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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021

Warming | 12 New Cases | Giants Win | Yorkville Soup | Arson Fires | Fire Weather | Fisherspotting | Brendlen Retiring | Matchbook Cover | Illegal Weed | Piano Jimmy | Prostitute Plaque | Catch Helped | Yesterday's Catch | Zooming AOC | Talmage Hospital | Pernicious Gluttons | Redistricting | Professor Firestarter | Playland | Remembering Judi | Kniphofia | Gologorsky Book | Odd Compulsion | Postal Service | Vocational Programs | Groundwater Meeting | Child Care | Power Chat | Tesla Twain | Clothesline Rescue | Frightful Swans | Nut Growers | Quake Repair | Marco Radio

* * *

WARMER AND MAINLY DRY CONDITIONS will prevail this weekend, before a cold front swings through late Sunday, bringing cooler and locally breezy conditions early next week. (NWS)

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12 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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THE REFORMULATED 2021 GIANTS with their new manager and mostly new line up beat the LA Dodgers 4-0 Friday night in San Francisco behind crafty pitching by young Logan Webb, several stellar defensive plays and three home-runs from the no-easy-outs line up. They’ll try for two Saturday night in this the first ever post season playoff series between the long-time rivals. 

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YORKVILLE MARKET IN AUTUMN

Tomorrow, Chef B is serving delicious hearty potato leek soup, accompanied by Costeaux bread and Pennyroyal cheeses. We will be serving from 12:30ish-4:30ish or until sold out.

We also have an amazing batch of homemade bread pudding both by the slice and as a take and bake.

Hope you are all enjoying these beautiful Autumn days!

Best,

Lisa Walsh, Yorkville Market

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UKIAH VALLEY FIREFIGHTERS HAVE RESPONDED TO 113 ARSON FIRES SO FAR THIS YEAR

Investigators determined two-thirds of 168 blazes were intentionally set

by Justine Frederiksen

So far this year, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority has responded to 168 fires, two-thirds of which have been declared arsons, Capt. John Corippo reported this week.

“We responded to 168 fires since Jan. 1, and 113 of those were intentionally set,” said Corippo, describing arsons as 67 percent of the fires UVFA crews have investigated in 2021.

“That number is just mind-boggling to us,” said Corippo, especially given how extremely hot, dry and windy the weather conditions are much of the year now, and how every fire season over the past decade seems to get longer and more dangerous. “We’re seeing fires burn in ways we never have before.”

Arguably the most concerning arson blaze this year was the Hopkins Fire, which started Sept. 12 in Calpella and destroyed dozens of homes. But another arson fire closer to Ukiah had the potential to be just as devastating, Corippo said.

Called the Highway Fire because it started near the River Street exit off Highway 101, that fire quickly jumped the Russian River and headed to the Eastern Hills, where hundreds of residents were evacuated.

“I don’t know why we didn’t get earlier calls about that fire,” said Corippo, explaining that “nearly every day we get calls for a smoke check in the area, because lots of people camp under the bridges there” and typically start warming or cooking fires.

And while Corippo said that 102 of the fires so far this year have been tied to homeless encampments and transient activity that was not necessarily arson, UVFA Battalion Chief Eric Singleton said the Highway Fire was deemed to have been intentionally set.

“All other causes have been ruled out, which leaves only human cause,” said Singleton of the fire which started around 3:15 p.m. Aug. 11, adding that there are signs of encampments “all over the area” and UVFA investigators contacted people who may have seen the fire being started, or witnessed other suspicious activity.

The fire was first described as about two acres in size and burning two structures with the potential to grow to about 50 acres with multiple spot fires reported in the surrounding area.

Singleton said two outbuildings did burn, but crews were able to stop the fire from burning the water plant and nearby homes, although it did cross the river and headed east toward Redemeyer Road, prompting a mix of evacuation orders and warnings for many neighborhoods in the eastern hills, including El Dorado, Vichy Springs, Knob Hill and Deerwood.

No suspect has been identified or arrested in that rapidly expanding fire, which Corippo said is an example of why the UVFA is urging the community to call about every fire they see, as soon as they see it.

“We want to respond as quickly as possible to keep every fire as small as possible,” said Corippo, explaining that firefighters would rather respond to a fire that turns out to not be a problem, than not respond to one before it grows out of control.

“Any time you see fire or smoke where it shouldn’t be, call 911,” said Corippo, adding that dispatchers will then decide which agency needs to respond to the incident.

Earlier this year, Buckingham said he had become concerned that community members have become “numb” to much of the homeless and transient activity around them and have stopped calling authorities about incidents they witness, including fires.

Buckingham pointed to one fire on Gobbi Street earlier this year as particularly concerning, describing it as being started late at night and caught on a surveillance camera, the footage showing a woman clearly starting a fire with bright, visible flames that several cars passed by. However, he said no citizens called to report that fire.

“We just want to be notified,” said Corippo, adding that the UVFA will investigate every fire they respond to.

When asked how many arrests have been made in each of the 113 arson fires, Corippo said those numbers were not immediately available, but more and more suspects are being identified in arsons because of the “sheer amount of cameras” currently being used for surveillance.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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FIRE WEATHER WATCH FOR NORTH BAY NOW BEGINS SUNDAY NIGHT

by Mary Callahan

A fire weather watch is now in effect beginning Sunday night at 11 p.m. — 12 hours earlier than initially expected — as gusty winds and extremely dry conditions settle in around the North Bay mountains and the East Bay.

The alert was first issued Thursday.

The National Weather Service said peak winds will arrive Sunday night into Monday morning and again Monday night into Tuesday, raising the risk that any wildfire ignited could spread at a rapid rate.

The Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is monitoring the potential for dry, locally gusty north winds to develop in the North Bay hills Monday, but no Public Safety Power Shutoff has yet been called, PG&E spokeswoman Deanna Contreras said in an email.

However, there is increased potential of a safety shut-off starting Monday, she said, as the company has changed its PSPS forecast to “elevated” on its website, www.pge.com/weather, “in which you’ll see it could possibly include a very SMALL portion of Sonoma County. PG&E has also activated our Emergency Operations Center in response” to the fire weather watch, Contreras said.

The northerly winds also would contribute to reduced humidity, even though temperatures are predicted to get no higher than the 70s.

The fire weather watch is expected to run through 5 p.m. Tuesday, with the possibility it could be elevated to a red flag warning.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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A LOCAL WONDERS: “Am I off my rocker or did I see this type of creature (Fisher) running thru grass & trees off 128 between Philo and AV Way? Anyone else see anything like this? (Google image not mine)”

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REBECCA TO RETIRE

Hard Shoes to Fill and Go Giants

Dear AVUSD Community,

You may have heard the news that our beloved Rebecca Brendlen has decided to hang up her tiara and retire effective mid-December. She is the longest serving employee in the district and her amazing skills, knowledge, collaboration, and attention to detail is a huge loss to our staff and students. BUT, we can only honor her for her amazing career at AVUSD AND THANK HER FOR HER SERVICE.

We have posted her position on Edjoin. This is a critical hire as all of our funding actually ties through her amazingly detailed reports about students and their demographics. She also handles reporting for ELPAC, CAASPP, and so much more. We need to find someone that is comfortable with data and databases and can trace the errors.... Do you know anyone? If you do, have them call Vero or me, and we'll go from there on next steps.

Details on how we will celebrate Rebecca will follow. But I just want to say a heartfelt thank you, and in her honor as a committed and die-hard fan, I hope the Giants kick some $#$##$ tonight!

Take care,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

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* * *

SUPERVISOR JOHN HASCHAK: "I have been working with Senator McGuire and Sheriff Kendall to enhance enforcement against illegal cannabis grows in our County. On Sept. 29, the three of us, along with the sheriffs of Humboldt and Trinity counties, held a press conference to highlight the state funding $1.5 million for enforcement against the worst of the worst cannabis grows in our region. Mendocino County will get $600,000 for needed staffing and resources. The goal is to go after illegal water diversions, operations threatening endangered fish species, environmental degradation, or the presence of organized crime."

* * *

LAWRENCE LIVERMORE & PIANO JIMMY

It was a real kick-in-the-memory to read about Larry Livermore coming back to say hi and reminisce about Spy Rock and his Lookout band and creating unappreciated turbulence in Laytonville.

Before Larry and a few other troublemakers with poison pens came along, Laytonville was a live-and-let-live town. Despite being full of redneck loggers and mill workers who were not at all happy about the new marijuana culture, people in town mostly just wanted to be left alone: You mind your own business and I’ll mind mine. So town people did not care for Mr. Livermore or his Lookout. But the town absolutely despised another newcomer writer (who wrote for the Lookout or another local paper) who decided to shoot his mouth off over marijuana: a busybody and all around prick named Joe Knight. “Shit stirrer” the town people called him. Mr. Knight didn’t stay long in Laytonville but he sure left a pile of crap and angry people behind. “Shit stirrer.”

But it was fun to be reminded of Larry’s nemeses, Piano Jimmy, who gained a little bit of world fame from the many interviews Larry gave to music and entertainment publications about the beginnings of the Green Day band, stories slightly incorrect, but they read well.

Piano Jimmy was the keyboard player in the Red Hots, a popular Laytonville band fronted by a hot guitar player known as Indiana Slim. Slim loved off-the-wall people and off-the-wall music, and so he loved Larry Livermore’s Lookouts, who were young energetic teenagers who didn’t play their instruments very well and who, despite having a drummer who would later become famous in Green Day, couldn’t keep a beat.

The Lookouts, other than playing parties up on Spy Rock Road where they all lived, I don’t think ever had a local gig. But Slim would sometimes invite them to play a few songs during Red Hots gigs, and, well, Larry and Piano Jimmy were not the best of friends. It was at a Red Hots gig in Laytonville, not a Lookout gig, that Larry came up to the stage during a break and got in Jimmy’s face over something, and Larry reached up and banged on Jimmy’s piano keys. Jimmy punched him out. Nothing much came of it except for Larry’s reinventing and retelling the story year after year.

Piano Jimmy was a gruff but much liked man, and a big part of the Leggett community where he lived for many years. He helped found and run the annual Leggett Valley Folk Festival and always donated his time and music to fundraisers to support the tiny Leggett Volunteer Fire Department. Jimmy was married for forty years to a very sweet woman named Alice, who worked for the local judge as the clerk of the Leggett court, back when Mendocino County still had courthouses in most communities in the county. Jimmy passed away in 2020 at the age of 71. Jimmy’s obituary in the Redheaded Blackbelt fondly remembered “a larger than life character with a gravelly voice and a big heart.”

Those were good times, before marijuana destroyed the land and the community.

Please just sign me as a long-time member of the Laytonville community (48 years: almost local).

* * *

LAWRENCE LIVERMORE RESPONDS: 

I had heard from mutual friends that Piano Jimmy was seriously ill, but I did not know he had passed away. I'm sorry to hear that, and I send my condolences to his family and friends.

I had also heard over the intervening years that there was a lot more to Jimmy - most of it good - than picking fights with musicians whose style or approach he didn't approve of. And to be fair, I brought some of the trouble on myself by speaking too intemperately and acting too hastily. In any event, it's been several decades since I felt the need to harbor any resentment toward Jimmy or any of the other locals who didn't always welcome me with open arms. It was, as they say, character-building.

However, I would question the writer's assertion that Laytonville was a "live-and-let-live" oasis of rural harmony before those pesky newcomers started moving in. The town always had a mean streak to go along with its big heart. That being said, I probably was on the receiving end of more hostility from (some of) the hippies and pot growers than I was from the rednecks and townspeople. I might not have survived up there in the hills without the help and advice I received from many locals. Even the folks at Bailey's Logging Supplies were unfailingly courteous, despite the war of words I was constantly waging with Bill, their boss. And Bill himself dropped $20 (no small sum in the early 80s) in my tip basket when I was playing piano (let me be the first to admit I was no Piano Jimmy) at the Mad Creek Inn.

I'd like to address a couple small discrepancies in the writer's account, though. The Lookouts did in fact play some local gigs, and my first encounter with Piano Jimmy came at a gig I myself had set up at the old Czech Lodge (later Grapewine Station and Area 101). Although I'd seen Jimmy play with Slim's excellent band, the Red Hots, I'd never had any personal interaction with him until, in the middle of our set, he unplugged our power to show his disapproval of our music.

"That's not music, it's just a bunch of noise!" he shouted, which, I pointed out, was the same thing my father always said about any music created after the 1940s. But to be clear, this was our gig, and Jimmy was there voluntarily as a spectator. It was a free show, and nobody was forcing him to be there or to listen to us.

The unfortunate incident of the black eye happened at Harwood Hall in beautiful downtown Laytonville a couple of years later. Slim's band was playing a benefit show for the family of a young girl who'd tragically drowned, and he (Slim) invited the Lookouts to perform as well. By this time we actually had learned to play our instruments (a little, anyway), but even I had my doubts as to whether our style of music was appropriate to the occasion. But Slim encouraged me, saying that it would help create a feeling of the whole community uniting behind the bereaved family.

So we'd hauled all our instruments and equipment down from Spy Rock and were nervously waiting, not sure how we'd go over with the crowd, when Slim told me to get our gear up on stage and start playing. It was at that point that it became clear Jimmy was determined not to let us play, as he started removing our equipment from the stage as quickly as we could get it up there, then plugged in his piano and started noodling around with a fellow musician. Slim refused to take sides, essentially saying, "It's between you and Jimmy," and that's when I made the stupid move of banging on Jimmy's keyboard and received a hefty punch in return.

In retrospect, we probably shouldn't have been playing that show, but neither should Jimmy have been trying to use force to stop us from doing so. There are a lot of bands and musicians I can't stand listening to, but I'm pretty sure I've never physically tried to stop them from playing (maybe the fact that I'm only about half the size of Piano Jimmy had something to do with that). A lot of water under the bridge now (and hopefully there will be a lot more, if this accursed drought ever comes to an end). We found our audiences elsewhere, and all lived happily on.

I do agree to some extent that marijuana ruined things for the community, but one can't say that without acknowledging how, before it became Big Business, marijuana also enabled much of the community that we now remember so nostalgically. The same could be said of the logging and timber industry that preceded marijuana: Laytonville wouldn't have had much reason to be there without it, yet even though it created an economy that allowed families and businesses to (temporarily) thrive, it wound up destroying much of what made the area special. I guess you could say that about any industry that completely dominates and controls a city or region (I grew up in Detroit when the automobile was king, and look how that turned out).

I was surprised to hear Joe Knight mentioned with such vehemence. Joe was a columnist for the Laytonville Ledger, the town's weekly newspaper that preceded the Mendocino County Observer. He never wrote for the Lookout, nor would he have been allowed to, as I found his opinions too wishy-washy (though he himself, the couple of times I met him, seemed like a decent guy). I guess that was the thing, though: the radical firebrands didn't like his writing because it was too moderate, whereas the more reactionary locals thought of him as a contemptible liberal. I myself was banned from the pages of the Laytonville Ledger, which is how I wound up starting the Lookout, but that's another story.

Once again, thanks for the news and memories, and it sounds as though - bar a few not so significant details - we agree on more than we disagree. I've always told people that my time on Spy Rock and in and around Laytonville, was one of the most priceless and formative periods in my life, and I expect I'll continue saying so until they cart me away, so let me send my fond wishes and regards to all who once lived there or still do.

Lawrence Livermore

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HOW THE ‘LADIES OF THE NIGHT’ PLAQUE WAS RETURNED TO DOWNTOWN UKIAH

Mo Mulheren tracked down the memorial which the city replaced

by Justine Frederiksen

There’s a plaque honoring prostitutes in downtown Ukiah that reads, “To the Ladies of the Night, who plied their trade upon this site.”

The city of Ukiah returned the "Ladies of the Night" plaque to downtown in August. Justine Frederiksen -- Ukiah Daily Journal

Some people love the memorial. Resident Matilda Parrish said she makes a point of showing it to friends and family who come visit, reporting that “everyone always appreciates it.”

But not everyone in town shares that affection, because the plaque was removed late last year when at least one of the tenants in the building said they did not like having it there. The plaque and its rock were originally put in front of the building more than 40 years ago.

Almost immediately after the plaque disappeared, the outcry began. On Dec. 3, 2020, local artist Elias Laughton posted a photo on Facebook of the rock without the plaque and expressed dismay at the memorial’s removal, describing it as conveying “a sense of originality, uniqueness, and edgy character that I would like to think defines Mendocino County,” according to a story by Matt LaFever on the news website Redheaded Blackbelt.

Former City Council member Maureen “Mo” Mulheren, a lifelong Ukiah resident who was preparing to begin her new job as 2nd District Mendocino County Supervisor at the time, saw the uproar brewing on social media and decided to find the plaque.

Mendocino County 2nd District Supervisor Maureen Mulheren retrieved the plaque in December. (Photo courtesy of Mo Mulheren)

After contacting the owner of the building on West Church Street, she learned that “one of the tenants of the building was very uncomfortable with the plaque, so it was removed.” Once it was taken off its rock home, Mulheren said another tenant in the building held onto the plaque after seeing how upset many people were about its removal, and she gives that person much of the credit for her being able to retrieve the beloved artifact.

Once she had the plaque, Mulheren said she went to city officials in the hopes of displaying it again. She said the officials agreed the memorial was an important part of the city’s history, and “if (the plaque’s) story could be uncovered, they would display it again.”

“The city is committed to preserving the historic character of our community, and we do that through a number of ways,” said Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley when asked about the plaque, which the city recently returned to downtown about half a block away from its first home, now back on its original rock pedestal at the corner of West Church and South State streets. “I reached out to the owner of the building and explained that we would like to replace the plaque in the newly created planter, and the owner was generous enough to donate the rock that it had been mounted on.”

The plaque in its original spot on West Church Street. (Sarah Baldik photo)

According to research by Alyssa Ballard of the Historical Society of Mendocino County, there was a brothel on Church Street called Irene’s Place that was particularly well-known because it was “right behind City Hall and the fire department,” and there are rumors that underground tunnels connected many downtown buildings to the brothel so people could come and go unseen.

Ballard said the brothel closed by 1911, was sold in 1923, then was torn down and replaced by the three-story building there today. When the existing building was bought by Ted Feibusch, he learned of the block’s history and reportedly put up the plaque in the late 1970s.

No one contacted by Ballard or The Ukiah Daily Journal recently could remember why Feibusch felt compelled to honor the brothel workers, and Mulheren said she was told it was actually the group of history buffs called “The Clampers,” or E. Clampus Vitus, who put up the plaque.

However, current members of E. Clampus Vitus don’t think the plaque was erected by their group, since they have no record of it in their archives, and, most tellingly, it does not have the name “E. Clampus Vitus” on it. Members of the group said they are always “more than happy to take credit for our work.”

Some people were ‘very opposed’ to the plaque’s return.

Since both the removal and retrieval of the plaque was documented on social media, Mulheren said that during the process she was contacted by many people wanting to share their thoughts.

“Most people who called me wanted the plaque back, but there were some people who were very opposed,” she said, recalling having some “very interesting conversations” about women’s empowerment, and whether or not prostitution can ever be a vocation that a woman might choose for herself. Many opposed to the plaque, Mulheren said, believe that prostitutes as a whole are victimized and exploited, and therefore find the memorial offensive.

However, others believe that while the reasons many women turn to prostitution might be shameful, the women themselves should not be considered shameful. Parrish said she had “always been impressed that Ukiah chose to commemorate and memorialize these women whose circumstances led them to this work, (since) sex workers are generally invisible, but significant, in most communities. Acknowledging the work and its realities strengthens both public health and labor rights, and should be a goal. We pretend this sector of the labor force doesn’t exist at our own peril, and though it harms them most of all, it really harms the whole community.

“Plus, it’s just a generally cool bit of history to consider about the city and what it once looked like,” continued Parrish, who described herself as “troubled by the erasure” when the plaque was removed, and “very pleased to see it returned.”

Alyssum Wier, executive director of the Mendocino County Arts Council, said she could understand “how removing (the plaque) might feel like erasing an aspect of history that relates to women in Ukiah, and with so much of women’s history erased or never recorded in the first place, there might be an urge to defend this plaque.”

“Public space is full of all kinds of things a person might like and not like, but it’s shared space,” Wier continued, explaining that the plaque creates a “site of interest which is often good for cities, and it reminds us that if places could talk, every single block and every building in Ukiah would be endlessly fascinating.”

Now that the plaque has returned, Mulheren said she visits it most mornings while jogging downtown, and that the bench the city placed next to it has become “my favorite place to sit and make phone calls.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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A READER WRITES:

Thank you for the Catch of the Day for if you didn’t take the time to do this (no doubt more than just a little bit of work to compile everyday), I would not have recognized this man, Kyle Cohn, who has a history of violent crime, when he approached my daughter and me today in Ukiah.

Kyle Cohn

We were parked next to the community gardens behind the social services building, early afternoon eating our lunch in the car, when Cohn walked past my open window with another guy, way too close. As he passed by, he glanced sideways at me and said “Sorry,” then kept walking with his friend until they were a few yards ahead of us, where they stopped and talked. At this point I recognized Cohn, as he had been in the Catch earlier this week. After a couple of minutes, they started walking back, Cohn veering towards my car again. I quickly rolled up the window and locked the doors before he got closer. He asked if we were “going south,” muttering something about needing a ride to get to his daughter, by then I had the engine going and had started driving away.

Without the Catch I might not have been on high enough alert, as Cohn, while greasy, looks less feral and menacing than most perps. I might not have moved quickly enough to protect myself and my daughter. There were no other people around. It really seemed like they were casing us.

I’ll bet you get a lot of flak from people who think that posting arrest mugshots is such a mean and cruel thing to do, but it is a public service, without which, who knows what might have happened to us today.

I searched the AVA’s website and here’s Cohn’s arrest record:

  • Oct 5, 2021, Failure to appear
  • June 6, 2021, Burglary
  • May 10, 2021, Domestic battery, paraphernalia, disobeying court order, protective order violation
  • Oct 14, 2020 Failure to appear.
  • June 8, 2020, Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, resisting.
  • June 2, 2020, Domestic battery

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 8, 2021

Hughes, Perez, Silva, Ungaretti

WHITNEY HUGHES, Loleta/Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

ALMA PEREZ-RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license. 

WESLEY SILVA, Willits. Protective order violation, controlled substance, unlawful display of registration, reckless evasion.

GREGORY UNGARETTI JR., Sebastopol/Ukiah. Controlled substance, felon-addict with firearm.

* * *

WHO? AND WHO?

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, will participate in a joint virtual town hall next week with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The town hall, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 15, will focus on the Build Back Better initiative. It pushes job creation, tax cuts and cost reductions for working families.

Spanish, Bangla, Mandarin, Nepali and ASL translation will be available.

Huffman and Ocasio Cortez represent California's 2nd and New York's 14th Congressional Districts, respectively.

California constituents may send questions in advance to huffmanqanda@mail.house.gov. They may also call 415-258-9657 with their name, neighborhood and question.

Registration is available at bit.ly/3loeomO.

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Mendocino State Hospital, Talmage

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

You have Life? Good. Then Life has you as well All of you! Every organ, every drop of blood and, of course, your brain: your mind. But I have free will!, you say. Of course you do. Sort of.

Now Life is normally quite placid. Even though Life lives on by consuming itself; the feasting is benign, as it is with all Life’s wards; with one notable exception. You…and me. And the rest of the human race. We are Life consuming gluttons extraordinaire. Think Gettysburg, Dachau, Hiroshima and …factory farming: ad nauseam.

This is not new, of course. Our behavior is old news. Life has cut slack to humans because we have a uniqueness that has warranted observation over time. Time may have just run out.

Humans now have the ability to destroy the biosphere. Our pernicious conduct may have convinced Life that without its prompt interjection; it is inevitable.

Enter Mr.Covid 19. Force Majeure of modern plagues. Sponsor of the blame game to end all blame games. Seven billion people have an opinion…and an asshole. The ones who have a microphone or a computer demonstrate both, daily. Think Life has a hand in all this? Maybe the plague is a worldwide distraction to give the Biosphere a little breathing room to heal from ongoing human assault? Hmmm.

Millions are dead. Millions are becoming infected every day. The virus twists and turns and presents a new face constantly. We rush to keep up but seemingly always lag behind. How so? Is it out of our hands?

* * *

REDISTRICTING ADVISORY COMMISSION

Date: 10/12/2021 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Location: Zoom

Visit https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/executive-office/redistricting/redistricting-board-meetings-and-public-workshops for more details.

* * *

AN EXPERT ON THE CRIMINAL MIND, Now He's Suspected in an Arson Spree

He drove out of the Lumberjacks restaurant parking lot on a Tuesday in August, up Main Street, past the fire station and the gun shop. Then, Gary Maynard left the small city of Susanville in the northeastern corner of California and headed up a steep highway into the Sierra Nevada, where, prosecutors say, he set the forest ablaze.

sfgate.com/news/article/An-Expert-on-the-Criminal-Mind-Now-He-s-16518608.php

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Playland at Gobbi & Oak, Ukiah

* * *

BARI’S LEGACY

Editor,

In McEwen & Davin’s article on Judi Bari they make much about the hostility between the AVA and Bari. My memory goes back to the early days of the EF!/IWW presence in Mendocino County. At that time the AVA with Bruce Anderson beating the drum was the chief supportive organ of Earth First. She and EF dominated many issues in a most positive manner. 

Judi had a great anarchist brain and her articulate, humor-filled delivery forecast a future under enlightened worker and community control. 

Alas, with these gifts came a Stalinist tainted character. She belittled her own class allies and had a wicked mouth.

We must note at this time that Captain Fathom himself with substance abuse worked around his mental illness and was a prime and destructive “pain in the ass” at too many times.

Nonetheless, Fathom and the Albion Nation supported and protected Bari to the best of their ability (warts and all).

Judi Bari’s legacy continues with the leadership of the “forest defenders,” her former allies.

At 82, body broken, sight and hearing impaired, and demented brain — praying for devine intervention on a personal, national and international level, we salute our collective past.

Heaven help us all.

Alan ‘Captain Fathom’ Graham

Albion

* * *

* * *

THE WINDS OF SIXTIES CHANGE

by Jonah Raskin

Readers of Beverly Gologorsky’s new novel, Can you See the Wind?, (Seven Stories; $24.95) might be reminded of Bob Dylan’s Sixties anthem, “Blowing in the Wind.” In the pages of fiction, Gologorsky doesn’t offer answers or solutions to social and political problems, though she captures the winds of change that blew across the decade. Elsewhere she has said, “People, lots of them, can change policy. It takes a village and it takes patience.” Famed novelist Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge, says, “Gologorsky looks straight into the face of class in this country.” That comment appears on the cover of Gologorsky’s new novel, an anthem of sorts. Stout’s comment is true, though it’s not the whole truth. Granted, in her first novel, “The Things We Do to make it Home,” Gologorsky explores the lives of working class women—mothers, sisters, wives and widows. Granted, she is still writing about working class women and also about one working class family in particular that is stretched to the breaking point, but that’s also resilient. Gologorsky’s central character, Josie, is a woman with a sister and a mother, though she also has a brother and a nephew, and for a while a Black lover named Melvin who awakens to the cause of his own people.

In fact, “Can you See the Wind?” is as much about race, ethnicity and gender as it is about class. That’s to be expected in a novel that’s set in the late 1960s and that aims to tell much of the story of that time and place: the war in Vietnam, the protests against that war, the rise of feminist groups and organizations, Black power and the Panthers, abortions, the prison movement and state repression, as well as the counterculture that created coops and that changed the ways men and women dressed, talked and interacted. It’s all here, with crisp dialogue and vivid descriptions.

“Been there done that,” one might say of Gologorsky. In the 1960s, her feet were in the streets. She was also at her desk as an impassioned editor at Viet-Report and Leviathan.

The sections of the book that describe the tender and volatile relationship between Melvin and Josie are among the best sections in the book, though there are other sections that are also powerful, including one that takes place in a courtroom, another behind bars and yet another in a Black church.

Reading “Can You See the Wind?” can and does feel like watching a newsreel that captures in soundbites and images the topics of the day, from riots in the streets and underground cells to Attica and women’s marches on the Pentagon. The novel races along, though now and then it also slows down long enough for the characters to sit side-by-side and talk, watch TV, share food, enjoy sex, think deep thoughts about the past, the present and the future.

Gender and ethnicity aside, class still plays a big part in Gologorsky’s world. Her working class guys become cops and soldiers. They fire their weapons and are shot and wounded.

In one of the novel’s most endearing scenes, a woman employee tells her male boss, Artie, that she’s quitting her job and taking another one where people don’t speak of bosses but rather of the collective. Artie tells her that he has recently separated from his wife, Vi, and suggests that he and his employee eat at a “great steakhouse near Yankee Stadium.” Gologorsky traces the dualities of families; how they can be “a nest of vipers urging members to step into the same minefield again and again and a garden of angels ready to welcome any wayward child.”

Readers who know Gologorsky’s previous novels will probably want to dive into “Can You See the Wind?” For those who don’t know her previous work, it’s a good introduction to her sensibility. Veterans of the Sixties will find their memories of that decade reawakened. Millennials will be both entertained and educated about an era before Facebook and Lyft, when people met face-to-face in real time and spoke from their hearts.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Beat Blues, San Francisco, 1955.)

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THE POSTAL SERVICE IS A SERVICE, NOT A BUSINESS

by Jim Hightower

Corporate ideologues never cease blathering that government programs should be run like a business.

Really? What businesses would they choose? Pharmaceutical profiteers? Big Oil? Wall Street money manipulators? High tech billionaires? Airline price gougers?

The good news is that the great majority of people aren’t buying this corporatist blather. Instead, by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans stunned smug right-wing privatizers by specifically declaring in a poll last year that our U.S. Postal Service should not be “run like a business.”

Indeed, an overwhelming majority, including half of Republicans, say mail delivery should be run as a “public service.”

In fact, having proven that this neary 250-year-old federal agency can consistently and efficiently deliver to 161 million homes and businesses day after day, it’s time to let the agency’s trusted, decentralized, well-trained workforce provide even more services for our communities.

How about “postal banking?”

Yes, the existing network of some 31,000 post offices in metro neighborhoods and small towns across America are perfectly situated and able to provide basic banking services to the one-out-of-four of us who don’t have or can’t afford bank accounts. The giant banking chains ignore these millions, leaving them at the mercy of check-cashing exploiters and payday loan sharks.

The Post Office can offer simple, honest banking, including small-dollar checking and savings accounts, very-low-interest consumer loans, low-fee debit cards, etc.

The goal of postal banking is not to maximize corporate profits, but public service. Moreover, there’s nothing new about this. Our post offices served as banks for millions of us until 1967, when Wall Street profiteers got their enablers in Congress to kill the competition.

We The People own this phenomenal public asset. To enable it to work even better for us, go to AGrandAlliance.org.

(James Hightower is an American syndicated columnist, progressive political activist, and author.)

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MCOE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS: PHLEBOTOMY AND DENTAL ASSISTING

The Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) is currently enrolling students in two of its vocational programs: the 2022 Phlebotomy Training Program and the Spring 2022 Dental Assisting Program. Applications are available online at mcoe.us/District/Portal/adult-career-training-programs, due Friday, November 5.

Phlebotomy is the study of drawing blood. A phlebotomist draws blood for laboratory testing in a hospital, laboratory, or blood bank setting. The course covers the art of drawing blood, phlebotomy equipment, such as vacuatainer sets, butterfly sets, and syringes, anatomy, physiology of the cardiovascular system, the urinary system, and the respiratory system, along with the special needs of geriatric and pediatric patients. The course readies students to sit for the national phlebotomy exam, which must be passed in order to receive state licensure to practice phlebotomy.

Dental assistants are also in high demand, and they also perform both administrative and clinical duties. Dental assistants often work in dental clinics or dental offices. They prepare patients for treatments and teeth cleanings, process x-rays, and work with patients on billing issues, among other duties. Becoming a dental assistant is the first step in becoming a registered dental assistant, and additional specialty certificates are available after that.

In Ukiah, the Phlebotomy Training Program offers two cohorts. The January cohort offers classes Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:00PM — 8:00PM concluding in May. The March cohort offers classes on Fridays from 9:30AM — 4:00PM, concluding in July. The program requires 99 classroom hours and a 40-hour externship, The program is limited in enrollment numbers and it costs $2800.00, which can be paid in two installments.

Also in Ukiah, the Dental Assisting Program runs from January through May. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:15 PM — 9:15 PM. The 18-week course prepares students for front and back office dental assisting, including chairside and instrument sterilization. At the conclusion of the classroom training, students must complete a 120-hour externship with a dental practice. The program is limited to eight students and it costs $4000.00, which can be paid in two installments.

Successful applicants in this competitive process will have high school diplomas or the equivalent. These courses are college level curriculum. Phlebotomy students must undergo a medical screening, a background check and a drug test. Dental assisting students must also undergo a medical screening. Note that all medical employers require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for both externships and employment after training.

For more information about MCOE’s workforce development programs, call 707-467-5123 or email snevarez@mcoe.us.

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UKIAH VALLEY BASIN GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY BOARD MEETING

Time: Oct 14, 2021 01:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://mendocinocounty.zoom.us/j/83736990632?pwd=ais5WUI5ZUpvb0ZoRjFwa00yZG9SUT09

Meeting ID: 837 3699 0632

Passcode: 559093

One tap mobile: +16699009128,,83736990632# US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 837 3699 0632

Find your local number: https://mendocinocounty.zoom.us/u/kb6gJYGfyS

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RENEWABLES (Coast Listserve)

This survey says that 45.4% of Germany's electricity came from renewables, mostly wind, with solar trailing (this makes sense due to latitude.) The real problem is twofold... Germany's electrical infrastructure simply can't transport the energy being produced by renewable sources from the north to the south where it's needed. Worse, because of the overproduction locally, it's flooding the local energy market with electricity with negative monetary value, tanking the energy industry and causing the financial collapse of the local market. This is what happens when you just throw an incompatible technology on a grid without considering the full implications it will have on infrastructure, economics, and technological incompatibilities. The grid is tuned for fossil fuel, and renewables are breaking the system. Again why, they are hitting saturation in places like Germany at around 25 - 35%. German's are producing too much renewable energy... they're having to pay their neighbors to cut back production, to fix their market woes. It's a blazing cluster-f#ck.

The problem isn't that renewables can't meet the need, they can far exceed it. The problem isn't that it's too expensive, in fact part of the problem is flooding the grid with cheap energy breaks the market. There remains no good way to get the energy where it's produced to where it's needed in these quantities. The infrastructure is wholly insufficient to make this technology viable. The value of reactors is that you can put them exactly where you need them. You can't so easily optimize wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, or ocean based energy production because they all rely on geographically unique conditions. Solar is a little better, but even that is best used nearer the temperate zones, and of course with the caveates we've already discussed.

Until we can store unlimited power, safely, and inexpensively, efficiently convert electricity to chemical energy for "Unplugged" machinery, and have a global grid capable of transporting energy from the side of the world upon which the sun is shining to the side in which it's not, we will not be able to fully utilize the full potential of renewables. By the way, all energy production and consumption will benefit from this infrastructure. It will also allow us to harvest natural electrical phenomena, like lightning, and energy from solar geomagnetic activity, these are even more infrequent, but potentially huge energy sources we simply have no current access to. In fact they exist now as a serious threat to our technology and could at least in theory wipe out both our existing grids and any technology based on digital devices (which these days means everything from phones, to cars, to hospital life support, to pace makers, to POS store operation, to... everything we do.)

We use the 1859 Carrington event as our measure for a 9 on the Richter Scale Seismic event for our energy infrastructure. And to be clear, such an event would be absolutely devastating in today's world. But we now know that events happen, far more frequently than we ever thought, that are a 100 times more powerful than even the Carrington Event. Effectively 11s on the Richter Scale of electrical energy. Such an event would render this society back to Stone Age level overnight. The millions around the world who would simply drop dead, beggars the imagination. This is every bit as big a threat as medium to large asteroid impact, and requires some careful global planning and action immediately. I want to be the first to invest in drywall with a carbon fiber Faraday Cage built into it. Besides being stronger and lasting longer, it would protect a home from this danger (combined with lightning level surge protection, and off grid energy production for emergencies.) Suddenly that home solar is looking pretty sweet again, eh?

— Marie Tobias

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MARIE TO THE OTHER MARIE

Electric producion in Germany as of Oct 7, 9AM

Ah,,, got it... instantaneous snapshot... no solar at night... that makes sense... renewables produce when they produce, again, why you need to have a global grid to even out the variable micro-conditions, that at a city or even a state level might prove problematic. Certainly large enough to make sure the sunny side of the planet is powering the dark side.

Again, the economics of renewables is a cluster f#ck... they should be cutting costs! Instead they disrupt normal supply and demand with famine-feast, and the system is simply not made to properly compensate. In fact as I mentioned. Germany has to pay its neighbors to not make electricity... crazy right?

As for California's summer rolling brownouts;

The folks looking to set the migration to renewables, didn't take climate change into the equation (at least not sufficiently) and solar is awesome, but it produces when it produces and you can't squeeze more sunlight out of a sudden increase in need... like a heat wave (and heat waves are going to be coming hard and fast from now on, so somebody better get on the stick.) For that you need a source that variably increases or decreases generation on demand, and whatever you have, you better have some way to store massive amounts of power in the case of network surge, or drop out, or unplanned peak need. The California grid is actually pretty flexible, but the changing climate is moreso, and we need to add mucho, mondo storage like right now, or this is the new normal. Of course this brings us back to... Liquid Salt, upon which we have no disagreement, and why a diverse energy infrastructure needs the mix... yadda, yadda, yadda...

On the issue in Texas... the problems there were not renewables... that would be an utter misrepresentation. Even the nuclear plants had problems... The problem was logistics, poor planning, a broken grid, no access to power outside the state (Oklahoma went through exactly the same insanity, without so much as a Hiccup), and an utter incapacity to even begin addressing the implications of climate change... and to date, the State of Texas has done exactly nothing to prevent this from happening again, and it most certainly will. This was the end result of decades of mismanagement, and greedy bastards raping Texas financially. They were able to get away with it, as long as the system was never stressed beyond a certain point (like California's Summer Brownout Snafu), and when it broke it flat out exploded, leaving Texas to suck gas for weeks and in some places months. This disaster would have been exactly as bad with or without the presence of renewables... this was bad management.

This is the Yale study on the failure, but Texas is almost a perfect primer on how not to make a functioning energy distribution system. The renewables certainly test our grids, because they aren't made to support intermittent production sources... that's not a failure of the source. It's an engineering and logistical failure of the folks implementing the changeover to a different technology. These are all problems with workable solutions, and they solve not only the problems associated with renewables, but provide the flexibility a future grid is going to need in our changing fossil free world. But it's pretty clear that the folks who think they're going to cheap their way to the future without doing this right in the first place, are going to suffer all sorts of hell, and the people they serve will pay with their lives and their health.

Mike, there's no inherent problem with having a significant amount of renewable technology in the future grid. For the next 20 years we could slowly go from say 35% - 60% safely as we backfill our grid with the necessary technology to facilitate that move. The LaLa people who think PETA is a religion and that we can all live on rays of love from GAWD... need to sit this one out. Renewables promise to be able to ultimately produce over a 100 times more power than we need in the foreseeable future... but not with the infrastructure we currently have. And that's going to take decades of hard work and significant expense. We need a proper stopgap now. LSRs are the only way to get off the Fossil Fuel merry-go-round, with a low enough cost and environmental impact to make all the other technologies we hope for as long term solutions, viable. That and they are fully compatible with the existing grid and energy demographics. Even if they aren't the permanent solution (and coming breakthroughs in technology may make them a permanent solution), they are precisely what we need right now.

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Tesla & Twain

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SOLAR ENERGY ON THE FRONTLINES & OLD FASHIONED CLOTHESLINES

by Ralph Nader

Solar energy comes to Earthlings in many ways. Ancient Persians used passive solar architecture. East Africans about the same time funneled cool ocean wind through tunnels to cool themselves.

Now at long last, solar energy is outpacing new fossil fuel and nuclear facilities on price, environmental safety, and speed of installation.

One use of solar that has not received enough attention is drying clothes with clotheslines or clothes racks. Before global warming and our climate crisis became a public concern, some local governments banned backyard clotheslines as community eyesores. Fortunately, 20 states have passed “Right to Dry Laws” that allow people to use this simple low-tech and appropriate technology to reduce fuel consumption.

A big booster of hang-drying your laundry is environmentalist Joe Wachunas from Portland, Oregon. Twenty years ago, while traveling as an exchange student in Italy, he learned that only three percent of Italian households owned a dryer. Italians, he noticed, dried their clothes on clotheslines, high-rise balconies, or in open windows catching sun and cross breezes.

Wachunas has competed against dryers, taking only eight minutes longer to hang up a load of clothes than it takes to load a dryer, (not to mention a trip to and from a laundromat). Also, by line-drying, he estimates a savings of $600 a year per family, and your air-dried materials will last longer and shrink less.

As you might think, the great majority of people in the US use a clothes dryer. About 80 percent of Americans use dryers that gobble up more electricity in a household than other appliances (except for refrigerators). These folks will find moving to clean and green drying has many benefits.

Last March, Mary Marlowe Leverette wrote a piece on the Top 10 Reasons to Line Dry Laundry. You can save money, promote energy conservation, give your clothes more freshness, less wear and tear, increase your physical activity, help whiten and disinfect laundry, reduce fire risks (clothes dryer fires number around 15,000 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually in the U.S. with property losses estimated at $99 million).

There is also the intangible value of peacefulness and harmony with nature when you spend some ten minutes to enjoy the weather. When the weather does not permit, indoor line drying increases humidity in a home during dry winter weather.

Finally, you feel you are making a small difference to protect the environment and set an example in your neighborhood or apartment building. Who knows what good things can spontaneously emerge while chatting with the neighbor or having backyard conversations, uninterrupted by iPhone distractions. The venerable clothesline makes common sense.

Also consider rejecting the crazy leaf blower (See: Shut off the leaf blowers and restore peace to suburbia, by Peter Bahouth) and the noisy gas powered lawn mower – two contributions to pollution and obesity in America. Maybe a gaze at a fluttering clothesline in the sun will persuade some users of these belching technologies on small lawns to pick up a rake and start using the old fuel-free push lawn mower. Such personal choices often lead people to become advocates for broader solar systems.

Rivulets, brooks, and streams make possible the mighty Mississippi River. Billions of people can do their part to usher in the use of more of the sun to help save the Earth from the man-made climate crisis/catastrophe.

Clothespins, anyone?

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

by James Kunstler

So, you’re feeling down and blue about the Woke Luciferian madness shading our American life under its baleful bat-wings? A lot of my friends and loved ones are down and blue. At this darkest of dark hours, I have some advice for you. Say ‘okay’ to whatever shade the universe is throwing on you. Rise! Go with it. Run with it and mount it. Ride it until you exhaust the beast that has made itself your enemy. Ride it until it goes to ground and whimpers. Because that’s is how it ends and you get your life back.

The frightful swans, black, white, and gray, are circling in the sky like those old air-traffic jams above the runways of O’Hare in bad weather. They are looking to land, and as they do, they will change everything. Enough people around the country will finally get their minds right. They will come back to themselves wondering… where have I been? This is what is coming at us (let’s count the ways):

Suddenly, as if from nowhere an energy crisis is upon us — but you knew it was there all along, or you should have known. Things don’t work well when the fossil fuels get scarce or pricey or have to come from so far away that getting them is beyond your control. When these things happen, everything you need costs more and some things quit working altogether.

The EU bureaucrats thought they would force a dozen countries to go “green” by sheer force of will. They thought that blocking the Nordstream 2 pipeline — designed to bring Russian natgas to the West — was a good idea. “Joe Biden’s” first act in office was to shut down the Keystone pipeline. Look now, there’s color in the treetops and the temperatures are falling. That frost on the pumpkin isn’t so charming when there’s also frost inside your windowpanes. The lights may be going out in your house, but that will finally switch on the light in your brain. You’ve been played.

The global economy of interdependent super-systems is breaking apart. It seemed like a good idea at the time when the beast put it together… the Lexus and the Olive Tree and all that reassuring bullshit… and now times have changed. Now the supply lines are choking on their own hyper-complexity as each nation in the global “community” has to contend with its own bad decisions and the fragilities they have exposed. Chinese factories don’t work so well without Australian coal. Here’s an idea: maybe someday Australia will get back to work and learn how to make something with its own coal. (America, are you alert?)

The beast has decimated small business everywhere, leaving the people at the mercy of gigantic chain stores — with their dying business model — and now they can’t get any stuff because it comes from so far away, and the ships transporting it can’t dock because there’s nobody to unload it and there aren’t enough truck drivers to take it anywhere, all because of the beast’s reckless and craven stupidity. Let me light your fire, America: think about making your own stuff again, maybe not as much as before, but, honestly, we don’t need ten-foot-tall inflatable Santas and a lot of other plastic crap.

Sooner or later the capital markets are going to see how badly the beast has been playing them and the shock will make them roll over. The markets will reach a painful insight: that there is, after all, a direct relationship between capital and what people do on-the-ground in their daily lives — either honestly and earnestly making things, and usefully serving their fellow human beings, or else becoming a multitude of Hunter Bidens, moving from one grift to the next in a haze of drugs, making nothing of value and serving no one. That clarifying bolt of insight will, alas, leave a lot of people broke and just a little farther along, as the old gospel song goes, they will understand why.

We’re in for another wave of invasion down on the US-Mexican border. This one, with hundreds of thousands marching north, will make the previous episode at Del Rio, Texas, look like a mere yoga class in comparison. Is there any doubt that this is happening because the figures behind the phantom “Joe Biden” want it to happen? The “optics” are already atrocious, but how do you think it will play with ever more Americans thrown out of work, and the prices of food, home heating, and gasoline surging upward, and as citizens are hassled at every turn to show their vaccine papers (while the border-jumpers get free bus tickets to Oshkosh, Bangor, and Spokane, along with a package of re-settlement goodies paid for with tax dollars)? It might be enough to even awaken the Woke. Played again!

How do you like your FBI and DOJ turning on the citizens of this land, you mothers of and fathers of schoolchildren getting the Woke business from the cadres of Saul Alinsky, Susan Rice, and Barack Obama? How dare you foment domestic terrorism in the town offices where the school boards meet? Were you just sucking it up before, all these months, while your kids were subjected to the Drag Queen Reading Hour and the malicious inanities of anointed MacArthur Fellow Ibram X. Kendi? Now is your time to rise and respond. No, Merrick Garland, you depraved little prick, we will not stand this anymore. We rise against you! We dare you to send your goons in!

Are you ready, perhaps for war? Other nations may be, sensing America’s signal weakness. How would you rate our most recent military performance in Afghanistan? Does it give you a warm inclusive feeling to know that our top brass ordered flight suits for pregnant pilots? And that they are on vigilant watch to prevent any white privilege from contaminating our tactics and strategy? Things are heating up and pulsing red in the Straits of Taiwan. Will China dare to seize the island as they dared to seize Hong Kong a year ago? We probably won’t have to wait for long to find out.

Daunting times for sure. But they are our times and we must own them. A lot of this is truly beyond our control, but not what happens here in our country among ourselves. And one thing you can begin to do right away, right now, is to defy the regime that affects to be running your lives. We may even, very suddenly as events unspool, arrive at a surprising consensus that we need to get rid of it.

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

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GOVERNOR ASKS URBAN USERS TO VOLUNTARILY REDUCE WATER USE AS NUT GROWERS SUCK UP WATER

by Dan Bacher

Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Executive Director of the San Francisco Baykeeper, believes that “it’s nuts” to ask California’s urban water users to voluntarily reduce water use while allowing almond, walnut, and pistachio growers to use large amounts of water - enough to flood all of Rhode Island and Delaware to waist deep - during a record drought.

On July 15, Governor Gavin Newsom added nine counties to the regional drought state of emergency and urged Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15 percent “with simple measures” to protect water reserves if drought conditions continue.

“The realities of climate change are nowhere more apparent than in the increasingly frequent and severe drought challenges we face in the West and their devastating impacts on our communities, businesses and ecosystems,” said Governor Newsom.

The Governor signed an Executive Order calling on all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15 percent compared to 2020 levels through “simple actions such as reducing landscape irrigation, running dishwashers and washing machines only when full, finding and fixing leaks, installing water-efficient showerheads and taking shorter showers.”

State officials estimate an additional 15 percent voluntary reduction by urban water users from 2020 levels could save as much as 850,000 acre-feet of water over the next year for future use, or enough to supply more than 1.7 million households for a year, according to the Governor’s Office.

Unfortunately, what the Governor failed to mention when calling for an additional 15 percent voluntary reduction by urban water users is that the state’s almond, walnut, and pistachio orchards suck up more water than *all of us combined*, according to Choksi-Chugh.

“It would be laughable, except that I’m crying,” said Choksi-Chugh in an action alert on September 30. “These industrial nut farms — more than 2 million acres of them — are getting enough water during the drought to produce a near-record crop, mostly for export.”

“Meanwhile, to grow these nuts, we divert way too much fresh water flowing from our rivers and Delta. As a result, six fish species in San Francisco Bay are nearing extinction, the Delta is being choked with toxic algae, and communities are being deprived of clean drinking water,” she noted.

“It's nuts not to prepare for drought in California. Our state has dry years — often extremely dry — and with climate change, things will only get worse,” she stated.

“We expect our elected leaders to know that, and to take the measures necessary to protect the people and wildlife of California instead of propping up unsustainable agribusiness. That's why it's so frustrating when governor after governor ignores the historic realities of California's climate and the ongoing decline in the water quality of our rivers and Bay — and Governor Newsom doesn't get a free pass just because he survived a recall,” she stated.

Choksi-Chugh added, “Governor Newsom is giving water handouts to California’s industrial agriculture at the expense of a healthy San Francisco Bay and the people who depend on it. What's worse, he's using bad science from the Trump era to justify it. Water-intensive crops like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios get irrigated while toxic algae fills the Bay's tributaries and salmon die. This puts Bay Area residents and our local fishing businesses in peril, while leaving vulnerable communities without safe and affordable drinking water.”

She said the State Water Board has developed a plan, “based on actual science,” that would require increased river flows into the Bay and require both industry and cities to use water sustainably. But she said Governor Newsom has actively blocked this science-based plan.

Choksi-Chugh urged Californians to watch the group’s new video <https://baykeeper.org/civicrm/mailing/url?u=8705&qid=1611798> to find out more — made in partnership with NRDC — and then to sign the petition <https://baykeeper.org/civicrm/mailing/url?u=8706&qid=1611798> urging the Governor to “face reality.”Tell Governor Newsom to reject Trump-era “science” and say no to greed. <https://baykeeper.org/content/take-action-stop-extinction-crisis-bay#skip>

The reason why “way too much fresh water” is diverted from our rivers and Delta to irrigate California nut orchards during a drought to grow nut crops — enough to flood all of Rhode Island and Delaware to waist deep — is because of regulatory capture by corporate agribusiness.

Stewart and Lynda Resnick, billionaire agribusiness tycoons and major promoters of the Delta Tunnel and increased water pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, are the largest orchard fruit and nut growers in the world. They have donated a total of $366,800 to Governor Gavin Newsom since 2018, including $250,000 to the campaign to fight the Governor’s recall.

These latest donations are not the only agribusiness donations given to Newsom’s campaigns by the Resnicks since 2018. Newsom received a total of $755,198 in donations from agribusiness in the 2018 election cycle, based on the data from www.followthemoney.org. That figure includes a combined $116,800 from Stewart and Lynda Resnick and $58,400 from E.J. Gallo, combined with $579,998 in the agriculture donations category.

Nicknamed “the Koch Brothers of California” by activists, the Resnicks have contributed many millions of dollars to candidates from both sides of the political aisle and to proposition campaigns so they can continue selling back public water to the public at a huge profit while promoting legislation and other efforts to weaken laws protecting fish, wildlife and water.

The Resnicks have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to not only Newsom, but to Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other governors in California.

In November 2018, the Resnicks’ Wonderful Orchards LLC donated $100,000 to Jerry Meral’s unsuccessful Proposition 3 water bond campaign that would have funded projects to benefit the Resnicks and other growers.

The Resnicks also contributed $150,000 to Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 1 water bond campaign in the fall of 2014. To read about how Brown broke his Prop 1 “promise” to not spend any water bond money on the Delta Tunnels, read my East Bay Express article: www.eastbayexpress.com/

 <https://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2015/04/29/why-governor-brown-broke-his-prop-1-promise-big-money-interests-dumped-218-million-into-the-prop-1-campaign>

The Resnicks have also donated many hundreds of millions of dollars throughout their Resnick Family Foundation to the University of California system and the arts in California.

In September of 2019, the Resnicks announced a $750 million pledge to Caltech to “support cutting-edge research into the most pressing challenges in environmental sustainability.”

The couple own the POM Wonderful <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POM_Wonderful> and Fiji Water <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji_Water> brands, Wonderful Halos, Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, JUSTIN Wines, Landmark Wines, JNSQ Wines, Suterra Pest Control and the Teleflora <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleflora> floral wire service company.

The Resnicks became notorious for buying water for as little as $28 per acre-foot from the State of California and then selling it for as much as $196 per acre-foot back to the state, according to an article by the late Mike Taugher in the Contra Costa Times on May 23, 2009. The state then used this water to supply other irrigators whose Delta water supply had been previously curtailed.

“As the West Coast’s largest estuary plunged to the brink of collapse from 2000 to 2007, state water officials pumped unprecedented amounts of water out of the Delta only to effectively buy some of it back at taxpayer expense for a failed environmental protection plan, a MediaNews investigation has found,” according to Taugher. (http://www.revivethesanjoaquin.org/...)

The couple’s huge agricultural operations, based in Kern County, use more water annually than every home in Los Angeles combined, according to an article by Josh Harkinson in Mother Jones magazine on August 9, 2016: www.motherjones.com/... <https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/08/lynda-stewart-resnick-california-water/>

The latest donations from the Resnicks came in the wake of the news that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found zero Delta Smelt *(Hypomesus transpacificus)*, once the most abundant fish species in the estuary, in its 2020 Fall Midwater Trawl Survey throughout the Delta. This was the third year in a row that zero smelt were found in the survey.

“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 Börk, John Durand, T-C Hung and Andrew L. Rypel. “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.”

Not only did the survey catch zero Delta Smelt, but it also found zero Sacramento Splittail, a native minnow that was removed from the Endangered Species list by the Bush administration.

The zero Delta Smelt and Sacramento Splittail found in the survey reflect an ongoing collapse of pelagic (open water) fish species in the Delta that also includes Longfin Smelt, Striped Bass, Threadfin shad and American Shad. 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.

As the Delta smelt and other fish species move closer and closer to extinction in the wild, Governor Newsom, like California governors before him, has done little to stop the smelt’s slide towards extinction, but has instead promoted water policies that will only hasten the extinction of the Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Central Valley steelhead, spring and winter-run Chinook salmon and other fish species.

The Delta Tunnel, Sites Reservoir and voluntary agreements that Newsom backs not only threaten Central Valley and Delta species, but the salmon and steelhead populations that have been an integral part of the culture of the Yurok, Hoopa Valley, Karuk and other Tribes for thousands of years.

Could Newsom’s support of Big Ag-promoted projects be because of the hundreds of thousands of dollars Newsom has received from corporate agribusiness interests like the Resnicks that support increasing water exports from the Delta rather than decreasing them?

By fast-tracking the Delta Tunnel, supporting the Big Ag-backed voluntary water agreements, overseeing the issuing of a draft EIR that increases water exports for the state and federal projects rather than reducing them and releasing a controversial water portfolio that includes fast-tracking the Sites Reservoir, it appears that Newsom is bending to the will of his agribusiness donors and sending Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Sacramento winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead and other fish species to the scaffold.

The dramatic decline of Delta smelt and other species, when viewed over the period of 53 years since 1967 when the State Water Project went into operation, is simply chilling.

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.

The CDFW’s Fall Midwater Trawl Survey for 2021 began on September 1 in the Delta.

Will zero Delta smelt be found in the survey like has been the case over the past 3 years? How will other Delta pelagic species fare in this year's survey? Will the Delta smelt become declared extinct in the wild this year or next, as Dr. Peter Moyle and other scientists fear?

Stay tuned - I plan to report on the survey results every month as soon as the results are posted online and then I will do a wrap-up article after the full survey results are released, probably in late December or early January.

* * *

Quake Damage, Ukiah, 1907

* * *

MOTA: Good Night Radio live from Franklin Street all night tonight!

Hi! Marco here. 

Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 6pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on the radio /next/ week.

Or call and read your work in your own voice. I'll be in the well-lighted back room of the storefront studio at 325 N. Franklin, where the number in 962-3022. If there'll be swears, please wait until after 10pm, to not agitate the weasels.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128 (That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.)

Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there.

Too, there you'll find a premature but presumptuous pumpkin bulging with educational delights to mess with until showtime, or any time, such as:

These men labor so you never /have/ to do it without the fez on. The method dates back to the 1200s, and possibly earlier.

https://laughingsquid.com/cairo-fez-maker/

Don't do this. As if.

https://boingboing.net/2021/10/05/contortionist-impossibly-spins-on-her-teeth.html

And art from the Dreamtime: Fire dreaming.

https://japingkaaboriginalart.com/articles/fire-dreaming-waru-tjukurrpa/

— Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

21 Comments

  1. john ignoffo October 9, 2021

    Bright Green Lies, a book recommended by Chris Hedges, has a very sobering view of our environmental conundrum. As grandpa said, “Figures don’t lie, but liars sure do figure.” Our beloved AVA is referenced for an article titled “Logging to Infinity” . The authors very convincingly argue that most environmentalists “are solving for the wrong variable.”

  2. Stephen Dunlap October 9, 2021

    “off your rocker” we saw what we thought a dark color coyote cross the road in the area Thursday morning – not sure sure if it is your sighting ?

  3. Stanley Kelley October 9, 2021

    Rode up behind a fisher out in the Woodlands camp 2 last year. Sleek fellah.

  4. Kirk Vodopals October 9, 2021

    Reading Kunstler foment the already nauseating culture wars just reminds me of all the old coots I know who babble on incessantly with the overarching tone that “the world is screwed without them.”

    • chuck dunbar October 9, 2021

      Yep, he’s way, way out-there today, yet another voice for craziness and discord. It’s just what we don’t need more of. Rush LImbaugh’s dead, but there’s always others to fill the gap. And they often make big bucks doing so.

    • chuck dunbar October 9, 2021

      Kunstler’s Rant Today

      It’s Kunstler on meth again, with this little gem as one example of his own depravity:

      “…Now is your time to rise and respond. No, Merrick Garland, you depraved little prick, we will not stand this anymore. We rise against you! We dare you to send your goons in…!

  5. David Severn October 9, 2021

    Not long ago when the Navarro was still a flowing river I spotted a marten fooling around the River’s edge here in Philo. When queried old timers told me they were common along the coast. I believe that’s what you saw.

    • Dick Whetstone October 9, 2021

      I agree. Fishers are a next step bigger and stockier
      .

  6. Marmon October 9, 2021

    RE: TRENT JAMES

    I appears that Mr. James’ Youtube channel has been taken down, I also can’t find his instragram account.

    This should be news.

    Marmon

      • Marmon October 9, 2021

        Thanks Laz, I guess I was not looking for it by the right title. It doesn’t come up under his name.

        Marmon

      • Bruce Anderson October 9, 2021

        I just watched it, too. Still nothing specific.

        • Lazarus October 9, 2021

          It is interesting that this man has 16 or 17 thousand views and counting. What do we have here, 90 thousand people on a good day?
          But he needs some County goodie soon, or the groupies will move on.
          Laz

        • Marmon October 9, 2021

          Jeez Anderson, this isn’t a trial, no one is under sworn oath yet. The right people are watching this and making contact with him, especially “Team Flatten” and their attorney’s. Under sworn oath, he most likely will give specifics. Set back and watch the show.

          Marmon

    • Bruce McEwen October 9, 2021

      My Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Arthur McEwen was Hearst’s Editor, and Old Uncle Art was fond of saying (and I’m paraphrasing from memory), “people mistakenly think when they shake out the morning paper, ‘Well, now, let us just see what the Almighty, in His infinite wisdom and wit, hath wrought whilst I slept’ — this quaint notion having little or nothing to do with how the News is created — and these same people would be appalled at the truth of the matter, wherein a plain mortal editor decides what the News will be for the day.”

      Now, I don’t have the computer/internet skills to find the exact quote and, Uncle Art being dead and buried all these years (he was born the same day as me, only a hundred and one years earlier, a most astounding coincidence!), I may have misremembered some particulars of his diction; yet, I trust any curious reader, if adequate search were made, could come up w/ it verbatim … and it’s really quite a prize observation, well worth the chase.

      • Bruce McEwen October 9, 2021

        Correction: Great Uncle — not Grandfather, sorry.

  7. Marmon October 9, 2021

    I went to a WAR concert in Rocklin, Ca. last night, great show. Prior to announching WAR the mayor of Rocklin came out to tell the crowd that P Logan Webb who was pitching for the Giant’s last night was a Rocklin High graduate. The crowd went nuts. He had a lot of wind behind his sails.

    P.S. The percustionist for WAR, Marcos Reyes, is a good friend of mind, free tickets baby, and invited to their after party at the Hilton.

    https://youtu.be/YllP22mVZQg

    Mamon.

  8. Marmon October 9, 2021

    RE: TRENT JAMES

    He should run for Sheriff. “Walk tall and carry a big stick”

    Marmon

    • Marmon October 9, 2021

      I wonder what Trent is going to say about overtime?

  9. Jim Armstrong October 9, 2021

    Nice to see a piece by Jim Hightower again.
    His USPS thoughts are good ones, but I am afraid waiting a half hour for a grouchy teller would not better my banking.

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