Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Rain | Railroad Ties | Covelo Meeting | AV Schools | Profligate Grapes | Road Narrows | MCHCD Meeting | Valadao Tragedy | Beer Fest | Early Release | Ghostship | Glentzer Endorsed | Future Homes | Ed Notes | Support Cat | HughesNet Looping | Gallows Humor | Theatre Auditions | Great Buffet | Yorkville Rental | Train Derailed | Rummage Sale | Yesterday's Catch | Assange Case | Ukraine | Lunchbox Treats | Covered Bridge | Medical Ransom | Tax Rich | Consumer Protection | Hercules Cat | Asylum Seekers | Mecca Clock | Supe Candidates | Pudding Bridge | Planning Agenda | Trump Rescue | Easter Kids | BHAB Meeting | Wonder Building | Death Merchants

* * *

A COLD FRONT is approaching the coast this morning bringing gusty winds, locally heavy rain, and mountain snow to the area. Tonight through Thursday night showers will continue and there is a chance for thunderstorms. Friday showers will taper off as high pressure builds in. This will bring seasonal temperatures and dry weather for the weekend through Monday. (NWS)

* * *

Loading Railroad Ties at Melburne/Comptche

* * *

COVELO COMMUNITY MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT: On 04-20-22 at 12:00 PM (noon) Sheriff Kendall will be hosting a Covelo Community Meeting at the Community Park Recreation Center located at 22830 South Airport Boulevard in Covelo. Historically there has been a Covelo Community Meeting held on the third Wednesday of each month but unfortunately those meetings were cancelled over the last 2+ years because of the pandemic. Sheriff Kendall will resume these monthly meetings until further notice so please join the Sheriff during these upcoming community engagement events.

* * *

AV SCHOOLS: BACK IN SESSION

Dear Anderson Valley Community,

We are so glad to have the students back in session. We thank all of our parents/guardians who participated in the at-home testing program. We appreciate your care and concern for all of the students and staff. I walk sites everyday. I can not tell you how thankful I am to see your students thriving with in-person instruction!

I want to take this opportunity to thank Jim Snyder and wish him all the best in his new position with Ukiah Unified School District that he has decided to accept as a new challenge next year. We are grateful to him for his past care, compassion, and dedication for the Anderson Valley Community, and we wish him great success in his new position and endeavor. Plans are well underway for a transition, and we will keep you posted.

For our elementary students, please register now for our anderson creek independent study program! This is an amazing opportunity to work with Ms. Triplett. It is a half-day option with a full day component available on the main campus as an optional add on. Reach out to Ms. Triplett or the elementary office for more information.

Speaking of Ms. Triplett, you won’t believe her summer school programming at the elementary school campus! Summer school never looked like this before! This is an amazing opportunity for students including learning circus arts. Intervention students qualify first, so if your student has been recommended accept the placement.

The Measure M Committee has a meeting tomorrow at the high school library at 4:30 and all are welcome to attend. The committee has made yard signs available free upon request at the district office. Please see the attached fact sheet. Walkthroughs for the work are scheduled on May 12 at 4:30 p.m. at the high school and May 19 at 4:30 p.m. at the elementary school.

(Click to enlarge)

Over the break, I went through 500 pages of parent/student/staff survey results and reviewed every single report card from every student in the district. Do you know the most surprising thing I learned? More than half our kids are staying up past 10:00 p.m. and many report they don’t know how to relax. Help us, help them by enforcing no cell phones past 10:00 p.m. and getting them to bed at a reasonable time. I sound like an old lady nag, but if your student goes to bed at 11:00 p.m. and catches a bus at 7:00 a.m. they aren’t prepared to learn.

Thank you again for your partnership and support. Life is starting to feel a bit more “normal”.

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson

Superintendent

* * *

GRAPES FIRST!

Editor: 

A friend was awakened at 5 a.m. one recent morning by pumps starting up at a neighboring vineyard to sprinkle water for frost protection. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s drought information system, 96.5% of Sonoma County is in “extreme drought.” As in, year-around fire season and insufficient water for agriculture, wildlife and people. I’ve been watering my garden with the little rainwater I collected and used frost blankets for much of the winter. The wine industry is acting unconscionably. Yes, it’s been cold, but figure out crop protection without draining aquifers.

Deb Preston

Sebastopol

* * *

Manchester Beach

* * *

NOTICE AND AGENDA OF A SPECIAL MEETING of the MCHCD Board of Directors, Wednesday April 20, 2022 - 6:00 P.M. Open Session Only

Mendocino Coast Health Care District is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Mendocino Coast Health Care District Special Meeting
Time: Apr 20, 2022 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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

Meeting ID: 856 8053 8419
Passcode: 010264
One tap mobile: +12532158782,,85680538419#,,,,*010264# US (Tacoma)
Dial by your location: +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 856 8053 8419
Passcode: 010264

1. 6:00 P.M. OPEN SESSION CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL
1.1 Call to order and roll call
1.2 Approval of the agenda Items to be removed from the agenda or changed should be done at this time.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
This portion of the meeting is reserved for persons desiring to address the Board of Directors on non-agenda issues. Please state your name for the record. A three-minute limit is set for each speaker on all items. The total time for public input on each item is limited to 20 minutes (Government Code 54952). The Brown Act does not permit the Board to take action on any item that is not on the agenda.

3. INFORMATION/DISCUSSION/POSSIBLE ACTION ITEMS

3.1 Discussion/Action Item: Approval of Monthly Payments in the amount of $46, 933.33 to BNY Western Trust Company — Norman de Vall

3.2 Discussion/Action Item: Approval of Monthly Payments in the amount of $720 to Pelican Storage — Norman de Vall

4. PUBLIC COMMENTS
5. BOARD COMMENTS
6. ADJOURMENT

* * *

A HUSBAND GONE, A LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN

A Fort Bragg Resident Reflects On The Health Care That Was Missing When Her Spouse Needed It Most

by Matt LaFever

Ron Valadao before his health declined. Judy, his wife of 35 years, describes Ronald as a carpenter, a mill worker, contemplative and playful during quiet moments [picture provided by Judy Valadao]

Judy Valadao has lived in Fort Bragg for sixty years. She and her late husband Ronald raised their kids there, made their home there, and lived their lives there.

Ronald began to suffer medical complications associated with his digestive system in late 2020. She watched Ronald, a vibrant and powerful carpenter wither away to one hundred pounds, unable to eat or move.

Ronald’s ailments would be the catalyst for a journey into the labyrinth of Mendocino County’s local health care system. For over a year, the pair would navigate general practitioners, specialists, intensive care units, and emergency rooms, both on the coast and inland hoping and praying for the care Ronald needed to be well once again.

Desperate for medical treatment, Judy worked every angle she could at Adventist Health Mendocino Coast to get the specialists her husband needed. At one point, Ronald was put in the emergency room for three days where visitors were not allowed due to COVID-19 concerns, and Judy told us he was put in a small windowless room with nothing more than a bed and a clock.

Ronald returned to the comfort of his home, in the care of Judy, still ailing from an illness that had stolen his verve and losing hope that he could get the medical care he desperately needed.

On February 5, 2022, Ronald was having a tough night. Judy remembered he struggled to breathe and could no longer walk. Ron was in the downstairs bedroom because he could no longer make it upstairs. That evening Judy tucked him in, and let their dogs get into bed with him who snuggled with him for a bit. Judy said goodnight and closed the door halfway leaving it open a bit.

A little while later she heard what she initially thought was something hitting the front door. Ron’s sister arrived at this time and planned to sit with Judy for the evening. She put the sound she had heard aside for a few minutes and decided to peep in on Ronald.

In a few seconds that would last an eternity, Judy realized that sound she had heard was not something hitting the door, but the firing of a handgun. Her husband of 35 years, hurting and hopeless, had taken his own life.

In a swirl of red and blue police lights, neighbors on porches, and strangers in her home, Judy realized the man she loved so deeply was gone. When he could not find the help he needed from the local medical system, he took the power into his hands.

How Could This Happen?

Ronald in a quiet moment with his playful eyes and smile peeking through [picture provided by Judy Valadao]

Judy, haunted by thoughts of Ronald alone in a hospital bed left untreated, began to reflect on the frailties of Mendocino County’s rural health care. 

She took to social media and posted an open letter to Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren. In that open letter, Valadao asked Dr. Coren pointed questions about the role COVID-19 and associated pandemic protocols have had on Mendocino County’s health care systems. 

These questions, born of Valadao’s tragedy, strike at the heart of medical care’s complexities during a pandemic and the inevitability that any set of interventions, proven effective or not, could also induce injury.

Dr. Coren answered her questions to the best of his ability. 

Valadao wanted to know whether “folks with illnesses other than Covid have fallen through the cracks because of lack of beds/staff during this pandemic?”

Dr. Coren said he recognized there was a multitude of factors that could have contributed to patients falling through the cracks. 

He suggested that some patients postponed visiting a doctor due to concerns about contracting COVID-19 and others might have experienced long wait times delaying the required care. These complications could have been exacerbated by “institutional changes of policies and practices, Dr. Coren explained.

Alternative avenues to medical services, such as telemedicine, were “out of reach for many people with insufficient computer access,” Dr. Coren recognized.

Dr. Coren acknowledged that there is ample evidence chronic diseases got worse during the pandemic. Many patients were unable to adjust medications which might have led to “increases in severe illnesses requiring hospitalizations following admission to emergency departments.” 

The worsening of these chronic diseases could be seen in local hospitals as emergency rooms began to fill not with COVID-19 patients, but those stricken with chronic diseases.

Coupled with the decreased access to health providers, Valadao asked Dr. Coren if Mendocino County experienced a marked rise in deaths due to other causes. Outside of COVID-19, Dr. Coren said, “the only other causes that appear to have increased during the pandemic are deaths due to drug overdose, and suicide during the pandemic.

Judy told us she does not entirely trust the information Dr. Coren provided. “I think the real numbers would tell how many are suffering from other issues not COVID related and how many have been sent home because of the lack of beds/staff.”

Dr. William Miller is the Chief of Staff at Adventist Health Mendocino Coast. He acknowledged Judy’s grief stating, “There are no words that can alleviate the family’s pain and suffering.” He reassured the community, however, that Adventist Health was using the story of Ronald to find “opportunities to improve.”

Dr. Miller told us that Ron’s experience was “influenced by a number of factors”, including “the occasional difficulty in transferring patients to higher levels of care due to lack of available beds,” a shortage exacerbated by COVID-19 surges, and the subsequent rise in hospitalizations.

Regarding Ron’s inability to have visitors during his stay at Adventist Health, Dr. Miller pointed toward restrictions mandated by the State of California “as part of the overall effort to reduce the spread and protect patients and staff at the height of the pandemic.”

Dr. Miller attributes Ron’s long delays in care to recent “shortages in staffing that are affecting healthcare throughout the country, including here on the Coast.” He went on to say that many patients of Adventist Health have experienced “long and often frustrating delays and we apologize for that and wish to reassure folks that we are working to fix these problems, including by aggressively recruiting…”

Rural health care facilities can prove difficult to staff, Dr. Miller explained, compared to larger, urban areas which are “more desirable, especially for young physicians.” Adventist Health will be hosting career fairs quarterly and exploring “all avenues to bring in new providers to serve our community.”

Fundamentally, Dr. Miller said that Adventist Health is “committed to this community and its hospitals and clinics.” He encouraged all patients of Mendocino County’s Adventist Health hospitals to provide feedback because “it is through hearing from our patients and their loved ones that we learn what we are doing well and what we need to improve on.”

Remembering Ron

Thinking back to her last night with Ron, Judy remembered how her once sturdy husband could not stand or walk. He could barely breathe and was only able to respond with a simple “yes” or “no.” Amid that pain, when Judy asked Ronald that night if he wanted to go to the hospital, he unequivocally said, “No.”

Judy Valadao now stays busy doing projects, renovating her kitchen, walking her dog, and remembering Ronald. She told us that nighttime is the hardest.

She is determined to not let the world forget what happened to her husband. She knows that the three days of isolation in the hospital led to Ronald’s loss of faith in the medical system and “sealed his fate.”

Ron and Judy Valadao around the time they first met. Judy laughs when she says her mom called the pair “a couple of hippies.” [picture by Judy Valadao]

She loves the story of her mother calling the couple “hippies” when they first met and Ronald’s hair was long. She remembers his quiet smile, his playful ways, his love.

While digging through her closets, Judy stumbled on a stack of letters Ronald had written her many years ago. One of them was what he titled his “Sweet Heart ‘Thank You’ List” describing all the reasons he fell in love with Judy. “Thank you for loving and trusting me.” “Thank you for making lots and lots of great memories.” Maybe the most relevant, Ronald thanked Judy, “Thank you for listening to me when I was down.”

Writer’s Note

First, for full disclosure, Judy Valadao is a good friend of this writer. She is also a contributor to my website, MendoFever, and has also staffed the Mendocino County COVID-19 press conference representing MendoFever.

Second, many aspects of the Emerald Triangle’s rural lifestyle lend themselves to suicide risk factors. Those risk factors, as described by the Center for Disease Control, include barriers to health care, social isolation, and high rates of adverse childhood experiences.

Please remember, if you or a loved one are suffering from mental distress many resources can be accessed including:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-6264, info@nami.org

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): (800) 662-4357

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): (866) 615-6464

Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741

In efforts to educate the public regarding suicide prevention, the following infographic from the National Institute of Mental Health guides warning signs associated with suicide:

* * *

24 YEARS & 65+ BREWERIES STRONG; the legendary Boonville Beer Festival returns 4/23 to the Mendocino County Fairgrounds.

Tickets and info: https://avbc.com/boonville-beer-fest/

It's "the bahlest steinber hornin' chiggrul gormin' tidrick in the heelch of the Boont Region!" 

Featuring 65+ breweries.

This is a non-profit event. Gates open at 12:45. Taps open at 1:00 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. Festival closes at 6 p.m. 

Legend has it that the event now known as the Boonville Beer Fest traces its roots back to the early 1990s. The Anderson Valley was lush following the spring rains. The creeks were full, the pine boughs glowed green and the valley floor was speckled with wildflowers of unimaginable variety.

Barkley sat on a stump on the ridge high above the brewery, Boont in hand, antlers on head, surveying his kingdom. For all the beauty a melancholic feeling tugged at his fur; something was missing. His was a lonely palace in the redwoods.

So he did what any mythical half-bear half-deer would do: he invited the entire beer world over to his pad to throw a few back and dosey doe 'til the wee hours.

In the beginning it was a humbly intimate affair. But as the legend of the antlered bear and his springtime shindig grew so did the festival, gradually swelling to become one of the biggest beer festivals in the country, drawing brewers and beer drinkers from around the world.

Now in its 24th year, Barkley and his Beer Fest are a little longer in the tooth, but they've only gotten better with age. So if you see Barkley at Beer Fest, make sure and give him a hug, it's a been a couple years now and he could use one. Just make sure you don't have a seltzer in your hand when you do. He, uh, he doesn't like those.

* * *

DA EYSTER ON EARLY PRISON RELEASES

by Mike Geniella

Mendocino County District Attorney Dave Eyster to no surprise is joining conservative prosecutors statewide in condemning pending plans by state prison authorities to permanently enact measures expanding early release of California inmates for “good behavior.”

Eyster and a cadre of prosecutors are engaged in a high-profile campaign to thwart state prison plans by claiming that thousands of “violent offenders” will be turned out on the streets, along with inmates who have serious criminal records of “two strikes.”

In an election year, so-called state softening of prison sentencing guidelines to ease prison overcrowding is sure to sharpen political divides.

Yet nowhere in their public criticism do Eyster or his conservative counterparts mention the spiraling prison expenses that taxpayers face statewide, and locally even in the face of declining crime rates. 

It now costs state taxpayers a staggering $106,000 per year on average to house a single prisoner, according to the most recent update by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. It was released in November 2021.

Local communities are not immune from rising prison costs. In Mendocino County, $25.4 million is spent annually to run the county jail or other detention facilities, more than any other public protection expense, according to current county budget figures. That includes state reimbursement in so-called realignment prison programs where some inmates are held locally to serve court-imposed jail terms.

Most of the costs at either the local or state level are associated with salaries and benefits for correction officers and inmate health care.

The most recent findings of the non-partisan Legislative Analyst Office underscores the dollars and cents debate about prison costs, and inmate release policies:

• The average cost of incarcerating an inmate in a California prison is now $106,000 per year.

• About three-quarters of these costs are for security and inmate health care.

• Since 2010-11, the average annual cost has increased by about $57,000 or about 117 percent. This includes an increase of $20,800 for security and $19,000 for inmate health care. Significant drivers of this increase in costs were employee compensation and activation of a new health care facility. In addition, the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic also contributed to higher costs in 2021-22.

During the same period, the Legislative Analyst’s Office found that:

• California has experienced a decline in the property crime rate since it peaked in 1980 and in the violent crime rate since it peaked 1992. Between 1980 and 2020, the state’s overall crime rate declined by about 67 percent. This decline is similar to trends in crime patterns in the rest of the United States.

• In 2020, there were about one million crimes reported in California, most of which were property crimes. This represents a crime rate of about 2,600 crimes per 100,000 residents—a 6 percent decline relative to the 2019 rate.

• California’s property crime rate was 9 percent higher than the nationwide rate and its violent crime rate was 11 percent higher than the nationwide rate.

Over a 20-year period beginning in 1985, the Legislative Analyst’s Office found that the state prison population more than tripled from about 50,000 inmates in 1985 to a peak of 173,000 inmates in 2006. During the same period, while crime rates declined, there also was state implementation of “tougher sentencing laws and a prison construction boom that activated 20 state prisons.”

Then between 2006 and 2018, the prison population declined by 26 percent from about 173,000 to 128,000 inmates. 

“The decline in the prison population is largely related to various changes in sentencing law. For example, the 2011 realignment shifted responsibility for housing and supervising some felons from the state to the counties. Proposition 47(2014) changed some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, reducing both state and county correctional populations,” according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Still, some prosecutors continue to hammer at state prison policies.

In his recent public attack, Mendocino DA Eyster lambasted the proposed changes:

“Releasing inmates early who have committed atrocious crimes after only serving a fraction of their sentence threatens the safety of law-abiding citizens and is a hard slap in the face to crime victims who are still suffering,” wrote Eyster.

An example Eyster used is how a convict facing a 10-year state prison sentence could be released back to the Mendocino County after having only served three years and four months of a local court-imposed sentence if the proposed state regulations are permanently adopted. 

The state prison system for the past 10 months have used its pandemic related “emergency” measures for early releases. A year ago, Eyster and other prosecutors filed a civil lawsuit challenging the use of the emergency process for certain categories of early releases.

The pending legislative action is the result of a state court decision to allow California prison authorities to proceed with plans to allow earlier prison release dates for repeat offenders with serious and violent criminal histories under the state’s “three strikes” law.

Eyster and other prosecutors attempted to block corrections officials from increasing good conduct credits for second-strike inmates serving time for nonviolent offenses who are housed at minimum-security prisons and camps. Their daily credits can now increase from half off their sentences to two-thirds off their sentences.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge temporarily blocked the state plan but after a further review, lifted the ban.

Prison officials say the latest court ruling now “clears the way for the department to implement regulations that incentivize incarcerated people to participate in positive rehabilitative activities and avoid negative behavior.”

The Legislative Analyst’s Report can be found at: https://lao.ca.gov/policyareas/cj/6_cj_inmatecost 

* * *

BILL KIMBERLIN: 

I went for dinner by the Bay on Monday and from the restaurant windows I could see something kind of odd looking floating just of shore. Getting a closer look it is labeled, "Ghostship". Seemed like it might be a memorial to the ghastly artist's warehouse fire in Oakland a few years ago.

Local artist and "mad-scientist", Chris Edwards built it for $800 with some friends and launched it surreptitiously. The boat floats and is 15 long.

* * *

CALIFORNIA SCHOOL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION ENDORSES NICOLE GLENTZER for Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools

California School Employees Association is proud to announce the endorsement of Nicole Glentzer for Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools. After careful review of the two candidates’ professional histories and qualifications, Ms. Glentzer’s endorsement was supported by all 8 Mendocino County chapters of CSEA. 

Lisa Rantala, CSEA Chapter 194 President, explained that before a decision was made Mendocino County chapter leaders interviewed both candidates for the office. “After discussing the reputations of each candidate and getting to know them better through our endorsement interview, it was clear that Nicole is the right person to lead Mendocino County Office of Education,” said Rantala. “Nicole has a history of working collaboratively with school employees and serving children in Mendocino County. Her integrity and experience make her the clear choice for County Superintendent of Schools.”

The more than 500 school employees represented by CSEA join the more than one hundred teachers, principals, administrators, school staff, and Mendocino County Office of Education employees who have already endorsed Nicole Glentzer for Superintendent of Schools. 

“There’s a reason Nicole is the educator’s choice for Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools.” said Maggie Butler the Potter Valley Education Support Professionals, the only chapter of California Teachers Association to endorse a candidate in this race. “We need a Superintendent who respects teachers, administrators, and staff - who make our schools work better and takes the time to foster success for our kids. Anyone who has worked with Nicole understands that she is the right choice for our schools”

Fort Bragg CSEA Chapter President Martha Lopez also voiced strong support for Ms. Glentzer’s candidacy saying “She’s the right leader to provide the support our schools need. She understands the incredible dedication our educators have shown to keep our schools running. She respects our efforts and will hear our voices.” 

Glentzer has stated several times along the campaign trail that schools are continually faced with complex problems that can best be solved by working collaboratively with the principals, teachers, administrators, and staff who keep our schools running. “School employees who work most directly with students, from driving the bus, preparing the food, or teaching in a classroom have a perspective that needs to be heard,” said Glentzer. “Schools are facing new challenges: staffing shortage and recovery from COVID. As County Superintendent I will ensure that students, staff, community members, and families are heard as we do the work of improving our schools.” 

To learn more about CSEA visit CSEA.com 

To learn more about Nicole Glentzer visit ElectNicoleGlentzer.com

* * *

* * *

ED NOTES

THE RACE FOR COUNTY SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT is shaping up as the only interesting race on the June ballot. Opposition to incumbent Superintendent is clustered around a Ukiah school administrator named Nicole Glentzer. The following is a paragraph from an endorsement of Ms. Glentzer apparently prepared by Lisa Rantala, CSEA Chapter 194 President. 

"...before a decision was made Mendocino County chapter leaders interviewed both candidates for the office. 'After discussing the reputations of each candidate and getting to know them better through our endorsement interview, it was clear that Nicole is the right person to lead Mendocino County Office of Education,' said Rantala. 'Nicole has a history of working collaboratively with school employees and serving children in Mendocino County. Her integrity and experience make her the clear choice for County Superintendent of Schools.'” 

MS. RANTALA works for the Ukiah schools, and is a colleague of Ms. Glentzer's. Maggie Butler of Potter Valley is also quoted. Ms. Glentzer lives in Potter Valley.

THE ENDORSEMENT overall is vague unto pure ether. Rantala et al might as well have said, “We're endorsing Nicole because she's taller.” 

BEHIND THE SCENES for Ms. Glentzer we find former County Superintendent, Paul Tichinin, and another dim MCOE retiree, Damon Dickinson, two reasons right there why California is ranked among the lowest third of American public schools.

THE NUT of the beef between people unhappy with incumbent Hutchins is that Hutchins has said no to Ukiah funding schemes. The feckless Tichinin, of course, signed off on them. The primary opposition to Hutchins comes from Ukiah.

IN MAY of 2020 Ukiah Unified Superintendent Debra Kubin asked Hutchins for “differentiated assistance funds” which Kubin wanted to spend on consultants which, Kubin explained, “could be extremely valuable in this area with our upper level managers,” and “a retreat we would like to hold.”

HOLD IT RIGHT THERE. Consultants? Upper level managers? Retreat? We've had years of these ripoffs out of Tichinin's seemingly endless reign at County Schools, and before him, the agency was operated as a criminal conspiracy that saw two “upper level managers” packed off to jail for stealing and what you might call “moral turpitude.” (An upper level MCOE manager named Hal Titen was making pornographic films with underage girls in the back room of his bar using educational equipment he'd “borrowed” from MCOE. His “upper level manager” colleagues said they were “surprised and shocked.” Tichinin, an admin guy at MCOE in the days it was operated as a criminal enterprise? Never a peep outta him.

MS. HUTCHINS replied to Kubin's attempt to grab off a nice hunk of cash for her Ukiah-based upper level managers by citing the Education Code (Sec. 52071), which clearly requires that the differentiated assistance money go to County offices from which the assistance is provided to all county school districts. It's not supposed to be passed along to individual districts. Ms. Hutchins added that she and her staff would be more than happy to work with Ukiah Unified to figure out ways to improve Ukiah Unified’s performance "challenges," but would not simply hand over the money for consultants and retreats for upper level managers. (Ms. Hutchins phrased it a bit more tactfully.)

UKIAH UNIFIED was very unhappy. Prior MCOE administrations always played ball. And then some. 

SOOOOO the upper management retreaters at Ukiah Unified, having figured out that a female challenger might have a better shot at unseating a female incumbent than the slo-mo upper management male drone Ukiah ran against Hutchins four years ago, came up with an upper-management female Ukiah candidate named Nicole Glentzer.

THERE'S literally no adult-type reason to unseat Ms. Hutchins.

DEPARTMENT OF SCHADENFREUDE. Well, kind of I guess, but the reigning empress of Mendocino County's helping professionals, Camille Schraeder, has picked up a DUI out of the Fort Bragg area. She presides over the County's privatized $20 million annual mental health fund, adults and children. Needless to say, Schraeder and former CEO Angelo were great pals. Where does all that money go every year? Only Camille knows for sure, but she and Mr. Schraeder undoubtedly take a hefty whack for assuming all that responsibility.

A READER COMMENTS: I would like to thank the Mendocino County GOP for texting me (unsolicited) yesterday to tell me about the “exciting upcoming news” about John Redding’s candidacy. I was having a hard day and I really, really needed a good laugh.

THE FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL has approved tiny houses, two per lot, a huge breakthrough the rest of Mendocino County would do well to imitate to reduce homelessness.

* * *

* * *

HUGHESNET PROBLEMS?

Letter to the Editor

If you have satellite internet with HughesNet and have/had repeating (looping) when you listen to archived programs, I'd like to know if this is still a problem. I paused my service months ago when they told me they knew of the problem and were fixing it. Have they? Please send me an email to report if this has/has not been fixed. It would help many of us decide what to do. Thank you so much.

Patricia Kovner

Laytonville

* * *

THE CONDEMNED LOOKED AT DEATH AND LAUGHED

* * *

AUDITIONS for Mendocino Theatre Company’s production of Jen Silverman’s deliciously dark comedy THE MOORS, directed by Roxy Seven, will be held this Saturday, April 23, 10am to noon.

Actors will read from script sides, which will be sent to each participant in advance. Perusal scripts are available at the MTC office; please call Pamela, 707-937-2718. For more information, and to sign up for an audition slot, go to https://mendocinotheatre.org/events/auditions-for-the-moors/

From the director: ”Seeking BOLD and pLaYfuL actors to take a seat at the table of a mad tea party of a play. Build a specific world and character that you can articulate physically, emotionally, and intellectually. What does your character believe to be true that an outside perspective might call crazy?”

Inclusion is a core value at Mendocino Theatre Company. We are committed to anti-racist casting practices; we endeavor to be a place where actors of all identities and backgrounds can thrive.

* * *

* * *

RENTAL AVAILABLE IN YORKVILLE

It's an off-grid cabin in the quiet hills of Yorkville. It has a large living room/bedroom, bath with shower and tub, kitchen with stove and refrigerator, dining table and chairs. Back porch with washer/dryer. Storage shed. Irrigated garden with fruit trees. Solar panels and propane heaters. $900 a month with $900 security deposit. Available now.

Call Barbara at 707-894-9459.

* * *

Caspar Log Train Derails, 1923

* * *

ELK RUMMAGE SALE

The Greenwood Civic Club invites you to take part in the 33rd Annual Elk Rummage Sale to be held Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Greenwood Community Center in downtown Elk.

Discover antiques, collectibles, clothes, books, toys, housewares, furniture, tools, and more at bargain prices. Join the "Great Race" Sunday afternoon - all you can stuff in a bag for $3.00. While shopping, feast on baked good, drinks and homemade tempting lunch items. Credit cards now accepted!

The Greenwood Civic Club is a non-profit organization. All proceeds from the annual event benefit community projects, the summer children's program and student scholarships.

For more information, call 707-877-1130 or visit www.elkweb.org.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 19, 2022

Baze, Biggie, Grivette

HARRYLL BAZE, Willits. Domestic battery.

KATHLEEN BIGGIE, Fort Bragg. DUI.

DARYAN GRIVETTE, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale-transportation, pot sales.

Kemp, Lucero, McCarty, Moore

REXFORD KEMP II, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, offenses while on bail.

JOSE LUCERO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

HARVEY MCCARTY, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

NATHAN MOORE, Welcome, Minnesota/Fort Bragg. Stalking-threatening bodily injury.

Nelson, Payan, Poindexter

PAUL NELSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

JULIAN PAYAN, Hopland. Parole violation.

BRENDA POINDEXTER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

* * *

JUST IN: Westminster Magistrates Court has approved a request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges in the United States. The decision means the final decision on Assange’s fate lies in the hands of Home Secretary Priti Patel. According to The Guardian, Assange appeared in court via videolink from the high-security Belmarsh prison and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth. Among Assange’s supporters gathered outside the court was the former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who told reporters Patel had a responsibility to stand up for free speech. Speaking of Assange, he said: “He has done no more than tell the world about military planning, military policies, and the horrors of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—and I think he deserves to be thanked.” Assange, who spent seven years holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, faces 17 charges under the U.S. Espionage Act in a case that would raise significant First Amendment issues.

theguardian.com/media/2022/apr/20/uk-court-approves-extradition-of-julian-assange-to-us

* * *

UKRAINE

Russian forces started a brutal offensive in eastern Ukraine this week and have already seized what is believed to be their first Ukrainian city as part of their “next phase” of the war, which is nearing its third month. It comes as Russia called on Kyiv forces to surrender the final pocket of resistance in Mariupol as the port city remains on the brink of collapse.

Mariupol

‘Battle for Donbas’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that Russian forces had begun their long-expected offensive in a bid to take control of the country’s eastern region. “Now we can already state that the Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time,” he said in an address late Monday night. The Ukrainian president added that a “significant part of the entire Russian army is now concentrated on this offensive.” Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, called the latest offensive the “second phase of the war.” Zelensky has said he’s not willing to give up eastern territory in order to end the war.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said Russian troops are focusing their efforts to take full control of the Donbas area. “The occupiers made an attempt to break through our defenses along nearly the entire frontline,” the General Staff said in a statement on Tuesday. Taking control of Donbas would mean that Russia would have a southern land corridor to the annexed Crimean Peninsula, which has been occupied by Kremlin forces since 2014.

First Ukrainian city seized in new offensive

Russian forces have taken control of the eastern city of Kreminna, the regional governor said Tuesday. Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk, said in a briefing that Kyiv forces had left the city. “Kreminna is under the control of the ‘Orcs’ [Russians]. They have entered the city,” he said. “Our defenders had to withdraw. They have entrenched themselves in new positions and continue to fight the Russian army.” Gaidai added that Kremlin-led troops had attacked the city “from all sides.” Regarding the death toll from fighting, he said: “It is impossible to calculate the number of dead among the civilian population. We have official statistics — about 200 dead — but in reality there are many more.” It is believed to be the first city captured in Russia’s new offensive. 

— Yahoo News

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

What a treat it was, upon opening your Bat Man lunchbox you find out your mother had packed in Twinkies for dessert! Hostess cupcakes with the creamy inside were good too.

* * *

Covered bridge under construction, Mendocino

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2

America’s medical system is in shambles. It’s all about making a profit and less about providing care for extremely sick patients. And it is even worse in big cities. The name of the game is charge outlandish fees for the least items. Like $14 for an Aleve tablet. Or $125 for a nurse to check your temperature and BP. I know because I had a shoulder replacement in San Francisco and my bill for four days in the hospital was $145,000 dollars not including the surgeon’s fees. I know because I requested an itemized bill from Sutter Hospital. Medicare paid for 80% and I am stuck with the remaining 20%. I’ve had to ask family members for money. Sell all of my valuables, use the equity in my house for a loan and I still need to make $780 payments a month probably until I die and then my estate is liable for the remaining medical bills. Big rich hospital Corporations own the medical system and the doctors. America has the worst medical system in the world. I would not be in this financial mess had I lived in Canada or one of the Scandinavian countries, or Denmark or Belgium. My retirement is a life of a debtor. I live on nickels and dimes. I’m restricted to riding buses and eating at the Senior Center and relying on the Food Bank. Not what I had planned for my retirement after 51 years of working as a truck driver.

* * *

* * *

CONSUMER PROTECTION PROGRESS AND REGRESS: From the 60s to Now.

by Ralph Nader

I’m often asked whether consumers are better or worse off since the modern consumer movement took hold in the nineteen sixties.

Let’s look at the record. Motor vehicles are much safer, less polluting, and more fuel efficient now, but not nearly what they should be. Today, consumers have warranty rights, recall rights, equal credit opportunity rights they did not have back then. Labeling has also improved. There is no more lead in gasoline and paint, though lead water pipes still contaminate some drinking water systems.

From being King tobacco over 50 years ago, cigarette companies are more regulated and daily tobacco smoking is down from 45% of adults to less than 15% of adults. But now there is vaping. Deadly asbestos is out of most products.

Solar energy and wind power are growing, even though energy company propaganda smeared them as Buck Rogers science fiction over 50 years ago.

Nuclear power plants are closing and no new ones are under construction, except for the massive Georgia boondoggle projects costing taxpayers and ratepayers billions of dollars in cost overruns. Heating, lighting, and air-conditioning technology is more efficient, but nowhere near what it could be.

Clothing is cheaper due to production being taken to horrific polluting sweatshops abroad, leaving empty factories here (See, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas, September 3, 2019).

Now look at the dark side. Housing is less affordable and homelessness is greater. Hunger is still a shameful plague in a land of plenty, with some 15 million children going to bed hungry. Nutritional, organic, and ethnic foods are more widely available. We have pandemics instead of epidemics. Highway congestion and the paucity of mass transit is probably comparatively worse, despite some new investments in public transit since the sixties.

The profit-driven opioid pandemic taking over 100,000 American lives a year didn’t exist in the 1960s. Drug prices are sky high, even with large government subsidies and free research and development from the National Institute of Health.

Corporate crime escaping accountability is more diverse, brazen, and massive. Big time corporate crime pays. Over $350 BILLION is lost in computer billing fraud every year just in the health care industry. There are very few prosecutions. Since computer use has grown, it has been much easier for corporations to cheat, fine, penalize, and overcharge consumers and commit automated billing fraud. With the repeal of state usury laws in the nineteen seventies, payday rackets and rent-to-own swindles have fewer restraints.

Fine print contracts keep reaching new levels of coercion unheard of in the nineteen sixties. This is due to the endless opportunities created by the incarcerating credit card economy, which has taken away consumers’ control over their own money. Over 80% of consumers do not use cash or checks as they did in the sixties.

It is hard to exaggerate the massive controls over consumers which come from losing their freedom of contract and being coerced by companies with threats to worsen consumer credit scores and credit ratings, especially if they dare to persistently complain about a lemon car or a callous landlord. Fine print contract companies – just about every major corporation selling to you –are now taking away your right to go to court and have a trial by jury if you are wrongfully injured and want to hold wrongdoers accountable for damages.

Working only three days a week when they are not in extended recesses, Congress holds fewer investigative public hearings on issues affecting consumers such as monopolies or oligopolies that plague one industry after another. There are far fewer full-time consumer reporters at newspapers and radio/TV stations. Wells Fargo Bank creates fictitious credit card accounts, auto insurance, and other sales for millions of their non-requesting customers for years and then when caught escapes any jail time for the top bosses. Where was the preventative oversight?

What would have been incredible in the nineteen sixties is the relentless drive by companies such as Amazon, rental car giants, and others to get rid of purchasing by cash or check. Many companies want everybody to be coerced into the credit/debit penitentiary so they can charge your account for their dictatorial fees and other abuses (see my column, Ten Reasons Why I Don’t Have a Credit Card, April 24, 2019).

Companies can charge you an outrageous fee or so-called penalty. They control your money through access to your credit card and deduct their bilk. What if instead they had to send you a bill to pay by check? They would probably decide to revise their business model, because you would be more outraged if you had to consciously pay them, instead of being passively debited.

Finally, the marketing to children is out of control. Companies are circumventing parental authority selling directly to kids, harmful junk food, junk drink, and violent programs and games. These avaricious corporations are electronic child molesters. Direct marketing to kids and pushing to hook them with credit cards at an early age is pulling them into the addiction industries and creating intense family turmoil – especially with children’s omnipresent iPhone as the delivery vehicle.

Now comes Facebook’s “metaverse” that sucks in these youngsters far beyond the cruel seductions of today’s internet, further distancing this generation from the realities of life and communion with their families and the natural world.

We need hundreds of new consumer protection organizations from the local to the national and international levels making tough demands on lawmakers and pushing for wider access to justice for aggrieved people.

Big corporations have meticulous strategic plans for humans, including robotic replacement of workers and human-to-human contact. It is time for a new consumer revolution and new consumer rules for a just, safe, and consumer-sovereign economy.

Alexa can’t help you with this portentous mission.

* * *

* * *

THE FORCES PUSHING ASYLUM SEEKERS TO CROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL ARE POORLY UNDERSTOOD

by Patrick Cockburn

The impulse driving tens of thousands of desperate people to cross the Channel in inflatable dinghies is the outcome of a dozen hot wars and military stalemates in the Middle East and North Africa. These conflicts, largely forgotten by the rest of the world, tear apart societies and wreck economies, leaving whole populations facing unending violence and poverty – and no choice but to flee.

Mass flight from this great zone of conflict, which stretches from Mali to Afghanistan and Turkey to Somalia, will go on as long as the conflicts that first set the exodus in motion continue. These are the true generators of the immigration crisis that has engulfed Europe over the past 10 years or more, and has done so much to toxify its politics. Boris Johnson’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is only the latest bid to gain political advantage from the anti-immigrant reaction.

Political choices made by the West

Governments and voters in Europe mistakenly treat this influx as if it is inevitable and not the result of political choices made, often within the past 10 years, by Western governments and their allies. The Nato powers’ decision to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 reduced Libya to violent chaos and turned it into a lethal corridor for migrants from West Africa and beyond.

The outside world was unconcerned as Syria fragmented into armed and hostile camps, appearing neither to know nor care that this inevitably meant that millions of Syrians would be unable to survive at home.

Since the failure of American intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington has increasingly favoured tight economic sanctions, resembling a medieval siege, as a way of degrading its opponents. This does not produce regime change, but it does shatter economies and, if this provokes a wave of immigration, it will hit Western Europe rather than the US.

My main point is that it is the “push” to people who believe that they have no choice but to escape their broken countries, and not the “pull” of the British and Western European living standards which is the decisive factor in propelling people into undertaking their dangerous journeys.

Nothing could be more misleading and hypocritical than Johnson’s claim this week that he is somehow doing the Channel boat people a favour by saving them from the lure of “the vile people smugglers”. In reality, he will be adding to the profitability of their business by blocking legal means of seeking asylum in Britain.

What, then, are the real motives for people from the Middle East and North Africa starting risky and expensive odysseys to Europe? Ultimately, their troubles may stem from perpetual war or the threat of war, but not necessarily from the immediate impact of violence, though this cannot be ruled out.

Fear of conscription

One eyewitness in the Kurdish enclave in north-east Syria apologised to me for his slowness in replying to a message, saying that his home village had been “under heavy shelling by the Turkish army and their proxies for more than two weeks and, though my parents moved to Qamishli [the nearest big city] last year, my grandfather and cousin were still stranded there”.

He explained that Kurdish forces would fire a rocket from the back of a truck in the village square and this would attract Turkish counter-shelling.

The direct impact of violence is a cause of flight, but in states permanently gripped by war, the conscription of young men of military age by all sides is an ever-present threat. Families often see this as a death sentence for their sons, since once in an army, it is difficult to get out.

Raman, a 45-year-old teacher of Arabic from north-east Syria, explains that this is why he fled to Iraq and made a failed attempt to get to Europe, before returning home. “One of my reasons that pushed me to leave the country is taking my little brother Saman, who is 19 years old,” he says. “He was wanted for their military forces by both the Syrian government and the Kurdish authorities. If he joins the Syrian army, he would be transferred to the dangerous areas around Idlib and Aleppo to fight the Turks and the opposition. And if he joins the [Kurdish-led] forces he will be transferred to Deir Ezzor province, which is also dangerous because he would be fighting Daesh [Isis].”

The dilemma for parents can often be more complicated. Hoshang, a 54-year-old builder from Qamishli, wanted to stop his 24-year-old son, Sarbast, being conscripted, but found that his younger son, Nalin, and daughter, Jawin, were eager to join the Kurdish forces because, in his view, they had been brainwashed.

“They started shouting in any discussion and became negative about attending school or university,” he says.

His daughter pointed out that even if she did continue with her education, she would not be able to get a job when she finished it because there were none available, so she would better off in the Kurdish security forces. Hoshang and his wife decided to move their family to northern Iraq, paying $800 a head to smugglers to get them there illegally.

The economic implosion of the region between China’s border with Afghanistan and the Mediterranean has been happening for years, but has recently got much worse.

“In the past two years,” says Raman, “many times I have had to leave my work for hours and sometimes the whole day looking for bread or a gas cylinder, or in winter for diesel, or repairing the heater because of the bad quality of the diesel. During the past year, we have had electricity for an hour or two hours every three days.”

Sometimes there is no electricity for two weeks. Bakeries have closed because there is no fuel, or it is too expensive. Medicine comes largely from factories in government-held areas but when the border between government and non-government zones is shut, pharmacy shelves are empty. Agriculture has declined. “Our region, which was once called the bread basket of Syria, is now importing flour and vegetables,” says Raman.

How the crisis could balloon

This deepening of the general economic collapse is the outcome of intensified sanctions applied against Syria, Iran and Afghanistan that have led to the decline or collapse of currencies and soaring prices. Pro- and anti-government forces are equally affected. Though Raman teaches in a Kurdish-held area allied to the US, his teacher’s salary, which used to be worth the equivalent of $300 a month in 2018, is now worth only $25.

This general crisis in the Middle East and North Africa that forces people to take flight is about to get much worse because of global price rises post-pandemic and because of the invasion of Ukraine. As the Russian economy is hit by sanctions, great numbers of workers from Central Asia and the Caucasus who work in Russia will return home – and also think of joining the great migration to the West.

Further thoughts

I am fascinated by the efforts of the media to distinguish between the bad Russian oligarchs, who used their political pull in the 1990s to make great fortunes by looting the Soviet state, and their somewhat similar – and often equally dishonest – Western counterparts.

Anybody who has any doubts about this should watch the excellent three-part BBC documentary House of Maxwell. It shows Robert Maxwell committing his frauds more or less openly while protected by the legal secrecy surrounding his financial dealings, the law of libel, and his social and political connections. He drowned in 1991, but not before he had embezzled the Mirror Pension fund.

I used to think about him a few years later when I lived in a flat in Jerusalem with a fine view of the Mount of Olives where he was buried. It was said – though I never saw this – that former employees of the Mirror Group would throw stones on his grave. Given that the Mount of Olives is prophesied to be the place where the world will split open on the Day of Judgement when the dead will rise again, I thought it comical that Maxwell was going to be among the first to be resurrected, no doubt scattering writs in all directions.

I had met him briefly in Moscow in about 1986 or 1987 where he claimed that he wanted to produce the Pravda newspaper in English, though his real purpose was said to be a bid to get a shareholding in Aeroflot. He never did the deal, but this was just the sort of super-profitable privatisation of state assets that was to produce so many Russian billionaire oligarchs ten years later.

Beneath the Radar

One of the frustrations of trying to find out what is happening in Russia is that there are so few reliable well-informed sources. These were always in a minority, but until the invasion of Ukraine they did exist until they were all closed down or driven out of business. Instead, Moscow produces undiluted propaganda and Western media happily fields exiled Russian oligarchs who got on the wrong side of Russian President Vladimir Putin as if they were non-partisan sources with up-to-the minute information.

Some unaccountably earn the title of “ex-oligarch”, not because they have given their ill-gotten gains to the poor, but because they are saying the correct anti-Putin things that the American or British media wants to hear. Their views are presented as if they were governed by academic standards of objectivity with no mention of likely bias.

Retired American generals are likewise respectively interviewed for their less than Napoleonic understanding of the battlefield with no reference to their frequent post-Pentagon employment by different branches of the defence industry which stand to profit enormously from a long war in Ukraine. One day PhD students will be writing their theses about the implosion of journalistic standards during the present conflict.

For those who want to get a well-sourced up-to-date view on what is happening to the Russian elites and their relationship to the Kremlin, I would suggest this piece by Farida Rustamova, one of the casualties of the Putin’s purge of the Russian media, who is still operating effectively.

For those who wonder if the Russian oligarchs are not all too typical an example of the international financial elite, it is worth reading Kleptopia: How Dirty Money is Conquering the World by Tom Burgis.

Patrick Cockburn is the author of War in the Age of Trump (Verso).

* * *

Abraj Al Bait Clock in Mecca

* * *

THE NEXT DISTRICT 5 SUPERVISOR [an MCN discussion]

deb hughes: John Redding for Supervisor District 5.

grnleaf: That was the only response in favor of Redding that I have seen, and, like so many of us, we can’t imagine why, given the facts of John’s behavior breaking the rules at the hospital and his anti-vac position, etc.,as well as the excellent record of Ted Williams, probably the most effective and appreciated supervisor we have ever had. So do tell us all why on earth you support Redding.

alan haack: Redding has proved himself to be not bright enough to be on the Hospital Board and now he wants to use that failure to run for Supervisor? Redding comes with undisclosed private agendas that, when opened, prove to be detrimental to the people he claims to represent. I can't think of a less qualified person to run for Supervisor. With Ted Williams in the race, we have a fine, very qualified candidate whose whole interest is in helping his constituents and serving them. His record of doing that is first class.

David Alden: Oh, please no. Don’t make our local politics as much of a joke as Trump made national politics.

deb hughes: Everyone mentions Ted's excellence but you fail to state why.

David Alden: Well—his responsiveness to voters in helping find vaccines early on in the covid crisis was one. His progressive political position generally is another. In contract, Redding is a rabid Trump supporter, ranted on the internet about election fraud in the last presidential election, has not a single qualification for Supervisor that I can think of….do you want me to go on?

Dawnmarie C: Redding has been the whistleblower at the hospital, not the rule breaker. He has bravely called out his colleagues for misuse of public money. And where in the world did you get the idea that he is anti vax? He volunteered at six vaccination clinics provided by Adventist Health. As Treasurer, Redding put in place a plan that retires all long term debt and saves up $25million for a new facility. Can Williams match that record? All you have to do is read the financial reports for yourself. Finally, he at least has an agenda whereas Williams does not. https://www.jredding4district5.com/post/how-to-kickstart-mendocino-county-into-gear

* * *

PUDDING CREEK BRIDGE, Now and Then

* * *

MENDO PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA IS POSTED

The Staff Report(s) and Agenda for April 21, 2022 is posted on the department website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission

* * *

TRUMP TO THE RESCUE

Esteemed Editor,

As talk of nuclear armageddon becomes increasingly commonplace, we struggle to find a way out of the mess we are in. Many Ukrainian defense measures only seem to escalate hostilities. Surely someone can be recruited to convince Vlad to end his senseless war making. And there is! His name is Donald Trump, and he will someday go to Russia as the ambassador of our highest hopes. He will chat with Putin, who will agree to permanently cease hostilities. Vlad's reward will be a renewal of soft-on-Russia policies. Donald will be celebrated as a hero, and all charges and suits against him will be dropped. He will direct four more harrowing years of cramming the plutocrat agenda down our throats, and his swarm of co-conspirators will all be pardoned.

Ken Ellis 

New Bedford, MA

* * *

Easter, Presbyterian Church, Mendocino, 1948

* * *

MENDOCINO COUNTY BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD (BHAB) MEETING - Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The BHAB regular monthly meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27, 2022, by video conferencing via Zoom from 10:00 AM * 12:30 PM; any interested community members are welcome to join by going to https://mendocinocounty.zoom.us/j/98557737710 or calling: 1(669) 900-9128 or 1(346) 248-7799, with webinar ID: 985 5773 7710.

This meeting is intended for members of the public who are interested in supporting their local behavioral health services. Community members are encouraged to attend the meeting to ask questions, obtain information, and to provide feedback.

BHAB meeting agendas are published at: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/BHAB

For more information about BHAB meetings, please contact Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Administration at (707) 472-2355 or e-mail: bhboard@mendocinocounty.org

* * *

* * *

WAR IS GOOD FOR (SOME) BUSINESS

A casual random roundup…

Business Insider | By Kimberly Leonard

Some members of Congress stand to personally profit off Russia's war on Ukraine. At least 18 federal lawmakers or their spouses hold stock in Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin, which manufacture the weapons Western allies are sending Ukraine to fight Russian invaders, according to an Insider analysis of federal financial records.

Among the weapons the U.S. and NATO members have dispatched to Ukraine are the so-called "fire and forget" Javelin and Stinger missiles that troops carry on their shoulders during battle. 

The joint Raytheon/Lockheed Martin-made Javelin missile is touted as "the world's premier shoulder-fired anti-armor system" capable of destroying battle tanks. 

Among those investing in the defense contractors is Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who bought between $1,001 and $15,000 in Lockheed Martin shares on February 22. 

Two days after her purchase, Greene wrote in a Twitter thread: "War is big business to our leaders."

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2022/03/11/these-members-of-congress-could-make-profit-us-arms-shipments-ukraine.html

War In Ukraine Spells Bounty For Weapons Contractors

War isn’t devastating for weapons manufacturers, and provides the Pentagon another excuse to increase the budget.

https://inkstickmedia.com/war-in-ukraine-spells-bounty-for-weapons-contractors/

* * *

Ukraine’s Use Of Stinger And Javelin Missiles Is Outstripping U.S. Production

https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2022/03/08/ukraines-use-of-stinger-and-javelin-missiles-is-outstripping-us-production/?sh=4fd14dce2409

5 Comments

  1. Eric Sunswheat April 20, 2022

    Remaining 20% gap in MediCare coverage.

    RE: I requested an itemized bill from Sutter Hospital. Medicare paid for 80% and I am stuck with the remaining 20%. I’ve had to ask family members for money.

    —>. Within 6 months of beginning to receive Original MediCare Part B, as part of normal frame window of Social Security retirement date to qualify for Part A, enroll privately to monthly pay for MediGap Part G (low deductible), which will cover the remaining 2O% cost, except for copay of $233 once a year if coverage is used.

    Later in life at today’s rates adjusted for inflation, have a retirement income of not much more than $1300 per month, and qualified non exclusionary resources and cash of not more than $5-6K, after post two year dispersal, then Social Security/ MediCare, may pickup MediCare Part B at no cost.

    Retiree could continue private pay for MediGap Plan G, or less coverage MediGap Plan at one’s own expense. MediCare terms and exclusions change and are adjusted yearly. Once enrolled in misnamed Part C Advantage, which is privatized health care and not true MediCare, may not be able to switch back to A and B, except perhaps at great expense.

    If have lower benefit MediGap Plan, other than required Part D drug benefit, cannot increase to better plan, after enrollment initiation phase but can switch to plan less protective of fiscal liability. Plan G is the best but may not suit your long term needs.

    I am not an insurance agent and am not qualified to provide information. Contact Social Security MediCare directly and thru online resources, or your wealth management estate insurance broker. Public interest commentators Ralph Nader and Thom Hartmann may have a say in the matter.

  2. Lazarus April 20, 2022

    “A HUSBAND GONE, A LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DO”

    Sadly this story is all too common in Mendocino county and elsewhere. I have witnessed a patient wait for months to see a so-called specialist. Then to be informed days before the appointment that they did not meet the prerequisites of the specialist expertise. Then when asking for a referral for a qualified physician who could help, they are told to go back to their primary doctor and ask for help there.

    One might suspect if a sick person is too poor, too old, or socially irrelevant, they are ignored, manipulated, and stalled, presumably until they give up or succumb.
    And it’s not just rural medicine anymore. I know of someone who went to a well-known Bay Area hospital and was concerned about the consistency of care.
    As they say, “Old age ain’t for Sissies.”
    And, “The best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep…”
    Kenny Rodgers
    Be well,
    Laz

  3. chuck dunbar April 20, 2022

    The absolute truth, Laz: “The best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep…”

    My lovely dad died some years ago, after a week in a San Diego hospital following a heart attack, 2 days after he came home, in his sleep. I was there, and though it was a shock to find him dead in his bed in the early morning hours, I was so happy his ending had been peaceful and fast. It was a blessing, as he hated the thought of being sick and dependent on others. My wife and I have been wishing the same for each other as we see some of the really tough, painful circumstances that can come with time.

  4. Marmon April 20, 2022

    Biden Admin Throws $6 Billion At Bailing Out Old Nuclear Power Plants

    The Department of Energy (DOE) said it is seeking applications under the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program from operators of nuclear power plants on track to shut down.

    The Biden administration has identified nuclear power as a key component of its overarching climate goal to achieve a carbon-free grid by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050, according to the DOE announcement late Tuesday. The billions of dollars in government credits will be available to aging nuclear reactors that may soon close due to economic circumstances.

    https://dailycaller.com/2022/04/20/energy-department-nuclear-power-net-zero-climate-biden/?utm_medium=email&pnespid=sOh5FCNcOaMfxvuRuCSqA8OSthj3BZp6NeGt2_xttEBm5Gw9ffClH4jm5j5jCEf0W4LZhkDX

    Marmon

Leave a Reply to Marmon Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

-