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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, April 14, 2022

More Rain | Apfel Picnic | AV Wheat | Plant Day | Booneville Collision | Keeping Produce | Mural Celebration | Ukraine | Ed Notes | Evel Knievel | Mo Sez | Switchboard | Marmon Room | Women's Festival | Water Troubles | Orr Street | Fugitive Retrieval | Alphonso Riede | Sprouting Vegetables | MCHCD Website | Yesterday's Catch | Abhorrent UC | Peasant Prodder | Operation Hernia | Window Washers | Putin Guilty | Willits Derrick | Homeless Everywhere | Lord Lovat | Not Syria | Against Satellites | Run John | Caspar's Jumbo

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AN UNSETTLED WEATHER PATTERN will persist across the region through the middle of next week. This pattern will bring periods of beneficial rain to many locations, as well as gusty coastal winds and interior mountain snow. (NWS)

RAINFALL past 24 hours: Leggett 2.76" - Willits 1.66" - Laytonville 1.64" - Covelo 0.89" - Yorkville 0.60" - Ukiah 0.52" - Boonville 0.46" - Hopland 0.46"

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RAISING WHEAT IN ANDERSON VALLEY

by Bill Seekins

Wheat was one of the main crops raised in Anderson Valley by the first homesteaders. In 1864, John Gschwend built a waterwheel powered grist mill on Mill Creek and in 1881, Mr. Chapman built one on Indian Creek. This allowed the early settlers to easily mill their wheat into flour.

However, most of the grain raised at the time was used for animal feed. The roads were too long, steep and rough to make it profitable for settlers to haul animal feed in a horse drawn wagon. There wasn't a lot of corn grown at the time, because corn had to be planted in the spring and watered during the summer. [Irrigation was difficult before gasoline engines, electric motors and centrifugal pumps became common.]

But, wheat was planted in the fall, before the rainy season, and it didn't need to be watered. It was often harvested with a horse drawn binding reaper, which cut the wheat and tied it into bundles. It had to be cut before the wheat was totally dry, or many of the wheat grains would fall off and be lost. The bundles of wheat were threshed when they dried out.

When the threshing crew came to the neighborhood, the neighbors would show up with their wagons, loaded with wheat bundles and there would be a "threshing party". Six teams of horses would walk around in a circle to power the threshing equipment. The bundles of wheat were placed on the "feeding table" and the man doing the "feeding" would cut the string that held the bundle together, and slide the straw into the threshing cylinder. The cleaned wheat was put in sacks that held a bushel of grain. It took over a dozen men to run the threshing operation. Many of the women would cook a big meal to feed the crew.

Fast forward to today. The use of the combine has drastically reduced the labor used to process wheat. Now, the wheat is harvested when the plants are dry. The combine cuts, threshes and cleans the wheat in one operation. The Mendocino Grain Project has a relatively small, easily transported combine that is suitable for the wheat fields commonly found in the county. 

And, they do custom harvesting.

The Anderson Valley Museum has a hand cranked seed cleaner/bagger and they have photos of early threshing operations. The museum is open from 1 pm to 4 pm on weekends. 

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* * *

THE CHP REPORTED a two-vehicle collision at 10:33 a.m. on Highway 128 near “Booneville” involving a grey Toyota truck and a blue Mercedez sedan. The incident was later listed as a minor injury accident.

(1) It’s BOONVILLE; they’re sensitive to that common error, boont and all

(2) Use your Bucky Walter to call Kym while enjoying a Horn of Zeese and some Bahl Gorms.

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* * *

LAUREN SINNOT’S Mural Grand Opening is on! You are all invited to celebrate this four-year project that tells many local stories and contains over 200 portraits. Most are humans, but also 3 wolves, 5 dogs, 2 cats, a bull and a duck. The more of these portrait people and animals who can come to the party, the better our photo op will be! Please invite friends and family and share the flyer. It is a somber time in the world, but here at home let's come together to celebrate community, and its depiction in public art. Mutual respect and cohesion in a community helps that region, nation and the planet.

* * *

UKRAINE WEDNESDAY

ICC chief prosecutor says Ukraine is a “crime scene” during visit to Bucha.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urges Ukraine’s western allies to supply it with additional weaponry, warning the war “will become an endless bloodbath” unless they do so.

Kremlin slams US President Joe Biden for accusing Russia of “genocide“, denouncing the remarks as “unacceptable”.

Moscow claims 1,026 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered in the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol. Ukraine says its fighters continue to hold out.

* * *

ED NOTES

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ASSISTANT COACH Alyssa Nakken (92), the first female to coach on the field 

MS. NAKKEN is a welcome baseball break-through, but I'm surprised base coaches haven't been replaced by robots, as every other innovation this season seems aimed at roboticizing the grand old game.

DESIGNATED HITTERS for the National League. Unfortunate in the extreme. Thousands of exciting games occurred because a pitcher, batting for himself, performed unexpected heroics. 

THE REST of the “innovations” aimed at speeding up the game are for the new generations of attention-deficit disordered “fans” who can't focus their flea brains on anything beyond their telephones.

PITCH CLOCKS? No. So what if the pitcher takes a few extra seconds, or whole minutes between pitches? The game, perfect as it was before all these changes, was designed to be slow and, to the true fan, slow was savored, making the sudden bursts of on-field energy all the more exciting.

NO DEFENSIVE SHIFTS? Why accommodate non-team players who won't hit to the opposite field? Guys who refused used to be fined. Or yanked.

LARGER BASES? For the sight impaired? Alleged health and safety reform to spare players collisions, but the artful slides and the balletic shortstop and second basemen were always purely beautiful despite the occasional contact.

AUTOMATIC BALL/STRIKE ZONE? Pure blasphemy. Errant calls are part of the game, so why cater to the metric-heads and their eternal quest for perfection in all things? It's all aimed at taking as much of the human out of the game the cyber-slaves can get away with.

THE BOYS OF SUMMER will do handstands in their graves to know that every extra inning will begin with a man on second, supposedly “to preserve player health and safety.” Huh? Trained athletes can't play an extra inning or five without keeling over from exhaustion or injury? Please. 

* * *

THE GREAT EVEL KNIEVEL

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SUPERVISOR MULHEREN:

Question of the day. Can Mendocino County get out of its own way? I think it’s time that we did! There are a few out there hanging on to decades old disputes that the rest of us are ready to move on from. 

Bye crabs, Let’s go forward! Crab mentality, also known as crab theory, crabs in a bucket (also barrel, basket, or pot) mentality, or the crab-bucket effect, is a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you". The metaphor is derived from a pattern of behavior noted in crabs when they are trapped in a bucket.

Mark Scaramella wonders: What is the Supervisor talking about? Anyone know? “Decades old”? Who’s talking about County matters from more than 20 years ago/the last century? Who even remembers them? Why does it seem to bother her?

* * *

TELEPHONE SWITCHBOARD, 1925

* * *

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ANNOUNCEMENT PROMOTING LIVE CITIZEN PARTICIPATION (FOR 3 MINUTES ONLY) IN MEETINGS:

THE NEW “MARMON ROOM”

Welcome, Citizens!

We’ll just stick you in
The fine Marmon Room.
Please be comfy and quiet—
Watch our meeting by Zoom.

Don’t break-out in hives,
Pray, don’t worry or fret.
Sit patiently on your rears,
Then 3 minutes live you’ll get!

We want very badly
To hear your valued views.
We know you’ve got
Vital, important news.

And now we must move on
To the really critical stuff.
But—bless you, citizen—
Thanks a bunch for your guff!

— old codger citizen

* * *

Country Women's Festival, early 1970s. L - R: unidentified; Karen Rakofsky; Gisela; Morning Star, aka Estrella, shaking a rattle; Pelican; and unidentified.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Drought! There is no more room in the desert for anybody new. People are already moving east because of drought and wildfires. New home builders are unable to get permits because the required water is not available. Next year, Arizona is going to get hammered with large Aggie areas shutting down. A town northeast of Phoenix, Rio Verde, is losing its Scottsdale trucked in water because Scottsdale is being cut back. It started with wells, they now pump mud, then water was trucked in for a number of years. These are up to million dollar homes that will eventually be abandoned.

* * *

ORR STREET PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

Editor,

Years ago, the Wagenseller Neighborhood Association and City of Ukiah staff agreed that the Orr Street Bridge would be refurbished for bike and pedestrian use. The City broke that agreement and has allowed the bridge which has been closed to vehicles but still used by pedestrians and cyclists since 2010 to become extremely blighted and dangerous. Some City staff argue the bridge should again be used as a vehicle crossing. What is needed is a safe and attractive walk and bike path, not a short cut for the convenience of drivers through a neighborhood all ready burdened by excessive vehicle traffic. Last year, the City got a grant for a "transportation study" of the "Orr Creek Corridor". 

As part of that grant, consultants from the engineering company, GHD will hold a meeting to get community feedback about the plans for the bridge (even though the vast majority of neighborhood residents have all ready voiced their objection to vehicle traffic on the bridge). This meeting will be on April 23 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the north side of the bridge. Anyone can come by between those hours and express their ideas. It will just take a few minutes. The bridge is located over Orr Creek between Brush and Ford Streets, just south of the new Rural Communities Housing Development Corp Orr Creek Commons project. 

Please come to the meeting and advocate for a pedestrian and bike path on the Orr Street Bridge. The more folks who show up at the meeting, both Wagenseller neighborhood as well as other City residents, the better chance to turn this horrifically blighted bridge into a needed walking and biking path. 

Susan Sher

Ukiah

* * *

Reenactment of Fugitive Retrieval, 1920

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ON THIS DAY IN MENDOCINO HISTORY…

April 10, 1930 - Alphonso Riede was born in Toronto, Ontario, the only child of Alphons and Katharine Hingel Riede. His father was a wood sculptor who served in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, the Riede family moved to Santa Barbara, and Alphonso graduated from high school there, before majoring in music composition and piano at Santa Barbara State College (now UC Santa Barbara).

In 1952, he was drafted into the Army and stationed in Europe during the Korean War. After his return to Santa Barbara, “he took a trip to Finland to learn all he could about his favorite composer, Sibelius. By that time he had a substantial LP collection of classical music and this collection was to grow throughout his life, a life of classical music appreciation.”

Alphonso discovered Mendocino when a friend invited him to vacation with her, saying she would show him a special place. "We came to Mendocino and I was stricken by it. I returned to Santa Barbara and told my neighbors about it and we said, 'Wow, let's all go up!' and we did,” he said in a 2003 interview with Amy Katz of the Beacon.

By the end of 1969, he had rented the Everson building (where Barge North is located in 2022) on Main Street, and his store opened in January 1970. A 1976 ad for his store promised, “The best selection of Classical Records between Chicago and Tokyo (on a straight line) PLUS incense, papers, beads and high class junque.” In 2003, Amy described Alphonso as, "the man who owns the shop on Main Street that rents videos, sells single cigarettes, books, and other things.”

Alphonso married Nancy Ann Yolles in 1985. Nancy and Alphonso met in 1975 when she wandered into his store one day. She was really on her way to the bookstore down the street, but she stopped in because his store was open. "I was open all hours," he said. Nancy passed away in 1992.

Alphonso sold his business in October 2003 and “retired comfortably with his dog Bailey and cat Fred in Fort Bragg surrounded in the warmth of his enormous collection of classical music recordings, his collection of paintings and with a number of his father's carvings.”

Alphonso died in 2009, after a long period of declining health. His cousins, John Glaser and Felix Gumbinger of Ontario were his only living relatives. “He will be missed dearly by his many friends and by his devoted caregiver, Patricia Darland.”

(The Kelley House relies on the generous support of its community. Donations are greatly appreciated.)

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POST IT WHERE WE CAN SEE IT

Health Care District Mtg: April 12

The Healthcare District Special Board meeting on April 12 was cancelled due to lack of public notice. The same thing happened with respect to the District's Special Board meeting on April 7.

The agendas for both meetings were posted on the District's former website, at www.mchcd.org. 

While the meetings were listed on that site, the link to the Board Packet for the meetings did not work. It was not possible to access the agenda or the Board packet for either one of those meetings on that website. I had the same experience on my laptop and on my cell phone. There must be a system malfunction on that former website.

From my experience, this problem does not exist on the District's newer website, at www.mchcdorg.com. I don't understand why the Board Secretary is not posting meeting agendas and Board packets on the District's newer website. Doing so would avoid the lack of public notice problem.

John Allison

jrallison27@gmail.com

707.357.3732

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 12, 2022

Baker, Bodwin, Christopher

CASSIDY BAKER, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

IVY BODWIN, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

EMILY CHRISTOPHER, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, failure to appear.

Duman, Harris, Ladd

MARCUS DUMAN, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

EUGENE HARRIS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

CODY LADD, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation.

Lamboy, Martinson, Miller

MARA LAMBOY, Clearlake/Willits. Annoying phone calls, resisting.

BRIAN MARTINSON, Willits. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

SHANE MILLER JR., Ukiah. Attempt to acquire stolen property, controlled substance for sale, concealed dirk-dagger, paraphernalia. (Frequent flyer.)

Munoz, Newton, Sharp

RACHEL MUNOZ, Covelo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

JUSTIN NEWTON, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Domestic battery, child neglect, damage to communications equipment.

MONTE SHARP, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Sternick Swayze, Towers

CLAYTON STERNICK, Willits. Metal knuckles, marijuana cultivation, suspended license.

MARTY SWAYZE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JACK TOWERS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Vasquez, Wood, Youngblood

FERNANDO VASQUEZ, Susanville/Ukiah. Prison escape, bringing controlled substance into prison, prior felony enhancement, unspecified misdemeanor.

MEGAN WOOD, McKinleyville/Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.

KEVIN YOUNGBLOOD, Willits. Protective order violation, child endangerment.

* * *

PAY OR DIE

Editor: 

The failure of UC medical clinics to accept Medi-Cal patients is abhorrent. It is true that Medi-Cal pays pennies on the dollar of cost, but pennies is more than zero. No patient should be turned away. In the past 30 years, UC has changed from a university to a hugely profitable corporation. Regardless of profit, no patient should be turned away.

Dr. Roger Delgado

Sebastopol

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* * *

HERNIAS

The past ten years the area between my chest and grown seems to have transformed into a hundred year old termite – riddled bridge. 

So first one hernia, then two, then three, then four, and five. 

So hernia surgery the 6th of April. 

I wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything after midnight, but I had a small glass of milk and a piece of cheese anyway at 1 AM. 

I figured it couldn’t be any worse than completely ignoring the advice to quit smoking like a steam locomotive. 

After all that cavalier shit, I got spooked though. 

The movie I went to sleep watching was 1932’s “Lost Horizon” 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Horizon_(1937_film)

Seems like a bad omen. 

So then I go to the hospital . 

The attending nurse has the same first name as my LATE favorite aunt. 

The Anesthesiologist has the same surname as my LATE brother's given name. 

Bad omens everywhere. 

I don’t tell anyone this crazy downer shit, though. 

Instead I get philosophical .

I suppose there are much worse ways than going to sleep and never waking up. 

I had 56 very interesting years, and I can’t speak for others, but I ENJOYED smoking all those cigarettes. 

This song fits me I think ;

Well the worst didn’t happen. 

Two hours later I was walking out of the hospital . 

(That’s the shortest stay under anesthesia I have ever had.) 

I spent that afternoon smoking two packs of cigarettes.

Then came five days (?) of Hell . 

It wasn’t so much that it hurt, it really didn’t hurt that bad , 

but I didn’t want to eat anything, anything I drank tasted awful. 

I couldn’t lay down because every time I did it felt like I had pneumonia and my lungs were full of snot, so couldn’t breathe, and I didn’t have sufficient energy to sit up. 

That felt like being a turtle pinned on its back. 

But I couldn’t sleep sitting up. 

I couldn’t smoke. 

One of the worst parts of being sick is you can never do so alone, but no one I have ever stayed with likes a house as cold as I like it. 

And I have never spent time in a hospital that this didn’t eventually happen; “I’ll quit hassling you with the call button crap, if you just turn off the fucking heat to the room the first time!” 

And finally I haven’t been able to walk anywhere except doubled over. 

I have watched a hell of a lot of TV, but can’t tell you half of what I watched. 

I have seen this movie, ”Kidnapping Mr. Heineken” four times. 

But still can’t tell you anything beyond the first four minutes of the movie. 

Maybe that was the OxyCodone they gave me?

But I wasn’t exactly eating those like candy, and those ran out at 8 AM yesterday. 

But I still feel suddenly stupid and vacant. 

That brings us up to date. 

I still feel like shit, I’m still weak as a kitten, but I am back to smoking and back to you on line.

— Kesa Anne

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WOMEN WINDOW WASHERS, LONDON, 1917

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PUTIN MAY HAVE BEEN TEMPTED, lured, baited or even duped into invading Ukraine. He may have been lied to by his own generals and spymasters. He may not be the grand strategist so many thought. But he alone pulled the trigger. His tanks crossed the border. His bombs destroyed city blocks, hospitals, train depots. His army is occupying foreign ground. Excuses can be made. But they only mitigate his crimes, they don’t exculpate them.

— Jeffrey St. Clair

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Willits Oil Well Derrick, 1922

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RAMPANT HOMELESSNESS

Editor: 

What is happening in Santa Rosa? Trailers, RVs, makeshift tents, tents and just plain squatters are consuming our city. The 2020 homeless count of 2,700 fell way short.

Clearing Corporate Center Parkway was for nothing. All the vehicles returned and now encircle Kaiser's Mercury Way medical building. The first time we even paid to make vehicles drivable. Behind the Challenger Way veterans clinic is an old job shack attached to an older diesel truck that is not roadworthy. Yes, the shack is occupied.

There's more of the same on Kawana Springs Road and Brookwood Avenue by the fairgrounds. I recognized several street parkers from Coffey Lane. The camp on Old Stony Point Road has a garbage pile the size of a two-story house. The "mud pit" site has more, not less, squatters. The Bellevue Ranch camp is growing daily.

The powers that be must knuckle up and implement and enforce rules. Public officials don't need a paid service for advice. Constituents have provided input for years, only to have it fall on deaf ears.

Sharon Ridley-Smith

Santa Rosa

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1747: Scottish Jacobite Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat became the last man in Great Britain to be judiciously executed by beheading. He had been arrested after the Battle of Culloden and imprisoned at the Tower of London for nearly a year. After a week-long trial Lord Lovat was found guilty of treason and executed at Tower Hill. He was approximately 80 years old.

”Just before his execution a viewing platform holding spectators collapsed with the death of 20 people, much to Lovat's amusement. This may be the origin of the saying, 'laughing your head off'." - Historic UK

'The beheading of Clan Fraser chief watched by thousands' - via The Scotsman: https://bit.ly/2Exmgtz

(Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat after William Hogarth, 1746; Simon Fraser, 16th Lord Lovat)

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RUSSIA’S SUCCESS IN SYRIA’S CIVIL WAR Doesn’t Mean Much For Its Chances In Vast, United Ukraine

by Patrick Cockburn

As Russia appoints a veteran of the war in Syria as its overall military commander in Ukraine, who is expected imminently to launch an offensive in the Donbas industrial area, pundits ask if the tactics that proved successful in Syria could now be employed in Ukraine.

The new appointee is General Alexander Dvornikov, who was sent to Syria in September 2015 when Russia intervened directly in the war to stop a rebel offensive backed by Saudi Arabia which was making ground against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian air support for the Syrian army was of crucial assistance for the Assad government and continues to this day with 182 Russian air strikes since the start of April according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Gen Dvornikov, who became commander of the southern district in Russia in 2016, was credited by Moscow with turning the tide in Syria. Critics accused him of inflicting heavy civilian loss of life by bombarding villages, towns and cities, making them uninhabitable.

These may have been his tactics, but they had been used by the Syrian government since at least 2012. The appointment of Gen Dvornikov was confirmed by an unnamed US official, but not by Moscow which does not announce such appointments.

Long before Russians intervened directly in Syria, I would drive nervously through districts in north Damascus where every structure had been smashed by shellfire and bombs and the ruins then levelled by bulldozers to prevent them being used for cover by snipers.

Surviving inhabitants had fled and nobody knew how many had died: in Daraya, once an opposition stronghold in south Damascus, the tall apartment blocks were still standing, but gutted and emptied of people.

Above the entrance to a bunker, said to be too dangerous to enter, somebody has written on the wall “the martyrs of Syria are so many that they will build a new Syria in heaven”.

The Russians fine-tuned and reinforced what the Syrian government was already doing, suggesting that it rely less on massive but ill-directed firepower and more on squads of infantry with snipers’ rifles and machine guns.

This is effective, but the problem for the Syrian army – and the same may be true of the Russians in Ukraine – was that they were short of infantry and wanted to keep their casualties low. Simple lack of numbers may also explain the Russian failure to make headway in north Ukraine and the reliance on vulnerable columns of tanks and armored vehicles that proved easy for Ukrainian forces to ambush.

A key difference between the military landscape in Syria and Ukraine is that Syria is a jigsaw puzzle of hostile communities divided by religious and, on occasion, by ethnic allegiances.

In a Damascus district named Barzeh, artillery fire had reduced anti-government Sunni Arab neighborhoods to a tangle of broken concrete beams and collapsed floors, while nearby tall blocks populated by pro-government members of the Alawite community, who believe in a variant of Shi’ism, were unscathed.

In Ukraine so far, Russia does not appear to have succeeded in mobilizing local support outside the Donbas self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk where fighting is expected to escalate in the near future.

But one parallel between Syria and Ukraine which works all too well is that modern urban warfare everywhere inevitably involves heavy civilian casualties, and this is true regardless of who is doing the attacking.

Whole districts of Damascus, Homs and East Aleppo have been wrecked or levelled by Syrian government/Russian bombardment, but the same is true of Raqqa, formerly the Islamic State de facto capital in northeast Syria, which was subjected to intense airstrikes and artillery fire by the Americans in support of Kurdish-led forces.

The city of Mosul, the Isis headquarters in Iraq, suffered a nine-month siege in 2016/17 by Iraqi troops backed by American airstrikes and much of the Old City was annihilated. I was in touch by mobile phone with a number of civilians who lived there during the siege. When it ended, I tried to find out what had happened to them to discuss their experiences, but they all turned out to be dead or missing.

Air forces the world over tend to be dishonest about their ability to distinguish civilian from military targets. But investigation on the ground after airstrikes has invariably shown that civilian and military personnel were in the same place or one can be easily mistaken for the other.

This happens naturally but also as a result of deliberate choice with jihadis in northern Syria sometimes occupying one floor of a five-story building while floors above and below them are occupied by the normal residents.

The most striking contrast between the Russian armed forces’ intervention in Syria in 2015 and in Ukraine in 2022 is in the level of military competence.

Western governments had hoped that Russia would become bogged down in the Syrian quagmire, but instead it made political and military gains using airpower and a modest number of advisers.

Contrast this with the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, which stumbled from the beginning. Its troops failed to achieve their objectives, though the precise nature of these is still unclear. Too few Russian troops advanced on too many fronts to enjoy a battle-winning superiority in numbers and were forced to retreat after suffering heavy losses.

But triumphalism on the part of Ukrainian leaders and western military experts could still turn out to be dangerously premature – and the Russian success in Syria was not as atypical as it now appears to be.

(courtesy CounterPunch.org)

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* * *

RUN JOHN RUN

To the Editor:

I never would have thought I would say this, but I wish John McCowen would run again for 2nd District Board of Supervisors. I’ll say here and now that I’ll give John the first $100 for his campaign.

Mendocino County is in real trouble. A looming $12 million county budget deficit. A cannabis program $3 million in the red. A county pension system with a negative cash flow of more than $1 million every month. A PHF unit that will never get built despite millions of dollars collected in Measure B taxes. Homeless camps under every bridge and along every railroad track. An epidemic of fentanyl overdosages. A projected summer drought. Probably another wildfire. 

On balance, John was one of the smartest supervisors we ever had. He was certainly the hardest working. He was always in his office. Late at night and weekends. I served on several county grand juries, and I often worked nights and weekends writing or editing reports, and there was never a time John wasn’t in the building with me.

As a supervisor, John McCowen was also a freak for detail. He devoured information in the Board of Supervisors meeting binders. There was hardly anything he didn’t know. Every fact in those binders was a material fact.

And he pulled plenty of consent calendar items. John challenged the CEO when necessary, and it was often necessary.

John McCowen is what’s called a “critical thinker” in philosophy class.

Critical thinking is the rational, skeptical, and unbiased analysis of factual evidence. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It adheres to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of those standards. Critical thinking involves effective communication and problem-solving abilities as well as a commitment to overcome the egocentrism and narcissism that we see in so many public officials.

John McCowen is the very embodiment of the values of a critical thinker!

John made one mistake in the many years he served the county. He tried to create a sinecure job for a female friend as the program manager for the now-moribund County Climate Action Committee. At the time, I objected. I objected because the candidate for that job was weak. The only thing on her resume was a talent for self-promotion and grandstanding.

Years after that sorrowful incident, John should now be forgiven.

Please, John McCowen, run. I have already made out a check to “The Committee to Elect John McCowen”. It’s sitting on my desk.

John Sakowicz

Ukiah

* * *

Caspar's Jumbo at Hare Creek, 1900

14 Comments

  1. chuck dunbar April 14, 2022

    ED NOTES ON BASEBALL CHANGES

    “…THE REST of the “innovations” aimed at speeding up the game are for the new generations of attention-deficit disordered “fans” who can’t focus their flea brains on anything beyond their telephones… The game, perfect as it was before all these changes, was designed to be slow and, to the true fan, slow was savored, making the sudden bursts of on-field energy all the more exciting…”

    Perfectly put, Mr. Editor. How sad and messed-up and just plain wrong that so much of the modern world is speeded-up. What’s the goal, really, and what is lost? As an older guy, I come more and more to appreciate the slowing down–not speeding-up–of many processes. Gives one time to take it all in and more fully appreciate what’s going on. Take heed, young ones, much of the “improvements” are mistakes. You’ll see in time….

    • chuck dunbar April 14, 2022

      I’ll add this memory, of slowly played baseball: As a young kid in the mid-50’s baseball was my love, both watching the majors on TV, and playing in leagues. I remember vividly watching nationwide TV broadcasts by the wonderful team of Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese. They brought their years of experience and expertise and inside knowledge to us, as well as their joy in and love for the old game. I loved to hear their amiable chatter with us all during slow times in a game. And there was Dizzy’s use (and misuse) of the language, even singing us his favorite song now and then. I’d never seen such a character before. The games may have passed slowly but the time was filled in valuable ways. It’s a great memory from a long ago time.

  2. Michael Geniella April 14, 2022

    John Sakowicz’ gushing over former Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen is likely to be a kiss of death for McCowen, ‘the ‘critical thinker,’ if he is pondering a comeback bid.

  3. Bill Pilgrim April 14, 2022

    re: Ms. Nakken base coach.
    Is that a tin of chewing tobacco in her back pocket? She wants to fit in with the guys, but come on!
    Worst innovation to come: automation calling pitches. They’re already experimenting in AAA.
    Sacrilege! Abomination! Send it to the showers!

  4. Marmon April 14, 2022

    Musk have free speech!

    Marmon

  5. Jerry Burns April 14, 2022

    Hello Bruce,
    In yesterday’s AVA Today, you posted a picture of Deputy Glen Pinoli. My family lived across the street from Glen’s family on Rose Ave in Ukiah. That would have been in the early 60’s. His father, Norris, worked for the CDF. His mother Grace was very nice, but stern. I believe she lived in the Anderson Valley in later years. I was a little guy then but was friends with Glen’s younger brother Burton and my brother was a friend of Glen’s. I did remember that he had served in Vietnam.
    We, my brother and I, were curious as to the date of the photo you posted and if Glen is still living. Can you help?
    Thanks,
    Jerry Burns

  6. Marmon April 14, 2022

    BREAKING: RNC votes unanimously to withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates

    Marmon

    • chuck dunbar April 14, 2022

      Yes, they are afraid of debating the real issues that matter to the people, and they have no program and no platform for real reforms that matter to the people. It’s the right move, in a kind of revealing way. Trump, if he deigns to run, has zero skills in debating real issues, but he is a skilled demagogue and those skills speak to some. He uses his rallies to spread his vile messages. Why debate and look stupid?

      • Marmon April 14, 2022

        The 2020 Presidential Debates were not fair to Trump, he had to debate both his opponent and the moderators at the same time. All left wing nuts, including former FOX anchor Chris Wallace.

        Marmon

        • chuck dunbar April 14, 2022

          Poor Trump, always getting victimized. I feel for the poor guy. Nobody treats him fairly so he has to cheat and lie and steal and disrupt the election process. May he just go the fuck away and leave us all in peace (sorry, for that use of language, Bruce)!

  7. Marmon April 14, 2022

    “someone you don’t like is allowed to say something you don’t like.”

    -Elon Musk

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