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A STRONG WINTER STORM is underway bringing strong southerly winds, locally heavy rainfall, and high elevation snow. A secondary front will move in on Tuesday for more rainfall and some additional high elevation snow. Periods of rainfall will persist through much of this week. (NWS)
COVID MONTHLY CASES/DEATHS in Mendocino County
229 / 9 (Jul)
392 / 8 (Aug)
260 / 2 (Sep)
210 / 2 (Oct)
420 / 2 (Nov)
964 / 4 (Dec)
876 / 11 (Jan)
382 / 5 (Feb)
131 / 3 (Mar)
82 / 2 (Apr)
194 / 1 (May)
164 / 1 (Jun)
323 / 2 (Jul)
1365 / 12 (Aug)
1107 / 20 (Sep)
519 / 5 (Oct)
518 / 10 (Nov)
400 / 6 (Dec)
SECOND SUNDAY PANCAKE BREAKFAST
Anderson Valley Grange, Philo, Sunday January 9th 8:30-11:00
Wowza, this snuck up on us fast, just in time to recover from the holidaze. It's the 2nd Sun. of the month and time for The Grange Pancake Breakfast.
As ever and never before
Come enjoy fabulous hot cakes (David Norfleet secret recipe and gluten-free upon request), scrambled eggs, bacon, and all the fancy fixin's, coffee, tea & orange juice.
There will be LIVE music, NOT elevator stuff, the local real deal. Leslie and Michael Hubbert had such a good time in Dec. they will be back, not singing for their supper but definitely playing for pancakes. Plus ,if luck is with us, Frannie Leopold coming all the way from Caspar to play for pancakes too.
Breakfast served in the big hall, with social distancing, and we'll be supplying disposable plates and utensils but feel free to bring your own, and that mask that you'll be smiling behind! By the way, if you would like to flip a few cakes or get scrambled up in eggs contact the crew, and there might be an opening.
More Grange News
January is election month. Renew your membership or join the Grange to vote in the election. It's at our regular monthly meeting the 3rd Tues. of every month. Beginning at 6:00pm on Tues. Jan. 18th, there will be a potluck. please bring your own utensils,(we will have sealed plastic if you forget) and if you bring something to share have it ready to be served individually. The business meeting starts at 7:00. We will be following covid protocols.
At any Grange event we ask you to be considerate of your fellow community members. Please get vaccinated with the booster and or be tested before coming. AND for sure, indoors, wear your mask!
Even More Grange News
After a very unscientific poll, it seems for the best to move the VARIETY SHOW to the first weekend in MAY. It gives us two more months to get our acts together so to speak, plus if need be, to do the show outside it'll be warmer and less chance of getting rained out. Contact Cap Rainbow 895-3807 with your ideas, energy and acts. (Always looking for those animal acts.)
LETTERS SUPPORTING YORKVILLE MARKET CONVERSION TO CANNABIS PROCESSING FACILITY
Dear Supervisor Ted Williams –
Yorkville Market will be missed immensely. I am sad that my efforts and my business’ efforts to shop local and support the market were not enough to keep the ship afloat. I don’t blame the pandemic as much as I blame the community. Locals mostly keep to themselves, that’s why they move to Yorkville. The people who have a problem with the market closing do not shop at the market. They do not understand voting with their dollars and should have spent the appeal money of $1,616 on a catered dinner for friends and family. My business spent over $10,000 annually at the market. I went out of my way to cater lunches and breakfast meetings, anything I could do to help Lisa turn a profit. As a small business owner I understand if you don’t vote with your dollars, local businesses will go away.
It’s too late, Yorkville Market has been closing for a while now. I will miss the market more than most but I have made peace with it. The people against this project never shopped at the market. Maybe they treated it like a convenience store and had coffee once in a while or grabbed $10 worth of groceries on a rainy Saturday. They shop in Ukiah or Cloverdale.
I don’t understand the accusation of a third party opening a drug house. The Walsh family owns the store and their daughter Lisa Walsh is pivoting to cannabis. She is going through the political and legal process of opening a cannabis business. The appeal, I’m sure, is par for the course. The reasoning for this appeal is distorted. I’ve talked to Lisa about this for over a year. She is as local as it gets and at the top of a short list of locals that selflessly care about the community.
Thank you for your time.
TO: Supervisor Ted Williams and whom it may concern.
As a community we will all lament the loss of the market, though that gives us no right to place further financial burdens on the owner. Lisa gave our community the gift and I am grateful for the gatherings and opportunities it provided not only for food, the local crafts, art, friendships, it was also a place that marked coming home.
The market tried so many wonderful ways to keep in business and our small community could not or simply did not do enough to help overcome all the obstacles put in the path. It would of been great if stimulus payments to people would of been directed to be spent locally, it would of been great if tourists were not locked out, though even with that running a business is never a sure thing and when its path to profitability is no longer clear no community or government can force its continuance. Hopefully, in future policy mandates time and care will be taken to identify community assets and ensure their viability for the long haul. One day maybe our community will have the funds to develop and revitalize the town... it is not our place to force that cost on Lisa and the market.
I am not a user or proponent of marijuana beyond medical use potential, though I believe people have the right to live their lives as they choose. If the County and State are going to encourage and profit from the industry they and we don't have the right to be hypocritical. If the zone and use allowed for the permit to go forward then it should stand... if this is the path that gives back to the owner a little of what she invested in us then so be it.
Thank you for your time
Dear Mr Williams,
I am writing in support of Lisa Walsh’s application for a permit to utilize her property for a cannabis processing facility. I have been a full time resident of Yorkville for nearly 20 years and while I will certainly miss the Yorkville Market, I feel I have no place dictating the terms of a legal business in my community. Yorkville is a small but diverse community and has no official spokesperson outside of our supervisor.
I understand that Mendocino County has approved the permit under appeal. I also understand a small number of residents have written letters in support of the appeal. I do not agree with the arguments contained in the letters I have viewed, and believe that the objections could be made against many business locations along Hwy 128 through the Anderson Valley. In particular, the water use and environmental concerns would seem to apply to the many vineyards and wineries in the area.
My view is that these objections are simply due to the fact the business will be cannabis related. These letters frequently conflate legal and illegal grows. Like it or not, cannabis is a legally permitted business in our state and in our county. We are still suffering the economic effects that Covid related shutdowns have had on our community and I personally would welcome more opportunities for local jobs and commerce.
Thank you, Greg Brunson
BRUCE BRODERICK: A 5000 gallon diesel storage tank that has had no recent inspections and is leaking fuel regularly. It is also on the northern side of the Mendocino Railway property. Winter Greeneagle, an employee of Mendocino Railway has stated that this tank is no longer in use and doesn't pose a threat. If it is no longer in use, then where is the diesel stored for supplying the 50 or so gallons of fuel needed every day to cart the tourists around our forest? Is it stored in 50 gallon drums in the dilapidated train shed? Do they go to the fuel station every day? Where is this mysterious diesel fuel stored? And why isn't this tank removed?
THE BOONVILLE BASEBALL ARCHIVE
A couple of weeks ago in your Valley People column Charlie Hiatt reminisced about The Valley’s “adult” softball league days. He reminded us of a fine ballplayer and wonderful man, Bill Fleisher. I remember Bill well, because he was an elegant, high performance in field and at bat softball player and good co-worker friend at Philo Mill. I had forgotten the part of Bills’ grace Charlie noted; he played the game bare-footed, no mean feat on the unirrigated High School baseball field.
Going through our old newspaper coop Anderson Valley Advocate archives the other day I came across some articles about the start of a women’s softball league in 1974. Participants included Pam Edmeades, Karen Weirauch, Betty Sanders, Berna Walker, Joan Mauceri and many others, including Denise Hammond. Who was Denise Hammond? I have a photo of her rounding third base in perfectly balanced, arms wide full stride while looking home to decide whether to go for it. Clearly the photo shows Denise was barefooted. Wanna see it?
Bill I still think about from time to time. In fact, I have on display in my archive here his fielder’s glove, courtesy of Bill’s girlfriend, Jennifer Flaccus. When after Bill died, I asked Jennifer was she sure I was the appropriate person to be honored with this gift, I didn’t understand her reply. If anyone would like to be the successor beneficiary of Bill’s well-maintained glove, I would be please to pass it on to them.
Happy New Year and Return to School January 10
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
I wish you a happy and joyous 2022. I hope your family is enjoying renewal and all wonderful things as you reconnect with those that you have been able to see after such a long time. We are looking forward to welcoming back all of our students and staff on January 10th. I wanted to let you know that I have ordered an extra testing pool for the Monday that we come back. This will allow us to test PCR on Monday and on Wednesday with follow-up testing available, as needed if any pools come back positive. As you know the new variant is spreading rapidly. The good news is that it's less virulent in effect, but, unfortunately, much more communicable. We will not be able to eradicate Covid in schools. Our job is to mitigate it. We will make every effort to keep all students and staff safe and comfortable. There will be new quarantine guidance being released by the California Department of Health and the Mendocino County Public Health Officer coming out upon our return to school.
On another note, I want to encourage you to embrace rigor and expectation in this New Year. Kids have been out of school a long time. Some of them have a lot of material to make up. Some of them are less motivated than they used to be. However, we must still expect excellence (and that includes behavior expectations as well) and demand and support their efforts and achievement. My goal for this District is not to use Covid as an excuse, but to have our kids excel and thrive in spite of it. Check in with your student. What are they doing? Where are they excelling? Where did they need support? Reach out to their teachers and let's find some common ground about how to support kids to reach their dreams.
I want to let you thank our Wellness Committee. The volunteers will be sampling some special foods coming back to the New Year. Sometimes, just the opportunity to try a new food when a peer is enough to spark a new interest! Thanks to Donna Pierson-Pugh and our fearless Cafeteria Manager, Terri Rhoades, for making these opportunities possible!
Enjoy the week ahead and HAPPY NEW YEAR! We will see your students on January 10!
Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017
THANKS, Malcolm Macdonald, for your excellent article on the future of healthcare here on the Coast. While it is unclear how many – if any – acute care hospital beds we need, everyone agrees we have to have an Emergency Room. What about a freestanding Emergency Room — not connected to an acute care hospital? Allowed in some states, but not California. So in order to have an ER, we need a hospital. What does that entail?
According to Title 22: “General acute care hospital means a hospital, licensed by the Department, having a duly constituted governing body with overall administrative and professional responsibility and an organized medical staff which provides 24-hour inpatient care, including the following basic services: medical, nursing, surgical, anesthesia, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, and dietary services.”
Buz Graham, MD
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN @ COAST CINEMAS
Singin' in the Rain will screen at Coast Cinemas this Wed. at 7pm
Tickets are $15 at the door, on Eventive, or on Coast Cinemas' website or app.
IT’S OFFICIAL: MENDO HAS NO POT PERMIT POLICY
January 4 Board of Supervisors Meeting, Agenda Item
“Discussion and Possible Action Including Introduction and Waive First Reading of an Ordinance Repealing Ordinance No. 4491, Which Amended Chapter 6.36 - Cannabis Facilities Businesses and Chapter 20.243 - Cannabis Facilities
(Sponsor: County Counsel)
Introduce and waive first reading of an Ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 4491, which amended Chapter 6.36 - Cannabis Facilities Businesses and Chapter 20.243 - Cannabis Facilities.
Previous Board/Board Committee Actions:
On May 25, 2021, the Board adopted Ordiance No. 4491 Amending Chapter 6.36 - Cannabis Facilities Businesses and Chapter 20.243 - Cannabis Facilities.
This was the “expanded” use permit approach would had some good features (on paper anyway) but which allowed pot to be grown on 10% of a parcel, a direct over-rule of the Planning Commission’s recommendation that the gro-size be limited to two acres. The ensuing petition drive was successful in qualifying a measure for the ballot which would have undone all that work. Instead of revising the proposed use-permit approach to reflect the Planning Commission’s simple solution, the Board (Haschak dissenting) proceeded causing the successful petition drive. This agenda item makes it official that Mendo now reverts to the previous failed permit process that has seen very few applicants (a couple of hundred) get final permits.
Summary of Request:
Following the adoption of Ordinance No. 4491, the Willits Environmental Center filed a verified petition for writ of mandamus challenging the adoption of the ordinance. The petition alleges that the environmental review of the effects of Ordinance No. 4491 was deficient and as such, the County failed to proceed in the manner required by the California Environmental Quality Act.
The County and Willits Environmental Center have entered into a stipulation for entry of judgment, in which the County agreed to repeal the adoption of Ordinance No. 4491, based on the uncertainties and burdens of further litigation, and the desire to minimize litigation costs and streamline the adjudication of this case. An order for judgment in this case was entered by the Mendocino County Superior Court pursuant to the stipulation on November 24, 2021, and a peremptory writ of mandate was issued by the Court on November 30, 2021. Pursuant to the judgment and the writ, the County is required to repeal Ordinance No. 4491.
Repeal of Ordinance No. 4491 would undo the changes made by that ordinance to Chapter 6.36 - Cannabis Facilities Businesses and Chapter 20.243 - Cannabis Facilities.”
* * *
The sponsor, County Counsel Curtis, does not even try to point out what the impact of reverting to the prior system is or would be.
Several recent letters, both pro and con, regarding the Potter Valley Project illustrate the current state of the unknown about North Bay water. It would be shortsighted to ignore the values of our natural environment, but people are part of that environment. It seems clear that complete studies are required to provide basic data for future decision-making.
Some fundamental truths: We face an uncertain water future. We can all do more to conserve and manage the water we have. But, certainly, the demand will continue to grow regardless of conservation efforts.
The Potter Valley Project is essential to filling Lake Mendocino. The area upstream from Lake Pillsbury consists of approximately 7% of the total Eel River watershed and is the least viable for fish, i.e. most hot and dry.
Lake Pillsbury is a source of dependable water storage that works to provide year-round access to water for the Potter Valley Project. It is not just a few who visit remote Lake Pillsbury who benefit from its existence. It is all of us who live and work in the region who benefit from its presence.
Fund the studies and make intelligent decisions balancing all needs.
JAMES MARMON posted this poignant remark a couple of weeks ago on our website: “I might also lose my MediCal and be left with Medicare only. If that happens I’m responsible for 20 percent of my medical bills. None of this would have been a problem had Carmel Angelo and Camille Schraeder not ended my career 10 years early.”
COUPLA THINGS here. Like a lot of Trumpers, and Marmon's way beyond deprogramming, he constantly blasts liberals as communists without bothering to make the distinction between the two. With rightwingers you never know whether their ignorance is merely ignorance or deliberate malice — real hatred for an inchoate, all-purpose contempt entity that doesn't exist. If not for liberals inspired by socialists, Marmon wouldn't have either McdiCal or Medicare, and just try to take Medicare away from Americans, although the right wants to “privatize” it, meaning steal it for the mega-wolves of capital the rightwing serves.
MARMON as social worker would seem to be a contradiction given his political views, but from what he has described of his professional experience I'm here to say he was an honest, conscientious social worker of the independent type we need more of, especially in this howlingly dysfunctional county.
AS I UNDERSTAND Marmon's defrocking, he objected to placement decisions by his superiors, who I happened to be familiar with because I was writing about those same people who'd made a series of shockingly heartless placement decisions in a case I knew firsthand. I assumed, and still assume, that Marmon had to have been correct in his defiance of decisions made by these people, one of which led to the murder of an infant placed in a home dominated by the tweaker who killed the baby in 2013.
MENDO'S CPS's decision makers should have been fired as the dangerous incompetents they are, and the judges, who've got to know how, uh, limited these people are, should have been fired along with them. Adding insult to major injury, a raft of County cover-up artists got restraining orders against Marmon! And one of the least responsible of this appalling CPS crew went on to become department head! Only in Mendo.
WITHOUT rehashing my experience with Mendo's CPS, as soon as I heard about Marmon's experience with this dismal apparatus I knew in my bones he was right. Maybe it was this experience that drove Marmon into Trump's big tent. After all, Mendo's helping pros are mostly liberals, and those who aren't claim to be Christians of the no book but the bible type. They get away with gross incompetence because they prey on undefended people, the poor.
IN JULY OF 2002 I praised the work of the Ukiah-based psychologist, Kevin Kelly. Never met the guy, wouldn't know him if I saw him. But I can tell you he was the only sane voice in the prolonged torture of Yeni Wiriderdja and her daughter Yusra by the Mendocino County Department of Social Services and its appallingly stupid, and often malicious, CPS unit, a unit dominated by the same collection of primitive screwballs who went all in on the Satanist hysteria which swept the more primitive sectors of Mendo's (and America's) population in the early 1980s.
MS. W, a non-English-speaking Indonesian, was assumed by CPS to not only be a defective mother but a mother who had rented her daughter out to Satanist perverts! Can a sane person even grasp the magnitude of the tax-paid idiocy (and pure racism) that was at work in Ms. W's case? I couldn't then, and I can't now, but if it weren't for the intelligent intervention of Kevin Kelly the suffering of that grotesquely wronged woman and her child would have been much worse than it was, and it was very, very bad until Kelly was finally appointed by the county's slo-mo Superior Court to have a look at mother and child. He saved them. CPS and its preferred therapists, primarily a husband and wife team by the name of Robert and Ann Horton, believed that Satanism thrived in Mendoland and that little Yusra was one more victim. These two morons and the sub-morons at CPS had the brass-balled nerve to trot this nonsense out in court. And get away with it!
THE YENI-YUSRA SAGA, no thanks to the helping professionals of Mendoland and the gutless local authorities who back their evil work no matter how obviously destructive it is, has turned out well. They're both thriving in Eugene, Oregon. Yusra is a multi-lingual, straight-A student in her senior year of high school. Yeni has re-married, is a management-level, English-speaking employee of a going concern, owns her home, and is doing very well in every way despite her years of emotional torture by Mendocino County's criminally defective Department of Social Services.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 2, 2022
RYIN BATIN, Willits. DUI.
TERESA BETTEGA, Covelo. Infliction of injury to child, resisting.
MAURICIO CAMPOS, Ukiah. DUI, leaving scene of accident after property damage.
CHRISTOPHER FENK, Covelo. Vandalism.
MARY GINIER, Willits. Domestic battery.
ROBERT MCCOY, Ukiah. Hit&run with property damage.
LOSARIO ROSALES, Redwood Valley. DUI.
STEVEN SIMPSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ANTONIO THURMAN, Ukiah. Perjury, fraud to obtain aid.
TREY LANCE SHAKES OFF SLOW START vs. Texans, tosses two second-half TDs in 49ers’ win
by Eric Branch
Rookie quarterback Trey Lance overcame a slow start to throw two touchdown passes in the second half and the 49ers erased a halftime deficit to beat the Texans 23-7 on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.
Lance, 21, making his second career start with starter Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined with a thumb injury, completed 16 of 23 passes for 249 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, posting a 116.0 passer rating.
The 49ers (9-7) remained in the No. 6 spot in the seven-team playoff chase. They can clinch a postseason berth if the Saints lose to the Panthers on Sunday. If New Orleans wins, the 49ers can secure a playoff spot with a win against the Rams in their regular-season finale on Jan. 9.
Lance found his footing after the 49ers failed to score in the game’s first 29-plus minutes. Lance directed a conservative attack that had managed just six first downs and 109 yards against the Texans (4-12), who were 14-point underdogs and had the NFL’s 30th-ranked defense.
In the 49ers’ first five drives, Lance completed 7 of 8 passes for 49 yards but threw an interception, which set up the Texans’ only score. However, he completed 3 of 5 passes for 56 yards in a hurry-up march that that led to Robbie Gould’s 37-yard field goal just before halftime and he carried that momentum into the final two quarters.
Trailing 7-3 at halftime, Lance threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to running back Elijah Mitchell (21 carries, 119 yards) in the third quarter and added a 45-yard strike to Deebo Samuel in the fourth quarter to give the 49ers a 17-7 lead.
Lance made amends after his worst pass proved costly: The game’s first score was set up by his second-quarter interception. On first down from the 49ers’ 45-yard line, Lance had Samuel open down the right sideline, but he stared down tight end George Kittle and his underthrown pass deep left was picked off by cornerback Desmond King.
That set the stage for the Texans to take a 7-0 lead on a 14-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by rookie quarterback Davis Mills’ eight-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks. The wideout exploited a mismatch - he was single covered by inside linebacker Fred Warner - and broke free in the middle of the end zone. Mills completed 3 of 3 passes for 47 yards on third down on the drive.
Trailing 7-3, 49ers took the lead in the third quarter after they benefited from charitable calls on back-to-back snaps.
First, linebacker Marcell Harris intercepted a pass, but appeared to lose a fumble on his return that was recovered by Texans running back Rex Burkhead at the 49ers’ 42-yard line. However, the officials huddled and ruled that Harris’ forward progress had been stopped before he lost the ball, negating the fumble.
On the next play, Lance fired a deep pass to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who was double covered down the middle. A few seconds after the apparent incompletion, a flag was thrown for a 37-yard pass-interference penalty on cornerback Terrance Mitchell at Houston’s 21-yard line.
Four plays later, Lance rolled right and lobbed an eight-yard, walk-in scoring pass to Mitchell, who caught the ball at the 7-yard line.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday he believes it is “very likely” that Russia will invade Ukraine as President Biden prepared for another call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the tense standoff.
“I fear that Putin is very likely to invade. I still, frankly, don’t understand the full motivation for why, why now he’s doing this. But he certainly appears intent on it unless we can persuade him otherwise,” Schiff (D-Calif.) said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“And I think nothing other than a level of sanctions that Russia has never seen will deter him, and that’s exactly what we need to do with our allies,” he added.
Biden said he warned President Vladimir Putin during their phone call on Thursday that he will be hit with “severe sanctions” if an attack is launched against Ukraine.
ENROLLMENT DECLINES SQUEEZE LOCAL SCHOOL FINANCES
by Dan Walters
The 1970s and 1980s were a tumultuous time for California’s public schools, to wit:
—A tidal wave of kids from the post-World War II baby boom pushed school enrollment to well over 4 million, but the end of the boom in the mid-1960s and a slowdown in overall population growth drove enrollment downward in the 1970s. Throughout the state, local school systems pared back school construction, sold off school sites and even closed some schools.
—At the time, schools were largely financed by locally imposed property taxes but in 1971 a successful lawsuit, Serrano vs. Priest, declared that widely varying taxable property values among the state’s school districts unfairly disadvantaged children in low wealth communities. In response, the Legislature began overhauling school finances to provide what was called “equalization.”
—Subsequently, however, in 1978, voters passed Proposition 13, which clamped tight limits on property taxes, compelling the state to assume the fundamental task of financing schools from income and sales taxes and thus shifting wrangling over education finance to the state Capitol.
—California’s population soared in the 1980s due to high immigration and birth rates and so did school enrollment, eventually topping 6 million. In 1988, a decade after Proposition 13’s approval, the education community persuaded voters to pass Proposition 98, an extremely complex measure that dictates how schools’ share of state revenues is calculated. It has dominated the state budget process ever since.
This snippet of political history is offered because it could be repeated.
California’s once-soaring population has slowed to a trickle, or perhaps even reversed, due to sharp declines in immigration and birth rates. Also, school enrollment, which topped out at 6.2 million a decade ago and remained virtually unchanged until recently, is beginning what demographers believe will be a steady decline.
The COVID-19 pandemic is partially responsible for some recent declines but the state Department of Finance projects that underlying demographic trends will drop enrollment to 5.5 million by 2030, some 700,000 lower than the peak.
“Projected declines are greatest in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties — roughly 20 percent lower by 2030–31,” a recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California declares. “The declines in Los Angeles County are particularly noteworthy: county enrollment has already fallen over 10 percent in the past decade, and enrollment in 2030–31 is projected to be 30 percent lower than it was in 2010–11.”
State aid to schools is largely driven by enrollment, so districts that are seeing major declines, particularly large urban systems such as Los Angeles Unified, are beginning to feel the financial pinch and confronting the unpopular task of shutting neighborhood schools.
At the moment, school finances have a respite. Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators have decreed that state aid is temporarily based on pre-pandemic enrollment but the “hold harmless” gesture is due to expire next year. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.
Decreasing enrollment could be beneficial in the long run, because it could increase per-pupil spending. But that would depend on the willingness of state politicians to once again change the methodology of school financing, moving away from its enrollment base to some other model.
Given the tens of billions of dollars at stake, however, a major overhaul would be a tough political slog. Until and unless it occurs, the local systems seeing the most dramatic enrollment declines will have a difficult time balancing their budgets as their state aid shrinks and their fixed costs, such as pension fund contributions, continue to rise.
Stress-coping programs for first responders are laudable and sorely needed. Rural volunteer EMTs and firefighters, however, shoulder an additional burden: We care for our friends and neighbors.
While the chance of an urban responder encountering a victim they know personally is remote, for a rural volunteer it’s one hundred percent. We see our community members at their worst: accidents, fires, trauma and desperate illness. We’ve performed CPR on close friends and, sadly, watched them die under our hands. We’ve delivered babies, stopped arterial bleeding or opened airways just in time, and sometimes pronounced deaths. And we have to take that home with us.
Our neighbors know that when they dial 911, someone they know will be coming in their front door. And, whatever happens next, we will all have to live with that and look them and their families in the eye every time we see them again, silently recalling what happened. Sometimes it’s happy, sometimes it’s sad. But it’s always there.
It’s always there.
Scott Foster, Captain/EMT
Timber Cove Fire Protection District
NEWSBOYS GATHERING in front of the Call & Post Building in Cleveland, Ohio in 1935.
Started in 1916 by Cleveland inventor Garrett Morgan, the paper merged with the Cleveland Post in 1929. By 1932, and under the direction of editor and publisher W.O. Walker, the Call & Post had become the most influential voice for Black America in all the metropolitan areas throughout Ohio. The paper is still operational today.
COMPANIES WANT TO GROW SEAWEED IN CALIFORNIA TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE.
They’re held back by environmental regulations
by Tara Duggan
It absorbs carbon. It reduces emissions on dairy farms. It can be used as food, fuel and fertilizer. It requires nothing but seawater and sunlight to grow.
Seaweed has become a symbol of hope in mitigating climate change, and at least a half dozen companies are actively trying to farm it in California. They aim to be part of what’s called the blue economy, a movement to use the ocean’s resources in a sustainable, if not regenerative, way. But getting a permit to set up a seaweed farm in state waters involves navigating a permitting process that can take many years and cost many thousands of dollars.
“I just don’t understand why this is so difficult when it’s something that is so important and could be so good for the environment,” said Daniel Marquez of PharmerSea, who has waited six years to get state permission to farm kelp on the 25-acre underwater site he leases north of Santa Barbara, for use in research and in the cosmetics company he owns with his wife. He supports state environmental protections, but said,”We’re just asking, ’Can you can you move it along a little bit?’ Because this is ridiculous.”
Pointing to thriving seaweed farming industries in Alaska, Hawaii and Maine, would-be California seaweed growers say the bottleneck is getting in the way of what could be a boon to the environment. With the exception of a few locations where the state has granted jurisdiction to local harbor districts or ports, California has not issued a new lease for commercial aquaculture, including seaweed or shellfish, in more than 25 years.
The main reason is likely because applicants are uncertain they would be approved after going through what can be an expensive environmental review process required by California Environmental Quality Act, said said Randy Lovell, aquaculture coordinator for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“They treat permitting a new shellfish farm like a nuclear power plant,” said Hog Island Oyster Co. CEO John Finger, referring to the California Coastal Commission, one of multiple agencies that signs off on a new project. Hog Island gave up trying to farm seaweed next to its oyster and clam beds in Tomales Bay a few years ago because of permitting hassle, even though varieties like nori, the type used in sushi, grow naturally there.”It’s beautiful stuff. We get sheets of it all over our gear.”
Oyster and clam growers are interested in growing seaweed because it absorbs carbon, reducing the ocean acidification that harms shellfish. Seaweed is estimated to sequester carbon at many times the rate of terrestrial forests, though more research is needed.
Worldwide production of farmed seaweed doubled from 2006 to 2015 from 16 million tons to 32 million tons, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. In addition to varieties like nori or sea lettuce that can be farmed for humans to eat, seaweed can be used to make bioplastic as well as biofuel. The U.S. Department of Energy recently invested $55 million for research into farming it for that purpose, including at several California companies and universities.
Yet it’s still in its infancy in California. The state’s first commercial open-water seaweed farm opened in 2020 in Humboldt Bay, whose harbor district has its own authority to grant permits. Working with GreenWave, a nonprofit that supports regenerative aquaculture, Humboldt State University fisheries biology Professor Rafael Cuevas Uribe and his lab started the farm by growing red dulse, an edible variety native to the bay.
Uribe’s lab is now researching how to cultivate bull kelp both for commercial use and restoration of the wild kelp forest in Northern California, which has declined by 95% in recent years because of warm water conditions and an explosion in purple sea urchin.
“In general, seaweeds are very needed in our waters,” said Kalani Ortiz, a graduate student at the lab.”Kelp is a huge keystone species,” as a habitat for many types of fish and invertebrates.
Seaweed farmers need to first apply for what’s called a state water bottom lease, because farming involves setting anchors on the ocean floor, even though the seaweed itself is grown in the water column. That process may generate the need for an environmental review, which can cost $25,000 to $500,000, according to GreenWave.
One ecological consideration is the type of sea floor at a proposed location, said Lovell, of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“We don’t want to go install anchors in a place where it’s a fish nursery,” he said.”Rocky reefs tend to be those kinds of areas, so we steer clear.”
California controls the waters 3 miles from shore along its 840-mile coastline. It’s an area with many competing interests, including oil drilling, commercial fishing, the military, cruise ships, nonprofits that protect marine life and recreational boaters, said Brandon Barney, co-founder of Primary Ocean, a San Pedro (Los Angeles County) company developing large-scale seaweed farms.
After many delays, Primary Ocean received permission from the California Coastal Commission in October for a 87-acre seaweed research farm on a converted oil rig near Catalina Island.
“We figured it’d be cheaper and it would be poetic to figure out what to do with the oil rigs,” Barney said.
Primary Ocean and its parent company are set to receive $5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and, once they get approval to grow commercially, plan to turn giant kelp into organic fertilizer as well as animal feed and biofuel.
Barney said they have partners in Australia and Namibia and have had research farms in Mexico and Chile, but his company still wants to grow kelp in California, despite the obstacles.
“We’re frogs boiling in water,” he said.”We don’t necessarily see that we need seaweed farms.”
(San Francisco Chronicle)
BENEFITS TO BENEFIT PEOPLE WHO HOLD BENEFITS
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
Does history prove, or even suggest, that fundraising concerts or performances ever did a thing to relieve the suffering of the children, farmers, starving peasants or victims of oppression anywhere on the planet?
If there is I’m unaware of it and would be cheered to learn that a few nickels found their way into the outstretched palms of hungry Biafran babies. But wouldn’t we have heard? Wouldn’t self-aggrandizing rock stars and their PR teams have flooded the media with stories and pictures of George Harrison standing near an orphan, or a copy of the letter Joan Baez’s press agent wrote to a leper?
Locally there was never a shortage of benefits for so-called worthy causes back in the 1970s and ‘80s, most staged at the Saturday Afternoon Club, often with the Hansen & Raitt Band heading the show. I recall benefits for Project Sanctuary, UVAH, El Salvador heroes, Mariposa School, Mayacama Industries, the SF Mime Troupe and others.
(I also remember benefit proceeds being stolen by ticket takers, including Buster Cleveland who believed artists were underpaid and under-appreciated, and another guy, still around, who pocketed a fundraiser gate so he could buy more cocaine. Ah altruism.)
These events, in addition to featuring boogie-type music, often included Silent Auctions. My memory may have slipped, but these would have been typical of things to bid on:
—One hour free consultation with attorney Barry _______, plus a followup 15-minute session with attorney Jan Cole-Wilson to provide clarifications and corrections.
—A guided tour through the Grace Hudson Museum grounds featuring $40 million in new landscaping that magically transforms rainfall into water. A lunar dance performed by the SPACE Children’s Ensemble will include tin can thumping and booty shaking to music that would shock Grace Hudson.
—Wine. Cases and cases of wine will be provided by local wineries hoping to prevent crybaby nonprofit groups pestering them year ‘round for more free wine.
—Art. Local artists will donate their finest works. Paintings, sculptures and other unidentifiable items not purchased will be available on loading docks at no charge following the event. (State recycling fees to be levied on all art works acquired.)
—Free ballet lessons for 10 senior citizens, sponsored by Dr. Vince Corcoran’s Chiropractic Office.
—All expenses paid three-year membership to the KZYX Board of Directors, plus a free potassium cyanide capsule.
Beneficiaries will include the following underfunded non-profits:
—MTA, whose buses sometimes carry zero (“0”) passengers on various routes; the service is supposed to earn 17 cents for every dollar the federal government donates; amounts President Dementia plans to halve and double, respectively.
—Redwood Community Services, whose administrators are sometimes forced to subsist on less than $130,000 a year.
—Various arts groups that help children with no training or skills produce “art” hoisted upon downtown walls in public spaces so citizens might enjoy paintings of unicorns, rainbows, dancing hippies and children making the world an uglier place to live. And succeeding.
Come join us! In addition to music by local musicians, there will be a great variety of food made without sugar, white flour, cheese, butter or flavor. Look for gluten-free locally sourced, shade-grown items picked ‘neath a full moon by harvesters wearing tinfoil helmets harvested off trees from which no dolphins were harmed.
At the end of the day, or decades, lots of money got funneled into these events both locally and internationally. But money from the famous Concert for Bangladesh was quickly tied up in lawsuits with the IRS, and my guess is the lawyers managed to skim any fat right down to the marrow before sending checks to anyone.
What about the “We Are the World” song? Did it bring candy bars and Coca Cola to starving El Salvador peasants rescued by revolutionaries who immediately became communist thugs upon taking power? Did Farm Aid result in a single garden blooming somewhere in the Midwest?
And locally? I never heard a whisper about where all, or any, of the money went. Perhaps our friends at the Ukiah Community Center got new cars to drive back and forth to work, and maybe cash infusions from Ford Street Project fundraisers went to big staff luncheons at the Forest Club.
(Tom Hine thinks local benefits disappeared because it became much easier, and more lucrative, for nonprofits to simply apply for big government grants; TWK would like an address so he can apply for much-needed funding.)
The list of crimes that the American government has committed since its inception is endless. One of the great ones was the execution in the electric chair of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after they were convicted of providing secrets of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Both of them were members of the US Communist Party and Julius was indeed a spy, not of atomic secrets of which he apparently knew nothing but of other information on US weapons while Ethel was guilty of nothing more than not willing to betray her husband and name names of political comrades which was demanded of any communist or former communist who was ensnared in the coils of the FBI. I remember participating in a protest in downtown Los Angeles the day of their execution.
Abel and Anne Meeropol who would adopt the Rosenberg's two sons were close friends of my parents and frequent visitors to our home in Hollywood. Under his pen name, Lewis Allen, he wrote one the great songs of the struggle for justice for Black Americans that became a signature song for Billie Holliday, "Strange Fruit," which depicted the lynching of Black Americans, the "strange fruit" which one of the most popular right wing Republican columnists of the day. Westbrook Pegler, wrote, "was as American as apple pie." He was unfortunately correct. Another song that Abel Meeropol wrote, "The House I Live In," was recorded in a short film by Frank Sinatra.
This story was published by the Guardian earlier this year, on the 68th anniversary of the state murder of the Rosenbergs and selected by the Guardian as one of its best stories of the year.
NBC NEWS USES EX-FBI OFFICIAL FRANK FIGLIUZZI TO URGE ASSANGE'S EXTRADITION, Hiding His Key Role
by Glenn Greenwald
Two of the television outlets on which American liberals rely most for their news — NBC News and CNN — have spent the last six years hiring a virtual army of former CIA operatives, FBI officials, NSA spies, Pentagon chiefs, and DOJ prosecutors to work in their newsrooms. The multiple ways in which journalism is fundamentally corrupted by this spectacle are all vividly illustrated by a new article from NBC News that urges the prosecution and extradition of Julian Assange, claiming that the WikiLeaks founder, once on U.S. soil, will finally provide the long-elusive proof that Donald Trump criminally conspired with Russia.
The NBC article is written by former FBI Assistant Director and current NBC News employee Frank Figliuzzi, who played a central role during the Obama years in the FBI's attempt to investigate and criminalize Assange: a rather relevant fact concealed by NBC when publishing this. But this is how U.S. security state agents now directly control corporate news outlets....