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Mendocino County Today: Monday, April 2, 2018

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BERYL OPAL THOMASSON (1946 – 2018)

Beryl Opal Thomasson, 72, passed away at home in Boonville, California surrounded by family on March 22, 2018. She lost a three-year battle with breast cancer. Her tenacity, strength and unwillingness to give up were undeniable.

Beryl was born in Havre, Montana to Edna and Burle of Rudyard, Montana. She was the first of two children although she had 14 half sisters and brothers. Beryl grew up in Rudyard, Montana where she worked in her mother’s restaurant and graduated from Rudyard High School.

In 1968 Beryl married Ruben Thomasson in Havre, Montana. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In 1973 they moved to Boonville, California to help with the Thomasson family business. In 1999 Beryl and Ruben became owner/operators of the family business, Anderson Valley Market.

Throughout the years in Boonville, Beryl had many interests. She volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician on the Anderson Valley Ambulance Service for 14 years and managed the ambulance service for several of those years. She was a current member on the Anderson Valley Senior Center board which she greatly enjoyed. She loved the Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show. She was a loyal exhibitor and won numerous awards in the gardening competition.

Beryl’s greatest joy in life was spending time with family and friends. She was an amazing mother, grandmother, wife and friend. Beryl lived for today and loved to have fun. She loved to be on the go — spending time with her grandkids, traveling with friends and attending local events. Her gift of gab, boisterous laugh and sense of humor will truly be missed.

Beryl was very generous and genuinely cared about people. She also had a special fondness for all animals. Throughout her illness, Beryl continued to do what she loved and that was greeting customers and visiting with locals at the A.V Market.

Beryl is survived by her husband Ruben, daughters Candace Gibbs (Robert), Jennifer Schlafer (Jeff) and son James Thomasson; grandchildren Stacey Huron-Thomasson, Robert Gibbs III, Matthew Schlafer, Trevor Schlafer and two granddaughters, Madison Schlafer and Coral Thomasson, due in April and July. She is also survived by sisters Penny Taylor, Edna Jones and Doris Welch and many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.

Please join the family for a Celebration of Life potluck luncheon on Sunday, April 8 at 12:00pm at the Senior Center Veteran’s Hall, 14470 Highway 128 Boonville, California.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to Anderson Valley Senior Center, PO Box 591 Boonville, CA 95415.

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NEARLY NINE INCHES of rain fell on Yorkville during March, continuing this year's peculiar pattern of alternating dry and wet months. Totaling less than 28 inches thus far, we're hoping for more late season rainfall before summer sets in.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE has this to say about the coming week: "Quiet and generally dry conditions can be expected through Wednesday. Thursday and beyond, an atmospheric river and a series of storm systems will bring widespread and potentially heavy rainfall to the area, in addition to gusty south winds."

COMPARING this season to last, monthly precipitation totals from Yorkville's DWR Station:

2017-18

8.88" March
1.32" February
9.16" January
0.44" December
7.84" November
0.72" October

2016-17

6.60" March
21.64" February
24.92" January
9.92" December
6.76" November
10.36" October

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CAPTAIN RAINBOW ADDS: This may be the only opportunity in Anderson Valley before the primary election in June to meet and ask questions of all 5 candidates for 5th District Supervisor. Most of the pre-set questions emphasize, though are not limited to, issues in Anderson Valley. Bring your own questions, let's get past the platitudes and really find out where these guys stand and what ideas they have.

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COAST HOSPITAL CEO FIRES THE MESSENGER

by Malcolm Macdonald

On Monday, March 19th, Mendocino Coast District Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Edwards gave interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) John Parigi two week's notice. Parigi had only been on the job since December.

At this point in the debacle that is MCDH leadership no one should be surprised to find out that the power to remove a CFO at that institution rests not with the CEO, but the Board of Directors. Part of the bylaws of the MCDH Board reads as follows, “The Board of Directors reserves the sole right to terminate the CFO's employment contract.”

No one should be further taken aback to discover that the hospital's current Board of Directors stood idly by and let CEO Edwards do his thing. The one exception on the MCDH Board was Dr. Peter Glusker. Of course, when the subject of just who was in control of letting the CFO go came up at the March 29th Board meeting, the other Board members sat silent as gagged mice in a crumbling church facade.

Chief among them is Board President Steve Lund, a former school district superintendent, who is apparently afflicted by some sort of administrative co-dependency with Edwards. After all, they are co-defendants in a federal lawsuit that also includes the hospital itself.

Absent from that March 29th meeting was Dr. Lucas Campos. Dr. Campos was also absent from his board member duty as chair of the hospital's Finance Committee meeting on March 27th. He has missed many meetings in the last four months. Often his attendance has literally been phoned in. He is no longer seeing patients at the hospital or its affiliated clinic, North Coast Family Health Center (NCFHC). Until this year Dr. Campos was affiliated with Summit Pain Alliance, but recently his photo and any mention of him has vanished from that company's website. He now appears to have acquired a Nob Hill, San Francisco, address as well as the Fort Bragg address used to establish his residency for purposes of participating on the MCDH Board. A visit to that Fort Bragg residence on March 29th found no one at home and several UPS/FedEx type packages stacked on the doorstep.

Why is this important? If, as all indications point, Campos is no longer going to be part of Coast Hospital and the coastal community, he needs to be replaced. If Campos resigns before July, his spot on the Board of Directors can be placed on the ballot and voted upon by the Mendocino Healthcare District electorate in November. If he delays, and there are those who see his mysterious whereabouts as a deliberate delaying ploy, until after July 1st, then the Board can appoint his successor, thus depriving the voters of the choice. Keep in mind that three of the current MCDH Board seats are up to the voters' discretion in November. The Board, as it is currently made up, is packed with apologists for CEO Edwards.

The firing of Mr. Parigi, by CEO Edwards, appears to be no more than a means by which Edwards hopes to deflect attention from the fact that Parigi uncovered millions and millions of dollars worth of legitimate charges to patients that have, until Mr. Parigi's brief tenure, not been billed for, nor payments collected. In just three months Parigi's small team found over $3 million from previously languishing accounts. The fault for this lies not on any specific employees in the billing and finance departments, but on the fact that the hospital has been operating for years on a three-way jury-rigged electronic system. Thus, coding for a specific patient's charges and the subsequent billing had to go through multiple, yet different, types of computer systems. Therefore, the chances for misplacing or losing charges or the entire bill were exponentially exaggerated at all times.

It's not that Mr. Parigi was the first person to ever figure this out. Remember this from the AVA, over a year ago, on March 1, 2017? “It has come to this writer's attention that by sometime in November both [former] CFO [Wade] Sturgeon and (CEO) Bob Edwards were aware that it would take extra manpower to sift through the backlog of EmCare [Emergency Room providers] billing mess-ups, yet these sorts of positions were not created until January.” My knowledge stemmed from viewing an email sent from within the hospital's finance department to Edwards and then CFO Sturgeon. Expand the ER billing problems throughout the hospital and its clinic, throw in three electronic record systems that don't fully understand each other, and you get a boat load of cash never hauled in.

For at least a year and a half, and most likely much longer, Edwards has ignored potential, permanent fixes in favor of getting rid of hospital employees who dared question him or those who tried to expose what has been going on with the hospital's finances. Mr. Parigi is simply the latest and one of the most egregious examples.

At the March 29th Board meeting, during his CEO report, Edwards rattled off a series of potential correctives to the money-losing situation at MCDH. For those who attended a presentation by Mr. Parigi two days prior, it was obvious that Edwards' spiel on the 29th was derived (that's a polite way of saying “stolen”) from Mr. Parigi's data of March 27th.

At the Board meeting Edwards was called out, by yours truly, for taking Mr. Parigi's information and presenting it as his own. Edwards’ only response was to claim that Mr. Parigi's methods of calculation were not all that original. A member of the audience, Mara Thomas, then asked if that were true, then why hadn't Edwards implemented methods similar to Mr. Parigi's suggestions quite some time ago, thus saving the hospital even more millions.

Edwards was caught up in his own misleading lies on March 29. Two days earlier, Mr. Parigi laid out a straightforward, easy to understand set of data. That came late on an afternoon when only Dr. Glusker and two civilian members of the MCDH Finance Committee showed up at the facility's Redwoods Room for their monthly meeting. Without a quorum, acting committee chair Glusker could not hold an official meeting. However, Mr. Parigi's written financial narrative, along with the numbers and charts to back it up, had already been passed out to audience members as well as the three committee members.

When Dr. Glusker offered Mr. Parigi the chance to verbally annotate his financial narrative, CEO Edwards excused himself.

According to Mr. Parigi, the greatest needs for MCDH right now: Putting in place a coordinated EHR (electronic health records) system. That and at least five more staffers in the business office would help stop those coding and billing errors. Parigi estimated that implementing a new EHR system would pay for itself within a year, simply by tracking down the monies that MCDH is currently missing/losing from its own legitimate bills.

Mr. Parigi's most damning comment came at a different point in his March 27th presentation. “The hospital is lacking intellectual capital at its highest level.” A more direct hit on Edwards couldn't have been delivered by a body slam on the fifty yard line.

At the MCDH Board meeting on March 29, when asked by a community member about the longer term prognosis for the hospital, Parigi answered, “You're failing.”

Pressed about a possible turnaround, Parigi said, “Very difficult, if not impossible.”

Which leads us to the parcel tax measure on the June ballot, which would cost taxpayers $144 per year per parcel (with some exceptions for contiguously owned parcels). At this point it is unreasonable to ask the electorate of the Mendocino Healthcare District to give money to an institution that doesn't have its financial books in order, especially in light of this recent development in which the hospital's CEO fires the CFO who has actually found enough missed billing to equal two years worth of parcel tax money. Let's make that very clear: this hospital is asking for additional tax money from its citizenry when its CEO fires the man who was capable of bringing in twice that amount in a matter of months.

On top of the CEO's misdeeds, we have a majority on the hospital's Board of Directors who have abrogated their right to hire and fire CFOs to an untruthful, bullying, alleged workplace harasser of a CEO.

A prerequisite for any favorable consideration of a parcel tax can only occur after MCDH implements a new EHR system, hires enough additional staff to demonstrate that the hospital can capture a significantly higher percentage of its legitimate charges, AND replaces the current CEO with someone who will guarantee those initial steps to financial stability.

That's going to take a little bit of time. Perhaps the hospital can right its floundering vessel in time to attempt another parcel tax vote in November or early 2019, but as of this spring, with a majority of its Board of Directors living in some sort of ridiculous denial and a thoroughly unethical CEO, anyone voting for this parcel tax in June is making a foolish mistake.

One last note, at some point between March 19th and the Board of Directors meeting on March 29th, according to sources close to the situation, CEO Edwards was given a chance to reconsider and rescind his firing of Mr. Parigi. Edwards declined to do so.

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CHP: SUV crash that went off Mendocino Coast cliff appears intentional

The 2003 GMC Yukon XL stopped at a gravel pullout on Highway 1 north of the town of Westport about 70 feet from the edge of the cliff before going over, said Greg Baarts, acting assistant chief for the northern division of the CHP. “There was acceleration all the way up until it impacted the ocean floor,” Baarts said.

pressdemocrat.com/news/8177041-181/chp-suv-crash-that-went

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RANDY BURKE, like everyone else on the South Coast, wonders why the Supes refused to grandfather in Gualala's heli-pad:

"Dan, what the heck???? We are enough of a third world nation down here as it stands, and regardless of McCowen's non association within your district, I have no idea why you guys would not support the EXISTING heliport at RCMS and support waiving fees, and helping us obtain any permits.  It may turn out to be a pre-existing non-conforming condition, but it works, and many family members of a bi-county nature have had to go out of that site. WHY MAKE IT DIFFICULT with your minor comments to this vital PUBLIC HEALTH resource? Grow some, before you retire, and help us in the effort to retain our resources. Come on Dan, Make a difference where it counts. For lives, for the coast, for your district, and for the survivable future of this coastal clime!"

THE CHILD-LIKE REASONING of the Supervisors in turning down a break for a life-saving piece of simple, strategially-placed pavement was, "Well, golly, if we give you a break we'll have to give all the other heli-pads a break."

FIRST OFF, each case is different, brand new. The Supes wouldn't have to approve every subsequent request for a break to exempt necessary public amenities from fees, assuming there would be any or even one, because Gualala's existing heli-pad is a one-off, having been in place for at least two decades and has saved any number of lives. But as a general principle, any consensus, invaluable, existing public construction deserves every consideration, not "Bobby has an ice cream cone so I gotta have one, too" "reasoning." Jeez.

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GENTLEMAN GEORGE HOLLISTER of Comptche observes:

"I attended the 5th district supervisor candidates event yesterday in Comptche. In terms of learning the candidates positions on county issues, and their relevant abilities, the event was a waste of time. in terms of understanding why we are so screwed up, the event confirmed what most of us already know. Most of the time was spent on pot. Candidates forums should keep pot questions to two. Do you support making pot regs simpler? Yes or no. Next question. Then allow one more pot question, just in case I missed something. The elephant in the room regarding pot is economics. Legal cannabis growers will have to produce a quality product for less than what the black market does. Ultimately, the county has little control over this. The county has absolutely no control over California Fish and Wildlife, or California Water Resources, either. These two state agencies are the hammer. I might add, a supervisor will have to deal with other realities of regulating pot, that go beyond the needs of those who want to grow pot. ‘We don’t live the County of Marijuana, we live in the County of Mendocino.’ We elect people to public office for the wrong reasons. Then we complain about the results. The candidate forum in Comptche yesterday was a confirmation of that."

LIKE MOST NON-STONERS in the County, I, too, get tired of the obsessive pot discussion. I also agree with Gentleman George that no matter what rules Mendo comes up with the state trumps them. I also agree with Supe's candidate Pinches of the 3rd District that the present Board of Supervisors has made a farce out of the local permit process, leading to endless and endlessly Talmudic-quality discussion of Mendo's (typical) cockamamie attempt to grab as much pot cash as possible while at the same time making the rules so onerous that little potential cash is generated.

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SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED. It has belatedly occurred to me that Mendocino County Public Radio is indeed a cult. The station apparently went clear over into blood oaths and midnight dog's blood rituals with former manager John Coate, who brought in another eviscerated personality to succeed him in Stuart Campbell. Mos def there was a Moonie-like vibe prevalent during the lock-step candidate's affair at Mendo College, what with all these blissed-out looking old white guys creeping around in ancient birkenstocks, their eyes and speech devoid of all life. I understand a federal intervention is scheduled for May, but will it be soon enough to prevent Coate and Campbell from moving on to full human sacrifice?

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LAST TUESDAY, the Board of Supervisors and top officials from the Health and Human Services Agency engaged in one of the more pointless displays of fake concern we’ve ever seen in Mendo, where false feeling is traditional among County bureaucrats.

Emery (L), Conner (R)

BECKY EMERY, Social Services Branch Director, along with Gina Connor, Deputy Director of Family and Children’s Services, presented an item with the cuddly compu-title of “iFoster.” — iTunes, iPad, iPretend – that kind of thing.

EVERYONE INVOLVED spent about 15 minutes congratulating each other for arranging to snag part of a national grant program to fund 40 laptops for local foster kids which, they claim, will “reduce anxiety, communication and control with adults,” (whatever that means), “increase access and efficiency with resources,” (whatever that means), be a “valuable resource in school, college & work,” and “increase participation in the community” (whatever that means). It also supposedly helps build stronger relationships with the orphaned one’s biological family. And the machines magically improve grades and employment prospects!

BESIDES being empty claims without follow-up or evidence to back it up, this mawkish presentation is also typical of the kind of techno-compu-gibberish that buttresses every silly idea coming out of the Helping Professions these days. In this case it’s just another variation on the bogus “computers in the classroom,” “digital divide,” etc. arguments that are in the same category as the “marijuana cures every disease” claims of the potheads.

IF OFFICIAL MENDO gave a hoot about foster kids they’d want to know how effectively the millions spent on its foster children is and we would get regular reports on numbers of placements, funding, transfers, backlogs, staffing, returns to families (or not), academic progress, and so on.

THE BOARD’S response bordered on orgasmic. Unreserved approval. Supervisor Gjerde wanted to make sure Coast kids would get some of the laptops. Supervisor Croskey said it was “great” and wished everybody could get one! She wanted the age limit to be lower and more free computers handed out. Supervisor Brown said she had tears in her eyes when the computers were handed out, adding that it was “wonderful.” Supervisor Hamburg smiled and said it was “a great program.” Only Supervisor John McCowen was able to curb his enthusiasm, perhaps because he knows the foster kid prognosis does not wear a computer generated Happy Face. :)

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THEY DON’T MAKE BOOKWORMS LIKE THEY USED TO

by Jim Shields

As I said last week regarding the county’s plans to incorporate three separate departments/programs — the Library, Museum, and County Parks — into a proposed Cultural Services Agency (CSA), officials in this county seemingly go out of their way to find bad ideas, and once they locate that bad idea, they run full-speed ahead with it.

That phenomenon was on full display at the March 27 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

Notwithstanding nearly 20 members of the public speaking against the proposal, the Supes ignored their advice and decided unanimously to move forward by directing staff to return at a future meeting with more information on the consolidation proposal.

Here’s some things you should know about what unfolded at the session.

Those who addressed the BOS weren’t just folks who walked in off the street to kill some idle time. Almost all were members of either “Friends of the Public Library” organizations, hailing from Covelo, Point Arena, Laytonville, Willits, Fort Bragg, and Ukiah.

Up here in Laytonville three years ago folks got together and formed the Friends of Long Valley Public Library. Since then they have been fundraising with the goal of building a brick-and-mortar public library in our town. My daughter Jayma is part of that effort. Their organization is committed to this project because they know if they wait for the county to do it, it’s never going to happen. By the way, their fundraising has been very successful as Laytonville area residents trust them and they understand if Laytonville is to have a public library we’ll have to do it ourselves.

Also speaking on the issue were several members of the Mendocino County Library Advisory Board (LAB), a special BOS board whose main function is to “advise” the Supes on all things of a library nature.

Have no misconceptions, these Friends groups and the LAB are the real experts on this library proposal, not the Supes or their staff, a fact that became more than apparent as the meeting wore on.

The LAB and the Friends groups said time and again in thoughtful, constructive presentations to the Supes, that the county’s attempt to create a new Department, the so-called Cultural Services Agency, is not a good idea.

Lew Chichester, member of Friends of the Round Valley Public Library, told the Board they had raised $1.2 million for their library, and characterized the proposal as a “smoke and mirrors” attempt to shift funding from libraries for other purposes, most likely to be spent on the Museum or Parks. He also said his group was prepared to litigate the issue if need be.

Numerous speakers raised the same fear of funds that are legally dedicated to the library being in danger of being “raided” and diverted for purposes other than the library.

The Supes vehemently denied this accusation.

Second District Supervisor John McCowen said, “There is no intention to siphon funds away from the Library to prop up the museum. There is an intention to discuss a concept that may provide better oversight of the Museum and Parks without diminishing the Library, something that no one is in favor of. But the Library is only one of many functions that the County must manage. Given that Mendocino County, financially, is a relatively poor rural county, the challenge we face is how best to manage all of the services that people rely on. In the wake of the economic collapse nearly a decade ago, at one time County Museum staff consisted of a full time director and a part time receptionist. That made no sense. The Museum does not need a full time director, but it does need a curator. With ever increasing costs, particularly for personnel, the County must continually seek to be more efficient in everything it does.”

Despite McCowen’s assurances, library supporters were not swayed in their belief that the consolidation proposal was in the public’s best interest.

In a position paper submitted to the Board, the Library Advisory Board noted:

“On several occasions the County has improperly charged the Library for A-87 reimbursement on fully depreciated equipment. The Fort Bragg Branch insurance funded facility and the Willits Branch’s grant funded facility are two examples of improper charges to the Library. It took two Grand Jury Reports and two years for the County to refund $24,000 for building use charges and $31,000 for equipment charges to the Fort Bragg and Willits branches. Additionally, the County refuses to even consider that the Library Director’s salary should be paid by the County as explicitly stated in the Education Code. Prior to the passage of Measure A, the Board of Supervisors considered closing the Willits Branch and the Bookmobile. The Library had no budget for materials. The branches were open only three days per week. Measure A, approved by 75% of the voters, reversed this dire condition.”

Measure A was the 2011 ballot proposition that established a one-eighth cent sales tax dedicated solely to the Library. For the funding to continue it must be approved again by the voters again in 2027.

Numerous speakers warned the Supes that their proposed consolidation plan would be construed by voters as a bad faith effort and would undermine public support for Measure A’s renewal.

One speaker who succeeded in grabbing the Board’s attention was a fellow who was not affiliated with any of the Library support and advisory organizations. Isarro Willingscomer, a business consultant, told the Board they were not dealing with a legitimate proposal but a “back-of-the-napkin sketch” that devoid of “data, analysis, and projections.” In other words, there was no there to there.

Supe Dan Hamburg, this year’s Board Chairman, agreed Willingscomer’s characterization of the CEO’s proposal. In fact, it was included in the “direction to staff” motion approved by the Board.

Kind of amazing that county officials would take under consideration a proposal of this import that lacked even the bare essentials that would allow for full and completed deliberation.

Looks to me like these Bookworms have got it right, and they had it right from the very beginning: This Library consolidation issue is a very bad idea.

These library groups are deeply embedded in their communities and are people who are widely admired and respected. One thing is for certain — at least with this issue — a real healthy majority of the public trusts the judgement of the library groups over that of county officials.

Another piece of advice for county officials is don’t go out of your way to pick a fight with somebody who has broad public support unless you’re on the right side, and in this case, you’re not.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)

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A READER WRITES: I love libraries. I’ve used them often in the past in other places and in school, but I don’t visit the Ukiah Library much these days because it’s dingy, most of the books are old and outdated, and they don’t have much that interests me in the non-fiction area. They do have a decent on-line system which apparently is an off-shoot of the Sonoma County system which gives access to more books and titles and formats. But there’s very little reason to visit the Ukiah library anymore. The few times I’ve been there lately it seems that the computer area is popular, as is the glassed in children’s menagerie. There are always a few vagabonds and disabled people who don’t seem to be there for the library. You never see any actual book-related features either. Their limited “new acquisitions” cart is mostly bad new fiction picked by who knows who from who knows where. They don’t have any “featured books” sections with blurbs about what’s new or good in the various categories. Granted, I’m kinda old-school. I gather they have some interesting on-line features like downloadable audiobooks, and e-books, and such, but I have no idea how to do it and the few times I’ve asked, the person who knew how to do it wasn’t available to explain. They also seem to do a lot of stuff that has no real library value, like games, play time, computer help, paper mache projects, and other crafts and kid-exercises. But nothing literary for adults. They also have very little local stuff, and what there is tilts heavily toward previous decades, if not centuries. No book clubs, no readings, no featured local authors…

SO IT IRKS ME to hear the knee-jerk library defenders complain about what they see as a “power grab” by CEO Angelo. Given Ms. Angelo’s history, it may indeed be a power grab. But so what? What’s wrong with consolidating the library, museum and parks and rec into one administrative unit? Sure there are differences between the functions, but that could be handled by proper staffing decisions (which I grant are not guaranteed and would need to be funneled through the various, but currently useless, advisory boards). Also, the County Museum is indeed underfunded and, again if properly staffed and funded, could become a much more interesting place and which indeed could be very complimentary to the library and parks and rec, not to mention a County attraction.

UNTIL the Library people show me that they’re really interested in spending all that money (much of it new from the sales tax) on real and direct library things, I’m all for CEO Angelo’s “power grab” — as long as it is properly overseen and the Museum and parks and recs and trail programs get tangible benefits out of it. Why is the library so sacrosant? They have plent of time and money to spend on non-library programs and activities. So why can’t they “share”? Go get ‘em, Carmel!

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THIRD DISTRICT CANDIDATE FORUMS:

(1) Covelo, Saturday, April 14th, 3pm at the Covelo Library

(2) Willits, Thursday, April 19th, 6:30pm, Willits Community Center

(3) Laytonville, Saturday, April 28th, 2pm, Harwood Hall

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HARE CREEK CENTER PROJECT UP FOR REVIEW

From: "Citizens for Appropriate Coastal Land Use" <caclu@mcn.org>

Dear Friend of Todd Point Hill,

Regarding the proposed shopping center slated to be built into the Todd Point Hill (located just west of the Boatyard Shopping Center, across Highway 1). If you do not wish to receive anymore updates about this project, just let us know.

The City of Fort Bragg released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Hare Creek Center Project Thursday, March 22. You can view it at the Fort Bragg Public Library on the shelf with public information documents (along with the 3-inch black binder containing comments made during the fall 2016 scoping session and the 2015 MND), City Hall, and on the City website here: city.fortbragg.com/DocumentCenter/View/6981

It is available for public review through May 7, 2018.

The City is planning to hold a public meeting about the DEIR on Thursday, April 19th. Please mark your calendars and try to attend. We can signal our concern about this project to the City Council by turning out in large numbers.

Please submit your comments about the DEIR and about the project in a letter addressed to Scott Perkins, Special Projects Manager, 416 N. Franklin Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 or via email SPerkins@fortbragg.com. Feel free to share this message with anyone you think would want to comment on the Hare Creek Center project.

Citizens for Appropriate Coastal Land Use (CACLU)

Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/citizensforappropriatecoastallanduse/

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Call me sexist, but here come the touri and their fluffy little yum-yums. ‘Over here, baby! Here I am! How about a smooch from a real dawg?’"

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THERE BUT...

To the Editor:

Before I go into detail about the incident that I am about to describe I want to say that any quotations are directly out of my journal that I wrote in seconds after this incident occurred. This letter is also not meant to call any single person out, but in hopes that a person indicated in this incident may read this and come to an understanding that is far bigger than himself.

On March 12, 2018 around 11 a.m. at the corner of South School Street and West Church Street I noticed a man and woman were having a private conversation as I walked out of a local shop - I was heading south towards my car. As I passed them, a homeless man with a shopping cart passed us going north. The man that was having the conversation, stopped his conversation to tell the homeless man that he doesn’t “belong around here and us” and that “he can’t be coming around here anymore.” The homeless man simply replied “Okay,” and continued walking.

By this time I was on the other side of the crosswalk, stopped dead in my tracks, completely stunned. I didn’t even know what to say or how to react and was frozen. My heart felt complete sadness for the homeless man and honestly, a lot of anger towards the man who had such unkind words. I decided the best thing to do in that moment was to pray - not for the homeless man - but for the man who had such hatred in his heart to tell someone that they don’t “belong.” I prayed that he might find some compassion and empathy in his heart, not just for the homeless population in our community, but for humanity.

I grew up in this town and know that it is difficult to live in a society with a big homeless population. But instead of being a part of the problem - which includes people who judge - maybe more of us can get into the solution. I certainly have a part of it: compassion, empathy, and love for other human beings. I do not care about your social status, what clothes you are wearing, or what you may have in your shopping cart, we all “belong.”

I am happy to say that I caught up with that homeless man and was able to tell him that he does “belong” and that God loves him and that means that I do too.

I hope this letter brings a message of love into a small city in a big world that needs a lot more of it.

Karli D. Kafer

Ukiah

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JUST SAYIN,' watching a bunch of little kids racing around in hyper-searches for gobs of sugar in the form of so-called Easter eggs, I found myself yearning for Filipinos nailed to commemorative crosses as they're dragged through dusty, equatorial streets. Of course I'm not suggesting these rituals for our fine, fat population, but I wouldn't mind seeing sugar industry execs propelled naked and bleeding before a mob of murderous vegans.

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SOS FROM MEG COURTNEY

From: Meg Courtney <mcourtney1@mcn.org>

Date: Sat, Mar 31, 2018 at 10:42 AM

Subject: advertize for me?

To: Linda Jupiter <jupiter@mcn.org>, Tom Wodetzki <tw@mcn.org>, norma watkins <nwatkins@mcn.org>, Dave Turner <davet@flobeds.com>

Hello you four with the large email lists...We are getting down to the wire trying to find some eligible person to run for FB City Council. At first we were focussed on Latinas, then Latinos, now we are looking for any good progressive who lives in the city limits (very important!) and is a registered voter. I am willing to meet with anyone to explain what the job is about. Let me know if anyone comes to mind.  We can't have Rex G. getting that empty seat!!

Thanks, Meg

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Ed note: We hadn't been aware that Rex was poised to make a run for the roses, but now that you mention it, RUN, REX, RUN!

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A CRYING SHAME

Editor,

It’s a crying shame that many liberals often resort to puerile, crass and utterly sophomoric tactics to get their points across. By wearing pussy hats and holding signs with such slogans as “Guns Have More Rights than my Vagina,” they really make themselves look as bad, if not worse, than the MAGA rednecks. I’m ashamed of the left (who I mostly agree and identify with, for the record) as well as the GOP. Pity we can’t all act like adults.

Tony Good

Cloverdale

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DITTO FOR MENDO

Editor:

Since we posted a map of proposed pot grows in Sonoma County, we’ve been getting calls from growers to remove them for safety reasons.

Let that sink in for a moment.

If there ever was a testimonial for our position — that commercial grows should not be allowed in residential areas — that is it.

Afraid for their own safety, growers see no problem using our neighborhoods as shields. Rules regulate their security but do nothing for neighbors. Nine of the last 11 murders in Sonoma County were at pot grows. Four local families were recently invaded. Women and children were beaten, and a man was fatally shot by out-of-area criminals searching for pot and cash. Prior home invasions occurred in Cloverdale and Ukiah.

Does commercial pot growing enhance what makes Sonoma County special, the rural character of our unincorporated areas? Most of these permit applicants are out-of-area speculators.

Other reasons you don’t want them in your residential area include environmental damage, traffic, noise, smell, crime, load on infrastructure, unsightly security, 24-hour operations.

The Sonoma County cannabis ordinance left huge loopholes allowing this to happen. A meeting of the Board of Supervisors on April 10 will address that.

Jim Bracco

Save Our Sonoma Neighborhoods

Santa Rosa

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NEVER TOO OLD TO TWEEK

Wolfe

On 3/31/18 at approximately 1:40 pm, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by 82 year old Robert Wolfe near Big Rock Rd. in Orleans. As deputies made contact with Wolfe, they located narcotics paraphernalia inside the vehicle. Upon further search of the vehicle, deputies located 20 individually pre-packaged baggies, containing Methamphetamine. Wolfe was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for Possession for Sales, Transportation for Sales, and Violation of Probation. His bail was set at $50,000. Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707)445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

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SOCO’S POT PROBS ECHO MENDO’S

pressdemocrat.com/news/8117441-181/neighbors-balk-as-legal-marijuana

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 1, 2018

Amos, Anguiano, Beck

HEATHER AMOS, Eureka/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

BASILIO ANGUIANO, Ukiah. Probation revocation, resisting.

DYLAN BECK, Ukiah. Probation revocation, resisting. (Frequent Flyer)

Brunk, Colyar, Commander

JOHN BRUNK, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

THOMAS COLYAR, Covelo. DUI causing bodily injury, willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death, probation revocation.

NICHOLAS COMMANDER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Cooper, Dubois, Esquivel

GARY COOPER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JESSE DUBOIS, Redwood Valley. Protective order violation.

CARLOS ESQUIVEL, Atwater/Covelo. Controlled substance, concealed weapon, suspended license, paraphernalia, leaded cane or similar weapon.

Feen, V.Hernandez, J.Hernandez

EVAN FEEN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

VINCENT HERNANDEZ JR., Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance, paraphernalia, evidence tampering, resisting.

JAIME HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Battery.

Jordan, Lopez-Galvez, Martinson

ALANA JORDAN, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

LOPEZ-GALVEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance.

CHAD MARTINSON, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Ortiz, Parfet, Sparkman

JONATHAN ORTIZ, Ukiah. Counterfeiting, probation revocation.

JUSTIN PARFET, Arcata/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

ERIC SPARKMAN, Willits. DUI, resisting.

Stark, Weilert, Whipple

RICHARD STARK, Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear.

BRANDON WEILERT, Finley/Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, failure to appear.

KOBEE WHIPPLE, Redwood Valley. Battery, conspiracy.

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APRIL 3, 1993: Hauling out guns and stockpiling plywood to nail over windows, shop owners around the Bay Area said yesterday are doing whatever it takes to prepare for rioting that could follow a verdict in the trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused of violating Rodney King’s civil rights. Last year’s violent eruption after the first verdict in the King case caught most merchants off guard, and they paid for it with $3 million in looting and vandalism damage in Berkeley and an additional $1.5 million in San Francisco. Not this year, they promise. On Market Street, Frank Cressey, owner of the Music and Rhythm record store, is accustomed to using metal gates to protect his store. “Every night is a riot out there,” he said, gesturing toward the street. Cressey said he plans to stay in the store to protect his inventory. “We’re going to be like those Koreans in L.A.,” he said. “We’re not going to let anybody take our livelihood.” (SF Chronicle)

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INFLUENCE & INSPIRATION

The premier showing of The Influence and Inspiration Project, an exhibition tracking the year-long artistic journey of two local women artists, will be featured at Edgewater Gallery in Fort Bragg. The exhibition opens on May 4th and runs through May 29th with an Opening Reception on Friday, May 4th from 5:00-7:00 pm. Works from the project will be on display and available for purchase along with lively discussion with the artists about the project that evening.

Coined "The Response Method" by potter Alexis Moyer and mixed media artist Susan Spencer, the project entailed an exchange of original artworks back and forth between each artist, with each finished piece inspiring a new piece of art by the other. This resulted in a line of art works or an "artistic conversation" between Moyer and Spencer. Over 40 artworks were produced and the results of the project reached farther than either woman could have imagined.

Alexis Moyer from The Pot Shop in Philo will present ceramic sculptures that pushed her in new directions of insight and techniques. "When we began The Influence and Inspiration Project we wanted to do an experiment, to see where it would lead and what we would find. In the end, we found that by using our method of non-critical response we really grew as artists. We clarified our personal inspiration, learned more about ourselves as artists, and our work took on more meaningful content."

Susan Spencer, of The Beat Gallery in Philo found growth she did not see possible without this project. "I learned again, that to grow as an artist entails a spirit of play, and that surely will open new doors of creativity. Not every piece need be approached as a masterpiece, the journey of taking the time to try new things I would never have allowed myself before became more important than the end product. We became accountable to each other in continuing our growth and we never ran out of inspiration!"

A workshop for artists interested in exploring this method will be held on Saturday May 5, at Edgewater from 10am-4pm. Susan and Alexis can be contacted through the website myartmuse.net where sign-ups will be taken. The cost to participate is $45 and ten total participants will be accepted. For more information visit myartmuse.net or Edgewater-Gallery.com

Call us at 707-964-4668 Online @ www.edgewater-gallery.com

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WALLACE STEGNER strung lights up from the big trees just to light the dark way through the wilderness of my 30s. I live in Stegner’s California. It’s full of bittersweetness across the regular tearful landscapes of hope, and when the occasional sentimental rain falls, it doesn’t linger and seems happy enough to quickly dry. I was a late convert to the high priest of Western writing as this hothead couldn’t have appreciated it in younger days when going off trail was the only priority. Now my collection of his paperbacks, a couple of fists high and a few dozen deep, is an assortment of essential backpacking companions that I long mull over which to bring each time I take to the wilds. “The Sound of Mountain Water” is usually the go-to, its patient rhetoric presenting us with probably the most salient arguments I’ve found to combat those who think they can do without the natural world and are readily supporting policies to that end. I’m doomed to be lugging around Stegner in my pack for the rest of my days — his words feathers, his stories rivers.

Obi Kaufmann, author of “The California Field Atlas.”

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* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Consider that cops are real people not Robocops. Panic and reluctance to shoot at another human. Many stories in combat of soldiers never firing a shot in battle. Yes there are power driven bad cops, but not many and condemning the good guys for a small percentage of jerks is senseless. BLM has been successful identifying the problem, it now needs to look within, avoid the Democratic Party traps and start moving forward.

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PALESTINIANS MOURN 773 SHOT WITH LIVE AMMO DURING PROTESTS

At least 15 killed when Israeli soldiers open fire during mass demonstrations in Gaza

by Hazem Balousha (in Gaza City) & Oliver Holmes (in Jerusalem)

Gaza hospitals, running low on blood and overstretched by the huge number of wounded, were reeling after one of the enclave’s bloodiest days outside of open war, in which Israeli soldiers shot 773 people with live ammunition, according to the ministry of health.

Fifteen of the wounded died, said the ministry spokesperson Dr Ashraf al-Qidra. “Most of the dead were aged between 17 and 35 years old,” he said. “The injuries were on the upper part of the body.” He added that the remainder of the wounded, some of whom were in a critical condition, had been “shot with live ammunition”.

The violence erupted on Friday after mass demonstrations took place demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to land in Israel.

Tens of thousands of people, including women and children, had planned to camp several hundred metres from the Israeli frontier, which surrounds the 140-square-mile Gaza strip on two sides, on the first day of a peaceful, six-week protest.

But from the main camps, groups of mostly young men approached the border at several locations and started throwing stones and burning tyres. Soldiers responded by opening fire throughout the day.

More than 1,400 people were wounded, mostly by bullets but also rubber-coated rounds and tear-gas inhalation, the health ministry said. The Guardian was unable to independently verify the ministry’s figures.

On Friday, in less than 30 minutes, reporters saw 10 people with bullet wounds carried away on stretchers at one of the demonstrations.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, declared Saturday a national day of mourning. More demonstrations are planned.

Israel said it has positioned snipers and responded to “rioting” Palestinians with “dispersal means” and “firing towards main instigators”. It said the movement was a Hamas-orchestrated ploy and it was identifying “terror attacks under the camouflage of riots”.

The military pointed to what it said was an “attempted shooting attack by a terror cell” in the northern part of the Gaza strip on Friday. It added that it had responded with gunfire and by targeting three nearby Hamas sites with tanks and fighter jets. The military sent a video to journalists showing men appearing to tamper with the separation fence and said that Hamas had earlier sent a seven-year-old girl across the border, whom Israeli soldiers returned to her parents.

The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said: “The international community must not be deceived” by what he called “a well-organized and violent terror gathering”.

Hamas, which backed the protest, has fought three wars with Israel since 2008. In the past few weeks, Israeli forces say they have caught people attempting to cut through the frontier to launch attacks.

The UN security council held emergency talks to discuss the risks of further escalation but failed to agree on a statement. “There is fear that the situation might deteriorate in the coming days,” said the assistant UN secretary general for political affairs, Tayé-Brook Zerihoun.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has called for an independent and transparent investigation into the violence, according to his spokesman Farhan Haq.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said what happened in Gaza was a “heinous massacre”. He said Palestinians “expect the security council to shoulder its responsibility” and “defuse this volatile situation, which clearly constitutes a threat to international peace and security”.

Friday’s death toll stood at 16 and included a farmer killed by an Israeli tank shell before dawn as he picked parsley near the border, according to the health ministry. An Israeli army spokesman said the man was operating suspiciously.

Al-Qidra said hospitals were running low on several blood types.

(Guardian of London)

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DIVERS RISK DROWNING AND SHARKS TO POACH ABALONE WORTH $200 A POUND

nytimes.com/2018/03/31/world/africa/south-africa-abalone-poaching.html

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JOURNALISM'S LOSS IS AN EVEN BIGGER LOSS FOR THE UNSUSPECTING STUDENTS OF SONOMA STATE

As the vessel slowly sinks, a predictable creature deserts the ship.

Gullixson: Editorial director talks about the changing newspaper business — before he leaves it

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(Click to enlarge)

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DENMARK'S TOP MARGINAL EFFECTIVE INCOME TAX RATE is 60.4 percent. Sweden's is 56.4 percent. Norway's top marginal tax rate is 39 percent. ... From the American perspective, this means that all income over $60,000 (1.2 times the average income of about $50,000 in the United States) would be taxed at 60 percent. (Jun 10, 2015)

On the one hand, yes, we pay less. The share of our total national income captured by the government in taxes is small compared to most developed economies. On the other hand, we get less. Americans pay out nearly as much as some European countries, Canadians, and the Japanese. But we receive a lot less for our money. (Unless you count the military and defense contractors and veterans benefits and associated interest costs which benefits relatively few.)

Look at high-tax Sweden, which has the fourth-most competitive economy in the world, ahead of the U.S., according to the World Economic Forum. In return for paying their taxes, Swedes have access to a generous support system for families and individuals that most Americans can only dream about. That includes not only quality health care but also child care, a more generous retirement pension, low-cost college education (most Swedish universities charge no tuition fees), job retraining, paid sick leave, paid parental leave (after a birth or to care for sick children), ample vacations, affordable housing…

 

16 Comments

  1. Judy April 2, 2018

    Meg’s email is interesting. There are three seats up for grabs, not just one. I’m wondering if she believes she all ready has two of those filled and only needs one more person to fill the third or if she doesn’t even realize there are three?

    Wasn’t Meg the official bag lady on the council? During her time as council person it seemed plastic bags vs paper bags was the only issue she was trusted with and could handle. Other than that I believe she was just another person to agree with Turner and company on issues to be voted on.

    This will be an interesting election. From Meg’s email it looks as though she and her followers are playing not only the sex card but the race card as well. Sad that it has come down to something like this.

  2. Paul McCarthy April 2, 2018

    The last time we heard from Meg Courtney she was rallying the troops to support city manager Linda Ruffing after learning – from a closed session discussion – her job was in jeopardy.
    Her effort failed, Ruffing was given her walking papers and an INVESTIGATION by the city attorney was ordered by the city council into who was responsible for the closed session leak.
    I’m still awaiting the result of the “investigation” – and I’m about the only person who remembers they ordered it – including the city councilors themselves. I am not holding my breath, however…

    • Judy April 2, 2018

      Will Lee wanted an investigation but I think Mayor Peters didn’t agree with the idea. I could be wrong, but I’m not certain it ever happened.
      Wasn’t it Meg’s group that said Linda was let go (retired) because she was a woman? Odd that the Council hired another woman if that was the problem.

  3. Dave Smith April 2, 2018

    Mendocino College Library. A clean, well-lighted place for books and those of us old codgers who love them. $15 a year supporting membership. Includes free bus transportation during semesters…

  4. Eric Sunswheat April 2, 2018

    RE: In return for paying their taxes, Swedes have access to a generous support system for families and individuals that most Americans can only dream about.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/03/fx-trust-john-paul-getty-girlfriends

    “Ever since his adolescence in Los Angeles, [Getty] had scandalized his God-fearing parents, and particularly his father, a converted Christian Scientist, with his seemingly insatiable sex drive,” recapped actress Olivia Grant, of the research she did on Getty’s sex life to play one of the miser’s mistresses in last year’s All the Money in the World. “Described by Lord Beaverbrook as ‘priapic’ or ‘every-ready’, Getty consumed vitamins in massive doses, together with the so-called sex drug H3, to maintain his potency well into his 80s [and kept] meticulous records of his conquests in a small black address book.”

    • Eric Sunswheat April 2, 2018

      “[Getty] loved and admired her because she was the only woman who would stand up to him,” explained Kitson’s ex-husband Patrick de Laszlo. “He wanted to marry her, but she told him she was not prepared to be trampled on like his other wives, nor was she prepared to be his mistress.”

      According to a fascinating Esquire profile of Getty’s household published in 1969, Kitson was “a tall, slim Englishwoman in her middle forties, intelligent and humorous, with a charming voice, a light, lovely laugh, and an easy informality in speech and manner [which made her] an odd contrast to Getty’s cheerless mien.”

  5. james marmon April 2, 2018

    RE: THERE BUT…

    Where is the compassion for our residents and their children. I too was raised in Ukiah and can remember being allowed at age 5 to safely walk from our house on Luce Ave all the way to Todd Grove to go swimming at the municipal pool. In today’s world UPD would lock my parents up and CPS would adopt me and my brothers out to some lesbian couple or something. Why? because Ukiah Streets are not safe anymore, why’s that?

    James Marmon MSW.
    Born July 4, 1954
    Ukiah, Ca.

  6. chuck dunbar April 2, 2018

    “Easter Thoughts:” That big (pensive, or worn-out from all the bunny tasks, or…?) bunny with flopping down ears reminded me of an Easter week many, many years ago. I was a pre-school teacher in Caspar, and got designated by my compatriots to be the Easter Bunny. I was game and donned the furry costume with enthusiasm, and began doing my Easter Bunny thing. The children were all having fun, and so was I, with not a single child calling me out as a fake bunny. But it was a really warm day and I was moving around a lot, and pretty soon I was burning-up and having trouble breathing. Close to fainting, I gave it up and took the bunny headpiece off, and of course all the kids said, “Oh, it’s Chuck!” Not the end of the world, though, and on we went with the fun of it all. That’s my old man bunny story, a nice memory.

  7. Bruce McEwen April 2, 2018

    Beryl Opal:

    Havre, MT is on HWY 2, affectionately known as the “High Line” which runs along just under the parallel that separates us from the chanucks. I’ve been up there in summer and winter and it’s hard to tell which was worse.

    Beryl brought a kind of what I call character out of that drear country, an ability to smile into the bleakest of winds with not only courage and charm, but with astute reckoning, too.

    Beryl Opal: hard, dazzling gems, she couldn’t have been more beautifully named.

    Condolences,

    B. Mc

    • Bruce McEwen April 2, 2018

      Strike: “beautifully named” and insert: “brilliantly named.”

      • Eric Sunswheat April 2, 2018

        vividly named

  8. Malcolm Macdonald April 3, 2018

    Regarding the piece on MCDH woes, the paragraph that begins, “Which leads us to the parcel tax…” should have this wording, “the hospital’s CEO fires the CFO…” If only the current CEO would fire himself!
    Malcolm Macdonald

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