiki.
The morning of the day that lived in infamy until Japan became our mortgage holder sometime in 1970, we'd been up just before dawn demanding, family lore has it, to "go for a ride and an ice cream cone."
Our father dutifully had us in the car and heading downtown as the sun rose in the east and wave after wave of low-flying planes swooped in over Honolulu. We drove obliviously on as the planes devastated the American fleet conveniently assembled for Hirohito in Pearl Harbor. "The planes were flying so low I could see the pilots," my father remembered. "I thought it was some kind of maneuvers. There was smoke coming from Pearl Harbor, but most people assumed there had been an explosion and a fire. There were lots of people out in the streets watching the planes coming in. I heard later that quite a few of the rubberneckers were strafed by the attacking pilots just for the heck of it as they flew back out to sea. But I didn't know what was happening until I got home."
It hadn't occurred to Pop that the planes were hostile. The thought hadn't occurred to much of anyone until they were either shot at or a stray bomb fell on their neighborhood. Some 20 minutes after the attack had begun, we stopped for the ice cream cones served up by an unperturbed clerk and we drove on home. "Nobody had any idea that the Japanese would do such a thing," my father said whenever he talked about December 7th later in his life. "They were too far away and America had no quarrel with them."
Arriving home, me and my brother's passion for locomotion and ice cream temporarily slaked, my father indignantly complained to my mother "that these military maneuvers are getting a little too darned realistic." My mother, who'd always regarded her husband skeptically, informed him that the Japanese were in the process of attacking both Pearl Harbor and, it seemed, Honolulu, where errant bombs, aimed at Hickham Field, had already destroyed the homes and businesses of non-combatants.
She'd turned on the radio when she'd heard explosions. A bomb obliterated the store where we'd made our ice cream purchase about 20 minutes after our visit. In 1968, a hippie told me that I'd eluded the Japanese because I had "good karma." I think it was clearly more a case of God's high regard for idiots, drunks and children.
My father was pressed into service as a member of a sort of impromptu Honolulu home guard. (Honolulu in 1941 was about the size of today's Santa Rosa.) It was called the Business Man's Training Corp or BMTC. My mother had much ribald enjoyment at the abbreviation and even more at the sight of my father togged out as a World War I doughboy, the only uniforms available.
The BMTC wouldn't have been much of a match for the Imperial Japanese Army which, fortunately, never appeared on Waikiki. The Japanese had themselves been surprised by the unopposed success of their attack on Pearl Harbor. But that attack was a major trauma for America. For our family, too.
Pop made plans to head for the Mainland as soon as he could wrap up his affairs and depart himself, but he wanted to accomplish both without being derided as a slacker for fleeing. As Pop cashed in his chips — several million dollars worth in today's money — he put my mother and his two toddlers on a troop ship for San Francisco. She says there were daily submarine alerts all the way across during which everyone would be trundled over the side, climbing down rope nets into life boats. Mom recalls that we loved being handed off like a couple of footballs up and down the side of the ship, but the daily alarms and exertions terrified her and the rest of the people on board. But we made it through the Golden Gate unscathed where we were trundled off to the evacuation center for Hawaii’s refugees, the Fairmont Hotel.
AX ISN'T BUYING IT
ME TOO — AND IT’S PAST TIME TO PUT A STOP TO IT ALL
by Lynda Hopkins
Me, too. Where do I begin? With the least of the transgressions, perhaps — childhood sunscreen applications that went a little too far. Being spied on while showering. At 16, being chased across the parking lot by an older man with a kid in tow, because he said he needed my phone number. I learned to look over my shoulder and lock the car door quickly.
Those are the easy ones, but there were others. Hands up my skirt at parties. A foot up my skirt at the dinner table. A stranger coming over to me and masturbating while I sunbathed alone at a beach. None of these intrusions were invited, but I worried back then that I had invited them, by what I was wearing, by what I was doing. By existing.
I’m not the sort of person you would accuse of being shy or weak. I can shoot a gun, pluck and gut a turkey, shoulder a 50-pound sack of feed or pull down a 100-pound bale of hay.
It doesn’t actually matter what I can or can’t do, but I feel the need to explain that I’m tough, because when these things happened to me — when these things were done to me — I froze. And pretended, desperately, that it wasn’t happening.
Afterward, I felt ashamed. A finger-wagging voice in the back of my mind would say that I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation. We all need to silence that voice. We all need to acknowledge that women don’t put ourselves in those situations: men do. And we must acknowledge that in these situations, women do not respond how one might expect — by fighting back, or immediately speaking out — because of the power dynamic created and the deeply personal nature of sexual misconduct.
Why am I sharing this now? Perhaps because I have two young daughters who are inheriting a male-dominated world that overtly sexualizes young women. And because one of the most powerful things we can do is to acknowledge this fact. We need to point out how normal sexual abuse, sexual harassment and rape culture have become in our society — and how those things are not normal. It is not normal for 30-somethings to proposition teenagers. It is not normal to take your penis out in front of strangers. It is not normal to stick something inside a woman’s body without asking. It is not normal for a president to have joked about grabbing women “by the pussy.” None of this is normal, yet it has become commonplace.
As other women across the country have shared their stories, for the first time in my life, silence started to seem wrong. In part, I want to share my personal experiences because my public story can so easily fold into the myth of female equality.
Please don’t think that, because a 33-year-old woman can run for local elected office and win, American women must now be equal to American men. That “those things” happen in Alabama but not California.
We do have a female majority on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, but that doesn’t mean that we have achieved gender equality in government. Far from it.
At my job, I frequently find that I’m the only woman in the room, just like my working mother was 30 years ago. Of the seven state and federal representatives whose jurisdictions cover some portion of Sonoma County, only one is a woman. That puts Sonoma County’s female state and federal representation at 14 percent, which is actually not too far off from state and national averages. In California, women occupy 21.7 percent of elected state positions. On a federal level, the U.S. Senate is 21 percent female, while Congress is 19.3 percent female.
Every morning I leave to work in a male-dominated field that, luckily for me, has thus far been filled with thoughtful, intelligent, respectful men. The men I work with in local government evaluate me not based on age or gender or appearance but on competence and work ethic. I’ve been treated as an equal. I’ve not been demeaned or objectified. For that, I’m grateful.
And yet I shouldn’t have to feel grateful for basic human respect. It should be an expectation.
We all must demand respect for women, so that our daughters may grow up expecting it. Women must speak up and speak louder than the voices that blame victims or excuse perpetrators. I hope that Sonoma County women feel empowered to share their stories and stand up to inappropriate sexual misconduct. I hope that Sonoma County men will stand with us.
And if you think it’s uncomfortable to hear these sorts of stories, rest assured, it’s uncomfortable for women to share them. But if we do not empower women to speak, the pattern will continue. Marion Brown, when asked why she was publicly accusing Rep. John Conyers, replied, “And the reason I’m taking the risk, it is important. I want to be a voice. My ancestors, my grandmother, my mother, my daughters, my granddaughter, I want her when she enters the workforce long after I’m gone, I want her to not have to endure sexism and gender inequality, and I want to stand up, and I feel it was worth the risk, to stand up for all the women in the workforce that are voiceless. Ordinary women like myself with extraordinary challenges working in the workforce that are dominated by men.”
(Lynda Hopkins represents the Fifth District on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. She lives in Forestville.)
DECEMBER 15, 1967 — Gale-force winds with gusts up to 68 miles an hour have failed to budge the Golden Gate bridge. “It’s been blowing from the north, and all that does is clean the bridge,” a maintenance man said yesterday. Instruments showed the bridge had been swaying “hardly at all” during the blow, he said. The bridge is designed to cope with 100 mile an hour winds striking it broadside from the west or east. “She’s built to sway 13 feet 6 inches off center in either direction,” the maintenance man said, “but she’s never come up to that.”
NO ADVANCE WARNING
Waking to the roar of fire whirling around our home, the ringing from a landline telephone at 1:30 a.m. saved our lives. Our mobile devices depended upon our in-house Wi-Fi to receive calls. No power, no cell reception.
Ours is one of many stories that surfaced from the raging firestorm that devastated the North Coast in October. We had no advance warning, no one knocking upon our door to alert us of the impending danger that ultimately devastated thousands of acres and homes.
Through the grace of God, and the distant phone ringing in our home, we survived this life-altering event. We never found out who was calling. It may well have been a reverse 911 call. We will never know for sure. However, in retrospect, isn’t it about time that the great state of California devised an advance-warning system similar to that in other high-risk regions, e.g., Hawaii?
When all is said and done, we are glad to be alive, facing a daunting task of rebuilding our future and ready to be part of the new, state-of-the-art Sonoma County Strong!
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 10, 2017
TIMOTHY CILIBRASI, Mendocino. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
OSCAR DIAZ-RAYA, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
RICHARD GADE, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LAYNE HALL, Ukiah. First degree robbery.
WILLIAM HOLT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
GLENN JENKINS, Klamath Falls, Oregon/Willits. Paraphernalia, controlled substance, suspended license, unlawful display of registration, county parole violation.
MICHAEL LOCKETT SR., Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ALBERTO LOPEZ, Talmage. Trespassing, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ERNESTO RUIZ-PALMERIN, Cloverdale/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license, probation revocation.
DAMION SANCHEZ, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol-drugs, suspended license, probation revocation.
JONATHON WOLFE, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, parole violation.
JONATHAN YOUNG, Willits. Under influence, paraphernalia.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Does anyone see a major disconnect between the wipeout of Puerto Rico, billions of dollars of damage to Houston, billions of dollars of damage to Florida from their Hurricane and the allegation that the US economy GREW by over 2%??
And now we have Los Angeles on fire including mansions of the rich and famous…
“Oh yes my house burned down but the economy grew including my own finances because insurance paid to partially fix it!
And just look at all the jobs created for insurance adjusters, and major repairs!”
This is the fatal flaw in today’s alleged economic ledgers. Obviously there are huge stores of actual physical value being wiped out already from Climate Change caused by global warming and yet this destruction of real physical value is not counted?
How does that figure?
Wait until the price of oil goes back up…
To the Editor:
Every woman alive — although some of us are more fragile and sensitive than others — knows the difference between an advance from a man that threatens our career and livelihood unless we comply, and a sloppy, silly come-on that is just stupid bad judgment on the part of the guy. We also understand when the advance goes from sloppy and stupid to the use of physical force. Many of us have experienced rape, an entirely different order of violation.
There are degrees and degrees of male sexual malfeasance. The continuum is radically different from one end to the other. This has to be acknowledged, or we are on a path to moral chaos in the area of relationships between the sexes.
I don’t know exactly where the line is, but I know that there is a line. I suspect that the lines most women draw are very similar one to another. Is it possible to define them?
Anne Breckenridge Dorsey
SEND ME IN, COACH, I'M READY!
I am happy to announce the opening of my private practice, an assessment and psychotherapy service, centrally located in Fort Bragg, California. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Substance Use Disorder Counselor II, and Certified Forgiveness Coach, I specialize in trauma treatment, PTSD, domestic violence, mood disorders, personality disorders, weight management wisdom, family systems, behavioral problems, chemical dependency issues, and forgiveness sessions. Regardless of the issues addressed in psychotherapy, I recognize the importance of utilizing a body/mind/spirit approach with Contemporary and Indigenous Healing practices for balance and wellness. I look forward to meeting you,
Dr. Kianna Zielesch, Ph.D., CSAC II
Certified Forgiveness Coach
FINALLY, HINCKLE’S FINAL CHAPTER — GONZO BOOK YEARS IN MAKING
by Sam Whiting
As Warren Hinckle lay dying, his latest corrections to a piece of writing he’d been working on for 10 or 11 years were being typeset for delivery to his publisher, appropriately named Last Gasp.
Hinckle, the longtime San Francisco journalist and author, was never one to prioritize deadlines, even one as literal and final as this, but it was a race nonetheless. The print-ready file was loaded onto a flash drive at 1:30 a.m. Aug. 25, 2016. At 5:37 that morning, the larger-than-life, hard-drinking muckraker with the trademark eye patch slipped away.
Sixteen months later, “Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?” will hit the stands for Christmas, a miracle made possible only by the passing of Hinckle, who surely would be rewriting it still if he were living.
“We announced and canceled publication dates many times,” said Last Gasp Publisher Ron Turner, now the same age Hinckle was at his death, 77.
It was amazing that Hinckle lived as long as he did. His own father, a longshoreman also named Warren, had died at 66 on a barstool at the Philosopher’s Club in West Portal. That was the standard Hinckle upheld during his 60-year career as a member of what he called “the drinking press.”
A second-generation San Franciscan known for his pirate eye patch, Hinckle lived all over the city and worked for all of its major papers, The Chronicle, the Examiner and the Independent. He took over and relaunched Ramparts, a Catholic monthly, then went on to start (and bury) the slick magazines Scanlan’s Monthly, City, Frisco and a quarterly review, the Argonaut.
He was a force in the rise of both the New Left and the so-called New Journalism, in which the writer was often part of the story. All the better if it meant getting arrested at his desk at The Chronicle, or having a drink poured over his head by the mayor, as happened with Dianne Feinstein after she’d endured a litany of insults.
His roguish ways were a link to San Francisco’s swashbuckling past, which had more in common with the Barbary Coast era than with the techie invasion already going full tilt when he died. He liked to write about the chaos that surrounded him, even making fun of his 1989 wedding to Susan Cheever, daughter of novelist John Cheever.
“Warren’s ideas were always in motion,” said Turner. “His words were the orchestra, and he was the conductor.”
As Turner spoke, 7,000 first editions of the $39.95 book — each weighing 3.7 pounds — were sealed in a sea container sailing the Pacific from the printer in China. Without further delay, they’ll be unpacked and stacked up Monday for a public book-release party at 111 Minna Gallery.
“Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?” will debut a few months before another book, “Ransoming Pagan Babies: the Selected Writings of Warren Hinckle,” by Heyday Books of Berkeley.
The hardbound Heyday edition, priced at $35, includes gems such as Hinckle’s in-the-crowd coverage of the Belfast funerals for IRA hunger strikers Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes.
“On a morning gray and black, Bobby Sands’ mother came to church. The funeral got there before her,” it begins.
Heyday may have packaged up the best writing by Hinckle, but Last Gasp got his last writing.
“Edited & with a Humongous Introduction (A Book in Itself!) by Warren Hinckle,” reads the cover. That introduction, titled “The Crazy Never Die,” runs to 197 pages, dense with illustrations, magazine covers, photos and an eight-page gatefold.
With every turn of the page you can see Hinckle at work on a bar stool with his basset hound, Bentley, on his own stool, as they burned through the finances of yet another publisher or investor. Hinckle had a succession of bassets, all named Bentley. At least he’d never forget the current hound’s name.
“The book is both the longest and the costliest to produce in 47 years of Last Gasp,” said Turner, who built his Mission District publishing house on underground “comix” and lowbrow books.
The Hinckle book is primarily a collection of essays about Thompson’s excessive behavior. Hinckle’s ramble, titled “The Crazy Never Die,” is followed by 30 others in a category titled “Adventures with Hunter.” The authors range from Jerry Brown to Garry Trudeau, Johnny Depp to Wavy Gravy. Add in letters, midnight faxes and an index and it amounts to 530 pages on matte paper.
“I don’t know if we will ever recover the cost,” Turner said.
As with so many misadventures of Hinckle’s cohort, “Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?” starts at the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Street Theatre, the San Francisco strip club and porno house.
As Turner recalls it, notorious gonzo journalist Thompson, famous for his “Fear and Loathing” literary franchise, had gotten a six-figure advance from a New York publishing house to write a book on his experience as the night manager at the O’Farrell. The ensuing book, to be titled “Polo Is My Life,” was never finished. In fact, never started.
“Not a word was written,’’ Turner deadpanned. “Fun got in the way.”
The fun ended on Feb. 20, 2005, when Thompson shot himself inside his log home, at Owl Farm, Woody Creek, Colo.
In the aftermath of Thompson’s suicide, Jim Mitchell, owner of the theater, decided the book must live on. He would supply a fresh advance of $10,000 and a new title, “The Night Manager.” Hinckle, who had a gift for procrastination second only to that of Thompson, was appointed as author. Mitchell persuaded Turner to publish it.
Two years later, Mitchell died of a heart attack at 63. Turner changed the title again, to “Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?” It would turn out to be something of a misnomer.
“As Warren was writing about Hunter, he got off on this whole autobiographical tangent about editing Ramparts and Scanlan’s,” said Turner. “He inserted himself into the story.”
That’s one way of putting it. Hinckle is 88 pages into the story before getting around to the nut of it, which is that he introduced outlaw journalist Thompson to the Welsh illustrator of the grotesque, Ralph Steadman, thereby creating the consummate writer-illustrator partnership of New Journalism.
The chapter is titled “Scanlan’s and the Birth of Gonzo,” and details Hinckle’s editing of “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved” in one of the big red booths at the North Beach bar Tosca. It took many cappuccinos (steamed hot chocolate and brandy) to get the job done.
“When Steadman’s sketches arrived the next morning in the overnight mail I knew we had a game changer,” Hinckle writes. “The Derby article ... ends with the artist being Maced by the writer, which thus begat gonzo.”
But he was still only halfway through the introduction. To get the other half, Turner, whom Hinckle called “Ronzo,” had to chase him from Gino and Carlo to Tosca to the Double Play. Turner’s son and associate publisher, Colin, 38, has so many emails of their pleadings that he had to commit them to a backup server.
“Hi Warren: Can’t wait to see the final edit,” he wrote with tentative optimism in 2009.
A plea for help went out to Hinckle’s daughter Pia, an editor and writer who’d declined to work with her father since he’d fired her years before.
“You had to be crazy to work with my dad because things take years and stop and start,” she recalled recently. But she took him on again and agreed to edit the introduction. As they worked, she saw the decline in her father’s health and focus.
“This was a guy who could go for three days with no sleep and edit four magazines,” said Hinckle.
One by one, contributors to the collection died — Thompson’s attorney John Clancy, illustrator Dennis Eichhorn, and journalist Bill Cardoso, who’d coined the term “gonzo.”
All had completed their work for the book. There was a hex in that.
“I don’t believe he ever intended to finish it before he died,” said Linda Corso, Hinckle’s partner of 20 years. “Warren hated deadlines, and the only deadline for this book was his death.”
Because Hinckle worked on paper proofs, every fresh round of his fixes and changes had to be reset by the book’s typesetter. She’d print out the new pages for Turner and Hinckle, who would always find something new to fix or rework.
“Four times before, I had done the last read-through,” said Turner. “I did a fifth. This time I did not have Warren to block my decisions.”
When the ordeal was finally over, Turner sent Pia a sealed copy of the finished product. There it sits on the shelf in her home office, still wrapped in plastic, alongside one of her dad’s mini-bottles of Jameson Irish Whiskey and the seven other books he wrote.
“If I open it,” she said, “it will mean that he is really dead.”
(San Francisco Chronicle)
TOO MANY LIBERALS
We have 5,300 college in the US, from community colleges all the way up to Harvard. About 4,000 of them are four year schools. And those four year schools are full to capacity of liberal professors. So is it any wonder that our younger people are coming out of college as liberals? The colleges are just beehives or anthills for liberals. It’s a dirty rotten shame. These people are coming out of there anti-President Trump who is trying to do the right thing, but they nag at him every step of the way. Unbelievable.
Jerry Brown just said on the radio the other day that global warming/climate change is responsible for the fires in Southern California. Can you believe that? Can you believe the hypocrisy of him? It’s beyond belief. Jerry Brown is actually responsible for all those fires in Santa Rosa and Napa and all those other ones because he vetoed the bill that was passed to let PG&E clean up all around the power lines to keep them from sparking. That bill passed and Jerry Brown vetoed it. What do you think about that?
All you people who read my letters, Have a Merry Christmas, NOT Happy Holidays!
God Bless Donald Trump.
COMMENT PERIOD FOR DELTA PLAN AMENDMENTS PEIR EXTENDED TO JAN. 22, 2018
by Dan Bacher
The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) is extending the comment period for the Delta Plan Amendments Draft PEIR (Programmatic Environmental Impact Report) until Jan. 22, 2018. The controversial document promotes “dual conveyance,” a euphemism for Governor Jerry Brown's Delta Tunnels Plan, as the preferred conveyance option.
E-mailed comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Mailed comments must be postmarked no later than Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.
A public hearing on the Delta Plan Amendments Draft PEIR remains as scheduled, from 4 until 7 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 14, 2017, at the West Sacramento City Hall Galleria, 1110 West Capitol, Avenue, West Sacramento, CA.
The public hearings on the amendments held so far this year have attracted large crowds of very vocal Delta Tunnels opponents. On June 22, the Delta Stewardship Council endorsed controversial conveyance and storage amendments to the Delta Plan that that project opponents say will hasten the approval of the California WaterFix,
In spite of massive opposition by fishermen, family farmers, environmentalists and Delta residents who packed a room in the Holiday Inn in Sacramento, only one member of the Council, Solano County Supervisor Skip Thomson, voted against the amendment that promotes “dual conveyance" as the preferred conveyance option.
Thompson cited voting for the amendments, in the face of broad opposition, as an example of the “Abilene Paradox,” when a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of many (or all) of the individuals in the group. A common phrase relating to the Abilene Paradox is a desire not to “rock the boat.”
Before the decision, Thomson commented, “The amendment is too narrowly focusing on Delta Conveyance. What happens if the conveyance doesn't work? I’ll be voting no on the amendment,” he stated.
After the decision, Mike Brodsky, lawyer for the Save the Delta Alliance (STDA), responded, “The Delta Stewardship Council is headed for self-destruction. The previous Delta Plan was struck down by the courts. These amendments to the plan will also also be struck down by the courts and will lead to the abolition of the Delta Stewardship Council.”
For more information on that meeting, go to: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/22/1674342/-Delta-Stewardship-Council-Approves-Amendments-Promoting-Delta-Tunnels
DWR to award up to $1 billion in contracts for Delta Tunnels proposal
Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown, the Department of Water Resources and the Metropolitan Water District continue to fast-track the Delta Tunnels project, in spite of the overwhelming opposition by the public to the project and the lack of a financial plan or benefits-cost analysis.
In the latest battle in the water wars, officials for the "CA WaterFix Industry Day” held in Sacramento on December 7 announced that while not all funding is available for WaterFix presently, that the first $1 billion for four contracts would be made public Thursday, according to a statement from Restore the Delta (RTD).
"The Design Construction Enterprise (a CA WaterFix unit staffed by Metropolitan Water District employees and associates embedded in the Department of Water Resources), will be organizing into a Construction Joint Powers Authority and awarding contracts despite reports of dubious financial arrangements and project management qualifications as reported by the State Auditor," the group said.
"Friends of the Restore the Delta campaign attending CA WaterFix Industry Day noted that program presenters barely acknowledged that the permit process is far from finished, or which agency sourced the initial $1 billion in funding. These notes can be read here, while official program materials can be accessed here," RTD said.
Project officials also claimed some sort of groundbreaking ceremonies will take place during December 18, 2018, despite project design stated to be 5% complete—a shift from the original 10% designed status noted by project officials before the State Water Resources Control Board and at other public agency meetings, the group revealed.
“It is my sincere hope that our union brothers and sisters working in construction and veterans business groups will take heed of the findings by the State Auditor regarding the project’s finances before making business plans with the state for the project," said Restore the Delta executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. "Hearings for the Validation Suit filed by the Department of Water Resources and associated responses have been delayed; permitting for the project is far from complete; and the majority of water agencies have not committed to paying for the project."
“The idea that DWR can offer $1 billion in contracts for a project that has not been permitted by State and Federal agencies is an outrageous use of public money. We are calling on the Delta Legislative Caucus and other legislative budget committee leaders to hold immediate hearings as to what is transpiring with the Department of Water Resources. They are in a rush to circumvent regular public permitting processes so as to hold ‘a theatrical groundbreaking’ to appease Governor Brown before he leaves office. This is a blatant misuse of public money, regardless of whether it is paid for by state taxpayers or water ratepayers. The project is not permitted, not yet approved, and the offering of contracts now puts the financial cart before the horse," she concluded.
To learn more about what happened at CA WaterFix Industry Day, listen to a special 1-hour episode of Delta Flows on the Voice of Stockton Radio that aired this morning at: bit.ly/2iJwtdX
On the show, host Barrigan-Parrilla discussed the status of the Delta tunnels project – named, or misnamed by the state as California WaterFix. Joining her in the studio was Tom Keeling, attorney with the Freeman Firm, representing San Joaquin County in the CAWaterFix hearings at the State Water Resources Control Board, Jonas Minton, Water Program Manager at the Planning and Conservation League and former deputy director with the California Department of Water Resources & Osha Meserve, environmental and water attorney, with Local Agencies of the North Delta.