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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Feb. 26, 2018

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LIGHT SHOWERS will diminish across the region Monday morning. Otherwise, clearing skies will lead to cold temperatures Monday night into Tuesday morning. A strong storm system will move across the region Wednesday through Friday. Strong winds and heavy rain are probable Wednesday afternoon and evening, with coastal hail showers and heavy mountain snow possible Thursday and Friday. (National Weather Service)

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FIFTH DISTRICT SUPES CANDIDATE TED WILLIAMS met with a couple dozen locals at Lauren’s Restaurant Friday afternoon. Most attendees came away impressed with Williams' grasp of issues of local concern. Most, that is, except for former Fifth District Supervisor David Colfax who launched into what one attendee described as “a typical Colfax rant” about “incompetence” and “special interests” certain to thwart whatever Williams wants to do.

WE PAUSE HERE to point out that Mr. Colfax never mentioned incompetence while a Supervisor nor did he point out which “special interests” were obstructing whatever agenda he may have had (which we failed to notice despite keeping close tabs). We could launch into our own rant about Colfax here, particularly his single-minded and successful effort to raise his own pay and retirement, his sole accomplishment. Ditto for his successor, the ineffable Hamburg. But Colfax and Hamburg are best left in the overflowing dustbin of Fifth District history. Make way for youth!

WILLIAMS, Albion-Little River Fire Chief, is conversant with emergency services, as you’d expect, and he says he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Coast Hospital open. He also has some interesting ideas on housing and broadband (being a computer specialist of some note, Williams might actually speed things along). Due to competing obligations, we arrived late at the Williams meet-and-greet and didn’t hear some the opening part of his presentation. In fact, for the nearly half hour we were on hand it seemed like most of the time was locals asking “questions” which turned out to be windy opinions of their own. Perhaps they can be excused since Colfax only held two community meetings in Anderson Valley in his twelve years as supervisor and Hamburg held none. But still, it would have been better if the “questions” were short and simple and gave the candidate time to answer. He’s running, not us.

WILLIAMS said he thinks broadband and walking and hiking trails are the best chance for economic development in the fifth district, both of which would certainly be significant accomplishments, but both of which will take more than one supervisor to achieve.

THE ASPIRING SUPERVISOR had some opinions on housing which attendees liked, particularly incentives for long-term rentals to locals instead of short-term rentals to tourists. We expect to see more of Williams’s takes on these and related subjects as the campaign unfolds, but so far, so good.

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CONSENT CALENDAR ITEM 4h on Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors agenda is a County Counsel request to increase the pay authority to an outside law firm from $100k to $150 to defend the County in a child abduction case filed by Linda and Rudolfo Morales and Ms. Morales's minor grandson K.B.

MORALES alleges that the County of Mendocino, some of its employees, and two of K.B.'s relatives — more specifically, his mother Buffey Wright and his minor cousin V.W. (Ms. Wright is also Ms. Morales's daughter, and V.W. is also Ms. Morales's grand-daughter) conspired to remove K.B. from the Morales's home without cause or due process.

THE CASE has been underway since 2015 with unending motions and counter motions. Apparently the two attorneys working in the County Counsel’s office, who specialize in such things, were either unqualified to handle the dispute on their own or they were disqualified as parties to the case. We’ve attempted to look into the now-grotesquely complicated particulars of the matter and can’t even tell if Ms. Morales wants monetary damages or custody changes or both.

WE TEND TO THINK that if Ms. Morales has gone to this much trouble to sue the County and carry on with it for this long, there must be merit to her case, since Mendo is not exactly the picture of perfection when it comes to child seizures and custody disputes. But as priorities go, most locals would prefer to see the $150k go to go fixing potholes, not an endless custody dispute drain on the County’s general fund.

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LOTS OF ANDERSON VALLEY PEOPLE are gearing up to attend Tuesday's Class K discussion at the Board of Supervisors meeting; locals are unanimous in wanting to leave Class K alone. We don't think they will be mollified by the Planning and Building staff’s recent concession of not requiring perimeter foundations for Class K because the Class K code “update” will still restrict the size of Class K buildings to under 2,000 square-feet, require at least one acre parcels, require the full-range of fire-protection including sprinklers, and several extra inspections, in addition to updating the code to reflect all current Universal Building Code requirements. Of course, some of these updates are probably justified for safety reasons, so it will be interesting to see if they can get the Board to back off any of the Class K modernization proposals.

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(Click to Enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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THE MENDOCINO COUNTY PET CARAVAN will be at the Manchester Community Center on Feb 27/28. Vaccinations are from 10 am to 2 pm and do NOT need an appointment - just drop in. Spay and neuter surgeries are by appointment only. Call (707) 513-7604 and leave a message to schedule.

The Manchester Community Center/Garcia Guild is on Crispin Road just east of Highway 1.

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THE 27TH ANNUAL AV VARIETY SHOW is just around the corner! The Show itself will be on Friday and Saturday nights, March 9th and 10th. We know you won't want to miss two full nights of unique local entertainment. Each night we will be showcasing one-of-a-kind performances, and we have spent years (27 in fact) perfecting our ticket selling skills so that everyone who wants to can see it all. We have some special performances by popular locals that can only be seen on Friday night, so you'll want to be sure to make it for both shows! We have some exciting acts coming up from the bay area, as well, so you will want to catch it all.

Here's the skinny on getting your tickets:

Tickets are $10/adults, $5/kids and seniors. They will be available starting Monday, March 5th, at Lemon's Market in Philo and the AV Market in Boonville *until they sell out*. If you don't manage to get the pre-sale tickets available next week, don't fret, because we will have no less than 100 tickets available each night at the door. if you need tickets, get to the Grange early enough to get in line. If you have a ticket, you will be guaranteed entry--but not necessarily a seat. The doors open at 6:30 and the show will start promptly at 7 pm both Friday and Saturday nights, March 9th and 10th. Anyone who has been to the show can tell you, people will be lining up at least an hour ahead of time to get tickets and good seats. It's always a fun party in the Grange parking lot before the show, and there will be tasty treats to buy from local chefs, as well.

There will be tickets available at the tech rehearsal this weekend, March 3rd and 4th, for the friends and family of the performers. We have seen some sad situations in the past where some parents weren't able to get tickets to see their kids onstage, so we have made sure to have tickets to sell during rehearsal. If you or your loved ones are performing, and you want to be sure to get your people in on the night of the show, please make sure to bring cash to the Grange when you come to rehearse your act. Another thing to keep in mind is that the show goes late, and some of the younger performers and their families will leave early--so if you arrive late, you may still be able to get in. We are so excited to see you all there!

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The Redwood Region Logging Conference will host its First Annual Logger’s Art Show on Thursday, March 15 at the Ukiah Fairgrounds during the 80th Annual Conference.

The event will be in conjunction with the Beer and Wine Tasting Gala beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Carl Purdy Hall.

Artists are encouraged to enter work which depicts some form of natural resource or a timber theme, including: Logging, Sawing, Transportation, Forestry, Sawmill, Equipment and Supplies.

The class is open to Painting, Drawing, Photography, Sculpture, Saw Art, Hard Hat Art, Wood Carvings, Metal Work, Leather, Fiber and Quilts.

Prizes are: 1st place $300, 2nd Place $200 and 3rd place $100 and the placing will be determined by popular vote from those attending the Gala. Entry forms are due March 2 and applications can be found at

Art work will need to be delivered to the Ukiah Fairgrounds on Wednesday, March 14 and picked up Thursday evening following the event.

Getting ready for the Logger’s Art Show are Katherine Ziemer, executive director of the Redwood Region Logging Conference, left, and Claudia Lima, a well-known artist from Arcata, co-owner of Redwood Forest Products and a longtime supporter of the Logging Conference.

ED NOTE: Ms. Lima is a wonderful painter. And being from Arcata, I have to wonder if she's related to Micky Lima, a well known communist of the forties and fifties into the 1960's. Fleshing out the local angle:

Helen Corbin Lima died peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of May 5. She had recently celebrated her 88th birthday. On the day she died she had lunch with friends at the North Oakland Senior Center and after a rest helped make a large pot of applesauce.

Helen and her twin brother Allen were born on March 31, 1917, in China where their father was a missionary. Helen returned to the U.S. permanently in 1928, the year her mother died. Helen graduated from high school in Henry, Illinois and went first to Carleton College and then to the University of Illinois in Urbana. She graduated with a degree in sociology and no hopes of finding a job in the Midwest. In 1938, a self declared atheist and non-conformist, she moved to Eureka, California where her older sister Clara was living. Clara had been part of the community support for the 1935 Eureka lumber strike and that attracted Helen. She worked part-time at a restaurant and cleaned houses before she finally she found a job as the secretary for the fisherman’s union Local 38 in Eureka in 1939. Helen later wrote about this experience, “I learned CIO unionism—militant, democratic and politically progressive.” Helen’s job was to keep the books, track the treasury and take the minutes. She soon, however, became an organizer. That same year Helen joined the Communist Party and in 1940 she married Albert J “Mickie” Lima who was a local leader in the CP.

Their first child, Margaret was born in 1943 and in 1945 the family moved to San Francisco. Helen went to work in the offices of People’s World newspaper. Their second child, Michael, was born in August 1949 and in May 1951 their third child, Rachel, was born. Six weeks later Mickie and other leaders of the Communist Party were arrested under the Smith Act. For the next several years Helen’s life was consumed by the “Smith Act Defense.” By 1956 the job at the People’s World had become very part time and Helen went to work first in a small restaurant and then in the spring of 1957 in the kitchen at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley. In the summer of 1958 SEIU Local 250 struck at several East Bay hospitals for pay increase and union recognition. After a three-week strike they won union recognition and a nickel increase in pay. Helen, who had been a strike captain, became a rank and file union activist—and for the next 21 years she fought for workers on the job and for democracy and financial transparency in Local 250.

In 1979 Helen retired from Herrick and devoted her time to political work. She worked for peace, against racism and South African apartheid, in many local political campaigns and raised money for the People’s World newspaper. She also took care of her son Michael who suffered from schizophrenia until he committed suicide in 1982. In 1995 Helen lost her son-in-law Donzell in a tragic incident of street violence. In 1987 Mickie retired from full time work in the Communist Party and Mickie and Helen spent long weeks at the family cabin in Fort Bragg. Mickie died in June 1989 and in early 1991 Helen moved into Strawberry Creek Lodge in Berkeley. Her only income was Social Security, so she applied for Section 8 housing—and a whole new realm of political activity opened up for her. From then until her death Helen was active in the fight for affordable housing and to save Section 8. In May 2000 she was given an affordable housing leadership award for community activism by the Non Profit Housing Association of Northern California. And in November 2004 she received the Hell Raiser of the Year award from Berkeley’s Housing Rights Advocates.

Helen is survived by daughters Rachel and Margy and son-in-law Tony; grandchildren Jason and wife Rachel, Lila and Matthew; by great grandchildren Sofia and Mickie—and by scores of friends and admirers.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I can personally vouch for Bruno and Rocko. They're good dudes. Breaks my yapping little heart to see them locked up in the Shelter. Someone take them home.”

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JUST SEALED my ballot for the KZYX Board election. I voted for Pat Kovner, Bob Vaughan, Dina Pokinghorne (running unopposed), and myself. The lucky three were familiar names. I've known Pat for years and know she would be an independent voice on a board almost certain to lack them; I voted for Vaughan last time around because he seemed to grasp the enterprise has major probs; and I voted for Pokinghorne for the irrelevant reason that I've admired her work with the Ukiah Women's Shelter back to the time we were allies in the matter of Yeni Wiraderdja. The other candidates are unknown to me, but I daresay several, at least two of whom have programs on KZYX, have been put forward by the station's dominant claque. They will of course be elected, which will ensure that Mendo Semi-Public Radio will continue lurching toward bankruptcy.

I GOT A NICE LAUGH out of the opening line of the ballot letter: "Dear KZYX Member, Your community public radio station is on the threshold of an exciting new era in community interaction and participation."

LET ME KNOW when the excitement starts.

ON THE BACK of the Threshold Letter is a message called "State of the Station Report" from Jeffrey Parker, KZYX's phantom manager. (Parker's predecessor fled, citing "toxic personalities." Parker seems to think he's inherited a reputable organization.)

PARKER'S opening sentence is even funnier than the Dear KZYX Member message from Ed Keller. He's catapulted clear over the excitement threshold: "As we stride into 2018, a burst of innovation is creating a fresh, infectious sense of community engagement and public service at Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, building on nearly three decades of broadcast excellence from our family of dedicated KZYX programmers and a full slate of...." Etc.

DARN! I thought I was getting a flu shot but somehow got inoculated against "infectious sense of community engagement."

THE FACT is that except for the cadre of its own programmers and paid members — stagnant for years now — KZYX is not considered a resource by most people in Mendocino County. Even here in the boondocks, competition for eyes and ears is intense, and KZYX, public subsidies and all, isn't competing. A smart, lively hour of local news and uncensored call-ins every morning would help get the station out there, but KZYX is wed to more of the same. No, I don't think anything the GM cited as new is of much interest to anyone beyond the people involved.

I WAS SURPRISED by Election Coordinator Keller's penultimate sentence: "Your vote will make a difference since we typically receive ballots from only a small percentage of our members."

JESU CRISTO! If participation in the election is minimal it seems to mean the enterprise is stuck somewhere between indifference and total ennui.

IF IT WEREN'T for that big hunk of annual federal money, this sucker would have gone down years ago. It could not, like KMUD just to the north of us, sustain itself. The only real questions "going forward," as the GM might say, is how to make KZYX a must-listen for a lot more Mendo people. Given the givens, I don't see that happening.

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THE AMERICAN WRITER in the middle of the twentieth century has his hands full in trying to understand, describe, and then make credible much of American reality. It stupifies, it sickens, it infuriates, and finally it is even a kind of embarrassment to one's own meager imagination. The actuality is continually outdoing our talents, and the culture tosses up figures almost daily that are the envy of any novelist. — Philip Roth

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 25, 2018

Beers, Bengston, Dahl, Harris

MICHAEL BEERS, Ukiah. Shoplifting, trespassing.

BRET BENGSTON, Ukiah. Domestic battery, parole violation.

ANTHONY DAHL, Fort Bragg. Disobeying court order.

ALEXANDER HARRIS, Ukiah. Loitering, failure to appear.

Jarvis, Moreno, Peters

ANTHONY JARVIS, Laytonville. DUI with priors, DUI-suspended license.

FARON MORENO, Laytonville. Stolen vehicle, no license.

CHRISTOPHER PETERS, Stockton/Fort Bragg. Shopifting, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

Pittman, Pontello, Shields

IUTA PITTMAN, Gualala. Domestic battery, domestic abuse, protective order violation.

MARIO PONTELLO, Ukiah. Battery with serious injury, vandalism, probation revocation.

JOHNNY SHIELDS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, controlled substance.

Sullivan, Valadez, Wade

JOHN SULLIVAN, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

ROBERT VALADEZ, Ukiah. Stalking and threatening bodily injury, under influence, failure to appear, probation revocation.

KELLY WADE, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, probation revocation.

Wiard, Wisbey, Wolfe

BRANDON WIARD, Ukiah. Getting credit using another’s ID, probation revocation. (Repost with booking photo.)

JONATHAN WISBEY, Santa Rosa/Redwood Valley. Controlled substance without prescription, felon-addict in possession of firearm, driving on suspended license causing injury-accident.

LARRY WOLFE JR., Ukiah. Vandalism, suspended license, probation revocation.

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To the Editor:

I notice the article, “Pot Users Inflamed Over Taxes” (Feb. 15) compared pot tax to beer and wine taxes. Why not to the much higher tax on hard liquor? I suggest two things that might make users feel better. 1) Consider the taxes to be “catch up” for all the years marijuana wasn’t taxed. 2) Perhaps we could raise the taxes on wine and beer to the level of marijuana. Be careful not to whine too much. There may be negative consequences.

Janet Freeman


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Dear AVA,

After contemplating Mark Scaramella’s explanation of the Anderson Valley school district’s responses to thoughtful public contributions, I find myself ever more daunted by local government obfuscation. After all, if you can’t get past the bafflegab, who on earth can?

It’s hard to believe that school board members can get so far off track — since district products and services are publicly visible and there is ample state oversight — but the example of incompetence you convey is disheartening, to say the least. Thanks for providing well-formulated and useful recommendations (that might actually be productive!), and keeping “the public” informed of how local institutions are missing their basic objectives.

One can’t help wonder how the students in these systems are being shunted through the meat market of public education, and why elected “leaders” don’t understand the resulting alienation. After all, that’s why most of my old friends moved “north” in the first place, back in the seventies and eighties — for that “rugged, anti-establishment individualism” (see Feb. 22 letter from Scott Ward) and downhome dedication to “community” that Anderson Valley is famous for.

Betsy Cawn

Upper Lake

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YOU SHOULD READ MY BOOKS AS FICTION, demanding the pleasures that fiction can yield. I have nothing to confess and no one I want to confess to. As for my autobiography, I can't begin to tell you how dull it would be. My autobiography would consist almost entirely of chapters about me sitting alone in a room looking at a typewriter. —Philip Roth

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To those of you who find it impossible to fathom giving up your right to own assault weapons, to those of you who believe the cost of innocent lives is the price we must pay so you can have your “rights”, I say to you when will it end? My students, my family, my friends and every citizen of our freedom-loving country has rights too. We have the right to not live in fear of being shot. We have the right to go to concerts, schools, churches, nightclubs, shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants, universities, workplaces, and our homes without the fear of being gunned down. Our rights are laid out in the Declaration of Independence... “The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...” You have taken those rights away from us.

Instead of banning assault weapons you want to arm teachers. Why? Tell me why anyone needs an assault weapon and tell me that the benefit of allowing these weapons outweighs the cost. Don’t tell me this is a “mental health issue”. This is an access to guns issue. People will always have times of loneliness, depression, and sometimes even hate-filled rage, this is the human condition, but as a society it’s immoral to allow people the ability to express their rage by killing and maiming countless innocent people with a simple pull of the trigger.

Donald Trump is right, we teachers love our students and we are very protective of them. In my classroom I try and provide a place of joy and a feeling of safety for my students. We read the classics, Black Beauty and Little Women. We play music and learn about Beethoven. We paint and sing and laugh, and I do my best to show them kindness and gentleness so that they will stay kind and gentle as the grow. I purposefully guard what I say in front of my students, just as I did with my own kids when they were young. Why take their innocence? Let them be children.

When we had our recent lockdown drill I was relieved that none of my kids asked specifics about why we were doing a drill. I don’t believe our young kids need to know everything about our harsh world. This is the protection I can offer my students, but I will never offer the protection that our President has proposed. Instead of asking teachers to make schools a battleground why aren’t we banning assault weapons that have no place in civilized society?

Recently Willits Unified was on heightened alert as one of our students seemed to pose a threat to the schools. Some concerned parents kept children home, teachers were visibly stressed, and administrators tried to calm nerves. We were all operating under the recent mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. Imagine if this same student, in the same situation, lived in a country that didn’t allow access to assault weapons. Imagine if this student was not able to buy a gun. How would his rage manifest? A fist through a wall or a foot through a window? Maybe... but we certainly wouldn’t have to worry about a mass shooting at our schools and we certainly wouldn’t be talking about arming teachers in the classroom and making our schools a battleground. You who refuse to rethink your “rights” to own assault weapons have blood on your hands... and you have taken away my rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Janice Haschak, Fourth Grade Teacher

Blosser Elementary, Willits

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The late publisher of Consortium News was a trailblazer who held lazy reporters and groupthink in the highest contempt.

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Have you noticed how many drivers are ignoring the law and using their cellphones while they are driving? You can easily see many drivers on their phones each day. I almost had two collisions one day recently. One person who was on the phone ignored the traffic signal turning green. Another person suddenly reduced speed in the middle of the street while on the phone and looking around.

How many times have we all seen drivers with their head down trying to hide their phone while driving? Too many. Why this is so common? Is enforcement too lenient? Maybe the fines aren’t high enough? Is the need to use their phone more important than their safety, or the safety of others?

I wonder if the number of citations given in Santa Rosa per year is so small that the chance of anyone getting caught on the phone is minimal.

Apparently whatever we are currently doing, or not doing, isn’t solving the problem. I realize police have many law enforcement responsibilities. Perhaps drivers using the phone is low on their list. But either change the law or enforce the law. What we are doing now is not working.

Jim Mangels

Santa Rosa

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Not to do away with the second amendment at all, just do away with high velocity assault firearms, which I agree are fun as hell to shoot. It is simply too dangerous to allow any civilian, 18 yo kid to get a killing machine and see how it feels. And we expect deputies to go after him with a .38 or, maybe a Glock or Sig? Not really a fair fight, wouldn’t you agree? I wouldn’t want to go up against an AK or AR with my pistol (even both of them). No thanks, I was never into suicide missions. Really, the only civilian use is as a fun play thing and a means to make millions by the manufactures (and kill unwitting civilians), but we have to say “stop the insanity.” It is simply a canard that banning true assault weapons is an attempt to get rid of the second amendment. It’s a nice argument, but totally false. Wise up.

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"FROM SIBERIA, WITH LOVE -- Esp. For James and BB"

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

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In a stunning - if not altogether unexpected - blow to long-time California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the California state Democratic Party opted not to endorse their own senior senator as she prepares to start campaigning to defend her seat in the 2018 midterms.

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Dear AVA,

Now retired, I acknowledge my career in the public school classroom took me from pedagogical progressive in early seventies to back-to-basics traditionalist in the nineties. My educational heroes reflect this change. One is hoping you'll have a comment on the dominance of Freire's philosophy in U.S. classroom for some 45 years now.


Early Career Champions:

  • A.S. Neill: Summerhill
  • Postman and Weingartner: Teaching as a Subversive Activity
  • George Leonard: Education and Ecstacy
  • Jonathan Kozol: Death at an Early Age
  • Charles Silberman: Crisis in the Classroom
  • John Holt: How Children Fail
  • Career Final Stage Champions:
  • Plato
  • William C. Bagley
  • William Strunk: The Elements of Style
  • Richard Mitchell ("The Underground Grammarian"): Graves of Academe, Less Than Words Can Say
  • Neil Postman: Amusing Ourselves to Death
  • Diane Ravitch: Left Back
  • E.D. Hirsch: The Schools We Need
  • Clifford Stoll: High Tech Heretic
  • Mark Bauerlein: The Dumbest Generation

Here's E.D. Hirsch on Gramsci v. Freire:

It is a bitter irony that the egalitarian rhetoric of American educational orthodoxy (controlled since 1970 by liberals) has fostered inequality. .... Political liberals really ought to oppose progressive educational ideas because they have led to practical failure and greater social inequity. The only practical way to achieve liberalism’s aim of greater social justice is to pursue conservative educational policies.

Gramsci wrote: “The most paradoxical aspect of it all is that this new type of school is advocated as being democratic, while in fact it is destined not merely to perpetuate social differences but crystallize them in Chinese complexity.” Gramsci saw that to denominate such methods as phonics and memorization of the multiplication table as “conservative,” while associating them with the political right, amounted to a serious intellectual error. …

Freire rejected traditional teaching methods and subject matters, objecting to the “banking theory of schooling,” whereby the teacher provides the child with a lot of “rote-learned” information. The consequence of the conservative approach, according to Freire, is to numb the critical faculties of students and to preserve the oppressor class. He called for a ... new content that would celebrate the culture of the oppressed, and new methods that would encourage intellectual independence and resistance. …

Gramsci took the opposite view. He held that political progressivism demanded educational conservatism. The oppressed class should be taught to master the tools of power and authority - the ability to read, write, and communicate - and to gain enough traditional knowledge to understand the worlds of nature and culture surrounding them. Children, particularly the children of the poor, should not be encouraged to flourish “naturally,” which would keep them ignorant and make them slaves of emotion. They should learn the value of hard work, gain the knowledge that leads to understanding, and master the traditional culture in order to command its rhetoric …

In this debate, history has proved Gramsci to be the better theorist and prophet than Freire. Modern nations that have adopted Gramscian principles have bettered the condition and heightened the political, social, and economic power of oppressed classes of people. By contrast, nations (including our own) that have stuck to the principles of Freire have failed to change the social and economic status quo. …

Gramsci was not the only observer to predict that inegalitarian consequences of “naturalistic,” “project-oriented,” “hands-on,” “critical-thinking,” and so-called “democratic” education. … There is an inverse relation between educational progressivism and social progressivism. Educational progressivism is a sure means for preserving the social status quo, whereas the best practices of educational conservatism are the only means whereby children from disadvantaged homes can secure the knowledge and skills that will enable them to improve their condition.

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I HAVE NO DESIRE ANY LONGER TO WRITE FICTION. I did what I did and it's done. I had a strong suspicion that I'd done my best work and anything more would be inferior. I was by this time no longer in possession of the mental vitality or the verbal energy or the physical fitness needed to mount and sustain a large creative attack of any duration on a complex structure as demanding as the novel. —Philip Roth

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Regarding “Planning how S.F. might guide its future” (Insight, Feb. 18): The cover of the Insight issue, featuring a March 1954 photo of pedestrians crossing the intersection of Sutter and Montgomery streets in San Francisco, shows how far we have fallen from civility and public appearance in the past 60 years.

Back then, people were well dressed in suits, hats and dresses. No one wore flip-flops, T-shirts or torn jeans. And everyone in the 1954 photo seems to be aware of their surroundings. No one is staring at a smartphone screen or wearing headphones to block out the world around them. Yes, times change and so does fashion, but not always for the better.

Dorothy Van Horne, San Francisco

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The idea was to build a little village and give it away as a gift. It hit Lee Merschon on Oct. 10, two days after the North Bay fires began to spread.

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I DON'T WANT YOU TO PROTEST. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write your congressmen. Because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write.... All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm a human being, goddammit. My life has value." So I want you to get up now. I want you to get out of your chairs and go to the window. Right now. I want you to go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell. I want you to yell, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!" —Howard Beale, Network

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The ongoing litigation of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit and the appeal regarding its dismissal took a stunning turn yesterday. The defendants in the case, including the DNC and former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, filed a response brief that left many observers of the case at a loss for words.



  1. james marmon February 26, 2018


    Janice Haschak, Fourth Grade Teacher, because of people like you, who only want government authorities to be well armed, is one of the reasons our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence in the first place. England never had right to bear arms legislation.

    In the Florida case, the government failed, and now you want to take people’s right to defend themselves by taking their guns away.

    My daughter is a special needs teacher for the Banks County School District in Northern Georgia. She has a Master’s Degree in Education and is currently working on her Ph.D. with plans of becoming an Administrator.

    She is also a military veteran, a member of the NRA, a cross fit trainer, and avid hunter. She and her husband have a shooting range on their ranch and practice routinely. They have two teenage daughters who have grown up in a house with firearms and know all about gun safety.

    My daughter should have the right to protect herself and the children in her trust, and not cower in the corner of some classroom while some nut shoots at her and the children while she waits for police officers to come save her.

    James Marmon MSW
    Father of a School Teacher

    • Harvey Reading February 26, 2018

      You truly live in a dream world, James. Well, enough, back to reality for me.

    • Jurgen Stoll February 26, 2018

      Countries that restrict gun ownership don’t have the mass killings that we do. Their teachers and students don’t cower either because a bunch of old idiots can’t get over their fear of everything. What was written in the past is meaningless to us if it doesn’t work NOW! Nothing is sacred if your children have to die for it you moron!

      • james marmon February 26, 2018

        Another member of the Bedrock debating team I see. When you don’t have a good argument, start calling people names.

        How the British lost their guns – a historical lesson every freedom-loving American should be familiar with

        British gun laws today– will America follow their example?

        “Composed of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, the citizens of the United Kingdom live under extremely restrictive gun laws – and they have a low rate of violent homicide. This is often used as an argument for tighter gun control laws in the United States. However, be aware that despite tight gun laws (or arguably because of), the British experience a high rate of crime including robbery and assault.”

        Cultural differences played a part too

        “America may seem in many ways to be like the UK, but in many ways we are vastly different too. Like the United States, the UK has a strong democracy with ample freedom to speak and act as they wish, but their culture also instills the belief that their government will always uphold the best interests of the citizens and will always protect them. Americans tend to believe more power should belong in the hands of the people, that citizens have the right, at any point in time, to challenge their government. As such, they are unwilling to relinquish too much power to their government – even if surrendering those rights increases their safety. As such, the *right* to own guns is much more valued to Americans than the British. You’ve heard of this often as “the cost of freedom” and it truly is often measured in human lives.”

        British fear of communism – Firearms Act of 1920

        “The initial restriction on British firearms was pitched as a means to control crime. In reality, its purpose was a means for the government to control the people. This began a trend that continued for thirty years as the government continued to tighten gun laws and eventually, restrict all offensive weapons, including non-firearm type weapons.

        Around 1920, after World War I, the British government feared armed labor unions could steer the country towards communism. There was much working class unrest during this period and communism was spreading throughout the hemisphere. However, the threat of a Bolshevik revolution in the UK proved unfounded as history shows the Soviet Union found it necessary to spend all its energy gaining full control of its own people rather than exporting revolution. Regardless, as a result of Parliament’s fears, they introduced the Firearms Act of 1920 as a means to control potentially unruly citizens.”

        In America we protect ourselves from Communism with guns.

        James Marmon MSW

        • Harvey Reading February 26, 2018

          James, the man had a perfectly fine argument, as did the teacher. And it seems that you are the one calling names. The other commenter simply described you, to a tee, I might add.

          Communism? Are you living in the 50s?

          • james marmon February 26, 2018

            Same as it ever was

            In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today.

            “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

            James Marmon
            Born July 4, 1954

      • james marmon February 26, 2018

        “We will take America without firing a shot … we will bury you!

        “We can’t expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have communism.

        “We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.”

        -Nikita Khrushchev.

      • BB Grace February 26, 2018

        Australia is not example for the USA. Australia can proudly claim success in ending mass murders by armed terrorist, but small armed robberies have risen 44%, IOW a bad deal because the people are unable to protect themselves.

        I think based on the WH open talks the USA will adopt Israeli policies, and give the USA more of a police state look, something very popular in communist countries.

    • janice haschak February 26, 2018

      I’m sorry Jimmy, but you didn’t pass your reading comprehension quiz. Please read the passage again:

      Imagine if this student was not able to buy a gun. How would his rage manifest? A fist through a wall or a foot through a window? Maybe… but we certainly wouldn’t have to worry about a mass shooting at our schools and we certainly wouldn’t be talking about arming teachers in the classroom and making our schools a battleground.

      Good! Now can you summarize the main point? Mrs. Haschak

      • james marmon February 26, 2018

        Mrs. Haschak, first of all, I am Mr. Marmon to you. Secondly, the mentally ill young man was not a student, he was a former student. President Trump does not want you to shoot it out with anyone in the classroom, not against your will anyway. Besides I don’t think you have the mental competence to handle a gun in the first place, your reasoning tells me that. You would be best fitted for hiding behind someone like my daughter and letting her protect you. President Trump is talking about arming people like my daughter in schools, not you.

        James Marmon MSW

        • Janice Haschak February 26, 2018

          Mr. Marmon,

          Is it that hard to understand that a potential shooter cannot shoot people if he can’t get a gun in the first place?

      • james marmon February 26, 2018

        P.S. I called you Janice Haschak because I didn’t know if you were a Ms, Mister, or Mrs. Haschak, I didn’t want to use the wrong pronoun, this is the Northcoast.

        James Marmon

      • james marmon February 26, 2018

        Mrs. Haschak don’t worry,

        “I don’t want teachers to have guns, I want certain highly adept people, people that understand weaponry, guns — if they really have that aptitude.”


        “This would be obviously only for people who were very adept at handling a gun, and it would be, it’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone,” Trump said. “Gun-free zone to a maniac — because they’re all cowards — a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us.’ ”


  2. Harvey Reading February 26, 2018


    Thank you. One minor point. The declaration is not law, thank goodness. It’s not too friendly to American Indians either as I recall.


    The biggest offenders are law enforcement personnel.


    They looked goofy to me then, and they look goofy to me now.

    • james marmon February 26, 2018

      “It’s not too friendly to American Indians either as I recall.”

      Get over it Harv, evolve.

  3. Arthur Juhl February 26, 2018

    It is wonderful to talk about making changes in our county to improve the hospitals,the poor roads, homeless people and lack of affordable housing. But there is only a certain amount of money that can be used. In my opinion the county should be operated as a corporation and have people accountable for their positions. Then there might be the funds available and ideas to cure the many situations the county faces. Arthur E. Juhl, candidate for the 5th district Supervisor

    • bruce anderson February 26, 2018

      Tiny example of present County functioning: On tomorrow’s consent agenda, an outside law firm will get ANOTHER undiscussed, undisputed $50,000 to process a local custody case. Mendo County, meanwhile,already employs two lawyers devoted to these kinds of legal disputes. County roads are crumbling, dope policy is a bad joke; planning and building manages to annoy everyone who has to deal with them, the growing homeless population is not being addressed in any coherent way, and on and on.

    • BB Grace February 26, 2018

      Wages? Private sector wages are up as Trump represents the private sector (tax generators AKA capitalists). Public sector wages are flat, jobs are decreasing, opportunities including the ladders are eliminated, pensions are not popular with the youth who see it as robbing their future to sustain what are “Trojan horses” or those who sold the USA out to China for cheap poisioned crap and Islam for oil least they destroy their precious environment with oil rigs as that’s only for poor brown people in oil rich nations whose youth also resent the rich white liberal hypocrites driving cars while they have to walk to work to serve the same retirees on cruise lines and resorts). Frank Stricker must be worried.

      Frank Stricker is Emeritus Professor of History, California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has written about poverty and has just finished American Unemployment: A New History, Explanations, Remedies. He is a member of the National Jobs for All Coalition.

      Stricker is a perfect example of why California education system is a failure.

      I don’t believe in Trump or Pence. My investment of belief in people is limited to one act at a time. There are ideas I have about Trump and Pence which depending on the timeline and data I collect could lead to a belief; However, because I don’t stop collecting data, I won’t invest belief until I’m ready to wage a bet. As far as I know about Trump politically, he contributed to liberal leaning democrats most his life and a few wild cards like Ross Perot. He was born and raised in a liberal Democratic Party family, which Ivanka is way more liberal than many on the right can suffer with. I don’t know anyone on the right who wants Pence for president though he’s earned respect for moving Trump agenda of “Make America Great Again” with dignity, as I suspect that it’s not easy working with or for Trump.

      CA is at war with Trump so I don’t expect Californians to reap many of the benefits Trump has the Federal Government dispensing. I don’t expect those dependent on the Federal to be winners during Trump terms. Had HRC won I’d expect them to be richer than the private sector and willing to crash the USA (Mr. Reading is a perfect example of a former govt employee who hates people, hates the USA and wants it to crash because he’s consumed with hate).

      Time tells the truth, the ultimate being there are many truths because truth is in the eye of the beholder, like the elephant and the 6 blind men story, they all told the truth about their experience with an elephant, none were wrong, but none were right.

      Just so you know, I don’t believe in government. Government is not my keeper, not my savior, not my tit, not my nanny. For the most part it is a legal bank robber and natural rights denier, and why I won’t regret voting Trump as every day I thank God HRC is not my president.

      Jill Stein sold out to HRC so much for Stein supporters. Resl disappointing to see Bernie supporters roll up like pill bugs to be used as pawns.

      re: Siberia? Vodka, caviar, borsht and reindeer back strap sound good chillin in hot springs.

      re: Democrats saying a rigged election is first amendment right… This is why so many folks like me went right, the Democrats have lost their way by abandoning the US Constitution and Bill of Rights for communist constitution

      Democrats do not teach US Constitution and Bill of Rights, Roberts Rules of Order, they teach legal rights (women’s rights, LBGT rights, have nothing to do with the US Constitution or Bill of Rights) as if natural rights don’t exist. Natural rights are the key to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Legal rights are the key to a prison state. And who has the most prisons? CA. We just keep building Gulag CA. When Democrats say “Constitution”, they are not referring to the US Constitution as a living document that can adopt to the times, but rather they refer to their Constitution by executive orders and legal rights.

      • BB Grace February 26, 2018

        Sure Ms. de Castro.

        Professor Stricker occupies a position of power within an institution that ultimately succeeds in putting young people in crippling debt to offer a meaningless degree and no job connections to the private sector thus most degrees do not translate into careers that afford a mortgage let alone afford a family. CA institutions do not serve the students, communities or nation, rather, it is the foreign students who benefit. How many American students are in China at University?

        I don’t have children. I love the USA and I’m very sorry to see so many USA youth lose their lives to drugs, gangs, lack of opportunity to travel to learn outside a box while teachers teach them how to do a die-in or wear a black mask and weaponize protest signs, put a bike locks in a sock and whack people who don’t agree with you on the head as you hide behind a woman who identifies herself as “Nasty” and wears a pink pussy hat in solidarity with hurting people they don’t agree with. That’s what we see happening today at the institutions Professor Stricker is so esteemed.

  4. michael turner February 26, 2018

    Re: Get Off The Phone:

    Driving back from SF with my wife recently did a survey. The result: one in three drivers were using a device. One in three!

  5. Harvey Reading February 26, 2018

    There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “You can cure ignorance, but stupidity lasts a lifetime.”

    • George Hollister February 26, 2018

      Those who are the most sanctimonious, are the biggest hypocrites.

      • Bruce McEwen February 26, 2018

        “Is there a formula here? Yes. You begin with a mild, even anodyne, statement … The trick in writing sentences like these is to open with a deadpan observation that gives no clue to the nasty turn the performance will soon take … ”

        I’m quoting Stanley Fish, from his new book, How To Write A Sentence, but even though I haven’t the patience to ferret out the clinching quotation, I feel vindicated in awarding to you, My Very Good Sir, the Stan Fish Award for the most succinct homily, like ever, and it goes to you, Sir Geo.

  6. james marmon February 26, 2018

    Gun Control in Mendocino County? tell that to Deputy Do-Right.

    !8 months ago

    “Currently, about 2,000 county residents are approved to carry a concealed weapon, also known as a CCW. Allman said 25 percent of them are women.”

    You can add at least a couple hundred more to that number since then.

    500 women carrying concealed weapons is pretty scary to me.

  7. Jim Updegraff February 26, 2018

    Harv, good tries however, breaking down the walls of stupidity is very difficult.

  8. Betsy Cawn February 27, 2018

    As painful as it is to read some of the comments appended to this edition of “Mendocino County Today,” the AVA’s open platform of public opinion provides a valuable service, allowing unallied observers the opportunity to evaluate the cognitive merit of self-proclaimed experts — and a renewed appreciation of “free speech” in the practice of its expression, regardless of the intelligence or wit of the author. Kudos to the AVA, once again — and, Little Dog, keep in mind that defending the right of idiots to spew their invective and senseless blather is a harder job than it looks!

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