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COASTAL AREAS WILL SEE A MIX OF CLOUDS AND SUN today but clouds will increase tonight along with the potential of light rain or drizzle as a weak front approaches. Interior areas will continue to experience pleasant and mild winter weather into the weekend. (NWS)
62 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
KAREN OTTOBONI WILL INTERVIEW COUNTY CEO, Carmel Angelo, this morning at 9am on KZYX
SLIDE REMOVAL ON HWY 253 IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
Caltrans is working to clear a slide on State Route 253 east of Boonville in Mendocino County. Crews are removing large rocks and dirt from the hillside. Motorists are asked to drive with caution as the slide is still active and could deposit material onto the roadway.
THE ROAD AHEAD
by Mark Scaramella
Is it too early to start speculating about Mendo After Angelo? Of course it is. Way too early.
So, let’s look into our Crystal Ball using what little we know about the current chaotic state of affairs at 501 Low Gap Road and see what we can see.
Given the Board’s misplaced devotion to their pointless Strategic Plan — if you don't have a clue, what's the point of a plan? But we do see Interim Health and Human Services Director (and Strategic Plan point person) Ann Molgaard being appointed Interim CEO soon after the CEO’s departure in March, with Dr. Jenine Miller appointed Interim HHSA director to replace Molgaard.
Meanwhile, the Board has already indicated a preference for a “CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) model” administrative structure instead of the concentrated power of the Chief Executive Officer, but what that “model” will end up looking like is unclear.
The Board has already put in motion an unwise plan (actually, as Supervisor Haschak noted, there’s no plan, but they have decided to consolidate the Auditor-Controller with the Treasurer-Tax Collector into an elected position with an election on next June’s ballot.
Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Schapmire has said she will probably retire rather than run for the new Finance Director position. But nobody has given any thought (on the record) to what the new Finance Director position will look like or what qualifications/experience will be required.
It’s possible that Auditor-Controller Chamise Cubbison will stay on to run for Finance Director, especially now that CEO Angelo is out of the picture. (Perhaps wishful thinking on our part, but we think Mendo is lucky to have her bird dogging expenditures.)
They’ve also established a large new Cannabis Department. Most people don’t know that “Interim” Planning Director Nash Gonzalez is not a County employee, but a private contractor, working for a planning consultancy outfit. A new Water Agency is being formed. There’s been some talk about breaking up the Health and Human Services Agency into two or three new departments.
Then we have the other elected positions of District Attorney, Sheriff, Assessor-Recorder-Clerk which will presumably remain as is. The Board should take this opportunity to re-establish their own Clerk of the Board, but we haven’t heard any discussion of that. (This task was recently made more difficult by the departure of senior Board Clerk Lindsey Daugherty.) CEO Angelo brought General Services/Purchasing under the “Executive Office” a few years ago, but it’s unclear if it will continue that way under the CAO model.
Complicating matters is the Board’s lack of faith in their own County Counsel, Christian Curtis, given that Board Chair Ted Williams has hired costly outside Counsel to advise the Board on the proper procedure to raise his salary in the wake of Curtis’s embarrassing mishandling of his own raise proposal. But somebody will have to advise the Board on whatever legalities will apply to any new organization.
Pre-Angelo, under the old CAO model, there were something like 20 separate department heads all reporting to the Supervisors. We doubt the Board will want anything that unwieldy post-Angelo.
The timing of all of this remains unclear as well. When will the new departments be established? How long will it take to staff them? What new offices or facilities will be required?
We are unable to confirm the terrifying rumors that the husband and wife team of Linda Ruffing and Richard Shoemaker are in the running for co-CAO. But they can cite their “experience” as city manager of Fort Bragg and Point Arena, respectively. Never mind that the experience was not very good. But it paid well.
Given the gaping managerial experience and competency gap of the present Board, and their seeming inability to make even minor decisions without the CEO telling them what to do, combined with the new and rejuggled departments, senior level staff turnover and general upheaval in several existing departments, the only thing we can say for sure is that Mendo is in for a lot of “interim” job titles for a while.
And, like the rest of the country, the road ahead is not just bumpy, but full of slides, potholes and sinkholes, most of which will come as a rude surprise to whoever is driving the bus.
HIGHWAY 101 PEDESTRIAN in dark clothes hit and killed Monday evening
NORTH COAST CASES CONTINUE TO RISE
by William Miller, MD; Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital
Active cases of COVID in Ft Bragg and the immediate surrounding communities have risen to about 100 from 52 active cases just ten days ago. This is a significant increase from what we have seen so far in the pandemic where 20-30 local active cases at any one time was the previous norm. Obviously, the number of actively infected persons is much higher than the number identified as not everyone seeks testing. This is most likely being driven by the Omicron variant which is at least 10 times more contagious than Delta.
In southern California, Omicron comprises at least 70% of new cases with 30% being Delta. In the Bay Area it appears to be about 60%. In Mendocino County, we don’t know what proportion of new cases are from Omicron. However, given how the cases are so quickly rising I would estimate at least half.
Despite early worries that Omicron might become undetectable in our testing, so far that has not been the case. All three of the standard PCR tests used clinically at our hospitals, Biofire, Cepheid and Abbott, are successfully detecting the virus as is the BinaxNow home antigen test.
While cases are steeply rising, hospitalizations not as much, even adjusting for the expected time lag between testing positive and ending up in a hospital. This could be due to Omicron being less virulent. It could also be due to the combined protective effects of vaccinations and natural immunity following previous infection. As of this writing, we have no COVID patients in our hospital on the Coast (AHMC) and only three in Willits at Howard Memorial (AHHM) plus another five hospitalized at Ukiah Valley (AHUV).
New Changes in Treatments
When we compare treatments, we are principally concerned about three outcomes: preventing hospitalization, shortening the course of a hospital/ICU stay and reducing mortality. So, when we talk about effectiveness, we are speaking in terms of preventing hospitalization, serious illness and death.
The mainstay for treating patients in the hospital remains dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid, which we have been using since the beginning of the pandemic. We often supplement this with one of three additional drugs: remdesivir, baricitinib, and tocilizumab. The latter two showing much greater efficacy over remdesivir which is more expensive and falling out of favor.
The monoclonal antibody injection, Regen-COV (casirivimab plus imdevimab), which we have been using for a while, is falling by the wayside as it is much less effective against Omicron perhaps as low as 30%. A newer monoclonal antibody preparation, sotrovimab, is 65% to 85% effective, however, like other monoclonal antibodies has downside of having to be an IV infusion or an injection under the skin. Sotrovimab is in extremely short supply. Our county received only 20 doses with three being given to our hospital on the Coast.
A few weeks ago, the FDA gave emergency use authorization to two medications that can be given as a pill and are as effective or more so than the monoclonal antibodies. The first is Lagevrio (molnupiravir), which has already available. It is also in limited supply, but not anywhere as short as the monoclonals. One pharmacy in Ukiah (Rite Aid on South State Street, Ukiah) and one in Ft. Bragg (CVS on Main Street, Ft. Bragg) were chosen as the first sites to get the drug. This choice was made at the request of Dr. Andy Coren, Mendocino Health Officer, and required approval by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The ability to provide drive through pickup was key so that COVID patients would not be required to enter the pharmacy to pick up the prescription. Dr. Coren is working with the State to get a third pharmacy approved in Willits, but that has not yet happened. Lagevrio is equally effective as sotrovimab. Given its easier administration as a pill and greater availability, it will likely soon replace the monoclonal antibody treatments. The main downside to Lagevrio is a concern that it may not be safe in pregnancy.
The second drug, Paxlovid (ritonivir plus nirmatrelvir), is expected to come out in another 4-6 weeks. It has a couple of advantages over Lagevrio and will likely replace it over time. First, it works in a totally different way and does not carry the same concern about safety in pregnancy. The second is that it is more effective at about 89% and perhaps as high as 96%. The downside is that it is more expensive and slower to manufacture.
Treatments that Do Not Work
The two largest studies looking at ivermectin have conclusively shown no significant clinical benefit. Similarly, hydroxychloroquine has not been considered an acceptable treatment for quite some time as rigorous studies have shown either no benefit or perhaps even harm when used to treat COVID. Vitamin D gets a lot of discussion in social networks, but much of the “science” is more opinion based on anecdotal evidence. The large, randomized trials that have looked at vitamin D supplementation in treating COVID have failed to show clear clinical benefit.
Masks Remain Effective Against Omicron
Omicron’s ability to be more contagious is not from developing some new way to float through the air. Omicron is still spread the same way as previous variants, namely respiratory droplets. The reason it is more contagious is that it is more efficient at entering the host cells. As a result, the minimum number of virus particles required to cause infection is substantially lower. Also, Omicron seems to have some additional abilities at evading our immune system that may also play a role here. So, physical barriers that protect one from respiratory droplets remain effective. These include keeping one’s distance from others, avoiding crowds especially indoors and wearing a mask over your nose and mouth. However, not all masks are made equal. The most effective remains the N-95 and KN-95. Both of these combine thickness, a tight weave and electrostatic properties to be highly effective at trapping viruses of all types. Their downside is that they must fit snuggly to the face and thus many people find them uncomfortable to wear for long periods. All medical masks are designed for one time use. If you are careful, you can probably get three or four days of safe use, but since supplies are not as limited as before, I suggest a fresh mask each day.
The second best mask is the medical grade paper mask also known as the surgical mask. The main way it works is through the electrostatic charge with filtering to a lesser extent. While it is much more comfortable, it does not fit as snuggly to the face which is a drawback. The ear loop style and the ties around the head style are equivalent and up to wearer preference. One should discard this mask after just one day use as the electrostatic charge starts to dimmish after that.
At this point, cloth masks are not really considered effective barriers to Omicron since they can let enough virus particles through to potentially cause infection. This was not the case with Alfa and other earlier variants, but times have changed. In order to provide any protection, they need to be two or three layers thick and the type of material matters. My recommendation is to stop using cloth masks and switch to a medical grade paper mask. If you are going to be indoors around a lot of other people, consider upgrading to an N-95.
Bandanas that hang down over the face and are not secured at the bottom or any other type of similar design is not effective in providing any meaningful safety at this point and should be avoided. Going without a mask altogether does nothing beyond making a social statement.
So, to recap. Cases are rising in the area, probably fueled by the new Omicron variant. While still capable of causing serious illness and death, Omicron may be somewhat less virulent. That, along with previous immunity from either immunization and/or previous infection are helping to keep hospitalization rates lower than expected. However, the sheer number of new infections are still overwhelming hospitals in many parts of the country. Newer treatments in the form of effective pills will soon replace the monoclonal antibody infusions. Lastly, you should favor medical grade paper masks over cloth masks and use an N-95 or KN-95 when indoors amongst crowds.
You can access this and all previous Miller Reports by visiting www.WMillerMD.com.
(The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or of Adventist Health.)
I've given up on ever affording a house in the Fort Bragg area and rarely read the list. But occasionally I read some of it as I have friends in the area.
Chris Skyhawk wrote: “There can be absolutely NO doubt that our community is rapidly hemorrhaging due to the housing crisis. I am sharing this vid in the hope that as a community we really begin to envision what we can and will do to remain an actual community?” I have an additional suggestion that may or may not be a little late for the FB area, but well worth doing in case there is a crash and also worth doing for the folks who had to move to less expensive areas. It's a complex thing involving large offshore (and domestic money held offshore) investor buyers of US real estate. And one very small thing you can do about it which might make a big difference.”
And yes there ARE investment companies targeting lower end housing and single family rentals and even trailer parks. Some detailed history of what began this: washingtonpost.com/business/interactive/2021/investors-rental-foreclosure/
Occasionally even posing as ordinary people.
— Lynn Harrington (Coast Chatline)
BODY FOUND IN FIELD NEAR CLOVERDALE IDENTIFIED AS WILLITS WOMAN
by Matt Pera
A body found last week in a field near Cloverdale has been identified as a 33-year-old Willits woman, authorities said Tuesday.
The woman, Amber Dillon, was identified by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Investigation Unit are investigating the case as a “suspicious” death, said Sgt. Juan Valencia, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. He said investigators have not determined whether it was a homicide.
Dillon’s body was found Jan. 7 in a remote location north of Cloverdale near the border of Sonoma and Mendocino counties, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The site was in an open space area adjacent to Highway 101, between the Highway 128 exit in Cloverdale and the Geysers Road exit in Mendocino County.
Authorities were alerted to the body shortly after 4 p.m. by someone who saw it in the field and flagged down a California Highway Patrol officer near Highway 101 and Geysers Road, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Valencia said Dillon’s body had not decomposed when it was found. But he declined to provide other details about the condition of the body, including the length of time that authorities believe it had been in the field, saying that releasing details about the crime scene could compromise the investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that officials were aware of speculation about the case being shared on social media.
The post said authorities would share additional details about the case when they become available.
A GoFundMe page has been set up on Facebook at http://bitly.bz/QwXbB by family friend Desirae Goggia of Magalia in Butte County to help pay for funeral expenses.
Goggia said Dillon’s mother lives in the Sacramento area. The site has raised $950 of a $5,000 goal.
MILLIONAIRE MURDERER ROBERT DURST DIES IN PRISON WITH QUESTIONS UNANSWERED ABOUT HIS ROLE IN A NORTH COAST COLD CASE
Suspected serial killer Robert Durst, the eccentric black sheep heir of a New York real-estate mogul, has died in a California prison at the age of 78. In October 2021, Durst was sentenced to life without parole for the first-degree murder of his long-time friend Susan Berman – killing her to keep her quiet about what she knew about his suspected involvement in the 1982 disappearance and suspected murder of his wife then Kathleen McCormack Durst.
THE NINERS ARE COMING FOR YA, MR. ANTI-VAXX
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #1
KH: I’m thinking about Covid this morning.
As of 1/10/2022, 9183 Mendocino County residents have been officially diagnosed with the illness. One hundred and nine folks – friends, neighbors, family matriarchs and patriarchs, caregivers – have died from COVID.
This is approximately a ratio of 1.187 deaths for every hundred people infected.
Think about those odds for a moment. If I had a one in a hundred chance of being killed by a stray bullet, I wouldn’t like the odds. If I had a one in a hundred chance of winning a million dollars, I might take them. The outcome is what makes the odds attractive, or unattractive.
In the case of COVID, there’s no million dollar prize. But you might wind up with a million dollar hospital bill, a dead spouse or parent or child, a long term illness for yourself or severe side effects from being intubated and anesthetized for weeks. Your kidneys or other organs may be permanently affected. You may need dialysis.
The best case scenario is you are asymptomatic and you don’t suffer – but possibly make others ill. The second best case scenario is having a mild case – which in the case of people I know meant nausea and diarrhea, horrible headaches and fever, and struggling to breath, eat and sleep for a few weeks. Some lost their sense of taste for weeks or months. Some food still does not taste right. Some are still fatigued easily, months later.
This new viral disease was discovered in Dec 2019. In April of 2020, our county saw the first case. It has taken 21 months but now we are up to 9183 cases.
I know masking and vaccinations and safety precautions are tiring. I know people want to “get back to normal.” But the only reason we have only lost 109 people is because the 9,183 positive cases have been spread over 21 months. If all of these people had gotten sick at the same time, our health care system would have collapsed long ago.
As it is our healthcare teams are exhausted and strained and burning out from 25 months of stress and illness and hard work. Health care workers are caring for ill people – while doing all the juggling that regular people are doing and complaining about: helping others deal with the stress and worry of a changed society, sorting out childcare and schooling, delaying vacations and family events, working longer hours and covering extra shifts because their coworkers are ill or in quarantine.
Yes, it’s frustrating that this seems to go on and on. But that seems to be the best way there is of managing this. The alternative is medical system collapse and all the accompanying social side effects of that – including many preventable deaths, closing of all public facilities and other places of business where people gather, and high numbers of sick or dead neighbors, families and friends because there is no functioning health care system.
Getting back to normal is not happening this year. That’s obvious from some very simple math. This thing needs to run its course, and that will take time, as there are still many people it has not reached yet. As the virus mutates, we can only hope it continues to evolve into a more systemic but less deadly variant. In the meantime, wear a mask, get vaccinated and please be kind and supportive whenever you can to whoever you can.
SPORT CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM (aka Sport Auto Center) celebrates 21 years in business on the Mendocino Coast.
Twenty-one years ago, these two incredible people, took a chance, packed up their families and their lives and moved to the Mendocino Coast to be part of this wonderful community and run a business.
Jack Smith Dodge officially became Sport Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram on January 10, 2001.
We’ve been through a lot these past 21 years, to say the least but with their dedication, passion and commitment to their business and to this community, we are still here, going strong.
Thank you Michael Slaughter and Douna Dee Scramaglia for all you do for this business and for our community.
The Mendocino Coast is a better place with you in it!
Happy 21st being in business Anniversary to us, Sport Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram!
SUPERVISORS MEET, FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 1897
The board of supervisors met in regular quarterly session Monday and organized by the election of C.P. Smith as chairman, on motion of Supervisor Flanagan.
Immediately upon the election of the chairman, the board adjourned until the afternoon, at which time the auditor was instructed to draw his warrant in favor of the officers of the late election in the sum of $4 each.
Tuesday morning the road reports of Cuffey’s Cove, Gualala, Ocean, Navarro, and Arena districts, presented by Commissioner A.M. Duncan, were approved.
The Hall Safe & Lock company was authorized to put a new safe in the treasury vault, according to an agreement filed with the board.
Road reports were presented by road commissioners Sam Duncan and Jacob Wattenberger, and approved. …
D.E. Mankins, steward of the county farm, submitted his quarterly report to the board of supervisors. It showed that twenty patients had been admitted to the hospital during the past three months, and that twelve had been discharged. Four patients had died during the three months just past, but there were 53 remaining on the first of the current month. The average number in the hospital during the quarter was 52.89, and the cost was 37¢ apiece per day during that time. The supplies for the quarter cost $1,044.70, with $340.70 as incidentals. The salaries paid out for the past three months amounted to $555. This makes an average of $185 a month at the county farm for salaries and brings the total cost for the quarter up to $1,940.40, or $7761.60 per annum for supporting indigents during the year.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
THE ETERNAL BATTLE TO BEAT BACK BULL THISTLES
Navarro Point Stewarding this Thursday
Hello potential Navarro Point Preserve volunteers. The Mendocino Land Trust and I invite you to join us as we remove the ever-dwindling population of bull thistles at Navarro Point this Thursday, January 13th, from 10am til noon.
The Preserve is located about 2 miles south of Albion on the ocean side of Hwy 1. No rain is predicted and the ocean views are jaw-dropping. We hope to see you there!
Navarro Point Preserve is owned and managed by Mendocino Land Trust, which relies on volunteer stewardship workdays to maintain our network of public access trails. Volunteers spend two hours a month pulling invasive plant species, picking up garbage, maintaining the trails and taking in the beautiful scenery. Stewardship workdays are scheduled for the 2nd Thursday of each month, 10am to 12 noon, and are open to all ages and experience levels.
— Tom Wodetzki
ANOTHER OLD E-BAY POSTCARD, the Willits and Fort Bragg Stage
MOUNTAIN LION RESEARCH: A conservation organization called True Wild is doing a lot of mountain lion research. If you contact them, their newsletters are full of good photos and statistics on their research: truewild.org/#
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 11, 2022
FELICIA CHILDERS, Laytonville. Controlled substance, failure to appear.
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
DANIEL HAMFF, Ukiah. Resisting.
JEREMIAH MCOSKER, Ukiah. County parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
LOUIS MORENO III, Stockton/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JAMES MUNDAY, Protective order violation.
JACOB SELLMER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
LEONARD WHIPPLE III*, Covelo, Assault weapon, short barreled rifle.
JEFFREY WRIGHT, Fort Bragg. Trespassing, refusing to leave.
*Background (Whipple’s arsenal): theava.com/archives/174553#14
THE CONTENTS OF A CORPSE'S POCKETS sometimes tells the whole crime story. I covered a case where killers, determined that their victim never be identified, hacked off his hands and his head to eliminate fingerprints and dental work. Their hard work went to waste because they missed a slip of paper deep in the pocket of the dead man's bluejeans.
It was a receipt bearing his name and address.
A hit and run driver killed a 75-year-old veteran as he rolled south in a wheelchair on Florida State Highway 1 at one o'clock in the morning. The wheelchair was everywhere. It looked like it exploded. What was in the dead man's pockets? Any clue to why he was out there? Of no importance to the troopers investigating the accident, it was important to me, to the victim, and to a lot of people: the dead man had two nickels and a dime, a Key West ID, hospital discharge papers, and printed forms from various county social agencies rejecting his appeals for help in returning to Key West.
A social agency in Key West had put this amputee on a Greyhound to the Miami veterans hospital. The hospital rolled him back out onto the street. Nobody made any provision to get him back home. He made the rounds of government offices and county agencies saying he wanted to go home. Finally exasperated by all the bureaucratic red tape, the feisty vet tried to make it back to Key West alone.
He covered about 7 miles when a college kid in a Corvette killed him. He had 149 miles to go.
— Edna Buchanan
THIS IS THE ONLY REAL CONCERN of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.
YOUNG WOODY GUTHRIE’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS, 1942.
Something to strive for? Maybe 50%?
1. Work more and better
2. Work by a schedule
3. Wash teeth if any
5. Take bath
6. Eat good — fruit — vegetables — milk
7. Drink very scant if any
8. Write a song a day
9. Wear clean clothes — look good
10. Shine shoes
11. Change socks
12. Change bed cloths often
13. Read lots good books
14. Listen to radio a lot
15. Learn people better
16. Keep rancho clean
17. Dont get lonesome
18. Stay glad
19. Keep hoping machine running
20. Dream good
21. Bank all extra money
22. Save dough
23. Have company but dont waste time
24. Send Mary and kids money
25. Play and sing good
26. Dance better
27. Help win war — beat fascism
28. Love mama
29. Love papa
30. Love Pete
31. Love everybody
32. Make up your mind
33. Wake up and fight
BECAUSE THE ANTI-VAXXERS....
I had planned to go to work Sunday, although I wasn’t scheduled. My colleagues and our patients are suffering through the worst period in my 40 years as a nurse. I know this, yet I couldn’t make myself go in.
I had been off the past two weeks, enjoying a treasured visit from my sons. During this time, I slept without waking in the night to endlessly replay scenes from my workday. It was a visit to the time before COVID-19, when I loved my job and was able to separate it from my actual life.
I am exhausted by the unrelenting trauma of our time. Others have it far worse than I do. Many are opting out, quitting or changing jobs to find a better work/life balance. Large numbers of health care professionals are leaving. It’s too hard, and the trauma has gone on for too long.
I won’t leave — yet. But I can no longer sacrifice my well-being for the sake of others who will not do the barest minimum to protect themselves. I will work when I can and try to forgive myself when I can’t.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #1
Back in the 1960s I was living in Ukiah, CA, which was declared to be one of the 7 safest US locations in the event of a nuclear war.
This information attracted Jim Jones and his followers to the area, but over 900 of these Peoples Temple cult members still ended up dying prematurely. By the way, no atomic devices were ever detonated — they died from other causes.
EYEGLASSES PLEASE (Coast Chatline)
On 1/10/2022 11:56 PM, Ellie Green wrote: I wear glasses, but am NOT happy with the ones I’m wearing. For one thing, they won’t stay up where I need them, they slip down on my cheeks where the center of the focus is NOT. I can’t just stick holders on them cause I have a skin allergy to metal, so can’t let metal touch my cheeks. My local optometrist is a decent “doctor”, but he has NO choice of styles of eyeglasses. I need some place with a LARGE inventory of TYPES of eyeglasses. There used to be a great place in the big shopping center in the middle of Santa Rosa, but I haven’t gone to Santa Rosa in a number of YEARS. So listers, please provide for me a list of places I could get my caregiver to take me to try out a number of different STYLES of eyeglasses so I can find a type that will stay where I need them on my face. PLEASE?
Marco here. Go to Zenni.com. Huge selection. You enter your prescription and the distance between your pupils, and get any lens type and frame size and shape and color you want, they're all properly anti-UV-coated, and they show up in the mail in a week. If you don't like them you can send them right back and get something else. The prices are lower than in any shop. Last time, I got two pairs of driving glasses and another pair of reading glasses and it came to about $50 including shipping.
— Marco McClean
“I COULD SEE men of all colors bouncing along in the boxcar. We stood up. We laid down. We piled around on each other. We used each other for pillows… We looked like a gang of lost corpses heading back to the boneyard.”
— First lines of "Bound for Glory" by Woody Guthrie (1943)
Del Potter (Coast Chatline): If he had the bandwidth, Marco would be perfect for the role [of KZYX Board Member).
Marco McClean here. How do you mean bandwidth, Del? Because I'm guessing you mean that I'm all single-issue focused on KZYX. Every once in a while I'll be doing my show on KNYO and either promoting a show on KZYX in passing or otherwise reminded of the place, and I'll express my feelings on the subject for like a minute at most and then continue with the material I brought to read on my 8-hour show on KNYO. Like now. I'm taking a couple of minutes to write you and then I'm going to my day job. If by bandwidth you mean time on the issue relative to other issues, then... no, that can't be it. That's like one in 480.
Regarding running for the board, basically, I don't like the idea of paying them money I don't have, for the privilege of running for an office where I'll have no say in anything even if I win. When John Sakowicz was on the board of MCPB (KZYX) and was the treasurer, he became justifiably frustrated by never being allowed to speak and by being excluded from the real inner circles, and by having his political interview radio show physically sabotaged and then being kicked off the air permanently for expressing miffment about that, then was required to abase himself before the fraud CEO and the dictatorial program director who orchestrated the whole operation against him and who were technically serving at the board's whim. And John, as well as being on the corporate board at the time, was treasurer of the corporation, see above, with oodles of qualifications for the position, and the CEO and John's fellow boardmembers refused him access to the station's financial books. I repeat: The treasurer of the corporation was not allowed to look at the books, because of corporate fear that he might publish information in them. That's just to list one instance of the corruption within that smiley-face, perpetually-genially-stoned-sounding place.
About the requirement to be a member to run for a plastic chair on the board: We've all already paid and are paying for KZYX, whether we want to or not, when we pay taxes. There's the government's priceless gift to MCPB to squat on the natural resource of three frequencies in the FM band and blanket the county, speaking of bandwidth, and the government's gift to them of a six-figure grant every year, that pours, like the membership money, mainly into the personal bank accounts of a handful of people in the office, who pay the real workers, the local airpeople, /nothing at all/ for their work, not even a stipend of minimum wage for their hour or two each per week. The eligible voters for boardmembers are a pool of people who like the way things are set in stone at KZYX enough to also pay $50 each basically to keep an electric fence around the stone. And the entire campaign time for boardmembers is limited to a few minutes of scripted blather in a one-hour-per-year show where called-in and written-in questions are screened by the manager and existing board rep, and the microphones are turned up and down, and on and off, under control of one of their trained seals or the trainer.
If any administration of KZYX had ever, at any time, uncircled the wagons and allowed any local with any kind of an edge to do a real ungagged show there, and I'm not talking about the sportstalk show, this all could be truly democratically cleaned up. As it was and is, and as that's never going to happen, no way.
Anyway, Del, I'd really like to know what you mean, if that's not it. Please respond.
I agree with President Biden who came out strongly today in his speech in Atlanta for passage of voting rights legislation and an end to voter suppression bills already passed by many states. President Biden most likely would not be where he is today - our President - had it not been for the fairly counted votes of millions of Americans in November, 2020.
Furthermore it is time to stand up with our brothers and sisters, of whatever race, culture, ethnicity, and religion, including President Biden and Vice President Harris, for freedom. It is quite obviously also past time to end the filibuster because now it takes more than half of the US Senate to even debate legislation.
Frank H. Baumgardner
THERE ARE NO HEROES IN DJOKOVIC VS. AUSTRALIA
by Dave Zirin
If someone is going to compare you to Spartacus, you had better damn well earn it through your words and deeds. Novak Djokovic, the sour, selfish tennis demigod, isn’t even in the conversation. That didn’t stop the father of the tennis great from saying that his son was “the world’s new Spartacus” and “the symbol and the leader of the free world.” Why? Because he was standing up to “corona fascism” by refusing to be vaccinated or tamed by any mandates or restrictions. Yet Djokovic’s desire to remain a vaccine denier collided with Australia’s own policy of denying entry to anyone who has not gotten the vaccine.
Djokovic went to Australia, medical exemption in hand, hoping to breeze through any restrictions, play in the Australian Open, and win his record-setting 21st major championship. Instead, authorities put him up for several days in what has been referred to in the press as a “notorious hostel” used for housing migrants. On Monday, a very irritated judge ruled that Djokovic should be released immediately and overruled the government’s cancellation of his visa. At the time of this writing, Djokovic is free to play in the Australian Open, and the day he was released from detention was already training for that eventuality. The Australian immigration minister, however, still has the power to unilaterally cancel the visa and send Djokovic home. He is feeling pressure to show that there isn’t one rule for millionaire tennis titans and another for asylum seekers desperate for safer shores.
There are no good guys in this story. Djokovic is no Spartacus. Spartacus, whether as written about in Howard Fast’s novel or as played by Kirk Douglas in the Kubrick classic, cared about the collective. Djokovic seems to care militantly only about himself. There are photos of him the day after he allegedly tested positive in December, posing for photos with small children, everyone unmasked, at a charity event. Either his positive Covid-19 test, which he used to justify his vaccination exemption, is a sham or he was knowingly infecting young children. Whatever the truth, this is all too typical to Djokovic’s very blithe and public approach to the virus, which has included hosting large unmasked parties and events.
His detention did stoke a hefty stew of Serbian nationalism in Australia, leading to people with Serbian flags blocking traffic and getting tear-gassed by police near the hotel where Djokovic was being detained. Tennis commentators say that Djokovic, unlike the smooth Roger Federer or the dynamic Rafa Nadal, thrives on being in a state of antagonism against those around him. If he ends up playing in the Australian Open, there should be enough antagonistic energy to fly a rocket. It will be fascinating to see how the crowds greet him and how he responds.
For the Australian government and much of the public, “standing up to Djokovic” is seen as an opportunity. They want to send the message, especially as Omicron rages, that there will be no tolerance for anyone who wants to come into the country without a vaccination card or the kind of ironclad medical exemption that Djokovic did not provide.
But the detention of Djokovic also highlights how racist and unforgiving Australia’s immigration laws tend to be. There are people in the hostel where Djokovic was detained who have been there for years in squalid conditions. Asylum seekers are regularly turned away. In a settler colonialist country with a history of racist and exclusionary policies, these kinds of nationalist acts, even against something as nefarious as Covid-19, can always find support. But it also highlights that there is no nationalist solution to Covid-19.
Putting up walls and sticking soldiers with guns on the border makes for a good photo op, but it’s garbage as health policy. That there are wealthy nations with vaccine access and broad swaths of the Global South without it is a legacy of the old imperialism and a reflection of the present reality of a brutally unequal world. Until the nations that hold a monopoly on vaccines share their intellectual and scientific data with everyone, we are going to be mired in disease.
There is no wall high enough to stop a virus. But Djokovic isn’t here to point out the racism and injustice of detaining asylum seekers indefinitely. And he is certainly not using his money and influence to try to end medical imperialism and vaccinate the world. Instead, he has shown himself to be nothing but petulant and profoundly selfish. This is one of those stories that highlights just how awful the terms of the political debate on Covid-19 and vaccinations are and the crying need to reframe these debates. Neither side in this battle has an internationalist or humanistic perspective. Neither this “Spartacus” with the wicked two-handed backhand nor the Australian state is rising to this moment.
LIBS ONLY NO LIB LABS
Dear Member or Friend of the Mendocino Coast Democratic Club,
To participate in our Club endorsement process for 2022 local elections, you must be a Club member in good standing by no later than Thursday, February 17. Please renew your membership now!
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With warm regards,
Club Leadership Team
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Lee Finney, Vice Chair
Jane Person, Secretary/Central Committee Member
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