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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022

Cooling | Fires/Lightning | Football Cubs | Bacteria Levels | Pomo Baskets | New Booster | Bulletproof Supes | Olsens | Schools Update | Kasten Street | Murray Miscarriage | Tam Lookout | Hopland Walking | Velma's Farmstand | Measure O | Centennial Parade | Pot Market | Helen Stevens | From Marysville | River Logs | Revenue Chat | Elise Kelley | Planning Agenda | Yesterday's Catch | Hourly Wage | Pre Cooling | Doom/Gloom | Beat Heat | Appliance Healers | British Hysteria | Spy Pigeon | Died Peacefully | Mourning McNuggets | Apolinaria Garrett | Establishment Panic | NM Storefront | This Week | Proper Perspective | Gorbachev & JFK | Misdirection | Mid-Term Elections | Welsh Town | Marco Radio | Evening Spirit

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A MASSIVE COOLING TREND will be observed this weekend across the interior after several days of wretched heat. Coastal areas will also see more marine influence with cooler afternoon temperatures and areas of morning low clouds and patchy fog. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Ukiah 109°, Boonville 108°, Covelo 107°, Yorkville 106°, Fort Bragg 65°

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MORE THAN 8,000 FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING BLAZES IN CALIFORNIA

As of Friday morning, there were 8,292 firefighters working on blazes across California, according to Cal Fire. “Over the weekend there will be a high risk for lightning on top of very flammable fuels across the Northern Sierra,” the agency reported.

(SF Chronicle)

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Coach Sam Gitchel, Coach Rob Ivankay, and Coach Tom O'Neal grilled out with the Cubs and Junior Cubs at the Middle School today. They were joined by Chaplain Smith's K-9 "Mila" featured center amongst the players.

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AVOID CONTACT WITH OCEAN WATER AT HARE CREEK BEACH

State Beach Ocean Water Advisory 

The Environmental Health Division of Mendocino County Public Health received bacteriological ocean water quality sampling results for the week of September 6, 2022 that indicate that the ocean water quality at Hare Creek does not meet State standards. The enterococcus bacteria levels in the sample taken on 9-6-2022 has exceeded acceptable levels. 

Warning signs have been posted at Hare Creek warning the public to avoid contact with ocean water due to an increased risk to human health. Contact with ocean water should be avoided for 50 yards on either side of the drainage entering the ocean. Hare Creek is located just south of the intersection of Hwy 20 and Hwy 1 in the Fort Bragg area. 

Hare Creek will remain posted with the warning signs until water quality meets minimum standards specified by the State of California regulations. Environmental Health Division staff determine this safety standard based on bacteriological findings in their regular water sampling. 


ON LINE COMMENTS 

1: There are also natural, non-fecal sources of fecal indicator bacteria, including plants, sand, soil and sediments, that contribute to a certain background level in ambient waters and vary based on local environmental and meteorological conditions.

2. Since the too often odiferous waste treatment plant is just north of Hare Creek Beach, maybe larger issues are at play.

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Pomo Baskets, 1938

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BIVALENT COVID BOOSTER (THE NEW ONE) DRIVE THRU VACCINE CLINIC

ages 12+

at AV HIGH SCHOOL

4:30-6 pm Tuesday Sept 13th

Must be 2 months from last booster or COVID virus. 12-17 y/o need parent signature.

Bivalent vaccines are reformulated to protect against Original and Omicron B.4/B.5 strains providing greater protection against variants compared to the original Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.

A bivalent is recommended because it's the only type of vaccine that can protect against the most dominant Omicron strains of COVID-19 in the US.

With the rise of more contagious variants, people need more protection, even with prior vaccination or immunity from COVID-19 infection.

Contact: http://www.avhc.org

Call Us: (707) 895-3477

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GOING BALLISTIC

by Mark Scaramella

We have received the County’s response to our Public Records Act request for the documents associated with the Board Chambers Remodel project, a months-long project which then-CEO Carmel Angelo spearheaded on grounds that post-Covid significantly increased security provisions were required in the Board Chambers.

The County’s response or our request prompt and at no cost, despite some recent local media concern about the County’s new Public Records Act request process. 

We already knew that Ms. Angelo ordered a pair of high-cost high-tech $30k metal detectors for the Board chambers. But we were surprised to learn that the CEO and her staff had also specified that all the half-panels separating the public from the Board and Staff were to be reinforced with special 3.5-inch thick bulletproof fiberglass ballistic armor, molded in behind the new regular paneling. The manufacturer, “Total Security Solutions,” says their special armor is designed for convenience stores, gas station counters, and, ominously, “judge benches,” where the risk of armed encounters is present: “Fiberglass structural armor is designed to progressively delaminate as a bullet penetrates. The hard surface and toughness of the material cause the bullet to distort and flatten. As the bullet penetrates, the layers of (fiberglass) reinforcement within the laminate pull apart in a controlled manner such that the energy of the bullet is dissipated within the laminate. More energy is consumed as the bullet penetrates the high-strength glass fibers. No spalling occurs.” Not only is this ballistic glass expensive, but it’s much more time consuming to cut to size and install, requiring special tools and expertise.

It’s hard to tell from the County’s documents how much the ballistic panels themselves added to the total cost of this profligate project. But it’s obvious that the entire project — which CEO Angelo grandly entitled the “Board Chambers Security Improvement Project” — was gold-plated from top to bottom, and reflected a level of paranoia, public contempt and disregard for public funds out of all proportion to any possibility of harm to county leadership.

It appears that the new ballistic half-panels are intended to give the Board and staff a place to duck behind when a disgruntled citizen opens fire. Or maybe as cover for when they return fire.

Besides removing everything and re-installing the chamber floor, carpet, new walls and half-walls and furniture, the project also involved removing several rows of seats from the front of the public area to push the public back a few feet further from the Board and staff and separate them from each other. Transparent Plexiglass panels were also installed all over the place to, presumably, keep your germs and grenades from reaching anyone else.

The contractor for the job was Cupples Construction of Ukiah who ended up billing the County roughly $286k for the work. We did not receive a copy of the bill from the Fort Bragg architect who prepared the fancy detailed plans for the work. Nor do we know how much staff time was applied to this grotesque project which took much longer than the two months originally planned.

The overall project including the design and planning and other overhead costs was budgeted for $370k. We don’t know if that included the two $30k metal detectors but we doubt it because they were agendized and probably purchased separately.

There’s no evidence the Supervisors themselves had any say in the project or its design — they were never even allowed into the Board chambers or their offices during the period when it was discussed, planned, designed and installed.

This kind of grandiosity has permeated most facilities projects that CEO Angelo took over during her 12 year tenure. We remember her revealing remark at a Measure B meeting a few years ago when she explained that County facilities projects are comparable to a private individual building a $50,000 kitchen.

This blithe disregard for cost is reflected in all the big facilities projects the County has undertaken during CEO Angelo’s reign, including the jail expansion now overrunning by millions of dollars, the Crisis Residential Treatment house which cost almost $5 million, five times what it should have, and the laughably expensive demolition and rebuild of the Whitmore Lane Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) now on track to cost over $20 million, among others.

When it comes to its employees, Mendo takes a tightwad stance, keeping wages down and positions vacant for as long as possible with minimal concern for whether work gets done or not, while keeping employee reps at a distance with an expensive SF law firm doing the negotiating — in secret. 

But when it comes to facilities, however, Mendo spares no expense, then brags about how wonderful their overpriced projects are. They are always presented to the Board as a done deal for rubberstamping. And nobody, least of all the five church mice allegedly functioning as supervisors, is allowed to interfere with or discuss these royal designs until they’re way past any chance of savings, economies or budget restrictions.

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Oliver and Selma Olson, after moving from Albion to Mendocino, 1932

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BOONVILLE SCHOOLS UPDATE

Dear Anderson Valley Community,

Another busy week in the district. The extreme heat was challenging. Our HVAC installation at the high school is not yet complete, although the contractor worked very hard in the high temperatures to have the units wired into the existing panel to try and provide some relief. We are grateful for that extra effort!

The second pool trip for the Jr./Sr. High is scheduled for this Monday. Grades 7-9 will attend. This is a fun social opportunity for the students to engage in and connect on a spirit level. Our goal is to put more fun and excitement back into school to support the academic rigor. So far, the students are responding well.

The elementary instruction looks very, very good when I walk through rooms. We have seen students at both sites settle back into routines very quickly. That is GOOD! I walked into a classroom the other day with a “money scavenger hunt” and the students were out of their seats, collaborating, and solving varies visual coin configurations. Fun stuff!

Just a reminder to please have your students stay home if they are exhibiting any signs of illness or symptoms of cold or flu. This will ensure we can keep the entire student body and staff healthy. 

Why are we calling every morning? The District needs to improve its daily attendance INCLUDING students arriving to school on time. As part of the plan we had to write for the County Office to improve our on-time arrivals and attendance, we are now calling all families first thing in the morning. If your student needs a ride, let us know and we will come and get them. Students that are late are going to be marked UNEXCUSED, if they are not there within the first ten minutes of the day. Please help us improve this required attendance indicator by ensuring your student leaves for school on time. If they are late, it may affect sports/cheer participation. This is a required area of improvement for our district by the State.

We are also calling to find out what our graduates from the past four years are up to and find out how we can adjust our programming to support future needs as well.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!

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We hope you are enjoying some relief from the heat. It was hot and challenging. The construction is not yet complete with the new HVAC units, which also threw a wrinkle into the week. We appreciate your flexibility as we did our best to keep students comfortable.

Just a reminder that any students that have a current “F” in any class are not eligible for sports or practice until the grade is brought up. We have been notifying students directly, but we also urge parents to learn how to log into AERIES so you can see at a glance, where your students’ achievement is currently at!

Mark your calendar for our PLP week, the first week of October. We love having the chance to meet and collaborate with you about your student’s success! Scheduling these appointments is a bit of Jenga Puzzle nightmare with all of the teachers and translators, so please keep your appointment as it is scheduled! Students attend school on a minimum day schedule that week.

Thank you to those parents/staff/students who took the time to attend the Site Council/CTE meeting yesterday. We can’t fix what we don’t know. The opportunity to work in collaboration with you is valued and appreciated and will help us grow together with a focus on achievement.

Thank you to the families that are participating in our graduate information survey. This information helps us evaluate, improvement, and retool our offerings to ensure our students are successful in college and career.

A huge shout out to all of our student athletes for a great first few weeks of the season! Thank you to our parents/guardians for your support. We need some help with the Gate Duty. Sign up!

Have a wonderful weekend ahead!

Take care,

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017

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Old Kasten Street, 1910

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DA & JUDGE: ‘DON’T BELIEVE YOUR LYIN’ EYES’

by Jim Shields

I’m sure you’ve all been following the miscarriage of justice that occurred this past week with the sweetheart plea bargain and slap-on-the-wrist sentencing of former UPD Sergeant Kevin Murray, a guy who is clearly a serial sexual predator and someone who uses meth — at least detectives found a crank bag in his police locker, so I’m assuming it’s for personal use. 

Thanks to DA David Eyster and Judge Anne Moorman, this guy was given a get-out-of-jail-free plea bargain. A deal that stinks to high heaven, as my grandmother used to say.

As reported this week by the UDJ’s Justine Frederiksen, After stating that she had very few options at her disposal, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann C. Moorman sentenced former Ukiah Police Department Sgt. Kevin P. Murray to two years in prison Tuesday, a term that is currently suspended as he begins serving 24 months of supervised probation.

“But if you take one step out of line, you’re going to the joint; I’m giving you one chance on this,’ Moorman said to Murray, who declined to make a statement prior to sentencing, beyond what he had already submitted to the judge.

“In explaining her ruling to the victims as well as the community-at-large, Moorman described the plea agreement reached between the prosecution and the defense in July (which dismissed all sexual offenses and had Murray pleading no contest to one misdemeanor and one “Strike” felony on the condition that he receive probation) as amounting to the District Attorney’s Office “signaling to the court that they did not establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Referring to a proposal received Monday from the DA’s Office that recommended Murray serve “360 days in county jail,” Moorman described that as both an “unsound recommendation” and “mildly inappropriate.”

Instead, Moorman said she was removing the option of county jail and sentencing Murray to prison time, explaining that she wanted to ensure that even if Murray violated his probation with only six months left on his sentence, “he will go to prison. That is vastly different than if he went to county jail.

“This is not to be interpreted as just a slap on the wrist, or as leniency that is not available to other defendants,” Moorman continued, explaining that she was also requiring Murray to complete a course of counseling for sexual offenders, despite the fact that all sexual offenses Murray was previously charged with were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Eyster copped out on prosecuting the proverbial poster portrait of a bad cop, alleging that a victim, whose hotel room Murray broke into with the aid of a room key card he stole from her during an earlier traffic stop, didn’t make herself available to testify in court.

The victim’s attorney said that’s hogwash. He stated he attempted to contact the DA’s office several times to work out her availability to testify in the case but his calls were never returned. The DA’s office denies all this.

First of all, I’m assuming the victim’s attorney has phone records of the placed calls but let’s not quibble about that.

If the DA was interested in getting this bad cop put away and bring justice to his victims — one of whom was a former UPD officer — he could have issued a subpoena compelling her to appear at trial. It could be argued that he would have been taking his chances about what, if anything, she would say, but her attorney is adamant she was committed in assisting with the full prosecution of Murray.

Even Judge Moorman was aware the proceedings in her courtroom were not passing the smell test.

According to the UDJ report, “In addressing the victims, identified in court as only S.Y. and Jane Doe, Moorman said she ‘took no pleasure in today’s proceedings for many, many reasons, and that nothing I say or do can restore what’s been taken from you, which is your sense of personal safety and trust’.”

Of course, Moorman could have arrested this travesty right at the beginning of trial after being presented with the contemptible plea deal.

Judges do not have to accept plea bargains. Period.

Though the practice is not common, judges can reject plea deals.

In making that decision, the judge evaluates whether the punishment is appropriate in light of the seriousness of the charges, the defendant's character, the defendant’s prior criminal record, the interest of the victim(s), and the interests of the general public.

Judge Moorman had a wide berth to reject the malodorous plea deal but she didn’t. Instead, she went along to get along, apparently.

It’s these types of events that make the public cynical and distrustful of our criminal justice system. 

There’s an old saying that describes exactly what happened in that Ukiah courtroom this past week:

“The worst form of injustice is pretended justice.”

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, observer@pacific.net, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)

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BILL KIMBERLIN: I'm not sure how many people have ever gotten into that fire lookout station at the very top of Mt. Tam, but I have. I now understand why no one is allowed in. My cousin is a long time Mill Valley fire captain now retired, but he does volunteer work as a look out and he invited me. After entering the building I was presented with what was laughingly described as a stairway. It was possibly a ladder at most. Going up was almost possible. Going down would have frightened a squirrel.

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VERNON BUDLINGER

We are starting a weekly UC Hopland REC-Blue Zones Walking Moai Group starting at 7:15 am during the last week of September and meeting weekly for 10 sessions. Hopland residents (and nearby) have first rights to join the group and pick the day (Wed Thurs or Fri). Choose the day that you prefer in the link below. The link to Next Door explains the program or open.

After Hopland residents sign up, Blue Zone will announce the event on EventBrite.

This is not going to be a “show up when you want walk” event. If you are not at the meeting place when the group leaves, you can't walk. You must be signed up for the walk before you arrive. This is very important because is a trial program - so it needs to be formal for the first few iterations.

Here are the rules and info from UC HREC:

We are excited to plan the first walking moai, community walking group, at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) with the Blue Zones Project. This 5,358 University of California property provides opportunities for research and education at their facility, our hikes will work around these activities and we are working closely with UC staff to follow all site rules. Rules include:

Hikers must be part of the Hopland walking moai. Hikes must take place at times, dates and locations agreed with the UC Hopland REC and walking moai leader.

No dogs (due to the use of livestock guardian dogs).

Stay on the agreed trail and with the group.

Bathrooms are provided at the beginning and end of the hike.

All hikers must sign a liability waiver and sign in and out during the hike.

Hikers must leave a cell phone number at which they can be contacted in case of emergency.

No alcohol, tobacco or cannabis use on site.

Leave gates as you find them.

Avoid spreading invasive species by checking your clothes for seeds/grasses after hiking.

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VELMA'S FARM STAND AT FILIGREEN FARM

We are open Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. The farm stand will be stocked this week with: apples (Honeycrisp and Ambrosia), prune plums, pears, plums, table grapes (Venus, Jupiter, California Concord), tomatoes (heirlooms, cherries, and new girls), eggplant, sweet peppers, shishito peppers, potatoes, green beans, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, chard, kale, spinach, lettuce mix, little gem lettuces, turnips, celery, onions, garlic, herbs, dried fruit (prunes, apples, raisins, peaches), olive oil, quince apple butter, and fresh and everlasting flower bouquets! 

Tomato seconds are also available for sale in 10 lb ($20) or 20 lb ($36) flats. Please email Annie to reserve in advance! 

Multiple flavors of Wilder Kombucha available as well. All produce is certified biodynamic and organic. Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email Annie at farmstand@filigreenfarm.com with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (with Market Match)!

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THE ‘YES ON MEASURE O’ CAMPAIGN FOR LIBRARIES IS SURGING FORWARD!

The library funding initiative will be on the November 2022 ballot as Measure O and the campaign is in full swing to get out the vote to provide Mendocino County libraries with stable funding.

This sales tax increase will not raise the current sales tax. It will help with library building repairs and improvements and library materials and services.

How can you help support the library funding campaign? Go to the Measure O website YesOnLibraries.org where you can read all the details about Measure O, make a donation through PayPal or with a check, register your support and be added to the list of supporters, and request a lawn sign or a sign for your business window.

The 1/8 cent sales tax provided to the Mendocino County libraries by Measure O will be deposited in a special library fund along with the 1/8 cent sales tax approved in 2011, which Measure O now protects for the future. Since a 3/8 cent sales tax is expiring this year, there will be no net increase in our current sales tax. 

If you haven’t been to your local library lately, stop by and see what a wonderful resource it is for our communities. It’s a great place to check out books, music, movies, access the internet, enjoy story times, crafts, special programs on topics of interest, and get help with research projects and homework. 

contact person: Carolyn Schneider 707-513-6657

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Centennial Parade, Mendocino, 1952

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THE POT MARKET, an on-line comment: 

Both markets are and have been broken for a while now.. legal farms were hoping for a life without fear of the raids for their kids sake. That doesn’t matter to the hypocrisy that is our government. They over regulate and over tax and over permit until the implosion happens, then seek new revenue by going after what’s left of the industry. They cry these raid/inspections are over water when there’s no one left in the hills. Between big ag and global warming our rivers are never coming back… if any legal farms are back footing flower it’s out of necessity to feed their families at this point and neither market is paying shit. The cannabis haters can hate as they always have but the reality is that real good people and families are being hurt badly right now. The state agencies are power drunk and the ego trip is going to get a class action lawsuit as they continue to break laws and push boundaries. This is a legal industry, with people who give back far more than any one gives them credit for .. just wait for the lack of trickle down taxes hit this year. Government at all levels has a financial awakening coming as well. Good luck to all on both sides of the market

Country Joe: This is exactly why I stayed small and avoided any contact with the government.

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Helen Moore Stevens, 1880s

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MIKE GENIELLA: 

THERE IS ALMOST ALWAYS a local connection. My hometown of Marysville will understand this Instagram post by acclaimed photographer Michael Jang about his mother. Jang's parents Dorothy and Woodrow Jang owned the landmark Jay's Department Store in downtown Marysville back in the day. 

Michael Jang recalled: “My mom felt an affinity with the Queen (they were the same age), enough to use her own money and travel by herself to attend Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation all the way to London from Marysville, California. Mom was in her mid-twenties, I was two and my sister was one and I guess she just told my dad ‘I’ll be back in a week!’ I just found out about this and now I’m going to call her tomorrow morning as I have so many questions about her journey. What made you decide to go? Was it your first plane trip? Did dad have help taking care of us? Are there any souvenirs or pictures? Mom said she got there early enough to be in the front row and said the Queen looked directly into her eyes’.”

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Big River Logs Waiting to be Floated to Mill

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FACEBOOK EXCHANGE following Supervisor Ted Williams’ post of the County’s modest credit rating increase press release:

Scott Ward: Will the hard work of the staff that was a crucial part of the increase in the county's credit rating result in them receiving a fair cost of living adjustment in salary in these inflationary times?

Williams: I believe in fair, market wages. I believe the county has sliced the pie into too many pieces and here we are potentially heading into a period of declining revenue. I say potentially, because I haven't first hand seen the constants and formulas used by our Auditor's office to "adjust" our budget nor forecasts we can trust to the margins needed.

Curtis Labus: You could give non general funded positions big raises without hurting the county and shore up some of the positions that are open. This will decrease stress on County units that are hurting and stretched thin. Some of these positions make less than fast food. Even $20 an hour jobs bring home only $2200 a month, rent here is $900 for a studio on Laws Avenue. No County employee can afford to live on their own.

Ward: well dont raise fees to make up for declining revenue, that will have a diminishing return. Planning and Building and the Cannabis Department fees are already exorbitant where the service provided is not commensurate with the enormous fees paid. I have been here 32 years, the county disfunction is as bad as I have ever seen.

Williams: The non-general departments are not 100% covered by state, so increasing those wages does take from the same pool that covers general fund positions. We agree about low wages, though -- it never should have happened and we need to find a path out. The county increased scope over the years, succumbed to endless state mandates. Perhaps it would have been wiser to focus on core services and living wages first, before adding positions. Somehow we have to dig out. Proposition 64 and subsequent regulation beyond our control made implementation in this county impossible. It would have been better to ignore it altogether.

Labus: I will give you we need to change things. When an employees check from 2008 is only $50 more on their 2021 check we have problems. The only reason I harp on you and Haschak is I believe you will change things. Sadly I have worked in this county for 25 years. I have never seen change. It is the same rhetoric. Be the change!

Williams: close to 100% of revenue is spent and much of it on employee wages. The remainder goes toward capital improvements and materials, like roof replacements to stop leaks. When I came on, the amount of deferred maintenance was unfathomable. The strategy of kicking the can down the road has left us in a position where wages are too low AND we have deferred maintenance (plus debt from a past generation). Collecting all due taxes could help, but probably not enough. Without an increase in revenue, we need to do more with fewer, either by cutting the scope of county government or leveraging better tools. That and not growing the scope, but I recognize it's difficult. Take water. If the county does nothing to secure water, it's quite possible revenue declines, but if we do, we're taking from the small pool which could be used to maintain existing staff. No easy answers and where I disagree with colleagues, I recognize merit to their arguments.

* * *

Mark Mirata: Didn’t you guys just admit you have no idea of your spending or budget numbers?….

Williams: I've been insistent on moving to regular financial reports, but with what we have, rating has increased.

Mirata: My question to you is then, what “improved financial position, supported by enhanced financial management policies and practices” are S&P referring to if you have no idea where we stand financially? Just does not make sense to me.

Williams: No question, there's a mess, but it's less of a mess than when I joined the board. Antle has been a partner in ripping the bandaids off, being open about the problems, getting to the root and beginning to make a difference. The trajectory is toward stronger footing and that's what the upgraded credit rating reflects. Everyone on the board today inherited debt from a previous generation, which has hampered providing services today. Some of this is financial debt, but much is deferred maintenance of every type. For example, not investing in IT or not building a jail to meet modern standards (and for those who think a jail is an unnecessary expense, consider the liability to public money from not meeting state and federal requirements).

(Mark Scaramella Notes: Williams actually believes his own hype!, not remotely conscious of his own rubberstamping of the last four years of financial mismanagement.)

* * *

John Redding: The BOS took $16.1M of covid relief money, intended for those impacted financially, and used it to balance the budget. Also, denying the workers a pay increase helps balance the budget on the backs of the union. Perhaps these shenanigans had something to do with the credit increase. At least it is more plausible than concluding the County is managing its finances well, which it is obviously not.

Williams: The ARPA funds were used in compliance with state and federal requirements.

Redding: That's disingenuous. Yes, ARPA funds could be used replace the lost revenue experienced by the County due to the pandemic. However, I don't recall that the County ever published a figure for that. More importantly, ARPA funds could be used, and I think this was preferred use, to “Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses” and “Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the inequal impact of the pandemic”. These were left unaddressed. The state as I recall required the County to develop an allocation plan for the funds but it never did. You put the needs of the County government over that of the of the public and its own workers. One last comment is that the County's own financial management goals are to not use one-time funds to pay for ongoing costs. But it did just that.

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Elise Kelley, 1872

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PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING, September 15, 2022

Staff Report(s) and Agenda for September 15, 2022, is posted on the department website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission

Please contact staff with any questions.

Sincerely,

Brooke Larsen

Commission Services Supervisor

Mendocino County Planning and Building

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, September 9, 2022

Avalos, Blunt, Brown

LORIN AVALOS SR., Covelo. Ammo possession by prohibited person.

CHARLES BLUNT, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale.

DAVID BROWN, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Cochran, Cook, Flores

SHAWNA COCHRAN, Ukiah. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

CARLOS FLORES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Flores, Garcia, Gonzalez

RIGOBERTO FLORES, Point Arena. Reckless evasion.

JOE GARCIA, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

MARCO GONZALEZ, Hopland. Controlled substance, resisting.

Hall, Hammon, Martinez, Munoz

DESTENIE HALL, Potter Valley. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia, pot for sale, conspiracy.

SEAN HAMMON, Ukiah. Trespassing. (Frequent flyer.)

VICTOR MARTINEZ, Boonville. Grand theft, stolen property, conspiracy.

ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation.

Palafox, Silk, Worley, Zamora

EDY PALAFOX-LOPEZ, Ukiah. Under influence.

ERIC SILK-HOAGLIN, Ukiah. Narcotics for sale, ammo possession by prohibited person, offenses while on bail.

KEVIN WORLEY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, pot for sale, conspiracy.

JESUS ZAMORA-MARTINEZ, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI.

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* * *

RON'S MISDIRECTION PLAY

Editor: 

A letter from Ron Richardson, a regional vice president for PG&E, suggested five items that might lower your power bill. The first was to “pre-cool your home by running your AC in the morning or overnight.” This is like a tobacco executive suggesting you can quit cigarettes during the day by smoking more in the morning and evening.

Fortunately, the Bay Area has lower overnight temperatures that allow cooling our homes by simply opening some windows. An inexpensive portable fan can help move out the warm air of the day and bring in the cool air overnight. As daytime temperatures rise, you can close windows and curtains to reduce the heat of the day.

Further reductions in your bill can be achieved by investing in energy efficiency. Consider adding insulation as needed and replacing older air conditioning units with a more efficient heat pump. There are many online resources to help homeowners stay comfortable during the hot days of summer and avoid the pain of the next PG&E bill. 

Stay cool.

Brian Glynn

Petaluma

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* * *

HOTTER THAN HOT

Editor: 

We in California should do like Arizona. When I asked why they stayed on standard time, I was told, “We don’t want any more sunshine.” I realize it is still the same amount of hours, but if sunset was an hour earlier, it would begin to cool an hour earlier.

The state also should make exceptions, when needed, to use a less than perfect form of electricity versus expecting us to suffer from the heat and cut back during a flex alert. It is easy enough to cut back on everything but the air conditioner.

In my case, living in a mobile home, the air conditioner is most effective when set at a constant temperature. Seventy-eight degrees is not a comfortable constant for sleeping.

Of course, I will never understand why the state demands new construction when we don’t have enough resources already. I’m sure some are laughing at us when we say it is time to go all-electric versus gasoline and clean natural gas cooking. Having a full tank of gasoline is comforting when we might be asked to evacuate in minutes.

Jim Maney

Santa Rosa

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THE DEATH PARADE

by Andrew O’Hagan

“Some people are close to tears,” said Mark Easton, the BBC’s home editor, from his premium spot outside the palace. “This is a very difficult and dangerous moment for the United Kingdom.” Then it was the bell-ringing turn of Nicholas Witchell, who comes with a look so mournful you’d think half of humanity had just expired. “Everyone will have their words, as they pay their tributes,” he said, and Charles III will be keen to “set the right tone” during this “disorientating time,” when people need to be “reassured.”

It’s really quite unfair that Charles Dickens is not available at this hour, because his pen would ooze with rapid invention if confronted by the BBC’s royal correspondent. On a good day – and this, sad to say, is as good a day as Witchell’s ever going to get – he makes Uriah Heep look like Brad Pitt at his easy-going peak, the reporter’s face a gravitational field bringing his mouth into the saddest of all rictuses. He spent his long hours before the camera masticating fresh delights of toadyism. It was terrific to watch, in the same way that it’s terrific to watch a snake being fed live mice.

Then came Tony Blair, just in case the oleaginous delights weren’t yet up to snuff. He spoke of the “matriarch of the nation.” Blair’s always ready with these lines, and I wonder if he rehearses them in his sleep, perhaps waking up to look in the mirror, to see if he can still do the face. Meanwhile, the “show us you care” merchants gathered outside the palace. The scene was set for the ripest show of journalistic knee-bending in a generation.

Huw Edwards had his black tie tightly knotted early in the day. I think he might have been first to gussy up, and the first to use the phrase “the Elizabethan era,” which was soon more popular than iPhones down at the scene. Edwards has the journalistic gift of saying nothing for very long periods of time, while still talking. And Witchell was close to hand. He kept speaking about a “period of national mourning,” as if he’d long since crossed over from being a journalist to become the Comptroller of Royal Etiquette and Emotional Expenditure. The nation was sure to “feel that mourning very keenly and very personally. The crown has passed invisibly and imperceptibly to Charles” (“glaringly” and “super-obviously” more like). “Bells will be rung and guns will be sounded ... Flowers will be laid on a scale we have not seen since the death of Diana, the Princess of Wales.”

Before midnight, reporters were dropping with emotional exhaustion. A new man appeared whom I’d never seen before, and to an almost shocking degree he lacked the lachrymose impetus that seemed so essential in his colleagues. This guy was historical, factual, interesting, but then ... oh fuck, here comes Nicholas Witchell, in a package about the royalness of the royals that he must’ve recorded, I’m guessing, some time in the 1950s, or maybe the 1850s, in full expectation that Her Majesty would one day die and the occasion would call for words bigger than any normal human feeling. When did British reporters begin emoting for a living, broadcasting as if the words themselves were the news?

“It’s a privilege to see how we all behave,” Naga Munchetty said on Breakfast. What a remarkable sentence. The British love the spectacle of Britons getting emotional, and, indeed, we live in a place where it has become a privilege, now and then, to see how we all behave, the opportunity to take pride in a spot of mass belief in our own nonsense. It is self-watching as a national sport, and every other broadcast, along with every other book, could these days be called How am I today? It was a trait Elizabeth II famously detested, but it sprung up instantly on her death along with the plastic-wrapped garage flowers of England, the ones that make a glinting shrine of every disaster spot in the land.

Overnight, the newspapers got in on the act, behaving as if history were simply a concatenation of our large feelings. “Our Hearts Are Broken,” the Daily Mail screamed. “How to find the words? Our grief is a hundred different emotions, all of them hard to grasp.” (Is shame an emotion, and is it hard to grasp?) “We Loved You, Ma’am,” roars the Sun, which changed its banner from red to purple. It seems consistent with the general nullity that the papers emoting most extravagantly are the ones that made the queen suffer the most.

The Express reports on huge crowds weeping in the street. Modern journalism loves the idea that a nation has a heart and that a heart can break, as if there were a requirement to confect a sort of togetherness out of national torpor, the quivering lip having long since replaced the stiff upper one as a symbol of our essential nature. It won’t matter for very long, but today it all seems part of the workaday hysteria of British life, yet perfectly at odds with the quiet, persevering woman on the postage stamp.

(London Review of Books)

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Spy Pigeon with Camera

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Have you ever noticed that whenever someone dies at home (or in a castle) they are said to have “died peacefully in their sleep?” Nobody ever dies in great pain and scared shitless of the state of non-existence that comes next?

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FOR AMERICANS WHO ARE HAVING A HARD TIME understanding what their friends across the pond are going through, imagine if Chicken McNuggets died. Or anything else you've had since you were a child that you know isn't good for you but it gives you a sense of comfort that you don't really understand and can't really control so you're not ready to give it up just yet.

— Caitlin Johnstone

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On October 7, 1934, Texas courts sided with Mrs. Apolinaria Garrett on the ownership of the controversial Colt .44 that her husband used to kill Billy the Kid.

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THE QUEEN AND HER LEGACY: 21ST CENTURY BRITAIN HAS NEVER LOOKED SO MEDIEVAL

Black suits, hushed tones, an air of reverence conceal the panic of an establishment that has just lost the main vehicle for justifying its privilege

by Jonathan Cook

Anyone in the UK who imagined they lived in a representative democracy – one in which leaders are elected and accountable to the people – will be in for a rude awakening over the next days and weeks.

TV schedules have been swept aside. Presenters must wear black and talk in hushed tones. Front pages are uniformly somber. Britain’s media speak with a single, respectful voice about the Queen and her unimpeachable legacy. 

Westminster, meanwhile, has been stripped of left and right. The Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties have set aside politics to grieve as one. Even the Scottish nationalists – supposedly trying to rid themselves of the yoke of centuries of an English rule presided over by the monarch – appear to be in effusive mourning. 

The world’s urgent problems – from war in Europe to a looming climate catastrophe – are no longer of interest or relevance. They can wait till Britons emerge from a more pressing national trauma.

Domestically, the BBC has told those facing a long winter in which they will not be able to afford to heat their homes that their suffering is “insignificant” compared to that of the family of a 96-year-old woman who died peacefully in the lap of luxury. They can wait too. 

In this moment there is no public room for ambivalence or indifference, for reticence, for critical thinking – and most certainly not for Republicanism, even if nearly a third of the public, mostly the young, desire the monarchy’s abolition. The British establishment expects every man, woman and child to do their duty by lowering their head. 

Twenty first-century Britain never felt so medieval.…

jonathancook.substack.com/p/the-queen-and-her-legacy-21st-century

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New Mexico Store, 1939

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AMERICA THIS WEEK

by Matt Taibbi

It wasn’t us. Queen Elizabeth II is dead, and we promise, this is one international fatality we Americans had nothing to do with.

Of course there have always been people in the States who’d gladly put Britain’s royals in zoos and sell tickets, or sign up to watch them devoured on pay-per-view by Komodo dragons, or cheer them devouring their own epaulettes for cash on game shows. However, we’ve mostly grown out of that phase. Our attitude toward the British has mellowed over the years. A pure vassal state, they produce great nature show hosts and action movie villains for us, and we no longer have to worry about them taking over our magazine business, because no one reads magazines in this country anymore anyway. Therefore, we can be generous this week and say, We feel for you. We still don’t get the whole Queen thing, but we’ll try not to be jerks about it at least.

In any case, apart from the royal tragedy, this was a big week in news. The top stories:

Heads Explode as Special Master Named in Trump Case 

Judge Aileen Cannon of the Southern District of Florida caused widespread shrieking horror among the caretakers of American conventional wisdom when she appointed a Special Master to review seized documents in the investigation of Donald John Trump. The ruling by Cannon, appointed by Trump in 2020, would permit the Special Master to prevent materials seized from the famed Mar-a-Lago raid from being used for any “investigative purpose” until they’ve been evaluated not only for potential Attorney-Client issues, but potential Executive Privilege issues. The decision is widely expected to “significantly delay” the Trump investigation, and as such is inspiring unprecedented rhetorical furor among a commentariat that has fairly drooled with expectation for indictment since the raid news broke. Vanity Fair’s “Trump’s Special Situation is Shady as Fuck, Say Legal Experts” is typical of pundit reactions this week. Americans have lived through endless permutations of the we-got-him/we-lost-him/we-got-him-again narrative with Trump across six years, so these developments don’t feel unfamiliar, but the cacophonous intensity of coverage is clearly reaching new heights, or depths, depending on your point of view.

Seattle Teachers Strike; Railroad Deadline Approaches 

The growing number of major strikes and work stoppages continues to be high on the list of most under-covered stories in the United States, and the phenomenon continued with an eventful first week of school in Seattle, where classes were delayed when 6,000 teachers and school employees walked out in search of higher compensation. The Seattle episode followed a recent walkout by teachers in Columbus, Ohio, one of 10 major teacher strikes in the U.S. this year, with schools in Oakland, Sacramento, and Minneapolis affected. Recent weeks have also seen walkouts by 15,000 nurses in Minnesota, 2,600 more nurses in Wisconsin, and 1,000 industrial workers at the Racine, Wisconsin factory of a company called CNH. Meanwhile, the deadline for a White House-mandated cooling-off period in the ominous labor dispute between the country’s 115,000 unionized railroad workers and their employers is set to end at midnight on September 16th. If a solution isn’t reached, the government will be unable to prevent a stoppage that could have far-reaching effects for the U.S. economy. The World Socialist Web Site continues to be one of the only media outlets in America covering the rise in strikes, by now clearly a national phenomenon. On the other hand, they were also the only outlet to cover the 82nd anniversary of the death of Leon Trotsky.

EPA Ruling Impacts Gas Exports 

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a major ruling Tuesday, denying a request by America’s largest liquified natural gas (LNG) exporter Cheniere to be exempt from the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, or NESHAP, which the Biden administration just re-imposed after an 18-year stay. The rule prohibits emissions of substances like formaldehyde and benzene from turbines of the type used at LNG facilities. Cheniere asked for two of its facilities in Texas and Louisiana to be exempted, but will be denied. This story’s relevance is tied to the energy crisis in Europe since it was cut off from cheap Russian gas, and forced to rely upon tanker imports from the U.S., which as noted last week have tripled since the beginning of the year. Cheniere, for instance, has sent 70% of its gas to Europe this year. The Cheniere decision may already have had an impact abroad, as Britain announced a two-year cap on consumer energy bills not long after this week’s decision. Bloomberg this week reported that 6 in 10 British factories are “at risk of going under” due to soaring electricity bills. Meanwhile, the Cheniere ruling appeared to be the main impetus for the prices of natural gas futures dropping significantly in mid-week trading. All of this points to the increased sensitivity of global markets to energy supply disruptions, a story that will increasingly demand attention as military tensions remain tied to economic developments.

Attack of the Twitter Bots 

Ever since billionaire Elon Musk announced plans to try to buy Twitter, a range of studies and exposés have either been published or leaked, suggesting the heralded platform may be more infected with bots and spam accounts than previously understood. This week, Disney President Bob Iger disclosed that when his company was considering buying the platform in 2016, he learned with the company’s help that a “substantial portion” of the accounts were fake, although “not a majority” were “not real.” Iger, who in a previous memoir said “nastiness” was a chief reason he bailed on the Twitter deal, added this week that the quantity of bots was significant enough to seriously depress the potential purchase price. “I don’t remember the number but we discounted the value heavily,” he said. 

Meanwhile, in a story that got almost no traction in the U.S., the University of Adelaide released a study suggesting that 60%-80% of tweets about the war in Ukraine are written by bots. The Australian researchers found a higher incidence of pro-Ukrainian bots than pro-Russia ones, but significant numbers on both sides, with perhaps the most interesting item being their conclusion that “automated account types combine to increase fear in the overall discussion of the Russia/Ukraine war.” Add recent reporting in the Washington Postabout U.S.-generated influence campaigns on both Twitter and Facebook, and it appears long-overdue analyses of domestically-generated misinformation may finally begin reaching American audiences.

Keep An Eye On:

Report Exposes Union Censorship 

Investigative reporterLee Fang of The Intercept published a report uncovering an arrangement under UNI, a global labor federation that counts the Communication Workers of America as an affiliate, suppressed a report about underground ties between Microsoft and military and intelligence agencies, after Microsoft dropped opposition to the unionization efforts at its subsidiary Activision. Link to story above; the censored report can be found here.

Biden Allots Podesta $370b 

Long-serving Clinton confidant John Podesta, who remains under scrutiny for his role in the controversial Russiagate scandal, was put in charge of a staggering $370 billion in federal clean energy funds under a new law. Podesta overnight essentially becomes the world’s largest Venture Capital fund manager — the gargantuan SoftBank Vision Fund, by comparison, is a $100 billion operation — and because he is a much-reviled figure among Republicans, expect extreme scrutiny of the tax breaks and other credits distributed from this new office.

California Declares War on Leaf-Blowers, Lawn-Mowers 

Golden State Governor Gavin Newsom, continuing a Terminator-style rampage against all petroleum-powered machines, signed a bill outlawing gas-fueled lawn mowers and leaf blowers by 2024, and generators by 2028. This follows a potentially world-changing move to ban gas-powered cars by 2035, and may stimulate similar plans in other states. To a degree that’s already become humorous, the press is treating Newsom as a declared 2024 presidential contender (he isn’t one), and even Joe Biden this week took a shot at him over a farm unionization bill the Gov may veto. A recent poll showed Newsom with 6% support in a hypothetical race minus Joe Biden, far behind Kamala Harris (21%), with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Georgia’s Stacey Abrams (both at 7%).

Cloudfare, Wayback Machine Erase Site 

In another foundational censorship case, the web security and hosting provider Cloudfare announced it blocked content from Kiwi Farms, deemed an “immediate threat to human life” after being accused by activists of having played a role in suicides. Cloudfare’s move was followed by an unusual decision by the Wayback Machine to delete the entire archive of Kiwi Farms material, setting an alarming precedent of not just blocking controversial speech, but erasing it from historical memory. Speech cases in the U.S. court system once targeted the speech — libelous, inciting, or threatening material would be removed —but platform moderation of this sort targets the speaker, wiping entire archives clean.

INTERNATIONAL NOTES Queen Elizabeth II died, inspiring a range of characteristically American reactions, including this from a Detroit sportswriter who honed in on the most important angle: “The Queen was 65 when the Lions last won a playoff game.” Carnegie Mellon professor Uju Anya commented, “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving and raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.” The word deleted trended in the U.S. because so many people wiped their initial reactions clean, including several media figures who took selfies of themselves crying, as well as a CBS reporter who charged Elizabeth with having oppressed 30% of the earth’s population, deleted the remark, then said, “you’re all right. colonialism is good. my bad lol.” Americans used to wind up the British because it was funny; registering so much genuine offense is a sure sign of decline. 

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Russia will not resume normal exports of natural gas to Europe until the “collective West” ends sanctions against their country over the Ukraine invasion. Russia had previously — and not terribly believably — claimed the stoppage of deliveries on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was due to technical issues. 

Japanese authorities claimed Friday they were “extremely concerned” about reports of Chinese vessels entering waters around the Senkakus islands in the East China Sea, which have been considered Japanese since the government purchased the troika of uninhabited islands from a Japanese family in 2012 for $26 million. China was miffed then and remains upset now, claiming territoriality over islands they call the Diayou. The Japanese Cabinet Secretary this week said the islands “are under the valid control of Japan,” adding fuel to rising territorial angst between China and the West. ★ The United States approved another $2.8 billion in arms for Ukraine, Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced on a trip to Eastern Europe this week. Henceforth, ATW will make a note when a week passes without the U.S. sending more weapons to Kiev.

Three Finance Headlines, by Eric Salzman

One Continent’s Loss is One Man’s Gain 

Reports came out this week that Investment fund Northlander Commodity Advisors LLP is up over 50% this year, betting on the chaos and misery of Europe’s energy crisis. Northlander is run by former Enron energy trader Ulf Ek, which is appropriate: if anyone can profit from an energy crisis, it’s an Enron alumnus. In the years 2000 and 2001, Enron created artificial energy shortages in California. Traders were infamously caught on tape manipulating electricity prices higher by calling power plants that they controlled to shut down, triggering rolling blackouts. Ek showed all the sensitivity you’d expect in a recent investor letter obtained by Bloomberg: “We have every reason to believe Northlander’s good fortunes over the last few years can continue for the coming years. It’s not an issue that can be easily rectified through regulation, as there is a potential risk of a real energy deficiency this winter… The only way to reduce prices and reduce the risk of blackouts in Europe is to reduce demand.” Translation: “Europe is screwed and we’re going to make a lot more money.” For more, read in depth at Monkey Business here.

We’re All Part of the Same Conspiracy 

On Wednesday, perhaps the last major 2008-related subprime mortgage court case began, with Bank of America facing off with bond insurer Ambac in New York State. Ambac is looking for $2.7 billion from BofA, the owner of former mortgage giant Countrywide Financial, claiming loans they insured from Countrywide were “The worst of the worst.” In opening arguments, Ambac lawyer Michael Carlinsky said Countrywide was, “Blinded by sheer greed… it ran a factory where it literally churned out billions and billions of dollars in bad mortgage loans. It didn’t care about the quality of those mortgage loans because it was passing the risk on to others.” BofA attorney Enu Maingi countered with the standard “sophisticated investor” argument: “From the get-go, everyone, including Ambac, knew the loans in these securitizations had significant payment risks.” She continued, “Ambac’s role in these contracts was to be the credit enhancer — to make it less risky to the investors because Ambac was standing behind it with its insurance.” In sum, Ambac believes Countrywide was motivated by greed to make loans destined to fail, and Countrywide believes Ambac was motivated by greed to insure horrible loans. Both may be right.

Mortgage Rates Highest since 2008

On Thursday, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) printed at 5.89%, the highest reading since 2008. Just a year ago the PMMS reading was 2.88%. A monthly payment on a $350,000, 30-year mortgage one year ago was about $1,453. Now that payment has ballooned to $2,073. This roughly 40% increase in monthly payments has frozen the housing sector and is a major factor in cooling off the economy. It also offers clues as to why inflation got out of control. Consider: in 2018, a 30-year mortgage borrower paid about 4.75% on their loan. On a $350,000 mortgage, that’s a monthly payment of $1,825. If that borrower refinanced in 2021 at 2.88%, the new monthly payment of $1,453 represented a savings of $327 a month. Multiply those monthly savings by a few million refinancing mortgagees, and you have massive doses of stimulus every month, courtesy of The Fed’s monetary policy. The Fed got mortgage rates to historic lows in 2021 by purchasing huge amounts of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) through their Covid Quantitative Easing policy. All through 2021, even as inflation was starting to rear its head, the Fed kept buying up to $60 billion in MBS a month, until its portfolio got to approximately $2.8 trillion. The Fed kept its foot on the gas way too long, providing too much stimulus, and now there’s an awful mess to clean up.

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MIKHAIL GORBACHEV

by John Arteaga

First thing, a few words about the recently departed Mikhail Gorbachev, the much underrated leader of the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation, after the dissolution of the USSR that he had helped to bring about.

If you read James Douglass’s authoritative book about JFK, you will learn about the extreme measures that Gorbachev and Kennedy had to go through to bypass their respective secret police forces to cooperate with one another in reducing the risk of nuclear war. Neither the CIA nor the KGB were at all open to ending the Cold War gravy train that constituted their raison d’être.

Both men were rational, caring individuals with a sincere motivation to avoid the wholesale liquidation of their species with nuclear annihilation. It was a constant threat, a sword of Damocles that we all lived under for so many years.

Unfortunately, the global war machine triumphed in the end, slaughtering JFK and not long after his brother RFK as well as MLK and so many other inspirational leaders of the time. At least the Russians spared Gorbachev’s life, after his political popularity collapsed in the disastrous economy there at the time, allowing him to finally die the other day of natural causes, a nonagenarian.

I remembered the great anecdote I once heard about a speech he was making, when a heckler yelled something about why he had not stood up during Stalin’s time; he stamped angrily toward the edge of the stage, demanding to know who had yelled that. After no one was willing to admit to the outburst, he said, “So… now you know why I did not stand up then!” He and JFK may have saved us all from not being here today.

On more contemporary matters, the miraculous passage of the much-watered-down (to satisfy the intransigence of the damnable Manchin and Sinema), package which passed through Congress the other day, had some pretty damn good items in it; besides the forgiveness of much of many people’s college debt, a millstone around the necks of so many young people that kept them from things like buying a house, starting a family or going for the job that they really want, for fear of not keeping up on their ripoff college loans, another unprecedented and long overdue measure would finally allow the gigantic federally funded drug purchases to actually bargain with the drug companies instead of meekly paying whatever astronomical price gouge the drug companies demand (remember that arrogant little yuppie ‘pharma bro,’ who bought the lifesaving drug, then increased its price by 10 or 20 times?). Why not? It was all perfectly legal! So good to see that change.

I think it was on a Fresh Air recently that they interviewed an author of a book about how the IRS has been systematically defunded over decades of Republican rule. More than anything else, the Republican brand seems to revolve mainly around the resentment of those who have so much to pay their fair share of the tax burden of the society.

After the top tax rate being at 90% back when America really WAS great, when we built all the country’s great infrastructure, taxation for the very rich and wealthiest corporations has almost become voluntary; each new Republican administration adds further tax cuts for very rich individuals and corporations, along with cuts to the number of warm bodies there at the IRS, which of course results in maddeningly long wait times for those trying to comply with the tax code, as well as diminishing to the point of nonexistence the enforcement of tax law on those at the top of the economic pyramid.

It was beyond annoying to hear that the most heavily audited county in the country happens to be an impoverished, mostly African-American county down near the border, where I guess there is low hanging fruit for tax auditors to score points without stepping on the toes of those who might have the resources to dispute their findings in court. There is also a smorgasbord of tax breaks for 501c(3) and c(4) organizations for their supposed ‘charitable’ or ‘educational’ efforts, even though many of the recipients of this taxpayer subsidy goes to far right, ‘dark money’ oligarch-funded propaganda mills whose efforts are the opposite of education; more like extreme right political indoctrination aimed at talking their ‘populist’ target audience into voting against their very own interests!

After years of fruitless struggle with a 50-50 Senate, hobbled by the may-as-well-be-Republicans, Manchin and Sinema, Biden has finally been able to do some small part of the pro-regular people agenda that he promised when he was running for president. Hopefully enough people will see the positive effect in their lives to vote in a couple more Democrats, so we will finally be able to tell SineManchin to pound sand; we won’t need their votes to pass more progressive legislation.

Fortunately for us on the left, the remedial reader Pied Piper for his rodent-brained followers, has, I think, finally gone too far for all but his most hopeless cargo-cult cases; his inexcusably felonious behavior with regard to all these classified documents that he had been hoarding (after raging for years about Hillary’s minor peccadilloes with classified documents) and after he had increased the penalties for such as president, are a perfect illustration of Trump’s perpetual mindset; anyone who knows the first thing about the man knows that the only thing that motivates him is profit. The only possible motive for his theft of all these documents that did not belong to him is that he could make money off of them! As for the human intelligence assets whose lives would be lost if you were to sell the information to, say, the Russians, does anyone really believe that he would give a damn?

Thank God the feds finally had enough of his stalling and lying on the subject and went in and seized the ill-gotten materials, but I don’t see any way that they can possibly tell which of the top-secrets he had already shared with whatever evil regime paid him the most for them, other than a body count of suddenly-disappeared intelligence assets.

This column, as well as all my others, can be found at: inarationalworld2.blogspot.com/2022/09/firstthing-few-words-about-recently.html

(John Arteaga is a Ukiah resident.)

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BANKRUPT LIBERALISM AND GILDED ABSURDITIES OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Chris Hedges: Joining me to discuss what is taking place on our bizarre political landscape as we head towards the mid-term elections – elections the cultist Trump Republican Party looks set to win – is the historian Paul Street.…

chrishedges.substack.com/p/the-chris-hedges-report-podcast-with-a87

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Welsh Mining Town, 1965

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MOTA: GOOD NIGHT RADIO live from Franklin Street all night Friday night!

Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 5:30pm. Or send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week.

Plus you can phone during the show and read your work in your own voice. I'll be in the cluttered but clean well-lighted back room of KNYO's storefront studio at 325 N. Franklin, where the number is 1-(707) 962-3022. If you can't or won't control yourself from swearing, wait until after 10pm, so not to agitate the weasels.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128 (That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.) (Or just go to KNYO.org and click Listen. And the schedule is there for KNYO's many other terrific shows.)

Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there.

Besides all that, there you'll find a bulging fandango of educational popcorn to inhale until showtime, or anytime, such as:

“Aren't they graceful? You used to dance like that, Flo.”

https://nagonthelake.blogspot.com/2022/09/its-neewollah-everybody-dance-now.html

Prodigy soprano little boy without surgery becomes prodigy baritone.

https://myonebeautifulthing.com/2022/09/06/cai-thomas/

And passing the exit portal through its own entry portal.

https://theawesomer.com/portal-passes-through-another-portal/680052/

— Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

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A Ball of Yarn (2022) by Oda Iselin Sønderland

7 Comments

  1. Eric Sunswheat September 10, 2022

    RE: No alcohol, tobacco or cannabis use on site.

    ->. August 22, 2022
    According to information procured exclusively ahead of an official announcement, the Cliffside, beachfront resort, dubbed Go Natural Jamaica, is operated by publicly traded psychedelics company Silo Wellness and located in Long Bay, Portland, Jamaica.

    “We have been bombarded by cost-conscious client inquiries wanting to explore nature with the help of psilocybin,” explains Mike Arnold, the Oregon-based attorney who founded Silo Wellness.

    He likes to call people who aren’t looking to experiment with psychedelics for recreational purposes at a club or party, but rather in a more natural setting, “psychedelic-curious.” As Arnold explains, these are “very intentional and mindful individuals looking to better understand themselves and their place in the universe.

    They aren’t looking for mental health therapy or a deep dive ego death. They are wanting to learn about psilocybin while learning about themselves. This is an unmet need in the psychedelic space, and Silo Wellness is well positioned to assist.”
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/javierhasse/2022/08/22/this-ecotourism-resort-in-jamaica-now-offers-psilocybin-microdosing-retreats-and-experiences-what-a-time-to-be-alive/?sh=3418cae72b73

  2. Kirk Vodopals September 10, 2022

    Two young gentlemen approached me yesterday in front of Mendosas and held their phone up to my face. It asked if I knew of any cannabis manicuring jobs in the area? I immediately said no and stated that they should go back to Argentina (my assumption). I’m also assuming they already tried Garberville.

    • George Hollister September 10, 2022

      I had a similar event happen to me a few years back with a couple of guys from Italy. One was in college getting a degree in computer science, the other with an arm in a cast, seemed to be at loose ends. I told them the same, if you know what’s good for you, go back where you came from.

  3. Marmon September 10, 2022

    NOT A DIME MORE FOR UKRAINE !!!

    Marmon

    • Bruce McEwen September 10, 2022

      The money doesn’t go to Ukraine, dummy, it goes to rich Republicans, the stockholders in Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

      • peter boudoures September 10, 2022

        What about hunter?

        • Bruce McEwen September 10, 2022

          He took his cut off the top, it appears, and left dear old dad holding the laptop. But this is a buy partisan war, a win-win for Coke & Pepsi, both sides of the same coin, you’re right, and I was wrong. Sorry.

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