Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022

Ridgetop Winds | SoCo Fires | 165 New Cases | Jail Outbreak | Woodworking Show | Release Update | Unalaska Quake | Streaker Andrade | PHF Costs | Young Driver | Lauren's Back | BOLO | Serial Rumor | Free Stuff | Ed Notes | R2-D2 Beware | Maskless Shoppers | Liberty/Death | Yesterday's Catch | Sod House | Sober Coordinator | Poker Fence | Pistol Nut | Fascist Ideology | Hiring Drivers | Hell Bat | Noyo Flats | PA Agenda | Shame | Klare Interview | Damned Choice | LakeCo Weed | Punctuated | WWIII | Sabotage Manual | Facebooked | Entertainment | Marco Radio | Patton Blues | Federal Drilling | Mendo Hall | Ukraine Obsession | Moneypus

* * *

GUSTY RIDGETOP WINDS will persist across northwest California today, and then weaken on Sunday. Mild temperatures are also expected across the region through the weekend, which will be followed by slightly cooler conditions during early to middle portions of next week. Otherwise, near-zero rain chances through the first half of the week will transition to a slight chance of showers next Friday and Saturday. (NWS)

* * *

FIRES IN SONOMA COUNTY – Geyser Peak And Chalk Hill Road

A fire started at Geyser Peak early Saturday morning, and grew to about 5 acres before fire crews were able to get it contained. Reports say that the fire, pushed by strong winds, was initially started at about 1:40am pushed by strong winds, and wind gusts up to 90 miles per hour. An additional smaller fire was reported in the 15000 block of Chalk Hill Road at about 7am, but that fire has also been contained. There were no evacuations for either fire....

* * *

165 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

* * *


The Mendocino County Jail has had an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst the inmate population and staff. The Sheriff’s Office has continued to utilize personal protective equipment for jail staff as well as abided by all mandates and direction from the CDC, Cal OSHA and the Public Health Doctor. Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the jail. Some of the difficulties in preventing the spread are the open-air design of the aging jail facility, the constant turnover of inmates in custody and the rise in COVID-positive arrestees being brought into the facility.

In the last two weeks, the jail has seen 62 cases of COVID-19 among the inmates. Several inmates have recovered in custody while some others have been released by the courts and returned home to finish their isolation period. The current number of cases in the jail is 45.

As part of the safety procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the jail, all incoming arrestees are tested upon entry into the facility. Once booked into custody, arrestees are quarantined for 10-days. The entire jail population is tested twice weekly. Staff members are likewise tested twice a week at the beginning and end of their workweek.

Inmates in affected areas are being quarantined in order to prevent further spread. Some early releases of sentenced inmates who are approaching their release date have been done in order to decrease the jail population. The jail is also continuing to cite out lower-risk offenders to control the population.

Jail staff has also been affected by the recent surge of COVID-19. Since December 2021, 29 jail employees including correctional staff, support staff, nurses and administrative staff have tested positive.

To date, inmates and staff have reported only minor symptoms as a result of their COVID-19 exposure.

* * *


January 22-30: Midwinter Show with The Krenov School of Fine Woodworking. 8 visitors at a time. Reserve a time: (707) 964-7056. 369 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg.

* * *

FISH WATER RELEASES from Lake Mendocino, an Update:

Further investigation of the dramatic high-volume Coyote Valley water release increase over the last few days shows that the outflow is up again today, now listed as 130 cfs (cubic feet per second). 

Downstream, after another large boost from Ukiah’s wastewater treatment plant the flow rate goes up over 250 cfs, then after passing through a bunch of vineyards along the Russian River, the flow drops down to about 140cfs at Healdsburg. After wending its way through even denser vineyard after vineyard after vineyard south of Healdsburg, by the time it reaches Santa Rosa the Russian River flow is down to less than 20cfs.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *

6.2 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE last night at 9:17pm (Pacific) off the coast of Unalaska, Alaska (along the Aleutian island chain).

* * *


Yuri Andrade

On the afternoon of Tuesday, January 18, 2022, law enforcement descended on a rural Gualala home after reports emerged of multiple armed men making entrance into the home on the 45000 block of Seaside School Road. The victim reported seeing an AR-15 rifle and reported a man named “Yuri” was trying to kill him. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office later identified a man named Yuri Andrade as a person of interest in the circumstance.

Andrade is no anonymous member of a rip-off crew. In a hail mary of a crime story, Andrade made national headlines a little less than a year ago when he wore a one-piece pink leotard and streaked last year’s Super Bowl between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

* * *

THE LONG-AWAITED STUDY of a possible Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) at the site of the crumbling, long abandoned former Nursing Home on Whitmore Lane south of Ukiah that CEO Angelo bought for a few covid lockdowns is on next Tuesday’s Supervisors agenda. The same very expensive Sacramento architect who got the County to spend $5 million for a conventional four-bedroom $1 million house (Crisis Residential Treatment) building — Nacht & Lewis — says that, with contingencies and cost escalators out to 2024, a new PHF at that location will cost almost $20 million for a 16-bed facility, including $3.6 million in “soft costs” such as design, permits, admin, inspections, utility hookups, and “design/construction support fees.”

(Aside: And if you wonder why it takes so much time and costs so much money to get a permit through Mendocino County you need only to look at those enormous “soft costs” that in this case are estimated to be about half of the estimated basic construction outlay.)

NORMALLY, one could expect a Supervisor to ask about the cost of comparable facilities elsewhere in NorCal before accepting a huge expenditure like this one. Back in 2018 highly respected consultant Lee Kemper warned:

“Construction Cost Estimates for Psychiatric Health Facility — Kemper Consulting Group has been able to verify that the cost estimate of $5 million to $6 million for construction of a Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF), not including land [same as at Whitmore Lane which the County already owns], was not based on a prevailing wage requirement. It was based on construction costs for a private business. Based upon our subsequent research, we project the impact of a prevailing wage requirement on PHF construction costs would be an increase of 30%* above the top range of $6 million. This would increase the estimated cost to $7.8 million (not including land). Our original top-end estimate was $7.5 million. …”

So assuming that inflation, you’d still never get near $20 million. 


However, Nacht & Lewis says: “The option to remodel the existing facility results in a less efficient and functional layout than new construction. … New construction is more cost-effective. The stakeholders [sic — unidentified/suspicious] found that a new building will provide the optimal layout for safety and security, cost-effective operations, and long-term value from a maintainability and sustainability perspective. In addition, cost estimates indicate that the cost to rehabilitate and remodel the facility will be substantial, at $19.1 million, compared to $19.5 million to demolish the existing building and construct a new facility.” 

However, Nacht & Lewis adds, “This estimate does not include demolition of the building located at Whitmore. The site is currently undetermined.” (Huh?)

Call us cynical, but since there’s probably around $20 million left in the Measure B construction fund, we find it highly suspicious that the cost estimate, including  that $20 mil number — not including the “undetermined” demolition cost seems adjusted to spend exactly that amount.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *

Caspar, 1926

* * *


* * *


My friend caught this man breaking into her neighbor’s house, he dashed into the woods with his backpack. 

House Robber

The next night her truck went missing. If you see this man or my friend’s truck please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff. Apparently this guy frequents coastal homes. Lock your doors and keep an eye out! 

(via Kathy Wylie)

* * *

DESPITE LAW ENFORCEMENT’S EMPHATIC DENIALS, Social Media Insists Four Women Are Victims of a North Coast Serial Killer

North Coast Community Facebook pages have continued to circulate an unsubstantiated rumor that a serial killer is preying upon women in Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa Counties. This assumed serial killer’s victims were originally two Mendocino County women but has grown to include one from Sonoma County, and another from Napa County.

* * *

FREE GAMES & BOOKS we no longer need. Under the Fisch Bros Drilling sign on Hwy 128 off Monte Bloyd Road in Philo.

* * *


A UKIAH HIGH MOM stopped me the other day to complain that Ukiah Unified has just invested a huge amount of money for "an all-weather" soccer field. The school vaguely claims the $7.9 million expenditure will also benefit "other sports and outdoor activities," and is only one "of many Measure A projects to benefit Ukiah schools." Of course we live in the county whose junior college erected a gym and an NFL-quality weight room before it built a library. Book larn'n has seldom been a Mendo school priority. 

WHEN NEWSMAX's White House reporter James Rosen asked Biden at Wednesdays shambolic press conference if he was up to the big job: “I'd like to raise a delicate subject but with utmost respect for your life accomplishments and the high office you hold, a poll released, this morning, by Politico/Morning Consult found 49% of registered voters disagreeing with the statement — ‘Joe Biden is mentally fit.’ Not even a majority of Democrats who responded strongly affirmed that statement.”

Biden laughed and said, “Well, I'll let you all make the judgment whether they're correct.”

ROSEN FOLLOWED UP: “Why do you suppose such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness?”

Biden replied, "I have no idea."

EVEN ASSESSING a 79-year-old man who was always verbally incontinent, Biden's press conference established beyond all doubt that he's out of it, an opinion now shared by nearly half of Americans. 

POOR OLD JOE also said Wednesday that he has “outperformed” expectations, which is true, considering only party hacks had any expectation that he would be anything but a man bought years ago by the extortionate credit card companies based in Delaware.

BIDEN said he'd have done a lot better if it weren't for the Republicans. “I did not anticipate that there would be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn't get anything done. Think about this. What are Republicans for? What are they for? Name me one thing they're for. I haven't been able to do so far is get my Republican friends to get in the game and making things better in this country.” Biden later said a few Republican senators have told him privately that they're on his side but are too afraid of the Trumpers to do the right thing.

MEAT LOAF is dead at age 74 from covid. A fat guy otherwise in passable health despite that obvious co-morbidity, Loaf was an anti-vaxxer. In an eerie interview five months ago, the singer had said he was “scared to death” of COVID but wouldn't be controlled by mask mandates. It remains unclear whether or not he was vaccinated — he refused to disclose it to fans, and urged them all not to “talk politics” when coming to his shows. In an interview last August, Meat said he was against politicians trying to force restrictions on people. The singer asked the journalist from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette whether or not they'd like a hug. "I'm happy to give you a hug. I hug people in the middle of COVID,” he said. 

* * *


* * *


Here is a notice from these “patriots” regarding their anti-mask crusade:

As you are aware (despite the covid narrative continuing to crumble) there are still many stores in our county who are refusing service to the “maskless.” It has been recently reported that the Safeway in Willits had begun enforcing a forced masking policy, and has even gone as far as refusing to checkout the “maskless” despite valid exemptions, and conscious choice.

A few of us made calls to their corporate headquarters with our experience, and were later contacted by the store manager. At least for now, the Safeway in Willits will continue to serve the “maskless” without discrimination.

Since this tactic has proven effective, we would like to amplify our voice at other stores. If you have experienced this sort of discrimination, please share your experience with the Mendocino Patriots, so we can discuss a phone outreach plan for that store. In doing this, we may be able to clean up more of these anti-freedom driven establishments.

Mendocino Patriots

(via Chuck Dunbar)

MIKE GENIELLA: So the 'Mendocino Patriots' are continuing their foot-stomping over local mask requirements. They sent out a call for a rally later today in front of the Mendocino County Courthouse in downtown Ukiah. The notice declares 'victory' over Safeway in Willits. I am a Safeway customer in Ukiah. If the company backs off its mask policies in face of our local omicron virus surge, it is spineless. I will not spend another dime there. What intimidating BS on the part of so-called patriots. Shame on you.


To the Editor:

Here are some questions for Mendocino Patriots who are protesting by entering stores without masks. Is your purpose helpful in promoting peace?

Is there a better alternative to achieve your goal (such as writing to the newspaper, meeting with those with whom you disagree, question your motives)?

Will your actions put people in danger, especially those with compromised immune systems? Will your actions draw people to the truth or polarize us?

Here is a quote that might give you clarity. “… Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

None of us likes to wear masks, but we do so out of consideration for others and because we are humble enough to bow to the medical experts who know far more than the rest of us.

Janet Freeman


* * *

“IF I DIE, I die, but I’m not going to be controlled.”
— Meat Loaf (1947–2022)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 21, 2022

Arnold, Attanasio, Ayala, Cook

SHANNON ARNOLD, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MYQ ATTANASIO, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JONATHAN AYALA-CORONA, Ukiah. Concealed weapon in vehicle, loaded handgun not registered owner, stolen property.

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Delapena, Hughes, Jones, Long

LEONA DELAPENA, Ukiah. Vandalism, probation revocation.

WHITNEY HUGHES, Controlled substance, paraphernalia, camping in Ukiah, shopping cart.

LAMONT JONES JR., Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

LEE LONG, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, county parole violation.

Martinez, Shipman, Velasco

RENEE MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

SUSAN SHIPMAN, Springfield, Oregon/Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen property, ammo possession by prohibited person, failure to appear.

JAIME VELASCO-RAMIREZ, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI. 

* * *

Old Anderson Valley House

* * *

KEY FOR 49ERS may be brilliant, witty mind of run-game guru Mike McDaniel

by Eric Branch

Before Mike McDaniel fielded the opening question at the first in-person news conference of his career in late July, the featherweight-sized rookie offensive coordinator delivered an opening statement, of sorts.

“I’m just excited to be here,” McDaniel said, scanning his audience. “Equally excited for you to truly take in how physically imposing I am.”

Witty. Self-deprecating. Sarcastic. And unexpected coming from a high-ranking NFL coach.

McDaniel, 38, obviously didn’t get the memo that he’s supposed to be imperious and guarded at a podium and he’s remained loyal to offbeat and goofy, qualities that come naturally.

His response in October when it was unclear if quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could play in an upcoming game with a calf injury?

“Mike McDaniel is just prepared for everything,” he said, “so much so that he’s speaking in the third person.”

His opener after special-teams coordinator Richard Hightower had spent several minutes the previous day explaining in intricate detail the impressive 2020 workout of long snapper Taybor Pepper?

“I wanted to get out in front of this one,” McDaniel said. “First and foremost, I’d like to say that any questions concerning Taybor Pepper, I defer to Richard Hightower.”

Head coach Kyle Shanahan smiled this week when asked about McDaniel’s material: “That’s Mike,” he said, “he’s an acquired taste.”

Mike McDaniel

It’s not only humor that distinguishes him. McDaniel has a history degree from Yale. And he has a rail-thin physique — and a thick-glasses, scraggly-beard hipster vibe — that’s uncommon in his thick-necked fraternity.

And there’s another aspect that makes McDaniel unique. It explains why the Dolphins’ interviewed him Wednesday for their head-coach opening even though he’s a sub-40 first-year coordinator who doesn’t call plays. And it explains why Shanahan, viewed as one of the NFL’s sharpest offensive minds, made sure McDaniel was also with him in Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta (McDaniel: “We had a tendency as a coaching staff to get fired every place we were at.”)

And it’s particularly relevant with the underdog 49ers poised to visit the top-seeded Packers in a divisional playoff game on Saturday night: McDaniel, the Ivy League grad who eschewed investment banking because he found his lone passion was pigskin, is regarded as a running-game savant.

Shanahan handles the play-calling, but it’s McDaniel who is most responsible for the ever-evolving, innovative and multi-dimensional ground game. It’s a system that’s helped make a star this season out of sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell and has incorporated the unique skill set of Deebo Samuel, who set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a wide receiver (8).

The 49ers will arrive Saturday with quarterback Garoppolo, who has a sprained right shoulder, fractured right thumb and a rookie backup, Trey Lance, who has made two career starts.

The situation screams for the 49ers to run. And the Packers’ 12th-ranked run defense will likely be prepared for a ground-heavy game plan. Still, can they stop a seventh-ranked attack that features shifts, motion, jet sweeps, reverses, inside- and outside-zone runs and angry blocking from everyone from the right tackle to the receivers?

Tight end George Kittle said the 49ers’ multiplicity makes it hard for defenses to stop what they know is coming.

“It doesn’t really matter what look we get,” Kittle said. “We’ve run against six (defensive linemen). We’ve run against four D-linemen on the ball. We’ve run against eight (defenders) in the box. We have plays that can attack any look.”

Many of those have McDaniel’s stamp on them. He was the 49ers’ run-game coordinator for the previous four seasons, and the 49ers rank 11th in the NFL in rushing yards since he arrived with Shanahan in 2017. They’ve done so without marquee names: They’ve been led in rushing by a different running back each season and the last four have included three undrafted players — Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson — and Mitchell, who set a franchise record for rushing yards by a rookie.

“I don’t want to say (he’s) the mastermind behind everything, but he’s kind of that guy in the background that doesn’t say a whole ton to a lot of people, but his mind is always moving,” Garoppolo said. “The ideas that he comes up with are so fresh and new. … I mean he’s a lot smarter than most of us. So he dumbs it down for us and kind of gets us all on the same page.”

McDaniel doesn’t flaunt his education. He smiled when it was noted Samuel had just two carries in a Week 3 loss to the Packers, before he became a backfield regular.

“We don’t seem that smart now, do we?” he said.

He comes across as authentic. Humble. Normal. His lack of public swagger could be because he’s known struggle.

In February 2017, when McDaniel was with the Falcons, he revealed to USA Today that he’d been diagnosed the previous year with depression that led to a psychological dependency on alcohol. He spent nearly three weeks at in-patient treatment facility. At the time, he said he hadn’t had a drink since Jan. 4, 2016.

The process involved self-refection and a realization that others liked him better when he was sober. Last offseason, when he was promoted to offensive coordinator, a role which comes with a weekly news conference, McDaniel decided he’d be himself.

“That’s all I try to do,” McDaniel said of speaking with reporters. “Whether people find that funny or not — there’s probably people both ways — but I’m glad that there’s a piece of my personality that comes out.”

McDaniel views authenticity as instrumental in coaching.

“You’re authentic, honest, and you work hard to make players better — a.k.a. coaching,” McDaniel said. “And that’s really what I focus on is that players, and people that I work with, know what they see is what they get.”

But not everyone gets McDaniel. At least not initially. He’s an acquired taste. Just ask second-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

“I didn’t really understand him too much last year,” Aiyuk said. “So sometimes I would be like, ‘What is he talking about? What is he saying? Is that a joke? Is he being serious?’ I didn’t really know.”

“But this year I’ve talked to him a lot more. Gotten to know him a lot more. He’s a great dude to talk to. And someone that I really trust.”

(San Francisco Chronicle)

* * *


* * *


For some reason, when I watch Joe Biden on the news, I am reminded of the story about some poor soul suffering dementia in a long term care facility who is allowed to own a pistol that he uses to resolve a dispute over some trivial matter, like who took his apple sauce.

* * *

NEOCONS have made a fetish of 1938; in retrospect they would have done better looking hard at 1933. There is a simple formula for descriptions of Donald Trump: add together a qualification, a hyphen, and the word “fascist.” The sum may be crypto-fascist, neo-fascist, latent fascist, or American-variety fascist — one of that kind, all the same. Future political scientists will analyze (let us hope in amused retrospect, rather than in exile in New Zealand or Alberta) the precise elements of Poujadisme, Peronism and Huck Finn’s Pap that compound in Trump’s “ideology.” But his personality and his program belong exclusively to the same dark strain of modern politics: an incoherent program of national revenge led by a strongman; a contempt for parliamentary government and procedures; an insistence that the existing, democratically elected government, whether Léon Blum’s or Barack Obama’s, is in league with evil outsiders and has been secretly trying to undermine the nation; a hysterical militarism designed to no particular end than the sheer spectacle of strength; an equally hysterical sense of beleaguerment and victimization; and a supposed suspicion of big capitalism entirely reconciled to the worship of wealth and “success.” It is always alike, and always leads inexorably to the same place: failure, met not by self-correction but by an inflation of the original program of grievances, and so then on to catastrophe. The idea that it can be bounded in by honest conservatives in a Cabinet or restrained by normal constitutional limits is, to put it mildly, unsupported by history…To associate such ideas too mechanically with the rise of some specific economic anxiety is to give the movement and its leader a dignity and sympathy that they do not deserve.

— Adam Gopnik

* * *

* * *


The sirens are screaming and the fires are howling
Way down in the valley tonight.
There's a man in the shadows with a gun in his eye
And a blade shining, oh, so bright.
There's evil in the air and there's thunder in sky,
And a killer's on the bloodshot streets.
Oh, and down in the tunnel where the deadly are rising,
Oh, I swear I saw a young boy down in the gutter,
He was starting to foam in the heat.

Oh, baby, you're the only thing in this whole world,
That's pure and good and right.
And wherever you are and wherever you go,
There's always gonna be some light.
But I gotta get out,
I gotta break it out now,
Before the final crack of dawn.
So we gotta make the most of our one night together.
When it's over you know,
We'll both be so alone.

Like a bat out of hell
I'll be gone when the morning comes.
When the night is over
Like a bat out of hell
I'll be gone-gone-gone.
Like a bat out of hell
I'll be gone when the morning comes.
But when the day is done, and the sun goes down,
And the moonlight's shining through,
Then like a sinner before the gates of heaven,
I'll come crawling on back to you.

I'm gonna hit the highway like a battering ram
On a silver black phantom bike.
When the metal is hot and the engine is hungry,
And we're all about to see the light.
Nothing ever grows in this rotting old hole.
And everything is stunted and lost.
And nothing really rocks
And nothing really rolls
And nothing's ever worth the cost.

And I know that I'm damned if I never get out,
And maybe I'm damned if I do,
But with every other beat I've got left in my heart,
You know I'd rather be damned with you.
Well, if I gotta be damned you know I wanna be damned
Dancing through the night with you.
Well, if I gotta be damned you know I wanna be damned—
Gotta be damned, you know I wanna be damned—
Gotta be damned, you know I wanna be damned
Dancing through the night—
Dancing through the night—
Dancing through the night with you.

Oh, baby, you're the only thing in this whole world,
That's pure and good and right.
And wherever you are and wherever you go,
There's always gonna be some light.
But I gotta get out,
I gotta break it out now,
Before the final crack of dawn.
So we gotta make the most of our one night together.
When it's over you know
We'll both be so alone.

Like a bat out of hell
I'll be gone when the morning comes.
When the night is over
Like a bat out of hell
I'll be gone gone gone.
Like a bat out of hell
I'll be gone when the morning comes.
But when the day is done and the sun goes down,
And the moonlight's shining through,
Then like a sinner before the gates of heaven,
I'll come crawling on back to you.
Then like a sinner before the gates of heaven,
I'll come crawling on back to you.

I can see myself tearing up the road
Faster than any other boy has ever gone.
And my skin is raw but my soul is ripe.
No one's gonna stop me now,
I'm gonna make my escape.
But I can't stop thinking of you,
And I never see the sudden curve until it's way too late.

And I never see the sudden curve 'til it's way too late.

Then I'm dying at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun.
Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike.
And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell.
And the last thing I see is my heart
Still beating,
Breaking out of my body and flying away,
Like a bat out of hell.

Then I'm dying at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun.
Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike.
And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell.
And the last thing I see is my heart
Still beating, still beating,
Breaking out of my body and flying away,
Like a bat out of hell.
Like a bat out of hell.
Like a bat out of hell.
Oh, like a bat out of hell!
Like a bat out of hell!
Like a bat out of hell!

— lyrics by Jim Steinman, sung by Marvin Aday, better known as Meat Loaf

* * *

Noyo Flats, 1890

* * *


* * *

* * *


An Interview with Michael Klare

by Jonah Raskin

Michael Klare has had war in all its many ignominious manifestations on his mind for the past 60 years, going back to the heady days of the Cuban Missile crisis. For the same period of time, he has also had, on his mind, preparations for war, which seem to be ongoing and never ending, When he has not been thinking about war and the rush to war in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, he has been thinking about peace, always an elusive goal and especially right now when many nations are expanding their arsenal ofautonomous weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles. For years he was the Five Colleges Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College.

I met Klare when we were both undergraduates at Columbia in the early 1960. We were members of Action, a campus political party that aimed to overturn apathy and that called for the end of the Cold War and an end to the paternalism of the college administration which aimed to treat us as children. These days I hear him on the radio and read what he has to say in magazines like The Nation, and in books such as The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources and All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change.

Michael Klare is currently the secretary for the Arms Control Association board of directors and a senior visiting fellow working on emerging military technologies and how arms control strategies can mitigate their adverse impacts.

Always a diligent researcher who watches what he says, he has lately sounded an alarm so loudly that I decided to reach out to him and find out what was on his mind. This interview was conducted by email, with me in California and Klare in Massachusetts.

Q: When you look at the world, what major hot spots do you see?

A: I regard Taiwan as the most dangerous hotspot. It is the one place where I believe two nuclear powers could come into direct conflict in the not-too-distant future. Taiwanese leaders seem to be moving ever closer to declaring independence, and Chinese leaders have pretty much said they will invade under those circumstances. Should that happen, it would be hard for the U.S. to avoid getting involved. That would mean a U.S.-China conflict with unforeseeable but no doubt catastrophic consequences.

I also worry about a war erupting between the U.S./NATO and Russia. Tensions have risen enormously in recent weeks as Russia has mobilized troops on the Ukrainian border, and implicitly threatened invasion. I don’t think the U.S. or NATO would become directly involved in such an event, but it could send arms to Ukrainian forces, leading to Russian attacks on U.S./NATO supply bases, and a cycle of escalation. That, too, could get out of hand and trigger the use of nuclear weapons.

My third worry is Iran. If current negotiations between the signatories to the Iran nuclear deal (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the U.S.) collapse, and Iran proceeds to enrich uranium to a fissionable state, I expect an attack on its nuclear facilities by the U.S. and/or Israel. This, in turn, would likely lead to Iranian retaliation, including missile attacks on U.S. allies throughout the region and uprisings by Iranian-backed militias, resulting in region-wide conflict and chaos.

Q: On a scale of one to ten, with one as the least likely and ten as the most likely, how likely is it that the US will go to war in the next year or so with Russians, the Iranians or the Chinese?

A: I would say it’s under five in each case for the next year, but over five in the next three years with one or the other. I believe there’s a 100% chance that we will see a Cuban Missile Crisis-like event in the next three years with either China or Russia or both. Forces would be poised for all-out, possibly nuclear war. It could go one way or the other, depending on the skills of the leaders in power at the time. My confidence in current leaders is not high.

Q; When you were in college in the early 1960s students and others, including members of SANE and Women Strike for Peace, called for nuclear disarmament and “peaceful coexistence” between the rival super powers. What groups are raising those issues and making those demands in the US today?

A: Alas, there is much less such activity today. This is partly because young people are focused on other critical issues: climate change, racism, and economic inequity, among others, and because the threat of a major war has receded from public view. In the 1960s, nuclear annihilation was a constant fact of life. All young men faced the draft).

Still, some groups are raising crucial issues, including Peace Action, Win Without War, Back from the Brink, Code Pink, and the Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy.

Q: Political scientists and pundits say we’re in a new Cold War. Is it really “new” and if so how new is it?

A: I think we’re in a “new” Cold War, in the sense that the “whole of government” (to use the current terminology) is being mobilized to contain and diminish China. You can see this in the policies of both the Trump and Biden administrations, and in proposed legislation such as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (the “Schumer China bill”), which is intended to mobilize U.S. industry, government, and academia to outcompete China in key technical fields and create an impenetrable chain of U.S. allies surrounding China. The government mobilization also calls for restrictions on research and educational exchanges by Americans in China and Chinese in America. These are identical to the sort of measures seen during the original Cold War.

Still, several things are different now. Most significantly, we’re seeing the establishment of Cold War-like measures aimed at China. Russia is weaker than the former Soviet Union, but has proved adept at new, novel means of warfare, such as cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns, creating new challenges for NATO, since some of its own members, such as Poland and Hungary, have embraced many of the authoritarian practices of Russia. China, meanwhile, is much more economically powerful than Russia or the former Soviet Union. Contesting it on a global scale is proving a challenge for the U.S.

Q: Over the past 70 years, who has benefitted in the US, economically and politically, from war and preparations for war?

A: There was a time, after WWII, when the US was the world’s most powerful country and was growing by leaps and bounds. That growth was shared by a majority of the population (the “baby boomer” generation). Since the 1980s, however, U.S. growth has slowed and the middle class has seen very little improvement in its economic status, while the cost of war and militarism has skyrocketed, sustaining a colossal military industry that has proved adept at wringing money from Congress (and U.S. taxpayers).

Defense contracts are distributed widely throughout Congressional districts, so every member of Congress perceives a benefit (jobs for constituents) even though defense spending produces only 1/10th the number of jobs as money spent on public education.

Q: Can any nation, or group of nations, actually “win” a war today? What does “winning” look like?

A: This is an interesting question with no easy answer. Any nuclear war would probably cause a “Nuclear Winter,” resulting in global agricultural collapse and mass starvation, so there can be no “winner” in a nuclear war. Counterinsurgency wars, on the other hand, can be kept going forever, but never really won, because any government backed by foreign forces (e.g. the former government of Afghanistan) will be deemed illegitimate by its own population, and so will collapse once those forces depart.

A non-nuclear war between major powers could probably be “won,” in military terms, but is likely to produce so much permanent hostility as to prove a meaningless victory, as the U.S. learned after its “victory” in Iraq in 2003, which was followed by a relentless insurgency.

Q: If you had the ear of Biden, Putin and Xi Jinping, what would you say?

A: Get on the phone, talk to each other, express your fears of death and annihilation, and try to find a face-saving compromise on the critical issues. Biden and Xi should agree to leave Taiwan in peace; Biden and Putin should agree to leave Ukraine in peace. There are face-saving ways to do this.

Q. After thousands of years, why do humans go on making war? Is making war part of the human condition?

A: 99% of wars, so far as we know, have been started by men. So you need to ask: Why do MEN keep making war? The Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan addresses this in her new book War: How Conflict Shaped Us. She says it’s a combination of culture (boys are raised to be aggressive), the pursuit of fame and riches, and a need to spread or defend one’s core identity beliefs, such as religion or nationalism. She also talks about conflicts over vital resources, such as food, water, and land. I happen to believe that’s the overriding consideration.

European settlers who arrived on this continent around 1600 fought one war after another with the Indigenous population to steal their land and the resources found here. That behavior is still occurring around the world.

Q: Was it hubris for the US to go into Afghanistan after the British and the Russians were defeated there militarily?

A: Folly would be a better world. And self-deception: To think we were somehow better at counterinsurgency than they were, when Vietnam should have taught us differently.

Q: How would you describe the “warrior class” in the US? Is it similar to warrior classes in other countries?

A: Ah, what an interesting question! Well, there’s the “warrior class” in Washington, made up of middle-aged and older white men who have never served in battle and have no intention of doing so, but make up the “national security establishment” that roots for higher military spending and greater U.S. military interventionism abroad. You could put practically every Republican senator in that category.

Then there’s the professional military officer corps. They are devoted to their branch of the military —Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.— and to the military institution as a whole. They go abroad to fight when ordered to do so, and cease fighting when that order comes. For the most part, they are not “warrior-minded.” They’re doing a job, professionally, and would just as readily avoid conflict as engage in it.

Within the military, some units—the Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Army Airborne— have a gung-ho attitude that is warrior-minded that gets them in trouble—like killing civilians and taking unnecessary risks.

Q: You lived through the War in Vietnam week by week, month by month and year by year. What events stand out most for you now after all this time?

A: Like many people at the time, I was stunned by the 1968 Tet Offensive. For the first time, it seemed, the arc of the war had shifted, to the possibility of a U.S. defeat. Before then, it seemed, US firepower was so vast that the US would prevail, no matter how valiant the Vietnamese opposition. After Tet, it seemed no increment of U.S. firepower would make a difference, and so every US (and Vietnamese) death after that was unnecessary, immoral and a travesty.

Q: In the 20th century there were individuals like MLK and Nelson Mandela who were truly peacemakers. Are there such individuals today?

A: I can’t think of many, but António Guterres, Secretary General of the UN is one.

Q: Do you think there is such a thing as a “good war?” And if so what might it be?

A: I do not think there can be a “good war,” meaning a war undertaken by a state as a matter of deliberate choice. I believe there can be justifiable revolts against oppression, such as slave revolts or wars of national liberation. I also believe that resistance to invasion is justifiable.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Beat Blues, San Francisco, 1955.)

* * *

* * *

LAKE COUNTY CARVES OUT A NICHE As Northern California Cannabis Mecca Despite Challenges

by Bill Swindell

Ray and Patty Lanier are veterans of the cannabis business. The two met in 2009 at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, the first so-called cannabis college for those wanting to learn more about weed from its history, cultivation and manufacturing.

The two, however, longed for a simpler life to raise their children and still continue within the industry. They set their sights on a location within a 100-mile radius of the Bay Area, and in 2012, landed upon some small acreage in Lake County, near the town of Lower Lake.

The entrepreneurial couple grew their plants under the old medical marijuana laws of Proposition 215 and then transitioned into the new regulated market with the 2016 passage of Proposition 64, which allowed for adult recreational use within California.

Their farm, Noble Gardens, takes up a small space on their 45-acre property and is promoted as “premium, sun-grown craft cannabis” surrounded among old-growth forests. The Laniers were one of the first to apply for a license within Lake County under Proposition 64, and they grow from a 5,000-square-foot garden from their perch about 2,300 feet in elevation.

The farm allows them to produce as much as 1,000 pounds of flower annually.

“We saw our first property and it was super, super cheap and we bought,” said Ray Lanier, who grew up in Atlanta and has become an expert on permaculture and growing such items as oyster mushrooms.

Patty Lanier also noted the friendliness of the local population and the natural beauty of the region with the mountains surrounded by the 68-square miles of Clear Lake. The two became quickly sold on the area known for tourism and agriculture with a population of almost 70,000.

“That is what sold us on Lake County. It was driving around and meeting the people, going into restaurants. Everyone is small business here. I was flabbergasted,” she said.

The Laniers are one example of many who have turned this rural county into a unique success story in the California cannabis industry, which is still struggling more than five years after passage of Proposition 64.

The central complaints are relatively high taxes for growers; a lack of dispensaries in many areas; and recalcitrance among local governments of implementing policies that would allow such businesses to thrive. That has resulted in a still-thriving black market that Proposition 64 was intended to stomp out of business and force everyone to become legal.

To be sure, the Lake County cannabis industry still has challenges as all growers across the state have struggled with a wholesale price drop of more than 50% because of oversupply and competition from out-of-state black market weed.

Some local growers will leave the business or may go fallow next year to wait for the market to rebound. Illegal grows still exist in Lake County, and there also has been a lack of licensed dispensaries beyond three around the city of Clear Lake. However, one new retailer just opened in Lakeport.

But Lake County also has showed the potential of the promise of Proposition 64 to turn the long-stigmatized plant into a legal crop that eventually could rival the wine industry in terms of culture, economic impact, tourism and influence.

 That is especially true as Lake County has 226 acres of licensed cannabis cultivation with about 100 operators, according to Supervisor Bruno Sabatier. By contrast, Sonoma County has only about 40 acres licensed for cannabis cultivation as of last year, even though its population is about seven times greater than Lake County.

“Lots of people from Humboldt are over here now,” Richard Derum said of the county that is the heart of the famed Emerald Triangle region and regarded as the home of the most coveted marijuana in the country.

Derum is a longtime cannabis grower near Lower Lake with a 27,000-square-foot canopy. He also serves as a consultant and real estate broker for those looking to enter the industry.

Derum echoed the Laniers; claim that Lake County has a distinct advantage because land prices are much cheaper than in other areas of Northern California.

“They realized they could do it cheaper here, better here and buy land cheaper,” he said of buyers.

Derum has worked with small buyers, larger cannabis companies and even foreign investors on deals over the past three years -- and all of his clients have been outside of Lake County.

Another key factor is that Lake County has a cannabis ordinance viewed as much easier to start cultivation than surrounding counties, which have greater barriers of entry.

“The local government there realized that they really needed it and it could bring in revenue,” said Lauren Mendelsohn, a Sebastopol attorney who works with cannabis businesses across the state.

“A lot more people are moving there and are talking about Lake County now, so in that regard it seemed to work quite well for the county.”

The county made a few key decisions to spur such investments, Sabatier said.

It set up a system to allow cannabis growers to get an initial permit to plant if the applicant was in the process of adhering to standards under the California Environmental Quality Act — a law that typically results in long delays in awaiting final approval.

“As long as we decided that there was not going to be a significant impact to the environment, we would go ahead and provide you a temporary permit to go and start cultivation,” he said.

The board in 2019 also allowed for larger and more centralized cultivation, giving the OK for applicants to stack their parcels together under one central canopy and permitting for more than 1 acre for cannabis farming, Sabatier said.

That move enticed bigger cannabis companies, such as CannaCraft of Santa Rosa and Flow Cannabis Co. of Mendocino County, that are more vertically integrated from seed to sale.

“It allowed for a more efficient farming option by doing it that way,” Sabatier said. “We probably have some of the largest grows in the state of California.”

The stacking will not be allowed for new projects beginning this year, he added.

Other nearby counties have been less flexible. For example, Sonoma County has struggled to update its ordinance amid protest from neighborhood groups and extended a moratorium on so-called multi-tenant use permits to Sept. 10, 2023, in a move designed to curtail large grows.

In Napa County, the industry has not taken off because of opposition from its powerful wine industry.

Even Mendocino County, which is part of the Emerald Triangle, has had trouble in modifying its cannabis cultivation ordinance to allow larger farms beyond a 10,000-square-foot growing area.

That action stalled amid opposition from environmental activists and some communities already angered with the prevalence of illegal grows.

“A lot of people locally are just fed up with the cannabis industry. They just hate it. There are so many outlaws,” said Mendocino County Supervisor Glenn McGourty.

Such bureaucratic infighting has allowed more investment into Lake County, which is slated to get $13 million in cultivation taxes for the past year, Sabatier said.

The influx also has helped bolster the reputation of the high quality of the marijuana grown in the county. Farmers note the benefits from longer sun exposure than those in more coastal areas.

“The coastal fog creates powdery mildew,” Derum said. “The problem with powdery mildew is that it doesn’t stop in your field. You can take it in your dry room (where moisture is extracted from the buds) and have it blow up in your dry room and destroy your crop.”

Lake County also features high winds that Derum contends helps provide beneficial stress upon the cannabis plants. The Laniers agree the county’s location bolsters the weed crop, noting that sun-grown cannabis is winning over more converts for its aromatic qualities.

“We just cared about the end quality of the product and spending the money that was necessary to create the best product,” Patty Lanier said.

But it’s not easy. She noted it is much harder with larger companies entering the area because they bring a level of efficiency that the couple can’t afford. That has resulted in the plant becoming more of a commodity.

Still, the couple have a strategy: They are planning to focus on the best quality to attract a top price just like their neighbors in the North Coast wine-grape business.

“What people don’t realize is that we’re super tough. We have been farming really for a long time too. You come up with ways to make a tomato at $3 a pound,” she said.

“And you think of ways to do that and cannabis has an avenue for that.”

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *

* * *

THE WORLD IS WAITING to know: will “Joe Biden” bomb Guatemala back to the stone age for sending incursions of its (very fine) people across America’s southern border? All of a sudden borders are sacred again, you know. Of course, there’s that old problem Colin Powell used to raise back in the Iraq War days of you break it, you own it. But, hey, don’t we already own Guatemala? And isn’t it already sort of broken?

Well, you can own a dog, say, a pitiful, broke-down, half-lame, scrofulous, rheumy-eyed, junkyard kind of old dog, and that doesn’t stop the dog from taking a dump on the neighbor’s property across the street. Anyway, the only thing Guatemala is dumping in Texas and Arizona is new voters, and that just means more democracy for us — a “win-win” as they say in the cabinet room! (Though, Yamiche Alcindor might still want to ask “JB” at the next presser if he would risk the US supply of bananas. We’re having enough trouble getting auto parts, fer chrissake.) Such are the quandaries of US foreign policy.

Then there’s this Shangri-La called Ukraine. Can anyone find it on the map? It’s nowheres around here. Let’s face it: Ukraine is not sending us any new voters or bananas. What good are they? You might argue: they exported the Vindman twins to America (win-win); they supported Hunter Biden’s cocaine habit for six or seven years and paid the mortgage on The Big Guy’s beach house. So, maybe we do owe them.

But then, it’s said that Russia is lurking on Ukraine’s border like a hungry bear at the edge of a sheep pasture, licking its chops, fork and knife in its fisted paws, napkin tied around its throat, visions of mutton-filled perogies dancing in its head. The whole DC foreign policy establishment says we should take a few potshots at that bear, teach it a lesson. I say, just throw Guatemala over the fence, let the bear chew on that, including a few bananas for dessert. There it is: problem solved.

Another possibility, which the “Joe Biden” admin seems to favor a little, is World War Three. We couldn’t lose that, could we? Well, at worst it would be a “lose-lose” so at least nobody else would win. Would the US be any worse off without New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and a few more population centers teeming with homeless junkies? (Who rarely show up at the polls to vote, by the way… and if you asked, could they even tell you who’s running for president?) World War Three begins to look like our silver linings playbook. London, Paris, and Berlin are not our problem, to be blunt about it. Even as you read this, “Joe Biden” is striving to explain his thoughts on these vexing matters, but he’s talking out of his ass so much it’s hard to tell whether he is setting forth actual policy or just breaking wind. 

— James Kunstler

* * *

* * *


Facebook Metaverse Report

Yesterday, due to sending out too many Mysticism-Wikipedia links to friends on Facebook, I got cut off, as Facebook does routinely. Instead of just signing off as usual, I clicked the “Something is Wrong” button. This sent me to a page where I was informed that I may have violated the community standards, and was informed that I had 30 days to receive a code, at a telephone number that they gave to me, in order to reopen my account. The problem is, that the number belongs to a woman from Maine, who visited the place I was living at in Redwood Valley, and who months ago let me use her phone to do the same thing with Facebook. So, I called her in Maine, attempting to explain the situation and asked her to give me the present code which was sent, but she hung up! In Facebook’s Metaverse, I have no idea whatsoever how to obtain a code to reopen my account. Henceforth, anybody wishing to contact me in cyberspace, please use my email address, which is: Thank you very much, and if you have any idea how to contact Facebook to get me a code, please ask Facebook to contact me at (213) 842-3082. Otherwise, keep the mind centered at its Source, knowing that the real spiritual you is not affected by anything at all.

Love & Peace, Craig Louis Stehr, January 21st, 2022

* * *

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio live from Franklin St. all night tonight!

Hi, there. Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 6pm. Or send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week. Text-only, in the body of an email, please; I'm on dialup today. It's true that I can read fresh email later on, during the show, but I sometimes forget to even look. Go ahead if you feel like it. What could it hurt?

Or call during the show and read your work in your own voice. I'll be in the clean, well-lighted back room of KNYO's storefront studio at 325 N. Franklin, where the number is 1-(707) 962-3022. If there'll be swears, please wait until after 10pm, to not agitate the weasels.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via (That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.)

Any day or night you can go to and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there.

Besides all that, there you'll find a great load of knowledge to graze upon until showtime, or any time, such as:

"Before the revolution everyone was penniless but the Tsar. He was Nicholas."

Tales of ribaldry.

Magazines for enthusiasts of toy airplanes and/or bathing suits.

And there was a word we used as lads for things that were superlatively cool; that word is /bitchin/. This is bitchin, right here, also rad, massive, wizard, and gnarly. They say it's molecules of rotor blade metal incandescing, abraded away by sand in the air, but I think that piezoelectric sparks might also be part of it, from the quartz.

— Marco McClean,,

* * *

* * *


by Dan Bacher

As U.S. oil and gas production is forecasted to expand to record levels by 2023, over 360 climate, tribal, religious and conservation groups petitioned the Biden administration to use its executive authority to phase out oil and gas production on public lands and oceans by 2035.

“The petition provides a framework to manage a decline of oil and gas production to near zero by 2035 through rulemaking, using long-dormant provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the National Emergencies Act,” according to a statement from the coalition. “Without such action, it will become increasingly difficult for the United States to meet its pledge to help avoid 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming and its unprecedented social, environmental and economic damage.”

The petition couldn’t have come at a more critical time for the future of oil and gas drilling in the United States. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that U.S. oil production will average 12.4 million barrels per day during 2023, surpassing the record high for domestic crude oil production set in 2019 under the Trump administration.

In its January *Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production will increase for nine consecutive quarters, from the fourth quarter of 2021 through 2023. EIA also expects OPEC to increase its crude oil production to 28.9 million barrels per day in 2023, up from an average of 26.3 million barrels per day in 2021.

“We expect global demand for petroleum products to return to and surpass pre-pandemic levels this year, but crude oil production grows at a faster rate in our forecasts,” said EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley. “We expect that as crude oil production increases, inventories will begin to replenish and help push prices lower for gasoline, jet fuel, and other products in the short term.”

The agency also forecasts that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories will reach 465 million barrels at the end of 2023, about 11% more than inventories at the end of 2021.

Other key takeaways from the latest STEO include:

 - *”By September 2023, EIA expects U.S. natural gas production to reach an average of 98 billion cubic feet per day for the first time and then to average 98.2 billion cubic feet per day the second half of 2023.* - *”U.S. coal consumption increased by 14% in 2021 in response to growing demand for coal-fired electricity. EIA expects U.S. coal consumption to decrease by 2% in 2022 and remain relatively unchanged in 2023. Despite the decrease in consumption, EIA forecasts that coal production will increase 6% in 2022.*”

The entire *Short-Term Energy Outlook* is available on the EIA website.

The groups say the legal petition submitted today “offers a way to correct the Biden administration’s collapse of climate leadership, including a failing legislative agenda and Biden’s broken campaign promise to end new oil and gas leasing and drilling on public lands and oceans,”

The groups noted that analyses show that climate pollution from the world’s already-producing fossil fuel developments, if fully developed, would push warming past 1.5 degrees Celsius, and that avoiding such warming requires ending new investment in fossil fuel projects.

At November’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, Biden called climate change “an existential threat to human existence,” He pledged to cut U.S. emissions by up to 51% over the next nine years.

“Days later the administration offered 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leasing, and it plans to offer more than 300,000 acres of public lands leases in March,” the groups wrote.

“The Department of the Interior’s review of the federal oil and gas programs effectively ignored climate, calling instead for adjustments to royalties, bids and bonding,” the groups stated. “Meanwhile, the administration has continued to approve drilling permits onshore at a rate that outpaces the Trump administration, with more than 3,500 permits approved since taking office.”

Oil and gas drilling opponents say federal fossil fuel production causes nearly a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution, worsening the climate and extinction crises and “disproportionately harming Black, Brown, Indigenous and low-wealth communities.”

Representatives of groups in the coalition commented on the dire need for the phasing out of oil and gas drilling as climate change-fueled disasters including drought, record high air and ocean temperatures and fires rage across the globe

*”At this time in history, according to Anishinaabe prophecies, people have a choice between a well-worn, scorched path and one that is new and green,” said Winona LaDuke, executive director for Honor the Earth. “By all measures of science, spirit and humanity, it is incumbent upon you, President Biden and Secretary Haaland, to deliver on your promises to forge that safer path, ending fossil production on public lands and waters. We worked hard to help you gain office, and you abandoned us on Line 3; here is another significant opportunity to do the right thing. Here at White Earth we are celebrating the end of the fossil era, practicing our sustainable traditions and building the new green economy. We welcome you to come see how it's done.”*

“This petition offers a lifeline for our planet and a course correction for the Biden administration’s catastrophic failure of climate leadership,” said Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The natural place to start phasing out climate-destroying oil and gas production is on our public lands and oceans, and Biden has the authority to do so. If the U.S. leads, the world will follow. Biden must keep his promise to end federal oil and gas extraction.”

“It’s time to open new doors to a thriving, resilient future for our Western U.S. public lands and communities,” said Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, executive director of the Western Environmental Law Center. “This petition does just that by winding down a cause of the climate crisis: a federal public lands fossil fuels program that serves the interests of oil and gas CEOs and investors, not the public good. We urge the Biden administration to accept the petition and move forward with swift action to protect the climate and public lands.”

“Last year over 132 million Americans experienced a climate-related disaster, with extreme weather costing over $145 billion in damage and leading to more than 688 lives lost,” said Nicole Ghio, senior fossil fuels program manager at Friends of the Earth. “We cannot fight climate change while ignoring the fact that nearly a quarter of U.S. climate emissions come from fossil fuel extraction on public lands. It's time for President Biden to become the climate leader he claims to be and phase out fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters.”

“This petition simply calls on President Biden to exercise the climate leadership he’s already promised this country,” said Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians. “We can’t confront the climate crisis unless and until we start keeping fossil fuels in the ground; it’s time for the president to acknowledge and take action on this reality.”

“Fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters must end or it will only intensify the already devastating impacts to our climate and waterways,” said Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Indigenous and underserved communities disproportionately bear the brunt of these impacts that result from long-standing federal policies that have favored industry over public interest. It’s time the Biden administration keeps its promises and uses its position of power to be a climate leader that stems the tide of fossil fuel dependence.”

“Right now, fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters make up a quarter of our greenhouse gas emissions — at a time scientists are saying we must move urgently to cut emissions by at least half,” said Dan Ritzman, director of Sierra Club’s Lands, Water, Wildlife program. “Not only does it devastate our planet, it’s a handout to Big Oil at the expense of average Americans, who will bear the brunt of its societal, health, and financial ramifications. We urge the Biden Administration to take advantage of this historic opportunity to make good on campaign promises, fulfill a global commitment to acting on climate, and serve American communities by accepting this petition and phasing out oil and gas production on public lands and oceans."

*Newsom Administration has approved nearly 10,000 oil and gas drilling permits since 2019*

Meanwhile in California, supposedly the nation’s “green” and “progressive” leader, the Newsom Administration continues to issue thousands of oil and gas drilling permits.

In October 2021, Consumer Watchdog and Fractracker Alliance revealed that the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency, CalGEM, had approved a total of 9,728 oil drilling permits from January 1, 2019 until October 1, 2021. In addition, the groups found that the Newsom Administration approved 150 offshore drilling permits in state waters since January 1, 2019.

After spending many hours researching regulatory capture in California for years, I find the expansion of oil and gas drilling in California to be no surprise. The Governor’s Office, the Legislature and the regulatory agencies are captured by Big Oil and Big Gas from top to bottom.

The California Legislature, under intense pressure from the oil and gas industry and beset with an avalanche of fossil fuel money donations, has failed to pass legislation to create health and safety setbacks around oil and gas wells and impose a moratorium on fracking and other extreme oil drilling operations. The legislators even rejected a bill to protect a “marine protected area,” the Vandenburg State Marine Reserve, from offshore drilling.

Few other examples show just how captured California government is than when the President of the Western States Petroleum Association, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create “marine protected areas” in Southern California from 2009 to 2012 — at the same time that she was lobbying for increased offshore oil drilling in the same region. State officials and a number of “environmental” NGOs gushed that the process overseen by a Big Oil lobbyist was “open, transparent and inclusive” when it was anything but.

* * *

Apple Hall, Mendocino, 1912

* * *


Dear Editor,

Look at the Ukrainian border crisis. Already Ukraine has lost over 13,000 defending its border regions. Since November, 2021, Russis has stationed over 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders. This force includes thousands of tanks and artillery.

Ukraine, a nation with a history far older than Russia’s, has about 215,000 soldiers - either trained or already deployed near the war zones. Since 2014 Ukraine has clearly made its choice to align itself with western nations rather than Russia. Ukraine fought a bloody civil war in 2014 to become independent of Russia.

President Putin invaded the Croatian peninsula in the same year. He is obsessed with regaining Ukraine and adding to Russian control of eastern Europe. Today in a CNBC live interview former US Ambassador Bill Taylor stated, “There are only two courses out of the current Ukrainian border crisis, war or diplomacy."

Ukrainian troops are now digging in, like both German and Allied troops did from 1915-1918 in WWI. The result? US military deaths-116,516 (US Defense Department), international deaths-20 million, international wounded-21 million. Russia might get help from China or elsewhere. War won't solve anything.

Frank H. Baumgardner, III

Santa Rosa

* * *

This political cartoon dates from 1912. It warns against the creation of an American central bank – specifically, a piece of legislation known as the “Aldrich Plan.” The Aldrich Plan didn’t come to pass, but the US would have a central bank just a year later after a similar bill called the Federal Reserve Act was instated.


  1. Joe January 22, 2022

    Finally the British Medical Journal demands transparency from big Pharma ;

    “BMJ added that regulators are not there to “dance to the tune of rich global corporations and enrich them further” but to protect the general public’s health and for that reason, they said, we need “complete data transparency for all studies, we need it in the public interest, and we need it now.”

  2. Jim Armstrong January 22, 2022

    Just an early Saturday squawk.
    From above:
    “by the time it reaches Santa Rosa the Russian River flow is down to less than 20cfs.”
    That is a hard place to find.

  3. Betsy Cawn January 22, 2022

    Regarding Mr. Swindell’s fine essay in today’s edition (“Lake County carves out a niche as Northern California cannabis mecca despite challenges”), an editorial opinion in today’s Record-Bee amplifies the benefits of legal cannabis operations endorsed and promoted by Alicia Russell, director of operations for Northern California at Pro Farms (added below).

    While both essays describe the benefits of the legal industry to Lake County’s impoverished communities (and the county’s treasury), the management of Lake County’s adventitious permitting process leaves open significant opportunities for applicants to inflict unmonitored injuries (and potentially permanent harm) to the environments in which they are allowed to do “pre-permitted” development of proposed sites with very poor oversight of natural resource constraints. That is, the estimated volumes of water that are identified as available from groundwater basins — already stretched by similarly uncontrolled viticulture practices — have the potential for exceeding the “safe yield” carrying capacity of those finite basins.

    Long-established poor practices in the County’s Community Development Department (CDD) and Department of Water Resources (DWR) that are the result of flawed management decisions by government leadership over the decades — creating weak ordinances for groundwater management and agricultural grading operations — have resulted in the successful challenge to Planning Commission-approved major use permits for relatively large-scale commercial cannabis operations in 2021.

    In mid-2021, the Board of Supervisors acted quickly to hire a consulting firm to assist the Administration to “re-organize” the CDD and recruit for a new director for reasons that were not explained, with “direction” to be given by yet another “ad hoc” committee of the Board of Supervisors, which appear to be ongoing while the new CDD director (an east coast import) “learns the job.”

    During June 2021 budget hearings, a significant level of discussion was devoted to the use of anticipated multi-million-dollar commercial cannabis revenues to fund major salary and benefit increases for most county employees, including a major enlargement of the CAO’s remuneration (mimicking your CEO’s gigantic compensation). It appears to be true that Lake County’s more “liberal” approach to institutionalizing legal cannabis production is succeeding, as Miss Russell says, but there are hundreds of applicants in a long queue already making environmental changes in fragile ecosystem areas where the authorization of such “improvements” can create permanent damage, with not much oversight.

    Along with the falling prices and distribution system log-jams, the excessive demands on unregulated groundwater basins may be the undoing of Lake’s ambitious wet-dreams.

    Lake County Record-Bee, January 22, 2022:

    I watched most of the 2021 meetings of the Lake County Planning Commission, and when it came to cannabis, the pleas against the industry by the various NIMBY’s (not in my back yard) seemed to be “it’s not about the money, it’s about our quality of life.” Quality of life and money are far more connected than they are mutually exclusive. Lake County is not populated by the independently wealthy, but rather by the working class, and the working class depends on money to achieve quality of life.

    I work for a cannabis operator, and during 2021, our gross payroll was over $5 million dollars. That’s $5 million dollars that our employees — residents of Lakeport, Clearlake, Kelseyville, Nice, Lower Lake, and Clearlake Oaks — used for housing, groceries, dining at restaurants, shopping at retailers, religious tithing, youth sports, community events, etc.

    My point is that most of that money directly and significantly supported the economy of Lake County. In terms of quality of life, most of our employees were previously earning minimum wage in the food industry or as field workers who worked only seasonally in the extremes of temperatures. Now they work in a climate-controlled setting, earn living wages, and receive health insurance and 401K. They also work year-round instead of seasonally. Our facility and grounds are smoke free, and we offer an employee wellness zone with equipment for exercise and/or meditation to encourage healthy living. We value the morale of our employees and provide regular gestures of appreciation such as recognition for improvement, dedication, and attendance. Employee feedback indicates that our employees believe their quality of life has improved since they began working for us — they say they are less stressed and more financially secure than they were previously.

    Beyond the borders of our property is our community, and we shop locally and utilize local vendors and contractors whenever possible. In fact, approximately 70% of our operating expenditures went to Lake County businesses, and that equated to about $2.7M which was an average of $225,000 per month spent at local businesses. With every local purchase, we are actively engaging in the survival of local businesses and pledging our support of local residents. We didn’t just stop at shopping locally, we also supported local events with monetary contributions, volunteerism, and participation. We know pandemic isolation has taken a toll on our community, and safely executed events are now more important than ever. The events we supported brought people together with music, food, dancing, and fresh air.

    Our property and community are all contained within the boundaries of Lake County, and to the County of Lake, our company has paid $1,475,851 in taxes. Cannabis tax dollars at the county level have been used to increase the salaries of underpaid county employees, install license plate readers to assist in the identification of those illegally dumping trash and vehicles in our beautiful county, expand library services, and other meaningful endeavors benefitting the residents of Lake County.

    The cannabis industry provides many good jobs, tremendous economic and community support, all of which improve the quality of life for Lake County residents. As we’ve experienced first- hand in Lake County, lack of jobs and the ensuing poverty breeds crime, substance abuse, and increased mental health issues, so when a NIMBY stands against the cannabis industry claiming cannabis is ruining our quality of life, I have to question who they really care about and if they have any grasp of the number of positive impacts this new industry is having on our struggling county. Quality of life doesn’t exist if the people are impoverished and unemployed, and aside from cannabis, there aren’t any other industries that I know of knocking on Lake County’s door willing and able to contribute the way the cannabis industry has already demonstrated. If the cannabis industry pulls out of Lake County, what is going to replace it?

    It’s decision time, Lake County. You can’t continue to look down your nose at the cannabis industry while simultaneously holding your hand out to it. You need to choose. Personally, I choose people. I choose jobs. I choose local businesses. I choose economic development. I choose quality of life. What do you choose? The Lake County Board of Supervisors will be considering the fate of the legal cannabis industry at the meeting of the Board of Supervisors on January 25th, and without support, the benefits of the legal market will vanish, and you’ll be left with only the illegal market operating outside the scope of controls and no funding to fight it.

    Alicia Russell is director of operations for Northern California at Pro Farms, she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, a certified tourism advisor, a member of the Lake County Ag Advisory Committee, the Lake County Cannabis Alliance, and the Lakeport Economic Development Advisory Committee. She can be reached at 707-530-2999 and at alicia@

    • Joe January 22, 2022

      Weed farmers should be treated the same as any other AG biz. Conflicting laws and relentless regulatory pressure is preventing this in Ca. Unfortunately, the main problem is the economics which favors big AG . In the long run, unless you have a niche biz, it’s over with in Mendo .

  4. Marshall Newman January 22, 2022

    Charley Patton’s “34 Blues”:

  5. Craig Stehr January 22, 2022

    Warmest spiritual greetings, As of now I am homeless in the State of California. Two months ago in Redwood Valley in Mendocino county, I was asked to leave my legal residence of over one year. The property manager did not want to live in an intentional community environment, preferring to rent to cannabis trimmers, mostly from other countries, plus some AirBnB guests (workers in trucks who needed a place to sleep). Therefore, I was taken to the Voll Motel in Ukiah, CA, and the property manager placed $500 on the motel office counter, leaving me on my own.
    This led to my going to nearby Garberville, CA and using my money to be supportive of the digitization of the entire Earth First! video archive, and storing it in the cloud. Accomplishing this was very important, because Earth First! is a primary origin of the contemporary radical environmental movement. I spent thousands of dollars for every necessity, including a new hard drive, and servicing of the older computer as well, a new office chair and mat, bathroom essentials, tires for the car and money for gasoline, a battery and wipers for the older van, some new clothes for the individual who tirelessly performed all of the technical work, plus food for myself. This has left me with $800 in the bank.
    Yesterday, I agreed to move on from Garberville, CA since the digitization work is now completed. My friend would like his apartment back, without me sleeping occasionally on the living room couch when not otherwise snoozing at the town square, etcetera. I need to be picked up here and taken anywhere that is sane and safe, or offered a place to go to on the bus.
    If you identify with the spiritual glow in your chest, and have realized that you are more than a body and a mind, please offer your assistance in resolving my own American existential dilemma. Thank you very much.

    Craig Louis Stehr
    Telephone Messages: (213) 842-3082
    January 22, 2022 Anno Domini

    • Kathy Janes January 22, 2022

      Someone should show Craig how to apply for the waiting lists at the many federally-subsidized senior housing complexes in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties. It can take a while to get through the waiting lists, but once you are at the top you can get rent an apartment for one third of your Social Security. Then you could have some stability and become part of a community.
      One can recognize the federally-subsidized complexes because the sign in front has the equal housing logo and the disabled accessibility logo. Also, each county’s Community Development Commission has a list of the complexes in their area.

      • Marmon January 22, 2022

        I think his drinking has become a problem.


      • Professor Cosmos January 22, 2022

        Good idea. If he can stay at Andy’s another few days (leaving a week left in this month) and go to West Sacramento where weekly rate motels are possibly financially feasible, maybe he can do that in the Sacramento area.

  6. John McKenzie January 23, 2022

    Having just read the piece by Mark Scaramella on water flow, it certainly gave a bad impression of grapes and water use. I could have walked away with that impression if it
    weren’t for the last sentence. The river doesn’t go to Santa Rosa and 29 cfs is incredibly
    slow for the Russian river, I don’t think it gets down to that even in a drought summer.
    That lead me to check out the map he linked to. I’m not sure where he pulled the numbers from but they were a bit different than what I found. Below are the flow rates from this morning, as well as the five day trend.

    LAKE MENDOCINO INTAKE 76.80 cfs trending down
    LAKE MENDOCINO DISCHARGE 133.00 cfs trending up
    RUSSIAN R TALMAGE CA 225.00 cfs trending down
    RUSSIAN R HOPLAND CA 261.00 cfs trending down
    RUSSIAN R CLOVERDALE CA  424.00 cfs trending down
    RUSSIAN R GEYSERVILLE CA 436.00 cfs trending down
    RUSSIAN R HEALDSBURG CA 511.00 cfs trending down
    RUSSIAN R GUERNEVILLE CA 775.00 cfs trending down


    • Jim Armstrong January 23, 2022

      I didn’t get a reply to my comment about where the RR goes either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *