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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, April 28, 2022

Mild Temps | Local Bouquets | Crisis Worker | Start Sale | MCHCD Meeting | Ukraine Fundraiser | Winter Shelter | Plant Sale | Right Direction | Bainbridge Park | Local Economy | Octopot | CRT Opens | Redding Grange | Ed Notes | Mendo Actors | Ukraine | Rally | Teen Bigots | Big Old Tree | Rhododendron Show | Yesterday's Catch | Distant Relations | Northcoast Healthcare | Prosthetic Nose | War | Sextape Hero | Gertz Family | Guv Feud | Chili Flakes | PG&E Victims | Pet Parade | Unprogressive Caucus | Shipbuilding | Rich Boys | What Year | Autism Conference | Proofreader Needed | HumCo Endorsements

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MILD TEMPERATURES will continue through Saturday with warmer conditions expected from Sunday into early next week. A series of very weak fronts will graze the northern portion of the area, bringing areas of very light rain on Thursday, Saturday, and Monday. (NWS)

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COME BY AND TREAT your sweetie or yourself to some beautiful locally grown flowers! Always pesticide free. Now available at Boont Berry.

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DO YOU HAVE A DESIRE to help individuals with mental health illnesses in our local community? The Fort Bragg Police Department for several years has received emergency calls involving individuals living with mental illnesses, an estimated 60% increase. These calls are time-consuming, with a department that has been working with limited personnel, and draws from pro-active enforcement. 

To address this issue, the City of Fort Bragg is recruiting for a Social Services Liaison – Crisis Worker, a grant-funded for one year and pays $25 per hour. The temporary position has limited sick benefits. The Social Services Liaison – Crisis Worker will provide additional support to the Police Department in addressing service calls requiring assistance from professionals educated in mental health illnesses. To apply, please go to https://fortbragg.applicantpro.com/jobs/.

(Fort Bragg City Presser)

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BLUE MEADOW FARM PLANT SALE

Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant

Saturday, April 30

Sunday, May 1

9:00 - 2:00

Come early for best selection!

Blue Meadow Farm — Holmes Ranch Rd at Rt 128 — 707 895-2071

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MENDOCINO COAST HEALTH CARE DISTRICT SPECIAL MEETING

The Health Care District BoD will hold a Special Meeting Apr. 28, 2022

Closed Session at 5 PM, Open Session at 6 PM.

Please Join US: Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89999008928?pwd=UDg3emw5eUlOZ3l1bHVtZXRyeXJhZz09

Meeting ID: 899 9900 8928

Passcode: 861035

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A CONCERT FUNDRAISER FOR UKRAINE

Saturday, April 30, 7:30 at Arena Theater. This is Vova & Vsiudysvoia together! Check them out.

Featuring a husband and wife duo performing their different genres of music (hip hop & indie pop) while raising money to help the people & country of Ukraine. The musicians have provided us with 3 short films about life in Ukraine before the war to show during intermission. We are holding a silent auction offering Ukrainian folk art and other items donated by the community to add a further fundraising dimension to this concert as well.

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FORT BRAGG WINTER SHELTER CLOSES

Today we are announcing the closure of this year’s Extreme Winter Shelter. 

At the November 8, 2021 regular City Council meeting, Mayor Bernie Norvell presented the City Council a proposed contract with Mendocino County to operate an Extreme Weather Shelter starting November 15, 2021, the City Council unanimously approved this contract. 

Due to limited budget, this season’s Shelter will operate only during extreme weather conditions and will utilize local motel vouchers to provide shelter on an as-needed basis. The contract with Mendocino County provides that vouchers will only be issued during severe weather events when all other emergency shelters are at capacity. 

The Fort Bragg Police Department will issue the vouchers the same day the weather is deemed severe due to heavy rains and/or lower than normal winter temperatures. This became an issue with several community members and organizations, believing persons in need of extreme weather shelter would not go to the Police Department to obtain a voucher. Contrary to these concerns, the Police Department provided vouchers to 339 persons in need. 

In years past, it has always been an issue with who would host the shelter and the search for volunteers, causing delays opening the shelter. I am happy to report the shelter opened on time, November 15, 2021 and we were able to keep the shelter open an extra month, through April 26, 2022. 

We would like to thank those individuals who helped put this program together so quickly and at a considerably reduced cost: Mayor Norvell, former City Manager Tabatha Miller, Mendocino County Social Services Director Bekkie Emery, Supervisor Ted Williams, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center Executive Director Paul Davis, Fort Bragg Police office staff member D’Ann Garcia, who was tasked with tracking all the vouchers for reimbursement, and Fort Bragg Police officers/staff who went beyond their regular duties to assist with properly documenting all of the paperwork each night the shelter was open. At times we had to 13 to 15 persons at one time in the lobby requesting vouchers. 

We would like to give a huge shout out to Motel Six Manager Calvin Pierce, who worked diligently to provide rooms during the extreme weather. Without these rooms provided by Motel Six, this would not have been such a successful program. Calvin also gained support from the Motel Six Corporate Office for this program. 

John Naulty, Chief of Police 

Fort Bragg

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BERNIE NORVELL, Mayor of Fort Bragg, responds to a letter lamenting the state of the town: 

Better yes. Great probably not. In the last six years we have changed our focus on CDBG grants from providing facilities to service providers that don’t value the city or its community to focusing on our own infrastructure. We have paved the way for ADUs’ to be more affordable to build. We even produced our own set of engineered plans for free. We have allowed buildings in the commercial zone that look like homes to be converted to residential. We have allowed for vacation rentals in the downtown to be located above commercial spaces to increase housing opportunities as well as getting these spaces occupied. We have rebuilt our sewage plant and continue to add improvements. We have added water storage and a desal plant to help with water resilience. We brought back the imo failed food truck ordinance and made it workable. We have help provide 63 units of low income housing and are nowshifting ourfocus to workforce housing via a CLT. We changed our plans of streets and alleys every year to streets one year and alleys the next in order to get more done. We have adopted a balanced budget each of the last five years. Not done previous to my tenure. We secured a million dollars from Measure B to provide a crisis respite in town. Which we hope to have up and running soon. We have secured a grant to allow two social workers in our police department to help with that clientele and hopefully keep them out of crisis. We took on the EWS this year and proved it can be done correctly and with minimal problems. Directing almost all the funds directly to the clients. We started a homeward-bound program that allows us to get transients home that our stuck here and can relocate to an area with more services. Which has been extremely successful. We have gone from an imo troubled PD that struggled to maintain officers to a leadership that has brought us back to almost full staff. Just recently we voted no to a water rate increase to the users. We have held meeting with the downtown businesses to address their issues. We have brought the Hospitality House into compliance with their use permit and forced them to be better neighbors. We just recently applied and received a grant that helped fund two new all-weather soccer fields at the city park. We have taken an active role in gang prevention after a few dangerous years.

These are some of the positives that I have had a hand in. Some will call these “Pet Projects” of mine but they are all issues that I ran on and the community was asking for. As far as dissolution, that question has already been asked and answered. Not arrogance just a concern. Why be afraid of information. BTW the city does not play a role with the MCHCD nor do we get to vote on dissolution. 

So are we better than 10 years ago? I say yes or at least headed in the right direction. Great, no, not there yet. Lastly, let me turn this question back to you. What have you done for your community and how?

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BAINBRIDGE PARK GRANT - WE NEED YOUR VOTES

FORT BRAGG was notified that we are in the top 200 candidates to receive funding for the City Park Playground Project. In order to win the $25,000 prize we need all the votes we can get. People can vote up to ten times a day now through May 6, 2022. Use the QR code for easy access to the contest voting site. 

A quick registration is required to vote, but you only need to do it once and then you can vote all ten times with a few clicks. The link for voting (without QR) is: neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2045173

Remember to Vote Every day and Thank you for your support!  

Chantell O’Neal

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SUPERVISOR MULHEREN WRITES: “It seems as though the cannabis industry’s decline is hitting the wallets of local businesses. I’ve had several conversations over the last couple of days about sales being down 60-75% and folks being laid off. We knew this was coming. So again I’ll ask, what next? We should have a new development starting in Ukiah so there will be some construction jobs, the County and cities have jobs available. So frustrating that our community put so much stigma on the cannabis industry and is now looking around in surprise at our economy. What did you think was going to happen? And are you going to try and stand in the way of these housing developments? I certainly hope not. Years ago I went to a country music festival that was in the middle of someone’s big field. Maybe music festivals, airBnBs, the Great Redwood Trail and tourism are going to help? Someone said a substantial amount of cultivators came from the Bay Area and Southern California and will just go back. I’m not sure about that, I’ve been trying to brainstorm ideas in every meeting for the last couple of years but I feel like no one is engaging. So let’s hear it. Where will people work? PS. I don’t know what kind of algorithm has brought this post to people’s attention but I’m grateful for it. And again. What jobs and industries does Mendo want to have, as I’ve been asking on this page for the last three years. I would love to hear your thoughts as to what our community wants to see for industry?"

ON THE OFF CHANCE that Supervisor Mulheren is listening, we would reply that “What our community wants to see for industry” doesn’t matter because what our community wants is not related to what kinds of “industry” finds its way to Mendocino County. There’s only one “industry” in Mendocino County at the moment and that is the wine industry and its accompanying tourism, mostly confined to the Coast. Everything else of any substantial size is government, predominantly the school districts and the County itself.

FIFTH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR CANDIDATE John Redding says the County needs an “economic development coordinator” but we haven’t heard what development he thinks needs coordinating.

OVER THE YEARS people have suggested that some kind of County revolving fund could be set up like local cities have done to help local start-ups. But no Supervisor has proposed that because they say the County’s reserves and pension fund cannot be put at risk for such loans, nevermind that the risks of the county's corporate investing are high and local start up loans would be modest and low risk if vetted and managed attentively.

AS WE HAVE SAID BEFORE, the main things the County could do to help the local economy would be to 1) make sure permits are processed expeditiously via monthly permit status reporting, and 2) take an inventory of empty buildings in the unincorporated areas and come up with plans to put them to productive use.

PS. THERE’S NO EVIDENCE that the Supervisor Mulheren’s pet project, Ukiah’s tiny piece of the Great Redwood Trail which runs from Ukiah’s “industrial” zone of miscellaneous metal buildings all the way down to the sewage treatment plant, will “help” anything economically. However, maybe if it was re-routed to run from the Railroad Depot (and site of the new County Courthouse) to the old courthouse while avoiding downtown Ukiah traffic it might mitigate the negative impact that the new courthouse will have on the economy of downtown Ukiah — impact that you’d think that a former Ukiah Councilperson and sitting Ukiah-area Supervisor would take an interest in.

BUT IT'S ENCOURAGING that the Supervisor has finally recognized that the local pot “industry” isn't working out too well, no thanks to Mendo's burdensome and costly permit program.

(Mark Scaramella)

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Chris Bing Pottery, Philo

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CAMILLE SCHRAEDER’S Crisis Residential Treatment Facility Opens in Ukiah

On Monday, April 25, 2022, Camille Schraeder’s Phoenix House Crisis Residential Treatment (CRT) facility opened. Phoenix House is administered by Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. CRT Services are provided by Camille Schraeder’s Redwood Community Services with millions of sole-source, non-competitive dollars provided by the County of Mendocino each year. The CRT facility, located in Ukiah, is an eight (8) bed short-term voluntary residential program with a duration of up to 30 days for adults 18 years or older experiencing a psychiatric crisis. The goal of the program is to reduce the utilization of out-of-county psychiatric inpatient facilities. But, of course nobody will actually track whether it does or not.

The $5 million facility, essentially a $1 million four-bedroom house, funded by a $500k California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) Investment in Mental Health Wellness grant plus $4.5 million of Mental Health Treatment Act Measure B sales tax receipts, offers social rehabilitation services in a safe, welcoming, non-institutional residential setting. Operating twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week, providing activities and services that support client efforts to restore, apply and maintain the interpersonal and independent living skills necessary to return to community living. 

Referrals will be made by Mental Health Service Providers and Camille Schraeder’s Redwood Community Crisis Services, conveniently located next door. All referrals must meet the admission criteria established by the Department of Health Care Services. The program is designed to meet the needs of the individuals experiencing a mental health crisis as determined by Camille Schraeder’s staff.

(Mendocino County Presser, edited for clarity)

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ED NOTES

WE FIRED off these questions to 5th District supervisor candidate, John Redding:

Hola, candidate Redding. 

The mighty ava, the only media that pays attention to the supervisors, would appreciate your answers to the following questions for publication. 

Personal information: Are you married? Children? Where do you live? How long in the county? Political affiliation?

What would you do to improve or change the County’s marijuana permit program? 

What would you do to improve the lamentable housing crisis? 

Do you agree that combining the Auditor Controller with the Tax Collector was a good idea? Do you propose any other organizational changes? 

A Strategic Plan has cost the county $75,000 plus travel. Would you have approved this expenditure? 

What is your opinion of the County’s budgeting and budget reporting process? 

What are the incumbent's major deficiencies? 

What would you do to remedy water shortages in the Town of Mendocino in the short-term? 

Are there many unpermitted and unassessed buildings in District 5? 

Are you satisfied with emergency services? Williams has denied additional funding for ambulance services. 

Do you regularly zoom Supes meetings? 

Why do you think you create so much hostility from local liberals? 

ESCALATION-CREEP. Putin said today that Russia will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against any country that tries to “interfere” in the war in Ukraine or threaten Russia itself. Since many countries are supplying Ukraine with weapons, and since there have been at least two fairly major attacks on oil and arms facilities inside Russia, the Boonville Global Affairs Desk worries that Putin is close to going off as he's threatened. 

PUTIN late Tuesday: “We have all the weapons we need for this. No one else can brag about these weapons, and we won't brag about them. But we will use them,” he said. The ref seems to be to his new Sarmat 2 nuclear missile, which he promised is unlike any other weapon in the world. Because Ukraine seems to have stymied the Russians on the battlefield, and because Putin's threats to go nuclear are more and more frequent, the overall situation is harrowing, to say the least.

INCIVILITY seems to have overtaken civility, or what's left of it. Step into public spaces from Boonville to San Francisco and here they are, the wild things, your fellow citizens doing stuff in public places that used to be unheard of, adult men and women offhandedly throwing the f-bomb around and the “music” blasted out by the many mobile cretins who sound-attack everyone as they drive past. Which is the least of it.

IN RECENT DAYS, the Press Democrat has run stories about Little League umpires, mostly high school kids, being verbally abused by the parents of Little Leaguers. And then there's this guy, versions of whom are popping up everywhere in the country.

SHELBY PRYOR, an anti-vaxxer, shows up at SoCo supervisor meetings to present his learning-impervious vaxx views to people who have no option but to endure him. But last week, Pryor, a man with big muscles that dumb guys get out of bottles, shouted at the chairman of the board, a wine and cheese lib named Gore, “Gore, Gore, come out here and fight me. Bring your fists, I’ll take you down. Bring a gun if you want … Oh, yeah, I know how to use guns better than you, too, and will take you out. … I’m going to get you. I will follow you around everywhere you go… You better be ready.” Included in the deluge of threats were vile insults aimed at Gore's wife.

THE OAF has since apologized, kind of, as Gore and the SoCo supes scramble for restraining orders which, as we know from the daily news, do nothing to restrain the unhinged, and the libs wonder why Americans are arming up?

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"Frenchman's Creek" actors, Mendocino, 1943

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UKRAINE WEDNESDAY

Commodities: Russia halted gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to pay on Moscow's new terms, marking an escalation in its standoff with Europe over the war in Ukraine. European officials called the move blackmail. Natural gas prices rose in Europe.

Russia: An ammunition depot in Russia’s Belgorod region bordering Ukraine caught fire, the region's governor said. Authorities also reported blasts in other regions adjacent to Ukraine. Moscow released new economic data, but it appeared inconsistent and didn't reflect the impact of sanctions.

Ukraine: Russia’s Defense Ministry said its forces had launched high-precision, long-range sea-based Kalibr missiles at the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia. Russian defense officials said their air force hit 59 military facilities in Ukraine overnight. Russia’s claims couldn’t be independently verified.

Washington: Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed, who had been detained in Russia since 2019, was released in a prisoner swap. The Biden administration is considering naming Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. 

(WSJ)

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TEEN BIGOTS

Editor: 

Eric Hoppes was coaxed out of a comfortable retirement to help a school district that has been mired in controversy for months (“Official quits amid backlash,” Press Democrat, April 20). A student’s racist post on social media further roiled the community. Interim superintendent of the West County Union High School District, Hoppes responded with an email to parents the following day.

His email included the comment that he was personally “shocked and disappointed” and assurances that the district does not “condone … discrimination in any form.” He also requested that the community “remember that we all make mistakes” and “keep forgiveness in our hearts and the forefront of our minds.”

Apparently, the wisdom of this message and the compassion he showed for a young person who made a mistake were completely lost on some of the district’s other students, who chose instead to attack Hoppes for not being sufficiently culturally aware.

Hoppes has now resigned, and who can blame him? Where is any support for his efforts from the parents in that community? This incident looks like teenage cancel culture run amok. He deserves thanks for his service.

Amy Neel

Cloverdale

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General Sherman, the world's largest stem tree by volume in Sequoia National Park, California. It's estimated age is between 2300-2700 years old and is 274.9 feet tall.

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RHODODENDRON SHOW — MAY 14 & 15

What a busy spring we are having at the Gardens! Below I have included the press release for this year's Rhododendron Show at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. This year's juried show is expected to be the largest of its kind in California and one of the largest on the entire West Coast! The show is free to attend. The Gardens will be open to visitors during the Rhododendron Show (regular admission rates apply, online reservations strongly recommended) boasting more than 1,000 blooming rhododendrons in the formal gardens and woodland areas. We greatly appreciate any help you can offer in promoting this affordable family friendly event.

Mendocino Coast Home To Largest Rhododendron Show In California 43rd annual Rhododendron Show — May 14 and 15

Fort Bragg, CA — April 27, 2022 — Each year, the Noyo Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society (ARS) partners with Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens to showcase some of the best rhododendron specimens on the west coast. The 43rd annual John Druecker Memorial Rhododendron Show will be held at the Gardens on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15. This juried show is the largest in California with a typical show displaying more than 800 entries, filling the big tent with cascades of colors and fragrance.

The Rhododendron Show is free to attend and open to the public from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to hundreds of individual flower entries, there will be plants, bonsai, photos, floral arrangements, hourly plant raffles, and educational displays. A large selection of rhododendrons and other plants will be available for purchase in the big tent and at the Gardens' Nursery. Local growers and Noyo Chapter ARS members will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the best plants for your garden.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens will also be open to visitors during the Rhododendron Show. Regular admission rates apply and advanced admission tickets are strongly recommended. The Gardens is home to one of the nation’s largest collections of rhododendrons—many hybridized on the Mendocino Coast—and they promise to fill the formal gardens and woodlands with riotous color. The Gardens’ Rhododendron Collection includes over 124 species and 315 taxa. More than 1,000 rhododendrons can be seen blooming throughout the Gardens from early spring until June!

Enter The Show Everyone is welcome to enter their best rhododendrons, azaleas, bonsai, photos, and floral arrangements for judging. Those wishing to enter should bring their trusses to the Gardens on Thursday, May 12, between 3:00PM and 7:00PM, and on Friday, May 13, between 9:00AM and 12:00PM. Chapter members will be available to assist in filling out entry forms. Judging will start at 3:00PM on Friday. Judges will award ribbons and trophies to top entries in a wide range of categories. Please visit www.gardenbythesa.org for details on the event or www.noyochapterars.com for more information on entry rules and procedures.

Roxanne Perkins, Communications Manager, 707-964-4352 Ext. 22

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 27, 2022

Allen, Gielow, Lovelace

FREDERICK ALLEN III, Laytonville. Marijuana possession-sale, conspiracy.

CHARLES GIELOW III, Willits. Failure to appear.

PAULUS LOVELACE, Laytonville. Marijuana sales, employment of person under 21 to sell marijuana, conspiracy.

Parker, Ruiz, Vargas

MICHAEL PARKER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation.

BARAQUEL RUIZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.

ROBERT VARGAS JR., Fort Bragg. County parole violation.

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MICHAEL PARKER, of Ukiah, who appeared in Wednesday’s booking log for minor drug possession. Based on Michael Parker’s uncanny resemblance and this admittedly strained genetic link, we’re going to guess that Michael Parker is a long lost relative of Edgar Allen Poe. 

Poe, Parker

AND SPEAKING OF DISTANT RELATIONS…Robert Edward Lee Oswald Sr. (Lee Harvey Oswald's father) was a distant cousin of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

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HEALTHCARE ON THE NORTHCOAST, an on-line comment

Get a referral anyway you can to where the specialists are - UCSF is the closest here. Period. Open Door might accommodate. A referral to the local “specialists” is a crap shoot where the odds don’t favor the player. I was lucky to find a recently arrived doctor to do that but like so many good ones, he only stayed a couple of years. Make a friend of a local nurse of medical assistant so you sign up with a new doctor the day they arrive. Otherwise you’re stuck. It doesn’t matter whether you have good insurance or not. They do what the ACA and/or Medicare Boards advise and nothing more, even if it is useless. Eventually they decide it’s all in your head anyway. 

Why cash doesn’t work? I offered that to an out of area specialist when I was sick and basically it was no referral, no appointment. Because it turned out that Medicare rules covered them even though I wasn’t on Medicare. Those rules in essence say that they cannot treat patients differently if they have even one Medicare patient they expect to bill. With Medicare it’s all or nothing and few doctors can afford nothing. And Medicare shapes the whole system - private insurance or government. Even though I had a doctor, he just kept shining me on with setting up test after test locally or referrals to local specialists who accomplished nothing. When I finally got referral to UCSF, one visit got me set up for the right test, the test lead to a surgery and within three months, I recovered. After more than 10 years of local failure. I know it seems like an unreasonable burden but there is really no alternative. The kind of insurance you have makes no difference even if some if commenters here think it’s all capitalist greed.”

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Prosthetic Nose, 1800s

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY: They don’t do wars like they used to anymore. Not the least of which, nobody’s actually used the word “war” yet, at least officially. Of course the US kind of rendered that word meaningless in the last half of the 20th century, with nary an official Declaration of War in any of our foreign adventures. I think the pols got wise and figured out if they said “war,” people would get upset. But if they used nice words like “liberation,” “special operation,” or the all-time best: “peacekeeping operation,” everyone would go back to work and ignore it, content in the act that it was just something that “needed to be done.”

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HEADLINE OF THE DAY: "Kim Kardashian in tears after Kanye West retrieves sex tape from Ray J"

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The Gertz Family, Ten Mile, 1910

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RON DESANTIS 'DUMPSTER FIRE' COMMENTS about San Francisco are latest insult in ongoing feud with Gavin Newsom

by Sophia Bollag

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fired the latest volley this week in his feud with his California counterpart, Gov. Gavin Newsom, calling San Francisco a “dumpster fire” and saying he doesn’t want Golden State businesses moving to Florida.

A video posted to Twitter by the news site The Recount shows DeSantis warning that California businesses that have moved from San Francisco to Austin also brought liberal employees with them.

“Those employees would vote the exact same way they voted that turned San Francisco into the dumpster fire that it is,” he said. “It is a problem because I do think there's a class of voters who would come to Florida and they would continue to vote the same way.”

It’s the most recent flash point between the two leaders, who are both stars in their respective political parties and have risen to national prominence as a result of their wildly different approaches to COVID-19 precautions, education and overall governing philosophies.

DeSantis made the comments several days after Newsom criticized him on Twitter for punishing Disney over its opposition to Florida’s new law banning discussion of sexual orientation in early grades. After the entertainment company criticized the law, DeSantis and Florida lawmakers moved to strip Walt Disney World park of the special governing status that gives it autonomy to regulate its own construction projects. Dissolving the special tax district that gives Disney its authority would also result in a big tax cut for the company, which will likely be shouldered by local taxpayers.

“Desantis’ Disney/Don’t Say Gay retaliation bill could increase a million Floridians' property tax bill by 25%,” Newsom wrote. “But go ahead and keep telling us about ‘fiscal responsibility’ & your ‘business-friendly climate.’”

A few days earlier, Newsom had described the move to punish Disney as “authoritarian.”

“We protect free speech in California,” he wrote. “Punishing businesses for speaking out against hatred is the move of an authoritarian regime.”

It’s the latest example of Newsom picking a fight with a prominent GOP politician. While Donald Trump was in office, Newsom and the Republican president often criticized each other, even as they had to work together as fires raged through California. Political strategists said the fights helped both men boost support among their base voters.

San Francisco, meanwhile, has long been a favorite punching bag for conservatives who want to criticize liberal policies — and raise campaign cash. The city’s visible homelessness and crime issues have become frequent talking points for politicians on the right.

Some of them are much closer to home for Newsom than DeSantis. Michael Shellenberger, who's challenging Newsom in the race for governor, has recently been embraced by the right as a result of his book “San Fransicko” slamming San Francisco's progressive policies. Shellenberger is running with no party preference but is framing his candidacy around opposition to the city’s liberal policies.

(SFgate.com)

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YET ANOTHER SETBACK FOR PG&E WILDFIRE VICTIMS

by Emily Hoeven

A convoluted series of events has led to tens of thousands of PG&E wildfire victims losing one of their top advocates in the state Capitol last week — just one day after veteran lobbyist Patrick McCallum pitched Gov. Gavin Newsom’s staff on the idea of a $1.5 billion loan to ensure survivors are fully compensated.

The PG&E Fire Victim Trust announced that it and McCallum had “agreed to part ways, effective immediately, in light of certain recent publicly disclosed developments.”

Those developments could pose problems not only for the already beleaguered Fire Victim Trust — which a KQED investigation found has been slow to pay victims and quick to rack up big bills for lawyers and consultants — but also for the California State University system. Here’s why:

McCallum, who is married to Sonoma State University President Judy Sakaki, allegedly sexually harassed several women at a party at his house. The women reported the incidents to then-provost Lisa Vollendorf, who in turn reported them to CSU officials, prompting retaliation from Sakaki, according to a claim Vollendorf lodged against CSU and which the system paid $600,000 this year to settle, according to investigations from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and the Los Angeles Times. McCallum denies the allegations.

Sakaki, who denies retaliating against Vollendorf, initially defended her husband but announced Monday that she is separating from McCallum. She’s now facing challenges of her own: The executive committee of Sonoma State’s academic senate voted Thursday to advance a vote of no confidence in her leadership, and Democratic state Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa said her response “deserves close scrutiny by the CSU chancellor and board of trustees as to how the interests of students and employees can be best served going forward.”

It’s the latest scandal to embroil CSU, whose chancellor resigned in February amid accusations that he mishandled sexual harassment complaints against a high-ranking colleague while president of Fresno State.

The system has since launched multiple independent investigations into its own policies.

But let’s pivot back to PG&E — and run through a rapid round of Thursday environmental news:

PG&E, which has already raised customer rates twice this year, is seeking state approval to hike them yet again to help pay for a variety of projects, the Mercury News reported.

Even as rain and snow soaked Northern California, lawmakers took a key step toward lowering the state’s standard for residential indoor water use — a move that could lead to higher rates despite lower consumption.

Next week, the Bay Area’s largest water agency is also set to consider capping household water use. Newsom administration officials said California may need as much as $30 billion over three decades to protect the Central Valley from floods.

A scathing report from the California state auditor found that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — the state’s largest, supplying water to 19 million residents — “must fundamentally change the way it approaches many personnel and ethics issues.”

An American Lung Association report found that California is home to most of the U.S. cities with the worst year-round particle pollution, short-term particle pollution and ozone pollution.

But another study, from nonprofit Environment America and research firm Frontier Group, found that California is home to five of the country’s top 20 cities with the most solar power per person.

(CalMatters.org)

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PROGRESSIVES CAN’T DEPEND ON THE CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS

by Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon

Sometimes one decision speaks volumes. And so it was when the Congressional Progressive Caucus — with 98 members in the House — recently chose to have its PAC endorse a corporate “moderate” against the strong progressive candidate Nina Turner. In the process, the Progressive Caucus underscored its loyalty to establishment Democrats while damaging its credibility among progressives nationwide.

The endorsement of Congresswoman Shontel Brown against Turner in their upcoming May 3 rematch came just five months after Brown took office following last year’s special election in a Cleveland area district. In last August’s Democratic primary, Brown defeated Turner with the help of funding from big corporate, Republican and hawkishly pro-Israel donors — as well as support from Republicans who voted for Brown in Ohio’s open primary. (Brown’s two most notable national endorsers were Hillary Clinton and Rep. Jim Clyburn.)

Brown is such an establishment politician that she didn’t just join the Progressive Caucus — she also quickly joined the rival New Democrat Coalition, an alliance of the most corporate Democrats in the House.

By siding with Brown against Turner, the Progressive Caucus appears to be operating like much of official Washington does — as an incumbent protection racket.

And the endorsement brought questions to the surface that have been festering for a long time. Such as:

Does the Progressive Caucus represent the interests of progressive constituencies to the establishment? Or does the Progressive Caucus represent the interests of the establishment to progressives? And if the answer is “both,” then how does that work?

Unless such questions are answered with clarity, illusions will undermine the efforts of grassroots progressives to assess situations accurately and organize effectively.

While the endorsement of Brown is a bellwether event, it is not an isolated incident. After a long history of backing down rather than using its leverage (as when it abandoned its demand in 2009 that a “public option” be part of the Affordable Care Act), the Progressive Caucus appeared to wield some real clout during the early months of the Biden presidency. Most importantly, its leadership insisted that it would not back last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill unless it moved through Congress in tandem with the Build Back Better legislation proposed by President Biden with major input from Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Build Back Better was crucial for economic and social justice as well as for substantively addressing the climate emergency. And for a time, it seemed that the Progressive Caucus, under the leadership of Rep. Pramila Jayapal, was holding firm onto the necessity of passing Build Back Better along with the infrastructure measure. Simultaneity was crucial because Senate obstructionist Joe Manchin badly wanted the infrastructure bill signed into law but was hostile to Build Back Better.

The Progressive Caucus leadership vowed to not back down. And then it caved, opting to wave the infrastructure bill through the House. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was concise when she said: “I’m a No. This is bullshit.”

Other members of the expanded Squad — including Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman and Ayanna Pressley — also voted against the stand-alone infrastructure measure (and took plenty of abuse as a result).

AOC, Omar, Bush, Tlaib, Bowman and Pressley saw what was coming, as a result of the Progressive Caucus’s surrender. The infrastructure bill got through Congress, and Biden signed it on November 15. Progressives immediately lost their leverage for Build Back Better. It died.

In December, RootsAction.org (which we co-founded) published an in-depth report on the Congressional Progressive Caucus, documenting that many of its members fail to support the CPCs main priorities (like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal) and that some in the caucus are just PINOs — “Progressive In Name Only.” Those lawmakers obviously believe the “progressive” label helps them with activists and constituents back in their districts, but in Washington they tend to legislate on behalf of the corporate status quo.

The PINO report found that “16 CPC members are also part of the ideologically corporatist New Democrat Coalition” — a “moderate” caucus that advocates “market-oriented” and “fiscally responsible” policies to solve the big economic and environmental crises of our time. Add Shontel Brown to this list of dual members. (When the CPC’s PAC endorsed Brown this month, it also announced its endorsement of several of the worst PINOs running for re-election, including Jimmy Panetta.) 

The report analyzed the lack of cohesion in the Progressive Caucus and cited that deficiency in asking how one of Congress’ biggest caucuses did not muster the power to get Build Back Better across the finish line.

The Progressive Caucus leadership approach that gave up leverage for Build Back Better is akin to the one that just endorsed Shontel Brown against Nina Turner. Progressives around the country should take note and not forget: We can’t depend on the Congressional Progressive Caucus to provide the kind of leadership we need. It must come from the grassroots.

(Jeff Cohen is co-founder of RootsAction.org, a retired journalism professor at Ithaca College, and author of “Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.” In 1986, he founded the media watch group FAIR. Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)

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Shipbuilding, London, 1900

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MIKE GENIELLA on Elon Musk’s Twitter Purchase: $44 billion. It could wipe out homelessness. Feed the world's hungry. Underwrite critical desalinization projects to provide clean water for desperate communities. Help Ukraine defend itself, and rebuild. The list goes on and on. But instead, we have the super-rich boys buying Twitter, or soaring into outer space with their new rocket toys. Hello, people. What's wrong with this picture?

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AUTISM CONFERENCE

Ukiah, CA — Parents, community partners, and school staff who work with or care for individuals in the Autistic Community are invited to attend the CAPTAIN 101 North regional conference, Autism: What Works? — Evidence-Based Tools to Support People with Autism. This event is scheduled for May 7 from 8:30 AM — 4 PM at Ukiah High School, located at 1000 Low Gap Road, Ukiah. This conference offers great resources and educational opportunities for our Autistic Community in Mendocino and our surrounding counties. A Spanish interpreter will be available. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and is included in the $35 registration fee.

The CAPTAIN (California Autism Professional Training And Information Network) 101 North team is comprised of Autism Specialists from Humboldt Del Norte, Lake, and Mendocino County SELPAs (Special Education Local Plan Area) as well as support from Redwood Coast Regional Center. Each year a CAPTAIN Conference is held in one of the three counties. Mendocino County SELPA is looking forward to hosting their second conference in Mendocino County, first in-person conference in the last two years.

Patricia Schetter, CAPTAIN Project Coordinator and CEDD at the UC Davis MIND Institute is joining as a keynote speaker to speak on how the CAPTAIN network works within schools, communities, and with parents to bridge the gap between research and actual implementation, so individuals on the Autism Spectrum can access evidence-based practices.

Kristin Moore, from the Northern California Diagnostic Center will present on the current mental health crisis and accessible evidence-based practices that can be used to decrease symptoms or behaviors that arise when individuals on the spectrum are experiencing mental health challenges. Breakout sessions will be lead by the CAPTAIN 101 North team. Topics include Exercise and Wellness, Autism Across the Lifespan, Visual Supports and Functional Routines as well as more opportunities to learn from these knowledgeable professionals.

To register, visit www.mendoselpa.us, or call the Mendocino County SELPA office at (707) 467-5166. Advance registration is preferred.

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HUMBOLDT PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE LOCAL CANDIDATES IN JUNE PRIMARY ELECTION

Humboldt Progressive Democrats endorsed several local candidates at our endorsement meetings this month. Using a virtual remote meeting platform, each candidate spoke to members about their vision and platform and answered question from members. Topics ranged from local development to defunding the police to affordable housing.  

Members voted to endorse the following candidates in the June 7th Primary Election

  • Arcata City Council: Kimberley White 
  • Humboldt County Supervisor, 4th District: Natalie Arroyo
  • Humboldt County Supervisor, 5th District: Steve Madrone
  • District Attorney: Adrian Kamada
  • Superior Court Judge: Steven Steward

This election will be a game changer as we work toward a progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors, as well as electing working class champions in other races.  As noted by Vice-Chair Michele Walford, “These candidates embody the progressive values of transparency in government, justice, and compassion that is needed in Humboldt County, to meet our most urgent needs well as the vision and capabilities to make it happen in the most efficient, eco-friendly, and human-centered way possible. We are fortunate to have in our community such a wealth of experience, knowledge, and caring as displayed by our endorsed candidates.”

Humboldt Progressive Democrats is an official Democratic Party Club, chartered by the Humboldt County Central Committee. We are grassroots, progressive activists mobilizing political participation for social, environmental, & economic justice. Our vision is a free, open, transparent election process where electeds, candidates, and legislation can focus on achieving public needs, free from corporate money and influence.  Please join us in making progressive change locally and beyond. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HumboldtProgressiveDems.

(HumCoProgDems Presser)

20 Comments

  1. Kirk Vodopals April 28, 2022

    RE: Supervisor Mo and what’s next now that the weed economy is apparently dead.. The Mendocino school District has been advertising a number of positions for a while now. We are in dire need of bus drivers, in particular. These might not be the highest paying jobs, and they require getting up early.. and you might not be able to go on as many tropical vacations or afford that big truck with new rims. But if you’re really committed to concepts like community and keeping it local, then it’s a no-brainer. The truth is that there are lots of jobs out there, but we have a workforce that has grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle that will most likely never be obtainable again in this area. First world problems

    • Joseph Turri April 28, 2022

      Here is a concept: work and provide a product or service people need and get paid a reasonable wage for the service and/or product. If you want more, produce or work more.

      The government is not a product albeit it is supposed to be a service (not a hindrance) some of which we do not need and certainly can not continue to afford at the rate and in the direction it is going.
      Just observing…

      • George Hollister April 28, 2022

        An unMendocino perspective: I spoke with a successful Italian immigrant restauranteur on the coast the other day, and he said, “California is great, You can work all you want, even take two jobs, if you want (not like Italy).” Of course the implication is “make as much money as you want.”

  2. chuck dunbar April 28, 2022

    THE REAL WORLD VS. SOCIAL MEDIA

    MIKE GENIELLA on Elon Musk’s Twitter Purchase in today’s AVA is spot-on.
    He ends with the real question about how $44 billion might be better spent: “What’s wrong with this picture?”

    • Marmon April 28, 2022

      RE: THE FAR LEFT

      The guy builds electric cars you guys. Maybe he should fund “gain of function” research like Bill Gates does and finish killing off all the Baby Boomers.

      Marmon

      • Bruce Anderson April 28, 2022

        What’s the not-so-far-left?

        • Marmon April 28, 2022

          Trump supporters

          Marmon

      • chuck dunbar April 28, 2022

        ALL A’TWITTER OVER ELON MUSK: A FOOL RUSHES IN

        James, take a look at this piece, EM actually knows very little about what to do with his new toy–it’s a whole different world from building electric cars. Here’s an excerpt about the unpleasantries that he’ll face:

        “ ‘…If Elon takes over Twitter, he is in for a world of pain,’ Yishan Wong wrote, earlier this month, in a long tweet thread. ‘Elon is going to try like heck to ‘fix’ the problems he sees. Each problem he ‘fixes’ will just cause 3 more problems. . . . it’s not just going to suck up his time and attention, IT WILL DAMAGE HIS PSYCHE.’ Ten years ago, when Wong was the C.E.O. of Reddit, he was something like a free-speech absolutist. He seems to have learned the hard way that, if absolutism was ever intellectually defensible, it’s not a tenable way to run a platform.”

        From “Elon Musk Thinks Social Media Isn’t Rocket Science”
        The New Yorker, 4/27/22
        By Andrew Marantz

    • Marmon April 28, 2022

      Bill Gates is buying up the majority of American farmland and BlackRock is buying the majority of single family houses but I’m supposed to believe the biggest threat to us is Elon Musk buying Twitter?

      Marmon

      • chuck dunbar April 28, 2022

        Naw, not a threat so much, more like a false path, wasted money, more stupidity about social media, on and on. $44 billion–!!!– for a company that facilitates people being able to tweet!!! What a strange, surreal thing, really says a lot about us, all of it not good.

  3. George Hollister April 28, 2022

    SUPERVISOR MULHEREN

    My suggestion is encourage the legal economies we already have. This county has a long time habit of doing exactly the opposite. We need more Douglas fir saw mill capacity, and potentially added value processing of high quality Douglas fir lumber. Our lumber, and timber industry has very good paying jobs. What is the county doing to create an economic environment that encourages investment?

  4. Jacob April 28, 2022

    How does allowing vacation rentals in downtown Fort Bragg help provide local housing? Many people believe conversion of long-term rentals into tourist-oriented short-term rentals contributes to our housing problems… I think Mayor Bernie Norvell is responding to the letter about the Fort Bragg community’s diminishing access to some critical services that asked what the City of Fort Bragg is doing about it. More tourist lodging opportunities downtown doesn’t get the community more access to veterinary care even if it is easier to pick up a hot dog downtown near that lodging because of the revised food truck regulations. The City does a lot of good, including some of what he listed, but the efforts aren’t necessarily being directed in the areas of greatest community need and that seemed like the point of the original letter, not that nothing was being done. Everyone can do their part and many people serve the community in different ways but I am not sure taking credit for a list of projects that includes efforts like the sewer plant update that began and was planned and likely approved by a prior City council and administration is the way to go. That project turned out to be a literal stinker anyway so it might not be the best example to point to…

  5. Eric Sunswheat April 28, 2022

    RE: Supervisor Mulheren is listening, we would reply that “What our community wants to see for industry”…

    –>. Selectively thinning trees improves the health of the forests and reduces forest fires.

    The supply in U.S. forests is nearly inexhaustible and foresters are scrambling to find uses for this wood due to increased fire risk.

    Think of it this way: If people don’t use this small diameter wood, it will likely get burned up in the next forest fire.
    https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/small-diameter-roundwood-trusses/

  6. Gary Smith April 28, 2022

    Excellent editing for clarity on the CSRCS press release

  7. Stephen Rosenthal April 28, 2022

    Since becoming familiar with Ms. Mulheren, albeit from a distance as I’ve never actually encountered or engaged with her personally, I’m struck by how specious she is. But her suggestions that “music festivals, airBnBs, the Great Redwood Trail” will help Mendo’s economy leads me to change my opinion of her from specious to spacious, as in a complete absence of gray matter occupying the space in her skull.

    Years ago Mendo’s Supervisors voted themselves hefty raises, citing it was necessary to attract highly qualified candidates. If Mulheren and the rest of the sorry bunch that currently serves as Supervisors is the result, then I deem those raises a complete failure.

    It’s interesting that the Editor chose to juxtapose Mulheren’s idle ramblings after Mayor Norvell’s concise, articulate and informative delineation of Fort Bragg’s accomplishments and continuing needs. What a contrast, and I’ll bet at a tenth of the cost to the taxpayers and a few hundred less “brainstorming” meetings.

    • Marmon April 28, 2022

      Girls just want to have fun.

      Marmon

  8. Marmon April 28, 2022

    All of the Libs who own a Tesla are suddenly realizing they helped Elon buy Twitter. 😂😂😂😂

    Marmon

  9. chuck dunbar April 28, 2022

    First it’s Trump, now Elon Musk, James, none of these charismatic, but soul-less guys are going to save you, it just won’t happen. Try prayer or meditation, it may be more productive for you…

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