- Willis Tucker
- Getting Legal
- Ed Notes
- Bear Pleads
- Shelter Fund
- Maxstadt Maxed
- Little Dog
- Affordable Housing
- Regional Park
- Ruthless Capitalism
- Yesterday's Catch
- Best Dressed
- New Teacher
- Disaster Warning
- Teacher Pay
- Reagan Legacy
- Asylum Stigma
- Tsunami Warning
- Shawna's Dogs
- Donald Saga
- Compassionate Care
- Laytonville Wins
- Walmart Solution
Willis Edward Tucker was born February 3, 1926 to Jess and Eula Tucker in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was their first of nine children. The family moved to Sweetwater, Texas, for a short time, however, most of his life was spent on the Meyers Creek family farm in Arkansas. In 1943, at the age of 17, Willis joined the Navy, serving in the New Hebrides Islands, the Marianas Islands, Saipan and Iwo Jima. He was wounded in early 1945, and was awarded a Purple Heart by the Department of Defense, before returning home at the end of the war.
Returning to Arkansas, he met Bobbie Lee Pennington, and they were married on October 14, 1946. They moved to California a year later with their baby daughter Barbara, and with Carnish and Pauline Vaughn Pennington, Bobbie's brother. They found work logging in Boonville, as did many southern families who moved to the valley in the late 40s, and early 50s. Willis worked for numerous logging companies throughout the valley, then later bought his first D6 Caterpillar, and went into business for himself, spending over 50 years working in the industry.
Willis and Bobbie made their home in Boonville, raising four daughters: Barbara Blattner, Patty Crabb (Rick), Sandi Knight (David), and Marti Titus (Craig). Nine grandchildren followed: Eddie Slotte (Candy), Kim Morgan (Ed), Eric Crabb (Jenn), Debbie Richey (Dallas), Mark Knight, Cliff Knight, Heather Knight, Deanna Parrish (Ryan), and Jared Titus. Many great grandchildren and great great grandchildren survive him, as well as his siblings Jacquemae Perrotta, Wanda Short, Bob Tucker, Charles Tucker and Michael Tucker. Willis was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Bobbie, daughter Judy Ann, and son-in-law, Jerry Blattner.
A viewing will be held on Friday, March 23, 2018 form 12-8 pm at the Eversole Mortuary. Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 24th, at 11:00 AM, at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, followed by a potluck gathering for family and friends.
JUMPING THROUGH THE HOOPS: Is Getting Legal Getting Harder?
Cannabis Hour, March 22, 9 A.M., KZYX
On the next Cannabis Hour on KZYX FM, host Jane Futcher will explore the challenges, costs and satisfactions of becoming a licensed cultivator with her guest, cannabis activist and farmer Chiah Rodriques of Mendocino Generations. Chiah will share her hopes and dreams for the future of cannabis farming in Mendocino County and California. And she’ll offer tips to mom-and-pop farmers eager to succeed in the ever-changing licensing environment. That’s Thursday, March 22 at 9 a.m. on KZYX. If you miss the show, you can find the archived version at jukebox.kzyx.org
OSPREY IN ACTION
(A successful day of fishing)
(Photo by Judy Valadao)
MERLIN RETIRES. The Mendocino Coast's go-to clock guy says 48 years repairing clocks and sewing machines is "more than enough. I quit. I retire." I inherited several faulty time pieces a few years ago, which I took to Merlin to get ticking again. Among them was a cuckoo-clock. Merlin, a true wizard, had no problem getting the clocks keeping regular time, but he tossed the cuckoo, explaining, "No one needs a cuckoo clock." I agreed that the thing was annoying as hell, and that was that. Always enjoyed my visits with Merlin, a wonderful anecdotalist. I've never trusted anybody else with my clocks.
* * *
WE WERE AMONG 28 persons watching the Supervisors on-line today, being especially interested in the $50,000 consultant’s report on County homelessness. The consultant is Robert G. Marbut, PhD. We can argue if his conservative strategies are worth $50 grand because, at least in our view, most people looking at the Mendo homeless “problem,” however defined, would probably come to much the same conclusions.
MARBUT’S primary recommendation, with related sub-sets, is to identify and try to help people from Mendocino County, or at least who have been here for some time, while keeping career transients on the move. To do it effectively, the helping agencies must coordinate their efforts.
MARBUT was introduced by Anne “The Inevitable” Molgaard of Health and Human Services whose 630 County employees, many of whom are directly involved with the homeless on the services end of the social implosion continuum, as are the employees of the County’s privatized Mental Health services, hence the presence at today’s meeting of its local proprietor, Camille Schraeder. These two women by themselves are the dominant figures in the County’s array of private and public social services.
HOW MANY HOMELESS are we talking about? Marbut’s figure seemed to be around 300, the majority of them Mendo people. Supervisor McCowen pointed out that the annual “point in time” count, upon which local homeless programs get public funding, are inflated. McCowen didn’t say it but an inflated homeless count means more money for the usual suspects whose approaches to the victims of social implosion have been woefully deficient.
THE HOMELESS CONSULTANT was impressed by Willits’ homeless strategy, which is to separate out the transients, especially trimigrants, offering these travelers a couple of days food after which the pantry is bare — to them. Marbut mentioned that his neighbors in a Ukiah motel looked like they were homeless but the dope industry was paying them enough to pay a hundred bucks a night for shelter.
MR. MARBUT MADE USEFUL DISTINCTIONS: About 60 percent of the homeless are locals, meaning they either have roots here or have lived here for some years. Marbut said that “zero tolerance” for homeless “encampments” is a civic necessity because they only grow larger and, even when they’re small-ish they magnify civic dysfunction. He described the shopping cart people as “mobile encampments.” Car campers tend to be local and tend to be employed. The larger the vehicle, however, from camper vans to the larger Winnebagos, are more often than not moving crime scenes. Marbut pointed out that the homeless clustered around the Ukiah Safeway and at WalMart between WalMart and Jack In the Box, often harbor criminals. But, he said, “criminalization” of the homeless “doesn’t work” because they cost a lot to process through the justice system and are right back out as the cycle of petty misdemeanors repeats itself. Austere local screening processes for food, shelter and related help are more likely to keep transients in transit than the willy nilly dispensation of public largesse to the needy and the parasitical alike. Marbut strongly emphasized that the help extended to the local homeless must be focused and carefully tracked, which I took to mean that our homegrown drunks, drug addicted and the mentally incompetent have to be the recipients of effective strategies to keep them off the streets and more or less functioning.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT from our helping pros re the Marbut report? Lots of meetings for a certainty, out of which may come nothing, but Marbut has at least outlined a starting point that appeals to liberals and conservatives alike.
NOTE: There's a fairly large hobo literature that goes back to the middle of the 19th century, but modern American hobos, lately extinct, always drew a firm line between them and bums. Hobos earned their way, never begged, always worked odd jobs before they moved on. Bums did not work, were totally dependent on the kindness of strangers. Strangers are still kind but the bum population seems to have grown faster than the ability of the charitable to support them.
* * *
Karen Ramsey: Not all homeless people are bad. I've lived here all my sixty years and am always one paycheck away from being homeless. I’ve worked for the school district for twenty years, am single and barely able to pay my rent. I don't have cable, internet, garbage service. I don’t have tattoos or get my hair and nails done. Have had the same landlady for 17 years. She would love for me to move so she can update my rental and charge a lot more. It's scary to think at my age I can be living in my car at Walmart.
Terry Bahana: There are a lot of working poor, working homeless here in Ukiah. Work at Walmart but need to stay at the winter shelter. None of it is black & white. And most of the people I talk to at Plowshares & the shelter are from around here. My concern is dinners were stopped at Plowshares with NO PLAN moving forward. The board chatted about the new solar lights they paid for & had installed & then decided they were TOO BRIGHT! Took them down. How much did THAT cost? Due diligence much. For whatever reason we have hungry people here.
* * *
IN THE GOOD NEWS on the week, the Ukiah Unified School District has take the first tentative steps toward a re-zone of the Redwood Valley Elementary School campus for the purpose of selling it for a housing development of some type. The school has long been abandoned.
* * *
STATE SENATOR MIKE McGUIRE is talking up Rails To Trails for the long defunct stretches of track around Humboldt Bay and, hopefully, the track north of Cloverdale to Dos Rios, although the latter stretch could, conceivably, some day see a revived line, or an extension of SMART. SMART's propagandists are forever assuring the easily assured that its trains will eventually chug into Cloverdale.
* * *
DAN GJERDE took a bold step forward today that saw him come out on the short end of a 4-1 vote. We’ve been waiting for Gjerde to begin applying his analytical gifts to County government. We never tire of pointing out that the baby-faced Fort Bragg solon singlehandedly, and at considerable peril to himself, righted the sinking ship of the SS City of Fort Bragg, then in the hands of a blatantly corrupt band of petty criminals. (And not so petty, hence the danger to Gjerde at the time.)
The pension reform law passed in 2012 effective January 1, 2013 reformed California pensions I would say moderately. There were a number of components in that pension reform law. One component was to end this revolving door where public employees leave and go into retirement and then immediately go back to work for a public agency. Since that law has been in effect, and granted it's a small part of the pension reform law, but I believe not one county department has asked for an exception for a county employee going into retirement coming back to the department except the Auditor's office. We have 19 different departments. The smallest department is the Museum with three people, the largest is Health and Human Services with 630. The other 18 departments have never had the need to ask this board to vote in open session to waive state law to bring back an employee to work. This is the third time this has happened in this department, and it's the second time that's happened where the retiring employee worked side-by-side with the replacement employee. I think it's a bad precedent and I will not vote for it ever again.
AUDITOR LLOYD WEER RESPONDED:
The Auditor's office is a unique situation in our county. We are very small. We have 12 employees. We are responsible for performing very important functions throughout the county. Because of our size we tend to have and have had very long term county employees. They have very significant roles in our county and a wealth of knowledge and experience. Examples in the past of this in my department have been in our payroll departments which of course we process the entire county payroll every 10 days going live. There are over 1100 employees and at any one time this process could fail. We only have two employees in our department dedicated to this process. Add to that the integral part of the labor agreements, side letters, workers comp, benefits, deferred compensation, etc., this is a very tenuous 10 days and it is a very stressful but successful occurrence in our office. We also have to maintain the AS/400 Legacy property tax system. As you know we got this from Sutter County in 1996. It is 22 years old and it is written in COBOL. There is no support. We, along with the Assessor’s office and the Tax Collector's office work together to keep this thing Band-Aided together. We extend the tax roll, we collect it, we distribute it, generating over $45 million of discretionary revenue for this county. We find that when replacing employees who hold extremely critical roles like this position held by retiring Assistant Auditor Lucy Simonson in a small office it is simply not possible to impart all of the knowledge and training upon their placement before the retirement. It's just a huge task that cannot be done. In this instance as you know our current property tax system is slowly dying. It has fails its running processes once or twice a month. Lucy is very knowledgeable and experienced in discovering these and solving our issues. We have to then back up and rerun these processes and we are holding up the other two departments when that happens. We are still two or three years away from any kind of replacement of the property tax system. The legacy system is in such a precarious state that it is simply not possible to train outside staff when running the actual live tasks. Work is seasonal, year-round, and falls on different times of the year. We are coming up on a few of these processes during the next 180 days and I ask for your support to bring back Lucy as an extra help employee who can help us through these times.
BEAR LINCOLN PLEADS
With prospective jurors waiting downstairs at the Ukiah courthouse to be called to a courtroom to begin jury selection, two related co-defendants eventually plead guilty upstairs to marijuana offenses involving environmental violations of law.
Defendant Eugene Allon Lincoln, age 63, of Covelo, was convicted by guilty plea of the unlawful cultivation of marijuana involving environmental violations of law, a felony. He was also convicted by guilty plea of being a convicted felon in unlawful possession of ammunition, also a felony.
Co-defendant Sonya Lou Lincoln, age 53, of Covelo, was convicted by guilty plea of the unlawful cultivation of marijuana involving environmental violations of law, but as a misdemeanor.
The attorneys will present their respective sentencing arguments as to each defendant on May 8th at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department B. However, as part of today's negotiated disposition, it has already been decided that defendant Eugene will be sentenced by stipulation to 36 months in state prison, execution of said sentence to be suspended contingent on his successful completion of 60 months of supervised probation. The specific terms of his probation, including any jail time imposed as a term of probation, will be decided at the May sentencing hearing.
The prosecutor handling this and other environmental cases involving marijuana is District Attorney David Eyster. The investigating law enforcement agencies responsible for putting together the evidence against the Lincolns are the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The judge who will preside over the sentencing hearing in May is Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield.
Photo: Part of the evidence of the illegal reservoir created in the middle of a streambed to gather and hold the stream's water to be pumped to various marijuana gardens by the Lincolns' dwelling in the Little Valley area of Covelo.
ISN'T HOSPITALITY HOUSE OPEN?
From the City of Fort Bragg: "The need for shelter in the wet and cold weather exceeds what the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center’s Hospitality House can provide. Without shelter, neighbors without homes are at risk of hypothermia and death. The Extreme Weather Shelter (EWS) is supported and operated by the Fort Bragg Community Partnership which includes the City of Fort Bragg, the Coast Faith Communities, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, the Food Bank, the Senior Center, Mendocino County, and you.
The Extreme Weather Shelter provides a warm place to sleep on nights the temperature is 40° F or below and/or has 20% or greater chance of precipitation. The Faith Communities rotate responsibility for sheltering the EWS guests. A warm meal is provided by our Senior Center’s “Meals on Wheels”. Overnight supervision is provided for all guests.
So that others may be sheltered, the suggested donation is the amount you spend housing yourself or your business for one day of the month. For example, if your monthly expenses are $1000, give $33 and if $3000 give $100. Your monetary gift will keep the Extreme Weather Shelter open during our coastal stormy and cold weather.
Thank you in advance for your support of this critical EWS program.
Please make checks payable to:
Mayor’s Fund for the Homeless
P.O. Box 2859
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
To make an online donation, please visit mendocinochc.org/donate
UKIAH, Tuesday, March 13. — An unrepentant defendant who attempted to murder a California Highway Patrol officer in south Willits in December 2016 was the recipient of a well-earned life sentence this morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Ryan Joseph Maxstadt, age 29, of San Jose, was sentenced by Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman to 38 years, 8 months, to Life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This sentence flows from convictions by jury of attempted murder of a CHP officer, assault with a firearm on a CHP officer, personal discharge of a firearm, felon in unlawful possession of a firearm, and vehicle theft
Interestingly, as allowed by the Realignment laws enacted by the Legislature in 2011, Maxstadt was supposedly "serving" a county prison sentence for a felony conviction in Santa Clara County at the time the above offenses were committed in Mendocino County. He also has served two prior state prison sentences - one in 2010 and another in 2012.
The prosecutor who conducted the two jury trials leading up to today's sentencing hearing is District Attorney David Eyster. The law enforcement team who investigated and put together the case was the California Highway Patrol, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the Willits Police Department, the California Department of Justice crime laboratory, and the District Attorney's own investigators. Special thanks are also extended to Stutchman Forensic Laboratory in Napa for expert forensic audio/video assistance and testimony.
(District Attorney Press Release)
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I wonder if this Bushansky guy is related to Bushy Bushansky, a blood hound I knew back in the day? Bushy was a case, I tell you.”
LEGAL AID ATTORNEY Lisa Hillegas appeared before the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to urge them to make the County’s “Inclusionary Housing Ordinance” a workable and more effective document. Several years ago she successfully sued the County for failing to have a compliant Housing Element including a compliant Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.
Hillegas: The adoption of the inclusion housing ordinance is part of a settlement package that came after two lawsuits against the county for violating the laws regarding housing, housing elements, and meeting the demands of the housing needs of our county. The inclusionary zoning ordinance was considered a major accomplishment by this county to promote the development of housing that is affordable to most of our residents. Affordability is defined in your housing element and I encourage you to look at it. When I hear people come up and say they are going to be providing affordable housing by design, that doesn't cut it. There are strict definitions of what affordable housing which is in state law. The inclusionary housing ordinance has such a high percentage because the county recognized that the need was great. Since 2009 90% of all the housing that has been built in this county has been above market rate, or above moderate rate housing. Since its inception the minor subdivision people, the little guys, have been following the inclusionary zoning ordinance. They have been paying their development fees and then we have the big guys coming saying they don't want to pay anything. Why should the little guys who have generated over $120,000 for this county to help get affordable housing built have it on their backs but the big guys don't? It doesn't make sense. If you need to improve the inclusionary housing ordinance, make it more understandable, make it stricter, make it so that it will actually work. We are getting into an area now where housing is starting to get built again and we have been stalled for a long time. Improve it, don't gut it, don't take away any of its teeth, make it more effective. I'm sure you are aware that there are many new affordable housing laws coming out of Sacramento that have been passed that now have accountability where they didn't before. They will require production, and require that the county meet its objectives. And if it doesn't there are severe penalties. One of those penalties could be, frankly, that your housing element is decertified. That has happened before. It has a huge impact on our community to have a decertified housing element. Lastly, the inclusionary zoning ordinance is a cornerstone of your housing element. It is taken for granted that it's a big tool that you have in your toolbox. If you take that out I will assure you that you will be sued again. This county has paid over $100,000 in attorney fees for defending its housing element unsuccessfully. Do we really want to do that again?
FORMER SUPERVISOR JOHN MAYFIELD DISAGREED:
“My name is John Mayfield. I'm not unknown to you having sat in your position once a long time ago. More recently I was before this board working on the little problem of the lawsuit. There was not enough property zoned in the county to build houses on that has access to water, sewer, utilities, and the other things you need to build. Some of us scrambled around and helped put together some properties that could meet that requirement so you could get out of that lawsuit. One of them was one I put forward. We made a little thing called a contract zone with the county that allowed us to go ahead on Brush Street. It's underway now and it will provide some low-cost housing and some other things. So some things have been done. What we don't have is enough land and developers to take care of the big market we have for entry-level housing for our workers. Whether it's mine, or the hospitals, or the schools, or this county in general. We just have not built any market rate housing in the last 12 years. We have built a lot of low income housing. Just stop and think in Ukiah what has happened. There are 125 low income housing units in Ukiah now. They were built in the last six years. Some were just completed on South Main Street on some property that I own. Those units cost a fortune, a heck of a lot more than what a three-bedroom house costs because of all the fol-de-rol that we went through with the regulations and requirements which added cost. Go look at that. They are very nice. They cost $500,000 apiece and that's a lot of money for an apartment. But they do not have to rent them for market rates. We built about 125 like that in the city of Ukiah to take care of the low income housing side of things. We need the market rate housing. If there is a market for low income apartments and that kind of stuff for housing the marketplace will do it very well, and not have this abortion that we have of an ordinance that adds about 20% onto the cost of a rental by the time you get done with all the requirements. You have to get rid of this inclusionary housing ordinance so that you can get back to letting the market take care of what it's supposed to do with housing. I encourage you to repeal the ordinance, not try to Mickey Mouse around and try to fix it. Nowhere in the state can you find that it has produced additional housing. It deters people from providing that housing. You need to look at allowing more property on the periphery of the cities to be developed so that the utilities are there.
UKIAH REALTOR STEVE GOMES DISAGREED TOO
The problem you have is more than 35 years old. The access to land that can be utilized efficiently and economically is the issue. I can build houses for everybody who needs it. But government has been in the way the whole time. Now we have more and more building codes and all they do is add money and cost to the house. They are not modern codes. I don't think a house built in the 90s, or even in the 2000s is a deficient house. How many more layers are we going to put on these things to protect me from me? I just want to build a house that is affordable and that I like. That's what's missing here. We the public need a real hearing by this board on this subject. Not just inclusionary. I oppose the housing ordinance. You have no housing units. None. There is no excuse for that. It has failed. It doesn't work. Add the numbers up. If you pay someone to build a house and pay market rates for a house that increase from the inclusionary housing ordinance can be $60,000 per unit. Not $15,000. Which means that people have to make $20,000 more a year for that market rate house. I request that this board set a date in the future on an agenda as soon as possible to decide this issue once and for all. What are we going to have for housing? Or are we going to continue to have a history of no housing which is what we've had during my career.
“Damn. Another Stormy day.”
BAD PLANS NEVER GO AWAY
I’d like to call your attention to plans for the Regional Park just east of Fort Bragg. You may remember that several plans have been presented over 20 years; including a golf course, playing fields, hiking and biking paths, and habitat protection. The Regional Park is 586 acres and is owned by the Mendocino Coast Recreation & Parks District, supported by county taxes.
The Plan now being put forward is to convert the entire park into an Off Highway Vehicle Park (OHV Park) with training areas, a campground and a network of OHV trails. Two grants have already been obtained, altho none of the work has been done. An EIR is being prepared with just these activities, none of the recreational activities that were originally proposed or requested by residents.
The Sierra Club feels that designating the entire park as an OHV Park will discourage all other activities and cause unintended destruction of the sensitive habitats (Pygmy Forest and Northern Bishop Pine Forest) as well as threatening sediment pollution of the Newman Gulch headwaters and reservoir. The sensitive habitat areas also include wetlands and a sphagnum bog.
The additional recreation facilities included earlier, playing fields, tennis courts, picnic areas and hiking & bike trails are very important to include more of the local interested public. At the very least, alternative recreation activities should be included in the EIR and Master Plan.
General comments can be sent to the Exec. Director Dan Keys at firstname.lastname@example.org, 964-9446, ext. 102
Discussion of the wisdom of converting the Regional Park to an OHV Park can be addressed to the Board of Directors of the Park District, at the same address. If this is not discussed now, the momentum will take it forward, and the park will be lost to the 90% of us who don’t ride off-road vehicles.
Local residents are also being asked to comment on the “scope” of the EIR for the Park.
Specific comments on the EIR scope can be sent to the EIR consultants thru Mr. Keyes. The end of comment period for 'scoping' is March 19th at 5 PM. "Scoping is what you think should be covered by the District in the Environmental Impact Report that is being developed for the proposed project, an OHV Park."
Address is Mr. Dan Keyes, District Administrator, Mendocino Coast Recreation and Parks District, 300 South Lincoln Street, Fort Bragg CA 95437. Email to <email@example.com> Thank you for your attention to this important development of our park.
Sierra Club, Mendocino Group
Judas Was a Democrat
To legalize is to galvanize, to completely cover and coat the cannabis culture with lawyers, politicians, and the many agencies of enforcement.
Now the real crime wave begins. Home invasion by the opportunistic thugs will seem like a mild risk compared to the shock and awe of neoliberal economics that’s about to turn the Emerald Triangle into a failed state. Business as usual in the land of ruthless capitalism, requires the destruction of the modest and the small. Wealth and power always ruin agriculture with their agri-agro-business model.
Legalization has now given the cowards who feared the realities of being outlaws, the green light to dig their greedy grubby hands into the pot pie. Now mass production will be the order of the day and mass production always leads to slavery and environmental spoil. What were you green rush fools thinking? Pie in the sky with CBD frosting! Monster trucks but no books. Strut about town with your dreads and brats and tats. Well good luck now. Maybe you can sell your fuel hog truck and your silicone boobs.
Best of Luck,
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 13, 2018
KELLY AITKEN, Ukiah. Violation of protective order.
SCOTT BROWN, Redwood Valley. Pot cultivation, probation revocation.
JOSHUA DEPREE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear.
KENNETH ELLER, Willits. County parole violation.
RANDALL GENSAW, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
ANTHONY GEVAS, Lakeport/Ukiah. Domestic battery, vandalism, suspended license, manufacture of prohibited ID, no license, license suspended for reckless driving.
BODHI IDARIUS, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.
TRISTA PHARES, Ukiah. Controlled substance, false ID, failure to appear.
NICHOLAS POLLARD, Fort Bragg. Ammo possession by prohibited person, prior strike.
ROGER SCHOENAHL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
by Jeff Costello
Treppenwitz - German for the clever or devastating rejoinder one thinks of too late after a heated discussion or debate. (An innocent German term unlike Gotterdammerung, indicating devastating calamity, war, disorder.)
Twice in my life I have been told "You look like Einstein." This occurs only when my hair and mustache grow out too long. Both times I have resisted or forgotten to reply, "Thanks, I feel smart." Failing to employ the snappy rejoinder. But hearing Trump always saying how smart he is, I can barely stand the term. And, when I look like Einstein, it's because I'm unkempt, and unlike the great scientist, I'm not too intelligent to not still care about personal appearance. This is from my mother, who drilled it into my head to care about how I looked. At age 71, I care less about it, but still don't want to look a bum.
Bums, hobos, slobs. Now we have "the homeless." My first turn at homelessness was when I was 17 or 18. Things went all to hell on the home front and the house was repossessed. But I was smart enough (ouch) to not show it. My high school dress code directed girls to wear skirts that touched the floor if they kneeled, and pants were strictly forbidden. Apparently there were male teachers creepy enough to make the girls kneel before them to make sure the skirts touched the floor. I'm certain it was a select group of these men who chose that responsibility.
Dress code for boys forbade denim trousers, and required a clean shirt, tucked into the pants. This thing about shirts tucked in got me many visits to the principal's office. Because I often wore shirts that were designed to not be tucked in. When I was able to buy clothes I went into the city (Hartford CT) to get them at a store whose clientele was mostly black. This was a long time ago and those guys knew how to dress. More than once at school, I was asked "How far did you have chase the nigger to get that shirt?" by some moron. My first encounter with small town New England racism (by senior year we had one black boy and one Chinese girl, that was our diversity).
Ironically, despite the taunts from idiots and the visits to the principal's office, I was up for "best dressed" in the yearbook. There were two of us up for voting. I represented the rebellious faction and the other guy was of the "prep" crowd. He won the vote of course. The principal would have had a hemorrhage if I'd won. But aside from personal taste or style, thanks to my mother's advice, I knew how to "put myself together."
I would think, in Einstein's day, people dressed better. Even up to the fifties, films show that people dressed pretty well. If Einstein became unkempt in his dotage, that was his pleasure. But the other thing is "looking Jewish." Which I learned in day camp when a blond, blue-eyed kid started pelting rocks at me, calling "Jew, fuckin' Jew." Well this was a new one on me. Despite my parents being from New York, I didn't know who was Jewish or not, and had no clue about Jewishness in general.
So now when someone says I look like Einstein, I may be unkempt, but unkempt like a smart Jew.
“I am your new teacher, DEFENDER-BOT-5000, but you can call me Mr. D.”
THE NORTH BAY FIRES AND WHAT WENT WRONG
Downed power lines contributed to the disaster and caused cascading failures. As more lines went down, it caused overloads — and explosions — elsewhere.
Cal Fire and PG&E, the local utility company, could have pre-emptively powered down large portions of the power grid during the high wind event, as officials routinely do in Southern California. That didn’t happen.
Fires had been approaching Coffey Park, in the city of Santa Rosa, for four hours before residents were warned. Fearing mass panic and clogged roads, officials decided not to issue sweeping evacuation orders. The systems they did use were either opt-in or telephone calls to landlines, which only about half of Americans now use. Consequently, only a small portion of residents at risk actually received alerts and warnings of any kind.
Meanwhile, most county agencies had different terms and protocols for warnings. One call shows fire officials requesting a “reverse 911” — a targeted evacuation order — from a local operator who had no idea what the term meant.
The problem, it turned out, was systemic: Each county in California (there are 58) uses different technologies, with different names, to alert people.
It’s not just wildfires, either. Extreme weather is taxing emergency responders across the state. “We're seeing conditions like we've never seen before,” said Mark Ghilarducci, the director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “The baseline needs to change.”
I find it amazing that public schoolteachers, folks who play an important role in children’s lives, are paid so little. Yet a football coach can make $100 million over 10 years, and pro athletes make millions to play a game and entertain the masses.
I taught for 31 years in Fremont, and it took me all those years to make more than $50,000 a year. If I hadn’t married a man who had a business and was doing well, I don’t imagine I would have owned a home. With home prices now it would be impossible.
I checked salary schedules of school districts, and still a long-term public schoolteacher, with 30 extra credits beyond a bachelor’s, or even a master’s, is lucky to make more than $70,000 a year. Median teacher salary in Santa Rosa is $64,000. San Francisco is about the same. The highest salary offered in San Francisco is $87,700 after 26 years in the classroom. San Francisco is now an unaffordable place for teachers to live.
Isn’t it amazing one can teach in a city but not afford to live in it? Values in this country seem to be that entertainment, be it sports or Hollywood, is worth more than folks who teach our children.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Governor Reagan made the extremely controversial decision to shut down mental hospitals in his first term as California Governor. There was a fierce uproar about this, and soon after, a former mental patient tried to shoot some broadcaster [Jim Dunbar at KGO] through the glass during his show (he was broadcasting on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin).
I have no love for the Democrats, and San Francisco truly has been turned into a shithole, but the mental health issue is squarely on Reagan.
During that time you can also thank Ronnie for destroying near-free upper education for all Californians. Reagan thought that free education was a breeding ground for ‘radicals.”
BRING BACK MODERN ASYLUMS
To the Editor:
An article called “Bring Back Asylums?” (Science Times, March 6) highlights the need for adequate care and treatment for people with serious mental illness. The anti-institutional people quoted have been saying the same thing for many decades. Their observations were true two generations ago.
Today, psychiatric hospitals do not smell foul; patients often have more freedoms day to day than do individuals with similar disorders who live outside hospitals; and patients in hospitals have more “eyes watching” to protect them from abuse than do any people with serious mental illness living outside of hospitals.
While hospitals are expensive, community treatment is too. The oft-stated annual cost comparison, repeated in the article — $150,000 in a hospital and $30,000 in the community — has never been true. When you add up the total cost of care and treatment for a person with serious mental illness in the community — housing; food; outpatient psychiatric and medical treatment; dental care; transportation; acute psychiatric hospitalizations; police, sheriff, fire department, ambulance and court costs; leisure activities; and others — the cost has been shown to be about the same.
I don’t know anyone who is advocating a return to asylums that once housed 1,000 to 16,000 patients each. We need inpatient treatment for those who need that level of care and non-institutional treatment for those who need less intensive services. With the proper balance, we would not need jails and prisons to house people who belong in care settings. And with the proper balance, we might make some inroads into stigma.
PS. I am a psychiatrist, and a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
TSUNAMI WARNING TEST, MARCH 28
Subject: Mendocino County Sheriff and Animal Control need to be held accountable
Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a dog in front of its own house this past weekend. This happened at 24850 Ridge Road in Willits (edge of Brooktrails bordering forest with only one neighbor). Details are on the Facebook page of Shawna Wilburn Noon. They took the family’s other dog as well under threat of arrest if she didn’t turn him over. They haven’t returned him yet pending a report on the incident and it has been over five days. Animal Control officers keep hanging up on people concerned about this incident. Her post has been shared over 160 times. Any sharing of the post to the Willits Community Pages has been taken down and users blocked if they try to reshare again.
I’ve reached out to Mendo Voice who ignored this as well. Please alert the community of keeping their pets away from MCSO.
Tara Johnson, Willits
* * *
I just want to reach out and thank EVERYONE for the outpouring of love and compassion during this devasting time my family is suffering through. Things will get better. I just really need to get my innocent little boy out off death row. It’s so sad how Animal Control handles situations. This is my first time dealing with them and it’s so upsetting and such a let down. My neighbor who called in witnessed everything and said it was so inhumane and he called just to detain them while he got ahold of us. We have personally known him and his wife for years, and they have met our dogs several times. They are our only neighbors. He and his wife have been in tears with us over this and wrote us a letter regarding the issue. They said they wish they had never called, but they couldn’t reach us! This isn’t what any of us expected. I want to thank everyone for the time, and for the letters as well and I’m still taking letters from anyone who has anything to say. It could be anything as far as watching them grow from pregnancy to birth to now through Facebook if not in person. They are not raised to fight like they assume. We have heard so many different stories from the sheriffs and Animal Control and no one has gotten back to us for the past few days. Everyone has different stories. And as of today when we called no reports have been made up and finalized yet and this happened last Wednesday! We were told they had 48 hours to have a written report ready to hand over if requested and it’s been five days! We have five days of quarantine left. We will have some answers tomorrow hopefully they feel it in there hearts to let him come home, we have been through enough!
Travis doesn’t really do social media much so the past couple days the boys have been speaking to everyone who has messaged. So we both thank you all. I’m sorry if we haven’t gotten back to everyone. I (Shawna) have been so sad I haven’t wanted to see anyone go anywhere or talk to anyone. I’m really really sad, that was my little son, my little fat head!
He meant the world to me. I can’t even describe the amount of love I had for that boy! It was all taken away so fast and so brutal with a long suffering til his very last breath in my arms and at such a young age. I’m glad I was there in time to hold Pig while he took his last couple minutes of his life in my arms and I saved Terp from possibly being shot next! If he was aggressive like they are saying, they would have shot him too. Have a good night everyone. I’m going to get some rest. It’s gonna be a long day tomorrow too.
Well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount
But nothing really matters much, it’s doom alone that counts
And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm
— Bob Dylan, Shelter From The Storm
CAN DONALD TRUMP BE TAKEN DOWN? Life in Donald’s America gets more farcical every day. We cannot dump the Donald despite our collective desire to. At this point most Americans would welcome any replacement. We are caught in a dangerous storm and we would trust near any neighbor to take us in. Even one as creepy as Mike Pence. Who will give us shelter from the storm? Lately it appears to be an aptly named porn star, Stormy Daniels. Porn is also the apt comparison for the Donald saga. Absurd, painful and relentlessly climatic. Meanwhile on CNN and more surreptitious browsers, porn rumbles on.
— Nick Pemberton
NO NEW ASYLUMS
To the Editor:
Should we “Bring Back Asylums” as suggested in a recent article in Science Times?
In one word: No!
My son was in asylums from the time he was 16 until he was 27 and Clozaril became available. He once told me, “I would never put anyone in a mental hospital.” He is now over 50 and living in an adult home with several hundred other mentally ill people, run by a compassionate staff. The compassionate staff is the key component of his being able to have a reasonably independent, peaceful life.
What we need instead of asylums are more homes like this one, and higher wages for people willing to dedicate themselves to the care of people who can be helped but not cured by current medications. The other needed component, of course, is more research into pharmaceuticals that will actually help cure the people who have severe brain diseases.
LAYTONVILLE HIGH TO REPRESENT COUNTY IN STATE MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION
UKIAH, CA — At the 30th annual Mendocino County Mock Trial competition on March 3, members of the Laytonville High School Mock Trial team out-argued the Ukiah High School Mock Trial team in the final trial to reclaim the Honorable Judge Ron Brown Memorial Perpetual Trophy and earn the honor of representing Mendocino County at the State Mock Trial competition in Orange County on March 16-18.
Sponsored by Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE), the annual competition gives students the opportunity to experience the American judicial system first-hand. Student teams argue both sides of a fictitious case developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the statewide coordinators of this academic enrichment activity.
This year’s competition took place during two consecutive weekends with four schools vying for the top spot: Developing Virtue Girls’ School, Fort Bragg High School, Ukiah High School and Laytonville High School.
Student team members portrayed all key roles in the fictitious case of People v. Davidson in which Casey Davidson, a resident of the town of Acorn, California, faces a felony count of first-degree murder for the death of Alex Thompson, another young resident of Acorn and member of Ultra Nats, an extremist nationalist group.
The pretrial issue in People v. Davidson focuses on whether the Fourth Amendment allows the government to obtain routinely collected GPS location data from a third-party GPS provider. Law enforcement used such GPS information to gather evidence that Davidson had traveled (1) to Thompson’s residence several times in the days before Thompson’s death, and (2) to the meeting place of the Rads.
The mock trial event culminated in the top two teams arguing their cases in front of the Honorable Judge Ann Moorman while a packed house of parents and supporters looked on. After an intense battle between well-matched teams, MCOE Director of Educational Services Chris Francis declared Laytonville High the winner.
Laytonville High School’s winning team included Sophia Avila, Kassandra Basler, Kiley Carter, Natalia Cuesta-Tineo, Bronwyn Gilfillan, Caruna Gillespie Eve Kreiling, Cora Hamilton, Elijah Howard, Aurora Hardwick, Oliver Hill, Jephthah Ikeh, Wolfgang Peterson, Ivo Shere, Gracie Silva, Makai Steven, Madison Watson and Tyler Watson. They were coached by teacher Bruce Potter and attorneys Elina Agnoli, Luke Oakley and Beth Norman.
Although MCOE is able to defray the cost of competing at the state competition by paying for team-member registration fees and a portion of their lodging expense, Laytonville team members must raise approximately $6,000 to cover the cost of transportation and meals for the whole team for the three-day event. Donations from supporters can be made payable to the Laytonville High State Mock Trial Team and sent to Laytonville High School, c/o Bruce Potter, PO Box 868, Laytonville, CA 95454.
Additional volunteers from the legal community who officiated and evaluated the competition included the Honorable Judges Clay Brennan, David Riemenschneider and Ann Moorman; and Judges Pro Tem Anthony Adams and Houston Porter. Volunteers also included scoring panels manned by Anthony Adams, Macci Baldock, Ginevra Chandler, Katharine Elliott, Tom Geddes, Jeanne Keevan-Lynch, Brian Momsen, Hannah Nelson, Jennifer O’Brien, Margaret Mary O’Rourke, Jamie Pearl, Andrea Pierotti, Angelina Potter, and Frank Zotter.
For more information about the Mendocino County Mock Trial Program, please visit mcoe.us/District/Department/27-Curriculum-Instruction/Portal/Mock-Trial.
A BETTER WAY
To the Editor:
We should not re-create asylums. The deinstitutionalization movement for people with developmental disabilities in states like Minnesota offers a model for addressing mental illness.
With the closing of the large state institutions in Minnesota between 1990 and 2000, residences built in local communities housed this population. Living in typical residential areas in small numbers, they have participated as workers, shoppers, consumers of public transportation, etc. The stigma of developmental disability has been greatly reduced.
Traditional institutions are a recipe for subjugation. Isolated from everyday life, controlled by staff, housed in large numbers, shepherded in groups to prescribed activities, residents become institutionalized. That is, they become unused to making decisions, and less able to create their own identity or stand up for themselves.
While it may be possible to create institutional settings that provide for autonomy and dignity, it is unlikely to occur when large numbers of people are housed in one large place, controlled by staff and segregated from the life of an active community.
Julia W. Robinson
I am an architect, and author of “Institution and Home: Architecture as a Cultural Medium.”
THE WALMART SOLUTION
An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests.
First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart.
'Wal-Mart?' the preacher exclaimed. 'Why Wal-Mart?'
'Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week.'