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Dry weather is expected today. Pleasant afternoon temperatures are forecast after chilly morning lows. A late season front will approach the coast on Friday, bringing a chance for rain through Friday night. A new upper trough will bring additional chances for rain, mainly for Del Norte and northern Humboldt Counties this weekend. (NWS)
5 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
MABEL ANNE GERKE
Mabel Anne Gerke, a longtime Cloverdale resident, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, March 25, 2021, at Healdsburg District Hospital, she was 93 years old. She was preceded in death by her husband Wilbur Gerke, sister Freda Smith, Brother Fred Abreu and son-in-law Michael E. Miltimore.
Mabel had a childlike spirit and a strong determination for life. She maintained her independence to the end and took great pride in the fact that she held a valid drivers license, that allowed her the ability to support and attend her great grand-children's events.
In her younger years, Mabel earned a living working in local lumber mills. She enjoyed arts and crafts, painting, crocheting, and making her famous blackberry. She enjoyed watching the deer, birds, and squirrels that found their way to the many feeders she had in her yard.
Mabel is survived by her three sisters: Emagene Smith OF Oklahoma, Ethel Berry of Cloverdale, Ca., Eva Johnson of Boonville, Ca., and her three children; Frank Gerke of Ridgefield, Wa., Carol Twiss (Dale) of Livermore, Ca. and Nancy Miltimore of Willits, Ca. She is also survived by 7 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, 10 great great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are under the direction of Eversole Mortuary, and she will be laid to rest in a private burial at Russian River Cemetery in Ukiah, Ca.
CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTION OF EMERGENCY REGULATIONS FOR THE RUSSIAN RIVER WATERSHED & INFORMATION ON SUBMITTING PUBLIC COMMENTS
To Interested Parties,
The State Water Resources Control Board will consider adoption of a proposed emergency regulation for the Russian River watershed at the June 15th State Water Board Meeting which, among other things, will help ensure water is available for: (1) carryover storage in Lake Mendocino in the event conditions remain dry; (2) minimum flows for state and federally listed fish in the Russian River; and (3) minimum human health and safety needs.
How to submit Comments
The June 15, 2021 Board Meeting Agenda provides information on the location of the State Water Board meeting and how to submit written comments. Written comments must be received by 12:00 p.m. on June 10, 2021. As noted under the Important Information section of the June 15, 2021 agenda, comments should be sent as follows:
Written Comments. Submittals are to be sent via e-mail to the Clerk to the Board at email@example.com. Please indicate in the subject line, 6/15/2021 BOARD MEETING – ITEM 5.
Oral Comments at the Board Meeting. If you wish to provide comments or present at the Board meeting, please refer to the additional information about participating telephonically or via the remote meeting solution is available here: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_info/remote_meeting
Information on how to view the Board meeting is available at the top of the June 15 Board Meeting agenda. Once the proposed regulation is submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), OAL will then provide a five-day comment period for interested parties to submit comments. The Russian River Drought Response website will be updated to provide more information on how to submit comments to OAL as that information becomes available.
If you have questions regarding this email please contact us by email at RussianRiverDrought@waterboards.ca.gov or phone at (916) 341-5318.
STATE WATER REGULATORS TO CONSIDER EMERGENCY LIMITS ON AT LEAST 1,600 RUSSIAN RIVER USERS
by Mary Callahan
State regulators are considering sweeping drought emergency rules that would let them suspend the diversion of water from the Russian River to at least 1,600 homes, businesses and other users. The proposal, which would cover both the upper and lower parts of the watershed, could greatly extend the list of more than 900 water suppliers, agricultural producers and property owners already notified there has been too little rainfall for them to exercise their water rights this year.
The draft regulation goes before the water board next Tuesday and could account for substantial monthly savings, depending when diversions are limited, Erik Ekdahl, deputy director of the state water board’s Division of Water Rights, said during a virtual Sonoma County Town Hall on the drought last week.
Those affected would include residents of both Sonoma and Mendocino counties, a region singled out by Gov. Gavin Newsom in April for being at particular risk of water shortage after two dry years because of its dependence on a reservoir system subject to rapid depletion in the absence of regular rainfall.
With storage in Lake Mendocino, the smaller of the reservoirs, diminishing by the day, state regulators are hoping they can slow its consumption by reserving withdrawals for those with the oldest, most senior water claims and, potentially, curtailing even them.
“We really are in dire circumstances,” Ekdahl said.
State regulators already have instructed 930 water right holders above the confluence of Dry Creek with claims acquired after 1914 — the year California first began regulating water rights — that there is insufficient supply this year for them to exercise their rights. Those who continued to divert water after June 1 could be subject to fines of up to $1,000 per day.
At the same time, May 25, the state issued warning letters to about 660 people with pre-1914 water rights saying that emergency regulations were in the works through which they, too, could be subject to limited diversions. It’s unclear how lower river users were notified of their exposure to curtailment, though Sonoma County Farm Bureau Executive Director Tawny Tesconi said she believed all were aware.
“I don’t think anybody is going to be caught off guard,” she said, “and when I talk to people, they say, ’All you have to do is look at Lake Mendocino or the Russian River or Lake Sonoma to see’” there isn’t much water.
Much of the region already is under 20% voluntary conservation orders, at a minimum, and Sonoma Water, which provides domestic water to more than 600,000 consumers in Sonoma and northern Marin counties, has pledged to withdraw a fifth less water from the river system. Healdsburg and Cloverdale in Sonoma County and many Mendocino County communities north of Dry Creek are under mandatory rationing, so closely guarded are supplies in Lake Mendocino.
Agricultural users, as well, have been reducing water use by planting less and culling livestock. But some of those decisions were made even before the question of state limits arose, including a property well-known vineyard manager Duff Bevill mentioned Tuesday for which it was decided in February and March to prune back dramatically to reduce water use, likely cutting the crop by half.
Bevill, who farms 30 or 40 ranches in different areas of the county, said many vineyards affected by state orders won’t have to stop using water because their storage ponds already are dry or they won’t have started irrigating yet this season.
“We’ve only just begun to irrigate our most drought intolerant vineyards,” he said. “...There are some vineyards I won’t irrigate this whole year.”
Katie Jackson, part of the Jackson Family Wines clan, said the company had stopped using water on properties where water is not available and is “continuing to take proactive water conservation measures in response to the drought.”
“This past year, we fallowed acreage in the Russian River watershed which has recognized significant water savings,” she said.
Cutbacks would vary by type and age of water right, as well as how Lake Mendocino fares as summer intensifies, temperatures rise, evaporation increases and, with it, the temptation by consumers and agricultural users to use more water.
Both Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma, which is about four times larger, were at historically low levels this spring. The latter currently holds 56% of its capacity, while the smaller lake has 38.5% of its summertime storage capacity.
The Sonoma County Water Agency controls releases from both reservoirs and is seeking particularly to keep flows from Lake Mendocino at the lowest possible level needed for imperiled juvenile salmon and steelhead trout. If users along the river’s main stem and tributaries draw excessive water, especially above the confluence of Dry Creek, where water flows from Lake Sonoma, additional releases would be needed to keep the upper river from running dry.
Water managers are desperate to avoid that and are aiming at starting autumn with a reserve of water in Lake Mendocino equal to just more than half of what’s in there now, in the event the region were to confront a third consecutive year of below-normal rainfall.
“If the reservoir were to drain, especially next year, we anticipated there would be some relatively catastrophic, redirected, impacts,” Ekdahl said.
The emergency regulation up for approval next week includes a trigger point tied to Lake Mendocino storage levels which, at certain dates, would allow the water board to limit water diversions.
Water right holders or their representatives are responsible under the regulation for checking the water board’s drought announcement website and staying apprised of developments. The limits would take effect the day after they were issued, and those affected would have seven days to submit certification of their compliance, under penalty of perjury.
Exemptions would exist for domestic water use, allowing up to 55 gallons per day, per person, though individuals must identify efforts to obtain alternate water sources, according to the draft regulation. If other water sources are available, residents are still limited to 55 gallons per person, per day.
The water board is holding a public workshop on the emergency rule Thursday on Zoom. More infromation is available at waterboards.ca.gov/drought/russian_river/.
MENDOCINO COUNTYWIDE DROUGHT TASK FORCE
Date: 06/10/2021 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
(Call In: 669-900-9128, Webinar ID: 897 2958 7112, Passcode: 665233)
THE LOVE THAT HAS NO NAME!
(From Wednesday's meeting of the Supervisors during budget discussions)
DA David Eyster: Kudos to Carmel Angelo. She catches a lot of grief at least by one newspaper in the County which I don’t think she deserves. And mostly because they probably don’t have all the information.
CEO Carmel Angelo: Thank you to the DA for joining us today. Our DA is a working DA. He’s usually in trial or preparing for a trial. It was really important to have him here today to give us his perspective. When I want a perspective on criminal justice or public safety or the courts our DA is the person I go to. He is very open. He has an open door to county administration… I encourage any board member to visit him at his office. So DA Eyster, thank you very much for joining us today and for all your kind words. Thank you.”
* * *
Ed note: The usual whine-dodge that we don't have “all the information.” So provide it. We doubt the DA pays much attention to matters beyond the onerous prosecutions of Mendo's master criminal class, soooooo, as he'd certainly demand in court, Where's the evidence of the referred to missing information? This here is a malicious prosecution, yer honor.
A SOUTH COAST READER WRITES:
This is the letter received by Gualala customers from CalNeva, the former Internet Service Provider, after paying fees and prior to the complete failure of service in Gualala. Central Valley Cable was the previous owner of this franchise but now they don’t answer their phones and seem to have gone to some trouble to obfuscate any way to contact the company. Was this a scam by CalNeva to collect fees and then dump?
WINE SPECTATOR ON BANKABLE CANNABIS
by Jonah Raskin
Paul Masson coined the slogan. Orson Welles repeated it dramatically in one of the most memorable ads ever in the world of viticulture: “We will sell no wine before its time.” No doubt about it, time is critical when it comes to harvesting grapes, fermenting them and releasing the finished product. Ditto for the gathering and the broadcasting of news and information.
Wine Spectator magazine has finally caught up with the cannabis industry and has published this June a special report on weed in Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Napa counties. Wait a sec. Scratch Napa, the county doesn't allow for the cultivation of cannabis or the manufacture of cannabis products.
Too bad for Napa. Vintners there will be left in the dust. As reporter Aaron Romano writes in “Cannabis in Wine Country,” many grape growers and winemakers see cannabis “as a bankable addition to agriculture in regions where wine grapes dominate.” I like that word, "bankable."
The fact that an esteemed wine industry magazine has seen fit to publish vital statistics about permits for cultivation in four counties suggests that the winds are changing in the wine industry. Indeed, the numbers tell a powerful story. Santa Barbara has issued 1379 permits, Mendocino 819, Monterey 477 and Sonoma 125, but that's more than the zero permits issued in Napa which has adopted an "absolutist approach." Or so says Romano.
One Napa-based company grows its weed in neighboring Lake County which has licensed growers. Eric Sklar, cofounder and CEO of Napa Valley Fumé is quoted as saying: “I believe Napa can be one of the best regions for growing cannabis in the world.”
Much of the information in the June issue of Wine Spectator will be familiar to those who follow the ups and downs and ins and outs of the cannabis industry. Some of the farms and some farmers like Aaron Kiefer might also be familiar. Still, it's great to have the information about the five counties all in one place, in a very readable format and with super color photos of some of the major players along with their plants.
In the last section of the report, Romano explains that cannabis beverages are a “direct competitor to wine,” although he adds that “projections about California's cannabis industry are challenging.”
Indeed, it's a volatile industry. Investors might not want to throw good money at a crop that’s still illegal by federal law.
The article, "Cannabis in Wine Country," does not mention two famous Sonoma County marijuana growers who have roots in the wine industry. Romano might have mentioned Phil Coturri who makes an outstanding grenache and rose and also cultivates excellent cannabis in the Mayacamas mountains. Mike Benziger who helped found Benziger Family Winery also grows top-notch marijuana on Sonoma Mountain. It's sold in Sonoma dispensaries.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War.)
* * *
(Mark Scaramella notes: We have no idea where Mr. Romano may have got the impression that Mendo had issued 819 permits. As far as we know the number of permits issued is in the low 200s and those are “provisional” which will probably expire at the end of 2021 unless the legislature extends the deadline.)
COLD CASE HUMBOLDT: TODAY, HUGH DUGGINS WOULD HAVE BEEN 77, BUT INSTEAD THE PERSON WHO KILLED HIM WALKS FREE
by Kym Kemp
Today would have been Hugh Duggins 77th birthday, but five years ago, on January 21, 2016, he was discovered dead alongside a remote stretch of the Alderpoint Road in southeastern Humboldt County. He had been dead less than 48 hours according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department.
At first, law enforcement believed that Duggins had died of non-criminal causes. But months afterward, in August, they released information that he had been strangled either by hands or by a ropelike object. The official term was “asphyxia by neck compression.”
They believe he was most likely dumped in the remote area miles from his home after he was killed.
A $10,000 reward offered by a friend failed to turn up any significant leads in the case.
According to one friend, not long before he died, in November of 2015, Duggins wrote, “[L]ike I told the doctor, I’m not clinging desperately to this life, not scared of death; I’ve had plenty of fun; never had to work a 9-5 job much; got to have money beyond my wildest dreams a couple of times; had lots of great sex; I’ve loved and been loved; I can still walk and talk, think and work; got to ride this dirt ball around the sun 70+ years, you can’t expect much more than that.”
If you have any information on Hugh Duggins’ homicide, please contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.
(Courtesy, Redheaded Blackbelt: Kymkemp.com)
AT THE GATE, JACKSON STATE FOREST PROTEST
WHAT IF SHERIFF KENDALL OWED THE COUNTY $1.6 MILLION?
Lack of budget reporting comes back to bite board…
by Mark Scaramella
Tuesday afternoon, CEO Carmel Angelo posed this hypothetical to the Supervisors: “Say the Sheriff comes in $1.6 million over budget. Am I going to send him a bill for $1.6 million? And when he says he won't pay it, and he goes public, is the board going to say he's going to have to put up $1.6 million?”
The CEO was roused to what at first appeared to be a bit of whimsy when Assistant CEO Darcie Antle reminded the Board that “California state government code and county policy — that the county has never enforced — puts personal responsibility on the official authorizing the obligation. It is in County Policy 1, section 1.1, Sources of Authority and Priorities and in the case of a conflict.”
Supervisor Ted Williams immediately asked, “Can we decide today to follow this?”
Supervisor Dan Gjerde agreed: “If it’s county code, I don't know why it's not being followed already.”
Williams: “Maybe we can give direction that we expect county code to be followed.”
As significant as this bureaucratic land mine might be, it's surprising none of the Supes seemed to have heard of it. County code anyone?
CEO Angelo clarified.: “When I started in 2007 [as Health and Human Services Director] this was one of the policies that was explained to me by then interim CEO Al Beltrami. All department heads were very well aware of this policy. This policy has never been enforced. If this board would like me as the executive officer to enforce it, what we would do is, we know when a department, whether it's run by a department head or elected official, as you know when we come back every quarter we can project if the department is going to be over budget.”
CEO Angelo has staunchly refused previous Board direction to do monthly budget status reports, meaning that if budget problems in a department arise, they aren’t dealt with for up to six months given the timing and limited nature of the quarterly budget presentations and the lag in numbers.
Angelo continued: “Let's take the Department of Transportation and say they are going to be $200,000 over budget. I would notify the director at midyear most likely with a written letter that they are projecting a $200,000 overage and attach this policy which everybody is aware of and this makes the department head personally responsible for that $200,000 overage. You can see that it's quite a drastic policy and I understand why it's never been enforced. But if this board wants it enforced we could send it out again and notify the department heads. We could actually have them sign something. The department heads will sign, I don't know about the elected officials. But we could have them sign that they have received the policy and they are aware of it and they understand it and we could attempt to enforce it. That's the best I can say we could do.”
And, given the mutual animosity between the CEO and Sheriff Kendall, it's no surprise that she would dangle him as Exhibit A.
Williams: “I support that. Let's do it.”
Supervisor John Haschak: “If a person goes over they’re going to have extenuating circumstances such as an emergency. How would that be dealt with?”
Angelo: “We could have some type of adjudication process or some type of grievance process that could start with me and then go to the board. Using the Department of Transportation again — I have to say that Howard Dashiell is really good about his budget so it's not — I'm just using him as an example. Howard is projected to be $200,000 over, so we have given him the notices throughout the year and he has been able to bring it down for whatever reason and at the end of the year I hand him a statement along with the Auditor that he owes the County $200,000. He would have the right to grieve it or adjudicate it and it would most likely go from me to the Board of Supervisors and then you would make the decision whether you were going to -- whether the reason that he is $200,000 over is something that is unforeseen and nothing could be done about it or we are going to hold him to the policy. This is an extremely drastic policy. I have never seen this county enforce this policy. The Sheriff comes in $1.6 million over. Am I going to send them a bill for $1.6 million. And when he says he won't pay it and he goes public is the board going to say he's going to have to put a $1.6 million? The policy is a bit unrealistic but it's on the books. We need to decide if we are going to go forward with it or amend it in some way.”
Williams: “As I understand it it's also state law, so the procedure here is to spend within budget. If the budget needs to be modified they can come to the board. If there's an emergency we can deal with that. We don't have very many emergencies. I don't think it will come up that we had to buy bottled water because we had a fire and went over budget. We should have adequate budget for that bottled water. We plan for the basics of emergencies. I am reluctant to not follow state law as far as budgeting. It's not really a budget if you set a limit and then department heads are able to spent outside of the limit.”
Gjerde: “It is drastic. But as long as there is a procedure for explanation or appeal, etc. that's there. County Counsel -- or somebody needs to be brought in to provide some guidance as to what would be a fair adjudication process. This is the time to do it. It's part of the budget process. People would get advance notice from day one when their budget is approved. It's likely that any department head who sees their department over at the end of the year is going to say, Well, I asked for more money and your budget didn't approve everything. So that will be the argument made. But they certainly will have known what their budget was at budget approval time. It is pretty drastic. But on the other hand management employees and department heads and deputy department heads are paid top dollar — they may not think that but I think they are by Mendocino County standards — and with that comes responsibility. So I don't think it's that drastic in some respects. I think people should be able to manage their budget one way or the other and they need to make choices.”
Supervisor Glenn McGourty: “How widespread a problem is this? How many departments go over budget in a typical year?”
Angelo: “Usually very few. Sometimes some of the smaller departments with smaller budgets that might be $45, $50, $60,000 over. We know historically the Sheriff's office is over. And they are over by a lot of money and a lot of times that is because there is some event and they had to put in overtime that was unanticipated. Not very many departments. You have department heads and elected officials. Are you going to hold all of the department heads and elected officials to this policy?”
County Counsel Christian Curtis: “This is not just county policy, it is state law.”
Curtis tried to summarize the budget process using words like “expectation,” but failed. Curtis’s office is one of the offices that goes over budget because he and the CEO routinely hand off uncomplicated matters to outside lawyers. Curtis also confirmed that the policy applies to elected officials like the Sheriff.
Gjerde: “There needs to be a process approved by the board which would set that expectation. We need consultation from you [Curtis] and your office or outside counsel or wherever to help us establish that process. It's pretty serious.”
Williams got on his high horse: “It's not our money, it's the people's money. State law gives the authority to budget the people's money to the supervisors. It's a mistake to allow these overages. The board is never in a position to say, No, you cannot spend that money. It's already been spent. We need to align with state law.”
Excuse me, but if the Board required monthly budget reports, these overages would be routinely addressed and if there were unexpected or unauthorized expenses, they could be dealt with as necessary. Including the frequent “retroactive” expenses in Health & Human Services, Social Services and Camille Schraeder’s many retroactive Mental Health contract amendments.
Haschak: “What happens if you have the board — theoretically if you have the budget and its low or really tight for a department or an elected official and then that person really struggles to keep their budget in line but can't because of extenuating circumstances? Then what happens? They are responsible for the budget? We need to make sure that all department heads and elected officials are communicating clearly what their budget needs are throughout their year and having regular meetings with the executive office and the finance officer and whatever to make sure their budget is in alignment and on track. We want to be on track with what we set out as a goal.”
Williams: “This is not for us to decide. This is state law. This is what we need to follow. We don't have the liberty to say that a department has a tight budget and decides to run over. We have to live within the budgeting process. If you have $100 in your budget, you don't spend more than $100. Or you come to the board through the process and the board will approve it.”
Or not, Williams failed to note.
Haschak: “We have to have proper communication so that the budget reflects what's happening. We have not followed this in the past. I understand that it's the law. But let's make sure people are communicating frequently with the parties so that we are not surprised at the end with a $1 million bill for some department head.”
Gjerde suggested another ad hoc committee.
CEO Angelo suggested that the question be referred to the General Government standing committee “and a timeline be given to bring a recommendation back.”
Chair Gjerde immediately so directed. But, of course, no timeline was given. As a standing committee, the General Government committee meets in open session and complies with all Brown Act public meeting requirements. So it will be interesting to see if the Board realizes that this is a problem of their own making and the solution is the ordinary monthly budget reporting that CEO Angelo refuses to do.
TORONTO GETS VAUGHNED
by Joe Resis
Andrew Vaughn carried the White Sox to victory on Tuesday, plating the key two runs of the game.
Andrew Vaughn’s two-month major league career already has been packed with highlights, but his role in tonight’s 6-1 win over the Blue Jays might be his best reel yet.
Vaughn shook up a cruising Robbie Ray with a 395-foot shot out to right-center to tie the game 1-1 in the seventh, and one inning later stood in with the bases full and delivered the difference-maker, nearly as long a blast that fell in for a mere sacrifice fly.
It looked like it would be a longer night for the South Siders, however. The Blue Jays wasted no time getting on the board early. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. led off the second inning with a double to center that nearly left the park (386 feet). Santiago Espinal followed with a single to put runs on the corners, and Jonathan Davis hit a sacrifice fly to score Gurriel.
The top of the third appeared to be heading in a terrible direction, when the Blue Jays got back-to-back singles to open the inning. However, Carlos Rodón struck out Teoscar Hernández with a brilliant 98-mph fastball that was aided by some nice framing by Yasmani Grandal. Then, Rodón got Randal Grichuk to ground into a double play to get out of the jam.
Rodón also ran into trouble in the fifth, as catcher Riley Adams led off with a double for his first hit in the majors. After a two-out walk to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rodón fell behind 3-0 to Hernández, and the next pitch was launched high and deep to right. Baseball Savant classifies that fly ball as a barrel, meaning Hernández made great contact (106.3 mph exit veloicty, 39-degree launch angle). But Hernández just got under it, and that was just enough to keep it in the park, as Adam Engel caught it in center.
Meanwhile, Blue Jays starter Ray was phenomenal, executing his slider to near-perfection from start to finish, getting tons of swings and misses. In fact, Ray threw 46 sliders, and 14 of them resulted in whiffs, an astounding rate of 30%. Ray finished with 13 strikeouts and no walks. However, right before Ray left the game in the seventh, Vaughn made sure that he could not escape with a win.
Ray was promptly removed from the game after that home run, and all of a sudden, the game was tied once again.
After Vaughn’s homer, Adam Engel walked, Tim Anderson singled, and Nick Madrigal drew a two-out walk to load the bases. That brought up Yoán Moncada with an opportunity to give the White Sox a late lead, but he struck out looking to end the threat.
Rather than get too bummed out about leaving runs on the table and, potentially, a win, the White Sox went right back to work in the eighth, with the key run production once again coming from the rookie.
The White Sox jumped on new Jays hurler Trent Thornton, José Abreu and Yermín Mercedes singling, and Grandal walking (what new). After a sneeze of 14 pitches, the sacks were packed with Sox and the man of the hour, or earlier inning at least, came to the plate.
Vaughn’s contact launched the ball just five feet shorter (390) than his homer, but to a deeper center field, the ball died at the wall. Still, a sacrifice fly and eventual game-winning RBI for the big fella.
But the number got crooked quick for the White Sox, as the South Siders didn’t stop now, plating four more runs: Adam Eaton single, Leury García triple, Anderson sac fly.
Liam Hendriks, warming to anticipate a save situation in a close game and not a sudden blowout in the ninth, came in hot and took just 11 pitches to seal the win (no Ks, and a Rowdy Tellez double mashed in there in the ninth, but hey, the Amped Aussie was a bit deflated, no save and all).
The White Sox leap to 37-23 and remain four games up on Cleveland.
Tomorrow’s coverage, just like tonight’s, apparently, is a bit up in the air for SSS. The SSS recapper, just like the White Sox starter, is TBD. On the Six Pack of Stats is the one and only, undefeated, Chrystal O’Keefe.
TRUE LIFE BIG CAT STORIES FROM REDHEADED BLACKBELT
KYM KEMP: When I was a young girl, my father took me outside at twilight and told me to hush.
At first I heard nothing, then I heard a woman scream.
I expected my dad to be off to the rescue. But instead he just grinned.
He eventually told me that was the cry of a “painter.” You never hear of big cats called “painters” now, but that’s what they were sometimes called back then. Cougar, mountain lion, puma, and panther were other names we knew for the same big feline.
For awhile, I thought the cry came from a woman being eaten by the big cat, but after teasing me for a bit, Dad explained that this was the sound they made.
And then as the dusk almost became dark, a large mountain lion came out on the far side of the river, a ways upstream of us on a point overlooking the water. It stretched open its mouth and I heard it yowl.
It’s a chilling sound that’s hard to forget. Even 50+ years later. And it sounded just like this…
REX TREVOR: Heard that same ‘woman screaming’ back around late 1980s right down the road from my house, perhaps 100 yds. Grabbed my flashlight and headed down that way calling to the woman; “Are you hurt?” and other questions I can’t now remember. No response. Then, while on the road near where the sound had come from I got two big eyes in the beam of my flashlight up on an embankment to the right of the road and behind some rocks & vegetation. Maybe 25′ higher than I was and the same distance away. It just sat there. Didn’t make any more sounds.
Well, that settled that. I was relieved that it wasn’t a woman in distress, especially in the middle of nowhere where I was, but, I did not at that time, or even later, think it was a Cougar. I figured it was a Bobcat and then just went back up to the house. Never heard that sound since.
Do Bobcat make the same screech? If not, I just now realize I did a foolish thing way back then. I still think it may have only been a Bobcat, though.
GUEST: We lived on a ranch that was surrounded by timber company and being on the edge of all that timberland made our place a literal cat magnet. Bobcats, crossbreeds, lions and even a ring tailed cat if that counts.
The day the jaguar showed up was a mixed blessing. Solid black except for some brown on it’s skullcap, our first introduction came as my wife and I watched it catch a rabbit out of the fence line one evening.
Then we witnessed something the likes of which I would have never imagined. It carried the rabbit in it’s mouth and began stalking two deer. They winded him and split. Talk about an eating machine!
It hung around the place for about a month and spent time around the out buildings looking for anything living under them. It would sleep in the berry bushes and scared the hell out of several people before it left the area. It would hold tight until you were very close and then bolt out of wherever he was hiding and run off.
We thought it was a black mountain lion, but the geneticists say that’s impossible so I am calling it a Jaguar after researching the subject. Check out Jaguars in California.
The area I speak of is on the rim of the Eel River Valley and this happened over thirty years ago. I learned from some old timers on the Ferndale side of the river that black cats had been seen by people dating back a hundred years or more.
I’ve told this story many times before, so stop me if you’ve already heard it.
Back in the early 60’s we only got AM radio and it only worked at night. To get better reception we would drive to a ridgetop where the radio reception would be much clearer.
One night a friend of mine and our dates went up above the Garberville airport on an old logging road and out on to the top a bald ridge. The moon was full and the Wolfman Jack show was on the radio. It was a nice warm summer night and we had all of our windows down…. then we heard a terrible long gurgley scream that ended in a choking cough…. Just like a woman screamed and had her throat ripped out.
The girls were terrified and I laughed and said “it’s just a mountain lion, we can roll the windows up if it scares you”. For some dumb reason the fact that it was a mountain lion only made it worse, and we had to go home immediately.
Mountain lion – 1
Wolfman – 0
My buddy and I scored even worse.
by Matt Pera
North Bay Rep. Jared Huffman was less than five minutes into his first in-person, town hall meeting in more than a year on Tuesday night when the room in his hometown erupted in chaos.
Protesters poured into the San Rafael Community Center, where Huffman, D-San Rafael, was scheduled to hold an hour-long forum that was limited to 100 attendees and streamed live on social media.
The demonstrators shouted, shoved and jeered, most of them flouting the event’s pre-registration requirement and mask mandate. Some carried signs expressing opposition to the rule that attendees at the meeting be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Jab mandate is fascist,” read one sign, which was visible in a recording of the event posted on Huffman’s Facebook page.
Another said: "My body, my choice.“
One woman lunged at a man in the audience and tried to yank the blue surgical mask off his face. She hopped up on the stage and sat cross-legged in front of Huffman, holding a sign that read “medical tyranny is still tyranny.”
It’s common for protesters to show up at Huffman’s town hall meetings, the congressman said. But the scene that unfolded on Tuesday was striking.
“There was pushing and shoving and a level of physical bullying that I’ve never seen at an event like this,” Huffman said in an interview.
He likened the demonstration to the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Many of the protesters, he said, were showing support for former President Donald Trump, wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats.
“Tonight an angry COVID-denying mob tried to turn my town hall meeting into a MAGA circus,” Huffman wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. “Outside of the January 6th insurrection, this might be the ugliest, most disgraceful spectacle I've ever seen."
Police were on hand for the event but did not intervene. Huffman continued on with the evening, thanking constituents for putting up with the disturbance.
The Sonoma County Republican Party encouraged its supporters in a Facebook post this week to attend Huffman’s town hall and “stand up for their constitutional rights.” It urged people to ensure that the event remained “a peaceful gathering.”
“We are now charged with blowing the top off the lies!” the post said. “You must show up!”
The post said Huffman was “breaking the law” by requiring proof of vaccination at the event.
An advertisement for the town hall said that a ticket reservation for the event would not “guarantee admittance without proof of completed vaccination(s) more than two weeks prior.”
Huffman said event managers were not requiring attendees to show proof of vaccination, but were instead using the “honor system.” He said the event rules, including the capacity limit, mask requirement and social distancing guidelines, followed mandates set by the Marin County Health Department.
Matt Heath, chair of the Sonoma County Republican Party, said in an interview that Huffman ought “to say ’no’ to segregation.”
“The Sonoma County Republican Party believes that every individual has the right to decide what they put into their own body,” Heath said, reading from a prepared statement.
"We do not believe in creating a caste system of those who have been vaccinated and those who have decided not to be vaccinated,“ Heath said. “It is unfortunate that Congressman Huffman feels the need to not properly represent his constituency based upon this individual choice.”
Heath said he did not attend the town hall and declined to comment on the disruption of the event.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, June 9, 2021
AUSTIN ANDERSON, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic battery, parole violation.
YOLANDA CARRETERO, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KEITH HENRY, Willits. Domestic abuse.
ROSE RAMIREZ, Lucerne/Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, failure to appear.
DON WILTSE JR., Laytonville. Parole violation.
RICH GUY'S RAVITCH VENDETTA
I found a “Recall Jill Ravitch” flyer stuffed in my mailbox today. As political hit pieces go, it’s pretty weak, especially since District Attorney Ravitch will retire soon.
Why do the flyer’s featured community members want Ravitch recalled? Well, she's a “constant impediment” to “people… who seek to do good,” she allegedly doesn’t take criminal reports seriously, and they don’t think she’s much of a leader. Such nonspecific opinions hardly seem worthy of a $400,000 special recall vote. Isn’t that what general elections are for?
At the bottom of the flyer is the name of a single major funder: William Gallaher. This isn’t surprising, because the recall effort is really a thinly disguised personal vendetta. Gallaher’s company was successfully sued by Ravitch’s office for abandoning 100 frail seniors at the Villa Capri and Varenna Senior Living facilities during the Tubbs fire. (They escaped, barely, thanks to the heroic actions of family members and police.)
Gallaher has spent nearly a million dollars in his quest to humiliate Ravitch. Hopefully he’ll learn an expensive lesson on election day. A taxpayer-funded recall vote is no way to settle a rich man’s grudge against a District Attorney who did her job.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Listening to the local radio station this morning, the hosts were talking about signs they’d seen on a couple of local restaurants –” Please be Patient with us! We have staff shortages!” One of them talked to the owner who told him that not only can they not get anyone to come back to work, getting supplies (like meat, eggs) is harder b/c the suppliers don’t have enough people on the job. Paying people to sit at home has been quite effective.
US POLITICIAN’S WAR ON SCIENCE LEADS LAMBS TO SLAUGHTER
by Dr. Nayvin Gordon
Only 42% of Americans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, which leaves over 150 million people, including all children, unprotected. As of 5/25/21, the risk of infection for the unvaccinated is high to extremely high across most of the country.
To reduce viral spread and diseases the science of public health demands: isolation, quarantine, social distancing, masking and avoiding non-essential travel. Tragically this science is being thrown to the wind by the politicians. As reported in the New York Times, 6/1/21, “…the nation opening back up…” and the public health restriction are being abandoned leaving over 150 million Americans at increased risk for disease.
As the pandemic rages out of control around the world, creating more contagious variants, and before 70%-90% of the population is fully vaccinated, Americans are being encouraged to “return to normal.”
Lifting public health restrictions while vaccines are being delivered puts millions at risk. This social policy decision will result in tens of thousands more preventable, infections, illness and deaths.
Such governmental policy has been described by the British Medical Journal as “social murder.”
Those responsible must be held accountable.
(Dr. Nayvin Gordon writes about health and politics. firstname.lastname@example.org)
CALIFORNIA REPARATIONS COMMITTEE Confronts Harms of Slavery, Debates Direct Payments
For more than three decades, Black members of Congress have introduced legislation to study the lasting harms of slavery on African Americans, and propose remedies. Year after year, the federal proposal languished. Now, California is going it alone.
THE TOKYO OLYMPICS ARE IN PERIL
by Dave Zirin
Ten thousand people. That’s how many Olympic volunteers quit their posts in Tokyo, with the games just 50 days away. That is one of every eight volunteers needed to pull off the 2021 (still called the 2020) Olympics. This is just the latest warning sign that, despite the Panglossian protestations of the International Olympic Committee, this summer’s Games are in peril. Japan is currently wrestling with a coronavirus upsurge and less than 3 percent of the population is vaccinated. According to polls, as much as 80 percent of the country does not want to host the games, for fear of it exacerbating this omnipresent public health crisis, currently classified as a state of emergency.
The masses of Tokyo want to postpone or cancel the games, but the government says it’s the IOC’s decision, not the host country’s, sovereignty be damned. In a, pardon the expression, viral editorial, Japanese Olympic Committee member and one-time bronze medalist Kaori Yamaguchi wrote that Japan has been “cornered” into having to host the games. She wrote, “We have been cornered into a situation where we cannot even stop now. We are damned if we do, and damned if we do not…. The IOC also seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.” It was an extraordinary statement that broke a wall of blithe arrogance from the JOC in the face of this public opposition.
In a sane world, the Olympics would have already been postponed. But money has trumped all other concerns, and that’s what Yamaguchi is referring to when she says the country is “damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.” Japan has officially spent $15.4 billion on the games, but government audits reveal that the actual cost could be as high as $30 billion and climbing. At least a portion of that lucre needs to be recouped, and it won’t be if the gleaming new facilities are shuttered.
For the IOC, the pressure to televise something they can call the Olympics is a matter of survival. The committee receives 75 percent of its budget from Olympic television rights and is already hurting from last year’s postponement, which was instituted against its will. If these Olympics are postponed again or—heaven forfend—canceled, the IOC stands to lose, according to the Associated Press, between $3 billion and $4 billion. If the Olympics go on, it will be the ultimate negation of its alleged purpose: profit trumping the joy of sport.
Examples of this abound in Olympic history. As recently as the last Olympics in Rio, I saw communities destroyed in the shadows of newly built stadiums that now stand empty. But putting on a global Olympics in what is effectively an unvaccinated country in order to recoup billions is a special kind of obscene. The IOC counters this argument by pointing out that fans from abroad are already banned. A decision is expected by June 20 as to whether fans from the host country will be allowed to attend (it is expected that they also will be prohibited). Yet this unprecedented decision to almost certainly hold an Olympics without fans, kind of gives the game away. If the Olympics are not safe for the public, what about the athletes, coaches, trainers, announcers, camera crews, and all assorted support staff? We are still talking about tens of thousands of people from 200 nations and territories, some from countries with meager vaccine rollouts. Also, the absence of global tourists makes the $30 billion investment of the Japanese public and attendant sponsors all the more wasteful at a time when resources are precious.
Japanese government medical adviser Dr. Shigeru Omi, has testified to parliament that “holding the games in the middle of the pandemic is abnormal.” He also said that if the country is still in a state of emergency, the games “should be avoided.” This is ratcheting up pressure on Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to take a stand. But he is passing the buck, parroting the line that the IOC holds all the cards as to a postponement or cancelation. The IOC is certainly strutting as if it does. Senior IOC member Dick Pound said his past week that it would take “Armageddon” to stop the games. There may not be Armageddon before the games, but if they steamroll ahead, the aftermath certainly could bear a close approximation.
THE ‘BEST’ WAY TO BRACE A WOODEN DOOR OR GATE