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GUSTY RIDGETOP WINDS WILL WEAKEN TODAY. However, mild temperatures will be likely for most locations this afternoon, with slightly cooler conditions expected Monday and Tuesday. Otherwise, dry weather will be probable through midweek followed by shower development on Friday. (NWS)
ACTIVE COVID CASES IN MENDOCINO COUNTY (1/20/22)
HAPPY BOMB EXPLODES OVER NORCAL AS NINERS EDGE PACKERS 13-10 in a blizzard. Truly great special teams effort, great team effort period. One more win and it's on to the Super Bowl!
by Ann Killion
Guts and grit. Snow on the field. Ice in their veins.
When the frozen football left Robbie Gould’s foot and sailed through the uprights, the 49ers shed their warm red capes and rushed onto the snowy field in a red hot fever.
The 49ers beat top NFC seed Green Bay 13-10 on a last second field goal, that was vindication-plus for their September loss. Their wild ride continues to the Conference Championship game in either Tampa Bay or Los Angeles next weekend.
The 49ers dug themselves into an early ice cave. They were facing the best player in the league in Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and the top seeded team. They were playing in freezing temperatures and snow flurries. Their starting quarterback was gutting it out with a torn-up thumb and sprained shoulder, their best offensive player was limping through the second half.
But this 49ers team wasn’t going to let any of it stop them.
Kyle Shanahan’s team always believes it can win one game. Four quarters of football. One way or another.
“Every game is one game,” Shanahan said last week. “So, when you get in these games, you have to not get too caught up in whatever’s going on and just go one play at a time. Just try to keep coming at people.”
It’s an old school mentality and it was perfect for the setting of Saturday night’s game.
Sixty-four-year old Lambeau Field rises out of the flat white landscape of northeastern Wisconsin like a fever dream from the NFL’s past. Even the added layers of suites and “fancy” seats with backs added in a renovation a decade ago can’t detract from the history and feel of the home of the most unique team in the NFL.
Owned communally by fans, based in a small town of 100,000 void of any glitz and glamour - the smallest home city of any North American sports franchise - the Packers experience stands counter to almost everything the modern NFL signifies.
A three and a half hour game in weather hovering around zero degrees? Not long enough. Packers fans first spend hours in the parking lot, tailgating with brats and beers and get inside the stadium two hours before kickoff. The community “owners” of this team don’t need fancy suites and private cocktail servers. Most of the 80,000-plus fans sit on metal benches without backs, wearing deer hunter garb topped off by a Rodgers jersey, stamping in place to keep their feet from freezing on the concrete.
At kickoff, the temperature was 14 degrees but with the windchill it felt like zero. It was the fifth coldest home playoff game for the Packers who, as you might have guessed, have played a lot of them. The place was rocking.
The fans were ready for another championship. It had been more than a decade and signs around the town begged “Bring Another Title Back to Title Town.” They thought this was their year, with Aaron Rodgers having another MVP season and the team earning a first-round bye, and the lowly wild-card 49ers their first playoff victim.
But Rodgers is now 0-4 against the 49ers in the playoffs. He has never been able to exact retribution on the team that passed on him in the 2005 draft.
And he may have played his last game in a Packers uniform, considering the acrimony of the season and another disappointing finish.
Jimmy Garoppolo, however, will be playing another game in his current uniform.
He looked exactly like a quarterback playing with a torn-up thumb and a sprained shoulder on his throwing arm. But he was the player Shanahan was going to ride. He got the 49ers into the second week of the playoffs. He wasn’t going to be replaced.
Back in the olden days, on the frozen tundra, a gritty player like Garoppolo would earn reams of flowery copy for his toughness. In this era, he’s heaped with scorn by the Twitter jockeys.
When Garoppolo threw a red zone interception at the end of the first half, it was assumed that the error would cost the 49ers the game. But like Shanahan preaches, play by play. Quarter by quarter.
And who would have thought it would be the 49ers special teams, that errant group that Shanahan admitted he just didn’t want to lose the game, would be the heroes? There was the blocked field-goal attempt to end the first half. And the blocked punt that turned into the game-tying touchdown.
And then Gould’s last second frozen field goal through the snowy light that kept the 49ers’ fire burning.
* * *
Mark Scaramella Notes: There were plenty of outstanding Niners Saturday night, but not enough attention was given to unheralded defensive lineman and special team rusher Jordan Willis who got his hand up high enough to block the punt that lead to the Niners only touchdown. Viva Jordan Willis!
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
Barney enjoys being outside exploring and playing with toys. He’s a happy dog with a goofy side. Barney is easy and social with people. Mr. B would love a nice outdoor area to hang out and play in his new home. Barney can be vocal with other dogs, and we want him to meet any potential roommates. Oh…we forgot to mention... this dude is swooningly handsome! Barney is a Shepherd mix, 2 years old and 72 pounds.
For more about Barney, visit mendoanimalshelter.com While you’re there, check out all of our canine and feline guests, and our services, programs, events, and updates. Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/ For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453.
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:
NO VAPING AT AV UNIFIED
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
I have been subbing at the high school and I am concerned about post-break vape use on campus. We had two vape busts this week, and we have set the expectation that this is intolerable. Contact me please, if you know your student is a user and needs intervention help. These devices are often mixed with other substances and can cause signs such as rage and excessive sleepiness. This is impacting a very few students, but again, it will not be tolerated and law enforcement action will result. Please have a proactive talk with your student(s) and reach out on my cell for assistance. IT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
I know some of you may not know what these devices look like, so here’s a photo. Your child may also use too much cologne to hide the scent of the vape.
The testing pool is doing its job. I am happy to report that we've had clustered positives at the elementary school that the school staff has been able to catch from spreading. Usually, these are siblings or an infection in one class. We have had a very limited spread in high school. My hope is that basketball will return next week. Studies are showing that kids are safer in school, so we need your student at school. We are vigilant and proactive. Our statistics are much better than similar size schools in the county with the proactive use of pooled testing and rapid testing. I am hopeful that this post-break surge will soon be over.
We are very excited to announce the development of the Citizens Bond committee. The committee is working on the passage of a $13 million dollar bond. The district can provide information and the citizens committee actually runs the campaign. We need parent volunteers to assist the committee. If you are interested please let me know and I will forward your name to the bond committee.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Anderson Valley Unified School District
UNTANGLING THE CEO MESS
by Mark Scaramella
The only thing interesting in next Tuesday’s CEO/CAO agenda item to “discuss” the pros and cons of a Chief Executive Officer vs. A Chief Administrative Officer is this nearly unintelligible accompanying organization chart. The chart describes the confused and seemingly random conglomeration of offices CEO Carmel Angelo amassed since being appointed CEO.
CEO Angelo has a “Deputy CEO-IS/Special Assignments” (now filled by Steve Dunicliff, the only person of the male persuasion on the CEO's executive staff. The Infotmsyion Services position had been filled by Janelle Rau who recently got a huge raise in anticipation of the consolidation of County General Computer systems with the Sheriff’s computer system. That consolidation stalled when Sheriff Kendall asked the Court to require the County to hire his own attorney to point out to the Board that such a consolidation is illegal because CEO Angelo’s County Counsel was either ordered not to or was unable to read that particular law and advise the CEO or the Supervisors accordingly. Ms. Rau has since been transferred back to General Services, but with a much higher salary upon return based on her brief Information Services affair.
Then there’s a “Deputy CEO” in charge of “Legislation,” a completely unnecessary make-work position created for no other reason than to bring in Ms. Angelo’s friend and former Trinity County Supervisor Judy Morris.
Then we see that there’s an unnamed “Deputy CEO” in charge of some office and administrative functions along with a box entitled “Health Benefits” which should be in Human Resources.
There’s another vacant “Deputy CEO” with no function at all attached to Assistant CEO Darcie Antle’s box. We’re not surprised to see the bloated “CEO Fiscal” unit also under Ms. Antle. But, all these people and they still can’t produce an ordinary monthly budget vs. actual report for the Supervisors?
“Risk Management” used to be in the County Counsel’s office but is under the CEO. This is the office which is supposed to be helping to handle sensitive matters to prevent them from erupting into costly lawsuits. From what we know way over here in Boonville, the risk management office is not reducing much risk, probably because they have no control over their boss who seems to be quite effective at increasing the risk of lawsuits without any help from her “Risk Management” office. PS, We have no idea who the supposed “safety officers” are under risk management.
Disaster Recovery would be under Emergency Services in a normal County operation, but CEO Angelo is quick to appoint herself Supreme Disaster Commander whenever a disaster hits Mendo, many of which are not the CEO’s doing.
And last but definitely NOT LEAST is the Clerk of the Board, listed on the chart as “BOS/COB Operations” — a function which should never have been ceded to the CEO who uses it to advance her own agenda and manipulate the Board of Supervisors to her advantage.
Therefore, this org chart will probably complicate the likely abstract head-of-a-pin discussion about which department heads should report to the CEO vs. the CAO on Tuesday because it will be further muddled by questions of what to do with all of CEO Angelo’s new and newly absorbed Executive Office positions.
We haven’t even mentioned the side-questions about General Services, Contracting, the County’s fleet and facilities offices, as well as several other functions that were brought under the “Executive Office” as CEO Angelo capriciously hired, re-assigned and fired people over her ten year tenure.
All of these costly new positions were created or promoted without any board discussion so the Supervisors don’t have much understanding of what they really do, why they exist, how much they’re paid, or whether they’re necessary.
Combine this general lack of knowledge about what they’re own staff does and how they’re organized with Board’s hands-off/Zoom situation created by covid on top of very little managerial experience on the Board and you have a perfect formula to drive Tuesday’s the discussion of the CEO-CAO question to the point of gridlock.
In fact, they might be able to save a lot of time and trouble by simply handing three darts to each supervisor and have them throw them at the CEO’s org chart and then retain only the boxes with two or more darts at the end.
In all likelihood however, the CEO/CAO question will be turned over to another Board ad-hoc committee which will meet in private and shuffle the boxes around and over and under. Where she stops nobody knows!
Meanwhile, an Interim CEO will assume CEO Angelo’s existing mess and the well-known Mendo Muddle will muddle on, aimlessly stumbling over emergencies and surprise funding shortfalls as they go.
PS. When the Ukiah Daily Journal’s Justine Frederiksen wrote about CEO Angelo’s upcoming departure she quoted the CEO who attempted to clarify the CEO-CAO question: “The County CEO is someone who works for the Board of Supervisors,” said CEO Angelo. “And there has been a lot of misinformation out in the public, and some of the misinformation was that with a Chief Administrative Officer, that person reports to the Board of Supervisors, but with the Chief Executive Officer, the Board of Supervisors reports to the CEO. That is absolutely incorrect. Whether you have a CAO or a CEO, that person works for the Board of Supervisors.”
There you go! Perfectly clear. Over to you, Supervisors!
FREE FOOD PHILO (formerly known as Love to Table) is distributing meals in town to those who could use some extra love in the form of food. We cook nourishing meals using produce from our farm and others, and would love to offer you a warm lunch on Monday Jan 24. If you could use a home cooked meal, or have a friend in mind who would, please message, call or text Arline Bloom (415) 308-3575, who will head up distribution in town.
~ This week’s menu ~
Panini with Turkey, Cheese and Maitake Mushroom
Cabbage and carrot slaw
Thank you for letting us be of service.
For more information on Free Food Philo / Love to Table, check out: https://unconditionalfreedom.org/love-to-table/ or message me here!
To the Editor:
Why is the Palace still standing?
I read where it has been voted to demolish the Dragon’s Lair and Tom’s Glass even though they have history to each building.
Why then is the Palace still standing even though that building is a disaster?
What does the owner of the land on which the Dragon’s Lair and Tom’s Glass sits on plan on building on the property? And who owns the land? No one has printed his/her name yet.
The library sits across the street so hopefully whatever is being planned for the property will be built with the library in mind!
Seems like in this town if one has the right last name anything is possible!
Donna Van Wyhe
Went to Ukiah yesterday to try to buy a couch. What is going on with that town? It has a really strange vibe and there is a ton of poverty. I went to the one furniture place in town (other than Costco which was great but didn't have what I am looking for) and the employees where all unmasked and told me that they don't wear masks there.
Aren't we in a surge? I thought masks were mandated. Guess I'll be going to Santa Rosa.
BOB MCKEE HAS PASSED. For those of us in Southern Humboldt, it is as if a library burned or a giant tree uprooted. The landscape of our lives has changed a bit.
Gary Graham Hughes, the executive director of the Environmental Protection Information Center, told the North Coast Journal, “In many ways, Bob McKee was seen as the Gandalf of the back-to-the-land movement, in terms of people getting a piece of land.”
McKee provided the property and the easy terms that launched hundreds of small farms in the rural hills of Southern Humboldt, in the process providing young folks fleeing the cities during the Back-to-the-Land movement a chance to purchase a piece of paradise. His daughter, Sita Formosa, reminisced for us that sometimes people would knock on her folks’ door and McKee would end up selling a piece for as little as no money down and $30 per month.
Along with his wife Valerie and their six children, he welcomed the newcomers with warmth and hospitality.
In addition, McKee’s creative mind launched his own businesses including Whitethorn Construction which has become the hub of the remote community. His descendants are woven into the fabric of the greater Humboldt area. Many in their own right shaping and moving the path of the people who live here.
Late last night, McKee took his last breath. Formosa told us that he had chosen to get surgery in San Francisco, had seemingly triumphed and was doing well when he suffered heart failure about 11:30 p.m.
Thanking everyone for their “outpouring of love and support,” Formosa said, “We feel held and comforted by the community…We really appreciate how well-loved he was by people who felt like he changed the trajectory of their lives.” She asked that the family be given some privacy now in their grief.
To get a sense of the legend that was Bob McKee, listen to KMUD’s Lauren Schmitt’s three part series.
— Kym Kemp (KymKemp.com — Redheaded Blackbelt)
SUNRISE IN PHILO
ON LINE COMMENT
Good grief. This fire. The fire on Geyser Peak. In late January. And a big one near Big Sur. After a generous amount of rain. What the heck is going on??? Having lost a home in the Tubbs Fire, my anxiety level goes up every time we experience one of these Diablo Wind events during “fire season,” but I was not terribly concerned about the winds last night knowing that the landscape was green and well watered. My mistake. It now appears that “fire season” never actually ends. This is very discouraging.
HARD TO BELIEVE NOW, But This Is What The County Courthouse Looked Like In 1949
The Skunk Train Doesn’t Need Any Licensing And Is Free To Make As Much Profit As It Wants
Let’s imagine for a minute that you want to open a business in downtown Fort Bragg or any city, USA for that matter. You get one of the business packets from the city in order to figure out what you need to do In this case, there’s also a dilapidated building that needs remodeling first, so you need to get building permits for that. It’s a pretty daunting task for anyone. The building remodel portion by itself would make most stop and reconsider their plans. But what if you didn’t have to do any of that? What if you could just open your doors to customers and start doing business? No rules to follow and no regulations to abide by.
Apparently the folks who run Mendocino Railway have found a way to do just that. Using a Federal exemption that allows passenger and freight carrying railroads to bypass local regulations and permit processes, they run their rail bike business at 535 North Main St. with no licensing at all. The building has no inspections from the city and there are no fire safety inspections. They just open their doors to the public for a fee and that’s that. Or is it?
As it turns out, the Department of Transportation, Federal Railway Administration, lists two types of vehicles that ride the rails. There are the locomotive engines and their associated cars which include box cars, tankers, flat cars and passenger cars, and then there vehicles that are classified as “on track equipment”. On track equipment deals with the repair and maintenance of the rails and rail bed as well as sign repair and things of that nature. Rail bikes, like those offered for rent at 535 N. Main St. don’t have a place in any of that type of maintenance function. And, all of the operators of “on track equipment” must be certified to do so. Rail bike operators on the other hand are paying customers who have never worked for the railroad. There are no provisions in the Federal Railway Administration for customer operated vehicles. Something to do with safety on public rails.
But how did this happen. How did the City of Fort Bragg end up allowing a glorified bike rental business to operate in the city limits without any restrictions, permits or licenses? As it happens, the City sent Mendocino Railway a Stop Work Notice when they were renovating the commercial building in December of 2019. In response Mendocino Railway sent a letter (Image 2 and 3) via their attorney, Torgny Nilsson, stating in too many words that Mendocino Railway was exempt because of their Railway Exclusion.
Which, would only apply to railroad activities. Which Mr. Nilsson indicated was the case at 535 North Main St. I suppose a slick lawyer could argue that since the rail bikes are on the rails it is railway activity. Would he be right?
The Federal Railway Administration seems to also want to have a listed schedule of crossing closures. The only listings I could find were the ones for the train from Willits to Fort Bragg back when California Western was active, about 22 years ago. There has been no scheduling of road closings for any of the more recent train crossings let alone the rail bikes. Not sure what the penalties for that are but I’m on the path now to finding out.
In any case, after the letter from the slick attorney, the City of Fort Bragg acquiesced to Mendocino Railways assertion that it was railway business. So much so that the City even issued an electrical permit for the premises in question in 2020 just before the rail bike business was taking off.
Some of this information I have written about before and some is recently discovered. What’s important is that Mendocino Railway play fair and not use its Federal exemption status as an advantage over the rest of the public to do whatever it wants with no oversight. Let’s think about the rest of the businesses in town that would never think of trying something like this, let alone getting away with it.
There's a City Council meeting this Monday at 6:00pm on Zoom. Maybe you want to chime in and let the City know what you think.
Next I will start looking at the 13401 Sherwood Rd rail bike business and inquiring to our Supervisor Dan Gjerde how this business can operate without any county business license, etc. Stay tuned.
THE GOLDEN HORDE marches on. “Just sold by Sotheby's. Providing both buyer and seller representation (sic) for the modern masterpiece in the hills of Anderson Valley located on 160 plus pristine acres for a sales price of $4,100,000.” This “masterpiece” is an uncomfortable-looking mostly glass job that could pass as a dentist's complex. Come to think of it, a dentist probably bought it.
GAG ME. At a Democratic National Committee fat cat event Friday billed as a grassroots occasion but occurring without the roots, Biden kicked off with, “Hi, Kamala. I love you. You always have my back. You're really amazing. You're the best partner I could imagine.” Harris burble-gushed back, “I do!”
I REMEMBER the guy as a toddler, then a bright-eyed contemporary of my children at the Anderson Valley Elementary School, then as a ubiquitous fixture Boonville guy of no fixed employment or address, then Thursday morning shivering, teeth chattering, huddled in the morning cold near Mosswood, homeless and kept alive by the few kind souls who remember him before his long, sad fall. The vapers at the high school today could learn from him.
YEARS AGO I was invited to be the anti-pot arguer debating a pending pro-pot initiative. The superintendent of the Ukiah schools had partnered up with me, both of us having been selected for the big event at Ukiah City Hall by some mysterious lib lab selection process. The Super was a defeated-looking guy hanging on to retire whose sole argument was that marijuana was bad for young people. He was correct, but his hooch pallor wasn't a convincing visual. There were a lot of cops in the large audience, one of whom joked after the session, “We were surprised to see your commie ass up there, Anderson.” The pro-dope speakers were Dan Hamburg, a life stoner who mentally cracked up a few years later as a supervisor, and Doctor Peter Keegan, who later bludgeoned his wife to death, not the best advocates for weed but the stoners thought they'd be boffo.The pro pot people in the audience seemed to be led, appropriately enough, by a guy in a clown suit and they hooted throughout, solidifying their ongoing reputation for smug idiocy. But in my humble opinion, even with Superintendent Millstone on our side, we carried the night but to no practical effect since the measure passed overwhelmingly.
AN IDIOT'S GUIDE to the looming war in Ukraine. Putin is obviously going to invade the Ukraine vastness to annex the pro-Russian Ukranian border areas. When poor old Joe said he'd tolerate a minor incursion, POJ was probably only parroting what he'd heard his brain trust saying in between his applesauce and fourth nap of the day. There's nothing stopping Putin and, from his ruthless perspective, he naturally doesn't want more NATO missiles aimed at him from nearby. And he has Europe and US by the nuts because Russia supplies most of Europe with its winter heat, which has prompted Germany to already claim neutrality when Putin moves on Ukraine.
WHY NOT, there are only three oil change emporiums already in the immediate neighborhood of the ghastly, sparsely visited Holiday high rise eyesore.
"At its next virtual meeting Wednesday, the Ukiah Planning Commission will consider a permit requested for a business proposing to offer quick oil changes and other automobile services on Airport Park Boulevard. According to the staff report prepared for the Jan. 26 meeting, applicant Jeff Yokum is requesting a “Major Use Permit to allow the development of a new 2,137 square-foot Valvoline Quick Lube Facility at 1280 Airport Park Boulevard.” The lot is located across the street from Costco, and next to the newly opened Holiday Inn Express."
THE ENTIRE EXPANSE of Ukiah’s Commercial Blvd is an unplanned mess, anchored at the south end by the Hotel Grozny and that dope op that used to be a brewery, but it being the only proportionate, attractive structure in that area built in the old mission style by, of all people, an East Indian immigrant who arrived with a fully developed aesthetic sense that put him ahead of Civic Ukiah.
LOOKOUT FOR JOSE
On 01/19/2022 at about 9:56 AM, Ukiah Police Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 700 block of Waugh Lane in Ukiah for a report of a physical fight in progress among multiple male subjects. On arrival Officers contacted an adult male with moderate injuries in the parking area of the complex.
The victim advised he had been involved in an altercation with another adult male, identified as Jose Estrada Wirt.
The victim stated that during a verbal exchange with Estrada Wirt moments earlier, Estrada Wirt displayed a knife toward him in a threatening manner. Estrada Wirt then entered an SUV in the parking lot as the victim was talking with another male subject. Estrada Wirt then drove at the victim and rammed him with the front of the vehicle. Estrada Wirt then fled the location in the vehicle. Estrada Wirt was not located at that time.
Officers had Medical personnel respond and assess the victim’s injuries. The victim was ultimately transported to the Hospital. Officers obtained witness statements and surveillance video which corroborated the victim’s account of events. A locate and arrest BOLO (Be on the lookout) was issued for Estrada Wirt for assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing of a weapon.
On 01/19/22 at approximately 1600 hours, Officers responded to a residence in the 2100 block of S. State St. after learning Estrada Wirt may have been at the location. On arrival, Officers made contact with Estrada Wirt at the residence where he was taken into custody without incident.
Estrada Wirt was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, and exhibiting a firearm in police presence.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 22, 2022
VERSILIO AGUILAR-PEREZ, Oakland. Marijuana sale, transportation, conspiracy.
MATTHEW FAUST, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, false imprisonment, probation violation.
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
STEVEN GREEN, Fort Bragg. Battery with serious injury, resisting, failure to appear, probation revocation.
JODI HODGES, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MICHAEL LOCKETT SR., Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.
JORGE MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger.
MYA MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JAMES MILLER, Ukiah. County parole violation.
JASON MILLS, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
DANIEL PEREZ, Ukiah. Corporal injury to spouse by strangulation or suffocation, parole violation.
OSCAR SALES-PEREZ, Richmond/Ukiah. Marijuana transport, sales, conspiracy.
BRIAN SCHWARM, Carson City, Nevada/Ukiah. False ID.
WILLIAM WILLIAMS JR., Willits. Domestic abuse, county parole violation.
LARRY WOLFE JR., Ukiah. Marijuana for sale, paraphernalia, parole violation.
George Skelton’s Jan. 15 column in the Press Democrat said a single-payer universal health care bill in California was unlikely to pass because it would require a huge tax hike that taxpayers would never endorse. What Skelton failed to mention was how much people are already paying for health care.
My wife and I, a retired couple, pay between us nearly $10,500 annually for Medicare Part B and Part D premiums. On top of that, we pay our supplemental and dental insurance premiums and our deductibles and copays. Add it all up and I calculate we’re paying about $17,000 a year for health care.
I’m sure that’s more than the tax we would pay to fund a single-payer statewide system, which would replace all those expenses. The politicians pushing this proposal have got to get across to the public that, when you look at the whole picture, this will be a huge cost savings for families in California.
And that’s not to mention how nice it would be to live without the stress of paperwork, filing claims, paying bills, coverage, etc. If other countries can do this, so can California, and lead the way in America.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
American football is not very athletic at all. Seems to me it’s stoppage time most of the time, while fat men in tights talk. One second of action, 10 or 20 of non-action.
Baseball is not very demanding, either, in aerobic terms.
Basketball is different. And there have been cases of players collapsing in the US, I believe. And elsewhere.
Football – soccer – is one of the most demanding sports, period. You just cannot play it if you’re not fit as a fiddle.
ED REPLY: Some football players at the high levels of the game may look fat, but modern training methods keep them as fit, or almost as fit, as basketball players. Nick Bosa, the Niners great defensive end, has the lowest body fat on the team, and he comes in at 265. Agree about baseball, but even baseball players these days are gym rats, not the ballplayers of my youth who smoked between innings. Soccer is a great game for staying in reasonable shape. I'm glad to see it catching on in the U.S.
THE FIRST PANACEA for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
— Ernest Hemingway
REMEMBERING JANIS JOPLIN (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)
To many Janis Joplin was the first female rock star. Making her mark as the lead singer of psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company at the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival in California, Janis Joplin’s candle burned brightly for the next three years, ending with her death from a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970, aged just 27.
In that short time, her cultural presence was as powerful as her voice, inspiring more female talent within the rock, soul and blues scene, gracing magazine covers and photo shoots, and winning over new fans in interviews with her honesty and humour.
“I'm a victim of my own insides,” she once said. “There was a time when I wanted to know everything. It used to make me very unhappy, all that feeling. I just didn't know what to do with it.
“But now I've learned to make that feeling work for me. I'm full of emotion and I want a release, and if you're on stage and if it's really working and you've got the audience with you, it's a oneness you feel.”
Regarding Mr. Swindell’s fine essay in [yesterday's MCT] 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A SAD STORY
A wretched tale has it that a group of ornithologists from Woods Hole arrived one year to observe the terns. The birds must keep their eggs covered day and night, and the breeding couple does this in four-hour shifts. This rotation is done with clockwork precision. As an "experiment" some of the ornithologists captured a male tern and took him away. When the four-hour exchange time grew near, the female became restless. When the time arrived she began to urgently call out. Shortly, she was frantic, though she never left the nest. Observers noted that the entire colony seemed to gather together in "council" and selected a replacement, a bachelor bird hovering on the fringes of the flock who took to his new duties readily, settling onto the eggs and swinging right into rotation duty. Meanwhile, the captured and imprisoned tern who had been taken back to Woods Hole was banded and released. He flew over 2,000 miles from Massachusetts to the Tortugas directly to his nest. His mate refused to give up her place or even acknowledge him. He'd been gone, at this point, for over two weeks. A signal was given, observers claim, and the flock as one attacked and killed him as a deserter.
— Joy Williams, Key West
JUDGE RIPS PG&E as 'continuing menace to California' over wildfires as probation ends
PG&E Corp.'s five years of criminal probation are ending, but not before the supervising judge delivered one last blistering lecture about its troubled safety record and suggested that California's largest utility be carved in two.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup, in an extraordinary eight-page "final comments" filed Wednesday, complained that conditions had dramatically worsened despite the company's efforts to reform.
THEY CHANGED HER INTO A MAN
by Brian Medley
A mother who claims teachers secretly manipulated her 11-year-old daughter into changing her gender identity and name has filed a legal case against a tiny California school district.
Spreckels Union School District was responsible for “extreme and outrageous conduct” that led the student on a path toward transitioning as a boy and drove a wedge between mother and child, according to the claim filed Wednesday by a conservative legal group.
Jessica Konen said two middle school teachers who ran the school's Equality Club — later known as UBU (You Be You) — had planted the seed in her daughter's head in 6th grade that she was bisexual and then introduced the idea she was transgender.
The legal claim that is a precursor to a lawsuit follows a flare up of tensions in the district last fall after the author of a book widely criticized as “anti-transgender” quoted the two teachers speaking at a conference about how to run an LGBTQ+ club in a conservative community.
Spreckels is a speck of a town in the agricultural Salinas Valley, about 90 miles south of San Francisco. It was once home to the world's largest sugar refinery and was the setting for some of the scenes in the 1955 film based on John Steinbeck's “East of Eden.”
While Konen said her daughter had revealed she was bisexual, the mother was unaware she was identifying as a boy until she was called to a meeting at the Buena Vista Middle School principal’s office in December 2019 when her daughter was in 7th grade.
She wasn’t told the purpose of the meeting until her daughter entered the room and sat across a table from her and teacher Lori Caldeira broke the news.
“I literally was caught off guard. I was blindsided,” Konen said. “I didn’t even know what to feel like because I didn’t even know where it came from.”
Konen said she began to cry.
She said her daughter was also caught by surprise. She had told teachers she wanted to notify her mom, but didn't know they had set the meeting up that day.
Konen said she gave the school permission to use a boy’s name for attendance purposes and tried to be supportive, but it was difficult.
When schools went to remote learning during the pandemic in March 2020, Konen said her daughter began returning to her “old self” and now uses her given name.
But it wasn’t until this fall that Konen began to question how her daughter got on the path to a different identity after the article by Abigail Shrier circulated around town.
In a leaked recording from a California Teachers Association conference, Caldeira and Kelly Baraki were quoted discussing how they kept meetings private and “stalked” students online to see who to recruit.
“When we were doing our virtual learning — we totally stalked what they were doing on Google, when they weren’t doing school work,” Baraki said. “One of them was googling ‘Trans Day of Visibility.’ And we’re like, ‘Check.’ We’re going to invite that kid when we get back on campus.”
Neither Caldeira nor Baraki could be reached by The Associated Press for comment. Caldeira told the San Francisco Chronicle the quotes were accurate but taken out of context or misrepresented. The stalking comment was a joke, she said.
She defended their work, saying students set the agenda and the teachers were there to provide honest and fair answers to their questions.
The teachers were placed on administrative leave in November. They had attended the conference on their own time, but the district said, “many of the comments and themes stated in the article are alarming, concerning, disappointing” and didn't reflect their policies.
The district hired a law firm to investigate and the UBU club was suspended.
Superintendent Eric Tarallo said the legal claim would be addressed in the judicial system and personnel policies prevented him from revealing if the teachers were back at school. He said the investigation was ongoing and the district was reviewing and updating policies on student clubs.
The California Teachers Association said the conference was one of dozens held each year that, in part, help educators understand the need to protect students from discrimination, including sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
It criticized the group bringing the lawsuit, which it noted is using the case to raise money for its cause.
“We are concerned about a political climate right now in which outside political forces fuel chaos and misinformation and seek to divide parents, educators and school communities for their own political gain, which is evident in this complaint," spokeswoman Lisa Gardiner said. “The Center for American Liberty is concerned with pushing its own political agenda through litigation and has filed multiple lawsuits against various school districts and communities.”
One of Konen’s chief complaints was that she was kept in the dark by the school about her daughter’s participation in the club, literature teachers provided, and a “gender support plan” created by administrators. She said her daughter was even told how to make a binder to keep her breasts from developing.
“Parents are supposed to have access to all the educational records of their children,” said attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who filed the case. “The concept that the schools have a right to be running secret, don’t-tell-your-parents clubs and don’t-tell-your-parents programs and actively coaching children how to mutilate themselves, which is you know, not growing your breasts, is certainly not consistent with California law."
Under state and federal law, however, students have privacy rights that extend to sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Only in limited circumstances can a school notify a parent of their child’s sexual identity against their wishes.
“Outside of school, these students may similarly face potential hostility at home because of who they are,” said attorney Peter Renn of Lambda Legal. “For example, involuntarily outing a student as LGBTQ to their parents can very well lead to them getting kicked out of the home in some circumstances.”
BIDEN, TRUMP & ‘ILLEGITIMATE’ ELECTIONS
What’s worse than a President who claims elections are a sham? Two Presidents.
by the WSJ Editorial Board
One piece of President Biden’s news conference that deserves more scrutiny is his positively Trumpian refusal to say that the 2022 elections will be legitimate. The White House is now trying to walk this back, which is a good sign, but if Mr. Biden is changing his mind, he should say so himself.
In tweets on Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki insisted Mr. Biden “was not casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2022 election.” Rather, he was “explaining that the results would be illegitimate if states do what the former president asked them to do after the 2020 election: toss out ballots and overturn results.”
Is that the truth? Roll the tape.
Question: “Speaking of voting rights legislation, if this isn’t passed, do you still believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and its results will be legitimate?”
Mr. Biden: “Well, it all depends on whether or not we’re able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election.” Asked a second time, later in the news conference, he added: “The prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed.”
The White House’s attempt to say oopsie is even less convincing given Mr. Biden’s rhetoric about “Jim Crow 2.0” last week in Georgia. “The goal of the former president and his allies is to disenfranchise anyone who votes against them,” he said. “The facts won’t matter. Your vote won’t matter. They’ll just decide what they want and then do it. That’s the kind of power you see in totalitarian states, not in democracies.”
Who else does that sound like? “We had a rigged election, and the proof is all over the place,” President Trump said last week. “I ran twice, and we won twice.” Now Mr. Trump is claiming vindication in a statement Thursday: “President Biden admitted yesterday, in his own very different way, that the 2020 election may very well have been a fraud, which I know it was.”
A big difference is that Mr. Trump’s theories were refuted by the press and have alienated even many Republicans. Mr. Biden’s claims, to the contrary, are being encouraged by much of his party and many in the press, despite a comparable lack of good evidence. Sorry to be a broken record, but Georgia has more days of early voting, and offers more of its citizens mail ballots, than either New York or Delaware.
Democrats are on fire that Georgia’s election law lets the state suspend local officials. But this requires proof of “nonfeasance, malfeasance or gross negligence.” Democrats are equally furious about a plan by Lincoln County, Ga., to consolidate polling sites. But the county’s elections director, who happens to be black, says the proposal is related to Covid-19 protocols and low numbers of voters. This is also a county that went 68% for Mr. Trump.
If the White House is starting to fear that its narrative is getting out of hand, that would be welcome. The U.S. deserves to have two parties that talk in a way that buoys public confidence in elections, but one is better than zero. The danger as November nears is that if Democrats look like they’re in for a shellacking, the pressure to blame the voting laws will be intense. Swear it off today, Mr. Biden.
(Wall Street Journal)
TALES OF RIBALDRY
"I never was no bum. If someone was to call me a bum and it was out on the tracks somewhere there's no tellin' what'd happen. But if it was in town and someone call me a bum I would say, I ain't no bum, I am a hobo, and as a matter of fact is there any work I could do for you, sir."
Here's the recording of last night's (2022-01-22) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA): https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0472
Thanks heaps to Hank Sims of LostCoastOutpost.com for all kinds of tech help over the years, as well as for his fine news site, his own writing, his commitment to local journalism, not to mention Brazilian music recommendations and the explanation of the metaphysical geometry of a basketball game.
Also, thanks are due the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided at least an hour of the above eight-hour show's most locally relevant material, as usual, without asking for anything in return. (Though I do pay $25 annually for full access to all articles and features, and maybe you should too. And throw a bone once in awhile to KNYO. Be the best person of yourself. Go to KNYO.org, click on the big red heart, and give what you can. That feeling you get by doing good for others, you get that feeling for a reason. It's telling you something important.
Email me your work on any subject and I'll read it on the radio this coming Friday night on the very next MOTA show.
FURTHERMORE, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
The Junkers G-38. They should make these now, to look and feel like this, but with electric motors. They are beautiful airplanes. Maybe redo the tail a little bit.
The Crow, Samantha Fish, and Unknown Hinson.
And "My LSD-induced love affair with a pigeon."
— Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
BACK TO THE VOLL, CRAIG. YOU'RE A NATCH FOR UKIAH
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, 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
TOP COVID HOST NATIONS & HUNTING GROUNDS