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UNSETTLED WEATHER AND COLD TEMPERATURES are forecast to persist through Tuesday. Drier weather is forecast to return on Wednesday followed by a chance for rain on Thursday. Warmer temperatures are expected for the weekend.
FREEZE WARNING in effect from 2 am to 8 am PDT Tuesday. (NWS)
RAINFALL (past 24 hours): Laytonville 0.84"- Willits 0.73"- Leggett 0.72" - Boonville 0.62" - Covelo 0.55" - Yorkville 0.36" - Ukiah 0.30" - Hopland 0.21"
DR. MARK APFEL WAS HONORED Saturday with a large turnout of the Anderson Valley community he’s served for nearly five decades.
JOAN VIVALDO REPORTS on the seemingly endless matter of Doug Stone, formerly of Redwood Valley, formerly a Mendo firefighter, formerly arrested but not yet tried for burglarizing many homes along Black Bart Trail, Redwood Valley:
“I went to the Mendo court hearing on Friday, 5/6/2022, which was to confirm the 6/20/2022 date of Doug Stone’s Preliminary Examination. Mr. Stone and his new attorney, a gent with a fine, white mustache, appeared shoulder-to-shoulder via ZOOM on the courtroom TV screen. Although the ZOOM sound was not clear, and my hearing has dimmed, it seemed the attorney was whinging about media coverage. The Judge responded that THAT MEDIA was known for opinion. The defense attorney then asked to change the date of the PX to a week before or a week after 6/20/2022, but settled for 6/20/2022. To conclude, Ms. Larsen for the People reported that Mr. Stone had gone into the Fire Department of a town in Arizona and asked for a master key to the gates of that town. Alarmed, the Fire Department alerted Mendo authorities. Ms. Larsen suggested that this information be added to the new attorney’s discovery. More than that, it is now known that Mr. Stone has written a manifesto; details were not disclosed.”
Background: The Unlikely Burglar of Black Bart Trail
A READER WRITES: I know money is tight for newspapers and there are fewer revenue streams. We would however appreciate it if you would consider not publishing the “Happy Easter” poem by Robert Forest as it is anti-semitic. Free speech is important but expressing yourself in a way that promotes anti-semitism (“sin-a-gogues”?) is harmful to our dear Jewish brothers and sisters. Thank you for your consideration.
COAST ADVENTIST, DANEY DAWSON WRITES, "Latest adventures with the Adventists: Saw the doc in person (first time in almost three years) several weeks ago, got some orders for tests, and referrals to specialists. Wait, wait, get tired of waiting, finally call the hospital to try to schedule the tests. They did not receive the orders from the clinic. Or they lost them, or…? Called the clinic, was referred to the “referral” office. Nobody there, nor did I get a call back. Nor have I heard from the specialists’ offices to book appointments. Several weeks later… this never happened before the Adventists. Not trying to tear down our fragile hospital system, but this needs to improve. Our health (and lives?) are at stake."
Re the upcoming election
The election for supervisor in the Fifth District. I have nothing but compassion for the voters and their choices of candidates. Mr. Redding I know very little about. And from personal experience I know Williams is not a decent human being.
Our AV Pre-Ballet Spring Session is almost over and we will take a summer break but looking to the fall, I would love to plan ahead for days/times best for everyone.
It would help to know the interest of families for the various age levels as we may have enough kids to dedicate a class to 3, 4, and 5 year olds separately.
The Studio SoBo is currently available most weekday afternoons between 1-4:30pm, so I’d like to establish a day/time best for each age group so that we can reserve the space before the season begins.
Also, if any families are interested in a Creative Movement class (basically from 18mo - 3 years old + Parent/Guardian), let me know. I don’t play a string instrument (yet), but I have a fun collection of storytime songs, rhymes, and movement activities that I’m happy to share in a group setting. Since these kids are not yet in Preschool, an earlier time may be best, The Studio SoBo is currently open mornings on Mon/Wed/Thu.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
So lemme get this straight… if a word was used for something at a time when the thing was condemned and nasty things were said about it, then the word is to blame, and we can’t use the word anymore.
Why is it the word’s fault? I don’t really know who the original Mary Jane/Marijuana or maybe Maria Juanita was, but the name is lovely. When i was young and first heard of the good herb, i thought the fact that its/her name sounded Mexican made Mexican seem good. Not the other way around! Words do not have the power to make living beings or lived experiences good or bad; neither do people have the power to make them actually good or bad, though they can say they consider them one way or the other. As i see it, the order of legitimacy is: 1. The actual thing – which is what it is, and that is all. 2. The word we use for it, which stands in as a token for it, and has no power on its own but is (according to most people with any thoughts on language at all, that is, anybody over about three years old) attached to the thing over time and space, so that we may discuss the thing and know what thing we mean. 3. The attitudes and values that people attach to the thing when using the word to identify it.
What is wrong with people lately, that they do not understand this hierarchy of importance, and want to blame the word for people’s problems with a thing the word only represents?
The word means, on one level – the legitimate one, the one in the dictionary – a certain thing: a people or a plant or a lifestyle choice, in the cases of recently controversial words. On another level, the word picks up associations because sometimes stupid people say stupid things about those certain things. But for people who think they’re lots smarter to then decide that the word itself, rather than the people who once used it or the attitudes held by those people, is the problem – that boggles my mind.
So what else used to be looked down upon by too many people at some time, and now that we are coming out of the dark age, might have to be renamed? Let’s see… Fat people. Retarded. Handicapped. Oriental. Drug addicts. Poor people. Slaves. Homeless people. Wait! I see a pattern! All of these are already considered obsolete terms, though the people and their problems absolutely still exist (or the fact that they did in the past persists). Did anything actually change when people became houseless or home-free rather than homeless? Do developmentally disabled people feel better about their situation because nobody says “retarded” anymore? Do Native Americans in New England, where maybe up to half the names of counties, rivers, and towns are of Native origin, have it better than in North American places with heavy usage of Anglo names?
I don’t know. There is the other way to go. Just as effective and not as divisive. That’s for people to re-embrace their word and wear it proudly. Witches, lesbians… let’s see, who else uses a name that always was used for their group, most often in a derogatory way, in the past, but has reclaimed it? Oddly, i can only think of women being brave enough to do that (and soon, using the word “woman” itself will be a courageous act, not so much because women are looked down upon, but in another manifestation of modern mass psychosis, because men want to be women and don’t think only actual women should get to be “women.”) Well, there is the N-word, which is a unique case, because while the people the N-word once referred to have reclaimed it, they are the only ones allowed to use it, so there appear to be some confidence issues around separating the word from its associations.
Will you join me, Fred, in reclaiming “marijuana” – for the herb itself and for the Mexicans? I love the connection and i appreciate any part Mexicans had in introducing weed to us norteamericanos! Viva la marijuana!
WILLITS SUPERINTENDENT TO RESIGN
To the Editor:
It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that I will be resigning from my position as the superintendent at the end of this school year. I am making this decision due to some deeply personal reasons. I have greatly enjoyed the time I have spent with each of you in Willits.
I will be assisting the board in making a smooth transition to the next superintendent once they are identified. We have some great momentum.
I know the excellent staff here will continue to carry this momentum forward into next school year and beyond. I am excited to see the heights that WUSD will achieve in the future! With deepest gratitude and respect,
Superintendent Joe Aldridge
(Editor’s Note: This letter to Willits Unified School District staff and the community was posted on the WUSD Facebook page on Tuesday, May 3.)
FORMER Ukiah Police sergeant Kevin Murray is accused of being sort of a one-man, badged crime wave. Although Murray has pled not guilty, if ever an accused person deserves a change of venue, it’s this guy. He’s been pilloried in this area ever since he was charged. Adding to the pre-trial prejudice against the accused is Ukiah’s pay out of $250,000 to a woman described as a “prostitute” for a sordid encounter at Ukiah’s Super 8 Motel in November of 2020, during which the woman said Murray forced her into a joyless coupling, not that there’s anything joyful about even a chaste encounter at a Super 8. So, why the big payday prior to Murray’s trial?
SHANNON RILEY is Ukiah’s “Assistant City Manager.” In the pre-women’s movement days of the 1960s she is the “chick up front” for Ukiah’s perhaps mythical city manager, Sage Sangiacomo. Ms. Riley is shoved up front whenever Ukiah has some real bad news to announce, as in the Murray case payout. (Why Ukiah needs two city managers to “manage” a town of 16,000 is a question for the town’s duped voters.)
SO MS. RILEY and Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich got together to announce that the quarter mil payout as “conditional settlement has been reached pending approval.” Waidelich took it even further, saying the proposed settlement “admits no liability for the City or its employees” and that Murray “was separated from his employment for his off-duty activities.”
“OFF DUTY ACTIVITIES.” Gotta love the Chief’s gift for euphemism. But what it means is the deal is a pre-emptive payout to prevent the fallen angel from getting a lot more out of Ukiah’s insurance carriers. But it also presumes that Murray, who hasn’t yet had his day in court, is guilty as charged.
“CHICKS UP FRONT,” as some of us direct action vets of the late 60s will recall, was the false assumption that by placing women in the front rank of a demo the cops wouldn’t club them to get at us male-type individuals. Let’s say it didn’t work and leave it at that. The “chicks” got the fungo bats, too. By the middle to late 1970s, police departments started to lose a lot of brutality suits, hence, in places like Mendocino County and most urban police departments, beating the crap out of unresisting demonstrators pretty much ceased.
BALLOTS are in the mail as of Monday, May 9th. We hope Anderson Valley voters will approve the facilities bond Measure M, which will fund badly needed school repairs. We also hope Michelle Hutchins will be returned for another four years as Superintendent of the Mendocino County Office of Education despite the constant, unfounded claims that she was missing in action during the covid emergency. There’s also a truly whacked personal vilification of Hutchins led by a handful of Boonville mean girls who have apparently dedicated their defective lives to the destruction of Hutchins, by far the most effective and the most fiscally responsible superintendent that office has seen in 60 years. No surprise that former Superintendent Paul Tichinin, a silent veteran of the days the office was an ongoing criminal enterprise, is leading the charge against Hutchins. Tichinin, and the under-performing, over-staffed Ukiah schools administrative apparatus, hogged edu-funds under Tichinin, which is why Ukiah put up Ms. Glentzer as the candidate certain to return Tichinin-ism to the County Office of Education.
AS FOR 5TH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR, we think incumbent Williams deserves to be unseated based on his four years as an automatic YES vote for whatever irresponsible scheme the departed CEO put in front of him. Williams is opposed by John Redding.
REDDING is opposed by people who say he has been a divisive and irresponsible member of the Coast Hospital District Board. “Divisive,” in the Mendo context, is often a kind of back door praise for a person outside the flabby cash and carry liberalism that dominates public life in the county. Redding is certainly outside that lethal limo lib consensus and is being damned for a lot of reasons having nothing to do with the job of supervisor, a theoretically non-partisan office whose focus is supposed to be Mendocino County. Redding is damned, for instance, by the NPR-brained Fifth District libs, for being a registered Republican (Gasp!), the first since the late, great Ted Galletti of Elk. How would Redding be as a supervisor? On this particular board of supervisors? Therapeutic.
I’VE INVITED Major Mark Scaramella, USAF ret., to itemize the reasons Ted Williams should not be returned as 5th District supervisor. Major! Front and center!
“Thank you, Mr. Anderson, for inviting me, the only person, as you know, in the County who thoroughly covers the Supervisors. Herewith, I list the major failures and screw-ups of these Supervisors, particularly Williams:
AN UPDATE/RECAP: MENDO’S MAJOR FAILURES & SCREW-UPS (A growing list…)
by Mark Scaramella
Failure to deal with non-reimbursable mental health and drug-addled residents as Measure B called for, choosing instead to overpay for the Whitmore Lane demolition and rebuild for much more than a new facility would cost.
Picking a pointless and costly fight with the Sheriff over computer independence and liability for ordinary budget overruns.
Failure to enforce Measure V to reduce standing dead tree fire hazards/”nuisance,” even with a County Counsel’s formal opinion two years ago that Mendocino Redwoods was clearly not exempt from nuisance laws.
Failure to revise the pot ordinance with a two-acre limit after their latest use-permit proposal was withdrawn in the face of a pending local initiative, leaving the County and well-meaning applicants in permanent limbo.
Failure to plan or budget for their ill-considered consolidated Chief Financial Officer office despite voting it into existence with no plan or analysis.
Failure to convene their Public Safety Advisory Board despite its incorporation in County Code more than a year ago.
Failure to follow advisory Measure AG which was supposed to allocate the majority of pot tax revenues to Mental Health, Roads, Emergency Services and enforcement. In fact, nobody has even asked for a tally of those revenues for purposes of proper allocation.
Failure to set up permanent emergency operations center so that disasters can be responded to quickly.
Failure to develop a single project to submit for grant funding to mitigate drought.
Failure to provide promised paramedic subsidy to local ambulance services.
Wasting about $80k on a “strategic plan” that a large percentage of their own employees described as “a waste of time” while saying they are operating on an “austerity budget.”
Failure to set up a re-established water agency in a timely manner despite drought emergency — $330k consultant will only deliver a “work plan” by August after which no one has any idea what will happen or when or how much more it will cost or what authority it will have.
Failure to impose water restrictions or gaging requirements on local water agencies.
Failure to set up a budget line item for Sheriff’s overtime so that overtime can be managed and planned for as incidents occur, instead threatening the Sheriff with personal liability for overtime.
Failure to provide monthly departmental budget and status reports to the Board and public.
Wasting $4 million on a Crisis Residential Treatment Center, spending $5 million to build the equivalent of a $1 million four-bedroom house.
Failure to staff positions which the Board itself says are revenue generating positions both general fund-funded and grant funded.
Failure to codify a Mendo version of Sonoma County’s vacation rental restrictions to ease housing shortage for locals.
Failure to require permit status reporting to see if permits are taking unreasonably long to process.
Failure to consolidate Mendo’s five dispatch operations into two — Police and Fire/Ambulance — while keeping nine redundant dispatch positions on the night shift when fewer calls come in.
Wasting almost $400k on an unnecessary Board chamber “remodel.”
Failure to plan for the significant impact of the new courthouse on affected county offices: District Attorney, Public Defender, Probation, Sheriff.
PETER LIT LOOKS BACK
The story about Mendocino Planning and Building stirred up another memory, this one not County, but State.
One of the requirements of opening a remodeled “visitor serving facility” is a stamp of approval from the Health Department. In January of 1980, this came out of an office in Santa Rosa. The first time I remodeled the Caspar Inn, it was a major undertaking. The concept was to tear out many of the interior walls downstairs, replacing them with the posts and beams that are there today requiring under floor concrete work; new interior paneling, making the entrance to the men's room indoors, a new floor, new plumbing, new bathrooms, major electrical upgrades (including a new “entrance” plus main panels and sub-panels), a few new windows, new coolers, bar sinks, tappers for beer, etc.
We allowed 15 days for the project; Don Bruce , our lead contractor for the structural changes, thought three months was reasonable.
We were rolling along heading for our projected and semi-advertised opening at 4 pm on January 10, 1980, when a snag appeared as we requested a health inspection.
Santa Rosa only came up once a week, on Thursdays. January 10 was a Tuesday, so I requested an inspection on the 5th. When the health inspector came, he was very pleased. The food prep area, for the fresh orange juice (which we discontinued because of all the complaints about pulp coupled with the time and expense of making it) and whipped cream, plus the new bar equipment got the nod. He especially liked the new “guns” for beverages and the new hot water heater for the sinks. The old men's room was now a storage closet and the new one was now accessible without going outside (the old walkway was now inside). I tried to steer him away from the new women's room, formerly a rest room for the motorcycle shop/apartment at the back of the Inn (the old one was now the gents’) telling him it was still under construction, but he insisted on opening the door.
Actually, there was no floor, no fixtures, no finished interior walls; just floor joists and the roughed out plumbing — to code of course. He apologized but said he could not give us a Permit to Operate without facilities, but he would guarantee that he would be back on the morning of Thursday the 12th.
I tried to convince him that it would be okay. “Sorry, no can do”.
I didn't give up. I pointed out how much we had already done and the number of people working; the flooring contractor laying the hickory floor, the carpenters and sheetrockers putting on the walls and ceilings with the painters not far behind. I reminded him of the new men's room, the food prep area. I told him about the amount of publicity we had put out and paid for announcing our opening; I offered to pay him to come back over the weekend, either day, or Monday. He said he couldn't.
Finally I said something along the lines of “Please, help us out. You can see all the work we have done in ten days; I PROMISE you that on Tuesday, before we open, there will be a completely legal restroom here with an impermeable floor, impermeable walls, window, ventilation and hot and cold running water, a soap dispenser and paper towels; even a sign on the door. Please sign us off.”
And he did.
My, my, how times have changed.
PS: We did not open at 4pm with a fully functional women's toilet. We didn't open until 5:30, but the women's room didn't cause the delay.
REDDING CLARIFIES COAST MEDICAL ORGANIZATION
CHET ANDERSON ASKS: What is the Adventist Board? And how is it constituted? Who appoints? Is there a list of Adventist Board members? Contact info?
JOHN REDDING REPLIES:
I can help with that question. You will recall that in Nov. 2019, the public voted 92% to 8% for the Mendocino Coast Health Care District and Adventist Health to affiliate. That officially started on July 1, 2020. Under the terms of a Lease Agreement (https://mchcdorg.com/the-affiliation-with-adventist-health/) AH assumed operational control of the hospital, clinic and other services. AH also assumed Profit and Loss responsibility.
Under the terms of the Lease Agreement, AH established what it calls a Community Board. It has ~11 members, a mix of local residents, medical providers, and AH management. It meets quarterly in private, unlike the District's Board meetings which are open to the public. A number of people on the Community Board have resigned because it apparently has no influence with AH management.
The healthcare District Board remains intact. It oversees the Lease Agreement, surveys the quality of care periodically, pays off the long term debt and maintains the facilities for AH. In addition, the District Board is responsible for ensuring that the hospital in seismically compliant by 2030 or… to build a new facility. That discussion is ongoing.
The District Board meets on the last Thursday of every month. Please participate especially since the topic of dissolving the District and handing it over to the County has been raised.
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 8, 2022
OCEANNA ACKLEY, Ukiah. Domestic battery, DUI.
GARY BALMAIN JR., Willits. Controlled substance, protective order violation.
AMBER BORDELON, Willits. Child abandonment, probation revocation.
CLARANCE CHRISTMAS, Ukiah. Under influence, parole violation.
KEVIN DAHLUND, Ukiah. Parole violation.
MICHAEL GLOBE, Novato/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
TESLA HENCZ, Laytonville. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, saps/similar weapons, failure to appear.
LEAH HERNANDEZ, Laytonville. Failure to appear.
TROY HOAGLIN, Laytonville. County parole violation.
JESSICA JIMENEZ, Ukiah. DUI.
DUSTIN JORDAN, Willits. Controlled substance, switchblade, county parole violation.
MICHAEL KING, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
SANJAY MOHAN, Ukiah. Annoying-obscene-threatening telephone calls, protective order violation.
JESUS PAREDES, Clearlake/Ukiah. Pot sales-transportation, conspiracy.
SHADIN PETERSON, Willits. Resisting.
OWEN PORTER, Ukiah. False imprisonment.
DEVIN RUDDICK, Ukiah. DUI.
ROBERT SACCOCCIO, Borden, Indiana/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.
Doesn’t enumerate rights
But tells us how to.
California is in a major drought. Yet there is abundant new housing being built all over the county and state. Southern California is going to limit outside watering to once a week and possibly no outside watering in the future. Sonoma County residents are asked to cut water use. Are businesses, vineyards, etc. cutting back as well? I cannot comprehend where the water is coming from for new developments.
Thoughts: Moratorium on all new building. Discontinue producing and selling bottled water (except for emergencies and disasters). This would decrease plastic waste as well. Water is needed for wildlife to survive as well as humans. It’s a precious commodity that gets taken for granted.
CRUMPLED PAGES NEAR A WASTEBASKET
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
An elderly gent in a tuxedo and neatly trimmed white beard stands at center stage. A raven sits upon his right shoulder.
The man speaks quietly but seriously:
“Earlier, after the previous unpleasantries were forgotten, I’d remembered the time long ago when you and I dreamed we’d someday plan a taxi ride to the old cathedral near the beach where we’d hold hands, weep softly and whisper goodbye on a sidewalk in the shade of the 22-story Embassy Hotel that would not be built until 1963.”
A bold experiment…
At which point the curtain closed but reopened instantly, and a stout lad watched the back feet of a small rodent disappear down the throat of a man dressed like a circus clown. As the house lights did dim there was only Jim and him.
“I can’t decide if this is the end of Act I or a YouTube video. What do you think?”
“Both,” he said. “Neither.”
‘What did you say?”
“What did you hear?”
“What did I hear?!?”
“That’s what I said.”
“That’s not what I mean.”
“Well answer this: What’s a pencil sharpener go for on eBay?”
Which was all it took to launch her from the Hemi-powered spring-loaded director’s chair and knock the theater manager down while shooting looks that had actors running from the stage.
“So what’s that supposed to be?” she growled. “Free-form dialogue? Word association you picked up in some method acting class? An analogy thing? In my play, with your rotten script?!?”
Fake smile: “It’s college seminar French cinematic noir crap leaking outta your laptop and into my production, isn’t it? Our poor audience, not one of whom will sit through two minutes of this crap, will block it all out because the last person to care about pencils died 50 years ago, got cremated and the ashes went in the same dumpster your lousy script is going.”
The camera pulls back. The family barn is engulfed in flames.
Peering through branches held apart by scratched, bloody hands, he gazes at the old abandoned house on a craggy hill. A stream of bats squirts from an upstairs window and the moon shines bleak and thin.
High upon a shelf in an empty room filled with cobwebs and memories, the first edition of his only book cracks itself open. Fictional characters step off pages and onto the shelf.
They begin sweeping layers of dust from rich paragraphs and brilliant sentences off their trousers and sleeves. They cough and blink and exchange nervous glances before slipping silently away, into the heavy folds of musty curtains and the cushion cracks of a broken sofa.
Organ music swells; credits roll.
Meanwhile, in Iowa…
A no-longer young man runs a hand through thinning hair, trying to capture the spark, the thing, the oh you know. The inspiration. The spark thing. The muse, the story idea he had when he was driving home. Shoulda pulled over, shoulda took notes.
And the Writer’s Workshop project outline, due tomorrow. Submission 4 p.m., and right now that’s less than 20 hours and all he’s got are crumpled-up pages near the wastebasket, except for the crumpled-up pages inside it.
But maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s all about the Goddess of Success, the dream, but when you finally wake up you’re in a wastebasket. A metaphor, or analogy. Like Updike or Ezra Pound or somebody.
The wastebasket could be symbolic for a big building in a big city, and it’s really about one man’s desperate struggle to get inside, his burning drive to someday make it to the 12th floor, to have his own corner office on the 12th floor, yeah that was it.
A career built on dreams, yet all was hollow. Straw, everything straw!
All he’d need to show tomorrow was a solid outline, a framework on which to hang his literary canvas. Gonna need some coffee, weave it together.
Oh yeah, there was a lot riding on this. It was either pull it off, make a smashing, blinding, dazzling bestselling debut of it, or go back to working on that lousy newspaper with the maniac editor who yelled and smoked cigars.
Or teach English at Ukiah High.
(Tom Hine realizes some columns are better, some are worse, and this is one of them. TWK still doesn’t know what a metaphor isn’t.)
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
1995, that’s about the year Biden was struck with multiple aneurisms and needed brain surgery to keep him alive, which may explain the condition we see him in today. Not that I take any pleasure in it, I think it’s a tragedy and a travesty he was put up for office, any office.
CRAIG, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SPEAK ENGLISH. SORRY.
From: Craig Stehr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fwd: अदृश्य काडसिध्देश्वर भजन आपल्याची आत आपणची जावे
HEALDSBURG TRIBUNE RESCUED
by Bill Swindell
Northern California publisher Weeklys has acquired and rescued the Healdsburg Tribune, which was in the process of shutting down its print publication and pausing its affiliated email newsletters.
Weeklys on Tuesday announced it bought the newspaper from the Sonoma County Local News Initiative after the nonprofit group made the decision to shut down publication with its April 28 edition with a headline that read: “Stop the presses: Tribune’s final edition.” The newspaper dates back to the 1860s.
The company bought the biweekly Sonoma County Independent in 1994. It changed it to a weekly publication and was rebranded as the North Bay Bohemian in 2000. Weeklys also publishes the Pacific Sun in Marin County, and weekly newspapers in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.
“We didn’t want to see a treasured newspaper lost. We moved the Bohemian’s office to Healdsburg in 2020 and love the community. Residents here have worked hard to maintain community journalism and we intend to give the community a voice and local information every week,” said Dan Pulcrano, chief executive officer of Weeklys, in a statement.
“We are surprised, gratified and a little astonished,” said Nancy Dobbs, president of the board of directors of Sonoma County Local News Initiative, in a statement. “Dan came forward as (we) were calling it quits, saying goodbye to our reporting staff and telling the community we were walking away from print.”
ACTIVISM, UNCENSORED: STONE MOUNTAIN PROTESTS
Supporters of the “Mt Rushmore of the Confederacy” square off with activists.
Thanks to Ford Fischer and News2Share for this report of a clash from Georgia. More, as they say, TK.
FELIPE ALOU, the former Giants manager, had a saying: When the man is better than the player, you’ve really got something.
“As great a player, he’s an even better man,” said former GM Brian Sabean, relaying Alou’s wisdom in a recent interview with the Bay Area News Group.
Before reading further, you already know who he is talking about.
You know because Saturday was the day the Giants celebrated that man, Buster Posey, in an hourlong pregame ceremony. But you would also know from countless conversations with former teammates, coaches and competitors.
After all, few other players could have generated the lovefest that took place Saturday at Oracle Park.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
Well, there’s genocide and economic collapse and possibly very serious or even catastrophic food shortages, but, you know, it’s worse than that.
We’ve become a people who are coarse and vulgar and ignorant, whose self-seeking knows no bounds. It seems like it should be unnecessary to mention the saturation with filthy music, filthy books and movies, casual addiction to porn…and on and on and on. But as a matter of fact it is necessary to mention it, since no one seems to notice or care.
This is the real loss–and not a likely shortage of Hot Pockets or heating fuel. This is the real tragedy. It seems inevitable that a people who are this far gone should suffer annihilation, like the Cities of the Plain or an inundation on the order of the Great Flood.
This doesn’t doesn’t happen because of some sort of Angry God. It happens because the people who are thus afflicted have committed suicide; their physical death is the natural outcome of their spiritual death–the loss of their humanity.
The important thing is not so much whether we can save ourselves from all these advancing material evils, but whether we’re worth saving.
ENDANGERED COHO SALMON BATTERED BY 3RD YEAR OF DROUGHT. … WHY IT MATTERS
by Mary Callahan
They were once abundant in the cold, clear water of North Bay creeks and streams. Now, the survival of coho salmon is being challenged like never before.
The coho has a three-year life cycle that takes it from stream to ocean and back to stream to spawn the next generation.
But the changing climate now threatens the species at every life stage, raising new questions about their recovery.
It’s not just a species at stake. At risk is the very resilience of the forest and watershed that evolved around them, fed by marine nutrients brought upstream and deposited inland by adult spawners that, after reproducing, die and decompose.
“Salmon are a keystone species, which means they perform a really important ecosystem service,” said Sarah Nossaman Pierce, a California Sea Grant fisheries biologist with the Russian River Monitoring Program. “Salmon and steelhead (trout) bring marine-based nutrients into the system and essentially feed the forest, plants, birds and wildlife.”
The challenge, she said, is “ecosystem resilience”
“People say, ‘Why do you care about the salmon?’ Unfortunately, if they can’t survive, human beings aren’t far behind,” she said.
Rains bring false hope
Recent rains in the Russian River watershed swelled streams as the peak migration of yearling coho salmon, called smolts, was getting under way in early May. But stream levels are beginning to decline again to levels of a few weeks earlier, when the young fish faced the lowest stream flows ever seen so early in the year.
Some creeks ran dry, requiring an annual smolt rescue and relocation program — fish and wildlife personnel pull stranded fish from isolated puddles and pools and transport them to survivable streams — to begin earlier than ever.
“It’s not happy news,” said Mariska Obedzinski, an expert with California Sea Grant and coordinator of the Russian River Salmon and Steelhead Monitoring Program.
The Russian River’s once celebrated salmon populations have long been imperiled by logging, development, gravel mining and other human activities that have eliminated flood plains, channelized river and stream flows, and limited the woody debris and shade that keeps the water cool enough for young fish to survive.
More intense and frequent droughts have further eroded conditions, not just for the coho, but for steelhead and chinook salmon, both listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Dry years once were viewed as a threat primarily to tiny fry summering in small, coastal streams.
But recently, streams have been low for so much of the year that adult fish sometimes struggle to swim upstream to spawn in the winter. The gravel nests, or redds, where they deposit their eggs may become stranded and dried out before the eggs hatch.
“We almost lost our native fish.”
Sarah Nossaman Pierce
Summer heat has left young fish trapped in shrinking pools of warm and oxygen-poor water until they die from heat or suffocation as those pools evaporate. Those that survive may be challenged to find sufficient flows to get downstream when spring comes.
The threat to multiple life stages at once for an already vulnerable species is alarming, especially over successive years.
A helping hand
The region’s coho were on the brink of extinction 20 years ago when a few hundred wild juveniles were collected from West Sonoma County’s Green Valley Creek and other small streams. That effort led to the Coho Recovery Broodstock Program at Lake Sonoma, which hopes to rebuild a self-sustaining population.
The Russian River Monitoring Program, meanwhile, was established to gauge the recovery program’s effectiveness and identify bottlenecks to reproduction. Teams from California Sea Grant, Sonoma Water and other partners trap and measure smolts, count young fish, survey salmon in later stages of development and assess stream conditions. Individual fish also are tracked through transponders implanted inside them.
Nossaman Pierce took part in collecting young fish for the initial broodstock and remains cautiously optimistic. But she said she wishes residents of the region felt some ownership of the issue and the solution.
“We almost lost our native fish,” she said recently at the edge of Green Valley Creek, while a crew tended to a smolt trap there. “Literally, this population would have been gone a few years after we started this program.”
Late last summer, members of the monitoring program mapped 36 streams in the lower Russian River watershed. They found that pools that had hosted about half of all coho and steelhead juveniles in earlier surveys remained wet. Another 40% were completely dry; about 10% were intermittent.
It’s not known how many fish perished, Nossaman Pierce said.
Come winter, abundant early season rain gave adult salmon and steelhead access to small tributaries they hadn’t had been able to reach for years, prompting cheers in the wildlife community.
But the ensuing months were so dry that streams quickly receded, leaving many of the gravel nests they had created at the edge of shallow riffles high and dry, along with the eggs.
“It was a close call. I mean, if this rain didn’t happen, it could have been pretty much a complete loss, or near a complete loss, of a class of coho smolts.”
Observations this spring were discouraging: 28% of the redds were dry or partially dry, Nossaman Pierce said.
Several hundred smolts and other young fish, meanwhile, were stranded in a tributary to Green Valley Creek, said Coho Salmon Recovery Coordinator David Hines, a senior environmental scientists with California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Usually the problem is summer disconnection where a creek should meet up with the river but runs dry, Hines said. Any rescue, in which an electric shock is applied to the water and the fish quickly netted, is required in late May or early June, he said.
With each individual fish having only three years of life to rear in freshwater, swim to the ocean and mature enough to return upstream to spawn, a few years of drought could prove catastrophic for the coho population — most of which is hatchery born.
“That’s what we’re living with,” Nossaman Pierce said. “One poor year is impacting three year classes of fish. And if they keep taking these hits every year, you’re not going to be able to step away, even with the broodstock program. The conditions just can’t support this.”
Since the first release of hatchery offspring into the watershed, the number of adults returning to spawn has risen from a mere handful in 2004 to an estimated 763 in the 2017-18 season, according to the Russian River monitoring program.
By 2020-21, that number dropped back down to 214, with adults observed in only eight of 33 surveyed coho-bearing streams, the program reported. A similar, though less extreme, reduction in steelhead adults was observed as well.
Federal fisheries managers have established a target of 10,100 adult coho salmon returning each winter to the Russian River basin as the recovery baseline, so that leaves a long way to go.
And they appear to face another harsh summer ahead, though mid-April rainfall offered an unexpected buffer just as conditions appeared to offer little hope.
“It was a close call,” said Gregg Horton, principal environmental specialist with Sonoma Water. “I mean, if this rain didn’t happen, it could have been pretty much a complete loss, or near a complete loss, of a class of coho smolts.”
Instead, strong flows filled streams and reconnected tributaries with the main stem Russian River just in time for the peak coho smolt migration in early May, Horton said.
It may be enough to see the yearling fish through their out-migration, though stragglers in late June could struggle, he said.
It’s a different story for the young hatchlings that need to spend the summer feeding and rearing in streams with little moisture banked in the surrounding landscape to replenish them after three extremely dry months at the start of the year.
That means over-summering “young of the year” — fish that emerged from gravel nests in March or so — will likely face the same dire conditions they did last year and during droughts past.
Field crews will be on hand to rescue those they can. But, said Horton, “it’s not an ideal management strategy.”
“These watersheds have been altered by years of development and various land uses, and they’ve lost some of their hydrologic resilience,” he said. “So the habitat is more fragile, essentially, and we have a lot of work still to do with the ecosystem to build resilience for a changing climate. Fish rescue is just a short-term effort to try to save the genetic material that we have out on the landscape right now.”
AT&T, COMCAST, VERIZON, OTHERS COMMIT TO LOW-INCOME BROADBAND PROGRAM
Providers will help offer high-speed internet to millions of households under the infrastructure law
by Ken Thomas
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday plan to join with telecom executives, members of Congress and others to highlight the $30-a-month subsidy now available to low-income households to access high-speed internet. The program has run up against an early hurdle because the people who need it most are the hardest to reach because they aren’t online.
Senior administration officials said the companies, which cover more than 80% of the U.S. population, had agreed to increase their internet speeds or cut prices to ensure that all eligible households can tap into high-speed internet plans for no more than $30 a month.
In addition to AT&T, Comcast and Verizon’s Fios service, other participating providers include Cox Communications Inc., Charter Communications Inc., Frontier Communications Corp. and regional providers such as Jackson Energy Authority in Tennessee, Comporium Inc. in the Carolinas and the Vermont Telephone Co.
During his presidential campaign, Mr. Biden often spoke about broadband services as a necessity and pointed to the plight of families who would park in fast-food parking lots to access wireless internet during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The plan is part of a $65 billion program to build up the country’s broadband network through the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure law approved by Congress in 2021. While most of the broadband funds will be awarded to states and territories for fiber-optic-cable projects, the law also allows $14 billion in subsidies called the Affordable Connectivity Program to lower internet costs and improve access to broadband.
About 11.5 million households have signed up for the monthly subsidy, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the subsidies. The aid is available to households whose income is 200% or less than federal poverty guidelines or for those that qualify for a government assistance program such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or a Federal Pell Grant.
Officials estimated that there are about 48 million eligible households, which the administration is attempting to enroll in the program.
As part of that effort, the administration is launching a new website, GetInternet.gov, to give Americans details on how they can sign up for the subsidies or find participating internet providers in their area.
Other federal agencies, along with states and cities, intend to promote the program.
A previous version set up by Congress in 2020 was called the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which provided people with $50 a month. That has been replaced by the $30 subsidy and the prior program has been rolled into the current one.