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A POWER OUTAGE last night delayed the full MCT posting this morning. Our apologies…
HOT WEATHER will continue today with mainly clear skies. Interior temperatures will warm slightly again this weekend with clearer and warmer weather along the coast. Temperatures will begin a cooling trend early next week as the ridge moves to the east and an upper level trough build over the west coast. (NWS)
JAN GOODIN Memorial Service This Saturday
Jan Pierre Goodin was born in Willits on February 13, 1952. He passed away peacefully in the early morning on May 20, 2022 at his home in Potter Valley.
Jan was the seventh of the eight children born to Jesse James and Harriet June Goodin. He is survived by his two beloved sons Jesse and Chad, his grandson Banner, his companion Angela, and his siblings Jessie Jane, Jeannine, Josette and Joel.
At an early age Jan’s family moved to South San Francisco where he attended El Camino high school. In 1971 he enlisted in the US Marines and
In 1972 he married his childhood sweetheart Lorelei. In 1973 they moved to Ukiah where Jan worked in maintenance at the Ukiah Adventist Hospital for 34 years. Jan professed his life to Christ at an early age and found much fulfillment in helping others struggling with their addictions. He was an avid AA member which meant his gifts would far exceed the walls of the room. He would listen to anyone who needed to lighten a burden. God was in Jan’s life every single day. He loved the Lord and he had a love for people.
In all, Jan knew what made a good life. He loved family, history, laughing, sharing food, music, jokes, hugs and freedom.
His property was his sanctuary. His home was one of two houses that he built, making him quite a jack-of-all trades. He had a special connection with his land, wildlife and the birds residing there. He will be missed by them as well.
Jan Goodin was loved by many and had more friends than he ever knew. There will be a celebration of life on June 25th 2022, at Vinewood Park (1260 Elm St.) Ukiah, Ca. From 1-4pm. There will be food and drinks, Come to share some stories. Please bring photos if you have any.
POOLED TESTING RESULT
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
The Junior/Senior High had one positive pooled testing result today for Covid-19. Nurses will be on-site tomorrow to conduct follow up rapid testing for the affected class. You will ONLY be called, if your student has a positive result.
FORT BRAGG INDEPENDENCE DAY FIREWORKS: July 2, 9:30 PM. The City of Fort Bragg will put on an Independence Day fireworks display. Viewing At Todd’s Point, South Coastal Trail at Noyo Headlands ($20 parking fee; lot opens at 5pm) or Pomo Bluffs Park.
THE SUMMER EDITION of Word of Mouth is out. WOM is an in-county quarterly food magazine published by Holly Madrigal of Willits with a big assist from Torrey Douglass, the talented graphics wizard based here in Boonville.
I PARTICULARLY enjoyed the piece by Torrey on Filigreen Farm, the busy biodynamic garden on Anderson Valley Way. I first met proprietors Chris and Stephanie Tebbutt when they were installing the gardens at the Boonville Hotel when Johnny Schmitt first took it over. The Tebbutts worked at such a furious pace I had to sit down and rest just watching them.
AS A NEIGHBOR just down the road puzzling over my drooping geraniums, I've watched the Tebbutts grow their multifaceted operation to the dazzling enterprise it is today. I walk past the place every morning and invariably there is something interesting going on, presently what seems to be the total destruction of a neighboring series of gray, motel-like structures which, as can be seen, several new structures, one of them partially complete, are arising.
IT SEEMS “biodynamic” is simply an obfuscating term that means careful, thoughtful, non-industrial farm practices. When I looked it up I got this skeptical definition: “Biodynamic agriculture is a form of alternative agriculture based on pseudo-scientific and esoteric concepts initially developed in 1924 by Rudolf Steiner. It was the first of the organic farming movements.”
HARRUMPH. But whatever Stephanie and Chris call their farm, it's beautiful, inspirational even, and certainly high among Mendocino County's truly most interesting and optimistic phenomena — small scale mom and pop farms.
AND I LEARNED that the Indians called the Anderson Valley, “Taa-Bo-Tah,” which allegedly translates as “long valley,” a fact I will accept on a provisional basis until I consult my Native American informant, Violet Renick, born and raised in Anderson Valley's last Pomo-speaking family, the Pomos having farmed the Boonville area biodynamically for 12,000 years.
I ALSO enjoyed “Living the Legacy” by Polly Bates, an affecting remembrance of her remarkable grandparents, Sally and Don Schmitt, whose long and productive lives live on through their children and grandchildren in their various enterprises in the Anderson Valley.
MEANWHILE, ORION SITS IN THEIR TRUCKS: A Reader Writes: A couple dozen bright clad Orion (PG&E) Tree people were out in Faulkner Park in Boonville today. After the couple of hundred people-hours the first group spent messing around our 13 acres, this gives a whole new dimension to the word boondoggle. That whole fleet of pickups that they drive- ugh! Somehow we’re paying for it. After all that they are spending, I wonder how much more it would have cost to just bury the lines. Certainly a much better long term solution.
SUICIDES, OVERDOSES, AND ECONOMIC ANXIETY: Key Metrics Signal An Undercurrent Of Despair On The North Coast
With talk of inflation and shortages and gas prices, the nation is in the grips of economic anxiety, fearing the fair deal and honest work of the American Dream is beyond their grasp.…
FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE ROUNDUP
A meeting was held on June 2 sponsored by The Grass Roots Institute to answer questions from people interested in one of the 4 open City Council seats. Former members, Dave Turner and Dan Gjerde were present to answer questions about their motivations for running and the challenges they faced being on the Council.
Peter McNamee moderated the discussion and asked each about the opportunities and difficulties they encountered. Ongoing issues such as water, waste treatment, housing, business, and traffic were discussed.
Dave mentioned that there was plenty of water on the coast but that reservoirs were needed for storage; while Dan spoke about the interaction of city and county governments and the cross-county committees that work in the interests of Northern California.
After Dave and Dan spoke on these issues, questions about energy conservation and generation were asked by the audience of 30 along with some nuts and bolts questions regarding the Brown Act, the approximate votes needed to win a seat, and how many hours it takes to do the job.
Also mentioned was that Volkswagen is giving money due to its diesel settlement that can be used for charging electric vehicles which would help promote both local conservation and tourism.
The City Clerk, June Lemos was present. She told the group that the city will help with applications and send new members to classes on government in Sacramento.
NPR’s ‘PLANET MONEY’ COMES TO THE REDWOODS, Asks, ‘What the Heck Happened to Orick?’
Orick has seen better days. That much is obvious to anyone who’s been through the former lumber town in the past, oh, four decades or so. That includes Greg Rosalsky, a reporter with “Planet Money,” National Public Radio’s economy podcast/blog.
He and his partner recently came north to visit Redwood National and State Parks to enjoy the “stunning lagoons, rivers, and beaches, eye-popping hiking and biking trails, a rich array of wildlife, and some of the oldest and tallest trees on the planet.”
Rave reviews on that front. For example, Rosalsky correctly identified the hike through Fern Canyon to Gold Bluffs Beach as “one of the best hikes on the West Coast.” He also recalls coming “face to face with a gang of Roosevelt elk.” (I think they prefer “herd.”)
As for the little unincorporated community at the gateway to the gorgeous park system? Well, here’s his take:
It’s a town called Orick. Driving through the town on Highway 101 to get to the park, you pass boarded-up motels, ramshackle houses, rusted-out cars, and properties that look like junkyards. Parts of Orick look like the setting for a zombie movie.
Brutal but true. The post goes on to recount the rise-and-long-fall history of the town, from its post-WWII heyday, fueled by America’s “insatiable demand for redwood lumber,” through its gradual economic decline, which has continued despite the proximity of the national park, created in 1968.
What caused the timber industry’s decline? Why doesn’t the park attract more tourists? And why hasn’t there been more investment in Orick’s infrastructure and upkeep? Rosalsky looks into all of these questions. This edition of the Planet Money newsletter is well worth a read, and it ends with a promise of more to come: a story in next week’s edition about a black market that threatens Redwood trees and has led rangers to bring down the strong arm of the national park, even obtaining search warrants and knocking down Orick doors with AR-15s. The strange underground economy of tree poaching — that’s next week in the Planet Money newsletter.
Count us in. For now, though, we direct those of you who’ve never seen it to enjoy this short version of the truly excellent documentary Orick, CA, U.S.A. Filmed by Jensen Rufe and Steve Love more than two decades ago, the footage shows a town that was already down on its luck but had no shortage of local flavor.
ADDENDUM: Turns out there IS some more investment money coming to the parks. Earlier this year, the California Coastal Conservancy approved nearly $7.4 million for disbursement to the Yurok Tribe, Caltrout, Inc. and Save the Redwoods League as part of the Redwood National and State Park Visitor Center and Restoration Project. (H/t @jen_savage.)
HOLLY TANNEN: Motel Mendocino: my response to your feedback. Thanks, everyone who wrote me about my song Hotel Mendocino.
Those of you who’d like to sing it, go ahead, but please credit me, perhaps by my current nom de prune, F the Ineffable. Note that because it is a parody, we are not in copyright violation, but are protected under the "fair use" provision of U.S. copyright law, Thanks to Weird Al Yankowic, whose parodies brought this issue to the attention of the courts.
One reader pointed out an ethical issue: I don’t want to slag off the Mendocino Hotel, which is not grungy and has for many years hosted the Writers’ Club. So I think I’ll rename the song Motel Mendocino.
Happy St. John’s Eve,
Weird Hol Tankovic
* * *
The Old Mendocino Hotel
Motel Mendocino: my response to your feedback
Marco McClean here. I knew a woman named Sheila who worked there for awhile and also at plenty of other hotels here and elsewhere. She told me the big secret of expensive hotels: It turns out that the more a room costs, the more blood you find there and have to clean up. "What kind of blood," I said, "You mean, on the sheets? Or in the bathroom, from shaving?" No, she said-- on the curtains, the furniture, the rug, the doorknobs, in the closet. Just /blood everywhere/. Also empty liquor bottles. The more a room costs, the more alcohol consumed. "Maybe they broke a bottle and cut themselves," I said. I don't think so, she said, and repeated, /just blood everywhere/. Mostly always in the expensive hotels, and expensive rooms.
One time years after that I got a phone call from Sheila. She was living in Hawaii, and she had lost touch with her son Shane, who was a drug addict and had a terminal medical problem and had nonetheless escaped from a hospital to go back to his homeless friends, and she wanted me to just drop everything, go to the San Francisco airport, pick her up and drive her around San Francisco at random, at first, then throughout the rest of Northern California if necessary, to somehow find him. No, I said, but it's nice to hear from you.
Also, didn't Darryl Cherney write a song just before the Redwood Summer days about /The Mendocino Fascist Pig Hotel/? It was from when Wilkes Bashford bought store space in town, and Willy Whats-his-name was mayor of San Francisco, and the big political hoo-haws of the era would always party at the Mendocino Hotel, and show up in thousand-dollar suits.
Some of those guys --not Willy-- are still alive, too, and still raking in the millions on the tail end of the railroad nonsense inland, and probably also behind the scenes of the railroad nonsense outland.
IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDERS
Laurie York wrote:
For those concerned about the big corrugated metal florescent green shipping container which has recently been “permanently” installed on our beautiful Van Damme Beach to house kayaks year-round, please consider writing Terry Bertels at the State Parks office: Terry.firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns (see my letter below).
I’m not against the kayak rental business, but I’m strongly opposed to a commercial vendor trashing our beach with this horrible eyesore.
Here’s the letter I wrote Terry Bertels at State Parks and I hope you will consider writing Terry too. The more people who voice their concerns will help make a difference in the outcome of this issue.
The ugly green industrial eyesore that now degrades our beautiful Van Damme Beach is completely out of keeping with the beauty of our Mendocino Coast. This big metal building is a shocking addition to our coastline. How could it have been approved? The shade of green that the huge metal container is painted is not a color seen anywhere in nature here on the coast. The corrugated metal building itself is ugly enough, but then to paint it florescent green is horrible.
I recommend that you hire Suzi Marquess Long to paint a mural on all sides of the container to help it blend in with the natural setting - or better yet, move the container into Van Damme State Park and hide it somewhere where it isn’t visible. If that’s not possible, then have the business owner build a redwood building that could house the kayaks - something in keeping with the redwood restrooms on the beach - or use rental money that you receive from this commercial business to build that redwood building yourself. Something has got change if you want to keep the peace here on the coast.
My understanding is that this a “permanent” fixture and from what I reading on Facebook, there are a lot of local residents who are really upset about this horrible blight on our beautiful Van Damme Beach.
I hope to hear from you and what you are going to do to help maintain the beauty of our scenic coast.
Laurie York Mendocino Coast resident since 1987
Big ugly green corrugated metal eyesore on our beautiful Van Damme Beach
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I respectfully but strongly disagree with the few who are raising a fuss over Kayak Mendocino's new PORTABLE container structure at Van Damme Beach State Park. I think it's a great improvement over the tattered old bus that used to drive to and from the location every day, burning plenty of gas and requiring DMV licensing, insurance and maintenance.
The old bus was parked right up against the beach side of the lot. The new structure is located as far from the beach as possible, up against the Hwy. 1 embankment where it blocks no one's view, either from the highway or from the parking lot.
The pale green paint looks attractive to me and I wouldn't call it florescent. The exterior is decorated with several large blow-up photo prints that illustrate the view from inside sea caves that can only be accessed via a kayak. Photos on the north end show wildlife seen from the boats.
Kayak Mendocino is owned and operated by local guy Craig Comen, who has been a licensed and contracted concessionaire at Van Damme for about 10 years.
Why is it that for 10 years no one complained about the old bus parked daily at the beach? Was it because it fit right in with the natural surroundings in a way that the new container doesn't? I've been living here over 50 years and have seen a lot of changes here over the decades, some good, others not so much. I think this change is a good one.
It's apparent that a lot of thought and planning went into positioning the new portable container where it will least interfere with anyone's views.
In my view the kayak concession is a decided public benefit that allows public access to natural features of the park that can't be enjoyed any other way.
Concessions have been part of state and local parks for over a century. Read about California State Parks and concessions at the parks website at: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=29362
Quote from the cited web page:
Concessions Program Mission Statement
The purpose of the Concessions Program is to seek involvement and assistance from private and public-sector entities, where appropriate, to provide quality services, programs, and facilities that enhance the convenience, enjoyment, education, and recreational experiences of state park visitors.
The Concessions Program at California State Parks provides a very important part of the park visitor's experience. Concessionaires offer the facilities, services, and goods that the State could not otherwise provide, ranging from traditional food services and campground grocery stores, to equestrian tours and rafting trips. Within the system’s historic parks, concessionaires help the Department achieve its interpretation and education mission by providing historical re-enactments and other enrichment programs. These programs add vitality, interest, and excitement to our fascinating heritage preserved and protected by California State Parks. See Questions and Answers about Concessions to learn more.
Nicholas Wilson <email@example.com>
WHAT THE HELL, PIVEC?
On Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 2:46 A.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a report of a vandalism and disturbance in progress in the 13300 block of Highway 101 in Hopland.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center advised the Deputies an intoxicated male was vandalizing the Blue Bird Cafe.
On arrival the Deputies contacted Mark Pivec, 71, of Hopland, who was standing in front of the Hopland Tap House, located across the street from the Blue Bird Cafe. While talking to Pivec, the Deputies observed he was displayed objective signs of alcohol intoxication.
The Deputies observed one of the large front windows of the Blue Bird Cafe was shattered with a newspaper stand resting halfway inside the business. The door on the south side of the building; which leads to the upstairs apartments, was broken and the glass was sitting, in tact, a short distance away.
There was a white vehicle parked next to the curb in front of the cafe; which had mustard splashed over the exterior. There was blood in front of the broken window and on top of the newspaper stand; which was obviously used to smash the window.
The Deputies observed Pivec had a severe cut on his hand; which was bleeding. The Deputies continued their investigation and developed probable cause to believe Pivec was intoxicated to the point he could not care for himself or others.
Deputies believed Pivec threw the newspaper stand through the window of the Blue Bird Cafe, causing the window to shatter. Deputies believed Pivec caused damage to the apartment door and threw mustard on the vehicle parked outside; which caused damage to the paint and dents in the body panels.
The cost to repair the above listed damage was estimated to be in excess of $1,000 in total.
The Deputies arrested Pivec for Felony Vandalism and Misdemeanor Public Intoxication.
Pivec was transported to the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley where he was treated for his injuries and deemed fit for incarceration. Pivec was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
On Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at approximately 12:41 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven by Amanda Sizemore, 42, of Willits.
Deputies contacted Sizemore who was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. Deputies observed a clear plastic bag containing over an ounce of marijuana.
Deputies conducted a search of the vehicle and found several grams of methamphetamine, approximately two pounds of marijuana, paper blots of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and drug paraphernalia associated with selling illicit drugs.
Deputies learned Sizemore was legally prohibited from possessing or using pepper spray, which she possessed at the time of the stop.
Deputies arrested Sizemore for Possess Marijuana for Sale with Prior Conviction, Unlawful Possession of Tear Gas Weapon-Pepper Spray, Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale, Transportation of Controlled Substance for Sale, and Possession of a Controlled Substance and was she was booked into the Mendocino County where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 23, 2022
KATHRYN CUMMINGS, Clearlake/Willits. Failure to appear.
JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JAMES GODDARD, Willits. Domestic battery.
BRADY GOFORTH, Willits. Grand theft, Appropriation of lost property, conspiracy, metal knuckles, leaded cane or similar, controlled substance.
JACK LEMAY, Fort Bragg. Stalking and threatening bodily injury, vandalilsm.
BRADLEY MAXFIELD, Willits. Robbery, failure to appear.
JAMES PELLEGINE, Ukiah. Criminal threats.
PAUL PELOSI, Napa. DUI.*
PATRICIA STONE, Philo/Ukiah. Storing camping paraphernalia, petty theft, resisting.
GREGORY THOMPKINS, Ukiah. Vandalism.
MAYA WINEBRENNER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
*DUI ARREST OF NANCY PELOSI’S HUSBAND came after wine-country crash
NAPA, Calif. — The weekend arrest of Paul Pelosi, the husband of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, on suspicion of driving under the influence came after the Porsche he was driving was hit by another vehicle in Northern California’s wine country, authorities said.
Paul Pelosi, 82, was taken into custody shortly before midnight Saturday in Napa County, according to a sheriff’s office online booking report.
He was driving a 2021 Porsche into an intersection near the town of Yountville and was hit by a 2014 Jeep, the California Highway Patrol said in a statement late Sunday.
No injuries were reported, and the 48-year-old driver of the Jeep was not arrested.
Pelosi could face misdemeanor charges including driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher, the police booking report said. He was released early Sunday on $5,000 bail, records showed.
Drew Hammill, spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi, told The Associated Press on Sunday: “The Speaker will not be commenting on this private matter which occurred while she was on the East Coast.” A telephone message left Monday with Nancy Pelosi’s office seeking comment on the additional details in the highway patrol statement was not immediately returned.
Nancy Pelosi on Sunday delivered the commencement address at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Paul and Nancy Pelosi have been married since 1963.
UKRAINE, THURSDAY, JUNE 23
As Thursday, 23 June, draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:
European Union leaders approved Ukraine's candidacy to join the 27-nation bloc. Ukraine applied shortly after Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24. "Our future is together," tweeted European Council President Charles Michel. This first official step toward membership, agreed at a summit in Brussels, will be followed by a long process to reach a final decision on whether Ukraine can join the EU. That process is expected to take years. The EU leaders also approved Moldova's candidacy for membership.
The Pentagon announced an additional $450 million in security assistance for Ukraine, including four additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. Ukraine considers the long-range weapon system critical in beating back Russian forces. This latest wave of security assistance comes on top of $1 billion in weaponry recently announced by the White House.
Russia's military continues to grind away at Ukrainian defenses in the east, pushing toward the eastern city of Lysychansk, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry. Ukrainian regional authorities are carrying out evacuation and humanitarian aid missions every day in the embattled city. There's also been an uptick in attacks in the north, with local military officials reporting about 100 incidents of Russian shelling in the Sumy and Kharkiv areas and cross-border shelling in the Chernihiv region. Russia initially attacked all of these places at the start of its invasion, before retreating in late March.
Ukraine began preliminary hearings for its first trial of a Russian soldier accused of rape during the invasion, but doesn't have the suspect in custody. Mikhail Romanov will be tried in absentia for charges of repeatedly raping a Ukrainian woman after he and another Russian soldier killed her husband in a village outside Kyiv in March. Reuters reports that prosecutors are investigating 50 other cases of sexual violence during reported since the war began in February. Experts say there are signs Russian forces have used rape as a war weapon.
Nike is officially exiting Russia, joining other marquee businesses to have done so, including McDonald's, Starbucks and Ikea. Back in March, Nike said it would suspend operations in Russia. Now its Russian website says it and the mobile app will no longer be accessible in Russia, and Nike stores will not reopen. Nike had previously said Russia and Ukraine together accounted for less than 1% of its revenue, but even symbolically, its departure from Russia marks the exit of one of the biggest global brands.
In an updated assessment, UNESCO raised the number of Ukrainian heritage sites damaged in the war to 152. Of that total, nearly half are religious buildings. The rest include historical buildings, monuments, cultural centers, museums and libraries. Most of the damaged sites are located in the Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kyiv regions. Ukraine is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites but none have been damaged so far, UNESCO says. The destruction of heritage sites is considered a war crime.
THE BEST BASKETBALL OF HIS LIFE
by Benjamin Markovits
There was an argument heading into this year’s NBA Finals – one of the ways the media try to drum up interest in a series is by starting arguments – about whether Stephen Curry needed to win a Finals MVP (most valuable player) to fill out his resumé. The Golden State Warriors’ star player had won everything else: scoring titles, regular season MVPs (back to back), three NBA titles ... but his Finals record still had a hole in it.
His teammate Andre Iguodala won the MVP during Golden State’s first championship run in 2015, partly for defending against the best player in the world, LeBron James; and Curry’s next two titles were complicated by the fact that Golden State (after losing to LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016) had added to their roster the superstar Kevin Durant, who was twice named Finals MVP over Curry.
Then Durant got hurt and left for Brooklyn, and the Warriors spent two years in the wilderness before returning this year, improbably, to another Finals, against the younger, more athletic – and probably more talented – Boston Celtics.
The view among sensible journalists was that Curry had nothing left to prove, that it was insulting even to ask the question. He had already been crowned the greatest shooter in history (for lots of measurable reasons) and was widely acknowledged to have done more than any other player of his generation to change the way the sport is played, by ushering in the three-point revolution. His legacy (basketball writers talk a lot about legacy) seemed set. But the sensible view was also wrong, and following Curry’s amazing performance in this year’s Finals, even those sensible journalists are beginning to talk about him a little differently.
Every year the NBA playoffs begin in the middle of April and finish toward the end of June, and in that time all kinds of established reputations get visibly recalibrated. Something similar happens for the world’s best strikers during a football World Cup, but the sample sizes remain relatively small (seven games at most), and the element of luck – that group-stage hat trick against a third-tier team – makes chasing the Golden Boot more like riding a wave than a carefully controlled experiment into player value.
The same holds true for any sport whose tournaments involve a knock-out stage: Champions League, FA Cup, Cricket World Cup etc. But the NBA playoffs are decided by a succession of seven-game series. And basketball, of all team sports (with the possible exception of cricket), is the one in which an individual player has the most scope to determine the outcome. Luck still plays a part, mostly in the form of injuries, but broadly speaking, if your star is better than the other team’s star, he should be able to prove it.
This year Curry proved it, and did so against the best defense in the league. The gap between the Boston Celtics’ defensive rating and that of the second-placed Phoenix Suns was roughly the same as the gap between the Suns and the team in eleventh place. Coming into the playoffs, Durant was seen as the most unstoppable scorer in the world – as the guy who could get (and make) whatever shot he wanted, whenever he wanted it.
That changed when Durant’s Nets faced Boston in the first round, and the Celtics shut him down on their way to a four-nil series sweep. Boston are long and fast and connected – they threw a lot of bodies at Durant, and in the pressure of the moment, his game broke down. He made fewer than 40 per cent of his shots and turned the ball over five times a game. The Celtics tried the same thing against Curry in the Finals and couldn’t catch him.
Basketball writers talk about the ‘gravity’ Curry exerts, because he can shoot from anywhere and never stops moving – the defense has to scramble after him as if it were a game of tag in the playground. But they also use ‘gravity’ to quantify the way he helps his team win even on his bad days, when the raw numbers don’t quite add up. In this year’s Finals the numbers all added up. He averaged over 31 points a game, shot almost 44 per cent from outside the three-point arc, and produced probably the greatest performance of his career, given the stakes, when his team was down 2-1 in the series and nobody else could score.
As the clock wound down in game six, with the series all but over, you could see Curry walking and smiling with his hands over his head, holding back tears. Two years ago, riddled with injuries, the Warriors had the worst record in the league. Now they’re champions again. But Curry also knew that something personal had shifted in the past two weeks. He had played some of the best basketball of his life at the moment when it mattered most, and you could almost see him absorbing this slightly altered new fact about himself – he was even better than we thought.
(London Review of Books)
‘GAS PRICE GOUGING’ RELIEF PROMISED
by Eliyahu Kamisher
Democratic lawmakers in the State Assembly announced a probe into California’s oil and gas market on Monday, saying profiteering in the industry is partially behind the state’s record high gas prices that are now hovering around $6.40 a gallon.
The oil industry has a “foot on our necks and a hand in our pockets,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said during a news conference announcing a committee to investigate the industry’s pricing practices.
“These are companies that are obviously ripping off California consumers and we need to ask tough questions about them and their business practices,” he said.
Legislators are scrambling to provide drivers with some relief from fuel costs that are set to tick higher by a few cents per gallon on July 1 due to an inflation-related tax increase. But details on when the committee will first meet or if it plans to compel witnesses and documents remain sparse. Joel Price, spokesperson for committee chair Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks, said members have yet to meet or establish a focus for their work.
The Legislature is also entering a one-month summer recess in July and it is unclear if the committee will hold hearings before August.
The committee comes as California gas prices have shot up 37% since the start of the year to $6.40 a gallon — $1.40 higher than the national average, according to AAA. Meanwhile, oil industry giants are reporting record profits as Russia’s war in Ukraine spiked the cost of crude oil to over $100 a barrel.
“As legislators, we owe it to our constituents to answer the question on everybody’s mind: Why do gas prices continue to rise?” said Irwin, the committee chair.
Lawmakers are under intense pressure from constituents to respond to the state’s gas prices, which are crushing drivers with $100 fill-ups. Democrats are hammering out a plan to send billions of dollars in payments back to Californians in ongoing budget negotiations. Meanwhile, state Republicans, who are a minority in the Legislature, have been calling on Democrats to immediately suspend the state’s 51-cent gas tax to bring drivers quicker relief at the pump.
“Enough with the political antics, suspend the gas tax now,” Republican Vince Fong, who sits on the Assembly’s budget committee, said in a statement on Monday.
President Joe Biden also said Monday that he will decide by the end of the week whether to order a holiday on the federal gasoline tax, possibly saving U.S. consumers as much as 18.4 cents a gallon.
Politicians have a long history of pushing for gas price investigations that yield little results. In 2012 Sen. Dianne Feinstein called on the Federal Trade Commission to probe the state’s surging fuel costs and she reiterated that demand in April of this year. Gov. Gavin Newsom also asked the attorney general to look into price fixing in the industry in 2019.
“Time after time, both at state and federal level, they always find the industry is acting responsibly,” said Kevin Slagle with the Western States Petroleum Association, an oil industry trade association. He criticized the announcement as a “political stunt press conference.”
Severin Borenstein, an energy economist at UC Berkeley, applauded the formation of a select committee. He said lawmakers should focus on the impact of California’s concentrated oil refinery industry, which is largely controlled by a handful of companies, including Chevron, Marathon Petroleum, and PBF Energy.
“There’s a lot of political hay to make vilifying the oil companies instead of a more nuanced view that we need,” said Severin Borenstein, an energy economist at UC Berkeley who studies gas prices.
“Our refinery market is pretty separate from the rest of the country because we use a cleaner-burning blend of gasoline that most refineries can’t make,” added Borenstein. “There are refiners producing a quarter of the entire market — and when you’re that big, you can move the market.”
California’s high gas costs are mostly explained by the state’s high taxes that fund roadway projects, environmental programs aimed at combatting climate change, and the special fuel blend that reduces air pollution. In total, taxes and fees drive costs higher by $1.19 per gallon, according to one estimate. But for years there has also been a “mystery surcharge” that drives prices about 30 to 40 cents higher after accounting for the state fees.
The mystery surcharge took off in 2015 when gas prices spiked in the aftermath of a Torrance oil refinery explosion, according to Borenstein. Before the blast, the unaccounted-for difference in California prices versus the national average was about 2 cents, but afterward, it ballooned to over 40 cents and it has remained high ever since.
Gas stations are also free to set prices as they wish, unless there is a state of emergency covering fuel costs, according to the state attorney general office. The highest gas prices in the country are located at a Mendocino Chevron charging $9.63 a gallon. These prices are over $3 higher than California’s statewide average.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
THE FUTURE OF YELLOWSTONE: an Open Letter to Park Superintendent, Cameron Sholly
TO: Mr. Cameron Sholly, Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park
PO Box 168
Yellowstone (Mammoth) WY 82190-0168
Dear Mr. Sholly;
We write with a request and the intent of providing a citizens and professional “push”.
We have walked and backpacked, watched and studied wildlife, and worked in Yellowstone, as citizens and professionals, beginning in the 1970’s and continuing today.
You (we) have a rare opportunity to reclaim the ecological integrity of Gardiner Canyon to not ever rebuild the road through the canyon permanently reroute traffic (Gardiner to Mammoth) to the west onto a rebuilt Old Gardiner Road, as is being considered, and institute a formal assessment process to verify the value of this transfer.
Everyone knows the Gardner River Canyon from the Boiling River to Gardiner is a unique ecological landscape for Yellowstone. It has been severely compromised by the road for a very long time. Now we – you – Yellowstone – Americans – have a rare opportunity to correct that early mistake.
Close the road permanently at Rescue Creek on the north and at the Lava Creek Trail head in the south. This would, additionally, relieve over use of the Boiling River site. Begrudgingly, knowing you will still suffer great ecological loss to the immediate area, you could close it at the parking lot for the Boiling River hot springs.
Save what? $100 million dollars in rebuild costs, plus perhaps another $100 million over the next ten years in repair / maintenance / rebuild costs for future flood events?
But even this pales in significance against the ecological advantages of a canyon without a paved road and (at times) thousands of vehicles daily polluting the air and the silence and security of this canyon.
Leave the road alone; leave the bridges there. Let the whole mess stand as a testament to human folly exposed by this flood. Remove the asphalt where you can readily access it, and return the road bed to dirt.
Of course, the Old Gardiner road will have to be rebuilt, and some reconfiguration of the entry Kiosk area at Gardiner will be required, and perhaps limited reconfiguration of the descent road into Mammoth (possibly near the courthouse?).
But the vast upgrade in the ecological well being of the Gardiner Canyon will have hugely beneficial consequences for wildlife, the river, the canyon, the Park itself, even the Park system, and park visitors who might want to walk. The immediate beneficiaries will be bighorn sheep reclaiming and increasing use of the canyon, bison, elk, mule deer, quite possibly even the increased presence of bears and wolves in this special place. And of course the trout population. Not only will the lives of individual animals be improved, but long term viability of these populations will be enhanced. No small achievement in todays world!
Eventually, you/the park might want to consider a hiking/walking trail along the old road bed (with some swinging bridges? ). One cannot deny that it would be an exceptional walking attraction, providing an unparalleled opportunity for (mostly) one way movement from Lava Creek parking lot to the Rescue Creek lot.
A cautionary note, however; this would substantially degrade the expected gains in ecological integrity, but it would still be a vast upgrade from todays motorized, mechanized transportation corridor.
We close by asking you to act immediately – and you have spoken of heading in this direction also – to begin the rebuild and transformation of the old Gardiner Road to being the permanent and only vehicle corridor from Gardiner to Mammoth.
Brian Horjesi, Ecologist, Penticton, B.C.
George Wuerthner, Ecologist, Livingston, Montana
Mike Bader, Natural Resource Consultant, Seasonal Ranger, Yellowstone National Park 1984-1988, Missoula, Montana
Barrie Gilbert, Senior scientist (retired), Dept. of Wildlife Resources, Utah Sate Univ., Logan, UT
(Bill Wolfe writes about politics and the environment at Wolfnotes.)
REVIVING THE BRACERO PROGRAM IS THE WRONG ANSWER FOR WORKERS
by David Bacon
FOR THE CURIOUS: By far the biggest California wildfire burning as of Thursday morning statewide was tearing through a swath of Kern County Thursday morning, Cal Fire announced. The blaze, dubbed the Thunder Fire, sparked on Wednesday morning and has since burned a total of 2,300 acres as of Thursday morning. Another fire is burning in the same general area of San Berdoo.
Good evening everyone, Tonight I am in the common room at the Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California, listening to Krishna bhajans on YouTube, and looking forward to my dental appointment at Lakewood Dental Clinic in Windsor, California near Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, where fillings are scheduled tomorrow which will be paid for by the insurance. The only other exciting upcoming event, is a dental appointment for deep cleaning at Hillside Dental Clinic in Ukiah, California on June 29th at 10AM.
Forgive me if you do not believe that this is sufficiently exciting. I could tell you what I had for lunch, which was followed by a trip to the Ukiah Public Library where I read the last two issues of the New York Times. Email me if you wish to know what I had for lunch at Super Taco.
Beyond June, I am available for anything that is spiritually sourced. Do not hesitate to contact me, offer me a mundane situation (id est, a place to sleep and perhaps food), and we could then be the most amazing doing the most incredible. Your concept of the Divine Absolute is backing this up! 😁
Craig Louis Stehr
THE JANUARY 6 HEARINGS are damning. But Republicans don’t care
by Robert Reich
Big corporations continue to write fat checks to big lie candidates. In April alone (the last month for which data is available) Fortune 500 companies and trade organizations gave more than $1.4m to members of Congress who voted not to certify the election results, according to an analysis by the transparency group Accountable.US. AT&T led the pack, giving $95,000 to election objectors.
Money from corporations like Boeing, Koch Industries, Home Depot, FedEx, UPS and General Dynamics continues to flow to politicians who reject the 2020 election results based on the big lie, according to a tally kept by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, known as Crew.
In his closing statement before the January 6 committee, former US appellate court judge J Michael Luttig — one of the most conservative judges in the federal system, whom George W Bush passed over for the supreme court because Bush thought him too conservative — called Trump and his allies and supporters “a clear and present danger to American democracy.”
THE BIG LIE
Letter to the Editor
The Texas Republican Party just approved platform planks rejecting “the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election;” rejecting Biden as president; requiring students “to learn about the dignity of the preborn human” and that life begins at fertilization; getting rid of the constitutional power to levy income taxes; rejecting the Equal Rights Amendment; returning Christianity to schools and government; ending all gun safety measures; requiring colleges to teach “free-market liberty principles;” defending capital punishment; ending gay marriage; withdrawing from the UN; protecting Confederate monuments; and calling for a state vote to determine if Texas should secede.
Can you believe it? And this is not from a minor outlier; Texas is our second most populous state and probably has the largest Republicans party in the nation. This is where the GOP is today. How can any modern, thinking person support such a party?
THE MUSKET AND THE NOODLE STALL: A Strategic Comparison
"In big-chunk terms, in the world today we see a contest between the Chinese economy and the American military, between Chinese dynamism and American coercion. Sure, China has a military and the US has an economy. Yet the emphasis, and spirit are as described.
The United States gives priority to the military over civilian economy, with military spending increasing at the expense of internal infrastructure and social needs. By contrast, China focuses on infrastructure within and trade without. I wonder whether Americans are aware of the extent of this. And its likely consequences.
To read the Asian-based press—Asia Times, Nikkei Asia, the South China Morning Post, the Global Times, and various tech sites—is to see a constant stream of infrastructure projects in China and advancing trade outside. As perhaps many know China promotes the Belt and Road Initiative, a massive program to connect all of Eurasia, as well as Africa and Latin America in a huge trade zone connected by rail, highways, fiber optics, maritime links, and commercial treaties. If completed it will dwarf the United States.
China, a rising technological center, leads the world in civil engineering, manufacturing, Five G, trade, and clearly intends to maintain the lead. All power ultimately rests on economic power. Below a few news stories more or less randomly chosen from around the web. Can you think of American equivalents?” - Fred Reed