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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022

Pleasant Day | Pet Inky | Free Lunch | Skunk Protest | Patriots Meet | Tabitha Advice | Tinyville | County Matters | Senior Center | Ed Notes | Police Reports | McKibben Zoom | CSO Opening | Ukiah Tune | Yesterday's Catch | Beatles | Hendy Woods | Chatty Katty | Inuit Goggles | Clinton Power | Cliff House | NYT Lies | Muddy Russian | Unhealthy Burden | Eagles Resting | Trash Cleanup | Wireless Perch | GOP Rescue | Caspar 65 | KPFZ Hiatus | Albion Clipper | Marco Radio | Elsie Peterson | Liberal Badass | Giant Sequoia

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PATCHY FOG AND CHILLY MORNING TEMPERATURES this morning will give way to a pleasant day across Northwest California today, with increasing cloud cover later today. Little to no rain is expected during the next seven days, but there will be a couple of chances for some light rain starting tomorrow. (NWS)

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UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK

Inky needs an experienced dog owner who will work with him on basic obedience training. Inky already knows a few basic commands like sit and shake, and we know he will be a good student. Inky has a goofy and very playful side, guaranteed to make you smile. We recommend no small children in Mr. Ink’s new home because of his ruff and tumble play style. Inky is a year old and 74 very handsome pounds. 

For more about Inky, visit mendoanimalshelter.com. While you’re there, check out all of our canine and feline guests, our services, programs, events, and updates. Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/ For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453.

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FREE FOOD PHILO (formerly known as Love to Table) is distributing meals in town to those in need. We cook nourishing meals using produce from our farm and others, and would love to offer you a warm lunch on Monday Jan 10. If you could use a home cooked meal, or have a friend in mind who would, please message, call or text Arline Bloom (415) 308-3575, who will head up distribution in town.

~ This week’s menu ~

  • Spaghetti with Cream Sauce and Mushrooms
  • Roasted Cabbage with Bacon
  • Pumpkin Spice Cake

Thank you for letting us be of service.

For more information on Free Food Philo / Love to Table, check out: https://unconditionalfreedom.org/love-to-table/

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FIRST STOP THE STINK RALLY OF 2022

We held our first Stop The Stink rally of the year today in front of the Town Hall on Main St. While we were few, our resolve was strong. There was a lot of support from passing cars and we answered quite a few questions from passers by coming and going from the Depot. We are planning to be there again next week, weather permitting.

Next week we should have an information table with a petition to send a multi faceted complaint off to the California Public Utilities Commission.

Informational pamphlets will also be available detailing the misinformation that appears in the Lil Stinker publication.

There should be enough for people to take extra for their friends. We can’t print as many as the Skunk train did but we will try.There are several new dedicated, seasoned activists that have joined the team. You can look for a more organized approach to exposing the Hart Brothers activities to sunlight.

Saturday January 15, 2022 12:00 Noon. Be There!

— Bruce Broderick

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FROM THE SUBVERSIVES...

Greetings, 

The Mendocino Patriots will be holding a Town Hall meeting Tomorrow (January 9th) at 2pm. This is an all-inclusive and in-person event where all are welcomed to attend. A variety of speakers will be presenting new information and updates. Attendees are also welcome to share information of their own. 

Please do everything you can to attend, and invite as many as possible. You won't want to miss this one! For more details on this event, please see the flyer below: 

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OUTGOING FORT BRAGG CITY MANAGER’S ‘EXIT INTERVIEW’

Tabitha Miller’s Parting Advice

by Chris Calder

When Tabatha Miller started as Fort Bragg’s city manager in March 2018, getting the city to stick to a consistently balanced budget and handle its pension obligations better was at the top of the to-do list presented her by the city council.

As Miller departs just under four years later, Fort Bragg has weathered a pandemic and the accompanying economic hit, survived a historic drought with equally historic cutbacks on water use and, a few months ago, witnessed the town’s largest chunk of real estate, the millsite that has been its core for 140 years, change hands from Georgia-Pacific to Mendocino Railway, after a months-long effort by the city council to negotiate a public sale.

The Skunk Train’s purchase of the southern portion of the millsite (the company bought the part north of Redwood Avenue in 2019) is a major event. But when Miller — who is leaving the area once her job with the city ends — laid out for the city council what she views as Fort Bragg’s biggest challenges during remarks at her final council meeting last month, she focused on one thing: housing.

“Without housing, we’re just never going to get anywhere here in Fort Bragg,” Miller said in a recent interview. “The city can’t hire people; the school district can’t; the hospital can’t. It’s a challenge on every level. We need workforce housing.”

During the past few years, Fort Bragg has developed programs to make building new homes easier, but it has faced the constant headwind of an economy and region where it is nearly impossible to make a buck building truly affordable housing. The lack of affordable places to live is becoming more and more of a burden.

Miller told council members it’s time for the city to take a more active role and create its own de facto housing authority.

“The city still has the three-eighths of a percent to add on to its sales tax,” she said. “Of all the taxes we could pass, if we passed a three-eighths of a cent sales tax that was dedicated to workforce housing, it could make such a difference. We’ve got the community land trust already set up, so we’ve got the mechanism to create essentially a housing authority. We’re talking workforce housing that would be subsidized, but it would still create some revenue, so you could sell units, you could rent units. There are a lot of models out there across the country of successful workforce housing programs.

“If the city does it, they can maybe encourage the county to do likewise. Because if you solve the issue in Fort Bragg without addressing the rest of the county, you’re not really solving the issue.”

Miller acknowledged that it will take years before such an effort bears fruit. In the nearer term, she said, one of the first steps is to start to reverse the conversion of so many rental properties to short term vacation rentals.

“That’s a huge issue,” she said. “If they continue to allow that, then the pressure comes back to the cities to provide housing.”

Miller said there is no one solution to the housing shortage and the important thing is to get a variety of approaches started.

“Even adding 10-20 units a year makes a difference,” she said, “and if you don’t start now, in ten years you’re going to be nowhere… And you continue to push — if there is big development on the millsite, then they also have to provide a certain number of workforce housing units.”

Miller’s other parting suggestion to the council also had to do with the town’s basic livability — to use $78,000 in state parks recreation funds to build a small-sized soccer field at Bainbridge Park. The idea first came up a couple of years ago, suggested by local youth who said Bainbridge would make an ideal practice and gathering spot for the town’s many soccer players, especially given the gopher-plagued state of existing soccer fields, which are already the subject of a multi-year, multi-million dollar rehab project. Miller said the state parks money will bring quicker results.

“You can add a small soccer field that will support pick-up games and kids playing, and even adults for that matter.”

The money, she said, will be available next year. “If you match that with TOT funds (local bed tax revenue) and other finds, you could build a nice little multi-use court.”

Regarding the millsite negotiations in which she played a key role for the city, Miller said:

“I know there has been some gossip and rumors about why I’m leaving. It doesn’t have anything to do with the mill site.”

Though negotiations did not result in a city purchase, Miller defended the way city government proceeded, and noted the millsite development process is still far from over.

“I think it’s really important to know that one of things the city was working on all through negotiations that we started last May with Georgia-Pacific,” she said, “was trying to put on protections for the city for the environmental cost. You’ve got a lot of cleanup that’s happened and you’ve got a lot of unknowns, and then you’ve got the millponds, which is somewhere between $3 million and $30 million in cost alone, depending on the alternative.

“We hired an environmental insurance broker, we did a Phase I environmental assessment on it, we were looking at EPA grants for cleanup. We were not going to take it on until we had the protections in place. The last thing I wanted to do, and the city council too, was to end up bankrupting the city because we made a poor investment, or we jumped on it because we wanted to beat the Skunk Train. Obviously, Georgia-Pacific didn’t want to allow the time to do that. They wanted out…

“There are some real benefits to the city not being tied to that. Even the eminent domain — we could have tried to fight the Skunk Train on that, but once you’ve bought a property that’s a brownfield, once you touch it, you own a part of that. There is a liability.

“Even our attorney said the city cannot create a liability that’s more than a year’s operations in your general fund, which is about $10 million for the city. Even just the cleanup of the mill ponds could be $30 million, and that doesn’t take care of the other unknowns. So there is still a pretty significant liability and risk associated with the cleanup of that property. Whatever the Skunk Train does, that’s their issue, and I’m sure Georgia-Pacific is not off the hook.”

A question on many people’s minds is how local regulation is going to apply to Mendocino Railways millsite plans, since the company has stated that its railroad operations, and construction directly related to those plans, are under the jurisdiction of the federal, but not state and local governments.

The lawsuit that the city has filed challenging the Skunk Train’s status as a freight railroad may answer some of the questions about jurisdiction. Another early indicator could be whether the Skunk Train applies for city permits — as Georgia-Pacific did in the past — for remediation work, digging and disposing of contaminated soil from the site.

“I don’t know that it’s a done deal,” Miller said about the millsite cleanup and its cost. “I think there’s still a lot of remediation and cleanup to be done, who regulates it and what parts of it. The city is not the only agency involved.”

During her time on the Mendocino Coast, Miller also took a hands-on role in the transfer of the region’s hospital from public oversight to private operation under Adventist Health. She sat on a committee that looked over the nuts and bolts of the agreement between the healthcare district and Adventist before the transfer took place, served on Adventist’s community advisory board after the transfer, and co-wrote a column on local pandemic-related issues with the hospital’s chief of medical staff.

The many unprecedented events of the past couple of years, Miller said, have changed what people expect of local government.

“The pandemic has made folks have higher expectations of government in general, at all levels. To be fair, the federal government stepped up and added a lot of benefits — the extra unemployment, the rental assistance, the additional funding at all levels of relief. That passed down through the states, the state added benefits, they added programs. You think of public health — nobody paid attention to the Public Health Officer until two years ago. We didn’t even know who it was. And we had underfunded those programs and those departments for a long time.

“We implemented rental assistance, utility billing assistance, employment loans… We did a lot of the same things and I think the expectations have hung around. We stepped in — not just the city but governments all over the place — with the moratorium on evictions. So, that extra layer of protection, that extra layer of social safety net that was laid down at every layer of government… Those kinds of things are going to be expected to stay. The challenge is going to be to fund those going forward. 

“And yet, if you look at the world, certainly here in the US, there’s definitely a need for that. There seems to be that ever-widening gap between those folks who have money and those who don’t.”

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BRUCE BRODERICK: There Are Solutions If We Look.

Maybe we need to break all the current regulations up into little pieces and just start over. Maybe then we could house everyone in our community. Our current maze of regulations and complex permitting process doesn't encourage any growth. It only encourages absentee ownership and vacation renting of existing homes with our current struggling residents ultimately forced to leave the area. 

This might not be the ideal solution but it's certainly on the right track. A tiny home factory here in Fort Bragg could provide decent employment for a number of people, and the land could certainly be made available for housing if a bit of corporate greed and land banking were set aside for the good of the community. All that would be left is a cooperative city governing body able to look past our current troubles.

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CONSTITUENTS WANT TO KNOW

Hi to my friends at the AVA,

First of all I'd like to thank those who came to my aid last Thursday (Dec. 30), when instead of hitting a deer, I sideswiped a tree. It was on 128, heading west, a few hundred feet before the Navarro Store. Thanks to Judy (?) who said I should get checked out by an EMT to make sure I wasn't in shock; to the man who checked me out (sorry I don't remember your name) and to Dave at the Navarro Store who chatted with me about Albion, back in the day, as I waited for the tow truck. This was my first car accident ever and I just learned today from my insurance agent that you're always supposed to hit the deer. I had no idea. Seemed more dangerous to hit a large animal than to avoid it; who knew?

Don't know if anyone noticed that in the recent list of Mendocino County Current Job Openings there are 6 jobs offered in the Cannabis Program:

  • Cartographer/Planner
  • Chief Planner
  • Office Services Supervisor
  • Planner I/II
  • Planning Technician I
  • Senior Planner

What the heck are they planning and why do they need so many of them?

A recent back and forth text with Supervisor Ted Williams:

Me: Is there a proposal to combine the two offices — the auditor/controller and the tax collector? I keep reading about it.

Ted: Auditor and tax collector were combined to match the structure of Sonoma County.

Me: Seems strange to me…

Ted: I believe the county is on a financial collision course. Roads alone needs $698M over 10 years and we have $5.8M/year. The pension system has perhaps 1/3 pensioners in error, errors that developed when the program was under one of the elected offices. Ignorance was bliss.

Me: I don't envy your job.

Ted: We have 2x county workers as compared to Sonoma county per capita. Fighting status quo is difficult, but somehow we need to massage what we have into a modern organization. Most of the public servants are hard working. It's structural, almost like a 1950s style paper based office. Ideas welcome.

Me: I wonder if it would be possible to have some sort of internship program with some of the smart kids from the community and high schools that could maybe help bring things up to the modern age.

Ted: In the discussion about auditor, I discovered exactly one person in an organization of 1200 is able to do payroll and works under the auditor (!)

Me: Frightening!

End of text.

I thought the idea of an internship might get some, or at least one young person interested in participating in county government. It's definitely time for some new blood and new ways of thinking.

Please don't use my name, only because I don't want anyone contacting me. I've got enough to deal with right now.

Thanks,

Name Withheld

Albion

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AV SENIOR CENTER BENEFITS

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ED NOTES

IT'S GETTING DARK in the Twilight Zone: In her letter inviting Biden to speak in the House chambers as crises multiply, Nancy Pelosi wrote: “Thank you for your bold vision and patriotic leadership which have guided America out of crisis.”

BEST RETORT to a website pest from Kym Kemp: “I hate to burst your persecution bubble, but…”

GEEZER TIP: If I were younger I'd get a knee (singular) replacement, but I prefer to live with it rather than take time off to get it done. I get by as is, along with an occasional shot of steroid, which helps short-term if the medical ace manages to put the needle in the right place, which seems to be, in my experience, hit or miss. Lately, a couple of times a day, I beat back the minor pain accompanying my arthritic knee with Voltaren, a “topical gel” designed specially for arthritic joints. When a friend said the stuff actually works I ordered a try out tube. It does work. For maybe an hour, and doesn't work for me at all for the arthritis in my hands. But I've found that Voltarin is especially helpful on the nights you're awakened by jolts to the knees. Slap some on and in no time you've returned to Dreamland.

“THE VERY FINE PEOPLE of the Progressive Left believe many things — that men can be women (and mostly should be); that two plus two should equal how you feel, not the same darn thing every time; that “Joe Biden” is not just president but the greatest one since Barack Obama (and the 2020 election proved it). The very fine people on the Left don’t believe in a couple of things: reality and the law. This is getting to be a problem in what’s left of the USA.” — James Kunstler

MR. K is a good writer, and often very funny, but his use of “progressive left” is redundant because the left, by definition, is progressive, especially against the backdrop of Trump-think. The left is also non-existent in this country in any traditional-historical sense of the term, the casual false labeling of Pelosi libs as communists for example. There's nothing at all left or progressive about Biden; he's never been either one, or even much of a mainline liberal, and I haven't heard any conservative liberal of the Democrat type proclaim either Biden or Obama as great. 

THE FALSE TROPE that conflates conservative liberals of the Biden-Pelosi Democrats with the left, whatever “left” means to Trumpers, is deliberately intended to discredit any government program likely to ease the burden of most Americans, a stance which just happens to work to the great advantage of Bezos Unlimited and the other owners of both political wings of American capital.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE TODAY, CLASS, you have to sit still for this pop quiz. Ready? True or false. (1) Karl Marx was a 19th century sociologist. (2) Marxists think that economic and social conditions determine your life. (3) Canada, Japan, Norway, and Sweden are socialist countries. (4) Stalin and Hitler were socialists. (5) Cuba is a Marxist-Leninist state. (6) Mendocino County is home to several thousand socialists. (7) Hippies are socialists. (8) Trotsky raised rabbits in Mexico. (9) There is no difference between a communist and a socialist. (10) Liberals are socialists. (11) Anarchists hated communists. (12) Many towns in Idaho, circa 1880-1920, were governed by socialists. (13) The Anderson Valley Advertiser is a communist newspaper. (14) The Spanish Civil War was about communists versus fascists. (15) Imperialism is a beer made in Belgium. (16) Democrats are socialists. (17) Republicans are fascists. (18) The Black Muslims are a racist organization. (19) Genocide and Vendetta is a true history of pioneer Mendocino County. (20) Social Security is a socialist welfare program. 

THIS NOTE inspired me to speculate if like-minded Boonville people might spruce up our dusty, depleted hamlet: “A group of us has been working on the Mendocino Post Office landscaping for several months. We’ve decided to set the second Sunday of each month at 11:00 as a regular meeting time. We usually work for 2 hours or so. So this Sunday, January 9 at 11:00 is our next work day. Please join us!”

WHEN BIDEN said on 6 January that the Trumpers “hold a dagger at the throat of America,” dagger should have been multiples of plurals, everything from the fascism the Trumpers yearn for to slo mo social collapse, to rolling environmental catastrophes. 

HYSTERICAL hed from the rightwing Daily Mail: “The avowed socialist who shut down Chicago schools today over COVID: Teachers union boss Jesse Sharkey, 52, has long flirted with anti-capitalist causes but ‘lives like the 1%’ and married daughter of millionaire Royal Caribbean Cruises CEO.” 

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1:30 AM IN COVELO....

On Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at about 1:30 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to an unwanted subject at a residence at the 100 block of Pomo Way in Covelo.

Upon arrival Deputies contacted the homeowner who reported Ambrose Fallis, 22, of Covelo was causing a disturbance by banging on the home's doors and windows. Deputies located Fallis in a vehicle parked on the homeowner's property.

Ambrose Fallis

Deputies conducted a law enforcement records check on Fallis and discovered he was on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) and was subject to search and seizure. Deputies conducted a search of Fallis and located a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia on his person.

Fallis was subsequently arrested for the listed violations and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status due to the PRCS violation.


10:07 PM IN COVELO

On Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at about 10:07 PM a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was patrolling Covelo.

The Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a small truck for vehicle code violations near the intersection of Crawford Road and Biggar Lane.

The Deputy contacted the driver (Christian Mendoza, 20, of Covelo) and the passenger (Jorge Campos-Diaz, 25, of Covelo). The Deputy noticed numerous open containers of alcoholic beverages inside the truck.

Mendoza, Campos-Diaz

The Deputy requested a records check on both subjects.

Sheriff's Office Dispatch advised Campos-Diaz had (4) four warrants for his arrest issued by Mendocino County Court, with (1) one warrant being a felony and the other (3) three being misdemeanors.

Campos-Diaz was arrested pursuant to the Mendocino County Arrest Warrants.

A probable cause search was conducted of the vehicle. In the vehicle, the Deputy located an unloaded semi-automatic handgun under the driver's seat, along with a spent .22 caliber cartridge on the front floorboard.

The Deputy learned Mendoza was the possessor of the truck and he had detailed the truck's interior earlier in the day.

The Deputies arrested Mendoza for carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle based upon a probable cause belief that he was in possession of the firearm.

Mendoza was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

Campos-Diaz was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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AV VILLAGE MONTHLY IN-PERSON GATHERING: ENGAGING ELDERS IN CLIMATE ACTION WITH BILL MCKIBBEN

This Sunday, January 9th, 1:45 to 4:30 PM. Note earlier start time! AV Senior Center, Inside

The AV Village is offering at our January 9th monthly gathering a live Zoom presentation on elders getting involved in the efforts to address climate change by Bill McKibben (hosted by the Ashby Village) from 2 to 4 pm a brief discussion will follow, in addition we hope other climate related ongoing gatherings will be scheduled after this presentation. Automated/AI captioning will be provided at this event. 

Note: No need to RSVP with the Ashby Village - we will do that - unless you plan on watching it on your own, in which case click the link for instructions and/or more presentation info: 

Please Note: Our gatherings are open to everyone, but COVID Vaccinations are now REQUIRED - please bring your vaccination card (one time) as proof. Masks are required inside the Senior Center - thank you in advance for your understanding. 

Please RSVP with the coordinator - thank you! 

Anica Williams, Anderson Valley Village Coordinator

Cell: 707-684-9829, Email: andersonvalleyvillage@gmail.com

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WHO WROTE THIS?

UKIAH

Now you're on your travels
Are you smiling cheek to cheek
Lying on a beech side
do you think you ever will come back again?
I know you'll come back again.

I hope you enjoyed your travels
Are you smiling cheek to cheek
From lying on a beech side
do you think you ever will come back again?
I know you'll come back again.

We are drawn here

It's not all cracked up to be this place

I don't that I'll stay here now 
I'd like to be with you somehow
I don't that I'll stay here now 
I'd like to be with you somehow

(It's not all cracked up to be this place)

In a new style
We are the street side
In a new style
We find the outside

In a new style
We are the street side
In a silm style
We find the outside

(I don't that I'll stay here now 
I'd like to be with you somehow
I'd like to be with you)
La la la la la

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 8, 2022

Cruz, Foss, Freuler, Lovelace

LORENZO CRUZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

WADE FOSS, Gualala. DUI.

JOHN FREULER, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

PAULUS LOVELACE, Laytonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, battery on peace officer.

Lyons, Mills, Parkin

BUFFY LYONS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

JASON MILLS, Fort Bragg. Getting credit using someone else’s ID.

COLE PARKIN, Ukiah. Recklessly causing a fire or a structure or forestland, protective order violation.

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BEATLESANIA

by William J. Hughes

The Beatles. Peter Jackson’s “Get back,” the video documentary reliving the Fab Four’s live sessions during the making of their album “Let it be” - it's all over the Internet, coming to Netflix.

The Beatles. I still carry the guilt of not cutting a high school class in 1964 (as three young ladies of my class did) to see the Beatles arrived at JFK airport, very close to our homes on Long Island. What a moment in time! It was all Kingston Trio and then, in what seemed like a matter of hours, it was all Beatles all the time, the British invasion most welcomed, from girlfriends with Beatles wallpaper and pajamas to the first sight of a guy with a Beatles haircut, to Aileen's basement for the almost continuous playing of their album “Meet the Beatles” to of course their appearance on Ed Sullivan, no screaming from us, just an awed reverence, too young to have really known the James Dean craze, with an indifference to Elvis and too suburban to know what Dylan and the Village coffeehouses were growing up, but we had them, growing up along with them, their music as soundtrack and sounding board, from our hair to our Vietnam war to our sex drugs and rock 'n roll, turning our world anew, to “Hard Day's Night” to “Help” to the “Yellow Submarine” which our Mexican weed allowed for over and over again viewing, to drifting along with “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver,” and to the unending bliss of “Sergeant Pepper,” this baby boomer now with the feeling of a certain privilege - and those of us who arrived first, planted our “freak flag” and lasted through the Yoko and the breakup (we basically shrugged it all off - stuff happens — to John's tragic death with John once something up the end of the Beatles on Dick Cavett - “The Beatles breaking up was so tragic it led to Paul and George and Ringo making their own fine albums,” or words to that effect, their effect on all of us remains from then to everlasting. “Get back”? Uh, never left.

Only one regret. Why didn't they ever play live for us - songs from “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” - not in a screaming stadium which wasn't going to happen again, their choice and my high school screamers were more grown-up - but in say Carnegie Hall with a worldwide TV feed. “We were just 17” - you know what I mean.

* * *

TAKE A WALK IN HENDY WOODS State Park, an Underrated Redwood Grove in Northern California.

* * *

ALONE IN ALL PLACES ALIKE

by Katherine Jones

“Shall I never again ride over golden hills upon the back of first servant?” the woman whispered into the stillness, her mind whirling around memories of sailboats and father’s faces, cats gone by, dogs, trees, horses, hugs and laughter.

Generations had passed since the milk pots had gone “Pfssst!” and cracked in half, remembering the words that the woman had said to the cat in their bargain; and a horsehide hanging down at the mouth of the cave had fallen in a heap in the dust, “Whooosh!”

Men and women have kept the same deal for all time. The details of their arrangements have undergone drastic changes, yet the basic characters and their motivations are consistent throughout history. Interaction with children has taken on new dimensions. Progeny are not necessary contributors to the household but a source of pride, a glimpse of hope for the future.

When the ancestral woman cut armloads of the wonderful grass the future woman could picture it from a distant world, sensing something very natural about giving the horse fragrant hay. He shuffled, delighted, “Huh-huh, huh,” chuckling with velvet nibbly lips; exactly as he does to this day.

Well, the woman hasn't changed much from that day to this and truthfully, neither has the man or the dog -- and everyone else is the same -- including the cat. And so, Best Beloved, we find the woman eternally entertaining the cat who walks by himself to whom all places are alike.

* * *

The original woman developed a bond with the cat out of mutual respect. She spoke aloud, even, though she never would if the man was near. Incidentally, the fact that the cat was a much better conversationalist than the man was immediately obvious.

“Oh Cat, I am so glad you and I decided to work together. You are just absolutely the cleverest.”

The cats gaze was audible, Oh, my companion, wife of my enemy, and mother of my favorite small person, we have spent many pleasant times next to the fire and out in the sunshine.

In ancient times the woman marveled that she would take the time from her day of survival to bother with something as trivial as stroking soft fur, or get such entertainment from anything as she did from the cat’s acrobatic antics. The cat had taught her to laugh!

The cat closed his eyes slowly in assent, thinking aloud, and I never imagined I would allow another creature to touch my fur or watch, let alone make that noise with their hands, when I do my tricks, but it seems over time we have grown somewhat tolerant, if not actually fond of each other.

That was an understatement. “I can't even begin to pretend that you are not my favorite among all the animals from the wet wild woods.

“I mean, I appreciate the companionship and protection, the transportation, the good food, and yet, between us there seems to be a kindred spirit.”

There was a quiet time. Just sitting, breathing deeply.

Eventually, a thought occurred to her as she sat allowing her mind to rest. She took it as a message from the cat.

While everyplace is not alike to you because you are so ridiculously high maintenance, you are quite clever in your own right and, whereas Wild Dog has been called (hairball sound) “First Friend” all these years, I am ready to be given a name by which you may call me and, in return, I will trust you to answer when I call you.

Her eyes opened wide.

“Well! I don't know what to say! I am speechless!”

BRRRRoow?

“What an honor!” she exclaimed, “I only hope I can choose something that will do you justice.”

Well, you've known me long enough, but why not consult the blade bone? Unable to resist sarcasm? As always -- cats!

“You know that darned blade bone was more trouble than it was worth!” Her whole being clouded over. Her eyes bulged out; they overflowed!

With uncharacteristic apology the cat replied, “I know, settle down.”

“Well that was destroyed and good riddance! Whatever I wished fir I got, but in some convoluted form. Finally, I got wise and wished not to wish anymore.”

They recalled so many occasions when she “got what she wanted, but…”

”I shall call you Shadow,” she announced as the cat circled on the corner of the rug, settling down next to the baby.

* * *

Babies now play with cell phones instead of pebbles (turns out, pebbles is not a good baby toy -- the jury's out on phones) but still the cat is there, walking by itself wherever he pleases, whenever he wants, leading the way to adventure and discovery. Just keeping an eye out, curious thing.

At that moment, Best Beloved, the wind howled through the door which had been hewn of heavy wood and fit into a house (an upgrade of the hide in the mouth of the cave) -- and the cat who walked by himself and the woman looked at each other and remembered. Generations later, women still relax to the purring of a cat after a long day. Yes, the modern women have gotten what they wanted, just so -- yet, usually not exactly the way they wanted it.

* * *

The man was asleep but the woman was restless and sat up late with the cat remembering the words that had been spoken.

“What have you made for dinner?” he had asked, innocently enough, as he did every night when she walked through the door after working eight hours.

Tonight, Best Beloved, her reply was different.

“You and I both work equally hard all day. Why must I then serve you? Why don't you help me and it will be done with half the time and effort? And we can be together, during and after.”

“What a strange look he gave me,” she confided to the cat.

Perhaps it is time for a change.

“Perhaps so … Hmmm… Where do I want to go?”

Not that I have anything against going wherever you want, but why not have him go this time and we can just enjoy being here in peace. He can take the stupid dog. Maybe go hunting or something.

“Good idea. I could finish my book.”

The cat rolled their eyes. They had developed a pronoun preference.

Let's stay home. All places are alike, why leave here? Relax.

Next morning the man wakes up and performs his morning routine, carried on from cave days until now. All men, proper and otherwise, yawn, cough, blink, stretch, fart, scratch and shuffle out to the kitchen expecting something. And that's where the story takes a twist! Lo and behold, he stops in his tracks. There is a note taped to the coffee maker that says, “Gone for the day!”

The man scratches his head, confused, yawns, stretches and farts, shrugs, gets dressed, hoists himself into his gigantic truck, heads for breakfast Mac and coffee, then goes to work. While he looks down at the machine he operates throughout every day, on this day the woman looks at the sky and makes a thinking magic. Only one note of a long musical chord of thoughts, connecting this moment to all those so long ago -- the original idea, which set in motion the vibrational pattern weaving the lives of generations of women into eternity.

Things have not changed that much from that day to this, Best Beloved. There are many more men, not all proper, in fact, most are dreadfully improper much of the time; and many more women with various degrees of properness who had learned to adapt, often with the assistance of a feline comrade. Now, the bargain is implicit and men can like it or lump it. Women and cats are friends and that's that. Women will also walk by themselves in all places alike.

When the man came home from work the dog rushed in, making the turn on the tile floor at top speed -- tail, legs, nose and ears, flying in all directions. The cat and the woman exchanged glances. Do cats roll their eyes?

Foolish dog,” thought the cat. “You would think he would learn to walk on that part of the hallway.”

Do cats laugh? Yes, Best Beloved, they most certainly do. They have a marvelous, dry sense of humor, immensely droll.

“There’s my boy! Who’s a boy? Come on buddy,” the usual knee slapping banter and out goes the dog.

The cat meanders up to the little girl's room. Though he (ahem, “they,” if you please) purred louder and louder there was a commotion downstairs they couldn't resist investigating. politely taking their leave of the little ones they strolled out where they could see and hear everything but no one thought a thing about whether they were there listening.

“I never see you do anything around here,” he explained boisterously. “I just see you lying there.”

“I am daydreaming, thinking,” she explained, but it sounded snappy and angry. Then she thought, “If you want to see me do something, you shall. We shall both see what happens next.” With Superwoman strength she shut her lips tight and hummed one magical note in her mind while he kept talking. She caught his final words as he turned his back to her.

“Why don't you cook something?” He complained loudly.

As he raised his voice, the cat raced through his legs, tripping him, passing the woman through the doorway, echoes of ancient boots and hatchets ricocheting off the door and she slams the door behind them.

Next night when the man came home he found everything tidy. The heater pulsed warmth and comfort from the wall and something that reminded him of wild fenugreek and wild granadillas (whatever that is) was simmering on the stove, ready to eat. The note said, “Help yourself.”

As the last traces of magenta neon gave way to stars, her eyes closed. The only sound was the purr of the cat. Her hands were unusually motionless as she listened to the stillness, slowing her breathing. It was surprisingly loud (the stillness). She longed for a change but was constantly brought back to the truth. There was little she could do to alter anything in this moment.

With intention she vigilantly watched herself for unseemly behavior. Her resolution not to automatically give into impulses, or at least to think, to notice them, gave her pause. Awareness increased her power. Gratitude surged in. Stroking the smooth fur, she reflected. The only change she could effect was within. What was “without” could be worse – as she was frequently generously reminded. Therefore, she put her situation with the man on the back burner, attending to her own considerable talents and how they might help her. And the purring -- very soothing, grounding.

Yes, quiet concentration is good. Life is good. Her hands were still. Her greeting rhythmic. Her soul one pure, bright tone of joy. She was alone. Mistress of her fate! Accountable for her good decisions, ideas and behaviors.

Then he crept into her consciousness. She did not want to see or hear from him just now. Even though she didn't have to, she remembered things he had said and done and instantly it made her react physically, almost as if it were happening again. Lo and behold, it was only in her mind. In fact, it was not happening right now! Now, that thought could only prevent her growth, if she clung to it. So she let it go.

It grew so still that the cat stopped purring and wondered if she was asleep. Then, they felt her energy and spoke into her meditation, “Is that wee idea part of your magic?

Startled, she replied to the silence, “Oh yes, it is.”

“Then we will do all we can to keep it alive.”

So the cat calmly observes and listens as the woman follows her internal guides, developing her power to work through difficulties instead of avoiding, ignoring or denying them. Strong, honest effort, same as ever, but with a clearer vision of her reward.

That is how the woman changes things. With that tiny idea -- that past pain could not prevent her present success -- one woman wrote this story. She worked to prove she was not dependent on a man or a cat or anyone. Still, she does not really like being completely alone and the cat knows that, and they love her.

And so from that day to this, Best Beloved, when women are imagining their lives differently, the cat confidently illustrates the wisdom of walking alone in all places alike.

* * *

Inuit man wearing snow goggles, 1933.

* * *

THE CLINTONS ROSE TO POWER on an ocean of money. They planned it very carefully. They knew when they started talking about running for president that there might be “bimbo eruptions.” Gennifer Flowers was lying in the not-so tall weeds. They knew there were a lot of women out there — my goodness, there were over 100 candidates who might “erupt.” They brought Bill Clinton a list early on in 1987 and he couldn't remember most of the names. That's a phenomenon, a pathological fact, not a political fact. But in any event they positioned themselves with this Little Rock Worthen Bank line of credit, $3.9 million. So they came out of New Hampshire in 1991 in second place having suffered the bimbo eruption with Gennifer Flowers. But they were prepared financially. That's the only way to be prepared in American politics. They overwhelmed their opponents in the primaries with that money. Clinton won Super Tuesday and most importantly he won the nomination. And the reason he made it to the White House and not back in the Ozarks was that he won Michigan and Illinois. He won those states despite the fact that his money was drying up in Wall Street and elsewhere because of doubts about his character, the draft dodging controversy, and Gennifer, and all the rest. But he won that because that Arkansas money was there. Worldwide Travel, that's what Travelgate was all about, fronted him the money to fly the 727 and all those press people into Chicago, into Ann Arbor, into Detroit. That's what American politics is. It's not what you see on the tube. It's careful planning, it's money, it's power and the exertion of influence. They did it first with that $3.9 million from the Worthen Bank, and the Stevens banking interests in Little Rock. That was payback for the Clintons supporting them in every controversy and at every turn. They play for keeps. That's the reason they made it to the White House. We can laugh at them, we can ridicule them. But in the end it's their country, not yours.

— Roger Morris, author of the 1995 best-selling biography of the Clintons and their rise to power, “Partners In Power.”

* * *

Cliff House, San Francisco

* * *

OPEN LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES

Prisoners of temporary Lockdown or Prisoners of Permanent Covid-19?

Today’s New York Times, 1/7/22, has two front-page articles on Covid-19. Both include perpetuating bold-faced lies.

The article “China’s Latest Lockdown” states that China’s Zero-Covid strategy is “the last in the world”. 

This is bold-faced lie #1. Zero-Covid, the strategy of viral elimination, is the present successful strategy in CHINA, TAIWAN, and CUBA. The strategy relies on centuries of experience in Public Health mandates plus new vaccines to stop viral transmission.

The second bold-faced lie is that China’s Zero Covid national strategy has “put the pursuit of eliminating the outbreak above the well-being of citizens”. The aim of Zero Covid is precisely to protect the health and well-being of all its citizens. If China had followed the U.S. and European deadly, unscientific policy of phony “herd immunity”, allowing the uncontrolled spread of a deadly virus, then China would have some 3 million deaths and millions more sick, hospitalized or disabled.

The second front-page article, “Ex-Aides Urge U.S. to Remake Covid Strategy,” urges Biden to adopt a “new normal of living with the virus indefinitely, not wiping it out.” The article written by several medical experts begins with a political decision, not a scientific truth, thus a “lie.” As the Omicron variant of SARS CoV-2 demonstrates, Covid-19 is here to stay. The goal for the “new normal” with Covid-19 does not include eradication or elimination, e.g., the Zero Covid strategy.”

While acknowledging the vast weaknesses of the vaccine-only strategy, the U.S. will not follow the science and success of China, Taiwan, and Cuba, but will allow Covid to circulate permanently, and leave everyone at permanent risk of disease and death, from a PREVENTABLE disease.

How far is this political decision to intentionally allow millions to be infected with a dangerous virus, from the intentional infection of Guatemalans with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases in 1946, or the Tuskegee syphilis experiments on Black Americans, or intentionally infecting concentration camp victims with Tuberculosis in World War Two?

Neither the politicians nor their faithful scientists will protect us from a preventable disease. Our Public Health infrastructure has been underfunded for decades and allowed to collapse. We must protect ourselves. We must organize to save ourselves and our families by demanding the protections we need at work, at school, at home and everywhere NOW.

Dr. Nayvin Gordon

Oakland

* * *

Russian River, 2022

* * *

SOCIAL OBLIGATIONS

Editor: 

I used to smoke cigarettes. At age 37, I was buying life insurance and a blood test detected nicotine, resulting in a 40% premium increase. I was shocked and called my insurance agent. I said, “Carl, what gives, why a 40% bump?” Carl said, “That’s the smoker’s penalty. Smokers die sooner than nonsmokers.” 

“They can’t charge me extra for smoking,” I said. “That’s like mandating my behavior. That’s not fair, and it’s my choice.” 

Carl replied, “Sure, it’s your constitutional right to smoke, but it isn’t your right to have people that don’t smoke help pay for your insurance for the diseases that befall you because you fail to heed the warnings about smoking.” 

I quit smoking, which dropped my insurance rate. I had come to agree that it wasn’t right for other people to subsidize my poor health choices. 

Lately I’ve wondered why we are subsidizing the poor health choices of the unvaccinated. They certainly have the constitutional right to their choices, but they should also carry the full financial burden of those choices. What do you think? 

John Ash

Eureka

* * *

Eagles Resting
Eagles Resting
Eagles Resting

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

"I pick up trash from streams and the side of the road when nobody’s looking.” Why when nobody’s looking? I pick up a ton of trash along my regular walking route, which is out along the harbor. There is a trash bin at the harbor access for boaters, so I take the trash there. I often get a thumbs-up from motorists. I used to feel a bit shame-faced about doing this—like, what? Am I some kind of bag lady? Recently, though, there was a piece in one of our local life-style rags about this very topic of picking up others’ trash. Apparently those in the know have noticed that there is less trash on the beaches when they do the annual spring cleanup. The inference is that people are actually picking up a lot of trash all year round. About a week ago I noticed a huge pile of beer cans and other trash in the brush near a parking lot on one of our near-town beaches on the outer harbor. People park down there to drink after work, and they throw their cans and empty snack bags into the area fenced off for piping plovers. I decided to come back with my car and clear it out, also when better dressed for the job (lots of thorny rosa rugosa). But when I returned a few days later someone else had cleaned it up. IMO clearing up trash is one of the easiest and most effective things one can do for the total environment. It also sets a good example to others who might otherwise feel funny about doing this. 

* * *

* * *

LOST

Editor,

The other day I had a long talk with my immunologist daughter and was pleasantly surprised to learn how much she knew about Covid and how well she was able to sift through the mounds of BS that surrounds us all today. As soon as she found out that they were mixing together MERS, SARS and Covid to see what would happen she knew the odds of Covid 19 coming from nature were almost zero - and she knew this long before Jon Stewart made talking about a lab leak socially acceptable.

Interestingly enough she says the medical research community was rather alarmed to find out that our Dr. Fauci had given the Chinese government over $8 million to do lab work there, apparently that was not at all business as usual and raised questions as to why it wasn’t done here - were legality and secrecy factors in that? So it would seem. BTW, Fauci lied not only that he funded it but the amount too, if you want to be mad at Trump you can pin Fauci doing an end-run on Obama’s ban on gain-of-function research on Trump as it happened on his watch.

She is also skeptical about the need for boosters in healthy, younger individuals, they have already proven to be ineffective against Omicron and in her view the testing done involved far too few people for too short a time to be legit. She felt the risks only made sense for the elderly or unhealthy to get boosters, this is why the FDA’s top two people in charge of vaccine approvals resigned over them giving emergency use authorization for the boosters. My daughter emphasized how much of a big deal it was to grant EUA for medicines, you have to be in a very bad place to justify it and NOBODY today can say with certainty any of the vaccines are safe because it’s far too early to tell - unlike with the vaccines we grew up with that went through years of testing so at least we usually understood the risks.

On top of that, whether or not you need a booster depends on your antibody levels, which will vary a lot based on if you were vaccinated, how long ago you were vaccinated and whether or not you have had Covid and when that was - then you have to factor in your general health and age too. The bottom line here is that you could very well have gotten both shots last summer but someone who wasn’t vaccinated and got Covid in the Fall quite likely has greater current antibody levels than you do - which is another reason I try hard not to put all unvaccinated people in the same boat because they could have higher antibody counts and better protection than you currently have.

One thing we could both agree on is that the scientific community was done a great deal of harm by the way the vaccines were sold to people, which was that they would be in the 90-94% range of effectiveness. The problem with those stats is that people were not told that was the peak level of their effectiveness and there would be a rapid decline after that, twelve weeks later they were around half that level and at 6 months they were pretty useless. So what we had were “leaky” vaccines barely able to consistently work at the 90% rate at their best, and unable to provide any lasting protection - quite unlike the pathogen-based vaccines we got as kids and this is why we need to acknowledge this is a new ballgame. BTW, there is plenty of evidence the drug companies fudged the tests so the actual effectiveness is likely somewhat lower than official results.

None of this had to happen, that American funded research was done in China for a reason and it’s been shocking to see the lefty media go AWOL on the issue. When people try to raise the alarm they are immediately attacked as being trumpers or Luddites or worse, just look at the article the Grayzone posted on disruptions to women’s menstrual cycles linked to vaccines and the reaction to it. Now, months later the CDC is FINALLY doing a study because the problems were too big to ignore any longer and they have very serious potential consequences, but talking about it was a good way to get banned on Youtube, twitter or facebook-and forget googling it too. Censorship is not how you promote good science, and with covid we have already seen it backfire more than once.

What I find is astounding is that so little attention was paid to the fact that thanks to FOIA requests and lawsuits by people like The Intercept we now know that in 2018 Eco Health Alliance had engineered a new coronavirus that grew 10,000 times faster than its natural cousins and they discreetly admitted that in their 4 year report submitted in early 2018 to Dr. Fauci. What the report showed was Eco health Alliance had gone past the 10x increase in growth threshold that should have caused a notice to be issued and a review before any further work could be done according to their contract with Dr. Fauci at NIAID, but they didn’t notify anyone and Fauci either didn’t read the report or care what was in it.

We also know that in the same year of 2018 Eco Health Alliance submitted a proposal to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), to take their souped-up viruses and play with them on DARPA’s dime, which raises an obvious question: why would you propose to make super-dangerous viruses for DARPA if the intent was not to develop bioweapons? Was it because they knew DARPA was the only government agency who could give such a high-risk project the secrecy it would need to avoid public awareness? If it was legit vaccine science why not go to the various government agencies related to health for funding? Thank God DARPA turned them down as Newsweek reported last November, they had huge problems with the ethics, legalities and safety of the proposal - and that says a lot coming from people who work all day finding new ways to destroy the planet!

Then we have the WSJ reporting that Fauci led efforts to smear/cancel anyone who either talked about a lab leak or vaccine safety and effectiveness, or anyone talking about any treatment that wasn’t a vaccine - this is how “science” is supposed to work? I told you many months ago long before I knew Fauci funded what turned into a potential DARPA project that many of these people at the top of the science ladder had no humanity in them, this whole sorry event has proven my concerns to be 100% correct. One day they are working on “life-saving vaccines” and the next on bioweapons that could kill all human life on earth - what sane person could do that?

If Fauci really cared about our health why is he not leading the charge to end over $1.5 billion in annual federal sugar production subsidies when he knows that 80% of the covid deaths were among the obese? We spend 25% of all our health care dollars on diabetes treatments every year that are mostly avoidable and obesity kills millions, but instead of pointing that out Fauci just keeps pushing the myth that only vaccines, masks and mandates will solve the covid problem when we are seeing countries with near full vaccination rates continue to struggle due to leaky, short-lived vaccines that can never eliminate covid.

People need to reflect on what this pandemic has cost us, not just the lives lost but the disruption to billions of people’s lives. The billionaires want to prolong it because they have never seen such good times, the working class has been bled dry as our economy has been forever changed to further enrich the elites. My other daughter is a public school teacher, and she says that kids who had good self-study skills are not doing too bad academically (mental health impacts are another issue), but that huge segment of kids who don’t are two years behind and we all know they will never catch-up thanks to the foolish and unscientific decision to cancel in-person learning. We knew in the first two months kids were not getting sick and dying of Covid like adults were, and six months in we knew they weren’t very good at spreading the disease either, but still today you have schools closed all across the nation because of an illness that kills less children than the flu.

That’s not “science”, that’s hysteria promoted by people who have benefitted from the pandemic, they want this to last forever and the truth is it will, even if everyone was vaccinated today Covid would still be here according to The WHO and head of Biden’s Covid response team. The war against our neighbors has to end, save your hatred for the people who spawned this disaster, those who covered it up and those who benefitted from it. 

We need the freedom to talk about these things, the other day you spread two big pieces of covid misinformation and you shouldn’t be banned, shunned or canceled for doing that as it’s become nightmarishly difficult to get the story straight on anything these days. My own technique involves using at least 3 sources on every important story, one from the left, one from the right and one from an independent source - who’s got the time for that? You reported that someone had died of Omicron in Texas, as of January 7th it has not been confirmed that anyone has died in America of Omicron (go look at what the Harris County Texas public health department REALLY said), and the entire MSM misreported it. The other event you misreported involved that Fox News dweeb who said you should “ambush” Dr. Fauci, he was talking about confronting him to answer questions about funding research at the WIV. He said to do it politely, which is not the same thing as instructing people to shoot someone - see why the fact-checking is no longer optional and context still matters? 

Covid has changed this country forever and mostly in not-good ways, those of us with some common sense, independent thought processes and compassion left need to try to pick up the pieces and get us headed in the right direction again, and that will take some doing. It won’t happen if we keep playing the game the MSM has created which keeps us at each other’s throats as both our pockets are being picked, we need to stop listening to the same people who created this mess for guidance and hold them accountable for a change. Maybe that will happen when the GOP takes control (if) of congress, if they do probably the only good that will come of it is that Fauci and the rest of the bioweapon peddling liars and madmen might be shown to be the pricks that they are, though I never underestimate the GOP’s ability to screw things up so we’ll have to wait and see.

Be well and be smart,

Phil Murphy

Grant’s Pass, Oregon (formerly Lake County)

ED NOTE: Ed reply: You've lost your way, Phil. I'm publishing this purely for old time’s sake.

* * *

Caspar, 1965

* * *

BETSY CAWN: A word to any AVA readers who rely on KPFZ (Lake County Community Radio) for news and current local information, that the station announced yesterday morning a possible two-week hiatus on live programming, due to concerns about COVID transmission consequent to carriers of the virus — especially the latest variant, said to be even more transmissible — having been in the broadcast studio shortly before receiving positive test results.

Station Manager Andy Weiss and Board of Directors Chair Olga Martin Steele made the announcement on one of the two hours regularly scheduled for Mrs. Steele’s public affairs programs. The basis of the decision is unknown to many of the volunteer program producers (like yours truly) and procedural decisions could evolve rapidly given changing circumstances.

In response to the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the station instituted scheduling practices that allowed an hour between periods of studio occupancy by live broadcasters, filled with pre-recorded (original or repeated) programs, accompanied by a cleaning routine executed prior to exiting the premises. When the vaccines became available, the station adopted policies mandating the requirement for live broadcasters to be vaccinated and provide proof of same to station management.

At this moment it is unclear what new procedures or practices may be ordained, or how they will be issued or when. With the “Omicron” variant driving anticipated surges in hospitalizations and labor shortages, and the County of Lake reliant on advisement from short-term contracted Public Health Officers, the absence of a qualified Public Health department director (currently the interim position is filled by the county’s Chief Administrative Officer) and local Public Health Officer renders the leadership of public health and safety agencies vacant as well.

Add to that the absence of a county Office of Emergency Services (there were only two staff members to begin with; the junior position was vacated in mid-2021, and the Manager — whose intended retirement was known months before he left — vacated his position on October 31) and the apparent indifference to that fact by top county elected officials, and we have a government that is unable to recognize, let alone act upon, crisis conditions emerging from the impacts of climate change and ecosystem stresses clearly requiring a declaration of an emergency: CalFire has confirmed that over 60% of the trees on Cobb Mountain are dead or dying, infested with bark beetles, constituting a very high risk for spreading a potential ember cast to surrounding environments from 100-foot-tall desiccated timber stands that need to be removed as soon as possible, before the fire-friendly conditions return.

The urgency of that monumental task is underscored by the recent massive wildfire in Colorado, started by 1-foot-tall dry grasslands, spread by 100-mile-an-hour winds, and feeding voraciously on the subdivisions in its path — in the middle of winter. Imagine what we are facing in the coming months of increasing temperatures, with equally well-known perils such as inadequate roads, fragile power and communication systems, understaffed work forces, and disabled populations.

Poorly planned relief services, revealed in the relatively small wildfire disaster that occurred last August in the City of Clearlake, with fumbles evident at all levels (SO, DSS, ARC, COAD, NCO, and County Administration) — after the evacuation of occupants in highly flammable older mobile homes was accomplished by deploying all available law enforcement and fire/emt personnel in a very rapid door-to-door notification process — have not yet been reviewed by those agencies designated as responsible parties (including the Director of the county’s Office of Emergency Services, Sheriff Brian Martin) in an “after action” review that is also their legal responsibility.

The county’s “Risk Reduction Authority” is fully informed of the critical capacity gaps and requirements disaster preparedness called for in the county’s approved Emergency Operations Plan, which newly includes an unannounced annex with the ominous title “Communications Failure,” separate from the pre-existing “Notifications” annex. (The Sheriff in a recent meeting stated that his department is not responsible for preparedness, and that it is the public’s responsibility to be ready and able to evacuate if so ordered, so it is not clear which agency is responsible for the overall conduct of emergency management processes if it’s not the Office of Emergency Services).

And, while the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Risk Reduction Authority also preside in those same positions in the county’s Disaster Council, the knowledge gleaned by them in both venues never seems to make it back to the other members of the county’s Board of Supervisors, the Administration, and the public. Most importantly, the public’s means of being reached during emergencies — beyond receiving evac warnings or orders (dependent on operational receiving technology) are drastically reduced while the county’s only broadcaster of emergency management and disaster response news and information is out of commission.

* * *

Boat Being Built, Albion Bay, 1904

* * *

A FRACTAL LANDSCAPE OF SHENANIGANS

“When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful and difficult for others. The same applies when you are stupid.” -Ricky Gervais

Here's the recording of last night's (2022-01-07) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA): https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0470

The phone didn't ring all night. I don't especially encourage people to call, so I thought nothing of it. When setting up I check it, along with everything else, to make sure it's working, and it was, and the bell was switched on, but I didn't call it with my cell phone to see if it would ring. I got email from Kent Wallace (he's in Vietnam teaching children to speak New Jersey accent English) to the effect that he called relentlessly and couldn't get through, so that's something to solve. The Skunk carnival trainride corporation eminent domain fiasco stuff is mostly near the beginning of the show. And at the end I ran out of material to read at the exact right time to fit in the long latest episode of Doug Nunn's Snap Sessions project, with a paean to The Twilight Zone and a fascinating 45-minute interview with world-class drummer, drum teacher and political activist Claudia Page of JAIN, the Mendocino Community School girl band from the early 1980s, who went on to perform with Tito Puente, Jerry Garcia, and many more, and traveled to actual war zones (!) to perform.

Thanks heaps to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost here's a page with not only the above MOTA show but also other ones going back quite a way.

And thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided at least an hour of the above eight-hour show's most locally relevant material, as usual, without asking for anything in return. (Though I do pay $25 annually for full access to all articles and features, and you should too, if you can. And why not throw KNYO a one-time or recurring bone of money while you're at it? It's a feel-good thing to do, and not only because it will finally lift the old curse off your family, like it's done for so many other grateful families. KNYO really needs the money, and you have some, maybe not much but enough, so this is a great idea. Be smart. Do it now. Go to KNYO.org, click on the big red heart, and give till it hurts.

Email me your writing on any subject and I'll read it on the radio this coming Friday night on the very next MOTA show.

Furthermore:

at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering that show together. Such as:

Don and the lightning. A true story. I really like the gentle persistence of the woman who's sweet on him. Any story of someone being struck by lightning, even this one, reminds me of the movie Powder, which I recommend. Even Jeff Goldblum being Jeff Goldblum at the height of his Jeff Goldblumness could not ruin that movie for me, and that's saying something. One movie he actually enhanced, also in a cameo appearance: Igby Goes Down, in which he is a comically oblivious, self-centered, inadequate but somehow also sympathetic father. It's like a cross between the stories Catcher in the Rye and So Much Unfairness of Things. My feelings about Jeff Goldblum are complicated. Did you know that he's an accomplished jazz pianist, and that he can pitch a 92 mph curveball with either hand, or could, rather, before the accident.

https://laughingsquid.com/man-keeps-getting-struck-by-lightning/

The boxes aren't moving, nor spinning, nor changing size. This is, like a lot of optical illusions, a good way to think about irrational opinions about the way the real world works. Your mind can be fooled by arrangements of ideas and particular stacks of words, the way your eye can be fooled by tricks of visual elements. You swear you're right because it's obvious to you, and anyone who can't see it must be an idiot. Apply this to religion, politics, morality, taste in art, so on. And even after the trick is explained, we can't help but fall for it, because if the obvious is wrong, then you have to start questioning /everything/, and that's just too hard, so we go on convinced of bullshit, because the evidence is right there, like Jeff Goldblum's 92 mph curveball, see above.

https://boingboing.net/2022/01/03/watch-these-rotating-cubes-are-definitely-moving-except-theyre-actually-not.html

A story about a one-minute time machine.

https://nagonthelake.blogspot.com/2022/01/one-minute-time-machine.html

And a hundred ways to slightly improve your life with hardly any effort at all and no time machine required.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/jan/01/marginal-gains-100-ways-to-improve-your-life-without-really-trying

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

* * *

Elsie Peterson, Mendocino, 1928

* * *

‘DEFEATED FORMER PRESIDENT’

“So let’s speak plainly about what happened in 2020. Even before the first ballot was cast, the former president was preemptively sowing doubt about the election results. He built his lie over months. It wasn’t based on any facts. He was just looking for an excuse, a pretext to cover for the truth. He’s not just a former president. He’s a defeated former president. Defeated by a margin of over seven million of your votes. In a full and free and fair election.”

— The 46th President of the United States Joe Biden, liberal badass, from a nationally televised speech on January 6th, 2022

President Joe Biden kicked Trump’s ass!
2020 Presidential Election is over at last.
Traitor Trump has been crying for a year,
Because his crime family’s end is near.
There will be no Republican restoration
When Trump can’t even Face The Nation.
This January 6th, that whiny little bitch
Trump hid out at Mar-a-Lago with the rich.
Trump is terrified of real American media.
You’ll never see an interview with Joy Reid
Or with anyone who isn’t a MAGA creep.
GOP blathering puts real America to sleep.
Sean Hannity is a dimwit and not too deep.
And Fox “News” hasn’t fired Klannity yet?
Or send them back to Australia better yet.
Fox owner Rupert Murdoch is 90 years old.
Soon Mother Nature will take her final toll.
When Murdoch dies, his lib kids take over,
Then Tucker Carlson gets bent way over!

Sincerely, 

Jake Pickering

Arcata

* * *

Giant Sequoia, Generals Highway, Three Rivers, Tulare County, CA, 1900

18 Comments

  1. Stephen Dunlap January 9, 2022

    odd comment from editor ?

    Phil Murphy

    Grant’s Pass, Oregon (formerly Lake County)

    ED NOTE: Ed reply: You’ve lost your way, Phil. I’m publishing this purely for old time’s sake.

    • Lazarus January 9, 2022

      “”odd comment from editor ?”
      Not really, Mr. AVA has not been shy in his support of Dr. Fauci and others of like minds.
      Welcome to the jungle.
      Laz

    • Cotdbigun January 9, 2022

      Odd comment ? ……………. Again !

  2. Marmon January 9, 2022

    Excellent piece by Phil Murphy except he should have touched on how life saving therapeutics have been kept from the people. Fauci’s “vaccine only” approach that he tried to sell to Trump, and which Biden bought hook line and sinker, cost the country many lives that could have otherwise been saved.

    Covid is here to stay and we need to learn to live with it. We will never reach Zero Covid.

    Marmon

  3. Marmon January 9, 2022

    Sad news today, I just read where Carmel Angelo is taking early retirement in March. Fortunately, I’m sure it won’t be the last we see of her. She will most likely be offered a contract to stay on part time and help the County transition. She doesn’t have to be in Mendocino County to do so, it can be done from long distance and on Zoom.

    I feel sorry for the Board of Supervisors because they will lose their connection to some of Carmel’s high level connections in Sacramento, their political hopes and dreams could be in peril.

    Marmon

    • Bruce Anderson January 9, 2022

      So, like, kind of, maybe she’ll lift her restraining order against you?

      • Marmon January 9, 2022

        Mo Mulheren may have to give up all her volunteer work that she does for the Schraeders because it looks like the Supervisors may have work for the county full time now. I wonder how they’re going to do everything from Zoom? It’s time to call all the Department Heads together and read them the riot act now that their filter is moving on.

        Marmon

        • Bruce McEwen January 9, 2022

          So: Supervisor McCowan picks up trash and gets the medal of approval pinned on him; Supervisor Mulhern apes this laudable service and gets hooted and hissed at — ?!

  4. Harvey Reading January 9, 2022

    FIRST STOP THE STINK RALLY OF 2022

    Good luck to you all. Stand up to the scum.

  5. Harvey Reading January 9, 2022

    There Are Solutions If We Look

    Another solution: raise the taxes on the scumbag wealthy and build decent-sized houses for the homeless. The wealthy (and their snot-nosed yuppie acolytes) are the ones who made them homeless.

  6. Harvey Reading January 9, 2022

    “‘Joe Biden’” is not just president but the greatest one since Barack Obama ”

    LOL. Talk about saying nothing.

  7. Kirk Vodopals January 9, 2022

    Answer to question #14: yes, the AVA is a communist rag. Just ask all the enlightened anti-maskers. They have the inside scoop.

  8. Eric Sunswheat January 9, 2022

    RE: Lengthy Covid articles in MCT.

    ->. Both articles today seem to be at least 90% accurate. Too nice of a glorious sunny warm winter day to warmonger, parse words and recap. Thank you AVA

  9. Joe January 9, 2022

    All of the regulatory agencies that are supposed to be the firewall between the public and big pharma are stacked with big Pharma execs. It is the same revolving door between government and industry that is endemic in our failing republic. Fauci is not in his powerful position because he is working for the people he is owned by the corporations. Big pharma is also the largest lobbyist in D.C. Pfizer paid the largest fine in history 2.3 billion for bribing doctors and fraud. These companies need to be on a tight leash but have a free pass to do as they please.

    • Kirk Vodopals January 9, 2022

      Same could be said of defense contractors and the NRA lobbying industries….But one would never criticize the freedom and liberty of gun ownership in this republic

    • Douglas Coulter January 14, 2022

      Regulation is like arterial sclerosis. The vessels narrow and less blood flows

  10. Pat Kittle January 9, 2022

    Nice picture of Hendy Woods, although (like many redwood photos) it has a purplish tint.

    Dialing in a little red will fix that.

  11. Pat Kittle January 9, 2022

    Joe reports:

    “Big pharma is also the largest lobbyist in D.C. Pfizer paid the largest fine in history 2.3 billion for bribing doctors and fraud.”

    Could that be the same Pfizer all good citizens must entrust with our escalating mandatory jabs?

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