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Mendocino County Today, Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Dry Breeze | 113 New Cases | Supes Briefs | Dirtmobile | Delta Surge | Terror Threats | Hospital Strain | Blackfeet Women | Marijuana Roundup | Blunder Boy | Thank Her | Ominous Neighbor | Ed Notes | Insurrections | Colbert Admits | Joe Zelig | Yesterday's Catch | Ignoble Exits | Incompetent Hubris | Code Talkers | Lost Causes | Tenderizer | Commence Howling | 1879 Flood | Cove Rehabilitation | Big Lie | Predatory Humans | Give Back | Not Founders | Redwood Heresies | Foghorn Pole

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BREEZY NORTH TO NORTHEAST WINDS will continue today with dry air across the area. Warm and dry conditions will continue on Thursday. Friday and into the weekend some cooling of inland temperatures is expected and the coastal areas will likely see a return of the marine clouds. (NWS)

RED FLAG WARNING includes eastern Mendocino County:

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113 NEW COVID CASES, along with another death, reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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JUDSON HOWE, the new young Ukiah Adventist Hospital president, told the Supervisors on Tuesday that the Ukiah hospital staff is experiencing “significant staff fatigue” as the pandemic extends into its 19 month with yet another local case count increase due to the Delta variant when it should be trending down, adding that there could be yet another case rate increase ahead because of the lag between exposure and hospital admission.

Howe said they had a peak over the last weekend with 27 covid patients in the hospital on top of their usual patient count, which is back up to normal with the resumption of non-emergency surgeries and such. As a result the hospital has implemented its “stage 1” surge mode, which is taxing their staff. Howe noted that medical transportation services are being strained as well because they are dealing with covid cases on top of regular cases and an increase due to an increase in “Behavioral Health Protocols,” also known as 5150s and other mental health admissions.

County Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren noted that covid cases are being shifted around the region as beds are restricted here or opened up there, both in county and out-of-county, further adding to the transportation load.

Adventist’s Howe said that he estimated that 85% of hospital staff were vaccinated. Asked about County staff vaccination rates, County CEO Carmel Angelo replied that she is “tracking that,” but didn’t offer any numbers. Several meeting attendees guessed that maybe 70-75% percent of county and school staff are vaccinated, but that was only a guess.

EMERGENCY SERVICES COORDINATOR Brentt [sic] Blaser told the Board that PG&E was expecting to shut off a limited number of Mendo customers over the next couple of days due to high winds. PG&E now has an improved website to search for current and planned outage areas by zip code and even individual addresses. The numbers of affected customers in each area to be shut off was in the hundreds in Mendo, not the thousands. Two full days is the anticipated Red Flag shutoffs, plus however long it takes to turn it back on.

COUNTY EMPLOYEE UNION REP Patrick Hickey asked the Board to address worrisomely high vacancy rates in some departments, which are overtaxing staff and causing loss of experience, continuity and stability in those offices with upwards of 50% vacancy rates, sometimes even higher, including the Human Resources department itself which is at 50% vacancy. The board didn’t deal with the reasons for the high vacancies other than to ask for a recruitment review at a subsequent meeting. They might want to ask if HR is doing exit interviews too — if the HR department has staff and time to do it.

ELECTIONS CLERK Katrina Bartolomei told the board that they have not yet finished reviewing the petition signatures for the referendum that would void the current pot permit ordinance. But so far at the rate they’re going, it looks like they will have plenty of valid signatures, and County residents will be voting to toss the Board’s entire existing pot permit ordinance at the same time they vote on recalling Governor Newsom. We have not seen any turnout estimates for this off-year election and we do not have a guess as to how the vote might go. Our personal opinion is that given the general dissatisfaction with all things government, along with the Board’s steadfast refusal to put a hard 2 acre cap on pot permits, might just see the ordinance and the governor being tossed in favor of… well, who knows? 

TWO WEEKS AGO, with very little discussion, the Supes agreed on a preliminary allocation of $19 million of the over $22 million in PG&E disaster funds and directed it come back on the consent calendar. The allocations were complied by Executive Office staff from rating sheets submitted by the individual Supes. 

THE ALLOCATIONS include questionable gifts to the County General Fund with over $400,000 for County Planning & Building for “reimbursement” of staff time and fees allegedly expended on behalf of the public in 2017. Except any expenditure was covered at the time by the General Fund. Which means there was no loss to Planning & Building. 

SUPERVISOR MCGOURTY pulled the item from consent, making a strong pitch to include funding for the delapidated Redwood Valley Grange which functioned as a community shelter and resource center in 2017.

HASCHAK SAID the Little Lake Fire District didn’t really understand the process or deadlines to request funding. Haschak wanted additional funding for Little Lake and also for Brooktrails Fire.

HASCHAK MADE A MOTION for extra funding for the RV Grange and the named fire agencies. 

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS, always alert for opportunities to funnel money to fire agencies, suggested dividing the remaining $3 million or so in disaster funds among all county fire agencies.

THE DISCUSSION, like that around the possible pot standing committee, underlines the make-it-up-as-you-go-along quality of the Supes decision making. There is no apparent institutional memory or allegiance including to decisions of two weeks previously.

WE GOT A COUPLE OF CALLS from Redwood Valley residents complaining that CEO Angelo seemed to be putting her thumb on the Supes’ scale by telling the Board to hold off putting a quarter mil of PG&E settlement money into rehabbing the Redwood Valley Grange, which sorely needs it and which the Board seemed to support — until Angelo told the Board they “may not have all the information” they need, and worried that upcoming potential emergencies — drought, disease, fire, etc — might need some of that spare cash for contingencies. There was support to allocate the remaining PG&E settlement money to fire and emergency services across the County as well, but the CEO convinced the Board to hold off until after a future presentation and a recommendation from the County’s Fire Districts Association on what the “needs” are. (Hint: the needs are: more money.)

SEVERAL Ukiah gun range neighbors in the Vichy Springs area complained that the County should exercise some additional restrictions and oversight on the range. The renewal of the gun range lease was on the consent calendar, but the neighbors said that the shooting activity had started a couple of small fires in recent months and that the gun boys and girls were shooting after dark in violation of their loose closing time hours. Neighbors wanted the Board to consider limiting the days and hours and numbers of shooters. The Board decided to hold off on the lease renewal until they get a presentation on the subject at a later meeting.

TWO WEEKS AGO the Supes decided there were so many accumulating pot related items they needed a Cannabis Standing Committee to help sort them out. But at this Tuesday’s meeting the Board voted 4-1 against forming a cannabis standing committee with Haschak odd man out as he usually is on pot issues.

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS, who is increasingly given to delivering smug pronouncements as if they have been inscribed on the sacred tablets, declared it was time for the Board to move on to other critical issues and let staff — i.e. their one person pot point person — sort out the current applicants. 

SUPERVISOR MULHEREN agreed, adding that cannabis issues needed to come to the full Board. The latter point is an apparent acknowledgement that having a cannabis committee made up of two Supes who don’t agree is not likely to save time.

FOR THE LAST YEAR Haschak and Williams were a cannabis ad hoc committee but they rarely agreed on anything. Which defeated the purpose of having a committee sort things out and present a recommendation to the full Board. Haschak wanted to focus more on existing applicants (mostly in his district), while Williams was more focused on what to do about state obstacles and the new ordinance.

FOUR SUPERVISORS are willing to vote down anything pot related supported by Haschak. But lack the gumption to form a committee that excludes him. 

HASCHAK ASSERTED the need for a cannabis standing committee but Supervisors McGourty and Gjerde agreed with Williams and Mulheren to continue wasting huge amounts of Board time on an unfixable problem. 

UNFINISHED POT business includes possible amendments to the recently adopted Chapter 22.18 that’s being challenged by the referendum that seeks to repeal it. 

BACK IN JUNE the Supes signaled a willingness to drop the 10% of parcel size provision in favor of a phased expansion over a period of years. Amendments were supposed to come forward in August but nothing more has been said on the issue, fueling the referendum advocates even more.

MICHAEL KATZ, representing the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, told the Supes his group had identified 11 different issues that a pot standing committee could address. But the Supes apparent consensus from two weeks previously had mysteriously dissolved.

THE SUPES got their first look at the Judy Morris, the CEO’s newest Deputy CEO, who gave the Supes a completely irrelevant report on proposed state and federal legislation. 

THERE WAS A CLOSED SESSION ITEM regarding the continuing dispute with the Sheriff and the CEO/Board’s attempt to restrict Sheriff’s department overtime, consolidate the Sheriff’s computer system with the County’s and the still hanging question of whether department heads are personally liable for overruns. But nothing much came of it when Chair Dan Gjerde emerged from closed session to announce that “direction was given to staff.” To do what Gjerde didn’t deign to say. We understand the Sheriff and County Counsel are due back in court some time this week, but nobody’s made any official announcement about when or on what.

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BILL KIMBERLIN: If your car doesn't look like this, you probably aren't from Anderson Valley.

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DATE: 8-17-2021

TO: Board of Supervisors

FROM: H. Andrew Coren, MD, Health Officer


The current, 4th Covid Surge with the DELTA Variant appears to be the worst surge we’ve faced.

Mendocino County’s testing positivity rate 7.7%

New cases average 37.5/day/100,000 which is 6 times higher than 1 month ago. 

There are currently 24 people in Mendocino hospitals. Two are from Out of county. 3 additional Mendocino residents are in out of county hospitals. We have 5 in our County Intensive Care Units.

55 people have passed away, 5 more in the last month, after many weeks with no deaths. 

Total, known, who have fallen ill with Covid is now 5267 or 6% of our population. Of these 2299 are Hispanic.

We have had few small outbreaks that were well controlled. Our Contact Investigation/Contact Tracing team has been very stressed since the state pulled back its volunteers before this surge took effect. We are now contracting for more, and recalling other County workers to help.

Demand for Testing is increasing and we are adding more Optum Serve testing with another Travel Team.

Demand for Vaccinations increasing and we are preparing for the schools opening with additional clinics while encouraging cooperation between the schools and their nearby clinics. This will also serve our community as the vaccines for children younger than 12 years old are expected to be approved in the next month. Clinics, hospitals and pharmacies are also increasing their vaccine efforts.

Since immunity has been found to be significantly less in some groups, leading to more hospitalization and death, boosters are now approved as a dose of either of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna). These are recommended for moderately and severely immune-compromised people, estimated to be 3% of the population. These include people with organ transplants, solid and blood based cancers, immune deficiency diseases, renal dialysis patients and people taking immune suppressing medications. This is a clinical judgement so we are asking those who want it to get the vaccine or a note from their providers.

As of August 9, 2021 97,401 total doses = 72% of those over 12 years old have been at least partly vaccinated and 62.1% are fully vaccinated with 4000 doses given in last 2 weeks. From an Equity perspective we are continuing to serve our least resourced areas. Hispanic vaccination rates are increasing significantly. All age groups are increasing their uptake over the summer EXCEPT the 65 years and above. 

In Summary, this 4th Covid surge is continuing and may be worse than the prior surges. 

Our hospitals are especially stressed with staffing shortages. We are having meetings with Adventist Health regularly.

Judson Howe, CEO of Adventist Health will be presenting.

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by William Miller, MD; Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital

Last week, I intended to address the topic of breakthrough cases. However, last week was also a week in which I was taking care of patients in the hospital and because of increasing cases throughout the county I ended up not being able to find the time to write my weekly column for which I apologize. This week, I want to give you an update on the local surge in cases and will dedicate next week to talking about breakthrough. In the meantime, The Wall Street Journal reported a headline today that I think sums the situation up very accurately and succinctly, “As Delta Surges, COVID-19 Breakthrough Cases Remain Uncommon.”

The past week has seen greater numbers of new cases in Mendocino County than during any part of the pandemic thus far. On August 13th, there were 150 new cases on that one day alone. This is a huge increase as the current running weekly average has been 40 per day. The highest number of cases previously was 74 on November 12th during the start of the winter surge. 

If even 10% of those people end up requiring hospitalization, it will put a significant strain on our three hospitals over the next few weeks. The hospitalization rate with Delta may be closer to 20%. As of this writing, we have a total of 32 patients in our three hospitals with COVID. That comprises about 1/3 of all hospitalized patients. Compare that to the average number of hospitalized COVID cases the previous week which was 19. Nearly all these patients were unvaccinated.

Being that all three hospitals in the county are part of the Adventist Health (AH) system, we can freely share resources including some technical and leadership personnel, beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) and medications. We have activated our Incident Command structure to coordinate all efforts so that resources can be directed where needed most. We are also able to tap into resources from the rest of the AH system. 

To help meet the expected increased demand for hospital beds, we are postponing all but the most essential of elective in-patient surgeries. We have obtained five more ventilators from the AH system pool to be shared as needed between the three hospitals. We have enough PPE. The mainstay of treatment remains Decadron and Remdesivir, both of which we sufficient stocks of. Testing supplies remains adequate as well.

The biggest challenge is staffing. However, despite a rumor going around, at no time have we been understaffed at any of the three hospitals, meaning, we always remained within the regulated staffing ratios. However, at the Coast in particular, we have had to cap admissions at times to stay within those ratios. Our surge plan calls for reassigning staff within the hospital as needed to help ensure that we can care for patients as the surge continues. Most hospitals in Northern California are experiencing similar challenges making it less likely that we will be able to transfer patients out of the county. 

There is a worsening national shortage of almost all types of hospital staff, especially nurses and respiratory therapists. Some parts of the country are paying very high premiums to get the nurses they need and this is starting to create competition between hospitals and hospital systems who need to get sufficient staff to care for these rising numbers of patients.

Both AH Ukiah Valley and AH Howard Memorial are near capacity, each with a small number of patients waiting in the ER to get admitted. AH Mendocino Coast has capacity and has been able to accept patients from our two sister hospitals to reduce the burden and ensure high quality care for all patients in our county. This is an important example of sharing resources. Our ambulance service has brought extra resources into play to help facilitate movement of such patients. This is being done in such a way as to ensure that we continue to have the same availability of ambulance services to respond to 911 calls on the Coast as always.

Our surge plan, which consolidates resources across the three hospitals includes bringing online almost 50 more beds in the county if needed. This will include opening up units at Ukiah and the Coast that are currently closed, such as the L&D unit on the Coast. We are continuing to monitor this unfolding situation and responding accordingly.

You can access previous Miller Reports by visiting 

(The views in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or of Adventist Health.)

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"Waiting for the Hunters" (photo by Roland Reed)

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Over the past several weeks, the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET) conducted aerial overflights of Mendocino County focusing on unlawful marijuana/cannabis operations. During that time, numerous locations were identified where focused operations were planned. The following is a list of focused operations that recently took place with more expected to follow in the future.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office wants to be transparent with the populous of Mendocino County that if you are cultivating marijuana/cannabis unlawfully, that you are taking the risk of criminal action being taken against you as enforcement efforts are ongoing.

Despite potential criminal prosecution, Mendocino County is capable of issuing severe monetary fines to persons operating unlawful marijuana/cannabis operations, which can also result in liens being placed on properties.

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Case #2021-19790

During the week of August 9th - August 13th, the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET), the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF), Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau and the United States Customs Border Protection Agency served several search warrants in Mendocino County all related to identified unlawful marijuana/cannabis growing operations.

On August 9th, the listed agencies responded to the 500 block of Cropley Lane in Willits to serve a search warrant at a property regarding an unlawful marijuana/cannabis operation. On arrival, law enforcement encountered a large marijuana/cannabis processing operation which was contained within a large warehouse.

Law enforcement officials encountered and ultimately detained twenty-nine (29) individuals. Twenty seven (27) of the twenty-nine (29) individuals were determined to be from Southeast Asia and Laos.

At the time of the search warrant service law enforcement officials were uncertain if this particular marijuana/cannabis operation was engaging in human trafficking.

Due to a language barrier, a Deputy Sheriff from Butte County was transported by helicopter to the search warrant location for interpretation purposes. This interpretation process determined all detained persons on the property were at the location on their own free will and were employed laborers.

During the detainment of several of the individuals, large sums of U.S. Currency were found at the location. A total of $230,632.00 cash was seized pursuant to asset forfeiture laws and later turned over to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.

A total of 9,447.9 pounds of processed/packaged bud marijuana/cannabis for the purposes of sales was located at the location. All marijuana/cannabis other than what was retained as evidence per 11479 HS was destroyed at the scene.

At the completion of this investigation, a criminal case will be filed with the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office for potential criminal prosecution.

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Case# 2021-19891

The listed law enforcement personnel responded to the 7100 block of Highway 20 in Willits regarding an unlawful marijuana/cannabis operation. On arrival, an adult male fled the property on foot eluding capture.

A total of five (5) plastic style hoop houses containing 2,337 illegal marijuana/cannabis plants were were eradicated and destroyed on scene.

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Case# 2021-19892

The aforementioned law enforcement personnel responded to the 4800 block of Highway 20 in Willits regarding an unlawful marijuana/cannabis operation. The marijuana/cannabis found at this location is commonly known as an "open field" operation.

On arrival, five (5) individuals fled the property on foot and into the brush. Law enforcement observed several plastic style hoop houses all containing marijuana/cannabis in excess of state law. This location/property did not have proper county or state permits to cultivate cannabis. This location was found to have 5,871 illegal marijuana/cannabis plants.

As this investigation was afoot, law enforcement was able to link the neighboring property to this particular unlawful growing operation. The property was secured as a search warrant was obtained. After obtaining the search warrant for the neighboring property, it was found to contain several fabricated rooms to cultivate marijuana/cannabis unlawfully. A total of 1,376 pounds of processed marijuana/cannabis was found at this location.

All marijuana other than what was retained per state law (11479 HS), was destroyed on scene.

While on scene, law enforcement contacted Mendocino County Code Enforcement, finding all structures on this particular property were erected without obtaining proper permits through Mendocino County. A report will be forwarded to code enforcement for potential code enforcement investigation/enforcement.

Investigators also seized a .22 caliber rifle which had its serial number modified and painted over.

Further investigation into the person(s) responsible for this unlawful marijuana/cannabis growing operation is ongoing by COMMET at this time.

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Case# 2021-20125 & Case# 2021-20277

Law enforcement personnel responded to the 49000 block of North Highway 101 in Laytonville (Black Oak Ranch) for an illegal trespassing marijuana/cannabis cultivation operation.

On arrival, no persons were located at the property although evidence at the scene suggested several people were trespassing and residing on the property.

This is a remote piece of property where the property owner requested the assistance from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office after locating a trespassing marijuana/cannabis operation on the property.

COMMET found several acres of private property had been removed (clear cut) and thirteen (13) plastic style hoop houses were constructed. Not all the hoop houses contained growing marijuana/cannabis as some had been recently harvested and were no longer at the location.

A total of 2,056 illegal marijuana/cannabis plants and 106.8 pounds of processed marijuana/cannabis were destroyed at the location.

While investigating this particular property, distinct roads/trails were observed leaving this same property which entered onto government lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management (Case# 2021-20277). A helicopter, which was being used by law enforcement located three (3) more plastic hoop houses just north on BLM property. Based on the roads and vehicle tracks, it was clear this operation was connected to the illegal trespassing marijuana/cannabis cultivation operation.

This BLM property contained 4,000 marijuana/cannabis plants, which were eradicated/destroyed on scene.

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Case# 2021-20244

The aforementioned law enforcement personnel responded to the 20000 block of Hollands Lane in Willits where a search warrant was served regarding an unlawful marijuana/cannabis operation. On arrival, a female subject was observed actively "trimming" marijuana. The female subject attempted to flee the property and after a short foot pursuit, she was caught/detained.

Three (3) other persons were later contacted on the property during the search warrant service.

During this investigation, 913 illegal marijuana/cannabis plants were found at the location and ultimately eradicated and destroyed. In addition to the growing plants there were 1,756.8 pounds of hanging/drying marijuana/cannabis found at the location and also destroyed other than what was retained as evidence per state law.

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The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank all law enforcement personnel who participated in the targeted operations to include the following:

County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET)

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau

Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF)

United States Customs and Border Protection

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IT WAS A WOMAN who drove me to drink. And you know, I don't think I ever thanked her.

— W.C. Fields

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RICHARD HARGREAVES died this morning in Redding. Old timers around the county will remember this modest, shy man as a union business agent for the IWA out of Fort Bragg when Fort Bragg was a one-industry timber town plus fishing, and not particularly welcoming to a liberal Democrat like Mr. H., as skeptical of modern Democrats as he was of Georgia-Pacific. He always described himself as “an old union bum,” but he was a bum who always worked, married to one woman he outlived and raised daughters who took care of him when he was unable to care for himself. I'll miss Richard's calls, his many anecdotes about his life in Mendocino County, his wryly humorous reactions to contemporary events.

ANNUAL BILLIONS fund how many intelligence agencies besides the arch blunderers at the FBI and CIA? Sixteen? And, like 911 that got us to Afghanistan in the first place, this week's collapse of the Afghan army went unpredicted, so far as we know. We learned way after the fact that an FBI agent had expressed alarm at the dozen Arabs taking a unique version of pilot training in Florida that skipped the lessons in how to land. She was apparently regarded as a crackpot and ignored, which is ironic given that the FBI was founded by a crackpot who stayed in office by blackmailing politicians. 

AND the alleged super-cops under-estimated the yobbos' January 6th assault on Congress, probably because like most rational Americans they thought they were like their leader — fat assed blowhards too cowardly to attempt, let alone carry out, a true insurrection. It was a riot, not an insurrection, and no way that mob should have penetrated Corporate Headquarters.

THE DEATH of my old friend, Hargreaves, and recent events in Afghanistan, suddenly reminded me of the Redwood Summer demo in Fort Bragg. Unlike the annual billions wasted on national intelligence, then-Sheriff Tuso was ready for it. There were cops on top of cops in Fort Bragg, and cops on the rooftops for that one, cops from as far away as Alameda County standing between the eco-gang and several hundred bellering counter-demonstrators, among them a young guy I'd coached in Little League specifically denouncing me as a muthafugga. In that one, there was a dramatic moment when a Fort Bragg man, Duane Potter, a local man with a well-earned reputation as a tough guy, looked out at the braying mob of his friends and neighbors to tell them that Earth First! was right, the forests had been cashed in by G-P. Nobody dared call Duane a muthafugga. And both mobs parted, peacefully. Things were tense on the Northcoast in 1990, and if Sheriff Tuso hadn't been prepared for the worst, there could have been the worst. Contrast Tuso's tactical sagacity to preclude local violence with the billions frittered away on federal prognosticators tasked with heading off national and international disasters. No contest.

WHEN poor old doddering Joe tottered up to read his scripted words on his teleprompter, for the first time in the grasping hack's life I felt a twinge of sympathy for him. Apart from his (his handler's) lame attempt to put the blame elsewhere, and not that the blame he placed was off-target, but it's the command structure that's the prob, at least that's where the blame should be placed according to the Boonville logistics manual. Biden did inherit a mess and an inevitable exit both he and his predecessor wanted. The CIA and the generals on the ground should have foreseen the collapse of the Afghan army, and should have had hurry-up contingency plans for a hasty exit, including a perimeter defense of the airport. Flying in Marines after widespread panic to secure the airport? Really? So there it is, another fiasco to leave us wondering at the stupefying incompetence of the people in charge. Which seems to be nobody.

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WHO CARES HEADLINE of the day: "Stephen Colbert Admits Biden Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal"

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 17, 2021

Alvarez, Blahut, Finnegan

NICOLE ALVAREZ, Yucaipa/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

MICHAEL BLAHUT, Probation revocation.

SEAN FINNEGAN, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, under influence.

Luckett, Maruffo, Roberts

DEAUDRE LUCKETT, Arcata/Willits. Fugitive from justice.

NATHAN MARUFFO, Stewart’s Point/Ukiah. Criminal threats, resistinng.

CHERRI ROBERTS, Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

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Exiting Vietnam, 1975
Exiting Afghanistan, 2021

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PRESIDENT BIDEN put a popular flag-waving wrapping on America’s forced withdrawal from Afghanistan in his 4 PM speech on Monday. It was as if all this was following Biden’s own intentions, not a demonstration of the totally incompetent assurances by the CIA and State Department as recently as last Friday that the Taliban was over a month away from being able to enter Kabul. Instead of saying that the massive public support for the Taliban replacing the United States showed the incompetent hubris of U.S. intelligence agencies – which itself would have justified Biden’s agreement to complete the withdrawal with all haste – he doubled down on his defense of the Deep State and its mythology. 

— Michael Hudson

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WE FIGHT for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors' victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph.

— T.S. Eliot

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Americans are a pretty accepting bunch of people. As a general rule, we do not like to judge others. We have our own personal north star — values that guide us and point us in the right direction. However, there comes a time when we have to say the obvious out loud. Maybe even from the rooftops. 

One of our two major political parties is completely off the rails. They have endorsed a former president who is callow and has only one guiding principle: to obtain and hold power. 

All else revolves around that goal. Truth does not matter, only the fictional narratives that will feed the possibility that he, and he alone, can control things. The pandemic is a hoax. Joe Biden did not win the election. The insurrection was a love fest. Immigrants are horrible and our biggest problem. Climate change is for Europeans to foolishly worry about. 

No longer can we as a people accept this frame of mind as our reality. For goodness sake, get off the fence and start howling like you mean it, or the ship of democracy is heading to Davey Jones’ locker. 

Noel J. O’Neill


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The Arena Cove Parking Lot Rehabilitation Project is set to fully kick-off next week beginning Monday, August 23rd, with preparation of riprap placement, erosion control, and mobilization. Portions of the Cove parking lot will be closed. 

The City will update residents and businesses regularly for the duration of the Project. These updates will inform you of construction scheduling and any impacts to Arena Cove activities during heavier construction periods. Notices will be posted at City Hall, businesses in the Cove, the Pier, and the Post Office. 

For more information about the Arena Cove Parking Lot Rehabilitation Project please contact Richard Shoemaker, Special Projects Manager, at 707-882-2122 or by email, 

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THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE STARS would have disappeared long ago had they been within the reach of certain predatory human hands.

— Havelock Ellis

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1. The primary source of water for redwoods is water that is extracted by redwood roots from the ground, not water from fog. It is likely that the reason Coast Redwoods are found naturally in the California fog belt is that the ocean influence has provided a place with a temperate climate that allowed them to survive the last 2 million years of periodic ice ages. Coast Redwoods do not grow where their roots will freeze in the winter.

2. The limiting factor for redwood forest growth is available ground water for transpiration, not sunlight for photosynthesis. A redwood forest will be limited by water before it is limited by sunlight. This means that, optimally, redwoods are growing best where openings exist in the forest, and some sunlight is hitting the ground. A closed canopy redwood forest is “overstocked”.

3. Redwoods are shade intolerant. They are required to have some direct sunlight in order to grow, and do poorly or die when completely shaded.

4. Redwood roots run deep and far. They are not shallow, and are commonly found to be the deepest roots of any tree species in a redwood forest. They also run far, and can be found 100 feet or more from their associated tree.

5. Redwoods can be poor competitors compared to other tree species they share the forest with. Douglas fir trees will outcompete redwood trees in height growth when the two are grown together in an even age forest. Douglas fir will outcompete redwood trees in height growth even when the redwoods get a 20 year head start. Tan oak will out compete redwoods for soil moisture when the two are grown together in an even age forest resulting in greatly compromised redwood growth. In high graded stands where Douglas fir, and tan oak are left, and redwood removed, redwood growth remains diminished, despite redwood stump sprouting, and the increased growth seen in residual redwoods.

6. When a redwood forest is thinned, or has significant competing vegetation removed, like in the case of tan oak control, the positive growth response, in the remaining redwoods, is seen the following year. If the treatment is done early enough in the growth year, the response will be seen in the same year. There is no “two year wait period” for shade needles to be replaced with sun needles. The exception is with over story removal or high grading, which are not considered to be the best silvicultural practices.

7. The site index for redwood trees is not a constant. The rate of height growth of a redwood tree can be influenced by competition for soil moisture from other tree species, and from other competing redwoods as well.

8. When making long term economic decisions about a redwood forest; spacing, size, and age of trees are generally inappropriate metrics to be used as guides. Redwoods grow in clumps, or groups, and not commonly as individuals. Openings between redwood clumps might appear understocked, but in fact are completely exploited by redwood roots. Regardless of size, or age a redwood tree can exhibit the ability to grow well, and at a high percent growth rate when thinned or released from competition. The biggest, or tallest redwoods in an even age stand, or clump, are the fastest growing, and have the highest percent growth rates.

9. Redwoods don’t require fire; are damaged by fire; if growing in a managed forest grow better without fire; though in the last 13,000 years redwoods have benefited from fire. The historical benefits from periodic human caused burning of redwood forests was from the control of other competing tree species less able to adapt to, and withstand burning than redwood trees. That does not mean burning redwoods today is necessary, or desirable. The redwood forest that existed before logging, was a forest that had evolved, and adapted to human caused periodic burning. It was also a forest that had been released from the presence of megafauna, at about the same time as the introduction of human caused burning. Those megafauna would include at least one specie of ground sloth, mastodons, and short-faced bears. The redwood forest that existed before logging is not inherently, or necessarily “natural”, or desirable today. To better understand redwood forests it is more appropriate to understand redwood forest evolution, and adaption, that existed during the 2 million + years before humans came to America. 13,000 years is a short time in terms of forest evolution. Most of the redwood tree genes that exist today, go back much further than 13,000 years.

10. Redwood trees suffer disease, and pests. They are not disease, and pest free. Rodents; from voles, to wood rats, to every specie of squirrel present, will strip bark from redwoods to get to the sugar in the cambium. The result is mortality, decay, and/or deformity of the bole of the tree above where the bark has been removed. Bears commonly strip the bark of redwoods to reach the cambium sugar, often causing tree mortality. Redwoods also can develop fungal cankers that will deform, and can be permanently debilitating. 

There are likely more diseases of redwoods out there that remain unrecognized, simply because we assume those diseases don’t exist, so we aren’t looking for them.

George Hollister, March 25, 2019


* * *

Climbing The Old Noyo Foghorn Pole


  1. Craig Stehr August 18, 2021

    Following an evening of watching the extensively awful news on major media sites, it is clear that there is nowhere to go and no place to hide. Therefore, aside from developing one’s precious spiritual life, there is nothing more crucial than accruing money to finance the global eco-revolution on the planet earth. If this resonates with you, I invite you to work with me. ~Peaceout~

    Craig Louis Stehr
    P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470
    No Phone–Gave It Away
    August 18th, 2021 Anno Domini

  2. Marmon August 18, 2021


    I think we’re getting pretty close to having our first woman President. My only question is who it will be, Kamala or Nancy?

    By the way, has anyone seen Kamala lately? I wonder what she’s up to?


    • Harvey Reading August 18, 2021

      Biden had her executed several days ago. Didn’t you hear?

  3. Lazarus August 18, 2021

    Perhaps Harris is being groomed for the big chair. If that’s possible…
    But as mentioned today in the Ed Notes, there is a snippet of sympathy for the man.
    Obama supposedly said at the beginning of the Biden run, You don’t have to do this Joe.
    This thing reeks of not ending well for Joe Biden.
    As always,

  4. Rye N Flint August 18, 2021

    Gets fun around 4:20pm

  5. Justin Ford August 18, 2021

    sure bush and co were responsible for the afghanistan war. so were the many members of congress, including biden/obama and many others still in office, the national media for perpetuating the lies, and all those before them (Britain) who chose that country to serve as a geopolitical location for their own destructive needs. no one will be held accountable and in fact we the people will be blamed. just as always.


    • George Hollister August 18, 2021

      Al Qaeda, based and hosted by the Taliban in Afghanistan took out the Twin Towers in New York. Were there any other options available, other than going in there?

      • Justin Ford August 18, 2021

        I’m no expert but from what I’ve gathered is our own government has a lot to do with what happened leading up to that horrible day. Also, I’m fairly certain that most of the hijackers we’re from Saudi Arabia.

        I’m just a common man so when it comes to attacking high finance skyscrapers, I wouldn’t know what to do. But as a comman man who reads all sides of stories, it’s very plausible that we’ve been fooled for quite awhile. I don’t believe it it’s so cut and dry.


      • Rye N Flint August 18, 2021

        I could ask the obvious 911 truther question… How did Al-Qaeda “take out” World Trade Center Tower 7?

        And how did it fall at the same rate as the acceleration of gravity without a controlled demolition? Since we are on the subject of unique peculiarities.

        • Justin Ford August 18, 2021

          That’s a good question with whom many different people have provided many different answers. To some, it’s obviously controlled demolition. To others, it could be a gut punch to the cognitive dissonance much of our beloved population suffers from.

          To me, the current happening in Afghanistan shows just how much, we the everyday people, have been lied to. It feels like the powers that be have drained our pockets to fund their “wars”. Same as it ever was. Born into it I suppose.

          • Rye N Flint August 18, 2021

            Vietnam version 3.0

  6. Justin Ford August 18, 2021

    I don’t need any fatties to understand the situation lol

    I’m very familiar with the work Adam Curtis does. I’ve seen all his films thus far, more than once.

    He’s not entirely correct in a lot of his docs but I do appreciate his effort to get people thinking beyond the narrative being told/sold.


  7. Rye N Flint August 18, 2021


    Speaking of heading for the rocks.

    Did the supes have any solutions or real comments on the Grand Jury report on the dismal state of housing in Mendo county?

  8. Harvey Reading August 19, 2021


    Hoped someone else would catch it yesterday, but guess not…maybe no one even bothered to read the piece…and I find it hard to find fault with that.

    I have never heard anyone say that redwoods absorb water through their leaves. I HAVE heard it said that fog droplets collect on the leaves (“needles”) until the droplets become large (thus heavy) enough for gravity to make them roll off the leaves and fall to the ground, where some of the “shed” fog water eventually becomes available to the tree roots. It provides a much better explanation for the species to be restricted to the “fog belt” than your long-winded gas bagging, for which you have a limited amount of local “fame”.

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