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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, June 26, 2021

Hot Interior | 6 New Cases | Water Meetings | Asian Salad | Big Heat | Philo Farmstand | Saving JDSF | Ducks Crossing | Preserve Forest | Elections Report | Far Side | Russian Dwindle | Molgaard Directive | Crop Water | Muralist Sinnott | No Oversight | Coast Wildflowers | Ineptocracy | 1907 Stagecoaches | Fire Trap | Reggae Grange | Evacuation Passes | Field Guide | Ed Notes | Stolen ATV | School Street | Streetscape Update | Yesterday's Catch | Big Sturgeon | Tower Demolition | Struggling Dummy | Transgender Weightlifter | National Collapse | Diabetes Help | My Outage | Silence Dome

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AN EXCEPTIONALLY STRONG DOME of high pressure will persist over much of the western United States through next week, resulting in mainly dry weather with very hot interior temperatures. Coastal areas will remain seasonably cool with persistent marine layer clouds and only partial afternoon sun. (NWS)

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6 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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The County wants to know so they can have a better idea what they’re not dealing with.

Notices of Public Meetings - Tuesday, June 29, and Wednesday, June 30

Community Partners, Colleagues and Interested Parties: 

The following meetings will be taking place next week on Tuesday, June 29 and Wednesday, June 30 at various locations throughout the County, in consideration of forecasting of local water supplies. Please see individual notices for dates, times, locations, and participants. 

  • Notice of Public Meeting - Tuesday, June 29, Anderson Valley 
  • Notice of Public Meeting - Tuesday, June 29, Fort Bragg
  • Notice of Public Meeting - Wednesday, June 30, Mendocino
  • Notice of Public Meeting - Wednesday, June 30, Willits

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, McGourty and Williams, will conduct a public meeting at Anderson Valley Community Services District, located at 14281 Highway 128, Boonville, CA 95415, at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard, to consider forecasting of local water supplies. 

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We are in for another scorcher tomorrow, so Chef B is whipping up a refreshing cold Vietnamese rice noodle salad with veggies and shrimp as our Saturday “BBQ”. We also will be serving a veggie (vegan possible) sandwich with homemade sun dried tomato spread, roasted eggplant and mushrooms, Havarti (optional) and local Filligreen Farm lettuces.

We also have some delicious options in our deli case: Greek salad, a roasted red pepper Spanish Tortilla, quiche, and Chef B’s delicious Mac and Cheese with broccoli and mushrooms. The Mac and Cheese is available as a take and bake or as an individual slice.

Remember we serve Cowlick’s ice cream, locally made in Fort Bragg, which is truly delightful on a hot day!

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A LONG DURATION AND EXTREME HEAT WAVE is set to grip the Pacific Northwest and Northern Great Basin

Oppressive and unprecedented heat will be felt throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern Great Basin today, with record-breaking temperatures lasting through at least the beginning of next week. The weather pattern responsible is highlighted by a strong and highly anomalous upper-level ridge located over far southwestern Canada. This upper-level ridge is forecast to very slowly meander eastward along the U.S.-Canada border. Easterly flow underneath the upper-level high will allow for coastal regions to experience record-breaking temperatures over the next few days as well. Starting today, high temperatures will soar 20 to 30 degrees above average throughout Washington and Oregon, extending into northern Idaho by Sunday. For the Northwest, this equates to widespread high temperatures in the upper 90s and triple digits, with highs into the 110s possible over the Columbia Basin. Dozens of daily record high temperatures will undoubtedly be set, with monthly and even all-time records in jeopardy of falling. In short, heat of this magnitude has very rarely (if ever) been felt throughout this region, especially this early into the summer season. Seattle, WA and Portland, OR are just a few examples of places currently forecast to break all-time high temperature records during this heat wave. Oppressive heat will also be found throughout portions of northern California and western Nevada, where triple digit temperatures are expected. Excessive Heat Warnings/Watches and Heat Advisories have been issued for nearly the entire Pacific Northwest and northern Great Basin, as well as parts of California and Nevada. Nighttime temperatures will remain quite warm and only dip into the 70s throughout lower elevations of the Northwest, which could exacerbate the threat of heat related illnesses. Residents are urged to avoid extended periods of time outdoors, stay hydrated, and check on vulnerable family members/neighbors. With severe and extreme drought conditions found throughout much of the West, elevated fire concerns exist.

(Short Range Forecast Discussion, National Weather Service)

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Our spring greens were hit by wind, weather and ravenous critters this year, but summer brings walla walla onions, zucchini, sunflowers and very first tomatoes.

3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo, (707) 895-2071

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THE CAMPAIGN To Save Jackson Demonstration State Forest: An Update

by Matthew Simmons

As summer heats up, so does the campaign to save Jackson Demonstration State Forest (Jackson). As you may know, Jackson is a 50,000 acre, state-owned, coast redwood forest where CAL FIRE ‘demonstrates’ logging for private timber companies. Environmental activists, outdoor recreationists, and the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians have allied together to save Jackson. We believe that California should be using its state-owned forest lands like Jackson to sequester carbon, enhance biodiversity, encourage outdoor recreation, and preserve Native American cultural heritage.

This past week, forest defenders successfully paused operations on the “Caspar 500” Timber Harvest Plan (THP) which CAL FIRE approved in May of last year. The area has been the site of continuous tree-sits since April 9th in order to protect a 240” circumference redwood tree which CAL FIRE had marked for harvest. After substantial community outrage, CAL FIRE relented and unmarked the tree and some of its neighbors, but the forest defenders want to save the forest, not just a few trees. Last week, Anderson Logging, the company responsible for executing the Caspar 500 THP, ordered their fellers to continue cutting trees in extremely close proximity to the activists. The community was shocked to learn that CAL FIRE was allowing its contractors to conduct logging operations that clearly endangered the public. Then, on June 22nd, CAL FIRE announced that it was pausing the Caspar 500 THP. This is an amazing victory for the forest defense movement, but our campaign is just beginning.

Elsewhere in Jackson, public comments submitted by EPIC have delayed approval of two timber harvest plans that would have logged older second growth coast redwoods. The comments, which EPIC submitted alongside local environmental organizations, detailed numerous instances where CAL FIRE had erred in conducting their environmental review of the THPs. For instance, CAL FIRE denied that climate change was man-made stating “exactly how and to what extent human activity plays a role in global climate change appears to be unknown.” CAL FIRE also failed to conduct adequate northern spotted owl and plant surveys. Not to mention one of the plans is located adjacent to Mendocino Woodlands State Park and the THP failed to adequately consider impacts to recreationists and campers. The two plans were submitted in April and were expected to be approved later that month but so far CAL FIRE has declined to do so.

At the same time, EPIC is leading the fight to convince the State of California that saving Jackson is essential to meeting its Climate and 30×30 goals. If California is serious about going carbon neutral and preserving 30% of our lands by 2030, saving Jackson is essential to meeting those goals. As a coast redwood forest, Jackson has the capacity to sequester more carbon than any other forest type on earth. And in terms of meeting the 30×30 goals of 1) preserving biodiversity, 2) sequestering carbon, and 3) creating opportunities for outdoor recreation, Jackson is one of the most promising lands in the entire state. EPIC and our allies have attended numerous public hearings and met with State and Federal representatives to urge our political leaders to endorse preserving Jackson. Keep a lookout for more ways to support our campaign to transform Jackson!

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Re: Jackson Demolition State Forest

Sent to Newsom, McGuire & Wood:

Dear all

I’m writing to ask you to work towards making the entire Jackson Demonstration State Forest a forest preserve. California should be using its state-owned forest lands like Jackson to sequester carbon, enhance biodiversity, encourage outdoor recreation, and preserve Native American cultural heritage.

The JDSF has been mismanaged for decades, with the CA Board of Forestry ignoring the advice of its own Advisory Group. As we speak, large old redwood trees are being logged along the coast north of Mendocino, trees that should be preserved.

There are numerous instances where Cal Fire erred in conducting their environmental review of its Timber Harvest Plans. For instance they denied that climate change was man-made stating “exactly how and to what extent human activity plays a role in global climate change appears to be unknown.” Cal Fire also failed to conduct adequate northern spotted owl and plant surveys. And one of the plans is located adjacent to Mendocino Woodlands State Park; the THP failed to adequately consider impacts to recreationists and campers.

Saving Jackson is essential to meeting California’s climate and 30—30 goals. If we’re serious about going carbon neutral and preserving 30% of our lands by 2030, stopping the logging in Jackson is crucial to those ends. As a coast redwood forest, Jackson has the capacity to sequester more carbon than any other forest type on earth. And in terms of meeting the 30—30 goals of 1) preserving biodiversity, 2) sequestering carbon, and 3) creating opportunities for outdoor recreation, Jackson is one of the most promising lands in the entire state.

The area of Jackson Forest is small compared to private timberlands in Mendocino County, and revenues from logging are much less than that from tourism and recreational uses. We can afford to make it a preserve.

Some thinning of forest plantations should continue, if done in a way that promotes re-growth of a natural forest, but no trees older than 80 years of age or 30” dbh (diameter breast height) should be cut.

Please take immediate action to preserve this forest; it could be a crown jewel of the North Coast!

Thank you,

Stephen Sharnoff

Research Associate, Missouri Botanical Garden

Research Affiliate, University and Jepson Herbaria

University of California, Berkeley 10850 Gulch View Dr.

Mendocino, CA 95460 

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The Mendocino County Clerk-Recorder has issued a report response to the 2020/21 Mendocino County Grand Jury report on local mail-in elections that may be found here:

The 2020/21 Mendocino County Grand Jury report on local mail-in elections may be found here:

Kathy Wylie

Secretary, 2020/21 Mendocino County Grand Jury 

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RUSSIAN RIVER ON THE BRINK: Lifeblood of North Coast imperiled by deepening drought

Its tributaries have all but run dry amid the deepening drought, and much of the 110-mile main stem is sustained only by releases of water from Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino, the two regional reservoirs. There, dam managers are letting go of just enough water to maintain minimum flows that fish and other wildlife need to survive.

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(Hint: It’s not to get rid of Mendo’s extraneous Second Health Officer)

Anne Molgaard, “a team player,” to Lead Public Health

Mendocino County has named Anne Molgaard as the Transition Director for the Public Health Branch of Health & Human Services. Ms. Molgaard is a skilled administrator with over 30 years experience in health and human services both in the nonprofit and government sectors. 

Anne Molgaard

CEO Carmel J. Angelo said, “Anne will lead Public Health through this transition from Health and Human Services to separate departments. She is known for her organizational analysis and practical approach to public service. While the Board of Supervisors conducts its strategic planning process and makes a final decision about the configuration of health and human service departments, Anne will ensure that Public Health services continue.” Supervisor Glenn McGourty stated, “I am pleased that Anne Molgaard has accepted her new position as the Director of Transition, Public Health. My experience working with her has shown her to be a good leader. She is intelligent, a good problem solver, a good listener, and a team player. She will be a strong member of Mendocino County’s leadership team in her new role.” 

The Public Health Department includes programs that serve Mendocino County’s families such as WIC (Women, Infants, & Children), Nursing, Community Wellness, as well as Environmental Health (Land Use, Consumer Protection, and Hazmat), and the county’s COVID Pandemic Response. “Public Health will be well served by Anne Molgaard. She is an extremely competent administrator. The Board of Supervisors wants to ensure that Public Health is functioning at full capacity to best meet the needs of Mendocino County and Ms. Molgaard will make that happen,” said Supervisor John Haschak.

Board of Supervisors Chair Dan Gjerde added, “Anne Molgaard is perfect for this new role. She has a well-earned reputation for listening, evaluating a situation, and bringing forward thoughtful solutions.” She joined the County as Chief Operations Officer for the Health & Human Services Agency in 2016 where she streamlined contracting processes, simplified hiring practices, and increased transparency in communications both internally and with the public. According to Supervisor Maureen Mulheren, “Anne is a responsive and effective manager. She is supported by County employees and the community.” Before joining the County Health & Human Services Agency, Ms. Molgaard was the founding Director of FIRST 5 Mendocino, where she served for 16 years. Anne worked closely with Public Health while at FIRST 5 Mendocino, collaborating to develop the county-wide children’s health insurance program, Healthy Kids Mendocino, the Pediatric Dental Initiative, and home visiting program. Supervisor Ted Williams remarks, “I believe in Anne’s competency to extricate Public Health.” Molgaard stated, “My directive is to evaluate Public Health resources and to stabilize the department.”

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The amount of water (acre-feet per acre) needed to grow specific crops in California (weed excepted, which consumes about 1.4 acre-feet of water per acre)…


ms notes: This chart probably does not include winery processing and cleaning water, or frost protection water which 1. is only used when grape growers plant in frost prone areas, and 2. isn’t always used because x% of vineyards are dry farmed, and 3. Isn’t used when not available; frost fans are used; however they keep anyone in the area awake at night. But when frost protection water is used, the amounts are huge and that’s why Ukiah’s government subsidized “purple pipe” project is so loved by Russian River area grape growers in Ukiah.

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by Mark Scaramella

On Tuesday, County Behavioral Health (Mental Health & Substance Abuse) Director Dr. Jenine Miller gave the Supervisors a “Specialty Mental Health Services Presentation,” which was essentially a sales pitch for Camille Schraeder’s Redwood Quality Management Company’s anchor contract of about $17.4 million. 

RQMC is referred to by Dr. Miller as an “ASO,” or Administrative Services Organization — Mendo has a Mental Health Department with administrative responsibilities, then they contract with RQMC for another layer of administrative services, which in turn subcontracts with several dozen non-profits and organizations in the County to provide the “speciality services.”

And, like the ocean slowly reclaiming Miami, the human misery outside the Ukiah windows of all these layers of well-paid paper shufflers, is ever greater, job security for even more doers-of-good.

When the Ortner Management Group (OMG) had the ASO contract for adult services back in the mid-2010s, the County paid consultant Lee Kemper $40k to do an audit of Ortner’s work and the County’s contract with Ortner. Among other things, Kemper criticized the County’s contract with Ortner for a series of “weaknesses” in the expectation that a “mid-course improvement” could be made based on Kemper’s widely praised report and recommendations.

Those “weaknesses” included a lack of clearly defined deliverables, goals, objectives, timelines, and performance metrics, and an associated lack of penalties for non-compliance. In other words, Ortner was sucking up millions of public dollars with no accountability whatsoever. The Pentagon and its defense contractors never had it this good.

Kemper recommended quarterly reviews of service delivery and “clinical oversight” of ASO subcontracted facilities.

Kemper also recommended that the CEO specify when “independent financial audits” of the ASO should be conducted and the timing of those audits.

Soon after that Kemper report in 2016, Mendo canceled its contract with Ortner and gave the adult mental health services contract to RQMC, which already had the under-25 mental health services contract.

Since then there have been no “independent audits,” no “clearly defined deliverables, goals and objectives,” or performance metrics developed or measured. The Schraeders are a private business, and as Ms. Schraeder herself once challenged the Supervisors, quoting from memory, “If you don't like it, you take care of all these [reimburseable] people.”

According to Tuesday’s presentation, the State Department of Health Care Services does a “triennial” mental health plan audit and some other mystery state agency does an “external quality review” every year. The results of those limited reviews were not mentioned in the presentation.

Yet, year after year, RQMC continues to be given no-bid, sole source contract renewals with minimal comment or review.

In his first year as Supervisor, Ted Williams called for breaking up RQMC’s huge contract into smaller pieces so that the County might attract competitive bids on some if it.

That never happened, of course.

Williams also asked several times for “performance data,” and “outcome measurements,” as did the City of Fort Bragg with a formal letter to the County. No such data was provided. Fort Bragg’s letter went unanswered. After several more requests, Williams gave up, saying that he had “capitulated” in the face of staff’s refusal to provide outcome information.

With this background, Dr. Miller and Ms. Schraeder may have felt that the Supervisors and the public needed a little PR boost in order to keep the lucrative contract renewals coming. We say PR because the exercise was entirely unnecessary; there was never any question about the Board renewing the contract.

Accordingly, Tuesday’s “Speciality Mental Health Services” presentation contained Dr. Miller’s attempt to provide some mental health service statistics, which she hoped would mollify critics and convince the Supes that RQMC deserved this latest $17.4 million contract renewal. (RQMC has several other associated helping and homeless service contracts, which brings their total contract value to over $20 million.)

The Presentation said that billing disallowances were way down since Ortner left Mendo, that Mendo’s “claims per beneficiary” at an average of about $7400k per client were higher than the state average — there's gold in these people! — that “rehospitalization rates” (Post Psychiatric Inpatient 7-day follow-up) were very low, that the time to get a psych appointment was down, that crisis assessments were up, that persons getting meds were up, and that the number of adult clients showing a decrease in impairments (“per ANSA scores in FY 19-20”) based on comparisons between intake and six month intervals were fairly high at 86%.

In addition, a small parade of mental health system contractors and insiders (eight of them, by our count) all praised RQMC for their mental health services.

Apparently not satisfied with the information in the Sales Pitch, Supervisor Williams repeated his request for outcome information. Supervisor Dan Gjerde suggested it would be good to know how many clients had repeated contact with law enforcement.

After agreeing to form yet another ad hoc committee to try to figure out exactly what mental health “performance metrics” should be developed or provided — nobody had any idea what they might be; the contract still doesn’t have such requirements despite Kemper’s recommendations — the Board voted 4-1 to approve RQMC’s $17.4 million contract renewal, Williams dissenting.

As a possible starting point for the ad hoc committee, before she moved to Arizona, Anderson Valley resident and retired senior mental health staffer Beverly Bennett told us that one of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of mental health services was to see how many discharge plans were written and then how many of them worked out with no more problems such as crisis calls, hospitalizations or law enforcement contacts.

Meanwhile, absent an independent audit or more granular performance information, Mendo is again left with taking the word of the people getting the money that they’re doing a decent job with it.

PS. It was interesting to see in the latest CEO report that the County’s Mental Health Department has 60 slots, 33 of which are filled. 12 are in recruitment. They had only 2 new hires, and 5 separations in the last year. Yet, the Mental Health department — in fact the entire Health & Human Services/Social Services apparatus, the County’s largest single department — isn’t even listed on the recent budget versus actual budget status report because that report is limited to General Fund departments only.

Besides the lack of meaningful performance data, does anybody track the HHSA budget?

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North Mendo Coast

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To the Editor:

New English word: Every once in a while somebody hits it right out of the park….Not yet found in the Oxford Dictionary, but discovered to be a “coined” new word on T-shirts sold on eBay: Read slowly, absorb the facts that are in this definition! I love this word and believe it will become widely recognized. Finally, a brand new English word that describes not only the present but our future.

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) — a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers!

David Anderson


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Stagecoaches, Coyote Valley, 1907

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To the Editor:

Western Hills are a Fire Death Trap

I have recently read the UDJ article of 6/4/21 “Western Hills Plan Vote Delayed.” I agree with the comments of most of the residents, Fire Safe Council Representative and disagree with fire fighter Mike Maynard.

I have a photo published by UDJ 10/19/14 which is a northwest view of the western hills from The Observatory, Circa 1900. There is very light fuels in the hills shown in the photo, reason unknown, fire, wood cutting and/or livestock grazing possibly all of the above. I have been told the western hills burned in the late 50’s or early 60’s and it was quite scary and quite a spectacle.

In any event our current “fuel loading” i.e. oaks, grass, brush, some Douglas fir is substantial and has built up/grown since the above mentioned fire for at least 60 years. If you want to get a good look at the western hills, load up Google Earth.

Now remember Ranch Fire, River Fire, and Cow Mountain Fires that have run into Lakeport. Now it was mentioned how these shaded fuel breaks will help in fire suppression effort. Yes but burning embers travel in fractions of miles or miles, a fuel break is only a couple of hundred feet wide if that. The only good the fuel break will do is be a point to back fire from.

I have told friends who live up on the westside with narrow steep “roads “ to their homes, if a fire starts, get outta there. The fire trucks can’t get up these roads and the only thing that will save you and/or your home is an aircraft retardant drop.

The UDJ article discusses modern pre-fire planning, with roads as fire breaks and water systems. All it takes is Red Flag Day with heat, low humidity, high winds and sparks from a rock or lightning strike and you can kiss your home and maybe your life goodbye. Look at the Cal Fire Statistics, 25 percent of fires are caused by equipment strikes (weed eaters, lawn mowers etc.) and debris burning.

Now we come to building a home under these circumstances. People think about the gorgeous view lots overlooking the valley they will have and the (re)sale value. Then wait until the insurance guy cometh.

Another friend was quoted $16,000/year out off Orr Springs Road. Someday we have to face the fact that some of these lands are NOT developable for the risk taken. The wildland interface has become a retirement zone that is now a death trap burn zone.

Think of all the wildland interfaces that have burned recently. The western hills should have been zoned “green belt, open space watershed or park lands.” Now is the time to start buying these lands back.

Use the funds for the proposed surfaced roads and water systems. Find a fire safe grant to buy the lands back into city or county ownership. Find a solution so the western Hill do not become another Paradise.

Pardee Bardwell


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IN CALIFORNIA'S WINE COUNTRY, Undocumented Grape Pickers Forced to Work in Fire Evacuation Zones

As wildfire smoke billowed into the wine-producing region of Sonoma County, California, workers continued harvesting grapes, day and night. Even in evacuation zones, where the safety threat from flames was severe enough for officials to ask residents to leave the area, the county agriculture commissioner invited workers to continue laboring in the fields, doling out evacuation-area access passes to dozens of agricultural producers. With undocumented immigrants — many of them workers from Latin American Indigenous communities — already economically drained after surviving months of the pandemic with virtually no government support, workers were in no position to decline an offer for work.

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Leggett shopping

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THE REPORT that detailed that the Champlain Towers South building was sinking before its horrific collapse on Thursday described other areas in Miami Beach where buildings could be at risk of collapse because of land sinking and coastal flooding. Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University, found that parts of west South Beach and to the north, where the building collapsed in Southside, have been sinking at a rate of between 1 and 3 millimeters a year since the 1990s. It happened mostly on reclaimed wetlands, Wdowinski told USA Today. He said that he knew instantly which building had collapsed when he heard news reports of it because he had studied the building for a report published last year. “I looked at it this morning and said ‘Oh my god.’ We did detect that,’ he said. His study was part of a wider look at how buildings in Miami were sinking generally with rising sea levels caused by climate change. According to the study, the building was sinking at a rate of about 2 millimeters a year in the 1990s because it sits on reclaimed wetlands — which could have impacted the building's structure. However, that rate could have slowed down or sped up since then, Wdowinski said, adding to the Miami Herald that the land subsidence alone would not have caused the building to collapse. The study analyzed data from satellites using the technology Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar, known as InSAR, to compile datasets spanning from 1992–1999. The study found that land sank annually in parts of both Norfolk, Virginia and Miami Beach – potentially causing an increased coastal flooding hazard for both communities. 

BOOMERS, an on-line tribute: Found the Boomer! AKA the Me Generation who protested war because they didn’t want to get drafted, but then waged decades of war since Reagan, as well as giving all generations afterwards the typical screw you I got mine pick yourself up by your bootstraps attitude, while buying cheap shit from China ruining the economy their parents not only built but fought and died for against totalitarianism, gambling on the housing market nor paying their fair share in taxes putting it on future generations, and bailing out the rich including property owners. Which is on full display by OP. Thanks for screwing America, Boomers.

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On April 22nd, 2021 at 3:52 AM, Willits Officers were dispatched to the Willits Waste Water Treatment Plant regarding the theft of a City of Willits owned ATV, which had been stolen earlier in the morning from the above location.

During the course of the investigation Officers were able to obtain surveillance footage, as well as additional information from Community Members, which led to the identification of the suspect involved in the theft, Brandon Langenderfer, 29, of Willits. 

Brandon Langenderfer

Due to the evidence gathered, an arrest warrant was subsequently issued for the suspect. It was learned the suspect was taken into custody in Sonoma County on an unrelated charge and was being held for the warrant out of Willits. 

The investigation continued as to the whereabouts of the stolen ATV and several leads were followed. The investigation eventually led officers to a residence located off of Muir Mill Road, Willits. 

On June 24th, 2021 at approximately 5:00 PM, Officers arrived at the residence located on Muir Mill Road and were able to locate the stolen ATV, as well as positively confirm it had been taken by the suspect initially identified as being responsible for the theft. The ATV was recovered and returned to the City of Willits Waste Water Treatment Plant. 

Due to the commitment of WPD Officers in gathering evidence and working with citizens that came forward and provided information throughout the course of this investigation, this case was successfully closed.

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All of the trees and most of the landscaping have now been planted and are being irrigated daily. Yes—we know that summer is not the best time to plant things. Unfortunately, however, that is the nature of construction. The project had to start at a certain time, and now this is where we are. They’re being monitored closely. All plantings are guaranteed by the contractors and, if need be, will be replaced at their expense (not the taxpayers’). It’s looking beautiful, though! 

The next two weeks will involve some noisy, messy work as we prepare for paving. Yes--the entire project area (and then some!) is being completely repaved. (I know some of y'all thought we weren't going to pave after all this nonsense, right?) Before we can do that, though, we have to grind the worn-out surface completely down. There's simply no quiet way to do this, and while we will do our best to keep the dust down, it's dry out there. While we're working, there will be some temporary street closures and detours.

Save the date! When this giant project is done, we're going to celebrate! On August 28th, between 11-4, we're having a grand re-opening of our new, improved downtown. More details to follow; hope you'll join us!

Construction Overview, Week of June 28 

Monday-Tuesday: We will be grinding one lane of State Street between Henry and Smith in preparation for new pavement. On those days, State Street will be open for southbound traffic only between Henry and Perkins; northbound traffic will be detoured onto Main and/or School Streets. By the end of the day on Tuesday, the street will be reopened with a gravel base. This work is noisy and dusty…but it’s the last noisy and dusty work of the project! 

Wednesday: Grinding will occur on West and East Standley Street. The street will be closed to vehicular traffic during construction; reopened with a gravel base when complete. Sidewalks will remain open. 

Thursday-Friday: Grinding will occur on West Perkins and West Church Streets. The street will be closed to vehicular traffic during construction; reopened with a gravel base when complete. Sidewalks will remain open. 

Monday-Friday: Miscellaneous curb ramps (corners) will be constructed throughout the project area, including at Clay/School, E. Perkins/Main, E. Standley/Main, and others. Why are we replacing curb ramps on School, Oak, and Main Streets? Every time we pave or reconstruct a road, we are required to bring all of the curb ramps on that street up to current ADA code. 

Construction hours: 6am – 6pm 

Looking further ahead: By the end of the week, we expect the new streetlights to be turned on! Also, in the next few weeks, the remaining power poles on the south end of the project will be removed. 

July 12-14: The “bottom lift” pavement will be installed on Standley, Perkins and Church. This is the first of two layers; the top layer will come a little later. However, this will settle the dust. 

Things are expected to wrap up around the end of July/beginning of August. Concrete work is almost done; paving is scheduled to begin in the middle of July. 

Have a safe, wonderful weekend--

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

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CATCH OF THE DAY, June 25, 2021

Aitken, Buxton, Eisele

KELLY AITKEN, Willits. Suspended license for reckless driving, failure to appear.

ROBIN BUXTON, Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.

ANTHONY EISELE, Willits. Burglary, stolen property, resisting.

Gonzalez, Kowalsky, Leard

VICENTE GONZALEZ, Redwood Valley. Contempt of court.

DANIEL KOWALSKY, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

STEVEN LEARD JR., Ukiah. Vandalism. 

Lockett, Maxfield, Morris

MICHAEL LOCKETT SR., Ukiah. Parole violation.

CHARLES MAXFIELD JR., Ukiah. County parole violation.

DENA MORRIS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation.

Ornelas, Rogers, Spiller

TASHA ORNELAS, Ukiah. Arson during a state of emergency, recklessly causing fire to structural or forest land, failure to appear. (Frequent Flyer)

HEATHER ROGERS, Willits. DUI-alcohol&drugs, addict using drugs while driving, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

SHAWN SPILLER, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

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by Dan Bacher

On June 7, Virginia Salvador of Vacaville was fishing in tule-lined Montezuma Slough in the West Delta, intent on accomplishing her mission to catch and release a white sturgeon from her kayak. 

The 35-year-old mother of two boys had already caught and released three sturgeon from a kayak on the Willamette River in Oregon over the past three years while fishing with her friend, the “Sturgeon General” Robert Perea. 

Salvador is no ordinary angler — she has held a master captain’s license since 2019 and is the second captain with Zack Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures. 

She works on the boat during the sturgeon season in the Delta and again during the salmon and rockfish season outside of the Golden Gate and the halibut and striper season in San Francisco Bay. 

“I’ve recently had more time to fish and I decided to try to catch a sturgeon on my home waters,” she said. 

Accompanying her that day in his kayak was Medinas, there to take photos and a video of her catch — and to see if he could also battle a sturgeon from his kayak that afternoon. 

After getting to a spot in the slough, she tossed out an eel and roe combo on her rod. Finally, she saw a sturgeon pump on her rod and set the hook. 

“The fish ripped the line off the drag and took three runs,” Salvador said. “It was 59 inches long, a real scrapper. It took about 15 minutes to get in.” 

She got the tired fish beside the boat and then Medinas helped her lift the sturgeon onto the kayak. After taking several photos and video footage, they released the prehistoric giant back into the water. 

Virginia Salvador

“This sturgeon was alive, but was tired from the fight,” Salvador said. “Most of the time you see photos of anglers with sturgeon in a kayak the fish has been killed.” 

“It is a whole other experience taking a photo with a live sturgeon. It was a pretty tired fish – but only a matter of time before it woke up. I thought that for the first time fishing for sturgeon from a kayak on the Delta, it was smart to bring ‘The Big Guy,’ Zack, with me,” she quipped. 

That wasn’t the only sturgeon caught by the two anglers that day. After they released the fish back into the water, Medinas caught and released an even bigger sturgeon measuring 80 inches long.

“Fighting a sturgeon from a kayak is a lot different than from a larger boat,” she said. “You don’t have the leverage like when you are in an anchored boat and are able to reel the fish in while using your legs. I had to use my abs and arms to land my sturgeon and it pulled me around in a circle eight about a quarter mile.” 

For anybody wishing to hook a sturgeon from a kayak, she emphasized. “Safety has be the No. 1 concern — always wear a life jacket. At any moment you can be knocked in the head and fall into the water.” 

When not on the water, Salvador works as a medical health professional in a medical laboratory. 

For information on booking a sturgeon trip, call (925) 497-7117 or go to

Contact Dan Bacher at

* * *

Demolition of Ukiah High tower, 1976

* * *


You would be surprised the number of people who consider Biden competent. To me it’s amazing that anyone can look at him and not realize the man is struggling. From one brief article I read, the meeting between him and Putin was scheduled for 4 hours and broke up early. It was a mistake to give Putin a closeup view of his opponent but he probably already knew he was dealing with the dummy, not the ventriloquist.

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

A major premise of my 2005 book, The Long Emergency, was that government at the highest level would become increasingly ineffectual and impotent as the melodrama of national collapse plays out. So, there was no small irony that the floundering political elites would settle on the pathetic figure of “Joe Biden” to symbolically head a foundering government. They picked the very embodiment of collapse to usher in collapse, and that is why “Joe Biden” appears to be nothing more than an usher, somebody whose only duty, say, at a funeral, is to show the more important attendees to their places before the ominous casket.

Nobody believes that he is in charge of the executive branch, or even in charge of himself, as he shuffles stiffly out to the podium with eyes gone all slitty to do the one thing his minders have trained him to do: read a teleprompter. Surely the leaders over in Europe were uncomfortably bemused by his recent appearance among them, as if the USA sent a ghost from the bygone 20th century to spook our allies into mindfulness of self-preservation — message: the great power that rescued you in two world wars is gone, and you are on your own now.

The collapse is universal, though, playing out globally in different flavors of culture and economy, but well underway, for Europe, too, and eventually even China. It’s a collapse of modernity and the techno-industrial horse it rode in on. The extreme political narcissists of the day, intoxicated with messianic fantasies, would like to retail a Great Reset in a desperate effort to prevent modernity from becoming yesterday’s tomorrow. But it only seems to amount to an obsessive-compulsive wish to push everybody around and herd populations into controllable corrals that, some suspect, are just a prelude to a not-far-off global Auschwitz. “You will own nothing and you will be happy” is about as reassuring as “work will make you free.”

The USA, with its more anarchic ethos, can only offer laughable rationales for its failures on the disorderly way to bankruptcy and breakdown. Naturally, the folks in-charge are terrified of any challenge to their unconvincing rule. The election audit underway in Arizona is driving them up a tree. The latest desperate gambit is the New York State court system’s move to suspend Rudy Giuliani’s law license as a sort of warning to anyone else who would try to cast doubt on the ironclad rectitude of the recent election.

The New York court’s Attorney Grievance Committee states:

“…there is uncontroverted evidence that the respondent [Giuliani] communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to the courts, lawmakers, and the public at large in his capacity as a lawyer for former president Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020. These false statements were made to improperly bolster respondent’s narrative that, due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 presidential election was stolen from his client.”

Notice the assertion that contesting the vote is necessarily proscribed, and that any argument to that end is in the service of a false “narrative,” which is necessarily inadmissible. Since when is it against the rules to have a point-of-view? Especially a legal point-of-view about legal matters, in courts of law and in the public arena? Now, it happens that a number of state courts dismissed cases brought by Mr. Giuliani, without bothering to entertain any evidence, most particularly affidavits Mr. Giuliani proffered detailing voting irregularities. The courts didn’t want to hear it. If that is proof of anything, it may only be of corruption in the state courts. Has anyone noticed that the grievance committee is manufacturing a narrative of its own, very possibly a false one?

In fact, there is one legal review of the 2020 balloting currently underway in Arizona, at the order of the Arizona State Senate, as it should be because, according to the US constitution, elections are a prerogative of the fifty states’ legislatures. It’s not “a narrative.” It’s as official as can be, and they have every right to do it, and there’s a fair chance that it will uncover both ballot fraud and voting machine fraud. I suppose all that seems “baseless” if you refuse to look. Also, this week a judge in Georgia approved a process to unseal roughly 145,000 mail-in ballots in Fulton County (the Atlanta metro region) to inspect them for fraud. The ruling stems from a lawsuit against the county that alleges evidence of fraudulent ballots and improper counting. “Joe Biden” won the state by a mere 12,000 votes.

Other states, notably Pennsylvania, are taking action toward their own 2020 vote audits, and through the proper legislative channels. The “incontrovertible evidence” of a fair and honest election is the fraud at issue. There are only assertions that it would be wrong to even look for it, and it’s hard to imagine a weaker argument. So, the politburo behind “Joe Biden” is running scared. The New York court’s action against Mr. Giuliani is just a peevish act of political desperation aimed at disabling a legal adversary. That and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s threat to shut down the Arizona audit on specious “civil rights” grounds are just attempts to create distractions for a regime that begins to apprehend it is whirling around the drain.

As “Joe Biden” fades altogether from the scene, the country will have to grapple with the real problems it faces, not hobgoblins of racism, misogyny, white supremacy but how to cope with a dwindling energy supply and a falling standard of living, and how to remain civilized. We’re doing a good job of destroying the institutions that make civilization possible, especially law and the courts.

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

* * *

* * *


by Harvey Reading

Last night I awakened around midnight for a few moments. Without turning on a lamp (common occurrence) I opened my eyes to look at the illuminated clock face on the nightstand. It was dark. Power outages during rain and thunderstorms are common here, and it was drizzling outside, so I rolled over and went back to sleep.

A couple of hours later, I awakened again, needing to go to the bathroom, again, habitually, not turning on a light. The clock was still dark, so I used a flashlight to read the time on the battery-powered living room clock. It read 2:30. Out of curiosity, I took the flashlight to read the clock on the stove top to get a notion of how long the power had been off. Oddly, it read the same as the battery clock in the living room. Then, I looked at the microwave above the stove top. Its illuminated numerals were shining brightly and read 2:31. That seemed weird, since, during power outages, its clock face goes blank until reset. I started feeling a little like I was in the Twilight Zone.

I walked back to my bedroom and glanced in the direction of the bedside clock as I entered. It was shining brightly, and read 2:30!

Then it came to me. During my first awakening, I had not gotten out of bed and had just looked over at where the clock was. I had completely forgotten having sat a large lens pouch on the bed stand as I was unloading gear from my earlier late-afternoon ride with Diamond. The lens pouch completely blocked my view of the clock with my head on the pillow but the clock was completely visible from a standing position. There had been no power outage whatsoever.

To say the least, I was relieved. I felt a little foolish as well, but that happens at times.

* * *


  1. Lee Edmundson June 26, 2021

    James Kunstler,

    You’re joking us, right? Sarcastic cynical satire, yes?

    There are so very many points you express that are so wrong. Ooops! I mean, misguided, misinformed, mistaken.

    EG: The New York Grievonce Committee did not proscribe Guliani’s contesting an election. It found that LYING about the ‘facts’ of your contest to a court and/or to the public (or to state legislative committees for that matter) is UNETHICAL. And it is. And rightfully so. Lying — bearing false witness in Biblical terms– is a sin. And Unethical. Perhaps we’ve slipped away from that standard over the years. Yes. We have.

    Old story attributed to Nikita Khrushchev, 1960s Premiere of the (then) Soviet Union: “Argue the facts. If you don’t have the facts, argue the law. If you don’t have the law, raise your voice and pound on the table”.

    Seems the MAGA Trumpsters have learned the lesson very, very well.

    Jim, anybody who can afford one and is giving longish detailed policy speeches uses a teleprompter. Trump, when he stuck to message his best, was using one. Although I must admit his sojourns into free association were theatrical tour de forces.

    A 4-1 Republican Michigan legislative committee issued its findings that there were no discernible voting irregularities there. A Georgia judge has thrown out much of the MAGA lawsuit’s attempt to ‘fraudit’ Atlanta’s mail in ballots. Arizona’s fraudit has become a laughing stock as the Ninja Warriors have retired to a secret location in Montana to “evaluate the data”. Ha!

    Focus on the macro? Global warming, civil war everywhere, covid pandemic (not sure you mentioned this one, James). Yeah, sure. But the devil is (always) in the details. Racism, income inequity, housing and food insecurity, rotting infrastructure, failing schools, inadequate housing, lack of mental health services, police brutality. The micro list goes on and on and on, James.

    As for President Biden, listen, he wasn’t my first, second, third or fourth choice. Come to recall, he wasn’t my fifth choice either. But when it came down to between him and Trump, he became my only choice.

    Trump was, is and will continue to be a disaster for the American body politic. Those who have eyes… Demagogue to despot. One small step for a man…

    The man has been on office for What? a half a year. I believe some serious slack can be cut here. Huh?

    Obama once said (it’s attributed) “If I were to walk upon water, tomorrow’s headlines would read, “Obama can’t swim””. So it goes.

    Lay off the old man. See what he can get done for the good of the country. We’ve seen how the Donald performed, yes?

    I agree, worse is before us.

    • Professor Cosmos June 26, 2021

      I remember being trained for my job with this tip: never argue with a patient expressing paranoid delusions etc. Don’t debate. Nod your head in a neutral fashion to indicate you’re listening.

      Aside from that, isn’t it nice how the AVA gives a platform to so many of us mental patients, even ufo nuts! (The latter status sadly eroding though, lol…being transformed into a far seeing genius is a heavy burden I don’t necessarily want to assume.). Espeçially touching is the refuge provided to us aging people. BTW, I can top Harvey:. Last night I twice tried to pour sparkling water into a glass with the cap on! Twice, and in public too.

      • Harvey Reading June 26, 2021

        LOL, perfesser. Don’t worry, though, you’ll never be mistaken for a “far-seeing genius”. That much-ballyhooed “report” turned out to be just more of the same: pure BS, like we’ve been fed for decades. You ET folks need to realize that even if ET exists, close enough to earth to make a trip here, the being will be laughing at you and your fellow guys and gals as heartily as I do.

    • chuck dunbar June 26, 2021

      Well said, Lee, and nice touches of humor among the truths you tell.

      • Harvey Reading June 26, 2021

        Gimme an example of a “truth” he’s told. There was a reason for “sharing” my little tale of the clock incident. Apparently you missed the point from your response yesterday.

        • chuck dunbar June 26, 2021

          Here’s one Harvey:

          “A 4-1 Republican Michigan legislative committee issued its findings that there were no discernible voting irregularities there. A Georgia judge has thrown out much of the MAGA lawsuit’s attempt to ‘fraudit’ Atlanta’s mail in ballots. Arizona’s fraudit has become a laughing stock as the Ninja Warriors have retired to a secret location in Montana to “evaluate the data”. Ha!”

          Not sure what you mean in the 2 last sentences–be clear about it and let me know.

          • Harvey Reading June 26, 2021

            You have strayed from the subject matter. Your example sucks. We’re discussing ET “sightings”.

            The words I used were clear enough. The little scene I described regarding the clocks and “power outage” was one in which I thought for, for a very short period of time, that I was in a sort of dream world (not surprising for someone shortly after awakening from a sound sleep, walking in a darkened house–because I do not like using electricity unless absolutely necessary). But, I found, and accepted, a rational explanation for my “observations”, not attributing my experience to supernatural beings, like ET, or gods created in the image of humans.

            You chose to interpret it from your perspective of senility, something to make you feel better about your own condition…by transferring it, temporarily, to someone else.

            Lacking any personal experience with ET sightings–ever–I used my little–true–tale as sort of an allegory to illustrate how so-called UFO “sightings” or various “other-worldly” can be explained logically and rationally as natural events having nothing to do with ET, assuming the observers are rational people, having no ulterior motives. The high command of our glorious military, along with politicians at all levels of government, have plenty of ulterior motives, and gullible folks, like the AVA ET expert fall for them and, seemingly, believe every “report” they see about supposed sightings.

            • Harvey Reading June 26, 2021

              …”other-worldly” events…

            • chuck dunbar June 26, 2021

              Harvey, you have completely misunderstood my comment today–It referred to Lee’s comments about James Kunstler, not about ET sightings. And my comments yesterday about your clock misunderstanding were not meant to make me feel better in any way, and I am not senile. They were merely a comment about your writing about in an interesting happening. I am fine if you want to attribute what happened to anything in the world. Jesus, Harvey, lighten up a bit.

              • Harvey Reading June 26, 2021

                How did I misunderstand? You responded to me by name. And, in the box directly below my preceding comment.

                Lighten up? What with warmongering idiots in charge wanting to take on the Chinese and Russians,and the rest of the world combined, not to mention home grown fascists ready to start shooting at the drop of a hat? Did you learn nothing from the Jan. 6 riot, and the BS happening in congress, especially on the fascist side? “Lightening up” is just what they want.

                Lighten up? What we need to do is WAKE UP, before it’s too effen late! And, waking up is not the same as worrying about imaginary visits by ET!

  2. Marmon June 26, 2021

    James Kunstler knocked another one out of the Park today. I enjoy reading an objective analysis of our country’s current situation without partisan politics influencing his writings.


    • Harvey Reading June 26, 2021

      Just what did he knock and out of what park?

    • Cotdbigun June 26, 2021


      • Marmon June 26, 2021


        “Knock It Out Of The Park”


        An activity, task, or something that is done exceptionally well.


        • Jurgen Stoll June 26, 2021

          Nodding my head in a neutral fashion…..


        • Harvey Reading June 26, 2021

          I believe you meant “FROM DUMMIES” rather than “FOR DUMMIES”.

  3. Ted Williams June 26, 2021

    “the Board voted 4-1 to approve RQMC’s $17.4 million contract renewal, Williams dissenting.”

    In response to good faith requests for aggregate patient outcome documentation, it’s been suggested Supervisor Williams go pound sand. I voted against the contract perhaps for the same reason my colleagues supported it: our county has fueled a monopoly. Outcome data has been as elusive as bonafide negotiations.

  4. Marmon June 26, 2021


    All five Shasta County Supervisors placed under citizen’s arrest at board meeting

    REDDING, Calif.- — All five Shasta County Supervisors and the County Attorney were placed under citizen’s arrest during Tuesday’s board meeting.

    Before the meeting, a group of local faith leaders met outside in a prayer circle.

    After that, Shasta County resident, and former Cal Fire employee, Richard Gallardo, placed the board under citizen’s arrest.

    He then named off the five supervisors: Joe Chimenti, Leonard Moty, Mary Rickert, Steve Morgan and Les Baugh. He also named County Counsel Rubin Cruse.

    All of them were subsequently released.

    Gallardo was given the standard three-minute public comment time before his mic was cut off. He was then escorted out by deputies.

    He was then taken upstairs to fill out his complaint, calling the meetings “closed sessions” a violation of the Brown Act. He also cited failure to review the local state of emergency every 30 to 60 days.

    If the grounds aren’t sufficient, Gallardo could face consequences for false arrest.


  5. Bernie Norvell June 26, 2021

    I Think everyone involved admits there are gaps
    In the system of care. In Fort Bragg we took it upon ourselves to make sure things are right. The letter we sent to the county asking for accountability in the system on our behalf, produced exactly that. It opened up a fruitul line of communication with the providers and the stakeholders here in our city. We have regular meetings that include RQMS/RCS, the PD, council representation, Adventis Health and the city manager. These meetings involve discussions around our community needs, building robust programs and what are the service needs of our community. We have made great strides in the last two years. Do we still have a long way to go? Absolutely, and we plan on getting there. My point being, none of
    Our progress would have been possible
    Without the help of RCS/RQMC and the strong relationships we have built. Be part of the solution not the problem.

    • Marmon June 26, 2021

      If there is any progress, it came at a snail’s pace, nearly six years since RQMC took over.


      • Bernie Norvell June 26, 2021

        Progress none the less. We have taken the issue on ourselves and are being proactive. Nobody is saying its perfect just that we are working towards perfection.

    • chuck dunbar June 26, 2021

      That’s good to hear from someone on the ground and seeing actual services to the community with positive results. Great news for sure
      In the second to last sentence, I take it to mean “Our progress would (not) have been possible without…..The not was left out.

      • Bernie Norvell June 26, 2021

        Would not*

  6. Jim Armstrong June 26, 2021


    At least online commenters own their drivel.

  7. Rye N Flint June 27, 2021

    RE: Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) — a system of government… rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of “producers”!

    Me: Daddy, where do products come from?

    Dad: The store

    Me: Who brings them to the store?

    Dad: The trucking industry

    Me: Who makes the products?

    Dad: A few producers.

    Me: What do they make them from?

    Dad: Resources.

    Me: Who’s resources?

    Dad: The resources that were stolen from the native people in the region, OK!!! Now stop bugging me kid!

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