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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Showers | Quake | Plant Sale | Testing/Boosters | Quarantine Rules | Pill Dropoff | Lucille Update | Help Wanted | Grand Opening | Suing PG&E | MCHCD Zoom | Girl Swinging | Ukraine | We Few | Coast Highway | Real Estate | Zoom Jeopardy | Mother Marmon | Cleveland Guardians | Sprinkle Note | Firesafe Grants | Flowers | Bees | Good Deeds | PA 4th | Smoking Skull | Cannabis Issues | Soldier Candy | Ed Notes | Water Fees | Yesterday's Catch | Sex Talk | Liberty Garden | Clarence Darrow | War Pimps | Unpopular | Boaters | Cossack Horsemen | Smith Ranch | Hospital Supply | Cuke Facts | Treeclimbers | Fentanyl Roulette | Butt Stroke | Geysers Road | Coal Baron | Soviet Sailors | Meet Reinette | ukiaHaiku | Thralldom | 7 Riders | 21 Lessons | Stick Clown | Amazon Ruling

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SHOWERS and a slight chance of thunderstorms are expected to spread across the coast this morning spreading inland in the afternoon. Another round of gusty south winds and widespread beneficial rain will occur on Wednesday, with additional showers and locally heavy mountain snow occurring on Thursday. Drier weather and warmer temperatures are expected by the weekend. (NWS)

RAINFALL last night: Leggett 1.04" - Laytonville 0.84" - Willits 0.74" - Yorkville 0.56" - Covelo 0.50" - Boonville 0.32" - Hopland 0.28" - Ukiah 0.23"

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QUAKE: A 3.3-magnitude earthquake rattled parts of the North Bay Monday night, but there were no reports of any damage.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the temblor was recorded at about 10 p.m. Its epicenter was just under 2 miles east-southeast of Cloverdale.

With a depth of about a mile, the shaking it caused was considered light to moderate. Residents of Novato reported feeling the rumblings as did others as far south as Half Moon Bay.

Monday night’s quake was preceded by a very weak 1.6-magnitude quake that was recorded shortly after 3 a.m. in the same general area.

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ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER:

The county is no longer providing COVID testing on Mondays at the fairgrounds. This doesn't mean people shouldn't be testing for COVID, we still have active cases in our community. Please contact the clinic for Tues/Thurs morning testing by appointment. You can also test at the Ukiah fairgrounds all days but Friday. Also please order rapid tests from the federal govt for FREE, its good to have them on hand in case of exposure, outbreaks, illness, travel etc. https://www.covid.gov/tests

Please call us for 2nd COVID booster info if you are over 50 years old. Thanks!

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MENDOCINO COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER Dr. Andy Coren is rescinding the local Isolation and Quarantine requirements for COVID-19 for the general public. Effective immediately, persons who have been in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms are no longer required to quarantine after their exposure, regardless of their vaccination status, unless they live or work in a high-risk setting.

This change in local requirements comes after the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) ended its quarantine recommendation for the general public. Exposed persons should still get tested for COVID 3-5 days after an exposure and wear a mask around others for 10 days, but can continue to work, go to school, and participate in normal activities as long as they have no symptoms.

The statewide COVID-19 Isolation Order remains in effect for people who have a positive test, COVID symptoms, or been diagnosed by a provider. Isolation can end on day 5 with a negative test and if no fever is present and symptoms are resolving. For those with a positive test on day 5, isolation may end after 10 days if there is no fever and symptoms are resolving.

“I am rescinding the local Quarantine Order in order to align with CDPH guidance and reduce confusion around quarantine requirements in Mendocino County,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. “This change recognizes that transmission levels are decreasing and safe, effective vaccines and oral treatments available. We know the pandemic will continue to evolve, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

As the incubation period of circulating COVID variants has grown shorter (now averaging 2-3 days), quarantine has become less useful, with many exposed persons receiving notification of an exposure after their incubation period ended.

CDPH quarantine instructions continue to recommend quarantine for employee and resident close contacts in certain high-risk settings where transmission risk is high and the populations served are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease. These settings include homeless and emergency shelters, healthcare settings, correctional facilities, and long-term care facilities.

COVID-19 information and various data dashboards are available on our website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/covid19

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LUCILLE ESTES, AN UPDATE:

I just spoke with Lucille [Estes]. She is very content, staying with her son now, who she said is treating her extremely well. Her vision had suddenly deteriorated to the point where it was not safe for her to stay alone. A trip to the eye doc revealed a tiny hole in her left retina. The doc said it’s a fairly easy fix with surgery, which will be happening soon. A couple of weeks ago, Lucille had been alarmed by her eyesight suddenly getting all fuzzy and a couple of other symptoms. She’d been unable to get in to see her regular doc on short notice, so she had a trip to the emergency room. At first she was told she’d had a small stroke; but the next day she was able to see her regular doc, who discarded the stroke diagnosis. She remains clear headed and in good spirits. What an inspiration for aging!” 

— Nancy McLeod

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HELP WANTED IN CASPAR:

Yard work; light maintenance; one day weekly, 4-5 hours.

Bill (707) 961-6127

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FISHERY GROUPS PLAN TO SUE PG&E OVER POTTER VALLEY PLANT AND RELATED SCOTT, CAPE HORN DAMS

by Mary Callahan

A coalition of fishery groups has formally notified PG&E that it plans to file suit under the Endangered Species Act, alleging the continued injury to once abundant federally protected salmon and steelhead trout as a result of operations at the utility's aging Potter Valley powerhouse.

The legal maneuver is part of an effort to expedite removal of Scott and Cape Horn dams, which pose a threat to vulnerable fish species in the Eel River and block access to hundreds of miles of prime habitat upstream.

The plaintiffs contend that last Thursday's expiration of PG&E's license for the project means the utility is no longer protected from liability and must be found in violation of the Endangered Species Act — a point the utility disputes.

A formal notice filed Friday by the coalition gives PG&E 60 days to remedy the situation or face litigation. It also echoes comments about project inadequacies made in a March 16 letter from the National Marine Fisheries Service to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in advance of the expiration of the utility's license.

"Last week was very significant in the long history of this project, which has been a burden for the Eel River for over 100 years," Brian Johnson, California director for Trout Unlimited, said Monday during a virtual news conference announcing the legal action.

Forthcoming decommissioning of the power plant should include plans to address the health of the fish and the future of the dams with what the plaintiffs see as "a very strong sense or urgency," Johnson said.

In addition to Trout Unlimited, the plaintiff coalition includes Friends of the Eel River, CalTrout, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and the Institute for Fisheries Resources — most of them are longtime critics of the power project's impositions on the Eel River, from which water is diverted to be used to generate electrical power.

PG&E said in a statement that the coalition's claims are "without merit," however.

The company said the terms of its long-term contract, including Endangered Species Act provisions, remain in effect under one-year contracts that automatically renew until the project is re-licensed or formally surrendered by the federal commission.

The project, which began operation in 1908, uses water diverted from the Eel River, which is then transported through a tunnel more than a mile long to drive the hydropower turbines. It then empties the water into the East Fork of the Russian River, allowing Potter Valley ranchers to irrigate crops and pastures, and contributing to supplies in Lake Mendocino.

The operation includes Scott Dam, a 130-foot-tall structure that impounds Lake Pillsbury in Lake County and ensures year-round water supply for that part of the Eel River. It locks away more than 280 miles of high-quality spawning and nursery habitat in the upper reaches of the Eel River, advocates say.

Scott Dam

Meanwhile, Cape Horn Dam, which creates Van Arsdale Reservoir, a smaller storage area at the top of the diversion tunnel, is about 12 miles downstream. It includes a fishway intended to allow upstream passage.

Cape Horn Dam

But for a variety of reasons, it instead puts the fish at risk of being eaten by river otters that position themselves at the lower stages of the fish ladder, according to critics. It also is frequently clogged by sediments or debris, especially at high flows, which most often occurs during winter, when peak migrations are likely underway, they say.

"What's obvious to us is the current fish ladder operation is fundamentally broken," Redgie Collins, CalTrout's legal and policy director, said at the news conference.

The facilities additionally contribute to warm water temperatures below Scott Dam, along with interaction and predation between juvenile steelhead trout and invasive Sacramento pikeminnow, as well as changes in timing and volume of river flows for fish already struggling to adapt to climate change.

The dams and the diversions that are part of the Potter Valley plant have long been a sore spot for Eel River interests, given the decline of two key fisheries.

A spokesman for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations said the Eel was once the third largest salmon-producing river in the state, with 800,000 returning adult Chinook at its peak, according to a 2010 U.C. Davis study. Fewer than 1% of that historic number are now believed to return to the river to reproduce.

Substantial declines also have been observed in steelhead populations.

"The Eel is perhaps our last and best chance" to save these wild, native fish, Friends of the Eel River Executive Director Alicia Hamann said Monday.

After PG&E announced in January 2019 that it was not going to renew its license for Potter Valley, advocates for removal of the dams saw hope in the Two-Basin Solution Partnership, a consortium of regional interests that sought to remove Scott Dam and allow fish to access the upstream habitat while preserving Eel River diversions for Russian River water users.

It included the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, the Round Valley Indian Tribes, CalTrout and Humboldt County Public Works.

But the group announced earlier this year it was unable to meet the timeline established by federal regulators for completion of studies necessary to complete its project license application, due last week, putting future Eel River diversions in question.

PG&E, which has not been running the power plant since last year because of damaged equipment, has announced it plans to make repairs that will allow generation during the years it takes to surrender its license and decommission the plant.

But no one else stepped forward within the federal timeline to take over the license besides the Two-Basin group.

Hamann said Russian River water users, who include many in Mendocino County and most of Sonoma County, need to decide how much they want that water and what kind of planning and infrastructure they're prepared to fund going forward.

"There's still opportunity for an ecologically appropriate diversion, and by that I mean one that operates without a dam and runs during the wet season, there's water to spare," she said.

(The Press Democrat)

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MENDOCINO COAST HEALTH CARE DISTRICT (MCHCD) Agenda: Wed. Apr. 20 @ 6 PM

Please join us.  Two excused absences

Open Session only @ 6PM

Join Zoom Meeting at: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85680538419?pwd=eXB2Nk1yNFAwZllIRGhhRjZzeTlEZz09

or by telephone: +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

— Norman de Vall

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Girl Swinging in Glen Blair Tree, 1892

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UKRAINE MONDAY 

As Monday drew to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:

Missile strikes were reported in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, which has been a relative haven since the start of the war on Feb. 24. Ukrainian officials said seven people died and 11 people were injured after at least four missiles hit the city shortly after sunrise.

Russia has moved additional forces into Ukraine over the past several days, building up to an expected offensive in the east, according to the Pentagon. Heavy fighting continues in several cities including Kharkiv in the northeast, Izium in the east and Mariupol in the southeast. Russian forces have reportedly taken control of the town of Kreminna in Ukraine's eastern Luhansk region, according to a regional military official.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy formally submitted a completed questionnaire as a first step toward European Union membership. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Kyiv on April 8 and offered to fast-track Ukraine's bid to become a member. 

(theGuardian.com)

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VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY

We few, we happy few,
We band of comrades,
We stood for something.

— Jim Luther

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Little River Flats and Coast Highway

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ANDERSON VALLEY REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE, April 2022

by Anne Fashauer

What is happening in this real estate market? Is it still strong? Crazy? Are prices going up? Static? Falling? How much inventory is there? I’ll try to answer these questions in this article.

From where I sit, I am as busy as ever. My days are scheduled from when I wake up until when I go to bed, or at least it feels that way. What I have noticed that is different now than a year ago is that I am taking more listings on and that some of my business has been in looking at properties, doing market analyses for these properties and then getting them ready to put on the MLS (multiple listing service). When I ran a report from the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services site, one of the MLS I belong to, I found that I am not alone.

(Click to enlarge)

For sale vs sold in Anderson Valley for the last 14 months

As you can see in the chart, the average number of properties for sale held steady between 14 and 18 for most of the 14 month period; then, in February it went up to 20 and in March to 25. The number of sold properties has dropped as well, with no sales in January and February and only one in March. To be clear, this is for Anderson Valley only.

How quickly are properties moving? The next graph shows the number of days on market, meaning how many days it has been since a property was listed on the MLS until it was sold:

(Click to enlarge)

The number of days on market has been decreasing, meaning properties are selling faster than in the past 14 months. It will be interesting to look at this same chart in a few months and see what happens with all the new listings that have come on in the past couple of months - will they also be sold quickly? Or will they sit for longer?

Next, let’s see if I can answer whether or not prices are going up. This one is more difficult to answer in a graph because there isn’t a lot of data, however, this is what we have:

(Click to enlarge)

Graph shows sold prices vs. list prices in Anderson Valley from January 2021 to March 2022.

Other than a slight blip in the middle of last year, prices have held fairly steady. Most sales were within 90% of asking or thereabouts. We haven’t had a lot of sales yet this year to make many comparisons, so again, this will be interesting to return to in a few months.

Finally, what about inventory? As we have seen, there’s more properties for sale in Anderson Valley now than in the past 14 months. The following chart shows that inventory in terms of months:

(Click to enlarge)

Right now the graph is showing that we have just over two years worth of inventory. Will that hold? A half year ago the graph shows 18 months of inventory, yet a few months after that there was only three months’ of inventory. Like so many of the other graphs, this one leaves us wondering what the next few months will hold. Are we at the beginning of a slow down? Or will another buying frenzy happen and gobble up all of the inventory? I’ll check in again in a few months and we can see what has transpired.

Disclaimer: This information is based on sales reported in Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. (BAREIS) and is not verified and is subject to change. Listings represented may not have been listed or sold by (Anne L. Fashauer/North Country Real Estate).

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ZOOM JEOPARDY

Tuesday, April 19th, 4:30 to 5:30 PM

Join Mary O'€™Brien and Anica for a fun game of Zoom Jeopardy! We are planning on doing this monthly —€“ help us make it a success! Zoom details on the calendar and will be emailed out beforehand. Let us know if you can tune in!

Join Zoom Meeting - Meeting ID: 434 337 6734 - Passcode: avv

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FAMILY VALUES. James Marmon Celebrates His Mom's 90th.

James Marmon's Middle Granddaughter, Aubree Finch

Aubree Finch

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LINDY PETERS comments on Tommy Wayne Kramer’s recent piece about the Cleveland “Guardians” &c…

“The first guy I thought of when the Cleveland Indians changed their name was Tommy Wayne Kramer. This poor guy, who I know for a fact resents political correctness more then most, has been victimized by it in the worst way. Sorry Tommy. Your childhood heroes, guys like Johnny Romano and Woodie Held and Dick Howser (as kids we’d reverse his name and howl with laughter) and Tito Francona have a strange new name across their chests. Your most famous player may be Tommy John, not for anything he accomplished on the field but for the career-saving surgery named after him once he joined the Dodgers and his career took off. But Mr. Kramer, no one can take away 1965. You remember. The year the lowly Cleveland Indians finally overtook the mighty New York Yankees and finished ahead of them in the standings for the first time in 10 years. They can never take that away from you. No matter who is guarding the traffic across that bridge in Cleveland.”

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SPRINK IS BACK!

Mr. Anderson and all the crew, 

Just want to say hi. Dealing with this city life as you know can be challenging. I'm okay. Got a Parole Officer who's kind of a little stickler and groups are overwhelming. But I'm free, right? And I'm doing what I got to do. I'm surviving. I'm alive. I'm kicking. And I just want to give a shout out to Bruce Anderson and the AVA and thank all you guys at the office for all your support and lifelines and hope and all that goes with it. I hope everyone's well. I hope your families are well. And I hope there's peace amongst you all. The one thing I have to say is keep fanning the flames because you're damn good at that. Anyways, peace man. Thanks so much for everything. Just touching home base. I hope all is well.

PS. wondering if anyone can identify this individual? LOL. 

Peace out man.

Mark Sprinkle


BACKGROUND: https://theava.com/archives/147019#12

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MENDOCINO COUNTY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL FUNDS LOCAL PROJECTS

A Mendocino County Fire Safe Council micro-grant will help the Bell Springs Fire Safe Council install emergency water storage in three locations. 

To promote local action toward countywide wildfire safety, the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council (MCFSC) is pleased to announce that its Micro-Grant Program will award a total of $50,000 to fund wildfire-safety projects proposed by its affiliated Neighborhood Fire Safe Councils and local Fire Departments countywide. 

The micro-grants, ranging in amounts from $2,000 to $6,000, will help local groups accomplish a wide range of wildfire-safety projects and purchases. MCFSC received over $105,000 total in requests and, after making some challenging decisions, awarded funding for the following proposals:

Bell Springs Fire Safe Council (North County)—installation of three water tanks in key locations.

Black Bart Fire Safe Council/Firewise Community (Redwood Valley)—evacuation signs indicating alternate access routes.

Comptche Volunteer Fire Department and Disaster Preparedness Team—water system infrastructure to make seven acre-feet of pond water available to firefighters near central Comptche.

Hopland Fire Protection District—purchase of responder-friendly gate padlocks to speed fire department response time.

Laytonville Fire Department/Long Valley Fire Protection District—education, implementation, and enforcement of weed abatement in identified hazard areas.

Redwood Coast Fire Protection District (South Coast)—installation of a large, strategically located water tank.

Ridgewood Fire Safe Council (Willits)—creation of safe-refuge shelters where evacuation may be difficult or impossible.

Signal Ridge Fire Safe Council (Anderson Valley)—installation of a standpipe to make pond water available to firefighters at the roadside below, for improved speed and effectiveness.

South Coast Fire Protection District—an interactive mapping project that will help responders identify and reach areas of need.

String Creek/Tartar Canyon Fire Safe Council (Willits area)—removal of hazardous dead trees along a main single-access road.

Westport Fire Department (North Coast)—purchase of fuel-reduction equipment to reduce overgrown vegetation fuel loads.

Most of these proposals include additional matching inputs of volunteer time or other funds to round out the budget. These matches act as leverage to get the job done through cooperative effort from multiple sources. Local organizing remains one of our best strategies for successful wildfire outcomes, and proposals that showed thorough preparation and motivation tended to score higher in the ratings.

MCFSC will continue to work with applications that were declined or partially funded, to strengthen them for future applications or assist in finding other relevant grants or ways to implement those projects. The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council strives to assist any local group motivated toward achieving their own locally identified fire-safety goals, and encourages local organizers to bring projects that might need extra help to be completed.

If your neighborhood was not prepared to participate in this round of funding, it may be time to start getting organized so that MCFSC can help your neighborhood prepare for wildfire. Find out how by going to the MCFSC website at https://firesafemendocino.org/ and looking in the Prepare your Neighborhood menu tab. Or, if you become an MCFSC member, you will receive important updates in MCFSC’s email newsletters. 

For more details on the funding round that just occurred, see MCFSC’s Micro-Grant Program Guidelines and Application Form at https://firesafemendocino.org/micro-grant-program/ - or contact the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council at 707-462-3662, or admin@firesafemendocino.org. 

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photo by Kim Slotte

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BUMBLE BEE EVENT at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Our Bumble Bees and Beneficials event is this weekend: https://www.gardenbythesea.org/calendar/field-day/

This is a great opportunity to learn more about our about the diversity of life that makes a thriving balanced garden ecosystem! We will have activities and entertainment for all ages happening all day (Sunday, April 24) and there is still availability to join some of our more in-depth classes. Please let me know if you would like more details or additional promotional images.

Roxanne Perkins, Communications Manager, 707-964-4352 x 22, 18220 N Highway 1, Fort Bragg

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POINT ARENA INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND CELEBRATION RETURNS!

Street Fair and Fireworks Festival - July 2, 4pm to end of show, Arena Cove

Hometown Parade - July 3, Noon, Main Street

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the City of Point Arena is excited to announce the return of the Annual Point Arena Independence Weekend Celebration!!

Planning for the fireworks event on July 2 has begun. This spectacular event doesn't just happen out of the blue - it takes many hours of planning and lots of work by a dedicated group of volunteers and City staff. An event of this size runs on volunteers. Please consider helping make this event a success. Volunteers will receive free admission and a special t-shirt. Please contact City Hall at 707-882-2122 to sign up.

Food and craft vendor spots are available for the Street Fair on July 2. Vendor applications can be obtained at City Hall or on the City's website <https://pointarena.ca.gov> https://pointarena.ca.gov.

Sponsors are needed to support the event. If you would like to help sponsor or donate to the event please contact City Hall at 882-2122.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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A van Gogh you probably haven't seen…

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MENDO’S FAILED POT PROGRAM GETS WORSE

(aka: “additional negative outcomes…”)

THE MENDOCINO CANNABIS ALLIANCE (MCA), which represents the dwindling number of quasi-legal pot cultivators in the County, has submitted the following under Public Expression for the Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. We have annotated it (itals) as necessary:

Honorable Supervisors:

MCA appreciates that cannabis issues are back on the County’s agenda. 

[When have cannabis issues NOT been on the County’s agenda?]. 

We take this opportunity to summarize in Public Expression several issues in critical need of your attention. MCA offers these comments in the spirit of both our past recommendations [which you have ignored] and your own notable and consistent directives [which, if they were ever made, have been consistently ignored] to the MCD (Mendocino Cannabis Department) to support and expedite the processing of our locally permitted cultivators.

Local Authorization

We have recently heard reports that MCD is not providing local authorization to the State for permittees currently going through the (on-line permit application) portal process. If true, this practice jeopardizes the State licensing of our local operators, without which they can not engage in licensed cannabis activities, thus depriving them of any way to generate revenue with which to pay their taxes and fees to the County [except, of course, whatever black market/back door sales they may be able to arrange — the only way they were ever able to stay in business since the permits are stalled, complicated and minimally profitable at best]. 

Applicants going through the portal have been operating for years through uncertain and ever changing processes, and with all of the struggles in the market we must enable them every opportunity to remain in the licensed market lest we irreparably harm their ability to maintain their businesses. 

[Supervisor Williams has said 90% of current pending applicants will never get a state license so providing “local authorization” for incomplete applications is just postponing the inevitable. And incomplete can mean anything from significant omissions to nit-pick.] We recommend that the Board investigate this claim and if it is accurate, that you direct MCD to provide local authorization to the state for all locally authorized operators unless and until they have their application or permit actually denied by MCD. 

[The basic problem is most pot applicants never submitted a complete application, which is why the portal process was created, but the pot advocates want the county to keep playing along with the “locally authorized” but hopelessly incomplete operators].

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Equity Grant Process

The Equity Grant Program is still riddled with challenges and confusion. [At least the county is consistent!] We sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Ad Hoc to intervene, [not that it’s helped in any way at all] and suggest another meeting [sic] with stakeholders, the Ad Hoc, County Counsel and MCD. Here are specific recommendations that address some current problems with administration of the Equity Grants:

1. Provide specific direction to MCD to make all newly confirmed allowable direct grant uses accessible to current awardees and applicants through a Contract Modification process, rather than forcing them to wait until September when they must reapply for a new grant [because we want the Equity Grant Money handed out NOW because most of the applicants will be outta business by September].

The BoS already unanimously passed a resolution to increase these allowable uses but the rollout is not in line with that previous direction.

2. We recommend an audit of Elevate Impact, the contractor handling Equity Grant administration for the County, which has exhibited little to no practical effort in making this program a success. In fact, communications that many of our members have received indicate that the contractor has now “paused” the work of staff processing applications, referring all questions to just one remaining staff person, the CEO of the company. 

[Most likely because the behind the scenes decision makers (think CEO & County Counsel) became concerned about having to pay back millions in Equity Grants handed out to applicants who aren’t state-legal and never will be]. 

MCD Director Kristin Nevedal has seemingly indicated that she is unaware of this fact [which may or may not be a fact].

3. We request a report of how many equity grant checks have been successfully distributed. For some reason MCD has refused to share this information with the public [probably because the number is stuck at, or near, zero].

Equity applicants must fill out a W9 form in order to receive direct grant funding. They must decide if they would like the check to be deposited into a business bank account or a personal bank account. The W9 must be filled out according to which type of bank account they will be depositing the funds into. If an applicant chooses to deposit into a personal bank account, it's imperative that their business name information is not disclosed on the check, otherwise due to banking issues, an applicant runs the risk of having their bank account shut down. It has come to our attention that an applicant received their funding with this error and are now awaiting response from the auditor to have this corrected - already resulting in additional weeks of delay in receiving the funds. 

[Federal denial of banking access to pot growers is indefensible, but if Sky High Farms is the Equity Grant applicant and the county makes the check payable to an individual, what’s to prevent the individual from diverting the funds into their own pocket, especially with the underground history of the pot industry?

We encourage MCD to carefully review applicant submissions of this kind to avoid these types of delays for other applicants in the future. 

MCD Staffing

Despite numerous directions to the Department to staff up, and the allocation of significant portions of the LJAGP towards contractors and staff to support the efforts of the Department, attendees to the MCD Weekly Meeting on Friday were informed that MCD is currently under a “hiring freeze” and is not expecting to see any staffing relief until September at the earliest.

[Which should be no surprise, since keeping hundreds of positions vacant is the Secret Sauce baked into the budget that former CEO Carmel Angelo (and now Interim CEO Darcie Antle) rely on to keep the county in the black – never mind if nothing gets done and no services are provided.]

(Click: https://youtu.be/geoch_zEbzM?t=2178 for recording - starts at 36:19 in, and the Freeze is mentioned at 39:31). 

It is incredibly confusing and demoralizing to continue to hear that the Department is unable to perform its basic duties due to understaffing, and simultaneously hear that they are not engaging in any immediate steps that will lead to immediate hires. 

[Once again, the county is at least being consistent. Why should the Cannabis Department be allowed to hire staff and provide services when other departments can’t?

The staffing issue has literally existed since Director Nevedal joined the Program over a year ago, [again, the hiring freeze-caused staffing shortages are baked into the budget and existed long before Nevedal was hired] and every day it continues, is a day that jeopardizes the success of our entire community.

We have been told for months that processing both permit and equity applications and Appendix G’s [the half-assed environmental impact work-around paperwork] will improve with the hiring of more staff and contractors. In the case of Equity operators, the current tranche of funds must be distributed by August 2022. If there are no new hires coming to help that process, and Elevate Impact has reduced its staffing, we do not see any way that 100+ grant applications will be reviewed, approved and paid out in our already extended window, which as we know could lead to the return of those undistributed funds to the State. 

[It’s hard to know if this is the usual incompetence of the county or a strategy to prevent paying grant money to ineligible applicants who will never get a state license.]

It is clear that additional supervision of the MCD would benefit both the County and the hundreds of operators who are doing everything they can to try and work through the system despite the constant confusion. We urge the Board and MCD to work directly with Stakeholders to dig into the challenges presented above. To continue with “business as usual” will surely lead to additional negative outcomes not just for the permitted cannabis community, but Mendocino County as a whole. 

[There is no basis in fact to assume any amount of additional supervision will benefit anyone, but the cannabis advocates keep thinking that the same Supervisors who created this mess can somehow fix it. Just last month Supervisor McGourty admitted that he was not qualified to legislate on cannabis. As was noted at the time, at least he was honest enough to admit it.]

Thank you for your consideration of these important items. We remain available to work with you to improve conditions on the ground for the County and locally authorized operators. 

[But they won’t be surprised if the Board ignores their recommendations just like they’ve ignored their previous ones. Everyone knows this mess is not salvageable, but they keep hoping to get a few more membership dues just like they hope to get a few more tax payments, even when there’s no (legal reported) sales. It’s in the cannabis program’s best interest to keep fooling the remaining applicants into thinking the County can make the current failed mess of a pot program work.]

Sincerely,

Mendocino Cannabis Alliance

email: info@mendocannabis.com

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Marilyn in Korea, 1954

* * *

ED NOTES

OLD TIMERS may recall that it was the fear of nuclear fallout that brought Rev. Jim Jones to Mendocino County. Jones had read a widely circulated story in Esquire that claimed the Northcoast would largely be spared the atomic poisons unleashed by the unthinkable. But now that Putin is brandishing the unthinkable… Somehow, though, the Rev never seemed quite reliable.

ON A SLOW news day we were arguing about history, the local historical memory specifically. I said if Jim Jones arrived tomorrow in Ukiah with the same robust multi-ethnic message, but calling himself Jonesy Jim, he'd again be appointed to the Mendo Grand Jury and immediately turn up on KZYX with his own show — Woke, Woker, Wokest with Pastor Jonesy Jim. The other end of the argument said it would take Jonesy Jim at least a month to return to 70s-quality prominence.

SPEAKING of our semi-public unfree speech radio station, is it just me or is there even more fluff than usual? Interviews with one-book novelists, and that one book unreadable but politically fashionable, even more interviews with non-verbal musicians and movie people, and always a lot of semi-hysterical laughter at nothing at all. Any day now I expect to turn on the party line news from NPR — Democrats good, other people unspeakable — when suddenly all I hear is screams.

THE SLOBBIFICATION OF EVERYWHERE: Soooooo, the numbers are in for trash removed from the Russian River in 2021 from Cloverdale north to Lake Mendocino — 39 tons. 

39 TONS? That's an awful lot of trash. The most committed slobs must be doing it deliberately to come up with that depressing tonnage.

FORMER SUPERVISOR McCOWEN is correct. Although a lot of the trash in and around the Russian River from Ukiah to Cloverdale is illegally dumped there, the drug and multi-substance abusing people permanently camped on its banks contribute a large swathe of it and should be rousted and kept away by the threat of a few months in jail. Deliberate dumpers are truly subversive and should also do jail time.

THE REASON there are so many people unable and/or unwilling to care for themselves while enjoying river front living is our local homeless industrial complex. Even the hint of coercion — “I'm sorry but we can't allow you to use the Russian River as a toilet…” — and here they come, the whole mob of misery-dependent helping professionals, all of them shouting, “Fascist! Gestapo! Unfeeling! Not Nice!” Maybe even their ultimate denunciation and the one most prevalent in Mendo, “Inappropriate!”

IF THE RUSSIAN RIVER ran through Westside Ukiah you can be sure there would be no psychos, drunks and dope heads living on its banks.

LEGAL DUMP FEES are too high for people making between thirty and forty thou, the average annual family wage in Mendocino County, which is where the leadership, such as it is, ought to step in and subsidize household trash disposal for people who have no alternative but to offload it wherever they can. America would be a better place if the salaries of public and elected officials were pegged to the annual average wage of their constituents. I defy you to watch an hour of the Mendo supervisors and defend why they are paid nearly three times the money their captive citizens are paid.

* * *

IN A DRAMATIC SHIFT from California’s history of allowing landowners to freely pump and consume water from their own wells, Sonoma County’s rural residents and many others will soon begin paying for the water drawn from beneath their feet.

In the sprawling 81,284-acre Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basin, the proposed regulatory fee for a rural resident is $18 to $25 a year, much lower than the rates in the more sparsely populated Petaluma and Sonoma valleys.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 17, 2022

Alyabyeva, Cochran, Feliz

EKATERINA ALYABYEVA, Concord/Ukiah. Domestic battery.

JAMIE COCHRAN, Laytonville. Under influence.

NATHAN FELIZ, Redwood Valley. Concealed handgun-not registered owner, offenses while on bail, resisting.

Guardo, Lopes, Madrigal, Malson

ITALO GUARDO, Laytonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ANTHONY LOPES SR., Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JAVIER MADRIGAL-SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JAYSON MALSON, Potter Valley. Probation revocation.

Page, Perry, Sanchez, Sayago

KAMARA PAGE, Ukiah. Mandatory supervision sentencing.

MICHAEL PERRY, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

LORENZO SAYAGO-JUAREZ, Fort Bragg. DUI.

* * *

CHILDREN ARE INQUISITIVE, I believe we should be natural in our conversations without pushing any kind of “personal agenda” on children.

If a 5 year old asks why a little girl in class has 2 Moms or 2 Dads, it takes no agenda to say to her that there are all kinds of families, and however different they might be, families are about love and relationship and raising and loving children. That is age appropriate, and leave the child to be a child. That statement can get a teacher in Florida barred from ever teaching again, and charged criminally for talking about a forbidden subject. Now any teacher straight or queer that decides they'll talk about their personal sex life to their kids, needs to be pulled up short. If a little transgender child joins a class... do we just ignore it, like it doesn't actually exist, or do we just say, there is a rare condition that has some boys live as girls and vice versa. There will be no bullying.

We can teach our kids to be civil and save the conversations about sex until the onset of puberty.

— Marie Tobias

* * *

* * *

WHEN HE SQUARED OFF against William Jennings Bryan in the famous Scopes “Monkey” Trial in 1925, Clarence Darrow was at the height of his career, widely regarded to be the most famous and formidable trial lawyer in America. The climactic episode in the trial came when Darrow called Bryan, his opposing counsel, to the stand to testify as an expert witness on the Bible. Bryan foolishly accepted the challenge and Darrow proceeded to mock and ridicule him for two hours, turning what was already a media circus into an even more absurd spectacle. Bryan died five days after the trial concluded—emerging from it as a media laughing-stock, after a long and illustrious career as a working-class crusader and hero. Darrow, on the other hand, was at the peak of his fame and reputation, renowned in his own right as a champion of the underdog. It was the culmination of an amazing career rebound. Thirteen years earlier he had been suicidal, facing disgrace, humiliation, disbarment, and a lengthy prison sentence. 

Clarence Darrow

Darrow was 54 years old, having been an attorney for 33 years, when the American Federation of Labor hired him to represent brothers James and John McNamara, union members charged with bombing the anti-union Los Angeles Times—a bombing that killed 20 Times employees. If convicted, the McNamara’s faced the death penalty.

While the trial was underway, one of the jurors reported to L.A. police that he had been offered a bribe to vote for acquittal. The cops set up a sting and arrested Darrow’s chief investigator, Bert Franklin, after he passed the juror an envelope containing $4,000 (about $115,000 in today’s money). After giving the juror the cash, Franklin walked away, trailed by the police, and met Darrow. The cops then swooped in and arrested Franklin. Two months later, Darrow was indicted as well, charged with bribing two of the McNamara case jurors. 

Franklin turned state’s evidence and Darrow went to trial with his career and reputation on the line and facing the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. In the first of the two trials (spectacles in their own rights), Darrow was acquitted. In the second, in which he represented himself, there was a hung jury. To avoid retrial of the second case, Darrow agreed to never again practice law in California.

It took a while for Darrow’s reputation to recover, but his courtroom skill and his willingness to take on high-profile unpopular causes eventually took him to the top rank of his profession. By the time of the Scopes trial, he was recognized as the preeminent trial lawyer in America, commanding fees of up to $250,000 per case.

But what of the charge that he tried to bribe jurors in the Times bombing case? Was Darrow guilty? His early biographers concluded that Darrow was not guilty and had known nothing of the attempted bribery. But evidence uncovered by his more recent biographers indicates that not only was Darrow likely guilty of having tried to bribe the jurors in the Times case, but he likely bribed a juror in one of his own bribery cases as well. 

According to his mistress Mary Field, Darrow came to her apartment in December 1911 with a bottle of whiskey and a pistol. “I’m going to kill myself,” he told her. “They’re going to indict me for bribing the McNamara jury. I can’t stand the disgrace.”

Darrow didn’t kill himself, of course. Instead (after avoiding conviction by likely bribing another juror) he went on to become the most famous lawyer in America.

Clarence Darrow died in Chicago in March 1938 at age 80. He was born in Farmdale, Ohio on April 18, 1857, one hundred sixty-five years ago today.

* * *

* * *

BYRON SPOONER: 

I've been talking about Clinton's negatives for months. The Democrats are making a big mistake: "Presidential Frontrunners Remain Very Unpopular" (April 17)

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds both parties’ presidential front-runners are growing increasingly unpopular.

Among voters in both parties, 56% hold a negative view of Hillary Clinton and 32% hold a positive view. That 24-point gap is almost twice as wide as in a Journal/NBC poll last month, when 51% viewed her negatively and 38% positively, a 13-point gap.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to be the candidate in either party viewed most negatively, with 65% of registered voters viewing him unfavorably and 24% favorably, a 41-point difference. Unlike with Mrs. Clinton, those numbers haven’t changed much over the past month.

* * *

Portrait with Boat, Fort Bragg, 1914

* * *

UNENDING TERROR

Editor: 

In the early 1950s, our great Uncle Abraham would drive from his San Francisco home to our house on the Peninsula. Abraham Dobrin (nee Dobrizhenski) was a retired rabbi who’d served in, among other places, Jamaica.

Abraham, like several brothers who were also rabbis, had fled his small shtetl in what is now central Poland. At that time the tiny mud-spattered village was under the control of the czar. Without prompting, he once told us what life was like then: little food, miserable weather and grinding poverty. But what he added has stuck with me for life.

At an earlier time, and in similar villages throughout the land, the czar’s elite assassins, hard-riding Cossack horsemen, would storm through unannounced and, with sharpened scimitars in hand, lop off the heads of men, women and children at will. For practice.

Vladimir Putin is czar, and 150 years later the Russian reign of terror rolls on and on and on.

Michael Dobrin

Santa Rosa

* * *

Smith Ranch, near Elk

* * *

ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Speaking of just-in-time supply chains: I started working in hospitals in the mid-70s. Back then, your local hospital kept about 3 months worth of supplies in stock, and many supplies were reusable, such as surgical drapes made of cotton fabric.

Hospitals in the US have switched to just-in-time because it saves a few pennies. Likewise, many supplies are now single use – surgical drapes are now made of disposable paper, again, to save a few pennies.

Your local hospital probably has less than a week’s worth of supplies in stock, and is likely run by a for-profit company based in another state, which only cares about the bottom line. If you want to speak with someone, you get a canned “Your call is very important to us…” and then a wait time of hours.

In the 70s, hospitals were local, and had boards of directors made up of doctors and prominent local citizens, who you could actually visit and talk to if there was a problem.

* * *

CUKE FACTS OF THE DAY ....

Cucumbers... I didn't know this... and to think all these years I've only been making salads with the cucumbers...

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your taps, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

* * *

Two Friends in a Tree, 1930

* * *

ON-LINE ADVICE of the sound type:

If you love Fentanyl, an icky drug, IMO, as Dr Michael Newdow MD would say: “You will be dead soon.”

Fentanyl off the black market is unlikely to be pure, and very likely to be an isomer or an analogue, or a pure synthetic:

“There are also fentanyl analogs, such as acetylfentanyl, furanylfentanyl, and carfentanil, which are similar in chemical structure to fentanyl but not routinely detected because specialized toxicology testing is required. Recent surveillance has also identified other emerging synthetic opioids, like U-47700.”

Taking this shit may have surprising results, like, you could stop breathing….

People who deal in 'Fentanyl' and deliver it in Jaguar SUV’s, probably shouldn’t be trusted, and crushing and shooting up any kind of unknown substance packaged in a “pill” is actually a form of suicide…

Don’t be an idiot, don’t get started with this crap…

* * *

MITCHELL CLOGG

As you know, I missed, by chance, a defining moment, a (whatdotheycallit?)--an “inflection point” (whatever the hell that means), when Ike sent the 101st to Little Rock to integrate Central High School. Biggest regret of my army career. Might've got to see Orval Faubus. Damn well woulda seen the face of Deep South segregation, up close and personal.

Eisenhower didn't shout about it, but he didn't regard Blacks as equal to Whites. His sense of fairness kept his opinion from wide circulation, but he preferred to keep out of the Arkansas school fight. Only outside pressure and the advice of his advisers prompted him to send the Screaming Eagles in.

I missed my chance to scream because, on the day Ike gave the order, my battalion was not the one on ready alert. It was a battalion I had been in first, before I (dammit) transferred to a second one. Luck of the draw. I was never very lucky at the draw.

It almost feels like I was there, so vivid was all that--the Central High Nine and their thousands of (LITERALLY screaming; lots of niggering) rednecked fans. 

One infuriated Little Rocker tried to grab the rifle away from a soldier. The trooper needed no special skill to deal with his fellow citizen. In basic training, we were taught the “vertical butt stroke.” When you're holding your rifle vertically in front of you, as in parade formation or in crowd control, if somebody messes with you, with top hand as fulcrum and bottom hand holding the rifle stock, you bring that bottom hand up, hard, and strike whatever is bothering you with your rifle butt--”vertical butt stroke.”

I'll bet that bastard's head bone remembers it to this day, if that bastard's bones have not returned to their elemental form. He went down. The trooper didn't blink. (Faubus did, though. The Central High Nine went to school that day, escorted to their seats in the classrooms by the 101st Airborne Division, my old hangout.)

* * *

Road to Geysers, California, 1868

* * *

ACTIVISM, UNCENSORED: ‘WEST VIRGINIA RISING’ TAKES ON JOE MANCHIN

Climate change activists block the entrance to a coal company that pays the Senator a $500,000 dividend

by Matt Taibbi

One of the things I like about Ford Fischer’s “Activism, Uncensored” series is the longer run time better captures the feel of protest events. Particularly when they take place in remote locations, like this group called “West Virginia Rising” executing a “Coal Baron Blockade” in front of a coal plant in a place called Grant Town, there’s a ton of down time and subtle negotiation that often reveal as much as the main event. 

The police are usually basically on the side of the property owners, but superficially reasonable, working with the protesters to help stage the demonstration. Good local chiefs will give in a little to shorten things, often worried as much about their own deputies as the protesters. The more time cops spend breaking up domestic calls and getting their cars puked in by addicts, the less patience they tend to have with people who are trying to get arrested, creating an urgency to keep things short. 

In this instance you see the Marion County sheriff, named Jimmy Riffle, working with the lawyer for “West Virginia Rising” to negotiate the “blockade.” The protesters’ aim is to draw attention to Enersystems, a company founded by Manchin that paid him a $500,000 dividend in 2020 alone. The plant, as Fischer notes, processes “Gob,” a form of coal waste that requires extra refining. Manchin is more heavily invested in this kind of energy business than any other Senator, making his position as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee a particularly troublesome one for energy activists. 

The main event goes off smoothly enough, with police waiting with bored faces for protesters to lock arms in a “Sleeping Dragon” maneuver, before hauling the line of them all off together. There’s a comic scene where Ford interviews two cheerful activists while a deputy tries and seemingly fails to figure out a way to cut PVC tubing with a set of long nose pliars. Later, things take an ugly turn after protesters try sneaking onto the property through a back route, leading to rough stuff. In between, we hear from farmers, miners, and demonstrators, many of whom have choice words for their “Coal Baron” Senator.

* * *

Soviet Sailors at Grave of Karl Marx, London, 1956

* * *

TRUE WISDOM, TOO

Reinette Senum for Governor: “Serving People Over Party”

Reinette Senum, twice elected mayor and former city council member, with twenty years in the political trenches, is running for governor of California. Not a Democrat, Not a Republican, Reinette is first and foremost a Californian.

Formidable, forthright, and courageous, Reinette has an atypical history; commercial fisherwoman, adventurer across Alaskan tundra (in 55 degree below temperature), hurricane Katrina animal rescuer, promotor of community victory gardens and natural resource conservation, and the list goes on. Suffice to say that Reinette leads with a passionate focus, unerring direction, and true wisdom.

Reinette encourages each one of us to join together in co-creating the California we want to live in, using the Seven Generation Principles of responsible citizenship, stewardship, and unification to accomplish this. “We the People” reclaiming our voice, our lawful rights, our communities, our state and country. All hands on deck! Lets do this!

Meet her on Monday April 25th at 4PM at the Company Store in Fort Bragg - Main and Redwood

https://www.electreinette.com/

* * *

20TH ANNIVERSARY UKIAHAIKU FEST--MAY 15 

The 20th anniversary ukiaHaiku Festival will be held on Sunday, May 15, from 2 to 4 p.m., in the Public Room and Wild Gardens at the Grace Hudson Museum.The event will be a retrospective celebration, with readings by current and former Ukiah Poet Laureates, music and dance presentations, an open mic, and an arts & crafts booth. For more information, email carrm@mendocinocounty.org or visit the ukiaHaiku website at http://ukiahaiku.org.

* * *

THRALLDOM & ITS USES

by James Kunstler

America has had enough of being in thrall, especially to figures and forces dedicated to our destruction….

Spring is always convulsive, with new things heaving into life. Under every dead leaf, something stirs and seeks light, the old must make way for the new, and to some degree the earth is not quite the same place as it was the last time it turned, though the scene looks superficially familiar. Winter’s torpor is, at least, a cold comfort, but springtime’s warmth and movement rattle the nerves. Things unseen shift ominously beneath us. Everything is pending and tending, and nothing is resolved.

Having wrecked its latest business model —hypertrophic financial fakery — Western Civ stumbles into the blinding new reality that it takes real stuff to run an economy, and that money itself is not an adequate replacement for the stuff. The trillions supposedly vested, for instance, in stock market valuations mostly represent mere wishes and promises, and for what? Why, for more money — which responds by losing value, so that we’re racing ever faster toward a receding horizon.

The net result: a world with less available stuff and plenty of money that’s increasingly worthless in pursuit of stuff. It isn’t long before people recognize the disutility of both conditions. The idea that we can fix this problem with central bank digital money is hilarious. When faced with less available stuff, resorting to “money” ever more abstracted from any relation to stuff only puts you in thrall to more empty wishes and promises when this is exactly the moment to be less in thrall and more in touch.

America has had enough of being in thrall, especially to figures and forces dedicated to our destruction. This spring is the beginning of a national life with less stuff, including, looks like, stuff to eat. That will sure enough put folks in touch with something real, and then they will naturally have to do something about it. Centralized control of the population via trackable digital money is the last thing that will avail in the face of hunger and desperation. In fact, that is just another set of empty wishes and promises.

The reality is that centralized government, such as the one in Washington DC, is less and less in control of anything — except the manufactured pretense that it can fix the problems of less stuff and decaying money. The federal government is increasingly impotent, unable to discharge its basic obligations to preserve public order and safety. 

That’s the trouble with thrall. It narrows the field-of-vision so badly, you can’t see what’s coming at you indirectly, like: hardship and death. The country has been in serious trouble for more than a decade. Cavalcades of bad choices — and then lying to ourselves about these bad choices — has shoved us well over the edge of our cherished expectations. One way out, then, is to simply refuse to remain in thrall to officialdom and the manufactured bullshit that is its only product.

We are lately in thrall to the melodrama in Ukraine, largely engineered by figures and forces in our own government and for their own ends, which look suspiciously at odds with the nation’s actual interests (the nation being us, its people). Perhaps this illustrates the widening gulf between the slouching beast government has become and the people trying to operate their lives and destinies under it. No food for you, no fertilizers for future food for you, no spare parts for you, no free speech for you, no social or economic role for you, no health for you, and (watch it, now!) soon no life for you.

Collectively going crazy has been a luxury we can’t afford anymore. You fell for RussiaGate and it kept you in thrall for years. You fell for the Adam Schiff orchestrated Ukraine phone call impeachment gambit. Don’t fall for the invitation to World War Three.

Russia means business in its historic sphere of influence. It’s none of our business, and we’re only making it worse for the Ukrainian people by pretending it’s our business with the false promise of our support. The only thing that matters to us about Ukraine just now is that we’re standing in the way of useful negotiations to end the conflict there and egging on various other countries in Europe to aggravate the situation.

It’s been a fine distraction from everything else that is slipping away in our own country, including the loss of liberty, the right to a livelihood, the need for legitimate meaning, the value of our money, our respect for the law, the ability to speak our minds, and our duty and obligations to each other. Our government is not interested in supporting any of that, and we might doubt that it even could anymore if it wanted to. It only wants to keep you in a state of abject thrall while it fritters away our posterity.

* * *

Rock the Horse and Friends, 1899

* * *

21 LESSONS ~ What I've Learned from Falling Down the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole

RiNC wrote (Coast Chatline):

...Bitcoin is a child of many disciplines. Like blind monks examining an elephant, everyone who approaches this novel technology does so from a different angle. And everyone will come to different conclusions about the nature of the beast. The following lessons are about some of my assumptions which Bitcoin shattered...

* * * 

Marco here. Go to YouTube and look up Tarvuism. You'll find many instructive videos on this fascinating religion; virtually too many to count (3)! Talk to an octopus. Become a Priestmunti of your own Chabernacle. Say “hebbo!” to Tarvuism. It will change your life, say an enthusiastic assortment of ethnic types, one right after the other, to cheerfully hammer home the point.

And/or search for inspiring video of the testimony of people who experienced proof that God exists: a mysterious bag of dirty laundry appeared to them in a barn. Among them, one man goes deeper than the others, revealing having reaching the level of throwing the Trigonometry Baby into the ocean, because, um, hmm, I'm trying to recall his exact words: “...Triangles aren't real, and they don't /taste/ like anything.”

Also on Youtube: Meryn Caddell's song /Bumble Bee/. “...Meditation and therapy take up a lot of my time now. But that's all right; I have very little money to go out since I started donating 80 percent of my wages to the Crystal Light And Breakfast Cereal Healing Center. I've learned to laugh and play like a child all over again. The married man and the creditors' notices mean nothing compared to the personal development I feel in my deep and centered heart. I realize that I am in love with my instructor. There is a light in his eyes as bright as the aura around his head. With our mantras we channel the world's energy into him and my orgasms are like lightning through the mirror of my soul. Ooo-wheee!”

Meryn Caddell was a woman when she recorded that, but now he is, or they are, whichever is used, a man, a college professor in British Columbia, teaching lyrical structure in musical comedy. An inspiration to all.

— Marco McClean

* * *

* * *

JUDGE RULES AMAZON MUST REINSTATE FIRED WAREHOUSE WORKER

by Haleluya Hadero

A judge has ruled Amazon must reinstate a former warehouse employee who was fired in the early days of the pandemic, saying the company “unlawfully” terminated the worker who led a protest calling for Amazon to do more to protect employees against COVID-19.

The dispute involving Gerald Bryson, who worked at an Amazon warehouse in the New York City borough of Staten Island, has stretched on since June 2020, when Bryson filed an unfair labor practice complaint with The National Labor Relations Board, claiming Amazon retaliated against him.

Later that year, the NLRB said it found merit in Bryson’s complaint that Amazon illegally fired him for workplace organizing. Amazon didn’t accept the findings, and the federal board filed a formal complaint against the company, triggering a lengthy administrative court process. 

On Monday, administrative law judge Benjamin Green said Amazon must offer Bryson his job back, as well as lost wages and benefits resulting from his “discriminatory discharge.” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement that the company will appeal the ruling. 

“We strongly disagree with this ruling and are surprised the NLRB would want any employer to condone Mr. Bryson’s behavior,” Nantel said. “Mr. Bryson was fired for bullying, cursing at and defaming a female co-worker over a bullhorn in front of the workplace. We do not tolerate that type of conduct in our workplace and intend to file an appeal with the NLRB.”

Bryson first participated in a March 2020 protest over working conditions led by Chris Smalls, another warehouse employee who was fired by the online retail giant and is heading up the Amazon Labor Union, the nascent group which won a union election earlier this month at the Amazon facility where both men worked. 

After Smalls was fired, Bryson led another protest in April 2020 in front of the warehouse. While off the job during the protest, Bryson got into a dispute with another worker. He was later fired for violating Amazon’s vulgar-language policy.

Court filings give an account of the altercation between Bryson and a female employee. A recording of their dispute detailed by the NLRB showed both Bryson and the woman using profanities during a heated exchange that lasted several minutes. The agency’s account shows the woman began the exchange, and twice tried to provoke Bryson into a physical altercation with her, which he did not do. The woman was given a “first warning.” 

The woman also told Bryson, who is Black, to “go back to the Bronx,” which the judge said Bryson could construe as “racial” since “since he is African-American and might question why, other than his race, someone would assume he is from the Bronx.” 

Bryson testified that he informed an Amazon manager who spoke with him about the incident about that comment. The manager has denied Bryson made a reference to a racial comment. But the judge sided with Bryson’s account, saying it was unlikely that he would “fail to convey such a prominent remark to which he had a strong reaction.”

The judge said in his decision that Amazon rushed to judgment and pursued a “skewed investigation” into the argument designed to blame only Bryson for that incident, adding the company wanted discharge Bryson for his “protected concerted activity instead of fairly evaluating” what happened. 

In its investigation into the altercation, Greene said Amazon “preferred not to obtain information from someone who was protesting with Bryson even though that person was likely in the best position to explain what happened.” 

Instead, he said multiple witness accounts of the incident submitted by the company were coincidently “one-sided,” adding he found it implausible the statements were made “unless such accounts were solicited from them.”

The NLRB had also pushed for Bryson’s reinstatement in a federal lawsuit filed last month, using a provision of the National Labor Relations Act that allows it to seek temporary relief in federal court while a case goes through the administrative law process. Amazon has used the case as one of its objections over the Staten Island election results, accusing the agency of tainting the vote by pursuing Bryson’s reinstatement in the lead-up to the election.

(apnews.com)

12 Comments

  1. chuck dunbar April 19, 2022

    MIRED IN THE MUD

    For Bruce McEwen, writing yesterday that “The comment page seems to have mired in the spring mud…”

    Yes, mired we are in spring mud,
    Waiting, hoping, for worthy comment.
    Something of merit, or of fine soul,
    Not just the usual sore lament.

    So wait we will to the next morn-
    Maybe then witness fine minds at play.
    Spouting forth ‘bout this and that,
    Genius afoot—“Here’s my say!”

    Old Codger in the Spring Mud

  2. Marmon April 19, 2022

    RE: BOS MEETING

    I enjoyed the ass chewing the BOS received this morning during public comment in their first openly public meeting in over two years. They look rediculous in their little glass cages separating them from humaninty. And, what’s with the big remodel? How much did they spend on that? Do they know how the public view them? Covid is over, there are no more social distancing requirements. This BOS crew are the worst ever, afraid of the people they claim they serve.

    Marmon

    • Mike J April 19, 2022

      Reminder:
      “The comment page seems to have mired in the spring mud…”. Bruce McEwen

      Have to say that grumpy rants and whining and spinning tall tales (like about stolen elections or how BOS members are all messed up) have set the comments section in a decaying orbit.

      Speaking of spring mud muck, I figured out the basis for why the BOS appears incompetent: it is an illusion brought on by poor $$$$ resources and people resources and options or avenues in a county of 90,000 people.

      • Marmon April 19, 2022

        RE: DEMOCRATS

        Mike J. must be a member of the so called Mendocino Democratic Party which are not democratic at all or he and they would be okay with free speech and fair elections.

        Marmon

    • chuck dunbar April 19, 2022

      Who spoke and what specifically was said–a litte more detail? Good for them to stand-up and do it.

      • Marmon April 19, 2022

        Mendocino Patriots

        Marmon

  3. Betsy Cawn April 19, 2022

    Cold comfort can be found in the constancy of Mr. Sakowicz’s commentary, which today appeared in the Lake County News edition addressing balefully the absence of leaders in response to governmental malaise, which seems to plague equally both Lake and Mendocino Counties.

    Feeling very much the mystification of the “people’s business” that the Ralph M. Brown Act was created to prevent, I will call your attention to the recent “leadership” trainings provided to both of our counties’ department heads by the California State Association of Counties — top staff of which gave presentations recently to both of our Boards of Supervisors. Said training seemingly consists of how to always agree with the boss, underwriting the boss’s direction when interacting with the elected officials.

    Any serious challenge from outside the “leadership” members — such as Mr. Scaramella’s fine descriptions of empty-headed announcements and unfulfilled commitments for governance of publicly funded services, or Mr. Sakowicz’s unanswered entreaties — is consistently ignored (except for a recent comment by Mr. Geniella, about an anticipated reaction to Mr. Sakowicz’s remark about former Supervisor McCowen which I could not understand — but clearly there are age-old plot twists and turns in your brotherhood that the unannointed will never get).

    Most of the time, I resist the desire to speak up during our Board hearings, because the unified front of elected and appointed officials is apparently impervious to any impact from the paying public. It’s a fight between outrage and ennui, in which ennui would have won out long ago if it were not for the AVA and its rambunctious readers!

  4. Marmon April 19, 2022

    RE: BIDEN/HARRIS 2024

    I think I just become a democrat again today, it looks like the rest of my student aid loan will be forgiven. By the looks of the requirements, I should be one of the 40,000. I’ve been on an Income Based Repayment (IBR) Plan for the last 10 years thanks to former CEO Carmel Angelo.

    US Forgives 40,000 Student Loans, Provides Aid to 3.6 Million More

    https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/student-loan-repayment-by-u-s-government-education-dept/2022/04/19/id/1066352/

    Marmon

    • Marmon April 19, 2022

      That should be “income driven repayment” plan (IDR), not “income based repayment” plan (IBR)

      Marmon

  5. Gary Smith April 19, 2022

    So, trash is largely packaging and used up household articles. When you buy tires now you pay up front for disposal costs. Everything sold should be like that. Then the people who do the most consuming pay the bulk of the tax, as it should be. When you see how much it costs to dump a mattress, couch, or appliance, you can understand why people chuck them over a bank.
    Of course, you gotta make sure the money gets spent where it belongs, starting with eliminating fees for trash pickup and dump fees as well as getting dumpsters stationed at homeless camps, if we can’t manage to eliminate them.

  6. Marmon April 19, 2022

    RE: MY MOM’S 90TH BIRTHDAY

    We were all embarrassed when my mon, June Woolley, informed us that this was the first birthday party she ever had. The gal next to her in the picture is my step-sister Karen who is one of the owners of the Poor Family Farms in Hopland who are known for their “dry farming” of wine grapes. My mom who was born April 15th birthdate coincides with the Tax deadline and the sinking of the Titanic.

    Marmon

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