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DRY WEATHER will prevail through the weekend into early next week, with broad high pressure taking control. Cool mornings with areas of valley fog will give way to plentiful sunshine and above normal afternoon temperatures each day. (NWS)
107 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
JUST IN from the indefatigable superintendent of the Boonville schools, Louise Simson:
Final Concentric + Anderson Valley video
Here is the final version of our video in English and Spanish. We are a poster child for small school districts in the state to advocate for pooled testing. So proud of you all.
Hi Louise and Cymbre,
Here are the links:
Video with subtitles in Spanish: youtube.com/watch?v=J9Q__qnn9Ow
Thank you SO much for all your help and support throughout the process — not to mention the amazing process and inspirational culture you all have built there — and especially with everything else on your plate.
Thank you again!
All the best,
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL TOY DRIVE
The Volunteer Firefighters Association pulled off another VERY successful Toy Drive this year. The toys were handed out at the Food Bank on December 8, and much appreciated. Speaking of appreciation, the following are thanked for their generosity in making this drive successful: Hedgehog Books, Lions Club, Unity Club, AV Brewery, The Mercantile, Lemons, Anderson Valley Market, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and the community members who donated dollars or toys…you know who you are!
This community is tops! Thank You!
Tina, Sarah, Sandy and Judy
WOMAN’S BODY FOUND ON SIDE OF ROAD NEAR UKIAH PROMPTS INVESTIGATION
by Matt Pera
The discovery of a woman’s body on Tuesday morning on the side of a road north of Ukiah has prompted a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office investigation, officials said.
The body was found at about 11 a.m. on Parducci Road near the intersection with Christy Lane, in an industrial neighborhood between Ukiah and Calpella.
The body was reported by somebody driving in the area, according to Capt. Greg Van Patten, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities are investigating the case as a “suspicious” death, Van Patten said.
He declined to provide additional details about the case, saying that the Sheriff’s Office fears releasing information could compromise its investigation.
ON LINE COMMENT: Christy Lane. That area you would have to know it. You don’t just stumble upon this location. It’s around a lot of businesses and kind of close to Parducci Winery. The road does make a loop and you could get back on the freeway easy maybe coming in from the Calpella side up State Street . Not really the kind of place that you would wander or stumble onto accidentally. Somebody’s got a connection, felt comfortable it is kind of far from law enforcement immediately noticing. There probably are quite a few cameras in the area. Terrible…just terrible. ?
SAVE POTTER VALLEY’S EAGLE TREE FROM PG&E CHOPPERS
Clearly visible from the roadway, on 19261 Ridgeway Hwy in Potter Valley, there is an active nesting pair of bald eagles. Their tree is slated to be felled, along with their nest, in the morning hours of Wednesday, Jan 13th by PG&E.
The photo accompanying this letter was taken Monday, January 10th. (There is a large nest and an adult Bald Eagle perched next to it.) Video footage taken the morning of January 12th shows the tree, green with growth, and a large adult Bald Eagle soaring out of the nest and tree.
Alex R. Thomas, independent certified arborist, paid for privately by the tenant, reports that the living tree is “in decline” but has “no apparent signs of structural deficiencies”.
PG&E spokesperson Deanne Contreras says “The certified PG&E arborist...confirmed the pine tree is dead and will fail very soon...biologists have visited the site...there is an inactive bald eagle’s nest located in the dead pine tree”
Independent Arborist Alex R. Thomas states “Experts on the local Audubon societies agree that the presence of an adult bird at the nest this time of year constitutes an “active” nesting, which the removing of said tree would be in violation of CDFW codes 3503 and 3503.5. Further, removal at this time would be disruptive to the nesting of these raptors for potentially several years into the future, as Bald Eagle’s nests are quite intricate and complex, often taking several years to complete.”
Reflecting upon the images I provided of adult Bald Eagles occupying the nest currently, Ms. Contreras replied “the nest is considered inactive (no eggs or young)… US Fish and Wildlife Service has conditioned its approval for PG&E to perform the work… before January 15th. PG&E and US Fish and Wildlife are in agreement that felling the tree now will give the eagles time to migrate to other nests that were observed in the area and that have been used by this pair in the past”
The aforementioned date of January 15th is what is known as the “Critical Period”. In the Forest Practice Act, Tim Bray of the Mendocino Audubon Society tells me, is the date forbids timber and forestry operations from cutting any Bald Eagle nest down. (CCR Section 919.3 14 CA ADC S 919.3) He goes on to clarify that even though “PG&E has obtained special authorization for this work, however, that doesn’t suspend the Federal protection under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.” That makes it illegal to cut down any bald eagle nest.
Tim Bray confirms that there are two known active nests in that area, and if there are Eagles sitting in the nest, then it is considered an active nest. Mr. Bray further says that “an active nest does not necessarily have to have eagles in it year-round. Eagles reuse the same nest year after year and they put a lot of energy and effort into building and maintaining them so it’s a major blow to the eagles if their nest is destroyed. They may or may not rebuild. In fact, they may or may not even stay in the area.”
Rather than being an imminent danger to PG&E utility operations, Arborist Alex R. Thomas says “The tree, given its location in a rather open and clear “meadow”, distance from building or public right of way, appears to be a candidate for alternative risk mitigation without the removal of the tree. This would also serve to preserve the wildlife habitat that the tree currently provides.”
According to wildlife.ca.gov Bald Eagles typically build their nest in late December and January, and lay eggs in the nest in mid-January. The hatching and rearing of the young eagles are around mid-February and the fledging (process of acquiring feathers and preparing to leave the nest) is around May. The particular tree in jeopardy has a long (25-30 year) history of housing nesting bald eagles.
According to the Department of Fish & Wildlife website Wildlife.ca.gov, Bald Eagles were once at dire risk of extinction. In the 1970s there were only 30 breeding pairs left in California. Through the dedication of advocates, restrictions on contaminants, protective laws including programs to improve reproductive success and survival, they have made a comeback. The Bald Eagle was removed from the endangered species list in 2007 but remains endangered in California.
What can the public do if they are concerned? Call the Department of Fish & Wildlife and/or Pacific Gas & Electric and ask about the tree slated to be cut which holds an active bald eagle nest, just days before early nesting season officially begins in California. Donations may be made privately to fund the independent Arborist.
California Department of Fish & Wildlife media has been contacted for a statement and has not returned a comment prior to publication of this letter
The property owners were unable to provide a statement at this time.
As the nest is visible from the road, you may enjoy seeing the tree if it’s still standing at 19261 Ridgeway Hwy in Potter Valley. For more information or to come to visit the tree and discuss helping or if want to support the tree from being cut you may email: email@example.com
Keri Ann Bourne, on my way to the site Potter Valley
Voice or text 707-397-0155 firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: The PG&E tree cutters were back Thursday morning, but went away because the property owners are not yet folding under PG&E threats to shut off power, etc. They'll be back Friday morning as will a growing crowd of eagle supporters and onlookers.
FORT BRAGG ADVOCATE reporter Megan Wutzke reported this week that the Fort Bragg City Council had hired Dave Spaur, the city’s Economic Development Director, as “Interim City Manager.”
Before coming to Fort Bragg Mr. Spaur was an Economic Development specialist in Sacramento.
LURE OF THE HAIKU
Want to write something
That’s profound pithy and true?
Here’s a way to try.
Write five syllables.
Add seven. Five more. Now stop.
You’ve reached your limit.
If it won’t write right
In seventeen syllables
Then boil it some more.
Clarity of thought
In seventeen syllables
Is worth your trouble.
— Jim Luther
LOOKING FOR GARDEN STARTS?
Geoffrey at Natural Products of Boonville asks for input from anyone who wants to get garden starts or seed potatoes from him this spring.
The plan is to only grow pre-ordered starts for people this year. This is primarily because without a local Farmer’s Market there’s no other local venue for selling ‘leftovers’. I hope not to plant more than we can consume like I’ve done in the past.
Ideally people should send me a list of not only what they may have gotten from me in the past and would like to grow again, but also cultivars they would like to be able to get this year.
I’m currently waiting for a list of available certified seed potatoes from my favorite supplier and hope to post that next week, as well as a list of vegetable seeds I currently have. I plan to order any remaining seeds by early February for planting later that month.
Please contact me via email: email@example.com or text me at 707-272-3494. Please don’t verbally tell me. I need written records for tracking all the orders.
OUR COUNTY'S SHRINKING PRINT MEDIA: Here's the “official” letter from The Willits News about how they'll be doing a Willits section in the Ukiah Daily Journal rather than print a separate Willits paper. Note the part about how they can't hire anyone. No surprise, considering the likely wage and that rentals are scarce and expensive in Willits as they are everywhere in the county.
January 5, 2021
Dear Willits News subscribers.
We wanted to let you know that starting on January 19, The Willits News will become a Wednesday/Saturday edition of The Ukiah Daily Journal. As everyone is likely aware, our local economy has been negatively impacted by the bypass and the pandemic. We have also been up against a strong and conpetient competitor. In addition, most newspapers across the county have bene experiencing a 4% annual decline in subscribers each year for some time, this has increased during COVID. These factors, along with a lack of interest by potential editorial staff to apply for our Willits opening have brought us to the point where we have to make this change. You’ll still get the regular features, community listings, and Willits based stories on Wednesday and Saturday, that you receive in The Willits News, but combined with Ukiah news.
Thank you for your support and please continue to subscribe.
Kevin McConnell, Group Publisher
The Ukiah Daily Journal and The Willits News
(Mendocino County’s local newspaper.)
SAD, historically speaking, but if Willits did not have the lively and informative Willits Weekly, the hedge fund chain that owns the TWN and UDJ would have consolidated them back in 2016, the year they did so much consolidation and sold off newspaper real estate across the country.
The late Dan McKee (former reporter for the Daily Journal and later for the Willits Weekly) always predicted, an eventual Lake Mendocino County Record Journal or some such would materialize. The UDJ, we understand, is moving / has moved to an even smaller office in Ukiah, without the big parking lot.
BAD DAY FOR POOR OLD JOE: The Supreme Court, predictably, has blocked is vaccine-or-test mandate for private companies with 100 or more employees, in a decision handed down on Thursday. The high court did however allow a vaccine mandate for employees at health care facilities receiving federal dollars to go into effect. In a 6-3 decision the court's conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the rule on large US businesses. Roughly 84 million people would have been affected. The decision to allow the mandate on healthcare workers in Medicare and Medicaid-funded settings fell 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh siding with liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer. It's the latest blow in a devastating day for Biden, who just in the last few hours failed to gin up support among Senate Democrats to scuttle the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation.
WAR CLOUDS GATHER: Russia warns it will resort to “military means” if the West does not bow to its demands over Ukraine and says US sanctions against Putin would “cross a line” — the live fire line presumably. Since putin doesn't jive around....
THE PROPOSED VOTING HOLIDAY would be a better idea if there were any guarantee that voting would increase much if people got a day off. Roughly half of eligible people vote now, which is not encouraging. Voting oughta be mandatory, I say, as an obligation of citizenship in the kind of sort of like maybe democratic country we are presumed to enjoy.
MIKE GENIELLA: “Always cool to watch quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, today locked in a post season playoff battle with the Dallas Cowboys. Rodgers is a sports-loving guy who lived in Ukiah as a kid, and remains close with grandparents Barbara and Chuck Pittman, longtime local residents. At the age of 10 Rodgers was featured on the front page of the Ukiah Daily Journal for his top performance at a local basketball free throw competition. Later he played football at UC Berkeley.”
POINT ARENA: IF YOU ENTER THIS TOWN, BEWARE (from the 1973 edition of The Tattler)
EDITOR'S NOTE: The National Tattler recently revealed the phenomena of reports of unidentified flying object sightings sweeping the southern part of the U.S. Daily, dramatic and sometimes terrifying experiences are reported in most states in the nation. This is a continuing account of exclusive information about these astonishing reports.
UFOs Stalk Our Military Installations On West Coast, Terrorize Nearby Townspeople
Members of the Air Force and Coast Guard who man the military installations at Point Arena on the California coast talk in hushed tones about eerie unidentified flying objects stalking their posts.
Sgt. Charles Hooper, a senior officer at the Air Force's Point Arena radar station, told TATTLER about a terrifying chase down Interstate 5 when a UFO made several passes over his car,
"I was headed for Los Angeles and was about halfway between San Francisco and L.A. at 1:30 in the morning," Hooper said. "My wife was asleep in the front of the camper and the kids were asleep in the back.
"I saw two big lights, about 20 to 25 feet across, a green light and a red light.
"I couldn't tell what shape it was. It made a pass at me to the front of the camper. I first thought it was an aircraft about to land.
"It came down to window level on the left side and stayed with me. Then it pulled over the top of the car and came down on the right side.
"I tried to get it to run into the side of the overpass as it chased me, but I ran off the road instead. I didn't think of anything but getting away from it."
It was not the first UFO sighting Hooper had made since he came to Point Arena. And he was far from being alone in seeing UFOs along that stretch of the road.
The UFO sightings by the military men at Point Arena came amid a growing number of similar reports across the country.
As TATTLER has reported previously, two Mississippi fishermen, obviously terrorized, reported they were taken aboard a UFO and given a physical examination by robot-like creatures. Ohio Gov. John Gilligan and a number of police officers in Alabama have made recent UFO sightings.
At little Point Arena, however, the mysterious objects have appeared again and again in recent weeks.
Two weeks before a UFO chased him down Interstate 5, Sgt. Hooper was at a mountain observation post 11 mile from Point Arena. He received a call from Seaman Brad Roddy at the Coast Guard lighthouse station north of Point Arena.
Roddy told him he had spotted a strange object in the sky. Hooper saw it, too, but he could not pick it up on his radar equipment. "Probably, it was too low," he reasoned.
Roddy, who has been in the Coast Guard more than two years and at Point Arena 17 months, described the weird object he saw on both Oct. 2 and Oct. 3.
Other Coast Guardsmen and their wives verified his reports.
"I saw a red light travelling westerly near the lighthouse, about 10 miles out," he said. "I got my binoculars and saw something with a red light and a whitish light or glow on one end.
"It flew back and forth a couple of times and then up and down several times. Later, there was a weird cloud formation around it, but it was a cloudless night. Then it disappeared."
The Point Arena lighthouse is about a half-mile north of the Coast Guard station. And the men at the station and their families have what they call a "pet" UFO that appears regularly and has been seen by everyone there at one time or another.
Chief William Acklen, a nine-year Coast Guard veteran, shrugs off the regular sightings as nothing special, but he describes with more interest an Oct. 5 experience he and his wife had.
"I was returning from Santa Rosa up Highway 1," Acklen said. "I saw a bright object but thought it was a bright star, until we changed directions in the car and it remained on the same side.
"Peculiarly, one side of the car became exceptionally bright, the side opposite the moon was on. I pulled to the side of the road and turned my lights off.
"It was about 100 feet above me on the left side of the car. It looked like a flood light with a diffused center.
"It was milky white in the middle, but bright white on the outside. There was an object above it with what looked like running lights. They were reddish, bluish and greenish."
Acklen drew a diagram of what he had seen, showing the lights to be a circle with a dark ring in the middle and white center. The object above the glowing thing was round with lights in a three-quarter circle.
"The guys at the station said they saw something similar," Acklen said. "Later I found out a Mrs. Morris who works at the post office had been driving on the coast and had seen the same thing."
The object Acklen reported has been seen several times. It always appears about 7:30 p.m.
"It has been her regularly two or three times a week for the past month or two," he told TATTLER. "All of a sudden, it appears; less than 15 minutes later, it's gone.
"It moves too fast to be a star. It will be about 80 degrees on the horizon then drop to 40 degrees in about 15 minutes.
"I always know when it is up there because the television messes up."
The Coast Guard and Air Force veterans at Point Arena are not alone in their belief that something strange is going on along the coast. Several residents from Gualala in northern Sonoma county to Fort Bragg in Mendocino County have reported UFOs.
Some have been explained but most have not.
(via Debra Silva)
MARIJUANA, STATE OF, AN ON-LINE COMMENT:
Years ago I suggested 50 plants per grow. As something we could rally behind and push, something to protect mom n pops, spread the money out instead of concentrate it. I got laughed at. I said okay-how about 100 plants? I got laughed out of the room. Everybody wanted Big Big and BIGGER. LOTS of $$$$$. It was pretty sad to see what had become of the rural dream and the back-to-the-land philosophy. It wasn’t like they were even doing great works with the $$$, just living very high lifestyles and blinging away in a pseudo-hippie fashion. Well…here we are now. I’m seeing a couple of these guys trying to sell their permitted farms (the market is glutted) and they are heading out of here. They never cared for this place it turns out. Just wanted the bling and the cash and talked like they gave a shit….posers and parasites and leeches and douchebags jumped up and down on the bed until it broke. Here’s a funny thing - Much of the massive acreage grows up in southern Oregon, the ones that are crashing the market and killing everybody? They are Humboldt kids. Born and raised here. Went up there to destroy their hometown people. But hey - they got the bling and the cash and yeah all that…This ” strong community” turned out to be so shallow and weak in the end. The greedrushers sure tore out a chunk but it turns out to be the local kids that drive the nail into the coffin. How does that feel?
Are you wondering what kind of questions people call me with? This week I did constituent support regarding cannabis, housing, a family member with substance abuse issues, illegal dumping collection, and more housing issues including trying to seek information from the Millcreek Apartments going in near the Truck Stop and questions about Live Oak.
I attended a webinar about Talent Development
In order to accelerate development that we should include the following percentages:
70% learn by doing or on the job training
20% on coaching
10% outside development and education
After the pandemic its important to remember that:
Transition has been difficult for new hires
Remote work is a challenge for human interactions
Expansion of training opportunities
Meeting people where they are with their abilities to work remotely, or in some cases not
“Stay Interviews” at each anniversary (this sounds great and something we should implement)
MTA is continuing to have ongoing staffing issues, if it continues some routes may need to be reduced. If you know anyone looking for a job please encourage them to apply! https://mendocinotransit.org
I attended a webinar offered by CALAFCO called The Property Tax Elements of Jurisdictional Changes and Fiscal Reviews. They discussed the challenges of not having updated tax rolls to collect property taxes especially when an annexation occurs and how important it is for LAFCO boards to track and follow the work of County Tax Collectors and Auditors. It was very interesting.
I had a couple of additional meetings for the CEO/CAO Ad Hoc as well as the Mental Health Data Ad Hoc and hope that those will both be coming forward as agenda items in the very near future.
I spent Tuesday morning cleaning up trash and making calls about getting the homeless trash program started. Next step is to develop a map and get it out in the community. The expense at the transfer station was actually less than what I thought it was going to be but there is still more data to collect regarding time spent and costs. More to come on this!
There are a lot of different things I do day to day. That’s one of the best parts of serving your community in this role. Please know that you should contact me if you have questions, if I don’t have the answers I can direct you or try to find them for you. Thanks for reading! Have a great day!
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Mendo’s political class is dominated by incompetent, wishy-washy liberals/Democrats with big egos and no management experience and very little political experience. They specialize in the kind of empty blather that passes for political action. Yes, they claimed that their raise was to attract “better candidates,” but nobody believed that. It was obviously a way to pay “them” and their fellow lib-labs more. Colfax basically said as much, as did Kendall Smith. To them, going to meetings, rubber-stamping expenditures, and “developing contacts” passes for “work.” Not only do you never hear from most of them again after they leave office, but they can’t cite a single decent accomplishment, or even an attempt at a decent accomplishment. They depend on their constituents to not pay attention to what they actually do or don’t do. And by and large it works.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 13, 2022
MYQ ATTANASIO, Fort Bragg. Unauthorized entry into building without owner consent, probation revocation.
JAMES BRAITHWAITE, Fort Bragg. DUI, probation revocation.
HANNA FREDRICKSON, Willits. Probation revocation.
JULIUS GRUBER, Willits. Failure to appear.
LELANY HILL, Gualala. Battery with serious injury, unauthorized entry without owner consent, failure to appear.
JENNIFER KORHUMMEL, Fort Bragg. DUI.
CLEMENCIO MARTINEZ-FLORES, Redwood Valley. DUI-alcohol&drugs, no license, forge/alter vehicle registration, probation revocation.
PATRICK REDMILL, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery, petty theft with priors, parole violation.
CHRISTOPHER SIRONI, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
HILLARY CLINTON’S 2024 ELECTION COMEBACK: Democrats discuss ways to lose to Trump again
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have become unpopular. It may be time for a change candidate.
by Douglas E. Schoen & Andrew Stein
A perfect storm in the Democratic Party is making a once unfathomable scenario plausible: a political comeback for Hillary Clinton in 2024.
Several circumstances—President Biden’s low approval rating, doubts over his capacity to run for re-election at 82, Vice President Kamala Harris’s unpopularity, and the absence of another strong Democrat to lead the ticket in 2024—have created a leadership vacuum in the party, which Mrs. Clinton viably could fill.
She is already in an advantageous position to become the 2024 Democratic nominee. She is an experienced national figure who is younger than Mr. Biden and can offer a different approach from the disorganized and unpopular one the party is currently taking.
If Democrats lose control of Congress in 2022, Mrs. Clinton can use the party’s loss as a basis to run for president again, enabling her to claim the title of “change candidate.”
Based on her latest public statements, it’s clear that Mrs. Clinton not only recognizes her position as a potential front-runner but also is setting up a process to help her decide whether or not to run for president again. She recently warned of the electoral consequences in the 2022 midterms if the Democratic Party continues to align itself with its progressive wing and urged Democrats to reject far-left positions that isolate key segments of the electorate.
In a recent MSNBC interview, Mrs. Clinton called on Democrats to engage in “careful thinking about what wins elections, and not just in deep-blue districts where a Democrat and a liberal Democrat, or socalled progressive Democrat, is going to win.” She also noted that party’s House majority “comes from people who win in much more difficult districts.”
Mrs. Clinton also took a veiled jab at the Biden administration and congressional Democrats in an effort to create distance: “It means nothing if we don’t have a Congress that will get things done, and we don’t have a White House that we can count on to be sane and sober and stable and productive.”
Even Bill Clinton recently set the stage for his wife’s potential 2024 candidacy, referring to her in an interview with People magazine as “the most qualified person to run for office in my lifetime, including me,” adding that not electing her in 2016 was “one of the most profound mistakes we ever made.”
We can infer based on these recent remarks that Mrs. Clinton would seize the opportunity to run for president again if an opening presents itself. But what are the odds that an opportunity will arise? The Democrats’ domestic agenda is in disarray given the failure of Mr. Biden’s Build Back Better plan in Congress. Senate Democrats’ latest desperate push to repeal the legislative filibuster to pass their secondary legislative priority, voting-rights reform, will likely weaken their agenda further.
Mr. Biden’s overall approval rating is low (40%), as is his rating on issues including the economy and jobs (38%) and taxes and government spending (33%), according to a recent Economist/YouGov poll. Nearly two-thirds of independent voters disapprove of the president. Barring a major course correction, we can anticipate that some Democrats will lose important House and Senate races in 2022—in part for the reasons Mrs. Clinton identified—giving Republicans control of both chambers of Congress.
Polls generally show the GOP with a solid lead of at least 2 or 3 points in the 2022 generic congressional vote—a margin that likely would be enough to take back the House, given the narrow Democratic majority and the anticipated outcomes of redistricting in several states that could affect key races.
Given the likelihood that Democrats will lose control of Congress in 2022, we can anticipate that Mrs. Clinton will begin shortly after the midterms to position herself as an experienced candidate capable of leading Democrats on a new and more successful path.
Mrs. Clinton can spend the time between now and midterms doing what the Clinton administration did after the Democrats’ blowout defeat in the 1994 midterms: crafting a moderate agenda on both domestic and foreign policy. This agenda could show that Mrs. Clinton is the only credible alternative to Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris, and the entire Democratic Party establishment.
Hillary Clinton remains ambitious, outspoken and convinced that if not for Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey’s intervention and Russian interference that she would have won the 2016 election—and she may be right.
If Democrats want a fighting chance at winning the presidency in 2024, Mrs. Clinton is likely their best option.
(Mr. Schoen is founder and partner in Schoen Cooperman Research, a polling and consulting firm whose past clients include Bill Clinton and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Stein is a former New York City Council president, Manhattan borough president and state assemblyman.)
KATHY BAILEY WRITES: This strikes me as a boatload of water, or possibly a typo?
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 23:16:19 +0000
Subject: Notice of Temporary Water Right Permit Application T033270 to Appropriate Water from Cache Creek in Yolo County
This is a message from the State Water Resources Control Board. Please be advised that Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District has filed temporary water right permit application T033270 with the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights to appropriate 72,000 acre-feet of water per year. The water would be diverted from the Cache Creek stream system in Yolo County.
The notice for the application can be viewed on the Division of Water Rights' website at:
If you have any questions regarding the application, please contact Benjamin McCovery at (279) 346-4892 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DO THE RIGHT THING
To the Editor:
On 1/11/22, the Ukiah Daily Journal published an article entitled “California: Tax hikes for universal health care?”
We had Proposition 186 for universal, single payer health care for all Californians on the ballot in 1992. It was defeated with the same misleading “facts” about increased taxes without mentioning the decreased personal expenses resulting in a net savings for all Californians. The article you published was trying to do the same.
The state analysts of 2017 are not talking about CalCare! This article wants to tarnish AB1400 with facts from 4 years ago.
The proposed funding for AB1400 will only tax businesses after their first $2M in gross receipts. Small business will not be affected. No more businesses paying health benefits or Workman’s Comp.
A tiny 1 percent tax on those who earn more than $49,900 and a small 1.25 percent payroll tax for businesses with 50 or more employees. Small business will no longer have to pay payroll taxes at all!
Personal income taxes on high earners. Those who earn less than $149,509 per year will pay nothing.
No more paying premiums, co-pays or deductibles.
No more out of network providers being denied coverage.
No more denied claims.
All basic and necessary health care services provided at point of service for free, including medical, dental, hearing, vision, long-term care, and prescription drugs. Everyone will save money on health care while insurance industry profits are curtailed.
A just transition funding job training for those who will be laid off the current private health care industry is included. Many of the same type of jobs will be available in the single-payer system.
Once California passes a universal health care law, the state will become eligible to apply for Federal waivers to fund the single-payer system with diverted Medicare, Medi-Cal and Affordable Care Act funds.
Some people exclaim that the government can’t do anything right. Considering the track record of the private health care industry, it is obvious that private insurance doesn’t do it right, and they are subject to fraud and corruption. Private business has a goal of maximizing private profits. Government has a goal of serving the public. Which would you rather have managing your healthcare, a for profit business, or an organization designed to serve the public?
Considering the current state of our healthcare system with 3.2M Californians without medical insurance, many more who have insurance but don’t use it because they can’t pay the deductibles or co-pays, an ongoing pandemic in which medical bankruptcies are through the roof while survivors watch our loved ones be buried or continue with debilitating effects of “long COVID,” it is the moral imperative to do the right thing and protect the health and safety of all Californians with universal single-payer healthcare.
Robin Sunbeam, RN, MSN, PHN, Member of National Nurses United
DEEPLY HURT by the death of her mother, thirty-five-year-old Agatha Christie was still trying to overcome her grief when her husband of twelve years suddenly announced that he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce. The twin shocks threw Agatha into a deep state of depression. Feeling that the best of life was behind her, she saw little reason to go on living. Only concern for her seven-year-old daughter saved her from suicide.
Born into an affluent English family in 1890, Agatha Miller was a precocious child who taught herself to read at age four and quickly developed what would be a lifelong devotion to books. At age 22 she met Archie Christie, a dashing young pilot. The couple fell in love and were married on Christmas Eve in 1914. They spent most of the next four years separated by World War I, settling afterwards in London. Their only child, Rosalind, was born in 1919. By the time her marriage to Archie fell apart, Agatha had published five well-received detective novels, but she could hardly have expected the success that awaited her.
In time Agatha began to recover from the pain of her failed marriage. She resumed writing and, to boost her spirits, took a trip on the Orient Express. Then, in 1930 a friend invited her to come along on a trip to an archeological dig in Iraq. There she met Max Mallowan, a prominent archeologist thirteen years her junior. They fell in love and were married later that year, a happy marriage that would last until Agatha’s death 46 years later.
At the end of 1926, Agatha Christie may have thought that her life was no longer worth living, but she was entirely wrong about that. In the years that followed she not only found the love of her life, but she also enjoyed her greatest success, becoming the best-loved author on earth, with over 70 best-selling novels as well as the longest-running play in history. Her husband Max was knighted in 1968 and three years later Agatha was made a Dame of the British Empire.
Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller Christie Mallowan died at age 85 on January 12, 1976, forty-six years ago today. With over two billion copies sold, she is the best-selling novelist in history.
“GENERAL LEE, after all was completed and before taking his leave, remarked that his army was in a very bad condition for want of food, and that they were without forage; that his men had been living for some days on parched corn exclusively, and that he would have to ask me for rations and forage. I told him "certainly," and asked for how many men he wanted rations. His answer was "about twenty-five thousand;" and I authorized him to send his own commissary and quartermaster to Appomattox Station, two or three miles away, where he could have, out of the trains we had stopped, all the provisions wanted. As for forage, we had ourselves depended almost entirely upon the country for that.”
From the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant describing discussions with General Robert E. Lee following his surrender
"WHADAYA MEAN 'BLISS NINNY?'"
Whadaya mean "Bliss Ninny?” Why aren’t YOU raising hell about the politicians who are bringing about the collapse of the Thwaites Doomsday Glacier?
ANIMAL CONTROL, AN EXCHANGE
On 1/13/2022 10:53 AM, Toni Rizzo wrote: “This has been a recurring problem for me too. Calling Animal Control is pointless, they do nothing.”
* * *
Marco McClean: An old accordionist once told me about a friend of his living in Texas next to a fizzing and sparking street light that was messing up his AM radio reception. He called the city, complained about it, and was told that if the light is lighting the street, which it was, if fizzingly, then it's not broken and there's nothing they can do. He said okay, he shot the light out that night, told them the next day, Okay, it's broken, and they came and fixed it that afternoon and he could enjoy radio again from Mexico and Chicago and so on.
I'm reminded of that because of a discussion a few years ago at Hank Sims' LostCoastOutpost.com between people on the side of livestock and people on the side of uncontrolled pet dogs in rural areas. A dog killed a man's chicken. He told the dog-owner neighbor, if it happened again he'd shoot the dog. The dog came back, got in the pen, he shot it, the neighbor called the police (!), the police came, laughed, recited the law and left. So I'm thinking, as long as you're careful to only shoot the dog and not anybody or anything behind it, here's a plan: You warn the neighbor that you have livestock. Get a chicken, lightly pen it in the yard, sit on the porch, wait five minutes for the dog to come rushing in. (To be funny and a little less deadly you might use a paintball gun or a single-cock beebee gun instead of a real gun.)
My best, favorite beebee gun ever was really close to the same model Ralphie got in Jean Shepherd's /A Christmas Story/. It was accurate to about twenty feet away (you could hit a dinner dish face-on from sixty feet if there was no wind) and safe enough for all the neighborhood kids to run around in the woods shooting at each other with them, and slingshots too, even the wrist-rocket kind that could put a marble through a cardboard box. Nobody ever shot their, or anybody else's, eye out, thank Christ.
That was such a great toy. I could pour half a carton of beebees into it and not have to reload for weeks, though they rattled around inside it like a rainstick and made it hard to sneak up on the enemy. You had to develop some space ranger skills.
They still sell them. They're cheap. I think the price of copper beebees has gone up, though, in a world where a dozen tweakers per day just in the South electrocute themselves to death stealing copper wire out of electric sheds and holes in the ground, reaching in and cutting it and tugging on it. Back in the KMFB days, they stole whole generators from the transmitter shack. One time, in a blasting storm, they broke the door off to get in, cut the heavy chain holding the generator down to the floor, and then left their bolt cutter behind, looting the old broadcast rooms and closets. This was in the mid-oh-ohs, after the office and studio were moved to the Boatyard. Things shut off. Jerry and I drove out there, registered the damage, called the cops. An officer came, looked around, said, "Yup. Well..." and left.
OATH KEEPERS LEADER CHARGED WITH SEDITIOUS CONSPIRACY IN JAN. 6 INVESTIGATION
by Alan Feuer &Adam Goldman
The F.B.I. arrested Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia, in a major step forward in the investigation into the attack on the Capitol by supporters of Donald J. Trump.
Stewart Rhodes, the leader and founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was arrested on Thursday and charged along with 10 others with seditious conspiracy over what prosecutors said was their wide-ranging plot to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year and disrupt the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory.
The arrest of Mr. Rhodes, 56, was a major development in the sprawling investigation of the Capitol attack. He and the other Oath Keepers are the first to be charged with sedition among the more than 700 people accused so far of taking part in the assault.
Mr. Rhodes was arrested shortly before 1 p.m. at his home in Granbury, Texas, his lawyer, Jonathon Moseley, said.
The Justice Department has brought a variety of charges in connection with the Capitol attack; it has prosecuted about 275 people for obstructing Congress’s duty to certify the 2020 presidential vote count, for example. But it had not previously brought a sedition charge, with the legal weight and political overtones it carries about an election in a highly polarized country.
The charge of seditious conspiracy, which can be difficult to prove, requires prosecutors to show that at least two people agreed to use force to overthrow government authority or delay the execution of a U.S. law. It carries a maximum of sentence of 20 years in prison.
The last time federal prosecutors brought a sedition case was in 2010, when they accused members of a Michigan militia of plotting to provoke an armed conflict with the government. They were ultimately acquitted.
Prosecutors said that beginning only days after the 2020 election, Mr. Rhodes oversaw a seditious plot “to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force.” Some members of the Oath Keepers under his command broke into the Capitol in a military-style formation on Jan. 6 and went in search of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the indictment said. Others, it said, were stationed in a hotel in Alexandria, Va., as an armed “quick reaction force,” ready to rush into Washington if needed.
In addition to Mr. Rhodes, prosectors charged Edward Vallejo, 63, of Phoenix, for the first time in connection with Jan. 6. The nine other militia members named in the indictment had all previously been charged, although not with sedition. Mr. Vallejo was part of the quick reaction force teams that the militia had deployed, which were equipped with firearms and other tactical equipment in case Mr. Rhodes called upon them to support the plot, prosecutors said. The teams included Oath Keepers from North Carolina, Florida and Arizona.
Mr. Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper who went on to earn a law degree at Yale, had been under investigation for his role in the riot since at least last spring when, against the advice of his lawyer, he sat down with F.B.I. agents for an interview in Texas. He was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, communicating by cellphone and a chat app with members of his team, many of whom went into the building. But there is no evidence that he entered the Capitol.
Over 48 pages, the new indictment painted a detailed picture of Mr. Rhodes’s activities starting only days after the 2020 election. Just two days after Election Day, Mr. Rhodes told several members of his group to refuse to accept Mr. Biden’s victory, the indictment said.
“We aren’t getting through this without a civil war,” he wrote on the encrypted chat app Signal. “Too late for that. Prepare your mind, body, spirit.”
One month later, after plotting with underlings in several states, the indictment said, Mr. Rhodes told members of his group on another encrypted Signal channel that they should use violence to stop Mr. Biden from taking office. “It will be a bloody and desperate fight,” he wrote. “We are going to have a fight. That can’t be avoided.”
Through their lawyers, members of the Oath Keepers who are already facing charges have said they converged on Washington just before Jan. 6 not to attack the Capitol, but instead as part of a security detail hired to protect conservative celebrities like Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime ally of former President Donald J. Trump.
In an interview with The New York Times last summer, Mr. Rhodes expressed frustration that several members of his group had “gone off mission” by entering the Capitol on Jan. 6, quickly adding, “There were zero instructions from me or leadership to do so.”
But at least four Oath Keepers who were at the Capitol that day and are cooperating with the government have sworn in court papers that the group intended to breach the building with the goal of obstructing the final certification of the Electoral College vote.
Mr. Rhodes has also attracted the attention of the House select committee investigating Jan. 6, which issued him a subpoena in November. In a letter at the time, House investigators noted that Mr. Rhodes had taken part in several events intended to question the integrity of the 2020 presidential election throughout that fall and winter.
On Election Day, the letter said, Mr. Rhodes said that an “honest” count of the votes could only result in a victory for Mr. Trump and called on members of his group to “stock up on ammo” and prepare for a “full-on war in the streets.”
With his distinctive black eye patch — the result of a gun accident — Mr. Rhodes has been a fixture on the far right almost from the day in 2009 that he announced the creation of the Oath Keepers at a rally in Lexington, Mass., the site of a famous Revolutionary War battle.
At the event, Mr. Rhodes laid out an antigovernment platform for the current and former law enforcement and military personnel who joined his group, saying that his plan was for members to disobey certain illegal orders from officials and instead to uphold their oath to the Constitution.
During the Obama administration, the Oath Keepers repeatedly inserted themselves into prominent public conflicts, often playing the role of heavily armed vigilantes. In 2014, for instance, they turned up at a cattle ranch in Nevada after its owner, Cliven Bundy, engaged in an armed standoff with federal land management officials. That same year, members of the group went to Ferguson, Mo., on a self-appointed mission to protect local businesses from riots prompted by the death of Michael Brown, a Black man who was shot by the police.
After Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Rhodes and the Oath Keepers pivoted away from their antigovernment views and appeared to embrace the new spirit of nationalism and suspicions of a deep-state conspiracy that had taken root among some of the president’s supporters. Like other far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers also opposed — often physically — the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted in 2020 in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis.
According to the indictment, Mr. Rhodes became more serious about stopping Mr. Biden from assuming office in early January, the same month he began spending thousands of dollars on military-grade firearms, ammunition and other tactical gear. Prosecutors have not accused him of bringing any weapons to Washington on Jan. 6, but they said that Mr. Vallejo and other members of the armed reaction force outside the city discussed the possibility of “armed conflict” and “guerrilla war.”
Mr. Rhodes seemed to relish the chaos at the Capitol on Jan. 6, prosecutors said. The indictment noted that shortly after 3 p.m. that day, a member of his Signal group chat sent him a message saying that members of Congress had been “given gas masks and are trying to get out.” Mr. Rhodes was said to have responded with a dismissive obscenity.
That evening, prosecutors said, Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Vallejo and other Oath Keepers met at an Olive Garden restaurant in Vienna, Va., to “celebrate their attack on the Capitol and discuss next steps.”
“Thousands of ticked off patriots spontaneously marched on the Capitol,” Mr. Rhodes wrote that night on his Signal group chat. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
(New York Times)
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THE FAMILY BIDEN
by Christian Lorentzen
So far Joe Biden has fulfilled the promise of his campaign. His administration has been mostly dull, and nothing has radically changed. Towards the end of the summer, after the US evacuation from Kabul, his approval rating dipped below 50 per cent and over the autumn it sank into the low 40s. In the media he’s widely seen as a lame duck, as columnists speculate about whether he will run for a second term in 2024, at the age of 81, or be replaced by a pundit’s dream ticket of Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg. The spectre of Trump remains, at least in the obsessive minds of those who believe the vandalism done to the Capitol on January 6 was a catastrophe on a par with 9/11. Asked about reports that Trump knowingly exposed him to Covid-19 during a debate, Biden said: “I don’t think about the former president. Thank you.”
A healthy attitude, no doubt, though not widespread among the press. It’s fitting that the most disgusting revelations in Ben Schreckinger’s The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power (Little, Brown) are to do with Trump and his coterie of goons rather than the Bidens themselves. The contrast is between shameless fraud and sadism on the one hand, and shamefaced venality and bumbling on the other. When the contents of a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden found their way into the hands of the New York Post, Schreckinger reports that Steve Bannon wanted the tabloid to publish “racy” images of Hunter with Hallie, his brother’s widow, in order to “break” his father psychologically. Bill Stevenson, Jill Biden’s first husband, tells Schreckinger that unnamed supporters of Trump offered to pay him to write in a memoir that Joe and Jill began having an affair while Joe’s first wife, Neilia, was still alive, “and that the affair drove Neilia to her death.”
Stevenson declined the offer, but he isn’t exactly sunny on the subject of the Biden family. He was a supporter of Joe’s 1972 Senate campaign and claims that he and Jill had met Joe and Neilia while volunteering for them. He believes that Joe was behind the wheel of Jill’s Corvette in September 1974 when it dented another man’s Buick Electra. These tales don’t square with the Bidens’ official account of their courtship, which they say began in the spring of 1975 with dinner and a movie. The contradictions are hardly scandalous, but they aren’t the end of Stevenson’s rivalry with the Biden family, and especially with Joe’s younger brother Jim.
Jim Biden has had a career that reads like the Stations of the Cross for an American baby boomer: rock ’n’ roll, real estate, financial services and insurance for unions, a hedge fund, global “deal making,” and at last the healthcare sector. In the 1970s he and a partner opened a rock club in Wilmington called the Other Side, putting them in direct competition with their friend Stevenson, owner of the Stone Balloon. They vied for the going talent and Stevenson took to booking Blood, Sweat & Tears and the Pointer Sisters, signing acts to geographically restrictive contracts to keep his edge. The owners of both clubs were soon in over their heads. Jim took out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans from banks and businessmen, which ended with his Mercedes being repossessed and his club going bankrupt. He headed out to San Francisco, where he began working for the billionaire developer Walt Shorenstein.
“Jim’s job,” a former business partner tells Schreckinger, “is to ensure the lifestyle is good for the family.” In Schreckinger’s account, it’s a job that has involved a series of business ventures and real-estate deals with donors to his brother’s campaigns and lobbyists seeking his ear. There are friendly loans and scrapes with the IRS. He went from accepting checks for his brother from union leaders in the 1970s to pitching union officials on pension services and insurance schemes 30 years later. (A hazy episode from the 1972 campaign involves Frank Sheeran, the hitman portrayed by Robert De Niro in The Irishman, allegedly organizing a truck drivers’ strike on behalf of the Bidens, preventing the delivery of a newspaper carrying ads for Joe’s opponent.) Schreckinger conveys an impression of Jim as a man who never developed much expertise in anything except attaching himself to people with money while never letting them forget who his brother was. One union official tells Schreckinger of a pitch on a pension plan from Jim:
“After explaining to me 23 times who his brother was and what a great relationship he has with him,” the official recalled, Jim got around to explaining his pension services. The official ceded the floor to his lieutenant, in order to let him vet the proposal. “He started asking questions and took [Jim] apart,” the official recalled. “Apparently it was a bullshit thing.”
There are a lot of apparently bullshit things in The Bidens, but it’s hard to see them as actually criminal or even especially outrageous once you accept that a politician’s family will trade on his name to whatever extent they can get away with legally. Schreckinger’s conclusions are usually mild: “The Bidens regularly intermingled personal, political and financial relationships in ways that invited questions about whether the public interest was getting short-changed.” What Schreckinger uncovers seems little more than a string of foul-smelling puddles next to the utter cesspit of the predatory Trump clan.
The most depressing episodes concern Jim’s murky involvement in the healthcare sector during the lucrative aftermath of Obamacare. He got involved in Americore Health, which sought to make rural hospitals “more profitable by capitalizing on the underlying value of the real estate on which they sat. Because Medicare allows rural providers to bill more for lab tests, Americore also sought to increase the number of lab tests it performed at its hospitals.” Grim. Schreckinger tells the story of one hospital in western Pennsylvania that went bankrupt after Americore bought it, leaving the area without any hospital at all. Jim broke with the company just before his brother launched his presidential campaign.
There are comic notes in Schreckinger’s book, or notes that I found comical anyway. Frank Biden, the youngest brother, figures as a somewhat mysterious scamp, haunted by a car accident in which a pedestrian was killed. (Frank had rented the car but was sitting in the passenger seat at the time.) He was found liable in a wrongful death suit and made subject to liens on his assets whenever he had any. His business activities have included for-profit charter schools in Florida, resorts in Central America and a solar power outfit in Jamaica. “I’ve never made a dime from any association with my brother Joey, and it’s just wrong to imply otherwise,” he tells Schreckinger. Presumably this includes the job he got in 1973, aged twenty, as an elevator operator in the Senate.
A member of the younger generation of Bidens who comes in for Schreckinger’s scrutiny is Joe’s niece Missy Owens, daughter of his sister, Val. During the Obama administration she became an executive at Coca-Cola, which put her on the wrong side of Michelle Obama’s health initiatives and the “war on soda” waged by Michael Bloomberg with the first lady’s support. According to Schreckinger, Owens arranged for Jill Biden to pay a visit to a Coke job-training program in Brazil, joined Joe and John Kerry for the unveiling of the Coke-sponsored 2014 World Cup trophy, and tagged along with Jill as part of a government delegation to Cuba, which happens to be one of only two countries in the world where Coke can’t be bought or sold (the other is North Korea). Bloomberg’s attempt to ban big sugary drinks failed, and Michelle Obama’s rhetoric on soda softened into bromides about drinking more water.
When it comes to unhealthy lifestyles among the president’s family, Hunter Biden is where the action is. Schreckinger’s scoops about Hunter, news he broke in his day job as a reporter for Politico, elicit the usual mix of pity and a wish to look away. Most sensational is the story of Hallie Biden throwing a handgun of Hunter’s into a trash can outside a grocery store; it was later recovered by a homeless man. That Hunter might have lied about not using drugs on his application for a gun license (a felony, “though the law is almost never enforced”) comes to seem beside the point when you read: “After he was called to the scene by police, Hunter said he used the gun for target practice and that he believed Hallie disposed of it because she feared he would kill himself.” The tragic strain in the Biden story comes back into focus, and the shady overseas payments, the nefarious laptop, the sex tapes and crack pipes all pale alongside the memory of Hunter’s dead mother and siblings.
Whether Joe Biden’s presidency will come to be seen as a period of national healing is an open question. The exit from Afghanistan may have been humiliating, but something of the sort was inevitable in a war that had long become futile. Although Biden’s Build Back Better social and infrastructure bill has been trimmed from $3.5 trillion to $2.2 trillion, it represents a larger expansion of government than any of Biden’s recent predecessors have accomplished. No doubt it is disappointing to a left that demanded radical action on climate change and the cancellation of student debt. The gubernatorial and local elections in November went badly for the Democrats, especially the race for governor of Virginia, in which the longtime Clinton hack Terry McAuliffe was defeated by the GOP neophyte Glenn Youngkin in a campaign dominated by culture wars.
But a figure like Youngkin isn’t exactly anathema to the Bidens: until 2020 he was co-CEO of the private equity firm Carlyle, which has shown great interest in Build Back Better. Biden and his family spent Thanksgiving at the Nantucket home of Carlyle’s co-founder, the billionaire David Rubenstein. When the US government spends trillions of dollars, somebody somewhere is in for a bonanza.
THERE ARE STILL FURTHER TALKS PLANNED, with the Russia-NATO council and the OSCE. Never say never and maybe a last minute breakthrough is possible, but I personally don’t see how that could happen, not when one of the two parties is absolutely, maniacally, determined to treat the other as some kind of semi-savage inferior race with whom no civilized western leaders will ever negotiate. The western diplomatic tool kit has shrunk to basically the following: Exceptionalism, messianism, racism and self-worship. Threats and imposition of sanctions for “bad behavior” like a teacher would punish a grade-school kid for being rowdy and not listening to the teacher. A total belief in both the West's invincibility and invulnerability no matter what the “real reality” actually is. A categorical refusal to admit, even by implication, that the world has profoundly changed and that the Anglosphere does not “rule the waves” anymore.