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GUSTY NORTHERLY WINDS are expected across Northwest California through Sunday morning. Thereafter, a vigorous upper level storm system will move southeast across the region Monday and bring rain, mountain snow, small hail, and isolated thunderstorms. After Monday, cool and showery weather will continue through mid-week.
WIND ADVISORY remains in effect from 11 am this morning to 11 am Sunday... North winds 15 to 30 mph. Gusts to 45 mph except to 55 mph along the coast and over exposed ridges...Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.
(National Weather Service)
ON APRIL 7, CALTRANS held a Virtual Open House for the Jack Peters Creek Bridge Widening and Rail Upgrade Project. This meeting presented information and answered questions about the Jack Peters Creek project. Many of the public attended, with the staff answering 58 written questions and many more in-person concerns.
RICH FARLEY: For those that are missing the Starr mechanic, I'm available for mobile service. 30+ years as an automotive tech/mechanic. Give me a call for an appointment or any questions you might have: 707-684-0701 or 707-489-5951
SUPES TO RE-OPEN BOARD CHAMBERS for April 19 Board meeting.
(Attachment to Consent Calendar Item 3m which was approved without discussion or comment along with the rest of the consent calendar on Tuesday, April 5, 2022):
KEY PROVISION (from below):
“Clerk of the Board has established an overflow/viewing room in Conference Room B, which will have two sets of open double doors leading to the Administration Building quad, in order to provide air flow for attendees. For the safety of others, we request that attendees watch the meeting from the more ventilated overflow room, and enter Chambers when it is time for Public Comment on their item(s) of interest. Once they’ve provided their comments, we request that they return to the overflow room for continued viewing of the meeting.”
Translation: Members of the public must sit in a little isolation-room and watch the meeting on tv and wait for their name to be called, then immediately leave and skulk back to the isolation chamber after having been officially ignored. If a member of the public wants to comment on something that comes up at the meeting, it’s not clear how that person will be able to be noticed for comment — if at all. This is worse than the zoom meetings, completely unworkable, and hardly in the spirit of public participation. In other words, just like the Supervisors like it.
PS. This is what former CEO Angelo was apparently doing for all those months she kept insisting that the Board chambers were being “remodeled.” PPS. The “Clerk of the Board” is CEO Darcie Antle.
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Full text of attachment:
County Of Mendocino Decorum For A Safe And Effective Return To Chambers
Pursuant to the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan as adopted in the Mendocino County Safety Manual, this procedure is designed to instruct the Board of Supervisors and other employees on how to address a workplace violence incident and/or threat.
Immediate Threats to Life/Safety/Physical Threats:
Remove yourself to a safe location - if possible, an office/room with no windows and a locking door. Use any door blockers available to you.
Contact Ukiah Police Department at 707-463-6262 and/or by dialing 911.
Notify your supervisor and Risk Management, who will notify any on duty Security Official.
Complete an Incident Report form and deliver it to Risk Management as soon as possible. Remember to provide any and all evidence and/or documentation at the time of submittal.
Verbal Threats or Harassment:
Unruly behavior or harassment by a member of the Public or County Employee/Elected Official (non-immediate):
The Chair of the Board of Supervisors should speak with the offending individual and request they sit or remove themselves from Chambers. If they continue to be verbally abusive, the Chair should immediately call for a recess and direct all Supervisors and County staff to exit via the Board Chambers back door/hallway door, while directing members of the public to exit out of the main chamber doors.
Secure the office door with a door blocker.
Contact UPD or any on duty Security Official. Document the threat or inappropriate behavior in writing in an Incident Report and provide it immediately to Risk Management.
Written threats or harassment (internal or external)
Deliver any written threat or harassing correspondence via email to both the CEO and Risk Management.
Complete an Incident Report and attach the correspondence to be officially documented.
COVID/Illness Prevention Related Safety:
Social distancing of at least 6 feet should be attempted for both the Board Members and members of the public, wherever possible. Unavailable seats in the audience will be marked as such.
No standing room in Chambers is available at this time.
All persons in Chambers are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks.
Board Members and staff should wash their hands frequently and utilize the hand sanitizer
available at the dias/desks.
Members of the public are encouraged to use the hand sanitizer located at the podium before
and after they come in contact with the podium and/or microphone.
No one should enter the facility when they are sick, or displaying COVID like symptoms.
Clerk of the Board has established an overflow/viewing room in Conference Room B, which will
have two sets of open double doors leading to the Administration Building quad, in order to provide air flow for attendees. For the safety of others, we request that attendees watch the meeting from the more ventilated overflow room, and enter Chambers when it is time for Public Comment on their item(s) of interest. Once they’ve provided their comments, we request that they return to the overflow room for continued viewing of the meeting.
The submission deadline for Telecomment Requests and Voicemail comments will be 8AM on the day of the Meeting. All who miss this deadline and wish to provide comment must either 1) Provide their comments in writing via eComment or 2) Arrive in person for Public Comment.
Public Comment forms will be available in the back of the room for attendees. Once filled out, they are to be deposited into the pocket affixed to the chambers wall (near the podium). The Clerk will collect the forms and deliver them to the Chair, for use when Comment is called. All public comments will be limited to 3 minutes, unless explicitly stated otherwise by the Chair. All comments will be timed, by way of a timer displayed on the Chambers projectors.
THE VICTIM OF THAT FATAL STABBING at the Parking Lot in front of the County Social Services Building and the Wells Fargo Bank office in Ukiah on March 27 has been identified as James Robert Anderegg, 63 of Ukiah.
Leslie Adelman of Ukiah was arrested at the scene in what was described as a property dispute between two local transients which escalated into murder.
THE WILLITS RAIL TRAIL was discussed at a March 10 Community Meeting, held via Zoom. The Willits Rail Trail is a 1.6-mile Class 1 separated bicycle and pedestrian pathway that will be built on the rail corridor.
The city of Willits secured $6 million in grant funding in 2019 for the project. Design and implementation of the trail is currently underway. Once completed, the trail will be part of the statewide effort to build the Great Redwood Trail.
City of Willits Community Development Director Dusty Duley provided some background information on the project, which dates back to the 1990s. He said, “I just want to acknowledge the past 20 years of effort by the community, (City) Council and staff to get to this point.”
(The Willits News)
ED NOTE: And a bargain at a mere $6 mil.
CCC CAMP MOVING TO WILLITS
On March 30, consultants establishing control points to confirm elevation could be seen at the soon-to-be construction site for the new California Conservation Corps (CCC) Center located at 440 East Hill Road in Willits.
CCC Deputy Director of Capital Outlay and Facilities Dan Millsap estimated the project will take approximately two to two-and-a-half years to complete, depending on rainfall. He explained construction will be done by Broward Builders, Inc., a company based out of Woodland. Millsap has worked with them before and stated, “I’m super excited for this project.”
The CCC Center is currently located in Ukiah on what was once part of the mental health facility in Talmage. When they needed to expand, they tried to purchase additional land from the Mendocino County Office of Education, and were denied. They ended up purchasing approximately 27 acres across from the Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits.
Construction will begin soon at the new California Conservation Corps Center located on East Hill Road in Willits.
The residential center will include approximately 64,000 square feet of new building construction. The site’s 12 buildings will include an administrative building, seven dormitories, an education building, recreation building, multipurpose building with kitchen and dining room and a warehouse with work area and hazardous materials storage room.
WORLD REACTS TO DEADLY KRAMATORSK ATTACK
The bombing of a train station in eastern Ukraine has drawn global condemnation and calls for accountability, after Ukrainian officials said the attack on Kramatorsk killed at least 52 people and injured hundreds more.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attack in the Donetsk region was a deliberate assault on civilians, accusing Russian forces of firing “on an ordinary train station, on ordinary people.”
Thousands had gathered at the station in an attempt to flee, according to Ukrainian officials. Local governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said later on Friday that the death toll had risen to 52, including five children.
Moscow has denied responsibility for the attack, saying the allegations were “completely untrue”.
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Ukraine War Disruptions Send Food Prices To Their Highest Ever
Prices have soared for wheat, vegetable oil, corn, grains, threatening food shortages and hunger crises.
World food prices hit an all-time high in March following Russia’s invasion of agricultural powerhouse Ukraine, a United Nations agency said on Friday, adding to concerns about the risk of hunger around the world.
The disruption in export flows resulting from the February 24 invasion and international sanctions against Russia has spurred fears of a global hunger crisis, especially across the Middle East and Africa, where the domino effects are already playing out.
MICHELLE HUTCHINS CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF EVENT
Dear Friends and Supporters,
We’d be thrilled to have you join us for a Kick-Off Celebration on April 10. Music with John & Anita Wagenet from Twining Time, other entertainment, and snacks in a beautiful outdoor setting overlooking Willits. I look forward to seeing you there.
Kick Off Celebration Sunday, April 10 1 - 3 pm.
The Wagenet Pond, 23931 Sherwood Road, Willits (Watch for orange marker for turn off from Sherwood Road. Stay to the right past the gate, then stay to the left past the pond. Parking is on the right.)
Have a conflict? Consider joining us for a Meet and Greet on April 30 at the Mendo Dragon Community.
Meet & Greet Saturday, April 30 1-3 pm (This event shares a date with the Anderson Valley Unity Club Wildflower Show. We planned the event so you can do both. A two-for-one in Anderson Valley!)
Mendo Dragon Community, 9870 Grey Fox Road, Boonville
For more information on both events:
Lynda McClure at 707 272-0580 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle 707 496-9725 - email email@example.com
COPS SAVE ANOTHER ONE
On Sunday, April 3, 2022 at approximately 12:33 P.M. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the report of an unresponsive adult male in the 100 block of Ford Road in Ukiah.
Upon arrival, Deputies observed bystanders performing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on an adult male. Deputies were advised the subject was seen smoking an unknown substance just prior to losing consciousness. Deputies also observed drug paraphernalia in the immediate area.
Deputies assessed the adult male and determined he was not breathing and did not have a pulse. One Deputy took over performing CPR, while the other Deputy issued one 4mg Narcan dose to the adult male.
After a short time, the subject began to have a pulse and started breathing again. Medical personnel arrived a short time later and took over care of the adult male, who was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.
In April 2019 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) began to issue NARCAN® (Naloxone HCI) nasal spray dosage units to its employees as part of their assigned personal protective equipment. MCSO's goal is in protecting the public and officers from opioid overdoses. Access to naloxone is now considered vital in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control. At that time, the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard reported Mendocino County ranking, per capita, 3rd in all opioid overdose deaths.)
Narcan nasal spray units are widely known to reverse opioid overdose situations in adults and children. Each nasal spray device contains a four milligram dose, according to the manufacturer. Naloxone Hydrochloride, more commonly known by the brand name NARCAN®, blocks the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose (both medications and narcotics) including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness.
The antidote can reverse the effects of an overdose for up to an hour, but anyone who administers the overdose reversal medication in a non-medical setting is advised to seek emergency medical help right away. The spray units can also be used by Public Safety Professionals who are unknowingly or accidentally exposed to potentially fatal amounts of fentanyl from skin absorption or inhalation.
The issuance of the Narcan nasal units, thus far, have been to employees assigned to the Field Services Division and the Mendocino County Jail medical staff. Employees are required to attend user training prior to being issued the medication.
Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall would like to thank Mendocino County HHSA Public Health for providing the Narcan nasal units to the Sheriff's Office free of charge as part of the Free Narcan Grant from the California Department of Public Health.
Since the April 2019 issuance, there have now been (11) eleven separate situations wherein Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Patrol Sergeants/Deputies have administered NARCAN and saved the lives of (11) eleven people in need of the life saving antidote medication.
In October 2021 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a grant from the California Naloxone Distribution Project through the Department of Health Care Services to help maintain an inventory of the live saving antidote.
The 192 dosage units will be distributed to the Field Services Division and Corrections Division as current inventories from Mendocino County HHSA Public Health are being exhausted.
Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall would like to thank the California Naloxone Distribution Project through the Department of Health Care Services for awarding the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office with the Naloxone grant to better help protect his employees and the public.
POINT CABRILLO, DRAKE'S BAY & LENIN
I need some help from a history buff. What monarch claimed ownership of the Mendoza Coast first (around 1550 or 1600)? The King of Spain or King of England? We know that Spanish galleon captain Juan Cabrillo (Cabrillo means Youngcault in Spanish!) landed just south of our little Mendocino town of Caspar. Thus, that area is called Point Cabrillo. But venture a little south and you come to our other little village of Albion (Albania, Albany, etc.). This area was originally named New Albion by English Captain Sir Francis Drake. (A lot of us locals have fun continuing to rename it.) Evidently this was after Sir Francis had discovered Drakes Bay. I really would like to establish the exact years of Cabrillo's and Drake's discoveries.
I would like to quiz any Mendocino historians out there who might know who the first settler of Fort Bragg was. Possibly it was Lt. Gibson or the fort construction crew. It wasn't my ancestors because the fort was here when we moved south from the native village of Kbesillah (13 miles north of Fort Bragg and once known as the 'mother of Fort Bragg) in 1883. But my grandma was possibly in the top 10 first born in Fort Bragg city limits.
My high school sweetheart Lucy Standley claims her ancestors came earlier but I believe they were born in Noyo village, then a few blocks from Fort Bragg. When I was a kid there wasn't much to the town south of where CVS stands today. That was the site of the second Safeway and originally the old Fort Bragg Loggers Stadium. I remember when I was in fifth grade the Coast theater was a real big deal being built next to CVS (then Safeway) on the Franklin Street side. Before that we went to “the show” at the old State Theater located on North Main Street about a block north of the Skunk depot.
Speaking of which, how about these carpetbaggers who are attempting to “skunk” half of Fort Bragg by claiming eminent domain on all the old lumber mill property? People need to realize the obvious. Railroad property ends where the mill property, last owned by Georgia-Pacific, begins. Georgia-Pacific (and they are a rich enough monopoly) should as a huge tax deduction donate all that mill property to the city of Fort Bragg. The Fort Bragg City Council should hire good lawyers to “double skunk” that “Laurel Street Mom,” stop this eminent domain (that went out of style with King Henry VIII) and stick them with lawyer and court costs. Of course the city council has been lackluster since the days of Mayor Matt Huber. Is anyone on that council even a Fort Bragg native?
With all the environmentalists running around today why does the Fort Bragg City Council keep supporting the existence of that Pudding Creek dam? It was built to supply water to the lumber mill so it is no longer needed. This damage caused much more pollution to date than when citizens dumped their garbage On Glass Beach!
How about two amazing facts about Mendocino public officials. We have District Attorney Eyster and Judge Keith Faulder both called up together in the District Attorney's Office (dungeon) on a courthouse about 40 years each. Then in the Mendo voters elected them into office. Together they have at least 80 years with alleged attorney licenses. Then there is amazing fact number two: Pete Hoyle is 40 years as Ukiah policeman and Orell Massey about 40 years as a Mendocino County deputy sheriff.
Mendocino County Jail
PS. I was reading in a previous AVA about the human race ending up feasting on Soylent Green. I would really like the editor to speculate more on this future reality version of the green. What does Eco-Lenin mean? The only thing the commie Lenin did was pal around with environmentalist Joseph Stalin whose eco-idea was pogroms, genocide and murder. People need to realize that Lenin started that revolution in Russia because he was traumatized as a little tyke when the czarist guards assassinated his older brother that he idealized. Lenin was a commie revolutionary, part-time lawyer and ex-con of the Siberian gulags. In reality a full-fledged gangster who took power briefly much like Hitler until his pal Stalin poisoned (allegedly) his Siberian husky souffle. Lenin was booked as “man of lead,” as Stalin wanted to be called man of steel. Steel is obviously for strength, but what does a man of lead do? Meltdown and reinvent itself every five years?
What if Lenin had poisoned Stalin first and then stayed out of World War II? Half the Earth would now be overrun with Russians and they would probably be colonizing the moon. Well, Stalin stalled us from those horrors!
I forgot to mention Sir Francis Drake was from Albion, England. He named part of the Mendocino Coast new Albion because it reminded him of his homeland.
A quick court note. Stated recently District Attorney Eyster, Judge Faulder and this bogus lawyer Andrea Sullivan stranded me with all of them conspiring to convict me. This lawyer Sullivan is so stupid she really blew her cover at my last Court date. She told the judge she basically wanted to help the alleged victim appear in court by zoom television. Isn't it the DA's job to make sure victims are in court? So far no victim has come forth to accuse me. Why does Faulder target me? Recent court news: What about my speedy trial? What trial? District Attorney David Eyster has no evidence to present against me. My lawyer Sullivan says she has no defense for me. It has been written in the Advertiser that I assaulted a senior citizen. Well, I'm 67 years old and this alleged victim is 53. That Advertiser article got it all backwards. Eyster is stalling for some magical evidence to appear!
Check this joke Eyster tried to pull. He was going to use as a motive for attempted murder a letter I wrote in 2003 to the deputy district attorney Kitty Houston and a 2004 probation report. How can he build a case on that? If I threatened to murder someone in those documents why wasn't I arrested on the spot for terrorist threats years ago?
ED NOTE: Dave, eco-Lenin was a reference to the singleminded devotion young people will need to prevent global eco-cide. BTW, Lenin did not want Stalin to succeed him. He preferred Trotsky or, better yet, a committee that would hopefully prevent the murderous perversion of socialism that ensued.
DAVID GIUSTI: GUILTY AS CHARGED
A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Thursday afternoon to announce that it had found the trial defendant guilty as charged.
The jury found defendant David Charles Giusti, age 67, generally of the Ukiah and Fort Bragg areas, guilty of felony first degree attempted murder of William Barry Gordon, said crime occurring just after midnight in the City of Ukiah on March 17, 2020 behind the CVS pharmacy.
The jury also found defendant Giusti guilty of assault on Mr. Barry by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, also a felony.
Sentencing allegations alleging that the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon on Mr. Barry and that the defendant actually inflicted great bodily injury on the victim were found true by the jury.
After the jury was excused, the trial continued on the bifurcated issue of whether the defendant had suffered a prior Strike conviction in 1985.
The prosecutor presented certified court documents showing that defendant Giusti was convicted in 1985 of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, as well as the jury finding that the defendant actually inflicted great bodily injury on the victim in that earlier case. Based on the evidence presented, the Court found the People’s Strike allegation to be true.
The defendant’s case has now been referred to the Adult Probation Department for a background investigation and sentencing recommendation.
A sentencing hearing is now scheduled for May 19, 2022 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department A of the Ukiah downtown courthouse.
The law enforcement agency that provided first responder medical aid to the badly beaten victim, then investigated the case, and finally developed the evidence supporting today’s guilty verdicts was the Ukiah Police Department.
Special scientific assistance and analysis of evidence was also provided by the California Department of Justice laboratory in Eureka and the Department of Justice DNA laboratory in Redding.
A special thank you is extended by the District Attorney to the medical professionals who treated the victim in the emergency department back in 2020 and appeared this week to testify before the jury during the course of the trial.
A special thank you is also extended to the woman who saved the victim’s life by picking up the phone and calling 9-1-1 to obtain help that night.
The prosecutor who presented the People’s evidence to the jury and argued for the verdicts that were returned was DA David Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the four-day trial and will be the sentencing judge in May.
THOMAS JONES SENTENCED
With the surviving victim watching from the courtroom gallery, defendant Thomas Dean Jones, age 66, formerly of the Talmage area, was sentenced Thursday afternoon to longest non-death prison sentence in the legal history of Mendocino County.
Defendant Jones was convicted by jury in February of the first degree murder of his step-son by use of a black powder cap-and-ball revolver, and the first degree attempted murder of the step-son’s husband by use of the same firearm.
The jury also found true sentencing allegations (Strikes) that the defendant had previously suffered three prior robbery convictions in Lake County and three prior robbery convictions in Sonoma County.
When all was said and done at the conclusion of what turned out to be a relatively brief hearing, the defendant was sentenced to state prison for a term of Life Without the Possibility of Parole, (LWOP) plus an additional 172 years to life to run consecutive to the LWOP.
The law enforcement agency that developed the evidence underlying the defendant’s convictions was the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
The Ukiah Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife provided mutual aid back on the morning of September 23, 2020. The District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigations provided victim/witness and trial support.
The prosecutor at trial who presented the People’s evidence to the jury was District Attorney David Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over Thursday’s hearing and imposed the sentence noted above.
MURDER SUSPECT IN MENDO?
The death of a Kneeland woman has been deemed a homicide following a forensic autopsy Thursday.
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office investigators have identified 27-year-old Austin Michael Medeiros of Warwick, Rhode Island as the suspect in this case, and have obtained a warrant for his arrest in connection to this homicide.
Medeiros is described as a white male adult, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall, 125 pounds, with long brown/blonde hair and hazel eyes. He is also believed to have an unknown face tattoo underneath an eye. Current investigative information indicates that Medeiros may be enroute to Mendocino County. Community members are cautioned against providing transportation to hitchhikers anywhere in our county. If you see Medeiros, do not approach him, but call 911 immediately.
The decedent has been identified as 28-year-old Emily Rose May Lobba. Lobba’s cause of death is being withheld to protect the integrity of the investigation.
This case remains under investigation. More information will be released when available and appropriate.
Anyone with information regarding Medeiro’s current whereabouts or intended destination is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.
LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS NEED YOUR HELP!
In addition to the volunteers opportunities at the AV Village (upcoming training Anderson Valley Village Volunteer Training on Friday, April 22nd, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM @ Mosswood), here are a couple of other non-profit organizations currently needing volunteer support:
1) The Wildflowers Show (April 30th and May 1st, 10 am - 4 pm) is back in action and is looking for help! If you are interested contact: Dawn Trygstad firstname.lastname@example.org
2) The Hendy Woods Community (supports Hendy Woods SP) is looking for volunteers this summer to volunteer in the park's Visitor Center and to lead forest walks. For the Visitor Center we mainly need volunteers on Saturdays - number of days a month and hours are flexible - it's fun, easy and you get to meet people from all over the world!
The walks are on Saturday mornings at 10:30 am from June - September - I (Anica) lead them once a month and they are really fun - I love talking and having people follow me around :) If you are interested in helping out contact: email@example.com
Thank you for considering these volunteer opportunities - as you know volunteering is a great way to get involved, make a difference and meet people!
I would like to make a list of local organizations looking for volunteer support - please let me know of yours - thank you!
— Anica Williams, Anderson Valley Village Coordinator, Cell: 707-684-9829, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 8, 2022
CODY CALDWELL, Willits. Domestic battery, cruelty to child-injury infliction.
OSVALDO GARNICA, Ukiah. Controlled substance, concealed dirk-dagger resisting, probation revocation.
TIFFANY LUCERO, Laytonville. DUI.
DEBBIE MCOSKER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, under influence, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
REMO MCOSKER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, under influence.
ROGELIO MORENO-HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. DUI.
EMERGENE PHILLIPS, Covelo. Assault with firearm, criminal threats, felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, personal use of firearm, probation revocation.
RICKY PONTS, Fort Bragg. Burglary, failure to appear.
ALISON PROANO-AMAYA, Caspar. Domestic abuse.
THE QUIET REVOLUTION IN THE SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
by Jonah Raskin
Libraries reflect and validate the cross cultural character and personality of the towns and cities where they’re located. This is as true for San Francisco, where I live, as it is for other places which I have known, whether Oaxaca, Mexico, London, England, Saint-Sulpice sur Tarn in France, and Huntington, Long Island where I was born and raised. In my hometown, books with titles such as Labor’s Untold Story (1955) by Herbert Morris and Richard O. Boyer, were removed from the shelves in the days of the Red Scare. My father, who was a civil rights and civil liberties lawyer, saved Labor’s Untold Story from a bonfire that would have made it unavailable in Huntington.
Lefty books matter, and so do books by Latin, Asian, African, Black and LQBTQ writers. Theirs is one of literature’s untold stories over the past half-century. Libraries have changed because readers have signed petitions, marched, demonstrated and demanded books that weren’t on the shelves. Too often libraries purge old books to make room for new books especially in the US where the new is king, queen, jack and ace. Store them, don’t get rid of them.
Granted, while libraries aren’t at the forefront of revolutionary movements and institutions today, they can play important roles in what I think of as a quiet revolution that’s often waged book-by-book and event-by-event. I’m told that first responders are the true heroes of today, and, while they certainly have helped all of us immensely in California during fires and floods, they’re not the only heroes. Behind the scenes, forward-looking librarians wage peaceful cultural warfare.
From the outside, San Francisco’s nineteen branch libraries, from Anza to the Western Addition, look like fortresses that have changed very little over the years. After all, they’re made of durable building materials and sit in the same locations where they have sat for decades. But walk inside a branch, browse the bookshelves and look at the events and programs that are offered and it’s clear that big changes have taken place ever since the new improved main library opened 26 years ago in 1996. In another state, say Texas or Florida, right-wing politicians might want to burn books, and padlock the doors so no one had access to the “subversive” information inside. Bigots and reactionaries also exist in California, but in San Francisco they’re less visible and less outspoken than in other states, at least for the time being.
At their best, librarians spread and circulate ideas that are regarded as subversive. I’m reminded of James Madison who noted 300 or so years ago that “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both.” Sad to say, we live in a country where citizens don’t have free and open access to information, facts and the truth, which has become increasingly elusive because of corporate media, leaders Trump and Putin and politicians who want to keep the public in the dark.
Libraries don’t guarantee popular information and popular governments, but they help make those two things possible. It’s also up to readers and citizens to keep libraries honest, serve the needs of diverse communities, and move with the times.
In San Francisco, the eight-page April newsletter, “At the Library,” describes dozens of conversations, presentations, films and more that feature queer and trans writers, as well as women and people of color, including Natalie Diaz, the author of Postcolonial Love Poem, the 2021 Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry, and Michelle Cruz Gonzales, who has written what’s described as “a satirical novel about a near-future California that secedes from the US and forces intermarriage between whites and Mexicans for the purpose of creating a race of beautiful, intelligent, hard working people.”
Times have changed dramatically in the world of book publishing ever since Lawrence Ferlinghetti first opened City Lights in the early 1950s and tended to publish books by white men. Also, in that not too distant past, San Francisco libraries promoted novelists and poets who were very often white and male. They weren’t Confederate generals or out-and-out racists, but their names reflect a literary past that was patriarchal and that tended to emphasize English and East coast American writers.
The evidence is out in the open for all to see. At the Sunset branch on 18th Avenue, which is near my apartment, sixteen names are etched into the outer walls. Some, such as Poe, Emerson and Whitman, I recognize. Others, including Halleck and Stedman, mean nothing to me. Not even the librarians knew anything about them, though one librarian told me “they’re writers.” Duh!
At the Mission branch on Bartlett Street, 31 names are etched into the outer walls. Not a single one belongs to a person of color and there’s only one woman, identified as “Geo Eliot.” George Eliot is the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, the author of The Mill on the Floss, once required reading in public schools, and Middlemarch, a masterpiece about English provincial life. Fifteen of the authors are English, from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Wordsworth and Tennyson. Tolstoy is the only Russian, Robert Burns the only Scottish author, Homer the only Greek. Surprisingly, there’s no Charles Dickens and no Herman Melville, either, though there’s Nathaniel Hawthorne, Melville’s buddy.
Why these names were chosen no one seems to know, not even Susan Goldstein, the City Archivist, though she said, “they’re typical of the time.” The names on the walls reflect the authors who were popular back in the day and who had the sanction of academia. (The Sunset Branch opened during World War I.)
It’s a good thing for readers, authors, libraries and the culture of the city that there are far more books by, and events with, writers of color and women than there were when Ferlinghgetti arrived in North Beach and opened the first all-paperback bookstore in the US. These days the topics at the public library reflect current political, social and environmental concerns. April is “Climate Action Month.” Not surprisingly, Greta Thunberg’s I am Greta (2020) is available. What’s surprising is that it’s in Chinese. There are also two compelling exhibits: “Sustainability in Times of Scarcity” and “Wild Forest,” by Christopher E. Korman, one of the few men who is represented. Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman would want to attend.
The main branch has aimed to bring the world of letters up-to-date. The names of more than one hundred celebrated authors, including women and people of color, are listed inside the building on the “Constellation” above the main floor. Some are local, like the feminist, Susan Griffin, plus Armistead Maupin, famous for Tales of the City, and the feisty, muckraking author Jessica Mitford who upended the American funeral industry. Others are world renowned novelists and poets such as Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov and Jorge Luis Borges. Dashiell Hammett, the author of the San Francisco classic, The Maltese Falcon, joins the crowd.
After reading and taking pictures of the outer walls of the Mission and the Sunset branches, I thought about the names I’d want the library to add: Emily Dickinson, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, Gertrude Stein, Lu Hsun, the brilliant 20th century Chinese writer, and the socialist author, Jack London, because he was born in San Francisco in 1876 and wrote about the city in his best novel, Martin Eden. There are so many outstanding South American writers that it’s challenging to pick out just one or two. I’d like books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Elena Poniatowska, 90, the French-born Mexican author who wrote about the slaughter of students by Mexican soldiers that took place in 1968 in the Mexican capital.
The San Francisco library might reach out to the public more than it has so far and invite suggestions for writers to include. It might also offer talks, workshops and discussions about some of the writers from the past who were once famous and who are now largely forgotten. Anyone care to sign up for a talk on Poe or Whitman who seem to be as widely read and as beloved as ever?
I can’t help but wonder which writers who are popular now, will fall by the wayside and join Booth Tarkington, once all the rage and now mostly a ghost who haunts the pages of literary history. The library has some of Tarkington’s books, including The Magnificent Ambersons, which Orson Wells made into a masterful movie. One of the great things about San Francisco’s public libraries is that for the most part they haven’t canceled cultures, not recently. Rather they keep the literary past alive.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of Beat Blues, San Francisco, 1955.)
They seem to come with the seasons (what’s left of them) now: urgent dispatches on the unraveling of the earth’s climate system. Each one direr than the last. Each warning met with shrugs and political indifference. It’s not hard to understand why. After decades of prophecies, the climate Apocalypse has slowly and inexorably arrived. We are living it. Being burned and flooded and parched by it. The old nihilism has become the new realism–for anyone paying attention.
What needs to be done? Nothing less than a revolution in the way the world’s economy functions and the fuels that drive it. What can be done? Not much. What will be done? Almost nothing. That’s my read on the latest (and reportedly the final) consensus report from the IPCC, a document reads less like the Book of Revelations than an after-bombing damage assessment. The bottom-line is that the 1.5C warming goal set by the panel in 2015 is obsolete. It’s unattainable. Defunct. Moreover, it’s always been unattainable. The international plans to slow global warming from Kyoto to Paris would not have been able to keep the climate below that threshold, even had they been fully-implemented. Needless to say, they haven’t been fully implemented. Far from it.
Consider this: the average annual greenhouse gas emissions over the last 10 years were the highest in … human history. In 2019, carbon emissions were about 54% higher than in 1990. Sixty percent of all historical emissions were produced in the lifetime of the average American, who is 38. Almost 90 percent were produced since the birth of Joe Biden in November 1942.
In order to get anywhere close to 1.5C, the world needs to cut carbon emissions to near zero by 2050. But that’s not happening. Carbon emissions from currently-operating fossil fuel infrastructure alone exceed the carbon budget for 1.5C. Emissions from planned infrastructure exceed the carbon budget for 2C. The investments in fossil fuels exceed those for those mitigation and adaptation. And this is just the power-generation sector!
Even the IPCC has come to realize that any goals, even the most ambitious, set by treaties are not binding. There’s no mechanism to enforce them. No penalties for not meeting them. Especially for the biggest culprits, who enjoy carbon impunity. As long as there is coal, gas and oil to burned, and the plants to burn them, they will be burned. And there’s still lots of fossil fuel in reserve and a vast infrastructure for consuming it.
The IPCC report essentially throws in the towel on the possibility of radically reducing carbon emissions. (At this point it’s unlikely that their increase can even be restrained.) Instead, they focus on the chimera of carbon-capture and removal schemes that rely on unproven and even dubious technologies that will attract subsidy and tax-credit hungry corporations but do little if anything to keep the planet from blowing past 1.5C and toward 2C.
How many “now or never” reports on the unfolding climate catastrophe do we need to get before realizing we are living in Never-Neverland? Oh, never mind…
— Jeffrey St. Clair
THE GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA SAYS.....
WHY WE CAN'T HELP UKRAINE (on line comment): The unfortunate truth is that the credibility of our country and governing class stands at a low point. The biggest obstacle to our taking effective action in the world is ourselves-our largely self-imposed economic, military, and moral weakness. In today's political climate, with America's international leadership ebbing fast, and its presidential office occupied by a visibly incompetent blunderer, whose incautious public blusterings can be taken no more seriously than the rantings of a child, the United States is simply in no shape to take on the long and complex work of international diplomacy. Based on our recent track record, there is no reason to believe we have the capacity, as a nation, to sustain a serious effort in that direction. Instead, since at least the 2000 election, we have saved most of our energies for vicious and unproductive domestic politics, including an astonishingly deceitful effort, undertaken with the support of high-ranking officials in our intelligence agencies, to convince the American people that their president had been elected by means of 'collusion' with the Russians. We have been living in a dream world, thinking that our conspicuous internal divisions, exposed to all the world, would never be used against us, someday and somehow, to maximum effect. We are paying the price for having been, for too long, an unserious nation governed by unserious people.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
As part of my job I was tasked with finding a rental for an employee who was commuting every day from Nice to Manchester! I looked every work day and on Sundays for a year, on multiple sites, new listings automatically sent to me daily... and the rare times there was a listing, the prices were absolutely gobsmacking. On AVERAGE they were listed for $1-2K per bdrm, but a few 3-4 bedrooms, and I kid you not, they' were asking $15-30K PER MONTH. And I'm not referring to coastal homes/ocean front at all, (because there are none out here, they've all been left vacant to be Air B&B's which suck the life out of the local community... visitors spend hundreds per night, and then when they're here, complain that nothing's open, or so few dining and shopping choices. Because no working person earning a wage can possibly afford rents. Thus the viscous cycle.) The high rents I saw were throughout Mendocino county. And people look down on those who are forced to live in their cars, assuming ill of them. When in fact, they're hardworking people with jobs, but no affordable housing! The wage/rent gap is untenable and obscene. I was on the leading edge of that 7 years ago, when a Foreign National woman bought my house, paid cash, 3x the asking price. Tore out the front yard and 75 year old apple tree and literally paved across the entire front of the property turning it into parking for 4! And then she tripled my rent... so... this has been building for a while. Now the levels are not just precarious, but, deadly. Alas.
YOU CAN’T EXIST AS A WRITER for very long without learning that something you write is going to upset someone, sometime, somewhere. Whether you end up with a bullet in your neck will depend on many factors—there are lots of bullets, and some necks are thicker than others—but let us pause to remember that the most important meaning of freedom of expression is not that you can say anything you like without any consequences whatsoever but that the bullet should not be your government’s, and it should not be fired into your neck for an expression of political views that don’t coincide with theirs.
— Margaret Atwood
Everything about America is looking more and more medieval….
Back in the quaint old days of the George “W” Bush admin, White House political advisor Karl Rove famously said, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.” He was actually bragging on it, a little bit, I think.
Didn’t that set the tone for the years that have followed? The part that even the perspicacious Mr. Rove missed, though, is that the viziers of empire are perhaps even more apt to create their own unreality, which explains a lot about these fretful present days of American collapse. Is there anything the government tells you now that is not some sort of fabrication? One thing for sure is that the elite colleges churn out thousands of certified bullshit artists every year — with no other skills — and many gravitate to the power centers of our national life, where they rise in the ranks spinning metaphysical simulacrums of their boss’s purviews — the Jen Psaki types, who ricochet between the DC political bunkers and boob tube news central. The less glib and physically unpresentable become mere “fact-checkers,” the network of casual liars who toil in the trenches of official unreality.
It’s all pretty hard on the common folk’s brains, and eventually on their souls, as they sink into this mire of purpose-spun cognitive dissonance.
What’s followed in our attempts to punish The Evil Putin (the source of all our problems) is the most feckless fiasco of unanticipated consequences since Kaiser Wilhelm gave the go-ahead to Austria to punish Serbia over the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. Voila: a World War. Only in this case it’s looking more like a suicidal economic war by Western Civ on itself.
How are those sanctions working out? No fuel for German industry… no fertilizer for Iowa farmers… no nickel and other metals to make machine parts for Europe and America…. And suddenly, having kicked Russia out of the international trade payment clearing system (SWIFT), we’ve provoked them to resort to backing the ruble with gold, meaning that our broke-down Bretton Woods fiat money system becomes the new “barbarous relic” of global finance, leaving the West to pound sand down a rat hole, while the other two-thirds of the world do actual business for commodities that modern life can’t do without.
The result of all that? America and its partners in Western Civ resign from modern life and go medieval. Everything about America is looking more and more medieval — our rough living conditions, our lawlessness, our violent entertainments, our Hobbesian racketeering, our occult sexual preoccupations, our depraved elites, our quack science. Our center has not been holding for so long that hardly anyone even remembers where the center used to be. And now the bottom is falling out.
Hence, that pitiful scene in the White House this week with “Joe Biden” wandering aimlessly through a crowd focused on the charismatic Barack Obama — apparently tired of working-from-home. Even the luminous Dr. Jill has abandoned this hollow figurehead on Democracy’s flagship. You have to wonder if Mr. Putin saw the video, and if even he had to cringe at the sad spectacle of his antagonist’s ruin.
— James Kunstler
WITHOUT FULLY REALIZING IT, he [Putin] has actually attacked Russia itself. Whichever way the war ends, Russia has already lost it, economically and symbolically. It has lost the memory that will remain from this war. It will not be able to tell the story, no matter how much propaganda it may put out, like it managed to tell its own story as both victim and victor in World War II. This memory, and these stories, will now be very different. In his blindness, Putin is portraying himself very clearly as embodying that line we know from Gogol’s Taras Bulba: “I gave you life, I will take it.” Only he didn’t give it life. And he can’t kill it, he will only hurt it badly, and Russia will continue to bleed, literally and symbolically, for decades after this war.
— Georgi Gospodinov
BITCOIN, EH... not exactly the most stable investment... don't get me wrong, folks who got in early, made out like banditos... These days, what you get for your investment is incredible volatility, literally insane amounts of attacks by hackers, government looking new and exciting ways to track and tax you, and growing inability to expand the blockchain due to power limitations and governments frowning on the process. If you're going to invest in a crypto... try Ape-coin, at least they're trying to preserve the diversity of the world's higher primates (do a little good with your investment.)
One other way to protect your money in a relatively stable investment is CDs. Say 5 year term CDs. Take a fair chunk of money, break into 60 equal size chunks and every month over 5 years drop a chunk in for 5 years. By the time it's all invested... You get the advantage of 5 year CD growth, while meeting or beating inflation, and you always have a 1 month chuck you can pop out in a couple weeks without penalties, and a couple months for minimal penalties if there's an emergency. Just keep rotating the money in and keep growing your principal... no shrinking ice cube. That said, the system is very much rigged. "Heads they win, Tails you lose."
— Marie Tobias
I am going to be 68 in six days, if I live that long. I’m optimistic. Mostly.
God, what a world. What a heartbreaking, terrifying freak show. It is completely ruining my birthday plans. I was going to celebrate how age and the grace of myopia have given me the perspective that almost everything sorts itself out in the end. That good will and decency and charity and love always eventually conspire to bring light into the darkest corners. That the crucifixion looked like a big win for the Romans.
But turning 68 means you weren’t born yesterday. Turning 68 means you’ve seen what you’ve seen—Ukraine, Sandy Hook, the permafrost…Marjorie Taylor Greene. By 68, you have seen dear friends literally ravaged by cancer, lost children, unspeakable losses. The midterms are coming up. My mind is slipping. My dog died.
Really, to use the theological terms, it is just too frigging much.
And regrettably, by 68, one is both seriously uninterested in a vigorous debate on the existence of evil, or even worse, a pep talk.
So what does that leave? Glad you asked: the answer is simple. A few very best friends with whom you can share your truth. That’s the main thing. By 68, you know that the whole system of our lives works because we are not all nuts on the same day. You call someone and tell them that you hate everyone and all of life, and they will be glad you called. They felt that way three days and you helped them pull out of it by making them laugh or a cup of tea. You took them for a walk, or to Target.
Also, besides our friends, getting outside and looking up and around changes us: remember, you can trap bees on the bottom of Mason jars with a bit of honey and without a lid, because they don’t look up. They just walk around bitterly bumping into the glass walls. That is SO me. All they have to do is look up and fly away. So we look up. In 68 years, I have never seen a boring sky. I have never felt blasé about the moon, or birdsong, or paper whites.
It is a crazy drunken clown college outside our windows now, almost too much beauty and renewal to take in. The world is warming up.
Well, how does us appreciating spring help the people of Ukraine? If we believe in chaos theory, and the butterfly effect, that the flapping of a Monarch’s wings near my home can lead to a weather change in Tokyo, then maybe noticing beauty—flapping our wings with amazement—changes things in ways we cannot begin to imagine. It means goodness is quantum. Even to help the small world helps. Even prayer, which seems to do nothing. Everything is connected.
But quantum is perhaps a little esoteric in our current condition. (Well, mine: I’m sure you’re just fine.) I think infinitely less esoteric stuff at 68. Probably best to have both feet on the ground, ogle the daffodils, take a sack of canned good over to the food pantry, and pick up trash. This helps our insides enormously.
So Sunday I will celebrate the absolutely astonishing miracle that I, specifically, was even born. As Fredrick Buechner wrote, “The grace of God means something like, Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.” I will celebrate that I have shelter and friends and warm socks and feet to put in them, and that God or Gus found a way to turn the madness and shame of my addiction into grace, I’ll shake my head with wonder, which I do more and more as I age, at all the beauty that is left and all that still works after so much has been taken away. So celebrate with me. Step outside and let your mouth drop open. Feed the poor with me, locally or, if you want to buy me something, make a donation to UNICEF. My party will not be the same without you.
MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO ALL NIGHT FRIDAY NIGHT!
Hi! Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 6 or 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on the radio /next/ week.
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 http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128 (That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.)
Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there. Also there you'll find educational materials to fascinate and manipulate until showtime, or any time, such as:
"What if, instead of scaring people with horror stories of unsafe self-managed abortions, we educated everyone about how easy and safe self-managed abortion can actually be."
Fjords. You can thank Slartibartfast for them, or could, rather, if they hadn't all been vaporized along with the entire original Earth, to make way for a hyperspace bypass.
And the paraphernalia of poison.
— Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
CATCHING UP WITH CRAIG
Everything is cool here at Building Bridges homeless shelter on south State Street in Ukiah. Have volunteered to manage trash/recycling which is contributing to the overall positivity. Plowshares free meal is at 11:30 a.m. just down the road. Dental appointments are going well at the Little Lake View clinic in Willits on Hazel Street… the discounted rate is $60 per visit due to my “low income”; living on the $800 monthly social security, (after 50 years of frontline participating in saving the world, much of it to help clueless, spiritually lost postmodern America), which has resulted in my now having nothing of any consequence materially. Am on three waiting lists for a subsidized apartment in Ukiah. Meanwhile, I am not identified with the body. I am not identified with the mind. The Immortal Self I am!
Craig Louis Stehr