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THE CHARLES FAMILY would like to announce the passing of our sweet Mama, Joanne.
A service will be held at Evergreen Cemetery in Boonville Friday October 21st at 11:00am and a celebration of life will follow at 1:00pm at Mama’s House 7700 Hwy 128 Philo CA.
DRY AND WARM afternoon conditions are expected through the weekend across interior portions of Northwest California. Meanwhile, stratus and fog will continue to plague coastal areas.
Ridging remains in place over the west coast today with stratus/fog along the coast and clear skies inland. This pattern should persist at least through the end of the work week.…
The upper level ridge will begin to break down this weekend as an area of low pressure approaches the coast. This area of low pressure will bring numerous showers to areas off the coast over the weekend, but should weaken and dive south early next week toward central/southern California before showers reach the coast. Model guidance is consistent in conditions remaining dry this weekend but we will need to watch trends to determine whether a few stray showers could develop early next week.
In addition to any potential for showers, southerly flow ahead of this area of low pressure will develop along the coast over the weekend. This will reinforce the coastal stratus for most areas but could bring downsloping flow into the Humboldt Bay area. This pattern can result in warming temperatures and more sunshine in this specific local area and forecast highs could end up being a few degrees warmer than currently forecast.
Otherwise dry conditions will likely persist through the remainder of the forecast period as the area of low pressure circulates over southern California. After that we will turn to a potential pattern change with the Climate Prediction Center favoring above normal rainfall in the 8-14 day forecast period.
HEALTH CARE DISTRICT MEETING
The Mendocino Coast HealthCare District will hold a Special Meeting on Thursday, October 13th
Please join us: us06web.zoom.us/j/84297673525?pwd=OU9LS3pqWmtLU2NkejBIT1B1UER1Zz09
The Agenda may be seen at: mchcd.org
Please call with any questions,
Norman de Vall
LOOKING FOR A MUSIC TEACHER!
The Adult School is searching for someone to teach a community music class (guitar, maybe piano, or other instruments). Pay is approx. $28/hr, includes some planning time. We would prefer someone bilingual or English/Spanish proficient. Flexible schedule and some community fun! Contact us at email@example.com/ 895-2953
FLYNN CREEK CIRCUS, FINAL SHOWS this weekend at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company (in Boonville)
(photos by Philip Pavliger)
- Friday, Oct 14 at 5pm & 7:30pm
- Saturday, Oct 15 at 4pm and 7pm (7pm is adults 21+ only)
- Sunday, Oct 16 at 12pm & 3pm
Tickets at www.flynncreekcircus.com
JOIN US THIS TUESDAY FOR TECH SUPPORT AND A FLU SHOT!
Hello AV Community,
Please help us make this event a success: Tech Support, Tuesday, October 18th, 11:15 to 11:45 AM
Anderson Valley Senior Center (Inside and outside): Bring your smartphones, tablets, iPads, etc. and volunteer AV High School students will be available to help with tech support (outside) and inside student's will be giving a presentation on photos, taking good ones, organizing, saving, and moving them from phone to computer or iPad. Students will all be masked but not all are vaccinated.
Please consider staying and enjoying the Senior Center's lunch – it's the best deal in town!
and get your Flu shot after lunch…
OLD RAILROAD TRESTLES
AV UNIFIED NOTICE: Important Update/Picture Day Postponed Tomorrow
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
As we approach the holidays, I want to refresh everyone relating to the holiday break dates. Independent study, ON EITHER SIDE of these breaks will not be honored. Students need to be in school and learning. We love our family time, but our job is to be in school. When kids miss school, even when doing a packet away from school, they don’t keep up. Their achievement, and the achievement of the school as a whole, suffers.
We have also reminded our staff that no leaves will be granted on either side of the break.
School Holiday Dates Are:
- November Break: November 19-November 27–Return On Monday, November 28
- Winter Break: December 17-January 8-Return On Monday, January 9
Picture Day Rescheduled To October 24–Per the photo company’s request.
We regret that the remainder of the Girls’ Soccer Play Dates have been canceled due to low player count and the inability to field a full team. We were inconsistent with our cancellations impacting other school’s play and referee time. We will be offering an after-school play program.
Junior High Dance Rescheduled To Friday, November 18 from 7-9.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017
PS: We have had some parent correspondence about this, so I just want to clear up ANY CONFUSION. Bandanas are not permitted, as they may be perceived as having gang affiliations. I do not believe that to be a problem on this campus, but we will be enforcing the no bandana policy.
CALTRANS $2.6 MILLION FREEWAY FENCING IN UKIAH: 7,500 Feet Of Fence Being Built North Of Perkins (Almost $350 per foot of fencing)
by Justine Frederiksen
As many people driving past Ukiah on Highway 101 lately have noticed, a sturdy black fence is being built along the freeway north of Perkins Street.
When asked for more details, Caltrans spokesman Manny Machado said the new fencing “will replace existing right-of-way fencing that has reached the end of its service life. The original fencing was installed in the 1960s, and had several separations due to vandalism.”
Machado said the total cost of the 7,500 feet of fencing is $2.6 million, which “includes material, labor and equipment costs.” He said the new fence is not longer than the old fence, but it is “taller than the previous fence, and in some cases the old fence was in poor shape and overrun with vegetation, so it was not as readily visible.”
When asked why a new fence was being built, Machado said that “last January, an emergency project was issued to help improve the safety of pedestrians walking adjacent to the fencing from the northern intersections of Perkins Street to the Orrs Creek Bridge and north of Orrs Creek. Additionally, the project will include slope paving under the Orrs Creek Bridge and the Talmage Street Overcrossing.”
As for the paving, Machado said “the construction cost for the Talmage Bridge was about $415,000, and for the Orrs Creek, is approximately $925,000. Funding for the project is from our Emergency Projects fund, the purpose of these projects are to keep bridge structures safe for the traveling public.”
When asked for more details on the pedestrian safety aspect of the fencing project, Machado said that section of Highway 101 “is designated as a freeway, which requires controlled access. All pedestrian traffic is prohibited in freeway sections. Pedestrians are illegally accessing the right-of-way in and around the Orrs Creek Bridge. The existing fence was inadequate to inhibit pedestrian access and the new fence should meet this need.”
The Ukiah Police Department reported being told that the new fence “can’t be cut through,” and Machado confirmed that “the fencing we are using can’t be readily vandalized or damaged.”
(Ukiah Daily Journal)
YES ON P
This note is in response to the several people who have expressed concern that the Measure P funds may not go to support our local fire districts because the County and/or Board of Supervisors cannot be trusted.
Everyone I have spoken with agrees that our 20 mostly volunteer fire departments across Mendocino County are absolutely necessary to our daily lives. We also agree they’re not well enough funded, not well enough to continue to the level of service we need today as disasters continue to increase, as our land gets hotter and dryer. You want a plan as to how the revenue from Measure P will be spent? Apparently you have not done your research. Just ask any fire chief in this county. They have a plan according to the serious unmet needs that we all must want them to meet. Items like fire trucks (half a million each folks!!), equipment for sea rescues, protective equipment for the firefighters needs regular replacement or at least, repair, equipment and machines constantly need repair and maintenance, buildings to store all this stuff, training of firefighters is ongoing, cost of workman’s compensation insurance rises continually. On and on it goes. Keep in mind – these folks fight fires! Lots of wear and tear, they are hard on equipment because it’s hard, hard work and, its fire. There is serious need – you just need to listen and from your comments it appears you haven’t even tried. I am not using scare tactics here – this is a real situation – but not doing anything to better fund Fire IS scary. Accountability of fire department spending on Fire is built in. Each fire department has it’s own oversight board. I put my trust in these folks to spend wisely. Even if Measure P passes, that still won’t be enough, but it gets some funds to the right place, immediately. I trust my firefighters to answer my 911 call – so I trust them to spend the dollars they get on what they need to respond to my emergency call. They don’t have time to write you up a spending plan every month; they’re out on calls that are life threatening and life saving.
As for the resolution that put Measure P on the ballot, this is our best shot, right now, to respond immediately to the needs of our fire community. The Board of Supervisors are proposing capturing a rare chance to provide some relief for our fire fighting community without making county residents pay more taxes than they are now. Measure P is the redirection of a 1/4cent sales tax set to expire at end of the year, but let’s keep paying what we have been paying, and send that to our firefighters over the next ten years. Your sales tax will not go up, even if you vote Yes on BOTH Measure P and O (Library), it will not go up (O and P are not “pitted against each other”). And really – a Sales tax?? That’s what you are up in arms about? That’s a small bit we all pay, including all our visitors, little by little. It’s not like we’ll get a big tax bill suddenly in the mail. I can do this small amount here and there, and I am doing that because I want fire protection. Why is that so hard? I have done the research and I know how much Measure P is estimated to produce annually and how much would go to each fire department. You ask “how much tax”? Look into it. Oh I forgot – you don’t really have an idea how to fix this, or a plan, it’s just about complaining.
If your position is that there should be a specific tax passed, which requires a 2/3 vote, this is not a decent plan. A 66%+ vote is a really high bar and would require a large mobilization to actually happen. Our fire fighter friends in Sonoma recently studied the option of going for a specific tax. They gave up after finding that approximately 64% would be the best they would be able to do. You can take the position of just being against any tax. Never mind that it would have someday save your own life, your home, those dear to you. And should the firefighters, who work full time and volunteer to keep us safe, need to take on such a campaign? I’d rather have them responding to the emergency calls, which by the way, have increased each year significantly for some time now. NO – I want to get our fire departments more funding immediately, they desperately need it.
So you have a choice – continue to just complain about government and it’s inefficiency. Or, decide to do something about it. Choose to be a part of the team that monitors how the funds are distributed and let’s hold the County to its promise. Just complaining about government is not good enough. Oversight is on us – each citizen. You can bet I will be watching and so will the 20 fire chiefs across the county and their boards. Take your distrust of government out this way – ensure the BOS does what they said they would. We can’t mess around on this one – our very lives depend on it.
— Nancy Armstrong-Frost
HAPPY NATIONAL FARMERS DAY to our very own regenerative organic farming champion Joseph Brinkley
ONLY ONE FOR MENDO
Wine & Spirits magazine has announced its top 100 wineries in the world, and Elk’s Drew Family Cellars was the only Mendocino County winery named to the list. Molly and Jason Drew grow organic pinot noir in the Mendocino Ridge American Viticultural Area. They have a tasting room at the Madrones in Philo. Visit drewwines.com for more information.
Our Tasting Room in Anderson Valley is now open Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 11am - 5pm primarily by appointment. Walkins can be accommodated as well most often. However, we do advise making an appointment to insure we will be able to accommodate you.
The Behavioral Health Regional Training Center (BHRTC), located in Redwood Valley, provides County and regional organizations with space for behavioral health training, meetings, and events. The BHTRC has a max capacity of 73 and has an additional area with a refrigerator, sink, counter space, and serving window for food preparation and serving. Technology includes the internet, monitor, projector, and screen so you can create a professional presentation - every time.
For booking availability and general inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org
AAUW PROGRAM, NOVEMBER 4
The first will occur during brunch on Friday, November 4, at 11 a.m. Camille Schraeder will serve as host for the brunch at the Saturday Afternoon Club. The program will feature two aspects of the theme: “Women in the Arts and Education.”
We will honor several women who have succeeded in the arts, Laurel Near will give a history of SPACE (School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education). We’re also hoping for some surprise mini-performances that will add delight to your experience.
Also featured, will be a renowned mural artist, Lauren Sinnott. She will take us on a guided tour of her own journey as a female artist. She will describe the work on the mural depicting the history and its essence as drawn by people of Mendocino County. We urge everyone to visit the mural located next to, and across the street from, the Saturday Afternoon Club.
Reserve your seat today for the “Women in the Arts and Education”, contact:
Janet Chaniot, (707) 972-6722, email@example.com
The event is free; however, contributions to defray the costs of the program, scholarships, or other AAUW-Ukiah Branch activities are welcome.
I'VE TURNED to the sage of Southern Humboldt, Eric Kirk, for a far more conscientious ballot analysis than I, an unbeliever in the two party system, can muster. I'm especially estranged from the three Democrats — Huffman, Wood and McGuire — routinely returned to office in our grotesquely gerrymandered Northcoast.
AS an embarrassed, default Democrat to the left of the party on most issues, I'm especially galled at how the party shoves Northcoast candidates down our collective throats. Who chooses these people? How did we get saddled with McGuire, Wood, Huffman? Like millions of Democrats, and probably 40 percent of Northcoast Democrats, I'm on the AOC-Bernie end of the Democratic spectrum, and like all of us I have no candidate, especially here on the “progressive” Northcoast.
STATE SENATOR McGUIRE is especially fraudulent even by prevailing political standards. His Great Redwood Trail is such an obvious scam it's downright thrilling. Simplified, all fiscal trails lead to former Congressman Doug Bosco who, with useful idiots like McGuire and the active Democrats of the Northcoast, managed to make himself payee for the defunct railroad which used to run from Marin to Eureka. In lieu of usefulness on any other issue in his jurisdiction, McGuire has made this Redwood Trail scam his claim to fame.
HUFFMAN is an auto-vote for Pelosi-Schumer-Biden. He occasionally brings in a few porkish bucks for the Northcoast but is otherwise as invisible and irrelevant as McGuire and Wood, the latter being our alleged state assemblyman. Gawd, what a bunch of ciphers inflicted on us over the years: Wes Chesbro; Dan Hauser; Mike Thompson, Doug Bosco; Frank Riggs; Patti Berg.
HOW TO VOTE THIS NOVEMBER: A PROGRESSIVE’S OPINION
by Eric Kirk
Proposition 1 – Constitutional amendment to guarantee rights to abortion and contraception – Yeah, fine
I will vote “yes,” but I’m a little put off by this one. I get that Democrats want to draw progressive voters, particularly young women, to the polls by putting abortion onto the ballot. But as the legislative analysis points out, the law that gets passed will have no legal effect – will not enhance reproductive rights and will cost nothing because it’s just adding words to the state Constitution.
But it’s redundant, embarrassingly performative, and manipulative. The authors are banking on young women being ignorant of the law and thinking that they will actually be making some sort of difference for reproductive rights. And while they’re at the ballot, they’ll vote for pro-choice candidates, namely Democrats.
And the opposition doesn’t help. They claim that because there is no stated regulation of third term abortions that it means more women will be getting “partial birth” abortions. But the guaranteed right of privacy already in the Constitution also contains no such explicit exception. The exceptions are in existing laws and this amendment will not overturn them.
In 1972, the year before the Roe v. Wade decision came down, California voters amended the Constitution with the following revision:
It was and is understood that the right to privacy guarantees the individual reproductive decisions. Abortion rights were recently overturned partially on the basis that privacy is not a right specifically stated in the Bill of Rights and is so not enforceable at the federal level. It was authored by then State Senator George Moscone (later elected Mayor of San Francisco and assassinated along with Supervisor Harvey Milk) in order to protect reproductive rights, along with privacy rights jeopardized by technological advances in surveillance. It passed by a huge margin. This is an important moment in California history, as well as the women’s movements as they mobilized hard to win this one even as the majority of Californians were voting to reelect Nixon. I think my biggest objection to Proposition 1 is that it essentially erases this history.
That being said, I have to vote “yes,” because I know that any “no” vote will be interpreted as a vote against choice. So, yeah, I’ll vote for it. But I don’t appreciate that the Democratic leadership put me into this position.
Propositions 26 and 27 – Sports Betting – No on both
In 2018 the Republican-appointed majority of the U.S. Supreme Court struck down federal laws that had banned sports gambling on a really odd take on the Commerce Clause and states rights. Under the Commerce Clause the federal government has the right to regulate sports betting, but not ban it outright. If they ban it, the federal government is then ceding it’s right to regulate it to states. And since nothing which interferes with “free enterprise” is going to get by a Senate filibuster, basically states can legalize and regulate sports gambling on their own. 35 states have opted in, while California has held out against it. Sports gambling is extremely conducive to problem gambling and addiction according to studies. But there is money to be made, and revenues to be generated.
Americans spent 57 billion dollars on sports betting in 2021 – an increase of 165 percent from 2020.
Along come competing gambling industry interests offering 2 competing measures. Tribes with casinos, with a few exceptions, are supporting Prop 26. Existing online betting companies are supporting 27 (and a couple of Tribes which hope to corner the market making deals with these companies).
Proposition 26 would allow for sports bets to be placed in participating Tribal casinos and horse racing establishments. It would also allow casinos to offer roulette and craps. It would put a portion of the gambling proceeds into the general fund as well as special funds for addiction treatment and mental health programs, and enforcement of gambling laws to shut down illegal competition (notably it focuses on bets being placed in privately non-Native owned card rooms).
Proposition 27 would allow Tribes with state compacts as well as large gambling companies with licenses in at least 10 states to offer online sports betting anywhere in the state (as opposed to in casinos or other betting establishments). Fees would be collected on the profits with 85 percent of them going to address homelessness and 15 percent to non-compact Tribes. It would be a special fund independent of the general fund, which is drawing opposition from teachers for the same reason they opposed Proposition 30 – it would bypass the education spending mandates of the general fund.
Basically, 27 would turn every phone and computer into an at-your-fingertips casino.
26 is the lesser evil of the two, but really both should be defeated. I supported and still support Tribal gaming even though I’m really down on gambling as an industry and I find casinos extremely depressing places. I’m partial to Hunter Thompson’s account in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where he described casinos as what all of pop-culture entertainment would have been like if the Third Reich had won the war. You walk through the places and there are these lights and sounds filling in for the absolute lack of joy in most of the participants – commanding you to believe you’re happy and that something wonderful is going on, when it’s just a lot of glare and noise as people dump their security and kids’ inheritances into the stingy machines. I felt this way about it the very first time I ever stepped foot into a casino in Reno when I was a kid. Gambling preys on the math-challenged, the addicted, and the desperate. It’s a God-awful thing IMO.
But you can’t ban it, so you might as well regulate it and draw revenues. In the 1990s I voted for Tribal gaming on the basis that someone was going to profit, and I would much rather First Nation folk do so than the legitimated gangsters in Nevada who own the Laxalt family.
My preference would be for sports betting to remain illegal in California (and everywhere else). But if California does come around to legalizing it, my preference is that it require a physical location and not be a prize to be one by one industrial interest or another.
And hopefully it won’t involve an absolute saturation of manipulative advertising across all media forms.
In the meantime, just no.
Proposition 28 – money for arts and music in K-12 schools – Yes
The measure does not generate new money in bonds, taxes, or revenues. It simply adds 1 percent of the school funding allocated in any given year (past year) to the education budget from the general fund, above what would have been allocated by law and legislative decision. The money will be spent on programs and music, with 99 percent of it being sent directly to school sites (no more than 1 percent for administration). 80 percent of the funding must be used to hire staff. 70 percent of the funding would be allocated proportionately based upon total enrollment, and the remaining 30 percent will be allocated according to proportionate low income enrollment.
It’s a pretty decent measure based upon complaints that schools have become test-preparation mills. Even businesses have been complaining about the lack of depth in the education of potential employees.
Next we need a bond measure for building facilities and purchasing supplies. And also we need to revise education away from funding strictly based on test scores. And we need to allow for more discretion for teachers away from standardized curriculum, especially for humanities. And we need to shut down the book banning, restore civics education, and critical thinking. I could keep typing. But Proposition is one brick in the wall.
Proposition 29 – Dialysis clinic regulations, for the third time!
Four years ago, Proposition 8 was introduced to place some regulations and profit caps on dialysis clinics of which private for-profit companies have a death grip and are being accused of having different tiers of levels of care depending on the source of your coverage – specifically suggesting that Medi-Cal and Medicaid patients don’t get the same quality of treatment. It would have required that a physician be present for all treatment except in circumstances of shortage of availability. It would have required reporting to the state of all infections resulting from treatment with strong fines for non-compliance. It would have required state approval before closing clinics or reducing services. And it would have prohibited discrimination in treatment based upon your coverage; maintaining the same standards no matter what neighborhood you’re in.
And probably it would have made non-union clinics non-existent, which is fine with me.
It failed. And then Proposition 23 was introduced in 2020. Pretty much the same proposal.
The clinic private industry spent over 100 million dollars to defeat Proposition 8 and a similar amount against Proposition 23. They went down in flames, partly because the American Nurses Association opposed them, though the more progressive California Nurses Association was curiously silent both times, and remain silent re Proposition 29.
Again, I do have some reservations about a ballot measure like this one. The initiative process is probably not the best vehicle to set medical treatment policy. Do dialysis patients really need a medical doctor present, or are skilled nurses more than adequate? I asked that question two years ago, and apparently the proponents have responded and Proposition 29 no longer requires a physician be on the premises, but a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. I mean, this seems more than reasonable to me.
This is the type of question which should be addressed by taking input in legislative committee with experts making their pitches one way and the other. But I have absolutely no doubt that in the affluent area clinics there is at least one physician present always, if only to give the affluent peace of mind.
And what I do know is that a for-profit model of health care is problematic when it is allowed to close clinics in poor areas and cut corners in treatment for patients whose coverage pays less after having displaced public and/or non-profit clinics. We hear the private insurers and health industry touting the benefits of free enterprise in generating the best care for everyone, but when expected to make good on those promises they say, “Hey, we’re trying to run a business here!” And in fact, they are cynically arguing that the SEIU wants to drive costs of operation up so that private businesses will close because unionization of dialysis workers has been difficult, which is patently ridiculous on several different levels. And if having to report infections is really a cost-prohibitive burden, then maybe you’re infecting too many people! Note to the industry – show us that your vaunted for-profit business model works and support these very basic regulations. That you are spending tens of millions to oppose this is really telling.
Deja vu. I said that last part word for word two years ago. Hope nobody minds if I recycle. If it fails again and SEIU gets this onto the 2024 ballot, I’ll probably recycle this one.
I’m told by someone I trust that despite the 8 to 15 percent profit margin which is like 2 to 3 times that of a hospital, passing this measure might result in clinics being closed in poor and remote areas. That would be a bad thing. We’re in this mess because the legislature has failed to lead on the issue. They couldn’t create exceptions, but they could subsidize clinics. We’ve got this huge surplus. Maybe this would be a good use for some of it. It would employ physicians – or at least nurses and P.A.s.
Proposition 30 – Taxing rich people to fund the conversion to electric vehicles and forest fire suppression – Yes, with reservations
The proposal would increase the taxes of those earning more than 2 million per year by 1.75 percent to create a fund independent of the general fund. 45 percent of the money would go towards rebates and other incentives to purchase EVs and half of the money must go to low income individuals and communities. Another 35 percent would go to charging stations and other infrastructure. And 20 percent would go to wildfire suppression, with a priority to hiring and training new firefighters.
Most environmental groups support the measure, and a slew of unions – obviously the firefighters union and electric workers union. The Democratic Party supports it, but Gov. Newsom opposes it as do most rich people.
The opposition submitted for the Voter’s Guide consists of representatives of the tax posse, the Chamber, and a pro-business conservative group masquerading as a progressive Latino community action group. Their primary arguments are what you would expect – taxes bad and electric cars are bad for the power grid.
But a more salient concern comes from both of the teachers unions who are opposing the measure. They are concerned that by creating a separate fund the proponents are by-passing the requirement of the general fund which mandates a proportion of the money be spent on education. They are concerned that this measure will set a precedent to allow for more carve-outs and ultimately the general fund itself will languish and result in less money for schools. I do agree that this is a concern, but I would support pressuring the legislature to address this for future measures. Right now, we need this one past badly as our dependence on oil/gasoline is wreaking havoc on the economy as well as the climate, and giving despotic regimes a great deal of power.
Another concern is that this is basically a subsidy to help Lyft and Uber meet their mandates for EV vehicles, and they are quietly supporting the measure with a bunch of money and their drivers will gobble up a bunch of that rebate money. But the suggestion that the measure is a hustle on their part is a bit over the top. The measure will in fact help to facilitate the transition towards a lower-emission energy economy, and that has to be made the priority.
Proposition 31 – bans flavored tobacco – Yes
This is a voter-confirmation of a law that passed the legislature and got signed by the Governor in 2020. It’s on the ballot because opponents obtained enough signatures to put it there, so the law has been on hold for two years.
Supported by the NAACP, the California Medical Association (doctors), the California Nurses Association, the American Association of Pediatrics, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, both teachers unions, and a slew of groups oriented towards protecting kids. The marketing and proliferation of candy-flavored tobacco has led to increases in child use of cigarettes, and it has hit the black communities disproportionately. In the 1950s, fewer than 10 percent of African American smokers smoked minty-menthols and now over 85 percent of them do based upon patterns established in childhood.
The NAACP says, “Tobacco companies use minty-menthol to mask the harsh taste of tobacco, which makes smoking easier to start and harder to quit. After targeting African Americans for decades, Big Tobacco is turning an enormous profit—while rates of tobacco-related heart disease, stroke and cancer skyrocket. Yes on 31 will take Big Tobacco’s candy-flavored tools of addiction out of our communities, saving lives and improving public health.”
The primary opposition is coming from business and chamber groups with the refrain “Prohibition doesn’t work!,” which is a clever turnaround of a slogan often used by the cannabis legalization movements. But actually, sometime prohibition does work. It’s reduced the proliferation of child pornography for one thing. Will there be a black market targeting kids with candy cigarettes? There already is, but it’s one thing for an adult to go to a store and buy up a bunch of the stuff to sell to kids in their neighborhood. It’s another to organize shipments from out-of-state. It will happen. But it will be easier to control.
Yes, we would lose some tobacco tax revenue. Worth it.
The statewide and legislative races are all between Democrats and Republicans. I’m supporting all of the Democrats.
Of more interest may be information about the judges up for confirmation.
Confirmation of Associate Justices
Patricia Guerrero – Yes! She’s brilliant off the scale. First appointed to the Court of Appeal about 5 years ago and has performed really well.
My favorite decision of hers held that Amazon is in the stream of commerce and exert enough control over their distributors that they can be held accountable for defects in products sold by third parties, and not letting them get off with calling themselves an “intermediary” or “advertiser.” She held that Amazon brands itself as the distributor, and the “stream of commerce,” extends from the manufacturer to the retail seller, and that has always included “intermediaries” such as wholesalers. Amazon is a brand which carries weight with the assumption that they exert some quality control. And they claim a portion of the profit. The ruling was basically that they can’t have their cake and eat it too.
She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and she got her work start as a cashier in a store. When in private practice she did lots of pro-bono work for immigrants and others. She was only just appointed earlier this year to replace someone whose term ends this year. She deserves to stay on.
Goodwin Liu – Yes! Born in Georgia with immigrant Taiwanese parents who came to the country on a “Northern Exposure” type program where working as physicians in underprivileged areas provided a path to citizenship. He moved to Sacramento in the late 70s.
He clerked for Justice Ruth B. Ginsburg.
He was nominated to the 9th Circuit Court by Obama, but was denied the position due to Republican filibustering as the Republicans were offended by some of his writings, including the following in opposition to Justice Alito’s confirmation: “Judge Alito’s record envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse; where federal agents may point guns at ordinary citizens during a raid, even after no sign of resistance, where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white jury for killing a white man, absent [an] analysis showing discrimination, is not the America we know. Nor is it the America we aspire to be”
My criticism is that it’s a run-on sentence. Also, two of those commas should be semicolons. But that’s not why Mitch McConnell tanked his nomination.
Shortly after the nomination failed, Governor Brown appointed him to the California Supreme Court.
Lastly, I’m personally grateful to him because I had an appeal some years ago and he was one of two Brown appointments which shifted the Court away from the Deukmejian-Wilson-Schwarzenegger appointed control to a more consumer-friendly approach, and an appeal I made which I expected to lose prevailed because of a similar Superior Court case. My case was held up as the middle court awaited that decision before rendering a decision in mine, and it went my way. Made me look like a genius.
Martin Jenkins – Yes. Born and raised San Francisco in a small apartment and his father being a janitor at Coit Tower, his story is pretty amazing. He is the first openly gay man and the third black man to serve on the California Supreme Court.
There’s not much to say about his judicial philosophy as it’s pretty uncontroversial. He has been appointed to state and federal courts by Republicans and Democrats.
He is deeply Catholic, but his rulings have respected a woman’s right to choose. I don’t know what his personal views are on abortion, but as long as he follows the law I’m good.
Joshua Grobin – Yes – He served as counsel for the Brown 2010 campaign and then seven years later he became Jerry Brown’s fourth appointment to the Supreme Court. That bothered me until I studied his record, and it’s sound.
I especially like his decision on a law passed in 2018 barring prosecuting 15-year-olds as adults even for very serious crimes. A lower court had ruled that it ran afoul of Proposition 57 which gives discretion to judges on the matter of trying youths as adults in general. “Nothing in Proposition 57 appears to forbid the Legislature from making a judgment that public safety can be better protected by keeping the subset of particularly young, 14- and 15-year-old offenders in the juvenile system where they are more likely to receive appropriate education and emotional and psychological treatment, and less likely to reoffend after their release,” he wrote in his decision.
Appellate Court Judges
Again, I only advocate a “no” vote when there is a serious problem, and although I like some of these judges more than others, they all seem fit for the positions. Of note, most of the people we’re voting on were appointed in 2018 or later. The earliest appointment is 2014. What happens in these positions? Burnout?
Theresa Stewart – Yes – She was the City Attorney for San Francisco for about 12 years. She was on the team which won the (endangered) Equality of Marriage SCOTUS decision. She was the first gay woman to serve as an Appellate Court Judge in California. Appointed by Brown in 2014, I would have been concerned for her lack of experience as a judge, however, she’s been at it for 8 years now and has no controversial decisions that I’ve found.
Allison Tucher – Yes – She’s been on the court since 2018 when she was appointed by Brown, and more recently she was appointed Chief Justice of the First Appellate Court. She clerked for Justice Souter. I haven’t found any particularly problematic decisions. While in private practice she did a lot of pro-bono, and in such capacity she successfully represented two innocent men who were on Death Row.
Victor Rodriguez – Yes – Appointed by Newsom last year after working as staff attorney for various Cal Supreme Court justices for years. Worked with the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund for a while. He hasn’t been on the bench long enough such that any decisions he’s written hasn’t made news.
Iona Petrou – Yes – Appointed by Brown in 2018, after serving about a decade as Superior Court Judge in Alameda County. Shwartzenegger appointed her to that position. Worked pro bono as Chief Counsel for Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.
No controversial decisions, but she was mentioned in a news article about the strife at KPFA, when former Pacifica executive Summer Reese used bolt cutters to enter the KPFA building and blockade herself in after Save KPFA won a majority on the Board and barred her from the building. Judge Petrou granted the injunction against her.
Carin Fujisaki – Yes – First Asian American woman to serve on the First Appellate Court. She served as Senior Staff Attorney for the Chief Justice of the Cal Supreme Court for several years before being appointed by Brown in 2018.
She hasn’t rendered any bad decisions which I find disqualifying, but I do disagree with one of her opinions on a relatively technical issue. Attorneys representing a client had been sanctioned pursuant to a discovery motion and they made a motion for reconsideration on grounds that seem sound. However, the action was dismissed before the motion was heard. The Court heard the motion anyway and revoked the sanctions. The opposition appealed arguing that the judge no longer had jurisdiction to issue orders of any kind once the case was dismissed. Because the dismissing attorney had misrepresented the situation in obtaining the sanctions, the Court ruled that it would violate a basic sense of justice and fair play to simply allow him to dismiss in order to maintain the sanctions. Plaintiff attorney is obviously ethically challenged, but absent an act of the legislature, the jurisdiction of a judge only exists when a case is open. To extend jurisdiction beyond that without specific statutory guidelines is a dangerous expansion of judicial power.
But I don’t see that she should be recalled for one result-oriented decision that makes complete moral sense.
She’s also the only First Appellate Court Justice with a Facebook page. Cute photos of her and her significant other.
Tracie Brown – Yes – Served as a Superior Court Judge for about 5 years. Worked as an associate for Morrison & Foerster LLP. I have a friend from law school who worked for them in the same capacity. He says they were jerks.
She is best known for having taken up a case in opposition to the YWCA’s Japantown building to anyone other than Issei women who had been promised the building in the 1920s. When Issei Christian women raised money to build it, the 1913 Alien Land Law was still in effect, barring Japanese immigrants from owning other than residential real property. Soko Bukai, a group of Japanese American Christian churches in San Francisco, challenged the sale, which would have resulted in the loss of a historic building as well as the eviction of a preschool operated by Nihonmachi Little Friends.
Brown, who is half Japanese, persuaded her firm, Cooley Godward, to take up the case. The legal team was able to establish that the YWCA had in fact agreed to hold the building in trust for the Issei women in the 1920s. The case settled with the group of women being able to buy the building at a low price.
Jeremy Goldman – Yes – Former deputy City Attorney for San Francisco appointed by Newsom just this last June.
His work includes successfully negotiating a resolution to a complex case that resulted in hundreds of unhoused people being able to move into hotel rooms and shelters; defending laws that protect tenants from pretextual rent increases that would force them out of their homes; preventing a private company from forcing shoplifting defendants to pay for an “educational program” in order to be released from detention; and defending San Francisco’s short-term rental regulations.
Teri Jackson – Yes – First African American woman to be appointed Superior Court Judge in 2002 and served until Newsom appointed her to the Appellate Court in 2019.
Jackson attended UC Santa Cruz a few years before I did. She became a prosecutor in San Mateo County in 1980. She was later hired by the SF District Attorney serving in the domestic violence unit, the felony charging unit, and the felony sexual assault unit. In 1988, she became the first attorney to successfully introduce expert testimony regarding elder abuse syndrome in a court case. In 1995, she co-founded the First Offender Prostitution Program (FOPP), a rehabilitation course for individuals arrested for their involvement with prostitution. The program was replicated in other American cities within years of its founding. Jackson became the first woman to head up a homicide unit in the state of California upon her promotion to head district attorney’s homicide unit in 1997.
Gordon Burns – Yes – Appointed by Brown in 2018. Served as Undersecretary of the California EPA from 2011 to 2018.
I’ve looked for articles about his time with the Cal EPA, and I don’t find any controversies. He seems to be knowledgeable about water protection. I can’t find any commentary on him from environmental groups, so I’m going to go by “no news is good news.” If anyone in the environmental activist community has any insight on him, I would welcome it.
THE OAKY JOE MUNSON REPORT: OVER, UNDER, SIDEWAYS, DOWN
by Jonah Raskin
Yes, Oaky Joe Munson, the iconic cannabis grower and infamous Nor Cal outlaw, is driving Bruce Anderson’s Honda, which has racked up 326,000+ miles. It’s still running with umph, though not like new. Oaky Joe, not your average Joe, has a lot of miles on his own odometer. He might need new tires for his own battered body, but he is still going strong. I caught up with him in Sonoma County on a day that started out overcast and that heated up. Oaky Joe had just started to harvest his 2022 crop. Several of the plants were hanging upside down outdoors about 50-feet from the entrance to his three-bedroom house, which was overrun with the jade he had gathered in creek beds in Mendo and Lake.
In addition, to the weed he’s also selling firewood - $250 a cord with delivery. “Support your local economy,” he tells the gentry who buy his cords and try to get him to lower the price. No way. “People don’t appreciate the value of labor,” he tells me. With PG&E bills going up (while the price per pound for marijuana has been going down) folks are heating their homes the old fashioned way with oak, madrone and manzanita.
The Munsons are doing very well, thank you. Joe’s wife recently returned from a visit to her elderly parents in Japan. She’s teaching yoga to elderly white folks in Sonoma. Their son is a first year student at the high school in “Seb,” as kids call the town of Sebastopol. He thinks his dad is a bit overbearing. Maybe so. He’s also a good dad. Joe's daughter has a job at a second hand clothes store in Seb, attends Santa Rosa Junior College and apparently has a rich and rewarding love life. I heard some of the salacious details. (I'm protecting her privacy.) Oh, to be an American teenager and not be burdened by the sense that “we’re doomed,” as Oaky Joe puts it. He adds, “Don’t tell my kids we’re doomed. They think they're living the dream.” Actually, I’m glad I’m not a teenager today.
Joe and his wife were recently hired by Sonoma Social Services to serve as consultants, since they have been such good clients. “I told them, ‘don’t be rigid with people who are homeless and are addicts,’” Joe said. “’Don’t treat them like normal people. They’re not. They have issues’.”
When we stopped at a gas station in Seb Joe put $20 worth in the tank and complained that it would set him back $100 to fill it. “You did the right thing by selling your car when you did,” he told me. Maybe so. I got to Sonoma County by the 101 bus from the GG Bridge to San Rafael and then Smart to Cotati where a friend picked me up at the train station and took me to a Peruvian restaurant in Seb where I drank a Peruvian lager. My friend and I shared a Peruvian paella. The next day Oaky Joe and I had lunch at the Willow Wood Market Cafe in Graton. He chowed down on the spaghetti and meatballs; he couldn’t eat it all and took home what sat on his plate.
He was hungry, he said, because he’d just returned from a 100-mile motorcycle run with his son and had worked up an appetite. A man of big appetites and big dreams, he consumes big joints most of the day. While we were driving on Gravenstein Highway he hot boxed the interior of the Honda, which soon filled with smoke, though I didn’t get stoned.
Back at his place, he rolled a few joints for the road. No doubt about it, he has rolled thousands of joints over the course of his lifetime. He rolls them like a pro and a perfectionist. Sitting around the table, we talked about Ukraine, nuclear weapons, prostitution, movies and a friend of his who “goes sideways.” When Oaky Joe uses it he means to go outside the law.
The only topic we didn’t dive into was President Biden’s recent announcement that the feds would expunge the records of people arrested with weed. That was the latest big news in the weed world. Expunging the records was something that ought to have been done decades ago.
On my last night in Seb I watched a documentary by Brian Lilla titled Children of the Vine. The movie tells it like it is and describes the harmful (and deadly) effects of Roundup and glyphosate. The theater was packed. I recommend the film. I also urge you not to use Roundup. The life you save might be your own. On my last morning in the North Bay, Oaky Joe took me to the Cotati train station and thereby added a few more miles to the Honda that Bruce Anderson nearly drove into the ground and didn’t. These days, one has to be grateful for the little things in a world in which many of the big things are out of control.
In remembering Dame Angela Lansbury this afternoon, I have a cute story to share about her. The northern California coastal town of Mendocino was a stand-in for Cabot Cove, Maine, in the TV series "Murder, She Wrote". The cast and crew were always filming there, especially during the early years of her TV series. The town is accustomed to film crews, as so many movies were made there... The Russian's Are Coming; Summer Of 42; Same Time, Next Year; Overboard; East Of Eden; The Majestic; Johnny Belinda; Dead & Buried; The Dunwich Horror; etc. With Murder, She Wrote, the store fronts would simply flip their outside signs around. Like The Mendocino Chocolate Company became The Cabot Cove Chocolate Company on filming days. The Hill House Inn, where the cast stayed, was actually called The Hill House Inn in the series. Anyway... the story. Angela was most often flown in to Little River Airport, a small airport near Mendocino. But being a coastal town, there was often fog, and it was so thick, planes were not allowed to land. Boonville, where I grew up, is about 40 miles south of Mendocino, usually an hours drive due to a 2 lane road through the redwoods. One particular day, due to coastal fog, Angela's plane was forced to land in Boonville. The studio would usually have a limo there to pick her up and drive her on up the coast. As her plane was larger, and louder, than the usual small planes that landed there, residents would sometimes drive over to the airport to "check things out". A good friend to our family, Donald Pardini ( Ernie Pardini, Julie Pardini Villa ) had a black Lincoln that he kept spotless, and he was one of those people. When Angela departed her plane, and saw the black Lincoln, she walked over to it, and preceded to slip into the back seat! While making herself comfortable, Donald walked back to his car and asked what she was doing! She was so embarrassed, and everyone there got a great laugh out of it. Since there was no car for her, Donald drove her up to the local coffee shop and she ordered tea while they waited for her studio car. As residents found out she was in town, the coffee shop filled up quickly with those seeking autographs & pictures. A few weeks later, I was in Mendocino to watch them film, and as Angela was exiting her trailer, I told her I was from Boonville and that Mr. Pardini said hello. She started hysterically laughing, and told me that was a day she would never forget! I so wish I had been able to see her sing & dance on a Broadway stage, but the times I was privileged to spend watching her work in front of the camera are indeed treasured.
Spiritually Active in a Sea of Samsara
Arose early at the Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California. Following morning ablutions, bottom lined the trash and recycling voluntary chore to keep the place tidy. Then walked to the Ukiah Co-op for sushi and coffee, afterwards venturing to the Ukiah Public Library. Read through four back issues of the New York Times. Nothing at all appeared interesting. It was page after page of detailed planet earth news that was mostly abominable, depressing, and foretold a future of difficulty. Billions of people rotting in the quagmire of samsara! And then there are the other endangered species...
Constantly identified with that which is prior to consciousness, (and not identifying with the body nor the mind), is the only way to be here happily. The spiritual absolute goes where it needs to go and does what it needs to do. Please take note of the fact that I am available for just about anything on the planet earth at the moment. What would you like to do? I'm ready.
Craig Louis Stehr
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 12, 2022
DUSTIN ALLEN, Ukiah. Protective order violation resulting in injury.
STORMY BARKER-RAYMER, Hidden Valley Lake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ZACKARY BURGESS, Covelo. DUI, conspiracy, evasion.
BRANDON BURROWS, Chico/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
TOBIAS BUTLER, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Grand theft-fruit, fowl, etc.
MARILYN CALONICO, Willows/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
JUAN CEBALLOS-MAYO JR., Los Angeles/Ukiah. DUI
DARIUS CHATHAM, Willits. Vandalism.
NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. County parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)
TONY MCELROY, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
VERONICA OROZCO, Ukiah. Attempt to receive stolen property, controlled substance, metal knuckles, evasion, resisting.
ANGELA RIVERA, Ukiah. Contempt of court, resisting.
NATHANIEL SECKER, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, concealed dirk-dagger, metal knuckles, false imprisonment, possession of deadly weapons by person confined, conveyed or in-custody.
JOSE VARGAS-ENRIQUEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance.
KRYSTAL WILLIAMS, Willits. Controlled substance, disobying court order, probation revocation.
SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS SET FOR BIG INCREASE
Tens of millions of older Americans are about to get what may be the biggest raise of their lifetimes.
On Thursday, the U.S. government is set to announce how big a percentage increase Social Security beneficiaries will see in monthly payments this upcoming year. It’s virtually certain to be the largest in four decades. It’s all part of an annual ritual where Washington adjusts Social Security benefits to keep up with inflation, or at least with one narrow measure of it.
Plenty of controversy accompanies the move, known as a cost-of-living adjustment or COLA. Critics say the data the government uses to set the increase doesn’t reflect what older Americans are actually spending, and thus the inflation they’re actually feeling. The increase is also one-size-fits-all, which means beneficiaries get the same raise regardless of where they live or how big a nest egg they may have.
Here’s a look at what’s happening:
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
The U.S. government is about to announce an increase to how much the more than 65 million Social Security beneficiaries will get every month. Some estimates say the boost may be as big as 9%.
WHAT DO BENEFICIARIES HAVE TO DO TO GET IT?
WILL THIS BE THE BIGGEST INCREASE EVER?
No, but it’s likely the heftiest in 40 years, which is longer than the vast majority of Social Security beneficiaries have been getting payments. In 1981, the increase was 11.2%.
WHEN WILL THE BIGGER PAYMENTS BEGIN?
January. They’re also permanent, and they compound. That means the following year’s percentage increase, whatever it ends up being, will be on top of the new, larger payment beneficiaries get after this most recent raise.
HOW BIG WAS THIS PAST YEAR’S INCREASE?
5.9%, which itself was the biggest in nearly four decades.
WHAT'S THE TYPICAL INCREASE?
Since 2000, it’s averaged 2.3% as inflation remained remarkably tame through all kinds of economic swings. During some of the toughest years in that stretch, the bigger worry for the economy was actually that inflation was running too low.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. government has announced zero increases to Social Security benefits three times because inflation was so weak.
SO THE INCREASE IS TO MAKE UP FOR INFLATION?
That's the intent. As Americans have become painfully aware over the past year, each $1 doesn't go as far at the grocery store as it used to.
HAS SOCIAL SECURITY ALWAYS GIVEN SUCH INCREASES?
No. The first American to get a monthly retirement check from Social Security, Ida May Fuller from Ludlow, Vermont, got the same $22.54 monthly benefit for 10 years.
Automatic annual cost-of-living adjustments didn't begin for Social Security until 1975, after a law passed in 1972 requiring them.…
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Cataract Surgery Update:
Yesterday morning I underwent Cataract surgery on my left eye. As often as people tell you “it’s no big deal” I defy you to contemplate for days in advance of your approaching surgery date not feeling anxious about someone cutting into your eyeball and replacing your lens. It cannot be done. You WILL be anxious.
There’s all kinds of preliminary shit that goes on before the doctor even sees you. Nurses hook you up to a monitor with wires running to either side of your chest and wires to the lower shin area of each leg. A sleeve is slid up onto a bicep much the same as a blood pressure taking device. They turn it on and it begins to inflate and squeeze… Oh Boy does it ever squeeze… and then it very slowly… tick… tick… tick… begins to deflate… Whew, thank God that’s over. But several minutes later it does it all again, all automatically. And it keeps doing this throughout the entire procedure.
And then a nurse begins trying to find a vein that will puff up enough to insert a needle which will be a port for the anesthesiologist to run some dope into you which does not put you “out” but supposedly leaves you awake but with a “don’t give a shit” attitude. You have to remain awake or your eyes would roll back in your head and they couldn’t operate on them. My needle nurse effed up and failed to make a good needle insertion so a second nurse came in and chose a different spot on my arm near where my watch band resides. This needle hurt quite a bit but at least she made a good connection.
BTW, if I never mentioned it before, in the summer of 1949 when I was 8 and a half years old I caught polio and wound up in a very specialized hospital for infectious diseases and was there for a month. Every day I was jabbed 6 times (each thigh, each buttock, each arm) so that when a nurse entered my room for the next jab I began to cry. Somehow I overcame polio (and was somewhat of a local hero in my neighborhood and school for having done so) and from then on until I went into the Air Force I was able to avoid all needles. But then I had to grow up and be a big boy. Even so, whenever I have to endure a needle I never look at the hypodermic, not even dentistry Novocaine needles and I DEFINITELY do not watch the insertion.
So anyway, where was I? During these prelims someone was forever coming to me and asking me to open my eyes wide (actually, only my left eye) for them to administer more eye drops. The drops must have been huge and they ran annoyingly down my cheek. No one bothered to dab up the excess. My ear with its hearing aid had to be covered to avoid an eyedrop/hearing aid short out.
At some point the anesthesia guy began to run in the stuff that was supposed to make me not give a shit about anything but I don’t think I ever achieved that blissful state. My bed was rolled to the surgery area and I saw none of this since I was instructed to keep my eyes gently shut.
The surgery itself took about 15 minutes during which I would occasionally realize that I was tensing my leg muscles or squeezing the bed sheets with my fingers and I’d have to remind myself to “fucking relax already”! When the top sheet was first put over me I realized it had come out of a warmer so the warm sheet felt really great.
I was raised up slowly from my horizontal reclined position, was given the bag containing my jacket, wallet, watch and all other possessions and walked out the exit door to my wife who had to wait in her car… and thence to home. Forgot to mention, I had to wear a covid mask through the entire procedure.
This morning I went back to the main office (not where the surgery was done) for a “post-op exam” by another doctor, not my actual surgeon. Various things were checked and I was declared to be perfectly normal and OK for the first day following surgery. Slight swelling and inflammation of the eyeball. All I have to do now is administer 178 more drops over the next 30 days, wear a clear plastic guard over my eye when in bed for the next week and go to another post-op visit in early Nov.
I just now raised my eyes to look at the TV and noticed a definite improvement in my left eye’s vision. The literature says it can take some days before being fully effective.
“There was no wall of defense, no hesitation, with Marlon [Brando]. Everything I want to be as a writer, he was, fully, as an actor and as a man: Free and wild and present and without fear. Open and savage in expression. He was a monument of masculinity and as sensitive and furtive as a frightened kitten. A gorgon and a geisha. There's the title. There's the note for you to write down.”
—Tennessee Williams on Marlon Brando/Interview with James Grissom
STUDY RAISES ALARM ABOUT IMPACTS OF LONG COVID
A new long-covid study based on the experiences of nearly 100,000 participants provides powerful evidence that many people do not fully recover months after being infected with the coronavirus.
The Scottish study found that between six and 18 months after infection, 1 in 20 people had not recovered and 42 percent reported partial recovery. There were some reassuring aspects to the results: People with asymptomatic infections are unlikely to suffer long-term effects, and vaccination appears to offer some protection from long covid.…
CIVIL WAR COMING?
Jane Coaston To Tim Alberta: Before we get into the specifics about what you were talking about in your piece, when you say civil war, what do you mean?
Tim Alberta: I think we probably start with what civil war is not in this context. We’re not talking about armies of red and blue fighting another Battle of Antietam. We’re not talking about the forces of Charlie Kirk clashing in the streets with the forces of Keith Olbermann, or pick your figurehead. We’re not talking something anywhere near I think the scale or anywhere resembling the organization of what we saw in the mid-19th century. What we are discussing is some significant scale of semiorganized, lethal, civil conflict that is organized around not just political and ideological disputes but perceived threats to economies, livelihoods.
And I don’t know that we would recognize it in the U.S. But it would follow something of a pattern that I think we’ve seen in other parts of the world, where you have some sort of sectarian violence — not necessarily confined to anything resembling symmetrical warfare between citizens — but also local governments, regional governments clashing with federal government or even, perhaps, at the local level, sheriffs refusing to enforce state laws. And potential outgrowth of violence from there that could reach a scale that we haven’t seen in a very long time in this country.
WE'D FORGIVE MOST THINGS if we knew the facts.
— Graham Greene
AS GAS HIKES HIT SACRAMENTO AGAIN, Newsom calls for special session to impose windfall tax on oil profits - Meanwhile, the governor’s administration has approved nearly 12,000 new oil drilling permits since 2019
by Dan Bacher
At a news conference on October 7, Governor Gavin Newsom called for a special session of the California Legislature in December to investigate oil companies for gouging at the gas pumps and to impose a windfall tax on oil profits.
The gap between gasoline prices in the U.S. and California has now reached $2.60 per gallon at a time when inflation is hammering California residents and oil industry profits soar.
Newsom said the special session will begin Dec. 5 after all the votes have been counted from the November elections and newly elected lawmakers are sworn in.
“Oil refinery costs and profits rose 240% from August to September, costing you more,” said Newsom in a statement. “On Friday, we asked oil companies: as crude oil is down, why are their profits up and why does CA have skyrocketing gas prices? It doesn’t add up. Some were evasive, most didn’t respond at all.”
Details remain scarce on the proposed legislation, outside of the fact that Newsom wants the Legislature to develop a framework for the new tax on oil companies.
“Every single one of us should be outraged and disgusted by these folks,” Newsom said, referring to the oil companies. “They’re taking advantage of you and they’re fleecing you for billions and billions of dollars.”
In response to Newsom’s call for a special session, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said they “look forward to examining the Governor’s detailed proposal when we receive it.”
“The gas rebates that are beginning to roll out today to Californians were a huge step in helping ease the brunt of rising fuel costs, and we will continue to examine all other options to help consumers,” the leaders noted in a joint statement. “As stated last week, a solution that takes excessive profits out of the hands of oil corporations and puts money back into the hands of consumers deserves strong consideration by the Legislature.”
Consumer and public interest groups praised the Governor for calling for the special session.
“Governor Newsom is rightly standing up for Californians who are being taken advantage of at the gas pump by a cartel of oil refiners who are making windfall profits at their expense,” said Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog. “Now it’s time for the legislature to answer the Governor’s call with a windfall profits tax that takes back the outrageous profits oil refiners have been making off Californians’ pain at the pump.”
On September 27, facing a huge gap between California and US gas prices, Consumer Watchdog asked the Governor to call a special legislative session to deal with the issue.
Then, last week, Consumer Watchdog issued a report explaining why California needed a windfall profits tax and how to implement it.
According to the organization, “Second quarter 2022 profits reported by Chevron, Marathon Petroleum, PBF Energy, Phillips 66, and Valero showed that they made more than $1 per gallonâ“three to ten times more in profits per gallon on the West Coast over the second quarter last year. Profits from West Coast operations also registered the highest among each refiner’s reported regions across the U.S. and the world.”
“Five refiners — Chevron, Marathon Petroleum, PBF Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero — make 97% of the state’s gasoline,” the report went on. “They are in a position to restrict gasoline supply to drive up gas prices. They have consistently restricted supply and artificially driven up their prices significantly in excess of their costs.”
The group said five oil refiners raked in $26 billion in the second quarter – $14 billion more than their profits a year earlier: Read the report.
“When oil refiners are making more than $1 per gallon off every gallon sold, it’s time to take back the extra profits and give them back to California drivers,” said Court. “The Governor is taking a strong stand for the people of California and their wallets.”
Food and Water Watch also lauded the Governor for calling for the special session, while urging Newsom to stop granting fossil fuel permits immediately.
“We’re relieved to see Governor Newsom holding Big Oil executives accountable for price-gouging Californians, but the fact remains that the only way to truly end the fossil fuel industry’s extractive hold on our climate and communities is to get rid of fossil fuels entirely,” said Food and Water Watch's California Director, Chirag G. Bhakta. “The strongest stance Newsom can take after this first step is to stop granting fossil fuel permits immediately and start a transition to equitable, clean energy.”
Since Newsom came to office in January 2019, the number of new and reworked oil drilling permits issued by CalGEM, the state’s oil and gas regulator, comes to nearly 12,000.
On the other hand, the Western States Petroleum Association and Republican lawmakers condemned Newsom’s call for an emergency session as a “political stunt.”
“It was just over a month ago that the Governor and the legislature got together and imposed a series of mandates and regulations that will cost Californians a record $54 billion dollars,” said Catherine Reheis-Boyd-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create “marine protected areas” on the South Coast. “These are the types of actions that can drive consumer costs way up. A better use of the special session would be to take a hard look at decades of California energy policy and what they mean to consumers and our economy.”
“If this was anything other than a political stunt, the Governor wouldn’t wait two months and would call the special session now, before the election. This industry is ready right now to work on real solutions to energy costs and reliability if that is what the Governor is truly interested in,” the WSPA president added.
WSPA, the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, has spent over $17.5 million lobbying the California Legislature and other state officials over the past three years.
In 2021, WSPA spent $4,397,004 lobbying legislators and state officials to serve Big Oil’s agenda, according to data filed with California Secretary of State’s Office.
Newsom called for the special session as California continues to issue thousands of oil and gas drilling permits every year. Second quarter permit approvals pushed the overall number of oil drilling permits approved since Newsom came to office in January 2019 to 11,669, according to an analysis by Consumer Watchdog and Fractracker Alliance. The permits are posted on a map at www.newsomwellwatch.com
In the first two quarters of 2022, the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) issued 1,326 total permits, including 216 new well permits and 1,110 oil well rework permits.
The groups revealed that State approvals for permits to fix or deepen existing oil wells skyrocketed in the second quarter by 124% over the same time last year. “Some of the permit approvals by CalGEM are for idle wells and wells that barely produce, and both types can leak deadly methane and other harmful pollutants,” the groups concluded.
UKRAINE, WEDNESDAY, 12 OCTOBER
As civilians in Ukraine faced a barrage of Russian missiles in recent days, the country’s military pressed ahead with its counteroffensive, recapturing five villages to build on earlier territorial gains.
Ukraine’s southern military command said on Wednesday that its troops in Kherson Province had taken the villages, which include Nova Kam’yanka, on the western side of the Dnipro River and Novovasylivka, on the eastern side, as part of the country’s strategy of advancing toward the city of Kherson itself.
Ukrainian authorities are now working to “revive social and critical infrastructure,” the southern command said in a post on Facebook. There was no independent confirmation of the battlefield developments.