Cool Dry | Fire Weather | 17 New Cases | James Elliot | Caspar Kids | Water Help | Auggie Heeser | Unsuccessful Break-in | Flu Shot | Disaster Insurance | Booster Experience | Albion Hillside | Art Trip | Record Requests | Stillborn | PA Pier | JDSF Tension | Ukiah Watertank | Enchanted Massacre | Firemen | Ed Notes | Firetruck | Groundwater Meeting | Hopkins Assistance | Anasazi | Pottery Classes | Yesterday's Catch | Men Mooch | Winning Costume | Deportations | Migrant Candidate | Deadly Sin | Vaccination Orders | Wildflowers | No Smelt | Milkman | Opiate Grant | Many Shortages | Afghanistan Disgrace | Eel Series | Lookout | Vaccine Neurotic | Meteor Shower
COOL AND MAINLY DRY WEATHER will occur across the region today. A warming trend will then take place this weekend, followed by the passage of a strong cold front Sunday night, which will give way to cool and breezy weather early next week. (NWS)
GUSTY NORTHERLY WINDS will increase through the day Monday in the wake of a dry cold front. The strongest winds will be found over exposed high terrain and north to south oriented valleys. While winds will calm in some valleys Tuesday morning, with some decent humidity recovery, winds will remain brisk across mountain ridges with poor recoveries. Winds will remain breezy on Tuesday with low afternoon humidity across much of the interior. These winds and low humidity, combined with still dry fuels across much of this area may lead to critical fire weather conditions. (NWS)
17 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
James McAlister Elliot, born July 22, 1947, the second of four sons of Dolly Cleo McAlister and Virgil Irl Elliott, Sr., in St. Louis, Missouri, died on October 4, 2021 in Little River.
After attending the University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri, Mr. Elliott joined the USAF. Sgt. Elliott received his honorable discharge on October 27, 1970, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended the College of Marin and acquired an AA degree. Ten months after discharge, Mr. Elliott was one of the earliest to purchase a parcel of land on the recently subdivided 1300 acre Redwine Ranch on Spy Rock Road. He later sold the property to purchase his first backhoe and dump truck in 1974, the beginning of his 45 year career in construction.
During the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Elliott was diagnosed with cancer. Declining treatment, he enjoyed his last year and a half physically active and otherwise healthy to the end.
Highlights of his life included serving as an intern on the pit crew of the Allan Moffat Racing team of 3 Lotus Cortinas at Sebring Raceway in Florida in 1967; five years on the Albion-Little River Volunteer Fire Department in the 1980s; and sponsoring, managing and playing catcher with the Mendocino Hawks in the Mendocino Men’s softball league, also in the 1980s.
Mr. Elliott is survived by his brothers: Virgil Irl Elliott Jr., Lee Reneau Elliott; and William Leftwich Carter Elliott, as well as two nieces and a nephew. Mr. Elliott is buried in plot 15 at Little River Cemetery.
CANCER PATIENT IN NEED
We have a person with cancer whose well has run dry. They are currently buying drinking water and using it for dishes and cleaning. A 55 gallon drum has been donated, we are hoping to find someone who can transport it to our client’s home and fill it with water. Any assistance or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County
AUGUST ‘Augie’ Heeser and Mendocino Original: Sheep Rancher, Wells Fargo Agent, Mendocino Postmaster, Surveyor, amd long-time Editor of the Mendocino Beacon and Fort Bragg Advocate.
…”the original Mendocino Beacon was published by just two people over an eighty-nine year period (1877-1966). The two were father and son, William and Auggie Heeser. Auggie served as editor and publisher of the Beacon for sixty years (1906-1966).”
— from Malcolm Macdonald’s background piece "Coast Newspapers, A Brief History"
BOONVILLE, EYES ONLY: Wendy Kerski alerts us,
I wanted to share to the community that my garage was broken into and attempted stealing of items in Gun Safe during the summer… in Boonville. Everyone should lock your doors, garages and sheds. The suspect is a juvenile and there is a bench warrant out for his arrest, for not showing up to court. I was always under the impression that this is a small, safe and quiet town but it is inevitable that crime happens, fortunately the juvenile was unsuccessful with breaking in. If you see something that looks tampered with, call and report it, the Sherriffs did a good job fingerprinting and identifying the suspects.
FLU SHOT CLINIC AT ANDERSON VALLEY SENIOR CENTER, 14470 Hwy. 128 in Boonville, October 19 at 1 pm. Please call 895-3609 and leave a message with your contact info to get on the list. You may also email: email@example.com.
Please bring your insurance card the day of the clinic.
CALIFORNIA VINEYARD WORKERS and their advocates say that they need economic protections to ensure that they can remain safe and not lose wages when wildfires come to Wine Country. Disaster insurance for these workers is a top priority, writes Hilary Beaumont in Al Jazeera.
BOOSTERS, experience of:
Rite Aid is also doing Pfizer 3rd shots by appointment - I had to wait today for 30 minutes but sitting out in the open away from others and the room where the shot was administered was pretty good size with only the nurse and me. They did not make me wait for any post observation but I had no reaction to the first two nor to flu shots so wasn't too concerned. FYI CVS only has Moderna.
ART ROAD TRIP ON HIGHWAY 128
Wind your way through Anderson Valley for their Open Studios the first weekend in November. With over 10 artists opening their doors of creativity to you, it’s a perfect way to spend an Autumn day — or entire weekend!
From abstract oil paintings to bas relief paintings, porcelain and stone works to jewelry and metal sculptures — there’s no end to the incredible works of art found in Anderson Valley.
Check out our MendoMoment (https://www.visitmendocino.com/art-road-trip-on-highway-128/) and make plans today for a weekend of art!
It’s not just an Art Walk, it’s an Art Road!
Lee Finney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A READER WRITES:
For whatever reason, Mendocino County suggests people interested in public records try searching through other public record act requests to see if someone has already requested the material. I came across these three recent items and thought the AVA might find them interesting.
Not much of a story here really, but these suggest at least a couple of reporters are working on some big features and may include data from Mendo in their reports. So something to watch for, anyway.
The other PRA that's interesting is from a Republican aligned law group in Sacramento who wanted a huge batch of materials from the elections office on procedures, etc. Who knows what they are up to with that request.
Reporter request - public money going to private companies for correctional and re-entry services…
Recall election procedures/doc request from BMH Law — a GOP friendly law firm from Sacramento…
Reporter request for records from Jan. 1, 2019, to present of sustained findings (1) that a peace officer committed sexual assault, (2) or dishonesty-related misconduct (3)
Request from an attorney representing Children's Defense Fund about probation procedures for youth. Based on the sloppy request (pages of it are addressed to Butte County Probation) it's fair to say CDF is doing a deep dive across California on how kids are managed in probation programs and youth detention facilities.
Looking at Mendo County today, I was thinking about the Sheriff's budget info item.
That's kind of what I was nosing around for when I went looking at the county website. Budget info is not listed on the sheriff's page, and I haven't gone looking thru exhibits from the BOS meeting. Crime statistics are not listed either.
The budget figures are interesting for a number of reasons. One is that last year, a lot of the “investigative” work was done by phone. COVID restrictions kept a lot of detectives and investigators in the office. Patrol officers were in the field, but I'm not sure if they were responding to calls the same way in 2020 as they were in 2019. The other thing that's curious about the numbers is that LEO’s policy of “catch and release”" for the past 18 months seems like there would have been a lot less detainees in custody, yet the jail budget didn't change.
MendoVoice had a story in April about crime rates. It indicated homicides were up in 2020 (14) compared to 2019 (8), but down from 2018 (18).
Going up: Suicide was up, robbery, burglary.
Going down: Domestic violence, sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon
I know the sheriff's office is really short handed — all the overtime has got to be impacting their budget. (I know it's killing morale.) The other interesting thing about that MendocinoVoice story is that the coroner's cases are way up. I wonder what's going on there? 467 coroner's cases in 2020 compared to 333 in 2019 and 313 in 2018. Some procedure must have changed at the local level, or something else is triggering which cases are being sent for exam to the coroner.
I'm not anti cop or an abolitionist or any of that. I just think it's interesting that even during a period when thousands of Mendo citizens stayed home much of the year, there were few parties or events, bars were closed and the streets were very quiet, there was no discernible change in the law enforcement budget. Of course there were other factors and stresses on law enforcement — criminals didn't stop working during the pandemic and all the added stress and anxiety of the situation was bound to make certain social problems worse.
Law enforcement is an important factor in our society, but they are also very much a creature of government in that their budget seems to NEVER go down, only up, no matter the circumstances. As government agencies go, their budget rising is perhaps better than say, certain other agencies’ budgets growing, but still...
When budgets and statistical data are decoupled from the daily news, ideology seems to take over and everyone seems to take positions on things from a political point of view.
How much is crime growing in Mendocino County? Is it higher or lower than in the past? Is it trending up or down over time? Is the crime rate steady if you factor in a growing or shrinking population? It's really hard to understand any of this without clear data. And the data seems really hard to cobble together. You have to run all over to federal, state and local websites and then supplement that with private non profit research to even begin to put together a clear picture of how effectively our collective tax monies are being spent.
Anyway, I guess I am just musing aloud to you privately. Thanks for listening. Of course I'd like these thoughts to remain private, but I realize that's up to your discretion.
FRANK BARDACKE of Watsonville writes: “Speaking of Orwell and Hemingway, did you ever come across this one (Emma Goldman on the Spanish Republic): ‘It was as if you were waiting your whole adult life to get pregnant, and you finally did. And then the baby was born dead.”
The shit is getting real out in Jackson State Forest. The good old boy loggers are issuing death threats and there is an armed man out there identifying himself as a Safety Officer, but not giving his name or who he represents, letting trees be cut perilously close to the citizens in the woods.
Are folks allowed to be out in the state forest packing guns without a permit?
What's up Jackson Demonstration State Forest managers?
Are you so on the side of the timber industry that you will allow the loggers to kill peaceful protesters? Because that is what it is beginning to look like.
We know that the Cal Fire salaries are paid by the commercial logging operations you have approved out there year after year without hesitation so at the very least you have a huge conflict of interest
And while you’re at it, not protecting the protesters, how about begining to protect the Native American ancestral sites that you have systematically for years destroyed by road building and timber operations? Check out your own state commissioned 1999 Betts Report which documents this systematic destruction whose recommendations for archaeological site protections you never followed.
REPORT FROM ENCHANTED MEADOW
Roughly 3 miles upriver, the way the crow flies, a great devastation is taking place. Up on the Albion headwaters, Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) is liquidating its assets of old 2nd growth redwoods and firs, squandering a multi-generational asset and the hopes for humankind that these ancient giants represent. It is now a youthful slaughter, not only for these adolescent trees, but for the hopes of next generations in their fight against climate change.
A mile away, the sounds of this massacre cannot be heard, the thunderous fall, the sickening thud as these giants hit the Earth, their betrayed majesty on a dying planet. While activists and loggers go head-to-head 20 miles east in Jackson State Forest, the old ones here are falling.
“That was a big one,” my friend said to me, as I had said to her less than ten minutes before, when the last big tree fell. We heard at least 40 old ones go down in the five hours we were at Enchanted Meadow. That's a little less than 10 trees an hour. There were three chainsaw crews working non-stop, to cut as many as they can before the winter rains set in and their negligently built roads inevitably begin to fail.
Yes, they are killing them fast. The Fisher family, owners of Mendocino Redwood Company, the GAP, Banana Republic, Old Navy, the Oakland A's, and etc, etc, &ct. - are wealthy to the level of obscenity to the tune of over $7.3 billion. They don’t need the money. Yet they are now criminally destroying the emerald jewel of Mendocino County, tearing the soul out of this part of the world, “Enchanted Meadow” and the designated Wild and Scenic upper Albion River. Meanwhile, the once mighty Albion Nation stands silent, as old activists and young new recruits trudge 20 miles east to fight loggers over pecker poles in the already twice ravaged Jackson State Forest. And MRC wants it this way, to the point of hiring armed domestic mercenary thugs to threaten and intimidate locals who would dare venture to a place they have been going to for over 40 years.
* * *
A coastal redwood can live to 2000 years, not that much less than the age of our entire civilization. At 800 years, they reach full maturity as the wonderous giants that leave all of humanity in awe. If you do the math, cutting these big trees at 150 years would be like killing a young teenager 13 to 15 years in relational lifespan. The mature old-growth trees of the Albion watershed are long since gone, and this forest was just starting to recover its glory, 30 years since activists prevented logging of second growth in the Albion watershed in the early 1990s. Now this legacy will wash away like the ravaged soil the bulldozers are leaving behind.
In ages past, if a nasty deed like this slaughter of big trees in Albion was to be done, they would at least have waited until spring, when there’d be time for the skid roads, landings and badly constructed haul roads to be mitigated before the winter rains set in. That would have been the decent thing to do. But there’s nothing decent about this. There’ll be no time for that now. There won’t even be time to get all the logs out before the violent maze of disturbed skid roads and soils turns into a nightmare of mudslides and sediment dumps that end up in the Albion River, ruining whatever habitat was left for the aquatic wildlife that depend on that river. It's not only the legacy of trees that MRC is striking from the ledger of life, but the very existence of endangered coho salmon, murrelet, heron, osprey, and a host of other living beings now placed on the chopping block of oblivion.
Three chainsaw crews are working nonstop cutting the big trees, while activists, loggers and security goons are fighting it out over pecker poles on Highway 20 east of Fort Bragg. Where are you, Albion Nation?
PS. I have been asked to retract my statements about protesters in the woods, or more specifically, referring to some of the trees these brave forest defenders are protecting as “pecker poles.”
The reality is that some of the trees CalFire and private timber companies are slaughtering in Jackson State Forest are 90 and 120 years old, a few even older, and these old by human, young by their own standard trees — and those humans of all ages protecting them — deserve a lot more respect. I apologize for any error or misunderstanding.
The demolition of Mendocino County forests continues in JDSF and in Albion. It's a whole lot easier anywhere to cut a tree for cash than to let it grow.
RED BEARD, Mendo's increasingly famous fugitive, has now been featured in the Press Democrat. If Northcoast journalo-history is any guide RB will soon be featured in the SF Chronicle, and from the Chron to the LA Times and maybe even on into the New York Times if he does something spectacular, which we hope would not be violently spectacular although RB did crank off a rifle round at a pursuing pair of deputies who almost caught him on Cameron Road near Elk a few months ago. Cops will confirm that Red Beard, aka William Evers, 40, is impressively fit, on one occasion running full tilt from deputies through the dark and hurdling two fences. In another instance when he was surprised by police near Albion he dropped a jar of peanut butter to flee with a couple of bottles of wine, leading police to believe that Evers prefers booze to other forms of nourishment. Police also speculate that Evers fell deeply in love with Mendocino County when, as a state prison inmate, he was assigned as a firefighter at the fire camps on Highway 20 east of Fort Bragg. It's clear that Evers prefers to sleep indoors, although this past summer he seems to have been camping. When he first surfaced in Mendocino County at Judge Nelson's cabin on Low Gap Road not far from Ukiah he'd been staying at a seldom visited cabin just above the judge's place, helping himself to the judge's liquor larder and, in the judge's words, “Leaving my cabin a total mess.” Evers, who outran pursuers who nearly caught him on Low Gap, turned up near Philo, then on Cameron Road, Elk. Since, he's moved across the Navarro River into the Albion River watershed where unoccupied, well-stocked houses are plentiful. Red Beard will winter somewhere between Navarro Ridge Road and Mendocino. If he knocks on the right door there are lots of alienatos in the Coast hills who will help him out.
THE LINE-CLEARING contract between PG&E and mega-tree trimming corp Asplundh Tree Expert, LLC has riled and roused the rural Mendo population. Asplundh is based in Pennsylvania. Its blurb says they “specialize in tree pruning and vegetation management for utilities and government agencies.” Scott M. Asplundh is boss man. They do tree blitzing all over the world. Wikepedia says they made $3.9 billion in 2017. If you haven't already suffered an invasion of Asplundh crews, take a look at the job they did at the northwest end of the Greenwood Bridge.
Asplundh seems to be on the way to making another billion off PG&E here in Mendocino County given the number of their vehicles parked along 128, as recently described by Colin Wilson of Yorkville. People are complaining that not only do they do sloppy and destructive work, and have been known to get belligerantly in landowner's faces if they complain, their crews of imported workers tend not to bother to pick up their meal leavings after themselves.
ON LINE COMMENTS re PG&E’s tree clearing contractor Asplundh and their seemingly under-utilized vehicle fleet parked empty along Highway 128:
 After the PG&E tree crews visited my neighborhood last year the woods were full of junk food wrappers, take out containers, beverage containers, and used toilet paper. They also left a lot of tree trash scattered wherever. (Stanley Kelley, Mendocino Coast)
 GEORGE HOLLISTER, Comptche:
I was seeing and thinking the same thing in Comptche a year ago. Tree crews everywhere, for a long time seeming to be inefficient and disorganized. At one point I questioned a young woman who was checking to make sure work that was supposed to be done, was done. I expressed Collin’s concern about who was paying for all this inefficient activity. She told me the work was being done on a contract basis. That is hard to believe, but that is what I was told.
In Comptche these out of town crews had GPS points for where work was needed, but no road maps, or landowner contact information. So they would spend at least half their time lost. Really. One large bucket truck tried to go up a narrow driveway and went off in a ditch. A large tow truck was required to get the truck out. I expressed my opinion to the young woman overseer that what I was seeing was a reflection of poor management, and not the fault of the crews. She agreed.
 David Moore: In my neighborhood in Brooktrails, a large amount of these vehicles have been parked at our airport, they have not been used at all. The vehicles sit there day after day. They are all brand new. They also knocked down a memorial stone dedicated to a man who had worked at the airport and had died there in an aircraft accident. The memorial stone has not been set upright to this day.
ACCORDING TO THEIR WEBSITE, Aplundh Tree Experts has “a variety of operations across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand."
A KQED report about PG&E’s tree trimming problems in May of 2019: “PG&E is struggling to find qualified workers for the difficult and sometimes dangerous job of trimming trees. PG&E’s agreement with one of its largest contractors for that work, Asplundh Tree Expert, has ended, leaving the company rushing to find replacements.”
“Asplundh Tree Expert, headquartered in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, dissolved its decades-long relationship with PG&E late last year as its contract with the utility was expiring, a PG&E spokesman confirmed to KQED News on Monday. Until last fall, prior to the deadly Camp Fire in Butte County, Asplundh employed the largest unionized labor force providing vegetation management services to PG&E, according to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1245 — which represents thousands of workers involved in tree trimming at PG&E and every publicly owned utility in Northern California, with the exception of the city of Palo Alto. ‘As an agent of the utility, [Asplundh] was subject to the law of inverse condemnation,’ Dalzell said, referring to the state law that holds utilities responsible for wildfire damage caused by their equipment, regardless of whether they were negligent. ‘That's not found in most states. With the very high fire risk in PG&E’s service territory, combined with drought and forestry practices, it's risky doing business. I wouldn't be surprised if that entered into their thinking.’ Asplundh did not reply to several calls from KQED requesting comment. A subsidiary of Asplundh, Trees Inc., was named in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by two women whose father was killed in the Butte Fire, sparked when a PG&E power line was hit by a dead tree that the suit said the contractor had failed to address. The case is in limbo, since no verdict was reached before PG&E declared bankruptcy, freezing lawsuits. Asplundh did not respond to requests for comment.”
UKIAH VALLEY BASIN GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY TAC MEETING
Date: 10/13/2021 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Join Zoom Meeting: mendocinocounty.zoom.us/j/85680700003?pwd=dEErc2ZIb0FuekVVTXlNUjdUdm54dz09
Meeting ID: 856 8070 0003
One tap mobile: +16699009128,,85680700003# US (San Jose)
Dial by your location: +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Find your local number: https://mendocinocounty.zoom.us/u/kbNYz0Aq77
LOCAL ASSISTANCE CENTER FOR RESIDENTS IMPACTED BY THE 2021 HOPKINS FIRE
Mendocino County to Host Local Assistance Center for Residents Impacted by the 2021 Hopkins Fire
The County of Mendocino, in partnership with state and local partners will host a Local Assistance Center (LAC) to provide services and resources for residents impacted by the 2021 Hopkins Fire.
The LAC provides a single location where those impacted by the fire can access available disaster assistance programs and services. This multi-agency event will include representatives from local, state, non-profit, and other support services agencies. Agencies will be announced as they are confirmed.
Redwood Valley: Thursday, October 7, 2021
When: 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Where: 8207 East Rd, Redwood Valley, CA 95470 “Old Jehovah's Witnesses church”
To slow the spread of COVID-19, masks are required. The County will follow social distancing guidelines, provide hand sanitizer, and conduct health screenings.
For more information, please contact the Disaster Recovery Team at (707) 234-6303 or email@example.com.
WHEEL THROWING 101 with Instructor Miles McCreary
October 25-December 8, 2021
12 sessions: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30am-11:30am OR 5:30pm-7:30pm (no classes Thanksgiving week)
Welcome to the wonderful world of wheel throwing! In this six-week, in-person introductory class with Mendocino Art Center Artist in Residence Miles McCreary, you’ll learn the foundations of the potter’s wheel. If you’re brand new to throwing or looking to get back into your practice this class is the perfect place to start.
Registration deadline: October 19
more information: mendocinoartcenter.org/classes/wheel-throwing
* * *
HANDBUILDING 101 with Instructor Grace Khalsa
October 26-December 9, 2021
12 sessions: Mondays & Wednesdays, 5:30pm-7pm (no classes Thanksgiving week)
Clay is a wonderfully adaptive material in its malleability and lack of limitations. Once you understand how to work with it, the possibilities are truly endless. In this six-week, in-person introductory class with Mendocino Art Center Artist in Residence Grace Khalsa, you will learn foundational handbuilding techniques for working with clay. With these techniques and the guidance of your instructor, you will be equipped to plan and execute nearly any project you can dream up.
Registration deadline: October 20
more information: mendocinoartcenter.org/classes/handbuilding-101
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 7, 2021
JAMES CALKINS, Point Arena. DUI.
DENNIS HOAGLIN, Willits. Felon-addict with firearm.
FARAND HOAGLIN, Ukiah. Parole violation.
JASON KREUZ, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, robbery.
ALDEN LARVIE, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, failure to appear.
ALI MCGUIRE, Hopland. DUI-alcohol&drugs, paraphernalia.
SHANE MILLER JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JOHN STOLLER, Pacifica/Ukiah. Burglary, vandalism, controlled substance, felon-addict with firearm.
WILLIAM WILLIAMS JR., Willits. County parole violation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Most men are basically mooches. At the age of 73, my dating days are pretty much over, but I still am occasionally importuned by some guy who wants to be “friends.” With the most recent one, his objective was to move in with me so that he could sell his house in a neighborhood that was going downhill fast, and have a woman around to look after him–and doubtless pay the bills. Men often seek relationships with women with such a plan in mind; they are seeking a life-preserver in the form of both a personal servant and someone to support them. Normally, this is the ONLY male motivation for seeking a long-term relationship. They do so ONLY when they find that they cannot manage on their own and, after casting about for some solution, they decide that their best bet is to find a woman to mooch off of.
THE NEW DEPORTER IN CHIEF
by Daniel Medina
Joe Biden is using Title 42 to expel asylum seekers coming into the United States at record speed. Title 42 violates not only international law but U.S. law as well. Title 42 strips asylum seekers of their right to a hearing to stay in the country. As of the start of this month, the Biden administration has deported 690,000 people using the illegal statute of Title 42 compared to the Trump administration's 444,000 - A difference of 250,000!
To Democrats: Where is your outrage now? Why aren't you as furious as you were when you saw children locked in cages?
To Republicans: Stop being partisan hacks and saying Biden is for open borders even though he is more Trumpian than Trump when it comes to immigration.
CANDIDATE FOR MIXTECOS IN THE REPUBLICAN HEARTLAND
In the city of Madera, Elsa Mejia is running for a seat on the city council as the first Indigenous Mexican migrant candidate.
NEWSOM’S ERRATIC VACCINATION ORDERS
by Dan Walters
Generations of California public school students have been required — by law — to be vaccinated against deadly diseases.
The list includes measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chicken pox, hepatitis, whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus.
Vaccination mandates have been tightened in recent years despite raucous opposition by those deluded into believing they are immoral or dangerous. In fact, the opposite is true. Unvaccinated children pose death threats to their classmates and ignoring that danger would be immoral.
Given that historic background, its grounding in medical science and the obvious peril of COVID-19, it makes perfect sense for California to add it to the list of mandatory vaccinations.
Gov. Gavin Newsom did so last week, declaring that when coronavirus vaccines become available for children, they must be immunized before attending public school.
“The state already requires that students are vaccinated against viruses that cause measles, mumps, and rubella (so) there’s no reason why we wouldn’t do the same for COVID-19,” Newsom said. “Today’s measure, just like our first-in-the-nation school masking and staff vaccination requirements, is about protecting our children and school staff, and keeping them in the classroom. Vaccines work. It’s why California leads the country in preventing school closures and has the lowest case rates. We encourage other states to follow our lead to keep our kids safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
However, as with many of the governor’s pronouncements, the vaccination declaration has a somewhat smarmy tinge.
The headline on Newsom’s announcement declares that “California Becomes First State in Nation to Announce COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for Schools,” underscoring his years-long obsession with boasting about being first to do something.
That tendency is particularly obvious here because, in fact, a first-in-the-nation vaccination announcement doesn’t necessarily mean that California will be the first state to have school kids immunized because everyone must wait for vaccines to be approved for children.
In other words, it was more of a political stunt than a real accomplishment.
Moreover, while Newsom is touting that California students will — someday — be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, he’s been less willing to crack down on public employees who have refused to get the shots even though they come into contact with the public.
In July, Newsom garnered nationwide media attention by announcing that all state employees would have to show proof of vaccination or submit to frequent COVID-19 testing. However, several public worker unions immediately demanded that any such requirement would be subject to contract negotiations.
Although the Newsom administration contended that he could bypass negotiations under the emergency powers he assumed 19 months ago to battle the pandemic, his human resources department has quietly backed down, agreeing to “suspend and conclude its vaccine verification program” and to bargain with unions officials over vaccine rules. Newsom’s retreat did not, of course, get the same kind of national media attention as his original announcement.
Guards and other state prison workers have been particularly reluctant to get vaccinated, despite multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 in prisons, and Newsom has been particularly reluctant to force the issue. Finally, a federal judge ordered that guards and other prison workers, who are only about 50% vaccinated, must get the shots or risk losing their jobs. He could do so because prison health services operate under a federal court order.
Strangely, while Newsom boasts about ordering mandatory school vaccinations, his administration opposed the federal order on prisons.
Maybe not so strange. Public employee unions, including the one representing guards, contributed millions of dollars to help Newsom fight off a campaign to recall him.
EXTINCTION'S EDGE: ZERO DELTA SMELT FOUND In September 2021 During CDFW Fall Midwater Trawl Survey
by Dan Bacher
For the fifth September in a row, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has caught zero Delta smelt in its Fall Midwater Trawl Survey (FMWT) throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Once the most abundant fish on the entire estuary, the fish is now near extinction in the wild, although UC Davis continues to raise the fish in a captive breeding program.
The Delta smelt population has plummeted over the decades since the State Water Project began exporting Delta water to San Joaquin Valley growers in 1967.
While there are several factors that scientists pinpoint for the ecosystem collapse, including toxic chemicals, decreasing water quality and invasive species, no factor figures greater in the collapse than the export of massive quantities of state and federal project water from the Delta to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests like the Resnicks and the Westlands Water District.
The last year when Delta smelt were recorded in September was in 2015, when 5 were caught by the CDFW. The last year when any Delta smelt were caught during the four-month survey was in 2016, when a total of 8 Delta smelt were reported.
The Delta smelt is an indicator species that demonstrates the health of the Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.
“All signs point to the Delta smelt as disappearing from the wild this year, or, perhaps, 2022,” according to a California Water Blog post <https://californiawaterblog.com/2021/01/10/2021-is-this-the-year-that-wild-delta-smelt-become-extinct/> by Peter Moyle, Karrigan BÃ¶rk, John Durand, T-C Hung and Andrew L. Rypel on January 10, 2021. “In case you had forgotten, the Delta smelt is an attractive, translucent little fish that eats plankton, has a one-year life cycle, and smells like cucumbers.”
The CDFW also found only one longfin smelt, another native fish species, in its surveying stations throughout the Delta. The survey didn’t find any longfin smelt last September.
For the tenth September in a row, the CDFW caught zero Sacramento splittail, a native member of the minnow family. The last time that any splittail were reported in the survey was in 2017, when 1 splittail was reported in December.
Striped bass, a gamefish from the Eastern Seaboard introduced to the Delta over 130 years, fared poorly also. The CDFW caught only 1 young-of-the-year striped bass this September, compared with 11 last September.
The catch of American shad, another introduced species, did poorly this September also. The CDFW found only 24 of this member of the herring family, compared with 202 in September 2020.
Finally, the CDFW caught just 11 threadfin shad, an introduced forage fish, this September. That compares to 43 fish last September.
I will be monitoring this survey every month and writing a brief report on the monthly results for each species. When the survey is completed in December and the final results are compiled for the four months, I will write a comprehensive report on the survey and its ecological implications.
Between 1967 and 2020, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Fall Midwater Trawl (FMWT) abundance indices (combined September, October, November and December surveys) for striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad have declined by 99.7, 100, 99.96, 67.9, 100, and 95 percent, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).
“Taken as five-year averages (1967-1971 vs. 2016-2020), the declines for striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad are 98.1, 99.8, 99.8, 26.2, 99.3 and 94.3 percent, respectively,” said Jennings.
MENDOCINO COAST CLINICS BRINGS $2.5M IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO NORTH COAST
Fort Bragg, CA — On September 7, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) a five-year grant of $2.5 million ($525,000 per year) to support and grow its Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program, part of MCC’s comprehensive treatment program for those who suffer from opiate use disorder.
Mendocino County has the second highest drug overdose death rate of all California counties. In just the past five years, county drug overdose death rates have almost doubled. Currently, Mendocino County’s overdose death rate is more than double the State rate and almost double the U.S. rate. Unfortunately for North Coast residents, the increase in overdoses has been reflected locally.
MCC is the only health center on the Mendocino Coast that provides a multi-faceted suboxone program to treat people suffering from opiate use disorder. The program includes the use of FDA-approved medications, counseling, screening and assessment, case management, recovery support services, and telehealth services within a fully integrated primary care/behavioral health model. MCC Executive Director Lucresha Renteria said, “The MAT program is free of charge and has already made a difference in so many of our patients’ lives.” not.”
MCC applied for the competitive SAMHSA grant in hopes of reducing illicit opioid use in its service area. With its award, MCC will be able to double the capacity of its current MAT program. The project will be led by Lin Taylor, Ph.D., MCC’s case manager for substance use disorder. Taylor has experience in MAT counseling and in supporting individuals in recovery.
Taylor said, “We provide counseling and other services in a welcoming, confidential, and nonjudgmental atmosphere. We have group meetings on Thursdays at 5:00 pm and newcomers are always welcome! Just come to the west entrance of the clinic, the first driveway on your left as you pass the blue County buildings on South Street. No appointment needed.”
With the SAMSHA grant funding, MCC plans to expand its program by hiring additional staff members such as licensed therapists, nurses, and case managers, as well as opening a new, dedicated MAT clinic location. MCC will also do more targeted outreach to community partners and at-risk populations.
Funding alone will not enable MCC to find qualified staff. One indicator of how difficult it is to recruit qualified professionals is the fact that Fort Bragg is a mental health professional shortage area, as defined by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). However, Renteria says she and her team are willing to consider creative staffing solutions, possibly including HRSA National Health Service Corps members and/or partnerships with universities that offer healthcare training programs.
“We’re so pleased to have been awarded this funding. The need is great and now we’ll be better equipped to rise to the challenge,” Renteria said.
(*MCC is a non-profit, federally qualified health center providing medical, dental and behavioral health care to residents from Westport to Elk and inland to Comptche in Mendocino County. www.mendocinocoastclinics.org)
ACTUALLY, the Leaders of Afghanistan, including the Army, took the money and high-tailed it... they never even looked back. Left their people, including soldiers to hold the bag while the new Boss came in and got comfy. None of this had anything to do with want. It had everything to do with graft and corruption, cowardice, greed, and grotesque self interest, and our failure to build any kind of real or lasting structure that might have persisted for more than a femtosecond after we left.
The fact that corporals were left behind to defend a nation, whose leaders were all on planes out of the country, headed for their new digs in the Caribbean, explains why those soldiers en masse simply said "Oh hell no, I'm not dying for this!" and I really can't blame them. Of course, what's coming next is gonna suck for everyone.
Young students, boys and girls who grew up in the cities, free to exercise their desire to grow in a secular culture never having experienced the hell that's coming, certainly didn't ask for that. Women across the entire culture, but in particular young professional women, didn't ask for this. Doctors, Scholars and Educators, Businessmen trading in a global market, are about to be dragged forcibly into the 12th Century... they didn't ask for that. Folks in the rural country, pressed into hard labor against their will, abused and oppressed by tribal warlords, certainly didn't ask for that. The Taliban didn't win a vote. They couldn't. The people charged with protecting the nations, simply cut and ran, after cleaning out the nation's piggy bank.
— Marie Tobias
EEL RIVER RECOVERY PROJECT LAUNCHES EEL ZOOM II SERIES
The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) hosted a popular Zoom series in April and May 2021 and they are returning to the same format from October 15 to November 19 in order to inform people about things of importance and interest in the Eel River watershed. The time for the series is at 5 PM on Fridays, and presentations are substantive, but breezy and entertaining in keeping with their “Happy Hour” timing.
On Friday, October 15, archaeologist Thomas Keter will make a presentation on the effects of the August Fire in the North Fork Eel River watershed. His study of the watershed extends back to 1983, and his latest findings are based on visits to the North Fork in spring and summer this year. Tom is an animated presenter with a wealth of knowledge.
ERRP has an exciting forest health pilot project in the Tenmile Creek watershed near Laytonville and presentations on October 22 and 29 will touch on forest and grassland health, respectively. Registered Professional Forester Ken Baldwin of BBW Forestry will join Tim Bailey of the Watershed Research & Training Center and ERRP Director Pat Higgins on October 22 to address the topic of Speeding North Coast Forest Health Implementation. A new forest health management plan template developed for the project will be discussed that could be used in other North Coast watersheds. Tim’s specialty is remote sensing and he will explain how use of Light Detection and Ranging technology, or LIDAR, can help understand forest health at a landscape scale and even calculate how project carbon sequestration. Tens of millions of dollars could be obtained, if the North Coast community organizes around forest health.
While overstocked forests are now widely recognized as contributing to catastrophic fire, the shift from native to non-native grasses has also increased fuels and fire risk. Tune in on Friday, October 29 for Restoring Native Grasses at a Watershed Scale with presenters Hugh McGee of the Mattole Restoration Council and native grass specialist Dr. Kirsten Hill. Benefits of restoring native grasses beyond fire risk reduction include increased forage for wildlife, improved stream flows, and carbon sequestration. The Tenmile Creek pilot project is funded with California Climate Investments funding granted by the California Natural Resources Agency, Department of Conservation through the North Coast Resource Partnership.
On November 5, learn from Evan Engber and Philip Buehler of BioEngineering Associates how eroding stream banks can be healed and a thriving and resilient riparian community can be restored. Bioengineering is the use of copious amounts of willow and strategic amounts of large rock to rebuild stream banks. The willow roots hold the rocks, making the structures impervious to flood flows, and the willow branches dampen currents and cause sediment deposition. Seeds of other riparian trees, such as alder and cottonwood, settle in the silt deposits and create more species diversity and better cover for fish over time.
Hydrologist Teri Jo Barber of Ridge to River and Anna Birkas of Village Ecosystems will talk about Healing Gullies to Reduce Erosion and Help Improve Stream Flow on Friday, November 12. Gullies are features that form when water is deflected onto a forested or grassland hillslope where there is no armoring. They are major contributors of sediment pollution to streams. As they down cut into the landscape, they drop the water table, decreasing available water for nearby plants. Teri Jo and Anna are contracting with ERRP under a Coastal Conservancy Prop 1 grant to remediate gully erosion in the Tenmile Creek watershed.
Pat Higgins of ERRP will be joined by Adam Canter, Natural Resources Director for the Wiyot Tribe, to talk about how the 2021-2022 fall Chinook salmon run is shaping up and the urgent need to restore habitat in the lower Eel River. This will be the last Eel Zoom II episode of the series on November 19.
For links to the Eel Zoom II presentations, go to www.eelriverrecovery.org or visit the ERRP Facebook page. Viewers will need to sign up for one or all Zoom presentations to be allowed access, but there is no charge. Zooms are recorded and then linked from the front page of the ERRP website and all Eel Zooms from the first series are available there now.
— Patrick Higgins, Managing Director, Eel River Recovery Project
THE CULT OF THE VACCINE NEUROTIC
by Matt Taibbi
I recently wrote about the seeming delay of the development of a drug called molnupiravir. In the time it took to report and write that piece, conventional wisdom turned against the drug, which is now suspected of ivermectinism and other deviationist, anti-vax tendencies, in the latest iteration of our most recent collective national mania — the Cult of the Vaccine Neurotic.
The speed of the change was incredible. Just a week ago, on October 1st, the pharmaceutical giant Merck issued a terse announcement that quickly became big news. Molnupiravir, an experimental antiviral drug, “reduced the risk of hospitalization or death” of Covid-19 patients by as much as 50%, according to a study. The “first draft of history” stories that rushed out in the ensuing minutes and hours were almost uniformly positive. AP called the news a “potentially major advance in efforts to fight the pandemic,” while National Geographic quoted a Yale specialist saying, “Having a pill that would be easy for people to take at home would be terrific.” Another interesting early reaction came from Time: “Vaccines will be the way out of the pandemic, but not everyone around the world is immunized yet, and the shots aren’t 100% effective in protecting people from getting infected with the COVID-19 virus. So antiviral drug treatments will be key to making sure that people who do get infected don’t get severely ill.”
This is what news looks like before propagandists get their hands on it.
Time writer Alice Park’s lede was sensible and clear. If molnupiravir works — a big if, incidentally — it’s good news for everyone, since not everyone is immunized, and the vaccines aren’t 100% effective anyway. As even Vox put it initially, molnupiravir could “help compensate for persistent gaps in Covid-19 vaccination coverage.”
Within a day, though, the tone of coverage turned. Writers began stressing a ‘Yeah, but’ approach, as in, “Any new treatment is of course good, but get your fucking shot.” A CNN lede read, “A pill that could potentially treat Covid-19 is a ‘game-changer,’ but experts are emphasizing that it's not an alternative to vaccinations.”
The New York Times went with, “Health officials said the drug could provide an effective way to treat Covid-19, but stressed that vaccines remained the best tool.”
If you’re thinking it was only a matter of time before the mere fact of molnupiravir’s existence would be pitched in headlines as actual bad news, you’re not wrong: Marketwatch came out with “ ‘It’s not a magic pill’: What Merck’s antiviral pill could mean for vaccine hesitancy” the same day Merck issued its release. The piece came out before we knew much of anything concrete about the drug’s effectiveness, let alone whether it was “magic.” Bloomberg’s morose “No, the Merck pill won’t end the pandemic” was released on October 2nd, i.e., one whole day after the first encouraging news of a possible auxiliary treatment whose most ardent supporters never claimed would end the pandemic. This article said the pill might be cause to celebrate, but warned its emergence “shouldn’t be cause for complacency when it comes to the most effective tool to end this pandemic: vaccines.” Bloomberg randomly went on to remind readers that the unrelated drug ivermectin is a “horse de-worming agent,” before adding that if molnupiravir ends up “being viewed as a solution for those who refuse to vaccinate,” the “Covid virus will continue to persist.”
In other words, it took less than 24 hours for the drug — barely tested, let alone released yet — to be accused of prolonging the pandemic. By the third day, mentions of molnupiravir in news reports nearly all came affixed to stern reminders of its place beneath vaccines in the medical hierarchy, as in the New York Times report explaining that Dr. Anthony Fauci, who initially told reporters the new drug was “impressive,” now “warned that Americans should not wait to be vaccinated because they believe they can take the pill.”
Since the start of the Trump years, we’ve been introduced to a new kind of news story, which assumes adults can’t handle multiple ideas at once, and has reporters frantically wrapping facts deemed dangerous, unorthodox, or even just insufficiently obvious in layers of disclaimers. The fear of uncontrolled audience brain-drift is now so great that even offhand references must come swaddled in these journalistic Surgeon General’s warnings, which is why whenever we read anything now, we almost always end up fighting through nests of phrases like “the debunked conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was created in a lab” in order to get to whatever the author’s main point might be.
This lunacy started with the Great Lie Debate of 2016, when reporters and editors spent months publicly anguishing over whether to use “lie” in headlines of Donald Trump stories, then loudly congratulated themselves once they decided to do it. The most histrionic offender was the New York Times, previously famous for teaching readers to digest news in code (“he claimed” for years was Times-ese for “full of shit”) but now reasoned a “more muscular terminology,” connoting “a certain moral opprobrium,” was needed to distinguish the “dissembling” of a politician like Bill Clinton from Trump’s whoppers. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” could be mere falsehood, but “I will build a great great wall” required language that “stands apart.”
The key term was moral opprobrium. Moralizing was exactly what journalists were once trained not to do, at least outside the op-ed page, but it soon became a central part of the job. When they used they word “lie,” the Times explained, they wanted us to know that was because “from the childhood schoolyard to the grave, this is a word neither used nor taken lightly.” Put another way, the Times didn’t want people reading about something Donald Trump said, grasping that it was a lie, and, say, chuckling about how ridiculous it was. If the New York Times sent the word “lie” up the flagpole, they now expected an appropriately solemn salute.
This was the beginning of an era in which editors became convinced that all earth’s problems derived from populations failing to accept their reports as Talmudic law. It couldn’t be people were just tuning out papers for a hundred different reasons, including sheer boredom. It had to be that their traditional work product was just too damned subtle. The only way to avoid the certain evil of audiences engaging in unsupervised pondering over information was to eliminate all possibility of subtext, through a new communication style that was 100% literal and didactic. Everyone would get the same news and also be instructed, often mid-sentence, on how to respond.
At first this expressed itself via regurgitation of Approved Unambiguous Phraseology… handed down from official or law enforcement sources, like “Russia’s election interference activities,” e.g. “Page’s alleged coordination with Russia’s election interference activities.” However, it wasn’t long before the stage-direction factor in coverage went berserk, as I noted last year after this question by Anderson Cooper in a presidential debate:
“COOPER: Mr. Vice President, President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board in Ukraine. I want to point out there’s no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you.”
The phrase, “no evidence of wrongdoing,” was a mandatory add last year in all coverage involving Ukraine, Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden, from the Guardian (“No evidence the younger Biden did anything illegal”) to CNBC (“There is no evidence that Trump or Giuliani has produced which shows that Hunter Biden was engaged in wrongdoing”) to Newsweek (“Although there is no evidence of illegal wrongdoing by the Bidens in those dealings”) to NBC (“No evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either Biden”) to AP (“There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either the vice president or his son”) to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Axios, and countless others.
The language was absurd on multiple levels, beginning with its incorrectness — unless they were talking purely about a legal definition, the issue of whether or not there was “wrongdoing” in Hunter Biden accepting a no-show $50,000-a-month job from a crooked Ukrainian energy firm was a matter for readers to decide, not an issue of fact. Still, a lot of people not only swallowed it, but vomited these and other terms back up again, over and over, on social media, or to their friends and family, or to anyone at all, in what became a new way for a certain kind of person to relate to the world.
As a student in the Soviet Union I noticed subscribers to what Russians called the ‘sovok mindset’ talked in interminable strings of ‘pogovorki,’ i.e., goofball proverbs or aphorisms you’d heard a million times before (“He who takes no risk, drinks no champagne,” or “Work isn’t a wolf, it won’t run off into the woods,” etc). This was a learned defense mechanism, adopted by a people who’d found out the hard way that anyone caught not speaking nonstop nonsense could be suspected of harboring original thoughts. Voluble stupidity is a great disguise in a society where silence is suspect.
We’re similarly becoming a nation of totalitarian nitwits, speaking in a borrowed lexicon of mandatory phrases and smelling heresy in anyone who doesn’t. This cult reflex was bad during the Russiagate years, but it’s gone into overdrive since the arrival of COVID. The CNN writer who thinks it’s necessary to put a disclaimer in the lede of a story about molnupiravir, of all things, is basically claiming he or she is afraid a theoretical unvaccinated person might otherwise read the story and be encouraged to not take the vaccine. Except, if that theoretical unvaccinated person could be convinced by anything CNN said or did, they’d have already gotten the shot, because the network runs ten million stories a day directly imploring people to get vaccinated or die. News flash: the instinct to armor-plate even unrelated news subjects with layer after layer of insistent vaccine dogma is not for the non-immunized, who mostly don’t watch outlets like CNN or read the New York Times. Outlets apply that neurotic messaging for their own target audiences, who’ve been trained to live in terror of un-contextualized content, which everyone knows leads to Trump, fascism, and death.
I’d be the last person to claim there aren’t dumb people out there in America, but at least the audiences of channels like Fox and OAN know that content has been designed for them. The people gobbling down these pieces by Bloomberg and the Times that have the journalistic equivalent of child-proof caps on every paragraph that even parenthetically mentions COVID really believe that content has been dumbed down for some other person. They think it’s someone else who can’t handle news that vaccines work and that there also might be a pill that treats the disease, without freaking out or coming to politically unsafe conclusions. So they put up with being talked to like children — demand it, even. Which is nuts. Right? It is nuts, isn’t it?
DRACONID METEOR SHOWER PEAKS TONIGHT! Here's how to see it.
by Samantha Mathewson
The annual Draconid meteor shower peaks tonight (Oct. 8), just after dusk, and the moon will be dim enough for skywatchers to catch a good view.
The Draconid meteor shower occurs every year in early October, when the Earth passes through a stream of dust from the periodic Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. This year's Draconid meteor shower will be active from Oct. 6 through Oct. 10, but will reach its peak soon after dusk tonight (Oct. 8), offering the best viewing opportunity for skywatchers, according to In-The-Sky.org.
Generally, only a few Draconids are visible per hour. However, this year's meteor shower falls just after the new moon, meaning more meteors may be visible in tonight's sky since the thin waxing crescent moon creates less light interference.
While the Draconids can be seen anywhere in the night sky, they are best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. That's because the shower's radiant point — or the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to emanate — is near the head of the constellation Draco the Dragon in the northern sky.
The number of possible visible meteors increases the higher the radiant point is above the horizon. Therefore, you'll want to look towards the part of the sky that is slightly higher than the location of the constellation Draco the Dragon.
The radiant reaches its highest point in the sky just before nightfall local time, meaning that the meteor shower will likely produce its best displays soon after dusk, as long as there are clear skies, according to In-The-Sky.org.
Otherwise, you don't need any special equipment or skills to view a meteor shower — you'll just need to find a viewing spot away from city lights, with little light pollution. Also, you'll want to allow your eyes time to adjust to the dark and avoid looking at devices with a bright screen to ensure you don't miss any of the meteors that may pass overhead.