Monday, 24 June 2024

Opinion

What is the purpose of the yearly ceremony and prayer at Bloody Island, why remember 100 to 150 innocent Pomo men, women, children and infants who died there on May 15, 1850 at the hand of dragoons under Captain Lyon and of a militia?


The world has known, and continues to perpetuate, countless atrocities.


The pages of history are soaked with blood. Why focus on what could, in the light of such global and massive barbarism, appear almost irrelevant in scope and in the perspective of time?


No human life is ever irrelevant.


All victims are first dehumanized. In the case of California Indians, they were widely described to stand, on the ladder of evolution, scarcely above animals, so they could be murdered, raped, enslaved, dispossessed, wiped out without disturbing the conscience of those who perpetuated these crimes, the nation that condoned it, the identity of the religion that was said to lead and inspire this nation, and the idea of civilization itself.


For the dominant culture to remember the Native people who were butchered on Bloody Island is to honor their humanity. This is a process that is absolutely necessary in spiritual as well as human terms, even though contemporary members of the dominant culture did not commit these crimes.


Lucy Moore was a survivor of the Bloody Island massacre, we know her Native name, Ni’ka, it is important. How many of those who were buried in a mass grave are remembered today? How many still have a name? How sad that the name of a child, of a mother would vanish from the earth for all times.


The dominant culture still benefits from the outcome of these crimes, which are stolen lands and resources; the very wealth and power of this nation originated from the gold extracted from Indian lands at a price that was no less than attempted genocide.


This nation claims to be a moral leader. It claims to have been divinely inspired to settle this continent and to ultimately lead the world as a beacon of human rights and freedom. It assumes these positions at the cost of the denial or distortion of its own history, still refusing to acknowledge that its basement is flooded with the blood and the tears of the Native victims whose only fault was to be living in their own country, and therefore stand in the way of invasion.


The rationalization of such historical crimes, the denial of the fact that invasion is morally indefensible in all circumstances and at all times, the still prevalent belief that the march of what is called progress somehow validates cultural and even physical genocides, which are then said to be regrettable but unavoidable, has allowed the world to stand in approval or to bow in cowardly submission in the face of the destruction of many indigenous cultures and people.


By refusing to acknowledge and learn from the past, the world is ensuring that it will keep repeating the same mistakes. The point of acknowledging a disease is not guilt but healing. When pathology is rationalized, when a flag, a nation, a government, a religion, a civilization or any cause, concept or ideology are presented as institutions, achievements or goals worthy of any means of implementation or preservation, human beings are tortured, enslaved, raped, humiliated, exploited, killed in the name of the highest aspirations and ideals, and the world itself sinks in ever deeper despair and hopelessness, for freedom becomes tyranny, war is said to be the greatest tool for peace, hate and prejudice replace love, compassion and forgiveness, inequity is confused with justice, and the only distinction between punishable crimes and those that are not is in the position and power of the person, institution or nation that commits these crimes.


Raphael Montoliu lives in Lakeport.

 

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We are all aware, from newspaper accounts and from firsthand information acquired in the courtroom, that Renato Hughes has been charged with the murder of childhood friends Christian Foster and Rashad Williams, although he was not the shooter.


However, we are equally aware that Shannon Edmonds admitted shooting to death both Foster and Williams. We are also aware that, to date, Shannon Edmonds has yet to be charged with any offense.


In that vein, we pose the below questions:


1) Is Shannon Edmonds to be charged with any offense?


2) When did it become lawful for any person to shoot in the back (multiple times) and kill, two fleeing, alleged robbers? [Record Bee, 1/29/2006]


3) Has it "yet been determined whether Edmonds shot the men [Foster and Williams] while they were inside the house, outside the house or both," since that was a factor that would help determine whether Edmonds would be prosecuted, according to an article which appeared in the Press Democrat, December 10, 2005?


4) Was the weapon (Browning automatic) used by Edmonds, legally obtained and registered?

5) What about the lighting conditions in the predawn hours of Dec. 8, 2005?


6) Is Edmonds an expert marksman?


7) What about the quantity of marijuana found and taken from the Edmonds residence?


8) What is the legal amount of medical marijuana in Lake County?


9) Did Edmonds have more than the legal limit of medical marijuana, and for what purpose? According to an investigative officer of the Clearlake Police Department, from testimony given and reported in the Record-Bee (1/19/2006), he (the officer) "call(ed) the five bags of marijuana found and a not quite-full zip bag of the substance 'an acceptable amount,' with an overall street value of less than $5,000."


He continued by stating, "It could have been for sale, but five bags of marijuana is secondary in my opinion. I was called out to a double homicide investigation. While I was investigating the double homicide, I confiscated the marijuana."


10) Why was there no investigation done with regard to the amount of marijuana found at the residence of Edmonds after the killing of these two young men?

 

And, (11) Why wasn't the person identified by Edmonds, to a Clearlake Police Department officer, at the scene of the shooting, detained until the investigators could sort out “who did what to whom” and definitively determine if the person Edmonds identified was complicit in this incident, as Edmonds stated in front of the officer?


Finally, Lake County's chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) expects the fair dispensation of justice, in the Hughes matter, by the judicial system.


We believe, based on the above unanswered questions, that Edmonds and the unidentified fourth person at the scene of the crime on Dec. 8, 2005, should have been arrested and have to await their day in court.


Aqeela El-Amin Bakheit is president of the Lake County branch of the NAACP.

"She pushed the light of the language a little further against the darkness,” E.M. Forster said of Virginia Stephen Woolf.


"To know the psyche of Virginia Woolf, and this is what she is in effect asking of a biographer, one

would have to be either God or Virginia, preferably God," wrote Quentin Bell, her biographer and nephew.


Woolf was born Jan. 25, 1882, at the height of the Victorian Era, and has since become an important figure in the history of women and literature. So it's fitting to remember her during March, Women's History Month, the same month in which she died 66 years ago.


Bell, the son of Clive and Vanessa Stephen (Virginia's sister), grew up amongst the Bloomsbury

Group.


"What did you feel when she walked in a room?" someone once asked him.


"I don't know," he replied. "She was my aunt. I wasn't observing for posterity's sake, I was just living."


I've only ever met two people who actually met Bell – one of them is Sandra Wade, Lake County's Poet Laureate.


Anne Olivier Bell, the editor of Virginia's diaries, saw Virginia only once.


"It was across a crowded room, in the summer of 1939," she said in an interview two years ago. "She was like a vision."


"The exteme beauty of her writing," Eudora Welty wrote, "is due greatly to one fact, that the imprisonment of life within the word was as much a matter of the senses with Virginia Woolf as it was a concern of the intellect."


Virginia wrote of "Orlando," he who became she and skated through centuries of time. She wrote of "Mrs. Dalloway," a day in the life. She wrote of "A Room Of One's Own."


"If truth is to be found on the shelves of the British Museum, where I asked myself picking up a notebook and a pencil is truth?" she said in the latter, an essay Quentin Bell claims is "very close to her conversational style."


Not to forget the "Letters," in six volumes edited by Nigel Nicholson and Joanne Trautmann; the other

essays, nine volumes, including "The Common Reader, First Series," and "The Second Common Reader;" the non-fiction biographies of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's dog, "Flush," and of "Roger Fry."


There are books about Virginia and books about and by Leonard Woolf, her husband. There are books about Bloomsbury and books about Bloomsbury People. There are even books about Virginia and Leonard's Hogarth Press.


And there is the other fiction, from the most famous, "To The Lighthouse," to the early, "The Voyage Out," to her masterpiece, "The Waves."


Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, her American publisher, has helped make Virginia Woolf's life one of the most examined in literary history.


From this, Edward Albee has his play, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"


From this, Madison, Wis. has its feminist bookstore, "A Room of One's Own."


From this, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich had its centenary editions of "A Room of One's Own," "Mrs. Dalloway," "To The Lighthouse;" and a play, "Virginia" by Edna O'Brien.


From this the composer and once member of another Bloomsbury Group (his first rock band) Sigmund Snopek III has his symphonic song, "Virginia Woolf."


"Virginia walked into the sea, because she wanted nothing to be," Sigmund sings.


He told me one midnight morning in the 1970s of Virginia coming to him in a dream ... inspiring a piece of music about singing and life, suicide and dreams and "a sea, which rhymes better than the River Ouse does with 'be'."


Does a vision of Virginia singing seem strange?


She wrote to Violet Dickinson in 1927: "Many scenes have come and gone unwritten, since it is today 4th September. A cold gray blowy day, made memorable by the sight of a kingfisher and my sense, waking early, of being visited by 'the spirit of delight.' 'Rarely comest thou spirit of delight.' That was me singing this time last year; and sang so poignantly that I have never forgotten it."


Sigmund told me later that he had never read Virginia Woolf.


I believed him and it no longer seemed strange.


Though "A Room of One's Own" most closely approaches Virginia in the flesh, I remain partial to "The

Common Readers" particularly to her essay, "The Russian Point of View."


Here it seems, in describing Dostoevsky's writing, she describes her own:


"It is all the same to him whether you are noble or simple, a tramp or a great lady. Whoever you are, you are the vessel of this perplexed liquid, this cloudy, yeasty, precious stuff, the soul. The soul is not

restrained by barriers. It overflows, it floods, it mingles with the souls of others ... nothing is outside

Dostoevsky's province, and when he is tired, he does not stop, he goes on. He cannot restrain himself. Out it tumbles upon us, hot, scalding, mixed, marvelous, terrible, oppressive the human soul."


"Her words are very strange," Aldous Huxley once said.

"They're very beautiful, aren't they?” he wrote. “But one gets a curious feeling from them. She sees with incredible clarity, but always as through a sheet of plate glass. Her books are not immediate. They're very puzzling to me."


Yet there remains that incredible clarity.


And there remains Vanessa writing to Madge Vaughn about Virginia in 1904:


"She is really quite well now except that she does not sleep very well and is inclined to do too much

in some ways ... she ought not to walk very far or for a very long time alone.


"... Now she goes out before beginning to write in the morning for one-half an hour alone ..."


And there remains that final walk into the River Ouse, 28 March 1941.


She wrote, before going out this time. "I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we cannot go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time ..."


Then, she took a stone, placed it in her pocket, walked alone into the river and drowned like Ophelia,

leaving our sight, but never our minds.


Yes, "Virginia walked into the sea." But before she did she pushed the light of the language a little

further against the darkness."


"Rarely comest thou, spirit of delight."


E-mail Gary Peterson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Image
A pregnant doe that was killed by a car in Hughes' neighborhood with a sign warning people to slow down nearby. Photo by Georgia Hughes.
 

 

Last weekend, one of our neighbors who was out for a morning walk knocked on our door to inform us that our neighborhood's doe was lying dead in our next-door neighbor's driveway.


But, there was something else that she didn't see.

 

Not only was the doe dead, but the car that had "hit and run" the doe, caused her to abort her fawn judging from the size of the unborn fawn, it probably could have been saved if the driver could have stopped to check.


I'm thinking that the driver probably saw the deer go down and stop moving so didn't stop. It did knock out some of the plastic light casings off of the car.

 

People must be aware that it is springtime and animals are showing up in places they generally do not show up in.

 

The area where we live is very rural and supports many different animals; still, they haven't all been "crowded out" yet by development, but change is unfortunately coming with new planned developments out this way.


Next on our streets near my home will be baby skunks. I usually end up having to call local rescue each year for baby skunks that have been stranded when their mother is killed due to people driving without care down our nice straight road of one-quarter mile. Most people drive the straight road like the highway it used to be many moons ago.

 

This doe is from a very small herd that visits our region each year to raise their young (perhaps we will never see them again after this). So far, I have not seen another doe, only a buck. No one feeds them and this small herd (the most I have counted in my 10 years out here is about four) is always very healthy looking, unlike the large herd in Hidden Valley.


This doe's death touched many of us who live out this way. You see, many of us chose to live rurally and not side by side in our homes like in most subdivisions in our area. We enjoy listening and viewing our local coyote herd, nearby cows, our few remaining jackrabbits and one remaining red fox, as well as seeing our local group of wild turkeys, raccoons, opossums, one pair of nesting ring-necked pheasants, turtles, etc.


In order to help our local animals, I feel we must do as much as possible to help spread the word to those who are unaware and this is why I'm writing.


The sign my husband and I erected next to the doe reads: "Dead mother and unborn fawn please drive slowly."


We had to view the deer for two full days ... the police department told us to call Fish and Game, but they are closed on the weekends; after that, the police department had no idea what to do. Next we called our local rescue person; she said that Timberline Disposal has the contract to pick up dead animals, but they were also closed.


Finally, one of our neighbors who owns a pickup truck was able, with my husband's help, to load the two deer up and take them to local field. Hopefully the vultures and others were able to at least have a meal and their deaths were not a complete waste.

 

Georgia Hughes lives in Clearlake.


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The Clearlake City Council has enthusiastically and proudly appointed Mr. Dale Neiman as our permanent city administrator. Mr. Neiman possesses all of the attributes that our community has been looking for in our future leader. We believe that Clearlake has finally found the diamond it has been in search of for so many years.


All of us as citizens can do our part so that Mr. Neiman and our city can succeed. This all begins with a dream that our city has had for a long time. It is the dream of our city for our community to come together and work together. We can build this dream if we all have a willingness to want to try to succeed.


Our community is a profile of many people from different walks of life. Some are business owners and professionals in their prospective fields, some are hardworking citizens, some are retired and others are interested in the welfare of our city. We all share various cultures and customs.


The one thing that we all share and have in common is that we all live within the community. It is the affection of our city that we each possess in one degree or another and the respect for each other that will determine our city’s future. The opportunities within our city are at our doorstep, but we must open the door together.


The future of our city will always be surrounded by hopes and dreams which can become realities if we keep in the forefront all of us working together for the betterment of our community. By doing this, we can achieve anything. We all want a city that we can be proud of. No longer do we have to settle for less than we can do. Our successes are only limited if we allow them to be.


Our city now has a fresh beginning. It is a beginning that we can all be a part of. We have learned that there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going. It is important that we come together, sharing in the thrill of our victories and the agony of our defeats. Defeats will not weaken us, but rather they will strengthen us if we join together and remain united. The strength we find in each other will help us meet the challenges that we face.


Our historical predecessors built our great nation with generations of people working together in order that our nation would have a legacy to bestow on future generations. They stood together regardless of successes or failures, setting the stage for our future. They gave us the tools to work with. It is now up to us to put these tools to use.


A community that works and builds together will always stand together. City officials cannot build this city alone. We can only build our city with the help of our citizens, as the heart of the city is the people within. There is no elevator to success. We must all climb the stairs together if we are to succeed. Embrace your city, as the city belongs to all of us. When you help your city, you help your fellow neighbor. We are all equal, so we should all share in the equality of our city.


America is the land of opportunity. Clearlake is the land of hope. It is time for all of us to exercise the will to make changes in order that we begin to work together. Let us all join together so that no artificial barriers of any kind will ever be able to cast a shadow over our city. Together, we can create the image that will become our city’s legacy.


Let us all honor the splendor of the characteristics of our community, the richness of our various cultures and the courage and fortitude to embark together on unchartered areas which will enrich the diversity of our wonderful community. We can all be confident and proud that whatever we do, protection and preservation of public health, safety and welfare will always surround our city.


Judy Thein is mayor of the City of Clearlake.

Image
Laurelee Roark and her two dogs on the march. Courtesy photo.

 

 

On Sunday, March 18, my two dogs and I along with tens of thousands of our peacenik friends marched from the San Francisco ferry building to the civic center. In a rainbow of colors, ages and organizations we chanted slogans, sung songs of peace, beat drums and growled at the war in Iraq, as well as the politicians who put us there. The sheer number of people stretching for three plus miles and spanning the entire length of Market Street brought tears in my eyes and a fire in my belly.


I have been marching against wars for over 30 years. Later in the day, I was asked by a Republican friend of mine, "Well, how's it working so far?" The only answer I have is, "It is for the experience of being with like-minded people that makes me show up to every peace rally, each and every single time I can."


Being a very progressive liberal who is outspoken against the war and the policies of a failed war-mongering administration, sometimes I feel very lonely. Especially with the right-wing media yelling that it is the anti-war people who are the ones not supporting the troops. All that is needed to see

how crazy that might be is to be reminded about the Walter Reed Hospital scandal.


As the fourth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war arrives it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that we, the people of the United States, are systematically and constantly told the exact opposite of the truth.


However, being at a place where peace is affirmed by thousands of Americans simply brings me back to reality. As I saw this weekend, there is a huge ground swell of just plain everyday people who want and demand that the war machine stop now.


No more killing. No more bombing. No more. Not in our name, not for our country and not for our children or grandchildren. The people who lied us into this war must be brought to trial, impeached and then put in prison for the rest of their natural lives.


We have had enough. Three thousand of our bravest young men and women and thousands of innocent Iraqis is more than enough. Vote. Get on your feet and march. Find your voice and call your elected official. Like Vietnam, the war will not stop until we make it stop.


As the old anti-war song goes, "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!"


Laurelee Roark lives Clearlake Oaks with her husband and two dogs.

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