Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Monday, Nov. 22, 2021

Weak Front | Legacy Site | Next Summer | Lago Story | Senior Fundraiser | Redistricting/CPUC | Greenfield Ranchers | Sheriff v Supes | Ortiz Collection | Winesong Raffle | Skunkville | Kelley Holiday | Christmas Crabs | Candlelit Shopping | Yesterday's Catch | Always Straining | Hop Barn | Rittenhouse Speaks | GI Jose | Stonervision | Bigotry | Family Turkey | Elder Drivers | Old Ukiah | Fantastically Corrupt | Old Growth | Whales | Artillery Musician | Kaepernick | Solar Customers | Yosemite Falls | Upgrade This | Elevated Tee | Backsliding Democracies

* * *

HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT will give way to a weak frontal boundary expected to reach the North Coast tonight. This feature will aid in coastal areas seeing very light rainfall Tuesday morning. The front will be followed by another period of pleasant fall weather during mid to late portions of next week as high pressure re-establishes itself aloft. (NWS)

* * *

Legacy Grow Site

* * *

FROM A SMALL FARM JUST SOUTH OF HERE

Petit Teton Monthly Farm Report - October 2021

Since our big rains at the end of October we’ve been somewhat relieved of water worries. Our ponds have filled, or nearly so, our creeks are running again, and best of all the entire farm is greening, lifting our spirits by looking beautiful and fecund (such a contrast to the past summer), and as a bonus, since the grasses are growing fast, we don’t have to supplement feed the yaks. The twelve inches received so far do not mean the drought is over or that our aquifers are filled or our streams will continue to run.

Right now we have spring weather and many of the plants that struggled all summer or died back from the one day of frost we had, are reviving, setting new leaves and even flowering. It’s disconcerting for them as well as us. Many trees are still in full leaf and some haven’t even changed color. The earth is out of joint.

The next summer season will be here eventually, hotter than ever, and we’re addressing our fears in several ways. We had a new 1.3 million gallon pond dug this past summer which is now a third full and its flanks have greened with the oat seeds we cast; right now we’re installing three new 5,000 gallon water tanks bought several months ago for back up; we’ll be cleaning under and limbing up trees in our woodlands; and we’ve dug up two garden rows in preparation for building raised beds for easier shade covering and controlled watering of whatever is planted. Last year it was clear that the plants protected from the sun did much better than the exposed plants. Nothing growing, except maybe okra, loves over 95 degree dry days and everything needs more water in the heat. Our goal is to transform several more of our ground beds into raised ones before spring.

Addressing fears and looking to the future keeps us focused and having fun but doesn’t change the fact that that future looks scary. Food and water security is never guaranteed and, in our opinions, technology just fools us into complacency. We struggle and fail to make sense of humanity’s inability to look up from its petty squabbles to see the future. Our small community lives in hope, but we are realists.

Best wishes for a good Thanksgiving and a healthy winter.

Nikki and Steve

PS...This picture is of a corner of the front garden in the fog.

* * *

DR. PAUL LAGOMARSINO, R.I.P.

I suppose there are many, many folks up here who have a Lago story. Here’s mine:

I was fight choreographer for Gloriana Opera Company’s production of The Man of La Mancha back in the 1990s. One rehearsal, one of the actors in the big fight scene I’d choreographed was out at sea fishing and I stepped in for him. Fight went great except the edge of one of the actors boot heels came down on the little finger of my left hand. We finished the fight rehearsal, but I couldn’t push the finger back into place.

Producer Harry Rothman drove me to the Emergency Room at the hospital. They took x-rays of the finger. Just as the ‘film’ came out, Lagomarsino came through the room. He said, “Let me see that film.” He was like a kid in a candy store. He viewed it and opined, “You have a classic pugilist (or boxer’s) fracture. Let me fix it.” Which he did.

A pugilist fracture shanks up the bone lengthwise, instead of breaking across the bone.

Lago gave me a neural block, inserted two pins — one long, one short — to hold the healing bone fragments in place. Told me to come back and see him in six weeks, which I did.

It was during an area wide electrical outage and the hospital was on emergency power.

There was an alcove in a corridor in which there was a gurney. Paul said “Let’s go here.”

I’m laying there, Paul administered an anesthetic, and then asked me to hold the x-ray up to the light so he could see what he was doing, where he was going.

So there I am, having my left hand cut into while holding up the x-ray with my right hand.

He opened me up and removed the short pin quite expeditiously. But bone had grown over the long pin. He dug and dug and dug but couldn’t grab the head of the long pin. “Sorry fella, but you’re gonna have to come back in and have a neural block.” Which I did. All the while we were talking local current events and cracking jokes. Unreal. But oh so very real.

I’ve never met a Doctor before or since who evinced such a passion and dedication to their art, their craft. Lago was a one of a kind and we will be lucky to see his kind ever again.

An artist. A craftsman. A true gentleman and mensch. Thanks to Lago I can close my left hand and not have my pocket change fall out the bottom of it. I have both both pins in my collection of interesting things.

Another good one gone. (Sigh.)

— Lee Edmundson

* * *

AV SENIOR CENTER CANDY FUNDRAISER

Help support Valley seniors. Order by 12/2 for pick up by 12/10. Order forms available at AV Senior Center. You can also call 895-3609 or email avseniorcenter@pacific.net.

* * *

CORRUPTION & THE PUC

by Jim Shields

Redistricting Finalized

At their special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18, the Board of Supervisors unanimously put the final wrap on adjusting voting district populations and boundaries as required by federal law.

As outlined here last week, since summer a five-member Advisory Redistricting Commission appointed by the Board of Supervisors, has been meeting and holding remote teleconference meetings with the goal of using 2020 Census data to ensure the principle of “one person, one vote.”

The Supes approved a map recommended by the Commission that featured:

• Resettling Hopland from the coastal 5th District of Supervisor Ted Williams to Supe Glenn McGourty’s inland, agricultural 1st District. Think of this as a friendly divorce requested by Hopland residents that results in making the sprawling 5th District a bit more compact.

• The town of Mendocino, where Williams lives, remains in the 5th District much to the satisfaction of its residents who resisted an initial proposal to relocate it to Supe Dan Gjerde’s mostly coastal 4th District, which includes Fort Bragg as its anchor.

• Without a doubt the most controversial decision involved the inland 3rd District of Supe John Haschak. The main problem with the 3rd District is a numbers game, albeit a legal numbers game. The federal 10 percent disparity rule (which requires the population difference between the largest and smallest districts be less than 10 percent) came into play as the population of the 3rd exceeded the 4th’s by 14 percent. So even though a goal of redistricting is to recognize and as much as possible maintain so-called “communities of interest,” which are defined as groups of people who live in a common geographical area and share common political, social or economic interests, it didn’t prevent splitting off part of the Spyrock community and all of Bell Springs from Laytonville. Both communities were moved into the 4th District.

By the way, as noted — ironically — by Gjerde, long-time former 3rd District Supervisor Johnny Pinches, who lives on Bell Springs Road, will soon be an official 4th District resident.

Abolish The CPUC?

Here’s an idea whose time hopefully will never come.

An L.A. county resident, Adolfo Ramos, has filed a proposed initiative, that if it qualifies for the ballot and then is approved by voters, would abolish in its entirety the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by amending the state’s Constitution.

Ramos cites catastrophic and deadly wildfires caused by PG&E and other electric utilities, power shutoffs, ever increasing utility bills, and a corrupt, dysfunctional PUC.

All of the charges are accurate but the answer is not to deep-six the People’s Commission that was created over a hundred years ago in California’s famous Progressive Era.

What needs to be done is reform the PUC and eliminate all of the interference and corruption emanating from politicians, special interest groups, and the electrical monopolies.

Recently, Sacramento’s ABC News 10, which does some of the best political investigative coverage on what’s happening in the state Capitol, (yes, a mainstream media outlet that actually does a good job) reported:

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office exerted control over a powerful state agency that is supposed to operate independently, “micromanaging” decisions big and small at the California Public Utilities Commission according to its former executive director.

“We do whatever the governor tells us to do, period,” former CPUC executive director Alice Stebbins said. “You don’t do anything without staff reviewing it or talking to you or approving it. And that’s the way it was.”

Internal CPUC documents obtained by ABC10 reveal the agency took direction from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office and even submitted its work to the governor’s staff for multiple levels of “approval.”

The records show that on at least one occasion, the need to secure approval from Newsom’s office delayed CPUC business for a matter of days, frustrating the agency’s employees.

The documents were obtained as part of the station’s investigation, which examines how the state government under Gov. Newsom responded to PG&E’s crimes by offering the company financial protection.

The evidence of the governor’s office inserting itself into relatively small details of the CPUC’s business raises questions about how much control the governor exerted on bigger issues, like the PG&E crisis.

Article XII of California’s constitution makes it clear that the CPUC, which sets tens of billions of dollars in rates paid by California utility customers, does not serve at the pleasure of the governor.

“It’s absolutely in violation of the state constitution,” said Mike Aguirre, a former San Diego city attorney who has repeatedly opposed the CPUC. “Would you want judges before they make their decisions to run it by the governor’s office to see if it was okay?”

Gov. Newsom does not have the authority to fire CPUC commissioners. That can only be done by a two-thirds vote of both chambers of the legislature, a higher standard than it takes to impeach a judge.

Stebbins said that under Newsom, the governor’s office insisted on being in charge of CPUC business, “especially anything with PG&E, anything with the bankruptcy.”

After PG&E committed the felony manslaughter of 84 people by starting the 2018 Camp Fire through criminally reckless operation of its power grid, the CPUC played a key role in approving PG&E’s plan to exit bankruptcy and waived a $200 million fine for PG&E’s safety violations.

In previous interviews Stebbins apologized for her role in facilitating those decisions, which were made by the CPUC’s five voting commissioners.

Gov. Newsom and CPUC President Marybel Batjer both declined repeated requests to be interviewed.

Batjer did not respond at all. Newsom’s response ignored every question related to the independence of the CPUC.

“It’s not just that it’s unethical. It’s not just that it’s not honest. It’s that it is cumbersome and just doesn’t produce good policy,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre, who frequently argues that the CPUC is corrupted by improper political influence, was surprised to see such low-level “micromanaging” of the agency by Gov. Newsom’s staff.

Stebbins, who is in the middle of a legal battle alleging wrongful termination by the CPUC, says Gov. Newsom’s office went further than making the CPUC get approval when it came to some of the agency’s most important decisions.

“When it came to PG&E,” Stebbins said. “It was a different kind of involvement. It wasn’t the same. It was more of a direction.”

So you see, the solution is not to abolish the PUC, the answer is to abolish the political interference and improper, if not illegal, influence corrupting the People’s Commission.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, observer@pacific.net, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)

* * *

Greenfield Ranch Thanksgiving, 1974

* * *

SHERIFF v. SUPERVISORS, The Latest Chapter

AVA News Service

THE AVA RECENTLY reported (County Counsel Doubles Down – Mendocino County Today Nov. 12) on County Counsel Christian Curtis’s attempted end-run around the Honorable Judge Ann Moorman who has been presiding over the seemingly endless ex parte hearings over whether the Sheriff gets to pick his own lawyer to represent him in a needless dispute with the Board of Supervisors. The Supes, as advised by County Counsel Curtis, agree the Sheriff is entitled to his own lawyer, just not the one he wants: Duncan James of Ukiah. 

JUDGE MOORMAN, despite County Counsel’s disingenuous attempts to convince the court there is no conflict, determined back in September that a conflict existed in two key areas: the CEO’s attempt to take over the Sheriff’s Information Services and the Board’s threat to personally bill the Sheriff for budget overruns. Judge Moorman told the squabbling parties she was preparing a formal ruling in the case.

ON MONDAY (Nov. 15) at the urging of Mr. Curtis, the Supes rubber-stamped a contract with an L.A. law firm to represent the Sheriff. Undersheriff Darren Brewster, standing in for Sheriff Kendall requested a one week continuance, explaining that the Sheriff was absent on a trip that had been scheduled for a year. Holding off for a week so the affected department head could be present is the usual practice. It is also common courtesy. But scheduling the item when it was known the Sheriff would be absent was no accident. Brewster also reminded the Supervisors that choosing a law firm at while the Sheriff was absent and the Judge’s order was still pending would “look like an end-around the judge.”

WHEN CURTIS WAS ASKED what the urgency was he told the Board there were several things. First, they had represented to the court that they would provide the Sheriff with “independent” counsel and they needed to fulfill their legal obligation without waiting for an order from the court. Second, they needed to act before the Law Office of Duncan James could file a motion for an injunction to prevent them from hiring the law firm the Sheriff doesn’t want. Curtis said it would be “more efficient” to hire the outside law firm without having to argue about it in court. Finally, Curtis also told the Supes they needed to hire the outside law firm “to preserve the record on appeal.” 

CURTIS CLEARLY has no intention of abiding by Judge Moorman’s ruling, which most likely will say the Sheriff has a right to counsel of his choice. Curtis is laying the groundwork for an appeal, which he’s counting on the Supes to sign off on. The appeal will assert the Board has a legal obligation to hire outside counsel for the Sheriff, the Board did hire legal counsel, and therefore Judge Moorman’s ruling is moot. 

THE PROBLEM FOR CURTIS is Judge Moorman is known for her meticulous attention to detail. Her opinion is likely to be well grounded in the law, well-reasoned and legally and factually airtight. 

BACK TO THE AVA’S NOV. 12 report: “Curtis, who is developing a reputation as an ethically challenged enabler for the CEO seems blissfully ignorant of the risk he’s running by trying to create a fait accompli for an issue that Judge Moorman has taken under submission. We doubt Judge Moorman will be impressed with County Counsel’s clumsy attempt to circumvent her pending ruling.” 

THIS WEEK Judge Moorman made it clear that she wasn’t! 

DESPITE CURTIS thinking he was bypassing the court by getting the Supes to sign off on a sham contract he and the Board know Kendall will not use, last Wednesday he found himself in court standing before Judge Moorman anyway. The Sheriff’s choice of legal counsel (the Law Office of Duncan James) filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to enjoin the County from blocking emails from the Sheriff to his lawyers! The James firm also sent an email to let Judge Moorman know the Supes had hired outside counsel for the Sheriff without waiting for the court’s pending ruling. 

THE FIRST PAGE of Points & Authorities in support of the TRO (subsequent pages of all court documents are behind the Court’s pay wall at .50 cents per page) says, “Beyond the inexplicable nature of such action, [blocking the Sheriff’s email] serves to exemplify the Sheriff’s need for IT independence, which of course underlies one of the issues pending before this court.” 

CAN the County really be that dumb? Or petty? Unfortunately, the answer is: “Yes, of course.”

THE COURT MINUTES (also from the first page) say, “the court [Judge Moorman] is deeply concerned over the information the email provided…it would have been advisable to inform the court [Moorman] what counsel [Curtis] was recommending to the BOS…taking substantive action behind the court’s back or to intimidate the court is not ok.” 

“NOT OK” is judge-speak for out of order — not quite contempt of court — but close.

THE MINUTES also say that Don McMullen (the attorney from Duncan James’ Office who has been handling the ex parte hearings) said there was not much to add. But he then added a twist of the knife by saying “The [Supervisors’] action was taken to circumvent the court’s possible ruling.”

RELIABLE SOURCES say Judge Moorman asked the hapless Curtis at one point to explain what possible benefit his client (the Board of Supervisors) would gain from hiring outside counsel when that very issue was the subject of the court’s pending ruling? Curtis was unable to answer. Judge Moorman reportedly then said that she could only conclude that hiring outside counsel was an attempt either to intimidate or bully the court. Judge Moorman, who is very professional (and expects the same of others) and is known for her cool demeanor. She is slow to anger but is seems to be close to losing it in the face of the amateurish attempts at manipulation by County Counsel Christian Curtis and his captive board. 

COUNTY COUNSEL CURTIS’s initial objection to hiring the Sheriff’s choice for legal counsel was that it would cost too much. But this childish affair has been playing out in the courts for the last several months only because Curtis is trying to block the Sheriff’s choice of counsel. The entire tawdry ex parte affair could have been avoided (along with hundreds or maybe thousands of pages of costly court documents, declarations and transcripts; the Sheriff could have been represented by the attorney of his choice; and the Sheriff and Board (each represented by legal counsel) could have focused on working out a resolution of the conflict instigated by the CEO and County Counsel. Instead County Counsel and the CEO keep digging their hole deeper. 

IN RECENT MONTHS the Board of Supervisors has completely bungled the already bungled cannabis ordinance; picked a fight with the Sheriff (or been sucked into it by County Counsel and the CEO) that they shouldn’t be in and can’t win; voted to consolidate the two key independent financial positions of the County (Treasurer-Tax Collector & Auditor-Controller) without even knowing what the offices do or the likely effects of consolidation; and accepted a first quarter budget report from the Executive Office with none of the financial or outcome detail that Supervisor Williams likes to demand from others. 

INSTEAD of picking fights with the Sheriff, blowing up the Auditor and Treasurer offices and engaging in the pointless consultant-driven Strategic Plan, the Board, CEO and County Counsel might pause for a moment of reflection. Does County Counsel still believe it was “more efficient” to hire outside counsel the Sheriff doesn’t want and won’t use? Did Curtis and CEO Carmel Angelo really think their childish attempts to block the Sheriff’s emails would go unchallenged? Does the Board of Supervisors really know what is being said and done in their names? Will the Board ever stand up to the CEO?

ANOTHER REASON Curtis may have wanted to push the LA law firm on Kendall was that odd “third provision” that would require Kendall to get permission from Curtis that a conflict exists in advance before he can ask for an opinion other than regarding the computer system or the overrun liability issues. 

WHATEVER Curtis and the Board’s real intentions may be, they have now increased the likelihood that Judge Moorman’s ruling will undo this latest underhanded maneuver. Presuming that Moorman gives the Sheriff his attorney of choice, and may even specify that the County pay his fees, Kendall will be in a good position to call up independent legal opinions to keep the CEO, the Board and Curtis at bay. 

BUT AT WHAT COST to the County and the citizens of Mendocino County?

* * *

MITCH ORTIZ’S BARBERSHOP

Mitch Ortiz owned the barbershop on the northeast corner of Lansing and Ukiah Streets from 1975 to 2009. He photographed all his customers and pinned the photographs on his wall. His collection, which is now housed at the Kelley House Museum, can be seen on the wall behind him.

Mitch Ortiz posing in his barbershop with his collection of photographs, c. 2008. (Gift of Mitch Ortiz, The Mitch Ortiz Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

Can you help us identify Mitch’s customers? Although the Kelley House has names for some of his large collection, there are still many more unknown faces. If you think you might be able to recognize someone on Mitch’s wall, please contact curator@kelleyhousemuseum.org to schedule an appointment to flip thru our photo binders.

* * *

* * *

WELCOME TO SKUNKVILLE [MCN Chat Line]

[1] And, how did they get this monstrous development past the planning commission, the Coastal Commission, and whatever other regulatory body they had to bribe, uh, I mean, pass through?

Under the guise of "saving" Fort Bragg, they will turn it into a theme park, destroying the small town quality of life not to mention all the small businesses that are now struggling, for their own profit.

Shame on them and all involved in this travesty.

* * *

[2] They consider themselves above the laws (local, state, and federal) governing others, because they are a public transportation utility and protected by railroad organisation laws. They have no respect for the authority of the Fort Bragg Planning Commission--they don't go through permitting processes--just lift off red tags and keep on chugging. I can only hope that our city bureaucracy can fight their bureaucracy, because that's the only way to slow them in their tracks, so to speak.

Perhaps the City of Fort Bragg can help reclaim the millions of dollars of public funds (the same way they initially helped procure the grants from the Department of Transportation) handed over to the Skunk Train to help with the collapsed tunnel. Skunk casts blame on shoddy third party workmanship, and the tunnel remains collapsed. Meanwhile, Skunk spends more monies on ridiculous amounts of "improvements" to the tracks three miles upstream on Pudding Creek (a redwood landing deck the size of a dance floor, a two-tiered roofed "pole barn", and bulldozed trails cut into the hillsides, encroaching on homeowner's properties). Well, it's their private party, but the City of Fort Bragg is invited to participate by purchasing deeeeply discounted tickets, and PROFIT with all those jobs, jobs, jobs they'll haul in!

It's clear that money is their highest loco-motive.

Luckily, the bright mailer they sent out can be used to shovel up one's vomit. Well, I was gagging on vomit while reading... though maybe you were moved to dewy tears of hope. But I'm confident the ink-smeared waste of paper can be used to gently wipe away those, too.

Change is inevitable, so we'll either have to live with it or die with it. Oh, and stop all this fuss about changing the name of Fort Bragg to Petersville or Twenty-One-Remaining-Redwoods-By-The-Sea... let's just roll over and call it Skunkville.

* * *

[3] Looks like Fort Bragg has been Skunked Good one, Molly! And ironically, if FB changed its name to “Skunkville”, that catchy name would undoubtedly attract more tourists who would ride the Skunk Train, eat at Taco Bell and complain about the stench wafting from across the street. Then locals could say, “You chose to visit Skunkville. What did you expect?” Best of all, FB would then be off the hook with its sewage treatment problems since there would be full disclosure in the town’s new name. And if FB motels continued to stop handing out bath towels during the drought, the tourists would be unable to shower and would return home proudly wearing their new “Little Stinker from Skunkville” t-shirts. Just think of all the “loco-motive” millions to be made! 

* * *

* * *

CRABS FOR CHRISTMAS

Humpback whales have migrated out of Fishing Zones 1 and 2 and crabs there have passed quality testing (PDF), which means that the commercial fishery north of the Sonoma/Mendocino county line to the Oregon state line will open on Dec. 1, giving commercial crabbers the opportunity to get crab on tables and menus before the year is out. The commercial fishery is currently open in Fishing Zones 5 and 6, from Lopez Point in Monterey County to the Mexico border. The commercial fishery will continue to be delayed in Fishing Zones 3 and 4, from the Sonoma/Mendocino county line to Lopez Point, due to the presence of high numbers of humpback whales in the Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay.

Early reports of successful crabbing are coming in from recreational crabbers in Fishing Zones 1 and 2 and those using hoop nets in Fishing Zones 3 and 4. The recreational fishery for Dungeness crab is open statewide (all Fishing Zones) with a temporary crab trap restriction for Fishing Zones 3 and 4. The temporary trap restriction in Fishing Zones 3 and 4 will continue due to the presence of humpback whales and the potential for entanglement in trap gear. Recreational take of Dungeness crab by other methods, including hoop nets and crab snares, is not affected by the temporary trap restriction.

“Based on aerial and vessel-based surveys, and after consulting with the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will continue to delay the commercial fishery and temporarily restrict recreational crab traps in Fishing Zones 3 and 4,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “Available data indicate high numbers of whales remain in the fishing grounds. When data indicate whales have migrated out of the fishing grounds, CDFW stands ready to open the commercial season and lift the temporary recreational trap restriction in Fishing Zones 3 and 4.”

In early December, the CDFW Director will reassess entanglement risk in Fishing Zones 3 and 4. CDFW staff, collaborators and partners have scheduled additional surveys in the next two weeks that, weather permitting, are anticipated to provide the data necessary to reassess whale presence. It is anticipated that the next risk assessment will occur on or before Dec. 15.

The CDFW Director is also continuing a Fleet Advisory for all Fishing Zones once they are open that reminds both the commercial and recreational fisheries to implement best practices, as described in the Best Practices Guide (PDF).

New this season is the addition of entanglement risk delays to the fair start provision described under Fish and Game Code section 8279.1. This provision prohibits a person from taking, possessing onboard or landing crab for commercial purposes from a vessel in an area previously delayed due to marine life entanglement risk, human health risk (e.g. domoic acid), or poor crab quality for a period of 30 days from the date of the opening if that vessel previously participated in other commercial Dungeness crab fishing areas (including those in Oregon and Washington) during the same season.

CDFW, partnering researchers and federal agencies have conducted numerous aerial and vessel-based surveys from the Oregon state line to the Channel Islands in Southern California to observe marine life concentrations. Those surveys, and other data inputs including important oceanographic data, inform the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program. This large collaborative effort works to use the best available science to manage an important California fishery. Its primary goal is to strike a balance between minimizing entanglement risk and providing fishing opportunity and ultimately fresh Dungeness crab for California residents. For more information related to the risk assessment process, please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries page or more information on the Dungeness crab fishery, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/crab including FAQs for the new recreational crab trap regulations.

* * *

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, November 21, 2021

Anderson, Armstrong, Ayers

KATLYNN ANDERSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance.

KENNETH ARMSTRONG, McKinleyville/Ukiah. Assault weapon.

KYLE AYERS, Willits. Violation of domestic violence court order with prior, protective order violation, probation revocation.

Beacham, Bell, Gott

PARIS BEACHAM-VANDERPOOL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JAKE BELL, Mendocino. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.

JESTIN GOTT, Redwood Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

Hoaglin, Jimenez, Keyes, Lal

FOX HOAGLIN, Covelo. County parole violation, resisting.

ANTHONY JIMENEZ, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

CHRISTOPHER KEYES, Eureka/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, public urination.

PERVINDER LAL, Covelo. Domestic abuse.

Lincoln, Martinez, Perry

DOUGLAS LINCOLN SR., Covelo. Marijuana cultivation conspiracy, armed with firearm in commission of felony, armed with assault weapon or machine gun in commission of felony, employing an individual under 21 to sell marijuana, loaded firearm in public, concealed weapon in vehicle, resisting, failure to obey lawful police order.

MELVIN MARTINEZ-MORALES, Ukiah. DUI.

MAURICE PERRY JR., Lancaster/Ukiah. Driver with pot, no license, loaded firearm in public.

* * *

WHEN THE DISTINCTIONS OF RANKS are confounded together and privileges are destroyed – when hereditary property is subdivided, and education and freedom widely diffused, the desire of acquiring the comforts of the world haunts the imagination of the American poor, and the dread of losing them that of the rich. Many scanty fortunes spring up; those who possess them have a sufficient share of physical gratifications to conceive a taste for these pleasures – but not enough to satisfy it. They never procure them without exertion, and they never indulge in them without apprehension. Americans are therefore always straining to pursue or to retain gratifications so delightful, so imperfect, so fugitive.

— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy In America, 1835

* * *

Hop Barn, Hopland

* * *

RITTENHOUSE SPEAKS: Kyle Rittenhouse says that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and insists that his case had nothing to do with race, as protests continue over his acquittal in Kenosha, Wisconsin and elsewhere. 'This case has nothing to do with race. It had nothing to do with race, it had to do with the right to self-defense,' Rittenhouse told Tucker Carlson in an interview filmed on Sunday. 'I'm not a racist person, I support the BLM movement and peacefully demonstrating,' the teen added in an advance clip of the interview, which is set to air on Monday night. The teen spoke out as protests continued across the country over the not-guilty verdict, including in Kenosha, where marchers denounced the trial's outcome as racist. In a partial transcript of the interview provided to DailyMail, Rittenhouse also slammed the prosecution in his case, after a jury agreed he acted in justifiable self-defense in acquitting him of all charges. 'I believe there's a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases,' said Rittenhouse. 'It's just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone.' 

* * *

* * *

STONER-THINK, an on-line comment: "As a burn out I love the price crash. Thanks for making it legal. The best thing that ever happened for me. Now I can keep a good supply on hand with just my EBT card income. No need to day labor occasionally. Just sit back and enjoy the cratering price. Great quality cheap price. Got to love econ 101. You’re consumers thank you."

* * *

STUPIDITY FEEDS BIGOTRY

Editor,

Many thanks to Harry Mok for his insightful and well-crafted article in the Chronicle on the persistence of bigotry leveled at Asian Americans to this day.

An especially resonant point raised in the article: You can be on the receiving end of weirdly off-base bigotry if you just look the part.

This hearkened to my days as a college freshman during the Iranian hostage crisis. In a single day, I was called an Islamophobic slur, an anti-Hispanic slur and an anti-Semitic slur. A bigot’s trifecta!

The comedic part: My ancestry is Italian and I was raised Roman Catholic.

Sadly, the microaggressions and slurs have never really stopped. I still encounter misdirected anti-Semitism. And, sorry to say, it comes from people who really ought to know better.

There can be no bigotry without stupidity. But stupidity isn’t the absence of intelligence. No one is immune from falling into the mental traps that can lead to bigotry. It’s incumbent upon all of us to remain vigilant, subject our opinions to the harsh light of analysis and ask, Is this really true? Or am I just being stupid?

Joseph DiPietro

Oakland

* * *

* * *

OLDER DRIVERS BEWARE

Editor,

Like the rest of the public, I worry about the serious issue of pedestrian safety. But I read the report of the recent fatality in San Francisco’s Marina District with a different reaction than some.

I believe the driver who went right through the red light was 70. Could that have been me?

I am a 75-year old driver, and I know I am a worse driver than I used to be. I haven’t gone through a red light, but I worry about such an event all the time. I know I need to really concentrate when I drive. I don’t have an easy remedy for this problem.

It is very hard to give up driving. Maybe more rigorous testing of all over 65 drivers would help, but it can’t catch inattentiveness easily.

Excellent public transportation would help too, but it doesn’t bring home a load of groceries.

Constant warnings are useful also. But we older drivers need more help in giving up our keys before we harm people.

Francis Shaw

Berkeley

* * *

From the Cecille Hotel, Ukiah

* * *

HOW DO YOU SAY ‘CORRUPTION’ IN ENGLISH?

by Felix Baalgette

Jeremy Deller recently made a poster that says: “Cronyism is English for Corruption.” I’ve been trying to collect the other words that journalists and politicians use for it. There are a lot of them.

We’ve got revolving doors, outside work, private earnings, temporary secondments and second jobs. There’s lobbying, bias, cash for honors, cash for access, cash for questions. A chumocracy with preferential access, paid advocacy, sleaze, side hustles, a lack of transparency, special treatment, favors in kind, treats and gifts, patronage and not fully declaring an interest. Purges, packed boards and preferred appointees. VIP or high-priority lanes, undue influence, bending the rules, changing the rules. Conflict of interest, actual and perceived. Unenforced procurement protocols.

One reason for this varied vocabulary could be that there are many forms of corruption and it helps to be specific. Accepting a ticket to a football game from a gambling firm (a favor in kind) is different from working for an arms manufacturer immediately after leaving your job as defense official (the revolving door), or being paid a salary by a food company to try to change the law to their benefit (lobbying), or getting your friend a PPE contract (VIP lane, procurement protocols), or trying to alter a committee in charge of standards and regulations (purges, packed boards).

The fact that we have particular terms for all these activities could be a sign that the system is working, as Oliver Dowden would have us believe. “We are constantly improving standards,” the Conservative Party in England chairman said on Monday. “We’ve made mistakes and we regret that. We’ve accepted that, we’re moving on.”

Yet the proliferation of euphemisms is also meant to imply that corruption varies not only in kind, but in degree. There are grades of bad behavior, and some of it may be acceptable, inevitable or even relatable. Who wouldn’t have a good side hustle given the chance? Who wouldn’t want to be “the highest earning MP in the UK, as the Esher and Walton Conservatives advertised their guest speaker Geoffrey Cox last month?

Asked on Monday if Britain could “slip into being a corrupt country,” Dowden said that “we are an exceptionally long way from that,” as if corruption were always something that happens elsewhere, a long way away. In a gilded room at Buckingham Palace in 2016, at a 90th birthday party for the queen, David Cameron was caught on camera chortling to the monarch and the archbishop of Canterbury about “fantastically corrupt” countries such as Nigeria and Afghanistan. Writing for al-Jazeera recently, Patrick Gathara, a writer and cartoonist based in Nairobi, describes the UK using the kind of language that British journalists tend to reserve for reporting on African nations: “the ethnically divided country, which is plagued by tribal separatist movements”; “the kingdom where, according to the humanitarian agency FareShare, one in every eight people struggles to afford enough to eat.”

“MPs in the UK are paid by companies to ‘lobby’ for public contracts which are then placed in a ‘high-priority lane’,” Gathara writes. “When much the same thing happens in Kenya, MPs are said to have received ‘bribes’ and money is ‘funnelled’ into the pockets of their corrupt benefactors in the private sector.” The fact that the UK’s banks and property market are such a well known laundry for international dirty money makes the linguistic double standard all the more offensive.

“Words mean what we choose them to mean,” the Tory MP Sir William Cash announced on the Today program in 2019, when challenged on his use of violent language. He was giving voice to the oddly Baudrillardian strain in modern Conservatism – all about narratives, spectacle, chaos, and the forceful creation and maintenance of a self-serving, singular reality. But where violence is done to language, as Primo Levi contended in The Drowned and the Saved, it is also done to people. 

The many different terms for corruption don’t only represent the shuffling around of tokens between elites, but are signs of actual harm done to real people – deteriorating public services, terrible jobs, expensive, unhealthy housing, more illness and earlier deaths.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

Old Growth Logging

* * *

WHALES WEEP NOT!

They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.

All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge
on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.

The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers
there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea!

And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages
on the depths of the seven seas,
and through the salt they reel with drunk delight
and in the tropics tremble they with love
and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods.

Then the great bull lies up against his bride
in the blue deep bed of the sea,
as mountain pressing on mountain, in the zest of life:
and out of the inward roaring of the inner red ocean of whale-blood
the long tip reaches strong, intense, like the maelstrom-tip, and comes to rest
in the clasp and the soft, wild clutch of a she-whale’s fathomless body.

And over the bridge of the whale’s strong phallus, linking the wonder of whales
the burning archangels under the sea keep passing, back and forth,
keep passing, archangels of bliss

from him to her, from her to him, great Cherubim
that wait on whales in mid-ocean, suspended in the waves of the sea
great heaven of whales in the waters, old hierarchies.

And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale-tender young
and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end.

And bull-whales gather their women and whale-calves in a ring
when danger threatens, on the surface of the ceaseless flood
and range themselves like great fierce Seraphim facing the threat
encircling their huddled monsters of love.

And all this happens in the sea, in the salt
where God is also love, but without words:
and Aphrodite is the wife of whales
most happy, happy she!

and Venus among the fishes skips and is a she-dolphin
she is the gay, delighted porpoise sporting with love and the sea
she is the female tunny-fish, round and happy among the males
and dense with happy blood, dark rainbow bliss in the sea.

— D. H. Lawrence, 1885 - 1930 (via Craig Stehr, of all people)

* * *

* * *

KAEPERNICK

My mother is uncomfortable with my top.
She doesn’t think my boobs should be
out like this. She adjusts the TV antenna and says
Isn’t the TV working better now? I don’t want
to watch football. I am trying to learn to do my makeup.
My mother never taught me. Should I say at this point
that my mother is white? I used to watch Pantene commercials
and think my hair could look like that if I used enough
of her product. She has one of those white-mom
haircuts now. It is thinning. She needs more volume.
She needs me to tell her I know I’m white, too.
Like I think about anything else. The football players
are kneeling because, I say, anyone could kill
your Black son. He’s white, too, she says—and you
could use a little more eyeliner. She wonders
why I don’t want her to help me pick out foundation.
The football players stand up. Then they play football.

— Sasha Debevec-McKenney

* * *

SOLAR'S BIG BREAK

Editor: 

What select group of electric utility customers benefit the most, but pay the least, for operating California’s power grid? Solar customers. Solar customers make use of the grid 24/7, either feeding power or taking power. Without the grid, they wouldn’t receive the financial benefit that net energy metering provides.

Because of their much-reduced electric bills, solar customers don’t pay their share of the grid costs, which include the power generation necessary to keep the grid energized, maintained and reliable. This imbalance shifts those costs to remaining utility customers, resulting in increased rates.

As more and more customers go solar, the impact on electric rates becomes even more acute. Resolution of this issue is long overdue.

Bill Skoonberg

Santa Rosa

* * *

Yosemite Falls (by Eadweard J. Muybridge, 1868)

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

I studied Computer Engineering Technology at the Saskatchewan Technical Institute (1987-1990) and then spent a quarter century in Systems Design as a Database Engineer and Department Technology Manager (1990-2014).

I remember a heated, beer-fueled debate with my Dad in 1992 regarding the future. I was so optimistic that computerizing everything would result in Nirvana while he saw it as The Highway to Hell.

Then, with WAY too much work to produce what my department produced (published Equity Research), we became constantly bogged down with Billy Gates releasing another fucking version of MS-Office.

We’d spend months planning, customizing and rolling out Just trying to be as productive as we were before sending him hundreds of thousands of more dollars.

Why bother? Have no choice. The new MS-Office had a bunch of useless features that nobody knew of, cared about or would ever, ever use. So why bother?

Data sharing. People external would start sending our people, for example, .xlsx files while our MS-Excel version could not read these new files (which were, Really, 98% the same as the old .xls file format).

Billy Gates captured monopolistic market share and then demanded subscription money. Pay Billy Gates for a Giant months-long clusterfuck or be obsolete. Those were your options.

A massive, unproductive, uneconomic “keeping up with the Joneses.”

I went from Techno Nirvana zealot to completely jaded after a couple of decades running on a treadmill getting nowwhere.

Upgrade this. Patch that. Integrate it all into already very complex systems. And all to send that little dweeb fuck still more money.

Now look what he’s doing with the money we had to send him all those decades in his uneconomic extortion racket. Same biz model now with his Luciferean Operating System forced into our very meat puppets!

Dad was Right in 1992. I was Wrong.

(Is it ironic that our argument occurred at the Rotterdam on King Street West in Toronto? I mean: Police Really shot Real mandate protestors in the Real Rotterdam a couple of days ago.)

I’m done with “upgrades” and patches. I Just want stability to have the machines work for me instead of vice versa.

Safari, Chrome, Google, Firefox, what f-ing ever!

* * *

RKO Building, 1932

* * *

US ADDED TO LIST OF ‘BACKSLIDING’ DEMOCRACIES FOR FIRST TIME

The US has been added to an annual list of “backsliding” democracies for the first time, the International IDEA thinktank has said, pointing to a “visible deterioration” it said began in 2019.

Globally, more than one in four people live in a backsliding democracy, a proportion that rises to more than two in three with the addition of authoritarian or “hybrid” regimes, according to the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

“This year we coded the United States as backsliding for the first time, but our data suggest that the backsliding episode began at least in 2019,” it said in its report.

Alexander Hudson, a co-author of the report, said: “The United States is a high-performing democracy, and even improved its performance in indicators of impartial administration (corruption and predictable enforcement) in 2020. However, the declines in civil liberties and checks on government indicate that there are serious problems with the fundamentals of democracy.”

The report says: “A historic turning point came in 2020-21 when former president Donald Trump questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election results in the United States.”

In addition, Hudson pointed to a “decline in the quality of freedom of association and assembly during the summer of protests in 2020” after the police killing of George Floyd....

theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/22/us-list-backsliding-democracies-civil-liberties-international

33 Comments

  1. Lee Edmundson November 22, 2021

    Another Lago story, if you please:

    I attended a seminar at the Jung Institute in Zurich Switzerland. I checked out of my hotel room, had my travel bag in one hand and my suitcase in the other, when I tripped over a wrinkle in the carpet at the top of my third flight room. Fell down a staircase. Twisted my ankle. Severely.
    The concierge sent me around the corner to a first aid station. They recommended treatment, but I had a flight to catch back the the states. I had to go. And I did.

    Landed at SFO. Had a room in SF. Took the bus the next day back home to Mendocino. Ankle was swollen — greatly so. Was referred to Lago. Went and saw him. He immediately gave me straight skinny on the ankle injury: “You’ve stretched the tendons. They need to heal. I’m giving you an ankle brace. Wear it religiously except when you’re in the shower. If you do this, the tendons will knit back as they should be. If you don’t follow this, they will knit back together elongated, as they are now, which means that anytime in the future if you step on uneven ground, your ankle will “roll on you,” and you will never get better.

    I followed his instructions to the letter. My ankle, like my left finger, has henceforth been AOK.

    I still have the ankle brace.

    Lago was a work of art.

  2. Kathy Janes November 22, 2021

    It’s Monday the 22nd, not Tuesday. You had me going there for a minute.

  3. Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

    AV SENIOR CENTER CANDY FUNDRAISER

    As near as I can tell, See’s has been owned by Berkshire Hathaway since the early 70s. Sort of like donating to a corporate robber baron who pretends to be slightly progressive.

    “Greenfield Ranch Thanksgiving, 1974”

    Is that guy on the lower left Curly of The Three Stooges?

    • Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

      Oops, I mean Larry of the group.

    • Stephen Rosenthal November 22, 2021

      To me he looks closer to Meathead from All In The Family.

  4. Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

    US ADDED TO LIST OF ‘BACKSLIDING’ DEMOCRACIES FOR FIRST TIME

    Gee, ya think… The place never was never a democracy. A dimocracy is more like it. A place where the greedy rule the gullible…with their full consent.

  5. Joe November 22, 2021

    Solars Big Break:

    The best idea is not to even need a wasteful, expensive, dangerous power grid. With solar and other alternative solutions people can escape the grid. Fuel cells and modern battery systems are the way to fill in the missing gap to go offgrid . If our government actually cared about solving societies energy problems they would be promoting this for individual home owners. Instead they propose carbon taxes which they will steal for themselves or spend on further wasteful bureaucracy .

    https://www.ensolsystems.com/products/sunfire-solid-oxide-fuel-cells/

    • Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

      How much more plundering of nature will it take to extract the materials needed to build this dream world of yours? The best thing that could happen is for this despicable, over-breeding species to go extinct. It does nothing but turn the planet into a junk yard.

      • Joe November 22, 2021

        Set an example for us Harv

        • Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

          You failed, as expected, to answer the question. You apparently were just daydreaming to begin with.

  6. Chuck Wilcher November 22, 2021

    “I’m done with “upgrades” and patches. I Just want stability to have the machines work for me instead of vice versa.
    Safari, Chrome, Google, Firefox, what f-ing ever!”

    As long as fancy devices, new services, file formats, streaming protocols and security features are introduced and are active on the intertubes, upgrades to browsers and operating systems will never cease followed by the hardware required to use them.

    How many current home and business networks are ready for the transition to IPV6?

    • Whyte Owen November 22, 2021

      The linux OS is simple to install and use, secure, offers most software gratis and, while upgrades are offered, they are almost never required. The office suite reads and writes MS and Apple documents and can make a geriatric computer outpace and young PC or Mac. Linux Mint will feel familiar and intuitive to most users, and is a little better for old machines than Ubuntu. There are some limits in a business environment, because some vendors systems locked into MS are incompatible.
      I’m entering this comment with the Brave browser, which looks like Firefox or Safari but blocks all tracking and ads by default (you can unblock theava.com), and has a dark web option for any page.

  7. chuck dunbar November 22, 2021

    THE CRASS COMMERCIALIZATION OF AMERICA

    From a short letter to the editor in today’s New York Times:

    “To the Editor:
    Re ‘Staples Center in Los Angeles to be Renamed Crypto .com Arena:’

    When I was a boy in Baltimore the Orioles (and the Colts) played at Memorial Stadium, named to honor our veterans. There is no greater symbol of how American values have changed than ‘Crypto .com Arena.’

    I weep for what we’ve become.

    Charles Merrill, New York”

    • Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

      We were always scum, no matter how many conservative lies are peddled. I’m probably older than you, and I have no great memories of the” good ol’ daze”.

      Piles of wars based on lies ended my homage to vets. Nothin’ against them, but I’m surely not going to honor them. My freedom becomes less every time they go to war. Since Vietnam, they volunteered. I sort of pity them for being sucked in by an economic draft and by the lies they learned in school, particularly the BS taught by moron sports coaches in civics and U.S. history classes.

  8. Marmon November 22, 2021

    Leaked recording exposes teachers at a CA. Teachers Association meeting mocking parents concerned about gay and transgender indoctrination at school. The teachers discuss how to recruit children into LGBTQ clubs, saying they know better than parents what’s best for their children.

    This has been going on for over 20 years in Mendocino County, the Youth Project was actively setting up these clubs, minus the T, when I last worked there in 1998-99, and never stopped.

    Marmon

      • Bruce Anderson November 22, 2021

        Seriously, James, calm down.

      • Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

        Most parents, particularly those of the trump-supporting or racist or homophobic varieties, are unfit to have kids, just as you were unfit to be a social worker.

      • chuck dunbar November 22, 2021

        That gay/lesbian other-ness seems to get to you, James. Not sure why it is so bothersome to you, but it is apparently. You know, I think now and then of karma and the possibility of reincarnation, and the vagaries and stray bits humor that appear now and then in this old world. These kinds of thoughts led me today to wonder of these possibilities for you: That James might–as a kind of cosmic joke–return in the next life as a black man, or better than that, a gay black man. Or better yet, to return as a lesbian, even a lesbian of color… Who knows what might be your soulful future? Maybe worth considering and maybe taking a closer and kinder look at your fellow beings….We’re all one here, James.

  9. George Hollister November 22, 2021

    I await the day when “legacy grow sites” become “cultural resources” they will have to be “preserved”.

    • Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

      You will dead and your carcass eaten before it happens.

      • chuck dunbar November 22, 2021

        Be nice, Mr. Harvey, be nice….
        Peace.

      • Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

        Hopefully at least partially eaten by a passing coyote, getting revenge.

        • chuck dunbar November 22, 2021

          That’s a bit better, I guess, made me chuckle. Be good Harvey.

          • chuck dunbar November 22, 2021

            On second thought, I think maybe it’s worse. Dang, Harvey.

            • Harvey Reading November 22, 2021

              Your problem, my boy, not mine.

              • chuck dunbar November 22, 2021

                True indeed.

  10. Marmon November 22, 2021

    RE: ANOTHER TRENT JAMES DUMP

    Shady Lieutenant with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office part 5

    Marmon

    • Marmon November 22, 2021

      According to the comment section of Trent’s Youtube Channel he is talking to the FBI, and encouraging everyone else to do the same. We need to clean up that cesspool all the way up to Eyster.

      Marmon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

-