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CONDITIONS WILL GRADUALLY WARM AND DRY through the week with interior valleys returning to the upper 80s. Meanwhile, the coastal marine layer is expected to thin, likely bringing some afternoon clearing today or tomorrow. Stronger heating is on track for the weekend. (NWS)
LOW JUROR TURNOUT BECOMING MAJOR ISSUE FOR COURTS
by Mike Geniella
About one in three Mendocino County residents summoned for possible jury duty are failing to show up.
Court statistics show that more than 12,000 people failed to appear at the County courthouse during the past year. They neither sought postponements nor asked to be excused. They just did not appear.
“It is a disturbingly high percentage,” said Kim Turner, Court Executive for the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Mendocino County is not an exception to a statewide trend. Trial court functions everywhere have been disrupted during Covid pandemic related times, but the degree of failure to appear among locals is startling, according to Turner.
“Our rate of failure to appear jumped to 33% for the fiscal year that just ended,” said Turner. In past years, that rate hovered between 20-25 percent.
Turner said the lack of jurors is hampering the jury selection process and is slowing down the ability to conduct civil and criminal trials in a timely manner.
Presiding Judge Jeanine Nadel said she worries about a shift away from citizens accepting a traditional civic duty.
“Jurors are absolutely essential to the process and without their full engagement, our justice system could come to a grinding halt,” said Nadel.
Major local criminal trials are experiencing delays.
In late June, for example, the scheduled trial of the last of six defendants in a high profile 2020 Covelo Dix murder case was delayed because not enough potential jurors responded for jury selection to move ahead.
The case was put on hold while the available of witnesses in the future could be checked. Fortunately, in the meantime a plea agreement was reached with the last defendant in the case and a trial was averted.
The situation is similar in courts trying civil cases.
“We are juggling the best we can, including moving potential jurors who show up for one planned panel to another,” said Turner.
The Covid pandemic seriously interrupted court functions statewide beginning in 2020. For a period, trials were delayed because of potential health risks from convening large panels of potential jurors, and the stress on court staff, lawyers, cops, spectators, and others involved in court proceedings.
Courts adopted new juror strategies as the pandemic concerns eased, and for a time they worked.
Turner said oddly in Mendocino County the failure to appear rate dropped to just nine percent during the worst of that era.
“People kept showing up, and we were able to function pretty smoothly even with trial delays,” she said.
Recent court statistics provided by Turner show that 40,179 jury summonses were mailed to eligible county residents in 2020-21 compared to 37,500 in 2021-22.
Yet only 3,584 people failed to show up in 2020-21 compared to a sharp increase to 12,373 in 2021-22 (July of 2021 to June of 2022).
In reality, only a small number of potential jurors summoned end up being sworn in to serve during court trials. Thousands of potential jurors are typically excused for hardship (medical, financial, care for child or dependent adult, no transportation, and other reasons) or disqualified because they do not meet age, residency, citizenship, and other requirements.
Still, large numbers of potential jurors are needed for questioning by judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys before a dozen plus alternates are selected to decide the outcome of individual criminal and civil cases.
“The simple fact is if we don’t have enough potential jurors for the process, the entire system gets thrown off,” said Turner.
There are no clear answers to why so many residents are now ignoring jury summons.
Turner said there are always economic issues at play, especially in inflationary times.
“I was told recently by a coast resident that he could not afford to drive to and from Ukiah daily because of the current gas prices,” said Turner. Potential jurors receive token reimbursements for their milage, and loss of wages if they are employed.
Still, residents need to show up and explain the difficulties of their serving to presiding trial judges, said Turner.
“We accommodate people the best we can but to not show up at all is a disservice all the way around,” said Turner.
The courts have the power to order show cause hearings for no shows. “We may have to do that to understand why people are choosing to ignore this basic civic responsibility. We have to understand what is behind this troubling trend,” said Turner.
FLYNN CREEK CIRCUS: Everyone is safe but we have been delayed for our opening night in Sausalito.
If you already have tickets you have been contacted to receive a refund or transfer to a new showtime. THE SHOW WILL GO ON for all other scheduled performances as well as kids camp. Thank you for your patience, we hope to see you at the big top.
ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE CHIEF’S REPORT (as of June 13, 2022)
Ambulance Staffing Issue: We have developed and vetted the protocols for the EMSO Duty Officer through the Emergency Services Committee. They are in the reading file for your reference. Clay has reached out to the EMS group for interested volunteers. Those who fit the description will be invited to July’s officer meeting where we will be training the fire and EMS duty officers on the new system and protocols. $35,000 has been temporally moved from the fire branch to the EMS branch to cover this new program in anticipation that a different EMS revenue source will be identified and the funding can go back to the fire branch.
Lomita Discussion: AVFD requested Andrew Schouten, our EMS attorney, for some basic Lomita Court Case of 1986 talking points to be used in the discussion with the County. Schouten developed these taking points and are attached to this Chiefs Report. If the JPA comes to fruition in future years, it appears clear through these basic points that the County has some responsibility in EMS services. Whether it is a general fund, JPA, Cannabis tax revenues, or other, Anderson Valley community should not hold the entire financial responsibility on its own. A minimal augmentation to ensure EMS services are provided to our residents is a reasonable and small request that should be granted.
Yorkville Standpipe: After a very productive workday from several volunteers, we successfully installed 840 feet of 3” PVC and 70 feet of 3” galvanized pipe to feed a standpipe serving downtown Yorkville. The system is fed from 9000 gallons of dedicated water storage in tanks approximate 100 feet in elevation from the standpipe. The location has more room to add tanks if we want to down the line. I will run a GPM test once we have the tanks full and a reliable resupply to backfill any water used in the test.
Yorkville Fire House: After many years of fundraising by the YCBA and over a year of planning, the construction for the new Yorkville Station has finally broke ground. The earth work is being completed now and Crane of Ukiah will do a complete buildup after that. This building will replace the existing two bay structure that barely fits the current apparatus and will allow housing for four rigs; Water tender, wildland engine, structure engine, and a quick attack.
Recruitment Drive: This month we had an orientation training for five new recruits/ cadets. Three of them are high school students (two are in the internship program) and the other two are both Boonville Residents. The two Boonville residents are both younger and are within minutes of the station. All five recruits seem motivated and will add to Boonville’s response capabilities. This is welcoming news to Boonville Station because it runs the most calls with the lightest volunteer availability, especially at night.
More Fire Boxes: A new round of fire boxes and maps are being installed around the district. This next round should finalize the boxes for the district. Since last year, Colin Wilson has been able to improve the existing maps into a more user-friendly version and also increase the physical size to reduce the number of maps and possible confusion. These boxes and maps will undoubtedly assist fire and law enforcement in the event of a fast-moving incident.
(AV Fire Chief Andres Avila)
* * *
WATER PROJECT UPDATE (Presented by Board Chair Valerie Hanelt): The Planning Grants for both Drinking Water and Clean Water [now up to over $1 million] are being audited by the State Water Board Audit division. It is an extensive review.
Clean Water: we are working with the State Water Board to develop an offer to the owner of Valley Views to purchase the entire 20 acres [in downtown Boonville].
Drinking Water: The AV School District wants to resolve their current fire suppression issues at the Elementary School before they consider whether or not to join the Drinking Water Project.
FOR THE MERCHANTS IN FORT BRAGG: The City of Fort Bragg is hosting the next quarterly downtown merchant meeting this coming Saturday morning, July 9th, 2022 from 9 am to 11 am at Town Hall, 363 N. Main Street. This is a great opportunity to join the conversation and participate in downtown revitalization efforts, such as walking tours, murals, and learn about city council’s recent water/sewer capacity fee waiver.
OPEN MIC AT LARRY SPRING
Open Mic back by popular demand! This Saturday July 9, Karlyn DeSteno returns as host of Open Mic in Spring Commons! 5-8 PM. Enter through the gates beside 225 E Redwood Ave, Fort Bragg. Bring your songs, poems, comedy, stories!
— Anne Maureen McKeating, Executive Director, 707 962 3131, <email@example.com>
FRIDAY AT THE BEER PARK
DJ Aline, a local favorite, will be bringing her fun dance beats to Anderson Valley Brewing Company this Saturday July 9th from 430-730pm. Come have a blast with us at our beautiful outdoor, family friendly venue.
MANCHESTER CAT POISONINGS?
Posting for a two-legged friend, alas.
Heads up, y'all!
Last Friday my cat Shlomo died. I am almost certain he was poisoned. He was healthy, became lethargic and then a few days later suddenly died. Another cat of mine, Orange Julius, died in January, after having the same symptoms, and died suddenly.
I spoke with the Humane Society in Fort Bragg, and with Mendocino Animal Control. They suggested that I should talk with my neighbors and post a warning on social media.
I live in Manchester, on Crispin Road about a third of a mile from Highway 1. It was suggested that the cats could have consumed poisoned bait that was set out for predators that posed a risk for livestock, antifreeze (ethylene glycol) or a rodent that had been poisoned with a rodenticide. I think that the latter is unlikely, because Shlomo was an 11 year old rescue, and all his teeth had been extracted by the Humane Society.
The cats seemed fine when they returned home after being outside for the last time. In retrospect, they weren’t eating much, and were sleeping more than usual and then they suddenly became very weak and quickly died, They were not vomiting, didn’t have diarrhea, seizures or any other symptom often associated with poisoning.
Animal Control suggested that cats be kept inside, dogs be confined to their property and if animals start showing signs of poisoning a Vet be contacted immediately. There are also pet poison hot lines available on the Internet.
LITTLE RIVER MUSEUM
We’re Open: Little River Museum is open summer weekends from 11-4, FREE admission.
See our Old West Cowboy exhibit by Janet Eklund and Bird Houses by local creator Stella Wells. Complete map of the Little River Cemetery and local genealogy records, see our new local authors library, enjoy our local wildlife exhibit, and listen to a recording of the spoken Pomo language with free map of local Pomo trails.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS? Meridan Clan writes, “Small pond in Redwood Valley, past 15-20 years, 50-100 red-winged-black-birds spend most of March-April. Same this year. As always, happy to see and hear them!”
HEAVENLY VISTAS: Today’s travel tip from the New York Times comes from Charlotte Drury, who recommends the California coast along Humboldt and Mendocino Counties…
“I recently revisited the Lost Coast for some beach camping and exploring. I’ve traveled all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe and there is nowhere that I’ve seen a clearer view of the Milky Way. I traveled to Iceland to see stars like this over a black sand beach and it turns out that the best spot for both those things was right here in my home state!”
THE OTHER DROUGHT
by Mark Scaramella
State Senator Mike McGuire was in Mendocino County this week for a rather pathetic photo op.
On his facebook page McGuire posted: “A big water storage project is coming to the community of Mendocino - 500k gallon water storage tank and new water wells! This has been a 100% partnership between the District and the State with nearly $5 million in State drought relief funds being invested. Grateful for the coordinating meeting with Supervisor Williams, the Mendocino Community Services District, Mendocino Unified School District and the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Dept. A lot more work and information ahead!”
All the comments on McGuire’s own facebook page were irrationally jubilant.
But on Mendocino News Plus there was some skepticism.
Mendo resident Deirdre Lamb quickly commented: “I went to a recent water meeting, MCCSD Director Ryan Rhoades says it's going to take 2-3 years to install.”
Mendo resident Skip Taube asked: “Why will it take 5 YEARS to get permits to begin building the tank if this is emergency funding?”
Former Fifth District Supervisorial Candidate John Redding: “This project, needed to be sure, is the result of begging the state for a few crumbs. Not a sustainable model. Moreover, it will take 5 years to get permitted and completed and then — the water will be used as a last resort. The next to last resort is running out of water to buy. This is what passes for progress here. Sigh.”
There were no responses to these comments.
Back in March after McGuire and Williams first announced this grant award with great fanfare, local reporter Michelle Blackwell provided some additional details: “The grant will allow the Mendocino Water District to begin the necessary planning processes that will be required to build a 500,000-gallon storage tank for emergency water supplies. These supplies can be used in times of drought and for fire suppression. … Two new wells will be drilled to fill the larger emergency tank during the rainy season when water is abundant. It would then be cycled through the school district systems to prevent it from becoming stale. During drought, the 500,000 gallons would be able to mitigate the empty wells and expensive refills district residents faced during the summer and fall of 2021. … Although District Manager Rhodes estimates it will take five years to break ground, it’s a step toward self-sufficiency. The five-year timeline assumes a full CEQA process as well as additional reviews that will likely be required by the Coastal Commission and the State.”
We commented at the time: “If State Senator McGuire really wanted to help with the drought problem he would have written some environmental review waivers into the grant language — can’t we skip the EIR for a tank and some wells and plumbing to help the drought problem now? It’s an “emergency” after all — so that the District could begin construction of the tank on an emergency basis. Instead, we get a jubilant but detail free press release from McGuire and a forwarding brag from Supervisor Williams about how wonderful this big grant is. Then we have to wait until a local reporter quietly points out that they don’t even expect to ‘break ground’ on the ‘emergency’ project for at least five years, Thanks a lot, Mike and Ted. No rush; take your time.”
This $5 million project seems to be one component of the County’s recent announcement that “the County” had received about $28 million in “drought relief” grant funding. We have been unable to figure out how they arrived at that figure or what it will allegedly fund because it’s all over the map and particulars are few and far between. (We do know that it does not include the Boonville Water/Wastewater project which the state has provided over $1 million in planning for.) We also know that very little of that $28 million is going to anything that the County initiated or will manage. Some of it is going to Fort Bragg which continues to develop helpful water projects (tanks, desalination of brackish water, the Summers Lane reservoir, system repairs and upgrades, etc.).
Mendo’s minimal “Water Agency” has a “drought funding” page which has no info on actual projects. It begins: “It's no secret that Mendocino County is in a historic drought and the County and local agencies are working hard to alleviate water shortages. But how is it all being paid for and how are we preparing for the future? For the past few months, local water suppliers have been developing projects to submit for emergency drought funding, both to help deliver water for immediate use and to implement projects for long-term resiliency. This page will host information for local agency partners about drought funding opportunities!”
When we asked the Water Agency a few months ago for a list of the “projects” that “local water suppliers have been developing,” they replied — a surprise to no one — that none have been developed or proposed or submitted for funding.
Even in a “drought emergency” California and Mendocino County can’t get out of their own way for the simplest of water projects. What kind of environmental impact would a tank and plumbing project in the town of Mendocino have that requires that full EIR and Coastal Development Permit processes?
In Boonville, the state paid for, among other things, a full environmental impact report as part of the $1 million-plus planning effort. That effort is now going on seven years long and they still have yet to propose an actual “project,” even with a local team of enthusiastic volunteers who have been bird-dogging it monthly. They polled locals, they polled a long laundry list of state agencies… Upshot, there’s no significant environmental impact, but it added years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to the project planning.
No wonder very few people supported the water segment sales tax proposal that Supervisors McGourty and Mulheren unsuccessfully pushed last month. Even if they got the money, the odds are that it wouldn’t fund any actual water projects, just more studies and grant applications and consultants and staff and lawyers and so forth. We understand that even some of the inland Cheap Water Mafia were unenthusiastic about throwing more money at trying to get state grants. The only idea they seem to have that’s even close to a “project” is raising Coyote Dam and even if they could get the millions of dollars worth of promises and grants involved in such a major project, it would take decades to do, at best. And these days, since the Cheap Water Mafia and everybody else has their pipes in Lake Mendocino as the drought deepens, the odds that Lake Mendocino would ever have enough water to fill a higher lake are very low.
Mendo should focus on conservation and small drinking water projects and stop pretending that pulling down state money for non-existent or decades off projects will do anybody any good in our lifetime.
PS. In McGuire’s facebook photo op pic, we couldn’t help noticing that there appears to be more glasses of water at the table than participants.
Join us on July 10th as we uncover the hidden talents and interests of some of our members. Find some like-minded members or discover a new interest. Social time before and during the demonstrations.
AV Village Monthly Gathering: Anderson Valley Village's Got Talent
Sunday, July 10th, 4 to 5:30 PM
Anderson Valley Senior Center, Refreshments served
Please RSVP with the coordinator - thank you!
Anica Williams, Cell: 707-684-9829, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOW ACCEPTING CLIENTS for the month of August, in BOONVILLE. I will be running a special on ALL PERSONAL TRAINING & GROUP TRAINING programs/packages for the entire month of July. Keep in mind, that it is a first come, first serve basis. Packages start as low as $200/month and include the following: Customized Meal Plan/Macros, Workout Program, Cardio Program, Weekly Check-Ins, Monthly Measurements, 24/7 Support, Mobile App.
If you’re from Anderson Valley please share this to your feed and share with your friends and families. The Valley is in need of change and we’re going to do just that.
FOX NEWS' HYSTERIC Tucker Carlson has blamed the Highland Park mass shooting on women.
“AUTHORITIES in their lives, mostly women, never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege. You are male, you are privileged. Imagine that, and try and imagine an unhealthier, unhappier life than that. So a lot of young men in America are going nuts,” Carlson said.
I THOUGHT it was white males who had all the privilege but, as a liberal, and if I remember my communism accurately, social class noses out race — just barely — as the Big, Basic Decider.
The class structure, which we are not taught in school in this supposedly class-less society goes like this, with most people in the working-class as defined as the people who work regular hours for wages. Then there's the middleclass, presently disappearing, who also work for slightly higher wages. Both of these classes are, as we're often told as if it's God's will, a pay check away from homelessness. Above them, is a much smaller upper middleclass of the highly educated professional classes — managers, judges, medical doctors, lawyer, etc. — who identify with the ruling class and run the social-economic system for the truly rich, that small minority of people who have lots and lots of money and fund the two beholden political parties. Above them are the oligarchs, about 500 of them in the United States, who also fund the two political parties. The two top classes of the super-rich run the rest of us like the Spaniards run the bulls at Pamplona, a fact of American life that doesn't seem to be widely known, as demonstrated in the following two anecdotes.
WITHOUT MENTIONING his name, but a guy widely associated with dead canines, called up the other day to talk about an epistolary exchange he'd just had with a mutual acquaintance. Dead Canine described his adversary as “One of them green Marxist communists, way out there on the left.” In living fact, the adversary is a tame liberal Democrat of the ubiquitous Mendo type. (cf the Board of Supervisors, active Democrats, KZYX, public ed staff, the Superior Court, and every lawyers in the county except Al Kubanis.)
ANOTHER CALLER told me a very interesting story, at the end of which he asked, “You aren't one of those liberal Marxist communist-socialists, are you?” I laughed and replied, “Yeah, I'm in that mix for sure.” Long pause, then he said he'd let me know if he wanted me to write up his tale of woe, which I assured him I wouldn't but… In broad outline with no names, here's what happened.
HE WORKS a night shift that gets him home around 3am. One night he arrives at home to find his truck trashed and several of his windows busted out. Inside, his house is also a ransacked mass of destruction and a black man is asleep on his couch. He wakes the black man up. The intruder jumps up and attacks the homeowner, hitting him hard enough to briefly knock him out. The homeowner, still stunned, but fighting for his life, produces a gun and shoots the black man several times in the stomach. The black man is hauled off to Adventist Hospital where he soon recovers enough to be charged with many varieties of felonies which, after processing him through the Mendo legal system, amount to a few months in the county jail and probation. The homeowner is out more than $30,000 with no hope of ever seeing a penny of restitution. The victim of this travesty understandably suspects the local legal apparatus of extreme political correctness in letting the black lunatic slide. The loon is not certifiably nuts but was under the influence of whatever the night he randomly destroyed his victim's property, and might well have also destroyed the victim if the victim hadn't been armed. The perp had simply wandered in off the street. If he'd landed in a home whose occupants were less able to defend themselves…
THE VELVET BANDIT RETURNS To Her Hometown Of Willits To Sprinkle Joy And Make Political Points
by Matt LaFever
The Velvet Bandit stalks the Highway 101 corridor looking for her next victim. Using the anonymity of modernity, where the average citizen is too busy “staring at their phones,” in broad daylight, the Velvet Bandit will use wallpaper adhesive and a paintbrush to plaster her amusing and lively paintings for the community to see.
The Velvet Bandit, Mendocino County’s homegrown street artist, has once again adorned some of Willits’s drab municipal surfaces with her vibrant paste-ups.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Velvet told us she returned to her childhood home of Willits to spend time with family and in true guerilla artist fashion blast her art around town for the citizens of Willits to enjoy.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of the long-standing Roe v. Wade decision, Velvet’s work has leaned into the national conversation. In a punny roast, only the Velvet Bandit can pull off, one of her paste-ups depicted a hardshell taco emblazoned with: “I’ve had crunch wraps more supreme than this court.”
Velvet told us, “Being a mom of a teen daughter and having a niece who is 19, I find it incomprehensible that they now have less rights over their own body than I have had my entire life up until this point. They’re outraged and saddened over this ruling, as am I.” She will use her art to tell the world advocates of reproductive rights “will not go quietly and that we’re in this fight together.”
One particular paste-up had special significance for Velvet, her painting of sweet pea flowers which she said are pasted at the “bottom of Sherwood Road, the road I grew up on.” She painted them “in loving memory of my mom. They were her favorite flower.”
Putting her money where her mouth is, Velvet told us 10% of all the sales on her website are being donated to states that have been “immediately impacted by the abortion ban.”
The Velvet Bandit works during the day as a school lunch lady. In her off hours, she contemplates ways to spread joy and evoke thought with her paste-ups, a medium that involves painting her images at her home studio and then using wheatpaste to adhere her art to banal municipal surfaces.
Her art pops with bright, vivid colors and the use of pop culture to draw the eye and beautify public spaces. This aesthetic stands in contrast to the many dark and gritty street artists that have popularized the genre.
Velvet’s progressive political beliefs also inform her art with commentary on COVID-19, Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, and reproductive rights sprinkled throughout her pieces. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez took Velvet’s prominence to new heights when she wore a dress adorned with the words “Tax the Rich” in a font exactly like Velvet had inscribed on some of her art.
She has told us in past interviews about Mendocino County’s unique ethos and its influence on her art: “My art tries to be fun and give good vibes. That’s what Mendo means to me.”
Velvet’s influence and vision have continued to grow in the street art world. Recently, she was interviewed by a university-produced podcast about the work she created in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Parts of that interview and her art will be included in a college textbook, which she said is the “biggest honor I’ve received yet!!!”
Next week, she will be attending a lunch lady convention. “But after I return, I’ll be working hard on getting things ready for my art show coming up at Moonlight Brewing Company in August,” she said. “Never a dull moment for the Bandit, I tell you what.”
THE PEOPLE MAKING AMERICA WHAT IT IS TODAY, MENDO CHAPTER
Coast Democratic Club Election Celebration July 7, 5-7 PM
Celebrate the Primary Election Results and Get to Work on the Midterms
Thursday, July 7, 5 - 7 PM, Caspar Community Center - outdoors - Bring lawn chairs - picnic tables & benches are available
Refreshments hosted by Coast Dems
Join us with Supervisor Ted Williams, Nicole Glentzer, newly elected County Superintendent of Schools
Work to Hold the House thru CA, Pickup Postcards with Pro-Choice Message
- Welcome— Karen Bowers, Club Chair
- 5 — 5:30 Celebratory Toast — Election results — volunteer work
- Ted Williams, re-elected County Supervisor, District 5
- Nicole Glentzer — elected County Superintendent of Schools
- 5:30-6:30 Proposed Club Member Actions
The following action items are recommended to Club by vote of the Leadership Team at their meeting June 30.
- Support 1/4-cent sales tax for funding Fire Prevention/Fire Districts
- Request Board of Supervisors adopt Resolution in Support of Women’s Reproductive Health Access in Mendocino County
- Hold the House through California— Lee Finney
- Distribute Postcards for CA. Congressional races — Josh Harder
- Local Candidate Election Reports Mendocino Coast Healthcare District Board — Karen
- Fort Bragg City Council Elections - Jane
- 6:30 — 7 pm Business Meeting
- Financial Report — Jim Havlena
- Proposed Budget for 2022 Election Work
- Membership Report — Lee Finney
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 6, 2022
VICTOR BELTRAN-CHIVEZ, Willits. DUI.
EMILY CHRISTOPHER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.
AMBER FRENCH, Ukiah. Battery.
SKYLER GOODWIN, Willits. Domestic battery, assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, criminal threats.
ANDREW HALAS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
JONATHAN HENDERSON, Hopland. Failure to appear.
JOSH HILL, Willits. Unspecified charges.
KEISHA HOAGLIN, Covelo. Assault weapon, felon-addict with firearm, controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, short-barreled rifle, false personation of another.
HARMONY HUTCHINS, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, disobeying court order, failure to appear.
WILLIAM KIDD IV, Ukiah. Controlled substance/narcotics for sale, probation revocation.
JEREMIAH MCOSKER, Ukiah. County parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
OSUALDO ROSALES-VEVEROS, Lakeport/Ukiah. DUI.
FABIAN ROSALES-REYES, Ukiah. Parole violation.
GIOVANNI STOLL, Laytonville. Failure to appear.
GREGORY THOMPKINS, Ukiah. Trespassing.
ADAM VASQUEZ, Hopland. Probation revocation.
TOBIAS WOOD, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, bringing controlled substance into jail.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
This brief, decidedly non-commercial interruption brought to you on behalf of ripe summertime tomatoes, reason enough to set aside all petty grievances in favor of one of the true delights in god’s universe.
by Marilyn Davin
My mother, Lois Mae, was a clear-eyed registered nurse, trained at the tail end of World War Twice (my father’s moniker for the event) at a hospital in Tacoma, Washington. Today there is much glorification of that war─the last supposed “good war,” and other nostalgic remembrances, forever warped by time in an American imagination that enshrines valor and bravery at the apex of its ranking of patriotic virtues.
But back at home in the nation’s hospitals, including where my mother trained and worked, things were, by today’s litigious standards, an unregulated free-for-all. Abortion per se may have been illegal, but when her married older sister Evelyn fell pregnant after having already delivered four babies, Lois Mae strolled into the hospital’s pharmacy to procure the drug that would terminate her sister’s unwanted pregnancy. When physically “defective” babies without hope of a “normal” future were born, they were placed in bassinettes posted with “Do Not Feed” warnings. No one demonstrated about any of this, the hospital received no threats from litigators about a fetus’s right to be born or a physically disabled newborn’s right to live. We probably more closely resembled our mammalian cousins back then, preserving the instinct of natural selection that, over the millennia, has landed us in our current spot at the top of the food chain.
This life perspective was not confined to medicine. My Norwegian grandfather, a farmer, used to say “Let the scrubs die out,” and didn’t believe in saving preemies or physically imperfect babies, human, or animal, doubtless with an eye to the future genetic strength of his cows, pigs, and chickens. When the barn cats inevitably heeded the clarion call of the species and produced kittens, they were as often as not tied up in a burlap bag with a few rocks and thrown into the river. Like everyone else, my grandparents were poor (though my mother always said that nobody felt poor since everybody was); this was the real-life intersection of poverty and necessity. A fetus’s or a physically doomed newborn’s potential took a heavy back seat (if it took a seat at all) to the urgency of human survival pre-Medicare, pre-Medicaid, pre-abortion, pre-welfare. Social Security had been signed into law back in 1935, but shamefully excluded roughly half of American workers at the time, including agricultural and domestic workers. There persists an official denial that this was a hidden-in-plain-sight racist ploy in exchange for the Southern vote to pass the new law, even though the excluded agricultural and domestic workers were mostly African American. (By 1981 about 75% of ag workers were eligible for Social Security benefits, too late for my grandmother.) Today even billionaires collect Social Security benefits. When my grandmother grew old after toiling in the fields and in the barn for half a century, she ended up with food stamps as her only support. As a farmer, Social Security had codified her poverty and extended it into her old age, until the last day of her life.
Ethicists of religious stripes consider many of the medical practices of the mid-twentieth century barbaric by today’s standards, and few Americans would want to return to the days of my mother’s youth when all abortion was illegal. Yet opposition to abortion remains a passionate, hot-button political issue for conservative pro-lifers and pro-choice liberals alike. Congress, citing Roe as established law, cowardly neglected enshrining abortion as a right under federal law for fear that well-funded anti-abortion organizations would extend their powerful reaches into the voting booth to defeat them.
It’s not that reverence for human life has actually changed; it just applies to different humans now, to the well-heeled who can easily afford to take off work and travel to places with legal and safe abortions. When I was in high school two of my classmates went to Japan and Mexico, respectively, for their abortions, the undeniable evidence of their pre-marital sex considered at the time by their parents to be a major detriment to “marrying well,” the 60s be damned.
Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade every woman and her mother is lining up to tell her own version of the abortion story and how it shaped her beliefs. Elected officials craft their own positions, cynically tailored to appeal to their respective voters and campaign contributors. But arguing abortion’s parameters is ultimately beside the point. And besides, outlawing all abortion will not bring back what conservatives sentimentally view as better lives in earlier times. It will similarly not reinvigorate “traditional” gender roles, bring religion back in a big way or keep people married who don’t want to be married. O Norman Rockwell, where art thou?
What a universal abortion ban would do is economically cut poor women off at the knees. A woman who cannot control pregnancy cannot reliably work at most higher-paying jobs. Many also can’t easily travel if required to do so for said jobs. And preparing for such a job? Tuition isn’t a hundred bucks a year like it was when I went to Berkeley. The notion that a poor young woman should take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of student debt to eventually land an ever-more-elusive decently paying job with benefits (forget pensions; unless you work for the government the defined pension has gone the way of the dodo) while somehow raising a child is one of the crueler versions of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
Ideally the young man who is the source of the pregnancy would step up and accept responsibility for his failure to curb the biological imperative of his sex. But this is generally unrealistic since few young men have the means to support a partner and child even if mature enough and inclined to do so. And forcing a minor girl to marry an adult male responsible for an underage pregnancy, even as it presents a tempting short-term fix, ends up in high divorce rates, among other social ills. And what about those intolerants who cluck that those girls and women got what they deserved because they didn’t responsibly use birth control? They’ve forgotten what it was like to be young and agonizingly hormonal in the back seat of the steamed-up family car parked along some lovers’ lane. A momentary inattention, known to happen regularly under those circumstances, is all it takes. And if it didn’t happen to you, count yourself lucky. Not virtuous.
Yet every society has a contemporary social context, including this one. California has the highest poverty rate of any state. The public education system sucks, and is currently unable, for reasons too numerous to list here, to adequately prepare students for college or any other profession. (Those who voted for Prop 13 should take a moment to deservedly berate themselves for their shortsighted greed; grandkids are urged to participate.) Worst of all, with degree firmly in hand and it’s time to pay the piper for your student debt, will you even be able to get a decent job so you can actually pay it back?
Upon these shifting sands resides future policy. Though it’s hard to imagine California ever restricting abortion or contraception, American women in 22 other states will soon be denied both. They count, too.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We don’t want to have pay increases that will be simply swallowed by price increases.” (Boris Johnson, PM’s questions in Parliament, July 6)
BORIS JOHNSON FINALLY ANNOUNCED HIS RESIGNATION TODAY, admitting 'no-one is indispensable' - but is lining up a 'unity Cabinet' as he battles to stay in Downing Street for months longer. In a statement in Downing Street, the PM tried to sound an upbeat tone as he confirmed that his time in office is coming to an end. He said he wanted to say to 2019 voters 'thank you for that incredible mandate', adding the 'reason I have fought so hard' was because he felt it was his 'job' to deliver on what he promised. Standing in front of the traditional podium and watched by wife Carrie, baby Romy and close aides, Johnson pointed to his achievements such as the vaccine rollout and Brexit. He paid tribute to his family for 'all they have put up with'. 'Our future is golden,' he finished. Johnson had appealed for Conservative MPs to come and watch the speech in the street, but there only seemed to be a small crowd present. (Daily Mail)
CUSTOMER: "How much will it cost to do this job?"
CONTRACTOR: "$2,800 Dollars."
Customer: "That's WAY too expensive for this job!!"
Contractor: "How much do YOU think it would cost?"
Customer: "No more than $800 Dollars - MAX!! It's a simple job!"
Contractor: "I can't prioritize my time for so little."
Customer: "People in your line of work are so greedy."
Contractor: "Sorry you feel that way. Why not do it yourself?"
Customer: "But... but... I don't know how to do any of this."
Contractor: "For $900 Dollars, I'll teach you EXACTLY how to get this job done. Then you can spend $800 to do the job and you'll still be saving $1,100 Dollars - PLUS... you'll get the knowledge and experience for the next time you want to do a job yourself."
Customer: "Deal!! Let's do it."
Contractor: To get started you'll need tools. So you'll have to buy a welder, a grinder, a chop saw, a drill press, a welding hood, gloves and a few other things."
Customer: "But I don't have all this equipment and I can't buy all of these for one job."
Contractor: "Well then for another $300 more I'll let you rent my tools... and you'll still be saving $800 Dollars."
Customer: "That's cutting into my savings. But I'll rent your tools."
Contractor: "Okay! I'll be back on Saturday and we can start."
Customer: "Wait. I can't on Saturday. I only have time today."
Contractor: "Sorry, I only give lessons on Saturday, because I have to prioritize my time and my tools have to be at other jobs with other Customers all week long.
Customer: "Okay!! I'll sacrifice my family plans on Saturday."
Contractor: "Yeah... me too. Oh... and I forgot... to do your job yourself, you also have to pay for the materials. Everything is in high demand right now, so your best bet is to get your truck and load up at 6AM before everyone else gets there."
Customer: "SIX AM??? On a Saturday??? That's way to early for me. And also... I don't have a truck."
Contractor: "I guess you'll have to rent one. Do you have a couple of strong men to help you load and unload everything?"
Customer: "Ummm... ya know... I've been thinking. It's probably best if YOU get this job done. I'd rather pay someone to get it done correctly than go through all the hassle.
Contractor: "Smart move, sign this and please get out of the way so I can work."
THE REALITY IS THIS...
When you pay for a job, especially handcrafted, you pay not only for the material used, but you are also paying for:
- Safety and Security
- Payment of tax obligations
No one should denigrate a professional's work by judging prices - ESPECIALLY when they don't know all the elements or costs necessary for the production of such work.
This was just a remix of an old story I once heard and I am sharing this in support of craftsmen, specialists and entrepreneurs everywhere!
You can't haggle over a service that you don't actually have the skills or knowledge to do yourself. You can't get a high quality gourmet dinner party for the same price as a Happy Meal from McDonald's. And you can't be mad when skilled people actually KNOW their own worth.
Be smart. Trust a reputable professional. And never forget... that you ALWAYS get what you pay for.
ON THE ROAD WITH RANDY BURKE
A GUY JUST LOST HIS JOB, his wife left him, and his dog was just hit by a car… Feeling very low, he called a suicide hotline… He was transferred to a call center in Pakistan. When he told them he thought he was suicidal, they got all excited and asked him if he could drive a truck….
SHOULD LOS ANGELES GET A NEW DEAL FROM ITS POWERHOUSE PORTS?
At the peak of last year's supply chain crisis, the typically invisible operations of the nation's ports came under a glaring media spotlight. But with the focus on consumer frustration, little attention was paid to whether massive public investment in the ports was producing commensurate benefits to the public. …
“THE BEST PEOPLE possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”
— Ernest Hemingway
WILL MORE SCHOOL MONEY IMPROVE ACADEMIC OUTCOMES?
by Dan Walters
California’s K-12 schools and their nearly 6 million students received a multi-billion-dollar additional infusion of cash in the budget that Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators enacted last week, raising per-pupil spending to a record-high level.
In all, the budget will provide schools with an average of about $24,000 a year for each student, doubling what it was just a few years ago, with a formula that provides extra allocations to school districts with high numbers of poor and English-learner students.
Those extra funds are being distributed via the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), a plan adopted a decade ago to close what is called the “achievement gap” between those children — roughly 60% of the state’s K-12 students — and the more privileged 40%.
Spending $24,000 per student appears to propel California into the upper ranks of the states, although making such comparisons is tricky. Different organizations use different numbers, some adjust numbers for the cost of living, and the data are always a few years out of date.
The main problem with such comparisons, however, is they assume that spending money equates to educational outcomes when, in fact, they don’t.
If one takes any list of what states spend on schools and compares it to results of the federal government’s academic testing program, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), there is absolutely no correlation between spending and achievement.
Some states that spend heavily, such as New Jersey, also excel in NAEP’s measures of reading and mathematics competence, but others, such as neighboring New York, are mediocre at best. Likewise, states that are below average or even at the bottom, of spending lists are often in the academic upper tier, such as Iowa, Utah and Colorado. But some low-spending states also rank poorly in testing, such as Mississippi.
Washington, D.C. schools have the highest per-pupil spending in the nation but are dead last in academics.
California, until recently, was mediocre in spending and mediocre in NAEP tests. The state’s big increases in spending could bring better academic results, but only if the money is laser-focused on uplifting children who have been left behind, rather than subtly diverted into other purposes, as various independent studies have indicated, including a scathing 2019 report from the state auditor’s office.
After delving into the finances of three representative school districts, auditors castigated the state Department of Education for sloppy oversight of LCFF funds. They also criticized school districts for issuing indecipherable and inaccurate reports on how funds were being spent, and county offices of education for not fulfilling their designated roles as LCFF monitors.
“We are particularly concerned that the state does not explicitly require districts to spend their supplemental and concentration (LCFF) funds on the intended student groups or to track their spending of those funds,” the report declared. “Without a means of tracking how districts use funds, state and local policymakers and other local stakeholders lack adequate information to assess the impact of those funds on the outcomes of intended student groups.”
Moreover, a CalMatters investigation into how the state’s schools spent $33.5 billion in one-time state and federal funds to help their students cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that much of it was diverted into programs, equipment and other purposes that had little or nothing to do with countering the devastating impacts of at-home schooling.
So will the extra money that Newsom and the Legislature are pumping into the schools really make an academic difference?
The record to date is not encouraging.
1. Use narrative manipulation to divide the population into a roughly 50/50 ideological split.
2. Ensure you control both of those factions.
3. Convince everyone that the only reason nothing changes is because their half of the population doesn't win enough elections.
Everyone's pulling on a rope that doesn't lead anywhere and doesn't do anything, convinced by powerful manipulators that they're engaged in a life-or-death tug o' war match of existential importance. Meanwhile the powerful just do as they like, completely indifferent to that spectacle and its back-and-forth exchanges.
A group is artificially split into two sides and told to pull a rope in opposite directions while someone else stands back and shoots them all with a BB gun. When they complain about the welts, they're told it's happening because their side isn't pulling hard enough. But really they'd be getting shot no matter what they did.
This doesn't mean give up, it just means give up on the fake tug o' war game. If you're playing tug o' war while someone rummages through your handbag looking for cash, the first step to stopping them is putting down the rope and going after them. It's like if everyone was pushing on a fake fire escape in a burning building: the first step to getting them out of there is showing them that the door is just painted on the wall and doesn't lead anywhere. That's not telling them to give up hope, it's just telling them to give up on an ineffective strategy.
— Caitlin Johnstone
UKRAINE, WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2022
Hundreds of thousands of people have been urged by Ukrainian officials to evacuate the eastern region of Donetsk, as Russian and separatist forces set their sights on its main cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
The eastern Luhansk region has not yet been completely occupied by Russian forces and fighting continues in a settlement on the outskirts of the region, the head of the Luhansk military administration said, after Russia secured the city of Lysychansk over the weekend.
Russia's war in Ukraine will feature prominently at the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bali this week, with food and energy security high on the agenda.
The US has warned it is not a time for business as usual with Russia, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to avoid appearing in any official group photos with his Russian counterpart at the meeting, according to a US official.
CLEARLY, THE SPIKE IN WORLD HUNGER is related to food price inflation, which itself has been exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are the world’s leading exporters of barley, corn, rapeseed, sunflower seed, sunflower oil and wheat, as well as fertilizers.
While the war has been catastrophic for world food prices, it is an error to see the war as the cause of the spike. World food prices began to rise about 20 years ago, and then went out of control in 2021 for a range of reasons, including:
During the pandemic, the severe lockdowns inside countries and at their borders led to major disruptions in the movement of migrant labor.
A consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic was the breakdown of the supply chain.
Extreme weather events have played a major role in the chaos of the food system.
Over the past 40 years, global meat consumption (mostly poultry) increased dramatically, with the increases set to continue rising despite some indications that we have reached “peak meat consumption.”
The world food market was already stressed before the conflict in Ukraine, with prices going up during the pandemic to levels that many countries had not seen before.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made it clear that the conflict in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia must be ended so that these key producers of food and fertilizer can resume production for the world market.
ON JULY 6, 1916, during World War I, one of the best-known images of American history made its debut. The picture of a white-haired, bearded man dressed in red, white, and blue appeared on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly magazine with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” American’s have come to know this man as Uncle Sam – but no one knows for sure where the tradition really came from. Some say it dates as far back to the War of 1812. Samuel Wilson, a businessman from Troy, New York, who was known to friends as Uncle Sam, supplied the Army with beef in barrels. To show that the beef barrels belonged to the United States government, they were labeled “U.S.” Somewhere along the way people began to joke that the “U.S.” stood for Uncle Sam, and the national icon was born. The image that appeared on Leslie’s Weekly was based on artist James Montgomery Flagg’s own likeness, saving him the money required to hire a model. The U.S. government turned the popular picture into a famous recruiting poster of Uncle Sam declaring, “I Want You.”
WHY THEY PREFER WAR: ‘Report from Iron Mountain’ Reconsidered
by Joel Schechter
As wars continue in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia, the arms industry makes a killing; but weapon manufacturers are not the only ones who benefit from an economy that is continually preparing for a war.
An unusual argument for war as a source of economic and social stability came to public attention in 1967 when Report from Iron Mountain on the Possiblity and Desirablity of Peace was released. Now largely forgotten and out of print, the report was initially thought to be a secret document kept from the public. Less scandalous than The Pentagon Papers but still quite revealing, the Iron Mountain document was unflinching and impersonal in its conclusion that peace would present serious and unwelcome challenges to the United States. Too many social and economic benefits are derived from war preparation and war. Lasting peace and transition to a peacetime economy are temptations to which our society should not surrender, and probably could not, according to the unnamed authors. (The site where the book was written was also secret, according to a foreword: “Iron Mountain, located near the town of Hudson [New York]... is an underground nuclear hideout for hundreds of large American corporations. Most of them use it as an emergency storage vault for important documents.”)
The report turned out to be a satire; a few decades after its 1967 publication, I met the author, Leonard Lewin; he had been an editor at Dial Press, which published the book. Despite its author's exposure and the passage of time, the book remains an important document. Where the satiric film Dr. Strangelove gives the American army an odd credo, “Peace Is Our Profession,” Report from Iron Mountain wryly maintains that war preparation keeps our nation free from the perils of peace. Leonard Lewin kept his tongue in cheek when he composed the report in the name of an anonymous group secreted in New York state. (When first released, the book was favorably reviewed by economist John Kenneth Galbraith writing under a pseudonym of his own, sustaining the masquerade of hidden identities for a while longer.)
That same year, 1967, Hannah Arendt proposed to take Lewin’s satire seriously when she published her essay “On Violence.” Arendt referred in a footnote to the “satire” that “is probably closer to reality, with its ‘timid glance over the brink of peace,’ than most ‘serious’ studies.” Report from Iron Mountain supported Arendt’s own view that war has not been abolished because “no substitute for this final arbiter in international affairs has yet appeared on the political scene.” Perhaps it is time to join her, and take the report seriously, as war in Ukraine threatens to escalate and reach the stage of nuclear exchanges between Russia and NATO, while other, less publicized wars proliferate, with American troops often participating or advising around the world. We would do well to move closer to “the brink of peace.”
Report from Iron Mountain, out of print and hard to find, should be reissued. The book may need a new preface incorporating Arendt’s footnote, describing the origins of Lewin's hoax, and adding some updates, notes about war profits and losses since 1967. Originally the convincing if mildly ironic analysis of our nation’s economic and political structure did not devote much space to the threats of climate change, which now rivals war as a profitable world crisis. In the 1967 edition Lewin accurately predicted that “environmental pollution” and accompanying “survival of the species” would be viewed as serious problems, “menacing on a global scale,” “a generation to a generation and a half” later; so war planners in the Sixties did not have to worry about competing alarmists in their all-expenses paid (through debt and taxes) profession. Today's military actions and their promoters still receive far more funding than the climate emergency battlers; but a new edition of the report would have to note that some large corporations reap billions in profit as they extract and sell fuels that exacerbate floods, droughts, wildfires. Oil and gas profiteers set off disasters that are as damaging as missile strikes. The updated book also might note (continuing its almost undetectable satiric bent) that voter suppression, abortion prohibition, and other civil rights issues may briefly distract the public, but are not likely to reduce its approval of enormous military expenditures. In fact, police forces currently enjoy use of surplus war equipment, and may need more, as abortion and election recounts are likely to require police action in the future, too.
Leonard Lewin wrote an introduction to the report as if he didn't know who wrote it, and his selfless humor might be compared to that of Jonathan Swift, who anonymously published a “modest proposal” calling for children of the poor to be sold as edible delicacies, to reduce the surplus of beggars in Dublin and make their lives profitable to butchers. Swift’s outrageous tract is now a classic model of satire. Lewin's book, by contrast, remains largely forgotten, possibly because he employed language too close to the impersonal arguments of the bureaucrats who justify widespread destruction in the name of national security and economic stability. His counterfeiting is so accurate in its use of cautious and leaden prose, it sounds so much like a self- defense by the defense industry and its friends in government, as well as Herman Kahn's justifications for thermonuclear war, that it can lull readers into nodding agreement, or simply closing the book, rather than eliciting a little laughter as peace is declared impractical and threatening to social stability. In its typically unsensational wording the report concludes: ”The war system makes the stable government of societies possible. It does this essentially by providing an external necessity for a society to accept political rule. In so doing, it establishes the basis for nationhood and the authority of government to control its constituents.” (64) (George Orwell also described reasons government would promote war in 1984; but he was not referring to American society at the time. His satire, too, if it is satire, does not provoke a great deal of laughter.)
As calm and unexcited as some of our current President’s protests over threats to democracy, Lewin's prose in the report is perhaps too subtly satiric, too well-dressed in bureaucratic phrasing to outrage or amuse readers. But humor leaks out between the lines, in the reservations and second thoughts, such as those offered when for the word “peace” is defined as “a permanent, or quasi-permanent, condition entirely free from the national exercise, or contemplation, of any form of the organized social violence, or threat of violence, generally known as war.” That brief definition immediately has to be enlarged: “It is not used to describe the more familiar condition of 'cold war,' 'armed peace,' or other mere respite, long or short, from armed conflict. Nor is it used simply as a synonym for the political settlement of international differences”(page 9). The qualifications go further, proving peace is elusive, especially if you want it to last. (Who among us knows what lasting peace is, given all the wars that went on before and after 1967?) “War” proves easier to define, perhaps because Iron Mountain's experts have lived through it, and don't want it to end.
A new edition of the Report might also go into greater detail about the highly profitable returns war offers arms investors and manufacturers, and elected officials who send defense industry jobs to their states through widely-shared appropriations. (The 1967 edition referred to “upward of $60 billion a year” spent by the American “war industry. The cost is far higher half a century later, and it might be helpful to hear whose deep pockets hold it.) Besides receiving campaign donations from corporations that build weapons (domestically-used guns as well as tanks and planes), some elected officials in Washington secure public support through calls for wartime unity and sacrifice. News purveyors also find that their constituents take an interest in war stories. War sells,as does violence, a staple of film and television.
These benefits and others prompt the war industry and armed forces to resist the peace agreements, disarmament, Defense Department budget cuts. To quote the 1967 report, “War itself is the basic social system, within which other secondary modes of social organization conflict or conspire.... Once this is correctly understood, the true magnitude of the problems entailed in a transition to peace... becomes apparent.”( 29) I would like to think that Leonard Lewin was joking here, knowing that “transition to peace” though difficult is possible if you move beyond the bureaucratic conundrums and question the necessity of the “war industry. He does that himself at times, casually introducing some of the report's best advice on page 75: “If a decision is made to eliminate the war system, it were better done sooner than later.”
(Joel Schechter is the author of Satire (Methuen, 2021), Durov's Pig, The Congress of Clowns, and other books about political satire. Contact: email@example.com.)
SPACE TOURISM POSES A SIGNIFICANT ‘RISK TO THE CLIMATE’
Rockets launched by billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson emit black carbon in the stratosphere, where it is 500 times worse for the climate than it is on Earth. Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ rockets burn liquid hydrogen and oxygen and pose a lesser climate threat.
by Phil McKenna
The burgeoning space tourism industry could soon fuel significant global warming while also depleting the protective ozone layer that is crucial for sustaining life on Earth, a new study concludes. The findings, published Saturday in Earth’s Future, raise additional concerns about the “billionaire space race” fueled by some of the world’s richest men.
A key focus of the study was emissions of black carbon, or soot, from the combustion of rocket fuel. Black carbon, which comes from burning fossil fuels or biomass, absorbs light from the sun and releases thermal energy, making it a powerful climate warming agent. At lower altitudes black carbon quickly falls from the sky, remaining in the atmosphere for only a matter of days or weeks.
However, as rockets blast into space, they emit black carbon into the stratosphere where it remains, absorbing sunlight and radiating heat, for up to four years before falling back down to Earth. Black carbon emitted in the stratosphere is nearly 500 times worse for the climate than similar emission on or near the surface of the earth, the study found. Black carbon emissions from all space flights are currently relatively low but could quickly increase if projections for the growth of space tourism prove correct.
“A big ramp up in the number of space launches, which is hoped for by the space tourism industry, poses a risk to the climate by adding black carbon particles to the upper atmosphere and as a result, we should think very carefully about regulating this industry before it gets out of hand,” Robert Ryan, a researcher at University College London and the study’s lead author, said. “It would be a real shame for humanity to look back in 50 or 100 years when we’ve got thousands of rocket launches a year and think, ‘If only we’d done something.’”…
TOM WAITS: “I don’t have fun. Actually, I had fun once, in 1962. I drank a whole bottle of Robitussin cough medicine and went in the back of a 1961 powder-blue Lincoln Continental to a James Brown concert with some Mexican friends of mine. I haven’t had fun since. It’s just not a word I like. It’s like Volkswagens or bellbottoms, or patchouli oil or bean sprouts. It rubs me up the wrong way. I might go out and have an educational and entertaining evening, but I don’t have fun.” (Maher, Paul. Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters)