- Eva Holcomb
- Bill Hargrave
- George McGimsey
- Lund Responsible
- Weiss Watch
- PG&E Bankrupt
- Star Vortex
- Fire Extinguishers
- Little Dog
- Livingston Fundraiser
- Ed Notes
- Variety Show
- Bad Idea
- Pity Nation
- Worker Wanted
- Avalon Progress
- Yesterday's Catch
- Cancer Confidential
- Climate Protection
- MAGA Boys
- Urban Dictionary
- Ethnic Insensitivity
- Stein's Law
- Sheep Dream
- Stone Case
- Mental Police
- Winter Concert
- Vincent 1886
- Future Maw
- Ugly Music
- Coastal Storytellers
- Spreading Democracy
MAINLY DRY WEATHER is expected to continue today. A weak system will bring some light rain mainly to Mendocino county Wednesday and Wednesday night. Mainly dry weather will return Thursday before a stronger system brings heavier rain to the area on Friday. Another system will bring more rain and snow to the area for the weekend lower snow levels. (National Weather Service)
EVA HOLCOMB has died. A lovely and truly gracious lady has left us. It’s not an exaggeration to say that everyone who knew Eva is saddened and feels diminished at the news of her passing. Our deepest, most heartfelt condolences to the Holcomb and Pardini families. A full obituary will follow.
BILL HARGRAVE of Rancho Navarro passed away at his home least week. We have no further details, but he had been a resident of Navarro for about ten years, some of those years fairly turbulent. Mike Saner was associated with Hargrave before they fell out, leaving Saner adrift in the area until Saner shot Willie Martinez to death two years ago as Willie sat down to a meal at Fritz Ohm's place. Saner has been confined to the County Jail ever since while the charges against him are weighed and debated by the authorities.
On January 23, 2019, George McGimsey of Lutherville, MD; Las Docas, Chile; Oahu and Paauilo, HI; Berkeley, Ukiah, and Mendocino CA passed on. In his career, he served as an urban planner for the Baltimore City Department of Planning and the Regional Planning Commission. He was a passionate leader, member, genealogist and scout master for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). He is survived by his brother Ben; daughters Heather, Lisa, and Paula; 8 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Many in the Anderson Valley are his relatives.
LUND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EDWARDS PROB
Thank you, Mendocino TV, for your coverage of MCDH meetings. This has been an invaluable and necessary service to our community, leading to the election of four highly qualified new board members by an informed public.
The act of blatant sabotage perpetuated by Steve Lund in renewing CEO Edwards' contract for an additional four years was egregious. Edwards' evaluation was only satisfactory and he had another year still remaining on his original contract. This action was totally unnecessary and made it MUCH more expensive for the new board to fire Edwards. As a defendant in the on-going Hardin v MCDH case, Steve Lund bears responsibility for yet another enormous drain on the hospital's resources.
A Healthy Hospital Supporter
WEISS WATCH — SORRY TO HEAR that the well known Beat poet, ruth weiss, ground-floor beatnik writer and poet and long-time resident of Albion, is at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital room 448-1 where she is undergoing a battery of examinations. She has suffered strokes and complications therefrom. The Albion artist goes all the way back to the halcyon days of North Beach when poetry first began to break loose from the academic strait jacket.
PG&E, OWNER OF BIGGEST U.S. POWER UTILITY, FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
(Reuters) - Power provider PG&E Corp filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, succumbing to liabilities stemming from wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018.
The owner of the biggest U.S. power utility has filed a motion seeking court approval for a $5.5 billion debtor-in-possession financing, it said in a statement.
PG&E listed assets of $71.39 billion and liabilities of $51.69 billion, in a court document filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California.
“Throughout this process, we are fully committed to enhancing our wildfire safety efforts, as well as helping restoration and rebuilding efforts across the communities impacted by the devastating Northern California wildfires,” PG&E interim Chief Executive Officer John Simon said.
The company said it intends to pay suppliers in full under normal terms for goods and services provided on or after the date of the Chapter 11 filing.
Separately, PG&E shareholder BlueMountain Capital Management LLC said it was “deeply disappointed” that the company’s board ignored calls from multiple parties to abandon its “reckless and irresponsible plan to file for bankruptcy.”
The investment firm said it would propose a slate of board directors no later than Feb. 21, and urged all PG&E stakeholders to support change at the company.
PG&E, which had a debt burden of more than $18 billion, said earlier this month it would need to pursue a court-supervised reorganization in the aftermath of the blazes, including November’s so-called Camp Fire.
The Camp Fire broke out on the morning of Nov. 8 near the mountain community of Paradise, sweeping through the town and killing at least 86 people, in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.
Reinsurance company Munich Re termed the Camp Fire as the world’s most expensive natural disaster of 2018 and earlier this month pegged the overall losses from it at $16.5 billion.
PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy once before in 2001, warned in November it could face “significant liability” in excess of its insurance coverage if its equipment was found to have caused the Camp Fire and other destructive wildfires.
Earlier this month, a state fire agency said PG&E equipment was not to blame for a 2017 wildfire in California’s wine country, but the company faces dozens of lawsuits from owners of homes and businesses that burned during that and other 2017 fires.
The San Francisco-based company provides electricity and natural gas to more than six million customers in Northern California. Last year, lawmakers gave it permission to raise rates to cover wildfire losses from 2017. But elected officials this month showed little appetite for new rate hikes or other maneuvers to prevent a bankruptcy filing.
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Jim Christie in San Francisco; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: BENEATH THE VORTEX
Text & Photos by David Wilson
It was a clear, still night at Moonstone Beach. The tide was out, and my brother and I could hear the surf roaring in the distance. An occasional rogue wave would send a low sheet of water sliding across the sands to replenish the glossy surface and worry our toes. Overhead the stars were bright in the moonless sky, and up the coast the remnants of the season’s Milky Way stood on the horizon above the lights of Trinidad. It felt good to be on the north coast.
To the trained astronomer there was probably much more to see and understand in the starry night than I knew, though I did arrive with some knowledge gleaned from my photographic studies of it. There were a few objects in the sky that I hoped to include in an image. To the left of the Milky Way I looked to find the spiral galaxy Andromeda. To the right of the Milky Way and a little farther away was Polaris, the north star. And in the middle of the Milky Way just above the horizon I was able to catch the star Deneb, home to the infamous Denebian slime devils that nearly killed Spock in an old Star Trek episode. Deneb was nearly swallowed up in the lights of Trinidad.
There are no planets in these photographs, for the planets, the Moon, and the Sun travel across our sky in a consistent pathway known as the ecliptic, which off the left edge of these images to the south.
In previous pages I have mentioned how differently our human eyes see in low light from the way the camera sees. The images here represent a couple of the ways in which the camera takes in a nighttime scene differently from your eye or mine. The camera’s shutter can be left open for extended periods, each moment of which will add light and detail to the image being recorded on the sensor or piece of film. Our eyes don’t work that way. They see moment by moment, not allowing the image brightness to build up over time. An extended exposure in the camera can also allow moving objects like stars to become streaks, while our eyes see the stars as points.
The image with the stars as points was the shorter exposure at 30 seconds, and that time combined with a fairly wide aperture and a high ISO captured the stars and distant lights brightly. The 30 seconds was not so much time that the stars became streaks in their slow flight across the sky, though a close examination reveals that they do become slightly elongated.
The vortex image used a much longer shutter speed of 14 minutes, which allowed the stars to become distinct streaks as Earth’s rotation carried us beneath them. Earth revolves like a wheel on an axel that runs through the planet from pole to pole. The vortex shows the stars revolving around Polaris, the north star or polestar. Polaris is at the center of the vortex because its location is almost directly on our northern polar axis. When photographing the night sky, the stars move the shortest distances in a given length of time closer to the polar axes. They travel the longest distances farther from the axes. We can’t see the southern polar axis from our northern position on the globe; when we look to the south at night the stars are making a wide arc as they rise in the eastern skies to their zenith before sinking into the western horizon.
To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or his website mindscapefx.com, where you can also contact him, but which Wilson says he updates less frequently.
GET YOUR FIRE EXTINGUISHERS inspected and serviced at the fire house in Boonville, Friday, February 15 at 14281 Hwy 128. Extinguishers will also be available for purchase. Service by Ukiah Oxygen Supply from 9am to 2pm Service fees begin at $15. A limited supply of fire extinguishers will be for sale from $50 to $120. More info: 895-2020.
BEACON/ADVOCATE PARENT CORPORATION TO DUMP THEM ON GANNETT?
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Doing just fine, thank you very much. Skrag? He got in a fight with a night creature. And lost. Big time. A length of back hair. That's the good news. There is no bad news.”
FUNDRAISER For Carolyn Livingston & Family. Tickets are $10. On Monday, January 14, Carolyn Livingston, our sixth-grade teacher at Anderson Valley elementary, lost her home in a fire. Luckily, her family and pets are safe. Unfortunately, her home was a total loss. To help offset some of the costs that the family will incur, we are having a drawing. There will be six gift baskets including a variety of handmade gifts, soaps, local wine, gift certificates to local markets and restaurants and many more items. We are accepting monetary donations if you are not interested in purchasing a ticket. All donations will be greatly appreciated. Tickets are $10 each. The drawing will be held on Friday, February 1. Call the Elementary School for time and place at 895 3010. Tickets are available now. Call Belma or Nicole for more details. $10 each Tickets are being sold at AVHS, AVES, Boont Berry, Mosswood Café, and Poleeko Roadhouse. Two sets of Warriors tickets for the February 10th game have just been added.
THE GOOD NEWS. A solid rumor says Anne Fashauer is in escrow to buy the Live Oak Building in central Boonville. If true, and I’ll bet it is, good things are sure to follow. One good thing already happening in the venerable, tuned up structure that began life way back as a garage, is Andy Duvigneaud’s, Bee Hunter. Anne’s winery, Witching Stick, presently based in Philo, is sure to follow.
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ONLY a true atheist could fail to appreciate Monday’s spectacular sunrise, and I hope lots of you were awake to see it.
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AV ART GUILD SHOW — Works of fine arts and crafts by members of the Anderson Valley Art Guild are on display at Lauren's Restaurant, Boonville. Now through early March.
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FLYNN WASHBURNE totaled his vehicle last week near Petaluma when he fell asleep at the wheel driving north on 101. No one else was involved in accident. He suffered some minor injuries and was briefly hospitalized. Flynn was on his way back to Ukiah from an Oakland-area rehab, which he apparently didn't like. He said he had informed his parole officer in Ukiah that he'd suffered another mishap in a life time of mishaps. His parole officer merely informed Mr. W. of his next appointment. As of Monday morning, Flynn was recuperating in the County Jail.
THE 27TH ANNUAL ANDERSON VALLEY VARIETY SHOW is just around the corner! The Show itself will be on Friday and Saturday nights, March 9th and 10th. We know you won't want to miss two full nights of unique local entertainment. Each night we will be showcasing one-of-a-kind performances, and we have spent years (27 in fact) perfecting our ticket selling skills so that everyone who wants to can see it all. We have some special performances by popular locals that can only be seen on Friday night, so you'll want to be sure to make it for both shows! We have some exciting acts coming up from the bay area, as well, so you will want to catch it all.
Here's the skinny on getting your tickets:
Tickets are $10/adults, $5/kids and seniors. They will be available starting Monday, March 5th, at Lemon's Market in Philo and the AV Market in Boonville until they sell out. If you don't manage to get the pre-sale tickets available next week, don't fret, because we will have no less than 100 tickets available each night at the door. if you need tickets, get to the Grange early enough to get in line. If you have a ticket, you will be guaranteed entry--but not necessarily a seat. The doors open at 6:30 and the show will start promptly at 7 pm both Friday and Saturday nights, March 9th and 10th. Anyone who has been to the show can tell you, people will be lining up at least an hour ahead of time to get tickets and good seats. It's always a fun party in the Grange parking lot before the show, and there will be tasty treats to buy from local chefs, as well.
There will be tickets available at the tech rehearsal this weekend, March 3rd and 4th, for the friends and family of the performers. We have seen some sad situations in the past where some parents weren't able to get tickets to see their kids onstage, so we have made sure to have tickets to sell during rehearsal. If you or your loved ones are performing, and you want to be sure to get your people in on the night of the show, please make sure to bring cash to the Grange when you come to rehearse your act.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the show goes late, and some of the younger performers and their families will leave early--so if you arrive late, you may still be able to get in. We are so excited to see you all there!
RE: PG&E BANKRUPTCY. Bad idea. There’s a strict order of priority to bankruptcy creditor claims that usually leaves employees, suppliers, shareholders, fire victims and random claimants holding a depleted if not empty bag as “unsecured creditors,” while giving first dibs to creditors higher on the food chain, whether the bankruptcy is reorganization or going out of business. As we understand it, the first people to get paid is the IRS. Next is the lawyers who are handling the bankruptcy (who, surprise, are in the prime position to know just how much the company’s assets are worth). Next are executives with formal contract buyout provisions. Then come the “secured creditors,” i.e., banks, insurance companies, the state of California, and any other lenders who have some kind of legalized collateral attached to their claim. Employees are entitled to actual wages for hours worked, but not to severance, pensions, healthcare or other non-wage debts. Everyone else (mentioned above) is considered an “unsecured creditor,” including employees with claims. So, if any assets remain after the “secured creditors” are paid off (frequently there are none), they are divvied up among the unsecured creditors usually at pennies on the dollar. And in PG&E’s case, the unsecured creditors would likely include any compensation ordered to be paid to fire victims via successful lawsuits. I have not seen a single useful assessment of PG&E’s proposed bankruptcy filing that covers these skewed provisions, leaving the public at large to think that maybe PG&E deserves to go bankrupt because of their criminal mismanagement. They certainly do deserve to go bankrupt, but not if it means shorting everybody who needs to be paid back. (Mark Scaramella)
PITY THE NATION
Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.
Need a Good Worker NOW
Good Worker Needed for Wood Splitting, Brush burning, Garden, etc. Do you have a wood splitter? Do you have a Chipper? Or by hand is also good. Call me please at 884-4703, let ring 5 times. Need someone NOW, who is honest and kind, and a hard worker. I live in Anchor Bay. You need transportation.
Yasmin Solomon firstname.lastname@example.org
KEEPING TRACK OF THE AVALON PROJECT
For those interested in following the progress of the Avalon motel project and other planning commission business, this link to their calendar page has meeting dates, agendas, and videos
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 28, 2019
ALBERTO ACOSTA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation.
MICHAEL BARBAR, Laytonville. DUI, more than an ounce of pot.
MARK BEARDSLEE, Ukiah. Getting credit with someone else’s ID, stolen property.
SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
SEAN LEFFLER, Burbank/Willits. Controlled substance, failure to appear, county parole violation.
ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
ANA SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
BRADLEY SHEEHY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JOSHUA WINGER, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
[Foreword: I'm not ageing gracefully. I'm sore and crabby. I detest the thought of dying, however soon or late that will happen. The article that follows is as true as I can remember and write. A dumb mistake cost me hard. BUT: I love the Veterans Administration, the VA Hospital in SF, UCSF and Mt. Zion and their dedicated staffs. Speculating that they were overzealous doesn't alter the fact that they saved my life. Throat cancer is at least 80% fatal if untreated. Those people are smart and kind, and they work their asses off. And here I am.]
In a small basement room in a San Francisco hospital two pretty young oncologists said to me contemptuously: “We’re not going to let you die.” They were prepping me, making a map of the floor of my mouth, for radiation treatment for throat cancer. It was the end of their long day, and they both looked a little frazzled. They wore pinstripe suits like bankers’ only cut smartly for women, that were popular that year. I understood the contempt was for the Grim Reaper, not me, that he was no match for their skills and modern medicine. They were sort-of flirting with this sort-of hunky 66-year-old with the nice deep voice. They were on the staff at UCSF, University of California at San Francisco, a tippy-top-ranked hospital, so they had reason for confidence. It was the nearest thing to a sexy moment that whole cancer adventure afforded me.
And they were right. I did not die, but I was less hunky when it was over, skeleton-thin, most of my teeth gone, my mouth a ruin, my neck pencilated by the surgery that opened it up like a cabbage, yanked out nineteen lymph nodes (four of them infected), sliced out the tiny tumor that had caused such weird and resounding symptoms and in the process cut and threw into a stainless tray a whole lot of red meat that was in the way of her busy scalpel, leaving me with half a neck and a shadow on the sidewalk, when the sun is behind me, that makes me shudder. My bones were hollowed out from the use of steroids, and I ended up an inch and a half shorter.
In another room, different day, chemotherapy specialists infused me with a poison called cisplatin, mainlined it into me as I sat in a grubby Lazyboy recliner watching them work around me and the other chemo patients, the staff in biohazard clothes. “Don’t get any of that on you,” said one medical lady to another, sotto voce, both covered with disposable smocks and rubber gloves. The cisplatin bag, shiny, heavy, silver and metallic-looking, that she connected to my vein had similar warnings about the stuff they were pumping into me. They checked often, how ya doin'? during the hour or so it took the stuff to drip into me. I was doing fine. Weren’t we murdering the cancer that would have murdered me? I was anything but oblivious to the hazard signs all around, but these people knew what they were doing.
Except they didn’t. The oncology doctor, young and handsome, that prescribed the cisplatin, had failed to discover that I had tinnitus from my time in the army, when expert army cadre told us we were not to stuff cotton, toilet paper, cigarette filters or anything else in our ears on the firing range, I forget the reason. Make men of us, gotta get used to the noise, whatever. My ears were ringing the first day. They still are. I had been around guns occasionally before the service but never like that. Ear damage, I read, is the disability most often claimed by army veterans. The handsome young oncologist in what might be the premiere center for head-and-neck cancer (there are other claimants) didn’t ask me about any prior ear stuff. Costly oversight.
Cisplatin is one of the first chemo drugs, still used because it is so strong. Here’s modern medicine: the drug causes cell death big time. Dead cells from my mouth and throat and neck gushed down my esophagus to my stomach in a nauseating flood on and on and on. It was enough for my alimentary system. I had no interest in food, food substitutes, crap with lots of maltodextrin in it, jello, even cool, pure, clear water. Even that was too revolting to drink. Evidently I did, because I would have died of thirst otherwise, but I remember viscerally how revolting everything was, but the plan is you poison yourself just enough to kill the cancer but not quite enough to kill yourself.
The trouble for me was that cisplatin is maybe the most ototoxic (poisonous to the ears) substance known, next to a pointed bamboo stick. It destroyed my inner ear.
Look it up: vestibular damage. That’s one of many names for killing your inner ear. The consequences cover pages and pages, but they amount to this—excuse my French—you’re fucked. Any sense of physical wellbeing, a commodity I had in such abundance I took it for granted, is forever gone. I’m still, except for that, as healthy as I ever was, horse healthy, but I feel lousy, always, always. My hearing’s shot, my balance is gone, I’m always tired, and whatever I turn to is quickly discarded because I’m too sleepy to do it. The twisty little caves and channels deep within the ears connect straight to the brain, the amygdala and a dozen other control centers, none of which are happy anymore.
Okay, so now we have the surgery, which I’ve always felt was overzealous. In her determination to not miss a single stray cancer cell, the surgeon hacked merrily away, doing god knows what to that complicated crossroad inside the neck between ear and Adam’s apple. Then the cisplatin, q.v., then the radiation treatment. (Actually, I’m not sure of the sequence of knife, poison and death ray, which was when. It’s in notes.)
Radiation therapy. Once again, the specialists who administer this care lay you down on a metal table, clamp a mesh mask on you that immobilizes your head, turn on the music you’ve selected to keep from panicking while thus immobilized and saliva, only MOSTLY gone forever, drips into your mutilated throat for a drowning simulation (yes, you get a feel for waterboarding here), and then they retire behind thick walls so no radiation will get on them, and turn on the machine.
This is a big thing that says “Semens” on the outside and is about the size of a Volkswagen. It is on an apparatus that moves it across the space over your head and directs the beam of radiation onto the places in your mouth the pretty oncologists at the beginning of this article inscribed on a technical map in four colors—heavier here, less here and so on. It’s a rather fiendish thing. As it moves you hear a sound like a card shark shuffling a deck of fine, tarnished tin cards. Then it stops moving and blasts you with a nasty snakelike buzzing that invites you to reconsider your disbelief in things from hell. The technicians watch through special thick glass, unlatch you when you’re well done and hang your mask back up on its hook.
Then you board a little van in the dark and go back to the other hospital, the VA hospital, the one you spend most of this treatment time in. Along the way you pass a score of exotic San Francisco eating places. While actual food is disgusting, you’re starving, so the thought of it, the passing restaurants with foods from Ethiopia to Korea, makes your mouth water—or would, if your salivary glands were not toasted from the care you’ve received. They’ll recover, in time and only partly. Dry mouth will be part of life forever.
So that’s leading-edge cancer treatment, at least it was in 2005 when I had it. Modern medicine is a baseball bat.
IS IT TOO LATE?
The climate change news grows more disheartening daily. Scientific reports predict more wildfires, droughts and floods as our planet heats up at an alarming rate. Oceans, once thought of as the carbon sink for our reckless fossil fuel use, will not be able to absorb these gases much longer.
Bad news, but not hopeless. Climate change is hopeless only if we give up and pass a chaotic planet on to next generations.
The Center for Climate Protection as well as other climate activists are on the hope-generating side of this crisis. To that end, we are holding a hope-filled evening on Thursday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. The public is invited.
Carl Mears, a climate scientist working in Sonoma County, will speak to the question, “Is it too late?” Leaders from the Center for Climate Protection will offer concrete efforts for changing policies at the state level.
I think most of us would agree that, given the environment in Washington, California is the place to start the mighty lift required of us all.
Please join us for two hours of information and hope — generating action. Register for the event: climateprotection.org.
Late 1890s photo of Edison Electric workers laying down electrical conduits along Winston Street (between 4th/5th) looking west towards Main. Photo Huntington Digital Libraries.
THOSE MAGA-HATTED COVINGTON KIDS
by David Underhill
Yes, the Black Hebrew Israelites spat racist taunts at the MAGA-hatted Kentucky high school kids.
And yes, the drumming Native American inserted himself between the two groups.
But the head MAGA boy did block the drummer’s path and stood there with a defiant smirk that exactly duplicated the sneers of his predecessors a couple generations ago who confronted blacks desegregating southern lunch counters.
And the students backing the smirker instantly morphed Transformer-like into a mob that exactly duplicated the throngs celebrating ancient lynchings.
After the nation’s initial shocked rejection of this scene, these history re-enactors are being raised on morning-TV network pedestals as youthful victims of a tragic rush to judgment.
This arc of events follows the same path as the response to cops gunning down unarmed blacks. Shock. Then a “more nuanced” view. Then a PayPal fundraiser, and the killer cop (or neighborhood watch volunteer) becomes a rich celebrity.
The Kentucky high school case is another version of the same reflex. This must be identified for what it is to mount a resistance against it–so that our future does not descend into a re-enactment of our past.
I suspect that Hieronymous Bosch could have rendered the essence of that Lincoln memorial confluence more truly than the various dueling videos
(David Underhill lives in Mobile, Alabama. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
MEMO OF THE WEEK
Press release from the Ferndale Unified School District:
At Thursday night’s girls’ basketball game between Ferndale High and Hoopa High, student fans were accused of racist behavior. The next day, the Ferndale High boys’ varsity basketball team forfeited their game against Hoopa High. As a result, leaders at Ferndale Unified School District (FUSD) hope to work with leaders from Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District to identify and address any racism among their students.
FUSD Superintendent and Ferndale High School Principal Beth Anderson said, “Racism is unacceptable by anyone, anywhere, anytime. The students who acted inappropriately Thursday evening are embarrassed and apologetic, as they should be. They’ve been disciplined. What I’m hoping we can do now is use this opportunity to teach all students how to recognize and respond to racism to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future.”
Anderson emphasized that racist behavior is not the norm in Ferndale, not in the schools and not in the community, but that those who perpetuate fear and hate can sometimes influence others.
She said, “After Thursday’s event, I got in touch with Hoopa High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Craig Cornelson. We took precautions to safeguard students, but we did not believe the students were at risk or we would have cancelled the game. Unfortunately, not all the parents of varsity players had the same confidence and they kept their sons home, so the team had to forfeit.”
On the Redheaded Blackbelt blog, one parent posted, “As a parent of a Ferndale JV player, I want to say that we traveled to Hoopa last night and had a great experience. The Hoopa team, coach, and fans all treated us with respect and we did the same. On the court, before the game, the starting ten boys all shook hands. When I heard about the incident that occurred Thursday night, it made my blood boil. That behavior is not representative of all from Ferndale and definitely not representative of this family.”
In the meantime, Anderson and KTJUSD Superintendent John Ray are planning activities to improve relations between the two schools, and they are working with elected officials to build bridges in the broader communities. County Supervisor Rex Bohn has reached out to tribal leaders to seek their recommendations and hopes they can all work together to make things better.
ED NOTE: Ethnic insensitivity at Ferndale, especially among adult spectators at ball games, is re-occurring.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
What the 1930s accomplished, besides ruining the lives and finances of a lot of folk that didn’t deserve it, was to ruin the lives and finances of a lot of people that DID deserve it. The streets of Manhattan were just a-bouncin’ with the bodies of bankers that took a leap of faith in the unstoppability of markets that stopped, said bankers then taking a leap of an altogether nother sort.
What the events of 2008 did was to ruin the lives of those that DIDN’T have it coming, but also to preserve the lives and finances of people that in NO way shape or form DID have it coming. In short, Wall Street got bailed out, AIG got their bonuses, an uncountable deluge of dough made its way through their coffers, only to end up in the clutches of Goldman Sachs.
How does this square with any elementary notion of common sense or fairness? It doesn’t, it came about as an exercise of raw power, an example of how Washington works FOR Wall Street and AGAINST everyone else.
It happened all over the world. The Yellow Jackets didn’t bubble up from nowhere, and never mind claims to the contrary, they’re NOT ignoramuses working against their own interests, neither are those voters who voted Brexit. Theirs is an attempt to re-set the clocks, to reclaim power from those people that abused it for their own benefit, that made life in the UK and the Continent lousy for a great many people. Hurray for the Yellow Jackets, hurray for the Brits.
But 2000 and 2008 were just dress rehearsals. There’s a lot more to come as an unworkable system of production and consumption does what it must, that is, to stop working because that’s the only thing it can do to bring itself into conformity with the dictates of reality. It’s Stein’s Law, if something cannot go on, it won’t.
STONE COLD COUNTER-STORY
by James Kunstler
Maybe 29 FBI agents in tactical combat gear and a fleet of SUVs with K-Force LED lights flashing wasn’t enough to flush out the arch-villain Roger Stone from his South Florida hide-out. Ever consider that? He might have charged out of the place like John Wayne in Rio Bravo, brandishing a spatula or a shoe-horn, since he didn’t happen to have a Colt-45 on hand. Maybe they should have sent in a SEAL team and the Boston Patriots offensive line for back-up.
Anyway, they got their man! And CNN was there to record it, thanks to their 2018 hire of FBI former special agent Josh Campbell, who had been FBI Director James Comey’s majordomo in a previous career incarnation. Isn’t it a small world? Somehow Josh got wind of the pre-dawn raid.
Roger Stone is not everybody’s cup of antifreeze. I don’t want to go too tweet-mean on the guy, but let’s face it, physically he does look a little like Zippy-the-Pinhead — if, say, Zippy had made it to community college and learned how to manage a four-in-hand necktie.
Mr. Stone represents a certain kind of stock character in American politics: The Joker. In the Batman sense of the role: the sociopathic trickster. He made his bones cooking up gags for “Tricky Dick” Nixon, and carved out a long career as a behind-the-scenes political black-opster on the Republican side.
American politics, in my lifetime anyway, is just one long game of innuendo — proctology as practiced among the goodfellas in the electoral trade — and ole Roger was famous for finding new and comical ways of putting it to the opposition.
And so, the FBI came a’calling to indict him on various felony counts of lying to them, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice, charges that could put him on ice until the end of his days — unless they can crack him like a four-minute egg for a rich yolk of confession about Mr. Trump’s scheme to sell Arkansas to Vladimir Putin, or something like that.
As I often point out, history is a trickster, too. Things fly out of left field from it all the time. Pink elephants, black swans, honeybadgers, World Wars, flash crashes, and Roger Stone. I have a theory that Mr. Stone, in his twisted way, will turn out to be a sort of unlikely hero in this subplot of the Mueller inquisition. How might that work?
Despite the attempt to squeeze him on charges that will bankrupt him and send him off to die in the federal cooler, Mr. Stone will do what he said on the courthouse steps: he won’t bear false witness against Mr. Trump. What that really means is something else: he is willing to step into a court-of-law and face down Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors.
Mr. Mueller does not want this case to be tried in court, I assure you. In the event, an awful lot of dark evidence will emerge from the defense side of the room about the criminal malfeasance among the Mueller Team, and their reliance on the Clinton network of fixers, grifters, and rogues who cooked up the years-long Russian Meddling-and-Collusion flimflam in the FBI going way back to the spring of 2016. Mr. Stone’s case is not unlike the case against General Mike Flynn, who was sent to the doghouse for three months in December by Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan to reconsider his guilty plea. Judge Sullivan may know that the charges against Gen. Flynn amount to prosecutorial misconduct by Mueller, and Sullivan is interested in trying the case to see what might come out. It will be March before anyone knows whether Gen. Flynn got his mind right in the matter.
Mr. Stone, on the other hand, is ready for combat. He has unashamedly set-up a legal defense fund support site (Google it) because this is America where you have to be a hedge fundster to defend yourself in a court-of-law against a battalion of federal inquisitors who never have to submit invoices for billable hours. For most US citizens, this is like being dragged into a gunfight with a letter-opener against a battery of howitzers. Surely everybody in the land, including me, has a low opinion of Roger Stone and his reputation as a political bottom-feeder. But I salute his courage in going to trial, if only to see the evidence laid out on both sides.
Meanwhile, I’m wondering about something else. Of course, Mr. Trump eventually caught hell on the government shutdown. But in reopening it for three weeks, does this allow for the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General? And when that happens, might it change the flow of events in the RussiaGate show?
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
HOW OREGON POLICE BECAME FIRST RESPONDERS TO MENTAL HEALTH CRISES
WELCOME BACK, YEVGENY
Symphony of the Redwoods Winter Concert Update
Symphony of the Redwoods is proud to welcome back violinist virtuoso Yevgeny Kutik playing Beethoven's Violin Concerto this Saturday in Cotton Auditorium at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. We will also perform Shostakovich’s youthful First Symphony. Tickets are $22 and available in advance at Out of this World in Mendocino, Harvest Market in Fort Bragg, and online at Symphonyoftheredwoods.org; or $25 at the door.
The Senior Center pre-concert dinner for Saturday, February 2 has been cancelled.
1886, VINCENT VAN GOGH (back) and Bernard Emile sitting at the edge of the Seine in Asnières.
DREAMING, PENCILED IN
There is something about the draft of the future lined out in our dreams where we get a preview, a peek at what may, some day, be. In some ways, this is how the future happens. That Honda in the drive is the sensible shoe you saw yourself going to school in. Now, you can ill afford a replacement, what with loan payments, maybe a sick spouse or parent. Kids and demands. The dream, in this case, plainly did not get deferred. If you could do it again, you might instead do it in pencil. Easier to change.
Although we change the future with every breath we take, we wade into much of it with little thought of consequences. It's just living each day. Hope in a coffee cup for maybe a couple of bucks. Maybe there in the kitchen produced on demand by our digital servant who hears and attends to our every action, even when we imagine that we are alone.
As we look out on chaos, we might clutch the old dreams closer, frightened as we once were as children. Wanting nurture from the future is hard wired into our very DNA, and into that double helix marking the lives of everything.
These days, of course, the future doesn't look very nurturing past what our mother and the family can do. The future for us, has teeth, and it's hungry. Lately, the maw of what's coming opens. It's that tongue that most frightens, and that yawning darkness behind. What may be yearned for now is something to wash it all away with the power and surprise of a tsunami. And after the wave is spent, the bodies not hung up on the wreckage wash sometimes far out to sea, giving little evidence beyond the plain fact of death, of what happened. Even the Orange One must grab on to the furniture, looking now into the maw, holding tight.
YOU’RE NOT GOING TO call the Rolling Stones artists. I heard somebody compare them — or the Beatles — to Bach. It was claimed they had created something as memorable and as important as Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Shubert. I HATE rock ‘n roll. It’s ugly. I liked it when the blacks had it in 1927.
— Marlin Brando
Coastal Storytellers this Wednesday!
Coastal Storytellers January event will be happening this Wednesday at the Community Center of Mendocino starting at 6:30pm!
Come hear local storytellers share true tales on the theme of "the best bad idea" and support the After School Enrichment Program at CCM!
Admission is $5 and there will be beer and wine available for purchase.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 The issue that I at least have with the seemingly endless hang up on sexual issues is the distraction factor. Sexual deviants may be being beaten up on every street corner of the world, but I for one have never seen a single instance, so yes, I question the gravity of the “problem”. I do however see a huge, glaring problem with the theft and fraud of public wealth being sucked out of Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and every other scam our corrupt government can dream up to increase their net worth at our expense. How about our decaying infrastructure, the lack of decent paying jobs, the rip off of higher “education”, you know all of those “other” issues? Why do they take a back seat to penis problems? I just don’t get it and apparently neither do the distractors. But then, that is what they do, right? “Just a little touch of make-up, just a little touch of bull, just a little 3-chord trick embedded in your platform soul”, eh?
 Well, America is burdened by an aging dying population that is doing its best to break the back of the “healthcare” system on its way out. It also has a large population of talentless, non-motivated and outright lazy young people who were so poorly raised that they fall to the ground and cry like babies when their cars don’t start. Americans are the most indebted people in the world with sharply declining incomes. Our population consumes almost all of the world’s supply of opioids:
…and are so stupid that they go have to attend “higher” education institutions to understand what sex is, not that they get it right afterwards anyway.
You don’t have to be much of anything to be better than that. As I understand it, the IMF requires that almost all investments in other nations must be made in US dollars. When this changes, and it will, the floodgates will open because every other country has central banks that can print up as must paper crap “money” as the supply of paper (or digitals) allows. Oh yes, they will take over sooner rather than later and not because they are so good, but because we are fat, lazy, greedy, and stupid.