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DRY WEATHER is expected through Sunday morning with cold nights and mild days. Light rain will return mostly north of Cape Mendocino Sunday afternoon into Monday, with additional light rain possible late Tuesday into Wednesday. (NWS)
17 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Thursday bringing the total to 1385.
MENDOCINO SHERIFF MATT KENDALL:
"I’d like to let all the residents of Mendocino County know that the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing compliance of any health or emergency orders related to curfews."
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
California tallies COVID-19 cases by positive qualifying test result, essentially positive PCR test. The rollout of non-qualifying tests, including BinaxNOW, should be applauded. Heath care providers are making use of the best available tools. This however might add another reporting challenge. Including all known cases will not generate the same total as the state report. Excluding the non-qualifying results will align our numbers with the state numbers, but in effect underreport known cases. Public health is striving for both simple and accurate reporting. Underlying criteria complexity makes these goals somewhat mutually exclusive. The counts need to be viewed through the lens of footnotes. Reported cases may not always be the same as total "known" cases, just as the latency of test date to result date has painted different pictures juxtaposed as our dashboard and the state's rear view mirror, both valid representations of available data.
BUY POP'S BOOK, IT’S REALLY GOOD.
A Jog Down Memory Lane....
Nostalgia quickly sets in as I read this book, a true work of art. I am not only saying this because my name is Eli Gibbons, son of esteemed writer Jim Gibbons and Author of "A Jog Down Memory Lane" and its predecessor, "Flashbacks.” Jim Gibbons' writing style draws you in and captivates you! This book will not only cater to the avid runner but to anyone looking for compelling stories about the amazing life of a West Coast Legend!
For those of you who do not know, my dad was a World Class Masters Runner and these stories are from articles he's written over the past 40+ years! Some of my dad's accolades include running over 528 road races, 13 marathons, winning three U.S. National Cross Country Championships, placing 2nd in the World Championships and tying the American Record in the 800m! He has raced all over the Country / World and this book compiles some truly amazing stories from over the years!
Even if you are not a runner, you will love this book! I know I am biased, but my father's writing style is captivating and I am sure this book will be a favorite of yours for years to come!
Pick yourself up a copy on Amazon: "A JOG DOWN MEMORY LANE" by Jim Gibbons — you will be glad you did!
WINDFALLS, WASTE & CAPITULATION
by Mark Scaramella
At last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, it was disclosed that Mendo, like the state apparently, is awash in cash, and that whatever budget deficits may have been caused by covid-revenue shortfalls, or healthcare and departmental overruns, or long-delayed road maintenance, or the hiring of additional law enforcement officers is chump change compared to the big bucks that have just rolled in to the County of Mendocino.
First, and by far the largest, there’s the unexpected and unbudgeted PG&E settlement money that the County is poised to get via their mostly passive participation in a multi-county lawsuit stemming from fire damage caused by PG&E’s equipment in 2017. On Tuesday, we were told that Mendo stands to get almost $23 million from that settlement, most of which seems to be unrestricted, although there’s some sentiment in favor of using it for things directly related to disaster recovery, like road repairs, and disaster prep/planning.
Additionally, there’s now an estimated General Fund reserve of $12.2 million and a carry over from last year of over $6 million, a total of over $40 million that is not yet spoken for.
So, unless some other shoe falls in the next few months, all us budget worryworts can now shift our worries from budget shortfalls to wasteful and overpriced projects which are sure to arise when irresponsible people have this much money at their disposal.
Perhaps as an omen of how wasteful Mendo is capable of being with their newfound millions, two perfect prototypes of Mendo-style waste were approved on Tuesday.
In addition to the $40 mil or so mentioned above, Mendo stands to get $2 or $3 million from the state’s “Cannabis Equity Grant” program which aims to “help” potential pot cultivation permit applicants get through the system. But, like most state grants, the applicants/clients don’t get the money, the “helpers” do.
On Tuesday, Supervisor Haschack pulled the Equity Grant item from the consent calendar which proposed to hire an outside consultant at $160 an hour to “help” the pot permit applicants with their applications.
Commenting on the item, Supervisor Williams said, “The cannabis equity program is about assisting cultivators to engage in the legal market. It provides assistance to help our cultivators get through the county's permitting process. But here's a question for Planning Director Brent Schultz: In other counties I see that the county permit provides documentation that allows a cultivator to get a state license. In our county a cultivator going through our whole permitting process is not any closer to a state license than before they started our process. It looks to me like we are using the cannabis equity funds on a dead-end path. It's hard to talk about this item without talking about the big picture of how we are spending the money. Given that you oversee our cannabis program, do you have anyone on your staff who believes that our county permitting process will get cultivators a state annual license by the deadline a year from now?”
Planning and Building Services Director Schultz: “You are asking, Does our ministerial permit process, if they meet every condition in that ministerial ordinance, all the measures in our mitigated negative declaration in our ordinance, if they get all that and provide everything to us, will they get an annual license from the state just off our ministerial license? Is that your question?”
Williams: “Using these equity dollars to get the cultivator through our county permit process, will they be any closer to a state license?”
“No. They will not,” replied Schultz, before veering off into a jargon laced hedge: “However, it is written broadly so that if there are those who go through our discretionary ordinance, we can help them with their discretionary ordinance and charges and costs. There are many other things. It's written very broadly. I believe it's important to get Megan [Dukett, CEO Carmel Angelo’s hand-picked interim Cannabis Permit Program Manager, who everyone cozily refers to by her first name] the staff she needs to be ready to go because there is a time limit on this money and we have to get it spent. We are working on the new cannabis ordinance. When that goes in place -- or our coastal cannabis ordinance, that one is a discretionary use permit based ordinance — when that goes in place people that qualify for this grant, we can help them get through the process with a discretionary ordinance because we can get them their site specific CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] analysis and their notice of termination or redemption and the California Department of Food and Agriculture could give them an annual license — if they qualify with state licensing requirements also.”
Haschak: “Maybe we should just keep this to the state equity grant topic.”
Williams: “I support this item. Megan deserves an award for persevering through this whole process. And this is just one more aspect of that. I support the item because we need to move forward and spend the dollars. But I have a concern that we are throwing good money after bad money. We are spending down a path that is a dead end.”
Haschak: “My concern is not that we don't need this, or that it could be problematic, but that -- I understand through legal counsel that the program manager (consultant) is paid at $160 an hour. It seems like a straight $160 per hour for this across-the-board for all these expenses and tasks. It’s maybe a little overinflated. But with that said, I will leave it.”
Supervisor John McCowen: “I agree we need to move forward with this. You raise valid points. Supervisor Williams has a valid concern. But I don't see anything to be gained by further delay in implementing the equity program grant. Originally we were hopeful we might be pushing this money out as early as July. I totally agree that we don't want to push it out to people who are destined to fail. It just underlines the need to have a functional path forward which we don't currently have. I think Director Schultz alluded to a discretionary ordinance as being a workable vehicle. But all the concerns are valid and we still need to move forward.”
Forward without delay to the dead end, that is.
Next up on the spend-first/ask-questions-later agenda was the Board’s rubberstamping of a $3.5 million construction contract to Cupples Construction of Ukiah for the “Crisis Residential Treatment” four-bedroom house on Orchard Street inevitably placed next to Camille Schraeder’s Ukiah mental health admin headquarters. The $3.5 million is part of a $5 million-plus total outlay for a simple four-plex facility which apparently requires a couple more million for design, planning, admin, the County’s newly hired “construction manager,” and every possible bell and whistle that the expensive Sacto architects could throw in.
Supervisor Williams, normally persistant about wanting planning and reporting and proper budgeting, said even he has given up trying to get decent financial or planning information from the Measure B committee or staff after years of being stonewalled: “One of the areas where I've struggled a bit with Supervisor Haschak on the Measure B ad hoc committee is I really wanted to have a business plan showing what we plan to do and what the various projects will cost. I assume it won't be perfect but a good starting point. And I don't know that we are any closer to that now. We are continuing to spend money. It makes me nervous. I guess I am at the point of capitulation. I don't think we are going to have a solid business plan. I think the only way these facilities get built is to spend money.”
Haschak agreed, although he has never expected much from staff in the first place and “capitulated” soon after being elected: “I think we are at the same spot. I agree with what you're saying. We have asked for a business plan. We presented some questions to the Measure B project manager at the last meeting. And we have not received any kind of response yet. I worry that we are going down these roads without clear financial information or a picture of how it's going to all fit together. I agree that at some point we need to decide that we need the financial plan or if we are just going to decide we are going forward with projects like this or a couple others that could be complementary or could stand on their own with or without a PHF [Psychiatric Health Facility]. It's not a good track to be on, not having a roadmap for the money. These are taxpayer dollars and we are responsible for them.”
Outgoing Supervisor John McCowen capitulated too: “I agree with your comments but due to the previous actions of the board the die has been cast for this action before us. The board has directed that this, along with the training center and a psychiatric health facility are the priorities for use of the Measure B funds. I think in the future the board will need to focus on the very questions that have been raised with regard to a psychiatric health facility. We want the most solid information we can about the sustainability of that type of facility. We have preliminary opinions from our mental health staff that such a facility can operate on a break even basis. If it doesn't we do have ongoing revenue from Measure B that to a degree could subsidize an operation going forward. All these are appropriate questions. Hopefully prior to the board making any commitment to a psychiatric health facility you will have answers to the questions that have been repeatedly asked. But construction of that psychiatric health facility is by Board action a very high priority. Essentially we have decided at our last meeting we should keep faith with the voters because that's what they expected to see when they voted for Measure B. Comments to that action on social media are overwhelmingly in support of a psychiatric health facility being constructed. We need to get the information, we need to make sound, prudent decisions. But that has to be a priority, keeping faith with the voters.”
The voters indeed expected a psychiatric health facility when they voted for Measure B. But they also expected that the Board and the highly touted “oversight” committee would not waste their “taxpayer dollars” in the process.
(Note: As of Friday evening, the video of Wednesday’s Measure B oversight committee meeting had still not been posted. Maybe the video crew forgot to record it again, despite the project manager’s assurance last month that such mistakes would not happen again.)
Moving over to Mendo’s current covid case spike and related problems, Supervisor Williams asked County health officer Dr. Andy Coren: “I see that Ukiah is leading the way disproportionately representing far more cases than we see around the rest of the county. When I look at the coast I see businesses closing and never reopening. I see children impacted. It's because the state is treating us as one unit and Ukiah is putting us into a more restrictive tier. What can Ukiah learn from the rest of the county? What can we do to change the course? Why can't Ukiah be on the same trajectory as the rest of the county?”
Dr. Coren intentionally missed Williams’s point that the Ukiah area, according to Dr. Coren’s own statistics, represents less than a quarter of the County's population but has more than three-quarters of the cases: “I think it has more to do with population concentration that we have here than we have in the smaller towns around and certainly on the coast. We also see lower raw numbers in, for example, Willits. This is passed from person to person and we have more concentrated people in Ukiah and higher numbers of people in Ukiah so we are going to see more of an increase in those areas. What can we learn? I don't know. It's a good question. We will try to look at it.”
The good “doctor” not only seems statistically challenged, he has no idea what to do about Ukiah’s abnormally high and rising case rates. At this rate Ukiah is poised to drag the whole county into another lockdown.
Chair Haschak then abruptly pulled the doctor’s chestnuts out of the fire, interrupting Williams and calling for a recess, and that was the end of the conversation about Ukiah’s disproportionate covid caseload.
When they returned, Supervisor Williams managed to add: “I see the increasing cases. It's a serious problem. I don't see the state data that indicates that the restrictions being imposed will remedy the problem. My biggest worry is we have this increase that we haven't been able to control and we are applying the wrong restrictions. And next week it will only be worse. We are relying on the state for the decisions we make. It would be great if they could show us their work. If Supervisor McCowen’s letter could provide us with the data and backup for these restrictions, I think it would be valuable.”
But that too went nowhere as McCowen’s reasonable request to ask the state for their restriction rationale(s) was dismissed by the CEO and her captive staff as pointless and, in Supervisor Dan Gjerde’s uncalled-for phrasing, “would make Mendocino County look silly." (Hardly the first time for that dubious distinction, but certainly not in this case.)
CITY OF UKIAH - HOMELESS SHELTER EXPANSION OK’D
by Justine Frederiksen
After a long public hearing that included complaints about littering, loitering and other activities adversely affecting the residents and businesses near the Building Bridges homeless shelter on South State Street, the city of Ukiah this week approved modifying the facility’s permit to allow expansion into more areas of the building.
“There is a very familiar theme that runs through all of these comments, which are related to the primary use of the facility,” said Community Development Director Craig Schlatter, performing as the city’s Zoning Administrator during the Nov. 17 hearing, referring to the photos and written descriptions submitted by nearby property owners who requested that Redwood Community Services reduce the shelter’s impacts on nearby businesses by installing lights, hiring security guards and more effectively removing the trash left by the groups they said routinely congregate outside the shelter.
And while those issues were not directly related to the requested modification of the facility’s permit that he was considering Tuesday, Schlatter said “all the comments we received today will be part of the research that will be submitted to the Planning Commission for their report every six months; all of the comments are very valid and will be carefully considered toward potential modifications to the program manual, or the use permit conditions.”
The original use permit approved for the facility allowed for renovation of 4,600 square feet of the 7,000 square-foot structure, operation of a winter shelter for six months per year, and operation of a community center offering services such as showers, laundry, counseling and medical care.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, year-round operation of the overnight shelter was approved by the city through April 30, 2021, with a temporary expansion into the now-vacant retail space to allow for greater spacing between the beds. The permit modification that Schlatter approved Tuesday allows “permanent expansion of the emergency shelter into that vacant space, with no additional exterior building improvements or signage proposed.”
In his application to the city, Dan Anderson, formerly the chief executive officer of RCS, wrote that “RCS has received HEAP (Homeless Emergency Aid Program) funding through the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC) to complete the remodel work on the Homeless Shelter. These funds need to be spent by the end of 2020, (and) for this reason, RCS needs to expedite the building permit process so is therefore only asking for a Change of Use for the retail space of the shelter building in this application.”
“Building Bridges is doing an inadequate job of managing and evolving their operations to address the evolving unintended negative consequences their client community is having on the State Street neighborhood,” states the letter that property owner Mary Golden read Tuesday. “I respectfully request that the operators of the facility be required to provide the following services for the other properties on the block … to mitigate the negative unintended consequences the neighborhood is suffering as a result of their compassionate services to the homeless: provide daily 24-hour security patrols for the area; provide bi-monthly trash removal services; install and maintain security lights on their buildings.”
In response Tuesday, Anderson described the complaints and requests by nearby property owners as “a concern that is complicated, and requires participation from both RCS, which is the host of the homeless shelter, but also from all of our other partners.” He pointed to the Covid-19 pandemic as creating new challenges that reduced the level of involvement from those partners, but “I do think we need to find a way to mitigate some of this impact in a more efficient and timely manner, and ensure that it doesn’t impede our neighbors’ ability to do business or (affect) their quality of life.”
Camille Schrader of RCS acknowledged that the homeless shelter likely exacerbated the problems caused by homeless individuals in the area, but that many issues were present prior to the facility opening.
And while Schrader said “we absolutely feel that we are a partner in figuring out what to do, a tremendous amount of rules and program models are going to be dependent on a relationship with our city police to enforce them, and our community members.
“I feel strongly that trash mitigation in general, not just around the center, is something that we all need to embrace and figure out,” said Schrader, adding that addressing the loitering also needed to be a group effort, because “we don’t have the authority to tell an adult where they can and cannot stand. “
When asked Wednesday for comment, Ukiah Police Chief Justin Wyatt said his officers don’t exactly have the authority to control where people stand either, as “loitering is not against the law.”
Wyatt said his officers will respond and arrest people for criminal activity, but much of the behavior that neighbors and businesses near the shelter are complaining about do not violate any laws.
“If part of your business plan includes what the police department will or will not do, then you already have a failed plan,” said Wyatt, suggesting instead that staff at the shelter focus on finding ways to mitigate the concerns of their immediate neighbors. “I also think that transparency with the community is important.”
As to the improvements requested by the shelter’s neighbors, Wyatt said hiring security guards could certainly help deter unwanted activity, and that having more lighting could help as well.
In response to the requests for security systems, lights and more trash management, Schrader said “if there are things that need to be changed and additional funding needs to be found… so be it, let’s figure out a way to make that happen.”
Sage Wolf, the program manager for Housing and Homelessness for RCS, thanked the neighbors for their suggestions, describing some of them as being easily and quickly implemented, such as additional lighting. She also pointed out that an online community forum was scheduled for Nov. 25 (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving) at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom that will also be streamed on the RCS Facebook page.
“The real need here is for collaboration,” Wolf continued. “To get people at the table to talk about how homelessness impacts our community (as a whole), and what are the solutions that are effectively going to address homelessness. And what I’m asking the community to help with is to collaborate on solutions to the trespassing and the trash pick-up … to reduce some of the pressure on Building Bridges,” which she described as “not the solution to homelessness in the community.”
Current RCS CEO Victoria Kelly said that the organization has “looked at (hiring) security, (but) there are challenges with funding, And that is something that we are looking into for our next funding stream because we have identified that as (a need).
“It is our goal and hope to lessen the impact on the entire community that surrounds the site, while providing an amazing service to people who are generally pushed under the rug and fall through the cracks,” said Kelly, explaining that RCS staff would also be embarking on a “public perception campaign, and communicating out the successes seen at the site … so we can paint the picture of what is actually occurring at Building Bridges every day.”
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
UKIAH’S HOBO HOTEL
Letter to the Editor,
$10.9 million for a Hobo Hotel in Ukiah? Get mad? No. Ask questions? Yes. Your tax dollars at work? Not really. Stuffing corrupt pockets all the way down the line. 31 "non-profit" agencies feeding on the homeless. Wow, what an industry? Just one of many phony government industries that use our money to confiscate and redistribute, minus a very fat commission for the political class.
It was state money that had to be spent soon or it would go away. But the state has no money. They don't print money, they get it from you. Taxes, fees, fines. We and our representatives are building a hobo hotel. I hope you like it. It's really nothing that new. We already have lots of public housing in Ukiah and clearly and across the nation. Karl Marx wrote that there shall be no private property. That's just what we have: only government property. We are the renters of our own supposed property legally called tenants. Are you a joint tenant? A single tenant? Or a tenant in common? Keyword: Tenant. Try not paying your rent and see what happens. You will be evicted from "your property" and possibly become a client for the new hobo hotel.
Soon there will be 25 more hobo hotels.
PS. Have you ever seen the sign that says, "Please don't feed the animals"? I haven't seen one in a long time but it makes perfect sense. Thank you for your informative free speech paper.
CALIFORNIA'S Mountainview Fire, in Mono County, has grown to 28,879 acres in less than 24 hours as a result of extreme winds and low humidity. This has to be one of the largest wildfires ever (behind the Camp Fire) to start in the month of November in Northern California. (via Jeff St. Clair)
ANDERSON VALLEY doesn't often make it into press release-quality crime reports these days. We see the occasional drunk driver, but a woman carrying a bomb? The last Mendo woman known to have been carrying a bomb was Judi Bari in 1990, not that there's any evidence Bari knew it was ticking beneath her as she drove from Ukiah to Oakland.
ACCORDING to a recent presser from the Ukiah Police Department, "A Boonville woman allegedly driving a stolen car was arrested Tuesday with an explosive device in the vehicle, the Ukiah Police Department reported. According to the UPD, an officer pulled over a vehicle in the 300 block of South Main Street at 8:10 p.m. Nov. 17 for alleged vehicle code violations and quickly discovered that the vehicle had recently been reported stolen out of Oregon. The driver, identified as Lacee M. Ross, 37, of Boonville, was also found to be on parole for a prior conviction of arson to an inhabited structure. When the vehicle, which was occupied by Ross and her 17-year-old daughter, was searched, officers reportedly found 'a large explosive device that resembled dynamite' near where Ross had been sitting. Officers then cleared the area and 'created a perimeter around the vehicle to keep any personnel or vehicle traffic from entering the area,' and contacted the Sonoma County Bomb Squad to respond and assist. Bomb Squad personnel removed the device from the vehicle and performed a 'controlled detonation of the device,' which was determined to 'in fact (have been) a live explosive that if detonated would have likely caused significant injury and/or damage.'"
MS. ROSS'S Boonville associations are not known to us, but we do know that she is not a well person based on her history, and it's quite a history involving the arson fire she set that burned down John's Place in Willits and another episode where she tossed her infant daughter from a motel balcony to another marginal motel dweller who failed to make the catch, and here's that baby 17 years later driving around with Mom and a bomb.
WHO KNOWS what madness Mom had in mind with the explosive? It's been obvious for years that Ms. Ross is not sane, that she's one more free range mental case roaming Mendocino County, one more among a small army of unwell, untreated persons loose in the county with 31 helping agencies and a mostly privatized budget of at least $30 million annually devoted to mental health.
Hospitality House in Fort Bragg Needs Sheets.
The Hospitality House is in desperate need of sheets and especially blankets for TWIN size beds.
SENATOR MCGUIRE CALLS STATE’S $5 BILLION ESTIMATE for Great Redwood Trail ‘Hogwash.’
(Ed note: More like $10 billion by the 12th of Never.)
The Great Redwood Trail, a planned 300-plus-mile footpath stretching from the San Francisco Bay north to Humboldt Bay along a decrepit rail line, could cost more than $1 billion to build and up to $4 billion more to address environmental impacts along the six-county route, according to a new state report.
WHEN WE LAST MENTIONED the Great Redwood Boondoggle we guessed that it might cost at least a ridiculous $1.5 billion based on how much the existing tiny Ukiah portion cost, much more if they actually tried to run it through the Eel River Canyon. Turns out that ridiculous guess is actually not far from the state’s huge estimate. It sounds like the State at least has a dim idea how ridiculous this “trail” is. Also notice that in the entire PD report there’s no mention of why the state’s estimate is “hogwash.” (Mark Scaramella)
QUEENIE'S SEASONAL CLOSER
Queenie's closed for the season. Due to the weather and our county rise in Covid cases it seems like the smart thing to do. Stay safe, wear a mask. And we will see you all next year. Our 20th anniversary. Look for us to reopen around Valentine's Day. Thank you all for your support we love you and will miss you. Queenies & staff
UKIAH STREETSCAPE PROJECT CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - November 20
We finally got the rain we needed, and, while it set the ongoing underground utility work behind a couple of days, Ghilotti was able to complete the sidewalks between Perkins and Henry just in time. Window washing also got set back due to the rain, but will begin on November 23rd between Henry and Perkins.
On the south end, new water infrastructure continues to move forward on the south end. Additionally, preparations are underway to underground the electric utility between Seminary and Mill.
South Side: Church to Mill Street
Wahlund Construction continues the installation of the water infrastructure between Mill and Seminary.
Monday: State Street will be closed between Clay and Mill. East/West traffic on Clay and Mill will remain open.
Tuesday: Intersection of Clay and State will be closed for trenching and paving; State Street closed between; detours at Stephenson and Seminary.
Wednesday: Through traffic on State Street will be maintained, but east-west traffic on Mill may be closed intermittently.
Construction work will begin at 6am this week, and no night work is planned. No work will occur on Thursday or Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Big news: We’re temporarily dedicating a handful of parking spaces to curbside service and take-out. These 10-minute-only spaces will be scattered around, primarily near restaurants, in order to facilitate quick pick-ups.
Businesses—please remind your employees to reserve the parking in the downtown core for your customers. It is imperative that we make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to support our small businesses. One employee, parked for a shift in front of your business, means several customers aren’t able to.
Need ideas about where you can park for extended periods of time? Call or email Traci or Shannon; contact info below.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns. Our Streetscape Project Team is grateful for your patience throughout this transformative project, and wishes you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Deputy City Manager
w: (707) 467-5793
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 20, 2020
JASPAR ALFORD, Willits. Parole violation.
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
ROBERT GOMEZ, Redwood City/Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, controlled substance, suspended license.
ANTONIA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-under influence.
CHADLEY GOTTSIMMONS, Redwood Valley. Under influence, probation revocation.
MATTHEW HARBOUR, Willits. Domestic abuse, battery with serious injury.
NICHOLAS HUNTER, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.
CONSTANCE PRICKETT, Redwood Valley. Indecent exposure.
KEVIN SHAW, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
KEVIN STARNES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
RAFAEL VILLALOBOS, Ukiah. Concealed loaded handgun, probation revocation.
HIS KIDS CAN LEARN IN PERSON. But yours can’t," Faulconer wrote, in reference to Newsom's kids being enrolled in private schools while most public schools remain closed. "He can celebrate birthday parties. But you can’t. He can dine on a $350 meal at one [of] California’s fanciest restaurants during the worst recession in generations. But you definitely can’t. Can you believe this? I can’t."
— Kevin Faulconer, Republican mayor of San Diego
DEAR JOE BIDEN: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
by Erin Brokovich
The president-elect has tapped a former DuPont consultant to join his Environmental Protection Agency transition board.
For years, I've been trying to impart a simple concept that Superman is not coming.
Dare I say, I had hopes that this new administration would usher in the dawning of a new day. As picks for President-elect Joe Biden's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team were announced, I felt concerned and disheartened about a chemical industry insider being on the list.
Are you kidding me?
Michael McCabe, a former employee of Biden and a former deputy Environmental Protection Agency administrator, later jumped ship to work as a consultant on communication strategy for DuPont during a time when the chemical company was looking to fight regulations of their star chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) also known as C8. The toxic manmade chemical is used in everything from waterproof clothes, stain-resistant textiles and food packaging to non-stick pans. The compound has been linked to lowered fertility, cancer and liver damage. The Guardian reported this week that Harvard school of public health professor Philippe Grandjean, who studies environmental health, warns that PFAS chemicals, of which PFOA is one, might reduce the efficacy of a Covid-19 vaccine.
This smells of the dawn of the same old. To quote the Who: meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
It should go without saying that someone who advised DuPont on how to avoid regulations is not someone we want advising this new administration.
PFOA pollutes the blood of nearly every American and can pass from mother to unborn child in the womb. This toxic product of industry is a stable compound not easily broken down in the environment or in the human body, giving it the nickname “forever chemical.”
Scientists have found it in living beings across the globe from animals living in the depths of the sea to birds on remote islands.
The Environmental Protection Agency has set no enforceable national drinking water limits for perfluorinated chemicals, including PFOA. Tens of thousands of community drinking water systems across the country have never even tested for these contaminants.
McCabe started managing DuPont's communications with the EPA about the toxic chemical in 2003, according to an article in the Intercept. This was the time in which DuPont faced a barrage of litigation after the company dumped 7,100 tons of PFOA-filled waste in West Virginia, which made its way into the drinking water of 100,000 people. Countless members of the community faced debilitating illnesses as a result. The legal battle with the company was turned into the film Dark Waters in 2019, based on attorney Robert Bilott’s fine book documenting his decades long battle with Dupont.
Mind you, DuPont suspected that their product was harmful since the 1960s — experiments they conducted in 1961 showed that PFOS affected the livers of dogs and rabbits. McCabe's work inevitably contributed to staving off costly clean-up and additional regulation headaches for the company.
Are we the people supposed to trust a former DuPont man in a transition team tasked with reviewing the Chemical Safety Board? Is this how the newly elected leadership wants to start what is supposed to be a healing and unifying administration? Are we already falling back on the old and antiquated, hide-and-seek, conceal, dodge and deny leadership or are you going to come out and be the change and the hope needed when it comes to the environment?
I don't see how picking someone from industry is moving us toward that goal.
The science is in. Research has linked exposure to this chemical to the following illnesses: kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension and high cholesterol.
This newly elected president says we need to listen to the science. Are you really listening to the science or are you listening to an industry insider? Who is controlling the message?
With a lack of federal guidance on these dangerous chemicals, states have been left to create their own rules to enforce guidance and regulations. This chemical, and others like it, have been poisoning us for decades. Now is the time to act.
This is not about being rightwing or leftwing. It doesn't matter what side of the aisle you are on. We cannot keep making picks from this inside, leaving we the people, once again on the outside.
What will it take to get our leadership to work with the people?
Stop working against and separately from your communities. Put your transition team on the ground and make them talk with those affected by these chemicals. Go out and see for yourself, learn and hear from those who you represent about what the heck is happening to them on the ground — those living and breathing in the toxic mess we have created.
It is time to keep your promise and give the people a voice and a seat the table in order to find a meaningful solution for the environment and for the people. Don't close the door on us again.
We are in this mess because we continue to do the same old thing.
Let us not forget where these chemicals came from and who is responsible for putting them in our environment. Let us not bring the fox back into the hen house. DuPont executives should have no place in the Environmental Protection Agency. I call on Joe Biden to do the right thing.
President-Elect Biden: Time for YOU to follow the science.
A president can do a lot in battling climate change, without Congressional approval, through executive orders and EPA regulations. Obama¹s record was mixed and hesitant. Biden will need to do many times better.
(Courtesy, Guardian UK)
TARIQ ALI: “I am getting fed-up reading posts that Biden is appointing or thinking of appointing rogues [warmongers, corporate backers] to his administration. Everybody knew he would be the same as Clinton or Obama. So please don’t feel betrayed. All that’s been betrayed is your illusions.”
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Do you suppose that half the population will sit still for struggle sessions over white privilege? Yes. Sadly, I agree with you. And it’ll only go downhill from there. Now, I’ll be the first guy ranting at my kid’s PTA meeting about Drag Queen Story Hour of teaching him that being born white makes him inherently at fault for, well, anything…but I’d guess 99 out of 100 saying “I ain’t taking that damn vaccine,” or “you want my guns, come and try to take em!” will eventually roll up their sleeve, hold out their arm, then go open the gun safe. Threaten to jail a man and take his livelihood, home, children, etc, and most everyone will comply. These people are getting brazen, but they’ve also laid the groundwork for a very long time to make sure we forgot as a population what we’ve gone through to get where we are. I’m in my early 40’s. Nearly every single one of my peers agree with almost everything the government and the media tells them.
RETAILERS THAT HALTED HAZARD PAY for essential workers, as the pandemic soared to new levels of lethality:
Walmart – $15,600,000,000 (2020 profits)
Amazon – $14,100,000,000 (2020 profits)
Kroger – $2,000,000,000 (2020 profits)
Dollar General – $1,400,000,000 (2020 profits)
Albertson’s – $870,000,000 (2020 profits)
Source: Public Citizen
TRUMP'S HAIL MARY?
Rep. Brooks: Congress Has ‘Absolute Right’ to Reject a State’s Electoral College Votes
CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN ON TRUMP: "Do I think this will work? No. Do I think Trump is actually trying to overturn the election results with lies, threats and intimidation? Obviously yes. Am I surprised that so many Republicans are going along with it? Not at all. The GOP stopped being a political party four years ago. It's a cult now, and if Trump orders them to do something -- literally anything -- they're going to obey him every time."
SURVIVOR OF THE JONESTOWN MASSACRE COMPARES TRUMP TO JIM JONES: “The rhetoric is so similar. … Drinking the kool-aid. …He took broken people and made a weapon out of them. Then he destroyed them.”
THE MANY LAYERS OF TRAVAIL
by James Kunstler
One thing you could say about the three Trump campaign lawyers’ joint press conference at high noon, Thursday: it sure wasn’t slick. But then, are we now such a nation of lobotomized chumps that our chief criteria for any public acting-out of an acute national melodrama is slickness of presentation? I guess we like our crises fluffed, like a Caitlin Jenner spot on The View. This one, though, is raw and savage.
And so there stood Rudy Giuliani in that cramped briefing room, with dark rivulets running down both temples as if he were sweating blood (more likely, hair dye), cracking jokes at times, and laying out some rather harsh predicates for pending election fraud lawsuits. Next up, the usually demure Sidney Powell appeared boiling over with grief and rage at the hijacking of American democracy, and the Deep State’s long-running connivance with all that, yielding nearly to tears at moments as she sketched out the sinister history and associations of the Dominion and Smartmatic vote systems — and the utter failure of public officialdom to monitor any of it for many years. Then Jenna Ellis, much in command of herself, emphasized perhaps half a dozen times, and quite sternly for the obdurately seditious news media, that the actual evidence would be revealed in court and that the day’s presentation was a mere overview. Got that? In court.
The news media didn’t get the message — on purpose, as usual — and so the stories flew all over the Internet’s gaslit echo chambers that the three lawyers failed to make a case. Later that night, Tucker Carlson piled on Sidney Powell for not sharing what she intends to present in a court of law. Apparently, she hung up the phone on him. Let’s face it, the lady has had a hard month, and a hard year, having to battle the malevolent and depraved Judge Emmet Sullivan over the dismissal of the case against General Flynn (as ordered by the DOJ), and now this colossal hairball of a momentous and historic election fraud case. (If I were her, I’d be deep into the George Dickel No. 12 Sour Mash by eight o’clock that night, Tucker Time.)
All right then, Mr. Trump’s lawyers have set the table for this epic political food-fight with just a few weeks to file and proceed, and we’ll have to stand by like grownups and see how it all plays out in the courts. There may be other sideshows and shenanigans in the various state legislatures over electoral college slates and such, along the way, but meanwhile I want to remind you that there are many other layers in this burgeoning mega-crisis worth being mindful of.
One, of course, is the train of tyranny that would follow the crooked and demented Ol’ White Joe Biden into power, should he manage to be sworn in (more on that below). From the actions so far of his, ahem, transition team, Mr. Biden (or the shadowy gang behind him) is aiming to bring on an official regime of speech suppression, news suppression, cancel culture, race hustling, gender warfare, and other portfolios of Wokesterism to the federal agencies. Do you have any idea how much anger and opposition that will provoke? Do you suppose that half the population will sit still for struggle sessions over white privilege?
Another layer is the Deep State itself. This evil empire is close to prevailing in a final act of sedition after four years of contemptible, serial intrigues. The Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA and all the other spook agencies will have a free hand in surveilling US citizens and attempting to control whatever they do. The whole RussiaGate case (such as it might be under John Durham) will get towed out to sea and dropped overboard in cement slippers. Comey, Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, Strzok, Gina Haspel, Andrew Weissmann, and the rest of the gang will all skate — some of them possibly pirouetting back into federal offices. Facebook, Twitter, and Google will be enlisted as social controllers (this has already happened, of course) to guard against the sharing of undesirable information. Gawd knows what sort of misadventures in foreign lands this gang will blunder into. I won’t even bother to outline the possible economic perversities and experiments the new regime might attempt to try because of the following…
…which is the king-hell financial fiasco that will attend a Joe Biden presidency and the monumental unwind of activity that will present as implacable depression. The global banking system is ten-months pregnant with Rosemary’s Baby. The Covid-19 winter lockdowns will put a bullet in the brain of any remaining small businesses, and the giant zombie companies are next to fall. Rent, mortgage, and loan forbearances run out in December. If they are not renewed, many families stand to lose their homes; if they are extended, many creditors and landlords will be screwed, unable to meet their own obligations. Few in the media or in officialdom seem to comprehend that unpaid debts thunder through the system, and eventually undermine the whole system, especially the currencies that circulate like the system’s blood supply. Not only will there be no money for Progressive economic experiments, there will not be enough money to arrest the fast-sinking standard of living in America. Biden & Company, so triumphal in these days of dwindling daylight, are in for shock with 2021.
In the looking-less-likely event that Mr. Trump prevails in this election quarrel, he and his people will be subject to exactly the same thing, which is the onset of the epic crisis or “fourth turning” that I call the long emergency. It will include an additional layer of Antifa/BLM anarchy in the streets on top of epochal economic hard times. How America manages to emerge from that will be the $64-trillion question of the ages. Neo-feudalism, a dark age, a new stone age… who knows…?
As a kind of PS, and per what I mentioned above, there are the lingering questions as to whether Ol’ White Joe Biden can manage to make it to the inaugural podium in any case. Apart from his failing mental faculties, there are the matters around his and his family’s shady business dealings in foreign lands over recent years, especially the money garnered from ventures in China linked to China’s intel services. There are legitimate concerns about Mr. Biden being a security risk as president. They are not going away.
Finally, a few words of encouragement to those of you almost terminally disgusted with the dishonesty and bad faith of the people who have been running things in our country: this is not a place like Russia in 1989. The Soviet overlords had a captive press, of course, but the Internet was barely a larval presence in world culture then. All the Russian people had to fight the immersive milieu of lies they lived in was the mimeograph machine and the verbal grapevine. We have much better resources for distributing information in America today, despite our tribulations with the corporate news media and their Silicon Valley cadres. We have a pretty sturdy alt-news network and many diligent entrepreneurial reporters who are able to get the news out. It will get out, and it pays to remember that truth has Godly powers of its own.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
MOTA: Good Night Radio all night Friday night live from Franklin Street.
Hi. Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 6pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready, up to 6 or 7pm Friday next week, and I'll read it next week, then.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128 (If that shows up for you as plain text and not a link, just paste it into your browser. That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.)
And any time of any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's show and shows before that. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's MOTA will also be there, in the latest post, right on top.
I'll be in the Franklin Street studio Friday night, again. The number is 707-962-3022 if you want to call and read your own work with your own mouth.
Also, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com there's a body bag full of items of questionable value to rummage through until showtime, such as:
And at some point you might have stubbornly declared that you wouldn't [fill in blank] for all the flamingos in Kazakhstan. Well, here they are; take a look. It might change your mind. And if we ever run out of geese, it wouldn't be too hard, with a little breeding or genetic fiddling, to replace them with flamingos. They're very similar both mentally and physically. They even sound the same. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/637461/pink-flamingos-in-kazakhstan-lake-drone
— Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com