- FB Council
- NCRA Loses
- Murder Mountain
- New Supes
- Dixie Britton
- Fraud Salon
- Hospital Meeting
- RCS Client
- 101 Collision
- Thistle Party
- Code Enforcement
- Ice-Fishing Stoned
- Yesterday's Catch
- Folk Nonsense
- Piano Concertos
- Vitality Class
- Education Contract
- Troop Withdrawal
- Mock Impeachment
- Impulse Buying
- Unplugging Alexa
- Booth Spaces
- Absurd Ethos
- Photo Op
- Bra Pic
- Lost Seeker
- Climate Presentations
- MLK Event
- Avalon Proposal
- Nurse Lily
- Trauma Workshop
PROMISES TO KEEP
by Rex Gressett
In the recent election, a healthy field of candidates campaigned for seats on the Fort Bragg City Council with engaging enthusiasm but a surprising absence of policy discussion. With the exception of ex-mayor Lindy Peters, the candidates were newcomers to the political arena. One assumes that they have been following local events on television, but prior to the election season, they were, without exception, strangers to the Council meetings, and uninvolved in the controversies and debates that pass through Fort Bragg like intermittent storms.
It was remarkable that over the course of the election no major or minor issues or even observations or remarks about the whys and what-fors of local government were touched upon by the smilingly sincere candidates.
In Fort Bragg, going door to door and meeting everybody is logistically possible and therefore politically mandatory. A City Council campaign is mostly a test of people skills. Voting margins are earned one by one in living rooms over coffee. The more uncomfortable test of addressing the collective concerns and shared issues of the city is not part of our local political culture. The takeaway from the local election process is Fort Bragg likes enthusiasm, appreciates goodwill, and we don’t mind novices coming to the City Council if we feel confident of them as solid people.
What was so carefully avoided in the recent election was the entire Fort Bragg political landscape. No candidate mentioned the perennial multi-million dollar cost overruns on city contracts that regularly pass through the public works department. True, these unexplained financial mega blunders were green-lighted by the seated City Council without generating anything more than temporary grumpiness and a few behind the scenes threats to fire Tom Varga. But you would think someone would have mentioned it in the election.
The impending mass development of the mill site will alter the face of the city for generations or forever, but the candidates scrupulously avoided talking about it, other than to say that they would discuss it sometime in the future.
There was not the slightest reference to the dragon of financial collapse that the city administration keeps in the basement, a dragon that prior to the precipitate ejection of the financial whizz and former City super manager Linda Ruffing was declared to own our future.
It is a real dragon that Tabatha Miller subdued without killing it, but it lies in wait, assessing the new City Manager's resourcefulness. Not one candidate took a position on the sales tax that would have refinanced the pension debt that got shot down. A Council candidate might have addressed this unpopular idea of taxation pro or con as it applies to our dubious municipal financial solvency.
Then there is water. Then there is the harbor. You get the idea. Without exception, all candidates stayed clear of all the hard choices they may be called on to make. The campaign is over and I have no idea where either of the two new Councilwomen stands on the LCP (Local Coastal Plan).
The theme of the election, if there was one, was the oft-repeated assurance that they would listen to the people. Implicitly, they would face reality after they were elected. The candidates all assured the people of the city that they had their ears glued to the ground to detect the slightest tremor of public concern however small.
Perhaps now that they are solidly in office they will do some of that promised listening to the people. They might acknowledge that Marie Jones’s multiple choice questionnaire that offered three versions of the same mill site plan for wild overdevelopment was something of a retreat from those packed city meetings of the pre-Jones era where the city en masse showed a wild enthusiasm for a mill site future that went somewhat beyond big boxes and light industrial.
Maybe the newbies will also take a hard look at the cash hemorrhaging in the Public Works Department that has brought millions in cost overruns for approval to the city council after the cash has already been paid out. More recently, Public Works, without explanation, quietly pushed the cost of the sewer plant upgrade from $8 million that the City Council voted to approve to $16 million that the hamstrung Council had to approve after the ship already sailed.
The Public Works department has tossed off millions of city money in arguable violation of the law (it is before the Grand Jury now) and received only the mildest and most collegial of rebukes from the City Council.
That's been going on for years. Maybe the new Council will take a somewhat closer look at the $8 million, I mean $12 million, I mean $15 million, I mean $16 million sewage treatment plant. Maybe they won't. Laid back Tom Varga, the head of the Public Works Department, has assured the Council that such increases are entirely normal but offered no further explanation. It was a kind of official shrug. That was good enough for the old Council.
Maybe the new City Council will make the hard policy choices now that they now face; maybe the discussion will go beyond the traditional rubber stamp.
MARIN JUDGE ORDERS THE REMAINS OF THE NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY TO PAY HUMBOLDT ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS NEARLY $2 MILLION
by Hank Sims (LostCoastOutpost)
Late last month, just a handful of days before Christmas, a Marin County judge ordered the North Coast Railroad Authority to pay two Humboldt County environmental groups more than $1.9 million in attorney’s fees — a consequence of the groups’ successful lawsuit against the public agency, which went all the way up to the California Supreme Court.
The order marks the final act of the NCRA’s quixotic, fruitless, 20-year quest to reestablish rail service between the Bay Area and Humboldt County. Last year, state Sen. Mike McGuire sponsored (and Gov. Jerry Brown signed) legislation that will eventually dissolve the authority and begin work toward building a pedestrian trail along its right-of-way.
This most recent legal blow stems from a lawsuit brought by the two environmental groups — Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternative to Toxics — that challenged the railroad authority’s failed attempt to argue that it is not bound by the California Environmental Quality Act, despite the fact that it is a California state agency. After several rounds in lower courts, the California Supreme Court ruled for the environmental groups. The railroad petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case, on yet another appeal, but the high court declined.
As the new legislation puts the railroad authority in a tight financial straightjacket and the dissolution of the agency pending, the nearly $2 million awarded to CATS and Friends of the Eel might be the last major expense the North Coast Railroad Authority will bequeath to the taxpayers of California.
“This adds another layer of debt to their hot mess of a budget,” McGuire told the Outpost Friday. He said that it’s not yet clear how the debt will be cleared — certainly the authority has no funds to clear it — but that he and his colleagues had been planning for a “worst-case scenario” with the courts.
For the time being, the authority — which meets in Eureka Wednesday (today) — continues on in a neutered fashion. McGuire staffer Jason Liles attended a meeting of the board of directors in October, and according to the official minutes Liles repeatedly warned the NCRA to butt out of railroad matters. According to the minutes:
“[Liles] said the bill is the NCRA closure and transition to trails act, and if the Board and staff are not spending 80-90% of their time on trails then they are not following the new state law. He advised Board members that are not ready to work on trails, promoting trails, or invest their time in trails to step down from the Board. He said the state mandate has clearly changed and that NCRA needs to focus on trails, not freight, and if that Board does not agree to the mandate or have time for trails, then those members should step down.”
This morning, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors reappointed Supervisor Estelle Fennell to the NCRA board despite a brief challenge from Supervisor Mike Wilson, who spoke of this changing mission and of his district’s experience in railbanking and related manners. Fennell assured her colleagues that she has no problem with the NCRA’s mandate, and that, along with her previous experience on the board, seemed to carry the day.
(Ed note: And the Mendocino Supervisors reappointed Supervisor John McCowen to the NCRA Board on Tuesday as well. McCowen has not and did not mention trails. Presumably newly elected Third District Supervisor will replace McCowen in the spring however. -- ms)
The North Coast Railroad Authority Board meets Wednesday, January 9, at 10:30 a.m. in the Board of Supervisor’s chambers in the Humboldt County Courthouse. Among the items on the agenda: an update on the Annie & Mary Trail between Arcata and Blue Lake, an agreement with the Timber Heritage Association on local speeder runs in 2019, and a few other items of local interest. See full agenda here.
WATCHING ‘MURDER MOUNTAIN’
by John Hardin
I finally got to see Murder Mountain, the Netflix docudrama miniseries about the disappearance of Garrett Rodriquez and the subsequent recovery of his body by the “Alderpoint 8.” The film crew was in town for most of last year putting it together, and they hired me off the street to act in it, so of course I was excited to see myself on TV.
I enjoyed Murder Mountain. I thought they did a great job, and it includes some of the best images of Southern Humboldt’s natural beauty that I’ve ever seen. The series seemed quite slow getting started. I’m sure they could have told the story in two hours, and they included quite a lot of really boring footage of cannabis farms, but they also included lot about this community and it’s history. The series paints a broad portrait of Southern Humboldt, and a cannabis industry in transition, as the backdrop for the Garrett Rodriquez story. Every picture hides much more than it shows, but I am impressed by how deeply they explored this community and how well they told the story. I thought they told it accurately, with sensitivity and more than enough context. Most of the people I watched Murder Mountain with also seemed favorably impressed.
Of course, anytime anyone writes or produces media about the ugly sordid shit that really goes on around here, the knee-jerk reaction of locals is: “How dare those ‘yellow journalist’ outsiders come here to tell sensationalized stories about the bad stuff that happens around here!” According to these people, no one, except people born and raised here, have the right to report on anything that happens here, but when you ask those truly local locals, they all tell the same story: “It’s beautiful here. The people are cool, and everything is groovy. Now mind your own business!” Whether it’s a piece of investigative journalism about human sex trafficking, an expose about environmental destruction wrought by the marijuana industry, or my opinion column, for that matter, whether or not they’ve read it or seen it, a lot of people around here will automatically tell you that it is all just “sensationalized Hollywood bullshit.”
It surprised me that I didn’t hear more of that about Murder Mountain. I think a lot of people actually recognized that the producers of Murder Mountain went out of their way to get the story straight, and to present it in context. Murder Mountain sure doesn’t make us look good, but it tells the truth. Murder Mountain shows us a side of Southern Humboldt that usually remains hidden, and that no one around here wants to face, in a way that is hard to deny.
This time, it’s the Sheriff’s Office that is crying foul, and warning us about “sensationalized Hollywood bullshit.” They feel they were misrepresented in Murder Mountain. They claim that the filmmakers tricked them into believing that the show was going to be about the marijuana industry, not about Garrett Rodriquez.
Sorry guys. I don’t buy it. I will admit that Murder Mountain does not make the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office look good, but it’s the fact that Garrett Rodriquez’s murderer remains at large despite the community’s heroic efforts to recover his body, and that casts a pall over the HCSO, not the documentary treatment. More than anyone else, Sheriff Honsal and his deputies, who must have all signed release forms, should know that anything you say, in front of a camera, with a microphone hidden in your shirt, will be recorded and used against you in the court of public opinion. If Murder Mountain embarrasses the HCSO, it’s not because of what they said on camera, it’s because of what they failed to do when they weren’t.
We should also note, however, that the disappearance of Garrett Rodriquez, or the dozens of other people who have gone missing, or been found murdered here in Humboldt County, did not prompt much public outcry, locally. We didn’t have rooms full of angry citizens demanding that the HCSO get to the bottom of this prolonged rash of cannabis industry related homicides and disappearances that happen around here all the time. We didn’t have any public meetings about that problem at all.
No, it wasn’t until a skinny kid from Fortuna shimmied underneath a locked security door and stole some bongs from a head-shop in town, that the folks of Southern Humboldt got up off their asses and filled the gymnasium of the Redway School. Those angry townsfolk didn’t complain about unsolved murders or disappearances in the hills, they complained about poor people looking ugly, smoking cigarettes, and drinking beer in front of their businesses in town, so you can’t completely blame the Sheriff’s Office for prioritizing their resources accordingly.
Despite all of the self-delusional happy-talk we like to tell ourselves about our community and the cannabis industry, Murder Mountain offers us an honest mirror that reveals how our community looks to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it’s not such a pretty picture, but that’s not the photographer’s fault.
TUNED in the Supervisors this afternoon just as the Supes voted 3-2 to replace former Supervisor Jim Eddie on the Golden Gate Bridge District board with Jim Mastin of Ukiah. Mastin functions, I believe, as a member of the Mendo Transit Authority, a heavily subsidized bus system few Mendo people depend on to get from A to B.
FRESHLY ELECTED supervisors Williams and Haschak joined Supervisor Gjerde to appoint Mastin, a move I suspect was orchestrated by diehard Democrat Gjerde to get a nice little public money sinecure for the diehard Democrat pal, Mastin.
MASTIN FOR EDDIE (the latter gasp! a Republican and, double-gasp!! a Potter Valley rancher) is, in practical terms, a lateral move since the Bridge District pretty much runs itself under the usual overpaid administrative apparatus. Directors are paid
$16,000 a year $50 per meeting day, up to a maximum of $5,000 in a year to have lunch in San Francisco once a month. Bridge and Ferry fares over the past twenty years have been raised to where they are now onerous for commuters. I would have voted to keep Eddie as Bridge rep simply to deny the total domination of local politics by the conservative Democrats of the Northcoast.
I WAS PLEASED to see Supervisor Haschak pull a couple of big ticket spending items from the consent calendar for discussion, a discussion that went nowhere (as always), but Haschak's first-day skepticism is, we hope, an indication that he might be more difficult to beat into rote submission than we have anticipated out of him. Staff promised to put big ticket items on the regular agenda in the future — which they have been asked to do before and then promised to do it and then not done it. So we will see if this small item is complied with or followed up on.
TWO of the three worst Supervisors in modern Mendo history — Shoemaker and Colfax, — attended Tuesday's swearing in. (Former Supervisors Hamburg and Kendall Smith nose out Colfax and Shoemaker as the absolute worst ever.) This new board of Supervisors seems almost wholesome put alongside the above mentioned.
SPEAKING OF WHOLESOME, I got a kick out of Ted Williams jacket and bow tie. He looked like one of those fresh-faced back-up singers in an old Elvis movie.
SARTORIALLY, our new 5th District Supervisor, stole the show. His on-point questions of the County's pot bureaucrats were also of the type demanding answers, and overall it's already clear we have the first fully functioning Supervisor in the 5th District we've had in many years, having suffered the one-two punch of Colfax and Hamburg.
INCIDENTALLY, Williams concluded his opening remarks with a brisk, "Let's get to work!" upon which the Supes took a "short break" that lasted an hour.
OPEN SESSION RESUMED with recognition of some Eagle Scouts, a lengthy discussion of board chair selection sequence, and procedures for Supes to disappear, er, do a Hamburg, er notify their colleagues and the CEO if they are going to be away for any length of time. Hamburg simply disappeared; finally, through his live-in shrink, claiming mental collapse.
CONSIDERING it's their first meeting, and all-in-all, I thought Willams and Haschak did well, their questions pertinent and themselves attentive and engaged.
Cited by late San Francisco Chronical columnist Herb Caen as "the first female sports editor in the world," Dagmar "Dixie" (Wise) Britton passed away in Ukiah on December 20 at age 89. Dixie held that position at the Ukiah Daily Journal. A Ukiah native, Dixie was a journalist by training and a photographer who received numerous awards for her photography. The stunning, red haired beauty attended San Jose State University, where she met met her future husband Harry, who was to become a U.S. diplomat. As a result of Harry's diplomatic career, the couple embarked on an adventure for many years as they traveled the globe, living in exotic cities and meeting kings, queens, and heads of state. Dixie was preceded in death by her father, Henry Wise and her mother Vera (Boynton) Wise, sister Barbara (Wise) MacNab and brother-in-law Jack MacNab. She is survived by nephews Sandy MacNab and Bill MacNab of Ukiah; and by long time friends, Janet Martin, Jennifer Turner, and Susan Schrock and Aldo Flores. A celebration of Dixie's life will be held at St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church on Saturday, January 12 at 2pm with Father Lombardi officiating.
SEARCH WARRANTS LEAD TO ARREST OF WILLITS BUSINESS OWNER
On Saturday, January 5, at about 3pm, Willits Police Department personnel executed a search warrant on Shear Envy Salon at 1760 So. Main St. The business owner and suspect, Jaimie Blake, 39, of Laytonville, was detained and eventually arrested.
During the same time additional WPD officers executed a second search warrant at Blake’s residence in Laytonville. During the subsequent searches of the salon and residence, WPD officers recovered several thousand dollars worth of fraudulently obtained merchandise. During the investigation of the case it was reported that Blake obtained the victim’s credit card information through the operation of her business and began to make purchases without the victim’s consent. The fraudulent charges totaled over $11,000 spread over several months. Blake was arrested and booked into the county jail for elder abuse, possession of stolen property, fraudulent use of a credit card and several other felony charges.
Scott Warnock, Chief, Willits Police Department
WE'LL BE THERE
“The first board meeting, with the four newly elected and installed members, will be on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 6:00 pm. It's a very important meeting because officers will be elected. Come and show your support for a healthy hospital.”
RCS VIC SPEAKS OUT
After the amount of times that I have stood up at various meetings trying to show the things that I have been through and some of the things that are happening within the privatized mental health system, as in not getting the services that are supposed to be provided while being billed heavily for, keeping clients locked in the system not getting actual services, causing harm.
The services that were vital to me have been cut (or should I say; not allowed in) at RCS has been devastating to me.
I was the first client for adult mental health services on the coast for RCS, one would figure they would really try to help me become a success. After all, I have already been through with Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center. I am having a really hard time with what is happening now at RCS. When RCS took over adult mental health services on the coast, with Lisa Burtis as supervisor for adult services, I was able to move forward with the assistance of her and her team.
Seems to me, they were doing their jobs all too well, making MCHC look like they have not been doing their jobs and taking a lot of money.
Or there could be other reasons that RCS has seemingly pushed me out.
It’s probably pretty hard to listen to a client say all of the time “dope them up and dumb them down” in a place where they are doing it. I have had a real problem with the amount of money dumped into the privatized mental health system while providing inadequate services for a long time, clients suffer.
What happened to “first do no harm”?
101 COLLISION, MAJOR INJURIES
THE ETERNAL STRUGGLE
Navarro Point thistle-removing THIS THURSDAY, 10am-noon
Hello. You are invited to join us as we remove thistles at Navarro Point this Thursday, January 10th, from 10am until noon.
You can find us in the parking lot on the west side of Highway 1 a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road turn-off at 10am. No tools or previous experience are necessary, altho gloves and clippers would be helpful.
We hope to see you there this Thursday at 10am. Contact me if you have questions.
Tom Wodetzki, 937-1113, email@example.com
2018 CODE ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY SUMMARY
Year End Activity report for 2018
Post Date: 01/07/2019 4:02 PM
Code Enforcement Division
Summary of All Code Enforcement Activity for Calendar Year 2018
The Code Enforcement Division received 603 complaints for the year 2018
310 complaints were for General Code Violations not related to Cannabis:
137 general code complaints were in the coastal area (Coast area from the Sonoma County line to Usal to approximately 10 miles inland).
173 complaints were in the inland balance of the County.
293 complaints were for Cannabis related issues:
185 Cannabis Complaints were related to 147 locations not in the County Cannabis Permit Program.
108 Cannabis Complaints related to 49 locations were in the County Cannabis Permit Program (less than 5% of all Applicant sites).
32 Cannabis Complaints were referred to Law Enforcement due to alleged Criminal Activity.
15,425 Cannabis Plants in violation of the County Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance were removed by the property owner/violator after Code Enforcement Response to complaints.
The Code Enforcement Division issued 53 Administrative Citations in 2018:
25 of those citations were related to violations of the County Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance.
28 of those citations were related to General County Code Violations, such as non-permitted building and zoning violations.
$45,198 in fines have been collected on these citations and there is approximately $250,000 in outstanding fines to be collected.
2 lawsuits have been filed to obtain judgements for outstanding fines and more are being prepared now.
The Code Enforcement Division issued 150 Notices of Violation in 2018; 50 of those were related to violations associated with Cannabis Cultivation.
DOES MARIJUANA MAKE YOU STUPID?
A Real Life Story By Harvey Reading
I’m sure I’ve peddled this yarn before, but what the hell.
For me it was booze and grass, starting at age 19. Never hallucinated, never experienced great thoughts; they all seemed nonsensical the morning after. Found out early on that I could drive better when drunk than I could when stoned. For some reason, my sense of motion was affected by grass more than by booze. I once found myself driving at 3 mph down Sonoma’s Broadway at about one-thirty in the morning, making a beer run before the liquor store closed. Quit drinking at 39, after CHP finally got me; smoked grass occasionally thereafter, with long periods of complete abstinence. And never drove while under its influence after I quit drinking, goody two-shoes that I am.
A few years after moving here to the high plains, a driller and his family moved next door. He and wife were in their mid thirties. They had two boys, one in diapers, one in third grade. The driller invited me out ice fishing on the eve of 2011. It was a first for me, and probably a last. It was about 16 below. So I suited in an insulated oversuit and pacs, and off we went, about an hour before dark. He had some grass that he had received from an acquaintance with Canadian connections. It was reeeeeeeal smooth, and was the first I had smoked in about 9 years.
After we reached the fishin’ hole, on Boysen Reservoir, about 200 yards from shore (yes, he drove his full-sized Dodge pickup onto the lake, which I found a bit terrifying), I started getting paranoid, and found myself trying to remember the symptoms of hypothermia. I took a few snapshots of the desolate surroundings, and then it hit me: I wasn’t cold at all. Rather, I was reacting to the grass, in the same way I had reacted to some (also really smooth) Panama Red that my cousin and roommate had scored back in ’70. After that I was fine and enjoyed the outing.
We only “caught” two fish, a nice rainbow trout and a pretty fair rainbow perch. On the way back, his 4WD Dodge got its tires spinning while going up the icy grade that led from the beach to the plain above, so “Gary” backed down and considered driving back onto the ice and traveling on the reservoir surface to another road about a half mile away. That option was not to my liking, so I suggested that instead he get a better run at the road in front of us, believing that would get us to the top in short order, and with no more driving on the surface of the reservoir. It took a little convincing to get Gary to agree, but, with greater momentum we made it to the top easily. I was very relieved. Several vehicles go through the ice every year and I was NOT interested in experiencing that. Plus it would have ruined what was left of my high.
About three years later, Gary, by then divorced, moved away, owing to a slowdown in drilling. I don’t miss grass at all. Don’t know if I will ever use it again or not. In short, grass is just no big deal to me. Never has been.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 8, 2019
RANSOME ANDERSON JR., Covelo. DUI causing bodily injury, driving without a license, no insurance in accident, failure to appear.
ANTHONY BARBER, Ukiah. Petty theft, failure to appear.
EMERY ELLINGWOOD, Ukiah. Fighting or challenging to fight in public place. (Frequent Flyer)
MATTHEW FAUST, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
RANDALL GENSAW, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
COLE HARBOUR, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
FRANCISCO LIMA, Antioch/Ukiah. Petty theft-bicycle.
DANIEL LONG, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
GERARDO MEDINA, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, Ukiah. Parole violation, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
LEONARD WHIPPLE, Covelo. Parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)
"As Kurt Andersen exhaustively describes in his book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, America has always been fertile soil for silly or crank beliefs. And given the whole “common man” rigmarole that has become an integral part of the national creed, every manner of unfounded belief that wouldn’t survive three seconds’ analysis has become folk wisdom or bogus 'common sense.' In the three decades since the demise of the Fairness Doctrine, intellectual laziness and foolish beliefs have carefully been exploited to promote a political agenda. What once were the foibles, crank notions, and misinformation of disconnected individuals now have been ideologically weaponized in a way that has become a danger to the preservation of self-government."
— Mike Lofgren
UKIAH SYMPHONY PRESENTS TRIPLE PIANO CONCERTOS--JAN. 26-27
by Roberta Werdinger
The stage of the Mendocino College Center Theatre will be chock full of music on the weekend of January 26-27--in terms of both musical instruments and the talented people who play them. The Ukiah Symphony presents Triple Piano Concertos!!!, a full program of classical music by Grieg and Tchaikovsky, along with concertos by Bach and Mozart performed on three grand pianos by musicians Carolyn Steinbuck, Elena Casanova, and Elizabeth MacDougall. Coincidentally or not, the concert also covers three consecutive classical music eras: Baroque (1600-1750), Classical (1730-1820), and Romantic (1780-1910). (All dates are approximate.)
The gentle and lilting tones of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's Two Elegiac Melodies, Opus 34 (1881) opens the concert. This will be followed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C Major, Opus 48.
Premiering in 1880, the Serenade is composed in four movements--Pezzo, Valse, Elegia, and Finale--which take the listener through a journey that is sprightly, refreshing, and tender by turn. A prolific composer, Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) has always been well loved for his emotional directness and accessibility and is perhaps best known for his three ballets, including The Nutcracker. He always had to balance his compositions between Russian and European sensibilities, often accused of being too overtly expressive by Europeans and Americans (one critic wrote that his music "sounds like nothing so much as a horde of demons struggling in a torrent of brandy"), while some Russians felt he was conceding too much to Western tastes.
The great Baroque era composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) wrote several concertos for the harpsichord, including this one in or before 1733. Its three movements feature Bach's mathematically precise rhythms and a complex, fascinating interplay between the three pianos and the string section of the orchestra. MacDougall notes that the harpsichord of Bach's era had a more limited timbre than the present-day piano. "A piano can sustain a note," remarks MacDougall, in a way a harpsichord can't. "To play louder, you need to make more notes," which may have explained Bach's "busy" approach, where "each person has a melody in both hands."
Born six years after Bach died, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1792) carried Bach's legacy into a new era. His Triple Piano Concerto in F Major exemplifies that era, Casanova explains, much as Bach's concerto exemplifies his. Bach is "highly contrapuntal," MacDougall says, meaning two or more tunes are played at the same time, "whereas Mozart has more stops and leisure," and more swells and diminutions in volume. Mozart's era also saw the increasing use of the piano (invented around 1700) to replace the harpsichord, giving the player more range in producing louder and softer tones. The three movements of the concerto unroll in a balanced and elegant style, with the pianos, oboes, and violins dialoguing and trading parts like old friends strolling by a river.
A tale of three grand pianos
"I have been talking about this for 30 years," claims Elizabeth MacDougall, the noted Ukiah musician and teacher. MacDougall had long expressed the desire to Ukiah Symphony director and conductor Les Pfutzenreuter to perform as part of a piano trio onstage. Pfutzenreuter was sympathetic, but the orchestra was hampered by logistics: Mendocino College didn't have the room to store three grand pianos at that time. Yet when UCCA (Ukiah Community Concert Association) needed to move a piano from Ukiah High, where they had been performing concerts, to their new venue at the college, a new opportunity opened up. Pfutzenreuter asked, "Why don't we do the Mozart and Bach?" and a concert was born.
To play the first piano part, musician Carolyn Steinbuck of the Mendocino Coast was invited by Pfutzenreuter to collaborate with MacDougall and Casanova. Well known for her virtuosic playing and long teaching career, Steinbuck has been a cultural force to reckon with in the coast community, serving as executive director for the first decade of the Mendocino Music Festival and performing there regularly along with singing in and directing several vocal choirs.
The three musicians, all accomplished performers who have soloed with the orchestra on other occasions, hit it off right away. "We really like each others' playing," Casanova, a versatile recording and performing artist, announces. "It's just so fun to hear the other parts," Steinbuck comments, about playing chamber music. "Piano playing is solitary, for the most part, and then all of a sudden you hear the whole piece emerge." And MacDougall adds that there is a unique satisfaction in synchronizing with your own kind. "String players take a little time to draw the bow. Horn players take a moment to activate the buzz in their lips. Whereas, when we play piano, the strike of the hammer [inside the instrument, an invention that distinguishes it from the harpsichord] is so much quicker of a movement." After discovering their mutual spark in rehearsal, it is clear these three pianists are "on the same page."
Triple Piano Concertos!!! takes place Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Mendocino College Center Theatre. The Theatre is wheelchair accessible. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors age 65 and up, and free for ASB card holders and everyone under 18. Tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company at 102 S. School St. in Ukiah, or online at www.ukiahsymphony.org. For further information please call the Ukiah Symphony hotline at 707 462-0236.
Sponsors for the concert are Adventist Health Ukiah Valley; “In Memory of Dr. Hugh Curtis”; Charles and Wanda Mannon; Savings Bank of Mendocino County; and Jaye Alison Moscariello and Bill Taylor.
Free Longevity/Vitality Class starting January 19 in Fort Bragg
Come learn how to increase your life expectancy by applying lifestyle choices gleaned from the longest lived communities (Blue Zones) in the world Saturday January 19, 26, February 2, 16, 23 and March 2 (no class February 9) 1 PM — 3:30 PM at Grace Community Church Auditorium at 1450 E. Oak Street in Fort Bragg. To register for this free class or for more information please contact Petra Schulte at 707-397-5575 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Food taste test provided. Funding provided by a USDA SNAP-Ed grant through public health.
Please respond to email@example.com (not firstname.lastname@example.org)
PROFESSOR'S CONTRACT WITH STUDENTS: 'DROP THE CLASS IMMEDIATELY IF YOU ARE TRIGGERED BY FREE SPEECH'
WATCHING THE CLOCK
I, like many other Americans, wonder if the troop withdrawal from Syria and the proposed withdrawal from Afghanistan is the right thing to do. Only time will tell. But as I ponder this, I can’t help but remember what the Taliban said sometime back: You Americans have the big watches, but we have the time.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I live in a rural valley that used to have a small grocery store, two small banks and a credit union, liquor store, etc. The local hotel beer parlour should have been condemned 40 years ago, and now seems to survive renting rooms for out of town loggers. (The banks and credit union are now homes, So is one of the old churches.)
About 5 miles away there is a very small campground grocery store where you can by basics, liquor, smokes, etc and the prices aren’t too bad. There is also a gas station, cafe, and pub at the highway junction.
The banks and credit union disappeared 35 years ago, store 10 years ago, and the local brick mall has been empty as long as I can remember. (That’s where the store used to be.)
Because of this reduction people actually drive less. The nearest town/small city is 50 miles away. People shop every two weeks and take a list. There are no sudden jaunts to pick some item up, you either have stuff, borrow from a neighbour, or do without. We are more resilient and mindful. There is a local market for those who produce excess vegetables or sell crafts. People have freezers and buy stuff on sale. Impulse buying is mostly eliminated. I have lived here full time for only the last 15 years, but hunted and fished here for the last 45. My best friend grew up here and just 50 years ago it would take 4-6 hours to drive to town on logging roads. School clothes were ordered from Sears every summer to arrive by September. Supplies usually came in by boat and the local store would carry a tab.
Nowadays, many of our purchases are made online. The mail lady and Post Mistress are personal friends and freely leave stuff on the porch when we are away. They advise me when my son, (who works away), has a package and will often drop it off at my house when they know he is working. On one hand it is a return to a simpler past, yet on the other hand it offers the best of now; high speed internet, reliable transportation options, speedy mail delivery, and reliable hydro electricity that isn’t a generator, etc. People team up and carpool for town runs often.
No one needs a local K Mart or Sears. They think they do, but it really doesn’t matter. The folks that move here and miss impulse shopping and drive everywhere lifestyles usually move away within two years. Those that stay prefer it this way. When I visit my daughter who lives in a town I am amazed how much chasing they do. They always run out of stuff requiring a quick run to the store. Their lives are far more wasteful in both time and resource consumption. Goodbye Sears and K Mart. Their passing is nothing to lament.
FIRST FRIDAY POP UP SHOPS VENDORS WANTED!
First Friday Pop Up Shops for February 1st, 2019 has booth spaces available
Do you sell specialty items?
Are you a Cottage Industry without a storefront?
Are you an organization wanting to get the word out about the services you provide?
Do you sell cosmetics, food, home goods, jewelry, clothing, art, or special services?
Have you thought about doing a Pop Up Shop?
What is a Pop Up Shop?
Pop Up Shops are temporary retail spaces that sell merchandise of any kind.
That's right, just about every consumer product has been sold via a Pop Up Shop at one point in time. From art to fashion to tech gadgets and food, Pop Up Shops are exciting because they create short-term stores that are just about as creative as they are engaging. And they come in all shapes and sizes.
What are the benefits of a Pop Up Shop?
Connect with customers: The Pop Up Shop Retail format allows you to personally get to know your customers and build stronger relationships.
Sell more: About 95% of all purchases are still completed offline.
This is your opportunity to take advantage of the retail channel.
Build awareness: Consumers and the media love the excitement generated by Pop Up Shops. Build brand awareness by going offline.
It's cheaper: Launching a pop up shop is 80% cheaper than a traditional retail store.
Test new markets: Easily enter a new market and launch new products
Cinders Productions will provide 8' x 10' booth space (TABLE PROVIDED) for your special Pop Up-Shop. Rate is $35. The event is located in the beautiful Masonic Center, located at 428 N. Main Street, downtown Fort Bragg! Twenty spaces available! For Registration form email: email@example.com
WE WANTED IT ALL; sometimes we confused self-destructiveness with virtue and talent, obliteration with ecstasy, heedlessness with courage… We wanted to die well, every single day, to be a cool guy and a good-looking corpse. How absurd, because nothing is free, and we had to learn that at last.
— Robert Stone
YOUR TAX DOLLAR'S PHOTO OP
HIS TEENAGE DAUGHTER got a text from a boy saying "Send me a bra pic." This was her dad’s response…
PERFECT WEATHER ON OAHU
Lightly cool with an enchanting trade wind
Flowers blooming/Birds singing
Mind absorbed in the Absolute
Nowhere to go
Craig Louis Stehr
AL'S ECO OFFENSIVE
Upcoming Climate talks
Dear Friends of the Environment! Citizens who want a Green Future, EcoFreaks, and people who aspire to kick Fossil Fuel addiction!
This month I return to various stages to continue presentations of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project! I have the following Climate Change presentations scheduled in January. If you are interested in booking an appearance, please let me know. If you produce it, I will come! Wed, Jan 8 Mendocino Sunrise High (Continuation school) 8:15am to 9:45 (60 minute); Thurs, Jan 9 Jewish Justice Group, Caspar Schul 6pm (60 minute); Fri, Jan 10 Mendo Community High Derek Hutchinson Civics Class 8:15 to 9:45 (60 minute); Monday, Jan 28 FB City Council 6pm (30 minute presentation). I expect more opportunities to present in January as I’ve heard interest from the Caspar Community Center, Flow Restaurant in Mendocino, the Ukiah Democratic Club, and Ukiah High, but right now that’s my schedule.
In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life is celebrated nationally on the third Monday of January, said, "There are three urgent and indeed great problems that we face not only in the United States of America but all over the world today. That is the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war."
The problems persist, though we remain hopeful that we shall overcome racism, poverty, and perpetual war, and we teach our children to work for peace, opportunities, and equality.
This year, adults and one or two students will discuss injustice at the border, and problems with the immigration system in light of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s teachings.
We live in dangerous times. We'll discuss what can be done to help needy families. We'll march, sing, eat, talk and celebrate.
From Trinity Church, we'll march to Bainbridge Park, across from the library, gathering in the park at 11 a.m. We'll sing and march downtown, returning before Noon to gather at the church to learn what happened to Dr. King's Dream. After the program, you are welcome to enjoy a wholesome meal and entertainment by Danny Barca, the Freedom Singers, and others. There is no fee to attend, though donations are welcome.
Join us on Monday, Jan. 21st at Noon at Trinity Lutheran Church, 620 E. Redwood at Corry, Fort Bragg. We look forward to celebrating with you.
THE PROPOSED AVALON
At 6 pm on Wednesday Jan. 9th, at Town Hall in Fort Bragg, the Planning Commission will decide whether to place signage along the coastal trail announcing the proposed construction of another motel north of Pudding Creek, on the ocean side of Highway 1. This would add to the string of three large motels already in existence at that location. Do we really want another motel on the coastal trail? Come to the Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night to make your concerns heard!
David Gurney, firstname.lastname@example.org
HILLSIDE HEALTH CENTER WELCOMES NEW PROVIDER: LILY ROBISON
Ukiah, CA — With the addition of nurse practitioner Lily Robison, Hillside Health Center has once again expanded access to family medicine in Ukiah. Robison, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, left the war-torn nation at age 16 and arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah.
She spoke no English but hoped to follow her passion for medicine, nonetheless. As a little girl, she set her sights on becoming a doctor, but when her life was upended with a move to the United States, she began adjusting her plans. After high school, she worked as a pharmacy technician while earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Utah. During that time, the pharmacist she worked for recommended Robison pursue nursing school, which would allow her to fulfill her interest in caring directly for patients. She achieved her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2012, graduating as a member of the nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau. During nursing school, she enjoyed the patient interaction, but she yearned for a deeper, longer-term relationship with patientsâ€”and she could see the physical toll bedside nursing took, so she pursued a master’s degree in nursing and became a family medicine nurse practitioner. Being a family nurse practitioner allows Robison to meet her personal and professional goals. On the personal side, as the mother of two small children, Robison enjoys the regular schedule that comes with being a nurse practitioner because it allows her to spend time at home. On the professional side, being a nurse practitioner allows her to work in a field she has always wanted to work in and to build the relationships she finds rewarding. “It’s so satisfying seeing patients,” she said. “Regardless of our backgrounds, we all have problems, family challenges. To be in medicine, you must have empathy and you have to really listen to your patients.” Robison decided to move across the country to work at MCHC Health Centers because she liked the people there, and the practice style felt like a good fit. She also liked the area. Her husband is from a small town in Wyoming and they wanted to raise their children in a similar environment. Robison describes herself as family-oriented, conservative, and hard-working. “I’m quiet until you get to know me; then I talk a mile a minute,” she admitted.
MCOE HOSTS ‘REFRAME THE BRAIN: TRAUMA-INFORMED PRACTICES’ WORKSHOP
In response to countywide data that show a higher-than-average number of youth are negatively affected by trauma in the region, the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) is hosting its first-annual “Reframe the Brain” workshop to teach educators how to better support these children and teens.
On February 23 from 9:00 AM — 3:00 PM at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, attendees “will benefit from networking, learning, and leadership development to help trauma-affected children become more resilient and to create more responsive local networks of support for the youth and families in our community,” said MCOE Child Development Lead Bessie Glossenger. The workshop is a collaborative effort among local service providers, including the MCOE Foster and Homeless Youth Services, MCOE District Programs and Support, and the Region 1 Expanded Learning Systems of Support, which includes education experts from surrounding counties. Glossenger said “Trauma-informed practices offer a universal approach to managing relationships with students, staff and families in a way that is responsive to and respectful of the history of trauma in our diverse communities. They help people address the day-to-day uncertainties of things like unemployment, limited access to adequate housing, food uncertainty, and mental health issues.” Workshop topics include restorative conversation, self-care for teachers and staff, mindfulness, behavior management activities, lessons that support social-emotional learning, and more. Educators who attend the conference will not only learn how to help children, they will also learn to insulate themselves from secondary trauma, the emotional stress resulting from working with those who experience the trauma firsthand. “Emotionally healthy educators are in a stronger position to help students and families manage crisis,” Glossenger explained. The workshop is open to teachers, administrators and other school site staff who can register at http://mcoe.k12oms.org/1716-160152. For additional information, contact Glossenger at (707) 467-5152 or email@example.com.