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Mendocino County Today: November 6, 2020

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CHANCE OF LIGHT SHOWERS overnight Thursday and into Friday morning along with significantly cooler wintery temps with daytime highs for the next few days not likely to get above 60 and overight lows mostly in the 30s. Cooler daytime temps on the coast.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: "Lingering showers and some mountain snow will persist across Northwest California today in the wake of a strong cold front that passed overnight. A cold airmass will settle in over the area and some brisk northerly winds will develop along the coast and over interior ridges this afternoon. A weaker system will bring rain chances and a little mountain snow back to the area late on Saturday and into Sunday."

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SOMEWHAT LARGE JUMP OF 20 COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Thursday, bringing the total to 1213.

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November 3, 2020 Statewide General Election 

Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie announced that as with every other election, there are ballots left to process as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 15,501 Vote By Mail ballots to process and 1,800 Conditional Provisional/Provisional ballots to review and process. 

Of the outstanding ballots left to count: the 1st Supervisor District has 3,902; the 2nd Supervisor District has 2,892; the City of Ukiah has 2,695; the City of Willits has 893; the City of Point Arena has 140. 

Per State law, we have 28 days to complete the canvass. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time. 

If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819. 

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Tide Pool (photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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On November 4, 2020, two Mendocino County Juvenile Probation Office staff members, after experiencing mild symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19. Mendocino County Public Health collaborated with Juvenile Hall to begin contact tracing the same day. This contact tracing effort led to the testing of an asymptomatic Juvenile Hall resident, who was recently transported in a vehicle by the two positive staff members. This resident also tested positive for COVID-19. The family of this resident has been notified, and it is believed that this resident may have been infected before arriving in Mendocino County. All three positive individuals are in isolation, and outbreak testing was conducted at the facility today. Mendocino County Juvenile Hall has sanitized their facilities and the vehicle that was used to transport the resident, and they are continuing to monitor all residents diligently. Contact tracing and investigation are still underway. 

Released in collaboration with Mendocino County Juvenile Hall

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It's that time again! Saturday, 11/7 we will be making hamburgers, veggie burgers and portobello burgers with all the fixin's to order! Call in (707 894-9456) or come down and pick up the best burgers in town. You can eat outside on the patio or take them with you. Orders are on a first come first serve basis and there are a limited number.

See you Saturday!


Lisa Walsh <>

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by Mark Scaramella

The following inocuous sounding item was on last Tuesday’s board agenda:

“Item 5b) Discussion and Possible Action Including Introduction and Waive First Reading of Ordinance to Repeal and Replace Chapter 6.20 of the Mendocino County Code Regarding Licensure of Tobacco Retailers (Sponsors: County Counsel and Health and Human Services Agency)” 

The attached summary was clearer:

“ORDINANCE REPEALING AND REPLACING CHAPTER 6.20 OF THE MENDOCINO COUNTY CODE REGARDING LICENSURE OF TOBACCO RETAILERS— This ordinance repeals and replaces the Tobacco Retail Ordinance in Chapter 6.20 of the Mendocino County Code. The proposed changes were made to ensure consistency with recently amended state laws; including minimum age restrictions; a revised definition of Tobacco Product to include Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)”, and the prohibition of the sale of Flavored Tobacco Products, which appeal to youth and make it easier for them to begin using tobacco products. Additionally, changes were made to clarify grounds for suspension, termination and revocation of licenses, administrative fines for violating tobacco-related laws, and appeal procedures.”

The board heard testimony from the Public Health staff and interested locals that over a third of local retailers visited by a teenager trying to buy tobacco failed to ask for ID. But since it was just a “survey” no action was taken against the clerks or the stores.

The issue arose because a state law signed in August bans the sale of cotton candy vape, tropical fusion cigarillos and menthol cigarettes and other assorted nicotine delivery systems in California as of January.

These poisons have proved quite seductive to the young, as have all manner of items that remain legal.

Supporters of the ban have tried before to save the young ‘uns from themselves and failed, the marketers of the insidious things being quite good at lobbying, not to mention well financed. This summer, the bill was helped along by what was described as “skyrocketing vaping among teens, several marijuana vape-related deaths last year, concerns about respiratory health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortened legislative session and a supportive governor.”

Senate Bill 793 bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products – from bubblegum to mango to menthol. The prohibition includes pods for vape pens, tank-based systems, menthol cigarettes and chewing tobacco. It initially included premium cigars and hookah tobacco, but those were later exempted from the proposal, probably because chronological adults use them.

Retailers will be responsible for adhering to the ban by stopping the sale of flavored tobacco by January of 2021.

Cigars with flavored wrappers at a liquor store in Berkeley. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Last Tuesday, Laytonville High School Principal Tim Henry supported the ban:

“This was a huge issue last year when we still had kids in school. It's very important to ban these flavored tobacco products because the kids just like the taste of them, and then they get hooked on them and they can't stop using them and they have to leave class just to get their fix. It's really addictive. I have pictures here showing a whole basket of confiscated devices, everything from cool melon, banana ice, sour apple, gummy ring… These disposable products are being sold in larger communities like Willits and Ukiah in bulk. I'm told that people who are over 21 go and buy these in large amounts and then send them to middlemen at the high school who double the price on them and make a little money and have a few of these devices for themselves. Each one of these little sticks contains up to 300 puffs which is equivalent to several packs of cigarettes. Sometimes the kids will go through a couple of them a day. We have had kids get so spun out that we have had to seek medical attention. It's very dangerous and we need to ban all flavored tobaccos. The stores don't sell them to people under 21, but near peer people can go and buy them and redistribute them. We need to get these things out of the county and keep them from being sold. I understand that they only do these enforcement stings twice a year. That seems infrequent and predictable. We need to see more enforcement more often. If they've been there a couple times already, they know there won't be an issue for a while. Some of the shops I've seen seem a little shady. We need to stay on top of those. We have done surveys with our students and we found out that a majority of our students were using these things. Many, many students were using them on a regular basis. Last year we found that at one particular grade level 90% of the students had tried it. That's a mind blowing figure. This is a very big issue and it has become common. It hasn't been in my face this year because of distance learning. So I'm not in touch with what's going on out there and whether teens are still consuming these products. I have no way to say. But this looks like a very good ordnance and I hope you pass it unanimously.”

And the supervisors did pass it unanimously, not that they had any choice. The Governor signed the statewide ban on retail sales of flavored cigs and e-cigs in August and it will take effect on January 1, 2021.

It’s hard to argue against it, although, as Principal Henry mentioned, enforcement does present problems if the things are as popular as he says they are. The Board passed the ordinance without anybody raising the crucial issue of enforcement.

The best Mendo could offer on Tuesday was Supervisor Williams’s remark that “I hope our sheriff does follow up. The results are truly unacceptable.”

But the “California Statewide Law Enforcement Association” raise the issue of enforcement back when the bill was first presented. And they make at least one good point.

Re: SB 793 (Hill): Flavor Ban – OPPOSE

Dear Senator Hill [Jerry Hill, the bill’s primary sponsor] and Members:

The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association and others are writing today to, respectfully, indicate our opposition to your SB 793. Law Enforcement Associations have for some time opposed tax increases and bans in tobacco. We have found they increase revenue to the cartels and illegal operators which fuel their nefarious activities (Drugs, Human Trafficking, Laundering, Etc.).

While we are sure your goals are well intended, the 100% ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco (exception for hookah) products to adults makes impracticable sense and it will multiply an already large illegal market in California, reward criminal smugglers, and cost California businesses, workers, and taxpayers billions of dollars.

Banning Flavored Products Will Further Criminal smuggling and tax evasion problems:

California is the second most prolific state for cigarette smuggling today. It’s number one from a revenue impact perspective.

California has a massive illegal market. Today about 45% of all cigarettes consumed in California are smuggled in from elsewhere, draining more than $1.85 billion in tax revenues and undermining tobacco regulation. We have less and less federal, state, county and local peace officers for interdiction in this area when so many larger issues are pressing and at government’s request. 

Banning flavored tobacco products – including menthol cigarettes – will not end the sale of these products in California. It will simply mean (as with tax increases) criminal networks – already smuggling and dealing illicit products to California – will feed the demand, and continue to do so without paying taxes, without checking ID, and without following any other rules or regulations. 

Why make the crime and the contraband problem in California worse? Why continue to strain law enforcement at the worst possible time as a practical effect?

SB 793 puts at least $407 million at risk in state and local tax revenue over the next two fiscal years, according to the state, and over $1 billion over four years when fully implemented. We have law enforcement defunding discussions of bona fide union members plus strained and depleted budgets at all levels of government. This is at a time when California state and local governments are dealing with projected budget shortfalls due to the COVID 19 pandemic and cannot afford more cuts or decreases.

The Tax Foundation expects higher revenue losses, with just the banned cigarettes products resulting in state revenue reductions of nearly $1.8 billion over four years. The impact on state programs that benefit from just cigarette excise tax revenue could be disruptive. 

In addition to the state cigarette excise tax revenues, the proposed flavor ban would also reduce excise tax collections from other tobacco products and the state sales tax applied to the purchase of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Including the loss of these revenue sources, if all flavored tobacco products are banned in California, the state risks the loss of billions in revenue moving forward. This decline in resources could mean either cuts in government services or further tax increases. 

Please join with the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association and Oppose SB 793. 

Sincerely, Alan Wayne Barcelona,

Statewide President, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA)

However, the CSLEA didn’t offer any alternatives to curbing the sale and use of the damn things, and we don’t agree with their arguments about loss of tax revenue impact — why should tax revenues depend on the sale of poisons? 

Where are the old-fashioned tobacco haters who sued big tobacco, who ran effective ads on the deadly effects of smoking, who campaigned in classrooms?

We wonder if Laytonville’s Principal Henry will be back with a new survey of his students next year after the ban kicks in to see if it has made any difference besides lowering sales in local stores? Or if anyone will report on enforcement and citations? If history is any guide, no one will care. We passed the ban like we had to and we’re doing a great job! We’re done! Back to Measure B!

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Glimpse through Trees

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Library Lines — The AV Community Library has been closed since mid March due to COVID. We hope to be able to reopen in early Spring, when the weather warms up. You can return any books you checked out, to the drop boxes at the Philo Post Office or Fairgrounds office during business hours. Please do not leave any donated books. Of course there will not be any fines for the books you still have. Hope everyone stays well.

Thank you, Liz Dusenberry

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I'm hosting/coordinating a book sale Sunday Nov. 8 at Jug Handle Creek Farm and Nature Center in Caspar 10-3. If you like OLD science and nature books for kids and adults at dirt cheap prices this is your event. I will also be selling the books I've written (at NOT dirt cheap prices...but heck, you get an autograph). Everyone's invited. At 3 p.m. I will sell everything left in the room for a ridiculous cheap price if the buyer will save me the chore of boxing it up and taking it to thrift stores. Join me!

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VIA KATHY WYLIE: Meanwhile in Marin...

A group of Marin County doctors is making plans to distribute a coronavirus vaccine, which they say is likely to arrive within the next few months.

The group, which includes public health officials and infectious disease specialists from some of Marin’s major hospitals, has begun holding regular meetings to map out the logistics of administering a vaccine to residents throughout the county.

One of the first logistical challenges the doctors are working on is developing a plan for who will be offered a vaccine first.

Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s public health officer, said a vaccine will likely arrive in waves, and won’t be available to the entire Marin County population immediately. The federal and state governments will likely provide counties with a blueprint for who gets the injections first, but local health departments must be prepared to implement such a plan, Willis said.

The rest of the article at:

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Cypress Trees On Coast

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The predictions that local Dungeness crab won’t be available in time for Thanksgiving have come true: This year’s commercial fishing season will be delayed until at least Dec. 1 to prevent the risk of whale entanglements in fishing gear. On Wednesday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the delay of the commercial Dungeness crab season for Central California, including San Francisco, from Nov. 15 to Dec. 1 after a large number of endangered whales were spotted in fishing zones in the past week. The delay was triggered by new rules established Nov. 1 giving the state the authority to close certain fishing areas when there is evidence of a certain number of humpback whales, blue whales or Pacific leatherback sea turtles in the area. “While no one wants to delay the season, CDFW and the Working Group feel a delay is necessary to reduce the risk of entanglement,” said department director Charlton H. Bonham. “The fleet has gone to great lengths to be more nimble in order to protect whales and turtles, and the results are promising.” 

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The Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Mendocino County is pleased to announce the 18th Annual Mendocino County Arts Champion Award recipients.

Each year, nominations for Arts Champion Awards are solicited from the community at large. Honorees are selected by the Arts Council of Mendocino County’s Board of Directors, and are formally recognized with an official proclamation from the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. The 2020 awards and proclamation will be presented by the Board of Supervisors at its meeting on December 15. 

The 2020 Arts Champions are as follows:

  • Artist: Lauren Sinnott
  • Arts Organization: Art Center Ukiah
  • Business: Willits Weekly
  • Educator: Judy Stavely
  • Individual: Gary Martin

Lauren Sinnott, honoree in the artist category, is an art historian and former politician in addition to being an artist. Sinnott was raised in a Wisconsin dairy farm town by an artist mother and poet father. She has degrees in Art and French, and an M.A. in Art History. Wanting to live near the ocean, she travelled to Point Arena - the seventh tiniest city in California - as a young parent of two boys in a school bus turned tiny home to put down roots here based, in part, on the advice of friends who told her: “Your kind of people live there.” She describes the region as exactly what she was looking for: “America has several hinterlands, and this is the hinterland of topography, of communities living in the modern era but isolated and tiny. This is the other California, where populations are dwarfed by the ridged landscape and pounding ocean.” 

Lauren Sinnott

As an artist in a small community, Sinnott’s commissions have ranged from dog portraiture to designing tombstones and wedding dresses. Lauren is currently working on a huge, historical narrative mural on the north wall of the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, Ukiah: Past Present and Future. This epic work of public art is going on year four of production, in part because so many people stop to visit with Lauren while she paints, to admire newly created sections and discover details they may have missed, and in some cases, to pose for the mural. The mural contains over sixty portraits so far and tells many stories of people who live here now, much of which is shared at the mural’s accompanying website:

Art Center Ukiah is honored for their many years of inclusive and high-quality arts programming. Their exhibitions have engaged youth, veterans, and artists at every level of their career, introducing visitors to the fine work of local artists. ACU was instrumental in establishing “Art Walk Ukiah” and, along with the Corner Gallery, has been a cornerstone of it. While the Art Walk is on hold due to the pandemic, it is still possible to view exhibits at both Corner Gallery and Art Center Ukiah thanks to the dedication and resilience of volunteers. (As always, please check with venues for current hours and safety protocol before visiting.)

Willits Weekly (WW) is a locally owned community newspaper, co-founded by Art Director and Chief Photographer Maureen Moore and Editor/Publisher Jennifer Poole. Willits Weekly has covered hundreds of visual and performing arts events since publishing its first edition on May 2, 2013. Inside pages boast full-color photos by feature freelance photographers and writers Mathew Caine and Ree Slocum. Willits Weekly also features the work of news freelancers including

Willits Weekly is honored by the community for being “in tune” with the arts and, “always responding with local event coverage” in the words of one community nominator.

Judy Stavely, Honoree in the Education Category, moved to Mendocino County in 1972 to take a job with the Mendocino Unified School District as a third-grade teacher. The majority of her teaching career was at Comptche School, a one room school house. She always incorporated art, music, dance and theatre into her classroom teaching, knowing that an exposure to the arts is important for a well-rounded education. Upon her retirement in 2010, she “ran away with the circus,” teaching classes for children with Circus Mecca in aerial fabrics and performing during the annual Circus Mecca Halloween show in Mendocino. She also began an aerial class at the Community Center of Mendocino for adults over the age of 50. The class expanded when younger people saw how much fun was being had by the over-50 crowd and “wanted in,” and now it is an adult class of students ages 18-80, who were meeting twice a week before COVID. Judy feels strongly that “circus is for EVERY body.” She enjoys encouraging students of all ages, body types, and abilities to challenge themselves and become successful at things they never thought possible. Judy enjoys playing the fiddle for fun, and has taught at several music camps including Lark in the Morning. She also plays the accordion, most recently with the Hot Club of Comptche. During the last few years she has become a volunteer in border work in both Arizona and Tijuana. She has three daughters and five grand-daughters, who are the most important parts of her life. Judy is honored for her “constant volunteerism” and is described by a community nominator as someone with, “a gift for helping people find a means to belong €¦ an upstanding Mendocino citizen without whom, we would be much less rich.”

Honoree Gary Martin works tirelessly to bring quality art and arts education to Willits and the rural North County communities of Mendocino County. In the words of one of his many community nominators, “His efforts amplify the importance of art to the diverse populations in our community making sure that school children, young adults, townspeople, ranchers, Native Americans, Hispanics and all who have the interest. He also reaches out to artists and craftspeople to give them an avenue to show their works, and harvests a great deal of support and philanthropy from the community to keep the center afloat and thriving. Most recently he has spearheaded the development of an online gallery for the Arts Center in the face of the Covid19's debilitating effects on center operations and artist venues to share and sell their works. He deserves to be recognized for keeping the arts alive in our little corner of the world.” Gary Martin has lived in Willits for the past 20 years. He attended San Jose State University Masters Program in visual arts and after 4 more years of schooling graduated with a MA in Interdisciplinary Art History and Humanities Curriculum. After teaching for a short time at Mendocino College he began presenting art history lessons to students in grade schools and high schools in Willits. He now reaches 2,500 students monthly with presentations on art and art history, covering Laytonville, Covelo, and Willits. Since the COVID-19 Virus hit, he has been presenting lessons to students via Zoom and sponsored by the Willits Center for the Arts, where he is also the curator.

The Mendocino County Arts Champion Awards are annually announced in the fall to coincide with a coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America. For more information about the Mendocino County Art Champion Awards and other Arts Council of Mendocino County programs and services, visit or call 707-463-2727.

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UKIAH - Defendant Dakota Lee Miles of Ukiah was sentenced to 16 months in state prison on Wednesday in Mendocino County Superior Court.

Dakota Miles

Miles, 26, was convicted by plea on Oct. 7 of possession of images depicting sexual conduct by a female under the age of 18 years, a felony. 

Upon Miles’ release on parole from state prison, he will be required to continue to register as a convicted sex offender with local law enforcement in the jurisdiction where he will be allowed to reside. 

This is defendant Miles’s, formerly of Tennessee, second sentencing to a California state prison. He was committed to state prison in May 2017 for unlawful sexual battery and unlawful possession of methamphetamine, both felonies. 

The law enforcement agency that investigated the latest crime was the Ukiah Police Department.

The attorney who handled the prosecution of Miles was Assistant DA Dale P. Trigg.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Carly Dolan was the sentencing judge.

(DA Presser)

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Mendo Bobcats

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TRUMP'S refusing to concede the election as the mail-in vote continued through Thursday to overwhelmingly erode Trump's lead in the election day walk-in vote in key states. Thursday afternoon, Trump broke more than 36 hours of silence by appearing on national television to say, basically, the Democrats are “stealing” the election. El presidente produced no evidence. Biden had pleaded for calm and patience earlier in the afternoon. As he spoke, Trump's lead in must-win Pennsylvania was slipping down, having dipped below 100,000 earlier in the day. His lead in Georgia had halved in 24 hours, while in Arizona and Nevada, Democrats believed they could hold on to their wafer-thin leads. Trump cannot win without Pennsylvania. Biden can win without the Keystone State if he gets Nevada, Arizona and Georgia. Interesting that big shot Republicans are silent in support of their guy. 

THE BACK STORY, although it would take a novel, as all murders do, to fully explain: Last September the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was called out to a shooting that had just occurred at a residence located in the 2500 block of Twining Road in Ukiah. Since shots were fired, deputies, the Ukiah PD and the CHP were soon on-scene where the shooter, Thomas Dean Jones, “self surrendered” without further incident. 


JONES, who has a lengthy criminal history, had shot and killed Jamie Eugene Wilcox, 44, of Ukiah, and shot and seriously injured Wilcox's 28-year-old friend who has survived. The shooting appeared to be the result of a family dispute over the development of the family property. The version we've heard is that Wilcox, a shirttail relative of Jones, told Jones he had to leave the property because he, Wilcox, was selling it. 

JONES was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on charges of murder, attempted murder, being armed during the commission of a felony and prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He has been held ever since at the Mendocino County Jail on a No Bail status. 

MURDER DEFENDANT Jones appeared for his preliminary hearing on Tuesday afternoon in the courtroom of Judge Keith Faulder. The Public Defender's Office, apparently concluding that it takes two public defenders to lose a case whose perp, we understand, handed the cops his confession when the cops arrived on the scene, nevertheless double-teamed prosecutor Eyster by assigning Public Defender Jeff Aaron and Chief Deputy Public Defender Eric Rennert. Why two? No grander motive, it seems, than an effort to derail DA Eyster's case. 

TO THOSE looking on, however, the twofer strategy failed miserably as the DA presented his evidence in an efficient and irrefutably convincing manner. When all was said and done, Judge Faulder held defendant Jones to answer and bound him over for trial on both primary charges — the special circumstance murder of Jaime Wilcox and the attempted murder of Jayme Garden, as well as use of a firearm special allegations. It has been reported that the DA will now add all six of the defendant's prior Strike convictions, all of those violent robberies, to the murder charges going forward. The defendant will be back in court on November 17th for setting a jury trial date, although why he wants to take his seemingly invisible defense to a jury remains known to only him and his twin attorneys. 

I WROTE, “Most Americans get all their info about the great world outside from TV…” A reader promptly responded, “Used to be true, and probably still is for a slice of elders, but with the youngsters coming up that needs to be amended to ‘their phones.’ I watched an interesting documentary last night called ‘The Social Dilemma’ — basically about the phenomenon of social media. Not the smoothest production as it veered into some clunky reenactments a few times, but there were so many interesting revelations and ideas kicked about during interviews, that it was well worth wading through the schlock. Especially for those of us who choose not to participate in this recent gizmo-based social experiment. The thrust of the doc is how the phone phenom has affected society in not a good way. Those of us outside can sense it, but it was fascinating to get the details on how it all works. The solution most insiders agreed upon is regulation of the industry.” 

YES! Double yes to Scott Ostler's proposal that the 49ers sign Colin Kaepernick. “This also is not about politics, although the 49ers signing Kaepernick would restore some of the NFL’s dignity and credibility sacrificed when team owners blackballed the guy because they are greedy and spineless. This is about football, and Kaepernick would provide two benefits: 

• He would energize the 49ers. The plague of injuries had been a drain on team spirits. The players who are still ambulatory will play hard for Mullens, Beathard or whomever quarterbacks the team, but Kaepernick would bring a new energy and an explosive offensive element that would perk up the fellas. 

• Kaepernick would provide an opportunity for Shanahan to try out his offensive magic with a run-dimension quarterback. The playbook’s movement and misdirection already create high anxiety for defenses. Imagine if defenders also had to account for the four or five times a game when the 49ers’ quarterback keeps the ball and turns on the burners.” 

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Planting Acorns

Volunteers are still needed to collect blue oak, black oak and Oregon white oak acorns to support the Acorn Bank before the rains begin. This collaborative project by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD), The Oak Granary and UC The Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) creates a repository of local acorns, from Redwood Valley and the surrounding area, to plant over winter in areas that have been severely affected by wildfires.

“In response to the 2017 Redwood Complex Fire, MCRCD secured a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board to storm-proof unpaved roads to protect water quality, and to jumpstart reforestation of 60 acres of oak woodlands within the fire footprint,” said Joe Scriven, Assistant Executive Director at the MCRCD.

The project is encouraging local volunteers to find an oak tree nearby, identify it and collect acorns for delivery at drop off points in Ukiah, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley and Hopland. “It’s a great family activity, but it does take a little time to do it well,” said Hannah Bird, Community Educator at HREC, who is coordinating the volunteer effort.

Volunteers are asked to first identify their oak. “There are some great guides out there to help you identify your oak; for example, you can use an app on your phone like iNaturalist, or look out for the great one page guide created by Kate Marianchild in local book stores. We know it can be really hard to be sure which oak is which, so we encourage volunteers to add some acorn caps and leaves from the oak tree where they collect into each collection bag – these are really important to help us figure out any mystery oaks!” Bird said.

A brown paper bag and data sheet is all that is needed to join the collection effort. Paper bags are preferred over plastic to avoid molding of the acorns. Each bag of collected acorns should also include a completed data sheet, available for download from the project website, which describes where the acorns were collected from and any additional information the collector is able to offer. Only one kind of acorn should be collected in each bag.

The quality of acorns collected is important. Volunteers are asked to select acorns carefully, choosing only those with no signs of pests or mold. “We’re looking for quality over quantity this year, look carefully at each acorn and leave any with holes in them or other marks or signs of mold. These acorns may not be the best for planting and are an important food source for wildlife at the oak from which you are collecting. One bag of carefully selected acorns collected from each tree is enough,” concluded Bird.

Further details of drop off locations, data sheets and collection methods are available at Acorns from Redwood Valley and the surrounding area, including Ukiah Valley and Potter Valley, will be accepted until the first rains take place. Contact Hannah Bird at or call (707) 744 1424 ext. 105 for further information or questions.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 5, 2020

Britton, Ersland, Guerrero, Kearney

NICHOLAS BRITTON, Covelo. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. False personation of another, county parole violation.

ROGELIO GUERRERO, Boonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ANDREW KEARNEY, Sacramento/Ukiah. More than an ounce of pot, paraphernalia, no license, probation revocation.

Kowalsky, Ladd, Lee

DANIEL KOWALSKY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

VIKTORIA LADD, Clearlake/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

PATRICK LEE, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Linde, Lugo, Maldonado-Meli

MALIA LINDE, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, switchblade, failure to appear.

JORGE LUGO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

EDUARDO MALDONADO-MELI, Lynwood/Fort Bragg. DUI-drugs&alcohol, assault on peace officer, resisting.

McCarty, Medina, Parker

HARVEY MCCARTY, Ukiah. Battery, disorderly conduct-alcohol.

OCTAVIO MEDINA, Gualala. Domestic battery, false imprisonment, damage to communications device.

KOLE PARKER, Fort Bragg. Grand theft.

Ramier, Vance, Williams

STEVEN RAMIER, Ukiah. Reckless evasion, controlled substance, unlawful display of registration.

TIMOTHY VANCE, Covelo. DUI, no license.

QUINN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Loaded handgun-not registered owner.

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Real conspiracy wrote: If everything is a conspiracy… then nothing is real. Except that it would at least imply reality is a conspiracy, suggesting since we all agreed on reality in the first place, then we're all a part of the conspiracy... of reality. My head hurts now.

Marco McClean replies:

Notty, I never got the call that the cheap tires I ordered last week came in, so I went back to Pep Boys* and stood in line. Talked with the woman in front of me for awhile. Waited. A big man in a ball cap came in, bypassed the huge line behind me to stand next to me, just behind the crowd tape. The busy counterman shouted at him, "Are you here for the bread tracks?" The man shook his head. I said, "You're not here for the bread tracks?" He said, "Is that what he said? I didn't hear what he said." I said, "Bread tracks. Would that be tracks on bread or the tracks left by bread..."

The man switched on like a light switch and began to explain to me all about chemtrails. He said we need to wake up, all over the world, to the reality of how we're being manipulated. I said, "Contrails are ice particles, water, a burn product of jet fuel." "Where were they before jets, then?" I said, "Exactly." He said his brother used to be an airline pilot, and they're geoengineering the planet." [Here he made something invisible in the air with his hands] "They're using weather as a weapon of war, like in Vietnam, they made it rain for weeks on end. I said, "How did they do that?" He said, "They inject nanoparticles into the atmosphere and beam microwaves into it. They can make a cloud rain or dry it up." I said, "When they dry up a cloud in the air, where does the water vapor go?" He sculpted something else invisible in front of him with his hands as he said, "It compresses it into the nucleation." I said, "Ah." That made me think of the episode of Eureka where people were drowning, filling up with water from nowhere, from the Other World maybe. One woman was killed when enough water somehow came out of her body to fill up the entire cab of her car. This was possible, it was explained, because it was synthetic water. I didn't say anything about that, though, because a man farther back in line had begun to make noises like phht and pffff. (Scoffing, I think, about chemtrails, or contrails.) (Or reacting to something coming from his earbuds, a sportsball game, perhaps, or election news.) (Or music. Maybe he was introvertedly beatboxing.)

The man next to me told me about GeoEngineeringWatch, about having met the author at a seminar. I said, "You met him? The author?" "Yep," he said, and he told me about how you can see the particles --the strontium and barium and aluminum-- in the air if you go out at night with a flashlight and shine it straight up, but it has to be a perfectly dark night. He said, "Once I saw these polymer strands coming down that they're putting in the air. They were everywhere. And they'd come down and kind of coil up." He coiled something up with his hands. I said, "Were they spiderwebs?" He said, "In the air? No." I said, "Sure, depending on the place and time of year, there are in fact spiders living in the air."

The farther-back man choked on something. I looked back there. The girl directly behind me was sitting on a tire, playing a game on her phone of lots of shiny little things moving around. Then the choking man, then several more people. The line reached out the door.

The man next to me crinkled his brow and pushed his mask up over where it had fallen from covering his nose. He wasn't buying the spiders. I said, "You can look it up. They use the difference in electrical charge between the earth and the top of plants or trees to sail on a single strand of web. It's repelled from the like-charge on the ground. They can fly hundreds of miles."

I told him if he liked GeoEngineeringWatch he would really like TimeCube. "What's time cube?" I said, "TimeCube, in a nutshell, is the theory that the world is not flat, nor a sphere, but rather a cube. A cube in time. And the Middle Ages never happened, but King Arthur and Camelot did. The TimeCube guy uses a flashlight, too, or he did; he's dead now. They silenced him."

Finally it was my turn at the counter. They had never followed through to order the tires at all. They had my name and phone number but that's all they had, because the man I'd dealt with got sick, and that's why they're shorthanded. Sigh.

IN OTHER NEWS: Proud and free

In further other news, the *Pep Boys logo is a cartoon caricature of the three good friends who started the company: Emanuel Rosenfeld, Moe Radavitz and Jack Jackson -- Manny, Moe and Jack. Ayn Ruyman, who played Jan in the 1973 film Go Ask Alice and who's been in lots of shows for Mendocino Theater Company, did a one-woman show in the late 1990s where she told about her cancer scare. The part that stuck in my mind is where she was wearing a Pep Boys t-shirt when she came home from the doctor and told her then-teenage son about finding out she might have breast cancer. He said, "Which one is it, Manny or Jack?"

* * *

Muddy River (Navarro)

* * *



As a witness to the political and cultural divisiveness injected into the simple act of mask wearing, I would ask those in the camp of “this is all about personal responsibility, not some flock of sheep mentality” to take that final step of personal responsibility and pledge not to accept any social services, including medical care, if they contract the virus.

If, because of their conscious refusal to wear a simple piece of clothing, they have knowingly chosen to endanger the lives of others, I would simply ask them to stay out of the medical system and accept the course of the disease they have belittled.

Maybe some clever individualist can come up with a nice pendant that simply states, “I’m responsible: Do not treat for COVID.”

Ernest Shelton


* * *


There’s nothing in the great moral arc of the universe that sez that good must prevail in the end. Does it really bend towards justice? From the perspective of an individual human lifetime and those many millions existing at the same time, an imperceptible curve is worthless. For long stretches ordinary people lived short and hungry and sick lives with a few bullies at the top making conditions unbearable for them. 

Do we ever learn from history? I don’t see it, I think that nobody ever learned from history and nobody ever will, especially current day shot-callers at the top and the so-called “educated” elite talking down to everybody, insisting that they’re all about facts and evidence and “science”. For my part, I’ve had more than enough dealings and day-to-day exposure to them and in my estimation they’re corrupt, self-seeking, incompetent liars, full of shit, top to bottom. 

* * *

Mendo Beach

* * *


When I was a young man/student I worked as a barman at a huge, state-funded complex that staged major sporting events. It had about a dozen bars and a number of food outlets, including a fine dining restaurant.

At the end of the night, the barman’s instructions were not to count the money, do a stock check and square it all off against the cash register printout.

No, it was to throw everything, uncounted money and printout together, without any stock check, into a calico bag and to deliver that bag to the boardroom where six or seven men stood laughing and smoking and drinking around a boardroom table about 30 feet long and covered to some depth with piles of loose cash.

I was there instructed to dump out the contents of the calico bag onto the table with the rest of the undifferentiated cash and then hit the road. It was kind of like a scene out of Casino. 

The person who was overseeing this is now a very senior and well known bureaucrat-manager in the national government-sports scam.

Seeing something like that can teach a very young man a lot about the world.

* * *


On this date in 1855, labor leader, reformer and socialist Eugene Victor Debs was born in Terre Haute, Ind. He was not baptized by his formerly Catholic mother. The family living room contained busts of Voltaire and Rousseau. When a teacher gave Debs a bible as an academic award, inscribing it "Read and obey," Debs later recalled, "I never did either." (New York Call interviews with David Karsner.) He dropped out of high school at age 14 to work.

Eugene Debs

By 1870 he had become a fireman on the railroad, attending evening classes at a business college. His labor activism began in 1875. As president of the Occidental Literary Club of Terre Haute, Debs brought "the Great Agnostic" Col. Robert Ingersoll, whom he always revered despite political differences, Susan B. Anthony and other famous speakers to town. He was elected to the Indiana General Assembly as a Democrat in 1884 while continuing his labor activities. He married Kate Metzel in 1885. They never had children.

As editor of the Locomotive Fireman's journal for many years, Debs routinely attacked the church, promoted women's and racial equality and promoted justice for the poor. "If I were hungry and friendless today, I would rather take my chances with a saloon-keeper than with the average preacher," Debs once said. (Cited in Eugene V. Debs: A Man Unafraid McAlister Coleman, 1930.) He saved his strongest denunciations for the Catholic Church for being an anti-democratic, authoritarian "political machine."

Debs organized the first U.S. industrial union, the American Railway Union in Chicago in 1893. It conducted a successful 1894 strike for 18 days against the Great Northern Railway. Debs and leaders of the union were arrested that same year during the Pullman strike and were jailed for contempt of court for six months. Debs ran for president as a Socialist Party candidate in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920.

He was associate editor from 1907-12 of the Appeal to Reason, a popular weekly published by freethinker E. Haldeman-Julius in Girard, Kansas. In 1918 he was arrested for an anti-war speech in Canton, Ohio, and was sentenced under the wartime espionage law to 10 years in prison and loss of citizenship. While in prison he was nominated for president and conducted his last campaign, winning nearly a million votes.

President Warren G. Harding commuted Debs' sentence and released him on Dec. 25, 1921. He was welcomed by 1,000 Terre Hauteans upon his return. His health broken by his imprisonment, he died at age 70 in 1926 in a sanitarium. The Terre Haute home he built with his wife in 1890 is a National Historic Landmark of the National Park Service and a museum.

“I left that church with rich and royal hatred of the priest as a person, and a loathing for the church as an institution, and I vowed that I would never go inside a church again.”

—"Talks with Debs in Terre Haute" by David Karsner (1922)

* * *

“ONCE WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus.

Finally, there was only one other family between us and the ticket counter. This family made a big impression on me.

There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. The way they were dressed, you could tell they didn't have a lot of money, but their clothes were neat and clean.

The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering about the clowns, animals, and all the acts they would be seeing that night. By their excitement you could sense they had never been to the circus before. It would be a highlight of their lives.

The father and mother were at the head of the pack standing proud as could be. The mother was holding her husband's hand, looking up at him as if to say, “You're my knight in shining armor.” He was smiling and enjoying seeing his family happy.

The ticket lady asked the man how many tickets he wanted? He proudly responded, “I'd like to buy eight children's tickets and two adult tickets, so I can take my family to the circus.” The ticket lady stated the price.

The man's wife let go of his hand, her head dropped, the man's lip began to quiver. Then he leaned a little closer and asked, “How much did you say?” The ticket lady again stated the price.

The man didn't have enough money. How was he supposed to turn and tell his eight kids that he didn't have enough money to take them to the circus?

Seeing what was going on, my dad reached into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill, and then dropped it on the ground. (We were not wealthy in any sense of the word!) My father bent down, picked up the $20 bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.”

The man understood what was going on. He wasn't begging for a handout but certainly appreciated the help in a desperate, heartbreaking and embarrassing situation.

He looked straight into my dad's eyes, took my dad's hand in both of his, squeezed tightly onto the $20 bill, and with his lip quivering and a tear streaming down his cheek, he replied; “Thank you, thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family.”

My father and I went back to our car and drove home. The $20 that my dad gave away is what we were going to buy our own tickets with.

Although we didn't get to see the circus that night, we both felt a joy inside us that was far greater than seeing the circus could ever provide.

That day I learnt the value to Give.

The Giver is bigger than the Receiver. If you want to be large, larger than life, learn to Give. Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only with what you are expecting to give — which is everything.

The importance of giving, blessing others can never be over emphasized because there's always joy in giving. Learn to make someone happy by acts of giving.”

— Katharine Hepburn

* * *


by Bruce McEwen

A reporter, free-lance, on a prospective New Yorker article, contacted me about Homer’s fate. She said, “There’s going to be one of those signature New Yorker pieces,” – the kind of full-length feature that takes months and months of intense interviews, research, and fact-checking, every lead followed to the bitter end, every thread untangled, every pebble over-turned and microscopically inspected.

The reporter, Miranda Dolittle, showed up last weekend, and has endeared herself to the Duchess, who went into raptures of enthusiasm at the thought of being mentioned in the New Yorker. A suite of rooms in the manor was tidied up for her, and the staff instructed that she be given every consideration. The Duchess especially desired her secretary, who is also her nephew, Clarence Clemson, to satisfy Ms. Dolittle’s curiosity in matters relating to Homer’s disappearance and presumed demise by fire.

Ms. Dolittle, the misnamed busybody, next came to me.

The Christ-on-a-crutch cliché best describes my experience with Miranda Dolittle. I have long abhorred that widely respected and once-readable magazine – ever since the new editors turned it into a highbrow version of the National Enquirer and (in the memorable words of one of its forgettable staff writers), “wrestled American humor down and broke its arm.” The current New Yorker would no more tolerate anyone like James Thurber or Dorothy Parker, than Rolling Stone would allow a Hunter S. Thompson in their pages. The ostensibly humorous “Shouts & Murmurs” has proven, week in and week out, to be the most nauseating section and, like Hobbes’s *dictum, has the single virtue of being briefer than all the rest of the over-wrought, endlessly involved, cluttered verbosity the magazine is so celebrated for.

(*”…poor, nasty, brutish and short.”)

Dolittle found me at my duty, high up on a 40-foot extension ladder, scraping and priming the peak of the barn gable and, after shouting some inaudible and otherwise unintelligible gabble, she finally coaxed me down to see what it was she wanted. She wanted to ask me about Homer, but first the unconsciously nosy thing she had to know was all about me, and a series of annoyingly personal questions were asked, in the coy guise of small talk, so it wasn’t long before I refilled my paint pot and re-ascended the ladder where I was able to ignore her.

Choking down her indignation, she left in a huff, naturally, and went straight to the Duchess.

A note was sent down from the manor, instructing me to be more obliging, as everyone was hoping to attain his or her vague goal of “closure.”

I replied that I was as much in the dark as to Homer’s fate or whereabouts as anyone else, what I had to say I had already said, and that I was not inclined to have my own personal business exposed to the enquiring minds who subscribe to the New Yorker.

 I also added my resolve that if Ms. Dolittle continued to badger me, I would quit and move out.

From then on I only saw her here and there in passing, always with a haughty sneer on her face, as if she were somehow depriving me of something I was unworthy of. And so that was that, for my part of the New Yorker story,

As for my own investigations, I soon learned that the cake had been eaten and the wine drunk, but by whom, I still did not know. The remains of the cake I saw through an upper storey window, while replacing the screens with storm windows. The wine bottle was upside-down in an ornate wine bucket, a white tablecloth was stained with spilled wine and cake crumbs, the sparkling shards of two broken champagne flutes littered the marble fireplace hearth. A housemaid came in while I was working and carried away the remains of the cake. I moved on to the next set of windows, which opened on a bedroom tableau with more salacious clues. The bed was unmade, the duvet thrown back, the rumpled pink satin sheets exposed, and there were undergarments, scattered here and there, in haphazard fashion, all leading from the bed back to the door to the adjacent parlor where the cake and wine had been served.

The evidence of a venereal encounter was compelling. But the Duchess’s involvement was less than certain. Although it was her house, there were many people living therein, the most prominent of them being the Duchess’s secretary and nephew, Clarence Clemson, who I often saw with young women he appeared to be intimate with. Hugging and kissing being so utterly verboten in the age of Covid-19, he must be inside the “bubble” of these consorts, who often as not took off their face masks when they arrived and put them back on when they left, after a few hours, overnight or, even, sometimes, after the weekend.

And so, again, Homer, if you’re reading this, do not jump to any hasty conclusions and come bursting on the scene exulting in an Aha!-moment. Keep in mind, Homer, that young Mr. Clemson has a Biden-Harris bumper-sticker on his Prius and he and that one of his girlfriends may well have been celebrating a Biden victory. Also, Homer, as I know full well that you and your fellow would-be militia members, The Proud Flesh Boys, are all ardent MAGA men, your resentments concerning the recent election results must be at a fearsome pitch, but please don’t do anything drastic. It will be a long drawn-out process changing the watch at the White House and next two-and-a-half months will be worth watching for us all. 

* * *

Boats & Cars, Noyo

* * *


by Ralph Nader

Conservative media celebrities Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have flagrantly violated the federal election law prohibition of donating anything of value exceeding $2,800 to a presidential candidate.

The ongoing strategic collaboration between Trump, Hannity and Limbaugh is obvious and has been widely documented in newspapers and books. Both Hannity and Limbaugh have collaborated with President Donald Trump to turn their invaluable radio and television programming time into soap-boxes for his 2020 re-election efforts. Also, Hannity and Limbaugh have made no effort to hide it: they openly boast about it.

The in-kind programming contributions Hannity and Limbaugh have made to Trump’s campaign vastly exceed $2,800 in value based on the costs of 60 seconds of advertising on their respective shows.

Trump has violated the Federal Election Campaign Act in neglecting to report the in-kind contributions from Hannity and Limbaugh to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Will the FEC ever enforce its own regulations? The failure to report these election law violations is also journalistic malpractice.

* * *

Noyo Harbor

* * *


Contrail chemistry

 I have a friend who prefers to remain anonymous but still engage with the world from behind a rock, which I never understand, but it's what it is and I don't want to hurt his feelings, who read about the tire store chemtrail guy and that prompted him to send me two megabytes of scientific papers about the burn products of jet fuel, to educate me. Or correct me. Or something.

I read the papers, what I could understand of them, and wrote back:

Thank you. In short, what we see is water ice crystals and the rest is other combustion products, nowhere near the amount of similar combustion products released into the air and sea by land vehicles and ships, and not a drop of it deliberately sprayed there by mad scientists to modify the planet for space alien invasion nor as an extension of the HAARP project to surgically devastate our antipodal enemies with a microwave earthquake or a genetically engineered plague.

Our industrial civilization has effects on the world that need to be understood and mitigated, yes, good, but new-age spiritual space-alien chemtrails hysteria is funny.

Funny in the sense of, I'm just here in Pep Boys to sort out this tire situation, properly socially distancing, and this relatively sedate but insistent yahoo is making it his personal project to convert me to his crazy cult, and so I'm patiently having as much fun with it as I can, because what else can I do?

I only wrote down like a third of the crap he was telling me, and the equally crap nonsense I told him in return, which he seemed entirely oblivious to. He would wait while I told him about how flashlight batteries work, or about a camping trip with my college friend Dan more than forty years ago involving sending soap bubbles up the night air via campfire, and then he'd start about how the air of Earth is not the same as he remembers it from years ago, wouldn't I agree?, and it's all because of the government spraying mind-control chemicals like crop dusting us, and you can tell by how sometimes chemtrails go all the way across the sky and sometimes they don't. And sometimes they're all wiggly! "Have you ever seen that?" he said. "Yes," I said. "Then you know," he said.

The guy farther behind us was having some fun with this. Probably recording it for YouTube, his own snorts and all.

See, there's where I always miss a trick. It never occurred to me to record this guy. I had my phone right there and everything. He was odd in that he was a lot heavier, meatier than most people on a mission like that. You think rather of a scarecrow-like character, from experience.

Speaking of which, there was a guy who used to come in to KMFB to visit, of the tweeky scarecrow variety, and he'd call me on the radio every once in awhile with a line about chemtrails, who one time earlier that day had seen an airplane turn around and go the other way, and how could I explain that? he wanted to know. "They can turn around," I said. He said, "Yeah, but not that fast. Freaky fast. It was all over the place. And I was just out in my garden, minding my own business. What if I hadn't been there?" I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "What if I hadn't seen it. Nobody would know." I said, "Are you sure you wanta be telling me this? Now they know you saw them."

This is fun too but, dang it, I was going to send my dream journal... I'll just read it on the radio Friday night. That'll be good enough. I won't have typed it for nothing. I'll get my ten minutes back.

— Marco McClean

* * *

TRUMP SHOULD HAVE LOST IN A LANDSLIDE. The fact that he didn’t speaks volumes.

”To many on the left, then, Biden’s lackluster performance is no surprise. Yes, Trump could have been resoundingly defeated. But 2016 proved once and for all that the Democratic establishment simply doesn’t have a message that can effectively counter Trump. The party leadership ignored the lessons that should have been learned four years ago. Instead, Democratic strategy is the very definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

* * *

THE TALLEST TREE IN WALES had been damaged by a storm and was supposed to be cut down, but a better solution was found. Natural Resource Wales, which was in charge of the site, ordered artist O'Rourke to cut down the tree.

He came up with the concept of carving the tree stump and trunk into a giant hand - to symbolise the tree's last attempt to reach the sky.

Once completed, the sculpture was coated with tung oil, a natural vegetable oil safe for the closeness of the riverways.

It’s called "The Giant Hand Of Vyrnwy"

Sculptor Simon O'Rourke

Height: 15,25 meters

* * *

"THAT THE DEMOCRATS LOSE HOUSE SEATS, do not win the Senate and barely manage to drag their demented presidential candidate towards a stalemate tells a lot about their lack of sane policies. A donor party completely disinterested in what the people really want - medicare for all, no fracking etc. - will have little chance to survive a future onslaught of conservatives with a more competent figure head than Donald Trump. 

I see no comprise possible that would satisfy both parties. I fear that, should Trump lose this election. Trumpism will only grow and make the U.S. ungovernable.

Maybe Trump and Biden could publicly draw straws to get it over with."

— Moon of Alabama

* * *

* * *


by Matt Taibbi

In an irony he is humorously ill-equipped to appreciate, Donald Trump by losing this week may have gained something for the Republican Party bureaucracy he took such pleasure in humiliating four years ago: a future. Defying years of muddle-headed media analyses, Trump underperformed with white men, but made gains with every other demographic. Some 26 percent of his votes came from non-white Americans, the highest percentage for a Republican since 1960.

The politician who became instantly famous — and infamous — by saying of Mexican immigrants, “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” performed stunningly well with Latino voters. Exit polls, which can be unreliable, pegged his national support at 32%-35% of the Latino vote. More tellingly were results in certain counties. Starr County, Texas, the county with the highest percentage of Hispanic or Latino voters — above 95% — voted for Hillary Clinton by a 60-point margin in 2016.

Even more amazing was Trump’s performance among Black voters. The man whose 2016 message to “the blacks” was very nearly a parody of long-ago New York mayoral candidate Mario Procaccino’s pledge that “My heart is as black as yours” must have found a new way to connect. Trump doubled his support with Black women, moving from 4% in 2016 to 8%, while upping his support among Black men from 13% to 18%. Remember, this was after four years of near-constant denunciations of Trump as not just a racist, but the leader of a literal white supremacist movement.

Trump’s numbers with the LGBTQ community were a stunner also, jumping from 14% to 28%. In September, a dating app for queer men called Hornet ran a survey that showed 45% support for Trump among gay men. Ever since Trump jumped into politics, media observers have rushed to denounce any Trump-related data that conflicts with conventional wisdom, and the Hornet survey was no different. ‘Out’ magazine quoted a communications professor from Cal Poly Pomona as saying, “To tout a Hornet poll as evidence of LGBTQ support for Trump is clickbaity, sloppy journalism.” Even the Hornet editor scoffed at his own poll, before it all turned out to be true in the election.

Trump even improved his standing among white women, 53% of whom were already pilloried in 2016 for voting for a man who bragged about how you “grab ’em by the pussy, you can do anything.” Trump spent four years of being ripped for accusations of sexual misconduct, vile comments, and, let’s not forget also, infidelity! Trump as president was busted for wantonly cheating with multiple women, including porn stars who offered the press incredible, retch-inducing descriptions of the presidential tackle.

Yet even here, Trump gained, earning 55% of the white female vote. These results, juxtaposed against the contrasting media coverage, suggested the basic divide. Joe Biden earned 57% of the votes of college graduates, and cleaned up in the cities. Trump won 60% of voters in small towns and rural areas. In simple terms, Trump won with the sort of people who do not read The Washington Post or watch MSNBC, and disagreed with their myths. Trump lost the election because of his handling of the pandemic, the top issue for 41% of voters, who chose Biden by a nearly 3-1 margin. But among people whose top concern was the economy — 28% of the electorate — Trump won an incredible 80% of the vote.

All of this points to a dramatic change. Trump may not have done much, politically, to deserve the support of Black, Latino, LGBTQ, and female voters. But the Democrats’ conspicuous refusal to address economic inequality and other class issues in a meaningful way created an opening. Now, Trump is likely to leave the White House, but he created a coalition that some Republicans already understand would deliver massively in a non-pandemic situation. As Missouri Republican Josh Hawley put it the night of the election, “We are a working-class party now. That’s the future.”

What happens from here is a race to see which political party can make the obvious dumb move faster. Will the Democrats, emboldened by the false high of a Biden victory, blow off the clear need to revamp their economic messaging before 2022, when they risk losing both houses of congress? Or will the Republican opposition give away the Trump coalition just as fast, by choosing Mitch McConnell’s donor list over Hawley’s insight?

* * *

“In an unexpected turn of events, Nevada has lost the popular vote.”

* * *


by James Kunstler

Election update, 9:10 am Thurs Nov 4

Thursday morning and the election remains unresolved with the prospect of a long legal battle ahead. The most striking feature of all this is America’s failure to arrange a fair, honest, and coherent election system. Instead, we add layers of complexity that only increase the likelihood of failure and opportunities for cheating. But remember, one of the hallmarks of the long emergency is the federal government’s growing impotence and incompetence to deal with anything.

As for red flags, we have the 4 a.m. Wednesday morning dump of 131,000 votes, all for Mr. Biden, none for Mr. Trump, emanating out of Shiawassee and Antrim Counties, Michigan, populations respectively 68,000 and 23,000. Some person in the chain there declared it was “a typo,” but the returns don’t reflect that the false number was retracted. A similar dump of 27,000, all for Biden, came out of Philadelphia, no explanation. And that was only the beginning of a Democratic Party wholesale mail-in ballot manufacturing effort that continues to this writing.

The Democrats have established a Biden “transition team” to lay on a veneer of legitimacy to their scheme, with the expectation that the mainstream media will amplify the idea that it’s over but it’s not over. The Trump campaign has also declared victory in PA, Michigan, and other states that are supposedly still reporting. All of this is tending to the Supreme Court where some people are gonna have to do some ‘splainin’.

The chances are pretty good for all this to enter an ugly stage of violent intransigence, with Antifa / BLM mobs of Dem “allies” busting things up in Philadelphia and Detroit, to distract from what’s going on in the election district counting rooms.

The legal battles could stretch out into December when states have to certify electors, and if that can’t be resolved, it’s on to the House of representatives for the first time since 1876 (Hayes-Tilden).

Election update, 9:50 am Weds Nov 4

The election has rolled out as expected here – that is, not resolved the morning after, with Antifa and BLM rioters already moiling in the streets of Washington D.C.

Portland, Oregon, remains in continual uproar after four months of violence and destruction, and Mayor Ted Wheeler won reelection against “Antifa candidate” Sarah Iannarone. Lucky Portland.

Outside the swing states still in play, the margins were strikingly lopsided. Joe Biden’s radiant charisma worked in the usual blue coastal states — Cal 65% to 33%, NY 55% to 33% — but Mr. Trump’s margins were equally lopsided in the flyover red states — OK 65% to 32%, TN 60% to 37%, MO 56% to 41%. Mr. Biden won thumpingly in VA once the Deep State bedroom counties next to DC came in late at night. But the president won convincingly in FLA, OH, and TX.

For now, at 9 a.m. Weds, the race hinges on the usual suspects. Mr. Trump is up a half a percent in Michigan with 91% of votes counted; Mr. Biden is seven-tenths up in Wisconsin, with 95% in awaiting Green Bay results (delayed, apparently, because a vote-processing machine ran out of ink (!). Similar close margins in NC not so close in GA, with the president ahead a healthy 2 percent, and finally the dark maw of mischief, PA, where Mr. Trump was up by more than ten full percentage points (@700,000 votes) this morning, but awaiting more than a million mail-in ballots.

Let’s not forget the rather reckless remark made by PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Halloween night that “if all the votes are added up, Mr. Trump is going to lose.” Sounded pretty sure of himself. Now, as I understand it, the PA state supreme court ruled recently that counties could continue to process mail-in votes until Friday, and, more importantly, that they did not require postmarks or signature authentication — which would appear an easy invitation to simple ballot fraud.

The president vowed late Tuesday night to take a case to the US supreme court where, I expect, that PA ruling will be tossed out as self-evidently unsound. Can the forces of Dem Lawfare work around that? I don’t see how, but I’m not a constitutional lawyer. The Dems have worked hard in recent years to manufacture the inane and false narrative that any kind of voter-ID procedure amounts to “suppression.” America needs to get its mind right about that.

Does Lawfare have other tricks up its sleeve? I rather expect so, but the president has had months to plan his own defense against the threat of a Lawfare coup, so now we will see the game play out. Meanwhile, we await mayhem in the streets, condoned and encouraged by Joe Biden’s party, as though that will endear him to nation.

* * *

THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKED LIKE, the first illustrated history of printed ballot design, illuminates the noble but often flawed process at the heart of our democracy. An exploration and celebration of US ballots from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this visual history reveals unregulated, outlandish, and, at times, absurd designs that reflect the explosive growth and changing face of the voting public. The ballots offer insight into a pivotal time in American history--a period of tectonic shifts in the electoral system--fraught with electoral fraud, disenfranchisement, scams, and skullduggery, as parties printed their own tickets and voters risked their lives going to the polls. 

The California Historical Society is excited to present this talk with author, Alicia Cheng. Alicia Cheng is a founding partner of MGMT. design in Brooklyn, New York. She currently serves as an external critic for the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught at Yale University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Barnard College, and the Cooper Union. Cheng was a past board member of the AIGA/NY chapter.”


  1. chuck dunbar November 6, 2020

    Nice new layout for the AVA–missed the comments over the last week or so, but not much happening in these United States…..

  2. Lazarus November 6, 2020

    I figured by the sound of it from Mr. AVA, comments were going to be eliminated.
    1 out of 3 pertinent, loons, trolls, and agenda driven crazies, etc. what a gaggle, that said, they do pay to play…sort of.
    Be Swell,

  3. Marmon November 6, 2020

    I thought you were going to wait until after the elections were over?


  4. sam kircher November 6, 2020

    Lookin’ good AVA!
    Missed the comments, but not all of them.
    Here’s hoping trolling season is over.
    Wishful thinking, I know…

  5. Paul November 6, 2020

    The new layout sucks balls.

  6. John Sakowicz November 6, 2020

    Wasn’t Lauren Sinnott married to Dan Hamburg? I think the marriage lasted less than a year.

  7. Professor Cosmos November 8, 2020

    The block-long mural on Church Street will be finished next year. There are only the lower half of a few panels left to finish. The next three days she finishes up the service panel with fire fighters, health care workers, and soldiers. (There will be a honoring of cops in the last panel.) The last thing will be the anti graffiti sealant on that section.

    There are alot of familiar faces on that mural.

    The last panel is the future.

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