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MCT: Thursday, June 4, 2020

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ONE MORE DAY of warm dry weather is in store for the interior today. Brisk onshore flow will develop on Friday, resulting in significant cooling for the interior. A cold upper level low will bring substantially cooler temperatures, blustery onshore winds and a chance of showers this weekend. (NWS)

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SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: COVID-19: Next Variance Request For Reopening

I’ve been in regular communication with Dr Doohan about our next reopening variance request. State rules require a delay of at least two weeks from the previous variance in order to assess impact. Pursuing a path of reasonable incremental risk is essential, because we have no assurance the state will approve our request. At this time, based on available science and local statistics, I believe Dr Doohan will be in a position to ask for a variance to open:

• lodging for in-county tourism and leisure

• lodging for extended stay of out of county guests (14 day quarantine on property required) 

• public/private campgrounds for in-county tourism and leisure 

• all salon services, including face

• all swimming pools, spas (for in-county)

• in-county charter fishing

• summer camp and school following current childcare guidance

It seems the state will not entertain gyms, although we will attempt gyms for physical therapy with medical referral.

If our request is successful and if we go on to maintain a low case count, reopening will continue. Many of you have asked how you can help beyond encouraging facial coverings. Dr Doohan is transitioning to about 10-15 hours per week. Recruitment for a full-time Public Health Officer continues. Our mutual aid request with the state remains supported, but pending. In desperation over filling the vacancy, various ideas about team collaboration have been contemplated. Although I personally appreciate the team concept, it has become absolutely clear to me that the state would view such a model as dubious. The quickest path to reopening demands credibility in the eyes of our state partners. I ask for public support in escalating recruitment efforts for a single full-time candidate who is both qualified and ready to collaborate with local officials for safe reopening.

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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As we enter the beginning of the twelfth week of Shelter-in-Place (SIP), things are still evolving.

Last week at the regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 26th, the Council approved a resolution to allow the HOME grant funding to be used for low to moderate income tenant-based rental assistance for those residents impacted by COVID-19.

This assistance may be applied through December 31, 2020. Staff is waiting for additional guidance, which we expect any day, from the Department of Housing and Community Development on how to administer this newly available program. As soon as that is available we will make announcements on who will qualify for the grant and how to apply.

At that same meeting, the City Council unanimously approved Urgency Ordinance 962-2020, which allows existing businesses to request a temporary waiver of zoning requirements and standards in order to adapt their business model to fit within the SIP.

For example, several restaurants have applied for a waiver to allow seating on the sidewalk and/or in public or private parking areas. The CA Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has temporarily suspended many of their regulations and is allowing businesses to expand their licensed footprint. The ABC is even allowing licensees that don’t sell food to partner with a business that does sell meals to provide pre-mixed cocktails and food to go -

The City’s Ordinance also allows businesses to temporarily change use, so long as there is not an increase in intensity and the use is allowed in that zoning district.

Email with questions, inquiries and/or to request the temporary waiver form.

On May 28th, at a Special City Council Meeting, the City Council approved a 30-day extension of the City’s Eviction Moratorium which was set to expire on May 31st. The moratorium provides both commercial and residential tenants protection from eviction, if they are unable to pay their rent due to significant financial impacts from COVID-19.

The moratorium doesn’t waive any rent due but allows tenants 180 days (six months) after the moratorium ends to repay the unpaid rent.

On Monday, June 1st, the lobby at City Hall and the lobby at the Police Station were opened to the public.

To comply with social distancing and the Mendocino County Health Officer’s Orders, you are required to wear a face-covering (unless exempt under the order), use the hand sanitizer just inside the door, stay six-feet apart, respect the limited number of individuals allowed inside and of course stay home if you are sick or running a temperature.

Until further notice, City Hall will be open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 5:00 pm with a lunch break from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.

In the spirit of reopening, staff and the City Council are working out the details on how to open City Council meetings to the public. We anticipate an in-person meeting at the end of June or first meeting in July if all the details can be worked out.

Mendocino County Health & Human Services hopes to get funding to extend the Great Plates Delivered program, into the summer.

The Great Plates program delivers meals to qualifying homebound seniors or high-risk individuals who do not receive meals from another federal program. Three prepared meals a day are prepared by a local restaurant and delivered.

As of May 26th, more than 4,600 meals had been delivered in Mendocino County including many here in Fort Bragg. For more information, call (707) 463-7900.

Finally, an update on the Fort Bragg surveillance testing of essential workers that Mendocino Coast Clinics have conducted in collaboration with the City. The labs continue to be the bottleneck on getting back results. While all of the results have been negative, the majority of the 180-plus results from May 19th and May 21st are still outstanding. Those tested will receive confirmation of their test results."

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(photo by Ansel Adams)

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Hi All, I am the owner, and the fire began near, or at the Yurt at the upper bench of my property. I have no idea how it started, but just saw it all engulfed in flames. 

No one was hurt and the fire response was phenomenal, except for electricity and a small propane tank, there was nothing to catch fire up there. inspectors are here today with clean up crew. Thanks to Francois and the Nash Mill Road Road Crew for all they do as well.

Jamie Lee

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FRANK HARTZELL on the Fort Bragg Protest Tuesday:

Youth was the story at the Fort Bragg protests at Town Hall. 

Youths from 12 to 30 dominated the peaceful crowd. We observed from 430 to 630 people. I've been to 100 events from benefits to concerts to peace protests where every head was "hoary." (In the old English). Today the local youth were the majority, with their music, their energy on display everywhere. They all wanted the big GeoAggregates truck to honk the big horn, after so many little horns had honked. They pulled down on the rope en masse, but the driver didn't honk. They did mass chants of the name of the victim, black lives matter (with very few black people in evidence). There was a good sized Latino contingent supporting BLM. 

There were some young people doing something of a peaceful counterprotest, chanting "all lives matter" at one end of the street. The police were present, but nearly invisible. I got friendly greetings from three different officers while rambling about with Brutus and Linda. Linda, a veteran, went and thanked every cop for their high quality service and protection.

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Miller Report for the Week of June 1, 2020

By William Miller, MD – Chief of Staff at MCDH

(Repost with modification)

(Dr. Doohan requested a minor modification to the previous version I sent out. If you would be so kind as to replace that with this one attached, I would appreciate it. — William A. Miller, MD, FACP)

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Reviewing all of the facts of a situation is important before jumping to conclusions. Last week, one of our staff who works at North Coast Family Health Center had a positive test result for COVID-19. The test was done elsewhere as part of routine pre-procedure screening. The person never had any symptoms and their last date of working in the clinic was 7 days previously. Also, the person had no patient contacts in the preceding 14 days. Given a number of aspects of the case, we suspected that this might be a false positive. We immediately conferred with the County Health Department, consulting with both Drs. Doohan and Flaherty, our County Health Officer and Deputy Health Officer respectively. When the person returned to Ft. Bragg where they live, they were immediately retested using two different brands of analyzers and both were negative. “It was the two negatives on same day [as the first test], run on two different machines, that made me think it was false positive,” stated Dr. Doohan. We then presented the findings to the California Department of Public Health who had their adjudication team review the case and they officially declared it a false positive. 

A false positive means that the test turned positive when the infection is not actually present. It is an error. All medical tests have the potential for errors and false results. There are many reasons that a test could give such an erroneous result. With PCR tests, one potential problem can be cross contamination since PCR can detect extremely small amounts of the genetic material of the virus. Thus, even a small accidental contamination in the lab or at the testing site could turn the test positive when it should have been negative. It could also be a problem with the chemical reaction of the test itself that for some reason did not react the way it was supposed to. Another possible source of lab error is mislabeling of the sample with the wrong patient’s name. All of these errors can and do occur.

The implications for this being a false positive are important for us here on the Mendocino Coast. It means that we still have no evidence of community spread. This will help us justify carefully rolling back on some more of the shelter-in-place stipulations. We should keep in mind that will also mean opening our community back up to tourism and other influx from the outside. People who live here will also begin to travel elsewhere to visit friends and relatives or go on vacations. While opening back up to tourism is crucial for our economic survival, it will invariably also bring with it the coronavirus. It is unavoidable and there will certainly come a day, probably not in the too distant future when we will have the virus here. At that point, a strong community surveillance-testing program and contact tracing will be imperative.

The County Health Department is working with Mendocino Coast District Hospital, Mendocino Coast Clinics and the City of Ft. Bragg, to set up such a testing program. Despite claims at the federal level that “anyone who wants to get a test can”, it remains a challenge for many rural communities like ours to have such readily available testing that would allow ongoing surveillance of the population.

So, one might say, why did we go through all of this shelter-in-place stuff if we are eventually going to have it here in our community anyway? The answer is, that by doing this, we have avoided overloading our health care system. If our health care system had become overloaded and crashed, then a lot more people would die and not just from COVID. So, while the price we have paid is high, the benefit is real. The key to keeping that benefit, which we have paid for so dearly, is maintaining social distancing, wearing face coverings and washing our hands. As simple as these three things might sound, they will absolutely have a really big effect on controlling further transmission. 

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On Monday, June 1, 2020, at approximately 0720 hrs., a red Honda Civic driven by Brenton Michels was traveling in the [southbound] lane of US-101, approaching Mile Post Marker…45.16 at 65 MPH. A gray Subaru Legacy driven by David Sundberg was traveling behind the Honda at a similar speed. A gray Peterbilt cement truck driven by Wyatt Phillips was traveling in the [northbound] lane of US-101, approaching [Mile Post Marker] 45.16, at 55 MPH.

For an unknown reason, the Honda drifted over the solid double yellow lines and into the [northbound] traffic lane, where the front end of the Honda collided with the front end of the Peterbilt. The Honda was deflected by the force of impact and came to rest blocking the [southbound] traffic lane.

The Peterbilt rolled on to its right side and came to rest blocking the [southbound] traffic lane and partially spilling its load of concrete. A tire from the left side of the Peterbilt was separated from the vehicle by the force of impact and collided with the left side of the Subaru, which was then parked on the west shoulder of the roadway.

Both lanes of traffic were shutdown at each end of the Willits Bypass and traffic diverted to Main St., Willits, between 0748 and 1353 hrs. During that time, the vehicles were removed, debris cleared and physical evidence examined.

Michels was subsequently airlifted by Reach helicopter to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, then UC Davis in Sacramento with major injuries. Michels was also arrested for suspicion of DUI by the California Highway Patrol.

The right front passenger of the Honda, Robert James, experienced moderate injuries. Phillips and James were transported to Howard Memorial Hospital.

Assisting agencies included Willits PD, Little Lake Fire Dept., Medstar Ambulance, MCSO, CalFire, Brooktrails Fire Dept. and Caltrans.

(CHP Presser)

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As local reporter Matt LaFever noted: “Of course he’s wearing a Punisher shirt.”


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Covid quarantine facility in Albion?

Hello. An Albion friend just wrote me, "We have just been told that the Albion Biological Field Station down on the Albion River will be used as a COVID-19 quarantine facility for patients who have no where else to go (homeless?). The guy who runs the place told a neighbor that it would no longer be safe to take a walk down that road! Another neighbor is friends with the county doctor who is in charge, and said he was aware of this being possible.€ We North Coasties have had zero covid deaths, hospitalizations or even cases. And that’s after hundreds of local tests, maybe thousands by now. Amazing. Much to be thankful about. If you learn any facts about these rumors, please let me know and spread accurate news. Thank you. 

Tom Wodetzki,



My Albion friend wrote me today at noon saying,

Just spoke with Sheldon—the gentleman I’ve chatted with [Albion Biological Field Station]. He was very friendly and forthcoming with information.

Executive summary:

The state (he wasn’t surprised that the county didn’t know about it) has rented the field station for two months, as they have rented numerous facilities throughout CA. The great majority of these facilities have not received any people to stay at their facility. Sheldon has not received any word of anybody staying at the field station. If he does, the people staying will be only residents from the coast—like Ft Bragg to Albion—who for whatever reason cannot self-isolate anywhere else. 

No Persons Who Have Tested Positive Will Come To The Field Station.

Only people who have been tested and are awaiting results—and they will likely stay only one or two nights. In this case, the state will handle everything. Sheldon will give them a key and state personnel will cover the entire operation. Really glad I called—rumors are so often just BS. 

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On Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at approximately 9:19 A.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriffs Office were dispatched to the Ukiah Valley Athletic Club (UVAC) located at 3101 South State Street in Ukiah for a theft report.

Upon arrival, Deputies contacted the owner of the business and learned that at approximately 2:30 A.M. two subjects had entered their property and stole a large industrial pool heater and a large roll of industrial rubber flooring from the location. The two stolen items was approximately $3,700.00 in combined value.

The UVAC had video surveillance in place during the theft. The UVAC later posted a video of the vehicle involved in the theft on social media.

On 05-27-2020 at approximately 7:32 P.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous tip that the possible involved vehicle was currently parked at a location in the 2500 block of Old River Road in Talmage, California.

Deputies responded to the location and located the vehicle, confirming that it matched the description of the vehicle in the video surveillance provided by the UVAC. From the exterior of the vehicle, Deputies were able to see that both of the above described stolen items were in plain view in the rear of the vehicle.

Deputies contacted neighbors in the area, and were unable to locate the owner of the vehicle.

The vehicle was towed in order to preserve evidence and the suspected stolen property which was located inside of it.

Deputies later authored a search warrant for the vehicle, which was granted by a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge. Deputies served the search warrant and confirmed that the items in the rear of the vehicle were in fact the items stolen from UVAC.

Deputies located receipts in the vehicle from various businesses in the Ukiah area. Deputies conducted further investigation by contacting the various businesses and reviewing video surveillance associated with those purchases.

Evidence obtained during this investigation led Deputies to an address in the 200 block of Ford Street in Ukiah, California.

On Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at approximately 1:14 P.M. Deputies contacted Jesus Malfavon-Sandoval, 39, of Ukiah and Luis Magana-Alvarez, 21, of Ukiah at the location.

Both Malfavon-Sandoval and Magana-Alvarez were ultimately placed under arrest for Grand Theft and Conspiracy and transported to the Mendocino County Jail.

Luis & Jesus

In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, bail was set at zero dollars and both Malfavon-Sandoval and Magana-Alvarez were released after the jail booking process.

Please visit the following link to hear Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall provide a Public Safety Message on the current COVID-19 emergency order related to zero bail:

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The Ukiah Police Department supports everyone’s right to lawfully and peacefully demonstrate and protest, to represent their commitment to any cause, and to convey any message.

I am in appreciation of the recent demonstration that occurred in Ukiah; it was locally organized and in accordance with the people’s right to protest, and the demonstrators conducted themselves in a manner consistent with their cause. 

A death which occurs in police custody is a tragedy, and the circumstances surrounding that death must be examined quickly and carefully.

The harm, violence and destruction that has occurred recently is its own tragedy; it’s discouraging, disappointing and sad. There is a very important distinction between constitutionally protected behavior and criminal conduct. And that distinction applies to all of us. 

The men and women of the Ukiah Police Department are dedicated professionals and are committed to providing the community the highest level of service. We are and will remain committed to our values of Safety, Professionalism and Community Service even during the highest level of controversy. We are proud of our relationship with the community, and we will continue to serve that public trust.

Justin Wyatt, Chief of Police

Ukiah Police Department

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The city of Ukiah began the process of cleaning out the large homeless encampment just north of the airport along Hastings Avenue this week by posting notices advising the people living there that the area needs to be cleared by Monday, June 8.

(photo courtesy of Brad Campbell)

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I've traveled round this country 
From shore to shining shore. 
It really made me wonder 
The things I heard and saw. 

I saw the weary farmer,
Plowing sod and loam;
I heard the auction hammer
A knocking down his home.

But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the farmer sweated for.

I saw the seaman standing
Idly by the shore.
I heard the bosses saying,
Got no work for you no more.

But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the seaman sweated for.

I saw the weary miner,
Scrubbing coal dust from his back,
I heard his children cryin',
Got no coal to heat the shack.

But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the miner sweated for.

I've seen my brothers working
Throughout this mighty land;
I prayed we'd get together,
And together make a stand.

[Final Chorus:]
Then we'd own those banks of marble,
With a guard at every door;
And we'd share those vaults of silver,
That we have sweated for

— Les Rice

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TRUMP, continuing to fuel the insurrection he claims he wants to put down, said Tuesday, "My Admin has done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln. Passed Opportunity Zones with Sen. Tim Scott, guaranteed funding for HBCU's, School Choice, passed Criminal Justice Reform, lowest Black unemployment, poverty, and crime rates in history." This remark isn't fuel so much as it's delusion, and further proof that the guy is unwell. Even the Magas are starting to jump ship as Trump-inspired chaos, on top of virus and economic chaos, daily adds to the turmoil.

TOO WILDLY IMPOSSIBLE? It seems from here, the ava's Boonville bunker, that our national Humpty Dumpty has fallen and shattered into so many social pieces that it can never be put back together again, that we seem to be headed for a hydra-sided civil war. When you count up the divisions, they're so many and so irreconcilably various, it's obvious we're headed for a violent balkanization. (Excuse the punditry; I'm just relaying my opinion here to see how many people agree with me.)

I TRY NOT to get sucked into back and forths with idiots, but occasionally I can't resist, as in this one that began with this message from a Fort Bragg keyboard warrior: 

"Your wrong for siding with predators of the youth and innocent. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. And never did the young boy in your bunk article say a cowboy hat. It was multiple people wearing masks. Dip shit”

I ANSWERED, "Why don't you put on your thinking cap and tell us what the facts are?

WARRIOR REPLIED: "Your 2002 article of the witch hunt is utterly bush league. 1 sided! For you to print that crap and not get the facts or look for truth only leads me to wonder what affiliation you have in it."

HE'S talking about the long account of the imaginary Satanist hysteria that took over Fort Bragg for about a year in the early 1980s, as it simultaneously did in many communities of the United States among the droolingly credulous despite not a single documented case. I did enjoy a nostaligic moment as being called a "dip shit," last heard around 1960 most places. 

OFFICER CHAUVIN'S co-conspirators have been belatedly charged as accessories in the George Floyd murder, but is anyone surprised it took so long? Cops seldom interfere with other cops, let alone testify against other cops. A guy with Chauvin's history of excessive force complaints indicates major probs with the command structure of the Minneapolis PD. If the top cop is a wink and a nod type, you get Chauvins.

GIVEN the size of the insurrection, there haven't been that many complaints about police misbehavior. (Do the math!) Say what you will about the police, and when you say it imagine yourself in the job — I'd shoot someone every shift — the huge majority of them do a reputable job in the impossible context of an imploding society.

THE LATE GREAT comic, Lenny Bruce, did a funny bit about the origins of the police, concluding it with, "I'd do it myself but I have to do business with these assholes."

THEN AND NOW. As a kid of about 12, I was walking down the street with a budding delinquent named Al Boland who instinctively flipped off Nolan the Cop, a huge ex-fighter. Nolan the Cop stops his car, briskly approaches us (I'm already quaking) and smacks us both — hard. I was indignant as all hell, but when I complained to my mother that I hadn't done anything to deserve police brutality, she said, "Serves you right for associating with that Boland boy." Happened today, the parents would have been on the phone for a lawyer.

LATER, maybe twenty years old, I logged my first arrest in, of all places, Pismo Beach. I'd gone out for a night of funnsies with some of my Cal Poly jock dorm pals, a couple of football players and a hoopster. So we're in this dive bar and, natch, the football players get in a fight with the local boys who, in my dim memory, had actually started the fists flying. So four of us get arrested, and at the police station, handcuffed to metal chairs, one of my friends is loudly complaining that we weren't the aggressors when a pudgy cop suddenly says, pointing at me but warning my friend, "Every time you open your mouth I'm going to hit this guy." I got smacked twice more on top of taking several punches at the bar where I'd given a Pismo gladiator the old one-two, but he gave me the three, four, five, and six. The whole adventure cost me $500 in fines, which was most of the National Defense Loan of a thou per semester students got in the early '60s. I remember being seriously depressed for several days. 

THE DIFF, a reader writes: "I've been told by folks in the wine industry that they cannot get through the cannabis permitting process because it is so confusing and expensive. They are shocked at how messed up the permit process is for cannabis when compared to a similar product. The cannabis and wine industry is nowhere near comparable though. Just look at the enforcement. If you grow grapes for wine without a permit your looking at a $100 one time fine for the first offense. In Humboldt you get $10k DAILY fines (up to $900k) even without cannabis, for just having greenhouses in the past, or for thinking you have a permit and accidentally missing a deadline from one of ~20-something agencies you have to work with, or even due to county incompetence. Its easy to fall out of compliance and all across the county people with permits are getting cut and abated."

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CATCH OF THE DAY, June 3, 2020

Banta, Darnell, Garcia

JESSI BANTA, Willits. Domestic abuse, protective order violation.

TIMOTHY DARNELL, Ukiah. Parole violation.

CHRISTOPHER GARCIA, Ukiah. Domestic battery, controlled substance, disobeying court order.

Humphrey, Magana-Alvarez, Malfavon-Sandoval

TRAVIS ‘THE HUMP’ HUMPHREY, Redwood Valley. Battery, disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

LUIS MAGANA-ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Grand theft, conspiracy.

JESUS MALFAVON-SANDOVAL, Ukiah. Grand theft, conspiracy.

Mora, Question, Wickstrom

PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Failure to registered as sex offender, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

MARCIE QUESTONI, Petaluma/Ukiah. Animal cruelty, probation revocation.

NOEL WICKSTROM, Willits. Incitement to riot, arson or vandalism, criminal threats.

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Re: Does it explode?

So I was talking to my dad about everything and I said well my synopsis of everything going on is "If you wanna influence Americans then do it in the classroom and not with a nightstick." He then sent me a photo of him teaching in the Seventies, the chalkboard behind him reads "Police State is not a University."

Nate Collins

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by William Grimes

Since mid-March I’ve walked between two and three miles day throughout my village of Ross and two adjacent towns. I learned through experimentation three different routes to execute this healthy habit to get me out of my cottage. For some, albeit slight, change of scenery.

Depending upon the time of day there would be many dozens of people walking these back roads and street escaping indoor hum drum. Different people looking the same, acting the same which is to say seldom stopping and talking. Every mask was either white or black. Occasionally some one would wave as he or she hurriedly passed by. Assemblages of more than two people walking together was as rare as a passing vehicle, and if so, a family. Sometimes I would get a one word salutation, a mask-muffled, “Hi,” or at most “Nice day” from another person on the opposite side of the road, or one passing me always beyond the seven foot distant limit. Without a mask, always alone, and side-stepping when others were in my path I’d one-word answer and offer a smile.

Same sights every day too. Rolling back country roads, town streets with closed stores, intersections where traffic lights blinked yellow.

My regimen became increasingly boring. Every day the same. No need for the individual seven day designations. The name of every day was now just “Today.”

I left the cottage around noon on May 25, Memorial Day, taking a familiar winding ramble on a road bordered with rangy hedgerow and gates of steel preventing both entry and a view of the concealed houses. After about a half mile I stopped to rest on the edge a stone bridge across a now dry creek bed. On the same side of the road, there is a house just beyond the bridge. I noticed a man standing on its lawn taking pictures with his iPhone. Near him was a woman focused upon him. I thought it was a little brazen his taking photos of someone’s house. During these weeks many people had come from as far as the city, parked their cars in town, and walked these bucolic back roads. I thought the man was likely a visitor given his more urban attire which included a pork pie hat, black like Walter White’s, tie-dye slacks, a sallow T-shirt, and a string of Rasta color beads around his neck. The woman I now noticed was Asian dressed in bright blue top with gold sleeves, black pants and sky blue booties. Not the subtle local look.

Finished with photo taking he stepped to her and they, ten yards away, began walking towards me. I was still sitting on the stone wall of the bridge and as they passed me — neither masked like myself — I said, in a deadpan voice, “What were you shooting?”

He stopped, took a studied look at me and said, “On the side of the house there’s pink pig in a cage. Interesting, huh?”

I sensed a hint of enmity in his terse response. I took it to say, if it’s not your house what’s your business, old man.

I nodded, though not believing it, having walked past this house numerous times in the last three months.

The woman said, “This is such a lovely neighborhood to walk.” They both stopped for whatever reason, maybe because I looked local or perhaps because I looked lonely.

I said not knowing why but I guess I was eager to have a live, in person conversation. “Have you walked up the hill,” pointing beyond the house and to the right, “where the lake reservoir is? A quite beautiful site.”

The man said,”Yes, we have. Very nice.” Noting my cane which I had placed by my side against the wall, he said, “You walk the area much?”

“Yea, guess I do. Not much else to do these days.” I sensed a slight change in his tone maybe because I had offered a word of recommendation.

“That’s for sure,” he said. “What’s your name? Mine’s Lucky.” This was a first in all my covid-19 rambles. A coming exchange of names.

“Bill. Good to meet you,” glancing now at the Asian who wore a cheerful expression and blossoms in her cheeks.

“And her name is Rattle.”

Cool, true or not. Lucky and Rattle. Not to be forgotten.

She said, “Hello, Bill. I like your shirt with the abstract, I think, bicycle in the center.” Yep, that was what it was, recalling I purchased this shirt in a hip boutique in Brighton, England a couple of years ago.

“Thank you,” I couldn’t yet say “Rattle.” Something inhibited me but not for long.

“I like your name. At the post office there’s a vivacious woman who works there whose name is Jingle. Rattle and Jingle. I like that.” I was thinking character names.

The man said, “Well now, Bill, you’ve got both Jingle and Rattle. Honey, why don’t you go over and sit next to Bill. I’ll take a couple of pictures. You make a good-looking couple.”

This, any moron would know, was not a good idea. I’d been taking all the careful distancing precautions for three months. I had to say no thanks, Lucky, it’s that damn covid-19, or something off-handed like that. 

Instead I said nothing and in unheedful instant Rattle was sitting next to me. Lucky clicked a shot and said, “Put your arm around him and give him a kiss on the cheek.”

My mind was empty of any consciousness, not a thought rattled through my mind. It was as if I were a spectator of a film scene being shot with a look-alike me an actor. After the third click I regained my awareness that I was sitting next to a woman on a stone wall in covid-19 land. Flesh on flesh.

My mind went something like this: You’ve often taken risks with your health, with your loves and hates, with your occupations and travels, and, with women who were by nature and profession risky.

So. Fuck the virus. 

Lucky said, “We’ll text you the pictures.”

I spoke my phone number and Rattle entered it into her phone.

As he removed his hat revealing a bald head and wiped his brow with what looked like a used mask, he said. “My real name is Lucky MF. LMF. Know what that means?”

I surprised myself. “Lucky Mother Fucker.”

He said, “You got that right.” 

We headed of in different directions.

I noted when receiving the photos from her phone the area code was 510. 

This morning the peach yogurt tastes as good as ever and the freshly-brewed coffee smells as good as ever.

I feel it’s too late to ever really know myself.

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Amusing studio chatter as the attack unfolds:

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(photo by Ansel Adams)

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Within a couple weeks, the news cycle gets back in gear and focuses on some other thing... maybe back to Wuhan hysteria, or climate change, or if its slow — shark attacks then lo & behold in maybe 3-4 weeks there will be another video of some cop somewhere doing something violent to somebody – and the whole cycle restarts again – fires & looting & more violence. Then it’ll die down again for a couple weeks yet again… until maybe a week or two later yet another cop, in some other town, does something violent to someone... and the looting & violence, etc. starts again... and over and over... 

I think this is just the beginning. Overlaying all this, you have the possibility of extremist groups fighting each other, or fighting the police, or fighting the police together.

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During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the draft was a cloud that lingered over the nation and, especially, the heads of those born from 1944 to 1950. More than 600,000 young men were drafted in 1966-67, and more than 200,000 of them were sent to the theater of war, where U.S. casualties topped 11,000 in 1967 alone.

Amid the chaos of the Vietnam War across the Pacific Ocean and the protests at home, a conflict in the Bay Area proved inevitable.

Fifty years ago, anti-war demonstrators took a stand, shutting down the Oakland Induction Center, a governmental hub where draftees were processed before being sent to the armed services. The response from authorities was swift and, at times, savage. The images from the conflict in mid-October 1967 remain stunning.

Nationwide protests escalated, with Stop the Draft Week in mid-October 1967 in the Bay Area building into the largest demonstration of the anti-war movement.

In San Francisco, young people were urged to turn in their draft cards at the Federal Building. The Rev. Anthony Nugent summed up the feelings of the resistance: “If a young man wants to fight in Vietnam, that’s one thing. But I don’t think he should be drafted into a war he morally opposes.”

In Oakland, the week’s organizing committee announced that rallies designed to close the induction center would begin the morning of Oct. 16, stating “participants in this action should expect arrest.” An article in The Chronicle on Oct. 17 reported that while 125 people were arrested, including Joan Baez and her mother, the demonstrations were relatively calm with the group composed almost entirely of pacifists. “There was an air of ‘entente cordiale’ between the Oakland Police Department and demonstrators,” the story read. The day’s activities, however, proved to be the calm before the storm.

The headline across the top of The Chronicle’s Oct. 18 front page read “THE BIG DRAFT BATTLE” then “A bloody attack by police — clubs, tear gas and boots.” The previous day, Oakland police had faced off against at least 2,500 protesters, mostly students from UC Berkeley and Stanford University. In a turn from the relative peace of the previous gathering, violence was the order of the day.

Chronicle reporter Charles Howe provided a vivid description of the events. Demonstrators started showing up at 2 a.m. at the Oakland Induction Center’s examining station. By 6 a.m., “hundreds ringed the building, marching, chanting and singing.” A police order to disperse came from a bullhorn. Within a few minutes, police, sheriff’s deputies and CHP officers came pouring out of a parking garage.

“Shortly after 7 a.m., police made their move,” Howe wrote, “beating their way through a thin, running line of frightened demonstrators. ... Charging down Clay Street, officers squirted liquid Mace and rattled clubs against anyone who didn’t move out of their way fast enough.”

Halfway down the block, 100 demonstrators were blocking the side entrance to the station, sealing it off with their bodies. After facing off for a few minutes, “officers suddenly surged, their hard wooden sticks mechanically flailing up and down, like a peasant mowing down wheat,” Howe wrote.

Several members of the media were beaten and Maced during the melee. Among them were Chronicle photographer Gordon Peters and KGO-TV news anchor Jerry Jensen. Oakland Police Chief Charles Gain said the media had been ordered twice to clear the area. “Police had a job to do,” Gain said, “and the press were where they didn’t belong.” The journalists said they never heard a warning to leave the area.

The violent force used by police had made headlines not only in The Chronicle; this was coast-to-coast front-page news. A statement released by Lt. Gov. Robert Finch on behalf of Gov. Ronald Reagan, however, saluted law enforcement officers for their “exceptional ability” during the demonstrations. The statement read: “Their actions in upholding the law are to be commended and should serve as a reminder throughout all California that law must be obeyed.”

After the fighting, dozens of arrests and incidents of violence sprang up in the last three days of Stop the Draft Week in Oakland, but police tactics were more restrained. The Oakland Induction Center was the site of many more protests and arrests into the early 1970s, but the riots of October 1967 remained the bloodiest confrontation.

On Jan. 28, 1973, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird announced an end to the draft, and the all-volunteer army era began again.

(Bill Van Niekerken is the library director of The San Francisco Chronicle, where he has worked since 1985. In his weekly column, From the Archive, he explores the depths of The Chronicle’s vast photography archive in search of interesting historical tales related to the city by the bay.)

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(photo by Ansel Adams)

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by Dave Zirin

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee had something to say about the importance of fighting racism amid this national uprising against racist police violence, but Gwen Berry was absolutely not having it. Berry, a 2016 Olympian in the hammer throw, raised a clenched fist on the medal stand to protest racial injustice after earning the gold medal at the 2018 Pan Am Games. This was when sports protests had actually hit a lull and the gesture stood out, just as Berry wanted.

In response, the USOPC gave her a reprimand and put her on “probation” for 12 months, with a warning that there would be more punishment if there were any more protests to come. Now Gwen Berry wants the USOPC to put its newfound racial consciousness into practice and say “I’m sorry.” She tweeted the USOPC statement and on top of it wrote, “I want an apology letter .. mailed .. just like you and the IOC MAILED ME WHEN YOU PUT ME ON PROBATION.. stop playing with me.”

I reached out to Gwen Berry for her thoughts about the Olympic statement and her call for an apology. She said:

“I felt like the [USOPC] comments were about hypocritical as they could be. It’s really a smack in the face, because I’ve lost so much because of how they did not support me; of how they made it seem that I basically did something that was bad, even though it was peaceful. I didn’t cause any altercations. There was nothing that I did wrong. All I did was speak out about who I stand with, what I stand for, and how I felt. Therefore my family has lost so much because of the reprimands that I got, and yet here they are, basically, saying the very thing that was the total opposite of what they did to me! It’s just hypocrisy.… But I feel like that is America. America says a thousand things, but they do the opposite. That’s the country we live in and that’s why so many people are upset right now.”

I asked Berry if she felt like the current national wave of demonstrations prove in practice that she was correct to take the stance that she did. “I definitely think the demonstrations vindicate me,” she said.

“I feel like for once in my life, I’m finally being understood, as far as my feelings pertaining to the injustice that’s going on in the world. I know I spoke out last year, around August, and let’s be honest, I got more hate than love. Like I said, I lost a lot, and therefore my family lost a lot. At that time, I felt misunderstood. I felt that people were scared to come out and stand with me because athletes lose so much, and they have families to feed. So right now, I definitely feel vindicated. It helped me to go out there and support my people, and march with my people, and protest. I’m pretty ecstatic right now.… I just hope that everyone keeps momentum going. We have to come up with ideas, we have to strategize, we have to plan, and we have to keep the momentum going.”

If that apology comes, and it absolutely should, then Gwen Berry will have accomplished something that breaks legitimately new ground. So many people in sports are falling over themselves to praise the demonstrations, say that black lives do in fact matter. Yet what they aren’t doing is accounting for their past. The NFL isn’t coming close to admitting that it was wrong to collude against Colin Kaepernick and deny him work, while crafting PR statements that manage to take a great deal of space in order to say nothing. The USOPC is issuing empty statements of solidarity when what it needs to do is come clean, admit that it has been wrong to penalize athletes for using the platform they earned to oppose racism. And they need to write Gwen Berry a damn apology.

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The NBA has told the National Basketball Players Association that it will present a 22-team plan for restarting the season to the league’s board of governors on Thursday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

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* * *

PAUL MEILLEUR of Philo comments: "Retired general James Mattis, who resigned as Trump's first Secretary of Defense over policy matters and has kept his silence ever since, has just released a blistering statement about the dangers to the US that Trump is currently posing. Mattis is universally respected and this is a big deal."

* * *

“Are we dominating yet?”

* * *

HEROES AND PATRIOTS RETURNS Thursday morning from 9-10 a.m. with two outstanding guests.

In the first half hour, Sean Vitka, Counsel for Demand Progress speaks to hosts John Sakowicz and Mary Massey about the current and future surveilling of American citizens via the internet and other concerns regarding privacy and civil liberties at 9 a.m., KMUD.ORG. (Listen Live Here.)

In the second half-hour, author and historian, James Bradley joins us via Skype from New Zealand to address a possible war between China and the US. He will speak about his latest book, The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia.

Listener call-ins are welcome with programs archived at and KMUD.

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  1. Craig Stehr June 4, 2020

    Something has existed before
    Heaven and earth;
    Shapeless and silent
    In its origin,
    Yet the master of every
    Image and form,
    It can never wither
    With the passing of time.
    – Bankei (1622-1693)

  2. George Hollister June 4, 2020

    Bruce, I am curious about the source, and timing of the Mendocino County, Ansel Adams photos.

    • Judy June 4, 2020

      George, not sure what source Bruce used but there are several Ansel Adams Mendocino photos on Pinterest. Dated 1964.

    • Bruce Anderson June 4, 2020

      ’57 to ’64, George. Like you probably, I hadn’t known he was in the area….

      • George Hollister June 5, 2020

        Ansel Adams was friends with Wayne Miller, who came to Mendocino County in, I think, 1959. Both were notable photographers. One, obviously, more notable than the other. Adams visited the Millers property on the Ten Mile. Mendocino County isn’t exactly the place photographers go because of it’s reputation, but might be discovered when visiting a friend.

        Mendocino County was a different place when these photos were taken. Tourists came primarily to hunt deer, or abalone. Tasting rooms, and bed and breakfast inns were nonexistent. There were large sheep ranches, and burning the landscape was a standard practice. Redwood pickets for fences, and “grape stakes” were still being made. Second growth timber, particularly redwood, was considered worthless and needed to be removed from the landscape. This was going on during the formative years for many reading these pages. Hard to believe.

  3. chuck dunbar June 4, 2020

    Bruce, regarding your Ed Notes today:

    “TOO WILDLY IMPOSSIBLE? It seems from here, the ava’s Boonville bunker, that our national Humpty Dumpty has fallen and shattered into so many social pieces that it can never be put back together again, that we seem to be headed for a hydra-sided civil war. When you count up the divisions, they’re so many and so irreconcilably various, it’s obvious we’re headed for a violent balkanization.”

    I disagree–you asked for opinions. I’ll take a brief stab at it. We are in the most troubled of times, no question, and we could argue this on and on. But, Trump is a destroyer–he ruins and plunders and destroys all he touches, and is doing so at a time when the country and its people are hurting and vulnerable in so many ways. He needs to be stopped, to be voted out, and a New New Deal needs to be put in place, by leaders we may not see as yet, But I bet they are out there–women and men with hope and vision and the power to keep on going and doing. Liz Warren running part of the government under a new administration is one real hope for the future.

    I could go on here for pages, but won’t, except to cite the so-needed comments by General Mattis (cited today in the AVA), a true patriot who is speaking-out–with truth, conviction and moral force–as many others need to do now. We are hungry for such actions:

    "...We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

    Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad."

      • chuck dunbar June 4, 2020

        Sad, but kind of expected, reply by you. Your foolish, incompetent, and evil guy can’t govern and can’t cope and cares not a wit for folks like you. Hard to believe anyone with any sense still supports him. It’s Mattis, by the way.

      • Harvey Reading June 4, 2020

        “…why we voted for him.”

        That’s funny, James. A minority of voters cast their ballots for him, or don’t you remember? The majority of us said, “F–k that!” even if some of us voted third party. Sadly, the Clinton monster would have been as bad or worse. And Obama was only slightly, if at all, better Trump couldn’t lead his hand to properly clean up after defecating, let alone lead a country.

        Why all the emphasis on leadership, anyway? Are you one of those born followers? I’d rather try democracy than choose between two pieces of crap every four years to “lead” me

      • Jurgen Stoll June 4, 2020

        “Trump can’t be controlled, that’s why we voted for him”. Controlled by what? The Constitution? The Supreme Court? The election defeat in November? As for never leading from behind, check out the cartoon of your Fearless Leader in the bunker again.

    • Bruce Anderson June 4, 2020

      I think it’s clear that Trump has accelerated the general decay or, as we used to say, “heightened the contradictions,” but the Democrats are as institutionally corrupt as the Republicans, which makes the present rolling catastrophes likely to roll on. The economic implications of present developments are scariest of all. We’re in for a rough ride.

    • Harvey Reading June 4, 2020

      Maybe our great leader will do something to get us in a nuclear war with Russia. Then it will all be over, and advanced beings elsewhere will break out the champagne (or whatever they prefer), toasting us for having the good sense to exterminate ourselves, thereby relieving them of the necessary chore. The pore ol’ “masters o’ the universe” will be gone, along with all their mad dreams of colonizing space. All-in-all, a good end for a greedy, murderous, authoritarian species.

  4. Lazarus June 4, 2020



    Be well.

  5. Bob Abeles June 4, 2020

    Turgidson: General Ripper called Strategic Air Command headquarters shortly after he issued the go code. I have a partial transcript of that conversation if you’d like me to read it.

    Muffley: Read it.

    Turgidson: The duty officer asked General Ripper to confirm the fact the he had issued the go code and he said, “Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in and no one can bring them back. For the sake of our country and our way of life, I suggest you get the rest of SAC in after them, otherwise we will be totally destroyed by red retaliation. My boys will give you the best kind of start, fourteen hundred megatons worth, and you sure as hell won’t stop them now. So let’s get going. There’s no other choice. God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.” Then he hung up. We’re still trying to figure out the meaning of that last phrase, sir.

    Muffley: There’s nothing to figure out General Turgidson. This man is obviously a psychotic.

    Turgidson: Well, I’d like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in.

  6. michael turner June 4, 2020

    I was at that Oct 18th Stop The Draft action, arriving around midnight, staying up all night as it was too cold to sleep. What I remember most was the excellent preparatory speeches by the organizers. No generalizations, just succinct explanations of what we were to endure and how to survive. The expectation was that we were going to be attacked and beaten and of course that’s what happened, as beating protesters was an acceptable police tactic back then.

    • Stephen Rosenthal June 4, 2020

      “as beating protesters was an acceptable police tactic back then.“

      As it is now.

  7. Harvey Reading June 4, 2020


    Interesting diversion while it lasted. Was funny to hear all the uproar preceding it, too. Long time ago, but seems like just yesterday…

  8. Jim Armstrong June 4, 2020

    I rented a Piper Cherokee and took three co-workers on a brown bag lunch hour flight over the Running Fence.
    It made the afternoon and the rest of the week memorable.
    Actually, it did that to all the time since.

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