- Supe Notes
- Coan Case
- Slow Vote
- Police Reports
- Little Dog
- Ed Notes
- DUI MIA
- Rent Gouging
- Jacob Called
- Coastal Trail
- Yesterday's Catch
- Bourdain Book
- Deplorable Rescue
- Yurok Klamath
- Canadian Threats
- Dumbing Down
- Blank Case
- Succulent Felons
SUPERVISORS, TUESDAY, 12 JUNE
KZYX REPORTER SARAH REITH appeared before the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to complain about the County and the City of Ukiah’s treatment of homeless people with shopping carts.
“I'm currently working on a series of interviews with homeless people mostly in Ukiah. So this is a Ukiah issue but it is tied in with county policy because of the consultant who was recently hired, Dr. Robert Marbut. One of his recommendations was to get strict about shopping carts. The city of Ukiah recently passed an ordinance that homeless people pushing shopping carts would be subject to citations starting August 1. But I have been speaking with a lot of homeless people and advocates and the police department and they are issuing citations now, which has resulted in I would say a loss of trust if there were trust to be lost. I wouldn't bring this up except that it is County policy. So it seems like that's a broken promise. I recently read the UN special rapporteur on homelessness in the United States, Dr. Philip Alston, who prepared a lengthy, very well researched report about citations being given for homeless people. His claim was that it did that it locks them into a really long and self-perpetuating cycle of poverty. He recommended strongly against it. It seems like there's roll out of policies to address the homeless issue has been characterized by bad research and a broken promise."
ED NOTE: We’re not sure which part of Mr. Alston’s report Ms. Reith is referring to but it could be this:
“I have seen and heard a lot over the past two weeks. I met with many people barely surviving on Skid Row in Los Angeles, I witnessed a San Francisco police officer telling a group of homeless people to move on but having no answer when asked where they could move to, I heard how thousands of poor people get minor infraction notices which seem to be intentionally designed to quickly explode into unpayable debt, incarceration, and the replenishment of municipal coffers, I saw sewage filled yards in states where governments don’t consider sanitation facilities to be their responsibility, I saw people who had lost all of their teeth because adult dental care is not covered by the vast majority of programs available to the very poor, I heard about soaring death rates and family and community destruction wrought by prescription and other drug addiction, and I met with people in the South of Puerto Rico living next to a mountain of completely unprotected coal ash which rains down upon them bringing illness, disability and death. … In many cities, homeless persons are effectively criminalized for the situation in which they find themselves. Sleeping rough, sitting in public places, panhandling, public urination (in cities that provide almost zero public toilets) and myriad other offences have been devised to attack the ‘blight’ of homelessness. Ever more demanding and intrusive regulations lead to infraction notices, which rapidly turn into misdemeanors, leading to the issuance of warrants, incarceration, the incurring of unpayable fines, and the stigma of a criminal conviction that in turn virtually prevents subsequent employment and access to most housing. Yet the authorities in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco often encourage this vicious circle. In Skid Row, LA., 6,696 arrests of homeless persons were reported to have been made between 2011 and 2016. Rather than responding to homeless persons as affronts to the senses and to their neighborhoods, citizens and local authorities should see in their presence a tragic indictment of community and government policies. Homelessness on this scale is far from inevitable and again reflects political choices to see law enforcement rather than low cost housing, medical treatment, psychological counselling, and job training as the solutions. But the futility of many existing approaches was all too evident as I walked around some of the worst affected areas.”
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MARK SCHAEFER, COMPTCHE
“I am now on the board for the Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association. I feel like somehow it's now my job to clean up the mess that is happening in this county. I wrote like a really really dramatic speech that I wanted to give but I’m like too angry right now to read it. I mean, we are barely over 200 permits right now and people call me to ask me why. They blame me. But I am not in the government. Like I am just trying like everybody else. Families are dying, man. People are angry at each other. I really do respect you guys. I thank you so much for the work you are putting in. But we have solutions. We want to work with you so badly. So I will not waste any more time. I know this is a long day.”
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS spent most of Tuesday's meeting dealing with "cannabis overlay zones," And on an item entitled “Item 5b. Cannabis Cultivation Permit — Stay In Denial.”
Which has several possible interpretations, the most accurate of which is psychological.
But the Board’s scribe was more mundane:
“Discussion and Possible Action to (1) Adopt Resolution Approving and Adopting an Addendum to the Previously Adopted Mitigated Negative Declaration, in Compliance with California Environmental Quality Act Requirements, for Amendments to Section 10A.17.090 of the Mendocino County Code; and (2) Introduce and Waive First Reading of an Ordinance Amending Section 10A.17.090 of the Mendocino County Code to Allow for a Stay in Denial of Cannabis Cultivation Permit Applications During a One-Year Non-Cultivation Period. Recommended Action: Adopt Resolution Approving and Adopting an Addendum to the Previously Adopted Mitigated Negative Declaration, in Compliance with California Environmental Quality Act Requirements, for Amendments to Section 10A.17.090 of the Mendocino County Code, and authorize Chair to sign same; and Introduce and Waive First Reading of an Ordinance Amending Section 10A.17.090 of the Mendocino County Code to Allow for a Stay in Denial of Cannabis Cultivation Permit Applications During a One-Year Non-Cultivation Period.”
MENDO CALLS THIS “TRANSPARENCY.”
THE LEVEL of minutia was excruciating, even more ridiculous than the previous permit discussions — essentially fine-tuning the fine tuning. How many people in a neighborhood should sign a petition to request the county consider allowing or restricting pot growing in a residential area? What should the criteria be? Access roads, setbacks, coastal zones, indoor and outdoor cultivation, neighboring parcels, light levels, on and on and on. Several growers wanted to discuss their specific situation adding to the tedium to which, of course, no responses were provided.
Compare this level of detailed discussion and discretion that the supervisors are dealing with on marijuana to the grape growers and their pesticides and spray rigs and ponds and water draws and their enormous deafening wind machines for which the winegrowers say there is a permit process —there is not — all of which affects many more people in the grape growing areas of the county than pot does. When we spoke to acting planning Director Steve Dunnicliff last year, he said that the county could not use a permit process for wind machines because it would require the County to make decisions about the noise level, the distance from residences, the degree of nuisance, et cetera.
Yet, here's the board micromanaging pot activity down to the neighborhood, down to the square footage, the night lights, the porta-potties and trying to prepare detailed criteria for what kinds of operations can be allowed where and how far from various structures.
But the equivalent of helicopters landing on your house? Oh no, we can't handle that. That would require them to make a decision about grape growing!
OBVIOIUSLY, if you’re in an industry that Mendo’s Big Lib Official insiders like (or are afraid of), you’ll get hands-off treatment. But if you’re in an industry that is out of favor we’re going to regulate you into submission. (Mark Scaramella)
Alexander Coan was both sentenced and released today for his participation in the murder of Jamie Dawn Shipman by Alexander Coan’s mother, allegedly, Kelley Anne Coan on May 23rd around 10:00 am; following a preliminary hearing two weeks ago (which I missed, being sick in bed with a damn cold), Alexander Coan pled guilty to Accessory After the Fact for a stipulated two year term in local prison. The deal was worked out with Alexander Coan’s attorney, Tony Serra, and Deputy DA Scott McMenomey, due to the fact that Alexander Coan arrived after the murder had taken place and that he lied to the police saying that no, his mother did not own a gun. The first order of business this morning was to have Alexander Coan sign a form stating that he did not own any firearms.
After this was done, Mr. Shipman stood up and told the court that after he had found his wife’s body shot several times, Alexander Coan had walked up and confronted him. “The court says he’s not guilty of the murder, but I know he is,” Shipman said.
Shipman’s daughter then stood and said, “I know there’s no evidence to link him directly to the scene but I’ve seen him coming into court snickering and laughing … I hope when he does get out my family will be safe and we won’t have to go through this again.”
Tony Serra said his client had never come into court snickering or laughing – that “he’s always been very solemn from my perspective. Both sides agreed to a fair and equitable term of two years with credit for time served and he will be released today.”
Deputy DA McMenomey had asked for restitution in the amount of $2,364 for funeral expenses. Mr. Serra said his client shouldn’t have to pay it, and that his client was indigent.
Judge Cindee Mayfield sentenced Alexander Coan to the two years as per the stipulation with credit for time served – under the current system, Coan’s 382 days in custody will add up to 764 total credits for time served – and she imposed the restitution pointing out that an accessory after the fact was responsible and that indigence was no excuse.
After Alexander Coan was taken out, the Shipmans left, and it was plain they were not happy with the sentence. Alexander Coan’s mother, Kelley Anne Coan, is still awaiting trial, claiming she shot Mrs. Shipman in self-defense.
OUR ANNUAL PUZZLEMENT at the slow vote count here in Mendocino County, the slowest in the state; here’s the excuse from 2014, and one would think by now that Elections would hire the extra vote counters to get the results done in a timely manner, like last week:
CEO ANGELO then told the Board on that same November 11 meeting (one week after the recent elections) that County Clerk-Recorder Susan Ranochak “has put out a press release every year saying the vote will be determined within 28 days. I think this is something that has caught the attention of many people within our community and particularly some of the electeds [sic], is the fact that they list so many votes that are outstanding in the different districts. I received calls and I'm sure you received calls. This press release is out and as Ms. Ranochak says we will have to wait 28 days to see the final count.”
Supervisor Dan Gjerde: “Everybody wants the election count to be as accurate as possible. I think the question that keeps coming up to me and other people on the coast is they look at election night they see that Humboldt County which has 50% more people reporting on election night and I assume they still have a few provisional ballots. But if you look at thecoan provisional ballot count in Mendocino County I think it's fewer than 500 that are outstanding. And it’s something like half of the ballots not yet been counted in Mendocino County whereas in Humboldt County I think it was 100% except for maybe the provisionals. So I guess the question for the Elections Office is, What are they doing in Humboldt that's different than what's happening here?”
Supervisor John Pinches: “Good point.”
Supervisor John McCowen: “It's important to have an accurate count but also a timely count. I think with the shift to the mail-in precincts we see every election that we have a situation very similar to this one except in this case we have considerably more ballots still to be counted than those that were actually counted on election night. It's probably time to revisit the issue of what would be the real cost to restore more physical polling places so that people have the option because I believe there is a lot of voters who have had their polling place taken away who still hold their ballot to the last minute and then of course they don't get counted. There would be some additional cost for additional poll workers but there would be, to me, and the board should appropriate sufficient funds if the election official and the board were to choose to go in that direction. I think there would be a real value to being able to have a more timely count. I invite Supervisor Gjerde to sponsor an agenda item to that effect with me.”
Gjerde did not respond. No agenda item was ever forthcoming. Newly praised and raised CEO Angelo did not respond. Nothing was done. Nothing was proposed. Nobody asked what could be done or even if Ms. Ranochak was available to discuss the problem. Which she wasn’t.
(Mark Scaramella, Nov. 2014)
ON IT GOES
On 06-09-2018 at approximately 7:10 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the Round Valley Tribal Police Office in Covelo to contact a female subject who was a possible victim of domestic violence. When responding to the call, the Deputies were notified that the female subject had left the Tribal Police Office. Tribal Police Officers directed the Deputies to the female's residence where they contacted the subject regarding this incident. The Deputies learned the female was involved in a dating relationship with Roger Peters, 35, of Covelo, and on 06-09-2018 they were staying together at the Eel River Campground on Etsel Ridge Road in Covelo.
During an argument at the Campground, Peters reportedly grabbed the female by the hair and punched her in the head multiple times. The female advised Peters also grabbed her by the throat during the argument. The female had injuries to her head and throat consistent with her statements. The Deputies responded to the Eel River Campground where they located and contacted Peters regarding this incident. Peters was ultimately advised and placed under arrest for Felony Domestic Violence Battery without incident. Peters was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on the above charge to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
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NEPHEW OF THE YEAR
On 06-06-2018 at approximately 7:20 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a physical assault at a residence in the 700 block of Lake Mendocino Drive in Ukiah. While responding to the location Deputies were advised a 70 year-old male had been stabbed. Medical Personnel were summoned to respond also. Deputies arrived in the area and contacted the suspect, Harley James Patton, 25, of Ukiah, on Lake Mendocino Drive near the location.
Deputies and medical personnel responded to the residence and found the 70 year-old male, laying in the driveway of the location, suffering from multiple stab wounds to the back. Medical Personnel began treating the 70 year-old male and he was flown to an out of county hospital for treatment. Deputies determined an altercation occurred inside a small trailer at the location between the 70 year-old male and his nephew (Patton). During the altercation, it appeared Patton obtained a knife and stabbed the 70 year-old male numerous times causing life threatening injuries. Patton was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Attempted Murder, Assault with Deadly Weapon, and Elder Abuse with great bodily injury). Patton was to be held in lieu of $200,000 bail.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I may complain about things (and certain cats) around here now and then, but put me down as a big supporter of America and Flag Day tomorrow.”
INTERESTING ARGUMENT from PG&E as the semi-public utility begins to defend itself against the deluge of negligence suits arising from the catastrophic fires of October. PG&E is saying that they met the tree and brush clearance standards mandated by state law, that the horrific fires resulted from climate change, that PG&E, under current state law, could not possibly have kept their lines and transformers from sparking the fires. "We cleared tree and brush hazards in full compliance with the law but Global Warming we can do nothing about."
* * *
MORE AND MORE tour buses are stopping in Boonville, Mendocino County's most happening community. A big shiny job was spotted disgorging a cargo of gray hairs at Pennyroyal in SoBo today, just in time for the very nice lunch Pennyroyal offers.
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CRUISING THE LIBERAL commentary on Trump's breakthrough meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, it's almost all negative, as if the libs are hoping denuclearization fails. Even the possibility of peace talks with North Korea were inconceivable under Obama, and even more unlikely under Clinton if she had won the presidency. Orange Man deserves a standing O for this remarkable diplomatic achievement, not the carping he's getting from the libs. True to form, though, virtually in the same breath he does major good he kicks off a crazy trade war with, of all countries, Canada. Trudeau must have annoyed Trump on a very personal level because there's no rational accounting for Trump's unreasoning hostility for Canada's pious prime minister. Maybe that's it. The piety. Trudeau's overweening sanctimoniousness. And Orange Man does tend to lash out, doesn't he?
* * *
STAND BY for an extreme statement. Ready? Here it is: I've never myself met a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism who was any better than average at the work of journalism, work which can be adequately brought off by almost anyone with the basic reading and writing tools available free to the smarter sectors of high school graduates. We get letters to the editor all the time that are better written than the stuff churned out by most J-school graduates. If you can write a lively letter you can do journalism.
* * *
SOMEHOW I've been comped a subscription to the Columbia Journalism Review, whose contents…? Soporific is the adjective that arrives first. I was astonished to read what a degree from Columbia costs. (All these schools describe themselves as "prestigious.") $105,820 for a ten-month program? $147,418 for a 12-month program or $108,464 per year for a two-year program! And I'm sure there are some young people who take out loans for a diploma which they'll be paying off for years when the future of conventional journalism is seriously in doubt and the number of good paying jobs is shrinking.
* * *
BOONVILLE'S BELOVED WEEKLY, way back, was the subject of an uncomprehending and generally real dumb "profile" by some guy from Columbia who probably picked up big bucks for it. Boonville's beloved weekly has been written up in lots of different contexts by lots of big time newspapers and mags. I'm sure all the authors of these smash and grab pieces were the work of graduates of "prestigious" journalism schools and edited by another layer of prestigious journalism school grads. But the only one that would get a passing grade if these j-school diploma mills had any real standards was one in the Wall Street Journal. I've forgotten the guy's name, but he was very smart, a book reader, and I thought his piece was not only accurate he brought it off with real wit.
UPDATE ON DUI DEFENDANT GONE MIA.
As reported on June 6th, a Superior Court jury could not agree on whether or not defendant Shannon Kathleen Wilson, age 35, of Ukiah, had driven a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drove her vehicle with a blood alcohol of .08 percent or greater, both misdemeanors. This inability to agree resulted in the declaration of a mistrial.
Because the defendant also failed without excuse to attend the second day of the trial as ordered, a bench warrant was issued for her arrest after the mistrial was declared.
What a difference a week makes. In the intervening days, defendant Wilson was apprehended on the warrant and brought to court Tuesday for further proceedings. With her trial attorney at her side, defendant Wilson — making a fashion statement in her jail house orange outfit — surprisingly changed her not guilty pleas to no contest pleas on the two "hung" counts. She admitted having a blood alcohol of .21/.22 at the time of driving. The defendant also admitted having suffered a prior DUI conviction, a fact not previously disclosed to the prior jury. A no contest plea is the same as a guilty plea for purposes of conviction and for imposing criminal sanctions.
Separate and apart from the DUI case, the DA had filed a new misdemeanor charge of willfully failing to appear for court. The defendant also admitted the truth of this charge Tuesday.
Sentencing on all the admitted charges and sentencing enhancements was continued to this coming Friday, June 15th so that last week's trial judge — Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder — could be present to hear the matter. That sentencing hearing will take place at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department A at the Ukiah courthouse.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at last week's trial was Deputy District Attorney Jamie Pearl. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Justice crime laboratory.
(District Attorney Press Release)
SONOMA COUNTY CHARGES CLOVERDALE LANDLORD WITH PRICE GOUGING
At least six price-gouging cases have been taken up by prosecutors in the North Bay since October’s firestorm.
FORT BRAGG CITY MANAGER STARTS NEW BLOG
Hi, as you all know by now, I just arrived in the City of Fort Bragg from Arizona, or was it Colorado? Whatever. And besides the temperature change, there are other changes I have to become accustomed to in order to better serve the citizens of Fort Bragg.
To that end, I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog. For the first entry, I thought it would be best to give you an idea of what my typical morning consists of — and, believe me, I have never been busier. So here is how the first half of my day went last Friday:
6:00 am — My alarm clock went off. The alarm plays the song “Dancing Queen” by Abba.
6:05 am — Jacob Patterson called to make sure my alarm went off.
6:30 am — After a bracing shower, went for a brisk walk and returned home for breakfast.
7:00 am — Jacob Patterson called to see how my walk went and asked what I was eating for breakfast, he made several healthy recommendations. Asked what I planned to wear to work, made several recommendations.
8:00 am — Arrived at City Hall and started working on the city council budget presentation.
8:01 am — Jacob Patterson called to see how the budget presentation was going.
8:45 am — Talked to a department head on a personnel issue.
8:50 am — Jacob Patterson emailed and asked for all copies and/or correspondence regarding the personnel matter discussed dating back to 1992. Referred him to the City Clerk.
9:00 am — Took a morning break for a bagel & cream cheese with coffee.
9:05 am — Jacob Patterson called to ask if I used butter or margarine on my bagel. Recommended I stop drinking coffee & switch to tea, no sugar. Warned me about processed food.
10:00 am — Jacob Patterson called to see how my day was going — then informed me he was emailing 2,400 requests for information regarding several topics dating back to the origin of the city.
10:15 am — Met with the Planning Department to discuss possible Glass Beach improvements.
10:30 am — Jacob Patterson called with suggestions to the Glass Beach project. He hoped for a Glass Beach voting district.
11:00 am — Received 313 emails from Jacob Patterson asking for additional information on Glass Beach extending back to when it was the city dump.
11:30 am — Talked to department heads about possible reductions in their budgets.
11:50 am — Jacob Patterson called to suggest ways to reduce department budgets.
12:00 pm — Time for lunch! Headed out to the harbor to eat.
12:02 pm — Jacob Patterson called my cellphone to say I should change my plans for lunch. He suggested I have sushi at Takas rather than any fried food in the harbor. Wondered how he knew where I was going? Turned off my cellphone during lunch.
1:00 pm — Came back from a delicious meal in the harbor. The office phone voice message box was completely full — messages from Jacob Patterson saying I had “betrayed him” and if I didn’t listen to his advice he could not be responsible for my health.
1:01 pm — Finally a call from someone other than Jacob Patterson — it was his mother wondering why I didn't listen to her son's suggestion about lunch.
So, as you can see, in addition to the routine managing of city departments and providing information to the city council and balancing the budget, I deal with citizens who keep me VERY busy. It’s almost impossible to get all the city work done thanks to all their “important information" requests but the City Clerk has been very helpful fielding them also.
Next week, I’ll blog about what a typical afternoon as City Manager is like. Thank you for reading.
(MendocinoSportsPlus’s ‘Mendocino Bacon’)
THE COASTAL TRAIL
After years of planning and hard work, Fort Bragg is proud to offer one of the most beautiful and accessible trails on the West Coast. At the end of March, the City officially connected the North and South portions of the trail in Noyo Headlands Park, so there is now 3.6 miles of prime coastal trail all the way from Noyo Point Road to the Pudding Creek Trestle Bridge. The Coastal Trail also includes an additional 1.7 miles of side trails or side excursions. As a runner, this is awesome. The trail is smooth, fairly flat and has three restrooms along the way. Oh, and it is set along one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere. I was fortunate enough to walk the middle portion of the trail a few days before it opened and before the art and benches were installed. On subsequent walks and runs, I watched as the murals were painted in stages, the new benches were put in place, and the locks on the new bathroom doors were installed. My favorite mural is the ocean scene in a bottle by Derek DiOrio, from Westport. The bigger mural by Shawnee Miller with birds on fish scales is also beautiful, as is the textile print on the side of the restroom by Solange Roberdeau, which is based on a Sashiko embroidery design from our Sister City, Otsuchi, Japan. If you have not yet walked, biked or run the trail through the connecting middle section, I would highly recommend it.
Stay tuned for more information regarding our big celebration of the Coastal Trail on August 5th. If you are interested in participating or would like more information, let us know by emailing Scott Schneider, email@example.com.
(Fort Bragg’s Real City Manager Tabatha Miller)
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 12, 2018
WALTER BALL JR., Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
DAVID GIUSTI, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
RICKY LEMMON, Covelo. Resisting.
DANIEL NICHOLAS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation.
TYLOR ODELL, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, stolen property, probation revocation.
WILLIAM OWENS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.
KEVIN STARNES, UKIAH. Battery on peace officer, resisting.
ROBERT VARGAS, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic battery, offenses while on bail.
BOOK REVIEW: THE CULINARY UNDERBELLY
by Erik S. McMahon (February 2001)
It's tough enough for a stage comedian to make you laugh out loud; more remarkable still when a supposedly comic movie does so. Rarest of all is an author achieving such result in print.
A short list of novels inducing audible chortles from me would include Catch-22 (Joseph Heller), East Is East (T.C. Boyle), and A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole).
To that group, I must now add a recently-published memoir by a classically-trained, personally-flawed master chef, Anthony Bourdain: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.
Aproned antics aside, a risk, some readers should be warned, is that the inside dope dispensed in these pages could dissuade them from ever wanting to dine out again. How pretty is it when a disaffected magician debunks his tricks?
Bourdain unquestionably loves his profession, and often writes elegantly about the intricate, precisely-timed ballet which differentiates an efficiently-run operation from a berserk, eight-burner corner of hell.
He also has a perceptive eye for personality types tending to gravitate toward the trade. Not unlike cabbies and bartenders, they seem possessed of devotion and dementia in fairly equal measure. You'd be hard pressed finding one who hasn't a story (or many) to tell.
A genuine sense of community emerges as well, though the relationships can rapidly shift from merely dysfunctional to downright dangerous (there are always outsized, perfectly-sharpened knives, and hot containers, and scalding fluids, within easy reach, it is wise to recall).
Much of the wildness and volatility is driven by unrelenting stress. Combustible characters, from busboy up to owner, complicate the mix. Bourdain spares no one, least of all himself. The cook’s self-deprecating, mordant humor revolves around respect for food and recognition of personal abusive and anarchic habits.
This account, if unexaggerated, confirms the prosperous potential for aspiring Cordon Bleu dope fiend/smart asses.
The book's served up cleverly, with course segments ranging from ‘Appetizer’ to ‘Dessert,’ followed by ‘Coffee and a Cigarette’ (in between are chapters entitled ‘Food Is Good,’ ‘Food Is Sex’ and ‘Food Is Pain’). While you could call many of our chef's gustatory exploits cuisine noir, he ends up as a sympathetic narrator.
He announces at the outset that he wishes to tell us ‘about the dark recesses of the restaurant underbelly — a subculture whose centuries-old militaristic hierarchy and ethos of ‘rum, buggery and the lash’ make for a mix of unwavering order and nerve-shattering chaos — because I find it all quite comfortable, like a nice warm bath.’
Bourdain escorts us behind the counter, close enough to smell sizzling sauce-pans and be wary of broiling brain-pans. There's also a healthy portion of practical advice — on which days fish dishes are best avoided, for example, and clues that can tip diners to ‘food crimes.’
Kitchen Confidential is, in part, an autobiography, with recollections of rowdy youth and early exposure to exotic edibles such as (very) fresh French oysters. It's also a confessional, recounting routine narcotic binges and liaisons with individuals owning much more than ill repute. Turns out there's a mob-style code for those committed to hardcore cookery.
Bourdain is particularly adept at contrasting what the patron envisions, and gets, with what the preparer engineers and endures, to make that happen. He’s cooked up a unique casserole, a flavorful ‘special’ — but one not likely to be excerpted on many menus (or extolled by many restaurateurs).
The book jacket photo suggests he’s still employed at a high-class Manhattan bistro. Anecdotes and admissions between the covers lead one to wonder how that could be so. As Bourdain himself inquires, ‘What strange beasts lurk behind the kitchen doors?’
(Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain (Bloomsbury; $24.95; 307pp). Erik McMahon, a long-time contributor to the AVA in the early 2000s, died unexpectedly in San Francisco in 2004 at the age of 49.)
BATH HOUSE LOGIC
by Jeff Costello
Conservative writer P.J. O'Rourke, who used to butt heads with Molly Ivins on TV, came on the Tonight show once and explained right wing logic: "If you weren't a liberal when young, you had no heart. If you're not a conservative when older, you have no brain." Tell that to Chomsky... or Molly Ivins' ghost. But part of his statement is true: attaining a conservative brain comes with abandonment of the heart.
O'Rourke wrote for the National Lampoon in the early 70's. It was a viciously funny rag evolved from the Harvard Lampoon, a bastion of privileged WASPs, where they mercilessly ridiculed Jews, Italians, Negroes, and Hispanics. This was not lynch-mob bigotry -- these rich white kids had no need to be angry, the world was going to be their oyster, headed as they were for corporate boardrooms, and the law firms who served them -- it was just good, solid, upper class snobbery.
The right-wingers I’ve sparred with on the internet are "former democrats" who "saw the light." The euphemism for this is "enlightened self-interest," which I call "fear of someone taking away one’s toys." One, despite his straight-down-the-alley conservative views, fears and prejudices, claims contempt for Party Loyalists. Must be because the only party he's loyal to went down at Nuremberg. If everyone these people say hate America really hated America, the only Real Americans would be living in an armed compound in Idaho.
One of the biggest points of contention in these discussions has been homosexuality and you guessed it, San Francisco. One of these guys is bent over the very idea of “gay lifestyle” — which he is “repulsed” by — and like so many other “good Americans” across the USA, thoroughly believes that San Francisco is a seething den of iniquity where gay men romp wildly in bath houses and take delight in spreading AIDS, while the ultra-left wing Nancy Pelosi, in cahoots with Barbra Streisand, plots the overthrow of the government and end of the civilized world.
Any attempt to explain that homosexuality is a congenital condition like curly hair, a big nose or artistic talent is met only with silence and further snide remarks about bath houses. Or, as in one case, Barbra Streisand’s nose. One has already assailed me for suggesting "war hero" McCain has PTSD and tried to turn it into another anti-gay-AIDs rant, even comparing the "dangers" of homosexual behavior to the threat of nuclear war. (Likely he’s a repressed old closet queen hiding behind the flag.) Failing to persecute gays, I learn, constitutes “support” for the spread of AIDS. By this logic, my failure to “support the troops” constitutes support for the war, since I also do not persecute them.
I imagine a doorman or bouncer outside a neocon club of some sort, checking the conservative credentials of all who try and enter...those who fail the test are sent to the "interrogation room..." where, to paraphrase Ambrose Bierce, their eyes are plucked out in order to improve their vision. Or a headline: Angry White Men, wrapped in flags and rigidly standing their ground, defy violent onslaught of sissy peaceniks. It's really impossible communicating with anyone who assumes superior morality and uses self-righteousness as a weapon.
Patriotism may certainly be the "last refuge of a scoundrel" (Johnson) or even "the first" (Bierce). But I'm seeing a new aspect here: Patriotism seems to the haven, clung to in desperation, of many an essentially empty person.
Ah, California. They want us to conserve water, as voters legalize pot, a crop that uses massive amounts of water. No money for roads, housing, etc., but more than $60 billion for a bullet train (because Jerry Brown likes trains, as does Gavin Newsom). Millions in taxpayer money to fight deportation of illegal immigrants. Teaching Spanish in schools to American kids. Jobs requiring bilingualism. Making us a sanctuary state and fining employers who cooperate with federal authorities. Constantly sticking it to property owners with more taxes to pay for services that benefit everyone, instead of sales taxes so that everyone shares the cost.
I’m a conservative independent. I hate Donald Trump. I believe Dreamers should be allowed to stay. They had no choice coming here (but are their parents still here illegally?). I believe birthright citizenship needs to end unless at least one parent is here legally. I believe in banning assault rifles and a woman’s right to choose.
It seems all the politicians’ ads speak of their support for immigrants and how progressive they are. Democrats are too far left and Republicans are too far right. So who’s working for people like me?
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The US government has been giving away its economy to “cheaper” nation’s ever since WW2. We are by at least 4 fold the consumer base for the world. We protect all our allies with a defense group that spends us into the poor house. Trump sees the obvious and is reacting. Of course all the jerks in DC benefitting from all this corruption hate him so much. All you folks who sign up to the MSM need to have your filters adjusted because what is being said is media BS. To all you impeachment dreamers, dream on. No one has found one single impeachable offense that he has done, not one. Witch hunt! This president along with the Deplorables, are going to jerk us back away from the insane path the government has been on for the last thirty years. Take your choice, individual freedom and the responsibility that goes along with it, or socialism and the government domination and lack of liberty that happens with it.
YUROKS AND THE KLAMATH
The Yurok Tribe’s award-winning stewardship of the Klamath River is featured in a new California Academy of Sciences exhibit called Giants of Land and Sea.
Giants of Land and Sea is set to premiere on Friday, June 15 at the San Francisco museum. On June 12, Yurok Tribal Council Representative Joe James and Yurok Office of Self Governance Director Javier Kinney will participate in several opening events at the museum.
“It is an honor to participate in this amazing project. I would like to thank the California Academy of Sciences for sharing our story with the world,” said Councilmember James, who represents the Tribe’s East District. “As Yurok people, we have an obligation to be strong stewards of the Klamath River, the lifeline of our tribe. This exhibit will help us raise awareness about what is being done to address the struggling salmon runs on our river.”
Giants of Land and Sea is a celebration of Northern California’s natural history and is largely comprised of interactive displays centered on “the epicness of the state’s iconic landscape — a place of constant change where people and climate are shaping the future.”
“Since time immemorial, the Yurok people have been the protectors of the Klamath River and that legacy continues to this day,” Councilmember James said. “When settlers arrived on our shores they were astonished by the natural beauty. They didn’t know that what they were witnessing was shaped by human hands, Yurok hands, and was the result of our cumulative Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Today, we are working very hard to restore the Klamath River and the forests that surround it.”
The Yurok Tribe’s portion of the California Academy of Sciences exhibit, titled Yurok Voices, is comprised of a series of three videos, in which Yurok political leaders and fisheries biologists detail the Tribe’s enduring effort to revitalize the Klamath’s once substantial salmon runs. The river’s late summer/early fall run of Chinook salmon, presently the most populous stock, has reached record-low levels in the past three years. In 2016 and 2017, fewer fish returned to the river than any other time in modern history. Driving the downturn are four fish ladder-less dams, which create poor water quality conditions and block access to hundreds of miles of fish habitat. However, there is a genuine cause for optimism about the future of the Klamath salmon.
In 2021, those four dams are slated for removal in what will be the largest watershed restoration project in US history. For nearly two decades, the Yurok Tribe and neighboring tribes have led a campaign to bring the dams down and reopen 250 miles of historic salmon spawning habitat. This extraordinary ecological success story is highlighted in one of the videos included in the exhibit.
“We believe the health of our environment and the health of our river is a direct reflection of the health of our people,” explained Louisa McCovey, the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program Director, in an exhibit film clip called Salmon Sanctuary. “We are connected to this place. We care about it and we’ll do anything to protect it.”
Earlier this year, the Yurok Tribe, with assistance from the Western Rivers Conservancy, reacquired a large tract of land in the Blue Creek watershed, one of the Klamath’s most important tributaries. The creek, which better resembles a river, contains prime spawning and rearing grounds for salmon steelhead trout and other fish species. The Tribe is working toward turning Blue Creek — where there is a history of industrial logging — into a salmon stronghold and returning its forests back into an old-growth, biodiverse ecosystem. This project is a primary theme in another Giants of Land and Sea video.
“The Yurok Tribe encourages everyone to visit the California Academy of Sciences to take advantage of the opportunity to deeply immerse in Northern California’s rich, natural heritage,” concluded Councilmember James.
(press release from the Yurok Tribe)
SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED: Young People Really ARE Getting More Stupid.
Young people’s IQ scores have started to deteriorate after climbing steadily since Wold War Two, a new study has found, ending a trend that had seen IQs rise for the past 60 to 70 years.
To whom it may concern:
My name is Gary Blank. I am in an ongoing homicide case [Blank is one of six pot trimmers accused of murdering Laytonville pot grower Jeffrey Settler] but after reading my first article in your paper I got to wondering — who is it that released information of my case to you and other associated press? If you could help me with this info that will be great so I can clean up the bias that is going on in my case. A lot of this is helping those who desire to prosecute me to use collusion and create more fake statements!
For your information in my statement I told them cops not guilty five or more times until hours later when I was in emotional and mental hysteria! In the law it is called an involuntary statement. Also the detectives did a lot of editing etc.
(Photo by Susie de Castro
SUCCULENT THIEVES SOCKED WITH FELONIES
Three defendants in a succulent plant poaching case out of Humboldt County have each pled guilty to two felonies and other misdemeanor charges, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office announced. Felony convictions included conspiracy and false filings with the government, and misdemeanor convictions included removal of plant material from public lands and commercial sales of plants removed from public lands.
The succulent plants at the center of the investigation are called Dudleyas. They grow in unique niches close to the coastline, typically on cliffsides immediately adjacent to the water. The poachers had a network of buyers in Korea and China, where Dudleya are valued as a trendy houseplant.
Removal of Dudleya, or any vegetation in sensitive habitat, can result in environmental degradation of habitat and a destabilization of bluffs and cliffs on the coastline. Some Dudleya species are rare or at risk of extinction.
Wildlife officers worked extensively with allied law enforcement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Postal Service inspectors to track down and collect evidence of poaching the succulent plants for sale overseas. During the investigation, wildlife officers witnessed the three removing plants from coastal bluffs in the Humboldt Lagoons State Park. On April 4, officers found the trio in possession of 2,300 Dudleya plants and more than $10,200 in cash.
All three defendants were foreign nationals. Liu Fengxia, 37, of China, and Tae-Hun Kim, 52, and Tae-Hyun Kim, 46, both from Korea, were handed a sentence of three years and eight months in state prison and a $10,000 fine each. Judge John T. Feeney suspended the prison sentences with the conditions that the defendants are prohibited from entering the United States without prior authorization of the federal government and state courts, and prohibited from entering any local, state or national park.
In addition to the fines, the defendants will also forfeit the $10,200 to CDFW as restitution. These funds will be used specifically for the conservation of Dudleya on public lands in Humboldt County.
“Together with prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, we hope this conviction and sentencing will send a message to those who may consider poaching California’s precious natural resources to sell overseas for personal profit,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of Law Enforcement.
The case developed from a tip from a member of the public who saw something amiss. Anyone who believes they are witness to unlawful poaching or pollution activity is encouraged to call CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334-2258 or send a text with the tip411 app. Both methods allow the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information to assist with investigations. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired, and a reward can result from successful capture and prosecution.