The Carmel Pine Cone

October 17, 2014
WORD-SEARCH puzzles in
the classified pages of daily newspapers
don’t necessarily stretch the intellect.
If anything, they test your ability to stare
at a grid of random letters. Stare long
enough, and eventually you’ll find all the
“hidden words.” I’ve successfully finished a
couple of them over the years — when bored
out of my skull and after slamming the crossword puzzle — but their completion brings
no real sense of accomplishment.
But I was wholly frustrated
when a word-search puzzle
was placed before me the
other day in Monterey.
Blame it on the voices.
I was asked to find a dozen
words hidden in a 20-by-20 grid. Easy
words. Words with a lot of z’s. But I was only
able to find a single word in 10 minutes.
Try concentrating on anything when the
voices in your head are taunting, whispering,
trying to convince you that you’re a worthless piece of excrement. They’re loud.
They’re aggressive. And they won’t shut up.
They are like Satan’s answer to your
guardian angel.
I tried to finish the puzzle in a room filled
with 50 other people. Most of them were
police officers. The ugly voices also filled
their heads.
One of the cops found five words. We
were all impressed.
None of us were schizoaffective, and the
voices were channeled into our brains via ear
buds attached to iPods in a sensory demonstration led by representatives of a crisis
intervention team from Chattanooga, Tenn.
The demonstration was one of dozens of
workshops presented this week during a
three-day conference of an international
organization to promote Crisis Intervention
More than 1,000 police officers from
communities around the world attended the
conference in Monterey, and they were all
true believers in the CIT philosophy.
CIT is a law-enforcement partnership
with mental-health professionals and advocates that teaches cops to be caring and
empathetic, particularly during their on-duty
contacts with the mentally ill. In communities across the planet, thousands of peace
officers take the 40-hour course so that their
future encounters with the mentally ill don’t
end in tragedy.
With so many high-profile shootings by
police officers grabbing headlines these
days, it’s gratifying to see so many passionate cops in one place, extolling the virtue of
kinder and gentler police work.
AT THE Crossroads Safeway recently, I
Many of the CIT leaders are old-timers
who had been set in their old police ways
until they recognized that too many good citizens in their communities were being killed
because they were sick, because they had
brain disorders, because they were misunderstood.
Time after time in Monterey this week,
buzzwords like “collaboration” and “partnerships” were used to describe the unlikely
beyond the realm
alliances that have been developed in communities that are key to CIT’s growing success. The alliances involved cops, social
workers, mental-health professionals and
anxious community advocates, none of
whom shared common agendas.
“We didn’t want mental-health people in
our business, and we were happy to stay out
of mental health’s business,” said Wade
Johnson, a retired police captain in
Meridian, Miss., who originally struggled
with the CIT philosophy. “But, when it
comes down to it, we are public servants.
And if we’re true public servants, we’re here
to help people.”
And if peace officers are going to help
people, they need to forge good relationships
with the social workers and the advocates.
In Florida’s Dade County, a judge who
was a former public defender managed to
convince police officers to participate in
what is arguably the most successful CIT
program in the country.
Before officers in Dade County were
trained in crisis intervention, police were
killing at least one person with a mentalhealth issue every month, on average, said
Judge Steve Leifman. In the past six years, a
total of four police-involved shootings were
But it doesn’t stop there.
With the help of a 1 percent tax approved
by voters in Dade County, the region has
built about 6,400 units for homeless people,
said Leifman. Now, when “criminals” with
mental-health or addiction issues show up in
court for non-violent crimes, they are given
the option of serving their terms in jail or
seeking treatment.
Eighty percent opt for treatment, and they
are immediately placed in a housing unit and
linked with treatment specialists. As a result,
From page 3A
water project that would produce enough water to replace
what’s being taken from the Carmel River. The state water
board in late 2009 ordered Cal Am to come up with an alternative supply, saying pumping of the river harms the steelhead trout and red-legged frog that inhabit it.
“The question would be, how to have our cake and eat it,
The Golden
Pine Cones
The Sour Cream Wars
Cops walk a mile inside
the heads of the mentally ill
The Carmel Pine Cone
See LIVERNOIS page 31A
observed two couples from Texas arguing
over which groceries to buy for their Carmel
vacation rental.
One guy says, “How ’bout we get some
nice biscuits?”
The other guy says, “Where you gonna
find a decent biscuit in this town?
Californians don’t know diddly squat about
The first guy says, “It don’t matter. My
special red-eye gravy, will save it.”
And the second guy says, “Last time you
made red-eye gravy we all got
sicker than hound dogs at a
“Don’t blame my gravy!
Y’all got sick from eating that
damned sushi, and it serves
you right!”
Ah, the joy of vacationing
with others. I know it all too well.
When I was a teenager, in order to escape
the sizzling summers in Jersey City, my
father took our family to a rented house on
the Jersey Shore. Pop lost his store during
the Depression, and after that he sold dry
goods out of a block-long 1932 customized
Buick sedan. From his “department store on
wheels,” he could work anywhere
The summer rental had six bedrooms.
Our family squeezed into three of them, and
Pop rented out the others to three retired
widows — Mrs. Kurtz, Mrs. Weiss and Mrs.
Bobka. The same three women every summer.
Mrs. Kurtz was overbearing and constantly bragged about her daughter, the psychiatrist. She knew everything except how to stay
on a diet. Her late husband owned a candy
store, and she owed her ample curves to the
Hershey’s Corporation.
Mrs. Weiss was a retired milliner. She
was in the habit of wearing a rosy hat morning, noon and night — the same red hat, day
in and day out.
The third woman, Mrs. Bobka, was sweet
natured and quiet. She rarely spoke, because
she had no teeth. Her gums were bald. Kurtz
the high-handed candy queen once chided
her for not wearing her dentures. Mrs. Bobka
said, “They don’t fit.”
“But you told me they fit perfectly,” Kurtz
“They fit in my mouth OK, but not in the
glass,” Bobka replied.
Our summer rental had two refrigerators.
One for our family, and one for the Merry
Widows. Each woman had her own shelf in
the refrigerator — the root of all the squabbling.
Every night after supper, they’d sit on the
front porch, Kurtz straining the porch swing
built for two, Weiss sporting her usual red
hat, and Bobka working her shiny gums.
too?” Burnett asked. “We don’t want to pay for two separate
entities forever, but we we want to continue on the focus that
the water authority has brought to the Peninsula.”
Burnett said he and Cullem will come up with options for
disbanding the mayors’ group and will present them to the
mayors for consideration. County supervisors have also
asked the group for its long-term plans.
Because the water district was created through legislation
in 1978, it will likely take legislation to change its structure,
Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Sala pointed out at last week’s
Three widows with nothing better to do but
quibble over nothing.
The bickering usually started with an
innocent comment.
Weiss would say to Kurtz, “I see you had
four blintzes for supper” And Kurtz would
fire back, “I woulda had strawberries, too,
but a certain Ma Barker stole them from my
shelf in the ice box.”
Weiss: “What are you insinuating? That I
stole your lousy strawberries? I don’t even
like strawberries!”
Kurtz: “No? Then what’s that red stain on
Wilde Times
your dress?”
Weiss: “If it’s any of your business, it’s
Sometimes Bobka would gum out a few
words: “I like borscht. You don’t have to
Kurtz: “Don’t butt in, Mrs. Poligrip. I’m
talking to Mrs. Baby Face Nelson here.
Besides the strawberries, this crook also
stole my sour cream.”
Weiss: “For your information, Mrs. J.
Edgar Hoover, that was my sour cream. I
bought it two months ago.”
Kurtz: “You kept sour cream two months?
You wanna drop dead from poison?”
Weiss: “Sour cream doesn’t go bad. It’s
already turned. You could keep it a year it
stays sour. And tastes perfectly fine, except
on rotten strawberries.”
Kurtz: “Aha! So you did steal my strawberries.”
Weiss: “I may have tested one. Just to
check my sour cream.”
Kurtz” “Tested? So how come three are
Weiss: “Maybe it was two. It was dark. I
thought it was my shelf.”
Kurtz: “How could it be your shelf? Mine
is on the top, yours is on the bottom!”
Weiss: “So sue me.”
Kurtz: “When my daughter the psychiatrist comes down, I’m gonna have her analyze you to find out what kind of a crazy
lunatic stores up poisonous sour cream and
steals strawberries.”
Weiss: “Your daughter the cockamamie
psychiatrist is divorced five times. Better she
should analyze herself and find out why she
can’t keep a husband.”
Bobka, gumming her words: “Kurtz, you
should get your daughter the psychiatrist
together with Weiss’s son. They both like
See WILDE page 31A
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October 31st
The Carmel
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Mark Ryan
October 17, 2014
From page 28A
follow them. It is not enough to simply ask for a Kumbaya
Chris Tescher, Carmel
How would she feel?
Dear Editor,
I, like many people in your readership area, have applauded your efforts to expose what were such egregious acts of
mismanagement by Jason Stilwell and his henchwoman,
Susan Paul. Without your continual efforts and those of the
citizens that united against the shady dealings at Carmel City
Hall, more employees’ careers and livelihoods would most
likely have been destroyed, aided and abetted by a city council that had obviously turned a blind eye to a rotten apple in
their midst.
What should continue to alarm the residents of Carmel is
the quote from councilwoman Victoria Beach at the last
council meeting wherein she spoke of the council’s requirement under Clause 9, in which the council has a “duty” to
protect Stilwell’s professional reputation and she basically
begged the public to keep quiet about the fiasco, saying “I’m
asking the public to help with this Clause 9. It’s what we
pledged to do, what we are obligated to do, and we hope they
help with that.”
The residents of Carmel should be asking councilwoman
Beach exactly “why” the public should keep quiet about
Stilwell’s actions, and the council’s complicity in lack of
oversight and protection of the public interests. Beach and
her compatriots abandoned the trust of the public with their
almost undying backing of Stilwell, and the public has every
right and need to spread the news far and wide so it does not
happen again, perhaps to another community. I wonder how
Beach would feel if she was one of the terminated employees, instead of a member of the council that had given
Stilwell a blank check.
Don Lassig, Pacific Grove
Commission ‘knuckled under’
Dear Editor,
For the past couple of months, it was a great pleasure that
I could walk a few blocks to town and listen to live music at
Barmel. But on Thursday, I was shocked to learn that the
planning commission had revoked the live music permit it
issued when Barmel opened. On the city-website I then read
the planning commission “Supplement” (Oct. 8), which were
the minutes of its Sept. 10 meeting. After reading the complaints from only two residents, I was flabbergasted.
The planning commission is not a court of law. Thus, rules
of evidence are different and people are not bound by oath to
tell the truth. For example, one resident claimed “merchants
have objected to the noise.” This seems odd since most merchants have closed their doors and gone home by the time
music started at Barmel. Why weren’t the merchants identified; or, more to the point, why didn’t they speak for themselves? This is “hearsay” testimony, but in this case we don’t
even know who supposedly complained. There is no mention
of neighbors complaining about the noise that obviously one
would expect if, in fact, “some” merchants did. Furthermore,
there is no record the police were ever called regarding
alleged noise.
The assertion that “a dance floor was installed and it was
operating with a nightclub atmosphere” was opinion that
should not be accepted as fact. On no occasion did I see a
purported dance floor, much less anyone dancing. In fact,
what the owner did install was a decibel-metering device to
ensure that compliance with the city noise ordinance was
Barmel was off to a fantastic start as a neighborhood bar
featuring local artists playing live music. But, knuckling
under to political pressure by only two residents, the planning
commission was swayed by their unsubstantiated commentary. This represents another black eye for the City of Carmel
and how its government makes decision. Sadly, the citizens
who enjoy live music are suffering the consequences.
Joseph A. Braun Jr., Carmel
‘Disgust’ at planning commission
Dear Editor,
On Oct. 8 I attended the planning commission meeting.
One of the agenda items involved the use permit for Barmel.
Apparently, there have been allegations of violations of the
permit. Although these violations were neither clearly stated
nor substantiated, the commission saw fit to restrict the terms
of the permit in what seemed to be a punitive manner.
Commissioner Keith Paterson was openly hostile to Gabe
Georis, (the owner of Barmel), and addressed him in a manner that was condescending and smug. He returned repeatedly to (and pouted about) the fact that Barmel’s name had been
changed (from High Tide) without the consent of the commission, something I gather was not required, and which was
completely irrelevant to the matter of the use permit. The acting chair, when asked by Georis’ representative to explain
how the charges had been substantiated, simply replied that
he “felt” that they were true and that he didn’t have to explain
A parade of concerned individuals, who seemed to constitute some sort of self-appointed Carmel Temperance
Committee, (and who were apparently the source of the complaint), bemoaned the number of bars in Carmel, which is
also irrelevant. In fact, it seemed to me that they could cite
only one “violation”: dancing had been permitted at a location that served alcohol, in defiance of an archaic 1930s law.
I am not writing in support of restoring Barmel’s use permit — although I favor it — but rather to register my anger
and disgust with the way the commission handled the matter.
The fact that they decided to restrict a respectable business
based entirely on a complaint that had not even been investigated is appalling and grossly unfair. It is something I would
have expected from a Salem tribunal, not from a group of
people trusted with running of our city.
Hopefully, the city council will review and reverse the
commission’s decision. As one of the speakers at the meeting
commented, “Decisions must be based on facts, not on your
‘feelings.’” No one could have said it better.
Steven M. Beutler, Carmel
Be smart about legislating beach fires
“At this very moment, a team of two people are architecting the future of the public’s Carmel beach fire experiences.”
Dear Editor,
That may or may not raise the hair on the back of your
neck. You might rest easily if the team had a clearly defined
From previous page
cery store and in a steel mill, and been a carpenter’s apprentice — among other things. He’d also done collections and
skip tracing for General Motors Acceptance Corporation,
which financed cars.
Although he was good at the work and enjoyed it, it was
dangerous — California drivers didn’t like repo men then,
either — and it would take too much time away from his
studies. He left that job for part-time work and began his education in 1954.
In 1956, Scheid transferred to Claremont, and at age 25
— which he thought old — he was accepted into Harvard’s
MBA program.
In 1959, he graduated and was hired by E.F. Hutton — the
beginning of a relationship that would continue in some form
or other for the remainder of his career in banking and investment. In the early 1970s, he and some other investors bought
the land in the Salinas Valley that would become Scheid
Vineyards. For many years, they grew grapes to sell to other
winemakers. But by 2000, Scheid had bought out the other
investors, his son Scott was CEO, and they’d begun making
his namesake wines. Now the winery boasts 14 labels and
sells grapes from four AVAs in Monterey and San
Benito counties to 30 other winemakers. His daughter
Heidi and son Tyler also work there.
There’s plenty more to Scheid’s life story, including a
roller coaster of a love affair with a sweetheart from
Bridgeport, but you’ll have to read the memoir to learn more.
The book is permeated with Forrest Gump happenstance,
Scheid’s dogged work ethic, appreciation for those who
helped him, and the mild sense of surprise he felt each time
he reached a goal. He still advises his son on the winery, but
he lives in Southern California and enjoys traveling, reading
(when he’s not writing), and of course, a nice glass of wine.
Al Scheid’s autobiography, “Breaking out of Beerport,”
will be available at the end of the month on and
at the Scheid Tasting Room at San Carlos and Seventh.
The Carmel Pine Cone
set of goals and objectives, or if they were following a structured process for problem solving.
But they don’t and they aren’t.
No activity succeeds without having a clear set of goals
and objectives at the outset. For important tasks subject to
critical review, goals and objectives must be written in detail,
published, and understood by the public before any work is
Two reasons: 1. Public servants have a fiduciary responsibility to their constituency to be transparent in their processes. Legislating without clear objectives is akin to shooting
with loose cannons — you might hit the target, but you’re
guaranteed to cause collateral damage. 2. It saves time and
effort. When we know our destination and route, we arrive
sooner and with less wasted effort!
This isn’t rocket science. Goals are general. Objectives
are specific and support the achievement of a goal. A handy
mnemonic reminds us how to write effective objectives. It’s
SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant (to
the Goal), and Time-specific.
The subcommittee published their “objectives” on Oct 9.
Presumably, this is what we will use to judge their work.
Word-for-word they are:
1. Alternatives suggested by citizens range on a continuum from ban fires to do nothing. Banning fires is not being
explored; however, doing nothing is also not acceptable.
2. Forest and beach commission has chosen to find a middle ground, that is, to address the issues of environmental
impact on Carmel Bay, the air and the beach, as well as issues
of trash, crowds, safety and reputation while still preserving
the tradition of beach fires in Carmel.
Obviously, these aren’t SMART. Consequently, the public
is at the mercy of the unwritten agendas of this subcommittee
and will be in a very poor position at the end of this process.
Meanwhile, the subcommittee may justify victory in every
Scott McKenzie, Carmel
Yes on Measure A
Dear Editor,
My husband and I have been listening to a course about
historical turning points in American history, and one of
those turning points has been how technology, specifically
computers, has impacted our country. Educationally, this
innovation has stimulated the way we learn and has increased
the rigor expected from today’s students. Beginning in
kindergarten, students augment the subjects of math and
reading through the computer lab. Additionally, teachers add
to the chalk-and-board lessons of the past by using computer
technology to help explain subject matter more clearly.
Common Core Standards expect students to be capable of
doing Smarter Balance assessments by third grade — a computer based assessment. This leads me to the situation in
Pacific Grove where I am a teacher. Students are being shortchanged because our technology is not keeping up. The computers we have are outdated and in short supply. They are not
reliable, and they oftentimes freeze-up during lessons.
What can we do to help? Measure X was Pacific Grove
Unified School Districts’ funding for technology. We no
longer have those monies as of June 2014. Measure A, an
education technology bond, will help assure our teachers,
parents, and students that they will continue to be part of a
School District that is innovative and forward thinking.
Voting YES on Measure A is the way to make this happen.
Unquestionably the next generation is worth this investment.
Kathy Hunter, teacher
Pacific Grove Unified School District
From page 29A
the homeless population in Dade County has been reduced
from a high of 8,000 to 800, Leifman said.
(And, yes, this is a city in Florida that approved a sales tax
and came up with a kinder, gentler way of dealing with their
desperate citizens!)
The goal of CIT is to create officers who resolve problems
peacefully, who balance authority with compassion.
Which is why 50 officers spent more than 30 minutes in
Monterey this week trying to accomplish basic tasks while
angry voices echoed through their brains. The point of the
simulation was to give officers some idea of what schizophrenics are dealing with.
With loud and insulting voices driving them to distraction,
the officers tried to read a silly article about how to become
a successful rock star. With the voices telling them they are
worse than excrement, they struggled to answer basic questions on the reading comprehension test.
Asked to recite the Star Spangled Banner, line by line and
with the angry voices burning through their skulls, nearly
everyone in the room embarrassed themselves.
The experience transformed perspectives.
Capt. Charles Lowery Jr. of the Hamilton County
Sheriff’s Office in Chattanooga, Tenn., refers to the “mindset” that officers develop from their days in the police academy. That mindset was an assumption that everyone who
ignored police commands was disrespecting their authority,
deserving of rough handling.
Lowery is a 37-year police veteran, one of the old-school
cops who grew up on old-school cop techniques.
That all changed after he heard the voices.
“We have to get rid of the mindset,” he said.
Joe Livernois welcomes your feedback at [email protected]
From page 29A
Kurtz: “Who asked you, Mrs. Tooth Fairy? You think my
daughter the psychiatrist would go out with her son a mailman?”
Weiss: “I got news for you, Mrs. Queen of England. If it
wasn’t for a mailman delivering your daughter’s fancy bills,
her practice would be in the toilet.”
Kurtz: “When my daughter the psychiatrist comes down
I’m gonna have her analyze your son to find out why a mailman doesn’t give his own mother enough money so she doesn’t have to steal sour cream from a poor widow.”
Weiss: “You shouldn’t eat sour cream anyway. It’s fattening. Pretty soon you’ll need a porch swing built for three.”
Kurtz: “For your information, Esther Williams, I never
load up my strawberries with sour cream. I eat them plain.
Maybe a little Hershey’s syrup. That’s enough.”
Weiss: “Tell that to the porch swing.”
Kurtz: “I’m gonna ask my daughter the psychiatrist what
kind of a loony screwball — supposedly a friend living in the
same house, a regular Mrs. Al Capone — breaks into the ice
box in the middle of the night, burglarizes strawberries,
stockpiles poisonous sour cream, wears the same damned red
hat day and night, not to mention her son, the cheapest mailman in New Jersey. It’s a good thing he works for the Post
Office because that’s where the FBI ought to put up your picture!”
Carmel resident Larry Wilde is a former standup comedian and the author of 53 published books of humor. The New
York Times has called him “America’s Best-Selling
Humorist.” E-mail [email protected]