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UNSEASONABLY COOL WEATHER is expected through Friday with brisk northwesterly winds each afternoon and locally frosty nights for some interior valleys. Some spotty showers pop up across some of the higher interior mountains the next few afternoons, otherwise mainly dry weather will continue through the weekend. (NWS)
10 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
MENDOCINO COUNTY PUBLIC ALERT & WARNING EXERCISE
Contact: Brentt L. Blaser at email@example.com
Mendocino County’s Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Emergency Services will be testing Mass Notification Systems from 12:00 pm until 1:00 pm on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021. Testing will focus on the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) activation protocols, new online resources, and new predefined evacuation zones.
During actual emergencies these systems will be used to provide information to residents and visitors. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services want to ensure these procedures are tested and encourage the public to learn about the new online resources and evacuation zones before the next emergency. This way if we experience any challenges, we can adjust. These systems are used in response to all hazards or emergencies where immediate action from the public is necessary.
The Wireless Emergency Alert system is similar to the Amber Alert system in which you will hear a special tone and vibration on your mobile device, which will repeat twice. Participants will also receive a short text message directing them to online resources.
For more information on Wireless Emergency Alerts go to FCC website: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea
DRAMATIC RESCUE AT A UKIAH HOUSE FIRE
On the morning of Friday, May 8, 2021, at approximately 1:02 AM, UPD Officers were advised that Ukiah Valley Fire was responding to a structure fire that was located at 1380 S. State Street. UPD Officers responded to assist, as is a regular practice for reported structure fires. Officers arrived and observed the roof of the residence at that location was fully engulfed in flames. They saw the fire was spreading to an attached carport. Officers attempted to determine if anyone was inside the residence and heard a woman yelling for help. Officers found the woman was located inside a room that was within the carport. Through a window, they saw the woman was attempting to get their attention by waving her arms and it appeared she was unable to exit the room.
Fearing for the safety of the woman; Officers entered the burning carport. In order to make their way to the window, Officers had to move multiple items of furniture out of their way, before they could reach the window. The woman was unable to open the window, so Officers forced the window open. Once open; heavy smoke began billowing out of the window. The Officers determined the woman was unable to exit through the now open window. Officers physically removed the woman from the burning structure.
Once Ukiah Valley Fire personnel arrived on-scene, the female was treated for smoke inhalation. The Officers who assisted the female found the hair on their arms and heads had been singed, but they were not injured. Ukiah Valley Fire personnel determined the cause of the fire was not intentional.
(Ukiah PD Presser)
CDC’S NEW MASK GUIDANCE
by William Miller, MD; Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital
On May 13th, the CDC revised its recommendations around masking and social distancing to indicate that people who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks in most public settings both indoors and out. The recommendations have not changed for people who are unvaccinated. This has caused a great deal of commotion in the news media with some claiming that this came as “an abrupt about-face”. However, that would suggest a surprise, 180-degree turn. Instead, I see this as the next logical step in further relaxing of restrictions as we move towards more people being vaccinated. To me, at least, it is neither abrupt nor a reverse of direction. Here is why.
The evidence has been mounting that the vaccines are effective in not only preventing spread from one individual to the next, but also in reducing the severity of symptoms if infected resulting in decreased hospitalizations. Yes, there will be those who are vaccinated who may still develop a case of COVID. Remember, no vaccine prevents you from becoming infected. Instead, they help prevent you from becoming ill and transmitting the virus. With a 94%+ effectiveness, that still means that about 1 in 20 persons who are vaccinated will become ill if they get infected. However, it is clear that when that 1 out of 20 person does get ill, they don’t get severely sick. Some in the news media are hyping these cases as “breaking through” the vaccine, but that is a false narrative. Such would only be true if the vaccine was expected to be 100% effective, which we know it is not.
This is also true for the new variants in which the vaccine may be less effective. Less effective here does not mean that the vaccines offer no protection. To the contrary, for the most notable variants being the one in Brazil and the one in South Africa, the vaccines still greatly help reduce severity of illness even though they may have an effectiveness on the order of 70%. And 70% is pretty good for any vaccine.
Concern is also raised that some unvaccinated people may lie and say they are vaccinated just to avoid wearing masks. However, as I see it, that is not an issue. The CDC had already directed weeks ago that, based on scientific evidence, a person who is vaccinated does not need to quarantine or take special steps even if they are exposed to a person with known COVID and even if neither were wearing a mask. When I heard that change, it made sense that this new recommendation would soon follow. Thus, it doesn’t matter for you. What this is saying is that if you are fully vaccinated, then you can be around others regardless of their COVID status, their vaccination status or if they are wearing a mask or not.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, there has been a tug-of-war around loss of personal freedom to make one’s own health choices versus the need to protect the public. It seems to me that this strikes a good balance. It encourages people to get vaccinated, which is a personal choice that also helps the public good, and the person may then forgo masking if they so choose. Vaccination is the key to putting this pandemic behind us.
Current US vaccination rates show about 38% are fully vaccinated. An additional 10% are partially vaccinated which still gives an effectiveness of about 70%. That leaves about half the county still unvaccinated. Well, 30% are saying they won’t get the shot no matter what and the remaining 20% are on the fence. As I see it, let’s give that 20% a reason to move forward and get vaccinated.
Having said all of this, we do need to remain clear that the pandemic is not over and no one should be suggesting that it is. If it behaves like similar pandemics, we still have at least a year to go. During that time, we will continue to see new waves and new variants. Cases will ebb and flow, even in America with it’s relatively high vaccination rates. We need to keep in mind that the key to suppressing the pandemic will be through herd immunity from vaccination.
There are some important exceptions to the new guidelines. First, they do not apply to hospitals and other health care settings. In those settings everyone will still have to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status, at least for the time being. Second, it does not apply to any form of public transportation, such as on airplanes, trains, etc.
In the end, if you are fully vaccinated, but are still concerned about your safety, then continue to wear a mask. Doing so will add that extra level of safety and security that you are seeking. The difference is that now you get to make that choice. It is that simple.
(The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or of Adventist Health.)
WILLITS MAN, SUSPECTED OF DOUBLE-HOMICIDE AND ANIMAL ABUSE, PLEADS NOT GUILTY
47-year-old Willits man Christopher Wayne Gamble, appeared via telescreen in a Mendocino County Courtroom yesterday morning. Represented by defense attorney Justin Petersen, Gamble pled not guilty to two charges of first-degree homicide and one charge of animal abuse stemming from an incident in Brooktrail, northwest of Willits April 26, 2021.
COAST TO THE TOAST
by The Calpella Cowboy
Mendocino County — After 15 socked-in days out of 16, the intrepid correspondent decided to depart from regions coast-wise into the interior on a recent Sunday. The 50 degrees and soul-deadening overcast of Fort Bragg was left behind in the rear view mirror. The end of the fog line came at the popular Camp Wildwood. That place marked the beginning of the sun zone. From a meteorological standpoint, things just got progressively better and better to the East, eventually over the summit and then down into the blissful 74° of Willits.
A beautiful lazy late spring day. A fine day for a walk in the sunshine. After a fortnight of penetrating cold fog propelled by a howling and scouring wind right along the coast.
As left foot followed right and falling into a more natural and even pace and then relaxing. Beginning to whistle that old Johnny Cash tune Understand Your Man: “I ain't taking nothing that'll slow down my traveling, while I untangle my mind.”
It was like that walking down Main Street past the Noyo Theater, faintly busy now with a private screening, attended by 30-something casually dressed upper-valley achievers. The Noyo has an imaginative and inventive staff, reflected in their amusing display case filled with images and memes relating to lock downs and pandemics and masking and social distancing, lately experienced.
An air of abandonment permeates the Skunk Train associated formerly Willits railroad station Depot. Then the park, on the left with the kids at the playground laughing conjure another Cash piece, Sunday Morning Coming Down.
The laughter of the children in the park on this day evokes a different response in the listener than Johnny’s though, alienated and isolated in a southern somewhere long ago.
Not this fine Sunday. This was a happy sound.
Hearing the laughter of the children in the park after over a year of near total social isolation. Reconnecting a little bit after a long period away.
Let's be real though.
After all this is Willits. A place where some people had indeed untangled their minds, but equally as certain other minds had unraveled completely. The feeling of close-by harshness is never far away in Willits and its twin sister of Ukiah. That feeling of dryness and of a tentative hold on things.
There is the undeniable appeal of the sunshine though, the very dryness and the sparse people. And it has, as they say, potential.
Down past the park and then to Mendocino College Willits Branch campus, utterly, hugely extravagant in its architecture and construction materials, and vastly vacant. Deserted and surreal.
Across that stricken landscape through to a junction at the end of a long straight country road. That long stretch of county road which eventually dead ends at the Willits wastewater treatment plant, or W.W.T.P. as it is known hereabouts.
The road is mostly vacant land on one side (to the north and Northeast) but the other side is not vacant. Junk vehicles openly exposed to the elements are laid out in a fairly rough order, in fairly rough rows, row after fairly rough row. Every one of the hundreds and hundreds of vehicles on that vast lot are in various stages of decay, decomposition and cannibalization. The cars go on and on and on along the road utterly still, along the road. To the end of the road, at the WWTP. It's a big junkyard.
So while there was not much to look at to the north except the far off Willits bypass, the close at hand junk vehicles were of considerable interest. Of course the domestic cracker-thrashers, trucks and station wagons, all utterly unremarkable. But there were many interesting and exotic cars as well. “Hangar queens” as they were known in the Air Force, a reference to a vehicle that needed constant shop time. Rusting hulks of Porsches and Saabs and Mercedes were in plentiful supply.
But it's not every day you see a '76 Yugo, a ‘68 Corsair and a ‘73 Dodge Duster all in one place.
After the reverie of the long hot country lane and junkyard encounter, a refreshment stop was made to rehydrate at the Mendo Mill hardware store. Back westward toward town.
But there was to be only bitterness and broken dreams cuz the only kind of liquid refreshment they had was loaded with sugar: Each and every drink they had was a high sugar content soda, often coupled with high caffeine content monster drink. There were no diet sodas to be had, nor was there any water save for aquafina which is a “purified” water not from a spring well but purified from municipal sources such as Riverside, California, Texas and Hayward.
Since no reasonable liquid drink could be found, a nice pivot was made to a popsicle, as the shop had a refrigerated treats case. Unfortunately the block was yet again high fat high sugar. Just loaded bombs every way you looked whether it be drumsticks or strawberry shortcake bars or Oreo double stuffed sandwich cream triple dips. These are the highest fat higher sugar products imaginable. There wasn't one single popsicle not a juice bar, not a bomb Pop, not an artificially colored big stick, nothing.
Back now westbound, back towards town, parched and really really thirsty out of that dry hole and headed down the road apiece.
Later connected up with a pizza, before crawling back over the hill exhausted.
Morals of the story: when in Rome do as the Romans do and when in Willits get ready to go to the calories.
LILLIE LANGTRY, OROVILLE McGOON, AND BOB
by Bob Dempel
I was introduced to Guenoc Ranch in the late 1960s. I was selling fertilizer and Guenoc Ranch would use a large amount of fertilizer on its reported 19,000 acres of pasture and rangeland. I remember contacting the ranch manager and asking for the order. The order was a big sale for me, so I narrowed down the price so not to be underpriced. I was shocked to learn that I lost the order to a feed store in Calistoga. I represented a major manufacturer of dry fertilizer and here it was that I was outbid by a feed store. New to my profession I could not let this slip by me. I just had to know how a feed store could out bid me on a large 100-ton fertilizer order. I later learned that the feed store bought large tonnage of hay from the Guenoc Ranch. The fertilizer sale was an inside deal.
Later in the 1980s I was reintroduced to the Guenoc Ranch where owner Oroville McGoon (1929-2016) had built a winery, Langtry Estate (1981-PRESENT) and Vineyards and planted a few hundred acres of vines. The winery was named after actress, socialite, Lilly Langtry (1853-1929). He also named the 1800s vintage farmhouse after her. Oroville was mesmerized by Lilly Langtry. He would go to great lengths to procure any piece of information or artifact relating to her.
An old friend Bill Pickering was the vineyard manager, and contacted me to do some propagation (grafting) on some of the wine grapevines. It is not uncommon when there is an over-supply of one variety of grapes to convert to another variety. In the wine industry this is called “chasing the market.” I was fortunate to have a very experienced grafting crew, and grafted a large acreage for Langtry Winery and Vineyards Ranch acreage to more saleable varieties.
While doing the work I discovered that they had an oversupply of Zinfandel without a home. Around this same time White Zinfandel was becoming a new wine trend. A friend of mine, Bob Steinhauer, was the Grower Relations VP for Beringer and asked me for some help purchasing Zinfandel for their White Zinfandel program. I was able to put together a contract between Langtry Estate Winery and Beringer Wines.
That Christmas I received an invitation from Oroville to the Langtry Winery Christmas party on a Saturday night at the Lillie Langtry House. As we approached the Langtry House, we could see the outside Christmas lights from a mile away. Built in the 1880s complete with a surrounding porch, two stories and hundreds of Christmas lights. The little house was filled with friends, neighbors, and associates.
Shirley and I did not recognize anyone at the function. The interior of the house had an array of lights, ornaments, and food. I had met Oroville McGoon only once. I slid through the crowd to thank Oroville for inviting us to the function. He then started to introduce me as the one who saved him by arranging the sale of his Zinfandel.
The party would not be complete without a few songs from Oroville’s wife Karen. I remember exactly how intently Oroville would follow Karen’s every word she would sing. She ended her performance by singing a song she wrote about wine. Oroville would always be dressed in jeans, a cotton shirt and a suite jacket. His pants legs were always tucked inside his boots. Oroville was a well-educated man. He had an undergraduate BS in civil engineering and a MS in Civil Engineering from Stanford.
Years later Oroville and Karen hosted a group of leaders from Washington DC for a dinner. I was involved in a program where the graduates of the California Agricultural Leadership Program would host some government employees who may never had been on a California Farm. Oroville and Karen arranged for a gorgeous evening for about 15 of the DC people and a few of us local people who had participated in both programs.
I went on to help the winery both sell some of their grapes and purchase some needed grapes. I worked with a winemaker named Darrick Holstein.
The 1990’s came along and the winery and vineyard changed direction and my services were no longer needed. Sometime later I read that Oroville was no longer associated with the winery or the ranch.
One last thing I remember about Oroville was that Karen was going to give a concert right here at the Luther Burbank Preforming Arts center in Santa Rosa. Something happened because a week or so before the concert it was cancelled. My friend Bill Pickering tried to get me a phone number for Oroville in San Francisco without results.
Bill retired as vineyard manager at Langtry Winery and Vineyards and bought a small resort on the Lake. Someone else took over. I then began to hear rumors that the entire Guenoc Ranch including the winery would be sold.
Orovill died in 2016. The obituary did not state the cause of death, I think he died of a broken heart. I have never heard anything more about Karen. I did not give much thought to the Guenoc Ranch, Vineyards, and Winery for many years.
Then just recently a large article popped up in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that Guenoc had been resold and the new owners wanted to convert Guenoc to a new town. AG Becerra has joined the fray. Just what Lake County needs is a new town. Lake County’s poverty level is close to 20%.
I am sorry to never heard Karen give a concert.
ORDINARILY, the construction of a kid's playset in Ukiah wouldn’t be of much public interest. But Ukiah’s new “sound garden” project — part of the chimerical Great Redwood Trail — might actually be interesting, especially if it includes one of those late night game cameras to catch the two-legged wildlife that dares to walk the two miles of treeless pavement through industrial Ukiah's backyard.
UKIAH'S WOKEST DEMOCRATS, pictured below, have hung miscellaneus hunks of junk metal for passersby to beat on, maybe even rhythmically, hence a sound garden, described as “a variety of sound making elements including the innards of two pianos, dozens of hanging bamboo poles, acetylene and propane tank ‘gongs,’ metal percussion ‘instruments’ and striking mallets mounted on wooden posts, and a colorful ‘tubulum’.” The “Grand” opening of the “sound garden” featured a couple of performances of “Opus for Sound Garden and “Concerto for Slide Tubulehorn” as the back up bangers accompanied Ukiah’s poet Laureate Melissa Eleftherion Carr’s reading of her poem “Etude for Spoken Word.” The “sound” was described by Ukiah Daily Journal contributor Carole Brodsky as “sometimes-cacophony, sometimes rhythmic, sometimes Balinese-gong sounds” undoubtedly puzzling “the random cyclist or walker who happened upon the event.” The concert was free.
THE CALIFORNIA Natural Resources Agency had put out a call for grant projects and somebody in Ukiah — rural California headquarters for grant writers, and probably also champion rural home to more grant-driven non-profits per capita than any other place in the world — prepared a grant application describing the hunks of suspended metal as an park/orchestra, and the Resources Agency funded it.
THE DEFENDERS of the “Great Redwood Trail” who think that the silly grant grabbers involved are seriously interested in building even a small part of an actual trail will have a hard time defending this kind of waste. But unfortunately this is a perfect example of the mentality of those involved from the state all they way down to the local promoters.
SEIVERTSON’S WALMART PUNCHING SPREE
On Monday, May 17, 2021 at approximately 9:36 AM, UPD officers were dispatched to a reported assault that occurred at Wal-Mart (1155 Airport Park Blvd.). Dispatch advised the suspect was a female, who was pushing a shopping cart and was being followed by a witness. While the Officers were responding a second caller reported that the suspect also stole merchandise from Wal-Mart and that the employee had been assaulted by the suspect as well. A UPD Officer located the suspect, who was known from prior contacts to be Racheal Seivertson, 32, of Ukiah, within the 1300 block of S. State Street. The witness identified the suspect to the Officer as the person who had been involved in the incident at Wal Mart.
The Officer attempted to detain Seivertson, but she refused to comply with his verbal commands and kept walking away. The Officer attempted to physically detain her and she punched the Officer in the face with a closed fist. Seivertson was placed on the ground and detained without further incident. The Officer was not injured.
An investigation into the incident commenced and it was learned Seivertson gathered a shopping cart full of miscellaneous merchandise and attempted to exit the store after passing all points of sale. A female Wal-Mart loss prevention employee contacted her in the vestibule and tried to stop her from leaving the store with the stolen merchandise. Seivertson punched the employee in the face and attempted to exit the store with the merchandise. A second, elderly female Wal-Mart employee also attempted to prevent Seivertson from exiting the store. Seivertson punched the elderly female in the face as well. Seivertson then exited the store with the stolen merchandise. An alert citizen observed the incident, telephoned UPD and followed Seivertson until she was contacted by the Officer.
The first female victim complained of pain and later sought medical treatment at the Ukiah Hospital. The elderly female victim suffered a visible injury to her face, as a result of being punched by Seivertson. Seivertson was positively identified by the victims and was placed under arrest for robbery, elder abuse, battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest. The estimated total value of the stolen merchandise was $161. The merchandise was released to Wal-Mart. Seivertson was booked at the MCSO Jail and was held on $150,000 bail.
THE PILOTS and other military people talking about their UFO experiences on Sunday’s 60 Minutes seemed plausible enough, but at least one of the film clips struck me as a bug pacing back and forth on the camera lens, not a UFO. And I don't care whatever galaxy you might be from, if you got here by defying the everywhere immutable laws of physics and gravity well, move over God. Oh, you say the extraterrestrials are so advanced they've learned to work around the basics? These boys saw what they saw, but I doubt they're from outta here. Interesting, though, that whatever they are they haven't landed, a sure sign of intelligence if not extra-galactical smarts.
NEVER HAVING met a self-identifying “woke” person, and being fuzzy on the qualifying specifics, is there a local woke agency where a guy might get himself tested for woke quotient? Clearly there are lots of people in this county who seem to consider themselves woke, assuming that woke simply means you're on board with the basic conservative liberal catechism as represented, say, by Kamala Harris. But if you happen to be woker than Harris-Biden, if you're a Bernie person, or even to the left of Bernie and agree mostly with AOC but stubbornly insist that there are only two genders, can you still be woke, or are you consigned to a kind of woke purgatory until you're fully awake?
THE DAILY BEAST announced this morning that a movie is in the works about that woke, white lesbian couple who secretly abused the six black children they'd adopted then murdered them by driving themselves and their children off the bluffs north of Fort Bragg into the Pacific. Who'd watch a movie like that? Me, for one, if for no other reason than to see how the filmmakers handle the Mendo angle, the inevitable Mendo angle I'm tempted to say. If this “family” had decided to live on in a clearly woke place like Mendocino County… Well, they'd have been hard to top, woke-wise.
THE ALBION FLEA MARKET: The sale will continue on Saturday and Sunday this weekend AND Memorial Day weekend, from 9 to 4 each day. There are ads in all the coast papers. It's $20 for a space, reply to 937-0145 to reserve and get more info. There will be different vendors each weekend, so always new things for sale.. The Jotul stove is still available, but needs work, plus ALOT of equine items, like saddles and tack, plus furniture, china, childrens toys, so much stuff, you'll have fun browsing thru it all. We are up Albion Ridge Road 3.2 miles from Hwy , right next to the grammar school.
RALPH NADER ON NPR: “I find the features and the collaboration with other investigative groups, such as Pro Publica, very enlightening. One piece about Amazon’s warehouses was especially memorable. Moreover, Scott Simon and David Brancaccio are so capable as to be considered under-challenged.”
FIRST TIME I've ever disagreed with Ralph. On anything. But Scott Simon “under-challenged”? NPR on Saturdays with Simon as host is purely awful, as Simon, unsuccessfully faking feeling he doesn't feel, is so excruciatingly phony as he drops his voice to its octave basement to say of an obviously unreadable novel to its obviously learning-challenged author, “Sure, this is about parakeets, but it must have been awfully hard for you to write about them growing old and dying.” Simon chokes back a faux sob then shouts, “And now for sports!”
ON ONGOING argument here at the ava bunker is, Who's phonier, David Muir of the ABC News or Scott Simon of NPR? Simon trumps all.
BRUCE MCEWEN ADDS this right-on assessment: "Why do the NPR people sound like they’re all wearing Micky Mouse hats? Melissa Block and Scott Simon sound especially cutesy, but the others seem to be smirking just as smugly behind their microphones, as if they all belonged to an elite club of some kind. What’s up w/ that?"
BAD NEWS, but typical of the Fairgrounds operations: “Just found out we cannot open the Library today (Tuesday) as planned. Gina told us the Fairgrounds needs an Additional Insured from our Insurance. Cindy has been talking to the Insurance Co., they have changed the rules, it now has to go through Underwriting, so we do not know when we will be open. Can you post this on the sites? And we will keep everyone updated. Thanks, Liz.”
THE PUBLICLY-OWNED Boonville Fairgrounds make it very, very difficult for the public to avail ourselves of its facilities. “Additional insurance” for a library? Please.
FORT BRAGG PARKING WARNING
The Fort Bragg Police Department would like to inform local merchants, visitors and the public of Fort Bragg, that parking enforcement of the 2-hour parking time limit in the downtown business district will begin on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
The parking enforcement will primarily be in the downtown business area, which is between Oak St. north to Pine St. and Main St. east to McPherson St. Please beware that on-street parking is limited to 2-hour from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday, Sundays and Holidays are exempt from enforcement.
The police department is requesting merchants to remind their employees and visitors of next week’s parking enforcement action and to utilize off-street parking to avoid a parking citation.
CATCH OF THE DAY, MAY 17-18, 2021
JACK ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting. (Frequent flyer.)
JOSEPH ANDERSEN, Ukiah. County parole violation.
DUSTIN BLAKESLEY, Clearlake Oaks/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
MICHAEL DEVLIN, Trinidad/Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
SEAN HAMMON, Ukiah. Domestic battery, county parole violation.
COLE ICKES, Fort Bragg. Robbery, probation revocation.
ETHAN LYMAN, Potter Valley. Probation revocation.
RAMON MACIEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
CARLOS MAGANA, Ukiah. Protectiev order violation.
STEVEN MAROS, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-drugs&alcohol, trepassing-business, failure to appear.
ENRIQUE RAMIREZ, Willits. DUI while on court probation, probation revocation.
JAN REED, Redwood Valley. Domestic abuse.
LINDA REYNOLDS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JONATHAN SANCHEZ, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
RACHAEL SEIVERTSON, Uiah. Robbery, elder abuse, battery on peace officer, resisting.
KC LEE STILLWELL, Covelo. Burglary, probation revocation.
ANTONIO THOMAS, Chico/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
ELEA VANWORMER, Fort Bragg. Contempt of court, probation revocation.
EDWARD SAID’S PALESTINE, REVISITED
by Jonah Raskin
The recent firefights that have exploded this May between Hamas and the Israeli Army in Gaza—with more casualties on the Palestinian than on the Israeli side—sent me back to The Question of Palestine, the controversial book by Edward Said, originally published by Times Books in 1979 and reissued by Vintage in 1992. Zionists and anti-Zionists, pro-Palestinians and anti-Palestinians who think they know Said and his political stance might be surprised if they were to read or reread his Palestine book which followed hard on the heels of Orientalism, the polemical volume which made him famous in academia throughout the West and in many other parts of the world.
Born in 1935 in Jerusalem, then part of the British mandate of Palestine, Said was educated at Princeton and Harvard, taught at Columbia for decades, and wrote dozens of books as well as hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles that attracted a loyal following and detractors, too. Timothy Brennan tells much of the story in his recent biography, Places of the Mind: A Life of Edward Said, which is dedicated to “the Palestinian people.”
At times, Said tries to be even handed in The Question of Palestine, though it seems likely that his book might not satisfy many observers of the Middle East today precisely because he tries to be even handed. On the one hand, he condemns “Palestinian violence” and PLO hijackings and suicide bombers, and on the other hand he denounces Israeli sponsored “state terrorism,” though he concludes that Zionists have done far more harm to Palestinians than Palestinians have done to Zionists.
Said describes the Jews as “the victims of persecution” who became the “victimizers of other peoples,” and so in his equation the Arabs are “the victims of the victims.” On the question of anti-Semitism he doesn’t equivocate, but rather condemns “the horrors” of European treatment of the Jews.
The fighting between Israel and Hamas would certainly support his view that the repression of the Palestinians has only led to more resistance by the Palestinians. But you can’t read very far in The Question of Palestine before encountering Said’s deep and profound sense of “despair and pessimism” about the Palestinian struggle. Indeed, near the start of the book, he describes the whole problem of Palestine as “intractable”—that is unmanageable —though he makes his own solution clear. What he wants, he explains, is “an independent and sovereign Palestinian state” that’s “based on secular human rights, not on religious or minority exclusivity.” Forty-two years after the book was originally published, that idea seems as remote and unattainable as ever before.
Said lauds the courage of the Palestinian Communist Party and praises the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, but he lambasts Marx as a racist and concludes that “most liberation struggles in the Third World have produced undistinguished regimes, dominated by state worship, unproductive bureaucracies, and repressive police forces.”
Whose side was he on, one wonders? And whose side would he be on today? The fatal, tragic flaw of the PLO, he argues, is that “unlike other national liberation organizations, or provisional governments,” it “had no native territory on which to operate.”
The words “fatal” and “tragic” come up again and again, as when he writes that the United States has had the “fatal habit of being taken in by the likes of Marshall Ky, Chiang Kai-shek, and the Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, to the exclusion of more genuinely popular and representative leaders.” That’s putting it mildly. The U.S. wasn’t merely taken in. It created and buttressed dictators.
When he looks at Palestine, Said sees a land “saturated with blood and violence.” In an epilogue to the book written after the 1991 Gulf War, he noted that Palestine was “the last great cause of the twentieth century.” Now, one might call it the first great cause of the twenty-first century and perhaps a lost cause, too. Indeed, Said himself observes that “The situation of the Palestinian people goes from bad to worse.”
What inspires him? Not Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, but rather the writings of Alexander Cockburn and James Ridgeway and Palestinian authors such as Emile Habibi and Ghassan Kanafani. When politics and ideologies depressed him he found joy in literature. Moreover, while he located expressions of imperialism and colonialism in western literature he was against the cancellation of that very same literature.
“All cultures tend to make representations of foreign cultures the better to master or in some ways control them,” he astutely noted in Culture and Imperialism (1993.) He added, “Jane Austen belonged to a slave-owning society, but do we therefore jettison her novels as so many trivial exercises in aesthetic frumpery? Not at all.”
Thank you, Edward Said.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)
by Paul Theroux
I had lunch at a diner and resumed walking. I lingered at Lis-Beth’s Pageants, a store devoted to rentals of evening gowns, one of the busiest shops in Brookhaven and a Southern institution.
“$200 to rent, $500 to buy,” Kim, one of the clerks, told me, and in answer to my next question, “Business is real good.”
“Who rents these dresses?”
“Everyone. On account of the proms and the parties, homecoming courts. Beauty pageants.”
A “homecoming court,” a new term to me, involved the election of a king and queen at a school, another tradition in their region besotted with hierarchies and pretensions. As for beauty pageants, just that month alone there were ten in Mississippi. These included Miss Dogwood County, Miss Rankin County, Miss Ebony Sweetheart, Miss Southwest Sweetheart, Miss Dixie Sweetheart, Miss Meridian, Miss Tri-County and Miss Deep South, among others. “Ages 0-11” and “ages 12 and up” were in separate categories that had me wondering.
Cheap sparkly jewelry was included in the rental fee as well as appropriate shoes. “Little girl” pageant dresses were popular and a display of photographs showed winners in Lis-Beth dresses -- six and eight-year-olds, precocious painted 10-year-olds, coquettish 12-year-olds in sequins and mascara, in comehither postures. They had the knowing eroticized gaze you associate with older women and some of them did not look like children at all but like dwarf versions of beauty queens, meretricious bum-wagging munchkins. The oddity was that the child pageants did not emphasize the extreme youth of the entrants but instead sexualized them, presenting them in adult clothes and thick makeup, giving them the heavy laden, big doll look of hardened, pimped out women, rather than their freshness and simplicity and innocence of their age.
“Your little girl will steal the show in our custom-designed pageant swimwear” – said a sign with pictures of lipsticked nymphets (hands on hips) in pink bathing suits, elaborately coiffed and wearing tiaras on their upswept hairdos and some -- incredibly -- had big hair that added 10 inches to their height. Little girl beauty pageants were a feature of the rural South and Toddlers and Tiaras was a successful reality TV show.
I am aware that I sound disapproving in describing this cultural weirdness, but never mind my moralizing. I had the strong suspicion that if an older man downloaded any of those promotional photographs and they were found on his hard drive by the typical snitch at the computer repair shop, he would risk arrest or least serious interrogation and perhaps his house would be searched for possession of lurid images of underage girls.
VIRTUAL TOUR OF “POSTCARDS FROM MECCA”
On Thursday, May 20, from 3 to 4 p.m., Grace Hudson Museum curator Alyssa Boge presents a virtual tour of “Postcards from Mecca,” the Museum's new exhibit. “Postcards from Mecca” presents the photography of Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves, a pair of friends who adventured in and documented the Southern California desert landscape in the early 20th century. To join the event, click on global.gotomeeting.com/join/962028333 or visit the Museum website at gracehudsonmuseum.org, and scroll down to the event announcement with accompanying link.
The Grace Hudson Museum (which has recently reopened) is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information please visit the website or call (707) 467-2836.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
But anybody who was anybody knew what bollocks that was because they knew full well that the Russian angle was full of shit from top to bottom, that it served as pretext, that the real intent was to find ANYTHING to oust Trump from the presidency. Barring that, to delegitimize his election win, you know, where there’s smoke there’s fire, they wouldn’t be investigating if there was nothing there, all that crap we’ve heard a thousand times. And to impede the conduct of his administration, to bog down the Trump mammoth in a tar-pit of investigative obstruction.
And what did they find? Bugger all. Trump survived. No indictments even though we were many, many times assured by people who assured us that they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that indictments were coming. How many times did we hear that they turned a corner, that the walls were closing in? How many times did the evening news announce a “bombshell”.
Bombshell after bombshell, but how many were retracted as inaccurate after the passage of a day or two? Collusion? It is to laugh. Interference? Just as ludicrous, far from an election bought by Putin, amounting to a hill of beans in a multi-billion dollar campaign.
So, after all that noise, nada. Yeah, ominous sounding verbiage in the report. And from the vaunted media and “thinking-class”, a bunch of stuff about road-maps to impeachment. But it was all talking cock.
And an astonishing thing that was given that Trump spent his life in two notoriously mobbed up industries, casinos and real estate. Either Trump is as clean as a hound’s tooth or Mueller and his boys were the most incompetent gang of fools set loose on what should have been a target rich environment.
There’s a whole bunch of things that can be simultaneously true, in seeming contradiction only because political divides in the US preclude rational thought. The vehemence is such that it is beyond the self-control of almost all Americans of opposing affiliations to dispassionately assess Trump, who he is and how he got there. Can’t be done.
What you can’t say because nobody will listen is that he’s a mixed bag, he was no traitor, he had some valid policy goals, but that he was in no way, shape or form cut out for the job. He just didn’t have the leadership or managerial chops, nor the character nor the intellect.
And, especially, he had no Deep State institutional support. Trump is as red-hot an iron as abortion or evolution. Mention his name and to the barricades we go.
In my view the Mueller affair was a fiasco. Hard to say it any other way. It was harassment of someone not expected to win, and a fiasco, a disgrace, a debacle, an epic fuck up, and it was an illegitimate attempt to overturn an election. And it failed.
WHOEVER WE ARE
Whoever we are
Wherever we're from
We shoulda noticed by now
Our behavior is dumb
And if our chances
Expect to improve
It's gonna take a lot more
Than tryin' to remove
The other race
Or the other whatever
From the face
Of the planet altogether
They call it the earth
Which is a dumb kinda name
But they named it right
'cause we behave the same...
We are dumb all over
Dumb all over,
Yes we are
Dumb all over,
Near 'n far
Dumb all over,
Black 'n white
People, we is not wrapped tight
Nurds on the left
Nurds on the right
On the air every night
Sayin' the bible
Tells the story
Makes the details
Sound real gory
'bout what to do
If the geeks over there
Don't believe in the book
We got over here
You can't run a race
Without no feet
'n pretty soon
There won't be no street
For dummies to jog on
Or doggies to dog on
Can make it be all gone
(I mean it won't blow up
It'll just look ugly
For a thousand years...)
You can't run a country
By a book of religion
Not by a heap
Or a lump or a smidgeon
Of foolish rules
Of ancient date
Designed to make
You all feel great
While you fold, spindle
From a neighboring state
To arms! to arms!
Hooray! that's great
Two legs ain't bad
Unless there's a crate
They ship the parts
To mama in
For souvenirs: two ears (get down!)
Not his, not hers, (but what the hey? )
The good book says:
("it gotta be that way!")
But their book says:
"revenge the crusades...
With whips 'n chains
'n hand grenades..."
Two arms? two arms?
Have another and another
Our God says:
"there ain't no other!"
Our God says
"it's all okay!"
Our God says
"this is the way!"
It says in the book:
"burn 'n destroy...
'n repent, 'n redeem
'n revenge, 'n deploy
'n rumble thee forth
To the land of the unbelieving scum on the other side
'cause they don't go for what's in the book
'n that makes 'em bad
So verily we must choppeth them up
And stompeth them down
Or rent a nice french bomb
To poof them out of existance
While leaving their real estate just where we need it
To use again
For temples in which to praise our god
("cause he can really take care of business!")
And when his humble tv servant
With humble white hair
And humble glasses
And a nice brown suit
And maybe a blond wife who takes phone calls
Tells us our God says
It's okay to do this stuff
Then we gotta do it,
'cause if we don't do it,
We ain't gwine up to hebbin!
(depending on which book you're using at the
Time... can't use theirs... it don't work
...it's all lies... gotta use mine...)
Ain't that right?
That's what they say
Hey, we can't really be dumb
If we're just following god's orders
Hey, let's get serious...
God knows what he's doin'
He wrote this book here
An' the book says:
He made us all to be just like him,"
If we're dumb...
Then God is dumb...
(an' maybe even a little ugly on the side)
— Frank Zappa
DOPE, TWO ON-LINE COMMENTS:
(1) My question is, with every dirt farmer in the world growing marhiuana, who buys it all? I quit smoking dope after the summer of love in 1967 and I don't know anyone who is still addicted, those friends are long gone to the penitentiaries and graveyards. Thank you, I’ll take my answer off the air.
(2) Armies of people smoke weed all day every day. An ounce a week all year is over 3 pounds a year. A decent sized farm that pulls in 300 pounds is only providing head for 100 or 200 people. And there’s a battalion of dealers and dispensaries to provide that weed, one small baggy at a time. America’s appetite for weed has never been fully sated. Not all weed heads look like Cheech and Chong.
IS SLACK DESTROYING AMERICAN COMPANIES?
by Matt Taibbi
Late last week, amid a Slack-driven furor over his confessional memoir Chaos Monkeys, Apple fired ads engineer Antonio Garcia-Martinez. I wrote Friday about the specific hypocrisy of Apple’s move — the company has the author of Bitches Ain’t Shit on its payroll but claimed it fired Garcia-Martinez as a statement of its devotion to “inclusivity” — but over the weekend spoke to Antonio about the larger issue of his case, which extends past his own predicament.
“This business of Slack at work,” he said.
After George Floyd’s death last summer, corporate leaders found themselves in an unusual position. With water-cooler conversations turbo-charged by chat programs like Slack, many firms saw outpourings of anger. Employees demanded their employers do something, or at least be seen doing something, to “confront racism.”
In some shops, employers were asked to recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday. In others, there was a demand for more diverse hiring procedures. Significant donations to political organizations, scholarship funds, or product lines targeted to African-Americans were expected.
Responses became more idiosyncratic. Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens pledged to stop putting “multicultural cosmetic products” behind locked cases in retail outlets. YouTube deleted 100,000 videos and 100 million comments as part of an expanded hate speech policy. HBO Max took down Gone With the Wind, then restored it with a disclaimer that it showed “ethnic and racial prejudices” that “were wrong then and are wrong today.” Disney later did something similar with The Muppet Show, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Dumbo, Peter Pan, and Swiss Family Robinson.
In some places, the connections between the companies’ core businesses and structural racism were apparent. For instance, many of the banks that made the most ostentatious pledges of support for Black Lives Matter were the same firms that targeted black communities with exotic subprime mortgage products, Wells Fargo’s “ghetto loans” episode being among the more infamous.
In other places, the connection was less clear. What should FitBit be doing to fix police brutality? How could Pinterest contribute? (They ended up removing ads on Black Lives Matter search results, so readers could “focus on learning about the movement”). Was it axiomatic that every company had a political role to play?
Soon, a new type of controversy arose, ironically at some of the companies with the reputations for most progressive management. The questions were less about race than workflow. At cryptocurrency firm Coinbase, employees demanded that CEO Brian Armstrong make a statement in support of Black Lives Matter. Armstrong, for a while, demurred. Then some employees and executives began what Wired called a “virtual walkout,” in which “senior engineers encouraged junior staff to close their laptops in solidarity.”
Armstrong quickly got religion, or so it seemed. He went on Twitter to announce, “I want to unequivocally say that Black Lives Matter.” Then, within weeks, Armstrong and Coinbase leadership flipped completely, announcing that the firm would no longer engage in “social activism,” and any employee who didn’t like the new policy could get the fuck out.
Coinbase offered 4-6 months of severance (depending on service time) and six months of COBRA, in a statement saying — in the thickest corporate sarcasm — that the arrangement could be a “win-win” for the politically minded, as “life is too short to work at a company you’re not excited about.” Only about 60 of the company’s 1,200 employees took the buyout.
At another tech firm, Basecamp, CEO Jason Fried — long the owner of a rep as a progressive corporate leader, as his company has published five books on workplace culture — put the kibosh on controversial talk at work, banning “societal and political discussions.” Shopify, an e-commerce firm that broke ground after the January 6th riots by closing online stores tied to Trump or MAGA merchandise, has now become a symbol of corporate pushback. CEO Tobi Lütke just sent an email to employees explaining that work is not life and life is not work, and employee demands should be adjusted accordingly:
Shopify, like any other for-profit company, is not a family. The very idea is preposterous. You are born into a family. You never choose it, and they can't un-family you. It should be massively obvious that Shopify is not a family but I see people, even leaders, casually use terms like “Shopifam” which will cause the members of our teams (especially junior ones that have never worked anywhere else) to get the wrong impression. The dangers of “family thinking” are that it becomes incredibly hard to let poor performers go. Shopify is a team, not a family…
Shopify is also not the government. We cannot solve every societal problem here.
There’s a Frankensteinian irony to all this. Our biggest corporations spent decades steeping the public in weird Me Generation propaganda stressing the primacy of personal fulfillment, which fast became our real national faith as traditional religion lost influence. The result was a work-centric culture most of the rest of the world looked on as a kind of insanity. Alone among peoples who have a choice in such matters, Americans have long bragged about working themselves to death, feeling real pride in putting off distractions like marriage, kids, or “meaning” as they ran hamster wheels in pursuit of status and rock-hard abs, alone and at full speed toward the great beyond.
Americans in my age group, Gen-Xers, were poorly prepared for corporate jobs in that a lot of us were somehow surprised to learn our ethnomusicology or (in my case) creative writing degrees were fairly useless for finding paying work. In conjunction with the huge sums many people borrowed to get those educations, the whole thing was a bit of a scam, though of course we should have known better.
Millennials had it worse. They attended the same academic resort spas, and were handed the same oft-preposterous degrees, but were additionally indoctrinated in affirming ideological oat-baths stressing the righteousness of their lived experiences. If the big surprise my generation faced was that our educations were worth bupkes to employers, the next generation had to deal with the shock of corporate bosses being indifferent to their emotional needs.
Meaning, we’ve come full circle. After training generations of Americans to forego personal lives and work their brains to mush in service of bigger profits, corporate leaders are waking up to find their companies staffed by people so psychologically dependent upon validation from work that they’re a net minus from a production standpoint, forcing bosses to beg them to shut up, go home, and get lives. Not many modern Americans know how to do any of those things, however, as can be seen in cases like that of Garcia-Martinez, where 2,000 employees claimed to be literally incapable of sharing a vast corporate structure with someone who once wrote a book containing passages they might have disagreed with, if they’d actually read it.
“The thought of conflating your entire political, moral, social, family, and religious being with your professional persona,” Garcia-Martinez says, “I think is extraordinarily fraught and difficult.”
Another irony: despite the progressive sheen of these campaigns, Slack agitation doesn’t represent a resurgence of labor. Unions used the strength of the whole workforce to protect the rights of the individual employee, among other things insisting that management not act without due process, evidence, etc. Slack, as has been seen in cases like Antonio’s, or the oustings at the New York Times of editor James Bennet and reporter Donald McNeil, often urges companies to bypass process and act in the heat of the moment. In any case, it’s a weird kind of liberalism that tries to override management to get employees fired, but that’s where we are in the modern American workplace.
I asked Antonio about these and other issues, from his perspective:
TK: You’ve had multiple careers, and clearly took writing seriously. How will episodes like this affect people who might try to write or take creative detours in their careers?
Antonio Garcia-Martinez: Kat Rosenfield was tweeting about this and I love her and it’s great that she’s defending me. Do you want art? People are saying, “Well, you should have realized the consequences… I feel like saying: “Do you realize if an artist went into producing their art, whatever it is, literary or nonfiction or whatever, and thought about the consequences, the art would be total shit?”
Looking at it bigger, there’s a lot of political ideologies like Nazism and communism that thought that art should be subservient to politics, and that art can only serve a political end. Those movements did not end well. I don’t think we want that in our liberal democratic society. I think that’s a bizarre ideological way of looking at the world, from the wokesters who treat this as a quasi-religion.
(This is an excerpt from today’s subscriber-only post. To read the entire article and get full access to the archives, you can subscribe for $5 a month or $50 a year: taibbi.substack.com)
RUNNING OUT OF WATER AND TIME: How Unprepared Is California for 2021’s Drought?
The most acute problem, experts say, is the lack of controls on groundwater pumping. “Despite increasingly occurring droughts, we could be doing much better than we are doing,” added Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, a global water think tank. “We manage finally to get some statewide rules about groundwater, but they are not going to be implemented for years.” As a result, he said, aquifers are still being over-pumped and land is sinking.…
THURSDAY'S EMERGENCY RAIN DANCE FOR DEMOCRATS
Big tribal gathering called by Little Chief Michael MuckaLuck
(Senator Mike McGuire Presser corrected and annotated by Irv Sutley)
From: Senator.McGuire@outreach.senate.ca.gov speaking with Forked Tongue
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 11:34 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients who will all be screened before the Encampment
Subject: RAIN DANCE for DEMOCRATS, this Thursday!
While California’s climate has always been variable, the last couple of decades have been some of the hottest on record here in the Golden State, and we know that the climate crisis is making droughts in California more intense.
Today, watersheds across California are beyond parched. The snowpack is down to historically dry levels, streamflows (sic) are dramatically reduced and we’re short 500,000 acre feet of storage water compared to where forecasts had us at this time in the year.
But the state of California is moving quickly to respond to this drought crisis.
We hope you will join us for a RAIN DANCE this Thursday to discuss the drought emergency and the major steps we are taking across Northern California to respond to this crisis.
Here are the May 20 RAIN DANCE details:
What: Little chief Michael "MuckaLuck" McGuire's RAIN DANCE REVERY
Who will be mudding the waters: Senator Mike McGuire; Joseph James, Chairman, Yurok Tribe; Grant Davis, General Manager, Sonoma Water; Ben Horenstein, General Manager, Marin Municipal Water District; and Carmel Angelo, CEO, County of Mendocino.
When: THIS Thursday, May 20 at 6:30pm (Sacramento time)
How to attend: Watch live here: http://sd02.senate.ca.gov/video or dial in to listen by phone at 1-669-900-6833 and enter the Webinar ID: 956 6014 6349
RSVP and ask a question for Town Hall presenters by clicking here!
We look forward to talking with you Thursday evening!
MICKEY McGUIRE (still vertically challenged and Beholden to Bigger Chief Bi-Bosco)
U.S. AND ITS ALLIES TRY TO SPLIT THE WORLD IN TWO
Right now, America is using its post-WWII position of being the world’s hegemon or globally dominant nation, so as to, basically, compel every other nation either to join them (as a banana republic or vassal nation) or else to become their enemy by destroying them, as Washington and its allies have done to Syrians, Yemenis, Palestinians, Ukrainians, Venezuelans, Bolivians, Ecuadorans, and, before that, Hondurans, Guatemalans, El Salvadorans, Argentinians, Chileans, Iranians, and many others in what Washington calls “The Free World.”