Cool Coast | Anniversary BBQ | Water Alert | PO Hours | 1915 Campers | Kassandra Missing | Covid Deaths | Dry Dock | Paint Job | Under Milkwood | Falleri Family | Measure O | Baristas Unite | Economic Development | Herb & Al | Cemetery Tour | Ed Notes | Modern Housing | Library Oasis | Nightmare Awakening | Dear Anthem | Yesterday's Catch | Candidate Fetterman | Emma Gatewood | Vocational Education | Chinese Workers | Night Queen | Kharkiv Documentary | Free Assange | Monkeypox Madness | Nude Smokers | Invading Britain | Mickey Mask | International Order | Tower Falling
MOSTLY CLEAR AND HOT conditions will persist across the interior through the end of the work week. Persistent marine layer clouds and fog will keep coastal areas seasonably cooler with only some limited afternoon sunshine. There is a slight chance for thunderstorms across portions of the interior through Thursday. Milder temperatures will return over the weekend and early next week. (NWS)
FORT BRAGG ORDERS STAGE 1 WATER ALERT
Last night, the City Council unanimously passed a Resolution which implements mandatory Stage 1 water conservation restrictions after City staff recommended this action, as current water supply conditions are showing the effects of a third year of drought. The Stage 1 conservation targets a citywide 5% - 10% goal reduction in seasonal water usage. Stage 1 Water Restrictions include:
Wasteful use of water is prohibited. All water usage must be for beneficial uses.
Water use shall stay confined to the customer’s property and is not allowed to run off onto adjoining property, public sidewalks, streets or parking lots. Water use will not exceed the point of saturation.
Landscape irrigation is limited to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 12 am to 9 am and 6 pm to 11:59 pm.
No free flowing use for landscape watering, vehicle and equipment washing, ponds, and evaporative coolers without the use of an automatic shut-off device on any hose or filling apparatus while in use.
Restaurants shall serve water only upon specific request.
All pools, spas and ornamental fountains/ponds shall be equipped with a recirculation pump and shall be constructed to be leak proof.
Hotels, motels and other commercial lodging establishments shall offer patrons the option to forego the daily laundering of towels, sheets and linens.
Residents and business owners shall repair all water leaks as soon as feasibly possible, but no later than five days after notification by the City or discovery by the owner.
Such restrictions apply to all persons using or consuming water both inside and outside the City and within the water service area, regardless of whether any person using water has a contract for water service within the City immediately. Report water waste to the Department of Public Work’s Water Conservation at email@example.com or (707) 961-2823 Ext. 131.
IN THE WAKE OF THE RECENT VANDALISM, local post offices have severely restricted post office box access. Until Monday, you could get your box mail in off hours. No more. You can now only get your mail during business hours.
It’s understandable that the USPS would want to limit the box lobby hours to reduce the risk of vandalism. But we know several people who work day jobs in Ukiah or Fort Bragg, leaving before 8, returning after 5, who now have no access to their post office boxes because they are out of the Valley during the PO’s business hours.
It’s too bad that a few local criminals can restrict the general public’s mail access. Besides, it’s not clear that keeping the PO’s front door locked overnight will do much to deter any idiot with a crowbar who’s determined to rifle some post boxes.
Back in 2017, Fort Bragg Postmistress Denise Cisco closed the FB Post Office at night because transients were making a mess of the place overnight. FB has since re-opened overnight because the Police Department made it a routine patrol check. But Boonville doesn't have a resident deputy, an absence the criminals take advantage of.
Background: POST OFFICE TO CLOSE AT NIGHT (Fort Bragg Advocate News, February 8, 2017)
by Kelci Parks
A major change is set to take place at the Fort Bragg Post Office that will limit boxholders’ access to their mail.
Instead of being open all night, the lobby will be available to the public from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, closed Sunday. Lobby hours will officially change on Monday, Feb. 13.
“It’s a local decision, but it’s becoming more and more prevalent nationwide because of the severe problem we’ve been having with the homeless population,” said Fort Bragg Postmaster Denise Joy Sisco. She was unable to comment further and declined to discuss whether or not the decision would be permanent.
Some post offices in the county have opted not to make the change to limited hours yet. In Mendocino, the lobby stays open throughout the night.
“If we have homeless issues, that’s subject to change, but right now the lobby is available 24/7,” said Mendocino Postmaster Stephanie Bishop. Elk Postmaster Melissa Hays said her post office lobby is also open all night.
“We do have issues, people come in here and sleep, sometimes they even smoke inside, but we clean it up,” said Hays. “Sometimes post offices have to shut down at night if it becomes too much of an issue, but especially during the winter months, people make their way inside to try to keep warm.”
UKIAH WOMAN MISSING OVER A MONTH After Telling Her Mom She Was Afraid for Her Life in San Francisco
Heather McKee is deeply concerned for her daughter’s well-being. 27-year-old Kassandra “Sandy” McKee has lived in the grips of schizoaffective disorder and homelessness for the last three years.
In early June, Sandy traveled south to San Francisco. While in the city, Sandy told her mom she was assaulted, that someone was trying to kill her, she was scared for her life, and wanted to come home. They decided Sandy would board a bus for Ukiah the next day, June 24. Sandy would never arrive in Ukiah. In fact, Sandy has not been seen or heard from since.…
THREE MENDOCINO COUNTY RESIDENTS recently passed away with COVID-19 during July 2022. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.
Death #132: Female, 91 years old with co-morbidities, from the greater Ukiah area.
#133: Female, 85 years old with co-morbidities, from the greater Ukiah area.
#134: Female, 91 years old with co-morbidities, from the North Coast area.
COVID-19 is still active across the globe, but we do have the tools to decrease the risk of a bad infection. Safe, effective, and free vaccines are available for everyone, including infants 6 months and older. Getting a booster, as well as masking and social distancing in crowded areas, are also strongly recommended by Public Health in Mendocino County.
If you get COVID, talk with your provider immediately about oral treatments to reduce the risk of serious infection and hospitalization.
If you have questions about boosters or vaccines in general, speak with your doctor, or call Public Health at 707-472-2759. To find the nearest vaccine clinic in your area, please visit the Public Health website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/covidvaccine
FROM THE AV SUPERINTENDENT:
I am so excited about how we look at the junior/senior high.
A good paint job is like Botox. You get a little and you want more.
I have extended the purchase order to include the staff break rooms and bathrooms and Georgette's building and miscellaneous doors throughout the campus including the shop, gym and cafeteria. Change is in the air.
Our new student body president was on site today, and he confidently strode into my office and said to me “I love what you have done with the place...” out of the mouth of a 17 year old. Rock and roll. Here we go.
Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified
We're looking forward to a live intro by Bill Bradd to this production. Here's a sample of the fine vocal characterizations from the outstanding cast.
Tune in and listen to a special presentation on Jamie Robert's Radiogram show on KZYX July 27 at 8 pm. A 1978 local recording of Dylan Thomas's "Under Milkwood" – produced by Bill Bradd & Judy Sperling. The cast is Bob Boler, Judy Mayhan, Sandy Nelson, Buzz Parsons, Sheridan Adams & Don Murray. Recorded by Roy Michaels in Elk, April 11, 1978. Sound effects by Jeremy Pohl. Originally broadcast on KMFB May 26, 1978.
MEASURE O, LIBRARY TAX RENEWAL, goes to the November ballot.
The thousands of signatures supporting the Citizens Initiative for the Libraries have been counted and the Initiative has been certified to be on the November ballot as Measure O. This is exciting news for the five libraries in Willits, Fort Brag, Ukiah, Point Arena, and Covelo, the bookmobile, and a sixth library starting up in Laytonville. The County Libraries receive 1/8 cent sales tax now. This initiative would make that funding permanent and add a 1/8 cent sales tax with all the funds going to a special library account. Citizens Committee member Caroly Schneider said, “We had many people volunteering to sit outside stores and post offices and ask for signatures, and we got to see the huge appreciation for our libraries and the desire to maintain and sustain them.” Now the Citizens Committee is planning a campaign to raise funds to inform everyone in Mendocino County about the Measure and the value of the libraries, to hold events and most importantly, to ask Mendocino County voters to support Measure O on the Fall ballot.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, MENDO STYLE
During Tuesday’s Supervisors Meeting, Supervisor John Haschak said he wanted to discuss “Economic Development.” So for you naysayers and skeptics who think Mendo isn’t much for economic development, take this:
Haschak: “As far as economic development, Supervisor McGourty and I were the ad hoc on that. We worked with the West Company. There's a big grant proposal for the community economic resilience fund. It's a collaboration of four counties, Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino, and Lake. So they just submitted their grant application and it's up to $5 million for planning for economic development activities and it was kind of a time crunch to get it in but we did and I think it will reap benefits in the long run.”
Supervisor Ted WIliams: “What might the benefits be? What will we get from that?”
Haschak: “It could be, um, a lot of economic activity, um, especially planning and collaboration between these counties, and, um, state, um, support in these activities. So. So I think as far as economic development it is a big step forward. The state is certainly putting in a lot of money for this and I think we need — we are at the table and collaborating with the other counties. I think it will be beneficial.”
IT WOULD BE MORE ACCURATE IF THEY CALLED IT “The Community Development Bureacracy Redundancy Resiliancy Fund Bureaucracy Development Fund.”
HISTORY COMES ALIVE IN THE CEMETERY
by Sarah Nathe
There are people who don’t like to wander through cemeteries, perhaps because they want to avoid remembering that we are dust, and to dust, we shall return. But for some of us, an hour or two in an old cemetery is like a magical turn in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine. If you belong in the latter category, the new Kelley House tour of Evergreen Cemetery is for you. It’s possible to learn as much about the important people and events in Mendocino’s history in this stroll through the city of the dead as it is from a walk through the town’s lively streets.
At their graves, the tour leader profiles some of Mendocino’s founding fathers: Jerome Ford, David Lansing, and the Heesers—William and Auggie. Some of its mothers are buried here too and their lives are no less fascinating.
Alice Grindle, Hattie Blair, Charlotte Hoak, and Cinderella Rueckert (actually more like an eccentric aunt than a mother) are waiting patiently to share their life stories.
When the three-acre cemetery was established in 1864, it was intended for Protestants. The cemetery a couple of blocks away on Little Lake—now called Hillcrest—was operated by the Diocese of Santa Rosa for Catholic burials. Some of the town’s moms and dads are buried there, but that’s another tour.
Over time, both Evergreen and Hillcrest stopped being denominational, and now there are Protestants and Daoists buried in Hillcrest, and Catholics and Jews buried in Evergreen. The Mendocino Little River Cemetery District took over the management of both cemeteries in 1950.
From the entrance on Main Street, it is fitting that the first big monument encountered belongs to Jerome Ford, one of the first white guys to set foot on the Mendocino Coast.
He came here in 1850 to check on the cargo in the wreck of the Frolic, noticed the big redwood trees, and set in motion the events that led to the first mill and then to the boomtown that was Mendocino.
A bit farther on, the Rueckert column stands, Julius August’s name on the east side and Cinderella’s on the west. Cinderella, who was given that name in Illinois by a mother who loved fairy tales, came to Mendocino in 1865 and found employment as a maid for “one of the first families.” Sometime later, she married August, 20 years her senior. After he died in 1888, she lived in their Main Street house (right across the street from the cemetery) for 33 more years, selling apples from her orchard and eggs from her chickens, and going after loud town drunks.
Continuing up the hill, the tour winds past the markers of other colorful and significant forebears. Erick Albertson, the Dane who designed and ornamented the Masonic Hall, carved the iconic Father Time & the Maiden statue out of one redwood trunk. J. D. Johnson, the Englishman who constructed many of Mendocino’s early buildings, was a carpenter and an undertaker, so he built the boxes people both lived and were buried in.
Close by lies William Heeser, the German who arrived in Mendocino in 1857 and acquired much of the headlands from William Kelley. He then surveyed and laid out the town plat, built roads to nearby settlements, established the Bank of Mendocino, and founded the Mendocino Beacon in 1877. His son, Auggie, inherited much of the estate and all of the newspaper, which he presided over until he died in 1966.
Not far from the imposing Heeser monument, a more modest stone commemorates Charlotte Hoak.
Born in Comptche in 1874, she grew up fascinated by the plant life that surrounded her. With degrees from UC Berkeley in botany, she studied the area’s pygmy forests and persuaded the California Garden Club to purchase some acres of pygmy. Now part of Van Damme State Park, the Charlotte Hoak Memorial Pygmy Forest was dedicated in 1969.
These are but a few of the early Mendonesian life stories covered in the Evergreen Cemetery Walking Tour. Tours are $20 per person and can be reserved in advance by calling or emailing the Kelley House at www.kelleyhousemuseum.org.
(Courtesy, Kelley House Museum/Ukiah Daily Journal)
AN OLD FRIEND, same ancient age as me, sent me this birthday card:
253 ADVENTURES, we've all had them, especially with tailgaters. Recently, a youngish guy followed me all the way into Ukiah where I stopped to buy a lottery ticket at the south side store. (I'm aware of the odds, thank you all the same.) He wasn't particularly hostile, just kinda passive-aggressive, smiling when he asked, “Why didn't you pull over when I flicked my lights?” I'd waited for a long time for a 253 confrontation like this. I said, “There wasn't a place to pull over for another half-mile, sire, and I hope your leige can find it in his heart to forgive me.” He looked at me. “Huh?” I continued, “I can tell from your big shiny car you're an important person, and I knew I had to get out of your way as soon as I could. I'm sorry. Forgive me for having delayed you.” He said, “You're a real smart ass, aren't you?” I replied, “Are you a liberal?” He said, “What's that got to do with anything?” I said, “Nothing.” And off he went. I'd guess on every trip over the hill I pull over for important people five or six times per.
A WOMAN called the other day to say, “I know who's setting all these fires lately.” I asked her if she'd called the Sheriff, not bothering to argue about the actual number of recent arson fires in the county. “Not yet,” she said, “but that's a good idea.” She said she had “a stack” of photographs of the arsonist in the act that she wanted to show me. “He's been doing it for years.” I suggested, again, that she call the Sheriff. “I'm going to, “ she said. I asked her for the torch's name. She gave me his name. “How do you know him?” I asked. “He's my ex-husband,” she said.
READING FROM HER CEO report Tuesday morning, Mendo CEO Darcie Antle announced, “There are a few things I'd like to highlight for you this morning, that July is Black, Indigent, and People of Colors Minority Mental Health Month.”
THE SUPERVISORS stared back, “Save us from the sin of false piety!” Well, hell, as the late great George Carlin liked to point out, “Take the bullshit out of this country and the whole show collapses like a failed souffle.” But rhetorical falsity is a mandatory stop these days on the busy lib station of the cross, so…
ANYHOW, MS. ANTLE, “INDIGENT” is certainly more inclusive, seeing as how this county's 5150s are mostly white, as are the indigent, with Mexicans coming on fast. But as you probably know, mental health “services” in Mendocino County are pretty much a cash and carry business. If the 31 agencies comprising the “continuum of care” can get paid for their dubious interventions, the 5150 gets care, probably a continuum of care if he's ”reimburseable.” If not, “Here's your Safeway shopping cart, sir. Good luck.”
HERE COME THE YUGAS!
God Realization and the Postmodern Moment
Warmest spiritual greetings, Sitting here peacefully at the Ukiah Public Library on my ACER computer, which was successfully serviced at RespecTech. The New York Times has been read, and the shock of knowing the minute details of this imploding world is now giving way to an all acceptance of the dark phase of Kali Yuga, which is segueing into the Satya Yuga. The air conditioned library with its large windows and indoor plants is an oasis in the midst of the Mendocino county seat.
I am available for frontline spiritually focused direct action, for the expressed purpose of intervening in history. The health is good at 72 years of age, there is $665.79 in the checking account, am well fed, and identified with the Immortal Atman or “that which is prior to consciousness”. Please contact me if you are called to be part of a spiritually focused direct action group. I actually could be doing something in the interest of the social good and particularly the ecological good at this time. Otherwise, am ever sattwic, chanting Hare Krishna mantram, and at the proper time will go back to Godhead.
Craig Louis Stehr, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Michael Bowman
Public Relations Manager
Anthem Blue Cross
Subject: Continuing Coverage for the Mendocino Coast
Dear Mr. Bowman,
The Mendocino Coast Health Care District owns a hospital and clinic located in Fort Bragg which is situated in the remote Mendocino Coast in Northern CA. It is governed by a five-member Board elected by the voters who reside in the District which stretches for 75 miles along the Pacific Coast. Our affiliation partner, Adventist Health Network, operates the hospital, the clinic, home health and ambulance services.
The Board of Directors is aware that negotiations between Anthem and Adventist Health, currently at an impasse, may not be successful. The result would be that for thousands of people in our economically disadvantaged and rural community, the nearest hospitals accepting Anthem Blue Cross are a drive of 1 hour and 45 minutes (Garberville) or 2 hours and 45 minutes (Novato) during daylight and in good weather. This is unimaginable hardship for our community which has been designated a Severely Disadvantaged Community per the American Community Survey
The loss of access to the hospital and clinic in Fort Bragg will result in poorer and more expensive health outcomes in the long run. We anticipate further that people, instead of driving long distances, will overload the Emergency Room instead. The likely increase in unpaid bills would endanger the already fragile economics of the hospital and push it closer to failure, as would the further erosion of patients with private insurance.
We are hopeful that the negotiations with the Adventist Health network will be successfully concluded and these concerns will not materialize. However, in the event they are not, the Board of Directors would like to immediately begin talks with Anthem for the purpose of creating a one-year exception for our remote community, recognizing that our circumstances differ significantly from other hospitals and clinics in the Adventist Health Network.
(Your name here)
Your comments can be submitted through this website before the Zoom meeting 6pm Thursday 7/28.
Mendocino Coast Health Care District (specialdistrict.org)
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 26, 2022
TIMOTHY CARMACK, Fort Bragg. Possession of over 600 obscene images of minor in sexual act.
DAVID FRENNA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
PAUL GOLYER, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, parole violation.
MICHAEL GRAHAM, Rohnert Park/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.
RAMON MACIEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer,)
SEAN MARKS, Petaluma/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ARTEMIO ORTEGA-REYES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, bringing controlled substance into jail. (Frequent flyer.)
KASSANDRA PHILLIPS, Covelo. Grand theft, embezzlement.
CHRISTOPHER RICE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance, false personation of another, disobeying court order.
KRISTINA TEPLIN, Yorkville. Protective order violation, resisting.
WE BOTH KNOW I don’t look like a typical politician.
Maybe that’s why my tattoos are literally the first thing people Google about me.
On my left arm I have the zip code 15104. That’s Braddock, Pennsylvania, my home and the community I was honored to serve as Mayor for 13 years. Gisele and I are raising our kids here in Braddock, right across the street from Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill.
On my right arm I have nine different dates. These represent the dates of people who were killed through violence in Braddock while I served as Mayor, starting in 2006. Seven out of nine were gun deaths.
My first tattoo came after January 16, 2006. It was my second week on the job as mayor after winning my election by a single vote. I received a call and was summoned to a police crime scene where a pizza delivery man had been robbed and killed by gun violence.
Every time Braddock lost someone was the worst feeling in the world. In a close-knit community like Braddock, it’s very likely that you know the victim and their family. It’s an incredibly wrenching and personal experience as a mayor — but nothing compared to what the families have to go through.
In my 13 years as Mayor, I worked with the community to take on gun violence and other important issues that Braddock faced every day. I helped initiate youth and art programs for the students of our community and we worked together to create a community center.
We also worked to develop buildings that had been written off, kick-started our economy, and reduced deadly violence. My proudest moment as Mayor of Braddock is when our community went 5 ½ years without the loss of life due to gun violence.
We’re building the kind of Democratic U.S. Senate campaign that can flip Pennsylvania blue + fight for every community, however, the honest truth is that we need to raise a lot of money right now. A big part of that is online activists like you chipping in when you can.
I’m running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania because I believe every community is worth fighting for. Just like Braddock. It is my promise to you that I'll fight for you + your community as if it were my very own.
And now that I am officially the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, the team and I could really use everyone’s help right now.
Will you please make a donation today to our grassroots campaign in Pennsylvania? Every dollar will help send us to the U.S. Senate where we’ll fight like hell for your community just like we fight for ours.
John Fetterman, (D), Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor, candidate for Senate
IN 1955, AT THE AGE OF 67, Emma Rowena Gatewood became the first woman to hike the entire 2,168 mile Appalachian Trail -- wearing sneakers and carrying an army blanket, a raincoat, a shower curtain, and a change of clothes in a homemade bag which she slung over one shoulder. For food, she foraged for wild plants, as well as carried dried meat, cheese, nuts, and dried fruit. The mother of 11 and grandmother of 23.
WIKIPEDIA: Emma Rowena (Caldwell) Gatewood, known as Grandma Gatewood, (October 25, 1887 – June 4, 1973), was an American ultra-light hiking pioneer. After a difficult life as a farm wife, mother of eleven children, and survivor of domestic violence, she became famous as the first solo female thru-hiker of the 2,168-mile (3,489 km) Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in 1955 at the age of 67. She subsequently became the first person (male or female) to hike the A.T. three times, after completing a second thru-hike two years later, followed by a section-hike in 1964. In the meantime, she hiked 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of the Oregon Trail in 1959. In her later years, she continued to travel and hike, and worked on a section of what would become the Buckeye Trail. The media coverage surrounding her feats was credited for generating interest in maintaining the A.T. and in hiking generally. Among many other honors, she was posthumously inducted into the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame in 2012.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
A good comprehensive vocational education provides more than enough abstract and critical thinking skills. Those are then easily transferred to other areas of interest.
Ever had to troubleshoot a computerized electronic control system? Yes, it’s black box replacement most of the time, but even that takes some mental horsepower to be done right in a competitive environment. And the few times it’s not simple it gets very interesting indeed!
The military has that part right, or at least they used to. Take a raw recruit, train them hard and right, hand them some responsibility, and say “OK hotshot, go out there and prove yourself now.” The good ones do and they become new people in the process.
CHINESE WORKERS BUILT THE RAILROADS and levees in the Sacramento Delta. The dirt they moved was said to be more dirt than it took to carve out the Panama Canal, so a certain debt was owed to them. At first they were allowed to buy houses but not the dirt the houses sat on. Finally, in 1977, the heirs of George Locke sold the town and its 14 acres to Chinese investors from Hong Kong. On a late afternoon in 2016 it appeared all but abandoned, one more sleepy historic place on the national registry until the saloon doors on Al The Wop's Tavern swung open and revealed travelers on a break from the scenic route drinking gin and eating steaks with garlic fries as the bartender recounted how the last fire in a century of fires sparked on easy tinder and swept through town. There are no Chinese to be found in the city of Locke now, only the busts of Confucius and Sun Yat-sen, father of the Republic of China whose Kuomintang Party once had a chapter there.
Mark Arax, 'The Dreamt Land'
THE “NOT CALM HEARTS” IN KHARKIV, UKRAINE
by Matt Taibbi
With bombs falling all around, embattled videographer Jon Farina visited with the abandoned poor and elderly at ground zero of the Russia-Ukraine war. An exclusive mini-documentary
On January 6th, 2020, then-30-year-old videographer Jon Farina was filming a demonstration at the U.S. Capitol for Status Coup when he found himself in the middle of a historic melee. Farina shot images of a Capitol police officer crying out as he was caught between waves of advancing Trump supporters and fellow officers behind, among the most dynamic and unsettling pictures captured that day.
Farina’s January 6th footage was used by everyone from ABC to The Guardian to CBS and Stephen Colbert to the Wall Street Journal to NBC and MSNBC to CNN, and countless other major news organizations.
Within a few days he himself became a quasi-celebrity, as CNN’s Pamela Brown (among others) interviewed Farina, the photographer “in the middle of everything.” He was also interviewed by USA Today and a few other journalists. Then, the story took a turn.
Two weeks after the January 6th events Farina was in Richmond, Virginia, where a rally of pro-gun protesters had been expected. The planned Richmond demonstration was pitched as the possible next battleground of the “insurrection.” The city’s Mayor, Levar Stoney, even said, “The violent, lawless insurrection and assault on democracy and its institutions that unfolded last week in Washington, D.C., will not be tolerated in the city of Richmond.”
Farina was shooting a livestream for independent journalist Jordan Chariton’s Status Coup, but the event turned out to be relatively unremarkable. Nonetheless, the livestream shut down mid-event. Chariton thought something had gone wrong on Farina’s end. It turned out YouTube had shut Farina down for violating their “firearms policy”:
The day before, Ford Fischer of TKpartner News2Share had the same thing happen to him at a gun rally in Columbus, Ohio, which had been hyped in reports as a possible “secondary attack.” Just like Farina, Fischer was told he was in violation of YouTube’s firearms policy. Fischer later had raw footage of January 6th removed by YouTube on similarly dubious grounds. The effect of these moves was to make it difficult for independent videographers to publish controversial uncut video (or, especially, livestreams, an important moneymaker for independents) unless properly contextualized by a corporate outlet.
Farina went on to leave media for a bit, and was working at a ski lodge earlier this year, when war in Ukraine broke out. He got the itch to go, and ended up in the embattled city of Kharkiv after a long journey that traced through Hungary, Lviv, and Kyiv. In Kharkiv, which significantly was also a dividing-line city in World War II, Farina hooked up with a group of young, Russian-speaking Ukrainian volunteers who would go on to call themselves the “Not Calm Hearts“ on Telegram.
The 30-minute film you see above, Meet the “Not Calm Hearts”: Four civilians’ mutual aid keeps the Ukrainians of Kharkiv alive, is the product of weeks Farina spent with those volunteers. It’s a chronicle of the work of the group, operating within shelling range of Russian guns, delivering food and supplies to the poor, elderly, and disabled who lacked either the funds or the strength to evacuate.
As you can see in the film, Farina, now 32, got unpleasantly close to the action, especially in one shelling scene depicted early on. “I thought we were done for,” he says, of a scene captured early in the film. “The bombs, they just didn’t stop.”
The remaining story is a combination war diary and sociological tale that extends back long before war broke out. The Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens you’ll see in this film — infirm, living off meager pensions in many cases, stuck in crumbling infrastructure — are the most vulnerable groups in the ex-Soviet states. Before 1990 the Soviet government made an effort to cram larger and larger percentages of the population (above 70-75% in some places) in neighborhoods of cheap, poorly built towers that even withouta war have been threatening to fall down.
Now, in places like Kharkiv, “people with money and resources were able to leave,” as Farina puts it, leaving these folks behind. These are ethnic Russians, which makes it significant when hearing one woman say, “We want victory.” I should point out that Russian coverage of areas like this has been sharply different, and has included complaints of Ukrainian forces using such people as human shields, but Farina didn’t see anything like that, and in fact his only recollection of anything similar involved seeing the remnants of a Russian forces camp “between civilian buildings” in the city of Bucha.
I interviewed Jon for more on the film, and his journey from January 6th to now:
Matt Taibbi: Before we get to the “Not-Calm Hearts,” let’s go back to January 6th. What were the circumstances of the famous shots you got?
Jon Farina: That day, I was doing interviews near the Ellipse before Trump went on to speak. I was live streaming, but because of the crowd, I got a lot of buffering. So I was like, fuck this, I’m leaving, I’m going to the Capitol. As I’m walking away, I hear Trump speaking. I just keep walking and I got to the Capitol, and then no more than a few minutes later, that’s when they broke through the barricades. I hopped the fence, on the lawn, ran up to the front and made my way to the front of the line. So, I was there at the initial breach. I was shocked at how there was very little law enforcement, very few police officers. I knew within the first five minutes that it was going to be bad because there were no cops in riot gear. It was Capitol police with little cans of pepper spray. I knew they weren’t going to hold up. I’d been around the Proud Boys and, and all these groups for the whole year leading up to January 6th… I knew it was gonna be bad. I just didn’t know how bad.
MT: How did you get that shot?
Farina: My thing was to show the desperation of these people trying to get into this building… Even going back and looking at the footage, I could see in people’s faces, they were scared, they were hurting, these just regular people, just fighting to get into this building. That’s basically what I wanted to show: the desperation, the violence.
MT: What happened after that initial scene?
Farina: Jen from Status Coup texted me and told me that many people were in the building. So I thought, let me try and make my way into the building. That’s when I found that tunnel, and I saw how violent it was. I made my way in there and stayed in there for about 30 minutes. I had my camera on a tripod, so I was able to hide behind somebody and put my camera over them and record what was happening in the front. That’s how I stayed in for so long, because other people were rotating out. They would say, “We need fresh Patriots to the front of the line!” Then they would rotate people in and out, people who were hurting from the spray would get out of there, and they’d get new people into the front to try and push the police into the building.
MT: When you got out of the tunnel, what then?
Farina: All my equipment died, my camera was dead, I lost my GoPro, my phone. Also my face, my hands, everything was burning up. The crowd had had bear mace, and then the police would pepper-spray them. I was just drenched in pepper spray and bear mace and whatever else. In the tunnel, I almost collapsed from dehydration, and also I was being crushed in there. I still have pain to this day, from what might have been a minor fracture that never healed properly.
MT: Upon reflection, what’s your take about what happened there that day?
Farina: A lot of it was psychological. When I was there, I was like, “Holy shit, these people are hypnotized.” They can’t break out of it, because they’re already too involved. The adrenaline is pumping through the event, even I felt the rush… It’s like a, like a drunk night, where after, you watch the things that you did, and you’re like, “Oh fuck. Why did I do that?” You saw the energy kind of take over people.
MT: At the end, you reached the place every photographer wants to reach, having the shot that everybody in the world is using. Some people shoot their whole lives and that never happens. One, how did that feel, and two, how odd was it to have your work taken down by YouTube almost right after?
Farina: It felt good. I’m glad people saw the desperation. About YouTube, I’m thinking, what are they trying to cover up? Why are they taking this down? Who’s behind it? I just thought they were trying to keep information about what really happened on the down low. But maybe that’s not the case, I don’t know.
MT: Switching gears, how did you get to Kharkiv?
Farina: Status Coup and I split ways. I just went back to freelancing for myself and it just got too difficult for me. Then in the winter I left New York and I went to the Poconos and worked at a ski resort. I was operating a ski lift and when war broke out I said, “Fuck it. I’m going to Ukraine… Let me go over there and get the story.”
MT: You raised your own money, got a Ukrainian press credential and just went, right?
Farina: I flew into Hungary, took a 15 hour train from Budapest into Lviv, and after that wound up traveling further east. I’d hooked up with two other photojournalists, from New York. We got a fixer, we traveled to Kremenchuk, and we hit places like Dnipro, and Zaporizhzhia. Then we went to Kyiv, and from Kyiv, we wanted to go further east, so we went to Kharkiv.
MT: It;’s in Kharkiv that you hook up with these “Not Calm Hearts”?
Farina: Yeah. My hotel was in the Kharkiv city center, which was completely destroyed. Basically every building was destroyed. Once I checked out of there, I went and stayed with them in the Saltivka area. That place was like the hardest hit area.
MT: How far were you from the front lines?
Farina: Just a few miles. It was really close. We were in the shelling and gunfire. We could constantly hear gunfire from their home. Really close.
MT: You’re depicting volunteers going back and forth to these abandoned areas. Where did they get the money? What was the process?
Farina: They had PayPal, and they were using their Instagram to show people what they’re doing. Every time they would deliver food, they would have the person take a picture and just post it to show that, hey, we’re spending money to go buy food and bring it to these people.
MT: Was this your first war work? What was the hairiest moment?
Farina: This is my first time. The worst moment is the bombing scene in the film. I thought we were done for. Because the bombs, they just didn’t stop. We had just got back from a day of delivering… As soon as we got out of the car, five missiles came in. We ran to the building, and took cover. I turned the camera on, and then it just kept going nonstop. I think I counted maybe 20 to 25 rockets.
MT: You ended up staying with these guys for roughly two weeks, and this ends up being a story about life in these abandoned areas. Is that what you were trying to capture? Also, what happened to them? You were posting a lot of this online. Did that have an impact?
Farina: They, stayed in the city and they had people to help out and feed. I think they have a big network, in part probably because of the exposure that I gave them. I think they have a big operation now. I’ve been seeing videos that they post on their Telegram — when we were delivering, they had maybe like five people tops, they would deliver to maybe 20 people. Now from the videos that I see, it looks like they’re feeding maybe 50 people at a time. They have these big trucks, so I think their operation got somewhat better.
As for what I was trying to capture, I knew I wanted to do a story on these guys, but I didn’t know where it was going to go. I didn’t expect to be living with them, you know…? One of the first things they said is that they don’t have any help from the government or anybody else. After the night of the bombing, I think one fire truck came to put a fire out and then that was it. We didn’t see any services come to clean up the neighborhood or anything like that. That was only in the cities. These outside neighborhoods or villages are kind of being forgotten about. Nobody’s helping them. And that’s the big issue.
MT: Glad you made it back, and well done.
Farina: Thank you.
One last note: Jon didn’t set up a Patreon ahead of this film’s release, because he didn’t want to be perceived as trying to fundraise off this story. I’m a little less shy about doing so on his behalf, however. Even though I didn’t know about this project until after he returned (the Executive Producer credit in the movie is generous, but ex post facto), any subscription revenue from this content will go to Jon, not to TK or me. Thanks to him and to Ford Fischer from our partners News2Share for putting this together.
THE WRECKING CREW WILL BE OVERCOME
by James Kunstler
We stumble into the horse latitudes of summer feeling trapped in the stillness. The heat disorders minds — and these are minds already scrambled by official propaganda. We are this close to a general recognition that the Covid vaccines were a deadly scam, even while Rochelle Walensky of the CDC keeps pushing boosters on TV and the entire public health bureaucracy stands by silently behind this murderous fakery. When their trials finally come, will they plead that they just didn’t know? How is that possible? (It’s not.)
The crisis of the vaccinated is coming and there won’t be any hiding it. Anyway, nobody expects actual news reporting out of the legacy media. It will get around through the alt.media for sure, and already is, but the real spread will proceed when all the everyday people see themselves and those around them get sick, and realize they have one thing in common: those vaxxes they submitted to. It’s already happening.
In keeping with the principles of mass formation psychosis, the maliciously insane people in charge of our nation’s affairs will expect you to swallow ever-greater absurdities to maintain their control (and protect themselves). But we’re way beyond the “women-with-penises” stage of the mind-fuckery program. Nobody with a functioning brain believes that bullshit anymore — except the people who run the California prison system. Next up, apparently, is a hot little war with Russia or China, a useful distraction from the systematic self-dismantling of Western Civ.
“Joe Biden” has sent troops from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions to Europe, supposedly to “train” the NATO forces of Euroland. Is this some kind of bluff? Or does “Joe Biden” and Company imagine that they’ll pull off some blitzkrieg counter-offensive on-the-ground in Ukraine and recapture territory secured by Russia painfully since February? If we send troops into Ukraine proper, it would amount to a deliberate sacrifice of our supposedly best soldiers in a meat-grinder. Maybe the purpose is simply to further weaken the US military, humiliate NATO, and hasten the death of the West.
Of course, we have no real strategic national interest in Ukraine. We had no quarrel all the years that the Russian Soviets owned and operated it. We set in motion the current conflict by cooking up the 2014 color revolution. (There followed the fat years for Hunter Biden converting US aid money into revenue for his many shell corporations.) I doubt that a plurality of Americans will fall for another such stupid Hate Russia ploy. We’ve had enough pointless and costly foreign misadventures. This would be a war exceeding the unpopularity of Vietnam and could easily unleash widespread street protests. Only this time the Left will be pro-war and the Party of Chaos will send out its ragtag army of Antifa trannies to make the street protests bloodier. It will be seen for what it is: the ruling regime’s war on its own people. And it will be overcome.
Vying in the absurdity Olympics, the World Health Organization (WHO) just declared Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) — but only after the outfit’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, overruled a WHO committee that voted against such a move. Monkeypox, you understand, is a disease spread almost exclusively among the gay population, that is, men having sex with men, exchanging bodily fluids. Outbreaks have been keyed to gay orgies, especially during the recent June “Pride Month” festivities. Do you think it might be more appropriate for the WHO to issue an advisory against gay orgies?
But, really, it’s just another obvious power-grab, an attempt by the Schwabenklausian maniacs to push people around and wreck the economy in order to Build Back Better — that is, to orchestrate a program of severe digital social control for managing its depopulation event. The US Department of Defense (DOD) is now authorized under the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to administer a mandatory vaccine program, while the CDC has bought millions of doses of supposed monkeypox vaccine.
Knowing how deadly the Covid vaxxes were, do you really think that masses of Americans who happen to not engage in gay sex might line-up willingly for these new shots? I kind of doubt it. The idiotic war provocations, the renewed climate hysteria, and dishonest health scares are devices for postponing, cancelling, or screwing around with the US midterm election. If the Left loses the US Congress, then the globalists will lose their main weapon: the Party of Chaos. Meanwhile, Euroland leaders are already falling and whole governments over there will crash and burn in the months to come.
All of this is happening against the background of a wobbling financial system that is making life unaffordable for what’s left of the middle-classes. One way or another, they will be sharply motivated to rescue their own livelihoods and recreate a country under real rule-of-law in the service of liberty. We await “Joe Biden” and Company’s most desperate move: to turn off the Internet so that Americans won’t be able to communicate easily or remain informed about anything. Of course, if they try that, they’ll also destroy everything that is managed automatically by computers in this land and plunge America into battle against the demented bureaucracy that rules us.
WHAT IF HITLER HAD ORDERED THE INVASION OF BRITAIN?
by Patrick Cockburn
I often think at this time of year about what would have happened if Hitler had ordered the invasion of Britain in the summer of 1940. A reason for my interest is that I live in Canterbury in east Kent; the coast where the German invasion would have taken place between Folkestone and Newhaven is half an hour’s drive to the south.
I have often stood on top of the Western and Eastern Heights at Dover looking at the French coast 20 miles away, which is so clearly visible and makes the Channel feel more like a broad river rather than a narrow sea.
Another reason for thinking about the non-invasion of 1940 is that Britain was lucky then and I wonder if its luck as a country has deserted it, as one grossly inadequate government succeeds another.
In the event, Hitler decided to postpone and then abandon the invasion. But he said later in the war to his intimates that he believed that his biggest mistake was allowing the German navy to dissuade him from giving the order for the attack.
Many argue that the German barges could not have crossed the Channel because the RAF won the Battle of Britain and denied the Luftwaffe air superiority. This may be true of south east England as a whole, but the Luftwaffe could certainly have gained superiority over coastal east Kent, which was all it needed for an invasion. The Royal Navy could not be permanently stationed in the Channel to stop the invaders without sustaining catastrophic losses from air attack.
Once a German seaborne invasion force or paratroopers had seized a few airfields, they could have brought in reinforcements by air. They were able to do this during the battle for Crete in 1941, despite the Royal Navy having control of the sea.
An understanding of how desperate the situation really was may explain why Churchill and his senior generals made elaborate plans to use poison gas if the Germans got ashore. I wrote a long piece about this some years ago.
WHAT IS THIS “RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER” THAT WESTERN ELITES KEEP TALKING ABOUT?
by Rachel Marsden
…In short, it’s a vision of a world that’s Western-led with dominant classic Western values of economic and trade freedom serving as a foothold for spreading political freedom to the ultimate benefit of the average citizen. At least in theory.
The reality is much more complicated. All too often, the spreading of freedom hasn't been free — at least for the average person. Military interventions or covert political interference are typically used to upend unwanted systems so that a compliant leadership can be installed that will primarily serve the economic and political interests of Western elites. The concern for the people and their personal economic situation generally ends there, even if they end up worse off than before, as is often the case.…
The conflict in Ukraine risks creating the ultimate nightmare for Western elites: an alternative group of allies over which the West has no control, but which has the capacity to offer citizens of the world economic opportunities that are competitive with what their own governments or countries are offering.…
As Western governments lose control, they’re cracking down on those who advocate in favor of greater sovereignty and independence — two concepts which the elites love to invoke for manipulative purposes but see almost as dirty words when coming from the mouths of actual people seeking to assert their own rights. The rise of populism is also a symptom of the problem that Western governments created for themselves by failing to reverse course on their own systemic corruption and increasingly authoritarian tendencies.
Western elites are doubling down in Ukraine to save the world order that protects their own selfish interests, thinking that it’s the way to prevent a parallel option from emerging. It’s as simple as that. And they don't care if it’s the average citizen who has to pay the price.