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Mendocino County Today: December 19, 2020

Driz Dry | 25 Cases | Covid Ate Homework | Rest Room | Adrift Aghast | Bunyan Load | Ed Notes | Hummingbird | Streetscape Update | Czech Lodge | Initial Vaccines | The Slab | Wireless Alert | Fish Fish | Kimbler Said | Horsetitution | Yesterday's Catch | Translating Pete | Xmas Mail | Regressive Taxes | Eviction Prevention | Nice Dog | Big Pharma | Trump's Response | Redwood Conservation | Nativity 2020 | Gyre Widens | Buna Christmas | Marco Radio | Say It

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COASTAL AREAS will see mostly cloudy skies and bouts of drizzle during the weekend while interior areas remain dry. A weak to moderate front will move through the region late Monday accompanied by light rain for most areas. High pressure will then build Tuesday through midweek promoting a period of dry weather across northwest CA. (NWS)

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25 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Friday, bringing the total to 2159.

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by Mark Scaramella

Tuesday's meeting of the Supervisors largely concerned the seemingly endless number of ad hoc committees the Supervisors seem to be endlessly appointing themselves to. The public, or that tiny portion thereof that tries to keep track, is as dazed and confused as the Supervisors seem to be. 

The item was “sponsored by the Executive Office,” meaning that it was on the agenda because two Supervisors are leaving the Board and two new ones are coming in and CEO Angelo saw a good opportunity to do away with all these pesky ad hocs in hopes that the new board won’t bother re-establishing them next year. It looks like CEO Angelo, at least, accomplished most of her mission.

Let’s take an ad hoc, so to speak, look at how the Supervisors ad hoc-ed their pile of ad hoc committees on Tuesday.

There was an ad hoc committee to “examine cannabis tax revenue available for the purposes specified in Measure AJ,” which is the advisory measure that passed by the voters in 2016 declaring that proceeds from the pot tax should go to mental health, roads, emergency services and cannabis permit enforcement.

Obviously, none of that happened as the County has ignored the will of the voters. 

Discussion on Tuesday:

Supervisor John McCowen: “Maybe Supervisor Gjerde and myself should be able to ask questions of staff regarding the cost of certain budget items that legitimately could be recommended for coverage through the cannabis tax. The goal is to get down to a net amount that would then be divided according to the advisory measure of the voters.”

Gjerde: “We can send an e-mail out by the end of the year and if the responses come in next year that's okay.”

Translation: Four years and millions of dollars of misspent pot tax revenues and they’re only now getting around to maybe asking questions of staff so that staff can scarf up most of the money for themselves before the table scraps are distributed to the public services that were supposed to get them.

It’s not clear if this ad hoc committee was disbanded. If it’s not disbanded, it will need a replacement for McCowen.

Then there was an Ad Hoc Committee “to work with Measure B Staff and Measure B Committee as needed to develop a business plan and formulate a common set of goals, including the development of a PHF unit.” 

So far, of course, there’s no business plan for the millions of Measure B sales tax dollars, and the last time the subject came up Supervisor Williams — the only Supervisor who even wanted a business plan in the first place — said he had “capitulated” and had given up expecting the Measure B Committee or staff to come up with a plan.

Discussion on Tuesday:

Haschak: “We are looking at the RFPs for the PHF (Psychiatric Health Facility] and that's ongoing too.”

Translation: That was it. Nothing’s happening besides the “looking.” 

Committee not disbanded.

The Board also had an ad hoc committee “to work with County Staff to discuss policies and procedures for placing items on BOS Agendas.” 

Last week we noted that we thought that elected officials and senior staff could put any item they wanted on the agenda, even if sometimes they had to be put off. But no, all such items must be approved by the CEO.

Discussion on Tuesday:

McCowen: “We can disband that. I think the issue can be left to the incoming board. I have some notes on the item I can pass to Supervisor Gjerde and he can do with them as he considers appropriate. So it can be disbanded.” 

Haschak: “Maybe some of those issues can be taken up in the board’s rules of procedure.” 

Translation: McCowen wrote some notes. That ad hoc was completely unnecessary if all they need to do is review their Rules of Procedure.

What about the “Ad Hoc Committee regarding hack and squirt ‘Measure V’ (Motion to direct code enforcement to investigate a documented first complaint regarding Hack and Squirt and return to the Board within 30 days; and formation of an Ad Hoc Committee.) (Williams, Haschak)” 

The last time hack and squirt was discussed, $120k per year Code Enforcement Consultant Trent Taylor said he went out and looked but the complainant wasn’t home and he couldn’t tell which parcel was alleged to have been hacked and squirted. 

And that was that.

Discussion on Tuesday:

Williams (to Haschak): “I will follow your lead.” (Remember, Supervisor Williams was one of the main proponents of Measure V when he was Chief of the Albion-Little River Fire Department because, besides the general fire hazard increase, firefighters assume the chemical removal of trees represents a chemical hazard to them if those poisoned, dead trees catch on fire.)

Haschak: “Since covid hit we haven't had any additional meetings. We did meet once or twice with representatives of the forest industry [sic] and people who were wanting enforcement of Measure V. Then everything’s been put on hold with the covid. I think at this point we could disband the ad hoc and see what the new board wants to do because I think County Counsel is going to come forth with some ideas. And that was their mandate quite a while ago.” 

Williams: “Let's disband it.” 

McCowen: “This is one of numerous items that people consider to be of some importance. It’s been on the agenda forecasting at times during the year and the board never had time for it.”

Nobody even asked if there was any follow up on the failed code enforcement visit to the area allegedly hacked and squirted. [Background:]

“Formation of an Ad Hoc Committee to bring forward recommendations to reduce street-level homelessness in Mendocino County.” 

Needless to say, that one is a complete dead letter except for the “Continuum of Care” whose sole objective is continuing their own funding, not reducing street level homelessness. 

Gjerde: “We had some really good conversations and strategies that we had a hand in with County staff. I think it would be smart to have a similar committee next year, but we should close out this committee for obvious reasons as Supervisor McCowen is retiring from the board.” 

McCowen: “This committee did a lot of good work in helping to move the Marbut report and recommendations forward and made significant recommendations endorsed by this board regarding the continuum of care and how the board interacts with that. One key recommendation is that the continuum of care be encouraged to broaden its representation potentially including governmental representatives, either the Board of Supervisors or City Council level or their appointed representatives. That would improve the communication and the functionality of the continuum of care.”

McCowen's statement is demonstrably untrue. The idea of expanding the already overlarge continuum of care to include more people meeting and caring is delusional as homelessness grows proportionately to their meeting and caring. The Marbut Report was barely mentioned in passing in the Continuum of Care’s Homelessness Strategic Plan. None of Marbut’s recommendations were mentioned, much less implemented. And the fact that McCowen thinks that adding yet more members to the 31 member “Continuum of Care” group will improve anything at all — much less address “street level homelessness” — shows that it’s long past time for him to retire.

There was an ad hoc committee to “Review alternative wildlife methods and mitigations.” (Also a related ad hoc committee to discuss supplemental services to the Federal wildlife killing and poisoning services contract.)

Haschak: “Supervisor Williams and I were on this ad hoc and we didn't do anything. It would have created a conflict with what Supervisor Gjerde and I were doing. It should have been disbanded long ago. Disbanded.” 

Gjerde: “We started the year with some good momentum on this and then of course covid hit. We had an interesting site visit with [ag commissioner] Jim Donnelly with supplemental services in the County of Sonoma that is not run by the County of Sonoma but by a nonprofit that resides on county land. They are willing to participate in coaching and giving the county additional information about how a similar operation could potentially be operated in Mendocino County. They receive millions of dollars in donations from some major donors down there so it's not like any nonprofit in Mendocino County can just pick this up without a very large fundraising drive and some truly dedicated almost volunteer people. We had at least one meeting with Jim Donnelly. I'm not clear if were going to make a lot of progress on this until we get someone else involved or get past covid.” 

Haschak: “We met with the Sheriff's department and Animal Care. The Sheriff’s department oversees animal control and the idea was to shift animal control from the Sheriff's department to animal care. Rich Molinari who is head of animal care is very supportive of the idea. The Sheriff's department was supportive of that idea. The problem was covid and the training that people in animal care would have to take on that extra duty would -- it's an official training and they have to be certified and that hasn't happened because of covid and so they haven't been able to make that transfer from the Sheriff's department to animal care but I think that the intent is still there and people are willing and I think it would be a step in the right direction.” 

Supervisor Carre Brown: Reminds board colleagues that animal control was part of animal care years ago and there were “problems.” The “problem’s” name was Animal Care and Control Manager Greg Foss. Brown continued, “And that's why animal control was shifted to the Sheriff's department. Animal control officers carry weapons and there is certain training that has to be done like any officer or deputy sheriff that carries firearms. It was also seen as a steppingstone for animal control officers to become deputy sheriffs.” 

Haschak: “That will all be considered in the potential transfer.” 

Ad hoc not disbanded.

Translation: They did nothing, and nothing’s going to change. Whether Animal Control is part of Animal Care — it should be the other way around — has absolutely nothing to do with the ad hoc’s purpose of developing alternatives to wildlife poisoning or killing. The ad hoc was nothing but a transparent attempt to keep the wildlife protection advocates at bay while the Supes pretended they were doing something.

Cannabis licensing ad hoc committee: 

Williams: “We are meeting almost every week and it needs to stay into the new year.” 

Translation: It’s pot, so of course they have to continue this one. Never mind that so far all they’ve “accomplished” is a deeper understanding that the program is a complete and utter failure and cannot be fixed.

Conclusion: The Board is lucky that “covid hit.” It provided a handy — but invalid — excuse to explain why the Board did absolutely nothing about any of these top priorities during the year. They didn’t even bother to ask about their status until CEO Angelo forced them to do it because two new board members are coming on and she wanted to get rid of as many of them (the ad hocs, not the Supervisors) as possible.

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Camp Bathrooms, Mendo Woods

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It is said that Lake County’s Chief Administrative Officer, a long-time friend of your Mendocino County CEO, was the original architect of the Health & Human Services bureaucracy’s inhumane inefficiency, and her dedication to the construction of its self-serving bully-crats unmanaged by your Board of Supervisors is mimicked by Lake County’s management cruelties — toward line workers, desperate dependent classes, exhausted charitable organizations (who try to fill the “gaps” in missing capacities while the agency identified as our Community Action Agency, North Coast Opportunities, reaps the rewards of fiscal administration costs for programs that barely scratch the surface of unmet needs). Both counties’ upper echelons of job-secure public servants evade accountability, and the visible erosion of public trust threatens the lives of “vulnerable populations” facing new unknowns of a worldwide health crisis.

Yesterday, in a conversation with Public Information Officers from a number of other states across the nation, the ongoing discussion of how to craft and deliver effective “messaging” to overcome widespread skepticism surrounding the question of COVID-19 “truths” and acceptance of quick-turnaround vaccines turned to the examination of the planetary existential crisis of psycho-social unraveling at all levels of previously respected authorities. For the umpteenth time in my twenty years of attentively observing the self-reverential local “culture,” the examination of official indifference to cognitive dissonance — reflected in the disparity between results and rewards such as Ms. Moss-Chandler’s wholly fabricated list of “achievements” illustrates (whereby the public is once again defrauded with no recourse) — adds to the psychological dismay of growing old in this new realm of civic helplessness. The machinery of government is so broken that the steamfitters and boilermen have long since abandoned ship. Aghast is the pervasive state of mind and just getting to and from a source of basic household supplies unscathed has become the priority of the day.

But my curiosity is never diminished on this question: why do the elected Supervisors not just do their jobs, and take the trouble to fulfill their state mandated duties of care? Are they really just there to collect their paychecks and defer their responsibilities to the madness of the structure to which they are obviously harnessed? What are we looking at, through the mirror, darkly?

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Union Lumber, Fort Bragg, 1952

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DESPITE ALL that's come at us in 2020, Boonville, and the Anderson Valley, looks downright jolly at night. Christmas lights everywhere, and some so distant from the Valley floor that their optimistic reds, whites and blues seem somehow doubly hopeful. “Things are looking up,” said Micawber. “They always are.”

Jan Wasson-Smith's splendid Christmas tree on Anderson Valley Way

AN INTERESTING building rehab is underway in Navarro where an ancient structure last inhabited by Chris Isbell and family has been jacked up prior to what? A basement? A great big foundation? A second floor? I hope to talk to the contractor, and would have talked to him this week but the County Building Inspector was there. I said a silent prayer for the builder, as I wondered why it is that in a county with a mere 90,000 people spread over a vastness stretching from Gualala on the Pacific to Covelo only one small mountain range over from the Sacramento Valley, everyone I know dreads dealing with the county, especially its famously arbitrary and legendarily unhelpful Planning and Building Department. 

IT'S BEEN SIX YEARS since I had to deal with them, and I still marvel how many complications Planning and Building managed to create for a straight-ahead, simple project. Lasting memory is of a large young woman who, after several no-shows, finally appeared to “sign off on the septic system,” first mentioning that she was eager to get across the street to buy some chocolate. Our septic system had been installed by the great Mike Luchetti of Hopland, a maestro of everything and anything involving tractors and the movement of dirt. In a rational world all Planning and Building would need to know is that Luchetti is doing the work and, therefore, the work can be assumed to be not only up to code, but perfectly up to code. But until Ms. Rubenseque gave us the ok, the maestro's work had to remain uncovered. When she finally showed up, she strolled over to the exposed septic tank and, smiling, said, “Looks ok.” Then she got into her new county SUV and drove 100 feet across the street to the chocolate shop.

PLATO said whenever a town grew larger than 5,040 citizens it was too big to manage efficiently. Hah! The old boy should see US! We think Mendo's rural with a mere 90,000 people and because we're so lightly populated management shouldn't be all that complicated. But… But everywhere you look, chaos, no sensible planning, no one in charge.

THE WASHINGTON POST says that White House aides had to talk Trump out of issuing a public demand for $2,000 stimulus checks, a move they feared would blow up relief-package negotiations. And right there is one for Trump who, almost alone among the federal leadership, seems to understand how dire the econ situation is for millions of Americans. Slo mo Nancy and Mitch have said that they’re nearing agreement on a $900 billion economic relief package that will include checks of between $600 and $700, but here it is a week before Santa and they can't even get that not-enough amount in the mail.

SEDITION ANYONE? Trump's former national security adviser General Michael Flynn, recently pardoned by Trump, has made his case for invoking martial law to prevent Biden from taking office. Flynn says Trump has “military capabilities” to force battleground states to redo their elections, citing a conspiracy theory that voting software flipped Trump votes for Biden. Flynn on Thursday: “I mean, it's not unprecedented. These people are out there talking about martial law like it's something that we've never done,” he said.

GOT TO WONDER if the "military capabilities" would respond to a declaration of martial law from Trump, even if he had hard evidence that tech moles turned the election for Biden. Pretty obvious that if Trump had the goods he would have produced it by now.

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Hummingbird (photo by Larry Wagner)

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UKIAH STREETSCAPE PROJECT Construction Update - December 18th

Construction will take a short break between Christmas and New Year’s, so this will be the last email until 2021 unless something urgent arises. (Feels good to say 2021!) Next week, Wahlund Construction will have finished the water and sewer replacements along the entire project area and will be doing “clean-up” work Monday-Wednesday. 

Crews will take off for the holidays and resume work on Monday, January 4th with the start of the electric utility undergrounding between Seminary and Mill. (The rest of the project area already has the electric utility undergrounded.) 

South Side: Church to Mill Street 

Monday-Wednesday, December 21-23: Wahlund Construction will be doing “clean-up” work between Church and Mill Streets—patching holes, cleaning up debris, etc. Traffic will be moved to the two center lanes and parking will be restored wherever possible. 

December 24-January 3: No construction 

Monday, January 4th: Preparations for the underground electric installation begins, including saw-cutting and removing concrete, between Seminary Avenue and Mill Street along the west side of State. There will be noise and dust associated with this work. 

Tuesday-Friday, January 5-8: Installation of the underground electric utility begins at Mill Street, heading north toward Seminary. North-south traffic on State Street will remain open at all times. However, there may be short-term, intermittent closures to East and West Mill Street as needed. 

Construction hours are from 6am – 5pm; no night work is planned. 

As always, thank you all for your patience during this important project. We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season.


Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah

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Czech Lodge, Laytonville

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Mendocino County Public Health (MCPH) officially secured 975 complete doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine yesterday morning, Thursday, December 17, 2020. MCPH partnered with Adventist Health to receive the initial shipment of vaccines, while waiting for the delivery of an ultra-cold freezer. This first round of COVID-19 vaccines will go to our healthcare personnel providing hospital care, emergency and urgent care, or care in skilled nursing facilities to ensure they remain healthy and ready to continue working at the frontlines of this pandemic. Administration of the vaccine started yesterday afternoon.

“Today is a big day for us as a county, as we have been working hard to secure this first round of vaccines for a long time,” said County Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. “The 975 doses will cover just over one percent of our county’s population, which is an important start in slowing this virus. By supporting our healthcare workers in getting vaccinated, we are protecting resources necessary to meet the healthcare needs of our community throughout the pandemic. We are in constant contact with the state in our efforts to secure further doses of the vaccine, and will continue to abide by state and federal guidelines in prioritizing vaccine distribution. What is vital, though, to ending this pandemic, is that we all must continue to avoid gatherings and wear facial coverings. Until the vaccine is administered to a significant portion of our population, this virus is still just as dangerous and deadly as ever. We will be tracking access to COVID-19 vaccines in effort to distribute them effectively and in a timely manner, with aim to make the vaccine available to the general public as soon as possible according to state and federal guidelines.”

The first twelve people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Mendocino County were:

  • Adventist Health Emergency Room Doctor, Dr. Mark Luoto
  • Adventist Health Emergency Room Registered Nurse, Holly Bennett
  • Adventist Health Hospital Housekeeper, Marcela Gamez
  • OptumServe Testing Site Registered Nurse, Angle Slater
  • OptumServe Testing Site Registered Nurse, Jen Kephart
  • Adventist Health Emergency Room Doctor, Dr. Drew Colfax
  • MedStar and CALSTAR Flight Paramedic, Devon Schrader
  • Adventist Health Emergency Room Registered Nurse, Beth Cabral
  • Adventist Health Street Medicine Program Physician, Dr. Ace Barash
  • Redwood Community Crisis Center Crisis Worker, Taryn Soto
  • Adventist Health Surgical Registered Nurse, Lisa Fourzon
  • Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Fire Captain and Paramedic, Skip Williams

No reports of any adverse side effects have been reported by those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Mendocino County at this time.

“We appreciate our partnership with Adventist Health, the clinics and all our healthcare partners,” said Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo. “Along with these dedicated healthcare providers, Mendocino County will begin vaccination clinics at the fairgrounds in the near future. We will provide information to the public as soon as we confirm our schedule.” For a detailed plan on how the state of California plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, please see pages 17-19 of the following document provided by the California Department of Public Health: 19/COVID-19-Vaccination-Plan-California-Interim-Draft_V1.0.pdf

 “We are so grateful for Mendocino County Public Health’s partnership in getting these vital vials to our teams on the front lines,” shared Jason Wells, President for Adventist Health in Mendocino County. “For the past nine months, our healthcare workers and first responders have been courageously serving despite the challenges. This is another tool to help us protect our healthcare workers and our community. More than a vaccine, to our teams this is a shot of relief and a glimmer of hope for our community that better days are ahead in our fight against this pandemic. This is the beginning for a promising journey ahead.”

Mark Luoto, MD, Adventist Health emergency physician was the first in Mendocino County to get vaccinated. “I have been waiting to get in line to get this, since I’m almost 70 and in the highrisk group. This just gives me more reassurance so I can protect myself and I can protect the patients we serve and our community. From what I know, it’s very safe, so I recommend that everyone gets it as soon as it becomes available to them.” More information on when the first group of Tier 1 healthcare workers will receive the vaccine will be released in the coming days.

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Redwood Highway, Humboldt County (Perhaps Confusion Hill)

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from John Naulty, Fort Bragg Chief of Police

December 18, 2020, 0930 hours 

The Fort Bragg Police Department would like the public to be aware that the state plans to activate the IPAWS Emergency Alert System (Wireless Emergency Alert-WEA only) at 12 pm today. This may cause some cellphone users to receive text messages or automated calls. 

The messaging is intended for the Bay Area in reference to the Governor's COVID shelter in place orders. Targeted areas include Napa and Sonoma County. 

The messaging is not intended for Mendocino County at this time, however it is likely our residents will experience bleed over and/or receive messaging on their personal devices while commuting. 

The WEA LONG message should read: 

State of California: All Bay Area Counties now under state stay at home order. This builds on previous local orders. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Stay home except for essential activity. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Visit 

Estado de CA: propagando rapidamente. Quedate en casa, excepto para la actividad esencial. Usa mascarilla. Manten tu distancia. Visite

The WEA SHORT message should read: 

State of CA: New health order. Stay home except for essential activity. 

Estado de CA: Nueva orden de salud. Quédate en casa, excepto para la actividad esencial 

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Lake Mendocino, 1993

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To the Editor:

To the Ukiah City Council:

The recent election results mean that a partial term is open on the council and the council must decide whether to appoint someone or hold a special election to fill the seat. In tough economic times, the $30,000 cost to hold a special election may be viewed as prohibitive. If that is the case, then what direction should the city council take?

In the wake of the election, Juan Orozco has become the city’s first Latino mayor and the election of Josefina Duenas is similarly historic; the city of Ukiah has become more representative of its community than it has been in years. Any consideration of making an appointment to the open seat should honor and further the historic nature of this election.

To that end, the one direction the city council should avoid in considering how to move forward is to simply appoint the third place finisher, Jenny Kimbler, to the council. The third place finisher believes that Breonna Taylor deserved to die because her boyfriend was a “piece of shit.” When writing about people protesting police violence, Kimbler said “light them up. Shoot them, run them down I don’t give a damn anymore.” If Kimbler is appointed, will this be the new policing standard handed down to Chief Wyatt?

Kimbler’s comments make clear that she either doesn’t understand our Constitution and workings of our criminal justice system, or more likely, that she explicitly supports different standards for different people. Such beliefs go beyond left and right; they are utterly disqualifying for government leadership. Appointing Kimbler would undermine the will of the community as expressed in the recent vote.

It still may make the most sense to appoint someone for the remaining two years of Ms. Mulheren’s term. In that case, I recommend appointing Cameron Ramos, by far our youngest candidate, to the seat. Mr. Ramos’ appointment would diversify the representation of our community in a variety of ways. Two years on council would give Mr. Ramos valuable experience and connect the city to the future of our community.

Ed Donovan

Boonville Road Wines

ED NOTE: We'd like to get Ms. Kimbler's side of these accusations against her. If anyone out there knows how to reach her, please tell her we'll give her a fair shot at defending herself.

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A CLOVERDALE MAN convicted on multiple felony counts of animal abuse in connection with 12 horses that had been under his care has been ordered to pay more than $76,000 to the nonprofit that rescued the animals and has nursed them back to health.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 18, 2020

Chavez, Fallis, Gamez, Gomez

FRANCISCO CHAVEZ, Philo. No license, suspended license, probation revocation.

AMBROSE FALLIS, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, county parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)


JUAN GOMEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Loaded handgun not registered owner, concealed weapon in vehicle, paraphernalia, suspended license (for DUI), witness intimidation, probation revocation.

Skaggs, Walrath, Williams, Zilich

CHRISTOPHER SKAGGS, Lakeport/Ukiah. Parole violation.

MARK WALRATH, Ukiah. Burglary during state of emergency, felon-addict with firearm, stolen property, probation revocation.


TANNER ZILICH, Redlands/Piercy. Parole violation.

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by Norman Solomon

(Mayor Pete wrote a letter to his supporters after being named to a Cabinet post this week. It needed a little help. Being a careful proofreader, I provided some volunteer assistance to Mayor Pete.)

From Pete’s Desk

Hi there,

Earlier today I stood on stage with President-elect Biden, where I was humbled to be paid off by being nominated to serve our nation as Secretary of Transportation.

Of course, as I look forward to taking on this new challenge and serving some of my most devoted paymasters on Wall Street, I can’t help but reflect for a moment on the road we’ve traveled together to block the big, bad socialist Bernie Sanders -- and to feel a deep sense of gratitude for this community of supporters and especially for the corporate elites who made my presidential campaign so strong.

Whether you joined back when we were four people working out of a tiny office in downtown South Bend or signed up last week -- to everyone who has been a part of this effort, talking to your family and friends, posting on social media, or chipping in when you could -- I want to say thank you for ignoring my corkscrew doubletalk about healthcare and overall misuse of my prodigious intellect to pander in highly circuitous ways.

Through it all, we’ve stuck to our Rules of the Road, well aware that the path to Pennsylvania Avenue power requires sucking up to corporate power -- and Chasten and I are so grateful for the kindness you’ve shown to us at each step. You’ve proven that a politics built around who we can call to our side, where everyone can find belonging, isn’t just possible -- it’s here. My solidarity with Amy and Beto in support of Biden at the crucial moment is paying huge dividends.

Below are my remarks from today’s event. And I wanted you to know I’m looking forward to when our paths will cross again when I try again to bamboozle the public into thinking I’m highly principled as I seek higher office and to seeing all the ways I know you will stay involved to help win the era to come and to generate evermore creative propaganda from the center that has gotten us into such calamitous situations that now afflict so many people in our nation.



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Christmas Mail, London, 1939

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It’s barely a month since our last election, when we got to vote to tax ourselves yet again. Already our elected representatives are working on our next round of tax increases.

They tell us these are unusual and unprecedented times. There’s nothing unusual about their solutions. More taxes. It seems the answer to every problem is more taxes. How many more times are they going to sell us the same bill of goods?

Save our schools, solve the homeless problem, fix the roads, save the police and fire departments, clean up the air, save the bay, on and on. Remember when the lottery was going to save our schools?

The point is, giving them more tax money is like giving drugs to an addict. It will never be enough.

We also need to learn that when we agree to a 20-year-long tax that it will need to be renewed and extended in a few years, and they will tell us that it isn’t a new tax. I think for a lot of people, and especially small businesses, the Golden State is losing a lot of its luster.

Bill Munselle


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Farmers take down the sheriff who is trying to evict a widow from her farm after the insurance company failed to do so. Near Lapeer, Michigan. June 3, 1952.

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HARVEY READING WRITES: Yesterday, while walking Diamond around the block, a dummy stopped his pickup to tell me what a fine looking walking companion I had with me. He asked if I hunted. I told him I’d quit hunting years ago, that, for one thing, it wasn’t cost effective. He said I better start again, “… ’cause things are gonna get crazy.” I replied that I already knew that things were gonna do so and resumed my walk, as he said, once again, “Nice looking dog,” to which I replied, “Thank you,” as I continued walking.

Now, think about it. This guy thinks he can subsist on hunting (and fishing) to provide his and his family’s food. Multiply that by 600,000 other morons, and, voila, no more game animals to hunt (or catch) after a year, maybe two. And, as the game populations decline, a successful hunt becomes harder and harder. This is simply a small example of the stupidity, yes, stupidity, and ignorance, of the clowns who support the orange hog; who, indeed are so dumb that they would probably die for the fascist monster.

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From The Atlantic Daily:

…In late January, at a moment when most of us could not imagine that 2020 would soon come to resemble 1918, The Atlantic published an article by Ron Klain titled, “Coronavirus Is Coming—And Trump Isn’t Ready.”

Our Ideas editor, Yoni Appelbaum, had asked Klain, then a private citizen and now President-elect Joe Biden’s chief of staff, to help our readers understand the risks ahead. 

Klain, who served as President Barack Obama’s Ebola coordinator, suggested keeping an eye on one question in particular: Whether President Trump could bring himself to listen to Anthony Fauci. That, Klain said, would be key.

In the article that resulted from this conversation, Klain wrote:

“Five presidents—liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans—have looked to Tony Fauci for advice; it is not impossible to imagine Trump being the first to angrily dismiss the counsel he offers if it does not fit with his own poor instincts.”

I called Klain the other day to ask him how he knew, to such a granular degree, that the Trump-Fauci relationship would go sideways: 

“We knew already that Trump has a style of governing that rejects facts and demands that people see the world his way, that they live in his counterfactual reality. He also has a tendency to downplay threats, whatever kind of threats they are. I knew Dr. Fauci well enough to know that he was going to tell the truth and speak out and that sooner or later that would run afoul of the Trump approach to governance.”

Klain was in a unique position to make predictions about COVID-19. As the coordinator of Obama’s successful fight against Ebola, he had developed important knowledge about infectious disease. But he also gained an understanding of Trump’s destructive impact on public health. One thing people forget is that after ‘birtherism’ blew up on Trump, he faded from view for a little while and only emerged back into our politics around Ebola. He was the leading public voice attacking Obama’s Ebola response. His tweets—there are studies that show this—were a main cause of the fear that galvanized around Ebola. He tweeted that the efforts to fight Ebola in West Africa were a mistake, that bringing home the doctor who had contracted Ebola in West Africa was a mistake—he said he should be left to die. Trump was completely unhinged from science, and this had a significant impact on the public psyche. It gave me an early indication of how he would handle a pandemic.”

What did Klain learn by watching Trump? Overpromising solutions in a pandemic is dangerous, but so is under-promising: 

“One of the reasons we’re in the mess we’re in is that President Trump believed, or simply said, that this virus would be gone like a miracle. It would be gone by Easter; it will be gone by Memorial Day.”

Biden, Klain said, will take a more nuanced approach:

“President-elect Biden is very clear in saying that COVID is not going to go away in 100 days, that life will not go back to normal in 100 days. But it’s important for a leader in this situation to offer a mix of realism and hope. I don’t think you’re going to get people to participate in a response if you tell them that the slog goes on forever, that there are no midpoints, no progress. But you just can’t overpromise.”

* * *


* * *

Italian Nativity, 2020

* * *


by James Kunstler

The mind-numbing weirdness of Joe Biden’s insertion into the election of 2020 — like the furtive groping of an intern in a cloakroom — only signals the Democratic Party’s reckless drive to self-destruction, dragging the republic over the edge of an abyss with it. How did this hollowed-out figure of a grifting old pol find himself pretending to national leadership, and in an historic moment of crisis that goes far beyond the mere wrecking of an election? Who wanted him there so badly, and why?

My guess would be Barack Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, and John Brennan anxious to stay out of prison, heading a long list of officials present and former who committed crimes trying desperately to protect them, with accessories aplenty across the aisle. That’s what this four-year coup has been about, snowballing criminality, culminating in an orgy of blatant ballot fraud. At this fraught stage of the drama, they’re hiding behind the pretense that all the old rituals of torch-passing must be observed for the sake of decorum, and they’re mistaken.

The Biden family’s moneygrubbing exploits in foreign lands had already been revealed in the previous act of sedition, the ridiculous impeachment attempt. In that episode, it was well-established in the public record that Hunter Biden grifted more than a million dollars out of the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, and that his father had stupidly bragged on tape about covering for him. Yet William Barr’s DOJ was already in the possession of Hunter’s laptop, chock full of evidence that Hunter was raking in way more millions from other countries, and that the loot was being distributed to his relatives. Why did they keep that from the president’s lawyers with Mr. Trump in jeopardy of being railroaded for asking Ukraine’s president to have a look at it? Would Mr. Barr say they were protecting an ongoing investigation by keeping it all secret? What a lame excuse, under the circumstances.

Just as impeachment concluded in failure, Mr. Biden got smoked in the early primaries, only to triumph mysteriously in the March Super Tuesday voting. After all, a primary is the party’s own election, and they can engineer it however they want. So, they contrived to elevate someone already criminally culpable in the mind of any citizen paying attention and capable of adding two-and-two to get four. Weird, a little bit?

But then Super Tuesday segued right into the Covid-19 virus crisis, with all the destruction to livelihoods and interruptions of normal life that ensued, and the lingering odor of the Hunter Biden story wafted away in the bleak spring zephyrs. Only to return in the fall, because the fellow who ran the computer shop where Hunter B foolishly abandoned his laptop — one John Paul Mac Isaac — became annoyed that the FBI seemed to be ignoring it, and gave a copy of the hard-drive to Rudy Giuliani, who examined its contents closely and went public with it — quite a trove of evidence, with an added frosting of selfie porn photographs showing Hunter enjoying sex and drugs. You know the rest, with the news and social media striving to bury all of it for two weeks before the election.

So, the Biden family must be strongly motivated to finish the burial by getting into the White House, installing an attorney general who will lower that casket of turpitude into a grave, and whistle the back-hoes to fill it in. And while they’re at it, dig a few more holes in the ground to bury the treasonous activities of the Clintons and Barack Obama in matters that might be labeled “Uranium One,” “Skolkovo,” “Hillary’s Emails,” “the Iran Deal,” “Fusion GPS,” “John Brennan’s 2017 IC Report,” “the Mueller Investigation,” and more. Donald Trump had to be prevented from winning a second term at all costs, lest that burden of rot get spewed into any actual courtrooms like so much spoiled lunchmeat.

The trouble is, Mr. Trump actually does have the evidence, and he intends to use it after four years of being remorselessly fucked around by his antagonists. So, the nation is at the point in this long, winding drama that has become a fight to the death and there will be no rituals of torch-passing just to keep up appearances that everything is functioning normally. Mr. Trump has the evidence of widespread, yes widespread, ballot fraud. He is the president, after all, and he has all the information. As he’s said more than once, he’s caught them all. And they know it.

Of course, the CIA and the FBI, those pillars of the Intel Community, are still trying to withhold what they can, but the president is not having it. He’s taking away the CIA’s most precious asset: its resources for making mischief on-the-ground — its airplane fleet and its armaments, handing them over to the Pentagon — reducing the CIA to the simple task of analyzing signals from the world scene. And so, the CIA has been refusing to cooperate with the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, as a last gasp to preserve its long-running illicit prerogatives. That will eventually trigger the president’s invocation of the 2018 Executive order 13848, allowing, at long last, the arrest and prosecution of many desperate characters who tried to run away with the US Government.

But probably not before the last legal avenues have been traveled: Sidney Powell’s case against the Dominion vote system in the Supreme Court, a long-shot like all the other cases that the court is loath to touch; and the business of the alternate electoral college slates to be hashed out in the House on January 6, Vice-President Mike Pence, presiding. Democrats and their coastal elite supporters are not going to like it. If they call out their Antifa troops, those feckless weenies with their hoisted cell phones and stupid umbrellas are going to be crushed this time, not indulged like three-year-olds.

The wild-card all of a sudden is what the nation will also do about the foreign actors reportedly messing around with the government’s most critical computer systems. China? Iran? Russia? They’re a match for America’s own domestic enemies, who must be neutralized first before we’re capable of dealing with outsiders. The gyre widens.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *

Christmas At Buna, Papua New Guinea

* * *


Hi. Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready, up to 6 or 7pm Friday next week, and I'll read it on the Xmas night show.

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

(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.)

Among the entire rest of the eight full hours of surprising, educational and often-NSFW sweary madness I have for you tonight (including John Sakowicz' poetry in Polish, a special holiday story by Alex Bosworth, the first in a new series of stories by Zeke Krahlin, historical tidbits explaining how we got into the mess we're in, science, art, lifesaving life tips, and Paul Modic's compilation of every sex act he ever had, including detailed statistics and their names, where remembered), there is Riantee's children's story /Mimi the Cat/ read soothingly gently and slowly by professional Toni Birnbaum, as if she's reading to a small person sitting in her lap. 

And any time of any day or night you can go to 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.

Also, at there's a laundry list of both mentionables and unmentionables to sniff around in until showtime, such as:

What a great idea: Put asbestos dust in cigarets to protect you from the tobacco.

In case you haven't already seen the Blob Opera. People walking by Juanita at work were playing with it as they went. There's a tutorial but you can just poke and wiggle at it until you figure it out. It might not work on your old computer but it works fine on the phone. And it can record and play back your compositions, which always sound great because an A.I. is helping you.

And a brightly colored thousand-mousetrap chain reaction in slow-motion. Skip ahead to 6:30 if you don't need the setup.

— Marco McClean,,

* * *


  1. Annemarie Weibel December 19, 2020

    Thank you Mark Scaramella for your article about how the Supervisors ad hoc-ed their pile of ad hoc committees. The ad hoc committee with Supervisors Gjerde and Haschak was going to look at one way in and out communities. They have been working on a pilot program so that they can hopefully solve some of the systemic issues involved with neighborhood communities maintaining safer conditions in their area. This has been an ongoing process and somewhat delayed with the pandemic.
    The Mendocino Council of Governments which both of them are members of, also commissioned a study of these situations called the Fire Vulnerability Assessment. See

    See what community members came up with and

    If you are still concerned you will find out that soon every AT&T wireless communication facility in the county will have the Nationwide Public Safety Network (First Net) deployed that is tax payer funded. The services would include military applications, 5G, and Internet of Things (IoT). It is the military’s new deadly toy implemented under the guise of “necessary for emergency services.” That way the public would willingly accept 24/7 surveillance, have our every move including meta and granular data tracked, harvested and sold, be experimented on, and become actual targets of the latest high powered, low latency, weaponized communications systems.

    • Kathy December 19, 2020

      Ubiquitous 5G – I Wish! Weren’t similar tin-foil hat arguments used for rural electrification programs?

    • Bob A. December 19, 2020

      Hate to break it to you, but 5G in Mendocino County isn’t going to happen. Why? Physics, that’s why: Genuine 5G (28 and 39 GHz) can’t penetrate foliage, and it most certainly cannot penetrate our horizontally challenged landscape. That leaves the 600 MHz band (n71) that has only enough bandwidth to handle voice and text. On the other hand, the carriers will tout the low speed service as “5G”, because they can fool most of the people most of the time.

  2. Eric Sunswheat December 19, 2020

    Dopamine receptors
    RE: That’s what this four-year coup has been about, snowballing criminality, culminating in an orgy… (James Kunstler)

    -> August 31, 2020
    Opioid epidemic is ‘getting much, much worse’. Overdoses are accelerating during the pandemic as Americans with opioid-use disorder find it harder to get support and treatment.

    The Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program at the University of Baltimore studied the change in overdoses in the weeks before and after widespread lockdowns this spring. It found a 17.6% increase in overdoses in the two months after lockdowns were ordered…

    Stress from job losses can push some to drug use or knock recovering addicts off the path to sobriety, said Erin Calipari, principal investigator at the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research.

    Other stressors include isolation, lack of social connection and disrupted routines.

  3. Thomas Allman December 19, 2020

    The great black and white photo you posted with “perhaps Confusion Hill” is actually about 2 miles South of Confusion Hill and was known as “The Slab”.
    This is just North of the large landslide which closed Hwy 101 for several weeks in 2015.

    “The Slab” was (is) a rocky, treacherous 1/4 mile stretch of the Redwood Highway. It was bypassed in 1989 by cutting through a small hill just East of it. My uncle used to transport new cars on a large car-hauler. He told me that the rocky Eastern side of “The Slab” was so close to the highway that when he drove Northbound, if he met a southbound car on the curve and he wasn’t able to cross over the center line, he would have to get so close to the side of the fog line that hubcaps would pop off the new cars because of several rocks protruding from the unforgiving rock wall.

    I recently walked this portion of the old highway and it was obviously engineered by a brilliant team over 100 years ago. The roadway is still solid but the boulders from the unstable rock formation have fallen and blocked access.

    • Jeff Fox December 19, 2020

      As a teenager with a new drivers license (circa 1970) I would make trips up to Fortuna to visit friends, my poor mom, otherwise confident her young son was a safe driver, fretted heavily about me navigating that stretch of road. Lots of warnings about oncoming trucks.

      I knew the road needed to be replaced, but at some level I was still sad to see it go. I still stop there once in awhile just to walk the road and take in the views of the canyon.

  4. George Hollister December 19, 2020

    “Would Mr. Barr say they were protecting an ongoing investigation by keeping it all secret? What a lame excuse, under the circumstances.”

    As Bill Barr rightly explained yesterday, protecting an on going investigation isn’t the primary reason for secrecy. The bar for beginning an investigation is low, and to release information of an ongoing investigation that involves, or touches a political candidate gives the AG’s office the power to significantly influence an election. Remember what happened when the bonehead James Comey released information about an AG probe into a laptop that had information from Hilary Clinton, just before the 2016 presidential election? This likely led to the election of Donald Trump. Not that the outcome was a bad thing.

    The real story here is the incredible dysfunction that existed in the Obama AG’s office. All the while the bystander president was consumed with smiling and reading speeches others wrote. And James Comey, et al, went rogue. Obama’s first AG claimed he was “Obama’s wing man”. Then his second AG, Loretta Sanchez, met with Hilary Clinton to “talk about their grand children”, etc.

    Bill Barr has done a service to this country, and hopefully has set an example for how the AG’s office should be run. Joe Biden won’t find anyone as good to replace Barr. But he won’t likely make worse choices than Obama did, either. And hopefully having a VP that knows something about what a prosecutor’s office does will be a help. Hopefully.

    Kunstler needs to stop and take a breath.

    • chuck dunbar December 19, 2020


      James Kunstler warns us today:

      “… the nation is at the point in this long, winding drama that has become a fight to the death and there will be no rituals of torch-passing just to keep up appearances that everything is functioning normally. Mr. Trump has the evidence of widespread, yes widespread, ballot fraud. He is the president, after all, and he has all the information. As he’s said more than once, he’s caught them all. And they know it…”

      One wonders why Trump has not just shared “all the information” he has with his attorneys, so they could have “shared” it with all the courts who have dismissed almost all their many cases for lack of evidence of “widespread ballot fraud.” Hard to fathom, but we all know that Trump is brilliant and very able and probably has his good reasons.

      What crap Kunstler continues to spout. He’s writes as if he’s still using drugs, the hard stuff for sure. Like George says, for other reasons, he “needs to stop and take a breath.”

      • Marmon December 19, 2020

        if Joe Biden is inaugurated, it is only going to embolden the communist and tyrants in our country!


        • Harvey Reading December 19, 2020

          Biden is nearly as full-blown a tyrannical fascist as Trump. Where do you come up with the “communist” nonsense? I think you must be enamored of the term.

        • chuck dunbar December 19, 2020

          It’s good to see you writing in jest, James. Taking a break from the serious stuff, good for the soul!

        • Marmon December 19, 2020

          “We are not only going to win this election, we are going to crush the liberals, the socialists, the Communists on the other side.”


          • chuck dunbar December 19, 2020

            Ah, the gorgeous, intelligent and humble Kimberly. I remember her kind of famous speech for Trump, finely spoken, nuanced, a thoughtful, almost academic screech!!!, oops, I meant speech…

        • Bruce Anderson December 19, 2020

          Names, James, names!

      • Marmon December 19, 2020

        Trump Says Voting Machines May Have Been Breached by SolarWinds Hack During Election


        • Harvey Reading December 19, 2020

          That idiot will say anything if he thinks it will give him a chance to stay in power and implement full-blown police-state fascism. Only the dull-witted and gullible believe a word he says.

      • George Hollister December 19, 2020

        Trump is starting to sound like Adam Schiff, “I have the evidence, just wait for me to reveal it”. Trump learns well, I guess.

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