Friday, November 30, 2007


16.5% turnout in Sohum

I've been in court all week, so I just had the opportunity to read Cristina's article on the figures for this last election. Apparently Sohum voters turned out at about 6 percent below the overall county percentage.

This, folks, is why progressives lose elections.


Hostages taken at Clinton campaign HQ

CNN's coverage.

So far no demands or indications of his agenda. He did release a woman with her child who reported that he walked in and showed everybody what he claimed was a bomb strapped to him.

Maybe we can wait a couple of hours before the jokes and cheap shots? I'm sure the Internet's full of them by now. Maybe we can hold off the conspiracy theories too.

Update: Apparently the incident ended without violence.


A couple of items from Heraldo

Heraldo apparently has a source who informs him that the Attorney General's office will be conducting an investigation of the Arkley/Glass brawl.

Update: The Times Standard confirms Heraldo's scoop.


The Port Feasibility Study is in.


And Freshwater Creek isn't.

Thanx Heraldo!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Reggae Redux

Just in case you missed it, Bob Doran has JPEGs of the Referee's Summary Adjudication motion ruling. He's also got press statements from both sides.

Here's the Times Standard coverage.

Here's the Eureka Reporter coverage.

And you can listen to last night's KMUD coverage. They did get a statement from Tom Dimmick, but didn't have the time to air it last night. Maybe they'll play it tonight.

Correcting a previous post - the arbitration is currently scheduled for January 28, 2008.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Bigotry in Ferndale

Raw and unbridled.

No excuses please. I hope the guy sues them senseless.


John Rogers on TPZ

Yet another tough question

Leo Sears raised some important issues in his Nov. 9 column in the Times-Standard, “TPZ brings up tough questions that demand answers.” He asks: “How, in principal, is Palco's proposal different from what happened with the Tooby Ranch?”

There are many significant differences between PL's proposal and the Tooby Ranch subdivision. PL's property is:

1. Highly productive, high timber value, redwood forest.

2. Under active industrial management regulated by an HCP.

3. A critical supply base for a lumber mill providing employment for local residents and markets for local timber producers.

PL's cash flow projections presented in bankruptcy court depend on land sales at inflated prices to pay off an unsustainable level of debt. If these lands sell at real market prices, PL will have no choice but to subdivide additional TPZ property to cover debt service shortfalls. PL's high debt load, low standing inventories and fantasy-level asset valuations virtually assure subdivision of PL's productive timberlands ad infinitum into the future.

The Tooby Ranch project shares none of these characteristics.

No wonder the PL reorganization plan is controversial:

The Redwood Ranch subdivision cuts the beating heart out of the redwood timber industry in Humboldt County.

PL's reorganization plan also brings countywide TPZ zoning issues into sharper focus. Three separate questions lay behind the public outcry surrounding the recently ended moratorium:

Residential use

Smaller TPZ parcels have been bought and sold for decades for residential use. Landowner perception of potential property value losses from limiting residential use drives much of the strong reaction to the moratorium. However, the effort to bring county policy in line with state TPZ law through the conditional use permitting (CUP) process should not significantly impact property values.

Owners of existing small parcels that find the CUP process onerous should have the option of rolling out of TPZ into a zoning classification that allows limited residential use “by right” through a clear, simple ministerial permitting process.

Subsidized residential use

Today's smaller TPZ parcels often have comparable sales values that far outstrip timber values. Timber management is not the primary economic driver for acquiring these parcels. Unless owners are providing a clear and demonstrable public benefit through the management of their property, it is past time to reduce subsidies for the residential value of TPZ property.

Subdivision of large parcels

It's understandable that large TPZ owners are reluctant to have their development “entitlements” taken away. But the current rush to cash out productive timberland by selling residential parcels into a declining real estate market is premature.

The timber industry is well-known for cyclical economic behavior. Reduced competition in domestic lumber markets and increasing competitiveness in overseas markets from a declining dollar, increasing payments for sequestered carbon, and funding for conservation easements may all increase timber values relative to development value.

Ongoing returns from sustainably managed timber rather than single-shot profits from development may yet provide the best “HBU” value for larger TPZ ownership's in the long-term and for the county as a whole.

Subdivision of industrial ownerships under an HCP certainly violates the intent and likely the letter of the HCP process. Residential TPZ “kingdoms” may not even be compatible with HCP requirements. Instituting a 600-acre minimum parcel-size industrial TPZ classification on HCP timberlands only constrains a potential for development that may not even exist -- at least not for 40 years. What is that really worth today?

For larger non-industrial ownerships, we need to better understand what a commitment to 600-acre parcel sizes is worth. Offering marketable development credits for the removal or merger of patent parcels could compensate landowners for a commitment to maintaining large parcel ownerships of 600 acres or more.

Tradable Development Rights would provide an incentive for landowners to keep their land in production -- the original purpose of the TPZ. As developers applied for waivers to current county development constraints, county approval -- dependent on the developer's acquisition of sufficient credits -- would allow market dynamics to set values for existing entitlements. Open space and productive forest management would be protected, landowners would be compensated and real estate development values would be realized.

Think about it.

Do we sell the economic foundation of the timber industry into a falling real estate market due to a lo- point lumber product business cycle? Or do we support and protect the future of our timber industry, our intact forestland and our quality of life through this downturn in timber values?

Yet another tough question.

John Rogers is executive director of the Institute of Sustainable Forestry. He resides in Redway.

Add Your Comments:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Recycled Youth performances this week

I saw the dress rehearsal tonight. Themes of romance, adventure, politics, religion, fear, angst, greed, consumerism, with music and dance numbers, and ironic satire surprisingly sophisticated. And some very graceful dance numbers guaranteed to get the teen hormones boiling.

The kids are great! Please go support them.


Mateel beats Dimmick Summary Judgment motion



Alright, I now have a nine page ruling from the Honorable James R. Warren. I have to read it and digest it, but the essence is on page 3:
After careful consideration of the record, the briefs and arguments of the parties, and his own independent research, the Referee finds that disputed issues of material fact do exist and that summary adjudication would be inappropriate on this record. The motion for summary adjudication is DENIED.
I'm going to get my kids to bed, read the thing, and maybe get to some analysis later on tonight.


Update - some highlights:

The ruling begins by reviewing the factual issues, which have been discussed in great detail on these threads. There is of course a difference of opinion as to the interpretation of the provision of the Lease agreement which says that PP shall be the producer. The referee ruled that both interpretations are reasonable and therefor Dimmick's objection to the introduction of extrinsic evidence was overruled. The ruling then moves into the e-mails and communications between Tom Dimmick and Carol Bruno, and communications with the Mateel during the latter part of 2006. You've read them here. The ruling showcases the following e-mail of October 12, 2006:
What I am finally realizing (MCC) has been what has been preventing me from freedom of flight, not (ROR). Tom (Dimmick) you are right. Let's do (ROR), but not do (MCC).
The ruling then references Tom's letter to the MCC in which he advised that Carol had tol him that she would not under any circumstances produce the show for the "current (MCC) administration." However, she denied having said that in her deposition. So you already have a material contradiction between Tom and Carol, which by itself establishes a "triable issue of fact" probably sufficient to have defeated the motion.

The ruling also cites an e-mail from Tom to Carol dated October 11, 2006 stating "I'm still hesitant to mention the possibility of the MCC letting go of the event. This could boil down to a race to get a permit for the first weekend in August and I'd like a headstart..."

The Mateel cited those communications and others (including the famous statement at the general meeting) as evidence of anticipatory repudiation which allowed them to terminate the production contract. The Mateel then argued that the subsequent communications in which Carol indicated that she was going to honor her contractual obligations were intended to delay to the point where it would be too late to hire an alternative producer and back them into a negotiating corner in which the Mateel would be forced to accept the license arrangement she had previously offered. The Referee was unable to draw any conclusions either way from the evidence presented and suggested that either side may prevail in the long run. But the Referee appears to read significance into the fact that Carol's assurances that she would perform came 2 1/2 months after her e-mail to Dimmick.

From the ruling:
MCC terminated its Production Contract with PP on December 28, 2006. For reasons not explained on this record, although he viewed this cancellation as a material breach, Dimmick waited three weeks before he terminated the Lease with MCC. During that interim, MCC notified Dimmick that it had found a new production manager, Boots Hughston, to produce ROR in 2007. MCC assigns this delay as further proof of misconduct on the part of Dimmick/Bruno.
The paragraph is footnoted to the following remarks:
MCC points to evidence showing that Dimmick and Bruno negotiated with the owners of French's Camp, where the festival had previously been held, to obtain a sublease that might be used to support ROR in its new location. MCC said it knew about these negotiations, but was under the impression that the sublease would be in MCC's name. Instead the sublease was in Dimmick's name, which MCC asserts is further proof of the Bruno/Dimmic conspiracy to force MCC out of the ROR festival.
He doesn't analyze the claims further, but cites them as significant. He's taking them seriously, and this is probably where the motion was defeated.

The ruling moves into the "30-day cure" argument from Tom.
Dimmick next argues that, even if MCC tried to cancel the Production Contract, it failed to do so because it did not give the "30-day cure" period call for by Paragraph XVI of that contract. There are several problems with this postion. First, there is a serious question as to whether Dimmick, who was not a party to the Production Contract, can argue that MCC failed to follow its procedures when it purported to cancel the contract as to PP, who was a party. SEcond, there is a question about whether, under the circumstances of the "fall out" between the parties, a 30 day cure period could have been effective under the circumstances in any event. In this connection, MCC argues - and there is evidence to support the point - the alleged "conspiracy" between Dimmick and Bruno/PP was timed to make it impossible for MCC to do anything other than accept Bruno's offer of a "mutual separation," even if MCC didn't otherwise wish to do so.

Third, and perhaps most significant in the context of this motion, MCC argues that its letter to Bruno/PP of November 4, 2007 constituted the required notice of breach and notice to cure. If this is so, MCC urges, then the 30 (sic) "cure" period pass without Bruno/PP providing any assurances that it would live up to its contractual obligations.
The Referee goes on to state that maybe evidence will show that the November 4 letter was inadequate on its face as a matter of law, but suggested that the question may be moot depending on how Carol viewed the letter. Was the late December letter an attempt to "cure" before she got notice? If so, it was after the 30 days and thus the Mateel had the right to terminate at any time notwithstanding the late hour promises. The Referee suggests that Tom is going to have to bolster his case prior to trial, but you'd think he threw everything he had into the motion. Of course, discovery is continuing and the Mateel just recently sent off a volley of new deposition notices. Presumably Tom will follow suit.

So basically, this is good news for the Mateel. But they haven't won. Tom has simply received a strong message from the referee that he could in fact lose this thing.

Let's hope it brings everybody back to the table with some movement.

Addendum: Word has it arbitration will be held in February.

UPDATE: Bob Doran has the decision posted.

So far I can find no coverage in either of the daily papers. Give it a day or two.


The Eureka Reporter/KMUD nexus

Heraldo criticizes KMUD for sloppy homework. Or I guess, skipping out on homework altogether.

KMUD is seriously grounded for the weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2007


"Affordable housing" and other myths

Mark Scaramela of the Anderson Valley Advertiser has an excellent article on a lawsuit against Mendocino County intended to force compliance with otherwise toothless state mandates for "inclusive housing" in the general plan.

The first three paragraphs:
Back in 2004 the Ukiah office of Legal Services of Northern California (formerly Redwood Legal) sued Mendocino County because the County's "Housing Element," a state-mandated ingredient of county general plans, did not comply with state law. Mendo's Housing Element wasn't worth the fancy paper it was written on — the fancy paper known as the General Plan.

The County has argued that all it's required to do is submit a piece of paper called "Housing Element" with some boilerplate and numbers on it. Once the piece of paper is filed the County has a Housing Element for its General Plan, neither of which happen to exist, or are likely to exist, beyond their paper assertions.

Predictably, Mendocino County's Housing Element bore no resemblance to known or even conceived reality. The County's numbers (for the unincorporated areas where the majority of Mendolanders live) were not based on housing for human-type beings who require indoor plumbing and the other fancy amenities normally associated with "House." The County says all it's required to do is submit the piece of paper called "Housing Element." They're not supposed to be held to it, for the goddess's sake! This is Mendocino County. Nobody holds anybody to anything, so to actually zone land for "affordable housing," aka "inclusionary housing" as required by state law is a step Mendocino County has not taken.

Has anybody looked at the Humboldt County general plan from this angle? I seem to remember mention of a lawsuit by the Arkley group about making lands available for development, but I'm wondering if Humboldt's general plan more broadly meets state mandatory (or "directory") guidelines.


No outdoor growing in Ukiah?

Thanks to Fred for the heads-up re KC Meadows' blog.
On Dec. 5 the Ukiah City Council plans to make growing pot outdoors a criminal offense. Already the council has by ordinance required that all pot be grown indoors or inside locked garden sheds and limited growing to 12 plants per parcel. The problem is that since this ordinance isn't much more than a zoning code, it's being widely ignored by the pot growers and city zoning enforcers don't want to deal with the vicious dogs and handy weapons the growers harbor at their city addresses and who can blame them? So making it a criminal offense gives the Ukiah Police something to hang onto legally in order to go in and take illegal outdoor plants.
She also mentions that there are two ballot measures in the works to reverse Measure G. As I've said before, misuse of the medical marijuana provisions are bound to generate backlashes. The proponents had better start talking.

Meanwhile, if I was conspiracy minded, I might be wondering if PG&E is pushing the Ukiah proposal.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Charlie and the Vanilla Factory?

We had Thanksgiving with friends in Eureka. On the way up my wife read portions of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my kids. The novel was the first I ever read on my own and it primed the pump of reading for me so that I couldn't put books down. When my mother would turn out the lights at night I attempted to read with the lights coming from outside my window, which eventually put enough strain on my eyes that I required glasses for a time. Naturally I've been looking forward to sharing the experience with my kids. Having already read several chapter books to my son, my wife grabbed this one from the library.

Not only was the novel my first real read, but it led to my first major disappointment with Hollywood. As a kid you notice even the slightest of differences, and I had a different picture in my head of all the characters except maybe Augustus Gloop. I noticed that only one parent accompanied the kids to factory, a necessary concession for film obviously.

I also noticed that Charlie's father was missing from the film (which by the way was disowned by Dahl - though I've come to like it as an adult mostly by virtue of Gene Wilder's performance). I think this had to do with American politics and a break from Dahl's socialistic view of systemic poverty - more precisely, the mother and invalid grandparents can live in poverty with a child with honor. But for the father to have allowed the family to live in poverty would have indicated a moral or other character failing on his part. It certainly ran against the grain of Senator Patrick Moynihan's conclusions that American poverty was a crisis of the family rather than the economic system. A man who works hard should not be in poverty, and certainly he should not "allow" his family to live that way. So the story was rewritten to accommodate American values, perhaps even British at the time despite the fact that there was no indication the family benefited from British social democracy even though the story was written in 1964. Anyway, I didn't have the benefit of the analysis at seven years old. I simply noticed that the father was missing.

But the biggest shock came soon after the characters were all introduced to the factory. The Oompa Loompas who ran Wonka's factory weren't black. They were a weird orange with green hair (all played by one man I'm told). In the original story, they were black and from Africa. I didn't understand the politics at the time, though I had an inkling. When I asked my mother about it, she told me the change had been made because it would look like slavery, and I was confused as to why it didn't look that way when they were orange.

So fast forwarding to this last Thursday, my wife is reading the chapter where Augustus Gloop has been sucked up in the liquid chocolate pipe and Wonka calls one of the Oompa Loompas. He is described among other things as having skin "rosy white." Did I remember it wrong? I had vivid recollection of Charlie at first thinking that the Oompas were made of chocolate.

I've spent three and a half decades thinking the book retained some artistic purity even if Hollywood couldn't swallow it. I can forgive the avoidance of the more overt imagery, but he rewrote the book. At first I wondered if my memory was faulty, but no, the copyright section of the book indicates a revision in 1973 (two years after I read the first version). And sure enough, as Wikipedia explains, the NAACP had contacted Dahl who caved, hopefully with at least an argument. Obviously the reference to Africa had been removed as well. And it was spelled out that the Oompas were being paid for their services. The male Oopas did continue to wear skins, the women leaves, and the children nothing at all.

I guess I understand it. But it bothers me as well. Should we rewrite Huckleberry Finn? Uncle Tom's Cabin? Gone with the Wind?

Here's a challenge. Let's rewrite Birth of a Nation to conform to political correctness.

In the meantime, I'm going to check with my mother to see if she still has my old copy. Maybe it's worth some money. I'm told that the original illustrations, by Joseph Schindelman, have been replaced in later editions with artwork more cartoonish and less avant-guarde.


The cover art is from Wikipedia.


Housing costs in real dollars

This is from the latest blog post of Bruce Ross, editor of the Redding Record over the hill.
In an essay on the origin of the American suburb, Joel Kotkin notes something striking.
The first Cape Cods went for $6,990 in 1947 (when median family income was $3,031).

In other words, a house could be had for 2.3 times median income. Where are we at today?

In Redding, at least, the Census estimates median household income at 41,682. The price of a house comparable to that Cape Cod would be just shy of $96,000.

Our county median income is a little higher at $51,238 which means that if a Cape Cod was being sold in our county at the same "real dollar" price as 1947, it would come to about 118 thousand. Anybody know of any small home for that amount?

I read somewhere that a fry cook could buy a home in the 1960s. Now even attorneys I know are being priced out of the housing market in the Bay Area. So the question is, who's buying the property? What keeps this market up even as subprime loans are going the way of disco?

Cape Cod home shot taken by Jackie Craven and displayed at

Friday, November 23, 2007


Friendships and campaigns

On this blog, once on the street, and a couple of times at the Mateel general meeting the other night - I've been approached by friends and supporters of Estelle Fennel who are disappointed and even frustrated because I'm supporting Clif Clendenen's run for Second District Supervisor. After all, he's more moderate (less progressive) than Estelle, and he's an outsider. I've teamed up with Estelle on a number of occasions. She (and Kathleen) and I were on the same side of some KMUD politics about a year ago. And she and I have shared a certain impatience with local progressive politics which sometimes manifests itself as an odd blend of pretentious radical politics and xenophobia. And contrary to her image with some people as a devout follower of People Productions, she and I shared disappointment with much of the community's embracing of the violent homophobia of Buju Banton a year ago. And contrary to other progressive figures, she has broadened her campaign base well beyond the usual suspects, directly addressing some of the very criticisms I've leveled at other progressive candidates.

So why do I continue to support Clif when a bona fide progressive has entered the race? A woman who is not only a friend of mine, but politically nuanced in so many of the ways I demand in a candidate?

Well, it's simple really. I want Rodoni out of office, and I want public process to contain the big box proposals which are swirling around Fortuna and which make the current Balloon Track development proposal look a hay bail construction project. The Wal-Mart vision defeated in Eureka just before the millennium is quietly making its way through the works and could alter the county in a profoundly negative manner. Clif has been at the center of the issue, and his leadership presents the best opportunity to bring some sanity into the process. He understands Fortuna politics, and has the best formula for defeating Roger. And he has a great team behind him.

I've promised that I would keep an open mind as the campaign moves forward. I don't see eye to eye with Estelle on the Reggae controversy, and I'm critical of some of her coverage, but it's not a difference of views which amount to a voting issue for me for anything other than Mateel Board. I would vote for her in a minute if she could defeat Rodoni and demonstrate the leadership which is going to be necessary to reign in a rather overzealous development vision to our north. Rodoni views it as municipal and out of his political jurisdiction and thus beyond any reasonable call for his leadership. It's a nice way of saying that he supports the right of developers to do as they please regardless of the impact on the community.

That's a key issue for me in this campaign. Estelle has yet to address it, and other issues of concern for me. She would have to convince me that she can beat Rodoni one-on-one in a run-off. Despite the changes in the Fortuna electorate, I just don't see the numbers, no matter how many emergency service folk back her. I'm sorry if you perceive my skepticism as fatalism. But we do have something to lose in an election in which Rodoni may finally be vulnerable. But I have been plugging Clif since he first sent out feelers months ago. I will continue to push for him until my mind is changed. If Estelle wins a place in the run-off I will certainly support her over Rodoni.

Meanwhile, Ernie makes a great case to dispell vote-splitting fears. While I am supporting another candidate, I'm glad Estelle is in the race. There is more to life than Reggae.


"Because I read it"

Great responses, though he was given only 6 minutes out of the two hours.

But he's too far ahead of his time.


Buy nothing today

A suggestion from Adbusters.

Won't be hard for me. I'd almost rather be waterboarded than go anywhere near a mall today.

Adbusters apparently can't buy anything, including airtime. Somebody's afraid of something!

Along similar lines, the new documentary What Would Jesus Buy? is in the theaters. Heard some clips on Democracy Now the other day, and it sounds hilarious.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Yet another Sohum blog

Obviously I have a lot of catching up to do. This blogger kicks ass.


Turns out, all Carlos Quilez needed was 104 more votes

Final count.

Number of Precincts
Precincts Reporting
26 100.0 %
Vote For
Times Counted
5009/15805 31.7 %
Total Votes
Times Blank Voted
Times Over Voted
Number Of Under Votes

2226 45.27%
346 7.04%
2329 47.37%
Write-in Votes
16 0.33%

Meanwhile, here's the precinct report, but I can't make any sense of it.


Jews on non-Jewish Holocaust victims

Somebody posted the following request in a thread below which is about to slide off the page.
Are there any well-known Jewish speakers or writers about the Holocaust who speak about the mass murder of non-Jewish as well as Jewish people at the hands of the Nazi death machine?
Well, the Holocaust Memorial Museum has a whole section dedicated to each of the groups, and numerous articles on each at the website. Examples: Gypsies. Homosexuals. Jehovah's Witnesses. Disabled. Socialists. Others.

Elie Wiesel's Night discussed the Gypsies he met at Auschwitz, although he apparently opposed their inclusion into the museum because he and his father were treated roughly by the Gypsies who were there and he even wrote that he might never be able to forgive them. This Jewish blogger summarizes Wiesel's issues (some fascinating comments attached to the post as well).

The Gypsies have a section in the Jewish Virtual Library.

Ina Friedman is a Jewish author of many Holocaust articles and books and wrote a book dedicated to non-Jewish Holocaust victims.

That's off the top of my head.


Give Thanks tomorrow night

From the Mateel Center site:

Friday, November 23rd
MCC presents Give Thanks

A NorCal reggae showcase & fundraiser to rehire key MCC staff positions by 2008


Doors & Ital Dinner- 7pm/ Music- 7:30pm
Sliding scale donation at door- $12 & up to benefit MCC
Come support and help us reach our $75,000 year end fundraising goal. These funds will ensure 4 part time staff positions and the continuation of all MCC programs and event rentals through June 2008.



Why didn't anybody tell me that Ernie Branscomb has a blog?!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Free meal at the Vet's Hall tomorrow

From the Redwood Times:
For many years now, veterans Brian Ormond and Tom Pietila have organized free community dinners at the Veteran’s Hall on Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year Ormond and Pietila decided it was time for them to retire and a call went out for volunteers to step in and take their place.

Enter the Homeless Coalition, an ad hoc group of kind-hearted individuals such as Patti Rose, Patte Rae, Pastor Sharon Latour, Tom Frazier, Susan Thompson, Dottie Russell and Prophet Mark, who have taken on responsibility for all the many details that go into providing a Thanksgiving dinner for about 150 people.

If you want to volunteer for any phase of the project, call Susan Thompson at 707-923-4477 or by email at If you want to donate, Donations may be made directly into the Veterans of Foreign Wars account at the Community Credit Union. Checks made out to the VFW may also be given to Veterans’ Hall manager Amy McClellan. She can be reached at 707-223-3063.


Mendo election results final

From the Ukiah Daily Journal:

In the Mendo-Lake Community College board of trustees election, Area 3 incumbent Joan Eriksen retained her seat -- the same seat she's held for 12 years -- against former Area 2 Trustee Larry MacLeitch. In Mendocino County, Eriksen finished with 51.11 percent of the vote.

The battle for the Area 7 seat at the Mendo-Lake Community College board was a showdown between incumbent Gary Taylor and chemistry teacher Jerry DeChaine. With 53.48 percent of the vote, DeChaine, who has taught at Mendocino College for more than 30 years, beat out Taylor as the Kelseyville area representative.

Area 6 Incumbent Robert Shugart took home 50.23 percent of the votes in a three-way race for the Mendocino County Board of Education election. Shugart, who has served on the board off and on since the 1980s, beat out attorney John Pegan and outreach specialist Jimmy Rickel.

For Area 3 incumbent Georgina Sanders, the results were not the same as Shugart's. Sanders, who had also served as the MCOE board president, was defeated by Willits resident Charline Ford. Ford earned 66.14 percent of the vote. Area 3 represents the northern half of Mendocino County, including Willits, Laytonville and Covelo.

Don Butow, Redwood Valley water board chairman, retained his seat on the board with 66.35 percent of the vote, beating challenger Rosalind Peterson.

I can't sort the white hats from the black hats. Please chime in with your thoughts.


Heroin/Meth bust in Garberville

Still catching up with the news. Thanks Kevin H. for the heads up.
November 20, 2007

Subject: Narcotics Arrest Case: 200706863


Last night at about 10:00 Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Gagnon was on patrol in the Redway area. At the Redway transfer station Deputy Gagnon conducted a traffic stop on a pick-up truck for an equipment violation. The driver, Kenneth Deardeuff, 53 of Redway, was on probation with a search clause. Deputy Gagnon detained Deardeuff and searched his vehicle. Inside Deardeuff's truck Deputy Gagnon found just over twenty-four grams of heroin.

Deputy Gagnon searched Deardeuff and found 2.1 grams of methamphetamine in his sock. Deardeuff was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of a controlled substance, possession of a narcotic controlled substance, and possession of a narcotic controlled substance for sale. His bail has been set at $25,000 and he is expected to be arraigned on Monday.

Apologies. The cocaine headline was a jumbling of different stories in my head. I think there was a cocaine bust up north.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Mateel general meeting notes

My trial kept me in Eureka until late, so I missed some of it. The trial is an emotional ordeal so it was kind of hard to get into the swing of the meeting. There were a few awkward moments, and some anger vented, but otherwise it was relatively calm. Probably a third of last year's turnout. I was left with the feeling that the Mateel is going to survive the tempest.

For the Board election, the following nominees have been confirmed:

Bob Stern (incumbent)
Rainbow Mountainwalker (incumbent)
Shanon Taliaferro
Andy Burnette
Dennis Huber
Al ("Owl") Ceraulo
Fredy Champaigne
Michael DeLeon

Nominated but not confirmed as of the moment I was taking it down:
Sara Brook
Tony Fair

Some great choices. You can only vote for three. The statements are due in a week. I'll post them as soon as they are available.

Lawsuits update: The summary judgment motion decision has not been made. Arbitration
in the Dimmick case is set for January if Dimmick doesn't prevail in the motion. There was a flurry of settlement discussions, but the parties are still too far apart. The case against People Productions will probably be set for next summer. The Mateel's lawyers have just sent out a new wave of deposition notices.

The Board is looking into alternative locations for Reggae on the River. I wasn't clear as to whether they would move the time as well.

Great line - I was introduced to someone who has frequented this blog - she said, "Oh, you're shorter than I'd thought you'd be!" I'll take that as a compliment for my writing. Although, there are alternative interpretations...


Protectionist policies may fail

Even with pot bust figures at record levels, the saturated pot market may take it's toll on our farmers.

Subsidies anyone?

Buy American!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Holocaust exhibit at HSU

This exhibit in the HSU Library Lobby, November 6-26, shows the effect of Nazi regime on one Jewish family from Hamburg, Germany, whose descendants are now dispersed all over the globe. The display was formed to preserve and make available for scholarship and research the collection of Holocaust and Jewish diaspora related material collected by Hertha and Robert Solmitz. Come to the reception for the Solmitz Archive in the Library Fishbowl (2nd floor) Sunday, November 11, 2:30-4:30.

The reception is past, but the exhibit will be there for another week.


"Come one, come all, even if your name is Arkley"

These words came out of Peter Collins' mouth almost as soon as I turned on KGOE upon leaving court this evening. Collins will be airing a live show from the Eureka Theater on Friday, November 30 at 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.00 a piece and can be bought at The Works or Color Impressions. More info at KGOE's website.

Collins is one of the more interesting radio talk show hosts. Whereas some of his Air America colleagues (Collins is independently syndicated not AA, like Ed Schulz and Stephanie Miller - the latter on whom I have an enormous crush) try to match the shrill style of right wing radio, Collins is an old school soft spoken liberal.

While surfing up his name I came across another local blog I didn't know about which reported on a Collins visit to Humboldt a year ago.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Patrice Lumumba

I think I've written a few posts about my socialist high school years. By the time I got to college (UC Santa Cruz) I was pretty much a recovering Marxist, already sliding into the social democratic milieu. I don't remember how, but somehow I got drawn into a forum sponsored by a few students and some activists who drove down from the Bay Area on a regular basis to make presentations on campus. I would later learn they were with a group called Freedom Rising, associated or at least overlapping with the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee which considered itself the above-ground wing of the Weathermen (the student group, the "African Solidarity Union" was thus ostensibly a front of a front of a front of a front).

At the forum I was introduced to a very articulate dissident from the country then named Zaire and renamed last decade The Democratic Republic of the Congo. For the life of me I can't remember his name, but I was so impressed with this individual and moved by what I learned about the country's history I experienced a brief relapse. In an odd twist of age politics, the students of the ASU proved less dogmatic than their older sponsors and we experienced something of a schism when some of us moved to invite a representative of the Eritrian resistance to the Soviet backed Eithiopian occupation. Even though the backbone of the Eritrian resistance was Marxist, the FR folk thought them "counter-revolutionary" because they had accepted western aid. I broke off after my freshman year, but I did become very familiar with the figure Patrice Lumumba who presided over the Congo for two months following independence from Belgian colonialism before he was deposed with western help and summarily shot along with half his cabinet.

The story is pretty well summarized in the Wikipedia entry linked above. The man wasn't a saint. He'd once been nearly convicted for embezzlement, but avoided prosecution when he made good with the victim by returning the money. He also made some huge mistakes when in office, although his fate was probably sealed from the moment he came to power and made a speech condemning Belgian colonialism even as the other political figures around here were sucking up to the Belgian King. He had very little to work with when he came to power, and as was the norm Belgium and the United States used tribal factionalism to destabilize the country until it was impossible to govern. He could get no help from the UN and so attempted to strike a deal with the Soviet Union to bring troops into the country. UN troops intervened first and put him under house arrest "for his own good." He managed to escape but was later recaptured and the story is completely depressing from that point on.

Lumumba was a hero to the Freedom Rising crowd, though much like the conservatives who now praise ML King, I doubt very much they would have liked him had he survived. His association with the Soviet Union was purely a matter of desperate pragmatics, and he was much more of a nationalist than a Marxist. But he did want true independence and he was killed for it.

Mobuto Sese Seko, a military figure who had served under Lumumba, took over and ruled the country pretty harshly until he himself was deposed in the 1990s. There had been civil war the whole time, the primary opposition coming from the Marxist Front de Liberation Nationale du Congo (FLNC), which came close to taking Mobuto out in 1977 prompting yet another UN intervention. Mobuto was eventually removed from power, but the civil wars continued and millions have died.

Lumumba the movie was released in 2000. It's taken me seven years to watch it. I knew the story (he dies in the end). Even having queued it up a year ago on Netflix, I kept knocking it back on the list whenever it came close to being sent. I finally took the plunge. Yeah, it's an excellent film. Follows the real story pretty closely, with a few annoying but not hugely significant deviations. I recommend it. I won't be watching it a second time. There are some documentary clips in the extras which include the old footage of him being tormented by his captors soon after his "arrest," all in front of his wife and child, which drew out some of the old anger. Yeah, the film's a giggle a minute.

I'm sure we'll be treated to some posts reminding me that he was after all a "communist," and though Mobuto "had his faults" at least he was better than Lumumba would have been. Meanwhile, in the "better" world over three million were killed in the past decade alone.


Man that's loud!

I know the Mateel's in need and I hope tonight's event drew some money for them. I'm up a bit late this evening/morning and I just walked my dogs. The noise is oppressive for the a.m. hours. I haven't heard it quite this loud in a few years.

And I live on the other side of Redway. I feel sorry for families who live closer. I don't hear it inside my home, except in the summer when the windows are open.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Hank Sims on Second District politics

Hank reemphasizes some of the points which have been made on the blogs; talks about second district electoral politics past and future with Bill Thorington (Carlos' campaign manager), and confirms that Steven Harris has an exploratory committee.

Harris says he may run unless the other candidates adequately address labor issues. In the context of the second district, what are those exactly?

According to Richard
, Estelle was a union activist in Ireland.

Hank's got more TPZ stuff too.


Did Barry Bonds' lawyer sink his client by shooting off his mouth?

All I can say is that after an article like this is printed, Rains had better have his malpractice premiums current.

I haven't really been following the story, but I can tell you that blustering rarely gets you anywhere in the legal realm. Yet some attorneys insist on doing it. The old TV series LA Law probably didn't help. There were judges who contemplated canceling Friday morning court calendars because younger attorney seemed to feel obliged to act like Arnie Becker in real life. But if an attorney talks to me like that, I just roll my eyes, as do most of those in the profession.

Maybe Rains is playing to the jury pool, but it's not going to impress his opposition, nor any judge.

Photo comes from Nasty Boys Sports Blog.


FERC panel recomends maintaining the Klamath dams

From the Times Standard:
Federal energy regulators support keeping the Klamath River's dams in place despite their findings that removing the hydropower project would be better for fish, and millions of dollars cheaper.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday released its final environmental analysis of Pacificorp's hydroelectric project, concluding that its chosen alternative is best, given the environmental benefits and costs.

But the agency will have to allow fisheries agencies' likely demands that fish ladders and higher flows in some parts of the river to be folded into a new license, if the commission issues one. That will balloon costs and may make removing four of the dams much more attractive, a concept with wide-ranging support, especially in coastal California and Oregon.

Lots more details in a very well covered story by John Driscoll. I'll add some of my own comments later on.


Slide show of Iran visit

Sanaz Meshkinpour, an Iranian-American woman, will present a slide show of her visits to her country of origin at 7:00 p.m. Sunday night at the Mateel Community Center. There will be a potluck visit with her at the bookstore in Redway next to the Post Office.

Sanaz is a Berkely based Global Exchange Middle East scholar and a Code Pink activist. She comes from a Muslim/Jewish extended family and visits various regions of the Middle East regularly. She has led many Global Exchange tours of the region.

The event is sponsored by Greenfuse.

Photo comes from the Chico Peace and Justice Center.

Friday, November 16, 2007


More rumors and innuendo

I wanted to let this go, but Stephen keeps posting a list of quotes about "Jewish racial superiority" which is being spread by neo-Nazi and other hate groups. He's done it again in a thread below. I'm putting up this link because I don't know how many of you have read the quotes and accept them as truth. It provides responses to each of the purported Talmud quotes.

Addendum: Okay, anonymous e-mailer, you sent a link to the wrong site. If you send it to me again with the right link, I'll post it.

Meanwhile, for those of you who want to know where Stephen is getting this stuff from, Google the following:

"The Jews are called human beings, but the non-Jews are not humans. They are beasts."

See what comes up. Yes, there are white supremacist sites. But there are others as well. Very disturbing.

Second addendum: Here's a site which addresses more broadly the misinformation with which the hate groups are flooding the Internet, including the Khazar/Hun theory.

Third addendum: As for the 9/11-Zionist nexus, here's one for the wingnuts.

Fourth addendum: Jews, Jewish Religion, anti-Semitism, the Talmud and Zionism

Some great sources.

Oh, and the Talmud is not kept secret from gentiles.

And the links on this page actually explain some of the mistranslated quotes, and clarify what the Talmud actually does say on the topics in question.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Rumors. Innuendo.

I'm posting the following from Ernie, then I have to get kids to bed. I'll come back later to add a few points.

I know this is the wrong thread and it belongs below. I'M just doing a little damage control caused by "Anonymous.

Wow! I haven’t seen such a mess since my cousins pet goose got loose in grandma’s kitchen. It took my cousin and I about a half hour to catch the damn thing! There was broken dishes, broken glasses, feathers and goose crap everywhere, my cousin and I steadfastly claimed that we didn’t know who left the door open, but it was probably my sister. We thought it was true, because who else could it be? Needless to say, sis was pissed when she found out, because she wasn’t even there, she got in big trouble before my dad told grandma that the dog had pushed the door open, because he had seen the dog do it before. I secretly think the dog liked doing that.

What the heck does that have to do with this blog you say? Well, I’ve been out, and I come back to find that “Anonymous” has pushed the door open and let the crap fly.

I asked Estelle what P.B. had to do with her campaign. Her reply was that her only contact with P.B. was when he warned her not to run, that she would only get hurt. Why does she have to put up with all the lies and crap that fly’s off of the fingers of the backbiter’s that lurk here and jump in as soon as it looks like no one is watching?

The next rumor will be that Carol is in the drivers seat and she is really pulling all the strings in Estelle’s campaign. Nothing could be further from the truth, and she and Carol have not even discussed the run for supervisor.

I asked her if P.B. C.B. or P.P were helping to finance her campaign, and she said absolutely not, but if they donated to her campaign she would accept it as a contribution and properly record it.

Any dirt that anyone tries to sneak out there from this point on will only bring Estelle more support, because people don’t like backbiting. And, they don’t like sneaky chicken eating anonymous dogs that keep pushing the door open and letting the crap fly!

Anonymous, try saying something good about your candidate… you do have one… don’t you? But, then again, something nice out of you would be unbelievable.

Now for the good side: There has been a ground swell of support for Estelle, and she is very encouraged. She say’s that no matter what happens from this point on that nothing can hurt her, because she has found out what true friends she really has, and they are going way out of their way to support her. She is already busy talking to people at public meetings, and meeting with people that don’t know her yet . Most people are surprised to find that she has members of all parties, across the board supporting her, and they are going to the trouble of finding out why. They don’t have to talk to Estelle long to offer her their support also. She has been a great student of politics.

Don’t believe anything you read, and only half of what you see. If it’s from “Anonymous” it’ stands a very good chance of being goose crap. Estelle will be more than glad to answer any of your questions in public, but she has said that she would not respond to anyone that wouldn’t face her. Seems fair and “Civil” to me.


Former Humboldt County Director of Public Works weighs in on rail proposal

Thanks to Fred for the heads-up on this letter from John Murray in the Eureka Reporter.


Posting this reminder with a deep breath

From the Mateel:

Mateel Community Center Annual Membership Meeting November 20th

On Tuesday, November 20th, the Mateel Community Center will hold its’ annual membership meeting. The event is open to all current MCC members and membership sign-ups will be taken at the door (although it is now too late to sign up and also vote in the upcoming board election). The event will begin at 5:30pm with snacks and refreshments and the meeting will be called to order at 6pm. It will feature an introduction of the board and volunteer staff, a variety of Mateel committee reports, plans for the coming year, nominations for the board of directors, and a Q&A session. The meeting’s adjournment is set for 7:30pm depending on the number of member questions. Afterwards, stick around for an informal gathering where you’ll have an opportunity to meet the board candidates (all candidate nominations must be made and accepted by the close of the meeting to be eligible). For more information visit or call 923-3368 and don’t miss this chance to help direct the future of your Mateel Community Center.

Adjournment at 7:30 depending on the number of member questions?! Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

That one made my day.

Yeah, I'll be there. I suspect a few other people will attend as well. Just a few.

And no, I don't have any word on the summary judgment motion. Remember the one the arbitrator took into submission 2 or 3 weeks ago? The arbitrator reportedly said he'd try to have the decision out within a week. What the delay suggests is that he hasn't made up his mind, or at least hadn't as of the date he took the motion under submission. The arbitration itself is scheduled for the last week of November.

By the way, if you're planning to run for a Board seat and you want to get a statement out ahead of time, I'll be happy to post it here. All candidate statements submitted will be posted without edits or I will contact you if I have concerns.


Respects to Vern Bonham and his family

When he passed away last week I tried to come up with some words for a memorial thread, but came up empty. I didn't know him real well, but he had been a client on several occasions. The first time I could be of service to him was about a decade ago when I helped him through a legal matter in which he was introduced to the phrase "vexatious litigant." He laughed because it fit well the individual with whom he had to contend with.

Thereafter he always greeted me with a smile so big he had to squint and a comment along the lines with "have any run-ins with vexatious litigants lately?" He would never forget that phrase. He was always very warm and our staff appreciated his graciousness and patience.

At this time the family isn't ready for a public memorial service. I'm sure there are people here who knew him much more intimately who could share some thoughts.

There is also a memorial website from which I borrowed the photo of him and his wife Pat.

There is also a very eloquent obituary in this week's Independent.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Linda Tillery at the Mateel Friday night

From the KMUD website:

Igoma Project Benefit this Friday, November 16

KMUD, Feet First Inc., and The Igoma Project are teaming up to present a fun-filled evening of music along with a silent and live auction on Friday, November 16.

Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir with their golden voices will amaze and entertain the crowd. A silent and live auction featuring choice items from the Don Walker Estate, a Russian River Weekend Getaway, and more will benefit the Igoma Project in Tanzania. There are no administrative costs so every cent you contribute to the Igoma Project does directly to the people of Igoma--the people who truly need your help!

The event takes place at the Mateel Community Center in Redway. Doors open at 5:30 pm, with a delicious dinner. The Live Auction will start at 7:45 pm, and Linda Tillery with the Cultural Heritage Choir will perform at 9 pm. The cost of this event is $25 at the door and does not include dinner.There will also be a special performance by the Feet First Dancers.

For more information contact Tiger Lily at 923-3807 or send email to Renée Stork.

Click on the image to enlarge.


Mateel presents Homegrown Hip Hop vol. 4

Saturday, November 17

The Harvest Edition 2007 Featuring: Planet Asia, Haji Springer, North Coast Underground, Some of the Truest, Mendo Green Team, Nac One & Lil Sic, plus an MC battle, vendors, gear giveaways, and lots more.

Doors- 7:30pm/ Music- 8pm.

All ages show with 21 & over bar upstairs. Tickets on sale now at the usual local outlets and online at for $16 advance.

Door admission will be $18 for MCC members/ teens and $20 general.


All Things Reconsidered tomorrow night

Cristina Bauss will join me to discuss local electoral politics - past and future. Carlos Quilez came very close to winning against an entrenched incumbent. Gallegos took the district last year. Kerry took 45% of Fortuna's vote in 2004.

We now have three candidates for supervisor, with more possibly in the wings. Is Rodoni vulnerable? Will Estelle's entry into the race split progressive resources? What issues will define the campaign?

We may also discuss the Higgins blow-out win and other races.

7:00 p.m., tomorrow on KMUD.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Defining "the left" and anti-semitism

A great article by Mitch Cohen in Dissent entitled Anti-semitism and the Left that Doesn't Learn. I'm posting the intro, but it goes on to draw some interesting parrallels between the "left that won't learn" and classic anti-semitism. Once Stephen plasters his obligatory "khazar cult" posts and a few posters trot out their rote rants about Israel/Palestine, I'd like a more focused discussion on the ideas of the article itself.
A DETERMINED offensive is underway. Its target is in the Middle East, and it is an old target: the legitimacy of Israel. Hezbollah or Hamas are not the protagonists, the contested terrains are not the Galilee and southern Lebanon or southern Israel and Gaza. The means are not military. The offensive comes from within parts of the liberal and left intelligentsia in the United States and Europe. It has nothing to do with this or that negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians, and it has nothing to do with any particular Israeli policy. After all, this or that Israeli policy may be chastised, rightly or wrongly, without denying the legitimacy of the Jewish state, just as you can criticize an Israeli policy—again, rightly or wrongly—without being an anti-Semite. You can oppose all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories (as I do) and you can also recognize that Benjamin Netanyahu, not just Yasir Arafat, was responsible for undermining the Oslo peace process without being an anti-Semite or anti-Zionist. You don’t have to be an anti-Semite or anti-Zionist to think that some American Jewish organizations pander to American or Israeli right-wingers.

The assault today is another matter. It is shaped largely by political attitudes and arguments that recall the worst of the twentieth-century left. It is time to get beyond them. But let me be clear: I am “left.” I still have no problem when someone describes me with the “s” word—socialist—although I don’t much care if you call me a social democrat, left-liberal, or some other proximate term. My “leftism” comes from a commitment to—and an ethos of—democratic humanism and social egalitarianism.

What I care about is the reinvention of the best values of the historical left—legacies of British Labour, of the Swedish Social Democrats, of Jean Jaurès and Léon Blum in France, of Eduard Bernstein and Willy Brandt in Germany, of what has always been the relatively small (alas!) tribe in the U.S. associated like Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas, Michael Harrington, and Irving Howe. It’s not so much a matter of political programs, let alone labels, as it is of political sensibility. I care about finding a new basis for that old amalgam of liberty, equality, and solidarity, a basis that makes sense for our “globalizing age.” But I also want a left that draws real, not gestural, conclusions from the catastrophes done in the name of the left in the 20th century.

There is a left that learns and there is a left that doesn’t learn. I want the left that learns to inform our Western societies (a difficult task in George W. Bush’s America) and to help find ideas that actually address poverty in what used to be called the third world—rather than romanticizing it.
The article then moves into more specifics focusing on the Middle East politics debate within "the left," in particularly a Nation Magazine exchange between Paul Berman and Adam Schatz, then moves into a bullet point comparison between fringe anti-zionists and anti-semites.

I have to get home, but I'll follow up with some thoughts later.


Birth control for men - heating up the genitals

Just took a break to visit a few local blogs and realized I'd forgotten to make note of this item posted by Shankar.

This is supposed to save you the hassle of condoms.

How about a morning after pill for men?


And then there were four?

Richard Marks is reporting that yet another candidate may be throwing in his/her hat into the Second District race - somebody who works with labor and lives in Rio Dell.

Previously he'd posted that Operating Engineers District Manager Steve Harris might be considering a run.

Now all we need is a loud right winger in the mix, maybe someone who doesn't like Rodoni's marijuana views, and it's better than reality television!


FPPC to investigate Tom Herman for conflict of interest

From the Times Standard:
The Humboldt Watershed Council alleged in an Oct. 1 letter sent to the state commission that Herman violated the act by filing inadequate or no required statement of interests and by “making, participating or attempting to influence governmental decisions” in which he had an economic interest -- namely the Pacific Lumber Co. -- and requested the commission investigate the matter.


At issue with Herman, according to the watershed council, is his position as a partner in the legal firm of Barnum & Herman that includes the Pacific Lumber Co. among its clients. In his role as planning commission chair, Herman participates decisions that affect the timber company and, by association, his finances.

The matter became more complicated after Palco submitted its plan to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to convert 21,800 acres of timberland into development properties, a move that would increase the per-acre value eight-fold and potentially mean $700 million for the timber company.

In the past, Herman said he had said consulted with the FPPC regarding his involvement with the county's general plan update process and had determined that no conflict exists.

The Eureka Reporter has some additional details:

As previously reported in The Eureka Reporter, the Humboldt Watershed Council alleges Herman has committed the following violations: “Inadequate or no filing of required statements of economic interests” and “Making, participating or attempting to influence governmental decisions in which his economic interest will be materially financially affected.”

Two of the allegations state Herman “or his partner” has met with or communicated with county planning staff on behalf of clients who have projects pending before the Planning Commission.

Herman is a real property attorney who formerly shared a Eureka office with attorney William Barnum. Herman now operates out of a Fortuna location.

They are associated, but not partners, Barnum said.
This is a serious matter, however, a decision to investigate should not be confused with the drawing of any conclusions.

Addendum: Don't know why I didn't notice this before, but Heraldo apparently scooped both papers on the story.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Press statement on today's press conference

From: Estelle Fennell For Supervisor <>
Date: November 12, 2007 6:49:34 PM PST
To: Humoldt Beacon <>, Arcata Eye <
,, Steve Wolf <>
Subject: Candidate Announce

Today, Redway resident, Estelle Fennell, announced her candidacy for the 2nd District Supervisor Seat up for election in June 2008. A press conference was held at the Redway Fire Department and Estelle was joined by 30-35 supporters from a broad cross section of the community.

Photos by Rob Stretch. Larger files available on request. More photos available (crowd shots, etc.) by Tuesday.

Press Release attached (not in my copy - I'll get it and post it when I have it - EVK)

Thanks for your interest.

Estelle Fennell (Candidate), Ernie Branscomb (committee member), Estelle Fennell (Candidate), Dave Kirby (Campaign Manager)

Estelle Fennell For Supervisor
P.O. Box 501 Redway, CA. 95560

The story was broadcast on KMUD tonight. You can hear it again tomorrow morning at 8:oo or hear it podcast at the KMUD site.

Addendum: The Times Standard has a story in today's paper, but I don't think it made it into this week's RT edition. It is in the Independent however, but they don't have a website (yet).


California style pizza?

My family spent the day in Nohum (third day in a row). My son and I had the day off, so we accompanied my wife and daughter on their Monday routines which include gymnastics in Fortuna, an allergy shot in Arcata, and shopping. Has anybody noticed that nothing is open for kids on Mondays? The Zoo, Natural History Museum, library - all closed. So when it's raining, the options are pretty limited when you're trying to kill time.

We had lunch at the Arcata Pizza and Deli, which I could swear had been advertised as a "Philadelphia style pizza" place when it opened, complete with a fussball game. Did I confuse it with something else?. I hadn't been there in several years (I miss the breakfast place it replaced), but the menu hasn't changed a whole lot. Great big sandwiches on Brio rolls, making it the first northcoast deli I visited which sold hard-crusted sandwiches. I've found a couple more since.

I forgot to ask about the Philadelphia angle. What is it that distinguishes Philadelphia pizza? New Yorkers take pride in their thin crust. Chicago in it's thick crust. Does Philly offer some sort of compromise?

But it brought to mind a memory of a decade ago on a visit to the east coast where we drove by a restaurant which advertised specialty in "California Style Pizza." As someone who has spent about 40 years of his life in California and considers himself a bona fide native, I'd like to know what "California style pizza" is. I have this picture of a pie with jack, avocado, and alfalfa sprouts topped with nutritional yeast.

I'm afraid to Google it.

Addendum: Well, Ernie wasn't afraid so he provided the Wikipedia link, where the photo comes from. Yes, that is a nearly raw egg.


Arkley backs Clendenen!

Okay, it's an obscure joke. Kind of like my joke about Roy Curless being a bad candidate because he doesn't like dogs. Otherwise he wouldn't be curless. Get it?

Yeah, I'll keep my day job.

See, I was at the Eureka Coop today. They're showcasing Clendenen's apples in a special display. Since the Coop is allegedly beholden to Arkley, and, well - I guess you had to be there. Don't ask me where. It's been a long day.

The apples in that display are humungous! Some of them are as big as grapefruit. We've got too many apples in our backyard to buy any right now. But those things looked great. Can't attest to the flavor. They smelled good.

By the way, I came across a new product there which has me hooked. Well,, maybe it's not new, but it's the first I noticed. Anyway, try the curried cashews. They go great with the dried papaya.


The passing of Norman Mailer

He died on Saturday. I'll post some thoughts and links later on.

Here's a tribute from The Nation.

New York Times obit.

Great passage from the NY Times article:

Gore Vidal, with whom he frequently wrangled, once wrote: “Mailer is forever shouting at us that he is about to tell us something we must know or has just told us something revelatory and we failed to hear him or that he will, God grant his poor abused brain and body just one more chance, get through to us so that we will know. Each time he speaks he must become more bold, more loud, put on brighter motley and shake more foolish bells. Yet of all my contemporaries I retain the greatest affection for Norman as a force and as an artist. He is a man whose faults, though many, add to rather than subtract from the sum of his natural achievements.”

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Leaving a mark

We spent the night with friends in Eureka. This morning my daughter needed to get outside so we walked over to the playground by the tennis courts on E between 14th and 15th. There are just a few play structures there, but enough to keep her occupied for a half hour or so.

One of the structures is a little playhouse with a plastic sink and stove inside. Somebody melted the front of it, apparently going to the trouble of bring an acetelyne torch. My daughters asked where are "the things you turn it on with?" I had to explain that someone removed them.

"Who did it?" my three-year-old asked, probably more curious about why.

How do you explain it? That somebody, probably an angry teenager who had gotten into his father's stuff thought he'd leave a mark? Was it a momentary satisfaction, or does he take satisfaction in his work whenever he walks by? More likely he's moved on to other projects, leaving the benefits of his creativity to the kids.

Vandalism is senseless in general, but to mess up a children's playground seems particularly low. Obviously there are much worse crimes and maybe I'm differentiating because I'm a parent. But I have to wonder about the person. What experiences in his life does he lean on for the proposition that he has the right to do something like that. How does he view his place in the world? Does he have hopes or dreams of his own? Is he underprivileged? Overprivileged? Neglected? Frustrated? Dead to the world? It took some deliberation and planning, so you can't chalk it up to a sudden drunken impulse.

Fortunately, it didn't ruin my daughter's day. A few minutes later she was cackling wildly as I pushed her on the swing.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Soccer dinner at the Moose Lodge

I concluded my first season of kids' soccer coaching today. My kids went undefeated all season, but we're not supposed to make a big deal of that. It was a fun, wet, muddy game for the kids. My son kicked two goals, but we're not supposed to make a big deal of that.

At the end of the game we met back at my house for a big team breakfast and trophies. The kids were really proud of themselves, and they were right to be. Not only did they win all their games (we're not supposed to make a big deal of that - fortunately none of the kids are likely to read this blog, even if they can read it), but they showed exceptional sportsmanship in every game, not counting a few meltdowns natural for children 4 to 6. They would compliment players on the other team who made goals (yes, I asked them to do that, but it came naturally to them). And by the end of the season, they weren't playing "bunch ball." They were passing! Like, real passes. The stronger players passed to the others. And everybody hustled back to the goal to defend whenever someone on the opposite team broke it open - every Blue Shark on the field.

My son goes up into the next age bracket next year. The field and the goals are a little bigger, they have a goalie, and a couple of additional players on the field. Not sure I have the experience to coach that level, but in two years my daughter starts playing and maybe I'll coach her team.

Meanwhile, the coaches had a special dinner in our honor at the Moose Lodge in Cutten tonight. My wife and I were the only Sohum representatives, but we had a lot of fun. The Lodge has an open flame outdoor (semi-indoor) grill where we brought our own steaks and I witnessed an amusing debate about how long it takes for medium rare which evolved into a debate about what actually constitutes medium rare. Lots of coaches were huddled in this smokey plexi-glass room while it rained outside. I enjoyed what it apparently the Moose Lodge ritual as much as the meal itself.

And my wife won a sweatshirt in the raffle.

A nice ending to a fun season. I have great respect for the people who put the soccer league together. You actually have to sign a contract in which you agree that you're only going to make positive comments to the kids at a game, which addresses problems I've witnessed in other youth sports venues, including some bad experiences in little league back when they actually sold beer at the concessions booth.

Did I mention that my kids went undefeated? We're not supposed to make a big deal about that.

Image comes from CYSA's local site. (note - it's not supposed to be that blurry, but it's the best I can do. If you click on it, it shrinks to the right size. Sometimes it spins and sometimes it doesn't. Don't ask me why.)

Friday, November 09, 2007


Sohum Hemp Fest tommorow

Click on the image to enlarge. Just in case you can't read it, here's the crucial info.

Saturday, November 10th

Hemp Awareness Health Advocates with Hemp Industries Association and MCC present The 17th annual Southern Humboldt Hemp Fest At the Mateel Community Center

Noon to 10pm

Sliding scale admission at door- $10-$20 Proceeds benefit the Mateel Community Center

For info call Lenda Hand at 986-7759 or Suzelle at 923-2586


Estelle's going to make it formal

According to a press statement, Estelle Fennell is going to announce her candidacy for Second District Supervisor on Monday. She's booked the Redway Fire Department Building at 155 Empire Avenue for a press conference at 11:00 a.m.

Basically, you turn off Briceland Road on the first left after leaving Redwood Drive, then turn left at the first intersection before you reach the school.

The election will be held next June, where the primary was before California decided to horn in on Super Tuesday. So far that makes for three candidates including Rodoni and Clendenen.

Photo comes from the Camp Betty Campout site.


Cannabis Keynesianism

I don't have time to comment in detail right now, but Bob Doran has a very intriguing NCJ article on the locally manifested macroeconomic multipliers of the medical marijuana industry.

Okay, here's a more useful multiplier definition.


Estelle returns to KMUD for a day

She came back to pitch and is on the air as I type.

I know she hasn't been on the good side of some people of late, but good for her! This is a good way to try to patch some things up, and emphasize the importance of public radio over personalities and micro-politics.

By the way, they've just past 60 grand on their pledge drive. I think the goal is 85 grand? That's a lot of money to get in one day, but it seems like a lot of pledgers like to wait until the last minute.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Ostensibly a battle of blowhards

Yeah, they yell at each other and shake hands at the end. Does anyone agree with me that it seems maybe just a little bit contrived? I'm not saying they scripted it out. Maybe they didn't even discuss it ahead of time. But the emotion seems forced, and they turn it off just a little too quickly.

Maybe I'm too cynical.

Geraldo is right however, assuming he really believes anything he says. I'm not convinced he really believes anything deeply.

The images come from this blog where you can find the video clip.


Campaign bitterness carries over post-election

Richard Marks reports on yesterday's Citizens for Port Development meeting which was apparently contentious. Kaye Strickland, who has reportedly been mellow of late, was obviously rattled by the election results.

I'm noticing that the port/rail advocates have been subdued post-election. I was so focused on my disappointment in the Quilez/Curless results that haven't even thought about how the other side must feel. Nobody's crowing about the Curless win. And the Higgins win must have knocked the wind out of them.

To be honest, I'm all for a bike trail that doesn't run right next to the highway. If there's a feasible alternative and the deep port/rail people want to let the tracks rot for a few decades more just in case, then fine.

Meanwhile, when the precinct report is released I'll take a closer look at the second division results in light of the upcoming Supervisor race.

Addendum: The Marks family is wracking up electoral wins faster than I can keep up. First Robin wins a school board spot. Now Richard is the Pulp and Paper Worker Local's president.


Oil spill in the SF Bay

Thanks to Heraldo for the heads-up. Almost 60 thousand gallons were dumped into the bay when a container ship crashed into a tower of the Bay Bridge.

Heraldo emphasizes the local angle of the recent election. The ship had just left the Oakland port when it apparently got lost in the fog.

The SF Bay didn't need any more stress on its ecology.


Premature birth - family needs help

Thanks to Sally Then for sending this.

Mindy (Dodd) Vanhorne, who was born and raised in SoHum, had an unexpected surprise on Halloween. Her baby (due in January) was born prematurely. Lola weighed just two pounds, and was 13 inches long.

Mindy is fine, and Baby Lola is at UCSF Medical Center, where she is responding well to care. Lola will need to stay at UCSF for a couple of months, so her parents, Mindy and Santa Vanhorne, will be staying down south until they can bring Lola home to SoHum.

If you would like to send a card and good wishes, or make a contribution to help Mindy and Santa with expenses, drop them off at ASIS Internet Services in Garberville.

You can also contribute directly at the Community Credit Union, account # 2155-LOLA

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