Persistent Ridge | 25 Cases | Comment Guidelines | Laughlin Bears | Surge Plan | Wendling Lumber | Testing Info | Log Train | Firework Instead | Glen Bair | Blankets Needed | December Thursdays | Road Building | Oh Covelo | Near Mendocino | Root Cause | Frolic Wreck | Embezzler Pleads | Felonious Donuts | Domestic Violence | Logging | Strong-arm Stickel | Angry Mob | Ukiah Plan | Containers Overboard | SF 62 | Warrant White | Yesterday's Catch | Parole Commissioners | Delgado Drug | Don Con | Iceberg | Clearlake Horrible | Thanksgiving Dinners | Chicken Motives | Lasting Issues
WHILE THERE WILL BE OCCASIONAL BOUTS of cloudy skies and morning fog, particularly along the coast, expect a fair amount of sunshine and mild temperatures through the end of the week. A front will bring some light rain to northwestern portions of our area late Saturday, followed by more dry weather into next week, as a persistent ridge of high pressure remains over California. (NWS)
25 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Wednesday, bringing the total to 1657. One week ago the total was 1485, which means we've had 172 new cases reported over the past seven days.
AVA ONLINE COMMENTS
Basic guidelines? Here you go, boys. (Girls, generically being smarter, understand without basic and repeated instruction.) Same as newspaper LTE's only a little looser, meaning we assume we have the duty to cull what we think is unfair or simply irrelevant or.... Well, yes, our editing can seem arbitrary to the everyday chronophage because we don't want our comment section to go all to hell like the MCN chatline where a handful of lunatics insult each other round the clock, crowding out or intimidating into silence sensible people who'd rather not associate with or expose themselves to the outpatient community. Imagine yourself writing to a paper-paper. Would you assume the paper-paper is obligated to print whatever pops into your fraught head? No. Same here.
BEAR ADJUSTS DISH, GETS INTO TUSSLE
COAST HOSPITAL IS PREPARED
by William Miller, MD – Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital
Since the beginning of this pandemic, we expected that the summer months would bring a slowing in the spread of the virus with a significant increase during the winter months. That is what we are seeing now. Preparing for this predicted scenario is what Adventist Health Mendocino Coast (AHMC) and most other hospitals across the country have been doing since March. When we read scary news reports that ICU’s in California may reach 112% of capacity by Christmas, temper this with the understanding that our surge capacity planning has specifically been about getting ready to deal with cases exceeding normal capacity. This planning was mandated in March by the California Department of Public Health of all hospitals in the state. While this pandemic has been fraught with many challenges, such as inadequate community surveillance testing which continues to be a frustration, there has been good coordination between hospitals, county health departments and the state health department.
A big boost to our local planning and preparedness came when we affiliated with Adventist Health (AH). To be sure, some hospitals within the AH system are experiencing significant COVID caseloads that have pushed them well into their surge plans. This is especially true for those in the southern part of the state. However, at the same time, belonging to a system allows for resources to be directed towards those areas most in need. Thus, those facilities currently being hit hardest are getting the support that they need from AH. If needed, we expect to receive the same support out here on the Coast.
Here in Mendocino County, we have already benefited by having all three of our hospitals working together on one combined strategy. A coordinated strategy is far more powerful than when we were left to plan on our own before the affiliation. Some specific benefits include adequate stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE), easier access to COVID treatment medications, assistance with getting testing reagents to test our patients, and if things get really serious for us, then access to AH staff pools and an AH emergency ventilator sharing agreement.
Our surge plan is something that we periodically review and a work group of our local hospital leaders recently updated our plan. This group included folks like Davey Beak, the head of our ambulance service, who has done an outstanding job throughout this pandemic as our local incident commander. It also included our two local nursing managers, Kelly Hendricks, RN, for in-patient services and Anita West, RN, overseeing the emergency department. Both are excellent leaders who have helped hold us together as a team from the very beginning. The group also included additional all-stars: Heather Brown-Douglas, RN, our Director of Quality; Lois Leister, Director of Pharmacy; Mary Nivens, RN, Director of Surgical Services; and Joyce Boghosian, RRT, Emergency Preparedness Manager.
Much of our surge plan has evolved as a result of our experience during the Sherwood Oaks outbreak. During that outbreak, we opened an entire 9 bed ward as a designated COVID unit. That unit stands ready to be reopened if needed. Along with our COVID unit, we have additional expansion capabilities. We learned much about what worked well and what did not work as well during that invaluable, real-life experience. I am very confident that we are ready to deal with a surge of cases that may come our way in the weeks and months that follow.
We have been fortunate that up until now we have largely avoided having a lot of cases here on the Coast. That could not have possibly remained true forever and we are now starting to see our share of cases. I expect that before this is all over, each of us will personally know at least one person who has had COVID. As we consider the implications for this, keep in mind that fully 80% of all people infected never have symptoms or only mild ones like a runny nose. Twenty percent (1 in 5) will have more significant symptoms. Still, only about a third of those, or 8% of all people infected, require hospitalization with most not needing to be admitted to an ICU. The overall mortality rate remains relatively low compared to other pandemics. COVID has about a 2% mortality rate in the US.
The recent Thanksgiving holiday is certainly expected to dramatically boost cases in the next few weeks. The good news is that travel was down compared with last year. However, over 50 million Americans still moved around the country to visit friends and family. According to the TSA, 9.4 million Americans went through airport screening checkpoints during the 5 days of Thanksgiving travel (which is only 41% of the number in 2019). According to AAA, automobile travel this holiday was only 65% of last year, but still comprised about 48 million Americans.
If local people would like to help us in planning for the surge of COVID cases in our community this winter, then please do so by staying home for the holidays and ask your friends and family not to visit you from a far. As difficult as that is to accept, it is perhaps one of the most important things we can do now to help limit the rise in cases.
TESTING, PAUL ANDERSEN CLARIFIES: "Here’s the deal. Public health only conducts surveillance testing when there’s an outbreak. There was an outbreak on the south coast in late September and they did four weekends in a row of testing in Point Arena. Public health is doing surveillance testing in Fort Bragg because of another outbreak. RCMS and the community clinics used to perform surveillance testing through a program at UCSF. That program’s contract with the county was ended by UCSF. Currently, Ukiah’s OptumServe is the only location with continuous ongoing testing through the week. Public health is working on having a traveling OptumServe for the Coast. Hopefully there will be more info this week. I know it’s frustrating, but everyone in local government and health care is doing the best they can with limited resources."
A READER WRITES:
Recently, a commentary paragraph in the AVA was shown to me by a family that is upset, embarrassed and angry over the misinformation of a relative who doesn't even live in Boonville (she only comes through a few times a year) that made the paper in a very discouraging way. I attached the paragraphs for your reference:
“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.
“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."
Here's my [the reader’s] concerns: Speaking on behalf of the family, who wish to remain anonymous, this is my response: Please be careful with your words when you speak about others. Be careful who your source is and confirm that the facts are true before you make public the "news" you think you have.
Regarding the data in the paragraph about Lacy Ross:
In the first place, the "bomb" wasn't a bomb, it was a firework, and the charges were reduced from "bomb" to "firework". It could have been a firecracker, or an illegal firework, (the family doesn't know the details) but definitely NOT a bomb. That word stirs up all kinds of emotions in people and none of it positive!
Second, the "child" in the car was NOT the same daughter as the one that was allegedly involved in the hotel incident. She has more than one daughter.
Third, this person doesn't even live in Anderson Valley, so what was the source that indicated this person was from here and warranted a paragraph of notoriety in the AVA ("press-release quality crime report"?? what is that?)? That one paragraph can damage the reputation of several family members who do live in this valley with good reputations. This can affect how they get service from businesses, or treated by others who only read the paper and don't hear firsthand what the truth and full story really is. This can affect future employment and other work these family members might need in the future in this valley.
What was the source of this misinformation? Who was spreading lies and misinformation? That's slander and as a reporter and newspaper, that is plain disrespect and unethical practice.
So what is the paper going to do about this situation? Run an apology? Make a comment similar to mine? How will the AVA heal the wounds inflicted on this family who only want to live quietly in this valley and serve others (some of them do a lot of work for this community)?
ED REPLY: No one here wishes Ms. Ross ill, but her history is her history, including her latest arrest as described in the Sheriff’s Department’s press release, not conjured by the Boonville weekly. It’s a chasm-sized stretch for her relatives to fear community reprisals, especially from this tenuous collection of vague affinity clusters strung along 128 between Yorkville and Navarro. Community here had ended by 2000.
Do you have any extra blankets lurking around? Hospitality House is in great need of them. They don't heat at night and truly need blankets.
They can be dropped off at 237 McPherson, in Fort Bragg.
Hope to see you Thursday Dec 3rd at 2 pm for the AV Village Activity: Virtual Holiday Party!
Every Thursday in December (3, 10, 17, 24 and 31), 2-3 PM
Bring your Favorite Holiday Dish Recipes or Handicraft Projects. AV Village Volunteer Lucinda Walker, MSW will lead this innovative group - Please join in a community gathering and share your delicious holiday recipes or your craft projects with us. Bring a sample to show everyone; show it off with
pride and describe how you make it! With our Holidays cancelled, let's have our own Zoom parties. I'm
always looking for new ideas for homemade food to cook for friends, family, and, let's be honest, myself during the holidays and fun craft projects to keep me busy while listening to traditional holiday tunes by my fire. Let the holidays begin!
Meeting ID: 830 7054 7731
COVELO, an on-line comment:
"Population of 1100+ in Covelo proper. Probably similar amount in the surrounding hills. Over half of the 911 calls for service in Mendo come from Covelo. Mendocino Counties’ entire population is under 90,000.
As kids pretty certain none of these thugs n thuggettes had any normal parental guidance. Then consider they are all parents who will never be parents. Probably never have been. Have recently had a few come forward talking about how the 9, 10, 11 year old boys were raping and forcing their 5 year old COUSIN to suck their d@☆&s. CPS closed the case due to lack of evidence. Does a 5 year old make this stuff up? NO they saw or experienced something to know. Tragic ass terrible never ending bullshit. Come on wake the hell up. Its not ok to be so out to lunch and support this dismal destruction of your community. Then pretend nothing happens. Ugh. So… KEEP TALKING. BRING KHADIJAH HOME TOO. THE REWARD FUNDS ARE WAITING FOR YOU. The key players in that are safely tucked away in the.whoscow. Now is the time to sing.
Let Connie have some peace in her soul. It is time."
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY RE COVELO:
Ahh the evil liberal excuse for societies ills and for attempting to reform prisons to steer away from mass incarceration which leads to many more ills in society than it benefits is an always present blame game in the comment section and I see today is no exception. Remember we’ve had mass incarceration AND the death penalty here in California before and, alas, crimes were still rampant? It’s not the deterrent that we wish it was. The war on drugs has reduced use and crime by nothing, but damaged millions long term and still keeps doing so today. Nobody wants to talk about what actually leads to crime. Poverty, lack of hope and opportunities to better oneself, a lack in stable, safe places to live, enough food and income to survive. THOSE are actually the things that lead to most crimes being committed. And by the way things are looking in this country as we face mass illness, death and poverty just knockin on the door, logic says we haven’t seen nothing yet. But please let’s keep doing the same shit over and over again and avoiding the cause and wonder why things never change and/or get worse.
UKIAH EMBEZZLER PLEADS
Following an investigation by the Ukiah Police Department that began in June 2017, a local woman was charged by the Mendocino County DA in April 2020 of multiple counts of embezzling money from a Ukiah employer.
That bookkeeper, defendant Sonia Lucia Lau, age 36, of Ukiah, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon in the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Instead, defendant Lau requested and was granted permission to withdraw her not guilty pleas and, in their place, she orally and in writing admitted criminal culpability.
Defendant Lau was convicted by no contest pleas of eight separate felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement from her former employer, Ammo Plus. She also admitted a special sentencing allegation that the eight counts involved a pattern of related felony conduct and that that pattern involved an overall taking of greater than $100,000.
Under California law a no contest plea to a felony charge is the same as a guilty plea for all purposes. In essence, however, a no contest plea denies guilt but in the same breath also acknowledges that the prosecution has sufficient evidence available and at its disposal to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Tuesday, in providing a factual basis for the defendant’s no contest pleas, the DA summarized for the court the defendant’s embezzlement scheme that began in April 2014 and continued through April 2017, a scheme which resulted in an overall unlawful taking by defendant Lau of at least $204,492.
Once the convictions were entered into the record, the defendant was referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department for a social and background study, and a sentencing recommendation.
A sentencing hearing will be held on January 26, 2021 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department H of the Ukiah courthouse.
Any individual interested in the outcome of this case is invited to attend. Social distancing and facial coverings are required in the courthouse and will be enforced.
Based on her admissions, the defendant’s “prison” exposure is up to 92 months in the Realignment County Prison (aka the Low Gap jail facility), without subtracting out the fifty percent early release credits that are automatically granted by California law to all inmates.
As an aside, it should be noted that the Legislature has made defendants sentenced to prison for felony embezzlement convictions a county problem; such defendants are ineligible to be housed in a state prison no matter the overall amount of the unlawful taking.
The law enforcement agency that conducted the investigation underlying the defendant’s convictions was the Ukiah Police Department. Special thanks are extended to UPD Officer Ron Donahue for his doggedness and many hours of investigative work.
The attorney prosecuting this case and defendant is District Attorney David Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Carly Dolan accepted the defendant’s no contest pleas and her admission on Tuesday afternoon. Judge Dolan will be the sentencing judge on January 26th.
Pending sentencing, defendant Law remains out of custody on a written promise to appear.
1:30 IN THE MORNING AND FELONY EDUARDO'S SPINNING DONUTS IN THE MIDDLE OF SOUTH STATE
On Monday, November 30, 2020, at 1:38 AM, a Deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was on uniformed patrol in the area of Jefferson Lane and South Dora Street in Ukiah.
While there, the Deputy observed a vehicle commit multiple traffic violations. The Deputy conducted a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle at the intersection of South State Street and Norgard Lane.
During the traffic enforcement stop, the Deputy recognized the front passenger as Eduardo Alvarez, 25, of Ukiah.
The Deputy knew Alvarez to be the subject of an active felony arrest warrant for violation of parole. The warrant was issued by the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Alvarez was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held pursuant to his no bail felony warrant.
NO GENTLEMAN HERE
On Monday, November 30, 2020 at 8:55 P.M., a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a reported domestic violence dispute that had just occurred at a residence in the 6200 block of Third Street in Calpella.
The Deputy contacted a female adult and learned of an incident of domestic violence involving her boyfriend, Brian Wieden, 48, of Calpella.
During the altercation Wieden grabbed the 48 year-old female by the shoulders and threw her to the floor causing pain and injury to her right shoulder.
During the investigation the Deputy contacted Wieden and placed him under arrest for Domestic Violence Battery.
Wieden was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
On Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at approximately 6:56 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a robbery that had just occurred at NorCal Gasoline (18770 North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg).
Deputies responded to the location and arrived within a few minutes of receiving the call.
Deputies learned that the unidentified male suspect had been previously banished from the store and advised not to return. On this morning, the suspect entered the store and was immediately asked to leave, which he refused to do.
The suspect then took an alcoholic beverage and placed it near the register and demanded some cigarettes from behind the counter. When the store clerk reached out to take the can while refusing the sale, the suspect then forcefully pulled the can from the clerk's hands. The suspect then went behind the counter and took numerous packs of cigarettes and left the store.
Deputies, with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, searched the area throughout the day and were unable to locate the suspect.
At around 7:00 PM, a photograph of the suspect committing the robbery was added to the Sheriff's Office Facebook page, with a request that the community assist in his identification.
Shortly after the posting, tips were received that assisted Deputies in positively identifying him as Nathan Lee Stickel, 37, of Fort Bragg.
An attempt to contact Stickel at his residence was met with no response from him.
Deputies developed probable cause and authored an affidavit in support of a search warrant for Stickel's residence and presented it to a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge.
This Judge approved the search warrant and it was served at 9:45 PM. After refusing to open the door of the residence, it was forced open and Stickel was quickly detained.
Evidence directly linking Stickel to the robbery was located and he was arrested for Strong Arm Robbery).
Stickel was booked into Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on $75,000 bail.
The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the community members that provided information that led to a quick resolution of this investigation.
An angry mob gathers on the steps of the Sonoma County Courthouse after the murder of Sheriff James Petray by the Howard Street gang. The gang was later lynched by Sonoma County vigilantes in the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery on December 10, 1920.
SAVE THE DATE!
The City of Ukiah is holding its third community workshop to solicit public input on the General Plan Update.
Both events are the same – pick the one that works best for you.
Monday, December 7, 2020
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
*Due to the elimination of public gatherings due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this workshop will be held online. For those unable to attend the virtual meeting, the workshop presentation, materials, and exercises will be available on the General Plan Website for an additional 30 days.
Join us in shaping the future of the City
We are in the process of updating the City’s General Plan. The General Plan is the blueprint that will guide the City’s future land use and resource decisions. To get community input on this important plan, we are holding two workshops (pick either Monday or Tuesday, both are the same) to get your comments and ideas. During these workshops, we will be asking for your input on the City’s future, especially future land use choices (alternatives). Where should future housing be located? How can we enhance our neighborhoods? Where will we shop in the future? These and other questions will be discussed at the workshops and the input received will be critical to designing a General Plan that meets the community’s needs.
The discussion from the workshops, combined with information on existing conditions and trends, will be used to prepare a draft set of land use alternatives for presentation to the Planning Commission and City Council. The outcome of this work will be the identification of a preferred land use alternative to help guide development of the General Plan.
Everyone is encouraged to attend and help envision the future of Ukiah!
How to attend?
This meeting will be held virtually. A link to the online workshop will be posted to the home page of the General Plan website one week before the event. For information, please, visit: http://ukiah2040.com/
CARGO VESSEL LOSES SIX SHIPPING CONTAINERS OVERBOARD; Coast Guard Warns They May Still Be Floating Off the Humboldt County Coast
by Ryan Burns
Last Wednesday, shortly after 1 p.m., the Portuguese cargo vessel MSC ROMANE was chugging northbound through a shipping lane 30 miles off the Humboldt County coast when half a dozen 40-foot shipping containers tumbled overboard, splashing into the sea below.
On Tuesday, six days after the containers took their unsanctioned dive, Humboldt Harbor Safety Committee Chair Leroy Zerlang received an email from the supervisor at the U.S. Coast Guard’s
Sector Marine Safety Detachment Humboldt Bay alerting him to the situation and giving the location of the spill.
“The containers are presumed to be still floating,” Chief Warrant Officer Adam Shilts told Zerlang in the email.
Reached by phone on Wednesday, Zerlang said this was a first for him. “You hear about it happening all the time, but this is the first time I’ve heard about it happening in this area,” he said.
The MSC ROMANE is a massive vessel — nearly 160 feet wide and 1,000 feet long with a carrying capacity of almost 5,000 of those 40-foot shipping containers. So losing just six represents a relatively small spill, but Zerlang said they could cause big problems.
“We have lots of concerns,” he said. “We don’t want anybody to run into ‘em. And if [the containers] do sink, we don’t want them to interfere with anybody fishing out there, where their gear gets caught on it. … They don’t want to lose their $100,000 net.”
The floating metal boxes could also impact wildlife. Coast Guard Lt. Stephanie Cardenas told the Outpost that one of the agency’s units is still working to determine the contents of the containers, though she said the Coast Guard has confirmed that they weren’t carrying any hazardous materials or pollutants.
The last update came on Saturday. “The Coast Guard did a flyover and found some debris in the area,” Cardenas said. But no sign of the containers.
“Last I heard was that they were still floating,” Zerlang said, “but none of the boats I’m in contact with have seen ‘em.”
The email he received on Tuesday said the containers may be on the move. “Weather and current analysis shows the most likely drift would be to the south,” the message read, adding a parenthetical: “(this is only assumed not verified).”
Keep your eyes peeled, seafarers.
NORM, THAT YOU?
On 12-02-2020, at 1:58 A.M., a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was on uniformed patrol in the 600 block of Ellen Lynn Road in Redwood Valley.
While there, the Deputy observed a vehicle pull over to the side of the road and two adult males exited the vehicle. The Deputy attempted to contact the two adult males. The adult male passenger of the vehicle walked off behind a residence.
The passenger of the vehicle was later contacted in the Eagle Peak Middle School parking lot and identified as Norman White, 40 of Ukiah.
The Deputy knew White to be the subject of an active felony arrest warrant for Failure to Appear. The warrant was issued by the Mendocino County Superior Court.
White was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $60,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 2, 2020
BRITTON AZBILL SR., Covelo. Kidnapping, conspiracy.
MARY BLOYD, Lakeport/Ukiah. Domestic battery.
MICKEY HILL, Willits. Probation violation.
LUIS HUERTA-MERINO, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, carjacking, child neglect/abandonment, false imprisonment, protective order violation, damaging communications equipment, failure to appear.
JAMES KNOX, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation.
AARON MUDRICH, Ukiah. Attempted aid-counsel-procure arson, paraphernalia, disobeying court order, probation revocaiton.
ROXANNE SCARIONI, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
NATHAN STICKEL, Fort Bragg. Strong Arm Robbery
TORREY THURMAN, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
NORMAN WHITE, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
BIDEN’S PAROLE COMMISSIONERS
Dear AVA & Co.,
I hope you all are doing okay. Just finished reading Steinbeck's ‘East of Eden,’ Penguin Classics. Most of the book takes place in this area where the author was born and raised around 1902.
I'm hoping that I will get to hear the whole Nutcracker on the radio this year what with all the theaters close into the pandemic. I figure there is a good chance.
I have no cards to send again this year and they are still making black and white photocopies of any cards that come in to prisoners.
We all expect everything to gradually get better now that Trump is departing. Biden will appoint parole commissioners and I'm already trying to get the staff here to file the papers necessary for an April hearing.
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S POLITICAL OPERATION has raised more than $170 million since Election Day, using a blizzard of misleading appeals about the election to shatter fundraising records set during the campaign, according to people with knowledge of the contributions.
The influx of political donations is one reason that Trump and some allies are inclined to continue a legal onslaught and public relations blitz focused on baseless claims of election fraud, even as their attempts have repeatedly failed in court and as key states continue to certify wins for President-elect Joe Biden.
Much of the money raised since the election is likely to go into an account for the president to use on political activities after he leaves office, while some of the contributions will go toward what is left of the legal fight…
KPFZ AND LAKE COUNTY
There has to be a line drawn somewhere in regard to free speech. I understand that people don’t like to be called names, or be insulted. Despite the movement for the right to free speech, there are words that government frowns upon, like fuck or shit for example.
I have heard KPFZ programmers say words on air that are forbidden by both the FCC, as well as KPFZ guidelines. It seems obvious that KPFZ is biased, meaning that they favor County Officials that donate to the station, over persons that are NOT local Officials.
I have heard KPFZ clearly insult a member of the public, a listener, but if you speak in a negative fashion about KPFZ, it’s Board, Staff, a Programmer, or anyone associated with KPFZ monetarily, you are damned. That is a double standard.
There is one programmer who, since I have been listening on KPFZ since the Fall of 2017, preach hatred toward White people. Every single time I have heard this programmer on the radio, he has declared a hatred for White people. If you were to listen to the archives of this programmer of the last three years (how long I have listened to KPFZ), assuming you are unbiased, you too, would come to the conclusion that this programmer is very racist.
There are two recent shows that come to mind: On one show, the programmer said that he wanted to Kill 50 million White people. That is highly inappropriate. Not only is this inappropriate, it is clearly hate speech, which is not only morally and ethically wrong, it most likely violated laws, Federal laws to be exact. More recently, during the 2020 LNU Wildfire Complex that spanned multiple Counties, in which many folks lost their homes in this disaster, the programmer stated that ALL the folks that lost their homes due to this horrible disaster, was retribution for what the White man did to natives hundreds of years ago. He then laughed. Again, clearly hate speech. This programmer supports KPFZ monetarily.
KPFZ clearly has no morals. Firing Phil Murphy was a monumental mistake on the part of KPFZ. The truth is, I learned a tremendous amount from Phil, in regard to local politics, that I NEVER would have thought about learning.
The last time I listened to KPFZ, the Station manager talked about Lake County, and how it has a good infrastructure. The Station manager apparently has never lived in the City of Clearlake. There is garbage everywhere, hazardous vegetation everywhere, more drug addicts per capita than any place I have ever seen in my life, abandoned cars, blight, etc. The fact is, Lake County has some of the poorest ranked schools in California. Think about it, poorly ranked schools, drug addict parents, some of these kids do not stand a chance at succeeding in life. Last I heard from a Lake County School Board member, there were 700 homeless school children in Lake County, a lot of them being in the City of Clearlake. With that said, 25% of ALL the properties in Clearlake are in tax default. There is a vacant lot behind me that has been in tax default for 25 years. $34k in back taxes, but the lot is worth about $3k. You can get the big picture. Keep in mind, this lot behind me is one of thousands of dilapidated lots in Lake County.
The City of Clearlake was incorporated as a City November 14th 1980. That’s 40 years. 40 years, and the majority of roads are dirt. There are at least 3,000 homes in the neighborhood called ‘The Avenues’. What’s my point? The point is, there are illegal ATV’s, dirt bikes, speeding cars everyday. I can’t even go for a leisurely walk from my home, without some wannabe Bo Duke (Dukes of Hazard) creating GIANT thick clouds of dirt, enveloping an entire block.
I’m talking about the quality of life, or lack of. The residents of Lake County do not want to hear the truth, they have absorbed it. I have lived in Lake County 4 1/2 years. Before Lake County, I was homeless, I had nowhere to go, Lake County was my only option. The City of Clearlake is a horrible place to live.
I find it odd that KPFZ allows racism and hate speech, but they censored Phil Murphy. I have had less than stellar experiences with KPFZ. I called in and spoke briefly about the Wildfires that were current at the time (2020). After I ended my call, the next caller was a KPFZ programmer. The programmer said: “We don’t want to hear what that last caller said”. I have been cut off and hung up on quite a few times by rude KPFZ programmers. Phil on the other hand, actually would give me the time of day, and listen to what I had to say. Phil respected me.
I called the station recently to compliment them. I told the programmer that I really appreciated KPFZ. While I was saying what I wanted to say, the programmer rudely interrupted me to ask me if I had donated money. I was put on the spot. I was forced to tell a live radio audience why I could not donate money to KPFZ. That was highly inappropriate. It was degrading. Like it wasn’t bad enough that I was stopped mid speech by the programmer.
The fact is, I have a disability. I was born with a birth defect. My health has deteriorated dramatically over the last 10 years. There is no cure available for me. The truth is, I did not expect to live this long. Well, I have not worked in a year and a half. At this point, I am disabled. As far as what my disability is, that is completely irrelevant. Getting back to my last call with KPFZ, I had to inform an entire radio listening audience as to why I couldn’t donate monetarily. That was degrading. I even offered to perform manual labor, to help the station, only to be told by the programmer that she did not want my labor, she wanted MONEY. Well, the next thing that happened, the programmer said: “You can’t call in unless you give money. We don’t want to hear it unless you donate money.” I called another programmer (personally), only to have that programmer defend the programmer I am referring to.
That people, is called ‘Discrimination’. KPFZ discriminated against me because of my inability to give them money. That is a low blow, that is cold.
It is my dream to move to Mendocino County one day. I don’t want to die in Clearlake, but at this point in time, it doesn’t like I’m going to make it. Clearlake is absolutely horrible. This neighborhood is anything but peaceful. No one wants to hear the truth.
The last interaction I had with KPFZ was the last straw. Racism, hate speech and unwarranted censorship, as well as double standards are the standard at KPFZ.
I understand a thing called free speech, but there has to be a line somewhere, a ‘Happy medium’, if you will. KPFZ has clearly crossed that line. KPFZ lost a highly valuable programmer in Phil Murphy.
I have not used any names, and have not directed any derogatory comments to anyone associated with KPFZ. I am not going to give my name, but there are several people who will know who I am if they read this.
Thank you for reading
THANKSGIVING A LA MODE
by David Yearsley
A festive group of American diplomats and their English guests gathered in London on the occasion of the first nationally-proclaimed Thanksgiving Day in 1863. The menu is reprinted in account, most of it dedicated to the banquet’s lengthy speeches, published soon after under the title “American Thanksgiving Dinner at St. James’ Hall, London, Thursday, November 26th, 1863,” a copy of which is housed in the Kroch Rare Books Library at Cornell University:
In culinary terms and tastes, this francophile feast is an ocean away from Squanto and Miles Standish and their roast turkey and other meats, dried corn, beans and pumpkins. It’s a menu that might have sent the most ardent New Worlders paddling frantically back to Europe for those Gâteaux à la Napolitaine.
Two-and-half-centuries on from the first Thanksgiving, these Americans abroad were celebrating with three soups, including a crayfish bisque (crayfish perhaps evoking something of New England); four fish dishes (turbot, cod, hake, and smelt); then it was on to the entrées (smaller items that preceded the main course), among them the chicken “à la Washington” (the first American President lauded in one of the toasts for having freed his own slaves, though only posthumously); other delicacies among this course were the veal sweetbreads with sorrel and game meatballs “à la Lincoln.” The Grosses Pièces (main course) include the obligatory turkeys (Dindons), but these were stuffed with truffles. How difficult it would have been to leave room for the chicken “à la Prairie” and the roast gosling in potato sauce, not to mention the mutton loin and beef. The diners were men and women of stature—and of girth.
Next came the roast fowl—pheasant, partridges and wild ducks—before the guests contemplated the fourteen different cakes and pies, closed out with a quartet of Anglo-America options, Pumpkin Pie à l’Américaine and Mince Pie à l’Anglaise battling for the affections of the diners. Finally, there was dessert, unspecified in the menu, but presumably made up of fruits and cheeses. Thankfulness à la Plymouth 1621 had a very different palate than that of the diners at St. James’ Hall, 1863.
Less than one hundred years independent from Great Britain, these Americans abroad celebrated the new national holiday with impressive gusto and with hearty dedication to Anglo-American unity. The administrative realignments of 1776 are hardly touched on in the 1863 speeches.
Before the Civil War, Thanksgiving had been observed on various dates in various regions, but not in the Southern States. Credit for resuscitating Thanksgiving is often given to “lady” novelist and magazine editor, Sarah Hale, who lobbied for years for an “American” day of commemoration. She was seventy-five years old when the war-time president, Lincoln, having received a letter from her, realized that a harvest celebration drawing on the Pilgrim past could congeal nationalist sentiment in a strife-torn country of immigrants. Recognition of Hale’s motherly contributions to the cause of nationhood was offered in the final speech of that first London Thanksgiving. In contrast to the previous eight toasts, which take up ninety of the book’s hundred pages, the last, stripped of the pompous rhetoric that marked the previous orations, went out to “the Ladies: Our Sweethearts, Wives, Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Friends. Their holy influence will break all chains but those which bind our hearts to them. (Loud cheers.)” No mention is made of giving them the right to vote that so many were then pushing for.
As the menu makes evident, in resurrecting Thanksgiving in time of war there was no need to observe culinary economies, even though the tension between sacrifice and celebration was acknowledged by Lincoln in his Proclamation of National Thanksgiving Day, read aloud to the London assembly before its members tucked in:
“The needful diversions of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal, as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore.”
War and Thanksgiving go together like turkey and truffles. The English abolitionist, George Thompson, Member of Parliament from the Tower Hamlets, the most populous constituency in Great Britain, made this connection at length in his St. James’ toast to “ victories in the cause of Liberty and Union.” Thompson’s remarks were “received with loud and continued cheering,” as he extolled the prosperity that the moral war had brought with it, thankful not only for the imminent defeat of slavery but for America’s “teeming fields and healthful skies, for increase of population, far above any of the losses that you have sustained in the battle-field … Employment and plenty, even affluence abound.”
War, the great engine of industrialization, enriched many the families at the London feast, not least that of the American Minister to the United Kingdom, Charles Francis Adams, who had been charged by Lincoln with persuading the British not to recognize the Confederacy. Grandson of the second American President, and son of the sixth, Adams delivered the London Thanksgiving’s first toast. He made his to the President, praising Lincoln for his effective management of the war effort even though he lacked any training or preparation: “I do not believe that in the whole history of the world a greater undertaking was ever assumed by an individual who had no experience in such matters.” Lincoln had whipped the army and navy into shape, and cranked up the war machine by “reorganizing credit and re-establishing … integrity of the administration of the Treasury.”
The ambassador’s son, Charles Francis Adams, Jr. was then a general in the Union army and would later become head of the Union Pacific Railroad; he was also a fierce opponent of regulation, even though his company was built on government giveaways. Moving closer to our own time, Charles Francis Adams IV (great-grandson of Charles Francis Adams; great-great grandson of John Quincy Adams; and great-great-great grandson of John Adams), would serve as the first president of the defense contracting giant Raytheon from 1948 until 1960.
The Great Barbecue extends from those Dindons rôti farci aux Truffes of 1863 to the Make-American-Great-Again Menu consumed in November of 2016 by then recently-triumphant President-Elect Donald Trump and the First Family-to-be at Mar-a-Lago, which sits within the boundaries of the American Empire thanks to the deal acquiring Florida from the Spanish that was sealed by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams in 1819:
Mar-a-Lago Chilled Seafood Display:
Large Florida Stone Crabs
Oysters on the Half Shell
From the Garden
Middle Neck Clams
Mr. Trump’s Wedge Salad
Farm-Fresh Deviled Eggs
Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous Salad
Ahi Tuna Martinis
House Made Soup Selections:
House Made Soup Selections
Maine Lobster Bisque
Local Vegetable Minestrone Soup
Oven-Roasted Turkey, Traditional Stuffing, Sweet Mashed Potatoes, House Made Gravy
Herb-Marinated Beef Tenderloin, Steamed Vegetables, Whipped Potatoes, Warm Popovers, Horseradish Cream
Chef-Carved Leg of Lamb, Grilled Pita and Tzatziki Sauce
Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass, Curried Vegetables, Coconut Shellfish Broth
Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs, Herb Roasted Potatoes, Natural Braising Jus
Grilled Diver Scallops, Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille
Three-Layer Trump Chocolate Cake
Toasted Coconut Cake
Warm Chocolate Brownie Pockets
Creamy Key Lime Pie
Hot Apple Crisp
This banquet was guarded by a contingent 150 Secret Service agents at a cost of some seven million dollars to the U. S. Taxpayers.
While America’s imperial reach and military budget have grown since 1863, the culinary ambitions are proudly nativist: the oysters at Mar-a-Lago were on ICE, the eclairs stripped of their accents aigus.
The national Thanksgiving of 1863 was not dedicated to re-enacting some version of the mythic first feast of 1621, but rather to rescuing the Union from the unthankful secessionists. The victory of the North would then allow the further expansion of the country westward, as the fourth toast put it, “from the Atlantic to the Pacific.” That toast giver, Major Z. K. Pangborn, painted a glorious Romantic picture on a vast canvas: “Our interlacing system of lakes and rivers, our continuous mountain ranges, whose towering peaks stand as answering sentinels to one another from Katahdin’s brow to the snowy Sierra Nevada’s crest, all tell us that the God of nature has given us one land for our inheritance.”
Pangborn made the only reference to the Pilgrims found in all the speeches. These earlier European settlers were passingly acknowledged as having taken the first ginger steps towards the Manifest Destiny of continental conquest:
“So, in this faith and hope, we here to-night, whether homeward bound, or loiterers still upon a foreign shore, may look forward to many returns of this our anniversary: and rest assured, that when this ruthless storm of civil war, that burst upon our defenceless nation’s head is overpast—as overpast it surely will be,—we shall all descry the rainbow, promise of perpetual peace, spanning a continent; and while its eastern arch shall spring from where the Atlantic surges answer back the sighing of the pines of the Aroostook and sings the requiem of the Puritans by Plymouth Rock, its western bow, with undimmed brilliancy, shall sink in the unvexed wave by the golden gate of the Pacific Sea (tremendous cheering.)”
Torn down in 1902, St. James’ Hall was London’s main concert hall in the second half of the nineteenth century. One of the smaller venues in the building was long-time home to a popular minstrel show. Probably none of the participants in the 1863 London Thanksgiving were troubled by any dissonance between the lofty speechifying and the lampooning of Black culture going on elsewhere in the building. As Freeman Morse, the American consul in London and former Governor of Kansas during the bloody 1850s there, put it in his Thanksgiving toast to the Emancipation Proclamation issued on January 1st of that same year of 1863: “churches and schoolhouse will dot [the South’s] valleys and hill sides, and a free, industrious, intelligent, and law-abiding population, will take the place of the human machines which move, toil, suffer, and often die at the pleasure of their owners.” One wonders how many of the Thanksgiving feasters enjoyed some of blackface entertainment immediately after hearing the speeches depicting the utopian future awaiting the freed slaves.
As for the music of the feast, Pangborn’s toast imagined an international choral upwelling like that of the massed singing festivals popular in England in the middle of the nineteenth century. On the defeat of slavery and the conversion of the entire American economy to one of “free-labour,” he claimed that: “No anthem of rejoicing will be welcomed with a more loud acclaim than that which commemorates the emancipation of the long-suffering sons of Africa’s sunny clime, as, mingling with other choral songs, it echoes through the long colonnade and dies away upon the gilded architrave (loud applause.)”
The London banquet was not saddened by austere Calvinist psalms like those sung by the Puritans in seventeenth-century Plymouth, and again in the later-nineteenth century by American churches on Thanksgiving Day when ritual symbols of nationalist Thanksgiving were redirected towards the Pilgrim past. Rather, the London celebration commissioned new words to be fitted to an Old World favorite, Auld Lang Syne, to be sung by attendees before dinner. The first of the hymn’s two stanzas extols Americans abroad spreading the word of freedom while they take care to pay tribute to the sacrifices of those fighting for it back on native soil:
We meet, the Sons of Freedom’s Sires
Unchanged, where’er we roam,
While gather round their household fires
The happy bands of home;
And while across the far blue wave
Their prayers go up to God
We pledge the faith our fathers gave,—
The land by Freemen trod!
Having loosened the waistcoats for, and cleared the pipes with, some robust singing, it was then time for the good and the great to attend to the real business of the first nationally-proclaimed Thanksgiving day dinner: feasting in the Old World as the Pilgrims could never have dreamt of doing on the shores of the New.
(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
COVID, AN ON-LINE COMMENT: I’ve never taken a long time to recover from any illness, except CoV-19. 9 months later still breathing issues, cough, chest pain, extreme fatigue some days, muscle weakness, night sweats, brain fog. Had a few bad flus in my life and very recovered quickly. Multiple other people I’ve known to have gotten it also have had lasting issues. I’ve worked very hard to rehab myself over the last few months and I’m doing much better, but I wouldn’t consider myself fully recovered. I’ve spent thousands on medical care in the past 9 months, but my quality of life is not the same as before I got sick. People are coming down with chronic conditions like adult onset asthma, colitis, heart conditions after “recovering” from being sick. Blessed are you and yours that you got to walk away with a clean slate. It’s not the same for everyone and you won’t know how sick you may get until you are or aren’t extremely ill.
I was healthy, active, and relatively young. There are a lot of unknowns about exposure to how sick you become too. It’s possible wearing a mask helps decrease a large exposure and may lead to more mild symptoms. I was heavily exposed to people who were very sick in late feb/early march with no mask because we were told cov-19 wasn’t here yet. Possible that exposure played a role in severity of illness.