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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021

Sprinkles | 28 Cases | Covid Cost | Birthday Olie | Angelica Duo | Attempted Murder | Skunk Interview | Jailhouse Bees | Cyberhole | Mural Completion | PA Holiday | Partners Gallery | Ed Notes | Pearl Harbor | Greenwood Mill | Micronesia President | Kerouac Alley | Healing/Paying | Yesterday's Catch | Newspaper Killers | Libraries | Mediocre Niners | Library Stacks | Japanese Unit | Mendocino Lookout | Some Perspective | Chow Break | Deeper Life | Albion Schooner | Hemingway Demo | Skunk Commute | Animality | Rough Year

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EXPECT EXTENSIVE CLOUDS accompanied by some sprinkles or spotty light rain through tonight. Skies will begin to clear on Thursday as cooler air filters in on northerly breezes. Interior valleys will see sub-freezing temperatures Friday morning. Periods of heavier rain, gusty winds, and some mountain snow will commence over the weekend and continue into next week. (NWS)

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28 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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by William Miller, MD; Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital

We can all feel the pinch. Favorite watering holes have gone out of business. We can’t comfortably travel like we used to. Supply chains are a mess. Inflation is at 6.2%, the highest in 20 years (although not as high as in the 70’s when it hit 13.5% or during WWII when it was 18%). Unemployment rates are high, yet at the same time there are staffing shortages across the board. Many businesses that depend on direct involvement with customers, such as restaurants and hotels, have been particularly hard hit. Meanwhile, companies like Amazon and Chewy along with their delivery partners UPS and FedEx, are posting high earnings. It all seems crazy. 

Hundreds of websites post up to the minute “death tolls” from the virus. However, getting a handle on the financial cost of the pandemic is much more difficult to find. So, what has been the financial impact of COVID? The Brookings Institution released a report in June, 2021, that estimated the world governments had collectively spent approximately $16 trillion in 2020 in response to COVID. That amounted to 15% of the entire global GDP. The result has been a deep recession that equals that experienced during World War II. Even if the pandemic fades over the next year, the financial ramifications are predicted to continue for another decade. 

Of course, the economic impact must be considered in face of the number of deaths from the pandemic which is now a little over 5 million with about 788,000 in the US. For comparison, the 1918 influenza pandemic caused an estimated 30-40 million deaths in the first year and another 20 million in the second year. Another interesting comparison is the AIDS pandemic, the first cases of which were identified in 1981. AIDS has claimed over 36 million lives worldwide since then and continues to be a major cause of death. In 2020, approximately 680,000 died of HIV/AIDS.

I came across an interesting article, published in May, 2021, in the journal Nature, that asked the question of what motivates people more to support COVID mitigation efforts, their perceived risk of loss of lives or their perceived risk of economic impact. The answer was surprising. The study surveyed 25,435 people across 24 different countries. They found that people were more likely to support government health policies to contain the pandemic if they perceived that such health policies would ultimately protect the economy. There was a correlation between their personal perceived risk and what motivated them more, namely protecting the economy versus protecting lives. In other words, if a respondent felt that their personal risk of contracting COVID was low then their support for government policy that protected the economy was greater. 

This balance has been the center of much heated debate. The other big debate being around the balance of personal liberty versus greater good of society. It seems to me that much of the discussion around supporting health initiatives, such as promoting or mandating vaccinations, has mostly focused on the argument that these measures save lives. However, for the large percentage of the population who do not feel personally at risk from COVID, perhaps a more effective argument might be to discuss the economic impact of the pandemic itself compared with the economic impact of the government mitigation efforts. 

The analysis to determine whether it was all “worth it” will be argued a long time after COVID has come under control. Some will argue that, compared with other pandemics, the loss of life wasn’t all that great and the economic impact of the public health policies might not be justified. Others will counter with the argument that the loss of life was less because the policies worked and not despite them. In the end, I think about a famous quote by General Ike Eisenhower made shortly after the successful landing on D-day. To paraphrase what he said, despite all of the statistics, if that one person who died was you or a loved one, then the odds are 100% and all of the predictions of how things were going to go didn’t matter.

You can access previous Miller Reports by visiting 

The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or of Adventist Health.

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SYMPHONY of the REDWOODS - Opus Chamber Music Series presents Angelica Duo

Enjoy an evening of elegance with the Angelica Duo performing works such as Saint-Saens Fantaisie, Andres Zerbina, and others. Sharing the best of repertoire for harp and violin, the duo surprises audiences with the warmth and depth of truly virtuoso music; descriptive vignettes of the history of the harp and violin will also be highlighted in this enchanting concert. 

Sunday, December 12 at 3 pm, Cotton Auditorium - Fort Bragg

For Your Safety:  Proof of vaccination, masking and socially distanced seating are required.

More info:

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Aguilera & Chavez

Last Friday, December 3, 2021, Albion Ridge Road residents were asked to shelter-in-place after suspects in an early morning shooting fled the scene. The order remained in place for over seven hours while law enforcement searched for the suspects....

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Today at 9am on KZYX&Z join Karen Ottoboni and Robert Pinoli, President & CEO, of Mendocino Railway. The topics will be the history, the recent purchase of the old GP mill site and future plans of the Railway. Tune in & call in Wednesday at 9am.

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SHERIFF MATT KENDALL last week joined a group of inmates at the county jail to share his knowledge of bee keeping. The group participates in the jail's garden project. 

After using cooled smoke to keep the bees calm, Kendall and project participants Bobby Hayes and Daniel Kowalski checked to see how the bee population was doing in each hive. Both hives showed an increase in populations from previous checkups. The three also checked on honey stores and brood patterns to make sure they were strong enough to make it through winter. Sheriff Kendall treated each hive with essential oil of Thyme to ensure there would not be any mite infestations. 

Bee keeping was added to the jail's garden project earlier this year (2021). The Jail's garden is a component of efforts by Unconditional Freedom Project volunteers to rehabilitate and restore incarcerated individuals through the Sheriff's Inmate Services Program.

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One day we vanished
Right into our computers
Haven’t been seen since

— Jim Luther

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THANK YOU LAUREN SCHMITT for interviewing me today on KMUD - Redwood Community Radio, Inc.! 

This 4-year project just culminated last week. The mural tells the story of Northern California history focused on the Ukiah Valley. It is an entire block long and contains 26 panels running chronologically. The scenes are populated by real people, over 200 portraits of people then and now. New viewers, please see my profile for recent work on the very last panel, a series of posts that are not even done yet! And visit my mural website for so much more:

— Lauren Sinnott

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December 9 — January 3, 2022

Second Saturday Meet the Artists, Dec. 11, 4:30 — 7pm

Winter Hours Thursday through Monday, 11 — 4:30pm

Partners Gallery is presenting a Holiday Show opening December 9th and running through January 3rd. Small works and gift items from gallery artists are featured along with a curated Partners exhibit. We are also highlighting the work of our current jewelers: Annette Jarvie, Colleen Schenck, Suzanne Otwell Negre and Margaret Dorfman. Joining us for this holiday show are three more wonderful jewelers from our local community: Lia Vincenza, Mickie McCormic, and Charlotte Healy. Please come and help us celebrate the holiday season in our new location at 45062 Ukiah Street in Mendocino. 

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BEST NEW MENDO BUILDING OF THE YEAR, Ron Rice's almost finished structure at his olive farm on 128 near Yorkville.

In a much earlier incarnation, the property had been a stagecoach stop and hotel. Rice then planted olive trees on the surrounding land. He’s now producing certified extra virgin olive oil from his five varieties of Tuscan olives. 

MAKE YOUR HANGOVER PLANS EARLY. You can walk off your throbbing head at Hendy Woods free of the usual charge, on Saturday, January One, 2022.

DON'T DISAGREE with the following comments from Messrs Rosenthal and Stoll, but I'll bet if the staff at that Michigan youth processing factory had been polled prior to shooting, they would have come up with a consensus roster of more likely candidates than Ethan Crumbley to randomly gun down their peers. Unless it develops that the kid was on psychotropics or otherwise suspected of evil intent, the boy was a good student and otherwise normal, normal being a pale, cyber-addicted pudge who spent way too many hours gazing at unhealthy screen images, just like millions of his contemporaries do. The electronic lynch mob howling for Crumbley blood isn't exactly edifying, but that's life these dark days.

(1) I agree with Matt LeFever’s assessment of the Crumbley (ironic name, isn’t it?) massacre and respectfully but vehemently disagree with the esteemed Editor’s opinion. The Crumbleys, each and every one of them, deserve the harshest punishments applicable under the law.

(2) I felt Bruce’s assessment of the Crumbley’s accountability was off the mark also. Sure it was a tragedy, but their fundamental misread of their kid cost his classmates their lives. If the school saw the signs and even warned them about it, why would they still buy him a gun? If anything the nutso gun culture in this country should be held accountable, but spineless politicians won’t step up preferring NRA dollars to protecting children. We should expect the catastrophic as long as the afraid of everything gun crowd wants lethal force available for any interaction they perceive as threatening to them.

A LOCAL POSTS, “To the corvette with black and yellow license plate VERD392. I don't appreciate you putting my life in danger on the Highway 253 not only on a blind turn but also in an extremely foggy section of the Highway. If you are in that much of a hurry try leaving sooner in the morning, maybe getting up a bit earlier. Being late to a job or whatever the case is no excuse to put people's lives at risk. Shame on you!”

I'LL SECOND THAT. What's with all the tailgating and dangerous driving on 253? It seems to have increased over the past few years. I've recognized some of the people I've pulled over for, and I know they're unemployed. So, like, what's the hurry?

THIS COMMENTER puts it perfectly: “Unvaxxed folks are 5.8x more likely than vaccinated folks to become infected. Which means vaccines dramatically reduce the chance of becoming infected at all, which means vaccines reduce the chance of ever being contagious. If you're never contagious, you never spread the virus. 

But some vaccinated folks do become infected. But more good news. They are less contagious than unvaccinated folks who become infected, and for much less time than unvaxxed folks. So if you're vaccinated and become infected, your likelihood of spreading the virus is far lower. 

Plus (bonus points!) vaccinated folks are less likely to die if infected. Unvaccinated Americans who became infected were 11.3 times more likely to die from covid than fully vaccinated folks who became infected.” 

GEORGE DORNER neatly sums up the reason the supervisors should not place the Auditor-Controller's and Treasurer-Tax Collector offices with the CEO's office: “The proposal to merge the office that takes in the money with the office that pays out the money is such an obvious setup for potential embezzlement that I can’t believe it has even been proposed.”

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by Bruce Anderson

Count me as one. I was two, my brother one, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941.

My brother and I were born in Honolulu, Our paternal grandfather, a Scots immigrant, was a principal in a successful business called the Honolulu Iron Works, with branches in Hilo and the Philppines. My father was a graduate of the Punahou School, same high school alma mater as President Obama three generations later. Pop, pre-War, spent much of his youth surfing and his evenings in white dinner jackets. 

And then the world rushed in, along with reality.

By the end of the war Pop was loading submarines at Hunter’s Point in San Francisco. He’d cashed in his Honolulu chips because, like most Islanders, he assumed the Japanese would follow-up their successful aerial blitz of America’s Pacific defenses with a ground invasion so he loaded my mother and his two heirs on a evacuating troop ship headed for San Francisco while he wrapped up his affairs in his native Hawaii.

The morning of the infamous day, my brother and I had been up before dawn demanding, as family lore has it, ice cream cones. We were in the car as the sun rose and with it came wave after wave of low-flying planes swooping in over us and central Honolulu. We drove obliviously on as the invaders devastated the unawares American fleet where it was conveniently assembled in Pearl Harbor, their crews slumbering, many eternally.

“The planes were flying so low I could see the pilots,” my father remembered. “I thought it was some kind of maneuvers. There was smoke coming from Pearl Harbor, but most people simply assumed there had been an explosion and a fire. There were lots of people out in the streets watching the planes coming in.”

Civilian Watching Pearl Harbor

My father said quite a few of those spectators were recreationally strafed as the Japanese flew back out to sea. He didn’t know what was happening until we got home. It hadn’t occurred to him that the planes were hostile. That thought hadn’t occurred to much of anyone in Honolulu until they were either shot at or a stray bomb fell on their neighborhood. The Japanese, as always on-task, mostly confined themselves to military targets and, of course, forty years later, held the paper on our mortgages, including, for a spell, the Mendocino County Courthouse.

Some 20 minutes after the attack had begun, my father stopped to buy us our coveted ice cream cones, which were served up by an unperturbed clerk, and we drove on home. “Nobody had any idea that the Japanese would do such a thing,” my father said whenever he talked about December 7th. “They were too far away and America had no quarrel with them.” That he knew of, anyway.

Arriving home, my father famously complained to my mother that “These military maneuvers are getting a little too goddam realistic.” My mother, who’d always regarded her husband as something of a Magoo-like figure, informed her mate that the Japanese were attacking both Pearl Harbor and, it seemed, Honolulu, where errant bombs aimed at Hickham Field had already destroyed homes and businesses of non-combatants. She’d turned on the radio when she’d heard explosions. One of the first things she learned was that a bomb had obliterated the area where we’d made our ice cream purchase minutes earlier.

Civilian Casualty, Pearl Harbor

Years later, a hippie told me that I’d eluded the random wrath of the Japanese because I had “good karma.” I think it was more a case of God’s high regard for idiots and children.

My father was exempt from military service because he had a wife and children, but he was pressed into service as a member of a sort of impromptu Honolulu home guard called the Business Man’s Training Corps, or BMTC. Honolulu in 1941 was about the size of today’s Santa Rosa. My mother had much ribald enjoyment at the abbreviation, and was even more delighted at the sight of my father togged out as a World War One Doughboy, the only uniforms available.

The BMTC wouldn’t have been much of a match for the Japanese Imperial Army which, fortunately, never appeared on Waikiki. The Japanese had surprised themselves by the unopposed success of their attack on Pearl Harbor and had not prepared to land an occupying ground force.

December 7th was a major trauma for America. For our family, too. Pop made plans to head for the Mainland as soon as he could, but he wanted to accomplish both without being derided as a slacker for fleeing. It took him another year to make it stateside. He continued to spend his days surfing and sitting around in the dark at night behind blackout curtains.

My mother was a registered nurse who’d worked at Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu, my birthplace and also the birthplace of President Obama.

While surfer dude lingered in Honolulu, we'd been packed on to a troop ship headed for the Golden Gate. My mother remembers daily submarine alerts all the way across the Pacific during which everyone, including the women and children on board, trundled over the side by rope nets into lifeboats. Mom recalls that the two of us infants loved being handed off like a couple of footballs up and down the side of the ship, but the daily alarms and exertions terrified her and everyone else on board.

But we made it unscathed, and were soon ensconced in, of all places, the Fairmont Hotel, the evacuation center for people fleeing Hawaii.

Joint Address To Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan (1941),

by Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our Nation.

As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

But always will our whole Nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces — with the unbounding determination of our people — we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

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White Mill, Greenwood

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Thinking of Pearl Harbor Day, in early December 1992 I was sitting one beautiful starlit Pacific evening with Tosiwo Nakayama, seen here at my desk at the Development Bank on Pohnpei, my friend, customer and far more importantly the first president of the Federated States of Micronesia in the 1980s, on the terrace at the old Continental Hotel on the southern tip of Moen island in Truk Lagoon in the Western Carolines. The hotel, now Blue Lagoon Dive Resort, sat on the site of the Japanese seaplane base during WWII, Truk Lagoon being the district headquarters of the Japanese naval fleet. Tosiwo’s Japanese father was manager of a major Tokyo trade and supply company, so he grew up there as a young boy during the war, and remembers the fierce fighting over the lagoon well, especially the Allied bombs. (His father was sent back to Japan when the war broke out and it was many years before they saw one another again.) I was there with a delegation, so to speak, from the national government on Pohnpei, in my role as manager of the Development Bank’s Investment Development Fund, regarding a multi-million dollar national fisheries project we were seeking support for from the four island states. So, we’re having a soda and talking about the itinerary the next day, this meeting, that meeting, legislature, fisheries department, chamber of commerce, etc., when he asked me, “Norman, what’s today’s date?” I thought for a second and replied, “uh, Mr. President, it’s, uh, December 7th.” The international dateline notwithstanding, he looked up into that beautiful sky and said, “well, Norman, it’s certainly a lot quieter tonight, isn’t it?” It certainly was. Tosiwo was one of the finest leaders and statesmen a young - or any - nation could have had. If he were still with us now, he could give important lessons on that to today’s crop of alleged “leaders and statesmen”. If they would bother to listen, that is, an unlikely prospect.

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Please join host Chris Skyhawk for Universal Perspectives on KZYX Thursday Dec 9 at 7 pm, as he continues his series “Surviving Late Stage Capitalism, What’s Next?” His guest will be bodyworker and healer James Hummecky. They will discuss how the human body responds during a time of planetary crisis, and different paths of healing humans might take individually and collectively, to create new political and social paradigms.

Marco McClean Comments:

Marco here. Chris, please expect to be paid by the so-called manager of Mendocino Public Broadcasting Corporation (KZYX) for your radio work and your show, speaking of late-stage capitalism and social paradigms. The manager/CEO is paying herself $60,000 a year while paying you and the other local airpeople zero dollars for all of your shows all year long all put together. You're doing all the work that brings in the money that she's paying herself with.

Just the manager and program director are paid /all the membership money/. They say it's 2500 members. It's not; that's a lie, but for a number to go by, let's say it is. Some of the members pay $50 a year, some pay $25, so even if it's 2,500 we'll count it as 2000 fifties.

2000 fifty-dollar-a-year memberships is $100,000. If the program director is paid $40,000 a year, that plus the CEO's $60,000 is $100,000. I repeat: all the KZYX membership money is going directly into the personal bank accounts of just two people in the office and not a dime of it is paying for any part of what the station needs to keep operating.

The first job of any manager is to pay the workers before she pays herself. You're the worker. When management is well-paid and you work for nothing it hurts workers everywhere, not just in radio, and not just at one more NPR-colonized radio station.

Last time I got a look at the books, KZYX is pissing away $600,000 a year when it shouldn't cost even a third of that, and surviving on very large donations from some very rich people and an annual six-figure grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, without which tax-derived shot in the arm Mendocino County Public Broadcasting would have failed utterly every year of its existence going back to the beginning; that's how badly KZYX has always been managed, and that's how not listener-supported-community-radio it is, despite the script they still make you guys use to beg for ever more money for them.

And the program director, see above, Alicia, is the same person who two years ago, in the run-up to getting lucrative KZYX office employment, while she was in full charge over at the MEC, crashed and burned KMEC, a dead spot on the dial ever since, even though KMEC Ukiah cost less than $25 a day to operate, including fees, phone, heat, lights, internet and rent.

Really, Chris, with your thrilling personal health comeback story and bona fides and activist cred, you're the one in the best position to expect to be paid, start the ball rolling for the others and get some corporate reform accomplished. Just one sentence out of your mouth, out loud, preferably on the air, but you do what you feel comfortable with.

When KMFB was bought up and destroyed in late 2011 I applied to put my show on KZYX, met with the station manager and program director, kept up showing up at board meetings and applying and waiting and applying and waiting for years while they chewed through two or three more program directors and three or four more managers, and I still email them and the board of directors once a week with a link to each new Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio written-word KNYO show*. No action, ever, and I never get a reply. I can only conclude that, in spite of preparing all week and doing my superlative local radio show all Friday night every Friday night for 24 years now, since 1997, on KMFB and then KNYO and KMEC, and given that so much of what's on KZYX is so embarrassingly dumb, at least part of the reason I'm persona non grata at KZYX is that I expect the dignity of being paid for my show.

I know how it feels to like to be on the air and to worry because some nebulous people with power might screw things up for you. But they wouldn't dare kick you out. You don't have to worry about that. Stand up, now that you can again --congratulations, by the way-- and do the right thing. Tell them you know they have the money to pay you, because they do, they're swimming in money, and tell them you expect to be paid for your good work.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 7, 2021

Ahumada, Bodison, Carlton, Chavan

PEDRO AHUMADA JR., Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, brandishing, criminal threats.

MAULANA BODISON, Guernville/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

GREGORY CARLTON, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

DESIREE CHAVAN, Willits. Arson. 

Davi, Flores, Glover, Hidalgo

PATRICK DAVI, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, county parole violation.

JOSE FLORES-CASTRO, Fort Bragg. Grand theft auto, taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen property, forgery, false ID, probation revocation.

LATEEFAH GLOVER, Ukiah. Resisting.

ANTHONY HIDALGO, Ukiah. Robbery, ammo possession by prohibited person.

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by Christopher Orlet

It has become a truism that the One Percent despises democracy, that it would like to see democracy go the way of the Great Auk. Democracy means sharing power with the masses, and the One Percent would obviously prefer to have all the power to themselves.

Now consider this. Alden Capital, a New York-based hedge fund founded by Wall Street tycoon Randall D. Smith, is currently seeking to purchase Lee Enterprises, the owner of 77 newspapers nationwide.

Smith’s hedge fund is notorious for buying daily newspapers, slashing jobs, gutting staff, then selling off the remaining hard assets–buildings, vehicles, printing presses, rolls of old newsprint, whatever they can get their greedy hands on.

From a financial point of view, Alden Capital’s hostile takeover seems to make little sense. Take one Lee Enterprises paper, the once venerable St. Louis Post Dispatch. Staff there has been cut to the bone, the landmark Post-Dispatch building sold off to a tech startup. Other assets like parking lots have been sold. The newspaper is already a shell of its former self. Where once the paper’s reporters covered most municipal governments in the St. Louis metropolitan area, they now barely cover the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County. The remainder of these local governments operate without an independent watchdog, so who knows what crimes local politicians are getting away with? Yes, there is a state watchdog (the state ethics commission) but, Missouri being a red state, the commission has been historically underfunded and understaffed.

Alden Capital has proposed a cash purchase at $24 a share, about 30 percent more than the company’s closing share price of $18.49 at the time of the proposal. Additionally, Alden Capital will have to pay a premium to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway which sold Lee Enterprises its Nebraska newspapers and loaned the company the cash with which to buy them—a debt that will also have to be paid off.

The only way this makes sense for Alden Capital is if its real goal is not to gut an already gutted newspaper, but rather to render the two dozen newspapers toothless, if they want to kill the watchdog. To paraphrase The Washington Post’s motto, if they want democracy to die in darkness.

World-Herald News (Omaha) Guild president Todd Cooper seems to take this view. “It is not hyperbole to say that parts of democracy die when a hedge fund is allowed to run local news into the ground,” he said. ”Trust in government erodes as our watchdog function gets stripped down.”

Kathy Kiely, the Lee Hills Chair of free-press studies at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, recently told that Alden’s purchase of Lee would be “a dagger to the heart of democracy.”

According to the article, Kiely said the motive behind hedge funds like Alden’s attraction to local newspapers has become less and less clear as those hard assets have disappeared or been sold off.

In other words, hedge funds probably aren’t buying already gutted newspapers for financial reasons.

That leaves ideological reasons.

During an interview with investigative reporter Kavahn Mansouri, Kiely said, “If there is no further revenue there is the question of why continue doing this.”

Said Mansouri: “Kiely said to me at one point, if she were to come up with a recipe for getting rid of democracy, getting rid of newspapers would be one of the first things she would do.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman once said that democracy means there is always the fear that “the great unwashed will vote in left-wingers who will tax the rich, hand out largess to the poor, and destroy the economy.”

If Krugman is correct, then the only way the One Percent can save the economy is to destroy democracy.

Mind you, newspapers, which are often owned by giant corporations like Lee Enterprises, or billionaires like Jeff Bezos, are poor guardians of democracy at best. Their sole purpose is to make profits for their shareholders. Any social responsibility comes after that or despite it. But they are all we have. And when they are gone, democracy will go with them.

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IF YOU'RE SURPRISED 49ERS LOST IN SEATTLE, You Haven't Been Paying Attention

by Ann Killion

The sky was low and gray Monday but it was not actually falling.

You wouldn’t know that, however, to hear the panic from the 49ers’ fans, who were Chicken Little-ing all over social media and sports-talk radio.

Sure, it was an ugly loss in Seattle. What else is new? The 49ers have won only once in Seattle in the past decade.

But, in fact, the sky is not falling. The 49ers are still in a wild-card playoff position. According to one source — Football Outsiders — Sunday’s loss dropped their chances of making the playoffs by only 2.5%.

In the swamp of mediocrity that is the NFC, the 49ers (6-6) are right in the thick of the conference’s erratic averageness.

Were the 49ers, who entered Seattle on a three-game winning streak, really expected to win out the final nine games of the season? Apparently, some people thought so, but likely not anyone who has been watching the team closely.

Add in the injuries to key players — wide receiver Deebo Samuel, linebacker Fred Warner and tackle Mike McGlinchey, along with defensive back Emmanuel Mosley, who left Sunday’s game early — winning in Seattle became exponentially harder.

Still, the 49ers’ position hasn’t really changed. If the season ended today, the 49ers would open the playoffs on the road (at the moment at Green Bay). The other teams with whom the 49ers are competing for wild-card slots are not exactly intimidating. The Rams, who have a more difficult remaining five games than do the 49ers, still could be caught, and that Jan. 9 final regular-season game at Sofi Stadium could end up being critical.

First, the 49ers are going to have to clean up their act. Sunday’s game was a wildly entertaining comedy of errors as long as you weren’t emotionally invested in the outcome. But two of the 49ers’ next three games come on the road, at Cincinnati on Sunday and at Tennessee on Dec. 23, and they won’t survive the type of turnovers, penalties, special-team errors, and erratic quarterback play we saw in Seattle.

Jimmy Garoppolo had one of his worst games of the year against the Seahawks, which — of course — jump-started the “Play Trey” Greek chorus. The most peculiar theory is that head coach Kyle Shanahan is somehow deliberately derailing the season by not playing Lance. It’s nonsensical. Sure, Shanahan has job security but — after having mortgaged the team’s future for Lance — his reputation and legacy as the 49ers’ head coach will be determined by Lance’s success. Shanahan wants it to work.

Call me crazy, but I believe the coach who works with the players every day and who gets paid mega-bucks to coach football can determine better than I can who should be the quarterback. Right now, every game is close to a must-win for the 49ers, and Shanahan clearly doesn’t think Lance is ready and that playing him right now could do more harm than good.

Shanahan was asked Monday if he was tempted to put in Lance for the final plays of the game near the goal line.

“Not at all,” Shanahan said emphatically. “Not at all. We’d just gone 98 yards. ... That would not have been right to him, at all, or to our team.”

On Sunday, Shanahan went with the only San Francisco quarterback to win a game in Seattle since Alex Smith did it in 2011. Garoppolo had some horrible throws — his third-quarter interception led to the winning touchdown. But given the entire team’s lack of composure in Seattle, in the league’s toughest environment for a visiting team, it seemed unlikely that a rookie would provide leadership and poise in crunch time.

Despite his errors, Garoppolo could have won the game, if the officials — so overly officious for much of the game — threw a flag on the egregious defensive holding in the end zone against receiver Trent Sherfield.

Although Garoppolo’s errors were particularly glaring — maybe because he’d played so well in recent weeks — this was, once again, a team loss. The momentum and tone were fundamentally changed by special teams’ errors. The defense allowed a critical touchdown just before the half, thanks to two roughing-the-passer penalties. Shanahan called some weird plays. It was an overall failure. In other words, a typical trip to Seattle.

Seattle is 16-4 against the 49ers since Russell Wilson became the Seahawks’ starting quarterback — 9-1 in Seattle. That is complete and total ownage.

Everyone has their own definition of what would be a successful 49ers season. But being realistic would help.

The Super Bowl as 49ers’ birthright is so far in the rearview mirror as to be almost invisible. You might have been fooled into thinking this was a Super Bowl team before the season started, because of the team’s pre-COVID trip there, but it clearly is not.

However, what the 49ers are providing is better than what they gave us last season. Or in 2018. Or 2017, 2016, and 2015. Or for most of the 21st century, minus three Jim Harbaugh years.

If you thought the final third of the season was going to be easy, you weren’t paying attention to the first two-thirds. So cut back on the caffeine, maybe crack open a CBD beverage instead, and hang on.

It’s likely to be a wild ride. With plenty to panic about.


* * *

Cincinnati Main Library

* * *



On Dec. 7, 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor rallied the nation to war. Sacrifice joined Americans together — rationing, enlisting, buying war bonds. The sacrifices made by Japanese Americans who lived on the West Coast were monumental. Their rights as Americans were suspended, and they were rounded up and sent to internment camps with armed guards, leaving behind everything except what they could carry.

Out of this part of American history came the all-American Japanese fighting unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, with its “Go for Broke” motto. The 442nd broke the back of the German army in the Italian mountains. The Germans called them the little iron men as they were unrelenting in their attacks.

Fueled by proving their loyalty to America, the 442nd and the 100th Infantry Battalion, also all Japanese Americans, received the most honors and suffered the most casualties of any units their size: 680 killed in action; 9,486 Purple Hearts for being wounded in action; and 18,143 individual medals, including 21 Congressional Medals of Honor.

Melissa Grahek

Santa Rosa

* * *

Aircraft Warning Station, Mendocino, 1941-44

* * *


I’m absolutely against doom & gloom in the short term – there are resource crises we’re coming up against, and climate change realities we’re coming up against, financial disasters that we’re coming up against, and much else.

But we need to be realistic, and say that the world moves very slowly – and in most respects every turn of the world is far longer than one human life-span. 

My oldest grandparent was born in 1888 – look how much the world changed in her 80 years! And I reckon it changed more in her time than it has in the 53 years since 1968. She went from horse and buggy and kerosene lamps to jet travel, TV&Radio, plastics, McDonald’s, and IBM computers.

What’s really happened since 1968 – smarter computers and smaller more powerful chips … but what else?

* * *

Chow Break, Gualala River, 1905

* * *

I DON’T KNOW if I’ve learned anything yet! I did learn how to have a happy home, but I consider myself fortunate in that regard because I could’ve rolled right by it. Everybody has a superficial side and a deep side, but this culture doesn’t place much value on depth — we don’t have shamans or soothsayers, and depth isn’t encouraged or understood. Surrounded by this shallow, glossy society we develop a shallow side, too, and we become attracted to fluff. That’s reflected in the fact that this culture sets up an addiction to romance based on insecurity — the uncertainty of whether or not you’re truly united with the object of your obsession is the rush people get hooked on. I’ve seen this pattern so much in myself and my friends and some people never get off that line.

But along with developing my superficial side, I always nurtured a deeper longing, so even when I was falling into the trap of that other kind of love, I was hip to what I was doing. I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called "The End of Sex," that said something that struck me as very true. It said: “If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.” What happens when you date is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over.

You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an asshole to them or they look like an asshole to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.

— Joni Mitchell

* * *

Albion Lumber Schooner, Sotoyome, 1904

* * *

AT BREAKFAST ONE DAY in his room at the Florida hotel, which more or less overlooked the nearest part of the front, Mr. Ernest Hemingway was very comforting about the shelling. He had a big map laid out on the table, and he explained to an audience of generals, politicians, and correspondents that, for some ballistic reason, the shells could not hit the Florida. He could talk in a very military way and make it all sound very convincing. Everyone present was convinced and happy. Then a shell whooshed through the rooms above Mr. Hemingway’s — the first actually to hit the state of Florida — and the ceiling fell down on the breakfast table. To any lesser man than Mr. Hemingway the occurrence would’ve been humiliating. While we were all getting the plaster out of our hair, Mr. Hemingway looked slowly round at us, one after the other. ‘How do you like it now, gentlemen?’ he said, and by some astonishing trick of manner, conveyed the impression that this episode had actually, in some obscure way, confirmed instead of upsetting his theory — that his theory had been right when he expounded it, and this only demonstrated that the time had come to have a new one.

— Claud Cockburn 

* * *

Willits to Fort Bragg Line

* * *

ARE MEN ANIMALS? Yes but not in the way you might think

Who benefits from the “belief” that humans are just naked apes? People who don't want to change society or themselves. People who profit from business as usual. Capitalism is "natural." The belief can be self fulfilling.

But it is just a belief, NOT a scientific fact.

I thought you might enjoy this from Aeon:

Pseudoscience beliefs that we find throughout the world today regarding animal maleness are embedded in the language of daily life. Animality is central to the vernacular of male sexuality and aggression, as if human behaviour is solely and best understood as a branch on the tree of bestial evolution. Enormous attention has been paid in recent decades to changing language that naturalises female bodies, to showing that female biology is not female destiny. We have spent less time disturbing language carelessly applied to males, especially that which exculpates male behaviour by blaming monkey-like genes and hormones.

— Carol Mattessich

* * *


  1. Chuck Artigues December 8, 2021

    Perhaps you would be so kind to report what Ron Rice’s nice new building is going to be used for… tasting room, B&B?

    • Bruce Anderson December 8, 2021

      Pretty sure it will be a sales room for the excellent olive oil he produces there. What is it the Arabs say about an olive tree, you can live off one in a pinch. A grapevine will maybe sustain you a day or two.

  2. Marmon December 8, 2021

    RE: 28 CASES

    What is Mendocino County doing different than Lake County? The 7 day average for Mendo is 25 per day, while Lake’s is only 5.


    • Marmon December 8, 2021

      As of today, lake has only 1 patient hospitalized and 0 in intensive care.


      • Harvey Reading December 8, 2021

        Did you count it?

    • Harvey Reading December 8, 2021

      What is the population of Lake County compared with Mendolandia?

      • Marmon December 8, 2021

        Mendocino’s population certainly is not 5 time larger than Lake’s


        • Harvey Reading December 9, 2021

          You did NOT answer the question. Typical. You must have been a riot as a statistician. A confidence interval of +- 15 billion…

          • Marmon December 9, 2021

            Approximately 90,000 in Mendo and 70,000 Lake. Those numbers do not answer the question as to why Mendo has 5 times the daily rate than Lake.


            • Harvey Reading December 9, 2021

              You are reaching conclusions by dealing with very small, probably meaningless, sample sizes, Mr. Expert.

              Why doncha tell us what the 95 percent interval is around that “5 times” assertion of yours?

              • Marmon December 9, 2021

                Okay Harv, here’s a quick math lesson



                • Harvey Reading December 10, 2021

                  Typical. You fail to answer the question.

  3. Harvey Reading December 8, 2021

    “The study surveyed 25,435 people across 24 different countries. They found that people were more likely to support government health policies to contain the pandemic if they perceived that such health policies would ultimately protect the economy.”

    Not surprising considering the gullibility of humans with their essentially worldwide acceptance of subjecting themselves to rule by robber barons and the economies those robber barons own; no matter what descriptive word (or words) are used as names for any particular economic system. They all are used to promote, and to a degree, satisfy, greed. The world will be a better place without us. I hope we disappear before we can further plunder and destroy the planet. We are a dead-end species. GOOD RIDDANCE.

  4. Marmon December 8, 2021


    I just finished listening to that interview. The City needs to get out of the way and help this project move forward. There are a lot of grants and loans out there that the City and the Little Stinker can take advantage of if the City gets on board (pun intended) and cooperates.


    • Harvey Reading December 8, 2021

      Typical settler mentality thinking. If the city is representing the people, then the railroad kings should take a hike. Instead, they’ll take advantage of out-of-date federal railroad rules and democracy be damned. The town will become an even bigger junkyard than it was in the 90s. Totally fascist, kautalist tactics.

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