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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021

Sunny Warm | Smoke Returning | 67 New Cases | 4 More Deaths | Restaurant Signs | Walnut Cowboy | Noyo Dry | AV Home | Budget Fuss | Derwinski Books | Andrews Resignation | Weed Moratorium | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Farmer Dell | Fire Anti-Vaxers | Unmasked Elites | Own It | Piano Silence | Great Reset | Driver's Choice | Get Vaxed | Unjust Sentencing | Hard Right | Hell Smoke | Burger Bribe | Asters | Google Pizza | Don't Vaccinate | Host Nations

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SUNNY SKIES, warm and dry conditions will continue today, even at the coastal areas. As an upper level trough passes by, some cooling of the interior is expected on Wednesday and coastal areas may see a few more marine layer clouds. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Yorkville 96°, Ukiah 95°, Boonville 94°, Fort Bragg 74°

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After a short break from wildfire smoke — thanks to the recent rains that knocked down the fires to the north of us — the smoke returns, this time from the south, from the southern Sierra fires. This morning's satellite view shows how far the smoke drifted north overnight due to the wind shift. Point Arena is just outside of the smoke, which will continue to drift north.

You can see the corresponding air quality drop in the PurpleAir map.

NOAA's air quality forecast for today through tomorrow shows moderate levels of air pollution returning to our area, until the offshore winds shift again.

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67 NEW COVID CASES and 4 deaths (since last Friday) reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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Mendocino County Public Health has been notified of 4 Mendocino County residents who have died from COVID-19 recently. 

Death #72: 66 year old woman from Gualala; fully vaccinated with multiple comorbidities; deceased 9/12 in Riverside County while travelling. 

Death #73: 79 year old man from Ukiah; not vaccinated; deceased 9/17.

Death #74: 85 year old woman from Ukiah; fully vaccinated with multiple comorbidities; deceased 9/17. 

Death #75: 98 year old woman from Ukiah; fully vaccinated; deceased 9/20.

“We are definitively experiencing a recent surge in deaths, perhaps associated with Labor Day,” reported Dr. Andy Coren, Mendocino County's Public Health Officer. “While several of this recent group were vaccinated, they were elderly and with many co-morbidities. Overall, however, vaccines are proven effective.” 

At this time Public Health asks all Mendocino County residents to exercise caution when placing themselves in situations that could expose them to COVID-19, especially considering the more infectious Delta variant. Mendocino County Public Health asks that you follow all CDC and CDPH guidance. Vaccination, masking and social distancing remain the best options for combating the COVID-19 Virus. 

We send our condolences to all family and friends of the deceased.

(Mendocino County Presser)

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“With the urgent need to reduce transmission of the aggressive COVID-19 Delta variant in Mendocino County, the Public Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren has announced a new Health Order. Businesses that serve food or drink indoors, where the virus is more easily transmitted, will display one of three signs that explains what precautions that business is taking to limit the spread of the virus.”

The Order requires that owners post the signs to inform their patrons by November 1, 2021. Of course some businesses may choose to post their signs immediately. If they do not, law enforcement could impose fines for non-compliance.

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Fair Exhibit, 2021

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by Chris Calder

Fort Bragg entered an official “water crisis” last week when the city council voted unanimously to raise the town’s phased set of water use restrictions to “Stage 4,” triggering significant new cutbacks on water use.

Outdoor watering of lawns and gardens — except for vegetable gardens — with city treated water is banned. So is pretty much any other outdoor water use — construction, car washing, power-washing, filling pools or ponds — unless someone has their own private well. Motels and inns are banned from laundering sheets and towels for anything less than a three-day stay. Restaurants are banned from offering water to customers except on request. All those things can still be done with a city-issued exemption, but exemptions are going to be much harder to get, City Manager Tabatha Miller told council members Monday night before they voted 5-0 in favor of the new rules.

The move was prompted by the expected petering out of the Noyo River as a viable water source. The river, at record low flows since early July, is at times unmeasurable —- for all practical purposes dry at the city’s upstream water untake — at other times so mixed with salt water during high tides that using it would damage the city’s treatment plant.

A combination of “Plan B’s,” plus record water conservation by Fort Bragg’s residents and businesses, has kept the city from bottoming out its water supply this summer. Fort Bragg even resumed very limited water sales last week, as a handful of trucks started making their way from Ukiah with county-subsidized water deliveries to Fort Bragg’s treatment plant, and then to customers in unincorporated areas on the Coast whose wells have dried up.

A desalination package plant unit is expected to arrive September 20, according to Miller, that is hoped to make Noyo River water usable during high tides and low river flows, closing a major gap in the city’s supply problems. Along with desal, the Fort Bragg Unified School District has agreed to connect its productive landscaping wells to the city’s treatment plant. Between them, Miller said, the city should be able to “eke by.”

None of those measures would be nearly as effective if Fort Bragg hadn’t already cut back on water use this summer as it never has before. In June, the town was using about 700,000 gallons per day, nearly 200,000 gallons less than the per-day average over the past six years, according to City Hall data. By mid-August, water use had dropped to less than 600,000 daily gallons, fully a quarter less than at the same time last year.

Even so, the Council went ahead with yet tighter restrictions, reacting to both an unprecedented supply situation and unproven (and still not arrived) technology.

“We will eke by if something happens and we don’t get the desalination unit up and running,” Miller said. “But if we get it running, it gives us that breathing room to not have to worry about it (running dry) through the end of the year.”

She emphasized the difficulty of evaluating an unprecedented situation, as plumetting Noyo River levels have eclipsed anything measured before. The Noyo dropped below its previous record lows (1977) around the beginning of July; city measurements show an ominous flat line since September 2, meaning there is still water in the riverbed, but physically too little to pump. The good dose of rain last weekend will provide a bump, no doubt, but nothing more. Without extended rain, Fort Bragg will continue to rely on backup supplies and auxiliary sources. As of last week, the largest of those, the Summers Lane reservoir, was 65% full. At current use levels, the reservoir is projected to fall to 10% by Dec. 1, assuming no significant rainfall.

Miller said whether it rains significantly in the next couple of months will make the difference between just scraping by and not scraping by, whatever that might mean.

“Back in 2015 and 1977, all the bad years, that’s the record —- all we had to do is make it through mid-September,” when it started raining, she said. “What we’re looking at now and questioning is, last year we really didn’t get rain until November. If that’s the pattern, we’ve got two more months to go. September and October will be what makes or breaks us.” 

Garbage Contract 

The council gave the go-ahead to negotiate with a new trash hauler. After joining with county government to solicit bids for the next decade of waste disposal, rather than negotiate its own contract as it has in the past, four council members accepted city staff’s recommendation to try to work out a deal with CIS instead of Waste Management, Inc., which has hauled Fort Bragg’s trash since the mid-1990s. Solid Waste of Willits also bid on the contract but was turned down.

Council member Marcia Rafanan voted against changing haulers, saying she was concerned for the fate of current Waste Management workers, many of whom are longtime employees with local roots. She and other council members quizzed a CIS representative over how workers would fare with the change.

The company spokesman promised that, beyond the 90 days of employment guaranteed current Waste Management workers in any potential contract, CIS was interested in keeping all the local workers it could, and that things like paid time off, vacation and health benefits would be protected. 

According to city staff, CIS offered slightly lower rates and scored at least as well in various other categories that Fort Bragg and Mendocino County governments used to evaluate the three companies.

The council voted 4-1 (Rafanan dissenting) to start negotiating a new contract with CIS. 

Wildlife Ordinance 

The council gave a unanimous OK to the first reading of an ordinance to discourage the feeding of wildlife, especially on the Fort Bragg coastal trail. With testimony before them from trailgoers, Fort Bragg High School biology students, and the Audubon Society, the council advanced the new law designed to gently persuade those disposed to feed the wild things — especially ground squirrels and very especially ravens — not to.

It was generally agreed that Fort Bragg’s raven count is skyrocketing and that some ground squirrels on the coastal trail have reached the dimensions of little footballs. The Audubon Society’s Dave Jensen, who is conducting a years-long study of the coast’s oyster-catchers (the noisy orange and black birds that hang out in the tidepools) said Fort Bragg’s headlands are noticeably bare of oyster-catcher nests. The town’s burgeoning population of ravens — well-known egg stealers — are a very likely culprit, Jensen said.

Overall, according to city staff, well-intentioned humans give wildlife food that isn’t nearly as nutritious as what they can and should find on their own, and the resulting population clusters can spread disease and encourage bad behavior (nipping, etc.) among the animals.

The ordinance generally limits the size of private bird feeders as well, which gave some council members concern about regulatory over-reach. They were assured by staff that the ordinance will be entirely complaint-driven and that the intent is to educate, not punish, although repeat offenders would be sternly warned, and incorrigibles liable for a $100 fine. The council approved the ordinance’s first reading 5-0, with a final vote expected in October.

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Old Home, Anderson Valley

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ONLINE EXCHANGE FROM MENDOCINO NEWS PLUS Commenting on Mark Scaramella’s recent “CEO: Still Refusing After All These Years

Karen Lee: “She's got to go!! Fire Angelo!!!”

Patrice Byarlay: “Pretty obvious that she’s on the take.”

Rebel Kulchaa: “Her annual salary is more than Governor Newsom's.”

John McCowen: “We don't know if the CEO "is on the take" or not because there is little or no accountability or transparency. Her primary motivation seems to be an unbridled lust for power. And she does have a lot of power and does not hesitate to use it. In addition to being the CEO she is also the Clerk of the Board, the Purchasing Agent (up to $50,000 an unlimited number of times for anything she wants to spend it on), the Risk Manager, and also controls every County Department except for the 5 countywide elected positions but among those, except for the DA and Sheriff she has some influence for fear she will retaliate against their budgets or hiring. Unfortunately, County Counsel, who ought to be a check against her abusive behavior, is her chief enabler. If County Counsel were competent and ethical the County would not be in a legal spat with the Sheriff. It's a very sad state of affairs.”

John McCowen: “As far as regular budget reports, Supervisor Gjerde and I have been calling for this at least since 2014, maybe since 2012, but the CEO never delivers because she doesn't want to. Unfortunately, there have never been 3 Supervisors willing to hold her accountable so she is allowed to get away with whatever she wants.”

Don Crawford: “You can only blame the CEO for something like this once (maybe twice), then the BOS owns it. This tail wagging the dog has gone on far too long; this newish board needs to know who’s in charge and act like it.”

John McCowen: “I was cautiously optimistic when two new Supervisors took office in January. I think 4 of the Supervisors see what's going on. I think at least two don't like it. But there obviously are not three willing to do anything about it. In fact I'm not sure there's one willing to do anything about it. It's a sad state of affairs. She constantly sets the Board up to rubber stamp her policy directives instead of first bringing the item to the Board for discussion and direction. Instead, things often appear out of nowhere, sometimes after she's invested $50,000 plus significant staff time in the item. If the Board refuses to rubber stamp her policy direction it means they've just wasted $50,000 and a bunch of staff time. That's just one scenario. The bottom line is she's out of control. But as you point out, that's on the Board because they're letting her get away with it.”

Rebecca Spanich: “Typical politics…. Made harder to enforce or do anything about due to small town mentality and everyone believing they are friends with these people, thinking they have the area’s best interest at heart.”

(Ed Note: As the Major said in the original article “Mendocino County remains the only government agency in all of Mendocino County which steadfastly refuses to produce ordinary monthly budget reports.” And according to former Supervisor McCowen the Supes have only been asking for the budget reports for 7 to 9 years. And have been met with 7 to 9 years of excuses and refusals from CEO Angelo. The need for “trainings” has been the excuse for the last three years. All of a sudden Angelo is attempting to fix the blame on the Auditor-Controller, a convenient scapegoat since the elected incumbent, Lloyd Weer, just retired. The constant requests and refusals make the Supes look weak and ineffectual, which they are. Angelo ought to do them a favor and just tell them she’s never going to produce the requested budget reports so stop asking.)

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LONG-TIME AV COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT GENERAL MANAGER JOY ANDREWS has told the CSD Board that she will be resigning and moving to Oregon next spring. Board Chair Valerie Hanelt writes: 

“Joy Andrews, our incomparable District Manager for the last 11 plus years told the Board last Wednesday night that she would be tendering her resignation as of May 1, 2022. Joy informed us that she will be moving to the Portland, OR area. She outlined her plan for the transition; helping with the search, training the new employee over several months, developing a binder that covers all the minutia of her job (it will be huge), being available by phone, and trying to assure us that she will do everything possible to leave us in good hands. Nevertheless, we are devastated to lose such a valuable and loved team member. We wish nothing but the best for her and some lucky employer will bless their lucky stars she came to Portland.”

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FROM the Sunday edition of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: 

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COVELO always seems to exist in a state of tension, but tensions over last week's shooting of a young Whipple by a young Lincoln are higher than they've been since the tribal infighting of the late 1990s, which resulted in the famous trial of Bear Lincoln who was found not guilty of the murder of Mendocino County deputy, Bob Davis, himself a Native American and former Navy Seal. A week ago Wednesday, near Covelo's Buckhorn bar, Dino (Lincoln) Blackbear and Carina Carillo apparently got into an argument with Mr. Whipple, whose full name has not yet been released. 

Blackbear, Carillo

Whipple died from gunshots presumed to have been fired by Lincoln. Lincoln was subsequently arrested in Fort Bragg and booked into the County Jail on murder charges. Ms. Carrillo is still being sought.

JOHN McCOWEN asked if I'd publish his views on the Bari Bombing lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department and the FBI. I said I wasn't interested. McCowen used to follow me around calling me a liar at public forums. The lies alleged were either mistakes needing correction or a fact he and the rest of the Bari claque claimed was a lie, such as Bari's attempt soon after the bombing to get limited exemption from prosecution from the FBI, a fact that would indicate to rational people that she knew what happened to her. A lie is a deliberate falsification and should be easily refuted. The Bari Cult, and McCowen, simply make the assertion of lying without explaining what the lie is. Darryl Cherney, a co-conspirator in all this, dismissed me as a liar again at the kickoff event for a month of hagiographic lying by the Bari Cult at the County Museum in Willits, during which no one has been invited to present the dissenting opinion. McCowen, incidentally, has never explained his role in these events, beginning with his renting his property at 106 Standley, Ukiah, to self-certified environmentalists where, in my opinion, the federal government monitored Redwood Summer events.

FIRST MET KELSEY HARNIST when he was a little homeschooled kid living behind three locked gates wayyyyy up on Clow Ridge, Philo. If you look up kinda northeast from the Philo Post Office you're looking at Clow Ridge. Getting there takes the better part of an hour. Kelsey came down off the mountain for his high school years which, academically, seemed a wash for him since his skills already qualified him for the faculty. My home schooling theory has always been that homeschooled children, contrary to the myth of teen socialization, tend to be better educated and more socially adept than their public school peers simply because the home schooled aren't raised as a separate species from adults. We enjoyed having Kelsey as an intern at the AVA because we could take advantage of his proofreading skills, and trust him to do basic newspaper stuff extravagantly compensated editors at places like the Press Democrat have not quite mastered.

SO THE KID from Clow Ridge went on to Stanford and is now Vice President, Mainstreet Card at Capital One Washington, DC. Managing products and services for millions of existing Capital One customers. (2 years in this position, 14 years in financial industry.) Graduated from AV High in 2003. Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford in 2007 in International Relations.

I HAPPEN to have a Capital One card for which, like all Americans, I pay an extortionate rate of interest, usurious and one of the mortal sins back in the Moses days, and maybe if Kelsey sees this he can give me the same rate the big banks get for their loans — zero percent. 

ANYWAY, In August of 2012 Kelsey married fellow Stanford student Monica Bhattacharya, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who is now a civil rights attorney/administrative law judge with the US Labor Department.

WOW! A DC power couple! And to think it all began on a ridgetop in the always surprising Anderson Valley.

WHILE WE'RE UP on Clow Ridge, the remaining Clow from the branch of the Clows the ridge and other Valley landmarks are named after, Norman Clow himself, now of Spring, Texas, stopped in for a Fair weekend visit. The only happy Republican I know, Norman and wife Ruth, were catching up with old friends and relatives, of which they have many from their many years in the Anderson Valley.

I WAS INTRIGUED by the chin-up bar concession at the Fair. The sign said if you could hang from it for “100 seconds” you would win a hundred bucks. “Heck, even I, in my state of advanced decrepitude could do that. But it would cost me ten bucks to do it and Anne Fashauer had just walked by so there was no one to show off for. “Yo, Anne, watch this!” Then it occurred to me there must be a hook, a trick. Anybody, darn near, could hang from a metal bar for less than two minutes. Fortunately for me, the booth was unattended or I would have lost a quick ten bucks. The trick, I learned later, is the bar spins, making it impossible for all but the super strong to hang on.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 20, 2021

Ault, Behrns, Blackbear, Carrilo

KYLE AULT, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

OMIE BEHRNS, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, domestic battery.

DINO BLACKBEAR (Lincoln), Covelo. Murder, use of firearm during commission of serious felony, prior felony enhancement.

JAVIER CARRILO-PEREZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation, no license.

Christoph, Cribari, Delgado, Guillen


DAKOTA CRIBARI, Willits. Parole violation.

JOHNY DELGADO, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.

JOSE GUILLEN-ZUNIGA, Philo. Domestic battery.

Lopez, J.Magdaleno, L.Magdaleno

ANTONIO LOPEZ JR., Hopland. Protective order violation.

JORDAN MAGDALENO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

LUNA MAGDALENO, Ukiah. Burglary during emergency, vandalism, probation revocation.

Sanderson, Waters, Whipple

JACOB SANDERSON, Ukiah. Conspiracy.

JESSE WATERS, Willits. Suspended license.

LEONARD WHIPPLE, Covelo. County parole violation.

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The many lawsuits and settlements involving local law enforcement agencies seem to have a couple things in common: the offending officer’s lack of critical thinking skills and a total absence of empathy for the community in which they serve. The scientific community has developed a fantastic opportunity to help rid police forces of miscreants. The police officers refusing vaccination (for reasons other than actual real medical reasons) are obviously exhibiting poor critical thinking skills and a lack of empathy for the public they swore to protect. Fire all the anti-vaxers immediately and eliminate at least some of the ignorant conspiracy theorists who happen to wear a badge and carry a gun. The now and future benefits would far outweigh the temporary manpower shortage.

Stuart Caveney

Santa Rosa

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by Maureen Dowd

What ever happened to the good old-fashioned art of Owning It?

Our culture is awash in people who get called out for their behavior and then retreat behind some victim-y excuse. If you’re going to go for it, go for it.

The ne plus ultra of this charade is Elizabeth Holmes, who is on trial for being a big fraud after she pretended to have invented a simpler, cheaper way to do blood tests with a finger prick.

Holmes plans to blame her behavior on “a decade long campaign of psychological abuse” perpetuated by her former boyfriend and business partner, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani — a charge he denies.

In a New York Times essay, Ellen Pao, a former tech executive, suggested that, while Holmes should be held accountable, “it can be sexist to hold her accountable for alleged serious wrongdoing and not hold an array of men accountable for reports of wrongdoing or bad judgment.”

Sexism this ain’t, sisters. Holmes went for it. She became the youngest female self-made billionaire by spinning gold out of blood. She really put the con in Silicon Valley. And the Steve Jobs-wannabe in the black turtleneck was buoyed by many powerful men on her board — including George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, Jim Mattis and David Boies — who were rooting for a young woman to break into the club of boy geniuses conjuring unicorns.

Balwani will also be tried on fraud charges in January. But Holmes was no delicate flower.

“If you release a buggy software program before it’s ready, no one’s going to die,” John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story and wrote the bestseller “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” told me. (He has a podcast by the same name.) “Holmes was operating a medical device startup. She commercialized a product that patients and doctors relied on to make important health decisions. She was gambling with people’s lives.”

Of the allegations that Balwani abused her and “held her in his psychological grip,” Carreyrou said that based on his reporting and research, “I don’t buy it. Everyone I talked to who worked at Theranos and observed them closely said it was a partnership of equals, and if anyone had the last say, it was Elizabeth. She controlled 99.7% of the voting rights.”

Sexism exists. But we shouldn’t reorient our society so that people can simply wrap themselves in an identity cloak when identity is not the issue. Virtue should not be defined by who you are, putting you beyond reproach and preventing judgments about what you did. That would leave whole sectors of society exempt from moral evaluation.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala. While some championed the provocation, the congresswoman’s “Tax the Rich” gown drew sharp statements from across the political spectrum

That brings us to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She said her “Tax the Rich” turn at the Met gala “punctured the 4th wall of excess and spectacle.” Sure, whatever.

Maybe it wasn’t what Karl Marx had in mind. Bernie Sanders wouldn’t have done it. But if AOC wanted to get glammed up and pal around with the ruling class at an event that’s the antithesis of all she believes in, a gala that makes every thoughtful American feel like Robespierre, she should have just gone for it.

Don a beautiful dress, let helpers carry the train, have fun and ignore the inevitable charges of hypocrisy. She should have adopted the philosophy of another frequent guest of that gala, Kate Moss: never complain, never explain.

Instead, AOC tried to have it both ways. The socialist Jackie O. Vogued in a virtue-signaling garment with an anodyne slogan, expressing a view that a majority of Americans already hold.

Rather than Owning It, she put out a bloviating statement on Instagram, chalking up all criticism to sexism and racism.

“Honestly our culture is deeply disdainful and unsupportive of women, especially women of color and working class women (And LGBTQ/immigrant/etc),” she wrote. 

Really, the working-class card, at the Met gala? She added: “The more intersections one has, the deeper the disdain. I am so used to doing the same exact thing that men do — including popular male progressive elected officials — and getting a completely different response.”

I found this statement to be at the intersection of disingenuous and hilarious, coming from the woman who is a phenomenon and a trailblazer in wielding image and social media to her advantage.

Her response was cynical. And it wasn’t the first time that she had failed to consider that people can disagree with her without disagreeing with her identity.

Two years ago, after she and three other progressive congresswomen voted against the House’s version of a border bill, Nancy Pelosi said that they were simply four people with four votes.

AOC riposted with the absurd charge that Pelosi was targeting “newly elected women of color,” smearing the speaker, who has spent her life battling for the downtrodden and who helped lift Barack Obama into the Oval Office and pass his health care bill.

AOC wasn’t the only House member in the past week who failed to Own It. Pramila Jayapal was the subject of a BuzzFeed News investigation in which former staffers described “a serious disconnect between how she talks about workers’ rights and how she treats her own staff.”

Her current chief of staff, Lilah Pomerance, deflected: “Women of color are often unjustly targeted, regularly held to higher standards than their male colleagues, and always put under a sexist microscope.”

If you want to behave like Miranda Priestly (or Amy Klobuchar) with your staff, Own It.

That’s all.

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THE CRISIS ON THE US / MEXICAN BORDER has suddenly gotten so bad that even the mainstream media had to report on it. The shanty town of Haitians and other foreign nationals moiling under the freeway bridge at Del Rio, Texas, grows by thousands each day, to around 15,000 as of Sunday. “Joe Biden’s” owns the open border, and everybody knows it, and the actual citizens of the USA are getting alarmed and sore about it. On Sunday night, the White House announced “plans” to fly at least 10,000 of the Haitians to Haiti, despite the fact that most of them had been living in Brazil, Chile, and other nations before entering the USA. Haiti, of course, is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and only recently suffered a massive earthquake, not to mention the assassination in July of its president. Does this airlift sound like a plan? Maybe check the “no” box on that. US citizens might have also registered that “Joe B” unloaded 37,000 Afghanis in five states since we bailed on that country August 31, and plans to bring in almost 100,000 by the end of 2022 (Yahoo News). All this at a time when millions of Americans have lost their businesses, lost their jobs, and are under threat of losing more jobs for not getting vaxed.

Think this is enough to cause a national attitude adjustment? China’s financial system has tripped into a liquidity crisis with the insolvency of its colossal Evergrande real estate Ponzi. As I write, US equity markets are down over one percent at the Monday open. Several European markets are down over two percent at their close. Isn’t this a great time for a global financial crisis? Maybe you’re saying, no, not so much. That’d probably be a good call.

Events, you see, are closing in on all the fraught mendacious fakery that permeates the world, and the USA especially, in this time of the proposed “great re-set.” This is the week that will be the week that was. Try to keep your head together while other heads are exploding around you, and see what kind of country we are on Friday. Maybe not quite the same place. 

— James Kunstler

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Dear Editor,

There is a glimmer of light in the ongoing tragic storm that will be remembered as the “Great Covid19 Pandemic.” That tiny patch of light came today from Pfizer’s announcement that it has a children’s vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. It’s important since, with the most recent deadly delta variant, new cases are occurring among this new age group. The FDA will have to approve it before it will be administered. Presently 674,000 Americans have died. 

Get the vaccine if you still haven’t. By opposing getting it, your inaction, along with not wearing a mask and not social distancing, you are speading the deadly virus-thus leading to more deaths. 

I realize some of you think, “You’re NOT the BOSS of me!” This is self-centered, childish, not to mention, deadly. Wake up-please! Get vaccinated. 

Frank Baumgardner, 

Santa Rosa

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There has been a massive push by Fossil Fuel companies to destroy the reliance and trust of Science, and Government Offices accountable for medicine and science in the public interest, precisely because billions of dollars hang in the balance. Eastern European Oligarchs, push endless tons of disinformation designed to undermine science, logic, and democracy, to destroy Democracy everywhere because it ensures that they can point at the failure of democracy, and continue to line their pockets. There is shocking wealth to be made staring people in the eye and lying your hinny clean off, Wallstreet and Yellow Journalism has been cashing that check for over a hundred years in this country alone. 

QAnon never met a conspiracy it didn't like, including The Illuminati, George Soros being Satan Incarnate, Democratic Leaders being Satan Worshippers and Eating Babies, and the Entire Anti-Vax Litany Lock-Stock-And-Barrel... When Pfizer failed to bring their vaccine to market in time to save Donald for the 2020 Election, he made it his mission to punish them, because he blamed them for his losing the election... swearing they did it on purpose to ruin him... the flood of Anti-Vaccine FUD exploded exponentially from QAnon that very day, and you can trace it right back to Donald losing. It didn't help Donald laying the groundwork, for lie after lie about the infection and false cures all through 2020... His people were made ripe for the picking, and they'd been weaned on a steady diet of disinformation, so it was less like a concerted effort, and more like simply dropping the other shoe. 

That is the ocean you've been swimming in Alan. That's why you have such a rich ecology of crazy crap to quote and pick from... 30 million loons can't be all wrong... can they? 

Well, yeah... they can. That's what happens when you take a hard right at reality. 

— Marie Tobias 

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The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook and Instagram pages a thank-you note to Chik-Fil-A and In-N-Out Burger for “donating” dinner to an entire shift of deputies, dispatchers and other personnel. The donation was said to be “in honor of September 11” and the post featured pictures of happy deputies holding bags of free food and tables piled high with more free food in the background.

Perhaps the sheriff and his deputies need a reminder that there is no such thing as a free lunch. These “donated” gifts carry an expensive price tag.

The businesses involved will enjoy the additional security provided by a more visible police presence, a benefit enjoyed at the expense of other businesses. They also expect preferential treatment should they themselves run afoul of the law. Even absent such expectations, the perception of preferential treatment has been made very public. Those unable to buy dinner for an entire shift of deputies are right to question whether fair and impartial treatment can be expected from the Sheriff’s Office.

Gratuities such as these are little more than thinly veiled bribes. They breed a culture of corruption and undermine public trust in law enforcement.

Taxpayers pay a fortune for professional law enforcement. They shouldn’t have to buy it a burger first.

Dan Drummond

Executive director, Sonoma County Taxpayers Association

Santa Rosa

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CALLER: Is this Gordon's Pizza?

GOOGLE: No sir, it's Google Pizza.

CALLER: I must have dialed a wrong number. Sorry.

GOOGLE: No sir, Google bought Gordon’s Pizza last month.

CALLER: OK. I would like to order a pizza.

GOOGLE: Do you want your usual, sir?

CALLER: My usual? You know me?

GOOGLE: According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and meatballs on a thick crust.

CALLER: OK! That’s what I want.

GOOGLE: May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat gluten free thin crust?

CALLER: What? I detest vegetables.

GOOGLE: Your cholesterol is not good, sir.

CALLER: How the hell do you know?

GOOGLE: Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.

CALLER: Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetable pizza! I already take medication for my cholesterol.

GOOGLE: Excuse me sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you only purchased a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at Drug RX Network, 4 months ago.

CALLER: I bought more from another drugstore.

GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.

CALLER: I paid in cash.

GOOGLE: But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.

CALLER: I have other sources of cash.

GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your last tax return unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law.


GOOGLE: I'm sorry, sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.

CALLER: Enough already! I'm sick to death of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others. I'm going to an island without internet or, cable TV, where there is no cell phone service and no one to watch me or spy on me.

GOOGLE: I understand sir, but you need to renew your passport first. It expired six weeks ago…

* * *

* * *


United States42,087,432673,763
(data from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, 9/21/2021)


  1. Marco McClean September 21, 2021

    Hi. Marco here. I’ve sent my latest dream journal entry to Medium. It’s for five days of the last week:

    Also the recording of last Friday night’s Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show, along with lots of not necessarily radio useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items to poke around in, is available at my WordPress weblog, as usual:

    (About an hour of that show, also as usual, is material from the AVA.)

    I’m happy to read your written work aloud Friday night on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg and

    The best way is to just paste the text into the body of an email and send it before you change your mind. (Just like this.)

    Marco McClean,

  2. Kirk Vodopals September 21, 2021

    Couldn’t agree more with Ms Tobias

  3. Marmon September 21, 2021


    I wonder if those folks who had breakthrough cases after being fully vaccinated were told about Monoclonal Antibody Treatment when they were first diagnosed with the virus? I doubt this comment will be posted but I’ll try anyway.

    Experts turn to antibody treatment following swarm of breakthrough COVID-19 infections

    “While authorized vaccines have proven safe and effective in holding the line against COVID-19, they are not 100% effective. Reports of uncommon breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated Americans, coupled with the delta variant tearing through the country, threaten to undermine the fiercely fought wins against the pandemic.

    For the fully vaccinated who do test positive, if you are at high risk for severe infection, health experts are now turning to Food and Drug Administration authorized, virus-fighting monoclonal antibodies in some cases. They are saying it’s safe and beneficial for those who have been vaccinated, but get infected with COVID-19 nonetheless.”


  4. Professor Cosmos September 21, 2021

    Just a heads up on developing news on the biggest story our species has faced to date:
    571 words in the latest defense legislation text call for a vigorous addressing of the ufo matter via a new agency, strong collection and analysis of data, and reports to Congress every 90 days. Many members by now, along with senior DOD and Intel officials, have been shown film of craft in operation that is obviously not human-created tech. A retired government scientist, Bob McGwier, reports that one NSA official said what they were shown 40 minutes of film far wilder than anything seen in sci fi movies, leaving viewers “gobsmacked”.

    Also, Lue Elizondo (retired DOD official) and Chris Mellon (former Deputy Secretary of Defense for Intelligence) were in the tiny nation of San Marino for an annual ufo conference attended by political, military, academic and science leaders from different European countries. Sharing case data, and other things, they prepared for San Marino (with it’s seat in the General Assembly of the UN) and some European nations co sponsoring, to have a vote on establishing an UN agency to address this matter.

    Back in June, when the DOD first report came out, many news anchors expressed concern that what is turning out to be a revealing of an Extraterrestrial presence may be just too much of an added stress at this point, given the pandemic and other heavy or dystopian features of our lives now plainly evident. But, I think Barack Obama is right in saying this may have a unifying effect. (He also noted that some will demand higher defense spending and others would be inclined to form new religions.)

    • Harvey Reading September 21, 2021


      • Brian Wood September 21, 2021


  5. Rye N Flint September 21, 2021

    RE: Dick Seltser and his ridiculous real estate column

    How’s the Market Dick? Horrible. If you make between $50-665k and have a car payment, or student loan debt, You will qualify for a $350k home loan. NO ONE is finding houses under $400k, and those are the bottom of the junk list. I was crying/laughing about this with my Mom last night. She asked how the house hunting was going. I said “What houses?”

    “How’s the Market?

    California is a big state with wildly differing regional housing markets. Counties like Lassen have a median home price of $249,000 while counties like San Mateo have a median price of $1,850,000. Here in Mendocino County, as of mid-June, the median price of a single-family home was about $500,000. In the real estate business, we use the Housing Affordability Index to determine how many families can afford to buy a mid-priced home in their area.
    Interestingly, here in Mendocino County, we match the state average: that is, 27 percent of typical families can afford to buy a median-priced, single-family home, which is down from the same period a year ago when 36 percent of local families could afford such a home. The reason I find this particularly interesting is because Mendocino County construction costs are comparable with construction costs in Lassen County, which speaks to other influences in our regional housing market (some of which I discussed in my last column).

    So where are these median-priced homes and what do they look like? …

    Sometimes, the Housing Affordability Index underestimates the number of people who can afford median-priced homes. The calculation assumes homebuyers have saved enough for a 20-percent down payment, but it does not include all the homebuyers with parents who love them a whole lot and are willing to supply that down payment, or the folks who only report some of their income.

    Sometimes, the Housing Affordability Index overestimates the number of people who can afford a median-priced home because the index uses a flat rate for homeowners insurance. In the Ukiah Valley, homeowners insurance that includes protection against wildfires is expensive, as are policies that include flood insurance for homes in low-lying areas.

    When all is said and done, the important thing to note is that we live in a region where housing prices continue to climb. If you can afford it, now is a good time to buy. If you lock in these extraordinarily low interest rates and you have no plans to sell in the near future, now is a great time to buy.”

  6. Rye N Flint September 21, 2021

    RE: little more than thinly veiled bribe

    Free donuts and coffee have always kept the bakeries crime free, looks like In-n-out is looking for some “free” security too.

  7. Rye N Flint September 21, 2021

    RE: ” to self-certified environmentalists where, in my opinion, the federal government monitored Redwood Summer events.”

    So… the “real” story is that the FBI is innocent?

    • Bruce Anderson September 21, 2021

      Complicit, not innocent. They faked an investigation and, I assume here you’re honestly curious, interviewed the ex exactly once. He told them to go away, that if they wanted to talk to him they’d need a warrant. They never came back, and from there on….. well, the rest of the story so far as is known can be found on the ava’s website.

  8. Rye N Flint September 21, 2021

    RE: “and also controls every County Department except for the 5 countywide elected positions”

    I wonder why almost every Department Director has quit…

    This county is so corrupt, it’s definitely affecting functionality. Wait until the permit process crawls to a top, then the business sector will finally have a reason the pressure the BOS into action. The collapse has only just begun.

    • Kirk Vodopals September 21, 2021

      Crawls to a top…? Top of the pile of chicken poop?

  9. Jim Armstrong September 21, 2021

    “We are definitively experiencing a recent surge in deaths, perhaps associated with Labor Day,” reported Dr. Andy Coren, Mendocino County’s Public Health Officer. “While several of this recent group were vaccinated, they were elderly and with many co-morbidities. Overall, however, vaccines are proven effective.”
    If that guy thinks as poorly as he tries to express those thoughts, we’re screwed.

  10. Rye N Flint September 21, 2021

    I think it’s “eek” by, not ‘eke” by…. like a mouse…

    • Kirk Vodopals September 21, 2021

      eek-a-mouse… good reggae band

  11. chuck dunbar September 21, 2021

    “Holmes was no delicate flower”

    Nice piece by Maureen Dowd, especially the first half about Elizabeth Holmes, her misdeeds and her coming defense, claiming that “I was a victim.” It’s always good to see a scammer go to trial. I’d love down the road to see Trump face a jury for his life of scams and frauds.

    • Stephen Rosenthal September 21, 2021

      Well, she’s pretty, blonde and, most importantly, rich. Think she’ll do any time?

      And for all the stuff New York supposedly has on Trump, it’s been crickets for months. That scumbag will likely skate as well, because white and wealthy almost always does.

      • chuck dunbar September 21, 2021

        I hope she gets some prison time. Heck, Marth Stewart served time for really minor stuff compared to the pretty stunning Theranos fraud. I read John Carryrou’s book, a well-told tale of trickery, huge bluffing, fraud and crime. He gets great credit, as a diligent main-stream media journalist for digging hard, not buying the Big Lie she told and sold, and getting the real facts into public view.

        • Stephen Rosenthal September 21, 2021

          Oh course, if she’s found guilty and justice prevails she will hopefully be locked up for a long time. But I can’t be too optimistic when recalling all the other ultra rich who have escaped the 8×12 despite overwhelming evidence implicating them in all sorts of nefarious activities. It happens, but not too often.

  12. Marmon September 21, 2021

    Haitian Migrants Overpower Staff and Take Over Bus on Way to Rio Grande Valley — Border Agents Injured

    “A private contractor transport bus that left Del Rio yesterday headed to Brownsville. It was full of Haitian migrants. Evidently those Haitian migrants overtook the staff on that bus, forced their way out and fled from the bus as it was on its way to the Rio Grande Valley. All of those migrants were later recaptured but Texas Governor Abbott said today he wants every single one of those migrants who forced their way off that bus to not only be jailed but prosecuted to the fullest extent of Texas law.”

    Marmon (aka the Prophet)

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