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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, May 29, 2021

Dry Days | 5 New Cases | Mendo Surge | Yorkville BBQ | ATV Fatality | Firesafe Meeting | FB Stagecoach | Mask Giveaway | PV First | CW Locomotive | Crisis Van | Assistant CEO | 408 Plants | Wine Tip | Fiddlehead Fees | Khadijah Mural | Tribal Grudges | US Capital | Ed Notes | FB Trestle | Streetscape Update | Yesterday's Catch | Model Balaclava | Newborn Welcome | Israeli Shield | Dark Eyes | Skunk Line | Human Cliche | Sun Worship | Pot Not | Charles Coward | White Boston | Fleas Fled | Felon Once | Transformational Joe | Free Choice | Stress Fractures

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DRY WEATHER is expected across northwest California during the next seven days. In addition, inland valleys will enter a warming trend, with afternoon highs reaching the 90s to lower 100s Sunday through Wednesday. Otherwise, periods of late night and morning stratus can be expected along the coast. (NWS)

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5 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren on Friday said pandemic fatigue has partly led to a troubling surge in new COVID-19 cases that could once again trigger state restrictions on businesses and other activities.

“We are in a surge now, just like last summer, with case rates and test positivity increasing. We're facing graduations, Memorial Day, July Fourth and a summer of gatherings and traveling,” Coren said. “After people have spent 14 months with restrictions, they want to believe the pandemic has ended — it has not.”

Coren said new cases have been traced to residents who are going to work with mild symptoms and exposing co-workers. Cases also have been linked to children gathering after playing school sports; people not self-quarantining in households after testing positive for the virus; and co-workers socializing in break rooms.

“People are done with it after 14 months of all the restrictions,” he said, adding that a continued increase in cases could result in Mendocino County dropping out of the less restrictive yellow tier of the state’s reopening plan.

That plan, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, is scheduled to be eliminated on June 15, when Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to fully reopen the state’s economy, so long as vaccine supply remains sufficient to meet demand and hospitalization rates are stable and low.

But Coren said the surge could on June 9 force Mendocino County to drop back to the orange tier, which is characterized by moderate virus transmission. That means reductions in both indoor and outdoor capacity limits and indoor bars that do not serve food. Sauna and hot tub facilities would also have to close, officials said.

Mendocino County currently has a transmission rate of 6.1 new daily cases per 100,000 residents. That metric falls within the criteria for the red tier of the state’s plan, where virus transmission is considered substantial.

Coren encouraged residents to continue to get vaccinated for COVID-19. As of May 27, the county has administered 81,835 total doses, according to state data. Of the county’s residents age 16 or older, 50.8% are fully vaccinated, compared with 58% in Sonoma County.

More than 47,000 Mendocino County residents, or 62% of the county’s population, have received at least one COVID-19 inoculation, Coren said.

(Martin Espinoza, Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Happy Memorial Day weekend!!

(photo by Debra Eloise)

Tomorrow, we will be grilling sausages with roasted peppers and onions, as well as whipping up delicious hummus as veggie wraps. Food will be served from 12ish until 4ish or we sell out.

We also have twice baked potatoes in our deli case (a veggie broccoli version and a bacon version) prepared by Chef B. Enjoy them as a side or main for lunch or take them home for dinner!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend.


Lisa at Yorkville Market" <>

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Saturday, June 5th, 2021, 4pm-6pm

Camp Navarro, 3/4 mile up Masonite Road, from Hwy 128, Navarro. Turn right at the sign to Camp Navarro into the main parking area.

Please join other Navarro area residents who are concerned about Fire Prevention and Safety. The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council and other wildfire experts will discuss ways we can work together to prepare for and prevent the spread of wildfires in Navarro. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors, receive information and resources, volunteer for future NAFSC activities, and begin this important work together. Live music in a beautiful setting for your enjoyment. Masks recommended. We look forward to seeing you there!

Visit for short videos in English and Spanish, and other resources for you and your family. 

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Fort Bragg Stagecoach

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Fort Bragg Mask Giveaway Event This Tuesday

Fort Bragg, CA- The Covid Response Network for the Mendocino Coast is hosting a mask giveaway on the first Tuesday of every month, outside the Veterans Hall in Fort Bragg.

This giveaway is intended to fulfill multiple purposes: providing community members with masks, encouraging continued Covid surveillance testing, and offering a chance to have a little fun.

The event, run by volunteers Jane and Sinead Bermudez and their team of student collaborators, will run for two hours - from 9 to 11am. Anyone is welcome to come pick up a pack of five white masks, or ten surgical masks. There will be tables set up for tie-dyeing the white masks and “Curb Covid” rock painting, where we paint Covid-related messages on rocks to later place them in public spaces for people to read.

Some volunteers will also be performing live music. This event was made possible in part by North Coast Opportunities (NCO) and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County.

Mendocino County Public Health Director, and also the Officer, are both saying that it is important to keep masking despite mixed messages from the federal government (again). New variants are on the way, and it is not clear how long the vaccine immunity lasts before a booster is recommended.

Similarly, continued testing is key for understanding what ongoing measures we need to take to navigate the remainder of the pandemic, however long that may be! Testing is available on the coast on Tuesdays at the Veterans Hall in Fort Bragg and on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Coast Clinic in Fort Bragg. To register for Tuesday testing go to 

To make an appointment at the Coast Clinics call (707) 964-1251.

CRN is always looking for more volunteers, and other opportunities to help support our community. For more information on the work we do, or getting involved, find us on Facebook - The Covid Response Network For the Mendocino Coast, on Instagram or on our website

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Foxglove blossoms (photo by Elaine Kalantarian)

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by Mark Scaramella

The Potter Valley Irrigation District was in the news last week when the Ukiah Daily Journal's Karen Rifkin wrote about the disappearance of electrical power from PG&E’s Potter Valley Project “power(less)house.” 

Rifkin quoted a PG&E “Principal, Marketing & Communications” guy named Paul Moreno based in Chico saying, “We’re not generating power now because of the critically dry year; there’s not enough water to spin the turbines.” Moreno goes on to bluntly note that the water from the Potter Valley Project “created what used to be dry pasture land into good farms which today are mostly vineyards.”

Moreno could have also said that the pre-automobile apparatus is no longer worth PG&E's time and effort in maintaining it.

Which in turn sent us off to the Potter Valley Vineyard, er Irrigation District’s website where we learned, as we suspected but didn’t think we’d see written down even tangentially, that “PVID will make every effort to hold the length of extension of our scheduled delivery rotation times from our normal 12 to 14 days to between 21 and 23 days.” (An apparent reference to the frequency of trucked water being sold and delivered to Potter Valley water irrigators.)

There may be other interpretations of this, but the “make every effort” translates into making every effort to postpone and limit reductions in irrigation water delivery as much as possible during a severe drought.

We’re used to this from the inland Cheap Water Mafia: In the face of this year’s severe drought, they have actively and successfully opposed and delayed any mandated water restrictions so they can get as much for themselves as soon as possible before the water is all the way gone.

This kind of self-interest is understandable in normal rain years, but in a drought it’s downright irresponsible.

As we have noted in the past, if the PVID had charged a reasonable amount for the essentially free water they give away to their vineyard and pasture land customers, they could have used it as seed money for water storage projects. But these short-sighted grape growers and old-fashioned pasture land owners have never looked beyond the current artificially cheap water year, and no such projects have ever been developed or proposed. (Some private ponds have been built, but they are for irrigation and frost protection, not long-term storage.)

It was obvious back in February that 2021 was going to be an record dry year, yet the CWM literally “made every effort” to postpone the water emergency declaration and even when it did that declaration remained (and remains) voluntary. Nothing serious was done to prepare for or manage the severe water shortages until the state water board issued notices of intent to restrict water diversions from the Eel/Russian Rivers this week. Which, as Friends of the Eel Director David Keller noted a few weeks ago, “We’re starting way too late, and it’s just going to get a lot worse.” 

And now, weeks later, there are still no mandatory reductions issued by the Irrigation District and the drought is upon us and it is a lot worse. The state has issued some long-delayed restrictions on downstream Russian River diversions, but not on the Potter Valley Irrigation District. All the PVID has done is notify their customers that they will only deliver a percentage of their available water based on acreage irrigated “until it is either gone or readjusted by PG&E.”

Remember, the Potter Valley Irrigation District has water rights to take up to 9,000 acre-feet of water. (Obviously, they won’t get anywhere near that this year). And they are upstream of the historically low Lake Mendocino which depends heavily on how much diverted Eel River Water gets past the Irrigation District. The Cheap Water Mafia would like us to think that the dwindling water level in Lake Mendocino is simply due to a lack of rain. But it’s also low because of the amount of water taken by the Irrigation District.

This “we want ours now first” attitude is a thumb in the eye to downstream domestic Russian River water customers (who draw heavily from Lake Mendocino) who have human beings to provide water to. But if the PVID has its way, much of that dwindling supply of water will be gone soon.

Reading further in the PVID’s on-line materials we see that their allocations are based on four acreage categories of irrigation customers: Grapes, Pasture, Pears and Row Crops. Of that, grapes and pasture represent 91% of their irrigated acreage. 

So if you are downstream of the Potter Valley Irrigation District’s stated policy of watering grapes and pasture “until it is gone or readjusted by PG&E,” you better get used to brushing your teeth with dry tooth powder and flushing your toilet with whatever you can salvage from your one-minute shower.

PS. Interesting history note from the Irrigation District’s history page: “1870-1924 — The families that settled Potter Valley depended on stock raising and dry farming (wheat, barley, and later watermelons) for their livelihood.”

Then the Chinese dug the tunnel in the early 1900s, and…

“April 14, 1924 — A petition was presented to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors by A.F. Whittaker for the organization of the Potter Valley Irrigation District pursuant to an election held April 1, 1924, in Potter Valley with 110 votes Yes and 3 votes No.” 

The names of those three brave no voters have been lost to history. 

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California Western Locomotive

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As we move out of the Covid-19 restrictions we are getting back on course with plans for better service to the public. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in a partnership with Behavioral Health is continuing to build the mobile response teams which were previously discussed with the residents of Mendocino County. Currently we have one person hired who has been in training with deputies at the Sheriff’s Office. We are continuing to recruit for the other two positions, one of which will be housed with the Ukiah Police Department. One of the things we are looking at is a suitable space to house the teams and their vehicles. With the purchase of the Redwood Valley Property of which Behavioral Health owns the training center, and the Sheriff’s Office owns the house, we believe there will be a suitable space in the residence for these teams to have an office. Sheriff’s Office IT was able to get a data connection at the location which will allow the offices to have the needed infrastructure for computers and report preparation. Also with the office sharing space with the training center we are certain we will be providing the latest training for both public safety and behavioral health professionals. This will also allow a more central location for units to serve the North, Coast and Central areas of Mendocino County based on the daily needs. 

Matthew C. Kendall, Sheriff-Coroner, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, (707) 463-4085

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(Supervisors told of significant management appointment after the fact; Board Chair Dan Gjerde praises appointment even though the Supervisors had no role in it.)

Appointment of Deputy Chief Executive Officer Darcie Antle as Mendocino County’s New Assistant Chief Executive Officer

Post Date: 05/28/2021 4:00 PM

Mendocino County Deputy CEO Darcie Antle has been appointed as the Assistant Chief Executive Officer effective May 30, 2021. 

Darcie Antle

Ms. Antle has served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Mendocino since 2017. She is also the Mendocino County Disaster Recovery Finance Director and the COVID-19 Vaccine Coordinator. Prior to onboarding with the County of Mendocino, Ms. Antle served as the Regional Director of Operations for the Northern California Network of Adventist Health and the California Medical Group where she managed the revenue cycle and oversaw strategic operations for physician groups across Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma counties. In addition to experience, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science Degree in Health Care Services from St. Mary’s College. Antle has been an instructor for both Mendocino College and Mendocino County Office of Education. Antle is an active member of the community and has served on numerous boards and commissions, and is a past president of the Rotary Club of South Ukiah.

Regarding her appointment, Ms. Antle stated “I look forward to working more closely with CEO Angelo and the Board of Supervisors on initiatives and priorities that will move the County of Mendocino into the best position for the future.”

“Ms. Antle has built a small finance team inside the CEO's office that has proven to be nimble and effective. This promotion is good news for the people of Mendocino County,” stated Mendocino County Board of Supervisor’s Chair, Dan Gjerde. 

“The Executive Office staff and I look forward to Ms. Antle taking on a greater leadership role in Mendocino County,” expressed CEO Angelo.

Released by: Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer.

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Fourth week of May 2021 - Multiple commercial cannabis locations identified, plants voluntarily abated to avoid penalties. 

Post Date: 05/28/2021 4:00 PM

Action Date: 05/21/21 – 05/28/21

In the fourth week of May 2021, the Mendocino County Code Enforcement Division conducted investigations regarding non-permitted commercial cannabis cultivation at the listed locations below.

The Code Enforcement investigation confirmed that commercial cannabis cultivation was occurring in non-permitted structures, without a County Cultivation Permit, or State Cultivation License. The responsible parties voluntarily abated the cannabis plants being cultivated, and thereby avoided the associated penalties.

5/21/21 – 8000 Block of Lorene Road in Redwood Valley – 118 Cannabis plants abated.

5/24/21 – 5000 Block of Burke Hill Road in Ukiah – 25 Cannabis plants abated.

05/25/21 – 5100 Block of East Side Calpella Road in Ukiah – 265 Cannabis plants abated. 

Code Enforcement intends to take additional action as needed to achieve compliance with the non-permitted structures.

The Code Enforcement Division receives all Cannabis and General Code Violation complaints in the unincorporated areas of the County. Complaints can be made in person at our offices or by visiting our website at: to file an online complaint. Cannabis specific complaints can also be filed by calling the Cannabis Complaint Hotline at: (844) 421-WEED(9333).

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MIKE KALANTARIAN WRITES: Frost Fan Tip: Save those wine-bottle corks and whittle them down for earplugs.

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NEW RULE AT FIDDLEHEADS in Mendo - $5 fee for wearing a mask

A Mendocino cafe owner who last year shut down his restaurant instead of requiring workers to wear face masks is now asking that any customer wearing a mask pay a $5 fee.

And any customer “caught bragging” about being vaccinated would have to pay another $5.

Chris Castleman, owner of Fiddleheads cafe and a longtime foe of pandemic face mask mandates, posted his new rules on the front door this week.

“$5 fee added to orders placed while wearing a face mask,” the sign said. “Additional $5 fee added if you are caught bragging about your vaccine.”

Masks have been shown to cut down on the spread of the coronavirus and public health officials say they’re still one of the best ways for those who are not vaccinated to protect themselves, but the issue has been politicized.

The CDC’s guidance says people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may abandon their masks in most indoor and outdoor spaces, but until June 15, current masking rules will remain in place in California. Masks are required in indoor settings outside the home, whether a person is vaccinated or not. Fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks outdoors except in crowded settings.

Castleman, 34, a former campground host who has run the cafe for three years, said about 20 customers have paid the $5 fee and about 20 customers refused. He said he is donating the fees to a local domestic violence shelter. He opposes mandatory mask rules because, he said, “people should be able to decide for themselves.”

The cafe owner shut his cafe last June after being fined $10,000 by the county for pandemic safety violations. He reopened in March while the fine is under appeal, he said.

Castleman said he doesn’t know anyone who has contracted COVID-19.

“That doesn’t mean it’s not real but it hasn’t affected me personally,” he said.

His anti-mask campaign has made him something of a pariah in town, he acknowledged, and got him kicked off the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department last year. He denied the $5 fee was a ploy to attract attention to his restaurant.

“I’d much rather have these mask rules not happen than sell hamburgers,” he said.

Mendocino County is currently in the yellow reopening tier, which allows restaurants to operate indoors with 50% capacity.

(Steve Rubenstein, SF Chronicle)

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Khadijah mural

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ON-LINE COMMENT re Covelo and why Khadijah Britton has not been found: May 28, 2021 8:17 am

“It’s this deeply embedded counterculture. Many of the tribal populations still hold to hold grudges. Why can’t you access Services? Well, my cousins aunt slept with her best friend’s uncle 40 years ago and so no one in the family can talk anymore. Or the lady that runs the daycare is my cousin from the other side but she don’t like me so my kids can’t get access. They will not rat or snitch on each other and allow each other to do horrible things. But at the same time they protest any other ill-treatment. Yet they treat themselves worse than any other outside enemy. Protecting the perpetrators of violence against your own women, children and the future of your communities is the worst thing that anyone can do for their soul. If you truly love your communities and hope for their future to survive you must embrace them, not abuse them. The mural is absolutely beautiful. I pray something good comes of it.”

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BIDEN'S 2022 BUDGET will cost $6 trillion if Congress swallows it whole, which the Trump wing will not do. The existing deficit is around $24 trillion which, economists tell us, is greater than our annual production of stuff. Which seems to mean at some point bad things will begin to happen, among them painful inflation — grocery shoppers know right now prices are up 10-15 percent on lots of food items, meat higher yet.

AS ONE MORE of the AVA's many community services, here's an annotated list of what Biden is asking for:

Non-defense spending of $769 billion, a 16% increase. Contains plenty of boondoggles, like the high speed train to nowhere in the Central Valley; education, which is always heavy on blah-blah as Americans vie with African failed states as the worst educated people in the world: pots of money shoveled at “homeland security”; and some defensible spending on vet's health.

$6.5 billion to launch ARPA-H, to boost advanced federal R&D spending in health. Rather than adopt universal health care, the Biden budget shores up existing programs, many of which directly benefit private insurers.

$861 million in assistance to Central American countries “to address the root causes” of immigration. Not defensible unless it means placing the trapped, abused citizens of those countries on a modest guaranteed annual income to stay where they are. Huge fraud potential in this one, and where there's potential, the crooks swarm.

Defense increased to $756 billion in 2022, a 1.7% increase — with emphasis on competing with China by ditching older weapons and investing in new technology. O yea. More toys for the generals. As always, despite the great general's warning about the military-industrial complex. It's here. It's been here since Eisenhower's warning 70 years ago.

$36 billion for a series of climate investments. Not enough. We need to go solar and wind on a mass scale to avoid catastrophe, but catastrophe is already here and we seem more and more doomed as a species.

$2.1 billion for gun violence prevention. Massive room for grotesque fraud here, with lots of blah-blah seminars lamenting the apparently irreversible fact of American life that the armed beast is loose and beyond all rational control.

$36.5 billion into Title 1 schools, a $20 billion increase. Public ed needs to be thoroughly re-thought before any more spending on it.

$110 million for “transportation equity.” Accessible, affordable transportation for everyone. Not nearly enough money to accomplish that worthy goal.

$225 billion to subsidize child care; Yes, absolutely. Millions of women had to stop working to stay home with the kids because of covid, which further impoverished millions of families. Universal childcare is long overdue, and should be available round-the-clock, especially given our social habits.

BIDEN'S already backed off his campaign promises, most notably his promise to forgive student debt. And he himself is clearly past it, inspiring no confidence whatsoever, let alone ability to lead. 

OF EVERY dollar spent, fifty cents will be borrowed.

BIDEN says he'll pay for all this with a tax raise on corporations from 21 percent to 28 percent, much lower than corporations pay in most countries. 

AND he wants to raise taxes on incomes over $400,000.

THE RICH and their Republican congressional gofers are throwing around words like “confiscatory” to describe these tiny bumps in tax rates, already the lowest in the world among the haves.

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Pudding Creek trestle, north of Fort Bragg

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Myth-busting Part 4: The whole plan is designed to slow traffic down. 


The plan actually makes traffic more efficient and makes this area MUCH safer for drivers and pedestrians. With the demand-based traffic signals and dedicated left turn lanes, studies show that traffic can actually move MORE efficiently through the major intersections by 1-2 seconds each. (Full disclosure: Studies were performed based on vehicles driving the speed limit. If you are one of the people who like to drive State Street at 50 MPH, then YES, this is designed to slow you down. Also, if you like to make quick lane changes when the car in front of you slows down, you should probably take the freeway...or a chill pill.) 

Construction Overview, Week of May 31 

(Henry – Mill): Continued work on the west side of State Street between Clay and Perkins Streets, including excavating, forming and pouring new curbs, gutters, bioretention facilities, placing decorative brick, preparing landscaping areas, and pouring new sidewalks. Additionally, next week may see the installation of additional light fixtures and benches. 

Monday, May 31: Happy Memorial Day! No construction. 

Tuesday: Miscellaneous work on West Church Street and the west side of South State Street. 

Wednesday-Thursday: New sidewalks will be poured on the south side of Church Street. On Wednesday, Oco Time’s business will be run out of their It’s Time entrance. On Thursday, It’s Time will be closed and Oco Time will operate normally. 

Wednesday-Thursday: Sidewalk demolition will occur on Standley Street between 6:00-8:30 am EXCEPT FOR in front of Left Coast Seafood and Cultivo. Access to all businesses and dining patios will be preserved. 

Friday: Miscellaneous finish work on Standley, Church, and South State Streets. 

Construction hours: 6am – 6pm – Crews will work extended hours this week to complete construction on the 100 blocks of West Church and West Standley. 

Looking forward: 

Week of June 7: Sidewalk construction on the north side of W. Standley to School Street. On Thursday, June 10th, concrete will be poured from the nail salon to (and including) Bona Marketplace. On Friday, June 11th, concrete will be poured in front of Boutique 120, Shoefly and Sox, and the Standley Street entrance of Patrona. 

Week of June 14 (estimated): Completing the sidewalks on the north side of Church Street; possibly pouring the new driveway at the Round Table building. 

We hope everyone has a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!


Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah, w: (707) 467-5793

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 28, 2021

Aretino, Chim, Daughtery

ARIANA ARETINO-REYES, Mendocino. DUI, suspended license, failure to appear.

NATHANIEL CHIM, Fort Bragg. Burglary, under influence, resisting.

NATHAN DAUGHERTY, Ukiah. Domestic battery, robbery, probation revocation.

Hopper, Jackson, Keator

ALFREDO HOPPER-ORDUNO, Ukiah. Causing a fire of property, possession or manufacture of combustible or incendiary device.

ALEXANDER JACKSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

BENJAMIN KEATOR, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear, evasion.

Larson, Macias, M.Miller


JESUS MACIAS-SILVA, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, burglary.

MARK MILLER, Redwood Valley. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.

S. Miller, Noe, Raybould, Sanudoz

SEAN MILLER, Ukiah. Parole violation.

BEU NOE, San Francisco/Ukiah. Stolen property, concentrated cannabis, under influence, parapheralia, resisting.

TIMOTHY RAYBOULD, Medford, Oregon/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice, controlled substance, failure to appear.

JORGE SANUDOZ-AVALA, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, conspiracy, probation revocation.

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If anybody should ever wish to erect a “Model Balaclava” in England, I will tell him the ingredients necessary. Take a village of ruined houses and hovels in the extremest state of imaginable dirt; allow the rain to pour into and outside them, until the whole place is a swamp of filth ankle-deep, catch about, on an average, 1000 sick Turks with the plague, and cram them into the houses indiscriminately; kill about a hundred a day, and bury them so as to be scarcely covered with earth, leaving them to rot at leisure—taking care to keep up the supply. On to one part of the beach drive all the exhausted bat ponies, dying bullocks and worn-out camels, and leave them to die of starvation. They will generally do so in about three days when they will soon begin to rot, and smell accordingly. Collect together from the water of the harbor all the offal of the animals slaughtered for the use of the occupants of above 100 ships, to say nothing of the inhabitants of the town—which, together with an occasional human body, whole or in parts, and the driftwood of the wrecks, pretty well covers the water—and stew them all up together in a narrow harbor, and you will have a tolerable imitation of the real essence of Balaclava. 

— Fanny Duberley, Crimea, 1854

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IT’S BEEN SAID MANY TIMES but unfortunately can’t be said often enough that the conflation of criticism of Israeli atrocities with anti-semitism is a deliberate tactic even though it demeans the toxicity of real anti-semitism. You almost get the sense that if anti-semitism didn’t exist, it would serve Israel’s strategic interest to bomb it into being, as a kind of permanent shield against popular outrage over its human rights crimes. 

— Jeff St. Clair

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Oh, the gentlemen are talking and the midnight moon is on the riverside,
They're drinking up and walking and it is time for me to slide.
I live in another world where life and death are memorized,
Where the earth is strung with lovers' pearls and all I see are dark eyes.

A cock is crowing far away and another soldier's deep in prayer,
Some mother's child has gone astray, she can't find him anywhere.
But I can hear another drum beating for the dead that rise,
Whom nature's beast fears as they come and all I see are dark eyes.

They tell me to be discreet for all intended purposes,
They tell me revenge is sweet and from where they stand, I'm sure it is.
But I feel nothing for their game where beauty goes unrecognized,
All I feel is heat and flame and all I see are dark eyes.

Oh, the French girl, she's in paradise and a drunken man is at the wheel,
Hunger pays a heavy price to the falling gods of speed and steel.
Oh, time is short and the days are sweet and passion rules the arrow that flies,
A million faces at my feet but all I see are dark eyes.

— Bob Dylan

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Early Skunk Line

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Last week, I saw a family at a state park popular with the young urban types looking for an escape from the added 20 degrees from asphalt and poured concrete.

Four with dog. 2 parents, 2 small children. Mom had the obligatory “curated” arm tattoos and 80’s era plastic framed glasses.

Dad had the obligatory beard and the careful but modish eyeglasses one typically finds on an architect or fashion house haunter. 

The dog, of course, was a French bulldog.

They were masking up between bites and sips.

Nobody around them.


Everything about them is a carefully crafted message of conformity.

The slavishly stylish brand.

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I was relieved to see the Sonoma County supervisors change their approach to cannabis growing rules. Living in rural Sebastopol, I don’t want any grows near my home. And for those who keep comparing growing pot to wine grapes, let’s make a genuine comparison: Except for some medical users, pot is used to get high. Wine is usually enjoyed with meals or with friends in a social setting; getting high is rarely the goal.

Pot uses considerably more water than grapes, period, no comparison there. Pot farms don’t compare to the beauty of vineyards by any measure I can think of. Pot stinks, grapes don’t. Lastly, when was the last time someone was killed or beaten in a raid on a vineyard?

Sadly, the powers that be only see the dollar signs from growing pot, not the long-term negative effects it will have on our county. Say no to pot, just like Napa County did. And, please, continue to let your supervisor know your opposition to pot crops.

Mike Tuhtan


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Captured in France in 1940, British soldier Charles Coward made nearly a dozen attempts to escape German captivity. In 1943, the Germans decided they were done fooling around with him and sent him to the Monowitz slave labor camp.

Coward led his fellow Brits in smuggling food to Jewish inmates and passing coded notes to the Red Cross, who sent them back to England. At one point, he smuggled himself into the Auschwitz death camp for a night, then smuggled himself out and reported back to the British about what he’d seen. This hero bribed SS guards, saved at least 400 Jewish laborers, and gave testimony at the Nuremberg Trials.

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By Dave Zirin

Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge probably said far more than he intended Thursday when responding to remarks by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving in advance of his team's playoff game against the Celtics. The powerhouse Nets are up 2-0 and Ainge might have been better off doing some listening instead of talking ahead of Friday's game.

Irving’s comments implied that Boston fans, in their boos and jeers at players, are known to spew racism. “Hopefully we can just keep it strictly basketball,” he said. “There’s no belligerence or racism going on, subtle racism, and people yelling s--- from the crowd.”

Ainge’s response was, “I never heard any of that, from any player that I’ve ever played with in my 26 years in Boston.”

That response made a lot of people wonder what exactly Ainge has chosen to hear, both as a player and an executive, over the last quarter century. After his remarks, Celtics guard Marcus Smart shared that he has heard racial slurs from the Boston faithful, saying, “I’ve heard a couple of things. It’s hard to hear that and then have them support us as players. It’s kind of sickening." Celtics coach Brad Stevens also gave a thoughtful response, validating and respecting Irving’s experience.

As for Irving, he’s proven himself to be a master at using news conferences he would clearly rather avoid to make certain people as uncomfortable as possible. Last week, he spoke about the importance of valuing Palestinian lives. This week, the fraught racial history in Boston sports.

There is certainly some personal history intertwined with the political here. Irving played in Boston for two years with high expectations and disappointing results, meaning he’s not exactly Mr. Popular in the city. He certainly seems to relish in tweaking this most tender and sensitive part of the white Boston sports fan's soul. Because if there is one way to get that demographic mottled with rage, it’s to bring up the city’s history of racism, and how that racism continues to be reflected in the world of sports today.

But whether Irving’s remarks are meant to agitate the fans or to provoke discussion (or both), there’s something to be said about Boston’s particular brand of racism, in a country full of cities with racist foundations and legacies.

Dorchester-born sports writer Howard Bryant probably said it best when he joined in the discussions that followed Irving’s remarks, tweeting that what differentiates Boston from the rest “is the deep history and acceptance of the idea the Boston = white. Nobody else has been allowed to speak. White Boston is encouraged to be the only Boston.”

This idea that “white Boston is encouraged to be the only Boston" has infamously cemented itself in sports culture. This is the town whose beloved Red Sox turned away Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. The Red Sox were the last Major League Baseball team to integrate, with the 1959 signing of Elijah "Pumpsie" Green.

This is the town that treated the great Bill Russell horribly during his career with the Celtics, when people broke into his home to vandalize and defecate. Russell once called Boston “a flea market of racism.” Throughout Russell’s remarkable run of 11 championships in 13 years, the team didn't average a sellout; not even close.

In 2004, MLB player Barry Bonds said, “Boston is too racist for me. I couldn’t play there. That’s been going on ever since my dad" — (Bobby Bonds) — "was playing baseball. I can’t play like that. That’s not for me, brother.” When the reporter suggested that the racial climate has changed in Boston, Bonds responded, “It ain’t changing. It ain’t changing nowhere.”

In recent years, there have been some shifts. One of the most outspoken NBA players against systemic racism has been Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown, and he doesn’t seem to have suffered for it locally. Red Sox owner John Henry had the name of famed Yawkey Way changed due to the former Red Sox owner’s history of keeping the team strictly all white. So yes, there is a reckoning going on, even if it has met its fair share of resistance among the faithful.

It is highly possible that Irving is playing a psychological cat-and-mouse game with a city with which disdain appears to be mutual. Irving no doubt knows he has the luxury of this pleasure because his team is stacked and up 2-0 against the ailing Celtics.

While Boston is without Brown due to a wrist injury, Irving rolls into town as a finals favorite, alongside two future Hall-of-Famers in Kevin Durant and James Harden. Irving smells the end of this series and is acting accordingly, and if he can start an uncomfortable political debate or two, all the better.

* * *

* * *

FORMER INMATE TURNS FIREFIGHTER under California”s 2021 Fire Camp Law - First in Mendocino County

by Kendyl Saxby

Mendocino County, CA — Bob Boyd, attorney at law, cleared the way for his client to become an emergency medical technician (EMT). Boyd successfully petitioned to expunge a felony from his client's record; a legal remedy made possible through AB 2147 which was signed into law on January 1, 2021. The law enables formerly incarcerated people to clear their records after their completion of fire camp and exit from prison.

California has used inmate labor to fight fires since 1915; currently, inmates make up an estimated one-third of front line responders. The Fire Camp program is a partnership with Cal Fire available only to non-violent offenders. The program operates 44 camps throughout the state where thousands of inmates are trained and deployed to the front lines to battle California”s increasingly complex and destructive wildfires.

Boyd's client participated in the Conservation Camp program at Devil's Garden in Modoc County, where he worked fighting fires throughout 2019, battling over 100 fires. The client entered California's prison system from Mendocino County where he was convicted on controlled substances charges. Prison was a wake-up call for the client, one that motivated him to change his life. He applied himself while in prison by passing the rigorous vetting and training process to work on the fire lines. Boyd said, “In California, the people who fight fires are heroes to us — they risk their lives on those fire lines. After all that, I think they deserve a chance to be gainfully employed as a fully licensed firefighter once they're free.”

Prior to AB 2147, inmates who were trained and experienced in fire fighting could still be barred from employment as firefighters because of their criminal records. Studies show that without viable career paths, recidivism rates increase: inmates are more likely to reoffend without gainful employment and an opportunity to reintegrate into society.

“In my line of work, I try to minimize harm. This time, I got to do something good. Clients like this are the ideal — they're who this program was designed for,” Boyd explained. His client has been offered employment as an EMT in a fire department in his home State. Boyd believes that his client may be one of the first people in California, and certainly the first person in Mendocino County to successfully apply for this remedy and use it to start a career. On behalf of his client, Boyd petitioned a judge to expunge his client's record on January 13, 2021. A judge granted the expungement on April 23, 2021.

Although the new law is intended to lower the barrier to entry for trained inmate firefighters to work as firefighters upon release, Boyd notes that the law has a much wider scope and impact. The triggering event to apply this remedy is the successful completion of fire camp. Once released, the formerly incarcerated person can petition for expungement citing that experience, no matter the field of work they hope to enter. Boyd is hopeful that his client's story can inspire other inmates to volunteer for fire camp, successfully complete the program, and make positive changes to their own lives. Boyd shared, “There's this saying that goes, “Felon once, felon for life.” In this case, it's not true. My client is proving that with hard work and dedication, people can turn their lives around.”

* * *

Ed Note: Ok, good for Mr. Boyd. But why not the name of the intrepid new firefighter who deserves the real credit?

* * *


by Matt Taibbi

If you haven't heard about the "transformational presidency" for a few weeks, it's because the White House is selling something else at the moment

Joe Biden is cruising, in a happy-place few politicians reach. Outside of a few grumpy right-wing outlets he faces almost no hostile press questioning, political threats within his own party are minimal, and his approval rating, if one believes the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, hovers at an astonishing 64%.

Biden has the press paper-trained to a degree we haven’t seen in modern times. Not even at the height of the media’s drooling love affair with Barack Obama — a phenomenon I confess I was part of — did we ever see such enthusiastic, reflexive backing of White House messaging. The Biden press even reverses course on a dime when needed, with the past weeks being a supreme example.

Last Friday, word came out via The Washington Post that the Biden administration’s new budget plan wouldn’t contain a host of key ideas proposed on the campaign trail, from a public health care option to raising the estate tax to forgiveness of student debt. Some of these were major, central campaign promises — the idea of a plan to insure “an estimated 97% of Americans,” for instance, was big Biden campaign rhetoric whose passing was barely commemorated. The key line in the Post article:

The White House jettisoned months of planning from agency staff as their initial plan could fuel criticisms that the administration is pushing new spending programs too aggressively. 

Say what? Just a few weeks ago, we were being told in headline after headline that Biden was a “transformational” president who’d heroically abandoned fruitless efforts at bipartisanship and moreover had conquered the fear of deficit spending that kept Barack Obama from fulfilling his own “transformative” destiny. Insiders regaled us with tales about how this administration exiled the Clintonian tricksters like Larry Summers who robbed Obama of his legacy by whispering false worries about inflation.

We even saw the bizarre spectacle of Treasury Secretary and erstwhile deficit hawk Janet Yellen publicly throwing down with Summers, battle-rapper style, about his excess fiscal caution, saying the biggest risk wasn’t inflation but if “we don’t do enough” to address the economic damage of the pandemic. Yellen all but told Summers to go back to Cranbrook with his bitch-ass spending fears.

Then a few weeks ago, on Meet The Press, Yellen reverted to form and said that Joe Biden “has made clear that permanent increases in spending should be paid for, and I agree,” adding that “over the long run, deficits need to be contained.” After that came the Post story and word that the administration had backed off a host of plans, including a proposal to lower prescription drug costs, while also engaging with seeming seriousness in “bipartisan” negotiations on an infrastructure/jobs bill.

Why might a Democratic White House recently praised as “radical” by the New York Times because they “stopped devising compromised bills in a bid to win Republican votes” suddenly be interested in getting Republican votes again? Politico hinted at the answer:

There also are deepening doubts about an agreement on how to pay for the infrastructure spending package. Democrats are resistant to tapping leftover Covid-relief money, which the White House argues isn't sufficient to cover the plan, anyway.

Translation: Biden is worried about deficits, and having Republicans on whom they can pin lower budgetary outlays is once again politically useful. Therefore, bipartisanship is back, fiscal restraint is back, maybe even austerity is back. Good times!

Whatever one’s feeling about the appropriateness of any of these policies, it’s clear the messaging surrounding them has undergone a near-complete turnaround almost overnight, which would normally prompt at least a raised eyebrow or two in media. But all that’s happened is that the moment the Biden administration stopped talking about being “transformative,” the White House press quietly did the same, in silent recognition that they’ll all be selling a different product for while.

Joe Biden’s journey to “transformational” status and back has been an expert political PR campaign. It took a year, and Biden’s camp never had to break a sweat.

Biden had been a symbol of non-change since before disco, and embraced that image at the start of the 2020 campaign. In a fundraiser in June of 2019, he reportedly told supporters he didn’t want to “demonize” the wealthy, that “no one’s standard of living would change,” and that in fact, if he were elected, “nothing will fundamentally change.” It was an iconic line. He was the un-Obama. Even Steven Colbert ripped him for being an inspirational Shepard Fairey poster in reverse.

Biden didn’t push back on the meming and mockery for that incident or a dozen others like it. He seemed to understand that his appeal in the Trump era lay in the perception that he’d lived in the middle of the political road for so long, he wouldn’t know how to find the edge if he tried.

Biden and his aides spent much of the 2020 primary race engaged in what Clinton-era political analysts would have called triangulation. They pushed back against Medicare for All, the decriminalization of border crossings, defunding the police, and other ideas that seemed to be hot among blue voters. “Status Quo Joe,” sneered the New Republic.

The reporters who covered Biden’s campaign every day were told over and over by surrogates that Biden was about stability, not big ideas. Reporters wrote a lot of those stories. When Biden was doing well in polls, we were told he was “an implicit contrast to potentially riskier rivals” who are “offering more disruptive policy platforms,” as the Washington Post put it. At other times, we were cautioned that Biden’s “adult-in-the-room civility and pragmatic compromise” might not cut it, in an era when Democrats wanted an “ideological warrior,” as Politico magazine wrote.

Biden went so far as to describe himself as literally too old to have new ideas, saying voters would have to settle for him being a “bridge” a future group of possibly idea-having politicians. “Look, I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else,” he said in March of 2020. “There's an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me. They are the future of this country.” When the primary race was down to him and Bernie Sanders, he said he was about “results, not revolution.” And with such pronouncements, he walloped Sanders.

There was a paradox in those results. Although the Democratic electorate overwhelmingly chose Biden in the two-horse race, polls suggested they preferred Sanders policy prescriptions on ideas like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, raising corporate taxes, and so on. Well, maybe they did.

In March of 2020, for instance, at the supposed critical moment of the Sanders-Biden showdown, 66% of voters said they believed the candidate who promised “transformational change” had the best chance of beating Donald Trump. This was compared to 34% who said they believed “someone who promises to build off previous administrations” had the best chance to win. Yet by an almost exact opposite ratio, voters chose Biden at that time.

One way of looking at those results was that many Democrats wanted more of the same, but also wanted to feel like they were voting for “transformative” change. The Biden camp, which had seen both ends of this phenomenon in Obama’s evolving relationship with Democratic voters, seemed to grasp this. Once Sanders was toast and Biden was the de facto nominee, he and his aides began rolling out the word “transform”:

Twitter avatar for @JoeBiden:

If we come together, we will defeat Donald Trump. And when we do that, we will not only do the hard work of rebuilding this nation — we will transform it. (April 9th 2020)

After George Floyd was killed, the rebrand accelerated. There was a classic trial balloon piece on the theme in Politico. Citing anonymous advisers, the story told of an internal campaign debate. On one side, supposedly, were pragmatists who believed in sticking with the status quo platform that won them the primary. Another group believed a shift in the attitudes of white suburban voters especially made it politically feasible (if not necessary) to embrace a more rad-changey posture. Politico phrased things thusly:

Internally, Biden’s campaign is balancing how to best respond to the transformational demands of protesters while maintaining his commanding lead over Trump. Biden gained the lead by staying largely out of the spotlight as Trump has praised the “beautiful heritage” of the Confederacy and called protesters “thugs.”

In July of last year, Matt Yglesias published “Progressives don’t love Joe Biden, but they’re learning to love his agenda,” in a piece that had maybe the Vox-iest sub-head of all time: “The most transformative presidents in our nation’s history — Lincoln, FDR, LBJ — were not ideologues.”

Biden aides then began telling reporters their guy wasn’t just about “stability” at all, that in fact Joe Biden had always been more of a dreamer than he let on, we just didn’t notice. Heading into Election Night, multiple stories played on this theme of “At Age 750, the Real Joe Biden is Finally Emerging,” and almost all had either a quote from a surrogate using the word “transform,” or a line about how little the public knew about the “real” Biden. “Many people might not know what a policy wonk Biden is at heart,” wrote Eugene Robinson just before the vote, in a piece that put the magic word in the lede.

The hits kept coming. “Joe Biden Has Changed: He’s Preparing for a Transformative Presidency,” wrote Franklin Foer in the Atlantic in October, 2016. “‘Moderate’ Joe Biden has Become the Most Progressive Candidate in History,” wrote the Washington Post, with transition board member Felicia Wong saying Biden’s agenda was “transformative.”

From inauguration on, basically every elected Democrat started calling Biden a “transformational” leader. When Biden called his own Covid-19 relief package “transformational,” critical mass was achieved. Nancy Pelosi promised a “Big, bold, and transformational” infrastructure bill. Jim Clyburn said Biden’s approach was “truly transformational.” The coordination was like something out of a Chinese Olympic parade:

Twitter avatar for @TheIssueIsShow: "He's somebody who really envisions this as a transformational moment..."

The inevitable next step was that TV talking heads and newspaper pundits started using the term like it was their own idea. The list of media people who seem genuinely to believe they independently arrived at the thought, “Joe Biden is a Transformational President” is staggeringly long. It includes everyone from analysts at the Heritage Foundation and the Atlantic Council to David Brooks to Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. The latter ironically made their assessment before the same Steven Colbert who beat up Biden for being the “nothing will change” guy two years before. The web in the end became a sea of “transformational” headlines.

There are no accidental choices in propaganda. Transformational is less threatening than revolutionary, but also promises less than sweeping or fundamental. It’s a word the Biden campaign started using a year ago and had surrogates pulling oars every day since to get its momentum rolling. By March of this year they didn’t have to row, as pundits muttered it automatically. Then the moment it became expedient, the Biden White House backed off the word and started creeping back in certain expected political directions. Still, they’ll retain the campaign’s PR gains, because none of their pet editorialists will bother outing themselves with a, “Hey, what about that ‘transformative’ thing we talked so much about?” piece.

One of the underreported stories of the 2020 race was that Biden’s handlers somehow ran quite a smart campaign, even as their candidate pooped his drawers and disintegrated mentally on an almost daily basis. They leaned into social media mockery of their candidate, realizing there was an untapped reservoir of Democrat voters who loathed the Twitter discourse far more than most reporters understood, then shifted in the general, and now are shifting back again. The effectiveness of their rhetorical approach has been astounding in its consistency, but there’s only so much credit to give, When you’ve got nothing but friends in the press gallery, everything works.

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

Questions du jour: Can the US government make itself even more untrustworthy? Has it become an enemy of the people? Just wondering. What would be worse, actually, is if we learn that American culture is untrustworthy, since politics is downstream of culture. It would be the equivalent writ large of a human personality at war with itself, unable to trust its own thoughts and actions.

Which perhaps explains the seeming psychosis raging through our society at the moment. The hallucinatory delusions of the day are exactly what you’d expect in the kind of personality undergoing a psychotic stress fracture, like the character Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s classic horror movie, Psycho. Poor Norman (or “Mister Bates,” as Hitch playfully had the other characters call him), developed the unfortunate habit of dressing up like deceased Mother and slashing to death any other female for whom Mister Bates had impure thoughts. That was the 1960s version of the Transsexual Story Hour. We’ve come a long way, baby, since those innocent days.

In today’s day, another part of the collective personality is suddenly coming apart: science, or The Science, as the lingo has it these days. The Science is the system of hypotheses and proofs that normally plays the hero’s role in the task of determining reality, especially about things that are dangerous to mankind. The Science is supposedly behind what we know about the Covid-19 pandemic that has turned America, and much of the whole world, upside down. The Science has become so untrustworthy that an awful lot of people harbor suspicions that it has been running a number on them for the past year.

In the early going of the War on Covid-19, The Science told its soldiers, the doctors, to jam ventilators down patients’ throats. Whoops, that didn’t work so well. The Science told everybody to fuggeddabowt Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, and Vitamin D. The Science told New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to stash Covid-19 infected patients in nursing homes. The Science told everybody don’t bother with masks, then to definitely wear masks, then to maybe not wear masks, then to wear double masks, then to get vaccinated and wear masks. Golly, what to believe? Some people began to think that The Science was full of shit — which is, let’s face it, a dangerous thought, and something which, thank Gawd, Facebook, Twitter, and Google corrected for us.

One thing The Science remained adamant about for a whole year was that Covid-19 did not come from the Wuhan, China, Institute of Virology, where-and-to-which, it just happened, one of the US government’s Knights of The Science, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was funneling US taxpayer-funded grant money for the purpose of doing gain-of-function research on exotic bat corona viruses. Gosh, why would you even do that? (Doesn’t gain of function = make it more deadly?)

Supposedly to gain knowledge so that mankind will be prepared to fight the emergence of deadly bat viruses that somehow manage to sneak into the human population at some future date. These things can happen, you know. We’ve already tangled with bird flu and swine flu, so deadly bat flu could hardly be out of the question. Of course, one of the dangers, when you are playing with deadly respiratory viruses in a lab, is that lab workers might inhale a virus or two and become infected with a specimen that The Science has engineered to be especially troublesome… but that was very unlikely, maintained Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Science Advisor to the President.

Until this month when Dr. Fauci conceded to a Senate Committee that perhaps an investigation was warranted to find out if, perchance, Covid-19 escaped from the Wuhan lab — since, it turns out, the Wuhan lab was such a sloppy-ass operation that its level of safety was comparable to an ordinary dentist’s office. It also turns out, according to a Wall Street Journal report this week, that three Wuhan lab workers did indeed need to be hospitalized in November 2019, which was around the time the bug got loose among the civilians of Wuhan City, while Chinese tourists and workers were still winging around the world on airplanes by the tens of thousands — prompting one to wonder whether, also perchance, this was something that the CCP wanted to happen? ¿Quién sabe?

Now that “safe and effective” vaccines are available against Covid-19, The Science is urging everybody to take it, pronto, and the government is assisting in the distribution and deployment of vaccinations even to the very borderline of coercing citizens into it by turning the “vaccine hesitant” into social pariahs. No restaurant meals or ballgames for you Science-offending trolls! How’s that working? According to Dr. Fauci, and several other Knights of The Science, more than half of the people on their staffs got vaxed voluntarily. More than half! Now that’s a ringing vote of confidence in The Science!

Never mind that the vaxes being deployed got exempted from the normal years-long safety trials that The Science previously deemed essential for new vaccines, and received special liability protection against lawsuits, should something go awry with the jabs. And never mind the strange side-effects being reported, ranging from human reproductive problems to fatal blood clots. And never mind that apparently quite a few people who got the vax have also gotten Covid-19. And never mind that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to flutter about her place of business wearing color-coordinated face masks, despite being vaxed and spending her time among colleagues who are all vaxed up.

Standing by on all that to see how the vaccine beta-testers make out over a somewhat longer haul…. Meanwhile, the next national reality test is underway in Arizona and just now gearing up in the state of Georgia, too. That would be Election Science, or the hypotheses and proofs of how ballots are cast and votes are tallied. These are also matters that our Knights of Public Management, such as Arizona Governor Doug Doucy and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and their Secretaries of State Hobbs and Raffensperger, declare to be unworthy of investigation. And yet, investigations are apparently proceeding against their wishes and convictions, thanks to the Arizona State Senate and some Georgia judges. Standing by now to see how much more psychotic America’s collective persona grows as that nasty business creeps forward.

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


  1. Brian May 29, 2021

    Wow. There seems to be more marijuana growing busts during the time of legalization than there ever was in the directly preceding years before legalization. At least the government is currently just taking your property from you and not putting you in prison. They are so benevolent.

  2. George Hollister May 29, 2021

    Notes to Matt Taibbi: Please edit your work to something less wordy. That can be done, and more people would read your interesting writing. BTW, the Transformational president was Donald Trump, whether we want to admit it or not. Biden’s executive orders can’t change that.

    • Harvey Reading May 29, 2021

      LOL. Trump was (only slightly) worse than Obama who was worse than Bush2, who was worse than… There’s not a thing “transformational” about the orange hog. He was just another step in a progression toward a fascist state that began following Roosevelt’s death.

      Oh, wait, aren’t you the guy who said that blathering old loudmouth, Limbaugh, was “transformational”, too? In fact the jerk was just another loud-mouthed lie peddler; like Winchell during the McCarthy fascism, or Coughlin during the Great Depression. Coughlin peddled his baloney when kaputalists wanted to overthrow Roosevelt and implement fascism, so great was their admiration for eurotrash like Hitler and Mussolini.

      Don’t you realize that humans are destined to do little more than repeat history rather learn from it; to put “constellations” of satellites into space knowing full-well that they will eventually come crashing back?

    • Betsy Cawn May 29, 2021

      I am an unabashed fan of Taibbi’s and love his original turns of phrase, such as Biden having the press “paper trained,” Janet Yellen “throwing down with Larry Summers, battle-rapper style,” and this sentence: “He seemed to understand that his appeal in the Trump era lay in the perception that he’d lived in the middle of the political road for so long, he wouldn’t know how to find the edge if he tried.”

      Taibbi’s consistent snark level never underestimates the intelligence of the reader, so I’m guessing your distaste for his work might reflect your own less-than-illustrative language, which is an impediment I share with you. I do agree that Trump was “transformational,” if by that you will allow that part of that transformation was to some of the stupidest crap I’ve ever seen in my long lifetime of political engagement. As far as I am concerned, the whole country has been transformed by national and federal con artists (i.e., Congress, the Supreme Court, the Treasury and the Pentagon). I was only stunned by the degree of ugliness that Trump introduced into the public discourse and then filled the White House with. January 6 was no longer a shocking event, topping off the nepotism and incompetency of his administration. Be well, the world now is a world of hurt, I am sorry to say.

      • Bruce McEwen May 29, 2021

        Masterfully said.

      • George Hollister May 29, 2021

        I like Taibbi, but I don’t like having to read something that can be easily be cut in half with some editing. I too often skip him, because what he writes takes too much time to read.

        • Marmon May 29, 2021

          The same thing with Betsy Cawn, a little to wordy. I prefer clear and concise.


        • Stephen Rosenthal May 29, 2021

          I agree with you. If I want to read a novel, it will be Steinbeck or Twain, not Taibbi.

  3. Laura Schroeder May 29, 2021

    Not Ten Mile, that is the trestle at Pudding Creek in Fort Bragg.

  4. Harvey Reading May 29, 2021


    That’s about what could be expected here in the backward state…

    • Bob A. May 29, 2021

      I don’t care for politics served with my meals, so I will be avoiding Fiddleheads like the plague.

      • Marshall Newman May 29, 2021

        Avoiding Fiddleheads IS avoiding the plague.

        • Lazarus May 29, 2021

          I’ve never been there. Is the place that bad, or is it the scene/politics?
          Be well,

          • Stephen Rosenthal May 29, 2021

            Never been there either, but if Mr. Fiddlehead ain’t believing in the science of public health regarding the pandemic, what makes you think he’s believing in the science of hygiene regarding food service?

            • Lazarus May 29, 2021

              Be Well,

  5. Jim Armstrong May 29, 2021

    Mark Scaramella has hit a new low in his “explanation,” of the current water situation on the upper Russian River and especially in Potter Valley.
    I have read his contributions to the AVA over many years and attributed his prolixity and low average of accuracy to his just being weird.
    He misleads the reader today so badly that it has to be intentional.
    Or perhaps hidden self-interest or worse is at its root.
    He is so far off that trying to correct and educate him is patently futile.
    If the Editor wishes to step in after his own study of the situation, I might try.

    I hadn’t read the piece today before asking about the posting policy here earlier in the week, We’ll see how that goes.

    • Bruce Anderson May 29, 2021

      One, just one error, please. Cite one.

      • Jim Armstrong May 29, 2021

        “Which in turn sent us off to the Potter Valley Vineyard, er Irrigation District’s website where we learned, as we suspected but didn’t think we’d see written down even tangentially, that “PVID will make every effort to hold the length of extension of our scheduled delivery rotation times from our normal 12 to 14 days to between 21 and 23 days.” (An apparent reference to the frequency of trucked water being sold and delivered to Potter Valley water irrigators.)”
        For the last 49 years, I have irrigated my pasture and garden on a rough schedule of every 10 to 14 days.
        Part of the plan this year to make the diverted Eel River water go further is to double the time between irrigations.
        If I have to explain how this is not advantageous for anyone’s pasture or garden, then we are through here,
        But just in case you understand that, I will add that if there has ever been. or is now, a plan to sell and deliver trucked water to Potter Valley irrigators, then neither I nor any one I know has ever heard of it.

        There is two instead of one. Got lots more.

        • Bruce Anderson May 29, 2021

          Go in peace, my son.

          • Jim Armstrong May 29, 2021

            Does that cryptic reply mean that you fully agree with the criticisms in my first post?
            Will a Major retraction follow.

            • Bruce Anderson May 29, 2021


    • George Hollister May 29, 2021

      Hanlon’s razor is a principle or rule of thumb that states “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

  6. George Hollister May 29, 2021

    Something I learned long ago is to not make comments about water in California, particularly generalized ones. Everywhere is different. What applies to Boonville does not apply to Philo, or Comptche, or Potter Valley, or Ukiah. Saving water in Santa Rosa does not apply to saving water on Greenwood Ridge. Groundwater in Salinas, is different than groundwater in Tulare. Hauling water for a drought thirsty heard is different than hauling water for a cannabis plantation somewhere in Covelo. Then of course there is the subject of water rights. Unless one is intimately aware, it is best to keep ones mouth shut about water.

    The county thinks they will regulate water for cannabis? Think again.

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