Dave Smith

Cesar Chavez: When Your Guru Goes Gaga…


uProgrammers Fred Patch, Paul Jacob, and me…

From DAVE SMITH
Redwood Valley
TheAVA

Once upon a time, members of my generation broke free and created what was labeled a “counter culture.” Because the surrounding culture was not living up to our young ideals, we began creating our own work, our own services, our own communities… and began supporting various causes.

The sixties and seventies, for me, were not about selfishness and doing our own thing, an interpretation that has been perversely sensationalized by the media. Those years were delightfully exuberant with passion, idealism, and work from the heart. Alienated by the rugged cowboy models of isolated, independent manhood, many of us practiced tribal values of mutual aid and support, the common good in community, and the use of our skills, gifts and creativity for others.

The Farmworkers Movement

During those years, from 1968 to 1973, I worked for Cesar Chavez, the charismatic Ghandian practioner of nonviolence, boycotts, and public fasts who founded the farmworkers movement and the United Farm Workers Union (UFW). After volunteering on the boycott around the Palo Alto area for a year, I was hired by Cesar to come to UFW headquarters and computerize the growing movement.

Mendo Island: Buying Books and eBooks Online Locally…


MBC400Mendocino Book Company, Ukiah

From DAVE SMITH
Redwood Valley

These three Mendocino County independent, locally-owned bookstores sell new books and ebooks online…

GalleryGallery Bookshop, Mendocino

Four-EyedFour-Eyed Frog, Gualala 

TOP TEN REASONS TO NOT ONLY SHOP LOCALLY, BUT SHOP LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES

  1. KEEP DOLLARS IN MENDOCINO COUNTY’S ECONOMY
    For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the city’s and county’s tax base. For every $100 spent at a national chain or franchise store, only $14 remains in the community.
  2. EMBRACE WHAT MAKES MENDOCINO COUNTY UNIQUE
    Where we shop, where we eat and hang out—all of it makes our village home. Chain and franchise stores are growing more aggressive and threatening to change the unique character of our town. One-of-a-kind, locally owned, independent businesses are an integral part of what makes Mendocino County a great place to live.
  3. FOSTER LOCAL JOB CREATION
    Studies show that locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than national chains.
  4. HELP THE ENVIRONMENT
    Local business owners tend to set up shop downtown and in walkable neighborhood business districts, rather than developing on the city’s fringe or in suburban strip malls accessible only by automobile.

Dave Smith: Willits Bypass Letter Exchange…


d
From DAVE SMITH
Letters to the Editor Exchange
TheAVA

THERE WILL BE CEMENT

Editor,

I would like to make one simple request of my friends in the anti-Willits bypass community; would you guys please get a life?  I mean, the deal is done; contracts have been let, ground has been broken, millions of dollars worth of equipment has been assembled to carry out the democratically expressed will of the people of California. Whatever shortcomings there may be in our democratic process, it is, in the end, the government under which we live; if you find it intolerable, try moving

‘Dave’s not here’… Mulligan Books closes for good… another door opens…


s

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Dear Friends,

After seven years of great fun in downtown Ukiah, I’ve closed Mulligan Books.

Mulligan Mail, the postal service I was running inside the store, is moving to Mendocino Book Company on School Street and will reopen, for postal services only, late June. Look for me in the back right corner of the store.

My plans are to be open Monday through Friday from 11-5. I will be selling stamps and postage, and be accepting mail and packages for shipping. USPS will be picking up your mail and packages at 5pm as always.

Thank you all for your support and love for books, and I will see you around town soon…

Fondly,

Dave
~~

Dave Smith: Ukiah Priorities Skewed…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Letter to Editors: AVA, UDJ

We all know that in emergencies, seconds count. Seconds can mean life or death.

My store on State Street in Ukiah is a vantage point for observing the response times of our first responders. As the sirens sound, first past the store is always the Fire Department paramedic ambulance, and then a few seconds later, sometimes many seconds later, comes the big, lumbering fire truck.

Chief Dewey is requesting the elimination of the Fire Department ambulance due to budget reductions of six firefighter/ paramedics (Ukiah Daily Journal 10/27/12) leaving us with fire trucks, and woefully inadequate private agencies, for emergency response. And our Police Department is so overwhelmed that the City Council is being asked to please add back police officers.

Meanwhile, our city staff seems to be hanging on to administrative jobs by unsuccessfully challenging state budget cuts to redevelopment money over and over again.

Has our leadership forgotten that their first priority is public safety? One wonders what their priorities are when they cut into bone before cutting away the fat.
~~

Dave Smith: Still the Best Damn Pizza in the Universe Bar None… (Update)


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah
Repost

When I make pizza at home, I always, always, pile way too much and way too many different ingredients on. I guess because it seems to be the American way of living large or something. Or maybe it’s because of all the choices available at Round Table and you fall into a pattern of having tons on top.

Here in Ukiah we have several good choices when we’re hankerin’ for something cheezy and greezy. There are home town favorite Marino’s and the ever-present Round Table. There are the (ugh) cheapo national chains. Schat’s offers tempting varieties sitting there amongst the croissants and sticky buns. And only recently the new owners of the Brewpub installed a pizza oven, hired away one of the Round Table managers, and offer pretty good selections which I assume are all organic. [And, just open, a new pizza restaurant on Standley.]

And then there are Greg’s pizzas at Mama’s downtown (formerly Local Flavor, and before that the Garden Bakery). Greg Shimshak says he learned pizza-making “from mama” and then honed his skills while learning and working at Alice Water’s legendary Chez Panisse in Berkeley. While there, he worked with our beloved Jacquie Lee who eventually migrated to Ukiah and opened the Garden Bakery, then retired and rented the building to Greg and Heidi. And that is why we have great, great pizzas available here in Ukiah.

I’m no sniffin’ hoity toity… my taste buds are very peasanty. Why Greg’s pizzas are incomparable is the difference between piling on the goop and the subtlety of blending just the right amount (not too much) of just the right combination of ingredients for the tastious flavors: field mushrooms, caramelized onions, goat cheese, fresh herbs; wilted kale, chorizo, onion, fontina; wilted spinach, basil pesto, onion, tomato sauce, goat cheese. And the thin crust? OMG!

Mulligan Books Opens Downtown Ukiah Post Office…


From KAREN RIFKIN
Ukiah Daily Journal

[I've edited for clarity... couldn't help myself... -DS]

Dave Smith, owner and operator of Mulligan Books & Seeds in the heart of downtown Ukiah, has expanded his business to include mail service.

“I used to go to the post office daily, and the people at the windows who worked there were friends to many of us who work downtown. When they decided to shut it down we protested with Barry Vogel and Mike Sweeney heading up the effort. People had been coming in, especially downtown merchants, concerned about the closure and its relocation to Orchard Avenue. When they finally left last December it felt like a ghost town and I definitely noticed the difference in foot traffic. I started talking to other merchants to see if [any of them were interested] in setting up a contract post office.”

“I knew it could be done and I thought it would be good for me and great for downtown. I had to apply and it took two- to three months to get everything approved. There is a lot to it and I am now on a steep learning curve. I can sell postage, stamps, weigh out packages, use express or priority mail and media and parcel post.

“I can only do domestic [mail] at this point but will be adding international pretty soon. The mail gets picked up here [five] days a week at 5 p.m. [earlier on Saturdays]

Dave Smith: Let Us Now Praise Creative Men…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

We are blessed with many creative people around our corner of the world here in Mendoland…  artists and writers and actors and musicians seem to congregate in abundance around Mendocino and Northern California mainly because, I suppose, we live in beautiful surroundings.

I would like to stop just a minute and stand in awe of a particularly rare creative talent shared by two men in our midst that I find magical. That is the ability to pull out of thin air an imaginative piece of writing against deadline.

Todd Walton and Tom Hine create interesting, topical, opinionated columns in the Anderson Valley Advertiser and Ukiah Daily Journal respectively. This is not the common commenting on today’s news that you find everywhere. This is local, original, intelligent, emotional, engaging, tragic, quirky, funny, pissed off writing… done against deadline, week in, week out, year after year after year.

I, for one, with gratitude, am amazed.
~~

Hey, Mendo Right-Wing Fascists: Ya got nothin to tell and sell but hate and fear…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

[Here in Mendo we have our Sunday Ukiah Daily Journal served frequently with a prominent helping of steaming garbage from the far right on the op-ed pages. Here to save the day, The Three Mouskateers, Messrs. Mark Albrecht, John Hendricks and Mark Rohloff have taken it upon themselves to "promote the conservative point of view in Ukiah". They do not appeal with logic nor documented systematic analysis. It's all "pot calling the kettle black" and pure, red-hot, hyperbolic hate.

Marvin Gentz, bless his heart, and others strive mightily to counter their feverish, inept, ineloquent spewing, and my fingers are getting itchy to blast them back.

With apologies to the community, public service sometimes requires us to acknowledge the existence of those who would destroy democracy if we didn't stay vigilant. Here is their latest (UDJ 5/27/12) from the fire-and-brimstone gates of Mousekateer hell... -DS]

In the beginning of our once great country, the United States of America was founded on the joint understanding that God was our guide and partner in the enterprise of freedom. Those who landed at Plymouth Rock sought the guidance of the Almighty, too, and eventually premised the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution on this relationship. In fact, the First Amendment to the Constitution states freedom of religion to be the cornerstone of our enterprise.

Dave Smith: Cesar Chavez and Me…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah
Excerpted from To Be Of Use -
The Seven Seeds of Meaningful Work (2005)

“When we are really honest with ourselves,” Cesar Chavez once said, “we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are. … Our cause goes on in hundreds of distant places. It multiplies among thousands and then millions of caring people who heed through a multitude of simple deeds the commandment set out in the book of the Prophet Micah, in the Old Testament: ‘What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.’”

While my [Fundalmentalist preacher] dad was building a church, Cesar Chavez was building a union. My dad believed that by winning others to his belief system, he was building himself a mansion in heaven on a street paved with gold. Cesar was living and organizing for a better life for farmworkers in a San Jose barrio called Sal Si Puedes, which means “Escape If You Can.”

What I loved most about the farmworkers’ movement when Cesar asked me to join in 1968 was our complete and utter absorption in the cause. The work consumed our everyday lives 24/7, and it had real meaning. I had gone from work that was, for me

Dave Smith: Best Damn Pizza in the Universe Bar None… (Update)



Oh no! This is NOT one of Greg’s pizzas!

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

When I make pizza at home, I always, always, pile way too much and way too many different ingredients on. I guess because it seems to be the American way of living large or something. Or maybe it’s because of all the choices available at Round Table and you fall into a pattern of having tons on top.

Here in Ukiah we have several good choices when we’re hankerin’ for something cheezy and greezy. There are home town favorite Marino’s and the ever-present Round Table. There are the (ugh) cheapo national chains. Schat’s offers tempting varieties sitting there amongst the croissants and sticky buns. And only recently the new owners of the Brewpub installed a pizza oven, hired away one of the Round Table managers, and offer pretty good selections which I assume are all organic.

And then there are Greg’s pizzas at Mama’s downtown (formerly Local Flavor, and before that the Garden Bakery). Greg Shimshak says he learned pizza-making “from mama” and then honed his skills while learning and working at Alice Water’s legendary Chez Panisse in Berkeley. While there, he worked with our beloved Jacquie Lee who eventually migrated to Ukiah and opened the Garden Bakery, then retired and rented the building to Greg and Heidi. And that is why we have great, great pizzas available here in Ukiah.

Dave Smith: Inequality is the problem, not the solution…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

To the Editors AVA, UDJ, WN:

In their fine, insightful book The Spirit Level, authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett offer irrefutable, empirical evidence that what matters most in determining not only the health and mortality of any society but also the prevalence of a host of other social problems — including mental illness, obesity and homicides — is how wealth is distributed or, in other words, the extent of inequality.

In the most unequal societies — US, Britain, Portugal and New Zealand — the level of homicides, mental illness, teenage pregnancies and so on is much higher than in the more equal societies, such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Japan. “The reason why these differences are so big is, quite simply, because the effects of inequality are not confined just to the least well-off; instead they affect the vast majority of the population.” Inequality causes shorter, unhealthier, unhappier lives all around.

America is one of the world’s richest nations, with among the highest figures for income per person, but has the lowest longevity of the developed nations, and a level of violence — murder, in particular — that is off the charts. For some, mainly the young, the experience of daily life at the bottom of a steep social hierarchy is enraging. The US has institutionalized economic and social inequality to the extent that, at any one time, a quarter of our respective populations are mentally ill. Yet we are constantly bombarded by the monotonous drone of the “free traders” and neo-conservatives touting low wages, low benefits and low public spending that increases inequality, and imposes unhappiness on us all, as the answer to our ills.

Dave Smith: Soul School…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah
Excerpted from To Be Of Use -
The Seven Seeds of Meaningful Work (2005)

Guy Murchie wrote a wonderful book called The Seven Mysteries of Life, published in 1978 and still in print. Subtitled An Exploration in Science and Philosophy and almost 700 pages in length, it was called by one reviewer “a staggering work of encyclopedic proportions, with a stirring noble vision to match.”

Murchie’s artful combination of scientific explanation and visionary, mystical spirit is both challenging and inspirational. Murchie writes, “The only hypothesis for the nature of this troubled world that fits all the known facts [is] the hypothesis that planet Earth, is, in essence, a Soul School.” He asks us to test that hypothesis by imagining that we are God, intent upon creating a world for the creatures we are creating to live in. Could we “possibly dream up a more educational, contrasty, thrilling, beautiful, tantalizing world than Earth to develop spirit in?” Would we want to make the world comfortable, safe, and free of danger, or “provocative, dangerous, and exciting” — as it is? He then goes on to say that the tests we meet in life are not to punish us but are here to “reveal the soul to itself,” that the world is a “workshop … for molding and refining character.”

Dave Smith: Counter Cultured…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah
Excerpted from To Be Of Use -
The Seven Seeds of Meaningful Work (2005)

Religion is something you do, not something you believe. ~Kenneth Rexroth

Once upon a time, members of my generation broke free and created what was labeled a “counter culture.” Because the surrounding culture was not living up to our young ideals, we began creating our own work, our own services, our own communities. I prefer to call what many of us were doing a “parallel culture,” as my experience was more about building something new rather than countering or opposing. Between the straight culture and the anticulture, we chose to be part of a third way, seeking to build something positive out of the chaos rather than just spending all our time protesting and demonstrating. We chose to compose new social and workplace structures and relationships, practicing and feeling them, discovering how to make them meaningful and how to restore a measure of love and joy and amazing grace to our daily work. Instead of remaining within rigid hierarchies and stratified gender roles, we were all in it together. Sure, we made mistakes, but we were willing to fail young rather than take our assigned places and nod off into the ethical and moral wasteland we found around us.

Those times in the sixties and seventies mean different things to different people, and our memories of that time are most often associated with events and places. One image we have is Woodstock: free lovin’, dope smokin’, skinny dippin’, screw-it-all, hippie heaven. Another is Berkeley: radical, peacenik, burn-it-down, anti-war, anti-nuke, anti-everything. Another is the summer of love in the Haight-Ashbury of San Francisco in 1967. At the time, I was coming of age in the center of it all, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I migrated after having grown up in South Florida, a land of racial segregation

Tiresome Times Ten…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Those of you who do not read the Ukiah Daily Journal didn’t see a response to my recent Letter to the Editors, Pursuing Happiness. My original letter is reposted, and then the response. I didn’t want you to miss it… ;-)

To The Editors:

Are you happy? Chances are, if you live here in the United States, you are not. Despite the enshrinement in our Declaration of Independence of the phrase “Pursuit of Happiness” as one of the sovereign rights of mankind, we are way down on the list of the happiest countries in the world. In fact, we are not even in the Top 10.

According to a study by “24-7 Wall Street” that looked into the OECD’s Better Life Index to determine what the happiest nations on the planet are, it turns out that the happy nations spend far more of their GDP on social programs than we do here in America. The study examined quality of life things such as health, education, housing, the environment, jobs, community, work life, and income to figure out what truly makes a nation happy.

Old, stable nations of northern Europe took five of the top 10 spots on the list. These include the “socialist” Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark, all way happier than we are down the list at number 19.

Does it surprise you that the happiest nation, Denmark, also has the highest taxes of all?

As we are continually warned and berated by the tiresome scolds in our local opinion columns and letters to the editor to fear those who hold firm on providing a basic social safety net for the least among us, we must ask ourselves what motivates such a steadfast and determined assault on our personal and community happiness.

Dave Smith
Ukiah

Dave Smith: Transition — Clothes and Cars That Last Forever…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Old Levi didn’t last forever but his old blue jeans do. I still have a pair of Levi’s 501 denims I wore in high school 50 years ago… and they still fit! The style then was to roll up the leg hems once. The blue suede shoes from Junior High are long gone but those Levi’s still sit in storage in a foot locker and if we ever have a Sock Hop in Ukiah I’m gonna to put them on…

Pity old Levi. Walmart screws up his pants along with everything else they touch

Used to be there were cars that would last forever. In the 60s it was the Plymouth Valiant getting 500,000+ miles before collapsing… and only then because they had hung around so long people started pointing and hooting at the silly fin design and they slunk off to the junkyard on their own and died there of embarrassment …

In the 70s it was the Datsun 510. I know, I had one just like this…

Dave Smith: Pursuing Happiness…


To the Editors: The AVA, UDJ, WN

Are you happy? Chances are, if you live here in the United States, you are not. Despite the enshrinement in our Declaration of Independence of the phrase “Pursuit of Happiness” as one of the sovereign rights of mankind, we are way down on the list of the happiest countries in the world. In fact, we are not even in the Top 10.

According to a study by “24-7 Wall Street” that looked into the OECD’s Better Life Index to determine what the happiest nations on the planet are, it turns out that the happy nations spend far more of their GDP on social programs than we do here in America. The study examined quality of life things such as health, education, housing, the environment, jobs, community, work life, and income to figure out what truly makes a nation happy.

Old, stable nations of northern Europe took five of the top 10 spots on the list. These include the “socialist” Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark, all way happier than we are down the list at number 19.

Does it surprise you that the happiest nation, Denmark, also has the highest taxes of all?

As we are continually warned and berated by the tiresome scolds in our local opinion columns and letters to the editor to fear those who hold firm on providing a basic social safety net for the least among us, we must ask ourselves what motivates such a steadfast and determined assault on our personal and community happiness.

Dave Smith
Ukiah
~~

Dave Smith: ‘Dumb Farmers’…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah
to be of use (2005)

The most fundamental of businesses, and one whose values I believe come closest to those taught by the wisdom traditions, is organic family farming. I’ve found my own Creative Action Heroes among the peasants and those who look at life with a peasant’s perspective — organic market farmers, organic restaurateurs, and others involved with the organic food movement. Their mission, and the missions of their businesses, address a problem, either directly or indirectly, that touches all of our lives: environmental pollution from toxic chemicals on the land, in our water, and in our food that cause health problems.

Our culture’s idyllic idea of the small farm features the white farmhouse with the red barn, chickens clucking in the barnyard, pastured animals munching sleepily on green hills, and the farmer rocking gently on the front porch at dusk. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. A small organic or sustainable farm is a beehive of swarming activity from before first light until way after the sun has disappeared. I remember reading somewhere that 70 percent of Americans, if they had the choice, would live on a farm. Whether or not they would choose to work that farm is another matter entirely.

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