Chilly Mornings | 10 New Cases | Desal Helping | Firefighters Training | Redistricting Mischief | Marine Talk | Benefit Picnic | Forest Battle | Pirate Homecoming | Stone Delay | County Openings | Can Kicking | Indigenous People | Ed Notes | Bettega Caught | Shark Souped | PA Testing | Bantam Brigade | Clarinet Ensemble | Yesterday's Catch | HumCo Decision | Label Up | Plastic Oceans | Conspiracy Theorists | Unfree Speech | Time Slip | Allergic Reactions | Squidoween | Brown Sugar | Meteorite Visit | Gas Powered
DRY WEATHER, MILD AFTERNOONS, AND COLD MORNINGS will be likely through Saturday. Rain will be possible on Sunday, followed by dry weather on Monday, and then additional rainfall during mid to late portions of next week. (NWS)
10 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
FORT BRAGG DOWNGRADES TO STAGE 2 WATER WARNING
Last Night, the Fort Bragg City Council passed a Resolution to move from a Stage 4 Water Crisis to a Stage 2 Water Warning. The transition is the result of increased water supply from the City’s desalinization unit, increased flows in the Noyo River and the City’s ability to restore Summers Lane Reservoir to full capacity. The City hosted a small informal ribbon cutting on Friday, Octorber 8 and allowed members of the public to see the Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Treatment System up close and operational. During high tide cycles, the desalinization unit can provide as much as 25% of the City’s daily water supply needs. The start of fall also brought some rain, lower temperatures and changes in the water needs of trees and vegetation, resulting in increased water flows in the Noyo River. This has allowed the City to divert water from Waterfall Gulch to restore the Summers Lane Reservoir to capacity.
Questions and concerns about the Stage 2 Water Warning can be directed to email@example.com or by calling the Department of Public Works at (707) 961- 2823, Ext. 131. Additional information and water conservation guidance is available on the City’s Water Conservation webpage.
LAST WEEK, Firefighters from Ukiah, Hopland, Howard Forest, and Chamberlin Creek Fire Center, engaged in a collaborative training on Cow Mountain in Ukiah. Teamwork makes the dream work! (via Kathy Wiley)
REDISTRICTING MISCHIEF AFOOT?
Please send this out to your network(s).
Mendocino County formed a County Redistricting Commission to redraw County Supervisor District lines.
This “Commission” is currently working in a virtual vacuum, as the County has not/is not adequately publicizing its meetings.
I am urging -- pleading -- for each and every one of you to go to the Mendocino County website, go to the CEO's button, and click the Redistricting button. There you will find a survey. Please fill it out and urge all your followers to do the same.
As I understand it, the two big considerations before this Commission are: 1) Move the Town of Mendocino into the 4th District, and/or move Laytonville into the 4th District.
Both options are truly terrible, and should be railed against.
I filled out the survey only to learn that I was only the second person to comment. HUH? Has everyone fallen back to sleep again?
The key to Redistricting is to simply nibble around the edges. There are forces who want to move whole chunks. Certain forces tried to move the Town of Mendocino into the 4th District 10 years ago. They were thwarted then. They must be confronted and opposed, thwarted now. Viable alternatives obtain.
Go to the website. Tell all your friends and allies to go to the website. Oppose the possible moves of Laytonville of the Town of Mendocino into the 4th District. Send in your comments. Big time. Share this missive with your network(s).
County website. Government. CEO's link. Redistricting button. Survey. Please do so now.
We also need to demand the County and MHRB return to in person meetings/hearings. Zoom stifles viable democratic processes.
PS: There is no chart displaying the respective census populations of the Districts on the County's website. HUH?
* * *
Mark Scaramella Replies: I was among those “certain forces” Mr. Edmundson snidely refers to ten years ago when I was on the 2010 Redistricting Committee and I was thoroughly annoyed when then-Supervisor Kendall Smith summarily ignored all our committee’s work, input and options and did exactly what Mr. Edmundson says to do: Nibbled around the edges. Ten years on, I still think Mendocino belongs in the Fourth District, but not Laytonville. I haven’t seen this year’s census data. (I lost interest in the subject after being ignored ten years ago after hours of work and options and at least six large time-consuming meetings.) But the only way to get Mendo into the Fourth ten years ago would have involved stretching the population percentages to their full amount of the 10% variation allowed because the Fifth District is still so lightly populated (although Mexicans are historically undercounted in the census). But I’m all for considering whatever those “certain forces” propose because the Fifth District has always been way too Devallian, making it impossible for good candidates like Hopland contractor David Roderick, for example, to even make it onto a general election ballot. But hard-core Dem Edmundson can’t bear even the thought of a non-Dem Fifth District Supervisor. The horror! (Although Supervisors’ positions are supposed to be non-partisan.) Edmundson’s proposal is exactly what brought us two of Mendo’s worst Supervisors in recent memory: David Colfax and Dan Hamburg. (Pop quiz: Have you heard even ONE WORD from either of them about Mendocino issues or politics since they departed the board with their fat pensions? Made even fatter by Colfax’s single accomplishment in twelve years in office: Jacking up his own salary.)
PIGNIC FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Come join us at The Bewildered Pig for a casual Sunday afternoon of music, camaraderie and simple, delicious, locally sourced food! We’ll be smokin’ local King Salmon & duck, makin’ pasta salad, and something sweet! Beer & Wine available for purchase, fun raffles to benefit the Senior Center and our Local Fire Department.
Due to courtyard size, we will be limiting tickets to 40-50. Prepay only-$55 for meal ticket, includes one raffle ticket for a wine prize. Beverages sold separately. Whatever Covid protocols are required at the time. Please, no children under 12 and no furry friends.
C’mon down! Tickets available on Tock now: https://www.exploretock.com/thebewilderedpig/
HOW A CALIFORNIA STATE FOREST HAS BECOME A BATTLEGROUND for logging redwoods on public land
A century-old redwood — California’s most revered tree — lies dead on the forest floor.
Its trunk has been sawed into two large sections, a message scrawled on its stump in red marker: “STOP.” Beneath, the stump’s diameter is recorded: 55 inches, about the height of a 10-year-old child. Lower still, in smaller letters, another message: “This is not fire prevention.”
Surrounding this tree are other redwoods that have been felled or girdled, meaning large swaths of their bark have been carved away from their trunks. More redwoods are marked blue — they too are slated for a timber harvest. Dead foliage and piles of branches abound.
The wounded and dead trees look like casualties left behind on a battlefield. And in a way, that’s what they are.
Welcome to Jackson Demonstration State Forest, a 48,652-acre forest managed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Although it’s little-known outside the coastal Northern California county of Mendocino, Jackson has become ground zero in an escalating war over the management of redwoods on public land, with catastrophic wildfires and global climate change necessitating urgency and raising the stakes.
RE THE BLACK BART BANDIT, Joan Vivaldo writes:
Today, Tuesday, 10/12/2021, was the long postponed Preliminary Examination (PX) of Douglas Stone at the Ukiah Courthouse. All law enforcement officers involved with the case(s) were to testify. Mr. Stone, Mr. Runfola, defense attorney, Mr. Hermann, defense investigator, and I were in courtroom H at 10am.
The Prosecutor for the People, Ms. Heidi Larsen, was taken ill Monday. She brought the Stone files home with her over the long weekend to study them. Knowing on Monday that she would need to seek medical attention on Tuesday, and thus unable to attend the PX, on Monday she notified the witnesses that they need not attend Tuesday, thus foreclosing the possibility of retrieving the files from her and assigning the PX to someone else to act for the People on Tuesday, when all the law enforcement officials were available to testify.
Mr. Stone appeared trim and competent in a dark blue suit and medium brown shoes. He flexed a slim black attache case as the possibility of the PX fizzled.
A new date of 11/23/2021 was set. Although Mr. Stone had flown from Arizona for the PX, he took the delay calmly, and appeared poised to flip his sunglasses from his shaven occiput to his eyes and return to Arizona after a coffee at Schat's. Mr. Runfola and Mr. Hermann, old hands at courtroom snafus, prepared to return to San Francisco and Sacramento respectively.
Mr. Hermann hinted to me that the 11/23 date would probably be changed in court on 11/23 as it was unlikely all the law enforcement officers would be available to testify then because of the proximity to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mr. Stone waived his right to a speedy trial long ago.
We go on.
Background: "The Unlikely Burglar of Black Bart Trail"
STANDING COMMITTEE MEETINGS CANCELLED – FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2021
Post Date: 10/13/2021 11:40 AM
Community Partners, Colleagues, and Interested Parties:
The Monday, October 18, 2021 Meetings of both the General Government Standing Committee and the Public Health, Safety, and Resources Committee have been cancelled.
Please contact Clerk of the Board at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message.
Mark Scaramella Notes:
AT THEIR AUGUST 3 BOARD MEETING Supervisor Maureen Mulheren grandly proclaimed: “I have an item for public expression. The five of us represent different geographies and different experience. It is important to work together and be professional. We need to normalize not all voting the same and we need to normalize accepting responsibility when decisions that we make affect other people. During the budget hearings we saw a slide about a state code that holds department heads personally liable for expenditures over their budget. The five of us are responsible for making sure we know when departments may be going over and, whether that is monthly or quarterly, we should be made aware of possible overruns before they actually happen. Accountability is our job. I am requesting that the referral of this item to County Counsel and the General Government Committee instead be brought back to our August 17 Board of Supervisors meeting for a vote. We have department heads who are afraid of losing their houses or not being able to pay for college tuition and I don't think that was the intention of this Board. But that's where we are at now. I realize that this is a state law and if we need to lobby for that to change, then that is an option. But I am concerned that the department heads that are required to provide state mandated services are unclear about how this affects them personally. We all know that revenues and reimbursements do not all come in at the same time and I think there are multiple other ways to make sure that we are being held accountable for the budget to the taxpayers of Mendocino County. I am happy to work on a budget ad hoc committee with anybody that is interested. But I would like our department heads to know that they are supported and we are committed as a board to work through any budget issues as they arise.”
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS quickly agreed: “I agree. And I think that one of the underlying problems is that none of us, not the department heads, not the Board of Supervisors nor the public knows how much has been spent year to date per department. I think we need to fix that. I don't think a department head would be concerned if they saw that they are spending well within their budget and there was adequate budget for the months ahead. We don't have that. We haven't had it since I've been on the board. I think it's just a changing time. The county wants to perhaps catch up with modern accounting standards. I agree to bring it back on the 17th.”
THIS was the same Supervisor Williams who had blurted out back in June immediately after Assistant CEO Darcie Antle brought up the obscure government code about holding department heads personally liable for budget overruns: “I support that. Let’s do it.” Thus triggering what became Sheriff Kendall’s lawsuit against the County for his own attorney, his budget, his computer system, and the threat to bill him for Sheriff’s office overrun. Williams has never rescinded his position, or apologized for pushing this non-issue, although lately he’s been kinda soft on the subject.
There was no objection to bringing the item back on August 17.
As we wrote at the time it seemed like Supervisors Mulheren and Williams — who coincidentally are the entire “General Government Committee” — were trying to set the stage for some kind of actual budget reporting.
As AVA readers should recall, even the simplest budget questions are seen by CEO Angelo as an annoyance or intrusion on her domain. When we asked for a few routine clarifications of the CEO’s first-ever (and only, so far) End-of-May 2021 monthly departmental budget status report, as the Supervisors should but don’t, on July 9 CEO Angelo replied snappishly, “The very nature of your questions is the reason the County budget team has been hesitant to present a ‘budget to actual’.”
A CLOSE READING of that statement shows that CEO Angelo acknowledges that her “County Budget team” is in fact responsible for such a “budget to actual” report, that her team is capable of producing it (whatever they may mean by it), but that the CEO and her budget team has not produced it because they are “hesitant” for fear that a few tame questions might arise.
INSTEAD OF WELCOMING an opportunity to clarify, much less deal with, the budget status of departments which were overrunning their allotted expenditures, CEO Angelo prefers to staunchly resist monthly budget reporting on the grounds that she might have to actually answer some questions! (PS, the Supes still have not seen a final end-of-year departmental budget vs. actual report for the last fiscal year ending way back on June 30, and none is scheduled so far.)
PREDICTABLY SUPERVISORS MULHEREN & WILLIAMS failed to bring up the need for monthly budget reporting on August 17 CEO Angelo continues to resist it. This failure to produce such simple reports is at the heart of the ongoing dispute between the Sheriff and the Board since Sheriff Matt Kendall has made it clear that a large part of his objection is the possibility of losing his house if he overruns his overtime budget.
SUPERVISOR MULHEREN was moving in the right direction, but as we also said back in June, it won’t do much good unless there’s follow-through with long-overdue monthly department budget reporting and associated monthly Q&A.
* * *
GUESS WHAT HAPPENED at the August 9 General Government Committee meeting? Or the August 17th Board meeting? (Hint: Nothing.) Guess what happened on this subject at all since August 3? (Same hint.)
NOW HERE IT IS IN OCTOBER and they’re canceling the October 18 General Government Committee meeting without explanation. So guess what will happen on this subject for the rest of the year?
COULD IT BE? A developing mid-October storm aimed at SF Bay Area could “potentially” end wildfire season? The long-term Northern California weather forecast shows several days of moderate to heavy rain beginning Sunday, and stretching from the San Francisco Bay Area to Redding. If a wet storm arrives as predicted, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said it could “quell ongoing wildfire activity, help improve drought conditions ... and replenish water resources throughout the West Coast.” It's difficult to nail down a forecast beyond seven days with accuracy, and this proved true earlier this month when a long-term forecast showed rain in the future, and in the end, there was mostly drizzle. But National Weather Service forecaster Roger Gass said, “This looks to be a lot more promising. All the models are suggesting widespread rainfall as we head into that timeframe.” Rain first enters the forecast Oct. 20 and continues into Oct. 26, with a system expected to drop down into California from the Pacific Northwest.
DAVE CHAPPELL’S controversial Netflix special The Closer has scored 96 per cent positive reviews from regular viewers on Rotten Tomatoes - but just 43 per cent from NPR types. NPR has issued a statement saying Chapelle “has gone too far.” The Woke have accused Chappelle of transphobia. Rotten Tomatoes, which collates reviews from critics and regular viewers for movies and TV shows, has attracted more than 2,500 notices from TV fans who've watched the special. Around 96 out of every 100 regular viewers has given it a near-perfect score. Pour it on, Dave!
AS A FAN, I intend to watch Chappelle's new special this weekend. The only caveat I have about his comedy is his tendency to purely gratuitous vulgarity of the wince-inducing type, but otherwise he's consistently funny and even brave, taking on neo-sacred subjects other funny people, the unfunny late night boors and NPR (of course) avoid. Other funny comics? Beyond Chappelle none come to mind.
LIKE THOUSANDS of other Bay Area front runners I've been watching the Giants vs the Dodgers, at first recognizing only the three players of yesteryear's triumphs — Posey, Crawford, Belt — but am now about halfway through a familiarization tour of the new guys. I like the new manager who, I understand, has brought back the bunt and junked the pitch count. Question: When's the last time anybody stole home? We think Jackie Robinson did it a few times but that was 70 years ago. Suicide squeeze? What happened to that one?
THE LOOMING 5.9% ($92 average) raise for social security people has been duly denounced as inflationary by the same people who rigged the economy to benefit from inflation.
SOMEONE STOLE JANESE JUNE'S vivid driveway sign reading “Bullshit Boulevard,” more apt perhaps than the Foxed-to-the-max old girl realizes. She has her suspicions as to the thief, but that guy gets blamed for everything missing anywhere in the Anderson Valley. Whoever took the sign probably doesn't know that Janese is an ace marksman and wouldn't hesitate…
COACH JOHN TOOHEY'S revived Anderson Valley football Panthers lost to South Fork 52-6 under the lights last weekend, and travel to Burney (Shasta County) for a 5pm Saturday kickoff. I knew Burney was somewhere to the far north but had to look it up on Wikipedia where I learned that the town's single claim to fame is “Jonathan Schmierer, Burney High School graduate, appeared on The Price Is Right during one of Bob Barker's final showings. He lost a game of Tic-Tac-Toe for a trip to the Ramada Inn in Ireland.”
STEVE BRIAN WOOD WRITES: “I’m surprised it took this long for the pigs to intrude on your place, Bruce. There’s a group of at least 6 that frequently comes through my yard in Boonville at dusk or later. I think they’re the same ones I wrote about several weeks ago, and might be the same that found your place. When I chase them off they usually head for the dry creek bed in back. It’s been dry for a long time this summer, but it’s a highway for wildlife. Anderson Creek connects with Robinson Creek a quarter mile or so from the AVA and the pigs don’t have to cross the highway because they’ll stay on the creek under the Hwy. 128 bridge. What to do?”
A LARGE CROWD of teachers past and present packed into the Boonville high school library Tuesday night to urge that the school administration grant them a raise. Given the extortionate rents around here and historically low teacher compensation it's a wonder we're able to lure anybody of the teaching type into local classrooms. There was talk in the flush years about building staff housing at one of the school sites, which might again be re-considered, especially with the many ingenious low-cost housing designs out there.
AS WE'VE NOTED over the years in many local contexts, whenever controversies involving state agencies arise, our state reps are suddenly invisible. State Senator McGuire is highly visible promoting fanciful projects like his Never Happening Great Redwood Trail, and the even more Never Happening coal train scare, but when it comes to protecting Jackson State Forest or PG&E's preposterous line-clearing assault on the Emerald Triangle McGuire is see-through invisible. Assemblyman Jim Wood hasn't been visible on any subject since he stepped up to help knock down a tentative state singlepayer plan.
THE TIMES ARE A'WEIRDIN'. And getting weirder by the day unto high anxiety for millions of US. The consumer price index rose 5.4% in September from a year ago, up slightly from August's gain of 5.3% and matching the increases in June and July. And that's the government talking so it means, as most of US know who have to shop for our daily sustenance a big underestimate. The prices on food stuffs are wayyyy up and seem to climb every week.
EXACERBATING the general anxiety over the very real economic squeeze people are suffering is the absence of credible leadership, and the absence of a credible mainstream media to explain what's happening. Poor Old Joe is clearly past it, and when he wasn't past it he was a reliable vote for policies that got us to the oligarchical apparatus that's got US in its vice. Whenever he totters forth to read a few cliched lines off his teleprompter, rapid-shuffling off without taking equivalently cliched questions from Big Media, POJ adds to the national anxiety that things are getting worse and no one is in charge. No one among the msm would ever dare say, “Joe, when's the last time you had a cognitive exam. You seem kinda out of it.” At which the reporter would be bull rushed by security and stripped of her/his White House credentials.
UP THE MINA ROAD, DOWN INTO HULLS VALLEY
On Monday, October 11, 2021 at about 10:00 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was advised that Round Valley Tribal Police had observed a subject, wanted on a felony warrant, driving a silver vehicle in Covelo.
They had attempted to stop the person, identified as Curtis Bettega, 38, of Covelo, who failed to stop and fled at a high rate of speed in the vehicle.
Tribal Police followed the vehicle as it went northbound on Mina Road but had lost sight of the vehicle. They located the vehicle abandoned in a ditch on Hulls Valley Road with the engine still running. They then contacted the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's Deputies began responding and prior to arriving, Tribal Police advised they had located Curtis Bettega hiding near the vehicle. They detained Bettega until Sheriff's Deputies arrived.
Sheriff's Deputies arrived and found the vehicle, a silver Dodge sedan, had been stolen from a residence in Ukiah. The Dodge was displaying plates which belonged on a Chevrolet Camaro.
In the back seat, in plain view, was a loaded rifle with a detachable 40 round magazine. The rifle also had other characteristics classifying it as an assault weapon. Also in the vehicle, Deputies located various caliber live ammunition.
On Bettega's person and in the vehicle, they located at total of 24.9 grams of suspected methamphetamine. Bettega further had the key to the stolen vehicle on his person.
Sheriff's Office Dispatch confirmed Bettega was prohibited from owning, or possessing firearms or ammunition. Bettega's felony arrest warrant was also for possession of a stolen vehicle, and he had been released on bail from a prior case.
Bettega was arrested for the felony warrant, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person, possession of an assault weapon, possession of controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, and committing a crime while on bail.
Bettega was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $113,500 bail.
TESTING, A ONE AND A TWO
Weekly Covid Testing At Point Arena City Hall
Every Thursday from 9am-11:30am, the Traveling Testing Team will be at City Hall. Their van will be parked near the entrance to the parking lot.
Hosted by OptumServe. Walk-ins welcome. You can pre-register at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123
For more information, call City Hall at 882-2122.
ERIC KRITZ AND FRIENDS
Opus Concert this SUNDAY, October 17 at 3 pm
Cotton Auditorium, Fort Bragg
Eric Kritz, clarinet; Paul Brancato, violin; Marcia Lotter, violin; Jeff Ives, viola; Corinne Antipa, cello; Carolyn Steinbuck, piano
This concert will feature a special ensemble of talented, seasoned, and much-loved area musicians. They will fill the hall with musical selections perfectly suited to their talents, including well-known clarinet works by Mozart, Prokofiev, and Francaix. In addition, a brand new work by Jeff Ives composed especially for this group will be featured.
Tickets are $25 and are available on brownpapertickets.com, at Harvest Market, Fort Bragg and Out of This World, Mendocino. Youth under 18 are free of charge.
Audience members will be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination before entry into the hall, stay masked throughout the performance, and remain seated in the socially distanced seats assigned to you when purchasing your tickets.
For more information, visit our website, symphonyoftheredwoods.org, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 13, 2021
JOSHUA BELL, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
ANDRU CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Controlled substance, false ID, county parole violation, resisting.
JESUS HERRERA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
RHONDA LAMB, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JOHN MARKS JR., Ukiah. Vandalism, protective order violation, county parole violation.
NATHAN MARRUFO, Stewart’s Point/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
GERALD MILLER, Ukiah. Protective order violation, parole violation.
JARED PERRY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ERIC SPARKMAN, Willits. DUI, interfering with police communications.
LUIS VELA-PARRA, Willits. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
FROM REDHEADED BLACKBELT (KymKemp.com): “Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors decided against a vaccine mandate for County employees on Tuesday afternoon. Over four hours of frequently searing debate over a vaccine mandate which would decide the inoculation fate of 2400 yet unvaccinated County employees came to a close with all five board members in agreement. The Sups decided not to issue an outright vaccine mandate for County employees, instead opting to implement a weekly testing protocol to screen for cases among unvaccinated staff....”
AND AN ON-LINE RESPONSE:
Well, there you go…
The Nut-Jobs and the crazy people always win, in Humboldt…
Listening to Michelle Bushnell and following her pathways and leanings will only carry the place to destruction…
Nuremburg? 1905? VAERS?
What the fuck are they even talking about?
Humboldt has one of the most qualified and sensible Medical Officers in the industry, but the Supervisors are not listening… Why are the Supervisors even in charge of Medical issues?
Vaccine Mandates are required, because certain idiots won’t take their vaccine! Now the leaders of your County are siding with the idiots!
That’s the end of it. The Supervisors are idiots too!
Your hospitals are cram-full of un-vaccinated patients. Soon, there will be a New-York Style salary required for the few travel-nurses willing to actually come to Humboldt, and folks, people like me, healthcare workers who are older and wiser, will not work in Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity or points North, at all.
Your County has a responsibility to enforce health mandates, and, your Supervisors have a responsibility to lead effectively and with regard to the public good.
Clearly, every Supervisor currently occupying space in the Supervisor’s chambers, drawing a salary to lead the County by act and deed, has betrayed you!
Every Supervisor has shown that they don’t care about the citizens or the County, and that all they care about is their salaries and their positions!
Every Supervisor on the Board needs to be RECALLED.
If people won’t get vaccinated, if the County won’t act, the pandemic will drag on forever, the county will economically go down the tubes, and the State of California will be forced to act.
Get vaccinated now! THIS ISN’T A POLITICAL ISSUE!
RECALL THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY SUPERVISORS!
PLASTIC KILLS THE SEAS
Plastic trash is dominating pollution in the ocean and single-use plastic is a major part (80%) of that pollution. During the COVID-19 pandemic, single-use plastic has skyrocketed.
Plastic in our ocean comes from litter that gets blown or washed into waterways. It also comes from trash that actually made it into the appropriate bins. But, because plastic is lightweight, it gets picked up and carried by wind or rain anywhere along the line, from the trash bin to the collection truck or to its destination at the recycle center or landfill.
There is also, sadly, illegal dumping directly into the ocean. Unlike some other kinds of waste, plastic doesn’t decompose. That means plastic can stick around indefinitely, wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems, according to the National Ocean Service.
While we can and should try our best to clean up the beaches, roadways and waterways, what makes the most sense is just to eliminate it at its source. Looking at any grocery store or takeout restaurant, this seems to be a daunting task. But we can start locally. Please urge the Marin Board of Supervisors to move forward immediately in banning single-use plastic foodware. Supervisors should pass the Reusable Foodware Ordinance now. We need to transition to “reusables” and eliminate single-use plastic as the default option.
There are a lot of issues that seem overwhelming right now. But this is something that we can do right here at home.
FREE SPEECH & DOUBLE STANDARDS
by Rebecca Ruth Gould
On October 1, David Miller was fired by the University of Bristol for his controversial statements about Israel. The reason for terminating his employment, the university said, was that “Professor Miller did not meet the standards of behavior we expect from our staff.” The behavior in question consisted of words: contentious words with which many would disagree, but words nonetheless, words not directed against any specific individual and not conforming to any conventional definition of harassment, though respected colleagues have argued otherwise.
In 2017, while teaching at Bristol, I was accused of antisemitism after a student unearthed an article I wrote for Counterpunch four years before joining the university. One of the most appealing aspects of moving to the UK had been the space it seemed to offer me as an American for a less polarized debate about the occupation of Palestine. At Columbia University, where I received my PhD, there had been a fight over the tenure case of the Palestinian anthropologist Nadia Abu El-Haj in 2007. She was granted tenure two months later, but the row left an indelible mark on campus politics, especially in relation to Middle Eastern Studies.
In the UK, the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism by Theresa May’s government in 2016 emboldened those who would conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel. The IHRA definition was cited by the student who complained about my article.
The university inquiry dragged on for months, during which I learned that institutions are leaned on from many directions when their staff members are accused of antisemitism. The ethical mandate to oppose antisemitism and other forms of racism does not figure nearly as high in their list of concerns as pressure from the government, the media and students. The complaint against me was dismissed, but I left Bristol soon afterwards with the distinct sense that justice had not been served. Palestinian perspectives were ignored in my case, and the suppression of Palestinian voices only increased after my departure.
Four years later, anti-Israeli activism isn’t the only controversial issue on campus. The University of Bristol Islamic Society complained that Steve Greer, a professor of human rights, was promoting Islamophobia during his lectures. The week after Miller was sacked – even though an independent report by a QC (Queen’s Counsel) concluded that his comments “did not constitute unlawful speech” – the university dismissed the complaint against Greer. With all the attention on Miller’s case, Muslim students found their discontent relegated to the sidelines and their concerns overruled.
Amid these efforts by liberal education administrators, Jews, Muslims and polemicists of all stripes to protect their ideological turf, a crucial fact is getting lost. When a university academic, who was hired to pursue his research and to articulate, publicly and without fear, the consequences of his research, is fired for doing precisely what he was hired to do, everyone suffers a blow. Miller’s dismissal makes it easier for other universities to act as Bristol did, even if on different ideological grounds. Everyone loses out when universities punish their employees for speaking what they consider to be the truth.
From this point of view, it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong in the debate over antisemitism on the left, or whether Miller’s thinking displays conspiratorial tendencies. What matters is that a freethinker has had his livelihood taken from him for expressing his views. That is a problem, not just for the fight against antisemitism, but for the idea of democracy.
(London Review of Books)
THE TASTE OF CROW
On the Andrew Wiggins piece I couldn't restrain my dislike of Johnson & Johnson & the Warriors's owners. An MD I trust restored my perspective with this note:
“It doesn't sound to me that Wiggins was demonstrating 'reality-based caution.' No one who is demonstrating 'reality-based caution' says 'let stuff heal naturally' with respect to antiviral vaccines.
“In the first place, allergic reactions to acetaminophen are really rare, and most people who complain of 'allergic reactions' to common medications are not, in fact, allergic to them. The ratio of claimed penicillin allergy to actual penicillin allergy is, as I recall, >10. That is, I wonder what actually happened to him. (There are lots of acetaminophen combo products, with 'Tylenol' as part of their trade name. Did he take one of those?)
“Acetaminophen is definitely hepatotoxic, but that reaction is not allergic, and wouldn't be treated with an Epi-Pen. In my emergency practice, I saw several cases of acetaminophen hepatotoxicity, always from deliberate ODs.
“Ignorant people who are implicitly or explicitly encouraging others to decline proven pandemic-control measures should of course be treated respectfully, but their public pronouncements should be treated with contempt and derision. That may be a tricky path to tread.”
I'm eating crow, but I'm not quitting the Defense Committee. Wiggins didn't seek to make any public pronouncements. The Warriors PR people could have and should have shielded him from the media.
STONES ROLLING OVER
by Piers Morgan
I'm getting no satisfaction from seeing the Rolling Stones surrender to the woke brigade - when the charts are full of rappers glorifying violent sex, misogyny and guns, why is Brown Sugar the song that's deemed offensive?
When the Rolling Stones appeared on the Ed Sullivan show back in 1967, lead singer Mick Jagger changed the words to their smash hit ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ to ‘Let’s Spend Some Time Together.’
This was because the original sex-hinting lyric was deemed too offensive for ultra-conservative American TV viewers to endure.
It was even reported that puritanical host Sullivan told the band, ‘Either the song goes, or you go’ before they agreed to change the line.
In the end, Jagger did censor himself – the Sullivan show sold more records than anything else on TV at the time - but rolled his eyes witheringly as he sang the new wording.
This all seems incredible now, right?
In an era when rap lyrics are riddled with not just hardcore sexual content but also vile misogyny, sexism, homophobia, rape fantasies and violence including entreaties to kill the police, such concern over something so relatively tame seems laughable.
But it’s now been revealed that the Stones have stopped performing one of their biggest ever hits, Brown Sugar, due to complaints that it, too, is unacceptably offensive.
This is a big deal.
The 1969 song has been a staple part of their live shows all over the world at least 1,136 times.
In fact, it’s the second most played song in the entire Rolling Stones catalogue after Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
But not anymore.
When asked by the Los Angeles Times this week why they hadn’t played the song during their new tour, Jagger made it all sound perfectly innocent, replying: 'We've played 'Brown Sugar' every night since 1970, so sometimes you think, we'll take that one out for now and see how it goes. We might put it back in.'
But it was clear from the response of Jagger’s bandmate Keith Richards, who co-wrote Brown Sugar, that this was no casual decision and had in reality been taken after complaints that the song’s lyrics were offensive because they reference slavery and are therefore racist.
Richards was mystified about the backlash.
'I'm trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is,’ the 77-year-old guitar legend said. 'Didn't they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery? But they're trying to bury it.’
Then, in words of surrender that made my skin crawl from a man who’s never submitted to anyone about anything, he added: ‘At the moment, I don't want to get into conflicts with all of this s***. But I'm hoping that we'll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track.'
You no longer have the stomach to stand up for yourself and fight for what’s right?
You were the guy who also co-wrote Street Fighting Man for god’s sake!
How deeply depressing.
Given this cowardly climbdown, let me make the case for the defense on the Stones’ behalf: there is nothing racist about Brown Sugar.
It’s a song, as Richards says, that highlights the appalling historical reality of slavery, not one that celebrates it.
It depicts female slaves being sold, whipped and raped in America’s south.
Most people know and understand this, not the least the two men who actually wrote it in the first place and who have famously championed black music artists more than any band in history.
In fact, according to Bill Wyman, the song was inspired by a black backing singer named Claudia Linnear who was Jagger’s girlfriend at the time he wrote the song and who did a photo shoot for ‘Playboy’ magazine in 1974 titled ‘Brown Sugar’.
Though another of Jagger’s exes, a black woman named Martha Hunt, later claimed it was about her.
Whatever the truth, Brown Sugar is demonstrably a song aimed at defending and supporting black women, not one that seeks to denigrate them or make light of slavery.
But the woke-fueled narrative will now be that the song IS racist, so the Stones are therefore racist, and they’ve abandoned performing it because they accept these assertions.
What utter nonsense.
As with so many of these woke campaigns, my guess is that it will massively backfire.
Most reasonable people don’t share this incessant hysterical desire for cancelling everything and everyone that’s even vaguely contentious or ‘problematic.’
When ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ was banned several years ago, in the maelstrom of the #MeToo movement, for supposedly promoting sexual assault – which it doesn’t – and ‘Saint’ John Legend pathetically rewrote the lyrics to suck up to the world’s equally irritating virtue-signalers, the public reacted how I hoped they would and sent the song roaring back to the top of the charts.
Just as when Gillette abandoned their pro-men branding to suddenly make all men feel ashamed about being male, their sales collapsed.
As a result, I now confidently predict that Brown Sugar will be bought in big numbers due to this crazy ‘ban’ and the Stones will soon start performing it again due to huge public demand.
But there is a bigger picture here and it concerns the ridiculous double standard being applied to what is acceptable in music lyrics.
Nobody dares go after rappers for fear they would be considered ‘racist.’
Yet ironically, many rapper lyrics are themselves appallingly racist.
After the death of a teenager at the hands of a Korean store employee in 1991, Ice Cube released a song called Black Korea that contained this lyric: ‘So don’t follow me up and down your market/ Or your little chop-suey ass will be a target/ Of the nationwide boycott/ Juice with the people, that’s what the boy got/So pay respect to the Black fist/ Or we`ll burn your store right down to a crisp/ And then we`ll see ya/ Cause you can’t turn the ghetto into Black Korea.’
The lyrics remain uncensored or edited.
Rappers also spew incredibly offensive lyrics about women.
Snoop Dogg sang: ‘B*itches ain’t sh*t but hoes and tricks, lick on these nuts and suck the d*ck.’
Kanye West sang: ‘I know she like chocolate men, she got more n*ggas off than Cochran.’
Eminem sang: ‘Slut, you think I won’t choke no whore, til the vocal cords don’t work in her throat no more.’
And as for Pharrell Williams’ Blurred Lines collaboration with Robin Thicke, he’s since admitted the lyrics including ‘I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it’ were ‘rapey.’
Where are the woke campaigns against these guys?
It’s very disappointing to see Mick Jagger of all people bow to the PC mob like this.
He made no secret of his derision back in 1967 when he was ordered to censor ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ by Ed Sullivan.
Yet now, he’s capitulating in a far worse way.
The whole point of the Stones was that they defiantly pushed boundaries and challenged conventional thinking, not behaved like timid little scaredy-cats every time someone sobbed ‘Boo hoo, I’m so offended.’
Grow a pair, Mick (no apologies to any wokies offended by this phrase), stand up to the woke bullies, and sing Brown Sugar loudly and proudly at the rest of your shows.
Or Gimme Shelter from the Satisfaction you’ve given the woke brigade who are out there today chanting ‘Under My Thumb’ about you.
This may be the new rock’n’roll, but I don’t like it.
WOMAN ROCKED AWAKE BY METEORITE CHUNK CRASHING INTO HER BEDROOM
Ruth Hamilton had been asleep for hours in her Golden, B.C., home when she awoke to the sound of her dog barking, giving her a moment's notice before a rock from outer space hurtled into her bedroom.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Hallelujah. CA Gov. Newsom just announced a total ban on gas powered lawnmowers and weed-whackers.
Gavin Newsom is going places, which is remarkable. In one fell swoop he is signalling we are going to turn the Titanic around, against the momentum of the latter half of the 20th century.
Nothing is dumber than a gas powered garden implement. The instant you pick it up, your IQ drops 10 points. When running it is a full 25 IQ points lower. After you’ve turned it off, the deficit remains.
What is to be done about all this obsolete trash - referring to the literal mountain of junk gas-powered implements the public is going to be shoving off with the garbage? A bunch of toxic materials, rotting away, a million gasoline tanks emulsifying plastic and metal, bolted together.
For all the supposed benefit of these machines, nothing remains but a population sick of them, and a landscape indifferent except for where “wise” planners figured there would be an infinite supply of brown people, and infinite demand for some visual feedback that says something like, “Dog Toilet Here” or a receptacle to catch bits of plastic film as it blows across.
Still, there will be an attempt to leverage a solution in the chemical and material space. Battery powered mowers, to keep that 1950s aesthetic going. The robots are coming - autonomous units, like the robot vacuum cleaners that proved so popular with floor owners, are here. (Cowbell81, check the mainstream news for the special feature.)
This sort of technological advance isn’t inevitable. Since fossil fuels are so heavily subsidized, and brown people so cheap to operate, everyone thought it would just be an unbeatable combination forever. Almost correct.
As it turns out the robots will do it cheaper, safer, and quieter.